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1976 Year Group Reunion

We arrived at the school with a little trepidation, who would be there? Would we recognise them? However, as familiar (if a little older) faces joined us it was not long before all anxieties were forgotten and Miss Utton struggled to silence the chatter to begin her tour.

We left the newly built Newman Hall and made our way upstairs looking in the new classrooms with modern furnishings and equipment. It was not long before the corridors and classrooms became more familiar again as we passed the old biology lab and on up the stairs to the changing rooms and old hall.

This seemed so much smaller than we all remembered but brought back memories of Miss Newman at the lectern, assemblies, drama and music festivals and of course exams. Beyond we ventured into the previously forbidden territory of the old staff room and our fifth form classrooms, now lined with computer monitors.

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As we descended the main staircase the old gong that ruled our school day was conspicuous by it’s absence, further on down our first year form rooms had changed little.

Outside a gym now occupies the ‘bottom court’ and the ‘top court’ is a car park adjacent to a new English block, leaving two tennis courts as a playground.

The annex has perhaps changed the most and evolved a lot since it’s first use during our sixth form years. A visit to the music room with numerous guitars, computers, keyboards and other proper instruments was a far cry from the triangles and tambourines we remember.We recalled Mrs. Bertie’s instruction in what is now the textiles and woodwork room. A notice stating ‘No emailing during lessons’ caught our eye but there was not a gingham apron in sight!

The student support centre is now housed in the basement where the table tennis table once stood and the old camping shop is now a lovely sixth form common room, accommodating 20 boys amongst the two hundred sixth form students.!

What perhaps struck us most was the new hall as we knew it, now transformed into a beautiful library complete with beanbags as well as books. The staircase leant itself perfectly to a group photo.

Tour over, having not been quite able to locate the fencing room with it’s chalk white walls, it was time for a cup of tea. As with all good parties we ended up in the kitchen (aka domestic science room) and even managed a rendition of the school song (words attached in another file in just in case you’ve forgotten them)before cutting the cake.

We were most grateful to Mary Utton (Head-teacher) and her assistant head Jaqueline Ironside for showing us around and jogging all those dim and distant but clearly cherished memories of PHS thirty plus years ago.

Helen Wright