THEY hadn’t seen each other for more than 48 years but two friends were reunited when a Carlisle primary school celebrated its 50th birthday.

Lorna McSorley and Moira Graham were two of the first pupils at Kingmoor School in Lowry Hill when it opened in 1969.

And on Wednesday, the friends who hadn’t seen each other since they left school, met again at a 50th anniversary celebration event.

Lorna, who is now an IT technician at the school, recalled her first day.

She said: “There were three infant classes and four junior classes.We had a uniform. It was grey with a tie.

“I remember there were nine of us and the school seemed really big compared to the one before. Our old school was on Kingstown Road where Kengas is now.

“The curriculum has changed a lot over the years but the children are just the same.”

Moira, of Dalston, said: “I haven’t been back in the school since we left in 1971. I trained to be a nurse but I’m retired now. I used to work with Lorna’s brother but I haven’t seen Lorna in years.

“I feel completely lost. The hall and some of the classrooms are just the same.

“I remember it was big and new and the toilets were inside.”

Celebrations took place throughout the day.

The whole school - including the infants - formed the number 50 for a school photograph.

And a tree which fell down in a storm near the school has been carved into an owl with a rabbit and squirrel along the bottom.

Pupil Rory McEwan, seven, named the owl Twitter.

Hayley Stewart, headteacher of Kingmoor Junior School, said: “We sent a drone up to take the photo.

“The whole school had an afternoon tea and the infants got the bunting out which was lovely.

“We had invited guests in throughout the day and then we opened the school up from 3.30pm for parents, former staff and visitors. Children performed dance, gymnastics and the orchestra also performed. It was a lovely day from start to finish. A lot of past pupils came back to see us which was lovely.”

Classrooms and corridors were decked with memorabilia including lots of old photographs for people to reminisce.

Nicky Corfield, headteacher of Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School, said: “It’s been a lovely day and everyone has enjoyed it.”

Margaret Bravo, who runs St Peter’s Pre-School at Kingstown, had a scrapbook and recalled the first day.

She said: “I can remember taking the children down to the new school. Mr Boothman was the caretaker and Mrs Strong was the teacher.

“I used to take my son Peter with me and he would help Mr Boothman put the straws in the milk for the children.

“On that first day no-one knew anyone. It was all very new and strange for the children.

“The Cumberland News came to take photographs.”

When the school opened Mrs Bravo’s group moved to St Peter’s Church at Kingstown, where it is still based today.

She spoke to some of the current pupils about the early days of the school.