Leeds primary school turns back the clock to 1960s for fab 50th birthday celebration

Ninelands Primary school business manager Jenny Harrison with parent helpers Sarah Smales and Liz Walton.
Ninelands Primary school business manager Jenny Harrison with parent helpers Sarah Smales and Liz Walton.
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Harold Wilson was in 10 Downing Street, Leeds United won their first major trophy and The Beatles released their White Album.

The year was 1968 and, in Garforth, Ninelands Primary School made its own little piece of history when its official opening took place on October 12. How better, then, for the school to mark its 50th birthday than by turning back the clock to the decade of peace and love?

A day of celebrations held at the end of last week saw teachers and children dressing up in Sixties outfits, with members of staff who had come along as John, Paul, George and Ringo even recreating the Fab Four’s famous Abbey Road picture at the pedestrian crossing on Ninelands Lane.

There were also performances by the pupils of Sixties music as well as popular tunes from later decades. Other talking points included a display of old photos and archive items such as log books and newspaper articles.

The school’s headteacher, Jillian Sabourn, said: “Children gain so much by learning about the stories and experiences they share with members of their own community.

“Garforth is a thriving town with a strong sense of identity and we felt it was right to celebrate Ninelands’ part in our community’s history.”

The celebrations were attended by former staff and pupils as well as the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty. Specially-made cakes were cut by Daniel Walton, Lily Stephenson and Isla Brelsford, three of the school’s current pupils.

An aerial photo of all the children at Ninelands gathered in the shape of the number 50 is being taken this week while design work is also under way on a new mosaic for the school’s outside wall.