Reunion for Sunderland pupils set to be class act

Sixth Formers at Southmoor School in 1978.

Sixth Formers at Southmoor School in 1978.

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A Wearside school reunion is set to be a class act.

Former Southmoor pupils from the 1970s and 80s are invited to attend the get-together later this month.

Class act - Southmoor School.

Class act - Southmoor School.

“We’ve had a couple of reunions since leaving school, but there hasn’t been one for a few years,” said ex-soldier Paul Ricketts.

“We need to get in touch with as many people as possible and would love to make this a reunion to remember.”

The roots of Southmoor date to 1919, when Villiers Street Junior Technical School opened. A tough entrance examination had to be passed.

The school was later renamed Villiers Street County Secondary for Boys and, in January 1959, it moved to new premises at Southmoor.

Time for tennis - here's the Southmoor School tennis teams in July 1980. If you are in the photo, then you are invited to the reunion.

Time for tennis - here's the Southmoor School tennis teams in July 1980. If you are in the photo, then you are invited to the reunion.

A third reincarnation followed in the 1960s, to Southmoor Technical School for Boys. Today Southmoor is a coeducational academy.

“Our first reunion was held at the Rosedene in 2002 and was very well attended by former pupils and staff,” said Paul.

“People still talk about it, and have asked when there will be another. So a few of us have got together to organise one on Good Friday.

“This time we want to extend the time frame to those who left between 1978 and 1982, including anyone who left after 5th or 6th Form.”

The Upper Sixth at Southmoor pictured in the autumn term of 1980.

The Upper Sixth at Southmoor pictured in the autumn term of 1980.

Southmoor became known for its brown blazers in the 1970s – which earned students the nickname of “Rustycoats”.

Paul was inspired by the nickname to set up a Southmoor School Rustycoast Reunion page on Facebook, which now has dozens of members.

“So far over 160 former pupils have expressed an interest in the reunion, which will be held at The Alexandra on March 25,” he added.

l Anyone interested in attending the get-together can contact organisers via Facebook, text your name and school leaving year to 07530 586900 or email rustycoatsreunion@gmail.com

Southmoor youngsters taking part in Kiss Me Kate in 1981.

Southmoor youngsters taking part in Kiss Me Kate in 1981.

The only caption for this is Bradshaw and Abbott.

The only caption for this is Bradshaw and Abbott.