Former pupils urged to help anniversary celebrations at Sunderland school

CLASS ACT: The staff of Thorney Close in 1972-73.
CLASS ACT: The staff of Thorney Close in 1972-73.
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STAFF at a Wearside school are hoping to chalk up success with an appeal for help.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Sandhill View Community Arts, originally known as Thorney Close Secondary Modern, and a host of celebrations are now being organised.

“We have a number of events and ideas planned to mark this prestigious occasion and, as part of this, we are asking ex-pupils and staff to contact us,” said head Richard Bain.

“We intend to transform the school’s theatre into an exhibition of our past, taking students and the wider community on a journey over the last six decades.

“We would like to surround visitors with audio recordings, video, photos and items such as uniform, certificates and keep sakes from past pupils – are you able to help?”

Staff are appealing for Wearside Echoes readers to come forward with school photos from any decade, as well as trophies, uniform, school badges, slides, films and newspaper articles.

“To help make the exhibition as personal as possible we would also like to create a storyline of memories that will be played through speakers in the exhibition,” said Richard. “We are looking to record the memories of past pupils, to get them talking about favourite teachers, school visits and other events that happened – funny, cheeky, dramatic etc.”

The school is to open its doors to ex-staff and former pupils on January 31 and February 7, from 10am-12 and 1-3pm, for people to record their memories. Other time slots can be arranged.

Anyone able to help with the appeal for memories or artefacts can also contact Sandhill View on 561 6060 or by e-mail at:

l Pictures courtesy of local historian, and former Thorney pupil, Bill Hawkins. Do you recognise a face in the crowd? Contact him on 551 3947 or