Northgate memories abound

WE were naughty but nice!This was one of the many memories from the Northgate old girls of their times together during the war years.The Swan at Westerfield was packed yesterday for their reunion and they even managed to get two of their teachers to come along.

WE were naughty but nice!

This was one of the many memories from the Northgate old girls of their times together during the war years.

The Swan at Westerfield was packed yesterday for their reunion and they even managed to get two of their teachers to come along.

Violet Short taught at the school for 37 years, from 1937 to 1973 and said she has nothing but wonderful memories of her times at Northgate.


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Aged 88 she is still full of life and clearly enjoys meeting and remembering with the people she shared much of her time with.

"It was a wonderful school with such happy girls there. Even now they come back to see us from all over the world including America.

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"The war years were some of my best because although it was terrifying at times the pupils were always wonderful. We used to sit for hours in the shelters with nothing happening."

Brenda Cornish became a pupil at the school just as war was declared in 1939.

"I remember Miss Short used to have a black cat which used to sleep in a basket and we used to feed it chocolate. The teachers used to give up their spare times and take the girls out and about during the holidays – they were fantastic," she said.

Mary Green was a pupil at the school from 1942 and always makes a point of coming along to the reunions to relive some of her favourite times.

"We were naughty but nice. There was never any nastiness just high spirits," she laughed.

" I can remember during the war when we had trenches all around the outside of the school," she added.

Her friend Pat Ault remembered some of the antics they used to get up to.

"We used to have the job of cleaning the fish tank out and one day Miss Short did not balance it correctly and before we knew it is had smashed all over the floor and even went through the ceiling!"

"Even through the war they were good days. I used to be the lab girl for chemistry and Pat Todd was the lab girl for biology. We used to earn the equivalent of £1.68 per month for doing it," added 71-year-old Miss Ault who went on to become a teacher herself at different schools throughout Suffolk.

Elizabeth Atkinson was also a teacher at the school, although compared to some of the women there she was a late starter and did not start at the school until 1957.

"It was full of lovely times and I really enjoyed the school and the pupils who studied there," she said.

It is testament to the women and their friendship that today they still meet up and the turn out is always good. Even if they had not seen each other for a long time they chatted like old friends about a time which has no doubt bonded them together forever.

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