After the lunch event of 2020 became a virtual get together due to COVID restrictions, it was wonderful to be able to invite everyone over the age of 60 physically back to Bradfield to celebrate with a combined Tempus Fugit and Junior Tempus Fugit lunch.
Over 100 Bradfieldians registered to join the lunch and it was a bumper event in the College Dining Hall. Some guests opted to arrive early at 10:15am for coffee and tours of the College which started in the Warden’s Room. For anyone who has not been back to Bradfield for many years the tours are always described as an excellent walkabout and the presentation is always very well-received.
Pre-lunch drinks were served in Big School as a more spacious venue for our guests to meet. This offered a nostalgic space for everyone to mix and meet their contemporaries and see how the space, which was once a common room, is now a small drama studio. Before lunch the Headmaster addressed guests, touching on how the College had managed during the pandemic and the plans for St Andrew’s Church. He gave what many attending described as a ‘stirring’ and ‘inspirational’ address.
Andrew Lenox-Conyngham (A 57-62) shared the traditional Latin Grace, used for many years by all pupils before meals at Bradfield, but no longer used today. This year, the traditional menu for the lunch was Braised Rare Breed Pork Cheek followed by Blackberry Trifle, which received rave reviews from those attending.
“Friendly and nostalgic” was how Mike Batty-Smith (B 76-79) described the day as he attended with both his father William (B 42-47) and his brother Nigel (B 76-80). It was the first time that they had all been back at Bradfield together since Nigel and Mike were at Bradfield together as boys and collected from school by their father. At 92 years of age, William was the most senior guest at the lunch and Paddy Drew the youngest, having only recently qualified for the Junior Tempus Fugit lunch which is usually held biennially for OBs over the age of 60.
They were not the only family grouping who attended as Peter Short (G 47-50) was also accompanied by his son Stephen (G 72-77) for whom it was his first Junior Tempus Fugit lunch alongside Christopher Lee (G 45-50) who was accompanied by his son Adrian Lee (G 73-78). Brothers Nicol (D 58-63) and Tim Cane (D 54-59), Leslie (F 56-60) and David Bellan (F 51-56) and Michael (A 61-66) and Peter Bostelmann (A 57-61) also attended.
John Ling (E 53- 58) described the atmosphere in Hall to be akin to a “library of life” and “to have been able to capture even a small percentage of the flow of spoken experience and wisdom would have been to find real treasure.”
Bradfieldians from overseas also joined the throng this year including Michael Withers (E 45-49) who had not been back to Bradfield for many years after living in the Bahamas and now living in the Philippines. Amazingly he was also at Prep School with Peter Short who joined us for the lunch, so they had the most nostalgic meeting at Bradfield, having known each other since the early 1940s.