Ex-King Richard pupils enjoy a final trip down memory lane

Carole Gatrell, Audrey Benford and her sister, Maureen Peace  Picture : Habibur Rahman
Carole Gatrell, Audrey Benford and her sister, Maureen Peace Picture : Habibur Rahman

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STUDENTS young and old gathered for one last hurrah at a school scheduled to be knocked down.

King Richard School in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, first opened in 1952, but will now be demolished as the school moves to a new site.

Yesterday former students were invited back to the school for a final look around.

Around 350 ex-pupils turned up during the evening as they were shown around by current pupils at the school.

One of those former students was 69-year-old Maureen Peace, who started at the school in 1959.

She said: ‘I will always have fond memories of the school.

‘Boys and girls were separated at the time and we would do different classes – for us girls, that meant sewing and cooking lessons.

‘I recall being part of the school choir, which was always wonderful, but I also found myself in trouble quite a lot.

‘One time I caught a mouse and hid it inside someone else’s desk – that gave them a bit of a shock!’

Robert Rowe, 69, also started at the school in 1959.

He said: ‘We all look back on our education with fond memories.

‘Although at the time we thought our teachers were much older than us, we are now good friends with them and even go out for drinks or food from time to time.

‘Sports were always popular at the school, especially football.

‘Of course, we didn’t have the technology that they have now, so that is the biggest change.

‘I wish the school all the best in the new building.’

His friend Robert Cooper said: ‘We were mad keen on football – we even got to play at Fratton Park one time.

‘Unfortunately we lost 2-1 to North End Secondary School – but all of us are friends to this day.’

Arlene Gajdus from King Richard School added: ‘We had so many great stories from so many students – it was wonderful to hear from them all.’

The students will be moving into their new building next door to the old school on October 30.