While physically gathering for reunions may not be possible in the current climate, a silver lining has been that OBs who may not typically make it back to Bedford have been able to get together online. And so it was when the 1983 1st VIII recently held a virtual reunion, ‘meeting’ for the first time since they competed in the Bedford Sprint Regatta on 10th July 1983!   Although several decades may have passed, it didn’t take long for the playful banter to start as the crew rolled back the years. 

Mark Davies (78-83) is the only crew member who can still be found on the river, regularly competing for Sammamish Rowing Club, Washington, USA where he has won several national masters titles.  Phil Dunne (76-83) and Pete Hopkisson (75-84) have continued to compete against each other, albeit ‘virtually’ on their ergos.  Whilst,  Simon Hemsley (79-84), Paul Birch (77-83) and Hugh Maltby (73-83) can still be spotted donning their best lycra, having swapped oars for two wheels. David Jones (73-83), whose son is now in the Upper School, can be found on the touchline shouting encouragement.

As everyone reminisced and caught up on almost 40 years, they raised a glass in memory of their crew mate Ian Rowe (73-84), who sadly passed away last year after a long battle with cancer.  Also missing from the reunion was Mark Johnson (73-84) who was unable to join us for the evening. 

Remarkably, five of the crew had been in the same class in the Inky! We’ll share the photo with you on Facebook in this week’s Throwback Thursday.

Hugh Maltby, Director of the OB Club said: “It’s great to see how technology now can bring us all together. Although there’s no substitute to meeting face to face and we do hope to be able to do so in the not too distant future.”

If you’d like us to organise a similar reunion, please get in touch with Hugh Maltby at hmaltby@bedfordschool.org.uk

See Photos


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