Keble Revisited the Blenheim Girls Return
Family Day 27 June
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On Tuesday 23 June, a 'moment in time' was recaptured. The College hosted a Reunion for the young ladies who had worked for the War Office at Blenheim Palace during the war and were billeted here in the College. 60 'girls' came, the youngest being 71.
Some had not seen each other since those days, but many had formed and nurtured lifetime friendships. Any worries over not recognising each other were quickly dispelled over sherry in the SCR, and the lunch in the Hall proved to be a memorable occasion for all. For many, it was the first time that they had seen the Hall without blackout curtains.
In the afternoon, the girls visited rooms which they had lived in, some for 5 years, and stood amazed at the advances in heating and plumbing. During the war, a bucket of coal a week was the ration for the open fires in the rooms, shaving water was brought round by the scouts and a bath was a luxury rarely experienced as there were so few in the College.
The many letters of appreciation confirm that it was a truly
memorable day for the 'girls'. For us at the
College, it was wonderful to see such a remarkable group of women recalling
a very important time of their lives.
The 1998 Family Day built on the success of the inaugural event two years ago. Old Members and their families filled the Hall to capacity for lunch. After a decent interval, races and games were organised in the Fellow's Garden for the 85 children present, where there was also a bouncy castle. Traditional favourites such as egg and spoon and sack races were run with much gusto and the parents' race, a balloon bursting relay, was fiercely contested. Many older children chose to do the Keble Quiz, scouring the College for the answers to such questions as 'What do the entrances to P1 and P2 have two of that P4, P5 and P6 have only one of?' The winning score was very impressive!
Tea and strawberries in Liddon Quad rounded off a very happy day on
which the weather was far kinder than the forecasters had predicted:
whilst Wimbledon sprouted umbrellas and every cricket match in the country
was rained off, we were able to sit in the sun and enjoy the College at its best.
copyright © 1998 Keble College, Oxford OX1 3PG