TWO former head teachers with decades of service between them have returned to their old school to help celebrate a landmark anniversary.

Heworth CE School reaches its 140th birthday this year, and on Monday it invited former pupils and staff back to share their memories and help current pupils learn about the past.

Among the guests was 99-year-old Stanley Mings, head teacher at Heworth between 1953 and 1976, and Keith Schooling, who was head teacher for 12 years until 2005.

Mr Mings, who still lives in York, was invited as a special guest by the present head teacher at Heworth, Simon Biddlestone.

The event was organised by teacher Kate Durham, who is the school’s history subject lead.

It welcomed former pupils aged between 20 and 80 to reminisce about their school days, as well as the former staff and others from the community who are interested in life at the school.

Mrs Durham said: “It was brilliant, a really good afternoon. It was nice to see the whole community come together to celebrate and share all their memories.

“It was great for our children as well. They really enjoyed it, and were so interested in what the former pupils remembered. We were very proud of them.”

The pupils learnt about their school’s past, and even marked out the location of the World War Two bunkers in the playground.

The party was part of a project called Stories Of Our School, and will culminate in a scrapbook of memories and photographs to go on sale at the summer fair when all the guests will be invited back to see the book with their contributions.

Mr Biddlestone said: “We are at the heart of the community and have been for 140 years. It’s a great opportunity for our children to do some history and learn from people who used to go here.”