Last-ever reunion for Tower Hamlets School for Girls, 1964-86

PUBLISHED: 13:14 18 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:15 18 September 2014

Ex-Tower Hamlets pupils at a previous reunion

Ex-Tower Hamlets pupils at a previous reunion


Ex-pupils from a former girls’ comprehensive going back half-a-century are turning up in London’s East End from all over the world for their last-ever reunion.

1970s... pupils at Tower Hamlets Girls' school1970s... pupils at Tower Hamlets Girls' school

Many who went to Tower Hamlets School for Girls from 1963 to 1986 are meeting at Stepney Green’s Half Moon pub for a lunchtime celebration on Saturday, to mark more than 50 years since the opening of the school which had the motto “Educating Women of the Future”.

Those “women of the future”—many now in their 50s and 60s—are arriving from as far as Scotland and from abroad, including Germany, Canada and the US, for a good old chinwag to catch up on old times.

“This is our sixth reunion—but it’s the last,” organiser Bee Duncan, 50, told the East London Advertiser today. “We’ve got a Facebook Page which will continue, so we’ll be able to keep in touch wherever we live in the word.”

The school in Richard Street, off the Commercial Road, became Stepney’s Mulberry Secondary for Girls in 1986.

The new Mulberry Secondary that replaced Tower Hamlets Girls' school... long since demolishedThe new Mulberry Secondary that replaced Tower Hamlets Girls' school... long since demolished

“But this reunion is specifically for the ladies of 1963 to 1986 only,” Bee insisted. “Mulberry is holding its own celebration at a different location—and we haven’t been included.”

The former London County Council school opened in 1963 to meet a shortage of secondary places in the East End, then came under the new Inner London Education Authority when the LCC was abolished in 1965. It was reborn as Mulberry School when the ILEA in turn was abolished in 1986 and came under Tower Hamlets Council for the first time.

“I joined in 1975 when the Head was Daphne Gould,” Bee added. “She was very strict and firm. It was a tough school in those days.

“Many of the ‘ladies of the future’ did very well—we’ve got a few doctors and a pharmacist coming to the reunion.”

Bee, who, works in public health, is travelling from Hertfordshire and is expecting 300 ex-pupils and staff who taught at the school from 1963 to ’86 to turn up at Saturday’s three-hour shindig, which begins 11am at the Half Moon in Mile End Road, near Stepney Green Underground station.

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