Former Cringleford pupils asked to share memories

Pat Wagstaff, secretary of the Cringleford Historical Society, and David Welch, chairman, with some

Pat Wagstaff, secretary of the Cringleford Historical Society, and David Welch, chairman, with some of the Primary School pupils look through an old tin trunk of old records left behind in the old schoolroom attic. From left, Luke Downing, 7; Juanita Banful, 8; Hetty Hales, 7; and Oliver Fryatt, 8. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2013

Former pupils and teachers from a school near Norwich are being asked to share their school-day memories for a project about its history.

Children in class at Cringleford Primary School in 1955.

Children in class at Cringleford Primary School in 1955. - Credit: submitted

This year is a big year for Cringleford Primary School which in the summer is set to move from its original site in Cantley Lane to a new £7.7m state-of-the-art building in Bramley Lane on the Round House Park development. The move will eventually see the school double in size from 210 to 420 pupils.

An extension to Cringleford Primary School is opened in the1970s.

An extension to Cringleford Primary School is opened in the1970s. - Credit: submitted

To mark the occasion the Cringleford Historical Society plans to write the history of the school – which first opened in the 1850s – and the society is holding events for people to share their photos and memories.

Pat Wagstaff, secretary of the society, said: 'The school was just a little Victorian school which has expanded as Cringleford has expanded. We are going to publish the history of the school and the school will also be doing a project about its history. We would love to hear from people about their memories of the school and any photographs they have. I have had a lot of very positive feedback from the village already, and we hope lots of people will get involved.'

Mrs Wagstaff, who has already been delving into the school's old documents and photographs, said the school was founded in 1858 for the 'poor persons of the parishes of Cringleford, Eaton, Keswick and Intwood' on land conveyed by the trustees of the Great Hospital to be the site of a school and home for the school master or school mistress. The buildings cost £700 to build and were paid for by public subscription, and pupils paid 1d per week to attend. In 1860 the schoolmaster was John Land and he was paid for 'school keeping' £52 per year.

Cringleford Primary School's current headteacher Neil Henery said current pupils would be getting involved in the history project, and the school plans to open its doors for former pupils to visit the school one last time.

He said: 'As we are moving to a new school it seems like the perfect time to write the school's history before the old building is knocked down. The oldest part of the school is listed but the more recent part will be knocked down for housing.

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'We want to preserve people's memories of the school. The current schoolchildren will pick some of the best bits of the history and create an exhibition, and we want to allow former pupils to come and have a look around the school for the last time.

'We will have an open day on May 1 when former pupils can have a look around and the children's work and photo albums of old pictures will be on display.'

Mr Henery said the school was expecting to move to its new site in June and that work on the new building was progressing well.

The whole history project is to be overseen by Mrs Wagstaff and Mr Henery, the school's chair of governors Julia Jones, Cringleford Historical Society's chairman David Welch and treasurer Ray Kenney.

There will be two sessions for people to share memories, photographs and souvenirs of the school at Cringleford's church hall on Monday, March 18 from 3pm until 5pm, and Wednesday, April 10 from 10am until midday.

For more about Cringleford Historical Society visit the history section of

Cringleford Primary School will be open to former pupils on May 1 from 2pm until 4pm, and from 5pm until 7pm.

People can email memories of the school to

Are you starting a new heritage project? Call Norwich Evening News reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email