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Former school friends reunited after sixty years

PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 June 2018

60 years on, former Dereham school pupils reunite PHOTO: Bryan Wicks

60 years on, former Dereham school pupils reunite PHOTO: Bryan Wicks

Bryan Wicks

Eighteen former friends who attended school in Dereham in the 1950s, have been reunited thanks to detective work by a local man.

Bryan Wicks spent two months tracking down his former classmates at what was Dereham Secondary Modern School, now the Neatherd High School, on Crown Road.

With 50 boys in Mr Wicks’ class back in 1957-58 the investigation work was given a lucky boost with a chance meeting back in March.

Mr Wicks said: “I was walking in Dereham town centre when one chap who walked past had a very familiar face. I asked if we knew one another and it turns out we did, we were both in class 4A at school. He was still in contact with some of the others boys we knew from when we were 10, so he got in contact with them and things began to gather momentum.”

After scouring through history websites, social media sites and the phonebook, Mr Wicks was able to track down almost half of the original class from 60 years ago.

Of the 50 men Mr Wicks was hoping to reunite with, 12 remain un-found, while he discovered that 14 had died.

Of the 24 remaining classmates, four that Mr Wicks contacted were unable to attend the reunion and two did not want to attend the event.

However, 18 men did agree to meet up again, so a reunion event was organised at the town’s golf club.

Mr Wicks said: “We chatted like our school days were yesterday. There were lots of happy memories from our days together. We played lots of sport as kids, they were simple, happy times, we did not have a care in the world.”

The conversation at the reunion revolved around the career paths the men had taken as well as their love of football.

Mr Wicks said: “Four of us played for Dereham minors football team back then, some played village football, we were a sporty bunch.”

There are plans to host another reunion in a year’s time if Mr Wicks can find a few more faces from the class.

He said: “I know one man moved abroad, it would be great if he could come to the next one, and hopefully I can find a few more before then too. There’s twelve men out there, who the rest of us would love to meet up with again.”

If you were in class 4A in 1957-58 please contact Bryan Wicks on 01362 696432.

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