|This was attended by 57 past and present staff and
former students, going back to 1948. Messages of support were
received from 4 others who could not come (including Chris Pratt)
and from 12 who did not make it on the day.
In preparation for the event posters were on display in the Leatherhead, Bookham and Ashtead libraries; two letters were sent to the Surrey Advertiser (?), Leatherhead Advertiser (2) and Epsom Guardian (1) (figures in brackets show how many times printed). Announcements were also sent to the editors of the Parish Church, Methodist and URC Leatherhead parish magazines.
For the years 1980-90, a sampling approach was used and a total of 909 messages were sent via Friends Reunited. A Reunion announcement was added to the Therfield FR pages. It would seem that the most effective source of interested contacts was via the Press, the response from FR being very thin - some may not now look at it much these days, or are not subscribed for emails - however, whenever they do next look they will get the message and may make contact.
Frank Haslam introduced the event on behalf of the Friends of Therfield School. Frank set up the original Therfield School website, which is now run by the school, and retains responsibility for the Alumni,and History and Friends pages.
Talks were given by former Headteachers John Wooding and Terry Reddin.
John Wooding spoke of the bringing together of the school on one site, the numerous changes that were faced (see the History pages) and the learning process by which the continued success of the school was developed. He amused us with his stories of the visit to BBC tv and the Irish commissionaire, and of his attempt to drive a school hovercraft .
Terry Reddin reminded us of the challenges face in the Thatcher years and his anecdotes included the Cabinet Minister's car, the day the drains overflowed and the day Tel saw off the travellers.
We will tell these and John's anecdotes in full some time!
Both John and Terry paid tribute to the support given by their staff at all levels and recalled that many had gone on to senior posts in other schools.
Graham Tuck, the present Headteacher, was struck down by flu and at short notice his place was taken by Alun Thomas, who with 33 years at Therfield and responsibility for guiding pupils through their first year was perhaps ideally qualified to address our inaugural and tell us of the plans for the school. He also paid tribute to Frank Claytor, John Wooding's predecessor. Alun spoke of the continuation of the Therfield ethos of best for all, ever improving academic success, success in personal development (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award progress) and the plans for Sports College status, and the very good recent Ofsted, which was however critical of the buildings - something that is being addressed at long last.
We are most grateful to John and Terry for their support and to Alun for standing in for Graham at short notice.
Frank Haslam gave a presentation on what had lead to the idea of forming an association of former staff, students.
It was agreed:
The meeting was invited to form a group to steer the Therfield Alumni through the next 12 months, and encouraged by Dave Cox, those named below met at the end of the afternoon to develop ideas.
Displays of albums and photos were appreciated by many present, thanks to the hard work of Barbara Sharkey.
The Therfield Alumni Steering Group:
Ideas arising from the Steering Group (those listed above) and current progress
Need to increase our numbers:
Funding & support:
P.S. Alun subsequently suggested we should have a
TA tie for the men - but what for the women?
An MS Access database for Therfield Alumni has been set up.
page update 5 Nov 2004