High school to mark 60th birthday with fete, reunion and trip down memory lane
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 June 2018 | UPDATED: 21:40 17 June 2018
Ink wells, milk bottles and plimsolls - all part of school life for children in the 1950s.
It was also the decade that saw Broadland High School - then Hoveton Secondary Modern - first open its doors to its Hoveton and Wroxham communities.
Now, six decades later, the school is due to mark its 60th birthday with a summer celebration and reunion next month.
The summer fete, which will be held at the school on July 7, will see former students and staff - some from the school’s very first year - enjoy a walk down memory lane.
But deputy headteacher Simon Laycock said: “It’s for everyone - I don’t want people to feel that it’s just for former pupils and staff.
“We recognise that we are part of the community and we want as many people in the area to come as possible.”
He said there would be tours of the school, as well as a display of photographs and newspaper cuttings from down the years.
“We have been getting in touch with more and more alumni over the last six to 12 months, we’ve been sending out newsletters and keeping in touch,” he said.
“The idea of that was to inspire current students, and show them what life is like in various roles.”
Part of the display will include a clipping from the Eastern Daily Press with a report on the school’s opening day.
It says: “First day at the new Hoveton Secondary Modern School went remarkably smoothly. Plans made at the staff meeting the previous day went off without a hitch.”
It includes comments from then headmaster Mr BR Youngman, who said the children, at first, may have been “a shade overawed”, and that the general reaction had been “one of great pride that such a school has been set up in this district”.
Looking forward, the day will also see current students bury a time capsule for future generations.
And later in the month, the current student body will have a taste of life in the 1950s as the school hosts a 1958 day.
Mr Laycock said they would be encouraged to wear 1950s attire, and take part in activities and lessons from the time.
The fete will run from 10am to 2pm, with games, a barbecue, stalls and a bar all planned.
Anyone with memorabilia or documents from the school’s past should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
An alumni sign-up page can be found here.
‘Deficiency in secondary schools was obvious’
The secondary modern was built in response to a law change which upped the school leaving age.
The 1944 Education Act meant children had to stay in education until 15, sparking a mass building programme.
Mr Laycock said it saw the number of high schools around Norfolk boom throughout the 1950s, with several of today’s schools - including Aylsham, Framingham Earl and Smithdon - all sharing similar designs. In a special schools supplement in the Eastern Daily Press from 1958, it says the act laid on councils the responsibility of providing “suitable secondary education” for children aged 12 and over.
“There were only 14 modern secondary schools in the county at that time, catering for 4,410 pupils,” it says. “Yet the total of children of secondary school age in Norfolk was then about 15,000. Reckoning one-fifth of that figure to be grammar school entrants, the deficiency then existing in secondary school places was obvious - and very large.”