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Development & OA E-Newsletter Summer 2017
  New Go
  New go karts provided through the Annual Fund 2016/17
Aldenham Foundation 1597




Old Aldenhamian Society

Summer 2017

Once again it has been a wonderful year at Aldenham and as the academic year came to a close, the adventure continued with another group of students heading off to Malawi to support the charity, Ripple Africa, and two teams of cricketers going on tour in Barbados.  During the year our Computer Science students visited the Silicon Valley and we ran a series of impressive lectures, with speakers including Sunday Times Editorial Director, Eleanor Mills and Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane.  There will be much more to tell in due course, for now I must thank you for the support you have given to help ensure the continued success of the School throughout this year.

In particular, the Aldenham Annual Fund has exceeded the target we set and raised over £50,000.  This means that I will be selecting another recipient for a major bursary to enable them to continue their studies with us into the Sixth Form.  We have also been able to provide all of the new equipment listed in the brochure published last autumn.

I very much enjoyed meeting OAs in Scotland and in London in the spring and on OA Day in June.  I regret that there was no time for a meet up with those living in the Far East when I visited China in March and hope that this can be arranged for next year.   

It was sad to say farewell to some long standing members of the Common Room at the end of term including Paul (aka Doc) Turner, after 19 years of valued service and Bob Collins after 14 years with us as Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head since 2015. 

We welcomed Karl Mahon as the Bursar in July after saying farewell to Andrew Fraser in March.  I must thank Philip Wright, Chief Operating Officer, for stepping into the breach so ably over the last few months.

James Fowler,

Headmaster and Former President on board the
Headmaster Enjoyed lunch with OAs on the RS Hispaniola

Development and OA



Fri & Sat 25th & 26th August
Edinburgh Fringe - Lunacy
Autumn 2017 - TBC
Saturday 7th October 2017 Open Morning
Wednesday 19th October House Music - by ticket only
Saturday 25th November OA Annual Dinner 
Thur & Fri 7th & 8th December
School Drama Production TBC
Tuesday 12th December 2017 Carol Service at St Albans Abbey
Wednesday 10th January 2018 A Level Certificate Presentations
Winter/Spring 2018
Singapore/Malaysia Gatherings
Sunday 10th June 2018
OA Day
Saturday 23rd June 2018 Visitation Day
Friday 29th June 2018 Eros to Eros Run
Friday 29th June 2018 ASPA Ball


It was my personal honour to be elected as President of The OA Society at the AGM earlier this year and I   intend to continue the excellent work achieved by my predecessors. My gratitude especially goes to Neil Sutherland OBE DL (B1966-70) for his dedication to the role as President over the last seven years.  

At the invitation of the Headmaster, I attended Visitation Day this year and had the chance to meet many people on the cusp of leaving Aldenham and entering the bigger world as OAs.  The OA Mentoring scheme, now in its sixth year, supported by 50 OAs from different professions, offers guidance to both students and OAs.

Having been Editor of the OA Review for the last five years I have now passed that role to Lydia Chapman (P2010-12) and look forward to the forthcoming edition.

Connection with OAs can be made via the OA website on Facebook, Instagram or by attending various events including an autumn gathering for, which will offer a chance to catch up with OAs and develop business links.

Shortly I will be chairing various meetings with the OA Committee to update the design of the OA Society website and to ensure that it is more compatible with mobile devices.

The Annual OA Dinner, this year to be on Saturday 25th November in the Dining Hall at Aldenham, is always a popular and enjoyable event and a great chance to meet up  with familiar faces.  Further details are obtainable from the Development & OA Office: or via the OA website

Being a member of the OA Society means a lifetime journey with Aldenham School.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me or text 07508 355 144.

We are currently in touch with over 4,800 OAs worldwide and I look forward to personally welcoming as many as possible at forthcoming events.  Almost 2,000 OAs are 'Lost' and I would very much appreciate any help you can give in putting them back in touch.  The website will create a current list of people we have no contact details for.

James James-Crook (M1968-72)

The Aldenham Annual Fund 2016/17 campaign has generated £50,750 since it was launched in October 2016.  The whole school community is extremely grateful to donors for their generous support.  As a result of this latest fundraising effort, two shiny new go karts have been racing around the track at top speeds during the summer term.  The students who went to Malawi this year were beautifully equipped with new tents, camp beds and backpacks to make their journey more comfortable.  The Prep School children have recently enjoyed new benches and play tables in their playground and will have a range of bespoke furniture built in their Creative Space next term.  The second recipient of the Annual Fund Award will be selected soon. This major bursary will enable them to remain at Aldenham in the Sixth Form from September 2017.

For the first time this year a group of three A level Drama students from Aldenham will be performing at the Edinburgh Festival.  The Aldenham Annual Fund has helped towards the cost of their trip, by paying for the performance space at The Olive Studio, Greenside@Infirmary Street, Venue 236  This will be a free show, with two performances, on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August at 2.00pm. 

Break a leg boys!

There will be a post production party, for performers, staff, parents, OAs and friends, in the bar at the venue after the show.  If you are in Edinburgh at that time do join us for this celebration.
Please contact the Development Office if you think you can be there:

Also at the Fringe:
For your interest, Simon Caine (K1998-2005) will also be performing at the Fringe  His stand-up comedy show, called Laughter is the Best Placebo, will be at Venue 18 in the Grassmarket on dates throughout August, so catch him there too if you can.

Thanks to Tim Collings (SHE1963-66) a small and very friendly gathering of OAs took place at Broomhall Castle near Stirling in April. 
The event was hosted by Robert Lloyd-Taylor (M1980-84) who runs the hotel with a friend.
The Headmaster and newly elected President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (M1968-72) were delighted that the event attracted a good mix of OAs living and studying in Scotland and also former Deputy Headteacher, Dorothy MacGinty (CR2005-09), who is now Headteacher at Kilgraston School in Perthshire.  Robin Campbell (B1949-54) and his wife Heather-Ann joined the party from their home in Sutherland, in the far North West of Scotland. 

Missed it?  Don't Worry:
If you missed out on this event and live north of the border, there will be another chance to get together in Edinburgh, when three current Sixth Formers: Adam Nasir (M2013-Present), Archie Hudson-Rawlings (M2011- Present) and Zacky Agama (M2011-Present) will be performing at the Fringe - see OA Website for details.

Lots of smiles and happy chatter were the order of the day on board the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola during the Regional Lunch in London in May.
There was a great turnout of OAs aged from 23 to 85.  There were 49 people in total who enjoyed sharing memories and hearing the latest news from the School
The Headmaster described the vision for the School and personal development of the current pupils through the Aldenham Attributes: ASPIRATION, CO-OPERATION, COURAGE, CURIOSITY, INDEPENDENCE and RESPECT.  These characteristics, it is believed, provide the framework for a successful experience at school and beyond.
The President took the opportunity to thank members for their continued support to both the School and the OA Society, which enables both to flourish.


The weather was glorious as 149 people gathered from all over the world, on OA Day and for the Paull's House reunion in June.
Travellers came from Singapore, America, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Germany as well as from Devon, Gloucester, Hampshire, Suffolk, Cambridge and the Home Counties.
Philip Osmond (P1938-43) was the most senior 'Paulline' on the day, with ages ranging from 18, Georgina Yeabsley (P2009-16), to 94, Geoffrey Prall (SHE1936-40).
As Paull's has been an all-girls house since 2009, it was a particular delight to welcome Masume Hidayatullah (P1980-82), who was among the first girls to come to Aldenham as Sixth Form students in 1980.  The occasion also marked the next stage of development in girls' education at Aldenham, as Riding's will become a girls' day house in September 2017.
The majority of Paull's OAs are men of course and some returned for the first time since they left as teenagers.
After coffee in The Wells Centre, which many remembered as the Tuck Shop, and an opportunity to visit Paull's House, a thanksgiving service was held in Chapel.  This was followed by drinks in Paull's House garden and a delicious lunch, in the Dining Hall.
In the afternoon, as the sun continued to blaze, guests enjoyed the beautiful school grounds and gathered for tea by the cricket Pavilion, where the John Dewes match was in full swing.
Next year, OA Day will be on Sunday 10th June '18 and is likely to focus on Kennedy's and Martineau's.  Keep the date clear if you would like to come.

Remember: Pictures taken at events are available to view and download in the Event Galleries and on the OA Society Facebook page.

OAs are encouraged to return to the School when they can and let us know where life has taken them. 
Recent visitors have included Sunil Thanki (P1996-2003), Luise Rossel (P2009-10), Simon Griffin (SHO1979-84) & Duncan McPhee (M1955-59).
Lydia Chapman (P2010-12) also comes in regularly since she has taken on the role as Editor of the OA Review and is also a Sixth Form Mentor.  Other new OA Mentors introduced to current students this year are: Sunil Thanki, Charlie MacGinty (M2005-09), Kristian Schuhmacher (R2003-08), Simon Frais (P2001-06), Harry Turnbull (L2006-11) & Bhavin Kotecha (P1993-2000).  Several other volunteers have stepped forward recently and their support will be offered to Sixth Formers in September.


The end of the summer term saw the end of an era for some as we said goodbye to Paul Turner (CR1998-2017).  Paul is fondly known as 'Doc' and, as a particularly charismatic Chemistry teacher, has inspired many of his students to continue their scientific studies beyond Aldenham.  Doc even created a special Honours Board for the Science department to list OAs who have gone on to gain degrees in various science subjects since the year 2000.  Paul's aim with this project was to inspire more young scientists.  As House Tutor and Assistant Housemaster in Martineau's he has also been a valued support for our younger students since 1998. 
Bob Collins (CR2003-17) joined as Head of Sixth Form and has given careers guidance and support with UCAS applications to many students as well as teaching Geography and running field trips.  Latterly Bob was Assistant Head with responsibility for co-curricular activities and external affairs.  This role will be taken on by Emma Murray who joins Aldenham in September.
The new Bursar, Karl Mahon, hit the floor running in July as a programme of maintenance included relaying the mains electricity to the School site and other essential works that will be done before school resumes.  Karl has enjoyed 23 years in the RAF, where he rose to the rank of Wing Commander.  Karl's two children will be welcomed into the Prep School in September as he and his family now settle into their new home in Watford.


Thanks to donations to the Aldenham Annual Fund a selection of material from the School archive is now available to view online.
Magazines from the war years and some from each decade have been professionally digitised, along with registers, event programmes,  photograph albums and other memorabilia, including the first ever Government inspection report, from 1910, school rules from 1971 and a book of memories written down by OAs who were at Aldenham in the 1920s & 30s - 'Platt Revisited'
This resource is available throughout the Aldenham community using either a school email address and the password: 1597archive or via the OA Society website using a unique member log in and then clicking on the Digital Archive tab.  Members of the public who enquire about family members may be given temporary access for personal research. 
This project will continue to be developed as funds allow and some donations to the next Annual Fund appeal will be allocated for this purpose.

Digital communications and social networks are the quickest, cheapest and easiest way for us to keep in touch with as many people in the Aldenham community as possible.  The School has had an official Facebook page for two years now and the OA Society has recently launched their own page on FacebookWe use Twitter and now there is also an Instagram account.

The OA Review and The Aldenhamian Magazines plus school Newsletters (Aldenham Today) will still be produced in hard copy versions for the foreseeable future.  Members of the OA Society will be sent a copy of the annual alumni magazine unless an electronic version is requested please let the Development and OA Office know if you would be happy with a PDF copy in future:  

Consideration is being given to producing magazines in electronic format which will reduce costs and may be more popular in time.

REMEMBER: In 2018 new data protection regulations will come into effect. We would like to keep in touch with you with news from Aldenham School and the OA Society and must have your permission to do so.  Future mailings will ask you to 'opt in' if you want to hear from us, we hope that you will choose to do so.
We will not share your details with any third party.

The next event will be held in London or Watford, date & venue to be confirmed.  Please let the OA Office know if you would be interested in attending or if you would like to host a networking meeting:  

Details of the OA Society Annual Dinner are now available on the website
It has been decided to hold this popular event on a Saturday night this year to make travelling easier.
Please book early if you would like to come and encourage your friends to join you to make up a table of 10/12.
OAs who went to Edge Grove before coming to Aldenham may be interested in joining Sue Maughan to hear plans for their old prep school and meet fellow alumni of Edge Grove and Aldenham Schools.  Sue has recently taken up a new post as Development Manager at Edge Grove and she has a daughter in Paull's House.  She would be delighted to meet you on an Edge Grove table. Please let the Development & OA Office know if you are interested:

Although it was not possible for the Headmaster to stop over in Singapore when he visited China in March 2017, due to a very full schedule and commitments back at School, he is still keen to arrange an Aldenham get together in the Far East/Asia sometime in the future.   Further details will be posted on the OA Society website in due course, meanwhile do keep in touch and let the Development and OA Office know if you move home or workplace.  

See above right for more dates for your diary!

Visit the School and the OA Society websites for the latest news

Members of the OA Society can log in and go to Event Galleries to see pictures of OA events.  If you do not have or have forgotten your unique Username and Password contact:

A group of keen OA musicians continue to support the School Choir at concerts and events.  There will be an AGM for the group on Saturday 2nd September at Aldenham.  Alice Erman (P2005-12) is taking the lead with support from John Wyatt (CR1994-2016). 
Anyone interested in joining the OA Choir can contact Alice directly:

Please see the OA Society website for the latest news and fixtures for both of these active sports clubs. New members are welcome to join the OA golfers and footballers for their next season, contact details are on the Sports and Clubs pages of the OA Society website

School v OA matches are a regular feature on the calendar and are much enjoyed by everyone involved.

The Aldenham Fives Club has had a great year having beaten Oxford University to lift the Eton Fives Association Trophy.
Congratulations to all the players and club members.  To find out more about their activities go to the website or  contact Phil Lyndon (K1976-81) - Email:

A record number of OAs took part in the Eros to Eros run on the last day of term this year.  Gary Bokobza (B1990-94) travelled from his home in Spain to join the event for the first time as an OA.  John Corp (SHE1956-61) and Gary reached the finishing post together before they both enjoyed a hearty breakfast with the other runners.  Regular runners returned for the race, including the record holder Paul Cheetham (CR1996-99 & 2003-07), Alan Phillips (M1977-82) and his friend Martin Love.

We hope that their efforts will encourage more OAs, parents and former staff to take up the challenge next year.

Hugh Schermuly (M1974-79) has become the Chairman of the Letchmore Trust, a charity that manages various art and financial assets on behalf of the School.  Hugh and his predecessor, James James-Crook, took delight in seeing the high standard of entries to the Letchmore Trust Art Competition and selecting the prize winners in three categories. 

Members of the Richard Platt Society have all kindly left a gift in their Will to the School.
The President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (M1968-72)
has recently pledged a gift to Aldenham School in his Will and received his special Richard Platt Society tie.
The names of Kenneth Flatt (M1933-36) and Paul Spencer (P1943-47) have been added to the list of benefactors acknowledged each year, at the thanksgiving service on Visitation Day, in recognition of their kind and generous gifts.
Richard Platt himself left orders in his Will for the establishment of the School to acknowledge his own fortune. Whatever the reason and whatever the gift, a commitment of this sort will provide the School with a secure Bursaries Fund and enable it to offer academic, cultural and sporting facilities that will attract the quality of student that is synonymous with Aldenham.
If you would like more information please contact the Development Manager, Ann Saffery


If you have a special event to celebrate, such as a BIG birthday or family occasion next year, please remember that a spectacular marquee will be available to hire over the weekend following the ASPA Summer Ball, which will take place as usual on the evening of the last day of the summer term - Friday 29th June 2018. Why not take this opportunity to use the facility in the lovely setting of Aldenham? For full details of facilities to hire at Aldenham contact Andy Dawson (SHO1989-94), or visit the School website
Presentation to Neil Sutherland
                as outgoing President
Past President Neil Sutherland OBE (B1966-70) is thanked
President and guests at Broomhall Castle
James James-Crook, President, centre, at Broomhall Castle
Edinburgh Fringe performers
Aldenham at the Edinburgh Fringe 25 & 26 August '17
Go karts on display
                  at OA Day
Go kart on display on OA Day
Broomhall Castle, Scotalnd gathering
Broomhall Castle, Scotland - OA Gathering
Robin Campbell & Headmaster
Robin Campbell (B1949-54) with the Headmaster
London Lunch on the Hispaniola
London Regional Lunch on the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola
Lydia and Other OAs at London Lunch
Lydia Chapman (P2010-12), centre, Editor of the OA OA Review
OA Day group
OA Day - pre-lunch drinks reception in Paull's House Garden
Class of 1977/78 on OA Day 2017
Paull's House Class of 1977/78 met up on OA Day in June 2017
1st Girl in Paull's on
                    OA Day
Masume Hidayatullah (P1980-82), right, one of the first girls Luise
                  Roessel & Bob Collins
Luise Rossel (P2009-10) & Bob Collins (CR2003-17)
Doc Turner & Sunil
Paul (Doc) Turner (CR1998-2017) & Sunil Thanki (P1996-2003)
Bhavin Kotecha meeting his Mentee
Bhavin Kotecha (P1993-2000) meets his Mentee
New Bursar
                  Karl Mahon in the cherry picker
New Bursar Karl Mahon says Hello!
OA v School Golf
OA v School golf at Porters Park, Radlett - June 2017
Gary & John Eros
 Gary Bokobza (B1990-94) & John Corp (SHE1956-61)
Letchmore Trust Art Competition Judging
Judging the Letchmore Trust Art Competition 2017
Platt window
Richard Platt Society
Marquee for hire
Marquee for hire at Aldenham - July 2018
If you have any comments or feedback with regard to this e-newsletter please contact:
Ann Saffery
Development & Alumni Manager
Tel. 01923 851612
Aldenham School 1597

 Old Aldenhamian Society

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