FRIENDS REUNITED: LONDON 2006 Photos: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2 | PAGE 3
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Michael Sheard
Last February, several members of the Grange Hill cast from the 1980s were reunited for a Channel 4 show, "Bring Back Grange Hill". More than a year had passed so it was time to do it again - this time away from the glare of the TV cameras. So on 21 April 2006, fifteen Grange Hill favourites, some who'd attended the earlier reunion, got together for a meet-up in a pub in North London.

The guest list included some different faces, and those in attendance were as follows:

George Christopher (Ziggy)
John Holmes (Gonch)
John Alford (Robbie)
Alison McLaughlin (Louise Webb)
Simon Vaughan (Freddie Mainwaring)
Jonathan Lambeth (Danny Kendall)
Sara McGlasson (Julia Glover)
Fleur Taylor (Imelda Davis)
Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas)
Erkan Mustafa (Roland Browning)
Lee MacDonald (Zammo)
Lisa York (Julie Marchant)
Ricky Simmonds (Ant Jones)
Ruth Carraway (Helen)

Also in attendance was Nick from the band Kaiser Chiefs. Our good friend George Christopher describes how the reunion came to pass, and gives his account of the big night:

"It all began about 2 months ago through a link of e-mails between myself, Ricky (Ant) Erkan (Roly) and a host of others for a private reunion this April, as we went along the link got bigger as people located more cast members. Think it was Erkan's idea in the beginning. No-one told the press or TV as we wanted to just meet, have a drink, chat and laugh over the old days etc without a circus in tow. I hadn't seen John Holmes (Gonch) for over seven years and it was hard to locate him, but by a fluke I'd done a TV convention in Swindon two weeks before the reunion and his flatmate just happened to be there and came over, hence I got John's number and he came. I got the train to Geezerland (London), the day before and stayed at my good friend Dot's in Mitcham. I lived with Dot and her husband Jeff when I did Grange Hill for 4 years, sadly Jeff passed away in January so it was nice to see Dot and chat about the old days, Jeff was like the North star, you could guide your boat home by him! The next day I made my way to John Alford's (Robbie) in North London and talked him into going, so we made our way to The Warwick pub in Islington.

"As we arrived we were met by big smiles from Ricky, Erkan, Lee, Simon, Simone, Sara, Alison, Ruth, Fleur, Lisa, some of whom I'd ot seen since 1987. At first it was a bit surreal, took a few pints to relax, plus one of the members of the Kaiser Chiefs Nick joined us, who just happened to be in the pub and was a big Grange Hill fan, and a crackin` feller. Soon John Holmes turned up after getting lost trying to find the place, and Jonathan (Danny) arrived to a massive applause! It was hard trying to fit everyone in, so many great people after so many years in one room, but I did and conversations from what were doing now to Liverpool winning the Champions League last year were hot topics. One thing I noticed was no-one seemed to have aged, everyone looked so well. Except Ricky, I had to do a double take when I first saw him as he looked so different, seemed to have shrunk and lost his Glen Mediaross hair, but hadn`t lost his sense of humour, had me crying with laughter at some point! Lee looked well too, lost a lot of weight since the Justin Lee Collins reunion last year. And the girls...all looked just as gorgeous as I remembered them, time had been kind! It all wrapped up around 2 o'clock then me and John Alford (last men standing) went for a late beer in a bar he knew till 5 in the morning. A great night and plan to have another in September. A day in a life I wont forget!"

The following photos were supplied by George, with additional shots from Sara McGlasson. Bring it on!

Simon Vaughan (Freddie) and Ricky Simmonds (Ant)

 

The mullet is dead! Ricky Simmonds and George

 

From left - Sara McGlasson, George Wilson, Simone Hyams and Simon Vaughan

 

John Alford in thoughtful mood...

 

Lee MacDonald with Erkan Mustafa

 

Freddie's love rivals...Sara McGlasson (left) and Lisa York with George and ?

 

Ricky and Lee

 

Lee, Alison and Ricky

 

We were Kaiser Nick's batmen!

 

Calley and Imelda bury the hatchet - in Alison's head!

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