Back to Goldsmiths (after graduating 60 years ago)

On Thursday 8 September 2016, Goldsmiths welcomed back to campus a small group of alumnae who studied teaching training at Goldsmiths in the 1950s. The group, who met while living together at Grove Hall from 1954 to 1956, have been meeting for the last 26 years and were celebrating 60 years since they left Goldsmiths.

Although some members of the original group kept in touch after leaving, it was in early 1990 when Rosemary Seaborne and Joan Walker hatched a plan to reunite their entire year group together for the first time.

Grove Hall used to accommodate approximately 15 first and 15 second year students in the 1950s and through a variety of contacts, Rosemary and Joan were able to find 14 of the 15. One remaining student, Margaret Green, has not been located so if you are reading this Margaret, please get in touch with the Alumni Team – we look forward to putting you in touch with your friends.

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Summer Ball 1955 with Grove Hall alumnae. Photo donated by Judith Ross. Back row: Jane Basely, Grace Kemp, Angela Bailey, Joan Richards, Jill Risden, Diana Kimber, Clare Baker, Christine Howlett, Olive Green. Middle row: Margaret Green, Delia Cleary, Judth Webb, Rosemary Johnson, Ann Chubb, Norah Jones, Juliet Kelly. Front row: Grove Hall staff

In the first week of September 1990, they reunited in Rosemary’s garden and with the passing of 26 years they found they had a lot to catch up on. They decided they wouldn’t leave it so long next time and ever since have been able to maintain meeting each year without a break since 1990, first on a biannual basis and more recently, once a year. Through the meet ups they have forged strong lifelong friendships within the original “Grove” group and also with their husbands and partners.

As is often the case at Goldsmiths, several of the alumnae met their future partners here, although they were two years older as a consequence of National Service in the 1950s. After Goldsmiths, they all remained in teaching or in the education field with many having distinguished careers, making full use of their teacher training as a springboard for further development.

Rosemary’s husband Peter, who helped organise this year’s reunion, has said:

“Goldsmiths served the ladies and their husbands exceedingly well. I can understand why they hold their College in such high esteem.”

As part of the return to campus, half of the original group met in Greenwich before returning to campus for a short talk by Liz Morrison and Alison Griffiths from the Department of Educational Studies on how education has changed and is currently being taught at Goldsmiths. This was followed by a talk by Tim Crook who is writing a history of Goldsmiths and is hoping to hear more from the alumnae who each have their own stories to offer. The day ended with a campus tour by a Student Ambassador and current student of the Department of Educational Studies to give the group an opportunity to see how the campus has changed since the 1950s – a lot!

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60 years reunion with Grove Hall alumnae and guests on Thursday 8 September 2016. Right to left: Don Ashwin, Olive Woodward, Clare Schofield, Angela Prees, Geoff Walker, Joan Walker, Rosemary Seaborne, Peter Seaborne
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Angela Prees and Rosemary Seaborne holding a photo of the group of Grove Hall alumnae (1954-1956)

Thank you to Peter Seaborne for making this day possible and we hope to welcome the group back in future!

If you are in touch with former class or halls mates and would like to arrange a visit, please get in touch with alumni@gold.ac.uk.

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