Newsletter

 

The first edition of the newsletter was distributed to members in 2003. After five years, Ken Jones resigned from his position of editor and Michael Williams took over. As more contributions have been submitted by Old Boys the newsletter has expanded and, based on feedback, it is well received by members.

Old Boys are welcome to submit contributions which can be any length from a short letter or paragraph to several pages about recollections of school life or news of post-school career or activities in retirement. Each newsletter contains reports of the activities of the previous year and also brief obituaries for the deceased. Please let us know of any Old Boys you know have passed away recently.

Old Boys who have lost touch with their contemporaries are encouraged to try and track them down. It could be easier than you think, thanks to the principle of the "six degrees of separation". The following article is reproduced from the Special Edition of the 2008 newsletter to encourage such endeavours.


 

The search for the 1952-54 Chemistry classmates of J Michael Williams

The sixth form chemistry class of 1952-1954 was taught at the Girls’ Grammar School by Mr Rees, and about two years ago I decided to try and trace the members of this class. I had lost touch with all of them. There were ten of us, three girls and seven boys. How difficult would it be to track them down?

Not being born and bred in Brecon and having spent only three years in Brecon School, I had the disadvantage of not having an extended network of contacts. However in the 1960s an American psychologist, Stanley Milgram, carried out an experiment that implied that everyone on the planet is linked to everyone else through just six connections (a concept known as the “six degrees of separation” or the “small world phenomenon”). In the event I succeeded with only three initial contacts and the longest path was just four steps. The natural place to try first was the Friends Reunited web site (www.friendsreunited.co.uk), and I had done that a few years ago when I found that I recognised only one name listed for the class of 1954; that was Margaret Evans (now James). She was able to locate relatives of three classmates and also was in contact with classmate Gaynor Davies. Thus, through Margaret I made contact with Tony Hepton in California and he knew Dai George in Australia. Margaret also lead me to Len Pritchard in New Zealand who knew that Tony (Charles) Went has died some years ago. I also found Roland Jenkins in Blackwood. My second contact, Jennifer Conway (née Brookes), was able to give me the address of Jean Thomas (now Willis) in Nottingham. That left Peter Twist, and my third contact was Ron Tucker; I asked him whether the A S Twist mentioned in the 1954 Silurian was Peter’s younger brother. In his reply he said he thought David Chatfield was a friend of Peter’s, and David was able to tell me that Peter had died many years ago.

One pleasant result of this search is that, of the eight surviving members of this class, six of us (including Tony Hepton from California) met on 29th March in Brecon and five of us attended the reunion. A seventh member, Len Pritchard, couldn’t join us but he visited in June when he was in the country for a holiday.

This achievement is of course feeble compared with what Brynach Parri, Philip Malham and friends achieved 3 years ago when they tracked down most of their year. So if you have ever wondered what happened to your classmates it shouldn’t be too difficult to track them down. If anyone would like to try but does not have internet access I would be willing to look up the Friends Reunited web site for names to follow up. All I would need to know is the year you left school. (See end of newsletter for contact details).


 

There are relatively few members from the 1960s, so if there are any Penlan Old Boys who would like to come to a reunion we would be delighted to see you. If poor health or distance of travel prevent this, you can still keep in touch via the newsletter by giving your name to secretary Tom Protheroe using the Contact Us page on this site.

Newsletter Archive

Newsletters can be downloaded from the archive by clicking on the year required. The pdf documents require Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded from here if required.

2017

2016

2015

2014 World War I special edition

2014

2013

2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2008 Special Edition
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003