Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

News from the Chapel Fund Trustees

John Davey

11th September 2000
Dear Old Lewesian,

Old Lewesians Millennium Reunion

IT was standing room only when 234 Old Lewesians packed the School Chapel on Saturday 9th September for a service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance at the beginning of the Association's Millennium Reunion.

The service was led by the Reverend Richard Field and, in spite of a lack of hymnbooks, the congregation sang with great spirit and enthusiasm hymns that brought back many memories of former schooldays. Eric Barfoot read the roll of honour of those OL's who gave their lives during the Second World War and Brian Honess read from Paul's letter to the Romans. In his address, Ivor Wycherley recalled the visit he made to Mr Bradshaw during a period of leave in 1942 when he was told of the Head's vision that a Memorial Chapel should be built to commemorate the bravery and the self sacrifice of those Old Boys who had died on active service. He recounted the many problems that had to be overcome before the splendid building in which we were assembled could be consecrated on 10th July 1960, and he paid tribute to NRB's tenacity and determination throughout those difficult 18 years. The service concluded with the singing of the school song 'Floreat Lewesia' - the first verse sung as a solo by Dennis Wicks.

A retiring collection in aid of the School Chapel Fund raised the magnificent sum of £1,121.

There followed an opportunity for Old Lewesians to take a leisurely stroll around the once familiar corridors of what is now the Lewes Tertiary College. Having thus indulged feelings of nostalgia everyone reassembled in the Priory School Hall where the Headmaster, Martin Ofield, presented an insight into the use of the School Chapel by today's pupils and staff. He spoke with much warmth and admiration of the efforts of Mr Bradshaw and the generations of Old Lewesians who had together provided what is now a unique facility for the enjoyment of music and a wonderful resource whereby boys and girls can be taught Christian ethics and the importance of the school motto 'to give and not to count the cost'.

In the Hall, an exhibition of memorabilia was much appreciated before John Davey welcomed Mrs Susan Temple-Richards (Mr Bradshaw's daughter) together with no fewer than 8 former members of staff of the Lewes County Grammar School for Boys. Among those present, he was particularly pleased to welcome Colin Silk (90), Jim Nicholls (89), Keith Eastman and Mike Norgrove - all of whom had taught him during his own formative years at LCGS. What a legacy!

The news that the bar was open was received with much enthusiasm and, during the next 3 hours everyone talked, talked and - talked some more. The bar was drunk dry - twice! - with more than 200 pints of Harvey's downed and an excellent buffet was provided for us by Dave Whiting and his wife from the Elephant & Castle.

Jim Peters, who had worked tirelessly to make the Reunion such a success, proposed a toast to 'Absent Friends' providing a fitting conclusion to a wonderful day that will live long in the memories of all Old Lewesians.

Donations to the Chapel Fund

As mentioned above in the report on the Reunion, the OLs who attended (and those who were unable to be there but sent a donation), raised a total of £1,121 for the Chapel Fund. The Trustees thank all those who contributed such a splendid sum which they will apply to the renovation of the organ and other minor repairs to the chapel fabric.

Since then we have been pleased to receive a generous donation "in memory of my contemporaries who fell in WWII" from Jim Essex (38-42), in Australia, who had been out of touch with OL affairs for many years until he found our website and came back into the fold.