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Clubhouse Bar Winter Opening Times

During the winter months up to Easter 2023, the clubhouse bar is open to members and their guests at the following times:

On Saturdays, Somerset Avenue gate closes at 11pm sharp, exit through Coombe Lane gate only thereafter 

Last orders are at 30 minutes before closing and all members and their guests must have left the grounds by 11 pm (unless we have a late license).

We reserve the right to call last orders and close early if custom is very low.

Chairman's Bulletin 9 February 2024

Lessons in speaking too soon.

After last week’s optimistic outlook for the ground, and envisaging incrementally warmer days and lighter evenings ahead, I dared to imagine that we had seen the worst of what winter could throw at us.

No sooner had this brighter outlook began to settle down in my mind, complete with pipe and slippers, persistent rain arrived, dowsing the pipe and soaking the slippers.

Needless to state that after a full consultation with each of the affected sections, all sporting fixtures and practice had to be called off for both Saturday and Sunday. 

However, the Clubhouse will be open as promised for the 6 Nations encounters on both days, so if you cannot play, you can at least enjoy watching others doing so over one of our first-class beverages on tap.

Six Nations

Please come and join us for the early kick off at 2.15pm Saturday for the Scotland vs France game to see which Scotland shows up (and which half will they show up for!) 

After nearly throwing away an assumed unassailable lead against Wales last weekend, they face a defeated France, lacking the dominance shown before the World Cup.

The absence of a certain Monsieur Dupont may have something to do with that, but it does set up an intriguing confrontation with home advantage on Scotland’s side.

England follow on against Wales at 16:45pm with their refreshed and newly blooded youngsters looking to make a name for themselves at HQ after their win in Rome. Wales are even younger and fresher.

After running Scotland close to the wire last weekend, they will have gained a lot of confidence from their second half fight back and will be desperate to get one over the English.

On Sunday at 3pm it’s Ireland v Italy. The Azzurri gave England a proper scare last weekend with just 3 points the difference in the end. But for the boot of Ford the outcome may have been a lot different with the try count 3-2 in Italy’s favour.

Fierce in defence and creative in attack, an upset awaits one of the 5 other teams in the competition for sure. Will it be Ireland?

Next week

There will be no bulletin next week as it is half term. 

However, the conditions of the ground will be a persistent concern and with a lot more rain in the forecast, please keep a close eye on your team manager’s updates. 

Michael-Jon Andrews

Chairman

College Hospitalité Lourdes Fund Appeal and 2024 Pilgrimage

Dear Old Wimbledonian,

Following our celebration last year of the Centenary of the College’s first working party to Lourdes, I’d like to tell you about two important initiatives that the College Hospitalité is undertaking this year.

Wimbledon College Lourdes Fund

This is, I am sorry to say, an appeal for financial help. But, before I ask for your donations, I thought it would be appropriate to give you some background information.

In 1923 Wimbledon College first sent to Lourdes a group of fourteen schoolboys, accompanied by the chaplain, Fr John Manning SJ. Since then, the College has sent a party to Lourdes to help the sick in nearly every subsequent year except for the years of World War 2 and its aftermath.

To celebrate the centenary of the first working party we decided that we would have a special centenary pilgrimage in addition to the usual working party. In the end there were nine members of the working party and nineteen members of the pilgrimage group.

I report at more length on the pilgrimage in the newsletter that we published recently and which can be found in the Lourdes Hospitalité section. Suffice it to say that it was an unqualified success. 

This was attributable to the inspiring leadership of Fr Michael Holman SJ assisted by Fr. Peter Griffiths SJ, also, to the lively interaction between the disparate age groups. These ranged from the effervescent seven-year-old Lourdes Maclou-Calvert to the sprightly octogenarians, Gerry McPartlin and Bob Hessey.

Of course, the real reason why the pilgrimage was such a triumph was the presence of Our Lady and the overwhelming spiritual power of Lourdes. In this connection I was impressed by the impact made by Lourdes on two young men, Jeremy and Kavi. Jeremy left the College in 2023 and Kavi the year before. Their accounts are set out in full in the newsletter, but I will quote a few extracts now from Jeremy’s. 

Jeremy had never previously visited Lourdes. He explained that, initially, he was very apprehensive about his ability to help the sick. However, his anxieties fell away as he became part of a team whose sole purpose was to serve the sick. He writes of Lourdes that “no other place on earth is more focussed on the sick”. Jeremy intends to return and says that “the spirit of Lourdes will continue to spread its ripple of love far beyond the Grotto”.

The principal aim of the Wimbledon College Lourdes Fund is to provide financial help to enable current and former pupils of the College to go to Lourdes. The Fund was established several years ago and is now almost exhausted. So far as I know there has been no previous appeal for funds for several decades, so I would ask you please to be generous in your giving. I have quoted from Jeremy’s reminisces on his first visit to Lourdes in the hope that it might strike a chord in the memory of those who have visited Lourdes, perhaps many years ago!

Gifts can be made by bank transfer to the following account:

Wimbledon College Lourdes Fund

Sort code: 20-96-89

Account number: 10950777

If you would like a receipt, please email wimbledonlourdes100@gmail.com and quote your name as reference on the bank transfer.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque drawn in favour of Wimbledon College Lourdes Fund to the treasurer, John Pedder, at 86 Home Park Road, London SW19 7HR.

Thank you. Your generosity will help enable future students of the College to experience, like Jeremy and Kavi, the transforming action of Lourdes in their lives.

2024 Non-Working Pilgrimage

Last year’s pilgrimage was a memorable occasion, drawing together Old Boys and families of boys currently at the College alongside the working party. The Centenary Newsletter gives a flavour of the happy event it was.

Such was its success, we are planning another non-working pilgrimage this year, which will run from Friday 23 August to Tuesday 27 August, alongside this year’s working party. As last year, it will be led by Fr. Michael Holman SJ, whom a number of you will remember as a former Chaplain and Headmaster of the College. The pilgrimage is open to anyone with a connection to the College, and of course old boys of the College and their families are especially welcome. 

Accommodation will be in a comfortable 3-star hotel in close proximity to the Sanctuary. We will handle hotel bookings, while you will have the flexibility to make your own travel arrangements. We are still firming up on costs, but Indicative figures would be in the region of £500 per adult on a shared room basis, including full board and travel.

We do not require any money at this stage, but if you are interested in coming, or would like to find out more, please email wimbledonlourdes100@gmail.com

It would be very helpful if you could also indicate how many people you anticipate being in your party.

I do hope you can join us for what I’m sure you will find an enjoyable, rewarding and eye-opening experience.

Edmund Hills

President, Wimbledon College Hospitalité

Saturday 24 February 2024

Old Caterhamians vs Old Wimbledonians

Counties 2 Surrey

Saturday 2 March 2024

 Old Emanuel 2nd XV v Old Wimbledonians Rams

Surrey Combination 1 League 2023-2024

SAL Junior Division 4 South

SAL Junior Division 5 South

Policy Change for all Saturdays: Somerset Road Gates Closed at 11 pm sharp.

Our good and understanding neighbours in Somerset Avenue have been brilliantly tolerant over the years but, unfortunately, they have experienced an uptick in noise disturbances in recent weeks, particularly late on weekend evenings after closing.

We rely on our neighbours’ support to be able to put on the events that you want (for example those with late night licences), and it is unfair and so damaging when they are subjected to unnecessary disturbances.  It also takes up a huge amount of our valuable volunteer members’ time to handle complaints.   

The OWA Committee has therefore reluctantly but necessarily taken the decision that the gates to Somerset Avenue will be closed at 11 pm on Saturdays (and on other days where we are holding large events).  Anyone still at the Clubhouse after 11 pm will have to make their way to the exit on Coombe Lane.

Consequently, members are also kindly informed of, and asked to cooperate regarding the following:

One issue that our neighbours have complained about is people standing around in the car park entrance late in the evening talking and laughing before leaving.  When you leave, please make your way quickly and quietly straight up the alley to Coombe Lane or down Somerset.  

If you want or need to linger around and chat for a bit, please do that either in the Clubhouse or on the terrace where the sound does not travel into the road.


Many thanks again for your kind cooperation and support.

OWA Big Prize Club

HAVE SOME FUN AND SUPPORT THE OWs, WARRIORS AND CRICKET COLTS

The OW Big Prize Club, a registered lottery, has six annual draws. The first prize in each draw is £1000 and there are three lesser prizes. 

50% of BPC subscriptions is distributed as prizes and the remaining 50% supports the facilities for the OWs, the cricket colts and the rugby warriors.

Total prizes distributed in 2018 were c. £ 7600. Annual prize money increases with increased numbers of subscribers (the annual number of draws has recently been increased from 5 to 6 per year). 

New subscribers are very welcome. Anyone can join and you can have as many "tickets" as you wish for yourself, your children or grandchildren. The BPC subscription is £10 pcm

If you would like others to join the BPC please email owabigprize@gmail.com.

A big thank you to all that give their support via the BPC and good luck in future draws.

Best Regards.

Dave Doran 

Big Prize Club Admin

Remembrance Page Now Available

Check out the  Remembrance Page which remembers those from the College who died in the First and Second World Wars.

We have also updated the Notable Alumni page

3 minute film of the grounds circa 1929 . Clubhouse is where the chairs are. Click on the image to see on Pathe site.

Photo of Simon Travers with text 3 January 1956 - 13 August 2023

It’s with great sadness that we mark the passing of Simon Travers, who died on Sunday 13 August, aged 67. 

Simon attended Donhead from 1963-67 and the College from 1967-74. One of 6 siblings, he and his 3 brothers all attended the College.

Simon spent the majority of his working life teaching at Donhead, before ending his career at Cranmore.

A fine sportsman, he excelled at Rugby, representing England U19 Colts, Rosslyn Park and Old Wimbledonians, most notably as part of the 'magnificent 7' in 1977 at the Middlesex Final's at Twickenham.

Vincent Poncia RIP 

We regretfully inform you that Old Wimbledonian Paul Hollingworth has been in touch about the sad death of Vincent Poncia last month.

Vince attended the college between 1973 and 1976, and was a popular member of the school during those years. He later worked for Sun Chemical, and latterly before early retirement due to ill health had worked as a Business manager at the Nelson Surgery in Merton Park. 

Vince had been born and lived all of his life with Lymphedema, but always retained a positive outlook, and greatly enjoyed travel and music. In pursuit of this latter interest he travelled the world to see some of his favourite bands, such as the Eagles, Billy Joel, Paul Carrick and others. 

Despite his life long condition Vince displayed the most amazing resilience, rarely if ever complaining or allowing this to inhibit his interests and activities.

Sadly Vince was diagnosed with a complex cancer related to his lifelong condition at the end of 2022, and he succumbed to this in hospital in Bristol on Saturday 24th June. 

He leaves his loving wife Deborah and a plethora of close friends, many of whom were also former pupils from the college.

There will be a small cremation service at 2.00 pm in Cheltenham on July 11th followed afterwards by some food and drinks at their home in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Should you wish to attend,  please contact Paul Hollingworth.

He will be greatly missed.

May he rest in peace.

John Ambler RIP

John Ambler  who died on 26 July 2023 from pancreatic cancer.

Simon Potter's New Book: Not All Right On the Night

I produced and directed plays and musicals at The College for 50 years (1972 - 2022). 

Of these 66 productions, 38 have been a breeze, but 28 haven't! I gave a talk in Wimbledon a couple of years ago called "Disasters in Luvviedom" and this led to "NOT ALL RIGHT ON THE NIGHT!" - all about the frightful near-averted and not averted horrors of these shows.

All proceeds go to BOOK AID INTERNATIONAL who work for a world where everyone has access to books.

Available on-line from Witley Press Bookshop and Amazon (£6.99 book, £2.99 Kindle).

Buy 'Not All Right On the Night' on Amazon

Walter (Wally) Close RIP

We have recently the sad news of the death last Tuesday of Wally Close aged 90, an OW from the 1940s, the eldest of 3 sporting brothers, all of whom represented both the College and the Old Boys at cricket and rugby. Wally made his career in the RAF which he also represented with distinction on the sports field.

His son Andrew is interested in tracking down the words to a song Walter has been singing recently:

Interestingly, he was recently signing a song to my mother and brother that he remembered that had been written by Fernand Laloux when he was the Music master at the College. I have attached a copy as Dad remembered it, but it would be interesting to see if anyone actually has all the words

See the image accompanying this article, please get in touch if you do have a copy of the complete lyric

Written by Fernand Laloux – Choir Master & Music Director, Sacred Heart Church, SW19 and Music Director of Wimbledon College. 

John McPartlin RIP

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of John who died on Monday 14 November 2022, aged 85. 

John attended the College from 1947-55 before going on to Brasenose College, Oxford, and the London Hospital Medical College. He died, peacefully, surrounded by his family, in the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, where he had worked for many years as a Consultant Surgeon.

John is survived by his wife Sarah (daughter of Walter Wright and sister of Andrew Wright who both attended the College), his seven children, Fiona, David, Gregory, Hamish, Kate, Andrew and Christopher and his 14 grandchildren..

Tony Coates RIP

We have recently learned of the death in the USA of Tony Coates who was at The College in the early to mid-1950s. 

He was an outstanding sportsman at both cricket and rugby and he played for both OWRFC and OWCC on leaving school and prior to emigrating. He had a scintillating career as an academic as a Geologist. His career took him all over the world and an early destination was Jamaica where, in addition to lecturing in geology at the University of Jamaica for several years he played rugby for Jamaica and played cricket with Sir Frank Worrell. 


He was an outstanding sportsman at both cricket and rugby and he Most of his career was spent in the USA but he did spend time as Visiting Senior Lecturer at Kings College London and also as Visiting Professor at Wolfson College Oxford, as well as in Paris. For most of his career he taught at George Washington University and subsequently became Director of Research Programmes, Roving Ambassador and Senior Scientific Emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He was a remarkable man and it is well worth searching for "Anthony G Coates, Washington" on the internet to find out more about him and his life.

His death follows on from that a couple of months ago of his younger brother, Phil, also an OW who had emigrated to and made his career in the USA. May they rest in peace.

A Tribute to Mike and Margaret Parsons

On The Occasion of Mike’s Funeral 26th October 2022 

It is a great privilege today on behalf of the old Wimbledonians to be able to say a few words about Mike. However, it would not be right to talk just about him when both he and Margaret were such an integral part of our club. So, this address is about them both. 

Mike and Margaret, M & M, our constant couple. 

Mike played his first game for us in April 1976, against our local rivals Wimbledon. He had been talent spotted at his local pub, the Willoughby in Kingston and came with a motley crew of other “rugby” men and one woman – Margaret. 

At that level, any support is appreciated and, from the start Margaret’s vocal enthusiasm was worth at least ten others. 

We recall that she had a detailed knowledge of the very complex offside laws and was always happy to impart that knowledge, generally to referees, and almost always while the game was in progress. At the same time, she was able to express genuine concern for the referee’s obvious visual impairments : “are you blind ref, that was a mile offside !!” 

M & M finished that season and, while most of the Willoughby recruits returned to their pub, Mike and Margaret came back for more…and more…and more. 

With a newcomer’s naïve enthusiasm Mike took on the onerous job of team secretary for a month’s trial in January 1977. He continued in this role for nearly 10 years, during which time he was made a vice-president of the club.

From 1994-97 Mike became Chairman and President of the Rugby club, a role he performed admirably and one which he took up again for the 2003-04 season.

At this point Mike joined a committee with a well- established secretary – Margaret, who had taken on this role in 1996 and, having also been made a vice-president 2 years later, continued in the job until illness forced her to step down in 2017, only 18 months before she so sadly left us. 

During that time, Margaret became the glue that held the club together. More than one person said they would only be prepared to go on the committee as long as she remained secretary. Margaret brought organisation and method to the committee. She wasn’t bossy but if something was going to be done, it had to be “done right”; and heaven help anyone who failed to fulfil a task they had promised to complete. 

Undoubtedly, her years running the OWRFC and the Shell Pensioners’ group honed her skills for the hardest task of all - keeping Mike under control. I am not sure she always succeeded in that, but she certainly managed better than anyone else could have.

While Margaret was doing this, Mike wasn’t sitting idly by. For years he organised the annual fixture card. He sent out regular highly amusing circulars – every week during the season. He was the deviser and question master for our occasional pub quizzes and the supreme, and sublime organiser for our twice a season, vice-presidents’ lunches. Mike carried on with the circulars and the lunches until Illness forced him to stand back in 2021 – only a year before he passed on.

So, you can see that from the time Mike and Margaret joined our club in 1976 for the rest of their lives they were 100% part of the Old Wimbledonian family.

But that’s only part of the story – we are not here just to appreciate an efficient secretary and a good organiser of lunches. We are here to celebrate the lives of two very special people.

Not only did Mike and Margaret become part of the OW family, but we also became their family. They didn’t have children of their own but anyone here wearing one of these ties was one of their “boys”.

The Parsons’ enjoyed nothing more than their family holidays or, as we called them, rugby tours.

From the early days in Cornwall, Holland and Germany to much later trips to Spain, Portugal and Malta, Margaret would provide her usual vocal support from the touchline while Mike provided the more spiritual kind from the bar. 

They even joined the first ever Wimbledon College tour to Canada in 1983 and have kept touch with some of those boys ever since, some of whom are here today.

Of course, parents never admit to having favourites, but they couldn’t really hide their passion for the rams, also represented here today, and would accompany them on their occasional holiday/tour to Scotland.

As well as family outings they were regular supporters of all the teams and great company in the bar afterwards, Mike particularly happy to provide constructive criticism where he thought appropriate. 

my dear chap. You were rubbish today. Let me buy you a beer”  friendship – banter – generosity. That was Mike.

They were equally happy to travel to away games and Mike was, as always, a generous host when fixtures in deepest Surrey and Hampshire mysteriously always involved a visit to the Good Intent on the way back.

From this and numerous other occasions Mike became known as the man with the bottomless pockets and the never ending £20 note. 

It will, therefore, come as no surprise to anyone to hear that he will be picking up the tab posthumously later on in the Good Intent.

The tributes to Margaret and Mike on the news of their passing were too many to even contemplate going through today , but they all mentioned how generously they gave of their time, their skills, their support and above all their friendship.

So, here’s to our lovely and loving couple, our dear friends, our family, Mike and Margaret,

May they rest together in peace.

Graham Turner

Watch Old Wimbledonians Cricket Club on YouTube

The OWCC are now streaming their home First XI and Second XI matches, click on the YouTube logo to go to the OWCC YouTube channel. 

Please like, share, comment and subscribe and hopefully enjoy watching many victories for the Cricket Club.

New Books from Simon Potter MBE

Simon Potter is at it again and has published two new books with the proceeds going to charity:

It's news of two books, both published by my imprint, Glassingall Books, one written by a Jesuit  about hunting in WW1, the other by me about old models!

The Poetry of Father Peter Banyard SJ

Fr Banyard died on 7 August, 2018. He was 87 and had been a Jesuit for seven decades and a Catholic priest for 57 years. 

200 copies of a delightful anthology of his poetry have now been printed. 

If you would like a copy please phone Fr Dermot Preston, who is the Superior of the Jesuit community at St Aloysius, in Glasgow, on 0141 331 4580

A donation of £10 to Jesuit missions is all that is asked. 

Many OW’s will remember Fr Peter (‘Bertie’) Banyard from his time at Wimbledon, as a scholastic, from 1955 and, after his ordination, from 1977 – ‘80. 

He played both cricket and rugby (as a prop) for the OW’s. But Glasgow became his spiritual home. He was Games Master for many years at St Aloysius College and later Chaplain to pupils and staff. His poetry reflects his love of nature and, in particular, of the rugged landscape of Vatersay, in the Outer Hebrides, where he supplied three time a year for over 40 years.

A typical example of his poetry, ‘Lunchtime Landscape’ (Glasgow, 3rd November 2014), was on the memorial card at his funeral.

Lunchtime Landscape (Glasgow, 3rd November 2014)

On this third November day

the Campsie Fells are patched:

patched with sunlight,

patched with shadows.

And so my life is patched:

patched with friendships,

patched with others’ sorrows

until all is subsumed in Him

whose coat was without seam. 

OWA Committee Update February 2021


It is approaching six months since the (delayed) AGM in September, and we hope that you have been keeping up with the goings on at the Clubhouse through our regular emails in particular the fantastic work in preparing meals for the NHS at Kingston Hospital.

We'd also like to update you on the work that the OWA committee has been doing on other non-COVID related matters behind the scenes so please see the following items which detail some of the initiatives the committee has bee pursuing thus far.


Thank you for your support and we look forward to updating you again in the coming months.


Best regards


The OWA Committee

Why am I getting these emails? Who are the OWA?


The Old Wimbledonians Association is the organisation that owns the Clubhouse, half of the grounds and is responsible for maintaining those facilities.  It is also responsible for other matters such as members’ discipline.  The other half of the ground is owned by Donhead.

The OWA was initially established as an old boys’ association for former pupils of Wimbledon College and Donhead and its links to those schools remains very strong, but its membership is more widely community based.


There are three sporting sections under the OWA umbrella: the Football Club, Rugby Club and Cricket Club.  The Rugby Club incorporates the Old Wimbledonian Warriors, and the Cricket Club incorporates the Colts.


If you have paid a subscription fee to your sporting section, you are a member of the OWA.  If you pay a subscription to the Warriors or Colts for your child, you are also a member of the OWA. 


However the OWA is more than just a sports club, and its activities and connections go beyond merely sport. See History of the OWA for more details.


The OWA is principally funded from the income generated by the clubhouse bar and kitchen, membership fees and pitch use fees.  We do not receive any local authority grant or legacy funding.


The OWA is managed by an annually elected committee made up of volunteer members, which is presently constituted of representatives from each of the sporting sections (Football, Rugby & Cricket), Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, plus the Headmaster of Donhead, Phil Barr.

Pitch Flooding

Many of you who have been to grounds in the past month or so cannot have failed to notice that once again, the pitches have resembled a wetland centre more than a centre of sporting excellence.

The committee has been working very hard to address this now perennial problem that strikes at the core of what we do. Resolving it is at the very top of our priority list.


We are working (and have been working since the Autumn) with drainage experts, our grounds maintenance company and Merton Council to urgently find the causes and devise solutions.


Whatever the cause or causes, the solutions are not going to be simple or cheap and will require a substantial investment from the OWA and its members.  


We cannot put an exact figure on how much until we have the suite of options to consider, however we should not be surprised if the cost approaches £500,000. 


In light of the above, raising significant funds for this project in the coming months will be something you will see further communications about both from us and the sporting section with which you are principally involved.


However there is no doubt that we will once again be asking for your help and generosity in any number of ways to help us reach our fundraising target. 


Rest assured that we will explore every avenue of funding available but we are confident in our members’ desire and determination to create a quality and reliable facility that is usable year round. 


So, please do let us know if you win the Euro Millions Jackpot this week!

New Brewery Deal on the way

Damian Woodward (OWFC Chairman and OWA committee member), has put his considerable experience working with AFC Wimbledon to good use and we are delighted to announce that he has negotiated a new brewery deal with AB InBev.  

Again, this will produce some badly needed cash and a higher profit margin than our existing relationship with Carlsberg, assuming we reach certain sales targets. 


This new deal will provide a range of top named branded drinks and afford us the flexibility of bringing in guest beers from time to time.  All your favourites such as Youngs Ordinary and Guinness will of course remain a staple offering.


We will be keeping our pricing under review and we would like nothing better than to return to our pre-pandemic status as a member’s bar offering better-than-pub value.  However, much will depend on what our staffing costs will be after we are permitted to open again, and what safety regimes we will have to impose, for example, table only service

Contracts Being Reviewed

Since September, the committee has been reviewing a number of contracts and relationships connected with the facilities in order to try and run things more efficiently.

For example, our Treasurer Sam Shethran, has been doing some tremendous work with our finances and has renegotiated our waste management contract which has and will produce significant savings of hundreds of pounds every month.


The OWA and Donhead will also be working much more closely together on financial matters to ensure that we are running things as efficiently as possible, particularly in relation to the grounds maintenance costs.  This relationship is moving from strength to strength and will be critical in relation to the flooding issue described below.


Utilities and other contracts are also being scrutinised and we will update you about those in due course.


OWCC Cricket Match raises over £500 for the CLIC Sarjent Charity

The cricket match between the OWCC Sunday Campions and a Wallington School pupils and staff XI raised over £500 for the CLIC Sarjent charity which fights to stop cancer destroying young lives, like  that of Old Wimbledonian Sachin Shah who is undergoing treatment for osteosarcoma .  

Match organiser Tim Richards with Sachin Shah and his dad Manoj,  

The OWCC Sunday Campions Team consisted of Tim, Max Jacobs, Jon Ankiewicz, Hiren Doshi, Jay Doshi, Laurence Ghafur, Joe Bell, Anthony French, Andrew Wijayesinghe, Adrian Dawson, Liam Hearty and Kennedy Warwick (many of whom can be seen above)

By all accounts it was an excellent game of cricket and it was good to see so many of Sachin's  friends and OW club mates down at the clubhouse supporting this great cause.

Organiser Tim Richards said "It was a good day and an emotional one for all concerned particularly after Sachi's speech and words of thanks. "

Thanks to all of you who have already given so generously, the Just Giving page is still live and accepting donations if you've not had a chance to donate yet.

Wimbledon College is now amongst the top 10 State Schools as measured by alumni in Who's Who

A recent report released by Keystone Tutors entitled DOES ALMA STILL MATTER? THE SCHOOLS EDUCATING THE NATION’S ELITE which is an analysis of schools featured in Who’s Who and Desert Island Discs finds Wimbledon College in the top 10 State Schools up 30 places in the rankings from last year.

The authors use Who's Who "in the hope that this monumental (though under-explored) resource could present a new angle on schools in the UK. We liked the fact that it measures ‘impact on public life’ in a way that would see alumni recognised even if they would not have shined in an academic league table. We also hoped it would throw out the names of schools that were especially good at adding value: it is not unsurprising when a highly academically selective school comes top of an academic league table but it is more worthy of comment when a less academically selective school repeatedly produces high achieving alumni."

The report can be read online.

The first 60 meals go out to Kingston Hospital

Thanks To All Volunteers

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time, money and baking skills over the last few weeks.

We have had 20 volunteers working with Richard to produce over 1700 meals for NHS staff so far and our bakers have produced over 1200 portions of cakes, cookies, flapjacks and other tasty treats. 

We received the following from a member of staff thanking you all for all the hard work.

Hello and thank you again to all of you at The Old Wimbledonians Club from another grateful Kingston Hospital staff member! We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity in providing such nutritious food (and some treats too) for us, we often don’t have the energy to prepare our lunches or dinners for the next shift after we’ve clocked off the day before.

With best wishes, stay safe and well

Sign up to bake for Kingston Hospital ICU and COVID ward staff meals

Many of you have expressed an interest in baking for the Kingston Hospital meals. 

This is very welcome and in order to make sure we don't get inundated with too many baked goods on a particular day, we have set up an online rota which you can access via the sign up button below.

We're currently doing around 80 meals a day and the requested baking quantities have been set accordingly.

Cake or cookies need to be in simple portion size and individually wrapped. Cookies, flap jacks or cupcakes fit the bill. 

Please avoid nut products and fresh cream or other dairy products which have a short shelf life.

They can be dropped off at the back door of the clubhouse between 9 am and 1 pm on the days you pick from the rota. 

Richard will leave ingredients for collection as available, help yourself to what you need when dropping off your baking.

Baking slots are for 12 portions and there are 7 per day on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 14 on Mondays and Fridays (to cover the day after as well). 

So if you think you can produce 24 cup cakes for a particular day then sign up for 2 slots on that day.

Funding target for Kingston Hospital meals reached

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our members, we have reached the funding target to enable us to provide meals for Kingston Hospital ICU and COVID ward staff until the 7 March. 

Any money left will then be donated to local good causes such as the Kingston Hospital Charity who support Kingston Hospital by: funding cutting edge equipment and high quality clinical research; helping create the best possible patient environments; and recognising the dedication and caring commitment of staff by supporting their development and wellbeing. 

There are still some volunteer slots left to help Richard prepare the meals.

Supporting frontline staff at Kingston Hospital ICU and COVID Wards: volunteers and donations needed


Given the latest surge in the new strain of coronavirus that is rampaging through our community, we hope that you and your family safe and well.  


While we hope that you can shield yourself and your loved ones by locking down, we know that is not an option for some in our community, not least our brave and dedicated NHS staff.


Through our connections with the medical profession that were built up during our involvement in the previous, and truly inspirational, Project Doing a Bit last spring, we understand that the ICU and COVID wards are being overwhelmed.


Doctors and nurses are reporting back to us that it is much worse that it was in April and that they are working double shifts and days off to cope with the demand.


Consequently, the OWA committee is unanimous in its determination to do something to help and show our support and gratitude and we know that you will want to help too in whatever way you can.


What are we going to do?


In consultation with Kingston Hospital, Critical NHS, Dons Local Action and other partners, we want to kick start a new initiative to help Kingston Hospital staff by providing meals to its overworked staff.


We have been asked to provide 460 meals per week, which we will gladly do, but we can only do it with your help.


Our aim is to provide meals for the next 7/8 weeks.


What do we need?


We should be enormously grateful for both your spare time and a donation, however small.


The costs will be approximately £500 per week, but we only have 4 weeks worth of funds.  We are therefore looking to raise at least a further £2,000.


In addition to funding, the initiative will require volunteers to prepare, pack and label food.


We will set up a rota which will run between 9:30 am and midday, 5 days of the week.


We would like to have 2 volunteers for each day of production and those days are:

You will be able to sign up to volunteer online (see below for more details).


The first day of operations is hoped to be this Wednesday 13 January 2021.


We would also be very interested to hear from anyone who could provide us with a regular supply of meat (fresh or frozen); chicken, beef, mince etc., ideally for free, but at an attractive reduced price, if not. Please email chairman@oldwimbledonians.com if you can help in this regard.


Covid-Secure Environment


All volunteers must be acutely aware that there will be a rigorous safety and cleaning regime in place to protect you, staff and other volunteers.


We will provide you with PPE but feel free to provide your own mask.


Shielding and/or need a cooked meal?


If you are shielding and cannot get to the shops and/or find cooking difficult during lockdown, please contact us to see if we can provide you with a freshly cooked meal for a nominal donation. Please email chairman@oldwimbledonians.com with regard to this.


Thank you


It is humbling to serve an organisation whose members’ instincts are to help others during tough times, as you all did so magnificently during the first lockdown.


Therefore, in anticipation of you rising to the challenge once more, we thank you most sincerely and in advance for all your help and support.



Best regards,

The OWA Committee

To Donate


19 January 2021

We have now reached our funding target and any money left at the end of the project will be donated to local good causes. 


Thanks to everyone who has been so generous.


To Volunteer


You can sign up to fill one or more volunteer slots using the online sign-up page


Please contact Tim (membership@oldwimbledonians.com) if you have any technical issues in signing up.


Once you get involved, you may be asked to be added to a WhatsApp group to update you on activities and requirements.

Project "Doing a Bit": Preparing and delivering ready meals for NHS Staff, Community Carers and the vulnerable.

The OWA committee working with resident chef Richard Brown have organised a project called Doing a Bit to help provide meals for 

A food preparation facility has been set up at the OWA to prepare ready meals. We also have  a commitment from a neighbourhood group from Kingston, The Revellers, who  have a rota in place for the next 2 weeks to make cakes and cookies, in addition to the meals we are sending out. 

The project has been fortunate to get assistance from the Save The Food Club which has been very busy collecting surplus food from Aldi and Tesco to use as ingredients in the meals as well as The Dons Local Action Group who have set up donating stations outside major supermarkets in Merton and Kingston who are also supplying ingredients for the meals. 

In addition the OWA's regular suppliers, CF & MF Steer and Hill Park Express, both in Surbiton, have been fantastic in their support for this endeavour.

The project has already expanded to deliver meals to St George's Hospital in Tooting and St Helier Hospital in Sutton - the staff are all working long shifts and these meals may be the only hot food they have all day.

We are committed to be in place for the next 4 weeks (over 4000 meals based on current forecasts), but we will take on new requests and we will stay open as long as there is a need.

In addition to the amazing help above, we have also received donations from Donhead School and the Friends of Donhead and a justgiving page has been set up - please give generously to this not for profit project  to enable us to keep providing meals to those on the front line.

You can also help out by signing up to bake cakes and cookies.

Project Doing a Bit Updates

If you can help with Doing a bit:

Please phone Greg on 07971 165990 or drop him an email.

Saturday 18 April

We started on the 6th April and we made and delivered 72 ready-made meals. 

Yesterday we opened another satellite operation, which works in tandem with the OWA hub, and we made and delivered 300 ready-made meals.

So proud of the team.

Thursday 16 April

100 vegetable curries and rice donated by staff at Zaika Essence of India Restaurant in Teddington High Street.

Wednesday 15 April 

Calling all home bakers

Could you bake cakes, cookies or flapjacks and deliver them to the OWA clubhouse? 

If so, please sign up to bake on the Doing a bit of baking.... page.  Don't worry, you don't need to open an account - just put your name down against a date and include an email address so we can send you a reminder the day before!

Each slot is a commitment to bake a batch, ideally of 24 portions. So if you see that there are two cupcake slots available, that means we are hoping to have 48 cupcakes in total donated on that day.

Tuesday 14 April

More local businesses getting involved with Doing a bit:

Saturday 11 April

Thank you to the OWA Punters Club whose generous donation takes us to 70% of our justgiving target.

Wednesday 8 April 

This fantastic initiative has already delivered nearly 200 meals along with cakes in it's first few days of operation:

We have received very generous donations of £300 from Donhead School and the Friends of Donhead, and we always need more help to carry on this great work, please visit our justgiving page to donate and please phone Greg on 07971 165990  if you can provide ingredients or microwaveable containers (these can be dropped off at the clubhouse most days from 3-5 pm) or any other support for this initiative.

OWA Supporting Merton and Kingston with the Dons Local Action Group

The Dons Local Action Group has been set up by AFC Wimbledon fans working closely with the AFC Wimbledon Foundation to help individuals and families across Merton during the current health crisis.

They need volunteers for Food Collection points in Merton and Kingston Boroughs as well as drivers and people to work at the Kingsmeadow food hub. People are being asked to do 3 hour slots.

If you can help then please contact the OWA Committee's Dave Doran on 07866 628198.

You can donate online to the Dons Local Action Group on their justgiving page.

Look out for each other & share these details with friends, family, neighbours & online communities.

If you need help from the Dons Local Action Group:

Call 020 3301 4511 or email dla@afcwimbledonfoundation.org.uk

WHAT'S NEW

Simon Potter releases "Losing it all" - all proceeds to the Jesuit Referee Service

Cover designed by Wimbledon College Head of Art Nick England. Note the building on it! 

Some older Old Wimbledonian's may recall reading The Fate of Glassingall nearly 30 years ago – a comic novel full of the sort of stories which the author used to tell his English classes. Losing It All is a modernised, updated, illustrated version of the old novel – just right for an escapist read in lock-down!

ALL PROCEEDS TO THE JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE

London boy, Anthony, spends the summer holidays of the 1960s at Glenturret, his grandfather’s fascinating haunted Scottish country house. When it becomes a boarding school, Anthony goes into its Sixth Form, and eventually teaches there until a horrifying mystery closes it. With his inheritance after Grandpa’s death, he buys the house, but the dark force has not gone…..

“Whisks the reader effortlessly from a sunny ‘60s boyhood to the present day.”  The Hill

“This sort of book is one of the better ways of recording recent history.” BBC World Service

“I was maimed by excessive laughing. Tears blotted out the text.” A. Brook

“Hilarious and touching.” The Month

“Full of such funny stories.” R. Dickens

Available online from Amazon (£4.99 Paperback, £2.99 Kindle) and from Witley Press bookshop.

www.simonpotterauthor.com

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organisation, at work in over 50 countries around the world with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

JRS UK has a special ministry to those who find themselves destitute as a consequence of government policies and those detained for the administration of immigration procedures.

Friends of the OWA now available

This is a register of local businesses, trades & professional services who offer discounts and reduced rates to OWA members. 

If you browse through it you may spot some shops, restaurants, etc that you and your family use on a regular basis during the course of a year. 

All businesses on the register offer discounts and preferred rates to OWA members and at present we have over thirty offerings such as:

Click here to see full details on all the great Friends of the OWA offers.


Old Wimbledonians Cricket Fixtures, Results and Tables

OWA Notice Board

Old Boy Greg Barnett (1963 - 1970) releases first  solo album at 68

GREG BARNETT

Gold Coast, Australia

Greg Barnett is an Old Boy from 1963-70, who after a career in IT, retired to Australia, and is enjoying being creative at last.  

He describes himself as a 'competent but non-professional musician'  and already has two co-written albums to his name: Not All It Seems (2002) and Prescient (2015). 

The all-new The Flat White Album is his debut singer-songwriter album and was officially released January 1, 2020.  It is digital-only - no physical media are available as it is the equivalent of three LPs.  Triple albums have always been an extremely rare event in music, even more so for any solo debut, due to recording time, marketing difficulties and manufacturing expense.  But it is available totally free on Spotify and his own website.  Please consider giving the first couple of tracks a listen … you may like it … it’s relatively gentle and melodic.

Greg says that ‘creating this album has been the culmination of musical endeavour over a long life. The goal was simply for me to scratch a musical itch, meet a challenge and, hopefully, for other people to hear and enjoy’.

All the music was written, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered at home. He used a laptop to produce a complete package containing the music, website content, logos, sheet music, the ‘making of’ story, ‘karaoke’ versions, and the first few of many music videos.

Conceptually influenced by The Beatles’ White Album, it also has an acoustic approach, 30 tracks, new and old unreleased material, and simple white artwork.  The addition of the word ‘Flat’ in the album title refers to his preferred coffee rather than to the singing!  Greg’s musical influences include ELO, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen and many others from the 60’s and 70’s.   Styles range from unadorned voice/guitar to orchestral.


The Flat White Album can be Googled.  

The main direct links are:

Simon Potter’s award-winning poetry has been published in eight anthologies. It draws on the same startling imagination that surprises in his fiction, has mastery of form, from blank verse and sonnet to vers libre and haiku, and exhibits his usual control over word choice and imagery. 

Dark Lines” is an extraordinary collection with themes as varied as demonic possession, abuse, OCD, punishment, adoration, compulsion, childhood whimsy, hauntings, ecology and black humour - what might be expected from the inchoate landscape of the worlds of dream and nightmare. 

Available from Witley Press Bookshop and Amazon (£10 paperback, £5 Kindle).

Sacred Heart Church Restoration Fund: Simon Potter has new book of poetry out and was able to donate £1000 from sales of Shooting Europe. 

You may recall that back earlier in the year, you very kindly popped an advert for a novel of mine "Shooting Europe" on the OWA site, in case some OWs might be interested. The idea was that a percentage of sales from all sources would go towards the Sacred Heart Restoration Fund which is sore need of money. Thanks to buyers of the novel, I was able to give the Fund £1000 in the Spring.

Although I know that many OWs might shriek with utter horror at the thought of reading poetry (although not, I hope, those who had me for English over the years since 1972!) but I have a poetry collection out in September called "DARK LINES" - poems from the darkness of dream and nightmare. 

Also of some interest is the fact that its very scary cover was designed for the publisher by Nick England, Head of the College Art Dept. 

I plan to give the Restoration Fund another dollop of cash from sales of this work.

"Shooting Europe" is, incidentally, available via Amazon as a paperback or Kindle, if any of the chaps fancy a solid satirical thriller. Details of both books can be seen on 

www.simonpotterauthor.com


HALF OF ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE RESTORATION FUND

For information about the need for serious maintenance work on the church, why they have had to make this appeal and for more details please see  the Parish Appeal webpage 

Teddy Totman (1952-59) awarded Knighthood of St Gregory

The Old Wimbledonians Association would like to congratulate Teddy Totman (1952-59) on his recent prestigious award from Pope Francis  of the Knighthood of St.Gregory. This is a well deserved recognition of many years service and time generously given to the Catholic community of Epsom. 


I can proudly confirm that Teddy has received the Knighthood of St Gregory which had been awarded to him by Pope Francis in recognition of the many contributions that Teddy has made to the church over the years – to the parish, the Diocese (of which he is trustee), plus his involvement with marriage preparation and Teams of Our Lady. The award was presented to Teddy by Bishop Richard, who visited our parish especially for this occasion. Celebration of Mass and liturgy was very special, particularly with so many of Teddy’s immediate and extended family and friends.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Epsom


The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was established on 1 September 1831, by Pope Gregory XVI, seven months after his election to that seat by the College of Cardinals.

The Order of St. Gregory the Great is one of the five Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See. The honour is bestowed upon Roman Catholic men and women (and sometimes in rare cases to non-Catholics) in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Roman Catholic Church, through their unusual labours, their support of the Holy See, and their excellent examples set forth in their communities and their countries.

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