School friends unite 50 years on

THREE Ipswich school friends have had a trip back in time after setting up a reunion.The three were friends at Copleston School 50 years ago, when it was known as a secondary modern school.

THREE Ipswich school friends have had a trip back in time after setting up a reunion.

The three were friends at Copleston School 50 years ago, when it was known as a secondary modern school.

They were in a group of just six pupils to be put forward to sit their GCE exams at the school - an exam that was then usually reserved for pupils at grammar schools.

Nigel Moyes, Ivan Balmforth and Keith Clarke all enjoyed a tour around their old school and then spent a week together to reminisce about old times.


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Mr Moyes, of Bourne Hill, Wherstead was joined by his friends, who now live in Chippenham, Wiltshire and St Ives, Cambridgeshire for the reunion in Ipswich.

Mr Moyes, 66, said: “Our headmaster was a very progressive man and pushed the school forward and encouraged pupils to go for GCEs. He had to persuade a lot of parents to allow us to go forward, as you normally left secondary modern schools at 15.”

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The three men have always stayed in touch since leaving school and the meeting this time saw them go back to Copleston for a tour.

“We spent about an hour and a half touring the school,” said Mr Moyes.

“It was quite strange going there again and we all said we were nervous about going back to school. It has really increased in size since we were there. We saw some things that were still the same like the big central staircase and where the old cloakrooms used to be.

“It's nice to go back but it was also tinged with sadness because of the fire they had there.”

Mr Balmforth and Mr Clarke both stayed in Suffolk for a week and the friends visited a number of their old haunts.

Mr Moyes said: “We were all born in Ipswich so it was nice to meet up and remember the old days and the places we used to go. It's surprising really that after all this time half of the class has stayed in touch with each other.”

Have you had a school reunion? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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