This coming Saturday (June 22) there is a 60th anniversary reunion of girls from Copnor Secondary Modern Girls School in Portsmouth.
Janet White (née Bendell) has asked me to let any survivors from a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon to try to get along to the Wesley Rooms, adjacent to Copnor Methodist Church in Copnor Road, between 2pm and 5pm.
In the last week of May, 1959, 26 girls and two teachers from the school left Portsmouth by coach for a few days in the Stratford-upon-Avon area of Warwickshire.
As well as visiting the usual locations connected with William Shakespeare they also visited Warwick Castle, the Royal Worcester porcelain factory and the Cadbury factory at Bournville. Yes, it was 60 years ago, but it would be good to get as many old girls together as possible.
• I was recently at the home of Bridget Nash (née Nolan) and in front of her fireplace she has a sword in which I was very interested.
It appears to be more than 100 years old and bears a citation to an officer who appears to have been most popular. As you can read, it was presented to WO C Davidge RN as a mark of esteem by the ship’s company of HMS Orlando on his promotion to warrant officer.
HMS Orlando’s sailors formed part of the force attempting to relieve the British Legation in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.
A memorial to the event and replica bell captured from the Taku Forts is located in Victoria Park, Portsmouth.
Orlando had a short life. She was launched in August 1886 and broken up in July 1905.
If anyone is a relation of WO Davidge, or knows anything about him, please get in touch.
A further inscription on the shoulder of the sword gives the name RC James, of Queen Street, Portsmouth.
I do not believe that James was the maker of the sword and I wonder if anyone has more knowledge of who James & Co were? Please e-mail me at email@example.com.
• Do you remember when a day out on a coach trip with the school was the highlight of the school year? I know I can.
Going to London in 1961 was like going to the moon for me, incredibly exciting.
In the picture on the facing page we see children from St Jude’s School in 1950. At that time it was located in Marmion Road, Southsea. Apart from the lad on the left everyone is in uniform.
Most of those seen would be in their late eighties by now, but if you do recognise yourself or a relative who took part in the trip, again, please let me know?