To mark the centenary of the Battersea Grammar School Old Boys’ Association this history of the OGA has been compiled from references to old grammarian activity in the Battersea Grammar School magazines, from the Old Grammarian magazines and from other documents such as the OGA executive Minute books, various programmes and memorabilia. This material is now archived with the Wandsworth Local History Service in Battersea Library where it is readily available for public inspection. The material is listed elsewhere on this web site.
Representation of the People’s Act. Enfranchisement of the middle classes.
Elementary Education Act. Designed to extend elementary education beyond the scope of the then existing voluntary provision so as to educate future members of said classes.
Privy Council approved the scheme agreed with the Endowed Schools Commissioners for the extension of education within the parish of Battersea by the creation of an upper school in new premises, with the existing Sir Walter St John’s schools being reorganised into an elementary and a middle school.
Sir Walter St John’s Upper School opens 12 April. Renamed Battersea Grammar School shortly afterwards.
Financial problems ameliorated by the sale of part of the play ground to the London & South Western Railway. Evidence of the existence of an Old Grammarians Dramatic Club and a Football Club, in both cases with the then Headmaster W H Bindley as president. (OG June ’89)
Issue number 5 of the ‘The Grammarian, The Journal of Battersea Grammar School’ published, price 2d (by post 2 1/2d). The editor who, whilst welcoming five new members to the list of old boys, asked for more news about them.
No 10 of the Grammarian has a headed section entitled ”Old Boys”. Henry Imman was a magistrate and collector in Burma and F J Evans had graduated from Durham.
The Old Boys’ Association
Following a meeting of old boys on 16 July, the Association is formed for the promotion ”of social intercourse between its members and of athletic exercises”. Football and cricket clubs were provided for. The Headmaster was invited to be President of the Association. The first dinner was held. Writing two years later in the new school magazine the editor notes that the meeting was ”very well attended, but it is to be regretted that many of those present have not yet joined the association”.
The Grammarian was reformatted as the ”Battersea Grammar School Magazine”. Volume I number 1 was published in the Easter term and reports the formation of the OBA together with the OB football club’s first season and various social events, including dances and cigarette concerts. The inaugural Cambridge University letter was from C E Whitehead reading medicine, college not given.
Six months later the magazine reports OB football fixtures against the school and OB’s participation in the school concert. Vol I, no3 reports the school beat the OBs four nil at the OB’s ground in Mitcham on 19 November.
OBs secure a football ground in Magdalen Road.(Vol I, no4)
Boys leaving the school were urged to join the OBA:
”There is now a Football Section (two playing teams) and a Discussion Society……. several Re-unions and Entertainments are provided during the Winter Season. These include three Concerts, two Dances, and an Annual Dinner……… The subscription to the Association is 2s. 6d per annum, and caps are provided for members at 2s. 9d. each.” (Vol II, no1)
Henry G Yates (Queen’s) gains BGS’ first Cambridge soccer Blue. (Vol I, no5)
The school is divided into four houses to encourage ”healthy competition”: Bolingbroke, Spencer, St John’s and Trinity. (Vol II, no 3) (see OG ’96/’97 for the house names’ origins)
The O.G.A.(sic) Swimming Club inaugurated due to reduced entry fees having been secured at Wandsworth Baths.(Vol II, no6)
D Belchamber chosen to play cricket for Surrey against Essex. (Vol II, no7)
The first university letter from an old grammarian at Oxford, L F R Williams reading medicine at University College. (Vol II, no8)
The OBs play the school at both tennis and cricket. (Vol II, no9)
The ”Old Boys’ Doings” section in the school magazine refers to the ”Old Grammarian Association” for the first time. (Vol II, no 13)
The War Years
The Headmaster reports the school roll at 320 was the highest yet. A Roll of Honour lists 94 OGs ”having responded to the call of their King and Country”. (Vol II, no 17)
The first recorded OG fatality, Pte S Rayner, killed 8 May. A letter from the trenches by Lt Jack Vincent (5th Lancashires). 35 OGs added to the Roll of Honour. (Vol II, no 18).
More letters from serving OGs, including one from H J Inman who having returned from Burma was sent to the Dardanelles. Another 42 added to the Roll. (Vol II, no 19)
Many references to the war. 6 more fatalities including B J Polack, house master of Bolingbroke. (Vol II, no 20)
The School Notes record the purchase of Heathfield playing field from the London Welsh Football Club for £4,500. To be shared with Sinjuns [since 1907 Sir Walter St John’s Grammar School for Boys] Need to pay off the mortgage. (Vol III, no5)
The Association Revived
Memorial service on 26 July in St Paul’s Church for Old Boys and Masters who fell in the war – 77 in all. The Hon Sec (E O Austin) records the revival of the OBA after a lapse of five years. A meeting in December attracted over 100. It was agreed to form a boxing club, a dramatic society and a discussion society. The OGs played the School at the Heathfield ground for the first time. OGs win 4 nil. The School grows to 500. Dawnay and Erskine Houses formed. (Vol III, nos6,7 & 8)
The OBs section of the magazine entitled ” Old Grammarians’ Association”. Over 200 on the books. The Annual dinner and AGM held in April. OGs beat the School by 133 runs in the first cricket fixture between the sides.
Capt William (Bill) Spooner (WS) appointed to the Cadet Corps. (Vol III, nos 8 & 9)
E A Fuller takes over as Hon Sec. (Vol III, no12)
Membership of the OGA now 221. The question of whether to join the proposed Federation of Old Boys’ Associations referred to the committee. (Vol IV, no3)
The Headmaster, Henry Ellis, at the annual dinner, ”fully recognised the valuable assistance given by the Old Boys in the matter of the Ground Fund”. (Vol IV, no5)
War Memorial unveiled at the School on 30 October. The ”oldest old boy” O M Walbrook, at school under the first head, talks to the school about life in Australia.
(Vol IV, no7)
George Harding (GH), former captain of school and junior master, rejoins BGS…. ”will do much to strengthen the bond between the School and the OGA”. (Vol IV, no7)
OG colours promulgated…. ” black, white, and red, mingled with old gold”. Available in ties, wool and silk scarves, sweaters and blazers from Lewin and Co, EC4. (Vol IV, no8)
The first Corps camp at Bembridge, IOW. (Vol IV, no9). The custom of inviting the Captain of School to the annual dinner revived. (Vol IV, no10)
WS gives an open invitation to OGs wishing to attend Corps camp.
(Vol IV, no11)
The OGs play two cricket matches….”OGs do not often take to the field, but it is good to know that on occasion they can muster a very useful side”.
(Vol IV, no12)
At Prize Giving in Battersea Town Hall, the Head said that OGs continued to take great interest in the School. In his University Letter, W E Rose, writing from Sidney Sussex refers to the existence of the OGs Cambridge branch. Dates fixed for the annual dinner (first saturday in December), the concert (last week in October) and an annual dance.
(Vol IV, no13)
A Very Good Year
OGs interested in cricket meeting on 11 January agree to form the OGCC. The Head offers the school ground for home games. (Vol IV, no13)
OG AGM told there were 211 active members remaining, after 100 names had been removed from the roll. Revision of the Rules of the Association begins. GH elected Hon Asst Sec and WS nominated as the Head’s representative on the executive committee. The inaugural OGCC AGM held on 21 March. GH elected captain. The first Old Boys’ Day took place on 10 July in conjunction with the first OGCC match against the School. The OGs won by 27 runs. The event attracted over a thousand of the School’s ”supporters” and was a great success due to the efforts of GH and WS.
(Vol IV, no14 & Vol V, no1)
Magazine carries ”personal notes” of a number of OGs. (Vol V, no2)
The Head chairs the OGA AGM. Membership 271. Annual date to be second Saturday in December so that men up at university can attend. One more name to be added to the War Memorial bringing the total to 78. (Vol V, no3)
Burntwood Lane playing fields secured in perpetuity for BGS. OGs contributing ”how to become a …..” articles. The Cambridge branch formalised: 9 OGs ”up”. The Head reports R W Revans won an England vest in athletics. Annual dinner attracted OGs from years 1884 to date. (Vol V, nos4&5)
School Notes record opening of a new club room in Battersea Rise. ”We hope that everyone will keep in mind the view that the OGA is a vital part of the school………”
(Vol V, no7)
Revised rules of the Association agreed at the AGM on 26th May, vis:
1. That this Association be called ”The Old Grammarians’ Association (Battersea Grammar School Old Boys).”
2. That the objectives of the Association be:-
(a) To maintain the interest of its members in the activities of the School.
(b) To promote social intercourse and athletic exercises among its members by means of such sections as may be recommended to a General Meeting of the Association by the Executive Committee hereinafter constituted, and in favour of which not less than two-thirds of the members present at such General Meeting vote.
3. That the colours of the Association be Old Gold, White and Red on a Black ground.
4. etc, etc ………….”
Source: Member’s membership card mid ’30s.
Club room relocated close to the Surrey Tavern. (Vol V, no10).
Annual dance dropped through lack of support. Sections flourishing though. OGA membership around 450.
(Vol V, nos 11 & 12)
Committee decides to run the dinner only, leaving other social events to the sections.
(Vol V, no13)
An anonymous OG donates an art prize. Work on a new pavilion well in hand.
J Clark takes over as Hon Sec. (Vol V, nos14&15)
Dawnay House dissolved and its members distributed to other houses. (Vol VI, no1)
An OG section in the Royal Corps of Signals in London formed, so that OGs joining the TA can keep together. Another OG name comes to light as having died in 1917. Hon Sec deplores another low turnout (37) at the annual dinner. (Vol VI, no2)
WS plea for one or two OGs to help with cooking at Corps camp. The club room proving to be very popular. OGA annual sub 5s or £1 for 5 years. (Vol VI, no8). OGA provides a prize at Speech Day and is part of the platform party. AGM hears of lack of support for social functions. 204 subs paid. (Vol VI, no9) The club room to be open twice a week. Ninth Old Boys’ Day one of the most successful. OG C W A Scott wins England–Australia air race. (Vol VI, no10). Excellent attendance at the dinner (79). Every year from 1883 bar one represented.
(Vol VI, no11)
Site for new school buildings settled. OG architect and OG firm of quantity surveyors.
Executive looking to secure a permanent OGA HQ. 156 attend the annual dinner.
(Vol VI, no12)
School Notes record congratulations to the OGA on the ”vitality and enthusiasm which characterise all its efforts”. Foundation stone laid Abbotswood Road.
(Vol VI, no14)
Last Old Boys’ Day at St. Johns Hill spoilt by rain. Autumn term starts in the new building three days late, but by 2 November all was in working order. School full with 560 boys.
(Vol VII, no1)
A New Beginning
OG G Smith presents School with his father’s collection of minerals and fossils. The various prizes presented by OGs and others including Old Sinjuns listed. Special wicket being prepared for Old Boys Day match. Cambridge OGs attend the Debating Society to adjudicate the award of their rhetoric prize. AGM held in new premises. GH elected Hon Sec. Life memberships agreed. 369 on the roll. A number of OGs visited Corps camp: ”…. every summer we have visits from Old Boys who cannot keep away from the old place. (WS)”. Old Boys’ Day ”great success”. Great interest shown in the new buildings yet ”who can blame those who may have perhaps sighed at the passing of the old”. Dance held in the hall at the end of the day. Thanks all round especially to GH. (Vol VII, nos 3&4)
OGs asked to consider donating items for the museum and library. OG colours now available from Arthur Lee, Streatham Hill. Concern about the lack of interest in the club room. Retirement of E H Wakeley, who made a point of visiting OGs up at Cambridge each Whitsun. Another good Old Boys’ Day–over 500 programmes sold.
(Vol VII, nos5,6&7)
War Once Again
School evacuation scheme complete. OG fund raising for the School’s silver band. No Army equipment available for camp: OGs asked to help fund costs of an alternative supplier. Old Boys’ Day and Corps camp held despite the crisis. School evacuated to Worthing 1 September. OG dinner cancelled. (Vol VII, nos 9 & 10)
An emergency committee formed to deal with OG business with GH and BS operating from Worthing. OGCC suspends play ”for the duration”. The football club loses the use of the Burntwood Lane and the School grounds. The club room lease is suspended. OGs are asked to keep in touch when engaged in any form of national service. Membership ”about” 410. The first OG fatalities are recorded. (Vol VII, nos11&12)
A G Bedford becomes the first OG POW and may receive unlimited mail but only on single sheets. Following the fall of France, the School (400 boys) removes to Hertford at the end of the Autumn Term. R E Robinson selected as the Cambridge goalkeeper in the Varsity match. (Vol VII, no13)
GH writes that the lack of activity has reduced the role of the editor of the OGA section of the School magazine to providing an information service enabling OGs to keep in touch. An Air Training Corps flight attached to Cadet Corps. (Vol VII, no14)
With everything ”off” WS reports that OGA committee meetings simply comprise
occasional discussions with GH in the Hertford common room. (Vol VIII, no1)
Third member of staff killed, F E Bright, of whom WS wrote poignantly that he joined the School as a boy in 1926 and ”never really left”. Was school captain, got a history first at Cambridge. During his time there acted as adjutant at Corps camp, joined the staff 1936. Visited the school at Worthing and Hertford on his leaves. (Vol VIII, no6)
Seven pages listing OGs and staff (Gueroult and Rees) serving with HM Forces.
(Vol VIII, no6)
Henry Ellis, Head since 1918, returned the School to Streatham on 24 April and retired at the end of term. Other notable retirees were Lt Col Carroll, founder of the Corps on the outbreak of the Great War, K J Beaney who set up the ATC, and R H Geare who joined BGS in 1905. H G Hall who had died in February joined the School in 1900. The new year started with a new Head, Walter Langford, and a number of new masters. The Roll of Honour has the names of 62 OGs killed on active service.
(Vol VIII, no7)
Another New Beginning
A Special General Meeting of the OGA was held on 8 December with over 150 present and with the new Head in the chair. An AGM was arranged for the following May and dates agreed for Old Boys’ Day and for dinners in February and December. The actions of the remaining pre-war OGCC committee to restart the club were welcomed although delayed demobilisation and the lack of playing fields were expected to be a worry. Similar problems were envisaged with reviving the Football Club.
(Vol VIII, no7) (OGA Minute book, page 19-24)
The first post-war Old Boys’ Day attracted over a thousand to Abbotswood Road on a fine day to see the traditional cricket match and a gymnastics display, with a concert in the hall to follow. An Orchestral Society is mooted and the Dramatic Society went into rehearsal for a 1947 production. The Head agrees to the Association having access to the School for general activities (chess, cards, TT, etc) on Tuesday evenings. John Hale now editor of the OG section of the magazine. The OGA collects £300 for the School Endowment Fund, Dawnay House is brought back to life and the Corps returns to Bembridge with 3 OGs in attendance on the training staff. (Vol VIII, no8)
At Speech Day the Head announced the inception of a fund for a war memorial to honour OGs who died in the war. Over 100 attended the OG dinner. The cricket and football sections are amalgamated into one club. (Vol VIII, no9)
J A B Cairns succeeds George Harding as OGA Hon Sec. At its AGM the Association expressed its appreciation of the years of work GH had devoted to its welfare, particularly in the difficult war years, when it was mainly due to his efforts that the Association was kept together. A small nucleus is keeping the weekday evenings going.The OG orchestra played in the interval of the OG’s production of the Sport of Kings. At Speech Day the Head pays tribute to the support given by the OGA in the life of the School. (Vol VIII, no9)
The OGA Executive offers to collaborate with the Head on a war memorial.
(OGA Minute book, page 80)
Boys in school numbered 539 in September. The Endowment Fund closed after reaching £2800. Some £40k was required for the purpose envisaged, ie to give the school a measure of independence. Donations were returned. John Hale and other OGs in charge of messing at Corps camp. The ”Old Grammarian” comes into existence – to be distributed free of charge to members. (Vol VIII, no10) ( OGA Minute book, p45)
With advent of the Old Grammarian the school magazine no longer carried detailed information about OG activity. This was good in that a magazine allowed space for OG activity to be described at length and at more frequent intervals than previously, but it did deprive OGs of regular information about school. OGs had to subscribe separately for the school magazine and inevitably very few did or at least not for very long. However the editors of that magazine, now members of the sixth form, did put one page at the disposal of the OG editor, V Gellay. This was used to remind the school of the various clubs and societies run by the OGs, doubtless with an eye to recruitment, and to ask for contributions about school life.
Revised rules of the Association approved at the AGM, on 12 May 1948.
(OGA Minute book, page 101)
The Head floats the idea of a Reunion Day whereby on a certain date OGs send the school a post card of their whereabouts, and sets out the criteria for joining the school so that OGs’ sons may be aware. The Sir Walter St John’s Schools Foundation Governors permit the OGCC Sunday play at Burntwood Lane. (OG Vol 1, no2)
The Schools’ 250th Anniversary Year. The two BGS War Memorials unveiled – with the 77 names from WWI and 81 from WWII. OGs urged to make up the subscription shortfall. (Vol 1, no4)
OG presentation on Old Boys’ Day (20th) to A A Heather, school keeper at St John’s Hill and Abbotswood Road, who retired after 26 years service. With the help of OGs he rebuilt the Burntwood Lane pavilion when he was groundsman there in the ’30s.
(OG Vol 1, nos 4&5)
OGA Golden Jubilee Year
The OGA marked the anniversary by publishing a handbook giving details of the 675 members on the books. AGM agrees to take over the war memorial outstanding debt.
(OG Vol 1 no6)
The AGM agrees to setting up a scheme to assist unemployed OGs to find jobs and to offer advice to the School Careers Department. (OG Vol 1, no7)
OGs together with Strand School help to swell the dwindling numbers at Corps Camp
(Vol IX, no8)
The OG Editor invites the school captain to provide a regular piece about school activities for the magazine. (OG Vol 2, no1)
The club room in the Burntwood Lane pavilion opens. The Head sees it as a step towards providing the OGA with a headquarters. (OG Vol 2, no5)
AGM approves the formation of a Social Section to administer the affairs of club room in accordance with the licensing laws and to facilitate ladies using the club room.
Lady visitors had to be members of some organisation. They could not join the OGA but could use the club house as honorary members of a section. (Minute book page 11)
The Corps and ATC are amalgamated into the BGS CCF and the Bembridge camp is discontinued. (Vol IX, no14)
P B H May, the England Cricket Captain, officially opens the new club room. (OG Vol 2, no7)
A B Wigginton wins BGS’ first Cambridge swimming blue. (Vol IX, no15)
The AGM approves the merger of the Cricket and Football Club with the OGA in order to overcome the difficulties associated with adminstering the club room licence issued by the St Walter St Johns Trust. OGA membership at 736, the highest ever. (OG Vol 3, no1)
The OG clubs dissolved and become sections of the OGA.(Minute book page 111)
The new Golf Society inaugural meeting held at Tyrrels Wood GC.( OG Vol 3, no4)
Syd Turner follows in OGs Freddy Hoare’s and George Harding’s footsteps by joining the School’s Board of Governors.( OG Vol 3, no5)
School numbers reach a record 630 with 40 masters. (Minute book page 6)
The Head outlines the workings of the Schools’ Trust, the policy that co-opted
governors should be Old Boys and the need for additional funds for the benefit of both schools. (OG Vol 4 no2) [Also contains a moving obit of Toffee by Click]
The Head deplores that only 17 OGs out of some 5000 boys who had attended BGS since 1900 had responded to his appeal. (OG Vol 4, no3)
Langford retires and the OGA welcomes J P Cowan as its new President. An OG masonic lodge is proposed. The club room is closed for the winter due to lack of support.
(OG Vol 4, no7)
Syd Turner, chairman of the BGS governors, outlines the implications of the Government’s plans for the reorganisation of secondary education. (OG Vol 5, no2)
Concern expressed at the Executive about what appeared to be the first ever breakdown of communication between the OGA and the School, re the possiblity of holding Old Boys’ Day entirely at Burntwood Lane. (Minute book page 83) At a subsequent discussion the Headmaster pointed out that the school was placed at the disposal of the OGA. WS said the original idea was that OBD was primarily a School function. (Minute book 88)
Charles L’Archer appointed to the Sir Walter St Johns School Trust in place of OG J E K Harrison. Moving the venue of the AGM from the school to the club room did not halt the decline in attendance. After 48 consecutive issues, Vic Allard passes the editor’s pen to M J Bland. (OG Vol 5, no8)
15 attend the AGM – the ”bare minimum for a quorum”. (Minute book page 15)
The new Head, J A Phillips succeeds Jim Cowan as OGA President and Bill Spooner relinquishes the Hon Sec’s job due to ill health. Ken Dobson in response to requests for news from the School provides a piece. (OG Vol 6, no6)
The OG publishes a warning from the Parents’ Association about the future of the School. The Executive Committee official line is to support the PA’s efforts to save BGS. The CCF disbands due to lack of support. (OG Vol 6)
BGS Centenary Year
ILEA gives notice of its intention to establish a mixed county comprehensive school and to cease to maintain BGS and Rosa Bassett school. The OGA joins the Parents’ Association in seeking counsel’s opinion, and in a petition. (Minute book 10 June)
BGS celebrates its Centenary with a ‘Fayre’ jointly organised by the School, PA and OGA, the latter’s contribution being the beer tent. Support disappointing save for those participating in the events. OG criticisms that the day compared badly with the 1950 celebrations and that Old Boys’ Day was allowed to lapse. (OG Vol 7, no3)
The careers master thanks the OGs for providing jobs information. (OG Vol 7, no2)
Don Clarke takes over as Hon Sec.
Old Boys’ Day at the School as usual except the six-a-side football transferred to Burntwood Lane. (OBD programme)
Old Boys’ Day is celebrated at Abbotswood Road for the last time and Battersea Grammar School is closed. The Head hopes that co-operation between the new school and the OGs will continue to ”take the positive and tangible forms which it has done in the past”.
(OG Vol 7, no 6)
A New Era
The Old Grammarian carries the subsidiary title : ”A magazine for Old Boys of Battersea Grammar School, Old Girls of Rosa Bassett Grammar School, Ex-Pupils of Furzedown Secondary School”. (OG Vol 7, no 7)
The AGM (with the President in the chair) agrees that the OGA should amalgamate with the Rosa Bassett School Old Girls’ Association to form an association with a revised constitution and rules, but retaining the OGA name. A Rosa Bassett Section is formed.The OGA agrees a new 14 year lease with the Sir Walter St John’s Schools Trust and the Inner London Education Authority for the continued use of the Burntwood Lane sports field and pavilion, and negotiates its occasional use of the old BGS cricket field with the ILEA. (Minute book).
The Annual Dinner is cancelled due to lack of support. (OG Vol 7, no8)
The Dinner Dance had the ” highest attendance” since the event was first held in 1947.
At Walter Langford’s suggestion ”Ex-pupils” was changed to ”Former Pupils”
on the magazine cover. (OG Vol 8, nos2&3)
OGA to continue to present annual commemorative shields to the Head Girl and Boy.
(Minute book, April)
The OGs win the AFA Senior Cup. Syd Turner retires after 23 years as OGA chairman. (OG Vol 8, nos 4&5)
Furzedown Summer Fair and Old Grammarians Day held in June at Welham Road with an evening function at Burntwood Lane. Photographic display cancelled as only BGS material available. (Minute book, July)
Concern about falling membership even with the addition of the RB OGA. Need to get across to the new school’s management that the OGA exists not only for its members but for the betterment of the school as well. The latest set of rules enclosed as a centre-fold. (OG Vol 8, nos 6&7)
A strongly worded report from the Executive Committee reflected concern about the lack of liason between it and some sections. A Ground Committee is formed to examine improvements to the Burntwood Lane facilities and the OGA’s tenure, and the availability of an alternative location. M McIntyre elected OG editor in place of M Bland with 12 years and 24 issues to his credit. Tom Marshall’s retirement as Headmaster’s Representative on the Executive. (OG Vol 8, nos 8&9)
The OGs win the AFA Senior Cup for a second time.
Concern about the OGA’s position at Burntwood Lane in view of the impending
demise of Sinjuns School. (OG December ’83)
AGM hears a favourable report about the School from its President, although boys’ cricket was dwindling. The RB Section disbanded having been dormant for 2 years.
(Minute book May)
Geoff Dolamore, Head Teacher’s Representative on the Executive, moves from the School and is not replaced. (OG June ’85)
OGA Reunion Dinner attended by 75 including the OGA President.
(OG December ’85)
Membership stands at 188 ordinary and 73 other members. (OG June ’86)
Despite sending application forms to all school leavers and having the leavers disco at the clubroom, only 8 new members join. (Minute book May)
The cricket club celebrates its 60th aniversary with a number of features in the OG.
The OGs beat the School on Old Grammarians’ Day 29 June. (OG December ’86)
Reunion Dinner held in the Houses of Parliament, courtesy of OG Gerry Bowden MP.
The OGA rules are revised as new members had not been joining via the traditional route from the school. ”Active” members’ subscriptions to be collected in bulk from the sections, those then current being the Cricket, Dramatic, Football, Golf and Social Sections. Each section to be represented on the Executive Committee and the number of ordinary members consequently reduced to three. The Head Teacher of the School (re-named Graveney) to continue to be the ex-officio President of the Association. Past pupils of Ensham Secondary School also entitled to join the Association.
(OGs June & December ’87)
Role of the OGA Executive described at the AGM as being:
To co-ordinate the activities of the sections.
To supervise the operation and maintenance of the club room and bar.
To deal with the Trust and ILEA on matters re Burntwood Lane.
To oversee general functions eg dinners, dances etc.
To provide magazines of interest to all members. (Minute book May).
ILEA challenge the OGA’s ”former pupils” status, ie the free use of school facilities on the basis of mutual benefit to both organisations. OGA discusses with the School ways in which it could help, eg work shadowing, co-operation with the careers department, sports coaching and restoration of the annual cricket and football matches, co-operation with the PTA. (OG December ’88)
115 members attend the reunion dinner at the RAC club. The President speaks of the advantages to be gained from closer contact with the School, especially when it came under Wandsworth Borough Council’s control. (OG December ’88)
John Phillips, BGS’ last Headmaster leaves Graveney.
Death of Charles L’Archer, and the decision to purchase a new clock for the pavilion tower in his memory. (Minute book March)
Gerry Bowden MP hosts a second reunion dinner in the House of Commons’ Members’ Dining Room. A Social Club Adminstrator appointed to run the club house. Old Boys Day revived at Burntwood Lane – turnout disappointing.
(OG June ’90)
A scheme for the re-constitution of The Sir Walter St John’s Schools Trust as
The Sir Walter St John’s Educational Charity published by the Charities Commission.
(OG December ’91)
152 members attend the reunion dinner in the empty old school premises in
Abbotswood Road. (OG December ’92)
Rosa Bassett OGs hold a reunion which prompts hopes that the section might be revived. The Executive’s chairman warns that the general apathy about OG affairs is sapping the resolve of the devoted few who were keeping the Association afloat.
A second letter to the School seeking to renew contact goes unanswered.
(OG June ’93)
The Executive decides on an annual edition of the OG. (OG 1996/7)
This edition reports the death of Walter Langford the previous year and the successful reunion dinner at BGS, courtesy of Streatham Hill and Clapham High School, now using the site for their upper school. (OG 1997/8)
A Rearrangment of Affairs
The Trinity Fields Trust came into being in 1997. A crucial argument in establishing the Trust was that, whilst providing for the OGA and Old Sinjuns cricket and football clubs’ tenure at Burntwood Lane until at least 2021, it would be necessary for them to demonstrate that they were contributing to the sporting needs of people under the age of 25 residing in Lambeth and Putney. As neither the OGA (nor Old Sinjuns) qualified as beneficiaries under the provisions of the Trust, the OGA constitution had to be amended so as to allow the clubs to deal directly with the Trust.The OG AGM therefore agreed that the clubs, and for convenience the Dramatic and Golfing Societies, should have an affiliated status with the OGA. It was agreed also that any reference to maintaining a continuing interest in the School should be removed from the OGA’s objectives. That meant the OGA became responsible solely for social functions, looking after the interests of the ”non-active” members and the publication of the OG. (OG 1998/99)
The new Old Grammarians’ Sports Club set up, it being responsible for the Clubroom in the Burntwood Lane Pavilion with the Trinity Fields Trust having the responsibility for the ground floor. 120 members and guests attended the Millennium dinner at Abbotswood Road, which coincided with the 300th aniversary of the foundation of the St Walter St John’s Schools Trust. (OG 2000/01)
Buffet Lunch held in the clubroom on 28 July.
As part of the centenary celebrations the Executive agrees to archive BGS and OG records and memorabilia thus safeguarding the material for posterity.
12 March 2002