2008, Leaver’s Party 1978
28th June 2008 at The Glassboat, Bristol.
Chris Taylor hopes the wives were not too bored, though he and Sarah thoroughly enjoyed it. Chris thanked Robin Higgs for a double dose of photos and Dr.Kevin Blewett for his.
Among those who were there;
Dr.Krya Newbauer – by far the prettiest OH among the black tied gentlemen,
Robin Higgs, red tie and still managed to drop the ball when passed to him,
Richard Jarrett laughing in almost every photo,
Dr.Kevin Blewett – my hasn’t he grown, looking very tall and distinguished,
Dave Hughes, who flew all the way from California, KFC beard and becoming slightly thinner on top, Roger Green hasn’t changed at all, still in glasses, blond and smiling,
Phil Claridge, another one frozen in time and looking very dapper in his black tie and
Chris Rolph, still the engineer and looking very smart in his red tie.
Chris says he is the short fat blond haired one in the photos, forgot his black dinner-jacket and wore a wooden bow tie.
I blame my 17 year old daughter for interrupting the cyberspace of many OHs at the beginning of this year. She is now 18 and off to University but in January she was beginning to talk about her last days at school and it made me realise that 30 years ago I was doing just the same. This spurred me on to try and make contact with all those who left Allhallows in the summer of 1978 and arrange some form of reunion. A 'round robin' was the first step - which many of you received as an e-mail out of the blue in the early days of January. This was to see whether my idea of a black tie dinner in Bristol would receive any support. I soon realised how difficult it was to get the addresses of those OHs who left 30 years ago - especially the "girls" - but received wonderful support from Derek Blooman and Nigel Giles (many thanks to you both).
It also soon became apparent that one OH had kept in touch with another and so soon the message spread. Finally I had responses from 25 who were scattered over the globe - from Clare Adam (née Murnane) in Vancouver, Mike Spark and Will Lead in Zambia, to Adam Cassels in Lombardy and Hubert van Weelde in Amsterdam (to name but a few). The date I finally chose was Saturday 28th June. It was a black tie dinner on the Glassboat restaurant in the centre of Bristol- with partners if they could be persuaded. In the event the following managed to attend:
Kyra Arnott (née Neubauer) - Robin Higgs - Rich and Sally Jarrett - Colin and Belen Meeke-Dave Hughes (all the way from California) - Kevin Blewitt - Roger Green - Phil and Maryanne Claridge - Chris and Barbara Rolph and of course myself and my wife Sarah.
We all met for a glass or two of bubbly in Queen Square where many photos of Allhallows days were produced. This was a pretty good ice-breaker but before long we were all strolling across the square in the evening sunshine to the restaurant. We had been lucky enough to secure the whole of the lower deck to ourselves which meant that we had no pressure of time upon us. It was a good meal and after every course we were able to move around the table, sharing a glass or two of wine en route.
I was delighted and very grateful for all those who made the effort from all corners of the country and - in Dave Hughes' case - just in from California where he is enjoying himself in the solar energy business. Kevin Blewitt managed to delay a trip to the USA and his wit and humour was much appreciated - as was the lift home! If was also great for me to see two of my old, well not that old ,1st XV mates - Rich Jarrett and Robin Higgs - both of whom were also in Middy with me and were really in fine form. Colin Meeke who is now a leading light in the local CPS, was someone that I had come across in distant magistrates' courts, although many years earlier with him prosecuting and me defending (...I think I lost!). Roger Greed was someone who really had not changed at all although now a clinical psychologist and dearly enjoying life. The same was true of Phil Claridge and his wife who, like many of us, were awaiting those dreaded 'A' level results - this time in a vicarious capacity through our children! No such worries for Chris Rolph and his wife who are enjoying themselves near Northampton looking after a menagerie of animals and vintage cars. Last but by no means least, it was lovely to catch up with Kyra, who Sarah and I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with over the years and who until fairly recently was practicing in Bristol as a doctor with her husband Steve.
I do hope all of you who came enjoyed it. Sarah and I certainly enjoyed your company and I was simply amazed how after just a few minutes we were talking as if Allhallows was just yesterday. Times change but OHs really don't seem to very much! Shall we do another one before another 30 years passes...?