APS Reunion 2016

Saturday 1st October

University of Warwick

2016 saw us returning to Radcliffe House for our annual reunion. We had been to this venue once before, in 2013, and it had proved then to be a delightful place to meet. On this occasion it was initially surprising that only 27 people attended. However, it was the first year for some time that we did not have a large group celebrating an anniversary of leaving College. The anniversary years do bring people out in numbers and this probably accounted for the fact that we were such a small number. Small number or not, this proved to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable reunions we have ever held. If you missed it, you missed a treat.

Friday evening saw the usual sight of everyone gathering in the lounge at Radcliffe House for pre dinner drinks and chat, and I M Marsh past students really do know how to chat!! We all enjoyed a delightful evening meal in the spacious dining room. The staff cannot be faulted in their helpfulness and you would be hard pressed to find better fare at any 4star hotel.

On Saturday morning we all met for coffee, biscuit and cakes before settling into the Meeting Room. Linda Bond, true to her I M Marsh training, had made changes to the introductory activities to better suit the smaller number. We were all invited to write down one fact about ourselves that we thought no-one else would guess. Eventually, amidst great surprise (and one has to say ‘hilarity’) we discovered what some of these things were. It was amazing how many adventures we seemed to get into and how many prestigious people we met. These ranged from taking dinner with the Prime Minister of Bahrain, working with Princess Diana, and meeting the Queen Mother to owning one of Pat Cash’s balls (of the signed, tennis variety of course!!). We were then asked to recall specific things about College. One of them was regarding any advice we had been given. It seems many pieces of advice came from Miss Crabbe who reminded students “to always wear a hat when attending an interview or appearing in court!”, when returning to College at night to “always carry an umbrella and walk in the middle of the road”, and (probably our favourite) “the best form of contraception is NO!”

The morning was brought to a close by Prof Sheila Wigmore who gave a 20 min Power Point presentation featuring almost a timeline of college staff together with some archive photographs…no-one ever tires of seeing this!!

After a wonderful of selection of food provided at the buffet lunch, we returned to the Meeting Room to hear a presentation by Sarah Green. Sarah is the great niece of Irene Mabel Marsh. She showed us photographs and told us stories of ‘Aunt Rene’s’ family and life which none of us had heard before. Apparently Irene was one of a family of 10 – 6 boys and 4 girls. When she bought Barkhill in 1919 she loved to entertain her extended family there at Christmas and other holidays. This may well explain why archive photos of the College show students enjoying playground equipment (see saws and climbing frame etc). They had obviously been provided for the enjoyment of all Irene’s nephews and nieces. Irene also bought a piece of land in Abersoch, Wales and she eventually had a house built there and named it ‘The Shanty’. Sarah remembered holidaying there as a child and said people must have been very hardy as there was no electricity and no running water. The Shanty is still there today – just!! It is largely unchanged and has only this year been sold. No doubt it will shortly be demolished to make way for a grander property. We could have listened to Sarah for hours but time marches on and, after coffee, we moved on to the AGM.

The AGM was conducted speedily by our President Barbara Graham. Our Membership Secretary, Kath Simpson, informed us that we have 294 Full Members and 10 Honorary Members and Ex members of staff. Our Treasurer, Jean Taylor assured us that our finances are (happily) in good shape and our Journal Editor, Sylvia Ellis, thanked everyone for their contributions to the Journal and encouraged them to send in their ‘Set’ news asap. Kath Dowthwaite had agreed to serve a further three years on the Committee and she was unanimously re-elected. The full minutes of the AGM will be published in the Journal in April 2017.

Finally, Barbara presented everyone with a very useful handbag sized notebook as a memento of the 2016 reunion. After Barbara had closed the AGM, coffee was available and there was more time to chat and take photographs. Many members stayed on in the evening to have dinner together at Radcliffe House.

The venue for our next Reunion will be the The Holiday Inn, Liverpool on Sat October 7th 2017. Details and booking forms will be in next year’s Journal, normally published late March/early April, and will be on our website www.immarshpaststudents.org.uk shortly thereafter.

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 Liverpool. 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 always reach us by filling in the ‘Contact Us’ tab on the website. We are always happy to hear your opinions. Please make sure to fill in your email address carefully on any of the forms – it is our only way of reaching you!

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