Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Reunited... and a blast from the past

Yesterday, I met up with some friends from my schooldays, who I had not seen since I was eighteen.

That was thirty two years ago. Eeek!

We had a great time catching up with each others' lives and reminiscing about our time at Limehurst High School and Burleigh Community College. And we're going to have to do it all again soon, as one of our little group had to cancel at the last minute because of poorly offspring.

The best thing about meeting up after so long was that I was forced to look through my keepsake boxes for photos and momentos from that time; my mum always carefully clipped articles out of the local rag if we were in them, and saved programmes from school events, reports etc etc.

Here's a newspaper cutting of the Limehurst Award winners of 1981...

I'm the one on the front row with her head helpfully circled (!); Muninder is on the second row, directly over my right shoulder; Helen is on the far right of the second row, and Penny is on the third row back, fourth in from the left.

We sat trying to put names to faces on this picture - I can remember a lot of them, but not all...Reman, Sally, Adrienne, Elizabeth, Pauline, Stephanie, Michelle, Lyn, another Helen, Bridget...

Helen and I were both at primary school together too, as demonstrated in this rather wonderful pic from a school production, where we were beggars. (We worked out it wasn't the one where we sang Beatles' songs, but I cannot for the life of me remember what this one was about!)

Back row (L to R): Tracey, Deborah, Mark, Samantha, Anne
Front row (L to R): Helen, Helen, yours truly and Alex

Then there was this one. 

I can only assume it was a music group or choir-y photo, because some of the folks have recorders. Goodness only knows why I was pulling the face I am... third in from the right on the front row (again). Helen's third in from the left on the same row. This one also has lots of my neighbours and friends too - Marianne, Rebecca, Catharine, Steve, Elizabeth, Mark. Wonder where they all are now?

There's also a rather fetching pic of me in a wimple, singing. I seem to recall I had to sing Greensleeves in the local park. Heaven alone knows why.

Anyway... You know I mentioned Mum kept all our school reports? I found my Holywell junior ones (that's Y3-6 in modern terms) and had a laugh over what the teachers had written - especially about my creative writing. Take a look...


'Her creative writing is imaginative and carefully expressed with colourful descriptions and good vocabulary.'

'Katherine works hard but fairly slowly.' (in Maths)

'She works hard and responds well in PE and seems to enjoy herself.'


'Her spelling and vocabulary are extremely good. She puts these to good use in her creative writing, which is always lively and interesting, and sustained at length.' (Teacher speak for 'she doesn't half go on!?)

'Katherine has a very fine singing voice, and a good sense of rhythm, and thoroughly enjoys music.'


'Creative English has been outstanding...She is able to express feelings and details and shows a sympathy for her characters. She writes lengthy stories...and her work is most enjoyable to read.'

'PE is more difficult for her. She is slight and has no great strength, but she does well in gymnastics. Games lessons she does not enjoy.' (I hated PE with a vengeance!)

'She enjoys making dramatic statements which produce a howl of protest from the class and enjoys tantalising them with some of the roles she assumes!' (I honestly have no idea what on earth I used to do to deserve this!)


'Katherine has worked carefully and methodically, if a little slowly, at Mathematics...'

'In her creative English work, Katherine is highly imaginative...Her stories are lengthy and follow a well developed plot. The excitement generated by the dialogue and the action shows that Katherine derives much pleasure from writing her stories...Her extensive vocabulary reflects her love of words and the depth of her reading.'

'She sang and danced with energy and flair in the Christmas play.' (Wonder if that was the wizard and beggar one?)

'...always works to the best of her limited ability in PE and games.'

It made me laugh that, all the way through, maths is slow and methodical. Still is, if I'm honest.  Music and drama feature a fair bit - I loved performing. PE certainly went downhill over the four years, though - I remember taking part in the Five Star Awards, scraping a one star award in my third year and being so terrible in the fourth year, I didn't even get that. On Sports Day, I was always the egg-and-spooner or sack race candidate...

But in writing - my word. I would be extremely pleased to get this kind of feedback now! I hadn't realised that I was considered quite so good at writing back then. I remember enjoying it, and using my imagination, but good? It seems a shame that I lost all of that excitement and skill during my further studies and working life and only rediscovered - and to some extent, re-learned - the love of reading and writing when my own children came along.

But thank goodness I did. Belated thanks to Miss Cartlidge, Mrs Johnson, Mrs Bennett and Mrs Creasey for their kind words back then. I wonder if, when they read my 'lengthy stories' all thoses years ago, they had any idea that one day, I'd be a published author?

I'm off to look for some of my Limehurst and Burleigh reports now, see whether the trends in certain subjects continued!

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