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Final tour of historic school building before demolition postponed as coronavirus takes hold

PUBLISHED: 17:26 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 18 March 2020

A Come As You Please Day at Copleston High School in Ipswich in 1984. The school has had to cancel a planned alumni event. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

A Come As You Please Day at Copleston High School in Ipswich in 1984. The school has had to cancel a planned alumni event. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Archant

One of Ipswich’s oldest and largest schools has postponed a planned final tour around its historic teaching blocks before they are demolished - because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Copleston High School.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCopleston High School. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Copleston High School had planned to give generations of former students one final chance to say goodbye to a building that has shaped lives and served the town for 80 years.

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The Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school is preparing to move into a hi-tech, purpose-built facility next door.

With the change bringing an “element of reflection for many of us that have been associated with Copleston over the years”, it had planned a celebration evening for alumni and friends on Thursday, March 19 to give people one last chance to look around and hear from current principal Andy Green on its plans for the future.

Copleston High School is preparing to move into a new building. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHCopleston High School is preparing to move into a new building. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

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But the Copleston Road school has now cancelled the event in light of the government’s advice on mass gatherings and stopping all non-essential contact with others.

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An email sent to those planning to attend said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the event and would like to reassure you that we plan to reschedule for the summer term, date to be confirmed.”

Many people had donated old photos and memorabilia for a slideshow on the school’s history, designed to take people on a trip down memory lane.

The school has asked those who donated items to contact staff if they need to be returned.

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“If not we will take good care of them until the evening is able to take place,” the email said.

This newspaper had also planned to produce a Copleston Over The Years nostalgia special, full of photos from the school’s past - but instead will seek to do this when the event is reorganised.

Mr Green said the event would be a “lovely way to say thank you to all those people that have had a significant association with the school over the years whether as a member of staff, a student, a governor or a member of the business community”.

■ What are your memories of Copleston High School? Write, giving your full contact details, here.


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