Felixstowe: Investigations continue into damage caused by adults at Orwell High open evening

People look through school photos, punishment books, records and other memorabilia at the Orwell High evening at Felixstowe which was called off after disruptive adults caused damage at the school. People look through school photos, punishment books, records and other memorabilia at the Orwell High evening at Felixstowe which was called off after disruptive adults caused damage at the school.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
1:35 PM

Police are today still putting together a complete picture of the events during an evening in which adults vandalised their old school.

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Officers have revealed a catalogue of incidents during the open event at the old Orwell High School in Felixstowe, billed as a last chance for former students and teachers to look round the building before it is demolished later this year.

But the event turned sour when a group – said to be in their 40s and 50s – started causing trouble and the school had to be evacuated and the evening ended.

Police said today that incidents had included:

graffiti scrawled on walls and furniture – including writing and lewd pictures on walls of stairwells, toilets, classrooms and corridors;

plaster pulled from walls in a corridor;

toilets blocked with toilet paper and attempts made to flood the lavatories;

fire alarms set off;

and smoking in the toilets.

People at the event said that those causing trouble had been drinking before arriving.

A police spokeswoman said: “Investigations into incidents of criminal damage are continuing – officers have been building a full picture of what happened.”

The evening was for the whole community to enjoy a last look at the school, currently still in use as the Maidstone Campus of Felixstowe Academy, which will vacate the premises next month to move into its new £20million building in Walton High Street.

On display were memorabilia, old photos and records, while historian and former teacher Phil Hadwen spoke to people about the history of the school, which opened in 1947 as the Felixstowe Secondary Modern School.

Many people also enjoyed being reunited with long-lost friends from their school days.

A similar event planned for the old Deben High School in Garrison Lane last night was cancelled.

A spokesman for Felixstowe Academy said: “The academy will work with members of the community to arrange a display of archive material in future at a date not yet set.

“Felixstowe Academy is still committed to developing community links and will work at finding future opportunities to allow the majority of genuine past students to experience the evening we had set to achieve.”

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