On Saturday 16th June 2018 the Association once more took advantage of its annual visit to the Rose Garden of King Charles 1 School with another excellent barbeque for the first time shared with members of the Kidderminster High School Old Girls Association (KHSOGA).
I always seem to begin these stories with an account of the weather and this year is no exception. I naturally expect a glorious evening in the surroundings of the old exclusively privileged place for the Senior Girls of the High School. I had recently returned from a week of temperatures in the high 70’s in the Scottish Cairngorms and you would think Kidderminster could match it. Sadly that was not the case. The day began windy and quite cold, and remained that way for the whole of the day and the evening. Coats were very much in evidence but spirits were high. As in previous years, a gallant band of Old Carolians, still fit and energetic despite the toll of advancing age, met during the morning to erect the huge tented awning for protection from the elements. I am told that the construction was again a hilarious event, largely due to the fact that old boy scout skills had disappeared and the jigsaw of the jointed tubes of aluminium threw everyone into hysterics. An invitation had been formally given to the High School Old Girls for the first time this year and a sizeable group were able to join us for a most pleasant evening. As far as I am concerned, a closer relationship with the Old Girls can only be great progress and of benefit to both organisations. Long may it continue.
The culinary skills were again in the hands of Peter Picken, Dave Laverty and their wives. Really excellent sausages, chicken and pork steaks were accompanied by salads provided by Committee members, with the lovely puddings brought by the Old Girls Association. The sound of a jazz CD wafted around the garden, mixing with the grilling smells. It was not long before an eager queue for first helpings formed on the top of the steps, under the roses and wisteria. One of the pleasures of the evening for me is always meeting up with old school friends and sharing memories. Several of us first met in the Infants department at Bennett Street Junior School. I was especially pleased this year to chat with my contemporary Martin Wall, who had travelled over from Rutland and who had just been elected Junior Vice President of the Association. He was very proud to be emulating his brother who was also President of the Association.
In his speech, current President Dave Laverty thanked Rosemary Morgan for arranging the invitations to several members of the KHSOGA. He hoped that there would be many more years of this successful partnership. He thanked Steven Brownlow, Head of King Charles for giving permission for the use of the Rose Garden and the School’s Caretaker for opening all the facilities. He also reminded us that Peter Picken is always top of the list when the BBQ comes around, as without him, there would be no meat sourced from the Black Country, nor other arrangements such as the morning’s working party. Peter replied with a vote of thanks to President Dave Laverty who shared responsibility for the Evening’s success.
43 people were able to attend this year and the magnificent sum of £121 was made on the Raffle. Those who had stayed at home to watch Croatia play Nigeria or Peru play Denmark in the World Cup were the definite losers.
Peter Vaughan, Old Carolian Catering Correspondent