On 15th November, one hundred and thirty Old Bedfordians, staff, and guests gathered for the Club’s Annual Dinner at the Royal Air Force Club in London. As this is the year that the nation marks the one hundred year anniversary of the official formation of the RAF, we were delighted to be able to host this special occasion in this prestigious setting. Thank you in particular to Squadron Leader, Tony Anderson (50-60) for kindly arranging this. We were delighted to welcome OBs aged 18 to 85!
The President of the Club, David Murray (69-76) welcomed all, in particular, the Head Master, his wife, Rachel, and the Guests of Honour, Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader and Lady Loader. Sir Clive and Lady Alison have strong ties with Bedford School as their three sons (Thomas, Matthew, and Edward) were educated here and, in July, Sir Clive took over as the Chairman of the Bedford School Committee.
The Head Master gave a light-hearted review of the year at the School and thanked the OB community for their ongoing support to the School which takes many forms. He welcomed all OBs present: Patrick Shorten (41-50) and George Ridnell (44-50) both got a special mention as they left the School in 1950, and were the most senior OBs present. It was also lovely to be joined by Lord Francis Newall, son of Old Bedfordian and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Cyril Newall who served as Chief of the Air Staff during the first years of the Second World War.
Sir Clive Loader then spoke about how he joined the Royal Air Force straight from university in 1973, where he spent more time pursuing his passion for flying than attending lectures! He shared some fascinating stories about his impressive career and the things he had been involved in whilst serving in some very challenging environments.
Throughout the evening, there was a fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie in the room. Thank you to all for attending, particularly to those (young or old!) who travelled from abroad and those who came to their first OB event since leaving School – you are all most welcome and we hope that you will all join us at future reunions and gatherings. We always try to offer a broad range of activities that will appeal to all ages – you can keep up to date with all our upcoming events via our website.