I am rarely asked by the manager to leave a public bar before closing time but I am pleased to report that on this occasion I did not disgrace myself! When I reserved a space at one of London’s newest trendy bars I saw no problem with the condition that we should make way for another party at 9:30pm. These informal gatherings usually attract just a few London OBs in search of someone to share a pint with after work and all have usually gone home by 8pm.
At 9:15 on 5 May we were still 20 strong with a range of OBs who between us could piece together the history of Brighton College over the last five decades and more. And what a diverse bunch we were. I counted two solicitors, a barrister, an author, a diamond dealer, a neurological consultant, a Druid academic and former television producer, a Knight of the British Empire, a member of the Financial Services Authority, a marketing director…
For some it was a reunion but for most of us it was a night for making new friends, swapping tales of late night escapes from dormitory windows and re-living our lost youth! But the overriding theme was a deep admiration for those who taught us and an enduring affection for the College.
A while ago I wrote in The Pelican of my frustration with the lack of interest in the OBA and asked whether there was any point to it all. Ever since, I have been constantly reminded of the enthusiasm for the OBA in so many different ways. The spirit, diversity and energy of London’s OBs ensured it was another fantastic evening and has encouraged us to host another informal drinks later this year and a possible informal supper in early 2005.