The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612 e. oas@aldenham.com
17 May 2022
Wear something pink on Tuesday 7 June - A chance to pay respects to a great teacher and friend. If you would like to - Make a donation in memory of Paul 'Potts'.
09 May 2022
We are sad to announce that Paul Spencer, who taught Art at Aldenham for over 30 years, died peacefully on Sunday 8 May '22 after a brief battle with cancer.
Affectionately known as ‘Potts’, Paul was someone who involved himself very fully indeed not only in the Art department which he initially joined as our Potter in residence, but across the whole School. He was a good friend to many pupils, staff and others throughout the Aldenham community during his time here and beyond. His passion for and organisation of the Sixth Form Dinner was one of the highlights of his year and for many in the School.
May he rest in peace.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday 7 June at St John the Baptist, Aldenham at 11.00am.
Tributes for publication in a book of remembrance and to share with family members will be collected by the OA Office.
We will remember ‘Potts’ very fondly for all that he did for so many and for his endearing nature.
05 April 2022
Celebrations are taking place throughout the UK and the Commonwealth during 2022 for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and there are also a number of special dates to celebrate at Aldenham.

On 9th April, the OA Society celebrates 120 years since being founded at a meeting held on 9th April, 1902, at a tavern on Great Queen Street, London; today it continues to evolve and maintain a strong, diverse and close link between OAs and the Aldenham Foundation. Currently there are 5,053 OAs in our network and a further 1,541 who are ‘Lost’. The OA community is spread throughout 150 countries and their ages range from 19 to over 100.

Aldenham School has its 425th Birthday since being founded by Richard Platt in 1597 when, in February 1596, he obtained Letters Patent from Queen Elizabeth I which permitted him to build “The Free Grammar School of Richard Platt at Aldenham”.

In 1917 at a special general meeting of the OA Society a resolution was passed that the memorial to those OAs and Aldenham staff who had given their lives in the Great War should take the form of a large School Library. From there on donations were accepted and in 1922 the OA Society announced that a little over £5,000 was available to build the School Library. OAs and the OA Society continue to support the Aldenham Foundation financially and in kind, which is very much appreciated and helps the Aldenham education to thrive.

As the 27th President of the OA Society and the 2nd President as a son of an OA, the other being Bishop Colin James (SH1940-44), I look forward to reconnecting face to face with as many fellow OAs as possible at OA Day on Sunday 12 June when we can celebrate Beevor’s House 127th Anniversary and 42 years since girls started at Aldenham.


James James-Crook (M1968-72)
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
16 March 2022
Aldenham recently hosted a showcase performance by a troupe of professional actors of a new musical that celebrates the life of Sir Alfred Gilbert (SH1865-72), the sculptor of the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus.
The writers of The Shadow of Eros secured funding from Arts Council England to put on the show and they plan to take it into full production.
Gilbert paid a high price for his genius and the story follows him from fame and fortune into exile and despair and finally into glorious redemption. It’s a tale of pride and fall spanning decades, nations, royalty, and war.
Along with Gilbert himself the characters in the show include Angelo Colarossi, the model for Eros, Joseph Boehm, Gilbert’s mentor and champion, Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and Joseph’s lover. Gilbert’s childhood sweetheart, and first wife Alice is featured as are other friends and acquaintances Oscar Wilde, George V, Queen Victoria’s son and Eliza MacLoghlin, an eccentric society lady and client of Gilbert’s.
The President of the Old Aldenhamian Society, James James-Crook, several Old Aldenhamians, current students and staff and Head of Foundation elect, Mrs Alex Hems watched the show and enjoyed meeting the cast and production team afterwards to hear more about plans for taking the show to the West End.
The Shadow of Eros website provides recordings of some of the songs and further details of the production - The Shadow of Eros

For those who couldn't make it to the school to see this unique show the recording is below.
10 March 2022
I would like to offer a huge THANK YOU to all those who attended this well supported and thoroughly enjoyable OA Annual Dinner on Saturday 5 March 2022. After two long years, it was heartening to reconnect face to face with so many OAs across the generations for pre-Dinner drinks in the Barton Hall of the newly built Prep School followed by a delicious three course dinner in the Senior School Dining Hall.
The standing ovation for James Fowler, Headmaster & CEO The Aldenham Foundation, was testament to the genuine high regard and respect OAs have for him in his support and that of Dr Charlotte Fowler for the OA Society over these past sixteen years.
My grateful appreciation goes to Chris Stern (P1973-78), Ann Saffery and Jackie Wilkie in the OA Office for their tireless constant support and indeed to all those 101 OAs and guests who attended this very special event in the OA calendar. Undoubtedly it was one of the best OA Dinners ever.
Well done everyone and I look forward to seeing you at Aldenham for next year’s Dinner.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
02 February 2022
We have been watching Charlie's progress since he left school with real interest. He was a game changer when he was at Aldenham as part of two of the ISFA National Cup winning sides. His Senior Team Debut with Arsenal was a great example of what he demonstrated in his school games all the time!
In the Arsenal versus Sunderland match in the EFL cup in December 2021 Charlie was given his chance as a player at professional level. He grabbed this and displayed exactly what has led pundits to describe him as the 'wonder kid'. It was in added time that he calmly slotted the ball past the Sunderland keeper. An excellent goal to show that dreams can come true! As he himself said after his debut game, "What a night!". We are sure there is much more to come from Charlie, so watch this space for updates.
17 January 2022
Vincent House is the latest development of the Aldenham Foundation and provides a brand-new, purpose-built facility for Aldenham Prep School.
Children and staff were able to move into Vincent House after Easter 2021 when they returned to school after the lockdown caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Due to the restrictions visitors have not been allowed on site and even parents weren't able to see inside until recently.
It is hoped that an official opening of this wonderful new building, named after Lord Vincent (SHE1945-50), can be arranged in the late spring this year, 2022. During the building construction an appeal was launched to help fund specific parts of the development and in particular the provision of outdoor learning spaces for the Nursery, Pre-prep and Prep School pupils. Over £170,000 was raised and donors will be invited to the grand opening when plans have been finalised. In the meantime, here is a video of the building process and demolition of Wilson House, the old sanatorium, which began in autumn 2019 and despite the challenges of the pandemic was completed on time and within budget. The second video presentation shows Vincent House complete and in use
The reception for the Annual OA Dinner, scheduled for Saturday 5 March 2022, will be held in Vincent House, and will provide an opportunity for OAs to see the facility for the first time. Book now to avoid disappointment.
12 January 2022
It is with great sadness that Guy Francis Welch Prall (SHE1963-67) has announced the death of his father, Geoffrey Prall.
The son of Air Commodore Warneford Gerrard Wilkinson Prall of Hythe, and cousin of Maurice Roydon Sharp (B1937-42), Geoffrey passed away on Monday 10 January 2022 having turned 99 last November. He was a very dear and loyal friend of Aldenham and the OA Society over many decades and will be much missed. He linked the past of the School with its present and, considering his advanced years, attended the last OA Dinner before lockdown and shall always be remembered for his warm and genuine smile.
He was present at the special service which took place in 2018 to mark the rededication of the School Chapel 80 years after its initial dedication. As one of two OAs who had been present at the original ceremony in 1938, Geoffrey was very much regarded as a guest of honour.
On OA Day 2019 and School House Reunion, I recall the delightful photograph of Geoffrey where he is shown pointing to a younger self in the black and white photograph of the 1938 Aldenham Fives Team which was subsequently published in the October 2019 edition of the OA Review.
On behalf of the OA Society and the Aldenham community as a whole, we send our heartfelt condolences to his sons including John Nicholas Gerrard (Nick) Prall (SHE1961-65) and daughters and his entire family.
We all felt privileged to have known such a kind gentleman who lived his life with great honour and to have heard many stories of his schooldays at Aldenham. He will always be remembered and his spirit will live on.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
17 December 2021
As we approach this special time of year, whatever your faith or non-faith, may I wish you and your loved ones also the entire Aldenham community a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and safer New Year.
The OA Society once again extends its grateful appreciation to James Fowler, Headmaster / CEO; Vicky Gocher, Headmistress Aldenham Prep and Sarah Jane Styles, Headmistress St Hilda’s Bushey, together with their skilled and capable staff, who have continued to rally together during this ongoing pandemic to provide an excellent and reassuring all round teaching programme to all pupils.
Hopefully we can meet next year firstly to 5 March for the OA Dinner then on 12 June for OA Day when we can finally celebrate the 125th anniversary of Beevor's House postponed from 2020 and 43 years since girls started at Aldenham. The occasion will also be an opportunity to say farewell to James Fowler, Headmaster / CEO The Aldenham Foundation, and Dr Charlotte Fowler as they leave Aldenham at the end of the summer term 2022. However, they will both be warmly welcomed back at future OA events.
We look forward to seeing you at many OA events planned for next year. Stay connected. Stay safe. We will meet again.
My best wishes to you, your friends and family.

James C N James-Crook (M1968-72)
President, Old Aldenhamian Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
01 December 2021
Roger Crabb (M1957-61) has sent the following notice: ‘For a racing driver Tony Dron was a remarkably good writer. And for a motoring journalist, he was an exceptional racer – so good, in fact that on one of the many occasions he won a round of the British Saloon Car Championship outright, his works-backed 2.0-litre Triumph Dolomite Sprint beating the massed ranks of more powerful 3.0-litre Ford Capris, the cover of that week’s Autosport carried the headline ‘DRONINGTON’. That year, 1977, he missed becoming overall series champion by one point…
Tony was always meant to be a racing driver. It all began, aged 12, with a 1932 Austin Seven in which he and brother Peter undertook time trials around the garden at the family home when their mother had gone shopping. He had plans – later abandoned – to turn the Seven into an aluminium-bodied special to compete in the 750 MC championship but his racing aspirations became rather more serious in 1968 when, aged 21, he bought a Titan Mk 4 Formula Ford competing against (and often beating) the likes of James Hunt.
Motor racing needs more than just talent, however, and a lack of funds forced him to consider another career. Innes Ireland, another racer-turned-writer, suggested he should try motoring journalism. He entered, and won, the Guild’s Sir William Lyons Award for aspiring journalists in 1968 and in 1971 joined the road test team of Motor, becoming the magazine’s sports editor a couple of years later. Ironically, this new career meant greater chance to go racing. Hoping for exposure in the pages of the magazine, manufacturers and sponsors started offering him drives and he grabbed the opportunities with both hands.
He juggled both careers until the end of 1974 when he left Motor to take up the offer of a seat in a Capri 3000 in the ’75 BSCC only for the drive to fall through at the last minute. Fate was smiling, however, as British Leyland was looking for a journalist to race a second Broadspeed Dolomite in the championship alongside Andy Rouse. As Dron told Octane in 2018: “It wasn’t difficult to be quite a bit quicker than the other journos, so I got the job.”
That year he won his class in the Tourist Trophy and came fifth overall with Rouse in the Spa 24 Hours. The following year he raced a works Alfa and in 1976 he returned to single seaters in a Unipart-backed Dolomite-engined March F3 car. He also managed to win the Porsche 924 Challenge in 1978.
The racing, meanwhile, stepped up a gear with a works drive at Le Mans in a Porsche 924 GTP in 1980 – 12th overall – and a class win in 1982 in a Porsche 934. Throughout the 1980s Tony was closely associated with AFN Porsche. He was always quick in their 928, often taking pole but invariably arrived at the first corner in fifth or sixth having lost out to 911 traction off the line. And ten laps seldom gave him enough time to get back to the front.
In 1982 he stopped selling cars and returned to the keyboard, first as features editor and then editor of Thoroughbred & Classic Cars (later just Classic Cars).
Among many successful outings he won the Sussex Trophy at the Goodwood Revival three years running in a Ferrari 246S Dino and won the 1996 Eifel Klassik outright in a Ferrari 330 LMB.’
Tony Dron died on Tuesday November 16, aged 75, from medical complications relating to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
On behalf of the OA Society, I send sincere condolences to Tony’s wife, Chris Whitcombe, daughters Amy and Katy also son, Will and his brother Peter Dron (P1962-65). The family has established an on-line memorial book – www.remembr.com/tony.dron – where friends and fans can post their memories of a remarkable man.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
OASocWhite
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
e. oas@aldenham.com
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