OH Notes December 2018

Page 1

December 2018 Edition 207

It is hard to believe that 2018 is drawing to a close – time seems to have flashed by, in all likelihood due to the fact that this has been a very busy year with a lot of activity on a number of fronts. This issue of OH Notes contains two articles relating to the Association’s Club House at Croxdale Road. John Wigley accessed some fascinating material during his research for the historical article and some old photographs appeared from personal collections, all of which has added character (I would liked to have said colour but, alas, B&W!). It was highly fitting that the refurbishment project coordinated by David Heasman was sufficiently complete for the Club House to have been the scene for some excellent festive occasions – as evidenced by the cover page of this issue – with a blazing open fire to add more atmosphere. We now have a venue which can accommodate in comfort a far wider variety of social activities – in addition to the traditional sporting usage – both for Club events, as well as private use, which we are actively promoting. The appointment of Gus Lock OH as the new Head Master at HABS Elstree is very welcome news indeed. In the short period of time since his incorporation, he has attended a number of events at Croxdale Road and we look forward to continue building on the excellent foundations in our renewed relationship laid by Roger Llewellyn OH. A great example of this was at the start of the current rugby season. As a result of the uncommonly dry summer, the Croxdale Road pitches were


unplayable – large cracks and holes were all over the playing surfaces. The School stepped in with the offer to play home games on their billiard table turf, which was an absolute Godsend! OH have been in the news in 2018. For example, Sir Martin Sorrell has started up a new media venture and has already acquired two businesses – one in Europe and the other in the USA. I am sure that there are more deals on the horizon. At the OHA Annual Dinner we were honoured to have David Lidington MP OH as our guest speaker. David is probably the OH with the most television appearances in 2018 (at least) – that front bench is very much in the limelight, but I would love to see the OHA tie on the evening News! My best wishes for the festive season and the New Year (yes, despite Brexit!)

_________________________________________________________ Richard Carlowe

Welcome to 2018's third edition of OH Notes and thanks, once again, to the various contributors to it. This edition, as Colin Blessley points out in his foreword, focuses upon the superbly refurbished premises at Croxdale Road and is, one hopes, the start of a new era for OHA with events, meetings and, perhaps, even our Annual Dinner staged in Borehamwood. Allied to this we wish to commence with various City-based networking events, each offering an interesting and relevant speaker. Please contact me if you would like to speak, sponsor such an occasion and/or host it. Finally it is a pleasure to welcome OHFC back in to the Elstree fold, with them now playing their home games at the school rather than far way in Chiswick as they had been previously. Have a great Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com








Picture Gallery


Croxdale Road Club HouseThe History


Westbere Rd Bomb Damage 1940


OH Social Events


The Annual Act of Remembrance


Quiz Night


The Removal Men of ‘61 Lunch


The “Old Lags” Christmas Lunch




Neetha Kunaratnam Poetry


OLD HABERDASHER’S ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT Colin Blessley colin.blessley@oldhabs.com OHA ADMINISTRATOR, OH NOTES EDITOR & DESIGNER Richard Carlowe richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com Tel 020 8445 6639 Fax 020 7117 3807

Croxdale Road Club HouseThe New Look


The 1st World War. Aftermath and Reckoning




Russ Hakes


Alan Taylor


Reports and Fixtures


Rugby Football












Past Presidents


CLUB HOUSE Croxdale Road Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 4PY CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS 73 Oak Tree Drive London N20 8QJ WEBSITE www.oldhabs.com


Have We Got Your Up to Date Details? Your email address is especially important. Please update your information at https://www.oldhabs.com/contact

OHA MEMBERSHIP Exciting things are planned in 2019 just for OHA Members. If you’re not a member, or don’t think you are, then please contact Richard Carlowe on 020 8445 6639 or by email at richard.carlowe@oldhabs.com 5

Picture Gallery Six 1969 Leavers Meet Up: Russ Canning, Jon Astley, Oliver Green, Ian Hammond, Dave Bowen, Ged Ford and Partners of course Jon Kessel (1970) wearing his original CCF tie. “I was at Habs from 1964 - 1970, 3rd form to 6th form, had a great time in the CCF with Mr Wellbourne (Capt), and other, TEC (Carrington) ran the RAF section. Others in the CCF with me were John Partridge, Mark Payling, Tim Browning (his dad was head of German), Stuart Barry, Andy Nash and others I can't recall. I went on to QMC Univ of London, Aero Engineering,and after very many years and jobs have ended up in Cornwall, where I was in the Civil Service, now semiretired but working for Interserve giving IT support to the site where I was working�

Summer at Croxdale Road 6

Croxdale Road Club House – The History

Dr John Wigley - OHA Treasurer On Saturday 18th September 1937 … the Old Haberdashers’ Sportsground and Norton Pavilion were duly opened … the attendance of about 400 was satisfactory … the weather was perfect although a little too warm for the Rugby match which followed.”

An OHRFC XV ran out against Mr. A.S. Roncoroni’s XV. An England team member, he was injured and unable to play but his XV included seven county players and it was suggested that “they had a kindly disposition and a proper sense of occasion” so kindly allowed Haberdashers’ to win by 16 to 14.

“After the match tea was served in a large marquee …the excellent refreshments generously provided by L.G. Mallows contributing no little to the success of the function.” 7

So wrote a member of the Haberdashers’ Old Boys’ Club (now the Old Haberdashers’ Association) and of the OHRFC in the Autumn Term 1937 edition of “Skylark”. OHRFC’s history, “Making a Mark”, noted: “The pavilion was entirely the work of R.W. Diggens. He was the Honorary Architect, Surveyor, Planner, Engineer and overseer, and a first class job he made of it all. Ron Diggens was a practical man and a Rugger player. He knew how these things should be; and, when the pavilion was finished, for compactness of layout, efficiency and economy in cost, there was no finer building of its size in the whole country.” As a small but appreciated return for all these services he was made a Life Member of OHRFC. For the first time in their history the HOBC (founded in 1888) and the OHRFC (1923) had a home of their own but the anonymous writer predicted that the “labours of love and Hercules” would be needed if volunteers were to drain, ditch, hedge and maintain the seven and a half acre ground, decorate the pavilion and level land for a car park. Just a term later he lamented that the Club’s £150 income was all being used to pay interest on a loan and meet rates and taxes, so running costs depended on money-raising schemes and donations, with little prospect of getting the ground into first class condition, let alone providing tennis courts. He continued with a theme which has arisen on occasions in more recent years: “So far, apart from the opening ceremony, the ground has not seen a large attendance of Old Boys or School support.” The late 1930’s were not the ideal time to open a sports ground and pavilion. Money was tight. War was on the way. National Service soon made it difficult to retain players. Ron Diggens joined the Royal Engineers and ended the war as a Lt. Col. with the O.B.E.. Ken Blessley, our current President’s father, who had played against Roncoroni’s XV, left the Royal Engineers as a Major with the M.B.E. By the end of November 1940 the pavilion had been let to an insurance office evacuated from London and the army had occupied the ground. The pavilion and the ground were subsequently leased to the Air Training Corps which occupied them until after the end of the war. At some point the pavilion was broken into and the Norton Memorial Clock stolen and, in 1941, three German bombs fell on the ground, gouging out craters which 8

later needed filling and levelling and which interfered with the natural drainage. Peace brought its own problems. It was too expensive to renovate the pavilion, restore the ground and resume play. During 1946, the London County Council imposed a compulsory purchase order on the property. After long negotiations led for Haberdashers’ by Ken Blessley, in April 1951 the London County Council took over land fronting onto Theobald Street, bought the remaining freehold, and leased it back with an additional two and a half acres which gave new access from Croxdale Road. That agreement provided the stability necessary for further development. The Old Boys’ Club Notes in the Autumn Term 1951 edition of “Skylark” contained an article headed “Elstree Ground Improvement” which announced that a third rugby pitch had been laid out and that: “The pavilion extension has now been completed and designs are approved for the erection of a new bar. Those who have not visited Elstree for some time will find a pavilion offering increased accommodation for teas and also for lady visitors to the ground, and a welcoming fire!”

Skylark Autumn 1951 9

The ground and pavilion extensions were opened on 20th September 1952. The ceremony began when Dr. T.W. Taylor, the Headmaster, unveiled a bronze plaque to the memory of over twenty members of the OHRFC who had lost their lives in the war. The Club’s President then “proposed an extraordinary resolution to members of the Rugby Club that, in view of exceptional services rendered in connection with the ground, Mr. K.H. Blessley be elected a Life Member of the Club. The resolution was approved with acclamation and the President presented Mr. Blessley with an inscribed silver tray as a token of the Club’s gratitude for his services. He commented that but for Mr. Blessley’s efforts the ground would have become part of a new housing estate.” The OHRFC’s First XV then played the Herts. County XV but lost by 13 points to 8, partly because of “the strong play of the Herts forwards and the skilful running of D. J. Skipper (Oxford University) who scored two of the County’s tries.” Despite that defeat, it was a memorable day. Over 500 people attended and the Haberdashers’ ladies provided teas for nearly 300 of them. A number of “Masters on the Staff” were present and the School loaned catering and loud-speaker equipment. The day marked the start of a golden forty years for the HOBC and the OHA. They benefited from the support of enthusiastic volunteers. In addition to the Rugby Club, there were Athletics, Cricket, Golf, Rifle and Soccer Clubs, and (briefly) a Rowing Club. The Pavilion was improved again, with the Jenkins Memorial extension being inaugurated in September 1963. In addition, quarters were provided for a live-in steward. Various other improvements were made over the following years, including the wooden slat floating ceiling installed under the supervision of Robin Mathew (RIBA) which, at long last, concealed the not particularly at10

tractive plenum in the A-frame roof. If they were still with us today, it would be highly likely that Ronnie Diggens and Ken Blessley would both be astonished that, 81 years after the original construction, the building is still standing. They would, probably, not be surprised that a number of structural and functional elements of the facilities had reached (or gone way beyond) the end of their useful lives and needed replacing or reconfiguring. The decision taken by the OHA Executive Committee in April 2018 to approve the President Colin Blessley’s proposal that a significant sum be put aside from the Investment Fund to finance a major refurbishment of the installations was the first step in returning these to a state of “fit for purpose”. This development is the subject to an article by Colin Blessley to be found on page 19 in this very issue.

The Newly Built Jenkins Extension


Westbere Road Bomb Damage September 1940


hese two pictures were taken by David Godrich (1945) with his Kodak Brownie Camera.

David, who now lives in Santa Monica, California, states “I don’t think that there was ever any other documentation of the damage to the Headmaster’s Study in the Upper School. Later on an oil bomb fell close to the same building near to the playing field, leaving an awful mess to be cleaned up but, fortunately, it did not ignite. Sadly I failed to record that damage with my camera”


OHA Events The Annual Act of Remembrance Haberdashers’ Aske’s School 9th November 2018 On a dry, but gusty, Friday afternoon Old Boys, current parents, and staff gathered on the croquet lawn adjacent to Aldenham House to observe the annual Act of Remembrance. The School’s CCF members, resplendent in their uniforms, and under the command of various members of staff including our own Hon Treasurer, Dr John Wigley, marched quietly out on to the lawn and, after The Last Post was sounded perfectly by one of their number, new Headmaster Gus Lock laid a wreath on behalf of the school. Following this, President Colin Blessley laid the Old Haberdashers’ Association’s wreath. Refreshments in Aldenham House, after the ceremony, offered a chance to view the display and exhibition from the school’s archives, commemorating The Great War, in the Old Chapel. A video of the wreath laying can be found at: www.oldhabs.com/news 13

Quiz Night Croxdale Road 9th November 2018 OK smart Alecs, try these: (1) Strictly, where is the only Union Jack flown permanently in London? (2) 50% of the letters in the name of which English city are the same vowel? (3) What was Queen Victoria’s first name? These and 97 other teasers variously tickled, tormented and terrified the attendees at November's Quiz Night, held in the stunningly refurbished Clubhouse replete with faint smell of new paint. Mein Host Roger Pidgeon compèred effortlessly for Quizmaster Jim "Magnus" Tarpey and the fortyodd (and indeed forty, odd) quizzers enjoyed a handsome buffet whizzed up by Pauline and Natalie. Throw in prizes for the top teams and a generous raffle, and it was a winning formula. Oh, and a notional bonus point, for the answer of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, went to the Altermans' table, for also giving the answer in Cyrillic. Deliciously geeky. Come one, come all to the next quiz night on Friday 8th March 2019 for your chance at toppling the Qwysiwyg champions! Oh, and those answers? (1) On HMS Belfast (the "Jack" is the crucial part), (2) Exeter, (3) Alexandrina. See you at the next one! 14

From left to right : Jon Bell, Roger Putnam, Andy Bradford, Geoff Rumble, John Magowan, Colin Jeffery, Tony Kerpal, Mike Wade, Tony Alexander, Frank Judge

The Removal Men of ’61 Lunch Norfolk Arms 16th November 2018 On 15th November, the "Old" Old Haberdashers' Removal Men of '61 Group* had their six monthly lunch get together in The Norfolk Arm's in London. A couple of "blasts from the past" also came along, Andy Bradford, TV personality and Mike Wade, ex "barber of the cycle sheds at Westbere Road", now domiciled in the Isle of Wight. It was a wonderful afternoon catching up, especially with Andy and Mike after 56 years! Regretfully Adrian Lewis could not make it, due to a hospital procedure, plus Rodney Jakeman was suffering from "man flu"! All in all, a great time with reminisces of all those years ago, with "Old Haberdashers' " to the fore! *The Removal Men were those who helped with the School’s move from Westbere Road to Elstree in 1961 15

The “Old Lags” Christmas Lunch Croxdale Road 4th December 2018 News of the newly renovated Clubhouse bought large numbers of retired members to Borehamwood for the annual Christmas Lunch. We were delighted to be joined by new Headmaster Gus Lock and Foundation Head Roger Llewellyn, both of whom mixed happily with the OHA ranging in age from 52 to their mid 90s. President Colin Blessley gave an update on all things OH and the afternoon was rounded off, as is traditional, by Peter Vacher’s very able joke telling. Special mention must go to John Davis who, once again, travelled over from Kansas City to be with us. Next year sees six more lunches, the dates of which can be found at https://www.oldhabs.com/events 16


Poetry—Neetha Kunaratnam (OH 1994) First published in The North (No 52) and upcoming in his collection ‘Just Because’ (Smokestack Books), out this month. It also features a poem about an assembly from the early 90s that has stayed with him ever since. A Murder of crows… A pity of pine forests A muddle of strategists A gleam of lawsuits A back-track of economists A pittance of philanthropists A bling of retail therapists A nut-rub of shoppers A sulk of cashiers A cufflink of Henrys A hurrah of haberdashers A fidget of lovers A filigree of fetishists A muster of matriarchs A strap-on of oligarchs A hush-hush of committees A skid mark of scandals A fistful of footballers A studs-up of politicians A sadness of soldiers A plunder of paparazzi A slugfest of screenplays A rumble of Mafiosi A joust of bloggers A callus of critics A geddit of comics An ugh of urbanites An exhaustion of metaphors A bamboozle of etceteras 18

Croxdale Road Club House – The New Look


Colin Blessley OHA President n recent years, the number of issues which arose with the facilities at the club house had risen to a level which made it increasingly difficult to satisfy the requirements of its main users, in particular the rugby and cricket clubs, as well as guests and supporters.

The problems were causing the repairs and maintenance costs to spiral to alarming magnitudes. The situation was clearly unsustainable. The structure of the original building, which was erected by volunteer OH labour, ended at the right-hand side of the kitchen serving hatch, and dates from the mid-1930s, with an extension added and inaugurated in 1952. This added the current lounge – complete with open fireplace – and the bar area. Some time later, the residential accommodation for the steward and family was added. The Arthur Jenkins Memorial extension was built onto the end of the club house in the early 1960s. At the time that these works were carried out, the construction methods and materials were probably adequate but, lately, they had suffered increasingly from the passage of time, wear-and-tear and the elements. Of greatest concern was the overall weatherproofing of the building – there was regular water ingress, even at times of moderate rainfall. This meant that, despite previous sporadic patchwork attempts to remedy these problems, the damage being caused would almost certainly lead to the premises becoming unusable, with unavoidable terminal consequences for the activities of the Association and its affiliated sporting clubs. The changing rooms were in poor condition, compounded by deficiencies in the supply of hot water and the showering system which meant that, on too many occasions, players were unable to clean up properly after 80 minutes in the Croxdale Road mud. The toilet facilities were not at all palatable, either. 19

The floorboards were allowing cold draughts to enter through the gaps, the original Crittal windows provided no thermal barrier whatsoever and the slatted false ceiling with the void above all conspired to drive the heating bills to dizzying heights. The kitchen was a constant source of problems, which seemed to always come to a head at the weekends when Pauline had to provide cooked food for the gathered throng. Furthermore, the stewards’ accommodation was in a poor state of repair. So, it was clear that something had to be done on a scale which we had never contemplated hitherto. At the meeting of the Association’s Executive Committee chaired by the President, Colin Blessley (elder son of Ken, who had been involved in the original construction and both the subsequent extensions), he proposed that a significant sum be appropriated from the OHA Life Membership Investment Fund to carry out a far-reaching refurbishment of the property. This proposal was agreed unanimously. David Heasman selflessly volunteered to lead and coordinate the refurbishment project. With hindsight, he probably did not realise how much he was taking on. It soon transpired that, among the OHRFC membership, we were fortunate to have two stalwarts who were superbly qualified to participate actively in the project – Mickey Fenner and Mark Plausin. These three club members have played a critical key role in the whole endeavour, coordinating the efforts of all the different trades involved in the work. We owe them all an enormous debt of gratitude. A schedule of works was drawn up, together with cost estimates, which indicated that the overall programme was achievable for the amount of funds set aside. We started with the task of making the whole building weatherproof, which entailed significant repairs to the roofing, which were successfully carried out. The asbestos cladding in the boiler out-house was removed by a specialised firm – a costly exercise. The board flooring was removed throughout, from the changing rooms to the door to the Jenkins Memorial extension. This revealed below all sorts of horror stories – rotten joists and plenty more. These matters were rectified and the floor replaced throughout, to be later completed with a vinyl covering, new carpet in the bar lounge area and engineered wood around the bar. The concrete floor in the shower area was repaired in places. 20


The steel-framed, single-glazed windows of the whole building (including the bungalow) were replaced with uPVC frames and double glazing, which has made a tremendous difference to energy efficiency, as well as the general comfort and feel of the social area. The plumbing system was upgraded to cater for the additional demand which the increased number of showers would generate, as well as the additional toilet facilities. A new boiler had already been installed some months before. The shower area was re-floored and the walls re-clad, prior to installing additional showers. We are currently resolving some residual teething-problems with the new system. While retaining the previous changing room layout, these were completely upgraded. In addition, the old PortaKabin was falling apart and leaking like a sieve. Through the good offices of the OHRFC, led by Ian McCarthy, we secured a reconditioned replacement in an excellent state of repair, which has now been fitted out and connected to the changing room corridor – a major improvement for the players. The former 1st XV changing room has had storage compartments installed, which means that the clutter that invaded the former main entrance now has a proper home. As one of the key objectives was to make the facilities more fit for purpose, as well as compliant with current building regulations, we decided to completely renovate the ladies cloakroom and create a disabled facility with easy access. A lighter (both colour – white – and weight) floating false ceiling was installed throughout to replace the wooden slats which, in addition to providing better insulation qualities, allowed the installation of more efficient LED downlighting for the whole building. This has dramatically improved the internal daylight level and contrasts very sympathetically with the new internal wood panel wall covering, which extends to the frontage of the bar. Wall lights have been fixed on the window wall and spotlights mounted in the fireplace alcove (which has been retained by popular demand) to illuminate the WW2 OHRFC and Nick Taylor memorial plaques. For many years, the outside entrance next to the bar had become the habitual means of entry to the building, other than for players headed to the changing rooms. We decided that the former main entrance needed to be restored to fulfil its original purpose – a suitably impressive introduction to the building and act as a showcase for the OHA and affiliated clubs. This has now been achieved with a finishing consistent with that used in the main social area. 22

Behind the scenes in areas not necessarily visible to the visitor, there has also been much done. The stewards’ bungalow has been refurbished throughout, including a complete new bathroom fit-out. Slightly more evident is the work that has been carried out in the kitchen. The serving hatch and work-top have been extended, additional storage space created, new kitchen units installed and new appliances connected. In the “cellar” area behind the bar, similar improvements have been made, resulting in better storage space and ease of access. There has been a general re-paint to ensure that doors and other areas of woodwork are finished to a consistent standard. The project would not have been complete without work on the rather tired-looking bar counter. As mentioned earlier, the frontage has been recovered consistent with the remainder of the social area to conserve the flow of the overall appearance. A new bar-top counter was installed, which dramatically improves the overall appearance. A 55” smart TV has been hung next to the bar to enable sport to be watched by a vastly increased number of people – thanks are due to the OHRFC and OHCC for funding this. It would have been a major error to have retained the old furniture, after having gone to such lengths to improve the overall fabric. The dilapidated chairs were added to the vast quantity of materials and debris that were evacuated in industrial-sized skips. The refectory tables were given new tops. Ian McCarthy scoured the internet and, incredibly, located 70+ chairs near Birmingham. Mark Plausin rented a van and drove to the Midlands to collect them. They are high-quality, look great and should last at least as many years as the items that they replaced! Finally, Rodney Jakeman, with the help of Mark, again, who restored the brass and bronze plaques close to their original glory, took on the task of assembling, organising, reviewing and restoring the enormous number of team photos, shields and other memorabilia that had been accumulating over the years. With David Heasman’s help, these have now been re-hung together with the honours boards in the entrance lobby, the main social area and above the bar to form a very impressive and pleasing display, reflecting the many years of our history. Perhaps one of the greatest accolades that could be heard regarding the benefits of all this effort has come from our steward, Pauline Howard, who has commented that she has never known the building to be so warm! 23

There are still a number of areas where work is needed – the interior of the Jenkins Memorial extension, which we would ideally like to restore to its former use as the “Saloon Bar”, as well as the exterior of this and the original club house. We will be reviewing what can be achieved here at a bearable cost. Hopefully, this additional work will be the subject of a further instalment of this series.


The First World War. Aftermath and Reckoning Dr John Wigley In the previous edition of OH Notes, Dr John Wigley described the impact of the First World War on the four Haberdashers' boys' schools. In this edition he recounts the effect of the War on


those schools and on the nation.

n 7 November 1918 a German armistice delegation passed through the Allied lines on the Western Front and signed the Armistice at 5.00 a.m. on the 11th. It came into force at 11.00 a.m. When news reached Britain, church bells were rung, work ceased, and crowds cheered and danced through the streets; in London civilians and troops celebrated for three days before the police restored order. For many families, however, it was bitter peace; 750,000 men from the United Kingdom had lost their lives and about 1,500,000 men were permanently weakened by wounds and poison gas. Wilfred Owen’s parents heard the victory peals as they received the telegram telling them of their son’s death. Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, reflected that, “The nations turned from the War wounded in body, in economic order, and still more deeply wounded in soul.” Despite the Allied triumph the reputation of Britain’s armed forces had suffered. The army had not fully recovered the prestige it had forfeited in the Boer War. Defeats at the Dardanelles and at Kut were not easily balanced by victories such as Allenby’s capture of Jerusalem from the Turks in December 1917. The loss of life on the Western Front was not easily assuaged by the collapse of Germany’s allies and the disintegration of her army in France during the autumn of 1918, which led to ultimate victory. The Royal Navy, regarded as invincible since Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar in 1805, had had several early shocks. Between 6 August and 27 October 1914 two British warships were sunk by mines and four by submarines. On 25 3

November German battle cruisers raided Yarmouth and on 16 December bombarded West Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby. On 3 November von Spee was the victor at Coronel but on 8 December the victim at the Falkland Islands. Dogger Bank, on 15 January 1915, was a British victory but Beatty’s battle cruisers missed a chance to wipe out Hipper’s squadron. At Jutland, during the night of 31 May to 1 June 1916, with Admiral Jellicoe in command of the Grand Fleet, Britain’s losses were heavier than Germany’s, and Beatty’s ships were booed when they returned to Rosyth. Nineteen years after Dogger Bank C.R.M.F. Cruttwell, who in April 1915 had been in the trenches near Ypres, commented in his History of the Great War: “The issue was humiliating for us. The enemy could at least boast of violating our coastal immunity, in the most spectacular way since the Dutch sailed up the Medway [in 1667].” Of Jutland he wrote: “In few battles in history has the palm of victory been so long and bitterly disputed. Against their own losses, they [the Germans] could set the destruction of nearly twice the tonnage and more than twice the personnel of their enemies. In technique their superiority was clear…[British] Disappointment with the result was bitter…” Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915, and therefore less critical of the Grand Fleet’s quality, reached a similar conclusion about Jutland in The World Crisis: “To this supreme instrument [the Grand Fleet] had been devoted the best of all that Britain could give for many years. It was vastly superior to its opponents in numbers, tonnage, speed, and above all gun power, and was at least equal in discipline, individual skill and courage. The disappointment of all ranks was deep; and immediately there arose reproaches and recriminations…” However, unlike after the Boer War, there were few attempts to reform Britain’s armed forces. Appointed to the War Office in January 1919, Churchill reduced the army in size so quickly that it would have been difficult to impose the terms of the treaty being drafted at Versailles if Germany had rejected them. Fortunately, German representatives signed the Peace Treaty on 28 June 1919 and on Saturday 19 July the official Victory Parade was held in London. Within weeks four out of five men serving with the British army had been demobilised. Lloyd George told the service chiefs to plan on the assumption that there would be no major war for ten years, the Ten Year Rule. In 1922 Britain signed the Washington Naval Treaty and 26

abandoned the two-power standard. With a benevolent USA, and Japan and Russia not yet serious threats, Britain might still be able to defend its Empire, now augmented by former German colonies in Africa and Turkish territory in the Middle East. A partial exception to these reductions was the Royal Air Force, which had benefited from many technological advances, and was controlled by Churchill at the Air Ministry. Before the war the Air Force had existed as two institutions, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. In 1914 the RFC had 63 aeroplanes. As more were brought into service they were used in cooperation with the army; as observers for artillery, to repel enemy fighters, and to carry out tactical bombing. However, as German Zeppelin and bomber raids intensified over England the Smuts Report of October 1917 recommended reprisal bombing raids. In response, Lloyd George set up an Air Ministry, with Trenchard, head of the RFC, chief of staff to a new Royal Air Force. Trenchard convinced Churchill of the RAF’s strategic value in the defence of the Empire. When Churchill moved to the Colonial Office in February 1920 he began to use the RAF to police and suppress opposition to British control of Iraq. In November 1918 Aske’s School (Hatcham, South London) greeted the Armistice with relief, but held no formal celebration. News of OA deaths was still coming in. The Askean of December 1918 bore obituaries of nine OAs. Two had fallen on 8 August, the first day of the Allied offensive that finally ended the war. During the Autumn Term boys were still being called up. Even in April 1919 the Askean found it hard to realise that the “heavy cloud that had darkened the sky” had at last disappeared. Mr. Falkner and Lts. Legge and Norquoy had only just been demobbed. Two of the boys recently called up had returned to the school, cadet Sergeant Richards to resume his duties as Chief Instructor of Bayonet Fighting. The first Old Boys Day since July 1914 was held on 19 July 1919, which served as the school community’s own victory ceremony. After lunch, the Loyal Toast and the National Anthem, the President of the OAs spoke. “He referred to the joy and relief at the happy ending of the strife and sorrow, to the part that OAs had taken in the conflict, and to the memory of those whose sacrifice had made possible the celebration of peace that day, National Joy Day.” Mr. Falkner, the headmaster, recalled that “Old Askeans had given their lives, gallantly and willingly for the great cause, and it was the duty of every Askean to see that the memory of the dead and wounded of their School was kept alive.” 27

Aske’s did not issue a final list of those who served in the Forces or of those who were decorated. Lists in the Askean indicate that at least 750 served. They included H.F. Geary, who had resigned his commission in the Royal Navy and migrated to Canada, but enlisted in the Canadian Army and fought on the Western Front, being promoted to Major. The Askean lists show that OAs were awarded nine Military Crosses, eight Military Medals (one with bar), three Distinguishes Service Orders (including one “mentioned”), and two Distinguished Conduct Medals, and five others had been mentioned in despatches (including Major Geary). One had won the Legion of Honour and French Military Cross, a second the French Military Cross, a third the Croix de Guerre, and a fourth the Italian Silver Medal for Valour. Capt. F.R.A. Glanville, son of H.J. Glanville, MP, held the MC and had been “mentioned”, and the December 1919 Army List records that his MC bore two clasps (a synonym for bars). To be continued in the next edition....

TIES TIES TIES OHA and House Ties Buy yours at https://www.oldhabs.com/shop We are also looking to sell CCF Ties if the demand is high enough. Please email admin@oldhabs.com should you be interested.


Russ Hakes (1961) 28th October 2018 It is with much sadness that the family of Russell Barrington Hakes announce his unexpected passing at the age of 73 years. Russ is lovingly remembered by his wife, Joan; his sons, Andrew (Jacqui) and Ian (Julie); his grandchildren Ronan, Sara, Bailey, and Ben; and numerous other friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his father, William, and his mother, Euphemia. Russ touched many lives in the Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Edmonton, and Winnipeg areas.

Alan Taylor MBE (Staff 19611996) 23rd November 2018


Alan Taylor, former Director of Music at Haberdashers, passed away at lunchtime on 23rd November 2018 at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. Alan was a chorister at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and graduated with an honours degree in Music followed by a post-graduate Diploma in Education. A first post as a Head of Music in Nottinghamshire was followed by his recruitment to Haberdashers in 1961 by the then Headmaster, Tom Taylor (no relation). On the retirement through ill health of Dr Eric McLellan one year later, Alan was rapidly appointed Director of Music at Habs, a role which he held for the following 34 years. As teacher, composer, conductor and choirmaster, Alan oversaw and led performances of the School Choir at the Royal Opera House, the annual Christmas Carol Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and latterly at The Barbican. Generations of Habs boys benefited from his inspirational teaching and his ability to coax the very best out of his choirs. Recordings of concerts made during those 35 years still bear testament to this. Some OHs will also remember him as a skilful Fives player and teacher. Out of school, Alan worked with all the major conductors and his choirs were continually in demand for performances in the London concert halls, taking part in many broadcasts, Promenade Concerts and recordings. His contribution to Music and Music Education was recognised in 1982 with the award of an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Very appropriately the day that Alan died was, of course, St Cecilia’s Day, the patron Saint of Music, and the final carol Alan composed (The Cradle) is due to be sung at the School’s Carol Service at St Albans Cathedral three weeks after his passing. A Memorial Service is to be held at St Albans Cathedral at 2pm on Monday 18th February 2019. All are most welcome to attend. Some Tributes to Alan "Always thankful for his voice coaching. Because of that I sang in the RAH and the RFH as well as the Carol Service at St Martin's in the Fields, facts my friends find hard to believe these days..." Alan Newman (1974) 30

"I vividly remember not only the first piece of classical music that moved me, but also the circumstances of Alan Taylor playing it 55 years ago. The music was the oboe theme in Dvorak's New World Symphony. It may sound contrived, but I do think of that occasion every time I hear it. I was in St David's Hall Cardiff listening to Dvorak's 8th last week, I am rather sad it was not the 9th." Dr David Webb (1965) "An inspiration to me throughout my Habs years, my favourite teacher who took me right through A-level music. RIP Mr Taylor, you’ve truly influenced the lives of many" Carl Hughes "A lovely kind man - he helped me get to the RAH to sing and the Royal Festival Hall and other places too - thank you for your inspiration. He was patient and encouraging. Condolences to his family - a true legend." Clive Hyman (1979) " I came to Habs with a fairly casual interest in music. Alan Taylor had such an impact on me that I ended up taking a degree in it. I have nothing but wonderful memories of this kind and inspirational man." Edward Potter (2000) "Without him, I would never have had the opportunity to sing at the Royal Opera House (as a street urchin no less!), Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican or the Festival Hall – although one performance I seem to recall clashed memorably with the 1990 Grand Slam decider between Scotland and England." Benedict Bermange (1995) "Very sorry to hear about Alan Taylor - absolutely fantastic Director of Music, inspirational choirmaster with great sense of humour which in no way reduced his insistence on the highest standards. Great fun being in the school choirs, and he gave me and countless other boys a wonderful introduction to music. Without doubt one of the best ever teachers at Habs." Julian Goater (1971) 31

“I was saddened to hear of Alan Taylor's death. For those of us of a certain age, the highlight of our choral careers at Habs was the trip to Berlin in July 1971 to perform the Bach B Minor Mass. That was a unique experience in every way and in many ways only happened due to Alan's drive and enthusiasm. Some will not know that the whole business nearly fell through as the organisers wanted a smaller choir. Alan stood his ground and eventually a choir of well over 100 flew from Stansted to Tegel early one morning after having spent the previous night camped out in Aldenham House. Some of the extra-curricular activities on the trip, including Jack Browning's (temporary) detention on the other side of Checkpoint Charlie, are probably for another day... I also look back fondly on the annual Carol Services at St Martin-in-theFields, "A Time for Growing" at the Royal Albert Hall and Spud's retirement concert at the Royal Festival Hall. I was privileged to join a number of Old Haberdashers and Old Henrietta Barnett Girls who returned to Elstree in 1996 to take part in Alan's retirement concert. Since then our paths crossed only once, at the 1974 leavers' 30-year reunion, but I shall never forget him and the way he encouraged my love of music of all kinds. Ollie Beak, as we all knew him (but never dared call him!), is now reunited with his beloved Julia. May he rest in peace.” John Nuttall (1974) “Very sad news. I sang bass in Alan’s final school concert in 1996 (I think); the feeling of Zadok the Priest from a full choir including old boys and a full orchestra will be with me forever” James Schofield (1997)


OH Rugby Football Club


he 2018/19 season started with 1XV looking forward to a second season at Level 6 in London 1 North, AXV/2XV aiming to defend their Middlesex Merit 1 title and a newly refurbished clubhouse at our home, "The Fortress" Croxdale Road

While the clubhouse took on a thoroughly modern and high spec look thanks to the fantastic efforts of the "refurb party", the long hot summer meant the usual croquet pitch we play on had more cracks and crevices than the Grand Canyon. This mattered not to new skipper Jonny Whittle and his team as the 1XV launched into their opponents - using the immaculate school pitch - with gusto and got off to a splendid start. A return to The Fortress in early November saw this continue with a record at Christmas of P13, W8, L5 and OHRFC sitting pretty at 5th in the 33

league. Nothing befits the mantra of Old Habs as a truly amateur club than comments from supporters of semi-pro teams we compete against such as "can't believe you have no coaches and don't train"! The AXV/2XV had a more challenging start under new skipper Carl Stevenson with the first half of the season peppered with injuries and a shortage of experienced hands, more especially in the pack, a traditional Old Habs strength. That said Carl led by example, packing down in the second row as opposed to taking his usual place in the centres! An influx of new and young talent has been an ongoing theme with club debuts seemingly taking place each week. The Middx Merit league record stands at P11, W4, L7, but that hides the fact the AXV/2XV are a mere two wins and two places from a play-off spot, which should give added impetus into 2019. Add to that their Middx Merit cup run sees the team into the semi-finals, taking on old rivals HAC 2s in Jan-19 In keeping with our much cherished amateur status, the rugby club has made full use of the fantastic new surroundings and held a number of well attended social functions. These include "themed evenings" as well as the increasingly popular Past Player Lunches. More are planned in 2019 when players, supporters and OHA members will look to toast the continued success of the mighty Blue White & Magentamen!!


OH Football Club

The highlight of the season so far has, of course, been the much anticipated move back to Elstree from Chiswick. Matches are being played on the magnificent school pitches with post game teas back at the clubhouse in Borehamwood. Sadly the results have not gone our way but, with a fair wind, we hope that these will start to improve in the second half of the season. Moving back locally is attracting more players and they should soon be embedded within the squad, leading to improvements. To register to play or for further information please email: ohfcfixtures@gmail.com

Save The Date OHA Annual Dinner 2019 Thursday 2nd May 2019


OH Cricket Club

Devon Tour. Lewis Jenkins on his way to his hundred at Exeter


e left you with a cliff-hanger, when the last Old Boys’ Notes were published in August, as to whether the 1st XI in the last three weeks of the season would be able to avoid relegation from Division 4A of the Herts’ League. In true Haberdashers’ spirit the Club made hard work of it when in the first of the final matches they managed to contrive a defeat from a strong position of 1492 when batting first at North Mymms. Captain Rhys Jenkins anchored the innings with 60 but the lower order collapsed with 8 wickets going down for 23 runs but 182 nevertheless still seemed to be a competitive total. The O.H. bowling seemed to be in control with wickets falling at regular intervals and again with North Mymms struggling at 137-8 victory looked secure but as you all know ‘cricket is a funny game’ and an undefeated ninth wicket partnership of 46 managed to snatch away the win as with one ball left one of the Club’s most experienced bowlers contrived to bowl a leg-side wide to finish the match. Two to go and the Saturday following tour saw second placed Chipperfield Clarendon roll in to Croxdale Road. For those of you who had been paying attention, you may recall that in the first fixture at their home ground Chipperfield had run up a massive 325-4 in their 50 overs, the highest ever conceded by the Old Boys in a league fixture, but not this time! Batting first our visitors seemed all at sea on anything that wasn’t their perfect home batting strip. The O.H. slows, newcomer Hasit Mehta (3-26) and vet36

eran Simon Gelber (5-10) ripped through their batting after our visitors made a very strong start which saw them at 108-1 before collapsing to 128 all out. Mind you the Old Boys’ did try to similarly mess it up when from 106-3, four quick wickets saw an attack of the jitters, only settled when schoolboy cricketer Taif Choudhury finished it all off in double quick time with a four and two sixes – oh the fearlessness of youth – and gained the Club the 30 points to finally move well clear of any possibility of dropping down the League. The final match of 2018 saw a massive victory against the once mighty Cheshunt. O.H.C.C. batting first and with the pressure released, on another hot summer’s afternoon, compiled a huge 318-7 in the allocated overs. An opening partnership of 168 between Hugh Brannan (131) and Aayush Pindoria (78) another of our School cricketers meant that the Old Boys were always in control. In response Cheshunt were always struggling as Sami Ali (3-18) took out the top order and their final total of 199 gave the Old Boys yet another 30 points leading to an eighth place finish in the table and very well clear of any relegation threat. The 2nd XI finished the season very much on the up, with a second victory against Berkhamsted in the return fixture at Croxdale Road. The O.H.C.C. 229-8 anchored by Pavan Surepeddi’s 68 always looked a winning total and thus it proved as the visitors subsided to 98 all out with a solid all round bowling performance. Northwood Town disappointingly conceded the penultimate match of the season and finally St. Albans were put to the sword when they were restricted to a well below par 122-9. Rishi Nainani batted through for 57* and victory was secured by eight wickets with lots and lots of overs to spare. A final league position of fourth after the stuttering start to the season was not bad an end result. The vagaries of the points systems in the lower divisions remain a mystery with average points for conceded matches certainly hampering this year’s chances. The O.H. 2nd XI actually ended with only one win fewer than the league runner’s up and with two fewer losses but in reality, quite a few points behind them. Additional to the weekly matches in the Herts. League, the Club again took the road to Devon at the end of August, this year being the 53rd such tour and in 2108 the six matches in the West Country were played in glorious unbroken sunshine with three victories against Yarcombe & Stockland, Heathcoat and Exeter, two losses at Kilmington and Sidmouth and a tied match after a recount at Cullompton! 37

OHCC 2018. Back row. Darren Fabray, Athman Sivakumar, Simon Gelber, Sami Ali, Hasit Mehta,Taif Choudhury. Front row. Aayush Pindoria, Lewis Jenkins, Rhys Jenkins (c) Hugh Brannan, Stuart Haring

Cricketing highlights of the week saw half-centuries for Athman Sivakumar and Shajeen Shailendra at Yarcombe; 88 for Sami Ali and 3-16 for Hasit Mehta at Kilmington; Taif Choudhury, 63 in the Heatcoat match; a second century of the season for Lewis Jenkins at Exeter; Cullompton brought 57 for Stuart Haring and on the bowling side 4-46 for Lewis Jenkins and 4-55 for Meekesh Shah and finally 44 more runs for Taif in the Sidmouth match. As that match finished on Friday afternoon the heavens opened forcing the Red Arrows display scheduled at Sidmouth that night to be cancelled. The season came to a fitting conclusion with the Annual Dinner in the Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground at the end of October with yet another superb meal produced by the MCC chefs and we were pleased to welcome as our guests Roger Llewellyn from the School and Tony Johnson, chairman of the Herts. Cricket League who gave us a short insight as to where they see cricket in the League going in the next few years and emphasising the benefit and support that it gets from Saracens ongoing sponsorship of the whole competition. The underlying feeling of the evening was that the second half of the season had seen a real change of attitude and commitment following the mid-season change of leadership & if this success can be carried into the 2019 campaign the prospects look most encouraging for both XIs. Simon Gelber (1973) (Hon Treasurer) 38

OH Golf Society


new fixture was played against Old Cholmeleians at Porters Park in September which was a good event and resulted in a 3 1 victory for the OHGS.

The final event was our annual Autumn meeting at Gerrards Cross played on a warm October day with 17 attending. Very good day as usual and the overall winner was John Ratcliffe. (A number of new players have taken part during the season.) The usual number of events is being planned for the 2019 season -Please contact Peter Mackie (peter@redcombpubs.co.uk) or Robert Clarke


OH Rifle Club he Rifle Club is in hibernation until March.

The club has had a moderate year, with some good individual achievements. Chris Fitzpatrick made the finals of the Queens Prize and the St Georges this year and has been selected as a member of the GB Veterans Team that will compete in the World Long-range Rifle Championships in New Zealand in January/ February 2019 - we wish him every success Dick Winney 39

OH Lodge (No. 3362)


he Haberdashers' Aske's School and Freemasonry have enjoyed a long and distinguished association over many years. The Haberdashers' Aske's Lodge is now in its 111th year.

The Lodge has a very special, friendly, Haberdashers’ feel with a significant number of the Brethren of the Lodge being Old Boys, but this is not prerequisite to becoming a member. We have members representing the recent and not so recent eras of the school’s past, including last year’s Master, Andrew Sinclair who left the Haberdashers’ School in 2001, together with the longest serving lodge member, David Wolff, who was at the school in the 1930s! It is of note that David celebrated his 95th Birthday last year on 13th December 2017 and in March 2018, had been a member of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge for 70 years! We meet four times a year on a Saturday at the prestigious Freemason's Hall in London and enjoy friendship and goodwill in a delightfully relaxed Habs style, with dinner at conclusion of our meetings. Many of our members live in London and the Home Counties whilst others 40 travel to our meetings from as far away as Norfolk, Devon, France and

Switzerland. We have a healthy tradition of reciprocal visits between our Lodge and many other Freemasons' Lodges, which enriches the experience of our Lodge meetings and provides the opportunity to forge new friendships. Our charitable activities continue and this year we have donated charitable collections amounting to over ÂŁ1,500, which was distributed to the Metropolitan Masonic Charity Appeal for London's Air Ambulance. Our Ladies Luncheon is held during the late summer in Aldenham House when family and friends join members of the Lodge to enjoy good food and company, with an informal tour of the school and grounds thrown in for good measure! If you think you might be interested in joining us or would just like to find out more, we would welcome your enquiry. The Lodge secretary is Rishi S Loatey (OH 1994) who can be contacted via email on habslodgesec@gmail.com The Lodge website is at www.haberdashersaskeslodge.com where further details of our activities including background, dates and further contact information can be found.

Advertise in OH Notes This publication reaches over 3,000 Old Habs readers plus their families. Please help us to produce future editions whilst putting your company on to the coffee table of Professors, Doctors, Accountants, Lawyers and Comedians... For rates etc please email admin@oldhabs.com 41

Past Presidents 1888-93 R.W. HINTON

1934-35 L.P. BATSON

1976-77 L.F. BROWN

1893-96 W.J. JONES

1935-36 J.E.G. MOODY

1977-78 J.A.R. BEAUMONT

1896-97 W.C. WITT

1936-37 P.G. MACDONALD

1978-79 B.H. MCGOWAN

1897-98 S. PHILLIPS

1937-38 D.L.I. EVANS

1979-80 P.J. STEVENSON

1898-99 A.S.K. SCARF

1938-45 L.J. GOOCH

1980-81 A.G. BUCHANAN

1899-1900 W.H. BARKER

1945-46 H. NORMAN

1981-82 A.T. WHITE

1900-01 H.K. SELMAN

1946-47 W.R. CLEMENS

1982-83 C.R.B. JAKEMAN

1901-02 H.G. DOWNER

1947-48 W.H. CROSSMAN

1983-84 D.A. JAMES

1902-03 C.E. NEWBEGIN

1948-49 F.H. YALE

1984-85 B.A. GOODMAN

1903-04 H.M. WAYNFORTH

1949-50 A.G. JENKINS

1985-86 G.T. WHEAL

1950-51 DR T.W. TAYLOR

1986-87 J.G. STAGG

1905-06 H.A. HARMER

1951-52 A.N. BONWICK

1987-88 P. ALTERMAN

1906-07 W.A. LYTHABY

1952-53 S.H. BEAN

1988-89 N. FORSYTH

1907-08 G.J. FREEMAN

1953-54 S.E. PHILLIPS

1989-90 A.F. COOPER

1908-09 H.F. BROOKS

1954-55 T.N. MCEVOY

1990-91 P.J.S. VACHER

1909-10 V.J. MOULDER

1955-56 G. BATCHELOR

1991-92 A.J.S. ALEXANDER

1910-11 E.J.G. SMEE

1956-57 P.C. BROOKER

1992-93 P.J. EGAN

1911-12 C.J.L. WAGSTAFF

1957-58 G.G. LLOYD

1993-94 M.J. BOVINGTON

1912-13 W. PADDOCK

1958-59 F.A. JACKMAN

1994-95 A.K. DAWSON

1913-18 W.C. BRETT

1959-60 L.J. MILLER

1995-96 R.M. KIPPS

1918-19 W. PADDOCK

1960-61 REV. A.M. MANN

1996-97 C.R.B. JAKEMAN

1919-20 H.B.P. HUMPHRIES

1961-62 C.G. GARDNER


1920-21 REV. F.J. KEMP

1962-63 K.H. BLESSLEY

1998-99 A.E. MORRIS

1921-22 REV. W.H. BRAINE

1963-64 M.J. JACKMAN

1999-00 A.M. NEWTON

1922-23 K. MCMILLAN

1964-65 J.B. BLOWFELD

2000-01 H.E. COUCH

1923-24 J.N. GREEN

1965-66 D.A. BLESSLEY

2001-02 A.J. PHIPPS

1924-25 H. PARKER

1966-67 D.W. WELLS

2002-03 D.J. BROWN

1925-26 H.H. CHAPLIN

1967-68 E. CINNAMON


1926-27 S.H. NORTON

1968-69 J.S. ALEXANDER

2004-05 D.J. HEASMAN

1927-28 G.C LUNDBERG

1969-70 E.T. PURCELL

2005-08 A.P.S. NEWMAN

1928-29 H.E. DULCKEN

1970-71 N.A.H. JAMES

2008-10 H.A. HYMAN

1929-30 L.J. HASKINS

1971-72 E.H. AMSTEIN

2010-12 J.A. CORRALL

1930-31 A.C. MANN

1972-73 R.A. BENGE

2012-15 C.P. BLESSLEY

1931-32 S.E. WAVELL

1973-74 P. ALTERMAN

2015-16 M.S. BAKER

1932-33 W.F. SERBY

1974-75 C.J. ROBINSON

2016 - C.P. BLESSLEY

1933-34 J. LUCAS

1975-76 D.G. KENWARD

1904-05 J.H. TOWNEND


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