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Herts and Essex High School: Ten old girls from the Class of ‘63 reminisce at reunion lunch 60 years on

An old school tie bearing the signatures of classmates about to leave Herts and Essex High School in 1963 was one remnant of the past that made an appearance at a reunion held 60 years on, writes Ella Mann.

Old school photos and a celebratory cake brought by ‘Horlicks’ – as Janet Parkin, nee Horlington, was fondly called by her fellow ‘old girls’ in the ‘Class of ‘63’ – were shared around the table of ten over lunch.

Former head girl Mattie Garner, nee Leiper, was among the attendees – all now in their mid to late 70s – who travelled from Bishop’s Stortford, Stansted, Elsenham, Takeley, Dunmow, Old Harlow, Saffron Walden, Ruislip, Norwich and North Norfolk.

The Class of '63 from Herts and Essex High School around the lunch table at the Nag's Head
The Class of '63 from Herts and Essex High School around the lunch table at the Nag's Head

Absent former classmates sent greetings from Vancouver in Canada, Zurich in Switzerland and the Isle of Skye.

The reunion, organised by Jenny Jordan, nee Buchan, was held on Wednesday November 22 at the Nag’s Head in Dunmow Road – an apt venue as it is situated between the Warwick Road secondary and its former boarding facility, Pearce House, off Parsonage Lane.

Many were proud to share their new status of grandmother, although none could yet claim great-grandmother. Perhaps this will change for the 2024 reunion, which the Class of ‘63 hope will be attended by more.

Ella Mann, who is in the third year of a history de is on a week’s work experience with the Bishop’s Stortford Independent

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