The Reunion

We’re all back in Scotland now. Most of us have assembled in Broughty Ferry and Dundee, and we’re ready to go. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a 6am departure tomorrow to get to Milngavie for a nine o’clock start.

A number of us had a pre-Hike dinner on Monday in one of our old watering holes from 50 years ago, followed by some photos at Grove Academy on Tuesday. Just like old times; an evening in the pub, followed by school the next day. Don’t tell the grandkids.

Pre-Hike Dinner

We sat down at about 8pm and were accompanied by 3 guests, all old friends from school days; Gordon’s brother Billy (The Bear) Emslie, Graham Wilson and John Knight.

Food was ordered and wine bottles opened when Checkshirt made an unexpected entrance. He had missed his lift from Hertfordshire earlier in the day but had made the journey north in record time.

There was a lot to catch up on. Stories were shared, memories rekindled and there was much reminiscing and laughter. Just as it should be.

As dusk fell over the River Tay outside we were treated to a spectacular display of changing weather conditions – a portent of what lies in store?

By 10:30pm, the exertions of travel and thoughts of Thursday’s start brought the evening to an end.

Grove Academy revisited

On Tuesday the Brothers went to Grove Academy in Broughty Ferry – the alma mater for eight of us. We were welcomed by the Rector, Graham Hutton, who told us of the many changes to the school since we left almost 50 years ago.

We estimated that there were around 600 pupils at the school in the 1970s. Today there are 1,344, with each year group averaging 240 pupils.

Graham took us on a tour of the new school, which is across the road from the old Victorian building we had attended, and of course, totally different. It has 5 different physical education locations including a swimming pool. We pondered how much better we might have prepared for the Way had such facilities been available in our day. There was a superb library as well, with Private Eye on the news shelf. Our old school with a satirical magazine in the library?

How times change.