Two Local Charities Benefit From The Ludford/Victoria Reunion Success

By Rach Griffiths

Ludford Street ReunionThe Oakley Centre in Crewe was packed to the rafters with ex pupils of all ages at a huge school reunion on Saturday 19th October in aid of St Lukes Cheshire Hospice and Hope House Childrens Hospice.
The reunion raised a massive £1070,00 to be split between the two charities so £535 will be winging its way to them soon.

The reunion was for all those people who has ever attended Ludford Street Secondary School or those who were there during its later years as Victoria Community High School.

The evening began with people arriving at the Oakley Centre on West Street as early as 6.45 with them queueing at the doors to be part of one of the biggest school reunions to hit Crewe.
It was a charity event and all proceeds from the ticket sales will be split between two charities that were chosen by Gwyn Evans who was there to share his memories with us.

Ludford School ReunionPeople entered the sports hall to the sounds of Excalibur Entertainment who kindly provided a free Disco for the occasion, ex pupils arrived in hope to see some faces they had not seen for a very long time.
The hall was soon alive with the sounds of old friends chatting and laughing with each other about the antics they got up to during their time at the school.
There were lots of hugs between friends and a lot of smiles on their faces as they shared stories and memories with each other, on a few occasions there were screams of laughter ringing around the room.

Soon arriving at the venue were our special guests Mr Glaister and Mrs Kosh.
Everyone was very happy to see them and they soon started talking to people and chatting about what they have been up to since leaving the school.

There was a slideshow running at the front of the hall with lots of photos old and new, some people recognised themselves and were quite surprised!.

Hannah from Hope House Childrens Hospice and Jessica from St Lukes Hospice brought along lots of information about what their centres do and were happy to chat about the hard work that goes on in these two places.
They worked very hard throughout the first two hours of the evening and sold over 1000 raffle tickets so a big thank you to all who entered our raffle to win some lovely prizes donated by kind businesses and individuals from across Crewe and Nantwich.

DSCF6424At 9pm Mr Gwyn Evans took to the stage to tell stories about his memories about his time at the school.
It was amazing to hear some of his stories about pupils and teachers.

He told us all about his first day at the school and gave us some behind the scenes tales too which were very funny.
A lot of things we never knew as kids were very interesting.

Did you know that Mr Brown who was head of the school during its later years spoke seven languages?

We were told of the teachers from across many decades that had sadly passed away which were:-

Mr Quine, Bob Hutchings, Bob Bickerton, Cliff Hill, Ron Barlow, Bill Ashurst, Don Ormes,
Dennis Holmes, Geoff Minshall, Keith Cornes, Jack Woollen, Jack Perry, Frank Walley, Peggy Austin,
Stan Atherton, Molly Hill, Peter Coxon, Jackie Hughes, Liz McMahon, Joan Lucas, Frank Buckley, David Burbidge and Joan Davenport.

Gwyn is still in touch with many teachers which may surprise some of you which are:-

Yannie Macintyre, John Glaister, Mick McNulty, Carl Gaskell, Mick Taylor, Nigel Edwards, Vida Graham, Veronica Dixon, Joan Tomlinson, Jenny Boote, Margaret Robinson, Margaret Maddocks, Sue Denby,
Claire Brown, Greg Brown, Glynne Jones, Drue Joyce, Tim Halden, Cath Williams, Sue Posner and
Bill Harrison.

After Gwyn had finished telling us all about his memories he threw himself wide open to the audience and took some questions from people.
He was asked to pronounce that big long Welsh word we all know and love which he did with ease.
A man mentioned about the time that he threw a snowball at his head and ended up being marched up the famous concrete stairs to see Mr Quine about the matter which was hilarious.

1384144_361885717280566_270664969_nCllr Dorothy Flude who is the lady Mayoress of Cheshire East attended the evening and enjoyed it as she has a keen interest in the towns history.
She presented Gwyn with a token of appreciation which was a lovely silver plate with a personal message on it to him.
It also featured the Ludford buildings motto which used to feature over the top of the hall windows at each end of the site which read –  Perserverance, Knowledge, Character.

Simon and Tina Newbury were there working very busy all night taking portraits of people with the teachers, a donation from the sale of these will be going to the two charities.
Mr Glaister, Mr Evans and Mrs Kosh were more than happy having their pictures taken with as many ex-pupils as they could all to help raise money for St Lukes and Hope House.

The evening finished with a superb Disco and everyone was still partying the night away gone midnight before the nights events were brought to a nice slow pace with some slow tunes to relax to.

Simon and Tina Newbury were there working very busy all night taking portraits of people with the teachers, a donation from the sale of these will be going to the two charities.

Ludford school reunionAll in all the event was very enjoyable and lots of people left that night with lots of memories and had a lot of fun with old friends which is what this night was all about.
The greatest thing in all of this is the fact that two great charities will benefit from the kindness that ex-pupils, teachers, local people and businesses have shown to pull together to make the evening the huge success that it was.

The Ludford building may no longer be standing there on Badger avenue as it had since 1931 but its legacy and memories will live on in all those that have travelled through its gates.

 

The demolition of this once great school may have stirred up a few sad feelings for some but this has now been turned from something negative into something positive to benefit local people which is a lovely tribute and last memory to hold forever.

We are currently awaiting a final total of money raised for this whole event and will publish it as soon as it comes in.

A big thank you to Excalibur Entertainment, WTD Promotions & Simon J Newbury Photography for working with us to bring you this reunion and also the The Victoria Community centre and staff for working so hard setting up for us and working so hard at the event.
Thank you to Mr Glaister and Mrs Kosh for supporting us
Thank you goes to Cllr Flude Lady Mayoress of Cheshire East for attending and for presenting our gift to Gwyn Evans for his 50 years of service in education.

Hannah from Hope House childrens Hospices and Jessica from St Lukes Cheshire Hospice were absolutley fantastic and we really appreciate you coming along and helping us on the evening.

Prizes were donated from the following and we cannot thank you enough for your kindness

The Cutting Room of Crewe
Nantwich Hair Studio For Men
Tropical Oasis
WTD Promotions
Pauline Harding
Gareth Roberts
Frankie and Benny’s of Crewe
The Crewe and Nantwich Lions
Crewe Alexandra Football Club
Blitz Fireworks of Crewe
Behind the Chair Hairdressing of Crewe
The Rookery Wood of Weston Road Crewe

Thank you to all those who came along to the evening to support the charities and meet old friends

For more information on the chosen charities work or to find out how you can donate to these fantastic causes please use the links below

St Lukes (Cheshire Hospice)
Hope House Childrens Hospice

Story ©Rach Griffiths 2013

*Click on images to enlarge

The gallery below of official event photographs supplied courtesy of
Tina Newbury – ©Simon J Newbury Photography

The gallery of photos below supplied courtesy of Andy Scoffin and Kelly Baxter, who have both given us their kind permission to use them in this article.