19th Nov, 2017

Coppice Junior School on the look out for memories for 80th anniversary celebrations

Sarah Mason 11th Sep, 2017

PREPARATIONS are well under way for Coppice Junior School’s 80th anniversary celebrations later this month.

However, organisers are still looking for memories and photographs from pupils who went to the school from years gone by, especially those who who were amongst the first pupils of the school in the late 1930’s and 1940’s to take part in the festivities on September 29.

So far they have heard from an ex-pupil whose mother’s job as caretaker included lighting the school stoves which were the only form of heat, another who recalled playwright David Turner living in Coppice Road and one of the other residents who kept a pet lamb which she used to take for walks along the road on a lead.

Oragnsiers said: “We would love to hear from more ex-pupils and staff members and to invite them to join us for our celebration.

“We would be especially pleased to hear from anyone who has early photos of the school and/or was a pupil of the school in its early years.”

The Coppice Road school, Elmdon Heath Council Infants School Damson Lane as it was known then, opened its doors for the first time on August 30 1937 with just over 90 children – some of which had been loaned to the school for the first year – and three teachers including head Rose Sterry.

The early years of the school were dominated by the Second World War, although the school log book often shows more concern for inadequate heating than the frequent air raid warnings and gas mask practices.

The plans for the day include VIP visits from the Mayor, Solihull MP Julian Knight and local councillors, an open air lunch.

Headteacher Mark Knowles said: “The 80 year’s service the school has given means that around 5,000 children have been pupils here.

“So we have made a big contribution to many lives and we would love to hear more about what happened to all those children and their memories of the school.”

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