Westbourne pupils reunion reminiscing

IT WAS the year Sputnik II was launched making Laika the first dog in space, Elvis rocked the chart with Jailhouse Rock and Harold MacMillan became Prime Minister.

IT WAS the year Sputnik II was launched making Laika the first dog in space, Elvis rocked the chart with Jailhouse Rock and Harold MacMillan became Prime Minister.

An interesting year to be a teenager, and a very exciting year to be leaving school, 1957 was a year of possibilities especially for a group of 15-year-olds leaving Westbourne School.

Forty -six years later, those students have met again, reuniting from all over the country to reminisce about the best days of their lives and to discuss the town in which many of them were born and raised.

Many of the former students still live in Ipswich but organiser Liz Montgomery travelled all the way from Gosport in Hampshire to meet up with her old friends, while Nigel Cook came even further, flying in from San Francisco.

Liz said: "Nigel comes over every year to see his family but he hadn't seen anyone from school for 30 years."

He wasn't the only one to have lost touch with his former classmates- John Adams had not seen any one of his school chums since he left Westbourne.

Most Read

The reunion took place at the Suffolk Punch on Friday and was so successful that Liz wants to make it an annual event with the 50th anniversary hopefully taking place at the school.

During the 50's Westbourne School had separate schools for senior boys and girls, so Liz only recognised a few of the men's faces from her primary school days.

Liz added: "Things were very different then, we were separated at school and it was very difficult to have a boyfriend because your dad wouldn't let you out."

The group of about 40 former students did not only discuss their school days but reflected on how much the town had changed over the years.

Liz said: "They were great times, it's just not the same anymore.

"Back then the town was full of Americans because of the airbase and we used to go out dancing.

"There was still a lot of countryside and Ipswich was lovely, now I think it's a bit too built up."

Liz still plans to come back for bigger and better reunions though and says the day went entirely to plan: "It took a lot of organising but it went really well.

"The only problem occurred on the journey down- I had a beautiful cake with a boy and girl on it dressed in school uniform but it was so hot and I got stuck in traffic for three hours, I thought it would melt."

The cake remained intact though and the only things that melted were a few hearts, reminiscing about the past.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter