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Our Very Own Olympic Legend

Although many of you will be aware of the success of Old Bedfordians in rowing at recent Olympic games, you may not have heard of Jack Beresford (1913-17) the first person to win 5 medals for rowing (an endurance sport) at 5 consecutive Olympic games.  Between 1920 and 1936, Jack won three gold medals and two silver medals.  This record remained unbeaten until the 2000 Sydney Olympics when another Englishman, Sir Steve Redgrave, won his 5th medal. 

Last Thursday evening Jack’s son, and Old Bedfordian, John Beresford (59-64), treated us to a fantastic talk about his father, using many photos and memorabilia that his father had collected throughout his life.   From his early days rowing as a boy, through his experiences in the trenches during the first world war, and onto his rowing successes after the war, John kept us enthralled throughout the talk.  We were even shown a clip of his father winning gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler.

You can watch the full talk on youtube via this link. 

If you would like to read more about Jack’s life, John has written a book entitled  ‘Jack Beresford, An Olympian At War’ which is available via the Online School Shop or on Amazon. 

The BSA are running a series of Online talks this term.  You can sign up for the talks below.

Sign Up Here 

And the Winners are…..

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets for our recent Wellbeing Prize Draw.  The purpose of the draw was to highlight the importance of our physical and mental wellbeing as this is something that many have struggled with over the last year.  Thanks to some very generous donors, we were able to give everyone the opportunity to win themselves a special treat at the end of what has been a very difficult year for many.   

Thank you again to the following who donated the prizes; 

  • OB Hugh Wilson (66-77) – Overnight Reviver Break for two at Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire 
  • Towers Health and Racquets Club – 3-month membership, plus other additional great prizes 
  • OB Roger Marks (74-82) & OB Nick Marriot (92-02) – Three Course Meal for two at the Snooty Tavern, Bedfordshire 

When we contacted our winners, two of them told us that they would like to donate their prizes to a member of staff who had suffered the long-term effects of COVID19.  We were overwhelmed by these generous and thoughtful offers which highlight what a wonderful community we belong to.  The 3-month membership and the Nutrition consultation both donated by Towers Health and Racquet Club were therefore donated to a Matron in one of the Boarding Houses who is still suffering the effects of long covid, a year after contracting the virus.  We hope that membership at the gym will help her on the road to a full recovery. 

The winners of the prizes were drawn by the Head Master on 21st April and are as follows; 

1st Prize – Bernadette Fitzjohn 
2nd Prize – Christopher Coles 
3rd Prize – Hayley Fairhead 
4th Prize – Jennifer Hayes 
5th Prize – Lee Evans 
6th Prize – Jade Williams Adedeji 

Well done to all our winners! 

We are delighted to announce that the draw raised £3,000 which will be used to purchase sets of dumbbells for the new Fitness and Conditioning Centre in the Old Theatre.  Thank you for all your support. 

Prep Guild Wine Evening of Discovery

Join Master of Wine (and Bedford School parent) Sarah Abbott live on Zoom for a light-hearted tasting of wines from the road less travelled on Friday 7th May, 8pm.

Sarah will take us through the bluffer’s guide to wine tasting! Find out why some wine regions are famous, and the twists of fate that mean there are so many hidden gems of wine just waiting to be discovered.

Sarah has selected three wines that will be supplied by independent wine boutique, The Blue Glass on St Peter’s Street in Bedford. The tasting will last 30-40 minutes, then you are free to enjoy the wines either virtually together, or in your groups of six. We are also delighted to offer a selection of British artisan cheeses, supplied by Franklins of Thorncote, a local farm butchery and delicatessen. .

The event includes;

  • Entertaining and sociable live Zoom event
  • 3 x 750ml fine wines for £35. Ideal for two.
  • Add a selection of four British Artisan cheeses for £10.

See booking form for full details, payment, logistics and to book your place!

Please order by Wednesday 28th April 2021

Wellbeing Prize Draw

Wellbeing Week Prize Draw

To help launch OB Wellbeing week, which has been organised for the whole school community, we are excited to invite you to take part in a very special Prize Draw.

We all acknowledge that looking after one’s own wellbeing has never been harder than during the last year.  Like everyone we are all looking forward to the time when we can either get away for a break, have a meal out with loved ones, or just improve our day-to-day health and fitness. 

We are extremely grateful to the prize contributors who have donated some fantastic prizes which will give the lucky winners a wonderful post lockdown treat.

Enter our draw for the opportunity to win one of the following;

First Prize
Overnight Reviver Break for Two at Ragdale Hall Spa, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Thank you to OB Hugh Wilson (66-77), Managing Director of the award winning Ragdale Hall Spa, one of the UK’s leading Spa resorts, for donating this prize. The prize package is worth over £550 and includes;

  • One night’s accommodation sharing a luxury room
  • Three Course Dinner on Day 1
  • Breakfast served to your room and three-course lunch on Day 2
  • A 50-minute Blissful Face and Back Therapy treatment each
  • Complimentary robe hire and Ragdale Hall flip flops
  • Full use of Ragdale’s facilities, including stunning Rooftop Infinity Pool, multi-million-pound Thermal Spa, new Twilight Bar gym and full programme of exercise classes
  • Terms and conditions apply 

Second Prize
3-month Peak Club Membership (including racquets) at Towers Health & Racquet Club, Bedford’s Premier Fitness Club

Club Towers brings to Bedford a unique package of high-end gym, group exercise classes, swimming, spa, tennis and squash facilities, coupled with a strong social element centred around their Club Lounge. Members can choose to exercise hard or relax and socialise with friends, all in a first-class environment.  Thank you to Matthew and the Club Towers Team for offering this generous prize, which is worth £300.


Third Prize
Three Course Meal for Two at the Snooty Tavern, Great Staughton, Bedfordshire

Situated on the Bedfordshire / Cambridgeshire border, this fantastic gastropub is owned by OB Roger Marks (74-82)  and run by Michelin star-trained head chef, Nick Jones (Marriott) (92-02). Thank you to both Roger and Nick for offering us a special meal out (please note that drinks are not included)

We have three additional great prizes which have also been donated by Towers Health & Racquet Club;

  • Day Guest passes for 2 (worth £50) restrictions apply
  • 3-month subscription to Club Towers Live online classes (worth £30)
  • Nutrition Consultation (worth £30)

All monies raised from the draw will be used to help repurpose the old theatre into a state-of-the-art Strength and Conditioning facility for high quality physical development.  The facility will allow up to 24 boys to train together as teams improving their cohesion and unity. 

Tickets for the draw are priced at £5.00 each and can be purchased online below.

The winning tickets will be drawn by the Head Master, James Hodgson, on Wednesday 21st April and all winners will be notified by email.  A list of the winners will also be added to our website.  Good Luck!

Purchase Tickets

Bedford’s Highlanders

Last week OBs, parents (current and past) and friends of the school were treated to a brilliant online talk on Bedford’s Highlanders by Richard Galley (72-82).  

If you would like to find out more and watch the video, please sign into Eagle Connect, our community’s online social and business networking hub.

Festive Cheer

OBs, parents (current and former) and friends of the School logged on to take part in an evening of Festive Food and Wine Pairing with Master of Wine, Christopher Burr’s (58-69).  Taking place online the week before Christmas, it was a fantastic way to get everyone in the Festive Spirit.

In advance of the evening, attendees purchased reasonably priced sparkling, white, red and dessert wines that had been recommended by Christopher.  On the night, Christopher expertly talked about each of the wines providing a fascinating insight into their origins, describing some of the processes and advising which foods they could best be paired with.

Everyone who attended had a wonderful time and went away with a better insight into what to look for when choosing wines.

The event was recorded, so please feel free to watch the video and find out more from our expert.

Watch video

Christopher has kindly offered to run some more online wine tasting events, so keep an eye out for further updates.

Deck the Halls

Parents from both the Prep and Upper Schools felt the full force of the Christmas spirit when they took part in some online wreath making workshops last week.  The first ‘virtual’ joint venture between the Prep Guild and the Parents’ Guild, in collaboration with Prep School parent Lucy Copeland of Howbury Farm Flowers, it was a truly festive affair.

Run over 3 sessions, Lucy provided all the components needed to make a beautiful Christmas wreath, then expertly guided and supported each group as they let their creative juices flow. Even though participants were not able to get together in person, Lucy ensured that the event was tremendous fun and offered many hints and tips to help everyone create a beautiful wreath. We think you will agree that the results speak for themselves. 

Lucy was given the unenviable task of selecting a winning wreath from each session.  The winners, who will be treated to a tour of Howbury Farm Flowers’ walled garden to pick a bucket of flowers, were as follows; 

Thursday morning session – Alessia Palmieri 

Friday morning session – Shereen Rahwangi

Friday evening session – Alison Ainsworth

The Prep and Parents’ Guild would like to thank Lucy for all her help and support in running their first ever online event.  They hope to run the event again next year, but next time in person! 

Squads Reunite

The 1979 and 1980 1st VIII squads enjoyed an online reunion with legendary OB and coach John Osborne (60-65, staff 71-82).  Some of the squad hadn’t seen one another other since leaving School, although it didn’t take long for the banter to begin! 

All agreed that their experiences in the Boat Club had shaped their lives, due in no small measure to John’s inspirational coaching both on and off the water.   The conversation soon flowed, with recollections of the tour to Canada, John’s butcher bike, hours spent in the leviathan and victories at Bedford and Norwich regattas, the margins of which grew longer and longer as the evening progressed!     

We were delighted that following OBs were able to join us from both the UK,  Singapore, the USA and Ecuador;

John Osborne (60-65, staff 71-82)
Rob Campbell-Gray (76-81)
Mark Clayton (70-79)
Steve Collins (71-80)
Wayne Fozzard (77-79)
Simon Johnson (70-81)
Matt Orr (75-81)
Will Palmer (72-81)
Christian Rayner (71-81)
Paolo Scaglioni (75-80)
Phil Walbank (70-80)

If you would like help arranging a get together with a group of friends, then please email us obclub@bedfordschool.org.uk.