Nearly 70 ex-classmates met up at a school reunion and for some it had been more than 50 years since they had last seen one another.

The pensioners – some of whom are now great-grandparents – went to Royds Hall School in Marsh and reunited in Kirkburton.

Organiser Robert Orme, 69, who is now retired and living in North Staffordshire, said: “Everybody thought it was a success and enjoyed it.

“It’s incredible how you can pick up with people after so long. It shows how strong our school’s bond is.”

He added: “I had to do a lot of research to contact everybody and sadly I discovered that 20 on my list were no longer here, which brings it home that we might not have much time left for future reunions.”

The school reunion took place at The Woodman Inn at Thunderbridge.

Many of the ex-students still live locally, but some had travelled from as far away as France, Germany and Majorca to be there.

And John Briscoe, a former professional footballer who played for Burnley, Barnsley and the Los Angeles Wolves, was able to attend due to the reunion coinciding with a trip home from the USA.

Retired exam invigilator Judith Farnell, née Sykes, said: “I’m sure as 15 year olds we never thought as we sang our school anthem ‘Forty Years On’ that it would in fact be 54 years on before most of us would meet again.

“The reunion was such a success that there was immediate demand for another next year.”

Robert was unable to contact over 50 former classmates.

Any former Royds Hall School pupils from the 1958-63 and 1959-64 year groups who would like information about future events can email Robert at or Judith at