We held a school reunion on Saturday June 18 2016 at the Royal British Legion, Littleport. (The Ex-Servicemen’s Club)
Having had a reunion for the class of ‘66 in 2001 we decided to this time extend the invite to other years either side of ours. There was a very good response and former pupils of the Martin School took great delight in meeting each other and meeting three of their teachers.
Mr Harrold Partridge who taught the boys woodwork, Mrs Penny Morton a form teacher who also took the girls for needlework and Mrs Jean Browning who was then Miss Wilson. Miss Wilson taught Rural Science and Physical Exercise/Games. Mr Partridge and his wife no longer live locally and their son kindly arranged for them to be there.
They didn’t travel quite as far as one of the pupils, Anne Goodge now Mrs Porter. She had travelled with her husband Stuart from Pennsylvania, USA for the occasion. Both being Littleport born and bred and married in St John’s Methodist Chapel Littleport, they celebrated by going to the service the day after the reunion which was also their 45th wedding anniversary. Anne a former pupil of class ‘66 had made that journey with her husband 15 years ago for the last reunion.
An exhibition of photos was on display, the Littleport Society kindly lending their boards. In 1965 a panoramic photo was taken of the teachers and pupils and we managed to name almost everyone on it which gave great interest.
One friend said you didn’t need music ( which there wasn’t) as the sound of endless talking was a joy to hear. There were approximately 130 pupils and partners at the event. So many memories and such a lot to catch up on.
However a few of us who were in the school choir did give a little rendition of “Men till the fields of Littleport”, a poem set to music by the late Catherine Browning wife of the late headmaster Robert Browning, which was sung by our school choir in the 60s.
The poem was written by Elizabeth Fleming, a lady from Scotland whose brother lived in Wellington Street,Littleport.
We also held a few minutes’ silence to think of our school friends who left this life far too soon, and also of our teachers who had passed away.
A small entry fee to cover the cost of the buffet and a raffle with over 50 donated prizes raised £300 for the Poppy Appeal. Janice (Taylor) Butcher, co-organiser,worked extremely hard providing the food and making a very special cake along with helping me to track everyone down for the event. Susan (Powell) Wilson, Jane (Banyard) & Ben Fisher and Mel Butcher also helped to make the reunion such a successful night.
In conclusion Linda (Wilding) Barker tells us:
The Martin School was opened in 1956 and became Littleport Village College in 1972. In 1981 twenty pupils and staff walked the 23 miles to Shire Hall, Cambridge in protest at its closure. As a parent I was one of the eighty who went by coach and two petitions signed by Littleport residents, and parents of the 478 pupils, were handed in. Despite the protests secondary age pupils were transferred to Ely, and the Village College became a community primary school.
The school was later demolished and a new school for infants was built.