The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612 e.
Latest News
09 August 2023
At Taunton Deane Crematorium on Friday 5 August 2023, we said goodbye to Guy Green (SHO1971-73), a great man who died far too young at the age of 65.
The “Big Man” was kind, generous and admired by all who knew him. He had a wonderful sense of humour and always found just the right words for every situation.
He lived life to the full but his family meant everything to him. He and his wife, Elizabeth, moved from London to Bishop’s Lydeard, not far from Taunton. The Old Vicarage was a large house with a beautiful garden where they built a new life with daughter Florence and son Freddie.
Elizabeth’s parents bought the house next door and they have spent many long hours helping to maintain the estate and to grow flowers as well as to develop a magnificent kitchen garden.
We heard from Jon Gatward in the Eulogy that he and Guy were students at Keble Preparatory School in North London and remained friends after leaving Keble. Guy, of course, went to Aldenham (School House Odds from 1971 to 1973) as did Jon’s brother whereas Jon went to Highgate.
After leaving school, Guy went into the printing business but this did not interfere with his love for Spurs. In one season alone, he watched 42 matches, 21 at home and 21 away games.
He also developed an interest in golf and joined Bush Hill Park where he earned the unfortunate nickname of “3-putt”. He loved the social side of life at a Golf Club and many an evening was spent with friends at the bar. These evenings involved, amongst other things, drinking many pints of beer followed by a curry which was required to settle the stomach!
Later, in the 1980s, he joined Frinton where he met many influential characters. One was Chris Boggon (M1940-45), an OA and a highly competitive golfer, who introduced him to the Halford Hewitt Tournament in which he played regularly for the OAs, partnering the legendary Bob Coombes (SHE1944-47), a past President of the OAGS, and then Peter Easby (SHE1962-66), a Vice-President.
All OAGS members will remember Guy with love and affection. It is a wonderful tribute to him that 9 OA golfers made the trip to Taunton and Elizabeth was delighted that so many OA golfers came so far to be there. Here they all are!
David Rawlinson (B1988-93)
Dick Hall (K1969-74)
Shon Williams (M1975-80)
Ian Eggleden (SHE1958-63)
Peter Easby (SHE1962-66)
Steve Lewis (B1970-75)
Ian Wilson-Soppitt (P1958-61)
John Yule (SHE1966-71)
Phil Murphy (K1965-70)
I have no doubt there would have been more of us had it not been the holiday season.
The service was led by Ben Marlowe, another longstanding friend, and we heard many stories and descriptions of Guy from Ben and Jon Gatward.
We also listened to Freddie recounting some of his personal memories of Dad, Big Man, GG and Greenie. Freddie was alongside Elizabeth and Florence – both tearful, of course, but wonderfully elegant and composed. Flo had chosen a poem “If tomorrow starts without me” by David Romano and had asked Peter Easby to read it. The words are deeply moving and Peter brought out all the emotion and beauty of the poem.
And so we must say goodbye to Guy until we are able to meet up again.
We will miss you, Guy, and we will never forget you.
13 June 2023
A celebration of Aldenham's past, present and future.
With over 180 people booked to attend OA Day and the McGill’s 135th anniversary, we were hoping the sun would shine and indeed it did. OAs returned in droves and gathered for coffee in the Sixth Form Centre, which many remembered as the Tuck Shop and where they bought their first Aldenham School uniform. Gradually the guests drifted over to McGill’s House where they were greeted by Mike Yeabsley (CR2008-Presnt), McGill’s Housemaster since 2014, and some student Ambassadors. The House was a hive of activity with OAs from the 1940s to the 2020’s all sharing stories and reliving their youth.
A Service of Thanksgiving brought everyone together in Chapel, where voices were lifted in song and heads bowed in prayer to honour the past, the present and the future at Aldenham. School House Garden then provided the perfect setting for drinks before lunch with some gentle music drifting over more shared memories. Alex Hems, Head of the Aldenham Foundation, took this opportunity to welcome guests and to give a brief overview of her first year at the School. She said that she was delighted to meet so many OAs from across the generations and from several countries including America, Australia, Malaysia and Germany as well as those who had travelled some distances in the UK to join the celebration. James James-Crook also addressed the crowd and announced that he will be stepping down as President of the OA Society at the next AGM after his eight year tenure. He spoke of his pleasure at seeing the changes implemented during his time and the increased diversity of OAs engaging with events and the unique services on offer to members.
A delicious two course lunch was served in the Dining Hall and in the Staff Dining Room by the School caterers, Holroyd Howe. Both areas were ringing with constant chatter and laughter as more legends were chronicled and new memories made of times spent with Aldenham friends.
After lunch guests spread across the School site to enjoy the views and to watch the annual John Dewes cricket match, played in honour of our one and only England Test cricketer to date, John Dewes (B1940-45). Tea was served in at the cricket Pavilion to mark the end of another wonderful OA Day.
25 April 2023
1st Round v Stonyhurst at Royal Cinque Ports, Deal
This year, we were drawn against Stonyhurst. Arran Kanth (M2014-19) had hoped to join the playing squad but the logistics of flying to the UK proved too complex due to his golf commitments at his US University. We were also sorry that Joel Bloomfield (SH&L1987-92) was unable to play. However, we were delighted to see Rob Alter (B1988-91) back in the team to resume the solid Alter/Rawlinson partnership.
As always, the fine weather enjoyed inland never quite stretches to the Kent coast and so it was a very blustery scene that greeted us on Thursday morning.
Stonyhurst are not one of the top Hewitt teams but their recent form has been better than ours and we struggled to keep up during the opening holes. Even our most successful pair, Robert Alter and David Rawlinson (B1988-93), could only halve their match but Will Kirby (L2006-11) and Dan Andrews (B2000-07) played well and won on the 16th green.
Michael Beavis (SHO1980-83) and James Surridge (L1993-98) could not find their form and the Thrussell brothers, Team Captain Adam (B1992-97) and OAGS Vice-Captain Ben (B1989-94), suffered from a slow start. Our fifth pair, Nick Corbett (M1989-94) and Jamie Wells (M1990-95), also met some tough opposition and fought really hard. Their sterling efforts looked as if they might be rewarded but Stonyhurst were resilient and settled the match with a good putt on the 17th green.
It was a disappointing result for everyone but the standard of golf in the Hewitt has improved significantly over the last 15 years. Loretto, who won the Cup in 2022 and again in 2023, had a combined handicap (across all 10 players) of +20 and +25 respectively. Awesome or what?
Halford Hewitt Plate
The weather on Friday morning at Prince’s can only be described as unpleasant and we were facing not only high winds and squally showers but also a 6-man Wellington team whose combined handicaps were +10! After 5 holes, our 3 pairs could not match them and an early bath seemed inevitable. Aldenhamians never give up, of course, and it is to their eternal credit that they kept the matches alive until the 14th and 15th holes.
Peter Kenyon Bowl
Many of the stalwarts who support the Hewitt team arrive in Deal on Tuesday in the late afternoon. Most will have spent the day at Rye playing golf and, more importantly, preparing for the next few days with a good Rye lunch. On the next day, whilst the “squad” are playing a practice round at Deal, the supporters can play at Prince’s in the Peter Kenyon Bowl competition. We entered 3 pairs but it is sad to report that none of the scores featured on the leaderboard.
A full report from OAGS Spring 2023 meetings can be downloaded below
23 March 2023
The whole school gathered for assembly on Monday 20 March 2023 to hear how the OA Society will provide links to Aldenham when students leave the School.
President, James James-Crook (M1968-72) started the presentation with a welcome and introduced two, recently elected OA Committee members, Charlotte Yeabsley (P2011-18) & Megan Yeabsley (P2012-19).
The students enjoyed hearing about OA events such as the Annual OA Dinner, regional and international gatherings and OA Day, which is held annually at Aldenham. They can look forward to joining these occasions and also continuing sporting activities that interest them including Football, Golf, Hockey, Netball and Fives. Charlotte and Megan emphasised the wide variety of services provided by the OA Society that may assist students as they travel through life and encouraged them to get involved as they have done since leaving school.
It was a lively and engaging presentation, obviously impressing the congregation.
Thank you to James, Charlotte and Megan for giving up their time to do this.
13 March 2023
The Annual OA Dinner 2023 was a celebration of diversity, equality and inclusion. The evening began with guests gathering in the Theatre to see a special performance of this year’s Senior School show, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. This wonderful production provided the ideal backdrop for the theme of this year’s formal dinner, where we wanted to ensure that everyone felt welcome.
A special showcase performance was created for the evening by the Director of Drama, Manny Avdjian (CR2018-Present) and his team. Guests were treated to a selection of scenes from the popular West End musical, which had been specially chosen for Aldenham because it was fun and dramatic in equal measure, it was a story that needed to be told and it was different to anything you would usually see in other schools. The students thoroughly enjoyed revising their show for this audience of OAs and their guests. The talent displayed by everyone involved was quite astonishing.
Parents and performers joined OA guests for drinks after the show and to share their experiences which created great excitement in the pre-dinner reception and got the evening off to a real swing.
A delicious three course meal was served in the Dining Hall and there was a friendly buzz as over 60 guests gathered to enjoy each other’s company. James James-Crook (M1968-72), President, proposed the toasts and welcomed Alex Hems, Head of the Aldenham Foundation as the Principal Guest Speaker. Alex thanked the OAs for their very warm welcome and spoke of her joy at taking on the responsibility to lead the Aldenham Foundation. She was delighted to report that the Senior School has never been so full and that next year’s new intake will have more girls than ever before. There will no doubt be challenges ahead for all schools in the independent sector and she is determined that the Aldenham Foundation will be one of the organisations that not only survives but uses the challenges ahead to become more agile, reflective, relevant and successful.
We now look forward to next year and hope that more OAs will be able to join this important annual event which will be on a Saturday in early March 2024.
07 January 2023
Just as the School broke up for Christmas it was time to celebrate the success of the Class of 2022. Over 100 guests gathered in the Dining Hall to offer each other season’s greetings and share news and views of life beyond Aldenham. Former students and their parents were obviously delighted to see each other again, for many it was the first time since the summer.
Alex Hems, Head of the Aldenham Foundation and Andy Williams, Head of Senior School, welcomed everyone back with festive food and drinks before congratulating them all and inviting 45 individual OAs to collect their hard earned A Level certificates in a presentation ceremony. After the presentation Clare Yeabsley, (K1988-90), OA Committee Member, took the opportunity to welcome new members to the OA Society and to tell them about the benefits of their alumni organisation; a network of friends, fellow students and professional contacts within a unique community who may be contacted directly or through the OA Office. Clare reminded them about events that may interest them such as the Annual OA Dinner, OA Day and other reunions that are organised locally, regionally and internationally. Formalities over it was back to eating, drinking, and socialising to continue the celebration.
This event was first introduced for the Class of 2018 and after a two year gap due to COVID cancellations, it was very good to see this new Aldenham tradition back in the calendar. We now look forward to a similar event at the end of 2023.
05 January 2023
The Right Reverend Peter Spencer Dawes, fifth Church of England Bishop of Derby from 1988-95 who eased the way to the ordination of women priests, sadly passed away on 10 November 2022.
An eminent OA, Peter was in McGill’s House 1941-46 and at school he played in the Fives VI and the Hockey XI. After National Service, Peter gained a first in theology at Durham and then trained at Tyndale Hall, Bristol before being ordained in 1954.
From 1960 Peter taught at Clifton Theological College. He was Vicar of the Good Shepherd, Romford in1965 and became Archdeacon of West Ham in1980, then Bishop of Derby in 1988. He was vice-president of the Electoral Reform Society and chaired the Revision Committee of the Synod on the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Peter married Ethel in 1954 who sadly she passed away in 2016. He is survived by their four children and five grandchildren.
We send sincere condolences to Peter's family and friends on their loss.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
24 October 2022
The OA Golf Society has had a busy few months with a European tour, a mini tour to Burnham and Berrow, a triangular match with Old Leysians and Old Millhillians, summer and autumn meetings, the Captain's Invitation match and several cup games.
Club Secretary, Ian Eggleden (SHE1958-63), Aka 'Eggers' has recorded everything in a full report, with pictures, for you to read at leisure, see below.
23 October 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr Peter Jackson, the Chaplain at Holy Trinity, Nice. He died in hospital on30 August surrounded by family and friends after suffering a pulmonary embolism. Fr Peter had been Chaplain in Nice and Vence since 2014 and had served the Diocese in Europe as a Bishop’s Nominee to the Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, a member of the Finance Committee, an Assistant Director of Ordinands and the Diocesan LGBTI Liaison Officer.
For many years Fr Peter combined being a priest with being a teacher. He was ordained deacon in 1979. He served as Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies at Harrow School after leaving Aldenham. He was a parish priest in Washington DC and for 11 years served as vicar of Christ Church Southgate in the Diocese of London.
He was a distinguished teacher and writer and will be hugely missed. May he rest in peace.
Those who were at Aldenham with Peter may be interested to know that there will be a local memorial service on Saturday 5th November 2.30 pm next month at Christ Church, Southgate, N14 7EG. Celebrant Bishop Peter Wheatley.
20 October 2022
The Bleeding Heart restaurant’s No 1 Dining Room in London provided the perfect venue for our first gathering away from Aldenham since 2019. Its history stretches back to 1746 when its slogan, still displayed on the wall, was ‘drunk for a penny and dead drunk for two pence’! That spirit of good cheer was ever present throughout lunch and fortunately there was no drunken behaviour on this occasion.
Alex Hems, Head of Foundation, Andy Williams, Head of Senior School, and James James-Crook (M1968-72), President and Governor welcomed the guests with a drink before heading down for a delicious three course lunch.
All Houses were represented and OAs of every decade from the fifties to the noughties attended, which was great to see. Plenty of stories were shared and Aldenham experiences compared and Alex Hems, who joined the Foundation in September 2022, assured everyone that the happy and supportive ethos of the School will continue under her leadership. James James-Crook spoke of past, present, and future activities of the School and the OA Society and glasses were raised in honour of the King, the Royal Family and to Richard Platt.
With grateful thanks to Simon Osborne (SHE1961-66) for recommending the location and to everyone who supported the event. Many responded with disappointment at not being able to attend this time and will be glad to know that it is quite possible that we will use the venue again in future.
For photos of this event visit the Event Galleries.
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
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