School Reunion

I had some happy years at school interspersed with other times which weren’t so grand. It all depended which school I was at – and for a person who never moved house during my school years, I had more schools than might be expected. For various reasons, I went to five different schools between the ages of 5 and 18. I won’t name them all, but I was most unhappy at school number 2 and happiest at schools 3 and 5. And I will name school five. It was called Hazelwick School and is in Crawley in Sussex.

From time to time we have had re-unions for that school. The most recent one was to mark the people of my wife’s age reaching retirement age. My wife and I went to that same school but she was a school year younger than me.

A few members of staff were able to attend. It follows that they are getting on a bit, but sort of depressing to find that in many ways they are now much the same age as us now.

I was only at this school for what we called 6th form and which would now be years 12 and 13. I didn’t do that many subjects so didn’t really know many teachers there. But my old chemistry master was there, full of bounce and bonhomie and with a staggeringly good memory.

But I want to talk about a Domestic Science (as it was called then) teacher who never taught me or my wife. She was at this school for all seven secondary years. We had a lovely encounter with her. She was drawn to us by my wife’s maiden name on her name sticker. She had known a really helpful chap of that name when she first moved to the job and had nowhere proper to live. She was just married and she and her husband struggled to find accommodation. This very kind man helped them find a good home and helped with transport because they did not have a car. And yes, it was my wife’s father who died suddenly and unexpectedly when my wife was still a teenager. It moved us to hear such heart-warming things said about the man who I knew, but who didn’t live long enough to be father in law.

So thanks, Marion. You made what was already a lovely evening very special indeed.

Of course, we could look back at events from those long ago days. This photo was on display.

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That’s us off to a Victorian dance at the school

And here’s me as Bertie Wooster as we go to a 1920s dance, also at the school.

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Happy memories, but I’m just as happy now.

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