Recounting memories after 50 years apart

Fifty years instantly disappeared as former pupils of a Bognor Regis school staged their biggest reunion so far.

Twenty-three girls from the former Westloats Lane School spent all Mondayafternoon catching up on the missing decades.

Some had not seen each other since the day they said goodbye to their classrooms in 1960 or 1961.

Others had kept in more regular contact.

One of the reunion's organisers, Julie Fellows, said at the start of the event she expected the hours to speed by.

"We talk about our school days, what we have been doing since then, what we are doing now and, of course, our old teachers.

"It's remarkable that you can usually recognise someone as soon as they walk through the door. It's wonderful to see them again.

"I remember our school days as being a happy time. There was lots of laughter and lots of fun," she recalled.

All those at the reunion at the Royal Norfolk Hotel started senior school together in 1956 at the age of 11. They left around 1961 and are now aged 63 or 64.

Many of them still live around Bognor. Those who travelled to the reunion came from Leicester, Littlehampton, Denmead and Rustington.

The reunion started three years ago when five of the school friends who had kept in touch with each other got together at the hotel. The number joining in the reminiscences grew last year to 16 and has increased again.

Westloats Lane School became William Fletcher School and then Bognor Regis Community College.

A new college is being built on the site to replace the current buildings which date back to the second world war.

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