Attleborough Academy marks 50 years with get-together and library dedication

From left, Ten Group chief executive Dick Palmer, former Attleborough High assistant principal David

From left, Ten Group chief executive Dick Palmer, former Attleborough High assistant principal David Jones, former headteacher of Attleborough High, Stuart Bailey, and current headteacher of Attleborough Academy Neil McShane at the 50th anniversary celebrations. Picture: Attleborough Academy - Credit: Archant

It has been just over 50 years since students walked through the gates of the newly-opened Attleborough Secondary School for the first time.

Attleborough Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Attleborough Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

And now more than 200 past and present staff have come together to celebrate the milestone at the school, which was also formerly called Attleborough High School and is now known as Attleborough Academy.

The group, which met on July 8, enjoyed an afternoon tea and shared memories with old friends and colleagues.

Speeches were given by or on behalf of the school's four headteachers - Jeffrey Blagg, who was in post from 1965 to 1984, Ted Hickling (1984-2000), Stuart Bailey (2000-2009) and Neil McShane (2009-present).

Richard Harrowven, former assistant headteacher, also delighted attendees by doing a fly-past in his own aeroplane.

Mr McShane said: 'It's a real pleasure to be a part of this genuinely caring community.

'Today we have had the opportunity to celebrate, admire and give our respect and thanks to all that has gone before.

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'Over the span of leadership of the four headteachers, the school had moved from a secondary modern, to a comprehensive, then a high school and now an academy, part of the Ten Group.

'Along the way we also grew a successful sixth form.

'We have gone from strength to strength but always shared a common thread of doing what is right for the children.'

Mr McShane said he was proud of the school, and its ethos of care. He said: 'We overtly expect students and staff to care for each other, for the community, for the school and for themselves.'

The finale to the event was the dedication of the academy library, named after Mr Blagg.

Mr McShane said it had long been Mr Blagg's ambition to see a library opened at the school.

He said: 'Jeffrey clearly had a passion for books and a clear resolve to ensure that the school library would provide the opportunity to open the minds of students to the awe and wonder of our world.

'Jeffrey was adamant that a library would be created in school from the start and continued to ensure it was sustainable and well stocked.

'It is therefore fitting that we dedicate the library in his memory today. Many thanks to all who have attended and prepared for this superb celebration.'

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