Friends reunited for 60th year in a row

Beverly Jackson Head Teacher at King Edward the VII school in sheffield welcomes Roy Hobson and his "Old Boys" group who have had a reunion at the school ever years since 1953  Paul David Drabble
Beverly Jackson Head Teacher at King Edward the VII school in sheffield welcomes Roy Hobson and his "Old Boys" group who have had a reunion at the school ever years since 1953 Paul David Drabble
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They’re the boys of ’45 – friends for life who have been holding annual reunions ever since they finished their studies at Sheffield’s premier grammar school.

This year’s get-together was their 60th in a row, and included a VIP tour of their alma mater King Edward VII conducted by headteacher Beverley Jackson.

Numbers are thinner these days with 15 nearly 80-somethings gathering from all parts of the country – along with Martin Clinton, who came over specially from the USA.

All were part of a new generation in their days at King Ted’s, being the first pupils who didn’t have to pay fees as a result of the 1944 Education Act.

“We were part of a year group that saw lads from Fulwood, Dore and Totley mixing for the first time with youngsters from working class areas after we’d all passed the 11-plus,” said organiser Reg Hobson, aged 78.

“The head at the time Mr Barton didn’t seem too happy about it – he’d set his own entrance exam the year before the law changed as a sort of rehearsal. But we all got on well.”

So much so that when the boys left school in 1953, the reunion tradition began.

“There were around 30 of us at one time but numbers have declined over the years,” Reg said.

“Usually we get together for a walk in Derbyshire and an evening meal together but this year we wanted to make it something special.”

It was the group’s first visit to King Edwards since the refurbishment of the Glossop Road campus last year.

Reg said: “So much has changed and we weren’t pleased to see there are no uniforms or badges, but the labs have been extended, there’s glass everywhere and the hall is still the same.”

The big day ended with them having a meal at the Rising Sun at Bamford, with talk of sport, work and friendship – as well as an agreement to be back, same time next year.