The Carlton Le Willows Grammar School Society was started by the pupils who joined the school when it opened in September 1953 ... notably through the efforts of David Carnell. The highlight of their efforts so far was the 40th anniversary reunion held at the school on 29th April 1995. Around 400 " old boys and girls" and staff attended, and were able to roam freely around the school, examining rooms, radiators and favourite spots.

The society encourages members and charges an annual fee, for which you receive a newsletter and list of all members with contact addresses. It currently covers start years 1953 to 1973, although with a fairly heavy bias towards the earlier years. They also arrange regular reunions which everyone is welcome to attend.

The 50th Anniversary Reunion was held at the school on Saturday September 6th 2003 and a good time was had by all!!

Report and pictures here

If you'd like to join or more details email jmwillows@ntlworld.com or see their web site here

Carlton le Willows, in Gedling, was the first Grammar School built in Nottinghamshire since the Second World War. It enrolled its first pupils in 1953, but its status changed in 1973 when it became a Comprehensive. Carlton le Willows Grammar School Society (CLeWS) is for former pupils and staff of the Grammar School period. It is intended to preserve memories of the School, and foster links between those who studied and worked there.

The Society was formed in 1995 after a reunion at the School organised by David Carnell, the first Head Boy. He had been involved with the Salix Society, the original society for former pupils, which was formed in 1961, but dissolved in the early 1970s, so there was no formal society for the Grammar School for many years. David had organised the 1995 reunion at his own risk.

When it became clear that most of those attending were keen to repeat the experience he proposed the formation of the present Society so that the financial risks and work involved in organising such functions could be shared amongst the members. From a meeting of those interested a Committee was formed and David was elected Chairman. They decided on the new name for the Society, agreed a structure and constitution and very soon had signed up almost 200 members, each paying a subscription intended to provide funds for further reunions and to develop other ideas, including a magazine and a Membership Directory of contact details to be updated each year The "Salix" name is now used for the magazine, which is edited by Alan Streather, and published around three times a year. A survey has shown it has become very popular with members, who read it and contribute to its columns with enthusiasm. (Salix, of course, is Latin for willow.)

Jeff Mann, as Membership Secretary, produces the Directory and issues it each year to every member; it shows the names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for all members, although the contact details are omitted where members do not want these details to be published.

We continue to organise various other kinds of event, including smaller meetings and outings such as a cruise along the River Trent and maintaining and developing the website.

Anyone who was a pupil at the School, or a member of staff, at any time between its first pupils being enrolled in 1953 and its change of status in 1973 is eligible for membership. Membership of the Society runs from January each year, but new subscriptions from September onwards in any year initially run to the end of December in the following year.

The Society is run by a Committee, which is elected at the Annual General Meeting, usually held in November. However, members are entitled to attend all committee meetings as observers. Membership benefits include the Membership Directory, the magazine "Salix" and access to the "members only" section of the website.

The Society´s events usually have an admission charge designed to cover the cost of the event and the smaller events are limited to members (and sometimes their partners) only. Larger events such as reunions are open to all former pupils and staff, but members are usually offered a discount.

The Society includes three Honorary Life Members – Muriel Kent, Ike Stamper and Fred Lee – who were offered that status, as was also the late Harry Makins,in recognition of their services to the Society and to the Grammar School.

A recent project to try to record all the former pupils and teachers revealed the names of around 2000 pupils – though we know we lack complete lists for some years – and about 120 teachers. Thus we now know that our membership represents about a tenth of those eligible. We are keen to contact the rest, and to have them come to the reunions, or become members, or both. If you know anyone else who was at the School, please copy this information to them.

The Society’s website is to be found at www.carltonlewillowsgs.org.uk. Please have a look at it for more information about the School and about the Society.

The Committee, February 2007