Seniors' Day

A wonderful turn out of over 120 guests returned to Wycombe Abbey for Seniors' Day this year on Sunday 10 May. With the weather on our side, Seniors enjoyed a wide range of activities across the School. Beginning at 12, they were surprised to see the changes in the front reception room, before sipping on prosecco in Big School and listening to a string quartet of current girls play.

After a few words from the Seniors' Consultative Committee ChairAmanda Gibbon(Owens, C149), they had a warm summer luncheon buffet, and then heard from Headmistress Rhiannon Wilkinson about Wycombe Abbey's plans for the future, and the upcoming 102th anniversary celebrations.

Following lunch, Seniors toured around the grounds and Houses with current staff and Resident Tutors, also exploring the School Shop and trying out the tennis courts. Seniors with children could also take them for ice cream and crafting, or swimming, in the Sports Centre.

Later in the day a group of Seniors who left School 1980-90 met in Fisher Library for some singing around the piano with the old red song books, led by Geoffrey Heath andFiona Robinson(Johnston, C145). They finished the day with some afternoon, tea cakes and sandwiches, and more fizz, while browsing through old photos and magazines from the 1980s.

Here are some Seniors' impressions of the day:

Just as I had hoped, I was able to walk round to see old haunts and old Wendover dormitories. And to reminisce with some from my year and house. It was all set up beautifully.

I can't stress this enough – it was lovely to feel that Sunday was just given to us, no strings attached, for us to enjoy. I think most girls from my time would agree that the best thing they took from Wycombe was the life-long friendships (just as true for me). And I think you could tell from the atmosphere on Sunday that we are/were a nice bunch of girls... For me, Sunday was incredibly cathartic. What I've taken away from it is that Wycombe is a fun, generous, warm and open-minded school... Exactly the qualities I'd like fostered in my daughters.

It was a great success! It was great to meet up with the six '65s-it certainly didn't feel like 50 years since we first went to Wycombe! Thank you so much for the delicious lunch in Big School. It was generous of the School to provide such a feast!

I think everyone loved taking a trip down memory lane. It still feels like yesterday that we were all there. And wonderful to see some of our former teachers!

My son and I had a marvellous time. The meal was terrific and so was the company. I was glad to find that I was still able to walk up Dawes Hill in spite of the advancing years! The grounds are simply glorious; the lime avenue much longer than I remember it.

Well done in organising such great day for us all. I loved so many of the little details like the timetable card etc.

The lunch was really delicious and probably one of the best buffets I have seen & eaten (& that is a good number!)

I hadn't been back to the school since the Carol Service the term after I left in 1971! I was a bit apprehensive about it, but was made to feel most welcome from the moment that I drove in the front gate. And all the changes that have taken place as well as the planned Project 120. I won't leave it another 40+ years!

I so enjoyed it – many, many happy memories and lovely to see so many familiar faces both old colleagues and pupils. The programme was perfect – not too rushed and it really made me reflect on the very special place Wycombe Abbey has in my life!

The Senior's gathering was a real pleasure to be part of. The lunch and tea were superb, and the resident tutors a pleasure to talk to. For myself, it was a great opportunity to be able to show my daughter where I had been to school and to meet up with old friends and tea It was great to meet up with some “old” faces and to reminisce about our time at Wycombe Abbey. Walking round brought back so many memories and I was really impressed with all the developments over the years. The current girls are certainly very lucky!

It wasa really wonderful day on Sunday. I felt really emotional when I got home and it all sank in.And our Circle has been emailing each other frantically since.

I compared notes with one of the eld
erly ladies whocame on theCampbell tour and establishedthat the school changed very little between 1946, when she started,and 1984 when I left -same rules (accounts on Sundays; don't use the front stairs; strict bath rota), same décor. But it seems to have changed quite a bit since then.

Wow! Times have changed since I was last at school, when they would offer vegetarians (the weirdos!) a bland plate of watery cauliflower cheese... Presented with my very own vegan tea plate this afternoon! Highly impressed,Wycombe Abbey...So happy to reconnect with some of my favourite teachers (who I didn't appreciate nearly enough during my time atWycombe Abbey!)

It was a huge success – the comments flying around afterwards have been overwhelmingly positive and friendships have picked up almost exactly where they left off nearly 30 years ago. We really had a tremendous day, particularly because so many of our year group came. Some had come back with a certain amount of trepidation, but that was short-lived and we all came away remembering the years at Wycombe (which was – I have to say – very different to the ‘warm' Wycombe we saw on Sunday) as important formative years that gave us something special that perhaps we didn't appreciate at the time. These reunions are really important in re-establishing Wycombe at the heart of those friendships we made and life lessons we learnt, and will encourage more of us to send our children there. I wish now that I had taken the plunge – they are very lucky girls !

To see more pictures of the day, and galleries from many other Seniors' events,please click here.