Wellingborough school invites old boys, girls and teachers back for anniversary party

Jeremy Beadle with Richard Meekings
Jeremy Beadle with Richard Meekings

A Wellingborough primary school which has celebrated its 50th birthday will be open for a trip down memory lane.

Oakway Academy Primary in Oakway first opened its doors to pupils in September 1969 as a school to serve the growing town.

Oakway Academy now part of the Hatton Academies Trust

Oakway Academy now part of the Hatton Academies Trust

Since then, the school has flourished becoming large enough to be divided into an infant and junior school and finally reunited as an academy.

Kate Pettifer, school business manager, said: “Oakway is turning 50 years old and we would like people to help us celebrate.

“We’re looking for past pupils and staff who attended Oakway School, Oakway Infants, Oakway Junior, the Diamond Learning Academy or Oakway Academy.

“In order to help us celebrate turning 50, we’re inviting past pupils and staff to come and have a look around, network and catch up with old friends.”

Teachers

Teachers

Guests will be able to tour the school to see how the school has changed, meet the current staff and catch up with old school pals.

On display will be photographs from the school’s five decades, including sports team, staff shots, class pictures and archive material.

Richard Meekings started Oakway as a four-year-old and remembers his and the school’s first day.

He said: “I can remember the school being built - it was just a building in an oasis of fields and trees.

Morris Dancers

Morris Dancers

“On the first day we were all sat in the hall together and our teachers led us to our classrooms.

“It was very big and because I was the oldest child in my neighbourhood I didn’t know anyone else.”

Mr Meekings spent the rest of his primary school days at Oakway, moving to the new Oakway Junior in 1974 when the school had outgrown the original building.

But his connection to the school continued when in 1990 he returned to the school as a newly qualified teacher, rising to deputy head in 1995.

No school uniform

No school uniform

In 1994, Mr Meekings was surprised by TV prankster Jeremy Beadle, when the telly funster came to the school to award Mr Meekings an ‘unsung hero’ award, part of a Quality Street competition.

Mr Meekings, who is the headteacher of Great Addington Primary School, added: “I have wonderful memories of Oakway. It was a real pioneering school bringing learning to life and was an inspiration for my life as a teacher.”

Mrs Pettifer added: “People who would like to attend should go to Eventbrite to get free tickets and if anyone has any photos that you’d be willing to share with us can get in touch with us.”

The Oakway 50th anniversary event takes place on Thursday, October 24, from 6pm to 8pm.

To book onto the event visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/oakway-academy-27407383055 or email admin@oakwayacademy.org.uk or call 01933 678714.

Mayday celebrations

Mayday celebrations