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ARBORFIELD - Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July 2007 inclusive.

 

The following report contributed by Trevor STUBBERFIELD (52A)

Photographs are by the contributor, unless otherwise attributed.

 

Sunday

 

Once again the dawn chorus invaded my sleep and the sunlight streamed through the windows.A promising start to the day.Lying in bed my thoughts turned to the events of the previous day.The parade had been of the highest quality, and was fittingly held on the original parade ground.The Drum Head Service was moving whilst at the same time uplifting.†† The introduction of reading the names of those Old Boys who had passed away in the preceding twelve months was well received.A jarring note came when once again the Public Address system faltered during the service, as it did again in the evening for the speeches.We are the cream of the technicians that support the rest of the army, yet we canít achieve what most village fetes manage quite easily, an effective loud speaker system.We live in hope.

The chance to meet and talk with old friends is priceless.Despite the problems of the past year there is a genuine desire for the AOBA to continue to provide the vehicle by which we can keep in touch, the web site is once again in very capable hands and the Forum is being used sensibly by its contributors.

The weekend had been threatened by unprecedented weather conditions and no praise is too high of Bill Cleasby and members of the committee who pulled out all the stops to overcome the problems, a very big vote of thanks goes to them for giving us a much better reunion than we had a right to expect.

The last Arborfield breakfast of the year was calling so having tidied up my room, no bed block necessary as it was a Free Sunday, it was down to the dining room.Before joining the queue I sat chatting to two Old Boys, one from Perth in Scotland and by coincidence, one from Perth in Australia.A telling remark was made when, as we chatted quite openly, it was pointed out that here we were, strangers to all intents and purposes, yet we freely exchanged quite private details of our lives, safe in the knowledge that we were all Arborfield Old Boys.In the last three words lies the secret of the reason we keep coming back to our old school.

Collecting all the necessary elements which make up the Arborfield Breakfast, once again foregoing the pleasures of the healthy option, it was a chance to catch up on the last bits of news and sadly a chance to bid old friends a safe journey home with the hope that we will meet again next year.Car loaded, we set off for Winnersh to pick up the navigator who was looking forward to an easy ride home on the motorways.No problems from Arborfield this time, the floods had subsided and traffic flowed freely.However, at Winnersh we learnt that our route to the motorway was blocked by new floods at the Winnersh Triangle.A major roundabout was under water again and we would have to go home cross country.

This cinema complex stands alongside the roundabout and both are built on what used to be a flood plain.Evidently it still is.The photo is by Ian Devine and from the Reading Evening Post.http://www.getreading.co.uk/where there is a comprehensive collection of photos of the floods in the surrounding district.

 

 

Reaching home there was a comfort stop for my companion from Perth before setting off for the airport for the flight North.His telephone call to let us know he was safely home brought to an end a very enjoyable weekend, even with all the drawbacks taken into account.

The future of Arborfield is in the melting pot, but whilst itís still there lets hope we can still make use of it and continue to meet on Home Ground.

 

Published:5th August 2007

 


 

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