OLD BOYS NEWS
Regularly updated, we will bring news and events relating to The Association, to Old Boys, to The School and anything else that might be relevant. Please feel free to email us with any articles or events that you wish to be added
The OHA is sorry to announce that the following OHA have passed away:
Christopher Jenkins (1957). Died 21st November 2019
Michael Long (1955). Died 2nd November 2019
Rex Charles Harris (1945). Died 24th August 2019.
Peter Mitchell (1956). Died 19th August 2019.
Neil Johnson (1974). Died 7th August 2019
Wendy Morelli (Prep Staff). Died July 2019
Ivor Benjamin (1974). Died 4th July 2019
Huntley John Norman (1950). Died early July 2019
Royalton Summerfield (1943). Died 23rd June 2019
Paul Birkby, AKA Paul Darrow (1957) Died 2nd June 2019
Major Frank Milton Partington (1943) Died 14th May 2019
Mrs Myra Hardcastle (Staff). Died 8th May 2019
Thomas Jessell (1969). Died 28th April 2019
Dr Rob Bailey (1974). Died April 2019
Roger Skinner (1963). Died 6th April 2019
John Munday (1955). Died 9th March 2019
David A Sutcliffe (1957). Died 1st March 2019
Roger Easterbrook (1953). Died 18th February 2019
Neville Mark Cooper (1955). Died 2nd January 2019
Professor Wallace Peters (1942). Died 26th December 2018
Tony White (1946) Former OHA President. Died 23rd December 2018
John Weiss (1951) Died November 2018
George Morrison (1952) Died October 2018
Alan Taylor MBE (Staff). Died November 2018
Russ Hakes (1961). Died October 2018
Sir Dennis Landau (1945). Died October 2018
David Pennington (1962). Died September 2018
Stefan Tietz (1945). Died 21st August 2018
Rex Tasker (1948) Died 24th July 2018
DFB "Dave" Wrench (staff 1962-1970) died 18th June 2018, aged 81.
Robert Pascall (1962). Died 8th June 2018
Ed Raw (1971) died 22nd May 2018
David Seaman (1961) Died 19th May 2018
Norman David Hummerstone MBE (1937) died 1st May 2018
Anthony Vernon Peacock (1948) died 28th April 2018
David Grossel, History Teacher (1973-79), author and Fulham supporter.
Duncan McInnes died on 27th February 2018
John Frederick Eyles (1940) died on 21st February 2018
Please go to the Obituaries Tab above for the latest Posts. We would also appreciate friends and family sending us obituaries to post.
NOBBLY TANNER FILES UPLOADED
From 1958 to 1995, Nobbly Tanner recorded every rugby score and team for every XV to represent OHRFC. His files have now been uploaded for all to peruse.
CLUBHOUSE EXTERIOR REFURBISHED
CCF REUNION DINNER
21st June 2019
The sumptuous surroundings of The RAF Club on London’s Piccadilly was once again the venue for the Annual CCF Dinner, bringing together members of the Habs contingent from over the last 60 years.
As Officer presiding Lt Cdr Hardman provided an enthralling account of the past year’s CCF’s activities, while the School’s Senior Cadet Keeran Mahendra Kumar proposed the toast to the Old Haberdashers' present and reflected on his own life-changing time in the School’s CCF.
We are particularly grateful to individual OHs and the Old Haberdashers Association for kindly sponsoring the places of current cadets to enable them to attend the dinner.
OHA ANNUAL DINNER
23rd May 2019
A Great Success
Once again the great and the good gathered at Haberdashers' Hall for our annual event.
Following the traditional meet at the Bishop's Finger and a few glasses of extremely moreish Prosecco in the sun in the Hall's garden, the assembled throng moved upstairs to the Livery Room for what was an excellent meal with copious amounts of wine and after dinner port.
The usual Andrew Tarpey-led toasts to obscure sections of the OHA were followed by an excellent insight into the last school year by School Captain, Tamilore Awisola. He was followed by Gus Lock ('94), the new Headmaster. His incredibly entertaining speech reflected on both his time as a pupil and his new role as Head. He is an excellent speaker and everybody present was lucky to have witnessed it.
Not to be outdone, our President, Colin Blessley, finished proceedings with an amusing update on all things OH and his speech is reproduced below:
Gus, Brenda, Margot, honoured guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I’m back again ….
Gus, many thanks for your kind and supportive words.
We are delighted that we have resuscitated the tradition of the Headmaster attending our Annual Dinner. This is particularly signal in that Gus is himself an OH with a distinguished career in education and, if I am not mistaken, is the first OH to occupy the position of Head at HABS. I am sure that, under your leadership, the School will continue to thrive and improve on its outstanding track record. A warm welcome to Alison and yourself.
Thank you, Tamilore, for your words as the School Captain, in representation of your colleagues. Just when I thought that the quality of oratory could not be improved, you have raised the bar yet again. I looked forward to welcoming you as an OHA member in the not-too-distant future.
I am particularly happy to welcome again Margot Chaundler, Chair of the Boy’s School Committee, as well as Brenda Batten, until recently Mayor of Hertsmere Borough Council, together with her husband John, unofficial representative of Harrow Rugby Club.
We are also honoured to have the presence of Ian McCarthy, OHRFC President, fresh back from a continental tour, basking in the glory of the Club’s most successful season in living memory.
At this event last year, I commented on the progress that had been made in rekindling the collaborative relationship between the School and the OHA. With the arrival of Gus, and with the ongoing support of Roger Llewellyn, these relations are being taken to a new, higher level.
Since Gus’ taking over as HM, we have held a number of extremely positive, meaningful and constructive meetings, attended by Gus, David Thompson (Head of Finance of HABS and the Girls’ School), Roger, Richard Carlowe and myself. These working sessions have a single objective – to further the cooperation between our respective organisations and develop an established and sustainable programme of joint events and initiatives. This proposal has the support of Simon Cartmell (Head of the Governors) – sadly unable to join us this evening – and Margot Chaundler, both of whom share our vision and ambition.
It is early days to set out the extent of what we hope to achieve but I shall be happy to continue to dedicate my efforts to this project for as long as I can continue to be of use.
To give you four examples of how we have been moving forward – the OHFC, of whom 8 players are here tonight, now play their home games at the School and retire to Croxdale Road with the opposition for post-match refreshments. At the start of the last rugby season, as the pitches at Croxdale Road were unplayable as a result of the prolonged summer drought, OHRFC home games were also played at the School. The only downside was that the players were so impressed with the billiard table playing surface there, coming home was something of an anti-climax, had it not been for the renewed club house (more on this later). The Head of the School Grounds Staff provided on-site advice on remedial measures for our own pitches.
For all of this – and for what is to come – Gus and Roger please receive our heartfelt thanks. We look forward to an exciting future together.
Talking of “the Fortress” – as it is lovingly referred to by the OHRFC “Magentamen” – over the last year the OHA has invested some £0.25 million in refurbishing the club house and the Stewards’ bungalow. The results are, in my humble opinion, spectacular. I doubt my late father and uncle would recognise the place, other than for the external profile. I would encourage any of you who have not yet enjoyed the revamped surroundings to get out there and experience the revitalised HQ of our Association.
We have also invested in improved playing field watering equipment, hopefully, to avoid a recurrence of the situation we experienced last September.
For this work, I would like to single out a few stalwarts for special mention, without whom the project would ever have been completed to the high standard of finish. David Heasman – unfortunately not here this evening – who oversaw the whole process – almost a full-time job. Mickey Fenner and Mark Plausin of the OHRFC for all their hard work on site. And Pauline, Mel and family for putting up with living in the middle of a building site for many months. Finally, Ian McCarthy and the OHRFC for their funding of the purchase of new dining furniture and the sourcing of the new PortaKabin. I hope that you feel that all your efforts have been worthwhile and are proud of the end result.
Our sporting teams continue to go from strength to strength and I trust that, with the incorporation of new talent from the School, this trend will continue.
To round up, Andrew, many thanks for being an excellent MoC.
Richard Carlowe, who organised tonight’s event, has worked wonders with our communications with our membership – quality, quantity and frequency are all at high levels hitherto unknown.
Pauline continues to work wonders in the Fortress kitchen, now state-of-the-art thanks to the support of Simon Gelber.
And, of course, thanks to all the volunteer OH whose efforts are often behind the scenes and who organise our activities and events.
For pictures of the event please click on the button below
Tony White (1946)
OHA President 1981-1982
We are writing to let you know the sad news that Tony died peacefully in the Royal United Hospital, Bath, on 23rd December 2018. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for several years and developed severe pneumonia leading to his admission to hospital on 21st December. He remained stoical and retained his wry sense of humour until the end.
A service to celebrate his life will take place on Thursday 17th January at 1.30pm at Christ Church, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1SJ. He asked for donations, in lieu of flowers, to the RNLI.
Tim Steiner (OHA 1987) named Sunday Times Business Person of The Year for 2018
"For the dogged efforts that have driven up Ocado’s market value from £2.4bn to £5.2bn over the past 12 months, Steiner is The Sunday Times Business Person of the Year for 2018."
Alan Taylor MBE (Staff 1961-1996)
It was with much sadness that the School learned that Alan Taylor, former Director of Music at Haberdashers, passed away last 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.
OHA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
12th November 2018
One year and six days ago, I reported that the previous year had been “eventful”. Well, 2017/8 has been similarly busy on all fronts – sporting, social, communications, infrastructure and financial.
The OHRFC has continued its successful streak, with the 1st XV having been promoted again, following its performance in the previous season. We will hear more later in the Associated Clubs Reports slot, but I would make a personal appraisal of the Magentamen’s achievements. The game has changed radically since I played for the OH. Jack Elliott (No.11 and a schoolmaster) and I (No.12) would have a quick smoke before going on to the 1st XV pitch – I don’t think that we ever needed a puff at half-time, but the first post-match pint of shandy in the changing room was generally helped down by a dose of tar and nicotine. Many pints followed and we generally left some time after 11 p.m. and drove home!
We also had the occasional team training meets – nothing too serious, normally a run around the salubrious neighbourhood, followed by a bit of “toughening-up” exercises.
Most of our opposing clubs were similarly-structured old boys teams, many of which were based south of the Thames. We shared transport, all coordinated by WRT.
How times have changed! Quite a number of the teams that we play against these days are semi-professional, in that they actually pay their players. The game is far more physical and, generally, players are much bigger – my father was a prop. Nowadays, he would be too slight to wear a number 9 shirt! Training is through Apps and other means of social media and beyond my comprehension. I have to say, though, that I miss the openness of play of the old game.
The cricketers, following their promotions, had a mixed season, partly due to some team changes (notably, the departure of the former 1st XI captain). The first half of the season was somewhat under par, but, following those changes, performance, spirit and morale all improved and the club finished on a strong upward trend.
I sincerely hope that, with all the improvements made over the last year to the playing surfaces and the club house, we will see the OHCC using the facilities post-match, returning to the socially-active traditions of the club.
I am delighted that the Football club has returned to North London, after many years in the wilderness of darkest Chiswick. They are now playing their home games at the School – for which many thanks to Gus Lock, Roger Llewellyn and Richard Carlowe. They also have a new captain – Anastasis Mouktaris – who has taken over from Eoin Broderick, following his residential and professional move to Tunbridge Wells. They will be using the revamped club house for post-match refreshments, which is most welcome.
The shooters and golfers continue to be active and regularly fly the flag in their respective competitions.
As I have said on many occasions, we need, as an organisation, to broaden our appeal to existing and potential members. At the last ExCo meeting, we started an initiative to brainstorm possible new lines of our offering to the broader OH community. The recent club house refurbishment, the closer relations with the School (hopefully to be spurred by the arrival of Gus Lock), the significantly increased regular communications output and consolidating relations with the main sporting clubs should all assist in this drive. However, there is still much to be done. I hope that at next year’s AGM we will be able to report on progress on this front.
Following some regrettable issues with aspects of our facilities being unfit for purpose, my proposal to embark on a significant refurbishment project of the club house was approved by ExCo in April. The project was coordinated and supervised by David Heasman, to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude, which I am sure you will endorse from just appreciating your surroundings this evening. David, our heartfelt thanks.
The work caused quite some inconvenience for Pauline Howard and family – thank you for your patience. We hope that the results prove that the hassle was worth it. Our apologies also to the OHCC who had to put up with the work being carried out during their playing season.
One of the other weighty reasons for embarking on the refurbishment was the delays which have arisen in the Relocation Project. Assuming we were to get the green light today (not the case, by the way), it would be at least another 4 years before we could be in a position to move and, in the meantime, Croxdale Road must function up to standard.
We have begun a helpful dialogue with Hertsmere Borough Council and are now working on arranging a triangular meeting between their Planning and Estates Management Officers and our prospective development partners. I trust that this will move forward in the not-too-distant future.
Many of you will have noticed that the volume and quality of OHA communications with its membership have increased significantly. This is largely due to the efforts of Richard Carlowe, our Administrator, who has now completed 18 months in the role. We will continue to invest in improving this aspect of our activities. Richard is also heavily involved in many other aspects of our organisation. My thanks to Richard for all his hard work.
Our social programme continues to feature many of the old favourites and the team, under Roger Pidgeon’s leadership are seeking to add more events with a more “universal” appeal. Thank you Roger for taking over this baton. A highlight was the Annual Dinner at the Hall, with David Lidington MP (OH) as the guest speaker, delivering an excellent non-political speech.
Roger Llewellyn has been an active member of ExCo and there is barely an event which he does not attend. He has made a significant contribution to the re-establishment of a closer working relationship between the School and the OHA, which, with further proposals of collaboration being put into effect, will bear fruit in the future, hopefully leading to a healthy increase in our membership. Gus Lock (OH), the new Headmaster, attended a lunch at the club house soon after taking up his new role. Our best wishes to him for every success.
John Wigley and I will be reporting on finances later in the agenda. However, I would like to emphasise that much of what has been achieved over the last year has entailed a significant financial commitment from the OHA. The best payback that this investment could achieve would be through the increased use of these facilities by the whole OH community, be it for activities organised by the OHA and its affiliated sporting clubs or for private activities for members and their families.
I would like to close by thanking the members of ExCo who have served over the last year for their efforts and contributions. A number of members are not standing for re-election, as we seek to re-orientate the Committee to reflect our strategy of broadening our service offering and appeal. My thanks to them in particular, as well as to Pauline and family for their continued, unstinting support.
OHA PRESIDENT LAYS WREATH AT THE SCHOOL'S CCF REMEMBRANCE PARADE
GREAT PLAY RESULTS IN AN OHRFC 1st XV TRY
A DRONE'S EYE'S VIEW
FIRST OHFC MATCH AT THE SCHOOL ENDS IN A DRAW
Saturday 29 September saw the auspicious return to Habs of the Old Boys Football Team (OHFC) for their first ever official home match at the School.
In a hard fought match against a younger Old Brentwood team, OHFC were leading until virtually the last kick of the game, when a well struck freekick from the visitors snuck into the top left hand corner of the net. The match therefore ended 5-5. The School looks forward to welcoming the Old Boys back for their next match on 10 November against Old Suttonians.
CROXDALE ROAD REOPENS
On a glorious sunny afternoon, and in the company of many former players, OHA President Colin Blessley reopened the newly refurbished clubhouse at Croxdale Road.
The whole building has been transformed, with a grand entrance lobby housing the restored Club Names Boards; new windows replacing the original 1937 models; a brand new ladies toilet and disabled toilet; a vastly improved kitchen area; new floor, wall and ceiling coverings; a revitalised bar and LED lighting throughout.
Not a dissenting voice was heard and, allied with one of Pauline's famous lunches washed down with great wine, it was an event to remember.
The First XV then duly obliged with a stomping win over semi-professional Southend Saxons
OHA ANNUAL DINNER WITH
GUEST SPEAKER RT HON DAVID LIDINGTON CBE MP A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
The 120th Old Haberdashers’ Association’s Annual Dinner was held on Thursday 31st May 2018 in the distinguished surroundings of Haberdashers’ Hall, as usual preceded by a boisterous and enjoyable get together in the Bishop’s Finger, although not quite as boisterous as the post-Dinner gathering.
As is traditional the meal was punctuated by impromptu toasts proposed by our President, Colin Blessley; to those who had suffered disciplinary action at the hands of TEC Carrington, those who had gone on CCF manoeuvres at Thetford, and those who had studied Modern Foreign Languages.
After the Loyal Toast to Her Majesty the Queen and the Silent Toast to sadly departed O.H. (who this year included a mainstay of the Association, Philip Alterman) the School Captain, Max Goldstone, who had honed his oratorical skills at the 119th dinner in September 2017, painted an immediately recognisable verbal picture of the School, with its abundant drama and music, successful cricket and rugby, and dedicated teachers, a happy community which thrived on the banter, humour and wit shown by its many well-known comedians, notably Ashley Blaker and Matt Lucas.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Rt. Hon. David Lidington, OH, CBE, MP, then rose to his feet to propose “The Association”. Some cynical souls had feared that he would test their patience with politics. David disappointed them, and did so magnificently. He had entered public life in order to try to make life better for ordinary people but found Parliament a fascinating place to study extraordinary ones, often when terrified whilst speaking at the Despatch Box, or in occasionally surreal situations, as when he had been advised on how to wear the Lord Chancellor’s black tights without risk of embarrassment.
David had joined Haberdashers’ in the 1960’s and in 1974 had left to read History at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge. He paid tribute to the School that Tom Taylor had created and inspired, “An almost surreal mixture and demonstration of freedom of thought and expression” which offered “Pluralism and a liberal education in the best possible sense” and which produced “An attitude of debate and discussion, mutual tolerance and respect” which had inspired his determination to “Sustain the liberal world order that is now under attack.” He recalled the high quality of his fellow pupils, Jeremy Black and Harry Hyman in particular, with both of whom he had crossed swords in the Debating Society, and the impact which a trio of outstanding teachers had had on him; David Griffiths, Alan Taylor and Michael Fitch – they had not only educated him but given him a cultural and intellectual hinterland which many former pupils of other schools so sadly lacked.
David had spoken from the heart. His was a difficult speech to follow. However, our President stepped up to the crease with his bat straighter than ever. He congratulated Max and David for describing the School which many of the OH present remembered and identified with. He explained that “The OHA is renewing itself” with a programme of re-development, which he hoped would be carried out with the cooperation of Hertsmere Borough Council and lead to closer collaboration with the School. He welcomed the Lady Mayoress of Hertsmere to the Dinner and noted that although the retiring Headmaster, Peter Hamilton, was unable to be present the incoming Head, Gus Lock, was an OH, “One of our own.” The OH sports clubs were in good heart and the Association was well-served by its Executive Committee, not to mention Andrew Tarpey, our eloquent Toastmaster, and Pauline Howard, our indefatigable Steward of the OHA Clubhouse in Croxdale Road.
Reminiscence and good fellowship then continued until the Hall was cleared and last orders were taken at the Bishop’s Finger, although at what time that was no one seems able to remember.
OHA TIES AND HOUSE TIES AVAILABLE
We are indebted to Tony Alexander who has arranged, due to unprecedented demand, for OHA Ties and House Ties to be made available for OHA Members to buy.
Each tie is available for £13.00 plus £1.50 UK p&p. Please click below to buy
GUS LOCK (OHA 1994) APPOINTED AS NEW HEAD
The School has released the following:
"The Governing Body of The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Gus Lock as Headmaster on the retirement of Mr Peter Hamilton.
After 16 years of outstanding service, during which he has had a remarkable impact, Peter will be remembered as one of the most effective Heads in the long and illustrious history of the School. Gus is an Old Haberdasher (OH 1994) and is currently Head Master of Warwick School. His appointment will take effect from 1 September 2018."