School reunion anyone? Calling all my former classmates. 2022 is our year / Sue Plunkett column

School reunion.

Reporter Sue Plunkett with her former classmates and fellow school reunion organisers Ian Moore (left) and Matthew Sykes
Reporter Sue Plunkett with her former classmates and fellow school reunion organisers Ian Moore (left) and Matthew Sykes

Two words that can put the very fear of God into the hearts of even the strongest people. For they aren't always remembered as the 'happiest days of your life' for everyone.

I loved school, for the most part, and still have vivid memories of my time at the former St Hilda's RC High School for Girls and St Theodore's sixth form, both now long gone.

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At the risk of sounding ancient, the teachers back in the day were so strict and pretty scary, especially some of the nuns who taught us. They could reduce a pupil to tears with one look!

They were indeed what you could call 'character building' days where my ambition to become a journalist was nurtured, despite one teacher telling me I would never make it when I complained I couldn't concentrate in class one day as it was so noisy.

"How on earth do you expect to work in an office full of clattering typewriters then? " she bellowed at me.

I saw that teacher many years later and enjoyed telling her I had become a reporter. She smiled at me and said: "I always knew she would.'

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She knew exactly what she was doing when she berated me for being such a wimp and I will always be grateful to her.

The chance to help organise a reunion from my old sixth form in 2019 was a chance too good to miss and what a fantastic night it turned out to be.

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Thanks to the power of social media we were able to contact dozens of ex pupils, many of whom travelled from across various parts of the UK, to attend.

And the venue was the club where we regularly held sixth form discos so it made the night that little bit more special as we have so many memories there.

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Forget the image of school reunions were people boast about how much money they earn and how big their house is, this was a night filled with genuine joy, and some emotion too, as former classmates met for the first time in about four decades.

We danced the night away to 80s hits, we recalled funny and sad stories from our schooldays and saluted those no longer with us.

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We shared old photographs from our schooldays, pictures of our children (and in some cases grandchildren) and many who came brought their partners and siblings. There were laughs and tears aplenty on that night.

'We will do it again soon' was our parting shot to each other. That was in October, 2019. Little did we know that Covid-19 was around the corner to put paid to our plans for 2020 and also 2021.

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But we are all set to do it all again in 2022 and I for one can't wait.