Reunion 2018 Sunday 1st July – Advance Notification of Dates
The Old Rendcombian Society Reunion and General Meeting will be held on Sunday 1st July 2018 from 10:30 am
Provisional Sports Fixture dates for late 2017 and 2018 See the sports contact details below.
Tag Rugby Tournament: held Saturday 9th December 2017
Hockey (Mens & Womens) & Lacrosse (Ladies): Saturday 24th March 2018 for Hockey Contact Harley Phelps on 07976 054866.
Men’s hockey – Second XI 13.30 Mens Hockey – First XI 14.30 till 4:30pm
See the Old Rendcombian Facebook page for more details and sign up https://www.facebook.com/groups/2217271449/
Cricket: Sunday 1st July 2018 to coincide with OR reunion day on Sunday. (Provisional Details and times below)
All OR’s are welcome, not only for Special Year Reunion events – which ideally need a coordinator and a
Charlie Hussey (1974-76) and Lucy Brain (1974-76), et al. are inviting 1976 leavers to come to OR Day on July 1 for a reunion
to celebrate their eligibility for Senior Railcards this year. They will be pleased if other people from that general era come
along, especially those from the classes of ’75 and ’77.
Calling all 1988, 1978 and 1968 and all other leavers. Invitations are also extended to those who were a year
above and a year below. Please come along – even if you “decide on the day”, or you are not in a specific year group.
You are certain meet someone you know and you will be most welcome. Please put the date in your diary Now!
Reunion Sunday 1st July 2018 timetable:
10.30 a.m. Coffee in Clock Hall
11.15 a.m. Cricket match
12 noon Pay Bar
12.15 p.m. AGM in Room E1, First floor
1.00 p.m. Hot Lunch including vegetarian option for cricketers and all visitors. Lunch to be collected
from the Servery. There is no charge, but any donations to O.R. Society gratefully received.
Staff retirement presentations.
2.30 pm Tours of the building and surroundings
Cricket Match resumes on Top
4.30 p.m. Tea in Pavilion
Possible drift towards the The Bathurst Arms
(The Bathurst Arms 01285 832150 was refurbished and reopened in 2016).
If you would like to play in an O.R. Sports Fixture, please contact one of the following or view the Rendcomb Alumni
Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/rendcombalumni.rendcomb.5
College: Alex Brealy 01285 832314 (W) / 01285 832363 (H) BrealyA@rendcomb.gloucs.sch.uk
Rugby: Harley Phelps, email@example.com, 07976 054866 or Ed Thomason, ThomasonE@Rendcomb.gloucs.sch.uk
Hockey: Harley Phelps, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07976 054866
Cricket: Harley Phelps, email@example.com, 07976 054866 or Ed Thomason, ThomasonE@Rendcomb.gloucs.sch.uk
Girls’ Sports: Jess Weston, 07969 177437, firstname.lastname@example.org , Holly Phelps, email@example.com
Reunion 2017 – Notes
Chris Moody coordinated a 30 year reunion for the leavers of 1987.
Over 40 attended the OR Day in 2017:
Phil Everatt (1969-1976), Claire Germaine (1990-1993), Nigel Green (1961-1969), Jane Gunner (née Watson) (1975-1977), Des Knox (1970-1975), Nigel Powell (1967-1974), Christopher Pulford (1970-1977), Suzanna van Moyland (85-87), Juliet Birley (née Hasler) (85-87), Chris Moody (80-87), Alex Brealy (80-87), Roy Edwards (72-79), Annalisa Wood (née Heal) (85-87), Lisa Davies (née Wallace) (85-87), Polly McLelland (née Nicholls) (85-87), Mark Walters (80-87), Steve Hewitt (71-77), Simon Tyler(70-77), Hamish Wilson (71-78), Chris Pope (80-87), James Mann (82-87), Phil Moore (80-87), Theresa John (née Fox) (85-87), Robin Bowen (63-70), Taryn Nixon (75-77), James Terry (72-77), Sara Freeman (75-77), Mrs and Nick Smith (72-77), Richard Tudor (73-80), Sarah Robinson (75-77), Simon Reichwald (82-87), Iain Whittaker (80-87), Dan Beales (1980 – 87), Gus Noyce, (82 -87), Raquel Hughes (85-87), David Tovey (56-64)
Rendcomb College Staff
Bill White (1961-1997 Staff, Old Rendcombian Society President), Reverend R. Edy (1960-1967, Staff 2015 Chaplain), Martin Graham (1985-2017 Staff), Colin Burden (1963-1996 Staff, Friends of Rendcomb College Charity Executive).
Sonya Grubb (née Naish) (1990-92) organised a 25 year reunion for 1992 leavers on July 15th at the Bathurst Arms.
Previous Sports Events
Hockey: Saturday 27th March 2017 (See the College Facebook page for photographs).
Reunion Notes TBA :
Grateful thanks to the many Staff of the College who helped make the day a success.
Reunion 2016 – Notes
Charlie Hussey and Tessa Hicks coordinated a reunion for the leavers of 1976, as Charlie did with the 35th in 2011. Invitations were extended to those who were a year above and a year below.
The Facebook Group Rendcomb 76 was used as a means of making contact for everyone, including those from overseas. Charlie’s email is charliehussey77 at yahoo.co.uk or Jane Gunner at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the website Contact Form from the “Home” menu above.
Total of 63 attended the OR Day in 2016: (Ordered by Surname.)
Howard Auster (2009-2014), Nick Badcott (1979-1986), Robert and Carrie Barrett (1969-1976), Alan Bennett (1969-1976), Max Birden (2007-2012), Nige Bradbury (1969-1975), Lucy D. Brain (1974-1976), Julian and Helen Comrie (1946-1954), Paul Curtis-Hayward (1970-1977), Owen Davies (1970-1977), Ioannis Dimopoulos (2011-2014), Phil Everatt (1969-1976), Clare Gardner-Medwin (1974-1976), Dan Geerah (2007-2012), Claire Germaine (1990-1993), Fraser Glennie (1959-1967), Nigel Green (1961-1969), Martin Griffiths (1969-1976), Jane Gunner (1975-1977), Tessa Hicks (née Wolferstan) (1974-1976), Stuart Honeyball (1968-1975), Richard, Kathryn & Thomas Hudson (1969-1976), Charlie Hussey (1974-1976), Matt Hutchins (1996-2003), Tim Ingles (1968-1974), Gregory Jones (1996-2003), Des Knox (1970-1975), Charlie Lamble (2011-2013), Nick Longworth (1970-1976), Tim Longworth (1969-1976), Andy Medhurst (1968-1975), Louis Mernagh (2004-2014), Michael Miles (1943-1950), Tim Nicholas (1969-1976), Sarah Oughton (1973-1975), Thomas Pethick (2008-2015), Jack Pethick (2006-2013), Harley Phelps (2002-2009), Phil Gready (1969-1974), Martyn Pitt (1969-1973), Nigel Powell (1967-1974), Christopher Pulford (1970-1977), Roger Pyecroft (1964-1970), Ian Read (1969-1976), Pete Sayers (1968-1975), Jacqui Sayers (née Crowhurst) (1974-1976), Dominic Scarlett (1979-1986), Will Scott (2005-2013), Rob Sherratt (1969-1976), Antony Simmons (1974-1981), Ali Sinfield (2006-2013), Paul Spackman (1979-1986), Ben Stanfield (1994-2001), Rob Stroud (1971-1976), Alex Tatara-Mills (2009-2014), Joshua Thomas (2001-2013), Richard Tudor (1973-1980), Peter Walton (1969-1976), Rob Weston (1968-1975), David Williams (1966-1971), Alisdair Wilson (1969-1976), Hamish Wilson (1971-1978), Simon Wormleighton (1970-1975).
Rendcomb College Staff
Bill White (1961-1997 Staff, Old Rendcombian Society President), Reverend R. Edy (1960-1967, Staff 2015 Chaplain), Colin Burden (1963-1996 Staff, Friends of Rendcomb College Charity Executive).
And grateful thanks to the many Staff of the College who helped make the Day a success.
List of attendees ordered by year in reverse chronological order.
Ioannis Dimopoulos (2011-2014), Charlie Lamble (2011-2013), Howard Auster (2009-2014), Alex Tatara-Mills (2009-2014), Thomas Pethick (2008-2015), Dan Geerah (2007-2012), Max Birden (2007-2012), Jack Pethick (2006-2013), Ali Sinfield (2006-2013), Will Scott (2005-2013), Louis Mernagh (2004-2014), Harley Phelps (2002-2009), Joshua Thomas (2001-2013), Matt Hutchins (1996-2003), Gregory Jones (1996-2003), Ben Stanfield (1994-2001), Claire Germaine (1990-1993), Dominic Scarlett (1979-1986), Paul Spackman (1979-1986), Nick Badcott (1979-1986), Jane Gunner (1975-1977), Antony Simmons (1974-1981), Tessa Hicks (née Wolferstan) (1974-1976), Lucy D. Brain (1974-1976), Jacqui Sayers (née Crowhurst) (1974-1976), Charlie Hussey (1974-1976), Clare Gardner-Medwin (1974-1976), Richard Tudor (1973-1980), Sarah Oughton (1973-1975), Hamish Wilson (1971-1978), Rob Stroud (1971-1976), Christopher Pulford (1970-1977), Owen Davies (1970-1977), Paul Curtis-Hayward (1970-1977), Nick Longworth (1970-1976), Des Knox (1970-1975), Simon Wormleighton (1970-1975), Rob Sherratt (1969-1976), Martin Griffiths (1969-1976), Ian Read (1969-1976), Tim Longworth (1969-1976), Richard, Kathryn & Thomas Hudson (1969-1976), Alan Bennett (1969-1976), Robert and Carrie Barrett (1969-1976), Tim Nicholas (1969-1976), Alisdair Wilson (1969-1976), Phil Everatt (1969-1976), Peter Walton (1969-1976), Nige Bradbury (1969-1975), Phil Gready (1969-1974), Martyn Pitt (1969-1973), Andy Medhurst (1968-1975), Pete Sayers (1968-1975), Stuart Honeyball (1968-1975), Rob Weston (1968-1975), Tim Ingles (1968-1974), Nigel Powell (1967-1974), David Williams (1966-1971), Roger Pyecroft (1964-1970), Nigel Green (1961-1969), Fraser Glennie (1959-1967), Julian and Helen Comrie (1946-1954), Michael Miles (1943-1950).
Previous Sports Events
Tag Rugby Tournament: Sunday 6th December 2015
Hockey: Saturday 19th March 2016 (See the College Facebook page for photographs).
40 YEARS ON – Notes TBA :
Reunion 2015 – Notes
Attendees: Nigel Bradbury, Norm and Teta (née Hennesey) Crowe, Mike Denley, Stuart Honeyball, Mike James, Des Knox, Pete Lace, Paul Rose, Ian Taylor, Rob and Kari Weston, Simon Wormleighton, Sally Patterson (née Blyth), Henrietta Bud (née Hooper), Bella Burke (née Bartlett) from our class, plus near contemporaries Jonathan Lane, Phil and Ann Smith, Nigel Powell, Mike Findlay, Nick Hance, Martyn Pitt, Tessa Hicks (née Wolferston), Charlie Hussey, Dave and Jenny Shield, Jacqui Sayers (née Crowhurst), Hamish Wilson.
40 YEARS ON - Des Knox (1968-1975) writes:
For past events we have had trouble locating everyone. This time we were able to track down almost the whole class with help from the OR Society, clues from old issues of the Rendcomb College Magazine and some advanced ‘cyberstalking’ techniques.
Most of us turned up in time for a pre-lunch drink. By and large we had no trouble recognising each other as we had been preparing for the event by playing Guess The Old Rendcombian, a pointless and irritating game, which involves trying to recognise recent photos of our classmates.
Lunch was followed by presentations to retiring staff, including the headmaster who was given a cake, which he generously shared. (If I'd known there was going to be cake I would have brought a doggy bag.) After that there was a tour, guided by Jane Gunner aided and abetted by Bill White and Colin Burden, which took in the Old Rectory, science block and ended at Park House where we lingered as it has special memories for many of us. The rain meant that the cricket was cancelled: we probably ought to have organised some other activity to take its place, but in the end there was no need as the setting and the company were attractions enough.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all Rendcomb reunions end at the Bathurst, and so most of us headed down there after tea. A good few stories were related. Some I already knew, some rang vague bells but others were entirely new to me. For instance, Norm was telling one about Dave Shield playing piano in Assembly at a gradually increasing speed, so that by the end no-one could keep up with the hymn.
Mike Denley was in raconteureal mood. He was saying that for his first three years at Rendcomb he always got that horrible "beginning of term" feeling when coming back to school which most of us will remember, and missing his family and surroundings, but after that began to enjoy it. He also reminded us of the standard vegetable accompaniment to Spaghetti Bolognese which was a bizarre parody of coleslaw: stale cabbage with orange squash poured over it.
I asked Teta why she came to Rendcomb. She and presumably most of the girls would have been at good schools already, so why would they move? She said she was tired of being in a single sex environment, (as were we, only I don't suppose that any of the girls' schools were going to let us in.) I wouldn't have guessed that, but their loss was Rendcomb's gain.
It would have been nice to have seen more old photos - only Bella brought her collection. Actually quite a few of the girls were photographers, but they seem more sensitive about sharing their pictures. (Pourquoi?)
Everyone appeared to enjoy the day, and although some reported a weird feeling being back at school they didn't seem particularly troubled by it. One of the things people noticed is that once you get talking to a classmate it's as though you're continuing a conversation you were having a few minutes ago, and the last 40 years just disappear.
We had discussed the possibility of some kind of video conferencing, so as to involve people who were unable to join us but that would have been difficult to set up and besides, we couldn't be bothered. Video messages would have been practical, but we didn't get round to working out how to display them, and nobody sent one anyway.
I'm sure we all appreciate the OR Society and the College for hosting the event, allowing us access to the building and grounds and giving us lunch. Without their support we would have had to go to some trouble to find another venue, which wouldn't have been as good or as appropriate as Rendcomb. Thank you very much.
Reunion 2014 – Notes
OR REUNION – 29th June 2014
25 YEARS ON
Roland Martin (1982-89) arranged a get together for all those who left in 1988, '89 and '90.
30 YEARS ON
Toby Brealy (1977-84) arranged a reunion for 1984 leavers.
(Pictured in OR 2015 Magazine) James Hutton-Potts,(1977-84), Angus Waddell (1977-84), Andy Payne (1979-84), Richard Newman (1977-84)
and Toby Brealy (1977-1984) with David Essenhigh (Staff: 1969-2011) in the background.
Over sixty people attended the 2014 summer reunion on a warm sunny day. Class reunions had been organised by Roland Martin whose year group left 25 years ago and Toby Brealy whose year group had left 30 years ago. Others from the years either side also attended. The AGM was well supported and members were very impressed with the presentation and performance of their play ‘Faith’ from current pupils. They were preparing to take the play to the Edinburgh Festival.
The College provided an excellent meal with an array of superlative puddings which were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Bill White welcomed ORs and their guests and spoke of Carlo Vuolo’s contribution to the College over the last seventeen years. The Society presented him with a framed print of the College.
Anne Haas (Deputy Head of the Junior School) (Pictured OR2015 Magazine) made OR history by becoming the first Rendcomb Junior School teacher to have been at the College long enough to receive a presentation from the Society. Jenny Phelps née Watson (1978-80) thanked Anne on behalf of ORs and the parents of ORs for the 12 years of dedication and innovation she had brought to the role. Anne was presented with a rose and a set of College mats. Anne thanked everyone for having welcomed her and her family so warmly when they moved to Britain from South Africa and reminded everyone how special Rendcomb is. She has moved on to become Headmistress of The King’s Junior School, Gloucester. The ORs expressed their congratulations and appreciation.
ORs then went on to enjoy the remainder of the cricket match, which ended with a rout of the ORs by teatime; the consolation was tea, sandwiches and éclairs in the pavilion kindly provided by the College.
Anne wrote to Jane and the Old Rendcombian Society after the event: 'Thank you so much for the lovely rose and treasured Rendcomb placemats; they will both trigger fond memories and warm conversations with good friends. I was really moved by Jenny’s speech and the lovely send off. Rendcomb is very dear to the Hass family.
With all our love and gratitude Anne, Matthieu, Andrea and Daniel'.
Reunion 2013 – Notes
OR Reunion 30th June 2013 - 30 years on
Thanks to the combined efforts of Russ Copley and Charles Hutton-Potts, twenty of 1983 leavers returned for the Summer Reunion 2013, thirty years on. They commenced their celebrations with a Saturday night drink and dinner at the Bathurst and reconvened at the College on the Sunday. After a drink and lunch, there was the guided tour in the glorious sunshine to see refurbished science block and a subsequent visit to the Old Rectory had them reeling at the lifestyle of pupils today. The afternoon ended with tea and éclairs Up Top.
Attendees (pictured in OR 2014 Magazine)
Back row: Eric Blencowe, Steve Hazell, Giles Brealy, Ted Wilcox, Calum Dewar
Third row: Charles Hutton-Potts, Sîan Smith (née Alexander), Benj Freeman, Richard Deacon.
Second Row: Lisa Brock (née Lake) Kennedy Taylor, Russell Copley, Simon Powell, Richard Smith.
Front row: Matt Archer, Nikki Tinto, Mandy De Hennin (née Winter), Tamsin Wallace (née Morgan).
Present but not in photo: Simon Beales, Nikki Scott (née Morgan)
Reunion 2012 – Notes
The OR Newsletter - Notes by Jane Gunner (née Watson, 1975-77)
It was in the summer of 1982 when Fraser Glennie (1959-67) persuaded me to join the OR committee and become honorary secretary. I was just married and just 23 years old. I have been doing it ever since, clocking up 30 years last September. Those of us who have been on the committee for decades, namely Bill, Chris, Neil and I have weathered its many changes of fortune and are delighted that at the moment there is so much
enthusiasm and commitment from the younger members. The OR Society has not always been embraced by the school and indeed I recall times in my youth when the college looked on OR days with misgiving but that has all changed with ORs for some time now being afforded a warm welcome whether it be on OR day or on individual visits. The college wishes to build on this relationship and to work even more closely with the
Society in future.
There is however one feature of the society, which as it has evolved has been its mainstay, and that is the newsletter initiated by Bill White in 1974. Every year we think that there will not be enough material and every year we are surprised and delighted by the articles ORs send us. Please keep it up.
On the next page (OR 2013 Magazine) is a photograph of the people who along with Richard Tudor (1973-80) and Amanda Brealy make it happen, and though there is the occasional voice that asks why we don’t send it out by e-mail, so far there has never been an appetite for it from the members; so many people like to keep the booklet as a memento. We think we have the best of both worlds thanks to them being made
available on the web site. As you can see we have a bit of a ‘do’ stuffing the roughly 1400 envelopes and I am very grateful to my secretaries, formerly Mary FitzGerald and now Val and Pippa for taking it all in good part.
The team: Chris Wood (1965-71, staff: 1976-09), Val Baldwin, Pippa Lafford, Colin Burden (staff: 1966- 97), Bill White (staff: 1961-1997),
Penny Wood (staff: 1985-95), Jane Gunner (1975-77)
Reunion 2011 – Notes
OR Reunion - 3rd July 2011
2011’s summer reunion was the biggest for many years with the kitchen serving over one hundred and sixty meals. There were reunion groups from the class of 60, and those who had left 40, 35 and 30 years ago. Presentations were made to Gerry and Liese Holden, who were leaving the college to take up the reins at Dover College after 12 years at the helm, and to Sandy Westhead and Malcolm Ford. Also there was the presentation of a plaque to commemorate the distinguished war service of Vernon Douglas Page, DFC.
30 Years On – 3rd July 2011
An unexpected call from the esteemed former head prefect Tudor R. to persuade me to organise a 30 year reunion for the leavers of 1981 produced the response, why me? And from some old school friends who I still see regularly: “I think I might be busy that night”, before a night had even been suggested. From this less than promising start we ended up having an enormously enjoyable weekend. Mary Alexander
contacted me from her home in Devon and was very enthusiastic about the idea so she pursued the girls, and I sent out messages to any boys I could contact. The message was supposed to go viral but remained haphazard, and to anyone who would have come but didn’t know about it, my apologies but where are you?
And so it came to pass that on 2nd July 2011 in a beautiful Moroccan tent in the garden of the Bathurst Arms, surrounded by burning oil lamps, a doctor, a stock broker, a financial consultant some farmers and a civil servant of some standing met and came to the conclusion that firstly, one’s income seemed to be inversely proportionate to the level of one’s academic achievement, and that after 30 years we all got on like old familiar friends and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well as the food and wine. Present on that evening were (sorry girls I’m sticking with school names): Mary Alexander, Francesca Hughes, Fiona Wilson and husband Andrew, Fiona Wilson(2), Liza Manners and Rebecca Norman with her husband Rob Webb, Adam Martyn-Smith, John Gotley with wife Louise, Andy Harris, Duncan White, and me, Tom Paton and my wife Suzie. Francie and myself were joined at the college on Sunday by Maria Bitner and Mark Dibble (see picture).
To all of you who came, thank you so much, I genuinely had a lovely time and really enjoyed catching up. And will we do it again? Who knows, maybe if I get another phone call from an esteemed former head prefect!
Reunion 2010 – Notes
OR Reunion - 27th June 2010
Various events had conspired to make it look as though the OR day was going to be very quiet and low key. Timetable revisions had meant that the OR day was on an exeat instead of the last weekend of term so it made it impossible to get a cricket team from the college to play the ORs. In the event this was trumped by the fact that England were playing Germany in the afternoon so a match would very likely have to have been cancelled. Despite this a few old faithfuls led by Pat Boydell played football in the morning and joined other visitors for lunch. [Pat Poole, Judy Hunt and Joy Hardy pictured in OR 2011 magazine].
Three long serving members of staff were retiring at the end of term and presentations were made to them. Sister Judy Hunt who had run the medical centre with Julie Rogers (formerly Pritchard) for the last 16 years was presented with a picture of the college and a bouquet of flowers, as was Pat Poole, who had provided dedicated service to the kitchens for 37 years. Joy Hardy was presented with flowers and sets of the society‟s tablemats with pictures of the college on them; her family already had a picture! Joy had worked in and around the college for nearly as long as Pat.
Bill White gave an evocative and interesting insight into the way the workings behind the scenes at the college had changed over the years, from ages of austerity through to the smooth and efficient service now provided by Mark Naylor and Mark Robbins.
The OR day was open to all ORs, but as has become the trend over the last few years the majority of those present were from particular year groups. Both those who had left 30 years ago ably coordinated by Richard Tudor and Nick Miles and those from 35 years ago organised by Des Knox and Stuart Honeyball were well represented. Many attended the AGM and there was a lively discussion on the newsletter and its future. After an excellent lunch ORs strolled around the building visiting old haunts and exchanging reminiscences, which resulted in the fascinating account by the only man alive to know the truth about the loss of Saul‟s toe. Noticeably there was concern expressed by ORs about what appeared to be the annexation of parts of the lake by the next door neighbours. The day was rounded off with tea and biscuits in the dining-room before heading off to the Bathurst. The OR Society must once again express its grateful thanks to Mark Naylor, director of commercial operations, for making the day go so smoothly.
30 Years On - 27th June 2010
Attendees (Picture in OR 2011 Magazine) From left to right: Nick Price, Dom Ind, Jonathan Allen, Richard Tudor, Richard Pitt, Nick Miles,
Mike Twinning, Frank Peplow, Tim Etherington, Fred (Mark) Wilcox
As part of the 30 year reunion, the class of 1980 turned out in force (kinda) on the evening of 26 June 2010. As the photos show, the evening was very entertaining, with a number of old stories being re-examined,
exaggerated and embellished over a cleansing ale or two. Most of the photos were taken by Jo Hobbs, who came along with Sally Morris (née Horne) and Fred Wilcox. Claire Foster (née Comrie) also arrived, as did Dom Ind, Jonathan Allen, Nick Price, Nick Miles, Frank Peplow, Mike Twinning, Richard Pitt, Richard Tudor, Dan Boon and Tim Etherington and his girlfriend Clara. A number of people stayed the night and Messrs Tudor and Twinning shared a „dorm‟ for the first time since 1975. Apologies were received from Ben Hatchwell (now Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at Sheffield University), who was busy ringing guillemots in west Wales, which sounded like a pretty fair excuse! Most of the gang then went to the college on the following day for a good look around and further reminiscences. Several remarked on the beautiful location, which might not have been fully appreciated by us 30 years previously!
35 Years On - 27th June 2010 Class of 1975 Reunion Report
Des Knox writes:
A great sunny day for a reunion. There was no cricket this year (exeat/world cup) so we didn‟t go up top, but the focus of OR day is more the lunch now.
Nine of our class made it altogether, (Nige Bradbury, Jon Dixon, Stu Honeyball, Des Knox, Neil Lumby, Andy Medhurst, Ian Taylor, Simon Wormleighton and Rob, Kari and Claudia Weston). We arrived sporadically over the morning, and spent the time chatting and looking over the school, and some of us went to the AGM. Ian turned up for a pre-lunch drink but was unable to stay. Bill White and Colin Burden were there and were able to furnish us with stories about the place and various past pupils.
The main building looks very well now: the assembly hall and the dining room have been restored to their original condition and according to Bill are rented out for receptions etc. In our day they were pretty dingy.
Lunch was lasagne followed by some quite decent desserts. Afterwards we wandered over to Park House, which is largely unchanged except that the bar had gone and there is a new door into the common room from outside. There were signs up on the doors to the wings saying "No boys beyond this point" and vice versa. We were told that there were plans to knock through the wall to the garage at the back to increase the living area. Apparently the school can't get planning permission to change the exterior because it may spoil other people's view (even though it's an eyesore as it is.) They really want to build new blocks to provide the sort of facilities that are expected these days but again, no planning permission.
Each time we go back there's something new: this time there was a children's playground above the swimming pool, and a mysterious hole in the ground full of water up the 'wildie'. We stumbled upon the old amphitheatre up there, which is something I had forgotten.
No-one seemed to know a great deal about the current character of the school and the students were away so we couldn't ask them. But Simon was able to give some insights into modern public school life from Plymouth College. He was saying that it's not like it used to be, e.g. they don't have school rules, but school policies instead. I asked if they were allowed to write on the loo walls, but he said it wouldn't even occur to them (we'll have to suggest it). It may well be the same at Rendcomb.
After tea we headed to the Bathurst garden where we were joined by Dave (J.D.) Williams, and talked of old times and new times, e.g. the relative merits of French lessons with Bill White and David Sells, Saul's broken toe, the habit of putting marmalade on beef burgers and whether we should set up a Facebook group for our class.
None of us had heard from Andy Medhurst for decades, so it was good to see him again. He looks slightly taller and is very well (he‟s a grandfather now). He still plays hockey and likes Status Quo. After several years in a bank he is a now a funeral director (Kempster & Sons), and lives in Sussex.
Nige Bradbury also hadn't been back for ages. He lives in Wantage now, and works as a technician designing surface-mounted microelectronics for medical equipment. He has a 13 year old daughter from a previous relationship.
Jon Dixon is a website designer, amateur actor and musician in the band Shining Examples.
Ian Taylor says that he gave up the recording business about ten years ago after trouble with his hearing, so he retrained and now works as a construction site manager.
Neil Lumby works for his graphic design company Lumby Futrille. Rob (or Robert Barnard-Weston as he is now known) is keenly involved in sustainability and eco-issues.
Stu Honeyball is now married to Karine and still lives in Yate. Des Knox is still slobbing around Tetbury. Simon Wormleighton is headmaster of Plymouth College.
Absent friends, we missed you and hope to see you next time. (In five years?)
Apologies from Mike James, Pete Lace, Clive, Pete Millard, Steve Pendell, Paul, Phil Smith, Bella, Cat, Charlotte, Henrietta and Jacki.
Reunion 2009 – Notes
30 Years On - 28th June 2009 OR's reunion - Class of 1979 June 2009
Keith Winmill and David Marshall organised a gathering of those who left the VIth form in 1979 or Vth form in 1977.
The morning of 28 June 2009 broke to clear blue skies and what promised to be, as meteorologists would say, “a warm one”. All was set fair for the Class of 1979 OR‟s reunion “30 years since we left” subset. Planning had began some 8 months previous with myself and Dave Marshall “project managing” a scheme of contacting people, writing the odd article for the OR newsletter, e-mailing and ringing people on several occasions – so now was the day of reckoning!
Expectations of a “double digit” attendance could not be dampened, despite a few calls on the day from the Class of 79 sending their apologies for several reasons (and a promise that they would attend the next one - so CARE, you know who you are and you know you WILL be attending the next gathering!) so how many would we have…. ?
Arriving at the college (which incidentally looked resplendent in a plethora of bunting to celebrate not only our gathering (!) but also the MAD (Music and Drama) festival that had occurred the previous week) at a little after 11:00am, we were met by the “signing in committee” of Jane Gunner and Neil Lumby, to be told that there was already a throng (there is no definitive amount to the definition of a throng, but suffice to say it had to be more than 1!) of our year in residence – huge sigh of relief from the both of us!
Alighting under the clock (which incidentally still produces that booming “tick”) we met – peculiar as it may sound, the initial reaction was noting that we all looked not dissimilar to that day in July 1979 when we all left – true, there was perhaps the odd greying (or should that be “distinguished silver”?) hair, and perhaps, just the odd extra pound (!). After a few minutes of needless introductions, reminiscences began a plenty and the old humour and camaraderie returned as if we had never been away.
As the conversations engulfed us, it was then announced that luncheon was served in the dining room and so we retired for sustenance. Gone were the trolleys (although some remembered the irreplaceable Ron Fry and his regular edict “13‟s on the bottom”!), to be replaced by the excellent buffet style serving areas. Thanks, as always, must be recorded to the Headmaster and the College for providing this.... and without doubt there was a feeling of a little envy for the current pupils for such a high standard of luncheon options. (In the words of
the food critic Michael Winner, the treacle tart was “historic”).
At the end of eating lunch there were a number of presentations to retiring members of staff. At this point I have to admit that I never really bought into the Oscar Wilde story of Dorian Gray, BUT seeing “our” contemporary staff (most notably Colin Burden, Roger Medill, Bill White and Chris “ever youthful” Wood), I may concede that there must be 4 additional portraits in lofts dotted around the region! It seems that we have
all “aged”, if that is the right word, extremely well!
The group then set out on an abbreviated tour of the Junior House (the “Old Rec”) and Stable Block. Abbreviated in part to a) the warm and humid weather conditions and b) the lure of chocolate eclairs and tea up Top! Mrs Brealy kindly volunteered as tour guide to the Old Rec, and again for a number of us memories came flooding back. We were heartened to hear that the tradition of “snackers” was alive and well, and the
comforting thoughts of a hot chocolate and biscuit post 8pm were warmly commented on.
Upstairs to the dormitories.... and it is at this point that a hint of paranoia sets in! Let me explain: on my last visit to the college, on touring the main building, I was astonished to see that my beloved 6B study on the first floor adjacent to the three classrooms did not carry an historical “Windy studied here” plaque but had, in fact, been turned into a, shall we say “Gentleman's rest room”! Armed with this psychological scar, I opened the door to dormitory 7 (my very first dormitory back in September 1972, only to be met with the same fate. (Although, I have to concede the facilities were more extensive – so some progress!). A warning therefore has to be issued to the current occupier of the study on the first floor, four from the end by the kitchen at Park House – I will be visiting again on old boys day soon, so unless you change your name to Armitage Shanks, there could be an eviction!
From the Old Rectory we then proceeded to the Stable Block, which seemed to be exactly as we all remembered. An attempt to set our wristwatches by the sundial ensued and proved to be somewhat successful (but we are still to be convinced that Rendcomb time is 5 minutes in front of British summer time!!). Peering through classroom windows, memories flooded back of Mr Wood‟s chemistry experiments (and the costly breakages book when a test tube rolled off the bench!); Jack Fell‟s and Dr. Smith‟s physics (I was terrible at physics!); Brian Hembry‟s biology classes and dissection of frogs and of course the electronics room where radios (or should I say crystal sets in the early days - under bedcovers after lights out), electronic gizmos and gadgets were created.
By now the day had turned to very sultry and consequently the draw of Jane‟s historic (there‟s that word again) cricket teas including the cool cream filled chocolate éclairs was succumbed to and the group swiftly marched back to the "asphalt‟ for the cars up-top convoy.
Tea, sandwiches and éclairs were dispatched with precision and what was called for then was a couple of hours watching the athletic bowling and fielding of the OR‟s team (and it has to be said that this can be done, laying on the grass, with one‟s eyes closed – yes, it IS possible!). On the conclusion of the match the end to a perfect day could only mean one thing: the Bathurst Arms!
Post lunch, the traditional “team line up” photo was taken: (See OR 2010 Magazine)
And for those of you unable to recognise the youthful band, they are:
From left to right: Simon Howell, Shaun Brennan, Dave Beanland, Dave Marshall, Nigel Hall, Keith Winmill, Mark Middlemist (and young Master Middlemist), Mark Webb, Mike Cannon, Roy Edwards and Chris Morshead (and photography kindly provided by Colin Hitchcock)
So the final destination was reached and time was spent in the cool of the beer garden (sadly the stable bar with the PacMan had disappeared but that‟s progress for you!) with the remnants of the group and a few (now) retired masters and their family and friends. A fitting end!
Final thought – an enjoyable day, seeing some “old” friends and almost like the BBC TV series Ashes to Ashes being teleported back to “our era” of the 1970‟s. Shall we do it again – of course we will! Current thoughts are that the next milestone is in 2012 (i.e. “40 years since the class of 1972 started”), so start pencilling it in your diaries!
And a final thank you again to the College for their hosting of these events; thanks to the masters, old and new for their attentiveness to us “old uns” and lastly, but by no means least, to Jane Gunner for her continued unstinting support and work to make these days the success that they are. Bring on 2012!
Keith Winmill (aka “Windy”) and Dave Marshall