Back to Sunderland High School... after 60 years!

Former Sunderland High School pupil's, left to right Maureen Henley, Pat Munro, Karol Solomons, Isabel Smart, Margaret Dunning and Jane Forsyth, revist their former school.
Former Sunderland High School pupil's, left to right Maureen Henley, Pat Munro, Karol Solomons, Isabel Smart, Margaret Dunning and Jane Forsyth, revist their former school.
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A group of friends rolled back the decades as they went back to their old school for the first time in more than 60 years.

The six women, who have all moved away from Wearside, returned to Sunderland High School together for the first time since they bid it farewell in the mid 50s.

Former Sunderland High School pupil's, left to right Maureen Henley, Pat Munro, Karol Solomons, Isabel Smart, Margaret Dunning and Jane Forsyth, revist their former school.

Former Sunderland High School pupil's, left to right Maureen Henley, Pat Munro, Karol Solomons, Isabel Smart, Margaret Dunning and Jane Forsyth, revist their former school.

All of the pensioners said they found it fascinating to return and even found their names in the old school achievement book.

About 20 years ago the women got back in touch with each other and since then have met up several times in different parts of the country.

Londoner Karol Solomons, formerly Book, 77, explained: “This time we decided to have a couple of days in Newcastle and I just thought it would be a lovely idea for us to come back to the school. They were good times here.”

Jane Forsyth, 77, formerly Wallace, travelled from her home in Sydney, Australia to meet up with her old friends and visit family members.

Sunderland High School reunion

Sunderland High School reunion

The 77-year-old said: “I have lived in Australia for nearly 50 years. This will be my last trip back to Britain.”

Among the group making their visit to the Mowbray Road school, was Dr Isobel Smart, formerly Kirkwood, 77, who now lives in Dorset, Maureen Henley, formerly Bulmer, 77, who lives in West Yorkshire, Pat Munro, formerly Tate, 78, who lives in Aberdeen and Margaret Dunning, formerly Westerby, who lives in Berwick.

Jane said: “The school was taken over by officials during the war years and we had to be taught in a house in Mowbray Close.”

Sunderland High School, which was just for girls in those days, only had about 40 pupils in the entire school.

Isobel, who was awarded the MBE for her services to the Red Cross, said: “They didn’t teach us biology, chemistry and physics then, and I remember saying I wanted to be a doctor and told ‘we don’t do medicine at this school’.”

So she went to college to do her A-levels and followed her career as a GP.

Dr Angela Slater, the current headteacher at the Mowbray Road School, said: “We are always delighted to have former pupils visit us. It is lovely to talk about their memories of the school and what they went on to do.”