MEMORIES of schooldays came flooding back for hundreds of people who joined in the 50th anniversary celebrations at Devizes School on Saturday.

Head Phil Bevan could not have picked a better day for the open day as it also coincided with his own 50th birthday.

He was presented with a special video by marketing manager Karen Sims, herself a former pupil of Devizes School, and Year 10 pupil Kieran Tibbert.

Students and staff had recorded their birthday messages and they were put together in video form.

Mrs Sims was delighted with the turn out for the day which gave former pupils the chance to try to and spot themselves in the many old photographs that had been donated or formed part of the school’s own archive.

She said: “We estimate 500 people came through the door, many stayed for hours, looking at the memorabilia and catching up with old friends.

“Historian John Girvan was once again fully booked all day doing cellar tours. We also have to thank TV antiques expert Paul Martin who helped us open the day and to Mac’s Theatre School for some superb entertainment.

“It was our best and busiest open event yet.”

Among those enjoying the chance to reminisce were former teachers John Dexter and Terry Goodridge who caught up with former pupil turned boxed Chris Sanigar.

Former pupil Doug Pottinger from Marden was also there and was able to see a picture of a photograph on show on himself when he won the slow bicycle race in 1951.

Current head Phil Bevan and former head Malcolm Irons had the chance for a chat with Dennis Slade who was a pupil at the school from 1937 to 1943 long before it became a comprehensive in 1969.

They and others tucked into a special 50th anniversary cake made by staff member Cath Stevens who has taught at Devizes School for 28 years.

In the run up to the anniversary the school was delighted to receive a number of fascinating old pictures and found some of its own in its archives.

One was a group photo from 1932 on the school field. Included in it was Alfred Ball who at the time the picture was taken was deputy head.

The picture was spotted on the school’s twitter account by his granddaughter who still lives in Devizes and whose own son Kieran Perrett had started at the school this year in Year 7.

Mrs Sims said: “What a surprise it was to find out that Kieran Perrett only in his fourth week in Year 7 is the great grandson of such an important figure in our school’s history.”

Devizes School was formed in 1969 by the merging of Devizes Grammar School and the Southbroom Secondary School.

Southbroom Secondary which was established in 1925 around Southbroom House a listed mansion built in 1773.