DID you go to Matfen First School before it closed in 1970's?

Former Matfen resident Betty Renwick is hoping to reunite fellow pupils of Matfen First School 51 years after it closed for a special reunion on July 21. 

The event will be at the site of the old school, now the village store and cafe, and will start at 3pm until 5pm. 

Betty was inspired with the idea of the reunion after seeing an article in a newspaper about a former pupil and his memories of the school. 

"I used to love school, but I can't remember much about it now since it closed and has been changed into a cafe," Betty explains. 

"That is why I thought it would be a great idea to get everyone together to share their memories. 

"I am hoping that the event will get snowballing with interest. 

"I know a few people already who would be interested but I know there are many more who I don't see as they moved away. 

"Although it was a small class, there was a mixture of age groups so it would be great to see everyone. 

"Of course, there are a few people still around who went when I did, such as my sister-in-law and brothers but I hope many more do come." 

Remembering the school, Betty reminisces: “It was a lovely school, and everyone knew each other as we all came from the village.  

“Even my supply teacher later turned out to be my mother-in-law. 

"We had a garden/allotment but I never knew what came of it or what was grown in there - so if anyone knew - it would be great to know.  

"We also had great trips out - such as one of the parents arranged a trip to Druridge Bay, which was very exciting as it seemed like a faraway place to us village kids as no one really went abroad. It was a highlight. 

"After we all sat the eleven-plus, we all separated and of course I failed it so I stayed on until later and then went to boarding school in Bellingham and our lives started from there. 

"So, it would be great to hear about what everyone has done." 

If you would like to go, please RSVP to Betty Renwick on her email address b.renwick108@btinternet.com