No. 203

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  July 2023


OSB Day Priory Walk and Talk

After twelve months in the planning, the Priory and Community Garden event on the Saturday afternoon took place with twenty-five participants.

OSBs and partners gathered in the Quadrangle where retired physics master at the school and leading resident of the village, Chris Robson (M 68-04), gave a fascinating fifteen minutes talk on the early days of the school and the village. He described the series of happenings that brought about not only the opening of the school in the 1580s, but subsequent events such as the coal scandal and the advent of the railway that led to the development of the village and its notable Theological College.
OSB Day Walk

The group then crossed over the road and through the Priory's lychgate to turn right to pay respects at the village's World War 1 and 2 memorial to the fallen; then onwards to view the area where plaques are laid to mark the burial of ashes.

OSB Day Walk

At both the war memorial and at the sites of the
graves of the following, single red roses were laid:
Dinah Haile (who ran a tuck shop next to Grindal
for many years),
Tony Cotes (M 59-90),
Rev'd Geoffrey Moule (Chaplain) and
Bill Fox (FN 35-40/Bursar 60-80).

The party then moved towards the Priory entrance, pausing at the grave of a student of the Theological College, Sharm Oates, who died suddenly in 1865 and whose headstone displays a deal of information about him and of his family. He too was given a red rose in respect.
Moving into the Priory the group sat in the front pews where Chris Robson had set up a projector and screen to give a riveting twenty minute illustrated talk on the celebrated ‘St Bees Man’.

At the conclusion of this Chris introduced the Priory organist, Frank Bowler, who performed two pieces (Blue Sleeves, by Malcolm Archer and Power of Life, by Mons Leidven Takle) that showed the famous 1899 Father Willis organ at its finest. The second piece had the whole building shaking!
OSB Day Walk
OSB Day Walk
OSB Day Walk
We then moved off to visit the graves of other school-related people:
Thomas (M 41-70) and Mary Brown,
David (M 52-91) and Jean Lyall,
Sam (M 48-75) and Margaret Parkinson and
May Dodds, who served as assistant matron on Foundation for forty-seven years and amongst much else enforced the blackout regulations during the war years.

Red roses were laid here too.
Passing through a gate we moved into the little known Community Garden which was brought about in appreciation of the hospitality Mill Hill School received during the years it was evacuated to the village.

One particular feature of the garden is what is known as the Monks' Laver. This is a circular well, centuries old, still emitting water of the purest quality.

Wending our way back to school via the Dandy Walk, it was agreed by all that the Walk and Talk had been a delightful and enjoyable experience.
OSB Day Walk

Credit should be given to George Robson (FN 57-64) for devising and planning the event and to Chris Robson, whose knowledge and enthusiasm were self evident.

All the photos of the Walk and Talk may be seen here.




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

Tel: (01946) 828093     
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