Southsea girls left Italian beach boys disappointed

Mayville High School pupils outside the Doge's Palace, Venice
Mayville High School pupils outside the Doge's Palace, Venice
Goons - Southsea-born Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan in 1972

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How times change. Or perhaps not.

A group of English schoolgirls on an Italian beach proving too much, potentially, for the local lads.

Claire Sawyer who won a competition to be editor of The News for a day

Claire Sawyer who won a competition to be editor of The News for a day

This lovely snapshot of life at Mayville High School was discovered in the school’s archives during preparations for this month’s annual reunion.

The picture above shows girls from the Southsea school in front of the Doge’s Palace in Venice during a trip believed to have been in the 1970s or ’80s.

In a subsequent issue of the school magazine, 14-year-old B Stansfield wrote: ‘In the morning our school party and some Italian penfriends went to St Mark’s Square to see the pigeons being fed, but we were a few minutes late. So we went into the Basilica of St Mark.

‘In the afternoon we went to the Lido on the island of St Elisabetta.

‘The bathing huts were closed so we could not bathe; it is considered not the right thing to change on the beach in Italy. Also we were attracting too much attention from the Italian boys.’

We also see Mayville’s Claire Sawyer who, in the 1980s, won a competition to be editor of The News for a day.

She obviously entered into the spirit of the occasion with gusto as the pictures in the school magazine show.

All past pupils of the St Simon’s Road school are welcome to attend the reunion at the school on Friday, June 26 from 6.30pm-8pm.