The Old Philologians Association


The Annual Dinner - 2009

On Wednesday 28th October, 123 Old Philologians and their partners attended the Association's Annual
Dinner at the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly. This was a record attendance within living memory and nearly
twice that of last year. So space was a little tight..

Another remarkable fact was that in attendance there were five Knights of the Realm, namely Sir Michael
Beetham, Sir James Ball, Sir Cyril Taylor, Sir Michael Pepper, and Sir Brian Vickers, the Association's

Mr Brian Evans (1950-1958) took the chair and called upon the Rev. Michael Hayman (1943-1950) to say

The meal comprised Asparagus Soup, Supreme of Chicken Cordon Bleu, Fresh Fruit Salad, and coffee with
Petits Fours.

After the Loyal Toast, Brian Evans introduced the speaker for the
evening, (if an introduction was necessary) Colin Bosley, who was the
Physical Training master at the school from 1956 until closure in 1981..
Colin entertained us with his reminiscences of his rugby playing career which
saw him playing for Cardiff and London Welsh and the number of times he
played in the Welsh trials, which were a feature in the selection for the
International team. He was rather unfortunate with the number of injuries he
suffered either prior to the match being played, or during it. Many say these
cost Colin International Honours.

Colin took up his post as P.T. master after Wilf Finbow left the school and
he related the successes the school rugby XV enjoyed under his guidance.
He also recounted his immense pride in the school, when we beat Stowe
School in the final of an East Anglian tournament.



Colin in full flow

The audience especially enjoyed his anecdotes and common room stories about
his teaching colleagues, Messrs Snape, Bluett and Willis, and of course
Llewllyn Smith the headmaster. However the main purpose of the evening was to
reunite old school friends and judging by the noise levels on arrival in the
bar and during dinner this aim was fully achieved with many groups of "boys"
meeting each other for the first time since leaving St Marylebone Grammar
Our thanks, as always, go to Peter Walter,
our Secretary for all his hard work in
organising the event and his patience in
revising more than once the seating plan
to accommodate the various requests made
by the members.

Sir Brian & Wilf enjoying a joke

East Anglian Lunch

The first East Anglian Lunch was held on 25 November in The Old Fire Engine House in Ely Cambridgeshire,
11 Old Philologians attended being served a lunch of a choice of either Game or Onion and Tomato soup
followed by Homemade Salmon and Hake Fishcakes or Steak and Kidney Pie.

This small restaurant allowed us to use a private dining room which was made available to us for the whole
afternoon, so with an abundant supply of coffee there was plenty of time to talk of the school and reminisce
over a selection of school photographs.

This lunch was organised to help our members based in East Anglia who have problems attending our regular
functions in London, or Forest Green to meet each other socially, in this respect this event was a great success,
with a unanimous wish to repeat the gathering in 2010.

The lunch was attended by:
James Bidwell (1949-1957 ), Les Bunker (1957-1965), Robert Smith, Stuart de Prochnow (1959-1966),
Tom Ambrose, Eric Hollingdale (1936- 1943), Chris Clayden (1948-1957), Bob McClenning (1958 -1963),
George Clements (1947-1952) , Roger Hargreaves (1954-1961 ) and Les Payne (1956 -1961)
Apologies were received from Ray Rixon who was unfortunately not well, but we all wish him well soon.

How about a West Country Lunch or a Peak District Lunch, to enable members to meet locally once a year?
Interested please contact Les Payne

Proposed East Anglian Lunch

With a growing number of old boys now living in East Anglia, who find it difficult to get to functions in
London, we are considering introducing a lunch in East Anglia. This follows on from the successful
London lunch at the Saville Club. It is of course difficult at this early stage to define exactly where or
when until we receive some feed back on how many OP's would be interested, your comments would
be very much appreciated giving details of where you are located, best time if any, and of course
also any other OP's that you know that would like to attend.
Details to:

Les Payne


Tel :- 01366 501 507


The Old Philologians News Letter

Following the death of Ted McNeal, the Committee will be sending out shortly a 

newsletter, which will contain tributes to Ted. As an interim measure, Dick Durran 
has agreed to act as the contact for all contributions regarding the Old
Philologians Association. The Committee felt that the continuation of our
newsletter would be a fitting tribute to Ted who, for many years, compiled it with
enthusiasm and a wealth of in depth knowledge of our old school. The Committee hope that members will continue to send letters, views, old
photographs, memories and articles because the news letter is the cement that holds
our Association together. Without it the Association would wither on the vine. Please send any contribution to :- Dick Durran Robin Hill Smedley Street West Matlock DE4 3LF or by Email to or Give me a ring on 01629 55947

Ted McNeal

Many will be sad about the passing of Ted McNeal who died on 22nd May 2009 after a 

protracted period of poor health. Due to the Bank Holiday weekend the funeral 

arrangements have yet to be finalised and details will be published on this site as 

soon as possible. 

Those members who are on the Association's list who are contacted by email will be 

advised of the funeral arrangements direct. Caroline, his daughter, has said that 
the family would welcome any OPs who knew Ted and wish to attend the funeral. Ted was Deputy Headmaster at the time of the closure of St Marylebone Grammar School and on his retirement worked tirelessly for the Old Philologians Association both as a Committee member, archivist, author of five books on the history of the school, and editor of our newsletter. He will be greatly missed and yet another link with the past has been broken. The Society's sympathy is extended to his family.
Funeral Arrangements

Ted's funeral is to be held at 11am on Friday 5th June at:

Breakspear Crematorium

Breakspear Road


Middlesex HA4 7SJ

The family have decided to have flowers from the family only. Anyone wishing to make

a donation in Ted's memory to the family's chosen charity should make a cheque out 
to "The Woodlands Trust" and send it to :- c/o Co-operative Funeral Care, 248, Northolt Road, South Harrow Middlesex HA2 8DU After a few weeks, the Co-op will send the family a list of donors and the total amount received ******
Annual General Meeting 2009
The Annual General Meeting was held at the old school, 248 Marylebone Road on 

Wednesday 8th April 2009.

The attendance was a little disappointing with just about twenty hardy souls who 

made the journey. The normal reports from the Chairman, Peter Sayers, the Secretary,

Peter Walter and the accounts for the year were presented and accepted. Copies of 

these may be obtained from Peter Walter. 

The President Sir Brian Vickers, the Chairman Peter Sayers and the Secretary Peter 

Walter were all re-elected as officers of the Association. Although considerable 

disappointment was expressed at the absence of the President, due we understand 

through 'flu.

Our new Treasurer and Membership Secretary, Les Payne, was elected and grateful 

thanks were extended to Brian Gedalla who retired from the post after sixteen 

years of service.

Ted McNeal and Rob Tims offered themselves for re-election to the Committee and 

were approved nem con. Dick Durran regretted that he felt obliged not to stand 

because of travelling difficulties late at night from Matlock. We were delighted 

that Paul Duncan volunteered himself and was elected.

The Secretary was pursuing the Honours Boards with the view of these being 

installed again at 248 Marylebone Road.

The Association's thanks were extended to Andrea Greystoke, Head of Abercorn School, for 

allowing us to use the old school premises for this meeting. 

Our thanks also are given to Michael Springate for organising the buffet including 




Forest Green Pilgrimage - 2009

With the Forest Green pilgrimage arranged for 5th July 2009.I thought the review 

published in the Daily Telegraph of 28th March 2009 of THE PARROT would be of 

interest to our members. 
Our guide to British pubs. This week: The Parrot, Dorking Your first visit to The 

Parrot is a bit like your first day at boarding school. Everywhere you look, there 

are wooden pillars, venerable old flagstones and lots of older boys and girls who 

clearly know what they're doing. Add to that the warren of interlocking eating and 

drinking areas, each with their own sub-nooks and crannies, and it's not unusual 

for first-timers here to feel a bit lost. There isn't, however, any bullying.        
It's not unknown for staff in busy pubs to get irritated with new bugs who don't 

know the ropes, but you don't get the bar folk here drumming their fingers while 

you collect your thoughts. And they need collecting. 
There aren't many hostelries where you find yourself confronted by a whole side 

of raw lamb dangling from a hook. Or a full-scale designer butcher's-cum-

delicatessen (crusty bread, cheese, charcuterie, mutton pasties), separating the 

lounge bar from the dining room. 
The reason for this combining of country inn with retail outlet is that the 

people who own the Parrot also own a farm just down the road, where they rear 

the animals that become the meat that gets cooked in the pub's kitchens (or sold 

over the counter). A little "G" (for home grown) denotes which dishes on the menu 

are made in-house (such as burgers, steaks and sausages). 
So alluring is the Parrot's plumage that the car park is almost as big as the 

adjoining village green while, as well as the fire-warmed honeycomb rooms indoors, 

there are scores of outdoor tables and picnic sets, as well as grassy knolls on 

which to loll. 
Indeed, while the market town of Dorking isn't synonymous with walking, it does 

rhyme with it, and despite being just five miles out of the town centre, you're 

in the thick of the Surrey wildwoods. 
They serve suitably rustic real ale, too, in the form of Ringwood Best (3.8% abv) 

Youngs (3,7%) and Ringwood Old Thumper at 5.6%. The beer comes at the rather urban 

price of 3.50 a pint, but so well-shod is The Parrot's clientele, it barely 

ruffles their feathers. 
Wendy Miller 
* The Parrot (Forest Green), near Dorking, Surrey   (01306 6211339, 

Annual Dinner
On 19th November 2008, sixty-five members and guests sat down at the Royal air Force 

Club for the Old Philologians Annual Dinner, which was chaired in his inimitable 

manner by our President Sir Brian Vickers. Although the numbers attending were a 

little below those experienced in recent years there was the usual buzz of 

conversation as old friends were reunited. It was good to see Wilf Finbow, 

Colin Bosley, Norman Rogers and Mr Daulat, all past staff members, looking hale 

and hearty.Regrettably, Ted McNeal & Rory Hands were unable to make it this year 

and our best wishes are sent to both. Our guest of honour and after dinner speaker

was the Rt. Rev. Michael Henley, past Bishop of St. Andrews and Chaplain to the 

Fleet. A resume of his speech can be viewed by clicking here.
On sale at the dinner were packs of six Greeting Cards, one depicting the front of 

the school and the other the Mill at Forest Green. These two pictures are from 

watercolours by H.W. Llewellyn Smith, past Headmaster of the school and are 

reproduced by kind permission of Colin Bosley. Click here to view samples of both 

cards & how you can order.
There was a discussion on one table about the words of the School Hymn. I thought 

that it would be nice to publish the words as they do not appear in Ted McNeal's 

history of the school. Click here to view the words.
Unfortunately being tone deaf I cannot remember the tune to which these words were 

Some of our members may remember Parvez Kumar who was born in India during the

last decade of the British Raj. As a child he experienced the horrors of the 

Partition, the uncertainties that Independence brought to a new India, and the 

takeover of China by the Communist Regime. Educated at the Lawrence School Sanawar, 

one of the top boarding schools in India, and at St. Marylebone Grammar School in 

London, England (1956-59), he graduated as an Aeronautical Engineer from Imperial 

College, London, in 1962 and obtained a Doctorate from Southampton University in 

1968. He has lived in seven different countries, assimilating their cultures, while 

his varied and successful career in aviation and space included working in the 

academic, industrial and government sectors in the UK, France and Canada. 

As a former glider and power pilot, and a flight test engineer, his experience 

is enviable. He pioneered many 'firsts' in Canada's Space Programme and is 

considered by some to be ranked amongst Canada's space pioneers.He has just 

published his biography "The Cry of the Eagle" details of which can be obtained 

from It sounds like a good read