An old boys’ reunion at the Duke’s Middle School this weekend will be even more poignant given that the school will be closing its doors for good this summer.
The switch to a two-tier system brings to an end more than 200 years of educating the town and surrounding area’s children.
The school moved to its present magnificent building in 1904 and it is there, as part of a three-yearly reunion, that old boys of The Duke’s Grammar School will gather on Saturday.
The Bailiffgate Museum will also mount an exhibition of photographs, registers and documents about the history of the school.
This will probably be the last chance that old boys will have to visit their old school, but it will also be an opportunity to reminisce and organisers will be recording memories and stories from former pupils about their time at the Duke’s as part of an archive of local oral history.
Volunteers from Speak For Your Self, Bailiffgate Museum’s oral history project, will be available to record any of these stories and memories through informal interviews.
Old boys coming for the reunion are not only local, but also travelling from Europe, Asia and South Africa, as well as all parts of the United Kingdom and in the evening, more socialising and reminiscing will take place at the Alnwick Garden, where a formal dinner is due to take place.
Nearly 100 former pupils are attending in the evening and many more will be visiting the school during the day, from 11am to 3pm.
Old boy Gordon Castle said: “This year’s reunion will be even more nostalgic than usual, as it is a last chance for former pupils to look around the school and bring back all those memories of days gone by. Some of the old boys can remember the school and town in the 1940s and 1950’s and we are keen to record those memories before they are lost forever.”