High school rolls back the years

The former school friends staged the reunion at Sunderland Church High School, which they had a tour of.

The former school friends staged the reunion at Sunderland Church High School, which they had a tour of.

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Former school friends took a trip down memory lane as they staged a special reunion – more than 45 years after many of them had last seen each other.

The classes of 1957-70 at Sunderland Church High School, on Mowbray Road, returned there as they rolled back the years.

The idea for the reunion came about when some former pupils learned about the imminent closure of the school, which will shut in the summer.

Online, they then tracked down some of their ex-class mates to organise the reunion, which 19 of them attended.

Sue Douglas, who organised it, was delighted with how well it went.

She said: “It was lovely to see all of the girls again. It went very well. It was lovely to see that everyone recognised each other, despite some having not seen each other since 1970.

“It rolled back the years. Within a very short space of time, we were all going round reminiscing about all of the things which had happened.

“It was almost like going back in time and we were there again in our teenage years.”

After appealing for other members of the class to join them at the reunion, replies came in from two former pupils now living in Australia, as well as one now in Belgium.

Some of the former teachers at the school also took time out to meet up, before the party gathered for a meal together later in the day at Sunderland restaurant D’acqua.

It helped to bring back memories of the historic school ahead of its closure.

Sue added: “We were really, really sad to see the school was closing, which is why we decided to meet up again.

“We had a reunion 20 years ago and some of us were there at both of them, but a handful made it to this one having not been at that one, so got the chance to see people they hadn’t seen for over 40 years. Amazingly, we all recognised each other almost straightaway.

“We all said we would keep in touch, and hopefully have another reunion in the not too distant future.”