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2012 : Worthian Girls’ Reunion Review

2012 Worthian Girls’ Reunion

We forged our ways across the country one cold January evening, revisiting those same windy roads which used to lead us to school every morning, week or term.  Whether as day girls who took the route every day, or as boarders who took it less frequently, for all of us the road back to Worth was no doubt a trip down nostalgia way.

The flow of memories from those incomparable two years grew stronger as the gates loomed up ahead.  I remembered the months of snow that had sat on the gates so winningly; making for both idyllic photos of prospectus gold-dust, and interminable days of cold.

I remembered the nerves the gates had thrown open on my very first day; the stress they engendered when approaching the school for exams; and the excitement they’d ignited after the first half term of Year 12 when I couldn’t wait to get back to my new friends.

But on this freezing cold night in January 2012, being two long summers and a year of university older; the gates seemed a little less grand, a little less powerful.  I was coming home to Worth, not as its student but as a Worthian; my rite of passage was complete.

We rolled up in front of the main reception with my mum telling me to take my ‘ridiculous’ woollen hat off as she bid me goodbye.  In the quiet before the storm, I waited outside the building with Ms Paterson, because we couldn’t remember the door code, and I steeled myself for the impending onslaught of cosy reminiscing.

The evening turned out to be just lovely.  The atmosphere was relaxed, informal and friendly as we fell in with each other like a pack of reunited wolf cubs who would never forget how to be comfortable together.   Nearly half of the 2010 and 2011 leavers attended in a healthy mix of day girls and boarders.

Julia Cook, Eimear Neeson, Rebecca Paterson and Nikki Webb, essential and much-loved members of staff who had supported us during our time at Worth, all made appearances.  Father Stephen pottered about dropping wisdom left, right and centre as usual; and Mrs Brown welcomed us back with her warm, ready smile.

The emphasis of all the conversation – unexpectedly for me – wasn’t backward-looking.  We didn’t obsess over our time at Worth (although a few tasty anecdotes were, of course, relived with relish!) but we looked forward at how our lives are progressing and at who we are becoming.

That is what is great about Worth.  Though we can all quibble about the lack of swimming pool (it had to have its staple mention OK!), Worth is well aware that its people hold it together where walls cannot.  Worth’s admirable strength of community was alive and thriving at this all girls’ reunion – and it was a very warm and enjoyable occasion for us all.

Lucy Whitehouse (StM’10)