Our Lady’s in Corby celebrates 70th anniversary

Former pupils Jean Eaton (nee Gorman) and Jack Kane
Former pupils Jean Eaton (nee Gorman) and Jack Kane

When a Corby primary school marked its 70th anniversary the celebration had a special significance for two of the guests.

Jack Kane and Jean Eaton, both 76, were among the first pupils at Our Lady of Walsingham Primary School in Occupation Road, Corby.

To mark the milestone, the Right Rev Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, conducted a mass at Our Lady’s Church and afterwards staff, present and past, and former pupils, enjoyed refreshments in the school.

There were also doughnuts for the pupils.

Mr Kane, who still lives in Corby, said: “I remember we were all marched down Occupation Road from Rockingham Road to our new school, which was a collection of huts.

“I distinctly remember, during the Second World War, all the pupils being in the playground watching a German soldier parachuting down. His plane had been shot down near Brigstock and he eventually landed near Cottingham Road. The nuns told us to pray for him. Some of the pupils were cheering and some were booing.”

Mr Kane’s wife Margaret taught at Our Lady’s for 30 years, 25 of them as deputy headteacher. She said: “I have so many happy memories of my time here.”

Mrs Eaton, who lives on the Beanfield estate, Corby, said: “At first we were taught in huts and I remember the stove in the middle of the classroom. If we were cold, I don’t remember. It was wonderful to share our memories.”

Headteacher Maire Hayes is a former pupil at Our Lady’s and so are her parents. She said: “The celebration was marvellous and among the guests were many priests and nuns who have been associated with the school over the years.”

GSS Architecture has worked with the school during its lifetime, having been built in 1942 by John Alfred Gotch, one of the founders of the firm.

Work has recently started on a £2m facelift.

Forensic science day

Parents of pupils at Our Lady’s School, and those of prospective pupils, are invited to find out more about what it has to offer during an open day this month. The event is being held on Friday, October 19, when there will be two open sessions, from 9am until midday and from 1pm until 3pm. While parents discover more about the school’s facilities, children will be enjoying a forensic science day as they try to solve a crime scene mystery. Headteacher Maire Hayes said: “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors.”