Classmates roll back the years
More than 100 join Bishopshalt reunion
IT’S more than three decades since they walked out of the gates and went their separate ways, but on Saturday May 7, former pupils of Bishopshalt school in Hillingdon returned for a reunion.
Many were nervous at the prospect of encountering friends not seen since 1980.
“I came with a certain trepidation,” said onetime school tennis star Gill Easton, before admitting she needn’t have worried: “I loved every minute.”
The seed had been planted one night last April, in the Red Lion pub near the school, when talk among a handful of former pupils turned to their classmates. Where were they now and what were they up to? There was only one way to find out…
They contacted the school’s Old Uxonians Association, and were astounded to receive a response from one of their own teachers, Ken Pearce, now the school’s archivist (and himself a former pupil). With his help, and that of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and assorted family tree websites, they set about tracking down their peers, gradually ticking off all but 18 of the 159 names conjured from nothing more than faded class lists and memories.
A year on, 67 of the class of 1973-80 were back at Bishopshalt, squinting at each other’s name tags and barely concealing their astonishment that teachers who had seemed ancient then were not only still alive but here.
At school, then later at the Red Lion, they laughed and chatted, and marvelled at old memories.
Many had come a long way – from Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire, Somerset, even Australia and New Zealand – but all agreed it had been worth the effort.
“It was a bit surreal,” deputy head boy Michael Chambers said later, speaking for everyone when he added, “and I am so glad I came.”
Current Bishopshalt A-level photography students Amy Louise Measday and Danielle Howard were on hand to record the 1973-80 reunion for posterity.
The classmates are still keen to track dwon the remaining friends, if you are, or know, a missing classmate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.