I regret to have to inform you of something some of you will already know about - unfortunately Gethin Robinson passed away in January of this year. I'm sure we all remember Gethin's splendid companionship and his organizing ability which enabled us to enjoy 49 continuous years of our re-union.
The mantle has therefore passed to me and I hope to follow Geth's example of organizing something for you every year from now on. This year I have worked out a full weekend's programme in commemoration of a) Gethin and b) our 50th year of re-union and I hope enough of you agree to take part in the whole weekend to make it worthwhile. I must emphasize, however, that all the events are voluntary but as some of them , e.g. the hotel rooms, depend on the numbers taking part, I hope most of you will commit yourselves to 2 days instead of one.
First the hotel. I have negotiated enough rooms at a city centre hotel for all of you and would point out that the price for a double room is the same as that for a single. even though it is occupied by just one person. You have two alternatives, the first being the HOTEL IBIS (part of the ACCOR group), a modem hotel at the end of the Parkway where the rooms are £42.95 per night (compared to £69 for most city centre hotels) and if enough of you book there, i.e. at least 12, they will throw in breakfast as well. The only snag is that they do not have a car park, but your vehicles can use the public one opposite the hotel at the rate of £4.50 per day.
The second is the GROSVENOR HOUSE HOTEL, right in the centre of the city (just off the Moor at the bottom of Cambridge Street). This is a traditional hotel where the rooms cost £49 per night (again doubles cost the same as singles) but they do have their own (secure) car park. I have not yet negotiated the discount - it will depend on the number booking - so please let me know as soon as possible whether you're coming, which hotel you prefer (the majority will decide) and whether you're staying I night or 2.
Next the programme. I am arranging to visit the old school for a look around on the Friday evening, October 3rd, say 4.30 - 5.30 p.m. This will be followed by dinner at your chosen hotel, followed by our usual drinking and chatting session for the rest of the evening.
Saturday morning after breakfast we will go on a tour of Sheffield by Supertram (£2.50), seeing a lot of your old haunts which some of you will not have seen for years. The tram has 4 routes, travelling to such diverse places as Hillsborough, Meadowhall, Gleadless and Crystal Peaks (a shopping mall near Hackenthorpe) and we shall travel on all of them. Then we have a carvery lunch at the Crosspool Tavern (£3.95) and after that I can take you for a gentle stroll around Chatsworth Park, weather permitting, followed by dinner at the Devonshire Arms, Pilsley, (£10) and more reminiscing.
Finally back to your hotel in Sheffield, where next day your time's your own. Most of you must have some old places you'd like to visit - you can do that and return home anytime you want.
I hope you agree that this programme is an appropriate one for our 50th anniversary - remember, none of us will be around for the 100th! Please let me know as soon as possible whether you will be coming, your hotel preferences, etc. I look forward to seeing you all, both this year and for many years to come.