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TVGS 1950 INTAKE (from Janice KERSHAW nee HALSE and Sheila SCOTT nee WALLER)

Over the last few months many of our contemporaries have visited Rod’s excellent Website. Some have contacted us to express their disappointment that, in view of the socialising enjoyed by members of “TV50” (as we have labelled ourselves) over the last 10 years, we have a very poor showing on the TVGS Website so here goes….

We met in September 1950, at the start of our first term at TVGS. During a chat in the middle of one of Miss Salter’s PE lessons (we were neither of us particularly “sporty”!) we discovered ourselves to be second cousins and have remained friends ever since. We left in July 1955 and Janice eventually became Hon.Sec. of the Old Thamesians’ Association and later married her predecessor in this office, Paul Kershaw.

Many of Paul’s year (1947) had remained in touch since leaving school. In 1989, after attending one of their reunions, Janice had the inspiration that 1990 would be “40 years on” for the 1950 intake so we decided we’d do our best to “follow up, follow up…” We realised that not everyone would be enthusiastic but we received some wonderful letters and phone calls. The response in favour of a reunion was very encouraging so we decided to go for it!

We felt meeting at the old school was not a good idea. The cost was rather prohibitive and in any case the school was by then not as most of us would remember. We were one of the last 3 form only intakes and there had been a lot of building and re-organisation of the school premises since “our day”. We knew that although many had said yes a lot were nervous about coming and could possibly “chicken out” so we opted for a large room attached to St.Mary’s Hall, Twickenham. We had visions of staff outnumbering ex pupils so we limited invitations to those who’d been our form teachers. We needn’t have worried - nearly fifty people turned up and a great time was enjoyed by all. The “buzz” of the evening’s excitement stayed with us for ages – we were on a “high” for days with follow up letters and phone calls.

Our only regret was the large number of folk overseas who were all so keen but most unable to attend. [The members of our year seem to have been particularly adventurous compared to others. We have one in Dublin, and others in Pakistan, California, Ontario (3), Quebec, in/near Vancouver (4), Queensland (2), Melbourne, New Zealand and one who travels "all over" at least 75% of each year!] To keep them in touch we decided to compile a Reunion Souvenir Book made up of “potted histories” supplied by all concerned. We’ve managed to update this every other year and also send out a Christmas Newsletter.

TV50’s “40 years on” goes on and on! Since 1990 we’ve kept in touch and had various gatherings (at least one a year) especially when someone from overseas visits UK. We’re fortunate that Janice and Paul have a large house and we’re grateful to an enthusiastic group of regulars who support our get-togethers, sometimes at very short notice! The four in Vancouver meet, as do the three in Ontario. Currently (January 2000) one of our Vancouver “girls” (who are we kidding!) is visiting members of TV50 in Auckland, Townsville and Melbourne.

We’re delighted to have been able to re-acquaint old friends. It’s often been a “mad panic” but always great fun. Our reunions really are like family getting together. We did not excel at much at school and admired from afar those who did! Who’d have thought 40 years ago that we’d now be on first name terms with our schooldays’ heroes and heroines? We even get to kiss them all hallo these days! Members of staff too. Now that has taken a bit of getting used to after the formality of our time at TVGS!

So…if any of you are thinking about organising a “do” for your year, we’d say get a taster at the all TV get together on 16th/17th September 2000, and then DO IT…. you won’t regret it!

We’re still seeking Kenneth A. GAMBLE (Teddington), Joy GRAY (Twickenham), Peter NICHOLL (Hampton, who had an older sister Mary also at TV), David PORTER (Whitton), Michael PULLEN (Twickenham), Fredk. RAGLAN (Hanworth) Christine D. SMITH (Whitton), Patricia A.SMITH (Hampton)and Valerie SPICER (East Twickenham) Any clues? If so, please contact us via Rod Wilkins. Thanks!