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School history exhibition in Downham Market

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An exhibition featuring the history of schools will be opening this month in Downham.

The new exhibition at Discover Downham is called The Best Years of Your Life?

After months of hard work, volunteers are busy putting the final touches to the event which will have a special preview for members on Tuesday, July 5, and it will be open to the public from July 7.

Discover Downham volunteer Christine Leader demonstrates the Best Years of Your Life? exhibits. (57704647)
Discover Downham volunteer Christine Leader demonstrates the Best Years of Your Life? exhibits. (57704647)

The Best Years of Your Life covers Downham Market Schools and features artefacts, documents and a large number of local school photographs.

The centre hopes that some of the residents who went to school in Downham Market will be able to spot themselves and identify some other faces.

Volunteers would also very much like to hear of people’s memories and it really was the best years of your life.

New exhibitions take a long time to research and set up and this time volunteers Christine Leader and Marion Batt have been doing most of the preparation.

Marion Batt, volunteer said: "We hope everyone who visits us, enjoys seeing how education has changed in Downham Market since the 1800s."

Christine Leader, volunteer said: "We would love to hear about how naughty you were at school and what your punishment was."

Exhibitions also cost a surprising amount of money in display materials and printing and this year the centre was fortunate enough to receive £1000 from the West Norfolk council when they were nominated by councillor Don Tyler for the Councillor’s Community Fund.

That money has helped pay for the exhibition as well as provide some outdoor seating for the courtyard.

The society is pleased that Mr Tyler will attend the preview and will also be very pleased to welcome George Pettitt from Downham Academy together with Mark Eastwood, head of school.

Mr Tyler said: "I was pleased to donate this money and see it used for the schools project.

"It will be an opportunity to learn more from residents about their memories of going to school in Downham Market and will help researchers and add to the history of the town."

If you didn’t go to school locally there will still be something which should bring back memories for you in the exhibition.

In the children’s area there will be playground games which have stood the test of time with hula hoops, jacks, hopscotch and French knitting to try.

For grandparents, they can write names of the friends they were at school with in our exercise books so the society have living history being recorded.

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