It has been 27 years since a boarding school, situated high on the Northumberland fells, said farewell to its last batch of pupils.
But interest in the former Brown Rigg boarding school, in Bellingham, has not waned and in a couple of weeks time more than 600 past pupils and their partners are expected to descend on the North Tyne village to recall the days they spent at the school.
People will be flocking back to Brown Rigg from all over the world, with former pupils coming from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America and Holland, not to mention every corner of the UK.
Speaking about the forthcoming reunion, the chairman of the organizing committee, Eddie Graham, said, “It’s going to be another very hectic weekend, the interest just grows and grows and we have been inundated with enquiries from former pupils of all eras.
“We have ladies coming who were evacuated to Brown Rigg in 1940 and we have pupils who were here when the place closed in 1985, they all want to come back and relive their happy memories.
“The conditions may have been extremely Spartan back then but we all still enjoyed ourselves and the friendships that were made were vary special and have lasted a lifetime.”
Most of the reunion activities will take place in Bellingham, where visitors will enjoy a welcome barbecue and the village’s Town Hall will host a gala evening of entertainment.
The hundreds of former pupils will be able to take a look around the site of their former school thanks to current owners Morag and Richard Kent who now run a chalet rental business there. The new owners of the nearby caravan park are also allowing access to former pupils.
The pupils will also be revisiting old haunts in Bellingham and the surrounding countryside. For many it will be the first time in years that they have returned to the scene of their childhood.
“We are extremely grateful to Morag and Richard,” said Mr Graham, “not only for allowing us to return to Brown Rigg but also for the brilliant way they have looked after the place and restored it to it’s current pristine condition.”
The Brown Rigg school reunion takes place over the weekend of June 13 to 15.