A short trip to the Greyhound public house in Ipswich, favoured haunt of Adam Hedley and Benjamin Hoyer (2005 leavers), was an excellent way to end 2017. They were in good form and a jug or two of excellent Adnams ale was consumed as Ben had some catching up to do. Adam works and lives in Ipswich using his actuarial skills developed at university at Warwick after A level maths and further maths at Woodbridge under the memorable tutelage of Mr Richard Rabjohn, former head of mathematics. It sounded quite a boisterous further maths group. Was Sophie Chick in there too, and Sam Piper? They would certainly have clinched it! Ben (formerly Cadet Sergeant Major in the Army Section of WSCCF) was visiting from Copenhagen where he now lives, having gone off to university at St Andrews (excellent choice and permit me an aside re coincidences. His first room at St Andrews was C9 in St Salvator’s Hall and my last one there was C9, some decades before, and his final year flat was 33 North Castle Street and mine was number 35). He spent a year at the University of Texas in the middle of his degree. He has just left a job in big data analysis for one as an engineer with Google Denmark, starting early in the new year. His first day with Google will be in Stockholm and then the following week will find him in Las Vegas, so it is going to be undoubtedly tough but I’m sure he will manage to cope. Apparently he will start as a generalist and work his way through a number of Google departments, making use of the office gym, the games room and bean bags in the process no doubt. All right, so our lunch-time drink was turning in to lunch and then a whole afternoon but there was a lot of ground to cover, including Ben’s and Adam’s various recent trips, including ski-ing. Ben most recently came a cropper on a new set of skis at Verbier but recovered from concussion after a couple of days in bed. And I had to have an update on their interest in brewing with hops sourced from the United States. That is metaphorically on the back burner at the moment; work seems to have got in the way. Various tables filled and emptied as we chatted the afternoon away. I spotted one of a large party who I was convinced was a former WS colleague, Mr Mark Bosworth. Could it be? Adam and Ben thought it was maybe not. I was fairly sure and once we were leaving and made eye contact, it was indeed Mark. He taught both Adam and Ben design and was also a lieutenant in the Army Section so was on various camps and overnight exercises with us. Most memorably he came to camp at Cultybraggan in 2002, importantly without smart trousers, shoes, shirt and tie so that he could not join the officers in the mess in the evenings (the social aspect of camp is of course crucial). Armed with the camp kitty (very tightly monitored by Lt Col Broaderwick), I set off to the local town of Crieff with our four lady army officers, lieutenants Richardson, Rickard, Shepherd, and King. (They were always the envy of other CCF contingents on camp. “How on earth do you manage to recruit and keep so many young women officers?” Well, what can I say?) There were several charity shops in Crieff and we were almost evicted from most of them. While I was looking for shirts and chinos, my colleagues were seeking out the most outrageous, frumpy frocks all in synthetic materials and holding them up so that we could pass comment on them; I have never had so much fun in a charity shop. I offered to buy them a dress each (with my own money as the kitty wouldn’t stretch) if they would wear them in the mess. I know they were tempted, but just not quite enough, sadly. But we did find a shirt, a pair of chinos and a Tranmere Rovers supporters’ tie for Mark to wear so we could all relax in the evenings together. I’m not sure how relaxed he felt in his new outfit though and not just because he wasn’t a Tranmere Rovers supporter. In fact, coincidentally, I think Ben was on that shopping trip too as he had worn out his army boots and army camp is impossible without good boots, so we went shopping for those too. It meant he missed out on the assault course practice which I think we may have a photo of in the archive... And here it is: Hence Ben is looking nice and clean in a sweat shirt while the others have been diving into muddy puddles in their combats all afternoon, supervised by Lt Bosworth and WO1 Stollery. They weren’t at all resentful that Ben had had a cushy trip to Crieff instead! By the way, Ben isn’t lying down at the front; they were the instructors who were very happy to pose. Interestingly, in this photo to my knowledge there are cadets who have become an architect, an investment banker, a Google engineer, a dancer, two lawyers, a mechanical engineer, a PhD physicist, a medic, two teachers (if you include Capt Richardson who is trying to hide), a Governor of the Seckford Foundation, and impressively a holder of the Military Cross won in Afghanistan. What an amazing and humbling range of achievements. And there are several pupils in the photo I haven’t kept up with since then; what are they doing now? Moving forward ten or more years, Mark is married and having left Woodbridge for a school in Australia, moved from there to Shanghai and is currently teaching in Thailand. It was good to see all three OWs again and I actually remembered to take a photograph, which is almost a first. And as you may have guessed, the short trip for a drink at the Greyhound turned in to lunch and a long afternoon of reminiscence and catching up. Then dinner. No one ever said that being President of the OWs would be easy... As the archive also has a portrait of the then Lt Bosworth, I thought it worth adding here. Note Mrs Johnson (formerly known as Lt Shepherd, with Capt Richardson in the driving seat). And also that Mark has had a touch of the sun; yes, in Scotland! Happy days!