Mrs Nightingale held up her hand, thus reducing the round of applause in the hall to silence before she continued.
“I am pleased to say that as part of our 100th anniversary celebrations we are honoured to speak live to five of our old girls in England. I know that many of you have prepared questions to ask but as time is limited we have selected one from each year group. Now hopefully the technology will work!”
Mrs Nightingale pressed a switch on the lectern and suddenly the large projector screen behind her was lit up. There was a gasp of excitement as the Chalet girls saw the faces of 5 women sat together on a sofa.
“Girls, I will now pass you over to our head girl Anna who will lead the questioning. Anna, if you please.”
Anna, a tall athletic girl from Croatia rose from her chair on the dais and stood at the lectern. After clearing her throat she began.
“Good afternoon everyone, and good afternoon and thank you to our special guests in England,” she said in carefully pronounced tones.
“Good afternoon,” chorused the girls.
“Are we on?” voiced one of the old girls.
“We must be, we can hear them? Can you hear us?” This last part was spoken loudly and slowly by another old girl seated on the far right of the screen.
A few sniggers amongst the younger Chalet girls at the front were quickly silenced by an array of glares from the staff on the dais.
Anna continued. “Yes, we can hear you. Thank you for taking part in these momentous celebrations. We are honoured to speak to you. Today, our girls have prepared some questions for you. Some questions are for all of you but others are just for just one or two. But first please could you introduce yourselves?”
With all eyes on the screen the five women began.
“Yes, I think we can do that. My name is Daphne Bettany. I was at the Chalet School during the 1960s and was a teacher during the 1970s.” Daphne smiled, nudging the woman to her left to continue.
“I’m Phillippa Sorensen, formerly Maynard, I was at the school in the 1960s also” added the woman, looking to her left for the chain to be continued.
“I’m Len Entwistle, formerly Maynard. I was at the school in the 1940s and 50s. I was also a teacher during the 1960s.”
At this point there was a gasp around the room. Mental calculations were quickly carried out – Mrs Entwistle must be in her 90s!
“My name is Cecil Thwaite, formerly Maynard, and I was a pupil during the 1960s.”
“And I’m Felicity Archer, also formerly Maynard, also formerly a pupil in the 1960s and a little in the 1950s.”
After this final introduction was made, a girl from each form in the school was invited to ask a question.
“What’s your earliest memory of the Chalet School?” was Year 7’s question.
“I think I also speak for Cecil and Phil when I say that my earliest memory of the school is simply seeing it every day throughout my early childhood. We did after all live next door in what is now your sixth form house,” replied Felicity.
There was a gasp from some of the girls who hadn’t known this – Sixth Form House actually used to be a real house!
“For me I gained images of the school from my older sisters but didn’t actually set foot on the Paltz until I was 10. I felt like an old girl on my first day!” chuckled Daphne.
Finally Len spoke. “I remember being back in the dark ages, when the school was still in Wales! The war was on then and I was only small but as Mamma was so involved in the school, we, that’s myself and my triplet sisters, had been going to the school in some form or other since we were in our pram.”
A short pause followed before Anna requested the next interviewer to put forward her question.
“Who do you think has been the best head girl?"