Geographers Reunion / Careers Event - 8th February 2016
Held at the School
Current and Former Geography Teachers
Standing - Robert Cooper 2013 - present (OH 1996), Steve Lane 1987 - 1997, Mathew Judd 1993 - present, and now Deputy Head at HABS, Helen Hoyle 1991 - 1995, John Maguire current 2008 - present. Deputy Head at HABS (from Head of HABS Geography), John Bown Current Head of HABS Geography Dept (since 2013), Sarah Murphy 2001 - present, Susanna Clayson (nee Jenkins) 1982-1986, Paul Hayler 1969-2007, Mike Morrish 1975-1983 and 1995 - 2008, Phil Amor 1997-2003, Rosie Grenyer (nee Dearden) 1967 - 1975, Ashley Kent 1969-1973
Seated - Mike Day 1976-2013, John Rolfe 1959-1995, David Chapallaz 1964-1968, John Everson 1958-1965, David Walker 1968-1970
On the afternoon and evening of Monday 8 February in collaboration with the OHA the School’s Foundation and Geography Department were honoured to host the School’s first ever Geography Careers Afternoon and OH Geography reunion.
It was a momentous occasion which celebrated the achievements of former pupils and the valued contributions of former colleagues who have helped to ensure the Geography Department remains to have a national reputation of excellence. As the current Head of Geography, James Bown stated in his welcome, “Geography, now more than ever, is the subject of our times”.
The first part of the afternoon was focused on inspiring the next generation of Yr12 and Yr13 geographers, from both the boys and girls school, about the plethora of different career pathways a degree in Geography provides. With only 5.8% of Geography graduates job-hunting six-months after they graduated, against a national average of 7.3%, the range of transferable skills a Geography degree now provides for an ever evolving and global workplace environment is of paramount importance. Pleasingly, the OH Geographers reflected the breadth of career pathways on offer as speakers ranged from: a Professor of Health and Medical Geography (Tony Gatrell OH 1968); an Environmental Resource manager who works with clients from AstraZeneca to Sky (Simon Aumonier OH 1981); an entrepreneur who setup a FTSE 100 tech start up (Khaled McGonnell OH 2001); a financial derivatives specialist (David Scott OH 1978); a local government town planner (Rodger Pidgeon OH 1967); a logistician in the RAF - among many other things!- (Malcolm Oliver OH 1965); a Digital and Technology Director for Sainsbury’s (Jon Rudoe OH 1996); an In-house Counsel at ExxonMobil (Andrew Miller OH 1996) to a Dr of Hydrology, Water Resources and Flood Management (Paul Webster OH 1975) and a management specialist in Unilever’s global detergents business (Chris Sharples OH 1967). Also attending were Jordan Dias OH 2003, Neil Grassick OH 1984, James Haddock OH 2001, Ross Hunter OH 1971, James McBeath OH 2006 and Michael Weston OH 1962. The contribution of all the OH who attended was very much appreciated by the School Geographers and the wide range of years present (1962 - 2006) added to the value of the event.
The afternoon networking event meant that students were split into small groups and had 5 minutes with each OH geographer after which they `rotated’ and moved onto the next speaker. It was fantastic to see students really engaged and interested, asking probing questions, as well as reflecting upon their subject option choices in advance of the Higher Education Careers talk.
After an hour of networking, former and current members of staff and OH geographers retired to the Old Refectory to informally catch up, laugh and share memories until the early evening.
This will be the first of a number of such events organised between the School and Old Haberdashers Association. Watch this space.
South West of England Dinner
14th November 2015.
Little did Reg Howe and Bob Adams, raw form 1S recruits in 1951 at Westbere Road, realise that 64 years later they would be still together with their respective wives, Copper and Margaret, acting as a team of four to organise a dinner for fellow Old Haberdashers and their partners in far away Sidmouth ! - Friends for life!
Form 1S 1951, with Form Master Jack Browning. Bob, 3rd from left in back row (the casual one) , Reg (the thoughtful one) 3rd from right next row down .
Held at the excellent family run Woodlands Hotel, all 27 who attended the dinner reported that they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and as Reg acting as Master of Ceremonies informed us in his welcoming address, a further 18 invitees had expressed their good wishes and regrets at not being able to attend, but were looking forward to next time .
We welcomed Past Presidents Keith Dawson(1994-95) and Marjorie, Graham Macfarlane(2003-04) and Janet. Also, of course, Rodney Jakeman(1982-83 & 1996-97) and Gillian, Rodney having acted in the planning stages as our link man with the OHA. A special welcome also to Pam Knowles-Brown, who, with her late husband John, had been present at all the previous ‘West of England’ events for the past decade or more. Finally we were pleased to welcome Alan and Pearl Weaver, Alan being a genuine Old Haberdasher, from our sister ‘Adams’ school at Newport, Shropshire.
As well as an excellent meal and much renewing old friendships and discovering new ones, another feature was the memorabilia table, with photos (many which had never found their way into ‘The Skylark’ ) and other items from the past, including Bob’s school ‘diary’ - fortunately no detentions that term - and a set of school rules. Rule 8 ‘Old caps, blazer badges and school ties must be destroyed and not sold or given away’. (nothing about what to do with old pupils !)
After the evening all were able to relax in the Garden Room when Rodney brought us up to date on current goings-on at HQ, with special mention of progress on the site at Croxdale Road. Proceedings were closed with a unanimous vote to ‘meet again in a couple of years, same place’.
‘The Youngsters’ table (Leavers 61-63)
Clare Judge, Geoff Hyde, Gill Jakeman, Steve Gruner, Wendy Hyde, Francis Judge, Mary Gruner, (empty chair - Rodney Jakeman – busy taking the photo !)
Those present at the Dinner were:
Bob Adams (57) & Margaret
Kevin Curtis (78)
Keith Dawson (Head 87-96) & Marjorie
Martin Fairley (56) & Linda
Stephen Gruner (63) & Mary
Reg Howe (58) & Copper
Geoffrey Hyde (62 ) & Wendy
Rodney Jakeman (61) & Gillian
Graham Jones (50) & Mary
Francis Judge(62) & Clare
Graham Macfarlane (61) & Janet
Graham Thompson (57)
Alan Weaver & Pearl (OH – Newport)
Peter Wyatt (43) & Thelma
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge lunch held on 17th October 2015 in Aldenham House
The luncheon party assembled in the foyer of Aldenham House and were greeted with pre-lunch drinks before making their way into the Aldenham House dining room, where Tony Alexander welcomed the members and guests to this rather special Haberdashers’ Lodge lunch, special because 45 guests were attending – a record!
Rishi (Master of the OH Lodge) and Preet Loatey
Tony handed over to Rishi Loatey, Master of the Lodge, an OH and our host, together with his wife Preet, who “formally” bade everyone, welcome, making special mention to Secretary Paul Youngman, plus Tony’s combined efforts in getting everyone together!
Following grace, members and guests dined on a choice of Wholegrain Mustard & Rocket Crusted, Roast Sirloin of Beef, or Lemon & Lime Infused Par-Roasted Smoked Salmon with Marinated Capers & Red Onions, for vegetarians, Artichoke, Braised Spring Onion & Spinach Tart. These dishes were accompanied by Hot New Potatoes, a selection of Freshly Prepared Salads and home-baked Breads
Despite feeling more than replete, deserts consisted of Bitter Chocolate & Honeycomb Cheesecake, with Clotted Cream and for those that could manage it, a Cheeseboard with Savoury Biscuits! The excellent choice of wines that accompanied this repast were Cote du Rhone and Les Combes Cotes Ventoux Blanc.
During coffee, Tony, undertook a few brief thank yous, to:-
Rishi and Preet Loatey for hosting our lunch today
To Paul Youngman for his exceptional admin skills and of course Michael Possener, for looking after the money!
A special mention was made to the entire Haberdashers’ School catering staff:-
Debs for looking after us all
Paula – chef
And NOT forgetting Stuart, who with Karen Nolan, The School Catering Manager who sadly could not attend, as she was celebrating her son’s first Birthday, for all their help in organising and serving the superb menu today. The staff were greeted by a standing ovation.
Tony also thanked The Headmaster, Peter Hamilton, who regretfully could not join the lunch, for allowing us to use the beautiful surroundings of Aldenham House and last but not least, a BIG hand for Roger Llewellyn, Habs Director of Foundation, without whose help we would not be here, which was greeted with more applause!
Tony then presented Preet Loatey with a bouquet of flowers, a token of appreciation from all those present, to which Rishi Loatey responded with their thanks, adding that he hoped this would become a regular “fixture” in The Lodge calendar.
Roger Llewellyn then undertook a “guided tour” of the school for those who wanted to join him and then everyone departed for home and more RWC games!
1948 Joiners Lunch - 8th October, The Plough, Crews Hill, Enfield
This years reunion lunch was organised by Dr Alan Morris and attended by 23 people, which must be a new record attendance. Next years reunion is due to be held at the same venue on 20th October and is being organised by John Jeffers, John can be contacted on email@example.com uk if you would like to attend.
OHA Classes of the 90's Reunion - 9th September 2015, The Bishops Finger
Report and Photo from Andrew Tarpey
The Bishop's Finger pub has been the natural meeting point before and after the OHA Annual Dinner for some years, located as it is just a few doors down from Haberdashers' Hall, in West Smithfield. And so it was the ideal venue to hold another informal drinks event for those of us who left in the 1990s.
Around thirty OH climbed the stairs to the private room, with every year from the decade represented and a few bonus attendees: Jim Tarpey and John Wigley taking the chance to catch up with charges past and we were delighted to welcome Roger Llewellyn, Director of the Foundation who was even wearing an OH tie! A notable and regrettable absence was Oliver Harrison who, thanks to a failed plane, was stranded in Nice for several hours.
Recognising the old faces didn't take long, despite many of us having succumbed to increases in waistline and decreases in hairline; Stephen Hartley-Brewer and Keith Kahn-Harris amongst those now sporting beards which provided momentary confusion. The beer and chatter flowed in proportion and we quickly whizzed past the few hours pencilled in for the event, chatting on the street before finally parting. Alistair Wilson made his excuses as he had to prepare for a stag do in Estonia!
Several said they would like the event to be more regular and just as informal; we'll certainly be repeating it soon. Who knows, the OHA might even set up a 90's Committee.
Event organisers - John Wigley, Andrew Tarpey and Oliver Harrison
OHRFC Sevens 18th July 2015
A massive thank you to all those involved on Saturday, clearly huge thanks to Pauline, Nat, Kelly and Tom (who was relentless on the BBQ). Also to the family McCarthy for all their hard work as ever and more importantly creative and organisational flair! Big hand to Ian Sanderson who got us over the line in terms of getting cash through the door, Mark Plausin (Bundy) for smashing out the tunes all day and Petal for organising the refs. Last but not least Dirty Mavis who absolutely smashed it in the evening with an awesome set so thanks very much to Martin Hill (Tinman) for getting the band out!
For those of you that weren’t there you really missed out on a belter. The weather was perfect, the BBQ was on, the beers were flowing, the sounds of the Caribbean pumping out over Borehamwood. The refs arrived first at 10.00am ready to go and they made sure that the standard of rugby was matched by the reffing. Although some of the Luton players from Les Bowls Des Fruits may disagree!
Twelve sevens teams went head to head including the Flair Bear Bunch who ran a lot of teams close even though they were made up of the tight 5 and some excellent ringers (thanks Monk for sorting that out)! Good rugby was played throughout the day and in good spirits, with teams from Bristol and Oxford entertaining the crowds, however the final was hotly contested with For Fox Sake (coached by Francis “the voice” Booth) taking on Les Bols De Fruits (captained by Will Fruit Bowl Brown).
The over 30s showed that age is simply a number with a stunning victory, in an interview afterwards, player of the tournament Simon Jones said “ I felt I really deserved to get player of the tournament, however I didn’t get Best Jones and that probably wasn’t a surprise”. There were lots of bruised bodies at the end but after sinking the vast majority of the prize money into their court session everyone was ready to shake their stuff to the sounds of Dirty Mavis after an excellent post match spread.
In the touch tournament the dodderers were out in force in their maroon, green and white shirts ready to take down all that came to dodder against them. However, they weren’t prepared for a younger generation of Habs alumni as they romped to victory to win the touch tournament!
All in all a great day. Our focus now turns towards next season, the Captains carnival on 12 September and our trip to Diss on 5 September………Next Task!
School 1st XI v Merchant Taylors at Lords 24th June
An excellent day, apart from the result (lost by 7 wickets). We lost the cricket but won the party as over 100 OH enjoyed meeting old friends over a few beers. Some hadn't met for over 50 years so it was a wonderful opportunity to reminisce. A longer report will follow but here are a couple of pictures for now - please send me copies of your own pictures if you took any. Here is a link to the photo gallery where you can see these pictures and others that have been added.
The Old Haberdashers’ Association Annual Dinner 27th May 2015.
On Wednesday 27 May 2015 the Association’s Annual Dinner, its one hundred and seventeenth, was held in Haberdashers’ Hall, West Smithfield. As is customary, many members began the evening by assembling in the Bishop’s Finger and, indeed, on the pavement outside, where their black ties and dinner jackets attracted the attention and possible envy of city workers making their way home.
Attendance was higher than in 2014, approaching 100. The ground floor Arcade at the Hall was barely big enough to hold everyone and its arches seemed to amplify the buzz of conversation as it rose in reaction to the champagne. Our recent decision to admit ladies has started a new tradition and ten attended as members’ guests. It was especially good to see eleven members of the OHRFC and nine friends who left in 1982 and nine from 1975. Lord Moynihan (Habs Monmouth), Daniel Hochberg OH (Chair Boys’ School Committee), Roger Llewellyn OH (Foundation Director) and Marcus Rapacioli (School Captain) were the official guests. The Headmaster was unable to attend.
After David Heasman said Grace we were free to enjoy a three course meal of salmon, duck and mousse, enlivened by copious quantities of Tarabilla Blanco and Tinto, followed by coffee, chocolates and port, some of whose decanters were passed to the left and some to the right, perhaps because of the disorientating effect of the imbibing that had started in the Bishop’s Finger.
The meal was enlivened by impromptu toasts suggested by our President, Colin Blessley, and proposed by Andrew Tarpey, to members who had studied Modern Foreign Languages, been pupils at Westbere Road and Elstree, and served as Officers or NCO’s in the CCF. The Royal and Silent Toasts were followed by presentations to Ian McCarthy, President of the OHFRC since 2012, and to Simon Wallis, Club Captain, who have done so much to maintain its prosperity and success.
Then came the speeches, often a test of a speaker’s nerve and his audience’s stamina. Such fears were out of place. Marcus proposed the Company, the Governors and School with an easy and fluent confidence. Lord Moynihan, who coxed the British VIII in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was Minister for Sport 1987-90, and Chair of the British Olympic Association 2005-12, replied by drawing on a fund of anecdotes and memories. Colin played a straight bat by recounting the Association’s many strengths- not least its promotion of good fellowship and friendship, thanking its officers, and looking forward to the challenges and opportunities presented by hoped-for ground re-location.
The Dinner was a great success. Members and guests were slow to leave the Room, the Reception Corridor, the Arcade and the Hall itself. Members of the Committee and others moved to the Bishop’s Finger and lingered there, exchanging news and reminiscing until the lights were eventually dimed. Before they left they thanked Andrew Tarpey for organising another superb event and a small cohort escorted him via Faringdon and St. Pancras to the safety of St. Albans.
Removal Men Reunion - 15th April 2015
Those attending this year and in picture from back left were. Geoff Rumbold, Colin Jeffery, Rodney Jakeman, John Freeman, Bob Hillyard, John Magowan, Reg Howe and front from left Tony Alexander, Frank Judge, Roger Skinner, Tony Kerpel, Jonny Bell. Apologies for absence received from Roger Putnam, Rupert Berryman, Keith Tucker & John Radcliffe.
Another London reunion of OH, who transitioned with the school on its relocation from Westbere Road in 1961 took place on Thursday 16th April 2015.
Why ‘Removal Men’? Well, Tom Taylor, the Headmaster, had called for senior school help with the mammoth move during the summer holidays of 1961 and many to his delight answered that call! Open trucks and removal wagons of all sizes were employed at the time and fifth and sixth formers accompanied the professional work force to the green pastures of Elstree.
This reunion has been growing steadily over the years and all are welcome. Although some are local a few travelled from further afield such as Dorset & Devon, such is the desire to meet up again with faces from over fifty years ago and have a laugh. The chosen venue, The Ambassadors Hotel in Woburn Place, near St Pancras, was once again the splendid choice as their hospitality (and understanding!) is always so much appreciated by a group of ‘young’ men just turned 70!!
Andrew Tarpey organised another successful dinner for OHA Father and Son’s. Here is Andrew’s report :
A smaller-than-usual number gathered at the Clubhouse on 20th February for the Fatheres & Sons dinner. Mine host with the most Andrew Tarpey had cunningly moved the date to avoid Six Nations clashes, but then less-cunningly made it clash with many people's half-term breaks. Hélas!
After a couple of looseners around the fire, the throng assembled to enjoy a lip-smacking meal provided courtesy of Pauline and Natalie, with Mark manning the pumps at the bar. Homemade tomato soup gave way to stuffed chicken with all the trimmings and lemon cheesecake (in total accounting for all five of our five a day - counting, as you should, the lemon as a portion of fruit...!). Belts were loosened for the cheeseboard and coffee, followed by lashings of port for all able to indulge.
Andrew tortured the swollen masses with the latest round of dismal jokes scraped off the interwebs (the less said, the better) and offered the toast from sons to fathers. Francis Judge kindly replied in an enthralling, witty and erudite speech, proposing the toast from fathers to sons.
A very contented air settled over the bar for a while before we drifted home, sure to return next year.
Philip Alterman (’49) David Alterman (’79) Simon Alterman (’75) Andy Mackenzie (G) David Heasman (’59) Rob Heasman (G) Rodney Jakeman (’61) Francis Judge (’62) Alan Morris (’55) Alex Schonfeldt (G) Christopher Morris (G) Alan Mushin (’55) James Mushin (’94) Bob Stagg (’72) Tom Stagg (’01) Jim Tarpey (S) Andrew Tarpey (’97) John Wigley (S)
47 former school rugby players and coaches from the 1970's were reunited at the OHA Clubhouse as part of the OHRFC Past Players Lunch on 22nd November 2014. The School 1st XV was unbeaten for over 60 matches against School sides between 1973 and 1977, all players from the senior school rugby sides were invited to attend the reunion. Peter Squire, David Davies, Doug and Jackie Yeabsley, Ralph Warmington and Ashley Kent represented the coaches / teachers / boarding house staff and players from all the years were well represented. Many people travelled long distances to be there but particular mention should go to Andy Goff who flew in specially from Ohio (an 8,000 mile round trip). Other people travelling significant distances were Doug and Jackie from Devon, Mick Raw from Sedbergh, David Willis from Somerset, Steve Smith from Liverpool and Matt Gardiner from Manchester – forgive me if I have overlooked anyone.
OHRFC President Ian McCarthy welcomed everyone to the Old Habs rugby club and Neil (Snoopy) Slater (School 1st XV captain 1975 and 1976) spoke on behalf of the School Reunion. Pauline Howard and her team put together a fantastic 3 course spread for around 80 people, starting with a seasonal Turkey carvery, followed by Xmas Pudding and an excellent cheeseboard. The wine flowed as people were reunited and friendships were renewed after several decades. A number of people went to watch the current School 1st XV play Berkhamsted at Elstree, returning to rejoin those who stayed to watch the OHRFC 1st XV beat local rivals Tabard. The bar stood up well to the pressure the large crowd put on it - the Fullers London Pride was in particularly good form. The reunion lasted way into the evening and I believe a group of people ended the evening with a curry in Borehamwood – just like the old days!
Judging from the feedback received by the organiser (OHA and OHRFC Secretary Martin Baker) the reunion lunch was a huge success. Comments included - "my best day at the club since I stopped playing", "A truly fantastic day and I was really sad to leave the clubhouse at around 8pm", "It was brilliant to see so many old school friends and a few of the lads we played with at OH too", "It was a privilege and a pleasure to have played with all of you all those years ago, made so many friends and to get an opportunity to meet so many of you once again!" "I am not an emotional type, but I cannot thank Martin enough for giving me the opportunity to not only meet all of you, but in particular to personally thank Peter Squire (as Boarding House Master), Dai Davies (as vive-Head of Boarding house and Head of all sport), Doug and Ralph (both boarding house teachers) for looking after me as a 10yr old and teaching me how to behave and having to put up with me for 7years! I cannot thank them enough for their help, support and dedication all those years ago!"
This is a list of the people who attended the School rugby reunion.
OHA Quiz Night 21st November 2014
The roaring log fire and convivial surroundings ensured a very enjoyable evening once again.
Sixty one people gathered for another test of brains set by the Tarpey family. Although it was heard to be said that people just enjoy the company for the entertainment of seeing others going through all manner of anguish!!
Food at ‘half time’ was a splendid curry provided by Pauline and Natalie and thoroughly enjoyed by all, and followed by the raffle generously donated by members.
Teams represented a good cross-section of the OH social and non sporting community as well as OHCC and the older OHRFC fraternity.
A particular vote of thanks was given to Jim, Lynda and Andrew for ‘Quizmastering’ & hosting the evening after which prizes were distributed to the winning table and consolation gifts to every other table so no one went home empty handed!!
The lives of Old Haberdashers' lost in conflict were remembered at the Old Haberdashers' War Memorial at the School on 7th November 2014. The ceremony was attended by a large group of Old Haberdashers' and the School CCF were on parade to show their respect for those that gave their lives. The OHA President, Colin Blessley, and the Headmaster, Peter Hamilton, laid wreaths on behalf of the Old Haberdashers' Association and the School respectively.
The prayer used at the ceremony is :
“Almighty God, we remember before thee at this time with humility those Old Haberdashers who gave their lives for us in two World Wars and in the Falklands Conflict.
Give us wisdom and grace to ensure their supreme sacrifice was not made in vain.
May we be inspired by this moment of remembrance and thanksgiving to apply with the spirit and character of all Haberdashers the blessings you place before us and may we, who have been nurtured in harmony, continue to live in harmony and impart that way of life to all others. Amen”
The opportunity was taken to view the refurbished World War 1 memorial in Aldenham House. The WW1 memorial was paid for by subscriptions raised by the OHA, it was inscribed with the names of the 107 WW1 dead. It was unveiled in the Assembly Hall at Westbere Road in 1922 and when the school moved to Elstree in 1961 it was placed in the Chapel which is now the Waiting Room.
The Haberdashers' Aske's Golf Day 27th August 2014
22 golfers enjoyed a full day of competition at the Haberdashers Golf Day at Aldwickbury Park in Harpenden on Wednesday 27th August.
In the inaugural Par 3 competition on the Manor Course in the morning, Benjy Randall of year 6 just edged out Anay Sharma by a single shot to win the Boys title, while Mr McIntosh holed a 20 foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish 2 under par for 9 holes, one shot clear of Mr Ward.
Leigh Nissim, Zaman Dudhia and Andy Ward
In the main afternoon event on the par 71 Park course, nearest the pin prizes went to Ryan McIntosh (3rd), Robert Clarke (7th) and Mike Gallagher (14th & 17th), whilst the longest drive prize on the 15th hole was claimed by Leigh Nissim.
The pupil competitions saw Joel Citron (84) take the scratch prize, with Luca Ignatius taking the handicap trophy with 29 points. Ian and Leigh Nissim won the Father and Son prize with a combined score of 65 stableford points.
Mike Gallagher, Luca Ignatius, Ian Nissim and Ryan McIntosh
Julian Halls, Joel Citron, Aaron Winsloe and Zunald Dudhia
An enjoyable supper was had by all; thanks go to Aldwickbury Park Golf Club for hosting the event again this year. We hope to see an enlarged field next year with more boys taking part in the morning par 3 event.In the main Elstree Trophy competition, scores were good, with Leigh Nissim finishing in third place with 36 points, while Ryan McIntosh ended up as runner up for the second successive year with 37 stableford points.
The victor on the day however, was Golf day organiser Andy Ward, with a two under par round of 69 off a handicap of 4, amassing 42 points, taking home the Elstree trophy for the third time.
Doug Yeabsley 50 years Service to the School - 28th June 2104
Almost 200 people came together at the School on Saturday 28th June to recognise the contribution that Doug made to generations of schoolboys – on the cricket and rugby fields, on tours to Devon and the Far East, in the classroom and in life in general. It is doubtful that any other master in the history of the School has had such an impact on such a large number of people. The sentiments expressed ball those attending and the messages sent by those unable to attend confirm the high regard and genuine affection that Doug engendered.
Doug joined the School from St Luke’s in 1964. He taught Chemistry and Games for 38 years and was Housemaster of Russell’s from 1971 (aged 29) to 1986. He made a huge contribution to School sport, primarily cricket and rugby. He has been closely involved with School cricket for 50 years. He ran tours to Devon where the accommodation was based at his “villa” on the cliffs at Branscombe and then introduced the Far East tours. He ran Development Appeals and the Parents Social Committee, officially retiring in 2002.
Doug’s early days at the School were spent living in the master’s accommodation in Aldenham House, alongside David Thomas and Keith Dawson. Not surprisingly a large number of boarders were well coached members of the School 1st XI, including Peter Mackie, Robin Barlow, Andy Scott, Billy Hughes and Nick French who were all at the dinner to thank Doug.
Doug was an inspiration to a large number of boys who may otherwise not have achieved so much at School or in later life and this is where Doug possibly made his biggest contribution. He looked out for boys who needed some self-belief and helped them to develop either through cricket, rugby or other areas. These boys are eternally grateful to Doug and many were at the dinner.
His cricket career for Devon and Minor Counties lasted from 1959 (aged 17 whilst still at School) to 1990 (aged 48). He had a fine record for Minor Counties against the touring sides from 1974 to 1981 (Pakistan 1974, West Indies 1976, India 1979 and Sri Lanka 1981), his best return being 3-45 against Pakistan in 1974. He was described by Ian Botham as “undoubtedly England’s best amateur bowler of the 1970’s” and bowled left arm, fast medium.
Doug played regularly in the back row for Harlequins and Saracens, he was captain of the OHRFC in the 1977-1978 season. Doug coached School rugby alongside David Davies and Ralph Warmington for many years. Including the unbeaten School 1st XV’s in the 1970’s
In the words of Keith Dawson “Doug is an outstanding example of that old fashioned thing, a true and great schoolmaster, boys are at the heart of everything he does, he was a fine teacher of 6th form chemistry, a brilliant coach and a tireless supporter of the good things done by the School”
Please follow this link to see the article about Doug’s contribution to School sport and to Devon cricket from the Times in 2000 written by Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Plus a number of other photos featuring Doug over the years and photos from the dinner on 28th June.
Pre-1966 Leavers Luncheon
Wednesday 9th April 2014
The Clubhouse, Borehamwood
The day started at noon, the bar area filling rapidly with faces from years gone by, their identity helped by name badges collected on arrival. The traditional Club fire burned brightly welcoming early arrivals as they gradually renewed old friendships and revived memories of years ago.
It had been hoped that the President, Colin Blessley would preside over events but sadly business unexpectedly intervened and in his much regretted absence, Peter Vacher kindly stood in to give a suitable air of authority to proceedings. Sixty four people, representing four decades, sat down at 1pm to a splendid four course meal and wines prepared and served by Pauline & Natalie. Following the Loyal Toast, several light hearted toasts took place such as those who had received the cane! A special welcome was also extended to Martin Baker, our incredibly hard working OHA Secretary, and John Wigley, OHA Hon Treasurer who was reminding people that their subs were due for renewal on May 1st and that he was now the source for OH Association ties, and just happened to have some with him! Jonathan Cocking kindly offered to bring his camera, the results of which are on the OH website.
The tradition of 'Decade Reunions' was started by Basil Blowfield in his Presidential year of 1964/5 and was accompanied by the “Longest Traveller” award in the form of a foaming pint of best bitter served in a tankard bearing the name of past winners, which then had to be duly drunk on the spot! His name was then engraved on the said pot for posterity. Whilst our President was unable to attend it is Colin who has encouraged the revival of The Decade Dinner in what ever form as it is indeed a popular formula for OH to 'associate'. The first winner was A R Burton('32) who travelled from Stocksfield. Two of today's potential claimants had been very honest, John Williams from Sarasota, Florida, and John Foden from near Le Mans in saying that they had taken the chance to attend as they were visiting the UK anyway. The winner by a narrow margin was therefore John Brett ('53) from Norwich, just pipping John Bustard ('59) from Brighton, by 17 miles. It was thought perhaps more appropriate to award John a decent bottle of red wine rather than the beer but his name will still be inscribed on the Tankard that remains at the Clubhouse, ready for the next occasion.
John Brett had also brought along a magnificent set of historical Skylark/OH Notes beautifully bound and crested which were much admired as were many other items of memorabilia that members had troubled to bring along for others to enjoy.
Convivial chatter followed the formalities allowing many old memories to be recycled and no doubt embroidered with the passing years. It was felt a good time was had by all and that the event should be repeated in the future. The Westbere Road Survivors look forward to it!!
To see a list of attendees and photos from the event please follow this link to the gallery on the OHA website - photos courtesy of John Cocking.
1970's Decade Reunion 27th March 2014
Martin Baker (OHA Secretary and 1978 leaver) organised a reunion for leavers from the 1970's on Thursday 27th March 2014 in the Private Bar at the Bishops Finger PH in West Smithfield next to Haberdashers' Hall. Over 40 people from across the range of years enjoyed a great evening. Many people had not met since leaving School, others meet more regularly. But all agreed it was fantastic to get together and more regular such events were requested - the OHA will be happy to oblige. Over half of the group went on to a nearby restaurant to continue the evening and it was approaching midnight when the last of the group were persuaded to conclude proceedings.
Some photos from the evening - courtesy of Nick Kaufmann.
Past Presidents Lunch 9th March 2014
Graham Macfarlane organised another very enjoyable lunch for the OHA Past Presidents and the current Presidents of the sporting clubs.
This year 21 people were able to attend the 11th Past President’s lunch on a pleasant Spring day at the Clubhouse in Borehamwood. The only difference this year was that our President, Colin Blessley, was unable to attend as he was called away on urgent business the day before. However, as luck would have it Andrew Tarpey, our Vice President was able to step in as a replacement at very short notice.
We were delighted this year that Keith Dawson and John Whittenbury were able to make the lunch, having travelled from Sidmouth and Stroud respectively, along with the Presidents of the Rifle and Rugby clubs, Dick Winney and Ian McCarthy.
A splendid lunch was provided by Pauline and Natalie topped up 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 since last year Norman James had passed away and David offered to pass on our thoughts to his widow, Barbara.
Once the formalities were over there was still time to catch up with colleagues and to support the 2nd XV rugby match, before departing with a resolve to meet again next year.