IT takes more than a few thousand miles to drive a wedge between this group of former north Essex schoolfriends.

The ladies in this image are dotted around the world, from Berkshire and Amsterdam to Melbourne and Toronto.

However, while their lives may have taken them to different parts of the world, they all have one thing in common - they went to school together in Clacton in the early 1970s.

Heather Sanderson, who now lives in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington DC, dropped us a line to say she and her friends have been great pals since their days together at Clacton County High School.

They still speak regularly via Zoom.

Heather is pictured in the middle of the top row with Jacquie Brunt (now Martinez), in Toronto, Canada, in the top-left screen. In the top right is Elisabeth Anselmi (now Reiss), in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In the bottom row, from left, are Jenny Beales (now Fairey) in Melbourne, Angie Pinner (now Harvey), in Berkshire, and Julie Aldous (now De Vries Aldous) in Amsterdam.

A couple of other friends in the group couldn’t make it for this picture.

They are Janet Ingham, in California, and Philippa Bird (now Silver), in Dorset.

Heather, 61, went to Burrsville Primary School, in Great Clacton, and started at Clacton County High School in 1970.


  • Angie Pinner and Jacquie Brunt

She said: “It’s so great to keep in touch via Zoom. We were speaking every couple of weeks and now it’s about once a month.

“I usually try and get home at Easter, although I couldn’t this year because of the pandemic, but Elisabeth, who lives not far from me here in Virginia, will be coming over with her husband in December.


  • Elisabeth Anselmi, Angie Pinner - front row and Julie Aldous

“They will quarantine in London, get tested and then head to Clacton to stay with her mum, who is in her 90s.

“We’re all very envious as we’re desperate to come over, too.”