'The person you had to feel sorriest for at our 40th reunion was the woman with the task of taking our group photo. Herding 30 wilful, giggling, disobedient schoolgirls is a tough task – made more so when you realise that this group was actually 58 years old.
Next our sympathy must go to the girls at the school who were foolhardy enough to offer to show us round – and to return us in time for lunch. Fortunately some of us at least had glimpsed the delicious food that awaited us (and the wine), and so knew it was worth getting back for. Otherwise the poor girls would never have kept any control, as our groups split and reformed, noticing the new library where the smelly hockey boots were once stored, admiring the performing arts centre, seeing how much more welcoming the indoor swimming pool looked than the chilly outdoor one we enjoyed or endured.
The school was exciting, with so many activities and posters posing questions and providing information. For most the days of formal education are well behind us, although I hope that we are still learning. This looked like a marvellous environment in which to study and I am sure that several of us felt it would be nice to stay on and take a few classes, throw a few pots or investigate the stage lighting.
But we had other things to do. There was lunch to eat and the grounds, now beautifully manicured, to explore. And most of all there was the talking. Was the ‘dungeon’ that seemed to mark the start of a secret passage still there? (It was). What had happened to the spooky skeleton in the science labs? (Stolen apparently).
We noted the marvellous cultural diversity of today’s pupils. We talked about ourselves – about careers and redundancy and retirement, about new opportunities and publishing and volunteering, about children and grandchildren and husbands and partners and parents, about divorce and bereavement, about choirs and paragliding and books and films.
It was a great day, with wonderful hospitality from the school and a chance both to catch up with old friends and talk to people who one scarcely knew. We have shared photos beyond those who attended, and even tracked down a former schoolmate in America who we thought had disappeared and who was delighted to reconnect on Facebook.
Thank you North London for your hospitality, and for an enjoyable and eye-opening day.
Ruth Slavid ONL (1974)
Click here for photographs from the day.
The school was delighted to welcome back the class of 1964 to their 50th reunion.
A very happy day was enjoyed by all in beautiful sunshine filled grounds of Canons at the 50 Year Anniversary Reunion of the Class of 1963.