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SCHOOL'S OUT; PUPILS PAST AND PRESENT TO SAY FINAL FAREWELL.

Byline: By NICOLA JUNCAR Education Reporter

IT'S the end of an era for one Tyneside school.

After almost 100 years, Dunston Hill Community Primary in Gateshead is throwing open its doors for the last time to let former pupils say goodbye.

The school, in Dunston Bank, originally opened on December 12, 1910, as Dunston Hill Council School.

Now, nearly a century later, the school is moving to new premises on the nearby Kingsmeadow site in Market Lane, from September.

On Tuesday, the school will be holding an open evening between 5pm and 7.30pm to give ex-pupils a chance to have one final look around and to reminisce with old friends.

Many school mementos will be on display, including photographs, log books, progress reports and newspaper cuttings.

Headteacher Bill Foreman said: "We have a long and cherished history at the very heart of the community.

"Many of our current grandparents and parents began their own education here.

"Although we are extremely excited about the move to new state-of-the-art facilities, this is the end of an era and we wanted to share the event with those who have special memories of the school.

"We are urging as many former pupils as possible to come along on Tuesday to share a glass or two of wine with us, meet up with old friends and take one last look at the old school buildings."

In 1919 the school became the boys department of Dunston Hill Council Intermediate School.

It was again reorganised in 1928, when the junior boys were transferred to Dunston Council Mixed School and it became a senior mixed school.

During the Second World War, a bomb shelter underneath the school served the community.

Then on April 25, 1960, the school moved to new premis-es in Market Lane and was renamed Dunston Hill Secondary Modern School. The school was transformed into its current state as Dunston Hill Community Primary School in September 1992.

Among the school's former pupils are ex-Newcastle footballer Rocky Hudson and AC/DC star Brian Johnson.

The open evening is part of a celebration week at Dunston Hill which starts on Monday and includes many activities, such as a whole school assembly at St Nicholas's Church, a tea party for older residents and a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Coun Catherine Donovan, cabinet member for children and young people at Gateshead Council, said: "This is a significant moment in Dunston Hill's history and I wish the school and its pupils all the very best with their move to a new educational facility."

Former pupils wishing to find out more about the events taking place at Dunston Hill should call Mr Foreman on (0191) 433 4021.

CAPTION(S):

MOVING: Deputy head Julia Watkins and teacher Trevor Dixon with present pupils PICTURES: ANDY COMMINS www.chroniclelive.co.uk/buyaphoto ref: 01316090; FESTIVE: A Christmas performance staged by pupils in 1930; GOOD OLD DAYS: Trophies and awards are proudly shown off; ON THE AIR: The school radio from the late 1970s; FAMOUS PUPILS: Brian Johnson, left, and Rocky Hudson when he was with United in December 1974
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2008
Words:519
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