The Winner of our Holles Connect Hamper
Drum roll please! We can now reveal the winner of our Holles Connect hamper.
Many congratulations to Dinah Alsford, LEH 1951-1956, who was selected at random from all the alumnae who successfully completed their online profile on Holles Connect and uploaded a photo of themselves by the end of October.
"What a surprise; I can’t believe I’ve won a prize!." said Dinah, who celebrated her 80th birthday this week with a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House with her three children.
Dinah left LEH after passing her O-level GCE exams to work in Lloyds Bank Executor & Trustee Department in St James’s Street, London. After five years she married and went on to have her three children, but she never forgot her ambition to extend her education and in 1989 she gained a diploma in Theological and Pastoral Studies at the University of Nottingham to became a Lay Minister in Southwell Diocese and in 1994 she qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language to Adults.
Dinah teamed up with three friends from LEH days in 1997 to trace as many as possible of the 76 women who had travelled with them through their schooldays - not easy pre-Google, most having changed their surnames, some more than once, and several living abroad.
She says: "We held our first reunion at a restaurant in East Molesey in 1998, and in 1999 36 of us were at the Holly Club lunch on October 2nd celebrating our 60th birthdays. Renewing former friendships with those we knew so well in our younger days has proved really beneficial in our retirement and empty nest days. Though our numbers have sadly dwindled, 32 of us still keep in touch by email with photographs and another 12 by snail mail and we have a few days away in May, a Christmas lunch and other less organised visits."
She adds: "LEH gave me an appreciation of language, choral singing and geography and the beginnings of my Christian faith. My fondest memories are of Miss Habershon, who taught elocution, and Ruby Davies, who taught RE, and who was our form mistress in the 3rd form and again in the Upper Fifth, and continued to support us after we had left school, coming to our reunions in 1998 and 1999."
Dinah came to the Alumnae Lunch this October, along with five others all celebrating their 80th birthdays. "When Mrs Hanbury talked about the present day bursaries I was near tears as she explained how comprehensive they are now, how all expenses are covered. My parents were not hard up but I’m sure some parents of the girls I knew had difficulty meeting the cost of transport, uniform and school trips, etc. Her words changed my impression of the school of today and I have endeavoured to pass those thoughts on to others of my generation."
Dinah receives her Fortnum & Mason hamper in good time for Christmas. We hope she enjoys it. If you haven’t done so already, please do upload a photo to your online profile to help build the LEH Alumnae community.