Alumni travelled across the globe to return to Richmond for their Class of ’75 reunion. Forty former students from Richmond School & Sixth Form College spent a packed weekend catching up, visiting their teachers and old haunts that took them back to their teenage years and evoked many happy memories.
Ahead of the main reunion event, a group of alumni enjoyed a tour of the school and sixth form college. Although the school site was significantly extended in 2012, many of the original buildings still remain and it was very much a case of déjà vu as the former students walked down corridors, through the school hall and out onto the grounds. Faces lit up as they visited old classrooms.
Nicola Woolf, who helped to organise the reunion, said: “We are so grateful for the opportunity to come back to school and for the warm and wonderful welcome we received, it was quite emotional. It made our reunion weekend even more special and it was great to experience such a vibrant and positive atmosphere. I hope the students appreciate just how lucky they are. It certainly felt as though the spirit of Richmond School & Sixth Form College was stronger than ever with happy and engaged students and a very supportive staff.”
“Many of us have signed up to the Alumni network and are keen to support the school and students with offers of mentoring or as visiting guest speakers.”
Some of the former students also enjoyed a tour of the Georgian Theatre Royal, followed by a visit to the stunning, award-winning Millgate House gardens, home to Austin Lynch and Tim Culkin, their former Head of Sixth Form and Head of English. Austin said “It was a wonderful occasion with so many outpourings and thank yous”
The main reunion weekend event was hosted at the New Comrades Club in Richmond where alumni danced and partied as if it was 1975 again, with a carefully curated music playlist from Kevin Kinchin that created the perfect atmosphere to bring back memories from their school days.
The reunion was organised by Chris Carr, Nicola Woolf and Roger Tooze and through their own contacts and creating a Class of ’75 Facebook page, they were able to reconnect with most of their school year.
The Richmond Class of ’75 students left Richmond School & Sixth Form College after O-levels and A-levels in 1980 and 1982 and have gone on to different walks of life in different parts of the world. They have forged careers in a diverse range of roles and industries including: Financial Services, IT, Archaeology, Materials Science, Education, Local Government, Oil and Gas and even as Verger at a leading Oxford College.
Chris Carr said: “What a fantastic long weekend. We had a terrific time and rolled back the years! The whole weekend from start to finish had an incredible feeling of togetherness and we spent the weekend reminiscing, catching up, talking and laughing. It was hard to believe that it is four decades since many of us had been in touch. Also, it was very special to be able to acknowledge all the teachers who had inspired us at Richmond School and helped shape our future careers and interests”
“Some commented they were a little nervous about how it would be to see people again after 40 years but that it felt like they’d never been apart. The weekend has enabled old friendships to be rekindled and new ones to blossom. Now we have our Class of ‘75 Facebook page it will make it much easier to keep in touch and we are all looking forward to our next reunion!”
Jenna Potter, Headteacher of Richmond School & Sixth Form College, said: “We felt an instant bond with our visiting alumni! It is genuinely the case that being in the Richmond School family is something that stays with you for life – we are all deeply attached to this very special place. Hearing the wonderful, funny stories shared by the Class of ‘75 about their time at school was really heart-warming – we have made some great links and will certainly stay in touch.”