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Old faces return to Woods Loke

PUBLISHED: 11:22 13 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:36 05 July 2010

TWO of only three headteachers ever to take charge at Woods Loke Primary School came together on Tuesday to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

Mark Prentice, current headteacher, and Basil Southey, 85, who was first in command when the school, in Lowestoft, opened in 1968, celebrated the momentous occasion together during a special lunch.

TWO of only three headteachers ever to take charge at Woods Loke Primary School came together on Tuesday to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

Mark Prentice, current headteacher, and Basil Southey, 85, who was first in command when the school, in Lowestoft, opened in 1968, celebrated the momentous occasion together during a special lunch.

Their reunion was part of a week long programme of events designed to inform children about the commemorative occasion and to give them a chance to design their own gifts for each other.

Mr Southey, who was headteacher for 15 years, said he believed in the success of the school.

“It's really like blending tradition with innovation, keeping all the good thinking things in the past and building on that and introducing new things for the future,” he said.

Mr Southey said he remembered a time when Dutch families came to Lowestoft to work for Shell and the school was chosen for teaching the children, with an annexe built for them.

He said he also had memories of the school swimming pool, which at times he had to jump into if children were getting into difficulties.

The heads were joined by Jeff Case, chair of governors of the school in Butley Drive, who spoke of plans to install a fire alarm system and electronic barrier system, amongst many other things.

Another special guest was Eve Youngs, who was the original school secretary and is still part of the school today.

“The school has been quite a large part of my life and I've always felt quite a strong affiliation to it. I saw it being built, I'm a local girl and it's nice to have been here right from the start. I saw the original building and I think its aged much better than me,” said Eve, who was 76 on Monday.

After the special guests swapped stories over lunch there was maypole dancing and the crowning of the May Queen, while on Monday the students arrived at school in their party clothes before being entertained by Showbiz for Kidz.

Yesterday and today parents will be invited into their special art gallery created to include a piece of work from every child.

A barbecue rounds off celebrations tonight.

Terry Cant, the second headteacher, who retired two years ago, was unable to make the day.

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