Dear Old Dovorian,
Welcome to the 2017 Newsletter. Most of you will receive this via our website or email. The privileged few will still receive this by “snail mail”. If you know of any ODs who have not received this letter and would like to, please forward a copy to them and ask that they contact us through the school, or email, so that we may keep in contact with them in future. Contact details can be found at the end of this newsletter.
How many of you recognise the picture to the right? And compare that to the picture below. They are both representations of the same building albeit one in watercolour by a famous artist and the other by iPhone from a famous geography teacher! Many of you will be able to guess who the famous geography teacher with the iPhone is, but how many of you recognise the famous artist? If it is of any assistance, this was painted circa 1793 described as the interior of the ruined refectory of St Martin’s Priory, Dover, before the priory became Dover College. The original is housed in the Tate, and to save many of you from turning to Google, it is by Joseph Mallord William Turner. It seemed a fitting time to remind us, since the refectory is currently undergoing some repairs and maintenance, which owing to its listed status means not just more time but more expense! The Old Dovorian Trust has been pleased to assist with this project – the refectory is a building that shares so many differing memories for us all.
Those of you who brave the weather and come to the OD football match this year on Sunday 10 December 2017 will get to see a very different view of the refectory inside with all the scaffolding and cladding. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the end result whenever that opportunity may arise. Last year our ODs put another scratch XI together to beat the Dover College 1st XI 7 -5. However, for the first time in a long time we were able to raise an OD girls hockey team to take on the school. Alas the Dover College girls were too strong for our ODs. Duckworth House should get a mention for providing 4 out of 5 of the returning ODs prepared to brave the cold weather. Thank you Imogen Kelly-Thomas, Morgan Richardson, Cordelia Gaskin, Eldika Corrin and Isobel Armstrong.
Richard Owen (School 1961-66) deserves mentioning for at least two reasons this year. First it is through his kind offices that we get to use the RAF Club in Piccadilly for our annual London party, and secondly, for his golfing prowess. In October this year, the OD Golf Society took on the old boys from Eastbourne and All Hallows. Richard won the day with a stableford points score of 37, and was also awarded the OD Headmaster’s prize. Charlie Scott (St Martins 1962-67) successfully thumped the longest drive of the day. Both gentlemen were well supported by their fellow players of the OD Golf Society. If you are interested in joining this successful team please contact the society captain, Charlie Scott, [email protected].
Last year the boys played hockey in the Lent term. This year saw the return of rugby to replace hockey as the boys sport for Lent. The return of rugby has been received very favourably by the Old Dovorians. To demonstrate our delight, we donated some new rugby balls to the school. John Sinclair (School 1962-67), Chairman of the OD Trust and governor of the school was only too pleased to present the match ball to Tom Butt, Director of Sport. Tom’s wife Charlotte is house mistress of Duckworth and runs the girls’ sports. As ODs we are immensely grateful for their efforts in organising our successful Old Dovorian sports. So how do you think our OD boys performed at rugby? Well to start, RFU rules dictate that we cannot have ODs over the age of 21 playing full contact rugby with under 18s. Yes, I know, in my day the rule was full contact and survival of the fittest/biggest. Now, it is far more scientific with knowledge of the risks of life changing injuries that can result from “crunching” tackles. Therefore, lets play tag rugby sevens!
It will not surprise you to learn that most of our ODs have not played tag rugby before. They then had to handle learning some rules. But worst of all they had to run, run and run more – something that they clearly were not doing on a daily basis. The result was, I suspect, more fun for the Dover College boys than our ODs as they ran the legs of us all with a score that none of the ODs are prepared to confess to me. Lets hope this year, we will find some fitter lads to play touch rugby for the ODs ..
Thank you Aimee Mullan (Duckworth 2006-11), not just for coming along to our committee meeting on board HQS Wellington, but for allowing herself to be put forward for committee membership at the AGM in June this year. Aimee has made two significant differences to our committee. First, she has doubled the number of ladies on our committee in joining us, and second she has significantly lowered the average age of our committee members! I introduced the concept of lowering our average committee member age at a recent committee meeting thinking this would prompt people to look for younger members. It did not have the desired effect as the first idea put forward by a retired soldier was the use of a revolver, although he did not specify on which committee member it was to be used! Thank you Roger Hovell (school 1953-58) for this alternative idea. I am taking the opportunity now to remind people that we are always looking for new members. We meet 3 times a year in London (once at the annual party at the RAF Club) and once more in Dover for the AGM. If you are interested in taking a more active role in shaping the future of the OD Club, please do get in contact with me and we can talk further.
OD Sunday in June coincided with the centenary of the end of First World War. The OD Chapel service reflected on the number of ODs who had given their lives at such a young age during both wars. Chairman, having avoided reading the lesson for the past 7 years or so, took on the mantle with extra large fonts making my eyesight 20/20 once more! And this was to be followed up by a Dover College School visit to Ypres on the Monday, where Dover College would dedicate a plaque in the Cathedral to remember those who gave their lives. Roger Kagan (St Martins 1957-62) joined the trip on behalf of the Old Dovorians and read the lesson during the service on Monday. Roger reminded us that the cathedral of Ypres is the cathedral of St Martin, in common with Dover College.
Rear Admiral Simon Charlier CBE (School 1971-76) presided over our AGM. There was a clear agenda – sort the AGM business so that we could get to Maxton to make the most of the sunshine. The school catering staff also made the most of the weather, putting on lunch, instead of in the refectory, but at Maxton, for all to enjoy. What a fabulous idea! Cricket followed with the assistance of our 3 stalwarts, John Widgery and Rupert Hill umpiring plus Nick Lockhart with his trusted iPad. This year, Nick had additional assistance from an electronic scoreboard, kindly donated by the Old Dovorian Trust.
We welcomed Guy Cloake (School 2009-15) back to play this time for the ODs. Guy demonstrated his cricket prowess 2 years ago when playing for the school amassing an unbeaten 116 not out. Knowing we had a strong team, we batted first and Nathan Inglestone (School 1999-2004) knocked an impressive 69 runs. Along with his 2 catches he won the man of the match award and has 2 tickets to this year’s London party at the RAF Club 19 January 2018. Nathan please contact [email protected] to arrange your tickets. Zac Hassan (Leamington 2001-09) deserves a mention for taking 2 wickets and conceding no runs in his 3 over spell! The final result was that the ODs cored 196 all out and managed to lose 4 cricket balls out of the ground. The school nearly held out for a draw but were eventually bowled out for 98. The ODs have agreed to supply a box of 12 new cricket balls for next season to make up for this.
On a sad note, we said goodbye to Guy Nickalls (St Martins 1944-47) on 6 September this year aged 87. Guy was a true gentleman, a kind man and a good friend of both the Old Dovorian Club, of which he was a past President, and of the School. Until too ill to travel he was to be seen greeting friends outside the school Chapel on OD Sunday each year. He was also very active in the Lodge. His daughters Penelope and Helen Nickalls were the first girls to attend Dover College as boarders. Guy was commissioned into the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and Royal Leicester Regiment in Hong Kong. His career continued with Harrisons and Crossfield Ltd with whom he held managerships in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, Sabah, State of Brunei and Sarawak. Always on hand for the OD Club with help and sound advice Guy helped quietly behind the scenes whenever necessary. His funeral was at St Mary’s Church in Chartham.
Tony and Julia Robin organised yet another successful Cranleigh dinner. This year, the headmaster was accompanied by Tom Butt, Director of Sport. Tom was suitably quizzed about sport and particularly rugby at Dover College. We were also pleased to welcome an OD, who started at Dover College in 1948. Can someone please remind me who this OD was? Could it be David Norman? Apologies David if I am ageing you prematurely. John Widgery deserves a mention for satnav education or to make sure he follows the right car. His 10 minute journey from Cranleigh to the Punch Bowl took over an hour! If you would like to go to next year’s Cranleigh dinner you can contact Tony on [email protected].
The next London party will be Friday 19 January 2018. Recent leavers who are paid up members of the Old Dovorian Club receive one free ticket in the immediate 3 years of leaving. Contact [email protected] for details of free tickets. For the rest of us, tickets are £25 per head if booked before 12 January 2017 www.olddovorians.com. Please do book early to assist us with catering and more importantly champagne arrangements.
We strive to stay in contact with as many of you as possible. Please do send your updated contact details to Lesley, our administrator, [email protected]. Nobody else can or will do this for you! Not least, a thank you to all those not mentioned who have taken part or assisted in the organisation of OD events this past year. And on behalf of our committee, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at a future OD event.
And finally, a little bit of Chairman news, I got married to the lovely Claudette in September in London. A picture was snapped of us leaving the reception to go down to the pub. How many of you have been to the Bag ‘o Nails in Victoria? Despite my title of Treasurer of the OD Trust, it is Claudette, who puts the accounts together for Ray Dias (School 1956-62) to examine.