Digging into the past

10 November 2015

I spend my entire life digging into the past, but I don’t very often dig into my own. For some reason, something inspired me to look back at names of yesteryear on Facebook tonight. Yes, it’s true. I am a nosy person. That’s just one of the reasons why I love my job!

After a tiny bit of surface digging, I saw that one of my old friends was connected to Barney Storey. For those of you who do not follow the British Paralympic Cycling squad, or keep an eye on the New Year Honours lists, you may not know who Barney is. He is a sighted pilot for blind or partially sighted athletes in tandem track cycling events. He has competed at three Paralympic Games winning three gold medals (Athens, Beijing and London) and in 2009, was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Most of this, I knew. But what I did not know was that Barney went to my school. He is less than a year older than me and so, would have been in the academic year above me!

Barney was actually Richard Storey – Richard Barnaby Storey – and I have to confess that I have no recollection of him at all. However, I cannot remember many people in other years unless they were involved in music or drama, so that is no great surprise. Various internet sources talk about his brother without naming names and so, the genealogist in me had to find out more – Andrew Paul Storey born 1973 – four years older than Richard “Barney” Storey. What an amazing success story (‘scuse the pun) Barney has!

It makes me wonder how many other people from my secondary school went on to have careers which have placed them ‘in the public eye’. Have I noticed when they feature?! I can do the usual statistics – who has died in tragic circumstances, who has been sent to prison, who had far too many children etc. etc. – but what has everyone else done? I missed the school reunion as I was lecturing in October last year. Sad in some ways but not in others. Time has passed and I am not sure I would want to see half of them any more now than I did when I was seventeen/eighteen!

However, the nosy person in me would love to know what they are doing now! If you could attend a school reunion, who would you like to meet? What would you tell them? What would you want to find out!?

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