Well here's another of those - Doesn't Time Fly? It seems inconceivable that it was a year ago that the announcement came that Old Hall School was closing with immediate effect.
I must admit that the news left me discombobulated - and there aren't many things that do that!
I remember tuning in to watch Look East on the BBC as I do most evenings. The headline was something along the lines of Independent school's shock closure. I assumed the school was in Suffolk or Essex but then the picture came up and my response was "that looks like Old Hall School." And indeed it was.
The closure knocked me sideways and this is the way I reported it in the Hethersett Herald:
"Another bombshell has hit the village with news that Old Hall School is closing, just months after it announced it was taking in more male pupils.
The closure announcement - made just three weeks before the scheduled start of the new term - left 100 pupils scrambling to find new schools before the Autumn term starts. The decision to close the school has been taken due to falling pupil numbers and financial problems.
Parents were informed of the decision in a letter from Headmaster Stephen Crump and chair of governors Martin Matthews. The letter which was dated 13th August starts: “We regret to inform you we have some very sad news.” It continues: “As you know, pupil numbers have declined over the last academic year requiring financial support and a turnaround plan to increase the number of pupils on roll. To this end the Governors have pursued all possible avenues in what has proved to be a very drawn out process but, regrettably, now have no alternative other than to take the difficult decision to close the school.”
And so the story continued. If you want to read more visit the September edition of Hethersett Herald by following this link:
There was also plenty in the October edition which can be read at
You can see pictures of the front pages of both editions at the top of this page and access them by clicking on the photographs.
I can say that this was the most surprising and unexpected thing to happen in the village since we have lived here. It took a long while that evening to sink in.
I think that parents, pupils and former pupils were very stoic in their attitude to what must have been gut-wrenching news. For many it was a physical thing of having to scramble around to find a new school. But for former pupils it must have felt as though their past was being wrenched from them.
I have continued to write about Old Hall School over the past year, firstly as people came forward with their memories and then when it was bought by Norfolk Police to turn into a new training centre.
The next edition of Herald, which will be online at the end of August, will have memories from one former pupil, along with a time lapse video of the felling of the Beech tree (something I blogged about recently) and a few more items. I think it's important to keep the memories alive.
There will also be a piece by Sarah Atkins on the importance of remembering the school one year on and it might just bring a tear to your eye.