Old Grammarians' Association
A summary history of the Association
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
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
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
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,
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
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
(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,
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
(Vol IV, no14 & Vol V, no1)
Magazine carries ''personal notes'' of a number of OGs. (Vol V,
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,
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
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 EnglandAustralia air race. (Vol VI, no10).
Excellent attendance at the dinner (79). Every year from 1883 bar
(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
(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' Dayover 500 programmes sold.
(Vol VII, nos5,6&7)
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)
War Once Again
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
occasional discussions with GH in the Hertford common room. (Vol
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
Seven pages listing OGs and staff (Gueroult and Rees) serving with
(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
(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
(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,
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
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
The Head outlines the workings of the Schools' Trust, the policy
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,
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
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
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,
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
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
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
Despite sending application forms to all school leavers and having
the leavers disco at the clubroom, only 8 new members join. (Minute
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
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
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
(OG June '90)
A scheme for the re-constitution of The Sir Walter St John's Schools
The Sir Walter St John's Educational Charity published by the Charities
(OG December '91)
152 members attend the reunion dinner in the empty old school premises
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
12 March 2002