The Old Philologians Association

Archive 2010

2010 - Put these dates in your diary

Annual General Meeting Wednesday 14th April 2010 at Abercorn School (see below)
Annual Luncheon at the Savile Club.Tuesday 6th July 2010 Speaker Tom Ambrose. Details of the menu & a Booking Form can be obtained by clicking on this link

1955 Entry Get Together 8th July 2010 (see below)

Forest Green Pilgrimage
Sunday 25th July 2010 Further details & a Booking Form can be obtained
by clicking on this Link.

Annual Dinner at RAF Club Wednesday 27th October 2010 Speaker Norman Rogers


Annual General Meeting

Thee Association's Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 14th April at the Abercorn School, 248 Marylebone Road at 6.30 pm for 7.15 pm. We are grateful to the school for kindly allowing this meeting

As normal there will be a buffet with wine, beer and soft drinks available. Please try and make an effort to be there. Your voice is important and the bonus is you meet up with old school friends.
Could you please let Peter Walter know, if you intend to be there, which will assist in the arrangements for the evening.
His address is :-
Peter Walter
62 Linden Avenue
Middlesex HA9 8BD

                                                Agenda for the Annual General Meeting
                                                         At 248 Marylebone Road
                                              On Wednesday 14th April 2010 at 7.15 p.m.

1. Opening by the President
2. Apologies for absence
3. Minutes of the AGM held on 8th April 2009
4. Reports by :-
     a. The Chairman of the Committee
     b. The Treasurer
     c. Secretary
5. Election of officers :-
     a. President
     b. Treasurer
     c. Secretary
6. Election to the Committee
7. Honorary Membership
8. Closure by the President

Committee Meeting Dates

The dates for the 2010 Committee are :-

Wednesday 10th February
Wednesday 12th May
Wednesday 15th Speptember

Please let me know if you have any items you wish to raise and I will pass these onto the Committee.


1955 entry get together

We are arranging a reunion of the 1955 entry cohort, on July 8th 2010, our "excuse" being that it is 50 years now since some of the people left! We will be meeting in a pub near the old school -- please contact Martin Tims for more details. We will be meeting at 12.30, in an upstairs private room, and have arranged a buffet lunch for all attending, at £10 a head. Any 1955 entry old boys are welcome to get in touch with me, by e-mail, post, or telephone, to register an interest, and/or get more details, to say they will attend and to pay me their £10 in advance please, or simply to let me have a paragraph or two, to tell those attending what they have done since they left school, if they cannot or don't want to attend.

My e-mail address is :-

postal address is :- 5 Farm Close Lane, Wheatley, OX33 1UG,

telephone number 01865 872722

We have to let the pub know the final numbers at least a week before the event, so people must please let me know their intentions by the end of June. We have so far got names for 63 of the 90 odd cohort, and will be contacting as many we can find details for, but if you started at the school in 1955 and have heard nothing, please get in touch directly with me. This time round we are restricting it to 1955 cohort, to give a manageable number, as the private room has a limit on the number it can hold. Please pass this on to any other 1955 entrants. Thanks, and looking forward to seeing you in July.


Forest Green Reunion & Barbecue 2010
The date for the 2010 Forest Green reunion & barbecue will be Sunday 25th July 2010. Make a note in your diaries NOW!

2010 is a special year as it is the 80th Anniversary since the Mill and the campsite was acquired. The committee will announce further details in due course.You will have the opportunity to inspect the new building work at Forest Green


Rodney Sutton Wheeler

We are sad to announce the passing of Rodney Sutton Wheeler on 20th December 2010. His funeral will be held at St.Matthew's Church, Oxhey, Watford on Wednesday 19th January at 11am.

The Association expresses its sympathies to his wife and immediate family.


David Stopp

David Stopp has let me know that he has a new album of his songs which will shortly be available on cd from Amazon or alternatively can be downloaded from itunes. His new album can be sampled by going to his website

We wish him luck with it.


Colin Bosley

Martin Fox recently (1964-1971) came across the two photographs shown below of Colin Bosley in the London Welsh teams playing in the Middlesex Sevens Tournaments of 1956 and 1957.

Martin readily acknowledges that through Colin's enthusiasm and encouragement he achieved much at schools level Rugby and later with the Wasps RFC.


The Annual Dinner 2010

Around seventy-five old boys & their wives/partners met at The Royal Air Force Club in Piccadilly on Wednesday 27th October for the Annual Dinner. The chair was taken by Colin Bosley, who was the guest speaker last year, and former PT master at the school. We sat down to an excellent repast of Pea & Mint Soup, a filling helping of Steak, Kidney & Mushroom Pudding with a selection of fresh vegetables, followed by Sherry Trifle, Coffee & Petit Fours. Our thanks go to Peter Walter for all the arrangements and Sir Michael Beetham's help in obtainin this venue.

Colin Bosley introduced our guest speaker, Norman Rogers who taught modern languages at the school from 1958 to the school's closure. Norman brought news to us from Trowbridge that "Gibby Gibson" was in good spirits although he has failing eyesight and requires a care assistant. "Gibby" hits the magical score of 100 years of age on 20th February 2011, and a card was signed by all present that will be given to him on that date.

Norman reminisced about his time at SMGS, the connections between our old school and that in Trowbridge but his main emphasis was on the benefits of country air and the school camp at Forest Green.

During the interval a raffle was held for a Rugby football shirt that had been donated by the manufacturers which bore the crest of the school. This raffle raised over £190 which will go towards the Ted McNeal appeal.

The traditional toast was drunk to Basil Waters in a most acceptable port.

A memorable evening was had by all present with school memories coming thick and fast.


It is with much regret that we annonce the passing of Geoffery Preston (1935-40), late of Normandy, Surrey who died on 20/05/2010



The Old Philologians were recently given a Rugby shirt by Kukri, which has the badge of the Association embroidered on to it and bears the number 15 on the back. The Company, Kukri, had solicited our help in establishing the connection between our old school, St Marylebone Grammar, and the Saracens Rugby Club. It is intended to use this to raise money at our summer BBQ and annual Dinner.

It is our intention to erect a memorial to our second master at school at the time of our closure, Mr. Ted McNeal.. Ted, besides being a true friend of St Marylebone, dedicated a lot of his time to positions on the Middlesex Schools RFC alongside another of our former masters Mr. Colin Bosley. It is hoped that we can erect a pair of gates in our memorial garden at our former school camp in Forest Green Surrey, again a site very close to Ted.

To enable us to gain maximum impact from this shirt draw, the OPs' committee would like to couple it with an autographed Saracens RFU shirt. This would give it even more appeal as so many of our former pupils played their rugby at Saracens including amongst others Vic Harding and Ricki Rixon., The Saracens RFC have kindly agreed to donate this to our Association.

There will be more details iin the next newsletter but the idea is that we will offer members the opportunity to enter this draw at the dinner or simply to send a 1:00 donation together with their name and address to Les Payne, our Treasurer, and their name will be entered in the draw at the dinner

Donations can be sent to Les Payne Esq. - Hon. Treasurer & Membership Secretary, Old Philologians, Lilac Cottage, Low Road, Wretton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE33 9QN

A brief report on the BBQ at Forest Green to celebrate the 80th birthday of the first SMGS camp.

Les and Frances arrived on the Saturday afternoon and Bridget and I joined them in the early evening. As usual the Payne's were not sitting down enjoying the peace and tranquility, but were sweeping the memorial garden, to make it look neat and tidy for the OPs, some of whom had not been to the Mill for a number of years. We had a light supper and prepared ourselves for the next days events.

Sunday was wet first thing, but we were lucky in having the awnings out, which meant we could dine under cover if necessary. However as the morning went on it became hotter and drier, so that the sides were removed and we ended up eating al fresco, but with shade. We had about 60 in total, OPs with their families and friends, and there were definitely some faces who had not visited camp for a long while. Omar Harmon was kind enough to collect people from Dorking station.

Sir Brian Vickers spoke of the events which led to Philip Wayne purchasing the site in 1930, Peter Sayers dispensed liquid refreshments, and Les and I fed our guests, with what I like to think was better food than we managed on the burning pit all those years ago. As usual we could not of done it without the selfless hard work put in by our wives, who are the real stars of the event every year - take a bow ladies!

Frances had baked a wonderful cake, complete with iced tents, and after the customary walk to the top of

                                               Some of those that made it to the top

Leith Hill, we finished off with strawberries, shortbread and cream. The extension at the back of the mill has bought the facilities right up to date, and again I think that Mr Wayne would have been very pleased, that most of the works were done by old boys of SMGS, namely Jack Watson, Peter Woodman, and, Omar Harmon. Someone who couldn't make it this year has already asked for next year's date: It's a bit early yet, but keep your eyes open in forthcoming newsletters.                                                                     
                                                                                                  Report by Rob Tims 2nd August 2010
                                                                                                  Photograph by Peter Woodman


Well met at the Globe

In pancake hats and fur-trimmed cloaks, the actors wait to take their place on the stage of the Globe Theatre. Yet the river behind them is not the Avon, but the Thames, for this is not 17th Century Stratford but London on a warm July day in 2010. And overlooking the scene from the adjacent restaurant building are fourteen OPs of 1950s vintage, enjoying a celebratory 60th Anniversary lunch.
Several of us had met at the annual dinner and wanted to spend more time together than the occasion allowed. I agreed to coordinate it and Allan Sensicle made the highly successful booking at the "Swan at the Globe". Time was unrestricted, except for those who had to return to more remote parts of the country; in fact some lingered to chat in the bar until 6.00 p.m.
The group represented a striking diversity of career trajectories, yet sat down together as if not a day had passed. Friendships of more than half a century had been cemented by a commonality of school experience, at the desk and on the sports field. Gerry Blanc had brought his copy of "Footprints in the Ash" for me to sign, and this provided a temporary diversion from other stories, true and apocryphal, of masters and boys, vividly remembered despite the passing of the years.
All agreed that the lunch had been a great success and should become an annual fixture, as a complement rather than a substitute for the Annual Dinner. We hope to be joined in 2011 by some colleagues who couldn't make it this time around. Be the actors ready?                                                            Stanley Salmons (1951-58)
For the record, those present were: Gerry Blanc, Andrew Chapman, Bob Davies, Tony Della-Savina, Brian Evans, Frank Franklyn (Weissenberg), Malcom Lindsey (Lazarus), Paul Moss, Adrian Morris, Dave Pugh, Peter Ripper, Stanley Salmons, Allan Sensicle, and Robert Whittle. (Ian Atlas and Peter Hewlett had to cancel.)


Annual Accounts for 2009 & Official Reports maade at 2010 Annual General Meeting

The Annual Accounts for 2009 and the Reports of the Officers made at the 2010 Annual General Meeting can be accessed by clicking on the Links below :-

Annual Accounts 2009

Officers Reports made at 2010 Annual General Meeting


As you will be aware considerable renovation and extention work is currently being carried out on
the Mill at Forest Green. On the picture page you can see photographs of the progress being

An update on the Mill:

I am glad to announce that the 1st floor bathroom facilities were competed a couple of weeks ago and the second floor facilities should be complete over the next week. Over the last few months Jack Watson and I have spent quite a bit of time at the Mill with the help of many others from time to time. The Mill is already fully functional and I hope you find all in order for the summer BBQ. Some areas of the new extension will be fitted out at a later date and areas such as the tent field will be repaired on the June working weekend and in the Autumn.
                                                                                          Omar Harmon (Posted 30th May 2010)


Arthur Uphill

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Arthur Uphill who was at St Marylebone Grammar School and he was evacuated to Redruth and left school after School Cert. in the late/mid 40s. He died on 4th June 2009 and his funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium.

FOREST GREEN - The building of the old swimming pool.

Thanks to Barry Stanton a Pathe Newsreel clip of the building of the swimming pool at Forest Green has come to light. It can be viewed by clicking below or going to
the Links page on this website. It is well worth seeing and any further information about this clip from boys who remember it being filmed or were part of the team building the pool would be welcome.


Saracens Rugby Football Club

Keith Jolley is requesting information regarding the rugby section of the school, and how it went on to become the
Saracens Rugby Club.

Our intrepid Treasurer Leslie Payne has come up with the following information from Wikipedia which tells us

"The Saracens were founded in 1876 by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone, London,
(later to become St Marylebone Grammar School). Saracens amalgamated with neighbouring club Crusaders two
years later.

In 1892 Saracens moved from Crown Lane, Southgate, to Firs Farm, Winchmore Hill then played on nine different
grounds before the move to Bramley Road for the 1939-40 season (although the war actually prevented them from
playing there until 1945).

After their inaugural match against Blackheath they had to wait another nine years before Harlequins offered to
include them on their fixture list. Saracens found it difficult to get games against first class sides as the facilities at
Bramley Road were so poor.

The club produced a number of internationals in pre-league era, such as hooker John Steeds who won five caps for
England from 1949-50, Vic Harding a lock also for England from 1961-62 and George Sheriff an England back-
rower from 1966-67.

The club enjoyed fixtures with the leading clubs for many years and enjoyed a particularly successful time in the
1970s when they reached the semi-finals of the National Cup (now the EDF Energy Cup). Special games played at
Bramley Road during this period include the 1971 match against a select International XV. It was a fantastic
occasion, as a 5,000 strong crowd (the largest ever to watch a rugby union game in North London at the time) came
to watch a magnificent contest, ending Saracens 34 International XV 34."

We would appreciate any memories that our Old Boys have of The Saracens, particularly of course as many of us
left school and continued playing our rugby in North London with "The Sarries"

All memories to Dick Durran or Les Payne


If you have any other ideas for future events or are planning any with your contemporaries.

Please let me know via the Contact link on this site.

Dick Durran.