Alumnae Reunion in Northern Ireland

The first in a series of regional reunions planned by the DHSA and the Foundation Office took place in the spectacular Grey Abbey House and Gardens on the beautiful Ards Peninsula in County Down, which is only open for groups by arrangement.


18 September 2019

Kindly hosted by Daphne Montgomery (DH 1958 Bridgeman) and her husband William, whose family have owned Grey Abbey since 1607, the Regional Reunion brought together all those former Downe House girls from the class of 1958 to the class of 2004 who now live in Ireland.

Sue Cunningham (DH 1966 Ewart) said, “It was a very nice opportunity to reconnect with old seniors, both known and unknown to me and Rosemount was a delightful setting for the reunion. I had never discovered that Daphne Montgomery had gone to Downe! Since leaving Downe House, I think I have only managed to get to one reunion and so to have one here on home ground was marvellous!”

The reunion started with a look at DH Archive materials brought from Downe House by Alumnae Relations Manager, Mrs Alexandra Barlow and the DHSA Administrator, Lady Peto, Louise. Of particular interest was the djibbah which many of the alumnae remembered wearing along with the blouses with embroidered collars which sparked much discussion.

The alumnae enjoyed a delicious three course lunch before which Daphne said the School Grace bringing back a host of memories for the ladies. After lunch it was time to take a look at the photographs from the DH Archive including the whole school photograph which Diana Williams (DH 1965 Temple) had brought along with her. Then it was time to take a tour of the superb formal gardens, the successful redevelopment of which has been a major project for Daphne Montgomery over several decades.

Mrs Alexandra Barlow said, “The Regional Reunion was a wonderful opportunity to bring together this group of alumnae and we would like to thank the DHSA for their generous support in making the event possible as well as the Montgomerys for sharing their stunning home with us. The feedback from all those who attended has been very positive and it was clear that the alumnae really appreciated the opportunity to catch up with one another without having to travel to London as well as the special invitation to tour the very impressive Grey Abbey House and Gardens”

Further regional reunions are planned for the coming year and any alumnae who would like to get involved should get in contact with the Alumnae Relations Office by emailing or calling Mrs Alexandra Barlow or Lady Peto, Louise on 01635 204740.

Find out more about the Downe House Alumnae Network

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