For well over a century the Old Sedberghian Club has provided opportunities for OS to meet for informal social events and to access the network of professional knowledge and career opportunities within the alumni body. The earliest record of any alumni association is an article in The Sedberghian in December 1890 which invited Old Sedberghians to attend an Old Sedberghian Club dinner in Edinburgh a month later. The article records that the OS Club had subs which were charged at 7s. 6d. which in itself suggests that a club of some sort was already established at this point. As the preceding decade had been a time of intense development at Sedbergh it is likely that the club emerged during this time.
Above: 1895 Pro Forma to gage interest in forming an Old Sedberghian Club
In 1888 The Triad Club was formed for Old Boys of Sedbergh, Giggleswick and Lancaster Grammar at Cambridge University. Members took part in dinners as well as forming a Rugby team. The last record of the Triad Club is from 1895. Perhaps as the individual alumni associations for the three schools strengthened the boys no longer needed the same support from other northern school fellows.
Despite mentions of earlier events the Old Sedberghian Club as it exists now was formally founded in 1895 following a meeting of OS’s in the rooms of C. W. Gooch. A. J. Fowler, later Housemaster of Hart House, was not present at the meeting but the following day was asked to undertake the official formation of the Club. He continued in the role of Honourable Secretary for some years. Sir Francis Powell was the first President of the Club and Headmaster Henry George Hart was one of the two initial Vice-Presidents. Bernard Wilson, founder of the Wilson Run, was the first Treasurer. A football tour was undertaken in 1896, a cricket tour in 1897 and the first dinner managed by the re-founded club was the London OS Dinner of 1899.
Above: Old Sedberghian Dinner Trocadero London July 1912
The first Old Boys Day was held in Sedbergh in the Summer Term 1920. The date was fixed to be the Saturday before Commemoration Sunday. The Old Boys played cricket and tennis and shot against the boys and Masters. The evening included several separate reunions. Perhaps some of these events could be recreated for next years centenary Old Boys event in Sedbergh?
The Old Sedberghian Club continues to thrive. Initiatives such as #TheGlobalRun and a calendar of world wide events are engaging members of the OS community from recent leavers through to the those alumni who reach 100 years of age and beyond. As technology has progressed the Club has embraced new ways for members to network. The Graduway platform with over 1,100 members has made it easier than ever before for alumni to connect around the world and to find work experience, internships and long term employment opportunities through the Old Boys community.
Katy de la Rivière