GALLERY: Soham Grammarians gather for 40th anniversary dinner

MORE than 50 former staff and pupils of Soham Grammar School gathered for their annual dinner, this year marking the 40th anniversary since the school ceased to exist.

With the introduction of comprehensive education in 1972, the grammar school and Soham Village College were merged and it ceased to exist in its own right, bringing an end to almost 300 years of history.

The dinner was held in Soham Village College’s Beechurst Hall, familiar to the Soham Grammarians as their old assembly hall.

The guest of honour was Dr Carin Taylor, principal of Soham Village College, who has attended the dinners since her appointment in 2006.

She told the grammarians it “continued to surprise and delight” her that they met in such numbers and that they still had such fellowship with each other and remembrance, of different kinds, of their time at the school.

Former staff joined with several grammarians in presenting a talk entitled Forty Years On, which looked back to the events of 1972 and the background to it.

Chris Bent was MC and during the evening queried whether people might prefer a lunchtime occasion in future years. He would consult but the event would be on Sunday October 5, 2013.

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Later he presented bouquets to Dr Carin Taylor, Mrs Ann Jarman and to Sara Coutts who was in charge of the catering for the evening.

Wilkes said he had been invited earlier in the week to step in for the Toast, usually proposed by George Dann. George had been present earlier in the evening but as planned had left early to look after his wife who was poorly.

Those whose deaths had been notified since our last Dinner were listed in the programme for the evening [Colin Blackwell, Graham Chambers, Peter Eland, Keith Fuller, Peter Herod, John Humphreys, Bryan Lowe; Norman Sherrington).