GILBERTS Hill School in Dixon Street closed in 2000.

It fell victim to the same round of cuts which also spelled doom for another much-loved Swindon school, Oakfield.

Although parents protested, Swindon Borough Council insisted that falling rolls made Gilberts Hill’s continued existence as a school impracticable.

Today the structure still stands, but has long since been converted into flats.

To mark the closure in 2000, parents and staff put together a commemorative booklet, a copy of which was lodged in the Adver’s archive. The bulk of the work was done by Chris Durant, an educational support assistant and co-ordinator of the school’s breakfast and after school club.

It is filled with poems, drawings, pictures of memorabilia, old school photographs and memories of pupils and former pupils.

One of the most striking photographs shows some of the girls who were at the school in 1938.

They are named, left to right, as Jean Mathews, Mollie Stroud, Joan Fincham, Marion Mills, Barbara Green, Mary Webb, Hilda Turnball and Jean Day.

On the same page is a school song for girls which is dated around 1920, by which time the school was already 40 years old.

It begins: “Oh we are the girls of Gilberts Hill/The jolliest school in town./We come to school with a right good will/And work very hard all day until/Sun goes down, books go down, we all go down...”

The introduction says in part: “Gilberts Hill School is an outstanding example of a community school as this record shows.

“The school will never be forgotten by its pupils and those people who were fortunate enough to become involved with it.”

Recollections of the school include those of former pupil Phyllis Oliver, nee Greening.

She wrote: “I was a pupil at Gilberts Hill School many years ago when there was a girls’ school as well as infants, and although I am 85 years old I can remember those days with much pleasure - playing in the netball team, on the sloping playground and running in the relay race against the other schools in Swindon, and we won a picture for the school and were presented with a little clock each.”

Another former pupil, who started at Gilberts Hill in 1928, wrote: “I recall we sat at long benches, not individual desks, with a wooden support on which to put our books.

“There were lots of spelling and English grammar lessons, and I learnt to read at a very early age as I was enjoying David Copperfield at nine years.”