Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

College reunion

It's been the year for reunions. Back in April I went to the 25-years-on reunion for Rathmore Grammar School; and although Cambridge undergraduate courses are only three years long, combined with my year off between school and university and the fact that our year gets rolled in with the year below, we had the 20-years-on reunion for Clare College graduates (strictly, those who matriculated in 1986 and 1987) on Friday night.

It was an interesting contrast with the earlier event. There were no trailing spouses (though a few of us had married in-group, such as myself and Anne); nobody (as far as I know) has died [edited to add see discussion of the late Peter Bowron below]; we've been better at keeping in touch; and it was not the first reunion we had had, so there was a bit more of an air of routine (though none the less welcome and enjoyable); and perhaps most important of all, the reunion was actually held in the college premises rather than in a function room four miles away. I thought that my college contemporaries had generally aged better than my school contemporaries; but maybe this was because it was not so long since I had last seen many of them.

I'm still getting to grips with my new phone - I have moved to ambivalence from outright hatred - so these pictures are not as good as I would have liked, but I think still presentable.

Sculptures in the grounds

This one was new for us, as it was unveiled only in 2005: the DNA Double Helix by Charles Jencks, commemorating the most significant scientific advance ever to emerge from Memorial Court.

Henry Moore's Fallen Warrior, which was hidden around the corner when we were undergraduates but is much better placed at the back wall of the college library.

Pictures over dinner

Helen, who took an even worse one of me in revenge, which I have deleted.

Pictures over breakfast

Very pleased with this portrait of Neal.

And with this of Aeronwen and Iestyn.

I had three goes at this group (Liz, my wife and Helen), and the other two shots were even worse than this.


deborah_c has a season ticket with Scudamore's! I am fortunate in my choice of friends. So six of us set off for a quick excursion down memory lane the Cam in the morning.

Waiting on Clare Bridge for the season ticket to arrive, and admiring our surroundings.

Nick shows us how it is done.

Anne, Neal and James, sun in their eyes.

deborah_c's turn, James and Nick at their ease.

I too had a go, and found the old skill came back, though it took more of a toll on my muscles than I realised at the time (shows how out of condition I am).

Again, I found it a very life-affirming experience to return to the college for a formal dinner (I had forgotten that it was supposed to be black tie, so was in normal business suit, but Clare is not a place that hugely cares about such things), hang about with old friends in the bar (the crypt, to be precise) until my energy dissipated about half past midnight (my wife managed to stay up much later than I did), and then a leisurely breakfast and more conversation on Saturday morning. We will try and be better at staying in touch in the ten years between this and the next reunion, promise.

Edited to add: poem by manjushra here.
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