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Well met, mate

Cornish at 11 in 1959

It is 50 years since I heard my last school bell for the end of Latin, second period, Tuesday . . .or geography, last thing Thursday.

It is only one year since an enjoyable reunion of classmates at the Good Companions pub, a hundred metres or so south of the school, Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar, whose uniform we once wore.

In September 2014 there were stirrings of emotion, recognition and, yes, please, I think I will have another pint. “Can’t be sure when we’ll meet again…..” We were a cadet corps of balding, greying, face-lined men who decided that we were not so short of Sundays that we would resist devoting one to rollcall.

“You must be, yes, Bauer. Pete. Was ‘Pete’ rather than ‘Peter’, was it not? Football, if I remember correctly, was not your thing, mmm? Pity.”

As promoter and “mustermeister” it had been my job to get this show on the road and at three tables near the bar. We mingled, mangled and sat still for a group photo. A few wives braved the high tide of nostalgia, enjoying their own conversations that possibly roamed far from the punishments for excessive chat delivered in the era when John, Paul, George and Ringo ruled the airwaves.

After lunch there was, for most of us, a walk to the sea front. A few even ordered more drinks at a beachside hostelry. I was forced to walk between two Spurs supporters without a fellow Chelsea fan in sight.

A flurry of emails, over the following fortnight, underlined the bonding that this particular occasion of Good Companionship had affirmed. Old Boys who discovered they had been at primary school together promised to meet soon.


Some pledged to send me a summary of the day…. Why they came, what they enjoyed…. What is the point of turning the clock back decades. A couple did do so, but not enough for me to fashion a booklet commemorating the gathering. Homework was never a strong point with some lads. And, to be fair, we may not all have hundreds of Sundays left.