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Ilford County High alumni reconnect after 41 years at school reunion

PUBLISHED: 15:30 15 May 2017

The Ilford County High School's class of 1976 celebrating a 41-year reunion at the school last week. Photo: Vincent Goodman

The Ilford County High School's class of 1976 celebrating a 41-year reunion at the school last week. Photo: Vincent Goodman

Archant

A group of former school friends rolled back the years when they held a reunion at their old school last week after more than four decades.

The last remaining photo of Ilford County High School's class of 1976. Photo: Vincent GoodmanThe last remaining photo of Ilford County High School's class of 1976. Photo: Vincent Goodman

Twelve of Ilford County High School’s original class of 1976 met up after 41 years and, with the help of deputy head teacher Marie Foucher, the old classmates were given a tour of the school and were treated to a reception in the old school library.

Organiser Vincent Goodman said: “It was a really special experience to go back after all these years.

“I managed to find most of the old boys through Facebook and created enough interest to make this happen. It was just great to see some of the boys again after so many years.

“They came from Portsmouth, Scotland, Berkshire and Sussex especially for this.

“We even FaceTimed an old schoolmate who lives in Israel.”

And Vincent, who now runs a printing business in Gants Hill, told the Recorder the nostalgic day at the school in Freemantle Road, Barkingside, had been a huge success.

He said: “We met outside the school gates after all these years alone, as virtual strangers, but left together as firm friends.

“We’d like to say a huge thanks to the deputy head for making us feel so welcome.”

And staff at the school were also happy to have the gang back so they could show just how the school has changed since the group were last there.

Deputy head Marie Foucher said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome back our former students so they could step back into time and see how much or how little the building has changed since them leaving in 1976.

“Some classrooms are virtually unchanged whilst others are transformed and a new science and technology block is ready to open in 2017.”

Now, the schoolmates hope to meet up every six months, and also plan to reunite with some more of the alumni who unfortunately couldn’t make it this time around.

Vincent said: “It’s been a long time in the making and unfortunately we had classmates from Canada and Jersey who couldn’t make it, so we’re definitely looking at doing another one.

“It was funny waiting outside the gates and seeing all these old men strolling up. I think it’s fair to say some of us have aged better than others!”

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