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Were you a Gurney girl or Henderson boy?

PUBLISHED: 10:49 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 17 April 2019

Henderson and Gurney Schools' reunion at Chapel Break Community Centre.
For : Evening News
Copy : Derek James
Photo : Steve Adams
Copyright Archant Norfolk

Henderson and Gurney Schools' reunion at Chapel Break Community Centre. For : Evening News Copy : Derek James Photo : Steve Adams Copyright Archant Norfolk

The schools have long gone but the memories live on...and now the boys of the Henderson and the girls of the Gurney in Norwich are getting together again.

DJ Gurney HendersonDJ Gurney Henderson

The latest reunion is taking place at Sprowston Sports and Social Club on Friday April 26...and if you went to these schools your classmates would love to see you again.

For many years the annual get togethers were organised by Vi Panetta, Margaret Paternoster and Pat Breeze. At the beginning they were just for the Gurney girls but then the invitation went out to the boys from next door – at the Henderson.

Today they are run by Jean Wilson (Kett) and Gwen Munro (Jones) who would love to see as many people as possible.

The get together have re-kindled so many friendships over the years and have raised money to help a host of charities.

Gurney and Henderson School reunion at Bowthorpe Community Centre. Gurney Girls 1956Gurney and Henderson School reunion at Bowthorpe Community Centre. Gurney Girls 1956

The Gurney and the Henderson schools opened during one of the darkest years in Norwich history – 1942 when the Baedeker Raids caused so much death and destruction and changed the way the city looked as the bombs destroyed shops, factories and streets.

At the time some members of the council spoke out against opening schools while the country was at war and times were so hard – but Fred Henderson, a legendary Norwich councillor and a true man of the people, spoke out saying it was more important than ever to give the next generation a decent education.

The schools opened and did just that – giving thousands of boys and girls of the 1940s, 50s and 60s the ability to step out into the outside world and live a good life.

Eventually the schools merged and became known as Bowthorpe in 1970. Then, 20 years later, despite a campaign to keep it open, the school closed...the end of an era.

Gurney girls and the Henderson boys at the last reunion. Now they are meeting again on Saturday April 22. Photo from Derek James Gurney girls and the Henderson boys at the last reunion. Now they are meeting again on Saturday April 22. Photo from Derek James

We reported the words of assistant caretaker and former pupil Jack Richardson at the time: “It really was a great school. Less than 50 years is too short a life.”

So, if you were a Gurney girl or a Henderson boy, head for Sprowston Sports and Social Club on Friday April 26 from 7pm...you never know who you might bump into.

• More details from Jean on Norwich (01602) 720175 or Gwen on Norwich 722066.

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