Stevenage school reunion to mark 30-year anniversary

Sixth formers on their way to class in around 1980, ahead of the school's closure in 1983

Sixth formers on their way to class in around 1980, ahead of the school's closure in 1983 - Credit: Archant

FORMER students of a school which closed 30 years ago will be marking the anniversary with a long-awaited reunion.

Shephalbury Modern Secondary School in Stevenage

Shephalbury Modern Secondary School in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

For the first time since Shephalbury Secondary Modern School in Stevenage shut for good in 1983, ex-pupils will gather for a reunion.

Students putting on a school play for the elderly in the late 1960s or early '70s

Students putting on a school play for the elderly in the late 1960s or early '70s - Credit: Archant

Anna Bawdon, who attended the school between 1971-76 when her surname was Potos, came up with the idea a year ago and is expecting around 150 ‘Sheppies’ to join her for the get-together from 7pm on Saturday, September 7.

Former students from around the world – including Australia, the USA, the Netherlands and Spain – will be attending the event at The Barclay School in Walkern Road, as well as teacher couple Reg and Mary Wiffen.

It is a chance for many to reminisce about their years at Shephalbury, which opened in 1958 and shut due to the lack of demand for school places across the town.


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Following the closure and the transfer of pupils to Barnwell School, the building briefly became part of North Hertfordshire College before the site by Shephalbury Park was demolished and turned into housing.

“The main reason we wanted to do it is that some of us haven’t seen each other for 45 years,” said Anna, who moved from Stevenage to Wiltshire 10 years ago.

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“A few of us did get together and had a good laugh so we set up a reunion Facebook group and it just snowballed from there. A lot of people still don’t know about it though and we want everyone to come along and be part of it.

“We want to relive our school days and remember our school. It’s a nice feeling when all your old friends remember you.

“I’m very nervous as it’s the first time I’ve organised something from day dot through to the end and when you’ve got 150 people coming you want it to go well. But I’m really excited and looking forward to it too.”

The 53-year-old, who has organised the reunion with help from fellow ex-students Colin Frost and Caroline Ansell, is also planning to have a balloon release and plant a tree as a lasting memory of the school.

She said: “There’s no mention of the school at all and it feels like our past has gone. There’s nowhere we can take our children or grandchildren and say this is where I went to school – I think that’s wrong.”

Anna said she hopes the reunion, which will includes a welcome drink, buffet and disco at a cost of £25 per head, will be a chance to remember the school in a better light.

All former students and teachers are invited to attend and bring a guest.

To secure a place, join the Shephalbury Secondary Modern School – All Our Yesterdays group on Facebook, visit https://sites.google.com/site/shephalburysmschool or email shep piechitchat@gmail.com

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