School pays poignant tribute to late Leeds book-loving Billie-Leigh

Parents of Billie-Leigh Abbott, Zoe Peters and Danny Abbott, with children at Middleton Primary School's new library. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Parents of Billie-Leigh Abbott, Zoe Peters and Danny Abbott, with children at Middleton Primary School's new library. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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The memory of a literature loving six-year-old schoolgirl, who passed away due to heart failure last year, will live on in a library named after her.

Middleton Primary School pupil Billie-Leigh Abbott, from Middleton, was born with multiple congenital heart problems and was only expected to live for 24 hours when she was born.

Parents of Billie-Leigh Abbott, Zoe Peters and Danny Abbott, with year three pupils Libby Timpson, Rubi McCann, Tyesha Allotey and Harvey Taylor at Middleton Primary School's new library. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Parents of Billie-Leigh Abbott, Zoe Peters and Danny Abbott, with year three pupils Libby Timpson, Rubi McCann, Tyesha Allotey and Harvey Taylor at Middleton Primary School's new library. Picture by Tony Johnson.

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Following her sixth heart operation last August she endured a series of infections and died through heart failure on December 22.

As a tribute to the much-loved youngster, well known for her interest in reading, her school unveiled a 1,000-book library in her name on Friday.

Billie-Leigh’s mum Zoe Peters and dad Danny Abbott attended the event, which also saw a bench dedicated to her as she often had to take breaks from exercise.

Zoe, 30, said: “She had lots of friends and everybody seemed to look after her. If she was tired or upset somebody took her to the book corner.

“She ended up having six operations within six months last year and had to live with all the infections in between but she just took it in her stride and never complained.”

Inspired by Billie-Leigh’s love for books, the Middleton Park Avenue-based school decided to try and launch a library earlier this year by transforming an on-site portable cabin previously used as a family room.

Since the library was opened to pupils in September it has been extremely popular with youngsters, who have each been given their own library ticket and given a broad choice of fiction and nonfiction.

School headteacher Samantha Williams added: “She was a lovely little girl, she loved reading and never wanted to go outside because she got cold easily – she wanted to sit and read a book.

“When we first started taking about it in January or February we decided straight away it would be really nice to dedicate it after her.”

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