News headlines – September 2014

22 Sep 2014  –  Tour of the First World War battlefields
20 Sep 2014  –  Guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral
13 Sep 2014  –  Reception for parents of new pupils
13 Sep 2014  –  London walk in Little Venice
6 Sep 2014  –  The Old Eastbournian reunion

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22/23 September 2014 - Tour of the First World War battlefields

It was an early start for a group of 44 Eastbournian Society members who set off by coach at 6.30am on Monday 22 September for a tour of the battlefields of the First World War. After crossing to France by Eurotunnel we continued to Belgium, with our first stop at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele in Zonnebeke. From there we headed to Tyne Cot cemetery, where the names of two Old Eastbournians are inscribed on the memorial panels.

It was a short drive to Essex Farm cemetery, which in the war was the location of the Essex Farm Advanced Dressing Station. This is now famous as the place where Canadian Army Doctor and artillery brigade commander Major John McCrae composed his poem In Flanders Fields.

We continued to Ypres and our hotel for the night. That evening, we went into the town centre to visit St George's Chapel, where a plaque is dedicated to those Old Eastbournians who lost their lives in the conflict. At 8pm we attended the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. The names of three OEs are inscribed here.

Tuesday 23 September was a busy day. After breakfast we headed back into France and south to the Somme. The magnificent Thiepval Memorial to the Missing has over 72,000 names of soldiers whose bodies were never found. Seventeen names are of Old Eastbournians. It was a fitting spot to record our visit, pictured.

From Thiepval, it was a short drive to Ulster Tower and then on to Ancre Cemetery. Three OEs are buried here and we spent a few minutes locating their graves before heading to the Newfoundland Memorial Park, a preserved area of land where trench lines and shell holes can still be clearly seen.

By now it was time to head home, but on the way we were able to stop at the charming town of Ardres, just south of Calais, and visit Boursot's wine shop for an impromptu wine-tasting session and a chance to buy a few bottles (or cases!), before reaching the Channel Tunnel.

Our thanks go to Ian Walker, our knowledgeable battlefields guide; to Michael Partridge, the College archivist who provided detailed information on the OE casualties at the places we visited; to David Stewart and Lulu Brown, who organised the trip; and to David Maynard, the coach driver from LJ Edwards, who got us there and back safely and on time.

More photographs of the trip will be available on the website shortly.

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20 September 2014 - Guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral

A small group of Eastbournian Society members made their way to London on Saturday 20 September to visit St Paul's Cathedral for a guided tour.

The tour included the cathedral church floor and the crypt, the Chapel of St Michael and St George, and the Quire, as well as the famous Geometric Staircase (pictured), which featured in the Harry Potter films as a stairwell in Hogwarts.

The excellent guide, Charlie de Wet, spoke about the history and architecture of St Paul's, as well as the many tombs and memorials that are in the cathedral, including Sir Christopher Wren, Wellington and Nelson.

Some of the group also climbed the 257 steps to the whispering gallery. The visit finished by attending evensong, sung by the cathedral choir.

If you would like to suggest a building or place of interest for a future tour, please contact John Thornley at jt@eastbourne-college.co.uk and it will be considered at the next events planning meeting.

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13 September 2014 - Reception for parents of new pupils

On Saturday 13 September, the Eastbournian Society (ES) held a reception in the College Theatre (Big School) for parents of pupils who have joined the College at the beginning of Michaelmas term.

An exhibition gave details of what the Society is, the events we organise and the support we can offer both current pupils and Old Eastbournians. Guests were also able to see some details of the Project 150 development.

ES Director, David Stewart, gave a brief presentation on the society and explained that as well as cultural and social events, we also help with career and business networking through a series of receptions for different professions, including medicine, law, insurance, shipping and financial services.

Parents, pupils and Old Eastbournians are all welcome to attend these to both offer and receive advice.

All parents are automatically members of the society at no charge and are welcome to all our events, details of which are carried on our Forthcoming events page.

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13 September 2014 - London walk in Little Venice

The latest of the Eastbournian Society's London guided walks took place at Little Venice on Saturday 13 September. After meeting at Warwick Avenue tube station, the group set out to explore this little-known area of West London, close to Paddington.

A unique combination of white stucco, greenery and water, it boasts the finest early Victorian domestic architecture in London.

It also has a veritable Who’s Who of famous residents (Sigmund Freud, Robert Browning, Edward Fox, Joan Collins, David Ben-Gurion, Annie Lennox and Marc Bolan, to name but a few).

And that is not to mention the canals: one of them – Regent's Canal – is the loveliest inland waterway in England.

Part of the walk was along the canal towpath, studded with fragments of evidence that bring the age of canals to life, and where some of the group are pictured here.

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6 SEPTEMBER 2014 - THE OLD EASTBOURNIAN REUNION

Saturday 6 September saw around 200 Old Eastbournians and former members of staff enjoy reunion day at the College. This year's cohort was sixth form leavers from 1980 to 1994 inclusive.

As well as lunch and a chance to watch the 1st XV rugby on College Field, guests were also able to take a tour of the campus to see more recent developments, followed by tea in Big School and guided tours of their former houses.

A drinks reception was held in the Birley Centre at which Headmaster Simon Davies gave a speech of welcome.

Almost 150 of the reunion guests then joined us for an evening dinner in the Dining Hall, at which Colin Brezicki, who taught at the College from 1977 to 1988, reminisced about his time here. Colin is on the left in the pictured group.

More photos of the reunion day and dinner, together with Colin Brezicki's speech and Philip Le Brocq's sonnet to mark the occasion, are in our members area, which is available only to those who have registered on the website. If you have not yet registered, please go to the login page and click on 'New user registration'.

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