UCL Earth Sciences


"Class of 1976" reunion in the Peak District

3 June 2024

The “Class of 76” are one of the most active groups of our alumni. Mark Fey has written this short account of their most recent “meet up” in Derbyshire.

Class of 1976 reunion

Image: The group on the Monsal Trail, with Roger Mason bringing up the rear.

We met up again this year for a reunion that lasted about 2 days. Of the original 19 graduates in our year, 4 are unfortunately no longer with us, 2 are overseas, and we have lost contact with 4. Another 2 were unable to come to this meet, which left 7 (15 in total including spouses, our Tutor from that time – Dr Roger Mason - and 2 UCL friends). We based ourselves in Buxton and after negotiating various routes from the south, we convened at a nearby watering hole, the Cheshire Cheese PH, for a late lunch and drinks. The Cheshire Cheese serves beer from the Titanic Brewery, based in Stoke. Why Stoke? The connection is that the Captain of the Titanic (Captain Edward Smith) hailed from Stoke. The evening found us at the Bar Brasserie for dinner in the centre of town. 

On Thursday we planned to walk part of the Monsal Trail, a repurposed railway line running from Bakewell to Buxton (nearly). We chose to walk about 6 miles (Hassop Station to Millers Dale cafe), unfortunately accompanied by light rain all the way. We did notice some geology along the way, Carboniferous Limestone; however, our eagle-eyed Tutor also spotted a small outcrop of Volcanic rocks (Millers Dale Lava?). The occasional tunnel sheltered us from the rain, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. Meticulously planned, we arrived at Millers Dale Cafe at about 1.30pm in time for a well-earned lunch. Close by are abandoned Limestone kilns, using limestone from local quarries and coal brought in by train to produce Quicklime. Productive in the 18th and 19th Century, they finally closed in the 1930’s. Having positioned cars at both ends of the walk, we set about reuniting people with cars and then drove back to our Hotel.

Alumni Reunion Class of 76

Image: Ruth Tremaine handing over a recently rediscovered Poster for the 1976 Greenough Club Annual Dinner – cost £3.50! 

Our evening meal was at the nearby Old Sun Inn, a 17th Century converted coaching inn (the second oldest building in Buxton), with stone floors and oak panelling. It was PIE NIGHT! Most of us decided this was too good an opportunity to miss, but when the Pies came, they were enormous and some were defeated. They were VERY tasty, really good value for money and all washed down with either local beer (Wainwright) or a wine of your choice.

Next day, after breakfast, we all went our separate ways by road and rail to our various homes. A few of us ventured to Bakewell and spent a pleasant morning wandering along the River Wye and around the town centre. A choice of Bakewell Tart or Bakewell pudding was available, depending on your preference. Next year’s meeting is now in its early planning stage!

We are always very pleased to hear from former students – so if your cohort arranges a “get together” do please send us a report!