TAG: letters

25 August 2016

Brighton College GCSE Results 2016

Dear Old Brightonians,

I am writing to report some wonderful GCSE results. Incredibly, out of 2,080 exams sat, every single one was a C or better, with the most common grade being an A*.

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18 August 2016

Outgoing Upper Sixth pupils celebrating a stellar end to their time at the College!

Dear Old Brightonians,

With 505 grades at A* or A, 117 at grade B, 20 at grade C and 2 at grade D, our delightful outgoing Upper Sixth pupils are today celebrating a stellar end to their time here. Remarkably, 110 sixth formers secured A* and A grades in every single subject, with at least a dozen really wonderful characters pushing up from D grade predictions a year ago to a terrific set of B grades today. 

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12 February 2016

Stories from the Archive: Discovering Documents

One of the joys of sorting through the archive at Brighton College has been discovering documents that haven’t been seen for years – sometimes, these can be ‘hiding’ in places one least expects.

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14 August 2014

2014 Brighton College Results

Dear Old Brightonians


It has been a busy and emotional day at the College as our Upper Sixth received their results. I write this afternoon merely to put some further flesh on the news I e-mailed out to you this morning.


Essentially, Brighton sixth formers have bucked the downward national trend again, with some stunning A-level results, including a record number of grades at A* (an impressive 181 A* grades in total). The College also celebrated another rise in the proportion of grades at A* and A, those grades demanded by Oxford, Cambridge and other elite universities.

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24 December 2013

2013 Christmas message from our President

Christmas is a time of giving and of time spent with loved ones, and wherever you are this Christmas I wish you well. I am tremendously proud of my connection with the College, and especially with the Old Brightonians. This year I read with great pride about not only the achievements of the school, which are nothing less than astonishing, but also of the wonderful acts of kindness and generosity within the Brightonian community. In his end of term letter Richard Cairns wrote of the sense of community that the College enjoys; 'I want everyone who leaves here to feel that by their presence they can make the world a little bit better. I want them to recognise that they can make a difference and should.' I would like to urge my fellow OBs to embrace this philosophy.

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11 December 2013

Letter from the Head Master, end of term, Christmas 2013

Dear Old Brightonians, A day from now, term will end. The signs are clear already. Yesterday, boys and girls were sporting Christmas jumpers in aid of the Rocking Horse charity. Today, the porters are lugging bottles of wine, chocolates and flowers across the quad to favoured teachers and House tutors. Vast quantities of cake and chocolate will be consumed in the final few lessons. Christmas lunches will be served, crackers will be pulled, hats donned, jokes told and so the longest term will come to its inevitable conclusion. The college will fall silent. Only a few cold, sad seagulls (and the Bursar) will remain.

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19 August 2013

Letter from the Head Master, Richard Cairns

I am writing with news of our A-level results. Of the 616 papers sat, the following grades were achieved:


A* 147

A 302

B 142

C 22

D 2

E 1


This equates to 96% of grades at A*-B at this stage. These are the grades universities now demand.

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25 December 2012

2012 Christmas message from our President

The College is currently enjoying unparalleled success under Head Master Richard Cairns and his team, something which we can all be proud of whenever we were at the College. It has somewhat put the College on the map as it were. It has also been a memorable year for the Old Brightonians, for completely different reasons. The year started with a memorial for Sgt Major Chris O'Connell when a few hundred OBs turned up on a freezing January morning to pay their respects to a man who had inspired and been a father figure to many. It had already been a year since Chris O'Connell died, but the effect that he had upon the pupils under his guidance was as palpable as ever.

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04 December 2012

Sunday Times Top 100 Schools table 2012-13

Dear Old Brightonians,

The Sunday Times has published its latest table of the UK's Top 400 schools and I thought you would be interested to see the attached extract. The table places Brighton College as the second highest performing co-educational school in Britain, the fifth highest performing boarding school in the country and the only school in Britain to have improved its academic performance every single year for six years. It also places the College above many of the country's most selective schools. Brighton is the only Sussex school in the Top 100.

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20 January 2012

Opinion: Does Debt Matter?

Europe is now haunted by the spectre of debt. All European leaders quail before it. To exorcise the demon, they are putting their economies through the wringer.

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20 December 2011

An old Photograph from 1946

I was fascinated to see the Leconfield picture of the College Shooting Team. Two boys I recognise; Gouriet and Brian Mullin who was one of my great friends. He and I went to Sandhurst together and he stayed in the Army, passing away recently in South Africa.

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16 December 2011

A Christmas message from our President

Brighton College continues to give us all cause for celebration, gaining this year not only the best results in Sussex but also being named the ‘Sunday Times UK Independent School of the Year 2011-12’. The Head Master Richard Cairns and his staff are to be congratulated upon this achievement and of course all of the pupils and staff, past and present, who have contributed to this accolade. It is an achievement that all Old Brightonians should celebrate, and as President of the Old Brightonians I would like to pass on my congratulations for your efforts. We all have different memories of our time at the College, but it is truly a school that we can all be proud of.

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13 December 2011

What are the chances!

We had a fabulous letter in this week from Kate Merrin (W/F. 1989-93) who found a photo of a BCJS team on a filmset in Australia. We would love to know the date of the photo, and also the story behind how it got there! Here's the letter for starters, if anyone recognises the photograph please contact the OB office!

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06 December 2011

Letter from Kabul

I am currently posted to HQ ISAF Joint Command, in Kabul, Afghanistan on a 9 month tour. Christmas day marks the half-way point of the tour. I work in the Campaign & Transition Assessment Group, helping the Afghan Government prepare for and plan their assumption of security responsibility.

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11 November 2011

UK Independent Secondary School of the Year 2011

I am writing with some fantastic news. The Sunday Times has decided to award Brighton College the title of UK Independent Secondary School of the Year 2011 in their highly influential Sunday Times Schools Guide to be published this Sunday and on line.

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15 September 2011

Letter from the Deputy Headmistress

Brighton College is about so much more than academic results but once a year it is nice to celebrate another fine performance by the boys and girls in their public examinations, reflected in the these two tables. It is also reassuring for the pupils themselves. At a time when universities are becoming more and more demanding, College pupils are better placed than ever to make successful applications to universities where they really want to study.


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20 June 2011

Letter from the Old Brightonians President

Welcome to the Old Brightonians, founded in 1882. We are lucky to have an active network, and we are proud of our long and industrious relationship with Brighton College. I attended Brighton College as a Lyon Scholar in 1952 and left with both wonderful memories and a fine education which I furthered at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

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01 June 2011

Dear Old Brightonian Ruggers

With preparations underway for the World Cup in New Zealand this year, it is with an inflated ego and a great deal of national pride that I humbly submit that we have a new contender this year: The United States of America. That's right: the Eagles will go all the way this year, and no one will see it coming.

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18 April 2011

Fran Gladwin (C. 2005-10) writes to us from Nepal

For the last month I have been living in rural Nepal, which has been amazing.

For a start, the view from my bedroom window is an open meadow, and I am woken up every morning at 5.30 by the squeals of the pig tethered just outside. At the end of the meadow is dense forest, eventually backing onto the mountains. All water is sourced from the handpump in the front garden, and the toilet is no more than a hole in the ground. I have eaten Dahl, rice, vegetables and occasionally goat without exception for the last month, and the only other European face I have seen is that of Mr John Spencer. He stayed in the SOS school for two weeks, coaching cricket and teaching English. 

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22 March 2011

ISI Inspection of Brighton College 2011

I am writing to let you know the outcome of our latest school inspection. The inspection began on Tuesday 11th January and was completed on Wednesday 9th February.

Inspectors assess schools in ten areas and grade them as ‘excellent’ (the equivalent of the state sector’s ‘outstanding’), ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’. Typically, a school of our standing would hope to receive a mixture of grades at ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

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16 February 2011

Memories of Old Brightonian Cricket

In 1969 the Old Brightonians were invited to take part in the Public Schools knockout competition run by the Cricketer and sponsored by Mercier Champagne. Nobody expected very much from us. We had a good side but not a great one, but we did have self belief and enthusiasm. The first match was against the favourites, the Old Tonbridgians. This was the closest game we played. With the scores equal we won through to the next round, having lost fewer wickets.

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22 November 2010

A Kingsford Scholar - One year on

Horatio Georgestone (Ab. 2007-09 - left) with fellow scholars George Weller & Tosin TeribaHoratio Georgestone was one of the first intake of Kingsford Scholars at the college graduating in 2009.  As a pupil, he quickly made his mark on the school community and quickly made many friends.  But how has he spent his gap year and has he kept up the pace for which he became known?

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19 November 2010

Old Brightonian involved in 1944 Great Escape

John Gifford Stower (H. 1932-33), born September 15th 1916 in the Province of Jujuy, North of Argentina, came to the UK as a youngster in 1925, spending his first years at a small school in Worthing, before finishing his education at Brighton College via Sedbergh. Two years later, aged 20, he returned to Argentina to work in a sugar cane mill close to his place of birth.

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18 November 2010

To the former pupils of Brighton College Junior School (1945 to 1972)

I am planning to write a book about the history of Brighton Institution for the Deaf, Eastern Road (1848-1941) which was situated opposite Brighton College.  My intention is to draw up the floor plans, and an architectural front & rear elevations of the school buildings.

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18 November 2010

President's letter Nov. 2010

It hardly seems three years since David Gold asked me to put myself forward as your President and that my tenure is almost at its end. During this time I have much enjoyed re-connecting with OBs whom I first knew at the college and those many others from both before and after my time on the College staff. I have had much pleasure in presiding over and representing you at various functions and reunions, here at the college or away in London and New York, as well as being generally associated with the college at a time of growth and continuing pre-eminence.

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17 November 2010

Reflections on the College’s current success by an all-but octogenarian former Headmaster

The recent great successes enjoyed by the College – surely a source of joy to all of us who love the place – have caused the Press to suggest that it was previously a ‘backwater’. So it seems right to refer to the work done in the last fifty years, that work itself laid on earlier foundations. After all, the decade before then produced Lord Alexander, Lord Skidelsky and Bishop Bavin (to say nothing of Sir John Chilcot) among others! And these last fifty years began with a visit from the Queen. Backwater...?!?

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27 September 2010

Simon Smith, Second Master

Simon Smith has decided to retire at the end of the academic year after 38 years of outstanding service to the college, for the past eleven as Second Master.

He has been a wonderful support to me in my five years as Head Master, providing wise counsel, good humour and kindly reassurance throughout. My predecessors, Bill Blackshaw, John Leach and Anthony Seldon, also owe him a terrific debt of gratitude. He has served each of them with great loyalty. Above all, Simon has served this community. He has made time for colleagues and pupils in equal measure, supporting them when times are tough and admonishing them only when necessary.

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22 September 2010

Something that the College does not prepare one for is a major earthquake!

Peter Somerville (L. 1967-72)'s NZ earthquake photosThe shallow one that struck near Christchurch New Zealand, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale on 04 September was felt 400 kms away in the North Island: we live 45kms from the epicentre.

At 4.35am, like most people, we were asleep in bed, when the ground started moving - enough to wake us up. This was followed very quickly by severe shaking and a roaring sound. Our house in rural Canterbury is ten years old and like most newer buildings was constructed following strict regulations. It was hard to stand up, not least because it was pitch dark.

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08 September 2010

Derek Bech (L. 1943-46) is interviewed on BBC's "One Show"

Derek Bech (L. 1943-46) signs The Old Brightonian's Visitor Book at brighton CollegeYou may be interested to know that I have done an interview for the BBC's "The One Show" and I am told it will be broadcast on September 13 on their 7.00pm show.

The broadcast is to mark the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the CITY OF BENARES on 17 September 1940. Apart from the BBC I think The Daily Telegraph and the BBC 'South Today' may have some accounts. The sinking of the CITY OF BENARES was probably the worse disaster concerning children at sea. I am very lucky to have survived. There is an excellent book about the event 'Miracles on the Water' by Tom Nagorski which is available from Amazon.com. You can read excerpts here.

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13 July 2010

Old photo recently found by Malcolm Faber (S 1975-80)

This photo was recently found in the Faber archives! This is the CCF at RAF Waddington (home to the Vulcan bombers) in 1978 for a weeks camp!

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28 June 2010

President's letter June 2010

As the end of another summer term at the College approaches and a new cohort of leavers is about to join the ranks of the Association, I thought it appropriate to write to you, wishing you and your families well, wherever you may be.

I attended the recent Speech Day in the Dome in Brighton, which is now the regular venue for this prestigious event, the original School Hall being too small to accommodate the ever burgeoning numbers at the College. It is evident that the school is in very fine fettle and achieving excellence on all fronts.

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08 December 2009

President's letter December 2009

I hope this finds you well and enjoying whatever season you may be in, although there has been little pleasure to be had in the recent British weather!

During the summer, Alison and I enjoyed a very agreeable trip to New York City with Richard Cairns and Simon Smith. All of us would like to grow an East Coast branch of the OBA and hope our visit has sown some further fruitful seeds. If you live or work there and have not already done so, please e-mail Fiona Aiken (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your contact details, so we can plan our next reunion.

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28 November 2009

Brighton College - Then and Now

At this year's Annual Dinner, the Head Master gave a fascinating account of our very first OBs' escapades following their time at the College. Following some sneaky pilfering on our part we have at great expense secured a transcript of his speech (we asked for it... he gave it to us...) for your perusal:

"Brighton College was the first public school to be founded in Sussex, one of 68 public schools established across England between 1840 and 1870.  From the outset, it attracted to it the sons of some of the greatest families in the land.

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17 November 2009

Dr Tim Whelan (L. 1969-74) writes

I am sorry to have to report the death here on the Isle of Wight on 28 October of Col. Gibson. I had seen DTWG intermittently, socially, over the years, and can vouch for the fact that he remained remarkably alert and interested until very near the end of his 92 years. He taught physics and ran the RN section of the CCF at the College. I have always been conscious of his personal influence, for he inadvertently curtailed my early ambitions to join the Royal Navy, and subsequently his one-to-one physics tuition in the final Oxbridge entrance term propelled me into Cambridge to read medicine instead.

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20 August 2009

A-Level results 2009

I am delighted to inform you that our A-Level results were even better this year: 95.1 % at grades A/B, compared to 94.0% in 2008, 87.7% in 2007, 77.8% in 2006 and 76.1% in 2005.

I am sure that this will keep us among the top 20 schools in England and I trust that we will remain the  top co-educational school in the land too.

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26 June 2009

President's letter July 2009

I hope you are enjoying the summer (if that is the season where you happen to be). I hope also that you are enjoying the new look website, and I am very grateful to Alex Bremer (R. 1979-83) for his efforts in bringing it into the 21st century. The OBA has recently hosted two events, a Vice Presidents’ Lunch at the Carlton Club and the celebration of the entry of the latest cohort of College leavers into the Association, which coincided with the College graduation. For younger OBs we are arranging an informal reunion at the College for those who attended the school under Anthony Seldon, who was the Headmaster from 1997 to 2006. Details and/or reports of all these events can be found elsewhere on the site.

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18 June 2009

Memories of Brighton College Junior School

I have just been led down memory lane by Martin D.J.Buss! I, too, went to BCJS 1968-72. The uncanny thing about reading his article is that many of the same teachers / Head Master were there when I arrived!

I have often thought that there was a lack of interest in the JS yet the Senior School would have been NOTHING without us Junior School graduates!

Inspired by Buss, in the near future, I will write my own memoirs of the BCJS. I'd also like to encourage Fiona to create a BCJS forum /corner / emailcenter type spot on the Pelican website. That way we can develop some more contacts and share the memories.

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18 March 2009

Brighton College goes global

One of the largest property developers in the Middle East, which announced plans late last year to develop a $10 billion dollar property portfolio, has chosen Brighton College as its educational partner to establish a dozen schools across the world.
more >>

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01 January 2009

President's letter January 2009

Dear Old Brightonians,

Having just glanced at the on-line Pelican, I have to admit to being somewhat ashamed at seeing that my last presidential letter to you was written well over six months ago! I hope that you have enjoyed a good Christmas, wherever you may have spent it, and I wish you the best of good fortune for 2009.

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01 January 2009

Letter From The Head Master

Dear Old Brightonians,

I thought you might be interested to hear that following an independent inspection by Ofsted, the boarding facilities and pastoral care at Brighton College were judged to be 'outstanding'. This is a verdict awarded to very few schools, and comes as news reached us that a league table published by the website www.best-schools.co.uk made Brighton the number 1 co-educational boarding school in the UK.

The college has invested more than £1 million in boarding facilities in the last year to help us meet the unprecedented demand from UK and overseas families wanting their children to board at Brighton. Further places will be available in September 2009 following additional investment. The boarding community here is now larger than anytime in half a century.

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15 December 2008

Holly Colvin (F. 2003-08) Writes From Australia On Her Gap Year

Holly has travelled to Sydney, Australia to play her winter cricket and will join up with the England team for the Women’s World Cup in March.

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19 June 2008

Questions for the new Head Master

When the position of Head Master became vacant, the position was advertised as "Headmaster and Chief Executive". How does the new Headmaster see his role differing from that of a traditional Head? And what is the Chief Executive part of his function?
The Head's job encompasses three schools (the College, the Prep School and the Pre-Prep school) and the governors simply wanted to make this clear in the job title.

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01 June 2008

President's letter June 2008

Dear Old Brightonians,

I hope you are all thriving and enjoying the summer (if that is the season you are in!). I hope too that you have enjoyed reading the latest Brighton College Review recently sent out by the Headmaster, Richard Cairns, and learning of all the exciting developments taking place at your old school.

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01 December 2007

President's letter December 2007

Dear Old Brightonians,

I feel honoured to have been elected the President of the Association of Old Brightonians, although when David Gold asked me to put my name forward last June, my initial reaction was that I surely could not be eligible for the post, not having been to the College. David assured me that there were precedents for retired members of staff being elected President, and some quick research has shown me that the two very first Presidents were, perhaps not surprisingly, retired members of the Common Room. At least my thirty six years at the College have given me a distinct advantage over all my predecessors, in that I know personally far more former members of the College than any of them! Indeed it was a great pleasure for me to see so many familiar faces from the past at the recent OB Dinner, which was a fitting tribute to the many years of dedicated and multifarious service to the College of Philip Robinson.

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01 November 2007

President's letter November 2007

Dear Old Brightonians,

This is my last letter as your President and I am in reflective mood.
It has been a very enjoyable and challenging three years.

I have been fortunate to have Fiona Aiken to lean on, organise me and generally make things happen. But I have also been fortunate to have some very committed colleagues on the Committee who have helped to keep the wheels turning. Though it may be inappropriate to single out individuals, I must mention Tim Loadsman who has served more Presidents than even he probably cares to remember. I am grateful to him for his wise counsel and continued patience even when all around him were losing theirs!

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01 August 2007

President's letter August 2007

Dear Old Brightonians,

I would like to put on record my congratulations to all our newest members, the Class of 2007, who have smashed Brighton College A-Level records this year with a staggering 87.5% A and B grades, of which nearly 60% were A grades (see results tables). Brighton College is the top performing school in Sussex, beating Roedean, Lancing, Eastbourne, Hurstpierpoint and Christ Hospital among others.

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01 July 2007

President's letter July 2007

I promised that in our 125th anniversary year there would be some special events and they don’t come much better than this year’s Commemoration Weekend.

The Leavers’ Ball, the first ever to be held off campus, was a glamorous affair, judged a huge success by the 250 attendees. The following day was a return to the traditional programme of cricket and other sports fixtures against the College, with an informal BBQ on the Home Ground. Though the weather was a bit unreliable at times the atmosphere was fantastic with over 400 people of all ages filing through the College gates. It was a pleasure to welcome the newest OBs following their emotional graduation ceremony in the Chapel and to welcome so many parents and families.

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06 June 2007

Claire Ellis (W. 1992-95) - tells us about her time in Guatemala

When I think about my walk to work each morning - negotiating the daily hazards of speeding tuk tuks, fierce geese, falling mangos and a decidedly rickety rope bridge - it’s hard to believe that most of the time I do forget that I am in Guatemala. I have only been living in the quiet town of San Agustín, Acasaguastlán for five months, but already it feels like my second home.

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01 April 2007

President's letter April 2007

Spring finally seems to have arrived and it’s great to see the College looking so colourful, if slightly disrupted by the building work in the Woolton Quad for the new Visual Arts Centre which is to be named in honour of the late Old Brightonian Lord Alexander.

Another Old Brightonian whose untimely and premature death affected many of us was of course Joe Scourfield. I am delighted that the OBA was able to contribute to the appeal for a memorial in the College Chapel and the fund which has been established in his name to help BC families affected by the severe illness of a son or daughter. The fund remains open for OBs and others who wish to contribute and I would invite you to contact me to obtain details of how you can help.

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12 March 2007

Golf Letter to Editor 2007

The following letter is in response to comments made by Christopher Pett (H. 1962-67) in his golf report of the Summer of 2006.
Dear Editor,

Please remind young Christopher Pett that Aldrich House had plenty to shout about in 1962. We had recently moved from the anterooms of the Hall into the main body of the College, and under Geoff Lees’ “really” canny guidance, Aldrich was proving it could challenge the dominance of the boarding houses in all aspects of school life.

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Old Brightonians Office:

Brighton College
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Brighton, BN2 0AL

+44 (0) 1273 704 250
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