News headlines – July 2021

27 Jul 2021    One month to go before the leavers drinks reception
7 Jul 2021    Recording of 'An Evening with Torin Douglas' available to view
6 Jul 2021    Job vacancy: Alumni and Community Engagement Officer
2 Jul 2021    OECC cricket week update
1 Jul 2021    ES members enjoy guided walk in Margaret Thatcher's Chelsea
1 Jul 2021    Sasha Bates (Nugent 1984-86) - a lockdown story
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27 July 2021 - One month to go before the leavers drinks reception

There's just one month to go before the Eastbournian Society hosts a black tie drinks and canapés reception for former pupils who left the College in 2020 and 2021.

The Covid pandemic meant that the traditional celebration for leavers, the Cornflower Ball, was not held in 2020, and a modified version was held in 2021.

So this is an opportunity for recent leavers and their parents to celebrate properly their departure from the College. The reception is being held in the beautiful Palm Court at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel on the Aldwych in London on Thursday 27 August, from 6.00-9.00pm.

You can book and pay for your places online at https://eu.operoo.com/public_forms/195045/new. The price, which is subsidised by the Eastbournian Society, is £62.50 per person.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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7 July 2021 - Recording of 'An Evening with Torin Douglas' available to view

Torin Douglas (Gonville 1964-69), who was BBC media correspondent for 24 years, was recently interviewed by the executive director of Chiswick Playhouse, Mark Perry, and a recording is now available to view online.

Torin says: 'I was invited to share some stories about my BBC career in 'An Evening with…' at the Chiswick Playhouse. If you fancy a trip down memory lane and some reflections on the Diana interview, Martin Bashir, the Hutton Inquiry, the Jimmy Savile affair, Robert Maxwell, John Birt and other DGs, and the future of the BBC, you can watch the recording in aid of the Bedford Park Festival charities by clicking here.'

In 2013 Torin was awarded the MBE for services to Chiswick, where he has lived for more than 40 years and run many arts and community events in aid of charities. These include the Chiswick Book Festival, the Bedford Park Festival and events at Chiswick House, St Michael & All Angels and other churches, ArtsEd, Chiswick Library and Chiswick Playhouse, where he is one of three patrons.

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6 July 2021 - Job vacancy: Alumni and Community Engagement Officer

The Eastbournian Society is seeking an Alumni and Community Engagement Officer to join our thriving Foundation and Development team.

The Alumni and Community Engagement Officer will work closely with the Development Director and Eastbournian Society team to develop relationships which span a lifetime.

The successful candidate will be a driven 'people person', who will show initiative and possess strong interpersonal skills, key to building and nurturing relationships across the Charity with all stakeholders and within the wider community. They will need to work as part of a team and to have a flexible, sociable, can-do attitude.

For more information and to read the job description, please go to www.eastbourne-college.co.uk/contact/employment-opportunities. Please click the 'Apply Now' button to complete the mandatory application form. All applications must be received by noon on Friday 23 July 2021.

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2 July 2021 - OECC cricket week update

The OECC cricket week is back! Having last taken place in 2019 (pictured), next week from Sunday 4 to Thursday 8 July, the OEs will be making a welcome return to College Field.

Will Ripley (Gonville 1999–2004), Chairman of the OE Cricket Club, writes:

Plans and sides for the week continue to progress at a pace. We have a Vice Presidents XI vs OE XI game taking place to start the week from 11.30am on Sunday 4 July. All are welcome and encouraged to attend and we hope it should be a great occasion for friends 'young and old' of the OECC to see one another again.

We sadly lost two club stalwarts / legends this year in Rupert Bairamian (School 1975-80) and Richard Day (Gonville 1983-87), who both did so much for the OECC over the years. At Sunday's game we will remember them both with a minute's silence before the game at 11.30am and at lunch where Guy Thwaites (Blackwater 1984-89) and Nigel Wheeler (College staff 1976-2006) will say some words. We do hope all those that knew Richard and Rupert can attend; we would like the day to be a great, fun, social occasion and a fitting tribute to them both.

Regarding the week, sides are looking full from Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday but more players would be welcome for Monday and Tuesday's fixtures. We have a dinner with the Uppingham Rovers on Wednesday and the tour dinner on Thursday at the College. Please get in touch if you would like to attend either. We are capped at 25 for Wednesday and 30 for Thursday so please let us know early.

Regarding the 1st round Cricketer Cup fixture alas we tied with Bradfield - 156 all out played 156 all out - but lost on a strange penultimate over ruling from the CC committee; therefore our charge is delayed for a year. We had some great performances from Charlie Hobden (Wargrave 2008-13) and Joe Pocklington (Craig 2014-19) and the side was excellently led by Ben Twine (Craig 2013-17).

This link to the scorecard also has highlights from the game if you click on the videos tab. All OE matches will be livestreamed and recorded as per the link so to find future fixtures just search for the day's fixture.

I am hugely excited to see a number of you next week in what we hope is a special tour after a fairly tough 18 months.

Click here for more details about the matches scheduled for the week.

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1 July 2021 - ES members enjoy guided walk in Margaret Thatcher's Chelsea

A group of Eastbournian Society members enjoyed a guided walk on Thursday 1 July, taking in a number of places in Chelsea with relevance to the life and career of Lady Thatcher.

In fact there were two walks, one at 11.30am and one at 2.30pm (pictured), both guided by Blue Badge guide Rick Jones, brother of the current head of St Andrew’s Prep, journalist and former classical musical correspondent of the Evening Standard. 

Meeting at Sloane Square, the walks headed down King's Road, stopping at Sir Hans Sloane's statue (because the Sloanes were a product of Mrs Thatcher's premiership) and the Saatchi Gallery (because the Saatchi brothers helped her win), Wellington Square (because from the Iron Duke came her nickname the Iron Lady), the Methodist Church (because she remained a lifelong Methodist), Chelsea Manor Street (where the newlyweds Margaret and Denis Thatcher lived in the 1950s), Flood Street (where the grown-up family lived in the 1970s in the years before she came to power), the Royal Hospital Chelsea (where the Baroness went to church in the 2000s) and the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (where her grave is). 

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1 July 2021 - Sasha Bates (Nugent 1984-86) - a lockdown story

Sasha Bates, MA, MBACP is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, author, journalist and former filmmaker. She was in Nugent House 1984-86 before heading to York University. She began her career on the BBC’s graduate training scheme, working as director and series producer on factual entertainment programmes, before retraining as a psychotherapist at the age of 40. This is her lockdown story:

Lockdown was a very busy time for me. I spent the first week cancelling all the events planned for what should have been the big launch of my first book, Languages of Loss. It was published ten days into that first lockdown, at that time when we were all at our most scared, anxious, angry, and disorientated – all states mirroring grief, the very subject of my book. So while the longed-for launch parties, book tours, literary festivals and media interviews disappeared out from under me, I found them being just as rapidly replaced by requests to write, talk and teach about the effects of grief and loss, now becoming horribly familiar to so many.

And from within these pleas for support and explanation always came the inevitable questions – what are your top five tips for surviving loss, what is the one thing we can do to make it better? In short, how can we take the pain away? Having just written a 270-page book explaining at length why the pain of loss can’t be short-circuited, I could nevertheless understand that huge need to be told how to cope with these new and debilitating circumstances and overwhelming feelings.

So, I spent most of the spring and summer variations on lockdown writing a second book – A Grief Companion. This was a response to that need for more information and it comes in the form of a guidebook or manual. It details why grief makes us feel like we do, and offers gentle suggestions based on experience, science, and psychotherapy as to how to make it through the days with some measure of sanity intact, and providing resources to help manage and ride the waves of agony that can still knock you down even many years later.

Alongside all this writing I was continuing my psychotherapeutic practice, now moved to Zoom, and could see from both my individual clients, and from the group sessions and workshops I led, just how devastating were the effects of Covid and lockdown on people’s mental health. I needed to focus on my own self-care and resilience in the face of this barrage of unhappiness and fear that I saw in every face appearing on my screen.

Amongst other measures I took, I massively stepped up my yoga practice in response, which led to me starting another book, this time based on a long term fascination of mine – the parallels between yoga and psychotherapy. Writing my third book – Yoga Saved My Life – kept me going through the autumn and winter lockdowns, providing yet again some structure and purpose to the endless isolating days we are now all too familiar with.

Languages of Loss and A Grief Companion are out now, while Yoga Saved My Life comes out in March 2022. All are published by Yellow Kite and available in bookstores or via any of the online platforms.

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