OLD school friends reunited at the weekend to celebrate 100 years of teaching at West Oxford Community Primary School.

The first pupils walked through the doors of the school on January 14, 1914.

Hundreds of ex-pupils bumped into old classmates at a centenary exhibition at the Ferry Hinksey Road school on Saturday.

Among them was Duke Street resident Mary Timbrell, 76, who was in the same class as Cynthia Cobley from 1941 to 1952.

Mrs Cobley, 75, who now lives in Witney, said: “You can’t prepare your feelings for that sort of thing because it has been such a long time.

“I didn’t recognise most of my old classmates, but two of them I did.

“It was really good to see them again, and the old school.

“They have changed it around to fit in extra classrooms now but the canteen is the same.”


  • Kelly Green, nee Simms, looks at her old school year photo

Mrs Timbrell, who now volunteers at the school, said: “It was an incredible day and my head is still spinning. I have had emails from friends who went along saying how wonderful it was and that they wish it had gone on longer.

“When I first joined the school in 1941 it was called West Oxford Infant School.

“When I first started, the Second World War was on and there were shortages of everything.

“We used to write on a piece of slate with some chalk back then.

“Cynthia and I used to live next door to each other.”

Organiser Hayley Hayle, 44, of Ferry Hinksey Road, said: “It was a good day for everyone, with lots of generations of pupils and staff at the school all together.

“The oldest person to attend went to the school in 1925.

“I recently did a degree and for my dissertation I did an oral history of the school.


  • Barry Wixey and Steve Jones with a school picture taken of them between 1971 and 1976

“For that, I interviewed lots of former pupils and staff. I focussed on memories older pupils had and people seemed to remember school dinners, teachers, assemblies, punishments and country dancing – to name a few.”