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Aunt Agatha

To tell Aunt Agatha what you have been doing click on the 'Contact Us' link, send an email to OHClub@thebirminghams.com or write to Aunt Agatha OH, at 27 Cambridge Cottages, Kew Green, Richmond Surrey, TW9 3AY

 

News of John Bardolph

 

John Bardolph (Staff 65-77)  - modern languages teacher, 7 a side and 1st XV backs coach and motoring enthusiast extraordinaire made a cheery phone call to AA a short while ago to chat about the old days.  AA has also recently heard from John Wong (c.70-75) who said that he would have to postpone his planned re-union lunch at the Victoria Hotel in Sidmouth yet again due to the continuing COVID 19 situation and the quarantine restrictions imposed on returning Hong Kong citizens.

Doorstep Visit by the Lewis Brothers

 

Both Clive (B62-65)  and Roger Lewis (B63-67) have recently paid a visit to AA, observing social distancing by chatting and exchanging news on AA's doorstep. Clive lives in Colyton. 

Dame Vera Lynn remembered

Richard Anderson (M. 67-71) recalls a memorable meeting with Dame Vera Lynn

I was fortunate to meet Dame Vera in 1977 at Woolwich , East London.  I was a serving Gunner Officer with the Depot Regiment which was stationed at the historic barracks that was ‘home’ of the Royal Artillery.

 

In late summer 1977 it was decided to hold a pageant on the front parade and the highlight of the event was an appearance of Dame Vera. Prior to this we would show off some of our equipment and a few battle scenes and then there was to be a beating of the retreat and sunset ceremony. 

 

I had been detailed off to look after Dame Vera and her husband Harry for the event.  I was to meet them at the guard room and accompany them and to follow a detailed programme for the afternoon and evening. 

 

They arrived on time in a silver Rolls- Royce, driven by Harry.  The first thing that struck me was how small he was.  He could hardly see over the dashboard of the Rolls!  Dame Vera was exactly as I expected.  She was very sociable but Harry, as her manager, wanted all the exact details of the rehearsal and the event and was very persistent! In fact, he was a total pain!

After a cup of tea in the mess we went straight out to the rehearsal to practice her part on the front parade. The idea was that Dame Vera would sing while seated in the cupola of a Quad which was towing a limber and 25 pounder gun. This wonderful piece of World War 2 history was owned by the Royal Artillery wing of the Driving and Maintenance School at Bovingdon and was in beautiful condition. The  idea was that Dame Vera would get into the Quad inside the barracks and it would then drive under the Grand Arch and onto the front parade.

We went and examined the Quad and the first problem was how to get her seated on the roof with her legs dangling through the cupola. Dame Vera was all for it but Harry declared that this was not going to happen! 

 

The second problem, which we had been assured was not a problem ,was the microphone system. The Quad was to drive onto the square with Dame Vera singing and this would be piped through the main speaker system. The Royal Artillery Band would provide the music and they were static in front of the main building.

 

Having got Dame Vera through the cupola we then had to rig up the microphone and get her connected to the radio system, to play over the main speakers. We were expecting large crowds for the performance and stands ran along the grass facing the front parade. The speaker system extended along the whole front parade, so we wanted everyone to be able to hear her performance. We also wanted everyone to see her so the quad would drive up and down the square. Nothing worked during the rehearsal, but we were promised that it would all be fine by the performance.  Dame Vera took it all in her stride, but Harry was not happy, and everyone knew it!

 

The pageant all went well and when the time came to get Dame Vera into the Quad it was now dusk and had turned quite cold. Dame Vera asked for a rug but I suggested that I get my Mess kit dress cape which was black with a red silk lining as it would look great with her wearing it in the spotlight. We got her into position and the cape was a big success and she was handed her radio microphone.  At the given moment the band started up with her signature tune ‘We’ll meet Again’ and the Quad started up and revved to get going up the slope leading to the Grand Arch. The noise was so great that Dame Vera was unable to hear the band so there was total confusion!  The quad appeared and the singing commenced but as she headed down the square the time lapse grew greater and so the singing was not in time with the music.  This was not such a disaster as it sounds because the radio microphone was now too far away and was not transmitting Dame Vera’s singing anyway! Also, the crowd roared with approval, so nobody realised that the system was not working! Dame Vera pulled it off like a true professional and as she came back nearer the centre the time lapse disappeared and she was back in range of the radio mic. she could also hear the band.  The Quad revved away happily and everyone was overcome with a wave of emotion at Dame Vera ,sitting in the spotlight , won the crowd over and did a medley of songs that ended a very special evening. I remember thinking how great she was, and I would always remember that enchanting night of her sitting on a piece of Gunner history in my striking cape.  Sadly, I never saw it again!

 

Dame Vera must have had many such events during her many years of support to the Armed Services and she would probably never remember a single performance at Woolwich as being any different from the thousands of others. I, however, have always remembered it and from then on took a great interest in her life and all that she had achieved.

Dame Vera was a real ‘trooper’ and she made a huge impact during her long life.

 

Richard Anderson (M.67-71)

 

Sorry to hear the news

Eddie Channon (Sh. 68-72) has been in contact to say how sorry he was to hear of the death of Graham Jones. He writes: "He taught me Maths when I came to Allhallows for the Sixth form (1968-70). I'm sure his enthusiasm helped me to get a place at Oxford, particularly because the Oxford entrance exam focused on traditional school mathematics (whereas we were learning modern Maths). I believe that he introduced computer programming into the school. At the time we had to punch cards (by hand), post them off to Imperial College and wait a week to receive the computer output (usually full of mistakes). It was great to be involved with computing at the beginning - I still have the now useless knowledge of codes for punched cards. I think Graham also helped me to get work at Shell Centre in London where I did programming on an oil pipeline project in my 8 month gap before uni."

Lyme Regis Theatre in good hands

Nigel Clegg (M. 62-65: palladinehouse@gmail.com) has written to say that he has been Chairman of the Trustees of the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis for the past three years and has really enjoyed his part in ensuring this lovely old seaside theatre survives for the long term.

Driving past the school entrance

Simon Gibbons (St.79-83: stagibbons@live.co.uk) has made contact with Aunt Agatha after recently driving pass the old school entrance gates. He writes: "The skill set learnt at Allhallows has allowed me to run a company for 27 years (a few false starts with working for other people), taught me how to negotiate, work with people you like and sometimes don't like. How to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. How to work in the real world and not from a text book ideal scenario. I look back fondly on my time there, it was dull and boring sometimes, but mostly fascinating and exciting. With my company I have held the Wallace and Gromit licence for pin badges... don't laugh, we made over 1.5 million of them. Created products for Peroni, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, British Airways to name but a few.  I have had to deal with people from the broadest range of society and had a great deal of fun doing it. Would I be where I am today without  the skillset learnt at Allhallows, I am not sure. One thing I am sure about, it was a great education and I don't just mean academic (growing, brewing, selling etc added to the academia). I have been fortunate in business to allow me to send my son to Clayesmore whereas I would have sent him to Allhallows if it was still around. It continues to be a blast & thanks in part to my 4 years at HMP Allhallows every cloud most definitely has a silver lining and my glass is half full." 

Flying High

Steve Bath (Chud 66-71) replied to a request from his old Housemaster DJB for some news, with a huge package about what he has been doing recently. He says the family sold the 90 year old business of Bath Travel to John Hayes in 2013. John has since been propelled into stardom when he bought the retail arm of Thomas Cook in October 2019 thereby saving 3,500 jobs. Steve continues to publish the Christchurch River book, although this has been shelved until 2021. Steve invested in an aircraft - a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, which he operates as an Air Ambulance that carries human organs all over the UK for transplant. Steve has had a pilot's licence since 1979. He says his flying was inspired by joining the RAF CCF section in 1967 when they were taken to Exeter Airport for a flight in a Chipmunk which gave him confidence. He recently met up with many of the class of 66-71 when they met for a reunion in November 2019 at the Grand Hotel in Exmouth, the same weekend that the Rugby World Cup Final was being held. A great weekend, but sadly a disappointing result on the playing field!

Seaton Development

Mark Beckenham (Middy 69-74) bumped into AA in the carpark of a giant emporium in Seaton in March and said he is engaging in the development of a major residential property in Seaton. He was delighted to hear that the school's long term Bursar, Paul Dallimore (73-94), is now in a flat in Seaton near his daughter Katie and her husband David Mason, a former estate agent. Mark was his normal cheerful self and asked after several members of staff and former pupils.

A Royle Wedding

George Royle (Middy 94-98) a talented cricketer in our outstanding 1998 1st XI, married Jenna, a lovely girl and teacher at Seaton Primary on December 7th 2019. Moira Royle, Head of Modern Languages and Pastoral Care at Allhallows says the wedding was at their local church in Offwell and nearly all of George’s cohort from Allhallows were there. Moira says it was very nostalgic for her and her husband Harvey, whose firm made those striking shorts of the OH Sevens Squad which played on the Sidmouth Ground

 

Berkeley Square to Berkeley Street

Claus Andersen (Chud 79-84) says he drove a new Rolls Royce Cullinan to Courcheval for a few days, partying and skiing. Rachel enjoyed horse-riding and dog walking in the countryside. In March, Frederik helped Claus move out of his showroom in Berkeley Square to a new property in Berkeley Street. Claus then headed to Shanghai for the RR World Dealership Conference. In May, Claus became an ECB Cricket Coach helping the U9’s Cricket Squad and Frederik played his first match as Captain and they won against Ham and Petersham. After super family outings, Rachel still helps her children’s school 3 days a week and in October the family stayed in their usual cottage in Lyme Regis, lots of crabbing but ghastly weather, and in December a trip to Yorkshire to visit Rachel’s parents.

Mapping out Knightsbridge

Greg Mahlich (Chud 72-76), that towering figure in Chudleigh did brilliantly in his A levels and obtained a place to read Law at Exeter University then told the startled professor that he really wanted to be a journalist. He headed for London and joined Reuters where he eventually became an Editor. Greg says that he recently retired. He and his great friend Philip Curtis (St 72-70) were both at the OH AGM and party at the RAC club in 2018 but didn’t go to the 2019 gathering as they were both in St Lucia for Philip’s sisters 60th celebrations. The good news is that following the 2018 gathering they met Amanda Musgrave (Char 74-76) and Gill Sherlock (Char 74-76) in Knightsbridge with a trip to the Map House where Philip, author of the history of maps and that masterpiece War Map 1900-80 still labours away. Greg says he has been preoccupied sorting out his mother’s affairs who passed away a few days short of her 94th birthday. His brother Stuart (Chud 72-74) has moved into her house in Seaton. Greg has been painting and decorating their home in London whilst his daughter Hetty, who read History of Art at Bristol, is an intern for Snow Studio an online fashion portal.

A Fairytale in Lyme Regis

Darryl Hunt (Chud 64-68) who was interviewed by our super editor George Hayter for our 2018 OH Magazine, featured in the BBC4 programme on the 19th December ‘The Story of a Fairytale of New York’, in which Darryl played Bass. It is the classic Christmas song. Darryl says he always wanted to return to Allhallows and stand where Mike Walsh (M61-67) had performed in the Great Hall. When Darryl was playing in Exeter he kindly called in on Derek in Lyme Regis.

 

A seat at the Notre Dame organ

Alan Thomas (Staff 63-74) - Super housemaster of Stanton, brilliant Head of music and teacher of French and Spanish, who later became Head of Music at Ashbury College Ottawa and then later ran his own music school, reports that he is leaving on an 8 hour drive for the Annual Welsh Festival and there will be a choir coming from Machynlleth in Wales. Alan says he has performed in the festival for many years. He keeps busy with many music engagements in Ottawa and standing in for his local church organist. Alan remembers flying with Derek and Barbara Clark from Exeter airport for a weeks holiday in Paris, when they were entertained to a wonderful lunch by Alan’s Aunt and visited Notre Dame. She knew the keeper of the Le Tresor who introduced Alan to the organist and he was privileged sitting on the organ bench with him and allowed to play. Alan keeps up with Tim and Francis Edwards (Chud 66-71) in Nova Scotia.

Dogs Galore at Rousdon

Chris Bryan (Venning 65-72) has lived on the Rousdon Estate with his family for many years and tells AA that there are dogs galore there. He was just off to Scotland when Derek phoned and Chris was going to help Jim Rowe with the OH shooting. 

Allhallows fire engine off to the Midlands

Keith Moore (Staff 76-98) Head who took about 40 of our boys and girls to Taunton school when Allhallows closed, tells me that Jim Rowe (Middy 66-7) crack shot and Andrew Frampton (Venning 88-89), farmer and star goal scorer for the OH Hockey XI, kindly took him out for lunch at the McCaig family hostelry in Honiton. Keith says that the first Allhallows fire engine, Bedford J2, known to the boys as Bertha and in his ownership for the last decade has just been sold. Despite some initial interest an OH buyer could not be found and the engine is now on its way to a new owner in the Midlands. Keith says he has a pile of press cuttings, an AFS sweatshirt and one of the famous red helmets which he has given to the Allhallows museum. It is amazing how much press coverage the AFS generated for the school from local and international press and TV, including the feature on Blue Peter in 1990. Keith and Lynne fly to Brisbane this month to stay with their son James and his family for a few weeks. They were at Downing College, Cambridge, in June where he was offered a BP sponsorship in North Sea Oil and Gas. His professor advised against it saying he didn’t see much future in North Sea Oil!!!

Battle of Colluden

Dr Tom Pollard (Middi 36-40) appeared on Lucy Worsley’s show about George II, ‘The First Georgians’, on the BBC4 programme on August 14th. He was seen strutting around the battlefield of Colluden with Lucy explaining the details of the battle. 

Zoo Tales

Julian Mallinson (Chud 79-83) sent a super tale for the 2018 OH Magazine about his boyhood adventures at Gerald Durrell’s Zoo on Jersey, where his father Jeremy Mallinson was the manager. OH’s may have been reminded of that when ITV screened ‘What the Durrells did next’ in which HRH Princess Anne and Sir David Attenborough paid tribute to Gerald Durrell. We were enchanted by the adventures of that wonderful family on Corfu before WW2 and afterwards.

Around the world retirement 

Nigel Clist (Chud 67-72) Retired from the NFU in July 2019 after almost 37 years in the job. He says he has plenty of things lined up including spending more time visiting friends and family in Canada and New Zealand and his 2 year old granddaughter Molly. He sees Jeremy Best (Chud 67-72) when can spare time away from his fruit farm in Cornwall. He was intrigued by Myf Adams (nee Gregson) (Charton 69-71) reference to the OH AGM and party on Thursday November 28th aboard HMS Wellington moored on the Thames.

Chance meeting with AA

Ted Sandbach (Stanton 66-71) met AA in the Alexandra Hotel in Lyme Regis where he was being taken for a birthday lunch. Ted was staying there with his wife Sue and was down from Oxford where he owns the Oxford Wine Company and the Oxford Wine Cafe. They are currently ‘UK Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year’ and No2 merchant in the UK. OHs will remember Ted as an outstanding cricketer and sportsman. Derek recalls the summer when our Junior Colts who boasted Ted and Malcolm McCullock (St 66-71) beat our Blundell’s opponents. Ted’s sons follow in their fathers footsteps. Chris is Director of Sport at Pangbourne College, captains the Old Chelonians in the Cricketers cup and has opened the batting for Oxfordshire. William is in the property world in London, plays rugby and was in the Exeter University 1st XV, whilst George captains Oxford Downs CC, owns Sandy’s piano Bar in Oxford and is opening a new branch soon in London. Derek hopes to meet Ted again when the Free Foresters play the Devon Dumplings at Seaton in July.

Branch Line Video

 William Evershed (Shallow 56-59) wrote a long letter to the HonSec sharing memories of the Lyme Regis branch line and trips to and from the school on the train. He also generously enclosed a 60 minute DVD from Branch Line videos detailing the line with film footage and history. If anyone would like to borrow for a small donation to club funds please contact the HonSec.

No Christmas in Japan

Sylvia Hastings (Staff 81-98) who became Keith Moore’s secretary says her son Patrick Newton (L89-92) his wife and their 8 year old son Kion, who is bilingual, were with Sylvia and Jim over Christmas, which doesn’t happen in Japan. Last year, Kion went to school on Christmas Day. He was overwhelmed by the presents under the Christmas tree and in his stocking. Patrick still enjoys TEFL teaching in Japan and is very much involved in the community. It was sad to see them go but Sylvia keeps in touch with Skype. Many OHs of the 90s will remember the Allhallows Jazz Concerts organised by Jeremy Wills (Staff 77-93) Head of Music with the help of Kathy Stobart, Sylvia and Jim Hastings. The concerts took place in the dining hall and senior boys stayed up late to move the tables back for breakfast, the concerts brought many outsiders into the school. In some ways it started with the grand summer ball of 1988 when a huge marquee was erected on the playing fields and 1200 guests sat down for dinner and dancing. Music was provided by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra. Many famous bands performed once a term in the dining hall. Acker Bilk was a big hit with his Somerset burr and playing ‘Stranger on the Shore’. George Melly provided another memorable evening. Humphrey Lyttelton came to the school twice and was hugely popular on both occasions; he kindly chatted to a young Nick Jones (M84-89), a talented guitarist, throughout an interval about his days at Eton and his career. Sylvia’s husband Jim teaches music at the University of West London and is busy as usual with his jazz and big band concerts.

 

Tiverton Nature Reserve

Andrew Hughes (Stanton 72-77) is currently developing a nature reserve on Backswood Farm, Bickleigh, Nr Tiverton EX16 8RA. He has built a classroom and created a 2 acre nature garden to host local school groups. He hopes to inspire children to engage with the countryside, nature and farming through this purpose built visitor centre. Andrew always comes to the West Country lunch and keeps in touch with AA.

A canal view in Amsterdam

George Hayter (Venning 65-70) our former editor and his wife Jan left for Amsterdam in the new year 2019 and have been revelling in the cafes, bars architecture and museums. They came by car and have been on trips to Haarlem, Leiden, Gouda and the coast. As Jan is from NZ they drove all the way to Zeeland. They love the architecture and not just the older stuff. Their flat is in Looiersgracht and overlooks a canal. They authorities take a very dim view of cars with parking charges in excess of 4 Euro an hour. Council vehicles with number plate recognition cameras roam the city. Jan and George have conceded defeat and will take the car back to the UK and rely on public transport! Most of us probably think of Amsterdam recently as a place where David Hockney was stuck in a lift prior to his Van Gogh / Hockney exhibition, but soon recovered after a cup of strong Yorkshire tea and a fag! Watch out David, George is painting again.

Sandhurst Dinner 

Richard Anderson (Middy 67-71) is organising a dinner for OH’s commissioned at Sandhurst where our President Peter Sloan (B66-71) will be present. Numbers are limited as space is a problem. Aunt Agatha sent Richard a long list of OH’s commissioned there, but it’s hard to find addresses for some. Richard says he boarded Oceana with his wife just after Christmas 2018 and sailed through the Suez Canal to Dubai where they had dinner on the old QE2. He is trying to catch up with his booking for public speaking. The proceeds go to Polio plus the Rotary campaign to rid the world of disease. Well done Richard!

History TV Star

Professor Emeritus Tony Pollard (Mid. 55-60) former Head of School who has written books on Edward IV, and in print with Penguin books, Warwick the Kingmaker, Richard III and the Prince in the Tower, has now told the story of his village in ‘A Perfect Paradise: Eryholme from 1066’ – OHs may have seen him on TV. 

Cricketing at the Talbot

Steve Gardner – the last Allhallows Catering Manager, now at the Talbot Arms, Uplyme, told Derek who came to him with an OH magazine, that he had several visits from OH’s recently among them Tim Huxtable (V92-97), Captain of the OH Sevens team that played in the Sidmouth Festival. Tim came with a gang to see the England v’s France game in the Six Nations. Graham and Mary Jones had also called with his Colyton Breakfast Club along with Sue Bourhill. Steve said his family loyalties are divided between Wales and England. The Talbot has a very good pull-in adjacent to the cricket ground where Derek saw James Sienesi (V94-98), captain of our outstanding cricket 1st X, nearly scored a century but for an Uplyme and Lyme Regis declaration.

Breadstick House

Derek Ridge (Middy 60-65) and his wife Alison with their dog Flossie kindly called on AA in Lyme Regis shortly before Christmas in 2018 and said they had been in touch with serval OHs including Dudley Hopkins (B59-64). Derek built his beautiful New Mill House in Burton Breadstick and said he would still go trawler fishing if he could find the crew. 

Navigating on your wits

Jonathan Christie (Chud 64-69) was unable to come to the OH Golf in Lyme Regis in 2018 as he lives far away in Suffolk but he joined the OH Golders in 2017 and found the other players a complete delight, perfectly normal, a wide range of age and all good memories of the school. He used to think the other think he learnt at Allhallows was how to navigivate his way across London and how to use his wits but he was clever, got some good A levels and prospered. 

Rolling with the tide

Claus Anderson (Chud 79-84) was awarded Rolls Royce Global Dealer of the year in March 2018 with a dinner and formal ceremony. His family Rachel, Ella (11) and Frederik (9) have enjoyed holidays with skiing, football and cricket with visits to Denmark and the beach in Lyme Regis with the children swimming, making sandcastles and of course lots of crabbing.

Strictly Come Dancing

Shirley Ambrose (Staff 68-92) - Who was house mistress of Charton and taught games says she is delighted Peter Sloan is President as he has always been devoted to Allhallows. She remembers when Richard died how Peter and Richard Anderson were so helpful to her together with David Vicars, Peter Rooke and others. Shirley taught Peter, Richard and altogether 6 of the 1st XV how to dance in secret gym sessions for ‘Oliver!’ When she last met them they could still remember some of the steps. 

A Natural Director

Clare Freeman (Charton 85-87) keeps in touch and is now Director of the Natural History Society of Northumbria based in the Great North Museum. She and her partner Chris come to Bedstone when they can and catch up on OH news. Shirley Ambrose reflects that she and Richard were so lucky to be at Allhallows under Gethyn and Peggy Hewan.

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