Looking back at 50 years of John Mansfield School

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A MAN who was passionate about education was remembered during 50th, and final, anniversary celebrations at a Peterborough secondary school.

A MAN who was passionate about education was remembered during 50th, and final, anniversary celebrations at a Peterborough secondary school.On Friday, former pupils of John Mansfield School, in Dogsthorpe, marked the milestone with a party.

The school, which opened its doors for the first time on September 1, 1957, was named after Mr Mansfield, who was passionate about education and had been a long-serving councillor as well as Mayor of Peterborough in 1932.

To help mark five decades of learning and achievement at the school, Mr Mansfield's daughter, Joan Walters (87), and two grandaughters, Emily Crowson and Jan Stephens (56), all from Peterborough, attended the event and reminisced about their father and grandfather.

Mr Mansfield, who died aged 80 in 1970, moved to London from Peterborough to work at engineers Peter Brotherhood, and lived in Alexandra Road with his wife, Lilly, for most of his life.

During his time in Peterborough, John also became chairman of the Peterborough Joint Education Board and was made an OBE for his work in education.

Mrs Walters said: "My father loved his work, and to go back to the school to celebrate the anniversary was the last thing I could do for him, because he was proud of the school."

Mrs Stephens said: "My grandfather was absolutely delighted when the school was named after him. It was an extreme honour for him. He was so involved in education and did so much for the city of Peterborough.

"The evening meant an awful lot to us and he would have been proud that we were there to represent him.

"I would like to thank all the headteachers and staff who have been at the school for all their hard work for the school during the past 50 years."

Former pupil Jane Lucas (55), of South Bretton, attended the school from 1963 to 1967. At the time it was an all-girls school.

She said: "It was a lovely evening. It was a long time since I had seen a lot of my old classmates, but it was almost as if we had never lost touch, because we didn't stop laughing."

In July, there will be special events and celebration assemblies for pupils, while staff, governors and friends of the school will attend a party.

In August, the school will close permenantly, with pupils transferring to The Thomas Deacon Academy in Queen's Gardens.

The 46 million academy, which will be the most expensive school in Britian, will also replace Hereward Community School and Deacon's School.

Factfile: John Mansfield School

When the school opended it was girls only, and had 420 pupils on the register.

John Mansfield School became co-educational in 1983 when boys transferred from Lincoln Road Boys' School.

In 1995 the school began teaching sixth form courses and won Government School Achievement Awards in 2001 and 2002.

In 2006 it was named the 53rd most improved school in Britain.

Website: www.johnmansfield.peterborough.sch.uk