Skip to main content
29th October 2013

Exeter’s Pre-1960 Alumni Celebrate Inaugural Decade Day

On Saturday, 26th October 2013, a group of 90 Exeter alumni, representing Matriculands from 1936 – 1959, braved the gloomy weather and attended the College’s inaugural Decade Day reunion.

The day began in a marquee in the Fellows’ Garden. The Rector welcomed the crowd of eager alumni before handing over to David Vaisey (1956, History) who gave a delightfully witty account of College life in the 1950s.

The event continued with a variety of sessions, set either side of a sit-down lunch in hall. Guests brushed up their knowledge of nano science with Dr Philipp Kukura (Official Fellow in Physical Chemistry), learned of the medieval history of the College and the figures captured within the Hall portraits with Dr John Maddicott (Emeritus Fellow in History), heard of the plans to create a modern ‘third quad’ on Walton Street with the Rector, or simply relaxed with students in the JCR and MCR. Exeter’s student charity, ExVac, were even on hand to tempt guests with delicious home-baked treats at their bake sale. The Rector’s lodgings played host to a wonderful display of archive material. The buzz of excitement was almost tangible as faces were picked out in photographs and JCR suggestion books scoured for familiar handwriting.

Of particular note was a session titled “Desert Island Discs”. Poaching from the popular BBC Radio 4 segment, Alumni were asked to send in song titles that were reminiscent of their time in Oxford. The eager bunch who amassed in the Chapel exchanged jokes and memories of each song, and sang along with gusto at all the right times. The highlight of the ‘show’ was when two of our guests took to the floor and whirled about with Jennifer Nice (Information Officer) to the upbeat tempo of “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog”! A full playlist can be found by clicking here.

Later in the afternoon, everyone descended upon the Front Quad for a group photograph. Gilman and Soame rallied the Exeter troops and the rain dutifully held off!

Those brave enough to stay for the whole day returned to fill the Chapel for a glorious Evensong service sung by the current College choir.

The day’s crowning glory, a sumptious banquet, started with pre dinner drinks in the marquee. The beverage of choice was Ambriel, an English sparkling wine from Redfold Vineyard, the vineyard of alumnus Charles Outhwaite (1984, Modern History). Four courses were served up in Hall, each with its own wine pairing. Finally, the long day came to an end. A succesful start to a busy year of celebration.

A full album of photographs from the Decade Day can be accessed by clicking here. Additionally, you can view and order copies of the Gillman and Soame shot by visiting their website, and using the following login details:

Email address – Your Email Address
Proof Card Login – 288628
Proof Card Password – 721835.

[Update – 06/11/13]
A transcript of David Vaisey’s talk is now available online. Please click here to download it.

Share this article