50 years ago, 13 met on Friday 13th April and three Sheffield Telegraph reporters (interested in superstition) arrived uninvited, resulting in an article in the following day’s paper that made us decide to meet again at the end of summer term (Friday 13th July) 1962.
We dispersed to various universities, but vowed to meet again. And we did. Despite studies and careers that took us to places as distant as Belfast and Tokyo, we raised glasses together on every Friday 13th, and enjoyed Christmas dinners together for over 30 years.
So, when the 50th anniversary came – and the calendar included Friday 13th July – despite now living mainly in the South and Midlands, eight of us [*] with wives met for celebrations.
Firstly Headteacher Beverley Jackson took us on a tour of the magnificently refurbished and extended school. We were very favourably impressed by the sensitive way the building had been refurbished and extended, making it fit for the new era yet recognisable as a place with style and history.
A hardy trio then walked ten miles over the moors from King Edwards to The Maynard at Grindleford via the former school playing fields at Whiteley Woods and Castle Dyke, where the day’s wind and rain brought back some uncomfortable memories!
We all dined together at The Maynard as we had done 50 years before. Naturally, there was reminiscence about experiences at the school we remember with some affection and with great respect for the education it provided, setting us up for careers and lifestyles well beyond anything that our parents could aspire to.
But most importantly it proved a very convivial evening, catching up with our lives today. We’re almost completely retired, but very involved in activities in roles including school governors, trustees of charities, an ordained priest, archery judge, academic and author, and training mountain leaders.
The question was raised “when shall we meet again?” There are two Friday 13th s in 2017, 55 years on…………
* Of the thirteen two deceased, three on family holidays elsewhere
Present at dinner were