Dear Old Scholars
I pitched this idea to the ROSA (Rye Old Scholars Association) committee and thankfully they went for it.
The aim – A reunion with a difference
To get as many secondary modern old scholars there as possible by offering them a nostalgic evening they can relate to. However, everyone is welcome. Let’s pack the place.
Rock, jive and twist was a Thursday lunchtime activity held in the secondary modern school hall. We paid 6d (yes 6 old pennies) entrance to listen to Mr Ron Dipper play “pop music” of the day on his stereogram. Oh the innocence! I first experienced this in 1965.
It was always very well attended, and it’s this I want to try and recreate by playing the music of the time, and getting as many people in to enjoy a dance. To chat yes, but the main object of the evening is to have a dance. Perhaps something that, because of our age, many of us no longer do as much as we would like to.
We encourage all who buy a ticket to send us the title of one track from the 50s / 60s / 70s, then I’ll compile Spotify playlists for the evening. No DJ, just a continuous stream of YOUR music. Send you request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s only one place really, the old secondary modern school in New Road now called the Rye Creative Centre.
7pm to 11pm on Saturday, October 15
I’m a very proud supporter of ROSA and attend functions when I’m able. I’m one of the lucky ones who span the secondary modern – Thomas Peacocke eras. Memories of both locations are firmly implanted in my brain. But I’ve always thought the secondary modern old scholars have suffered from Rye’s senior school’s ‘evolutionary process’ and have through time, lost their identity, as well as their location.
The grammar school has never had that problem. ROSA was born at the grammar school. It’s rich history, the Bedford evacuation, the ATC, ex-pupils staying in contact through their university years, the school v old scholars football / cricket matches etc. are all things that the secondary moderns never had. Some might say “well they could have had” but I would say that it was never a possibility.
All this and the fact that the RGS building still survives, albeit in a different shape and size. When you throw in the Thomas Peacocke and Rye College ex-pupils it makes it, quite rightly, the obvious location for the majority of reunions. But not all.
That’s why I’d like this evening to be different, not exclusively secondary modern, open to everyone, the more the merrier, but to make it the memorable evening I hope it will be we have to get as many secondary moderns there as possible.
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , Kevin Williams .