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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.

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

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 ( 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

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 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