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News 2004

A Brief Resume by Webmaster

January 2004

A Possible Reunion in the Autumn

AS you may have seen on the "Reunion" page we have had over 400 members expressing a wish to attend a School Reunion in Lewes this coming autumn. A response of this magnitude was most unexpected. We even have OLs from distant parts of Canada planning visits to coincide with the event.

The current situation is that a small group of OLs with previous experience of organising reunions is looking into various options. It is a matter of matching the broad range of members expectations and requirements to the facilities available. We expect to have proposals ready within a couple of weeks. If the proposals meet with general approval the tickets will be available on a first come first served basis in the early spring.

Revising our Members List

Our snail-mail shot to 318 Postal Members last November asking them to confirm their continuing existence and address data has had a response of about 50%. Those who have failed to respond and who have had no contact with us for over a year will shortly be taken off our membership list.

A New Webmaster ?

As explained in "SitVacWebby" on the Members Index, we need to have another webmaster to take over my job when I am no longer able to do it. I would like to be able to hand over the job at the end of 2004 to someone younger with a fresh perspective. If you are recently retired and have some IT experience this could be an interesting hobby for your retirement years. If I crash out in harness with no back-up webmaster ready the organisation will go into a state of paralysis.

February 2004

The Reunion

WE apologise for the delay in clarifying the details of the Reunion to be held in October 2004. Due to illness and other factors we have been delayed. However the response to the poll on members' intentions would indicate that it is now virtually certain to go ahead. We will clarify the situation shortly. We anticipate that members will be able to bid for tickets within a few weeks. We advise you to keep an eye on the website and your email for news that tickets are on offer. Due to the large demand for a limited number of tickets those who are late applying may well be disappointed.

Revising our Members List

Replies from Postal Members to our November request to confirm their membership have now dried up. The net result is that about 110 members from whom nothing has been heard since 2002 have been deleted from our lists. A small sample from this group was contacted by phone and all said that they no longer wished to be members. This would indicate that most of this group are still living at their former addresses but not longer wish to be members. Others who have moved and left no forwarding address or have died have also been removed. This loss of members is inevitable but necessary to keep the List up to date. Members are advised to keep in touch with the OLO on a regular basis by logging on and reading the latest news on "This Month". You should also remember to update your email and postal addresses on the Old Lewesians database by using the page called "Update DB" if necessary.

If you change your email address - Use the "Update DB" facility !

A New Webmaster ?

My appeal for a younger member to assist me in running the website and eventually taking over has had no response. I remain hopeful that when the need arises somebody will come forward.

Old Lewesians Organisation - Our Financial Position

The Old Lewesians Organisation was launched on the 1st January 2001 to provide an Internet website for former pupils and staff of Lewes County Grammar School for Boys. It was intended to show a large collection of memorabilia about the school and provide information to enable members get into contact with old friends. It would also try to keep in contact by post with members with no internet access. This has required substantial amount of editorial and organisational effort and, inevitably, financial expenditure.

During the year 2001 the website was funded entirely by the webmaster. Early in 2002 it was decided to ask members for voluntary donations by way of support instead of introducing annual subscriptions. An appeal was made in February 2002, which, I am very pleased to say, has been surprisingly successful. Over the last two years almost 150 of our members have given about £2800 in total. We are very pleased to have been given such generous support.

Our total running costs for the two full years 2002 and 2003 have amounted to about £1200 (including £300 on internet charges, £450 on bulk mailing to postal members, £165 on postage and stationery and £105 on researching the life of Mr N R Bradshaw). We expect our future running costs to settle down to about £500 per annum.

Our funds are held in a bank account in the name "Old Lewesians Organisation" and John Davey, the chairman of the OLO, is a co-signatory. He also monitors our expenditure. The OLO funds are used solely for the provision of website and postal information and communication services to Old Lewesians. Those working for the OLO are unpaid volunteers.

Our objective is to keep the organisation active and continue to provide the website as a focus for Old Lewesians affairs. The OLO has successfully recruited many of the younger generation of old-boys who are now in their fifties. With even more of these younger members we think that the OLO can continue as a viable organisation for perhaps another fifteen to twenty years.

To sustain the OLO we need the active participation of its members and adequate funds to meet our costs. We aim to run it economically, efficiently and within our means. If you appreciate and enjoy the service we provide and would like to support us and the work we are doing, you may wish to consider making a small donation to our running costs.

Cheques, payable to "Old Lewesians Organisation", should be sent to
29 Eston Avenue, Malvern, Worcs WR14 2SR .

Those who have already made a donation are marked as such on the Membership List. May we extend our thanks to them all. We do not expected them to donate again - I am sure that there are others who will in due course show their support.

March 2004

The School Reunionp

A pplication forms for Reunion tickets will appear on this website on March 10th. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis as their applications arrive. More details are available now on the Reunion Index.

Changing Email Addresses - A Word of Advicep

I am getting far too many emails from members asking me to take note of their new email addresses and expecting me to change their records on our database and Members List. This unending stream is becoming a NUISANCE !

There is already a special page provided on the website where MEMBERS CAN CHANGE THEIR OWN DATABASE DETAILS. It is "Update DB" on the "Members Only" index (you need to LOG ON first). It is very simple to use - just remove the old and type in the new and click the Update Details button. USE IT!

If you have difficulties logging on I am willing to help BUT I AM NOT WILLING TO BE A NANNY TO THOSE SIMPLY TOO IDLE TO DO IT THEMSELVES ! Do It Yourself !

There seems to be a new craze for changing email addresses in the vain hope that it will solve the spam problem. It will for a few days but your new email address will soon be picked up by the spammers and you will be back at square one. What is the point ?

These email address changes, especially those using unrecognisable aliases, are self-defeating because :-
1. Busy people (like me) are likely to put off or forget to update your email address on their records.
2. Your correspondents' spam blasters may delete your emails because they look like spam (because the source is not recognised).
3. It causes irritation to those (like me) who have better things to do than updating databases and address books.
4. Your identity gets blurred. (Who is this guy? - people think as they delete your emails without looking at the message)
5. Within a very short time you will get more spam !

The best available solution to spam is to use anti-spam software like Mail Washer - a FREE utility available on the web or computer mag CDs. (There are several others similar.) With Mail Washer you can see what is waiting for download in your ISP mailbox. Mail Washer identifies and labels the spam for destruction in situ and then you can down load your real email. It's quick and efficient and it keeps nasties at arms length. It may not be the perfect solution but it is a practical solution until better spam control is devised. Try it !

My advice is -
1. Don't change your email address to escape spam - that isn't the solution.
2. Get a good recognisable email address and stick with it.
3. Use "Update DB" to change your OL database entries.
4. Use Mail Washer to delete all your spam.

April 2004

The School Reunion

W e have had a busy month receiving your applications for tickets to the reunion events. The initial flood of applications is now over though we expect a trickle of late applications for the remaining tickets.

Both events, Reunion and Dinner, have passed the necessary minimum numbers so both events will (D.V.) go ahead as planned. John Davey and his team will be making detailed arrangments over the summer months.

The general issue of Chapel tickets have been allocated but a few have been reserved for special cases. These will be made available to i) relatives of old boys who died in the Second World War, ii) those who were on active service in the war, iii) those aged 75 and over. If you are eligible and would like a Chapel ticket please email your webmaster.

May 2004

The School Reunion

T he main flood of applications have arrived and tickets allocated as shown on the website. With well over 300 tickets sold for the afternoon Reunion and well over 100 for the evening Dinner you can be assured that (DV) both events will take place.

The first tranche of tickets for the Chapel Service have been allocated. A second tranche - a small number - are being held in reserve for issue on the day when we have a better idea of how many more can be squeezed in. These tickets will be offered to deserving cases, eg, relatives of old-boys killed in the war, OLs over the age of 75, OLs who were on active service, disabled OLs and former chapel trustees.

Cheques are now being cleared and the tickets are ready for dispatch in mid-May. Members are asked to check their tickets against their records and also check their bank statements in case we have made any mistakes, such as cashing a cheque we should have returned! Let me know if there are any problems or your tickets have not arrived by the end of May.

June/July 2004

All Quiet on Reunion Preparations!

The main issue of tickets for the Old Lewesian Reunion in October went ahead in late May and early June. There are still occasional late applications and we expect more as the event gets closer. There are still tickets available from your webmaster.

The detailed planning for the event is now going ahead in Lewes in the capable hands of John Davey our chairman. You can expect more details about the event later in the summer and early autumn.

Naming Faces on All the Panoramic Photos

A few months back a small group of members led by Eric Mears and John Why began a project to collect the names of the pupils on the 1948 and 1964 panoramas with the objective of creating a large visual display for the reunion.

The collection, organisation and display of the data from many contributors is very time consuming and prone to error. So your webmaster put his mind to the possibility of using the internet website and database as a tool for gathering, storing, displaying and searching the material by members directly. After a good deal of thought and experimentation such a system has been devised and is now working very well for all 12 panoramas. Well over 2000 faces have now been named within ten days! These names appear as pop-ups on the photo when the mouse pointer is placed on a face that has been named [this facility is, unfortunately, not available on Netscape browsers]. Such is the power of the computer and the internet.

We hope that all of you will visit this facility and scrutinise panoramas from your years to check the names given to boys and staff who you knew well. As you will find if you read the instructions carefully it is very easy to add your contribution.

This naming exercise may also jog memories sufficiently to lead some of you to get in contact with former pupils with a view to telling them about the Old Lewesians, the website and the forthcoming reunion. With any luck we may recruit many more members. There are hundreds of Old Lewesians out there somewhere who are completely unaware of what is happening !

August/September 2004

The Reunion

This is to remind you that the Reunion WILL be held in five weeks time at the Priory School in Lewes on Saturday 23rd October 2004. The doors will open for registration at 12.30 pm. The licensed bar will open as soon as possible. The Buffet lunch will be served at about 1.30 pm. Later there will be a tour of the old school buildings and a memorial service in the School Chapel. Tea will be served before departure.

Car Parking

Members can park their cars in the car parking spaces provided by the Priory School and also the Sussex Downs College (what was our old school). Look out for signs and young persons directing the flow. Please do not park in Mountfield Road causing problems for the local residents. If you can come by rail and walk down to the Reunion it may be easier for you. Parking in these school car-parks is of course entirely at your own risk.


There are a few Reunion tickets still available. We have been advised to limit the attandance to 350 and currently are slightly below that figure. If you have a last minute urge to attend - (it will certainly be a day different from your normal Saturday) - send a cheque for £7 single (£12 double) payable to Old Lewesians and a stamped addressed envelope to :-
M V Hobden
29 Eston Avenue
WR14 2SR
and I will dispatch tickets by return of post.

There are also tickets for the dinner at the White Hart at 7 pm (£25 single £45 double) available until October 1st.

Mutual Recognition

When you arrive look out for notices that indicate the place in the Priory School hall for you to meet other members of the same age. These should help you meet up with old school-mates without the hassle of scanning three hundred or so faces that are not from your era!

At the check-in there will be felt-tip pens and labels provided on which you are requested to print your name and years at LCGS, eg

JOE BLOGGS (51-57)

and fix on your lapel. Sadly, most of us bear little resemblence to the fresh-faced youths of yesteryear.

An Archive of Old Lewesian Memorabilia

Your webmaster would like to gather together a collection of school photos and school magazines for use by the Old Lewesians Organisation. We do have some that have already been donated and we borrowed many some years ago when the website was being built up. That job was done in rather a hurry and not perhaps as carefully as it should have been. We anticipate revising the website text and rescanning the photos to a higher standard.

Now that the Old Lewesians Organisation is firmly established we think it would make sense to collect the more important items to form a permanent archive. If you have any Barbicans or Panoramic photos or Sports team photos or other memorabilia that you would like to deposit with the Old Lewesian Archive for posterity please bring them along to the Reunion and seek out John Davey or myself, Maurice Hobden. All contributions will be gratefully received and used for research by the Old Lewesians in the future. When the Old Lewesians finally winds up in perhaps twenty or so years the archive will be deposited with the County Archives.

October/November 2004

Reunion Report

The 2004 Reunion took place as planned on Saturday 23rd October with 322 members in attendance. A personal report by your webmaster appears elsewhere on the website. More details on the speeches given by the Priory School Headteacher and John Davey will appear later, as will reports on the Chapel Service and the Dinner for 122 at the White Hart that evening. If anyone wishes to present a short report of their impressions or has some photos that would be of interest to others, please contact me.

There is, on the Members Only index, a Reunion Forum where members can express their views or raise issues for general discussion. Several members have already asked if their will be another Reunion in the foreseeable future? The answer can only be "wait and see". We had a reunion in 2000 and now this one in 2004 and this may set a pattern of once every four years. So my best guess is that if enough members want one in 2008 and we have people to organise it there might well be one.

Planning and arranging the 2004 Reunion has involved a considerable amount of time and effort. Members have been stimulated by the reunion and making contacts with old friends. There will now be a distinct post-reunion lull in our activities. This may give the impression that nothing is happening but in fact we shall be entering a quieter period when several background tasks are tackled. These mostly relate to tidying up the website, getting rid of some pages or reorganising pages that need bringing up to date.

Other News

I have recently been told that Reggie Fowler has died in the USA. The news is given on the "In Memoriam" page.

December 2004

An Eventful Year and a Bright Future for the Old Lewesians

THIS year has been a milestone in the Old Lewesians history. Our website has allowed us to widen the membership to include many younger former pupils, many hitherto unaware of our existence. With these new members the Old Lewesians as an organisation can now look forward to many more years of existence. During that period we can expect some new developments in our activities that will reflect the changes that will inevitably come from the emerging internet technologies.

To prepare us for these changes we are taking some measures to tidy-up the website by removing or updating some of the pages and cleaning up the internal arrangement of the files on the server which, due to the speed of growth, has inevitably been somewhat chaotic! So you may notice minor changes over the next few months.

We have also been able to organise a very successful reunion which has allowed us to meet with old friends not seen for many many years. Although we cannot expect these major reunions to be frequent we can at least use the website and emails to organise meetings and get-togethers of small groups and individuals.

We are also trying to improve the naming of faces on the pre-war panoramic photos. We have sent prints to our older members who were at school in those years, but do not have access to the internet, for them to mark-up with the names of those they remember. When these prints are returned the data will be entered on the website database and appear as pop-ups on the photos.

As you will see from the "In Memoriam" page we have received the sad news that John Craig of Ringmer, one of the two brothers from Gote Farm, died recently. He was at the Reunion and appeared to be in good form but, it would seem, he knew that he had little time left.