‘Now We Are 64′ 1959-65 Primary School Reunion.

15/05/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Now We Are 64’ – A Primary School Meet Up after 53 Years by Ms Paige Turner
Scary, eh?
I remember hitting the ground running on my ‘horse’ Snowy to get to school in the early 1960s. My besties: Pat Brewin (nee Eastwood) would be whipping along on her Apatche and Pat Rich (nee Harding) on her Espagna. (They might forgive me if I got the spellings of their ‘horses’ wrong. I never saw the names of these imaginary animals ever written down.) But last Saturday I was travelling from Buckinghamshire to East Croydon and I thank the gods that the 12.36 pm was late forcing me to catch the earlier train into Marylebone. For I discovered at Oxford Circus that the Victoria line was down so I caught another Tube and decided to get off at Charing Cross where I was told to get a train to London Bridge where I was told by a member of the railway staff with an Iphone and mile long fingernails to get an over ground to Cannon Street and from there to get an over ground to Blackfriars – where after multiple flights of escalators I screamed at the ticket collector ‘Does this train go to East Croydon?’. ‘Go forit,’ he shouted. The over ground from Blackfriars CRAWLED. When I got to East Croydon it was raining. I arrived at my primary school to greet my alumni I had not seen for fifty three years like a wet dormouse. Getting to school used to be a whole lot easier.
Adrian Spalding and Pat nee Eastwood did all of the alumni tracing and they brought to the table some of our letters sent to them when they were both in hospital. (Not at the same time.) Diane Allan who always came top wrote: ‘Robert O’Sullivan has just come back again from living in Australia. He must be twice the length of Pat Waine!’ (Diane always used – and still does – exclamation marks brilliantly!!) Robert indeed left our class for Oz, returned and then left again! And for a third time he returned last Saturday to our classroom via Face Time, expertly organized by Michael Luck who had spent most of the week in conference with the school’s IT department.
There were lots of Michaels and lots of Pats in our class. Michael Histed was regaled for having been swamped with requests from female members of the class to country dance with him. The one time I managed to get him as a partner he wore long white socks and flailed around the school hall. He is still as mischievous, buying me a large red wine at the end of our day. I said I couldn’t possibly drink it or I would be flat on the floor of the Uber going home.
Ian Shillingford looked so young I mistook him for the lovely caretaker Keith who kept all the classrooms open for us and patiently took sixty four photos on ten Iphones. Thankfully, Palace was not playing on Saturday so we got Ian in full splendour shorts. It’s the way I remember him.
Jean Fullen (that marvellous Mad March Hare in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 1962 despite the navy knickers she was made to wear for the part) and Pat Waine brought fresh olives and party humour to the table. Pat is still as petite and she looks twenty three. Did she send her daughter instead? And I was so happy to see Brenda Newman. Our grocery shops were on different sides of the Lower Addiscombe Road but we spent thirteen years at the same two schools and had the longest conversation we’d ever had on Saturday. It was a wonderful day. I was probably too garrulous at the end. For I downed that large red Michael Histed bought me. Well … couldn’t see it go to waste.
Many thanks to the Ark Oval Primary School and Eileen Lawlor.
So who’s going to volunteer to organise ‘Now we are 65’? I’m passing over the baton and being released from my Round Robin Monitor Duties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>