Forties Reunion -Photographs OGs Oxford Street Webmaster Contact:  grahamtall@wgsmemories.org.uk

The Reunion was held on the weekend of November 03rd  2007  information below

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Dear David, Graham and Committee members

Having returned to Anglesey I write to thank you for a splendid reunion of the Forties O.G.’s.

For many of us it was, possibly, the last time we shall see each other and offered tous the opportunity to recall many events, both amusing and sad.

Comments made to me by many of the people I met during the weekend proved that the tremendous efforts in organising the event were very much appreciated.  One wife even told me that her husband had been so excited at meeting old ‘pals’ he was almost back those school days – quite rejuvenated.

I was somewhat taken aback by your presentation to me of the Saints book and do not recall what words I spoke or even if I thanked you.  If I did not then I do so now – much appreciated.

The enthusiasm of those attending reflected, I am sure, the appreciation of what the school had offered to them by way of unstinting time and efforts of the staff.  How fortunate we were that the war ended in time for us to have the benefits of that care of returning staff who remained devoted to the School through to retirement.  What a pity none remained to grace the reunion.  Once again, thank you all for a splendid occasion.  Johnny Hyde

 

To: David.Howes It was good to meet you. Thank you for your contribution to a splendid weekend. And thank you for your help with our participation - it was greatly appreciated. I'm sorry that that we couldn't spend more time together, but you were very busy. Maybe there will be another occasion. To have such a large turnout says such a lot for the school, and you organisers.

Wonderful! Best wishes Norman and Kathleen Elmore

 

Peter It was good to see you and a lot of other school friends again on Saturday. You must have been delighted at the number that turned up. I hope that you had a good journey home

Best wishes Terry Adams

 

To: David.Howes

May I thank you for the part that you played in organising the reunion week end. My attendance at these events gave me a great deal of pleasure and recalled many happy memories. One again a very large thank you.

John C.W. Pratt 1947 -1952

 

To: David.Howes

Congratulations on a successful weekend. It was good to meet up with some old friends not only from the 47'ers but from other years as well. A few faces were not quite so recognisable but thanks to the names badges we coped. I thought the Dinner was a good evening, it had it's faults but we all managed to converse even between courses, and that was what it was all about. A tremendous organisational feat by everyone, and satisfying when it succeeds.

Keep in touch, All the best Roy Benning

 

To: David.Howes

Greetings Pedro. Just a short note to express my appreciation for the part that you played in putting together the reunion celebrations. Much hard work on your part brought many of us together. For which I am grateful. Amongst all the nostalgia there was a tinge of sadness that it was unlikely that we would all be meeting again (at least on this planet). Parts of the evening were surreal - particularly meeting > people like Wolfgang again after all this time. Sadly the day passed all too quickly and there was so little time to talk to everyone and contacts with some were only fleeting. Congratulations. regards Peter Negus.

 

 Many many thanks for a splendid weekend which will live long in the memory. I was so immersed in the whole thing that I stupidly forgot to pick up my souvenir programme, is there any chance that you could post me a spare copy if you have one ? I also owe you the money for two lots of sandwiches from Saturday lunchtime so I could send you a cheque to cover it all,

Regards    Geoff Patenall

 

Again thanks for organising a remarkable and great day to remember.  I wonder how your voice survived it.  More important how long it will take you to recover from the pressures?  After the many phone calls and e-mails it was especially good to meet you and David.     David Bradshaw

 

Thanks for all the effort you put in to make it a memorable evening.  It was great to see so many OLD friends.   Graham Teal

 

Hi Graham,     Many thanks to yourself, Peter, Pedro and others for organizing such an excellent reunion for the 'Forties'.  It was good to see 'old ' faces and talk over our memories of a golden school time.  The visit to The School was heartwarming, although the structural changes left me with a certain sadness, whilst the missing quadrangle brought tears to my eyes.  What have they done to our school in the name of progress ?  Great shame about the poor performance by the caterers, but as I told you, they do have form for it.  Hope  the team don't let them off without a good wigging.    Tony Buckmaster

 

Graham

Many thanks for all your efforts for the reunion. Your personal input was amazing and we are all truly grateful.

I lost my camera more times than the number of pictures that I took but a couple of these may be useful (Benning, Priest, Pauline Stratton and Stratton Negus and Howes.

You may be able to doctor the others for, unfortunately, I don't know the names of the chairs.   I can see Tew, Horn and Ridgewell on image 2 and Langford, Field and Tew on image 1.

Brian Corn is a bit upset about the Pud but he did a fantastic job too. He regrets not personally supervising the service...not his job we paid for it to be done professionally.   John Cook

 

                   I just want to say thankyou to you and David, Pedro, Syd, and all others actively involved in the reunion.    WHAT A SPLENDID DAY IT WAS!   I nearly didn't come and although I would not have known what I had missed, I am certainly very glad I came.   To meet and talk with people that I remembered but hadn't seen for 56 years was just incredible, and to find that they still remembered me was superb, though I was saddened to find that some I had hoped to meet were no longer with us.

            Whilst waiting for David to sign my copy of your book, I heard his conversation with the young lady that I assume was responsible for the organisation of the meal and room, and he was clearly very upset about the problems you had with the amplification system, and the quality of the soup and steak, not to mention the very drawn out presentation of the meal, which I know caused just a few to leave early and for you to curtail a few of the 'memories'.   Please don't let this spoil your memories of the day and the tremendous effort that you all put into it;  my chicken was very tasty, and the melon was fine, if a little lacking in quantity, and the apple pie was fine.    As regards the amplification, who cares if there was a little hesitation and adjustment, it's part of the memory, and as for the prolonged food delivery, well it gave us lots of time to sit and talk, and I am surprised how quickly the time went, and not at any time did we have an awkward silence.

          This was a WONDERFUL DAY that we shall all remember for the rest of our time, and you are ALL to be CONGRATULATED and SINCERELY THANKED for actually doing what we others just thought about.

          I shall certainly now try to keep in touch through the websites and the Old Grammarians Club, in the meantime, could you please forward these thanks to David,Pedro, Syd, and anyone else who has been involved.      

                    Many thanks,    Ted Rowthorn

 

Your energy amazes me.  Thanks you for your immediate response to my request for Ian Priors e-mail address.

After I had sent the e-mail yesterday evening I read through Forties Memories and enjoyed all of it hugely.  . One of the best for me was the 'Mr Beery' memory.  Oh my goodness, what  a trail of negative memories is now turned against him in humour he generated.  A pitty perhaps that more didn't sieze the opportunity to write.  I would gladly have had mine reduced to read them.  To produce the memories booklet in so short a time is another achievement you can be proud of. 

You can  only print what you have been told, but there are a few comments to pass on for the archive sometime, but they can wait. .

Again my thanks to both of you.    David Bradshaw

 

May I thank you and those involved in the organising of an excellent evening. I was one of those people that were not the best of scholars, and to whom schooldays were certainly not the best days of my life, but I still took away something from the experience at the School that I have had cause to value in my life.  Saturday night reminded me of that which I have cause to value. Thankyou again    Alex Lee

 

Just a quick e-mail, as one of what will no doubt be many, thanking   you for the wonderful reunion at the weekend. It was so good to have the opportunity to meet up again with people one hadn't seen since the 50's and find out what they had been doing   subsequent to leaving WGS. I hadn't realised until this weekend how territorial one was in school friendship, with the Wellingborough pupils seeming to have had their own tribal grouping as did Finedon people and we from Rushden. Sorry to see the way the school buildings have been vandalised in the   struggle for increased capacity but above all I was horrified to see   the changes to the laboratories, no doubt driven by H & S. How pupils   are ever inspired to study science in such circumstances I cannot   understand. What a lot they miss compared to our school days. What a   loss too the pictures which Eddie Phillips used to have on display in   the top corridor. The whole place seemed to be part of an alien   culture compared to our own school days and I suspect not nearly so   much fun. Thanks again for all your efforts to mastermind such a memorable weekend.     Regards,  Richard Hall.

 

I hope you managed to enjoy the great reunion on Saturday - you certainly deserved to.  It seemed to me to be a great success and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of my contemporaries.  I'm afraid I crept out before the final moment but this was only because after my stroke I suddenly run out of steam and have to shut my eyes and sleep for a while - no reflection on you!  Anyway, well done, very well done. Alan Crawford

 

Hi Graham,

Thank you for organising such an enjoyable do; I thoroughly enjoyed myself.   The e-mails have been flowing so the event has been successful in rejuvenating contacts which should please you.As to "Forties Memories " we were all so impressed with its quality and I wouldn't change a word of my opinion of the school as reproduced on p 5.  Having said that the current buildings left me cold proof indeed that it was the people that made it such a special place.  Finally I do hope your wife is feeling better..   RegardsMike Beeby

 

Hi Graham

Many thanks for all the hard work that you, your brother and others put in to make Saturday's reunion such a splendid event. It was really good to renew aquaintances after so many years, and good to acknowledgethe role of WGS and its excellent staff played in our development over the years. We were truly priveleged to attend such a school.      Thanks again   Yours   Brian Rigby (1949)

 

David & Graham,

Congratulations on a superb Reunion; 3 Nov.07 was a day to remember !  It was so good to meet up with the '42 people again, I hadn't seen Pat Hunt since we were at school.  We thought the catering was a bit chaotic and tended to upset the timetable but so many good conversations it didn't seem to matter too much. Trust your wife, Graham, recovered from the sickness at dinner.

Thanks again for all your hard work.    Colin McCall 1942

 

Many thanks for your e.mail re the "Event"  May I reiterate the remarks of Mr. Rowthorne and say  Thank you very muchfor organising the reunion which I very much enjoyed.  Please be assured that in my view all of your hard work was well worth it.     John Pratt 1947

 

Dear Graham,

Might I add to the felicitations echoed by my old mucker Ted. The whole event was a total joy, and the odd wait for fodder an itch on the body total. Actually my wife organises food for two hospitals, and is a trained chef. Food for thought for the next one!!! Fifty years on I probably won't have too much of an appetite!!!

Seriously though, difficult for me, the organisation of such an event blows the mind. Thank you, David, Pedro and the others for getting so many of us under one roof at the same time. I met so many buddies after so much time had elapsed that it was quite amazing. The trip to the old school too brought back times and memories that even I thought had long been erased from my old head.

Thanks a million for the chance to partake in such a joyous occasion. God bless you all.     John aka "Joey" Allen  (1947)

PS: My wife commented, at length, at the camaraderie engendered by such a superb school, and the way that many years had done nothing to dull the immense affection shown to Johnny and Harold, and the others: But then, that's why so many turned up!

 

Hello Graham and David,

From myself and Christa and Julia congratulations and a mighty big  thank you for the splendid reunion and for being yourselves.  It was a very happy occasion for us. We'll let you have some pictures  later All the Best,   Alan Rudd (1943)

 

Graham,

A huge amount of work.  I had a wonderful weekend.  If that joy was multiplied by 200 I hope you can construct an equation which accommodates your effort!    Thank you.               Bill Priest (1947)

 

Dear Graham David and Pedro Howes,

Just a short note to thank-you and all others involved in the WGS Reunion. I had been looking forward to this for some time and it did not disappoint. Although you had a few hiccups it was really wonderful to meet so many old boys which really was the aim of the get together. A very sincere thank-you for all your hard work which made an old boy very happy indeed.    Kind regards    Michael Wadsworth.   1947

P.S. From an old girl it was great to see Michael so relaxed and enjoying his time spent with you all. ( from the scribe of this message)

 

Graham and David and all the organisers

Thanks for the email and to you both a great big thank you for all the work that you did and still do.  The weekend was marvellous and although I didn't meet many that I knew it was well worth while.  I very much look forward to the 50's reunion and to seeing I hope many more old friends.  Best wishes and thanks  Peter Bryan (1950)

 

The reunion must be counted a great success to judge by the vast  number of e-mails which it has generated. Never let it be said that  we oldies don't make use of modern technology.    Regards,   Richard Hall (1947)

 

Graham, sorry I missed you on Sunday. Enjoyed the weekend very much.  David Percival  (1948)

 

Thank you and your fellow-organisers for a splendid weekend; it is greatly appreciated. My wife and I were pleased to meet you and David.

It was wonderful to meet up with 'boys' that I hadn't seen for almost 60 years. To have such a large turnout says such a lot for the school, and for your collective hard work in bringing us together.   Best wishes   Norman Elmore

 

Belated, but nevertheless sincere thanks, to you and all who helped you, for the wonderful and memorable day last Saturday. It was fascinating to meet and converse with former fellow pupils, more than fifty years on from when we last met, and, also, I enjoyed the tour of the "old school".   The day went so quickly, and I was sorry to have to leave "The Castle" ,early, at 23.20 hours(!!!), with the after-dinner audio/visual show and oratory, still in progress.   Ray Burton.

 

Congratulations on a most interestig and enjoyable reunion.  Everyone involved in the planning and execution of the event did an excellent job and have my thanks and admiration.  My visit to the school on Saturday afternoon was the first since I left in 1948.  There were many changes of course, but enough remained to remind me of my schooldays, which were very happy ones.   Best wishes,   Colin Craddock

 

Hi Graham - Am just back from a week away following the reunion and have picked up my e-mails.  Yes, it was a super occasion and so good to meet up with old colleagues and re-live school days.  Thank you to you and your 'team' for making it possible.

I have read Ted Rowthorn's e-mail letter to you and can only echo and agree with all that he said.  Just a pity about the Castle catering and serving, but at least it gave us the added chance to chat and renew old acquaintances!

Did you get much information on our individual experiences etc from our school days to to-day?   Jim Richardson (1944)

 

May I offer my belated thanks and appreciation to you and your team responsible for the memorable get together last week. It was fantastic to meet again some of the 1945 crowd, in some cases 62 years on but it was very well worth it and unfortunately the time passed much too quickly to be able spend much time with all of them.  If it is at all possible I would like be able to communicate with some of them again so if you could possibly release any addresses (e-mail or postal) then I would be most grateful.

Once again, congratulations and put my name on the 40-50`s re-union list !  Alwyn York 1945

 

There are so many appreciative and congratulatory things I want to say about the Reunion , but they will have to wait.    I have been ill since last Tuesday – mainly in bed.     Very best wishes    Syd Brown

I thought you should know what pleasure your Memento publication has given two friends of mine in the southern hemisphere.

I managed to get two extra copies of it and sent them to Leonard Clipstone in Tasmania and Roger Boyd in Western Australia , neither of whom I have seen since the day we left school.

Leonard Clipstone was a linguist, spending his career in teaching and ending it with a headmastership in Tasmania .   He could not get to the reunion but we have been corresponding since I contacted him about it through his college and he is coming to the UK next year and spending a few days with us.   He says Many, many thanks for the WGS booklet which arrived yesterday afternoon.   I immediately sat down and read it from cover to cover with avid interest, not just because of my own quotes therein!.....The reunion was a terrific venture to get off the ground and all those who helped organise it can be justly proud.”

 Roger Boyd and I did bike tours together.   He was at medical school with Jim Hyde and more hurt than most of us by Jim’s wanting nothing to do with us now.   Roger practised in the UK for a couple of years but then went to what was in those days a sparsely populated part of WA south of Perth where minor surgery was done in the local cottage hospital by the GPs.    He had additional training in surgery and anaesthetics and much wider professional experience than he would have had in the UK .

In a recent letter to Keith Bradshaw, Richard Hall, Leonard Clipstone and me Roger says how much he has enjoyed reading the Memento and adds “I do so regret that I was unable to attend and renew the acquaintance of so many of the students who perhaps assisted me in developing my personality in such formative years.   I also regret not having contacted the authors of the memories, to relate any amusing situations relating to specific teachers. So many memories return on reading the booklet and seeing the photos of the old teachers.”

He then makes up for it by giving us a few of his memories, the best of which concerns Chunky Pine:

“While talking about Chunky, I recall that he had been in his younger days a champion gymnast and had developed problems with his knees. I remember one occasion when I was having a slight altercation with a Jim Smith, and Chunky came upon us both exchanging blows. Rather than telling us off he took us into the gymnasium and fitted us out with boxing gloves, using the situation to teach the correct way to throw a punch by rotating the wrist when delivering a straight left.”

So thanks again Graham for all your hard work – on the Memento as well as the reunion itself.    I hope the evidence of all the pleasure your work has given will be some recompense for all you put into it.

With best wishes,    Syd Brown

 

I had a splendid time at the Reunion and send you and David my hearty congratulations on organising such a successful weekend.  I have done this sort of thing in other fields and I know that many others help in the teamwork. But, at the end of the day it was you as the prime initiator, aided and abetted by David (!), who had the major stress.   Brian Clayton (1949)

 

Dear Graham,

I feel that it is important to put in writing my thanks for the most enjoyable weekend of the Reunion. I am sure when the idea was muted, you could not have envisaged the hard work that was to follow. However it proved to be very worthwhile. To listen to past school mates greet each other with such enthusiasm and pleasure must have given you and all your team great satisfaction.

Although being a local lad, it gives me enormous pleasure to  look back on the days at the school, and to appreciate the educational grounding it gave to me in my formative years. These memories came flooding back when meeting my old colleagues.

May I thank all of your team, in the persons of David, Brian, Pedro and Peter S together with yourself for making the weekend such an enjoyable event.  Kind regards,      Mike Steele

 

Thank you for all the extra work - but rest assured the meal did not spoil anything - in effect the long waits gave us all time to communicate more and really do a "Semper Memor Juventutis".         Tom Boyce

 

Good to hear that compensation has been negotiated. It was a very good evening, except for the meal service. Indeed I was one that had to leave before the end of the evening.  Peter Smith

 

Hi Graham,

I totally agree with thoughts of Mike Beeby in that we give it to the OG's to be ring-fenced for a future event, after you have taken your expenses out.  I thought the reunion went well, and in some respects the poor service gave us the opportunity to meet up with friends again during the lull in serving the food.  Thanks for all that the committee did in organising the event. It was a mammoth effort and also for obtaining a refund.    Roy Benning

 

Graham,
It was s super occasion, and I certainly don’t want any refund. The
 food didn't matter - it was catching up with old friends which really counted. I should have been in touch to thank you and brother for making it all possible. However, I do so now.  Put the money to some good WGS/OG cause. There must also have been lots of expenses which you incurred and for which you haven't been 
reimbursed. Put that right now. Thanks again,  Geoff Coles (1942).
 

Graham - Many thanks for your e-mail and congratulations on the settlement you and colleagues have achieved.  It is more than I expected, but, nevertheless, completely justified.  What to do with the money?   Well, I certainly do not want a personal refund but feel that, firstly, any outstanding expenses incurred by the organising team should be completely covered.  You all did a superb job and should not be 'out of pocket' in any way.

And then the balance.  I think a framed copy of the Evening Telegraph photograph to be hung in the OGs HQ  would be nice and appropriate and the remaining money could be used either as a fund to be held by the OGs to subsidise future activities or events or, as you suggest, an appropriate award at the school in the name of the 1940s old boys - but would the money stretch that far?  In conclusion, again well done, and I would be happy for you and your team to have the final word on how the compensation should be used.

Many thanks     Jim Richardson MBE (Rubery, Birmingham)

 

Hello Graham

Thank you for your e-mail.   My personal view is that the committee planned a perfect evening and I fully support  that  same committee to plan to leave the most suitable ` footprint` from the proceeds of the refund.    Well done     Alwyn York

 

Dear Graham,

                    Thank you for your second recent message.  First of all I would like to thank you and all others involved in any way with the Reunion. Following on from your very interesting book I personally found the reunion a very special occasion and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet again so many people I had not met for so long.

                    In spite of the real disappointment with the standard of catering and service on the night (especially as the Chair of the Friends of the Castle....) I do commend you for the representations you made and I think the response from the Castle is reasonable.Your suggestions for using the refund are interesting and I would support whatever of the proposals you eventually decide on. I do not expect a refund myself and am sympathetic to the views of Mike Beeby and the work on the John Hyde "bronze"

                    MANY, MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WORK. I HOPE YOU FEEL IT WAS WORTHWHILE.

                   All best wishes.                          Graham T. Ridge (Doddy)

 

Hi Graham,

I certainly do not want a refund, the whole weekend was an absolute delight in my opinion. As to our footprint, I am perfectly happy to go along with any decision made but I think my personal preference would be for a  recast statue with any balance going to the O.G's.  Many thanks for all your hard work,    Geoff Patenall

 

Dear Graham and John,

                       I thought it only right that I should write to say how much we both enjoyed the Reunion weekend.  I cannot begin to think how many hours were spent organising everything and contacting so many Old Boys.  I think that the number who attended the Dinner on Saturday evening was a tribute in itself to what you were able to achieve.  I know that there were others who helped with the organisation but you must have been the driving force behind it all.

      From the minute I walked into the Headquarters on Friday evening to receive a warm welcome from you Graham and then you, John said how you had welcomed my comments on school life, which had been incorporated in the “Memories” book, I knew that I had made the right decision to come to Wellingborough that weekend.

      The opportunity to meet old school friends, many of whom I had not seen since leaving WGS was priceless.  Dorothy also enjoyed the Dinner very much.  She sat next to John Hyde and opposite Michael Martin and found them both to be very entertaining to be with. Please accept our sincere thanks for the whole weekend.                              Kindest regards,              Michael and Dorothy King

 

First of all please let  me congratulate and thank you, your brother, Pedro and all the others who made the Reunion such an outstanding success. It was a really fine programme and your all must have put in a tremendous amount of work to achieve a resounding result.    My personal regret is recalling the Regal bombing, especially with Wolfgang and his wife there. I could have come up with another good story along the lines of the one told by Pat Hunt!.... My thanks again to you all. Maybe you should organise another on for next year!  Michael Martin

 

Dear Graham,

I was delighted to learn from your e-mail that you had successfully tackled the hotel people about the service and food which could so easily have ruined the evening.  That they did not was testimony to the overall pleasure given by the reunion as a whole, for which many thanks for the effort and imagination provided by all those involved in making the arrangements. You may be amused to hear that when I asked for a wine list before the meal there was a considerable delay before an old envelope was produced with bits of blue tack on the back and three whites and one red listed in ink on the front. When I tried to order the sole red I was informed that there wasn't any in stock! In retrospect I can only regard this as a hidden blessing!  Nevertheless I enjoyed myself hugely and as by far the oldest there I was pleased to be recognised by three or four attendees not as a former schoolmate but because of various sports activities in my youth!

As to the cash of course I do not want a refund and I would vote for the provision of something that the school would find useful today rather that buying a monument to the past. But I do not really mind and having given a preference would be quite content to accept the majority wishes.   Thank you all again and with kindest regards,   Norman  (Collings)

 

Graham,  It has always been my intention to email you to thank you, and all those concerned, for organising a splendid weekend.   Whilst I did not meet many of my old school chums those I did made up for it and it was very good.   As regards your wonderful negotiation skills with the 'Castle', I must get you to act for me when in need, my own opinion is that in view of the Old Grammarians not being too well off is that this money should be paid to them as a gesture payment from the 'Old Boys'.    I know the meal was rather delayed etc etc but generally it was enjoyed, the quality of the food was quite good, but we were able to catch up on the old times and recall things we had forgotten and I think 'a good time was had by all'.    I definitely do not think that an individual refund is in order or called for but I expect others will disagree.   I am quite happy to leave the matter to the committee.   Thanks you again, sincerely Basil Shrives. 

 

Thanks for passing on the messages of appreciation.   As I think I said before, the  reaction of most people to the catering problems was to bemoan how unfairly they added to the burden of the people, especially you, who had put so much into the organisation of the event.

We were not in the field of human conflict that weekend but I’m quite certain that in respect of the reunion so much is owed by so many to one man for its  excellence.    Yes, you had an impressive and competent team but it was you who inspired it throughout and maintained its momentum.   Looking back over more than a year when the e-mails were flying everywhere in great profusion, I recall stages when it seemed we were facing difficult problems.    Contacting people, limits on numbers, the venue for the dinner, its format and speakers – we should not have solved these so effectively without your determination and diligence.   I also remember times when the energies of the team were strained -  when discussing labels for diners for example – and we needed you to get us on to the next stage.

You put so much time and effort into the project over a significant period – and you certainly did not work a five day week!   You set high standards with the very obvious priority that as many people as wanted to come should be able to do so and enjoy the very best of reunions.

And that’s just what we did.   The events at the school in the afternoon were fascinating (but what have they done to the buildings?)and provided an opportunity to get through some of the people on your shortlist.   The excitement and anticipation as we gathered in the evening were very obvious and I shall long remember seeing all around the bar area pairs of elderly gentlemen in earnest conversation and a little queue behind each, waiting to engage someone if they could catch his attention.

These personal reunions were the very essence of the event.    They gave great joy and happiness to very many people.    Friendships that lay dormant for decades have been revived and strengthened.   And for all of this we say thank you, Graham.

Perhaps my most exciting personal reunion was with a man I went cycling with when we were in the fifth form.   It was the year of the first significant post-war foreign trip, lead by Ivor Cheale.   My family did not have the money for me to go, but Alan Crawford said “If they’re going to France so will we – on our bikes”.   We stayed in youth hostels as we rode up to the Belgium border and were put up for a week in La Bassée by a pen-friend’s family.    Everything went so well that we decided to visit Paris on the way back.    This was not a good idea as there was a surge of young people wanting foreign travel after the war.    The youth hostels were full and, with a little reluctance we joined the French Communist Party to get a bed in one of their hostels.    Alan worried lest his father find out.    He was not only the General Secretary of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Workers but a prospective Labour candidate for a Scottish constituency.   Alan had a distinguished career in the Bank of England and was once Chargé d’affaires in Kuwait .    It was so good to see him again.      With very best wishes,    Syd  Brown

 

Thank you again for organising a splendid weekend and for writing the book! My cousin in Rushden has sent me the photograph and words from 
the Evening Telegraph.   Best wishes   Norman Elmore

 

Graham,

The Reunion as far as I am concerned was a great success, yes the meal service was bad but everything can't be 100%. Yes, it's a good idea to leave a footprint but I think it's better to leave it at the school, something permanent, whether the present pupils will look at it is another matter. So keep my contribution as a way of remembering a great day. The school tour was amazing, the rooms seemed to have shrunk e.g. Doc Jackson's and the Chem. Lab. Some of the comments from other ex pupils were interesting e.g. being "twanked" by the Headmaster and the assumed position!!

Meeting old classmates was a wonderfull experience, some I knew others I had forgotten. I even found out that my old friend Ian Wills had died five years ago (I hadn't seen or heard of him since a chance meeting in Malaya in 1954). The after dinner speeches could have been shorter, leaving more time for discussion with old classmates, especially as I doubt if I'll get another chance.

Roy Catlin has sent me a copy of the picture from the Telegraph, my wife even picked me out (maybe because I was right at the front). I felt it was well worth the trip from Canada, thanks again.    Tut Collings

 

Many thanks in arranging the reunion. Fantastic! I had a great time - some great memories and regrets of friends lost along the way who were no doubt with us in spirit. As for the meal, we had quite a laugh about it between us and it certainly did not dampen the camaradery. Anyway many many thanks to you, your brother and the organising committee. Best wishes for a Happy Christmas and prosperous and healthy new year and god willing, look forward to two years time. No doubt you will put any refund to good use!    Trust you will pass on our thanks to all concerned as we are not 'on line' as yet.      Brian and Carol Humphrey

 

Dear Graham

Just a quick note to say thanks for a great day and a big Thank You for all the hard work Peter, Pedro and yourself put in to organising such a successful event.

It was a real pleasure to meet up with so many old school friends after all these years.

Kind  Regards    John Homan