FORMER pupils of Lydney Grammar School gathered at the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the school’s closure.

The get-together was held on Saturday (August 5) at the Dean Academy just along from the site on Church Road where generations of children from both sides of the Severn received a grammar school education between 1903 and 1973.

In 1973 the grammar school was closed and was replaced by the comprehensive Whitecross School.

More than 400 people attended the event including pupils from every decade from the 1940s to the 1970s.

The anniversary event was organised by the Lydney Old Grammarians Association (LOGA)whose president is Jan Thomas who taught domestic science at the school between 1957 and 1962.

There were many different pieces of memorabilia including hundreds of photographs, programmes for plays, concerts and events such as Speech Day, sports equipment and school magazines.

Bathurst Pool – where many Lydney Grammar students learnt to swim – and Lydney Air Training Corps had stands at the event.

There were also performances by Pillowell Silver Band.

A spokesperson for LOGA said: “On arrival people were given name badges which also showed when they had started and left the school and also their maiden names, where appropriate

“This of course was very welcome as after 50 years or more it wasn’t always very easy to know that you were talking to someone who had been in your class all that time ago.

“The main exhibition took place in the drama hall and everyone enjoyed thronging around a myriad of photos clothing spanning many years and many subjects.

“For example in the panoramic photos of the whole school taken on various years, people took great delight in finding themselves, or in others as a team member in the many sports and subjects shown over such a lot of generations.

“The Bathust Pool where so many had learned to swim and take part in the annual swimming sports competition was well covered, as was the Air Training Corps, which had started in a small hut at the school during World War Two.

“Amazingly, the Lydney Grammar School’s memorial board showing the ex-pupils killed in the two world wars had been found and was on prominent display.

“The crowd was also well entertained by the Pillowell Silver band’s enjoyable performance, who because of the weather were able to play in the main hall.

“Those who had pre-booked afternoon teas and cakes had an excellent meal whilst at the same time managing to chat to their friends from all that time ago.

“The working group who had been planning this event for several months were very pleased with how well things worked out and that everyone had enjoyed the day, albeit of course there was also the sadness of missing those whose health precluded them from coming too.”0