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Frequently Asked Questions

about the Old Lewesians Website

O L Webmaster

How and when did this website begin ?

THIS website began in June 2000 to explore the possibilities of an internet website for Old Lewesians. At the Millenium reunion in September 2000 a small prototype version was demonstrated by John Davey who had set up a computer at the event. The very few who knew what a "website on the Internet" meant showed some polite interest but the overall impact was slight. In 2000 the membership were mostly from the LCGSB 1930-50 period and quite unfamiliar to this new technology.

Why was it taken further ?

After some discussion with John Davey, who represented the Chapel Trustees and the Old Lewesians Association, it was agreed that a website might possibly act as a focus and an effective communication channel between Old Lewesians. Work continued in late 2000 and the website was formally launched on Jan 1st 2001 - the true first day of the 21st century !

Who actually started it off ?

It was founded by Maurice Hobden, who was at LCGS from 1944 to 1951. Being a retired scientist with many years experience in computer systems and communications, he found this an interesting and challenging project. The material for the site has been provided by the members over many years.

How did the OLO gather new members and how quickly ?

Mostly via the grape-vine and the old-boy network to begin with but later we were found by search engines and through other channels such as "FriendsReunited". Attempts to recruit though newspaper adverts did not work. To begin with the membership rose almost linearly at about 25 new members per month. At the end of 2001 we had 303 internet members. We now have a membership list on our database with 1100+ members of whom 1000+ have email addresses and 100+ are postal members.

Why do all members have passwords ?

Most of the Old Lewesian website is wide open to the Internet and can be viewed all over the world by anyone. However there is a part of the website containing personal details of our members that can only be accessed using a personal password allocated to each member. Former members of staff and pupils of LCGSB and LCGSG can apply to register as members using the facilities on the website under "Registration" or they can email O L Webmaster. Those accepted will appear on our lists and be given a password to access the "Members Only" pages.

Why do you use the name O L Webmaster and not your own ?

O L Webmaster is the pseudonym of the person managing the website. In the future the task may be taken on by another Old Lewesian who will inherit the appellation. When acting as webmaster dealing with the website I use the O L Webmaster tag but when communicating as just another OL I use my own name.

What is the Old Lewesians Organisation ?

Simply the internet-based organisation that runs this website. The name was coined in 2001 and we registered the domain name "" in case we ever needed it. Ever since the 1930's there has been an old-boys organisation called the Old Lewesians Association which was fairly active in Lewes but with the passing years it slowly became less active. In latter years it has done the best it could to organise occasional reunions but it was very difficult to keep in contact with members. The advent of the internet, the world wide web and the use of email has dramatically changed the situation and that is why a website has been established.

The site is registered in O L Webmaster's name and is run independently of the Old Lewesians Association, which is a registered charity with its own objectives, as is the School Chapel Trust. Legally we are classed as an "unincorporated non-profit making organisation" ; we are not a registered charity. We are funded by donations and sponsorship by members. We are not commercial - we do not trade and we do not pay tax.

In May 2009 we expanded our website to include a section for the use of the old girls of Lewes County Grammar School for Girls who were finding it difficult to keep in contact with the girls of the Old Girls Association. This should develop quickly into something of great interest to former pupils and may lay the foundations for greater cooperation in matters of common interest.

How is it funded ?

Through 2001 the relatively small cost of running the website was borne by the webmaster but when the projected costs for 2002 became apparent it was clear that it was time for the members to shoulder most of the cost of running their website.

To avoid the unpleasant and time consuming task of chasing members for annual subscriptions it was decided to appeal for voluntary donations and sponsorship. This has the advantage that those of a generous nature feel good about supporting our cause, while those in reduced circumstances and those of a more tight-fisted disposition get a thrill from getting so much for so little. It also makes far less work for me. That way everyone is happy !

An appeal was made for donations and sponsorship at the end of 2001, which has been surprisingly successful. Your webmaster runs the website and is treasurer. The funds are held in a bank account in the name "Old Lewesians Organisation" and the chairman is co-signatory of the account. The funds are only used to provide website and communication services to Old Lewesian members. Our financial objective is to run the OLO economically, efficiently and, I hope, just in the black. If you are a member and appreciate the work that is being done on your behalf you may like to consider making a donation to the running costs.

Where is the Old Lewesians Organisation located?

The management of the website is conducted by the webmaster, the chairman and membership secretary from our computers at home. We are gradually recruiting other members to help with specific tasks. If things take a while to happen - remember that this is a small outfit of volunteers! There is no ancilliary support or staff apart from help from members themselves. Edited material is uploaded to a server on the internet and it is from there that you get the web pages when you connect to the site - we do not run our own server.

Our website is located on a server at a commercial hosting service where we pay a modest sum per annum for 500 Mbytes of space and an environment that allows us to offer services, such as passwords, the forums and other database enabled facilities. These should help the smooth running of the site and also provide good security. As you are aware we now run under the domain name which neatly expresses our organisation name and country.