MANEA: Joan gets a surprise turn out as she returns to village to meet up with old school friends

By ADAM LAZZARI SHE may have left Manea 68 years ago but Joan Johnson enjoyed her childhood in the village so much she organised a reunion of old school friends. Mrs Johnson, 83, feared that nobody would turn up but was amazed to see more than 25 people a

By ADAM LAZZARI

SHE may have left Manea 68 years ago but Joan Johnson enjoyed her childhood in the village so much she organised a reunion of old school friends.

Mrs Johnson, 83, feared that nobody would turn up but was amazed to see more than 25 people at the Church Rooms, Park Road, Manea on Saturday.

Most of the attendees still live in Manea and the majority hadn't seen Ms Johnson since she left the village when she was 15.


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She now lives in Impington.

Manea resident Dianne Rowe helped to organise the reunion after she was contacted by Mrs Johnson about two years ago.

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She said: "Joan rang me out of the blue as she had seen my contact details in Manea Matters, the newsletter booklet produced by Manea Connect Committee, for which I am secretary.

"As we were talking about her childhood I realised she used to live in the house I am living in now and it had been built by her grandfather in 1903.

"We have kept in touch and I invited her up to Manea earlier this year.

"We had a great morning reminiscing about the village in the 1920s and 1930s.

"I suggested that I should arrange for some of her old school friends to come round for coffee later in the summer so that she could catch up, so I drew up a list of potential attendees.

"The guests arrived promptly and the conversation was immediate, non-stop and very animated. It was a great success."

Village historian Peter Short brought old photographs for gusts to reminisce over.

Mrs Johnson said: "I was absolutely amazed that so many people made the effort to come along and I would like to thank them all.

"I met my old piano teacher, who is still teaching now, and my best friend from childhood, Phyllis Woodcock, who used to sit on the desk next to me at Manea Village School.

"I will definitely keep in touch with many people who attended as this has been a day I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.

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