Old boys notes 2013 full copy

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Cover photo, this photo and photo on page 13 kindly donated by Adam Jacobs (OH) a professional photographer who is rapidly building an international reputation. www.adamjacobsphotography.com

Foreword by Colin Blessley, OHA President


ince being elected your President in October 2012, the OHA Executive Committee has been concentrating its efforts on progressing a number of strategic initiatives of critical importance for the future development of the Association. Stabilising our financial position has been an important priority. We have implemented a number of measures, including exploring and capitalising on new sources of revenue, cost reduction and combining the utilisation of our financial resources with those of Old Haberdashers’ Sports Ground Limited. We have also reviewed our investment portfolio strategy, which has been performing well. We have continued with our efforts to secure a new location to replace the current facilities at Croxdale Road and, since the last edition of OH Notes, we have made important progress. The Relocation Sub-Committee, under the unstinting leadership of Harold Couch, has now progressed our negotiations to a stage where there is a strong possibility that we will be in a position to submit an application for planning permission on a new site within the calendar year. We carried out a membership survey in mid-2013 asking our members for their views and suggestions regarding the current offering of the OHA and improvements and new initiatives that they would like us to implement. This exercise has provided some valuable feedback and the Executive Committee is now working on the appropriate responsive measures. Our social calendar continues to show a high level of activity and our events are proving popular and well-attended. On the sporting activities front, the OHFRC is having a challenging season after four years of successive league promotions, currently being beset by the absence due to injury of a number of key players. Our cricketing, soccer, golfing and shooting clubs continue to compete ably, despite the adverse weather conditions causing the cancellation of a number of fixtures, a problem which has also beset rugby. We continue to consolidate our relationship with School and there are a number of initiatives in hand to further this goal. I should like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who, behind the scenes, do so much to ensure the ongoing success of our Association and I look forward to the next six months of my second term as your President which, I hope, will bring some important developments for our organisation.

old boys notes


Contents Events OHA Dinner 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Father and Sons Dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1960s Decade Dinner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1990s Leavers Reunion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Presidents Evening - the Mikado. . . . . . . . . . . Past Presidents Lunch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West of England Dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quiz Night and Supper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 6 7 10 10 10 10 11 12

Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13 Old Habs through the Ages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 1903: The Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club Dinner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 1913: Spying for Britain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 1923: Founding the OHRFC. . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 1933: Sharing a Podium with Hitler . . . . . . . 19 1943: The Man who Never Was. . . . . . . . . . . 20 1953: Celebrating the Coronation . . . . . . . . . 21 Margaret Taylor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Another Old Haberdasher Olympian . . . . . . . 24 Barry McNicholas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Old Haberdashers, Young Entrepreneurs. . . . . 26 1973 to 1977: The Unbeatens. . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter J Stevenson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bryan Heiser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Norman James. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Goldman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Whicker CBE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Glyde Walker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Douglas James Whittaker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OH Club Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rugby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Football. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cricket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

42 42 44 45 46 46 47 47 49 50 53 53 58

Editorial Alan Newman


am pleased to welcome readers to the 202nd Edition of the Old Boys’ Notes, covering the 2012/13 period. This edition combines John Wigley’s historical accounts of Old Haberdasher activities over the first fifty years of the 20th century with Jonny Burch’s description of the achievements of recent leavers who today are building businesses with exciting future potential. The latter range from gourmet popcorn and men’s fashion to high quality tea and sports management. Martin Baker also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the School 1st XV’s best ever period of unbeaten success (1973 to 1977) with a compilation of memories from contemporary team members. As usual, these Notes provide a record of the activities organised by the OHA during the year and by its sports clubs and societies - covering Cricket, Football, Golf and Rugby - and the OH Lodge. The Obituaries section pays tribute to two OHA/ OHRFC Past Presidents, Norman James and Peter Stevenson, as well to a number of other distinguished Old Haberdashers and former School staff who have died over the last year. I would like to record my grateful thanks to the many contributors to these Notes and in particular to: Jonny Burch, for his design and layout work; Martin Baker, (OHA Secretary) for assembling much of the content for the Notes; John Wigley, for his indefatigable chronicling of Haberdashers’ history; and to Rodney Jakeman and Andrew Tarpey for organising and then recording many of the OHA’s activities. Thanks are also due to Colin Blessley, the OHA President for his energetic and focussed leadership of the OHA in his first year in the role. I hope that you enjoy reading these Notes.

old boys notes


OHA DINNER 2013 by John Wigley


n 2013, the OHA celebrated its 125th Anniversary, which was marked by inviting members’ partners to attend the Annual Dinner on 16 May 2013, We therefore enjoyed the company amongst others, of Francesca Blessley, our President’s wife, Marjorie Dawson and many of the Ladies’ Lunch group including Tess Alterman, Patricia Vacher and Gillian Jakeman all of whom have done so much to support the OHA in so many ways. A second innovation was to include vignettes of previous annual dinners in the menu card, although they presented something of a puzzle to those who were attentive enough to count the years. If the 15th dinner was held in 1903, how could the 40th have been held in 1932 and the 50th in 1948? The two World Wars were of course responsible for the gaps. A third novelty was the raffle. One or two people asked if it was “quite the thing” but it put the event firmly “in the black”, a situation dear to the Hon. Treasurer’s heart. Let us return to what we know and love. The evening began in the “Bishop’s Finger” and continued in the elegant first floor reception area at the Haberdashers’ Hall, where we enjoyed such excellent wine and met so many old friends that we delayed the start of the meal.

Clockwise from top left: Julian Nixon, School Captain; The dinner in full swing; Ben Gunn CBE, QPM; a lady guest; The Pike family; Philip and Tessa Alterman; John Carleton and Joff Bates (former Governor)


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Another tradition that we were pleased to maintain was to welcome representatives from the School and the Haberdashers’ Company, including Peter Hamilton, (Headmaster), Daniel Hochberg, OH (Chair of the Boys’ School Committee) and Sir Robert Fulton (Chair of the Elstree Governors). Mike Jeans, former Governor and Master of the Company, attended in his own right as a member of the OHA. We were also delighted to welcome the Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Pat Strack. David Heasman said Grace and the dinner started with smoked salmon, followed by roast duck, sweet, coffee and chocolates- plus glasses of good wine and port. Andrew Tarpey was his usual inimitable self as Master of Ceremonies and our President, Colin Blessley, further enlivened the proceedings with several impromptu toasts. Diners are sometimes apprehensive about speeches but they need not have been. It was good to hear Seb Taylor, Captain of the OHRFC describe his team’s success in becoming one of the top-ranked Old Boys’ rugby teams in London. Julian Dixon, the School Captain, convinced us

that the school was safe in his hands. Ben Gunn, CBE QPM, our guest speaker, a scion of the Judd School in Tonbridge, formerly a member of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Unit and Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, entertained us with stories of his time protecting some of Britain’s leading politicians and of his leisure time playing rugby against the OHRFC. In replying to the toasts, the President, Colin Blessley, noted that family and loyalty were features of the OHA and so welcomed Philip Alterman, who had twice served as President and his family. (We remembered that Colin is the third member of his family to be President.) He then looked forward to the future- to recruiting new and younger members, to broadening our range of activities, and to developing our ground and facilities. We are also in good hands. The evening ended as it had begun, in the “Bishop’s Finger”, where we thanked Andrew Tarpey for meticulously and successfully organising another Annual Dinner.


Fathers & Sons Dinner 1 February 2013 by Andrew Tarpey


fter the icy temperatures of 2012’s dinner, we were all very grateful for an enthusiastic thaw in the weather just in time for this year’s dinner. With pleasure all the assembled noted there was plenty of wood for the fire (and a strange absence of fenceposts in the neighbourhood) and the tone was set for another cracking dinner in the 125th anniversary year of the OHA. Pauline and Natalie worked their magic again and after a few looseners at the bar we settled into a hearty four-course dinner with wine and beer throughout, with port to cap things off. Keith Edelman was so excited for the speeches that he couldn’t even wait for the loyal toast. Once Her Majesty was drunk, so to speak, Andrew Tarpey rose and gave the customary welcome to the new faces around the table (Christopher Morris and Francis Judge) and invited a cheer for Alan Mushin, who had celebrated his birthday just the day before. A few readings followed from the recently published and excellent Dear Lupin, a book of letters from Roger Mortimer (former horse racing correspondent for the Sunday Times) to his son Charles. All winced and roared with laughter at the description of passing a large kidney stone; “How it got through I simply don’t know, but no wonder it provided a ration of truly delicious agony”. The customary toast from sons to fathers was delivered and in reply it was a treat to have Philip Alterman propose from fathers to sons, not least because he was President in the Association’s centenary year. As the evening drew to a close, the log fire was a magnet for all; to drink, to chat, and to resolve to meet at the same time next year. If you are not on the mailing list for this dinner, and would like to be, please e-mail Andrew on mail@atarpey.com.

Attendees Tony Alexander (’61) Tim Alexander (G) Paul Trussell (G) Simon Trussell (G) Philip Alterman (’49) Simon Alterman (’75) Andy Mackenzie (G) Peter Clarke (G) Robert Clarke (’90) Keith Edelman (’68) Nick Edelman (’98) Rodney Jakeman (’61) Richard Jakeman (G) Brian Fahy (G) Alan Morris (’55) Christopher Morris (G) Alex Schonfeldt (G) Alan Mushin (’55) James Mushin (’94) John Parker (’56) Andrew Parker (G) Jim Tarpey (S) Andrew Tarpey (’97) Francis Judge (’62)


old boys notes

Fathers and Sons Dinner 2013

OH gather for revival of super supper tradition! - 1960/69 Decade Dinner by Rodney Jakeman


n Wednesday 5th June 2013, the President, Colin P Blessley, sat down with 31 other members of his decade to enjoy an evening of convivial pleasure and delight. The group was joined later in the evening by two more: Jonathan Metliss (’67) and Richard Stonhold(’60) who both admitted that this was their maiden visit to the dear old clubhouse. In his first year of office, Colin had wished to revive the Decade Dinners, inaugurated back in April 1965 by Basil Blowfield. To this end all 1960s qualifiers were alerted of this impending event in February by an email from Martin Baker, OH Secretary. This advance notice appeared to be appreciated as, prior to sending the formal invitation, Rodney Jakeman had already received some 70 positive or negative “RSVPs”. As a result 32 attendees arrived on the day for a pre-prandial drink and, in some cases, a name check! The gathering then enjoyed a delicious four course dinner prepared by Pauline and Natalie who excelled with their Thai fish cakes, lamb shanks, and home-made apple crumble, accompanied by table wines supplied by Graham Macfarlane (’61) and rounded off with a cheese board, port and coffee. Statistically, it was interesting to note that the overall attendance in 2013 exactly matched that of the same function held 25 years ago, Nine of the 2013 attendees had been present at the 1988 event, namely: Geoff Webster (’60), Rodney Jakeman (Dec ’61) Tony Alexander (’62) Francis Judge (‘62) Rupert Berryman (’63) Marshall Lawton (’63) John Magowan (’63) and Jonathan Cocking (’64). As the evening matured, the already relaxed atmosphere was punctuated by a flurry of unplanned toasts until such time as the President felt it appropriate to express a few words of official welcome. Having highlighted the excellence of the food, a spontaneous call was raised for Pauline and Natalie to enable the company to show their appreciation in the traditional manner. He went on to thank everyone for coming in some cases over long distances or with special arrangements to ensure their attendance e.g. Nigel Brown (‘60) Chichester, Godfrey S Haselhurst (’67) Shipbourne, Kent & Michael J Bennett(’67) Wickham, Hants. Nobbly Tanner’s report of 25 years ago, recorded that Andy Chilcott (’62) and Martin Eades(’66) sent their apologies but they were delighted to be able to attend this year, Martin celebrating by proudly wearing his old house tie, Strouts naturally! This preamble led up to the award of the Long Distance Tankard. Colin lifted the original pewter pot and noted that the first winner was A R Burton (’32) travelling from Stocksfield on 6th April 1965 he also noted Francis Judge (’62) present today had claimed victory in the Centenary year by journeying from Houston USA. Colin felt that in these ever more international days of OHA activity it was now appropriate to award two prizes: domestic and overseas. In this regard he formally welcomed Fred Humber (’69) from Perth, Australia where he has lived for many decades and strangely supports The British Lions but Oz for The Ashes! It was also noted that despite this schizophrenia, Fred’s loyalty to OH was unswerving having been a claimant

of the tankard in 1994. In a style becoming of his character, Colin presented Fred with a bottle of champagne to mark his achievement. Fred duly responded in the mode typical of his adoptive country with some very funny anecdotes of his OHRFC career. Moving to the domestic award there was little challenge to John Freeman’s (’63) journey from Poole, Dorset and he too was pleased to receive his bottle of bubbly accompanied by a raucous round of applause. The chatter that followed was continued at the bar where Jonathan Cocking (’64) and his trusty camera kindly continued to record for better or worse the modern day appearance of the many who knew both Westbere Road and Elstree. Despite the eventual necessity to leave the party it was resolved to reconvene in twelve months time and once again ‘compare notes’.

Attendees Nigel C Brown ’60 Mike G Ewer ’60 Roger M Simons ’60 Richard L Stonhold ’60 + Geoff Webster ‘60 Chris Burgess ’61 +* C Rodney B Jakeman ’61 *Graham J Macfarlane ’61 +* “Tony J S Alexander ’62 Andy Chillcott ’62 +Francis M Judge ’62 Roger F Skinner ’62 +Rupert C Berryman ’63 John E Freeman ’63 + Marshall D Lawton ’63 + John Magowan ’63 + Jonathan R Cocking ’64 Tony F Lazarus ’64 Colin P Blessley ’65 OHA Pres. A Richard Tucker ’65 Martin E Eades ’66 Michael J Bennett ’67 Godfrey Haselhurst ’67 Jonathan Metliss ’67 Roger J Pidgeon ’67 *David J Brown ’68 *Alan J Phipps ‘68 C Bill Redway ’68 Bob Foster ’69 Tony G French ’69 P Fred Humber ’69 Peter S Mackie ’69 Andy P Scott ‘69 * OHA Past President “ OHRFC Past President + attendee in 1988

old boys notes


Welcome to Norton Way Honda

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There are many ways that we can help and support former pupils, teachers, students and parents at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boy’s School. Whether you are interested in buying your next Honda car, you would like to book an MOT or service or simply want to find out more about our Honda product range, our friendly and knowledgeable staff at Norton Way Honda are ready to help. We have the entire Honda range available to view and test drive at our dealership including cars, motorcycles and scooters with fantastic offers available across the range, such as 0% APR representative finance available on selected models. Our sales team are available seven days a week to talk you through your needs and find the best Honda to fit your requirements. We also have sales executives who are Honda Motability accredited, so if you receive the Higher Rate Motability Component of the Disability Living Allowance or the War Pensioners Motability Supplement, we will make buying your new Honda car more affordable than ever. As a leading New and Approved Used Honda dealer in Hertfordshire we offer a comprehensive aftersales service that includes everything you need, from MOT’s and servicing to tyres and tuning. On top of that we

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1990’s Leavers Reunion - The Bishop’s Finger, West Smithfield , 21st February 2013 by Hartej Singh


ormally the venue for a bleary-eyed Haberdashers’ afterparty, the Bishop’s Finger in Smithfield was centre stage for the 1990s reunion. Whilst a fresher and more vigorous OH vintage than many other events, the powerful notes of dark humour and self-confidence, characteristic of an Elstree terroir, could be easily identified. With exceptional turnout approaching fifty, with strong representation from those who left in 1993, 1997 and 1998, the event was abuzz with fond, rose-tainted recollections of our school, our Masters and our peers. An audible sigh could be heard after the closing bell was sounded, leaving all longing for more. Many thanks to John Wigley, Andrew Tarpey and Eoin Broderick to name but a few, for their help with organising the event. Some exciting seeds were sown that night, and we expect more such events including year reunions, other 1990s leavers events and clubs for medics, lawyers and city OH. Please contact Hartej Singh (OH ‘98) on hbsingh@gmail.com should you wish to get involved.

President’s Evening – The Mikado, Grimsdyke Hotel – Sunday 9th December 2012


sophisticated group of Old Haberdashers joined the President, Jon Corrall and his wife, for an evening of fine food and Gilbert & Sullivan Opera at the Grim’s Dyke Hotel in Old Redding, Harrow Weald.

by Graham McFarlane

O Past Presidents’ Lunch – 23rd March 2013

West of England Dinner

– 15th September 2012 by Tony Alexander


old boys notes


n what was supposed to be a fine Spring day, Colin Blessley, our President welcomed sixteen of his predecessors to this year’s Past Presidents’ Lunch along with the Presidents of the Rugby, Cricket and Rifle Clubs to a snow covered Croxdale Road on a bitterly cold day. A roaring fire in the Clubhouse was the focal point for renewing acquaintances before sitting down to a sumptuous meal provided by Pauline and Kelly along with some fine wine. There was the usual toast to those unable to be present as well as an update on developments within the Association. We were reminded that three former Presidents had passed away during the past year: Peter Stevenson, Ray Kipps and Colin’s father, Ken. Once the formalities were over, it was a return to the comforts of the fire for more conversations as the rugby had been cancelled, before departing with a resolve to meet again next year.

n the “wilds” of North Devon, just off the Exeter to Barnstaple main road, near Burrington, is a delightful Country House hotel – Northcote Manor. This was the venue for the OHA’s latest West of England dinner and a very successful and pleasant occasion it turned out to be – lovely location, excellent hospitality and fine company for an enjoyable and relaxing time. The pre-drinks and canapés, along with a four course dinner, were of high star quality. The previous West of England dinner was back in June 2007 and held in an old inn, the Duke of York, at Iddesley, some miles further west towards Exeter. Robert Crabb was our host for both occasions, knowing the area well as he lives nearby. On each occasion he has been able to recommend local accommodation for long distance travellers to the events and from my point of view they have added to the enjoyment of the experience. The attendance this time was only twenty-two,

Attendees Donald Wells (’48) ‘66 – ‘67 Philip Alterman (’49) ‘73 – ‘74 & ‘87 – ‘88 Rodney Jakeman (’61) ‘82 – ‘83 & ‘96 – ‘97 David James (’47) ‘83 – ‘84 Neil Forsyth (’45) ‘88 – ‘89 Peter Vacher (’55) ‘90 – ‘91 Tony Alexander (’61) ‘91 – ‘92 John Egan (’56) ‘92 – ‘93 Michael Bovington (’51) ‘93 – ‘94 Alan Morris (’55) ‘98 – ‘99 Harold Couch (’54) ‘00 – ‘01 Alan Phipps (’68) ‘01 – ‘02 Graham Macfarlane (’61) ‘03 – ‘04 David Heasman (’59) ‘04 – ‘05 Alan Newman (’74) ‘05 – ‘08 Harry Hyman (’74) ‘08 – ‘10 Colin Blessley (’65) ‘12 – Ian McCarthy OHRFC Alan Newman (’81) OHCC Dick Winney (’60) OHRC

with a considerable portion of those attending from the London area. Amongst our company were three former members of staff (an Headmaster, Senior Master and Librarian) and ten former pupils. Nine partners made up our company. Our President, Jon Corrall, was with us and in a few words towards the end of the dinner said how pleased he was to join the occasion in his second year of office. One of the joys of such a gathering is the renewing of acquaintances, and meeting others that you have not previously known or some, perhaps that you have not seen for a long time. The relaxing evening together on September 15th was no exception for all of us and we are grateful to Robert Crabb and Rodney Jakeman for its conception and organisation. A provisional date, 14th October 2014, has been booked at the same venue, and we hope more will come, particularly from those who live in the region.

Quiz night and Supper - 9th November 2013, OH Clubhouse Croxdale Road


hat is the largest country, by population, never to win an Olympic medal? Which shipping line operated the Titanic? And which London postcode reaches furthest north? These and dozens of other head-scratchers had to be dealt with by the gluttons for punishment who kindly came to the Clubhouse on 9th November for the second OHA quiz night. Jim Tarpey was again our very own Bamber Gascoigne and led a family affair, roping in wife Lynda and son Andrew to the marking and scoring duties. Over fifty quizzers filled the Clubhouse and enjoyed some much-needed brain food, ably supplied by Pauline and Natalie Howard, in the middle of nine fiendish rounds of teasers.

Rodney Jakeman did sterling work in all the organisation of the evening, including a handsome raffle, yet even his considerable influence could not prevent his table of “Elcs” from winning the wooden spoon! Once again the spoils were taken by Keith Weyman’s “WYSIWYG” team with an impressive total of 125 out of a possible 160 points. Hats off to all those quizzers who came to flex their intellectual muscles for making such a good evening. Oh, and the answers? Bangladesh,White Star and E4. See you at the next one!

Clockwise from top left: Rodney Jakeman organising the raffle; Contestants conferring...; Tarpey family setting the questions

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The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge No.3362 by Reuben Ayres


he Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge is now in its 105th year and well settled into its ‘new’ accommodation at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street which many will recognise as Spooks Headquarters from the television series and many other television dramas and films. Last year, under the mastership of Clive Waterman (OH) was very successful with a string of enjoyable evenings, new membership and charitable donations of £400 to Alzheimer Research UK and £600 to The National Autistic Society. This year’s Master, David Deverson has done superbly well with charitable collections amounting to over £2500 which will be divided between “Lifelites”, a charity providing fun and educational technology to children in hospice care throughout the British Isles and the Masonic Grand Charity. Haberdashers' Aske's is an active, vibrant and happy Lodge whose members span a range of ages from the early twenties to early eighties. Some have been members of the Lodge for decades; others for a few months. Many of our

members live in London and the Home Counties whilst others travel to our meetings from as far away as Norfolk, Devon, France and Switzerland. We have a healthy tradition of reciprocal visits between our Lodge and many other Freemasons' Lodges, which enriches the experience of our Lodge meetings and provides the opportunity to forge new friendships. The Lodge has a very special, friendly, Haberdashers’ feel with the significant majority of the Brethren of the Lodge being Old Boys. We meet four times a year on a Saturday at the prestigious Freemasons' Hall in London and enjoy friendship and goodwill in a delightfully relaxed 'Habs' style. If you think you might be interested in joining us or would just like to find out more, we would welcome your enquiry. The Lodge secretary is Paul Youngman who can be contacted on 07768 255283 or via email on paul.youngman@harleyd.co.uk. The Lodge website, haberdashersaskeslodge.com, is where further details of our activities including background, dates and further contact information can be found.



old boys notes

Old Habs: Through the Decades By John Wigley

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1903: The Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club Dinner


n May 2013 the hundredth annual dinner of the Old Haberdashers’ Association took place in the Haberdashers’ Hall in West Smithfield. On 7 February 1903 the fifteenth annual dinner of the Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club was held at the Holborn Restaurant, a few days after the Hampstead School was opened. Mr. Hinton (Headmaster 1875-1909) was greeted with applause that lasted for several minutes. He had been founding President of the HOBC in 1888. The first known mention of the Club was in 1889 when the school’s “Chronicle” noted that the Old Boy’s Annual Dinner would be held on Friday 2 December. In 1890 the “Chronicle” bore a brief report. “The Old Boys’ Club has had an active and prosperous year, averaging 60 to 80 at the Annual Dinner, two Musical Evenings, a Concert at School, and the Cinderella Dance. The third Annual Dinner will be held at the Holborn Restaurant, on

Saturday, 31 January 1891...” The “Chronicle” for 1895 carried a notice about the Club- its officers and committee for 1895-96, its aims, its means, and its conditions of membership. The aims, means and conditions of membership are very similar to those of today. The subscription of 2/6d (30p.) approximates to the current £30 “country” subscription, allowing for inflation. The club’s executive had been carefully constructed to represent the school community. Thus not all its members were old boys. A.J. Keen was the Chairman of the Board of Managers (Governors). R.J. Ellis was Clerk to the Board. J.H. Townend was Clerk to the Haberdashers’ Company. F.M. Bilby was a Master in the school, in charge of 32 boys in the First Form. The five old boy members of the HOBC committee in 1903 were: W.J. Jones, G.H. Cowen, Walter C. Witt, G.M. Schmidt and Harold G. Downer, who had been a pupil-teacher at the school in 1887-88.

Their professions provide another similarity with today. Cowen was a doctor, Schmidt was well on his way to becoming a barrister, and Downer was practising as a City solicitor. He served as Alderman, Magistrate and Sheriff, and was knighted as Lord Mayor Elect for 1937 but died before assuming office. By 1903 the executive regularly invited representatives of the London County Council, the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Hatcham, and fathers of past and present pupils to the club’s Annual Dinners. It held annual Football and Cricket matches against the school on the third Saturday in March and June respectively. It had set up a Benevolent Fund (which still exists) and distinguished old boys were virtually competing to serve as President. How the Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club (HOBC) became the Old Haberdashers’ Association (OHA) is another story.

1913: Spying for Britain


n Sunday 15 June 1952, Christine Granville was stabbed to death in a Kensington hotel and later buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, where her grave was neglected until restored sixty years later, as described on BBC Radio 4’s News on 10 May 2013. Baptised in 1913 as Krystyna Janina Skarbek she was a Pole who spied for Britain. She rescued allied service men from Nazi-occupied Poland, discovered Hitler’s plans to invade the USSR, and parachuted into France to help the Resistance. She was awarded the George Medal and the OBE besides the French Croix of War. Christine was introduced to Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) a close friend, Frederick Augustus Voigt- an Old Haberdasher. They had three things in common; a continental background, a tempestuous married life, and a deep hatred of Fascism. Voigt’s parents had migrated from


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Germany to London where he was born in 1892 and attended Haberdashers’ from 1901 to 1909. He then studied languages at Birkbeck College. After serving as a gunner in the First World War he joined the Manchester Guardian and from 192033 was its Berlin Correspondent. In 1926 he caused a diplomatic crisis by revealing cooperation between the German and Soviet armies. He became an anti-Nazi when many politicians, including Churchill, thought Hitler would merely restore order in Germany. Krstyna’s first report to the SIS began “I first met T. [who recruited agents to SIS] in 1939, in London, on the introduction of Sir Robert Vansittart and Frederick Voigt of the Manchester Guardian.” Her then husband described Voigt as “one of the most interesting men I have known” an “extremely intelligent journalist” but was less impressed by his slight physique and habitually dishevelled appearance. A brilliant linguist, Voigt had contacts

all over Europe. From 1933 he used his new position as the Manchester Guardian’s London-based Diplomatic Correspondent to persuade his readers that war was coming. In 1935 he gave foreign affairs talks on the BBC, hoping to persuade the Germans that war would be a disaster for them. However, Voigt was also convinced that Communism and the USSR threatened British civilisation and freedom, so although in 1941 Stalin joined in Britain fighting Hitler, Voigt regularly criticised him in a well-known magazine, ‘The Nineteenth Century and After’. Voigt died in 1957. C.P. Scott, the Manchester Guardian’s legendary editor, wrote that he was “One of the great minds that had been attracted to the MG.” His obituary in The Times concluded “Voigt was at all times an independent thinker who followed his own beliefs wherever they might lead him. Controversy he enjoyed, and the fiercer the battle the better he liked it.”

Above: Christine Granville. Right: Frederick Voigt, an Old Haberdasher, who became one of the most important foreign correspondents in the 30s, exposing the threat of the Nazi regime.

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1923: Founding the OHRFC


n 1920 Mr. F.J. Kemp was appointed Headmaster of Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, then located in Cricklewood. Two years later he was invited to become a member of the Headmasters’ Conference, allowing HABS to call itself a public school. Kemp had played rugby for Oxford against Cambridge and as if to mark HABS new status he introduced rugby at the start of the 1922 Autumn Term. Mr. Norton, the Games Master, supported the new game, coaching and refereeing “with a whistle in one hand and a stick in the other.” Deprived of fresh recruits from the school, the Old Haberdashers’ Association Football Club declined and was disbanded. As a result, in the winter of 1922, the Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club (HOBC) decided to change from association (soccer) to rugby football. The Old Haberdashers’ Rugby Football Club was founded on 14 July 1923 during a meeting held at the school. Mr. Kemp was appointed President, Mr. Norton as Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, R.H. Lewis as Hon. Match Secretary, L.H. Philips as Captain and A.C. Mann as Vice-Captain. At subsequent committee meetings it was agreed that the annual subscription would be a guinea (£1.05 in decimal terms) to


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include 2/6d (12.5p) to the HOBC, that no more than 12/6d (62.5p) would be paid for the club’s blue, white and magenta jerseys, and that players would wear “blue knickers” (knickers was apparently a 1920’s term for shorts). Mr. Kemp’s letter telling the club that the school would pay its ground rent for its first season was “received with acclamation” and its “heartiest thanks” were passed to him. The ground was the grazing land of the Home of Rest for Horses, to the north of the school site. Neither the arrangements nor the field were ideal. The players changed in the Junior School Cloakroom. The club’s official history “Making a Mark” noted delicately that “The field had a natural water hazard in the form of a shallow ditch running diagonally across it, and, by reason of the normal occupants of the field, other smaller hazards were dotted about at frequent intervals.” From 1925 onwards, OHRFC played on the school’s new sports ground at Chase Lodge, Mill Hill until 1937 when it moved to its own facility at Croxdale Road, Borehamwood where it continues to be based. The OHRFC’s early members were a mixture of older men who had originally played soccer at school and later changed

Rev FJ Kemp (seated centre) and the School Prefects

to rugby (often in Service sides during the First World War) and recent school leavers who had only played rugby for a year or two. Thus it was perhaps not surprising that “They had the most successful days when they played with their feet and the least successful when they tried to handle the ball.” Perhaps some members did not know the laws of the game. “There is a story about how Harry Collard made an opening in the middle of the field and passed to Rodney Mundy who ran hard for the line and was about to touch down between the posts when Harry shouted, “You can’t score between the posts!” Rodney withdrew, dodged a couple of opponents, went round a post, and touched down as instructed.” The club’s first season opened on 6 October 1923 when the First XV beat Sidcup “A” by 17-6 and the “A” XV was beaten 0-25 by Old Dunstonians. On 5 January 1924 the club fielded three sides for the first time, when the “B” XV beat Upper Clapton “Extra C” 42-3. At the end of the season the First XV had played 22 matches, won 9, lost 11 and drew 2. The “A” XV had played 17, won 6, drew 2 and lost 9.

1933: Sharing a podium with Hitler Norman Hummerstone MBE, OH and expert sailor, who once shared a podium with Hitler


s is well-known, early in 1933 Hitler seized power in Germany. Haberdashers’ pupils were soon aware of it, but when touring Germany in 1934 a HABS group did not appreciate what their experiences foreshadowed. They found it ‘amusing’ when German customs officials confiscated the Sunday Express at the border and thought it ‘good fortune to be present at the parades’ in Nuremburg. Norman Hummerstone, MBE, has kindly allowed us to adapt his account of his adventures in Germany in 1938, when he almost met Hitler. It first appeared in the 2012/2013 Newsletter of the Queen Victoria’s Rifles Association, of which Norman is Chairman and Hon. Secretary. “In January 1938 I had just turned 17 and recently left HABS. I travelled to Munich before taking up a position with Cable and Wireless as a Foreign Service trainee engineer. On the train I met a young German who proudly proclaimed that he was a member of the O.T.C. In my naivety I mentioned that I had been in the O.T.C.,

which elicited the disdainful retort that he meant the German Army not a school unit. I was staying with a family in Munich named Finkenzeller. The father was a leading citizen. He was invited to the 1938 opening of the Great German Art Museum in Munich and took me with him. We were just behind and to the left of Hitler’s position at the rostrum, if viewed from the front. I stood on the podium for some two and a half hours of the “Sieg Heils” and propaganda not knowing a word of German. I recollect Hitler, Goebbels, Goring and black-uniformed Himmler, but not Hess. Hitler gave one of his worldfamous speeches, summing up National Socialist Art Theory. Later, staying in a chalet in the Alps I was lent some boots and skis. I tucked my trouser bottoms into my socks, found a pleasant slope and started a slalom run of my own. The world was peaceful and there was no one in sight at all. However, after a while a sports-jacketed figure with a scarf shouted at me in German. Not knowing the language I ignored this but he came over

and asked me if I was British. After having confirmed that I was, he then spoke to me in excellent English and commented that he had been to Oxford University. His next words were a little off-putting because he pointed out that if I did not move away from my ski run I would be shot. Although this advice appeared rather unfriendly it was made in a helpful spirit because I then discovered that about 200 yards to one side of my run were head and shoulder figures and on the other side were German riflemen laying in the snow covered in white sheets.” After service as a rifleman during World War 2, Norman Hummerstone became a chartered surveyor. He was also a passionate sailor and joined the Little Ship Club in 1964, becoming its first elected Commodore in 1974. Norman continued to teach sailing for many years and was awarded the MBE in 2001 for his services to the community and the Royal Yachting Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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Poster for the film of The Man who Never Was (1956)

1943: The Man who Never Was


he story of the “Man Who Never Was” story is wellknown through its depiction in books and films. Less wellknown is that the Leverton family which sent several generations of its sons to HABS was involved in this famous and successful plot, code-named Operation Mincemeat, to conceal from the Germans that American, British and Dominion forces were to invade Sicily, or that at least two Old Haberdashers died during the Allies’ capture of Sicily. The British military acquired a body, gave it a false identity as Major Martin, equipped it with documents indicating that the Allies were planning to invade Greece, and ensured that it fell into German hands. Who better to take care of the body than Leverton & Sons, a family form of funeral directors and undertakers, established in St. Pancras in 1763, which in 1910 had buried the infamous Dr.Crippen’s wife? In 1943 Ivor Leverton, who was unfit for military service, was in charge of the family business. The St. Pancras Coroner arranged for him to sign the Official Secrets Act and transport the body from the Coroner’s Court across London to Hackney in the early hours of 17 April, the first stage


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of its journey, ultimately by submarine, to the coast of General Franco’s Spain. When the Allies landed in Sicily during the early hours of 10 July 1943 Ivor’s older brother Derrick Leverton was with the invasion fleet. Major Leverton was in the 12th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery and his task was to set up a battery on the beach and shoot down enemy planes attacking the bridge-head. By nightfall, Derrick’s battery had shot down one dive-bomber and in the next six weeks claimed eleven more “kills” plus a lot of “possibles” and “damaged.” He transferred to the Italian mainland, was mentioned in despatches, took command of his regiment, and at the end of the war returned to England and his family’s firm. Over fifty years later, Leverton & Sons, now run by Clive and Keith Leverton, both Old Haberdashers, would be the funeral directors to the Royal Family, officiating at the funerals of Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother and in 2013 at that of Margaret Thatcher. Although the German and Italian forces had been taken by surprise, not every Old Haberdasher fighting in Sicily was so fortunate. When returning from pilot

Clive Leverton (OH)

training in the United States A. Williams had survived being torpedoed in the Atlantic, but after his Spitfire disappeared in combat over Sicily he was presumed killed. G.B. Blunn, who had written to “Skylark” describing his pilot training in the U.S., had returned without incident but was also reported missing over Sicily and presumed killed.

1953: Celebrating the Coronation


n 14 January 1953, Haberdashers’ celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of its Cricklewood building (known as “Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School” . On 8 July 1953, the new Preparatory School Buildings were officially opened at Flower Lane in Mill Hill, and in the afternoon Commendation Day was held at the Senior School in Hampstead, when prizes were presented by another O.H,, John Bamborough, the Dean of Wadham College, Oxford. However, the main event of 1953 was the Coronation, as “Skylark” recorded. “School coronation celebrations began on Thursday May 28th with a visit to the School by the Chairman of the Governors, Col. Phillip Bull, who, after a brief address to the boys on the subject of the Coronation presented everyone, including Masters, boys and kitchen staff, with a special book called “The Coronation Book, 1953” by William Le Hardy.

Later the same day the whole School paid a visit to a matinee performance of “Hamlet” at the Embassy Theatre, Hampstead, by king invitation of Hampstead Borough Council. The School was closed for the period of Coronation Week, June 1 to June 5. A large number of boys took the opportunity not only of seeing the Coronation Procession at various points along the route on June 2, but also of welcoming Her majesty the Queen to Hampstead on the occasion of her Royal Drive through N.W. London on June 4- special places were allotted to the School through the kindness of the Hampstead Borough Council. On Coronation Day itself a party of nearly 40 boys, representing every form in the School, proceeded in the care of Mr. Cooper and Mr. Barling to the Embankment to watch the Royal Procession to the Abbey, under arrangements made by courtesy of the London County Council.” The Lower School Notes, written by Mr. Cooper, record that the junior boys

enjoyed three further treats. They received gifts of chocolate (then still rationed), watched the film ‘A Queen is Crowned’, and went on an outing. A final ‘high-light’ was the day on which the Lower School party of nearly three hundred visited Portsmouth and embarked on a two-hour cruise among the warships assembled for the Coronation Naval Review. We were lucky in having fine weather, and close-up views of all types of naval craft, from the battleship ‘Vanguard’ to submarines, of the foreign warships representing many nations, of the great liner ‘United States’ and a number of helicopters, one of which landed on the deck of a carrier as we passed by.” On Sunday 15 June 1952, Christine Granville was stabbed to death in a Kensington hotel and later buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, where her grave was neglected until restored sixty years later, as described on BBC Radio 4’s News on 10 May 2013.

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Margaret Taylor (1915 - 2013)


argaret Taylor, widow of Dr Tom Taylor (Headmaster, 1946 to 1973) passed away in the company of her family on Saturday 10th August 2013, aged 97. Keith Dawson (Headmaster, 1987 to 1997) wrote the following tribute, based on his eulogy at Margaret’s funeral on 26 September. Two-thirds of a century is such an improbably long time that I find that I need some mile-stones and staging posts to get a sense of the epic quality of Tom and Margaret’s life in schools. When he came as Headmaster to the School in Cricklewood in the summer of 1946, Tom was a youthful 38 and Margaret just 30 but Tom had already been Head of the City of Bath School for 6 years, so Margaret began her life as a head’s wife at the ripe old age of 24. When I first met her in 1963, Tom had been a head for nearly a quarter of a century but Margaret was still only 46, and her association with HABS was to continue for another 50 years. Half of Tom’s years at HABS were spent at Cricklewood. During that time the Taylors lived away from the school and Margaret led a busy life bringing up a family of five girls and, at long last [!], a boy, Jeremy, whose birth was celebrated by the Headmaster granting the School a day’s holiday. (Try doing that these days!) Even then, Margaret was a good supporter of the School. John Lear, a pupil and then a teacher with Tom in Bath who moved to HABS, remembers that Margaret gained a reputation for being particularly helpful to others. Rodney Jakeman recalls her supporting athletic events at Chase Lodge. The move of the School to Elstree in 1961 was, arguably, the most important event in its history. For Margaret the move was a seismic change. The setting for their new home was very beautiful but in those early days the new buildings were raw and un-lived in. They needed to be made into a real home, for the School and for the Taylor family. We all have Margaret to thank for the wonderful way she helped to create both these homes, as a wife, mother and daughter (her father, Professor Swinnerton lived at Elstree in his latter years) - and, crucially, for us, the extended family, in the School. When I arrived at Elstree two years after the move I found the whole atmosphere of the place thrilling. It was enterprising, dynamic, forward thinking, outward looking and it changed my life. But it was also, crucially, a close, friendly community. You felt you belonged and that people genuinely cared about and for you. Margaret was at the heart of this. In some ways she was quite scary to a young couple still a bit wet behind the ears. She was strong and tough-minded, down-to-earth and straight from the shoulder. She didn’t put up with fanciful ideas or pretension and she had a


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clear, penetrating eye that kept you up to the mark. We soon found that she was also kind, generous-hearted, full of sparkle, vitality and a zest for life. Without in any way thrusting herself forward, she was a model and an inspiration for us all. Marjorie and I became for a time especially close to Margaret and her family because we lived in the boarding house in Aldenham House for four years. Margaret kept a friendly and benevolent eye on our babies and infants and welcomed our 2 yearold Eleanor to the Head’s house where she enjoyed the sand-pit and the dressing-up box. Margaret had a much bigger box [whole rooms in fact] from which she used to conjure costumes for school plays. For many years she was a key member of the team responsible for the School’s exceptional drama productions. On the legendary play tours to Germany in the 1960s - 9 performances in 6 different cities in 12 days - Margaret was one of us: dedicated, creative and supportive, not least back-stage. Thespian tantrums didn’t phase her. She was a rock of comfort and calming good sense. Margaret was present at just about every significant school event. She took an active part in the MENCAP summer camps and other community work, hosted the world class musicians [Barenboim, du Pre, Ashkenazy, the Menhuins] when they gave preLondon concerts in the School Hall at Elstree. Most of all, she knew a great deal about what was happening in school, both officially and unofficially! She and Tom cheerfully welcomed to their house lots of boys and every member of staff and their partners. She made us feel glad to be there, part of the school family. Margaret’s friendship and support for the School continued for four decades after Tom’s retirement in 1973. When Marjorie and I came back to Elstree in 1987 we were pleased to welcome her to school events. Peter Hamilton has recorded how this continued to the end of her life, remembering her extraordinary, sparky speech, at the age of 95, during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the move to Elstree, and that she became the first Patron of the School’s Foundation campaign. We shall always remember Margaret and keep a place for her in our hearts. Her indomitable spirit remained with her to the end. Phillip Parr recalls visiting her in St Albans Hospital when she was very ill indeed and seemingly asleep. “‘Hello Margaret, it’s Phillip’. No response. ‘How are you my lovely? [Then, quite daringly] ‘You always were my favourite girlfriend.’ And that much loved and familiar voice rang out loud and clear: ‘I’m very glad to hear it!” No-one has been a better friend of Haberdashers than Margaret Taylor. We all rejoice, we thank her - and we love her.

Margaret and Tom Taylor at the opening of the Chase Lodge playing fields in 1959

Margaret and Tom Taylor enjoying the company of four “Famous Fathers� at a school social event in the 1970s. The fathers (clockwise from bottom left) were: Graham Hill OBE (world champion racing driver), Barry Bucknell (Presenter of BBC DIY programmes), Richard Baker OBE (broadcaster and news-reader) and Terry Downes BEM (world champion boxer).

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Another Old Haberdasher Olympian


n our 2012 edition of the O.H. Notes we inadvertently neglected to include John Stephen Albert, a national and international canoeist who represented Great Britain in the 1972 Munich Olympics. We offer him our sincere apologies and hope that this short article will go some way to remedying the omission. John Albert was born in 1949 and the official records show that in 1972 he was 6’1’’ tall and weighed 170 lbs. He was a protégé of John Dudderidge, the Habs teacher who in 1936 had represented Britain in canoeing at the Berlin Olympics, although John D. was a flat water canoeist and John A. a white water specialist. On 28 August 1972 John Albert competed in the men’s Canadian Singles Slalom, some distance from Munich, at Augsburg, a white-water course , probably the Olympics first artificial canoe course, which now seems to be the norm, the latest example being the 2012 Lee Valley course. A member of the Chalfont Park Canoe Club, John was a vastly experienced canoeist. In 1969 he and Mike Hillyard, another Old Haberdasher, had competed in the Bourg St. Maurice World Championships, and at Monshau and Augsburg. In 1971 John had competed in the Zwickau and Llangollen International Slaloms, and he and Mike had represented Great Britain in the slalom at Muotathal.


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In 1972 at Augsburg each of the twenty two competitors had two runs through the course and the better of the two times counted for the event. At that time the East Germans would not attend the Olympics unless they were referred to as belonging to the D.D.R. (Deutsche Democratic Republic) but they dominated canoeing. Reinhard Eiben won gold with a time of 277.50 and John Albert faced stiff competition to win a disappointing 13th place with 328.40. However, later in the year he was ranked 3rd in the British National Championships and during 1973 represented Great Britain in the world championships held at Muotathal. In the late 1960’s John Freeman, another Old Haberdasher and first class canoeist, who has kindly provided much of this material, was on the international committee arranging the events at Llangollen. He writes that “In April 2012 we had a national re-union at the Lee Valley for people who competed at the top level at that time. There was an informal competition which Mike Hillyard took part in. Regrettably the passing years provided reasons why neither John nor I were able to get into the boat.” John Albert, B.Sc., M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S. (Eng.), F.B.O.A., is now a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Blood really is thicker than water Barry McNicholas


Above: Barry McNicholas; Below: OHRFC 1st XV 1987/88, Barry pictured on the top row, second from left

he Old Haberdashers’ Association is a family affair. Philip Alterman and Rodney Jakeman were President twice. Ken Blessley was President in 1962-63 and his son Colin is now President. The OHA owes a great deal to another family and to one of its members in particular- Barry McNicholas. The OHRFC’s 1st XV was promoted to the London 2 North West League for 2011-12 and was moved up to London 1 for 2012-13. After a mid-table finish it has stayed there for 2013-14. The Captain, Seb Taylor, and his squad knew that every promotion meant stronger opposition. In 2011-12, on the back of the success of the 1st XV, greater numbers of players were attracted to the club and a regular 2nd XV started to play in the Merit Tables. The Club’s Secretary, Martin Baker, knew that the greater number of OH players and the visiting players and supporters would require much better facilities. Barry McNicholas stepped forward to help. During the 2011-12 season he provided materials, an excavator and skilled labour to improve ground drainage and helped with more materials again in 2013. In August 2012 his firm resurfaced and extended the car park, without charge. The Club’s members refurbished much of the Clubhouse, but finding a new changing room was beyond them. Barry stepped forward again. In August 2013 he supplied a porta kabin and had it transported and craned into place on 21 August, again entirely without charge. The members then fitted it out as a changing room for the Captain’s Carnival which opened the season. Barry also transported and craned a container into place in August 2013 to provide the groundsman with more storage space. The OHRFC and the OHA are in Barry’s debt. This

profile is a mark of our appreciation. Barry is no stranger to the OHRFC. He made his debut on 21.12.86 in a side that beat a School and Universities team 23-6. During the 1987-88 season he made nine 1st XV appearances and 20 for the “A” XV. He then regularly ran out for both sides until the middle 1990’s. His cousin Sean has also played for the Club. Barry’s co-director is his brother Steven. He liaises with Martin who recently invited him to a pre-match lunch and presented him with an OHRFC branded heavy duty water proof jacket as a small token of thanks. ‘I have some great memories of being part of OHRFC, both on and off the pitch’ says Barry. ‘It was a club full of real characters (some of whom were actually quite decent players!) and it’s fantastic to see them on the up and doing so well in recent years’. Barry joined Habs in 1971. He played a full part in school sport, performed in a band (Vibroge) with Jon Salisbury (bass), Rob Franklin (drums) and Gavin Pryde (guitar), and took his A-levels in 1981. He sent his sons to the school and Charlie now works for Andy Evans, another Old Haberdasher and mainstay of OHA Association Football. Both of his daughters went to Habs Girls’ School.Barry himself was destined for the family business, McNicholas Construction, often known as “Green McNicholas”, whose head office is in Elstree. McNicholas Construction was founded in 1949 by Barry’s grandfather Pat and his great uncle Michael (who later left to found “Brown McNicholas”). Pat’s four sons joined the firm, but the eldest Tommy, Barry’s father, who for many years was Life President, took the lead and developed it, partly by spotting the potential of cable TV and made it the leading cable TV contractor in the UK. Sadly, Tommy passed away in May this year after 60 years in the business. Barry originally managed the firm’s Energy and Northern Ireland businesses before becoming Chief Executive in 2005. McNicholas is a privately-owned family firm and has over 1500 employees with an annual group turnover of over £170m. It has an enviable record: in 2010 it was judged likely to thrive in recession, in 2012 was praised for its work at the Olympic Park, and in 2013 achieved 4 million injury-free work hours. With contracts with Virgin Media, Thames Water, Cross Rail, London Underground, Network Rail, Tesco and many other blue-chip customers, it is a flourishing business and a key player in the UK Infrastructure sector. Long may it continue to be so.

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Old Haberdashers, Young Entrepreneurs Jonny Burch describes the achievements of exciting young entrepreneurs who left HABS in the last ten years and whose business activities include gourmet popcorn, mens’ fashion and sports management.


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Rikki Shah, Trikki I

’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 12 years old and bought a book about Gianni Versace, ‘Fashion’s Last Emperor’. My parents and teachers were always supportive, but when I was in Sixth Form I decided to be sensible and realistic. I chose to apply for a degree in International Management with American Business Studies at Manchester - I intended to enter the fashion industry via a business background. After spending the first six weeks of my time in Manchester drawing clothes and day dreaming, I quit. My family and friends weren’t surprised and told me so! I turned to HABS, and more specifically, my art teachers. I found the support system I needed to help me create a portfolio of my work so I could apply to the London College of Fashion. After a nerve-wracking interview and 3 completely useless years at LCF I remained focused on my goal of starting my own menswear company. A small stint at Tesco HQ taught me all the basic processes involved in a commercial fashion business. With the help of a family loan I got started on designing and producing the first collection for my semi-eponymous label ‘trikki’. My sister Nikki (my parents aren’t as creative as I am) joined me just before the online launch in spring 2010. We grew via events, social media, a lot of long nights and debates, alongside securing our first stockists in Denmark and Soho. Our first t-shirt designs were even imitated by Republic and Nike.


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Subsequent collections saw us navigating through a minefield of fashion trends, whilst trying to keep the brand stylistically undefinable. We relied on socially responsible production (everything is made in Portugal) and the idea of creating ‘menswear with a twist’ to define the brand. It has taken far longer to establish a brand in this manner than it would a traditional subculture focused brand. In 2012 the recession was taking its toll and some of our best stockists around Europe faltered and almost caused the end our business too. However, last Christmas we opened our own store in the heart of East London as a final roll of the dice. Online sales were not strong enough and we felt customers had to be able to feel the quality of our fabrics and the fit of our more alternative garments for them to part with their money. The store would also give us a big PR step up and make foreigners more willing to place online orders. We were off to a flying start, before the realities of real world retail and limited footfall grounded us. However it has evened out and worked! Our customer base now ranges in age from 12 to 60, and includes both reserved men and out there hipsters. Our online business is growing faster than ever, with increasing coverage from influential blogs and customers from every continent on Earth. Everything is changing and moving forward rapidly. The next step is a secret, but you can follow the rest of our journey online by searching trikki. Find Trikki online at www.trikki.co.uk.

Rikki modelling one of his jackets

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Propercorn founder and Old Haberdasher Cassandra Stavrou with her popcorn


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Alex Petrides, Propercorn O

ver the past few years, I have worked in a small team making and selling popcorn. It sounds as bizarre now as it did when I began. Fresh-faced out of university, I decided against the city route and was introduced to two Haberdashers’ Alumni – an Elstree Girl’s school leaver and another from the Boys’ prep - who had just launched a new brand of gourmet popcorn, Propercorn. What I thought would be a quiet coffee and a chat, quickly led to unloading a lorry full of popcorn and 2 years of round-the-clock work. It has been slightly crazy, manic at times but very rewarding. We have started to grow what we believe will become a brand of the future. From selling very few packs of popcorn in late 2011, by December 2013 we were producing and selling 700,000 packs a month. Put simply, Propercorn is pre-popped popcorn, flavoured and packed in a similar way to crisps. The idea behind it is that when popcorn is ‘done properly’ it can be both healthy – each pack is low in calories

& gluten-free - and incredibly tasty, acting as an alternative to crisps, nuts or chocolate; sweet or savoury. My role in our growth has been extremely diverse: from sales, to logistics and now full time on growing the brand. While building an intricate back end was my first big achievement – putting my days on the Physics and Maths corridors to good use – my real motivator is now set on the launch of our Arts Fund. Creativity is at the core of everything we do, so we have decided to focus our attention on supporting the arts. We will raise money through our packs and our promise is to use every opportunity we have as a platform to for up and coming talent: from our posters, to products or film collaborations. It’s an exciting time for us as we step into our third year. If you see a bag, try it out and let me know what you think! Propercorn is stocked in Waitrose, Tesco, Ocado, Boots and the Bates Dining Hall. Find Propercorn online at www.propercorn.com.

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Jameel and Nadeem Lalani, Lalani and Co. I

f you’d whispered in my ear on the last day of school that I’d drop out of Oxford and start a company, I’d never have believed you; yet here we are. A few years of hard work, a series of interesting events later and we’re fortunate to have the UK’s premier tea company, dealing in single-batch teas of a few kilos, that make a standard ‘breakfast’ tea look like a 1990s ‘house red’. Our main customers are private clients and London’s leading restaurants (interestingly, some HABS-owned). Online retail began year and Selfridges invited us in at the beginning of 2014. Does HABS play a role in becoming a drop-out entrepreneur? We all know the answer to that one; but

perhaps it should. The skills gained from extra curriculars are substantial, perhaps more useful on the front lines of the economy than academic study. There’s so much raw talent there, why judge its success solely by Oxbridge entrances? Schooling has to end at some point; education goes on forever. In true entrepreneurial form, if you’re in the food world or in your own business, or for any reason at all, do get in touch. Jameel. Find Lalani and Co. online at www.lalaniandco.com.

Nadeem Lalani in a field of tea

Joe Williams, WH Sports Group 34

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rom a young age, I have been obsessed with sport. Not just watching and playing, but obscure things like being able to name the make of boots worn by a player or kit sponsors for sports clubs around the world. I used to read Match Magazine with my brothers, waiting on the every word of the transfer ‘news’ section – Zinedine Zidane never did come to Liverpool, despite what they wrote almost weekly. As I got older, I realised I wanted to be at the centre of the sports merry-go-round; being the person putting sponsors names on famous strips, landing big endorsement deals and making up impossible rumours (well maybe not that part). In 2011, I went some way to making that dream come true with the creation of WH Sports Group. Sport played a huge role during my time at HABS, turning out for the school in rugby, hockey and cricket teams almost every weekend over my seven years. Many of my best memories from Elstree came from sport, learning from great teachers like Doug Yeabsley and Al Metcalfe, and most of the guys I am still in touch with I took the field with at some stage. Since leaving in 2003, I have turned out for the Old Boys rugby and cricket sides, learning to embrace the legendary Croxdale Road facilities. I had a stint at The Times during my gap year, building links in the journalism field and during some travelling which followed, had a weekly

column published in the newspaper documenting a fan’s view of the failed British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand (co-written by my esteemed colleague and fellow alumni, Joel Pannick). After three enjoyable years at Newcastle University, I began working at a sports agency, switching my attention to the commercial side of sport in football and rugby. Two and half years passed quickly, working for two different agencies along the way including a start-up where the exposure to day-to-day business activity was eye opening. Starting up by myself – aided by a business partner – was fuelled by a desire to have a foothold in the industry which I loved, and also spotting a gap in the motorsport market to assist junior drivers. We manage six young drivers, one of whom, Jack Hawksworth, is now on the cusp of an IndyCar drive for the 2014 season. Our other main focus is on commercial partnerships, which is more diversified, including working with major GB teams in the Winter Olympics and on football sponsorships. It’s been a great experience, with continued growth but no shortage of problems along the way. I have learnt to embrace them and enjoy the challenges; it’s all worth it when reading the industry press and knowing I had a part to play in the latest sports story. Find WH Sports group online at www.wh-sportsgroup.com

old boys notes


1973 to 1977: The Unbeatens Between November 1973 and December 1977, the School 1st XV Rugby team played over 50 matches without losing to another school side. This included three full unbeaten seasons: 1974/5

to 1976/7. The last school defeat before the winning run began was in November 1973 against Berkhamsted (6-7) which was

followed by wins against Merchant Taylors and Emanuel. The

latter ended the run in the last game of the 1977/78 season by beating Haberdashers 3-0.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the start of this remarkable and unparalleled run, Martin Baker compiled personal memories from team members and the contemporary Skylark reports.


old boys notes

Neil Slater (played in four seasons from 73/4 to 76/7; Captain in 75/6 and 76/7)


t’s important to emphasise the unbeaten run was against school opposition as we did lose to an invitation XV in 1974/5. I captained for two years and probably played in more games in the run than anyone else but I don’t want to brag; it certainly wasn’t about me. I played the final game of 1973, a win against Emmanuel, the entire 1974 season, all of 1975 except for Bedford Modern which I missed through illness, and all of 1976. That would be about 45 games against schools all won bar 1 draw. I never lost to school opposition in a Haberdashers’ 1st XV jersey. There has been much discussion about which of the three unbeaten teams, (74/5; 75/6; 76/7) was the best. In my opinion the ‘74/5 side was the strongest as the results indicate although the’ 75/6 and’76/7 teams played with more flair on occasions. It’s difficult to pick the best memories but here goes… In 1974, Tim Leigh broke the try scoring record. 30 tries I think in 15 games. His brother and parents brought champagne to the final game even though he still needed 3 tries; he got them of course. We were friends from age 11 and he became a physician in Sussex. From memory there were no truly close games in 1974/75: the team was a real juggernaut. We were worried about Bedford Modern, even did extra training, but found on the day we were fitter and faster and won 16-0 I think. I gave Keith Blackwell a scoring pass which he knocked on; missed a real open goal! He’ll love being reminded about that. I had my collar bone broken by a cheap-shot shoulder barge against Emanuel but that was in the last few minutes of the final game so I didn’t miss anything. In 1975/76, there were more close games, more injuries and absences with Oxbridge interviews. Berkhamsted was very tough but Nick Kaufmann in one of his first games scored a great long range

try. I also remember a Dave Foster charge down that led to a try that won a game we were losing. In the last game Simon Alterman broke a finger against Emmanuel and I told him to play on which he did to his great credit. By 1976/77 we’d lost the really great players like Otto Chan and Huw Stevenson but we hung on and Dave Sadler kept racking up points. He could get penalties from half way and considering we played with old-style heavy balls that was phenomenal. No surprise he got an Oxford blue – for soccer. QE Barnet was tough and very close but winger Kaufmannn won it again and their kicker lost it. St Albans was a 9-9 draw and I remember their kick to win it going the wrong side of the post by a yard. Dave Foster was in tears afterwards because we’d only drawn. Best player for me in the ’74/5 to ’76/7 teams was Otto Chan; an astonishing athlete and wonderful ball player. Best forward: Huw Stevenson/Keith Blackwell. Best finisher: Tim Leigh. Fastest: Nick Kaufmannn. Best tackler: might have been Mike Farnfield or myself. Best kicker: Dave Sadler. Most creative: Mark Jones.

Mark Archer (played 76/7 and 77/8; latter as Captain)


first played for the 1st XV in the Lower 6th in 1976/7 and then captained the team the following season, the season which sadly saw our run of unbeaten games stretching back to November 1973 come to an end in the final fixture of the term when we lost 0-3 to Emanuel. My memory of 1976/7 is one of feeling in awe of the calibre of players in the team from the year above, many of whom were veterans of the unbeaten run already. From our own year Tony Beare at prop was already showing the technical skill and superb ball skills which would see him win a Varsity rugby blue. That year also saw John Thompson, Mark Weston and me combine together in the back row and

old boys notes


we were to play through the following year too. Dave Foster was a huge source of ideas and energy at scrum half. Dave Breuer at loose-head was a true Haberdasher eccentric and had a gender-bending habit of wearing black eye-liner so as to intimidate his opposing prop. On the wings we were blessed with Nick Kaufmann, Dan Sayers and Will MacFadyan. Ian Cottam and Si Weston were superb complementary centres and Martin Baker at fly-half was a fearless crash tackler with an unquenchable will to win. Tim Parker at full back was a worthy successor to Dave Sadler and amazingly unflappable under high balls. In the scrum Paul Foster and Chris Lenton were terrific in the loose. Finally, against Emanuel’s immensely powerful pack, we could only just hold our own. Stalemate resulted, broken only by penalties. They had three and missed two. We had two and missed both. As you can imagine, I was not looking forward to having to announce to the school assembly that we had lost the unbeaten record! It was a grim task but to my surprise the whole school got up and gave us a prolonged standing ovation, the clapping only dying down after 5 minutes or so. In my time at school the healthy cynicism of Haberdashers’ boys was one of their most endearing qualities but, at that moment, they surprised everyone, including (probably) themselves, with a spontaneous display of pride and generous-spiritedness about what the Ist XV had achieved over the last four years.


Dave Foster (74/5 to 76/7) nowdonia training camp was a superb way to start the season. It was some serious pre-season training and an early guide to fitness and selection, grinding it out up Snowdon or evening fitness training on the beach. It always gave us a flying start: we would be fitter, better drilled, more bonded and cohesive than our opponents.


old boys notes

Snowdonia also gave us some great memories: how Dave Mushin and co. in rugby shorts and T shirt, offered to help a group of Police Cadets who were waiting to be rescued by helicopter from foul weather. Or the water fights (thirty of us versus Doug Yeabsley, charging the length of the hut behind a mattress barracade and locking Dai Davies into the end dorm. Or Arch getting exposure on Tryfan and having to hunker down in a bivvi with Ralph Warmy. As for that unbeaten run, the passion and commitment of the side was always there and we took it into every game we played... and that growing record behind us and on our shoulders, gave us both confidence and fear. Sometimes we felt we could not lose, but always we felt we must not lose.

Nick Kaufmann (75/6 to 77/8)


eing in the team for most of three years with teammates from the two years above and below as well as one’s own, guardians of the unbeaten record together, receiving and passing on the baton created an extraordinary sprit among us. It was more than the natural camaraderie in any team sport even one as physical as rugby where you are battling for each other from match to match. It was more than a cup run. This was a generational campaign from season to season. The weight of ‘history’ for the most part helped us to preserve the record right up until that last game against Emanuel, when, I would argue, at last it proved stifling and it was broken by a single penalty kick. Perhaps one could compare this to the extended ascendancy of a Liverpool or a Manchester United in their great periods – and so too the regime of Dai Davies and Doug Yeabsley to those of Sir Alex Ferguson and the Anfield boot room. They shared the critical ability to blend the new and old while instilling and maintaining the same vital spirit across the generations.

Tim Leigh, the record breaking try scorer, in full flight with the ball - as usual.

The 1975-6 team flanked by coaches, Doug Yeabsley and Dai Davies. Contributors to this article include: Nick Kaufmann (rear, far left), Neil Slater (Capt, centre seated) and David Foster (front right). Action photos provided by Mark Rawlinson (rear, third from left).

Outstanding personalities and performers Some boys played three seasons, long enough to bridge the first to last through person-to-person inheritance. Neil Slater (or Snoopy as he was known for his love of the Charlie Brown comic strip) was a key personality. He had a great will to win and a driving playing style on the pitch. Off the pitch he was the chief storyteller, enthusiast and chorus leader. Not for us bawdy rugby songs on our coach journeys but the heart-breaking “Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love” and the Beach Boys, especially “Sloop John B”. Tall, strong, fast (for a centre) and with a huge boot from hand, Neil could run a game better than any other I played with, instinctively knowing when to run the heart out of the opposition pack with his raking cross field kicks. Snoopy was the key individual in the transmission of the winning DNA of the unbeaten 1st XVs, inheriting the will to win and sprit of panache from the likes of Otto Chan in 1974 and 1975 and passing it on. While the 1974 team seems to have been regarded as perhaps the best of them all, key players (like Nick Crame, scrum half and Captain, and Tim Leigh, record scoring left winger) were in their final year and so could only start the journey but not see it through its later stages. Otto Chan was a phenomenon. He was not big for a wing forward (which kept him ‘only’ as an England reserve) but immensely strong – his power-weight ratio must have been off the scale and his body hardness unparalleled. He had the hardest handoff I’ve seen (but luckily not experienced). Otto had a great engine, acceleration, the quickest reactions, flare, handling as good as any centre, a sidestep, a sharp rugby brain and imagination. He dreamed up moves and manoeuvres. A 10 yard penalty: he picks and goes but not in the usual way. Somehow he dives horizontally like an Exocet just above the ground towards the feet of the startled defending pack who can do nothing to stop him from scoring. That typified his cheek. He was always gaming the ref, right on the line of legality in breaking from the scrum or lineout towards the hapless fly half. He was the most talented player I ever played with. And there was always a smile on his face and of those

around him. One special feature of the era was the surprising technical flare of the props. I played with both Huw Stevenson and Tony Beare. They were both wonderful ball players with soft hands and were heads-up inter-passers – and so brilliant Sevens players too. Huw was taller and was the principal kicker in 1974! He had extraordinary stamina – I remember him coming fifth in the House Cross Country – not bad for a sixteen (?) stone prop. Tony was more powerfully built and also had a turn of sprinting speed. He could play the rampaging prop as well as anyone and his low centre of gravity kept him from stumbling over the falling bodies in front of him. But quite unlike any other prop he could do the most extraordinary running moves. Tony’s most spectacular exploit was when he took the ball from a line out on the right between their ten yard line and their 25, running straight across the three-quarter lines of both teams, selling two dummies on a double dummy scissors move, and then turning sharp right between their outside centre and winger to run all the way to the line and score the most astonishing try. Not surprisingly, both Huw and Tony went on to get their blues at Cambridge. Dave Sadler was an elegant, willowy full back. An immaculate kicker from hand and ground, a brave tackler and a good timer of runs into the line. His coolness under pressure landed vital kicks that single-handedly preserved the record (two from the half way line against St Albans I think). Tim Parker was a hockey player. I don’t remember him ever playing rugby in the years up to the Fifth. Then in 1977 all of a sudden he’s the 1st XV full back. Where did he come from? An inspired selection. Another great kicker outstandingly so as he was really quite small, without Dave Sadler’s long levers. Tim injected a great dash of pace when he careered into the line and got to the South of England. He could also tackle. He might have passed a bit more to me though… Ian Cottam – an example of the pressure of the unbeaten

old boys notes


record working to our advantage. Ian was probably the most consummate ball player of the period (a football and basketball wizard) but he was not always solid in defence. Then one match we are really under the cosh and all of a sudden here is a kamikaze Ian flying around tackling everything before reverting to character and scoring the match winning try … Last match knock out And then came that end of the streak at Emanuel. I just made it to the match on time, getting the train back from my (unsuccessful) Oxford interview on the Saturday morning to Paddington, changing into my kit in my dad’s car on the Kingston by-pass. Not an auspicious prelude. Emanuel were inspired by their star wing forward, Francis Emeruwa (later of Wasps, England A and a career interrupted by gangrene from a broken leg). We had chances to draw or even win but key players, myself included, felt inhibited rather than inspired by the ever-looming unbeaten record. We stumbled into opponents rather than eluding them. We let the guy who had run almost the length of the pitch and been brought up just short take the ensuing penalty in front of the posts – only to see he who never missed, now exhausted, miss this final chance to








Rob Bailey/ Huw Stevenson

Huw Stevenson

Huw Stevenson/ Tony Beare

Tony Beare

Tony Beare


Andrew Goff

Andrew Goff

Simon Alterman

Jeremy Gibb

Jeremy Gibb/ John Feldman


Barney Acworth

Rob Bailey/ Keith Blackwell

Keith Blackwell

David Breuer

David Breuer

2nd Row

Peter Cull

Peter Cull

Mark Rawlinson

Keith Blackwell

Paul Foster

2nd Row

Mick Raw

Kim Jones

Alex Cornish

Nick James/ Chris Lenton

Chris Lenton


John Gunton (Capt)

Henry Wilson

Henry Wilson

Mark Weston

Mark Weston

No 8

Otto Chan

Otto Chan

Otto Chan

John Thomson

John Thomson


Alex Cornish

Alex Cornish

Kim Jones

Mark Archer

Mark Archer (Capt)

Scrum Half

Nick Crame/ Geoff Dickens

Nick Crame (Capt)/ Eugene Yun

Eugene Yun / David Foster

David Foster/ Peter Lidington

David Foster

Fly Half

Andrew Goudie

Nigel Cowan

Neil Slater (Capt)

Neil Slater (Capt)/ Mark Jones

Martin Baker


David Mushin

Tim Leigh

Nick Kaufmann/ Clive Grayson

Clive Grayson

Will Macfadyen/ Richard Woolerton


David Willis/ Mike Farnfield

Neil Slater

Nigel Cowan

Simon Weston

Simon Weston/ Paul Kenward


Zac de Beer/ Neil Slater Mike Farnfield

Jon Avery

Jon Avery

Ian Cottam


Ian Vorster

Clive Grayson/ David Mushin

Nick Iddon

Nick Kaufmann

Nick Kaufmann/ Dan Sayers

Full Back

Matthew Gardiner

Matthew Gardiner/ David Sadler

David Sadler

David Sadler

Tim Parker

The Teams from 1973/74 to 1977/78. Also played: 73/74: Ian McTurk, Mick Sheffrin; 74/75 : J. Franklin; 77/8: Jeremy Taylor


save the day. My understanding with Dave Foster didn’t help anymore. I just dried up of ideas from his last minute tap penalty on our 25 and stumbled into a defender instead of breaking into the space that was there. So in the end, I think the record became too heavy to bear and its weight crushed our spirit. So often before, it had helped us, urged us on to find one effort, one piece of magic to summon up a victory or even just a draw in a tight match. And now, we could not perform even up to our average standard and it slipped away. With a whimper. It had been great while it lasted and as you can see it is all still fresh in the mind’s eye and in my blood. Why is it so fresh still? It may be that for me, my rugby career came to an end soon after through injury. I played for OH over Christmas 1978, a bit with the LSE and then half a season with Saracens - reaching their 2nd XV and then their 1st/2nd Sevens teams – whereupon I suffered serious knee ligament injuries at the Norwich sevens (which we won). I had knee reconstruction surgery the next day. And that was that. I never played again apart from just once some years later in a lovely one-off reprise in the Old Boys’ Sevens hosted by the OHRFC at Croxdale Road when we got to the final but then lost. Not too poignantly what-might-have been.

old boys notes

“Our opponents were so daunted by our reputation that they were more concerned with keeping the score respectable than with making a game of it” – Neil Slater

Skylark Reports 1976 to 1978

old boys notes



Peter J Stevenson (1928-2012)

Clockwise from top-left: The order of service for Peter’s funeral; 1st XV 1985 – OHRFC President Peter Stevenson (far left), Alun Stevenson (rear, fourth from right); OHRFC XV 1962-63 – Peter is in the centre of the back row


eter Stevenson died on 5 October 2012. He made a huge contribution to the Old Haberdashers - especially to the Rugby Club: he played 406 times for the 1st XV, the fourth highest number achieved by any Old Haberdasher. Peter served as President of the OHA (1979-80) and of the OHRFC (1985-87) as well as holding many other OH roles and was a great supporter of OH and School events. Peter’s two sons Alun and Huw also attended HABS and were active members of the OHRFC. Extract from funeral eulogy by Rev. Roger Dunlop Peter was born on 26th April 1928 to Frederick & Edith Stevenson. He had an older brother, Ron, and their first home was 6, St. Leonards Street, in Westminster. Sadly his father died whilst he was on military service. In 1935, the family moved to Hendon and Peter’s reports from Colindale Junior School show that he made 'steady improvement' in maths and languages in particular – he became 1st in his class of 48 pupils. Peter moved on to Haberdashers' Aske's in Hampstead where he was to become a school prefect and Rugby captain. Peter began his National Service in 1947 in the Middlesex Regiment but was transferred to the Royal Horse Guards in Germany primarily to play for their rugby team! He met Gwyneth at a rugby match at Twickenham and they married in June 1952 and moved to Northwood. Peter had four children: Alun (1955), Hugh (1957), Jackie (1958) and Jane (1960) and eight grandchildren: Gordon, Andrew, Helena; Rachel, William; Filippo,


old boys notes

Daniella & Marco. Following Gwyneth’s departure, Peter subsequently met Janet through his church and they married in December 1993. Peter’s immediate family grew with Janet’s two sons, Paul & Gary and their two children (Ben & Madeleine). Scouting played an important part in Peter’s life, first with 24th Hendon during the war and a German Scout group during his National Service. In Northwood, Peter progressed through leadership roles to become Group Scout Leader and an Executive Committee member for many years. He was awarded the Silver Acorn (for 25 years’ service) and the Long Service bar. Peter loved all sports – and was good at many of them; he swam in Scout swimming galas and was great at butterfly. Peter of course loved rugby and passed that love onto Alun & Huw. Peter threw himself into charitable work: he was devoted to generating aid and support to many charities around the world. Peter was a stalwart and driver for Sudbury Neighbourhood Centre. In September 1986, he was taking passengers home when flames leapt from the engine into the bus. Peter stopped and immediately jumped out to free his frail passengers – all confined by seatbelts or wheelchairs. He managed to free all ten passengers and received several awards including The Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal and The Home Office Commendation for Brave Conduct. Throughout Peter’s life he always made an effort to keep in touch with friends and relations and visited people all round the country. He took time to

go and watch his family, whatever their activities were: Jackie playing handball or Alun & Huw’s rugby. Peter would be shy of being publicly remembered for anything - but his belief was that someone who contributes something, in any area, should be thanked and not taken for granted. This gentle, caring, polite man displayed strength of mind, humility and consistency without arrogance or malice. With his jolly, bubbly personality, his wonderful smile and his deep interest in friends and family, he was a tremendous role model who will be very much missed by us all. Tribute given at Peter's funeral by Peter Vacher I feel very honoured to have been asked to say a few words about Peter’s life-long involvement with the Old Haberdashers on behalf of all his OH friends, many of them here today. After having already proved his worth as a rugby player at school, it was only natural that Peter should join the OH rugby club after leaving school, making his 1st XV debut in the second row against Weston-Super-Mare on the 1946 Easter tour. And they lost! With National Service out of the way, Peter consolidated his place in the club first team in the 1948-49 season with thirty-one appearances, becoming a powerful presence in an excellent 1st XV, travelling the country and playing some of the best clubs around. He eventually made a breath-taking total of 406 appearances for the 1st XV over a 25-year period, his final call to the colours coming in March 1971. Only three other OH players have overtaken him, including Peter’s son Alun. In his final playing years, Peter turned out

for lower sides. I should add that in the few games we played together, I was usually hooking (that for the uninitiated is the position in the middle of the front row of the scrum) and I can tell you that binding onto his substantial frame was quite a challenge in itself. After retiring as a player, Peter retained an unswerving devotion to the old boys to the end of his life, becoming a cheerful presence on the touchline, keen to follow his beloved OH rugby club’s progress, and regularly fundraising for us while participating in our many and varied activities including the regular “Old Lag’s” lunches. Above all it was rugby at its free-flowing best that delighted him, whether at club or international level and he remained a rugby man through and through, enjoying the company of other rugby people, passing on the special rugby gene to his two sons, both of whom had distinguished playing careers themselves, Huw in gaining a rugby blue at Cambridge, a feat repeated by his son Andrew, and Alun with the OH and later as captain of CLOB, again much supported by his father. I gather the three of them even played in the same team on one very special occasion in 1971. How to sum up Peter? Another OH contemporary Tony White, said of him, “There was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. He was the kindest of men.” And so he was, but he was also one heck of rugby player, a gentle giant as the cliché has it, powerful but benign, a firm friend to many and a marvellous adornment to our club and Association. I count it a privilege to have known him.

old boys notes


Bryan Heiser


ryan Heiser, who has died of polio aged 67, spent most of his adult life fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged and, through the poetry he wrote, highlighting life's subtle twists and turns. He was perhaps best known as the pioneer of Dial-a-Ride, a free door-to-door scheme for people with disabilities who cannot use public transport, which was launched in London in 1980 and now operates throughout Britain. Born in Rugeley, Staffordshire, Bryan was brought up in Finchley, north London. He won a scholarship to Haberdashers' Aske's school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, then went on to read philosophy, politics and economics at Durham University and, on a Fulbright scholarship, at Harvard. Bryan contracted polio at the age of 27 on a hedonistic trip to Morocco. He found himself paralysed and in an iron lung and from that point on always used a wheelchair. But, as Bryan put it: "It isn't what you've got, it's how you use it: if you define the race you needn't lose it!" For 17 years from 1980, he worked for Camden borough council in London – latterly as an internal ombudsman, helping to solve the problems of local residents. Bryan also undertook a research project on the lot of under-fives in the borough. He launched the first Dial-a-Ride in Camden, with funding from the Manpower Services Commission and later


old boys notes

a grant from Camden council to buy the special vehicles required. Within a few years, with support from the Greater London Council, the scheme had expanded throughout London, and then, with government funding, around the UK. As an independent consultant, Bryan was appointed by Hillingdon council to investigate the disputed ownership of Stockley Park, a large piece of land to be developed within the west London borough. Then, in 2001, the health minister, John Hutton, appointed him to the National Care Standards Commission, describing Bryan as "a leading player in the development of disabled and older people's rights and services". In 2000, Bryan had been appointed special adviser on disability to the board of Transport for London and he continued in this role through Ken Livingstone's two terms as mayor. Bryan played a role in making TfL buses wheelchair-accessible, and this was one of his proudest achievements. He was an ardent supporter of bendy buses, which provoked lively debate with some of his more entrenched London friends. With a passionate interest in the arts, Bryan was chair of Drake Music, a technology and music charity providing disabled musicians of all ages with routes into music. He was an active member of the Poetry Society, running a weekly poetry group in his house in Camden until, in 2005, we moved to Norfolk, where he embarked on a master's degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

Norman James (1924-2013) The following is an extract from the tribute that David James (OHA President 1983-84) gave at Norman's funeral on 27th June 2013 I must be the person who has known Norman the longest and he has always been part of my life. He was born in Cricklewood in 1924 and went to Haberdashers School, Hampstead. It was obvious then that he was highly intelligent, matriculating at the age of 14. (He was the brains in the family!) When the war came Norman was 15 and I was 11 and we were evacuated with the school to Wellingborough. We were billeted with complete strangers and Norman became head of the family whilst we were away from home. He was my brother Joe - a nickname from our childhood days. He went to London University to study law and after a year was called up to serve in the Army. Norman’s army career during the war was distinguished. He rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Signals, working alongside Indian troops and served in India & Burma, finishing up in Java when the Japanese capitulated. It showed his character and how modest he was because he never spoke about the war and even the family did not know that Norman was Mentioned in Dispatches, evidence of which Carol and Barbara have found in a file since he died. After the war, Norman returned to London University to complete his degree. On completing his studies he worked at Robsons, a firm of West End solicitors, where he became a Partner and stayed until he retired, having his name on the Roll for over 50 years. He was, as expected, an excellent solicitor very meticulous and caring, acting for many friends and family. To pick up normal life on his return from the war, Norman came out to Haberdashers’ School to watch me play in a rugby match one Saturday and this is where he met Brenda, his first wife. They were happily married for more than 25 years and had a devoted family life with their two children, Ian and Carol. A great deal of their family life revolved around Norman's involvement with the Old Haberdashers’ Association. He captained one of the OH rugby teams and refereed in later years with the family supporting him on the touch line, and many Easters spent on 'rugger' tour in the West Country. Norman became President of the Old Haberdashers Association in 1970/71 and then of the OH Rugby Club in 1973/74. He performed all his duties in both roles to the highest standard even though he lived south of the river in Epsom. Brenda died at an early age not long after Norman and Brenda celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary. At this time he was supported by Carol and Ian, together with family and friends, including Barbara whose late husband Derek had been known to Norman during their working lives. Norman and Barbara's friendship developed over time and it was a great joy to both families when they married. They led a very full and happy

life - during those years they had the joy of sharing families including their grandchildren and Norman was able to see them all reach adulthood. As Adam said '"Grandpa was everything you strive to be" and "If I turn out half the person Grandpa was I'll be proud.'' Norman and Barbara also enjoyed their Silver Wedding Anniversary and at that celebration he asked if they could both count their two 25 years as Golden. When Norman & Barbara moved to West Byfleet he became involved in his local Church and many other organisations, including a Wine Circle, Music Group, Bowls Club Retired Men's Luncheon Club and the Woking Active Retired Club, of which he has been Chairman. In all these activities he made more new friends - many of whom were at his funeral. Norman and Barbara also established a home at Mudeford where great times were enjoyed with family and friends alike. Norman’s 80th Birthday cake was made in the shape of a wine bottle and Carol and Andy summed up his qualities on the bottle's label "This vintage wine has been carefully matured for eight decades. Of excellent character, it travels well and is a good accompaniment to all occasions. Reliable and intelligent it is always pleasing to the palate." Many of us have our own special memories of Norman - to me he will always be my brother Joe. To sum up Norman - he was modest, very capable, caring and a rock on which all the family could rely.

old boys notes


Richard Goldman (1947-2012) Provided by Jill Goldman


ichard Michael Goldman was born in London on the 4th December, 1947. He grew up in Cricklewood with his parents and older brother, Gordon (also a Haberdashers pupil). He attended Haberdashers school and gained A-levels in science subjects. However, he was not quite sure of his future path, so on Gordon’s recommendation, their parents took Richard to a careers advisor. The advice given, after all sorts of tests and interviews was intriguing. The conclusion was that Richard would either make a very good accountant – or a religious leader! As it happened, Richard managed to shine in both of these areas. From the start it was a very disciplined training as regards accountancy. The exams are not easy and Richard often rose early to study before his working day at Malvern & Co. in Great Portland Street, where he eventually rose up the ranks to become a junior partner. In 1975 he met Jill, a secretary/ PA, who also sang and wrote songs. They met on a blind date and were married a year or so later, setting up home in Wembley. Around six years later, Richard and another accountant started their own company and worked from an office in Queen’s Park. Jill and Richard’s son, David was born in 1983. Not long afterwards, Jill became a part time arts journalist and Richard was most supportive – a real hands-on father. David is now 28 and works in sales and marketing. As regards Richard’s abilities, he was (perhaps because of the scientific study he undertook at Haberdashers) excellent at predicting the weather! He also was looked upon by his many clients, as not just their accountant, but also, as their friend to whom they could speak freely – and not be judged. The amount of glowing letters Jill has received after his passing, are testimony to this fact. He was very quick to take new technology on board – even though this happened relatively late in life. He also remembered and used his French and Spanish from school. This ability was most helpful on European holidays! In 1987, Richard followed Jill into the Buddhist faith; practising Nichiren Buddhism – based on the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to bring out Buddhahood, or the most positive state of life – and was much loved by his friends in the lay organisation, Soka Gakkai (a non-Governmental organisation of the UN). He was also active in the local community and played a leading role in working for the welfare of residents in Wembley. Richard died suddenly of heart failure on the 30th of May 2012. Jill and David have lost their best friend and supporter, whose sense of humour, common sense, and kind, cheerful personality kept them afloat through life’s ups and downs. He is sadly missed.

Alan Whicker CBE (1925-2013)


lan Whicker, the interviewer and documentary maker, who has died aged 87, made highly influential and popular television programmes over a period of more than five decades. One of the medium’s first celebrities, he was often described as a “travel journalist” on account of his many reports from exotic locations. But he preferred to call himself “a journalist who travels”, considering that everyone had a story which it was his job to tell. To this end he traversed the globe “at least 97 times”, and as early as 1982 presented the retrospective Whicker’s World — The First Million Miles. His programmes delighted in the colourful, the eccentric and the downright ludicrous. Charming and deferential in blazer or safari suit, Whicker allowed his subjects to speak for — and often condemn — themselves. His habit of keeping his back to the camera suggested an air of neutrality and an absence of ego. His satirical asides, rich and subtle, influenced fly-on-the-wall documentary makers from Clive James to Louis Theroux; and his distinctive drawling, flat delivery was widely and affectionately mimicked in the nation’s saloon bars. Whicker was particularly fascinated by the hidden lives of the rich and famous, and he interviewed figures such as J Paul Getty, the Sultan of Brunei and the Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier. He was never more content than when sipping champagne and gliding around the deck of a “superyacht” surrounded by scantily-clad women and self-made men, admitting that he was “happy enough to have the best”. In a poll by the advertising agency J Walter Thompson he was once voted “the most envied man in Britain”. At the same time, Whicker was a consummate professional. He conceived, researched, wrote, produced and presented his programmes; this would often involve writing one while simultaneously filming, researching and planning others. The son of a soldier who died young, Alan Donald Whicker was born in Cairo on August 2 1925, and was brought up by his mother in Hampstead. He was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s, where he would write to travel agents asking for brochures for “exotic locations such as Ostend”. On leaving school he joined the Army, and was serving as an officer with the Devonshire Regiment in 1943 when an uncle, who was a City banker, invited him to a lunch at which a senior official in the War Office announced that he was looking for a young man to direct some 40 sergeant-cameramen in the Eighth Army’s newly-formed film and photo unit, which was to provide an official record and news footage.

Above: Alan Whicker wearing the OHA tie presented to him by Rodney Jakeman.


old boys notes

Douglas James Whittaker (1940-2012)

D John Glyde Walker (1936-2013)


t is sad to record the passing of Johnny Walker. Recollection of him at Westbere Road, Haberdashers’, is of a young man interested in sport, the R.A.F. section of the C.C.F, and evidence of achievement in economics. He was part of the school first tennis team and was awarded colours. He left school in the academic year 1953-54 He, and many, were aggrieved by the death of his older brother, Michael, in a plane crash about the year 1954. For John, National Service in the R.A.F was spent in Germany. During his active life in stockbroking, he also helped individuals to finance projects. Just lately it even included setting up a programme for MRI scanners. His constant connection with Old Haberdashers’ Golfing Society for over fifty years is noted. The records show that he was appointed captain for three spells, and was secretary for a period till 1975.In that era he won most of the society’s trophies. He was a long term member at Ashridge Golf Club , his handicap in the teens. Lately his health lessened, and he lived with a list of diagnoses. We would discuss these, out at lunch in Great Missenden. He was reliant on the staunch support of his wife Sylvia. When confined to a chair he was comfortable in Rayners Residential Care, nearby, a tribute to the Matthews family ,the owners. In earlier years he was keen on stylish cars .At the completion of his funeral service on Friday 25 October, his coffin was borne out of the church fairly swiftly to the theme tune of F1, The Chain. The mourners followed a white E type Jaguar, in procession, through Little Missenden . His supportive family, not least Sylvia, included sons Dominic, Luke, Guy and daughter Lisa, and their children, as well as his first wife Desiree, mother of the four. The sons spoke with humour , in the pulpit, of their father’s life . Lisa read a tribute. He would have been so joyful to see the picture of Charlie, his latest grandchild , and Charlie’s mother ,Lisa, included here.

oug Whittaker was part of a special group of masters who taught and inspired Haberdashers’ boys for over thirty years. He died in the early hours of the morning of 11 December 2012 and his funeral was held on 20 December, attended by a large number of relatives and friends and former colleagues and pupils. During the funeral service Jim Tarpey and John Wigley paid tribute to Doug. Here we adapt what Jim wrote in “Skylark” when Doug retired from Haberdashers’ in 2000. “Doug attended Liverpool Institute a year ahead of Paul McCartney and George Harrison. He joined the CCF and in those innocent days took his rifle home to clean. In 1959 he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1962 began to teach at Bedford Modern School. In 1964 he moved to HABS, where he learned to sail and later became a Senior Instructor of the Royal Yachting Association. In 1968 he went to Atlantic College, South Wales, where life consisted of sums, sailing and sweated labour, returning to Elstree in 1970 and becoming Head of Mathematics in 1971. Doug was an inspiring teacher, possessed of great skill in the techniques of mathematics, with a remarkable knowledge of so many branches of the subject.What made him so special was his ability to challenge boys, to provoke them into thinking in new ways, to give them the desire and confidence to tackle new problems. The success of his pupils at university was directly related to that approach. To give just one example, his work sheets on linear algebra explained the topic far more clearly than any standard text and were passed round Oxbridge for nigh on thirty years. Doug was innovative and forward-looking. In the 1960’s he introduced computing to HABS, making it one of the first schools in the country to study it, and in 1998, two years from retirement, instead of thinking of slippers and firesides, he set up his first problem-solving weekend conference. He taught for the Open University from its inception, so that adult students also benefited from his ability and approach. His management of the maths department was much appreciated. It was characterised by a complete absence of paper and minutes, and a scarcity of meetings. Doug preferred conversation between humans, resulting in harmony and mutual respect. The maths department was indeed a happy ship. His year as chairman of the Teachers’ Common Room showed that Doug was a master of diplomacy who could diffuse difficult situations, whilst speaking truth unto power on his colleagues’ behalf. Doug became an officer in the CCF at Bedford Modern, initially in the RAF section. He switched to the Royal Navy at the start of his second spell at Elstree, became commanding officer of the RN section in 1976, then Contingent Commander of the HABS CCF in 1985 and eventually attained the naval rank of Commander, which is as far as James Bond ever got. Doug’s enthusiasm and vision revived the CCF. He changed the General Inspections from static parades to all-action inter-service competitions, gave cadets as much responsibility as possible, expanded adventurous training at Ampthill Park and Otterburn, and inaugurated the CCF’s annual reunion dinner. In retirement , Doug entertained generously, enjoyed dining with friends in his London club, visited museums and galleries, and –above all- travelled the world. (Doug’s article on his last trip to Pakistan in 2011 was published in the 2012 Old Boys’ Notes). By the time of Doug’s sad and untimely death there was scarcely a country with which he was unfamiliar. Doug’s memory will live on amongst many Haberdashers’ pupils and teachers for many decades.

old boys notes


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OH Club Reports

Club reports title page

OH Rugby by N.Jones

1st XV: London Division One North


ome 4 seasons ago, Seb Taylor and his men had set themselves the objective of playing their rugby in the London One league. After four successive promotions, that is exactly where they found themselves on the first day of the season in September 2012, facing Basildon in their inaugural game in London One North. Welcoming illustrious and established clubs like Luton, Bury St Edmunds, Letchworth and Colchester to Croxdale Road was an enticing prospect for players and supporters alike. But Habs were not content with just being there; going about winning their first three games in a row and making their new league counterparts sit up and take notice and picking up the Rugby World magazine Team of the Month award in the process. Games were lost, but even in defeat there were some excellent performances and perhaps Bury St Edmunds, cruising along unbeaten at the top of the league, would testify that Habs provided the sternest test of their season so far with Habs winning comfortably at half time, only to lose out in the second half. Habs reached the halfway stage of the season having played 15, won 7, lost 8 and sitting mid table. The second half of the season was a question of finding the right place to play rugby. With so much snow and cold weather, several games were postponed/ re-arranged and consistency in the team suffered as a result. The boggy conditions at Croxdale Road led to Habs playing several “Home� games in Barnes. Habs performed well during this period, but struggled against some teams that it had become clear by this stage were going to be finishing at the bottom end of the league, which was an area that Habs always had one eye on. But a particularly good performance away against Bury St Edmunds, again taking them close on their own ground, paved the way for a strong run-in, which is something that is becoming seasonal. Habs beat Letchworth, Diss and Brentwood, all sitting at the top end of the table, and only narrowly lost out to Eton Manor who joined Bury St Edmunds as the other team to be promoted this season. The strong run of form led to Habs achieving the aim they had set themselves at Christmas and winning more games than they lost in their new league, and finishing in the

top half of the table. Overall, the 1st XV played 27, won 14 and lost 13 games this season. The quality of the opposition, facilities and the rugby being played by Habs, and as always the enjoyment that they take from it, leaves them in no doubt that they have found their new home in London One. They look forward to 2013/2014 with relish. 2nd XV: Herts/Middlesex Merit Table One


he 2nd XV had an excellent season. Despite being regularly plundered by requests for players from the 1st XV (including for himself), Simon Wallis used his unique leadership qualities to lead the 2nd XV to fourth place in Herts/Middlesex Merit Table One. They played 27 games, winning 16, losing 9 and drawing 2 and beating old rivals St Albans, Fullerians and Welwyn along the way. In addition, the 2nd XV had a great cup run, but unfortunately succumbed in the cup final to a strong Hertford side. The players from the 2nd XV that have stepped into the 1st XV have done so seamlessly and the importance of this to the success of the club, both this season and in previous seasons, cannot be underestimated. Arguably even more importantly, the 2nd XV have fostered a strong team spirit and are generally to be found in the bar after the game enjoying the social element that continues to thrive at the club. A facet of the club which will no doubt be strengthened by a 45 man strong tour to Toulon in May featuring a mixture of current and former players. 3rd XV / Veterans


his fine bunch of men were undefeated and thoroughly enjoyed their four matches. For some this was their first taste of rugby at Croxdale Road, for others it was a trip down memory lane. All who played will want more next season.

Touch Judge Simon Gresswell points to the ball!


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OH Football by Euan Broderick


new captain, new players and a number of injuries led to a very slow start to the season. Five straight league defeats as well as two cup exits dented the team's confidence and dampened all pre-season optimism. Then, showing great character and determination, Old Habs registered their first win with a convincing 9-3 victory over Old Wellingtonians helped by a first half hat-trick of headers by Tom Nichols. This was then followed by a 2-2 draw with Old Chigwellians, with OH (despite playing the whole game with 9 men) desperately unlucky not to win all three points. The good run continued with an away win at Lancing to move up the table and onto a slightly more respectable points tally. 2013 began with a late comeback earning a 4 4 draw away at Repton before the team's best performance of the season against Charterhouse II, a team we had not beaten for over five years. Old Habs started very strongly taking a 3-0 lead with goals from Andy Evans, Joe Robinson and Eoin Broderick. Charterhouse scored just before halftime and then pulled back another goal just before the hour mark. Old Habs, now down to 10 men due to injury, could have collapsed but instead pulled together and great breakaway goals from Robinson and Nichols sealed a well-deserved and famous victory. Wins in the Junior League Cup included an impressive 6-0 victory against Old Amplefordians lit up by stunning goals from Anish Patel and Chris Coles. Our run was sadly ended in the quarter finals, but the focus now was on league survival. As the weather had worsened, so too had Old Habs's position in the table.

The season was punctuated with sloppy performances, poor availability of players and defeat. With three games to go, OH were in an outright fight with Old Wellingtonians to avoid the last relegation spot. A tense 1-0 victory over Old Cholmleians ensured that the battle would go to the final day of the season, with a game against Old Wellingtonians, where only a win would be enough for Old Habs to avoid relegation. OHFC had been here before, avoiding relegation with last gasp wins in two out of the previous three seasons but the task was made much more difficult with a number of key withdrawals from the squad. The game was played at QPR's training ground and the players turned up hoping to avoid their host’s same fate of relegation. After a tense and scrappy first half hour, Wellingtonians took the lead. It was only some fine goalkeeping by Mat Smith that ensured OHFC went into the break only trailing by a single goal. The second half was a very different. A committed and passionate OH fought back, equalising through top scorer Robinson before Ben White stepped up with the second. Some scary last minutes followed but with big performances from Ed Broderick, Alex Keenlyside and James Richardson, OH held on for the vital victory. Old Habs had survived against the odds and in the process consigned their opponents to relegation. It has been a difficult year for Old Haberdashers’ Football Club but one in which the team has shown great spirit to overcome a dreadful start and secure our position in Division 2 of the Arthurian League for another season. OH games are never dull with 115 goals coming in just 21 games but too many of those have come at the wrong end. However, the character shown in the latter half of the season promises better fortunes for next year.

OH Golf by Alan E Morris


t Hunstanton this year the weather was by no means clement. The team went out in the wettest of conditions on the cold Saturday 9th Mar 13.The report came in as a win for O.H the visitors. The hospitality there remains ‘the highest’. During the year we again held a Spring Meeting at Harpenden Hammonds End run so well by John Lidington.Winner ,our captain Peter Mackie. The Summer meeting at Hendon ,organised by our captain resulted in a win for Peter Annett. The Autumn meeting at Gerrards Cross G.C. was a success with thirty –four participants, thanks again to our captain .The Presidents Trophy being won by Derek Woolerton. There were the two annual triangular matches at Moor Park G.C. our positions being second, twice. Mr. Andy Ward ran a match between boys , old boys and masters. We remain no match for some of the best school golfers ever. The Aldwickbury G.C. event ,the Elstree Trophy and father and sons pairs,with a host of further awards, and buffet ,was a tribute to

organisation by Mr.Ward. We drew in the O.H v Old Albanians, (now a regular event in our fixtures). The society acknowledges ,with gratitude ,the guidance and organisation provided by Robin Matthew these many years, at the Chorley Wood July match, and the similar skill shown by John Lidington in running the Spring meeting. Heart felt thanks go to them both and we accept with no little anxiety their passing on of the baton. The Grafton Morrish team of low handicappers, played in May, in the qualifying round at Denham G.C. under the captaincy of Richard Paffley .This competition has a final played at Hunstanton and Brancaster at the end of September,when forty-eight of the original one hundred and forty entry teams, play in a three day event. Sadly 2013 was a year in which O.H.G.S. did not go to the final knock out. Do phone me at 01494722385 if you wish to join in on our activities, or speak to Peter Mackie 01707 661725 or Robert Clarke 01582761986.

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OH Cricket by Robert Clarke


he 2012 season was significantly affected by the terrible weather conditions, causing a record number of matches to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. In terms of performances, the OH struggled throughout the matches that were played and only managed 2 wins during the season (against Hitchen 2nd XI and Old Cholmeleians 2nd XI. ) The side finished 18th out of 20 and was relegated from Division 5. (There are 14 Divisions in the Herts League.) The combined impact of the bad weather and poor availability throughout the season, ultimately lead to the OH 2nd XI withdrawing from Division 9. (It’s still hoped to re-establish a 2nd XI in the future.) 2013 (played 19 – won 5, drew 3, lost 9, no results 2 - 16th out of 20). Starting the new season in Division 6 of the Herts League and with a new Captain (Khurram Manzoor), the Old Habs were enthusiastic and sought to strengthen the Club. The first match of the season against Wormley finished with the Old Habs hanging on for a draw, well short of the target of the target of 246. Lack of match practice had lead to people getting out to too many poor shots. There were some good signs, with the bowling of Asad Husain (on debut) being impressive and Simon Gelber picking up three wickets. A loss to Hertford 3rd XI by 81 runs followed, but the


old boys notes

bowling again showed promise with Hertford reduced to 26 for 3, but a century from their number 5 lead to total of over 200 being scored. (Another debutant, Rohun Davda, bowled well to pick up two wickets, with Simon Gelber putting in a good spell to claim four.) In response, the batsmen again struggled, though Sami Ali made 34 and Asad Husain made an impressive 59. Apart from a win in a Sunday friendly, the next 4 League matches all ended in defeats and thus, despite the good team spirit, the performances were not producing the desired results. During that period notable innings were made by Khurram Manzoor (90* against St. Margaretsbury) and Sami Ali (59 against Hoddesdon.) So, it was towards the end of June and the team was still searching for a first League win. Well, it followed with a demolition of Clifton who were bowled out for 117, Gelber taking 6 wickets and then our returning university players enabled an easy win, Hugh Brannan making 52 and Athman Sivakumar 44, as they put on 108 for the first wicket. Redbourn were then defeated the following week by 4 wickets, as Habs chased down a target of 151. (Sami Ali taking 5 wickets and Duane Perera, 3.) A scorching hot early July day at Northwood again saw impressive performances from Brannan and Sivakumar, as they made 89 and 72, respectively, in a declared total of 272. Northwood were well short but managed

to hang on for the draw. Habs lost to Kings Langley (Brannan 82) and also Bentley Heath in a nail-biter, but between those matches defeated the Old Cholmeleians comfortably, Abid Khan making 52 and Sami Ali taking 5 wickets. This match marked the 800th 1st XI appearance of Simon Gelber – a remarkable achievement. The start of August and Shenley Village II were defeated by 4 wickets - Shenley were reduced to 16 for 5 at one point but managed to get to 116. (Asad Husain took 4 wickets). A loss by 7 wickets followed against a strong Flitwick team and despite being 12th in the table, relegation was still a possibility given that a number of teams were on a similar number of points. An abandoned match against Totteridge Millhillians III when in a good position, whilst teams below us won, also lead to us dropping down the table. On the return from the Devon Tour (more later), it was clear that some good performances were needed in the last couple of games to get enough points to stay up. The penultimate match was against Hemel Hempstead III, which saw Habs grab a victory from the jaws of defeat. Having batted first, Habs struggled to a total of 152 all out, with only 3 players managing to get above 25: Rhys Jenkins, Asad Husain & Hamza Zahid. (Rhys left the School in 2013, was on league debut and was joined in the team by Khalil Osman - also a 2013 leaver.) In response, Hemel struggled to get on top of our bowling, Ali and Gelber bowling very tightly, picking up 5 wickets between them. Hemel were still on course to win, but a spell of 3-23 from Zahid, brought the match back under Habs control. The last over, bowled by Ali, saw Hemel requiring 10 to win and Habs needing two wickets - the wickets were duly taken, the final one being a run out following a mix-up between the Hemel players and Habs were the winners by 6 runs with one ball left. An equally exciting finish took place in the final league match against Boxmoor, with Habs batting first and accumulating 194 – 7 off their 53 overs, mainly due to Hugh Brannan (68) and Sami Ali (62). Boxmoor progressed quite well in their chase, until the pace of Asad Husain saw them lose 4 quick wickets. So, the match went down to the last over again, with Boxmoor needing 9 to win and Habs requiring 1 wicket. A catch was dropped and then their player managed to hit the last ball of the match for 6, to win the game - enabling Boxmoor to remain in Division 6. Despite the loss, Habs and accumulated enough points in the last two games to avoid relegation and continue in Division 6 in 2014. It was a tough season, but ultimately one enjoyed by the club. As well as the people who played, huge thanks go to the Captain, Khurram Manzoor whose efforts in bringing in new players, running the team and also re-establishing Sunday cricket, were brilliant. Old Boys’ Day - 30th June 2013 Having been rained off in 2012, the contest for the Nobbly Tanner Memorial Trophy took place, with the Old Habs fielding teams against the School 1st and 2nd XIs. The School 1st XI posted a total of 242 from their 50 overs, and after an excellent lunch courtesy of Doug and Jackie Yeabsley, the OH managed to make it a close finish, losing by 13 runs. (Akash Kadiwar top-scored with 81 and Hugh Brannan made 70.) In the 2nd XI match the Old Habs lost by 33 runs, but it had been an enjoyable day. Devon Tour - August 2013 It was once again an enjoyable 6 day tour, with a new fixture to start off against Abbotskerswell. Stuart Haring and Khurram Manzoor put on 56 for the first wicket and the OH got to 189 off their 40 overs. A tight finish saw Abbotskerswell

out for 180, Gelber, Ali and Khan taking 7 wickets between them. Another win followed against Kilmington, Alan Newman making 60 and helping us to win by 60 runs. A strong Heathcoat side easily defeated the Old Habs at Knightshayes Court, but the ground was even more picturesque due to an excellent new Pavilion. Old Habs defeated Exeter, chasing down 210, Sami Ali top scoring for the OH with 59. (The Exeter total was boosted by Robert Clarke as the guest opener, scoring 93.) A loss by 5 runs followed against Chudleigh, Brannan top scoring for OH with 43. The traditional Friday game against Sidmouth ended up being abandoned, but not before Old Habs made 230 - a partnership of 95 between the evergreen Alan Newman & Deepak Kapadia, plus 61 from Haroon Ahmad playing with a pulled hamstring.


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old boys notes


Past Presidents 1888-93










-  .. W.C. WITT -  .. 1897-98 S. PHILLIPS -  .. 1898-99 A.S.K. SCARF -  . 1899-1900 W.H.  BARKER - ... 1900-01 H.K. SELMAN - .. - .. 1901-02 H.G. DOWNER - .. 1902-03 C.E. NEWBEGIN -  .. 1903-04 H.M. WAYNFORTH -  .. 1904-05 J.H. TOWNEND -  .. 1905-06 H.A. HARMER -  .. 1906-07 W.A. LYTHABY -  .. 1907-08 G.J. FREEMAN -  .. 1908-09 H.F. BROOKS -  .. 1909-10 V.J. MOULDER -  .. 1910-11 E.J.G. SMEE -  ... 1911-12 C.J.L. WAGSTAFF - ... 1912-13 W. PADDOCK - . 1913-18 W.C. BRETT - .. 1918-19 W. PADDOCK - . 1919-20 H.B.P. HUMPHRIES - ... - ..F.J.  . 1920-21 REV. KEMP - .. .  1921-22 REV. W.H. BRAINE -  . 1922-23 K. MCMILLAN - .. 1923-24 J.N. GREEN -  . 1924-25 H. PARKER -  .. 1925-26 H.H. CHAPLIN - ..  1926-27 S.H. NORTON -  . 1927-28 G.C LUNDBERG -  .. 1928-29 H.E. DULCKEN -  .. 1929-30 L.J. HASKINS - .. 1930-31 A.C. MANN -  .. 1896-97

-  .. J.E.G. MOODY -  . 1936-37 P.G. MACDONALD -  .. 1937-38 D.L.I. EVANS -  ... 1938-45 L.J. GOOCH -  .. 1945-46 H. NORMAN -  ... - .. 1946-47 W.R. CLEMENS -  . 1947-48 W.H. CROSSMAN -  1948-49 F.H. YALE.. -  .. 1949-50 A.G. JENKINS -  .. 1950-51 Dr T.W. TAYLOR -  .. 1951-52 A.N. BONWICK - ..   1952-53 S.H. BEAN -  .. 1953-54 S.E. PHILLIPS - .. 1954-55 T.N. McEVOY -  .. 1955-56 G. BATCHELOR -  .. 1956-57 P.C. BROOKER - . 1957-58 G.G. LLOYD -  .. 1958-59 F.A. JACKMAN - ..  1959-60 L.J. MILLER -  .. 1960-61 Rev. A.M. MANN -  .. - ...  1961-62 C.G. GARDNER -  .. 1962-63 K.H. BLESSLEY -  .. 1963-64 M.J. JACKMAN -  .. 1964-65 J.B. BLOWFELD -  .. 1965-66 D.A. BLESSLEY -  .. 1966-67 D.W. WELLS -  .. 1967-68 E. CINNAMON - . 1968-69 J.S. ALEXANDER -  .. 1969-70 E.T. PURCELL -  .. 1970-71 N.A.H. JAMES -  ... 1971-72 E.H. AMSTEIN -  .. 1935-36










-  ..

1976-77 - L.F. BROWN  .

1977-78 - J.A.R. BEAUMONT  .. 1978-79 - B.H. McGOWAN ..  1979-80 - P.J. STEVENSON  .. 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

-  .. 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  ... 1986-87



C.P. Blessley Esq.

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