OLD SCHOOL FRIENDS MEET FOR 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Rye Old Scholars Association held a very successful reunion on 24th June at Thomas Peacocke Community College for those who were at secondary schools in Rye in the 1960s and to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Leasam House in 1956. (This was the boarding house for boys at Rye Grammar School, with agricultural connections, who came from a wider area of Sussex than the normal catchment). In the early 70s Leasam House ceased to be a farm school, but continued as a boarding house when the warden, Colin Green, did much to develop rural studies. After the closure of Saltcote Place for girl boarders around 1990, Leasam became mixed until its closure in 1992.)
Around 200 pupils attended the reunion, plus 25 former members of staff, some travelling from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand and, closer to home, Germany, Denmark, France and Scotland. The former Leasam farmhand, Norman Dibben, and his wife came from Canada and there were messages from staff who, sadly, were unable to be there: Harry & Ann Almond, George Blacker, Ken Lewis. Mr. Rothwell – the much-loved Head of Rye Secondary Modern school in the 60s – was celebrating his 89th birthday that weekend with his family. Everyone was so engaged in reminiscing and catching up with news that many were reluctant to leave when it ended at midnight. The last few were almost swept out of the door an hour later, still deep in conversation!
Although the event was organised mainly by Margaret O’Neill, credit must go to Roy Forward, ex-Leasam, for the wonderful turn-out of Leasam boys and girls. He worked extremely hard from home in the West country to contact the Boys and this, in turn, encouraged ex-Saltcote girls to attend, including from Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. The response to the reunion was amazing and many are looking forward to meeting again in the future.
If you would like to ensure that you do not miss the next reunion for your age group, why not join the Rye Old Scholars Association? You can register your interest with ROSA at Thomas Peacocke Community college, or via Margaret O’Neill (tel.: 01797 222684).
“Rye’s Own “August 1968
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