Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b


Richard Greenway (E, 1964-1968) writes: Eight of the original team arrived for a 50th anniversary weekend at the Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil. It was almost a modern-day Prologue to the Canterbury Tales; a barrister, a solicitor, a doctor, a materials scientist, a chiropractor, a “builder of capacity” (see biographies opposite) and a couple of teachers. There was much to discuss! Not least, artificial hips (2), new knees (3), auditory enhancement devices (the majority) and the absence of hair. Michael Hodson produced a digital version of the photographs, shown in the evenings before supper. Throughout the weekend there were many very happy reminiscences about some great times at School with plenty of anecdotes about the characters of the SES common room. On Saturday we walked round Imlil, reminding us of the 1969 trail through walnut groves, to the track to Toubkal. In the evening Michael asked us to reflect on Teddies and the expedition. Keith Page (D, 1963 – 1968) writes: From the start Teddies supported the expedition making available an office in the CCF block, provisioning the Transits and accommodating the chaos around the squash courts as a quart of stores was fitted into a pint pot of space. Away from home and united by the unknown, 16 very different people travelled and worked together with no

major conflicts. Teddies has always offered educational trips, but this one meant enough that fifty years on we wanted to meet again. The advice we would pass on to the present generation is to grasp unusual opportunities and to learn from the unexpected. This is the real education. There had been a number of unexpected challenges on the trip: vehicle breakdowns, sickness, the odd rockfall and two members suffering serious burns Richard continues: On Sunday, five of the reunion group took the ’69 route to Toubkal. We were halted at the Park border by Moroccan police who required photocopies of passports and for us to employ a guide – “not like 1969” was the collective reply! The precaution was because of an ISIS-inspired incident in the area the previous autumn. A charming local guide obliged. Today there are hikers everywhere – in 1969 we saw no-one, save for muleteers and shepherds. We made our way to Sidi Chamharouch, a place of pilgrimage, halfway to Neltner. After an afternoon nap, we reconvened for our final dinner taken with much jollity and storytelling. On Monday morning most set off for home. Michael accompanied three mules on a six-day trek further into the Atlas and Jeremy Watson set off on a gruelling journey around, and then to the top of Toubkal to re-live the 1969 triumph.

Editor’s note: Immense credit must be given to all the leaders on this expedition, but especially to Mike Hodson and Geoff Hand who between them (and with only a typewriter, lots of stamps and a telephone) conceived, planned, executed and returned with everyone to tell the tale of this huge adventure. Expedition Report and photographs available (School Archive) and digitally on request. The whereabouts of Goddard, Goodall, Howell, Samuels and Williamson are sought.


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