Leeds Medical School, Class of 1980
- Debra had a chat with John Thompson in 1998 about a possible twenty
year medical school reunion.
- The grapevine worked, and Jane Clark wrote July 1999 asking could
- Approaches were made to local venues, and Rudding Park came up with
a good date, and cost.
- Mike Beer said GO FOR IT!
- Letters were sent to test the waters for level of interest, which
thankfully was high!
- There were multiple meetings at the Newells’, at which much time
was wasted perusing the photograph of 1980, and reading the various
notes and CV’s that had been coming in.
- Simon used his all singing and dancing diary to work out the
accounts, at which point Martin upgraded us to Moet and Chandon.
- Emma Mack in the Alumni Office at the University did all the
- Anna Wright gave lots of help with seating plan and nobly offered to
buy the fruit for the Pimms the day before.
- Liz Martin came screaming in two weeks before with promise of
sponsorship for brochure, which we had almost given up on.
- During the week of the reunion, Martin and Debra helped keep BT
shares buoyant talking about every detail.
- Most difficult task- getting the benches for the photograph (Simon).
- Martin negotiated with Rudding Park over corkage, and sorted out all
the drinks for both afternoon and evening, and with Leeds Traffic
Department to have parking bays put out of action for the photograph.
- Debra made a few trips to Rudding; to see the venue, to show the
band the room, to finalise it all, to take seating plan, to do CV and
- Events manager Angela was excellent.
By Debra.. Simon and I arrived early along with Martin and Pat. It was
nerve-racking! As the first people arrived, I gulped and thought to myself
“What have I done? Do these people really want to meet up again?” It
wasn’t long before the room was thronging, the atmosphere buzzing and
the champagne flowing.
I personally found the photograph great fun, and the experience of
visiting the old Anatomy Lecture Theatre together carried big emotional impact. Steve
Straughan summed it up, I felt, when he described how alone he had felt as
an 18 year old on our first day in there.
Memories of the evening.. chatting to lots of people, but not enough!,
folk having their photos taken by the displays, lovely happy buzz as we
sat down to dinner, and a sea of familiar faces, Ian Clegg giving
spontaneous toast to The Class of 1980, lots of people who seemed to be
enjoying it all, JT abandoning me on dance floor with flowers in hand (
thanks whoever got them), the table I had most worried about seating
together, still chatting after everybody else was mixing up, final dance
in big circle.
Thanks for your thanks. It was a privilege to arrange such a unique
Debra Newell, 8/7/00.
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