Nearly 200 eager Old Marians came back to School for the Annual Dinner this year. They celebrated 50 years at the “New” School – the buildings at Mayfield were opened in May 1966 – and also the recent purchase of two properties neighbouring The Coach House at Farchynys. The Headmaster, Tim Swain, addressed the assembly, summarising the main events in School: rising student numbers to keep the finances solid in these days of dwindling government funding; the wonderful exam results; the superb support from Old Marians in realising the dream of buying the extra facilities at Farchynys. The guest speaker was Matt Aston, theatre director: in 2015 Matt directed the West End transfer of Bomber’s Moon’s featuring James Bolam and Steve John Shepherd. Matt will be directing “Sleeping Beauty” for the City Varieties Theatre in Leeds this Christmas then he will direct “Touched” featuring BAFTA award winning Vicky McClure at the Nottingham Playhouse early in 2017 . In the second half of 2017 Matt will be adapting and directing two award winning children’s books – “The Storm Whale” and “Grandad’s Island” (both written and illustrated by Benji Davies). The splendid meal (prawn and mango salad, roast lamb in a port and redcurrant sauce, profiteroles, cheese and biscuits) was interrupted by the usual traditional toasts and the taking of snuff. Many then continued the revelries into the small hours at the Sports & Social Club.