Former Leys pupils gather to remember their school days

thisisoxfordshire: The 1970s Redefield School reunion of pupils and teachers at the Oxford Golf Club in Hill Top Road The 1970s Redefield School reunion of pupils and teachers at the Oxford Golf Club in Hill Top Road

UNTUCKED school shirts and paper airplanes may be long gone for these former Blackbird Leys pupils.

But the fond memories of favourite teachers and playground antics came rushing back at a reunion.

At the gathering nearly 150 people came together to remember their 1970s schooldays at Redefield Secondary School.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Redefield School in the 1970s

Rosemary Stowell organised the event on Sunday, which saw ex-pupils and teachers celebrating their past.

Mrs Stowell, who still lives in Greater Leys, said: “It’s been 40 years since I left school, and some of the other people were a bit older and others were younger.”

The school transport driver said: “Everyone who came was an ex-pupil, and we had seven or eight teachers come as well.”

The 55-year-old has fond memories of the school, which closed in the early 1980s.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Rosemary and Alan Stowell with Karen Summersbee

She said: “I’m a bit rare and really liked school.

“I wasn’t a fantastic learner but I made so many friends who I still keep in contact with.”

As well as getting to reminisce, the guests at Oxford Golf Club in Cowley also raised £345 for Sobell House.

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Mrs Stowell said: “My mum Muriel Smith died of colon cancer there just over a year ago, and they were so wonderful that anything I do now I try to raise money for them.”

Mrs Stowell was in the school year that left in 1975, along with Diana Caryl, who now works at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Mrs Caryl, from Abingdon, said: “Rosemary’s arranged reunions for our school year before, but because a lot of people know her, they wanted her to do one for everyone.”

Now an annex of the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College on Cuddesdon Way, Redefield closed because of diminishing pupil numbers. Former pupil Sean Malone said: “I was at the school from 1972 to 1977.

“I think we were the last lot to go through the whole five years before it closed.”

thisisoxfordshire:

Pupils leave the school happily during the teachers' strike of September 1976

The HTV driver, who still lives in Blackbird Leys, added: “I had very good friends there.

“There are a few people in our year who I keep in touch with, but there are others who I haven’t seen in years, and it was great to get a catch up with a few of them.”

One of Mr Malone’s old teachers Mark Loster, who taught history at the school from 1972 to 1978, was also at the event. The 65-year-old said: “It was my first teaching position, and without that school I would not have had the successful teaching career that I have.

“I met my wife Margaret there in 1977 – she was the home economics teacher. We had a wonderful time seeing our old students all grown up. It was a fantastic evening.”

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