Twelve colleagues attended the reunion, namely (can't get out of that school register habit!) Michael Balding, Ken Benford, Dick Booth, Ted Brown, Michael Childs, Chris Clarke, Michael Eagleton, Peter Hayns, Peter Hillier, Tony Massingham, Peter Ricketts, Bryan Welch (1A Form Master looking good at 74!) and Barry Westbrook. To our very pleasant surprise we received a call on my mobile from David Abbott in Brisbane (2300 EAT) - great talking to you David, let us know when you're next over here so we can meet up. Email messages were also received from Brian Swatton in Hong Kong, Geoff Heather in Ontario and Mike Gellatley from Devon. Good to hear from you again. In the evening four of us attended the Old Borlasian's Reunion Dinner where we also met Richard Lines. Not a bad total, aboout 33% of the 1953 year's intake. See Photo Library (Recent Years page).
The buffet lunch gave us nearly two hours to renew old acqaintances. It's amazing how the years roll back and memories locked in the grey cells for more than four decades suddenly pop out, triggered by a face or somone else's recollection. It's fascinating to realise how much we've retained our own likeness over the years (taking into account grey hair, baldness and weight increase that is!) so that we were able to recognise each other within minutes. Sadly we also remember the names of Alan Keating and Roy Blackman who have not survived the years. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Richard Adaway who has been unwell.
The weather was absolutely glorious which made our tour of the school all the more enjoyable. The School Chapel seems to have left us with the most poingnant memories. It certainly made a strong impression on us as 11 year-olds (cold in the winter, hard seats, all the "big boys and Masters" present, strict order of entrance and exit led by the Masters in gowns and mortar boards, hymns and prayers every morning). It seemed virtually unchanged over the years and was at its most pleasant on such a warm day.
Form 1A's classroom in the cloisters seems very much smaller now but still retains the Roll Of Honour on the wall impressively listing past Scholarships and Metriculations. These were the "hard to achieve" awards of bygone eras, no "prizes for all", just tough competition - as in real life! Cloisters with its sports shields and team photos came next, triggering memories of more forgotten names and faces. The library provides electronic musical instruments today, with white walls and ceiling in place of the wooden panels and the hushed quiet we recalled. Just another symptom of the onward march of time and an ever changing world!
That left a stroll around the playing fields and a look from the outside at buildings erected in recent years to accommodate over 1,000 pupils instead of the fewer and much sought after 350 places in the 1950s, all essential in order to keep up to date with modern lifestyles, changing technologies, global business and undreamed of world-wide travel.
So whilst much has changed, in many ways it still remains the same. A bit like life really!
We offer our grateful thanks to the Headmaster Dr Holding for kindly permitting our visit and to the caterers for an excellent buffet.
Chris Clarke, Dick Booth, Ken Benford and Ted Brown