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Portsmouth Polytechnic - French Studies
Class of 1974 - 1978
Reunion 1999
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Phil B


The Way We Were

1975-76.jpg (84383 bytes)

The above was taken at the back of the Drill Hall in 1975 or 1976

On Saturday, September 11th. 1999, almost 25 years after they first arrived in the city, twelve members of the Portsmouth Poly French Studies Class of 74-78 returned to Southsea for a reunion.

We took over a hotel near South Parade pier for the night.  After an optional tour of the new University of Portsmouth School of Languages and Area Studies facilities, followed by a visit to the old Drill Hall (in its current reincarnation as art workshops), we returned to the hotel for the main event.

Old friendships were rekindled and new ones made as the ex-students, some of our former lecturers and some partners and offspring gathered in the hotel's bar and lounge.   Reminiscing continued during the meal (prepared with a 'French' theme by the hotel staff), at the end of which I was presented with a cake (the fact that the reunion had been organised on my birthday being entirely coincidental).

With our former academic superiors departed (some to catch an overnight ferry), we reverted to our roles of a quarter century earlier.  The events of the night which followed were not recorded on camera, but involved a certain amount of blagging into a local nightclub, an out-of-body experience on the beach and of course copious amounts of alcohol.

There were some bleary eyes at breakfast the next morning but, after a photo-call, the remaining revellers set off along the seafront for a fix of ozone.  Lunch was had at the Still & West in Old Portsmouth before farewells were said.

And the future?  There was some talk of another get-together, perhaps in Le Havre.   Watch this space!

Phil Waring

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