Veterinary reunion round-up
September was the month for reunions last year, with restrictions easing enough that a 50-year, 30-year and a 20ish -year reunion could all take place.
Class of 1971 celebrate fifty-years: Peter Jones (BVSc 1971)
The most frequent thing heard at our recent get together was “Can you believe it’s 50 years since we graduated?!” The occasion was the 50-year graduation reunion of the class of 1971 on a sunny September weekend in Liverpool, where a really lovely time was enjoyed by all those who participated. We arrived at the Crown Plaza on the Pier Head on the Friday evening and met in the bar, before walking to our first event of the celebrations – a harbour cruise on the Floating Grace. We were slightly concerned to see that a massive pop concert was also being held that weekend on the pier head, but one of the few advantages of advancing age was the ability for many of us to switch off our hearing aids so as not to be bothered by the noise!
Saturday dawned, and so Covid- and hangover-free our merry band set off on a terrific tour through the Mersey Tunnel, taking in initially Port Sunlight the model village built by Lever brothers to accommodate workers in its soap factories at around the end of the 19th century. It is a wonderful example of architectural and landscape values of the garden suburb influenced by the ideas of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Then it was back through the other Mersey Tunnel and onto a fascinating Beatles tour which initially was a real trip down memory lane past the halls of residence in Greenbank and Mossley Hill and, of course, Penny Lane and the shelter in the middle of a roundabout for which we were all in good voice to sing along.
Saturday evening saw us come together for our reunion dinner, a very happy evening where there was the inevitable exchange of anecdotes and sharing of memories during which we were joined via Zoom with friends from other parts of the UK, Denmark and Canada who could not be there in person. The evening was topped off with a Liverpool-themed quiz and many more casual libations. All agreed that it had been a terrific weekend and that planning the next reunion should start without delay.
Thirty-year reunion for the class of 1991: John Innes (BVSc 1991)
Organising reunions has never been more challenging. The pandemic disrupted our plans, shunted other travel plans to make diaries clash, and made some nervous of travel and crowds. Nevertheless, a number of the BVSc class of 1991 gathered in Liverpool on 18 September 2021 to celebrate 30 years since graduation. Given the situation, it was a gentile affair with lunch on Hope Street and conversation full of news on careers and families, as well as much reminiscing.
It was the start of freshers’ week and the city was alive with the return of students. There is nothing of the preclinical veterinary infrastructure of our day remaining on campus now; Crown Street has a changed layout, and the old Brownlow Hill site is replaced with new Crown Place student accommodation. Fortunately, the Augustus John hostelry remains a comforting, nostalgic landmark despite its lack of architectural merit! We meandered through town, marvelling at the thousands of partying students on Bold Street, Seel Street and Duke Street, and we made our way to dinner at the Albert Dock. The City is vibrant and regenerated; a far cry from the Liverpool of the 1980s!
Dan and Debbie Harding made a late, but very welcome, arrival having dropped their son at the University for the start of his studies. It was lovely to see John Grant, over from Northern Ireland, and to meet his lovely daughter, currently a second-year BVSc student – the dynasty continues! Kath Reilly travelled from USA and won the distance award, putting myself and Jo Oultram to shame as we popped over from Wirral and Cheshire, respectively. Alison Cruthers, Lisa Arrowsmith, Rebecca Kullich, Emma Hayton-Lee all made the journey from the South, and it was great to see everyone. Sadly, COVID, suspected COVID, and freshers’ weeks at other universities kept others away as they delivered their offspring to start their student journey; the cycle of life was palpable in that sense.
A message to the class of 1991: please join the Facebook Group “Liverpool Vets 'Year of 1991' Reunion” and we’ll make the next reunion bigger and better!
Twenty-year reunion for the Class of 2001: Lizzy Whiting
Also in September, the class of 2001 organised a reunion for their year group. Intercalations, resits and overlapping social groups meant that the invitation was also extended to those attending vet school at the same time. This led to a 20-ish year reunion hosted in Cornwall by Lizzy Whiting (BVSc 2001).
There was pizza, pasties, pulled pork, Ceilidh, kids, carrot chopping, families, friends, dogs and fun. Everyone talked, laughed and told stories as though no time had passed.
Thinking about holding your own reunion? We can help you get in touch with your classmates. Get in touch by e-mailing: email@example.com