Class Notes

50 years on: Guy’s Class of ’72 reunite in Oxford

Dr Timothy Kidger (Guy’s, MBBS, 1972)

Dr Timothy Kidger recounts the bittersweet reunion of the Guy’s Hospital Medical School class of 1972, which took place in September 2022 at University College, Oxford, organised by former and fellow classmates, Stephen Golding and Jan Klosok (both Guy’s, MBBS, 1972).

‘We descended on Oxford from all over the globe. There were 26 of us in all – not bad for an original cohort of just over 100 after 50 years. Partners made us up to 39. Stephen Golding, Emeritus Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Jan Klosok had done a wonderful job of organising the day and finding us all. Stephen even managed to find his way through the vagaries of Lloyds Bank to release the funds in time.

‘Silver hair had turned to white. Heberden’s nodes were on display and most of us were slowly succumbing to the effects of gravity, but the spirit of fellowship was rekindled very quickly and despite the glorious surroundings of University College we were soon back in the spirit of the late 1960s.

‘There was more than a twinge of sadness at the news that Neil Barber and Tony Ford-Jones (both MBBS, 1972) had passed away in the six months leading up to the reunion; both had intended to come.

‘Stephen was masterful in his tour of the college. He spoke fluently for an hour without notes and guided us through the wonderful buildings of University College, sharing with us the difficulties of working in a monument. Of particular interest was the astonishing monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley. This seemed a little feminine and was caged and in a semi-subterranean tiled room reminiscent of a Turkish bath. Very atmospheric.

‘Luckily, the warm dry evening allowed us to have our champagne reception in the Fellows’ Garden where a healthy degree of mingling enabled us to catch up with our friends. At dinner in the Alington Room, we were relieved to find that we were seated in chairs rather than the benches that we had seen in the hall. The food and wine were very good and conversation flowed freely. Stephen wisely suggested that the men move at half-time, although the complexities of a slightly tiddly musical chairs nearly defeated some.

‘Jan Klosok gave a touching account of his student years which prompted a spontaneous and heartfelt round of applause.

‘The stalwarts retired to the student bar where, I believe, some drank beer well into the night.

‘Over breakfast, the wariness of organising another reunion was swept aside and the plan formed to meet again in three years’ time in the Cotswolds when, hopefully, we might see those who were unable to join us in Oxford.

‘As we went our own ways, the crowds gathered to hear the proclamation that we have a new king.’