Pre-1970s Decade Reunion


Saturday 10th October saw the KGS Friends Pre-1970 reunion, for everyone who was at the School in the days of Percy Rundle and ‘Jimmy’ James, and even a few who remembered CA Howse! The oldest guest, we reckoned, was Bob Barter, who left in 1944, and who still teaches Music five days a week at the German School, Petersham. (His next gig, by the way, is at the Berrylands Hotel, Surbiton Hill Park at 12.30pm on Sunday 22nd November, with jazz legends Jimmy Hastings and Eric Ford.)

Roger Stearn found it ‘a most interesting and enjoyable reunion’, and Alan Eldridge said it was ‘a splendid occasion and a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old and some even older friends’, before adding that ‘the involvement of the school with the OK's, over recent years, has benefited us all and long may it last’. These sentiments were endorsed by Gopal Srinivasan, who commented, ‘It was wonderful meeting up again with old friends and engaging with our alma mater.’ Gopal also enjoyed ‘good food, good company, and very pleasant trips down memory lane as we toured around the school and then later viewed extracts from the on-line archive.’

Indeed, the on-line archive, paid for with a generous donation from the OKA, which archivist Joanne Halford demonstrated over tea, was one of the great successes of the afternoon, drawing appreciative and interested crowds, as did the archive display generally and particularly the short film put together from various clips and cuttings of the Queen’s visit and Top of the Form, among others.

The reunion began with drinks in the Dining Hall and words of welcome form Head Master Stephen Lehec, followed by a quick look in the Lovekyn Chapel (one OK commenting it was the first time he had ever set foot in the place!) before we went in for an excellent lunch in the Hall. After lunch, KGS Friends Chairman John Cook added his words of welcome, and proposed a toast to the absent friends who could not be with us. Nick Bond, the ‘Executive Officer’ of KGS Friends, then made a presentation of an engraved crystal glass clock to Andrew Day in recognition of his many years of loyal service to the OKA as its Chairman from 1995 to 2014.

Following these formalities, there were tours of the School led by senior pupils, with the Gym and the Cage as ever proving the most popular attractions. The festivities concluded back in the Hall with tea and a group photo, with several defying the passage of time to sit on the floor in the front row. At the end of a very happy occasion, the crowd (there were about 100 OKs present) began to drift away with happy memories, we hope, to the fore. There were promises for the future – to get together a team for the quiz night on November 14th, to come to the Carol Service on 15th December (with drinks beforehand) or to attend or take part in the Tony Prichard Memorial Debate with the Gibbon Society when we get that organized, and lots of fond thoughts about the day we had just enjoyed. Philip Conway spoke for many when he contacted the School afterwards:

“May I thank you all for a splendid afternoon 'back at the old school' last Saturday.

It was fun to meet a number of old contemporaries and to swap tales as to how life has been in the 50 or more years since we left school. Most importantly it was special to see how much KGS has grown in so many ways yet still remains at heart the same school we all went to and still on the same site in Kingston.”

Click here to view photographs from the day.