To celebrate starting at Brookfield in 1961 the class of that year held our 60th Anniversary at Greenhill Hotel in Wigton on Sep 7th-9th.
To our delight most of us discovered that the Greenhill is owned and run by Sally (Wilkinson) Carruthers's daughter and husband, and further that their recent extension is apparently built from stone rescued from the Brookfield building when it was demolished. A story circulated at the reunion that " PS loves MD" was still carved on one of the stones was not proven!
The venue proved to be an inspired find by the organisers, Helen Robinson, Sue Harrop and Robin Wannop, and we were looked after in Royal fashion. The building and grounds were stunning, the staff really looked after us and the food was superb.
Having travelled from all parts of the country, weary travellers arrived late in the afternoon in various states of stress, only to be calmed with ample supplies from the bar taken on the beautiful lawns out front. Later we all met for dinner and were reminded (if we really needed to be) of Brookfield times past by a a quiz, compiled by Berry
Dicker that filled up the gaps between courses. After dinner the bar had plenty of patrons.
After a leisurely breakfast the following day, we all took part in a meeting to remember those who were no longer with us, and heard a moving contribution of improvised music from Noel Taylor on the clarinet. Later a large contingent took the opportunity to see if the streets of Wigton had changed in the years since we were last there. It didn't disappoint, and after we surprised a local coffee bar with one of the largest orders they may ever have experienced, several car loads set off to visit the old Brookfield site. Our first disappointment was that the Meeting House is now a set of offices, and the second that the old school gate no longer had the metal arch. We all posed for snaps in front of the Brookfield plaque on the gatepost, as Tom Hughes was pleased to see that the old wood workshop is still in use and noted that Hillside is up for sale again. We then headed off for an afternoon at the seaside to visit Silloth, sample the local ice cream and stare across to the hills of Scotland under a stunning blue sky. We couldn't remember many of those from school days. On returning to the hotel the bar had plenty of patrons.
That night our hosts put on a sumptious buffet. Berry had again come up trumps by cajoling us all to fill in Q and A sheets prior to arriving, persuading us each to read out one anonymous sheet and award a prize for the highest number of correct guesses as to who the authors were. As everyone had a different take on how to answer the questions there was much hilarity at the answers. This amply filled in the evening before at 11pm we took to a Zoom meeting with Joe Henderson and Colin Carr in different parts of Australia. Joe and his wife Wendy had planned to join us but the dreaded Covid put paid to their trip, but being able to all take turns for a chat was a modern take on the grapevine and much appreciated by our Aussie mates. After dinner the bar had plenty of patrons.
Before leaving the next day, we all agreed that this had been a great reunion, we must have another one soon, and all we have to do is think of an excuse to hold it. What anniversary can we come up with? But "Hooray" to the organisers, Sue Harrop, Helen Robinson and Robin Wannop, who came up with an inspired choice of venue and seem to have perfected the task of "herding cats". Many thanks on a fantastic three days.