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Founded in 1888 as the Haberdashers’ Old Boys Club

Special 1940s Edition

December 2019 Edition 210


Foreword President Colin Blessley The passage from Autumn into Winter brings many changes, even for the OHA. The clocks going back at the end of October means that there are no late kick-offs – Croxdale Road does not yet boast floodlighting, other than for the blue, white and magenta façade of the club house. It is always a memorable experience to attend the annual Remembrance Day Parade at the School, which is held on the croquet lawn at the side of Aldenham House, facing the war memorial. John Wigley has written a report, which appears later in this edition. I am always impressed by the solemnity of the occasion and a note-perfect rendition of “The Last Post” added much poignancy. Reflecting, subsequently, on the experience, it struck me that too little is known about the former pupils of the School who served in the Armed Forces during World War 2, other than, maybe, their school record. In my case, I recall the occasional anecdote from my father, but he, like many, was always reluctant to talk in too much detail about his experiences. KHB typed his life story using an old, unreliable Corona portable – single digit typing! I have a complete photocopied set, so I thought it would be interesting to review what he wrote about OH, rugby and the war. Extracts are included in this edition. I encourage fellow OH who may have any material of their OH fathers’ experiences to contact Richard Carlowe with a view to contributing to these memories. More recently, in early December I attended the Christmas Club House (euphemism for “Old Lags”) lunch. The Club House looked absolutely fantastic – the festive decorations, a large tree, a roaring fire, dressed tables, all contributed to the warm atmosphere – so many thanks to Pauline and the team for their hard work in transforming our headquarters for the festivities. There was an interesting first – a light-hearted musical interlude. You can read more later in this publication. My best wishes for the holiday season and for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020.

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Editorial Richard Carlowe A few weeks before publication, OH Notes was looking decidedly short of stories. Thanks to Prof Holmes, Dr Wigley, President Colin Blessley and Alan Woolford, however, I am now sat here editing another major edition, which suddenly became one focused on the 1940s. I am actually having to postpone stories until the next edition. Please feel free to send me your reminiscences from days at Habs. It would be great to produce a 1950s issue next time out—in April 2020. It has been a great 2019 for the Cricket Club, who go from strength to strength and the Rugby Club and Football Club have both got off to great starts to their respective seasons. May I take this opportunity to wish OH, young and old, a really Happy Festive Season and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. To send articles, or for anything else whatsoever, please email richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com

Photo Gallery The Refectory Remembrance Parade

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Photo Gallery

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Contents Foreword

2

Editorial

3

Picture Gallery

3

Contacts

5

Clubhouse Hire

6

OHA EVENTS

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Annual Remembrance Service

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OHA Pub Quiz

8

Clubhouse Christmas Lunch

10

OHA Lodge Family & Friends Lunch

11

OHA Lodge Installation Meeting

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Forthcoming Events

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Involute Industries

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1940s & OTHER ARTICLES

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OH, Rugby & World War 2

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The First Ski Trip

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General Studies

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The End of Independent Schools?

24

Visit to RAF Bentley Priory

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Volunteer Tutors

30

OHA Lottery

32

Habs in the 1940s

34

OBITUARIES

38

Rex Charles Harris

38

Peter Mitchell

39

Christopher Jenkins

40

David Seaman

41

SOCIETIES

42

OH Rugby Football Club

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OH Football Club

44

OH Cricket Club

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OH Golf Society

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OH Rifle Club

47

Past Presidents

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THE OLD HABERDASHERS’ ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT Colin Blessley colin.blessley@oldhabs.com OHA ADMINISTRATOR, OH NOTES EDITOR & DESIGNER Richard Carlowe richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com Tel 020 8445 6639 CLUB HOUSE Croxdale Road Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 4PY CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS 73 Oak Tree Drive London N20 8QJ WEBSITE www.oldhabs.com

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Events Annual Remembrance Service Friday 8th November 2019

The School Remembrance Day parade and service was held on Friday 8th November 2019. As usual it was a sombre occasion, the emotionally charged atmosphere added to by the chilly wind and grey sky. Members of the OHA met for tea in the Old Refectory before the service began at 3.30, when they were joined by a large number of parents of boys in the CCF. whose three Sections (Army, Navy and RAF) were drawn up on the lawn outside Aldenham House. The service went well, aided by an amplification system that worked perfectly. We heard every word spoken by the Contingent Commander, the Chaplain and the three Cadets who paid tribute to Old Haberdashers who had given their lives defending their country from its enemies. The headmaster, Gus Lock, himself an Old Haberdasher, and Colin Blessley, President of the OHA, whose father K.H. Blessley had a key role in the 1943 Italian Campaign and was awarded the CBE, placed wreaths on the War Memorial on behalf of the School and the OHA. Afterwards senior cadets and their officers, parents and members of the OHA. assembled in Aldenham House and mingled over sandwiches and mercifully hot tea in a fine example of the Haberdashers' community at its best. 7


Events OHA Pub Quiz Friday 22nd November 2019

The Triumphant Wishful Thinkers. They did well on the raffle too!

With the fire roaring, and Jim and Andrew Tarpey joining one of the teams, rather than writing the quiz, four teams sat down to do battle, hoping to win the coveted title of Brains of Croxdale. With questions set by regular Pub Quiz host, Richard Carlowe, it was neck and neck as to who would win and ultimately, after the customary delicious meal served up by Pauline, it was The Wishful Thinkers who took that title, winning on a tiebreaker. The next quiz is on Wednesday 4th march. Please email Roger Pidgeon at lamontplan@btinternet.com to reserve your place.

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Events OHA Pub Quiz Friday 22nd November 2019 How well can you do with one of the rounds? Connections 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Which British boxer defeated Vladimir Klitschko in 2017 to win the WBA World Heavyweight Boxing Title? Which Italian City is situated across 118 small islands and has been known by many nicknames including "The Floating City"? Which monarch ruled England from 1199-1216 and is best known for agreeing to the Magna Carta? Who starred in 9 Carry On Films between 1964 and 1974 and is best known for losing her top in Carry on Camping? What connects the previous 4 answers? Which football team were playing at home to Stoke City in 1946 when an event known as the Burnden Park Disaster took place that saw 33 people crushed to death? What is the capital and largest town on the Isle of Man? Which English King died on 6th February 1952? Named after a general in the US Army who went on to serve as the seventh US President, what is the state capital of Mississippi? What connects the previous 4 answers?

The answers can be found on Page 40

SAVE THE DATE Thursday 28th May 2020

OHA Annual Dinner 9


Events Clubhouse Christmas Lunch Tuesday 3rd December 2019

The Triumphant …. They did well on the raffle too!.

From the age of 53 to 93, 63 OH descended upon Croxdale Road for the annual “Old Lags” Clubhouse Christmas Lunch. With the wine flowing, a full four course Traditional Christmas Meal, Tony Alexander’s OHRFC round up and the annual OHA summary from President, Colin Blessley, the event was deemed to be a huge success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all present. The afternoon was capped by the harmonious(ish) Ian Powell and Malcolm Tappin dueting with their ukulele backed renditions of Jingle Bells and other Yuletide favourites. Thank goodness there had been a lot of wine! The next clubhouse lunch is on Tuesday 18th February. Please contact Roger Pidgeon to secure your place. lamontplan@btinternet.com. 10


Events OHA Lodge Family & Friends Lunch Sunday 15th September 2019

On a glorious late summer afternoon, 48 guests attended the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge Family and Friends lunch at The School, with a “sparkles” reception beforehand, then dining in Aldenham House with a magnificent buffet provided. Lodge President Paul Youngman welcomed everyone and then those present enjoyed a delightful relaxed lunch together. Huge thanks to Headmaster Gus Lock for allowing us to use Aldenham House, but especially to Director of Foundation Roger Llewellyn for all his help in arranging this splendid occasion, plus his guided tour of the School afterwards. Special mention to Sharon Whybrew, the school catering manger and her dedicated “team of helpers” for giving up their Sunday afternoon, but the biggest thank you goes to those who came and supported this Family and Friends lunch! After this year’s success, a firm date has been arranged for the third Sunday in September, with the next Family and Friends lunch planned at the school for Sunday 20th September 2020. 11


Events OHA Lodge Installation Meeting 7th December 2019

The Haberdashers' Aske's School and Freemasonry have enjoyed a long and distinguished association over many years. The Haberdashers' Aske's Lodge is now in its 112th year. The Lodge has a very special, friendly, Haberdashers’ feel with a significant number of members being Old Boys, but this is not prerequisite to becoming a member. Of note in 2020, one of our Lodge members, Donald Wells will celebrate 60 years of membership on 7th March, which will not go unrecognised!

We meet four times a year on a Saturday at the prestigious Freemason's Hall in London and enjoy friendship and goodwill in a delightfully relaxed Habs style, with dinner at conclusion of our meetings. Many of our members live in London and the Home Counties whilst others travel to our meetings from as far away as Norfolk, Devon, France and Switzerland. We have a healthy tradition of reciprocal visits between our Lodge and many other Freemasons' Lodges, which enriches the experience of our Lodge meetings and provides the opportunity to forge new friendships. Our charitable activities continue and this year all charitable collections will be donated and distributed to the Metropolitan Masonic Charity Appeal for London's Fire Brigade tall ladders, Bowel Cancer and Blood Bikes, a charitable organisation of volunteers, providing a FREE out of hour’s medical transportation service to the NHS. Our Family and Friends Luncheon was held during the late summer in Aldenham House, when members, their family and friends enjoy good food and company. The date for 2020 is planned for Sunday 20th September, with an informal tour of the school and grounds thrown in for good measure! If you think you might be interested in joining us or would just like to find out more, we would welcome your enquiry. The Lodge secretary is Rishi S Loatey (OH 1994) who can be contacted via email on habslodgesec@gmail.com Our website is at www.haberdashersaskeslodge.com where further details of our activities including background, dates & further contact information can be found.

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Forthcoming Events

The Triumphant …. They did well on the raffle too!.

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Involute Industries Limited Daniel Black (OH 2009) Advertorial

Involute Industries is a British precision engineering company masquerading as a cufflink company. It started when Daniel gave his friend from university, Morgan, a pair of his hand-made cufflinks in June 2018. Morgan suggested a production using precision manufacturing facilities and Daniel’s engineering skills. Continuing on from his school days, Daniel took everything that could be engineered and dialed it up to 11. In doing so, Involute has produced arguably the most over-engineered and intricate cufflinks in the world with each cufflink being hand-assembled from 17 individual components (34 per pair). Involute has, at its core, Daniel’s drive to make only the best, to never cut corners and to make products which look understated and simple, yet hide exceptional complexity. For this reason only the finest materials have been used. For example, the 6063 aluminum (the same use used in fighter jets) in the main body of the cufflinks is solution heat treated and artificially aged for greater strength. This strive for excellence does not stop with materials but to the precision with which the cufflinks have been made. Involute cufflinks are made to a greater precision than many F1 components, with some parts permitted to deviate by less than 10 microns – smaller than the width of a red blood cell. While the DNA at Involute’s core is British engineering, the company is also cognisant that fit and finish is crucial. Involute therefore formulated a multi-step finishing method to product a subtle, modern look. The aluminium parts are machined before being bombarded by micro-glass beads to provide a satin look. To ensure a uniform smooth finish the parts are then polished with a magnetically assisted abrasive. Finally they are anodised with a 3 to 5 micron thick clear anodic coating to ensure longevity. Product information is then applied. In order to guarantee this remains permanently on the cufflink Involute opted to burn the text deep into the metal using a 20W CNC fibre laser, rather than simply printing it on. The cufflinks are then assembled by hand and rigorously tested. The end result is a product which can be worn on the wrist that would not be out of place in either a casual or a formal setting, yet is available for surreptitious fidgeting in environments where the wearer is expected to pay attention to a speaker who may not be anyone’s idea of engaging. Involute does not intend to just stop at the MK1 cufflinks. The company has other designs in the pipeline that similarly try to cram as much engineering work as possible into a wearable product where one would not expect to find such. 14


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OH, Rugby and World War 2 Extracts from the Memoirs of Kenneth H Blessley (OH 1932) Transcribed by his son, OH President Colin Blessley After attending the Remembrance Day Parade at HABS, I spoke to a number of fellow-OH whose OH fathers were all contemporaries of KHB (or “Big K”, as his sons disrespectfully called him later in life). My sense was that it was important to pool the recollections of those former pupils who had signed up and served in the Armed Forces between 1939 and 1945. I am fortunate to have a copy of my father’s memoirs – an exhaustive record of his life and achievements, starting from a very early age. I remembered that in there was quite a lot of material on WW2, so I looked back on those parts of his records to see what I could find on how events affected his involvement in the OHRFC and the HOBC (now OHA). I was surprised by what I found. Many of the OH who survived, and who are mentioned in the extracts below, were known to me personally from time at Croxdale Road (both as a schoolboy and as an OH) and at parties at my parents’ house in Brockley Avenue. A lasting impression is that everyone smoked (except KHB), whether cigarettes or pipes, and the ashtrays were very much in evidence. But now let’s hear it from the man himself ….. “I started to play for the OH [in 1933] on weekends from Cambridge and in the Christmas vacation; at first the games were on the Orchard pitch at Chase Lodge. We were then required to move by the School and for two – maybe more – seasons the Club rented pitches from the Hendon Borough Council on the Great North Way with changing and bathing “facilities” at the Chequers pub, being taken to and from the ground by coach.….. I was in the 1st XV for all the games in 1938 and 1939 at loose head prop alongside Roger Parker or Frank Ingram. These included the formal opening match vs Roncoroni’s XV and major fixtures against Plymouth Albion, Saracens, Met Police, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare, the Boxing Day fixture. I played in all the Easter tour matches – Bridgewater, Bideford and Barnstaple in 1938, Newton Abbott and Bridgewater in 1939. These 1939 games were almost the last before the war, the final one being a win over Streatham at home. My circle of friends tended to look on people who joined the Territorial Army with amused tolerance – “playing at soldiers” was a common comment. All this changed, however, after Munich and there was a spontaneous and significant move to join – the Middlesex and City of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), the

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Royal Engineers and the RAF seem to have been the favoured units. I opted for the RE at the Duke of York’s Barracks, Chelsea along with Bertie Wearing and a few others. Gurney, Thorpe, Tanner, Alexander went to the Middlesex Yeomanry; Jackman, Ingram, Colquhoun, Bell, Beaumont to the Sharpshooters; there were no doubt others. …… Quite apart from my involvement in the TA, the months before the declaration of war were strange and I was not alone in thinking that we were on borrowed time. The issue of gas masks, digging of air raid trenches in the parks, the trial black-out, all contributed to the feeling of inevitability. We had working parties at Elstree which I organised and many of the workers were reservists. Although we talked of the prospects for the 1939/40 season, I don’t think any of us really felt that we’d be playing any rugby at Elstree in September. [Then came an interval of 6½ years] Slowly we picked up the contacts and there came the sad realisation of the number of friends who had been lost. Foremost, of course, was my cousin Dennis Blessley. A captain in the Hampshires, he went right through the North African campaign but then bought it on D2 in Normandy. […..]

In the OHRFC, there were all too many: Alan Blunsden, Neville Burrell, Colin Colquhoun, Larry Dudley, Geoff Merriman, Alan Nicoll, Bertie Wearing, Bernard Webb and, of the younger element, some early wartime leavers, Stanley Harrison, Alan King, Brian Kirkland, Freddie Pratt. The Holly Bush at Hampstead became an accepted meeting place for the survivors with, of course, Freddy Green and Inez very much present, plus Derek Burge and Jumbo Jackman, invalided out with one eye and major wounds. Others gradually appeared, Lionel Cinnamon, Peter Ashberry (a prisoner at Arnhem where Bill Needham was killed), Poppy Brown back from Burma, Ellis Cinnamon, Peter Thompson and others trickled in…. Ken Blessley

I naturally wanted to resume my rugby involvement and found quite a few OH were playing for the Wasps – Jumbo Jackman in the 1st XV, Basil Blowfield lower down. So, I turned up at Sudbury one Saturday and got a game in the Ex A which I didn’t enjoy. Then Jenks got in touch and suggested a meeting at the Chequers, Hendon, where I was happy to renew my friendship with Jack Tayler, the landlord. 17


Jenks thought we ought to revive the OHRFC but Elstree had suffered bomb damage – two craters in the playing area – and the pavilion requisitioned. He had discussed things with Sidney Bean who had a contact, a Colonel Southern, the owner of the East Herts Sports Club at Mill Hill and it seemed that we would be welcome to play there. It had an excellent club house (with a well-stocked bar) but no rugby goalposts. This was solved by getting tubular scaffolding brought by Army low-loader from RE Chatham! Jenks and I did a lot of phoning around helped considerably by David Nagli in respect of recent school leavers. So, we managed an opening game against Guys Hospital ExA on October 20th, billed quite incorrectly as a Grand Opening Game against Guys 1st! They weren’t very pleased until they saw the bar! We played all our home games there and were well treated but the Colonel (I/C Ordnance Depot, Borehamwood) was clearly heavily into the black market and, I believe, eventually had a spell in jail.

Jenks organised weekly fixtures and there was a School 1st XV match in December, Peter Stevenson the captain. We won. The regular side was Goodall, Gurney, Tanner, D Blessley, Woolf, George Spiers, Escoffey, Neugass, Last, myself, Jumbo, Peter Goodman, Blowfield, Griffiths, Benge. Others who turned out Peter Ashberry, Batchelor, Butcher, Carrington (master), Gooch (vs School, his last game for the club), Kerswell, Nagli, Purcell, Seal, Stagg, Stevenson, Weigold. I think the early restart to OH post-war rugby which Jenks and I initiated was a great success and it certainly helped in getting a much-improved fixture list than we had in 1938/39. The playing record was quite good and it should also be recalled that after Christmas we had a regular A XV side captained by Peter Ashberry which performed very creditably and helped to provide the nucleus for more sides when we re-opened at Elstree the following September. ……. I handed back the captaincy to Jumbo, who had played a few games for me in 1945/46 but had continued with the Wasps. He had joined them after he had been repatriated from South Africa and found capable of rugby despite his wounds and the loss of an eye. Others, who had not previously been available reappeared: Roger Parker (POW in the Far East), Tony Beaumont, Fin Graham, Geoff Eltringham, Arthur Wilshire, Johnnie McTurk. We trained at the Brondesbury during August and September and were just about ready for the first game on September 28th v Old Dunstonians. There were only three who had played in the last previous game on April 15th 1939 – Jumbo, Stuart Neugass and myself – v Streatham and we were very conscious of the missing faces. There followed a run of eleven wins ….

Off the field, I had been closely involved with the reopening of the Elstree ground, organising working parties with Jenks, meeting the ATC about the hut and getting a bulldozer to fill in the three bomb craters – too crudely, as we later found – marking up, putting up posts, just making it for the opening game.” On re-reading the extracts above, I cannot help but be impressed by the understatement of what were momentous experiences and emotions – but I suppose that was the way they were back then. I am now going to review his memories of Westbere Road for a future edition of OH Notes to see if they are equally restrained – I suspect not …. 18


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The First Ski Trip Alan Woolford (OH 1951) describes the School’s first ever venture to the slopes. In 1947 the Travel Agents Lunn Poly, later to become ‘Thomson’, set up a Ski Holiday for Public Schools in the fashionable resort of Kleine Scheidegg, in Switzerland's Bernese Oberland,. An invitation was issued to Haberdashers 6th formers and about twenty of us enrolled for the holiday.

across Europe by train. We met late afternoon at Victoria Station. The UK train (Steam) took us to Folkestone and then crossing the Channel to Belgium, where we boarded the night train to Switzerland. As a result of WW2, none of us had been abroad before, so it was all a new experience. The SNCF steam loco was large and powerful and my memory of the journey was the sound of the wheel tapper every time we stopped checking the carriage wheels for cracks. The overnight train stopped at Berne, where it was breakfast at the Station Restaurant, and then on to Interlaken and the journey to Kleine Scheidegg up the mountain on two rack railways, with wonderful mountain views, to our destination. On arrival at Scheidegg we discovered that the schools were billeted in the Annex and not in the smart Hotel des Alps, which is the feature of the KS Resort. THE SKIING

We joined students from several other well known schools. There was no ski wear in the shops, so we bought our kit from Government Surplus shops in the Elephant and Castle. The air lines had not recovered from the war, so the best way to Switzerland was

Habs boys progressed very quickly with several members showing the way on the nursery slopes despite, what now would be considered, pre historic ski gear, that we had hired from the local shop. We learnt to ride and fall off the ski lifts and had two long distance downhill day ski trips through the pine woods to Wengen and Grindelwald returning to Scheidegg each time by train. In Wengen we watched and vocally supported the Cambridge University Ice Hockey team, who were visiting and playing the locals. 20


One memorable day we took the mountain railway to the summit of the Jungfrau, which overlooks Scheidegg. There is an small ice rink at the top and an opportunity to skate on the highest rink in the world. At the end of the 2 weeks, the Public School’s Skl Championships were organised at Kleine Scheidegg and the Habs team took second place against the other Public Schools entered. I still have the medal for the individual second place in the downhill event. Sadly after doing all the hard work to get us to Switzerland, Geography Master, Mr Henson, who organised the trip, broke or severely damaged his leg on one of the first days on the nursery slopes and had to be a spectator for the rest of the time. POSTSCIPT I was working at Zurich Opera House and had a day free, so 50 years after that 1st ski trip, Swiss Railways made it possible for an away day to the Jungfrau Joch Summit via Scheidegg. The trains were all on time to the second and on arriving at KS, there was the Hotel des Alps but the Annex where we had stayed had been transformed into another luxury hotel and Instead of young schoolboy skiers in dubious Government Surplus ski gear, everyone was smartly dressed in the latest ski wear. The mountain rail to Jungfrau Joch was fantastic. A most enjoyable day of nostalgia.

Please get in touch should you know the names of any of the characters in these pictures. admin@oldhabs.com

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General Studies Habs Titbits

Letters in The Times December 2019. Do any OH who remember their English lessons agree with one of our proof readers who thinks that the terminal apostrophe in Haberdashers' and Girls' indicates not plural but genitive plural?

Michael Broadwith (OH1996), current Habs Maths teacher, cycles 510 miles in 24 hours as he comes second in The World Time Trial Championship in Borrego Springs, California

Habs’ Big Band Performs at The 2019 Lord Mayor’s Show

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The End of Independent Schools? Gus Lock (OH 1994) & Current Headmaster Reproduced from His Blog 4th October 2019 Last week, delegates at the annual Labour Party conference adopted a motion to abolish fee-paying schools and redistribute their assets. In case this ultimately proves too ambitious, the Shadow Education Secretary has also promised punitive financial measures for the sector, such as the imposition of VAT on fees, the abolition of charitable status and business rates relief. The ultimate aim of all these initiatives is the same - the eventual destruction of independent education. And the threat is real; it has some support beyond the hard left and could influence the national conversation about education for some time to come.

In some ways, it also makes a lot of sense. Social justice and mobility are key issues for our time and our nation is yet to find effective solutions to the challenges of inequality. An independent education undoubtedly confers demonstrable advantages in life. At a time when too many high-profile politicians embody a particular breed of public school arrogance, this sort of dramatic stand against privilege is bound to energise the party faithful. Yet these proposals would be a dreadful mistake. From an electoral point of view, polling data suggests they are not vote winners – more of the public actually support the right to private education than oppose it – and with good reason. But the reasons to object are more profound. From an economic viewpoint, much like the promises on the side of the muchvaunted Brexit bus, Labour’s figures are wrong. Its 2017 manifesto claims that VAT on independent schools will generate £1.6 billion. This ignores the fact that schools would be able to reclaim VAT input and, more significantly, overlooks the fact that fee increases would force a number of pupils in to the state sector, such that the policy would, most likely, end up costing the taxpayer overall. The proposals suggest only a very one-dimensional view of independent education. Using Eton as an exemplar of all that is wrong with the sector is utterly misguided, because Eton is an outlier, hardly representative of the sector as a whole. 24


Most independent schools are modest. Those who are able to, (Eton included), take great pride in supporting bursaries and partnerships. 30% of the most deprived students at Oxbridge attended independent schools. At Habs, we spend £1.7 million per annum supporting pupils who otherwise would never be able to attend the School. We second teachers to other local maintained schools and host events to benefit all children. As we mentioned in Our Strategy for the next 10 years, which was published earlier this week, we will continue to embrace our founder Robert Aske's principles of inclusivity, benevolence and charity in all that we do. In terms of legal and moral principles, the proposals are off beam. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘Everyone has the right to education.’ In 1948, when that very clause was being debated, the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries argued that all education be free and provided by the state. But the western democracies, having witnessed too many bad examples of state controlled education and its potential uses, insisted on adding an extra clause, ‘Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.’ This principle has been transmitted to the European Convention on Human Rights and Tony Blair’s Human Rights Act. The right to choose - to choose for your child not to be state educated - is enshrined in these international principles. Our independence from state control is vital and protected. In educational terms, this feels like the wrong issue at the wrong time. We do need better schools and a better education system that develops in the next generation the skills and knowledge, the standards and values they will need to thrive in a fast changing world. But tearing down the most outstanding schools in the country – indeed schools which set a global benchmark for education - will merely create a distraction from the real issues and result in years of legal wrangling, increased costs, and deepening divisions between the sectors, quite possibly becoming what one former Department for Education official dubbed ‘education's Brexit.’ What it will not do is miraculously drive up standards elsewhere; it will not help to improve literacy and numeracy, nor address the growing mental health crisis in our young, nor solve the chronic shortfall in teacher recruitment. We all like someone to blame these days, that is not the same as progress towards a solution. Tearing down outstanding schools will not make education in our country better, stronger or fairer. It will, of course, provide a helpful scapegoat and distract from decades of underinvestment in schools and teachers. For our part, we must simply focus on what we do best, providing an outstanding education for children, helping pupils from a very wide variety of backgrounds to reach their potential not only academically but also as rounded, decent, engaged and humble adults, who will go on to build a brighter future.

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Visit to RAF Bentley Priory 17th September 2019 Dr John Wigley

Rotunda Room, Bentley Priory On 17th September 2019 a large party of Old Haberdashers’ visited Bentley Priory on a very successful visit organised by Roger Llewellyn, Director of the Haberdashers’ Foundation. Habs has at least two connections with Bentley Priory:

ficer in the School Corps, In 1935 he joined the RAF Reserve & in 1939 was recalled to the colours as Squadron Leader, based at Bentley Priory, responsible for the barrage balloon defence of southern England.

Mr Lee Rawnsley joined Habs as a physics master shortly after the end of WW1. An instructor with the Royal Flying Corps, he had smashed a leg in a flying accident but became an of-

Professor Andrew Booth (Habs 193037), a pioneer of British computers, recalled him well: ‘In the sixth form I had Lee Rawnsley 26


who was another splendid teacher as well as being a real “character”. He used to drive up to the school in a yellow sports car and skid to a halt. In 1936 he wrote and produced a musical review, Speisekarte, based on the then smash hit White Horse Inn playing at the London Coliseum. Rawnsley’s physics was completely up to date and included exposure to the new quantum mechanics and to elementary relativity. He had many unusual experiments for those interested. These included spectroscopy and the diffusion of metallic sodium through glass. When I started teaching as a university lecturer in 1945 I was able to use Rawnsley’s notes for my first year physics.’ Kenneth Jermy (Habs 1932-1939), after the war a distinguished civil servant, wrote of ‘the unforgettable “Doughie” Rawnsley. He was the only master who taught “examination technique” and he also advised us to stop swotting a week before and important exam: “If you don’t know it by then, you never will.”’ Habs records suggest that after the war he retired to farming in Devon but he taught science at Harrow County School from 1954 to 1960, where he became something of a legend. George Freed, a Harrow County old boy, reminisced that between 1945 and 1954 he was said to have helped to found and to teach at the Turkish Naval College near Istanbul, possibly a cover for espionage.

It was believed that he had hired a Turkish crew to sail a motor-cruiser from Istanbul to the river Thames, intending to live in it on the Grand Union Canal, but that it exploded at Greenwich, killing several people. On Remembrance Day he outclassed his colleagues in the Cadets by sporting his service rank and hard-won medals. He clearly remained an effective and enthusiastic teacher: “He was too nice and polite for pupils conditioned by the carrot-less stick teaching culture of the school. However, I learned a lot of physics … he was inspirational and fostered a spirit of adventure about flight” 27


Theodore McEvoy (1904-1991), a pupil at Habs 1915-1921, was the son of a Congregational Minister to a church in Cricklewood, developed an interest in flying whilst a small boy, and persuaded his nurse to take him to air shows at nearby Hendon. He recounted his time at Habs during WW1 when masters who had joined up were replaced by “temporary mistresses” and by some stand-in masters who had often come out of retirement and found it hard to keep order. ‘Our licensed buffoon, F.H. Bedford, delighted to rag dear old Mr. Edminson, In the wall of one form room there was a sliding panel through which Bedford, in the corridor, would poke his leering face to disrupt Edminson’s German lesson. Edminson, eventually provoked beyond endurance, cried to us: “After him! Catch him!” At which we all fled from the room and were not seen again for the rest of the lesson.’ Influenced by his cousin and brother-in-law, both members of the Royal Flying Corps, as was his brother Christopher (OH), who served in Italy and made six “kills”, so qualifying as an “ace”, he hoped to make his career in aviation but hesitated to apply to RAF Cranwell, whose £200 p.a. fees were half his father’s annual

income, and so spent two years in civil aviation. However, an uncle offered to pay his fees and a cousin lent the money for him to attend a specialist “crammer”. Thus in 1923 he passed in first to Cranwell, winning a Prize Cadetship, the top scholarship, which entitled him to full fee remission. Fortunately, he also passed the initiation ritual, failing to entertain his fellow cadets with an after-dinner song, but amusing them with a funny story, and so escaped being “beagled”, chased round the base and thrown into an oil sump. In 1927 28


he passed out third but was awarded the Sword of Honour and was rapidly promoted. In March 1940 he was appointed Station Commander at RAF Northolt and in April survived being shot down over Kent. One account credits him with persuading “Stuffy” Dowding leader of Fighter Command, to successfully warn Churchill not to commit the RAF’s remaining fighters to France in June 1940, a decision which preserved enough Spitfires to win the Battle of Britain. In December 1941 he was promoted to Group Captain Operations in Fighter Command at Bentley Priory. McEvoy had a distinguished military career after WW2, and in 1962 retired as Air Chief Marshal Sir Theodore McEvoy KCB, CBE. His speech at that year’s Commendation Day entered Habs folk law. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament had attracted many young people and it is said a group of sixth formers in the Assembly Hall gallery heckled him when he claimed that CND was run by Communist agents and traitors who should

be put up against a wall and shot. For further information please Google ‘Squadron Leader Lee Rawnsley’ to find more about Mr. Rawnsley and ‘Air Chief Marshal Sir Theodore McEvoy’ to listen to McEvoy’s memoirs as recorded by the Imperial War Museum, accessed via a link from his Wikipedia entry.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Theodore McEvoy

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Volunteer Tutors David Mushin and Jeremy Monson (both OH 1974) are looking for help with tutoring At Haberdashers we had a special education. Some Old Haberdashers are trying to help others less fortunate by volunteering a few hours a week to tutor in parts of London. Perhaps you can help also. Action Tutoring works with pupils facing socioeconomic disadvantage to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment, with a view to enabling them to progress in education, employment or training. It does this by partnering high-quality volunteer tutors with pupils to increase their subject knowledge, confidence and study skills, and works in partn e r s h i p w i t h s c h o o l s . The charity started David in 2011 to make the benefits of tutoring Mushin available to children who cannot afford it, recognising that this close academic support is a powerful yet expensive intervention. The charity aims to help close the gap between the ac ademic achievement of disadvantaged children and their peers. A poll by The Sutton Trust shows that 41% of pupils in London have had a tutor at some point, while nationally it is 27%. However, there’s a problem in all this. Private tutoring is expensive & many parents simply cannot afford it. This worsens the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils & their peers. A recent report highlighted that this gap has stopped narrowing. At primary level,

disadvantaged pupils, on average, leave school 9.2 months behind their peers. At secondary level, pupils are an astonishing 18.1 months behind their peers by the time they finish formal education. What does Action Tutoring do? Action Tutoring knows how impactful tutoring can be and empowers volunteer tutors to deliver this support. In 2019, Action Tutoring supported nearly 3000 pupils through 1,100 volunteer tutors across 80 schools in seven cities in England. What difference does it make? Last year, disadvantaged secondary school pupils tutored by Action Tutoring matched the national GCSE pass rate, after the equivalent of just two terms of weekly tutoring. Some 72% of primary pupils supported by Action Tutoring achieved national standards in their SATs, whereas just 10% were working at this level at the start of their programme. Action Tutoring has a strong evidence base and has proved that its model for supporting disadvantaged pupils works. Volunteering Action Tutoring’s programme is delivered in schools. Action Tutoring provides training and resources and its staff members are responsible on-site for the groups of volunteer tutors, pupils and teachers, and ensuring everything runs 30


smoothly. Training and resources are provided. You don’t need to have tutoring or teaching experience to volunteer, but you do need to: • Possess good communication skills; • Be a fluent English speaker; • Have confidence; • Have enthusiasm for working with young people; We need your help

Action Tutoring is growing and needs many more volunteers – in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheff i e l d a n d S u s s e x . If you, or any organisations you are connected with, are interested in volunteering, Action Tutoring would love to hear from you. Please get in touch via: hello@actiontutoring.org.uk www.actiontutoring.org.uk 0203 872 5894 David Mushin December 2019 ________________________________________ I guess I had a bit of a rivalry thing with David Mushin who has written here about Action Tutoring. He ended up as Meadows House Captain, and I was Vice-Captain. So it was quite a strange coincidence to discover, forty five years after, that we are both taking part in the same voluntary tutoring charity. That is The access project, and I have already made contact with Action Tutoring as well. I can really only talk about the former which has a format of one to one tuition for GCSE and A-level, principally to help students fulfil their potential and get to a good university. I have had some double plus good experiences with tutees, following and participating in the academic careers of young persons from North London, from backgrounds I would otherwise just not come into contact with.

and other topics which aren't on today's maths syllabus. I hope they picked up on more general matters. I find myself infrequently explaining that at school I was taught to understand stuff and the exams were seen as a way to check that out. The concept that schools are there to get the students to pass exams, and that comprehension is at best a by-product is a culture that I struggle with. I guess that there are plenty other Old Habs out there with affection for & some memory of the education we had. There must be many who haven't been aware of the good work which action tutoring & the access project, & othJeremy Monson ers like them do. It would be a shame if that was all that was stopping you from keeping that quality & excitement of learning alive, & having a good time yourself. And if anyone is interested, they could do far worse than contact Alisa, volunteer coordinator, at the access project. She went to Henrietta Barnett School and is helpful and, in my opinion, good news. By the way, I have taken the opportunity to look up the history of our founder, Robert Aske, and am interested to see that while being a successful merchant, he played some part, if not a very visible one, in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Serve and Obey, indeed! Jeremy Monson December 2019 jrmonson@talktalk.net

I can only guess what they thought of me, rambling about number bases and matrices 31


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Habs’ In The 1940’s EMERITUS PROFESSOR JOHN HOLMES Edited by Dr John Wigley PART ONE. John was born in London in 1931 and was a pupil at Habs from 1941 to 1949. After two years National Service, he took his BSc. exams at London University in 1954, was awarded a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1957 and began a distinguished academic career, much of it in Canada, where he emigrated in 1962. He is now Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Ottawa University. He keeps in close touch with Habs and we are indebted to him for his reminiscences, which we have edited for the Old Boys’ Notes.

WESTCROFT PREP SCHOOL. In 1936 I went to Westcroft School Cricklewood Lane, the official Preparatory School for Habs’ then in nearby Westbere Road. I was happy at Westcroft. Three unmarried ladies were in charge. Miss Challen (short, stout and tweedy, with cropped gray hair, the stern headmistress), Miss Biggs (tall, well spoken, elegant in manner and dignified, gray/black hair in a bun) and Miss Alderton (much younger, jolly). When I visited the district in 2001 it was called “St. Giles of Cricklewood”. Miss Challen ran the tuck-shop, where sweets were sold at morning break. The unwrapped sweets were, (of course), kept in tall glass jars and then were meticulously weighed out on a little scale using brass weights. A farthing’s worth was the minimum quantity that one could buy. [Ed. A farthing: a quarter of the pre-

decimal penny, itself one 240th of a £.] Westcroft must have been closed for at least the first half of 1940. As a result, my schooling in that year was rather haphazard. Daily life then seemed to be a perpetual muddle, perhaps characteristic of that very unsettled period, when so many large schools had all been evacuated and the war in France was suddenly not going at all well. In 1940 the fall of France and the Battle of Britain were followed by the Blitz. The only bright interlude was the Battle of Britain in September, before the nightly bombing of London began. Long sunny days, with the sky filled with vapour trails and the distant howl of aircraft engines. The radio and newspapers greatly exaggerated the Air Force’s successes, but there was no doubt as to which side had come off best in the battle. When the regular bombing began in the autumn of that year 34


we sheltered underneath a very large billiard table. The Auxiliary Fire Service had requisitioned a classroom for their use as a recreation room. Here a full size billiard table was installed. It was a massive piece of slate and stood on very heavy wooden legs. Whether it would have given us much protection I don’t know, but it felt secure enough, sitting through the air raid under the table. JOINING HABS In the summer of 1941 I went to Haberdashers’ to sit an entrance exam for a Middlesex County Scholarship, which I won. I also had an interview with the headmaster of the Lower School, for the junior boys, ages from about 10 to14. His name was Mr. “Josh” Blunt; he was short, rotund, and bald, with rimless glasses, wore a dark blue pinstriped suit with a watch chain across his middle and smelled strongly of tobacco. He seemed a kindly but strict old gentleman. In September I found myself in the first form [Year 7] and the youngest boy in the school. In the winter term, an even younger boy, Gabriel Woolf, came. He later had a successful acting career (UK stage and TV) and then also a writing career. The first form was in the care of Miss “Connie” Johnson, not to be confused with the exciting Miss Irene Johnstone. Connie was a brisk, very plain, no-nonsense (but kindly) lady, probably of close to retirement age, short, stout, a big nose, all heavy tweed and grey hair in a bun. She taught us French, English, Mathematics, Geography and History. She obviously greatly enjoyed the latter, as I can still recall her enthusiasm for the days of the (wicked, attacking) Persian Empire and the heroic (defending, winning) Greeks. I also remember making a ziggurat out of London garden clay for a history project; it was very good for modelling, as it set hard and durably, and could be smoothed and painted. Gabriel Woolf

LIFE AT HABS Ringing the Bell. The school loomed as the largest building along Westbere Road, before the big houses to the south, towards Mill Lane. The older part of the school was in two parts, built of grubby, dark red brick. The southern side had a bell tower, next to the single-corridor covered bridge between the two buildings. The bell tower was accessed from the stage in the big assembly hall, and it deserves a few remarks. When I was in the sixth form, Ken Pearce and I were responsible for ringing the bell in the

Westbere Road 35


mornings. It was to ring for about five minutes, stopping at exactly nine a.m. Anyone arriving at assembly after the bell had ceased, was officially “late” and liable for a detention. Originally we only had one morning’s duty, but we persuaded our schoolmates who shared the task, that it was more important and/or interesting for them to attend morning assembly (which we disliked). Thus we got to ring the bell nearly every day. The small door onto the stage could be left ajar, so that we heard announcements etc. Assembly. Assembly began with a short religious service, prayers (usually the Lord’s Prayer plus special prayers appropriate for whatever world or national events deserved them), a hymn sung with piano accompaniment (how easily remembered are the tuneful ones! “He who would valiant be…”, “A safe stronghold….”, Fight the good fight….” etc ), and finally a reading from the Bible, recited by a prefect. Catholic boys attended these Anglican evotions, but the Jewish boys occupied a separate room upstairs, off the hall’s balcony. Apart from important announcements, there were sometimes strongly worded admonitions from the Headmaster or his Deputy, often with regard to “waste of food” at lunchtime, misdemeanours in the Cricklewood shops, or general lack of discipline. When warning us to avoid waste the Deputy Head, “Pop” Oliver, rhymed “food” with “good”. School Lunches. Wartime school lunches were not very nice, and finicky palates sometimes overcame simple appetite. Noteworthy was the meat, invariably overcooked, gristly, stringy and tough. As mince, it was poured from a jug and all its flavour derived from the gravy. Vegetables were watery and bland, and usually cabbage, potatoes were nearly always mashed. No salads, nor fruit. Rice or semolina pudding, topped with a dob of jam; sometimes date roly-poly pudding. Doughy bread and cheese instead on leaner days. The masters ate with us, but at a separate long table at right angles to ours. Their food at least looked appetizing. School Crazes. Like all schoolboys, we went through crazes. Paper aeroplanes, elastic driven model ’planes, (especially the “Frog” models that had a gear box, to greatly increase the rpm of the propeller), marbles, cigarette cards, yo-yos, were for the playground. At home there was Meccano, Minibricks, model railways and Dinky toys. In the war years Britains produced a fine range of die-cast model lorries, guns and tanks. Model aircraft kits were very popular and excellent wood or plastic scale models of the Gladiator (biplane), Spitfire, Hurricane, Blenheim and Welling36


ton, as well as various Heinkels, Messerschmidts and Dorniers were available at reasonable cost. Most of us had aircraft recognition books, which allowed us easily to identify the majority of warplanes. Sport. Sport was conducted at Chase Lodge, at Mill Hill, where the school playing fields were located in Page Street. The Chase Lodge Farm buildings also acted as cramped classrooms for use in the morning of the day allotted to our Form/Year

Chase Lodge for games (each Year had its allotted games day). Rugby was in the autumn and winter terms, cricket in the summer, with the addition of cross-country running and athletics when the weather was kind. Bullying Bullying is a hot topic at present. Habs was certainly not free of such activities and I can recall a small number of boys who were repeatedly victimized for no definable reason. On reflection, I would suggest that a prime cause of such bullying arose from the way in which the chosen victim responded to aggression, and not because they belonged to some ethnic, religious or social minority. I never sensed any real undercurrent of racial prejudice, even though our simplistic ideas about foreigners were coloured by the comics that we read. (Orwell’s essay describes it very well indeed). We took our schoolmates pretty much as we found them, irrespective of colour or background. Fist fights were not that uncommon, but they were usually to settle some score or grievance. TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT EDITION OF OLD BOYS’ NOTES. HABS IN THE 1940’s by EMERITUS PROFESSOR JOHN HOLMES.

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OBITUARIES Rex Charles Harris (OH 1945) Died 24th August 2019 Rex Harris was born on 29 April 1927 in London and from Hampstead Garden Suburb Primary School obtained a scholarship to Haberdashers in 1938. In 1940 he was evacuated to Dorset and attended Bridport Grammar School, where he stayed for two years until he matriculated. He returned to Haberdashers in 1942, where in his last year at School (1944-1945) he was School Captain at Chase Lodge, Mill Hill. He was also a member of “the fire-watching elite” at Westbere Road. Rex was a keen sportsman and played Rugby for the 1st XV, captained the 2nd X1 Cricket team in an unbeaten run of two years, and represented the School at the Public Schools Cross Country running event at Blackheath. He also attended the summer working camps at Seal and Lambourn during the last years of the war and was a Sergeant in the JTC. His National Service was spent in the Army Intelligence Corps, where he learnt Russian. He went on to study Modern Languages and Economics at Caius College Cambridge and it was at a dance there attended by Old Haberdasher undergraduates that he met his future wife Lavinia (née Dalby). Rex and Lavinia married in Cambridge and recently celebrated their 69th year wedding anniversary. On leaving Caius College, Rex joined J.

Lyons & Co as a management trainee, working in various parts of the UK, before returning to London as Chief Executive of their Bread Bakery Division, which later merged with Spillers to form Spillers-French Baking Ltd. When Spillers closed down its Baking Company, Rex joined Grand Metropolitan's Contract Services Division as Executive Development Manager, running management programmes both in the UK and in the Middle East. In 1985 he set up his own highly successful training and management development consultancy. Following retirement in 1996, Rex greatly enjoyed reunions at The Clubhouse with fellow Old Haberdashers and with his three sons, Christopher (1971), Keith (1974) and Neil (1979), where they usually provided the largest family contingent of Old Haberdashers at the Fathers & Sons Dinners. Christopher is married to Carol, the daughter of another Old Haberdasher, Ian StuartKregor whose son Paul (1972) is also an Old Haberdasher. Ever since his latter years at school, Rex was very keen on jazz and swing music, giving talks to the School Music Society on the subject. This interest was taken up again in retirement, when Rex presented many illustrated talks and re38


citals to a number of Big Band Societies, going on to form The Woburn Sands Big Band Society when he was 80. Rex passed away peacefully on 24th August after two years of ill health and is survived by his wife Lavinia who lives in Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire and his three sons. Chris Harris (Rex’s Son)

Peter Mitchell (OH 1956) Died 19th August 2019

Peter Mitchell died on 19 August 2019 at the age of 80. Many OH will remember Pete from school. At the age of 8 Pete had polio which left him with a withered left arm. In spite of this Pete achieved much with his life. He left school for the LSE where he graduated in 1959. He then moved to Truro where he joined the planning department of Cornwall County Council where he was to spend the rest of his working life. Though he was born in London he came from a Cornish family, and this was to be his home for 60 years. Pete was very active in the life of Cornwall. He was a Crusader leader, Secretary of Truro Baptist Church, active politi-

cally with the Liberal Democrats amongst many things. I only really got to know Pete well on my frequent visits to Cornwall. He loved and knew Cornwall and her people well. He was always interested in old school contacts, which included TEC in his retirement in Cornwall. Quite a number of OH were spontaneously contacted by him. Our sympathies go to Pete’s son Andrew and his sister Jane. John Kirkby (1957)

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Christopher Jenkins (OH 1957) Died 21st November 2019 Chris was 75 years old, the only son of Arthur George Jenkins (Jenks) who attended Haberdashers for a short time in the 50s. Unfortunately the school did not suit him and for the rest of his education he attended a local Comprehensive. He joined Elliot’s in Borehamwood and helped build an enormous computer hence his lifelong interest in that field. Chris joined the OHRFC, his Brother in Law being John Hanson, past OH Captain, playing for the junior sides in the second row although he was like a pipe cleaner at that time! He married Margaret, Tony Alexander was their best man, then moved to Oxfordshire where he joined Cholsey rugby club and maintained his interest in Rugby throughout his life

from his study. He cared for Margaret when she was too ill with her non Parkinson’s lymphoma and they both laughed like drains when Chris tipped her out of the wheelchair going up a kerb! Chris is survived by Charlotte and Hannah and three granddaughters. His cancer was a short lived disease and it was a shock to everyone when he died. He was in pain but had palliative care at the end. Liz Hanson – Sister

Chris was also fascinated by the stars and gave several lectures in Oxford regarding that work. He built an observatory in his back garden which he was able to access

Quiz Answers (From Page 9) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Anthony Joshua Venice King John Barbara Windsor Plays (Anthony & Cleopatra, Merchant of Venice, King John & Merry Wives of Windsor) 6. Bolton Wanderers 7. Douglas 8. George VI 9. Jackson 10. Michael - (Bolton, Douglas, George Michael, Jackson)

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David Seaman (OH 1961) Died 19th May 2018 (OH just made aware of this)

David Seaman died on the 19th May 2018 in Cardiff, which had been his home since the 1980s. Born in Hendon during the Second World War, his family moved to Mill Hill soon afterwards, where they lived for the next 20 years or so. David played the piano from a very early age, rattled through his graded examinations and then attended the Royal Academy of Music in his early teens. He attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School Hampstead before going to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge to study Music, obtaining both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. Whilst at Cambridge, David won a prize for his arrangement of the Coventry Carol, which was then performed by the choir of King’s College in the Chapel. After Cambridge David studied conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He trained as a repetiteur at the London Opera Centre and toured the UK with Opera for All. Applying for positions in the UK he was told he was too inexperienced, so David applied for and was awarded a scholarship to study conducting in Hamburg. This set him up for the next 12 or so years, leading to positions as a repetiteur at Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Düsseldorf, as 2nd Kapellmeister for Städtische Buhnen in Nürnberg and 1st Kapellmeister for Landestheatre in Coburg. In 1974, during his time in Nürnberg, he co-founded Pocket Opera Company (POC), Germany’s oldest independent

opera company, which presented alternative full-length productions of operas, initially using David's own reduced orchestrations and then branching out as it became established. David continued to work as Musical Director of POC until 2003, adding to his library of arrangements which were toured extensively, both in Europe and throughout the world. The company still prospers to this day. David and his wife Christine, who met in Germany where she was a ballet dancer, decided to return to the UK when the eldest of their three children reached school age. With 12 years of work in Germany behind him, David now found he was too experienced for the positions he sought in the UK. However, he was offered a role at Welsh National Opera (WNO) as Conductor and Assistant Chorusmaster and the family moved to Cardiff in the mid1980s. Following from his success with POC, he conducted his version of Hansel and Gretel for WNO as the first of their circuit tours, which took opera to chamber theatres across Wales and the South West of England. The huge success of the first tour led to WNO commissioning David to arrange and conduct three more operas - Don Pasquale, Macbeth and 41


finally La Cenerentola. Amongst his credits were the preparation of musical editions and then conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of WNO in animated versions of operas including The Magic Flute, which you can still find on YouTube. In all, David prepared reduced orchestration versions of over 20 operas, from the best loved repertoire pieces such as Carmen and La Traviata to less well-known operas like Der Vampyr (Marschner), which played all over the world, including the USA, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand as well as many European venues. He did not confine himself to mainstream operas either, working on a number of other arrangements such as John Eaton's Songplay, with music by Kurt Weill, which he conducted in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He continued to write and to arrange throughout his life, always exploring new ideas, such as his swing arrangement of Die Fledermaus (Swinging Fledermaus) and his own opera. David’s approach to arrangements was to build from scratch with what was indispensable to the music rather than stripping away instruments from the full score. His scores have been performed by a variety of companies across the world, to great international acclaim. His famous and world’s first Der Ring an einem Abend (yes, Wagner’s full Ring-cycle, condensed into one evening) has been particularly successful, with performances in Germany, the UK, all over North America and elsewhere. "The edition works so succinctly, one scarcely notices that about ten hours of

music are missing" – Die Zeit David was loved and respected by the singers at WNO, with whom he worked tirelessly and always enthusiastically, coaching and helping them prepare for their operatic performances. As well as being a wonderful pianist he was also a consummate organist and played at various churches in the Cardiff area over the years. When not working on operas for WNO, coaching singers, accompanying them in recitals, or working with other instrumentalists, he loved to take music into the community. Through playing in small scale recitals with singers and players to founding a community-based opera company with family and friends to take small budget productions of operas like Hansel and Gretel to towns and villages that could not support large touring groups, he did all he could to spread the joy of his art. David did not enjoy the best of health in his last few years, but continued to work on new arrangements, composing and performing in recitals in his adopted home of Wales. His passing was mourned by a large congregation in his Cardiff church, where friends from his time in Germany and Wales celebrated his life with his family in an uplifting service that David himself had prepared – he was always very clear about his music!

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CLUBS AND SOCIETIES Rugby

The 2018-19 season was one of the most successful in recent memory as befits a season when we as a rugby club were privileged to move into our newly and splendidly refurbished clubhouse at The Fortress Croxdale Road The 1XV under skipper Jonnny Whittle didn’t let the fact its opening few home games were played at the school due to climate change/global warming and in fact the billiard table surface properly suited OH’s expansive champagne rugby style. Returning to our spiritual home added more impetus and the season ended with 1XV finishing 4th in London 1 North, which is the highest ever league position achieved by the club – remember that’s Level 6 rugby and up against many semi-professional teams whose coaching staff nearly outnumber our players! The AXV/2XV having won promotion to Middlesex Merit Premier had a more challenging start to the season, owing as much to player availability and injuries. That said under Carl Stevenson’s inspired guidance they finished 7th with eight wins out of 18 matches played. The team also got to the cup semi-final The 2019-20 season has started well for both sides. The 1XV have a record of P11 W7 L4 and sit comfortably in 5th place in London 1 North. The AXV/2XV has started better too with a record of P9 W5 L4. Both sides are maintaining their intent on 43


playing proper, open and champagne rugby, which sits very well with the regular supporters who turn out to cheer the players on each week Perhaps the most important thing to report is the hugely healthy state the rugby club finds itself in. In no small part due to the efforts of the AXV/2XV “co-skippers”, Carl Stevenson and Tom Jackson the player base has expanded impressively. So much so that this past weekend (23 Nov) saw OHRFC field THREE full squads – that’s SQAUDS, not just teams! – for the first time in some 20 years. As befitted such an achievement the three teams duly produced three “Ws” for the mighty BW&M! Socially OHRFC continues to believe a happy player base is a healthy one. The Past Players’ Lunches continue to be keenly supported, while the regular social activities are ensuring the newly and very well-stocked bar is being utilised to the full, which should help support the Association’s coffers! Last season’s magical mystery tour found itself in Amsterdam. What goes on tour, stays on tour, but I am assured a good time was had by all Paddy Hughes (’77-’84) Lunch Monitor + OHA Exec Committee member Email kapaddy69@gmail.com

Football Despite wins against Bancrofts and Eastbourne in the last few games of the 2020 season, it wasn't enough to keep us from getting relegated. There were some positives with some new recruits and over 30 Old Haberdashers running out for the club. However, with new kits sponsored by Old Haberdasher Kunal Patel, we've hit the ground running in the 2019/2020 season. We are currently sitting second in the league, having only one lost one game and picking up big wins vs Merchant Taylors and Brentwood. We are still looking for more players, especially in the 20-25 year old gap, so if anyone knows anyone interested, please get in contact with me. OHFC’s New kit

Joe Stolerman Joseph.Stolerman@twobirds.com 44


Cricket

The recently completed 2019 season was one of great success for the OHCC and it can be summarised for this meeting. On the field playing numbers were extremely good, making for settled sides which played some very good cricket. The 1st XI, P18 W9 L7 NR2 and were competitive throughout the season and despite a few slip-ups on the way ultimately finished third in Division 4A of the Herts. League and but for a horrendous twenty minutes at Sandridge when we managed to put several vital catches on the floor, costing us the match to the team who finished above us, we may well have got another promotion. With one exception (!) the 1st XI is a very young outfit and under Rhys Jenkins in his first full season as captain, it really has been most enjoyable for all concerned both on the pitch and socially off it, which augers well for the next few years. We continue to attract players from the school and three or four of this year’s School XI have now left and should be available for us regularly in 2020. The 2nd XI were by some distance the strongest team in their division winning 12 of the 15 matches that they played and when playing at their best and at full strength, swept all before them. A couple of bad results, however kept the out45


come open until the final Saturday of the year when OHCC played Mill Hill Village in what amounted to a playoff for the Division. Pleasingly, it was a pretty convincing win for the Old Boys and meant a third promotion in the four years for Shajeen Shailendra and his band of free-spirited cricketers and they deserve to be congratulated on this achievement. Elsewhere the OHCC were entertained by the School early in July on Old Boys’ Day and on a warm, sunny day the School were put to the sword in both fixtures with the W.R. Tanner Memorial Trophy thus being retained by the Club. On a splendid day the School laid on an epic barbecue (the weather played ball) and it was a most enjoyable day in all respects. Our thanks go to Roger Llewellyn and Stephen Charlwood for arranging it all. The Devon Tour as ever took place towards the end of August with all six matches being played in dry weather with it being quite hot towards the end of the week and resulted in 2 wins, 1 loss and 3 draws. The numbers were excellent with some players staying for the whole week and some just coming for a few days. Whilst there we had visits from Peter Lidington (younger brother of Sir David), John Ridgley and at Sidmouth, Doug Yeabsley where, as a sign of the passing years, we played against his grandson! Two last points. On the first Saturday in August with availability of players so good we turned out a 3rd XI in a friendly fixture against our old friends at OMT. It is also pleasing to note that on that particular Saturday all three OHCC teams were victorious.

And finally, a few weeks ago we held our 22nd Annual Dinner at the home of cricket, a well-attended event enjoyed by all those present who enjoyed the fine fare prepared by the MCC chefs and which completed the OHCC’s activities for 2019. We now hibernate for the winter months and emerge refreshed in the spring with the AGM due to be held on February 27th and thereafter to push for more promotions for the two XIs. Simon Gelber simonhg1000@googlemail.com

Golf The Spring Meeting at Porters Park was played against the Hollybush pub, with the match narrowly won by the Hollybush. (For the Old Habs side, William Jeens won the individual competition with 42 points and Robert Clarke was second.) We also played a triangular match against Old Millhillians and Old Lyonians at Moor Park on 16th May. An enjoyable match with Old Millhillians winning - Old Habs were third, a point behind Old Lyonians. A further match was played against Old Merchant Taylors and Old Fullerians on the 11th June at the new venue of Beaconsfield. This was a very good course with the match result being a win for the OMTs with ourselves and Old Fullerians joint 46


second. We lost our match against Old Cholmeleians in mid-September at Porters Park and then the Autumn Meeting was held on the 4th October at Gerrards Cross. Robert Clarke robertc.clarke@btopenworld.com

Rifle Shooting The Rifle club organises six to ten shoots during the ‘season’ (March to September) and hibernates during the Winter months! 2019 was not a vintage year for the club; we came second to Epsom in the LMRA veterans match and fielded two teams in the Schools Veterans match during the Imperial Meeting. Chris Fitzpatrick, however, had a particularly good National Meeting, winning the Schools Veterans individual tankard and the Queens Veterans, coming second in the Veterans Aggregate and being placed in the top 30 of the Grand Aggregate and the St Georges Vase! Sadly, we were only able to field one team in the London & Middlesex league, which comprises three shoots over April to June and a rather lack-lustre performance left us in 4th place out of eight teams. We are always looking for new members to have a shoot and we run three practice shoots which are aimed at those who would like to have a go. The highlight of the club year is the Schools Veterans Match which is held midweek at the beginning of the National Target Rifle Championships. Next year it is being held on Thursday 16th July, starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by the annual dinner at the London and Middlesex clubhouse. Those who don’t want to shoot are welcome to come along for a natter and the dinner afterwards. In October, Charlie Freeman and I took a team of shooters from the LMRA/English Twenty Club to Antigua and Trinidad to get warm and shoot in their Regional Championships. Our team won two of the three team matches, which wasn’t bad for an ‘Oldies’ bunch with an average age of 69 – that’s one of the advantages of target shooting, you can still be competitive up to a ripe old age! Anyone interested in a practice shoot, or the Veterans day should contact me at rwinney@compuserve.com.

47


Past Presidents 1888-93 R.W. HINTON

1934-35 L.P. BATSON

1976-77 L.F. BROWN

1893-96 W.J. JONES

1935-36 J.E.G. MOODY

1977-78 J.A.R. BEAUMONT

1896-97 W.C. WITT

1936-37 P.G. MACDONALD

1978-79 B.H. MCGOWAN

1897-98 S. PHILLIPS

1937-38 D.L.I. EVANS

1979-80 P.J. STEVENSON

1898-99 A.S.K. SCARF

1938-45 L.J. GOOCH

1899-1900 W.H. BARKER

1945-46 H. NORMAN

1900-01 H.K. SELMAN

1946-47 W.R. CLEMENS

1901-02 H.G. DOWNER

1947-48 W.H. CROSSMAN

1902-03 C.E. NEWBEGIN

1948-49 F.H. YALE

1903-04 H.M. WAYNFORTH

1949-50 A.G. JENKINS

1904-05 J.H. TOWNEND

1950-51 DR T.W. TAYLOR

1905-06 H.A. HARMER

1951-52 A.N. BONWICK

1906-07 W.A. LYTHABY

1952-53 S.H. BEAN

1907-08 G.J. FREEMAN

1953-54 S.E. PHILLIPS

1908-09 H.F. BROOKS

1954-55 T.N. MCEVOY

1909-10 V.J. MOULDER

1955-56 G. BATCHELOR

1910-11 E.J.G. SMEE

1956-57 P.C. BROOKER

1911-12 C.J.L. WAGSTAFF

1957-58 G.G. LLOYD

1912-13 W. PADDOCK

1958-59 F.A. JACKMAN

1913-18 W.C. BRETT

1959-60 L.J. MILLER

1918-19 W. PADDOCK

1960-61 REV. A.M. MANN

1919-20 H.B.P. HUMPHRIES

1961-62 C.G. GARDNER

1920-21 REV. F.J. KEMP

1962-63 K.H. BLESSLEY

1921-22 REV. W.H. BRAINE

1963-64 M.J. JACKMAN

1922-23 K. MCMILLAN

1964-65 J.B. BLOWFELD

1923-24 J.N. GREEN

1965-66 D.A. BLESSLEY

1924-25 H. PARKER

1966-67 D.W. WELLS

1925-26 H.H. CHAPLIN

1967-68 E. CINNAMON

1926-27 S.H. NORTON

1968-69 J.S. ALEXANDER

1927-28 G.C LUNDBERG

1969-70 E.T. PURCELL

1928-29 H.E. DULCKEN

1970-71 N.A.H. JAMES

1929-30 L.J. HASKINS

1971-72 E.H. AMSTEIN

1930-31 A.C. MANN

1972-73 R.A. BENGE

1931-32 S.E. WAVELL

1973-74 P. ALTERMAN

1932-33 W.F. SERBY

1974-75 C.J. ROBINSON

1933-34 J. LUCAS

1975-76 D.G. KENWARD

1980-81 A.G. BUCHANAN 1981-82 A.T. WHITE 1982-83 C.R.B. JAKEMAN 1983-84 D.A. JAMES 1984-85 B.A. GOODMAN 1985-86 G.T. WHEAL 1986-87 J.G. STAGG 1987-88 P. ALTERMAN 1988-89 N. FORSYTH 1989-90 A.F. COOPER 1990-91 P.J.S. VACHER

1991-92 A.J.S. ALEXANDER 1992-93 P.J. EGAN 1993-94 M.J. BOVINGTON 1994-95 A.K. DAWSON 1995-96 R.M. KIPPS 1996-97 C.R.B. JAKEMAN 1997-98 J.R. WHITTENBURY 1998-99 A.E. MORRIS 1999-00 A.M. NEWTON 2000-01 H.E. COUCH 2001-02 A.J. PHIPPS

2002-03 D.J. BROWN 2003-04 G.J. MACFARLANE 2004-05 D.J. HEASMAN 2005-08 A.P.S. NEWMAN 2008-10 H.A. HYMAN 2010-12 J.A. CORRALL 2012-15 C.P. BLESSLEY 2015-16 M.S. BAKER 2016 - C.P. BLESSLEY 48

Profile for Old Habs

OH Notes December 2019 Edition  

The third of 2019's Notes containing up to reports, obituaries and containing articles with a particular emphasis on the 1940s

OH Notes December 2019 Edition  

The third of 2019's Notes containing up to reports, obituaries and containing articles with a particular emphasis on the 1940s

Profile for oha1
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