OH Notes April 2020 Edition

Page 1

Founded in 1888 as the Haberdashers’ Old Boys Club

April 2020 Edition 211

Foreword President Colin Blessley

First and foremost, I trust that you are all well and managing to cope with this extraordinary situation. It is with much regret that we have had to take the decision at the OHA Executive Committee level, as well as the affiliated sporting clubs, to suspend all communal activity. This decision was been prompted by the messages being issued by HM Government and the NHS, as well as the termination by the RFU of all rugby for the remainder of the current season. The latter announcement has been particularly hard for the OHRFC, with the 1st XV having achieved the highest historical classification ever in its league, with the possibility of finishing in an even higher position, had the season be allowed to play out its course. Let us hope that the application of the necessary precautions by ourselves and the public at large will result in the speediest possible return to normality (whatever that may look like at an undetermined point in the future) and allow us to resume our planned activities and share a celebratory pint or two. There have been a number of comparisons of the current situation with the conditions and restrictions existing during World War 2. Between 1939 and 1945, the country continued to function, albeit on a war footing – schools still operated (some of them evacuated from major cities), the shops were open, factories continued manufacturing goods and military materiel and, most importantly, the pubs did not close! What we are living through now is very different – the word “unprecedented” has been one of the most overemployed epithets. I am reminded of the writings of my father, Ken Blessley, of the final months in the Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club prior to the commencement of the war and the preoccupations of his friends and colleagues as to what the future held. I am fortunate enough to have his complete memoirs, which relate how, from the end of hostilities, all surviving OH rallied together and started up again from where they had left off some six years earlier. I am absolutely convinced that the same indomitable spirit will prevail in this current situation and its aftermath. So, when this crisis is behind us, I am sure that we will all be able to take up where we were before this outbreak and move forward to bigger and better achievements. We are already working on plans for events to be held when the lockdown is finally lifted and it is safe to congregate. Thanks to technology, we, unlike the previous generation, are able to continue to communicate in real time, so, if there is a need to access the OHA community, please do not hesitate to do so through Richard Carlowe – richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com In the meantime, stay safe, stay well and look after yourselves and your families. 2

Editorial Richard Carlowe It has been what can only be described as an awful few months since the last edition of OH Notes. We have lost two stalwarts of OHA, and its sister organisations, in Simon Gelber and Tony Alexander, and I dread looking at my emails every morning to see if any other OH have succumbed to CV19. We do, however, have a an awful lot for you to read in this edition of OH Notes and many of you will have the time to do so. Thanks must go to all of the contributors. We would welcome articles from as many people as possible in the August 2020 edition when, hopefully, we’ll all be venturing outside again. Please do email me admin@oldhabs.com, with your stories, reminisces or responses to any of the articles in this edition. In the meanwhile stay safe and well. Best wishes


Births, Marriages & Deaths The OHA is sorry to announce that the following Old Haberdashers’ have passed away since our Last Edition: Richard Rowlinson (‘53). Died 21st April 2020. John Carleton (Staff). Died 13th April 2020 Tony Weston (‘61). Died April 2020 Eric Escoffey (‘45). Died 12th April 2020 Anthony "Tony" Alexander (‘62). Died 11th April 2020 David Newbury-Ecob (‘44). Died 4th April 2020 Dick Benbow (Staff). Died January 2020 Geoff Ogden (‘56). Died 26th January 2020 Dr Michael Levin (Staff). Died 22nd January 2020 Simon Gelber (‘73). Died 1st January 2020 Sidney Holt (‘44). Died 21st December 2019 Please email any entries to admin@oldhabs.com 3

Contents Foreword






Membership Application




Pre-1970 Reunion


Simon Gelber Life Celebration


OHA Pub Quiz






WW1 Flying Aces


Habs Crossword


The First Ski Trip Responses


Norfolk Broads Trip


OHA Lottery


Habs in the 1940s


Habs in the 1940s Responses


Crossword Solution


Hallowed Ground


Clubhouse Hire


My Time at Habs


Pub Quiz Answers


Forthcoming Events




John Carleton


Tony Weston


Tony Alexander


David Newbury-Ecob


Geoffrey Ogden


Dr Michael Levin


Simon Gelber


Sidney Holt




OH Rugby Football Club


OH Football Club


OH Cricket Club


OH Rifle Club


Past Presidents


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


OLD HABERDASHERS’ ASSOCIATION C/O 73 Oak Tree Drive, London, N20 8QJ admin@oldhabs.com www.oldhabs.com

Not A Member? Please Join the OHA Now. Please email this form to admin@oldhabs.com or send it to the address above. I wish to apply for membership of the Old Haberdashers’ Association and, subject to ratification by the Executive Committee, agree to be bound by the rules of the Association currently in force. I agree that the information on this form may be held on computer in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Name:


Address: _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ Email:


Mobile: _______________________________________________ Years at School:


House at School:





Events Pre-1970 Reunion Monday 2nd March 2020

The Triumphant Wishful The evening of Monday 2 March witnessed possibly the largest gathering of Old Boys ever to grace the School’s Elstree site, for the unique occasion which was `The Pre-1970 reunion’. Of the 175 attending, some were never taught at the site, others actually helped the School move from Westbere Road to Elstree, while others formed part of the first cohort of Old Boys to have spent their entire school career in Hertfordshire. Old Boys coming from far as far as Australia and San Francisco (and Radlett….) were given tours of the School by current pupils and treated to a performance by our very own Habs Big Band in the Seldon Hall of the TW Taylor Music School. Then, following a formal welcome by the Headmaster, Gus Lock, all retired to the Aske Hall for more refreshments, glorious conversations and the rekindling of many a friendship. It was a truly memorable occasion and one that will linger long in the memory. 6

Pre-1970 Reunion Photo Gallery


Simon Gelber 8th March 1954 to 1st January 2020 OHCC President A Celebration of His Life Saturday 8th February 2020

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

On a fittingly sunny day, the School very graciously hosted the Celebration of Simon’s life and almost 100 people attended in order to remember him. Tributes were given by Gus Lock, the Headmaster; Simon’s partner Sue Pryke; Simon’s cousin Jayne Marks; Court Catering; The OHA’s David Heasman and by Simon Friend, Rhys Jenkins and Shajeen Shailendra from OHCC. The last piece of music played, was of course, Soul Limbo by Booker T and the MGs—the Test Match Special Theme Tune. Huge thanks must go to Roger Llewellyn, Director of the School Foundation and to Gus Lock for organising the event. 8

Events OHA Pub Quiz Wednesday 4th March 2020

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

Keith Weyman('68) shows his delight as Captain of the winning team! In what proved to be the last major OHA event at Croxdale Road before lockdown, five tables of competitive quizzers enjoyed Richard Carlowe’s bi-annual Pub Quiz, as well as Pauline’s fine supper.

Grabbing an early lead, Qwysiwyg, stayed in front throughout and finally claimed their title back, having just lost it in the last quiz. They are pictured above. Thanks to Roger and Jean Pidgeon for organising the teams and the excellent Raffle and Prizes on the night. How well can you do at the quiz? Some of it is on the next page for you to answer. The next quiz is on Wednesday 18th November. Please email Roger Pidgeon at lamontplan@btinternet.com to reserve your place. 9

Events OHA Pub Quiz How well can you do?

Food and Drink 1. Feta cheese originates from which country? 2. What type of fish is used to make kippers? 3. In what decade was sliced bread first sold? 4. What is the main alcoholic ingredient of a Singapore Sling? 5. What cheese do you find in a Tiramisu? 6. What is the main ingredient of Cumberland Sauce? 7. What is commonly inside a Baked Alaska? 8. A Tom Collins cocktails consists of gin, soda water, sugar and what other ingredient? 9. What is allium sativum better known as? 10. What fruit did the botanist and merchant Thomas Johnson first sell in England in 1633? World Politics 1. What animal is the symbol of the Republican Party in the USA? 2. The ZANU-PF has been the leading party since 1980 in which African country? 3. Which President of the Soviet Union was famous for having a port wine stain birthmark on his head? 4. Who did Emmanuel Macron succeed as President of France? 5. European Council President Donald Tusk formerly served as Prime Minister of which country? 10

Events OHA Pub Quiz How well can you do? 6. 7.

The ANC has been the leading party since 1994 in which African Country? Malcolm Turnbull, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd have all been prime Minstres of which country? 8. Who is currently the Prime Minster of Canada? 9. Who is the longest standing President of France? 10. What is the name of the German Parliament building? 2 Questions with 10 Answers 1-5. Name the five London Underground Stations with an X in their name. 2-10. Name the 5 Capital Cities in Europe that start with the letter S General Knowledge 1.

If you were to cut an A1 sheet of paper into A5 sheets, how many sheets would you get? 2. Who mis the only actress to win a Best Actress Oscar 4 times? 3. What is the name of the piece of equipment that an artist uses to hold up their canvas? 4. What tool can be Robertson, Flat or Frearson? 5. Captain Troy Tempest was the leader of the good guys in which 60s children’s Sci-fi show? 6. What is 84 in Roman Numerals? 7. Not including caretaker managers, who did Arsene Wenger succeed as Arsenal manager? 8. According to Bob Hoskins in TV adverts, what was it good to do? 9. What was the name of the cruise ship sunk by the Germans in 1915 that was a factor in the USA joining World War One? 10. What temperature is the same in Celsius as it is in Fahrenheit? State of Music—Each answer has an American State in it. Need the full answer. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What title was both a song by Lynyrd Skynryd and a film starring Reese Witherspoon? Sharleen Spiteri is the lead singer of which group? Which song features both a city and a state and was sung by Gene Kelly and Fran Sinatra? Which rapper has had number ones in the UK with Right Round, Club Can’t Handle It and Good Feeling? Barker of the UFO was the B Side by the Bee Gees in 1967. What was the A Side? 11

Events OHA Pub Quiz How well can you do? 6. 7.

By what name did Miley Cyrus go by on the Disney Channel? Which Gladys Knight and the Pips song was their only number one in the US? It reached number 10 in the UK. 8. What was the name of the Stereophonics first UK number one? 9. What type of girls did Katy Perry sing about in 2010? 10. What was the title of the song and album released by Ike and Tina Turner in 1974? Film Franchises 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

In what year was the first Carry On Film released? Who plays Bilbo Baggins in the lord of the Rings trilogy? Sigouney Weaver plays which character in the Aliens films? Which US President does ben Stiller meet in the Night at The Museum series? Which, then unknown, British actor plays a Romulan clone of jean-Luc Picard in Start Trek 10 (Nemesis)? 6. What role has been played onscreen by Lee Merriweather, Michelle pfeiffer , Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway? 7. In which year was the first James Bond film released? 8. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker appear in which series of films? 9. Which film series featured parapsychologists in New York? 10. Johnny Depp based his performances as Captain Sparrow on which rocker? Connections 1.

Which band had hits with All I need is a Miracle, Over my Shoulder and Living Years? 2. Who was the first Roman Emperor? 3. The word salary is derived from which condiment? 4. According to the song by Liza and Henry, what had a hole in it? 5. What connects the above four answers? 6. What was the name of Michelangelo's 17ft high biblical statue housed in Florence? 7. What was the name of the lead character in JD Salinger’s book Catcher in the Rye? 8. Which electrical retailer was one of the largest in the UK, with over 500 stores, before its collapse and final dissolution in 2014? 9. Which singer sang Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and Just a Boy? 10. What connects the above four answers? Answers can be found on page 39 12

Help! This amazing picture is owned by Peter JS Vacher ('55) and lent to David Heasman ('59) who was instrumental in the Clubhouse refit. It is of OHRFC Annual Dinner at Hendon Hall Hotel in the 1950s under the chairmanship of the then RFC President Frank Jackman OBE 1959/60. Peter is one of the good looking ones in the middle and he kindly intends donating it to the club. Before doing so he needs to identify as many as possible on each of the 6 sprigs and Top Table! So your suggestions would be much appreciated and hopefully we can report back in the next issue as to progress. Please email admin@oldhabs.com if you can assist.



WW1 FLYING ACES Dr John Wigley has discovered two WW1 Aviators During the First World War an “Ace” was usually defined as an aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat, although shared “kills” were counted as was destroying enemy observation balloons, whose occupants almost always perished. Haberdashers’ “Aces”.


at least two


One was Sir Theodore McEvoy’s elder bother Christopher, who inspired Theodore to join the RAF. Christopher was born on 2nd January 1899 in Hendon, not far from the Cricklewood site to which the School was about to move. We know much less about his military career than about Theodore’s.

66 Squadron March 1918. Christopher McEvoy is 2nd left in the top row

Christopher McEvoy joined the Royal Flying Corps in January 1918, was commissioned as a Flight Lieutenant with No. 66 Squadron, and quickly posted as a pilot to Italy, where he was wounded in February. Nothing daunted, he made his first “kill” on 30th March, followed by several more before he was laid low with dysentery in August. He was then evacuated home to England and after recovering was allocated to No. 39 (Home Defence) Squadron. No. 66 Squadron was a “crack” outfit with a high reputation. During WW1 twenty one of its pilots (including McEvoy) qualified as “Aces” and two of them were awarded the Victoria Cross, for valour “in the presence of the enemy”. He was in distinguished company. The citation for his Distinguished Flying Cross (awarded on 23rd. September 1918) read “A gallant pilot who has destroyed six enemy machines in a few months. He displays great determination in his attacks in high or low flying, and in bombing attacks over the enemy’s lines.” Subsequent research by students of WW1 suggests that he actually destroyed nine enemy machines, each time when flying a Sopwith Camel, the best-known and most effective British fighter of the time. Christopher McEvoy was aged over forty as war approached in 1939 but on 1st September was commissioned as temporary Pilot Officer on probation with the rank of Flight Lieutenant and role as codes officer with Costal Command. Unfortu15

nately his health broke down and he surrendered his commission a week later. He died in Dorking on 12th October 1953. We know more about Andrew Herbert Patey. He was born on 25th September 1898. In September 1914 he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, served in Egypt and at Gallipoli but in September 1916 was invalided back to England, where the authorities realized that he was underage and discharged him. However, in March 1917 he was accepted for the Royal Naval Air Service, completed pilot’s training, on 13 November was commissioned as a temporary Flt. Sub Lieutenant and in January 1918 joined No. 10 (Naval) Squadron, from the foundation of the RAF on 1st April designated 210 Squadron. Patey scored his first “kill” on 17 May and on 11 June was appointed a Flight Commander with the temporary rank of Captain. Just a few days later he took part in an attack on the Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik in Mannheim and on his way back to base made his fifth “kill” by shooting down in flames a D VII Fokker near Armentieres. He brought his tally to elven on 3rd September but two days later was shot down by Ludwig Beckmann (a German “Ace” who eventually made eight “kills” and survived to take part in WW2). Fortunately, Patey survived the crash landing, actually on the German front line, to spend the next nine weeks as a prisoner of war. By then Patey had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was gazetted on 21st September with the following citation. “Whilst leading his flight on an offensive patrol eight enemy machines were encountered. Captain Patey was cut off from his patrol by two of the enemy who got on his tail, and continued in that position until within 2,000 feet of the ground, at which point his machine was hit in the petrol tank. Notwithstanding this serious handicap, he turned four times on his pursuers, destroying one and driving the remainder away. On previous occasions this officer has destroyed two enemy machines and brought down two more out of … and, in cooperation with other … he has assisted in destroying or bringing down out of control four additional enemy aircraft.” The number of enemy planes given in the citation, ten, indicates that the action which it describes took place on the 3rd September, when he reached his tally of eleven “kills”, which included a barrage balloon brought down on 21st May, his second “kill”. His 6th to 11th were achieved in the same Sopwith Camel, serial number B 7280. Patey was repatriated after the Armistice and arrived home on Christmas Eve 1918. Tragically, he caught the Spanish flu on 14th February 1919 and died of pneumonia four days later. He is commemorated on the First World War Memorial in Aldenham House, as is his older brother Sydney Edward Patey who was killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Somme. Fortunately their younger brother, Leonard Chaplin, was too young to fight and so was able to comfort his grieving parents. He left Habs aged fifteen and a half in December 1919. 16

His two dead brothers are also commemorated in other ways. Unlike many school magazines “Skylark” printed very few accounts of old boys’ war service but made an exception for Herbert Patey, in the spirit of the time, attributing his decoration to a “stunt” in which he had led his flight on a dawn raid behind the German lines, bombed an aerodrome, shot up the officers’ quarters, attacked vehicles going up to the front, and then strafed trenches as he returned to base. Sydney’s name is carved on the Thiepval Memorial, situated on a hill overlooking the Somme valley. Closer to home, the Hampstead Cemetery contains Plot P.2.38, the site of a family grave and memorial which bears an inscription that reads in part, “In proud and loving memory of Lance Corporal Sydney Edward Patey, Queen Victoria Rifles, killed in France July 1st 1916 aged 20, eldest son of Edward and Amy Patey. Also of their second son Captain Herbert A. Patey (Bertie) DFC, RAF. Died of pneumonia February 18, 1919 aged 20. After repatriation from Germany, having fought in Gallipoli and France…” It might be appropriate for the School or the OHA to “adopt” that grave. Herbert Patey is also remembered in a more distant land. He crash landed with such skill that his Sopwith Camel escaped with little damage, was repaired and taken to Berlin to be placed on show in an aviation museum. During the Second World War the museum’s exhibits were evacuated to Poland to escape Allied bombing. The Sopwith Camel survived the fighting there and is now kept in the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow. The Polish account ascribes eleven “kills” to the plane (two to a previous pilot and nine to Patey, whereas the UK statistics credit it to six under Patey) and the museum concludes “Quite possibly, it is the most distinguished First World War combat exhibit…”

Next Edition Memories of VE and VJ Days 1945 Please send in your memories to admin@oldhabs.com 17


Solution on Page 33 Across

Down 3. Strange Game Played By The Girls With Netted Sticks 4. That Four Sided Piece Of Grass 6. Seven In A Day (Was Eight!) 8. New Sports Hall 10. Pub On The Corner, By The School 13. Nickname Of School's Sports Teams 15. To Be A....... 18. Played On The Lawn Next To The Girl's School 19. Surname Of The School's Founder

22. Punishment Served After School

1. House Named After Cow Fields 2. Al, Long Running Head Of Rugby 5. House That Sounds Like Small People Searching For Work 7. Popular Subject Taught At A Level But Not At GCSE 9. The Note Required To Leave During School Time 11. The First C Of CCF 12. Summer Term Sport 14. Previously Ran The Academicals

24. That House Adjacent To Cricket Pitch

16. Old Sports Hall, Named After A Previous Headmaster 17. Where Habs Kids Eat

25. She Looks After You When You're Ill

20. The Key To Running The School

27. How Most Pupils Get To Habs

21. Homework Or The Under 11s

29. Livery Company That Owns The School 30. The Official School Hymn

24. Where The Planes Take Off From Opposite 26. First Name Of The School's Founder

23. The Main Hall At The School

31. Figure Involved In Cross Country 32. Found Before Obey

28. Those Merchants From Up The Road 18

The First Ski Trip Responses to the Article Penned by Alan Woolford (’51) in the Last Edition Professor John Holmes (‘49) I was very pleased to see Alan Woolford’s piece about the Kleine Scheidegg skiing holiday which was a very welcome post-war first for the school. Alan is well known for his many years and initiatives in the training of junior sailors in the UK under the auspices of the RYA (for which he received an award from Princess Anne a year or two ago). My first sailing experience was with Alan and his Father on the Norfolk Broads in 1948, where we were all neophytes! John Dudderidge arranged his first splendid canoeing/sailing week there in the following year. I have sailed (raced and cruised) ever since. My sailing high-point was probably the Transatlantic (Halifax to Azores) voyage in my daughter and son-in-law’s steel cutter “Koshlong”, in 2004.

Paul Foster (‘79) Re photo (left), cigar smoking, far right is my Dad, John Edwin Foster, with his younger brother, my uncle, David James Foster, next to him. In the group pic on the train (right), my Dad is standing, again far right, with I think my uncle in front of him. Dad never forgot his love of that trip, and Switzerland, honeymooned with my Mum in Wengen, staying in the Kleine Scheidegg hotel, and over the years introduced my brother David Foster and me to the beauties of skiing & the Alps, which we have passed on to our parents 7 grandchildren - so that school trip influenced many lives and fantastic ski holidays!


Indeed, in 2011 our Mum fulfilled a promise to Dad, who was by then very ill with Alzheimer’s, and organised a ski holiday with both families to Wengen, skiing off the top at Scheidegg, so all 3 generations got the chance to experience what caught a schoolboys heart and passion 60 years previously. In a side note, interesting to see Dad smoking...the only time he ever smoked was during our family ski holidays, after a leisurely lunch with a beer outside some mountain restaurant...he would buy one pack for the week and throw away whatever was left when we came home - and wait for the next trip. Personally I blame the teachers... I’d never seen these photos so thank you! I think we have a couple of other photos of the trip If you’re interested in seeing them.

Alan Woolford Paul, thank you for writing a reply to the item I submitted to OH Notes. I found your mail so moving, as I went through several years at school in forms with your Father and Uncle. I was so interested that the school trip had such a memory on your family, so soon after WW2. I have never forgotten it and although I did go on school trip 2 to Saas Fee, near the Matterhorn, by then I had been introduced to sailing by a fellow school friend, which took up all my leisure time (and money) all my life, that I have not been on skis since. My daughter however has an apartment in Val d'Isere, France where she spends much of our winter working from a laptop and skiing daily and is very experienced skier. As for the photos…. The group with cigars had first names in our family album and I can now identify David and John and perhaps others can add more from my list of first names...... Doug (Gainsborough?), Alan (me), Malcolm, Mike, Bill, David (Foster), Robin (Mathews?), John (Foster)…….Don, Alan (not me), Geoff. 20

Paul Foster (‘79) has kindly scanned his father’s photo albums. They are too good not to reproduce in full.



Norfolk Broads Trip 1949 EMERITUS PROFESSOR JOHN HOLMES (‘49)

Wroxham Hospital Farm

The early postwar years were very bleak, with yet even more severe rationing and shortages. But in spite of that, Haberdashers were able to introduce new ideas and new ventures. The first inter-school dances arranged by the Headmaster were a huge success, the Kleine Scheidegg skiing holiday and then the canoeing and sailing initiatives of John Dudderidge provided adventures for youngsters whose early lives had been dominated and narrowed by the War. The re-opening of the swimming bath at Westbere Road was memorable too, especially for those of us who could not swim, but were anxious to learn. The powerful chlorine content of the water was noteworthy, as it made for the quick breakdown of woolen bathing trunks. And so in the summer of ’49, Mr. Dudderidge plus eighteen of us, (six from the sixth form and a dozen fifth formers) with four kayaks, tents, provisions and all our personal gear, were squeezed into a very large canvas-topped lorry and trucked off to Norfolk, where Mr. D had pre-arranged our base camp for the week at Hospital Farm on Wroxham Broad. There we quickly established the main camp and later on the same day, he and the sixth formers, Cox, Stares, Johnson, Hoare, Chism and I set off by moonlight in the kayaks to nearby Salhouse Broad, to establish a second camp, in a field which was shared with a group of Red Cross girls. With them we enjoyed a noisy sing-song before retiring. [I note, in passing, that we only referred to (or communicated with) each other by using our family names; indeed, I can recall rather few Christian names of my old school-friends. Is that still the same?]. 23

The Broads’ week was to be divided into two parts. The kayak exploring and camping took place in two three-day periods and the sailing (requiring two vessels, see below) was similarly divided. All our food and personal belongings were contained in rubber bags which could be stowed fore and aft in the kayaks. These craft were made by the German Co. “Klepper” and were from pre-war days. (Mr. Dudderidge had competed as a canoeist in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games). They were two-man kayaks, with a rubberised skin that stretched tightly over stout wooden frames. Each kayak could be completely dismantled, framework and all, and stowed in a canvas bag. With two paddlers, they proved to be fast, and so we covered surprising distances each day before returning to camp for the night. One of the kayaks sported a sail, but I do not recall rigging it. I also note that we did not wear life-jackets, as would be mandatory nowadays. We were however fit and aware of dangers, such as they were. In the previous year I had spent a week on the Broads with Alan Woolford and his father, sailing “Brown Imp” a fast and handy gunter-rigged sloop from Chumley and Hawke at Horning, a yard that used to provide excellent yachts for hire (now extinct, alas). We three were then complete novices at sailing, but the Arthur Ransome books had provided us with plenty of theory! Sailing in the school-week included three days aboard a pair of chartered yachts from Wroxham. One was the “Nimrod”, a slow, beamy, gaff-rigged sloop which had a relatively poor performance, being very slow to windward. I, Cox and Hoare sailed her for three very long, damp days getting as far as Potter Heigham and back, with considerable hard work from the quant.

The week was pronounced a great success and was repeated the following year, but by then I had left school and joined the work force. These Norfolk Broads excursions provided the beginning of my life-long association with sailing; cruising and racing in many parts of the world, including a (family) Atlantic crossing when in my 70’s. For the record: I believe that Cox joined the Royal Navy, a long held ambition; Hoare became a Doctor and Chism had a fine career in the law, becoming a judge in Hong Kong and later in the UK.

1936 Olympic Kayak Team. JW Dudderidge on the right




Habs’ In The 1940’s EMERITUS PROFESSOR JOHN HOLMES (‘49) Edited by Dr John Wigley PART TWO Science. The 1930’s science building to the south, was a clean, bright structure, with many tall metal framed windows and full of familiar laboratory smells. Mr. Disboro was the chief laboratory steward, tall, bald, brown coated and usually irritable. Among his many duties was the maintenance of the big, Pb/H2SO4 (lead/sulphuric acid) batteries in the basement, and which provided 12V DC to the physics laboratories on the ground floor. There were heavy, solid teak bench tops in the physics and tiled teak in the chemistry labs. Much of the apparatus in the former labs was made of gleaming gilt brass and mahogany. There were Wimshurst machines, big translucent celluloid wheels, stored in glass fronted cupboards, waiting to electrostatically entertain us. Delicate, rarely used (senior students only) fragile apparatus with neat coils of glass tubing. A Fortin barometer was used for accurate atmospheric pressure measurement and here one encountered ones’ first Vernier Scale.

Science Building

In the chemistry labs were the ubiquitous, necessary Bunsen burners and their tripods, with wire gauze mats to conduct the heat from the flame to the beaker or whatever. Coal gas, no natural gas existed then. The exploding treacle tin, with a hole in top and bottom, was an excitement for third form [Year 9] students and clearly showed that a coal gas-air mixture is not necessarily explosive.

My very first practical experiment was in the first form, under the care of Mr. Henwood (otherwise known as “Chickweed”). The experiment was to separate a mixture of salt and sand. The salt was dissolved in hot water, the sand was filtered off and the salt recovered by evaporating off the water of the filtrate. Mr. Payne. In the second form [Year 8] we first encountered Mr. (Harry) Payne with his dread27

ed metre stick. In his physics class it was necessary always to have definitions ready and to understand them, or else you got a sharp prod in the ribs from his stick. (“Density; what is density? No, you stupid boy, (prod, prod) that’s specific gravity!”). Rote learning was not always enough, because the correct response could be followed up by the more difficult secondary question. He also specialized in frequent surprise written tests and so the nervous tension while awaiting our admission to the physics lab was palpable. He had a very sharp and ready wit, and saddled some of us (not me) with nicknames devised by him. A very small boy [Henderson] he dubbed “Bobo”; a plump boy (Geoffrey Wise) was “Wallop” (“you’re just a big “Wallop”; “Give me buns” is your motto”), a small rotund, apple-faced boy, David Woolf was “Fido”. The names that he coined usually suited their recipient well. A new boy of Italian origin arrived one day. “What’s your name?”. “Lobatto, Sir”. “Lobatto? What’s that? A game?” Howls of unkind laughter from the rest of us. I suppose that according to present day sensibilities, Mr. Payne was a bully and a bad teacher. I remember him rather fondly, as another hazard to be negotiated in the process of growing up, one that I shared with my classmates. He clearly however, enjoyed humiliating the unfortunate boy who had stepped out of line and the latter’s fear and discomfort transmitted itself to the whole form. Apart from the prods with the metre stick, he never struck a boy to my knowledge. “Johnny” Knight. Mr. J. Knight was a very different sort of science teacher. He taught me 4th to 6th form chemistry. Then in his forties, he was a strong disciplinarian, necessary with classes of 20 or so enthusiastic small boys, ages from 13-16, and the presence of so many interesting chemicals. His love for his subject and his flair for showmanship were legendary and his classes frequently provided unexpected scientific treats. He excelled in demonstrations and in very firmly teaching us to respect all chemicals and to fear none, when properly handled. Although much of what we did is today unthinkable, I believe that more has been lost than gained in the current mania for “safety”. We did not wear goggles, but wore lab coats and took all his precautions seriously. The only accidents that I can recall involved broken glass and scalded fingers (from our attempts at soda-glass blowing), in spite of the available highly reactive chemicals. In our 2-3 hour laboratory sessions we routinely handled strong acids and bases, Bunsen (and batswing!) burners, test tubes, beakers, burettes, pipettes (by mouth) and gas jars, safely and without difficulty, and also developed the skill of recognising a very wide range of inorganic and organic chemicals by colour, by smell and general appearance. Quantitative chemistry was mainly by titration, acid/base, permanganate and 28

dichromate oxidations, thiosulphate (iodimitry), and silver nitrate for the halides. We weighed reagents by rider-carrying balances (to "0.1 mg). (A trivial but typical by-product of his instruction, was that for (acidified) oxalate to react swiftly with the permanganate titrant, required the former’s solution to be at ca 600C, a temperature measured by thermometer---but it also was one that could just be tolerated on the back of one’s hand). Qualitative analysis was also routine. We did some preparative chemistry as well, making pyrophoric iron by the reduction of iron oxide (Fe3O4) powder contained in two little ceramic boats, in a stream of coal gas at about 400C. One sample we sealed in the hard glass (pyrex) reaction tube, (elementary soda glassblowing was required) the other we sprinkled out of its little dish in a shower of satisfying sparks. We prepared N2O by the thermal decomposition of NH4NO3, collecting the compound in gas jars over hot water in the sink, and then showing that it would support the combustion of a glowing splint. Mr. Knight showed us Mg “burning” in chlorine and in steam, the two-step dehydration of ethanol with conc. H2SO4, first to diethyl ether plus water and on to ethene plus water, the always exciting reactions of the alkali metals, Li-Cs, with water, he demonstrated the “Thermite” reaction in a tall earthenware crucible, producing from sand, a small pellet of elemental silicon---and many other wonders. Spilled mercury was not a cause for panic; powdered sulphur and a dustpan and brush quickly corralled the escaped hazard. Chemistry students are no longer allowed to handle many noxious substances, even in first-year University. In some regards this is a great pity; because well organised, first-hand experience can engender a proper respect for hazardous materials. The present norm, tends rather to engender fear instead. Some few years ago I was on a lecture tour in China and I asked to visit an undergraduate laboratory. I was delighted to see that it looked remarkably like my old school lab, with a discernible chemical haze. (They were reacting aluminium powder with iodine and treating the product with water). My early experiences were/are unforgettable and they certainly initiated my lifelong fascination with chemistry. Have I had any laboratory accidents? Very few, (thanks to Johnny Knight); most of them have involved high voltages rather than chemicals!

Mr. Pask. One day, in the fourth form (Year 10), while awaiting our French teacher, Mr. Pask, who was for some reason late, several of us shut Pomeroy in a large cupboard. After the master’s arrival we waited breathlessly for the inevitable noises from within. They came in due course; Mr Pask flung open the cupboard door to find the discomforted Pomeroy crouching inside. Needless to say no one owned-up to the deed nor would Pomeroy “sneak” on us. He was ordered to produce by the next day, 100 lines on “The evils of dark places”, which we found highly amusing. 29

Mr. Pask was a great favourite and a fine teacher. His French classes were almost always enjoyable as he had an excellent sense of humour and made sure that our French “readers” contained entertaining stories. One that I recall was “Le Scolopendre”, almost a science fiction story. He was tall, dark haired, portly and wore bright clothes; usually a check sports jacket, yellow pullover with a scarlet tie and shiny brown brogues. His wife, (not a teacher), was French and was a very chic lady indeed. He liked to test the air, sniffing as he came into the classroom. “Open up! This room stinks” was a common announcement by him, as he hurried to open the big sash windows. This was particularly likely to be necessary and true if we had just come from the gym. Lady Teachers. Two ladies of note were Miss Woods and Miss Dittrich. The former taught French to the Lower School. She was not very tall and wore her hair in plait, wound round her head. Although rather plain of face, she was equipped with a truly splendid bosom, interesting to adolescent boys. She had a series of boyfriends, mostly in the RAF, who sometimes could be seen waiting for her after school. In the second form she organized a short French play, which we presented to the Lower School. An RAF boyfriend was on hand to give expert help in applying make-up on those of us who had female parts to play. I recall very well the difficulty of walking in high heels, never mind remembering my lines. Miss Dittrich (popularly known as “Marlene”) was older than the others, possibly in her late thirties. She was tiny, blonde and shapely, vivacious too. The masters deferred to her in a clearly susceptible manner. Her German classes were often fun, as she liked word games as an aid to instruction. She would not dismiss us at the end of a class unless we intoned all together, “Die glocke hat geläutet” (the bell has rung). Another woman teacher was Mrs. Richardson, the wife of the Latin master. She taught us History in the fourth form, especially contemporary History, and I recall the campaign maps being pinned to the wall showing all those Russian towns with (to us) strange names, Kursk, Smolensk, Veliki-Luki and Minsk. She was shrill, very acid tongued and an arbitrary disciplinarian, often misidentifying the real culprit. She was not a favourite and we felt rather sorry for Mr. Richardson. She left the school in an interesting and very advanced state of pregnancy.



Habs’ In The 1940’s Jeff Warren (‘45) Responds to the First Part of the Article (OH Notes Dec 2019) I have just finished reading Professor John Holmes reminiscences about his life at Westcroft and Habs. I am in touch with John and his wife Shelia so am sure he wont mind me amplyfing some of his detail . I also lived in Canada 1957/66 and I too ,was at Westcroft ,but as I am a few years older (born November 28) I didn’t know him until we were both evacuated on the 2nd Sept 1939 to Brympton Devercy, a few miles west of Yeovil in Somerset. That Summer Miss Chalen had arranged for Mrs Clive, the doyen of Brympton, in her brother’s absence to accommodate some 20 boys plus the 3 Mistresses And Mrs Pangalos the Mother (or was it Aunt?) of one of the pupils. We arrived by coach in the late afternoon at this magnificent house, complete with a home farm, chapel, lake and extensive lawns. Very suitable for flying one of the model airplanes John mentions - I had a Hampden bomber. Next morning was a bright and sunny day and standing in the yard outside the kitchen of the Home Farm House, I remember listening to the Prime Minister, Mr Chamberlain, declare we were at war with Germany. The accommodation was a bit fraught. The smallest boys slept in what had been the ballroom with many holes in the ceiling where wary feet had missed walking on a rafter when in the attic. Miss Alderton had her bedroom adjacent outside. After a few days lessons commenced. Miss Biggs, supervising a swim in the Lock, had jumped in after one of the little boys had fallen in About a month later a group of parents visited. Amongst them John’s mother and father, who took us into Yeovil where I had a much needed hair cut. A few days later my mother appeared, took a brief look around and ordered me to pack - “ You’re leaving”- and went to see Miss Chalen . A taxi took us to Yeovil Junction and a train thence to Waterloo This must have been late in October as I learnt the Battleship ”Royal Oak” had been sunk by a German submarine when at her moorings in Scapa Flow 14 October 1939. 31

This must have started a rout as John tells me he too left soon after (it was the period of the Phony war after Poland had been over taken and before the invasion of Norway). The start of the war saw the school struggle as Westbere Road was requisitioned. A number of boys were evacuated to Wellingborough and the remainder met at Chase Lodge where assembly was held every morning in the car park. The school laid on a coach service to ferry those in Cricklewood (and I suppose elsewhere e g Harrow). In the New Year an arrangement was made with Copthall School in Mill Hill to allow us the use of a few rooms afternoons only . That continued until the summer, by which time Westbere Rd was returned to the School authorities. At the hight of the September bombing a delayed action bomb was dropped on the Headmaster’s study, landing at 11pm and exploding at 3am or so . Doing damage to the main body of the school, except the dining room, kitchen and assembly hall. We promptly received part time lessons on half days for the rest of the term. It is amazing that we learnt anything!! John joined the following year, by which time some degree of normality had been established by holding classes at Chase Lodge two or three days a week. To augment the accommodation an extra room had been built next to, but separate from the Lodge itself. A stove was placed in the middle of the room but it was still a very cold room in winter , We wore our overcoats. From the age of 14, those taking science subjects went to Westbere Road where the Science block, although taking a lot of the force of the exploding bomb, was able to open chemistry and physics labs. In the Summer of 1944, just as the Matriculation Exams were starting, the Germans launched their V1 Flying bombs (Doodlebugs). To protect us, air raid shelters had been built on the edge of the playing field at Westbere Road and, upon receiving warning from the spotters on the roof of Smiths Instruments in the Edgware Road, we abandoned our exam and all trooped down to the shelters. I remember, particularly, the French exam which was mainly spent in the shelters with Mr Pask popping in once or twice to make sure we weren’t cheating. Of course we were, armed with a pocket dictionary.

Chase Lodge Today 32



Hallowed Ground Paul Twivy (‘79) On His New Novel for Readers Aged 10 or More

I love travelling, as I’m sure you do. It feels even more precious now that we are denied its pleasures by the lockdown. One of the things that inspired my wanderlust was being part of the “global family” of boys at Aldenham House when it was still a boarding-house. I lived just a dull trip up the M1 from Habs, but most of my fellow boarders lived in exotic places such as Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Canada and South Africa. Tales were told and imaginations stirred.

When I lie on my deathbed (a while off I hope), some of my happiest and most defining memories will be from holidays and adventures abroad in this extraordinary world, with the people I love. However, it wasn’t until quite late in life that I really experienced and fell in love with Africa. Africa gets under your skin. It seeps into your every pore and sets fire to your brain. And one particular country has had more impact on me than any other. A country I barely knew about or could locate on the map even five years ago, yet was to inspire my first novel. Namibia is one of least-known and most hauntingly beautiful countries not just in Africa, but in the entire world. It also one of the least-populated: only 2.5 million people live in a land three times the size of the United Kingdom. Yet it never feels empty because of the warmth of its people and the extraordinary impact of its landscapes on the human spirit. Namibia is home to the highest sand dunes in the world. Fish River Canyon is the deepest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. The foggy Skeleton Coast is one of the most feared coastlines in the world, home to hundreds of shipwrecks: Portuguese sailors used to call it “The Gates of Hell”. Time takes on different spans and dimensions in Namibia. The mummified trees at Dead Vlei died in the eleventh century: just as William the Conqueror invaded an exhausted England in 1066. Indeed, its upside-down Baobab trees can live to be up to 34

three thousand years old. The Namib and the blood-red Kalahari are the oldest deserts in the world. Namibia’s settlements and towns are no less remarkable: Swakopmund is a German seaside-town in southern Africa, with all the bizarre contrasts you would expect from those origins. Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the desert created by a diamond rush in which visitors can now walk through houses knee-deep in sand. Namibia has even acted as a magnet for the extra-terrestrial with the largest recorded meteorite shower falling on its terrain. It is a country to inspire stories, as it has with my recently-published novel: “Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles”. Namibia’s soil is truly “Hallowed Ground” and I became obsessed with what lay beneath that soil as well as above it.

Spread across the face of Namibia’s deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’: vast enough to be seen from space. They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear. My novel is about three teenagers and their families who arrive in Namibia from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. Namibia is home to a proud, distinguished and ancient line of storytellers: tribes such as the Herero, Himba, San, Damara, Caprivian, Kavango, Nama and Ovambo. They are also extraordinary survivors. Between 1904 and 1907, the Germans wiped out most of the Herero tribe and half of the Nama in the first ever, planned genocide a kind of hideous dress rehearsal for the Nazi death camps - and yet they have survived. Indeed, the whole country is an inspiration. It is a modern, parliamentary democracy that has just celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its independence from South Africa. It has survived invasions and threats of all kinds. Very sadly, the threats still continue. As one symptom of climate change, Namibia has, until recently, been experiencing devastating droughts in which 60,000 cattle have died and crops have failed, leaving thousands of families with food shortages. Record rains have helped for now but drought is always lurking. A plea from my heart. Help Namibia survive and grow, by visiting it. In doing so, you will not only support a remarkable country, you will also experience some of the most inspiring landscapes and people on our precious planet. You will be richer as will they. Paperback stocks are low at the moment but you can buy my novel, “Hallowed Ground” in either Paperback or Kindle form from Amazon, Waterstones online, the Telegraph Books or Conrad Press web-sites. I will hopefully be coming to the school to give readings when normal service resumes. If you do read the book and enjoy it, please do spread the word on social media, and better still, buy it for your children or grandchildren. 35


My Time at Habs OHA President, Colin Blessley (’65), Reminisces About His Time in Habs Prep and Main School Haberdashers’ Prep – Mill Hill At some point, I left Westcroft and was enrolled in the Haberdashers’ Preparatory School in Flower Lane, Mill Hill. This was much larger and quite daunting initially – it had something like 130 pupils. I have a school photograph from 1957 which shows the teaching staff, comprising TW Taylor (Head of the Senior School), Mr Lewin (Head), “Eggo” Manning (Deputy Head and Maths), Mr Eames (History), Mr Clapton, Misses Rosencroft, Jago and Geddy and Matron. Miss Rosencroft was quite glamorous and most of the pupils were quite starry-eyed. Miss Geddy was a total martinet. Miss Jago was delightful and probably the teacher with the most developed maternal instincts, which were much appreciated. The school caretaker is not in the photograph (more about him later). I recall the years at Flower Lane as being quite a happy period. We did sports at Chase Lodge, a large set of playing fields a short walk up the road, which was leased by the Westbere Road school and which had a crumbling old house as the changing rooms – the house was quite grand and would have been very impressive in its heyday. The sport that I remember enjoying most was rounders – I do not recall what we played in the winter months (it was probably soccer). The one sport that I did not enjoy was compulsory boxing, which took place in the small gym. I was not the beefiest of pupils at the time and I always seemed to come off worse at the end of the bout. Probably around 1957, we were required to practice for the annual Sports Day. I was paired with Sandy Lockhart to run in the three-legged race. One morning, while practicing in the playground, Sandy tripped and fell, taking me down with him and snapping my tibia quite badly. I was taken to the Sickbay and Matron had a look at my leg – I remember her being more upset than I and she, clearly, did not know what had happened or what to do. So, I was taken home in the caretaker’s car, an old Ford staff car I seem to recall, lying across the back seat. My mother called the local GP, which is what the school should have done in the first place and, as soon as Dr Gross saw me, he arranged an ambulance to take me straight to A&E at Edgware General Hospital, near Burnt Oak Tube station. After a long wait (some things don’t change in A&E), I was whisked into the operating theatre and given a gas mask to knock me out, which was very disconcerting. 37

I came to in a children’s ward, with my right leg in plaster from my toes (just visible) to my crotch and still in some pain. I was still in hospital for Fireworks Night. There was a large open terrace outside the end windows of the children’s ward and our beds were all moved so that we could see the display that was to be put on by the hospital staff. The inside lights were turned off and we all got ready for an exciting evening. At some point, a rather large (but friendly) nurse came and sat on my bed to watch. The only problem was that she sat on my plaster-encased leg and managed to break the cast and do further damage to my tibia. So, it was back to the operating theatre for another go. To this day, I still have a big dent in the outer side of my tibia and, if it gets a knock, it is quite painful.

Haberdashers’ Senior School One of the more onerous aspects resulting from having moved to Stanmore was that the Haberdashers’ Senior School was still located at Westbere Road in Hampstead and I was destined to commute there from Brockley Avenue until the school eventually moved in 1961 to Butterfly Lane, Elstree. I think that KHB must have got some inside knowledge about the school’s intended move north and this was, probably, behind the house move to Stanmore. Most mornings, KHB would drop me off in Hampstead on his way into work with Middlesex County Council at their offices in Queen Anne’s Gate, just round the corner from the Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square. All his driving skills and knowledge of short-cuts and local rat-runs were put to the test but, mostly, it entailed bashing down the A41 to the crossroads with Cricklewood Lane. Some days, I would take the 645 trolleybus from Canon’s Corner, which was the end of the line, all the way down the Edgware Road, to alight at the Crown public house at the traffic-lights of the A5 and Cricklewood Lane, leaving just a short walk to Westbere Road. Every day, I would take the 645 back to the end of the line. There were a number of other boys who did the same – I can remember Malcolm Deal, who lived in Stonegrove – so it was quite a pleasant experience, normally in the front seats on the top deck.

Westbere Road was a major shock to the system after the relatively friendly surroundings of Flower Lane. A multi-storey purposebuilt Victorian school building, with lots of staircases and smallish classrooms, an enormous assembly hall with honours boards going back many, many years and a teaching staff to go with it. The names that I can recall are, obviously Tom Taylor (AKA TWT or “Spud” – I never fathomed where that nickname had come from) as Headmaster, Bill Crossman (Deputy Head and Maths), Otto Pask (Modern Languages, honky-tonk pianist and large motorbike), Taffy Barling (martinet), Dave Thomas (sports), TEC Carrington (History and blackboard rubber launcher) and Johnny Knight (Chemistry). 38

A new block had recently been constructed behind the old, main building and this housed a number of classrooms, as well as the Music Department. I remember I was useless at Music, which was all about reading scores. There was a playground, which was taken over by the CCF on Friday afternoons for squarebashing, a grassy field about the size of 1½ football pitches (but not used for sports games, as I recall) and the infamous Westbere Road bicycle sheds right at the back (behind which, surprise, surprise, the inevitable band of smokers would gather). Sports activities were centred on Chase Lodge and we used to have to take public transport to Fiveways Corner and then walk up from there. It was real pain. The move to the new school in Elstree in 1961 could not have come soon enough. It meant the end of the morning dash and the long bus ride home in the afternoon. It also meant no more treks to Chase Lodge. Everything was on a single site, the grounds of Aldenham House, once a minor “stately home” and latterly used by the BBC for its overseas service. The new term starting in September 1961 was like entering a different world. School buses – single-decker Duples coaches – ran from Stanmore Underground Station (the local residents must have loved that) and deposited us in the coach park just inside the main entrance gate, leaving a short walk to the school buildings, which were laid out around a large quadrangle. Occasionally, despite living only a short distance from the Tube station, I missed the school bus. This meant walking back to Canon’s Corner and getting a northbound 107 double-decker to Alum Lane and walking up the back drive across a bridge over a small artificial lake (part of the original Aldenham Estate) and through a back gate into the school grounds. This overgrown drive was part of the cross-country run route. I am sure there was some penalty for late arrival, but I cannot recall what it was. The most notable impression was that of space – Westbere Road had been cramped and past its “use-by date”. At Elstree, everything was new, albeit with certain aspects still being work-in-progress. There was no shortage of playing fields and there were a large gym and a fabulous swimming pool. The main assembly hall had all the facilities to stage dramatic works, have concerts and even had a “dress circle” upstairs. The chemistry labs were well-equipped and used only to teach that subject. The Library was massive. There was a shooting range, so enrolment in the CCF was high on the agenda. I was in Calverts as were both Andrew and my cousin, Nick, the house in which KHB and DAB had been during their time at the school – there was a strong hereditary element in house allocation. Each house had a pair of adjacent classrooms assigned 39

for its use, predominantly for lunch, which was served from the centrally located kitchens in heated trolleys. My overriding memory of these gastronomic delights is the overriding smell of over-boiled cabbage. In general, the food was pretty uninspiring, with the only occasional highlight being Shepherd’s Pie. As a result of these arrangements, in the afternoons the classrooms retained the stale smell of lunch. I was an average student, not really excelling at any particular subject. My term reports generally contained the phrase “Must try harder”. I was hopeless at Maths and Science, but enjoyed English Literature and Modern Languages.

Houseroom Lunches

I think I would have enjoyed History more had it not been taught by TE Carrington, who was a thoroughly unlikeable bully. There was a fully working pillory at the back of his classroom, which he would put to use if he decided the pupil’s behaviour warranted it. He had a police truncheon on his desk which he would threaten to use on the back of a miscreant’s hand. He was was also a dead shot with the wooden-backed board rubber, which he would fling at any student not paying sufficient attention. French was obligatory. As a second language, I ended up studying Spanish – the alternative was German, but, for some reason (the War?), KHB determined that I would not study that language. This turned out, with hindsight, to have been the best decision made regarding my academic career. The Modern Languages Department was headed up by John McNair (who was also Careers Master), a very serious and reserved individual – it later transpired, unbeknownst to all, that he had been awarded the Military Cross for bravery on war service. He was backed up by an excellent team. The names that I recall having taught me (in addition to McNair) are Otto Pask, Guidon, Hurst and Anderson. I genuinely enjoyed my language and literature studies and these subjects were where I performed best, so much so that, when the opportunity arose to join a school exchange programme to Barcelona in 1961, I badgered KHB to enrol me. It was an amazing experience – a real eye-opener for a 13-year old mollycoddled Stanmore kid – so much so, that I returned to the same family the following year. More about those experiences elsewhere – back to Elstree. Ahead of my O Level year, the school announced that it was introducing an experimental programme, whereby the first year of A Level studies in three chosen subjects would run concurrently with the 1963 O Level year, thereby avoiding the need to sit these three exams at the O Level stage. As a result, my A Level subjects were, unsurprisingly, Spanish, French and English Literature and my O Levels were Maths, Chemistry and Physics (all obligatory) and Russian. The experiment was a mixed success. I got poor results in the science exams and failed the Maths exam (I finally passed at the third attempt a year later thanks to the ministrations of Bill Crossman). I got an excellent result in Russian, which I had only been studying for a year, but the teacher – Mr Humphreys – was brilliant and inspiring. Spanish and French studies became quite challenging – the literature more than the 40

language. This was because much of the works that we studied were from the “classical” period, so Cervantes, Calderon de la Barca, Corneille, Racine and Moliere, to name but a few. 16th century language was very different to that which we were studying in the grammar classes – but we had good teachers. I was very fortunate to have an inspiring teacher for English Literature – Simon Stewart (SWES). He was something of a bohemian, came from an aristocratic Irish background, drove a flash Sunbeam convertible and was quite camp (or so we thought, anyway). But he loved his literature – and you could tell. He was an excellent teacher, great motivator and a very kind man. He made the literature come alive and, in addition to play readings in class, he would occasionally invite the whole class back to his house in Brompton Square for literary evenings. There were rumours of other “goings-on”, but I do not give them credit.

He put on a production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in the school hall, in which I appeared in the opening scene as the Boatswain, bellowing (artistically) at the top of my voice, giving instructions to the crew to try to save the ship. It was a resounding success and a high point in the school’s theatrical history. Fortunately, my 1964 A Levels results were a major improvement over my O Levels. The school abandoned the compression experiment in the summer of 1964. Shortly after sitting the A Level papers, Mr McNair (Modern Languages and Careers) realised that, if I was to be able to study Spanish and French at any upper echelon university, I needed to have O Level Latin. Needless to say, KHB was not overimpressed by this somewhat belated “discovery”!

The upshot was that I had to stay on for a further year with the sole objective of getting a pass in Latin. Again, I was fortunate in the allocation of the teacher to drive me through the process – John Welbourne – who was also 2 I/C of the CCF Army Section. So, I only had two real activities for a whole year – Latin and CCF. I must confess to having preferred the latter. The only other activity was to captain the 3rd XI cricket team – not too successfully, I seem to recall. However, this relatively low level of occupancy allowed me to start playing rugby for the OHRFC, even though I had never played for a school side. I relished the time I spent in the CCF Army Section. I ended up as Sergeant in my last year – more on this in a separate chapter. Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Haberdashers’ – it taught me a lot of skills and, despite the oft-heard criticism of all male schools’ ability to prepare leavers for the real world, it did give me a base of knowledge which stood me in reasonable stead for what was to come.

ADVERTISE IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF OH NOTES Reach Old Haberdashers’ all Around the World. admin@oldhabs.com 41

OHA Pub Quiz How well did you do? Trophies 1. Cricket (The Ashes) 2. Football (Soccer World cup) 3. Tennis (Wimbledon) 4. American Football (SuperBowl) 5. Rugby (Rugby World Cup) 6. Golf (Ryder cup) 7. Cycling (Tour De France) 8. Basketball (NBA Trophy) 9. Snooker (World Snooker Championship) 10. Ice Hockey (Stanley Cup) Food and Drink 1. Greece 2. Herrings 3. 1920s 4. Gin 5. Mascarpone 6. Redcurrants 7. Ice Cream 8. Lemon Juice 9. Garlic 10. Bananas World Politics 1. Elephant 2. Zimbabwe 3. Gorbachev 4. Francois Hollande 5. Poland 6. South Africa 7. Australia 8. Justin Trudeau 9. Francois Mitterand (1981-1995) 10. Reichstag 2 Questions 10 Answers 1-5. Brixton, Croxley, Oxford Circus, Uxbridge and Vauxhall 2-10. San Marino, Sarajevo, Skopke, Sofia and Stockholm

General Knowledge 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

16 Katherine Hepburn Easel Screwdriver Stingray LXXXIV Bruce Rioch Talk RMS Lusitania -40 degrees 42

OHA Pub Quiz How well did you do? State of Music 1. Sweet Home Alabama 2. Texas 3. New York, New York 4. Flo Rida 5. Massachusetts 6. Hannah Montana 7. Midnight Train to Georgia 8. Dakota 9. California Girls 10. Sweet Rhode Island Red Film Franchises 1. 1958 (Carry on Sergeant) 2. Ian holm 3. Ellen Ripley 4. Theodore Roosevelt 5. Tom Hardy 6. Catwoman 7. 1962 (Dr No) 8. Fast and the Furious 9. Ghostbusters 10. Keith Richards Connections 1. Mike and the Mechanics 2. Augustus Octavian Caesar 3. Salt 4. Bucket 5. All Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Characters—Mike Teevee, Augustus Gllop, Verruca Salt and Charlie Bucket 6. David 7. Holden Caulfield 8. Dixons 9. Paul Simon 10. Britain’s Got Talent Judges—David Walliams, Amanda Caulfield, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell

OHA Tour of Haberdashers Hall scheduled for Monday13th July Details to be confirmed 43

Forthcoming Events

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


OBITUARIES John Carleton (Staff) Died 13th April 2020 It is with great regret that we have to inform the wide Haberdashers community of the passing of John Carleton, the School’s highly respected former Second Master, who passed away peacefully in the early hours of 15 April 2020. He had been suffering from dementia for three years. John Carleton was born in Paddington Green General Hospital, early in the New Year of 1938. When the Second World War broke out and the Blitz began, John was evacuated with his mother to his grandmother’s house in Wales. Here the family stayed for the duration of the hostilities, before returning to West London but not without John having assimilated a distinctive Welsh accent (at times….) – which many of his teenage charges at Haberdashers will recall. He attended St Clement Danes secondary school in Hammersmith and then in 1956 went to Exeter University to read Chemistry and whilst there met his wife Janet. John was appointed to the role of Chemistry teacher by Headmaster, Tom Taylor in 1960 and very quickly proved himself to be a first-class educator. Passionate about his subject and an outstanding classroom practitioner, he earned the respect of boys and colleagues alike, while also providing guidance, support and care for those who were lucky enough to find themselves around him.

In 1966, Tom Taylor approached John to become Head of Chemistry, and never one to shirk a challenge (he was already the School Liaison Manager for the construction of the new Phase Two Science Block – which has since been replaced by the Aske Building) John embraced the opportunity. In 1970 John became acting Head of Science and was confirmed in this post in 1972. Under his tutelage, science flourished at Haberdashers with the recruitment of a group of young colleagues whose wish to adopt new methods of teaching was matched by John’s steadfast encouragement of innovation. Many Old Haberdashers of that generation owe so much to John and his refusal to settle for second best, always gently coercing his 6th Form pupils to strive for the `outstanding’ and not just for the `very good’.


On the retirement of Dai Barling in 1982, John was an immediate first choice for the role of Second Master at Habs. As Bruce McGowan’s right-hand man for five years, he effectively ran the School during Bruce’s Chairmanship of the Headmasters’ Conference in 1985. When Bruce retired in 1987, John again was a great ally, friend and source of support to Keith Dawson, and his wise and sage advice helped to ease Jeremy Goulding (as John’s fourth Headmaster at Haberdashers) into his new position in Aldenham House in 1996, before himself retiring in 1998. In retirement, John and Janet kept in close contact with Habs and were enthusiastic supporters of School Music and Drama as well as attending the near annual gathering of the Termites (Habs members of staff who had spent 100 terms or more at the School). They also enjoyed travel and spent much time in France, a country they loved and knew very well. A dedicated family man, John was intensely proud of his children Andrew and Louise (who both attended the Schools at Elstree) and their own families, based in the UK and Germany. In Keith Dawson’s own words: "He was one of the best friends the School can have had in its long history. John had the essence of Habs in his bones and he gave more than a professional lifetime to serving and supporting it. He was straight as a die, a firm and trusty friend who could be relied on to speak difficult truth when necessary. The boys he taught admired him and spoke of him decades later with warm affection; those he hadn’t taught respected him as an understated but resolute disciplinary rock who kept a tight ship without any hint of vindictiveness. John was also a man of rare, hidden talents. My wife, Marjorie, vividly remembers his coming to the rescue when someone helping in the Head’s House had locked her car keys in her car. With deft, and evidently practiced, use of a credit card John had the driver’s door open within 20 seconds. Jaws dropped, awestruck.” David Lindsay, Habs former School Chaplain, recalls: "John gave his life to Habs – a fine teacher, a superb administrator, but, more than that, a thoroughly decent man with a caring and compassionate heart". Finally, for those of us who were fortunate enough to be taught at Habs during John’s long time there, the words of David Thomas, his erstwhile colleague at Westbere Road, ring clear. "He was all that a schoolmaster should be". (With thanks to the late Simon Boyes on whose valedictory piece in 1998’s Skylark this tribute is based) The above was issued by the School 17th April 2020 OH SCIENTISTS PAY TRIBUTE TO JOHN CARLETON. When I was drafting the “OH Scientists” edition of the “Old Boys’ Notes” in 2015 several world-expert OH scientists remembered their science teachers, but one in 46

particular, JOHN CARLETON, was paid marvellous tributes. They were not printed in the “Notes” so I am reproducing them here. PROFESSOR TIM MITCHSON, FRS, Harvard Medical School. “The person who deserves a lot of credit for my success, and I think several others, certainly Morgan Sheng, is Mr. Carleton, our chemistry teacher. A truly outstanding teacher. I teach at fair amount at Harvard these days, but I’ll never fill his shoes.” PROFESSOR MORGAN SHENG, FRS, Vice-President Genentech, California. “I have fond memories of Mr. Swann, Dr. Levin, and especially Mr. Carleton, for turning me on to science.” PROFESSOR DAVID BENTLEY, University of Colorado, Denver. “Heaps of praise on Johnnie Carleton and Basher Goater: both had a big influence on me.” Robin Franklin was inspired by Barry Goater, Simon Clarke by Jack Alvarez” PROFESSOR PETER PARHAM, FRS, Stanford University. Peter Parham, in 1961 one of the first intake of boys at Elstree, tells that “In the Sixth Form John Carleton and Jim Bauser were like colleagues to their A-level classes and Jim even took us on an expedition to Cambridge to decide which college we should aim for.” Peter adds “In earlier years Alan Wood was also a formative influence and source of encouragement.” PROFESSOR ROBERT LAMB, North Western University, Evanston. “Peter Parham, Thomas Jessell and I were in the same class and all three of us had Mr. Carleton for Chemistry. Two Fellows of the Royal Society, two fellows of the American National Academy of Sciences, and two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators out of one year. Mr. Carleton’s teaching was magic.” Note: Robin Franklin. Professor of Stem Cell Medicine, Cambridge. Simon Clarke. Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. Thomas Jessell FRS was Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Columbia. “A wonderful man. He was the inspiration for me becoming a teacher. A sad loss to all of us. “ Charles Freeman on Facebook “This is indeed sad news. A man who managed to combine a love of discipline with compassion. 47

OBITUARIES Tony Weston (‘61) Died April 2020 Tony, who has died at the age of 78 was a remarkable man. During his time at Westbere Road many of us will remember him as an individualistic presence in the art room, where he was a protégé of art master Roy Keevil. Tony was also a member of the Boat Club, and rowed at No 4 in the school first eight in 1960, competing with some success in the Tideway and Reading ‘Head of the River’ races as well as in numerous tideway regattas. Throughout his life Tony was creative in the true sense of the word. When he left school, he went to work at the (then) London County Council (LCC) as a draughtsman. But not for long - in between commuting he was restoring old houses to a professional level, including the Nuthampstead house (Bundle’s Barn) that he, and his wife Bundle, eventually lived in. But that wasn’t enough: in addition to being an accomplished potter, he also taught himself the skills of making stringed instruments. Not in any amateur fashion; 12 cellos, 15 violas, two double bass and a violin – all sold to professional musicians except for one quartet, which he kept. The Nuthampstead house even incorporated a small theatre – Tony was a keen and competent actor and excellent singer. But above all, he was also an accomplished poet – in the 1970s he telephoned me seeking guidance on obtaining a passport quickly. He had been nominated as the poet of the year by the United States Poetry Association and at short notice needed to go to New York to collect the award. He published numerous volumes of poetry; the last one ‘That Cardboard Boy’ was published by Winwaloe at the end of January 2020 as was the previous volume, ‘Might Have Been Nice.’ In later years, Tony volunteered to organise the weekly Cambridge Craft Market on Trinity Street. He would demonstrate the art of throwing his beautiful pots in the market, as well as selling them to visitors from all over the world. And Bundle would sell her exquisite enamel brooches on the stall next door to him. They were always a close, affectionate team. Tony Axon 24th April 2020. The picture used is a self portrait painted in the last few weeks 48

OBITUARIES Anthony “Tony” J S Alexander (‘62) Died 11th April 2020 Eulogy Given by James Fields 26th April 2020 Tony Alexander touched a lot of peoples lives. His influence was felt in whatever he was involved.. He was born in Birmingham, 11th January 1945 his mother and Father, Sheila and Terry and the family was completed with brother Nigel born Nov 1952 He was brought up in brought up in North West London and went to to Haberdashers Askes School at Hampstead, and latterly Elstree, following his Father and subsequently his Brother He left school in 1962 and worked for a company in Tottenham. He caught the bus every morning at 6.30am along the North Circular Road until he bought his first car – a Sunbeam Talbot, put on some weight, joined the TA Parachute regiment, did his jumps to get his wings and started playing Rugby for the Old Haberdashers Married to Angela in 1966 and moved with his work to Newcastle under Lyme. He played rugby for his local club and played at county level for Staffordshire and daughter Jennifer born in 1969 His career in Distribution and Logistics developed and they moved to the North East of England, to Ryton outside Newcastle. Tim was born a Geordie in 1971. Tony grew his love of the place and people of that part of the country as well as an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best pubs in the area.

Work brought them back to London in 1976 and in due course he set up his own Warehousing and Distribution Company, which was to define his subsequent business career. Terry and Sheila died in 1978. As Nigel recalled, Angela gave love and support to them both at that very difficult time. Tony re-started playing Rugby for OH and became a regular member of the first XV alongside his brother. They really enjoyed playing together, Tony maintained, but Nigel disagrees, that their father never saw them in the same OH side. Someone needs to check the facts, something that never bothers the Alexanders! Tony moved to Bushey and Maggie became the most significant part of his life. 49

His business ventures ebbed and flowed but despite some major setbacks and challenges, he always managed to find a way through. It was that determination to succeed and never give up which has marked the last twenty five years of his life. Maggie has been a constant loving partner providing support advice and consistency to him during this time. Tony joined her in collecting for the RNLI, and she was always by his side at many official and social functions as Tony became deeply involved in all aspects of the Old Haberdashers Association and the Old Haberdashers Rugby Club.. He also became the almoner of the Old Haberdashers Lodge and, through that organisation, he extended help and support to many families and to those who had fallen ill. Tony and Maggie regularly played Golf together and he enjoyed the Tennis Club socials that he was at with her. At the last occasion that Tony attended, a Rugby Club Past Players lunch, she was alongside him with her warmth and smile. The delight which he had in his Children and Grandchildren and his own family, as well as Maggie’s extended family was evident. He liked nothing better than having as many of the family together as possible for a summer party in the garden at Little Bushey Lane. Maggie and he travelled to the Caribbean and around the Mediterranean on holidays and lately developed a taste for cruising the great rivers of Europe. Wherever he was he would make sure that everybody knew and that he was having a great time with a glass of “Something Local� in a picture. To his absolute delight the Old Haberdashers Rugby club have had ten years of outstanding success. He would be found on the touchline at most games, encouraging the players, advising the referee on technical aspects and admonishing opposition supporters. But after the game he could be found in the Clubhouse with a beer, talking with players and supporters of all sides, always interested and engaged. When you met him, be it the first time or had known him for many years, he was there alongside you as a significant presence. As somebody has already said, the World will be a duller place without him. He lived for the moment and the moment lived in him.

Tony with Andrew Tarpey, Jim Tarpey & Bob Stagg


OBITUARIES David Newbury-Ecob (‘44) Died 4th April 2020

David was born in Farnham Royal one of four sons and lived in Mill Hill. He was educated at Haberdashers School and after serving in the British Army Royal Engineers in the Middle East studied Engineering and Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge where he met his late wife Rae. They married in 1952 and settled in Harpenden, Herts where he worked for General Motors Vauxhall and the National Children’s Home. Following retirement he served as a Liberal Democrat County Councillor with an interest in health and education. He was a passionate European and travelled widely. He spoke fluent French and German enabling him to participate in Harpenden twin town exchange visits to Alzey and Cosnes and until a few months before his death he attended French and German conversation evenings. David served as Churchwarden and member of the St Albans Diocesan Synod. He had a great commitment to the local community and was an active participant in many local organisations. A keen sportsman having played rugby at school, university and early career he continued to attend lunches and events at Harpenden rugby club. He played squash and enjoyed sailing with his elder brother. David will be greatly missed by his extended family for whom he and Rae provided endless hospitality. He will be remembered for his intellect, charm and social conscience. He is survived by his 5 daughters, Clare, Helen, Ruth, Louise and Frances, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Submitted by Louise Newbury-Ecob 26th April 2020


OBITUARIES Geoffrey Ogden (‘56) Died 26th January 2020 Geoff was raised in Kenton, Middlesex, and attended Priestmead Primary School from where, at the age of 10 years, he passed the entry exam to Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, then at Hampstead. He was a very bright lad and more than held his own with others a year older. He represented the school at cross country running, his stamina having been developed by cycling some 25/30 miles each day to school with John Parker and me. He was involved in school theatrical productions and became the warrant officer in charge of the CCF. After A levels he attended the London School of Economics where he was involved in the rather tricky area then described as logic and scientific method, without doubt the fore runner of the world of computers and modem management systems. He also represented the LSE in long distance running. He left the LSE with a very good degree and later qualified as an accountant eventually moving into financial management in large organisations developing alongside that experience, his knowledge and expertise in the use and application of computer systems in various settings. After initially working in the UK he had several postings overseas and lived for many years in South Africa. His returns to the UK would always be marked by very fluid meetings with John Parker and myself in various London hostelries and with his LSE colleagues, notably Frank Stoner, who is here today and other friends such as Peter Denny.

Geoff eventually returned to the UK where he undertook commissioned work with local authorities and NHS boards throughout England & Wales. He became involved in politics and did a great deal of work in support of the Conservative Party locally. With John Slade, who is here today, he organised fund raising functions & political meetings. He also canvassed extensively at election times. This and his professional career afforded him direct access to many prominent people which he would often put to use to assist others. He was always proud of being an Old Haberdasher and supported both the school and the Old Haberdashers' Association. He played a bit of rugby for the old boys in his younger days but whilst he may have been powerful in the business world he was pretty hopeless in the line outs. He was however good in post match matters. He attended many social functions both formal and informal in support of the Association. Geoff never married. Sadly, when in his thirties, his intended fiancé was killed in a car crash. The last few years of his life were not good to Geoff. He suffered a stroke some seven years ago which curtailed his ability to walk. This gradually worsened leaving him bed ridden for the past three years. He also had had a kidney removed when he was in his thirties and this with his weakening condition left him prone to infections. He bore all his inflictions with inspirational cheerfulness and resolve, maintaining his passion for white wine. During one of his many stays in hospital a consultant described him as the most resilient person he had ever met. Geoff was a good and loyal friend, (for over 70 years to John Parker and me, over 60 years to Frank Stoner, nearly 60 years to Peter Denny and over 30 years to John Slade) A kind and a caring person with an impish sense of humour and a brilliant mimic. Ken Davies (‘56)


OBITUARIES Dr Michael Levin (Staff). Died 22nd January 2020 Michael Levin, who died on Wednesday 22 January aged 86 after a long illness, taught Physics with great accomplishment at Habs from 1972 to 1997, and for those of us who were taught by him his enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject was second to none. He also was a vitally important member of the Careers department as well as overseeing a very successful generation of Habs Chess players. Michael was himself an Old Haberdasher, joining the School at Westbere Road in 1946 and leaving in 1950. After obtaining excellent degrees from Imperial College, London, and spending some years working for the National Coal Board, the lure of Haberdashers was such (as with a number of OHs) that in 1972 he returned to teach – having been recruited by the then Headmaster, Tom Taylor. Michael’s sons Jonathan (OH 1980) and David (OH 1982) both came to Habs, as indeed did a number of his nephews. Our thoughts and condolences are with his whole family, and most especially his widow, Henny.

OBITUARIES Simon Gelber (‘73) Died 1st January 2020 We are devastated to receive the news that Simon Gelber, mainstay of the Old Haberdashers’ Cricket Club and a key member of the Association’s management team, passed away on New Year’s Day after suffering a major heart failure on Christmas Day. He will be sorely missed by all those whose lives he touched. We attach , overleaf, a transcript of the words addressed in his memory by Colin Blessley, OHA President, before a lunch preceding two rugby home games at Croxdale Road on 4th January 2020. A minute silence was observed on the field before the kick-off of each match.


Simon Gelber. A tribute by Colin Blessley - 4th January 2020 Ladies and gentlemen, guests. I wanted to say a few words before we proceed. I think that most of you will have heard by now that Simon Gelber passed away on New Year’s Day. With his passing, we have lost a true OH stalwart – he was involved in many aspects of the OHA’s activities, not just those of the Cricket Club, of which he was a very effective defender of the faith within the overall Association universe. Simon steadfastly conserved good relations with the School, when, on other fronts, there had been major breakdowns in the relationships.

Without him, the OHCC Annual Dinner at Lord’s would not exist. Indeed, he was risking the cricket equivalent of doing a Nobbly, still playing until the end of the last season. He was often on the touchline at our home rugby matches – one of a dedicated group of supporters who attended regularly over the years. He was also quite a fair referee. Being well- read, for many years, he was the Editor & Correspondent for OH Notes – a pretty thankless task, as a number of his successors will bear witness. Getting publishable material from contributors was like getting blood from a stone. However, this did not diminish his great sense of humour.

In view of the fact that his professional career was in the catering industry, it is hardly surprising that, together with David Heasman, he founded the black tie “Gourmet Dinner” programme held here at the clubhouse, with Simon doing all the cooking and plating up – maybe we should hold one in his memory. He was also historically involved in the clubhouse bar management, a role which, at my request, he re-assumed last summer. Most of the improvements in the bar product offering are down to Simon’s hard work – ably supported by Pauline – so please, by your custom henceforth, ensure that his efforts are recognised. Simon was the man to call when an item of kitchen equipment needed some TLC. His business, Court Catering, performed wonders on emergency call-out and many potential disasters were averted. He master-minded the installation of the new appliances, which are proving so valuable on occasions such as today. Although not an accountant, he had a fine eye in financial analysis and (as I know to my occasional cost) actually read accounts from cover to cover. He was the only member of ExCo to pull me up because a footnote cross-reference was incorrect. We shall sorely miss all of his contributions – indeed, I ask myself who and how can we replace him. The answer is we cannot – his unassuming but always constructive presence was just him. It will not be the same without him. Go with God and Rest in Peace, Simon. 54

OBITUARIES Sidney Holt (‘44) Died 21st December 2019 Sidney Holt, who has died aged 93, aimed to live long enough to save the great whale species from extinction – something he had been fighting for since being appointed to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1961 to give scientific advice on annual catch limits for each hunted species. He managed to curtail the slaughter but did not succeed in halting it until 26 December 2018, when Japan left the International Whaling Commission and announced it would no longer kill whales in Antarctica, at last guaranteeing the great whales a sanctuary where their seriously depleted numbers might continue to recover. Holt’s battle to save the whales began after he had established himself as a worldrenowned scientist in the field of fisheries, having co-written a book published in 1957 on how to calculate fish stocks and therefore work out sustainable catches. The book, On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations, was a collaboration with a fellow UK Ministry of Fisheries and Food (Maff) scientist, Ray JH Beverton. It became the musthave textbook for fisheries scientists. Holt had worked out the equations that formed the core of the book while camping on Rannoch Moor in Scotland, waiting for wood ants to return to their nests. He had been sent out on a motorbike to scout for areas of Scotland that could be turned into nature reserves, and out of curiosity began weighing the ants when they set off to forage in the morning. He marked them with tiny spots of green paint so he could identify individuals when they returned and weigh them again. He posted off the fishery equations to his co-author and four years later the ministry published the results, establishing the international reputations of both men. Holt, who had an intense curiosity, believed in spreading his knowledge and had already represented the UK at various international conferences on fishing. 4 years before the book was published he was asked by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to run a training course in Istanbul, after which he was recruited to work full time.

Holt and his wife, Nan (nee Meadmore), known as Judy, whom he married in 1947, went to live in Rome, and he spent the following 25 years working for the UN. His reputation continued to grow as he produced more than 400 scientific papers and articles. He served as director of the fisheries resources and operations division of the FAO in Rome, secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and director of Unesco’s marine sciences division in Paris. In 1961, as a part-time additional job, he became one of the so-called “three wise men” – independent scientists advising the IWC, which was intent on devising sustainable limits to catches of great whales. Although he officially retired from the UN in 1979, he continued work to limit the slaughter of whales, first for the IWC until 2002, and then as a scientific adviser to various anti-whaling countries, including the Sey55 chelles and France, as well as environment groups.

After retiring from the UN he became first director of the International Ocean Institute in Malta and helped draft the Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982). He won many accolades for his work on protecting marine mammals, animal welfare and fisheries science, including the Global 500 award of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Blue Planet award of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Sidney was born in the East End of London. His father, also Sidney Holt, was a briarpipe maker, and his mother, Ethel (nee Fryatt), had worked in a confectionery factory. They moved to Colindale and Sidney won a scholarship to Haberdashers’ Aske’s boys’ school before going to Reading University, where he got a first-class degree in biology. He wanted to continue studying but his parents could not afford to support him and he joined Maff, working in its Lowestoft laboratory. Although he began his research life at sea, sewing buttons on plaice and releasing them to determine where they had migrated when they were caught again by fishermen, he was soon in demand elsewhere. He was keen to accept a job in the US at 5 times his salary, but was refused a visa. He later discovered he had been labelled a communist for helping two visiting Russians translate their scientific paper into English. Instead of America he worked at Nature Conservancy in Scotland before joining the UN in Rome. Holt was proud to have worked for the UN, but it was saving the great whale species that became his passion. He used his scientific, communication and diplomatic skills to turn the IWC from pro-hunting to a conservation body, a process that took decades of dedication. The first great milestone in saving the whales came when a moratorium was introduced in 1984. However, Japan immediately invented “scientific” whaling – killing whales to check their age and the state of the stock – a loophole that allowed it to continue to slaughter the mammals for meat, also exploited by Norway and Iceland. The annual meetings of the IWC were a political battleground in which Holt was ever present, patiently explaining the science and revealing to journalists the “bribes” of fish plants and cash sums used by Japan to get small nations to vote alongside it. As he got older he grew more radical and became a Greenpeace representative, helping to found Greenpeace Italy, advising the IFAW, and finally endorsing the work of the Sea Shepherd organisation, directly confronting the Japanese whaling fleet as it hunted in the designated Antarctic sanctuary.

When Japan announced it had stopped “scientific” whaling in the Antarctic the news was hardly reported, but last September, when Holt was physically ailing, a group of prominent whale campaigners from around the world made a pilgrimage to his home in Umbria to celebrate and thank him for his immense contribution to their cause. He met his partner, Leslie Busby, while they were working at Unesco. She survives him, along with his son, George, from his marriage to Judy, from whom he separated in the late 1970s. Kindly reproduced from The Guardian 8th Jan 2020 56


Old Haberdashers' RFC has just enjoyed its best season ever. In keeping with its 100% amateur ethos - they don't train or have any formal coaching set up - the Blue, White & Magenta continue to defy gravity in London 1 North, or the sixth level in English rugby. By the time the season was so unfortunately curtailed, the 1XV sat in 3rd, only one point from a play-off place and a record high in terms of finishing position for the club. Indeed with the remaining fixtures as were, the squad was quietly confident of overhauling this small deficit, thereby securing a play-off game for the prize of (near) national rugby at the Fortress! That aside, in "keeping it amateur", the team is widely renowned for its champagne rugby style of play, as evidenced by the 16 Try Bonus points earned from the 22 matches played (second only to the runaway league leaders). Meanwhile the AXV/2XV benefited from having a much larger playing squad more on that later - and managed to match the 1XV and finish the shortened season in a lofty 3rd place in Middx Merit Premier. The team also enjoyed another excellent cup run, reaching the semi-finals and losing only very narrowly to Belsize Park, a team that had rinsed all-comers in winning the Merit Premier league 57

As already mentioned the club continues to grow its playing base. This enabled OHRFC to field three full squads on three Saturdays in the season; the first time that has happened for over 20 years. For the record the Extra AVX/3XV went the season unbeaten and ran in comprehensive victories. Haberdashers run through all teams with maybe 10 old boys regularly starting for the 1XV and AXV (2XV). The Extra AXV is bolstered by some proper old boys with the front row combined age being as high as 170 years on occasion One sad note to end this fantastic season on the field was the untimely death of a proper OHRFC legend. Tony Alexander was a great player for the club in his prime and a huge asset to the club once he retired from playing. An extremely vocal and encouraging presence on the sidelines, sometimes boosted by being an ever present at the Past Players' Lunches, Tony will be missed hugely by his family, the players, the supporters and the club. God speed Big Tone - a true Magentaman. Onwards and upwards the mighty BW&M! Paddy Hughes (’84; OHRFC 1994-for life)


OHFC’s New kit

Given the OHFC 2019-20 season has officially been declared null and void, with no automatic promotion or relegation, it is fair to say it was a solidly underwhelming season for the team. However, the season did have its positives, particularly with the introduction of some fresh faces, including Alex Freedman and James Benson, and all three of the Ross brothers now being near permanent fixtures in the starting 11. The pitch at HABS is always a delight, so it is great to be continuing to play our home games at the School. Strong wins against Old Merchant Taylors and Old Brentwood punctuated a season that promised so much and delivered so little. It would now seem that the most important thing to happen to OHFC this year was the arrival of our new kit (pictured below)! There are high hopes for the 2020-21 season, hopefully more wins will come and maybe even...team tracksuits. Anyone interested in playing please contact ohfcfixtures@gmail.com for more details. 58


By all accounts, the 2019 season was a successful one. The 1 st XI again demonstrated their ability to compete in Division 4A of the Hertfordshire Saracens Cricket League and finished one place shy of promotion. Meanwhile, the continued hard work and efforts of the 2nd XI were deservingly rewarded with the title of “Regional Division A East Champions”. A further chance to test themselves awaits in Division 10A in 2020. Of course, it would be damning here not to mention the success of a reborn 3rd XI, who will rightly claim a 100% win record (P1 W1)! It is amazing to see how quickly the foundations of our club have strengthened. Fundamental to our success on the field, were the continued achievements away from it. A sense of normality returned to Croxdale Road in 2019 with the completion of the refurbishment to the clubhouse. The new bar and facilities were enjoyed throughout the year and helped consolidate a sense of community within our members. Post-game drinks and dinners gained increasing popularity and we had the very successful introduction of our monthly club dinners. Perhaps one of the most fitting social events of the year was the club BBQ, where OHCC had won three Saturday fixtures and we celebrated our success in the sunshine. Our thanks again to Pauline for her continued support throughout the season and for her efforts catering for these social events. Following our post-season socials, including the Lord’s Dinner and Christmas Dinner, it is certain to say the club was in a buoyant mood and excited by the prospects of the incoming 2020 season. However, this optimism was quickly wiped away by the sudden passing of our club president, Simon Gelber. As the devastating news reverberated around the cricket community, the testi59

monials flooded in from a range of clubs, past teammates and opposition. Reading these often proved difficult but only went to demonstrate that Simon was a man held in the highest esteem by all those that he had crossed paths with. He was a wise mentor, inspirational leader, understanding friend and above all else, a fierce competitor. It is hard to believe that one person could make such a contribution to one club, but Simon continued to be OHCC’s greatest champion and caretaker. It is now over to us as a club to harbour Simon’s passion and spirit for the game of cricket and continue to provide opportunities for others to benefit from all that the club has to offer. Whilst writing this report in the midst of global uncertainty, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is certain to say that the game of cricket seems insignificant to human health. If there is one message emphasised by the events we have experienced as a club at the start of this turbulent year, it is to never take for granted the opportunities you have to be with your friends, playing a sport you enjoy and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to welcoming friends and family to the new season, whenever that may begin and when safe to do so, and continuing to laugh, smile and support each other through the inevitable ups and downs that only a cricket season can present. Simon believed in each and every one of us. He did everything to ensure the success and ongoing presence of the club. Whether we step onto the cricket field or not this year, we will continue to make him proud in all that we do as a club. Rhys Jenkins, Club Captain Old Boys’ Day – 7th July 2019


Old Finchleians


Over s 50.0



Old Haberdashers



Hatfield Hyde









Old Haberdashers




1st June

Hatfield & Crusaders



Old Haberdashers




8th June

Old Haberdashers

Cheshunt Rosedale

15th June

Northwood Town

Old Haberdashers


Old Haberdashers



Parkfield & Headstone



Cancelled Cancelled Lost


Knebworth Park II



Old Haberdashers





Old Haberdashers



Leverstock Green II




13th July

Old Haberdashers



Old Finchleians




20th July

Hatfield Hyde



Old Haberdashers




27th July




Old Haberdashers




Old Haberdashers



Hatfield & Crusaders




10th August

Cheshunt Rosedale



Old Haberdashers




17th August

Old Haberdashers



Northwood Town









Old Haberdashers



Over s 37.0



Rifle Shooting The Rifle Club normally shoots from March to October with the main event being the Schools Veterans Match which takes place in July during the British Full-bore Rifle Championships. This year, however, it is all change with rifle ranges being shut down from March 23rd as a precaution against Covid-19. By good fortune we had a shoot at Bisley on Sunday 22nd March which was quite well attended considering that all the clubhouses at Bisley were shut that day! It now seems likely that there will be no more shooting until August at the earliest. In October last year two regular OH shooters took a combined London & Middlesex RA / English Twenty Club team to compete in the West Indies Regional Fullbore Rifle Championships. They visited Antigua first to warm up for the actual

Shooters on the Range in Antigua championships in Trinidad. Trinidad proved to be particularly hot and humid, but the team claimed gold medals in the first team event, in which Charlie Freeman coached and Dick Winney was the lead shooter. As you can see from the photo above, the team all enjoyed themselves. Dick is sitting down in the centre, with Charlie on his right side (the average age of the UK shooters was 69 – one of the advantages of having target shooting as a sport). It was a ground-breaking event for the West Indies, as the organisers used electronic targets for the first time, but it went well. The weather was rather extreme, as it was the middle of the rainy season and it veered between the sublime and the ridiculous. It rained heavily most days, but only during the lunch break! More recently, the OHRC’s best shot – Chris Fitzpatrick – took an RAF team to Antigua in March and just managed to slip back into the country before the lockdown! Roll on August!

Sunset in Antingua

Rain in Trinidad 61

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 62