Hundreds of people from all over the United Kingdom and abroad attended the sixth and final reunion of Eye Grammar School, commemorating 50 years since its closure.
The event, attended by 190 people and held in what is now the Eye Primary School which occupies the site of the former Grammar School, commenced with a 20-minute peal of bells followed by a service in the adjacent parish church of SS Peter and Paul.
“We had a great day”, said chairman Barry Dye. “It’s sad that this will be the last reunion but it seemed appropriate to call time after 50 years.”
The service was conducted by the Reverend Rex Cousins, a pupil at the school from 1947 to 1951, who travelled down from Derbyshire for the occasion. Another former pupil, Michael Salt, at the school from 1949-1957, spoke in the service and reflected on his memories of the school and staff.
A commemorative plaque was dedicated to the memory of Anne Fewkes, a former history teacher who taught at the school from 1948 to its closure and who died last year. Attendees took the opportunity to browse through the large display of memorabilia loaned by former pupils, while former student, local farmer Malcolm Easey, came resplendent in his school tie and cap.
A souvenir leaflet was produced containing light-hearted reflections on an Eye Grammar School education and presented to all attendees.
Presentations were made to the most senior male and female pupils present – Richard Flowerdew and Joan Thornett (nee Banham) who both attended the school before WWII. The prize for the longest journey to attend went to sisters Pauline Cowens and Jean Monk (nee Craig) who had travelled from New Zealand. A gift was also presented to Andrew Stratfold, who taught French at the school between 1959 and 1964 when he transferred to Diss Grammar School. Surprise presentations of engraved glasses were made to the committee chairman Barry Dye, secretary Norma Howell and attendance and website officer David Chapman from their fellow committee members to mark their involvement in organising all the previous reunions.
The event was concluded with a rousing rendition of the school song followed by “Auld Lang Syne” and the release of a balloon for each pupil present.