Peele school turns back the clock and remember 1960

PEELE MEMORIES: Dennis Woods with the Upper Five Class of 1960 from what was then The Peele School, Long Sutton, who met for a reunion at what is now Peele Community College.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
PEELE MEMORIES: Dennis Woods with the Upper Five Class of 1960 from what was then The Peele School, Long Sutton, who met for a reunion at what is now Peele Community College. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Pioneering students return for reunion after 58 years
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Pioneers of Long Sutton’s Peele Community College have retreaded their first steps in secondary school for a special reunion at the weekend.

At least 20 ex-students and teachers turned the clock back more than half a century to revisit bygone days when the schools first opened in April 1958.

We’ll all be turning 70 and so I thought that would be a good reason for a reunion

Dennis Woods, former student of Peele School, Long Sutton

The informal reunion at the school was organised by Dennis Woods (69), one of the Upper Five Class of 1960 who still lives in Long Sutton.

Dennis said: “This year, we’ll all be turning 70 and so I thought that would be a good reason for a reunion.

“There were 32 kids in the class but, unfortunately, two have passed away so I was able to contact the other 30 and 27 of them were able to come to the reunion.

“We went back to the classroom where we had our first day here and the memories just came flashing back.”

The reunion on Saturday happened just a day before the 58th anniversary of the school opening on April 24, 1958.

PE teacher Margaret Rose, a staff member when the school first opened, said: “It was a lovely afternoon and very, very nice to meet up with my former pupils.

“Dennis was amazing in that he managed to get hold of so many people, just by going round and contacting everyone he could to invite them back to the school.

“Peele has changed dramatically since I left after teaching here for more than 31 years.”

After leaving Peele School as a 16-year-old, Roger Allen (70) of Clenchwarton lived in Germany for 42 years before coming back to the UK after working for Volkswagen and then as a self-employed advertising consultant.

Roger said: “I was the second pupil to come through the school doors once it opened and my first memory was the smell of paint and varnish as it had just been built.

“It was drizzling with rain outside so the stairs were quite slippery, but the railing were smooth and freshly varnished.

“So I sat on the banister and slid down, shooting off the end of it and straight into the stomach of a teacher.

“It was the first day of school and I was in trouble already.”

Dennis said: “A big thank you to the Peele for allowing us to use the school and for treating us as first-class citizens.”

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