Chronicle and Echo  Monday, November 15th 2004

Happy  days  at  school

Although many past pupils from Trinity High School now live far away, it did not stop them returning to Northampton for a big reunion. 

JACQUI PRYCE Jacqui Pryceinvestigates

 

It may be nearly 40 years since they last sat in the classroom, but for one group of former pupils the memories of their school days are as fresh as ever.

Past pupils of the Trinity High School, Northampton, got together this weekend to share their recollections of their time at the school in the 1960's.

Julian Tyler, who was known by his middle name of Fred, organised the 4O-year reunion with the help of old school-friends Steve and Jacqui Garrett (nee Brown).

Mr Tyler, who works as the principal optometrist for the Department of Health and now lives in Bristol, admitted that he'd lost all contact with Northampton since he left school and moved away to university.

"So many people are now spread across the country and are doing all sorts of things, and we have been e-mailing people and trying to track them down on Friends Reunited," he said.

"We know a lot of people weren't able to make the reunion because they were coming down this weekend instead - to watch the Cobblers play at home against Barnsley!

"But we just thought, now we are in our early 50's, it was a good time to come together to share memories and take stock."

Mr. Tyler said this autumn marked a milestone for about 100 students who,

School Hall from Trinity Avenue

Trinity School

in 1964, first crossed the threshold of Trinity High School which has now become Unity College.

"Having passed our 11-plus exams we entered with some trepidation a large modern school in which we knew few people, but with whom we made some lasting friendships," he recalled.

"We came into contact with people from exotic locations (or so it seemed to me from the Headlands) such as Kislingbury, Moulton and Jimmy's End and Kingsthorpe (THE 'places' to go train spotting!).

"The lasting memory I have of my first day was going into a class room where there were only about 25 other boys (the girls were segregated for the first two years) and wondering when the other fifteen would arrive. Needless to say perhaps, but classes of 40 were common in junior schools in those days."

Fellow schoolmates Steve and Jacqui Garrett, who now live in Bournemouth, said some of their best memories were of the school Gilbert and Sullivan performances.

Jacqui took part in the productions of the Pirates of Pirates of Penzance in December 1966, The Mikado in 1968 and in the 1970 performance of Yeoman of the Guard.

Mr Garrett, however, remembered that "My only involvement in G&S was to help Fred Tyler with the interval tuck shop for the Yeomen of the Guard."

"Once the interval was over we packed away the stall and headed off to the Romany for a couple of pints of Mann's Brown 

and a game of skittles."

Despite being at school together for seven years, Mr Garrett added he and Jacqui had only started "going out" just before their A levels.

"Before then we hardly knew each other, although we did play some mixed hockey together" he said. 

"Many of my memories revolve around sport - I played rugby until my eyesight deteriorated so much that I couldn't see the ball, as contact lens were almost unheard of in the 1960's.

"So I played hockey in the fifth and sixth years, thanks to Mr Bennett who joined the a school and invited lads to play hockey as an alternative to rugby in the winter, and I'm still playing now (just). 

"I played cricket and remember having a run of six ducks in the second year; we bowled Moulton school out for six in both the second and fourth years - but despite these appearances for the school I always got a C for PE in my annual report, and after all these years it still rankles.

" Mr Garrett also recalled how pupils' status seemed

to change over the years. 

"When I joined in 1964 I remember all the prefects were like gods - all huge - whereas when I finally arrived in the sixth form all the younger kids seemed to ignore us Prefects," he laughed. 

Mr Tyler added that they might have all gone their own ways but many former pupils still tried to stay in contact. 

"The strong bonds of friendship we forged at school have been a blessing ever since," he said. 

"Most of us still retain links with Northampton, even though many may no longer live there because our jobs and families having taken us to fields far away. 

"But we still have such great memories of the place." 

Past pupils have also set up a website of school memories from the 1950s, '6Os and '70s, which has been kept running due to popular demand. 

For more information, about future reunions and school memories, visit the Trinity High School website at www.trinityhigh.co.uk.

Trinity High School
  • The school was founded as the co-educational Technical High School in 1945 (although previously there had been a Junior Technical School, formed in 1936.)

  • In 1957/58 it moved onto its current site in Trinity Avenue, with the brand new buildings, including the famous tower. The official opening was performed by the then Education Minister Geoffrey Lloyd.

  • Four years later it became a grammar school and changes its name to Trinity High School. The name was to change again in April 1969, when after years of debate, it became Trinity Grammar School.

  • The 'Grammar' was dropped in 1973 when it evolved into a 13 to 18 co-educational comprehensive Trinity School.

  • In September 2004, following the completion of part of a £19m investment, it became Unity College, a Church of England Secondary School with 1,700 pupils.


Go There Now Go There Now Go There Now
The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton