Eskdale School celebrates 60th anniversary

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Faces from the past once again graced the corridors of Eskdale School this week as it celebrated its 60th birthday.

A special assembly was held on Tuesday with present pupils putting on performances of drama, music and readings for an audience of specially selected guests.

They included the mayor of Whitby, Cllr Heather Coughlan, local Cllrs David Chance , Guy Coulson and Jane Mortimer as well as the Mayor of Scarborough, Cllr Pat Marsburg.

Former pupils and supporters of the school, ex teachers and head teachers also attended and took a trip down memory lane.

There were photographs and cuttings from the Whitby Gazette dug out from the depths of the school archives on display as well as copies of old school magazines called Highlight which were published every year from the 1950s onwards.

It was 60 years to the day on Tuesday that the school was officially opened at 3pm, even though pupils had been at the school since the previous September.

Over the last few months the history of the school has been researched as part of a special project and memories and anecdotes compiled.

They will be revealed at an open afternoon the school is staging tomorrow (Saturday) where anyone with an interest in the school can have a look.

There will also be a birthday cake and refreshments at the event which runs from 2pm-5pm.

Teaching assistant Jane Westwood has led the project.

She said: “I am an ex-pupil, my husband is and the kids came here. To look back at the history has been amazing.

“It has thrown up some things I had forgotten about and evoked a lot of memories for people in the community.”

Over the last 60 years there have been a number of changes at the school and the most recent was a bid to become an academy.

However, current head Sue Whelan said the day was about celebrating the last 60 years and Eskdale’s standing within the community.

She said: “The future is set to be quite different but what we are doing here is celebrating the last 60 years.

“When I got the job I had said I was coming here to a few people.

“They said they had fond memories of the time when they were here and there is a great affection for Eskdale School within the local community.”