MAURICE Buck took a trip down memory lane thanks to the publicity and celebrations surrounding the merger of the two Gleed schools in Spalding.
He was one of the former pupils who attended a reunion held at the school in early November, just before the Gleed Boys’ and Gleed Girls’ schools became one co-educational establishment, called Sir John Gleed School.
Maurice (82), of Church Street, Pinchbeck, says: “I appeared to be, on that occasion, their oldest boy and I should be pleased to learn if I am currently their oldest former pupil. I was very pleased and privileged to attend the evening and to be taken with a small group of people down memory lane.”
The lane was a long one for Maurice, who started at the school on the day it opened, on April 28, 1941, when he left the former Willesby School in Winsover Road, Spalding.
Nevertheless, when Maurice took part in a guided tour of the school, he still remembered corridors and classrooms from his time there.
He says: “I eventually left class 3L at age 14 at the end of term in 1943. Memories of our school masters and headteacher came to mind as well as their various nicknames given by boys in class. The headmaster then was Mr J F Alexander and the headmistress of the girls’ schoool was Miss M H Edwards.
“Being wartime, I recall the then senior boys being taken to the shed in the yard and each was handed an appropriate gardening tool. I seem to remember having to use a large garden fork and we were told to dig a part of the field in the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign so the school could grow its own food.”
The reunion included a tea for the old boys and girls, when former pupils reminisced about their wartime memories before a photograph was taken.
Maurice expressed his thanks to the two boys who escorted his group through the school where they were shown the modern technology areas that replaced the old woodwork and metalwork rooms.
Maurice recalls: “Along with two former ‘old’ pupils who live in Surfleet, we were also shown the original school registers and it transpired that I actually started at the Gleed on the first day of opening, my name and entry in the first register being number 11.”
Maurice still had his Willesby school reports from Christmas 1936 to summer 1940 as well as one from the Gleed Boys’ School in 1943, and copies of these have gone into the school’s archives along with copies of reports about his late wife Elsie, who was at the Gleed Girls’ School from 1946 to 1949.
When Maurice left school, on the day after his 14th birthday in 1943, he went to work as an ‘office boy’ with H Leverton & Co in Westlode Street, Spalding, where he spent the next 42 years before joining Geest Industries for ten years.
Maurice, who wished headteacher Janet Daniels, staff and pupils “a positive and happy future”, attended the reunion with his son Richard, who was at the Gleed Boys’ School from 1981 to 1984.