Many would agree that the anthem of 1940s Britain was Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again.

For one class of Carlisle girls at least, they certainly took the song's message to heart.

The Margaret Sewell graduating class of 1949 did what many disbanding groups often do, and promised each other to stay in touch.

It is a promise that often goes unfulfilled, but not in this case.

Now, exactly 70 years on, they are still meeting again.

"You know how you say 'we'll meet again', but you never really expect it to happen," said Dorothy Porter, 86.

"It's lovely that we did stay true to our promise, and we're all here together now."

Meeting each once year upon leaving school at age 16, the group began meeting twice a year more than 20 years ago as they reached retirement age.

Joan Dewar and the rest of the group attribute the beginning of their reunion tradition to their teacher, Constance Busby, daughter of celebrated local artist Thomas Bushby.

"She said we were the noisiest form she had ever had - we were always chattering," said Joan.

But the chattering must have left a positive impression on Miss Busby.

"She said we had to keep in touch with her and with each other.

"And it turns out that we did."

It is that love of conversation that Joan says kept the classmates firm friends through the years.

"We all get on so well because we like to chatter so much."

Doreen Bell agreed, adding that "we're not only a friendly group, but also a very caring one".

In more recent years, the group's meetings have been tinged with sadness, as old age has dwindled the original class size to just six.

But age has not dampened their spirits.

"We are here on this earth for such a short time – you have to make the most of every moment," said Dorothy Duffy.

"I see myself like a leaf on a tree – when I fall I’m the ‘soil’ the next generation thrives on.

"So do what you can to improve and enjoy friends and encourage everyone to look forward to a life of happiness and fulfilment."

Some of Dorothy's strongest memories of her school days include her school trips across the length and breadth of the UK.

"We were taken to Glasgow to the Van Gogh exhibition, to Stirling Castle, to Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory and Stratford upon Avon to see a performance of ‘The Merchant of Venice’."

"That was our O level book for English."

Going on to Durham University in 1951 to become a teacher, Dorothy then returned to Carlisle and taught at Norman Street School, before eventually moving out to Whitehaven with her husband Herb in 1960.

Dorothy eventually became a headteacher in the town. Retiring in 1992, Dorothy and Herb briefly lived in Grenoble in the south east of France.

Dorothy and Herb - who died 16 years ago - had a son, Liam, who now has two grown-up children of his own, and runs a theatre company for recent refugees into the UK.

Age has not stoppered Dorothy's sense of adventure. She still drives and regularly visits France.

"Perhaps I’ll go to India next year," Dorothy added. "I’ve read a lot about it".