MORE than 200 past and present staff members gathered to celebrate the landmark anniversary of a town secondary school.
It’s been 40 years since English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College opened its doors in 1973 following the amalgamation of St Anne, St Bede, St Francis, St Joseph and St Peter secondary schools.
And as one of a number of celebrations organised to mark the anniversary, current teachers and school staff joined colleagues from the past for a “memorable” event.
Guests all met the at the school, in Catcote Road, where they were shown around by prefects before a mass service which featured duets from former teachers, Brenda Harrison and Julia Heal, and current members of staff Anne-Marie Lavelle and Andrew McAllister.
From the school it was on to the Borough Hall, on the Headland, when the hundreds who turned out enjoyed a dinner and an evening of entertainment including a performance from the staff choir.
David Relton, headteacher at the school from 1980-1995, delivered a moving speech before Joe Hughes, who followed Mr Relton as headteacher and was at the school until 2010 commended the staff for a maintaining a “spirit of camaraderie” within the school.
Michael Lee, current headteacher at the school, said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening which was a fitting tribute to the work and dedication of so many people who have helped to make the school it is today.”
The evening was rounded by nicely by Maria Mekins, who has been a parent and teacher at the school and is now Chair of Governors. Maria presented an engraved flask to lab technician John Glancey who has been at the school for 40 years.
Organiser Sue Wilson said: “It was great to see so many colleagues travel from far and wide to be with us and make it such a memorable occasion.”