School memories sought by ex-pupil

Cromforf school
Cromforf school

A former Cromford school pupil is appealing to fellow students to post their stories and pictures online.

Paul Otley set up the Cromford Primary School page on Facebook two weeks ago, but it has already got in excess of 300 members.

Cromford School

Cromford School

He said: “I couldn’t believe how many people were interested in the page because it was just started as a casual thing.

“There are people on there from all generations.

“It’s like a coming together of all different people.

“People come up with memories of the same classrooms from different times.”

To get the group started, Paul visited the school and asked permission from the current head teacher, Liz Foster, to take pictures.

He has also been in contact with the Arkwright Society, which has helped him to locate documents and photographs relating to the school’s history.

The school was built in 1862 for the children of the mill workers in North Street.

Paul has discovered that back in 1961, some builders working on the school found time capsules in the walls, which they photographed at the time and put back.

A former head teacher at the school threw away a lot of old group photographs from over the years and Paul is appealing to people with any such pictures to post them online.

“I would like to invite anyone that went to Cromford Primary School, especially the older generation as most of our members were pupils during the 1980s and after, to join the group,” Paul continued.

“Primary school memories seem to really touch people when they come flooding back.

“I think it’s because these are our earliest memories, back when life was not as complicated and you saw things for what they were.

“Not all memories in the group are good ones, but our members are sharing them regardless, and I like that. That’s what it’s all about.”

The 37–year–old attended the school from 1980 to 1986, before his family emigrated to Virginia in the United States.

Having returned to the UK, Paul is now a restaurant manager in Lincoln.

Paul is hoping to hold a sports day reunion at the school and will post further details online in the future.

Any former pupils who want to share memories about Cromford Primary School can do so by visiting the ‘Cromford School Memories’ page on Facebook or commenting online at