Beckford school celebrates 125 years with a reunion of pupils after half a century

Three classmates were reunited after half a century apart at the 125-year anniversary party for Beckford School.

The day saw 55 former pupils – who had attended the school over eight decades – return to celebrate the milestone.

Meanwhile, present pupils have been celebrating in historical style by exploring the different eras the West Hampstead school has been through in themed lessons.

Ex-student Irene McTaggart made a 14-hour round trip from Scotland for just 90 minutes at Beckford – leaving her home near Glasgow at 4.30am.

“The walk from the station seemed shorter, now I have longer legs,” she said. “But oh, those stairs. Gone are the days when I could skip up and down them all day!”

David Morgan, Neil Roth and Susan Knight were all pupils between 1955 and 1962 and met up for the first time in 49 years.

The re-united group recreated a photograph they had of themselves in the school’s nursery.

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Mr Morgan said: “The place seems full of life today and it is still performing the role it fulfilled in our day very well, and no doubt long before.”

Headteacher Samantha Smith said: “We’ve had emails coming back thick and fast saying how fantastic it was, how wonderful it is and how impressed they were with the school.

“What was brilliant about it all was that it showed the children who are here now that the school has the legacy of teaching thousands and thousands of children – that they are here now and they are part of a big history.

“We have people all over the world doing different things and they all have the memory of being at Beckford and starting their education here.”

The children spent the last week learning about the school’s history and preparing for a history-themed fete on Saturday where they sold Victorian lemonade, handmade 80s jewellery and gift cards with painted images of London.

Year six spent the week in a Victorian classroom and year five learnt about the war years.

Stan, a pupil who attended the school in the 1930s, told them how the children played football upstairs after coming back from being evacuated.

Year three was taken back in time to the 1960s for the week, while year two were in the 1980s. Year one spent the week learning about the 1990s – already ancient history to people born in the Noughties.

At the fete , there was also food and drink, music, face painting and an exhibition about the school’s history.