Branch Activities


London China Town Dinner

All those present were treated to an excellent meal at the Top of the Town restaurant on the 29th October, 2011, superbly organised by Amy Shang. Dr. Tony Winzor, the school’s former Director of Studies and Head of Science, had very kindly agreed to join the party and it was great to see him. Tony is now the Head at Hunter Hall Preparatory School in Penrith.

Those in attendance were: James Broad (G 99-06), Kenny Choi (SH 05-08), Amy Cook (L 99-06), Anni Ding (L 05-09),
Laurence Gribble (SH 02-09), Oscar He (G 08-10), Donald Jackson (SH 75-80), Alice Johnston (L 00-07), Abby Li (L 09-11),
Bev Li (L 07-10), Jack Li (SH 07-10), Vicky Lin (L06-09), Chris Ma (G 02-09), Dary Ng (SH 05-11), Ar-yan Pan (L 07-09),
Alison Qiu (L 08-11), Amy Shang (L 99-06), Alex Stevenson (L 99-06), Jessica Wu (L 06-09), Arthur Yu (G 07-10),
Vicky Zhang (L 05-09) and representing the school, David Lord (SH 60-65) Sec. St. Beghian Society and Tony Winzor.
Please CLICK HERE to see photographs from David Lord (SH 60-65).


North East Branch Dinner

A very large number of guests - forty-seven - gathered for pre-dinner drinks and conviviality in the impressive lounge of the Northumberland Golf Club. Amongst the first to arrive were the Headmaster and Mrs Capes with Head Boy, John Evans, and Head of Lonsdale House, Kate Ackroyd.

Chairman Mark Cottam led guests into the dining-room and Grace was offered by George Robson.

Other than the VIPs at the ‘top table’, guests were arranged along three tables: those who attended school between 1940 and 1959 on table one, those from 1956 to 1982 on table two and those from 1995 to 2011 on table three.

Following the loyal toast, a toast to the school was proposed by Kate Ackroyd, after which the Headmaster responded. He spoke of a number of positive developments at the school and, with his retirement coming in 2012, said this would be his and also Helen’s last visit to the Branch. He had always looked forward to his visits to the north-east and had been constantly impressed with how well-supported and vibrant the Branch was.
On behalf of Helen and himself the Headmaster presented to Bill Dove a painting executed by Graham Jones entitled Summer at St. Bees School. He said that this was a personal gift given in appreciation of the dedicationBill has given to the Branch over so many years and of the help given to both himself and the school.

Bill responded by saying he was deeply touched and spoke of his life-long devotion to the game of cricket and therefore was delighted that the painting should feature a cricket match in progress with the school buildings and the Priory behind.

Head Boy, John Evans, then spoke with remarkable eloquence and confidence of what St. Bees School means to him and ended by proposing a toast to the Society.

In response, the President of the Society, Anthony Wills, spoke of the honour that he felt on his appointment as President and described the three Branch dinners/get-togethers he had already attended. He stressed how communications between Old St. Beghians and the school needed to be improved and outlined various ideas he had to bring this about. The President then related some amusing reminiscences of his years at school.

The Chairman remarked on the large attendance and specifically welcomed the President of the St. Beghian Society, Anthony Wills, John Heslop, who had travelled from Canada, Michael Hanson from London and Alan Dobson from Chester.
The Chairman was lavish in his praise of Dan Pitchford from Workington, who had once again assembled a large group of youngsters, each of whom had travelled to Newcastle from various destinations for a reunion.

The Chairman also praised Branch Secretary, Bill Dove, who had organised this, his thirty-seventh Branch dinner.

Bill Colbeck, as Chairman of the school’s Development Committee, announced that in September 2012 there would be a special, whole weekend of events for leavers from the 1960s and those from the 2000s. More details would be given in due course, but Bill urged all north-east branch members to make every effort to support St. Beghians’ Day 2012.

The Chairman closed the formal part of the proceedings and encouraged everyone to retire to the lounge for more chat and reminiscing. It was well after 11pm before the last of the guests left the premises. The whole evening had been hugely enjoyable for all present.

Top Table – M.B. Cottam (SH 69-74) Chairman, P.J. Capes (Headmaster), Mrs H. Capes, A.J. Wills (FN 60-64) President of St. Beghian Society, W.E. Dove (FN 57-60) Sec. NE Branch, J. Evans (Head Boy), Miss K. Ackroyd (School Prefect),
D.H. Williams (FN 61-64) Past President.
Table 1 – W.J.M. Heslop (SH 40-45), G.E.R. Heslop (SH 41-43), J.F. Bullock (FN 44-48), I.M. Hanson (FN 46-50),
W.H. Colbeck (FN 49-55), F.O. Messenger (SH 50-55), N.D. Clothier (FN 53-57), A.H. Dobson (G 53-58), J.D.S. Brown (G 53-59), W.M.H. Dix (FN 55-58), C.R. Kennedy (FN 55-59), J.M. Southern (FN 55-59).
Table 2 – C.J. Cummins (G56-62), A.M. Carstairs (FN 57-62), G.C. Robson (FN 57-64), J.M. McBryde (G 58-61),
D.F. Lord (SH 60-65), Mrs F.E. Lord (Retired Staff), G.L. Spencer (G 61-64), A.O. Burn (G 62-65), M.P. Windle (FS 68-71),
Mrs R.V. Lewis (L 77-79), Miss J.C. Colbeck (G 81-82).
Table 3 – D.J. Pitchford (G 95-02), D. Bushby (SH 95-02), P.J. Drysdale (SH 95-02), A.J. Booth (SH 96-03), R.I. Littler (SH 98-05), K.A. Marshall (SH 98-05), J. Pavey-Smith (G 98-05), J.R.A. Woodhouse (SH 99-02), D. Rowlands (SH 99-06),
T. Pavey-Smith (G 01-08), Miss C.L. Capes (L 01-03), Miss R.M. Rowlands (L 01-03), J. Carlill (G 05-08), D. Rhodes (G 04-11),
A. Littler (SH 04-11), R. Carlill (G 05-11).
Please CLICK HERE to see photographs from Don Williams (FN 61-64)
and CLICK HERE to see those from George Robson (FN 57-64)


Scottish Branch Dinner

The Scottish Branch Dinner was held at The Royal Scots Club on Friday 4th November 2011.

A very enjoyable evening was had by everybody. Our President, Anthony Wills, brought us up to date on things happening within the OSB Society and the Head, Philip Capes, gave a round up of school developments. We wish both him and Helen a contented and happy retirement in Exeter.

Those in attendance were: John Bell (FN 55-60), Helen & Philip Capes (Head), Gill & Mike Craig (SH 54-59),
Tony Graham (FN 53-55), Ian Hunter (SH 96-03), Fiona & David Lord (SH 60-65), Tim Mackay (FS 68-73),
Gordon Mathison (F 48-52), Sue & David Parker (G 63-68) and Joanna & Anthony Wills (F 60-64).

It was hoped that next year we might hold the dinner in Glasgow to provide the West Coasters with a nearer venue, albeit their numbers are small. Another option might be to revisit Oban Seil farm once Nick Hunter’s ‘grand design’ is completed!


Yorkshire Branch

We had an excellent lunch at The Boar's Head at Ripley on Sunday, 2nd October, 2011. Nine OSBs and eight wives attended including Anthony Wills and his wife, Joanna. This was the first OSB gathering of his Presidency. We were grateful to the Headmaster, Philip Capes, and his wife Helen for once again coming to our Yorkshire lunch.

Those attending were: Ian Crawford (FS 51-55). George Calvin (GH 47-51), Philip Capes (HM),
Steve Crossley-Smith (SH 47-52), Stan Holmes (SH 45-50), John Johnson (FS 46-50), John Laxton (G 51-56),
Anthony Wills (F 60-64), Bill Yates (FS 54-57), Jim Yates (FS 42-46).



The St. Beghian Society,    St. Bees School,    St. Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS.
         Tel: (01946) 828093