Pool meeting prompts panto reunion

A CHANCE meeting in a swimming pool, hundreds of miles from Ipswich has prompted two old school chums to begin a search for their long-lost friends.It is nearly 60 years since Derrick Palmer and Sonya Taylor (nee Frost) last saw each other when they were 11-year-olds appearing in the school pantomime Dick Whittington and are today hoping to be reunited with the rest of the cast.

A CHANCE meeting in a swimming pool, hundreds of miles from Ipswich has prompted two old school chums to begin a search for their long-lost friends.

It is nearly 60 years since Derrick Palmer and Sonya Taylor (nee Frost) last saw each other when they were 11-year-olds appearing in the school pantomime Dick Whittington and are today hoping to be reunited with the rest of the cast.

Mr Palmer, who attended St Matthew's Primary School in Ipswich from 1942 to 1948, said: “I lost touch with most of my classmates when we moved on to secondary school, but when I was on holiday in the Lake District earlier this month I happened to get talking to a group of ladies in the swimming pool.

“It turned out that one of them, Sonia, had gone to St Matthew's too so we got reminiscing.”


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Mrs Taylor, who now lives in Victoria Street, Felixstowe, said: “It was uncanny to go all that way and then meet someone from your old school.

“When I told Derrick I had got a picture of the cast of the pantomime he was so excited as he said he did not have any pictures of himself as a child.”

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The pair kept in touch upon their return home and are now keen to trace as many of the people from the photo as possible.

Mr Palmer, 69, of Acorn Way, Martlesham Heath, said: “Our class stayed together all the way through school so we were quite close by the end of it. It would be lovely to get together and share some of the memories.

“It was a very strict school. It was a Victorian building and they still used Victorian teaching methods. I remember getting the slipper on many occasions!”

Mrs Taylor, who played the title role of Dick Whittington, has remained involved in the theatre all of her life and is well known on the Felixstowe drama scene, while Mr Palmer went on to have a distinguished career with the military police.

If you recognise yourself in the photo call Mr Palmer on 01473 334922.

n. Have you ever had a chance meeting somewhere unusual? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.eveningstar.co.uk/reunions

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