Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain

CATCHING UP

Aldershot County High Athletics Team, June 1965

In December 2001 I read an article in an English magazine about a web site called Friends Reunited. The article featured several pairs of old school friends that had regained contact through the site. A few days later I registered with the site but was disappointed to receive the response that my old school was not listed. A few days later still, I received an email from the site thanking me for registering and inviting me to confirm my details. On doing so I found that, not only was my school listed but, 41 girls (it was an all girl school) from my year had registered. I had tentatively hoped to find one of my closest school friends from a group of three (Cynthia, Spoon and Kate). I was literally in shock when I saw Spoon was registered and, in her details, she said she was still in touch with Cynth and Kate. I managed to ramble off an email to Spoon but it had been so long since I'd seen her it was difficult to know where to start.

Cynth, Frensham Ponds 1967 I first met Cynthia at junior school when my family moved from Richmond to Farnborough, Hampshire. In 1960 we were 9 and became best friends in and out of school and competed together in running events. We were elated when we both passed the 11+ and were able to attend high school together in 1962. There I met Spoon and Kate and the four of us became almost inseparable during our school years and early careers. With travel and work, to my enduring regret, I eventually lost touch. This is a very personal message to the three of them and also to others that have touched my life in the intervening years. My memory is nowadays wanting, so there is lots I shall leave out but this is an attempt to catch up with you all (and remind myself of where I've been and how this strange life passes). All the photos that I have are faded and jaded and originally would have been taken with very cheap cameras, so apologies for poor reproduction. But I've cherished them all these years and taken them to the several different countries I've lived in.
Spoon & Trish
What memories do you all have? As you've all stayed in touch, you've probably been over this a thousand times during the intervening years. My memories are of dancing to the Beatles new album 'Please, Please Me' endlessly in Spoon's flat; taking my rabbit to school on numerous occasions - into assembly, lessons, the canteen and loose on the playing field!; setting fire to a terrapin hut during an 'alternative' religous lesson; fun and detentions in school (my first detention was for swapping berries in the first year huts); fun and adventures out of school; the Big C in North Camp (was it always MY dad that picked us up, and why did he have to come in?); running away from home and usually ending up at Kate's house. In fact Kate didn't we run away together and hitch a lift in a lorry once? When I was 14 I had a motor bike accident, badly cutting my face and loosing bones from a leg. After sneeking out of my bedroom window to go to a party the accident occurred on the way home - I lost a year's schooling but you all visited me regularly in hospital and kept my spirits up - you even hid in the cupboard at night to stay after visiting hours. I don't have many photos of Kate, although she is in the athletic's photo 2nd row up, furthest right (I am top row, middle).

We were always up for partying but at weekends and during holidays do you remember the bike rides we went on? We were lucky to live in an area surrounded by woodland and lakes and we visited them all. We must have been fit!

Devon Coast Country Club, 1968 In 1968 Cynthia, Spoon and I took summer holiday jobs at the Devon Coast Country Club near Paignton. The staff accommodation was just like 'Hi Di Hi' and the time off almost non-existent. Spoon, in the photo on the left, you and I are either side of the guy sitting on the steps. This was in our daytime waitress uniforms outside of the camp shop. You guys also undertook chalet maid duties. I think Margaret, with you in the picture below, was the housekeeper? I stuck to waitressing but was not very good - I remember having to go hospital after spilling scalding hot soup over myself. On our rare time off we went to Newquay - B&B was 1 guinea per night. I had a platonic fling with a guy called Chris. He introduced me to Joe Tex - I still can't listen to him without thinking of Chris. My boyfriend at home was Paul Pozzo. How my parents hated him - he was chased out of the house with a broom stick once.
Margaret, Cynthia & Spoon, Devon Coast Country Club, 1968 Spoon & Jo, time off in Newquay, 1968
Because of my accident I had to remain at school a year longer than you all did. Spoon went into nursing, Cynth into hotel management and Kate flew off to the USA. The pictures below are of a day at Finchampstead in 1970 when we poured through The Lady wondering whether to head off for employment in foreign lands.
Spoon, Finchampstead, 1970 Cynth & Spoon, Finchampstead, 1970
In 1970, whilst Spoon was busily studying to become a nurse, Cynthia and I bought our first cars. The world became our winkle! Jo & 1st car, 1970 Cynth & 1st car, 1971
The south coast was our favourite destination - Bournemouth and Climping in particular. Cynthia, Bournemouth 1970 Jo, Bournemouth 1970
There's more if you can bear it!
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