Page 1


Mrs. Elizabeth Aldworth (1693-1773): the first female Freemason. See Masonry and Sex, Page 12

Old Albanian Club


May 2006

Presidents’ Luncheon Party – Sunday 18th June 2006 Old Albanian Club Dinner – Friday 30th June 2006 Founders’ Day – Saturday 1st July 2006

OA CLUB Andrew Barnes 01582 712650 Secretary David Buxton 01727 840499 Treasurer Brian Sullman 01582 460317 Membership Secretary Roger Cook 01727 836877

Mini & Junior Rugby Chairman

Rory Davis 01727 843538



RUGBY President

Ali Mills Chairman Richard Milnes Commercial Director Simon Heath Finance Director Chris Walker Admin Director Peter Lipscomb Fixture Secretary Darren Ead Director of Coaching Bruce Millar Director of Rugby Steve Bedford

Nick Chappin – Editor Andy Chappin – Design & Production Roger Cook – Membership Mike Highstead – Gazette Printing - Herts & Beds Printing 01923 234959 2


FOOTBALL Manager Simon Bates 01727 852418 / 0772 0383 600

CRICKET President Chairman Alan Philpott Andrew McCree 01727 845513 1st XI Captain Alf Rehman 2nd XI Captain David Goodier Treasurer Denis King Fixture Secretary Julian Baines OTHERS Rifle & Pistol

Andrew Wilkie 01727 856857 Geoff Cannon 01582 792512 Royce Bryant 01727 863130

Angling Golf

OA LODGE John Williams 01438 715679


Address for correspondence: Nick Chappin 18 The Pleasance, Harpenden, Herts AL5 3NA Telephone: 01582 461674 (home) 07980 565645 (mobile) e-mail:





The postman never rings twice

Founders’ Day weekend festivities. This year’s event takes place at Woollams on Friday 30 June, and the guest speaker is noted film director Mike Newell OA, best known for For the second consecutive issue my Four Weddings and a Funeral and, postbag is as empty as Wayne more recently, Harry Potter and the Rooney’s betting account. It’s not a Goblet of Fire. You can book your Royal Mail problem, as my credit tickets online or by completing and card bills arrive with irritating returning the enclosed order form. certainty. Nor is it the result of a Another famous former pupil is catastrophic internet failure, as my inbox has more spam than the café in permanently honoured by giving his name to the School’s new Stephen the Monty Python song. The sad fact Hawking Science Society, and he was is that fewer and fewer members of also the keynote speaker at the the Club appear inclined to put pen Cambridge in America weekend in to paper (or finger to keyboard) any San Francisco last November when more. The optimistic explanation is he presented his latest that this is merely a sign theories on the of the times, as newer technologies take the The sad fact is that formation of the universe and introduced place of more traditional his new book, A Briefer fewer and fewer communications. History of Time (see page If that is the case, then 20). As Headmaster it is incumbent on all of us members of the Andrew Grant reports, to sign up to OAconnect the School continues to Club appear as soon as possible – and flourish across a broad encourage others to do the same. As the President inclined to put pen spectrum of activities, from record-breaking points out in his notes on page 5, the more postal to paper any more sporting and academic achievement to highly and e-mail addresses we acclaimed musical and have, the easier it will be artistic performances ranging from to facilitate communications between ‘Grease’ to Brahms’ Requiem. former pupils across the globe in the The Old Albanian Lodge – open to future. Registering on OAconnect is a all those connected to the School – small but significant first step that all has enjoyed a busy six months, computer owning Old Albanians can including an Easter weekend trip to take. the historic city of Tallinn, capital of Both OAconnect and the Club Estonia. At the January meeting, the website provide a list of all hot topic of debate was the proposal forthcoming events. As usual, the that the United Grand Lodge of Old Albanian Club Annual Dinner England should recognise both signals the beginning of the



President’s Notes

OA COMMENT Generation game: OA Rugby President Ali Mills and his son (right) alongside Rick Berg with his son (left), at Woollams after the School beat Hailybury. Ali and Rick were both stalwart OA scrum halves; both sons are scrum halves too

Spread the word n The more postal and e-mail addresses we have, the better we can facilitate communication between OAs across the globe. OA Club President Andrew Barnes issues a plea to OAs far and wide to encourage other former pupils to register for OAconnect

Women’s Masonry and Co-Masonry – see page 12 for the Lodge Secretary’s report. Among the few letters in this issue is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the School in the early 1980s penned by former Secretary Patricia Buxton, mother of OA Club stalwart David. She was particularly amused by the proximity of Messrs Onions and Pickles on the register, and wonders if they were in the same form. Sadly, although in the same year (mine) they were not (to my recollection) ever form-mates. For the record, Geoff Onions is now a highly successful Queen’s Counsel at the Chancery Bar, and Rob Pickles an equally eminent senior manager at printer and copier giant Canon. Thanks to avid grower and

collector Mike Harvey’s report on his recent cactus hunting trip to the Andes (see page 23) I now know more about these exotic plants than I’ll probably ever need in polite conversation. A man of many and varied interests, he will be submitting a report on another pet hobby, apiculture (beekeeping to you and me), in the next issue. Finally, on a personal note I was sorry to read of the sad death of one of my more prolific correspondents, Mike Walker (48), who has submitted several letters on a range of sporting subjects over the years. My usual thanks to the regular contributors for their continued support, and I look forward to a bulging postbag for the November issue. Nick Chappin Editor

WHO TO CONTACT Please address your correspondence to the following people – you’ll find their contact details on page 2. OA Bulletin Nick Chappin, Editor Comments, letters, photos Subscription/membership enquiries Roger Cook, Membership Secretary Change of address, notification of deaths OA Gazette Mike Highstead, Archivist Member news, obituaries, School archive and museum



I hope you will enjoy this spring 2006 edition of the Old Albanian Bulletin. Within the Old Albanian club we have a number of people who work hard, year in and year out for the benefit of all those who remain inert. Of the 3,000 current addresses the club holds for Old Albanians around the world, barely 750 have registered with OAconnect despite the efforts of the Membership Secretary Roger Cook. Our aim is for all those who own a computer to register. We need a new approach. One of the benefits of new communication technology gives the opportunity for club members who may not live conveniently close to St Albans to play a part in co-ordinating and collecting news and disseminating information for the benefit of other Old Albanians. In the notes I wrote last autumn I touched on the hope of finding people who may live close to or far away from Hertfordshire, but with computer access, who would be prepared to organise and co-ordinate contact with members of their year group. Very limited response so far. If the jibe ‘inert’ stings and you retain fond memories of your time at St Albans and would like to re-establish contact with friends and acquaintances from those years and also help others re-establish contact, please reject my description of apparent neutrality. Become involved. Send me an email to: An individual from each year group,

using the Club’s current members’ addresses, and outside sources such as Friends Reunited, have a much better chance of enlisting their contemporaries’ help in securing e-mail or postal addresses for all those they used to know at School, than through the single-handed efforts of our Membership Secretary. Such a comprehensive list will be for the benefit of the whole year group. The Presidents’ Luncheon Party: Sunday 18th June 2006 For a third year the club will be holding an inclusive, all comers summer celebration. The Woollams clubhouse boasts a wonderful entertaining terrace facing the afternoon sun with the cricket square as background. 120 members and guests attended last year. It really was a most enjoyable afternoon. This social occasion is as stated, for the benefit of all members of the old Albanian club and their significant other. You will find enclosed with this Bulletin an application form for tickets. At £12.50 per ticket it’s a bargain. I can promise you a convivial reception with fine champagne, and canapés followed by lunch. Why not gather a few OA friends to join you to ensure your share of familiar faces? I look forward to seeing you there. The Old Albanian Dinner: Friday 30th June 2006 On Friday 30th June the annual dinner will be held in the School’s Woollams pavilion. Last year’s dinner was a great success. On the Friday before Founders’ Day, members are presented with a perfect opportunity to

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meet old friends, and the following day enjoy the service in the Abbey and revisit the School. Our guest speaker, proposing a toast to the Club, will be Mike Newell OA. Those of you who did not know him at School may be aware of his success as the director of box-office hits Four Weddings and a Funeral and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I have asked him to give us an insight to the fascinating industry of big budget film-making. Stephen Eames will MC the evening. Please fill in the application form, or download one from the club website. Club blazers Club colours in a Venetian, (fine close woven with stripes, to you and me) have been made up in a high-quality wool cloth in Lancashire. The piece is now being held by a manufacturer in Belfast awaiting


‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ director Mike Newell is guest speaker at the annual dinner orders from club members. We are pleased to offer a made-to-measure service for the total price of £100. The blazers are singlebreasted, three-button with jet pockets (tailored rather than applied patch). Gold buttons are standard. The first batch of blazers has already been delivered. I can report that everyone is delighted with the quality. You may care to examine the photograph of a gruesome threesome resplendent in their blazers. If you follow the instruction carefully and measure accurately you will soon be the proud owner of a club blazer with a perfect fit. Return the application form with a cheque for £100 to Neil Dekker at Woollams within 14 days of receiving this Bulletin and your order will be included in the next


batch. Cheques should be payable to the Old Albanian Sports Association Ltd.

response, much to the pleasure of all those who were present.

International rugby at Woollams Following the success of last year’s schoolboy international, a relationship has been established between OA Sport and England Women’s Rugby Union. During February, the club hosted England v Wales in front of a crowd approaching 1,000. On Saturday 18th March, the day after St Patrick’s Day, Woollams was again the venue for England v Ireland being played for the Grand Slam. The dry but cold afternoon brought out the largest crowd in Woollams history. Following a warm-up game between England A and the Nomads Invitation XV, the main event kicked off at 3pm. In a skilful and entertaining match England ran out easy winners 39-11, followed by presentation of the Grand Slam trophy. At 5.30 the men’s international, England v Ireland at Twickenham started. The crush in the clubhouse meant that spectators had no alternative but to watch the big screen standing shoulder to shoulder. An Irish band played long into the evening with players and club members letting their hair down.

Why the Woollams playing field? Charles Woollams was a distinguished Old Albanian. He was at the School during the headmastership of Henry Hall during the 1850s. From all we can discover he was a genuine philanthropist, supporting many worthy causes in and around St Albans. For us, his most significant gift was of land that was to become the Belmont Hill playing field. Up until the 1960s, Old Albanians will recall that their first School games were there; rugby, cricket, and swimming in the unheated pool. I am one of many who recall a hot hike up the hill at the end of summer afternoons. Under the terms of his gift, the substantial sum generated from the ultimate sale of this ground had to be used for sporting purposes. When Cheapside farm, on the edge of St Albans came up for sale, the governors saw it as a perfect opportunity to acquire a site for the School. Present and future pupils will continue to be beneficiaries of Charles Woollams’ generosity each time they visit the sports fields that bear his name. Andrew Barnes President

Charles Bloxham On 11th January the Old Albanian Club held a lunch in honour of Charles Bloxham’s 90th birthday. One or two members decided that this important milestone should not be missed. A notice was placed on the club website and half-anhour’s telephone ring round resulted in 45 people entertaining Charles and his daughter Sue to lunch in the clubhouse. I had pleasure in welcoming our guest with John Smith proposing Charles’ health. Charles stood and gave an excellent

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Headmaster’s Notes

Beating the best

outstanding concert, exiled temporarily by the burgeoning Grease set to the Abbey Theatre, where the advantages of audience n An energetic production of the musical Grease, the first meetings of the new Stephen comfort and a welcoming bar were offset by difficult acoustics and logistical Hawking Science Society and a victory for inconveniences for performers. We know, the rugby First XV in its first fixture at least, that it can be done, should we against Haileybury for 25 years – just some of the highlights of a busy six months for the need to do it again. It was a fine rugby season. Whilst it is School. Headmaster Andrew Grant reports pleasant to be winning everything, it is no way to improve standards and the First It was marvellous to see the XV, in search of greater challenges, sought Abbey so full on the last day out some heavyweight opponents. Among of the autumn term, a day these were Haileybury, whom they played when bureaucratic paranoia had closed almost every other for the first time in 25 years. It was deeply satisfying that, under school in St Albans for fear of a floodlights on the OA’s pitch plume of smoke that came in front of an excited and The autumn term nowhere near the city. To see partisan crowd, and just at a the streets of St Albans full of other schools’ unsupervised ended on a number time when Haileybury were featuring as Rugby World’s children milling around under School Team of the Month, we clear blue skies whilst the of artistic and beat them in an exciting and smoke from Buncefield headed closely contested game. The off in a south westerly creative highs, Firsts also had a good run in direction to deposit whatever toxins it contained on children with the energetic the Daily Mail Cup knockout competition before going down who would have been out of the path of the cloud had they and popular Grease to a very physical St Benedict’s side, but against gone to school, was a stark their traditional fixture list reminder of how often they had an unbeaten season. The regulation now takes precedence over unbeaten Under 14s, too, entered the Daily common sense. Mail Cup in search of some real Those of you who were able to be with us for the Carol Service will appreciate just competition, and found it, at last, against how accomplished a choir we have and will an impressive Bedford side at the very end be pleased to know that this term they will of term, which put an end to their fouryear unbeaten run. The cross-country be recording a CD of their repertoire in the Abbey. With luck, it should be available for squad, meanwhile, retained all the term’s trophies and have now won the Dr sale before the end of the summer term. Challenor’s relay for nine years in The autumn term ended on a number of succession. There were again good results, artistic and creative highs, with the too, in swimming and badminton. enormously energetic and popular The term also saw the inaugural, and production of Grease following an


guarantees an offer, but, in the event that extremely entertaining, meetings of the no place is ultimately forthcoming, it may new Stephen Hawking Science Society, to offer some degree of consolation for that a which our most eminent former pupil was candidate deserved one and was denied it very happy to lend his name, as well as purely by pressure of numbers. That so visits to the Library, to address Lower many should have been pooled suggests a School audiences, from director Mike Newell OA, together with his assistant, Jon further increase in a level of competition that is already incredibly intense. Oxford, Croker OA fresh from the latest Harry where this year’s outcomes were relatively Potter film; from Jonathan Stroud OA, disappointing has no pool system and is author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy and from consequently less easy to read, but a year Anthony Horowitz, celebrated author of which resulted in only four offers and 12 the Alex Rider stories, (but, alas, not an rejections – among them some very strong OA). candidates – has clearly been The CCF winter camp at Thetford was extraordinarily competitive. The final tally attended by 84 cadets and 12 officers and was 13 offers: four at Oxford OA helpers. In favourable and nine at Cambridge. weather all cadets were able to The spring term was busy The annual round sleep out under canvas at and the Easter holiday not night and whilst the Senior appreciably less so. and Fourth Form cadets of Oxbridge The cross-country squad conducted a 36 hour exercise over Thetford Training area, interviews resulted closed their account for the year with a successful defence the Third Form section of 40 of most of the trophies they Cadets carried out Survival in a good-toheld. In addition, they had to Training, Campcraft, Team their credit second place Building Tasks and Escape and average year with behind Winchester in this Evasion – much more fun than at neighbouring Center Parcs! a tally of 13 offers year’s Knole Run and an individual gold and silver for The annual round of captain James Newman and Oxbridge interviews resulted Mark Stitchbury, respectively, in the South in a good-to-average year, albeit a slightly East Schools championship on the last frustrating one. At Cambridge, of 21 weekend of term. Euan Mackenzie won the candidates, only six were rejected outright; junior championship at the same meeting, eight were offered places and an with Calum Pontin taking silver, the same unprecedented seven placed in the positions in which they finished in leading intercollegiate pool. For those who are the Third Form team to victory in the unfamiliar with the Cambridge system, the season-long league competition against pool is the method by which first-choice Haberdashers’, Watford Grammar, Dr colleges submit for consideration by other colleges candidates for whom they do not Visit OAconnect have room, but who, they are confident, the OA online database are of the right calibre and deserve a place follow the link on at the university. It by no means




Praise indeed. The mixed XI, Challenor’s and Queen’s 50 of our musicians who travelled with them, also schools. distinguished themselves, with The hockey First XI rounded an identical split of wins to off an excellent season – in set off for New losses crowning a season which they gained their first which began with a convincing win in many years over York, where they defeat of St Albans College, Kimbolton School, with a very convincing 5-1; held Watford performed a recital Buenos Aires, who were accompanying their 1st Rugby Grammar to a draw, having XV on tour in the UK. lost to them on every occasion in the United That fixture saw the only in recent memory and disposed outing of the spring term for of Mill Hill 8-0; Bancroft’s 8-1; Nations building our own First XV, Harrow 5-2 and Haberdashers’ reconstituted specially for this 4-1 – with a successful tour to traditional encounter and coming away Germany. There, playing against club with a 27 - 14 win, their first in the six sides, they suffered one defeat against two occasions the two schools have played each victories. The second win, 3-0, was against other here and in the southern hemisphere. the men’s First XI of the Berliner Baren Brahms’ Requiem, the Joint Schools’ club, who do not expect to lose to anyone Oratorio in the Abbey in the penultimate much, let alone a group of foreign week of term, was a tremendous schoolboys. It was a performance that demonstration of the quality of music both moved ace coach Joe Cowan (who captains here and at the High School, and of the St Albans HC 1st XI) to comment “On that huge numbers of pupils, staff, parents and performance I think they would have friends committed to that quality. beaten any National League Div 2 team Fresh from that success, 50 of our own and might even have given St Albans a run musicians, including the majority of the for their money.”

47 aspiring tennis players from the first choir, the chamber orchestra, string form to the upper sixth took part in some orchestra, string quartet, sax quartet and barbershop quartet, set off for New York as pre-season training at the Tennis Camp at Windmill Hill in Sussex. The tennis term ended. To enthusiastic acclaim from coaching – supported by video analysis – audiences, and invitations to return from was outstanding. The formal sessions were all three venues, they performed a highly intensive and saw extraordinary lunchtime recital in the United Nations improvement in the skills of all the boys in Building, an evening concert in St the space of four days. Barnabas’ Church, and at a Sunday Further details of these and other news morning Mass at St Peter’s Church on 53rd items can be viewed, of course, on the Street. The itinerary left time for some School web site. sightseeing, including trips by boat to Meanwhile, and with congratulations to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and by lift the OA 1st XV on salvaging a difficult to the top of the Empire State Building. season, I hope to see many of you on It was a very active holiday all round. Founders’ Day and/or at the There was Duke of Edinburgh OA Dinner. expedition training, some of it under CCF auspices, at Pen The golf tour to Andrew Grant Arthur, which involved some Headmaster navigation in poor visibility, Biarritz met with and an RAF section CCF camp at RAF Valley on Anglesey. a respectable This, being the HQ of one of the RAF’s flying schools, gave measure of cadets the opportunity of piloting a Hawk jet trainer on competitive a flight simulator, as well as a night exercise and some less success military activity including gokarting. There were modern language exchanges to Santander in Spain and Lüneburg in Germany, which gave pupils excellent opportunities to practise their language skills. The golf tour to Biarritz met with a respectable measure of competitive success and the group learned some useful French golfing terminology, whilst further north, in the Alps, a group of mostly Visit OAconnect inexperienced skiers benefited from good the OA online database snow and sunshine on the pistes of Serre follow the link on Chevalier to make excellent progress.







OA Lodge

Masonry and sex n Lodge Secretary John Williams reports on a lively debate on the proposal that United Grand Lodge of England should recognise both women’s Masonry and Co-Masonry The Lodge year will commence at the meeting in early May when the new Master is installed in the Chair by the outgoing Master Geoffrey Goodman, followed by the appointment of the Lodge Officers for the ensuing year. It is invariably the best attended meeting, and dinner jackets are the norm – although this is entirely optional. Geoffrey, who was elected to serve as Master in 2005-2006 because our Senior Warden had been forced to stand aside due to ill health, has had an excellent year with a good attendance at all the meetings. At the January meeting the Master elected to chair a stimulating discussion on ‘matters of Masonic interest’. This touched upon the origins of Freemasonry and the different working rituals, both in this country and overseas, and the uses to which the various non-Masonic charities put to the support they received from the Grand Charity. The subject that provoked the greatest debate however, was the proposal that United Grand Lodge of England should recognise both women’s Masonry and Co-Masonry. Membership of the Old Albanian Lodge – and all other Lodges which make up the United Grand Lodge of England – is restricted to ‘mature

men of 21 years and over’. To date the only woman to be officially initiated and acknowledged in ‘regular’ Freemasonry was the Honourable Miss Elizabeth St Leger, who later married Richard Aldworth Esq, in the early 1700s. She was the daughter of Lord Doneraile and a cousin of General Anthony St Leger, who founded the celebrated ‘St Leger’ horse race. In the 18th century a number of societies of a Masonic nature were formed on the continent of Europe to cater for Ladies; in Russia, Germany and particularly in France, where ‘Lodges of Adoption’ became very fashionable in French high society. These societies were sponsored by men’s Lodges and inevitably led to the formation of CoMasonic Lodges which are open to both men and women. Similarly in America, where Masonry was as popular as it was in France, a large number of Masonic or quasi-Masonic societies sprang up catering for women only or for mixed Lodges and many continue to the present day. Co-Masonry first came to this country from France in 1902, with the consecration of the Lodge of Duty in London on 26th September of that year. More recently a second mixed Order entitled the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women has been formed, practising Craft Masonry as we know it. Women’s Masonry commenced in England in June 1908 when the Grand Lodge of the Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry was opened. Although founded by both men and women, initiation of men ceased - although

male founders continued their membership during their lifetime. The second Grand Master, installed in 1912, was Mrs Marion Halsey, a relative of Sir Thomas Halsey, the Provincial Grand Master for Hertfordshire. In 1958 the Fraternity changed its name to the Order of Women Freemasons (OFW) and now has 450 Lodges and Chapters, which adhere to the Constitutions of our United Grand Lodge. In the same way as we do, they raise funds for both the Order’s own charities and for outside causes. The OFW also has two residential or short-stay homes. The proposal that United Grand Lodge should recognise both women’s Masonry and Co-Masonry gained much support from the younger members of the Lodge who are most aware that lifestyles have changed considerably from their fathers’ day. Nevertheless, it was recognised that for many men and indeed for women, Masonry is a recreation that is often all the more enjoyable because it is separate from one’s spouse, yet without risk of suspicion. Of course, adoption of the

proposal would have no effect on the vast majority of men’s and women’s Lodges, most of which would undoubtedly elect to remain single sex. However it would enable those husband and wives who wished also to enjoy Masonry together to do so by joining Co-Masonic Lodges which indeed, are flourishing at the present time. The Lodge visit organised by the Master to the historic city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia took place at Easter and was enjoyed by all. Most of the party, including wives and friends, 38 in all, travelled out very early on Easter Monday. On the Monday evening Lodge members attended a most interesting meeting of Hermes Lodge No 5, entirely conducted in Estonian and attended by the Grand Master of Estonia, which met in the complex originally built to cater for yachting when the Soviet Union hosted the Olympic Games. The following day we hired

The Orthodox cathedral in the historic city of Tallinn

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4 Rollswood Road Welwyn Herts AL6 9TX Telephone: 01438 715679

an English-speaking guide who conducted us on a fascinating walking tour of the incredibly well preserved medieval city. On Wednesday we all dined together in the evening at the Old Hansa restaurant, serving medieval fare – no potatoes at all! Many of the party stayed on to attend the meeting of an Estonian Mark Masons Lodge on Thursday evening, returning on Friday. Altogether a great success and our Master elect is now believed to be planning a visit in his year – to Florence it is rumoured! 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 Secretary as below, or Nigel WoodSmith or Alan Smith 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 Secretary will be delighted to hear from them. The Lodge website address is: John Williams Lodge Secretary

Membership Secretary’s Notes

Connect today n Our online membership service OAconnect is proving popular with OAs of all ages – now we need more of you to register, says OA Club Membership Secretary Roger Cook OAconnect My thanks to all who responded to my survey; a summary of the survey results has been sent to all registered members. If you are connected to the Internet and have not yet registered, please do so now and take a look at the facilities available. It takes only a few minutes and is totally free. You may enter as little or as much as you want about yourself, but to be most


effective we need the maximum number of members to register. Since we formally went live just under a year ago, 780 people have registered. Go to the OA web site ( and click on OAconnect. Some of you have not found the system very user friendly. We have discussed this with the supplier (Abattia) and have agreed to undertake with them a joint working party to improve the service over the next 6-9 months, at which time the system will be re-evaluated. Please continue to send your views/comments on the system, and a further survey will be sent out towards the end of the year. I remind those who have registered


that you should check your personal details on line and make any necessary changes on line. OA web site This Bulletin is also published on the OA web site (password 8402) and on the OAconnect site. Previous copies of the Bulletin are also available on the OA web site using the following passwords Autumn 2005 7315 Spring 2005 4378 Autumn 2004 9176 Spring 2004 5718 I am trying to expand the news section with a page on personal news. If you have any personal or general items or pictures (preferably digital) that you wish to put on the site, please send them to me for insertion. Items should be short and snappy (although longer items will be considered if especially interesting!). Collectively there must be an enormous amount of information that would be of interest to other members! Waifs and strays Last year there was a bulk posting to everyone on my database. This resulted in a large number of returns with the consequent increase in the number of addresses unknown. Many of the registrants on OAconnect have provided only their email and not their postal addresses. These OAs are not included in the waifs and strays. I am publishing the list of those who left school in 1985 or earlier and will publish the remainder in the next Bulletin. Please help by looking for

your friends from your school days and advising me if you know their present whereabouts. Please check your address label for accuracy. The year when your Bulletin subscription expires precedes your name on the address label. The subscription for three years mailing of the Bulletin remains at £18. I still have a stock of OA ties (£12.50, silk or £15, bowtie; post free).

Waifs and strays We have lost contact with the following OAs – can anyone help? Year


1936 1938 1938 1939 1941 1942 1942 1943 1944 1944 1947 1948 1948 1949 1952 1954 1955 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1963 1964 1964 1965 1965 1966 1967


Last known location Cuckfield Canada Harpenden St Albans St Albans Beaminster Desford Cranbrook Welwyn Garden City Harpenden Horam Radlett South Africa London High Wyclmbe Brookmans Park Blackboys Glasgow Shefford Harpenden Stoke-on-Trent Herts Knebworth St Albans Harpenden Newcastle-under-Lyne Wheathampstead London Edgware Luton


1 Pondwicks Close St Albans AL1 1DG Telephone: 01727 836877



De fortunis Albanorum 1967 1967 1968 968 1970 1970 1970 1970 1970 1970 1971 1971 1971 1971 1971 1972 1972 1972 1973 1974 1974 1974 1974 1975 1975 1975 1975 1976 1976 1976 1976 1976 1976 1976 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1979 1979 1979


Redhill Borehamwood Potters Bar Bury St Edmunds Wolverhampton

Birmingham Hitchin Sandbach Hitchin Newbury St Albans Harpenden Chesterfield Baldock Harpenden Stevenage Germany East Grinstead St Albans Slip End Edinburgh Bristol St Albans Barnet St Albans Welwyn Garden City Southsea Hove Attleborough London Hatfield Prestbury Welwyn Garden City Bricket Wood Harpenden Slip End London Silsden Abergynolwyn St Albans St Albans Slip End St Albans St Albans USA Leighton Buzzard Hemel Hempstead Camberley Harpenden St Albans London Berkhampsted Eccles-Aylesford St Albans London Middlesborough

1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1980 1981 1981 1981 1981 1981 1981 1982 1982 1982 1982 1983 1983 1983 1983 1983 1984 1984 1984 1984 1984


Luton Harpenden Tring Rickmansworth Crewkerne Wheathampstead Wakefield Harpenden Great Stukeley Cockermouth Luton Bristol Flamsted St Albans St Albans Billingborough St Albans Chislehurst Belgium Markyate St Albans Wheathampstead Windlesham Peterborough Harpenden Bracknell Hemel Hempstead St Albans Bournemouth Hong Kong Farnham Royal Twyford Southampton Bristol London Devizes Ballintore Harpenden Lindal-in-Furness Harpenden Harpenden USA

If anyone can help with the present address of any of the above, please contact me. Roger Cook Membership Secretary

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l Justin Pollard (86) had his latest book Alfred the Great – the Man who made England published by John Murray in November 2005. ISBN 0719566657 l John Meulkens (35) has written a book on the work of his sculptor friend James Butler RA, who made the bronze bust of Sir Nicholas Bacon which is now in the School library. Priced at £12.50 plus postage (soft cover) it consists of 112 pages with about 85 examples of his work – a selection of his small, medium and full size bronzes of dancers, children, nudes and portrait busts, and the entirety of his monuments and memorial statues. Some 90-95% of the reproductions are in full colour. Although it will definitely be available on 25th July this year – the sculptor’s 75th birthday – it may well be available in mid-June. Arrangements are being made to have the book on display on the School library desk from where it can be purchased. Alternatively, copies can be obtained from: J Butler Esq Valley Farm Radway Warwickshire CV35 0VJ Tel: 01926 641938 John wishes to record the great help given to him by Robin Ollington (47) who was responsible for the design and layout of the book. l James Browne (02) – Apologies for the error in the last issue. James’ degree was awarded by Cambridge University, not Oxford.

l Matthew Scase (96) has been given a Fulbright Distinguished Scholars Award, of which only two are awarded annually. They are awarded to academics and professional people. He will be taking it at Cornell in New York State in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, working with Professor C.H.K. Williamson. The research is related to aircraft wake trailing vortices. The project starts in January.

Deaths It is with regret that the following deaths are announced: l Nicholas Allen Ashby James died on 15th October 2005. l Alan Richmond (46) died on 26th January 2006. His brother writes: ‘Alan was a life member of the Club (“the best investment I ever made”) and was deeply involved, especially in the rugby club. He was one of a band of enthusiasts who, by hard work and creative fundraising in the 1950s, created the pavilion at Beech Bottom, in its time state of the art. He lived a varied life full of ups and downs; he was in publishing, he ran a very successful advertising company and then a country club. A serious heart attack slowed him down and he went back to advertising until his health made him retire. Even then he kept going, taking small parts in TV advertisements, drawing on his experience with the Company of Ten.




He maintained a strong interest in the OA Club and, even when struggling with an oxygen cylinder, wrote letters and expessed his views of changes at School and in the Club with passion.’

had made their way from the Iqbal Stadium through the city’s bustling streets to pay their respects. A silver plaque was officially unveiled by the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Mr Shaharyar M Khan who, in a moving speech, said his board was ‘deeply saddened by his sudden l Michael ‘Mike’ Walker (48) died in passing’. February 2006. Representing the England and Wales Cricket Board, tour manager l Robert Padmore (80) died of a Phil Neale and operations director heart attack whilst in Pakistan with the England Cricket Tour. He was an John Carr both expressed how much the England side appreciated the ardent supporter of England cricket support Robert and his fellow and many tributes came from his fellow supporters. An extract from an English supporters gave to the team. After the speech and a minute’s BBC Sport/England report is silence, particularly poignant in this reproduced below. noisy metropolis, Mr Khan unveiled a memorial plaque so that ‘any person The following article appeared on the staying in the hotel would know the BBC Sport website on Friday 25th dedication Robert had shown to his November 2005. team and the sport of cricket’. His parents, Gwen and Terry, who had flown into Pakistan on receiving the news of their son’s death, said n By Phil Long that he lived for the game and had With the Barmy Army in Pakistan got the taste for touring, ironically, on the cancelled England rebels tour An hour after the end of the Second of South Africa in the Test, with dusk falling early nineties. He was also outside, some 40 England present at the birth of the fans could be found in Barmy Army on the quiet contemplation in the Australia Ashes tour of foyer of a Faisalabad hotel. 1993-94 and had kept in We were there to mourn touch with many of the the loss of one of our own, cricket supporters, home English cricket supporter and abroad, he had met on Robert Padmore, 45, who subsequent tours. died after suffering a heart Andy Clark, founder attack soon after the close Robert Padmore’s member of the Matthew of the first day’s play here memorial plaque from Hoggard Fan Club, of the Pakistan Cricket in Faisalabad. Travelling which Robert was a Board supporters new and old

Death of a fan



photos and posters, the member, said: ‘Robert was latter designed by Stephen a larger-than-life character Gell’s printing society for on many of the tours I’ve competition purposes. been on. His passing is a The latest news on the sad loss to all those who museum is that it has now knew him in the travelling The England cricket been given the go-ahead English cricket fraternity.’ team wear black Katy Cooke, another armbands in memory of and David Morgan is drawing up plans. Robin virtual ever-present at Robert Padmore, who Tests overseas, also died during the Second Ollington will be involved in the design and echoed these sentiments: test against Pakistan development of the ‘We’ve lost one of our own museum. We are greatly indebted to out here and his death has, Phil Carter, the Conservator of the St obviously, been a massive shock to Albans Museums, for his advice all of those out here. I’ll remember concerning the conservation of him for the Motley Crew Cricket materials. The archivists are looking Club T-shirt which he wore to the forward to their permanent home first day of each and every Test being completed. match he attended.” Whilst the Test match itself may not have ended in an England victory the tales of Faisalabad, and our week long stay there, show why we do what we do and why Robert died doing something he loved. The explosion in the ground on day two, the numerous cups of sticky sweet chai in the streetside stalls and the search for permits to get your hands on just one cold beer are all vivid memories we’ll take from Faisalabad. The tour continues, with one of our number gone but certainly not forgotten.

Please send all items for

Archive and Museum

inclusion in the Gazette to:

We have received from Mrs R Jones a Black Book and booklet of photos which belonged to Robert Blower (33) and a school blazer worn by Stephen Jarvis (60s). David Willacy provided some

Mike Highstead, 33, Cornwall Road,

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Harpenden, Herts AL5 4TQ





Cambridge in America n Colin D F Smith (59) reports on a meeting of eminent Old Albanians in San Francisco last year Three Old Albanians were present at the Cambridge in America weekend held recently (November 12th) in San Francisco to launch the Cambridge 800th Anniversary Appeal. The Keynote speaker was Stephen Hawking (59) who gave the latest version of his concept of the formation of the Universe, illustrated by some excellent slides, and introduced his new book A Briefer History of Time. Afterwards he answered four questions, from all those submitted earlier, about Black Holes and String Theory and other facets of his work. The fourth and final, non-technical question, was put by Colin Smith (59): “Stephen, it has been an honor to know you for the last 43 years. If you had been the programmer for the school computer instead of me, do you think you might have founded Microsoft instead of being the greatest Astronomer of our time.” His answer, to thunderous applause was “I am very happy to have been able to have had the involvement I have in astronomy and I dislike computers anyway and have no desire to be the richest man in the world.” Also present was Nick Corfield (78) who moved to the USA in 1981 to read for a Ph.D. He was subsequently very successful in the Eighties’ technology boom, as well

as being a keen mountaineer who climbed Everest in 1999. He was the first major benefactor to the Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge and has just made a gift to St Johns College Cambridge of £1 Million in the form of a matching programme for the Bursary Scheme to encourage other Johnians to support the college. Nick was made an Honorary Fellow of St Johns in 2001. Colin was able to spend a few minutes with Stephen afterwards, when he was able to shake Stephen’s hand and receive a laboriously crafted thank you direct from Stephen’s computer, although he delegated his wife to sign a copy of his book. Colin then accompanied the Master of St Johns on a three mile walk, due to the scarcity of taxis, to and from a cocktail party for St John’s College Alumni, in a water side penthouse suite.

Six of the best n A selection of reminiscences from Patricia Buxton as she looks back fondly on six years as the School Secretary in the 1980s When I first came to St Albans at the end of the war, complete with husband Ray and son David, I thought that Saturday afternoons were to be spent shopping and with any luck, a present to boot. How wrong I was - nothing of the sort - I soon learnt that Saturday was sacrosanct and there was only one


thing one would be doing - off to Beech Bottom to watch rugger in the winter and cricket in the summer, with a brief interlude between seasons when we went on tours! And so from the beginning I was brainwashed into realising that the OAs and all that was therein entailed was to be our Life. After several years working at St Albans College of FE as Examinations Secretary and then Assistant Registrar, in 1980 I saw the advertisement in the paper for Secretary to the Headmaster. Both Ray and David had been at the school, as had many of Ray’s friends and I felt I should join in. I applied for the position – even though I was already pretty ancient and I shall always be so grateful to Frank Kilvington who took a chance and decided to employ me. They were some of the best days of my working life and the staff were the most delightful people to work for and with. In those days, the front of School House contained the Headmaster’s Study, the Bursar’s office (with the good John Peyton-Jones) and my office. Also there were two lavatories, kind of ‘His and Hers’. It took me several years before I realised that parents and visitors to the offices and Study were quite likely to be entertained by ‘noises off’ (‘His’ of course, never ‘Hers’!) Quite embarrassing really, but the thing was to pretend there was nothing untoward going on. Behind the Study and Bursar’s offices were two more offices for the Bursar’s

secretary and a general secretary. I remember us as a very happy and contained group and all worked well together naturally. In those precomputer days everything was done the hard way. Paper, paper and paper. Masses of hand-outs, exam papers and records were, of course, done on those labour-intensive stencils and a duplicating machine a very temperamental one at that (rather like WTM) and which often broke down. I don’t know why but I had a knack of kicking it and making it work again, so was often called for to put the boot in (or more likely, a 2” heel). Each boy’s record was kept – and may even now still be there – and all of course, done by hand. I was always amused to see that ‘O’ for a boy with the surname of Onions was followed by P for master Pickles. I often wondered whether, if they were in the same form, how difficult it would have been for them. In 1984 Frank Kilvington retired, and after his last morning service in the Abbey, it was quite a moment when he walked down the nave and the whole school clapped. I loved working for Frank and he had the effect on me of keeping me in order I was really quite in awe of him. The one reason I think I got on well was that I was probably the only member of staff who could read his writing and staff frequently came to me for translations. The Founders’ Day Ball, which was held in the School Hall, coincided with Frank leaving. It was





a great night and at the end, I persuaded Merle and Roy Bacon to come with me and ‘doctor’ Frank’s car. I really wasn’t at all sure that this would be appreciated and it could have been the proverbial lead balloon. We wrote ‘Just Retired’ on the back windscreen in lipstick and picked quite a lot of greenery from the garden with which we decorated the wheels etc. However, it was a HUGE relief when he and his wife Jane came round the corner and laughed their heads off. In fact, they were so pleased they had photographs taken which I know they actually treasure to this day. And so came Simon Wilkinson to the school, following a few months interim when Michael Rimer held the fort. Two prospective heads were short-listed and someone came and asked me which I felt was the most suitable. I decided the cuddly one – Simon – would be a good boss and from henceforth, he was known as Cuddles. He was also a lovely person to work for and I did feel that perhaps I was useful in seeing off one Head and helping the new one. Very rewarding days. One of my memories was the day that the TV programme ‘Treasure Hunt’ with Anneka Rice was due to come to the school. We had the organisers and crew here beforehand to prepare exactly what they were intending to do, all in great secrecy. On the appointed day, absolutely noone was allowed to know anything about it or the answers to the clues that Anneka would be seeking. I believe the then-Sergeant Major, the

Head, David Winfield and myself were the only ones in the know. All did not go smoothly, however, as the helicopter made its landing in the wrong place and set itself down in the Orchard opposite the Infants School. Anneka then had to belt up to the Art Room where the next clue was to be handed out. It was great fun as I was given a walkie-talkie and was in touch with the helicopter and thereby keeping all the others involved au fait with what was happening. Typical of the many and varied duties expected of a school secretary. This episode has been repeated several times since on TV and brings back happy memories of a hilarious day. Sadly, it was all over in absolutely no time after all the secret preparations. One other highlight was a concert that was held in the Old School Hall. John Madden was the Head of Music at that time and had a piece of music in which the chief soloist was a typewriter and guess who was press-ganged into being the poor unfortunate soloist – well I would have volunteered anyway! And so, rigged up by request in a ghastly loud kaftan, I took my place in the orchestra. Actually, it was really great fun and we laughed so much I could hardly play my part. At the end, much clapping and of course, I was presented with flowers. I have the programme to this day. Then when I reached 65, I decided that I honestly felt that the Head’s Secretary who, very much in touch with parents and prospective parents, should present a younger


and more trendy front. Also I felt that I should go while I was still on top of the job. Big mistake. I reckon I could have gone on for a few more years work-wise but still felt they needed someone younger in what was really Reception. I had a most marvellous send-off and as a gift, the staff gave me a huge cheque which they especially designated to be spent on a small aeroplane trip from Nepal round the Himalayas. We did see Everest, but I have to say it was a long way away. This was indeed a most memorable trip, as the staff knew I was going on holiday in Kathmandu anyway and hence presented me with this extra item to our itinerary. So, I left and have never regretted anything more. I missed the work and the staff so much and it had always been the case that on Sunday night I was looking forward to going ‘to work’ on Monday. Wonderful

days, happy times and I certainly enjoyed ‘six of the best’ at St Albans School. I wonder how many lucky people can say that!

Andes landscape: looking for cacti in Argentina

Flora marathon n Avid cacti grower and collector Mike Harvey describes his recent trip to Argentina with fellow cactophiles Early October 2005 and with a small group of cactophiles I set off from Gatwick heading for the high Andes in the north west of Argentina to photograph and search for both rare and common cacti. We were to meet up with six or so Americans of similar intent when we reached Cordoba, the second city of Argentina. The Americans were travelling via Lima and Santiago Chile from different US airports. It is about 11 hours from London to





Buenos Aires and another couple from BA to Cordoba so we were not at our best when we reached the Holiday Inn but that evening we had a meeting with our guide, Guillermo Rivera, and discussed our hopes for the expedition. Several bottles of excellent Argentinian Malbec were also consumed. It looked good and apart from the possibility that one or two roads might be impassable the itinerary was achievable. Our little group settled down well, there were two Texans, five Californians and us limeys (plus one Dutchman!), but all with a very keen interest in Cactaceae. One of the Californians was a retired botanist from the university of Santa Barbara, John Bleck, his identification of plants other than cacti was very helpful throughout the four week visit. Woody Munnich, who owns a large cactus nursery in Arizona, was also a very experienced South America hand and knew most of the cacti instantly, one or two of the Argentinian speciality genus, gymnocalycium, did confuse him but they confused everyone else as well so no harm done. We were, unbeknown to us at the start, to cover over 5000km in our small two wheel drive bus, on roads that at times were poor. We travelled through the states of Catamarca, Tucuman, Jujuy (pronounced ‘hooh hooey’, I always wondered about that), Salta, La Rioja and Cordoba. Mostly we were above 2000m and in Jujuy almost always above 4000m. Staying in about 20 different estancias, hosterias and hotels we

experienced a number of different styles of accommodation. Some very luxurious, for example Hosteria Ruinas de Quilmes which is in the middle of extensive Indian ruins in the Calchaqui quebrada and provided very fine accommodation with a pool. ( uinas_de_quilmes.php) but is rather a long way from everywhere. The pool was too cold for all of us as Argentina was having a late spring in October 2005, this also affected the flora and there were not many plants in flower. However it was nice to sit by with a beer or a glass of wine. Other hosterias were rather basic, more like a YMCA, but were without exception clean, mostly with hot water and all with a friendly welcome. North west Argentina has a high percentage of indigenous people, of several different tribes, amongst them the Wichi of the Chaco plains. Their music is with pan pipes and guitars and their handicraft interesting, for example boxes made from cardon (a large trichocereus cactus). The old churches dating from the very early days of the conquistadors often have all the wooden interior made from cactus wood including the roof, lecterns and doors. Many of these structures predate anything in the USA. Due to my own carelessness my camera battery expired in one of the most remote parts of the trip, on the old mostly unsurfaced road between Cafayate and Cachi. I had to wait until we reached Salta to sort things out. No worries, Salta is


a fine old city with a beautiful central square in the spanish style like many of the north western towns. A bustling place with most of the modern day necessities of life. Here we stayed in another quite luxurious hosteria, in the San Lorentzo suburb of Salta. The vegetation around Salta in contrast to most of the rest of the country we travelled in, was lush and the onset of spring could be seen. Hummingbirds, piculets, parrots and woodpeckers were all around in the gardens of the hosteria. When we climbed up through Jujuy to the town of La Quiaca the temperature dropped and breathing became more

difficult, plant life more scarce as well. One or two folk suffered from altitude sickness and stayed in San Salvador de Jujuy at a lower level while we did our exploring around La Quiaca. I had hoped to meet Brian Woods here as he is resident in La Paz and it is many years since we worked together in Antigua, unfortunately he was, due to Murphy’s Law, in London on a project! The small waterfalls near the road were frozen at this height, about 4100m, and we were close to the Bolivian border, our passports were politely inspected at a police check point and we continued on our way. We had come here to see a

Mike Harvey’s cactus party investigates Argentinian weaponry



recently discovered new genus and species, for those interested, and I doubt any are, it was yavia cryptocarpa. A cactus adapted to extremes, cold, drought and a low nutrient, rocky soil and only discovered a few years ago. We succeeded in our search with the help of our Argentinean guides, the plant is less than 3 cms across and most of it is a tuberous root ! Feeling rather satisfied we had reached the furthest point from Cordoba on our journey and were now on our way back. We had made a stop at a cascade of hot springs at Termas de Fiambala, Catamarca on the way out. The hottest pool was 41degC at the top cooling to about 23degC at the bottom pool with a choice in between, nice on a cool Andean spring day. Good birding in the area too, we had seen condors several times. we bypassed this on our way back to Cordoba over the Sierras de Cordoba, a popular holiday area for Cordoba residents, and returned to the city tired and with a stack of unwashed laundry ! Sunday to Wednesday in Cordoba gave those interested time to enjoy the city, including a tango bar on Av. Belgrano where we were welcomed by the MC as friends from the USA ! Trolley buses are public transport here in addition to the usual type and rumbled past the bar as we enjoyed the show and lama steaks, plus the legs of the dancers (female)! Finally as one of our party was a horticulturalist from Chester zoo, interested in sourcing plants for the


enclosures at Chester, our last visit was to Cordoba zoo. The animals and birds were mostly in very good condition but our zoo man was critical of the bear enclosures which were a bit reminiscent of London Zoo in the 1950’s. I was impressed however with the psittacines and rheas which were in very good order. We departed from Cordoba airport after almost four weeks to make our connection in Buenos Aires to Gatwick. A very short stop in BA meant I was not able to take Bryan Randle up on his offer of a beer at his home and I had to take a rain check. It had been an arduous trip with some interesting climbs to plant locations and more tiring than I expected, likely due to age more than anything, but very enjoyable for die hard cactophiles! This was my first South American visit despite Brian Woods continual recommendations through the years, and I hope it won’t be my last. Now I know why those Brazilian retreads were always going on about how wonderful SA was and could not settle elsewhere!

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Top order n David Rourke looks forward to another highly successful season as the club goes from strength to strength Following up on the Old Albanian Cricket Club’s memorable 75th anniversary season in 2005 – a season that featured promotion for two sides, a first-ever cup final victory for the club, and a multitude of birthday celebrations – appears, at first sight, to be a daunting task. However, a read through the Fixture Card indicates that there is much in prospect for the club in 2006. The card itself has expanded from 32 to 40 pages, principally to accommodate details of the 150 fixtures that the club will play in 2006; that is twice the number of fixtures that were played in 2000, the final season at Beech Bottom. The numerous changes to the senior officers of the club for 2006 are also featured in the card. The principal reason for the increased number of fixtures is the creation of three new teams in 2006, besides the welcome re-establishment of a Sunday 2nd XI. The new sides are the ‘Kwik Cricketers’, namely the Under 9s and Under 10s under the watchful eye of Ben Wainwright, and the 4th XI, which will contest ten friendly fixtures as a prelude (hopefully) to entering the Hertfordshire League in 2007. Meanwhile, the 3rd XI has an increased schedule of fixtures following its promotion to Division 11 of the Hertfordshire League, while

the 1st XI and 2nd XI have the usual mixture of league, cup, friendly and Sussex Tour commitments. It adds up to a packed schedule for Club Captain Tom Preest to oversee and organise. Tom has been busy appointing skippers during the winter, as only Anthony Goodin (3rd XI) of the 2005 captains remains in post. Alf Rehman succeeds Robert Bee as 1st XI captain, having made himself the outstanding candidate once Rob had stepped down, after overseeing the Sunday 1st XI’s Becker Plate victory and Chess Valley League promotion in 2005. Nick Nguyen succeeds Alf on a Sunday. Colin Bashford’s increased teaching commitments mean that he hands over the reins of the 2nd XI to David Goodier, with Terry James leading the Sunday 2nd XI. The 4th XI’s debut season will be overseen by David Hughes, which is most appropriate as David – who has also taken on the long-vacant role of Hon. Secretary – was one of the keenest advocates of the 4th XI’s creation. Finally, the club has appointed its first Coach, Mike Dale, a Hertfordshire juniors coach and a distinguished player for many years at Hemel Hempstead CC. Funding for the position of Coach derives mainly from the commercial revenue raised for OACC by Nigel Cartwright. Nigel’s sterling work since 2004 has led to the appearance of a plethora of advertising hoardings around the cricket oval at Woollams, as well as contributing to the expansion of the Fixture Card via his remorseless selling of pages to





advertisers. For these efforts, Nigel was a thoroughly deserving winner of the 2005 President’s Award, which marked one of John Josling’s final acts in his seven years as OACC President. Alan Philpott, who holds the club record for wicket-keeping dismissals, succeeds John as President, and takes his place on a Management Committee which is completed by the stalwarts Andrew McCree (Chairman) and Denis King (Treasurer). On the field, the club is quietly optimistic that the progress made during 2005 can be continued. Visa problems prevented record-breaking all-rounder Andrew McLean’s reengagement as overseas player; in his stead, London-based Australian fast bowler Tim Cameron and South African all-rounder Philip Van Niekirk will vie for the position in the 1st XI. The other headline new recruits are fast bowler Alistair Jones, formerly of Essex League side Gidea Park, and batsman Neil Bannister, previously captain of Northern League side Chorley and a former Lancashire 2nd XI and Lancashire Board XI player. Fast bowler Alex Addison is expected to be available throughout the season, during his gap year between the School and Durham University. A number of other new faces have appeared at indoor nets during the winter, and it is anticipated that several Colt players will strengthen the 3rd and 2nd XI s after the end of the summer term. A fascinating season is in prospect at Woollams. It remains to be seen

whether the impact of the spectacular 2005 Ashes series will be felt by OACC, especially in terms of the numbers of Colts. Notwithstanding such developments, the senior players are determined to maintain the momentum of the successful 2005 season. David Rourke OA Cricket

Last innings n David Rourke pays tribute to a pair of OA cricket stalwarts who sadly died last year During 2005, two of the ten Honorary Life Members of Old Albanian Cricket Club passed away. Maurice Wiggs and Tom Furlong were excellent all-round sportsmen, fondly remembered by their friends and families, and held in high regard by current players. Ironically, Tom and Maurice both played the final game of their distinguished OA careers on the same day, Thursday 15th July 1965, at Montrose Park during the Tour to Kent. Tom scored 44, Maurice made 38, and together they added 59 runs in 36 minutes for OAs’ fourth wicket. Two other Honorary Life Members, Alan Philpott and George Giffen, were also playing for OAs that day. Maurice Wiggs, 1913-2005 Maurice Wiggs holds a prominent position within the pantheon of Old Albanian sport. Whether judging his ability and achievements as a rugby winger, a genuine all-rounder at


cricket, a single-figure handicap golfer, or as a snooker, table tennis and cards player, his contemporaries tend to arrive at approximately the same conclusion regarding Maurice – namely, that he was a superb, naturally talented, competitive yet highly sportsmanlike player, who would grace any OA side of any era. Standing just under six feet tall, of average build and usually (on the cricket field) wearing glasses, Maurice’s natural athletic attributes were demonstrated with speed, style and intelligence. On the rugby field, preferring the open space of the wing to the hurly-burly up front, he was light on his feet and scored many tries for OAs, either via weaving runs or via a more direct path, as the situation necessitated. Maurice won Hertfordshire county honours during the 1930s, and after his playing career ended he refereed OA rugby for many years – sometimes deploying his son, David, as a touch judge. It is as an OA cricketer that Maurice’s achievements stand out. He represented the club, as vicecaptain, in its inaugural fixture against St George’s School on May 24th 1930, and signed off on the Tour to Kent in July 1965. During his 35year career for the 1st XI, Maurice amassed 9,801 runs (average 26.28) including eleven centuries, and took 1,100 wickets (average 9.49) including 61 hauls of five wickets or more in an innings. In the 75-year history of the club, only Alec Holt, David Merriott and Andrew McCree have exceeded Maurice’s run aggregate (McCree alone has scored more centuries), and

only Mike Thomas has taken more wickets (George Giffen, along with Mike, has exceeded Maurice’s total of ‘5-fors’). Given that the Second World War meant that there was no OA cricket for seven seasons while Maurice was in his prime as a Hertfordshire county cricketer (he opened the bowling for Hertfordshire with his OA team mate, Donald Urry, in 1939), those statistics would likely have become unsurpassable had life carried on as normal between 1940 and 1946. These feats were attained by Maurice batting in accordance with the situation before him, usually from the middle order, and by powerfully driving and pulling. With the ball, Maurice bowled right-arm fast medium for much of his career, reverting to off-spin later on, and gained much of his speed from a powerful action at the end of a short, straight, bustling run. Maurice usually fielded in the slips, from where he pouched many catches. He was a highly respected cricketer throughout Hertfordshire, quietly but fiercely competitive, and one whose pet hate was to see OA fielders drop catches, especially off his bowling. Over the entire history of the club, Maurice’s record is eye-catching; during the club’s first ten years, prewar, he was a colossus, scoring more than twice as many runs and taking more than twice as many wickets as any other player, barring (just) his

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close friend Harry Harvey. Donald Wiggs, Maurice’s brother, also featured a good deal during the early seasons at Belmont Hill and Beech Bottom. Maurice led both the batting and bowling aggregates in six of those first ten seasons; regularly cut a swathe through opposition batting line-ups with his fast bowling. The club records that he holds, or held, are plentiful. Maurice scored eleven of the first sixteen centuries recorded for the club; scored the first century for the club, 102 not out against Old Hertfordians in June 1933; set a record 4th wicket partnership of 162 during that game with Gerald Owen which still stands today; held the 2nd wicket partnership record of 185, also with Owen, from 1936 to 1991; held the 1st wicket partnership record of 207 with Mike Smith from 1955 until 2002; held both the career run and wicket aggregate records from 1930 until 1982; and held the seasonal run aggregate record (986) from 1937 until 1969. As the years passed, Maurice replaced time previously spend on the cricket and rugby fields with other pursuits – notably golf, which he played off a low handicap. Gardening and wildlife were other passions, as was travelling; son David estimates that Maurice went on around 60 sea cruises, at a rate of two or three per year. Maurice also served as Chairman of the OA Club. During his working life, Maurice ran the family building contractor business, and the company oversaw the construction of part of Mount Vernon hospital, near Northwood. As

the building trade was a reserved occupation, Maurice spent World War Two in the Home Guard, while continuing to run the business. Maurice is survived by his two sons and his daughter, two grandsons (who played cricket for Langleybury and Northchurch) and five great-grandchildren. He leaves an immense sporting legacy; his cricketing statistics are viewed with awe and admiration by the comparatively cosseted modern-day OA players, and the memories held by his contemporaries are of an exceptional, much respected sportsman, a great character and a delightful man. Tom Furlong, 1924-2005 When I asked John Josling to describe Tom Furlong, John instantly responded by saying “twinkling”. As I uncovered more about Tom’s life, in subsequent discussions with his friends and with Pam, his wife of 55 years, John’s simple description of Tom became more and more evocative. For Tom was a man of many talents, short of stature yet lightning fast, dedicated to whatever he turned his mind to and a perfectionist, possessed of a great sense of humour, a marvellous companion and an amazing, natural ball player. During his time at the School, Tom played in a renowned rugby fixture when the Day Boys achieved a rare victory over the Boarders, an event which was commemorated recently by a reunion! From St Albans, Tom then went up to Cambridge


University to study Economics; however, the Second World War intervened, and Tom left Cambridge to serve in the RAF, including a spell of training in Canada. Upon resuming civilian life, Tom returned to St Albans and worked for the provisions store, Thomas Oakleigh & Co, in Market Place. He was then able to play both rugby and cricket for OAs. On the rugby pitch, he was a highly-regarded scrum half, a good tackler, very fast and quick to take advantage of openings. Tom represented Rosslyn Park for a time, prior to OAs. As a cricketer, Tom was a lightning-quick wicket-keeper and a punishing batsman, with particular aptitude for cut, pull and hook shots, whose contemporaries recollect his “scampering up and down” and “snapping up catches”. The cricket club archives are rather sketchy throughout the 1950s, when Tom was in his prime; the extant records reveal that he was the leading 1st XI run scorer in both 1953 and 1959. After his final appearance in 1965, on The Kent Tour, Tom had amassed 6,082 runs for the 1st XI at an average of 18.21; at that time, only Maurice Wiggs has scored more runs for the 1st XI, and even now only twelve players have exceeded that aggregate. Sadly, the precise statistics of Tom’s wicket-keeping are lost along with many of the scorebooks and records from the 1950s. Tom’s sporting endeavours were interrupted by the War, by a frustrating proneness to injury (mainly broken fingers, the scourge

of wicket-keepers, but a fractured skull suffered via a fall from a horse ended his rugby career) and by work commitments. After he left Oakleigh’s, Tom and his wife Pam (whom he met when they worked together at Oakleigh’s) ran a grocery store on Alma Road in St Albans, which became an occasional gathering-point for OA cricketers courtesy of its alcohol licence. Incredibly, during their tenure of the shop, Pam found time to make cricket teas at Beech Bottom while Tom played cricket and their two children ran around the ground. Business commitments eventually led to the couple moving to Kent, after Tom took up a position with a tea and coffee retailer that was based in Bromley. He missed the OAs, but kept in touch with numerous friends and occasionally appeared on the annual cricket Tour. Tom turned his sporting attentions to golf in due course, his natural ability and diligence meaning that, in due course, he played the game well. For twelve years, Tom was Treasurer of his local club, Hawkhurst. For several years before his death, Tom was ill with cancer, which led to him giving up golf and discovering a talent for drawing and painting whilst attending a hospice. Several of Tom’s friends now possess his artwork, the fruits of an initially therapeutic pastime which he undertook with typical thoroughness

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and aplomb. Tom’s many OA friends recall him as a fine sportsman, an extremely clever man who did everything with flying colours, a good companion with an impish sense of humour and


a fund of stories. Tom is survived by his wife Pam, his children Sarah and Richard, and grandchildren Stuart and Jenny. David Rourke OA Cricket


Beating the drop n Club President Ali Mills looks back on a season ravaged by injuries – and a successful battle against relegation, ensuring London One league rugby at Woollams again next term We have just come to the end of our fourth season at Woollams, and as I predicted in the last issue of the Bulletin, it has indeed turned out to be even more competitive then the previous. You will recall me telling you that we had paid a heavy price in injuries for a successful pre-season campaign but coach, Bruce Millar and his support staff, Tony Buchanan, Mike Walker and Dave Wyman, did not ever dream that it would get worse. Well, it did, and coming into the New Year, staring at relegation with only five points collected, it looked very ominous. At one stage, in a Powergen Intermediate cup match, we were only able to field five players with first team experience and during the season, Bruce has used 48 players in the team, including seven No 7s. Mind you, it has been quite an experience for


those players who have stepped up from the 2nd and 3rd teams and performed very well against tough opposition. At that time, our local rivals, Tabard, were in free-fall and Old Colfians were on the way down as well. However, a quite magnificent rearguard action brought wins against Tabard, Colfs, Barnes and a quite fantastic performance against Staines (Chris Sheasby and all), and with a little help from the RFU, who changed the rules again, I am delighted to tell you that your 1st XV will be playing London One League rugby again next season. However, I have to say that it will not be easier; only last week, Richmond, who had been a certainty all season to gain promotion to the National Leagues, failed at the last play-off hurdle and remain with us as do London Scottish. The promoted sides were Canterbury and Clifton. It was so frustrating for all to see that on the few occasions we were able to field a strong side, we looked very good indeed. Hopefully, this augurs well for next season. I would like to thank skipper, Greg Botterman, our very own Barbarian,

for inspiring our comeback, being one of the league’s top try scorers, and he plays hooker! Our new recruits, Rich Gregg, Russell Osman and Phil Freil have shown their class at this high level and a young man of eighteen, Mike Peters, a Kiwi over here for work experience, has made a huge impact at both colts and 1st XV levels. Congratulations to the other forty plus players who contributed. Our injury woes decimated the 2nd XV for most of the season in their first season in the Canterbury League but despite some huge losses, there were still some great performances, particularly against Richmond development squad and Southend away. My thanks to captain, Sam Towsend, who as a young player himself, never tired from inspiring on the field. Our Third, Fourth and Fifth sides have once again enjoyed good seasons, taking on much stronger opposition. Notable wins were for the 3rds against Harpenden 2nds, for the 4ths against Bishops Stortford, and for the 5ths, High Wycombe 2nds. OA Saints have once more been commanding in their league, to

which they gained promotion last year and one of their great wins of the season was against a very strong Richmond side. It was also a fantastic achievement for the women’s 2nd team in only their first season, by not only for getting noticeably stronger each week, but getting good wins towards the end of the season including Fullerians, who had trounced them earlier on. Well done to the girls. The Colts and the Juniors have also enjoyed great seasons, every age group from U12s to U17s reached the semi-finals of their cups, two of which became finalists. The U16s and U17s won their leagues and joined the presentation parade at the last Saracens home game against Leicester, and both age groups went on their first tours. The Mini Section, under the direction of Rory Davis, won so many competitions I cannot mention them all. Suffice it to say, they go from strength to strength. My thanks to all the Coaches and

The future: members of the OA U10s squad who, like many of the Mini and Junior teams, had another very successful season

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OA Fishing parent volunteers, without whom, of course, we would not have a Minis and Juniors Section. The Senior Club Committee has worked tirelessly during the season with some challenging issues that had to be confronted. My thanks to all. We have enjoyed a number of successful social evenings and the efforts of the organisers are much appreciated. Only last week, we enjoyed a most successful end of season Club Supper attended by nearly a hundred players, past and present, who were wonderfully entertained by our Guest Speaker, Jeff Probyn of RFU and England fame and of course, a former playing member of our Club. I was also delighted to welcome Paul Turner, former Wales and Sale, now Director of Rugby at Newport Gwent, and also an OA. Whilst the season has come to an end, there are still events to be noted. The traditional end of season tour this year is to Lithuania, wherever that is, and yes, your President feels he ought to attend just to find out! The Summer Ball takes place on the

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10th June and the President of the Old Albanian Club, Andrew Barnes, is hosting a Garden Party at Woollams on the 18th June. Tickets for this event are available from Neil Dekker at OA Sport, Woollams, priced £12.50 for a single or £25.00 for a couple. All OAs are most welcome so I look forward to seeing you there. To all OAs, I wish you an enjoyable and relaxing summer, a good cricketing summer, and I look forward to seeing with you all again next season at Woollams, the home of OA Rugby, when I will be in my ninth and final season as President. Alastair Mills President OARFC

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Game plans n OA Fishing Society Secretary Geoff Cannon welcomes a new Club member and looks forward to another exciting game fishing season With the summer trout fishing season finishing in the autumn, activities switched to pike and other coarse fishing over the winter and several sizeable pike were landed. President, David Morgan and Brian Ward visited Costa Rica in the autumn and returned with tales of the visit and tarpon they apprehended together with the trials, delays and tribulations due to Hurricane Katerina. The usual formal events took place with members entertaining their wives at the Fishwives Supper held at Potten End again this year also the annual continental day trip to St Omer. Members are now looking forward to the new game fishing season. David Morgan and Geoff Cannon are re-visiting Florida in April for more tarpon fishing. Visits are also being arranged to Ireland, Derbyshire and The Orkneys during the summer. A new Old Albanian member, Keith Doherty, joined our merry band this year. However, we are all getting older year by year and any younger anglers would be more than welcome to join our ranks.

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OA Bulletin - Spring 2006 Edition  
OA Bulletin - Spring 2006 Edition  

OA Bulletin - Spring 2006 Edition