There were two reunions in 2002. Our usual Reunion in March, and a garden party held in June to celebrate
the 90th year of the founding of the School.
The Annual Reunion and AGM for former pupils of Slough Secondary School, Slough Grammar School, Slough High School & Upton Grammar School took place from 11:00-17:00 on Saturday 23 March 2002 at
Slough Grammar School,
Over 300 people attended this Reunion, with over 200 taking lunch together. The AGM ran from 14:30-15:30.
“Held in the School’s 90th Anniversary year, the Annual Reunion 2002 was an overwhelming success story from beginning to end. We were honoured with a visit from the Mayor of Slough, Cllr Mrs Joan Jones (Eyre 1945-50) and her Consort (and brother), Mr Peter Eyre (1950s), both of them former pupils. Cllr Mrs Jones declared her intention to return next year. The sun shone once again. Members began arriving well before 11am. More than 200 enjoyed an excellent buffet lunch and at least 300 were present at some time during the day. What is more, several members were still actively searching the website an hour after the official end and had to be persuaded to leave since the caretaker was wishing to lock up! What a wonderful compliment at the end of an extraordinary day.
It wasn’t too many years ago that the Reunion was attended by just 40 members, 35 ladies and 5 gentlemen. Now we have a glorious mix from both the Grammar School and the High School and, on either side, members from the original Slough Secondary and the modern day School. No matter that for some of us, it wasn’t ‘our’ building, which after all was merely bricks and mortar, it is the friendships and spirit generated which symbolises the Old Paludians.
During the year we have had many new members and it was good to see so many present at the Reunion; for many of them it was the first time back in the School since leaving 30, 40 and even 50 years ago! “You haven’t changed one bit” was often heard, no matter the designer grey hair or more lines on the face due to the passage of time. One ‘boy’ felt distinctly uneasy when passing the former Headmaster’s study, half expecting an arm to reach out, grab him and ‘deliver 6 of the best’ for whatever reason.
First into the Computer suite shortly after 11am were two ladies who have supported the Old Paludians for well nigh 70 years. They were anxious to see what all the fuss was about over our website and soon spotted themselves on the very earliest photos – surely they take a prize for the oldest ‘surfers’ of the Day. There was a lot of interest shown in the website and several orders were taken for CDROM copies of the website enabling the whole site to be viewed on a computer without the need for an internet connection. As always, the displayed archives were carefully studied and aroused much interest. Archive material is still being found and handed in. Several items were donated – a programme for the very first Speech Day ever, held in December 1912; a French text book being the property of Miss Tregear from those same far off days, as well as a book inscribed with a pupil’s name to ensure it was not lost – the pupil attended the School in 1912.
The Library was open for members to see the gifts presented to the School last year; everyone was encouraged to sign their name or work a stitch on the Tapestry being made to commemorate both the 90th Anniversary and the Golden Jubilee of HM The Queen. A special cake had been made with the School crest on it – this was presented to Mrs Lenton for the Staff with our good wishes.
The AGM – that essential part of the Reunion, for if there was no Committee then there could be no Association – began at 2.30 and the present Officers and Committee were willing to continue, subject to re-nomination, and 3 new committee members were welcomed. There was a short talk from Mike Brooker, who is the Treasurer of the Old Paludians Ltd / Taplow United Football Club, and was representing Mr John Head-Rapson (1966-73), the Chairman of OPL/TUFC, who was unable to be present. Afterwards, there was a presentation to our Webmaster, Ian Cairns, in recognition of his outstanding work in creating such an excellent website, which has drawn together members from around the world. No matter where they live, they can surely feel part of the Association.
This year the School has achieved ‘Language College’ status and from September will be officially known as Slough Grammar School (Language College). Mrs Lenton outlined the many and varied activities and achievements of the past year – one wonders how it is all fitted in. The Garden Party to be held on 29 June 2002 will be a great celebration of both special anniversaries this year and everyone is urged to attend – there will be many formal and informal activities to be enjoyed no matter what age.
Members were welcomed from Illinois and New York (a return visit since both also attended last year), two from California, from Canada and from France and from all parts of the country. It surely says something for the strength of the Association that members willingly travel so far to meet up with old friends and kindle new friendships. There was a buzz of excitement throughout the day and even after the delicious tea was over, members were reluctant to go home. Many will be back in June and we look forward to even more returning next March. For everyone, 23rd March 2002 will be a day long remembered, a truly magnificent gathering of old and new friends – can there ever be a better Reunion?”
Valerie J Storie