Reunions spark fond memories

AS the summer school term draws to a close it seems many of us are thinking back to the time when all we had to worry about was filling those long summer holidays.

AS the summer school term draws to a close it seems many of us are thinking back to the time when all we had to worry about was filling those long summer holidays.

This weekend two groups of old school friends got together to talk about their times together. VICTORIA KNOWLES went along to their reunions.

PULLING teacher's wigs off and huge green gym knickers were just some of the memories shared when Northgate High pupils met up for a reunion in Chicagos.

They were celebrating their collective 40th birthday and everyone was in high spirits. They left in 1980 but the memories seemed as fresh as if it had been only yesterday.

Tracy Guy, (nee Macro) remembered the great divide between the boys and schools.

"We were not allowed within ten feet of the line which separated the boys and girls. I can remember the boys crossing the line but we got in a lot of trouble if we tried," she laughed.

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"I will also never forget the huge green gym knickers we used to have to wear for sport – they were awful," she added.

The divide between boys and girls a the school was taken very seriously back then and the ex-pupils talked of being locked in the gym when the boys streaked in the playing field.

"We got put in the gym but the funny thing was that it had glass walls so I do not really know what they were doing," laughed Lynne Lucas (nee Dunnett).

"It was always very cold in the school buildings. I can never remember taking my coat off. They were such old building and there was always a chill about, " she added.

Plenty of teachers also featured in this night of reminiscing.

"Miss Green was our geography teacher. She always used to wear turquoise trouser suits and she was the one everyone was afraid of. You just did not cross Miss Green," said Alison Ayre, (nee Barns).

Fits of laughter broke out as Anita Bond, (nee Moloney), and Mrs Lucas told the story of the late Miss Lawford, the wig-wearing English and Latin teacher.

"She used to wear this awful wig and so we used to try and pull it off with the hook on the window," she giggled.

"Then there was Miss Prothero . She was very short and we always hid the blackboard rubber up some where high so she could never reach it.

"I can also remember having my coat confiscated by the head teacher because it was not the right colour," she added.

OLD photographs, name badges and plenty of memories were the order of the day when Farlingaye High School pupils met for the first time in 17 years.

The class of 1985 met in the Golf Hotel on Saturday evening and it was a night of gossip and giggles as stories flowed as easily as the wine.

"I wanted to do this because basically I was curious," said Claire Addison, then Claire English.

"Someone gave me the registration list from our class and I thought it would be good fun to find out just what everyone was up to after all these years."

"I have brought a comments book with me so people can write messages in and hopefully we can hold more reunions in the future and keep the book going to build up the memories," she said.

Annabel Wheeler was best friends with Mrs Addison at school but they lost touch when they left.

"I was Annabel Wyllie back then and Claire and I were best friends. I would just like to apologise to Mr Ellul from all of us as we were horrible to him," she laughed.

"It is nice to see what everyone looks like and whether I can still recognise them. Claire and I lost touch as many people do when they leave school so it is lovely to be able to meet again and see how we have all changed.

"Mr Bolton was our headmaster back them and he was very strict and quite forceful. Most people were quite scared of him," she added.

The evening was certainly not short on conversation. It was not hard to imagine these women 17 years ago in the classroom chatting just like they were on Saturday night. Any nerves soon melted as the stories were told and they slipped back those 17 years to their school days.

Sharon Turner, (nee Owens) reminisced about the sneaky cigarette breaks they used to take when no one was around.

"We used to get behind the shed in the playing field and have a quick cigarette, she laughed.

"Oh and I can remember when we used to do community service as part of the school year. We used to help out at a nursery. I really enjoyed that," she added.

Sarah Cattermole said it seemed like just yesterday they were back in their classrooms.

"I cannot believe it is 17 years since we left. It is strange because my daughter is now about to start high school. The years have just flown by," she said.

n If you are planning a school reunion why not let us know about it. Contact The Evening Star newsdesk on Ipswich 01473 282257 or 282292. Or e-mail us at

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