Hundreds turn up to celebrate school's diamond jubilee
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
HUNDREDS of former students and staff members descended on Green Lane Primary School, in Barnard Castle, to take part in diamond jubilee celebrations on Saturday.
Queues of visitors lined up to sign a commemorative register to mark the school’s 60th birthday before current headteacher Rob Goffee welcomed everyone to the event.
Mr Goffee said he hadn’t expected such a massive response when he decided something should be done to commemorate the date but was pleased so many people had turned out to mark the occasion.
He thanked the Friends of Green Lane School which helped organise the activities and information and photograph display boards, which charted the school’s history from 1959 to present day. When the school first opened it was a secondary modern and for the past 41 years it has been a primary school, educating thousands of youngsters across the years.
Mr Goffee said: “So many people have been taught by this school and it’s a testament to it that so many former pupils have returned to teach here as well.
“It is a wonderful school.”
A special anniversary cake was prepared and cut by one of the school’s first teachers, Margaret Watson, who joined the teaching staff when it first opened in 1959.
Miss Watson, who taught music at the school on two separate occasions, said: “It was lovely to be here at the beginning and end of my career.”
Before that though guests spent hours pouring over the hundreds of photographs of former students, staff and clubs from the school, as well as taking a peak at some of the memorabilia from the school’s 60 year history.
Revd Canon Alec Harding led a service of commemoration and two hymns, which had been sung at the official opening in 1959 and at a rededication in 1978, were sung.
Then guests were treated to a rendition of Toothbrush Crazy, a song written 1983 by former teacher Miss Armstrong, which featured on television.
The school’s Glee Club were joined by former pupils who performed it for the television broadcast.
While former school footballers enjoyed recapturing their youth in an ‘old boys’ match many visitors enjoyed taking a tour of the school with Mr Goffee.
At the end of the day’s proceedings newly signed registers were added to the school time capsule ensuring the history of the school was kept up to date.
More pictures in this week's paper