Neath schoolgirls reunite for 70 year anniversary
FORMER schoolgirls from Neath have taken a trip down memory lane 70 years after they first met.
Around 24 ladies who started at the Neath County School for Girls in 1943 have met up for the last time to share stories from their younger days at a reunion as the Glynclydach Coach House in Longford.
Many of the women travelled across the country for the special school reunion event.
Organiser, Lilian Brooks (formerly Clifford), now lives in Cheltenham.
This is the fourth time that she has brought the group together.
"It was wonderful," she said. "We have had a lovely time and had a meal.
"They presented me with a bouquet and a book. It was beautiful and I was very touched.
"It is lovely to meet up again and we are thrilled that we were able to do it.
"We had someone who came from Hitchings in Hertfordshire and another who came from Wootton Bassett. But most of the girls are still local."
The former pupils who started at the Neath girls school in 1943 — which later became the grammar school — are now aged 80 and 81. We always have a great time but this is going to be the last time we meet up again," said Mrs Brooks.
It was in 1993 when the class of 1943 first met up to mark 50 years since they started school, which was attended by more than 50 former pupils.
"Audrey Robbins suggested organising a reunion," said Mrs Brooks.
"Shirley Smith and I set about trying to trace everyone — and 55 of us gathered at the Castle Hotel in Neath for a reunion lunch."
Ten years later in 2003 a reunion was also held for their 60th anniversary which was attended by 45 people.
Then they met up again in 2008 at the Glyn Clydach Hotel.
"We first went to the Castle Hotel, but we have also been to the Glynclydach Coach House and the Glynclydach Hotel," said Mrs Brooks.
"The first time we met up I produced a little booklet but since then it has been more casual. We talk about our families and catch up."