Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Barnstaple ‘old boy’ Ivan is thought to be oldest surviving classmate

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 June 2017

Blacksell's ‘old boy’ Ivan Turner will celebrate his 90th birthday on the same day as former classmates attend the fourth full school reunion of Barnstaple Boys Secondary Modern School. Picture: Tony Freeman

Blacksell's ‘old boy’ Ivan Turner will celebrate his 90th birthday on the same day as former classmates attend the fourth full school reunion of Barnstaple Boys Secondary Modern School. Picture: Tony Freeman

Archant

Ivan to celebrate 90th birthday on same day as annual reunion at rugby club.

Around 100 former Barnstaple Boys Secondary Modern School classmates got together for last year's reunion at Barnstaple Rugby Club. Picture: Tony Freeman Around 100 former Barnstaple Boys Secondary Modern School classmates got together for last year's reunion at Barnstaple Rugby Club. Picture: Tony Freeman

Barnstaple Boys Secondary Modern School ‘old boy’ Ivan Turner is thought to be the oldest.

Ivan will celebrate his 90th birthday on the same day he and former classmates attend the fourth full school reunion of the school at Barnstaple Rugby Club on June 24.

He attended the school – also known as Blacksell’s Academy after former headmaster John Blacksell, and later as Derby College – on its opening day in 1939 and left aged 14 to work for the gas board.

Asked about the most memorable recollection of his school days, Ivan mentioned his headmaster Phillip Heppenstall’s use of the cane, something mentioned by many of the ‘old boys’ contacted by reunion organisers.

Gerald Thorne is busy organising another reunion. Picture: Tony Freeman Gerald Thorne is busy organising another reunion. Picture: Tony Freeman

One unfortunate former pupil recalled standing in line outside the headmaster’s study to deliver a message but was caned before he could explain.

Former pupil Tony Freeman, who launched a search for the school’s oldest surviving ‘old boy’, said: “It was surprising how many of the old boys who attended the school when it started are still in North Devon.

“But former pupils now living abroad are making arrangements to travel, including Paul Harris from Los Angeles who is not letting a small thing like a current heart attack get in the way,” added Tony.

The reunion starts at 7pm and it is hoped that more than 100 former classmates will still be able to turn up for what might be the last reunion.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

6 minutes ago

Bratton Fleming Village Stores is settling into its new home thanks to a huge effort from the community.

Read more

South Molton Rugby Club has handed over more than £4,000 to the charity MIND in memory of their former team-mate.

Read more
14:57

Will you be buying a EuroMillions ticket for tomorrow night’s draw? If so, you could be in with a chance at a £141million jackpot.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:19

Barnstaple photographer Tristan Clarkson highlights the beautiful side of Barnstaple with his camera - see more of his photos here.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

Big sound soul band Soul Intention will be performing to raise money for the hospital charity’s Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal on Saturday, February 24.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

People across North Devon felt the earth move today (Saturday) after an earth tremor hit the UK.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

An earthquake has been felt by people in Devon this afternoon.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

Check out this week’s gallery of photos sent in by Gazette readers through our image-sharing website iwitness24.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Buckland Brewer woman has returned to the sweet shop she worked in as a teenager to take over at the helm.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications