Past pupils and staff travelled from as far away as Australia to attend an exclusive reunion at St Margaret’s School in Bushey.

The reunion was organised by Michele Olie after months of detective work tracking down the team who had undertaken a World Challenge expedition to Northern India in the summer of 1994.

Michele, who was an art teacher at the school when she made the trip, explained: "My son is heading off on expedition to South Africa this summer and it dawned on me that it is now 20 years since we went off to India.

"I had a trawl about on the internet and eventually managed to track down all the girls who’d travelled.

"All the girls seemed keen on a reunion so I contacted St Margaret’s who were happy to host the event."

The eight who attended were Michele, who travelled from Somerset, Nicola and Emma Moores who both live in Lincolnshire, Smita and Monica Nath from London, Roz Tadman from Gloucestershire, Nicola Earle from London) and Helen Maunder-Taylor who travelled from Australia, combining the trip with her grandmother’s 100th birthday celebrations.

Michele said: "It was lovely to see them all again - some of us have stayed in touch more than others over the years but we had a great time and even managed to watch a DVD containing our expedition footage and shared lots of photos, which helped bring the memories flooding back."

Michele’s legacy has lived on with her two children, Alexander and Matthew, both signed up to overseas schools expeditions.

She believes her World Challenge experience gave her the necessary life experience and skills needed for later life.

"My friends are always astonished at what I can pull out of my handbag. I’m never without a penknife or a first aid kit," she said.

"Taking on an expedition is a fantastic way for young people to push themselves outside of their comfort zone, both physically and mentally, while at the same time experiencing international cultures and forging life-long friendships."

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