Morpeth author meets a fellow student from 50 years ago through a series of strange coincidences

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Morpeth author Bridget Gubbins met a fellow student by chance after having a conversation about her book which explores the very same thing they have in common.

Bridget is an author and pre-digital photographer and went on an October walk with a group of professional outdoor photographers near Aydon Castle.

There she chatted with Mark and Helen about her forthcoming book ‘Hit the Road, Gals’, which tells of her and her friends and their wild activities at an all-girls college in the 1960s.

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She had a strange conversation with Helen, as the two were unaware of one thing in both of their past which they had in common.

Bridget Gubbins, right, looking at old photographs.Bridget Gubbins, right, looking at old photographs.
Bridget Gubbins, right, looking at old photographs.

The conversation went something like this:

Bridget: “So where were you at college?”

Helen: “Oh, it was in Hereford, at the College of Education.”

Bridget: “Never!” she realised they went to the same college. “And which years?”

Helen: “It was 1963 to 1966.”

Bridget: “I can’t believe it! This is exactly the period my new book is about.”

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A few days later, Helen and Bridget got together in Wetherspoons and looked together over the few poor-quality photos Bridget had from that time. The two tried to work out if they had common acquaintances.

Bridget said: "It was tricky because we look so different now from the bright young women we were in those days. However, we both had good memories of our strict principal whose job it was to maintain high moral standards. And of course, we remembered the good-looking men lecturers, among whom we all had our favourites, short as we were of male company.

“Now we are liaising and bringing together the half dozen contacts each of us have from half a century ago. All of us are around 80 years of age. And along with Helen, all will be invited to my book launch at the Morpeth Book Festival, on Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Bridget has published two books previously and does so under her pre-marriage name of Bridget Ashton. First was Hay Before the Bookshops or The Beeman’s Family in 2022 and then Cold War, Warm Hearts in 2023. Both are available at Waterstones in Morpeth, other local bookshops, or online. Hit the Road, Gals will complete the Hay Girl Trilogy and 1960s memoirs.

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