22nd June 2005 Newsletter

Dear Fellow Old Wolvernian,

The observant amongst you, or perhaps those of you who weren’t 16 in 1905, will have noticed an addition to our letterhead!

This year sees the one-hundredth anniversary of the formation of the Old Wolvernian Association. As you know we don’t need much of an excuse for a celebration, so the coming year promises to be spectacular.

Although originally formed to encourage fellowship of past pupils of Sebright school, since its sad demise in 1970, we have continued to flourish as an Association; welcoming Old Wolvernians from Heathfield (which is now a very successful, league table leader, co-educational school for children from ages 3 months to 16 years, their site is www.heathfieldschool.co.uk).

To celebrate our Centenary Year we are organising events over the next 12 months to tempt you to join us, instead of being just a “couch potato” Old Wolvernian!!

So please read on, and put the following dates on your blackberry, psion, filofax, calendar, diary or just a knot in your handkerchief will do….

Commemorative Gift.

To commemorate our Centenary the Association Committee has decided to mark the occasion by donating a clock to the School; this will be engraved with our crest and centenary dates and will hang in the front hall at Heathfield School. Any OWs who would like to make a contribution to this gift, should send a cheque made payable to “OWA” to the Secretary.

Saturday 2nd July 2005, 12:30pm to 4:30pm, Heathfield Garden Party, Heathfield School, Wolverley.

Yes, that’s this coming Saturday!!!! No excuse not to remember this….

This year, for the first time in many years, the Old Wolvernian Association is manning a stall. “Spot the Old Wolvernian/Teacher” will be the theme of our game; with prizes of an mp3 player and champagne to be won; this alone has to be the reason to come along and join the fun at the Garden Party.

Our President, Andrew Constantinou, will have the onerous task(?) of welcoming those OWs who attend at the licensed bar.

Please come along and introduce yourself, you will be able to spot Andrew as he will be modelling one of our new OW polo shirts (for sale to OWs wanting to strut their stuff), so we can treat you to an iced beverage, alcoholic or otherwise. Other willing helpers will be manning the stall, where we hope to display OW memorabilia, and will be spreading the word about what a wonderful Association we are to the current pupils at Heathfield, who, of course are our up and coming recruits and will carry us into our second century!

The School and Parent’s Association are offering a Garden Party Lunch to be served between 12:30 and 1:30pm, there is a cold buffet choice of Salmon,
Carvery or Vegetarian Option with salads and rolls, desserts or cheese and biscuits. Please contact the school office to book your lunch at £8.00 per adult, £5.00 per child, on 01562 850 204.

Centenary Celebration Ball, Saturday 12th November 2005, 7.00pm Menzies Hotel, Stourport-on-Severn.

Our customary dinner this year will be replaced with a Centenary Celebration Ball; the showcase of the Centenary Year.

This will be a black tie occasion with all the razzmatazz you would expect, sumptuous 5-course dinner, music and dancing and a few other surprises thrown in for good measure.

To be held on Saturday the 12th November 2005 at the newly redecorated Menzies Hotel in Stourport-on-Severn. Tickets are already available at £30.00 each; we expect demand to be high, as it was with our millennium dinner, so please book early to reserve your spaces.

Please phone the secretary for details of how to reserve your tickets ahead of our September newsletter, or use the online Tickets form, please visit the events website www.wolverniansreinvented.com for details, or write to me if you prefer.

OWA Golf Day, Friday 12th May 2006, Wharton Park Golf Course, Bewdley and post match dinner.

This is the resurrection of the OWA Golf Day, for which we are very grateful to have a prestigious silver presentation cup, donated to the Old Wolvernian Golfing Society by R W Sandilands in 1964. Appropriately enough, Bob now lives at Golf Links Road!

The 2005 match was played on Wednesday 11th May, some photos are now on the website and we have our President’s report below:

“Tiger Woods may not be trembling in his plus-fours at the thought of facing the assembled golfing might of the Old Wolvernians, but nevertheless the first golf day since September 1996 took place at Wharton Park Golf Club, Bewdley.

Will Gardner and Allan Wood did a great job in organising the day and even arranging superb sunny weather for us!

After lunch on the clubhouse balcony, the competition got underway and all agreed that the course had been in great condition and was in no way to blame for any of our shortcomings!

As the OWA golfers returned throughout the afternoon, the tension built – would Will Gardner be relieved of his title as OWA Golf Champion 1996?

The presentations took place after dinner with Rod Wassell, Andrew Constantinou and Richard Parkin taking the team prize, Will Gardner securing the big-hitting prize for “The Longest Drive”, Andrew Constantinou won “Nearest the Pin” and the ultimate prize to Allan Wood as the new OWA Golf Champion, and custodian for the evening of the Old Wolvernian Golfing Society Cup. Congratulations Allan! (The handicap committee will be looking closely at you for the next event!).

A fantastic day – let’s not leave it 9 years again.”

Quite right, the next date is fixed for Friday 12th May 2006 – if you wish to receive an information pack about the day, including tee off times and costs, please contact the Secretary or use the website form, so we can mail you nearer the time (I regret, mailing costs restrict us from mailing the whole database for this one event).

Guests are welcome to join OWs for the Golf Day, as they can enter their own competition that runs concomitantly with the OWA Golfing Society Cup.

There is a dinner after the golfing, that any non-golfers or golfers partners are invited to attend.

We look forward to you registering your interest.

Commemorative Memorabilia.

To recognise the significance of the Centenary Year, we are commissioning some new Limited Edition OW memorabilia.

A Centenary tie in fashionable tonal colours (with a nod only towards the OWA traditional colours of navy, burgundy and gold) in 100% silk, with discreet OWA centenary label. Definitely one for those city wheelers and dealers.

Navy polo shirt with burgundy OW crest logo, available in various sizes, for your summer holidays, tennis, or Smith’s Polo Ground!

High quality fleeces for winter walks, skiing, surfing and other athletic activities.

In addition to the above, our regular OWA ties and gold cufflinks are still available.

Images and prices of all of the merchandise will be on the website, www.oldwolvernians.org.uk from late July ’05.

Those of you without access to the internet, please contact the Secretary.

We want suggestions for a tie alternative for the female members of the association; what do you want to have? Please let us know…..

In the “Wolvernian-know”.

Remember to please let us have information about your change of address, contact details and any news you may wish to convey about your life, successes (or failures!); may be you have a question or information about “lost and found” OWs. Send your info to info@oldwolvernians.org.uk or by post, or ‘phone, so we may enlighten your peers and fellow OWs.

Congratulations to Chris Pardoe who we hear is getting married this August – about time, Chris!

Ross Bellamy kindly wrote to me about his many memories from his days at school, it makes such good reading, I attach it here in full, it will no doubt bring back fond memories for those of you from that era and makes fascinating reading for the rest of us:
“When I entered Woodfield as a boarder in 1944, Newton was our Housemaster, and Henniker-Gotley who lived in Woodfield, was the Headmaster. We were introduced to tennis, a love that continues to this day, because we were allowed to use the grass court in front of the house. Later on 2 hard courts were built at the top of the aqueduct field, so called because the Elan Valley to Birmingham water pipelines ran under the School grounds with a pumping station by the main drive.
VE Day on the 8th May 1945 was celebrated with a huge round bonfire on the top playing field above the cricket pitch. It took what seemed like weeks to build (an exciting project for schoolboys in those days) and ages to burn. That was followed by the harshest winter in living memory. 1947 saw thick snow on the ground for 8 weeks, no rugger all term, but cross-country runs galore. I remember Rath, a day boy, who cycled to school each day winning the competition mainly due to his natural fitness. We also tobogganed, using what was called “the rugger slope”. Stanley Baldwin House built a huge 8 seater for the purpose, which probably won’t be allowed in the PC times of today

We had a great and very well respected Staff, JAR Robinson Geography and long Sunday walks; Poppa Jeffs Maths, pulling at the lobe of his ear “well goodness me boy”, his walks were always brisk; Hutinson History, who later became our Housemaster; Cornwall English, who could not stand the smell of oranges which we peeled out of sight; Phillips Physics & ? Chemistry, Stanley Baldwin’s Housemaster; Hall was the Bursar, such a kind man; Tom Sayner (late East Yorks Regt) and very much a Sgt Major was in charge of PT. The CCF was very active with field days at Habberley Valley, and the assault course built behind the Assembly Hall (Wisdom Knowledge & Understanding inscribed on the proscenium arch). The unit was based on Bury Hall, which we went to for training sessions. It served me well, when I did my NS; and perhaps encouraged a number to go into the Regular Army, such as Hudson, Freeman, and Lungmass.
Alan Beams was in the same year as me, and he went on to become the first Headmaster at Heathfield. Others whom I remember; Dickie Oliver who rode in the Grand National, Jones C.R and Jones D.E, identical twins, and like Poole came from local farming families, Clunas who was keen on mountaineering, and Pheby who went off whaling in the Antarctic. John Fordham who got his Degree at Birmingham University, went off to work on the St.Lawrence Seaway project.
En route to the village church, we passed the original School with 1620 above the doorway; and Sebright itself became a Public School when it was admitted to the Headmasters Conference. At about that time Eric Knight became another boarding house, I believe as a gift to the school with its extensive grounds, making four in all.
They were happy days, not perfect, central heating was only just adequate, the tuck shop had a small stock, but then our pocket money of a £1 a term issued weekly went much further than it would today.
Others I hope will add their store of memories, to a chapter in history, which changed forever when Sebright itself closed after some 350 years in existence.
My last memory is of the little motto over the Woodfield tuck box room “READY, AYE, READY”” Thank you, Ross!!

If you have any fond memories of school and would like to share them with us; please let me know.

Sad News

Unfortunately, I have heard today that Bill Andrews, past Chairman of the Trustees of Heathfield School for many years, sadly passed away last night. Bill was instrumental in orchestrating the change that enabled Heathfield to become the prep and boarding school that survived the demise of Sebright in 1970. We are all indebted to his hard work and enthusiasm in fighting to keep the school open. His funeral is provisionally 1st July at noon at Stourbridge Crematorium; no flowers, but donations to be shared between Heathfield School and Hagley Cricket Club. Bill is survived by his wife, Marion and their sons, and old Wolvernians, Andrew and Rick.

Also, I have received news of the sad passing of the following Old Wolvernians:

G S Haywood of Fillets Farm, Bridgnorth

B A Richards of Weybridge, Sebright 1935 – 1941

Philip Round, of Hagley who attended Sebright circa 1930.

Paul Laxton, of Cilgwyn, Sebright 1962 – 1966, who sadly passed away last November after a long and hard fought battle against cancer.

Hopefully you will have enjoyed our newsletter…..

I hope we will see many of you over the coming 12 months to join us in our OWA Centenary celebrations.

Enjoy the summer, heatwave or not!

With kindest regards,

EMMA GRIFFIN
Association Secretary

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