School for seniors gets top marks from Lord Lieutenant at end of term show

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.
Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.

Pensioner pupils who formed their own school for seniors have been given a glowing report by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire.

The keen to learn OAPS take up to seven different classes a day, enjoying everything from keep fit to cross stitch.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.

They have strict term times, end of term shows, and a host of dedicated teachers.

But unlike “real” school, there are no rules about chattering – and the only uniform criteria is to wear a smile, said organiser Jady Haggerwood, who is 71.

“School for seniors is far for fun than the schooldays we remember from years ago. We have a wonderful time,” she said.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis couldn’t stop smiling when she visited the Clapham school last week to view the end of term show.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at School for Seniors in Clapham.

Jady said: “She wrote me a lovely letter afterwards thanking us for showing her our lessons and saying how impressed she was with what we were doing.”

School for Seniors was set up more than 30 years ago and has 60 “pupils”. Classes are held every Wednesday at Clapham Methodist Church hall and there are two 12-week term times each year.

Activities include art and craft, lace-making, reading for pleasure, flower arranging, French, Scrabble, knitting and dominoes.

“People can do as many classes as they like. Our oldest member is 83 and very active. We also have an 82-year-old man who is really good at tapestry,” said Jady.

“At the end of each term each class displays what they have done or made, and the reading for pleasure group put on a little play. It’s great fun.”

The cost of attending School for Seniors is a princely £8 per term – and even then the school makes a small profit.

“Despite the amount of tea and coffee we buy, there’s always a little bit left over. We pop it in the Methodist Church collection to say thank you because they let us use their premises for free,” said Jady.