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Orpington teacher reunited with pupils after 60 years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 November 2018

A resident at an Orpington care home has been reunited with his former primary school class after asking the community if they recognised faces from a 1950s photograph. Picture: Care UK

A resident at an Orpington care home has been reunited with his former primary school class after asking the community if they recognised faces from a 1950s photograph. Picture: Care UK

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A resident at an Orpington care home has been reunited with his former primary school class after asking the community if they recognised faces from a 1950s photograph.

Douglas ‘Doug’ Champ, a resident at Care UK’s Foxbridge House care home on Sevenoaks Road, was joined by nine former pupils and school teachers after a nationwide search.

The care team launched the search after Doug stumbled across the school photograph by chance during one of the home’s regular computer lessons.

Doug was a teacher at Whitstable Boys School and was delighted when the photograph of his first class popped up on screen – he recognised the children immediately.

The team at the home decided to help Doug arrange a school reunion for his former class, and shared the story with the community to help identify the people in the photograph.

Many of Doug’s former pupils recognised the photograph and contacted the home.

Foxbridge House welcomed Mr Champ’s former class to the home for a reunion party, along with his friends and family, and everyone shared stories and photographs from their time at school.

Doug was also joined by former pupils from East Wickham and Kevington schools where he was head teacher later in his career.

When the ex-pupils saw the story in the paper, they also got in touch to be reunited with their much loved teacher.

Doug said: “I was impressed by the number of responses I received – I’ve had emails, calls and even a letter sent from another former teacher! “I cannot believe that after all these years people still remember me, I have had a fantastic day reminiscing with my former class and catching up on what they’ve been up to since we last saw each other.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who came to the reunion, and to the team at Foxbridge House for helping me reunite with my class.”

Carol McCormack, home manager at Foxbridge House, added: “Being able to help Doug trace his former school pupils has been fantastic.

“Doug has been sharing stories about his time working as a teacher, and the residents at Foxbridge House and Care UK team have really enjoyed listening to his memories.

“We are overjoyed that so many people responded to Doug’s story, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to the local community who helped us reunite Doug with his former pupils.”

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