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Call goes out to all Blacksell’s boys...

08:30 01 May 2014

Gerald Thorne is pictured with some display material already sourced. Picture by Tony Freeman

Gerald Thorne is pictured with some display material already sourced. Picture by Tony Freeman


Barnstaple old boys invited to get together at special reunion this summer.

Gerald Thorne (left) pictured in his school days with former classmate and fellow under 15s rugby teammate Kingsley Chugg.Gerald Thorne (left) pictured in his school days with former classmate and fellow under 15s rugby teammate Kingsley Chugg.

FORMER classmates of Barnstaple Boys’ Secondary School are being invited to get together for a reunion with a difference this summer.

Anyone who went to the school under headmaster John ‘Blackie’ Blacksell is invited to come to the event at Barnstaple Rugby Club on Saturday, June 21.

The reunion is being organised by former old boy Gerald Thorne, 74, from Sticklepath.

The retired painter and decorator has held a number of reunions for former Blacksell’s boys since 2001, but now hopes to reunite all former pupils of the school, rather than just those from his year group.

“The reunions have always been popular but there are less of us about now, so this year we thought it’d be a nice idea to open it to all the old pupils who went to the school,” said Gerald, who was a pupil from 1950 to 1955.

“I would love to hear from anyone who was at the school from its inception.”

The school – also known as Derby College and Blacksell’s Academy – closed in the 1970s and is now Yeo Valley Junior School.

Gerald is also hoping old alumni will help supply school memorabilia for a special display being created for the night of the reunion.

He said: “I need to find photographs and memorabilia to produce a display of the school’s history, but more importantly I need to find the former pupils of the school.”

Former pupils can contact Gerald on 01271 345054.

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