Hundreds relive their Norwich school days at Hewett School’s Big Reunion

'The Big Reunion' for staff and pupils of every Hewett era, including some who attended the Lakenham

'The Big Reunion' for staff and pupils of every Hewett era, including some who attended the Lakenham Secondary Modern schools and the Hewett Grammar school that merged to form the Hewett comprehensive.Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

It was where they spent some of the happiest days of their lives.

And more than a thousand former and current Hewett School pupils rolled back the years at an emotional reunion.

Generations of pupils and teachers ranging from the 1950s to the 2010s came together at today's nostalgia-filled event.

People who had not seen each other for years got the chance to meet up again with their former classmates and to reminisce about they way they were.

Times have changed since it opened in 1958 as a general technical school. It was re-classified as a co-education grammar school in 1964 before amalgamating with the two adjoining Lakenham schools on the Hall Road site to become fully comprehensive in 1970.

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Now it faces further changes, with academy chain The Inspiration Trust in pole position to sponsor it when it becomes an academy.

But the political row over that change was replaced with fond memories of teenage crushes, favourite teachers and tales of school-day escapades.

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One of the organisers of the Big Reunion was Ian Hawthorn. He was a student at the Hewett between 1966 and 1972 and went on to be a science teacher and head of year from 1978 until 2013.

He said: 'It's been a fantastic day and has been brilliant to see so many people having such a good time. People have seen people who they have not seen for years. It's all been a bit overwhelming.'

Some former pupils jetted in from as far afield as the United States and Greece to be at the event.

Mr Hawthorn said: 'It's been marvellous to have people who were here in the 1950s along with pupils who are at the school now.'

And, having organised the event alongside another former pupil in David Nevard, he said: 'We organised it because it was important. The school is moving into a different phase and we wanted to do something really good and positive.'

One former pupil who dropped by to see if any of his ex-classmates were there was Brian Watkins.

Mr Watkins, county councillor for Eaton, was a pupil from 1968 until 1973, while his father Len taught biology there.

He said: 'I look back with fond affection at my time at the Hewett. I thought I'd come to see if I could recognise any of my old classmates.'

• Do you have a schools story? Call education correspondent Martin George on 01603 772468 or email

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