Plastic fantastic four seek to turn back the clock

Their coats are plastic and these Shropshire schoolgirls thought they were fantastic.

From left: Mary Shortridge (now Fox), Gaye Walford (now Pope), Helen Binek, and Jayne Rochelle.
From left: Mary Shortridge (now Fox), Gaye Walford (now Pope), Helen Binek, and Jayne Rochelle.

And they could do with having those PVC coats back because now, all in their 60s, this fashion-conscious foursome want to recreate this picture of themselves with that iconic item of women's wear.

The trouble is that none of them have their old PVC coats any more, so Gaye Pope is hoping somebody can loan some for their planned nostalgic photoshoot, to take place once coronavirus circumstances allow.

Gaye, who back then was Miss Gaye Walford, says: "A friend of mine unearthed a photo of four of us girls back in the 60s in our iconic PVC full length maxi coats standing outside The Swan in Bridgnorth High Street.

"My son Trevor decided that it would be great to recreate the same photo many years on. We've found all of us but one, and agree it would be great, although obviously not until it's safe to do so.

"But we no longer have our lovely coats – which sadly probably wouldn't still quite fit – all these years later. We were wondering if somebody or perhaps some vintage clothing place may have some we could possibly loan, or come up with any other suggestion.

"In the photo are, from left, Mary Shortridge, who is now Mary Fox, and next is myself, Gaye Walford, now Gaye Pope, then Helen Binek, then Jayne Rochelle – we haven't managed to find her.

"We all went to Bridgnorth Grammar School. I think Mary's parents used to run one of the pubs in Claverley. Helen used to live on RAF Stanmore as her father was in the forces, and I was Bridgnorth born and lived on The Grove. Jayne Rochelle used to live at Bromley, was from a farming family and went on to be a model, appearing on the cover of Vogue I think, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.

"The girl who took the photograph was from Beckbury if I remember correctly.

"The coats were what we used to wear to go out. We believe we probably had our school uniforms on underneath them.

"They were very trendy items of clothing then, and I remember saving my Saturday job wages for ages to buy one. We were friends from school, and lost touch when we left school.

"Facebook has reunited us now, and we're all either 65 or 66 – I think that's correct. Helen lives in the Shifnal area, Mary in Shrewsbury and myself in Broseley. The photo was taken by Gillian Fletcher, another friend, who is now Gillian Coles.

"I think we're all pretty much retired now. We're all happy to recreate the photo outside the Swan and have a good old catch up and reminisce about the old times, the 60s trends and the fun we had."

Anybody who can help with PVC coats, or if Jayne Rochelle is out there to complete the quartet, can contact Gaye on


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