They left at the end of the Second World War but the proud schoolgirls from Longley Hall still can’t wait for their next reunion.
Six ladies from the all-girl school and two of their husbands gathered in the Yorkshire Rose pub on Leeds Road to reminisce about their time at the stately school situated off Dog Kennel Bank, Huddersfield.
Phyllis Kaye, 86, of Quarmby and a former dressmaker, professional actor and deputy headmistress of Helme School, said: “We were all there between 1941-45, the war years.
“It was a lovely school. We had to pass the 11-plus to attend it and there was a class of 32 of us originally.
“We had our first reunion when we were all 70 and have held one every year since then.
“There were Italian gardens and tennis courts but we had to dig the courts up as part of the Dig for Victory.
“It was a joy to be there and give me that most precious thing of all, a desire to learn.
“We had all had very happy memories and used to write to the men on the battleships.”
The school was set in nine acres of wooded grounds and was built in 1865 and owned by the Ramsden family although there were Ramsden family links back to Tudor times.
Education in wartime Huddersfield was very different from today.
The girls, who wore a uniform of navy blue tunics and cream blouses, enjoyed learning traditional subjects such as arithmetic and English alongside home economics and crafts before studying secretarial skills in their final year.
Five years ago when Audrey Mayor, (nee Westmoreland), attended the reunion she gave a vivid description of life there. She said: “Longley Hall was more like a family home than a school.
“It was a grand building with a fantastic curved staircase.
“It always smelled of polish and we had to wear indoor shoes to protect the floors.”
The school closed in 1960 and became Huddersfield High School before converting to a special school a decade later.