We had a brilliant day on Saturday, thanks to the organisation of Keith
Done, Ian Raymond, and honorary member Bob Morgan (1950 intake) whose
membership of Hartley Country Club enabled us to make use of the
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Cofoc’ers attending were (cut and pasted from Excel file, so apologies
for putting myself first):-
Bill Bradshaw + Janet; Keith Done +Brenda; Ian Raymond +Elizabeth; Francis Copeman; Graham Dyer; Eric Miller; Alec Crighton; Michael Box; Horace Gillis; Barry Rogers +Hazel; Don Rutherford; Roger Shade +Lorraine; Dave Shadick; John Foster +Marion; Bob Morgan
John Dadson was due to come but was indisposed – we all wish him a
speedy recovery. Also Roger Smith didn’t make it – hopefully he’s not
poorly too, but just got a detention, just like when he was at school.
We met Don Rutherford in the car park, and had a brief chat, mainly
about ‘Sam’ and his stiff finger.
Arrivals were greeted by Keith from 11.30 ish and treated to a
welcoming drink (tea, coffee, juice, or in my case red wine). It was
great to see the old faces turning up one by one, and we especially
pleased to see Michael Box as he hadn’t been with us on previous
occasions (he and I lived within a few hundred yards of each other in
the ’70s and didn’t know it).
Lunch was served around 1 0’clock, and very good it was too, with 4
tables of 4 and one of 5 to make up the 21 attending – suggestion from
some that Shadick should sit on his own to avoid disruption was
The afternoon provided us all with plenty of opportunity to chat with
everybody, and lots of photo flashes were evident as people made their
own personal record. My own efforts were not quite as disastrous as last
time (when none came out), though I still haven’t mastered the
technicalities of the digital camera that I got as a retirement gift in
2000 (see my efforts attached, others were too dark to see). Perhaps
I’ll get a new one for the next time. I’d be very grateful if other
attendees would send me copies of their own shots, and I’ll send them
out to the whole membership.
The ‘boys’ in my first picture are Messrs. Shadick, Gillis (sorry about
the candle up the nose, Horace), Copeman, and Rutherford. In the third
Barry Rogers and Keith Done are flanking the scrum half. The balding
bonce is that of Ian Raymond, with Elizabeth in the red. Hazel and
Brenda are in deep conversation with Elizabeth in photo 4, whether
discussing Iraq or the price of mince, I know not. The shots I took of
the Foster/Shade table were rubbish, but I did overhear a stimulating
conversation about Roger and Lorraine’s buying and selling crockery etc.
on eBay that will have made them rich by the next reunion. This won’t
affect John and Marion as he is too preoccupied with Gravesend and
Northfleet FC to have the time to go out and buy a computer.
The Country Club provided us with afternoon tea around 5 pm, though a
lot of the sandwiches and cake went uneaten as we were all still full
from lunch, and members started to drift off around 6, some with longish
journeys ahead of them. Janet and I stayed on for a drink with Keith,
Brenda, and Bob Morgan, and left them at it some time later (Janet drove
back to the digs, as she considered me incapable by that time)
The 1951 – 1959 Miltonians provided us with amusement and memories,
especially the theatre reviews that are surprisingly blunt. John Foster
was the leading thespian of the period, and the reviews of his
performances were universally good, unlike most of the others (Shade,
Shadick etc) who suffered at the hands of the anonymous critic (I
suspect Furley). Alec Crighton was a hit as the lion in Androcles (nice
roar). The 1956 issue rugby reports showed Eric Miller and Dave Potter
in the first XV, Peter Curtis, Bob Morgan, and Brian Bradshaw in the
seconds, Dave Thomas and Terry Richens in the 3rds, and six of those
attending this reunion in the all-conquering Colts (Messrs. Dyer,
Copeman, Bradshaw (W), Foster, Shadick, and Box) plus members Angus
Wood, Colin Cooper and Mike Chadwick. An invitation to go out on the
field and have a 7 a side match went unheeded.
Having met up with Brian Bradshaw and Angus Wood this summer, I was able
to pass on their regards and best wishes to the assembly; I also had a
message from Paul Mitchell, who had just jetted off to South Africa,
with his best wishes too. We also remembered John Ramsey and the
sterling work he’s doing in Sri Lanka.
Opinions as to the period between future reunions were wide, from ‘every
week’ to ‘when we’re 70’, but it seems 2 or 3 years is favourite.
Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to it.