We were pleased to welcome back over 200 Old Bedfordians and guests to the School on Saturday 2nd July 2016, with tours of the School in the morning, the AGM, a drinks reception and a three course lunch in a marquee on the playing fields. In this special 125th Anniversary Year of the OB Club, we were lucky enough to enjoy good weather, narrowly missing the downpour later that day!

Once again Speech Day also took place on the last day of the academic year. Prize Giving took place in the Great Hall in the morning, with the Editor of The Times, John Witherow (65-70), joining the ceremony to present the prizes this year. During the speeches the Head Master thanked the OB Club for all of their support and Mr Witherow encouraged boys when looking at university courses and careers to try to work out what they enjoy doing. There was a wonderful atmosphere in the grounds as all the boys and their parents streamed out afterwards and enjoyed picnics whilst the At Home took place. Read more about Speech Day and Prize Giving here.

In the morning we held reunions for the Classes of 2006, 1996, 1986, 1976, 1966 and 1956 and for those who were in Crescent or Pemberley House. Old Bedfordians at these reunions, and others who were interested, enjoyed a coffee and catch-up in the Memorial Hall before a tour of the School, taking in the new Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s and the recently refurbished Science Laboratories, the Library, Music School, Observatory, Chapel and other areas. The tour sparked good memories and funny stories from OBs and many commented on how impressed they were by the School’s recent developments and additions, but in other ways felt like the School had barely changed at all! Find out more about the School’s recent projects and developments here.

House receptions took place in gazebos in front of the main building, with OBs welcome to share a drink with the current Housemasters, boys and parents. The AGM took place for those who wished to attend, where David Murray (69-76) was elected as President of the OB Club and Sandy Gray (59-64) stepped down from the role after three years in office. On behalf of the entire Old Bedfordians Club, we would like to thank both Sandy and his wife Jane for all of their hard work, support and contribution to the Club during this time. Take a look at the minutes of this year’s AGM here.

The main OB At Home drinks reception took place at 12.30pm, at the marquee by the Langham Pavilion. This was followed by a Grace led by Chairman of the OB Club, Chris Williams (68-79) and a delicious three course lunch. Afterwards, John Stanton (48-53) and fellow leavers from the 1950s led a fantastic rendition of the School song, Bedford by the River, and we also recognised, Mark Darlow our oldest OB attendee at the Lunch, who had been at the School from 1924-34 and celebrates his 100th birthday later this month on 16th July.

Whilst the drinks reception and lunch were taking place, a new tradition was started on the cricket pitch outside the marquee. The Head Master’s Invitation XI, with a good number of OBs in the team, took on the 1st XI in a new take on the annual cricket fixture that takes place on the last day of term.

In a match timed perfectly to fit between Speech Day and what turned out to be an epic downpour, the School’s 1st XI finished their season with a tight victory over a Head Master’s Invitation XI. With prominent cricket journalist and former pro, Mike Selvey, opening the bowling with his son, Josh Selvey (08-15), the game had an excellent spirit to it from the start. The Head Master’s team bowled tightly and fielded terribly to allow the school to post a total of 185 which seemed a little light. George Furbank (13-15) seemed to benefit from his break from cricket to produce to some excellent left-arm spin while Vicram Sohal (07-13) surprised nobody with five overs of tight off-spin. Josh Selvey  bowled extremely well at the death to restrict further scoring.

The chase started well with Paddy McDuell (04-15) scoring an excellent 50 and the game looked under control with Vicram still in the middle but the School’s death bowling proved very effective, after some good overs from Shiv Jhala (14-16) and Ben Slawinski (09-16), and the Head Master’s XI were left with 4 wickets in hand but agonisingly 10 runs short.

Thank you to all who came and enjoyed the day with us. It was a superb occasion and we are already looking forward to next year!

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