The last time this group met it was 1971, they were teenagers and had just done their O-level examinations.
When the 16 of the 24 Rutland High School for Girls pupils met last week, it was 42 years later, as doctors, bankers, accountants, psychologists, retailers and teachers.
Between them Form 5 Alpha had 18 sons, 10 daughters and 19 grandchildren.
And they had travelled from as far afield as Liverpool, Somerset, Cirencester and Andover for the reunion. Angela Unitt (nee Munro), who traced the pupils from an original register that RE and English teacher Sylvia Leach had kept, said: “It was fantastic. We didn’t feel that anyone had changed much: their voices were all still the same. We reverted back to our teenage years and we reminisced a lot.”
Mrs Leach and form teacher Aline Egan were chief guests at the lunch, at Oakham Cricket Club, Brooke Road, with four other teachers.
Mrs Leach, 70, of Derwent Drive, Oakham, said when she met her former students “the years just fell away”. She added: “Putting names to faces and looking at them and realising that they’d not changed, except in age, was wonderful.”
Miss Egan, of Redland Road, Oakham, said: “I thought it was wonderful. I did not recognise some but I recognised others.”
Form 5 Alpha went their separate ways after O-levels - to sixth form at the Barleythorpe school, other sixth forms and others to find jobs.
Mrs Unitt of Cossington, Leicestershire, who organised the reunion because their “beloved school”, is about to be knocked down to make room for a Sainsbury’s, added: “It was joyful, noisy and fabulous – just like we were 42 years ago.”