Golden era of town school

St John Vianney school pupils walk to church.
St John Vianney school pupils walk to church.

THE role a Catholic school has played in a community for five decades will be celebrated next week.

St John Vianney’s Primary School, in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, will celebrate its 50th jubilee, from 11am, on Friday, May 2.

There will be five processions from the school to the nearby St John Vianney’s Church, with ex-pupils from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s invited to take part.

Pupils will carry various artefacts in the procession, including the school bell, register, a photo of the school, and the school crucifix.

After a mass at the church, the pupils will return to school for a roast dinner, and the school will be blessed.

The school also made its first ever tweet on social media site twitter on its actual anniversary yesterday.

John Hardy, who joined as deputy head in 2000 and has been headteacher since 2004, said the school has a logbook from its opening.

The logbook, which started to be done on a computer in 1998, shows there were 256 children admitted, and it was opened by Reverend James Cunningham, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.

It also showed that the first headteacher was Mr F L Broughton, and teachers included Miss P Burley, Miss M Wilson, Miss M Waller, Miss M Millmore, Miss M Dowdle and Mrs M A Keenan,

Mr Hardy is only the school’s fourth headteacher, and his predecessors Margaret Wilson and Kevin Boyle are expected to attend the jubilee celebrations.

Mr Hardy said: “In my time we have changed to having the children’s centre building, so we now have day care for children from birth.

“We are still very much strongly a parish school, and we have seen four generations.”

People who attend on the day will be asked for their school memories to be recorded on the school website.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the school’s jubilee plans can call (01429) 273273.