On Saturday 12th September the West Indian Sports and Social club on Westwood Street, Moss Side, held what is widely believed to be the last reunion of St Margaret’s School. Westwood Street was the final destination for the reunion dinner which played host to over 100 guests.
In 2010 the first reunion was held at Longford Park and due to its huge success, a second reunion was then held at the Manchester Conference Centre in 2012.
The reunion welcomed pupils from the mid to late 60s but mainly 70s and some of the guests hadn’t seen former classmates for almost fifty years. The atmosphere was jovial as ex-pupils reminisced on their school days and the antics they got up to.
Victor Lovelock, an ex-pupil, shared his early memories. “I enjoyed the school and when I first started, there weren’t any black people at the school. I enjoyed getting the strap and a caning and, yes, the wonderful detentions. I’d do it all again” his comments were met with rapturous applause and laughter.
St Margaret’s Church of England Secondary Modern School was located at 136 Withington Road, Whalley Range, Manchester. The school, according to Wilda Grant, has been closed for around 45 years and there is no mention of the local contribution this school made to the community and wider afield in sports, music and so much more. There has also been no mention of the many children who came from the Caribbean and went to school at St Margaret’s and the impact it had on them and their re-settling families.
Sonia Foster said, “I attended St Margaret’s for a short time in the mid 60s and I enjoyed what little time I spent there.”
There were no sponsors for this event as it was self-financed by six former school friends. The event was supported by local artists such as 15-year-old saxophonist Shamaiah Gordon and singers Gaina Williams and Basil Otis.
Wilda Grant said, “We were very fortunate that Mrs Lesley Wojakowska our science teacher was able to attend this year’s event. The reunion was attended by over 100 school friends with their families.”
The most touching part of the night was when the names of classmates who had passed away were read out:
Pamela Duncan, Elaine Williams, David Mantro, Pauline Bailey, Hudson Lawrence and Judith Brown.