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The Flying Kestrel

Last year OB Joel McNally (07-18) and his father Nigel travelled to Amsterdam to purchase a 1935 Riley Kestrel 9 that had been discovered rotting in a barn in Holland where it had languished since 1965. Now the story of its “blood, sweat and beers” transformation from rusted heap to cutting edge racer is to be the star of a brand-new Amazon Prime TV series scheduled to launch in September.

The car was handed to head engineer at Webster Engineering at Santa Pod raceway to transform the vehicle into a multiple UK speed record holder (9 in total) with a Turbo charged 2.5 litre Audi RS3 engine, with 900 bph and capable of speeds above 200 mph. Whilst this car will be capable of reaching extreme speeds, the originality and craftsmanship of the vehicle are being held true – using as many original parts as possible. The record attempts will be taking place over the next few months. 

The car was unveiled for it’s first test run on 30th July by Rachel Riley (Countdown) at Santa Pod Raceway.  See link to video below.

Find out more about the car’s journey at www.theflyingkestrel.com

Test Run at Santa Pod

Getting Social in Singapore

With lockdown easing slightly in Singapore, DVP Russell De Chernatony (98-03) seized the opportunity to organise a dinner for local OBs.  They had a great evening and were very happy to be able to see each one another after so long.  None of them could have imagined what was going to happen when they last met at the end of 2019!

Along with Russell, Wayne Fozzard (77-79), James Woodrow (74-84), Chris Rodwell (83-88) and David Wilson (79-84) attended the dinner.  We think you’ll agree that they look delighted to be back together.

 

Across the years – New Zealand Gathering

It was wonderful to see OBs ,who left the School 60 years apart, coming together for a catch up in Auckland, New Zealand.  DVP Ted Shorrock (44-50) and his wife Charia, joined Chris Sansome (78-83), Marc Proctor (75-85), John Wellingham (60-67), Paul Thompson (64-72) and Callum MacFarlane (03-10) at the Galbraith Ale-House where they chatted over a few beers.  It was a welcome return to normality after many weeks of uncertainty. 

OB Careers Fair 2020

This year’s OB Careers Fair was once again a huge success. Now in its fourteenth year, over 60 OBs, parents and friends of the School came to give career guidance to over 200 boys and girls from Bedford School, Bedford Girls’ School, and Bedford Academy on their profession and industry. From Lawyers and Doctors to Engineers, Publishers and Investment Bankers, it was wonderful to have such a wide range of fields represented.

We are extremely grateful to who everyone who gave up their time to support this event.  As always, the students gained a great deal from this opportunity as they honed their networking skills, asked many interesting questions and broadened their horizons in a friendly, informal atmosphere.

The career representatives were extremely impressed with the students this year, and we’ve received some excellent positive feedback on their engagement:

“Thank you for a very stimulating evening! It was quite a privilege to hear intelligent young people articulate their ideas about their futures”.

If you couldn’t make it this year but are interested in getting involved, please do contact us at the OB Club (obclub@bedfordschool.org.uk) and help inspire young people who might be considering your profession.

See Photo Gallery

 

Woburn Golf Day

With the arrival of Spring just around the corner, we would be delighted if you could join us on Tuesday 24th March for the Bedford School and Bedford School Foundation Golf Day, which will take place on the iconic Duke’s Course at Woburn Golf Club.   The aim of this informal event it to enjoy some golf and to fundraise for the Bedford School Golf Programme.

Previous events have always been lots of fun with parents, Old Bedfordians, staff, boys and friends of the School coming together to support the boys and the Bedford School Golf Programme.  Guests will play 18 holes on the Duke’s Course, with coffee and bacon sandwiches on arrival and a pyramid of driving range balls before the shotgun start at 11am. After a round of golf there will be a formal two course dinner, with wine provided, and a Prize Giving where players and supportive partners (dinner ‘only’ option available) can discuss the highs and lows of the day’s tournament.  An auction to raise funds to support the programme will be held after the dinner.  

Sponsorship opportunities are available; these include title sponsorship of the event or a half page advert in the programme for the day, with an option for you to provide a banner to be displayed at the tee box of your sponsored hole. We are also looking for Auction prizes.  For more details contact Hugh Maltby at hmaltby@bedfordschool.org.uk.

Participants can sign up as an individual, a group of friends or a corporate team and are required to have a handicap of 28 or lower.  Please pop the date in your diary and sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, as places are limited.  You can download the booking form here.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us for what promises to be a fantastic day.  

 

BSA Family Conservation Day

Come and join us for a fun filled family day of conservation at the School’s nature reserve.   Bring your ‘young explorers’ to spend a day in the fresh air, green fields and amongst our varied wildlife.  

Located some 11 miles from the School, in the beautiful and picturesque surroundings of Ickwell, the School’s study centre offers all those connected with the School the opportunity to involve themselves in many aspects of nature conservation.  The site has a large lake with watercourses and mounds , pathways,  open spaces and glorious vistas over the surrounding countryside. 

The ecology of the reserve is wide-ranging.  Since the school took over the management in the 1970’s, there has been significant planting of new trees and hedge construction, with a working woodland and meadow system now well established.

Join us on Sunday 29th March for a Family Conservation Day open to all.  Volunteers will be involved with tree maintenance, wood cutting and chopping, clearing invasive vegetation and learning about charcoal manufacture.  There will be an opportunity to learn more about the reserve by way of a short site tour.

The day will start at 10.00am with a briefing and safety talk from the Master in Charge of the reserve, Chris Jones, and end at approximately 4.00pm.  Essential equipment such as secateurs, cutters saws etc will be provided, although you can bring your own, as we do not have a large amount of equipment. No power equipment please. Please bring suitable outdoor clothing for the prevailing weather and terrain.  Some work may be changed if Spring is advanced by then.

Complimentary hot drinks and cakes will be available during the day in the study centre.  You are however encouraged to bring your own pack lunches which can be eaten in the centre or outside, weather permitting.

Children of all ages are welcome, however we would ask you to supervise them at all times.  Whilst we hope for sunshine, we plan to go ahead whatever the weather (except in high winds).

To book your places, please email Bev Marshall at bmarshall@bedfordschool.org.uk by Friday 20th March.  We hope to see you there.

Eagle Choir ‘Open House’

Do you love to sing, or have you ever wanted to find out if you do? Now is your chance to find out.

The Eagle choir, an adult choir kindly sponsored by Bedford School, are hosting an evening of singing at 7.30pm on Thursday 30th January in the Recital Hall.  This will be followed by time to chat with existing choir members over a glass of wine.   The singing will feature ‘Songs from the Shows’ and all ages and abilities are welcome. So, come along and give us a try!

We meet every Thursday during term time for rehearsals at Bedford School and sing a wide range of choral music, usually performing in two or three concerts a year.  Our most recent concert was held just before Christmas, where we performed Christmas works by Britten and Vaughan Williams, and raised £165 for the Smart Prebend Street Homeless Charity.

Historically, the choir has comprised mainly of parents and staff from Bedford School. We are now really hoping to attract some new members from all the Harpur Trust schools or anybody from the local community with an interest in singing. Whether you are an experienced choral singer or a complete beginner, we would love to meet you at the “Open House”.

Enter via the main Bedford School gates on De Parys Avenue and follow signs to the Recital Hall

Christmas by Candlelight

The Christmas spirit came early for OBs and their partners as they were treated to a festive tour and candlelit tea at Island Hall, Godmanchester on Tuesday 10th December.  The event was hosted by Christopher Vane Percy (53 – 62) whose family has lived in the house for nine generations.  He gave a wonderful talk on the history of the elegant riverside mansion which was built in the late 1740s.

Given over to the WAAF and RAF during the war, converted to flats afterwards, and badly damaged by fire in 1977, it was initially restored by the Herrtage family, with the help of a Historic Buildings Council repairs grant.  It was then bought by Christopher in 1983, which he lovingly restored, furnished and decorated as a family home.  It contains portraits and heirlooms charting the history of Christopher’s family.   He shared many anecdotes, including the existence of a ghost, which it is said ‘pokes’ unsuspecting members of the family. 

Thank you to Christopher and his daughter Grace for making everyone so welcome and putting on such an enjoyable event.

See photos

Guy Fawkes Feast

Thank you to everyone who attended the Parents’ Guild Guy Fawkes Feast on Saturday 9th November. 

As they entered the Café Bar, which had been decorated with a Bonfire Night theme, guests were welcomed with a glass of fizz . The catering team provided an excellent meal, fit for Bonfire night, and added their professional touch to make it extra special.  A delicious starter of spiced pumpkin soup was followed by traditional bangers and mash.  To finish, the toffee apple sponge was brought to the tables with a sparkler fizzing away. It really looked fantastic!

The Guest Speaker, OB Max Williamson (05-16), spoke about how he overcame cancer,  which was diagnosed whilst he was in the 5th Form, and how the School supported him throughout.  Everyone was delighted to hear how well he is now doing, both at Oxford and with his fundraising activities.

Following the speech,  guests played a themed version of Heads and Tails, with questions relating to the Guy Fawkes story.  The winner was presented with a bottle of Moté.  A really fun evening was had by all, with many guests asking the Parents’ Guild Committee to put on similar events in the future.

The event had been held to raise funds for the Boys Movember Charities and the Guild are pleased to report that they raised over £800.

Huge thanks go to all the Guild members, the catering team, especially Alex Grieve, and to Kate Carter from Internal Events for helping this event prove a great success.

Watch this space for more events in the Spring and save the 5th December 2020 in your diary for the Parents’ Guild Christmas Ball.