Old Boys Reunion August 3rd/4th 2013
Venue Cheswardine Hall

Once I escaped the one way maze in Market Drayton, I found the Four Alls Inn and motel very easily.
I stopped there briefly and finding no faces which I recognised, I drove on to Ches via the main drive; the view as I rounded the bend displayed a magnificent Hall bathed in beautiful sunshine.
I had checked the weather beforehand and it did not augur well either for tours or picnics. Those of ‘little faith’ - in the weather forecast at least - were pleasantly surprised when the sun shone down on the righteous and the sinner all the time we were there.

In the forecourt of the building four people were deeply engaged in conversation: Stephen Poole (owner) with Mike Billington, Richy Leonard and Ray McTernan. I joined them and when a phone call summoned Stephen indoors Mike and I looked at one another in surprise. Richy and Ray couldn’t have known why because this was their first visit back to the old place since they left almost fifty years ago.
From four, our number soon swelled to almost twenty. The newcomers wasted no time in rushing inside in an attempt to catch up with the small party taken inside by the owner, Mr Poole, for a tour of the building.
Having had such a tour on an earlier visit and remained outside this time,I was eventually stirred from my day-dreams by the sounds of voices and laughter coming from behind me in what we once called unromantically the 'back yard'. A place where we used to don our football or cricket boots according to the season. The yard had been also the place where kitchen waste was deposited in non-wheelie bins. These bins were subsequently transferred to the dump not far from the artificial insemination centre. The dump was discreetly hidden from view by trees and bushes which flourished in the area and the grounds generally.

Our stay up on the playing fields was shortened due to the change in our itinerary. We had to abandon any hope of revisiting the vegetable garden close by and the - sadly dilapidated - greenhouse. We headed for the lake and a late picnic lunch. Overlooking the lake the Pooles had erected a gazebo for our convenience and by the time I reached the site it was fully occupied – standing room only.

At 5.00 p.m. a general summons rang out loud and clear for everyone to assemble in the forecourt to the building; photo shoots and presentations to be attended to. Clive Baugh had mounted an expensive looking camera on a sturdy tripod to take several group photographs. There then followed the presentation of a behind-the-scenes hastily assembled rustic bench (with a plaque to follow) to Stephen Poole and flowers to his lovely wife Anne. Our final act was to fill in a visitor’s book at the ‘behest’ of Stephen Poole. Then followed a fairly lengthy acceptance response from the owner of the property which included an invitation to all present to extend their stay this evening to complete ‘unfinished’ business and, if necessary, to come back tomorrow.
See the full text of this report in the wiki

Clive Baugh       Michael Billington     Jimmy Coffey     John Coffey and wife Pat     Ivitt Dickinson and wife Natasha
Peter Finnerty and wife Anne     Austin Hargreaves     Terry Harrington and wife Joyce     Ray McTernan    
Mike Hobbs and wife Liz     Michael Hoskinson     Jim Howley     Ricky Leonard     John Lodge     John Mahon    Tony McPhail
Paddy Monaghan     Eddie Opertowski     Malcolm Prince     Brian Slattery     Tony Williams and wife Sunni    Gerry Wynne.

Photo Gallery