Friends reunited was a good idea when it first appeared. An old school friend of mine emailed me, and said 'here, have a look at this." I did, and surprised at the 300 or so people in my year alone in secondary school, I paid my £5 for a year and signed up. I must have spent hours the first time I saw it, looking through all the ex-pupils and what they're up to now. People like...
T**** J**** - I had a crush on her in my first year. She was of South African descent, and had the most gorgeous dark hair. She was now managing a men only club in Soho.
S**** H**** - The boy before me in my class register. He'd been on TV when he was about 13 for having 22 middle names. He was always in trouble, and I remember him holding a teacher at knife point. Now in Prison.
B**** D**** - The year's weird kid. He'd always be found at lunchtimes sat with his only friend Mark and his sister, and was a scrawny waif of a boy, and when on his own would often sing to himself (!). Now a practising barrister.
M**** H**** - Always better then everybody else, and hung around in an elite group. Always trendy and listened to the best music, wore the best clothes, and patronized everybody. Gay.
T**** A**** - Hung around with M**** H****, always well dressed. Good at academic stuff, always had his head in a book. Now an accountant.
D**** N**** - Another teacher's pet. Always good at science, computers and maths. Only other to get grade B at Physics alongside me. Now working as a nerd at IBM. No longer has hair.
P**** R**** - Easy to get along with, always open to helping anybody he can. Had an incredibly hard older brother, so never picked on. Now a raging homosexual in Holland.
C**** B**** - One of my best friends in primary school, he was always fit. He'd go jogging with his Marathon running parents. Always tried his hardest at school, even when he didn't understand something, but this was because both his parents were teachers. Now (not surprisingly) a PE Teacher.
R**** C**** - In primary school this guy was always the knowledgeable one about maths and computers, which was remarkable considering how new the home computer was. The maths teacher would ask his 11 year old mind for help with a computer problem, and he'd always solve it. Now a plumber.
Back then, when I first used the site, I took advantage of the opportunity and organised a reunion. But instead of organising the usual secondary school reunion, I organised a primary school one. This meant that instead of seeing everyone as they basically looked when they'd almost finished puberty, you'd see people that were very different. I contacted everyone in my year, reminding them it was 20 years since we'd left. I also took advantage of the college's access to the electoral roll, and found everyone I suspected was the name on the list, then sent them a Christmas card with a picture of the class inside, asking if they recognised anyone in the picture. I got a large response back from people saying they were the ones I was looking for, and on the night 20 out of 60 turned up, not including the teacher who also made it.
Now, unfortunately, Friends Reunited has become a commercial venture, interested only in your hard earned wonga. £7.50 for 6 months means you can pick up your emails and contact other