Four generations were welcomed back to school on 5th October for one of the highlights of the alumnae calendar.
There was a wonderful turnout for the Alumnae Lunch 2019 on Saturday 5th October, with guests ranging from the Class of 2004, who are celebrating 15 years since they were pupils at LEH, right the way up to the Class of 1949, who are now 89 years-old, and are marking their 70th anniversary.
The biggest contingency was the Class of 1989 with 25 returnees enjoying a catch-up and a chance to relive memories 30 years after leaving the school. Some of them brought along photos of their original leavers’ party featuring them in classic 1980s outfits.
In the morning, there was a chance to hear a couple of truly thought-provoking EPQ presentations from some of the current Sixth Formers about miracles in the Gospel of St Mark and Italian Renaissance architecture, while five of the present music scholars performed works from Gershwin and Sondheim to Purcell and Debussy.
Head Mistress Mrs Hanbury told a packed Conference Room about the busy schedule of forthcoming alumnae events (see the Events page for details) as well as some of the highlights of the school year, such as LEH’s second-ever Wellbeing Day, the hugely popular International Women’s Day and the 1st Eight winning the much-coveted Championship Trophy at National Schools’ Regatta at Eton.
There was an audible ripple of excitement when she mentioned that this term had seen the official opening of a new gate between LEH and Hampton schools, although there were some protestations from the audience that there had been a gate between the two schools at some point in the past as well. Many of those present had funny stories about being caught flirting with boys through the fence, while other recalled being asked to patrol the boundary to enforce an exclusion zone as part of their head girl duties.
Mrs Hanbury handed over some beautiful bouquets to three of the much-loved teachers who retired from the school last year. They were Physics teacher Kate Ellis, who had been at LEH for 32 years, Ann Travers, Co-Head of Design and Technology, who left after 31 years, and Sarah Pauffley, Head of Art, who was at LEH for 21 years.
After a delicious lunch of salmon, with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, there was a chance to walk the corridors, re-visit old classrooms and see round the whole school, with some of the current Sixth Form leadership team acting as tour guides.
One of the groups enjoyed the tour so much and bombarded their guide with so many questions that they nearly missed the afternoon tea as they took so long to re-visit old haunts and see the many new additions to the site.
Marilyn Stock, from the Class of 1962, took great interest in the display from the LEH archives and was delighted to discover that she and both her sisters were mentioned several times in The Book of Excellence. “For French and for needlework among others,” she smiled. “I can’t believe it!”
“It’s always so lovely to come back,” said Sheila Leach, as she swapped memories of her time here, with Stella Stephens, classmate from 1949. The Alumnae Lunch is one of the highlights of our year too and we are delighted to welcome them, and all our alumnae back. Hope to see you there next year.
By Susanna Frayn - Alumnae Co-ordinator
- LEH Alumnae