Old pupils say farewell to school

MEMORIES came flooding back as teachers and pupils got together to say goodbye to Orwell Junior School.The school, in Robeck Road, Ipswich, is closing its doors for the last time next week and this reunion was a chance to say a fond farewell.

By Victoria Knowles

MEMORIES came flooding back as teachers and pupils got together to say goodbye to Orwell Junior School.

The school, in Robeck Road, Ipswich, is closing its doors for the last time next week and this reunion was a chance to say a fond farewell.

The gathering included past pupils from the early days of the school and Hazel Stoggell (nee Bass) reminisced about the day she walked through the door on the first day the school opened back on January 11 1937.


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"I was one of the first pupils and I can remember being very upset because I was not put in the class with the new dolls prams," laughed the 74-year-old.

"It is sad that it is closing and coming back here brings back some lovely memories. I can remember my first school play. It was called Buttercups and Daisies. The classrooms seem so much smaller today and in my day all the corridors had open roofs," she added.

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Mrs Stoggell had come along with her brother Russell Bass and her niece Pauline Utteridge (nee Riches)who both went to the school as well.

"I was always hunting for Skylarks, and I can remember playing down the lane," said Mrs Utteridge.

"I can also remember the boys having Stag beetle fights. It is funny I can remember lots about my time walking to school and playing but not that much about what I did while I was actually in there," she laughed.

Hazel Field (nee Ransome) joined the school in 1949 and said the old building had not changed much.

"I was so surprised to see it looking like it did when I was here, I thought it would have completely changed. It is sad that the old building is being lost but it is time to move on," she said.

"I can remember coming it to this hall for assembly and we used to have religious readings played to us over the radio. I can also remember the headteacher at the time, Mr Roger, chasing one young lad from one end of the class room to another with a slipper," she added.

The school will reopen in the autumn term on a new site in Raeburn Road. It is merging with Raeburn Infant School to form the new school.

Judy Manley is the longest serving teacher currently at the school and said she is looking forward to the move.

"I am going with the school when it closes and although it will be sad the new school is wonderful and everyone is looking forward to it. This is like a final goodbye for everyone who has fond memories of the school and I will certainly take good memories away with me," she said.

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