The Arnold Embellishers

The Arnold Embellishers is a society whose purpose is to add to the beauty and dignity of the College environment through a variety of 'embellishments'.

The original Embellishers League first met under the chairmanship of Mr EC Arnold on 29 June 1919. It was a secret society with membership by invitation only. The Arnold Embellishers is today a thriving 'open' society with 140+ members drawn from OEs, parents, staff and friends of the College.

Their subscriptions help to improve the life of the school in imaginative ways beyond the remit of the chief operating officer. They enhance the College precincts, working in conjunction with the headmaster and the COO.

With the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the College in 2017 and our own centenary in 2019, the Arnold Embellishers have had the opportunity to fund a number of exciting and significant embellishments. Please read all about us below and either pick up the phone or send an email to find out more on how to become involved.

Annual General Meeting

This is usually held at the College on the day of the OE reunion in September.

Pictured here are members of the committee on the day of the AGM in 2017 when a ceremony was held to mark the installation of the 150 anniversary sundial. Pictured left to right are John Templeton, Roger Sloley, Chris Nicholson, Vicky Henley, sundial designer David Harber, Jenny Lush, Michael Partridge and Roger Fendall. Other members were absent due to College commitments.

Current projects

  • An ESU student, Elisabeth Helmin, has been awarded the 2020 AE Wettern prize for Innovation in recognition of her presentation of ideas for enhancing the Undercroft of the new Winn Building. It is hoped that elements of her project can be funded by the Embellishers.
  • The AEs continue to sponsor the College Music Department’s annual Young Musician of the Year competition.
  • Refurbishment of the Dell Theatre as an outdoor space for learning.
  • Flagpole for College Field.
  • Publication of the amended Second World War Roll of Honour, initially as a rolling document on the Eastbournian Society website to encourage family members to come forward with further information and photographs. Please click here to read and download the Roll of Honour (PDF document).
  • The cleaning and installation of a ship’s bell (circa 1827) and its bracket belonging to the late John Klyberg (AE) which will be incorporated into College ceremonial life.


We very much welcome newcomers to our ranks which are open to OEs, staff and friends of the College. Members subscribe annually whatever sum they see fit, generally not less than £20 per annum; life membership is also available. As a legal component of Eastbourne College Incorporated, the society is able to reclaim Gift Aid on donations and subscriptions. We meet socially once a year for an Annual General Meeting on the Saturday of the OE reunion and entrust our ongoing management to an elected committee.

Please send membership enquiries by email to Address: The Arnold Embellishers, Marlborough House, Old Wish Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JY. Telephone: 01323 451901.

Recent embellishments

It is impossible to walk for more than a few metres within the school precincts without coming across an embellishment. These range from the provision of Head of House boards for Nugent and Arnold; curtains behind the altar in the Chapel to hide technical equipment and substantial improvements to the Memorial Hall including the erection of bronze panels to commemorate the 174 OEs who died in the Second World War. A few of the more recent embellishments include:

Bunbury Door
Restoration of worn memorial stonework with new carvings above the Bunbury Door in Chapel Yard. Erected in 1920 in memory of Geoffrey Bunbury (School 1908-12) this was the AEs' first embellishment and its restoration in 2019 was one of our centenary projects. Members of his family were present on 28 September to view the memorial.

Pictured are Embellishers Roger Sloley (Powell 1954-57) and Michael Partridge (Blackwater 1946-51), Victoria Bunbury, Veronica Bunbury and stonemason Chris Pellett.

Thomson Windows
Stained glass Thomson Windows 'Dancing into Light' for the dance studio in the Winn Building. Designed and crafted by Jessica Lambinet and installed in 2019 as one of our centenary projects.

Pictured are Chairman of Governors Philip Broadley, Chairman of the Arnold Embellishers Vicky Henley, Jessica Lambinet, Dame Katherine Grainger and Headmaster Tom Lawson at the opening of the Winn Building on Friday 21 June 2019.

Literature Timeline
Literature Timeline for the English Department corridor in the Nugee Building.

Benches, planters and landscaping
Benches, planters and landscaping in the area outside the new reception entrance and the undercroft.

150th anniversary sundial
150th anniversary sundial on the prominent south wall of the Nugee Building.

Scoreboard on Memorial Field
Electronic and situated on the front of the Brian Harral Pavilion where it can be seen by both players and spectators.

Pavilion benches
Paved area in front of the Pavilion on College Field for four benches donated in memory of OE cricketers and former members of staff.

OE case studies
Photographs of recent OEs celebrating interesting careers to provide inspiration and an incentive to current pupils. These are displayed in a corridor in the Winn Building and will be updated periodically.

Nugent Heads of House board

College Field clock

The bird motif

In 1924 Mr EC Arnold, former headmaster of the College and a notable ornithologist, published a book, British Waders, which included a watercolour drawing of an American stint, which was also reproduced on the cover of the book.

We decided to adopt this as our emblem and it can be seen on the small plaques positioned next to some of our embellishments. There is also a society tie and scarf/tie pin both of which have the bird motif on them.

Committee 2020/21

Chairman Vicky Henley (née Crawshaw) (Nugent 1975–77)
Treasurer and Membership Secretary    Chris Nicholson (Wargrave 1961–65)
Secretary Jenny Lush (former College staff)
Committee members Matthew Clover (College staff)
  Jody Deans (Powell 2010-12)
  Roger Fendall (Blackwater 1954–58)
  Paul Jordan (College staff)
  Michael Partridge (Blackwater 1946–51)
  David Ruskin (College staff)
  Roger Sloley (Powell 1954–57)
  David Stewart (College staff)
  John Templeton (Blackwater 1955–59)


The Arnold Embellishers have published a number of books in recent years, which can be ordered by contacting us at Arnold Embellishers, Marlborough House, Old Wish Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JY. Telephone: 01323 451901. Email:

Maverick Airman
The biography of Frederick Minchin, OE by Michael Partridge. Minchin, with his CBE, DSO, MC and Bar and three mentions, is the College's most decorated First World War serviceman after Lionel Rees VC.

He afterwards became one of the first civil airline pilots and died in 1927 in a valiant attempt to become the first to fly the Atlantic from east to west.

This fully illustrated hardback book, A5 format, is available to OEs and the College community at the special price of £10.00 (normal price £12.00).

Nobody's Business
The autobiography of Gordon Carey, College Headmaster 1929–38; chorister at King's, Cambridge; scholar, Stag and head of school; scholar of Caius; rugger blue and Barbarian; educational secretary at the Cambridge University Press; infantry officer 1914-18 (Croix de Guerre); fellow of Clare; RAF staff officer in the Second World War; subsequently editor, indexer and man of letters; yet in his own eyes a 'Nobody'.

This is an extraordinary story of a distinguished, complex Old Eastbournian. For sale at £10.00. 320 pages, 30 illustrations, A5 format, hardbound.

Eastbourne College in the Second World War
In December 2010 the Embellishers published this book, an anthology of writings about the College’s life and survival in the Second World War.

Extensively illustrated with never-before-published photos of staff, boys and events from those momentous days, most of which have been captioned with the aid of Radley-era OEs, this 80-page A4 book is a bargain at just £5.00.

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