Nelson Grammar School reunion promises "emotional get-together"

Nelson Grammar School class photo of 2Y from the early 1960s with their teacher, Mr John Holland.
Nelson Grammar School class photo of 2Y from the early 1960s with their teacher, Mr John Holland.
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Set to welcome one and all "from Colne to Canada, Nelson to New Zealand," the time has come once again for the annual Nelson Grammar School reunion next month.

Always popular amongst former students, many of whom travel to East Lancashire from all across the country and even abroad, the reunion is organised by retired vicar, David Wiseman, who attended the school from 1953 to 1956 and now lives at his home in Skipton from which he publishes a termly magazine for former pupils and staff of the school.

Nelson Grammar School's football team from 1956/57.

Nelson Grammar School's football team from 1956/57.

With some attendees in their 80s and even 90s, the reunion regularly welcomes around 80 to 100 attendants to the Ace Centre - "a feather in Nelson's cap," according to David - for a two-course meal with wine, free hot drinks, an exhibition of old school photos, and a remembrance of deceased pupils.

"It's quite an emotional get-together," explained David, who has also written books on Burnley FC. "We have many visitors from across the UK and abroad; the oldest is usually in their 90s, and the youngest there will be around 55.

"We start off with tea and biscuits and go upstairs for a couple of hours of conversation, then we have food together with drinks throughout the afternoon and anyone is free to speak to anyone they wish to," David added.

Taking place from 2pm to 6pm on July 21st, the reunion encourages one and all to attend to remember their time at NGS, which was called Nelson Secondary School prior to changing in 1944 and which has since gone on to change to Walton High and then Pendle Vale College in 2006.

Attendees will be sat at tables corresponding to when they were at the school, meaning they are always with contemporaries on the evening, while boxes of chocolate will be awarded to those who are celebrating landmark birthdays. There will also be a raffle, and special prizes will be given out to the oldest and youngest attendants (last year's event welcomed a 94-year-old and a 60-year-old), and those who had travelled furthest to be at the reunion (last year's winner came from Lee-on-the-Solent, some 278 miles away).

Those interested in attending can purchase tickets for £15 from the ACE Centre on Cross Street, or by contacting David via phone on 01756 797 443, or via letter at 4 The Ginnel, Skipton, BD23 2HW.