People from our year who attended: Jo Jones [Atkins], Ralph Berry, Paul Brewster, Helen Houghton [Burgess], Pippa Bush, Ve Chamberlain, Jonathan Clamp, Simon Colbeck, Jackie Harbron [Conning], Paul Copeland-Watts, Ruth Crocket, Huw Kruger-Gray, Bronwen Lewis, Steve Moody, Margareta Yadi [Pagano], Celia Redgate [Pitstow], Angus Willson. Also spotted in The Railway: Jeremy Barker and Peter Clifford.
Angus Willson: Some quick observations and ‘overheards’ for those not there…
* Simon Colbeck to John Chapman, ‘What subject did you teach?’
* Everyone still saying, ‘Jean Stubbs looks just the same.’
* Pippa Bush, for looking just the same. (see below)
* ‘My best teaching years were at this school,’ Peter Cutler.
* A rainbow formed in a small cloud above the silence of the closing ceremony.
* Ralph Berry, the niftiest mover on the dance floor.
* The new head, John Waters, joined ‘The Lost Souls’ for three numbers on guitar.
* Simon Colbeck apologising for reverting thirty years and being rude to Paul Copeland-Watts. (What he said is too embarrassing to repeat.) And, later, blaming me!
* John Chapman, ‘We have retired.’ Therese adding quickly, ‘I retired early.’ (and she is still looking good!)
* ‘The sun dial is GMT, not BST.’ Or, allegedly, half an hour out. Either way, it is on the front lawn and in the shadow of the main building for at least an hour in the middle of a late September day.
* A visit to Hillcroft, now a private house.
* Seeing Peter Clifford in a Hawaiian shirt, and on Guinness and Bailey’s chasers in the Railway, with his wife.
* Paul Brewster as a residential care manager for the local authority inspected the boarding accommodation a few years ago.
* Houses stretch from the school grounds at the end of the new Avenue for miles on what was the cross-country route to the twin oaks and the copse. (comment in pastimes)
* The playing fields do not seem as large as they were.
* Maggie Yadi [Pagano] confirming, ‘it’s all in the attitude.’
* The swimming pool has re-opened with a new roof. The changing rooms have not changed but are due for refurbishment this year.
* Sad news that Lou Paolozzi has MS.
* Hearing from Lorna that Sally Benson is unwell.
* Paul Copeland-Watts saying he wasn’t sure which march to go on, the Countryside Alliance or ‘Stop the War’. (eh?)
* Hank Adams, a West Town exchange student, (1970 year group) came over and was remembered as having shaved his head in protest of inconsistent hair length rules.
* That most people are on a third or fourth-phase of their ‘career’.
* Rumour that Nick Hunt lives in Brighton.
Simon Colbeck: Even the longest conversations seemed frustratingly brief and I was left with endless further questions for every one I had started off with……. a bit like fitting together some of the edge pieces of a large jigsaw and then having all the rest scattered again…..wondering whether to leave it all on the floor or have another go. But I really enjoyed seeing everyone anyway and I hope the website will keep the whole thing going and maybe we can meet up in a less crowded place. I don’t feel like I need to go back to FSSW itself for at least another decade.
The OS message board has responses to the reunion from other year groups.
Responses from those not there…
Tim Watts: Just a quick message to say thanks for posting all the picture on the web site so amazingly quickly. Now I really am sorry I didn’t make it. It was fantastic to see all those faces again, only slightly changed! I was amazed to see the pictures of the staff especially John Gillet who I was very fond of (in good way of course!) He did inspire me with a love of literature that has remained with me. He must be quite old now. Do you have any idea how I might get in touch with him?
I was equally astonished to see John Chapman and Theresa Roxby-Bott. Didn’t we all have huge schoolboy crushes on her? Who was Paul High? I don’t remember him at all.
The news about Lou Paolozzi is very sad. I hope she can get through it and has the support to do that.
Giles Norton: I can’t believe what a junkie for photos of my classmates I have become. Surely to God, you all must have taken more pictures? Huw has a camera in every picture. Did he never raise it anger? Can’t we see Steve Moody chatting to Bronwen Lewis? or Simon Colbeck demonstrating the fancy new doors on the boys bogs? What about Pippa Bush – damn her, she hasn’t changed a jot – sneaking a glass of Woodpecker cider? (Who’s her life-partner anyway? Dorian Gray? She has no right to look that young.) Well, there you have it. Feed us all more photos – please?
Fiona Wood [Adler]: …and to say how much I appreciated the photo gallery so far… growing older very gracefully I see! (Thanks, Fiona, no-one mentioned getting older all weekend. Angus.)
Oh, and to say the music teacher David Stuckey referred to and who gave you such stunning marks for cello was Ben Rivers.
Michele Wilson [Underwood]: Not enough photos – was everyone camera shy? Huw and Pippa are unmistakeable but I really can’t fathom who the people in the photo-gallery are!
Jonathan Richards: What a great site/sight! Thank you. I didn’t come to the reunion because I’m not [nickname] any more. On previous visits to Walden many years ago, I was put straight back into that character… Having worked through the site, I wish I had attended, and if there is another reunion, please let me know. (see snippets for news)
Shan Lancaster [Poynder]: Thanks for doing a wonderful job on the reunion write-up. Like Giles I am dying to see more pix. I attach one of me in case you want to expand the photo gallery to include slackers who couldn’t make it on the day. Sorry about the pint…can’t imagine how that got there. I must’ve been holding it for someone. The bigger picture you are building up is fascinating. I simply don’t remember much of it but bits and pieces sit there in my memory quite out of any proper context – like a flashback to sending wicker laundry baskets full of dirty linen thundering down the stone stairs with a shove instead of carrying them as we were supposed to, and scattering small kids like skittles.Please keep adding to it!
The Reunion 2002 was a special event as it coincided with the tercentenary of the school.
From the OS message board:
“Always one to give praise where it is due and without wishing to sound as though I have been paid to say it, I have just received my copy of School on the Hill, and it is a very fine book indeed. It is beautifully produced with lovely brown photos, varied text in lay out and content and really is an easy and interesting read. It ought to spark off a volume two ! Anyway, this is really a prompt to anyone who hasn’t heard of it or thought of buying one to do so now ! It would do justice to any good coffee table! Seriously, well done to Hilary and all those others who made contributions. Looking forward to the weekend.”
Jan Thomas [Willson] 1968
Orders can be placed on www.oldscholars.com [opens in new window]
Tony Newton (1955) The Rt Hon Lord Newton of Braintree, OBE
Photo by Simon Colbeck