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Never a dull moment...

Gold Reunion Class of 1973 and 1974

On Tuesday 11 June, we welcomed back our Class of 1973 and 1974 leavers for their Gold Reunion. We met our guests in the playground where they once kicked a tennis ball in place of a football and watched as they greeted old friends, some for the first time since they left 50 years ago.

Cath and Jodie from the RGS Foundation team, took our visitors on a trip down memory lane as they made their way round the old corridors and up the stairs, past the old Headmaster’s office to the Old Library – which they remembered as the gym. They shared stories of strict Headmasters, lessons in science and scout meets. As we made our way through the playground and up to the newest building – the Harrison Centre, our guests marvelled at the ingenuity of the architecture and how different their own classrooms were back in the day. After a stroll past Broadfield and Cornwallis, we made our way to the recital room for refreshments and the chance to reminisce.

Jonny Hylton, RGS Foundation Director (RGS ’99), welcomed the classmates and spoke fondly of his own memories of the school and how over time, the school has advanced, and life has changed. Jonny spoke of moments in time back in 1973 and 1974, for example Nixon being sworn in as President and only a year later having to resign due to the Watergate Scandal and the famous Rumble in the Jungle taking place between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman. However, the big news was that Priory House had won the Quiz Cup that year….!

Headmaster Shaun Fenton followed on from Jonny speaking about events from the 1970s such as popular music and the leather clad Alvin Stardust, or ‘Dad’ as Shaun Fenton fondly referred to his father. Shaun spoke of how the school is about to celebrate its 350 anniversary, and the fact that in the same year the school was founded, Sir Christopher Wren laid the founding stone of St Paul’s Cathedral. He said that this is their school and that our guests are welcome back anytime.

It was time to capture a class photo out on Broadfield Lawn before lunch was served. The group stood in front of the iconic building, which has seen many group photos over the years, before they headed in for a cold buffet of salads, sandwiches and quiche followed by a delicious array of sweet treats and cream filled scones. Each table had a 1973-1974 wordsearch and 1970 vs 2024 cost comparison for our guests to take part in. It amazed our visitors how much things had changed – a new mini in 1970 cost £595 vs today’s price of £22,300!

A beautiful music recital followed lunch – ‘All of me’ by John Legend was sung beautifully by Third Form student Mia, who then sang a duet with Third Form student Issy, ‘Just Give me a Reason’ by Pink. Third Form student Ed then performed a saxophone solo, accompanied by Richard Hare on piano.

The final experience for our guests was ‘Living History’, a session in which 15 of our Fourth Form students joined our visitors for a conversation about life in the school versus how life used to be. Conversations flowed and both students and former students shared stories of their time at school. It was time to bid our guests farewell and after they had exchanged numbers and had a few group photos, we escorted our guests back to the playground where it all began.

To see pictures from the day, please click here.

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