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Reunion to mark school's anniversary

PUBLISHED: 10:35 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010

The domestic science room at Notley Road Senior School

The domestic science room at Notley Road Senior School

ON August 31, 1934, the doors were opened on a new chapter in the education of Lowestoft's children.

The official opening of Notley Road Senior School wouldn't take place until 1938, however during those first four years hundreds of children would walk up and down the new corridors, as they continued their education in a brand-new setting.

ON August 31, 1934, the doors were opened on a new chapter in the education of Lowestoft's children.

The official opening of Notley Road Senior School wouldn't take place until 1938, however during those first four years hundreds of children would walk up and down the new corridors, as they continued their education in a brand-new setting.

The school was originally erected under the “Hadow” scheme's reorganisation of schools, with the facility set up to meet the educational requirements of the time and the needs of the district.

It was to accommodate all of the senior children from the Harbour area through Pakefield to Oulton Broad.

Originally it was planned to be opened in 1932, but difficult financial times across the county meant that only a portion was built first. This included 12 classrooms, which were officially opened by P C Loftus in 1934.

On September 3, 1934, children over 11 years old from Lovewell Road and St John's took their first steps into the new buildings, and the following day the bell would sound on the school's first year as 432 neatly presented youngsters began term.

Although work was still going on, school life was soon up and running with the creation of four houses - Faraday, Hardy, Livingstone and Shaftesbury - and the appointment of Queenie Scarlett and Albert Greengrass as the first school captains.

A year later, five practical rooms for science, woodwork, metalwork and domestic subjects were added, and by the time of the official opening there had been the addition of halls, classrooms, a gym, playing fields and a canteen.

In total 440 senior boys and 440 senior girls could be accommodated, with the main quadrangle block equally divided between them. Frederick Bell was the boys' headmaster and Miss O C Munnings was the girls' head teacher.

The official opening of the Notley Road Senior School would take place on Wednesday, July 27, 1938.

That afternoon numerous members from the education committee and managers from the school gathered for the ceremony, which saw S W Mobbs, architect and borough surveyor, hand over a silver key to Lowestoft mayor H C Barraclough.

The ceremony, which was led by education committee chairman W J Head, also included the singing of the national anthem, a prayer by the Rev F Williams and an address by Fredrick Bell.

The party would go on to inspect the school and view an exhibition of children's work before watching a film illustrating the work and activities that had previously taken place at the school.

Since that day, countless pupils would go through its doors and walk down its corridors, as thousands of youngsters were educated at the school, which would be called the Alderman Woodrow School and, latterly, Kirkley High School.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the first opening of the school, a reunion is being held for former students between the years of 1962 and 1966. It will include a photo, memorabilia display and tour, as old classmates are given the chance to reminisce.

The reunion is being held at the school on November 27, from 7.30pm, and tickets are £2.

For details, call David Banks on 01502 525300/512597 or Angela Newsome, nee Gooch, on 01502 525351.

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