No 88 / January 2019
The Old Stationer
Number 88 - January 2019
Penny for your thoughts
If you can produce an amusing caption for this picture of
Sam in his study, email your entry to the editor by
15th March and the winner will receive a bottle of bubbly
at the annual dinner on 29th March.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
The Old Stationer
Number 88- JANUARY 2019
OLD STATIONERS’ ASSOCIATION
LIST OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2018/2019
5 Oakways, Warrington, WA4 5HD
Peter R Thomas
107 Jackdaw Close, Stevenage,
Herts. SG2 9DB ✆ 01438 722870
52 Hither Green Lane, Abbey Park,
Redditch, Worcs. B98 9BW
✆ 01527 62059
7 Goodyers Avenue, Radlett,
Herts. WD7 8AY ✆ 0845 8724001
Michael F Hasler
8 The Glebe, Weston Turville,
Aylesbury, Bucks. HP22 5ST
✆ 01296 614352
118 Hertswood Court,
Hillside Gardens, Barnet, EN5 4AU
Acting Editor & website enquiries
Details as above
OSA website: www.oldstationers.co.uk
David D Turner
63 Brookmans Avenue, Brookmans
Park, Herts. AL9 7QG
✆ 01707 656414
43 Holyrood Road, New Barnet,
Herts. EN5 1DQ
✆ 020 8449 2283
Andreas H Christou
22 Woodgrange Avenue, Bush Hill
Park, Enfield EN1 1EW
Tony C Hemmings
5 The Mount, Cheshunt,
Herts. EN7 6RF
David J Sheath Ksg
12a Bolton Crescent, Windsor,
Berks. SL4 3JQ
✆ 01753 855021
Peter A Sandell
11 Maplecroft Lane, Nazeing, Essex,
EN9 2NR ✆ 01992 892766
Chris Langford, Dave Cox
Clubs & Societies
38 Hadley Way, Winchmore Hill,
London N21 1AN
Stuart H Behn
l67 Hempstead Road, Watford,
Herts. WD17 3HF
✆ 023 243546
Details as previous column
SC School Lodge no. 7460
Michael D Pinfield
63 Lynton Road, Harrow,
Middx. HA2 9NJ
✆ 020 8422 4699 07956 931174
Details as above
Design & Production Manager
Homecroft, Princes Gate,
Pembs. SA67 8TG
✆ 01834 831 272
: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.outhaus.biz
Printed by Stephens and George
President's Address 4
Dates for the Diary 9
OSA Christmas Lunch 2018 5
September Lunch at the Imperial 7
President's Day 7
Life at the end of a walking stick 11
The second best job in the world 12
Class of '51 14
Class of '53 15
Class of '54: The Search is successful 16
Class of '54 17
Class of '55 18
Class of '63 19
The First of the Fallen 20
A Service for Geraint 23
Stationers' Company Update 23
Impressions of a Young Trainspotter 30
Walking Football Update 47
Clubs & Societies
Golf Society 8
OSFC Reunion Day 10
Far as you roam
Charlie Webster-Smith in India 29
Membership Report 33
Professor David Goodall 33
Stephen Jeffreys 34
Ian Snelling 38
Ralph 'Ben' Batchelor 43
Richard 'Dickie' Rundle 44
Geraint Pritchard 45
Bob Brown 46
Henry Douglas 46
Peter Jolly 46
Ernie Stone 46
Supplying items for publication
Text: Please supply as Word or typed documents if
possible. Images: Supply as original images or hi-res
(300dpi) digital files in tiff, jpeg or eps format.
Post or email to the Acting Editor, Tim Westbrook.
See Committee page for address details.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
A happy and healthy new
year to all our readers and
welcome to issue 88 which
has been declared a Brexit
free zone until further notice.
Our two most recent events,
the Christmas lunch and
carol service have enjoyed
bumper numbers with over a
hundred dining at the hall
and over 50 attending the
service at St Mary with St George in Muswell Hill. Overall,
thanks to the growth in reunion activity we are maintaining
our membership number at close to 500 which is very
encouraging. However, with our aging profile inevitably we
have lost several members in 2018 including, Barry Mcrae,
Ian Snelling, Dickie Rundle, Henry Douglas, William
Skeggs, Bob Brown, Ben Batchelor, Stephen Jeffreys and
Ernie Stone. In our obituaries column you will also come
across possibly our oldest ever ex- Stationer, Professor David
Goodall who took his own life through assisted suicide at the
age of 104.
Looking to the future, our President has initiated research
into finding out what you, the members wish to see changed
or added to our current program of events and activities with
an eye on sustaining our membership and encouraging
participation. If you have not replied to the questionnaire
emailed out recently please contact Peter Winter with your
thoughts and ideas.
Regarding our web site the committee would like to appoint a
web site manager with WordPress experience to ensure that the
investment we have made in refreshing the aesthetics and
navigation of the site are supported by regular updating of
content. If you are interested in taking on this key role please
contact me. In the interim, Ian Moore, our stalwart technical
support maestro has agreed to handle our updating requirements
until an appointment is made.
I am pleased to report that Nigel Wade is making good
progress recovering from his appalling injuries sustained in a
road accident some time ago and Gordon Rose, having missed
our Christmas and lunch through hospitalisation is, at the time
of writing back home for New Year celebrations with Eve.
Finally, can I repeat my plea for members to become more
active in submitting content to our magazine; photos, stories,
memories, news, activities, lottery wins, sporting endeavours,
embarrassing moments, are all of interest so don’t hold back.
As I sit here to write this
note for the magazine we
are getting close to
Christmas, the Christmas
card address labels are all
printed, the cards bought,
but the assembly of one
with the other is still to do.
We know who is coming
for Christmas (in addition
to Santa of course) and we
are busily preparing menus
and shopping lists. By the time you read this we will all have had
Christmas… I hope it’s been a splendid one for all of you. On
5th December we had a splendid Christmas lunch in the special
surroundings of Stationers’ Hall that perhaps we take too much
for granted… you will be relieved to hear that there were no
complaints this year about the potatoes.
I have certainly been enjoying my year as President, which is now
nearly 9 months over. I have had many supportive messages
from members and a reunion of my year group, all of which I
have appreciated enormously…. so thank you to all those who
have been so supportive. A big thank you also to all of the
Committee, who quietly, year in, year out, make sure the OSA
delivers to its members.
This summer saw a welcome improvement in the President’s day
cricket match against Botany Bay CC, a long run of losses was
stemmed by a draw when the rain stopped a single ball being
bowled. Sincere thanks to Rick Slatford for assembling the team
As you know we have been carrying out a survey of the
membership to try and identify the way forward for the
Association; looking at what we do well, what we could do better
and also potential new events. That survey closed on 12th
December. We had a sizeable and significant response rate. We
are now proceeding with a full analysis of the survey, however,
there are some early aspects of the survey results which are clear.
Of importance to many respondents has been the magazine and
I would like to make a special thanks to Tim Westbrook for
taking up the mantle of magazine editor on Geraint’s passing.
The issue on which the responses have been most polarised is
how we should interact, if at all, with the Stationers' Crown
Woods Academy. There are also areas of possible future activities
for which we appear to have support, notably visits and sporting
events. We even have some interest in specialist areas like
rambling. We are now proceeding with a thorough analysis of
the data and will come back to you with the outcomes. I intend
that we will make some progress on the actions you are calling
for before my term as President finishes, but what I can also
assure you is that your committee will use this as an important
input to develop your Association beyond my presidency.
An area we are continually concerned with is increasing the
membership of the OSA. I know this sounds like an impossibility,
given that the number of potential members is continually in
decline, however, what we have seen with the work of Peter
Thomas and Peter Sandell on reunions is that there is still a
significant pool of eligible Old Stationers’ who would enjoy
being a member of this Association, but have not yet joined. The
survey indicates that most OSA members know other old
stationers who are not yet members of the OSA. This year Ed
Winter, the younger of my older brothers, has finally joined and
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
we have two new members from my year group…. I am still
working on David, the elder of my older brothers… if we all work
at this there is a pool of possible members out there. I am sure
that others of you could find new members.
On coming events can I mention that we have the annual dinner
here on Friday, 29th March 2019. Do please come for a splendid
dinner as the shutters go up on Europe and we do our best to
consume the pre barrier wine lake.
On Sunday, 9 December, we had the annual carol service at
Hornsey Parish Church. This year was a special service, marking
as it did the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War,
in which 154 Old Stationers’ died for their country. We started
with a rededication of the stained glass window at the church,
which came from the school when it was demolished. The
window is also dedicated to 119 old boys who died in the Second
World War and a solitary old boy who died in the Boer War. I
laid a wreath on behalf of the OSA. The service was led by
Bishop Stephen Platten (an old boy). We were accompanied by
the quite superb Voxcetera choir who did a number of pieces a
capella. For the renderings with the congregation Peter Sandell
was brilliant on the organ. I really would encourage others to
come to this in future years as a pleasure not just a duty.
We also had an excellent tribute to Geraint Pritchard by Richard
On a final note can I encourage you to think that maybe you
might find interest in becoming a member of the Stationers’
Company….. about 12% of the OSA membership are members
of the Stationers’ Company: it offers benefits and a warm
welcome to all of you. Peter Bothwick, Tony Mash and Dave
Hudson would all be able to help you if you wished to join. A
reduced joining fee has been negotiated for members of the
Let me close by wishing you all a prosperous and healthy 2019.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual dinner in
March, thank you.
OSA President 2018/19
Peter Molinari, Dave Edwards, Harry Shacalis, Alan Dobbie, Josh Beadon,
Andreas Christou at the rededication ceremony.
OSA Christmas Lunch 2018
Kevin Waller and Peter Thomas
Chris Wilkins, Roger Rufey, Peter Clydesdale, and Stuart Bhen.
A brace of Goalies, Dave Lincoln, Pete Jarvis and Keith Hacker.
David Turner reveals his C&A label.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Football players from yesteryear.
Malcom Wandrag, Roger Turkington, and Ross Thompson
The Trew brothers plus Pete Prazsky and Danny Bone
Dave Dean, Jim Townsend and Dave Lincoln
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
There was a bumper turn out of 42 Old Boys for our September
Lunch, accompanied by our guests, The Clerk, William Alden
and Master David Allan. We had a wide range of ages in
attendance from the youngest at 51 years old to the eldest at 91
years young! This time we introduced name badges for each
attendee which included their school years – a great idea
suggested by Stu Behn and to be adopted for future lunches.
This was gratefully received by all and particularly useful to those
of us that forget our own names! On arrival, lively banter took
place in the Bar where discussions got excited between North
London clubs – ‘will they ever get that stadium finished!’ We
then sat down to an enjoyable lunch of Ham Hock Terrine for
starters followed by Roast Breast of Chicken with trimmings.
This was rounded off with Caramel Apple Crumble with
lashings of custard (Crème Anglaise’ to those of you with welltravelled
palates!) washed down with a choice of Red Bordeaux
September LUNCH at the imperial
or White Rhone wines. Our President, Peter Winter then gave
us an update on Association news and welcomed newcomer Nick
Henshaw 1964 -1971 to our lunch. Our guest, The Master,
David Allan gave an interesting talk on the Company’s
achievements over the past year and its plans for the future. A
welcome return by Nigel Wade was greeted after many months
of recovery and we all wished him well. Then a loud rendition of
the School song filled the Upper Floor and reverberated across
Russell Square! A small number then retired to a local hostelry
for further refreshment before the journey home.
This was our last lunch at the Imperial, due to their minimum
number of diners policy. Therefore, we will be moving to the
Royal National Hotel, nearby where they can accommodate
smaller numbers. Further details will be announced in the
Magazine and on our website in due course.
The annual cricket match was rained off with no play possible but a good time
was had in the bar at Botany Bay
Great to see Gordon and Eve in attendance
OSA 2018 Cricket Team
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
OSA GOLF SOCIETY
The Stationers’ Company v
Old Stationers' Golf Society
The annual match between the Company and the Old Boys has
become a regular event and on 20th June 2018 we did it all again
for the ninth year in succession.
It was a glorious day for weather and the parkland course at
Brookmans Park, just north of Potters Bar was in magnificent
18 players teed off with optimism, and with mixed results 18
players returned to the club house to recount the stories of “if
only” and tales of woe of balls lost in watery graveyards or trees
This competition played in June has usually been blessed with
good weather and its attraction, despite the need to secure a
victory for either team, the quality of golf and camaraderie
between players means that golfers with high handicaps are not
disadvantaged and without question everybody who participated
this year enjoyed their day.
After a late lunch which was truly appreciated by those
competing it was time for prize giving and the news of who was
the winning side. At this point, the author of this report is
somewhat embarrassed and will announce the results without
Winning team – The Company with 196 stableford points and
runners up not far behind - The Old Boys with 190.
Player with highest stableford score – Mike Kerlogue
Runner up, after a count-back – Tony Barker
Nearest the pin on both par 3 holes – Mike Kerlogue
(Needless to say some of my prizes were recycled to more worthy
golfers on the day)
To make these days run well you need an organizer who is
dedicated to work at getting things done, and Roger Rufey
Roger Rufey hands the trophy to Mike Kerlogue.
certainly made sure we had a great day. Thank you, Roger.
Finally, thanks to all who took part and hopefully you’ll join us
next year to do it all again, when the Company will endeavour to
retain the splendid silver trophy, which dates back to 1921, when
it was first used by the old school for an inter-house “sixes”
To all those reading this report – Liverymen or Freemen – who
would like to join us next year, you will be most welcome, if you
only swing the clubs once or twice a year then I am confident you
will enjoy the day out, as its ideal for all standards of golfers.
Bruce Kithchener wins best score at Brickenden Grange
Winners of the Mill Green team trophy, Paul, Colin & Tim.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Golf Society - The Players
DATES for the DIARY
AGM & Annual Dinner
Friday 29th March 2019
Stationers' Hall, Ave Maria Lane EC4
AGM – 5.30pm, Dinner – 6.30pm
Booking insert enclosed in this magazine.
Tuesday 14th May 2019 and
Tuesday 10th September
at The Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way,
Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0DG.
Contact Roger Melling
There is an insert in this magazine for booking your place at
the May 14th lunch .
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at Stationers' Hall
Peter Bennett receives the Player of the Season trophy
PETE BENNETT SCOOPS PLAYER OF
THE YEAR AT BRICKENDEN GRANGE
On a beautiful sunny day 14 players visited Roy Saunders course
at Brickendon Grange to compete for the final round of The
Player of the Year trophy. The winner was Peter Bennett. Best
score on the day went to Bruce Kitchener and the two nearest the
pin winners were John Taylor and Geoff Blackmore. The final
event of the season was the team trophy event played at Mill
Green where the winners were Colin Walker, Paul Butler and
Tim Westbrook who retained the trophy for the 4th consecutive
year and may now be banned from next year's competition!
Yorkshire Dales 3 Peaks Challenge
Tuesday 21st May 2019
Contact Roger Engledow
Sunday 25th August 2019, 48th Annual cricket match,
Botany Bay Cricket Club EN2 8AS,
Lunch 12.30pm, Match 2pm.
OSA Carol Service
Sunday December 8th 2019,
4pm at Hornsey Parish Church, N10 3AH
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
OSFC REUNION DAY
A Saturday in late October at The Old Elizabethans Memorial
Ground in Barnet, the home of Old Stationers FC, saw a
gathering take place of a group of rather mature, greying, balding,
portly (in some cases) but still just about recognisable formally
finely honed athletes. This was the Annual OSFC Ex-Players
Fortunately we were lucky to be blessed with a fine sunny day
which encouraged more than 40 ex-players to turn up to watch
the 1st XI take on SAL Senior Division 3 rivals, Cambridge
Heath in the AFA Senior Cup.
It was a game that we dominated for long spells but without
really creating many clear cut chances, and as time was running
out and the prospect of extra-time looming, the choice facing the
assembled masses, between watching a further 30 minutes of
football or retiring to the bar after the normal 90 minutes might
have proved a decision too tormenting for some! Thankfully we
snatched a deserved winner 15 minutes from the end to run out
1-0 winners and saved those with the weakest willpower having
to make a difficult choice!
It was good to see a bumper turnout of so many ex-players who
had worn the blue and gold colours of OSFC with such
distinction over the last 50+ years. After the game, stories and
memories of many past matches, representing the Club, were
exchanged. As the evening wore on and reminiscences became
more hazy, it begs the question, that if some players were as
talented as they seem to have recollected, how come we didn't
win more trophies!!
A few days later I attempted to list from my memory of the day
those that were in attendance (although an ageing brain and IPA
was not a an ideal combination). Apologies if I have missed
anybody out, and sorry if I have included anyone who wasn't
actually there... incidentally, you missed a great occasion.
Listed in alphabetical order:
Pas Acierno, Keith Allen, Marco Bittante, Gary Bhola, Ian Blackmore,
Terry Butler, Paul Cane, Chris Davenport, Dave Deane, Peter
Derrick, Bruce Donaldson, Pat Dunphy, Rudi Ellis, Roger Engledow,
Orville Gayle, Tony Hemmings, Dick Hersey, Ray Houldsworth, John
Jackson, Peter Jarvis, Tony Joyce, Dean Kassie, Mike Kassie, Chris
Langford, Bill Martindale, Ian Meyrick, Andy Mouzouri, Eddie
Naughton, Bob Pedersen, Dave Sheath, Harry Shacallis, Tony
Theodoulou, Russell Toone, Jim Townsend, Vince Wallace, Tim
Westbrook, Peter Whitecross, Chris Wilkins, Tony Wittich, Mike Wood.
Celebrating in the bar.
A near capacity crowd fill the terrace.
Turning to the state of the Club in general. You may be aware
that we, along with many other clubs in AFA football, have being
experiencing challenging times for a number of years. So
circumstances dictated that this season we would field only one
team, the 1st XI, competing in SAL Senior Division 3, a League
we have been desperately trying to get out of for far too many
years. However the team has been strengthen since last season by
the addition of a few young promising players....friends of
friends, as is the way of recruiting these days and encouragingly
at the end of November we sit second in the Division which is
currently topped by arch rivals Crouch End Vampires. It is still
early days but, following a number of lean years, we believe that
things are at last looking slightly more positive. We hope that
those that attended on the Ex-Players Day were also encouraged
by the team's performance. Fingers crossed that the improvement
can continue in to the second half of the season.
If you enjoyed the Re-Union Day or couldn't make it and haven't
been to the Club for a while, please pop along to a home game
before the end of the season... there is beer afterwards!
You can find details of the games and follow the Club's fortunes
on the OSFC website www.oldstationersfc.co.uk.
Only another 13 years until OSFC's 125th Anniversary!
Ian Meyrick email@example.com
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
life at the end of a walking stick
On August 15th 2017 I was crushed against the side of my car
by a lorry manoeuvring in a narrow one -way street in Ilford. My
pelvis was badly fractured, but, fortunately, an ambulance rushed
me to the Royal London Hospital. I received surgery to pin my
pelvis together, then spent several months in the Royal London,
followed by a spell in Queen’s Hospital, Romford. I received
physiotherapy, and was ultimately transferred to a local care
home, where I stayed for several months.
I was so relieved to leave the care home to return home on
February 12th this year. The food in the care home was awful,
though the nursing assistants were generally helpful, kind and
considerate. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the
Senior Nurse in charge of the home. She was authoritarian, and
rude. She was accustomed to standing by a window in the dining
hall, barking out her instructions to her underlings. She told me
that she knew that I did not like her, presumably having picked
up some remark that I may have made to one of the staff. My
lack of response to her comment confirmed her suspicions. My
experience of the care home has convinced me that I have
absolutely no wish to end my days in one of those institutions.
My mobility was still very limited, so I had to be taken home in
an ambulance, and carried up the stairs by the paramedics. For
the first weeks of my homecoming I was confined to a first floor
bedroom, not being able to climb up and down the stairs very
easily. The local social services provided a modicum of help for
the first six weeks. A helper came at breakfast and dinner time to
carry meals up to me because it was too difficult for Rita to carry
out that task, though she prepared the food. Apart from that we
were left to our own devices.
I was fortunate to have regular visits from a physiotherapist. He
gave me daily exercises to do, gradually bringing me to the point
where I could slowly manage to climb up and down the stairs.
Social Services tried to pressure us into installing a stair lift, but
Rita pointed out that, if I became dependent on it, recovering
the use of my legs would be impeded. Instead she arranged for a
wooden stair rail to be fitted. Using this and the banister rail I
was able to navigate the stairs. The physiotherapist also took me
for short walks (eg: 25 yards) on the pavement outside.
Before my accident I had been in discussion with the editor of
The Square magazine. He had previously published my article
about the controversial eighteenth century Freemason, Count
Cagliostro. I had mentioned to him that I was a member of
Undine Lodge No 3394, which was founded by a group of
temperance Freemasons, and maintains that tradition to the
present day. He asked me to write a short article about the
Lodge, which I was happy to do so. I duly started work on the
article, but my accident intervened, obliging me to put it on the
back burner. Following my return home, although there had been
a change of editor in the interim, she agreed to publish the article
if I would like to finish it. I was delighted to have this project to
work on, and the article is expected to be published later in the
Eventually I was able, with the aid of a walking stick, to make it
to our car. Some years ago Rita, myself and our two friends
Donna and Walter had taken to driving out into the countryside
on Sundays, weather permitting. We had visited every National
Trust property within a day’s drive of London. We decided to
start visiting pub restaurants along the River Lea. The Jolly
Fisherman at Saint Margaret’s near Ware was close enough to
the river to view the motor launches and narrow boats gliding by.
We dined Al Fresco to a sumptuous Sunday Roast. The Fish and
Eels pub at Dobbs Weir was pleasantly located by the river, but
the service and quality of food were somewhat mediocre. The
Princess of Wales at Clapton also nestled by the river, but the soft
drinks service was so slow that we complained robustly.
Fortunately the management compensated us by letting us have
the drinks for free. Unfortunately, once again, the food quality
was below par. Going for a change of cuisine, we tried the
Oriental Star Chinese restaurant at Cuffley. The buffet was
widespread and delicious. Unusual for a Chinese restaurant, they
offered a good range of dessert. Particularly delicious was the
toffee apple, the fruit enclosed in a crisp and mouth-watering
casing. I can thoroughly recommend the Oriental Star to any
Old Stationer looking for an inexpensive, but tasty lunch
Chinoise. We also went farther afield to Leigh-on-Sea. The old
town has a lovely cobbled high street. We found a pleasant art
deco restaurant with a splendid view of the Thames Estuary. I
had a delicious plate of steamed mussels in wine, followed by a
tasty Eton Mess.
One of our neighbours organises a swimming club for the
disabled. Every year she organises a coach trip to the sea side. We
joined the group for a pleasant trip to Clacton. The town seemed
more spruced up than I remember from a previous visit. The
sandy beach was comfortably peopled with day trippers and
holiday makers, enjoying the sunshine as much as if they had
been at the French Riviera. We sampled the delicious ice creams
and soft drinks at the Atlantic Cafe on the broad walk. The
proprietors were quite happy for us to lounge there under the
shade of a parasol.
I cannot thank the large number of Old Stationers enough for
their cards, letters, good wishes, telephone calls and visits. They
have played an important part in boosting my morale and
helping me on the road to recovery. As each day comes, I look
forward to making steps, literally, in the right direction. I am
optimistically looking forward to joining in with OSA activities
in the not too distant future. My sincere thanks to you all.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
the second best job in the world?
I'm feeling really guilty because Geraint had often spoken to me
about my games playing and bridge teaching and asked for an
article on it, which I had agreed to do but never got round to it.
So with sincere belated apologies to Geraint here goes.
I've always played games from a very early age. My Dad taught
me to play football and cricket, my Mum taught me chess and
scrabble, my Grandad taught me draughts and cribbage and my
parents also taught me cards mostly whist and solo. I loved
playing games and soon ventured into boardgames. With junior
school mates I played Monopoly, Risk and Buccaneer but only
when it was too wet to play football over the park. I was intrigued
when my Dad played a table top cricket game with his mates
when they had team selection at our house.
At Stationers I played football constantly together with a little
bit of everything else like athletics, cricket and cross country. I
was also in the school chess team but games were rare. It was in
the sixth form in the Prefect's room that I learnt to play bridge
as did many of us. We had a knock out competition that I won
partnering Savas Levendi who is now sadly departed.
After my student years I started playing a bit of social bridge
with Tim Westbrook, Rob and Meryl Sloma, and Rob Ross. We
soon progressed to club duplicate bridge and partnering Rob
Ross started winning many events at our club. We got the call to
play for Hertfordshire when another pair had cried off. We did
well and stayed in the county team for many years until Rob
moved away buying a hotel in France. Rob has also now sadly
departed as has Rob Sloma.
Whilst playing for OSFC I had occasional get-togethers with
Geoff Blackmore and Steve Presland and our wives when we all
played superstars. We played cards, darts, dominoes, putting,
snooker, Scaletrix and whatever game Craig had got for
Christmas. I can still recall Craig saying to Geoff, “Dad if its my
Scaletrix when do I get a go on it”? The games were fun but for
the men at least it was deadly serious competition!
In my early working years I found out there was a British
Monopoly Championship. I thought I can do that. I won several
rounds and got to the final table of four only just losing. I have
since played in it a number of times and reached the final table
on four occasions but victory has still eluded me. As a Chartered
Surveyor I played with a friend in the National Association of
Estate Agents Monopoly Championship. We were representing
his employer the Halifax Building Society and duly won it
having beaten many of the city boys in the boardrooms of Jones
Laing Wooton and Knight Frank and Rutley etc.
I then came upon the National Scrabble Championships. I went
to the library and learnt all the two letter words and started playing
seriously. I always cruised through the regional finals to make the
final 100 in the national finals but my best finish was 20th.
When fantasy football first appeared in the newspapers I was
quickly addicted. I had entries running in the Times, Telegraph,
Mail, Express, Sun and Star. I got 5th place in the Star just
outside the prizes of first three. Ouch but I knew I was a
contender. I did a fantasy fund manager in The Sunday Times
where the first prize was £100,000. I was up to 9th with a week
to go and piled it all into a penny share. It crashed and I dropped
out of the leader board but the strategy was right!
I did a fantasy cricket in the Sunday Times the Ashes Challenge
in 1997. I moved steadily up the leader board into 8th place with
one test to go. They also gave the last test score of the competition
leader from which I was able to work out his exact team. I thus
had to make transfers and changes to be clearly different to him.
I had a brilliant test with my bowlers of Kasprowich, McGrath,
Caddick and Tufnell all coming good. I knew I'd done well. It
was wait for the Sunday Times to come out. It was the day
Princess Diana died. We saw the news on the television and I
then went to the paper shop with my daughter. We got the paper
and found the results. We had won it. We were leaping with joy
when everyone else in the shop was depressed about Diana. I
won a car an MGF sports car which realistically I didn’t need at
the time so sold it through the supplying garage and pocketed
£16,500. That puts me ahead for life on all fantasy competitions
so I have no qualms about any entries these days.
My Mum used to harp on about one of my cousins and how
clever she was and that she was a member of Mensa. I duly
rubbished that and said anyone could do that. My Mum
challenged me to and I'm never one to refuse a challenge. I duly
took the test passed and joined. I've still never been to any Mensa
meetings but I started playing in their games competitions.
These are run nationally with initially local heats in all games
and then a finals weekend in Birmingham. I've won many of
them, cribbage three times, backgammon twice, monopoly once,
and got to semi finals in scrabble and Settlers of Catan. I do
enjoy playing games seriously.
It was at one of the Mensa Games Finals that a mate of mine
said he was getting a team together to take on The Eggheads and
would I join him. Now I've never been afraid of making a fool
of myself, so I readily agreed. The team was arranged and the
application forms submitted. We were to be called the Ludophiles
meaning games players. They carried out a brief telephone quiz
of all applicants which we all duly passed and were given a date
for filming. It was at 7.15am on a Sunday morning in Glasgow
which didn’t seem ideal. They pay for a hotel overnight and
travel so I got them to agree an early Saturday flight up and a
Monday flight return from Edinburgh as my daughter Gemma
lives there. When I visit Gemma in Edinburgh I often take in a
football match and have been to Hearts and Edinburgh City a
few times. My early morning Saturday flight to Glasgow
enabled me to take in a game so I got the train down to
Hampden Park to see Queens Park v Montrose in Scottish Div
2. I was there by 2.30 and it was snowing heavily and no one was
in sight. I did a lap of the ground still seeing no one until I found
a single steward and checked with him. He said the game was
still on and that all fans were in the social club as usual for the
pre match pint and pie. I went into the social club and had my
pint and pie. At 2.45 all the fans move out of the social club and
pile into the one single stand of Hampden Park that is open. It
snowed all game and ended Queens Park 1 Montrose 1 in front
of a passionate crowd of 407. On the Saturday evening our team
of 6 went out for the evening meal with the TV company
covering it to the tune of £15 per head. The paperwork we had
received suggested we may not wish to indulge in alcohol in case
it impaired our performance in the quiz! I boldly announced
that I was having some wine with my meal to which they all
replied they were too. We had a memorable meal reaching nearly
£40 per head. The main debate throughout was which were our
good and bad subjects as we had to accept at least two or three
as our own. I was to be first choice for sport, geography or
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
politics. The following day dawned and we were whisked by cabs
to the tv studious very early for our start. We had to take three
shirts each from which the TV company made their selections of
what we would wear! We met all the Eggheads who were a
friendly bunch and then we were plied with many layers of
makeup before taking our positions on stage. The first subject up
was Film and TV which was our captains choice so he was on
and quickly beaten. History was next and our next man was on
and beaten. I was getting nervous by now as we had agreed to
keep our lady for the final which left me and one other and we
were dreading the idea of subjects such as Food and Drink or
even Arts and Literature. Sport game up next and that was for
me. By then it was very easy to choose Judith Keppel (the first
who wants to be a millionaire £1M winner) as my opponent as
she notoriously does not like Sport. We drew 2-2 with Judith
getting some easy questions! We went into sudden death which
I won on a cricket question thus securing my place in the final.
Our last man was up next and got beaten. That left just the two
of us for the final, me and our lady against 4 Eggheads including
the phenomenal Kevin. Of course its all down to the luck of the
questions and we got lucky getting our three right whilst they
floundered on one that we knew. We had beaten the Eggheads!
Our prize was £3000 which we split between the six of us.
Whilst you only have 5 taking part you have to have 6 there
presumably in case anyone loses their nerve at the last minute!
The episode appeared on TV about 4 months later. It's series 17
episode 37 and can still be found on digital downloads or on
YouTube. After the filming I got a train to Edinburgh to meet
up with my daughter who told me I looked ridiculous! I hadn’t
taken off my many layers of make up! That was quickly rectified.
We had a lovely evening and I flew home the following day. All
in all a memorable weekend.
I was on holiday once in Monte Carlo when I found the world
Backgammon Championship at my hotel the Fairmont. I
thought I fancy some of that and duly stumped up my 200 euros
to play in the novice section. I wasn’t up for the 1000 euros
professional section! I got stuffed in my first game but then went
into the plate and won a good three rounds before losing
unluckily. Its funny how I'm always unlucky when I lose!! I've
since studied the game and improved dramatically.
Dave on the Eggheads Challenge
About eight years ago my wife and I found cruising for the first
time and loved it . I could go off and play bridge whilst she could
go to a cooking lesson, and we would visit lots of lovely places on
the way. We found there was plenty of entertainment and
excellent dining. I always went to the bridge lessons and often
they were very poor.. One time there was an old American trying
to teach an English audience and I had to put him straight on a
number of points as the English system of Standard Acol is quite
different to the Standard American Yellow card system. I
thought I can do better than this! I was already qualified as a
Bridge Director and then took the tests to become a qualified
English Bridge Union teacher. I started my teaching at my
bridge club in Beckenham whilst having taught many other
friends over the years. I told my wife of the retirement plans of
combining our cruising with bridge teaching thus getting a free
cruise. It was difficult getting on the approved lists but eventually
I did so with P&O cruises. They clearly send out emails to all
their approved teachers and I got one asking if anyone could fly
to Venice in three days time to take over from someone taken ill
with a 12 day cruise back to Southampton. I had to cancel a
bridge match and a bowls match but otherwise jumped at the
chance and got my first appointment. It all went well. I had a
good audience and they took to me and gave me a good report
and I'm now annually asked as to my availability. It's not quite a
doddle. There's a bit of work to do. It's on every sea day. I do a
beginners lesson at 10.00 for an hour, an improvers lesson at
11.00 for an hour and then run a duplicate bridge session from
2.00-4.00. then I've got to do the scores and get them put up
and prepare some boards for the following days teaching. I love
it. My wife Sandra is my assistant and is with me. When its a
port day we have no bridge work to do and often get asked to
assist in running a trip which also comes for free. I've now done
two bridge teaching cruises a year since 2016 on Aurora and
Oriana and am already booked for two more in 2019.
I regret never really playing in the bigger bridge congresses in my
youth but they always seemed to be at weekends and I was always
playing football for OSFC. I'm now a Liveryman of the
Stationers Company and playing with fellow Old Stationer and
Liveryman Peter Bonner we won the inter-livery bridge cup for
The Stationers Company in 2017. This was run by the
Worshipful Company of
Playing Card Makers and
held at Drapers Hall.
I know I've never grown up
and frankly don’t intend to.
I was brought up to believe
that the greatest
achievement and my
destiny was the no 10 shirt
for Spurs and England. I
have to be honest and say
that at the age of 67 I'm
beginning to doubt
whether I will achieve that
and still don’t have the
courage to break that news
to my 97 year old father.
Maybe with my cruise
bridge teaching though
I've landed the second best
job in the world.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
CLAss of '51
Yet another reunion for the 1951 intake was held at The Old
Manor, Potters Bar, on 29th October Those attending - left to
right, pictured below, were David Cowling, Alan Marshall,
Michael Facey, Michael Brady, Dick Hersey, John Taylor, David
Turner, Richard Wilson, Nigel Wade, Manfred Evans, Don Bewick
and John Partridge.
Sitting next to me, John Partridge recalled his early days at
Cambridge University, when he had Mr and Mrs Gus Thomas
as visitors to the University - and from what he said he did see a
somewhat humbler side to the Gus some of us may have been
more familiar with.
With regret it was noted that Alan Mills died some few months
ago. In providing this information his widow, Anne, née Lewis,
mentioned she attended Hornsey High School and originally met
Alan "across the wilderness" which still separated the schools back
in the 1950's. A keen swimmer, Anne recalled visits to local
swimming pools together with the likes of Alan as well as John
Rampling, Michael Kill, Miller and others from both schools.
As regards Alan Canham, he has unfortunately not made much
improvement from the serious stroke he suffered some 2 years
ago. Of other non-attenders, it was noted that Tony Brook,
resident in Woking, although not seeming to have any interest in
attending our Reunions, continues to run his Geology group, of
which he seems to be a mainstay.
David Hall and Bill Scherer, well known regular players - centre
forward and outside right respectively in the football team for
our year - have kept in touch over the years with Bill driving in
from Chelmsford and picking up David, who lives in Upminster
David Cowling, Alan Marshall, Michael Facey, Michael Brady, Dick Hersey, John Taylor, David Turner, Richard Wilson, Nigel Wade,
Manfred Evans, Don Bewick and John Partridge
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
- en route to Potters Bar for our reunions. Unfortunately Bill has
been unwell, with some hospital visits recently.
David Darke - says unable to attend as he suffers from arthritis
and feels the 500 mile round trip from Woodbridge would be too
much for him. However he still plays golf locally with John
Sankey - an Old Stationer as well as John Taylor's cousin, Mike
Les Reardon - Enfield and David Colville - Bishops Stortford
- both of them tend to be in sunnier climes this time of year so
were therefore unable to attend.
Roger Croughton - is currently having to take constant care of
his wife who has recently had serious spine surgery.
Apologies were also received from David Sochon, David Davies,
Michael Davis (from South Australia), Ray Stavrou, Brian
Whitehouse and Ian Moore.
Michael Facey is still actively involved as Trustee for the English
Chamber Orchestra, who had a concert the same day as our
reunion, as per concert programme pictured, with his message of
welcome to concert-goers. Unfortunately only John Partridge
and myself were able to take him up on kind offer of
complimentary seats for the attractive concert and it rounded of
the day very nicely. Brian Whitehouse said he would have been
there but considered the round trip from North Wales maybe a
step too far. Dick Hersey said he would have been there but was
already committed to going to Marsden Hubbard's farewell
drinks the same evening - moving from Hertfordshire to Wales.
CLAss of '53
Nine of the 1953 School intake had a very enjoyable lunch
together at a new venue for us Wetherspoons The Cross Keys at
9 Gracechurch Street in the City of London. Our previous
venue having shut for redevelopment this was recommended by
David Cox and is a converted banking hall.
Sadly two of our regulars have died during the year Michael
Johns and Ben Batchelor whilst Tony Taylor and Peter Critten
are recovering or awaiting operations and unable to make the
journey. Those who did attend were:
David Cox, Alan Green, John Geering, Mike Hasler, David Metcalf,
Peter Redman, Ernie Russell, Geoffrey Tapping and Richard Tyley
Peter Knight and Tony Richards were going to attend but were
unable to do so at the last moment. My emails to Alex
McPherson and Graham Arnold are now being returned and if
anyone has any information or is in touch with them please let
We all agreed that the venue was well suited for us and that
provide our numbers don’t get depleted further we should hold
another reunion next year at this venue at a similar date to be
advised. Hopefully some of the photos will appear in the
If you are interested please let me know at mikehasler.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Peter Redman know by e-mail
email@example.com or tel: 01707 654821. Alternatively
Alan Green email: firstname.lastname@example.org
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
CLASS OF '54 - THE SEARCH IS SUCCESSFUL
As described in the previous Old Stationer, a task force of Roger
Engledow, Bob Harris and me was set up to search for a new
venue for the reunions of the intake of 1954. We previously held
our annual reunion lunches at The Cheshire Cheese in Little
Essex Street, but it is now due for redevelopment. Our
• A room for our exclusive use
• Free choice from a good menu for each person
• No room charge, deposit or minimum spend.
In this way, we could just book the room and tell our class mates
when it was and there would be no financial commitment other
than each person pays his own bill. Previously, the task force had
been to a selection of pubs chosen by Roger Engledow, but
without success. This time we were to visit some pubs chosen by
The Artillery Arms
This is a Fuller’s pub with a traditional character and was our
first stop. It is on Bunhill Row opposite London's famous
Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, now a public garden, near Old
Street Underground Station. The cemetery contains the graves
of many famous people: John Bunyan (died 1688), author of The
Pilgrim's Progress; Daniel Defoe (died 1731), author of Robinson
Crusoe; and William Blake (died 1827), artist and poet. The
Artillery Arms had six real ales on tap and a great menu. They
had a good room upstairs which would seat about 30 people and
would be suitable for our use. However, the manager was not
there so we could not ask him for a booking. That meant us
coming back on another day to drink more beer and investigate
further [see later].
Just round the corner is the Eglwys Jewin Church, a Presbyterian
Church of Wales. This is the church to which Geraint Pritchard
was a regular visitor when he was in London. Jewin is the oldest
Welsh Church in London, formed around 1774. The present
building, at the corner of Fann Street and Viscount Street EC1,
was completed in 1960 after the previous building was destroyed
during the Blitz.
The Old Doctor Butler’s Head
Our second stop, a Shepherd Neame pub near Moorgate
Underground Station and one of the City of London’s most
historic pubs, originally established in 1610. It is named after Dr
Butler who claimed to be a specialist in nervous disorders and
was court physician to King James I. To cure epilepsy, he would
fire a pistol near his patient to scare the disease from them and
he dropped plague victims into cold water to cure them. He was
also famous for his medicinal drink “Dr Butler’s Purging Ale”,
which became popular in the 17th century and was only available
from pubs which displayed Dr Butler's head on their signs -
fortunately this ale is not available today.
We spoke to the friendly general manager, Mariano, who showed
us two upstairs rooms, one of which would have been suitable.
However, the killer issue was that he wanted a minimum spend
of £800. Time to move on.
The Counting House
Another Fuller’s pub, The Counting House in Cornhill Street, was
built in 1893 for Prescott’s bank becoming successively taken over/
merged with other banks to finally become a branch of the
National Westminster Bank. The building’s foundations sit partly
on the north sleeper wall of an approximately 2,000 year-old
Roman basilica. Firmly embedded in the heart of the City, it is the
site where the money used to be counted for the Stock Exchange
(thus, the Counting House). It was in 1998 that Fuller’s opened it
as one of their Ale & Pie Houses. The refurbishments were so
sensitively done that Fullers were presented with the City Heritage
Award that year. It is a superb building, with a glass-domed ceiling
and sweeping staircase, where you can enjoy your beer and pies in
magnificent surroundings of times gone by. It has a huge island bar,
so you can get served easily.
We spoke to the assistant manager, Megan, who offered us one
of their four function rooms. However, she wanted a deposit, a
minimum spend and 12.5% service charge. Close to our
requirements, but not close enough.
The Old Bank of England
This building used to be the Law Courts’ branch of the Bank of
England and is now another Fuller’s pub. The Bank of England
traded on this site for 87 years, until 1975, when the premises
were sold to a building society. In 1994 it became a Fuller’s pub.
The basement still contains the original vaults used to store
bullion and some of the Crown Jewels during the First World
War. Whilst two safes have now been changed to hold the pub’s
cellars and kitchens, the main vault is intact and still contains the
huge steel bullion cupboards. It has a truly opulent interior and
claims to be one of the finest pubs in Central London.
The site lies between the barbers shop owned by Sweeney Todd,
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the pie shop owned by his
mistress, Mrs Lovett. The story goes that Todd dispatched his
victims by pulling a lever as they sat in his barber chair when his
victims fell backwards down a revolving trap door into the
basement of his shop where he slit their throats with a straight
razor. It was in the tunnels and vaults below the present building
that his victims were butchered before being cooked and sold in
the pies to Mrs Lovett’s unsuspecting customers. Please note that,
although this Fuller’s pub is one of their Ale & Pie pubs, I am
assured that the pies no longer contain Sweeney Todd’s customers.
Charlotte, the pub’s functions manager, was very helpful – except
that she wanted to charge us £ 90 per hour for the room hire, a
12.5% service charge and was fully booked for the day we wanted
anyway. Ho hum, better try The Artillery Arms again.
The Artillery Arms – Again
We returned to The Artillery Arms a few weeks later to speak to
the manager, Tony Bennett, and to confirm that he could provide
what we wanted and to sample the beers and food again. Tony
showed us the upstairs room that we could have to ourselves and
we could see that it would seat about 25 people easily in tables of
four that could be pushed together. So the reunion for the class
of ‘54 was booked for Tuesday 2nd October.
The pub is a Fuller’s pub so it had: ESB, London Pride, Seafarers
and Oliver’s Island with a guest ale of Hophead from the Dark
Star brewery which Fullers had recently acquired. The menu
should fit all tastes, whether you want a snack or main course and
dessert, with a good choice for everyone. The prices are OK for
a central London pub. Roger and Bob had the Ham Hock with
Dark Star Ale Pie and I had the Gammon Steak, Duck Egg &
Triple Cooked Chips – delicious.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Eating at The Artillery Arms. From left to right: Roger Engledow,
Tony Moffat and Bob Harris.
Tony Bennett, manager of The Artillery Arms, showing off his ales.
The class of 1954 sample their new reunion venue
This was the eleventh reunion for those who joined school in
1954 – after our inaugural fiftieth reunion in 2004 we met again
in 2009 and have assembled on an annual basis since then.
Following a long sequence at the Cheshire Cheese, we met this
time just outside the City of London boundary at The Artillery
Arms in Bunhill Row on Tuesday 2nd October 2018.
As always, we soon dispensed with medical updates and moved
on to the more important issues of the day: how many would
Spurs let in against Barcelona, would Arsenal prosper in
Azerbaijan, and when would Jose Mourinho be sacked? Tony
Hemmings was asked to recount his three most egregious
decisions as a referee and he claimed that he couldn’t remember
any. We suspected that it was his memory at fault rather than his
perfect record with the whistle.
Ray Humphreys claimed that his union branch used to meet in
the Artillery Arms when he was a firebrand of the left. Again,
we asked him to recount what key decisions were made when he
was there, and he was either too bashful or also couldn’t
remember. Andy Wick has finally got a visa to visit Thailand but
he wouldn’t tell us what he was planning to do when he got there.
The delight in having a reunion every year is that so often a
“newcomer” joins us. This year it was Paul Edwards (who myself
and Bob Harris used to walk to school with every day for 5 years.
Why didn’t we get taken by car? Oh yes, that’s it – our parents
didn’t have one!). Richard Woods also returned for the first time
The 18 who attended (in order as per photo below) were, from
left to right standing: Richard Woods, Tony Hemmings, Roger
Engledow, Peter Weeks, Ron Johnson, Martin Brown, Bob Harris,
Graham Ling, Mike Weatherley, Roger Melling, Richard Phillippo.
Seated left to right – Paul Edwards, Tony Moffat, Alan Williams,
Tony McKeer, Ray Humphreys, Andy Wick, Geoff Dawes.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Apologies for absence were received from Nigel Chamberlain,
Doug Fussell, Mike Hiron, Ken Saunders & Bob Townsend. On
the day travel issues prevented Richard Mavro-Michaelis & Roy
Stevenson from attending. We remembered absent friends, of
course, which this year included Geraint but he was the only
addition since last year’s get-together.
The last group of six left the pub and adjourned to somewhere
else in search of more food. I left at 8pm so I’m not sure whether
some kept going any longer. The venue was sufficiently successful
for us to agree that we will return in 2019 on Tuesday 1st
CLAss of '55
Our annual reunion of the 1955 cohort was held for the second
year running at Gray's Inn Hall, High Holborn courtesy of
classmate and barrister Keith Knight. 17 attended and enjoyed a
splendid meal in a wonderful setting. Already plans are in place
to meet up again next year.
In front of Gray's Inn Hall
L - R, Front row: Roger Edmondson, David Vicary, Brian Howlett,
David Sheath, Alan Hunt, Trevor Fenner, Adrian Andrusier
Second row: Mike Heath, Mike Stringer, Mike Smith, Geoff
Gascoigne, Keith Knight, Mike Geering
Back row: Mike Mote, Greg Levitt, Frank Pearce, Peter Bonner
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
CLAss of '63
On Wednesday 24th October 2018 at around midday eighteen
Old Stationers from the Class of ’63 met at The Parcel Yard,
King’s Cross, for their fourth reunion in recent years. Needless to
say a good time was had by all.
We were pleased to welcome three new faces. Richard Cotton, a
former Mayor of Camden, the recently retired Reverend Stephen
Mares and that émigré to Turkish Cyprus Geoff Quick were
warmly embraced into the fold! We have some contact with
about 45% of our year group, and aim to engage more next year.
Aided by a few well-chosen pints we rolled back the years and
reminiscences were bounced back and forth across two long
bench tables. Richard Cotton pretended not to remember falling
into the boating lake at Sandown on our first year Form Outing,
led by Messrs Betton and Davis. Those of us in Form 1 all
remembered Mr Betton leading us onto the wrong ferry on our
way home. Consequently we arrived at Southsea instead of
Portsmouth Harbour, missing our train back to Waterloo. We
arrived home at about midnight, although some got back even
later as a result of Stephen Boulton (sadly not present) getting
his rucksack stuck in the sliding doors on the underground.
We also recalled a school trip narrow boating on the Dutch
canals in the Fourth Year, led by Messrs Zarb and Thomas. The
most notable memory of this jaunt was that “Taffy” Thomas had
a stunningly attractive wife who accompanied us, bewitching us
adolescent boys into gibbering idiots.
And Dave Clark confirmed that our Headmaster, “Nosh” Baynes,
really did say “this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you”
before caning him, in this case for getting three detentions in one
There was further chatter ranging on subjects as diverse as the
fear of Gus to the boredom of university chemistry courses. All
too quickly the lunch was over and we said our farewells,
determining to meet again in the Autumn of 2019.
Left to right: Keith Hacker, Clive Jackson, Stephen Mares, Robert
“Neddie” Segall, Richard Cotton, Nigel Dant, Peter Gotham, Simon
Gouldstone, Chris Bell, Peter Winter (at back), Frank Clapp, Steve
Bensley, Martin Lawrence, Geoff Edis, Jon Stern, Dave Clark, Alan
Geoff Quick also attended but appears to have eluded the
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
THE FIRST OF THE FALLEN
Samuel Billing and Evan Hare were the first of 154 Old Boys
from Stationers’ School to be killed in the First World War. They
are both briefly mentioned in Robert Baynes’ book, ‘A History of
Stationers’ Company’s School’. Their story, like many, tells the tale
of a happy Edwardian life spent in Hornsey during the early part
of the 20th Century only to be abruptly interrupted by the turmoil
and carnage of war. I wanted to discover their stories and
backgrounds, their family lives and sad tragic endings. I could only
achieve this by extensive research into their families, schooling and
careers to fully realise their experiences and the paths they took in
life, coming from different backgrounds. Through their stories I
would discover the happy and comfortable childhoods they led,
with love and support from their families, through to adulthood
when their worlds were turned upside down in the chaos and
horror on the battlefields of France, culminating in their untimely
deaths, to become part of the ‘Lost Generation’.
Samuel Alfred Billing was born in King’s Cross on the 16th
February 1896 at 101 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1 to George and
Ellen Billing, he was to be the fourth of seven children. Their
father worked for the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras but as
their family grew in size George soon realised that they needed
to move into larger accommodation. At that time, new homes
were being built in the fields around the village of Hornsey on
land acquired by the British Land Company to accommodate
overcrowding in Central London, offering clean air and spacious
living. With the building of Hornsey Station on the Great
Northern Line, commuting was to be the new attraction to
affordable suburban living. George applied for a new job at
Harringay Borough Council as a Meat Inspector and the family
put their name down for a house in Frobisher Road on the
recently built Hornsey Station Estate, later known as the
‘Harringay Ladder’. They moved into number 67 in early 1901
and a new Primary school was soon to be built in the same road,
just a few yards from their home. Samuel was enrolled at North
Harringay Council School in late Summer of 1902 where he
remained until 1907. It soon became apparent that Samuel was a
Peter Thomas lays a wreath at the grave of Samuel Billing
Poppy wreath laid on behalf of Old Stationers'
bright young boy of exceptional ability and plans were therefore
made to move him up into suitable higher education once he had
completed his final term at North Harringay. The recent building
of Stationers’ Company’s School within the local vicinity seemed
the ideal opportunity to further Samuel’s education, however it
was clear that his family would struggle to afford the school fees
of 62 shillings per term. A scholarship was therefore sought to
fund his education and the school Governors at the Stationers’
Company were approached by Hornsey School Board to seek
financial assistance. On recognising the potential of Samuel’s
abilities, the Governors awarded him a Thomas Brown
Scholarship (Thomas Brown was a wealthy Book Binder with
premises in Bishopsgate, on his death in 1869 he had bequeathed
to the Company the sum of £5,000 for apprenticeships in book
binding and a further £5,000 to create a scholarship for the
School). Once his scholarship had been secured, Samuel joined
the School in 1907 where he remained until passing his final
exams in the Summer of 1913. Whilst at the School the family
would move again into a larger house, in 1911. George, Ellen and
their family moved to 22 Ribblesdale Road on the other side of
Hornsey Station. On leaving school, Samuel remained at the
family home and trained as an accountant working for the local
firm of Barrow Fish who were accountants to the Treasury
Department at Hornsey Council in Hornsey Lane. It was whilst
he worked here that war broke out in 1914 and not long after
Samuel decided to join the British Expeditionary Force(BEF) to
fight in France.
Between the beginning of August and early September 1914,
Samuel reported for enlistment at the Territorial Army Offices
in Priory Road, Hornsey enrolling in the Queen’s Westminster
Rifles, later to become part of the 16th Battalion, London Rifles.
He joined at the same time as the Headmaster of the School,
John Huck, who before the
war served as a part-time
Territorial Army Officer
whilst teaching at the School.
Shortly after joining Samuel
received orders to report to the
Regiment’s headquarters at 58
Westminster for basic training
consisting of physical fitness,
military knowledge and drill.
On completion of his initial
training he was sent to
Leverstock Green Farm near
The Thomas Brown Scholarship
medal similar to the medal presented
to Sam Billing during his studies at
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Hemel Hempstead, to learn fieldcraft and warfare, where they
camped in tents in the surrounding fields before leaving for the
The Queen’s Westminster Rifles arrived in France on 3rd
November 1914 as part of the BEF, landing at Le Havre. From
here they marched onto St. Omer where they were billeted for
several days for further training before reaching the Front,
marching on towards Hazebrouck, Bailleul and eventually
arriving in the Armentieres Sector. On 11th November they
joined the 18th Brigade when they were caught up in fighting on
the Rue-du-Bois near Neuve Chapelle which delayed their
journey. By December 1914 they had reached the German
Frontline under heavy bombardment and were now fighting in
flooded trenches opposite the German Saxon 107th Regiment.
Their eventual objective was to join the Houplines Operation
where the Territorial Units were sent to prevent the British lines
from collapsing. On 24th December they joined the now famous
Christmas truce, exchanging cigarettes and playing football with
German soldiers in no-man’s land. By January 1915 they had
advanced to the small village of Touquet on the Belgian and
French border, protecting the route to the bridge over the River
Lys. They had entrenched near Frelinghien where they were held
up for several weeks by heavy sniping from the enemy, meanwhile
Listening Posts were being built to monitor the German
positions and their activities. On 27th February Samuel Billing
was carrying out his daily duties when he received a fatal shot to
the head from a German sniper. His commanding officer,
Captain H J Flower wrote in his War Diary for that day:
“A certain amount of sniping all day.
A bitterly cold East wind making the trenches very unpleasant.
Visited at night by Canadian Staff Officers.
Our General arranged today to send in a largely increased
number of Miners to complete the Listening Posts more rapidly.”
In the margin of his diary he reported: “Casualties – 1 killed”.
That casualty was Rifleman Samuel A. Billing, aged just 19
years old. He was later buried in the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission sector of Houplines Communal Cemetery, France.
Regiment (Artist’s Rifles) on 4th August 1914, reporting to their
headquarters at Duke’s Road, Euston. The Artist’s Rifles
recruited Lawyers, Architects, Civil Engineers, Doctors and
Artists for training to become officers in the British Army. Over
15,000 men passed through the Battalion during WW1 and
10,256 became officers. After Basic Training Evan’s Battalion
were sent to St Albans for further training, before leaving for
France. The Artist’s Rifles were mobilised in the Autumn of
1914 and landed at Le Havre on 14th October, in readiness to
join the Western Front. It was here on the 27th January 1915
that Evan was gazetted into the 2nd Battalion Middlesex
Regiment as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant. Their orders were to
join the fighting at Neuve Chapelle in a major offensive to
rupture the German Lines in a push towards Lille. On 10th
March 1915 they encountered resistance against their
advancement, which was recorded in the Senior Officer’s War
Diary, as follows:
“5am - Forward up in position of assembly at Letter E and
8am – An assault was attempted from Point 15 on the German
Front Trench, this failed. Two others were attempted and also
11.45am – A second bombardment of the First German Trenches
took place immediately after which an advance was made and
the German Front line was occupied. Bombing parties moved
along the trench in the direction of Point 60.
12.15pm – The Battalion was reformed in the German Trench
and proceeded to consolidate this line.
5pm – Point 60 was occupied, the work of putting it in a state of
defence which had begun by the Royal Engineers was
The position was occupied until 13th March.
On that fateful day of 10th March the casualties totalled to 7
Officers killed, 8 Officers wounded and in other Ranks 70 men were
killed, 299 wounded and 29 were missing. It was during the day’s
intense fighting that Evan Hare was killed, aged 27 years. Evan is
buried in the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie, France.
Evan Amyas Alfred Hare came from a very different backgound
compared to that of Samuel Billing. He was born on 14th
February 1888 at 46 Weston Park, Hornsey to Evan Herring
Hare and Emily Lucy Hare the Second of four children, his
father was a Medical Surgeon and General Practitioner. In late
Summer of 1893 Evan began his early school life at Holy
Innocents Infants School, a short distance from the family home.
By 1901 the family had moved into a larger home, Lightcliffe
House on Tottenham Lane and Evan was now attending St
Mary’s School for Boys in Hornsey High Street. Evan was a high
achiever and his parents decided for him to sit the entry exam for
Stationers’ Company’s School. He was successfully enrolled in
the Autumn of 1899 aged 11 where he continued his school days
taking his final exams in 1905. When Evan left school, it was his
vision to go to university and forge a successful career as a
solicitor. He trained for seven years, becoming a practising lawyer
and Member of the Law Society in April 1912. He began his
career at his Grandfather’s practice, Hare & Co. at 139 Temple
Chambers at The Temple in London, by now he was living at his
parents’ new home at Arlesford House, 159 Tottenham Lane
where he continued to stay until the outbreak of war.
Evan enlisted with the 1/28th Battalion, County of London
Peter Sandell lays a wreath at the grave of Evan Hare.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Evan Hare's grave at Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie
Old Stationers’ Visit to France
On the 11th April this year, Peter Sandell and I travelled to
France to visit the battlefields and graves where Sam and Evan
fought and died in the First World War. We left St Pancras
Station, London, early in the morning, boarding the Eurostar
train to make our way across to France. A train journey of one
hour and forty minutes took us to Lille which lies in the heart of
many of the famous First World War battle sites including Loos,
Ypres and Armentieres. We soon arrived in Lille and collected a
hired car to drive the 20 kilometres or so to Armentieres and the
battlefields. Our first stop was the small village of Frelinghien, in
Northern France on the Belgian and French border where
Samuel Billing joined the War. With the use of trench maps,
War diaries and Ordnance Survey guides we were able to pin
point the areas where the trenches were dug and the fighting
took place in early 1915. This area has now been returned to rural
farming but with well laid out footpaths, parkland and signage to
inform visitors of the events of the War. We discovered a
reconstructed trench beside the road, lined with sand bags and
timber planking. Due to the high-water table in this region the
British trenches were constructed by partially excavating a trench
with walls built on top, either side constructed of soil and sand
bags to increase their depth and to minimise flooding. We then
drove to the Houplines Communal Cemetery to lay a wreath on
Sam’s grave which lies in the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission section of the Cemetery. This pretty little cemetery
is located opposite a Secondary school and as we arrived the
pupils were coming out for lunch, I could not help thinking that
Sam would not have been much older than those students
coming out of school. The CWGC keep their cemeteries in
immaculate order with neat green lawn paths and cottage style
planting in the borders, upholding the words from Rupert
Brooke’s poem, ‘The Soldier’, “[……..] that there’s a corner of a
foreign field, that is forever England”.
We then left for Laventie and the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard
where Evan Hare is buried. This is a small cemetery, beautifully
laid out and nestled between houses on the outskirts of Neuve
Chapelle. Here we stopped to chat to a CWGC Inspector who
was visiting the site to assess the lawns which had a severe moss
problem due to the high-water table and high foot fall. He
explained to us that the last four years, the Centenarry of the
Great War,has seen an unprecedented number of visitors to the
cemeteries, searching for the graves of their fallen relatives and
consequently the pathways have taken their toll. After laying a
wreath at Evan Hare’s grave we then drove to the Rue du Bois,
the main road between Neuve Chapelle and Fauquissart where
Evan spent his final days in heavy fighting. We stopped at the
battle site where the trenches have now been filled in and where
a field of verdant green cereal crops grow. It is difficult to imagine
today, that these acres of beautiful lush fields were once a mire of
thick mud and water filled holes punctuated with the occasional
skeletal tree. Now the field remains peaceful where the sound of
distance skylarks can be heard among big, clear blue skies.
The battlefields of the Great War are evocative and fascinating
places to visit. I do recommend that if you are travelling through
France or Belgium to take a detour and visit at least one of the
many beautifully kept cemeteries that the CWGC care for. It is
only then, that one can appreciate the profound enormity of the
huge loss of life.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them.”
Peter Thomas 1967-1973
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 5
A SERVICE FOR GERAINT
On a late Summer’s morning, Old Stationers’, family and friends
gathered at the Jewin Welsh Chapel, near the Barbican, London
to attend a Sunday Chapel Service dedicated to the memory of
Geraint Pritchard. Geraint regularly attended the Presbyterian
chapel, which serves the Welsh community that live in Greater
London and beyond and where his grandfather was once
Minister. The service was conducted in Welsh, by the Reverend
Richard Brunt, and an English translation was also provided.
The service began with a hymn sung by the children from the
Chapel Sunday School after which the Minister spoke to them
of the importance of learning and Geraint’s enthusiasm and
dedication to teaching. Then followed a tribute to the life of
Geraint given by the Secretary of the Chapel, Mrs Llinos Morris
explaining his family roots in Anglesey and their move to
London followed by his teaching career at the School. The
hymns included ‘Make Me A Channel of Your Peace’ and ‘Guide
Me O Thou Great Redeemer’, set to the Welsh tune of Cwm
Rhondda. The Rev. Brunt then read the article from ‘The Old
Stationer’ Magazine written by Geraint’s partner, Marj. The
service was followed by a welcome cup of tea and an opportunity
for family and friends to recall happy memories of Geraint.
A CHALLENGE TO REMEMBER GERAINT
Something that occurred to me when I read the many tributes to
Geraint in the last edition of The Old Stationer was the number
of times that the Yorkshire Dales 3 Peaks Challenge was
mentioned. I enjoy walking (particularly uphill) but this is
something that I have never attempted; but, in memory of such
a fine individual, I think that I am going to have a go.
So I wonder how many other
Old Stationers might feel the
same. Some of you will have
done it once many years ago.
Some may have done it many
times. Some will be like me
and never yet tried it.
If you aren’t aware what the
Challenge is, or have
forgotten, the 3 peaks are
and Ingleborough. In total
walking a circular route to climb all 3 involves around 5,000 feet
and 24/25 miles. The Challenge is to complete it within 12
The Yorkshire Dales National Park organize such a challenge at
weekends during British Summer Time. People sign in at the
start and after returning to the same point within 12 hours
receive a certificate. So any of us could try it whenever it suits us.
Geraint died on 22nd April but the first anniversary falls on
Easter Monday. As very few of us live near enough to get there
for a very early start (soon after 6.00 a.m.) and get home again
the same day after a beer (to celebrate) and a meal at least one
overnight stay will be involved (two would make it more
practical). So Easter is unlikely to be a good time to attempt this.
If enough Old Stationers wanted to attempt it together a midweek
fixture might be easier. With 60 to 75 of us we could take
over the HF House in Malham (but that’s beyond my
expectations). However, the organization of such an event would
be formidable. Not just in terms of booking accommodation but
also controlling the walk itself. Apart from trying to find dates
that would suit enough people, maps, people walking at different
paces, making arrangements for those who can’t make it all
sound a more daunting challenge than the walk itself.
When I started to mention my interest in having a go the
question of which charity will I support was raised. It should be
possible to arrange one or two charities (I think Marj was a
MacMillan Nurse) such that we could all try to obtain some
sponsorship for the same charities.
The purpose of this note is to try to find out whether there is any
interest in undertaking this challenge to remember Geraint,
either as a group or individually. If the latter, we could photocopy
all the certificates and send them to Marj together with details
of how much had been collected.
More detail about the Challenge can be found on www.
If you think that you might like to participate in some way please
let me know.
STATiONERS' COMPANY UPDATE
Promotional programme to encourage
membership of the Stationers’ Company
The relationship between the OSA and the Stationers’ Company
has been a long one going back not only to our school days but
also to the very start of the school in 1861. Of course, the history
of the Company goes back much further to its formation as a
printing guild in 1403. Many of its traditions developed even
earlier stemming from the illumination of parchments in the
grounds of the old St. Paul’s Cathedral.
With the closure of our school in 1983, Stationers’ Hall became
our long term home with which we can all identify. I know there
are many who share my view that our Christmas lunches and
Annual Dinners at the Hall are very special occasions. The
majority of our archives are stored at the Hall; one of our school
stained glass windows looks out from the Stock Room (even
though the Latin motto is grammatically incorrect! Gus would
turn over in his grave if he knew); nearby there is a display case
exhibiting OSA memorabilia, and the many paintings and photos
of past headmasters are on show on the staircase to the library.
Today, we have over 40 Freemen, 15 Liverymen and 2 on the
Court of the Company. Members of the Old School play
important roles in the management of the affairs of the Company
and Stephen Platten, currently Under Warden, is destined to be
the first Old Boy to become Master of the Company in two years
time. Some have joined the Company because they had a career
in one of the many sectors of the Communications and Content
Industry. The majority come from other walks of life and have
applied on the grounds of membership of the OSA.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
The Company would like to see more OSA members joining the
Company and has in the past provided financial incentives in the
form of discounts on the entry fee over short periods of time.
Over 30 took advantage of such an offer in 2006, and the deal
was again made available in 2015.
I am delighted to report that, following a request from the
current OSA Committee, the Company has again agreed to
reduce the fee for joining the Company as a Freeman for
members of the OSA by £100 from £410.00 to £310.00. This
offer will last until the start of July 2020 when Bishop Stephen
becomes Master of the Company. To take advantage of this offer,
you should first approach Honorary Secretary, Tony Hemmings,
who will confirm your OSA membership and arrange for the
application form to be sent to you.
Freemen can attend the many social functions organised by the
Company Livery Committee, the Annual Lecture, archive
evenings, industry seminars, concerts in the Hall, the Ash
Wednesday service in St. Paul's and the twice yearly golf events.
Becoming a Freeman of the Stationers’ Company also opens the
door to Freedom of the City of London.
It is often said that people get out of an organisation as much as
they put in. This discount scheme is designed to encourage many
more OSA members to join the Company and take an active
part in its programme of events.
The Company Invests in a
new Archive facility
Thanks to the generosity of Liverymen Duncan Spence and
Amy McKee, together with additional funds already held by the
Library and Archive Fund, The Company now has a magnificent
new archive facility within the Stationers’ Hall Estate. The state
of the art Climate controlled strong room has been named The
Carfax Room, the reading room has been named The Gateway
Room and the whole complex is called The Tokefield Centre.
This is in recognition of the bravery of the Clerk, George
Tokefield, who in 1666 transported the book registers and other
documents in a wheelbarrow from the then Hall, Abergavenny
House, to the safety of his house in Clerkenwell before the
somewhat rundown timber building was engulfed in flames and
razed to the ground. After many years of being almost inaccessible
at the top of a narrow flight of stairs off the Ante Room, between
the Hall and the Court Room, access to the Tokefield Centre is
now either through the office or there is wheelchair access via the
garden gate. The Centre was officially opened on 10th November.
Coinciding with the opening of The Tokefield Centre, the
launch of the digital version of a substantial proportion of the
archive by Adam Mathew Digital makes 2018 a bumper year for
archive matters. This huge resource
(10TB of storage) will be available
soon to all members of the Company
from the comfort of your armchair.
For further information on archive
matters at the Hall, contact Ruth
Frendo, Stationers’ Company
(Information extracted from
“Stationers’ News” by Tim Westbrook)
The Stationers' Foundation
The Stationers' Foundation is effectively that element
within the life of the Stationers' Company that underwrites
the costs of all educational work carried out in the
Company's name. Foremost in this work is the raising of
funds for the Stationers' Crown Woods Academy.
As the Academy is, in many ways, the lineal successor to
Stationers' Company's School, the Fund Raising Committee
of the Foundation felt that Old Boys from the School
might wish to support the excellent work of the Stationers'
Academy as a means of furthering the educational arm of
the Company and so prospering a similar activity to that
which gave them their own education.
The most effective way of giving would be by a monthly
Standing Order coupled with Gift Aid. We very much
hope that many of you may wish to assist our educational
work in this way. If you can help, please be in touch with
Pamela Butler, the Stationers' Foundation Administrator,
either by telephone, email or post.
Contact details are:
Telephone - 020 7246 0990
Email - email@example.com
Or by post to: Stationers Hall, Ave Maria
LONDON EC4M 7DD
Chairman, Stationers' Foundation Fund
25th September 2018.
I am forwarding this on to you as I believe
you are at present the acting OSA
In 1954, a very long time ago, six of the
49-54 intake left the School and all
joining the Port of London Authority as
Junior Clerical Officers. At different times
during the following years five of us left
the Authority to follow careers elsewhere
until only Eddie Dennison remained. At
very infrequent intervals whenever I heard
anything about their subsequent careers I
passed this onto Geraint for publication.
Some three years ago I wrote to Geraint
bringing together all I had previously
heard into one final letter. However I then
heard from Eddie that quite by chance he
had run into Bruce Holloway who had left
the Authority in the early 1960’s and of
whose subsequent career I had only heard
the odd snippet.
With Eddie’s help I have been able to
contact Bruce who has sent me the
attached summary of all he has done since
he left the Authority. He has no objection
to its publication should it be of interest.
23rd August 2018
So it was almost 4 months ago when I was
delighted to receive this email. One can
argue that pressures of retirement provide
an excuse for not replying sooner. Anyway
here goes. I will probably need one or two
sessions to complete it but if I don't start it
will never get finished.
As you correctly stated I left the PLA just
after finishing my National Service. This,
as I understand, many PLA staff were, was
with Movement Control section of Royal
Engineers. After initial training I was
lucky enough to spend most of my service
at the Hook of Holland seeing the transfer
of troops to and from Germany. I was
promoted to lance corporal but they took
the strip back as I was reluctant to get my
hair cut. (Problem would not happen
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 5
As you say I joined the 600 Group in their
Raw Materials Division, scrap metal to
you, as a Management Trainee. I was with
them when I got married. I toured many
aspects of metal production throughout
the country which was most interesting.
However I wanted to get back into
shipping. I went to a company called the
Caribbean Steamship Agency which was
situated in Adelaide House on London
Bridge. It was a subsidiary of Elders &
Fyffes (bananas) which itself was owned
by The United Fruit Company. They were
huge in Central America.
This worked out quite well but I had itchy
feet and,since I had moved to Benfleet on
my marriage, I looked for something more
local. A neighbour offered me work in his
motor repair business on Canvey Island.
This suited me very well and after a few
years I rented a body repair shop again on
Canvey. Around 1970 the Oil Company
gave me some money to vacate their site as
they wanted to sell it.
I became Body Shop manager of a Vauxhall
main agent in Southend and then moved
to be Service Manager at Fiat main agent
in Dalston, near Hackney.
It was time to settle down, I thought, so
after a few years trading and selling
secondhand cars I applied for a position as
an agent operating service stations for
ESSO. This was now 1977. My first site
was on the A10 Cambridge Road, near
Enfield. I went on to operate other sites in
Seven Kings, Chelmsford, Barking and
Leytonstone. They dumped me when
they found I had arranged for my wife to
run a TEXACO site on the A127 in Leigh
on Sea. So, moving on I took over another
garage in Leigh on Sea.
We are now up to 1987. Itchy feet again.
We gave up the first TEXACO site and
my wife took over my one. Would you
now believe I wanted to improve my image
so opened an estate agents across the road!
This was called Belfairs Estates and was
quite successful until I had an offer to sell
out in 2002. We both worked for another
year for the buyer and then thought that's
I married my wife, Maureen, in 1962 and
we are still plodding along very happily.
Two boys came along inheriting my itchy
feet. One is something big in Payroll. He
has just purchased a small holding of 8
acres in mid Wales with is partner. They
are working towards a holiday letting
business while still retaining his office job,
mainly on line and lecturing nationally.
The other is now running a Sporting
Injury Clinic and massage in top class
cycling events here and abroad. We were
both very much into cycle racing in the
past which has him enabled to have some
good contacts. He is married, living in
Amersham and has eventually produced
two grandsons. We waited a long time
while he tested the marriage market!
I am very keen on big band music and jazz.
(This is how I bumped into Eddie
Dennison at a music Pub). Cycle racing
was my main sport although I never
achieved much unlike my son who was
Of course, when I was with the PLA I
played a little rugby for them to improve
my chances of promotion. I did get a
transfer to Port Rates through Henry
Greedus, I think. That's when I resigned!
Golf is now my game. My wife also plays
which is happy since it gives us something
to do if we are bored on holiday. However,
like cycling, I am only an average golfer
but it keeps us fit.
I was initiated into freemasonry in 1960 so
will be celebrating my 60th year soon.
This is something for which I am proud
although I have always kept it at arms
length. I am still active but meeting in
London is becoming a chore.
I think the Stationers Lodge is still going
and I ought to make an effort to attend
Enough. Done this in one evening while
wife is playing bridge. A game I am very
happy not to have taken up. Our health is
pretty good so long may that continue.
Hope this nonsense is of interest.
I have had today this e-mail from Cedric
Steet which you wanted to have for
inclusion in The Old Stationer Magazine .
I don’t suppose that you will want to print
all the correspondence, but I am sure that
you will be able to pick the bones out of it
to make an interesting entry. I of course
wish to add my condolences to Geraint
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Prichard’s family at this very sad time for
them all. He gave so much of his energy
and enthusiasm to editing the magazine,
which in turn gave so much happiness to
all its readers.
Roger Mansf ield
13th July 2018
A BLAST FROM THE PAST!
Saddened to hear the news of Geraint
Pritchard. Although I never had the
pleasure of meeting him, I was in
correspondence with him only a few
months ago and had no idea he was in bad
I have several postcards he sent me
picturing the Yorkshire Dales and North
Wales which were obviously very close to
his heart. I don't know whether you have
received the latest magazine but the
tributes tell us that he was a very special
Believe it or not he was quite a bit younger
than us ,so keep taking the pills ,there can’t
be many of us left.
Hope you had a good Wedding anniversary
and that you are keeping well.
With best wishes
7th Mar 2018
It’s great to be in touch again after all these
years, you were obviously pilot material, as
your cricketing prowess shows that you
have good hand/eye co-ordination and I
seem to remember you were one of the
brightest lads in our class, but pilot training
was pretty rigorous I seem to remember,
and only about 5-10% of the initial
applicants got through to their wings. I
must say that I feel very lucky to have
spent my life up in the air, nearly two
whole years in total and I loved every
minute of it. I finished up as a Training
Captain for the last sixteen years of my
time at British Airways and found this
very interesting, although it was a bit like
teaching ducks to swim, the standard of
the pilots was so good that I didn’t have
very much to do to get them through the
training course when they switched from
one plane to another, although I did earn
my money on a few occasions! Funny that
you were stationed at Debden as my family
started out from there about two hundred
and fifty years ago as I found out when
tracing my family tree. You must know
“The White Hart”” pub in the village
where they served the best fish and chips I
have ever tasted. Mind you this was about
fifteen years ago and I remember that the
landlord was called Chalky White – a
cheery cockney chap!
Well I mustn’t ramble on and will close
now, but please keep in touch,
Roger Mansf ield
Many thanks for your e-mail, it was good
to hear from you. Like you I am going
through a lot of memory searching- after
all it is 70 years or so.
I’m very envious of your times as a pilot ,as
when I was called up for National Service
I signed on for 4 to 8 years in aircrew but
didn't make it past the first few months
and finished up doing the standard 2 years
as a RT/DF operator on the ground. I had
always wanted to be a pilot and had a love
affair with the Spitfire from an early age.
Nevertheless I can’t complain as I got
plenty of sport in the RAF to compensate.
When I was at RAF Debden I was lucky
enough to play cricket for Technical
Training Command against Bomber
Command who had Freddie Trueman in
their team. He was already playing for
England and had arranged for his National
Service to be deferred until his twenties. I
don't remember much about the game but
I know I didn't have to bat against
him,thank the Lord.
As you know I also took early retirement
in 1985 at the age of 51 and I just cannot
believe that was 33 years ago-the time has
passed incredibly quickly.
Congratulations and best wishes for your
Wedding Anniversary in a few weeks time.
My wife Brenda and I celebrate our 56th
in September. I must have taken a few
years longer to take the plunge but have
not regretted it for a moment.
With very best wishes
6th Mar 2018
Good morning Cedric, how delightful to
find your letter when I opened my “Old
Stationer” magazine this morning. You
caused me much memory searching when
I tried to annotate the original picture as I
could not for the life of me remember your
name although your face is very familiar to
me and I remember you well. Even now
the name Steet, means absolutely nothing
to me, how very odd! Actually the caption
was printed wrongly and there should have
been a space where you were, which would
have made it correct. I certainly did not
think you were called Lamb as I knew who
he was. Any way all is cleared up now,
It’s funny how little I knew of people’s
sporting prowess at the time. I knew that
Lewis and Rose were good at football, but
that was about all. Going through old
Stationers School magazines I found out
that Sibley (the likeable naughty lad of the
class) won the Victor Ludorum at the
school sports one year, for example, and
your prowess on the cricket field was quite
unknown to me. Eight wickets for two
runs was quite amazing! Also the fact that
Mr Thomas, our pleasant form master and
English teacher, had nick names like
“Ginger” or later on “Taff ” was again quite
unknown to me and a respectful “Mr
Thomas” suited him much better I think,
and I always wanted to do my best for him
in essays and examinations. I think that
this sometimes went to extremes as I read
“The Trumpet Major” thirteen times
during our School Certificate year, to the
detriment of other subjects; although I did
just manage to scrape through to gain my
School Certificate in the end.
When I left school I worked for a couple
of years at an Import and Export firm in
the City, before becoming a pilot in The
RAF for five and a half years, flying
Hunters and Sabres in Germany and then
joining BEA and later British Airways for
twenty nine years flying Dakotas,
Viscounts, Comets, Vanguards, Tridents
and finally Boeing 757s before retiring in
1986 at the age of 52. I now live in The
New Forest with my wife Hazel and we
celebrate our 64th Wedding anniversary in
a few weeks time.
Please keep in touch,
With best wishes,
Roger Mansf ield
SA205 30 Ruakura Road,
Your fascinating edition as always set the
memory cells into frantic activity. Starting
on page 3 Roger Engeldow lives close by
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
my parents final home alongside which a
close friend has just passed on at 100 years;
you have move went to Harrogate
Grammar so we got to know the area quite
well in the two years we were there and
visited Harewood on a number of
occasions. They were happy years. I now
have an Australian great grand-daughter
living and working in York. Tony
Hemmings lives in Cheshunt a short
distance from my brother and my sister is
in Stevenage as is Peter Thomas so all
those mentions gave rise to much mental
Page 5 referred to John Partridge walking
in the snow from Finsbury Park where I
spent my early years off Stroud Green
As usual I enjoyed all your content even
though so many names and faces were
long past my generation. A great picture of
Taffy Hempstead on pages 18 and 19. He
was a great fellow in his dedication
particularly to the cadet corps which he
headed and in his years with us in Wisbech.
When I got to page 21 Cedric Street
referred to Les Wingrove and Tony Budd.
Les was one of my Corporals in the 2049
Squadron of the ATC. His father was the
local manager of the British Legion Hall
by town hall and ran the Friday and
Saturday night dances in the Town Hall. I
had organised a fund raising dance on for
the squadron on New Years Eve in the
Legion Hall in 1944 but the band did not
turn up so Les arranged with Dad to allow
us to move to the town hall for free by
which favour I met my wife of 65 years.
Tony was the youngest of the three Budd
brothers all of whom were great achievers.
Dereck was two years ahead of us and
Brian went right through with the A
stream to the sixth form with me and went
on to become the European manager for
Monsanto Chemicals of the USA.
And so on to another great family of the
era, the Moningtons, who again I
remember well, his departure letter was
another great trigger for my memory. In
Wisbech the three boys were my
predecessors at a billet in Victoria Road.
The Bell family of parents with a teen age
daughter found the combination rather
overwhelming so they were moved on and
I was transferred in and spent three years
in their home. The 17 year old daughter
wanted to attend the weekend dances at
the local town hall which was attended by
military members posted in the district but
her Victorian parents would not permit
without a chaperone so she taught me to
do ballroom dancing so that I could
perform that function and dancing became
a fascination for the remainder of my life
until 10 years ago.
The travel articles, especially the Baltic
were interesting particularly the Baltic area
where I again gained and maintained
I guess that's enough of my mytherings as
they would say in Yorkshire so I will close
with best wishes for a long and happy stay
Could you resend your email to Geraint
(24/03/2018) as I have inherited the printed
copy with strange double spacing.
I would like to include it in our next issue.
Congratulations Tim on your tribute
edition No 87.
I would be interested to know whether
there are any other survivors in the
Association from my era of 1937-43.
You will no doubt be aware that Stephen
Platten was made Under Warden of the
Stationers’ Company on Tuesday evening
and is in line to be the first Old Stationer
to be Master of the Company in I think
2020. Strange isn’t it how the pendulum
swings… Hope you are both well.
mail to: Peter.Sandell@hotmail.co.uk
30th May 2018
The Old Stationer magazine number 87
Dear Fellow Old Stationers'
Please see below a note from our acting
Magazine editor. Will you please respond
directly to Tim at the e mail address
As you will know from recent OSA magazines,
class reunions are now very popular events in
our social calendar and are proving to be an
effective source for new members.
The reunions all take place around September
time being the anniversary of joining the
school. Our next magazine, issue 87 will be
published in July and is therefore an ideal
platform to promote forthcoming reunions to
Would you please notify me of any reunions
that are planned for later this year, or even for
future years so I can include the details in our
“reunion update” in the magazine and on the
mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear George (Copus),
It was a pleasant if unexpected surprise to
receive your phone call this evening.
Did you know that all the school magazines
during your time at school are now
accessible on The Old Stationers web site.
Go to www.oldstationers.co.uk and click
the Library option, enter password,
Volume 20, issue 3 has all 100 class mates
in your year group listed alphabetically by
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
I have attached a screenshot of their
names. Let me know if you can remember
any of them.
Just browsing through the latest issue of
the Magazine and noticed the letter from
Alan Cleps who was at the school 1946/51
the same time as myself but must admit, I
do not recognise the name but there was
about 110 of us, so not surprising. I do
enjoy keeping up with the activities of the
various members and it is now quite a few
years now since I last attended an Xmas
lunch. The problem is that, as one gets
older, the chances of meeting up with
someone from your particular era
diminishes and the common ground is not
Abbot – a terrific footballer and leader ! As
I have said previously, it was an honour to
play in that side alongside some marvellous
footballers and 'good blokes' – a memory
that will remain with me forever.
the OSFC anthem
Following Peter Lack's nostalgic memory
of the OSFC 'Anthem', I seem to
remember it went:
We are old Stationers FC
A rough old crowd, as you can see
We've come up from Division 3
It's foolish, but it's fun !
Now listen friends, both old and new
We'll waste no time in telling you
We p**sed straight through Division 2
It's foolish, but it's fun !
We aren't much good at football
But we're bloody good with beer
And 'old man' relegation is still our constant
But cares and worries have we none
From out our backside shines the sun
We're the Champions of Division one !!!!!
It's foolish, but it's fun !
I was lucky enough to play in that
wonderful Championship- winning side
of 1963/64 (or was it 1964/65 ?) and
nearly every 'apres match' was full of
laughter, beer and singing (especially the
above 'aria) often accompanied by the
alluring music of Trini Lopez, and most
especially, led by the formidable Frankie
I promised to send you a couple of
Stationers-related photographs for the
The first is of the commemorative window
removed from the old school Library and
re-installed in the Stock Room of
Stationers’ Hall. Can you see the error in
the school motto? It is supposed to read
“Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum”
(“The word of the Lord endureth for
ever”); but Domlni, the genitive, has been
replaced by “Domine”, the vocative, so it
means “The word, O Lord, endureth for
ever”. Was this error always present in the
Library, or was the mistake somehow
introduced when the transfer occurred?
Can any readers of the Old Stationer
enlighten us? (By the way, we were always
taught that the motto ended with the verb
Manet, as usual in Latin, but it is not
written that way here.)
The second picture is of the old street sign
for Stationers’ Hall Court. About 40 years
ago the Corporation of London auctioned
off the stock of street signs after their
replacement by the current design. In a
blind auction I bid £50 for this one
thinking it was of the previous design with
a City of London logo. I was successful in
the bid, but disappointed to find that it
was so old that it ante-dated even that
design and was bare of any adornment. It
has remained unseen and unappreciated in
my garage ever since.
I am also copying this to William Alden at
the Hall, who may be interested in both.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 5
My life in india
FAR AS YOU ROAM
Tim Westbrook has been one of my best mates since school
days and we now only live 5 miles apart in the UK in
Herefordshire. He has asked me to put together a “as far as
you roam” article about my life in India.
We all have had different paths we have trodden but being
from the class of 62 I am so proud that there are so many of
us still kickin’ and actually all looking good. It’s been such an
honour to see everyone at the two get togethers we have had
and amazed at the high turnout we achieved both times.
So...... why India?
Quite simply, I got off a plane in 1978 as a buyer for a large
retailer and fell in love with the place and the people. One
thing has led to another and I now have built my own
21,000ft factory in the middle of fields 151kms east of Delhi
in a place called Moradabad. I am ½ hours drive from the Jim
Corbett National Tiger Resort... and 3-4 hours drive from
27,000ft peaks in the Himalayas.
The factory is a 100% eco-friendly completely compliant to
all regulations and is producing life style products for retailers
Shouldn’t I be retired..... hey... I have a workforce to feed and
not rich and massively pensioned like the successful class of 62
who worked loyally in banking and insurance etc etc..... I take
my hats off to one and all... me?... they will have to put me on
the funeral pile while I still have my overalls on. To be
honest... I luv it...
I had to have gates to let in container lorries and Indian gates
in general are awful. I could have copied the gates at
Buckingham palace... but would have probably have got
lynched...... so I decided to copy, exactly (although slightly
bigger) the Beatles Strawberry Fields gates.... and named the
factory after. Somehow.... all my buyers thought this was fun...
and it has snowballed now with Peace and Love signs, an
Abbey Road crossing, renamed our road to Penny Lane and
have 3ft high letters on the outside wall saying GOO GOO
We have a full size snooker table, Cricket Pitch, a Volley Ball
Court and three hole pitch and putt on the premises. So we
keep ourselves amused.
The good thing is... we have been visited by Stationers’ as well.
I met Barry Soames in Delhi, (although he really was suffering
with a dose of Delhi Belly). Ian Giles came out with his wife,
Pat, and we did the mountains together.... and “Archie” Fuller
and Gilly came also. 3 years later I have only just recovered
properly from being with Dave for 5-6 days... Glad I never
went on any of those Old Stationers’ FC tours... It was magic
having them here.
So... do I sell up and come back to live out my days in
Hertfordshire. The story ain’t over yet... there is life in this old
While I have your ears... I really would like to say... That
personally the Old Stationers’ Association and especially
playing for 30 years for the OSFC... really has meant so so
much to me.
With Dave "Archie" Fuller
The Strawberry Fields Gates
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 5
Ian and Pat Gillies.
I honestly believe that if I have to put one thing and one thing
only on my gravestone... it would be simply.... “I played
football for OSFC and scored 300 plus goals”...... it seriously
will always be the best part of my life to remember.
To have “Ginger” say to me... “Charlie you are the worst
footballer I have ever played with”... or Geoff (along with
Archie the only other two in the 300 goal club) saying
“serious... did you score another six goals today... did you score
any with your feet?”
Proud to be a Stationer... As far as I have roamed.
Impressions of a Young Trainspotter on
The Hog's Back, Harringay by Alex Fleming
Many people will be familiar with the East Coast Main Line
from King's Cross as it climbs out of the terminus through
Holloway and on past Finsbury Park station. Hardly noticeable,
the line crosses the Kentish Town to Barking route (Tottenham
and Hampstead line) known locally to the trainspotting fraternity
as the “Middie”. Arriving at Harringay station (from 1951 to
1971 Harringay West) a steep embankment looms up on the left.
This area is known as The Hog's Back.
The footbridge over the line at Harringay station leads from
Wightman Road in the east to Quernmore Road in the west.
A view from the Hog's Back in LNER days. St. Paul's church is top left with
Harringay Stadium next to that. Harringay Up Goods Box is perched in the
centre and the booking offices are to the right. Three of these buildings were
victims to fire. (Courtesy of Harringay Online)
This provides obvious access to the station, together with a much
needed pedestrian connection between the Hornsey and
Tottenham districts. The reason being, the next opportunity to
cross the main line is either Hornsey station to the north or
Stroud Green to the south, a round trip of an extra 1 ¼ miles.
When crossing this footbridge in the 1950s and 1960s from the
lower Wightman Road side, the Harringay Up Goods Box
dominated the station approach. This box was in place to control
access to and from Hornsey shed (34B), departures from the
Hornsey sidings, then part of Ferme Park Marshalling Yards and
crossings made over the main line on Harringay Viaduct. Part of
the footbridge was quite steep which children would love to turn
into slides during the icy winters of those years. The flatter
middle section of the bridge allowed access to Harringay station
which was then proudly adorned with all the finery of a building
erected in 1885 by the Great Northern Railway. With its wooden
booking hall sitting on brick supports and straddling the
platforms, this style became the template for other stations
further down the line.
At the end of the footbridge by Quernmore Road, a heavy
wooden gate was almost hidden on the right hand side. This
gate, which was open during the day, led to a sheltered pathway
on the Hog's Back with a spectacular view of the main line. All
the comings and goings to Hornsey shed and yards, including
Ferme Park yards, views across Hornsey Vale (Campsbourne),
Alexandra Palace and racecourse were a delight to see.
Along this pathway of the Hog's Back during the warmer
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
months, small viewing areas with park benches would be full of
mothers with prams and children indulging in what might be
termed a picnic. While the mums enjoyed either a nap or
especially a natter, the children would be mostly glued to the
action below on the railway. The clatter and clunk of coal trucks,
beyond the escarpment of allotments, as they were shunted in
Ferme Park Yards by the hoard of various old and dirty J class
0-6-0 steam engines formed a unique resonance to the scene.
For the trainspotters, most of the action would take place near
the heavy wooden gate on Harringay Station footbridge. The
down trains would appear belching smoke which billowed out
from under the bridge over the station platforms. Most of the
older children – around 11 or 12 – would know when the main
expresses were due and thus hope to “cop” the best engines.
Usually armed with a notebook to write down engines' numbers,
these would be underlined later at home in the Ian Allan
Locoshed Book. For the most fortunate this might even be an
Ian Allan ABC British Railway Combined Volume.
An array of steam engines from all sorts of duties were on display
throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. Later the introduction
of brand new sparkling diesel locomotives somehow ranged less
splendidly. During the early and mid-1950s the only diesels on
view were the ubiquitous 0-6-0 diesel shunters. Gradually their
unique hum replaced the clunky old J class 0-6-0 steam engines
in shunting duties around the yards.
In between these menial engine duties, the pacific class engines
would be rushing express trains to and from King's Cross. They
ranged from the Thompson/Peppercorn A1/A2 classes to the
Gresley A3 and of course the famous A4. The latter was the
undoubted star of the trainspotting show. They lorded express
duties on the line and caused most enthusiasm among the
trainspotters of the day.
Indeed, “Kingfisher has been down” was perhaps the most
exciting news at the time. The Gresley A4 class known to the
initiated as “Streaks” were the favourite main line express engines
to many of the locals and perhaps the crack choice for all the top
link workings. Kingfisher No. 60024 and William Whitelaw No.
60004 rarely ventured so far south to London, their home shed
being Haymarket (64B) on the western side of Edinburgh. Most
trainspotters on the Hog's Back would have “copped” all the
Gresley A4s except for these two particular engines. Thus, they
were popular sights. Whether the pure truth was always told
about the appearances of these rare visitors, one is left to
The engines were clearly the stars of any trainspotting show, yet
looking back one also recalls the many named trains, some of
them of the colourfully outstanding Pullman class. The
Elizabethan (previously the Capitals), the Flying Scotsman, the
Heart of Midlothian and the Talisman all travelling to and from
Edinburgh, the Master Cutler to Sheffield, the Cambridge
Buffet, the Yorkshire Pullman, the Queen of Scots (Pullman),
the Aberdonian departing King's Cross at 7:30pm with its
restaurant car at the rear for detachment at Newcastle, the
Northumbrian and the Tees-Tyne Pullman were all examples.
When caught from the front, these trains often appeared in regal
pose sporting a large insignia on the nose of the engine. If not,
they all proudly carried their names emblazoned along the sides
of their carriages above the windows.
While much of the type of traffic was predictable (although the
actual engines were not) occasionally, a complete stranger might
Inner Suburban Service behind Gresley N2 No. 69536 fitted with
condensing apparatus pulling a rake of ubiquitous Gresley (Photo by Ben
Brooksbank). “Quads” articulated stock heading for Hertford North. Note the
”John Bul” on the side of the large building and bearing down on the scene.
be sighted. Perhaps the guest appearance of
4-6-0 County Class No. 1000 County of Middlesex in fully
restored Midland red livery was a memorable if rather strange
sight. Moving into Hornsey shed she made for an antiquated yet
beautiful scene, especially the following day on the front of a
double-headed working, travelling north.
The sleek though smaller V2 or black liveried B1/B12 classes
would front the lesser duties to Grantham, Cleethorpes and in
particular the Cambridge Buffet Express, together with faster
freight workings. The Thompson B1 was easy to spot as it was
the only 'faster' locomotive to be painted in black BR livery,
whereas all the aforementioned classes would usually be sporting
British Railways green.
Outer suburban services to Hitchin, Stevenage or Letchworth
might see a B1 at the front. Inner suburban services however,
would usually be pulled by the stalwart Gresley 0-6-2 N2
complete with the condensing apparatus for working on the
Moorgate service via the Metropolitan lines. Gresley Quad
coach sets were still prevalent. The hand of further development
in BR non-corridor compartment sets often pulled by 2-6-4 BR
standard engines were equally commonplace.
Not quite as glamorous as the main line express engines or even
as neat as the suburban locomotives, the often filthy goods
engines had their own distinctive sound. The austere appearance
of the WD “Dub-Dee” 2-8-0 8F and the sheer potential power
of 9F 2-10-0 were regular visitors to the area bringing in the
heavy coal trains to Ferme Park Yards. Watching these heavy
locomotives shunting across Harringay Viaduct and back into
Hornsey shed could be a specific delight. The distinct clunkclunk
sound of the WD 2-8-0 8F and the array of driving wheels
Goods train coming off Harringay Viaduct while another awaits clearance with
yet a further standing in the shadows of the viaduct. (Photo by Ben Brooksbank)
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
on the 9F seemed to impart the immense power available in
A special, indeed unusual occurrence was to witness a goods train
passing almost out of view from the Hog's Back moving up the
down goods line and turning off on to the “Middie” heading
toward Kentish Town. Older, perhaps more knowledgeable
spotters reckoned the train was heading for Temple Mills Goods
Yard. This working required a rare manning of Harringay No.7
Box located near the entrance to Ferme Park Yards and perched
on the edge of the Hog's Back slope. Usually, fronted by what
looked liked Class 2 or 4 MT locomotives, this working was
indeed rare to the younger trainspotters, as it was usually in the
early evening after mother had already summoned them to tea.
Many an hour was spent hanging on the wire mesh fence and
looking down from the Hog's Back waiting for the next train. In
between one might rush off to the confectioner housed in the
first half-shop in Quernmore Road. A quarter of this or that, but
more likely a gob-stopper, a packet of Refreshers or maybe a
frozen Jubbly were the favoured little purchases. The brick-built
wall of the sweet shop sported the famous 'John Bul' advertising
a prominent landmark which can still be seen today.
In the mornings city employees would be rushing to catch their
trains into London – Broad Street (next to Liverpool Street) via
Finsbury Park and Dalston on the North London line or
Moorgate via King's Cross York Road and the Metropolitan
lines. The Up platform was kept pristine during the week
mornings by porter Sid Cooke, with a coal fire always burning in
the waiting room in colder weather.
Local residents off to work in the mornings would be confronted
with boys in royal blue blazers heading for Stationers' Company's
School. The school was located at the top of Denton/Mayfield
Road a few minutes walk to the north-west.
Each day after school, there were two trains at 4.36pm and 4.38
pm respectively – one to Hatfield and one to Hertford North - to
transport the schoolboys back home. These trains had been
installed some years earlier to accommodate the requirements of
the numerous pupils going north to the more outlying suburbs.
The Down platform would be packed in royal blue interspersed
with the black blazers of the sixth form just before the trains
arrived. Many of these lads would walk along the pathway
around the top of the Hog's Back simply to enjoy the excitement
of the railways and join in the banter with other less elite piers
who were members of the trainspotter's guild.
Of course, the prototype DELTIC was a fascinating appearance
in its light blue, white and silver livery as was the new English-
Electric Type 4 class No.
D200. The English-Electric
prototype DELTIC was a
regular on the East Coast
Main Line in the latter
1950s with the resulting
class of 22 locomotives
coming to dominate top link
proceedings from 1961 and
the ensuing decades. In
1959 the prototype came to
Hornsey shed and was thus
St. Paul's Church in the background.
Harringay Goods in the foreground.
behind the Deltic
seen moving under the
auspices of Harringay Up
Goods Box out of the shed
for duties from Kings Cross. Finsbury Park Depot (34G) had not
yet been opened.
Suddenly, in early 1960 a huge shock wave spread rapidly among
the trainspotters. The fallout lingered for some time as the words
“steam withdrawn” became common knowledge. Looks of disbelief
adorned many faces. A fear that railways were to be populated by
these new soulless machines called diesels took hold. Even worse,
the thought that one day they would become the new standard of
headless, characterless creatures of electric railways like the
Underground or the Southern was abhorrent to most.
A few years later when restored Gresley A3 Flying Scotsman
made its runs north in the days of ownership by Alan Pegler or
even later the new A1 build Tornado charged through below the
Hog's Back, the old path had been closed. The spotters had gone.
If anywhere, they were now on the platform. Of course, the station
itself was no longer manned. After all the years of past enjoyment,
the Hog's Back sadly provided the best views no more.
DELTIC resplendent in blue livery
War Veteran, Peter
A 98 year old Second World War hero has died, (30th
November) three weeks after being beaten up in his home
in Bounds Green by burglars who stole a TV worth £50.
Peter’s son, Simon Gouldstone was at Stationers with our
President Peter Winter and was quoted in the Sunday
Times saying, “ I do not know how my father’s attackers
can live with themselves, the sooner they’re locked up the
better. As a
member of the
family I’m shocked,
as a member of the
human race I’m
lost for words at
The OSA offer our
Simon and his
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Paying members at 6th Oct 2018 489
Life member 1
Honorary members 11
New members 12
Deletions (for non-payment) (4)
Unless there are some additional new
members between now and the year end
the total number of members will drop
below 500. I have no intention of trying
to determine the last time this total was
below this number. It was probably many
Since the last magazine the following new
membership applications have been
1958 to 1963 Norton House
7 Loyne Close, Linslade
Leighton Buzzard, Beds LU7 2YR
Dr Geoffrey Quick
1963 to 1970 Meredith House
Whistling Pines, 70 Crooksbury Road,
Farnham, Surrey GU10 1QD
1967 to 1973 Caxton House
5 Patmore Link Road,
Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 4PX
1958 to 1965 Hodgson House
Woodstock Farm, Gadbrook Road,
Betchworth, Surrey RH3 7DE
The following deaths have also been
Ben Batchelor, Barry McRae, Ian Snelling,
Ernie Stone & Peter Jolly. Not a good year
for ex-OSFC players. Obituaries will
appear elsewhere in the magazine.
The Association has lost contact with
Alfie Elliott (living in Canada) and Ray
Greenway, neither of whom has paid a
subscription in 2018. These 2 will be
deleted from the database. They can be
restored as members if we subsequently
manage to find any contact details.
Edited obituary from The Guardian:
Professor David Goodall, ex-Stationer and
renowned botanist, ended his life aged 104
in a Swiss clinic to the music of Beethoven.
When the celebrated plant ecologist David
Goodall was interviewed on the occasion
of his 104th birthday last month, his
response was typically forthright. "I greatly
regret having reached that age;' he said."I'm
not happy. I want to die. It's not sad,
particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented."
As it happened Goodall was not
"prevented", even though there were those
who had opposed him travelling to
Switzerland to end his life. While doctors
considered whether to try to detain him in
Australia, he boarded an airliner in Perth,
wearing a jumper that bore the slogan
"ageing disgracefully", on May 2nd. He
was not terminally ill, but had been a
member of Exit International for 20 years.
The group created an online crowdfunding
page to pay to upgrade his ticket from
economy to business class and rapidly
reached its target.
He flew to Bordeaux, where he visited
members of his family for the last time,
and then on to Basle, where the staff of the
Life Cycle Service helped him to bring to
an end the remarkable life of a renowned
scientist who was married three times,
loved acting, but never bought a television
and shunned radio.
Goodall had been one of the first scientists
to talk about the greenhouse effect as a
consensus began to form among scientists
about climate change, and he was regarded
as the godfather of "quantitative ecology",
applying the number-crunching rigour of
statistics and mathematics to his discipline.
He developed computer programs for
classifying vegetation and modelling
ecosystems, and was an early adopter of
the Fortran programming language.
Perhaps his overarching achievement was
his editorship of the 36-volume standard
work Ecosystems of the World.
David William Goodall was one of two
children born in Edmonton, north
London, to Henry Goodall, who was the
secretary of the National Wholesale
Federation, and his wife, Isabel (nee
Harlow). He attended the Stationers'
Company's School, a grammar school in
Hornsey, and St Paul's School, where an
inspirational teacher led him from an early
interest in chemistry into the field of
biology. He went to Imperial College
London, choosing botany over biology
because he felt it was a stronger department.
He received his PhD in 1941 for his thesis
Studies in the Assimilation of the Tomato
His job as a senior lecturer in botany at the
University of Melbourne marked the start
of eight decades in academia, which
included several more spells in Australia,
including five years at the Tobacco
Research Institute in Queensland, and two
years as professor of agricultural botany at
the University of Reading. There were also
jobs in the US, including five years as
professor of systems ecology at Utah State
He formally retired in 1979, but was an
honorary research fellow at Edith Cowan
University from 1998 until his death. It
was unpaid, but Goodall treated it as a
While his mind remained sharp until the
end, physical decline was inevitable. This
year Goodall was injured in a fall and lay
on the floor of his flat for two days until
his housekeeper found him. He then
attempted to take his life and was in
hospital for five weeks. He was discharged
after an independent psychiatric review.
In an interview in 2016 he was pessimistic
about the future. "It is too late to take
effective action on climate change," he
lamented. "At least as important is human
population, which will increase to ten
billion by the end of the century." Asked if
he had advice for younger scientists, he
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
said: "Keep aware of the history of your
field. The decline of libraries makes it easy
Western Australia is still in the process of
introducing a law on voluntary euthanasia.
"I think my trip will contribute to changing
the legislation," he said, "but I think we've
got a way to go."
Dying was part of life, he said. "Why
should it make me sad? I don't regard it as
grim, 1 regard it as natural." Two days
before he died he was asked what his final
thoughts would be. "I'll be thinking about
the needle and hoping they aim right," he
He spent his last full day visiting Basle's
botanical gardens with three of his
grandchildren. His last meal was his
favourite: fish and chips followed by
cheesecake. On the day, as Beethoven's
Ode to Joy played, Goodall was injected
with a barbiturate, turning a wheel himself
to let the solution flow through his veins.
He gave it 15 seconds, then said: "It's a bit
slow, isn’t it?"
Professor David Goodall, botanist and
ecologist, was born on April 4, 1914. He
took his life on May 10, 2018, aged 104.
Obituary from The Guardian website:
Tributes have been paid to the influential
British playwright Stephen Jeffreys, who
has died aged 68. Jeffreys was best known
for his play The Libertine, based on the life
of hedonistic Restoration rebel the Earl of
Rochester. The Libertine opened at the
Royal Court theatre, London, in 1994 and
was staged at Chicago’s Steppenwolf
theatre two years later, with John Malkovich
as Rochester. Jeffreys adapted the play
himself for a 2005 film starring Malkovich
and Johnny Depp; the play was revived to
great acclaim in the West End in 2016,
with Dominic Cooper in the lead role.
Jeffreys taught, nurtured and championed
a later generation of playwrights including
Simon Stephens, who tweeted: “When
many of his peers turned their noses up at
a generation coming after them, Stephen
Jeffreys encouraged and inspired and
provoked and guided us. His faith in us
was an astonishing force. His faith in
playwriting was towering.” Joe Penhall said
that “an entire generation of playwrights
was bonded to him, a symbol of selflessness
in a sometimes narcissistic profession”.
Samantha Ellis also paid tribute, saying
that Jeffreys had “hugely encouraged” her
and “gave me the writing gift of convincing
me that structure could be fun. He was
always full of humour, fizzing with
intelligence and very, very kind.”
Jeffreys was born in London and attended
Southampton University. He first worked
at the Royal Court in the mid-70s as an
assistant electrician in the Theatre Upstairs.
His play Like Dolls or Angels, about a
stuntman, was an award-winner at the
National Student Drama Festival in 1977.
After establishing the company Pocket
Theatre Cumbria he adapted Charles
Dickens’ Hard Times for a touring
production and, in 1984, his Edinburgh
festival hit Carmen 1936 was staged at the
Tricycle theatre, London. His 1989 drama
Valued Friends, about four housemates
who are offered a fortune to vacate their
home for property developers, was a hit at
Hampstead theatre. He returned there
with A Going Concern, about a failing
In 1992, he was invited by Max Stafford-
Clark to become a literary associate at the
Royal Court and, over the next 10 years,
played a key role in discovering future
classics, including Jez Butterworth’s Mojo.
Stafford-Clark commissioned Jeffreys to
write The Libertine, which ran in repertory
with George Etherege’s 17th-century play
The Man of Mode, whose hero Dorimant
had been inspired by Rochester. In 2000,
the Royal Court staged Jeffreys’ play I Just
Stopped By to See the Man, steeped in
blues music and directed by Richard
He returned to the Tricycle in 2009 with
Bugles at the Gates of Jalalabad, part of a
season covering Afghan history. In 2011
there was a West End run of Backbeat,
co-written by Jeffreys and Iain Softley,
about the fifth Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe.
Two years later, he had a rare flop with his
screen adaptation of Kate Snell’s book
Diana Her Last Love, about the Princess
of Wales’ relationship with heart surgeon
Jeffreys had two sons with his wife,
Annabel Arden, the director of plays
including his 2007 drama The Art of War
for Sydney Theatre Company.
He continued to offer vital support for
new writers. John Donnelly was among
those recognising his encouragement,
calling Jeffreys “kind, generous, always
interested, never aloof. One night the man
just stopped by to see us: I’d written a show
for local teenagers at the Almeida. Two
night run. But he was there. He proclaimed
it the best show in town and made us feel
like it really was.”
FRIEND AND PLAYWRIGHT
When I learned of Stephen’s illness, I
spent a long time thinking about him and
of the many encounters we had during our
fifty years of friendship.
In March, I wrote him a long letter,
sharing thoughts and memories about our
lives, and recalling some of the many good
times we had shared.
One of the memories I shared was from
the early 1980’s. Stephen was living in
Earl’s Court in London and in his early
years as a playwright. I was living and
working in the north-west.
When my first daughter was born, it
prompted a lot of questions about my own
origins, as I had been adopted and knew
nothing of my background. I then
embarked on a long and detailed search to
find my birth mother and I came to
London regularly to use the records office
at St Catherine’s House in Kingsway. On
these occasions I often stayed with Stephen
and we would chat about the research
process and the very slow progress I was
making. I had discovered that I had been
born very near his flat, and one morning
Stephen joked that the best way of
publicising my search would be to write a
play about it. I went off to the Records
Office as usual, but when I returned in the
evening, it was no longer a joke. Stephen
had spent the day working out a rough
outline of the play and was now serious
about wanting to write it!
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
During the next few months, we met to
discuss the background, the impact of
adoption, the motivation to search and any
expectations of meeting one or more of the
natural parents. We also spent hours
talking about our experiences so far in life,
our relationships, our problems and our
Stephen developed the broader ideas he
wanted to present in the play – a caustic
assessment of Margaret Thatcher era
capitalism and City financiers - and
completed the script. He had a strong
association with Pocket Theatre Cumbria,
having been writer in residence, and
worked with the director and cast to
premiere the play ‘Futures’ in November
1984, before productions elsewhere.
The play did not lead to the immediate
response from a woman looking for her
lost ‘son’, but four years later, after much
further research, I met my birth mother in
London – a moment subsequently
celebrated warmly with Stephen.
Although ‘Futures’ is one of Stephen’s
lesser-known plays, it still has a very strong
place in my memory of our collective
experience - a great collaboration between
good friends, an emerging playwright, and
of course, two Old Stationers!
I am proud to be able to say a few words
about my best friend. Stephen always told
me that everything should have structure.
It was never a structure just structure. He
said that the underlying principles for the
process of his playwriting were the same as
my business management and I believed
him. I’ll try to follow his wishes in this set
Implicit in everything he did was his
ability, when necessary, to make a serious
point in a humorous non-confrontational
way. So my plan is to show his amazing
quality of humility and ability to raise a
smile whatever the circumstances with
some examples over the 60 plus years we
He was born in Muswell Hill on 22nd
April 1950 and was brought up at 45
Weston Park. We first met at Rokesley
Infants’ School in Crouch End and
continued our education together through
junior school and then to Stationers School
alongside John Margree, Lee Jackson,
Tony Pigden and Dave Matthews. He was
originally allocated to Meredith House
but in the 67/68 extension of houses
became a founder member of Rivington a
matter he considered much akin to Harry
Throughout his school career he had a
significant yet understated presence. He
was a member of the choir and later in
typically supportive mood paid homage to
Keith Willis when Keith too was struggling
with a brain tumour. His love of the
theatre shone through and encouraged by
Clive Blenkinsop he was in the school’s
joint production of the Alchemist. Some
50 years later he had adapted the play for
the Royal Shakespeare Company at
Stratford and arranged a re-union for the
original school cast with the RSC cast.
He played a cerebral game of chess. A
talent he took with him in later life. His
love of music and in particular the guitar
twinned him with Tony Mash where at
youthful parties the ever competitive
Stephen would persuade Tony to try ever
more complex and error prone pieces.
Later he enjoyed playing in a geriatric
band “Smoking Mirrors”
Woody Allen said he was not afraid of
flying just of crashing. We too developed a
mutual hatred of swimming on the basis
that drowning did not seem an attractive
alternative to dry land. He never learned to
swim, dismissing it as unnatural. His
ability to construct anything beyond a
sentence had less than propitious precedent
in woodwork where under the teaching of
Messrs Naylor and Sloggett we built an
egg rack and then a table.
Stephen’s egg rack became the epitome of
his DIY skills and remains on show at
home alongside a magnificent teapot
stand. The table became a cause celebre
however. It was a 2 year project. Stephen
made a miscalculation on the wood for the
legs in the first week. He spent the next 2
years trying to cover it up as no more wood
was allowed and to admit such a basic
mistake was not worth considering. The
final outcome was an original piece of
furniture. If only we had hung onto the
only table that could have supported a
meal while sitting on a spiral staircase we
could have made millions.
Last but not least, we had a mutual interest
in Arsenal football club in my case
prompted by Stephen. We had access to a
bus route that would take us either to
Highbury or to Tottenham. We made a life
defining decision to follow the path to
success and go to Arsenal. We went to
every home game. As we got older we
persuaded the Secretary of Arsenal that
schoolboys over 16 should be allowed
access to the boys’ enclosure. Then as a
group including Phil Geering, Del
Mitchell and Richard Edis we could vent
our ire on whoever we chose with an
For those who complain about the lack of
success of Arsenal they should have been
us in our formative years when season after
season of mediocrity was all we saw. What
it did was prepare Stephen for later in
more affluent times when we had access to
seats and we could vent similar ire to that
of 30 years previous. For those who knew
Stephen as mild mannered they didn’t see
him at football. As he once said when I
remarked on his commitment “there’s no
point going if you don’t get involved”.
I was amazed at his fantastic powers of
recall. If you discussed any historic event at
Stationers he would describe it precisely.
Of course one never knew if he was
describing what happened or what he
thought should have yet more often than
not his recollection was verified.
At a boys school in the 60’s you were either
in the sporting camp or an arts person.
Stephen was unique in straddling both
groups by sheer force of personality. His
talent for the arts was self-evident whilst
his sporting prowess as a performer often
resembled Bambi on ice (he was a growing
lad at the time). But, his ability to analyse
sport was obvious and everyone listened to
his views on matters sporting. School
never improved his handwriting or his
fitness but it gained him friendships
lasting over 50 years. As evidenced from
the tributes below.
“I remember the last time that I enjoyed
his company, at the OSA Carol Service in
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
2016. His bright spirit and his witty and
generous personality was to the fore
making him such good company. I have
been awed by the achievements of his
career and the deep intellect that was “just
Stephen being himself ” ( John Rowlands)
“I had not realised what a prolific
playwright he was. An extraordinary talent
as well as really nice guy. Also, very humble
about his achievements. An enormous loss.
He will be sorely missed”. (Phil Geering)
“How proud Stephen must have been to
know of his sons' successes achieved whilst
coping with their father's illness. I will
always remember Stephen for his
enthusiasm for our reunions. Future
meetings will not quite be the same! No
mention of our School in the Telegraph
obit but very warm words from Stephen's
contemporaries and those he inspired
coming on behind. What a wonderful
legacy from a man taken far too soon”.
“I didn’t know Stephen’s family but please
pass on my condolences. Former theatre
colleagues of mine worked with Stephen
and from the Guardian obituary, I wish I’d
known him as a playwright as well as a
schoolboy thespian. The evening we had
together at the Alchemist was really
enjoyable.” ( John Samson)
“A sad day indeed. The loss of a wonderful
man and a great friend. When I saw him
last week, he was awake and alert. We
shared some friendship, warmth and a
little mirth. However, he made it clear,
with what little communication he could
muster, that he had had enough. As I left,
we kissed hands and bade farewell”. (Alan
“Dear Stephen will be greatly missed by
many people but mostly, of course, by his
immediate family all of whom I have met
when my wife and I participated in
Stephen’s annual Christmas carol Charity
singing in Muswell Hill. I was pleased to
have visited him in the hospice and at one
stage it did sound as if his condition was
improving with a view to returning home.
Sadly that did not prove to be the case. My
thoughts are with his family and also with
Michael as I know their close friendship
goes back to primary school”. (Robert
“A very sad day indeed, but the memories
will remain. I remember Stephen living at
a house in Weston Park and so probably
being the nearest to the school in our year.
We also were on holiday at the same place
(Swanage in Dorset) in 1965 and I met his
Dominic Cooper and Alice Bailey Johnson in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys at
the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2016
parents and sister on the beach on a
number of days. Fond memories of a lovely
person - sincere condolence to his family.”
“He is part of our legend and has already
created a huge legacy of which we are all
proud.” (David Ingham)
“It was Stephen who organised frequent
trips for members of our year to the Old
Vic during the early years of the National
Theatre. His love of words resonated with
those of his mother and sister, which
always made a visit to his home on Weston
Park a special moment. He enjoyed
humour, exemplified by one short piece in
the school magazine in which he railed
against the use of illicit fibreglass winks in
the fictitious school tiddlywinks society.
Stephen, you achieved so much in your life.
You have our admiration and leave me
with a smile and my thanks for being you”.
On leaving school he took a gap year
courtesy of some indifferent French
teaching and worked in a Muswell Hill
shop delivering paint. From there he went
to Southampton University to read
English. What followed was an outstanding
literary career. On the basis that imitation
is the best form of flattery I have quoted
widely from the marvellous obituaries
printed in the Guardian and Daily
After leaving University he took a company
to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall
directing Arthur Kopit’s Indians in which
he cast the Native Americans as women.
In 1977 he wrote Like Dolls or Angels
taking it to the National Student Drama
Festival where it won the Sunday Times
Playwriting Award. Later he would serve
for many years on the board of the NSDF.
Devoting himself to playwriting he had his
first notable success with Valued Friends
(1989) whose cast at Hampstead Theatre
included Martin Clunes (Doc Martin),
Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Jane
Horrocks (Little Voice) which won him
the Evening Standard and Critics Circle
Awards for the most promising playwright.
He received the award ironically from
Princess Diana remarking later that it had
taken 17 years to become an overnight
In 1990 he wrote The Clink for Paine’s
Plough for whom he was Arts Council
writer in residence (1987-89) and then a
Going Concern based on his experience in
the family billiard table business.
1994 saw his hit The Libertine at the
Royal Court Theatre where his 11 year
stint as Literary Associate brought him
into contact with a new generation of
emerging writers. In 1996 the American
premiere of the play directed by Terry
Johnson in Chicago led him to a continuing
association with John Malkovich which
lasted until he died, John visiting him in
the hospice in June this year. The play
became a film in 2004 starring Johnny
Depp. Stephen recalled the time in 1996
when John sidled up to him and said “do
you want to make a movie out of this?” In
Stephen’s words it was a question that did
not require an answer.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Whilst playing the lead role in the stage
version in 1996 John was too old for the
film version but he played a supporting
part and his company produced it. Stephen
also wrote Lost Land (2005) about
Hungary at the end of the First World
War with Malkovich in the lead.
By then he had written I Just Stopped by
to See the Man, a tribute to the blues
singers of the Mississippi delta directed by
Richard Wilson (Victor Meldrew).
He delivered the Art of War in Sydney
(2007) and in 2009 contributed Bugles at
the Gates of Jalalabad one of the plays at
the Tricycle Theatre about Afghanistan
which became compulsory viewing for the
British and American military strategists
As well as new work he maintained a
steady stream of adaptions. A Jovial Crew
for Royal Shakespeare Company 1992,
The Convicts Opera based on the Beggars
Opera (2000) and Hard Times by Charles
His stage adaptation of Backbeat the film
about the early career of the Beatles ran for
several months in the West End to critical
acclaim. Demonstrating the value of a
Stationers' education he translated the
Libretto of The Magic Flute without
having learned a word of the German
language it was in. It has been performed
in Simon McBurney’s production across
He was often asked to re-write screen
plays. His other film Diana was a hit in
most countries other than Britain where it
was, unsurprisingly, not a critical success.
Throughout his career he retained his
North London roots having been brought
up in a household where the going currency
was words and a series of eccentric
characters passed through. His monologue
Finsbury Park commissioned by Paine’s
Plough for their 2016 series “Where I’m
From” just summed it all up.
Stephen’s selflessness was demonstrated in
his support for other playwrights who he
saw as companions not competitors. He
was hugely interested in the practicalities
of the theatre and the art of playwriting
and his book on the subject is likely to be
issued posthumously. His plays were
described by one young writer as “simple
but sophisticated; warm but incisive;
unassuming but clever-never showy or
attention-seeking-just like the man”. His
long period on the Board of the Royal
Court Theatre enabled him to give support
and guidance to many.
He also went abroad on behalf of the
British Council coaching playwrights in
countries such as Cuba and Uganda where
the writers feared that any original work
might attract the wrath of the regime. As
he once said to me, his trip to Cuba was
hardly “our man in Havana” more like our
man in a deserted holiday camp since the
accommodation he was afforded was never
palatial. It did not bother him one jot.
We always joked about his failure to up his
income by putting a big sea battle into one
of his films as he explained the relationship
between the film’s budget and the writer’s
fee. So the film he nearly did about
Florence Nightingale was the one that got
Looking back over our friendship I am
struck by how two such dissimilar
personalities got on so well. We genuinely
never had a cross word, perhaps because
we realised that our lives were multifaceted
and we could stick to what we
thought worked for us. We often
bought each other the same
Christmas presents, this year being
a prime example. We were best
men at each other’s weddings. I
look back at 1999 in the garden at
Weston Park when Stephen and
Annabel looked a delightful couple
who had just visited Woodstock.
Pan 17 years and he and I wore
blue suits with white shirts and red
ties. Only a few days before, a
certain reality TV performer had
been inaugurated as President of
the USA in the same colours. We
chose ours first. In his superb
deadpan style, Stephen commented
that at least we had our own hair
and some modicum of intelligence.
The fact that his hair had hardly
changed between the two events
was a matter of private jealousy for
me. For him, I had stood up with
some gentle mocking in the best
man tradition while he produced a
superb speech full of humour while
quietly skewering me in places. I couldn’t
have asked for a better best man as he
organised everyone for photographs as if
he had been herding cats all his life.
In January this year, he was diagnosed
with an inoperable Brain Tumour. He
resisted its effects which included
increasing immobility and a loss of speech
stoically. He could still recollect school
days memories even if he had difficulty in
describing them. He was so grateful for the
letters and cards and the visitors which
were a source of comfort for the family too.
He was determined to await the exam
results of his two sons Jack and Ralph and
when he heard that Jack had achieved
entrance to Cambridge and Ralph had 11
A stars at GCSE he knew he had achieved
what he had set out to do. He died
peacefully at the hospice on 17th
September with his family beside him.
Finally I am reminded that a young Jack
sang The Elvis song Blue Christmas. We
told him Elvis was dead. He said he knew
but his songs would live on. It’s the same
with Stephen. Although he is no longer
with us in body we can be comforted that
we were friends to someone whose
personality humour and generosity of
spirit struck us and will live on with us
through his work and our own memories.
I can only say it was an honour to have
been his friend for all this time even if we
never made those millions together. Rest
in peace dear friend.
Michael Heath assisted by Tony Mash.
A book Stephen Jeffreys’ Plays, a compendium
of 6 of his works is available from Nick Hern
Books. His book Playwriting which will be of
interest to many will soon be issued by Nick
Hern Books. Other plays like “I Just Stopped
by to see the Man” are available in single
Finally, there will be a memorial event for
Stephen at the Royal Court Theatre on
Sunday 24th February. Please save the date.
Ticketing arrangements will be circulated
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
AN OAK AMONGST SAPLINGS!
I was honoured to be asked by my beloved
aunt and godmother, Annie, to pay
homage to a man I admired hugely. For
many of you who only knew Ian during his
10 years in Hillcrest you probably
remember him for his love of bridge,
books and of course footie.
There were in fact three key pillars to Ian’s
life. His advertising career which dovetailed
into his book collecting and dealing
and his abiding passion for the Gunners
and enjoying life in general. Inextricably
linking all three was his incredible
partnership with Annie and their support
and love for each other.
My earliest memories of Ian are glasses on,
book in hand, intensely reading or
completing a crossword. He loved to tickle
us with his beard. We found his attire of
old fashioned shorts and long socks a bit
As I grew older he became my wise
mentor who patiently shared his
remarkable mind through stories which
made the complex simple. I shared an
abiding love of books with him and for a
short while endeavoured to source modern
firsts to sell to him. My husband, Alex and
I would wait with baited breath to see
what he would make of our latest haul and
how much we would be able to add to our
overseas fund. He was known to drive a
hard bargain though I strongly suspect he
paid well over the odds for many of the
modern firsts we presented him with.
Ian was an amazing storyteller and it
seems fitting to celebrate his life by sharing
tributes from those who knew him during
his years in advertising and book dealing.
Combined the help encapsulate the
complex man that was Ian. He, always
marched to his own drum. I will always
admire for his thirst for knowledge, his
love of the good things in life but most
importantly for being an oak amongst
Alex Garlick, affectionately called “Old
Tart” by Ian first met him 50 years ago in
the Clifton Hotel in Cape Town, a key
meeting spot for journos and those in
Alex writes: “ I met Ian over a bottle of
vodka. The hotel was heaving, seriously
loud music playing, booze all over the
place and almost pitch black. One hellava
party, where everyone was more or less
And then one way or another, our paths
crossed all the time. There were children
and divorces and new lovers and ad
agencies where clients mostly did what we
told them to do. And wonderful evenings
with friends and then colleagues and
Snellers was there - and in his most
individual and specific way, slowly and
carefully making his point, so considered
and logical. Who then could argue with
him? But he was restless, ever seeking, ever
questioning. A little at odds with the life
he was leading.
Then Ian met Annie and suddenly,
everything dropped into its place. It was in
Forest Town, with his books, his media
planning, the last domino match with
Brewer and Huxham or the best red wine
for supper tonight that a solid vein of
contentment ran through Ian. That
contentment and his devotion to Annie
remained with him always.
Latterly we exchanged e mails, and so
typically Ian, I got sent quizzes and birds
and political polemic and just pure lovely
I will miss him enormously and quoting
from a letter sent by Abraham Lincoln
"instead of an agony, the memory of Ian
will yet be a sad sweet feeling in my heart".
Chris Brewer first met Ian in the Sterling
hotel in Johannesburg in 1973 when Ian
was Chairman of the Media Association
and a shareholder of a ground breaking
advertising agency BDSTV. They shared
a love of card games and dominoes.
Chris writes: “He wanted to learn how to
play Bridge and I volunteered to show him
so we started a weekly game where,
naturally he soon became brilliant. Within
weeks he had mastered the game and told
me where I was going wrong. Within a
few months he was the best bridge player
I'd ever known from our amateurish
At about the same time, I met Sam
Huxham (and shared a flat with him) who
was a good friend of Ian's. Sammy wasn't
such a good bridge player but he was a
whizz at dominoes and so we began a
weekly domino game - complete with an
annual trophy which understandably had
Ian's name all over it. Ian had the most
amazing brain and could calculate odds
within split seconds.
The difference between Bridge and
Dominoes is that, with bridge, you can be
dealt unlucky cards making it difficult to
win. With dominoes it's different. As Ian
always said "in the vast majority of games,
a good player with bad dominoes will
invariably beat a weak player with a lucky
hand" and that's true - as he proved over
and over again.
As a media planner he had little
competition and was quick to learn the
"new" technology of planning using
computer software. He taught me a great
deal about identifying target markets and
matching them to media opportunities.
He was one of the smartest men I ever met
and I was proud to call him my friend.
Shuffle the cards and mix the dommies
Gordon Muller another advertising
colleague shared the following:
Before there were MBAs and Chartered
Marketers; long before there was Google
& eLearning; there were "fireside chats"
I have long held the view that if you
believe you will learn something new
tomorrow, you will never be afraid to share
what you know today. Ian epitomised that
ethos. For me and many of my peers, Ian
was our mentor and THE Oracle when it
came to understanding the media industry.
Sure, we had to buy him a beer or two but
he was unstinting in sharing his knowledge
and insights. Ian could have sold his
insights to the industry but he chose rather
to give them away.
The same guy, who wrote a novel without
feeling the need to plaster his own name
all over the cover.
That is how we in Media remember Ian.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Never a glory boy. Always a grafter. In
many respects he personified the very
values we most admire in his beloved
Many of us, who benefited from Ian's
wisdom have in turn actively engaged in
training and mentorship in the media
industry. That is his legacy. It is a living
legacy because the river of his spirit of
generosity continues to touch the lives of
many people in media today; even if they
are unaware of the original source of it.
Ian I shall always remember your quiet
smile of triumph when you had won some
intellectual exchange. You loved winning
but you were always a gracious winner.
Today I am wearing my Arsenal shirt and
raising a glass to your memory.
Cheers my dear dear friend.
You ARE the North End!
Our next tribute comes from Barbara
Cooke another industry colleague and
close family friend.
“Ian and I worked closely together during
the years we spent presenting his brain
child, the Print Media's Synergy studies, to
the industry and ultimately to an
international audience at a conference in
Madrid where it won best paper. It was a
time when I first began to realise what a
keen intellect and sharp brain he had, and
that he did not suffer fools gladly - if at all.
lan's thinking was ground breaking and I
never thought he received the credit for
this that was so richly deserved.
It was also a time when we began a
friendship that was fed by a shared interest
in books which were an abiding passion
for him. He developed a unique method of
rating books which became a universal
standard for judging the quality of a book
that was being bought and sold without
the buyer seeing the actual book but
trusting Ian's judgement all the way.
Nothing gave Ian more pleasure than
finding a rare volume for a client, or just
for the love of the hunt. His home housed
a library named in memory of Annie and
Ian's son Andrew.
Ian was the only person from whom I was
happy to receive almost daily jokes or pithy
comment via e-mall: I knew that this was
his way of keeping in touch and I in turn
was grateful to be on his list - I will miss
the daily dose of humour.
His usual sign off was 'from Ian 'n Annie'
and truly this was a case of mention one
and immediately think of the other.
They went together like a horse and
carriage! On a personal level I will miss
him very much. His was a special spirit
and I really valued his gift of friendship.
Debbie Farrell Ian’s former PA shared this
My world will be a little less bright
without Ian in it. Even though we hadn’t
seen each other in years it was nice to
know he was on the other end of an email.
He was my mentor, saviour and second
Dad. When I first met him he scared the
bejusus out of me when he barked: “I don’t
hear the keys tapping”. It was my first day
on the job and I had no idea how to work
the computer I had to use to type up his
The years that followed showed me what a
kind, patient and loving man he actually
was, He took me in to work with him
when I lost my job. Took me out for lavish
birthday lunches and spoilt me with
bonuses and extra money when I needed it.
He treated me like a daughter not an
employee and that's why 20 years after the
day I met him he is still in my mind on an
almost daily basis.
Ian, I want to live my life the way you did.
Traveling with the love of my life; eating
good food, drinking fine wine and being a
wonderful friend to so many.
Geoff Klass first met Ian in the mid 1980’s
at a time when book collecting and dealing
was gaining prominence in Ian’s life.
My first encounter with Ian was a phone
call sometime in mid 1980's. The gruff
voice asked me 'What Ian Fleming first
editions do you have?" I responded that we
have a fine Moonraker in dustwrapper.
The voice said: “I’ll be there: please hold it
for me". Sure enough he pitched up within
the hour, looked at the book in his
characteristic intense close scrute, glasses
at half mast, and bought it. Over succeeding
years this was repeated at regular intervals,
and we moved from bookseller-client
relationship to chatting about books and
things in general and I always looked
forward to his visits simply because of
what they added to my day, relieving the
dulling effects of dealing with the public at
large. Ian was increasingly knowledgable
about books, condition and accuracy
almost a fetish, and I like to think that we
both benefited from the symbiosis that
Moving on to the middle 1990's. Ian had
established himself as a bookseller as well
as being a collector, moving with great ease
between the two categories, always
appreciating the finer nuances of both
sides of the scale. This was the time of the
great tragedy in his and Annie's Iife, the
death of their son Andrew. It was at that
time I moved far closer into the circle of
friends, becoming a regular visitor for a
glass of wine and a chat. Those were times
of great gloom, a time when friends can
help. The visits became a weekly event,
Friday nights booked for wine, cheese and
"boast books": those special items each of
us had uncovered in the previous week,
items over which we could share our
enthusiasm just for the simple pleasure of
admiring something rare, beautiful or
The evenings grew into an informal Forest
Town "Algonquin Round Table"., the
New York circle of critics, literary persons
and wits who met for lunch each day at the
Algonquin hotel in the 1920's, and whose
members acquired a reputation for wit,
knowledge and sparkling conversation.
Our club included booksellers, and often
whenever the Snellings had interesting
visitors they would join in the evenings.
More wine, more cheese, endless talk
sometimes into the early hours of the
morning, each of us staggering home
having had a memorable evening.
Although we are here to share memories
of lan, they are incomplete without
mention of Annie and her role in
cementing the relationships that flowed. A
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
gracious hostess, and a perfect soulmate to
Ian, her contribution was immeasurable.
She was often a shoulder I could lean on
and tell troubles, always receiving support
and great advice.
So in celebrating Ian, I would like to
conclude with my impressions of the man.
A sociable companionable man, with a
fine appreciation of both the qualities and
the negative aspects of those he
encountered. No time for fools, sharp
tongued and direct when criticism was
needed, balanced by a similar capacity for
praise when anything deserved it. A bon
viveur, with great appreciation for the
pleasures of fife. A man who would enter a
new field with great passion, and seek to
make himself knowledgable about it
without ever ignoring input from those for
whom he had regard. An honest man, who
believed in fair business practice, and for
whom the shortest distance between two
points was a straight line. And above all, a
man who exuded passion for life, passion
for his interests, passion for his family and
friends. In short, I treasure the years in
which I shared his and Annie's friendship.
They are a high point of my life, and I
shall always have only the fondest
memories of them.
Prof Vishnu Padayachee, initially met Ian
through a well known book dealer in
Durban, Ike Mayet. His tribute follows:
I was deeply saddened to hear of the
passing of my dear friend Ian Snelling
after a long and painful illness. Ian was a
fighter and despite the prognosis of his
doctors fought on for over a year beyond
the time they gave him.
I tried to visit him and Annie as often as I
could and despite the circumstances he
looked forward to our lunches and we
always had an interesting and engaged
discussion over lunch. He remained
interested and knowledgeable about world
and South African affairs and was always
eager to hear my news, especially on the
economy, and of my academic
achievements, which he celebrated ( such
as they were) as only a good friend would.
As a former book-dealer myself and as one
who is well connected within the South
African book dealers and collecting
community, I can attest to the great respect
that Ian commanded in our community.
No one in the Johannesburg book
community where he was based for so
many decades had anything but good and
generous things to say about him. His
A poem read by Ian's younger daughter at the service
The old Syringa tree
Up the old Syringa tree
Were my brother, sister, and me
Building our thrones;
Entwined purple blossom, course vines, and ivy.
Bright sun glimmered through the leaves
There came a treasured voice on the breeze
Down the trunk I scrambled
My hero waited under the eaves.
Bare feet sprinted swiftly through the grass
The dry scent of summer hung thick and heavy
In the distance, the ha-ha-ing of a hadidaas.
Giggles of delight as strong arms held me tight
I stroked his bearded cheeks, then patted the bald bit on his dome
'Oh Daddy, I'm so glad you're home!'
Grabbing his hand I dragged him off to the land of sand
Where to cure me off my echolalia
He told me if I dug deep enough, eventually I'd reach Australia ...
Down I dug, dirt asunder
Faster and faster. Higher and higher. '
Making believe I was a bird flying through the sky.
At the bottom of the garden the Jukskei flowed by.
So many games we once played; me and my trusty big aide
Memories that will never fade
'Where's my nose?' 'Gee-up Tonto! And the singing,of silly prose
I can still see young me, perched on my dad's knee
Striking a hard bargain for 'just one more game of under the water,
under the sea'.
Time for dinner. Always a winner!
Bellies full and darkness setting
We all sat huddled round the table
Waiting in anticipation for the latest fable
From the Goons, Squad Cars, and Tracy Dark
What a lark.
My eyelids grew weary and thoughts of sleep filled my head
So my dad picked me up again and took me up to bed.
Downstairs the Commodors crooned a tune
As dim light threw shadows dancing round the room
'Daddy', I declared, 'I love you all the way to the moon!'
Laughing he kissed my chin before upping me one
'And, I love you, my baby girl, all the way to the sun!'
Quiet footsteps across the floor
Night, night. Sleep tight', he whispered, and closed the door.
I will always miss the dad I once had ...
Before all the tears and fears of the bramble years
When hugs came easy, and love was simple, and carefree.
Back in those days of the old Syringa tree ...
knowledge of books and especially of
modern first editions was encyclopedic
and I was fortunate to have benefited from
his wisdom and advice over a long period.
Ian and I built a special friendship despite
one of the greatest obstacles to such
relationships that one can conceivably
imagine. He was a passionate and lifelong
fan of Arsenal Football Club (and
that is a poor description of his dedication
to the Gunners), and with equal passion I
supported their North London rivals,
Tottenham Hotspurs, the "Spuds" to Ian.
But we always managed to keep our
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
jousting within limits of decency and
enjoyed a good laugh. Ian leaves us in the
same year that Arsene Wenger leaves
Arsenal. There's something magical about
I first came across Ian at Ike's Bookshop
when it was located at Overport City in
the earlv 1990s. He was making his annual
trip around the country in search of
valuable items, and on one of those visits I
happened to arrive when he was already
there. I watched in fascination and curiosity
as he carefully inspected a volume, turning
it around and viewing it quizzically from
every conceivable angle to check for defects
or searching for crucial markers of value.
At other times when the spotted something
special, it disappeared from the shelf to
join the pile under his arm in a blistering
Neither Ike nor Ian could be described as
always easy going. Both were tough and
hard-nosed when it came to the industry
they loved passionately, but they became
very good friends and Ike always looked
forward to Ian's visits. Ian invariably left
with a pile of books and an endearing,
knowing smile on his lips.
Ike Mayet passed away in 2002 at the age
of 76 and I lost a special friend, with a
great bank of knowledge about books and
about the human condition, and someone
who had a wonderful and wicked sense of
Ian Snelling's loss leaves me with exactly
the same feelings. I will miss him very
much but I take comfort in knowing that
he gave so much to the world and that he
is at last at peace.
IAN GODFREY SNELLING
28 June 1942 to 7 June 2018
Ian’s many sporting achievements at school
will probably have been related fairly
completely by other 1953ers but I
remember him best as a strong athletic guy
who was good at all sport and a high speed
100 yards sprinter. I understand from his
wife, Anne, that he could still run the
hundred yards sprint in the Olympic
qualifying time at the age of 35 years.
Ant Mann, who was also in our year, sent
his condolences, from Hong Kong, which
were passed onto me and it was interesting
to note that like myself one of Ant’s
striking memories of Ian was his semi
permanent seat in the front row of Gus
Thomas’s detention class. Interestingly Ian
often referred to Gus in our recent get
togethers and I feel sure that he secretly
enjoyed his sessions in Gus’s class.
Ian married his first wife Ronni in the UK
and together they had one son and two
daughters and wanting to live up to the
exhortation from the school song - “far as
you roam” - they, like myself but totally
independently, emigrated to South Africa
in late 1964. Being involved in the
advertising and media world Ian went to
Johannesburg which is the main
commercial capital of the country.
After a number of years his first marriage
broke up and some time later he met
Anne, who was also involved in the
advertising and media world. They were
soon married and enjoyed a devoted live
together for 40 years. Together they had to
weather the tragic loss of their only son
Andrew at the age of 15 years and Anne
cared lovingly for Ian right to the end.
After leaving school and like most young
men we had all gone our separate ways and
it was only when I transferred to
Johannesburg in 1980 that I learnt that
there were five of us 1953ers, namely Ian
Snelling, Mike Jinner Johns, Chris
Seabrook, Frank Abbott and myself, living
in Johannesburg plus Charlie Cruden who
was there on a working visit. We had
several convivial get-togethers and it was
there that I met Ian again. After moving to
Durban I rather lost contact with Ian until
around five years ago whereafter we
enjoyed regular drinks sessions generally
with our wives and on one particular
occasion joined by the late editor of the
Old Stationer magazine, Geraint Pritchard,
who referred to it extensively in his article
relating his trip to South Africa. Until Ian
became less mobile we met at Ian’s cosy
local pub which was appropriately called
The Stationmasters Arms.
The majority of Ian’s working life was
devoted to the advertising and media
industry in which he was regarded by his
peers as being ahead of his time and a
leader in problem solving and strategic
thinking. References to him by various of
his media colleagues included “ being a
pace setter in the industry”, “being ahead
of his time”, “a mentor who shared his
knowledge freely”, “an oracle for an
understanding of the media industry” and
being “an oak among saplings”.
After retiring from the advertising and
media industry Ian’s long term interest in
reading developed into him becoming an
enthusiastic and knowledgeable collector
of rare books particularly centreing around
modern first editions. He went on to write
his own full length novel entitled “The
Book Collector” under the nom de plume
of Dick Phillips. It includes interesting
references to Finsbury Park, Crouch End
and other North London spots so that I
found it to be a very enjoyable read and
enlightening on the value of old rare
Ian’s other hobbies and pastimes generally
centred around thinking and problem
solving games including crosswords,
dominoes, chess and most particularly
Bridge for which both his and Anne’s
name could frequently be seen amongst
the list of winners in our local newspaper.
All of these pastimes compatible with his
love of good red wine. After playing in the
school team and Stationers Old Boys club
his interest in football never faded and he
remained a lifelong supporter of Arsenal
I regret to say that chronic lung disease
which developed several years ago took a
heavy toll on Ian so that in his last five
years he was but a shadow of the young
Adonis of school years. His full life and the
high regard in which his family, peers and
many friends held him are attested to in
the many tributes to him which were read
at his memorial service.
Ian, old friend, may you rest in peace,
content in the knowledge that you provided
a good example of the calibre of young
men educated at our Stationers' Company’s
School who have gone out into the world
and led a successful and meaningful life.
early years 1953 to 1966
I first met Ian at the School field in
September 1953 when we were selected to
play for the 1st Form team which changed
little during the years to come and David
joined us in the second year replacing
Gerry Young at left back. An outstanding
footballer and cricketer all through his
years at Stationers; a first choice on the
right wing in the school football team and
1st choice fast bowler in the cricket side.
His main attributes were his strength and
his speed respectively: difficult to knock
off the ball when tearing down the wing
and pretty fearsome over 22 yards. Ian
could be an intimidating person both on
and off the field hence the reputation that
he had a permanent seat in the front row
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
of ‘Gus’ Thomas’s detention room.
However for all this he rarely if ever
missed a football or cricket match for the
School on a Saturday morning. He was
also a very loyal friend once you got to
One of the few, if any, to fail Economics ’O’
Level and pass Economics ‘A’ Level. Not
sure how he persuaded Joe Symons to let
him continue his studies to ‘A’ Level. One
reason for this may be attributed to his
obsession with statistics. Not Economic
statistics, rather analysing football league
tables ad nauseum. Devoted to Arsenal
Football Club. A number of fellow OS
Arsenal supporters in the UK looked
forward to a full report of the Club’s
weekend match shortly after its conclusion.
Always optimistic about the team’s
prospect even in the declining Wenger
During his later years at the School he also
started to play football on Saturday
afternoons for the Old Stationers and
through this grew strong links with OSFC
which bore fruit over the coming years.
He soon became a regular in the OSFC
1st XI after leaving school.
At that time the Old Stationers Football
Club were strong at 1st XI level and up
and coming lower down with 6 sides
playing regularly. OS Cricket had one of
the strongest sides in North London.
Both the football and cricket clubs were
strengthened from the strong school sides
of 1952/3 &4 with larger numbers joining
the Old Boys.
The key position of team secretary filled
for 3 years by Dave Wilkins who brooked
no argument over scratchings was taken on
by Ian who was even more ruthless with
people trying to scratch. Snell was
possibly the most dedicated OSFC team
secretary ever to take on this onerous task
at a time when the number of Old Boys
teams were expanding to 9 plus a veterans
XI. Always to be seen on a Friday night
in the John Baird P.H. in Muswell Hill
Broadway ensuring that all teams from 1
to 9 were fully complete.
The teams of this era won many honours
including the prized Southern Amateur
League 1st XI championship, an AFA
Cup and numerous Old Boys Cups. It
was arguably one of the Clubs strongest
periods; if not the strongest. At the start of
1960 or 61 we saw the new OSFC weekly
team sheet and newsletter commence a big
step up from the previous postcard system
of notifying players of their selection.
This helped considerably in bringing the
club together and was a lasting legacy of
Ian’s involvement until further technology
i.e. email and the internet became the
main form of communication. He was
ably assisted by Keith Pope using the
stencil and hand roiling out to about 150
copies to be posted to members each week.
Ian was always at the centre of things and
saw the new clubhouse built, the old tin
baths go and new plunge baths and
showers built. Ian was always providing
help and enthusiasm.
Finally it is worth mentioning his passion
for books both as a collector and dealer.
This is not an area that either David or I
have much knowledge of but can recall
two instances of his involvement which
have been related in earlier issues of this
magazine. One was a very rare first
edition of a book which Ian came across
which was worth a lot of money but which
he philanthropically donated to a specialist
library (I think) and the second one was
related by him in OS issue 78 February
2014 where he came across a copy of an
OS magazine issued in summer 1998. He
spent a considerable amount of time trying
to trace the original owner but to no avail.
Michael Hasler and David Cox
My life with Ian Snelling
Having been asked to write some
reminiscences of Ian Snelling, who passed
away this year, I was shocked to realize
how little I knew about him. He seems to
have always been around Old Stationers’
(be it in South Africa) throughout all of
my lifetime, yet I only spent at most parts
of 13 years in his company.
I first met Ian in September 1953 on the
small football pitch in front of the pavilion
at the Stationers’ sports field at Winchmore
Hill. First form games day had seen me
put into the third tier of footballers, who
for many of my colleagues on the pitch the
highlight of the day had been the Trolley
bus ride from Harringey!
With my enthusiasm for football I soon
squeezed into the second tier group, but
the first tier from which the school team
would be chosen remained a distant hope.
However, just before the first school match
I joined the first tier as there was an
absentee, but in the “second” eleven rather
than the prospective first team. I scored a
couple of close range goals and at half time
Joe Symons promoted me to the first
eleven as inside right for the second half
period. There I met for the first time my
outside right (Ian Snelling), a confident
person, who required me to pass the ball to
him in an accurate and timely fashion
either inside or outside his full back.
Although, I then immediately deflected an
own goal from a corner, I did manage to be
included for selection for the first match
against another school.
Ian and I played together for numerous
years both for the School and the Old
Boys (including Easter Tours) and I even
spent time at his home in Finsbury Park.
We spent many a happy hour there after
school and we would play snooker (at
which I was rubbish) and darts. Ian was
always exciting company and on one
occasion threw a dart into my foot, while
he was lighting his next cigarette! Life was
getting a bit too dangerous so after some
months I moved on to pastures new.
I continued to play football with Ian as
well as witnessing the tremendous work he
did for the Old Stationer’s football club,
when for a few years I assisted Peter Bullen
also in his various roles for the Club. It is
probably true to say that prior to his move
to South Africa his lifestyle was not
conducive to the “flying winger” that I had
first met at Winchmore Hill.
Some years later our paths crossed again,
but this time by e-mail. Most Premier
League games are available on TV in
South Africa and Ian would write some
wonderful personal reports on each of the
games. Many of these reports I would
forward on to other of my family members
or friends, who were also “Gooners”.
Additionally, I mentioned by e-mail to
him that only a very “sensible” school shoe
had saved me from permanent disablement.
Ian replied that he remembered that he
had deliberately aimed for the welt of the
shoe and besides in any case it was only my
little used left foot! He did however thank
me for the numerous football passes I had
given him over the years and how I had
made him look a better player than he
Ian’s working career and esteem in the
book world I only learned about in recent
years, but based upon his work for the
committee of OSFC “if a job was to be
done it was to be done properly”. A good
guy sadly missed.
Ralph 'BEN' batchelor
3rd October 2018
He lost his long fight (15 years) against
cancer but is now out of pain. He will be
buried in our wood tomorrow. Being a
very private man he only wanted very close
family, his brother and sister, our children
and grandchildren to be present. He will
be remembered with a Cricket Tea, and his
favourite bat will go with him.
Precis of Ralph’s Life Story
Ralph was born in Stranraer, in Scotland,
on 12th May, 1942, to Ralph and Betty
Batchelor. His father was stationed in
Scotland in the RAF during WWII.
Ralph’s elder sister, Valerie, was born the
previous year. Betty and the children
returned to London in 1944 to live with
her parents at 23 Cavendish Road,
Harringay, where Ralph’s brothers, John
and Phillip were born.
His first school was South Harringay
Primary. Valerie had the unenviable task of
taking him to school and hearing constant
reports of, “Your Ralph is outside Mr.
Wilson’s door again.” Mr. Wilson was the
headmaster and administered the cane.
Ralph was usually in trouble for climbing
on the roof to collect the football or
fighting with his best friend, Eddie Plumb.
When taking him anywhere, Valerie always
said, “Ralph, please be good.”, but he never
Ralph took the 11+ exam and was not
expected to pass because he had paid little
attention to his lessons. The class teacher,
Mrs. Gaze, asked those who had passed to
move to the side, and when Ralph went to
join them, she thought he had made a
mistake and asked to see his letter. He had,
in fact, passed the 11+ exam, and went to
the Stationers’ Company School for Boys.
His major interests were football and
cricket, and he continued to be in constant
trouble, leaving at 16 to work at Frederick
Sage, shopfitters, specialising in buying
timber and veneers, eventually gaining
HNC in Business Studies at evening
classes and becoming Purchasing Manager.
Ralph married Stefanya on the 1st of May
1965; having bought a house near
Royston and commuting to London,
Ralph was “headhunted” by one of Sage’s
suppliers and after working in Stourbridge
and living in hotels searching for a new
home for 9 months only meeting up at
week-ends, they moved to The Farm in
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
1971. Villagers apparently commented
“What do those two young people want a
big house like that for?”. Three years later
Grey was born, followed by Abigail in
1977 and Hannah in 1984, so the house
was soon filled.
You may be aware that Ralph better known
at OS as Ben formed part of a famous half
back line on the football field together
with Charlie Cruden and Mike Hasler
that carried the team through various
school years with a great deal of success.
He continued to play football and Cricket
for the Old Boy’s Association, however
this now had to be limited to yearly visits.
Despite working away regularly, Ralph was
always active in village life whether playing
cricket or in more recent years sitting on
the recreation ground committee and
working for the youth club.
Two years after moving to The Farm, he
was out of a job and decided to start his
own business as a Steel Mill’s Agent
finding customers for German and Italian
producers of very specialised steels. This
entailed a lot of travel throughout the UK,
Europe and latterly India, travel was always
something to be relished and enjoyed. His
young German and Italian colleagues, now
some 40 years older, have all said that his
experience and tutoring taught them a
great deal about negotiating and business,
expressing their admiration for his
generosity and honesty.
A wonderful father and grandfather,
savouring all the humour and love that
these roles bring with them. He recently
said that his only regret in life was not
living long enough to see the grandchildren
grow up and flourish.
He and I had wonderful memories of
happy times with old friends at OS
Football Matches and Cricket matches
from the early 60’s until our last visit to
Botany Bay a year ago. I have lost a good
It was sad to hear of the death of Ralph
Batchelor known at School and by his
OSA friends as Ben. Why Ben no one
seems to know. He and I first met a the
School field on our first games trip there.
We were both in the same group of players
from which the year team would be
selected quite how they arrived at that
group I do not know and others would
come and go later. Ben, Charles Cruden
and I formed the half back line from the
1st form through to the 4th form when
Charles was called up to the 1st XI. We
all had a lot in common including
supporting the blue and white half of
Whilst at School Ben often joined me to
go to the West End on a Sunday night to
hear the recording of Hancock's Half
Hour as my father was able to get tickets
and Peter Critten and John Geering often
joined us. Another night we went to the
Adelphi Theatre where a very young
(probably about 18) Shirley Bassey was in
the supporting cast.
When we left School all three of us joined
the OSFC but we were not in the same
teams and so our friendship remained. I
recall that Ben was always good company
when I worked in Sheffield I found that he
often visited the City as his daughter lived
there as well as he did business there
buying and selling steel.
I remember travelling to Ben and Stef's
25th wedding anniversary in Shropshire.
and how well they entertained us.
Finally it was Ben who found me in the
Builders yard in Harringey after we had
been out celebrating the AFA Cup win
with another stalwart of our Ginner Johns
who also sadly passed away in December
Barry McRae died on 8th Oct. 2018 aged
83. He had been suffering from dementia
and had been in a home for 3 years. where
he died from an infection.
Barry was born in Harringay in 1935 and
lived there until he married Sylvia in his
twenties . He then moved to Wood Green
and then Potters Bar. He went to Stationers
school in 1946 having passed the
scholarship (now 11+). Clever and outward
going he was briefly in the academic form
in the 2nd year.
However, he played a great deal of sport,
mainly football, and moved to more
modest forms in later years.
After his "O" levels , aged 16, he joined
Gordons Gin where he worked until he
was 61. He was chief buyer for many years,
one level below board level, and received
many invitations to a variety of functions
including Garden Parties at Buckingham
Palace, Although he received free cases of
gin " for entertainment purposes" he
always preferred beer and whisky to gin.
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
Sport remained important to Barry
throughout his life . He played soccer for
Hendon in a team with current amateur
internationals. In Germany doing his
National Service he played in teams with
full professional internationals . However ,
at Hendon, twice a week training became
too much and he switched to golf.
He was a golf playing member at South
Herts. for 30 years getting down to a single
Finally he had season tickets at Arsenal
and Spurs with the writer for over 20 years
although basically he was a "Gooner".
His other main interest was jazz where he
was an internationally acclaimed writer.
He had 7 books on jazz published and had
a column in Jazz Journal for over 30 years.
This interest took him to New Orleans,
New York and Nice for annual jazz
He was a natural raconteur who could
hold an audience with humorous stories
and monologues although his pure London
accent was not to everybody's taste.
His wife, Sylvia, and daughter, Fiona,
supported him in all his activities and
interests and indeed Sylvia would often
travel with him on his jazz excursions.
Always gregarious and good humoured he
will be missed.
We are sorry to announce the passing of
Richard (‘Dickie’) Rundle on Saturday
17th February at the age of 90. He died
peacefully at St Richard’s Hospital,
Chichester; loving husband of the late
Barbara, cherished father of Nick and
Mandy and devoted grandad to Charlie
Dickie was a true stalwart of the Old
Stationers’ Football Club from the late ‘40s
onwards whether as a player, official or
supporter. He first began his playing career
while still at school (as did many who
followed in his footsteps). Fresh out of
service in the Tank Corps he was a member
of the side that won the Old Boys’ Senior
Cup final in 1949. He was 1st XI captain
for 3 seasons (1951/52 to 1953/54) and led
the side to the club’s first 3rd Division
Senior Southern Amateur League (SAL)
title in 1952/53. This was to mark the
beginning of the club’s climb up the ranks
of the SAL later in the decade. During this
time he was an inspirational skipper and
one who engendered an unrivalled team
spirit. He revelled in the thick Barnet clay
with a style all of his own - according to
folk-law six feet sliding tackles, bullet
headers and a kick like a mule. A centre
forward turned left back!
In an official capacity he served as Hon
Secretary from 1956/57-1960/61; then as
Club President from 1976 to 1994.
As a supporter he was often to be seen
during the later years with his great friend,
Ralph Read, standing on the line at a
variety of venues south of the river (he
lived in Cheam) encouraging mainly the
ones or the twos to redouble their efforts
on the field of play.
Dickie was, moreover, one of life’s great
administrators putting so much back into
the game he loved. He served on the SAL
Committee for many years having joined
in 1960. From 1967 until 1986 he held the
office of Vice-Chairman of the SAL
Committee and in 1987 he was elected
Vice President of the SAL.
In essence, Dickie had joined a select list of
Old Stationers who can truly be held in
near legendary status for their contribution
both on the playing and administration
sides of the football club over a significant
period of time; and for spreading the good
name of the club throughout the Southern
Amateur League and Old Boys’ Cup
Dickie was always the perfect gentleman,
kind and generous to a fault. Friends and
colleagues will recall his infectious
enthusiasm and cheery demeanour. He
was invariably the life and soul of the party,
a raconteur par excellence in particular on
those Saturday nights in the fifties in the
old clubhouse when he was frequently
asked to perform his recitation ‘Harpin’.
Let us hope that he makes “The Golden
OSFC 1952/3 1st X1 Division 3 winners - Dickie Rundle is centre of the front rowrow
Gates Polishing Party” or the “Garden of
Eden Weeding Party” and doesn’t finish up
“Harpin’ on a Wet Cloud”!!
He was also a talented cricketer and
featured in that famous “Ally Pally” postwar
side whose batting strength meant
that Dickie due in at number 5 waited
patiently with his pads on, but often failed
to get a knock. 250 for 2 at teatime was a
common score-line at this time. Later on,
he and Barbara were often part of the
regular gathering of OS year on year in the
same row in the Tavern Stand on the
Friday of a Lords’ test match. To spend the
day there alongside this arch raconteur was
a special treat.
There were many more strings to Dickie’s
bow, in particular his long and distinguished
career as a director with ICI where
doubtless his social skills were much in
demand. It was only when he was clear of
his business responsibilities in the mid ‘90s
that he was at last persuaded to become
president of the OSA in 2000. An honour
It was so sad to read of Dickie Rundle’s
death in the July Magazine.
I got to know Dickie well in the fifties as a
player and a friend. He was always the
perfect gentleman, kind and generous to a
fault. I shall never forget those six foot
sliding tackles in the Barnet mud – he had
a style of his own!
The following quote from Liam
Gallagher’s book on the OSFC says it all.
“Dick Rundle joins a select list of Old
Stationers who can truly be held in near
legendary status for their contribution to
playing and administrating at the club over a
significant period of time, and for spreading
the good name of the club throughout the
Southern Amateur League and Old Boy’s Cup
Dickie was the life and soul of the party on
those Saturday nights in the fifties when
he was frequently asked to perform his
I hope he makes “The Golden Gates
Polishing Party” or the “Garden of Eden
Weeding Party” and doesn’t finish up
“Harpin on a Wet Cloud”!!
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
A Tribute to
by Richard Phillippo at the Carol Service
at Hornsey Parish Church of St Mary’s
with St George on Sunday 9th December
Geraint , Sir, GP, Mr Pritchard , Graff or
Pritch was, as we know, a truly remarkable
He was brought up in a close, Welsh
speaking, family - parents and 2 high
achieving sisters— a much respected
grandfather, minister of the Welsh Lewin
Chapel in the City which Geraint attended,
and an uncle on whose Anglesey farm he
used to work during summer holidays.
His father supplied medical instruments
and Geraint would sometimes accompany
him --- perhaps his love of geography and
travel started here. His family had a great
influence on him throughout his life.
As a boy he was not spectacular at school:
he served Meredith House well in sporting
activities, gained certificates for life saving,
won a Civics Essay prize, and once came
top of his form. He was an excellent
prefect and did very well at Geography
and Latin before moving to Sheffield
University to study Geography.
He was always very interested in what was
going on around him. For example,
although he did not study history at A
level himself, he discovered a few months
before the history exam that part of the
syllabus had been changed. A new topic
was rapidly substituted with the result that
some of us, not me unfortunately, passed
the exam at the first attempt!
Geraint’s most praiseworthy achievements
came after he left school.
After graduating he taught at St Alban’s
Grammar School, then as a geography
teacher joining his former geography
masters Joe Symons and Sam Read at
Stationers’ from 1969 to the time of the
school closure in 1983 ending as Deputy
Head Master. He then moved on to Nower
Hill School in the Borough of Harrow as
Deputy Head. His final post was at
Bethnal Green Technical College where
he did well despite being told by pupils in
his first week that ‘his days were numbered’.
His time as a teacher at Stationers’ was at
probably the most challenging period of
the school’s history ----- movement from
a grammar school to a comprehensive, a
split site and cramped facilities, major
changes in the ethnic mix of the school,
rises and then severe falls in school rolls,
recruitment and industrial relations
problems, the abortive fight to keep the
school open, and maintenance of
educational standards and morale through
all of this. His Head, Robert Baynes,
clearly thought he did a very good job and
in his history of the school praised the way
in which he welded the Geography
Department into a close knit and
supportive group, and complimented him
on the important role he played in trying
to keep the school open including making
a major contribution in the preparation of
the appeal against closure submission to
the Secretary of State for Education.
The Epilogue of this book contains fine
prose written by Geraint where he
describes returning to the school on a
Friday afternoon to watch the physical
dismantling of the school buildings...There
was a sort of grim resistance as the concrete
ball seemed to have little effect at first. The
structure had no wish to be demolished. It felt
it had not completed its task’. Stationers’ was
He was much respected by pupils and
colleagues alike and several pupils,
influenced by him, took degrees and
pursued careers in Geography or Geology.
Many relished the memory of field trips in
North Wales and particularly Mallam,
Yorkshire where a number managed the 3
peaks challenge. This influence continues
and Roger Engledow is currently planning
to take on this challenge himself and is
inviting others intend to join him. In
connection with this and in memory of
Geraint he is also setting up an appeal on
behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Good luck all!
Geraint was extremely interested in people,
of course, and was a great listener. He
tracked down Stationers' old boys and
masters wherever he could find them and
got much pleasure from this, especially
when cream teas were involved! He
T h e O l d S t a t i o n e r - N o 8 8
recruited many people to the Association.
Mostly these approaches were very
welcome but not always. Johnny Gore, a
fierce, formidable Scotsman, had taught
Geraint Latin and after Mr Gore’s
retirement Geraint would ring him from
time to time but finally Mr Gore in his
peremptory manner brought these calls to
an abrupt end saying ‘have you nothing
better to do than chat to an old man’.
He served our Association brilliantly –
firstly in Old Boy football teams ---
perhaps not so brilliantly, then on the
Committee where he made positive
contributions in his usual forthright way,
as President in 1980 and, of course as the
tireless editor of our magazine. As David
Sheath put it in his magazine tribute ‘he
was the glue that bound our Association
together’. He would, of course, want the
Association to continue to thrive.
Geraint was a man of surprises and he
seemed to know so much more about us
than we did about him. Most people
thought he was a confirmed bachelor until
he arrived at a recent President’s Day
cricket match with his long term partner,
the delightful Marj Laundon, a retired
Macmillan Nurse who was such a great
support to him in his last years. His links
with his Chapel were known but few knew
their extent or that he had become an
Elder. The extremely brave way in which
he faced his final illness was also
Last May, 18 Old Stationers attended
Geraint’s funeral service in Anglesey and it
was very fitting that we sang the school
song during the chapel service. It was apt
• his coffin was brought in to Alfie Boe
singing ‘Bring him home’ since Wales was
his spiritual home and
• that Geraint’s coffin left to the music of
‘Streets of London’ since Geraint was a
Londoner as well as a Welshman.
Perhaps Peter Jarvis best described Geraint
when he wrote in his magazine tribute
‘But it was Geraint’s warmth and genuine
interest in people which made him such an
I have just heard from Bob’s wife Piiastiina
that he died of a particularly aggressive
form of lung cancer on the 2nd of August
at home in Oulu in Finland. Anne and I
were hoping to meet them in Newcastle in
October and had no idea that he was ill so
it all happened very quickly.
Bob was head boy when I arrived at
Stationers’ in 1960 and was the mainstay
of the choir and we immediately struck up
a friendship through his love of music and
when he was at Oxford he would always
come to sing for me at Waltham Abbey
when he was home on holiday. Later,
when he first went to teach English in
Finland we lost contact for about 25 years
and it was through Geraint that we began
corresponding again when Bob joined the
OSA. He had had some sort of illness
when he was young and missed a year of
schooling so he was older than his
contemporaries and having stayed on for
an extra year to do the Oxbridge entrance
exams he was certainly in his 20th year
when he left and was in fact only 5 years
younger than I was!
17th July 2018
I emailed you a few months ago to tell you
that my father Henry Douglas (Stationers
1934 - 1940) had moved to the care home
in the retirement village where he lived
(Mayford Grange, Woking). I am now
writing to say that sadly he died on 23
March: I say sadly but he died unexpectedly
in his sleep the night after my brother and
I had taken him out for a good lunch. He
was 93 in February and kept his mind to
the end. So everyone says what a good way
I should also mention the deaths of two
other Old Stationers. My uncle James
Douglas died aged 90 in November 2013
and their great friend C. H. (Hugh)
Lawrence died aged 96 in January.
Although they were different ages, they
became friends over a production of
Hamlet in 1938 which the school put on
at Hornsey Town Hall. Hugh played
Hamlet, James was Horatio and my father
was the second gravedigger. I have a copy
of the programme and a couple of
photographs which were among my
father's papers. I know James was not and
I think Hugh was not a member of the
OSA but Hugh certainly saw some of my
father's copies of the Old Stationer and
liked to reminisce! My father also very
much enjoyed reading the history of the
school which I bought him from Tim
Westbrook a few months ago.
I have just picked up the latest Old
Stationer with the sad news of Geraint
Pritchard's death. I will pass it on to my
friend Jo Leech (nee Kitchin) whose father
Kenneth Kitchin was head boy in the
1930s and whose maternal grandfather Mr
Roberts was the classics teacher. I know
that Geraint went to see her and she was
able to give him her grandfather's papers
and photos. I guess there are very few left
now who were at Stationers in the 1930s!
Sorry to rabbit on but please amend your
records and pass the information on to
anyone else who needs to know.
Very many thanks
Thank you for letting my know about the
death of your father. Always sad news but
most of us would like to go that way. We do
still have one or two members who are in their
90s and may be interested in the news you
have provided regarding other Old Stationers,
although not OSA members, as well as your
I will ensure that the Database is amended
I have just heard about the sad and sudden
death of Peter last weekend. He was in the
same year as myself and Mike Brady who
maintained a friendship with him ever
since we left school.
I lost contact with him but I do know that
he went to Australia to work for P&O and
at one time formed a close friendship with
a close friend of ours and it was actually
that man’s widow who gave me the bad
We have just been notified of the death of
Ernie Stone, school years 1944-49. His
funeral was on Tuesday December 11th.
We don't have any further information at
this time and so close to ging to press but
tributes will be most welcome for the next
Most of you will not remember an article I wrote about 4
years ago about the walking football group that I had set up;
but here’s an update anyway!
In September 2014 a few ex-players (from a variety of clubs)
joined me at the Barnet Power League to play the newest
version of the beautiful game. We used an outdoor 5-a-side
pitch each Thursday morning when-ever we could get 10
players (which was virtually every week – but only just).
Slowly the word spread and RIPwfc (Running Is Prohibited)
came into existence. We started to use a 7-a-side pitch and
then moved to using 2 x 5-a-side pitches as numbers had
grown to 20+. Yes, running is prohibited and still causes
some controversy, particularly for newer players.
I wrote to the Herts FA and London FA as I wasn’t sure
which would be the relevant one for where we play (the
Power League pitches at the junction of the North Circular
Road and Colney Hatch Lane). I received a reply from the
Middlesex FA who have continued to support us.
I have to say that everyone who has tried it has loved it.
However, for some, physical or other issues prevented them
from continuing to play. Too many have picked up injuries
– even niggling little problems take a while to recover from
at “our” age. I am always telling new players that they should
expect to end up hot, sweaty and out of breath just by
walking around a small football pitch. Some didn’t believe
me until they‘d tried it.
We have evolved over the years as the game developed and
now play to non-contact (ie: full frontal tackling only) rules.
This allows a range of ages, sexes & disabilities to enjoy their
game. OK we’ve only had one lady play so far but ages range
from players still in their 50’s to those over 80 (I’m only 3rd
oldest playing at the moment – and all 3 of us used to be
Chartered Accountants!). Teams have played in the Walking
Football United Cup and the FA People’s Cup.
2018 has been an important year for us. We are now a
WALKING FOOTBALL – an Update
formal club with a constitution along the lines of community
sports associations. On one Thursday we exceeded 30
players. This involved 3 pitches with 6 teams playing each
other using 3 pitches. This worked by giving a “captain” in
each team a list of which team they played next and on which
pitch. We have now set up a session on Monday mornings
as well. This often involves the 7-a-side pitch but numbers
are not far short of Thursdays with some playing twice a
week. Quite a few do this anyway by playing at other clubs.
When RIPwfc was formed there wasn’t another place in the
North London area where you could play. Now there is at
least half a dozen.
Old Stationers who have played include Bob Townsend,
Keith Allen, Dave Fuller, Mike Mote, Danny Bone, John
Jackson & Tim Westbrook (with apologies to anyone I have
overlooked). More are welcome though. It must be worth a
visit even if only to watch me scoring goals with my right
foot (Syd Holmes should have explained that to me 60 odd
If you want any more information have a look at our website
The Old Stationers’ Association