Alumnae Reunion 1974 – 1981, 5th April 2024

Thanks to Sue Smart and Camilla Jago who both organised the superb TH reunion recently; Sue gives her account below:

‘In July last year I came across an old photo of my Upper Six year in the Quad. I had not stayed in touch with anyone at school and curiosity got the better of me as I embarked on a journey to find all of the 49 ladies in the photo. I wondered if it might be possible to reenact the photo.

As the first few gathered (on a whatsapp group), we decided to expand the search to all 98 of the ladies who had been in our year for any length of time.

Hours and hours were spent on Facebook, Linked In, the internet and the Ancestry website. We learned that, sadly, 3 of our year had passed away. The amateur detective work took us across the world and had us contacting all manner of unknown individuals in search of our fellow classmates. 

I had been a boarder and therefore did not know the day-girls as well, but had always assumed that they all kept in touch post school. I soon learned that I was not alone in not having kept in touch. As I found each person, the theme was the same – they had not been in touch pretty much since they left – over 40 years ago ! Like me, their memories were not all fond but finding out what we had all been up to and how we had all turned out had them join in the process!

A reunion date was set for April 5th. The main event would take place at school itself. Ladies would be welcomed with some bubbly (an opportunity to consume alcohol on school premises!) There would then be a series of tours of the school, grounds and boarding houses. Then a High Tea where we hoped to be joined by 2 of the year’s favourite teachers – Miss Cubberley and Miss Simmonds.

61 ladies gathered on the 5th (45 attended a dinner later in the evening). Some had flown across continents to attend. Name badges (with maiden names ) were given on arrival. For some ladies this wasn’t necessary as they were instantly recognisable!

It’s fair to say that the vast majority of us were very apprehensive. This was a long and influential period of our lives where lessons were learned – both academic and life shaping. Under the watchful eye of Dr. Mac and then Miss Austin-Smith, we were groomed to achieve. Some thrived, others found it too much. A group of almost one hundred young girls came fraught with friendships, feuds, and peer pressure. Everyone was just wanting to be popular.

Fifty years on, a little miracle took place. I watched as the anxiety lifted and short introductions were replaced with hugs and laughter as schoolgirl stories were recounted. The tour of school brought many memories back – some of which many of us had forgotten. 

The arrival of Miss Cubberley and Miss Simmonds brought many a tear to the eye as ladies rushed forward to thank them for the positive influence they had on them, keen to assure them that they had very fond recollections of their classes with them both.

Finally our photos in the Quad – including the recreation of the photo that had triggered all of this. Memories of the School Birthday came flooding back.

The dinner that evening – and the walk on the beach and coffee the next morning only strengthened our new bonds. 

I left Bournemouth, thrilled at how the event had gone, feeling very loved after all the thanks for my sleuthing, persistence and organization. Most of all a little sad that I didn’t keep in touch or do this earlier – I felt as if I had missed out on time with some amazing women.

But maybe this was the perfect time to have done this.’


“ What a fantastic day ! Thank you so much Sue and Camilla, such fun reconnecting with old friends. We must do it again”

“ So wonderful to see you all and hear about everyone’s lives since 16/18. We are a tough bunch “

“I am one of the ones who was not happy at the school which is why I left after “O” levels. It was very therapeutic to go back and to be able to spend some time with some old friends.”

“ It really was a joy and you made it so ! You organized it beautifully and handled all nervous attenders so well – I am sure many, many ghosts were laid to rest. Truly as life enhancing experience”


We love to welcome former pupils back to school, if you are interested in hosting a Reunion, we make it very easy for you! 

We send a mailshot to the year groups you specify & promote on our two Alumnae platforms. 

We provide a wonderful afternoon tea for £15pp, tickets can be purchased online (or you can run your own administration) You simply arrive at noon, reminisce, tour, eat & laugh! We will take photographs for you to download, and where possible capture the event on video. You and your guests depart at 4.30pm with a warm feeling in their hearts and old friendships renewed.

To enquire, please email

Back to all News