Alumnae of Didcot Girls' School 1957-2003
Where are they now?
We asked our past pupils to let us know a bit about themselves to enter on this page. We got replies from all over the world simply by them browsing the internet and coming across their old school.
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1957 (Yr 10) Linda Aldworth (now: Wishart) - When I arrived at St. Frideswides Senior Girls' School the headmistress was Miss James. Other teachers were Miss Dance, Miss Dinwoody and Miss Ralph. I became a Prefect and then became School Captain - I was very proud of that. When I left I became a Secretary at Harwell and moved to Kingston-upon-Thames where I became Secretary to the Head Postmaster. I married and went to live in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, where I worked as Personal Secretary to the Director of Nursing at a local hospital. In my early 40s I trained and qualified as a Chiropodist and I am a member of the Health Professionals Council. Although I retired from Secretarial work I still work part-time as a Chiropodist. I have to say that my education whilst at St. Frideswides was a wonderful foundation that has helped me to achieve my full potential. (received 03.08.10)
1958 (Yr 10) Margaret Pearcey (now: Pettitt) - Our Headmistress in those days at St. Fridewide's School was Miss James. To name a few, our main 4th year teacher was Miss Dance, Miss Dinwoody taught Domestic Science; Pat Strange - P.E. and sport; Miss Rolfe - Biology. On leaving St. Fridewide's I went on to Abingdon College of Further Education, which was then situated in Ock Street, Abingdon, for one year where I learned secretarial skills. My first job was with the Prudential Assurance Co. in Oxford and then Lloyds Bank in Didcot and Andover. I married Barrie Aldridge from Long Wittenham in 1962. Barrie had joined the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment based in Tidworth and we were posted to Malta for three years. Whilst there we had two lovely children, Yvonne and Russell. We returned to Didcot in 1965 and both children went to Greenmere School. Yvonne Aldridge also went to Didcot Girls School 1973 - 1975. My career has been quite varied, having worked in "Graphic Enterprises", based in Wallingford; Swedish Machine Tool Company in Hampton Middlesex; Fairclough Building Company at Surbiton, Britvic Soft Drinks, Chelmsford and prior to retirement, in the NHS at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. I married again in 1993 to Cedric Pettitt and we now live in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. We have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I am now 68 years old and have many happy memories of times in Didcot. (received 03.08.10)
1961 (Yr 11) Barbara Town (now: Longley) - I joined Didcot Girls' Grammar School when it first opened in 1958, previously having attended Wallingford Grammar School. This was the era of Miss Holloway, Ann Packer, a brilliant performance of Sheridan's Rivals and the opening of the swimming pool by a water skiing champion Guinness heiress. We mustn't forget the Civil Defence ladies coming to show us how to hide under the stairs and cook bacon over a candle in a flowerpot should there be a nuclear war. That really frightened us. My ambition was to be a dress designer, but when I left school with 6 O' Levels I ended up as a Clerical Assistant at AERE Harwell because my parents wouldn't let me go to Art College. (You did as your parents told you then). While at Harwell I continued my studies at Abingdon Tech. getting more O' Levels and Business Studies. I married fairly young and my husband and I built our own bungalow in Loyd Road in Didcot. Later we had 2 sons and then my husband's job took us to Bracknell in Berkshire. We divorced in 1979 and while the boys were still at school I had my own business making and selling parachutes. I started to build myself a career again by working for a Social Club based in Ascot which gave me a wonderful social life. I then did a word processing course and worked as a Senior Secretary at ICL in Bracknell. I still work for ICL, but have been a Building Administrator, Help Desk Analyst, and Visits Executive which involved arranging visits for foreign customers and escorting them around the country. My current job which I hope will see me to retirement is as a Co-ordinator on the project which is automating the Post Offices. I would advise anyone to keep in step with new technology if they want to stay employable. I am 55 now but have built my own website and learnt HTML and want to start programming and anything else that is thrown at me. My main interests at the moment are digital photography, genealogy and collecting. My website is at https://homepage.ntlworld.com/longley. I have had many people writing to say how good it is, including professional site builders. If anyone remembers me and would like to get in touch. (received 17.05.01)
1963 (Yr 11) Pauline Martin - My year was the first new intake when Didcot Girls' Grammar School was opened in 1958 - all those above us had transferred from Wallingford, which then became a Boys' Grammar School. As the teachers were all new as well, we spent a lot of the first week wandering around looking for the right classroom, but it did mean that we had a very enthusiastic staff, determined to make Didcot Girls' Grammar a successful school. I remember my time there with great fondness - friends, teachers, work and fun. I was sad to leave after O levels but my family moved to Norfolk and I took my A levels there. Moving, I may add, from a school where I would have been one of 60+ in the Lower Sixth to one where I was one of only 9! (received 03.11.02)
1963 (Yr 11) Diane Saunders (now: Wood) - I am living in Dorset and married to an Estate Agent. I have three sons aged 33, 19 and 16. I work full time as a costing administrator. I would love to get in touch with anyone who can remember me.
1966 (Yr 13) Carreen Thomson (now: Webber) - After receiving my B.Ed from Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, I returned south to teach at Fitzharrys School, Abingdon; met and married my husband (who was working at the Hydraulics Research Station at Crowmarsh); moved to Staffordshire, then to Middlesborough, and from there to Alberta. Canada. I have taught at the college level, but primarily have worked in the areas of community development here in Alberta. We have two adult sons, and one large black Maine Coon cat. My hobbies are reading, gardening, cooking, and QUILTING. The last is definitely in capital letters as it is (according to DH) more of an obsession. Over the years I have kept in touch with one other person who was at Didcot with me. Unfortunately Jenny Longbottom died of cancer last year. What ever happened to Lindsay Rushton, Liz Foster, Valerie Bidewell, Leslie Pugh, Jennifer Wright....? (received 17.04.06)
1967 (Yr 10) Sarah Anne Matthews (now: Johnson) - I left St Frideswides in 1967 & went on to Secretarial College in Reading where I gained 160wpm Pitman amongst other qualifications. I've been a PA for most of my career. Qualified Reiki Healer which I enjoy. Am divorced & now doing an Arts Degree - just finished my 1st year. Hope to gain a 2.1 or a 2.2 going by current marks. Love to hear from anyone who knows me. I'm still in touch with Ann Mruk my best friend from school but would honestly love to hear from anyone. (received 15.07.10)
1968 Natalie Fernley (now: Williams) - I emigrated with my family to Australia in May 1968. I am now a journalist. I am Chief of Staff at the Newcastle Bureau of News Ltd and write for the Daily Telegraph, Sydney's leading newspaper. In 1979 I lived and worked in England for a year. During that time I visited the school and was amazed to find my former maths teacher still there! I remember living next door to and attending school with the Crowther sisters. I think one of them went on to become a teacher at the school. I also remember attending a school concert or dance and feeling very trendy in my mini skirt and tights! I played hockey at the school and hated wearing those awful culottes! I remember that the year I was there the school started its very modern (for those times) language laboratory. It was there I developed an interest in foreign languages (French and German) which helped improve my vocabulary and, in turn my love of words. I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers me. All the best for the future. (received 30.04.02)
1968 (Yr 13) Sylvia Davis (now: Allenbaugh) - After leaving school in 1968 I worked for Blackwells in Oxford until December 1977. In the summer of 1977 I married an American Serviceman stationed at Upper Heyford. I left England in December and came to the United States. I now live in sunny Florida but try to visit my relatives in England as often as possible. I am still married to the same guy and we have two children, Aidan, our son who is in the United States Air Force and stationed at Eglin Air Force Base at Pensacola, Florida and our daughter, Amber, who graduated from college last May and lives and works in Tampa, just north of us. We have a dog, Jake, and two cats, Sam and Sebastian. I would like to hear from any of my old class mates. I had a best friend in school, whose name was Ruth Stacey. We lost touch over the years and would love to hear from her. (received 26.02.07)
1968 (Yr 13) Christine (Heather) King (now: Brinkley) - I left school and worked for Southern Gas in Oxford. I married in 1971. I have 5 children all who are in relationships and left home. I have 10 grandchildren. I live in the Cotswolds, and own a Boarding Cattery. Would like to hear from anyone that knows me. (received 04.08.08)
1969 (Yr 13) Isobel Hedley (now: Gibson) - After school I went to University College London to read Economics & Statistics. After graduation I married Alasdair (who I met one summer vacation whilst working at Culham Laboratory) and spent 2 years working in the City which I hated. I then followed Alasdair into the Ministry of Defence based at West Byfleet in Surrey. Over the years my career developed and we had two daughters, Eleanor (born 1980) and Frances (born 1986). Just after Fran was born, Alasdair changed jobs within the MoD and moved to Malvern. His establishment was eventually privatised and became part of Qinetiq. After a career break I entered local government and did three different jobs. I'm currently Strategic and Forward Planning Officer in Worcestershire LEA. I was knocked for 6 when Dr. Linda Reynolds (nee Gordon), my best friend at school, died of cancer in March 2000. Linda was head girl in the year 1968-1969. I'm now no longer in touch with any other old girls apart from my sister, Hilary, who was there from 1967 - 1974. My daughters are now grown up. Ellie is working at Qinetiq in Malvern after graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Physics. Fran is reading International Politics & Military History at Aberystwyth. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. (received 28.01.05)
1970 (Yr 10) Julie Fraser (now: Emmett) - I left what was then St Frideswide's School in Easter 1970. I was in Mrs Cowan's 4th year. Since I left I have lived in Huddersfield, Oxford and now live in Reading. I married in 1982, and divorced in 1985. I married my husband Keith in 1988 and since then have lived in Reading. I have worked with computers since I left school in 1970, and have seen a lot of change with these over the years. I was unable to have children of my own, but have two lovely stepdaughters (no, I am not the wicked stepmother). Our eldest gave us a lovely grandson in 1994, and in January 2001 a granddaughter. I have done a lot of travelling to Spain, Majorca, Portugal, Malta, Florida, Texas, Australia, the poorer part of Mexico, then last year we went to Cancun, where we are sending our youngest daughter for her honeymoon in August 2002. My mother, 2 sisters and brother still live in Didcot, so I still visit there. I have 2 nieces currently at Didcot Girls' School, who are both doing very well (I hope). I would very much like to meet up with some of my old school friends. Some names I remember are Vivienne Coles, Sandra Brown and Jayne Maynard. (received 09.07.02)
1970 (Yr 13) Carol Holsgrove - Married living in California with one son . I am an R.N. doing labour and delivery. Initially I went to Art college in England, then got a degree in San Francisco and went into nursing as a profession. I still paint on the side, live by the Pacific and think of my time at school with fondness. Would love to know what my then best friend Kathryn Hazelwood is up to. (received 24.08.10)
1971 (Yr 13) Wendy Smith (now: White) - left 1971, after Upper 6th. Supposed to be learning web design (I'm into design but not on the web) so it was hard going and this surprise is a great distraction. Memories seem very dated: being shoved outside every break in all weathers, a running battle with the headmistress at 6th form as there was no drama group and I was passionate about theatre! Gilbert & Sullivan productions which were the nearest we got to drama and I mimed the singing! but which were a great experience . Left with A levels but, not eligible for university. No great idea what I would do as I am fascinated by so many disciplines, love academic work but need to get involved in practical things. Various jobs: designing knitwear sold in Harrods (prestigious but very little profit), designing knitwear and fashion during punk era (that really dates me!), accounting, visual merchandising, promotions, three children (now grown), transport and distribution, property management, counselling, broadcasting. However, I now run the Shopping Centre in Cowley, Oxfordshire which is very multi-disciplined, specialise in Public Relations, hate sitting behind a desk all day. Started writing again now I have time, and (last year) getting things published. In remaining spare time currently studying theology with particular reference to Industrial Chaplaincy and exploring partnerships between voluntary and business organisations.
1971 (Yr 11?) Denise Rodger - (now: Rice) - We were just surfing the Web and found the Alumnae page. Couldn't resist making a contribution. I left what was then Didcot Girl's Grammar School in 1971. On leaving school, I worked at New Scotland Yard as an Executive Officer in the Criminal Records Office. In 1973, I moved to Reading, working at Berkshire County Council before emigrating to Australia. I have lived here in Adelaide every since. I am employed at the Flinders University of South Australia as the Registrar of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Flinders has around 10 000 students and is located to the south of the city of Adelaide. I live with my partner James Martin. James is a sculptor, who also teaches art - drawing, sculpture and bronze casting. Most recently, he designed and was involved in building a 37 metre (11 storey) high national statue in Singapore. I have been back to Didcot a number of times, as Mum and Dad still live there, and I always look forward to catching up with an old friend from 6th form days. It would be great to hear from anyone connected with the School. (received 08.10.98)
1971 (Yr 11) Pamela Brown - (now: Pryce) - My 18 year old daughter Holly is staying in the area with my younger sister so I have been looking up my old haunts. I was born in Didcot and attended the then DGGS (as did my older sister Patsy Brown and younger sister Sally Rolfe), and found the alumnae. Having read the entry by Denise Rodger who I went through school with, here is my contribution. My many memories of the years there include gazing distractedly out of the third floor windows during Maths (which I never understood and consequently hated) watching the power station in the final days of construction and then later belching clouds of smoke and steam over us; and of Miss Holloway (affectionately known as Jess, but then that was her name so that's fair enough) who terrified us, all lined up for assembly every morning on that squeaky sprung parquetry flooring, as she strode onto the stage, black cloak flying behind her, don's cap perched perilously, tassel swinging over her right eye as she drilled us unerringly for discrepancies in our uniforms...woe betide anyone who had their skirt more than 2" above the knee......and mini skirts were all the rage!!!!! To myself; I studied 3 A levels, English, Art and Biology but left after the Lower Sixth with my Art A level up my sleeve and attended college in London for 3 years where I qualified as a primary school teacher. I taught in East London for a couple of years before returning to Didcot to marry a local lad, Trevor Pryce, who had attended Wallingford Grammar school. He was then a draughtsman at Pressed Steel Fisher in Cowley, and I was a Scientific Officer at QAD in Didcot. With 2 children we emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in search of the sun and having found it with an average of 8 hrs sunshine a day we are of course still here and now have 3 children, 21, 18 and 15 years of age. We have a very laid back lifestyle, Trevor and my eldest son Brody work for Australia Post and I work 3 days a week for The Challenge Bank. I am returning to Didcot (Aston Tirrold) for a holiday in December and will see the new millennium in with my older sister in the south of France where she now lives. (received 22.10.99)
1972 (Yr 10) Ann Carder - I attended DGS when it was still St. Fridewides School for Girls. We moved to Didcot from Plymouth as my father took at job at the Didcot power station. We were a family of 6 children; my two younger sisters, Susan and Jane, also attended at the same time. I moved back to Plymouth and attended nursing school and became a nurse. Subsequently, I took a nursing position over in Saudi Arabia. There for 4 years, I met my husband and moved with him to the U.S.A. I have been living in California (Newcastle, which is near Sacramento) for the past 26 years where I hold a good position in a large Hospital/Physician Organization in Northern California (Sutter Health). Since leaving St. Frideswides, I have travelled a good deal and have seen a lot of the world. While I do not remember too many specifics about my short time (2 years, I think) at St. Fridewides, I do recall fun times along with some not-so-fun events. Overall though, my memories are good ones (I think I simply ! did not like going to school much - who suffers from that?!). Anyway, I am glad I found the website and maybe will 'hook up' with anyone that may remember me or my sisters. (received 06.05.10)
1974 (Yr 13) Marion Smith (now: Merrick) - I left DGGS (as it then was) and did a B.Mus at Sheffield university. Following that I trained as a teacher at Reading university and taught for 4 years in Maidenhead. I then went to live in Hungary with my husband, thinking it would be just for the year he finished his PhD research, but 19 years later we are still here and have two bilingual children. I have become an English teacher since living here, and have taught - mainly translation - at university here, and contributed to dictionaries and so on, as well as writing a book about the first 7 years of our lives here which were spent under communism. There were precisely 8 other British people then living here, and we were the only English couple (the others being married to Hungarians). I would be very interested to hear from anyone who remembers me and who was there at the same time, when Miss Holloway was Head, Miss Jenkins deputy, Mrs Hedger the music teacher, Ron Freeborne the art teacher and Mrs Howes the English teacher......days I still remember vividly and not without affection. (received 22.06.01)
1975 (Yr 11) Shirley Godding (now: Townshend) - I left DGS in 1975 at the age of 16. I entered the great working world at B.H.Blackwell's, in Oxford. Having married and moved various times within the Power Station Industry, we now have 3 children ages 15,13 and 10. We all moved to Canada in 1988, and lived in British Columbia until 1993 and then moved on once again to Beaverton, near Portland, Oregon, USA where we are currently living and working. I am employed with a High Tech. Semiconductor Manufacturing Company based locally, as the Executive Vice President's Administrative Assistant also reporting to the VP, Finance. It is a very interesting and growing field to be in. My children are very involved in a local Roller Hockey League and are doing very well. Tony, my hubby is employed in the US Natural Resources field (sawmill machinery manufacturing, lumber etc.). I would be happy to hear from you. I currently have a niece at DGS, her name is Lisa Godding, say Hi to her for me. (received 08.12.97)
1975 (Yr 13) Christine Reid (now: Freeman) - I started at Didcot Girls' Grammar School in 1968 and remember the time when the Grammar School and St Frideswide's School united in 1973 to become Didcot Girls' School. The headteacher at the time I was a pupil was Miss Holloway and we referred to her as Jess and the school as Holloway Jail! I loved school and felt nostalgic when I read the entries on the alumnae pages. I remember Mrs Watson and Mr Price (biology), Mrs Hulme who taught chemistry and Miss Warren who taught physics and who had been a missionary teacher before she came to the school. I played hockey (left half) for the school team and was a little sad when we changed from the rather thick culottes to more conventional PE skirts. I seem to remember that I regretted the passing of the corduroy pudding basin hats too!! How sad can you get! I left school with A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and studied Dentistry at the University of Sheffield. Miss Holloway and Mrs Hulme were graduates of the University, so I knew it must be a good place to study! I returned to live in Harwell, having married Robin three weeks after I qualified, I worked in Newbury for 6 months as a community dentist and then went to work in London at Kings College Dental Hospital as a senior house officer; I worked there for 7 months commuting every day from Harwell. Robin then took a job in Sheffield and I found one too at the Dental Hospital. I've worked at the Dental Hospital and Dental School in various jobs since, having a break to have my children; Tim (15), Jon (13) and Katie (11). I found the school website via Friends Reunited and I am very impressed with it. The school has clearly gone from strength to strength and I wish it well for the future. Does the school still have an annual magazine? I still have some from my school days and would be interested to see a current edition. (received 04.08.02)
1975 (Yr 13) Marie Williamson (now: Rutterford) - I spent all of my secondary school career at Didcot Grammar School for Girls. My memories include Mrs Dewey and Miss Card, inspirational History teachers; Miss Jenkins, the Deputy Head who taught French, and Miss Brentnall who taught Economics. Our Year was the first to use the VI Form centre between the old St Frideswides and the Grammar School. I loved my time in VI Form, I think my teachers were extraordinary and made me want to come to school. I left to read History at Cambridge. I met my husband there and we now live in Norfolk where he farms. We have two daughters. I am an Assistant Head in charge of VI Form and teach Philosophy. I shall never forget my old school, playing hockey on the pitch that looks up to the cooling towers of the power station, and weekly assemblies presided over by Miss Holloway. Happy days! (received 07.05.10)
1976 (Yr 11) Helen Ashworth (now: Chuter) - I left DGS after my O'levels in 1976 due to a change in my dad's work location which meant I did my A levels at a sixth form college in Hampshire. I have been back to Didcot several times, the sight of those towers brings back many memories of staring out of the classroom windows! After qualifying as a teacher I married Jeff and we have 2 daughters age 13 and 11 who attend The Abbey school in Reading, not a million miles away from Didcot. Looking through the DGS prospectus it seems many things have changed over the years. Does any one remember that awful uniform we had when we changed from Grammar school to Comprehensive school? Blue crimplene skirts with matching waistcoat and pink or blue checked shirts. If anyone remembers me it would be great to hear from you. (received 26.10.00)
1976 (Yr 13) Jane Biggs (now: Fenton) - After leaving school with A levels in English, Music and History I went to Hull University and did a BA in Music. I returned to the area for a year after graduating and did a year at Oxpens College learning how to type, do shorthand, write business letters etc. and then off into the big wide world to try my hand in the music publishing industry in London. I am still doing the same job 21 years later having married the boss, moved to Northamptonshire and had two children. I have lost contact with almost all my friends from DGS so would be very pleased to hear from anyone who remembers me. Highlights of my school life which come to mind include The Snow Queen; playing the piano for assembly after I had been at the school for just a few weeks - my first time playing a grand piano - when I played everything an octave too high!; a day trip to Boulogne with Mrs. Turton; Mrs. Kerr and Mrs. Embling the dinner supervisors and loads of teachers who I never forgot including Mrs. Hedger, Miss Card, Mrs. Dewey, Miss Lardner and Mrs Howe to name but a few. (received 19.09.01)
1978 (Yr 13) Amanda Lane (now: Doster) - I have happy memories of Didcot mainly Drama productions with Mrs Francis, Mrs Hedger, Mr Freeborn and Mr Price. Being a tall girl I was always cast as a boy (distinct lack of them at DGS obviously). My claims to fame being Mr Sowerberry in "Oliver", Guiseppe in "The Gondoliers" and Tony in "The Boyfriend". I still have some of the official photos!! I remember being taught the basics of tap dance by Cheryl Blundell and being in hysterics with Wendy Stennett awaiting our entrance from the back of the hall in "The Gondoliers". DGS musicals were brilliant or so WE thought. Hated hockey - being shoved outside first lesson by Miss Maddy, but loved Gymnastics with Mrs Doughty. Mrs Shackleton's slides of Pompeii were always a good diversion from normal Latin lessons! German with Mr Hector Simmonds (mind the waft of pipe tobacco) - if the lesson got tough we could always talk about his divorce. French with Madame Steele was good - a very smart lady with a penchant for large earrings. Very unsavoury African claw toads and stick insects come to mind in Mr Price and Mrs Watson's Biology lessons. I remember we planted a time capsule in the grounds near the silver birch by Pets' Corner. Would it still be there? On one very naughty occasion we managed to push Mrs Hedger's Fiat 500 from one parking space to another!! Happy days...... Regrettably I probably under-achieved at DGS for one reason or another so cannot supply glowing CV (sadly I don't remember being encouraged and honed in quite the same way my children are today). Still school was not a bad experience thankfully. I live in Cheltenham with my husband Paul and children Nancy 17, Lydia 15 and Jeremy 13. We have a business in Bristol, a house in France, good friends and busy social life. (received 27.10.07
1979(Yr 11) Anna Draper - Hard to believe 28 years have passed since I attended DGS. I'm the American girl who attended from Jan. to around the end of May, 1979. Recently, I've been researching my family's geneology and learned that both my mother and father's families originate in Britain. This research led me to wanting to know more about whatever happened with the Harwell "pre-fabs" we lived in. Of course, I couldn't pass up checking into any information about DGS I could find. I have so many fond memories of my time spent at DGS. My fondest are those of the friends I made - Sally Twine, Anna, Mary, Mandy, Marie, Lavinia, and Debbie Long. I'll never forget Mr. Freeborn, who asked me to model for one of the O-level art exams. He also granted me an O-level in art, which still means a great deal to me since art is a big part of my life. Although I cannot remember the teacher's name, I still draw upon the knowledge gained from studying poetry, particularly Robert Frost's poems, in his class. I learned so much from the biology classes, which opened up a whole new world when I returned to the United States. I only wish I could recall many more memories after all this time. Since DGS, I finished "High School" and moved on to "Junior College" in Redding, CA. where I received an AA in Natural Resources. I then went on to university in Chico, CA where I got a Bachelors Degree in Recreation and Natural Resources, and minored in Geology. After spending a year working for the U.S. Forest Service in a temporary position, I moved to Sacramento and went to work on earning my Masters Degree in Environmental Education. Then I spent the last 10 years working in various positions - some related to my degrees, some not. Currently, I am about 2/3 the way through earning my elementary school teaching credential, but had to take a break due to personal reasons. I work as a substitute teacher for all the kindergarten (5 years old) to about 8th grade (14 years old) in the county. It has been a very good experience and I like the flexibility. On the "home front," unfortunately, I never married, although I have had a "friend" for the last 8 years. He's magical! My parents are still thriving at ages 83 and 82, albeit a few physical ailments and slower mental processes. If anyone has further information about the "pre-fabs" of Harwell, please send them on to me. Best yet, if you remember me, I'd love to hear from you! (received 15.10.07)
1979 (Yr 12) Charlotte Moore (now: Crook) - I joined the WRNS in September of 1979 and stayed until October of 1989. In September of 1988 I met Sean, and we married in November of the same year. We have a daughter, Emma, who is almost 12 but seems to have the mouth of a 17 year old. We live in a lovely part of Portsmouth, only 10 minutes from the beach but half an hour from the New Forest. No plans to move from here, but visit Didcot where my brother still lives. I even popped into the school a couple of years ago and spoke to Miss Card. No change there. It would be good to hear from anyone who remembers me. (received 05.06.02)
1979 (Yr 11) Maria Robertson - I left Didcot Girls' School in 1979 age 16 and am now 34 and living in Australia. I work as a Graphic Artist in Sydney and live about 5 minutes from Bondi beach. I live with Peter and Sam, Peter is a 33 year old Australian guy and Sam is a 10 year old Australian terrier! Enjoy my life here very much but returned to Didcot this year for a visit. Sydney is getting ready for the 2000 Olympics and there's lots of building going on. It's still winter but I can feel that summer is in the air and the beach will soon be filling with tourists, surfers, lifeguards and even a few locals. I left school with 8 O' levels (just) and gradually learnt the skills required to be a graphic artist. A trade that changes continually with the advent of the internet as well as printed artwork. (received 10.06.97)
1980 (Yr 11) Sonia Maidment (now: Dean) - Well since leaving DGS I have gotten married (three times to be exact, but I think this one is going to last). I've got four kids aged 21, 19, 11 and 10 (three girls and a boy). When I reached the grand old age of 31 I finally got the education bug, somewhat late in life, and took myself off to university and got a degree in modern history and literature. Thanks really need to go here to Ms Card who really instilled in me a love of the period even if I didn't show it in class or in my always late homework. Thank you Ms Card!! These days I work for the local sixth form college as systems librarian here in Luton were I live. I am also a part time student at City University studying for a masters in information science so I can become an even bigger computer nerd than I already am. When this degree is finished I plan on resuming my PhD (two years in the bag, but I have taken some time out to complete the masters) which is looking at domestic medicine and opium consumption in the Victorian home counties. I wonder what Ms Lardner would think to all that if she knew :). (received 08.11.01)
1980(Yr 12) Terre Carss (now: Yuki) - I got married in 82 to Garry Roberts who still lives in Didcot. We had a daughter called Phaedra who has only just left DGS herself. After our divorce, I went to live in London and married again to a Japanese man. We've now been married 14 years and we have three children, all boys. The youngest is autistic. I've mainly been a housewife, but now work transcribing interviews for journalists. I also write and paint a lot. I would love to get in contact with anyone that was in my class. (received 31.10.01)
1980 (Yr 13) Louise Robertson - After I left school I went to Goldsmith's, London to do an arts degree, but I left at the end of the first year and, after living briefly in Italy, began working in Rock and Roll as part of the lighting crew on tours. I worked for Ian Dury, Simple Minds, OMD, The Reading Rock Festival and numerous other bands of the day all over Europe. Then I got a 'proper' job at the BBC in London, where they trained me in computing. After 7 years I left and went freelance. I then worked for Polygram, Camelot and some financial institutions in the city, which meant living in Soho, which was great. I then went travelling and backpacked solo overland from England to China via Siberia, which was eventful! I met my boyfriend and moved abroad. We lived in Frankfurt where he worked for a bank, and we had a little boy. After we split up I lived for a while in Spain, and now I'm back in Oxfordshire, at Brookes University, doing a degree in Computer Systems to catch up with all the new developments. My little boy is now at school in Oxfordshire. When I finish my degree I think I'll either do a masters or maybe a PGCE in Computing, but I'm not sure yet. Is there anybody from my year whose details you have as I've lost contact with everybody and, as I'm 40 this year, I'd really like to catch up with them all again. (received 12.07.01)
1981 (Yr 11) Sue Woods (now: Jones) - I am now married with 2 girls. I have 2 granddaughters and a grandson on the way. I used to work at the school in the kitchen but left in Sept 06. now I live in Sutton Courtenay. I tried to contact Terre Carss (now Yuki). if anybody knows her email, the one given is not right, I would love to contact her and anybody else from school. (received 08.08.07)
1984 (Yr 13) Sherrellea Macleod (now: Martin) - Hi, I am now living in Dubai. I have been in retail since leaving , having deferred my place for a history degree, many moons ago. If Miss Card is still with you, tell her she was a true inspiration to me and I think of her a lot. I have worked in fashion retail all my life and have just finished with Arcadia working for Philip Green for the last 7 years and am now going to work for another franchisee in the Middle East, travelling all over USA, etc., we have the global rites and I will be responsible for setting it up. I hope she is still in good health and can't thank her enough for how she shaped my life! Please pass on my email if you still have details for her - it's been a long time !!!! (received 12.07.10)
1985 (Yr 11) Heather Burrage - I left in 1985 with a few CSE results. On leaving I got a job at Esso Research Centre at Milton Hill, where my father worked (nepotism rules!!). After that I worked for a year at Pavolova Leather Factory where the MG car used to be made. Whilst there a colleague asked if I was interested in working as an aupair in New York. This was great and horrendous at the same time, but looking back I must have been mad, still am. Having got the travel bug, I travelled around a bit: Israel and a world trip to Asia and Oz in between jobs, before settling down with Mike in Eynsham, Oxfordshire and working at Oxford University in their Engineering Department. My father still lives in Harwell Village where I used to. No kids, although Mike has 4 grandchildren so at the age of 30 I'm a sort of granny!! Still mad and playing hockey in goal in Oxford. (received 16.02.99)
1986 (Yr 11) Samantha Burchell (now: Nicolette) - Living in Wallingford I bused daily to Didcot. After I left DGS I went to London and attended Lucie Clayton finishing school. I then did a 1 year internship at the London stock exchange (decided that the power and egos were not for me) and studied Beauty therapy and massage at Steiner in Grosvenor Street. Fine Art then called and I studied at Sotherbys and entered the world of Art Broking. A trip to Japan and a new chapter: marriage, children and a journey into naturopathy and Australia! I'm currently happily separated with two gorgeous children living in Melbourne, with a tropical fruit farm/resort in the making in the Daintree rainforest in Far north Queensland and still selling Art. I still visit Oxfordshire yearly and would consider returning to England before I get too old but for now the world calls. (received 29.08.10)
1987 (Yr 13) Wendy Hollington - During my time at DGS my most noticeable achievements were probably musical - I was in the choir, orchestra and took part in the school productions with St Birinus (I had the lead role in The Geisha, if anyone remembers that!!). I left DGS in 1987 after studying "A" levels in Maths, Physics and Art. I then studied for a degree in Accounting & Finance (initially at Middlesex Polytechnic but transferring to Bristol Polytechnic after a year). I then moved back to Didcot and took up a training contract with a firm of accountants in Wallingford, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1994. Since then I've moved out of public practice and after working for Thames Water in Reading for a few years I now work as a temporary contractor. I started temping to enable me to take time off to travel the world as and when I wanted. So far I've been to Egypt and Turkey and spent the Millennium New Year snowboarding in France and next year I hope to travel to Nepal. I'm getting married in September this year (2001) at All Saints in Didcot, although I now live in Marlow in Buckinghamshire I still visit Didcot fairly regularly to see family and friends. (received 27.03.01)
1988 (Yr 12) Kellie Williams (now: Martin) - Since leaving school I worked for a couple of years doing reception/secretarial work in companies in the Didcot area. I left Didcot itself in 1994 to move to London and whilst there worked for Japan Airlines, Binder Hamlyn Accountants and Carat Insight (Advertising Research) as Marketing Assistants. In 1997 I met my now husband and moved to Fareham in Hampshire as he is in the Royal Navy. During my time here I have worked for Meller Home & Beauty as firstly Marketing Assistant and later Assistant Product Manager. I left Mellers in 2003 and trained as a Driving Instructor. I have two children aged 6 and 2 and we are potentially moving to Brunei this summer for my husbands job. (received 22/02/08)
1993 (Yr 10) Michelle Andrews (now: Ryder) - What can I say, I'm quite sane these days but still a little unusual. I have got married to a lovely bloke called Dave. I am still a mad scientist working on a PhD on the effect of acid rain on Christmas trees. If you want to find out more about what I'm up to see my web site at https://michelleryder.net. (received 02/02/03)
1993 (Yr 12) Jenny Hamer (now: Wright) - I met my husband in 1993, married in 2001, we now have two children. Jacob who is 5 and Lauren who is 1 going on 5 so she can be just like her big brother!! I am now a parent governor at Manor School in Didcot and also work at AEA in Harwell. (received 15/10/09)
1994 (Yr 13) Lis Edwards - After leaving DGS I worked as a promotion manager in academic publishing for four years. After getting A' level music at evening classes, I went to Bristol University as a mature student (only just!). I graduated in music in 2001, and then procrastinated on the job front by staying on to do a Masters degree. I'm now working as a Higher Education Adviser at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (also based in Bristol). I have very fond memories of my time in DGS (and Didcot Sixth Forms) and feel indebted to my excellent teachers for this. (received 03.03.04)
1994 (Yr 13) Shirley Vigus - I left DGS in 1994 after completing my A-levels in Pure Maths, Applied Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Since then, I have got a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bristol. As part of my degree course I had to spend a year in Germany, also learning about electronics, hence I am now fluent in German. At the moment I am working towards my PhD, which is in Image Processing. Outside of university I play the piano, go away on walking weekends (for which I also drive the minibus), but my newest activity is learning how to ballroom dance. I am going to my second ball in Vienna in February and have decided that this time I should be able to dance before I go! (received 16.10.98)
1995 (Yr 11) Paula Darvill-West - The best years of my school life was spent at Didcot Girls' School. I loved it here. I was a very quiet pupil whose school reports always said 'please speak up in class'. To any teachers who remember me, although I was quiet I did take it all in! This continued when I went to Abingdon College and did the BTec in Nursery Nursing. I always wanted to work with children and got my wish and have a special ability to communicate with the shy, quiet children in the nursery where I work. I haven't really stayed in contact with any friends from school, but still think of the many happy memories especially with Jenny Harvey. In 1995 I met Jason who is very special to me. We moved to a village near Witney in 1993. We recently had our first baby 'Maisy' who was born in October 2007 and is beautiful! I hope she takes after me! My only regrets are that I wish I could have been a bit naughty at school, like sometimes not doing homework, but I was too scared!
1995 (Yr 13) Alex Lakeland - I left DGS with A Levels in pure maths, applied maths, physics and music. I studied music at Durham University, then worked for six months as an auditor with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Since then I have been working for an internet firm on Milton Park (just down the road from Didcot!), first as an HTML implementer and now as a programmer. I may just be a professional spod, but it's great fun! While at DGS I played in the orchestra and Ms Card's Early Music Group, and my musical activities are probably what I am remembered for the most (together with a stubborn streak and a certain door handle incident - I say no more...). (received 03.04.01)
1996 (Yr 11) Joanna Harley-Smith (now: Harley) - I am living and working in London as a Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator for a software company. Since leaving the school in 1996 I have travelled extensively in South East Asia, India and Nepal. I started University in Leeds but decided I was on the wrong course and I have not returned to finish a degree. My advice to anyone at Didcot Girls’ School is to travel as much as you can and always keep an open mind. The real opportunities in life sneak up on you when you are busy worrying about something else. (received 01.10.01)
1996 (Yr 13) Claire Ginn - Since leaving the sixth form with 4 A’ levels, I have spent 4 years at Oxford Brookes University doing a Business and International Management Degree. For the past 3 years I have been working in the marketing department of an Internet Security company in Theale, Berks. Just recently I have taken up rowing with the aim of competing at Henley Royal Regatta. I can regularly be found on the water at Henley being over taken by none other that Matthew Pinscent and James Cracknell!
1997 (Yr 13) Isobel Burnie - I left school with A levels in History, French and Politics. I went on to go to Middlesex University in London to study Drama and Technical Theatre Arts for 3 years which was a brilliant experience. I graduated in 2000 and went straight into working at the London Palladium on the 'King and I' in the wardrobe department. I was there for about a year and I'm now working on 'Kiss Me Kate' at the Victoria Palace in wardrobe. I'm really enjoying working in theatre, I don't think anyone thought I was ever going to do anything else! I live with my boyfriend in East London and I'm very happy! (received 28.11.01)
1998 (Yr 11) Jadi Burgess - I didn't go on to college, much to Mrs Proctors dismay. I did however become a qualified chef and have been doing that ever since. I have currently just taken up a post of head chef within the compass group working for a local IBM centre, catering for around 500 people a day. the best bit is its Mon-Fri...... no more weekends or late nights!! (received 14.11.07)
2000 (Yr 10) Emma Brackstone - I left DGS in the October of 2000 to emigrate to Australia. I am currently residing in Queensland and after completing my Bachelor of Business (Management) and my graduate intern year with the Queensland Department of Main Roads, I now work for an entertainment company called Tabcorp in the Casino division. (received 27.10.08)
2000 (Yr 13) Ruth Dyson - I left DGS in June 2000 with A' levels in Maths, Physics and Biology. I did well enough for my first choice of the University of Wales, Bangor to read Psychology but I am currently taking a year out, living and working in Toronto, Canada. I am living at The Bishop Strachan School in central Toronto which is the oldest girls' boarding school in Canada. I work in residence and also in the junior school with the Junior Kindergarten (4 year olds). I love it here and have had many new experiences, such as learning to live on my own and also how to ski! I have met lots of new people and made lasting friendships. I shall miss it when I return to England in July. While over this side of the Atlantic, I have taken as many opportunities to travel as possible and have visited Ottawa, New York City, Cuba and Montreal. (received 10.04.01)
2000 (Yr 13) Luci Didriksen - After leaving DGS I spent the summer working in Cornwall at a water ski school which was fun as I love it down there. I then worked in and around the Wallingford area where my parents live, saving up to go travelling in March 2001. During my travels I visited Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada - it was a wonderful experience and best of all I met my present boyfriend Dave whilst in the out back of Australia and we will have been together four years this April. Once back in the UK I started a 4 year sandwich course in BA Event Management in Leeds, spending my placement in London. I am now on the final run and hope to graduate summer 2005. My parents still live in Wallingford in the same house I've always lived in and I plan to live there and save some money for when I plan to go and do Aid work and more travelling in January 2006. I'd especially be interested in planning an alumni dinner - after all it is what I have done my degree in! (received 06.02.05)
2002 (Yr 13) Laura Dallas - I left Didcot Girls' School the summer of 2002 after sitting my A Levels. I then went on to study BSc Sociology with analysis and research at the University of Reading. I enjoyed an amazing three years before I graduated with a 2:1 in the summer of 2005, having made a lot of new friends! A very scary summer, for the first time in my whole life I didn't really know what to do next! I worked as a chef for 6 months at Chelsea Football Club - mainly to try to clear some debt!! In January 2006 I earned a place on a finance internship with General Electric in Bracknell, which was a great opportunity. I am currently living in Reading with my boyfriend of 5 years and working for a Hewlett Packard subsidiary company, HP CDS, as a business analyst. CDS are sponsoring me to complete the CIMA qualification, which i have recently started, to become a management accountant. (received 14.08.06)
2003 (Yr 11) Kirsty Reeves - When I finished my GCSE's in 2003 I went to college in the September to do a Childcare course. This got me my Level 1, which was a two year course. Then I stayed on at college and did my Level 2 in childcare, which I finished last summer. Now I am working full time as a nursery assistant at Kids Unlimited nursery in Harwell.
2003 (Yr 13) Danielle Rayner - I left Didcot VI Form in 2003 after winning a scholarship to study International Politics and Intelligence Studies at Aberystwyth, (with great thanks to my inspirational Government and Politics teacher Pete Browning). I moved to Cardiff in 2006 after graduation to live with my boyfriend Joshua who I met on my degree course in Aber. We've been together four years in April 2008. After a year of saving money, in 2007 I enrolled on the MSc in Criminology at Cardiff University. In March 2008 I won a grant to study for a PhD in Socio-Legal studies, again at Cardiff. Outside of studying, I'm still playing the drums and enjoying Bob Marley, so some things never change! I've become a fan of Welsh rugby after living in Wales all these years. I'm also a bit of an expert at location-spotting on the TV show Torchwood as it's filmed all around the University buildings, Cardiff Bay and the city centre. My parents still live in Didcot so whenever I visit them I have a look to see what's changed. I don't really miss the old place but it's always interesting to watch it change and grow over the years. (received 07.04.08)