2023 Recent Events
Forest Green, The Mill working weekend,
Friday to Sunday October 13th to 15th 2023
The last working weekend at the Mill was a
full residential one from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
There were only two Old Philologians present,
Bambos Antoniou and Peter Woodman. Others that had been
previously regular volunteers had notified the wardens,
Alice and Sam Carter, that for a variety of reasons they
would be unable to attend. Other volunteers came from the
William Ellis School Parent Association.
dinner Sitting down to the Friday dinner were Bambos,
Hayley, Sam, George, Fiona, James, Charlotte, Stephen, Ruth,
Alice and Peter. Stephen Bolinger and his three children
(originating from New York), have become recent regular
volunteers, usually with Kate Bolinger but this time she
was visiting Korea.
volunteers commence their tasks On Saturday morning
after breakfast, more volunteers arrived for the day. While
Bambos set to with strimming all over the site, pictured
is Bob who with his wife Valerie Kelly, spent the day clearing
the Memorial Garden.
usually some concrete work involved One of the small
reinforced concrete spur posts that support the Mill's covered
way, had seriously disintegrated over many years. Peter,
using a power breaker, removed the old post and after excavating
below ground level 100mm into the foundation of the old
post, inserted a new length of rebar, then fitted timber
formwork for casting a new post. Iraqi refugee Karla Tessa,
who had been brought to the Mill by Bob and Valerie, spent
the whole day assisting Peter. She helped fit the formwork,
mix concrete and carefully tamp the sides of the post formwork
to ensure the concrete mix was fully compacted. Sam, who
had suggested a repair to the post, is looking on.
children at lake, Sat. October 14th 2023 Saturday October
14th, most of the volunteers were engaged with clearing
the extensive vegetation around the lake and on the island.
James Bolinger is on the island with his sisters Charlotte
and Fiona, ready to join him bringing the cut-down material
to a bonfire for later burning.
down vegetation on the Island, Saturday October 14th 2023
The volunteers had to use this makeshift "bridge"
to access the island. It is positioned between the two jetties
constructed some years ago by Jack Watson and Peter Woodman.
For many years a glass fibre dinghy had been used on the
lake, but that vessel has now been written off as beyond
repair. Maybe a suitable task for the first 2024 working
weekend will be to construct a load-carrying raft, using
plastic drums for buoyancy.
swimming pool, Satuday October 14th 2023 The former
swimming pool, constructed in the summer of 1930, was well-used
by the pupils of S.M.G.S., but during the final years of
the School before closure in 1981, was already considered
not fit for use. The William Ellis School had part of the
south side demolished and the pool became a silt trap for
water flowing to the lake. This view is towards the east
where the existing Oke Brook's water is diverted into the
weeding concrete steps, Sat. October 14th 2023 Karla
Tessa is clearing vegetation surrounding the narrow concrete
steps leading up to the field (the former mill pond) from
the kitchen area. As a matter of interest for older Old
Philologians, I first started keeping a diary in 1949 and
my form, 4Sc. was at the Summer Camp from Wednesday June
8th to the following Wednesday, 15th. On Monday June 13th,
after "lines" (remember those, when we laid out
our kit in front of the tents?), Peter Chappell and I cut
a series of steps in this same bank, to make it easier to
get from the former open cooking area up to the field. The
earth steps were never concreted during my time at S.M.G.S.
Saturday evening, October 14th 2023 On Saturday evening
October 14th, there was only a small number of us volunteers
to enjoy yet another sumptuous meal, prepared by Alice and
Sam. These meals have become a feature of working weekends,
since former warden, Su Jones time at Forest Green. As it
turned out that evening, Su, who has recently suffered a
fall while cycling, did join the six of us for dinner.
Breakfast Sunday October 15th 2023 At breakfast on Sunday
15th, there were just five of us. Sam had prepared the food
for William Ellis stalwarts Ruth and Hayley, who joined
Bambos and Peter, There would be a handful of new volunteers
joining us during the morning, all locals to Forest Green.
Paving in Memorial Garden, Sunday Ocober 15th 2023 While
Hayley and Ruth continued clearing around the lake and on
the island, joined by other new volunteers, Peter made some
repairs to loose paving in the Memorial Garden. It is in
this place that Jack Watson's ashes were interred on July
30th this year. Later, a permanent engraved stone will be
laid over Jack's resting place.
October 15th 2023, Ruth and Hayley After a light lunch
and having completed their work on the island, Ruth and
Hayley, using the improvised "bridge", carried
the loppers back to the garage. Work was completed by Sunday
Annual Dinner 2023
The Annual Dinner was held on Wednesday, 25th October
at the Royal Air Force Club in Piccadilly. Forty Seven
members and guests attended. Pre-dinner drinks were
served in the Churchill Bar and the main meal was
served in The Sovereigns Room. There were five tables.
We had an excellent meal of cream of leek & potato
soup with chive crème fraiche, steak, mushroom and
ale pie served with traditional roast potatoes and
a selection of seasonal vegetables. Trifle was served
for desert. An alternative vegetarian main meal of
butternut squash & pumpkin risotto with pear, blue
cheese & walnuts was available. The chair was taken
by Sir Brian Vickers for the evening.
Various pictures are listed here.
Click on the blue titles to see the pictures and you
can get back from the pictures to this page by clicking
on the 'back' arrow.
This is the Sovereigns' Room prior
to the dinner
This is the dining room just after the
members were seated
1 Those present:
Sir Brian Vickers, Mr Brian Saperia
Mrs Diana Saperia, Mr John Childs
Mrs Marcia Childs, Mr Michael Harding
Mrs Elvira Harding, Mr Peter Spiteri
Mr Arthur Harris, Mr George Prior
to School To the memory of the school
2 Those present:
Eric Price, Gerald Margolis, Ruth Margolis, Kenneth
Marks , Jean Marks, Colin Chapman, Colin Wagner,
3 Those present:
Adrian Morris, Allan Sensicle, Peter Woodmanm, Roger
Sheila Chamberlin, Steve Barry , Moose Bond, Micky Harris,
Rob Tims, Bridget Tims
4 Those present:
Brian Gerrard, John Frances, Jack Carsey,
John Margetts, Doris Margetts, Gerald Milch, Richard
Leslie Bunker, Peter Walter
5 Those present:
Jim McClenning, Graham Baker,
Richard Sharon, Michael Cahill,
John Okukenu, Ray Smith
are some pictures from the hallways of The RAF Club
Hi Peter, I have just found these.....
in Basket - what was his name?