Gallery: Memories flow as old friends gather

OLD school pals came from as far afield as the south of France to share memories of Copleston Secondary Modern as it was in 1967.

OLD school pals came from as far afield as the south of France to share memories of Copleston Secondary Modern as it was in 1967.

Greshams Sports and Social Club, in Tuddenham Road, hosted the reunion for more than 40 past pupils of the former all-boys school.

Brian Reeder, 57, of Bernard Crescent, organised the reunion by spreading the word on the web. He said: “I hadn't seen most of the people for more than forty years. The power of the internet is amazing.

“I was really surprised by how many people turned up and someone even came from the south of France to be there.

“Our old geography teacher Ralph Rutherford also made it along. He's 82 now but can still remember the old school days.”

Mr Reeder managed to get his hands on an old school photo which he enlarged to measure a metre-and-a-half long, while Copleston generously lent the use of its current school banner for the evening.

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Now a mixed comprehensive, Copleston was once split into a girls and boys school. Mr Reeder recalled his days there, saying: “We never mixed with the girls because their Headteacher would come down very hard on them if we did.

“Middle age has crept up on us since then and many of us have grown up and grown out.”

Former schoolmate Steve Coe, 56, of Rushmere, said: “It was very nice to see everyone again. Some I recognised, others I didn't remember but I enjoyed having a few drinks and seeing the old photos.

“You don't realise what good days they were until you leave it all behind.

“In those days we were separate from the girls but we used to pass the odd letter between ourselves. If we got caught it was the slipper or the cane for us.”

Dave Smy, 57, still lives close to his old school in Britannia Road. He said: “I was a bit apprehensive about going at first because I thought I wouldn't recognise anyone after all this time but it turned out to be a very good evening.

“There were a few I didn't recognise but several were instantly identifiable and Mr Rutherford, the old geography teacher, hadn't changed a bit.”

The reunion was such a success that another get-together is planned for 2012. If you missed out this time but would like to meet your old Copleston friends again, contact Mr Reeder at

Are you planning a reunion? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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