Written by Graham Appleton (D. 1953- 57)
Friday, 19 June 2009

For over 30 years a few members of the 1956 & 1957 Brighton College XV’s have been meeting in London for a pre-Christmas “luncheon” to talk about old times. We started in 1968 with Graham Appleton (D) 1953- 57, Harry Bourne (D) 1954-58, Brian Piepenstock (D) 1953-58, Nigel Clarkson (A) & the late Mike Bowen (D) 1953-58. We have met at several London restaurants & clubs, Nigel being a Lloyds Shipping Broker knows the better locations in the City.

Over the last 10 years the numbers have grown; other regular attendees being Spud Murphy (H) 1954-57, David Laing (A) 1954-57, Tony Bennett (S) 1953-56, Mike Singleton (D) 1955-60, Keith Kan (B) 1953-58, Mike.Tremellen (C) 1952-57, Keith White (D) 1953-56, Tom Salmons (L) 1957-61, Andy Symonds (A) 1955-58, Tony Merrifield (L) 1953-57 and Dunc Morris (B) 1954-57 also joined us this year.

Our last get-together in December 2004 saw Mike Wright (S) 1953-57, our 1957 XV Rugby Captain fly in from Norway, having made a career in the Army. We hadn’t seen him for over 45 years and having been an outward-bound enthusiast from his army days he did not look much different. One amazing thing, he had saved the original posted team lists, complete with drawing pin holes! Mike dressed for the occasion, with his original 1st XV colours blazer, colours tie, colours scarf & colours cap!

We all discussed our lives; some more varied than others are. Of the 1956/57 1st XV attendees, Harry Bourne has travelled the world as a Chevron oil engineer; Brian Piepenstock controls one of the largest independent electrical manufactures, Nigel Clarkson has worked at Lloyds, Graham Appleton runs a farming enterprise in Sussex, Keith Kan has been an accountant, finally working for the Aston Martin Car Company. Tony Merrifield (L) 1953 –56, who was better known as The Tank in our XV, made a career in the Royal Engineers, serving all over the world. Not many Old Brightonians know that we have been meeting over the years, but any other members of the 1956/57 1st XV teams would be most welcome.

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