Upper V class of 1965 reunion, Autumn 2016 (and 2009)
Upper V Class of 1965 reunion held a reunion on 19th October 2016 in York
Ellie/Rosie/Pam/Elizabeth/Helen/Madge/Cyn/Gill/Sue/Judy/Sue/Vicky/Joan, seated Chrissie/Sheila
Joan Bottomley neé Barron
During the last five years I have been enjoying my retirement. I have been on the Committee at the local tennis club so playing a lot of tennis as well as playing in the teams. My husband was made redundant a year last Christmas and since then he has had two operations but is now much better and getting back to playing his sports. We both play golf though I find it very frustrating and cannot play very well.
My son is living in London and is an actor. He was in Jungle Book this summer in various parks in London. He is putting on a new show called House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe this autumn, it is a gothic horror and he has written the music and lyrics. This is at the Hope Theatre in London. We are hoping it will do well.
We have been to France this year for a holiday and went on a boat on the Dordogne stopping off and cycling around the wine growing areas, a fun holiday if you like biking and boating. We also went to stay at Chris Jubb's lovely house in the Dordogne we had a great time, very relaxing, we stayed in her pigeonniere
Pauline Bowerbank neé Huddlestone
When I retired from full time lecturing I moved from Somerset, together with my two dogs and four cats, and found a lovely new home in a friendly village near Oxford. Since then, I've published a sociological history of farming in North Yorkshire in the 19th and 20th century, centred on my father’s family and I’ve just started my second book (hardwork but very satisfying).
I’ve also bought an acre of farmland and have been gradually creating a wildlife habitat. I've excavated a large natural pond and planted a traditional orchard, plus several small copses of silver birch, hazel, hawthorn, spindleberry and scots pine. It's a great place for wildlife (and my steadily increasing flock of hens), and it's a wonderful place to live.
Biggest event was last year retiring after 40 odd years in NHS in the south. We bought our house here in York to be near family. Retirement is fun. Lots of time to see friends and help with family. Also holidays which we have been lucky to enjoy on Danube cruise, Spain, mid Wales, Sussex and Nottingham. Also exploring dales and moors on our doorstep. We miss our pals down south though but we have regular visits from them all. As you know we lost our daughter in 2007 and her husband and our disabled granddaughter live nearby. Emily is 9 this year but has become very autistic which is hard but her special school are amazing with her. She loves her riding for disabled group too. Ben, Kate's son is now 13 and spends Wednesday with us for tea and homework. Clive and I learn a lot!!! Sad this is last Javelin but I suppose time moves on....
Gill Gill neé Almack
I am still living in the York area with my husband of almost 43 years! We have 5 grandchildren who all live locally so we are very lucky to have them on the doorstep & are involved with childcare when we are in the country! Our 6th addition to the family is due in late January.
We continue to enjoy our villa in Mallorca, going backwards & forwards monthly, our daughter & son in law & youngest grandchild will be joining us next month.
My husband is a very active member of 2 bowls clubs both in summer & winter which he thoroughly enjoys as well as regular trips to the gym.
I continue to learn Spanish which is good for my grey matter! I find as the years go by it is getting much harder, I am definitely not the best pupil!
Running is still important to me for fitness & "clearing" my head, I am very lucky to live in a quiet location where I can enjoy this as well as visits to the gym to swim & attend classes.
I am in contact with Sheila Patchett through our nursing as we meet regularly with our other nurse colleagues, also from time to time Helen Hinvest nee Ashworth & Joan Bottomley nee Barron, Barbara Knowles nee Alton lives not far away, she is my cousin so we see each other regularly too.
Sue Merchant neé Jeffries
Update on last 5 years. Not sure I can think that far back but highlights for me were:]►Grandson arrived in 2014 and is an entertaining little chap with a good line in ear-piercing screeches
►Still do a bit of Operational Research consultancy from time to time, mostly pro bono for small charities under a scheme run by the OR Society, but belong to a group of independent consultants called Jigsaw and occasionally join in larger projects with them – did an interesting one for the Met Office a couple of years ago.
►Supervise students at LSE in their summer MSc projects – have three Chinese this year, two working for Jack Wills (clothing company) and one for the OR Society.
►Spent 2013-2015 as VP of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies which was fascinating. Our chair was Brazilian and the committee had members from Chile, USA, China, Poland, Canada and Switzerland – luckily business was conducted in English! Had to attend conferences in South Africa, Barcelona and Lleida, Rome and Glasgow which were all interesting. I was chair of the developing countries committee and retained that at the end of my 3 year stint to give my replacement from Brazil the chance to settle in before taking over the committee. Our main tasks this year have been to run a developing countries’ conference in Mexico City and to try to help the Nigerians form an OR region across the African continent.
►Moved house to Princes Risborough (Bucks) to be closer to our son and family in Witney.
►Stood in this year as emergency choir trainer for a local Parkinson’s sufferers group in Amersham – terrifying, but they were all very nice to me.
►Joined High Wycombe choral society in January and have learned some fascinating works I hadn’t come across before like Weber’s Mass in E minor.
Life seems to be as busy as ever. I was Chairman of the Bradford & Keighley Bench and now with 28 years' service, I have seen a multitude of changes in court work with more to come over the next couple of years before I retire.
I am still involved with local charities and try to fit in holidays around my "work". I see Gill Gill (nee Almack) regularly and other HH school friends. Following our successful reunion in 2016 when fifteen of us celebrated 50 years since 'O' levels, we made plans to have another one during our 70th birthday year
My husband Dev and I live in a small easy to manage house overlooking the river across to St Peter's School opposite. We have a lovely open aspect, which should never be built on because of the flood risk. The house is smaller than we would ideally have chosen, but because of the views and lovely riverside walk into the city we decided we could cope. It certainly helped us get rid of lots of accumulated clutter.
We also have a lovely holiday home in Turkey with most amazing views. Normally we spend about 12 weeks there each year - 6 weeks in late spring/early summer and another six at the end of summer when it is not too hot. We didn't make it last year due to my worsening health, (Unfortunately I have ME/CFS).
I worked as a biomedical scientist in haematology starting the September after leaving school, and getting my qualifications by day release and night classes.
In 1982 I was getting rather fed up with repetitive work and the deterioration of the NHS and decided to retrain as a PA, which involved secretarial skills as well as business studies. In the ensuing years I had a number of interesting secretarial and administrative jobs. I particularly enjoyed one post which involved organising the purchase of company cars and commercial vehicles, as I got to attend lavish car launch events from some of the major car dealers. However I didn't get a company car myself! After losing my job due to the ME/CFS I returned to haematology part time, but had to retire when I was asked to go to full time on 24 hour shifts. My ME/CFS: that came on very quickly about 27 years ago when I had surgery, quickly followed by very bad flu, which didn't go away. I went from good health and not having had time off sick for probably ten years to being totally unfit to work and losing my job. For the first few years I had periods of better health and managed to get work, but eventually I was forced to retire at 50. Dev and I still managed to spend a lot of time travelling and especially enjoyed cruising.
Elizabeth White neé Brown
It is nearly 40 years now since I and my family (husband and two sons) moved here to the Cotswolds. I adore the rolling countryside, the walls of mellow stone and the narrow lanes overhung with beech trees which form tunnels of dappled shade in summer. As I look out of the window now, I can see the autumn colours changing in the woods across the valley and we constantly remind ourselves how lucky we are.
My husband retired 7 years ago and as we believe in making the most of everyday, we seem to be here, there and everywhere a good deal of the time.
Our elder son, who took himself off around the world 13 years ago, supposedly for a year, still hasn't returned! He is in northern Thailand. As he has a Thai partner, a 4 year old son, a house and can speak fluent Thai, I think we can assume he won't be returning unless there is unrest following the recent death of the king.
After the death of Jenny, partner of our younger son, at Edgeware Road 7/7/05, he has now found a delightful partner with whom he lives and works. Some of you may have seen a drama on BBC1 last year entitled A Song for Jenny. Based on the book by Jenny's mother, Julie Nicholson, it tells of the events following the bombings. The BBC and the producers were very good at keeping everyone informed and making us feel included. Once the drama was complete we were given a private view a couple of months before it went out so we were prepared for what was to come.
I am still creating mixed media textiles but have added another dimension to what I do in the form of millinery. I started lessons 3 years ago and fear I have still quite a lot to learn. Add to all that a large garden and life's daily humdrum and I never feel there is a moment to be bored.
Other News from 2016 Emails
Judy Dickinson in 2015 said, we came back to the UK to live almost three years ago, starting a new life here has been a challenge but we are now settled in Lewes and love being closer to the family
Ellie Doe has moved to Bideford to an apartment overlooking the river and teaches Tai Chi.
Carole Economou is in Cyprus and now living in a house in Paphos designed by her architect husband.
Leani Farquhar lives in Pender Harbour in Canada. She and her family live a very outdoorsy life here and just today I went kayaking with a buddy and we both capsized in the sea which was a first for me. Fortunately the water was not too cold and the nearby rocks were not too sharp! Also races in a Dragonboat on the Powell River.
Kate Skillington“2016 promises to be a very busy year for me as I am getting married in the spring and my daughter is expecting a baby. I'll be a granny, so exciting!”
Lindsey Swift “Two grandchildren due in the first half of the year – and have committed to taking extended leave from work to help out. Trouble is one is in Northern Ireland and the other in Canada, so not handy for a quick return to UK! I send very best wishes to all though, and will raise a toast to you”
Pauline Thongplang I have recently returned from 3 months in Thailand and have been pondering whether I might be able to organise a return trip to the UK in October to join you all for the reunion. There is a very faint possibility but I cannot commit at this stage. I am still working and getting time off is not as easy as it sounds. Two extended trips in one year might signal the demise of my contract and I am not quite ready for that yet! However, I am working on it. If anyone is planning a trip to NZ, they are always welcome to contact me. It would be great to catch up with old friends and I may be able to help with some accommodation if required.
The following news is from old girls who attended the 2009 reunion, some of whom also attended the 2016 one.