Reunion planned for class of 1956 at Reggie Road

The class of 1956 at Reginald Road School, Portsmouth
The class of 1956 at Reginald Road School, Portsmouth

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Look at the happy young faces in the picture above.

These 11-year-olds had their lives ahead of them when the photograph was taken in 1956.

A quick speedboat trip on a Sunday afternoon

A quick speedboat trip on a Sunday afternoon

Today they are aged between 70 and 72.

The youngsters were pupils at Reginald Road Junior School, Eastney, Portsmouth.

Now, 61 years on, four of those former pupils recently got together and now hope to arrange a reunion.

Organiser-in-chief, retired paramedic Derek Healy, says: ‘Our memories between us appear to be very good as we have amassed about 36 names, including teachers.

These include: Brenda Chambers; Stephanie Newell; Ann Cousins; Jennifer Fielder; Mary Bretherton; John Young; Derek Healy; David Hawkins; Garth Woodhead; Graham Harrison; Michael Jones; Margaret Woodison; Evelyn Melvin; Christine Garrard, Jennifer Clarke and the Sprake sisters.

The teachers include Mr Hudson; Mr Chamberlain; headmistress Mrs Taylor; Mr Ball; Mr Kingsford; Mr Gladys and Mr Reading.

Derek adds: ‘Reunions are not welcomed by everybody and we do not intend to make a big fuss, but it would be really nice to see how we have all managed to survive nearly 62 years since sitting in a classroom together. There must be lots to talk about...’

He says that two other former pupils, Barrie Gray and Barrie Durant, are in touch with each other and anyone either side of the 1956 leaving year would be welcome to contact the organisers.

Derek says: ‘Four of us visited Reginald Road School last year.

‘We were warmly received having a wonderful morning. Building-wise, it has not really changed.

If you are in the photo of Mr Hudson’s class in 1956 or in one of the years above or below, and are interested in the proposed reunion, contact Derek on (023) 9279 1150 or 07960 605 314. You can e-mail him on drhcarro54@ntlworld.com.

The picture of the speedboat brought back memories for C Cresdee, of Portchester.

He says: ‘When I came back after being in the RAF on National Service, Harold Michael, who owned the speedboats, offered me the job of helping to run them with the driver John Powell for £10 a week – not mentioning it was seven days a week.

‘I asked him about days off and he said “when it rains”. It was just my luck to work on one of the sunniest of summers.

‘We used to go mackerel spinning in his boat.

‘We would take the catch back to the office, scoop the seawater in a saucepan and cook them in their own water – not advisable nowadays.’

Mr Cresdee says Harold had two speedboats – a fast petrol-driven one ‘for showing off’, and a diesel one for passengers.

He recalls: ‘I think the price of a ticket was 2s 6d. We never finished work until about 7pm, but they were happy days.’