Seeking Nigel Gray

Ian Wright, BS 1970-77, is trying to get back in touch with Nigel Gray. He writes:

I attended Bournemouth School from 1970-77 and can only say that it gave me a tremendous education and preparation for the rigours of life afterwards.

I am trying to trace one of my old classmates who I was last in contact with about ten years ago. He moved to Johannesburg in about 1988 and had worked as a brewer for some years but had a traumatic experience when he was burgled and was fortunate to survive. I have had no replies to emails and the phone number I had seemed to have changed so did not get any joy there either.

Ideally I would like someone to make polite enquiries at the address but don’t want to ask the police to do so. Do we happen to know of any old boys who live in Johannesburg who might be in a position to do the above. The chap concerned is Nigel Gray, born around December 1958. At school he had an address in Glenferness Avenue.


Jim Green

We have received the sad news that Life Vice-President Jim Green died on 7 July following a second stroke. Jim was instrumental in the success of the Old Boys 1st XI football team for many years, as well as editing and publishing our twice-yearly newsletter. He was also a school governor for a time and served the school and the Old Bournemouthians for many years.

Should anyone wish to attend, the funeral will be held at 11am on Thursday 27 July at Bournemouth East Cemetery, Gloucester Road. Please note the location is not the Bournemouth Crematorium & Cemetery.

Update: George Eldridge (1952-1957)

George Eldridge, a pupil at the school from 1952-1957, recently discovered this site. This led him to reconnect with his school friend Jim Tarrant. George now lives in Australia, and would be very keen to speak to other Bournemouth School alumni of the same era who have also migrated to the antipodes. He has sent use the following update of his life since leaving the school.

I joined Bournemouth School in 1952 and left (very early) in 1957 to join the Metropolitan Police Cadets in London.

I was at the school in the days of the Headship of Mr. Parry and how could one not mention the man himself – Mr. Jasper J Dodds! I sat through many a history lesson from Mr. Dodds, wondering who in my form would be the most likely to be on the receiving end of a solid wooden backed blackboard duster! There was also a fair degree of personal trepidation involved in this as JJ’s aim was not always what he would have liked and the person struck was not always the intended recipient! Ah, how times have changed! If you had been struck by the duster you suffered in silence and certainly would not have reported the event to your parents thus fearing another session from either Mum or Dad – or even both!

After joining the Metropolitan Police I transferred back to the (then) Bournemouth Force that which in 1967 was amalgamated with the Dorset Force. After that, as anticipated by the locals, things changed and not necessesariy for the better. I saw the writing on the wall and rather reluctantly resigned and entered into Teacher Training as a mature aged student.

I studied PE at a now defunct college in Kent where I met my wife and we married in 1971. Four years later we obtained 2 year teaching contracts in Melbourne, Victoria at the conclusion of which we returned to the UK in very late 1977, as we both then had family members living. This was a mistake as we had enjoyed our time and the lifestyle in Australia and we found it somewhat difficult to re-settle. The Victorian Education Department had kept our teaching positions open for us and in March 1980 we returned to Melbourne and have lived in Victoria ever since.

Although my wife returned to teaching, I realised I was not cut out for it (despite the hours and holidays!!). I applied for a position with the Australian Federal Government and remained so employed until I retired in December 2004.

I turn 74 in April of this year and I am proud to say that despite residing in Australia for the larger part of my life I will always be an Englishman. That can never be taken away from me. However, let me tell you Australia is an awfully tricky place to live if you are a `Pom’ when the all blooming conquering Aussies are handing out their usual treatment during an Ashes series!!!!!!!!! More recently the One Day World Cup international defeat by Bangladesh was also the trigger for much merriment from Australian friends!!

I think often of the School and what may have happened to those I knew. I am very willing to provide my email address to anyone who may like to contact me.

We have removed George’s email from this update. However, if you would like to get in touch with George, please leave a comment here and we will forward your details on to him.

BBC casting call for active retirees in Bournemouth

Television production company Electric Ray is developing a series for BBC4 about what it’s like to be growing older in Britain in 2014. It is looking for people over 65 years old who may want to feature. They are interested in people who are active, have strong opinions and live in the Bournemouth area, so have asked the OBA to carry this notice in case it is of interest to Members. If you are interested, please call Ainsley on 07725 638 374 for a chat. Alternatively you can email him.

Documentary seeking participants

We have been contacted by Wall to Wall, a television production company. They are planning to make a new documentary series for the BBC about people who want to track down people from their past who had a profound effect on them. Given the number of requests we receive for people seeking to re-establish contact with others, some members may be interested in participating. Please click below to see the flyer.

Continue reading

Global visitors

MapFor interest, I thought I would post this global heatmap, that shows from which countries this website has been accessed since its relaunch on 25th February 2012. As you would expect, the UK leads the pack, and the next largest concentrations are in the US, Canada and Australia. Poland is also surprisingly well represented. Of course, not all of these site visitors will be Old Bournemouthians, and some may well have arrived here by mistake. But I thought the chart was never the less interesting.

Seeking Andy Chamberlain

Pascal Cousseau writes to us from France to ask if we can help to trace Andy Chamberlain. He says:

I have been involved, a long time ago, in the exchange between Bournemouth School for Boys and Cholet in the west of France. I also spent one year as a French assistant in your school, from September 1982 to July 1983. I had a very good English friend at this time, Andrew Chamberlain, but I lost personal contact with him several year ago. He was in your school roughly between 1974 to 1978. He was living in St Lukes’ Road by this time and went to Aberystwyth University to follow French Studies.

Unfortunately, Andy Chamberlain is not one of our members, although we know that he used to play for the Old Boys cricket club in the late 1970s while still at school and in university holidays. If you have any information about Andy, please let us know.

Hunting an artist

We have been contacted by a potential biographer of a Newlyn artist called Robin Arthur Davis (so named on his death certificate) who lived between 1925-1999. It appears that he attended Bournemouth Grammar School under his birth name of Arthur Charles Davis. If anyone has any information about Mr Davis, or knew him, please do get in touch and we will put you in contact with the writer.

Bournemouthians in Antartica

Bournemouthians Jon Beswick and James Balfour have recently returned from a British Expedition to the South Pole for the 100 year anniversary of Captain Scott. The expedition was led by adventurer Neil Laughton. During the expedition Jon tested a prototype shelter which his architecture practice designed. When they reached the Pole, Jon and James celebrated by playing the first ever game of cricket, golf and rugby. They were also the first people wear black tie at the Pole. A video of their exploits is here.