Photo Gallery: Pupils uncover history of school in old time capsule

A photograph from the exhibition at Old Buckenham High School. Photograph Simon Parker

A photograph from the exhibition at Old Buckenham High School. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Seventy-five years ago times were very different, with girls expected to curtsey and boys salute to their headteacher, chocolate bars that cost pennies and houses that were a fraction of today's prices.

But 1937 was also the start of Old Buckenham High which this week celebrated its 75th anniversary with a series of events, and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Pupils and staff began the commemoration by digging up a time capsule, buried on April 19, 1988 by form 4S, in what is now the school's picnic area, and found various memories and items relating to the time.

Discovered inside, after being uncovered with a spade by deputy-head-boy Jai Nembhard-Long, was a picture of an old school uniform, a letter describing the school as it was, Mars bar and Skittles wrappers, a copy of house prices from the EDP and a full copy of the Daily Mirror.

Librarian at Old Buckenham High, Andrea Hassan, said: 'The students were amazed – they were really interested and looking at it all.

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'A lot of it is really alien to them, like 20p for a Mars Bar, and there was a deodorant can in there. We're going to talk with our school council about what to put in there to bury back with it.'

Pupils also arrived at school on the last day of term, on Wednesday, in non-uniform with funds being split between forces charity Help for Heroes and the school's friends group.

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An open evening was also held for former pupils, staff and the community to talk about their memories, view old photos and school reports, and catch up with one another. A memory book was started which will be buried with the time capsule.

Mrs Hassan added that the anniversary idea had come from the school's headteacher after its latest Ofsted report.

'It's the start of the project, really,' she said. 'A lot of the children don't really understand the history and now we can show them items from the capsule and use that as inspiration to start them off in their lessons.

'I think one of the most amazing things we found was that the original headteacher, Mr Twiddy, was the only one with a car and he used to drive in and all the girls used to nod or curtsey and the boys had to salute and if they didn't they would be hauled up in front of the school in assembly.'

The school was officially opened on April 8, 1938 and was originally called Old Buckenham Area School, catering for children aged from five to 14.

The curriculum focused on rural activities such as horticulture, and according to the school, one former pupil recalled how wonderful it was to have indoor flushing toilets and remembered that the stairs to the stage were kept highly-polished by senior girls during their domestic science lessons.

It was reported in the Eastern Daily Press at that time that Kenneth Lindsay, the parliamentary secretary to the Board of Education, said that Old Buckenham 'had one of the finest, if not the finest, schools in the country and hoped that the parents of the children would do everything they could to make the school a success'.

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