Issuu on Google+

OA BULLETIN

Riding high: OA Rugby 1st XV have had another good start to the season

Old Albanian Club

DIARY DATES

December 2011

Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 7th December School Carol Service – Wednesday 14th December


O A C O N TA C T

OA Bulletin december 2011

OA CLUB www.oldalbanianclub.com President Stephen Burgess 01727 867868 hawkeyeb59@btopenworld.com Secretary David Buxton 01727 840499 d.buxton@virgin.net Treasurer Brian Sullman 01582 460317 Membership Secretary Roger Cook 01727 836877 Rogercook@btinternet.co.uk OA SPORTS www.oarugby.com RUGBY President Robin Farrar 07985 347077 Email: robin.farrar@oarugby.com Chairman Rory Davis 01727 843538 rory.davis@oarugby.com Treasurer John King 07712 837473 john.king@oarugby.com Secretary Peter Lipscomb peter.lipscombe@OARugby.com Mini Chairman Brian Clark 07764 682650 brianclark.home@yahoo.com Junior Chairman Chris Branagan 07810 180013 bran_cb@yahoo.co.uk OA Saints Chairwoman Tasha Saint-Smith 07971 849290 Tasha.saintsmith@club-concierge.com FOOTBALL www.oasoccer.co.uk Club President Simon Bates & Manager 07720 383600

Nick Chappin – Editor Andy Chappin – Design & Production Roger Cook – Membership Mike Highstead – Gazette 2

01442 240247 David Hughes 07890 831315 01727 769237 dh@sherrards.com Sponsorship Secretary David Burrows 07841 431614 CRICKET www.oacc.org.uk President Aln Philpott Chairman Andrew McCree 07890 831315 / 01727 769237 andrew@oacc.org.uk Treasurer Denis King denis.king@btinternet.co.uk Fixture Secretary Julian baines Jules_baines@msn.com TENNIS Membership Enquiries Sue Barnes 07970 301345 susyb52@hotmail.co.uk OTHERS Rifle & Pistol Andrew Wilkie 01727 856857 Angling Geoff Cannon 01582 792512 Golf Peter Dredge 015827 834572 pjdredge42@aol.com Treasurer & Club Secretary

OA LODGE Assistant Secretary

John Williams 01438 715679 johntwilliams@talktalk.net

SCHOOL WEB site www.st-albans.herts.sch.uk

Printing - Herts & Beds Printing 01923 234959


OA COMMENT

OA Bulletin december 2011

Editorial

Dear diary…

in what was then a rather musty and run-down master’s house in According to Oscar Wilde, “Memory Fishpool Street, and is now a swish is the diary that we all carry about suite of offices and meeting rooms. with us.” Earlier in the summer I The recent purchase of the former was flattered to be invited by School KPMG offices – in my day, Miskin’s Development Manager Kate Le builder’s yard – will, with the new Sueur to share the contents of mine, sports hall, virtually double the one of a series of interviews to form school’s footprint and offer massive the background for a forthcoming development opportunities. history of the School. Although the Gone are the freezing swimming passage of time has pool and eccentric faded many of the humps and bumps of entries, I was happy The School in the Belmont. So too the to open the pages scalding showers at 1970s offered far and look back at my King Harry, long since particular era, the early consigned to the health and away the best and safety nightmares 1970s. I joined the School in of history. In their education around, place is the superb 1968, early in the reign of Frank Kilvington. Woollams Playing and places were Under the previous Fields, surely among regime the colourful the most impressive as sought after and vibrant swinging school and former sixties had apparently pupils facilities in the then as they passed the School country. by, and there was a Of course, I cannot are now seamless transition comment on current from the grey postdisciplinary practices, war austerity of 1950s but I suspect that Britain into the equally drab and the use of the cane, gym rope or colourless 1970s. Looking back, the slipper, along with a varied arsenal School was a perfect microcosm of projectiles – including, bizarrely, of the country at the time: a on one memorable occasion a decaying infrastructure, an uneasy master’s false hand – are no longer relationship between traditional encouraged. and modern attitudes, and an Yet despite all the apparent atmosphere of political uncertainty negatives – at least to the modern and economic hardship. observer – the School in the 1970s The transformation in the offered far and away the best intervening years is truly education around, and places were remarkable. My interview took place as sought after then as they are

3


OA COMMENT

OA Bulletin december 2011

now. Without wishing to veer into political dogma, the big difference in those days was that this top quality education was available to boys from all walks of life, as long as they met the necessary academic standards. As I left, in 1975, the School was forced to return to independent status, and the criterion of one’s ability to pay inevitably loomed large in the selection equation. The School was also a happy place. What are now perceived as weaknesses were back then regarded as the norm, and we knew no different. The high standards of academic and sporting excellence, discipline and behaviour that bound us together then have been maintained and exceeded by every successive generation. In his Headmaster’s Notes, Andrew Grant reports on another

Notes for budding authors l Subject matter Absolutely anything you think would be of interest to fellow OAs, from anecdotes and recollections of your schooldays to the events and experiences over the intervening years. Your contribution can be in any form, from a letter or article to a snippet of news or a simple photo caption, and can be submitted electronically via e-mail or in hard copy format by post to the address below.

record-breaking summer for the School, and throughout this Bulletin you’ll find examples of OA achievement and tales of rich and varied lives. We say farewell to a number of our former pupils including Colin Owers, who left in 1930 and at the age of 96 was surely one of our most venerable old boys. There are a number of fascinating obituaries on the OA Gazette section. Elsewhere you’ll find the usual reports from the President, OA Lodge and various OA sports clubs, and a good crop of readers’ letters. My thanks, as always, to everyone who contributed to this issue, and I look forward to receiving plenty of material for the next edition which should be published in May. Nick Chappin (75) Editor

l Length There is no limit to length, but as a guide a page in the ‘Bulletin’ is around 450 words. Please note that we reserve the right to edit the text as appropriate. l Photos Photographs on any subject are always welcome. They can be submitted either electronically (preferably in JPG format) or in hard copy format to the address below. Once scanned, the originals will be returned to the sender. Both colour and black and white photos are acceptable, as the ‘Bulletin’ is printed in mono but appears online in full colour.

Please send your contributions to: Nick Chappin, Editor Post: 18 The Pleasance, Harpenden, Herts AL5 3NA Email: nick@chappin.co.uk

4


OA Bulletin december 2011

President’s Notes

Reflections n OA Club President Stephen Burgess offers some reflections on his five years in post, as the search for his successor continues

I have been writing there notes for several years and I thought I would indulge myself with a few reflections. Earlier this autumn I spent a few days in Istanbul, a very large city if over 14 million people. Outside of the central area on either side of the Golden Horn it is impressively modern and expanding more rapidly than is comfortable. My wife Jane and I, together with some close friends, stayed in the old part of Istanbul close to the greatest historic sites. We could see the Blue Mosque from our hotel and visited the mosque and its near neighbour Hagia Sophia, the great Byzantine church built in the 6th century. These two buildings are among the greatest religious buildings in the world in terms of size and grandeur. The Blue Mosque is quite beautiful,

decorated with literally millions of tiles from the famous Iznik tile factory. It is truly impressive, but if anything the Hagia Sophia is more so. The dome soars over 180ft high. It is a truly massive building, probably the largest enclosed building in the world when it was built. It has served as a mosque as well as the chief church of the Byzantine Empire. The original Christian decoration has been largely restored on the orders of Kemil Ataturk. It

Hagia Sophia: 6th century Byzantine church in Istanbul

5


OA Bulletin december 2011

is truly awe-inspiring. At the height of the bikes and recalling the characters among tourist season these two buildings attract the staff and our contemporaries. It seemed as many as 300,000 visitors a day. They like only yesterday – I wish it was. were certainly very busy on our visit. The September informal supper was As I returned to my hotel I reflected a great success with a tremendous that I was very lucky to live in a town St attendance at the school. There was a wide Albans, which also has a great religious range of attendees spanning over 65 years building, the Abbey, which plays an of leaving dates. There were no speeches important role in the community, town just a brief welcome from the Headmaster and our old school. It, too, is impressive and time to enjoy good company, good beer in size. It is plainer, a sad result from the and a simple but satisfying supper. Reformation, but has some beautifully decorated ceilings. The basic School Developments structure us nearly 950 years Many members who attended old and the bricks which The Abbey is the the September supper were form its core are Roman and able to see the new sports equal of the two probably older than those hall and swimming pool used in the Hagia Sophia. development. The building great buildings in Over the last several years work is making very good as President I have been progress and will be finished Istanbul. It makes on time. The whole project lucky to enjoy a front row position at various School will come in at less than half me feel good, it is the cost of the new council and OA services in our Abbey and I believe, in its own way, pool in St Albans, which is homely, and it is it is the equal of the two quite a thought. great buildings in Istanbul. The new development never crowded It makes me feel good, it will dovetail in nicely with is homely, and it is never the School’s purchase of the crowded out with tourists. former KPMG offices, a short In my last notes I referred to an old way down Fishpool Street. This is intended school friend who had an all-chrome racing to enhance the attraction of the sixth form cycle. At our informal supper in September education at St Albans School. It will give I was delighted to sit next to the former everyone more room. The site joins the owner of the bicycle, who I had not seen bottom of the School Orchard so there will for the best part of 50 years. He had left be access from the existing school property. school after ‘O’ levels (GCSEs) and became All of this is intended to ensure that an apprentice engineer. He had enjoyed a the School can face the future with successful career with a number of large very competitive facilities. At a time process engineering companies and is now of considerable financial pressure St retired and living back in Harpenden. It Albans School is thriving whereas many was really good to see you, Ron Jesson. We independent schools are feeling the had fun discussing our school days, talking pressure. There will be a money raising

6


OA Bulletin december 2011

campaign in the future, and as I have mentioned before, I hope many of you will remember your old school with pride and with practical help.

The difficult financial conditions has put pressure on the Woollams operations and some changes are being made which is hoped will bring about improvement and get the Club back to a cash flow positive position. I hope to inform you further on these moves in the future.

Woollams and Sport The summer saw the Cricket Club struggle in Hertfordshire’s competitive leagues but with the hard work of the committee The Dinner and with the aid of some new players the As I have mentioned before, we are second half of the season saw much better reviewing the Dinner arrangements. We displays with the result that all sides opted for an informal supper this year, were able to survive in their which was very successful. existing leagues. The social The feeling is that we ought side is also improving so I The standard to have a more formal event think that fortunes have been from time to time so look on of play at the changed. our website and await further Rugby has started well with announcements on this score. OA 1st team the 1st XV continuing with their brand of expansive open A Final Reflection level compares rugby. They could perhaps I have been President for do with a couple of powerful five years I have approached favourably with forwards but at their best the a number of members to game is played with great take over from me and for the Premiership Êlan. One former professional perfectly good reasons they player who played at the start have declined. I am not of 20 years ago of the Premiership reckons alone in struggling to find the standard of play at the a successor in the club and OA 1st team level compares indeed I know several people favourably with the Premiership of 20 in other clubs and charities who would like years ago. I invite all rugby fans to come to step down or step back but cannot do so along and enjoy Saturday at Woollams. for lack of volunteers. The positions many Having been promoted up a league, the represent a labour of love but they are second team are finding it harder this year worth doing so I again ask for volunteers but are getting things together. Meanwhile, to help the club. the strength in depth is impressive and as May I conclude by asking you to help ever Junior rugby continues to thrive with those less fortunate than us in these no more capacity available for extra teams. straitened times, and I wish you and your I’m assured the other OA sports clubs, families a Happy Christmas and a good tennis, netball, golf, fishing and shooting, New Year. are in good form and the shooting club has Stephen Burgess recently recruited some new members. President, Old Albanian Club

7


OA Bulletin december 2011

Headmaster’s Notes

Doubles all round

and will be updated as re-marks come in. The A level results were particularly n The biggest ever school roll, the best ever timely, with so much competition and so A level and GCSE results, and the prospect much at stake, not least financially, this of the school soon doubling its existing floor year for applicants to university, and it space – Headmaster Andrew Grant reports was particularly pleasing that well over an another record-breaking period for the 90% of the Upper Sixth secured their school offer. The overwhelming majority of these were their first choice, and of the few who It has been a summer of entered Clearing, everyone who wanted records: to go to university this year found a very This time last year, I was suitable course – in one or two cases even noting a record improving on the offer they total school had held! population of just over 780, The A level results Success was not confined and a record 280-strong sixth to the academic sphere and were particularly form. Those records did not the sporting highlights of the last long. This term began summer term made pleasing timely, with so with 814 on roll and 294 in the reading. Sixth Form, 71 of them girls. The cricket season ended much competition with a 64% win ratio overall, Records were set, too, at A level, where the percentage the First XI ending up on and so much at of A*/A grades rose over 10 56% and winning our own points on last year to 73% Twenty20 tournament. The stake, not least and the proportion at the U15s won the District and traditional measure of A* - B County Cups, with Robbie financially hit a new high of 94%. 63 Goldstone making a fine 102 students achieved at least one not out in the County Final A* grade and 75 achieved 3 or against St George’s. The U13 more A grades. Needless to say, these, too, and U14 sides also won their District Cups were all records. and the U12s were losing District finalists Not to be outdone, the Fifth Form added against County Champions Sir John Lawes. three percentage points to the A* ratio at Patrick Scott set a new School record with GCSE with 55% and matched the previous 167 for the U14A side against Aylesbury best at A*/A (at this pre-remark stage) with Grammar. 87%. 22 boys hit double figures for A* and In Athletics, the U16s arrived at the the average grade was halfway between an final County League meeting with high A* and an A. hopes of medals and Drew Daniels-Smith, You may have caught most of this in the George Rose, and the relay team did not various league tables in the national press, disappoint, all taking wins. which made for encouraging reading, but if Adam Thorpe, Jordan Bayer Goldman you didn’t, full details are on the web site and George Rose travelled to Winchester

8


OA Bulletin december 2011

to compete for Hertfordshire in the English Schools Combined events Championships, finishing 18th, 8th, and 14th in their respective age groups and helping Hertfordshire to third place overall, whilst four others made the journey to Gateshead International Stadium to represent the County in the eighty-first English Schools individual Track and Field Championships. Robin O’Connor, Oyinade Omidiora, Victoria Walker and Drew Daniels-Smith all made the finals in their respective events, with Robin 4th in the 1500m, Oyinade 6th in the 400m, Vicky 6th in the steeplechase and Drew 6th with the relay team. The senior tennis team dominated the County Schools Championship, where an all-St Albans final saw Phillip Ruis and Alex Terry edge home 7- 5 in the tiebreak against Gordon Tveito-Duncan and Joe

Richards. The U14s also won their age group in an all-St Albans final. Then, on the very last day of term in a nail-biting tie break against Richard Hale School, the Second Form Tennis Team of Charlie Broom, Tom Boon, George Davies and Alex Wick won the Aegon Final, to qualify for the County knock-out stages of the national competition. They will face New Hall on Wednesday 28th September. There was, as ever, plenty going on over the holiday. The CCF deployed to Longmoor Camp for a week of Military and Adventure training including canoeing, orienteering and Command Tasks, culminating in a Military Skills Competition, testing a team of eight cadets over the course of the day. It was a proud day for the contingent when it was announced at the final parade that St Albans’ Senior Team had

9


OA Bulletin december 2011

not only won the week-long competition warm receptions everywhere they went convincingly, but were awarded the and fringe activity included an excursion Longmoor Stick for the best contingent in to The Temple of the Tooth and an the entire 3 weeks of camp, attended by 36 opportunity (elsewhere) to bathe with Schools. elephants. Not yet sated with gung-ho activity, 32 Cricket has now given way to the rugby cadets and 6 officers then set off on the season, for which fitness training started contingent’s fifth visit to Norway for a two- in early August. This led up to the preweek adventure training exercise, and the season St Albans School/Saracens U18 challenge of survival training among the Tournament the weekend before term fjords. began, which attracted a Duke of Edinburgh maximum complement of participants at both silver 32 cadets and six 24 of the best school and and gold levels were busy. academy sides from all over officers set off on the south of England and The assessed silver expedition began in foul weather in the in which the First XV did the contingent’s Brecon Beacons but ended respectably to finish in midwith three days of neartable. fifth visit to perfect conditions for walking The Cross Country squad and camping. All groups were began their campaign with Norway for a two- the annual training camp at successful. Meanwhile, a gold level Pen Arthur, enjoying fine week adventure group of 5 was successful in weather in preparation for completing their qualifying a season which will include training exercise expedition in the Pyrenees, a visit to Malta for the which included a high intermediate squad, who, as level walk overlooking the National Champions, will be spectacular ‘Cirque de Gavarnie’ on the representing England in the World Cross French-Spanish border, the usual, fickle, Country Championships next March. mountain weather and a frosty night Over the course of the holiday we were camping at over 2000 metres, giving delighted to learn that for a second year in panoramic views of the whole mountain a row, St Albans students have had great range from the highest point on the route. success in the SciCast national Physics The 16-day cricket tour to Sri Lanka film competition with Chris Munro’s saw three squads of players from all years “Hitchhiker’s Guide” spoof about lasers from Third to Upper Sixth, accompanied by winning the category for best Physics three professional umpires and seven staff, content, and also overall best film in the set off for a 7-match programme. secondary age group. It can be viewed at: Each squad lost one fixture to monsoons, http://scicast.org.uk/films/2011/06/the-laser-1. but the 1st XI had a particularly successful html tour, winning all but one of their matches. Finally, on the Sunday before term The touring party received wonderfully began, seven of our Upper Sixth debaters

10


OA Bulletin december 2011

attended a pre-season training event directly adjacent to the Lower Orchard at Haileybury involved a workshop on where those Sports facilities are being British parliamentary-style debating with built. It has the potential to transform the an English Speaking Union mentor in the quality of life in the School: it will give morning, followed by two excellent debates us an additional 15,600 square feet of floor in the afternoon. space, replace at a stroke the grass play On the musical front, St Albans is in the area lost to the construction of the Sports process of becoming an all-Steinway school Hall and solve our perennial parking and on the third day of term, we took problem as well as enabling some of our delivery of a further 8 fine pianos, each of long-term development plans and some which was given an inaugural plans from the past that have recital on arrival by a team of had to be shelved for want of Sixth Form pianists. We completed space. Meanwhile, work continues Indeed, I am hopeful that, the purchase of apace on the Sports Hall and by September 2012, combining Swimming Pool, which is the advent of the Sports Hall Aquis Court, the now beginning to assume its and of Aquis Court, in a final dimensions and very single year, the School will office buildings impressive it looks. have doubled its existing floor However, the hottest news area. currently of the moment is that in So we have exciting times August we completed the ahead, which I look forward occupied by KPMG to sharing with OAs over the purchase of Aquis Court, the two very large office buildings coming year. in Fishpool Street currently occupied by KPMG Andrew Grant on the site in Fishpool Street Headmaster

11


O A U P D AT E

OA Bulletin december 2011

12

OA Lodge

Past master

irrepressible Ken Durham. In 10 happy years teaching at the School, n OA Lodge Assistant Secretary John among his fondest memories is Williams welcomes new Master of that of being a member of the semithe Lodge Ian Parker, and interviews legendary quiz team, ‘Desperately past Senior Master Peter WadeSeeking Answers’, with august Wright, who retired from the School colleagues including Alan Smith last year and the late and sadly missed Mike Hudis, regularly competing, “down The Lodge year commenced as usual the Lower Red Lion” in Fishpool at the Installation meeting in May Street on a Wednesday evening. when the new Master of the Lodge, Whilst at the School Ian also Ian Parker was installed in the became one of a rather select band, Chair in an exemplary manner by achieving an MA in Economics the outgoing Master, David Worden. Education at the Institute of Ian was educated at the independent Education in London. King Henry VIII School Away from the in Coventry, probably classroom Ian was best known to Old able to indulge in his Albanians as the home great passion – cricket. of what are effectively From lowly manager the national schools of the 3rd XI to many cross country relay scintillating seasons championships. St with the two’s before Albans has won the rising to umpire the event 9 times with first XI. When not Millfield, Bradford and standing, Ian can be Winchester the next found watching his best with three wins beloved Warwickshire. each! St Albans easily Ian waiting to ‘do battle’ Ian has been Head tops the ‘all comers’ at the Sir Vivian Richards of Economics and performance league Stadium in Antigua Business Studies at table of some 200 Brampton College – one schools. of London’s leading independent After reading Economics in Sixth form Colleges – for the past 11 Manchester and a PGCE in more years, but still maintains umpiring familiar territory at Warwick duties with the School including University, Ian started his teaching tours to the West Indies and Sri career at Margaret Thatcher’s Lanka, the first ever cricket match alma mater in Grantham, before staged at Woollams and occasionally joining the staff of St Albans School for the OAs, including the last ever following the departure of the Hertfordshire League match held at


OA Bulletin december 2011

Beech Bottom. The Lodge did not meet again until September, except for the summer barbeque and garden party in late June shared with the Old Verulamians Lodge, open to Masons and non-Masons alike, hosted by our Provincial Grand Charity steward, Dick Knifton and his wife Gill. I

hope I’m not tempting fate when I report that Dick always seems to choose a day with wonderful weather and this year was no exception! At the party I took the opportunity to interview a very relaxed looking Peter Wade-Wright, past Senior Master, who retired from

Mark Pedroz and David Pitcher at this year’s sunny garden party

13


O A U P D AT E

OA Bulletin december 2011

the School in September 2010: Peter, you retired a year ago, how long had you been teaching at the School? 19 years. But you weren’t Senior Master all that time? No. I joined the School as Head of Physics and Head of Science, and it was only much later… in fact seven years ago, I think… that it was recognised that I had more dust and cobwebs on me than any other member of staff, so in sympathy I was promoted. Did you enjoy the job? Very much. I came to describe it as the best job in education. Why was that? Firstly… and nothing specifically to do with the job… it was the place. How many people can have spent so many years working in such a beautiful environment? Secondly, the pupils. Oh, there were some who will never, ever, be on my Christmas card list… nor I on theirs… but the vast majority were great, likeable, interesting, intelligent, talented, and some even worked hard! Thirdly… and this was to do specifically with the job, the staff were, and are, amazing. Again, imagine… and I’m not saying you wouldn’t find such a group elsewhere in a working environment… but they were so interesting, knowledgeable, incredible communicators, and just

14

A relaxed Peter Wade-Wright at the garden party so much fun to be with. The School is very academic…you enjoyed that? Oh yes. I loved my subject. I also enjoyed teaching… I knew it was the job for me the moment I went into a classroom all those… it must have been about 30 years ago when I was a pup. And, by the way, as Senior Master I didn’t just sit around chatting to my colleagues, I carried on teaching a half-timetable. That was important to me. I came into the profession as a teacher. I didn’t want to lose that. The School has been very successful. It has been said that its success is


OA Bulletin december 2011

due to it being highly selective. Is that all there is to it? Not at all. Yes, the School selects pupils, and it would be wrong to put a child into a group or system in which they would flounder or feel that they couldn’t keep up with their classmates, but the School is much more than that. It is not an academic hothouse. It nurtures interests and skills, both academic and non-academic. It asks a lot of the pupils but supports them and gives them strategies for improvement. It demands standards of work and behaviour. It gives them challenging aims, but aims that are not beyond their capabilities. And it has one of the best pastoral systems I’ve ever seen… and remember I’ve also seen the School from a parent’s point of view… both my sons have been through the School. I’ve seen what it offers, and delivers. I understand you’ve worked in several other schools? Five… that includes the school in which I did teaching practice. I didn’t get paid for that one… I’ve also seen many other schools. I was an HMC inspector for a while. By the way, can I also stress… this is in answer to the last question… that the School… even knowing that it was doing well… was never complacent. It always looked at ways of improving, without spoiling what it already had. A fair point. Now you said you were an HMC inspector for a while? Why

did you give that up? I gave up when I became Senior Master. There was just such a lot to do here. I felt I couldn’t afford the time away from the School. Can I move on to Freemasonry? Were you a Freemason before you joined the School? No. I knew nothing… nothing certain you understand… about Freemasonry until a few years after joining St Albans. And then you were invited to join? It was odd really. No one wanted to say too much about it. And there was a lot of social dancing around the subject. I think Freemasonry had had a bad press and people were quite wary. Now I know more about it I think the whole secrecy part of it became confused and incredibly suspect to non-masons…let’s face it, ‘notknowing’ allows the imagination to run riot…even worse if you have an ounce of conspiracy-theory in your mental tool-kit, which I suspect we all do to some extent. Anyway, it all came together, I was initiated and… you’ll just have to trust me on this… but I have never known anyone gain a job, or financial advantage, or anything like that through their association with Freemasonry. So what would you say was your continuing interest in Freemasonry? Again… several things. The first is really difficult to explain… you have to experience it to appreciate it, but it really is a support… a spiritual

15


OA Bulletin december 2011

and personal support system. It is also one more social-networking group. Again I stress that it doesn’t mean that another Mason is automatically favoured for a job, or anything, over a non-mason, it just means you have access to more information. How often have you recommended a… decorator, say, to a neighbour? It’s not a great example, but it makes the point. And another thing… and I didn’t mention this earlier when talking about the School… but there can hardly be a school in the country that has such a wide and varied community associated with it, and I include the parent-body among that group. However, the Old Albanians is an astounding organisation with so many interest groups, a lot of them sporting, but not exclusively so, and has become a vast network containing a mass of talent and experience that is freely available to others. I see the OA Lodge as one more facet of that overall St Albans School structure, support and ‘experience’. Are you spending more time in Freemason-type activities now you are retired? Not really. I could do. It’s there if you want it. I’m just very busy doing…oh…all sorts of things. I’ve heard people say that once they retired they don’t know how they found time for work. I think I’m just doing things a bit slower than I used to. I am busy though…although nothing

16

to do with education. Croquet for instance. Do you play? I’ve dabbled. It’s an excellent game. Very bloody. I play about three times a week. Love it. I’ve also taken up Tai Chi… it calms me down after a couple of hours on the croquet field-of-battle. Perhaps the OAs would like to start a croquet group? So you have no regrets about having retired? It would not be correct to say that I don’t miss the School… but I don’t want to be back at the chalk-face… I suppose it should be the whiteboard face, or even the interactive white-board face now? But what I see happening with the building work, the increase in pupil numbers and the way the school is rising to ever changing challenges…well, it might have been fun to be as much a part of that as I once was. But the School is in safe hands, it promises to have a great future, and I watch its progress with immense interest and satisfaction. At the meeting in September, Monte Copas explained that his good friend David Goodall, who had been his guest at OA Lodge meetings for some 20 years and was well known to us all, sadly would not be able to come again as he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The Lodge immediately resolved to donate the collection taken at the meeting, totalling some


OA Bulletin december 2011

£250, to Parkinson’s UK (the new name of the Parkinson’s Disease Society). Many Freemasons have experience of what it is like to live with Parkinson’s, either through a friend or family connection. Indeed, the Master of the Lodge in 1994, Des Harper died of the disease a just few years ago, and in April this year the Freemason’s Grand Charity made a grant of £250,000 to Parkinson’s UK, to be distributed to their branches. The Lodge meets only five times a year on the second Saturdays in January, March, May and September and the first Saturday in November. All those connected with the School, including fathers of past or present

pupils are welcome to apply for membership, for which purpose the first approach should be to any Lodge member, the Assistant Secretary as below; or Nigel WoodSmith or Mark Pedroz at the School. Members of other Lodges, be they OAs, parents of past or present pupils, staff or Governors are encouraged to visit the Lodge whenever they wish, and the Assistant Secretary will be delighted to hear from them. The Lodge website address is: http://www.oalodge.co.uk/ John Williams Lodge Assistant Secretary

Membership Secretary’s Notes

Surviving the crash n Membership Secretary Roger Cook survives a major computer crash to bring some important news for those who read the OA Bulletin online

You may have noticed that, although access to the online Bulletin is unchanged, it is hosted on a different web site. This is because we were advised that the Bulletin was too large for the oaconnect site. Unfortunately, it is not possible to download and print off pages from this web site. For those who read the Bulletin online, I remind you that we

do offer a hard copy postal delivery at a subscription price of £18 for three years’ issues (cheques payable to OA Club to me, please!). Many will remember the distinctive voice of David ‘Dickie’ Dickinson who died recently. Dickie was captain of the OA ‘A’ XV for many years. My computer had a major crash but I hope the back-up has not lost anything! If I have not replied to anyone perhaps you will give me a reminder! Roger Cook Membership Secretary

17


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

De Fortunis Albanorum l Don Higson (51) gained a BSc and PhD in chemical engineering at Imperial College, London and worked in the development of nuclear submarine propulsion for Rolls-Royce & Associates. In 1964 he joined the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (now the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) specialising in nuclear reactor safety assessment. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Australia and Secretary of its Nuclear Energy Panel, Fellow and Life Member and former Secretary of the Australian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS) and member of the International Nuclear Energy Academy. He edits the ARPS newsletter and lives in Paddington, NSW, Australia. l Jonny Miller (07), along with fellow University of Durham graduates Dean Fischer and Dorothy Sanders, will be arriving in Chile shortly as part of the prestigious

Don Higson

18

global accelerator programme ‘StartUp Chile’. One of only nine UK start-up companies to be selected from over 650 applicants around the world, their ‘Maptia’ online portal is designed to equip and connect modern travellers. “It will bring together currently dispersed resources, revealing the ease and excitement of travel,” they say. “It will inspire users – allowing them to discover a new way to see their world, and to be the author of their own maps. We are thrilled to have this fantastic opportunity.”

Deaths It is with regret that the following deaths are announced: l Christopher West (55) died on 23rd April 2011. On leaving School he went to the General Motors Training School in Flint, Michigan and thence to National Service with the Royal Ordnance Corps. From there on to Vancouver and soon to return to become the PRO to Geoffrey de Havilland in Hatfield. Later he became the Sales and Markets Director for Royal Ordnance. He was a great supporter of St Mary’s Church, Childwick Green where for many years he was Treasurer. l Colin L Owers (30) passed away peacefully at Whitgift House, Croydon on 8th May 2011. His elder son Antony writes from Curaçao: “Dad was born on 27th July 1914 and presumably was among the most senior OAs. He was never


OA Bulletin december 2011

particularly ill, just gradually faded away. I do not know exactly which year Dad entered the School, probably around 1924, but we know he left in 1930, when he went to work in London for the firm of Osborne Garrett. He travelled each day from his parents’ home at Nast Hyde, Hatfield. When World War II came he was called up into the army and served in the Middle East (mostly Iraq) from 1942 until 1946. After the war the family settled first in South-West London then, in 1949, we moved to Purley and Dad spent the rest of his life in the Purley area. Dad was a proud Old Albanian and often talked affectionately of his time at the School. He also much enjoyed the Bulletins, regularly sending extracts to me in his long weekly letters.”

died on 31st May 2011. An obituary from The Gunner, the regimental magazine of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, appears below. l Antony Beale (41) passed away peacefully on 7th October 2011, aged 87. An obituary, written by his great friend Ken Garrett, appears below.

l Michael H Groome (50) died on 26th April 2011, aged 82.

l Professor Ray Pahl died in June 2011. He was awarded one of the first ever Achievement Awards from the British Sociological Association for his pioneering work in sociology and ground-breaking research. Nick, his son, writes: “Professor Ray Pahl was an outstanding sociologist whose studies of people, places and how we live in modern Britain demonstrated the relevance of social inquiry. His research of jobs, management, households, towns and friendship marked him out as someone profoundly interested in social conditions. His 10-year study of communities and employment in the Isle of Sheppey, carried out while he was an academic at the University of Kent, is classic. Professor Pahl believed in the public presence of Social Science and worked with private companies and Government Agencies. He wrote widely and accessibly and carried his burning interest in society into membership of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission that produced ‘Faith in the City’ in 1985”.

l Captain Hector Emerson (37)

l Christine Cox has sent

l C S Dale (45). l Peter Jones (69) died on 23rd May 2010 in Peterborough Hospital. l Deryck Sidney (38) died in July. An obituary appears below. l Michael Martin (42) died on 5th December 2010. l Tony Martin (40), brother of Michael, died on 21st January 2011.

19


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

some interesting and amusing l Captain Geoffrey Brown, master recollections of Neville Cook, whose at St Albans School from 1973 to death was noted in the last Bulletin. 2003, died on 5th May 2011 aged 87. “Neville’s father attended a His obituary in the Daily Telegraph conference in Dusseldorf just on 14th June read: “Geoffrey Brown before the Second World War was born in Streatham on 2nd where, with other groups, he was January 1924 and educated at West demonstrating Britain’s most upBridgford Grammar School and St to-date fire appliances. His mother John’s College, York. He enlisted went too. Neville was given the in 1941 and served with the Royal task of presenting Hitler with a box Artillery in the North African of Terry’s chocolates campaign and then which had Swastikas in Italy. He fought at as a theme. On the the Battle of Arnhem podium Hitler bent with 1st Airlanding down, ruffled his hair Light Regiment, Royal and kissed Neville on Artillery and narrowly both cheeks. Hitler Geoffrey Brown escaped capture after then summoned an the Allied forces were officer who produced a photograph, withdrawn. After the war, he joined which he signed and gave to the Glider Pilot Regiment and Neville. (Can anyone beat that as learned to fly a Tiger Moth. In 1952, a memory?). He was also made an after a spell with the Royal Horse honorary member of the Hitler Artillery, he moved to the Royal Youth! He was also given a book Army Education Corps and served which the family destroyed as it at Shape HQ until 1957. Brown was was tasteless propaganda. Due to commissioned in 1962 and, having his father being responsible for taken early retirement in 1970, beginning fires and extinguishing went up to Fitzwilliam College, them on film sets, Neville appeared Cambridge, as a mature student to in two Will Hay films (in minor read History. He was a teacher at parts): Oh Mr Porter and St Albans School from 1973 to 2003. Convict 99.” In retirement, he read widely in history, politics and genetics.” l E M ‘Mike’ Tarling (46) died from a stroke the day after his 84th Obituary birthday. l Captain H W Emerton (37) l His Honour Harold Wilson (49) died on 5th November 2011 at the age of 80 following a long battle with cancer. An obituary appears below.

20

The following obituary is taken from August 2011 edition of The Gunner, the regimental magazine of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.


OA Bulletin december 2011

Hector William Emerton was born on 15th July 1919. He died on 31st May 2011. On leaving St Albans School he joined the LMS Railway Company as a trainee physicist, but almost immediately joined the Royal Artillery on the outbreak of war and was commissioned in 1940. Volunteering for ‘hazardous duty’ he became a founder member of the Combined Operations Bombardment Unit (COBU). He participated as an FOO with the 2nd Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the first deployment of the unit, the invasion of Madagascar on 5th May 1942 and the capture of Diego Suarez. This operation lasted until the French surrender at Tamatave on 17th September, so he was perhaps fortunate to miss the unit’s second operation in August of that year, the disastrous Dieppe raid. In January 1943 the COBU members were sent to India and started a long period of intense training with the Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy leading to the formation of No 5 COBU. Hector was an instructor in naval bombardment at HMS Himilaya, the gunnery school of the Indian Navy. He was flown back to the UK for the D-Day landings where he served with distinction. He was the BLO in HMS Arethusa supporting the assault on the Merville Battery on D-Day. This was the main objective of the 3rd Para Bde (Brig J S Hill); other shoots were conducted supporting this brigade at Le Mont, Breville and Houlgate. On D+17 Arethusa carried out 14 shoots.

Two signals were received: “Brig Hill commanding the 3rd Para Bde has asked me to express to you his deep gratitude for your excellent support. On three separate occasions you have broken up enemy forming to attack.” From the Naval Commander, Eastern Task Force: “I have heard with great pleasure of your fine shooting in support of the Airborne Division.” On D+8 the ship returned to Portsmouth to replenish ammunition and at 0800 hours on 16th June (D+10) King George VI embarked. Hector was called to the bridge, presented to the King and invited to outline bombardment procedures. Subsequently he returned to the Far East where he was attached to a battery supporting the King’s African Rifles on operations in the Kabaw Valley, Burma. During later operations with the Royal Indian Navy on the Arakan coast, Hector joined HMIS Narabada supporting landings along the coast and up the chaungs – Akyab 3rd January and Myebon 12th January 1945 – in support of the 3rd Cdo Bde RM. There followed numerous other landings but when the fighting ashore moved beyond the restricted waters of the chaungs on 7th March HMIS Narabada took her leave of the Arakan and sailed for Bombay. Hector was mentioned in dispatches in November 1945 and was demobilized in 1946. Back in civilian life he graduated from Oxford and had a distinguished career in the technical side of

21


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

the paper industry with Reed International before becoming a bursar at Durham University. During a long and active retirement he travelled widely and revisited Burma with the British Legion in 2005 and was in Normandy for the 60th anniversary of the landings where he and Brig James Hill met for the first time. He was a staunch supporter of the British Legion, the Burma Star Association and was a founder member and subsequently the last president of the Bombardment Units Association in 2001. He was a regular at the ABA annual lunch for former COBU members and was present at last year’s lunch in October. Hector’s wife, Rosina, pre-deceased him, and he is survived by three daughters, Faith, Sarah and Alice, and numerous grandchildren.

Obituary l Antony George Beale (41) I humbly submit this obituary to a very special friend for 76 years – Tony. Classmates at St Albans School, we played together in school rugger XVs from juniors to 1st XV – what an outstanding centre three quarter! Not very heavy but ultra quick to seize an opportunity to find a gap, sidestep and swerve to evade a tackle. His athletic talents included hurdling and swimming and graceful diving from the top board. His footwork, ducking and weaving were used by Charlie Argent as an example

22

when he taught boxing as part of PT and I recall when he had ‘enjoyed’ a playful bout with Tony, Charlie called upon the largest toughie in the class – George Knight - to spar with him, and use Beale’s footwork. With no apparent heed to his briefing, George – flat foot and foolish – struck a hard blow to Charlie’s solar plexus and with the witness of hidden laughter sat on a bench for a few minutes! On leaving school in 1941 he joined the Royal Navy and his love of boats and the sea enabled rapid promotion to Lieutenant at a very young age and he became gunnery officer on the frigate Odzani, seeing service in the Mediterranean and Pacific. Whilst on patrol a fire broke out in the magazine below decks and a citation from the Admiralty announced the award of the Oak Leaf and mention in despatches for saving his ship and crew by removing a considerable load of explosives. Tony never talked of this and when I mentioned a newspaper report to him he casually replied “I was lucky” - and changed the subject. By the end of the war – at 21 years of age – he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, RNVR. Situated in London, the family business was in a declining climate for photographic engraving, but, nonetheless, Tony joined in by building it up by introducing litho section; this soon proved to be very successful but typical of Tony, he attributed the upturn to his enthusiastic staff.


OA Bulletin december 2011

When the war ended it was not long before sporting clubs renewed their activities and the match programmes of Harpenden RFC showed their three quarter line contained Dick, Tony and Don Beale a formidable attacking force. A needle match against the Old Albanians could have impaired the good relations that existed. An ‘incident’ occurred when, alas, a foolish, undisciplined spectator prevented a certain try by booting the ball over the ‘dead line’ a splitsecond before an OA made the try. Rightly or wrongly, the referee awarded a penalty try, but the incident had gone unseen by several of the players and a little muttering was going on. The culprit was introduced to me by Tony, with an apologetic pint after the game and we enjoyed a laugh. I met the culprit in passing, some years later when he greeted me with “I am still sorry – how are you?!” In 1951, Tony confirmed speculation that he would outmanoeuvre a few contemporaries who had their eyes on a very attractive wren - he married Sheila. They celebrated their 60 years together with Sheila claiming that she had grown used to predicting Tony’s unpredictability! Daughters Victoria and Jill, and grandsons Bruce and Simon shared his interest in horses - he was a successful rider in point-to-point races - in particular with wins on his mare Anna’s Sweep. Victoria and the two grandsons were guided by him to

be very competent equestrians. The two boys gave him great pride and pleasure when they become players for the Okehampton RFC and he watched from the touchline no doubt remembering his playing days. In 1979, tired of travelling by rail to London every day, he retired from the printing business and with Paul, started the dairy herd at Lady Bray farm near Harpenden. They built this up to a successful business but, with the expansion of Luton airport, part of their farm silage fields was lost and the size of their herd compelled them to move to Devon in 1996. The home, the cattle, the tractors and the equipment were moved to Lew, near Okehampton. (I suspect that being nearer to the sea might have been a factor in the choice of location!). Settled into the new farm, Tony bought a small sloop and many times sailed to Holland with his friend Ian Henderson. He joined the single-handed passage racing club based in Plymouth and was awarded the Robin Lloyd-Williams trophy for the best overall performance of the season. Only a few weeks before he fell victim to his terminal illness, he sailed single-handed to the Scilly Isles from Plymouth and return, a total distance of 220 miles in atrocious weather. On the 24th October the church at North Lew was packed with mourners, many having travelled over 200 miles to honour Tony. My personal tribute to a very special friend is capsulated in an extract

23


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

from a letter that was read in church from Lorraine wife of Tom Dane. I quote: “I can scarcely count the many ways in which I will miss Tony nor find words to capture his many great qualities. He will always be to me the kindest, most selfeffacing and modest friend I have been lucky enough to find. Always gentle and gentlemanly, forever putting the needs of others above his own and never to inconvenience anyone. Knowledgeable in so many subjects but never boastful – highly practical and always seemed to know how to fix things – be it boat engine or car. Wonderfully humorous with an enviable ability of making light of trouble and poking fun at himself. Generous beyond measure, and always interested in what interested his friends.” Tony was proud to have been a pupil at St Albans school; the school can be proud of Tony Beale.

Obituary l Deryck Sidney (38) Deryck Sidney, 1920–2011, won a scholarship to St Albans School in the early 1930s where he enjoyed work and sport, being in the Colts playing rugger and cricket. He eventually became Deputy Head Boy to Jack Goody’s Head. He was awarded the Principal’s Exhibition to Jesus College, Oxford in 1938 and read English. He gained an emergency war degree in 1940. He reported to Dover Castle as a gunner in an artillery

24

training regiment in July 1940 and was posted to 132 Field Regiment the following year. Deryck’s war took him to Algiers, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy including Monte Cassino and finally Austria guarding German POWs. A very different man returned to Oxford as a postgraduate to do a year’s diploma in psychology. His career was in personnel, first with the National Institute of Industrial Psychology, later with BAT, The National Coal Board, MSL, Plessey, John Tyzack & Partners and Bass Charrington. The real highlight of his career came in 1974 when he set up the subsidiary company in England of an American outplacement company. The concept of making someone redundant and then helping that person by paying for counselling, support and services was met with scepticism but with persistence and conviction Deryck made progress. In 1976, with Nigel Sanders, and following a buy-out, the company became Sanders & Sidney. This brought him real fulfilment because the service they provided made an important and valuable contribution to people’s lives at a most vulnerable stage. Deryck married first, in 1952, Elizabeth Loudon, née Mudford with whom he had four children, and secondly in 1975, Pippa Boxer, with whom he had three children.

Obituary l His Honour Harold Wilson (49) Harold Wilson, who has died aged


OA Bulletin december 2011

80, was a distinguished lawyer and judge who sat for many years in Oxford. He was educated at St Albans School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. After National Service in the RAF, after a short period in hospital administration and teaching, he was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1958. After completing his pupilage, he entered practice at 2 Harcourt Buildings in the Temple and joined the Oxford Circuit. Over the next 18 years, he established himself as a leading member of the circuit, practising in general common law, and gained a reputation as a strong advocate, notably in criminal work. In 1964 he was elected circuit junior. His judicial career as deputy chairman of Monmouthshire Quarter Sessions, Recorder of the Crown Court and Chairman of Industrial Tribunals culminated in being appointed a circuit judge in 1981. He served as resident judge in Coventry for nine years and was appointed Honorary Recorder of that city in 1986. Whilst in Coventry, he was instrumental in introducing and encouraging Conciliation, Reparation, and video linking in family cases involving children. In 1992 Judge Wilson became Resident Judge in Oxford and was appointed Honorary Recorder of the city in 1996. During the coming years he as the liaison judge to the Magistrates, Probation, Thames Valley Partnership, introduced video linking for cases involving children and also sat occasionally as a judge

in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London. He supported the High Sheriffs in their involvement with the law and worked tirelessly to foster strong working ties with the City, the University, the Cathedral, and all those serving the community. Throughout his career as a judge, he tirelessly supported and encouraged junior members of the legal profession and, above all, he believed that a ‘happy ship’ was essential for the smooth running of the Court. On retirement from the circuit 2000, Judge Wilson returned to crime and sat at the Old Bailey for three years. But it was in the field of family law that Judge Wilson made his greatest mark. In that capacity, he helped to implement the new Children Act and pioneered a multidisciplinary approach to family justice. As a result, he was invited to sit as deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division on the Oxford & Midland Circuit. His skilful management in maintaining the authority of court whilst deploying a light and humane touch to the sensitive issues that frequently arise in family cases was invaluable. He never forgot that the welfare of children was the most important consideration and strove to ensure that the twin evils of delay and lack of resources, then as now endemic in the family justice system, did not deflect him from putting the children first. Amongst the honours that came his way, Judge Wilson was

25


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

appointed a Bencher of Gray’s Inn 1998 and Shrieval Remembrancer of Oxfordshire in 2004. He assisted the High Sheriffs in their ceremonial duties in particular with the annual Assize Sermon and played a significant role in establishing of the High Sheriff’s annual Law Lecture in 2005. In everything he did, Judge Wilson had the inestimable advantage of the loyal devotion and support of his wife, Jill. His children, stepchildren and grandchildren were for him a matter of constant joy, interest and pride. During the last decade he endured a series of health setbacks which he bore cheerfully and with fortitude. Three weeks before his death following many years fighting lung cancer and facing the grim prospect of further surgery, he was nevertheless about to fully enjoy a diamond celebration

amongst his Cambridge colleagues and friends and a thoroughly enjoy his 80th birthday with his family and numerous friends at their home in north Oxford.

Museum and archive Gifts have been: l A reprinted obituary to Frank Crowther who died on 11th April 1946 – his field was plant physiology. l OA Committee notes from November 1961 – April 1965 from Roger Cook. l A record of the School prizes awarded in 1938. l Lt Col John Hoare (45) has sent a Guide to Brookwood Military Cemetery which includes reference to P.O. Christopher Payne (OA) who

A staff photograph from the Montague Jones era sent to us by Barbara Wishart. She has been able to name Messrs Baumgartner, Hampson, Montague Jones, Webster, Nightingale, Wishart, Tanner, Jarry, West, Barnett, Walker and Garnier, but there are a few gaps. Can anyone help?

26


OA Bulletin december 2011

died in 1941, with a photograph of his gravestone. The Heritage Day, when the Museum and Archive were open to the public, was a great success and elicited comments from the public of very positive nature. Thanks to Nigel Wood-Smith, who took on the entire organisation this year, and to the pupils of the school who acted as guides. Nigel and I are delighted to have been told that, when the School moves ‘down the hill’ we are to have two further rooms to expand into, thus relieving the tight conditions which we have at the moment. Any donations to the Archive/ Museum should be sent Mike Highstead and addressed to the School. Thanks for all of you who have done this so far. Mike Highstead

The gravestone of Pilot Officer Christopher Payne, who died in 1941

Missing names l Our thanks to Don Carnell and Martin Evans (59) for providing some of the missing names to the faces in the photos from the last Bulletin. 1983 Invincibles (page 27): back row, second from the left is Robert ‘Bob’ Carnell; front row third from the left Bruce Potts, fifth from the left Ian Hall. 1958-59 Rugby Second XV (page 31): back row first left is Thorn, first right is K D Jenkins; middle row centre with ball is R Wilson, second from left is R Howell and first left is Martin Evans. Seated on the floor on the left is R Hollis (who had his leg broken in a scrum by Martin Evans!).

27


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

From the Archive

The School Prefects in 1959 – photo supplied by Jeff Brown (59)

The School First XV 1964

28


OA Bulletin december 2011

50 years on

Phil, now Professor Yetton, won the award for the largest carbon n Robin Stevens reports on the recent footprint, travelling all the way from successful reunion of the Class of ’61 Melbourne; Professor Ian Tannock, a shoe-size or two smaller, arriving On Friday 14th October 2011, a from Canada. graciously brilliant and warm St We congregated in the Dining Luke’s Summer Day, 36 members Hall, a far cry from what in our of the Class of ’61 walked down day was called The Factory Block, Tankerfield’s once again after 50 housing then what architecturally years to converge on the School for and gastronomically would have what has proved on reflection to be been better termed The Canteen, a most moving and Westgarth-Walker’s life-affirming occasion. Geography Room, The inspiration for the Major Geoffrey Pryke’s reunion had originated Office (where I am sure independently and most of us had been spontaneously, over beaten at one time a year before, with or another) and the David Canning, David School Armoury. Fothergill and myself. To meet up once In the event David more with people, most Fothergill, sadly like of whom we had not so many others, was seen for 50 years, was unable to come on quite remarkable, not the day. Shamefully I, least because it all having provided 33% Moreton Moore resplendent happened so naturally of the inspiration, in school cap and house tie and with such ease. left well over 90% of Some had changed the perspiration of coordination almost beyond recognition. Moreton and planning to the other David. Moore (yet another Professor, see Peter Soul came in towards the photograph, left), Bobby Mortimer final furlong to edit and collate a and Andy Rogers seemed hardly to most impressive collection of Brief have changed at all. Lives, a booklet with more than 50 Thence, in small groups, we were contributions reporting how each of conducted by prefects on a cleverly us has spent the past half century. orchestrated tour of the School, This is available by email or in hard taking in the new, the adapted copy from Kate Le Sueur. Kate was and the old and very familiar. there as always to advise and assist Most places of course seemed with her characteristic charm, ease, much smaller, with the exception and obvious enjoyment of her work. perhaps of the Science Block, which

29


OA GAZETTE

OA Bulletin december 2011

30

seemed to have grown beyond recognition whilst still retaining its original character. We were greatly impressed by the present School in terms of its buildings and the courses and opportunities it offers, and equally by the quality of the 6th Formers who showed us around. One obvious change of course was the presence of girls in the School. I was reminded by the Punishment Book in the Museum that my brother had once been caned by the Prefects for speaking to a girl in St Albans High Street. The fact that she happened to be our cousin was obviously not considered to be a mitigating factor. We were greatly impressed too with the shape of things to come, as the nouvelle vague Sports Hall and Swimming Pool Complex nears completion. All this is so much to the credit of the Headmaster who warmly greeted us, and Ian Jennings who joined us, and who has done so much over the years as Chairman of the Governors. After a plenary gathering for a photograph on the once-hallowed WTM’s lawn we strolled up for a splendid meal at The Albany Restaurant in George Street, which I am sure we would all recommend for another, or similar occasions. We were delighted to be joined for the day by David Handforth who inspired so many of us in the 6th Form with his brilliant scholarship and infectious love of English Literature. David Billingham (Classics) sadly felt he was unable to

come because of age and infirmity. Derek Sawyer, (French) was on a Cruise in the Med, but sent us all his kind wishes If the Class of ’61 failed to produce a world renowned Astrophysicist, or yet another English Pope, it has nevertheless left an impressive mark in Academia, Medicine, the Church, Architecture, Engineering, Accountancy and the Law as well as community and public service. Inevitably, sadly, some of our year group are no more*. The question which we all consciously or unconsciously expressed as we bade our farewells was “What next?” At our age it is unwise to leave anything too long, and in another 50 years life will be one glorious eternal reunion (thus speaks the priest in me). In the meantime I shall pick up again with special friends I met up with once more on October 14th. Had the Reunion taken place ten years ago we would probably have had only a handful present. Obviously the time was right, and the idea struck a chord and resonance for so many of us as we begin to enjoy retirement. Revisiting the School, I came to value much more what my years there have given to me, perhaps above all that wonderful collegiate atmosphere of scholarship and brotherhood, a small part of which we recaptured and enjoyed again last month. Yes: let’s do it again. Shall we, dare we, pencil in Friday 19th


OA Bulletin december 2011

October 2018? l Nearly two years ago now, I attended with Robert Park, Peter Fryd’s funeral. I didn’t know until then that Peter had a mentally handicapped sister, and that his mother Judy was featured, alongside William Gladstone, Samuel Johnson

and others, on a Royal Mail Eminent Britons Commemorative Stamp Issue. Judy was there as the founder of Mencap which has provided such support to families struggling to cope with caring for members with learning difficulties, and has done so much to remove the stigma attached to mental handicap.

Together again, the Class of ‘61

31


OA LETTERS

OA Bulletin december 2011

32

Remembering Dennis Rendell n As one of the few still alive who would remember him, John Meulkens (35) writes with his memories of Brigadier General Dennis Rendell CBE, MC (38)

Although Dennis and I had been at school together in the early thirties (I left in 1935), I had not known him at that time (he was three years younger and a boarder at School House), although – as I was to find out later – we had had a chat, before he joined the school, near my home in Edgware (near Mill Hill), were surprise, surprise, he – at that time – also lived. It was only as a result of an article that I had written for the May 2000 OA Bulletin that, after some 70 years, I met him once again and we became friends. As soon as he had read the article he wrote me a letter with memories of his years at school and with an invitation to visit him and stay at his home any time I had plans to visit the UK. After his daughter phoned me last year to tell me that he had passed away (I knew that he was poorly) and after I read the obituary in the OA Bulletin, I thought it might be interesting for (some) OAs to share with them some of his reminiscences of the happy years that he had spent at school and which he had jotted down in his 5-page letter to me. In his references he wrote: “I

was delighted to read your most interesting school reminiscences… it brought back many happy memories of my own time at St Albans. I think, however, that we met long before I actually joined School House on 20th September 1933. I think we first met in Edgware around 1930 or possibly earlier… I recall your family home… at that time I was at the Junior School of UCS in Hampstead… I expect you caught the No. 240 single decker bus to Mill Hill LMS Railway Station, where you joined a train for St Albans. You will have met other train boys, possibly Leslie Pointing and Moscrop Young… and then from Elstree (Boreham Wood) Kenny Brehaut, John Rennie and Len Druce. I remember Druce well, he carried and sounded the Silver Bugle in the Band very well run by Drum Major Archie Eastcott. Len won the bugle several times … and it was presented to him at the Corps Dinner held annually late in the Christmas Term. Under Eastcott and leading side drummers Mike Heath and Peter Dollymore, the Band won the OTC Camp Band Competition at, I think, Strensall or Tidworth in 1934. A few years later, I ran the Band myself, which I greatly enjoyed. But in 1937 we failed to win a similar competition: we came second, most disappointing. I too was impressed by our masters and, like you, admired ‘Beery’ Webster, always ready to tell a WW1 story; Nat Dawson, a keen and sincere


OA Bulletin december 2011

anti-war advocate; John Coles, West a geography nut; Bob Tanner with his wonderful school play scenery; Tommy Hampson, who taught me how to run and sometimes win 440 yards events; and the wonderful ‘Froggy’ Garnier, who thought he was an Englishman but still a very good French speaker and tutor. I had particular regard for ‘Uncle’ Ernie Nightingale of Heat, Light and Sound fame followed by his Elementary Mechanics, a lovely man; G Wishart, who loved demonstrating liquid nitrogen in a kind of strong whisper, which I somehow connected with him suffering from gas poisoning during WW1. He also had a young pretty daughter with whom I was desperately in love. I visited her during the 1937 Xmas holidays, but sadly nothing came of our romance. I met her again on Founders’ Day 1947 or 1948 – still most attractive, but by then I was married. Writer’s note: Robin Ollington quite recently met the now elderly lady in question. When he mentioned this episode to her – although she didn’t remember – she was highly amused. I remember the second Master Barnet and dear Major Saunders, who ran the Junior Corps. All of them dedicated teachers and excellent schoolmasters, proud of the ability to teach and proud to be on the staff of this ancient seat of learning. They were indeed a vintage group led and commanded by the incomparable Willy Marsh

ably assisted by his charming wife ‘Mummy’ Ethel Marsh.” He then continues with references to the school Sgt Major Charlie Argent and the school janitor Bert ? (illegible), to his visits on Founders’ Day, OTC inspections, being invited by WTM to recite the School Prayer at the Millenary Abby Service, the celebration lunch in the School Hall with WTM in his speech saying: “That the thousand years behind us would spur the school on to greater years …” (Dennis writing: … It most certainly has …), and the attendance at an OA cocktail party at the East India Club in London. He then ends by writing: “Do you ever come to the UK these days? We always have room to put you up and would love to have you visit us at any time. Think about a visit and give us a ring. We could fill in a lot since last meeting.” Upon receiving this letter, I immediately phoned Dennis to thank him for the letter and the kind invitation. As it happened I had plans to visit the Cotswolds some months later and told him that I could combine this with a visit to his home at Selsey near Portsmouth but that I, unfortunately, would have to come alone, as at that time, my wife Joanna had already been in a nursing home for some years. As she had always been very fond of England and being fluent in English, it was a great pity that she never had the opportunity to get to know Dennis and Mary. And so after my stay in the

33


OA LETTERS

OA Bulletin december 2011

34

Cotswolds I drove to Selsey. As soon as I got out of the car in the courtyard of his considerable mansion, I was greeted with a hearty, very much public school army officer voice: “Hello John, how nice to see you.” I was then soon introduced to his dear and charming wife Mary and the very friendly Charlie, a Staffordshire bull terrier. As soon as I had settled in, we started exchanging memories – over tea, drinks, supper and more drinks – of boys and masters we had known in the style of: “Do you remember…?”, of the services in the Abbey, of Belmont, Beech Bottom, The Causeway, the Fighting Cocks, the town history and so on and so on. He soon unearthed boxes full of his school memorabilia. We were once again the schoolboys of yesteryear, talking about the pranks we sometimes got up to. We also talked about our childhood days in Edgware: of the shops, The Ritz Cinema, the “tuppenny bloods” we used to buy and read and especially of the puppy love we both had (Dennis at 8 years of age, I at 11!) for a particularly pretty 16(?)-year old girl who lived not far from our homes and who went to London Collegiate School for girls. Although I remember her Christian name to this day, Dennis even remembered her surname. Halcyon Days! We also talked about our “careers” (today everybody has a career!). Dennis in the army and abroad, I at Unilever working to a great extent in most West

European countries with spells in Zaire, Ghana, Bogota and San Salvador and living for some time with Joanna in Stockholm, Finland, Athens, Madrid and Hamburg. When during a further visit I found out that Dennis had been awarded the MC, which I didn’t know, he just said: “Why should you? It’s not all that important”. This was Dennis all over. It was all great fun. Dennis and Mary had the knack of immediately making you feel at home in their house. With many photos of Dennis on his charger (he was a keen horseman) and army memorabilia to be admired. During a further visit he told me that he was, that year, to take part in the Armistice march past the Cenotaph with his regiment. I watched the ceremony on TV, hoping to see him smartly dressed in bowler hat, dark suit and with the ever-present swagger cane (as is customary), but unfortunately did not manage to see him. On subsequent visits I had the privilege of meeting his daughter (who had surprisingly lived in Holland with her husband for some years, not all that far from where my wife and I had been living in the Hague), his son, his son-inlaw and daughter-in-law and his grandchildren. It soon became evident to me that this was a closeknit family and that there was great love between the members with understanding for and appreciation of their various life-styles. Dennis had great personal


OA Bulletin december 2011

charisma, was an interesting man to know. He was always the perfect host. He will be sadly missed by his loving family, by his many friends and all those others who had the privilege of knowing him.

Latin lover n Richard Goosey (64) writes in praise of the teaching skills of the legendary headmaster W T Marsh, and his evident love of the Latin language

I never thought I’d be writing a letter in praise of WT Marsh. It’s just that letter-writers often remember him (not always happily) as a headmaster, but seldom as a teacher. I was not the sort of boy who saw eye to eye with Marsh the headmaster. But Marsh the teacher

was a different matter. His lessons sparkled with humour and with a real love of his subject: of the Latin language, of Roman history, and of Italy. Not everyone can make Virgil enjoyable to a fan of Tommy Steele. And the dog (who slightly resembled him) was an added bonus.

A: Corps of Drums Gandale Cup winners 1957

Beating the drum n Prompted by the ‘Berts’ article in the last Bulletin – and in particular the reference to the CCF Band “being almost completely ignored by the officers who wrote the notes for The Albanian” – Jeff Brown (59) provides some musings on the CCF Corps of Drums

The article by the Berts in the latest Bulletin has stirred some memories, and prompted me to investigate the

35


OA LETTERS

OA Bulletin december 2011

B: Mayoral Sunday Parade, October 1957 contents of some cardboard boxes which have moved around several homes during the last 50 years or so, and which contain some evidence to support those memories. I surprised myself by being able to lay hands on a number of photographs from schooldays, including (attached) one of the prefects in, I think, 1959, when I left school, and a number of the Corps of Drums which cover several years from 1957 to 1959. My main claim to fame (if such it was) was as Drum-Major, a role I performed for some three years. Academic achievement was not my strong point, I’m sorry to say, (although I still retain a copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the Royds Reading Prize for 1959) but I did enjoy the CCF activities, as evidenced by my retention of the photos that I include here. The Berts’ kind words about

36

the “Band” in the recent Bulletin reminded me of the several Civic and Remembrance Day activities where the “Band” led the way. Not mentioned was the sounding of Last Post and Reveille not only at the School War Memorial on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday, but also at the Civic Ceremony in the Abbey on Sunday itself, when two buglers played the same in the Abbey. Sounded from the Lady Chapel, the calls had to be slowed down to allow for the echo, and conducting the performance was quite a challenge! (and quite moving for me). Photo A (previous page) features the winners of the Gandale Cup in 1957. They are, left to right (back row) Dexter, Read, Thair, Simmons, Butcher, Lawrence, Holloway, Newberry, Jost; (front row) Heather, Speare, Richardson, Heath, Baylis, Brown, Purdie, McMillan, May,


OA Bulletin december 2011 C: General inspection

D: General inspection 1959

Tudor, Foster. My records also show that the contingent won the Drill Squad Competition, the Guard Mounting Competition and the Best Lines Competition. In Photo B we see the band marching down St Peter’s Street at the commencement of the Mayoral Sunday Parade in October 1957. Photo C shows a General Inspection

(date uncertain), with the Band being inspected by Inspecting Officer (name not known), with Major Geoffrey Pryke and Sgt-Major ‘Killer’ Kilpatrick in attendance. Photo D shows a General Inspection in (I am almost certain) 1959, with myself accompanying Inspecting Officer LieutenantGeneral Sir Oliver Leese (of Italian

37


OA LETTERS

OA Bulletin december 2011

and Burma campaigns as I have later found out). The Bass Drummer is D I (Ian) H Butcher, for whose name I have recently searched in vain, to my regret as we were quite friendly at the time. The significance of this particular event for me is that at the previous week’s rehearsal I had tossed the mace into the air (as one did from time to time!) only for it to break in two on returning to my hand, necessitating a panic visit to the military instrument shop in Soho for it to be repaired in time for the big event! In Photo E, the band is once again leading the contingent at Annual Camp, this time at the Gunners barracks at Shoeburyness (some will recall that the regulars inserted an extra word into the name – intended to convey something of the drabness of the place). The year is not certain, but I think it could be 1958.

E: Annual Camp Shoeburyness, 1958

38

The location was a substitute for somewhere which would have been more pleasant, but where the Army could not accommodate us due to Suez, perhaps? Worthy of note in the band photos is the splendid sash worn by the Drum-Major presented to the band by L G Walker, referred to in the Berts’ article. Incidentally, maintenance of this in pristine condition was something of a nightmare, as the white blanco on the cuffs of the D-M’s gauntlets transferred itself liberally onto the sash. Something perhaps not realised by most is the amount of effort that had to be put into cleaning and blancoing of uniform and equipment, this often performed at lunchtimes on non-band practice days in the Band Hut (opposite the Armoury) where the presence of an electric fire


OA Bulletin december 2011

facilitated the toasting of crumpets! And finally, I recall the practices at lunchtime on a Monday, I think, when we would usually march down to the lake and back, making efforts to ensure that our return to school through the Abbey Gateway coincided with a particularly loud section of our repertoire! You may find some of the above worth including in the Bulletin. It could stir memories in others, as did the Bert’s article for me.

Myth or reality? n Simon Clark (74) shares some of his memories of school – but isn’t sure if he’s able to separate the myth from the reality!

All of this is true. Some of it is what my memory tells me is true. Other parts are what I asserted at the time. I was minded to write by seeing a red line around a photograph of King Harry in a ‘for sale’ advertisement in the Estates Gazette. I was more used to seeing white lines – touchlines or boundaries. In the mid-1970s, before Astroturf, King Harry had the second-best hockey pitch in Hertfordshire. The St Albans HC First XI pitch at Clarence Park was the best. After the bog that was Belmont, we took delight in being able to hit our ‘16 yard’ restarts over the white lines at the far end of the pitch. I took less delight from seeing my overpitched or short-pitched leg breaks smashed over the white lines

of the boundaries by rampant OA batsmen (Merriott, Thornton) in my final Founders’ Day. Although Principal Horn in the school orchestra more or less from the start of my time there, I was never comfortable with the instrument. Bliss it was when a swollen lip from being hit in the face by a cricket ball (no helmets in those days) meant no horn practice for a few days. It is for good reason that the professional horn players sing words “Why am I nervous” to the tune of the long slow horn solo in the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. So I have always wondered why Anthony Burns-Cox chose to include that piece in his final concert, before handing us over to Simon Lindley – tougher, but thankfully more realistic about exposing the weaker desks. I was only 4’5” tall when I started at the school in 1967 and my early memories of sport include bumping into rugby god R M Wilkinson on the way out of the Old Hall with my head barely reaching his waist. He played for a very good Bedford XV while still a schoolboy and was the uncapped player in that Barbarians versus All Blacks victory – his Cambridge socks can clearly be seen in the ruck about halfway through the time in between the first Phil Bennett sidestep, and Gareth Edwards diving over for the try. We had a day off school when he got his England cap. The other rugby god was Mike

39


OA LETTERS

OA Bulletin december 2011

40

Nurton, who introduced us to circuit training with the threat of a boot up the backside if he overtook us; said boot being one which took him as full back to the fringes of the England team. From boring lessons in the New Block we would watch him training at the bottom of the Orchard; shuttle runs up the slope, before jogging back down. And he hit six sixes in an over playing Minor Counties cricket for Oxfordshire. Or is my memory just telling me that he was also the most marvellous cricketer (which I know to be true). Being still small in the Fourth Form (and young with it), Geoffrey Pryke found me a slot in the XV for the year below, which is where I played rugby with the Editor. He was also small, but a fast and tough full-back, who feared no one in the tackle, and would consistently bring down players much bigger than he. It was someone big who landed on top of me in pre-season training the next year and broke my left arm on the hard September ground. This had the huge benefit of encouraging me to work on my hockey with Peter Stiven, who was captain of a very strong Hertfordshire County XI, as well as a Southgate club side who were dominating European club hockey. We once found him flicking hockey balls the length of the gym, scoring baskets in the far basketball hoop. Or is my memory just telling me that he could have done that… I was two years behind an immensely strong hockey year

group (Peter Grummitt, Jeremy Sherrard-Smith, and the Editor’s older brother). This being the early 70s, they had headbands knitted in the school colours. Or is my memory just telling me that they had very very long hair indeed. Which I know to be true. Our own year group was unbeaten against other schools, and I had the pleasure of my (still) fishing companion John Pelham playing centre half in front of me – always available to his fullbacks to take a short pass after a tackle or interception, and with the generosity occasionally to give another pass in return. The hockey was going well, but I played Third XI cricket in the Lower Sixth. We would always play one team up when we played St Georges (Harpenden), because they were a mixed school. We got a bollocking at tea from Alan Goodier for only making 64 runs against their Second XI and got another one afterwards for winning by 62 runs. Our crime was playing a ringer from the First XI (Peter Grummitt) who had taken five wickets for one run. Our defence was that he was only the wicketkeeper, so no one should have minded about his bowling. In the absence of a regular game of cricket for the School I took myself off to Beech Bottom, where OAs such as David Morgan taught me more about bowling leg breaks. And it was after Peter Grummitt invited me to play against my contemporaries for his Retiring Captain’s XI that I got back


OA Bulletin december 2011

into the First XI; in time to be hit by the OAs all over King Harry in front of the Founders’ Day crowd. I concentrated on hockey once I left school and played mid-level for St Albans HC, in pre-Astroturf days when five or six of the club’s sides would be playing simultaneously on grass pitches. This gave me the chance to rub shoulders in the Clarence Park bar with other OA gods from my first form days, such as Dick Ashby and Ian Galley. Whilst hugely successful at club and county level, it was indoor hockey where Dick starred,

part of a reinvention of a hugely successful England side, and taking the St Albans team to eventually win the National indoor hockey championship. More recently, I confined my active sport to cricket for my law firm, Linklaters. It was on a sunny ground in Dulwich that I took a catch at leg slip, from one of the Old Talbotian batsmen who looked slightly familiar, and proved upon later inspection of our scorebook to have been the Editor… or was it his brother? (It was my brother! Editor)

2011 Annual General Meeting The Secretary has published the agenda for the AGM. As always all positions are open to anyone who would like to take their turn in the running of this wonderful OA Club. Certainly Steven Burgess is anxious to find a replacement President as he has now held the position for longer than is usual and ‘new blood’ is essential to keep the position vibrant and proactive. Please do attend and let us know if you wish to stand for any position. Old Albanian Committee Agenda for the 119th Annual General Meeting of the Old Albanian Club to be held on the 7th December 2011 at 20:00 in the ‘948’ room 1. Apologies 2. Minutes of the last AGM 3. Presidents Review of 2010 4. Social Events Report 5. Section Reports 6. O.A. Bulletin 8. Annual Accounts 9. Election of Officers 10. A.O.B.

41


OA SPORT

OA Bulletin december 2011

Rugby

On the road to success n Press and Publicity Officer Nick Hallett reports on a solid start to the season for OA Rugby, with the Club maintaining its fifth place position of last season with some encouraging away form

As many of you will know, OAs were promoted in the 2010/2011 season to National League 2 South and ended in fifth position overall. This put us among the top 50 clubs in England at level Four, with only League 1, the Championship and Premiership above.

The Club registered 27 bonus points for the season and surprised many of the denizens of Two South with the strategy of running the ball wherever possible, even from behind our own line – sometimes with heart-stopping results. The downside was that of the four teams above the club in the final standing, Ealing, Jersey, Richmond and Southend, not one was beaten by OAs either home or away. At the time of writing, midNovember 2011, the club have just regained fifth position with a magnificent victory at home over Redruth, are behind on the bonus points reckoning and still have not beaten either Richmond or

Hand-off: James Shanahan, fly-half and Director of Rugby, in action for OA Rugby

42


OA Bulletin december 2011

Southend. It is at home, also, where the club have been tested and found wanting again. But to begin at the beginning… the first warm-up game was at home against Ealing who won the League last season, being promoted with Jersey after the latter won their play-off. Ealing, who currently are well ahead in League 1, won 14-34. The second team also played Ealing 2s and found to their horror most of the side which gained promotion in their first team up against them and lost by a similar score. The club travelled to Leicester Lions for the second warm-up and comfortably beat their hosts, who did the same to OAs last season but by a much tighter margin. Perhaps our 50-7 demolition of a meaty Redruth side has stopped the rot, but the interestingly used word, ‘choke’ has dogged OAs’ home

campaign. The club has contrived to throw away a position of dominance and lose to Henley (currently at fourth), Hartpury College (an academy side from Gloucester, currently third) and, oh my gawd, Southend again. However, some heartening away wins – and why is there no automatic bonus point for any away win? – have buoyed the season’s effort. This time the trip to Lydney yielded the full five points instead of one for losing by less than eight points, Clifton produced a further win but the game to delight OAs of whatever vintage was the away win at Hertford; no bonus but every point was eagerly relished to the point of salivation in a 6-23 local derby upset. Two very comfortable home victories saw two south west sides limp back down the M5 nursing a

OA Rugby in action in their home win against Launceston

43


OA SPORT

OA Bulletin december 2011

sixty-pointer in respect of Taunton and a closer 31-18 in respect of our first-ever fixture with Launceston. James Shanahan has replaced Bruce Millar as Director of Rugby – also playing as a lynchpin flyhalf – while Bruce has taken on a ‘roving’ coaching role with the club as a whole. A few key players made moves away from OAs over the summer – Stef Liebenberg went to Bedford Blues and prop Alex Brown to Doncaster, both Championship clubs and both are holding down regular first team places. In return, Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier, a scrum half of French and Welsh parentage (if scrum halves can claim any parentage) has made his mark as has Ollie Marchon, scorer of a hat-trick in the win over Redruth on the wing.

Following the second team’s loss to Ealing, their season has taken some time to gather momentum and this has had an effect on the sides below who have produced some indifferent results. One side, the Grizzlies, aka the fifth team have, however managed to keep the flag flying, a tribute to Darren ‘honest, ref, he hit me first’ Ede and his team. To return to the League, we are coming close to half way through the season with only three teams to play our first match against, and already the placings have polarised into the haves and the have-nots. A win away to Worthing, currently second, on 3rd December would set up the next half of the season and hopefully break the mould. Nick Hallett

OA Rugby 1st XV squad, 2011/12 season, pose at Woollams

44


OA Bulletin december 2011

OA Angling

International waters n Honorary Secretary Geoff Cannon looks forward to an autumn and winter of fishing expeditions across the globe for the OA Angling Club

Summer has ended and our members are looking forward to autumn and winter fishing. Some of our members have joined the local Verulam Angling Club as they control a large selection of local waters, thus obviating the need for longer journeys. Our monthly programme will, however, remain unchanged. During this summer, members

have enjoyed trips to Ireland, Spain and Brian Ward is about to visit Alaska for the salmon fishing. Closer to home members have visited the Derbyshire Peak District and the Norfolk Broads. New members are always welcome, all you have to do is to contact Geoff Cannon whose details are below. Geoff Cannon Honorary Secretary, OA Angling Club

A prize catch

14-16 Church End Redbourn AL3 7DU Tel: 01727 861622 (daytime) 01582 792512 (evening) Fax: 01727 861623 E-Mail: cannonmorgan@btconnect.com

45


OA SPORT

OA Bulletin december 2011

OA Golf

Bolton’s wanderers n Secretary Peter Dredge looks back on a busy year for the OA Golf Society under new Captain Anthony Bolton, with matches across the South-East of England

Anthony Bolton succeeded Rick Drakard as Captain of the OAGS and presided over the Annual Dinner attended by 44 members and their ladies. 2011 has been a busy and enjoyable golfing year with mixed results and variable weather (all down to the Secretary, of course). The highlight, undoubtedly, was a well-deserved and overdue victory against Mid-Herts GC at Gustard Wood. The match with Old Fullerians was abandoned after 12 holes due to flooding at West Herts GC – a half being agreed. This was followed by narrow defeats against Old Haberdashers and Old Cholmeleians at Hammonds End and Mid-Herts respectively. The venue for the OA Cup this year was Gerrards Cross GC, courtesy of local member David Browne. The winner with 35 stableford points was Peter Dew who triumphed in damp conditions, closely followed by Larry Rumsey Williams, John Smith, John Cox and Lewis Hawke. The Dockree Tankard competition for the Antelopes was won by Bill Catling with 33 points. The Captain’s Away Day was kindly organised by Tony Bolton at his home club Brookman’s Park, and

46

on this occasion, we were favoured with some decent weather. Rick Drakard won first prize with 40 Stableford points, the runners up being Colin Spurr and John Machell. Peter Redford won the prize for nearest the pin on the short 9th hole. Fifteen members descended upon Thorpeness Golf and Country Club in Suffolk for a three-day visit. Two reasonably good days weatherwise, but only three stalwarts braced the hurricane conditions on day three. Great fun, nevertheless, with the major winners being Stan Cooper, Tony Bolton, Colin Spurr and Ross Murray. Some serious bridge was played in between rounds. Our team of six being Stuart Watson, Alistair Buchanan, Tony Bolton, Peter Dew, John Smith and Peter Dredge finished fourth out of eleven in the London Old Boys Foursomes event at Highgate GC. There will be a full programme of events in 2012 and all OAs are most welcome to attend, whatever level of ability (handicaps range from 2 to 28). Our main aim is to enjoy some friendly occasions on decent golf courses, enabling OAs to meet up with contemporaries and to renew old friendships. Please contact Peter Dredge for further details on 01582 834572 or e-mail pjdredge42@aol.com Peter Dredge Secretary OA Golf



OA Bulletin - Autumn 2011 Edition