I left school at the age of 16 in 1964. I’ve not seen many of my former pupil friends since that day so last Saturday was a real buzzing treat to meet two. Chris Lewis was a real buddy in those days in Cheltenham and Arle School was all the better for his whacky sense of humour and dare-devil attitude to life in general. To my delight he hadn’t changed in appearance nor behaviour – excellent! Sue Kelland was also last seen by me in 1964 at Arle so it was a delight to reunite with her too. Others at our lunch date at The Langton in Cheltenham were also school friends, but whom we’d managed to mutually reacquaint three years or so ago. For our first reunion I cycled to Cheltenham the 150 miles from Chester, stopping at Clun Youth Hostel en route. But these days my wife likes to come for the holiday atmosphere & teh Cheltenham shops, so I have to leave the bike behind.
At The Langton, we were back as children pouring exuberantly over Nancy’s photo album and me hearing names I’d forgotten decades ago. Trevor T has, as Chris says, such a zest for life – he’s conquered health problems with so much positive attitude it is a lesson school didn’t teach us! Kate, as elegant as ever, regaled us with her faultless memory and I bumbled along chewing the plateful of grass, the chef mistook for his masterclass in vegan cuisine. Two hours passed like a snap for us and even the WAGs enjoyed themselves. I’ve a few surprise shock visits to make to other Arle survivors I’d not seen for decades so prepare a larger table for 2008.