An update on the Association

From our Graham Jones, our Membership Secretary:

I have had a few enquiries regarding the annual re-union dinner. Our contract with the Highcliff Hotel finished last year and the committee decided not to renew it. The plan was to hold a less formal dinner at the school in their new building. For those of you who are unaware, the school had a £4 million building project which has delivered a new 6th form study area on the lower floor, a large catering facility (capacity about 360 pupils) on the 2nd floor and a suite of teaching classrooms on the 3rd floor. This is all in preparation for an expansion in the number of pupils entering the school, as the number of pupils in the catchment has increased. The building occupies part of the senior playground and the senior cycle shed area.

The intention was to hold the first dinner in summer/autumn of 2023, but unfortunately the school lost several key personnel in the catering and site management departments during the year. This has meant that the dinner has been pushed back into 2024. At present I have no date for it, but I will be in touch further when there is a firm date.

The dinner is intended to be a more casual affair than previously with less emphasis on speakers and offering an opportunity to view the school buildings for those who have been away for some time.

Gradually the Old Bournemouthians’ Association is going to be coming under the wing of the Bournemouth School Alumni Society, with the OBA website becoming part of the Bournemouth School website. The Alumni Society is not intended to be a fund-raising society as much as one which can offer help to present-day pupils, for example by offering mentoring, both in person and remotely or by offering advice from ex-pats who could assist students who are travelling overseas.

Please remember to update me with any changes of address or email, so that I can keep in touch with you.

You can email Graham here.

Fan Court School alumni

Claremont Fan Court School, a co-educational independent school, is hosting a reunion at the former school site in Chertsey on Saturday 14 October 2023. Kate Bradford, from their alumni department, has been in touch with us as she knows of at least two former pupils who went on to Bournemouth School in the 1960s. She would be very keen to hear from them, or others who moved from Fan Court to Bournemouth, and would be interested in attending. Please contact Kate by email at .

Obituary: Gordon Prosser (1932-2023)

The funeral will take place of Old Bournemouthian Gordon Prosser at Woking Crematorium,
Surrey, on Tuesday, 27 June, at 1200. All are welcome to attend.

Gordon, of Send, Surrey, died aged 91 on Saturday, May 27.

Born in Bournemouth, Gordon attended Bournemouth School from the age of eleven to
nineteen, completing an extra year because his mother had been initially too ill to give
permission for him to stay on in sixth form. During that time, he became Head Prefect.

After completing Royal Marine training during National Service, Gordon pursued a career in
banking. He was a great supporter of the school and attended the annual Old
Bournemouthians’ dinner well into his late 80s.

Gordon is survived by his wife, Margaret (Peggy) and son, Neil. A daughter, Claire,
predeceased him.

Obituary: Nick McCabe

Mary Apperley, daughter of former teacher Nick McCabe (BS 1961-1988), has got in touch with the sad news that her father passed away on Saturday evening, 11th December, aged 94.

The service shall be at Bournemouth Crematorium at 10.30 on Thursday 23rd December, followed by a service of thanksgiving for the life of Nick McCabe at 10am on Wednesday 29th December at St Lukes Church, Wimborne Road, Winton. No flowers, rather contributions to the work of the Parish of Winton, Moordown and Charminster.

Nick McCabe joined the school in 1961, having moved from another grammar school in Kent, and was soonafter appointed as Head of Modern Foreign Languages. He is best remembered for organising the French exchange, which David Hilliam, in his book Bournemouth School 1901-2000, recounts:

The slow, then rapid, growth of the ‘French Exchange’ with Cholet is now part of the history of the school.

It is impossible to describe the sheer physical immensity of this annual undertaking, in which, by the late ‘eighties scores of teenagers enjoyed the opportunities which were being offered.

Boys and girls from other Bournemouth schools joined in, and the whole enterprise took on a gigantic family atmosphere. Nick McCabe was joined, every year, by various and numerous colleagues but the thrust of the organisation was his alone, for twenty-one years or so, until Nick retired.

It came as a surprise to Nick that in 1997 the French Government awarded him the honour of the ‘Palmes Academique’ for his services to education and international understanding.

More recent Old Bournemouthians will remember Nick’s son, Simon McCade, who followed in his fathers footsteps and also taught Modern Languages at Bournemouth School.

David Trenchard, Chairman of the Old Bournemouthians’ Association, writes simply, “another legend of the School has passed”.

2021 Dinner

A resounding success!

The atmosphere in the room for our 2021 Association Dinner was excellent and the meal good value and well served. The speeches from the Chairman David Trenchard, Headmaster Dorian Lewis, Head Boy Bay Hill and Guest Speaker David Sidwick were all interesting and entertaining.

The Old Bournemouthians cup was awarded to Dean Croukamp-Stewart, who travelled all the way from York to accept the prize.

The Dinner Secretary’s arrangements and table plans were very good and there was a healthy mix of younger and older Old Bournemouthians, together with the current prefects. We also had a sell out with the raffle.

There was a huge appetite for a repeat dinner next year.

Anecdotes of Martin Pritchard

Kelly Thorne, the current Head of Darwin House, has got in touch seeking memories and anecdotes of her predecessor, Martin Pritchard (Geography). She writes:

The current Darwin prefects are very keen to put together a “memory book” as a tribute to what he achieved. I would be very grateful if you could please contact your members and ask for a short written account of their memories with Mr Pritchard, which we could include. This doesn’t need to be lengthy, but I know he would really appreciate hearing from former students (or colleagues of course) and reminiscing about past House activities.

Contributions should be made by Monday 29th November, either in the Comments section below or direct to Kelly:

Alumnus’ New Book Published by Bloomsbury

On 21st January, Bloomsbury Continuum will publish Dostoevsky in Love by alumnus Alex Christofi, a highly original telling of the life of the author of Crime and Punishment. By weaving carefully chosen excepts of the writer’s work, the historical context and his own perceptive insights, Alex immerses the reader in the grand vista of Dostoevsky’s world, from his mock execution to his Siberian exile, and his three love affairs that were overshadowed by epilepsy and gambling.  

Alex was guest speaker at the 2019 Association Dinner.

Hunt for memories of Anthony John Angel (OB C. 1946-1951)

Author David Miller has got in touch in the hope of finding any memories of Anthony John Angel (later Anthony John Allen), who is believed to be an Old Boy of circa 1946-1951, as part of his research for a book. He writes:

The name [Angel] will probably ring a bell with you as he was eventually found guilty of murder and died in 2015 while serving a life sentence.

The reason for contacting you is that I am now fairly familiar with his long list of crimes and misdemeanours, but am completely baffled by the reasons or causes. He came from a respectable middle-class family, had a good education, and served with distinction in the Army. But he then seems to have gone completely off the rails. He committed theft, fraud, bigamy and treated the women in his life very badly, which included abandoning his first wife and her two children and murdering his second wife and her two children.

So, what I am hoping to find is any background information on his early years, which might help me to understand him better or would give me a lead for further research. I would be particularly grateful for any photographs.

A brief outline might help…

Father, John William Angel. Born in London 1895. Served in the Army in WWI. Got married and settled in Bournemouth in 1927, employed as some sort of commerical traveller. Served in WWII. Died in 1954 in Bournemouth, cause unknown.

Mother, Katie Stokes. Born 1904. Came to Bournemouth as her father joined the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Married John in 1927. Lost four babies until one survived, Anthony John Angel, born 1934. Known addresses were Markham Road in 1930 and 26, The Avenue from the 1930s until 1984.

Anthony John Angel. Born 1934. Attended a nursery, presumably local. Attended a Wimborne prep school. Passed the 11+ and attended ‘the local grammar school’ (though this is not named, it is presumabed to be Bournemouth School). Apparently was good at tennis and cricket. Articled to a local architect for a short time after school, but soon enlisted in the Royal Engineers… changed his identity to Anthony John ALLEN in the 1970s…

Responses can either be left below or directed to David via email,