Afternoon event proved to be everyone's cup of tea at Caerleon

Alumni Afternoon Tea at Caerleon - April 2016

The sun shone on Caerleon for our inaugural Alumni Afternoon Tea event as we welcomed over 150 former students and staff back to campus.

With some guests having not seen each other since leaving college many decades before; alumni came from all over the country and from all eras to enjoy an afternoon of hospitality, reminiscing and an opportunity to view items from the University archive.

The most senior cohort was from the 1950s, and our most recent graduate leavers represented the Class of 2013. With alumni from almost every year group in between, the event provided to be a wonderful opportunity for crossover between the generations and the swapping of many a mischievous tale!

The Class of 65 reunion group were well represented and even came equipped with song sheets of the College song (Monmouthshire Training College / Caerleon College) which Geraint Evans (Big G) encouraged everyone to join in with before tea was served. It came to light that the song was sung for over 20 years well into the 1980s.  Listen to the heartfelt performance and view slides from the day.

I didn't know that I knew the College song, but once the chorus got underway, it all come flooding back! It really brought a lump to my throat.

Guests were welcomed by Dr Carl Peters, Deputy Dean of Life Sciences and Education and Rachael Barker, Head of Alumni Relations and Development. All were able to take away a 'memories from the archive' pamphlet that that provided a summary of activity associated with Caerleon campus since its initial foundation in 1912. Thanks go to all who provided anecdotes and images for the pamphlet.

After Afternoon Tea, guests were invited to view items from the University archive in the former Caerleon boardroom. Guests were able to view historic blazers, old year group photos, as well as original admission registers from as far back as the 1950s - the latter providing much amusement given the rather 'un pc' comments noted down at the time!

Proving that the world is a small place and that the past is not so far away - 1954 alumnus Barri Hurford-Jones had a chance meeting when the wife of alumnus Ron Rogers (1956) recalled Barri visiting the school where she was a pupil as a teaching practice student. Willie and Val Stewart who were staff in the 1970s were also delighted to find a photo of Willie giving careers counselling and pictures of former colleagues including music lecturer, Roy Manchi. 

The day was of course not without reflection, as the University bids a fond farewell to Caerleon campus later this summer. However, the Afternoon Tea event was enjoyed in the spirit of toasting a campus that has an educational heritage to be proud of - and one that can be carried forward as the University transfers its Teacher Training operations to the Newport City Campus from September 2016.

#community #alumni #reunion #eventnews