Army Cadet Corps on parade at Dunstable Grammar School

Dunstable Grammar School's Army Cadet Corps in the early 1960s.
Dunstable Grammar School's Army Cadet Corps in the early 1960s.

Former pupils of Dunstable Grammar School are suffering particular pangs of nostalgia this year with the news that the buildings there are under threat.

When the grammar school was closed in 1971 during a radical upheaval of the country’s education system, the site in High Street North was preserved as the home of Ashton Middle School.

Now this, too, looks likely to be closed and, unless councillors change their minds, there’s no prizes for guessing that much of the school area will eventually be used for housing.

The Old Dunstablians (the association for past pupils of the grammar school) will be holding what may be their last reunion in the school on September 20, when this Yesteryear photo might prove especially poignant. It shows the grammar school’s Army Cadet Corps on parade for an inspection prior to a Speech Day in the early 1960s.

They are lined up on the school’s quad, at the rear of the main building, with the wooden fence of the school swimming pool on the right, and a newer classroom block at the rear. The school was built in 1887 using funds from a legacy provided by Mrs Frances Ashton. Her original bequest had been boosted considerably by the sale of land needed for a railway.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.

> A new book of Dunstable Yesteryear photos has now been published, titled Dunstable Through Time. Signed copies are available from author John Buckledee at 69 Derwent Drive, Dunstable, LU6 3PB. Price is £17, including postage and packing.