Friday, June 29, 2018


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It was almost like I'd never been away. Arriving in Brugge/Bruges at the end of May for a 50th anniversary reunion with my fellow classmates from the Comenius Promotion in the College of Europe, it was like I'd never been away and the last 50 years had disappeared into the mists of time.

The familiar places, and familiar faces - usually recogised after a moment's hesitation, and then the easy slipping into conversations so rudely interrupted by end-of-term in the summer of 1968.

Not all of us made it back. Some had gone to their eternal reward. Others were too ill to travel. But it's fair to say that they were with us in spirit and we were conscious of their missing presence all the while we were there. In ways they had the advantage on us. Here we were in our anecdotage and physical decrepitude while youthful memories of them tripped on ahead of us as we trod the old paths.

Well, I exaggerate, a little. The young ladies from our Promotion who did make it back all looked resplendent with none of their youthful exuberance diminished by a single whit.

And so down to business.

This is all of us. The official family photo as they say at European Summits.

I spent the best part of 5 days in Brugge, talked and walked the feet off myself, and came home with around 500 photos. Clearly I'm not going to tell you everything or show you all of them, and there's too much there for a single blog post. So I have opened a new blog for the occasion and done a series of separate posts on different aspects of my visit and I'm setting out links below, grouped thematically.

Clicking on the link should open the post in a new tab, so when you're finished with it just close the tab and you should come back here. Or just click on this tab and new links will simply replace the old.

First the CHURCHES.

I visited four of these, each of which is magnificent in its own way.

St. James's

St. Salvator's

Our Lady's

Jerusalem Chapel


Apocalypse Now

Haute Lecture - Printing

The Chip Museum


Old Recorder's House

The Gruuthuse

Plague House

St. John's Hospital

Casselbergh Hotel

Unfortunate Eating



Hendrik Brugmans


Bits & Bobbins

End of Term

You can see material from my 2008 visit here.

And some reflections from my arrival in the College in 1967, and more, here.

And my chasing up Comenius online here.

Since originally writing this post I have been motivated to scan my 35mm negatives from 1967/8 and am slowly turning them into blog posts here.

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