The Old Aldenhamian Society
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Latest News
25 April 2023
1st Round v Stonyhurst at Royal Cinque Ports, Deal
This year, we were drawn against Stonyhurst. Arran Kanth (M2014-19) had hoped to join the playing squad but the logistics of flying to the UK proved too complex due to his golf commitments at his US University. We were also sorry that Joel Bloomfield (SH&L1987-92) was unable to play. However, we were delighted to see Rob Alter (B1988-91) back in the team to resume the solid Alter/Rawlinson partnership.
As always, the fine weather enjoyed inland never quite stretches to the Kent coast and so it was a very blustery scene that greeted us on Thursday morning.
Stonyhurst are not one of the top Hewitt teams but their recent form has been better than ours and we struggled to keep up during the opening holes. Even our most successful pair, Robert Alter and David Rawlinson (B1988-93), could only halve their match but Will Kirby (L2006-11) and Dan Andrews (B2000-07) played well and won on the 16th green.
Michael Beavis (SHO1980-83) and James Surridge (L1993-98) could not find their form and the Thrussell brothers, Team Captain Adam (B1992-97) and OAGS Vice-Captain Ben (B1989-94), suffered from a slow start. Our fifth pair, Nick Corbett (M1989-94) and Jamie Wells (M1990-95), also met some tough opposition and fought really hard. Their sterling efforts looked as if they might be rewarded but Stonyhurst were resilient and settled the match with a good putt on the 17th green.
It was a disappointing result for everyone but the standard of golf in the Hewitt has improved significantly over the last 15 years. Loretto, who won the Cup in 2022 and again in 2023, had a combined handicap (across all 10 players) of +20 and +25 respectively. Awesome or what?
Halford Hewitt Plate
The weather on Friday morning at Prince’s can only be described as unpleasant and we were facing not only high winds and squally showers but also a 6-man Wellington team whose combined handicaps were +10! After 5 holes, our 3 pairs could not match them and an early bath seemed inevitable. Aldenhamians never give up, of course, and it is to their eternal credit that they kept the matches alive until the 14th and 15th holes.
Peter Kenyon Bowl
Many of the stalwarts who support the Hewitt team arrive in Deal on Tuesday in the late afternoon. Most will have spent the day at Rye playing golf and, more importantly, preparing for the next few days with a good Rye lunch. On the next day, whilst the “squad” are playing a practice round at Deal, the supporters can play at Prince’s in the Peter Kenyon Bowl competition. We entered 3 pairs but it is sad to report that none of the scores featured on the leaderboard.
A full report from OAGS Spring 2023 meetings can be downloaded below
23 March 2023
The whole school gathered for assembly on Monday 20 March 2023 to hear how the OA Society will provide links to Aldenham when students leave the School.
President, James James-Crook (M1968-72) started the presentation with a welcome and introduced two, recently elected OA Committee members, Charlotte Yeabsley (P2011-18) & Megan Yeabsley (P2012-19).
The students enjoyed hearing about OA events such as the Annual OA Dinner, regional and international gatherings and OA Day, which is held annually at Aldenham. They can look forward to joining these occasions and also continuing sporting activities that interest them including Football, Golf, Hockey, Netball and Fives. Charlotte and Megan emphasised the wide variety of services provided by the OA Society that may assist students as they travel through life and encouraged them to get involved as they have done since leaving school.
It was a lively and engaging presentation, obviously impressing the congregation.
Thank you to James, Charlotte and Megan for giving up their time to do this.
13 March 2023
The Annual OA Dinner 2023 was a celebration of diversity, equality and inclusion. The evening began with guests gathering in the Theatre to see a special performance of this year’s Senior School show, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. This wonderful production provided the ideal backdrop for the theme of this year’s formal dinner, where we wanted to ensure that everyone felt welcome.
A special showcase performance was created for the evening by the Director of Drama, Manny Avdjian (CR2018-Present) and his team. Guests were treated to a selection of scenes from the popular West End musical, which had been specially chosen for Aldenham because it was fun and dramatic in equal measure, it was a story that needed to be told and it was different to anything you would usually see in other schools. The students thoroughly enjoyed revising their show for this audience of OAs and their guests. The talent displayed by everyone involved was quite astonishing.
Parents and performers joined OA guests for drinks after the show and to share their experiences which created great excitement in the pre-dinner reception and got the evening off to a real swing.
A delicious three course meal was served in the Dining Hall and there was a friendly buzz as over 60 guests gathered to enjoy each other’s company. James James-Crook (M1968-72), President, proposed the toasts and welcomed Alex Hems, Head of the Aldenham Foundation as the Principal Guest Speaker. Alex thanked the OAs for their very warm welcome and spoke of her joy at taking on the responsibility to lead the Aldenham Foundation. She was delighted to report that the Senior School has never been so full and that next year’s new intake will have more girls than ever before. There will no doubt be challenges ahead for all schools in the independent sector and she is determined that the Aldenham Foundation will be one of the organisations that not only survives but uses the challenges ahead to become more agile, reflective, relevant and successful.
We now look forward to next year and hope that more OAs will be able to join this important annual event which will be on a Saturday in early March 2024.
07 January 2023
Just as the School broke up for Christmas it was time to celebrate the success of the Class of 2022. Over 100 guests gathered in the Dining Hall to offer each other season’s greetings and share news and views of life beyond Aldenham. Former students and their parents were obviously delighted to see each other again, for many it was the first time since the summer.
Alex Hems, Head of the Aldenham Foundation and Andy Williams, Head of Senior School, welcomed everyone back with festive food and drinks before congratulating them all and inviting 45 individual OAs to collect their hard earned A Level certificates in a presentation ceremony. After the presentation Clare Yeabsley, (K1988-90), OA Committee Member, took the opportunity to welcome new members to the OA Society and to tell them about the benefits of their alumni organisation; a network of friends, fellow students and professional contacts within a unique community who may be contacted directly or through the OA Office. Clare reminded them about events that may interest them such as the Annual OA Dinner, OA Day and other reunions that are organised locally, regionally and internationally. Formalities over it was back to eating, drinking, and socialising to continue the celebration.
This event was first introduced for the Class of 2018 and after a two year gap due to COVID cancellations, it was very good to see this new Aldenham tradition back in the calendar. We now look forward to a similar event at the end of 2023.
05 January 2023
The Right Reverend Peter Spencer Dawes, fifth Church of England Bishop of Derby from 1988-95 who eased the way to the ordination of women priests, sadly passed away on 10 November 2022.
An eminent OA, Peter was in McGill’s House 1941-46 and at school he played in the Fives VI and the Hockey XI. After National Service, Peter gained a first in theology at Durham and then trained at Tyndale Hall, Bristol before being ordained in 1954.
From 1960 Peter taught at Clifton Theological College. He was Vicar of the Good Shepherd, Romford in1965 and became Archdeacon of West Ham in1980, then Bishop of Derby in 1988. He was vice-president of the Electoral Reform Society and chaired the Revision Committee of the Synod on the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Peter married Ethel in 1954 who sadly she passed away in 2016. He is survived by their four children and five grandchildren.
We send sincere condolences to Peter's family and friends on their loss.
James James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
24 October 2022
The OA Golf Society has had a busy few months with a European tour, a mini tour to Burnham and Berrow, a triangular match with Old Leysians and Old Millhillians, summer and autumn meetings, the Captain's Invitation match and several cup games.
Club Secretary, Ian Eggleden (SHE1958-63), Aka 'Eggers' has recorded everything in a full report, with pictures, for you to read at leisure, see below.
23 October 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr Peter Jackson, the Chaplain at Holy Trinity, Nice. He died in hospital on30 August surrounded by family and friends after suffering a pulmonary embolism. Fr Peter had been Chaplain in Nice and Vence since 2014 and had served the Diocese in Europe as a Bishop’s Nominee to the Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, a member of the Finance Committee, an Assistant Director of Ordinands and the Diocesan LGBTI Liaison Officer.
For many years Fr Peter combined being a priest with being a teacher. He was ordained deacon in 1979. He served as Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies at Harrow School after leaving Aldenham. He was a parish priest in Washington DC and for 11 years served as vicar of Christ Church Southgate in the Diocese of London.
He was a distinguished teacher and writer and will be hugely missed. May he rest in peace.
Those who were at Aldenham with Peter may be interested to know that there will be a local memorial service on Saturday 5th November 2.30 pm next month at Christ Church, Southgate, N14 7EG. Celebrant Bishop Peter Wheatley.
20 October 2022
The Bleeding Heart restaurant’s No 1 Dining Room in London provided the perfect venue for our first gathering away from Aldenham since 2019. Its history stretches back to 1746 when its slogan, still displayed on the wall, was ‘drunk for a penny and dead drunk for two pence’! That spirit of good cheer was ever present throughout lunch and fortunately there was no drunken behaviour on this occasion.
Alex Hems, Head of Foundation, Andy Williams, Head of Senior School, and James James-Crook (M1968-72), President and Governor welcomed the guests with a drink before heading down for a delicious three course lunch.
All Houses were represented and OAs of every decade from the fifties to the noughties attended, which was great to see. Plenty of stories were shared and Aldenham experiences compared and Alex Hems, who joined the Foundation in September 2022, assured everyone that the happy and supportive ethos of the School will continue under her leadership. James James-Crook spoke of past, present, and future activities of the School and the OA Society and glasses were raised in honour of the King, the Royal Family and to Richard Platt.
With grateful thanks to Simon Osborne (SHE1961-66) for recommending the location and to everyone who supported the event. Many responded with disappointment at not being able to attend this time and will be glad to know that it is quite possible that we will use the venue again in future.
For photos of this event visit the Event Galleries.
11 September 2022
On behalf of Old Aldenhamians throughout the United Kingdom and around the world it is with great sadness that we send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the entire Royal Family.
For seven decades Her Majesty The Queen demonstrated loyal service to the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth and was a beacon of light, stability, decency and hope. We offer our profound gratitude.
God Save the King.
James C N James-Crook
President, OA Society & Governor, The Aldenham Foundation
12 June 2022
OA Day 2022 attracted 140 guests and, although two years overdue, provided the opportunity for a Beevor's reunion in its 127th year. The Day was also a celebration of girls joining Aldenham over 40 years ago. OAs said farewell to James Fowler as he leaves after his 16 year tenure and James James-Crook (M1968-72), President of the OA Society, congratulated members on the 120th anniversary of this unique network of former students.
The sun shone over the School, which is now 425 years old and the annual John Dewes cricket match was played in memory of the only Test Match player from Aldenham to date, John Dewes (B1940-45). In addition, guests were treated to a showcase performance of the Shadow of Eros, A new musical, funded by Arts Council England, based on the life and times Sir Alfred Gilbert (SH1865-72) the renowned sculptor of the Shaftesbury Memorial, better known as the Eros statue in Piccadilly. See below the messages shared with those present from others who couldn't attend.
Photos available in the Event Galleries.
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
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