1940s Reunion November 3rd 2007
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The suggestion for a reunion came as part of the following letter dated 24 August 2006 that Pedro Howes sent to Keith Bradshaw:
What a pity that there is not someone capable of organising a reunion for, say, all former pupils pre, say, the earliest date for which there has already been a reunion. If I were living in UK I might volunteer to organise it, but it is impossible from this distance. I would certainly attend. By copy of this message, I am asking Graham if he is aware of anyone of our era who loved school life to the same extent as I, and would be prepared to be Organiser. Best Regards, Pedro Howes (1947).
The reunion is far more than just an evening meal. All recent reunions have covered from Friday to Sunday, partly because those who have to travel from a distance will invariably have to stay overnight, but also because quite simply there is too much to do, too many people to chat to, too many reminiscences to hope to cover them all in a single evening.
Hence the programme will offer something from Friday evening to Sunday lunch time. The boys from 1945, in particular need to consider this reunion as distinctly different from the reunion they attended - it is that PLUS. The Friday evening and Sunday morning will be an opportunity to meet for a drink/meal at the OGs Oxford Str. Club in Wellingborough
Friday Evening: Meet at OGs Club in Oxford Street for ad. hoc social starting at 7.30 pm.
Lunch: The OG's Club opens at 11.00, and offers sandwich meals. A convenient pace to meet before the main events.
The main events will be on Saturday afternoon and evening. And both should be considered as essential to the reunion.
Saturday Afternoon: Meet at between 2.00 and 5.00 in the NEW
Hall at WGS (Wrenn school, Doddington Rd. Site).
Drive into the original playground. The Hall is where the prefabs were built. The visit provides lots of opportunity to intermingle and chat. Those who have attended in the afternoon think, in retrospect, it has been just as important part of the reunion as the meal.
The intention is to provide the real start to the reunion and it is hoped that everyone will come.
An opportunity to meet friends from your and adjacent years
To see Miss Bavin's scrap books and a large display of photographs and other memorabilia.
To find out about life membership of the OG's.
To tour the school and relive old memories.
and to allow the Evening Telegraph to take a large group photograph
Everybody will be supplied with a name badge, including start year.
A tour of the school has been an integral part of the 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1967 reunions. The 1952 reunion held a mock Spike lesson conducted by David Wilson! The assumption that all the interaction can be done at the reunion meal, misses the fact that for much of the evening conversation is limited to those sitting at the same table. Interaction is far more fluid during the school visit, when people recall memories of particular teachers/rooms and individuals move at different speeds and take part in conversations with different individuals. The external aspects of the school - the front and 'cycle shed' area are uncannily familiar. The Head's office is accessible, and the main corridor and staircases are identical apart from additional swing doors.. The surprise is the fact that the dining room, original hall and classrooms are so small! If you miss the afternoon, you will regret it.
NOTE: Whilst it is hoped that most of you look back at the school positively, not all of you will. Some may have very caustic memories of particular masters! Indeed the 1956 reunion began by emphasising that it was a chance for the boys to remeet rather than to eulogise the school. But whether you look back at the school as an opening up experience or as a jail, going back 60 years later will provide a new perspective.
Between the afternoon and evening events: The Castle Theatre is open for coffee etc. all day and in addition to providing meals at lunch time, it would be a convenient interim meeting place if couples have split up in the afternoon and is a pleasant place to have coffee and a rest before the evening meal.
Saturday Evening: Meet at 7.00 for 7.20 (time still to be finalised) Leave Castle Theatre at 11.30pm.
When we started planning there were several places we could have used for the evening meal - we have booked the largest - the Castle Theatre which can cope with 200 diners. But if, the reunion is as popular as we think it will be, we may have to organise two parallel evening meals. If that is done, then we will organise it so that all individuals from a single year will dine together (unless they wish to be with a different year). We intend to provide a programme of activities in a formal meal setting. Johnny Hyde is the honoured guest of the reunion and will be formally introduced by Graham Ridge, a schoolboy from 1948 and a Master at the school in the fifties. David and Graham Tall, authors of the book Memories of Wellingborough Grammar School, will speak and the Master of Ceremonies will be Peter David (Pedro) Howes, a 1947er and the inspiration for the whole reunion.
IF you can offer entertainment skills please tell your year co-ordinator and/or myself (Graham Tall). Again in previous years much of the entertainment has been self provided: 1955 resurrected a very enjoyable band which played tunes from the fifties. 1956 had a sing-a-long with one of its members leading the approach using his electric Organ. 1952 had people relating memories and experiences of their school life. Remember this is your reunion and your involvement is crucial. If you have ANY ideas - are a stand-up comedian/ one man band or whatever please let us know! - Do think back about your own memories of the school - 1-2 minutes recollection could help get the ball rolling.
Dress: Lounge Suit/ Smart Casual.
See map of Wellingborough below. Note the one-way system in Wellingborough. For those who once knew the area. The Theatre is in the old Cattle market. Drive down Victoria road and turn right opposite the Police station into Midland Road. The Lyric cinema used to be on the left opposite a fish and chip shop where I used to enjoy a good meal after Saturday Morning ABC cinema. You have NO CHOICE, but to turn left into Castle Way. The Theatre is immediately signposted on your left, turn in to the spacious car park - the turning is indicated by the Red Arrow on the map below.
Sunday 11.00: Meet at OGs in Oxford Street for a drink/sandwiches and a fond adieu.