WGS 1956 Re-union    by Richard Bryan

The re-union is now over and the renewed acquaintance is still fresh in the mind. The organising committee worked hard to achieve what was by any measure a resounding success and enjoyed by all who attended. The weekend began with a casual get-together over a pint or two at the OG's club on Friday evening. This was attended not only by those still local, but also by some who had travelled for the weekend and were staying over. There was much merriment, and old memories started to emerge.

The theme was continued on Saturday lunchtime, again at the OG's, where many items from Graham Tall's vast library were on display. Sixteen boys then went for a pre-planned visit to the old school. Moving from room to room further tales of schooldays began to flow, and again there was much laughter. It was surprising how small the original school now seemed. The corridors seemed shorter, and the rooms smaller. We were all surprised to see that the "quad" had been built on. Some things remained untouched though, the brown glazed brickwork walls, and the old staircases remained.

On Saturday evening some 34 "old boys" along with some of their partners sat down to a splendid meal which was organised by John Rivett in The Tithe Barn at the back of the Hind Hotel. Graham Tall and his wife Stephenie were guests for the evening. Richard Bryan thanked all those attending for their support. Thanks was also extended to the committee who contributed so much to the success of the event  and for the badges and souvenir programs we all sported courtesy of Lionel Parker.

While Richard was speaking, Terry Strickland distributed an engraved memento of the event to all "old boys". After dinner, Graham Tall gave a very entertaining look back on school life. This was accompanied by a quiz about the old masters.

Paul Needle entertained us all with a few ditties which he had specially prepared for the occasion.   Sing a longs

A short sketch was performed by Chris Norman, Mick Dean, and Richard Bryan to wind up the evening. Richard Gardiner as "chairman" and "master of ceremonies" gave a vote of thanks to all who had been involved in the organisation of the event, and presented a floral tribute to Mrs Stephanie Tall. Alas it was over too soon, and farewell was said to those who would not be joining us for a Sunday lunchtime farewell.

Sunday Lunchtime was the final farewell, till we meet again. Some comments received :-

A great re-union. It was wonderful to see so many old faces. I found the old School trip most enjoyable. Those who didn't make the effort to attend really were the losers. Gordon Bird

You realize afterwards that you did not speak to many people, and did not ask the right questions of the ones you did. Those who did not come missed a chance which will never come again. David Ball

A most enjoyable experience. Unfortunately I couldn't spend longer in the company of the "old rogues" Paul Needle

What a fantastic day. It was great meeting up with everyone, some immediately recognisable, others only after a sneaky look at their badge. Those who failed to attend really missed out Walt Loasby

What a great evening, such a success. I am sure it will provide a very happy talking point for all of us for a long time to come. Don Ely

It was good to meet old school friends again and also chatting to people from other classes who you rarely met at school. I feel that any who declined the invitation missed out. Peter Stevenson

What a great weekend. Unfortunately it was over too quick. What a shame everyone did not support the re-union. That is their loss Tony Nutt

The re-union was so enjoyable and interesting. I renewed many contacts lost years ago which I had intended to maintain Clive Dobbs

The organising committee should feel proud of what was achieved Mick Dean.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting old friends Ken Kingham

I really enjoyed meeting all the "old" boys even if it was hard to recognise most of them. It was also good to make new friends as well as meeting old ones and to see how life has treated each of us.  That is the real spirit of re-union. Derek Lawrence

If anything, the above underestimates the sheer pleasure I saw on so many of my "Juniors" faces (after all they are a year younger than me!).  The weekend was simply pure pleasure, the chance to meet lads not seen for a long time.   It was evident that a small number of the boys had rather negative feelings about the school and several told me that the school had not thought much of their (1956) year - not a good vintage.  However, what those who attended recognised, was that the reunion was more about meeting again the companions they'd been to school with and the experiences they'd suffered and enjoyed, rather than about the school per se.   Graham Tall  (Guest speaker)