Bygone events and scenes from Hunstanton’s Smithdon High School.

Do you recognise yourself or anyone else in these photographs?

The snaps came to light during major refurbishment work at Hunstanton’s Smithdon High School.

The Downs Road school is undergoing a £1m makeover and photographs and documents dating back to the 1950s have been discovered.

“This has been like striking gold during the Klondike gold rush,” said headteacher John Hirst. “We’ve had a chance to go through rooms and cupboards which haven’t been opened in years and, in one, we found this amazing haul of pictures showing Smithdon’s rich history and its connection with the community since the first foundation stone was laid, back in 1954.”

The school, part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, is famous as being a leading example of post-Second World War brutalist architecture, with its glass and steel structure.

The refurbishment includes overhauls of buildings housing food technology, the ICT suite and meeting rooms, a new roof and floor for the sports hall and a complete renovation of C Block, which houses the art studio.

“Schools are about education and the creation of better life chances and futures for students. 

“In normal times they’re also places where children can develop friendships, build relationships, get new experiences and create those all-important memories, and we’ve found some of those memories from decades ago in this cupboard,” said Mr Hirst.

The discovery has also inspired some ideas for the future.

Mr Hirst added: “One of my favourite photos is of the children and staff taking afternoon tea in one of the “quads”, which would be great to replicate when we return to normalcy. Two other aspects of school life which cannot be overlooked are sport and haircuts.

“There’s a fabulous picture of the football team from the 1959/60 season.

“The date is written on the football, but you can also tell from the Elvis Presley-inspired haircuts and there’s another one from the 1980s of pupils on an Olympic Stroll – with this year’s Tokyo Games pushed back a year, maybe that’s something we can resurrect next summer.

“These snapshots of school life past have created such a sense of nostalgia, I hope the activities and opportunities we give students at the school today will do the same in the future.

“If anyone recognises anybody in the pictures, or has their own memories of life at the school they’d like to share, please get in touch, we’d love to hear about them.”

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