The Old Philologians Association

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.

Friday 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.

Saturday 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.

There's 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.

Bolinger 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.

Cutting 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.

Former 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 lake.

Karla 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.

Dinner 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.

Mill 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.

Repaired 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.

Sunday 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 mid-afternoon.


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.

Initial Table Settings
This is the Sovereigns' Room prior to the dinner

Members Seated
This is the dining room just after the members were seated
Table 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

Toast to School To the memory of the school



Table 2 Those present:
Eric Price, Gerald Margolis, Ruth Margolis, Kenneth Marks , Jean Marks, Colin Chapman, Colin Wagner,
Michael Springate

Table 3 Those present:
Adrian Morris, Allan Sensicle, Peter Woodmanm, Roger Chamberlin,
Sheila Chamberlin, Steve Barry , Moose Bond, Micky Harris, Rob Tims, Bridget Tims
Table 4 Those present:
Brian Gerrard, John Frances, Jack Carsey,
John Margetts, Doris Margetts, Gerald Milch, Richard Beaton,
Leslie Bunker, Peter Walter

Table 5 Those present:
Jim McClenning, Graham Baker,
Lily Gao, Christopher Young,
Julia Young,
Richard Sharon, Michael Cahill,
John Okukenu, Ray Smith

Here are some pictures from the hallways of The RAF Club

Main Staircase

Wall Pictures 1
Wall Pictures 2 Wall Pictures 3
Hall Picture Hall Picture


Hi Peter, I have just found these.....

Repairing the stairs

Dog in Basket - what was his name?