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Gipsy Hill teachers reunite at Kingston Hill after 40 years

Posted Thursday 14 August 2014

Teachers reuniteVivien Lang, CertEd Education 1974, describes the day when alumni from Gipsy Hill Teaching Training College (now Kingston Hill campus) met up again after 40 years...

"It was a glorious day in every aspect, on Saturday 19 July when 17 of us plus some spouses and partners met again at the Kingston Hill campus, formerly Gipsy Hill Teacher Training College.

First off was coffee in the new Kingston Business School atrium where some of us greeted each other for the first time in 40 years. The camaraderie was as strong as ever, old friends caught up with recent news, shared photographs from the past and present and discussed who was still in teaching, who had retired and information about those alumni who were unable to attend.

We were then guided by Dr Helen Trott around the campus and we all recognised familiar buildings and areas, including the Student Union Bar. There were huge changes to what was the 'lower drive'.

The highlight was seeing Walkden Hall as many of us were residents there. It was a treat to gain access to the roof where we took an identical photo to one we'd taken 40 years previous. We recreated a black and white Rag Week photo as well as a larger group photo. We were jealous when we saw the spacious kitchen, superbly fitted and heard about the rooms being made ensuite. 

What a change from our experience, when we had individual tiny padlocked wooden lockers, one cooker, one small under surface fridge and one breadbin – where bread disappeared onto all corridors!

After a delicious lunch (many thanks to the Elior, the catering staff) and more catching up with each other, Mike Gibson our History lecturer and former head of The School of Education showed us his own excellent collection of archive material and photos.

Finally we all went to the Nightingale Centre where we were able to view a display of very interesting archives, thanks to Katie Giles, Kingston's archivist. Katie shared some recently restored College photographs along with other memorabilia – see some of the materials in the archive

Farewells were said, some groups remained for drinks and we all vowed that we'd meet again in five years after such a successful reunion.

Sincere thanks to Dr Helen Trott, head of Alumni Relations, Louise Shepherd and David Brown for all the organisation as well as Katie Giles, Kingston University Archivist and Sue Beckett for supplying the Rag Week photo."

List of attendees:
Christine Andrews, Sue Beckett (Risness), Shirley Chessa (Murphy), Edith Evans (Calder), Sue Jones (Huber), Viv Lang (Bentley), Anne Long (Phillips),  Angela Pickles (Pierce), Jo Press (Labinski), Viv Ralph (Lester), Monica Shaw (O'Neill), Graham & Lynda Shaw(Barnes), Steve Shepherd, Jan Stobart (Hardy), Jane Weston (Stafford),  Ann Whitlock (Baker).

Apologies from:
Christine Bartzocas (Shawyer), Heather Boothroyd (Crann), Margaret Bunting (Twist),Arthur Butterfield, Joy Edkins, Rosemary Fisher, Christine Hodgson (Wilkinson),Tom Hough, Dawn Kearney (Fox), Andy & Ruth Mutter (Hogg), Steph Neale, Trisha Stalker (Thornton), Clare Tolman, Cynthia White (Westwood).

Gipsy Hill reunion

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