Were you one of the Wearside evacuees sent to this school?

Were you one of the North East evacuees who found themselves among Arkengarthdale's 1940 pupils?
Were you one of the North East evacuees who found themselves among Arkengarthdale's 1940 pupils?
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A school which is celebrating 360 years of learning is appealing for former pupils to come forward – including those from Wearside.

Arkengarthdale Church Of England School in the Yorkshire Dales will mark its long-standing history as a hub of the community on Saturday, July 6, officials have announced.

Arkengarthdale School which  is celebrating 360 years of education.

Arkengarthdale School which is celebrating 360 years of education.

They are offering ‘an open invitation to anyone with a connection, fondness or close affinity with the school to share memories and mark their part in the school’s heritage’.

And among those being urged to come along are Sunderland residents who found themselves in the remote location when they were evacuees during the Second World War.

Charles Cody, who is the Chair of Governors at the school, said: “Arkengarthdale School has an incredible legacy, faithfully serving the families of the dale and beyond, whilst being at the heart of our community for 360 years.

“There are so many stories to tell and memories to share. We look forward to welcoming and reuniting those with a love for the school and marking this landmark in the dale’s history.”

There are so many stories to tell and memories to share. We look forward to welcoming and reuniting those with a love for the school and marking this landmark in the dale’s history

Charles Cody

But it’s not just Sunderland people who are invited.

Others came from Gateshead and Hartlepool.

A school spokesman said: “Over the years, many Arkengarthdale students have been born and bred in the dale, however others have come from different places and backgrounds.

Going back to the war years, a large number of evacuees boosted the roll, from as far afield as Gateshead, Sunderland and Hartlepool. More recently, families have moved into the dale from across the UK and the aim is to reach out to as many ex-pupils as possible.”

The event will be hosted at the school, between 1pm and 4pm on July 6, when visitors can browse old photographs and memorabilia.

They can also catch up with friends, soak up the special atmosphere of the school and enjoy a strawberry tea in a marquee on the playing field.

The spokesman added: “What will draw everyone together is that they will be forever connected by the time they spent at Arkengarthdale School and being part of this very special family.”

But interested people may also want to share even further in the special day.

The school is calling out for memorabilia to create extensive displays for the event.

Those who can help should email admin@arkengarthdale.n-yorks.sch.uk with any photographs or momentos. They should also identify names where possible. An acknowledgement will be sent, with an invitation to respond to some questions, to capture as many memories for the displays.

The project is being led by the school’s governing body, with support from the Parish Council, Sports Association, Friends of the School and the Church.

The spokesman said: “This will be a truly community-inspired event that will celebrate the legacy of 360 years of education, renew friendships and reflect on the positive and lasting impression the school has made on the Dale and its people.

“There is currently a consultation process that may lead to the closure of the school, on August 31, 2019, so the governors and community groups in the dale are keen to offer this opportunity to visit, for what could be the last time.

A facebook group, called ‘Arkengarthdale C of E School – celebrating 360 years’ has been created.

Anyone with a connection with the school is invited to contribute and spread the word about the event as far as possible.

Officials encouraged people to visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/1186417878185158/ for further details.

Is there a school from your childhood which you would like to reflect on?

Would you like to share memories of classmates and teachers that you remember. We would love to hear from you.

To share your memories, email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk and tell us more.