A chance to say goodbye to much-loved Dunstable school

editorial image

Ex-pupils with fond memories of a historic school in Dunstable will have a final chance to say goodbye before it shuts its doors for the last time.

Ashton Middle School is hosting an open afternoon for guests on Thursday, June 23 from 3.30pm to 6pm, allowing the public to come along and share their memories of the school.

Carol Chamberlain said: “It’s a listed building, it’s the old grammar school and we’re getting so many people contacting us asking questions.

“Most of Dunstable cannot believe they’re shutting the school.”

The school is earmarked for closure on July 22 with the remaining staff and pupils using just part of the grand old building.

Mrs Chamberlain added: “We’ve all known that it’s happening... People like myself are staying right until the end and it’s a bit of a mix of emotions.

“But we’re being as upbeat as we can. The school is running as normal with a few fun little events for the children.

“We’ve closed two blocks of the school because we just don’t need them. We’re offering any furniture to other schools – keeping everything going.

“I’d say we’re being as positive as can be expected!”

Headteacher Shirley Hollis said: “The atmosphere is very, very positive. The staff have pulled out all the stops to make sure the children have an amazing last few months.

“We’ve been working hard towards the Sats tests and the child are very well-prepared.

“We need to celebrate what Ashton is and what it’s always been. It’s very sad, a lot of us have been here for a long time but the most important people here are the children.

“We’re determined that they will not suffer just because they’re the ones caught out.”

Regarding the open day being held on June 23, Mrs Hollis said: “A lot of people have said they want to have a look at the historical aspects of the school, the main hall with the plaques going back over 100 years and the memorial.

“We’ll keep all of A block completely open for people to wander around.

“Even people who haven’t had any direct contact with the school recognise that, in Dunstable, it’s a building of historical value that’s significant to the town.”