OHRFC Past Players Lunches – OHA Sports Ground
Philip Alterman, sporting his School Rugby Honours Cap, discussing the decline in the art of hooking with match sponsor and “mad hatter” Simon Gresswell at the Past Players lunch on 20th April
The past players and their guests thoroughly enjoyed a grand total of 7 lunches during the season. People came from all over the country to meet old friends and watch some excellent rugby. With a regular attendance of around 50 people these lunches are now a firm feature of the club’s social programme and each month are eagerly anticipated. If you would like to join the happy throng, contact Club President Ian McCarthy (email@example.com).
Post Lunch spectators – Philip and Simon Alterman, Jerry Hardy, Roger Walters, Martin Baker, Peter Mackie and touch judge Simon Gresswell
Past Presidents Lunch 23rd March 2013
DONALD WELLS (’48) 1966 – 1967, PHILIP ALTERMAN (’49) 1973 – 1974 and 1987 – 1988, RODNEY JAKEMAN (’61) 1982 – 1983 and 1996 – 1997, DAVID JAMES (’47) 1983 – 1984, NEIL FORSYTH (’45) 1988 – 1989, PETER VACHER (’55) 1990 – 1991, TONY ALEXANDER (’61) 1991 – 1992, JOHN EGAN (’56) 1992 – 1993, MICHAEL BOVINGTON (’51) 1993 – 1994, ALAN MORRIS (’55) 1998 – 1999, HAROLD COUCH (’54) 2000 – 2001, ALAN PHIPPS (’68) 2001 – 2002, GRAHAM MACFARLANE (’61) 2003 – 2004, DAVID HEASMAN (’59) 2004 – 2005, ALAN NEWMAN (’74) 2005 – 2008, HARRY HYMAN (’74) 2008 – 2010, COLIN BLESSLEY (’65) 2012, IAN MCCARTHY OHRFC, ALAN NEWMAN (’81) OHCC, DICK WINNEY (’60) OHRC
On what was supposed to be a fine Spring day, Colin Blessley, our President welcomed 16 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. (Report by Graham MacFarlane)
1970’s Reunion at the School –13th March 2013
(report taken from the School’s Facebook site)
In the photograph, Neil Mendoza (Meadows 1977) reminds Howie Turner (Strouts 1977) of his rugby achievements at Habs!
Approximately 100 old boys and former members of staff from the 1970s gathered at Habs to reminisce and rekindle old friendships.
After a greeting by Headmaster Peter Hamilton at a formal 'school assembly', guests were led on tours around the campus by prefects. They then returned to the Bourne Hall for a short concert by the Habs Big Band and then a reflection on the school and the strength of its house system (despite the ending of house lunches) by Michael Cook, former Head of the Middle School. A school dinner followed, and the evening concluded with an address by Mr Hamilton on his vision for the school into the future, and suggestions from Dr Spence on the various ways that old boys and other members of the Habs community could help to achieve those ambitions.
Leavers from the 1990’s – Reunion Thursday 21st February 2013. The Bishops Finger, West Smithfield
Normally the venue for a bleary-eyed Haberdashers’ after-party, the Bishop’s Finger in Smithfield was centre stage for the 1990s reunion. Whilst a more vigorous and fresh 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 50, 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 1998) on firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to get involved.
Fathers and Sons Dinner – OHA Clubhouse
Friday 1st February 2013
After 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 fence-posts 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, your correspondent 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 me at email@example.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)
OHCC Annual Dinner – Lords, 8th November 2012
A small but elite number of members and guests were welcomed by new President, Alan Newman for the latest Old Haberdashers’ Cricket Club dinner on Thursday 8th November 2012. As has been the case ever since the Old Boys first went to Lord’s for their annual gathering, in 1997, the home of cricket was most welcoming and the food for this occasion reached new heights. A menu comprising terrine of duck, ham, foie gras and sweetbreads was historic, the lamb noisettes were stupendous and the spiced apple tarte tatin for dessert as well as being outrageously gluttonous also filled any spare stomach cavities remaining.
Following this feast Alan welcomed everyone to the dinner particularly mentioning the new President of the O.H.A., Colin Blessley and master-in-charge of School cricket, Stephen Charlwood and thanked them for their attendance. He then went on to comment on what had been a very difficult season for the O.H.C.C. The weather had just about been the worse in living memory and had set the season off to a really disrupted start and set the tone for the rest of the year. Availability had been an issue and ultimately had led to the 2nd XI having to drop out the Herts League.
The 1st XI had also been badly affected by irregular availability as well as having more games washed out in their division of the league than any other club and in the end it all resulted in the 1st XI being relegated to Division 6 for the 2013 season. However, there had been some good games and some solid performances and this neatly led to the awards for the past season. The batting prize was fairly straightforward and was made to Athman Sivakumar for his solid progress throughout the season and especially his knock of 90* in the last game of the year against Parkfield.
On the other end of the age scale the bowling award was made to Simon Gelber for shouldering the burden of so much of the bowling during the season and ending, in this disrupted summer, as leading wicket taker. There was an additional award this year to longstanding umpire Andy Robinson in recognition of his years of service to the Club despite him living in relatively far flung Oxford. Robert Clarke received the Clubman of the year award.
Finally, the award of the President’s Cup for 2012 was made to Sami Ali who had to endure the trials and tribulations of the past year and did it all with good humour and still managed to score a few runs and take a few wickets on Saturday afternoons. It was a particularly well earned award this year.
In closing Alan thought that there were still enough people who cared about the Club and enough players with cricketing talent for the Club to stabilise its position in the next couple of years and to return the Club to its halcyon and successful days of former years.
Presidents Evening – The Mikado, Grim’s Dyke Hotel
Sunday 9th December 2012
A 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.
Jon Corrall conducting the serving of dinner...........
Retired Members Christmas Lunch – OH Clubhouse
Tuesday 11th December 2012
Bob Cattle and Geoff Strange catch up after the lunch
75 Old Haberdashers attended the Retired Members Christmas lunch at the Clubhouse. They enjoyed a fine 3 course meal, wine and the opportunity to catch up with old friends and reminisce. The lunches are held quarterly and all OH are welcome. If you are interested in attending in the future please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Powell and Peter Vacher enter into the festive spirit
OHA Quiz Night held at the Clubhouse - Friday 9th November
What 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!
1948 Joiners Lunch - Plough Inn, Enfield. October 4th 2012
Brian Willcocks - Lunch organiser raising a toast
On October 4th , 17 OH who joined the school in 1948 (double intake year: first and second forms) gathered at the Plough Inn, Crews Hill, Enfield, for what is now an established annual natterfest. The plan for these is simple: Arrive 11ish for tea/coffee, natter, sit down to a roast beef and apple pie lunch, natter, and intermediately sup a beer or two. The bonhomie generated at these events surprises me more each year, firm friendships developing with folk I only knew by sight at school. Perhaps distance is lending enchantment! This year we stayed at the tables after dining and had a round robin session, during which the recollections ranged from the whimsical to the incredulous...who would have thought Mousie had been a cross-country blue? The teaching, punishment and inspirational styles of many staff were recalled anecdotally, and the ‘things were different then’ theme at times bore close resemblance to the Yorkshiremen sketch (John Cleese et al).
The School, being common to us all, stayed as the dominant theme, rather than individuals’ biographies.
The moment for dispersal arrived gently at about 3.30 pm, with the reminder ringing in everyone’s ears that next year’s event is to be on October 10. Same place, same menu, same price £11.00.
If any other 1948ers (or close) are interested to attend, they are invited to send an email to me at email@example.com and I will ensure that they are included in the ongoing reminders and pestering to set the date aside. Or they can telephone me at: 01635 248564
Jon Corrall’s conversation with Frank Hanbidge – Sunday 13th October 2012
As with the writer W. H. Hudson the story started Far Away and Long Ago in Argentina. The birth certificate does not record the reassuring Frank Henry Hanbidge but Enrique Francisco. His father, however, was an Irishman, a protestant from the South. Such surprises emerged at the start of my interview with Frank which followed a typically English Sunday lunch in the clubhouse with 35 or so Old Haberdashers. It was a great pleasure to enjoy the company of former pupils. It is difficult to believe that we taught Toby Mitchell and Dave Ashley more than 25 years ago. The Scrimgeour twins are of a more recent vintage, but even then the Berlin Wall had only been down for 4 years.
Frank Hanbidge, who spent all of his teaching career teaching English at Habs. had a number of other responsibilities, the highlight being his role as Head of Sixth Form. His 35 years at Habs, qualified him for membership of the very exclusive Termites – something which I was denied having spent a mere 93 terms at Habs. They have very strict rules.
How did Frank’s education compare to Habs.? Once the family had returned to England, it was a very traditional Prep and Public school education, before going up to Oxford. Frank reminded us of the joys and sorrows that such a privileged education brings, but also how such an education led many Oxbridge graduates in those days to join the teaching profession.
Frank spoke amusingly and affectionately of colleagues who made a particular impact on him at Habs. He recalled how the English department contained three published writers. In those early days Simon Stuart, the son and brother of an Earl, who had won all the glittering prizes that life had to offer, had brought his rare gifts to the English Department, teaching in a very progressive and adventurous way. Michael Fitch was by general agreement an outstanding teacher, some of the inspiration coming, no doubt, from the clink of bottles lurking beneath the exercise books in his briefcase. We remembered Perry Keenlyside – who could forget Perry? – with his sense of style, profound cultural interests and incisive mind, and yet down to earth nature, snatched from us at far too young an age.
All this time it was the boys who kept Frank amused. Amongst the Haberdasher characteristics he numbered humour, confidence, argumentativeness, and along with all these the special respect for learning which particularly the Jewish pupils brought to the school. He also recalled with the glow of hindsight the great chicken theft from Aldenham Country Park, taken we heard to release at a Friday night party. It is a good and not entirely untypical example of boys’ ingenuity and initiative, and complete lack of judgment. Fortunately the chicken survived for it was a rare breed, and all ended well as the miscreants spent two days restoring an overgrown hedge, surely one of the longest hedges in the county. Another story involved the boy who had taken the day off school to go to Wimbledon. Rather misguidedly he had positioned himself next to the scoreboard, and despite all his denials his presence at the centre court match was plain for all to see on the television broadcast.
One of Frank’s greatest contributions to the School were his 6th form assembly talks which rank by general consent amongst the finest pieces of oratory witnessed at Habs. They could be about matters of great moment or quirky incidents or people. But they always brought home some important lesson. Once heard, never forgotten. It is not surprising that Frank revealed that an alternative profession might have been that of a barrister.
In between the hard facts were amusing anecdotes, including his legendary ‘citizen’s arrest’ armed only with a le Creuset saucepan, for which he received a letter of commendation from the Metropolitan police, all told with great wit and perfect timing. Frank had one final treat for the rapt audience as he recited a poem, the dramatic and macabre ‘Ballad of William Bloat’, told in a broad Ulster accent, suffused with the blackest humour. Do listen to it on Youtube.
As with all good acts, Frank left us wanting more, but it had already lasted well over an hour, and young and old declared the lunch and the interview to have been a great success. We are very grateful to Frank both for his memorable speech at the OHA dinner this year and, of course, for this splendid episode of ‘This is Your Life.’
The interview is available on Youtube via the OHA website under "Conversation with Frank Hanbidge".
West of England Dinner – 15th September 2012
See below for more pictures from the event.
In 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, 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.
Names of those present:
Jon Corrall (OHA President)
Robert and Veronica Crabb
Reg and Copper Howe
Rodney and Gillian Jakeman
Martin and Linda Fairley
John and Pamela Knowles-Brown
Keith and Mary Cheyney
Graham and Janet MacFarlane
Bob and Margaret Adams
Francis and Clare Judge
Retired Members Lunch - June 2012
The latest in our series of lunches for OH and retired members of the school staff took place at the OHA clubhouse in June. It was especially gratifying to welcome the return of Alan Taylor, the former Director of Music at the school, after a period of serious illness and to hear of John Wigley’s research into the connection between the school and the Olympics movement, especially pertinent in this, the year of the London games.
John had established that a party of boys from the school together with their teacher had attended the 1908 Games, the first to have been held in London, and was busily amassing memories from more recent participants and onlookers. Doubtless he would like to hear from anyone who could offer their own personal recollections, say, of the 1948 London Games or any others where an OH connection might exist. As ever, Pauline’s team produced an excellent lunch for us and we look forward to reconvening on September 11. If you would like to join us, please contact Peter Vacher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ladies Lunch - June 2012
The Ladies lunch held in June marked the 10th anniversary of our first gathering which took place at the Clubhouse in May 2002.
There was a record attendance of 27, more than half of whom had been at the inaugural meal. However we have been delighted to welcome a number of new faces over the years.
We are very lucky to have an excellent meal provided by the Pauline/ Kelly/ Natalie house-team, a glass of wine, convivial company and all for £10.
We are lookng forward to our 20th anniversary in 2022. If you are interested in coming to the next Ladies Lunch then send an email to Patricia via email@example.com
Reports written by Peter and Patricia Vacher
OHA Annual Dinner - 17th May 2012, at the Haberdashers' Hall, Smithfield
To see photos taken at the dinner Follow this link
The one hundred and fourteenth annual dinner of the Old Haberdashers' Association was held at Haberdashers' Hall on Thursday 17th May. As always OH regulars met in a nearby pub, then joined scores of old friends to reminisce over sparkling white wine in the Hall's spacious ante-rooms before sitting down to a fine meal in the sumptuous dining room, hung with oil paintings of the Company's many benefactors and worthies, including one of Robert Aske, the school's founder.
Our guests included Mike Jeans (Past Master of the Company, a good friend of the OHA), Mark Powell (Chairman of the Elstree Governors), Danny Hochberg OH (Chairman of the Boys' School Committee), and Peter Hamilton (current headmaster). This year Keith Dawson (Headmaster 1987-96) had also been able to accept our invitation, after last year making a much-appreciated 'video speech' from his home in Devon. Of course, the speakers were also our guests, and they certainly earned their place on the top table, flanking our President Jon Corrall (for many years a master at the school) who has lately given much of his abundant ability and energy to the OHA.
David Heasman (Past President) opened the dinner by saying grace, but the quantity and quality of the wine still prevents me from remembering whether he or Tony Alexander (of whom more anon) was toastmaster. No matter. The impromptu toasts were impeccably proposed. The Loyal Toast elicited an appropriately vigorous response in HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.
Frank Hanbidge toasted the Company, the Governors and School, with deftly woven stories of social mores in Oxford and St. Albans Abbey, word pictures that I cannot reproduce here. The School Captain, Luke Ilott, responded with his usual subtle intelligence, but fortunately eschewed the humour in which it is rumoured he proved so adept at the School First XV's dinner.
Rob Nothman (OH), a highly successful sports journalist, entertained us with his detailed knowledge of many sports personalities, all of whom he kindly and wisely left anonymous. Jon responded on a serious note by reminding us that one function of the school is to give opportunites to clever boys from all backgrounds, so asked us to support the Bursary Fund.
Jon had the pleasure of presenting a well-earned Rugby trophy to Seb Taylor (Capt. of the OHRFC) to mark the OH rugby club's exceptionally successful season. It was good to see a group of OHA rugby and cricket players. Good, too, to see such a wide cross-section of Haberdashers: Jerrold Goodman had left school in 1946, Jordan Dias in 2003. The dinner showed many of the OHA's values and qualities, including community and fellowship.
Afterwards a goodly number returned to the nearby pub, where I heard that many £pounds sterling passed across the bar, and I have seen the video that shows Tony Alexander leading the fray. That the dinner went so well is a tribute to Andrew Tarpey who organised it.
Report by John Wigley
Fathers & Sons dinner – 10 February 2012
To see photos from the event please follow this link
A more paranoid man than I would think it’s all a conspiracy. Last year we were sympathising with our Steward Mel after he slipped on some ice and injured his hip and, whilst thankfully no bones were broken this year, it was still treacherously icy and would turn out to be one of the coldest nights for quite some time. This did not stop Bob Stagg arriving by motorbike though!
Thankfully the roaring fire in the Clubhouse was just as warm as the welcoming cheers within, though a wooden sports pavilion’s insulation only goes so far… So thank goodness the food, wine and company were so good. Brussels pâté with melba toast made way for breast of chicken on a bed of crushed, herbed new potatoes with honey & mustard dressing and seasonal vegetables. Carrot cake (complete with little decorative carrots of icing!) and cheese & biscuits rounded off the meal, with coffee and a very moreish 2002 LBV port helping to keep the chill at bay.
Once the (Jubilee) Loyal Toast was said, to call the after-dinner ramble from yours truly a speech would unreasonably flatter it. However given that the untimely and deeply regretted passing of Simon Boyes was so fresh in all our minds, we reflected on how just a few years ago Simon and his eldest son James sat around the very same table. The cruel loss of such an able, approachable and humane man made us all thankful for the pleasure of one another’s company.
This year that company included, for the first time, Mike Jeans and John Wigley who, despite not having sons themselves were simply keen to come along – and we were delighted to welcome two such stalwart supporters of the OHA to our paternal-filial bosom.
Then, with a wearisome inevitability, a selection of jokes from the bottom of the barrel was duly scraped (the most printable: next time you’re on the internet, visit www.conjunctivitis.com – now there’s a site for sore eyes) and I was delighted to propose the toast from sons to fathers. President Jon Corrall raised the tone with a very witty impromptu preamble to the response toast, from fathers to sons.
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 me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas Carols - OHA Clubhouse 10th December 2011
The Christmas carols were resurrected on December 10th and over 60 people (mainly players) enjoyed a traditional evening of community singing. The event was organised by Martin Hill and Ian McCarthy and their families, featuring Lisa Hill on piano. Following the carols and the departure of the families and the faint hearted the players enjoyed a rip roaring karaoke and an excellent Hog Roast.
To watch a short video of a spirited rendition of "O Come all Ye Faithful" please follow this link to the OHA You Tube area - Carols Video and to see a couple of photos from the evening please follow this link - carols photos.
Lunch with Kelvin Pike 6th November 2011
Follow the link for photos from the event
The Clubhouse heaved at the seams on 6th November 2011 for what is hoped will be just the first in an occasional series of similar “In conversation with…” events. The subject of this interview was Kelvin Pike (1945) who kindly shared his experiences of a life in films.
The Clubhouse can rarely have been as full: nearly seventy people crammed in on the bright November day to enjoy a very welcome three-course lunch and wine, skilfully prepared by Pauline Howard.
Afterwards, all gathered round Peter “Parkinson” Vacher and Kelvin, perched on bar stools, to hear the tales flood out.
From starting school in September 1939, Kelvin’s life has been far from routine, frequently being literally inches from some of the biggest stars on screen in his career as a leading cinematographer and cameraman. For example, his long list of credits includes The Empire Strikes Back, Where Eagles Dare, Look Back in Anger and several of Stanley Kubrick's films including The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dr Strangelove.
Amongst a wealth of anecdotes, the audience especially enjoyed hearing how Kelvin was the man behind the lens on The Shining when Jack Nicholson axed his way through the door and how Nicholson squared up to Kubrick in defence of Kelvin: “Stan, leave the guy alone. He knows a lot more about it than you do!”
You can see what you missed by logging on to the OHA YouTube channel and watching the interview in full here: http://www.youtube.com/user/oldhabs.
Everyone agreed on the success of the event and was keen to see similar events in the future. Suggestions or volunteers for other interviews in the series? Contact us!
Visit to The old School buildings at Westbere Road, Tuesday 1st November 2011
As this year marks the first fifty years of the school’s residence at Elstree, it was also felt appropriate to mark the occasion by arranging a visit to the old buildings for those OH that attended school at Westbere Road, Hampstead, London NW2.
Follow this link to see photos taken during the visit
Jacques Szemalikowski, Headmaster & Mrs Margaret Johnson, Business Manager enthusiastically welcomed the suggestion of a visit of forty former pupils of Haberdashers’ Aske’sHampsteadSchool
All were, by definition, either retired or approaching retirement, but the years just fell away as we entered once again those gates accompanied this time to our great delight by Mrs Margaret Taylor, widow of Dr ‘Tom’ W Taylor our then headmaster, who was so pleased to join the tour from ground to roof walking up & down stairs with great gusto despite her recent heart surgery.
Hampstead School, as it is now known, proved to also be a centre of excellence, with 1300 pupils and staff, speaking 52 languages, and displaying a level of enthusiasm and courtesy that did the present school authorities great credit.
We were shown round in small groups escorted by present day students who were in awe of some of the stories being told from the fire watching days of the last war to the memories of the tuck shop (no longer there) and Friday afternoon CCF parades. Some had brought along memorabilia and photographs to jog memories or in some cases correct them! Faces from the past came at us from all directions but sadly not always their names.
The tour started via the present main entrance which was the middle of our Dinning Hall, now divided up into offices, through the other side and out onto the playground area. The field now has a huge teaching block on it, opened in the ‘60s by Chris Chataway. The tennis courts survive, unlike the fives courts which have been demolished. The Nissen hut has gone too to give more recreational space but the Science block remains still serving that purpose, indeed so are the roller black boards and those swivel opening Crittal windows and the weather vane of Merlin and his alchemist’s flask. Then on via the play ground area once occupied in the 50’s by temporary wooden classrooms for history and geography, to the buildings beyond the tuck shop that housed the 3rd and 2nd forms together with the handicraft areas. Round then to the swimming pool and the gym above, what chatter there was as many clamoured for them to be unlocked so we could revive memories of so many years gone bye. Our guides were delighted to fulfil our wish and as the key turned that distinctive aroma of chlorine assaulted the nostrils and there it was just as we had all remembered it, although some thought it had shrunk in size! Outside again and heading for the stairs up to the Hall but where was that bridge, the one that linked the main building to the junior school? Gone!! So it was by yet another security gate that we re-entered the present school library, the Hall as we knew it and the gallery running its length, topped by the herring bone wooden ceiling. The stage is no more but replaced by a computer workstation area and a spiral stair case to another level of similar purpose.
As the various groups of Old Haberdashers gathered so we were welcomed back to the Hall by the Head and members of his staff for coffee and biscuits. Jacques Szemalikowski addressed the gathering by saying how much he had appreciated our visit and outlined the work ethic of the school since he arrived 10 years ago. He also highlighted for our particular interest that he had instigated the cleaning and renovation of the huge Haberdasher crest that was brought from Hoxton when the school moved to the fields and countryside of Cricklewood in 1898. Jon Corral, our President, replied with a few very well chosen words expressing on all our behalves his sincere thanks for making us so welcome and allowing us to revive our childhood experiences.
Jon also explained that although he was not an old boy of the school he had taught for over thirty years at the school at Elstree and on recently retiring as second master had been elected to the honorary office of OHA President. With these credentials he felt particularly well equipped to offer his sincere congratulations to Hampstead School under the guidance of the Headmaster and his excellent team on all that we had experienced especially the fantastic atmosphere and spirit exuded by the pupils and staff as we toured the campus and what great work had been done since we left fifty years ago. As a mark of our sincere appreciation Jon then presented Jacques with a signed edition of ‘Serve and Obey’, The Story of The Haberdashers’Aske’s Boys’ School by Dr John Wigley. Perhaps the chain was not entirely broken in 1961, and this visit had in some way renewed the link?
The final word on this milestone visit should go to Mrs Taylor who remarked on leaving how much she had enjoyed her visit and indeed how much she felt that Tom would have approved!
Rodney B Jakeman
October 2011 - OHA Visit to the Olympic site and tea and tour of Forman’s Salmon processing plant.
Read a report here.
7th July 2011 – CCF Annual Dinner
The CCF Annual Dinner took place at the RAF Club in Piccadilly on 7th July.
21st June 2011 – Antiques Valuation Evening
Report from Peter Vacher – event organiser
Put two experts, Simon Knowles and Hugo Lemon, co-directors of Amersham Auction Rooms, in front of a discerning audience and a table groaning with choice artefacts and what do you have? Yes, the OHA’s own version of the Antiques Road Show as members and friends came to hear what our visitors had to say about their family heirlooms and precious pieces.
If Simon and Hugo were a little foxed by Clive Cohen’s ancient laundry marking machine they certainly knew the worth of a Queen Anne plate valued at a comforting £6.000 brought in by a guest.. A series of fine bronzes also attracted high valuations while other items stayed well under the £100.00 mark. Along the way, Simon and Hugo, visiting our venerable clubhouse for the second time, conveyed a depth of knowledge and expertise that both fascinated and informed their audience. Pauline and Natalie Howard provided a splendid supper and all present pronounced the evening a great success.
18th May 2011 – The 113th OHA Annual Dinner
OHA President, Jon Corrall, speaking, also shown Jeremy Goulding, Bruce Powell, Guest of Honour Margaret Taylor, Deborah Knight (hidden by Jon), Matthew Judd, Daniel Hochberg and Anthony Meyer.
The one hundred and thirteenth annual dinner of the Old Haberdashers' Association was held at Haberdashers' Hall on 18th May. Our guests included Bruce Powell, Master of the Haberdashers' Company, Danny Hochberg OH, Chairman of the School Governors, Deborah Knight, his immediate predecessor, Jeremy Goulding, former Headmaster, John Carleton, former Second Master, Matthew Judd, Acting Headmaster, and Anthony Meyer, School Captain.
This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the school's move from Hampstead to Elstree, so it was fitting that our guest of honour was Margaret Taylor, wife of Dr. Tom Taylor, Headmaster 1946-1973, who did so much to inspire and accomplish the move. See the next page for an interview with Margaret.
A surprise innovation was showing a video of Keith Dawson, dressed in black tie and dinner jacket in his Devon home, who had first taught at Elstree in the early 1960's, and who had returned as Headmaster for the late 1980's and much of the 1990's. A true friend of the OHA, Keith had promoted close relations between it and the school, and he used his "video speech" to hope that they would continue. This video and videos of the other speeches can be viewed in another section of this website.
Please put next year’s dinner in your diaries now - Thu 17 May 2012 at Haberdashers’ Hall.
Report by Dr John Wigley
26th March 2011 – Past Presidents Lunch
The last Saturday in March saw 20 Past Presidents gather in the Clubhouse for a lunch hosted by President Jon Corrall.
Jon took great pleasure in welcoming everybody to the Clubhouse and mentioned the great contribution the late Eric Purcell had made to the OHA.
An excellent lunch followed which was enjoyed by all, prepared with their usual efficiency by Pauline and her helpers.
Graham Macfarlane reported that eight Past Presidents had been unable to attend but all had sent their apologies and good wishes.
Jon provided an update on developments within the OHA after which there was time for more conversation among friends before we were able to add vocal support to the promoted Rugby XV - a fitting end to the day.
Fathers & Sons Dinner – Friday 4th February 2011
Follow this link to see photos from the Dinner
A demonstration of Association values
Allow me to let you, dear reader, into a little secret. I have been managing the annual Fathers & Sons dinner for ten years now and, to be honest, it’s quite an easy gig. Keen attendees, little admin and – crucially – the catering side is a doddle. All I have to do is phone up Mel and Pauline a couple of days before the event and tell them how many are coming. They let me know the planned menu, which I then print out ready for the night. The attendees, well, attend, we have a great evening and we all go home again, eager for the following year. Easy.
Pride before a fall, Tarpey. Which unfortunately is exactly what happened – not to me, but to our beloved steward, Mel Howard, who came an absolute cropper just a few days before the dinner and seriously injured his hip. Catastrophe! With no Steward, how can there be a dinner? I was preparing to phone the attendees to explain that we would sadly have to cancel this year’s gathering.
But that was to badly underestimate the strength of Mel and Pauline, and the OHA spirit itself. I was promptly called by Pauline saying that yes, the show would go on and to leave it all to her. Really? Was she sure? Absolutely. And so, the show did go on, on the very day that Mel was transferred out of hospital and back into the Clubhouse flat. Pauline and her daughters Natalie and Kelly worked wonders to ensure the evening was another triumph.
Prawn cocktail made way for a heart-warming joint of lamb followed by Eton mess (surely someone somewhere has created a Haberdasher mess?). Throw in wine, coffee, cheese & biscuits and port and there’s enough there to cheer up any and every soul on a February evening.
Your correspondent then tortured the assembled with another barrel-scraping selection of “jokes” (for example: what do you call a tree playing the guitar? Spruce Springsteen. What do you call a gangster who picks you up by your underpants? Wedgie Kray. Ad nauseam...) and proposed the toast from sons, to fathers. Rodney Jakeman kindly replied with the toast from fathers, to sons and the throng diffused gently toward the bar and fire to continue discussions late into the night.
It was then my genuine privilege to present to Natalie the result of an impromptu whip-round for Mel. A very handsome sum was passed over and we soon had word back of Mel’s touching gratitude. There was the true spirit of the OHA for all to see.
The funniest line of the evening goes to Rodney who, in a reflective after-dinner mood with glass in hand, turned and asked his son Richard “Where did we go on our honeymoon? Oh, hang on, you weren’t there...” However, the most heartfelt line was delivered by me in the after-dinner speech where I paid a “Huge tribute to the support and professionalism of Pauline, Natalie, Kelly and the whole team to say the show must go on and turn out another wonderful meal for us to enjoy. You manage to work your magic every year, but this really was something special. Thank you.”
If you are not on the mailing list for this dinner, and would like to be, please e-mail me at email@example.com.