OC Gus on medal-winning form in Oz
Published on April 10th, 2018 11:03
Clayesmore’s own Augusta Campos-Martyn (2011 - 2016) has won a silver medal in the Junior World Cup for Olympic Trap Shooting, in Sydney.
Gus, as she is known, who lives just down the road from School at East Stour, reached a tie-break in the final, resolved with a “sudden death” shoot off, and missed the gold by a hair’s breadth.
It’s not the first time she has enjoyed medal success on the world stage; she’s definitely one to watch. Go Gus!
Brave or barking?!
Published on April 9th, 2018 14:07
Just a word about OC, Tara Parks (2005 – 2011), who is currently cycling from Windsor, Berkshire, to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Good luck, Tara! You can keep up with her here…
Published on April 3rd, 2018 10:34
We were extremely sad to be told of the recent death of Josh (2003 - 2006), aged just 28.
His Housemaster, Daniel Rimmer, described him as “one of the best of a great bunch of Devine boys”, while Deputy Head, Mary Bailey, said Josh was “one of the best, most sensitive and thoughtful boys but with a huge sense of fun.”
He died as a result of Sudden Arrhythmias Death Syndrome (SADS), more about which can be discovered here. For those who wish to donate to the British Heart Foundation in Josh’s name, his parents have set up a Just Giving page here.
To his parents, Toby and Kay, and all Josh’s family, all of us at Clayesmore send you our very greatest sympathy.
Charlotte is back at the Royal Albert Hall
Published on March 28th, 2018 12:15
Old Clayesmorian, Charlotte Hewett (2006 - 2008), is returning to the fabulous Verdi restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall in May.
After the success of last year's event, she will be back to sing a varied repertoire, including Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye" and Bizet's "Habanera" from Carmen.
Go along on Saturday 5 May to enjoy a delicious tea while hearing Clayesmore's award-winning soprano, accompanied by pianist, Somi Kim.
More info here
Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton and Leigh Fermor
Published on March 21st, 2018 15:33
Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton and Leigh Fermor
British Museum, London, 8 March – 15 July
Clayesmore’s interest in this enjoyable and wonderfully happy exhibition comes from the brief time that John Craxton spent at the School. It is often stated that his place as a leading artist was marred by his insistence on eating the lotus leaf in Greece, mainly Crete, for most of his life, but who doesn’t want to create great work, live the life they want, enjoy their friends, lunch and then lunch again? The exhibition shows these three doing just that in pre-tourist-ravaged Greece.
As a young man in the 1940s, John Craxton was turned down for military service and he ended up sharing a flat, a studio and a patron with Lucian Freud, an artist against whose work that of Craxton was, in the late Forties, argued to be the more considered. Their friendship, as so often with Freud, graduated into a life-long spat. Another story.
This exhibition is all about how Niko Ghika, Paddy Leigh-Fermor and Craxton created 60-year friendships and lived lives which were both idealistic, sybaritic, creative and so much fun. So exemplary were their existences, their visitors books read like Who’s Who: Sir Winston Churchill, Onassis, Margot Fonteyn, John Betjeman, Cyril Connelly, John Julius Norwich, Diana Cooper, Tom Driberg, Bruce Chatwin, Debo Devonshire, to name a few.
The homes they created in Hydra, Kardamyli on the Peloponnese, Chania in Crete and in Corfu, form the back bone to their lives and the exhibition. Craxton was the least domesticated of the three but even his Venetian house on Chania harbour features strongly.
For me, the exhibition was mainly about Craxton. For many years, he was best known for his distinctive cover designs for war hero, Leigh-Fermor’s, best-selling travel books, notably Between the Woods and Water and A Time for Gifts, but recently he has posthumously come out of the glare of his semi-exile in sundrenched Greece. This is his fourth major exhibition is recent years and there has been a biography by Ian Collins and collector, David Attenborough’s, television programme. Craxton’s star is rising.
Back to the exhibition: the Daily Telegraph may echo other criticisms of Craxton being charming rather than original; others talk of the “vivid joy” of his work; many just like it. The show has many of his pictures, not least his famous “Still Life with Three Sailors” (his remark: “I love sailors but hate navies,” is one of the great gay quips). But the letters these three wrote, the pictures they painted, the photos they took, the sketches they drew, the lives they led, make everyone who goes to the show realise there is another way besides the nine-to-five and the 8.05am from Orpington. And this trio lived it to the last glass of retsina. Charmed lives indeed.
John Craxton died in 2009, aged 87.
Back to the Future Day
Published on March 20th, 2018 16:11
Last Saturday, we held our second “Back to the Future Day” and it proved every bit as successful as the first.
Timed to coincide with the Lower Sixth’s visit to the UCAS Exhibition in Exeter this week, it gave the students plenty of food for thought as they embark upon applications for work, university and apprenticeships.
A group of benevolent OCs came to advise them, using the starting point of what they would say to their 17-year-old selves, now they’ve been out in the world for a while.
They came from a hugely diverse selection of careers: an RN Officer, a political PR guru, a bid writer among them, and all approached the event with typically Clayesmorian generosity of spirit and good humour. Invaluable tips included doing what you love, so going to work is never a chore, and learning to be comfortable with a bit of self-promotion in order to smooth the path to career happiness.
Huge thanks to all who took part and we look forward to doing it again next year.
There are some photos of the day here
OC REUNION CANCELLED
Published on March 17th, 2018 10:27
Due to the horrible weather forecast, I'm afraid we've had to cancel tomorrow's 2000s decade reunion. If you'd told us you were coming, please would you let us know you've received this message by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much and let's hope for better weather next time!
Jazzing things up at Ronnie Scott’s
Published on March 14th, 2018 17:07
Both an OC, Lauren Morgan (00 - 16) and a current Sixth Former, Jasmine, took to the stage at legendary London jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, last week in celebration of International Women’s Day.
The girls took part in the “Big Band In A Day” event and had a great time playing the saxophone and trombone respectively.
Well done, girls, and you can watch them in action on this video on facebook.
GCH, an OC, goes from SOAS to DC!
Published on March 7th, 2018 12:48
After Clayesmore, Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford (1978 – 1980) went to the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he was awarded a Doctorate and, later, an Honorary Fellowship.
His career so far has been an amazing whirlwind of broadcasting, curating, researching and holding numerous very high profile positions in the global art world. And now, as proclaimed by The New York Times and The Washington Post, he has just taken up the role of Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC.
Proud congratulations from all of us at Clayesmore on this spectacular achievement.
A fabulous day at a famous bakery
Published on February 26th, 2018 13:59
Last Saturday, a number of Clayesmore Society members took advantage of our bargain bread-making offer and spent the day at the Famous Hedgehog Bakery at Long Crichel.
This divinely traditional, organic, no-nonsense business is run by Jamie and Rose Campbell from an old stable block in their grounds in a most beautiful part of Dorset. Supplying Waitrose and Abel & Cole, they make bread and cakes from only the finest, simple ingredients, baked in an enormous, specially-constructed, wood-fired oven.
We had a wonderful day, learning about different bread cultures and nurturing them; making long fermentation bread, sourdough and then our own pizzas for lunch.
It was all hugely instructive and definitely delicious and we all now have freezers groaning under the weight of bloomers and baguettes.
Many thanks indeed to all at the bakery for such an enjoyable outing for the Society.
Have a look on their website for further courses and details of how to order their tasty wares.
Neal’s Yard franchise joins our scheme
Published on February 23rd, 2018 16:04
We hope the latest company to join our venture will make many of you smile as well as smelling lovely. Using our enterprising independent Neal’s Yard consultant, we can now secure some great discounts on this favourite luxury brand.
Have a look on Patrick’s website and contact him directly (details are all on there) for your email/web orders and he will apply some discretionary discounts which are only redeemable through him.
For example, he is offering us 10% off full price items all year round and a huge 25% off during a Neal’s Yard sale, ie: when there is a 20% sale, he will offer Society members an extra 5% off to make it a very nice discount indeed. On top of that, if you spend over £125, he is offering £25 worth of “free shopping”. We like the sound of that.
Just tell him you are a Clayesmore Society member and, for the latest promotions, stay tuned on his Facebook page. Happy shopping!
A great new offer for members from The Dorset Meat Company
Published on February 19th, 2018 15:09
Former Clayesmore parents, Nick and Jane Somper, run this great local company, just down the road from us at Child Okeford. The Dorset Meat Company offers grass-fed, ethically-reared beef, lamb, pork, chicken and wild game, sourced from small Dorset and Wiltshire farms and available as single cuts or as a meat box, delivered to your door. Have a look at their website for details of all their delicious wares.
Furthermore, they are offering Clayesmore Society members a fabulous 15% off their first orders. Simply quote code clayesmore15 (lower case) on the online form, or on the telephone (01747 811077), to secure your discount and arrange delivery (or collection, if that's easier).
Welcome on board!
OC brings artist to School
Published on February 12th, 2018 11:00
We were delighted, last Friday, to welcome Old Clayesmorian, Mike Corica (1998 - 2003) back to School. Now running a successful art gallery in Bournemouth (see link below), he returned accompanied by celebrated, Colombian-born artist, Dairo Vargas.
Dairo kindly gave up some of his time to come down from London to run a workshop with some of our Sixth Form students. After showing them some of his own work and methods in a presentation, he started them off on drawing techniques using charcoal and later they all progressed to a painting workshop.
We are hugely grateful for Dairo giving up his time to come and work with us and to the generosity of Mike for arranging this event for the considerable benefit of the students. Your Old School Needs You!
The photo shows (l – r) Mike, Kirsty Mareau-Jones (Head of Art) and Dairo in front of a portrait by Vargas of David Bowie.
The Old Clayesmorian Dinner 2018
Published on January 29th, 2018 16:57
Last Saturday, the School welcomed a good number of OCs for the Society’s annual get together. In 2017, it was the turn of the London lunch, so this year it was Iwerne’s turn to host and what a superb evening it turned out to be.
Preceded by a meeting of the OC Society Committee, then the AGM, the fun started when all were released from their administrative duties to launch themselves in the direction of the bar (which they did with gusto).
The dinner was held this time in the de Selincourt and drawing rooms, providing a much prettier and more intimate venue than the somewhat austere surroundings of the School’s dining hall. Our Head of Housekeeping, Victoria Gardiner, had decorated the tables with flowers and candles, set off with sparking mirrors and crisp, white linen and it all looked lovely.
The food, as always, was exceptional, as evidenced by the enthusiasm with which our former Catering Manager, the legendary Andy Croft (enjoying the event from the “other side” this time), relished it. He was a guest of the Society, as were former Bursar, Mike Dyer, and our Registrar, Margaret McCafferty, as they are all now proud Honorary Old Clayesmorians.
David Fangen (1961 – 1966), instigated a traditional game of “Heads and Tails”, eventually won by SarahJane Newland (1979 – 1984), which raised £500 for the Spinney Memorial Trust.
There were toasts and a short address from the Head, Jo Thomson, followed by a hilarious speech from the ever-reliable Deputy Head, James Carpenter, who resurrected the immortal “Wilkins” in order to illustrate his exceedingly witty retelling of Clayesmore life!
After coffee came the carriages and, dispersing into the January night, all agreed the evening had gone with a swing.
More photographs can be seen here.
THE CLAYESMORE LECTURE: LORD WINSTON FMedSci FRSA FRCP FRCOG FREng
Published on January 29th, 2018 15:55
Last night, hundreds of students, staff, parents, governors and other friends of the School gathered in the Sports Hall for the 2018 Clayesmore Lecture, given by Lord Winston.
It proved a wonderfully riveting, educational and entertaining evening as the eminent peer enlightened us all on the subject of “learning”.
After an assured introduction from Head Girl, Hannah, Lord Winston took to the stage and led us through a plethora of awe-inspiring, witty and moving examples of how mankind has absorbed information over time, touching on the “nature versus nurture” question a number of times and repeating the importance of environment to encourage learning.
He told us how we use a huge variety of factors to improve knowledge: through stories, music, laughter, empathy, metaphor, talking, listening, emotional intelligence, bodily sensations, truth, lies and even sleep. In fact, the subject of empathy featured very strongly and left one feeling Lord Winston is a warm and wise advocate of a very human, nurturing approach, both to his research and in his message.
He also reminded us all of our potential when he told us about how the study of the preserved brain of Albert Einstein had proved his was no different to those of everybody else and was reassuring to those who view the relentless march of Artificial Intelligence as less than appealing when he said that scientists have a history of predicting the future and always getting it wrong!
Perhaps the most enlightening illustration of how we learn came in the form of a video of Lord Winston crossing a deep ravine. He explained this is what happens to information, when it is first trying to communicate between one brain cell and another: that, the first time it attempts to traverse the gap, it is difficult but subsequent attempts become easier until one can bridge the ravine with ease and expertise and a “solid pathway” is created.
And he used some splendid examples of animals learning through growth and habit (a dog catching a ball) and even by observing others (a fish watching television)!
“Learning is soft-wired,” he declared, giving encouragement, therefore, not only to our assembled pupils but also to the older members of the audience, stressing the importance of exercising both the brain and the body to aid learning and retention of knowledge, even as we age.
After taking questions from the floor, Lord Winston was given rapturous applause then Theo, our Head Boy, said a few words of thanks to round off the evening, followed by the Head, before the assembled throng moved to the Main House for a drinks reception and plenty of inspired contemplation over canapés.
A wonderful return to form for the Clayesmore Lecture.
Lord Winston is donating his fee for the evening to his charity, The Genesis Trust.
Published on January 9th, 2018 16:43
Further to the piece below about OC, Shannon Falcone (1994 – 1999), we are pleased report the yacht he was crewing, Comanche, crossed the finish line first in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Not only that but it broke the record, making the 630 nautical mile (725 mile) journey in just 1 day, 15 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds. Any of you who have ever spent any time on a yacht will appreciate how remarkable that is.
Published on December 20th, 2017 11:06
OC and successful international sailor, Shannon Falcone (1994 – 1999), will not be putting his feet up to digest the excesses of Christmas come Boxing Day; he will be on the start line of the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race instead.
Crewing aboard LDV Comanche, a stunning, 100ft “supermaxi” (for that read “blooming enormous”) yacht, there are high chances of success as she’s proven her worth in numerous previous races. And Shannon’s done pretty well, too, having raced all over the globe and been part of the winning crew of the 2013 America’s Cup.
The Sydney Hobart race begins on Boxing Day and runs until New Year’s Day. Good luck, Shannon!
Christmas at the OC Shop
Published on December 14th, 2017 12:45
Just a note to say that the last day for orders from the OC Shop is next Wednesday 20 December. I can thoroughly recommend the scarf, in OC colours of course, which would make a great present at this time of year: guaranteed to be welcome on any chilly Old Clayesmorian neck! In fact, I wish I were entitled to wear one but I mustn’t dilute the brand…
Whilst I’m here, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing hundreds of you here for the dinner in January.
With my warmest wishes
Goodwood really is glorious for the Geffens
Published on December 14th, 2017 10:11
As promised in earlier news, Clayesmore Prep’s former Headmaster, Richard Geffen (2006 - 2014), has now been spotted on the BBC in “Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets”.
As Chairman of Goodwood Cricket Club, owned by the Duke of Richmond and one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world, Richard was seen mowing the pitch and setting up the stumps before his wife, Ann, also known to many at Clayesmore, was filmed quaffing champagne and sampling some of Ms Berry’s scrumptious baked goods.
It seems that life after Clayesmore is pretty good for the Geffens: it all looked heavenly! Better ensure Mrs Thomson and Mr Dunlop don’t see the show (or not for a while yet).
Anthony Allen (2000 – 2003)
Published on December 7th, 2017 16:06
OC rugby union star and current coach at Leicester Tigers, Anthony, has been appointed to coach England’s Under 20s team for the 2017 – 2018 season.
The 18-month long programme will include the 2018 Six Nations as well as the World Cup U20 Championship.
“This is a great opportunity to develop my coaching and work with young, exciting talent from around the country,” he said.
Anthony, who had to retire from playing at just 26 due to injury, continued: “I have played for the 20s so to be asked to coach with this group is an honour. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of coaching with an international representative team alongside my work with the Tigers.
Published on December 7th, 2017 14:39
One of Clayesmore’s most successful artists, John Craxton (1936), is once again being recognised. From March to July next year, the British Museum is staging “Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton and Leigh Fermor”.
Greece was the shared source of their inspiration and the setting of their charmed lives. The fifty year relationship between them is explored through a “generous collection of paintings”, including “Craxton’s landscapes of Hydra and Cretan goats and gorges”.
Architecture bound the three together, as did Craxton’s design for Leigh Fermor’s famous travel books “A Time of Gifts” and “Between the Woods and the Water”. The golden lives of these artists in Greece attracted many famous fellow travellers, including Margot Fonteyn, Peggy Ashcroft, Stephen Spender, John Betjeman and the Duchess of Devonshire. Typically, Craxton on his first evening in Crete, dined with Winston Churchill, who was cruising on Aristotle Onassis’ yacht.
Sent in by Hugh Thompson (1960 – 1964)
The Field Mortar
Published on November 17th, 2017 15:05
At last weekend’s Remembrance services, the School recognised, as it always does, the sacrifices made by Old Clayesmorians in all wars. Central to this was the Field Mortar; a gift from the War Office to the School in 1919, in memory of the high proportion of OCs who gave their lives in WWI.
It has recently been refurbished and moved from its earlier location by the gates to its new home, on the steps opposite the Main House. The Portland stone plinth it now sits on is a gift of The Old Clayesmorian Society.
We hope the mortar’s new, prominent position will be a silent but strong reminder of sacrifices made by OCs, whose selflessness enables pupils old and new to enjoy Clayesmore, and a lot more besides, to this day.
TV glory for former Prep Head
Published on November 13th, 2017 14:42
We’ve just received this letter from Richard and Ann Geffen; Richard was Head of Clayesmore Prep School from 2006 to 2014
“It looks like “Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets” starts at 8pm on Wednesday 22 November on BBC1, with a visit to Highclere. Goodwood, Powderham Castle and Scone Palace in Perthshire follow, not sure about the order. “The Goodwood programme finishes with a cricket match at the ground filmed on Wednesday 10 May this year and should include some of the history of cricket at Goodwood. “If you click on the link below you will see a You Tube video ”
In one of the programmes, Richard can be seen mowing the cricket square at Goodwood (where he is the Hon Secretary) while Ann appears to have landed the better job of eating the cakes!
Published on October 12th, 2017 11:37
The Old Clayesmorian/Clayesmore Society Golf Day was held this year at Remedy Oak, a qualifying course for The Open, tucked away in beautiful and ancient woodlands, with a super clubhouse and facilities.
Our golfers gathered for coffee and bacon baps (declared delicious) before heading out for some supervised practice on the driving range. It was clear from the outset there was some significant talent in the group and the professional instructor from the club seemed pretty impressed.
After that, it was time for the first hole and they were off.
Some hours later, all emerged from the folded greens and wooded glades on to the stunning 18th hole, which demands players fire their balls over the lake directly in front of the bar and restaurant area. No pressure then! (Alas, we suspect some carp may have been injured during this exercise.)
When all were safely home, it was time for drinks and lunch, all scrumptious and served by the delightful staff. The homemade sausage rolls were a particular show-stopper.
Numerous prizes were handed out by OC Golf Secretary, Julian Bailey, with Andrew Weatherley winning the Iwerne Cup and newcomer, Rob Atkins, claiming the Dorset Trophy. None was more delighted, however, than OC stalwart, David Fangen, who won the prize for lowest score… What a sport!
A brilliant day, clearly enjoyed by all: well done everyone and big thanks to Remedy Oak for having us.
Gallery is here
A brace of Gate boys
Published on September 25th, 2017 12:17
James Morris, who attended Clayesmore Prep then Senior School (1996 - 2000) was very proud of his younger brother Peter (2008 - 2011) as he was commissioned in August into the Royal Logistic Corps, as this picture shows.
The brothers were both in Gate House and, after Clayesmore, Peter studied at Welbeck College, the University of Aston, then went on to Sandhurst. He is now at Deepcut, on his troop commanders' course, before being appointed to his first posting, 29 Regiment RLC in South Cerney. Meanwhile, James is working in Lymington for a team building company.
Living his dream
Published on September 25th, 2017 11:29
News of OC, Jack Hayter (2007 - 2012) reaches us from his mother, Cath.
“Jack studied Film Production and Creative Media at Bristol UWE and graduated with a First Class degree in 2015,” she says.
“I thought you might like a pic that he sent through. He is first camera (focus puller) on a film being made in Malta so he is there with all the production crew for six weeks: nice work if you can get it. He’s loving it! Living his dream… ”
Jack was the first student to produce the end of term film when his year group left in 2012. It’s here on Youtube.
And here's a link to his showreel of more recent work.
Ladies Hockey: OCs vs the School
Published on September 20th, 2017 10:50
It’s a tradition that the morning after the Late Summer Party, a group of eager Old Clayesmorians meets the School’s First XI for a fierce stand off on the Astro.
This year, a peaceful Sunday morning saw this annual clash take place and, as always, it was a joy to watch. Lots of speed, lots of skill, on both sides, made for a hugely entertaining game, resulting in a 5 – 0 win for the School, although that result doesn’t do justice to the OCs effort and drive.
Well done, ladies; thank you so much for playing and see you next year.
Drummond Cup Football
Published on September 20th, 2017 10:14
The annual shebang saw a strong OC team defending the Society’s honour, rather helped by the inclusion of some powerful players who have only just left the Sixth Form.
Hence, a closely-fought match prevailed on the Lake Pitch last Saturday afternoon and the result was 4 – 2 to the Old Clayesmorians!
Head, Jo Thomson, was on hand to present the trophy to the victors before they all trooped towards the Main House for a well-earned tea.
Well done, chaps!
Late Summer Party
Published on September 20th, 2017 09:44
Here at Clayesmore, we always like to start the new academic year with a bang, so we host a nice party in a stripey marquee, guzzle fizz and canapés and enjoy an eye-watering fireworks display.
Despite some rather grim weather, the evening was a delight and Clayesmore people old and new took the chance to mingle as the grey clouds scudded overhead. We were particularly glad to see a good number of new parents there, as the party is largely to help them feel a part of our School family by introducing them to others associated with Clayesmore. It’s always a really relaxed and happy event and with our excellent catering staff pouring out the prosecco, aided by some of our Sixth Form Hospitality students circulating with delicious nibbles, it was a lovely event. Head, Mrs Thomson, said a few words of welcome, as did Chair of the Clayesmore Society, Fran Deeming, before the fireworks shot into the sky, echoing off the hill. A super start to the new year.
Henry Teed (1942 - 1947)
Published on September 13th, 2017 10:23
It is with regret we must pass on the information that Henry Teed OC passed away recently. His funeral service will be held at Crawley (Surrey) Crematorium on Wednesday 27 September 2017 at 2.15pm.
Mr Benn Goes Walking (with a little help from an OC)
Published on September 8th, 2017 11:07
A 1980s BBC cartoon character has got a real Putney pathway named after him. The much-loved Mr Benn lived at 52 Festive Road, which was based on riverside Festing Road in Putney, south west London, where his creator, the cartoonist David McKee, lived in the l970s. “I changed the name to Festive,” says McKee, “as I felt the real name sounded to much like festering!”
In the last ten years, the residents of Festing Road, led by Hugh Thompson, (an OC who lives at McKee’s old house, number 54) have done a lot to keep this piece of national culture alive. In 2009, they clubbed together to have a commemorative Festive Road paving stone put down and Mr McKee came over from his home in France while Councillor (now Wandsworth’s Mayor) Jim Maddon did the honours. Since then, there have several street parties where Mr Benn and his various characters (pirate, chef, caveman, knight etc) have been the fancy dress theme.
Now, in this year of Mr Benn’s 50th anniversary, the street is going one better and after a petition and getting planning approval, the pathway between Festing and Ashlone Roads has been named Festive Walk in his honour and the signs went up in August.
David McKee said: “Of all the places I have lived, Festing Road is perhaps the best. Friendly, quiet and humane in proportions it was natural to place Mr Benn next door to myself and use some of the residents in street scenes. To have Festive Walk so named is an honour for Mr Benn and myself, we are both very flattered! We wish the residents of the road as much happiness in living there as we had.”
Retired journalist, Hugh Thompson, says: “It’s a wonderful excuse for communal action and identity. Most in the road love the idea that they are part of such an upbeat and positive character as Mr Benn. Some have talked of trying to get the name of the road changed, which would be very complicated and probably impossible, but this is fun and affordable.
“There are one or two newcomers in the road who say they have never heard of Mr Benn. They have now... ”
Lauren's Prom Debut
Published on August 25th, 2017 08:30
Lauren Morgan (2000 - 2016) joined Clayesmore as a tiny tot and left a flourishing young woman and, much to her parents' delight, recently took part in a BBC Prom with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
"It was an incredible experience for her and she felt hugely privileged to be part of it!" they told us.
Have a look here to see what it was all about:
Published on August 25th, 2017 08:27
Gareth Griffiths (1990 - 1992) has friends in high places. Look who he's hanging out with at the recent Edinburgh Tattoo!
Descendent of Coke brings us books!
Published on August 9th, 2017 13:16
Today, we were visited by Robert Muir, who is on a quest to discover as much as possible about his great uncle, Desmond Coke.
Coke was, of course, formerly a master at Clayesmore in its Northwood Park days and was, it is said, earmarked to become Head after Lex, but his ill health prevented this.
He was, by all accounts, very highly-respected and, in turn, he clearly loved the School. He showed this not just by serving it but also by donating very large sums of money both during his life and in his will.
Robert continued in the family tradition by giving us a collection of Coke’s books, which we look forward to putting into the Burney Library which itself is named after Coke’s nephew, Gilbert, who attended Clayesmore and was killed in action in WWI.
There’s something definitely full circle about that. Thank you, Dr Muir.
Old Clayesmorian in West End debut
Published on August 2nd, 2017 08:54
OCs of a 1980s vintage may remember their erstwhile classmate, Kevin Jones (1981 – 1986), a music scholar, who went on to enjoy a career in opera.
Having moved into musical theatre, he has now just made his West End debut as the latest Bill Kenwright production of Evita hits the stage at the Phoenix Theatre. Playing the pivotal role of Peron (Evita’s husband), Kevin is delighted to be part of the hugely successful production and sent us this photograph of him in the foreground, looking suitably furious.
Break a leg, Señor!
Who needs Sinatra?
Published on July 31st, 2017 15:12
Proud father, Mark Hewett, sent us a link of his son, George (2007 – 14), performing with the Royal Northern College of Music Session Orchestra.
“It certainly gave me goosebumps when I watched it,” he said. And, of course, we were delighted when he went on: “I just wanted to thank you all for everything you (Clayesmore) did for George and was sure you’d like to see your former pupil doing what he loves.”
And is clearly very good at! Have a look…
Published on July 14th, 2017 08:20
It is with regret that we have heard of the death of Margaret Glazebrook, widow of the late Hugh, both former shining lights of Clayesmore Prep School when it was at Charlton Marshall.
Anthony Watts (1942 - 1954) has asked that we advertise the funeral at Milton Parish Church, Milton, near Abingdon, at 11am on 24 July 2017. Please attend if you can and/or tell others who knew the Glazebrooks.
Further sailing news…
Published on July 4th, 2017 11:15
… from OC, John Burnie (1965 - 1970), who sent a video of nautical antics at the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta.
He’s on the one with a big “H” on the sail.
How the other half live, eh?
Channel Islands Reunion
Published on June 27th, 2017 15:28
Last weekend, Old Clayesmorian, Stuart Henley (1960 - 1963) and his wife, Bridget, very kindly opened the doors of their house in St Peter Port, Guernsey, to a gaggle of OCs, former parents and current staff.
They popped open numerous bottles of champagne and laid on some spectacular nibbles as friends old and new chatted and laughed. It was a great opportunity for Head, Jo Thomson, to make some connections with OCs who had attended Clayesmore before her tenure, so ensuring they would know the door is still very much open to them now that she will prove a familiar face on the other side of it. At least to those who managed not to fall foul of The Macallan that was being passed around towards the end of the evening, who may struggle to remember who anybody was…
It was great fun and a typically Clayesmorian feeling of joy and goodwill prevailed, as it always does, with Stuart’s enthusiasm in remembering his alma mater extending to the hoisting of a School flag on the drive outside his house. Here’s to next year!
Photos are here
Spats & Sequins: the Summer Ball 2017
Published on June 22nd, 2017 15:28
After what seemed like decades of planning, the Clayesmore Society “Bright Young Things” Summer Ball finally happened last week and boy, did it go with a swing.
The weather could not have been kinder as flappers and fops, Gatsbys and gangsters, mobsters and molls gathered on the North Lawn to sip gin cocktails and drop sequins on the grass.
Dinner was served in the marquee, spectacularly decorated with flowers, feathers, scenic canvases and a magnificent gin bar. Each table was named after a character of the era with “Gussie Fink-Nottle”, “Cecil Beaton” and “Lord Sebastian Flyte” et al groaning under the weight of immaculate glasswear and elegant arrangements of anthuriums.
A delicious meal was brought out and devoured, finished off with a real show-stopper of a pudding: English Summer House Cake, adorned with colourful blooms, tasting every bit as wonderful as it looked.
Dancing to “Pocket Cat”, fronted by OC, Bryony Purdue, followed and the sweet sounds of jazz drifted into the night until carriages came at 1am to collect the revellers, speeding them to their beds.
It was an absolute scorcher of a party; the Bright Young Things would have been proud…
There are lots of photos of the evening here.
Summit in Africa
Published on June 22nd, 2017 10:47
The Great Lakes Trade Summit is taking place in Kampala next month and an OC has secured some crucial work at the event. Verity Magnay (2010 - 2013), who graduates in Creative Events Management from Falmouth this summer, said: "I'm really looking forward to working with an international organisation on a high-profile event. I think it will be a fantastic, challenging experience and will give me a great industry insight. I have lots of different event experience but had not considered working as an event organiser for conferences and business meetings so I will see where this takes me.” The Great Lakes Trade Summit is a gathering of politicians, businesses and pro-market advocates from Europe, East Africa, and beyond. The Summit will explore the vast opportunities for greater trade and investment with the region and make the ethical case for free trade as a means of poverty alleviation, conflict resolution and social justice.
Opportunities for Governorship
Published on June 22nd, 2017 09:48
We seek new Governors to help steer Clayesmore in to the future. Please click on the photo to see more details; we'd love to hear from you!
Aubrey de Selincourt
Published on June 21st, 2017 15:18
A kind fellow, Desmond Devitt, (ex Dragon School where de Selincourt was both a pupil and a teacher), sent us this link about our former Headmaster.
City Lunch 2017
Published on June 12th, 2017 13:34
The small matter of a General Election taking place that day was never going to stand in the way of a group of Old Clayesmorians and a good lunch. Hence, a hearty crowd of wine-quaffing folk gathered at usual haunt, Le Beaujolais in the West End, for steak frites, beaucoup de fromage and more than a soupçon of bonhomie.
Numbers were slightly up, with Gawain Towler, Emma Morris, Chris Johnston there and a first visit from the School’s Liisa Steele. Also present were Stephen Dover, Johan Van Dijk, Rory White-Andrews, Simon Swaby, David Fangen, Hamish Dow, Andrew Beaton, Piers Sabine and Hugh Thompson.
Hugh, who organises this annual shindig, stood up to say some words in memory of OC, Squadron Leader Peter Livingstone Chilton (1918-75), who was at the Prep School from 1925 to 1932. On leaving for Uppingham, it was said of him in The Clayesmorian: “he has been an outstanding example of cheeriness and loyalty.”
In 1936, he went to RAF College Cranwell and, as a bomber pilot, he flew over sixty missions and completed three tours of duty. He was awarded an AFC, DFC and DSO. The citation for the latter in the London Gazette (June 1945), when referring to his bringing a wounded plane home, stated: “this officer set a splendid example of skill, courage and tenacity.”
He was duly toasted in copious amounts of French vino and word has it that a hardy few stayed for some hours after the coffee had become cold and the Epoisses was crawling off the cheeseboard…
OCs receiving their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards
Published on June 6th, 2017 12:42
The mother of recent OC, Eleanor James, sent in this picture of her daughter at Buckingham Palace with some other Clayesmorians who were at the event.
“We had a great day,” she says. “The Duke of Edinburgh was at the ceremony for the last time, although we didn't get to speak to him! It was sweltering, so St John's Ambulance was dealing with a lot of fainting teenagers and parents; not us though! And we enjoyed celebrity spotting… ” Head of DofE at Clayesmore, Jamie Reach, explains: “Seventeen Clayesmorians were invited to the presentation on 26 May and it was great to see the School so strongly represented. Within the South West, our completion rate is one of the highest. “It is wonderful that recipients have the opportunity to go to the Palace: it’s a super experience for them as well as just reward for the effort they will have put in to achieve their Gold Award.”
News from the ocean wave…
Published on May 26th, 2017 13:45
Guaranteed to make even the most dyed-in-the-wool landlubber green with envy, John Burnie (1965 – 1970) continues swanning about the globe on huge yachts and has been in touch with news of his antics:
“The big yacht racing season is well underway, with a special regatta coming up in Bermuda in June: The America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. With seven J Class entries, the event has attracted some of the biggest yachts in the world with the racing taking place in the middle of the main America’s Cup Event.
“I will be navigating the 165ft Hyperion. Originally the largest sloop in the world, it is now one of the smaller yachts in the race but, despite that, we always seem to have at least 40 people on the crew.
“I will be hoping to see a number of OCs in Bermuda, including Shannon Falcone (1994 – 1999 and former Head Boy), who will be racing on Hanuman. Always at the top and always getting the best rides is Shannon!
“Immediately afterwards, many of us are then ‘high tailing’ it straight to Mallorca for the Palma Superyacht Cup. I will be helming a beautiful, 150ft modern classic schooner: unlike Hyperion, this is more akin to racing antique furniture.
Life on the ocean wave is never dull!”
Royal role for OC
Published on May 25th, 2017 16:13
We received news recently of Edward Mills (2002 – 2009), an Old Clayesmorian and graduate of Plymouth University who is now commissioned into the Scots Guards.
His mother, Anne, told us: “He loves his role and tells me he has many wayward young soldiers in his platoon who keep occupied; no doubt his own previous experiences (at school) help him!”
Furthermore, Ed took the role of Ensign at the Scots Guards’ parade at Buckingham Palace earlier this month, taking the colours from the Queen and presenting them to the regiment. You can see him on the right of the picture.
Speaking to the Guards, the Queen, their Colonel-in-Chief, said: “In whatever role you serve, each one as vital as the other, I entrust to you these new colours in the sure knowledge that they will inspire you to achieve excellence in whatever you do and wherever you are, which your forebears in the Scots Guards have done for the past 375 years”.
Published on May 25th, 2017 10:46
We were sorry to hear of the death of Winston Walmsley, commonly known as Win, an Honorary OC who passed away peacefully last week at home.
Win retired from the Estates Department almost 3 years ago, having worked at Clayesmore for over 34 years.
His funeral will be held on Friday 26 May at Shroton Church at 11.30am. All welcome.
The Science of Winning
Published on May 24th, 2017 15:42
Richard Cross (2005 - 2010), has just won the Young Scientist Award from SETAC (Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry), a global, not-for-profit organisation which publishes journals and is the main association for ecotoxicology (the study of contaminants in the environment).
“My work looks at the potential risks that engineered nanoparticles pose to the environment,” explains Richard. “Specifically, I'm looking at the route to uptake of these nanoparticles into aquatic wildlife and how we might be able to ‘design’ nanoparticles to limit their potential impacts on the environment.”
After Clayesmore, Richard studied Environmental Science at the University of York before commencing his PhD at the University of Exeter. His advice for younger Clayesmorians?
“… to take every opportunity that comes your way and never feel like you are constrained to one thing or another. With every move, every job and every change in field (for me from conservation and energy policy to environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology), it’s always important to remember that everyone starts from the same position of having no background whatsoever. What sets you apart is just being willing to learn, ask questions of people who know more than you and never think that you are stuck in the same field or doing the same thing.”
Douglas Reed OC (RIP)
Published on May 22nd, 2017 08:54
Tuesday 30 May 2017 at 4pm All Saints Church, Weston, Chestnut Ave, Esher KT10 8JL
As many of you will know, Douglas died on 10 May 2017.
Following a private cremation earlier in the afternoon, a service celebrating his life and devotion to choral music will be held on Tuesday 30 May 2017 at All Saints Church, Weston at 4pm. It will comprise a number of choral and organ works that he particularly loved.
The sung music Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah) HANDEL Ave verum corpus MOZART In Paradisum (from Requiem) FAURÉ (sung by the All Saints Chamber Choir) I was glad PARRY
The hymns have yet to be chosen, save for the last one which will be Jerusalem. There will also be organ pieces and a trumpet voluntary.
Veronica is adamant that the large pieces should be big and bold, just as Douglas would have liked them. Hence, we have arranged for two trumpeters (Robert Vanryne and Eloise Yates) and a timpanist (Nick Handel) to accompany the Handel, Parry and Jerusalem.
I was glad PARRY This will be a 'come and sing' rendition for anyone who would like to join in (without prior rehearsal). The All Saints Chamber Choir will sing 'O pray for the peace of Jerusalem' and the 'Vivats' will be redacted. A marked-up copy of it should accompany this message (for you to look at in advance, if you wish). Please bring a printed copy with you to sing from.
If you would like to sing in the choir for the service, which we would warmly encourage, please email Bee Cassidy at email@example.com with the following information: your name; a. your voice part; and b. whether you can attend a rehearsal at: 4-6pm on Monday 29 May at All Saints Church and/or from 3pm to 3.30pm on 30 May 2017.
If you are unable to make the rehearsal on the Monday, and you feel able to, please come and sing in the choir anyway. We will run through the main pieces at the rehearsal on the day at 3pm. Nobody should feel excluded.
We do hope you will be able to join us, and the rest of the Parish, for this celebration and commemoration, which will be followed by a drinks reception at Marney’s Village Inn opposite the church.
The Stour Cup
Published on May 18th, 2017 13:25
Last year, the OC cricket team, the Clayesmore Cormorants, beat off some stiff competition to win the much-coveted Twenty20 Stour Cup for the first time.
The tournament for the Cup was founded in 2007 as a quadrangular competition between the four Dorset 'old boys' teams who play each other each July: Sherborne, Canford, Bryanston and Clayesmore.
The contest works on a 'semi-finals' basis, so a team has to win its first match of the day to get to the 'final' and if it wins that second match, the trophy is theirs. In the past, Clayesmore has generally come third, losing the opening fixture but winning the second, having only ever reached the final once before. Unfortunately, that match was curtailed by rain and Clayesmore lost in a bowl off.
Last year, with a relatively young team, many of whose members were making their Cormorants Cricket Week debut, the OCs picked up the Trophy for the very first time after putting in two really strong performances with both bat and ball.
The Stour Cup fixture has become a fantastic curtain raiser to Cricket Week, with the Schools’ old boys then playing each other in 'head to head' traditional all-day fixtures over the following days. So it’s always a great chance for some early bragging rights and some silverware!
And here is a picture of the Cormorants’ Captain, Greg Swaby (2000 – 2005), handing said silverware to Mrs Thomson for display in the Drawing Room at School. Let’s hope our OCs can retain it this year!
Cormorants vs First XI
Published on May 15th, 2017 10:13
We were delighted that a rainy night had given way to a sun-filled morning as the Clayesmore Cormorants gathered to prepare for their annual attempt at giving the School’s First XI a good thrashing.
And, as it transpired, the OC team did indeed begin its 2017 season with a victory! With several recent leavers, in their first match as Old Boys, playing against brothers still at the School, a hotly-contested match was ensured, played with great spirit.
Batting first, the OC team set a target of 148 to win. Will Hendy top-scored on 59 with Ben T taking 4 wickets for the School. In reply, the School reached 111, with Max hitting 45 and Cormorants veteran, Andy Dike, taking six wickets for 35 runs (including a spell of 6-16 off 31 balls).
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon: huge thanks go to all players and our steadfast duo of expert scorers: Louise Smith and Sarah Jane Rhead.
More photos to be seen in the gallery
Choral Day 2017
Published on May 15th, 2017 09:41
Our annual Choral Day was held last Saturday and proved the usual fabulous mixture of music, song and conviviality.
After a morning of rehearsals, the voluntary choir, consisting of OCs, parents and other friends of the School, were joined by current Clayesmore pupils to practice for the evening’s performance.
Director of Music, Ralph Kerr, had chosen a varied programme, including Mass in G by Schubert and anthems by Mozart and Fauré, but it was the Beatus Vir by Monteverdi that proved, as predicted, the most challenging piece of the day.
However, after a just a few hours of rehearsals together, they pulled it off and kept an enraptured audience entertained for an hour in the Chapel that evening. Accompanied by teachers and visiting musicians on strings and the organ, the sound was magnificent and filled the space with passion and glorious voice.
The finale, now a tradition, was a joint effort between performers and audience with a rousing “Jerusalem”: always guaranteed to get everyone going.
Well done to all involved: staff, voluntary singers, visitors, pupils, Mr Musson and Mr Kerr. It is always a superb occasion and this year proved as good as any.
Afterwards, some stayed on for a delightful supper party in the de Selincourt, where the catering department lived up to its stellar reputation by providing a delicious three course meal for the hungry throng.
If you’ve never been to Choral Day, make sure you come next year, to sing or to listen, you will not be disappointed.
These socks were made for walking...
Published on May 9th, 2017 09:11
The Sponsored Walk was resurrected this year and proved both well-supported and rather sunny.
We had 137 walkers over three local routes and the unsurpassable Dorset countryside around Clayesmore could not have looked more beautiful as they all set off, fuelled by delicious bacon and egg baps, juice and coffee.
Those eager participants who had planned their day were joined by enthusiastic(!) boarders, dragged into the fray by house parents and the lure of tea and cakes upon their return.
Among the OCs who turned up, as can be seen in this photograph, were John Symons (62 - 67), Stephen Levinson (62 - 67) and David Lowcock (63 - 67). It came to light later that John was kitted out in fifty-year-old Clayesmore socks (visible in said photo, taken at the top of Hambledon Hill). We like a bit of nostalgia in our footwear… We just hope they’ve seen the inside of a washing machine at some stage during their lengthy lifespan.
Well done, chaps!
B&B bonus for members at The (new and improved) Talbot
Published on April 24th, 2017 11:36
The new owners of The Talbot, just over the road from School, have kindly offered a 10% discount on overnight stays to Clayesmore Society members on production of their blue membership cards.
We are delighted to welcome them to the fold and know that it will be very helpful for many members. The Talbot is the perfect place for a relaxing night after a late concert, play or party… And we have a few of those at Clayesmore!
To book, please contact Ellie or Brett directly at The Talbot (not via the company’s online booking facility) on 01747 811269 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a look at the website to see how lovely it is! www.talbot-iwerne.co.uk
PLEASE NOTE: this offer is not applicable to food or bar sales.
Louise breaks the mould at Chichester
Published on April 4th, 2017 09:15
Louise Salmond-Smith (née Thompson, King’s, 1989 - 1994) has long been impressing us with her inspiration and energy as current Chairman of the OC Society, as well as in her role of Head of Tormead Junior School in Guildford, Surrey.
However, she has gone a step further towards OC world domination, shattering a 900-year-old tradition by becoming the new Head of The Prebendal School in Chichester: the first woman to do so.
With a long-term passion (and talent) for music, as well as teaching, a “delighted” Louise is a perfect choice for this ancient institution which, amongst regular pupils, educates the choristers of nearby Chichester Cathedral.
The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, who is Dean of the Cathedral and chair of governors at the school, said: “Mrs Salmond Smith comes to us with a proven record of successful teaching, and thoughtful and inspirational leadership. “She has the vision and passion to enable our students to enjoy an outstanding education of the highest quality.” Louise takes up her new post in September and we wait with anticipation to hear how it goes. A superb achievement and another OC to be proud of.
Charlotte at the RAH
Published on March 28th, 2017 09:22
Old Clayesmorian and talented soprano, Charlotte Hewett (King’s, 2006 - 2008), continues her rise to stardom with a delightful-sounding afternoon at the Royal Albert Hall this July. Tea and cakes will be served as she delivers a mixed repertoire of pieces by composers including Rossini, Bizet, Mozart and Strauss.
The RAH website describes Charlotte as “one of the UK’s most promising soprano talents”. And they should know…
Look here for information and tickets.
And the Academy Award goes to…
Published on March 22nd, 2017 14:03
… An OC! Yes, here is a photo of Old Clayesmorian, Nina Williams (Prep then Wolverton, 2000 – 2009), holding the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, won this year by the company she works for, MPC, for its work on The Jungle Book.
After leaving Clayesmore, Nina read Computer Science and Maths at Oxford Brookes and then went on to do a Masters in Advanced Computing with Creative Technology at Bristol. She has since been working as a software developer for MPC (the Moving Picture Company), in London, and has been involved in various projects, including Ghostbusters and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, as well as the Oscar-winning remake of the famous Rudyard Kipling story.
We think this is a first for an OC and we’re thrilled to hear of it. Well done, Nina!
A day to remember…
Published on March 15th, 2017 14:46
This year’s Spring Term OC Day was small but perfectly formed. As always, it was a warm and relaxed affair, full of curiosity, laughter and just a little bit of nostalgia.
This was all heightened by the presence of our former Headmaster, David Beeby, and his wife, Anne, after a long absence from the School. We were so delighted they came up from their home in Lymington to see us and the OCs and staff from their tenure were similarly honoured. There were so many memories and stories being bandied around and lots of giggling at past antics.
The Old Boys and Girls went on tours of their old Houses and wandered about the grounds, seeing the changes that have taken place here over the years, and seemed suitably amazed at the transformation. They seemed quite overwhelmed by the sheer scale of some of the work that has been done on site.
Meanwhile, a sturdy band of OC brothers took to the astro to do battle with current pupils in the annual hockey match. It was a madly ferocious game, and superb fun to watch, ending in a defeat of the School by the Old Clayesmorians who, victorious with their 3-2 win, wandered into lunch with a certain swagger…
Our ever-splendid catering department served up a delicious roast beef with all the trimmings, followed by crumble, then it was upstairs to delve into the 1990s archives: all “curtains” hair and shiny suits. The ties were pretty awful, too, if we’re honest.
Then there was tea and cake, hugs and farewells.
To all OCs out there of all vintages: you should come to our reunions. Nobody ever leaves without a warm glow about them! And a sated appetite…
Photos are here
Clayesmore’s artistic tradition continues…
Published on March 10th, 2017 10:57
We were visited this week by Frank Hirshfield (formerly Kaufmann, 1950 - 1952), Old Clayesmorian and renowned sculptor.
He brought with him a very special gift, painted by another OC and gifted artist, John Eveleigh (1940 - 1944).
We were absolutely delighted to see Frank and his wife, Maud, and to receive this spectacular landscape that will be positioned somewhere it can be appreciated by staff, pupils and visitors alike. Do have a look for it when you’re next in.
Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a very grateful Head with honoured guest, Frank (click on it for a better view). Thank you so much from all of us at Clayesmore, past, present and, we’ve no doubt, future.
A look back in time...
Published on February 20th, 2017 12:19
Here’s an image some of you may recognise. It’s Barber’s Cottage in Iwerne Minster, looking a lot more serene back in what we think is 1907, judging by the faded postmark on the back of the card. Former owner of Iwerne House, James Ismay, is said to have been instrumental in arranging for a certain Charlie Brooks, who lost a leg in the Battle of the Somme, training as a barber in London so he could return and work in the village. This is where Charlie plied his trade for the rest of his life, hence the name. Of course, it remains a lovely house; it’s the passing juggernauts that spoil it, somewhat…
A splash of colour on a wintry day…
Published on February 13th, 2017 15:05
A number of lucky Society members gathered in the de Selincourt Room yesterday to enjoy a quiet morning of art.
Guided by local artist, Marilyn Allis, they were instructed in the use of acrylics and were each gently steered towards the creation of an individual masterpiece: a portrait of a hare.
It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning in the peace of the Main House (it’s half term!), everybody learned something new and all got to take the fruits of their labour home to show off to their families.
Keep an eye on the Clayesmore Society season booklet or the website for more courses and things to try.
AGM and London Lunch
Published on January 30th, 2017 15:44
Last Saturday, a hearty bunch of erstwhile school chums met in central London for the Annual General Meeting of the Old Clayesmorian Society, held at Browns Courtrooms, St Martin’s Lane.
After the business of the day was over, more joined them for a tasty lunch where wine and conversation flowed as old friends caught up on news and shared memories of their school days in Iwerne.
There were some people in that room who have known each other for over fifty years… Pretty splendid, we reckon. Thanks to all who came; it was super to see you!
There are some more photos here
Tony Waller takes a bow
Published on January 24th, 2017 17:16
The school's January Chilli & Cubana performance was long-serving staff member, Tony Waller’s, swan song at Clayesmore.
Tony joined the Prep staff in October 1990 as a brass teacher and shortly became Head of Instrumental Studies there. He soon began teaching Senior school pupils as well, founding the Clayesmore Concert Band in April 1991. Under Tony’s baton, pupils toured Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria and in recent years he founded the Jazz Orchestra.
Many hundreds of Clayesmorians will have fond memories of music with Mr Waller and the subject has received a huge boost under his lead. Presenting him with his retirement gifts, Director of Music, Ralph Kerr, said: “I was bowled over when I first heard the Jazz Orchestra. They are as good as its gets in a school and this is down to Tony. We are enormously grateful to him, and sorry to bid him farewell, but wish him the very best of luck in the future.”
The Sun Shines on Old Clayesmorians
Published on January 20th, 2017 16:18
We heard from OC, James Somper (2008 - 2013), last month, who told us he was “causing mischief” during an internship at The Sun as part of his MA in journalism.
Rather splendidly, he had to liaise with another OC in the creation of one story…
“Amusingly enough, last week I wrote this piece on the Brexit negotiations and had to source a quote from Gawain Towler (1981 - 1986) www.thesun.co.uk/news/2367022/eu-big-wig-guy-verhofstadt-pushes-forward-plans-for-brits-to-stay-eu-citizens-after-brexit/ … Maybe this was the first time two OCs co-operated over the production of an article for a tabloid? It’s a small world.”
Dorset exhibition featuring OC artists
Published on January 19th, 2017 17:09
Two well-known Old Clayesmorian artists join a host of highly-respected contemporaries in a new exhibition opening in Child Okeford.
Works by Edward Ardizzone (1912 - 1916) and Robyn Denny (1945 - 1948) will hang next to those of other eminent painters such as David Hockney and L S Lowry at The Art Stable’s “Modern & Contemporary Prints”, opening on 21 January.
OC morphs into Peron for Evita
Published on January 19th, 2017 12:19
A new national tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical, Evita, has an Old Clayesmorian in a starring role.
Kevin Stephen-Jones (1981 - 1985), veteran of Cats as well as other musicals and numerous operas, was selected to play the part of Juan Peron, President of Argentina and husband of the eponymous heroine. Go and see him in action as the production moves around the country.
Furry charges at Iwerne
Published on January 18th, 2017 16:01
Spotted in Country Life:
A little piece of our history featured in the 30 November 2016 issue of Country Life with this reprint of a letter, sent to the magazine a hundred years ago. It was written by James Ismay, owner of Iwerne Minster House (now our School), about one of his daughters’ pack of Basset Hounds.
We think they’re adorable. Perhaps we should reintroduce them! An interesting and, possibly, unique variation on the curriculum, one suspects…
Another award for Old Clayesmorian
Published on January 6th, 2017 11:41
OC, Andy Dike (1988 - 1991), featured in the Blackmore Vale Magazine recently when his much-loved emporium in Stalbridge won yet another award, this time for being the best place to shop in Dorset, no less.
Andy and fellow director of the firm, Adam Vincent, collected the Best Retail Experience gong at a ceremony in Bournemouth after convincing anonymous “mystery shoppers” of their worth.
A hugely respected feature of the community, Dike and Son has long been championing first class customer service and a dedication to local producers and suppliers and we at Clayesmore are delighted to highlight this latest achievement, especially given Andy’s similar dedication to the OC Society’s cricket team…
Jolly well done!
OC Magazine: database probs
Published on January 5th, 2017 14:57
It has come to our attention that some of you are receiving your magazines, delivered to the correct address but under an incorrect name. Many apologies for this. Do just keep the one you've been sent and we will investigate where the error occurred. Many thanks.
NYE OCs in beanie-wearing dinner shocker
Published on January 5th, 2017 12:27
For the past forty years (or thereabouts, nobody can quite remember), a small group of Old Clayesmorians has got together to celebrate New Year’s Eve and last week was no exception, with the loyal band of brothers gathering with their wives for an evening of wine, venison and, erm, beanies.
One of their number, David Fangen, had purchased the woolly hats in advance and the chaps were forced to wear them for a photo opportunity: not all with the greatest enthusiasm, it must be said.
Nonetheless, we are delighted to see OCs getting together and even more so to see them modelling our wares. Beanies (and many other things besides) available from the OC Shop.
What WILL they be wearing this year?
Published on December 13th, 2016 14:34
As I'm about to leave the Clayesmore Turret for a bit of time off over the hols, I thought I'd let you know that you can still get hold of some nice presents for yourselves from our online shop!
You can place orders up to and including this Thursday 15th and I'll make sure items are sent out to you. Orders placed after that, I'll deal with next term.
A heartfelt thank you for welcoming me this term. It all continues to be a bit of a learning curve but I shall continue to work to do my best for you and the Society into 2017 and, hopefully, beyond. In the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
With my best wishes
George Millington (1937 - 1940)
Published on December 2nd, 2016 09:33
We have just been told of the recent death of George Millington, aged 93, on 22 October.
He arrived at Clayesmore as a young boy from Alexandria and due to the war, was unable to return home for holidays. He would speak very highly of all those who invited him to their homes and particularly the kindness he received from the Headmaster and his wife at that time.
George was a founding member of the London branch of the Samaritans and also worked for the charity Relate.
We send our condolences and best wishes to all those who will miss him.
OC ON SKIS
Published on December 1st, 2016 10:57
Clayesmore is proud to have a representative on a British Ski Team.
In the first International Ski Federation (FIS) Telemark World Cup of the 2016/17 season, Tara Parks (2005 - 2011) claimed 9th and 13th in the sprint races and 9th in the parallel sprint. GB Telemark Team Captain, Louis Hatchwell, said afterwards: “Newcomer Tara… stormed into 9th in her first ever World Cup…”
Stormed? We like the sound of that. Keep up the good work, Tara.
OC on MasterChef
Published on November 29th, 2016 12:03
LEWIS TWYDLE (2005 – 2009)
Old Clayesmorian, Lewis, is going to be on MasterChef: The Professionals tonight on BBC2 at 8pm. He's currently working as a private chef and caters for events such as dinner parties, weddings, office lunches, hen parties etc. He also does some subbing as a relief chef in restaurants etc.
His Housemaster at Devine, Mr Rimmer, remarked: “It’s quite phenomenal what Lewis has achieved since leaving the School. He has overcome a lot of difficulties and to get to compete at this level is a great accolade.”
We wish him the very best of luck.
OC Ardizzone Retrospective
Published on November 28th, 2016 13:11
Many of you have notified us about the very well-received Edward Ardizzone exhibition which has started in London, which has been reviewed in The Spectator and Country Life, above others.
Incorrigible OC scribbler, Hugh Thompson, sent this in:
Ardizzone: A Retrospective For those unfamiliar with one of the most famous OCs, Edward Ardizzone, there is a chance to find out more at the House of Illustration, a relatively new gallery in the heart of the redeveloped King's Cross. This is the first major exhibition for forty years of one of Britain’s most significant illustrators. A Royal Academician, he won prizes at Clayesmore and was sent on his way with the guidance of Housemaster, Desmond Coke. Over 100 pieces are on show, from public and private collections, that reflect the diversity of his career as book illustrator, war and commercial artist and thoroughly nice fellow.
The show ends 22 January 2017.
This picture is courtesy of Country Life 26.10.16 edition.
Published on November 11th, 2016 12:05
A long overdue arrival has appeared in the hall of the Main House, gracing the wall outside the de Selincourt Room. We have a new “Head Board”, so to speak. A roll of honour, commissioned by the School and made by local cabinet maker, Roy Smith, out of oak, it is a list of Heads and Wardens since the inception of Clayesmore in 1896.
Starting with founder, Lex Devine and taking us to the present day with Mrs Thomson, this kind gift of the Old Clayesmorian Society is a really beautiful piece of work and a wonderful, visual reflection of our history.
Do stop to have a look at it next time you’re passing: it’s a wonderful reminder of our past and how far we’ve come.
Autumn OC Golf day at Rushmore
Published on October 31st, 2016 14:54
For various reasons it was difficult to arrange an OC Golf Day this summer but at short notice we organised a game at Rushmore, Clayesmore’s local club, on 24 October.
A small group of redoubtable OCs teed off at 11am to compete for the Iwerne Cup; the 25th time the trophy had been played for!
Max Dowse won the day with 37 stableford points, retaining the trophy he has now won a record four times, with Colin Redston in second place and Charlie Price and Andrew Weatherley tying for third. The rain came down steadily over the second nine holes but in true Clayesmorian spirit everyone completed their rounds with smiles on their faces.
The perfect lunch of bangers and mash with a glass of red, accompanied by conversations of our rose-coloured memories of life at Clayesmore in our youth, completed the day.
Thanks to Rushmore for making us so welcome and for all the OCs who made the day happen.
Details of the OC Golf event in 2017 will be sent out in the New Year.
Julian Bailey (1964 – 69) Julianbailey@hotmail.co.uk
London Drinks Party
Published on October 14th, 2016 10:02
Last night saw the annual gathering of Clayesmore people at the offices of Killik & Co in Mayfair.
Current and past parents mingled with prospective parents, friends, OCs and new Head, Mrs Thomson, as the wine flowed and delicious canapés were passed around.
It was a really super evening, held in the beautiful Music Room at the company’s Grosvenor Street premises.
Enormous thanks to OC and all-round splendid fellow, Paul Killik, for hosting the event for us.
Drummond Cup 2016
Published on September 27th, 2016 10:29
Clayesmore vs Old Clayesmorians: 2 - 3 It was the first year for some time where those playing in the Drummond Cup hadn’t enjoyed doing so under bright and clear skies but, despite the hideous weather, the match went ahead with the OC side attempting to make history and claim a sixth consecutive win. The game got off to a slow start, with both sides easing their way into the match. The School team was brightest in the first half and it was very clear early on that their fitness and the quality of the team had improved from previous years. This was made evident as they struck twice in quick succession. As the first half came to a close, they were 2 - 0 up while the OCs were having a hard time keeping possession and creating opportunities of their own. The OCs needed some inspiration and found just that with a change in formation going into the second half. Two individual effects from two set pieces levelled things up and the first penalty shootout to decide the winners looked to be on. With only 10 minutes to spare, the OCs scored another to complete the dramatic second half turnaround. The School team did its best to fight back but couldn’t find the net and the final whistle came, to the despair of the 1st XI and the relief of the Old Boys. It was a very competitive match and much credit should go to the School side, which has a lot of promising talent and can look forward to a solid season. Ultimately though, it was the OCs who confirmed history with an excellent sixth title in as many years.
Published on September 22nd, 2016 13:00
With late summer comes news of university success for Old Clayesmorians and a good selection of First Class degrees to boast about!
Charlie Bridgeman Sutton (2011 - 2013, Gate) got his First in Economics & Business from Cardiff; Jonathan Brownrigg (2004 – 2009, Devine) in Physics from Leeds; James Somper (2008 – 2013, Gate) in Modern History & Politics from Royal Holloway; Rosa Scott (2004 – 2013, King’s) and Harriet Wordsworth (2004 – 2013, Wolverton) both got Firsts in Culinary Arts Management from the University of West London and finally, Cherry Baker (2002 – 2012, Wolverton) got hers in Business Management from Cardiff.
Congratulations to all of you and well done on all your hard work!
The picture shows Cherry on her graduation day.
Clayesmore: it’s in the blood
Published on September 21st, 2016 10:35
A little girl called Maddy has just started in Reception and her joining us here at Clayesmore is worthy of special mention: she is the fourth generation of her family to come to the school.
Way back in 1932, her great-grandfather, Stenner Fangen, came to Clayesmore, a year before it had even moved to Iwerne. Later, in 1957, his son, David, joined the Prep and stayed right through until 1966.
David’s daughter, Olivia, then became a pupil in the 1990s and now Maddy, her daughter, has arrived. If she stays until she is 18, the Fangens will have had a Clayesmore connection for a whopping 98 years…
Hockey: Old Clayesmorians vs The School
Published on September 20th, 2016 10:30
A couple of weeks’ ago, a strong OC hockey team took on a School team consisting of 1st, 2nd & 3rd team players as well as some U15s, on a sunny, Sunday morning. The OCs were confident they would prove to be tough opposition, though, as they had ex 1st team captains and players in their line up, and even West of England and GB players, but the School still attacked with a confident and positive attitude. In the first half, both teams played some fast-paced hockey but the OCs really took advantage of their goal-scoring opportunities. The School put up a strong fight in defence, marking well and making some strong tackles to neutralise many of the OCs’ attacks. They created some scoring chances but were unable to convert them, alas. The girls continued to deal with all the OCs could throw at them in the second half but legs tired into the final stages of the match and the OCs took a resounding victory, winning 3 – 0 despite having no subs! It was a good, fast-paced game and both sides thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ll be back next year!
Rowan’s Roman Prize
Published on August 26th, 2016 11:07
OC, Rowan Newland (2006 – 11 Wolverton), has just won a very special prize, awarded by The Society for the Protection of Roman Studies, for best PGCE research paper at Cambridge University.
Rowan, who got her degree from Durham, left Homerton College last term and has just started her career at Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh, where she teaches Latin and Classics. She won a cheque for £200 and a year’s free subscription to the Society.
Never one to blow her own trumpet, she didn’t let us know but her proud mother (and Clayesmore’s Head of Sixth Form), Sarah-Jane, did.
A great start to what will surely prove a wonderful and fruitful career: well done, Rowan!
OC Shannon sets a new world record
Published on August 15th, 2016 07:47
Congratulations to Shannon Falcone (1994-1999), part of Team Comanche who set a new Monohull Transatlantic record from New York to Lizard Point, Cornwall with an elapsed of time of 5 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds, taking over a day off Maria Cha IV's standing record from 2003.
Mike Manson's novel is one of the BBC's Books that Made Britain
Published on August 15th, 2016 07:41
OC Mike Manson (1964-1967)'s novel, 'Where's My Money', has been selected by BBC TV for their programme The Books that Made Britain due to be broadcast in October 2016.
Kevin Jones returns to his old stomping ground at the Mayflower Theatre
Published on August 15th, 2016 07:37
OC Kevin Jones (1981-1986) has returned to his old stomping ground, performing in Cats at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
'I was at Clayesmore from 1981-1986 and performed my first ever musical Guys and Dolls there. I was a music scholar on the flute and a choral scholar also at Clayesmore and remember it fondly. Currently I am doing this if anyone would like to come and can offer cast rates.
Click here for more information
My stage name is Kevin Stephen-Jones but at Clayesmore I was plain old Kevin Jones.'
Congratulations to Nan Dennett on her 103rd Birthday
Published on July 28th, 2016 09:03
Mrs Nan Dennett who worked for many years at Clayesmore Prep School as a member of the Domestic and Housekeeping Team is pictured here at her 103rd birthday tea party with ex Prep Head of Art Mike Geary.
Mrs Dennett who worked to keep the Prep School spick and span attributes her longevity to hard work interspersed with good fun with family and friends.
Regular outings to race meetings and weekly bingo sessions as well as shopping and cooking for herself keep her busy and active.
Maiden First-class Century for OC Lewis McManus
Published on July 28th, 2016 07:30
Many congratulations to OC Lewis McManus on scoring his maiden first-class hundred for Hampshire in their County Championship match against Surrey last week. Lewis, who has played regularly for Hampshire 1st XI this summer, scored 132 not out as he tried to help the side to avoid following-on after Surrey's huge first innings total.
Clayesmore Cormorants victory in the Stour Cup
Published on July 13th, 2016 07:23
Congratulations to the Clayesmore Cormorants Cricket Club who have recorded their first ever victory in the Stour Cup T20 Competition, held at Bryanston on Sunday 10 July. Here's the winning skipper, Greg 'Wolfie' Swaby collecting the cup. A fantastic 31* from Jack Whiteside saw the 'Rants home in the final chasing 100 v. Bryanston.
A great way to kick off cricket week for 2016.
Charles Pole-Carew (1938-1941)
Published on June 29th, 2016 10:57
We are sad to report the passing of Charles Pole-Carew (1938-1941) on Sunday 19th June, aged 92.
Following a career in the Royal Queen's Regiment, he was with the Civil Staff of the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard until retirement.
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
OC City Lunch Le Beaujolais, Lichfield Street - June 2016
Published on June 6th, 2016 20:25
Three late cry offs, three no shows and half term meant numbers were down again. But the twelve who made it once again had a long and happy afternoon. And of course the food was of its usual highest standard. This year we celebrated Hamish Dow’s birthday-he confesses to being “middle aged”, Emma Morris’ plans on moving to Malta and the Fangen family.
Stenner Fangen came to Clayesmore in l932, the year before the School moved to Iwerne. His son David came to the prep in 1957 and left Iwerne in 1966. His daughter Olivia was at the school in the 1990s and this term Stenner’s great-granddaughter Maddy joined the preprep. If she stays until she is 18 the Fangens will have a connection with Clayesmore for 98 years. Hip,hip, hurrah.
Attending the lunch-Emma Morris, Robert Mash, Philip Hammond, David Fangen, Stephen Levinson, Stephen Dover, Hamish Dow,Piers Sabine, Robert Barter, Andrew Beaton,Hugh Thompson,John Van Dijk.
Rupert Wontner (1962-1966)
Published on June 6th, 2016 20:21
We are sorry to report the passing of Rupert Wontner (1962-1966) on 15 May 2016. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time, and particularly his twin brother and OC, Nicholas.
Lorsson de Bie's Big Battlefield Bikeride
Published on May 4th, 2016 15:20
This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and to commemorate this, the Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2016 will travel the length of the Western front (350+ miles) from Ypres & Passchendaele in Belgium, via Arras, Vimy Ridge and the Somme in northern France, to finish at Verdun near the German border.
Old Clayesmorian Lorsson de Bie has entered the event as part of team Debenhams and is fundraising for Help for Heroes. Lorsson has been out on the Fundraising trail in Debenhams stores across the south-west and has raised over £1,300 of his £2,600 target, as well as having one Peter Andre pop by for a visit.
The Debenhams team also visited Tedworth House, one of four Recovery Centres run by Help for Heroes, where they were given a guided tour by another Old Clayesmorian, Susan Gibbings. Tedworth House is fully adapted to ensure the best recovery process, with over 50 en-suite bedrooms and a range of specialist rooms for adaptive sports, education courses, relaxation and socializing. Whilst at Tedworth House the team also had the opportunity to meet Former Corporal, Ross Austen, who after recovering at Tedworth House is now an aspiring Team GB Paralympic power lifter. After meeting Ross, having a tour of the centre’s facilities, and learning more about how Help for Heroes aid the recovery process at Tedworth House the team were extremely humbled and inspired get back out cycling, baking and raffling for this great cause.
If you want to find out more about Lorsson’s journey or make a donation then visit his Just Giving page
Lifetime achievement award for George Banks (1963-1966)
Published on May 4th, 2016 15:10
Our congratulations to George Banks (1963-1966), who was recently presented with a lifetime achievement award from On Board Hospitality Magazine, in appreciation of 'his tireless commitment to onboard culinary excellence'.
Three OCs step out at Lord's
Published on May 4th, 2016 15:06
We are pleased to publish this photograph of three OCs, Graeme Owton, Ned Lack and Tom Hicks at Lord’s on 4 May for the MCC Regional T20 Finals.
Tom writes, "We were all representing London Suburban (South) and sadly lost in the semi final." We believe this may be the first time that three OCs have stepped out at the Home of Cricket together before.
John Wrangham (1946-1949)
Published on April 29th, 2016 10:09
We are sorry to report the passing of John Wrangham (1946-1949) in October of last year.
Brian Baggett (1947-1951)
Published on April 12th, 2016 15:56
We are sorry to report the passing of Brian Baggett (1947-1951), of Hayling Island, in February this year. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Spring Term OC Day
Published on March 25th, 2016 18:51
On a very, very cold and wind-swept Sunday in March, a splendid rabble of OCs from the 1970s and 1980s gathered back at Clayesmore for a day of food, hockey and reminiscing.
There was a good turn out and it was great to see old friends greeting each other and immediately sharing stories and memories from their school days here.
The catering department fed them all a very fine roast and crumble (general consensus: infinitely better than in previous decades) but only after the brave souls of the OC Hockey team had tackled some of our rather younger current players on the astro. Under a bleak sky and in a freezing gale, they did a superb job to come, erm, second. But with a healthy score of 2-4 in favour of the home team!
The library was filled with photos and albums and all sorts of dusty archive material, which the former pupils pored over with great enthusiasm. Then, a wonderful spread of home made cakes and scones appeared and everybody enjoyed tea in front of a roaring fire in the drawing room.
We were so pleased to see everyone and glad so many could make it. Don’t forget to keep us informed of your news!
Graham Fry (1959-1961)
Published on March 8th, 2016 10:35
We are sad to report the passing of Graham Fry on 15 February 2016 following a battle with dementia. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Robert Mulliner (1987-1990) celebrates success at Clay Pigeon World Championships
Published on February 22nd, 2016 09:53
Our congratulations to Robert Mulliner who was selected to represent Great Britain in the 3 man senior Helice Clay Pigeon Shooting team at the World Championships in Venice last year. The competition took place over 3 days in August 2015, with the mens team finishing a very creditable 4th, missing out on Bronze by just 3 targets.
Being selected for the Great Britain team is a huge achievement and one Robert is, rightly, very proud of.
OC Society AGM & Annual Dinner 2016
Published on February 3rd, 2016 13:39
The annual OC AGM & Dinner was held at Clayesmore last Saturday. There was a splendid turn out and it was particularly lovely to see so many recent leavers there. Following the official business of the AGM, prosecco was served in the hall and animated greetings echoed up the main staircase before the throng descended to the dining hall for a marvellous dinner.
Chair of the Society, Louise Salmond Smith, opened proceedings with a warm welcome then Head Boy, Alex Clarke, said grace. Further toasts were made before Martin, at his last OC Dinner as Headmaster, took to the stage and made a very witty and moving speech.
Next, it was the turn of Lucinda Sandon-Allum (2010–2012), currently (among other things) President of the Imperial College Union in London, leading and representing all 17,000 students (rather more, as she pointed out, than the 85 when she was Head of Wolverton).
Lucinda paid tribute to Clayesmore and especially to Martin and Eleanor.
“You are both kind, fair, compassionate and enthusiastic people, with selfless hopes and dreams for all who pass through these walls,” she said. And, raising her glass, she heralded a toast, thanking them “for making Clayesmore feel like a home where everyone is given an equal chance to shine.”
The meal was closed by grace, said by Head Girl, Maddie Noll, and guests moved on to The Capital, where Max Milner and his band were playing. For those with more sensitive ears, coffee was also served in the Drawing Room.
It was a wonderful evening and clearly everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Approaching midnight, as carriages left, there was no doubting that Martin and Eleanor had presided over yet another great Clayesmore event; we just wish it wasn’t approaching their last.
Alice Watts (1996-2001) launches new album
Published on February 2nd, 2016 15:47
Alice Watts (1996-2001), second album, BLUE GOLD is now on iTunes and Spotify. Click here to download a copy. "Alice Watts Album 'Your World' is truly scrumptious!" (Lynn Parsons, Radio 2)
David Robert Thomas (1952-1956)
Published on February 2nd, 2016 11:50
We are sorry to report the passing of David Robert Thomas on 26 January 2016. Loving husband of Janet, father of Ann, Mark and Robert, grandfather of Harry, Rosie and Neil. All enquiries to Cooperative Funeralcare ,Oakham. Tel 01572 757415.
Andrew Nurcombe writes: ' I knew David slightly as he was a year behind me. I can remember that he went to CCF Camp at Le Marchant Barracks (now demolished), in 1954 when it was the depot of the Wiltshire regiment(now long gone and part of the Rifles) and a good programme of events was put on for us.Some 20 cadets attended plus our 3 officers viz Capt (later major) Bill(Flabby) Aldworth, Capt David Reid, and lieut Stuart Williams.'
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Colin Jones (1951-1956)
Published on January 28th, 2016 14:14
We are sorry to report the passing of Colin Jones, a former prefect, on 20 January. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Dr W 'Bill' Beesley (1949-1955)
Published on January 25th, 2016 09:25
We are very sorry to report the passing of Bill Beesley on 8 July 2014 peacefully after a short illness. A retired doctor and former head prefect.
Max Milner to play at OC AGM & Annual Dinner on 30 January, from 6pm
Published on January 17th, 2016 18:56
We are delighted to announce that after-dinner entertainment at this year's OC AGM & Annual Dinner will be provided by singer-songwriter Max Milner. Booking closes on Wednesday 20 January and tickets are available via the events page of the OC Society website.
Cost for three courses (excluding wine), £40 a head. Special rate of £10 a head applies to those who have left the school since July 2011.
To read more about Max - visit his website.
Adrian Edward Frost (1949-1954)
Published on January 12th, 2016 15:44
We are sorry to report the passing away of Adrian Frost, a pupil at the school from 1949-1954 at the age of 79 on 31 December 2015. The funeral will take place on Thursday 21 January at St Mary Magdalene Church, Milton Keynes at 11am. Please send all queries to:- H.W.Mason, 97 Victoria Rd, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2FD.
Andrew Nurcombe writes:
'Adrian was at the school between 1949 and 1954. He was musical and played the piano and the clarinet or oboe I last saw him at an OC Dinner at Simpson's in the 1990s. He was by profession a market gardener but also, I believe, liked a punt on horses. He did National Service in the Royal Tank Regiment and, because he could read music, was put into the band as a clarinetist. Like myself, he wasn't one for games!
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Alan Roger Warren (1945-1950)
Published on January 4th, 2016 11:40
We are sorry to report the passing of Alan Warren, in 2015. Mr Warren was a retired artist and teacher, and was resident in London.
Geoffrey Gaskell-Blackburn (1947-1952)
Published on January 4th, 2016 10:43
We are sorry to report the passing of Geoffrey Gaskell-Blackburn, a pupil at the school from 1947-1952, on 15 November 2015, at the age of 81. He is sadly missed by his children and by Peta, his devoted companion for the past eight years. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Congratulations to Amy Scully (nee Humpherson) (1995-2005)
Published on January 4th, 2016 09:37
Our congratulations to Amy Humpherson (1995-2005), who married Doctor Paul Scully on July 10th 2015.
Shannon Falcone (1994-1998) part of winning Sydney-Hobart sail team
Published on January 4th, 2016 09:22
Our congratulations to OC Shannon Falcone on his recent success as part of the Comanche crew who won the 2015 Sydney-Hobart race, taking line honours in a time of 2 days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.
Digby Golding (1944-1946)
Published on December 15th, 2015 10:02
We are sorry to report the passing of Digby Golding on 12 August 2015.
David Hammersley (1954-1958) updates us on his painting
Published on December 3rd, 2015 14:53
For those interested in art I attach three recent pictures I've painted. The first one is a large watercolour (70x50cm) titled Sunny Morning Road to Bobbin Head. This was awarded the Bradfield Prize, which licences the Federal Member of the Bradfield electorate to use the image for his Christmas card to all his constituents. The painting sold for $900.
The next painting is a typical view of rocks in the national park in the Sydney region. An acrylic (90x 70cm), recently sold for$1,600. We have made our own Christmas card of this one.
The other one is a dusk landscape on a farm on the north west plains in New South Wales (120x60cm) also acrylic, which has not been offered for sale.
Wishing all at Clayesmore happy Christmas from sunny Sydney. David and Helen Hammersley
Mrs Betty Greenway
Published on November 30th, 2015 11:00
We are sad to report the news that Mrs Betty Greenway died on 28 November. She was manageress of the school tuck shop form the early 1960s until she retired in 1980. Tim Trenchard writes:
'I remember Mrs Greenway well - she ruled the tuck shop with a steely gaze and a firm tone in her voice. Her morning break time jugs of piping hot coffee and her liver sausage finger rolls were a legend in her lifetime! Also I well remember on sports/speech days she used to make superb Marmite and lettuce sandwiches (I used to ask for the ones made with the crust - you got more then!).
Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
Neville Jason (1946-1952)
Published on November 11th, 2015 14:56
We are sorry to report the passing of Neville Jason (known as Jacobson at Clayesmore) on 16 October this year. He was an actor, who trained at RADA. He was a member of the Old Vic Company, the English Stage Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Birmingham Repertory Company. He was also with the BBC Radio Drama Company on three occasions as well as performing in radio plays, documentaries and arts programmes. Jason was perhaps best known on screen for his portrayal of Prince Reynart in the Doctor Who installment "The Androids of Tara" and From Russia with Love (1963), The Message (1977) and The Duellists (1977).
Thomas Linthorn Bradbeer (1938-1943)
Published on November 11th, 2015 09:04
We are sorry to report the passing of Thomas Linthorn Bradbeer on 6 November at the age of 90. Thomas was the eldest of three brothers who attended the school. On leaving Clayesmore he went on to study medicine, and specialised in Ear, Nose and Throat surgery at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. Much loved husband of Vivyen, father of Caroline, Nicholas and Harry. His funeral will be held at Worthing Crematorium at 1.20pm on Friday, November 13th. No flowers please, but donations, if desired, to Save the Children.
Mike Foot (Hon OC)
Published on November 2nd, 2015 09:18
We are very sorry to report the passing of Mike Foot on 1 November 2015 following a struggle with cancer. Mike taught PE, Games, Mathematics and CCF at Clayesmore from 1966 to 1990. Our thoughts are with his children at this sad time. His funeral will take place at Yeovil Crematorium on Thursday 12th November at Midday. Old friends from Clayesmore are most welcome.
Joy Boultbee - CPS Matron 1961-1981
Published on October 21st, 2015 08:00
We are sorry to report the sad news of the death this week, at the age of 94, of Miss Joy Boultbee, matron at Clayesmore Prep for 20 years from 1961-1981. Our condolences and thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
Jim Tilden Memorial Service Information
Published on September 23rd, 2015 08:25
We have received the following information from Simon about his father's Memorial Service:
"A thanksgiving service will be held at Kings College School Chapel, South Rd, Taunton TA1 3LA on Friday 6th November at 2pm. The plan is for it to be a celebration of his life and to give folk the opportunity to pay their respects."
The family have requested that if you plan to attend you [email them] (mailto:email@example.com)
John Wheeler (1938-1941)
Published on September 8th, 2015 10:48
We are sorry to report the passing of John Wheeler, a retired architect, on 2 March 2014 at the age of 90.
Published on September 7th, 2015 09:19
Congratulations to OC Hugo Scott (2006-2015) who won the bronze medal in the KI Junior Men Class at the ICF World Freestyle Kayak Championships in Ottowa. Hugo, who left the school this summer, was introduced to the sport at Clayesmore by a member of staff and hasn't looked back since and has been sponsored by the Spinney Memorial Trust to enable him to attend the World Championships.
Congratulations to Mark Stiven (2001-2007) on charity cycle ride
Published on September 4th, 2015 08:56
Congratulations to Mark Stiven (2001-2007) who has completed his cycle ride from Land's End to John O'Groats as part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, a distance of 960 miles in 9 days.
Mark is riding to raise funds and awareness for Help for Heroes and you can sponsor him online via his Just Giving Page.
David Naylor (1948-1950)
Published on September 2nd, 2015 09:39
We are sad to report the passing of David Naylor on 13 August 2015.
Tristram Blissard-Barnes (1941-1945)
Published on September 2nd, 2015 09:25
We are sad to report the passing of Tristram Blissard-Barnes on 7 May 2015. A former Company Director and Importer of Herbs and Spices. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Edward Hill (1945-1948)
Published on September 2nd, 2015 09:22
We are sad to report the passing of Edward Hill, a former pupil and retired farmer.
John Storrs (1944-1947)
Published on September 1st, 2015 10:11
The Society is sad to report the passing of John F Storrs, a pupil at the school in the 1940s on 3 August 2015. Our thoughts are with this family at this sad time.
Jim Tilden ~ Honorary OC
Published on August 6th, 2015 13:10
The Society is very sorry to report the passing of Jim Tilden, Honorary OC and former master on 5 August 2015. Jim taught at Clayesmore from 1962 - 1984, from where he went to King's College Prep School as Headmaster until his retirement. He had been suffering with vascular dementia for the last few years and had spent the last 16 months in a nursing home near Wellington in Somerset. The funeral will be a private, family affair but there are plans for a subsequent memorial service. No flowers please but donations to Dementia UK would be hugely appreciated.
OC Tim Saunders pays tribute to Cilla Black
Published on August 4th, 2015 16:09
OC Tim Saunders paid tribute to Cilla Black who he met on the set of Blind Date some years ago in local publication, the Blackmore Value Magazine. The article also makes reference to the fact that Cilla's manager, Brian Epstein, was briefly a pupil at Iwerne Minster. Read it here.
Clive Wilkinson (1955-1961)
Published on July 25th, 2015 14:00
We are sorry to report the passing of Clive Wilkinson on 19 July. Clive was a former hotel owner and founder member of the Clayesmore Cormorants Cricket Club. His funeral will be held on Monday 3rd August at Treswithen Downs Crematorium in Camborne at 11am. There will be a "cricket tea" style lunch afterwards at Mullion Cricket Club. Donations are for the Cinnamon Trust, a charity that offers help to the elderly in order that they can keep their pets with them. They provided dog walkers so that when Clive was unable to exercise his bouncy Labrador Vespa, they did it for him.
Memorial Service for David Watson
Published on July 24th, 2015 09:45
A memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of former Prep School Headmaster David Watson on October 3rd at 3pm at Magdalen College, Oxford. Please aim to be seated by 2.50pm. There will be afternoon tea in the College after the service.
OC Theatre Director Stephen Joseph focus of Guardian Review article
Published on July 13th, 2015 09:55
Our thanks to Hugh Thompson for bringing to our attention an excellent article about OC theatre director Stephen Joseph in the Guardian Review on 11 July - read it here.
OC City Lunch, July 2. Beaujolais, Lichfield Street, WC1.
Published on July 5th, 2015 19:52
A few late cry offs and end of term commitments from the school meant numbers for the City Lunch were down this year. Moving the event from June to July 2, because of the organiser’s trip to Umbria, had an effect. Some suggest since the event is held in Soho it would be more attractive if it was called the West End lunch. Others argue that the charm of the affair at the classy and extremely good value, five star rated Beaujolais restaurant club is kept by keeping the numbers down.
A highlight was UKIP spinmiester Gawain Towler showing off the picture from the day before of him chatting to David Cameron wearing the OC tie. Apparently the PM asked for Gawain’s autograph. Whatever, once again a great day and the organiser among others fell asleep on the bus going home. It is a sign of good lunch that you do not get home till around 9pm!
Attending-Bob Mash, Emma Morris, David Fangen, Phillip Hamilton, Chris Johnston, Hamish Dow, Rodney Spokes, John Van Dijk, Stephen Dover, Hugh Thompson, Gawain Towler, Roy Oakshott, Piers Sabine, John Dukes.
Brian Henson (1949-1954)
Published on May 20th, 2015 08:22
We are sorry to report the passing of OC Brian Henson, an accountant from Norfolk, following a short illness, on 18 April this year. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Summer Term OC Weekend 2015
Published on May 12th, 2015 08:26
A good number of OCs returned for the Summer Term OC weekend on 9 and 10 May 2015. The weekend kicked off with the Upper Sixth Induction on the Friday night, with members of the committee introduced to the newest crop of OCs. There was a beer tasting (with the Upper Sixth being presented with an OC Society glass for the event) and pizza - both of which were enjoyed by all - even if the Chair's chocolate flavoured lager from the Hogs Back Brewery was definitely not a favourite!
Saturday was Choral Day, members of the OC Society joined with the school's Choral Society to put on a wonderful 'from scratch' concert in the Chapel that evening, featuring such favourites as Blessed be the God and Father and Zadok the Priest, before the choir, audience and organ went into battle for a rousing rendition of Jerusalem. This was followed by a supper party in the main house, with those present treated to a wonderful three course meal, all prepared by the school's catering team.
Sunday dawned cloudy and overcast and the OCs limbered up for their annual clash against the school. The school won the toss and put the OCs in to bat. Ned Lack was steadfast, almost reaching a century before the OCs declared on 180. The weather improved throughout the day and in the late afternoon sunshine the school began their innings. Staff members Chris Middle and Rich Miller felt the pressure from a tight slip cordon for their innings while Charlie Martin batted well for the school, however the school team ran out of players, finishing on 116 and ceding victory to the Cormorants.
For photographs of the weekend, please click here
Dr Derek Stanley Bendall (1938-1949)
Published on May 5th, 2015 11:13
The society is sad to announce the passing of Dr Derek Stanley Bendall on 4 December last year. A former pupil of both the prep and senior schools, Dr Bendall was a biologist, and Emeritus Fellow of Darwin College Cambridge. More details can be found on the College Website. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Harriet Barber Memorial Service
Published on April 27th, 2015 11:18
The details have now been confirmed for Harriet Barber's Memorial Service which will be held at the school on Saturday 16 May. Please see photograph for further information.
Alec Grierson (1936-1938)
Published on April 22nd, 2015 13:39
We are sorry to report the passing of Alec Grierson earlier this year. A retired electrical engineer, Mr Grierson was living in Ruislip at the time of his passing. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Inaugural North American Reunion held in Baltimore
Published on April 21st, 2015 15:57
A reunion was held on the weekend of 17/18 April for OCs resident in North America and provided lots of opportunities to catch up and reminisce. Thanks to Tony Annan (1985-1986) for his generous sponsorship and to Bill Hawkins (1959-1964) for his excellent organisation and for hosting the party on the Saturday evening. Watch this space for news of future events. For a selection of photographs, please click here.
Anthony Wise (1951-1953)
Published on April 21st, 2015 09:56
We are sad to report the passing of Anthony Wise on 1st April following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease. A funeral Mass will be held at 3.30pm on Wednesday 22 April at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street London.
Appeal for photographs of Ian Somerled Macdonald
Published on April 12th, 2015 12:43
We have received an appeal for any photographs of Ian Somerled Macdonald that may be in existence from 1950/51. In particular sports photographs.
Please email any photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be forwarded to his daughter.
Many thanks for your help in this matter.
David Watson - Former Prep School Headmaster
Published on April 2nd, 2015 09:50
We are sorry to announce the passing of David Watson, a former Prep School Headmaster who joined CPS in 1988 from being Master of the Choristers' House at Canterbury, and left in 1994 to become Head of History at Dragon School, Oxford, before he and Gwyneth retired to their beloved Norfolk.
His funeral will take place on Saturday 4 April at 1pm in the parish church in Brooke, Norfolk.
Christopher Sheward (48-52)
Published on April 2nd, 2015 09:08
We are sad to announce the passing of Christopher (known as Henry) John Roe Sheward on 22 March. Henry left the school in July 1952 and was living in Auckland, New Zealand at the time of his passing.
Andrew Nurcome writes, 'As someone 2 years behind him, I remember he was in the choir, played the clarinet, and was a member of the Dramatic Society.' our condolences are with his family at this sad time.
Sir David Attenborough launches new John Craxton (1937) art exhibition
Published on March 29th, 2015 17:16
Sir David Attenborough has opened a new John Craxton exhibition at the Dorset County Museum. Entitled A Poetic Eye: John Craxton on Cranbourne Chase and Crete, the exhibition will run until September before transferring to Salisbury in 2016 and brings together many pictures never before exhibited.
Click here to read the full article on the Dorset Echo webpage.
OCs return to Iwerne for 1960s Decade Reunion
Published on March 25th, 2015 12:58
On Sunday 22 March the school played host to a contingent of former pupils at the 1960s decade reunion, part of the Spring Term OC Day. While many OCs from the 60s are in regular contact with the school, a number had not been back for decades, and it was wonderful to welcome them back and show them modern Clayesmore. Morning Chapel was followed by tours of the school and roast lunch in the school dining hall, before the culmination of a silent auction which raised over £1,4000 for the Spinney Memorial Trust which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. Many thanks to Ian Smith and Clive Smith for their efforts in recruiting their former classmates to come along.
Spinney Memorial Trust Auction raises £1,410
Published on March 23rd, 2015 15:48
An auction of 9 lots held at the Spring Term OC Day has raised £1,410 for the Spinney Memorial Trust. With lots donated ranging from tickets for Glorious Goodwood, Bed & Breakfast Breaks and a framed Scadding Print all donated by OCs, the event will enable the trust to support current Clayesmorians in a number of projects.
Roger Hammond - former teacher of Chemistry
Published on March 18th, 2015 17:10
We are sorry to report the passing of Roger Hammond, a long time teacher of Chemistry and Examinations Officer at the school on 12 March 2014 in Salisbury District Hospital. His Funeral Service will take place at St Mary's Church in Gillingham at 11am on Friday 27 March, followed by a private cremation.
OC is elected Imperial College Union President
Published on March 16th, 2015 10:40
Huge congratulations to OC Lucinda Sandon-Allen on her election as President of the Imperial College Student Union. Lucinda is in her final year of a Biology Degree and was previously Vice President of the Imperial Royal College of Science Union.
Christopher Ing (1956-1961)
Published on March 9th, 2015 14:56
We are sad to report the passing of Christopher Ing on 14 February 2015. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Calling OC Hockey Players
Published on March 9th, 2015 09:25
This term's OC Day falls on Sunday 22 March and will include a hockey match between the OCs and the school. Please contact Barry Julyan if you are interested in playing.
Spinney Memorial Trust Silent Auction - Spring OC Day 22 March
Published on February 26th, 2015 11:01
The Spinney Memorial Trust is pleased to announce a Silent Auction, to finish at the school on Spring OC Day, Sunday 22 March. Lots are currently in the process of being finalised, but so far include 2 x debenture tickets for the ODI of England v Australia at Lord's on 5 September, 2 x tickets for Ladies Day at Goodwood on Thursday 30 July, and a Scadding original. Full lot details will be announced shortly.
New offers with your Clayesmore Society Membership Card
Published on February 23rd, 2015 15:10
Don't forget that OCs can take advantage of some great offers using their Clayesmore Society Membership Card - including 10% off everything at No8 Wine Company, based in Tarrant Gunville. Click here to read more.
Eleanor Verrinder 1921-2015
Published on January 29th, 2015 10:14
We are very sorry to report that Eleanor Verrinder died on Friday 23rd January at her nursing home in Sherborne. She had been declining over the last few months and mercifully she was at peace, very sleepy and not in any pain or discomfort at the end. She was cremated at Yeovil Crematorium (BA20 2EJ) at 2.40pm on Friday 13th February.
Many OCs will no doubt remember Mrs Verrinder in her capacity as Headmaster's secretary for many years, and latterly as science department assistant.
Anecdotes about Mr & Mrs Burchall sought
Published on January 27th, 2015 10:16
Mr & Mrs Burchall's daughter, Sarah, has been in touch with the Society recently. She is putting together a 'this is your life' book for her mother's birthday this year and is looking for anecdotes and photographs from their time as houseparents in Manor. Please send any information to email@example.com for forwarding on to her.
OC Philip Dean working with Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone
Published on January 23rd, 2015 13:12
We are always pleased to learn about charitable endeavours by Old Clayesmorians and the school has received an email from Philip Dean (1976-1981) who is working to help the plight of Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone. He is the Co Founder of the charity St George Foundation and their work was featured on a recent BBC News article - to view it please click here.
Philip Hawkins (1947-1950)
Published on January 23rd, 2015 13:08
We are sorry to report the passing of Philip Hawkins on 1 December 2014. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
International Ambassadors Sought
Published on January 16th, 2015 09:27
We are looking for individuals interested in helping OCs and other members of the Clayesmore Society to keep in touch around the world - would you be interested in acting as a point of contact for members looking to network, considering moving to the area, or just visiting your country? A list of those who have volunteered so far is available to view here. If you would be interested in acting as an ambassador for your country, please contact Louise Smith.
Roy Adams - Honorary OC
Published on January 9th, 2015 14:59
We are sad to announce the passing of Roy Adams on 31 December 2014. An Honorary Old Clayesmorian, Roy was known to many OC as the landlord of the Farquharson Arms - a first stop for many on an OC weekend, and also as chairman of the Society of Dorset Men.
A tribute in the Blackmore Vale Magazine can be read by clicking here.
The First Girls at Charlton Marshall
Published on January 7th, 2015 12:23
We were pleased to receive the following communication from Lynette O’Rourke (neé Law):
'Receiving the invitation to the OCS reunion in Sydney reminded me that I cam across a couple of photos a while back from when attended Clayesmore Prep at Charlton Marshall.
1) Whole School Picture: I am sat in the front row next to Colonel Edward Stuarts. I was one of only three girls that started at the school in 1969.
2) School play: (Jane Davis??, Rosemary Farwell and myself, Lynette Law) as part of the play we came on at the interval and had a mini demo that girls should be allowed in this school. As you can imagine there was a lot of resistance at having girls attend what had traditionally been an all boys school!
3) By the second/third year of girls attending the school our numbers had grown to 5 (Louise Story and ???) Sadly for me I had taken my 11+ and passed but Clayesmore had not quite decided if they would take girls into the next school or not and so I had to go to Shaftesbury Grammar.'
Lee Miller - former Clayesmore Prep School Pupil
Published on December 11th, 2014 14:41
We are sorry to report that we have learnt of the passing of Lee Miller - a former CPS pupil from 1948-1952 in November. Leo went on to Fettes and we send our condolences to his family at this sad time.
David Davidson (1967-2014)
Published on November 21st, 2014 19:53
We are sorry to report that our Dining Room Manager, David Davidson, died, yesterday, after a short illness. David - known, of course, as 'Dave' - will be remembered by thirty years' worth of OCs as he has been serving our meals here all this time. His death has come as a great shock to the whole Clayesmore community and his loss will be keenly felt by us all, nowhere more so than amongst his friends and colleagues on the catering team. Dave joined Clayesmore straight from school and his knowledge of all that we do at special events such as Speech Day, was hugely valuable. He cared enormously about our girls and boys and always wanted to give of his best. He loved his work here where we was among friends but he also played a great part too in caring for his elderly mother with whom he lived. His sister, Kerry, is also a member of the catering team and to her and to Dave's mother and other family members we extend our sincerest sympathy at their sad loss.
Martin Cooke, Headmaster
Brian Gerald Wallis (1960-1962)
Published on November 7th, 2014 08:19
We are sad to report the passing of Brian Gerald Wallis, a retired farmer and industrial landlord on 20 September of this year. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Vincent Hughes (1946-1949)
Published on November 7th, 2014 08:13
We are sorry to report the passing away of Vincent Hughes on 21 September this year at the age of 83. Mr Hughes was a retired architect who had been registered blind for over 20 years and suffered from Parkinson's Disease. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Christopher Bland (1950-1954) features on BBC 2 programme
Published on November 4th, 2014 17:13
Eagle-eyed Andrew Nurcombe has been in touch to tell us that he had spotted OC Christopher Bland on BBC2 on 21 October on the programme 'Holiday of my lifetime'. The programme featured Esther Rantzen revisiting the Isle of Wight where she went on her first family holiday in 1946 and Christopher (Lord Lieutenant of the IOW up to a few years ago) was filling her in on the island today.
Henry Goodeve (1940-1944)
Published on October 31st, 2014 15:39
The Society is sad to report the passing of Henry Goodeve, who passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday 21 October 2014. Adored husband of Erika and dearly loved father of Christina, Greta and of the late Peter. Our sympathy is with his family at this sad time. Mr Goodeve received the MBE in 2002 in recognition of his services to the community in Guernsey.
Anthony Prewett - The Birthday Present every 80 year old should have - a Super Car Driving Experience
Published on October 20th, 2014 15:42
Anthony Prewett (1948-1953) writes:
"This year, the family clubbed together to buy my birthday present. The day started with a surprise “taxi”! One of our sons had borrowed a semi-automatic Aston Martin DB9 coupé to drive me down to Donington Park. It really impressed us how the car drove so easily at in-town speeds, yet swept away with a throaty roar and a tightening up of the suspension when speed was possible. The early mist/fog cleared late morning, so the weather was kind with warm sunshine for the afternoon. After a safety briefing, an instructor took three “drivers” on two familiarisation laps of the circuit in an Alfa Giulietta – quite an experience in itself!
The first supercar I drove was the Aston Martin Vantage with a six-speed manual gearbox. The first corners were a little tentative, but the instructor soon got me braking and cornering at a decent speed and the in-car video shows that we reached over 160 kph (100 mph) on two of the three straights. On one of these, I braked too early and was passed by a Nissan GTR, but on another we swept past a Ferrari 360 and followed a Lamborghini until we had to re-enter the pit-lane after my three laps.
After a bit of a wait, the Audi R8 became available and I set off with a different instructor. Although the car had a “flappy paddle”/fully automatic gear change, the instructor explained that he would control the gear shifts as the car tended to change down when it was not necessary and I could concentrate on driving the racing-line. This was a little disconcerting and I felt less in control when accelerating out of corners. At the speeds we were doing, the cars felt no different in handling, but this time I was not overtaken on the three laps we completed!
Which car? The Aston Martin every time for poise, comfort, handling, exhaust sound and sheer quality. The family must save up for my 90th – surely they can’t tempt me and then dash my expectations to the ground! Dream on!"
Happy Birthday from the OC Society.
Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage - Michael Peters (1953-1956)
Published on September 29th, 2014 08:13
Our congratulations to Michael Peters, who writes:
On the 5th September 1964 Judy and I were married at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in Knightsbridge, followed by a reception at the Hyde Park Hotel. A pony and trap - a surrey with a fringe on top - took us from the church to the reception.
On 5th September 2014 we returned to the Hyde Park (now called the Mandarin Oriental) for a magnificent champagne tea - thoroughly recommended! This was followed in the evening by a 1950’s show - The Pajama Game! The following day, Saturday 6th, we cruised the Thames with our family from Water Oakley to Windsor and back, being served with a delicious lunchtime picnic. We also had a special dinner that evening.
On Sunday 7th September we returned to HTB for a morning service and wonderful recognition and a renewed blessing on our marriage (our two daughters had both been married there in recent years). After the service a pair of Friesian horses and a wagonette took us and our family to Chutney Mary’s in the King’s Road, Chelsea for our celebration lunch. And they waited for us and took us back to HTB afterwards - then back to reality! A fabulous weekend.
Mark Stiven (2001-2007) Cycle Ride for Macmillan Cancer Support
Published on September 11th, 2014 19:37
Mark Stiven has been in touch to inform us that he has recently completed a mammoth cycle challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support. He completed the 310 mile distance from London to Newcastle in a riding time of 21.5 hours and a journey time (including rest stops) of 25.5 hours. Congratulations Mark in your endeavours.
Mark also writes that he will be in Southampton from mid September for about a month with Wicked the Musical UK Tour and he'd love to meet up with any OCs who remember him during that time.
To read older news articles, please select from the years to the right.