Cromer Road School celebrates 80th anniversary with visit from Olympian Joyce Smith

First published in Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

A New Barnet primary school is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a visit from a former pupil, and double Olympian this afternoon.

Cromer Road School, in Cromer Road, is welcoming Joyce Smith to plant an oak tree in the school’s grounds.

Ms Smith, 74, attended the school in the 1940s and took part in the marathon at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

The Olympian also won the London Marathon twice and the Tokyo Marathon twice.

Following the tree planting ceremony the school’s 400 pupils sang Happy Birthday to the school.

There was then tea and cakes for the students, staff, parents and governors and a cake was cut.

Headteacher Helen Schmitz said: “It has been amazing, absolutely brilliant.

“Joyce brought all of her medals and her MBE to show the children.

“They have been completely in awe of it all.”

Ms Smith also donated the vest she wore during the 1984 Olympics to the school.

It will be framed and hung up with a photograph of the sportswoman.

Ms Schmitz said: “This is just the beginning of a year of events to mark our 80th anniversary.

“The children will be learning all about the history of their school and what it was like to be a pupil in the 1930s.”

The school is asking that former pupils contribute memories and photos to their anniversary archive.

If you have any memories to share you can email the school at

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