Derek flies from Denver for reunion
Published on: 05 May 2015
THESE are some of the scenes when old school chums dating back to the 1940s got together at a recent event in Downend.
Former pupils of Kingswood Grammar School flocked to Lincombe Barn to catch up on news and tuck into a three-couse lunch.
One visitor, Derek Bailey, came as far as Denver, Colorado in the USA and many travelled from across England, including some from Aylesbury and Hertfordshire.
The luncheon guests were all members of KOSA - Kingswood Old Scholars' Association - which has more than 1,000 members throughout the world.
The association meets twice a year and members are brought up to date with news and nostalgia courtesy of a regular newsletter called KOSA News, which is published to conincide with the twice-yearly gatherings.
The publication is edited by Downend's Mike Bendrey and features readers' memories, old photographs, stories and poems as well as obituaries of former pupils.
The luncheon, which took place on Saturday April 11, kicked off with an AGM where KOSA's commitee was re-elected with three new members.
Mike said: "We have our regulars and people who come occasionally. We didn't have as many people as we have had in the past - we usually have about 60 people attend but this time it was about 40. I think it was because the event was tagged on to the end of the holiday week and people were still away so we'll be careful with that next year.
"The whole reason for the organisation is to get people to meet up with people from their school days.
"I had a lettter from someone in Australia as a result of our website and she's now in touch with someone in the UK that she hasn't seen for 30 years. That's the sort of thing we try to do.
"We are always looking out for members who went to the schools."
Kingswood Grammar School in Brook Road, Kingswood was originally known as Kingswood Secondary School when it opened back in 1921.
It changed to a mixed grammar in 1927 and became a comprehensive - Kingsfield School - in 1967.
The school changed again in 2011 and is now known at King's Oak Academy.
In May, KOSA will give four prizes of £25 to students of the academy who have made the greatest contribution to the school and the community.
KOSA welcomes new members so if you attended any of the schools and would like to join and receive the newsletter, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0117 956 5689.
The next reunion lunch takes place on Saturday October 15 at Lincombe Barn.
Further information on KOSA, including newsletters, can be found at www.kingsoakacademy.co.uk