A trip down memory lane for many former Duke’s students

Chris Friend's picture of the 1982 football team. Top, from left: Neil Egdell; Graham Hope; Kevin Ely; Duncan Angus; Graeme Brooks; and John Wintrip. Bottom, from left: Justin Graves; Dominic Sugars; Chris Friend; Tony Hogg; Graeme wright; and Chris Snaith.
Chris Friend's picture of the 1982 football team. Top, from left: Neil Egdell; Graham Hope; Kevin Ely; Duncan Angus; Graeme Brooks; and John Wintrip. Bottom, from left: Justin Graves; Dominic Sugars; Chris Friend; Tony Hogg; Graeme wright; and Chris Snaith.
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In May, a poignant old boys’ reunion was held for friends from the former Duke’s Grammar School.

This fitting occasion brought people together from around the world, to see their ex-school for one last time and share their memories and anecdotes.

George Taylor's picture - the class of 1964 (left side of the picture).

George Taylor's picture - the class of 1964 (left side of the picture).

Nostalgic stories included antics of boys competing to throw their pens up into the wooden ceiling of the Great Hall, swinging younger pupils from the balcony and a prefect strike.

And on our Facebook page, people have been sharing their memories of their time at the Duke’s – whether it was as a grammar-school pupil or a middle-school student.

Posting a picture of the football team from 1982, Chris Friend said: ‘I have great memories of that team.’

George Taylor posted a picture of the class of 1964. He wrote: ‘It was a strict school dress code in those days. Full uniform and a school cap to be worn when outside the school grounds. Teachers in cap and gown and school prefects wearing a shorter gown.

George Taylor's picture - the class of 1964 (right side of the picture).

George Taylor's picture - the class of 1964 (right side of the picture).

‘Walk don’t run’ in the school corridors and always walk on the left. It was an all boys’ school at the time and only one female teacher, Mrs Wilcox who taught music. Subjects included Latin, French and German.

‘Great friends, some of whom I am still in touch with today. We all went our separate ways and some have sadly passed on.

‘I must admit to finding it very hard at first and we did fear some of the teachers, but as we got older – and got rid of the cap – it was enjoyable for the most part.’

Remembering her time at the school, Deborah Pearson wrote: ‘Great memories, best school I ever went to and a lovely walk there and back from home on Barresdale. ‘Mrs Johnstone was the head at the time, Mr Fenwick the maths teacher and Mrs Cairns the chemistry teacher.

‘I still applaud Mr Fenwick to this day for my love of maths, he was the just the greatest teacher, genuinely interested in everyone in the class doing well. What an absolute crime that this school is closing.’

Stevie Mace added: ‘Fantastic school and even all the teachers, dinner ladies, kitchen staff, cleaners, caretakers and grounds man were amazing. I had and have a lot of great memories from that school. Even though I was a right workie ticket back then, I owe a lot to that school and definitely to all the fantastic teachers. Thanks for the memories.’

Sharon Keeler posted: ‘I have very fond memories of the school and Mrs Johnson (Spuggie). A great shame to see the doors close. Wish I could have been there for the garden party.’

Neil Marshall wrote: ‘Very fond memories of my time at Duke’s Middle School, even being Head Boy in my last year when I was expecting to be told I would be Sports Prefect? Great friends and teachers and sad to see it go.’

Emma Saunders said: ‘Loved the school, I used to be convinced the boarding wing was haunted. Terrified every time you had to go and see Mrs Burdis and Mrs Forster terrified the life out of me.’

Jo Lunn added: ‘Loved the out of bounds part of the school that had like trap doors but always got caught on the way back down the stairs. Happy memories.’

Peter Stephenson said: ‘Remember Duaty Miller and his cane? Myself, my father and grandfather went to the Duke’s School. And the headmaster chain smoking during morning assembly.’