News headlines – April 2019

<<<    Later headlines
29 Apr 2019    The Eastbournian Society annual London dinner
26 Apr 2019    Local U3A group takes tour of the College
10 Apr 2019    Archive editions of 'The Eastbournian' magazine now available online
9 Apr 2019    Jaqi Anderson (Nugent 1980-82) has debut novel published
4 Apr 2019    Johnny Mercer MP (Pennell 1995-2000) interviewed in 'The Spectator'
3 Apr 2019    The 'Windsor Ten' meet for their 61st annual gathering
1 Apr 2019    You'd be a fool to miss out on the London dinner!
>>>    Earlier headlines

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29 April 2019 - The Eastbournian Society annual London dinner

Actress Patti Clare (Nugent 1983-85) and long-serving English teacher Paul Lowden were the guests of honour at the 2019 annual London dinner on Monday evening, and are pictured here with Headmaster Tom Lawson, left.

The Waldorf Hilton Hotel was the venue for a champagne reception in the Palm Court followed by dinner in the Adelphi Suite. The evening is an opportunity for us to recognise Eastbournian achievement and we were delighted to welcome both Patti and Paul to the dinner.

The evening began with Nigel Wheeler recounting Paul's 32-year career at the College, during which he has served as Head of English, housemaster of both Pennell and Blackwater houses, and director of many a school drama production. Paul responded with an amusing speech in which he remembered the four headmasters under which he had served, describing each in the style of the James Bond actor which he felt they most resembled.

Headmaster Tom Lawson thanked the guests for their loyalty and support of the College in what is the 50th anniversary year of girls first joining the school in 1968-69. In particular he paid tribute to David Winn OBE (School 1954-59), the College's greatest living benefactor, who has made a further very generous donation towards bursary funding, having already contributed greatly to the recent Project 150 appeal.

Following the meal, Alex Brown (Blackwater 1980-85) hosted a question-and-answer session with Patti. Alex and Patti had both performed in the College production of Half a Sixpence in 1984 and there were a few of their fellow performers at the dinner: Christine Bertoli (Nugent 1983-85), Sarah Bray (née Winston) (Nugent 1983-85), Kate Isitt (Nugent 1983-85) and Magnus Spencer (Powell 1980-85).

Patti spoke about her College days with great affection, saying that her time at the school had boosted her confidence, and given her a good grounding in literature and drama which proved useful when she later joined the Glasgow Citizen's Theatre. She also told of her time on Coronation Street, where she has played the part of Mary Taylor for over 10 years. Patti finished with the observation that for her and her contemporaries, the teachers at the College had always given them the encouragement to flourish, a sentiment which was much appreciated by the guests.

More photographs of the evening are available in our members area. You have to be registered and logged in to the website to see these.

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26 April 2019 - Local U3A group takes tour of the College

Sixteen members of the Eastbourne and Wealden U3A group visited the College on Friday 26 April for a guided tour.

College Archivist Paul Jordan and David Blake from the Eastbournian Society showed them round the recent Project 150 development, including, in the Winn Building, the sports hall, swimming pool and dining hall. They then saw the atrium linking the old with the new (Big School and the Nugee Building) before moving on to the older College buildings.

In the Chapel the group were particularly interested in the stained glass windows which had been designed by Mary Lowndes, one of the few female stained glass artists working in the early part of the 20th century.

Paul described the history of the school, starting with Larkfield and School House, then showed them the war mamorial panels, and concluded with a walk along the Cloisters to finish outside Big School, now the College Theatre.

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10 April 2019 - Archive editions of 'The Eastbournian' magazine now available online

Archive editions of The Eastbournian magazine are now available to be viewed online.

Working with the digital scanning company SDS Heritage, the College archives have made available copies of the magazine from 1960 to 1991. We also have the complete first edition of the magazine from May 1870.

You are able to browse through issues on screen or search for specific text to retrieve an individual article.

The service is free for Eastbournian Society members to use; you just have to be registered on the Eastbournian Society website. If you have not already registered, please go to our Members page for information on how to do this. Once your registration has been processed and you are logged on, you can get access to the digital archive with details of the username and password by going to the Digital Eastbournian page.

We hope this will be a useful tool, not only for those interested in the history of the College but also for those Old Eastbournians who want to look back to their schooldays and see if their own name is mentioned in print!

The College archives are keen to add more issues of The Eastbournian, and would like to hear from you if there are particular years or decades that you would like added. This will help us decide how to expand the digital archive in the future. Please contact with your suggestions.

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9 April 2019 - Jaqi Anderson (Nugent 1980-82) has debut novel published

Jaqi Anderson (Nugent 1980-82) has had her debut novel, The Grace Note, published, and will be signing copies at Waterstone's in Eastbourne between 11.00am and 3.00pm on Saturday 13 April.

Jaqi, who was known as Jackie Gray when at school, says that she has taken to writing spectacularly late, partly due to her eclectic involvements as both musician and paediatric specialist; she is also mother to a disabled son.

The Grace Note tells the story of Kitty, whose life is turned upside down by a mysterious letter from a brother she never knew she had. Meanwhile she encounters the enigmatic and brooding Yani Belushi, a pianist who is carrying his own dark and sorrowful secret born out of a fractured childhood in former communist Albania. An inherited cello becomes the unlikely accomplice as their two worlds of music and adoption collide, each seeking resolution and discovery.

Having worked in a remote corner of Zambia with her medical husband, Jaqi says that she now lives in an almost empty nest, although she has recently become an infatuated grandmother. She hopes that some of the proceeds from The Grace Note will support causes dearest to her heart - the orphaned and disabled in Africa.

You can read more about the book at Jaqi's website

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4 April 2019 - Johnny Mercer MP (Pennell 1995-2000) interviewed in 'The Spectator'

Johnny Mercer MP (Pennell 1995-2000) has been interviewed in The Spectator magazine, which says that he 'has been tipped as a future leader' of the Conservative Party.

Johnny, a former army captain, is the MP for Plymouth Moor View, which he won in the 2015 general election and retained in 2017 with an increased majority.

In the interview he is described as openly despairing about the current state of government and predicts that if there is a snap election now, 'the party will get wiped out'. He has previously been critical of Conservative policies on welfare and veterans' rights and has not been afraid to voice his criticisms before it became fashionable to do so.

Regarding Brexit he says that he voted Remain in the 2016 referendum but now thinks that the right decision was made to leave the EU, and comments: 'we need to get on and see that through'.

As far as leading the party is concerned, he says that age and experience in politics are not necessarily requirements for the role: 'I'm afraid I'm not one of these people who thinks that years of cabinet service are a mandatory precursor to becoming prime minister. The idea that you can't learn about leadership and management and run big successful organisations anywhere outside of government is complete rubbish.'

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3 April 2019 - The 'Windsor Ten' meet for their 61st annual gathering

Members of the 'Windsor Ten' met in London recently for their 61st annual get-together. The group was formed in 1958 when, at David Winn's suggestion, ten senior members of School House agreed to meet every year at the Windsor Dive Bar at Victoria Station.

Alastair Graham, the group's hon sec, says of the ten: 'They are all alive and kicking in various parts of the world and seven of them met in March 2019 for their 61st AGM.'

Pictured here are, left to right, Pat Colbourne (1955-59), Duncan Wheeler (1953-57), Neil McWalter (1955-59), David Winn (1954-59), John Wilmot (1954-59), Alastair Graham (1954-59) and Tim Riordan (1954-58).

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1 April 2019 - You'd be a fool to miss out on the London dinner!

There are just four weeks to go before the highlight of the Eastbournian Society year - the annual London dinner, which celebrates Eastbournian achievement. You'd be a fool to miss out on this very special occasion!

This year we are returning to the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in Aldwych on Monday 29 April. The evening kicks off with a champagne reception from 6.30pm in the elegant Palm Court, followed by a three-course meal with coffee and petits fours in the Adelphi Suite. Also included in the cost is a half-bottle of red or white wine per person.

In the 50th anniversary year of educating girls at the College, we are delighted to welcome as our guest of honour the actress Patti Clare (Mary Taylor in Coronation Street), who at school was known as Patti Clark (Nugent 1983-85). We will also be honouring Paul Lowden, who retires in the summer after 32 years at the College. Paul taught English, was head of department, and housemaster of both Pennell and Blackwater houses, not to mention director of many a school drama production.

So we urge you to rally your OE friends for a fabulous night to remember!

To book places please contact Lulu Brown at or 01323 451911. Places cost £78 per person (£50 for OEs aged 29 and under). The dress code is formal evening wear ('black tie'). All prices are subsidised by the Eastbournian Society.

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