Greatwood School, Skipton, celebrates 60th anniversary

Current pupils mark out the number 60 as they celebrate Greatwood School’s six decades

Former pupil Malcolm Barnwell with an old school photograph

First published in News

Memories came flooding back for former scholars and teachers at Greatwood School in Skipton which is celebrating 60 years since it was launched.

They were invited to a special birthday celebration which involved a series of performances by present pupils highlighting the different decades since the first batch of youngsters arrived in August 1953.

Among them was Malcolm Barnwell, who now lives in Regent Crescent, Skipton, and has fond memories of his two years at the school.

Malcolm, an ex-soldier with 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers, who saw service in Aden in 1965, has submitted several snapshots taken at the time he was a pupil. Malcolm, 69, who was nine when he started at Greatwood, recalls being apprehensive when he transferred from Christ Church where he had been up to that time.

“But we all fitted in very well and I soon felt comfortable. The regime was pretty relaxed and I remember enjoying my time there,” he said.

He particularly recalls joining the school’s first football team in 1955 and a photograph of the squad is among the exhibition.

His connection with the school even cropped up when he was serving in Aden in 1965. His regiment was moving up to support the guns when he heard a voice call out ‘Is Malcolm Barnwell here?’.

It turned out to be an old friend from Greatwood, Richard Holmes, who was serving with 9 Parachute Royal Horse Artillery.

“It was so strange to hear that voice so far from home,” said Malcolm. “I went across to see him.”

Malcolm, who worked as a joiner after his service and, until his retirement at 65, as a postie, lived in Sharphaw Avenue at the time. He recalls how not every child on the street went to Greatwood when it opened, with some remaining at Christ Church or Ings school.

A school spokesman said a birthday cake had been shared across the whole school and celebrations were continuing. Other events are to take place to which parents are invited to join in. Dates and times are available by visiting the school website calendar and parent section.

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