Never one to miss out on a free meal, it was with great enthusiasm that I responded in the affirmative to the Head Master’s invitation to dinner on Friday 27th August, and with considerable bounce in my step that I boarded a train out of Clapham Junction towards the mighty City of Brighton and on to the hillside Principality of Kemp Town.
The entire OBA committee had been invited by The College to dinner by way of a “send-off”; anyone following OBA events of late cannot be unaware of the exciting and crucial developments in terms of its relationship with Brighton College – now cemented evermore by way of assimilation with the College’s marketing and development departments – and this was an opportunity for the outgoing OBA President and ongoing Head Master to personally acknowledge the contribution made by the committee over the last many years.
Most notable among those present was our dear comrade, Mr C D “Tim” Loadsman (L. 1951-57); our President, Anthony Whitestone (Common Room 1971-2006), gave a sincere and heartfelt tribute to Tim, and thanked him for half a century’s service to the Association! In a touching acceptance speech, upon receipt of appropriate gifts suitably bestowed, Tim explained that his involvement with the OBA only came about originally because he hadn’t ducked fast enough when the late Peter Rumney (H. 1937-39) was looking for someone to “lick some envelopes”!
I have to report to all those for whom memories of The Wellington pub are rosey that this once great East Brighton institution is now one of them new-fangled gastro-pubs off the telly, and has been renamed "The Ginger Dog"! For the rest of us who better remember “The Wellie” as being a grotty little dive with wretched beer then this development is nothing short of a delight! Apart from the fact that I personally feel very strongly that pub names should be left well alone, I can report that the place has been positively transformed, and that our dinner was nothing short of a triumph!
Accordingly I thank whoever picked up the bill on behalf of all of us who didn’t; a tremendous meal in wonderful company... who could ask for more on a chilly Friday evening on the South Coast?