The years seem to revolve rather quickly at my age and last week the annual clock struck for our ‘OS weekend’ at Sedbergh. As always, this encourages the great and the good, the faithful, and the inquisitive to return to their Alma Mater for a weekend of festivities. It was a big turn out with John Spencer, a favoured son of Sedbergh, speaking at the evening dinner about his time with the British Lions. ‘I remember when rugby was dangerous and sex was safe. Now rugby is safe and sex is dangerous’; This, and other great insights added humour and pathos to a most enjoyable talk. We are extremely grateful to John and hope he returns more often.

This year saw a change in the presidency of the Club. John Walford stepped down after two years outstanding service. I have enjoyed working with him immensely and he has helped me shape the future of the Club at a time of great transition. He has at times been inspirational and it is a great privilege to count him as a friend. John, I wish you and you wife Pam every happiness in the future and I expect to see you both at some of the many future events that the Club has planned.

In his place Robert ‘Bob’ Graham takes up the post as our new President of the OS Club. I have known Bob for many years and he has been an outstanding supporter of the School. Bob, I look forward to working with you over the next two years.

Now, it is within our powers to bestow honorary membership to those which the Club Committee feel is appropriate. This is usually in recognition to services rendered to the School or the Club. This year it was our delight to award this title to Judith Meadows, wife of the late Peter Meadows, and to Graham Marrs, a veteran of the rugby world and a long time supporter of Sedbergh. (We have overlooked the fact that he is President of the Old Rossallian Society).

Thank you to the School for your hospitality as always. In particular the catering and support staff who work so hard behind the scenes to make our weekend so enjoyable. Also our thanks to Will Player who sang for us at dinner; and James Horon who accompanied him on the piano and who finished off the evening with a resounding rendition of ‘Winder’ on the Powell Hall organ while we sung with gusto. I thought we were in exceptional fine voice this year!

For the many people I met this weekend, old friends and new, keep well. And for those of you who weren’t there, keep well also.


Jan van der Velde -Outer hebrides

Jan van der Velde
Chairman, OS Club