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Quantock School Annual Reunion, June 6-7 2009

The 2009 Quantock School Annual Reunion took place over D-Day weekend, and after a rainy Saturday things brightened up on the Sunday which was perfect for the filming of Laurie Booth's epic mini-movie Stalag Quantock 2009: The Great Escape

The weekend was spent doing the usual things - having a chit-chat over a few beers, experiencing the tastes of the past in the dining hall and exploring the dark and unknown areas of the school such as the delapidated old engineering workshop, next to the old art toom which is currently being renovated.

After the reunion a wonderful piece was written by former pupil Sean Harvey which pretty much summed up the relationship between Quantock School and its former inmates; you can read it below. For those who want to get straight to the photographs, you can view the slideshow album here. (86 images)

The Quantock School Reunion, by Sean Harvey

My name is Sean Harvey, I left Quantock School in 1975. This weekend I attended the 2009 Quantock School reunion.

There are two types of Quantock Pupils, ones that have been back to visit since leaving and those that haven't. Whilst I can appreciate that some might have no wish to go down memory lane, I have to say that for me it is an extremely positive experience.

Quantock reunions are not like typical stereotype school reunions we all tend to have in mind. They're not about being competitive with your adversaries, seeing whose done well and whose got the trophy WAG etc.; they're about spending time in a wonderful place full of memories and meeting people of all ages who have shared a common and somewhat unique experience.

I would encourage anyone who hasn't yet been to a reunion to consider attending in the future, you'll be surprised what you can get from it. For me spending time back at the school is an incredibly calming experience. My time at Quantock was certainly a happy one full of great memories. Wandering around the main building, which has changed very little since I left 34 years ago, it takes you back to those formative days, reminds you of old friends and how good life was before we embarked on life's journey. I would loved to have seen more faces from my era, many names spring to mind, but sadly only 3 or 4 were there, but that didn't stop the experience being rewarding.

On the Sunday morning Kevin Strachan and I sat and chatted to Matron (Jane Peaster) for an hour or so about old times. Matron is as fit as ever, in great spirits and clearly completely devoted to the place. She works long days and has a refurbishment programme in place which is impressive to say the least. What amazes me is her incredible recall of names and events, a pound to a penny if you walk up that drive for the first time in 30 years she will remember your name. Its very easy to say no, to find an excuse not to attend, but if you want to enrichen your life a little and remind yourself of your roots and a big part of what makes you who you are today, then come back for the 2010 reunion. You will be made to feel very welcome indeed.

One of my strongest memories of Quantock was building the steep drive with Phil and Keith Peaster in the summer months after we finished our O-Level exams in 1975. A group of us humped tarmac in wheelbarrows while Keith and Phil operated the roller. We did a great job and could justifiably feel proud of it. I remember coming up that drive when I later visited the school in the 1980s, however today it is no longer in use having been replaced by a new drive. I wandered down and found the old drive now covered in debris, scraped the earth and muck away to find the old tarmac still there. Those memories of the hot summer days and my old mates having a laugh and working hard together came back like it was yesterday. So thanks to Laurie for organizing everything so well, I shall be back next year for the big one.

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Stalag Quantock Reunion 2009: The Great Escape

Former QS old boy Laurie Booth has always seen himself as something of a movie director, and this effort is clearly in the footsteps of that great exponent of the dramatic war film, Sam Peckinpah. OK, so there are no gruesome slow-motion scenes, but plenty of shooting. It's here for all of you to enjoy - watch out for my dramatic dive and roll around two minutes in!

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