Old Farnhamians' Association

84th Annual Dinner




LtoR: Hugh Batchelor (Former Staff), Dr Jason Jones (Director, Farnham Sixth Form College), Ian Sargeant (OFA President),
Derek Bowtell (Toast to the School) & David McManamon (Toast to the Association)



The annual gathering of the Old Farnhamians’ Association at the Surya Hogs Back Hotel took place on 19th March 2016, attended by over 70 former pupils of Farnham Grammar School. The slight decline in numbers could be traced to the known absence of a several old boys prevented by circumstances from attending but whom we can normally count on and we trust will return next year. Given that an old boy of the school cannot be less than about 54 years old (FGS gave way to Farnham Sixth Form College in 1973), a decline was always foreseeable. The showing was considered a good number and the enthusiasm of those present and the pleasure they were clearly experiencing in being together with old friends  made the event extremely worthwhile.

The opening item was the sad naming by the President of 15 old boys who had died since the last dinner. An excellent meal was then served and, following the loyal toast, the roll call took place. The oldest former pupils were John Wilkinson, Denis Lampard and David Buckell who started school in 1939. There was continuity until 1978 when the last old boy had left what, by then, had become Farnham SFC.

President Ian Sargeant then welcomed Dr Jason Jones, Director of Farnham Sixth Form College, to the dinner and invited him to become an honorary member of the association, presenting him with an OFA tie and cufflinks. Dr Jones, who arrived less than a year ago into his position from a preceding career within the sixth form sector, spoke to the members about his plans and hopes for the college.

The college continues to deliver a mainly A Level curriculum (approx 75% of students study across a range of 30 A level subjects) with outstanding results that surpass those of other local competitor colleges. He mentioned some of the challenges the college faced, including the impression some local people seemed to have that the college was an FE college delivering only vocational education, which is, of course, totally incorrect. The college does offer a range of specialist vocational courses which students are able to take in combination with A levels where they wish to do so (an opportunity which is not available to students in many colleges), but the college remains a traditional Sixth Form College. The small size of the college with approximately 500 students, possibly the smallest SFC in England, gave it a great advantage to students of being able to deliver a friendly and supportive education within an intimate environment where everyone knew everyone else’s name. He hoped to correct false impressions and ensure that people knew where Farnham Sixth Form College was and what a good institution it was, offering a pathway to the best universities and professional training. It was considered one of the best college buildings to be found and could absorb up to a total of approximately 650 students before expansion of the buildings would be required. Dr Jones outlined some of the exciting curriculum developments that are planned for the college, including enhanced provision in the visual arts, creative digital media and sports areas in order to meet the needs of the local economy and ensure viable progression pathways for students when they leave the college at the end of their courses.

There was a toast to the old school proposed by old boy and former school captain Derek Bowtell followed by a toast to the association by David McManamon. Both speakers described their careers and spoke of their fond memories of the old school. The President replied to the toasts and thanked those who had given excellent support to the running of the association as well as everyone present for making the event possible.

Then came the traditional passing round of the Loving Cup, the singing of the School Song and the national anthem accompanied by the only pianist in the room, who happened to be the president. Another happy and memorable annual dinner (held at lunch time, of course!).

Ian Sargeant
Sunday, 20 March, 2016

President’s Speech as mp3 file
click here



Andrews G

Gatfield A

Pesterfield JE

Andrews T

Groves H

Phillips D

Batchelor H

Hayward A

Phillips RM

Beal C

Hewes RH

Polglaze D

Bennett R

Hibberd J

Read PC

Blowfield P

Horner MJ

Roffey W

Bone B

Hughes DP

Sargeant I

Buckell D

Jeffreys M

Seignot M

Bowtell D

Jones J

Seignot MD

Bowtell R

Jones RD

Shipton RM

Clarke J

Kite RJ

Sherwood JH

Coakes D

Lampard DE

Slyfield CCS

Cotterill JMH

Le Vey GF

Steadman P

Cleminson R

Linney S

Torode H

Cranswick PI

Lord RA

Travers J

Crotty J

Lord S

Tye D

Cutler D

Luff WJ

Upfold H

Edgell DJ

Matthews JR

Watts M

Edgell RG

Mayne EP

Walden J

Elkins K

McManamon DG

Walsh WP

Fairclough C

Mortimer K

Westcott ME

Fisher JM

Nash C

Welland Jones R

Fitch C

Neave JJ

Wilkinson J

Ford P

Peace J

Williams BR

Frampton RA

Pearson IH

Wood N








All the Presidents: LtoR Bryan Bone, John Crotty, Ian Sargeant, Michael Horner, Dennis Phillips & Brian Williams




















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