WERE school days the happiest times of your life? Judging by the smiles in these pictures, many former Barstable School pupils had a whale of a time.

For more than four decades until it became part of Basildon Academies in 2009, Barstable School saw tens of thousands of Basildon youngsters pass through its classrooms in Timberlog Close.

These pictures from the Echo archives show what pupils were up to in the Eighties and Nineties, including drama performances, creative cookery, fun runs and fashion.

Do you have any pictures or memories from the past you'd like to share with us? Email echonews@nqe.com.