2005, Centenary Lunch

Lords Cricket Ground

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                       The Scoreboard

As about 150 OHs, husbands, wives and partners met at Lord’s in gorgeous autumn sunshine on 24th September, the scoreboards carried the message ‘MCC welcomes the Old Honitonians’ Club for their Centenary Luncheon’. First-rate guides gave us tours of the striking architectural features of the ground and the museum where we saw the Ashes, before Nick Milner OH, a top London photographer, took us in front of the pavilion. A champagne reception followed before lunch with delicious food and wine in the Long Room.

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Lunch in the Long Room

 When our President, Richard Le Fleming, rose to introduce our Guest Speaker, General Sir Roger Wheeler, GCB. CBE.OH., Constable of the Tower, he said he must first pay tribute to Geoffrey Blackburne-Kane, CBE, who had died on 21st July in his 80th year. Geoffrey had been Captain of everything at Allhallows and Head of School; he had served in the Royal Engineers, taken a First in History at Pembroke College, Cambridge and joined the Colonial Service and later the Civil Service. He became Chief Steward at Wimbledon. He had been a Governor of Allhallows for many years and was devoted to the School. Our sympathy goes out to Rachel, his daughters and family.

Lords Long room
Lunch in the Long Room

Richard said he had first appeared on parade under Roger Wheeler in the CCF at Allhallows in a pair of button less corps trousers with disastrous consequences. He nearly got his revenge when he was a helicopter pilot in the army.

Sir Roger said he would not be here today, if it was not for Allhallows and all the hard work that Richard Le Fleming, Brian and John Clark had done to organize the day for us. Roger said that he first came to Allhallows with his father on the Combpyne express to see the school; they watched a rugger match and heard Don Palmer shout from the scrum “lower second row!” Allhallows he discovered was about trying and doing your best. He remembered wonderful characters like Jack Jarchow, who probably wouldn’t be allowed to teach nowadays, who when he spotted Norman Butler ‘running out’ a boy from his classroom, as V.A.L. Hill, the Headmaster, was showing a parent around with her son, a prospective pupil, exclaimed “That little frigger won’t be coming here in a hurry!” He recalled a cricket match during a thunderstorm, in which Chris Clause, Captain of Cricket, who now runs a Reserve for Endangered Animals in Kenya, fielded brilliantly at cover-point. Again that was about trying.

Lords Reading Rm
Richard Ambrose, Ramzi Hijjawi, Shirley Ambrose

Roger said it is the nature of the game that brings some of us here to this famous ground today. Cricket was described by a foreigner as a mysterious ritual in which two men in white coats followed by eleven men also in white, come out and insert six sticks in the ground and then it rains! But those who have seen the Ashes series this year know what a magnificent game it can be.

Lords The Ashes
The Ashes

Roger said he had been privileged to be Constable of the Tower for 4 years. It has an intriguing history. The White Tower of Caen stone was built by William the Conqueror. The Tower once had a menagerie; it had been an observatory, a prison and a mint. Roger said he was aware of his illustrious predecessors like the Duke of Wellington, who quartered 1000 troops there to quell an unruly populace. But the Tower, rich in tradition like the Ceremony of the Keys, is now a charity and has over 2 million visitors a year.

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Lynn Moore, Roger Wheeler, Richard Le Flemming

Roger reminded us we were here today, because of Allhallows and its traditions, because of the friends we had made there. He congratulated the Club on its Centenary and wished OHs well for at least the next 50 years.

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"OH Spirit" Al and Nick Peal

Our President thanked Roger for telling us what Allhallows meant to him and with such interest about the Tower. Finally he thanked Brian Clark, our Hon. Treasurer for 25 years, and his son John for the superb way in which they had organized our day at Lord’s; he also thanked Derek Blooman, the Hon. Secretary for all the work he does behind the scenes. We all enjoyed ourselves and met many old friends, among them Richard and Shirley Ambrose, Peter Larkman, Keith and Lynn Moore, Nigel and Anne Giles.

Lords Pavillion
The Pavillion

D.J.B.

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