This week, we are celebrating Respect Week at the College, which gives the pupils and staff the chance to discuss issues of inequality and prejudice within a variety of different forums.
TAG: David Gold (President 2004-07)
Wednesday's Charity Gala at the BADA Fair in London turned out to be something of an Old Brightonians' reunion... as seems so often to be the case!
Prior to attending the Heads of School Dinner on Saturday 14th September, David Gold (S. 1986-91) will be spending the night at Battersea Dogs Home... PLEASE HELP ME TO HELP BATTERSEA DOGS HOME.
Well, what a turn out... what a venue! Last night's London Drinks really was a cracker! Home House was a new experience for me - a beautiful spot in W1 that many might fairly describe as "swanky".
Twenty years is quite a long time, especially when the current Y13's at our alma mater were two years of age when we left in 1991. Time is a very odd concept and what it does to you, either through the graceful ageing process or the fact that going back to Brighton last Saturday made us all feel as if it was just yesterday we left... and what a day we had!
David was born in 1972 and is currently Head of Public Affairs at Royal Mail Group. Educated at Royal Holloway and Brighton College he previously worked in business development for a national consultancy in Central London and as a researcher to two Conservative MPs. He worked for Rt Hon William Hague from 1997 to 1999 in his Private Office.
I arrived at my last annual dinner ‘in charge’ on an extremely cold evening thankful that, at least, we had no snow. After a short panic attack about missing table decorations, which turned up elsewhere in the school, I joined a packed Café de Paris for pre-dinner drinks before we repaired to a slightly chilly Dining Hall for dinner.
Horatio Georgestone was one of the first intake of Kingsford Scholars at the college graduating in 2009. As a pupil, he quickly made his mark on the school community and quickly made many friends. But how has he spent his gap year and has he kept up the pace for which he became known?
It hardly seems three years since David Gold asked me to put myself forward as your President and that my tenure is almost at its end. During this time I have much enjoyed re-connecting with OBs whom I first knew at the college and those many others from both before and after my time on the College staff. I have had much pleasure in presiding over and representing you at various functions and reunions, here at the college or away in London and New York, as well as being generally associated with the college at a time of growth and continuing pre-eminence.
Sarah was tragically killed in a car accident in South Africa on Thursday 29th April. Sarah lived near Durban and leaves a husband and three young children. Our condolences go to her family and to her parents, Dan (Head of Geography 1976-91, and housemaster of Aldrich) and Barbara Hanson.
The fifth annual Vice Presidents’ lunch saw us return to the Army and Navy Club, and once again we are very grateful to Peter Miller (C. 1945-49 ) for hosting the occasion and allowing us to enjoy the fine catering and premises of the club.
It’s been a while since our last London Drinks – almost 2 years, in fact. For these first Drinks of 2010 we had returned to a favourite old haunt of the Association’s London members; The International Bar on St. Martin’s Lane. Unfortunately it appears that it may also be our last time here; the place is to close within a month – a piece of information made privy to Jack Bremer (BCJS 1990-94) before some of the bar staff (much to his and one unfortunate girl’s great embarrassment / shock).
This year’s dinner was a very well attended affair held in a warm and dry Dining Hall while the rain and wind lashed outside.
This notwithstanding the Diners enjoyed a wonderful speech from Old Brightonian Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70); a genuinely warm and heartfelt account of his time at the College whilst acknowledging that things have generally changed for the better for current pupils. It was good to see that he’d brought props, and these included his old boater... which seemed to still fit!
I am delighted to send you details of this year's GCSE results from Brighton College - the best results in the school's history, with 50 pupils achieving nothing less than an A grade. The highlights include four sets of twins and a boy who moved to the school in Year 9 "to be himself" and clocked up 11 A*s including Classical Greek.
The Association was delighted that this year's special guest speaker was Dr. David Bull, broadcaster (appearing regularly on "The Wright Stuff", "Radio Five Live", "Most Haunted", and "Richard & Judy") and Conservative candidate for Brighton Pavilion at the next general election, and diners were treated to an account of his rich and varied career to date.
For my report on this year’s Commemoration day, I had resolved not to begin by mentioning the weather - as it seems I so often do. It would, however, be ungracious not to acknowledge the surprising and un-forecast sunshine that bathed Brighton College on 22nd June 2008. Whilst the rest of the UK was apparently awash with the accurately predicted wind and rain, Brighton was beautifully sunny and warm - so there... I’ve mentioned it.
Are there any gloomy days in Brighton? It seems to me that each and every visit I make to the old school is blessed with (often unseasonably) sunny and warm weather. Saturday 1st March 2008 was no exception, and again I challenge any casual observer not to be struck by how beautiful the campus looks on days such as these.
I feel honoured to have been elected the President of the Association of Old Brightonians, although when David Gold asked me to put my name forward last June, my initial reaction was that I surely could not be eligible for the post, not having been to the College. David assured me that there were precedents for retired members of staff being elected President, and some quick research has shown me that the two very first Presidents were, perhaps not surprisingly, retired members of the Common Room. At least my thirty six years at the College have given me a distinct advantage over all my predecessors, in that I know personally far more former members of the College than any of them! Indeed it was a great pleasure for me to see so many familiar faces from the past at the recent OB Dinner, which was a fitting tribute to the many years of dedicated and multifarious service to the College of Philip Robinson.
As we set off from Hereford I gave a little sigh and, when questioned by Isobel, admitted that I was wondering why I was setting off on a gloomy November day to drive two hundred miles across England for a dinner. Once we had arrived, however, all doubts were dispelled as we plunged into the happy hubbub of old friends.
This is my last letter as your President and I am in reflective mood.
It has been a very enjoyable and challenging three years.
I have been fortunate to have Fiona Aiken to lean on, organise me and generally make things happen. But I have also been fortunate to have some very committed colleagues on the Committee who have helped to keep the wheels turning. Though it may be inappropriate to single out individuals, I must mention Tim Loadsman who has served more Presidents than even he probably cares to remember. I am grateful to him for his wise counsel and continued patience even when all around him were losing theirs!
Dear Old Brightonians,
I would like to put on record my congratulations to all our newest members, the Class of 2007, who have smashed Brighton College A-Level records this year with a staggering 87.5% A and B grades, of which nearly 60% were A grades (see results tables). Brighton College is the top performing school in Sussex, beating Roedean, Lancing, Eastbourne, Hurstpierpoint and Christ Hospital among others.
I promised that in our 125th anniversary year there would be some special events and they don’t come much better than this year’s Commemoration Weekend.
The Leavers’ Ball, the first ever to be held off campus, was a glamorous affair, judged a huge success by the 250 attendees. The following day was a return to the traditional programme of cricket and other sports fixtures against the College, with an informal BBQ on the Home Ground. Though the weather was a bit unreliable at times the atmosphere was fantastic with over 400 people of all ages filing through the College gates. It was a pleasure to welcome the newest OBs following their emotional graduation ceremony in the Chapel and to welcome so many parents and families.
Bringing back Commemoration Day to the OB calendar does seem a perfect way to celebrate and acknowledge the 125th Anniversary of the Association, and that the day was graced with terrific weather certainly saved the blushes of those of us who had campaigned so vigorously for this summer replacement to September’s OB Day.
Spring finally seems to have arrived and it’s great to see the College looking so colourful, if slightly disrupted by the building work in the Woolton Quad for the new Visual Arts Centre which is to be named in honour of the late Old Brightonian Lord Alexander.
Another Old Brightonian whose untimely and premature death affected many of us was of course Joe Scourfield. I am delighted that the OBA was able to contribute to the appeal for a memorial in the College Chapel and the fund which has been established in his name to help BC families affected by the severe illness of a son or daughter. The fund remains open for OBs and others who wish to contribute and I would invite you to contact me to obtain details of how you can help.
Following the sell-out Annual Dinner in 2006, which was addressed by Ann Widdecombe, this year’s Guest of Honour is none other than Philip Robinson. Known and loved by generations of OBs for his dry wit, his masterful direction of College theatre (often as part of the hugely successful Smith-Robinson partnership), and for gently pushing many a lazy student towards exam success, it is no wonder that half of the tickets have been sold already. It’s going to be a night of nostalgia with the Class of 1987 already booked and several other year groups re-establishing contact with one another. My strong advice is book early and drag your mates along too!
"Come along, it will be great!" If I have heard it once, I have heard it... oooohhh... 7 or 8 times. This time I did come along and, do you know what, it was good. Damn good. In fact the only negative about the evening was the fact that even more didn’t turn up.
Happy New Year to Old Brightonians the world over and welcome to the OBA’s 125th anniversary year. The celebrations got off to a great start with the traditional belated new year celebration London Drinks (photos). We enjoyed the fantastic surroundings of the new Rocket bar and restaurant at Adams Court in the City and were joined by more than 30 Old Brightonians from across the last five decades. The next London Drinks will be held in the Spring, so please check the Events page for the date.
What an evening! If you don't believe me then just take a look the ‘photos on this website, you will see plenty of animated smiling faces which, for me, sums up the purpose of events like this. Mind you with a combination of Ann Widdecombe as guest speaker, over 150 guests and a large contingent of 1981’ers what more could one expect?
We have, perhaps, become blasé to the College’s regular coverage in the British media but recent reports in Le Monde, The China Morning Post, The Sydney Morning Herald and on CNN, the BBC World Service and Chinese national television have helped the College to gain an international reputation for excellence and innovation. The College remains a British school with an international outlook rather than an international school in the UK and offers places to only the brightest and most promising overseas students, many of whom remain in contact with the College in later life through the OBA.
Well it’s certainly all change here. It wasn’t enough to be appointed the new Development Director for Brighton College, I then went and got myself selected to stand for Parliament in Eltham, a key marginal constituency in South East London, for the Conservative Party. But fear not. As much as the OBA Administrator was hoping I’d have rather less time to find things to add to her list of tasks, it simply means I get up earlier and go to bed later!
The 2006 Graduation Day Ceremony, attended by all 6th form leavers, friends, family, staff and alumni, was every bit as uplifting as the OBA President David Gold had told me it would be... I had been asked by our esteemed leader to attend on his behalf as he was busy darting around the country amassing support for his imminent assault on government. I was happy to do so, even though it meant addressing the assembled throng on a summer’s day so hot that it lent new gravitas to the expression "passing-out ceremony"!
In March 2006, I had the pleasure to attend the 100th Anniversary Dinner of the founding of Durnford House. While at the College, I made a quick visit to the Junior School (JS) now long since situated where St. Mary’s Hall used to be some fifty years ago. I was profoundly shocked and saddened to realize from what turned out to be a very short visit that the JS that my brother, Brian, and I used to know, had totally ceased to exist.
A huge "THANK YOU" to all Old Brightonians, friends and family who sponsored me in the Moonwalk on 21 May. The total raised has passed £1,000 and monies are still arriving. Anyone who wishes to contribute can still do so either on-line or by sending cheques to the OBA office payable to "Walk the Walk Worldwide".
The new Headmaster of Brighton College has certainly made his presence felt, what with making Mandarin Chinese compulsory for all students and teaching History to the Fourth Form! With his worldwide search for a young lad to benefit from the Peyton Scholarship, he has also enjoyed considerable media exposure.
After 6 years as Head of Legal Services at Arcadia Group, I recently set up my own company, Trade Law Matters (www.tradelawmatters.co.uk) to provide basic legal training to people in business.
If anyone thought the departure of Dr Seldon would also signal the departure of the camera crews and hacks we’ve grown used to seeing around the College they were wrong. After what seemed like only a few minutes in the job, Richard Cairns marked the Chinese New Year by making Mandarin Chinese (Puotonghuà as it is called in Chinese) compulsory for all new pupils at the College and instantly he was the lead item on national news broadcasts across Asia – and CNN, the BBC, most of Europe... Hits to the College website reached their monthly average in one day, calls from diplomats and government departments, not to mention prospective parents, from across the world flooded the College switchboard.
The first OB gathering of 2006 was an all male affair that in terms of College attendance spanned over 50 years!
As numbers go, the evening started off slowly, but built to a comfortable throng of 25 or so Old Brightonians. When I arrived shortly after 6pm David Gold (S. 1986-91) and Adam Belson (R. 1979-84) were the sole attendees – apparently trying to convince a sceptical barman that this evening would be worth his while...
Joe Scourfield (H. 2004-06) has died after his long battle with cancer. Parents from all three schools have generously contributed towards a memorial to Joe Scourfield who passed away last year whilst a College pupil. As you know, the Joe Scourfield Memorial Fund has been established to assist the families of pupils who become seriously ill at one of our schools.
This has been a year of innovation for the Association, especially in the way we communicate with our members and the College community. The Association website, which is now updated almost daily, has been totally revamped with the addition of a community notice board, photo gallery, and an expanded OB Hall of Fame. We are registering an average of more than 150 hits a day on the website and many OBs are emerging from the woodwork to provide us with news. Going forwards, we are developing a new membership page, and looking for greater expansion of the Directory of OB Businesses and Services. My thanks go to our web designer, Alex Bremer (R. 1979-83) for all his hard work and constant enthusiasm which goes well beyond the call of duty.
Twenty five years is a long time but what about the 1949 PE team? They were there too and so were quite a few of those who were only yesterday (as it were) walking across the quad without a (real) care in the world. For those of us celebrating a silver anniversary of leaving the College it was for most the first time we had returned for a great many years.
The Service of Remembrance at the College is essentially based around music and readings, including personal accounts of those whose lives were affected by war on and off the fighting fields. It is a demanding occasion for the College and Prep School Choirs and other musicians, but it is also an opportunity for deep reflection for the congregation which, as always, was made up of current pupils, parents, current and former staff and Old Brightonians. This year, the Chapel was bursting at the seams and it was fitting in this, the 60th anniversary of Armistice Day but also the 160th anniversary of the founding of Brighton College and Dr Seldon’s final term.