Written by Alex Bremer (Ry. 1979-83), Site Administrator

First of all let me get the obvious observation out of the way; none of us could properly fathom how it had been 40 years since we’d left this place! Certainly the assorted (but not universal) grey hairs on display drove home the point somewhat, but honestly those assembled looked, to me at least, largely untouched by the worst ravages of time.

We’d congregated at the allotted time in the Simon Smith Cafe - Simon wasn’t there but Olly Smythe was. It’s always so good to see Olly - the now retired purveyor of all things mathematical is every bit as youthful and unchanged as his near-namesake Simon. Lord alone knows how they do it… I suspect both have grotesque portraits hidden in their attics.

It was very soon time to inspect the (much changed) campus and Scott Sheridan was to be our guide. I’ve tagged along on a few of his school tours in the past and I can confidently assert that there’s no finer ambassador for the school or more knowledgeable advocate for the (occasionally controversial) changes that the school has been subject to.

I’ve heaped praise on the new buildings elsewhere on this site but I must again express my delight at the astonishing new theatre building (also housing the new Sixth Form Centre, drama and dance studios and a new School of Computing) which is very close to completion. My affection for it was not unanimous but there’s no reason it should be; this building is an unashamedly bold piece of modern architecture and I’m personally in awe of it.

Our tour took in the old as well as the new and our tourists seemed delighted that the Quad and Main Building retain a familiar aspect. Except for the (to us) new Clock Tower and the addition of the imaginatively named “New Building” you’d swear the Quad was exactly as we left it.

It was getting on for dinner time and Scott was receiving hurry up texts from the Headmaster’s Dining Room. Accordingly we navigated the magnificent Sports & Science Building at pace (plenty of breathless oohs and aaaahs) and back across the Quad to a wonderful dinner. I’ve not before eaten so well at a College function - that every one of us should receive lamb so perfectly roasted is an achievement that rivals any one of those covered during Scott’s after dinner speech - a comprehensive summary that served to remind us that this school has reached extraordinary heights since we left it.

On behalf of all of us my most sincere thanks to Scott and Jennifer for laying on a really wonderful day in the bosom of our Alma Mater - it goes without saying that you both chose wisely in not following us down to The Kemp pub (formerly The Burlington Arms) afterwards. Thank you also to Olly for joining us, and remind us that some teachers remain forever young.

Site Administrator

Alex's most passionate interests include Motor Racing (Alex raced for a short time in 1986 and 1987 in Formula Ford and Formula First before parking his shiny racing car in an inappropriately violent manner half way down the main straight at Brands Hatch), Boxing (which he is delighted never to have participated in), Music (Alex is hysterically tone-deaf - but loves attending live gigs), Movies, Manchester United & Skiing.


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