Generations of teachers and pupils revisit Norwich school for poignant event celebrating its 150th anniversary

Open day entertainment at Notre Dame High School, Norwich where staff and pupils, past and present c

Open day entertainment at Notre Dame High School, Norwich where staff and pupils, past and present celebrated the schools 150th anniversary. Photo: Steve Adams

Friends who'd been apart for decades shared memories from times gone by as they gathered under the sun in Norwich this weekend to mark a special milestone.

Open day entertainment at Notre Dame High School, Norwich where staff and pupils, past and present c

Open day entertainment at Notre Dame High School, Norwich where staff and pupils, past and present celebrated the schools 150th anniversary. Photo: Steve Adams

Former staff, students and proud parents flocked to the Notre Dame High School's grounds on Saturday to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Hundreds of visitors and a reunion of more than 70 members of staff ensured that it was a nostalgia-filled day.

Shelagh Allen and Annette Edwards, both 66, left the school in 1965 – and have stayed close for the past 50 years.

Known for their mischievous antics, the pair took the opportunity to share their favourite tales.


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'I remember when the first male teacher came to the school, and all the girls were hanging out of the windows of the gymnasium excitedly, it was big news for everyone,' Mrs Allen said.

'I really enjoyed coming to school here. We were known though – we were caught up on one of the turrets in our bras sunbathing and were told off,' Mrs Edwards added.

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As the busy crowd took their seats, current headmaster Brian Conway reflected on the school's beginnings at its 'historic milestone'.

'We owe the sisters of Notre Dame a huge debt. They were brave and strong women,' he said.

He added that although they might not recognise the new classrooms and developing technology, the sisters would still recognise 'the ethos and the values that inspire us'.

'We really value learning – that lasting impression has given us all memories to treasure and I think their educational support reverberates around this school.'

A book detailing the school's history was launched, while a display of old photographs brought back memories for former pupils.

Linda Read, 74, started Notre Dame High School in 1945 when she was just six.

'The junior school was nearly all run by nuns and I remember the only male was saw was the gardener,' Mrs Read said.

'It was very strict on behaviour and manners – if you were going up and down stairs between clasrooms and you passed a teacher you offered to carry their bags and walk with them. I really enjoyed it,' she added.

Helen Abbot, 47, described her years at the school as 'the best days' of her life.

'I loved being here, I love it with a passion. It was a real community here. I don't think we appreciated what we had – you would walk along here and just see the nuns. It was beautiful,' she added.

Do you have fond memories of the school? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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