Almost 100 former students spanning 50 years returned to The Abbey at the weekend for our first Magnolia Tea & Tours Reunion. The event takes its name from the magnificent Magnolia tree that has stood at the centre of the school for 70 years – a gift from old girls for the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Despite the recent frosts, it was looking resplendent for the occasion.
It was joyous to see so many alumnae back at The Abbey and being shown around the Junior and Senior Schools by our sixth form students. It was particularly special to welcome back our anniversary years, leavers of 1973, 1983, 2003 & 2013.
The Abbey museum proved a popular haunt with people looking through the whole school photos, archives and albums to spot themselves! A small group of former teachers attended the afternoon and it was lovely to see the excitement of alumnae and teachers being reunited and sharing stories.
After a busy afternoon of school tours, everyone came together in the Richards Hall for an afternoon cream tea with finger sandwiches, scones, cakes with an optional glass of fizz! Pride of place at the top of the cake stand were some miniature Gypsy Tarts – the iconic school dessert made with condensed milk and demerara sugar that so many alumnae remember with such fondness. They were eaten with rave reviews!