News headlines – May 2022

<<<    Later headlines
27 May 2022    Little by little, little becomes a lot
21 May 2022    Grandparents enjoy a tour of the College
20 May 2022    Upper Sixth leavers are welcomed to the Eastbournian Society
19 May 2022    A 'loverly' trip to see My Fair Lady
13 May 2022    Don't worry - the College is sticking with rugby!
9 May 2022    The Over-60s lunch at St George's Hill
8 May 2022    Eastbournian Society Chorus in fine voice
4 May 2022    Eastbournian Society May newsletter
4 May 2022    The Eastbournian Society Champagne trip - a sparkling success!
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27 May 2022 - Little by little, little becomes a lot

Tim Parker (Wargrave 1986-91), together with three friends, recently decided to undertake an aid mission to the Ukrainian border with Poland.

Tim's two daughters are College pupils in Nugent House, and news soon spread throughout the College community. Donations started rolling in and by Friday 20 May they had two vans packed and ready to leave via the Channel Tunnel.

After a long drive across Europe they arrived at the Ukrainian border on Saturday where they delivered the supplies they had brought with them, before shopping at a local supermarket to buy enough for 70 families. Another delivery was made to a former school that is now a home for 400 refugees.

Tim sent us this account of their aid mission:

In the purely practical sense, our trip to Ukraine has barely scratched the surface of the overwhelming humanitarian crisis that has been an unwelcome consequence of the Russian invasion. We read, on the day of our return to England, that eight million Ukrainians have been internally displaced by the conflict and a further six million have left their homeland altogether.

The four of us who travelled in two separate vans were inspired by the Tanzanian Proverb, 'Kidogo kidogo inakuwa nying' which translates as, 'little by little, little becomes a lot'. We wanted, no matter how little, to do something, anything to help. Inspired by the response from family, friends, our children’s schools and often complete strangers we became the conduits of the 'little' and whilst it may well have just scratched the surface, it proved to be some scratch, some surface! As Gandalf reflected in The Lord of the Rings:

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small, every day, deeds by ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.

In our own small way, the four of us: Jozef Mycielsk, Ian Jamieson, Nick Higham and myself have tried to keep the darkness at bay and when we see how it inspires others to jump in vans and drive east to Ukraine or to encourage others to make donations of money, medicines and toiletries, we now see how 'little by little, little becomes a lot.'

We saw, at first hand, how the Polish scouts are organising aid with the kind of energy and enthusiasm that would have made Robert Baden-Powell glow with pride; we were introduced to Gabriela who runs the Humanitarian Aid Centre in Przemysl (a former Tesco superstore) who works tirelessly to give the homeless, the desperate and the displaced sanctuary and hope providing food, accommodation and the means to work through the bureaucracy required to seek refuge in other European countries; we were humbled by Kamil (www.polandwelcomes.org) a polish aid worker who, almost single-handedly, looks after 400 Ukrainian women and children in a disused school, providing the only loving male presence with the kind of affection and joy that any doting father would be proud of.

We were introduced to a kilt-wearing Scotsman, David Fox-Pitt of Siobhan's Trust (www.siobhanstrust.uk), who travelled to Ukraine from Dundee, three days after the invasion, towing a pizza oven which served over 100,000 free pizzas, boosting the morale of those fleeing their country as they were stuck in endless queues as their papers were processed; we were struck by the selfless actions of a 19-year-old student from New Jersey, USA, who travelled alone to Przemysl armed with nothing but good intent and a small back pack.

Their contributions, along with our efforts and those who have sponsored us so generously, especially the parents, teachers and pupils of Sedbergh, Eastbourne College and Great Ballard schools, and the many complete strangers who were sufficiently moved on hearing of our journey to the Polish/Ukraine border to give spontaneously and trustingly. We are all living proof that 'little by little, little becomes a lot.'

It is a sobering sight, seeing busloads of Ukrainian refugees, all women and children, carrying their wordly belongings in suitcases and bin liners as they queue for food or to enter the refugee centre.

Never in our lifetime did we expect to see images that feel as though they were taken from Pathe news reels from the Second World War. Ultimately however, we left Poland moved by the breadth of the humanitarian effort.

Not just those mentioned working on the ground but all of you who supported through generous donations of money and aid, with messages of support, and the numerous commitments to continue supporting well into the future.

Evil not prospering because good people don't stand back and do nothing.

Our aim is to continue supporting Gabriella, Kamil and David through Poland Welcomes and Siobhan’s Trust. They may need us for months, maybe years. Please kindly consider continuing to keep Ukraine and its people in your thoughts and help, when and where you can.

Eden Aid, a local charity sending weekly aid convoys, was brilliant in advising us. Please also consider engaging directly with them, they need help including drivers and goods – www.edenaid.org.

For further information, or if you think you can help, please contact Tim at tim@parkersussex.co.uk or call 07771 714008.

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21 May 2022 - Grandparents enjoy a tour of the College

We were pleased to welcome grandparents of a number of current pupils to the College on the morning of Saturday 21 May.

This annual event is an opportunity for grandparents to be shown around the College by their grandchildren and see the school in action on a typical Saturday.

This year we had a particularly large turn-out of some 120 visitors (as we have been unable to hold this event for the past two years) and we are grateful to those who had to wait a year or two longer than normal before they could enjoy their visit.

Following the tour a reception was held in the Warren Atrium of the Nugee Building.

With such a large crowd Headmaster Tom Lawson addressed the visitors from the balcony, thanking the grandparents for coming along and taking an interest in the College. Development Director Emma Garrett also passed on her thanks on behalf of the Eastbournian Society.

Grandparents of current and past pupils are welcome to join the Eastbournian Society at no cost and come along to our events. For anybody interested in receiving our regular monthly email newsletters please contact us at es@eastbourne-college.co.uk and we will add you to the mailing list.  

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20 May 2022 - Upper Sixth leavers are welcomed to the Eastbournian Society

The Eastbournian Society held a reception on Friday 20 May for Upper Sixth pupils who will be leaving the College at the end of term.

It was a chance for them to be welcomed into the society and receive a gift of a bound notebook and pen.

The group was addressed by Head of Futures Sarah Gordon who paid tribute to their hard work over the last two years during which they had to cope with the difficulties brought about by the Covid pandemic. She wished them well as they embark on their A-level exams over the next few weeks.

Development Director Emma Garrett formally welcomed them to the ES and told them about the numerous ways in which they, as Old Eastbournians, can enjoy future reunions and other get-togethers, get involved with OE sports, and receive help and guidance with career choices and travelling abroad.

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19 May 2022 - A 'loverly' trip to see My Fair Lady

Wouldn't it be loverly?

Yes, the latest Eastbournian Society theatre trip certainly was a 'loverly' day out for the 41 members who took advantage of the discounted group rate tickets we were able to buy.

A day after its premiere at the Coliseum in London, the ES group attended the first matinee of the run on Thursday 19 May and were treated to a sumptuous production of the latest revivial of this classic musical.

Leading the cast as Eliza was Amara Okereke, and it was a privilege to see her performance. The Evening Standard's review called her 'an Eliza Doolittle for a new generation' and said: 'The first black actress to play the role, the 25-year-old has an effortlessly clear, full and expressive singing voice and can be meltingly soft, blazingly furious and beautifully still. She owns the Coliseum stage, and the role.'

A few of the lucky ES members who went along are pictured here outside the theatre.

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13 May 2022 - Don't worry - the College is sticking with rugby!

Readers of today's Daily Telegraph may have been puzzled by a prominent picture of rugby training on College Field which accompanied an article headlined 'Private schools switching from rugby to football'.

To reassure those of you who may have inferred from this that the College was taking a major part in moving away from rugby, we are pleased to say that we are not.

In fact, the College is not mentioned in the article at all, and it is something of a mystery as to why the Telegraph chose to use this picture to illustrate the piece.

However, we are, of course, always pleased when an image of the College is used as an example of all that is best in independent education, showcasing our healthy and safe location on the south coast. Ex Oriente Salus!

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9 May 2022 - The Over-60s lunch at St George's Hill

We were delighted to resume the Over-60s lunch after a three-year break caused by the pandemic, the last lunch having been held in 2019.

The venue was once again St George's Hill Club in Weybridge, and we are grateful to Peter Jamieson (Blackwater 1960-63) for having arranged this for us.

The lunch, always a popular event in the ES calendar, is an opportunity for senior OEs, together with their spouses and partners, to meet for a convivial meal.

The guest speaker was Jane Slade (Nugent 1975-77), who spoke about her memories of the College and her life as a national newspaper journalist, in conversation with former member of staff John Hargreaves.

Further pictures of the day are available here.

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8 May 2022 - Eastbournian Society Chorus in fine voice

The Eastbournian Society Chorus were in fine form for their performance of Haydn Creation on Sunday 8 May.

After Gordon Jacob’s rousing Nation Anthem, conductor Graham Jones and the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra began their first post-Covid choral concert, joined by soloists Rachel Shouksmith, OE Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks, and Christopher Dixon, along with the ES Chorus and the Eastbourne Symphony Chorus.

A large audience in St Saviour’s Church had a musical treat in store and showed their appreciation at the end of the evening with prolonged applause. John Thornley, the ESO’s concert manager, said afterwards how delighted he had been to welcome back the singers during their rehearsals for a concert which had been scheduled for 2020, and how keen they and the players had been to get together again for the ESO’s annual choral concert.

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4 May 2022 - Eastbournian Society May newsletter

Emma Garrett writes:

I'm just back from the Eastbournian Society Cultural trip to Champagne which followed hot on the heels of CIRCUS - it has been a busy old time. However, I imagine that won't surprise you if you are used to reading my previous monthly missives!

What might surprise those of you who know me well to hear was that a three-day trip to France was not actually something I was hugely looking forward to, despite the promise of Champagne for elevenses, coming as it did at such a busy time.

I am delighted to report however, that it was fabulous! Twenty-three of us were expertly led by Monsieur Guy Boursot and driven by our regular driver Dave who wields his coach with great expertise and precision.

We did not know each other before we set off, but by the end of the trip were firm friends united by our connection to the College. Old Eastbournians, parents, Eastbournian Society members, partners and siblings, we were a blend of young and old - the wonderful Robert Stapylton-Smith (left) at 90 years young, keeping us all on our toes and by the end of the trip, busy planning next year's trip to Portugal where he lives! The coach certainly returned much heavier than it left the College early last Tuesday morning, not only because of the delicious meals that we enjoyed en route, but due to the crates of Champagne that we picked up at every stop along the way. I can thoroughly recommend joining next year's ES European adventure - the planning is so expertly taken on by Guy and Dave that we didn't have to think about very much at all, other than what colour wine we wanted to drink with our dinner! You can read more about the trip here.

I mentioned CIRCUS earlier - many thanks to all those who participated, supported and enjoyed the variety of workshops, masterclasses and performances on offer.

We set it up to celebrate our pupils and former pupils who have a particular interest in the creative arts and to raise funds for our bursaries. It was great to welcome back a number of OEs within the industry to share their journeys since leaving the College, as well as hosting workshops and masterclasses for our pupils.

We started with a masterclass on the Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel and ended celebrating our oldest surviving former pupil, Derek Granger's, 101st birthday with him which was an absolute pleasure.

We'll be uploading a full report shortly on our website, so look out for that. The culmination of all the hard work was a Cabaret Night in Big School where the singer-songwriters performed their compositions accompanied by bass, keyboard and drums, and the College Jazz Band thrilled us all with their accomplished performance.

All profits from ticket sales went into our Bursaries Fund. By purchasing tickets, members of our community were supporting children from families with little or no financial means - children who have a desire to learn and embrace a world of discovery. Giving them a life-changing opportunity to benefit from an outstanding education at St Andrew's Prep and/or Eastbourne College is a gift that lasts a lifetime.

I can't highlight enough the transformational impact this support can have on a young person's life, giving them a chance to reach their full potential both at school and beyond, on the stage and off it. As the St Andrew's nursery and pre-prep children and staff enjoyed National Superhero Day, I reflected how everyone who bought tickets for CIRCUS and supported our bursaries is a superhero in my eyes!

I had the pleasure of showing some old friends round the College on Saturday - picture the scene. The sun shining, the cherry blossom in full bloom, a cricket match underway on College Field, their incredulity at the Winn Building, the Nugee Building and the way in which the old and the new were so sympathetically combined in the Warren Atrium was infectious. It reminded me of how very fortunate our pupils and staff are to live and work in this wonderful school which I hope none of us take for granted. The more children we can give these opportunities to, the better.

In other news…

You may have seen that we are recruiting.

EASTBOURNIAN SOCIETY - EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING ADMINISTRATOR

If you think you'd like to be part of such an engaged, talented, vibrant and fascinating cohort, living and working in such a stunning part of the country, why not get in touch? We’re looking for an Events & Fundraising Administrator to provide the support necessary to successfully deliver our range of social, sporting, networking and fundraising events, developing relationships which span a lifetime. You can read the job description here and follow the 'Apply Now' link to do just that! For further information, please contact myself or Marian Piper, Recruitment & HR Projects Manager, by email: hr@eastbourne-college.co.uk or tel: 01323 452239.

ANNUAL FOUNDATION GOLF DAY IS BACK

Thursday 7 July - The annual fundraising golf challenge represents the Eastbournian Society at its very best. The event is open to OEs, parents, staff, former staff, pupils, former pupils, local businesses and other supporters of the College. The day provides an excellent opportunity to meet others from within the College community and all profits from the day go towards the Peter Bibby Award, which provides bursary funding for a place at the College for a talented local cricketer.

The cost includes a snack on arrival, goody bag, 18 holes of golf on the Devonshire Course and a three-course dinner. This is a team event for four golfers of any standard and the cost of the day is £60 for members of Royal Eastbourne, and £75 for the day if you are not a member. If you are interested in playing, sponsoring or donating prizes or auction items, please contact us - time is of the essence as we can only sign up a limited number of teams. Please email hcmedlycott@eastbourne-college.co.uk to register.

CALLING ALL GRANDPARENTS

If you haven't signed up for Grandparents Day on 21 May please complete this form by Monday 9 May. This is a rather wonderful opportunity for grandparents to come into the College to have a look round. It’s a very informal event. We meet for coffee in the Warren Atrium at 10.30am and then grandchildren show their grandparents round for about an hour and we reconvene for wine and nibbles at about 12 noon when the headmaster will join us. The date and timing should be suitable for those many pupils who will have fixtures on this day to allow them time to be guides to their grandparents and then fulfil their sports commitments, which grandparents can of course then watch. Tim's Café will be open for a more substantial snack if this is required at lunchtime!

THE CREATION

Rehearsals for The Creation which will be performed at St Saviour’s Church on Sunday 8 May are going well with OE Andrew Wicks (Powell 1977-81) one of the soloists. Any ES members who know the work and would like to join the choir for the dress rehearsal and concert, it's not too late! Please just contact jt@eastbourne-college.co.uk. If you’d like tickets, they are available here.

OVER 60s LUNCH

We now have over 40 attending (I'd quite like it to be over 60!) and will need the list of names to be finalised by THURSDAY this week. I'm particularly keen to attract our first intake of female OEs to this event, partners are also welcome. For more information - follow this link. The first girls arrived in the sixth form at Eastbourne College in 1969 which, by my calculations, makes them practically septuagenarians, so we actually have a decade or so of girls who are eligible to join us. If you are one of them, we’d love to see you. Do join us for a really enjoyable occasion in a stunning location: St George's Hill Club, Warreners Lane, Weybridge, KT13 0LL. Guests are welcome to use the facilities at the club on the day including the indoor swimming pool and the grass tennis courts. Please try and join us, and spread the word. It’s a great opportunity for senior OEs to meet for a convivial meal and has become firmly established as a popular annual event. Our guest speaker is Jane Slade, who was in the sixth form in Nugent from 1975-77. John Hargreaves (College staff 1973–80) will join Jane in conversation.

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE WITH JOHN THORNLEY

On Tuesday 21 June at 3.45pm John Thornley invites you to come to the Long Room to listen to some random musical excerpts from his eclectic collection amassed through decades of being on the edge of the musical world, with one or two relevant / irrelevant / irreverent anecdotes. Nothing too serious but certainly not to be missed. And a cup of tea and posh cake. What’s not to like? The cost is £5 per person, including refreshments. Please contact John to reserve your place: jt@eastbourne-college.co.uk.

DUBAI

We are planning an Eastbournian Society gathering in Dubai in November of this year to include all members based in the Middle East and anyone based in the UK who fancies a trip to Dubai for some winter sun! If you would be interested in finding out more about this trip, please do make contact with our man in the Middle East Oscar Orellana-Hyder who is building up a list of interested parties: Oscar.hyder@robertwalters.com. Whether you have a son or daughter who is a current pupil or an OE, or have spent time in the Gulf States yourself and would like to visit, please do get in touch. The more the merrier. Having thoroughly enjoyed the ES visit to Champagne last week, I am looking forward to seeing what Dubai has to offer.

So that is it for the May newsletter folks - don't forget Sports Club is up and running again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8.30-10.30am. Please contact Helen if you'd like more information or to register. Do keep an eye on the website for updates too.

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4 May 2022 - The Eastbournian Society Champagne trip - a sparkling success!

Mike Davey (School 1967-72) reports on the Eastbournian Society's recent cultural tour of the Champagne region.

In my final term at Eastbourne College (which was the summer term of 1972) I boarded a coach in Blackwater Road for the last time as a College student and I certainly did not envisage that, 50 years later, I would once again board a coach for another 'school trip'.

However, that is what happened because on Tuesday 26 April at 0530 hours a group made up of OEs and others that either had or have a connection with the College climbed aboard a luxury coach in Blackwater Road destined for Folkestone…The ES 2022 Champagne tasting and cultural tour of the region around Reims had begun.

Fortified by bacon rolls and coffee kindly supplied by Helen Medlycott the group were in good spirits and, with the roads being clear, we arrived at the Eurotunnel Terminal (which was pretty much deserted) and, after a quick coffee, boarded the train. Forty minutes later we were in France.

By now old friendships were renewed and new friendships made, and it quickly became evident that the trip was going to be fun as clearly everyone was up for a good time and the tour did not fail to deliver.

The next couple of days consisted of of a good mixture of visiting champagne houses with of course the obligatory tasting (in which the group did not need any encouragement to partake), excellent meals with wonderful wines, and some spare time to wander around the enchanting City of Reims (well known for its glorious Gothic cathedral where all French kings were crowned).

Pictured here left to right are Alison Gourlay (Nugent 1970-72), Mike Davey and Di Moss (née Sparrow) (Nugent 1970-72).

I can only speak for myself here but I am not entirely sure that I can even now identify the difference between a Blanc De Noirs 1er Cru (100% Pinot Noir) champagne and a Grande Cuvee Speciale 1er Cru (70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir) champagne but what I can say is, I really really enjoyed every single glass of champagne that was put in front of me and clearly I was not alone, as on departure from each champagne house the coach sank a couple of inches as more and more cases of bubbles were loaded.

Before we knew it, the tour was coming to an end but there was time for one last stop on route to the Eurotunnel Terminal for a visit to the old Grand Prix circuit at Reims Tinqueux where Dermot Bambridge (Reeves 1962-65) shared his passion for motor racing and, as a momento for the group, produced a booklet full of information about the circuit.

If you enjoy excellent champagne and wines, fine French cuisine and great company then this is a trip for you, so keep an eye out for the next one and get your booking in!

There were so many highlights of the trip (the hotel which we stayed at, Hotel de la Paix in the centre of Reims, was very well received by the guests, particularly the breakfasts!) and therefore very difficult to pick one that stands above the rest, but I think we would all agree that what really made our trip so successful were the people who attended.

Of course, it would be totally remiss of me not to say a few thank yous on behalf of the group. To David, our coach driver, who on more than one occasion received a round of applause from the group for completing some tricky manoeuvres in some very tight spaces, to Guy, our champagne and wine expert guide ,who was always on hand to answer any question, and finally to Emma Garrett.

By the end of the trip Emma must have been fed up to the back teeth of ensuring on departure from each venue that all the group were safely back on the coach. She always made sure that everyone had what they needed and frankly took away from the group all aggro that is associated with trips/holidays and all done with her smile on her face.

Now where is that glass of champagne…?

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