CLeWS exists primarily to promote reunions and other events to encourage ex-alumni to get together, and in this section you can read about past events and, if we’re arranging any, future ones. You can also see pictures taken at many of them. There’s usually a major reunion every two or three years, many at the School itself but more recently, since we have been unable to arrange facilities at the School, in other venues around Nottingham.
One important reunion was held in September 2010, taking place at the Portland College. Many earlier reunions took place at the school itself, but the present School has since withdrawn that facility for us. I think the last time the School venue was used was in 2003, and it is a pity we can’t go there any more.
Most people hugely enjoyed these event, especially those who hadn’t been to one before. You can tell the ‘virgin’ attenders: their eyebrows tend to be up near the hairline as they meet people they haven’t seen for thirty years or more and find that (a) they can recognise their old friends much more easily than they thought; (b) simply seeing the friends – and the School itself – brings back memories they didn’t know they had; and (c) the friends don’t seem to have changed, even though logic says they must have done. They’re mostly deeper people now, kinder people, and more interesting than they’d seemed at School. That magic works every time, but the first time it’s a surprise. So the ‘virgins’ particularly smile a lot. You can see them gradually speeding up as they work around the room, desperate not to miss anyone. You can see them getting almost dizzy and losing track of time. And if you’re organising the event, you absolutely cannot get them to move onto the next thing, or even listen, without creating an enormous fuss.
Someone who wasn’t a first-timer – she’s joined us at every major reunion since we began to organise them – was Muriel Kent, the original head of Art. She designed the original school shield on which our website logo and the reunion commemorative badge are based. Here’s what she wrote to us after the 2003 reunion:
If you have attended one of our events, how about sending us a photo or two to add to the gallery? Or letting us know what you thought by posting a message to the Common Room? Or a longer piece for us to add to this section? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach photos and documents up to 500Kb. If there’s more, use several emails.
Apart from getting married, having children and (possibly) winning the Lottery, a big CLeWS reunion is one of life’s most exciting experiences.