The Old Sulians’ Association exists to provide contact between the former pupils and staff of the Bath Secondary Boys’ School, the City of Bath School for Boys, the City of Bath Boys’ School, and Beechen Cliff School.
We were quorate. The rule changes all went through. Tony Buss was elected as President for another year. All the other officers remain the same except your scribe, who has stood down from organising the dinner. Tony Buss will take on that task although I may well receive the ticket money to save the Treasurer having to take a day off to go to the Bank! He did report a modest surplus on the year of £44.
We are going back to School on Friday the 24th October 2014! After last year’s success we hope to build on our experience to make it even better this year. Full details as usual in September but pencil in the date.
President Tony Buss had his e-mails hacked just after sending a recent message about forthcoming coach trips. He has lost his entire address book and all past messages. Fortunately the places for Buckingham Palace were filled very quickly but he sends his apologies to those who didn’t get a seat this time, and to any who did not get a reply from him. With no records he doesn’t know who you were. We will try for another allocation next year. The moral: if you have a yahoo e-mail address pay very great attention to internet security, and make sure you back-up your data and contacts.
Peter (Pebble) Beach and his Yorkshire lass Pauline, of whom songs have been written, celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary recently. Both are life-long supporters of the Association and the Rugby Club. We send our warmest congratulations. I wonder if Pebble washed his own rugby kit?
Trustee Neil Blake at the ripe old age of 27 and quite a bit, obtained his Degree in Early Learning from Worcester University after several years of OU study.
Roger Bannister – 4 Minute Mile Anniversary
Thanks to those of you who sent me memories, I passed all these to School. As you will see from the headmaster’s letter, an in-school celebration is planned.
May 14th – Quarryman’s Arms, Box
June 11th – New Inn, Farnboro’
July 9th – The Stag, Hinton Charterhouse
Still the second Wednesday of the month, meet around Noon, phone the Hon Sec with any queries. It’s very informal, treat your lady or bring a friend, find a table and pay your own bill.
Robert’s Ramble/Walking Treasure Hunt
Thursday July 24th 2014
Once again Robert Hill and his crew will be doing their bit for marital harmony and lasting friendships by guiding us gently around parts of the City that have always been there but you will have never noticed!
Start between 6 and 7pm at a bench close to the entrance to the Pump Room in the Abbey Churchyard. They have to try and ‘bag’ one that is not in use as Roy Aust can no longer tell people to “Move along there”! Teams of up to 4 persons and a modest charge per head. Last year’s hunt was well attended and it helps if they know how many clue sheets to prepare so please drop an e-mail to Robert about your team at: raehill81(AT)aol.com. (replace the (AT) with the usual symbol), or give me a ring and I’ll pass it on. There’s always time for a pint on the way. Some have been known to stop for burgers and chips but it’s not compulsory and will never replace food. The finish line will be not far from the old Convent, but don’t say I told you.
‘49’ers at it again!
Alan Blake Reports: Last year the 49ers met up at school, originally to celebrate the visit by Derek Swift from Australia. He changed his mind and he got himself married instead. The rest of us met up anyway and together with our wives enjoyed a fabulous lunch at school. Now Derek and wife Lannie are visiting Europe in September and coming to the Bath area in October, so yet another 49ers do is in the offing. This time we are meeting for lunch at Cameley Lodge in Temple Cloud [post code BS39 5AH] at least that is the plan. Again wives are included in the party and with about 18 guys agreeing to come we should number over 30. Keep watching this space. Contact Alan on 01761 471088 or alan.blakeofgreyfield(AT)talktalk.net. for more details.
Sadly I have to tell you that W W (Bill) Hanna (1951) died on the 11th April. I always remember Bill as a real gentleman. Always a smile, a story, a chuckle. As well as a former President like his brother ‘Buster’, Bill was, for a while, a Governor at School; very involved with the old boys of the Somerset Light Infantry and of course a regular supporter of Association events. He had had a few health problems but a recent diagnosis came up with something a bit more serious and he passed away a short time later. I understand the service at Haycombe Chapel was packed with friends and colleagues. A number of us were unfortunately away but messages of condolence have been sent.
Also, regrettably missed from the last news, was the passing of Ray Morison (1946) just before Christmas. Ray was another former President, Sulian event supporter and, I believe, a Bath Vet.
It’s not been a good year and we send our condolences to both families.
And finally, no pictures this time, too many words! Terry Light and his crew have started work on revising ‘Basement to Beechen Cliff’, watch this space. The next news and dinner details will be in September. Any news to me please, address at the end.
Terry Light has continued to meet with the current 6th Form in an on-going effort to improve links. I have the following message from Tom Shellard:
An Update on the Sixth Form from the Sulians Union
Recently it has been a very hectic and busy time for both the Upper and Lower Sixth with exams only a few weeks away. So whilst the main focus for everyone has been on revision and exams there have still been many impressive events and achievements going on within the school such as the production of Oedipus and the annual school concert, in which all the different groups and ensembles performed and included pupils and students from all year groups of the school. Despite the rugby season for the school officially ending at Christmas, with some great wins for the 1st and 2nd teams, including a hard fought win for the 1st XV over local rivals Prior Park, it has been the Lower School year groups who have had the greatest success with all four year groups, Year 8 – 11, winning their Somerset Cup finals and is a feat that no school has ever managed before. The football season is in full swing at the moment with impressive performances from all year groups and success in both the friendly and cup matches.
The Sulians Union continues to meet on a regular basis to try and work on the links between The Old Sulians Association and the school. We have recently appointed Alexander Grassam-Rowe to take over our running as the latest chairperson as we hand over to the Lower Sixth.
The Sulians Union
Old Sulians’ Rugby Club.
Finished the season in the lower half of the Somerset 1 league. Despite playing some good enterprising rugby they have suffered, like many local teams, from player shortage and continuity. When the University members are away, numbers are a bit thin. I understand the old players lunch was well supported and socially the club continues to thrive. Updates can be found on their website at:
and you are very welcome to clean up your wellies in time to join them on the touch-line at Lansdown in September.
OFSTED Report 2014
As noted in the Headmaster’s letter, the School was visited by the inspection team from OFSTED in March. I make no apology for copying their key findings below which make splendid reading and add a little detail modestly overlooked by the Head. The full report can be found on the School website at:
Dear Old Sulian,
It seems to me to be an age since I last wrote to you, possibly because there has been so much activity at the school in the last few months.
In March we had a visit from the inspectors, first from the Department of Education. They spent two days with us, visiting lessons, talking to boys and interviewing many members of staff. After a final look at all the data on pupil and student attainment the lead inspector decided that Beechen Cliff was ‘Outstanding’, a status which reinforces the position we have held since 2011. Obviously everyone at the school is very pleased, although it is one line in particular from the report that I believe you would all like. “The conduct of boys is outstanding. Pupils are so proud of their school that they would not consider behaving in any other way”. I seem to remember an HMI report from 1954 describing the boys of CBBS in rather similar terms – with a small additional comment that the boys were rather “lively but friendly”. I would like to think that the spirit of those times can still be found in the corridors of the school today.
You might be aware of some of the school success in recent weeks, particularly if you browse the Wednesday
Letter or the Bath Chronicle. The most striking example of Beechen Cliff strength in sport was probably the wins in all four of the Somerset and Bristol Rugby Cups, The Under 13, 14, 15 and 16 boys all reached their respective finals and won them in fine style. For the many parents at Clifton RFC, venue for all the finals, it was a really rather impressive experience. The boys did us proud – not only because they won but because they deported themselves so well and were respectful of opponents and conscious of their responsibility to conduct themselves in a way which would bring pride to the whole school community.
Tim Davenport, Master in charge of Hockey, has been doing some magnificent work with a growing number of boys who are developing their talents in the sport. Some very good wins against strong local and regional competition have helped cement the status of the school as a venue to be respected by all opponents. The cricket season is well underway and the fixture list is more congested than ever before. The 1st XI will be competing against the very best in the area, as well as the MCC and Forty Club, both very prestigious fixtures for Beechen Cliff. The younger years will compete in more than seventy games during the Summer Term. It is always positive to note how many boys are proud to represent their school and this year is no exception. The U12 cricket boys, new to the school this academic year, will number seventy-five this season – nearly half of all those in the year group.
In addition to sporting activity the boys have been excelling themselves in various technology and engineering activities. One group was successful in tan international Robotics competition, qualifying from the UK groups to represent Beechen Cliff in the European finals in Spain. Another group, developing engineering ideas, succeeded in making the UK finals at the Jaguar UK HQ, taking on the best of engineering talent in British schools. The Technology teachers are doing an excellent job in enthusing the boys and developing their aptitudes.
The cultural life of the school is thriving; the Spring production of Oedipus proving to be a successful, challenging piece – followed by the Spring Concert. As always, the staff who give up so much time to provide these enriching experiences are to be congratulated for their energy and enthusiasm.
The outdoor activities work of the school has always been a strength and the recent years has seen even greater levels of participation. Multiple Ten Tors teams have prepared for the challenges of Dartmoor, soon to be followed by the bi-annual Three Peaks Challenge. This latter project involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in quick succession. A huge challenge for all participants! In late June the annual Centurion Challenge will see around fifty boys attempt the one hundred mile walk to Hungerford and back, all within very tight timescales. The prize for success is nothing more than individual satisfaction and the coveted ‘Centurion tie’’; enough it seems, to provide the incentive which helps drive away the pain, monotony and sheer boredom involved in walking the canal path.
The significant event for May 2014 is the celebration of Sir Roger Bannister’s breaking of the four minute mile in 1954. The ‘Diamond Mile’ event will involve schools from across the area being invited to bring teams of boys to participate in attempts to beat Sir Roger’s record time from 1954. It is obviously wonderful to be able to mark the achievement of the great man, albeit on a rather small, school-based level. It is an opportunity to educate the school as a whole about the legendary status of the four minute mile activity of the early 1950s and to link Sir Roger’s success with the ‘independence’ and ‘aspiration’ which remain two of the key school values. It is, of course, a source of huge pride that Sir Roger is so closely linked to the schoolJuly will see the Summer Ball, Celebration of Achievement Event and the end of term festivities which always mark the end of the academic year. It has been very successful in many ways, although we know that there is still much to be done. It hope, as always, that you will feel happy to visit us and will identify in some way, the connection between Beechen Cliff today and the school which you once knew and were proud to call your own.
Have a very good summer.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.
The Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held at 7.30 pm. prompt on Tuesday 25th February 2014 at the Bath Cricket Club, North Parade, by kind permission of the Cricket Club. Your attention is drawn to Rule 15, under which any member wishing to move a resolution or nominate an Officer at the Annual General Meeting must give notice of their intention in writing to the Honorary Secretary, not less than seven days before the meeting.
P D Powell Honorary Secretary
1 Apologies for absence
2 Minutes of 2013 AGM
3 Matters arising
4 Hon. Secretary’s Report
5 Hon. Treasurer’s Report
6 Election of Officers:
a. President – A Buss
b. Vice Presidents
c. Hon. Secretary
d. Hon. Treasurer
e. Hon. Social Secretary
f. Hon. Correspondent
g. Hon. Auditors
i. Executive Committee
7 Rule change proposed by Executive Committee:
The rules have been revised to bring them into the 21st century. Copies of the current rules and the proposed revisions will be available at the meeting. Members may download them from the website.
8. Any other business.
Beechen Cliff Presentation Evening
Alan Blake deputised for the President at the annual awards in the Assembly Rooms. Sulian Awards were: Literary Achievement – Ciara Hughes; A W Marquiss, Advanced Technology – Jack Scott; Presentation of Work – Jack Coles
School Carol Service Bath Abbey, Thursday, December 20, 7:30pm
Tony Buss was again in service at the Abbey reading the last of the nine lessons at another well organised and very enjoyable evening.
Last autumns dinner was the best for many a year seemed to be the consensus and I am grateful for the many messages of appreciation. As a ’First’ it was a little stressful!
Informal Lunches –
Feb 12th - Hare and Hounds, Lansdown March 12th - Bird in Hand, Saltford
April 9th - Old Crown, Kelston May 14th – Quarryman’s Arms, Box
On the second Wednesday of the month, meet around Noon, phone the Hon Sec with any queries. It’s very informal, bring a friend, find a table and pay your own bill.
A busy time for the grim reaper since the last news.. Sadly we have lost Glyn Maddocks (Hon LM), Dai Morris (Hon LM), Vernon Rowland (‘46), Pete Bush (‘49), Brian Eades (‘49), Jimmy Ewing (Vice President) , Den Lambern (‘56) and Terry Lee (‘55).
Members may recall Glyn as Woodwork Master, Rugby Coach and regular dinner supporter over recent years. He organised rugby tours to various European counties well before it became commonplace and founded his own Tour Company after leaving teaching. Dai Morris was an English Master of more recent years and much respected for both his teaching and pastoral care. Both were Welshmen, proud of their heritage and will long be remembered by those who passed through their hands.
Jimmy Ewing was one of the ‘gang of three’ with the late Mike Cross and Bob Wilkins, who effectively saved the School when the authorities were trying to close it down in the ‘80’s. Brian, an ex-copper, and Den, a dinner and treasure hunt regular, were both Su’s rugby players in the glorious years. Den still holds the record for the highest number of tries in a season at 31, and Brian played over 400 games. Terry, a former President, member of the Sulians’ 7’s winning team, and the man responsible in large part for the restoration of St Paul’s Cathedral. Vernon was an ex-governor and Pete, a ‘49 er.
On a happier note we welcome Rob Avent (’61), Nick Skardon (’93) Gerry Wheeler and Ken Street (‘59) as new life members.
Roger Bannister – 4 Minute Mile
This May sees the 60th Anniversary of the famous 4 minute mile. Roger Bannister being an old boy of School, we’re looking for ideas. As a start is there anyone out there who was at School with Roger and who remembers him, and who might get to Bath for the anniversary? Please write to the Editor, Roger W. or e-mail: committee(AT)oldsulians.org.uk
Peter Bates, the Business Development Director at School, is looking to create an Alumni Directory. As a start we handed out sheets at the Dinner for completion by anyone wanting to help. If you receive this news as paper, a copy is enclosed. E-versions have an attachment for your perusal. Please return as e-mail or paper to Peter Bates at Beechen Cliff School, Alexandra Park, Bath BA2 4RE ( peterbates(AT)beechencliff.org.uk)
Hon. Secretary’s Report
There is a saying that you shouldn’t go back to a place where you had happy memories – well I can disprove this saying. With members of my form, the ‘49’ers, we went back again to School. The building is the same but now every area is populated by seemingly hundreds of computer screens. There are new buildings housing specific subjects and a new all-weather sports field with the possibility to partake in a multitude of activities. Amazing.
We came away proud to have been part of this school and happy to know that standards are still being maintained at a high level. These feelings were expressed again by all those who attended the Annual Dinner held at School. Many also said how good it was that there were members of the current sixth form present, both male and female,
Looking to the future we find it difficult to find new events that enthuse you all. Maybe you have some ideas? You could even attend the AGM. Past events included Car Treasure Hunts, Ladies Night, New Years Eve Dances and Cricket matches to name a few, all now just memories.
Back in 1975 Mickey Moore was President and helped organise a Jubilee Golf Tournement, major winners being Tony Bowrey and Tony Comer. The Annual Dinner was organised by Bert Marquiss and cost £3.75. Who can remember Mick Moore’s speech? Was it the one in latin? I organised a Disco at The George in Norton St Philip. Tickets cost £1 and included a buffet! We look forward to your continued support at the events listed in the newsletter and are happy that membership continues at a reasonably constant level.
We are, as always, indebted to Headmaster Andrew Davies, for his continued support, and to Bath Cricket Club for the use of their room for our meetings.
Peter Powell. Hon. Secretary.
Hon. Treasurer’s Report
Once again we have made a modest surplus on the year thanks to the Annual Dinner. The costs of postage, copies and envelopes for the newsletter continue to increase. There is a proposal at the AGM to increase the subs for the first time for many years. Life Membership to £15 and yearly to £2. If you have an e-mail address it saves us over £2 a year each. Please contact us if we are not already using it.
I am grateful to our new Auditor, Roland Adamson, for his oversight of our accounts.
Rich Wood. Hon. Treasurer.<
Old Sulians’ RFC
Still around mid-table and still having difficulty finding players. News can be found on their website: www.oldsuliansrfc.co.uk Brian French is coming up from down under in mid-April. You may well find him at Lansdown on the Saturday.
Beechen Cliff School
I am grateful to the Headmaster for his customary update on School activities that should be found with this newsletter and we commiserate with him over the loss of the roof on the new sixth form block during the Christmas gales! Not quite as bad as the bomb on the 2nd XV pitch during the blitz according to Pete Jenkins but probably just as distracting. Then, the boys were shipped out to the girls school, a hardship they endured with concealed glee!
The next newsletter is scheduled for 1st May. Any news to me before then please.
Over the last year Terry Light has been talking with the current 6th Form in an effort to improve links. For the first time a group attended the annual dinner (picture below) which was appreciated by all those present. I have the following message from Tom Shellard:
We are the Sulians Union, a group of current Sixth Formers at Beechen Cliff. We are aiming to improve links between the Old Sulians and the present students at the school. We have been meeting on a monthly basis for almost a year now but have only been working under the name of Sulians Union since last October. We hope that we are able to increase the number of Sixth Form leavers joining the Old Sulians, increase the visibility of the Old Sulians within in the school and improve the image of the Old Sulians with members of the lower school.
We also hope to contribute a piece to the newsletters written by the current Head Boy and Head Girl. This would consist of a brief summary of the achievements and events that have taken place within the Sixth Form over the last few months.
We look forward to working closely with you in the future.
Tom Shellard - Sulians Union
Dear Old Sulian,
At the risk of something rather English, I suspect that the dominant theme of this letter will be the weather. Wind and rain has played rather a huge part in adding to building difficulties and reducing the quality of some sporting fixtures. More of that to come ….
The boys with a passion for design and engineering have been exceptional ambassadors this term, a term for Beechen Cliff fighting off all-comers to win through the regional round of Jaguar Land Rover design challenge. The staff in Technology, all of whom enjoy tinkering with motorcycles and machinery of all types, have inspired the boys to participate in many challenges.
The sporting life of the school has been vibrant, as always, our boys participating very successfully in rugby competitions throughout the Autumn. Our under 15 XV led the way this season, making their way to the last 16 nationally before falling 20 – 13 to Canford School in Dorset. Their efforts were exceptional, building on the 2012-13 season which had seen them remain unbeaten and rates as the best state rugby team in the South and South East.
Our other teams performed very strongly over the season, progressing to the semi-finals of the regional cup (Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire) – all matches due to be played in the next fortnight. The rugby remains a huge strength and our boys love the challenge that each game brings. The most important elements, of course, is that they are considered sporting and positive in all their encounters. We wish all the boys success in the weeks to come.
The hockey season is also now underway, larger numbers of boys than even in the position to represent their school. Tim Davenport (Master in Charge of Hockey) has been an exceptional acquisition from Monkton Combe and he works very well with a band of extracurricular volunteer coaches to give the boys a very rich programme.
Our table tennis team notched up its first success of the season recently, bringing home the B&NES Cup to Beechen Cliff demonstrating, if needed, the breadth of sporting talent on show at the school.
The building programme had just about ended before part of the roof of our new Sixth Form block parted company from the main building. Work is now underway to repair the damage and make sure we can accommodate our Sixth Form and initial boarders. We need to demonstrate the same resilience in these things that we require of the boys and students!
The wonderful floodlit facilities are now available to youth groups and a very large number of young hockey and football players use the facilities from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. each weekday evening. It is good to see that the site is vibrant and filled with young sportsmen and women each day.
I very much hope to bring you a detailed update in the summer, drawing together the ‘loose ends’ of sporting competition and providing some ideas about how the building work has helped the working life of your old school. It is hoped that we will see some of you again in the summer months, even if only as part of a casual visit. May the rain cease in time for the cricket!
The New Rules, Old Rules and Alumni Sheet can be found by opening the Documents tab on the tool bar.