Reunion 2008

Old Penwithians Association Reunion 2008

A Bumper Turnout for Old Boys Reunion

The 2008 Annual reunion of the Old Penwithians Association was held, as is now the accepted custom, on the 29th of December. It was estimated that over 75 old boys and staff of the old Penzance County and Humphry Davy Grammar School, covering the entry range from 1933 to 1977, turned up at the Queens Hotel and enjoyed a couple of hours reminiscing. The attendance was the best on record and the customary photo taken on the hotel stairs had to be abandoned and, because of the numbers, the assembled throng had to be photographed in the main lobby with the photographer standing on the stairs (see below). Among those attending were two fathers and sons; Derry Derrington (1933), the oldest old boy there, and son David (1957) and Bob Conybeare a member of staff from 1968 to 1980 and son Richard who entered the School in 1977. Richard was the most recent old boy and was at the school over the period when it went comprehensive in 1980. Worthy also of note was the appearance of David Jory (1950) who had travelled over from Canada especially for the reunion. Also present was Rikky Rooksby (1972) who has been commissioned by the present Humphry Davy School to write an orchestral suite to mark the centenary of the school in 2010.

Once again memories were jogged by a computer slide show of all the old school photographs held by the association which had been set up by Bill Burnett, member of staff at the school from 1969 to 1980. Old boys were also given the opportunity to add missing names and more than 230 were added to existing photos in the gallery thanks, in particular, to Brian Blackler, Brian Richards and Richard Conybeare.

At least 22 new photographs were donated by Des Astin, Gerald Jenkin, John Laity, Phil Westren, Brett Harvey and Vivian Rowe, including a most interesting aerial view of the school taken in 1930, before Treneere Estate was built.  All the photographs can now be viewed on line at Picture Penzance. [Go to the “Gallery” page for a link to the website]

In his remarks Andrew Coak, the Association Secretary made special reference to the work of John Richards and his family in editing and printing the newsletter and thanked Bill Burnett for the work he had done on the school photographic archive. He reminded everyone that 2010 would mark the Centenary of the founding of the School because it was on 24th January 1910 ‘on a wet and windy day’ that the first pupils entered the Penzance County School. It was unanimously agreed that the occasion should be marked with a formal dinner to be held in a suitable venue in Penzance on Wednesday the 29 December 2010. All members would be circulated with the details in the next newsletter ‘The New Penwithian’ in December this year; numbers would have to be restricted to about 100.

The evening ended up with the customary singing of the School Song accompanied by Dr Nick Marston on the piano. As one Old Penwithian remarked “Shame we’ve already recorded the school song – I thought tonight’s rendition was the best yet!”

The next reunion will be held on 29th December 2009 at The Queens

The Queens Hotel - Reunion for the old boy’s from Humphry Davy Grammar School. Pic by Roger Pope/CIOSP

Reunion Assembly

John Richards (59), Brian Richards (65) and former staff members Bill Burnett and
Brian Blackler try to put names to faces in old photographs.
Arnold “Derry” Derrington (33) and son David (57)
Nick Marston ‘gives it wellie’ for the singing of the School Song