2009 was 50 years on since I started at Aske’s, along with a large bunch of other “weeds”. I thought of organising a reunion on Founder’s Day 2009. Reunions can be tricky things, there is always the question of will they get on when people haven’t met for years. I thought that Founders Day, where there is the church service followed by drinks and food at the school (at the “exorbitant” cost of £5) would be a suitable “melting pot”. Folk would then have the option of leaving straight after the wine and finger buffet or carrying on at a suitable local pub.
Despite an initial enthusiastic response to posting on Friends Reunited and the Old Askean Yahoo Group there were just three of us who made it from the intake of ’59. Myself, Peter Sidgwick and Bob Miller. Pete and Bob saw one another regularly; in fact they had been on the stage at a school prize giving as they had been sponsored by pupils on long distance charity bike rides that they had taken part in.
I had met Pete a few times since school but not seen Bob for some forty years although at school and home we were good friends. As always, the Founders Day service was well run and the standards to do not seem to have changed since I was at school. It is remarkable that in today’s society the prefects still wear gowns and seem to carry the same authority as they did when I was at school. Dermot Poston who was one of our best remembered teachers was there at we had a good reminisce with him. At the time we did not realise (at least I didn’t) that 1959 marked his first year as member of the staff.
After the wine and buffet what to do? Somehow, we found ourselves at the Market Porter at Borough Market. Arriving there at about 3:30 ish meant that the lunchtime crowd had gone and it was too early for the evening mob. We had a great few beers together. As seemed inevitable, since we had all been members, we ended up talking about the Explorers’ Club and the expedition to Norway. As we chatted on, we were asked by a group of Norwegians of all people if we would take a group photo. We asked them to join us and we explained what we talking about. The beer continued to flow. After a couple more rounds each we decided that we should call it a day as none of us were up to the third round, certainly not after the lunch-time wine! All in all a good day, a shame that more of us were not present and that the only photos of the three of us are on a Norwegian’s camera! Maybe more of us will be there in 2019!
Barry Mellish (1959 – 1966)