MORE than 60 years ago youngsters might have tucked into a slice of bread and dripping at dinner time.

Yesterday, a group of senior citizens went back to school - and found something more substantial is available to present-day pupils.

The Lunch Club, from Community House, in Eton Road, Newport, dined out at Maindee Primary School, and pupils from the Year Six Young Citizens Club, run by teacher Avril Heatman, helped to serve the meals and later took the club members, and other guests, around the school.

It was clearly an enjoyable time for both young and old as the visitors shared their memories with the students.

"This is the most fascinating thing I have done in school," said 11-year-old Talisha Brown, who admitted that seeing old wedding photographs had made her want to cry. "Everybody has such interesting moments," said 11-year-old Fatima Badat.

Elsie Peel, 82, of Llanwern Street, said it had been a very nice lunch. She used to attend Maindee School - as did her sons - but lived near enough to go home for dinner, which her mother would cook for her.

Edna Wiggins, 78, of Gaer Vale, used to stay for school dinners at Tredegar Wharf, and thought they would have had just an ordinary meal.

"It was not as good as today, but I don't think the food was about." Viv Hammett, 78, of Orchard Street, said they did not have dinners at their school, but lunch would probably have been bread and dripping with a screw of sugar wrapped up in paper.

Brian Selby was a war baby and only used to attend Eveswell School for half a day. He thought they would probably have had bread and jam for lunch.

Mr Selby, a volunteer with Community House, said the Lunch Club had made a number of visits to the school which started when he was a governor.

In the summer term, the children will make a visit to Community House. He said there were several benefits. "The obvious is relationships, and another one is that the older people get to know what the schools are doing."

It meant both sides were introduced to a new situation and learnt about each other. "One of the things that works really is the link across the generations. The youngsters get on really well with the older people, and vice versa," said Mr Selby. "It's been a super day, really great."

*PICTURED: Daniel Kirby, a pupil at Maindee Primary School, Newport, meets Philip Ingram who was at the school with fellow members of the Community House Lunch Club to compare school meals with those of yesteryear.