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News > Old Girls > A Class of 1955 Mini Reunion

A Class of 1955 Mini Reunion

Friendships forged at Habs in '48 are still going strong nearly 75 years later.
(L to R): Margaret Chirnside, Audrey Hall (standing), Rosemary Campling, Sally Steel
(L to R): Margaret Chirnside, Audrey Hall (standing), Rosemary Campling, Sally Steel

The death of Her Majesty the Queen meant the school reluctantly took the decision to cancel the annual reunion planned for 8 September. We knew alumnae would be as disappointed as we were, particularly those who had made plans to travel great distances to Elstree.

We were concerned, for instance, about OH Rosemary McLachlan (Campling, OH 1955), who was flying in from Canada especially for the reunion. We were therefore delighted when Rosemary contacted us to say she and her friends had managed to organise their own mini reunion.

"Four of us 'oldies' will meet for lunch instead of the reunion," she told us. "It will be rather special to be in England for the Queen’s funeral and to be able to watch it on TV with the same old friends with whom I watched the coronation all those years ago."

Audrey Boliver (Hall) organised the reunion lunch and shares a story of friendship still going strong, nearly 70 years since leaving school:

Although, sadly, the Old Girls reunion could not take place, our special lunch planned for the following day went ahead. There were two others of our group, but sadly, they (Barbara Atkins and Judith Gauss) have died.

Our school ‘gang’, meeting in 1948, has maintained its friendship since leaving school in 1955, despite attendance at different colleges; periods of work in places as far afield as Finland, West Africa, parts of Europe, United States and Canada; the birth and upbringing of eighteen children (and now twenty three grandchildren). We agreed at first to keep in touch by means of a chain letter which despite various hiccups continued until in 1987 a long weekend together was arranged.

We met in Wolverhampton as it seemed the most accessible from Geneva, Ontario, Aberdeen and suburbs of London. The weekend was such a success that a five year rota was set up-1992 Kingston, Ontario, 1997 Bonn, 2002 Aberdeen, 2007 Watford and 2012 a borrowed house in the Isle of Wight. Our long suffering husbands entered into the spirit of the gatherings and our friendships were renewed and strengthened.

During the pandemic we appreciated regular phone calls, and the September occasion was a wonderful opportunity to be together again. We all recalled the Queen’s accession. Miss Harold called the whole school into the hall at Acton to break the news of the King’s death. We remembered the Coronation. Margaret had a place on the procession route, and we other three watched on TV. Rosemary and I and our families were all in front of a set newly rented especially for the occasion.

Those days seem far away, but full of great memories at the start of a long and great school friendship.

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