Old Farnhamians' Association



Cyril Trust MBE

1948 - 1953

Cyril attending his last OFA dinner in October 2019

Cyril Trust was many things to his fellow Old Farnhamians. A jovial fellow who had been an excellent swimmer in his school days, a large chap over 6 feet high and a broad frame and, above all, a most enthusiastic former grammar school boy who was in the first intake of post-war 11+ examinees sent to the reformed state grammar schools under the 1944 Education Act.  He was one of many in those early years to benefit from the new system that selected the 11 year olds with promise and gave them a good education that competed with that of the children sent to private schools. Although Cyril did not distinguish himself academically, he clearly benefited from his school education by pursuing a successful career in management rising to be a Chief Executive of his company. He loved Farnham and, as detailed in the tributes below, performed innumerable services to many of the town’s activities and institutions, particularly the OFA.

The association is deeply indebted to Cyril for the continuous stream of innovative ideas and projects that he initiated and the hard work he put in to ensure that they were successful. His inimitable style of presenting his proposals and his persuasive approach brought hundreds of people a lot of nostalgic enjoyment, particularly his organisation of events such as celebratory garden parties etc bringing together both old boys, old girls of FGGS and the partners of everyone who wanted to join the events. The other pages of this website bear witness to many of these events.

Thank you Cyril, old chap, we will really miss you!

Ian Sargeant
Thursday, 19 March, 2020


The tributes below were delivered at Cyril’s funeral on 10th March, 2020



Tribute by Maurice Jeffreys

Cyril was my best friend for over 70 years, and throughout this time we were part of each others lives, becoming like brothers, so much so, he was my best man at our wedding in 1963.

As school mates I would be a regular guest at his home at weekends to watch the latest Western films on T.V., and listen to the latest Elvis Presley records with his father.

We were in the same form at Farnham Grammar School, and I was always envious of his prowess in the swimming pool. He was unbeatable in freestyle events, gaining his House Colours, and becoming School swimming champion in our 4th year. It was during that year he set a school record in Plunge event, and at over 6ft tall, it has to be said the other contestants didn't really stand a chance.

We both served our National Service in the RAF and afterwards regularly chartered each others careers in the business world.

He was a hugely successful salesman, and as we have heard, eventually becoming M.D. of Ucan Products. In his sales patter he built up a vast repertoire of jokes, which he shared with me in frequent telephone conversations.

Sometimes, our conversations were often done from public telephone boxes, where time was limited to how much money was put in before one was cut off. We had no idea that our conversations were ever being heard by operators, and on one occasion before Cyril got to the punch line on a joke he was relating, the “Beeps” tone warning time was up sounded, and before we were cut off, and with Cyril having no more cash, an operator said “please carry on, I want to hear the end as well”!!

We were also great fans of the Goon Show on radio, and during a joint holiday with friends in Jersey one year, one of the Goons, Peter Sellers, issued his classic L.P. record “The Best of Sellers”, and many hours were spent listening to this in a record shop booth in St Helier, without actually buying it. At the end of the holiday we could recite every track on the record!

He was always a “larger than life” character who was blessed with a great gift of charm and personality, combined with an enormous sense of fun.

Cyril had a great passion for food and liked nothing more than a great meal in a good restaurant. He was particularly fond of Indian curries, and one of his favourite restaurants was The Curry Centre in Soho, where he was a regular customer. This stood him in good stead on one occasion, when after having entertained a young lady there, he was presented with the Bill, and discovered he did not have his credit card with him, nor enough cash to cover it.

The Manager said that’s no problem, just pay when you next come in! When he did in my company some months later, there were several other unpaid bills to settle!

Life will not be the same without Cyril, who made lifelong friends wherever he went. Farnham and particularly the Old Farnhamians  Association’s magazine, which he restarted and produced for many years, will never be the same again.

Farewell, old and treasured friend, may you rest in peace, and who knows, maybe you will be organising a get together of old Farnhamians, when we all join you.    



Tribute by Roger Edgell
Former President & Secretary of the OFA

When Cyril Trust rose to address the 53rd Annual Dinner of The Old Farnhamians’ Association on the 14th April 1985, it would not have been possible to even dream of the impact this man was going to make in the years to come.

OFA addresses are not always known for their brevity so today I will concentrate on how that impact I am referring to emerged.

Cyril, over time, has been a quite outstanding President of our Association and a formidable Chairman of the Farnham 400 Trust and his contribution to matters OFA since he joined the Association in 1954, is nothing short of phenomenal:

·        He was responsible for the resurrection of the school Farnhamian Magazine and its distribution to a worldwide membership for an incredible 27 years, selflessly completing his final effort in the last few weeks;

·        He fronted the Farnham Lecture, cajoling any number of eminent speakers to offer their services free of charge for over 20 years;

·        He began work with Farnham College setting up an Annual awards process where, once again, he persuaded any number of Old Farnhamians to contribute to the awards to successful students, currently totalling 40 per year; Principals of The College came and went but Cyril still found a way through the door of any new incumbent in the post – it seems no-one could say ‘no’ to him – then he proceeded to report joint ventures between the OFA and The College to The Farnham Herald, thus ensuring appropriate publicity for both parties but at the heart of this was his desire for The College to be sustained as a seat of learning on the site of his former School;

·        He then moved to consider and set up influencing the feeder schools to The College (Ash Manor, Heath End & Weydon) by introducing an Old Farnhamians’ award to be presented at each of their annual awards evenings;

·        Not content with this he started compiling a full listing of the memorabilia associated with Farnham Grammar School and the OFA and he ensured the perpetuity of same by having copies of all the School Magazines from 1912 and his modern contributions stored in the Surrey History Centre at Woking and The Farnham Museum – these activities ensured that, in some quarters of the OFA, he became known most affectionately as ‘Squirrel’;

·        His most recent excursion into assistance to The College came via his establishment of the ‘Happy Space’ Lectures, focussing on the mental health and well-being of the students, demonstrating his commitment to ‘current’ concerns across both Government and the medical profession;

·        The list goes on – he has written a series of publications about former Members of Staff at The Grammar School, together with further contributions about some of the most successful and revered old boys;

·        And finally, while all this was being achieved, he remained at the forefront of the Annual Dinners and Lunches being a font of knowledge for all who required it – OFA Members will always fondly remember the Dinners he organised at that most prestigious of venues Farnham Castle.

Ladies and Gentlemen – it is not the length of this list that is significant – it is the depth of it – if you piled all this activity one item on top of the other, you begin to appreciate the supreme, even gargantuan, organisational effort that was required.

What on earth drove him on you might ask – I think there is a simple answer – his love and affection for Farnham Grammar School and Grammar Schools per se and if he was to sing us a song today it surely would be a lament about the closure of Grammar Schools.

Appropriate then, I feel, that this extraordinary effort should now be recognised with the construction of a memorabilia museum at Farnham College and thanks are due to The College for this dedicated facility; this will serve as a fitting tribute to Cyril’s enterprise and vision of the past 65 years of OFA membership – a truly quite remarkable man whose prominence and pre-eminence in the OFA ranks, in his time, is without compare; it has been my enduring privilege to have known him as a great chum, in fact, as if he were the elder brother I never had.

The aims of the OFA are ‘to promote good fellowship amongst old boys and to perpetuate the spirit and traditions of the former Farnham Grammar School, through its Farnham 400 Trust’ – there can be no question that this is precisely what Cyril did; in the circumstances it hardly seems enough to say thank you Cyril but, to conclude, we must do just that, from the bottom of our OFA hearts.




Obituary – Click here


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