The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612 e.
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 – – where friends and fans can post their memories of a remarkable man.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
15 November 2021
From a 'Mini Tour' at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset, to a 'Triangular Match' versus Old Leysians and Old Millhillians, and from the mighty Halford Hewitt Tournament to the final of the Grafton Morrish, the OA Golf Society has seen a lot of action this year, with a little less restriction than in 2020, thank goodness.
Full reports have been prepared by the Honorary Secretary, Ian Eggleden (SHE1958-63), for you to read at your leisure, bearing in mind the caveat that ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour'! The reports may be downloaded below.
OAGS members follow the progress of fellow golfer and Professional, Matt Wallace (L2003-08), very closely and were delighted to see him finish 4th in the Zozo Championship in Japan in October and 14th at the Shriners Children’s Open. Matt is now ranked 66th in the World, members congratulate him on his achievements and wish him even better luck in future.
13 October 2021
OA ties were on parade for John Handcock (SHE1944-47) on Tuesday 12 October at a Memorial Service held at the Royal Chapel, Windsor and afterwards at the York Club in Windsor Great Park.
John’s sons, nephews, and godson and other OA friends, including President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (M1968-72) and John Edwards (B1946-51) were among many, who attended to remember and celebrate John’s life.
Tributes were read by John’s sister, his daughter, Nicola and eldest Son David Handcock (SHE1976-80). His godson, James Oliver (SHO1973-78) conveyed his father’s, Alan Oliver (SHO1944-49), memories of their friendship from school and beyond. Alan was best man at John’s wedding to Peggy, who accompanied John to many OA gatherings, was delighted to be surrounded by so many people who had known John at various stages of his life and remembered him fondly.
A printed tribute to John will be published in the next issue of the OA Review following this special service.
Pictured from left to right: James Oliver (SHO1973-78), Roger Handcock (SHE1975-80), Jonathan Handcock (SHE1979-83), David Handcock (SHE1976-80), Peggy Handcock, Ann Saffery, Development and OA Manager, John Edwards (B1946-51), James James-Crook (M1968-72), Trevor Handcock (SHE1979-84) and Stewart Oliver (SHO1976-79).
Photo credit Peter Handcock, David’s son and John’s grandson.
07 October 2021
Having just watched the moving the livestreamed Memorial Service for Jan it is clearly evident that so many Paull’s House girls, Aldenham staff and OAs (boys and girls), held her in such high esteem and looked upon her as a ‘Mother’ figure.
Jan will be remembered by many within the wider Aldenham community, both past and present, as a pillar of Paull’s House for her warm smile, her strength, determination and inspiration. It is lovely to know that Jan was awarded the School tie and that a bench is to be placed in Paull’s House garden in her memory.
Jan was a truly special lady and my thoughts are with Mark, Alex and Gill at this time.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
27 September 2021
Now that the booking deadline has passed and the minimum number of bookings was not met, a decision has had to be taken to postpone this event until next autumn.
Several reasons were received for declining the invitation on this occasion, from work commitments and long-awaited holidays abroad, to a reluctance to gather at this time due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.
Although disappointing, it is felt that in a year's time things will have improved sufficiently for the event to run successfully. I hope that more guests will be able to join us then.
Please note that the Annual OA Dinner is currently scheduled to take place at Aldenham on Saturday 5 March 2022 and OA Day will be held in June. Full details for both of these events will be published on the OA website.
16 July 2021
Brian Woodrow OBE DL MA FCIPD died peacefully this morning, Friday 16 July 2021.
Although Brian had suffered poor health for some time his sudden passing is a shock and happened while he was away on holiday. The blessing is that his family had gathered in Norfolk and they were all together when Brian passed away.
A great friend to Aldenham and the OA Society, Brian was brother to John Woodrow B1946-51; uncle to Sarah Jane Costello (nee Woodrow) B1982-84 and Caroline Farthouat (nee Woodrow) B1984-86; an Aldenham Governor from 2004 – 2010 and always a regular at School and OA events. Quite recently Brian was arranging a dinner to be held at Aldenham, for a charity close to his heart.
At School, Brian was Beevor’s House Captain 1956, and played in the hockey 1st XI. He went on to read History at Magdalene Coll., Cambridge and continued his connection with Aldenham through the OA Golf Society. He was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1995-96.
Brian will be sadly missed by all who knew him and we send sincere condolences to his family, especially his dear wife, Sally.

James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
05 July 2021
James James-Crook, President, welcomes new members to the OA Society with a personal video message.
So many of the end of term events have once again been hindered by the ongoing restrictions forced upon us by the COVID 19 pandemic. This has meant that the traditional Visitation Day, when the President of the OA Society would usually meet the Year 13 leavers and their parents over a drink in the Headmaster's garden, was not able to go ahead. Instead, James speaks to each individual in the personal video posted below.
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
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