Contest winners find each other 50 years after school

From left, Russell Bridges, Chris Young, Marcella Young, Jarvis West and Alicia Phillips enjoy afternoon tea at The Grosvenor Hotel after winning the treat as part of the launch of the new Oxford Tube coaches

From left, Russell Bridges, Chris Young, Marcella Young, Jarvis West and Alicia Phillips enjoy afternoon tea at The Grosvenor Hotel after winning the treat as part of the launch of the new Oxford Tube coaches

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

TWO school friends had an unexpected reunion in London after not seeing each other for 50 years.

Alicia Phillips and Marcella Young won a competition through Stagecoach as part of its launch of the new Oxford Tube fleet.

By chance, they ended up sitting at the same table as part of winning the treat – afternoon tea at London’s Grosvenor Hotel – and quickly discovered they were former schoolmates.

The duo had been pupils at Botley Primary School, in Elms Road, Botley, between 1958 and 1964.

At that time they were, of course, known by their maiden names Alicia Adderley and Marcella Pether.

Mrs Young, who lives in Glebelands, Headington, was delighted to see her former classmate.

The 61-year-old said: “I knew that I recognised the face but when we discovered the connection, I just couldn’t believe it.”

While both remember happy times at primary school together, they went their separate ways, as Mrs Phillips headed to St Juliana’s Convent in Begbroke, which is now closed.

A mother-of-one, Mrs Phillips, who lives in Westminster Way, Botley, has fond memories of her time at primary school alongside Mrs Young.

Class sizes were much bigger back then – with 100 children split between two classes.

Mrs Phillips, also 61, said: “There was an amount of naughtiness because of the class sizes.

“I was sent out lots for giggling mainly.

“I remember my first day in Miss King’s class I had my hand rapped with a ruler.

“It’s unheard of now.

“We still had the cane too as a punishment. It was very, very rarely used but it put the fear of God in us.

“I remember being so happy there – I have such happy memories. It was a fantastic time.”

The retired Oxford City Council secretarial worker added: “Hopefully, some other classmates might get in touch with us now and then we can have a reunion.

“We had such a lovely afternoon reminiscing about old times and I enjoyed travelling to and from London.

“A big thank you to all the staff from Stagecoach who organised such a special event and the fact I met an old friend there was the icing on the cake.”

They won the trip through the #CoachWithAView competition which celebrated the launch of the new Oxford Tube coaches, which went into service last Wednesday.

Business development manager Karen Coventry said “It was nice that Oxford Tube was responsible for reuniting these two friends after all this time. All guests enjoyed their trip to London and were excited to be the first passengers on a new Oxford Tube coach.”

Stagecoach announced in March it was to replace its entire fleet of Oxford Tube coaches at a cost of more than £10m.

The coaches take passengers from the city centre into London. The service celebrated 25 years in 2012.

Our top stories:

Rising cost of delayed tower blocks revamp will top £20m

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th May 2015

A MULTI-million pound project to refurbish Oxford’s five tower blocks could be delayed by almost a year.

Oxford University is set to appoint its first female vice-chancellor

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 29th May 2015

THE first female vice-chancellor of Oxford University has been nominated by committee members and could take up her post next January.

Severe weather warning for strong winds for Oxfordshire today

Oxford Mail: Wild winds headed towards Cornwall

11:17am Friday 29th May 2015

Strong winds are set to hit Oxfordshire today as a severe weather warnig was issued

FOOTBALL: Pitch woe gives Oxford City a headache

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 29th May 2015

Oxford City have vowed to improve the pitch at their Marsh Lane home after plans to install a 3G artificial surface in time for their National League South debut were shelved write Matthew Bruce and Michael Race.

‘Hashtag’ crowned children’s word of the year by publisher

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 29th May 2015

OLDER generations might think of the hashtag as nothing more than a button on a keyboard.

Speedie’s not pulling wool over our eyes

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th May 2015

PREPARE to be astonished by “the world’s most dangerous circus act”.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree