School marks 50 years of service to the town

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MONDAY marks an important date for Lord Williams’s Lower School as it celebrates its 50 anniversary.

Originally opened on July 25 1961 as The Wenman School, it held more than 300 pupils and was the main secondary school in the town.

But serious doubt has now been cast over its future after plans were submitted to replace it with housing as part of the Core Strategy.

Maurice Horwood, who was part of the class of 1961, said: “Now with its future in doubt, I would like to say it was a first class school with dedicated teachers and staff who worked so hard to get the best out of us – not an easy task.

“So on this 50th anniversary, on behalf of the classes of 61, have a long, happy retirement Wenman School, you did us proud.”

Building on the school was completed in 1960 and the doors were opened to 300 pupils that September.

Under the leadership of headteacher Mr Chaplin and deputy Mr Dunsby, it was split into four houses – Bannister, Chesire, Whittle and Hunt.

When the school first opened the cane was still in use and Mr Horwood can still remember being given the punishment.

He said: “Yes I got the cane a couple of times but I guess as long as you behaved it was ok.

“Looking back I thought it was a good school and they gave us all a good education.”

Other teachers included Miss Hibberd, Miss Hill, Mr Thompson, Mr Martin, Mr Wood, Mr Cox, Miss Stockton and Mr Davies.