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Old school friends meet again

PUBLISHED: 03:29 11 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

TRUE love, life-long friendships and even the odd playground spat - all were celebrated at St Pancras Primary School's reunion, close to 50 years after the school was opened.

TRUE love, life-long friendships and even the odd playground spat – all were celebrated at St Pancras Primary School's reunion, close to 50 years after the school was opened.

More than 80 former pupils joined the school's current head teacher, Steve Barker, former head, Paul Rooney, and other teachers past and present for an evening of laughter and tears.

Ex-teacher Joe McSorley, from Westbourne Road, said: "You couldn't hear yourself for all the squeals of delight when friends were reunited. There were tears and lots of laughter.

"There was even a rendition on stage of some of the songs we used to sing in assembly that brought a few tears to the eye."

Mr McSorley, the current deputy head at Springfield Junior School, has more reason than most to be grateful to the school.

He said: "I met my wife there in 1977. Her daughter was in my class. She started going to parents' evenings and that's how we got to know each other."

But long before her future husband took up a teaching post at the school, Jean McSorley, nee Kerr, had herself been a pupil.

She said: "I was 10 when I joined the school in the year that it opened in September 1957."

And like many of those present, she went on to have children of her own who also attended the school.

She said: "We are a very close knit because of the school's links to the church. Two of my three children went to the school. It's wonderful to see so many people you haven't seen for years."

Lynda Cooper, nee Mitchell, was one of the first pupils ever to attend the school when it moved from its old site in Cox Lane.

She said: "In those days there were only three classes. When I joined I was one of the first pupils in the reception class. Back then it was Mrs Tynan's class and the head teacher was Mr Tynan."

Mrs Cooper, who lives in Barham, attended the school from 1957 – 1964.

"When I first joined my grandmother was the dinner lady, she also moved from Cox Lane. It was a wonderful school. I am hoping to meet up with a lot of old friends."

Current head teacher, Steve Barker, said: "The evening was open to everyone who has been connected to the school from the start, including pupils, teachers and caretakers."

Mr McSorley, said: "It was wonderful teaching at the school and it's tremendous to see so many of the old pupils turn up. It' great to be able to take some of the credit when they turn out well."

Many of the ex pupils paid tribute to the school's first head teacher Ted Tynan and his wife, also a teacher, Dorothy Tynan, now both dead.

With former pupils Karen Brooke on guitar and Phil Smith on the piano, the singing went on well past midnight.

And the evening went with such a swing the organisers hope to do it all again.

Mr McSorley said: "There's talk of a barbecue later in the summer. We all met up with so many old faces. Nobody wants to lose touch again."

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