To the class of 1980

FROM L to R : Helen Stainton (née Storey), Paul Stubbs, Nicole King, Paul Stagnell-Howe and Andy Mitchell.

LAST Saturday I went back to my hometown in England and it was eerie to see that the biggest change in 40 years was that Safeway is now a Waitrose. 

Of course other shops have also changed hands and had facelifts, but very little else. It was a real blast from the past. 

The reason for my return though was a bittersweet one: to pay tribute to our dear classmate Eric who passed away suddenly last year.  Thanks to some of his closer friends we once again assembled in the freezing cold school chapel faced with Father Martin for a special memorial ceremony.

The service was truly lovely as was hanging out afterwards in the Club House; just like old times; almost. 

We met up again the next day in what used to be ‘The King’s Manor,’ our preferred haunt; we weren’t yet ready to say our final goodbyes to Eric or the nostalgia.

Again, taking time out from our grown up lives we relaxed back into being those kids for just a while longer, sharing stories about Eric, the antics they got up to as boarders and other tales of nuns, priests, friends and ‘foe.’

It was as if it were yesterday and yet I am now a grandmother and have, like my classmates, done much since we graduated. Some say one should never go back, but sometimes a reminder of from whence we came and with whom we shared those formative years is just what the doctor ordered.

It was comforting in a strange way to be there to share our reminiscences, but also hauntingly sad and a poignant reminder that life goes on, with us or without us.

Many of us may never meet again, for many reasons, but I now know that each one of us has left our mark on the College (whether they recognise it or not) and that those years have undoubtedly left their mark on us, all of us, uniting us in a unique way – forever and always:  we are the class of 1980!

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Nicole King



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