A SCHOOL reunion with a difference is coming to Crediton's Queen Elizabeth's School this April.

Around 70 former pupils are expected for what is being billed as a Platinum Reunion since nearly all those attending will be 70 years old! 

It is more than half-a-century since these “pensioner pupils” left QE and since some of them last saw each other, while others have been getting together down the years to celebrate old times since their very first reunion back in 1991. 

Covid and lockdowns intervened to delay what is likely to be this final mass gathering, the first since 2015.

The reunion will be the fourth of its kind organised over the past three decades by The Class of '64... former pupils who started at the old QES Boys Grammar School and the neighbouring Crediton High School for Girls in September 1964. 

Former classmates have come together every few years to organise hugely successful reunions sometimes attracting nearly 100 classmates and former teachers for a day reuniting with long-lost schoolfriends, wandering round their old classrooms and culminating in a very special slap-up School Dinner and a rousing rendition of the now long-forgotten School Song, “Schola Kyrtonensis”!

This final gathering was originally scheduled for 2021 as a Golden Anniversary Reunion, 50 years after most of those taking part left Queen Elizabeth's School in Crediton after "A" Levels, but the Covid pandemic intervened. 

Now, they will be celebrating another milestone instead: the year most of them turn 70! So they are calling it The Platinum Reunion.  Despite the half century or more since most of those attending left QE, more than 70 former pupils, staff and partners are expected for the reunion, to be held on Saturday, April 22. 

It will be their first large scale gathering since 2015, though smaller groups of former students who still live in the area meet regularly in person or on Zoom to share memories and laugh about old times and the escapades they got up to in the simpler days of the 1960s and 70s. 

The organisers - all from The Class of '64 - are delighted to report that a special extra cheese course for the Reunion Dinner is being sponsored by the famous local cheesemakers Quicke's of Newton St Cyres: two of the family - John and Mary Quicke - are former QE pupils and will be attending the reunion. 

John Quicke was one of those meeting up at the school last week when the planning meeting took place.

Former school friends from The Class of '64 - retired top civil servant Brian Harding and former BBC Parliamentary Correspondent Robert Orchard - are among the organisers of this reunion, and every reunion since 1991... and both travelled to Crediton from Swanage and London to finalise the plans with the school for what is almost certainly the last major gathering of their schooldays contemporaries. 

Also present were Paul and Marion Evans of Copplestone, who attended the two schools even longer ago, starting in the 1950s! They and a few of their contemporaries will also be attending this reunion on school premises for the first time.

Former pupils from the UK and abroad, including the USA, are expected at the reunion in April and one former French teacher is travelling over specially from France to attend the event, making his first visit back to Crediton in 50 years! 

It promises to be a memorable event... the organisers say they would hazard a fairly reliable guess that no other group of former Devon school pupils has stuck together so long, and come back together so often over more than 50 years. 

It is hoped more Old Kyrtonians from the 1950s and 1960s will get in touch and join them on April 22.  Anyone interested should please contact Robert Orchard by telephone on 07802 245677 or email at: [email protected] or his colleague from The Class of '64, Brian Harding on 07976 767841.