The Old Philologians Association

2016 Archived Items


Forest Green Pilgrimage

The Forest Green pilgrimage and barbecue will be held on a to be announced.
To download the invitation please click here.

I am sad to announce the passing of Patricia Mansell, the wife of Roy Mansell a past Headmaster of our school. Her funeral will take place at The Counties Crematorium, Milton Malsor, Northampton on the 11th July at 13:15. WANTED The current Newsletter compiler, archivist and web manager wishes to retire by Autumn 2017.
Any OLd Philologian who fancies volunteering for this interesting role should contct Dick Durran on

John Price

George Hobart kindly brought to my attention the undermentioned web site regarding the first class cricket career of John, who was at SMGS 1948-1955. To view the web site please Click here

A Triple Book Signing Must be something of a Record

Dear Family/Friends/Colleagues! You may like to know that I’ll be doing a triple book-signing on Monday, 6th March at Rhosllanerchrugog Library. I appreciate that this is an impossible venue for some, but if you live in Chester or even more locally I’d love to see you there. Let me know if you need directions. Even if you can’t come, you may still be interested in the books. ‘Footprints in the Ash’ was recently republished by Yolk Publishing following the demise of the original publisher. It’s a semi-historical novel that links two crimes across two thousand years. On mountain slopes south of Pompeii a group of Roman citizens flees the doomed city. 2000 years later their footprints are discovered embedded in volcanic ash. But the subsequent archaeological dig is scarred with tragedy. Detectives Nick Roberts and Lucia Fabri fly out to help the Italian police, unaware of the sinister forces – both human and natural – that lie in wait for them. Their subsequent race for survival sweeps them up in an uncanny re-enactment of historical events. ‘Counterfeit’, which came out in November, is the second in the Jim Slater series, although there’s no real need to read ’The Domino Man’ first. It's set in the 2050s, but the issues are spookily topical. An outbreak of drug-resistant malaria in Colombia sets Jim Slater, a Special Forces Colonel, on the track of an international racket in counterfeit medicines. But the syndicate’s leaders are close to the Russian leadership and the US government refuses to act. Jim is on his own against the most powerful of adversaries – one who cannot be defeated by force alone. ’The Canterpurry Tales’ is my first, and so far my only, children’s book. This second edition provides laughs and thrills for children of 8 years upwards, and more subtle chuckles for the adults who may read it to them. The charming illustrations inside are by Martin Preston. Bummus McBaggus, a black-and-white moggy, joins a colourful community of cats in the Scottish highlands who have found refuge from rising sea levels. Each pussy cat has a tale to tell, in an accent acquired from their man-pets or woman-pets, but Bummus discovers that they live in fear of something, something only he will have the courage to face. A good choice for birthdays or Christmas! Apologies if you’ve already seen shorter versions of this on Facebook or Twitter. And don’t hesitate to let me know if you would prefer to have your name removed from this mailing list – none of us enjoys unwanted emails! Best wishes        Stanley Salmons




The lease of The Parrot is for sale. The business agent is Christies who handle pubs and hospitality businesses like the Parrot. Any interest to OPs who are looking for a retirement hobby?

Thanksgiving services

Beetham :- A Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham GCB CBE DFC AFC will be held on Wednesday 29th June 2016 at 11 a.m. at the RAF Church of St Clement Danes, Strand London WC2R 1HD. Dress for the occasion will be : Serving Officers: Full Ceremonial Day Dress. Civilians : Morning dress or Lounge Suit. Those intending to be present are asked to apply for tickets (stating their connection, if any, to Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham) to :- Mrs Michèle Small,SO3 RAF Ceremonial Events, RAF Ceremonial Office, Bentley Priory Building , RAF Northolt, West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG by no later than Friday 3rd June 2016. Please mark the envelope 'MRAF Sir Michael Beetham'. Each applicant must provide their full name, address, date of birth, and either a passport or driving licence number; applications must be accompanied by a SAE to ensure the issue of tickets. Daily Telegraph Online re: 509938


Annual General Meeting

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Old Philologians was held on 23rd March at 248 Marylebone Road by kind permission of the Headmistress of Abercorn School. Regretably I was not able to be there and in spite of requesting someone to take photos and send a report of the meeting, no one has done so. Therefore, all I can tell you is that all the existing officers were re-elected and that Timothy and Judith Hands were elected Honorary Members.

The Minutes for the 2015 AGM were approved and can be downloaded here.

The Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary reports for the past year were read out and can be downloaded here

Membership List

The Membership List as at December 2015 may be downloaded here.

The Lake at The Mill.

OP's who have not visited the mill since they left school, will recall the swimming pool. That feature no longer exists. After SMGS closed and William Ellis took over the general running of the site, the pool was demolished and a much larger lake was created with an island in the middle, the idea being to make a wild life sanctuary. For those who visit the mill on a regular basis, my apologies, you will already know this. Over the years, the lake, which was originally some 4 feet deep has become completely clogged up with leaves from the surrounding trees, so much so that the water in places has reduced in depth to less than 6" and this situation cannot be allowed to continue. In October 2015, the input of water from the main mill stream was blocked off and the outfall from the lake was deepened to allow most of the water to drain away. Naturally, due to variations in the depth, it does not all drain away, so it is hoped that during the summer (if we get one) the remaining water will evaporate by a natural process which will allow us to employ a contractor with digger to remove the deposits from the bed of the lake and return the lake to the correct depth. In order to stop this situation re-occurring most of the trees around the lake have been removed which has the added benefit of plenty of logs for the wood burning stove for the next 10 years. The whole project will be phased over 12 to 14 months with a lot of very hard work by a willing team of volunteers during the working weekends and extra days/weekends by a few who can spare the time. As, I am sure it will be appreciated that a lot of hard work will be involved, therefore if anyone feels like a few hours/days in the country, please contact me, extra hands will always be welcome, the cost of plant hire is also no small amount, so any financial contribution will be gratefully received and faithfully applied.

Jack Watson.

Phone: 01628.521500 E.Mail: jamawat@


Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting the year will be held at Abercorn School on Wednesday 23rd March 2016. A copy of the invite can be downloaded here. The Agenda for the evening can be downloaded here. The Minutes for the 2015 Meeting can be downloaded here.


Forest Green 2016 Working Weekends

March 18th to 20th 2016

June 17th – 19th 2016

October 7th – 9th 2016

The next working weekend in March is going to be a particularly interesting one for old boys. The lake (an extension to the old swimming pool) has been drained for the first time since construction, almost 30 years ago. When constructed parts of the lake were 8 to 10 feet deep. Over the years the lake has become silted up with water depths barely a foot deep. For any old boys who remember digging out the swimming pool or the annual task of clearing the silt this will come as no surprise. The river water carries quite a load! We desperately need able bodied volunteers in March to help dig a small ditch through the lake bed to help dry out the silt and mud. Our aim after this is done is to get a small mini-digger into the lake bed during the summer months to excavate the silt and reinstate this important natural habitat. Omar Harmon

Forest Green (Cont)

As you may know, a few of us Old Philologians, assisted by Margaret Watson, Roy Kwei and Su Jones, have commenced erecting a rope course at the Mill, Forest Green. When completed the course will consist of 12 elements, each designed to teach the children teamwork and ingenuity. The object is to navigate the entire course without feet touching the ground. At the base of each tree we will construct a small wooden platform, capable of accommodating about six children. Starting at the first element, the "Boson's Chair", each child will have to reach the next element, the "Cargo Net", then continue to the third element, the "Burma Bridge", and so on. During the weekend of February 5th to 7th, our small team erected the first four units of the course. The remaining eight elements will be erected during the next few months, possibly including the next main Working Weekend which is March 18th to 20th. If any other members of the Old Philologians would like to join us, they would be much appreciated. The accommodation at the Old Mill is comfortable and we are always fed rather well.                                      Peter Woodman, 1946 - 1951.