Keith steps back in time - and relives his schooldays

Celebrations for 50th anniversary of St Thomas School, Garstang Headteacher Helen Ife with former pupils Anne Bridge, Keith Pye and pupils Ryan Armstrong and Poppy Johnson
Celebrations for 50th anniversary of St Thomas School, Garstang Headteacher Helen Ife with former pupils Anne Bridge, Keith Pye and pupils Ryan Armstrong and Poppy Johnson
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When Keith Pye went back to his old primary school it was a chance to remember a very special day 50 years ago.

For although he never attended the actual building St Thomas’s CE School now calls home in Garstang he played a key role in its history - burying a time capsule in the main entrance.

Photo Neil Cross'School Memories'Keith Pye at St Thomas school, Garstang - front right

Photo Neil Cross'School Memories'Keith Pye at St Thomas school, Garstang - front right

The capsule had included the names of all the children on the school register in 1965 as well as other memorabilia including newspapers, stamps and coins from that time.

Back then Keith, who was born and raised in the town, attended a school outpost - Elmhurst in Bowgreave, a spacious property located next to Garstang Academy, which accommodated pupils in their final two years at St Thomas’s because the main school,which became St Thomas’s Church Hall, was not big enough.

Keith, a research scientist who now lives in Chester, was among guests of honour at a special celebratory show put on by the school.

He was accompanied by his sister Ros Ashworth and niece Jill Elliot who had both also attended St Thomas’s.

Their late mother, Mrs Peggy Pye, also a past pupil, had been renowned for her support for the school. playing the piano regularly for events there and was also a school governor. Keith’s daughter also attended the celebration.

Keith said: “I remember my mother took me to school on the first day. It was the one and only time. After that I went on my own that’s the way it was.

“I had a very nice time at school and there are things you don’t forget - like the toilets which were outside and open to the elements. Not very nice in winter. I remember us all coming together to sing to a particular programme on the radio. There was a woman in the background, on the raido, telling us at intervals to sing louder. I really believed she could see us so I did.”

The first three or four years were spent in the building which is now the parish hall,then he moved up to the annexe - which Keith remembered as a wonderful stately home.

He said; “ It was a couple of miles away in Bowgreave and had wonderful big rooms and the grounds were fabulous. There was an asphalt area and we were not supposed to go on the lawns but we did.

“I recall having great fun exploring the building - going up into the attic, looking for monsters. But never found any.”

The father of two added: “We were taught by Miss Muncaster, spinster of the parish and very well known for being strict but a very good teacher. She got me through the 11 Plus and I moved up to Lancaster Grammar School so I have that to be grateful for.

A highlight of the anniversary celebrations was a colourful song and dance presentation taking visitors on a journey of reminiscence through the school’s different decades. Music teacher Mrs Marion Gaughan created a school song specially for the event and two pupils modelled the new school uniform.