Susan E. Kaberry and Beth Cox

Susan E. Kaberry

A Britannia Street Reunion

Last week I was in London with a very special group of people. I read from Britannia Street, and we had a lively and thoughtful discussion about the book and our time at Bolton School. Because this was a group of my peers from our Alma Mater, otherwise known as the Old Bolts. This group was unique because they were at school at the same time as I was and as the events written about in Britannia Street took place. They knew all the teachers and other pupils and many of the places which are the backdrop to my memoir.

Naturally this prompted many personal stories and reflections about our time at Bolton School. Some of the group had experienced a different side to the headmistress, Miss Higginson, she certainly wasn’t all bad. We all recognised the profound effect our education had on our lives and how it shaped our development. One thing we have for sure is our ability to express our opinions. There was no shortage of questions, comments and discussion. And as always when I read from Britannia Street, people were reminded of their own family’s secrets and lies and the damage that can inflict on subsequent generations.

The event took place at the Army and Navy Club on Pall Mall, where one of our group is a member. It was a delightful place, with a calm and airy atmosphere, a sheltered outside seating area for drinks, and a quiet dining room where we enjoyed a delicious and great value lunch.

I left feeling it had been a positive and heart-warming experience and whilst I know I have already laid many of the ghosts of Bolton School, this was yet another layer of validation. Those who read the book described it as unputdownable, some reading it all in one sitting. I am touched by people’s responses and grateful to them for making the effort to brave the journey to meet in central London. It means a great deal to me.