Sunday, February 15, 2015

Two Hundred and Twenty Five Years

We first met in 1945. At least, that's my best guess. No pre-school in those days, just First Form at St. George's Elementary School in Freezywater, Enfield. Come to think of it, I doubt it was called "Elementary" School and "First Form" would have been reserved for Enfield County School (our high school). Yvonne and Diana on the left probably met a little earlier, living as they did in The Greenway, dark-haired Yvonne at no. 7, blonde Diana at no. 4. I lived on the other side of the Hertford Road at 27 Bedford Crescent. I don't remember us being in the same class together, though I suppose we must have been. All I remember of St. George's is sitting with Mrs. Wilson, the Headmistress, and knitting. I am sure we walked to and from school together.

After three or four more years at Chesterfield Road School (our middle school) all three of us passed the 11+. This showed we were in the top 33% of the population, but the streaming was not over. I found myself in the form designated "L" for Latin, a stream destined for university, the other two in "S" for Spanish and "DS" for Domestic Science. Don't ask. The streaming meant little to us and we much of our spare time time together, at  Brownies, playing tennis or taking long walks.

This photo was probably taken at Easter in the mid 50's. By this time we had all decided on a path in life. Or it had been decided for us. I would go into 6B Arts and continue on my path to University, these two would go into 6B Secretarial and become upper class secretaries. Both, I must add, would have been totally worthy University applicants and  they made up for that omission in later life.

Diana and I went on from Guides to Cadets, but when the Cadet summer camp in Cornwall was arranged, there were not enough of us going, so was invited. Here are the three of us on Porthcurnick Beach. Looks a little rocky!

Soon we all went our various ways. We all left England for various periods, we all married. But we kept in touch and the photo at the top of the page is from my visit to England in the 70's. Yvonne was living in Swindon, Diana in Eaton Royal where we got together, together with Diana's parents, for a lovely afternoon. 

Some time after that we lost touch. When people marry, change their names and move around the country, it is hard to find them again. The ace up my sleeve was Yvonne's brother, who for professional reasons was not too hard to find and who put me in touch with his sister, who had never lost touch with the third member of our trio.

They have both had more than their share of tragedies in their lives. By the end of April we will all be 75—that's almost 225 years of combined friendship. How nice, perhaps, if we could go back to St. George's and our days of Sir Brian Botany.

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