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School friendships from Ribston Hall School still going strong into eighth decade

By Maryam_Qaiser  |  Posted: April 24, 2014

Phyllis Fox, Pat Jones, Margaret Smith, Audrey Worgan, Joan Stevenson, Monica Sherratt

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CHILDHOOD friends from Ribston Hall School have vowed to keep in contact - after leaving school 74 years ago.

Former student Shirley Lock started the Roaring Forties group back in 2001 when she contacted 18 of her fellow classmates. Since then the group has met twice a year for lunch.

However due to ill health Shirley had to give up the organisation which has been taken over by Phillis Fox. They met for the latest time last week.

Member Monica Sherratt said: “We are now all octogenarians but still young at heart with memories of our school days firmly engraved in us. We all agree that we had a wonderful education with Miss Whittaker, our head mistress. Mind you we had no purpose-built school building, the school was in an old house in Spa Road in those days and during the war we also used classrooms in the old Crypt school building behind the site of the technical school building in Brunswick Road which has recently been demolished.

“We have special memories of Newent Court which was acquired by Miss Whittaker during the war for the benefit of her pupils. Twice a year each class visited the court travelling by train and boarded there for a week which cost our parents the princely sum of £10.

“There was livestock to look after, the kitchen garden to tend to, housework chores, music in the drawing room, tennis, games and secret midnight feasts, which were strictly forbidden.

“It is sad that two of our members died this year and our numbers at this latest reunion were down to six of the eleven expected. Joan Stevenson travelled all the way from the Isle of Wight to be there, but most of us still live in Gloucestershire. As the years roll on the old memories become more precious and we are so grateful that Ribson brought us together and forged lasting friendships.”

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