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Ex-pupils returning to school
FOR 80 years youngsters in Pershore have strolled each morning to the town’s high school, books in hand.
Generations of families have been taught inside the school walls since it opened in January 1932.
Now to celebrate its 80th anniversary, Pershore High School invited pupils, both past and present, back to remember the time they spent there.
Former pupils were welcomed back to the school to mark the occasion – although headteacher Clive Corbett says more than just the name of the school, originally known as Pershore County Senior School, has changed over the years.
To commemorate the milestone in a lasting way the school’s fifth headteacher has compiled a book entitled Pershore High School - A History of 80 Years.
He said: “The school was supposed to open in September 1931 but it was delayed by builders.
“So it ended up opening in January the following year.
“What is interesting is that when it opened there was one headteacher and 13 teachers. Now we have one head and 80 teachers.”
The number of pupils has also changed a bit in the past 80 years, increasing from 430 in 1932 to 1,230 today.
“Each headteacher has kept a logbook and we still have all of them,” said Mr Corbett.
“They recorded everything in them, for example, the weekly attendance of pupils, inspectors’ visits, and inspection reports.
“There is also information about people being evacuated to the area.
“It also talks a lot about the evacuees who went to school here in the summer while many of the local children worked in the fields.”
The school has had a total of five heads including Mr Corbett since opening. The first was Major L Pardoe who headed the school for 25 years. In 1947 he was awarded an OBE and was granted special permission to work past the retirement age in 1956 allowing him to complete 25 years’ service to the school.
Another long-serving head teacher, Mr E Johnston, saw the school become a comprehensive in 1973 and the sixth form was introduced.
Now Mr Corbett and the school are looking forward to the event next month and are anticipating some special guests at the anniversary.
“We know that we have got people who were at the school in 1932 in the first class,” said Mr Corbett. “The guest of honour at the event later this month will be Harold Haines. At 92 years old, Mr Haines was at the school when it first opened and now lives just down Station Road.
“Also there will be former headteacher Michael Krier.”
At the event former staff and students will be served an afternoon tea over which they can reminisce.
“We are going to have the tea and we want as many people to come as possible,”
said Mr Corbett. “We are going to have activities such as music, sports, an awards presentation and gardening competition and displays of old things made at the school.
“The book will be on sale during the night. If people want to bring anything with them to event they are more than welcome. We’ve added to it as the years have gone by and so we’ve got a wonderful collection of pictures and memories of past pupils and staff. It really is a wonderful memorial of the 80 years for us.
“We have got a desk made by someone who used to go to the school and press cuttings dating back to the 70s. There are also old attendance medals that were given out to pupils. The event is a chance for people who were here to come back.”
For more details, call 01386 552471 or e-mail office@per shore.worcs.sch.uk.