A reunion for former staff and pupils for Kingston School, Dartmouth Street took place on Friday 30 March at Stafford Rangers social club.
Kingston School Stafford, first opened in 1939 as Dartmouth Street Senior Boys School. In 1944 it became a Secondary Modern School for Boys and renamed Kingston Secondary Modern School in 1956. A further name change took place in 1976 when it became Kingston Middle School. The school finally closed in 1983 to become the home to Staffordshire County Council Education Department offices.
Though we had a small get together in 2010, this was the first big reunion for the school since 1997.
Mr Rex Joynes with Kingston boys from the 1970’s
There was a wonderful attendance on Friday night, the reunion was open to all years with ex pupils from all eras attending. The earliest being ex pupils from years 1947 to 1951. The former teachers from the school who attended were,
- Mr Ben Milner who taught at Dartmouth Street School 1949 – 1953, then moving onto Flash Ley Primary School (1953-57) and eventually head teacher at St. Paul’s Primary School, Garden Street 1962- 1972. Ben retired from teaching in 1983 after 11 years at Berkswich CE Primary School Stafford.
- Mr Adrian Darrant who was a former pupil (1958 -1961) and later returned to the school as a teacher (Mathematics/Technical Drawing/PE) 1966-74.
- Mr Graham Garner, head of English 1969-1981
- Mr Rex Joynes (PE, Geography, Religious Knowledge) 1958 -1980
- Mr John King (PE) 1964 – 1975
- Mr John Kelly (English) 1970 -1978
On the night most of the faces were easily recognizable, even after all these years, though some of us now have far less hair. It was a very special evening catching up with old friends, many hadn’t seen each other for over 40 years. We also held a one-minute silence (after taking a group photo) to remember absent friends and those who are no longer with us. This was followed by us all singing the school song ‘Jerusalem’, which was quite emotional. I attended Kingston Secondary Boys’ School from 1969 – 74, it was good to meet the teachers again from my time there and reminisce. It was especially good to see Mr Ben Milner who was headmaster at St Paul’s C of E Primary School when I was there in my much younger years. Even after all this time I find it really hard to call teachers by their Christian names, it’ll always be Mr Milner, Mr Darrant, Mr Garner, Mr Joynes, Mr King and Mr Kelly to me.
Previously the last big get together for old ‘Kingstonians’ was on Friday 17 October 1997 at GEC St. Leonard’s Social Club. Over 400 people attended, here’s a photo from then – I’m with the school Secretary, Mrs Blackman and former pupil Nigel Shaw. Nige attended Kingston Secondary Boys’ School 1970-75 and after leaving school went on to make a name for himself as a top DJ on the Northern Soul scene. Nige also presented The Soul Show on Stafford FM 2001-03.
A big thanks to everyone who attended this time and also thanks to Stafford Rangers FC for making us feel so welcome! Will there be another reunion? Only time will tell…….