Ex-engineering apprentices say farewells at emotional final reunion - The Rugby Observer

Ex-engineering apprentices say farewells at emotional final reunion

Andy Morris 16th Apr, 2017   0

A CHAPTER of Rugby’s rich engineering heritage came to an emotional end as ex-apprentices of English Electric (EEC) held their final reunion.

Former apprentices of the company from 1946 to 1967 met at Dunchurch Park Hotel – their former hostel – for the last time.

Fifty-nine members attended, the oldest of whom was 86. One member even travelled all the way from Alberta, Canada.

Co-organiser Brian Godden said many members viewed the reunion as the highlight of their year.

He said: “I know several members made a supreme effort to come as it was the last meeting and travelling has become more difficult. One member who was an apprentice in 1951 and unable to travel kindly sent a large donation for us to toast Members Past and Present.

“One Member who lives in Dover has attended every reunion since it started 15 years ago.

“At the end of the event it was very sad with people saying farewell to each other, possibly for the final time.”

He said the reunions had been special, allowing former colleagues to keep in touch and swap memories, addresses and emails.

He added: “Dunchurch Lodge (now Dunchurch Park Hotel) started as an apprentice hostel in 1950 when the EEC bought the property – the first nine apprentices moved in then.

“I came from from Hythe, Kent in 1956 and was not really sure where Rugby was! At that time there were apprentices that came from all over the country.

“Looking back, our apprenticeship was really good. We were well looked after and given positive grounding, bearing in mind we were young, full of adrenaline and living away from home for the first time. We were given travel warrants to enable us to travel home three times a year.

“The majority of people have since attained really successful careers.”

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