Denstone 1974 Reunion

18 Dec 18
Three women sitting

On Wednesday 10 October a group of women converged on King’s Cross Station, to meet for lunch, in a great pub chosen by Liz Broughton. Some had come quite a distance, from North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Bristol. Others did not have so far to travel but we all had the same purpose; to reunite as many as we could of the women who had first met in 1974 in Denstone – then a student house in Christchurch Road, Winchester. Over the previous couple of months we had managed to trace nearly everyone, we think! We had a reasonably large group who are members of the King Alfred’s College 1970-78 Facebook group, and most of us had kept in touch with one or two others. That year Denstone had also been home for a group of students from the University of Maine, but we decided it might be a little too far for them to join us for an afternoon!

We managed to gather twelve on that day, with the addition of another joining us by phone from Italy. Most of us had not seen each other for forty years but that did not prevent the conversation and reminiscences from flowing!   

The day and our feelings were beautifully summed up by Elinor. “1974 was the beginning of a most amazing time for me and I was really looking forward to meeting up with people who had shared that time. However, I was also apprehensive in case I didn’t recognise anyone, or worse still, no one would recognise me! I need not have worried, we recognised each other: the years rolled away and very happy memories came flooding back. I was surprised how little everyone had changed. My only regret was that there was still so much to say when people had to leave to catch their trains so I am looking forward to the next reunion.” Elinor was lucky, not everyone was so easily recognised. Jill had comments ranging from “I would recognise you anywhere, you haven’t changed a bit!” to “I really don’t remember you at all!” I suppose that is not too surprising after such a long time. Alice shared Elinor’s apprehension that she may not recognise anyone, but “Smiles, mannerisms and voices brought memories flooding back.” It was particularly important to Alice, and I’m sure to others too, that they were able to spend time with the people who they had shared a room with all those years ago.

I am frequently reminded, by interactions within the Facebook group and at Winton Club Reunion weekends, how much we all still have in common, simply by having spent three or four years at KAC several decades ago. Old friendships were rekindled that day, and now that we are back in touch, I hope that those who were unable to join us this time will be part of the next reunion, whenever and wherever that may be.

I will finish with another quote from Elinor. “It is hard to put the feelings and atmosphere into words, but it was an amazing day at a perfect location with the best people”.

Dee Sayers (Coulson), B.Ed 1974-78

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