It was party time at Wiltshire College’s Melksham campus on Friday as staff and students, past and present, celebrated its 15th anniversary with a party.

Among those on hand to eat cake and drink champagne were students, past and present, teachers, and those who had come into the campus on the Challeymead Business Park to make the most of free IT lessons being offered to mark the anniversary.

Centre manager, Debbie Ruddle, who has been at the college since it opened, said she was thrilled to celebrate and look back over the past 15 years with some of the students that had passed through.

"I haven't seen a great deal of change over the last 15 years, but one thing that does change is the type of courses that people go for,” she said.

“There seem to be trends and different things are popular at different times.

"When I came here it was childcare that was really popular and now it is Sage accounting. Believe it or not the Latin courses have also proven very popular.

"The years have gone by so fast and we never have any problems here. We have had some lovely students come through and I have got to know them really well."

Also among those at the event was Jane Chalker, 54, who started studying at the college after being made redundant last August from the boatyard in Hilperton, near Trowbridge.

Mrs Chalker, from Hilperton, who had also worked as a bookkeeper in the past, joined the college to study Sage accounting, computer literacy and word processing and after applying for 86 jobs found her perfect position at Foxhangers Canal Holidays in Devizes.

She said: "I wouldn't have been able to get this job without the college. It gets you going and makes you realise what you can do. They are so nice and you learn at your own pace.

“This new job is ideal for me and I start on Monday (March 29). I am very pleased to see the college celebrate its 15th year."

Wiltshire College principal Di Dale added: "it's a great achievement and I can't imagine how many students have passed through here over the years."