PUPILS at Salesian College, Oxford, were off on their travels again.

A party had visited France and Spain in 1959 to improve their language skills.

This picture was taken two years later when 14 boys and two teachers set off in a converted ambulance for a two-week stay in Greece.

The group travelled through Germany, Austria and Yugoslavia to reach their destination.

The Oxford Mail reported: “The teachers accompanying them, Mr Barker and Father O’Dea, will share the driving of the ambulance, which was bought in April and converted into a small bus by replacing the dark windows and increasing the number of seats.

“The cost of the tour – £39 per head – has been kept low by taking tents and a good supply of provisions.”

The Oxford school was one of a number of Salesian Colleges established by a religious order, the Salesians of John Bosco, an Italian priest, who dedicated his life to improving children’s education.

The first in Britain opened at Battersea, London, in 1895. The Oxford college, in Crescent Road, Cowley, was much younger and had a short life, opening in 1945 and closing in 1970.

The school had a high profile, its annual prizegiving at the Town Hall and annual sports on the Morris Motors ground receiving regular coverage in the Oxford Mail and our sister paper, The Oxford Times.

Stage productions were often praised by the papers’ critics – a performance of Macbeth in 1960, for example, was described as “fast-moving and imaginative”.

In 1965, the school cricket team finished the season unbeaten, thanks to outstanding bowling by pupils Raymond Mallon, of Shrivenham, and Michael Willis, of Begbroke.

Three years later, six pupils – Tony Solomon, John Toporowski, Adam Heller, Mark Loster, Jon Anderson and Tony Cronin – claimed a world record for non-stop table tennis after clocking up 113 hours in aid of charity.

The school’s closure in 1970 came after it was found impossible to fit it into the scheme for reorganising Catholic education within the new comprehensive system.

The buildings became a target for vandals and squatters after years of delay in deciding what to do with them. Finally, in 1991, work started on turning them into flats.

Any memories of life at Salesian College to share with readers?