Janet in 2008

Janet in 2008

Fortunately ED, I haven’t had much need for algebra and the French at which I was rather good a isn’t much use here on the West Coast of Canada  except for reading bilingual signs.

I last visited the school in 1974. There was an Autumn Fair and I was in Buckingham visiting my sister. I took my niece (Sandra Conroy, now age 40 and an Old Latin) in her stroller and went up to school on a little nostalgia trip. One of the first people I ran into was Mr Walker who didn’t actually greet me, but looked at me and looked at Sandra and declared that he could see what I had been doing since I left school! While it’s true that Sandra did look a lot like me when she was small, and was often called Little Janet around Buckingham by people who had known me, I was annoyed by his cheeky assumption. That was because he  he  was looking at my niece and I’d been busy in an entirely blameless and academic fashion – in fact I was just about to finish my third year of college.

I have noticed many references to Mrs Robertson’s death but haven’t found an obituary on this site. She was Miss Whitlow when I started school and as the years went by she could talk me into anything. I swam in several swim meets in which  I didn’t want to swim because I was the right age and could do the distance, but I hated competitive swimming. Somehow, I even ended up as Newton House Swimming Captain ( for lack of anyone else) for a brief period. I also played goalie on the girls hockey team during my last year.

I have enjoyed the pictures of the Oliver production. I was always one of Miss Baker’s refreshment girls at those events, sports events like the Old Boys’ Cricket match, and the Mayor’s Reception.

The RLS was such a good education and foundation for life. I found myself working alongside another Old Latin at G F Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver. Dr. Leslie Andrews was at RLS around the time of WW2. He lived in Winslow after his family had got evacuated from London. He was a physiatrist (rehab medicine specialist) and a very funny man with a wicked sense of humour . We used to enjoy reminiscing about school days and comparing what his school experience had been like compared to mine. Leslie died 2 years ago after an illness.

I’ll fill out the Old Latins form and send it in and stop rambling on here.

No, ramble on Janet. We  love hearing from Old Latins who been broadcast far and wide across the world. You’ve yet to tell us whether you eventually had the family that years of further education initially postponed.

You’re right, I’ve never posted an obituary to Barbara [Whitlow] Robertson, for the very sad reason that she died so prematurely, long before I took up my pen to address such matters. Like you, I retain fond memories of Barbara – she had such a wonderful personality. As you’ve noted, her warmth, magnetism, charisma ( call it what you will) coupled with an engaging smile moved mountains. Grumpy lads & lasses buckled and volunteered. Barbara was one of those people who brought the best out of others. She turned drudgery into fun.  ED

Later, Janet added:

You didn’t teach me, but you came to the school before I left. I had 5th form physics with someone else maybe a Mr Edwardson.
I’m glad someone has taken up preserving  the memory of Buckingham as we knew and loved it. I find it strange to be there now and not know everyone. When I was growing up I couldn’t do anything even at the far end of town without my parents knowing about it before I got home. For example, once, after judo I went to the pub with the folk and had a Hubbly Bubbly, I was there for 20 minutes. First thing I heard as I walked in the door at 9:45 was “What were you doing at The New Inn , young lady!”
I feel sad that the fields we roamed over picking blackberries or mushrooms, and hills we tobogganed on are all built on, yet at the same time it is good to see Buckingham vibrant and revitalized.
Geoff and Esme Kirk have added (They lived either side of Janet in Addington Rd when she attended RLS and, of course, Geoff is an Old Latin from the post-WWII years)

Thanks for sending on Janet’s email – she hasn’t changed a bit.   I like her memories of Brook’s fields – now Page Hill of course.   We certainly made the most of the fruit etc. growing there – lots of which we sold to the greengrocer – blackberries and sloes at 4d a pound – mushrooms at 10d a pound – rosehips at 3d a pound – can’t imagine that sort of thing going on now can you! [ I can remember George Wise, RLS groundsman, popping down to the Market on Tuesdays loaded with George Embleton’s rhubarb! ED]
I also remember three of us toboganning down the big slope just beyond Sandpit farm on a big iron sledge that my dad made for me.   We couldn’t stop the thing at the bottom of the hill and went straight through the hedge – over the Stratford Road and finished up in the old canal!

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