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Old school ties
Memories came flooding back to former pupils at Neston Primary School which has celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Patricia Romang, 85, a retired piano teacher whose family have attended the school for four generations, remembers the outbreak of war in 1939.
The former headgirl said: “I had a good understanding of what was going on but we didn’t think about it a lot.”
Village life changed with the arrival of evacuees from London, one girl coming to live with young Patricia.
“Being a lonely child that was a very big change for me. Thankfully we got on,” said Mrs Romang, who still lives near the school.
“It’s odd to say but we weren’t terribly worried during the war. If anything, it was quite exciting as we had new people coming and it was all rather different.
“The only time the true implications of it rang true for me was when they bombed Bath. That’s when it all got a little close for comfort.”
One of Mrs Romang’s favourite memories was planting a tree to mark the coronation of King George VI on May 12, 1937.
“We all came in wearing fancy dress costumes and planted a triangle of trees to mark the big day,” she said. “Once they started growing they looked beautiful and the garden itself used to look very pretty. Sadly most of the trees are no longer there.”
Another former pupil present at last Friday’s celebrations was Lee Booth, 41, who attended the school between 1975-1980.
Mr Booth, of Neston Crescent, said there had been quite a few changes at the school.
Among the improvements were the closure of the outside toilets.
He said: “I can tell you the outside toilets were never pleasant, so it’s a good thing they’ve been removed. ”
Among Mr Booth’s favourite memories are those of using the school’s swimming pool. He said: “It’s a pity that it’s gone as I think a lot of us probably had our favourite school memories around the pool.”
Sue Warren, who taught at Neston for nine years before retiring to Devon 13 years ago, remembers the sense of community.
“The parents really helped make this school great,” she said.
“They’d rally round behind every social event we had lined-up, whether it was after-school classes, bird watching or camping trips – they were always so helpful.”