News headlines – May 2015

31 May 2015  – 70th anniversary lunch for former pupils of the College and Ascham
30 May 2015  – Lucy Marriott (Watt 2003–08) married in Wilmington
21 May 2015  – History talk on life in wartime Eastbourne
18 May 2015  – Over-60s lunch at Weybridge
13 May 2015  – Theatre trip to see the musical 'Gypsy'
12 May 2015  – Christian Miller (Reeves 2006–11) completes another fundraising challenge
11 May 2015  – Johnny Mercer (Pennell 1995–2000) becomes MP for Plymouth Moor View
9 May 2015  – Stags win in Stags v Stags clash
9 May 2015  – Medical Society networking
6 May 2015  – Shipping networking event
6 May 2015  – Jules Knight (Pennell 1995–2000) releases solo album
5 May 2015  – Old Eastbournian delivers royal princess
2 May 2015  – Reception for grandparents

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31 May 2105 - 70th anniversary lunch for former pupils of the College and Ascham

A Sunday lunch was held on 31 May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the College's return from Radley after its wartime exile, which also gave us a chance to mark the start of Ascham, the College prep school, in 1945.

Over 80 guests enjoyed a carvery meal prepared by the College catering team. A display of old photographs and memorabilia proved to be of particular interest, and our thanks go to the Archives team of Simon Wood (Sillem 1948–50, Powell 1950–54) and Michael Partridge (Blackwater 1946–51) for mounting this.

With old acquaintances renewed and memories shared, the guests enjoyed speeches from Peter Milton-Thompson (Blackwater 1940–46), who reminisced about days at Radley, and from Michael Keall, Headmaster of Ascham from 1969 until its closure in 1977.

Michael pointed out that the oldest guest at the lunch was Gordon Simpson (School 1932–36), who had attended Ascham before it became the College prep school, under its old name of Ascham St Vincent's.

More pictures of the meal are on our anniversary lunch page, which is available only to those who have registered and are logged in to the website.

If you have not yet registered, please go to the Login page, click on 'New user registration' and follow the instructions.

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30 May 2015 - Lucy Marriott (Watt 2003–08) married in Wilmington

Lucy Marriott (Watt 2003–08) was married to Simon Dent at St Mary and St Peter's Church in Wilmington on Saturday 30 May.

Lucy is the daughter of Director of Drama Tim Marriott and his wife Fen, who also teaches at the College, and sister to Toby (Pennell 2008–13).

Among the Old Eastbournian guests were:

Lucy Foster (Watt 2003–08)
Mark Foster (Wargrave 1969–71) and Elizabeth Foster (née James)
    (Nugent 1969–70)
George O'Brien (Wargrave 2003–08)
Jack Hunter Blair (Wargrave 2003–08)
Louis Sloley (Gonville 2003–08)
James Cherrill (Gonville 1999–2004) and Tatum Cherrill (née Verna)
     (Watt 2005–07)
Bliss Verna (Blackwater 2010–13)

Following the ceremony a reception was held at Birling Manor.


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21 May 2014 - History talk on life in wartime Eastbourne

The latest illustrated talk by local historian Paul Jordan was on Thursday 21 May in the Long Room.

Paul's talks look at life in Eastbourne during the twentieth century, using the experiences of an imaginary family to help tell the story.

This was the third in the series and concentrated on life in the town during the Second World War, a time of bombing raids, rationing and evacuation. Paul also looked at the lighter side of life, showing what was on at the cinema, in the theatre and on the radio to keep people entertained.

The talk concluded with a look at the post-war efforts to start rebuilding the bomb-damaged town, a prelude to life in the 1950s and 60s, which will be the subject of his next talk, provisionally scheduled for Thursday 8 October.

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18 May 2015 - Over-60s lunch at Weybridge

There was a change of venue for the annual Over-60s lunch this year, with the meal being held at St George's Hill Club in Weybridge.

We were pleased to welcome a record turn-out of over 40 guests, some of whom are pictured here.

Our thanks go to Peter Jamieson (Blackwater 1960-63), the current Chairman of the Club, who kindly agreed to host the occasion on our behalf.

Admiral Sir Ian Forbes (Powell 1960–65) was the guest of honour and, following the meal, entertained the guests with stories from his long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy. Sir Ian was also Chairman of the College Council for almost nine years until December 2013.

More pictures of the guests are on our Over-60s lunch page, which is available only to those who have registered and are logged in to the website.

If you have not yet registered, please go to the Login page, click on 'New user registration' and follow the instructions.

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13 May 2015 - Theatre trip to see the musical 'Gypsy'

The Eastbournian Society's latest theatre trip was to the Savoy Theatre in The Strand to see the musical Gypsy.

The show, which has had five-star reviews and much praise for the performance of Imelda Staunton, was a big hit with the society members who went, some of whom are pictured here outside the theatre.

We managed to get some excellent seats in the stalls and dress circle at a reduced group rate, saving almost £30 each on the regular ticket price.

If you would like to suggest a future theatre trip please contact John Thornley at or 01323 452314.

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12 May 2015 - Christian Miller (Reeves 2006–11) completes another fundraising challenge

Christian Miller (Reeves 2006–11) has completed another of the fundraising challenges he has committed to taking on this year.

On Sunday 26 April Christian ran the Virgin London Marathon and he is pictured here on the left with Stuart Garratt (Wargrave 2006–11), who completed the course in 3 hours, 25 minutes.

Christian is very grateful for all the support he has received from fellow OEs such as Stuart and would also like to thank Camilla Freeman (Blackwater 2006–11).

Camilla recently swam 33.8km, the equivalent of crossing the English Channel, and this is a challenge that Christian will also be taking on later in the year.

He says that all the message of goodwill he has received have been truly inspiring.

Christian is raising funds for his nephew Theo who suffered brain damage at birth and as a result has cerebral palsy. If you would like to help support him, please see his blog post at

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11 May 2015 - Johnny Mercer (Pennell 1995–2000) becomes MP for Plymouth Moor View

Johnny Mercer (Pennell 1995–2000) won the seat of Plymouth Moor View in the UK general election on Thursday 7 May.

Mr Mercer, the Conservative candidate, beat the incumbent Labour MP with a swing of 4.3%, securing a majority of 1,024.

He served in the Army for a number of years, having graduated from Sandhurst in 2002, and is married to Felicity. They have two young children.

After the result he confessed that his win had come as something of a surprise and that he had not even prepared a speech. He said:

'When I get to Parliament, I want to be working on mental health and veterans care, which is appalling and needs improvements. That is my priority and I have said that from the start and I’m not going to change that.'

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9 May 2015 - Stags win in Stags v Stags clash

Oscar Orellana-Hyder (Reeves 2002–07) reports on the latest triumph for the OE Stags:

The OE Stags found themselves up against their namesakes - The South Godstone Stags – on a warm spring day in the depths of Surrey. With the Director of Rugby handing us a bottle of Taylors port before the game had started and exclaiming: 'That's for half time lads', the tone was set for what was to be a fantastic day of rugby.

Eastbourne struggled to get going and it very much felt we were still on the coach for the first 15 minutes, before a flowing back line move ended with a superb solo effort from Hector Veasey (Reeves 2009–14), dissecting their defence and going over underneath the posts. With many out of position and what turned into a front rower's dream with scrum after scrum, the game broke down and frustratingly for the backs the referee got very acquainted with his whistle, whereas the general consensus was to let the lads play!

With Tom Saunders (Reeves 2008–13) loudly calling for a cross-field kick, he duly got his rewards with a touchdown in the corner; there was great vision from Ed Houchin (Wargrave 2012–14) who commanded the back line all day at fly half. Neil Pickford (Wargrave 2003–08) was at his pirouetting best, with spins out of tackles that would have made Torvill and Dean proud, eventually resulting in an impressive solo try.

The hosts came back and, with sloppy missed tackles from Eastbourne in our own half, this resulted in a couple of late first half tries. Ed Down (Wargrave 2007–12) constantly looked threatening with ball in hand with the likes of Felix Arnold (Powell 2009–14) and James Potter (Reeves 2012–14) providing constant options and proving to be threats all game.

James Hawthorne (Powell 2006–08) was an absolute rock in the front row, getting through an awful lot of work all day alongside the whole pack, proving a great foundation to attack from. Man of the Match tankard went to Tom Saunders – turnovers, bullocking breaks and making a nuisance of himself all afternoon proved invaluable.

17-50 the final score, BBQ and beers in the sun afterwards finished up a great day of rugby all round. Next up we have the WSM 7s in Wimbledon on 13 June.

The Stags march on with three wins out of three.

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9 May 2015 - Medical Society networking

The latest Eastbournian Medical Society event was held on Saturday 9 May, with Old Eastbournians, parents, staff and current pupils taking part.

After coffee and a welcome from Medical Society President, Aleck Brownjohn (Powell 1958–64), Dr Rob Wicks gave a presentation in the College Theatre.

Dr Wicks (Powell 1974–79), College Medical Officer 2004-13, parent of OEs, and a doctor with 25 years’ experience in general practice, discussed medical innovations since he qualified and described a day in the life of a general practitioner.

The group, pictured here just after the talk, then had lunch in the College Dining Hall.

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6 May 2015 - Shipping networking event

The Baltic Exchange in the City of London was the venue for a networking event for those interested in the shipping industry, bringing together Old Eastbournians, parents and staff in an informal setting to discuss career choices and business opportunities.

The guests gathered in the Members Bar where the event was hosted by Mark Jackson (School 1975–77) of AM Nomikos.

Guest speaker John Garratt spoke about current and future trends affecting shipping, which was followed by a more general discussion about the industry.

If you are interested in future careers and business networking events, please see the Networking page for more details.

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6 May 2015 - Jules Knight (Pennell 1995–2000) releases solo album

Jules Knight, known at the College as Julian Kaye (Pennell 1995–2000), has released a new solo album, Change of Heart.

The album, a collection of new and old songs, spans a wide range of musical genres.

Jules says, 'The connection between them is that they're all poignant, emotive songs that have affected me in some way in my life, and will hopefully strike a chord with people of all ages.'

Jules announced earlier this year that he was leaving the BBC1 medical drama Holby City, where he has played the part of Dr Harry Tressler since 2013.

Speaking of his decision to leave, he said, 'I loved playing Harry on Holby and have had fun there with the cast. Variety is the spice of life, however, and I like to keep moving and keep challenging myself with new and exciting projects.'

Previously he was with the classical boy band Blake, of which he was one of the founder members.

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5 May 2015 - Old Eastbournian delivers royal princess

Old Eastbournian Guy Thorpe-Beeston (School 1972–77) was the lead medical officer present at the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the new baby daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on Saturday 2 May.

Guy, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, took over as lead medical officer from Sir Marcus Setchell , who recently retired as Surgeon-Gynaecologist to the Royal Household.

He was also a member of the team that helped deliver Prince George in July 2013.

Guy's signature appeared on the official announcement of the birth placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

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2 May 2015 - Reception for grandparents

A chance for grandparents of current pupils to visit the College for a tour and reception was held on Saturday 2 May.

With around 40 pupils and 80 grandparents, this was the most popular one of these events that we have held in recent years.

After meeting at the Birley Centre, the visitors were escorted by their grandchildren on a tour of the campus, allowing them to see the school in action on a typical Saturday.

They then returned to the Birley Centre, where some of them are pictured here, for a reception and an opportunity to meet Headmaster Simon Davies.

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