Dear Old Williamsonians and friends,
I am delighted to be able to report that there is a glimmer of hope that the Annual Dinner will be able to go ahead.
I have been in contact with the St. George Hotel today; they have managed to weather the lockdown and are still fully in business.
Their operations manager is confident that restrictions will be eased before the end of November, although this is only his opinion which may not be endorsed by Boris! Nevertheless, I am going to continue to plan, cautiously, and we will gradually accelerate preparations once the way ahead is clearer.
I am hoping that as this is the only OW event which will (may?) take place in 2020, it will be the best supported Annual Dinner ever. None of us can predict what restrictions might be in place in November, but the ballroom where the Dinner is held has a capacity of 300 in normal circumstances.
If you decide to take the plunge and reserve places for the Dinner, in the event of cancellation you will receive a 100% refund.
Hopefully, the more devout among us will offer up an appropriate prayer; it would be wonderful to head towards the end of a very trying year on a high note.
SEE BELOW FOR ORIGINAL NOTICE
JANICE MARGARET LENTON
It is with much regret that we have received the sad news of the death of Janice Lenton. The Club sends their sincere condolences to her family. The following was forwarded to su by one of her sons, Simon:
The Lenton family is saddened to inform you that Janice Margaret Lenton, née Woods, passed away in her sleep on the morning of Sunday 28th June 2020 at Lent Rise House, Burnham, Buckinghamshire, where she had been living for the last five years. Janice was born on the 6th of August 1933, in Sevenoaks, Kent, and leaves her four sons, Jonathan, Simon, Andrew and Matthew, all of whom are Old Williamsonians. Their father is John Lenton a past Chairman of the club, who died in 2010.
Janice has her own long association with the Math School, where she worked as a school administrator for over twenty years, having herself attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls.
BRIAN WILLIAM RUDD
We have received the sad news of the passing of Brian. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends. We received the following from his son, Mark:
Brian Rudd, 88, died Sunday 24th May 2020 at Medway Maritime Hospital following a long illness.
He leaves his sons Mark and Paul, his sister Rosemary, brother Ian their partners, his nieces, nephews and his many close friends.
Born and raised in Baker Street Rochester, the son of William (Bill) and Rosemary (Rose), he was a lifelong resident or the Medway Towns and a proud Man of Kent.
Brian grew up in Rochester and lived through the Second World War. After the Battle of Britain, Brian was evacuated to Worcester to live with friends of his father Violet and George and their son Phillip (Phil). Brian remained friends with Phil and his wife Ethel until his death.
Brain attended Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School and was an active member of the Old Williamsonian Club (Old Willies).
Whilst at school Brian earned his sporting colours (a blue) in football, cricket and hockey. He continued to play football and cricket after he left school for club teams. He continued playing cricket into his 50’s.
He met his wife, Jean (Costen) in the fifties and they married in 1958. Jean passed away at a very young age in 1983.
When Brian left school, he joined the RAF, this was his dream, unfortunately his tenure in the RAF did not last as long as he would have liked, he was diagnosed with inner ear medical issue which grounded him.
Brian then worked in insurance for the rest of his life. He started at Union Insurance in Rochester. Over his career Brian also worked in Maidstone, Croydon and his last position at Lloyd’s of London based in Chatham. He took early retirement from Lloyds of London in his late fifties and enjoyed many years of retirement.
Brian loved to watch cricket and was a long-time supporter of Kent County Cricket Club. A member of Kent County Cricket Supporters Club, he joined in 1977 (as Member No.38), was elected to the committee in 1987 and was Chairman from 1993 to 2000. He was asked by the committee to become President in 2010 and served for five years.
Brian and his wife Jean took up amateur dramatics in the 1950’s, they both acted in plays and musicals with the Irene Weller Players up until the mid 1970’s. Jean was an accomplished singer and was part of a female trio who even appeared on TV singing.
Brian had a passion for clothes and was a bit of a dandy. He also enjoyed music, particularly jazz, classical and opera. He used to love going to the Eagle Tavern in Rochester on Sundays to watch live jazz organised by his friend John Emmett (John E. Jazz). Brian was also an avid collector of books, particularly military history. He loved comedy, The Goons, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, Spike Milligan, The Two Ronnie’s, Porridge and more recently The League of Gentleman.
A funeral service will be held on 15th June at Medway Crematorium.
Alan R Hall (11/4/1927 to 16/5/2020)
Alan was a past Headmaster of the School from 1971 till 1989.
"Alan was born and raised in Wolverton where he attended school. He was an excellent student. At the age of seventeen he gained a place in London to study Physics. Science and its applications remained an abiding interest in his life. He was a keen member of the Association for Science Education, which he later chaired. He influenced many people to study science including myself. He was always fascinated by the latest technology and learnt a great deal about IT after he retired.
Alan graduated just after WW2 ended and undertook his National Service teaching at Hackney Downs School. There he discovered his love of teaching and started in the profession he followed all his working life. After five years at Hackney Downs he moved to St Dunstan’s College in Catford where he was promoted several times. His final post was as Headmaster at Sir Joseph William’s Mathematical School in Rochester. He took up the post in September 1971 and enjoyed his time there until he retired in 1989. He remained interested in the progress of past pupils and the development of the school he had led for so many years until his death.
While at Kings College London Alan met his future wife Pamela. They settled in Beckenham (South London) where together they raised their family of four daughters: Jane, Penny, Sarah, and Cathy. He always maintained that the four girls at home balanced out all the boys he taught! Their marriage lasted forty-five years until Pamela died. He is survived by all four daughters.
At home Alan was a talented pianist and enjoyed a wide range of music. He also loved gardening and grew most of the vegetables and soft fruit that the family ate. In this he was ahead of the current trend for self-sufficiency. In his last garden he planted a camomile lawn and grew a wide range of flowers. Alan was a very sociable person and an excellent raconteur. He could tell a good story and hold an audience. At conferences he could always be found in the centre of a circle of people.
Alan believed in contributing to his local community. He was a committed member of the Rochester Rotary Club and had been a steward at Rochester Cathedral. In retirement he was a keen member of Headrest, an association for retired headteachers, and enjoyed many holidays and social occasions with his close friend Marilyn.
Alan was a highly ethical person and was always positive about the future. He believed in looking forward and not dwelling on the past. He continued to look forward to new experiences until recently. He still enjoyed solving crossword puzzles which he learnt to complete online. He will be sadly missed by all those whose lives he touched.
The Club send their sincere condolences to his family and friends.
THE OWC ANNUAL DINNER IS STILL ON...see above for latest (27/07/20)
The 119th Old Williamsonian Annual Club Dinner
Saturday 21st November 2020
I hope this amount of notice will avoid any potential clash with your hectic social diaries.
I attach the formal notice, part of which is the booking form.
Your Committee has decided to maintain the price at £30 per head for the eighth successive year. We are maintaining a format very similar to last year except we have one menu suitable for all as there is an alternative vegetarian/vegan main course.
If you pay for your place(s) by transferring funds direct to the Club’s bank account (details in the notice) it makes life an awful lot easier.
I very much hope you will continue to support the Club and make this a record breaking attendance; I am reliably informed (by the President) that we are one of the very few former pupil organisations who still manage to hold an Annual Dinner and this will be our 119th, a pretty remarkable record. However, it will only “flourish and always appear” with your support.
As ever, it greatly assists the planning and organisation if you book and pay for your places as early as possible or alternatively, let me know that you will not be coming along so I do not trouble you with reminders.
For the sake of the record, I need to advise you that the closing date for applications is Friday 13th November 2020 although I hope you will have booked long before then!
With kind regards
OLD WILLIAMSONIAN CLUB
21 Ashdene Crescent, Ash, Surrey GU12 6TA
T: 01252 504459 M: 07500 660969 E:
20th February 2020
Dear Old Williamsonians and friends,
The 119th Old Williamsonian Club Annual Dinner
Although there were some issues with the food at the Annual Dinner last year, the new hotel management have given categorical assurances that this will not happen again and, in any event, most people were of the view that it did not really detract from their enjoyment of a great evening.
6:45 for 7:30 on Saturday 21st November 2020.
Please note start time and that free champagne (well, it’s prosecco really!) will be available from that time.
The Ballroom at the St. George Hotel, Chatham (full address shown later in this notice); this will allow an attendance of up to 300. Last year we had close to 150 in attendance and I hope this year we will break the magic 200 barrier! Dress code is formal, with black tie preferred for the gentlemen and posh frocks for the ladies.
As usual, formalities will be kept to an absolute minimum thus maximising the time for conversing with old friends as well as making new friends.
Your Committee have decided to keep the cost to £30 per person for the eighth successive year.
For simplicity this year we have chosen a menu which, apart from the main course, is suitable for all. Obviously, we will make appropriate arrangements for coeliacs or diabetics although you will need to indicate this requirement on your booking form as well as indicating if you require the vegetarian/vegan main course option.
Turmeric roasted cauliflower soup
Slow braised beef in Kentish ale
Sautéed new potatoes
Chargrilled butternut squash & aubergine stacks
Black bean salsa
Fresh fruit cocktail with Mediterranean lemon sorbet
Cheese & biscuits
Coffee & mints
It was great last year to see so many new faces, especially as a lot of them were from the new generation of Old Williamsonians. Let’s hope that in 2020 there are even more young people there, as well as the stalwarts.
If you wish to attend, please complete the form below and send it to me as soon as possible.Payment is required with booking.
If you are unable/do not wish to attend, please let me know and I will bother you no more.
If you wish to arrange overnight accommodation please contact the hotel direct; contact details are at the end of this notice.
This is the only event in the whole calendar which is truly open to every Old Williamsonian (and their guests, of course) and having had bags of notice, I hope you will do your utmost to support the Annual Dinner in 2020
Hotel contact details:-
St. George Hotel
7-8 New Road Avenue
Kent ME4 6BB
Telephone 01634 841012
Please reserve me ______ seats for the 2020 Dinner for the guests listed below. I enclose my cheque in the sum of £________ made payable to the Old Williamsonian Club. I have transferred the sum of £______ to the OW account. (Delete as appropriate).
My name ______________________ My email address_________________________
Names of attendees
Please indicate if any of your party wishes to have the vegetarian/vegan main course or if they have any other special dietary requirements.
THE VETERANS' LUNCHEON HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL LATER IN THE YEAR
The 37th Old Williamsonian Club Annual Veterans’ Luncheon 2020
Dear Old Williamsonians and friends,
I am sure that this announcement will not come as a surprise to anybody.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that the Veterans’ Lunch planned for Wednesday 15th April 2020 has to be postponed sine die.
I say “postponed” advisedly; it has not been cancelled but merely deferred until we are free of the grip of this accursed coronavirus.
The School is now closed and will be indefinitely, and in my view there is no point in re-organising the lunch until we know for sure that sanctions have been lifted and that may well be not until much later in the year. However, as far as is humanly possible, we shall have the same event, same menu etc., but just not for a while yet. The easiest outcome from the Club’s perspective is if you agree that we may hold on to the money you have already paid which will ensure your place at the new event; if that date does not suit you for whatever reason, obviously you will be refunded. This will avoid us having to repay all attendees and you having to pay again when the new date is known. However, if you feel you would like to be reimbursed now, let me know and I will arrange it.
I am deeply sorry it has come to this but we really do not have any other option.
Finally, I hope you all stay safe through these difficult times and I look forward to welcoming you all to the postponed Lunch some time later this year.
Chairman, Old Williamsonian Club
UPDATE - THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
OWHC 75th Annual Dinner
First and foremost, thanks for all your support to date ahead of the 75th Dinner. We have had a record number of people sign up and pay for what was looking to be a great celebration of the club’s 75th season.
Unfortunately, we can’t ignore the real world – the Corona virus is disrupting so much: people’s work, health, hockey and social lives. With everything that’s going on, and following government advice, we are going to have to postpone the dinner until a time when everything has calmed down.
Our plans are as follows… If we are able to, we will look to put on a Club Day at the earliest available date at the school once this storm has passed. It is our intention to present the club awards then.
More importantly, we are looking to secure a date in April 2021 for the re-arranged dinner and will confirm once we have a new date locked down. Depending on the Corona situation, we may have a date for you in weeks – but regrettably it’s more likely to be months away. For those who have paid already for the dinner, we plan to hold onto your money until the new date has been confirmed. If at that point, you’d like to be refunded (because you can’t make the date) we will of course refund you the price of your ticket in full. If, however, you’d prefer a full refund - please send through your bank details (sort code, account number, name of account holder) and we will get your money sent back to you asap.
Thanks very much again for your support so far. It’s fair to say we could absolutely not have got as far as we did without the support of our sponsors – Cooling Castle Barn and the team at DGB. Cancelling the dinner has been absolutely gut-wrenching but we are confident that the re-arranged dinner will be even bigger and better as we all seek to make up for lost time in the company of great friends and Old Williamsonians!
All the best, please get in touch using the usual email – firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The OWHC Committee