FORMER pupils from as far back as the 1940s were welcomed home to Chatsworth Junior School for a special 'closing down' assembly on Friday.
The school in Heath Road, Hounslow, is merging with neighbouring Chatsworth Infants School to reopen as Chatsworth Primary School in January 2010.
To mark the latest big event in the school's 77-year history, current Year 6 pupils told the story of their school from its opening in 1932 to the present day, and got feet tapping with a series of popular songs from the decades.
In the audience were former pupils, one of whom had travelled from Cornwall, as well as staff and the Brentford & Isleworth MP, Ann Keen.
Mrs Keen, who only just resisted the urge to sing along with hits such as Shout by Lulu and Queen's Don't Stop Me Now, said afterwards: "I know all the words so my foot was tapping. When you see children give their all, and see their enthusiasm, it lifts you totally."
The performance was embelished with testimonials from ex-pupils about their time at Chatsworth School.
One recalled the first headmaster, Mr Killick, as a "disciplinarian of the old school" whose appearance was "reinforced by his having a glass eye".
And another, Arthur Fanning - a pupil from 1935-41, shared his memories of how the outbreak of World War Two effected the school. "Our parents were told by telephone or message not to send their children back to school until further notice, and you can tell how upset we were about that," he wrote.
Punishments for boys in those early years included being wacked with a slipper or made to sit next to a girl.
After the assembly returning pupils got a tour from Year 6 pupils and enjoyed tea and biscuits.
Annabel Wright, a pupil from 1948-54, and now a mum-of-two living in the Eastend, said: "I've not been here for 55 years and it's really extraordinary how the school still looks the same.
My teacher was Mr Claydon and we were all terrified of him. But he was a really good teacher who got every single pupil through the 11 plus."
Matthew Andrews, 45, who now lives in Cornwall, recalled his time staff members from the 60s.
He said: "My teacher was Mrs Pile and I used to look at her as a second mum. I think I might have called her mum by accident once which gave the class a laugh."
His pal Graham Scrase, a former classmate, recalled getting tapped with a ruler for his constant mucking about.
Terry Jeffreys, 70, and a grandad of four, remembered walks to Hounslow Swimming Baths, where the Treaty Centre now stands, and cabbage and cauliflour school dinners. His wife added that he still will not eat them.
Chatsworth's interim head, Nick Hodgess, is to steer the school through the transition in January before stepping down. His replacement will be David Wright, the current head of the infants school.
Mr Hodgess, who welcomed back former heads Mrs Julia Chia and Mrs Diana Lowday during the week, said the school hopes in time to link both buildings with a corridor and to create a nursery and resource areas.
It also stands to make economies from becoming one school as it will have a single head and can avoid doubling up on expenses. He added: "In the past parents of Chatsworth Infant pupils had to apply for a place at the junior school, but that won't be necessary any more."
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