The Waterloo Grammar School Old Boys Association

Southern Area

Southern_RegionThe Southern Area Reunion is held on the last Friday in October at the Royal Society or the Civil Service Club in London and attracts a small but loyal group of Old Boys. The meal is held at lunchtime to enable people who have to travel home by train/tube to make the journey in good time. It is an event that warrants greater support.

The meetings were originally started by Stan Pratt with Les Smith and latterly organised by Ivor Harwood for over thirty years. Ivor then passed the baton to Roy Wilkinson who continued until 2016.

Ron Millington has now taken over and is keen to involve many more old boys living around the London area.

Anybody wishing to attend future lunches should contact Ron at; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


WGSOBA SAS – a potted history

The first official mention of a proposed function down south was in the School Magazine of Summer 1964 and this was followed up by two reports of the actual function in the Winter ‘64 Mag. The first was penned by no less than the Head himself, S.L. Baxter, who reported that thirteen, including SLB, met at the Riverside Hotel at Southwark Bridge. A separate report was logged by one Geoff Langhurst.

Following this an open house invitation was circulated to London and Southern Area Old Boys for refreshments, again at the Riverside, on the last Friday of each month from 6.30 to 9.30pm. I don’t think anyone was driving home.

1966 heralded the arrival of the Hot Pot Supper at the Duke of Albemarle in Mayfair. I’m pretty sure that’s a pub and not a Duke’s residence but this particular year it was graced by no less than CF Lovett AND RS Williams. The report in the School Mag Winter 1966 was penned by RS himself.

I’m not sure what happened next but Geoff Langhurst was given a bit of a chaser in the 1971 Mag as no reports had been submitted. The meetings probably took place but with no Head or Deputy Head to record proceedings, well, what do you expect? No reports were available for 1969 to 72 but I think we can assume that a few pints were sunk somewhere in the City.

The Secretaryship seemed to bounce between a few names in the late Seventies and Eighties and included prominent names in Old Boys SAS history such as Stan and Don Pratt, Sep Barbonne (with his two brothers Bill and Ben), Les Smith, Brian Mills and Ivor Harwood before Ivor assumed the responsibility from 1992 to 2007 - yes 16 years – wow, what a dedicated man. Roy Wilkinson took over from 2008 but sadly, he passed away in 2014. And that’s how you got stuck with me!!

A quick word about the venues. After the high life pubs of London, SAS settled into the Civil Service Club in 1977 and during this period featured the incident of one of the Barbonne Boys training the CSC chef in how to make Hot Pot for the Supper!! The function transferred to The Royal Society in 2005, at the behest of Eric Duckworth who linked the event to his 80th birthday celebrations and it stayed there for five years before transferring back to CSC.

It is reported that the transfer arose as a result of the Royal Society ramping up their prices but as the final function there featured such characters as Stan Grimsley, Derek McLoughlin, Gren Beadle, Michael Platt, Peter Griffiths, Roy Wilkinson, Ivor Harwood, Les Smith and Bill Barbonne, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were invited to go elsewhere.

So back at CSC, 2010 featured the President, our own Mark Minards supported by Don Hughan and Dave Gerrard. In 2012, the northern contingent, inspired by Derek McLoughlin and ably marshalled by Alan Kirby, triggered a revival of the number attending the SAS lunch.


Southern Area Archived Reports

1986-Report  1990-Report  1991-Report  1992-Report 


Southern Area Lunch 2022


WGSOBA Southern Area Section Lunch held on Friday 28th October 2022 at the Civil Service Club, London

The optimists amongst us must have thought that the PCE (post-Covid era) really had started as we were able to record a 7.7% increase in attendance over 2021.  Thirteen up to fourteen doesn’t sound all that good but it could be the basis of a longer-term trend so we must encourage it; especially as the increase was due to Alan Kirby rounding up all the Everton supporters he knows and shipping them down to London for the away game against Fulham on the Saturday.  Thanks Alan, what would we do without you??

And we were delighted to welcome two new Old Boys, Richard Partington and Mike Charlton.  Richard has been trying to join us for a few years but as he has family living in Thailand and October is his normal visiting time, it hasn’t been do-able; but this year he was able to “tweak the diary”.

Mike came to his first SAS Lunch, a new “younger” member to the small but perfectly formed group that we have.  Being an ex-member of Merseyside’s finest, he was well used to finding himself in a rumbustious bunch of ex-schoolboys intent on enjoying themselves.  So, he was very comfortable.

One highlight of this year’s event was that the train was on time and all arrived at the CSC at (about) the appointed time and we were all able to get a drink (financed by a very generous contribution from Alan Roberton) and get upstairs in time to get the group photo to be taken (see below) before the meal was served and hence avoid the problems of last year.

 SS col 22

L-R: David Richardson, Dave Gerrard, Eddie Jones, Mike Charlton, David Tombs, Dave Hughes, Lol Sinclair, Ray Pierce, Peter Griffiths, Martin Owen, Richard Partington, Keith Gadie, Alan Kirby and  Ron Millington.  Thanks to Agnesa from CSC Functions Dept. for the quality of the photograph.

The usual three course pre-selected lunch was ably served up by the CSC crew with the Dish of the Day commendation being given to the Steak and Ale Pie which was of monstrous proportions, as well as being delicious.

As usual, following the delivery of coffee, the Secretary delivered his Annual Report, enabling the wine to be finished and the Northern contingent, who would be hitting the town later, to get forty winks.

Apologies for absence, thereby signifying their continued interest and possible future attendance, were received from Andy Campbell who had logistical problems; Don Clarey had legal problems he had to deal with in South Wales; Graeme Culshaw is the full time carer for his wife; Gerry Easter who has been on our mailing list for a while without making it and this year is in France; Roger Edwards sent me a strange story about still working but the email was from Lanzarote; Brian Gee who has mobility problems after his second pelvic fracture; Dave Jones who booked a cruise without checking the date of the SAS Lunch (he has been given a “detention”); and finally Julie (Mike Parker’s PA) telling us that he is not in the country.

We received a quite late apology from Alan Roberton.  Alan’s wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Alan says “It was caught very early and should be straightforward but involves further visits to consultant before the operation which Is obviously my priority”.

Stats from The Archives were highlighted for Members’ consideration:

The 2022 lunch is the 52nd recorded formal event
Since records began, 120 Old Boys have attended, total number of attendances 707, average per OB, 5.9
Since 2012, 36 Old Boys have attended, total visits 156, average 4.3.  Must try harder as RS Williams would say.

The Secretary then recounted a few Virtual Medals that would have been awarded if funds (and the Members of course) had been available:

Forever Remembered Medals would be awarded to:
Ivor Harwood with 34 functions attended; Les Smith, 32, Bill Barbone 31,
Derek Mcloughlin and Stan Pratt 29 and Brian Mills 28.  What stalwarts.

Ten Year “Defenders of the Order” Medals would be awarded to:
 Alan Kirby, David Gerrard, Lol Sinclair and Ron Millington for 100% attendance from 2013 to 2022.

Stalwarts of the Order Medals to: Dave Hughes, Gren Beadle and Keith Gadie (9 out of 10), Ray Pearce (8) and Alan Roberton (7).
Thereafter, all attending were awoken with the request to “Please be upstanding for the toast to “Absent Friends”.

The 2023 event will be held on Friday 27th October, same time, same place.  Pure co-incidence, but Everton are scheduled to play West Ham on Saturday 28th.

Although I am not able to attend this year’s lunch, I will still be collating the attendees, menu choices and dosh so I will be in touch with those on our SAS database but if for some reason you are able or would like to join the team, please get in touch.

Ron Millington
WGSOBA SAS Secretary

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