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Class of 1952 Reunion

The boys who entered Judd for the first time in September 1952, together with “guests” from the 1951 and 1953 entries, held their ninth or Platinum Reunion on 17th and 18th September 2022. 

The original plan was that this reunion would take place in 2021 the year when the majority of the 1952
intake would reach their eightieth birthday. However, the aftereffects of the COVID pandemic on
public transport - bearing in mind that some would be travelling from abroad would make this
extremely difficult if not impossible – brought about a postponement to 2022.

The format followed familiar lines: a conducted tour of the school on the morning of Saturday 17th
September; dinner on the Saturday evening and a buffet lunch on Sunday 18th.
Some dozen “boys” met at Judd School on Saturday morning and were guided round the school by
Headmaster Jon Wood. The eighth reunion had taken place just three years before but there were
nevertheless new buildings to be seen such as the single storey classrooms on the now not-so-
sloping pitch and the new Sixth Form Centre currently under construction overlooking the old cricket pitch. Both buildings, timber-clad and modern in style, contrasted with the red brick of the original buildings and indeed with the several other additions which Judd has seen since these “boys” left in the late 1950s.

It is of course little wonder that the school has undergone massive changes and additions since the 1950s. At the time when the 1952ers joined the school the role was some 350 whereas today it is in the order of 1500.

The party then dispersed – a favourite word of our old art master A P Friend – to re-gather in the evening at The Rose & Crown Hotel for dinner. Numbers had risen by now to 17 and a very pleasant meal was enjoyed. More memories of times at school were recalled with elaborations enabled by the wine and a toast was drunk to “Absent Friends” for it had not been possible to trace and contact everyone from the 1952 intake. The final act in what may well turn out to be the final reunion of the 1952ers was a lunch at midday on the Sunday, also in The Rose and Crown Hotel, with an attendance of 27 when the “boys” were joined by their wives. The organisers: Ken Gunn, Geoff Pettitt, Martin Walker and Chris Wickham were thanked for their efforts in helping the reunion happen.

Those attending:
1952: Bob Baldock (Cheshire), John Bowles (Bergerac, France), Howard Dolling (Hildenborough),
Chris and Keith Emberson (Chelmsford, Essex), John Goodwin (Tonbridge), Tony Greenwood (West
Malling/Mijas, Spain), Ken Gunn (Tunbridge Wells), Geoff Knight (Braintree, Essex), Lawrence May
(Ottawa, Canada), Barry Nicholls (Tonbridge), Geoff Pettitt (Tonbridge), Martin Walker (Tunbridge
Wells), Neil Wickens (Uraidla, South Australia), Chris Wickham (Hadlow), Graham Wilson (California).
1951: Evan Portlock (Tonbridge), Tony Russell (Tonbridge).
1953: Brian Buck (Tonbridge), Eddie Prescott (Tonbridge), Colin Whittle (Marden).