APS Reunion 2009.

Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd October.

The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

2009 – Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd October in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

In 2009 our Annual Reunion was held on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. When we had held our Reunion in 2005 at this hotel it had been undergoing a process of refurbishment and it was pleasing for those of us who had been there then, to see a return to its former glory. Facilities had been modernised and furniture and furnishings replaced with new, but all still delightfully in keeping with the Victorian style of the hotel.

58 people arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon and evening and their vocal delight as they met up with old friends ensured a bright and lively start to the weekend. By the time of the official opening of the Reunion on Saturday morning no fewer than 107 past students had gathered. Jean Snitch, the Set Rep for 1969, had done a magnificent job in rounding up no fewer than 42 of their year to celebrate 40 years since leaving College, a total of 17 past students from 1964 marked their 45th year since leaving College, 1954 had 5 members meeting after 55 years and 3 members from 1949 were marking no less than 60 years since their time at IMM – a wonderful tribute to their longevity!!Morning coffee was accompanied by shouts of pleasure as people recognised each other, sometimes with decades of time having passed since they last saw each other.

The formal morning session was opened by our President Barbara Graham bidding everybody welcome and expressing her delight that so many people had made the journey to Harrogate. Linda Bond dealt with the challenging task of organising the introductory activities in order to get people to mix and interact. The groups then spent some time exchanging memories of their times at College and writing these down on flip chart paper so that they could be pinned up around the room for everyone to read later at their leisure. Sylvia, our Journal Editor, will be including some of these in next year’s Journal.After this opening session people had time to meet up in their individual year groups to share memories and pour over photographs of days at College. Everybody wanted to make sure they had a photograph of their group – a particular challenge for 1969 who struggled to cram 42 people on one photograph!! A gallery of photographs taken at the Reunion can be seen by clicking here.

After a delightful buffet lunch in the Wedgewood Room everyone returned to the meeting room for the AGM of the Association and it was gratifying for the Committee to see so many non-members taking time to attend. It is hoped that many of them will now become members. After the business of the AGM was completed, Barbara presented everyone with a memento of the day in the shape of a chocolate Acme Thunderer. Have you eaten yours yet?

The formal business now being finished, everyone had time to chat in small groups and take final photographs. Tea was served and 1969 members met for the ceremonial cutting of a magnificent cake provided by Jean Snitch to mark their 40th Anniversary. It boasted the I M Marsh badge and a photo of it can be seen in the Gallery.

52 people had booked for dinner on the Saturday evening and several more asked to join in. All enjoyed an excellent dinner accompanied by some quite spontaneous singing which even the regular hotel guests applauded.

The whole day seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and a few comments from people who attended are included below. The Committee hopes that many people will rejoin us at the next Reunion which will take place Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October 2010 at the Bosworth Hall Hotel, Market Bosworth. You can find out more information about it under ‘Our Next Reunion’.

Marion (1950) said,

“Thank you to all the Committee and helpers who organised the 2009 Reunion in Harrogate. It was such a happy occasion with everyone mixing, talking, laughing and reminiscing. Maureen, Muriel and I were there from our Set and it was good to be together again.”

Patricia (1954) wrote,
“After attending the Reunion in Harrogate, fifty-five years on, I am now a fully paid up member! What a lively group past students are and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.”

Margaret (1955) wrote,
“I did enjoy the APS weekend in Harrogate. Good company, good food and good memories of happy days. I do believe we were very privileged to have experienced IMM when we did.”

Merle (1955) said,
“It was lovely to meet up with some of our year at the reunion in Harrogate – wish there were more. I was very pleased to obtain a DVD of the gymnastics film we made at College in 1954.”

Julie (1959) said,
“Thank you to the Committee for all the work that went in to the organisation of the Reunion, which was a great success. 107 people there, it was remarkable, well done to you all!”

Barbara (1961) wrote,
“The Harrogate Reunion was great. We got together with over 100 others to create a buzzy, vibrant occasion. Great venue, newly refurbished, with good food and the I M Marsh ‘gals’ all seem to have weathered well. It is always good to catch up with the years above and below and relive memories during the ‘games’ session. Even the weather combined to make the whole day most enjoyable. Well done Committee!”

Vivienne (1964) said,
“A big ‘thank you’ to all those who organised the reunion at Harrogate – what a happy day it was and wonderful to meet up again with friends from College. With so much to catch up with, the chatter was endless! A bonus for me was meeting two former pupils from Ashington Grammar School. They were with the ’69 group. I hope to attend more Reunions in the future.”

Gail (1965) wrote,
“Having just returned from the 2009 APS Reunion in Harrogate, I have been reminded of how much we all have in common, dynamism being the most evident, together with the ability to talk! Needless to say, a good time was had by all. I look forward to meeting many of our Year next October to celebrate 45 years since leaving IMM.”

Suzanne (1969) wrote,
“Well what an amazing turnout for our 40th reunion. Jean did a tremendous job to first track down people and then persuades 43 of us to attend! If you weren’t persuaded, you missed a treat! It was just great to catch up with all the news, see photos of our time at IMM, swap tales of events now part of our Year’s infamy and best of all, renew friendships that have slipped over the years. Apart from those grey hairs, ‘experience lines’ on faces, and maybe just a few extra pounds, we are pretty much the same bunch we were those 40 years ago, funny, caring and still quite lively! Thank you Jean for giving us a day to remember, roll on the next.”

Barbara (1975) said,
“We had a lovely reunion in Harrogate in October, and it would be lovely to see a few more faces from the 1970s. How about it?”

Members of the Committee were delighted that everyone seemed to have an enjoyable day and they hope that members will join us next year in Warwick. If you would like to become a member of the Association you can apply through the ‘How to Join’ section of the website.

You can view photographs of the reunion by clicking on the ‘Gallery’.