Photographs and Information of Previous Sexey's Grammar School Reunions.


This page is in the process of being changed so that the most recent reunion is first in the list - this means most people wont have to trawl past all the old reunions - apologies for any inconvenience whilst this is being carried out - Martyn.

 

2017 Brent House Reunion 

For the first time the reunion was held earlier in the year, on May 15th around 60 people attended and , as usual, had a very enjoyable 3 course lunch.

It was particularly nice to see Norah Laurie (one of Mr Tomlinson's daughters) who attended for the first time. We were hoping to see Gordon Churchyard who had been the Chemistry and Music teacher in the 1970's but unfortunately he failed to attend - hopefully another year. 

Many thanks to Cynthia and Nigel Dean and other helpers who made this reunion a success. 

 'Class of 1960 to 1965' Reunion, Weston Cricket Club

 

From L to R: ~ Sally Reeve (nee Heal) ~ Mary Gardner (nee Moody) ~ Gerald Ham ~ Elaine Northrop (nee Plimsole) ~ Alana Miller (nee Ward) ~ Pat Deane (nee Lane) ~ Jane Streeter ~ Steve Thorne ~ Maggie Roberts (nee James) ~ Alan Vaughan ~ Martyn French ~ Lynn Thomas (nee Fry) ~ Sheila Hammerton (nee Vicary).

---oOo---

On Sunday 9th October 2016 at Weston Cricket Club there was a get-together of thirteen members of 'The Class of 1960 -1965'. The event was organised by Steve Thorne, who most years meets up with Martyn French (still fondly known as 'Olly') when he comes over from Australia where he has lived for many years. Those attending the reunion travelled to Weston-super-Mare from as far afield as Swindon, Bath , Hertfordshire and Essex - and two of the class completed the 750 miles round trip from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. Others who could not attend were, of course, 'mentioned in dispatches'. Steve commented that "It was really good to be back together and the time just flew by. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon".

---oOo---

(Contributed by Sally Reeve and Steve Thorne.)

  2016 Boarders of the 60's Reunion

 

As usual this event was held on the first Sunday in September, meeting at the Sexey's Arms for lunch. The task this year was to discover whether or not the original 1897 building (which hosted the school for 2 years before the Blackford site was completed) still existed in nearby Stoughton. I can confirm that it still does, complete with steps leading to a 1st floor door and dovecote at one gable end and slate tiles are still used on the roof.

The pictures show the gable end nearest the road - two were taken so the photographer wouldn't feel left out!

 

 This 2nd picture, clearly shows two upper hinges still present which were almost definitely belonging to a pair of barn doors.

 

Also of interest is the Victorian letterbox (you can just make out the VR) which had very likely been installed prior to 1897 - this meant that the few boarders on the site didn't have far to travel to post their letters home!

On returning to the Sexey's Arms we discovered that Diane Hayman (as was) had arrived with her husband bringing the total number up to eight. As usual we had a really tasty lunch (complete with apple pies and treacle puddings etc!) which ended a lovely, enjoyable day. See you next year, everyone!! Martyn


2016 Brent House Reunion 

Report on the Reunion held on Monday 4th July 2016 at Brent House Restaurant.

57 People attended this year's reunion, and based on the noise level all were enjoying meeting fellow "old students".

Martyn James, in his remarks to the gathering mentioned that although all appeared to appreciate this annual gathering, the trend of people able to attend over the last 2 years was going down. Last year it was 74 and in 2014 it was 90.

However we received 83 replies to our emails "regretting not being able to attend this year" and about 30 of these replies stated that it was "due to them taking holidays at this time".

With this comment in mind the committee wondered if we ought to consider in 2017 holding the reunion in May. We suggest Monday 8th May.

The reaction from most of those present was they find the 1st Monday in July fine, but as the replies seem to suggest May could be better, I was asked to email you all to see if it would be better to change the date.

The Option is:

..................................................................................................................................................

A. I would prefer it, if the 2017 date be Monday 8th May 2017

B. I would prefer that it stays as Monday 3rd July 2017.

Please reply as soon as possible and by 20th August.

Regards.

Cynthia Dean

 (Many thanks for all the work you and your team carried out, Cynthia, it was a very enjoyable reunion despite the low numbers. If we do decide to change the date let's hope it improves the numbers! - Martyn)

  

2015 Reunion of Classes of 66, 69 and 1970

This very large reunion was held on Saturday, August 8th at the Riverside Inn, Cheddar with an attendance figure of well over 100. The reunion was the brainchild of Eleanor Clarke (class of 1970 - now Ellie Clarke Snyman) but due to the fact that she lives in South Africa the organisation for the event was passed on to ex classmate Carole Cox (now Carole Poole). Carole worked with Sue Elliot, Judith Greenow and Karen French.

 

Past pupils were invited to send in a short biography of their lives since school and these were put into a booklet with copies for everyone.

 

A total of 20 biographies found their way into the booklet, making it a very interesting read.

Karen Brown (class of 1970- now Karen Collins) very kindly made a cake or two for the occasion. Here she is having found herself on the 1973 whole school photo!

 

 

Here Patrick Westby shows off his school scarf and prefect's tie!! 

 

(To date I haven't received a report on this reunion but I'm sure everyone had a good time. Many thanks to Karen Collins for providing me with some school day photos - amazingly you were the only one, Karen so you get a gold star for that! If you're reading this and you have some pics that could go on the site please email them to me, it's great for everyone to see them. Karen's pictures will shortly appear in the current image gallery.- Martyn James)

 2015 Boarders of the '60s Reunion 

On Sunday, September 13th six of us met up at the Sexey's Arms, Blackford with a job in mind, namely to find the two shops we used to frequent back in the 60's which were both located at Heath House. One was nicknamed 'Nancy's' which was on the left hand side as you left the school heading up Wells Way (the road down the side of the school) and the other, called the 'Copper Kettle' was situated in Heath House also on the left. 'Nancy's' used to be a wooden or wooden clad structure and , if memory serves, was little more than an extension of a room inside the house.

As we walked up Wells Way we were surprised how many 'new' properties had appeared since we had last walked that way - I could remember walking there as a boarder looking for empty Corona bottles in the ditch either side and then taking them to the Copper Kettle to get 3d back for each which meant I could buy a Mars bar!

After about a mile we came upon a prime candidate for 'Nancy's' which was a wooden clad building on the left hand side by the first cross roads - a  Post box built into the side indicated that the exterior wood either clad brick or stone and that this wasn't just a large wooden building which would not have been suitable for siting a post box. Further proof that this was the correct building came from a conversation that Geoff Thorne had when we'd got back to the Sexey's Arms for lunch. He got talking to one of the longstanding locals who confirmed that we had found the right place. 

Turning right at the crossroads we saw some likely looking 'Copper Kettle' candidates on the left. As I was about to knock on someone's door keen eyed Bev saw the 'Copper Kettle' sign on the house next door to the one where I was making enquiries! Needless to say a number of changes had been made. The current owners were more than happy to show us round the back garden area which had the original well - apparently the house dates back to the 17th century - many thanks to the owners who made us very welcome.

  

With the help of Bev's OS map we were able to take a circular route back to Blackford, passing we think, the site of the old, dilapidated cottage that we used to run past (and sometimes go in!) when we did our cross country runs.

As usual we had a very tasty lunch at the Sexey's Arms and 'Dave' the owner was more than happy to take a  picture of the whole group afterwards -

 


This year it was the turn of Patsy and Rob (from the class of '65) to celebrate their 50th year since joining the school, here they are together -

 


With all the pictures over we said our goodbyes in the car park and so ended a really enjoyable reunion. A decision was made that from now on the reunion would always take place on the first Sunday of the month.

Note: This reunion is open to any boarder who was at Sexey's during the 60's this means they may have started boarding in the mid 50's onwards. A large number of girls from my own year (1964) boarded but I've not had any communication from them at any time (apart from Celia Cox who, I believe, still lives abroad).

I'll mention their names just in case someone has some information about their whereabouts. In addition to Celia there were Janice Smith, Jane Kilgannon, Deborah Hawkins, Linda Greenwood and Bernice Ball.  Please get in touch on oldsexonians@hotmail.co.uk if you have any info about these past pupils.  Martyn James  

2015 Brent House Reunion

As usual this was held on the first Monday in July. Unfortunately this year the numbers attending were down dramatically to just 75. These represented 34 years of Sexey's school from 1936 to 1970 - it was nice to see a few more younger Old Sexonians attending.

 

As usual Brent House produced a good selection of excellent food which was served promptly and efficiently by the helpful waitresses.

I mentioned the recent book about Hugh Sexey , written by PW Randell , which gives a well written and very readable account of the life and times of the great man. It reminds us that he died in 1619 and I hope there will be some form of commemoration to mark 400 years of his passing in 2019 - we have a few years to think about it.

I also mentioned the very large reunion that's about to take place in Cheddar which comprises of 3 classes (1966,69 and 1970) organised by  Carole Poole who was in attendance at Brent House for the first time - very best of luck, Carole! This could easily turn into one of the largest ever Sexey's reunions once 'other halves' are added. Hopefully, people will bring along lots of pictures and other memorabilia for me to copy and, in turn, provide lots more information for the website of those very final years of the Grammar School.

Once again many thanks to Cynthia and Nigel Dean for all their hard work in putting on another highly enjoyable and smooth running event.    Martyn James 

 

 
Boarders of the '60's Reunion 2014
 
On Sunday September 17th, eight former boarders met at the Sexey's Arms at midday for the third annual reunion. On this occasion we began the day with our village walk having placed our orders for Sunday lunch with 'Dave' from the Sexey's.
This year the weather was warm and sunny making the village walk a very pleasant one and, unlike last year, the village church was open to visitors. Unfortunately, on entering we were to be disappointed, not only was the old visitors' book unavailable which meant that we couldn't look at our names/messages placed there in the 1960's but the pews had been changed (either replaced or totally refurbished) which meant that the 'historical' graffiti left by the groups of visiting boarders since the 1920's and 30's had been erased forever more - a chunk of boarder history gone. I feel really pleased that I had photographed some of it at an earlier reunion, especially as one of the perpetrators was someone who I had previously interviewed for this website - an incredible coincidence! This can be seen in Photo Gallery 5, pic 45 .
 For the school photos we were very lucky to have Dianne's partner along as it meant that every one of us could appear in the 'whole group' shot - this appears in Gallery 7.
 
It was a particularly poignant  'year' photo for Geoff Thorne and myself as it was our turn to celebrate the 50th anniversary of joining the school (half a century ago - I can't believe it!!)
 
 
Class of '64
 
Class of '63
 
Class of '65
 
 
All in all, the day proved to be a very enjoyable one with a quality Sunday lunch, fine weather and good company - it was lovely to see Pauline and Diana there for the first time. Hopefully, next year we will be joined by a few more new faces!  Martyn James 
---------------------------------

 

Past Reunions

Brent House 2006





(All photos contributed by Ann McLaren) 

Brent House 2008

This was attended by about 100 Old Sexonians, a record number ? - once again may thanks to Ann and Shirley. A big 'thank you' to all those of you who brought photos and documents for me to copy. Apologies to old schoolmates who I didn't get to speak to properly - with all those photos to sort out I had very little spare time! - MJ



 

(Photos by Martyn James) 

Class of '54 Reunion, Brent House  

The class of '54-'61 held an enjoyable reunion at the Brent House on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009. The event was organised by Sally Shephard and Sally sent in the following picture and report of the event - 

Seated front row from left to right

Frances Hilson (Tyler), Ann Cox (Stevenson), Chris Duckett, Pam Slocombe (Sheppard)

Standing from left to right

Jeni Skidmore (Grimstead), Arthur Thompson, Cynthia Dean (Ham), Jackie Skidmore (White), Daphne Ireland (Hain), Judy Bell (Morgan), Victor Long, John Packer, Sally Sheppard (Berrington), John Loxton, Doreen Gallop (Starr), David Jones, Sally James (Bird), Gerald Sheppard, Tom Biss.         

Also present but not in the photograph was Maureen Worrall (June Hutchinson) 

Well, we did it! On 26 May 2009 a group of rather excited but apprehensive former class members met for the first time in forty five years in some cases and forty seven in others. We met at the Brent House Restaurant on a bright and sunny day. It was somewhat emotional as we all surreptitiously eyed each other to try to make out what the passage of time had done. Some were instantly recognisable and others so as soon as they spoke and all felt the years roll away as we reminisced.

The routes people had taken to get there varied geographically. Ann Cox (nee Stevenson) had come the furthest - from Anglesey in North Wales. John Packer had travelled from Eye in Suffolk.  Sally Sheppard (nee Berrington) came with her husband, Gerald from East Sussex.  Tom Biss and Frances Hilson (nee Tyler) had made it from Plymouth and near Exeter respectively. Pam Slocombe (nee Sheppard) had driven from Wiltshire whilst David Jones and Victor Long had come (independently) from Portishead. The others had nearer journeys to travel in terms of mileage but all had long psychological distances.

Many had interesting lives to report. Pam Slocombe is now a published author of eight books and she kindly gave us all signed copies of her 'Mark a Somerset Moorland Village' - a detailed study of Mark from its earliest settlement. John Packer MBE was Chief Executive of Norfolk County Council until his retirement. Arthur Thompson started out as a trainee computer programmer and since then has had an interesting and varied career. Mainly computer industry based, he moved on to management and then ownership of his own companies in far flung places such as Romania and Taiwan prior to retirement. He also owned a kit car company.  Chris Duckett is a successful farmer and renowned Somerset cheese maker. Jeni Skidmore (nee Grimstead) started as a florist and then went on to own and run Stone Allerton Post Office. Victor Long owns and runs a pub, The Ship, which he built himself.  Daphne Ireland (nee Hain) had been the long serving secretary at Kings of Wessex School. David Jones retired as an inspector in the Bristol Police Force with responsibility for organising the policing of major events such as Glastonbury Festival. Tom Biss, after having a life in management in industry, was a Senior Lecturer in Business Studies at Plymouth Business School which is part of Plymouth University. Sally James (nee Bird) owns and runs a large caravan site at Berrow and Brean. 

We had all raised families and contributed in various and unsung ways to local communities. Some have had sadness and emerged stronger, some are undergoing sadness currently but all made it to an event that delighted and gave food for thought.

I have attached a group photo which we took after our lunch. I have added the names to aid identification!

Sally Sheppard, 22 June 2009

Brent House Reunion, 2009

Once again a very enjoyable reunion was attended by around 100 Old Sexonians on July 6th. Sadly,this was the last reunion to be organised by Ann and Shirley and, on behalf of all those who have ever attended one of their well organised events, I would like to say a great big 'Thank You' for all the work they've both put in to making them a big success. Thankfully, Cynthia Dean and Daphne Ireland along with Jeni and Jackie Skidmore have volunteered to organise next year's event - many thanks to all four of you!  (Cynthia tells me that next year's event has already been booked for Monday, July 5th.)

Once again it was lovely to see Isobel Rendell attending at the ripe, young age of 102! She was presented with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers by Ann McLaren - we all look forward to seeing you next year, Miss Rendell.

Thank you to all those who brought in photos for me to copy and the odd magazine to summarise for the website. I was really quite glad to see fewer offerings this year as I actually had some time to speak to people! - I'm still hoping to see a good number of photos next year, please raid those old photo albums!

Cynthia Dean informed us of School Association money that was still left in bank accounts from the 1970's. At the time of writing efforts are being made to relieve the banks of this 'forgotten' money so it can be put to a good use. There will be an announcement on the Home Page when I hear any news.

Colin Mitchell, a pupil from the 50's turned up all the way from Australia and sent me the following photo, taken at the reunion, of members of the class of 1950. Colin was on a long tour of Europe and didn't intend to return to Oz until September. Colin doesn't seem to think he'll be visiting the UK again.

 

Back Row L-R  Colin Mitchell, Brian Evans, Peter Tippetts
Front Row L-R  David How and Ron Frost

Finally, a big thank you to Des Russett's partner, Annette, who very kindly took and forwarded me the following reunion photos. 

 
 
 
 
 
-------------------------------
 

CLASS OF 1949 - 1954 REUNION

 On Friday, 18th June 2010 the class of 1949 to 1954 were reunited to mark the 60th anniversary of their first year at Sexey's Grammar School (1949/50). The reunion was organised by Ann Amesbury (nee Callow) and John Grant, who sent in the following photograph and report of the event.

Left to right: John Wilson, Hazel Hudson (nee Puddy), Pamela Vigus (nee Redman),Angela Howell (nee Pavey), Arthur Heywood, John Grant, Mary Trimble (nee Sheppard), Brian Lewis, Mary Ellis (nee Hardwidge), Mary Tucker (nee Grimstead), Grace Harvey (nee Vincent),Eileen Tucker (nee Chick), Grace Elliott (nee Kerton), Francis Hobbs, Ann Amesbury (nee Callow), Grace Bond (nee Callow), Joyce Huett (nee Tripp) and Geoffrey Ives. 

We had successfully traced or accounted for all 31 members of the class and received an overwhelmingly positive response to our Questionnaire. We were delighted that so many wanted to attend, albeit age, health and family commitments did prevent several from attending and three of the class had passed on. Many still lived locally or somewhere in Somerset, but others travelled from the West Midlands, Shropshire, Essex, Surrey, Wiltshire and South Wales. We met at 12 noon in a large bar set aside for us at 'The Sexeys Arms' at Blackford, which had been beautifully decorated in black and amber balloons, bunting and flowers by Ann and Grace Harvey (nee Vincent) and where the landlord had laid on a splendid lunchtime buffet - an impressive sight.

Fair wear and tear and the ravages of time had altered the appearance of some of us, but eyes and voices change very little and the black and amber name badges we all wore were not really needed. Banter and unfinished conversations from the mid-50s were soon in full flow and we exchanged news about what we had all been doing whilst a lot of water had passed under a lot of bridges.

We were privileged to be joined by Martyn James (www.oldsexonians.com)who was kept busy copying the old photographs and memorabilia which many had kindly brought with them. We were also fortunate that he was there to take a group photograph of everyone who had attended (see above). (Thank you very much for the invitation, John. I was very happy to be there - MJ)

After lunch we strolled over to the now Hugh Sexey Middle School, where we were welcomed by the Deputy Head. Mrs Gould, the Office manager, then gave us a guided tour of the school and grounds which I thought had changed out of all recognition, except for the familiar attractive grey stone walls of the original school that we all remember so fondly. The school is now a large well appointed and well equipped Middle School with over 650 pupils, nearly 40 teaching staff and over 50 support staff. We thanked Mrs Gould for finding time to show us around. One of us is still awaiting news of his request for the return of an item that was confiscated in 1953!

We returned to 'The Sexeys Arms' for a welcome cup of tea and my, perhaps not so welcome, address - which is summarised hereunder.

JOHN GRANT'S ADDRESS AND TOAST

"Have you given any thought as to why so many of us are here today?

We all left Sexey's in the mid-50s to pursue further education, to start work, to shape a career or to get married and start a family; and most of us have had little or nothing to do with the school since. For over 50 years I'd had no contact at all with either Sexey's or any of my former classmates until two year ago when I was contacted out of the blue by Martyn, who told me about the Old Sexonians website and requested me to contribute my personal memories of life at Sexey's, which I was pleased to do. Having been prompted to look back I've since thought about it a great deal. Now, having spoken to all of you, I have no doubt at all that we are all here today because we wanted to be. Despite the austerity of the post war period, I was very happy at Sexey's and suspect that most of you were too. Having now been involved in research for the website for two years, I've traced and spoken to many Old Sexonians (over a hundred), most of whom are older than us, and it came across loud and clear from the vast majority of them that they too had been happy at Sexey's.

"So why was Sexey's such a happy school?

Was it the school's beautiful rural setting? - I certainly never thought that at the time. Was it the buildings and grounds? - Very doubtful, I would think.Was it because Sexey's was the smallest Grammar School in Somerset at that time? - Possibly. If you believe that small is beautiful then there were obvious advantages. Was it because Sexey's was a mixed school? - That definitely helped.Was it because the school had a very large catchment area? - Maybe. Some of us were local, others travelled long distances on the school brakes, and most of the boarders came from further afield, so perhaps we all brought more to the school than just 11+ or 13+ certificates - not least a variety of different family backgrounds, experiences and talents. Or could it have been due to the teaching staff at Sexey's during our senior school days? - I've thought about that a lot and am quite sure they were an important factor. I've realised that they collectively gave Sexey's one huge advantage over other schools - continuity. With just one exception (Mr Potter, our unforgettable French Master), all of the staff who were at Sexey's when we started in 1949 were still there when we all left. Moreover, you may not be aware that, without exception (I think), this dedicated group of teachers all continued at Sexey's until they reached retirement age. I was even more surprised to find that Mr Tomlinson was Headmaster at Sexey's for an incredible 25 years.

"So why should staff continuity matter to you and I?

You could say that they did their job and got paid - but I don't think any of them were in it for the money. Teaching was their vocation in life. Most of them were probably not at the top of their professional ladder - but they were all very committed. They knew us all individually, they helped us all and they influenced most of us for the better - in relation to our behaviour, the way we interacted with others, the way we spoke to others, encouraging us to think and to always try to do the right thing, and the many other important aspects of growing into caring responsible adults. Continuity greatly helped make all of that possible. You might say that their continuity and dedication put the 'X' Factor into Sexey's and contributed greatly into making our school such a happy school. We were the beneficiaries.

So, I would now like to pay my personal tribute to each of those members of staff - in verse. I do hope that all or most of you will echo my thoughts.

 PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO HEADMASTER AND TEACHING STAFF AT SEXEY'S GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1949 - 1954

Mrs Irons

No matter which part of the globe - Mrs Irons lessons might feature,

she was always awe-inspiring - and a very effective teacher.

She was often fired-up and loud, - but forever I'll be in her debt,

as her everyday passion for Geography - was something I'll never forget.

Miss Merriman

I hardly knew Miss Merriman - as she didn't teach the boys

She and the girls seemed to play all day - with Domestic Science toys.

Plain wholesome cooking was achieved by many - but I was seldom offered a bite,

unless, of course, the dish of the day - had turned out not quite right.

Miss Rendell & Miss Padfield

Miss Rendell taught English and R.I. - and the joys of English Lit.

And I wish I'd paid more attention - and had learned a bit more about it.

Miss Padfield also taught English - and the mysteries of Latin as well.

I didn't do well in either - as you now can probably tell.

But they both spoke exceptionally good English - and some of that rubbed off on me,

And I now cope quite well with my wife's maiden Aunt - and entertaining the Vicar for tea.

Miss Barnes

Whenever Miss Barnes lost control - she usually lost her tether.

Certain boys would wind her up - I ask you, "Would I ever?"

She'd inflate her rosy-red cheeks - and noisily slam down her book,

Then focus hard on the culprit - with a desperate withering look.

History was distorted forever - by the misdeeds of some of our class,

So it's hard to believe, that at the exam, - some of us actually passed!

Peter Lee

Mr Lee moved down here from Yorkshire - on the day that we all began,

A scholar and an athlete - and a fine mathematics man.

He starred as 'The Pirate King' on stage - coached cricket, football and more

and was the Judge in 'Trial by Jury' - and the Captain of 'Pinafore'.

I also learned a valuable lesson, - which wasn't taught as such,

you can always tell a Yorkshireman - but you cannot tell him much!

Les Pavey

Mr Pavey taught us woodwork - according to the 'Gospel of Les',

where you watch everything he shows show you - and listen to what he says.

T'was all very new to me - and I didn't do well for a while,

but I gradually picked up the hang of it - and improved by a country mile.

Les loved wood grain and wood joints - and loved telling his woodworking jewels,

and I know that I'll always be grateful to him - for teaching me how to use tools.

Alroy {'Alan'} Tonkin

Mr Tonkin taught art and music - and joined the boys for the occasional game,

but promoting Gilbert & Sullivan - was Alan's main claim to fame.

I still love 'Pirates' and 'Pinafore', - 'Trial by Jury' just never ends,

so Gilbert & Sullivan, thanks to Alan - will always be treasured friends.

Norman Potter & Ray Packer

Our French Master 'Pansy Potter' - was ever so slightly deranged,

so it wasn't really surprising - when he was ever so slightly changed.

A flying black rubber dagger - with a four inch rubber blade,

would always be slightly disturbing - never mind with what it was made.

He was replaced by Raymondo Packer - a sane and sensible man,

who against all the odds, nevertheless, - got most of us through the exam.

Arthur {'Joe'} Swallow

Double Science in the lab with Joe Swallow - sometimes highlight of the week,

but if things went wrong and t'was YOU not on song - things could get decidedly bleak.

Joe didn't suffer fools gladly - and YOU'd be the first to know,

but for all his sarcasm and bluster - he was still a pretty good Joe.

Every aspect of school was Joe's oyster - for he was also Deputy Head,

so you always took particular notice - of whatever wise words that he said.

Now EVERYONE knows that ONE SWALLOW - doesn't a summer make,

but it's not down to Joe, that it isn't so - I just think he deserves a break.

and so,

in recognition of just one swallow's

unwavering service at Sexey's over many summers,

it gives me great pleasure to announce,

that after much campaigning - it has been agreed nationally -

that when the first swallow is sighted in 2011, that year will be declared

'A ONE SWALLOW SUMMER'.

Henry ('Harry') Tomlinson

Harry the Head was MY hero - a genial and gentle man,

who fought long and tirelessly for Sexey's - over a quarter century span.

Through the war years and into the sixties - Harry weathered stormy seas,

but still found time for his family - his garden and his bees.

He was much more than just a leader - for he cared about the school,

and he cared about the staff - and all the children too.

Enthusiasm and good nature - and, perhaps, just being Mr 'T',

were qualities that I respected - I hope some of it rubbed off on me?

What was Harry's secret? - Did he follow a 'Golden Rule'?

It surely wasn't luck that we all enjoyed - a very happy school?

For me, Sexey's was a privilege - and I was fortunate that I came -

............. and I also had the best of classmates ................ I do hope you feel the same.

Ladies and Gentlemen. We, and many other Old Sexonians, owe our gratitude to this small group of professionals who taught us, influenced us all for the better and greatly assisted in making Sexey's such a happy school. The toast is:

'HARRY TOMLINSON AND HIS TEAM'.

******************************************************************************

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended our class reunion today and for helping to make this such an enjoyable, memorable and happy event.

John K. Grant

30th  June 2010

--------------------------------------------------------

Brent House Reunion, 2010

  

The 2010 OSA Annual Reunion held on 5th July was very successful.  103 acceptances were received, unfortunately 2 were unable to attend due to illness. We now have well over 250 names on our data base, which will probably increase by next year. If everyone attends will we end up having to use 2 rooms?  It was a great help for those who sent an apology and hopefully this will increase next year or perhaps let us know if they do not wish to be involved.
A request has been made that we include the Year in  which everyone started and also put online a list of those attending a few days before the actual Reunion.
Brent House has aleady been booked for 4th July 2011.  So many people have commented on the excellent service we were given again this year.
It was great to see Miss Rendell, at the wonderful age of 103,  and thanks go to her for saying Grace for us. She was thrilled with the flowers Jeni Skidmore made up for her.
Martyn did his inestimable work again with photos etc., for which we are so grateful. The website is a credit to all of his hard work.
It was nice that so many people arrived just after midday and had the opportunity to talk to old friends before as well as during the meal.
Cynthia has produced a balance sheet for the accounts.
Many thanks to all of you who made this a special occasion, being our first attempt at organising the event.
(Thanks for the report, Daphne.The event was really enjoyable and Cynthia, yourself and the rest of the team should all be thanked and congratulated - MJ)
 
 
I felt priveleged to pass the bouquet to Miss Rendell and we look forward to seeing her again next year.
 

Here, Gwen Jepps can be seen leaving Brent House with Miss Rendell (Thanks to Ann Amesbury (Callow) for the picture).
 
Thanks to all those who brought me in pictures to copy. In particular Jackie Skidmore who had a seemingly 'endless' supply , Donald Coombes who had made the trip all the way from Norwich with his early whole school picture and Lynn? Thomas who brought in a very rare miniature 'Roll of Honour' which showed all those Old Sexonians on active service in WW1. Please search your albums for next year, it's amazing what still turns up. - MJ
                                 -------------------------------------------
 
 
SEXEYS CLASS OF '56 REUNION, (Sexey's Arms)
 
The reunion for those of which attended between 1956 and 1961 for those taking O levels was held at the Sexeys Arms on the 8th September 2010. The event commenced at Noon but on arriving at the pub car park at 1135am I found at least a dozen people had already arrived and were standing about chatting having I assume introduced themselves to one another. Name tags were available in school colours for all ex classmates, and tags in a different colour were provided for those partners that attended. Although some people were instantly recognisable, the name tags were very useful! I welcomed everybody to the event and said that I could not believe that chatting to David Fear and Robert Hector on the internet just a few months ago had led to this gathering.
 
 
 Rear Gents L-R  David Fear, Stuart Ham, Robert Hector,Stan Hill, Dave Hill. Front L-R   Brenda Jackson, Liz Jones, Sue Dean, Wendy Stevens, Betty Brooks, Gavin Mcardle, Diane Padfield, Hilary Pert, Pam Watts, Di Jones, Jenny Mason-Putt, Ann Watts, Jacky Wilson, Pauline Jones, Angela Wilshire,Alex Hughes.
 
A few people were unable to attend and good wishes were passed on to the group from Gillian Gough and Gillian Brookman who were both on holiday. I also mentioned that Howard Burridge would like to have attended but had recently undergone an operation and was at home recuperating. All three had expressed interest in attending a future event if another is arranged. I then spoke of the eight classmates who were no longer with us namely -
 
Jane Dann
Kathleen Puddy
Jo Smith
Rosemary Hobbs
Yvonne Rawlinson
Veronica Gibson
Gail Pharoh
Raymond "Eggo" Page
 
I also mentioned Keith Ham who has a nervous illness and lives in a Home in Burnham on Sea and would not be fit enough to join us. I asked that everybody raise their glasses and the toast was to "Absent Friends".
 
 
The Sexeys Arms provided an excellent buffet and they are to be thanked for making our visit so enjoyable. At 1345 most ex classmates made the walk up the hill for a 45 minute tour of good old Blackford Sexeys School. The school was much changed in many ways as you would expect after nearly 50 years, but some parts were much as we remembered with much fondness. Louise Gold who took us around the school had great difficulty getting us all to keep up, there was much stopping and looking and expressions of "do you remember when...." Many thanks to Louise for taking us around and to the Headmistress not only for agreeing to our visit but for also taking time out to welcome us on our arrival. It was all very much appreciated by us all.....oh, and the gym, it looked exactly the same, was that really the same apparatus? It certainly looked the same!
 
At around 1500 we made our way back to the Sexey's Arms for our "pudding" and another two hours of chat was enjoyed by all. One person who was please he was passing the Sexeys Arms on that day was a cyclist going from Lands End to John O Groats, he stopped off and left £60 richer in his collection for "Help for Heroes"
 
I think we all had a great day and one we will all remember. Will we do it again? Watch this space, but if we do we had better not wait another 50 years!
 
 
David Hill
 
 
Ex Classmates attending were -
 
Betty Brooks
Alex Hughes
Brenda Jackson
Diane Padfield
Sue Dean
Robert Hector
David Fear
Angela Wilshire
Stuart Ham
Gavin Mcardle
Jenny Mason Putt
Di Jones
Jacky Wilson
 
 
Ann Watts
Pam Watts
Hilary Pert
Wendy Stevens
Liz Jones
Stan Hill
Pauline Jones
David Hill
 
(All girls names are as in the school days i.e their maiden names.)
 
(Thank you, David for sending in this report and picture - MJ) 
______________________________________
 
Brent House Reunion, 2011
The newly formed Old Sexonians Association made our second attempt at organising the Annual Reunion, and were very pleased to see many new faces, due mainly to the work of John Grant, who has been a stalwart contacting so many ex-students for the Association's records.

 Left to Right: Fred Coombes ~ Verity McDonagh (nee Wickham) ~ Bill Gooden ~ Sam Petheram. (Pic donated by Fred Coombes)

120 Old Sexonians attended this year, a record. Our oldest attendee, Dennis Withers, actually started the school in 1935. Many others came from a distance, as far afield as Scotland.

Martyn James was on hand to copy any items about the school which had been brought to him. (Please look out any items that you might have hidden away which would be of interest and bring along next time or contact him directly on the website.)

Miss Rendell, was in fine voice and said grace for us. She was delighted with her basket of flowers which Jeni Skidmore had made for her. We are indebted to Gwen Jepps, Gerald and Pauline Lunn, who again brought Isabel to join us.

 Daphne Ireland presents Isabel with the basket of flowers. 

The service and food were excellent, particular thanks to Richard who went out of his way to make Isabel comfortable.

Many ex students attended early which gave them a chance to 'chat' to old colleagues before they were seated.

We did not, in the end, have a problem with 'overcrowding', as many of those contacted didn't bother to reply! (the only overcrowding was in the carpark! - MJ)

Unfortunately the photographer from the local paper, which I had arranged, failed to attend!       Daphne Ireland.

(Thanks for the write-up, Daphne. Both you and Cynthia need to be congratulated on a very successful reunion - a lot of hard work ! - MJ.) 

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we have already booked for next year, Monday 2nd July, 2012. Make a note in your diary!

Here is a list of those attending, compiled by Daphne Ireland -

 
RENDELL ISABEL- GUEST OF HONOUR
1935
WITHERS DENNIS
1936
BAXTER GLADYS (GIBBS)
? FREER SELINA (MATTHEWS)
1937
BANWELL IAN
DEANE GERALD
--- DEANE ELSIE
HAM GEOFFREY
1939
CHAMPENY HAZEL (TUCKER)
--- FEAR HEATHER
KNIGHT ALEC
--- FRIEND
MAPSTONE THELMA (DUCKETT)
1940/41
?COOMBES FRED
--- COOMBES ROSALIE
1941
MCDONAGH VERITY (WICKHAM)
--- MCDONAGH PATRICK
PARKER DAVID
--- PARKER KATHLEEN
RUSSETT DES
--- RUSSETT ANNETTE
GOODEN WILLIAM
--- GOODEN MOLLY
HOUSE DOUGLAS
--- HOUSE JANET
1942
BANGS SONYA (BRANCH)
BANGS ROY
HULL PETER
JAMES MARGARET (STEVENS)
JEFFERIES MARY (BANWELL )
KEAST MARY (BRANCH)
LEE ISABEL (HOLE)
PETHERAM SAM
--- PETHERAM SHEILA
TUCKER RUTH (TUCKER)
TUCKER JOE
WILLIAMS AVERIL (SULLY)
WOLBURN PATRICIA (POPHAM)
--- WOLBURN ROGER
1944
MORSE JOY (TINNEY)
TUCKETT ROSALINE (PETHERAM)
WHITTLE VERA (LATCHAM)
WOOTTON MAUREEN (SLAVIN)
---
WOOTTON ROBIN
1945
BLUNDELL PATRICIA (TIKE)
BROUGHTON PHYLLIS (TOOMER)
COLE NANCY (GRAY)
JEPPS GWEN (HAM)
LUNN GERALD
--- LUNN PAULINE
OLSEN JOYCE (PUDDY)
WATERSON PAT (JAMES)
WHITCOMBE KATHLEEN (CLARK)
--- WHITCOMBE CECIL
1946
BRAKE GRACE (HARDING)
HEDGES LORETTA (GILBERT)
TUCKER ANGELA (VOWLES)
1947
ASHDOWN JANET (FRANKS)
DUCKETT PETER
EAVES JENNIFER (THORNE)
----- FREER JANE
TOZER SHIRLEY (HARRILL)
WATTS WINIFRED (AVERY)
1948
CARD MARGARET (HECTOR)
HICKS CHARLES
HILL REX
--- FRIEND
MOXEY RUTH (HARDACRE)
1949
AMESBURY ANN (CALLOW)unwell
ELLIOTT GRACE (KERTON)
--- ELLIOTT ALBERT
HAWES MARILYN (CARTER)
--- HAWES GOFFREYHOWELL ANGELA (PAVEY)
HUDSON HAZEL (PUDDY)
VIGUS PAM (REDMAN)
--- VIGUS KEITH
1950
EVANS BRIAN
--- EVANS PAM
TIPPETTS PETER
--- TIPPETTS ELIZABETH
1951
BENDALL PATRICIA (HODDER)
 CHALLONER DOREEN (NEEDS)
CROOKS VALERIE (COOK)
MAJOR ANN (BURRIDGE)
REDMAN MARGARET (HOBBS)
1952
LEWIS VALDA (COOMBES)
PACKER ROBERT
--- PACKER JENNIE
1953
DREW DIANA (HODDER)
NICHOLSON CAROL (WEBBER)
1954
BISS TOM
DEAN CYNTHIA (HAM)
--- DEAN NIGEL
IRELAND DAPHNE (HAIN)
LOXTON JOHN
SKIDMORE JENI (GRIMSTEAD)
SKIDMORE JACKIE (WHITE)
1955
AXE BRENDA (JACKSON)
1956
FEAR DAVID
HECTOR ROBERT
1958
ABRAHAM RICHARD
JONES PETER
STREETER JANE (STREETER)
THOMAS DENNIS (Unwell)
TOOMER CLIVE
1959
ALSOP GRAHAM
ALSOP LYNN (THOMAS - COLE)
BATT HELEN (BOSWELL)
MACKENZIE JENNIFER (CHEW)
TOVEY BRONWEN (HUGHES)
1960
LOMAS JUDI (FISHER)
ROBERTS MARGARET (JAMES)
THORNE STEVE
1961
FEAR JANET (GRIMSTEAD)
STREETER JENNIFER (STREETER
YOUNG STEPHEN
1964
JAMES MARTYN
THORNE GEOFF
Oldies
MORGAN BETTY
TEEK JUNE
(not my words!)
Staff 1968-76
WESTBY JEAN

As requested, 2 of these lists were posted around the room and were found to be very useful by a number of people.  

Class of 56 - Second Reunion.

The second reunion of the Class of 56 took part at the Sexeys Arms on Wednesday 7th September 2011 at the Sexeys Arms in Blackford.
 
After our first reunion a number who attended said they would like to make it an annual event, and many of those that came in 2010 came back again in 2011. In total 14 classmates and 6 partners arrived at the Sexeys Arms at noon for another enjoyable get together. A few people did not want to come again and a few were unable to make it because of other commitments, you could certainly say Stuart Ham had a good reason not to attend he was in New Zealand watching the Rugby World Cup Finals. I think he had a great time - shame about the English rugby team though Stuart!
L-R Barbara Hill (standing), Stan Hill, Howard Burridge and Dave Hill.
 
 L-R  Liz Jones, Stan Hill and wife, Barbara.
 
This reunion was less formal than the first and people felt it was much easier to chat as they had now got to know their old classmates once again. Howard Burridge came for the first time and from a personal point of view it was great to meet him again after so many years.
L-R  Dave Fear and Alex Hughes.
 
Gavin Mcardle and wife with Ann Watts, Diane Padfield and Pam Watts in the background.
 
The Sexeys Arms once again did us proud and provided enough food for an army let alone a bunch of old age pensioners like us. Many thanks to all the staff at the inn for making us feel so welcome once again.
 
Dave Fear (front) with Di Jones, Susan Dean and husband Doug and Liz Jones.
 
Rob Hector with Diane Padfield and Pam Watts in the background.
 
Those that attended were (using maiden names for the girls) -
 
Howard Burridge
Susan Dean
David Fear
Alex Hughes
Stan Hill
Robert Hector
Pauline Jones
Di Jones
Liz Jones
Gavin Mcardle
Di Padfield
Pam Watts
Ann Watts
Dave Hill
 
We hope to organise another event later this year when we will all be a year younger!
   
Dave Hill 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Brent House Reunion, 2012 
 
 Another successful reunion was held on 2nd July at Brent House. The meal was excellent and staff were, as usual, really helpful. One hundred and ten ex students attended from 1936 entry up to 1964.

Seven apologies, due to illness or bereavement were received.

The lunch commenced with a tribute to Isabel Rendall who had died earlier in the year. Isabel taught English and RE at Sexeys and enjoyed attending the Reunions each year, saying grace for us in full voice.

It was good to see new faces this year, several who had only just heard about the Association. C Mitchell travelled again from Australia, B Fry from New Zealand and J Streeter from Italy to join us.

Martyn ended the proceedings……………………….

We will be holding next year's Reunion as usual on First Monday in July
 
Reunion 2012 Attendees-
1936 absent
1937
Coombes Ron
Carter Clifford
Crang Joyce (CRANG)
Deane Gerald
(Deane Elsie)
Ham Geoffrey
Hedges Loretta (GILBERT)
1938
Court Christine (ROBERTS)
Pitman Pamela (STEER)
1939
Knight Alec
(Bush Dora)
1940
Burrough Ian
(Burrough Yvonne)
Coombes Lt Cdr Fred
(Coombes Rosalie)
1941
Gooden Bill
(Gooden Molly)
1942
Bangs Sonia (BRANCH)
Bangs Roy
Jefferies Mary (BANWELL)
Petheram Sam
(Petheram Sheila)
Tucker Joe
1943
James Margaret (STEVENS)
Keast Mary (BRANCH)
Stokes David
Tucker Ruth (TUCKER)
1944
Mapstone Thelma (DUCKETT)
Morse Joy (TINNEY)
Whittle Vera (LATCHAM)
Wootton Maureen (SLAVIN)
(Wootton Robin)
1945
Blundell Patricia (TILKE)
Fry Brian
Jepps Gwen (HAM)
Lunn Gerald
Thompson Margaret (FIELD)
(Thompson John)
Waterson Pat (JAMES)
1946
Brake Grace ((HARDING)
Hector Kenneth
(Hector Katherine)
Lewis Bill
(Lewis Romola)
Swan Janet (VOWLES)
Tucker Angela (VOWLES)
1947
Ashdown Janet (FRANKS)
Eaves Jennifer (THORNE)
(Freer Jane)
George Tim
(George Gwen)
Tozer Shirley (HARRILL)
(Tozer John)
Watts Winifred (Avery)
1948
Card Margaret (HECTOR)
Gass Shirley (JACOBS)
Moxey Ruth (HARDACRE)
Tarrant Margaret (FRY)
1949
Amesbury Margaret (CALLOW)
Elliott Grace (KERTON)
Elliott Albert
Hudson Hazel (PUDDY)
Howell Angela (PAVEY)
Vigus Pamela (REDMAN)
(Vigus Keith)
1950
Evans Brian
(Evans Pamela)
King Christine (LANE)
Mitchell Colin
Tippetts Peter
(Tippetts Elizabeth)
1951
Challoner Doreen (NEEDS)
Crooks Valerie (COOK)
Mclaren Ann (JONES)
Redman Margaret (HOBBS)
1952
Lewis Valda (COOMBES)
Packer Robert
(Packer Jennie)
(Packer James)
Smith Heather (BINNING)
1953
Horsey Annette (BRADBURY)
Sharpe Elizabeth (LANE)
Vaulter Tony
1954
Biss Tom
Dean Cynthia (HAM)
(Dean Nigel)
Gallop Doreen (STARR)
Ireland Daphne (HAIN)
Skidmore Jackie (WHITE)
Skidmore Jeni (GRIMSTEAD)
Sheppard Sally (BERRINGTON)
(Sheppard Gerald)
Williams Barbara (MILLWARD)
(Williams John)
1955
Wylde Jenny (PARSONS)
(Wylde Andrew)
1956
Askham Susan (DEAN)
Hector Robert
Hoeksma Di (JONES)
1958
Abraham Richard
Streeter Jennifer (STREETER)
Williams Susan (LANE)
1960
Lomas Judi (FISHER)
Roberts Margaret (JAMES)
Streeter Jane (STREETER)
Thorne Steve
1961
Fear Janet (GRIMSTEAD)
Young Stephen
1964
James Martyn
Thorne Geoffrey
 
Bazley Margaret (POPLE)
 
Many thanks,
Daphne
 
 
Thank you, Daphne. Daphne and Cynthia should both be congratulated and thanked for putting together such an enjoyable and smooth running reunion - an awful lot of work has to go on behind the scenes!

I'm afraid I don't have any photos to go with this year's report, the only one I took (of Colin Mitchell proudly showing off his prefects tie) was accidentally deleted  - sorry Colin! So if anyone has some pictures of the event please send them to me - Martyn
 
With regards to the addition of Jack Hill's name to the roll of honour I will keep everyone posted on the progress. Hopefully the school will get the name added during or shortly after the summer holiday - this will hopefully be marked by a small ceremony some time next year. Hope to see as many as possible of you next year - Martyn James (Many thanks to all those who brought me photos to copy for the website - much appreciated). 
                              -----------------------------------------------------------
 

'Boarders of the 1960's' Reunion, 2/9/2012

'I think I can speak for everyone when I say that this was a really enjoyable mini-reunion from start to finish. The reunion was inspired by the visit to this country by Steve Perryman who now lives in Melbourne Australia, Steve (Spinks) had boarded at Sexey's during the early 1960's up until the time boarding was disbanded in the Autumn term of 1966. Steve's return to Sexey's this year and at this particular time meant that he was returning half a century later, almost to the day, from his very first day as a pupil back in September 1962!'

'Out of the ten people present (four of whom were friends or family of Steve's) six of us were ex boarders who had started at Sexey's in either 1962, 1963 or 1964 - it was really nice to be amongst other boarders who could share similar memories and reminiscences ( mostly happy but one or two very painful - literally!)'

'After a lovely meal at the Sexey's Arms we all ventured up to the school where, luckily, we were able to obtain permission to take photographs on the front lawn.'

 

L-R -  Martyn James, Steve Perryman, Marvin Cooper, Geoff Thorne
L-R seated - Melita Edwards and Beverley Owens (maiden names).

After the photo session we ambled down the hill into Blackford village where some of our number discovered for the very first time that the ford itself was no more, due to the measures taken to avoid a repetition of the events on the day of the 1968 floods - they were also amazed when I pointed out the height that the floods had reached (up to the height of some of the bedroom windows)  Eventually, we walked around to the church where, as boarders, we were walked down from the school every Sunday in a long line keeping in twos.

Once inside we inspected the visitors' book only to find, to everyone's surprise, that a few of us had signed and dated it back in the 1960's although not one of us could remember doing it !

The four signatures on 8/5/65 were all boarders.
 
These signatures by Jeremy Wellington and Geoff Thorne were made on the very last Sunday that boarders attended Blackford church - two days later the boarding community was no more.
 

Sitting down on the pews we also realised that only four of us could sit where at least half a dozen of us used to fit in quite easily!

 'Needless to say, purely for historical purposes, we signed the book before we left this time as well!'

'We also noticed that some of the pews had been carved with names and initials (and dated), surely some of these had been done by past boarders working quietly away with a small pocket knife or something similar, although how they got away with it I don't know as the pews were right down at the front! ( Believe it or not through some clever detective work by keen eyed super-sleuth Geoff Thorne we have managed to identify two of the rascals from the 1930's (and yes they were boarders) - go to General Image Gallery 5, picture 45 for the full story!!)'

'Before we left the church one of our number revealed that one of the church hymn books from the 1960's was still in their possession - enough said about boarder behaviour I think!'

'Leaving the church we headed for the cars in the pub car park to say our 'goodbyes' after what had been a very enjoyable afternoon. I should mention that Marvin was the only one to bring along any memorabilia and it really was something a bit special. Back in 1962 the school had put on a stage production of 'The Gondoliers' and the whole thing had been recorded onto the school's large reel to reel tape player. Amazingly, there was an option to purchase a vinyl LP recording taken from the tapes. Marvin brought along the LP his family had purchased, which appears to be still in remarkably good condition, and promised to get it digitised so we can play it over the website - a chance to hear one of the school's Gilbert and Sullivan productions again - amazing!'

'Needless to say unless at some point Steve makes the long journey back to the UK our paths aren't to cross again but he does intend writing out a full set of school memories so we look forward to those. We really enjoyed meeting up with you again, Steve, the very best wishes for the future - we really hope it's not the last time we see you.'

'Next year it will be the 'half century since I started Sexey's' turn of the 1963 contingent so I hope that Bev and Mel come again next year (along with some of the other boarders from their year group if they can be located) and help to establish 'Boarders of the Sixties' as a regular annual reunion. I would like to thank everyone that turned up and helped to make the day one that will linger in my memory for a very lomg time to come' - Martyn. 

(A point of information - this reunion is open to any boarder who had at least one boarding year during the 60's and will therefore include those that started their boarding during the late 1950's.)

               ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Class of '56 Reunion

There were insufficient numbers available to attend a full scale reunion this year but a few of us got together at the Brent House restaurant on Wednesday 19th September. Although there were only a few of us we chatted at length and had to leave via an emergency exit at 1530 having arrived at Brent House at Noon!
 
 
Pictured on the photo from left to right are
 
David Fear
Robert Hector
Stuart Ham
Ann Watts
Pam Watts
Frank Troy (Pauline's husband)
Pauline Jones
Dave Hill
Howard Burridge
 
Missing from the picture is Joan (Dave Hill's wife)
 
Those present said they would be happy to meet up at the Brent House again next year.     Dave Hill (Thanks for that, Dave - glad to hear you're having another one next year - MJ)
 
                                               ------------------------------
 
                 Class of 1955 Reunion, September 18th 2012

In the late Autumn of 2011 I received a telephone call from my cousin Douglas House(Class of 1941) he informed me that most years he attends the Annual Oldsexonians Reunion and was surprised that I was never there. I did not know that the reunions  had restarted,although I had attended some in the 1960's I thought they had ceased forever in the 1970's when the school changed its status.Douglas also told me of the Oldsexonians website,again I did not know that there was one,however being a very inquisitive individual I logged in to what can only be described as a labour of love for Martyn James.

I read with great interest the excellent Memories of the 1950's by Colin Adams and Chris Marquis and I was surprised that Chris had given me a mention,as Chris had attached his email address I contacted him and in future correspondence with him I suggested that perhaps it may be possible to trace the Class of 1955 with the possibility of organizing a reunion sometime in 2012,Chris replied that although he thought it to be a good idea,he no longer had any of his school memorabilia having moved so many times during his life.

However  I did,as I had an autograph book which had been signed by all thirty-five members of the Class,I had often looked at my autograph book,particularly in the latter years and as I read through the names I always had a very firm picture in my mind of each of the pupils sat at their school desk and my thoughts were always - where are they now?

Christmas came and went and in February I decided I just had to begin my search.I first contacted Jennifer(Grimstead)Skidmore (Class of 1954) as I thought that she may know the whereabouts of the pupils who had come from the Allertons,Badgworth and Weare area. Jennifer passed on enquiry to Daphne(Hain)Ireland (the Oldsexonians Secretary)who introduced me to John Grant who had had great success in tracing former pupils.

John very quickly traced twenty-six of the thirty-one still alive,the five remaining pupils proved a little more difficult to trace,however with all thirty-one eventually found I was able to send out a letter and questionaire to which I received a reasonably positive response,athough there were a few that were not interested.

The month of September was set aside for a possible date for a reunion and Tuesday 18th September was then agreed upon.

On a bright and sunny day seventeen classmates and six  spouses assembled at The Sexey's Arms at Blackford at 12 noon prior to which the dining room had been decorated with black and gold balloons  and various memorabilia and photographs were on display,it was a pleasure to have Martyn James (Chairman of the Oldsexonians and Founder of the website) who copied the photographic memorabiliia.

Some had come long distances to attend the furthest being Clive Holloway from Vancouver,British Columbia. Jennifer(Parsons)Wylde and husband Andrew from Metheringham,Lincolnshire. Sally(Watson)Hooper and husband David from Haywards Heath,East Sussex.Robert Fear and wife Maureen from Lampeter,West Wales.Philip Lloyd from Dorchester.Julian Robertson and wife Lynette from Melksham,Wiltshire. Allan Body from Bristol.Margaret(Davies)Bowen and husband Nigel from Portishead.

Others lived much more local Jane(Miles)Bardle from Wells.Susan(Dudley)Kimmings from Congresbury.Sally(Porter)Pearce and Jacqueline(Lane)Amesbury from Weston-super-Mare.Colin Adams from Berrow.

Jill(Batten)Smith and husband Melvin from Shipham.Adrian and Barbara(Cook)Ellis and Pauline(Pavey)Westlake from Winscombe.

Name badges had been provided by Jennifer(Parsons)Wylde.In the words of Adrian and Barbara(Cook)Ellis - So good to see how all those cihildhood faces had matured and trying to recognise them without taking a look at the name badges first was intriguing to say the least.In my words(Robert Fear) - Everyone looked very well preserved.

At 13.00 hours we all enjoyed an excellent buffet lunch,many thanks to Pauline and Mike and their Staff of The Sexey's Arms,they really did us proud.Thanks also to Andrew Wylde for providing the wine.

After our lunch we remembered those classmates who were sadly no longer with us, namely Christine(Tina)Wilcox, an only child from Chapel Allerton, Alan Collison,a boarder from Weston-super-Mare,Paul(Stu)Senior from Cheddar.Tina, Alan and Stu all died as teenagers.Maureen(Harding)Ford,who we knew as Mo,she was a boarder from Godney and passed away in 2009. We also remembered our Form Mistress - Miss Isabel Rendell who died at the grand age of 105 in May this year.

There were  some who were unable to attend,but messages had been received from them and were read out.

Christine(Cann)Perryman,now living at Basingstoke.

Wendy(Dene)Holtom,now living at Exmouth,on holiday in New England.

Pat (Young)Glover,originally from Sidcot.

Chris Marquis,now living in Bristol,but not enjoying good health.

Robin Mitchell,now living in Australia.

Terry Nuttycombe of Lower Weare,who had undergone a long awaited operation the previous week.

John Spencer,now living at Malmesbury,busy with the cornharvest.

Alec Trickey,now living in Weston-super-Mare.

Other members of the Class were - Judith Bailey,Lorna Miles,Sandra Watkinson,Basil Carter,Terry Lodge and John Smith.

Firstly  Left to Right-Susan(Dudley)Kimmings;Pauline(Pavey)Westlake;Julian Robertson;Margaret(Davies)Bowen;Robert Fear;Jacqueline(Lane)Amesbury;Jane(Miles)Bardle;Colin Adams;Sally(Watson)Hooper;Jennifer(Parsons)Wylde;Sally(Porter)Pearce;Clive Holloway;Philip Lloyd;Jill(Batten)Smith;Barbara(Cook)Ellis;Allan Body;Adrian Ellis.

At 14.30 we walked up the hill in the afternoon sunshine to the school where we were met by the School Secretary Mrs Louise Gould who had kindly arranged for us to have a guided tour of the school.We were welcomed by the Headteacher Mrs Jenny Venning who together with her Deputy Mrs Stiddard and Mr Philcox took us around in small groups.

The tour brought back many happy memories, as in the old original school building we were able to wander along the corridors and walk around our old classrooms.The present pupils talked to us and shared our memories of our years at the school.In the words of Susan(Dudley)Kimmings - It was a highlight of the day to visit the school and to see that it remains in good heart,as well as in good repair.I greatly enjoyed having pupils with us to share our reminiscences.When I talk of my school days with friends and family I always say how privileged I feel to have been a pupil at Sexey's School.

Today served to remind me just how privileged and what a happy experience it was for me.

We are grateful to Mrs Gould and Mrs Venning and the Staff for the warm welcome and tour of the school.

At 15.45 we made our way back down the hill to The Sexey's Arms where we enjoyed a welcome cup of tea or coffee and the celebration cake which had been kindly made by Jill(Batten)Smith was cut by two of our Class who had formed a life partnership as they married in 1966 Adrian and Barbara(Cook)Ellis.

 

To conclude I thanked everyone for attending and recited a poem which I had found on the internet and sums up the Reunion of the Class of 1955.

                             School Reunion Poem

                                   by E.L.Brodie

                      Some fifty and more years ago

                     The world seemed to move to slow.

                  We were so eager to leave our mark

                       And couldn't wait for life to start.

 

                           We had such energy to burn

                           While sitting at a desk to learn

                       And some teachers nearly lost hope

                              As they struggled to cope

 

              Remember squeaky chalk and homework not done.

                     What a carefree time of laughter and fun!

                           This place is filled with memories

                        That come to life on days like these.

 

                                We were bold and so sure

                          As the world we set out to conquer

                       Only to find the world taught us instead

                        And down different paths we were led.

 

                      Troubles and heartache we've had some

                              And when all is said and done

                        How wonderful to return to this place

                              And search for a familiar face

 

                              And at times we'll drop a tear

                             For those who cannot be here.

                      Now as we look around at heads of grey

                                  On this emotional day.

 

                        We hear women lament greater hips

                   And men explain chests that have slipped.

                     Remember as eager eyes try to find you

                                  You are truly beautiful.

 

                         There is so much we want to say

                              On this unforgettable day.

                        Few things have the power to last

                     As treasured moments from the past.

 

                                                                                                            Robert Fear

10th November

( I would like to thank all those who brought photos along for me to copy - over 20! In time these will appear in the picture galleries - Martyn James.)

                   --------------------------------------------------------

 

Sexey's Reunion Class of 1963

The Red Cow at Brent Knoll provided a superb venue and buffet for the Reunion of the Class of 1963. 20 pupils, plus teachers and several partners met up on 9thNovember 2012 to celebrate their joint 60thBirthdays and to reminisce about the happiest days of our lives!

 As with every good party there was a cake, balloons, music - sixties themed of course, and some beautiful floral decorations, expertly arranged by Felicity Ham, wife of Clive. People had travelled from Bath, Plymouth, Bristol, Exmouth, Ilminster, and Frome to the event but the award for the furthest travelled definitely goes to Bernie Lawrence who made a special trip over from America!  Luckily he reported it was well worth the effort and he wouldn't have missed it for the world. Several "old" boarders attended the party which made it extra special as some hadn't met up since the third Form when they closed the boarding part.

People were asked to bring photos and memorabilia and Martyn James was there to record any items of interest for the website.

Special thank you to John Grant who helped to track down every member of the class with addresses and contact details (bar one - anyone know what happened to Michael Edwards aka Mousey?). 

Everyone agreed that another reunion would be a great idea and it is planned to hold it over a lunchtime so that even more people can attend - watch this space for details!!  (Pictures to follow!! - Martyn James)

List of Attendees

Pupils

Pauline Andrews              

Diana Brown                     

Jenny Butt

Barbara Cox

Jane Cox

Sue Dyas

Melita Edwards

Marion Evans

Cherry Hawes

Margaret Olive

Sue Steer

Sandra Vile

Linda Washer

David Brock

Clive Ham

Marvyn Cooper

Christopher Callow

Peter Nicholson

Bernard Lawrence

Royston Scott

 

Staff

Beryl Reeves

Collette Packer

Hubert Fisher

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Brent House Annual Reunion, 2013
 
The sun shone for us this year, after last year's rain.  The day was very successful again, with wonderful service from the staff at Brent House and the meal was excellent.
 
 

Ian and Yvonne Burroughs (taken by schoolmate Pauline Wilks nee Hunt)
 
Unfortunately our numbers were down to 93 this year, from  years 1936 - 1964.  From replies received several year groups would prefer to hold their own reunion.  Those who attended, said they enjoyed meeting up with
friends from years before and after their admittance year, with whom they had lost touch.
 Martyn, as usual  did his excellent work scanning items brought by attendees.
It was really good that John Grant was able to attend this year, he works so hard for the association and now has a large database of details of ex students.
 
I was standing down after four years of organising the event and received a beautiful orchid, and a kiss, from Martyn.
 
We have received several donations and  hope next year to use these to make a small reduction in the cost next year.
 
I received  many comments that the cost was really good value for the meal.
 
Daphne Ireland        ( I would like to extend my thanks to Daphne for all the work she has put in over the past four years heading up the organising team. Thanks must also go to Cynthia for taking over - all the best for next year, Cynthia!
 
With more and more old sexonians getting in touch with one another, due in part to the existence of the website, perhaps its not surprising that more people want to host reunions for their own particular year group - so I suppose we should expect that there will be a slight knock on effect on the numbers attending  the main reunion. See you all next year!  Martyn James)
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 2013 'Boarders Of The 60's' Reunion
 
For the 2nd year running a small group of ex boarders turned up at The Sexey's Arms for Sunday lunch. This year seven boarders attended (one more than last year), these were (using maiden names) Melita Edwards, Beverley Owen, Patsy Thorne, Robert Davies, Edmund Parker, Geoff Thorne and myself.
 We had plenty of time to chat and reacquaint ourselves before the meal was served, Rob reminding us that his year group weren't in fact the last of the boarders and that two boys, Alan Redman and Kim Alexander (younger brother of David), had just one term of boarding (autumn term) before the boarding was 'dissolved' in 1966!!  Before we ate, the waitress was kind enough to take this photo -
 

After a lovely meal we headed for the school and were given permission to take photos on the lawn (the caretaker's wife was very kind and took the group photo so all of us could be in it, many thanks and sorry for the interruption!) - this photo and legend appears in Gallery 7.

This was a poignant moment for Mel and Beverly as it was exactly 50 years ago (to the day and date) that their year group of boarders arrived at Sexey's school (boarders had to arrive a day early to get settled in) -

 Mel and Bev

With the photos taken we headed into Blackford village stopping briefly to shelter under a tree from a quick shower. Unfortunately, when we got to the church it was locked so our reunion ended there. Once again we 'd had a really enjoyable afternoon and a big thanks must go to Rob and Edmund for taking the trouble to drive the long distances (particularly in Rob's case) to get there. It was great to see everyone again!     Martyn James

--------------------------------

 

 
 
 
Class of '55 Reunion­­- Sexey's Arms- 21stMay 2014

 I have to admit that if it hadn't been for Martyn James generating this website (I found it one day whilst idly googling), I would never have known about the varying reunions that there have been and just how lively and flourishing the membership of Old Sexonians is. It is heart-warming, to me, that the school played such a major part in our lives. Can many other schools lay claim to such a thriving clan of ex-pupils exchanging memories and stories? I certainly check the site regularly to catch up on the news and gossip!

 Some other thanks are very due here. If it hadn't been for the many hours of hard work put in by Robert Fear with a vast amount of background research from John K Grant in providing contact details, this Class of '55 and its predecessor reunion(and others) would never have been, and continue to be, a success. My heartfelt thanks to both of you and well done. I was sorry that I was unable to attendour previous one.

 For several days before our reunion, I had been watching the tv weather forecasts with great interest... and probable doom and gloom. I so wanted the weather to be a nice day for the reunion. For several days preceding, it seemed that the day would be cloudy and with outbreaks of occasional showers. As the day got nearer, the weather began to look a little more promising. And the day actually turned out to be fine, dry, warm and sunny! Perhaps it was laid on especially for us. It certainly made me (at least) happy.

 Many of the class of '55 turned up at the Sexey's Arms. There was a total of fourteen ex-pupils and a couple of them were accompanied by their wives. Anyway, I felt that it was a good turn out and some people had made the effort and travelled from places quite far away. The shortest journey was from Cheddar and the longest was from 155 miles away. And the pub was emblazoned and decorated with(too many?) reminders of our age group!

 Once we had got settled down a bit and had recognised/remembered/etc. each other, Martyn James, the guy who runs the website for us oldies of the school, took the group photo for us - using his, and many other peoples' cameras, from the 'crowd' -but then had to disappear off. He wasn't quite the person of leisure that we were; however, it was good of him to do it for us.

 

Left to Right- Robert Fear, Wendy(Dene)Holtom, Pauline(Pavey)Westlake, Susan(Dudley)Kimmings, Sally(Porter)Pearce, Jacqueline(Lane)Amesbury, Jane(Miles)Bardle, Sally(Watson)Hooper, Adrian Ellis, Barbara(Cook)Ellis, Chris Marquis, Jill(Batten)Smith, Julian Robertson & Philip Lloyd.

It was a good turnout. But the female attendees far exceeded the male ones! The 'whos' and 'whys' became more understandable at the end of the reunion when Robert explained all from the correspondence he had received.

 Needless to say, a lot of time was spent reminiscing pleasantly and playing 'catch up'on the years and happenings. And, I suppose, a lot of covert observation and wondering was going on as to how we were each ageing compared to the rest. I have to be honest and admit that some of the others present I did not remember fully to start with - but I don't suppose that year group being split in two helped. And an aging memory probably didn't help that much either! But, in very quick time,we were all getting on again as fond recollections returned and tales and stories exchanged. And some 'blanks' were filled in about missing memories as well (at least for me). It was interesting and heart-warming to know that although some members of the class couldn't make it, there was a network in place that helped fill some of the 'holes'.

 A magnificent buffet lunch with, seemingly, far too much food was laid on for us (especially difficult for the landlord as there was some health difficulties in his family);though we did all seem to do our best at diminishing this major repast. By the end of the day, we still hadn't managed to clear it all - even with some use of'doggy bags' - but it was not for the want of trying!

 After lunch, time for a gentle (and for some of us at our age it had to be gentle)stroll up to the school in the warm sunshine where we surrounded by true countryside scenery and colour (and smells - someone had been muck spreading -but what the heck… it's the rural countryside!). Memories of sneaky trips to the farm for a libation of true scrumpy returned for some of us! Eventually we managed to stagger up the hill (weighed down by that buffet) and make it as far as the school where we were really made to feel very welcome by the reception staff. Gail, who was helping the pupils conduct research on the 1914-1918 GreatWar, and how it affected Sexey's, was our guide for the tour. This started with a gentle stroll around the outside surrounds of the school - with much peering into what used to be Mr Tomlinson's 'domain'. Lots of extensions and portable buildings have been added since our days and this made for some minor difficulties in actually establishing where some of the 'old' bits such as the science lab/domestic science building etc. area and places and pieces used to be. I think we all expected to see the old sports field would now seem smaller;however, it was still a very large green and pleasant area and jogged plenty of memories on the various activities of 'our times'. But the old cricket pavilion wasn't there any more!!!

It was when we got inside the 'old' part of the school that the memories really came flooding back for most of us. We were supposed to be quiet and keep a low profile as there were exams in progress; I feel we were less than successful there. Yes, there had been changes made to the inside; walls had been knocked down between the old Rooms 1 & 2, and Rooms 4 & 5, Room 3 was no longer a corridor now that one door had been blocked off and the old hall/diningroom/school hall had been sub-divided; but we soon remembered all the different rooms and places, the teachers, the atmosphere and other odds and ends of memories (including the mischievous ones) all flooded back. But, in my mind'seye, the school had shrunk a bit - or was that an optical illusion caused by 'moist eye syndrome' and the addition of so much more later building? We also had the chance to go up and see what was the boy boarders' dormitory (now the staff room) and the 6thform common room. The views from those windows certainly brought back memories for some (though there wasn't a swimming pool back then). Since the visit, I have looked again at the layout ofthe school as it is now http://www.hughsexey.com/tour.asp and what was 'our' bit (page 6 -"Memoriesof the 1950's"- of this site… about ¾ of the way down) is so small incomparison. Then again, some of us have got bigger (well I have) as well over time. It was all a memorable tour.

 Back down to the pub for a cup of tea and a somewhat brave (and futile) attempt to finish off the food. Especially as there was also a large 'birthday' cake to remind us that we are all getting older? Oh, and of course, swapping of even more memories that had been rekindled by the visit.

Reluctantly,we realised that the day was passing (all too quickly) and the time to depart was approaching. Robert Fear brought the all-to-short day with the various letters of apology etc.

 Those who attended (alphabetically by birth/maiden name to avoid sycophancy and favouritism!):

 

         Jill (Gillian Batten) Smith

         Wendy (Dene) Holtom

         Susan (Dudley)Kimmings

         Adrian Ellis and Barbara (Cook) Ellis 

         Robert Fear and his wife Maureen

         Jacqueline (Lane) Amesbury

         Philip Lloyd

         Chris Marquis

         Jane (Miles) Bardle

         Pauline (Pavey)Westlake

         Sally (Porter) Pearce

         Julian Robertson and his wife Lyn

         Sally (Watson) Hooper 

Apologies were received from various members of the class of '55 who were unable to make the journey. Without being too specific, there were cases of poor health and/or distances involved precluding their attendance; and they were all missed by the attendees. Robert Fear gave the fuller details in his closing address to the group:

       Colin Adams

         Allan Body

         Christine(Cann) Perryman

         Allan Collison

         Margaret (Davies) Bowen

         Clive Holloway

         Robin Mitchell

         Terry Nuttycombe

 Robert brought the 'session' to a close with what I felt to be a very apposite address to us all; and I feel it worth repeating as I feel the bulk of the context could be applicable equally to any reunion. 

I welcome everyone - especially Wendy andChris- who were unable to be with us last time in 2012. 

I think of today as a time of looking back. Although it is often said that one should never lookback, always look forward. I feel that as we enter our golden years, sunset years, twilight years or whatever we would choose to call them, we have more years to look back on than to look forward to.

 I also think of the resurrection of Allan Collison who we remembered at our first reunion as having passed away!

 

We also rememberthose who are sadly no longer with us:

       Christine(Tina) Wilcox who died in 1959

       Paul ("Stu") Senior who died in 1961

       Maureen (Mo Harding) Ford who died in 2009

       Jenny (Parsons) Wylde who died in 2013.

 

When we had all left school in the early 1960's, we all pursued very different careers:

       Some of us have travelled widely

       Most of us have married. Some have divorced and remarried

       Some of us have raised families and have now been blessed  with grandchildren

       Some of us have battled with ill health

       Some of us have looked after elderly parents

       Some of us have sadly lost their partner by death

       Looking back, some may have prospered more than others.

 Looking around this room today, we are all in a fair state of preservation. It is not what we have achieved; what is important is that we all have reasonable health and that we are able to celebrate. Health is wealth.

Thank you to Jill for making the birthday cake and Pauline, Mike and the staff for the buffet and the use of the Sexey's Arms. 

I would now like to read you a poem that I found in the "Western Gazette" called "Looking Back" that was written by D R Jeanes - and slightly amended by me. 

When I look back through all the years

I think I have had the best

For now this world seems to me

Like one big awful mess.

 

Everything is going wrong

And no-one seems really stable

With all the gadgets we have

We are well and truly labelled.

 

Telephones and televisions

Cars and videos

Computer games and CD ROMs

And anything else that goes.

 

When I was young we did not have much

But we had lots of fun

We all had lasting friendships

One for all and all for one.

 

None of us was on the phone

Because we could not afford them

We never had such things as 'mobiles'

Or money even to buy one!

 

We were all happy then

And really fighting fit

Walking and riding everywhere

'Shanks's pony was it.

 

A journey to make

A map was to have

Not these days

We use a sat-nav.

 

We were poor and working class

And living on the brink

But when we got a bob or two

We shared a round of drinks.

 

Everyone had a good old laugh

But you never see that now

It's because this modern world

Has gone well and truly daft!

 And, finally, a reminiscence piece on old age with the compliments ofJohn Grant entitled "It'll never happen to us!":

 A Group of OldSexonians, all aged about 40, exchanged letters regarding where they shouldmeet for their very first Class reunion. Finally, it was agreed that they wouldmeet at the Sexey's Arms at Blackford because it was convenient, everyone knewwhere to find it and it had been recommended.

 Ten years later, all aged about 50, the Class once again discussed where they should meet for their second reunion. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Sexey's Arms as everyone was familiar with the location and because the food was very good and reasonably priced and the service was excellent.

 Ten years later, when most of the class were now retiring, the former classmates again discussed where they should hold their next reunion. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Sexey's Arms because they could dine and be able to enjoy quiet and peaceful conversation as the event would be held in a room set aside exclusively for former classmates.

 Ten years later, all now touching 70, the Class discussed where they should meet for what might be their last reunion. Finally it was agreed that that they would meet at the Sexey's Arms at Blackford because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible, had recently installed a hearing-aid loop system and could provide a wide variety of dietary requests.

 Ten years later, a dwindling number of Octogenarians discussed where they should meet for the Fifth Class Reunion. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Sexey's Arms in Blackford because they had never been there before!

 Finally, the time had come to cut the celebratory cake.

 

 

 Robert had wanted it to be done by the oldest 'boy' and youngest 'girl' members at the reunion. So before the event, and without asking why, he asked everybody what their birthday dates were. Sneaky. Adrian Ellis was the oldest member there; but he stood down from that pleasure as he and his wife Barbara had cut the cake as a married couple at the first reunion. So, the cake was cut by Philip Lloyd and Pauline (Pavey)Westlake.

Then...time to go home again with a nice warm, comfortable and fuzzy (and slightly (?)tired) feeling. But, on the way out, a somewhat casual idea was mooted by Robert that perhaps we ought to have a reunion on September 7th next year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our starting at Sexey's! Here's hoping!

 Before we all left, Robert made a quiet approach to me and asked if I would be willing to do the Reunion Report for the OS website! Apparently, it was felt that I was somewhat a wordsmith and a scribe based on my reminiscences in the "Memories of the 1950's" part of the OS website? I have been more than happy doing this as it reminds me so much on my(slightly inglorious) past and as a way of saying "Thank you" for organising such a memorable day. (Thanks for such a comprehensive report, Chris - it sounds as if you had a very memorable reunion.- MJ)

-------------------------

2014 Brent House Reunion

 

The Annual Old Sexonians Reunion Lunch for 2014 was once again held at Brent House Restaurant on July 7th. There were 93 old scholars and partners attending, representing most years from 1936 to 1964.  Thanks  to  John Grant for finding some of the 'first timers'.

As usual an excellent three course meal was enjoyed, friendships renewed and photos provided for Martyn James' website archives.

 

We look forward to 2015 Reunion on Monday, 6th July at Brent House. 

If any old Scholar would like further information about this event please contact me, Cynthia Dean (nee Ham) nandcdean@madasafish.com