The camera proverbially never lies which is perhaps the main reason why I have never considered myself to be remotely photogenic. Those sagging jowls, that retreating hairline, those unsightly bags under the eyes-who would want to commit a picture of such middle-aged decrepitude to the camera? However, there was a time, long gone, when I didn’t wince at my image as captured in a photograph and so I was pleasantly surprised by the handsome youth I discovered myself to have been when leafing through old family snapshots last summer. I was preparing for my fiftieth birthday celebration which I eventually held in a London restaurant in November and it struck me that I might add to the general merriment by displaying photographs of myself undergoing various rites of passage and so use them as the basis for a wittily insulting caption competition. To my amazement, there appeared in the collection a photograph which I had no recollection of having been taken. There I was, in the company of seventeen strapping lads, all sporting the familiar black and white hoops of a Royal High School rugby team. I had thoughtfully dated the photograph March 1968 and so it seems that we were all in our third year, only a few months away from the move from Regent Road to the leafy avenues of Barnton. Although I was at this time a sprinter- hard to believe as I lug myself breathlessly around the badminton court- who turned out regularly for the RHS athletics team,
I had come to rugby somewhat belatedly and played entirely without distinction for a mere two seasons 1967/68 and 1968/69. I then discovered that there were better things to do with my Saturday mornings than rolling around some muddy field that is forever Edinburgh-if I may be permitted such heretical thoughts.
Once I had recovered from my astonishment, I gazed in fascination at all these youthful faces, full of the future, and wondered what had become of all that promise. Thirty-five years had lapsed since that photograph was taken and yet, to my considerable self-satisfaction, I could identify all but two of my colleagues. Where are you now, you sturdy lads, and how has life treated you? If any of you has retained his links with the Royal High and might well be logging on to this website then it would be fantastic to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org. Without romanticising the past or casting envious glances at all that untapped potential, our paths did cross on that afternoon in early spring 1968 in a distant corner of Jock’s Lodge and that must mean something. Certainly there is great seriousness of purpose in most of the expressions-perhaps we thought it undignified to say Cheese to the camera. The taller boys in the back row, who include me, stand to attention, arms folded in the approved manner.. Seated in front of us, the next tier clutch their knees in the no-nonsense attitude favoured by Roy of the Rovers and other sporting heroes of yore. At the foreground two boys sit cross-legged, squinting into the pallid sunshine of a late March afternoon.
Here you all are but where are you now?
Find out who was in the team and where they are now on the next page.