TEACHERS, students and parents have celebrated six decades of education at a town’s secondary school.
Elfed High School, based in Buckley, reached its 60th anniversary on Sunday and the school has organised several events to mark the occassion.
As part of the milestone celebrations, students have researched the history of the school and its namesake Howell Elvet Lewis (Elfed), the non-conformist minister who lived and worked in the town between 1880 and 1884.
Special events have included a ceremony celebrating the life of Elfed last month and more celebrations are on the way.
Headteacher Rosemary Jones said: “This is a special time in our school’s history and for education in Buckley.”
She added the pupils’ achievements in 2013 were among the best in Wales and that working with parents, governors, primary school colleagues and the wider community, the school would maintain and develop its provision for future generations of young people in Buckley and beyond.
The school’s foundation stone was laid in 1952 and two years later the building was ready for the first cohort of students.
Ian Collins, chairman of governors, said: “Skills and qualifications are as important to young people in Buckley in 2013 as they were in the 1954 when the school first opened.
“The excellent standards achieved by Elfed High School students have boosted the image of the whole town and inspired young people to achieve at the highest level in whatever pathway they choose.”
Students researching newspaper cuttings from the 1950s found that Elfed was proud that the new secondary school in Buckley would bear his name.
They found that although he only lived in Buckley for about four years, he often returned to the town see friends and to preach.
Pupils searched through archives, old maps and census information to find out more about Elfed and his links with the school.
They found that he moved from Carmarthen to Buckley, aged 20, and was known as ‘the lad’.
The 1881 census shows he lived in Hawkesbury Place and preached in John’s Congregational Chapel on the opposite side of Mill Lane.
Buckley councillor Carol Ellis, a governor at the school, said: “It is a major achievement and what is important is that the school is improving all the time.
“It’s a great achievement for the school and they have got close links to the community as well.”
Cllr Ellis, whose son Chris, 32, attended the school, added that a celebration of the milestone in December was a great success.
Events planned to mark the 60th anniversary include an open afternoon on Saturday, January 18.
Current and former students are welcome to view photos and memorabilia, enjoy a 1950s disco and afternoon tea.
There will also be Diamond Anniversary concert in the presence of ex-MP Lord Barry Jones on Wednesday, February 12 at 7pm in Theatr Elfed. Special guests will be the Royal Buckley Town Band, with performances by current and ex-students.
Tickets will be on sale from the school office in January, costing £3 each.
Further information about all the events is available by visiting the website www.elfedhs.co.uk and by phoning the school on 01244 550217.