MEMBERS’ WEEKEND 2021 – Day events
Event date: 6 November 2021
Visit to the Kings Drive School site
Executive member James Hazelden became aware through his contacts with Sussex Downs College that the old Grammar School buildings in King’s Drive were likely to be demolished in 2022 to make way for a housing development. He therefore arranged for the buildings to be opened to Old Grammarians for an hour on 6th November for a last trip down memory lane – and, in the case of Colin Taylor, to demonstrate – see below – that he’d retained the wall-bar skills drilled into him by Jock Galloway some sixty years ago!
Martyn Thomas and Don Seabright were able to arrange for a videographer to compile a record of a walk around the school, including aerial shots from a drone. The video – which includes commentary by Don who claims to remember all the classroom numbers and staff occupants! – is accessible on YouTube via the following link (and also on the EGS FaceBook page) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz36yT_c3EE
Over 40 members enjoyed the visit, with memories jogged seeing the almost intact chemistry laboratories and with attempts to climb the wall bars in the gym, which had itself been reduced to half size to accommodate a dance studio. The Hall had also been reduced in size and redeveloped following a fire, and now has a floor added at first floor level. A walk down the corridor to Rex Shaw’s office and then to the Staff Room, now cleared of the cigarette and pipe smoke haze.
The opportunity for the visit was appreciated by all those who attended. Our thanks to the College staff.
The annual Flagstaff ceremony took place following the visit around the school and was conducted by Old Grammarian Canon Geoffrey Baulcomb. The short service was preceded by a piper and included reading out the names of all Old Grammarians who died during the two World Wars.
Prior to the demolition of the Grammar School, discussions will take place with the College concerning the preservation of the Flag Staff and memorials on it, and also the foundation stone by the front entrance and a wooden board recording the names of fallen Old Grammarians.
Annual Lunch and AGM at the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club.
This year, 51 members booked to attend which is an excellent number, matching the last lunch in 2019 and considering understandable hesitation about Covid. One very welcome member present again this year and looking very hale and hearty was Walter Tillyard, just a few months shy of his centenary, and as sharp as he always was.
An excellent and efficiently served three-course lunch and coffee, accompanied by copious amounts of beer and wine, set the scene for the AGM. From the numbers present, including quite a few of the younger members, it is sure that the Association has a future for many years.
Prior to the formal business of the AGM, President Jack Revell made a personal presentation to retiring Hon. Sec. Fred Reeve, in recognition of his thirteen years of unstinting service. The Association will retain Fred’s input as he will be continuing to contribute as Hon Archivist.
The AGM business was promptly covered, with the usual inputs from the Hon Secretary and the Treasurer, updates on the Golf Competitions and the COEGS Dinner and reports on the Member Survey and the new Website. Chris Bennell was proposed and elected as Hon Secretary and other members of the Executive re-elected, all for the customary three-year terms.
After the formal proceedings, James Hazelden conducted the raffle which raised £288 for the Blackburn Vail Trust.
The Annual Weekend in 2022 will be on 4th / 5th November