Video: Wheelwright Grammar Old Boys reunited for annual dinner

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One of the area’s most famous daughters received a rapturous welcome when she returned to be guest speaker at a school reunion.

CBE winner Dianne Thompson wowed guests at the annual Wheelwright Grammar School Old Boys dinner with her account of the good works achieved by the National Lottery.

GUEST SPEAKER Dianne Thompson with Bryan Hargreaves, Sid Brooke and John Gibson.

GUEST SPEAKER Dianne Thompson with Bryan Hargreaves, Sid Brooke and John Gibson.

Mrs Thompson is chief executive of Camelot Group, which runs the lottery, and chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University.

She told guests that the lottery had created 3,500 millionaires since its inception 19 years ago, and had supported many local community projects.

She said her home town of Dewsbury had received a total of £14.7m in grants, including £2m to help regenerate historic town centre buildings.

Dewsbury writer and poet John Cooper, a former Reporter journalist, gave the vote of thanks. It included a poem based on Mrs Thompson’s career which had been commissioned by the Old Boys Association for the occasion.

Former Reporter Series deputy editor Margaret Watson also presented Mrs Thompson with a book of Mr Cooper’s poetry.

Sid Brooke and John Gibson shared the role of master of ceremonies, and the Rev Malcolm Exley said grace.

The dinner at Healds Hall Hotel in Liversedge was attended by dozens of former pupils of Dewsbury’s Wheelwright school, which closed in 1974.

The oldest present was 90-year-old Jack Wood, who is Mrs Thompson’s uncle.