A RECENT weekend was a school reunion.

We have been holding them since 1993.

We have plenty to be proud of, as former pupils include Edward Jenner of smallpox fame and Walter Hammond, England’s finest cricketer.

Has any other county grammar produced such a pair?

It is no wonder I refer to Cirencester as the Cotswold’s finest.

Marling can claim Professor Peter Hennessey I believe but who else?

At these reunions this rival boys’ school from Stroud is scarcely mentioned for reasons too painful to talk about.

They can be summed up in two words – sporting defeats.

Names like Hillier, Collier and Smart still give me nightmares and there was also a troublesome batsman with fair hair.

His surname was Mills and he came from Chalford.

Chipping Sodbury and Dursley feature much in discussion especially amongst us former cricketers as we won most of the games there despite Dursley having a couple of opening batsmen who caused us a problem or two.

I believe their names were Hobbs and Stinchcombe.

This year I am afraid we had a problem.

Former maths master and cricket coach ‘Gunner’ Hughes attended.

He left his teaching post at Cirencester and took one at the school about which we do not speak.

He spent some time talking about the ability of his new pupils at cricket and rugby, not realising we still bore the scars of long ago encounters.

Twenty five years ago conversations were so very different.

Then we were working and possessed with hope and vigour.

New conversations range from pensions to sciatica.

Many of us were glad there are not steps to enter the Bingham Hall.

I was pleased to see a name on the attenders list of a young lady from Lechlade who has had a place in my heart since 1955.

The problem was I lived in Rodmarton so distance did not lend enchantment, rather it prevented it.

She is surely still the epitome of Cotswold elegance and charm, but did not grace us with her presence.

There may be another such gathering in 2020 so there may be another chance to renew an all too brief a liaison.

The Marling sporting scars may have healed by then so there is still much to look forward to.