A Dereham school’s oldest old girl had a trip down memory lane this afternoon after a locomotive was named after her alma mater at a special ceremony at Dereham Station to celebrate its centenary.

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Present-day Neatherd High students listened as 94-year-old Margaret Groom, nee Adcock, recalled travelling by train to her first day at what was then Dereham High School for Girls back in 1930.

Former headteacher Annette Cheeseman unveiled a plaque on a 1960-vintage class 37 locomotive that officially renamed it the Dereham Neatherd High School 1912-2012.

Mrs Cheeseman, whose 21 years leading the school included the admission of boys in 1976, said: “Since 1912 the school has faithfully educated and nurtured the young people of this area to grow into well-rounded adults.

“It has seen two world wars. It was close to Swanton Morley when it was an air base and we had the Falklands War and families needed support and now we have the army and Afghanistan.

“The school has stood the test of time through thick and thin and booms and busts, through all that’s gone on in the community over those years.”

Students earlier took part in lessons based on strict teaching methods from the 1960s, and briefly brought beehive hairstyles and CND earrings back into fashion.

The school will hold a centenary fun day, with music, model planes and a barbecue, tomorrow, Saturday July 7, between 11am and 6pm. Admission free.

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