Cricklewood school celebrates golden anniversary by reuniting former pupils

Ex-students exchanged memories including political demonstrations

A secondary school celebrated its golden anniversary by holding a reunion where ex-pupils took a trip down memory lane.

Former students of Hampstead School in Westbere Road, Cricklewood, shared stories of political protests, old teachers, and of course the high jinx they got up to behind the bike sheds at the gathering at the school.

Among them were brothers Robin Hunte, 62, Colin Hunte. 60 and Garth Hunte, 59, who became some of Hampstead School’s first pupils after their parents moved to London from Trinidad in 1961.

Robin said: I didn’t get in too much trouble during my schooldays, but I was once caught behind the bike sheds having a smoke.

“I got caned and have never touched a cigarette since.”

For others the gate together held the tantalising prospect of rekindling those all important first loves.

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Colin Hunte said: “I remember one girl called Margaret Phelps, I really adored her. I would tap her on the shoulder and then give her a kiss.”

Founded in 1961 as a secondary modern, the school became one of the country’s first comprehensives.

During its early years radical student protests swept up a generation of teenagers, and pupils at Hampstead School were no exception.

Diana Robin, who was a pupil from 1971 to 1975, said: “We held a demo where we burnt the school tie and in ’73 we got rid of school uniform altogether.”

Producing her own 1974 “Red Diary”, in which she had dutifully detailed all the homework she was set, she added: “We were all pretty political back then.”