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Blunderbuss June 2005

This page provides the full text of the first issue of our snailmail edition.

You can explore the full Blunderbuss archive here.

Contents of the June 2005 Edition

Blunderbuss Resurrected

Forthcoming events

OFA website

In Memoriam: Jane Ashby

Blunderbuss resurrected? Whatever next?

Welcome to the first issue of an occasional newsletter designed to keep members of the Farnham Grammar School "Class of 71" in touch.

It follows on from the highly successful reunion which took place in Farnham College in November 2000, when a number of us decided it would be a good idea to keep in touch a bit more frequently than once in every 25 years or so. Being aware that the alleged formality of the Old Farnhamians' Annual Dinner is not to everyone's taste, Blunderbuss is designed to keep you informed of other events where you may like to touch base with some of your former classmates in more relaxing surroundings (such as the annual Farnham Beerex).

And for those of you who may have forgotten (shame!), Blunderbuss was the name of the revamped Entertainments Committee Magazine produced from 1977 onwards. It was originally and rather boringly called The Entertainments Committee Magazine or ECM, and was sold for a penny throughout College, and the Tuck Shop. The magazine (allegedly) had lots of support from John McLaughlin who apparently insisted on calling it the "Penny Dreadful", thereby producing the riposte "he may be confusing us with Penny Hazell, who, no doubt is also filled with good things". (We could not possibly comment on whether Penny also enjoyed lots of support from John McLaughlin- Editor.)

Currently Blunderbuss is masterminded by Mike Mehta and John Clarke, who just so happen to have been involved in the production of the original Blunderbuss. They are co-incidentally both on the OFA Committee. But Blunderbuss is not designed to influence you to join the OFA (phew! - although we will be only too pleased to assist you in doing so) but more to keep former classmates in touch.

At this year's OFA dinner, John was asked to propose the toast to the OFA, during which he recalled some of the peculiar language teachers inflicted upon us. Characters such as the German assistant we dubbed "Big Bertha", (described as "a sort of female Herman Munster"); the French assistant with wild, long dark hair, ie Monsieur Ledenoir (otherwise "Loony Ledenoir" or "the Wild Man of Borneo"); and his subsequent replacement Patrick, the first man John ever saw sporting a handbag.  

We would welcome any feedback from you (partly because it makes Blunderbuss easier to compile), particularly if you can keep us informed of any changes of address or other contacts you may have with former school friends and Mr McLaughlin.


Forthcoming Events

Summer Garden Party, Celebrating 80 Years of the OFA: Farnham College, Saturday 16th July 2005, 12 Noon to 3pm

Organised by the OFA to celebrate the 80th birthday of the association which was formed on 28th March 1925. Tickets cost £12.50, including a buffet lunch. There will be memorabilia and photographs on display, and it will be possible to tour the old school. Due to catering, places are strictly limited. Contact Cyril Trust on (01252) 338858 or download a booking form from the OFA website.

Farnham Lecture 2005: "Global Warming" by Dr Geoffrey Jenkins: Farnham College, 29th September 2005, 7.30pm

Organised by the Farnhamian 400 Trust, the Farnham Lecture is now a regular event. Geoffrey Jenkins is the man Tony Blair turns to for information about climate change. He is one of the founders of the Hadley Centre for Climate Change and is still working at the Meteorological Office.

OFA Annual Dinner 2006: Farnham College, 8th April 2006

The Annual Dinner takes place in the old gym and is invariably well attended. Catering restrictions means that a maximum of around 110 people can be accommodated, so early booking is advised. The booking form will be available on the OFA Website in due course.

Farnham Beerex 2006: Farnham Maltings, 27th-29th April 2006

A good place to meet up and sample some fine beers. This year John Clarke, Kevin Desmond, Mike Mehta, John Saunders and Chris Stacey managed to rendezvous for this highly successful event which has been going since we left FGS in 1976! We usually aim for the Saturday evening and Chris can co-ordinate purchase of tickets in advance. More information in due course.

75th OFA Annual Dinner 2007: Farnham Castle, 24th March 2007

In 2007 the Annual Dinner takes place in the splendid setting of the Castle. 2007 is the 75th anniversary of the annual dinner and early booking is advisable! Further details in due course.


OFA Website

www.farnhamians.org/ofa/ is packed with information about the Grammar School (including access to the full text of every issue of the Farnhamian, although the oldest issues [1912-1934] can be accessed without a password); photographs (including manage of the inevitable panoramic school groups - take a look at the 1972 school photograph  and play sport "Big Bertha"!) The Website also includes details of forthcoming events, booking information for the annual dinner, news, and reports of various OFA events. A CD-ROM of the entire back run of the Farnhamian is planned, and will include all the big school photographs from the OFA archives. Impress your friends! More details in due course.


In Memoriam: Jane Ashby

Even at the reunion of 2000 it was impossible to locate everyone from the "Class of '76". Sadly, with the passage of time, some of our contemporaries are no longer with us.

Jane Ashby, who was on the organising committee for the 2000 Reunion, and instrumental in its success, sadly passed away on 1 October 2001.