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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

Landing the Perfect Job

Tuesday 1st December saw our second Virtual Careers Skills talk, this time hosted by Harry Austin (01-12) and Nigel Wilson (64-74). 

Both Harry and Nigel work in the recruitment industry and spent over an hour sharing some great advice and tips.  They talked about the importance of finding and working with the right Recruiter, explained how to put together a CV that will stand out from the crowd and provided insights on preparing for that all important interview.  

For anyone who is looking for work, or is thinking about changing jobs, we thoroughly recommend that you watch our recording of this, and last week’s talk on ‘Networking’.

Watch Recordings

OB Club Annual Dinner 2020 Style

Despite a worldwide pandemic which forced us to cancel this year’s Annual Dinner in the Great Hall, it did not stop OBs coming together for a virtual Annual Dinner on Saturday 28th November. Over forty OBs and their partners, across the generations and from all corners of the globe, joined the President, David Murray (69-76) and the Head Master, James Hodgson, to raise a glass to the OB Club and the School.

Despite the different time zones, OBs dialled in from the USA, Canada, Dubai, France and across the UK.  Being ‘virtual’ meant that many OBs, who would not normally be able to attend, were able to don a black tie and raise a glass, even if it was only 11am!

David Murray thanked everyone for attending and acknowledged the hard work that the OB Club Team has put into supporting the OB Community over the last few months.  The Head Master then went on to give an update on how the School has been coping with all the Covid restrictions.  He praised how the boys and staff adapted to the ‘new normal’ and threw themselves into online learning.  

This was the first time the Annual Dinner had been cancelled since 1947 when rationing meant that we could not get permission from the Ministry of Food in time.   Next year will be the 130-year anniversary of the formation of the Old Bedfordians Club and there is talk that the menu from the first Annual Dinner will be recreated. Mock Turtle soup anyone?!

The Art of Networking

“The activity of meeting people who might be useful to know, especially in your job”

Looking for work can be a daunting prospect, whether you are looking for your first job or find yourself back in the job market after a number of years.  Whilst there are many practical things you will need to master, one of the most important skills you can learn is the art of networking.

We were very fortunate that Oliver English (07-12) and Nigel Aylwin-Foster (64-74) were able to join us for our first Career Skills talk on 27th November to share their experiences and explain how networking has helped them.  Both at different stages in their careers, they gave some great examples of where networking has helped progress their careers and how it has become embedded in their everyday lives.  They reassured us that we should not be afraid to approach people and ask for help, but also how important it is to offer help to others.

If you would like to find out how networking can help you in your career, and in everyday life, then watch the recording of the talk below.

Watch Video

Don’t forget to sign up to our next FREE Careers Skills Talk on Tuesday 1st December, which will focus on Working with Recruiters, CVs, Job Applications and Interview Techniques, to help you to land that perfect job.

Look Up!

How many times have you walked around Bedford and looked up at the buildings above the shops?  Probably not very often!  However, those who attended the online talk by David Fowler (47-56) on Bedford’s Hidden History, will certainly be doing this from now on.  David’s talk took us on a journey from Saxon times to the present, introducing us to the many historical characters who have shaped both our town and the world.

One such individual was Guglielmo Marconi, the pioneer of radio transmission.  Whilst his brother, Alfonso, attended Bedford Grammar School (now Bedford School), the family lived in Bedford.  During this time, the school hosted an Art and Science Exhibition which included a telegraph machine and a morse recording register.  We like to think that the young Guglielmo attended this with his brother and was inspired by what he saw!

Bedford has a long and proud history of engineering and innovation.  Engineering firm, W H Allen, produced the machinery that powered the lights on the Titanic, which did not go out until the ship finally sank. 

David’s talk contained many fascinating pictures of bygone Bedford, highlighting the changes to our beautiful embankment, Town Bridge and historical High Street.  He showed us where to find out more about the people who have made our town what it is today.   We would like to thank David for inspiring us to look beyond the shops to ensure that these people are not forgotten.

If you would like to watch David’s talk, you can do so using the link below (to ensure that you don’t see the ‘chat messages’ on the right hand side of the video, click on the ‘Fullscreen’ button next to the image of scissors at the bottom of the screen)

Watch Video

Our next Virtual event is ‘Who was Burnaby?’ which will be given by former Burnaby Housemaster, Tim Machin (70-05) and OB Chris Alexander (86-92).  Find out more and book your place here.