No. 203

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  July 2023


From Our President,

Carter Croft (FN 60-65)

I can not believe that my first year in office has gone by already. It has been a pleasure to act on your behalf, and I hope that you will not be disappointed in the progress that has been made.

It has been a privilege to work with Pam Rumney, Tony Reeve, David Lord and the Headmaster, who have guided me through the protocol.

My year started with the London Social run by Nicola Metcalfe. I unfortunately could not attend as I was away on my honeymoon, but it is the format that I think we probably will have to agree is the way the Society will have to consider in the future. From what I gather, it appears to have been another success, so thank you Nicola.

I then attended the North East section Dinner held at The Northumberland Golf Club, Newcastle, and here I must acknowledge and thank Bill Dove, who has served this section so faithfully for many years. It was a great evening; the Headmaster outlined the future of the school, including the encouraging news that pupil numbers continue to rise. For me it was great to see faces that I had not seen for far too long. Next year the event will take the form of a luncheon, so it will be another test as to future formats for social events.

Then after Christmas we all looked forward to Darryl Davies’s Armathwaite special. Considering the previous Dinner was in July 2022, the numbers for a February 2023 function were very impressive, and it was a real tonic to see an all-female OSB table. Well done Darryl it was a fabulous evening, which included a most encouraging review from the Headmaster.

There have been a few cancellations of section Dinners, and this lends point to the fact that, in these difficult economic times, we must experiment with various formats and venues in the future to find a way forward which attracts more members.

Sadly, we have had to cancel a Dinner that was to be held on the evening of OSB Day itself. For me this has been a big disappointment after arranging what I felt was an impressive array of distinguished OSBs who had achieved very successful careers. I wish to thank those who were to give their time, Dacre Watson, Clive Milburn, Graeme Bagnall, and Simon Curry, both at the Dinner and also in meeting pupils who might have been thinking of civil or military aviation careers.

On a more positive note, Stephen Downham, John Croasdale, David Ward and Anthony Taylor met in Newby Bridge to discuss the possibility of an informal social at the Grange Hotel. Eventually we fixed on the 1st September, and so far we have forty acceptances - an encouraging achievement. We have arranged a good price for those who want accommodation, also sandwiches and soup and a roll for £10 per head, payable on the night, plus a pay bar. Thank you to all those who will be supporting the function, and to any other OSBs, please join us if you can.

I should also like to send special thanks to John Braithwaite, who is working on OSBs in Cambridge, having already set the ball rolling by organising an informal gathering there. Well done, John, I look forward to being able to attend a section Dinner there in the near future.

The increase in pupil numbers at the school is very encouraging, also the recommencement of rugby football. Now that I have retired as a rugby coach, I have donated some of my coaching equipment to the school. I also intend to discuss with the Headmaster the possibility of holding a seven a side competition at St Bees with a view to attracting schools from throughout Cumbria.

We have a great deal to work on in 2023/4.

Carter Croft (FN 60-65).




The St Beghian Society    
St Bees School,    St Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS

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