A GROUP of former school pupils met for a reunion to mark fifty years since they left higher education.

More than 20 pupils from the class of 1968 at Hove Grammar School for Boys, now Blatchington Mill School, who are now all aged 68, were given the chance to look around the new site that stands on the grounds of their old school.

Tony Allen, who attended the reunion, said that the former pupils had been close and that it was like their school days were ‘only yesterday’.

“I’m very pleased that I did it.” He said.

“It was quite emotional, really.”

Mr Allen reminisced about a former Headmaster, Austin Williamson, who was affectionally known by pupils as “God” .

He showed our photographer Allan Hutchings a newspaper cutting from The Daily Sketch.

As a 19 year old he made local news when Mr Williamson cut off his hair, on the premise that it would enable him to sit an exam.

When reflecting on the clipping, he said that “Times have changed a lot.”

He now has far longer hair than what was permitted fifty years ago.

After tea and a look through archival photos and books, the class of 1968 toured the school

Richard Lindfield, now a director and lecturer at Brighton Journalist Works, a training centre for journalists, said “We got to look around every nook and cranny and it bought back some wonderful memories.”

He also added that he was grateful to Blatchington Mill School for allowing them to see the site.

Mr Lindfield is listed among notable alumni, having been a professional actor, who ran Brighton Little Theatre.

He also directed shows at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

The visit was arranged by school business manager Sarah Hextall.

She said: “Their first delight was being allowed to walk through the front door which had been out of bounds for students in their day and they were immediately surprised to see that the rather unique mural on our central staircase was still in situ, again an area that had once been allowed for prefects only.

Headteacher Ashley Harrold said: “Our time at school is often a really important part of our later lives, with the friendships and experiences staying with us forever. It’s why we try so hard to make that experience positive for all of our students.”

“And that’s why we believe high-quality comprehensive education is absolutely crucial to social mobility.”

“After a cup of tea and a look through our archives of photos and books they had a tour of the school, some areas were very unchanged, but others were now drastically different - for example they were impressed to see the new science lab and approved of the pink and grey colour scheme!”

Archival material of what the grammar school use to be like is documented at Hovegrammarschool.org.uk.