Having the ‘Time of Our Lives’ for charity

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A reunion with some old school friends from the war days put one local lady on the road to raising thousands of pounds for charity.

Dr Joyce B Deans CBE (91) reckonedthe memories of the Laurel Bank girls during World War II evacuation were worth preserving in print.

The result is a fascinating paperback compilation entitled “The Time of Our Lives” which has so far collected an impressive £5,500 jointly split 
between cancer research and a charity to help victims of stroke

The book follows the antics of pupils, including Joyce, who spent the war years as evacuees at Strathallan Castle and Auchterarder House in Perthshire.

Despite the war, this period was for most of the girls, as they recall in the book ... “The Time of Our Lives”.

Joyce compiled the memories and the book was edited by journalist Anna Magnusson.

But putting the book together was far from an easy task for Joyce.

She told the Herald: “About ten years ago, I met up with some girls from school and as we were chatting about memories I said ‘we should really write down some of this’.

“I think they thought I was daft but I said some people might be interested in the future about what life was like in this era, one which will never come back.

“I wrote to a number of them and they sent back a memory – one lady sent me nine pages!

“At that point Anna, a much younger “old girl”, offered to help me to edit the book”.

Joyce then attempted to get grant aid from Historic Scotland and other bodies to help fund the publication of the book but was unsuccessful.

Then, out of the blue, Lorna Macdougall, an ‘Old Girl’ living in South Africa, who had suffered a stroke, got in touch.

Joyce said: “Lorna donated a very handsome sum of money which enabled us to produce the book and I am immensely grateful to her.”

Since the book hit the streets, Joyce and Anna have been in demand, with invites to talk at many local venues.

They will both be signing copies of the book at the Cancer Research shop in Milngavie town centre, on Saturday, June 2 from 1.30-3pm and hope many local people will turn out to buy a copy and boost the charity’s coffers.

The Time of Our Lives is priced £10. It can also be 
purchased from Joyce at 
11 South Erskine Park, Bearsden, G61 4NA (£2 extra for postage).