TODAY’S nostalgia spread is a celebration of long-standing school friendships.

Former pupils of the Esplanade Hall in Harwich have met again to share warm memories and pictures.

Visitors included ex pupils now in their 80s and 90s and an email from Dennis Stiff who is 101 and lives in Australia.

The Esplanade, which is the church hall of St Nicholas Church had many changes of fortune throughout the decades.

It was built in 1813 and re-modelled in 1855 when it became the National School.

Due to overcrowding two extra classrooms were built in 1875.

To this day a family tomb of the Graham family remains where children have played on their way into and out of school.

Malcolm Carter shared his fond memories of the school: “Football was important, mainly due to the enthusiasm of Ted Smith. I played in the team along with Alan Good and Victor Good. There was a league for all local schools, but no cup.

"The two Mr Goods arranged a collection amongst their colleagues and the Fisherman’s Cup was created.”

During 1907 the school was enlarged to cater for mixed infants, girls and boys elementary and became known as Esplanade School.

In February 1953, the building was flooded overnight and while there were no school casualties the school suffered much damage.

The main building was demolished in 1968.

A group called Friends of Esplanade has been putting lots of hard work into the hall to make sure visitors can still enjoy it.

Frank Humphreys remembered: “In the last war a lot of my schoolmates were evacuated.

"When the siren sounded all the boys and teachers went out of a side door which led us across Wellington Road to the underground shelters.”

June Cumming (nee Gow) remembered how the headmaster used to arrive on his motorbike with his dog in the sidecar.

She said: “We had a supply teacher from Canada, she wrote to me as a penfriend for several years."

In 1957 the Esplanade School moved to Main Road School and became known as Harwich County Primary School.

Visit The Friends Of Esplanade Hall, Harwich on Facebook.

ALL PICTURES: Friends of Esplanade Hall