For one small part of my career I qualified as a Radiation Protection Advisor and part of that process was to attend a four week international residential course. As usual on the first day we had to introduce ourselves and explain what we were all about. Two of the group were memorable – one guy simply got up and said “My name is Mark. I am from Switzerland. I like fine wine and women” then promptly sat down. He was memorable for that intro – one that I have used a few times since!
Then a girl got up and explained her name was Cecilia and she was with the Australian Nuclear Energy Commission, but that she was an ex pat. To cut what I usually make to be a very long story short it turned out that she was one of our peers (1957-1964), hailed from Orpington (Green St Green) and went to Orpington Girl’s Grammar.
When at CVTS the VIth form organised a Christmas Dance (did discos exist then?) in the canteen area. That involved inviting those funny creatures with bumps on their chests (the ones we had been segregated from for seven years or so). Cecilia was one of the invitees to that event and remembered going. So we met up 28 years later in a Portacabin in Harwell separated by 10,000 miles or so – spooky or what? Had I been able to dance then my life story might well have taken an entirely different route and I could have forged a career in Australia.
PS I have since learnt to dance (if you can call Modern Jive dancing) and did manage to win a UK competition down at Weston Super Mare at age 60. Just to make it a little more difficult it was “Double Trouble” – one man, two girls (neither of whom were the wife!).
Barry Warren (1957-1964)