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"The Old Lewesian"

The Journal of the Old Lewesians Association '49 - '54

Journals loaned by Roy Metcalfe and others

Comment by OLO Webmaster

IN 1949 the Old Lewesians Association was a more youthful and flourishing group than it would be if it still existed today, when it would be more truthfully named "The Old Lewesian Veterans Association". In a fit of enthusiasm in 1949 it was decided to publish a magazine like the Barbican, for OLA members. It would contain parts of the Barbican that would be of interest to OLs plus more news of Old Lewesians. At the same time this would relieve pressure on the Barbican which was clogging up with Old Boy news. In their enthusiasm they were considering publishing "The Old Lewesian" twice a year! They clearly miscalculated the demands on time and expense that would entail.

Today, the efforts of the OLs in raising money bring back memories of post-war hardship and the determination to get back to having a good time. The OLA Annual Ball was very popular. The question, often put to young ladies on such occasions, was "Why do Old Lewesians have bigger balls than Old Etonians"? To which, of course, the answer was "Because they sell more tickets". An old joke guaranteed to bring a frisson of excitement and a pink flush to the cheeks of the young innocents who had never heard it before!

As you will see below, the Grand Draw at the OLA Ball had a glittering array of prizes. What ecstasy to win the men's underwear! Donated by another OL who had outgrown it, perhaps? To win all the prizes - nylons, spirits, cigarettes, chocolate and ladies underwear, not to mention the Etc., Etc., - would have been the perfect basis for propositioning a partner to a weekend of hanky-panky in Bognor Regis. And all for a mere sixpence. Ah - those were the days!

One also notes that there were ambitious plans discussed at an Extraordinary General Meeting, no less, to bring out a new style OL blazer and tie. The ideal attire for "strutting your stuff, with your bit of fluff, on the esplanade at Brighton" or perhaps showing off at the OLA Tennis Tournament. Anyone for tennis, chaps? Memories of "Salad Days" and punts on the river ...

The first edition, apart from the introduction, contained little that was not in the Barbican (q.v.), apart from a list of almost three hundred members and their addresses. The situation had not changed much by the fifth edition in 1954. Virtually every article is from the Barbican including the obituary of Edgar Povey, at whose funeral service in Southover most of the Sixth form attended.

By 1952, the fourth edition, the membership stood at just over four hundred a growth largely due, I suspect, to the fact that the three form entry has worked its way through school and about a third more pupils were now leaving school each year. Obviously there was a high attrition of paid up members due to the natural tendency to forget about the school after a couple of years and concentrate on career, marriage and family.

The Old Lewesian was not published in 1953 and the fifth and possibly last edition appeared in 1954 and is in effect a slimmed version of the Barbican, leaving out the accounts of the various school societies. By this time it was obvious that the magazine for Old Boys was not very successful and that collecting subscriptions was difficult. I suspect that this was the last edition.

A Moral

There is a moral to this cautionary tale of misplaced enthusiasm for a venture that could not be sustained indefinitely. Webmasters should not imagine that their efforts to bring together old boys will be an everlasting success. The website too will bloom, wither and die in the fullness of time. Meanwhile lets enjoy it while we can. Have fun!

Extracts from "The Old Lewesian"


Following many requests by Old Boys for a regular magazine giving, among other things, up-to-date information relating to the various activities of the Association, and its members, we regret that there has been some delay in the publication of this, the first issue of THE OLD LEWESIAN.

Flyer for the Annual Ball We have endeavoured to meet the many wishes of members in compiling this issue, but doubtless there are omissions, and we ask for the co-operation and criticisms of members, to help us in preparing and compiling subsequent issues of our journal, which we hope to publish twice yearly. [Twice ! ? ]

We shall include in all issues a regular feature giving details of sporting and social events, and meetings that have been arranged, and we draw your attention to Page [?] of this issue, and earnestly request your support for these functions. Your committee will be guided by your attendance and support in arranging future events and we hope you will make every effort to ensure the success of these functions, which have been arranged with some difficulty by your committee for your entertainment.

We have previously arranged a number of Cricket Fixtures in addition to that on the 14th August, but for various reasons, these have had to be scratched or cancelled. But we have appointed three representatives of your committee to arrange cricket fixtures for next season, and we hope to have a good number of players available for selection.

Flyer for the Grand DrawTwo members of your Committee, Messrs. Hoggins and Dewdney, have kindly volunteered to organise Golf and Tennis Tournaments should sufficient support be forthcoming, so if you are interested and wish to take part in these tournaments, please contact Mr. Hoggins or Dewdney direct, or write to the Secretary.

The ANNUAL O.L.A. BALL, is being held this year on September 30th, and we are confident that this will be an even greater success than last year's Ball. Tickets will be obtainable after August l3th, and for your convenience we have had printed a slip for application for tickets.

Further details of the ANNUAL DINNER will be given in our next issue, but please bear in mind the date, which is March 11th, 1950. The dinner will be at the School, and outside caterers will be engaged.

We have arranged, to benefit Association funds, a GRAND COMPETITION to take place at the Annual Ball on September 30th, 1949, with for the First Prize a VIDOR ATTACHE PORTABLE RADIO SET. Many other prizes are included, of which details are given on Page [?]. Tickets are 6d. each and Books of Tickets of 20 are now obtainable from the Secretary, or any Committee member. Please help us to make this a great success by selling as many tickets as possible, and of course, buying as many as you (and your family) can afford.

The Association cannot develop, or for that matter exist without funds, so please do all you can to help us to increase the finances of the Association.

We propose inserting in the magazine details of births marriages, and, we hope never, obituary notices, so please let the Secretary have full details as early as possible for inclusion in the next issue. Similarly, we require news and information concerning all members, their employment and their whereabouts, from time to time, and we rely upon you, either with your conversations with other members, or by writing to your Secretary, to keep us well informed.

We have included in this issue a full list of members as they appear in the Association records. This list will serve a dual purpose, first in disclosing any omissions or incorrect entries, and secondly in bringing to the knowledge of members, the names and particularly the addresses of other members living in close proximity, thus bringing about introductions that may not otherwise develop. Please do not hesitate to advise us of any errors in this list.

OLA Tie Pattern 1951 (half scale) The Blazer and Tie of the Association have been the subject of conversation among many members, following the proposal at the Extraordinary General Meeting that the designs should be altered. We shall be glad to receive suggestions for alternative designs incorporating, of course, the same colours and if you will kindly send your suggestions to the Secretary, the Committee will in due course give these consideration, and further details will be published in the next issue of our journal.

For the benefit of those Old Boys who are not yet members of the OLD LEWESIANS ASSOCIATION we have included in this issue an application form for Membership, and we ask all Old Boys whether at home or abroad to join immediately, to ensure the success of the Association, and to create and maintain that feeling of comradeship so well expressed by Fred Cosstick at the Extraordinary General Meeting.

Your Committee have held regular monthly meetings throughout the year, at which much time and thought (certainly much talking) have been given to the affairs of the Association, the outcome of which will be the successful organising and development of the Association.

Finally, as all Old Boys have been informed, all subscriptlons are due, on July lst, and if yours is due this year, and you have not already sent your 3/6d. or 5/- to the Treasurer, please do so without delay, so that you may enjoy the privileges of membership.
A. C. Johnson.