The Hardyeans Club
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The following are a selection of clippings regarding the Club that have appeared in the Press, compiled by Club Press Officer Michel Hooper Immins.
Fifty years ago,
29 March 2002
Club President Gordon Crocker paid tribute at the Annual General
Meeting, to Secretary
Rench was re-elected Chairman, with
the Annual Dinner that followed the meeting, Old Hardyeans were joined
by twelve sixth formers from the Thomas Hardye
Dr. Iain Melvin thanked the Club for their
consistent support of the School and registered his happiness that
OFSTED inspectors had much praised the institution, awarding ten out of
Guest Speaker was Dr.
Barry Buckland PhD, a distinguished old boy,
now Vice President of Research and Development at Merck Research.
in New York, he has worked in the United States since 1980 and made a
special trip across the Atlantic to tell the Hardyeans Club about his
career in America.
traditional toasts to The Queen, the School, the
Club and absent friends were announced by Toastmaster
by Old Hardyeans to provide a bursary to students of the Thomas Hardye
School entering university, Major General John Stephenson reported the
Hardyeans Club Charitable Association had raised �22,000 in eighteen
months and had made the first award, to a talented Art student.
A concert by past and present members of the School would be held
in aid of Association funds at St. Mary's Church,
Annual General Meeting elected Gordon Crocker as new Chairman of
Hardyeans Club Newsletter goes to all 843 Members, a number boosted by
recent articles in the Wanderer column, which have brought more old boys
into the fold.
Newsletter, well edited by Peter and Heather Foster of Dorchester,
remains a popular quarterly publication, with news of Old Hardyeans
around the world.
increasing number are being sent by email, saving postage costs.
will recall Ronald "Major" Clark, now living in Mauritius,
visited Dorchester last year and in fact there are Old Hardyeans all
over the world, in the U.S.A., New Zealand, Egypt, Hong Kong, St. Kitts
Nevis, Australia, South Africa and one who has just moved to Kiev in the
Ukraine with HM Diplomatic Service.
16 March is the date of the popular Annual Dinner, again at the Thomas
Hardy Hall in Dorchester, adjacent to Eldridge Pope.
Numbers are limited to 230.
Manager Patrick Morrissey has promised a super menu this year and the
cost is only �20 a head.
Speaker is distinguished old boy Dr. Barry Buckland,
now Vice President of Research and Development at Merck Research.
He took his BSc in Chemical
Engineering at Manchester and later achieved a PhD in 1977 at London
Having worked in
the United States since 1980, he is crossing the Atlantic to meet his
old school friends, he was at Hardye's
School from 1959 to 1966.
Buckland has promised not to lecture Old
Hardyeans on the dry complexities of the chemical world, but will
instead speak of the life of a Dorchester man living in America, with a
few reminisces of his time at the School and his thoughts on returning
to the home county.
Hardyeans Club would like to hear from anybody who attended
five new Members have joined the Hardyeans Club, thanks to the two
features in The Wanderer's column.
More came forward as a result of the appeal for contemporaries of
R. Q. "Major" Clark and many happy memories were exchanged at
the Dorchester Rugby Club, when Ronald and Michelle Clark met a room
full of Old Hardyeans.
agreed It was the high spot of their European
tour- they have lived in
Hardyeans will be gathered outside the Memorial Gates for the annual Act
of Remembrance at the new
Memorial Gates were rescued from the old School in 1995, complete with
the twin stone wyverns- the School's historic symbol- carved by the late
Ken Batty, Art Master for many years.
"This memorial to
those whose names are inscribed on the Rolls of Honour
was erected by the old boys, parents and Governors.
Hardyeans Club will be pleased to welcome any Old Hardyean
to this Act of Remembrance and to hear from anyone who attended Hardye's
School or its predecessor until 1928, the
The Wanderer, October 2001
any reader remember Ronald Quentin "Major" Clark, who was at Hardye's
School from 1943 to 1950?
for his military bearing at an early age, hence the nickname
"Major," he later moved to
month they return to
Armistice Service is still held at the gates, this year on 9 November,
when the whole School and some old boys, stand in silent tribute.
Also saved from the demolition men was the oak screen of
uncertain age, which stood in the Hardye's
School Library from 1928 and before that at the old Grammar School in
same article mentioned the laying of the foundation stone on
only old boys are active in the Hardyeans Club.
Popular Geography Master from 1948 to 1984, Peter Lewendon,
now living in retirement over the
Hardyeans Club will be pleased to hear from anyone who attended Hardye's
School or its predecessor until 1928, the
at a dinner in 1905, hosted by
sprightly eighty six years young, Ron Meyers joined
luncheon regular is 80 year old Alfred Barrett, a retired Police
familiar face at the lunches is 78 year old Roland Oliver of
informative Hardyeans Club Newsletter is published three times a year by
Peter and Heather Foster, whose other main interest lies in running
Terry Stone, a Hardyean working in
Club fixtures include the London Dinner at
Hardyeans Club would like to hear from anybody who attended
Sports Pages, 16 July 2001
mist and rainclouds gathering over the hills
an attainable 5.5 runs an over, the School started badly and were soon
in trouble at 40 for 5, with the Hardyeans Club showing their
characteristic sharpness in the field.
No. 7 bat C. Bennett took guard and did well to rescue the
School's innings with a graceful 60 not out,
running out of partners in the 26th. over,
with the score stuck on 135 all out.
Hardyeans Club won by 30 runs and it had been an interesting fixture
with many old boys as spectators.
a few Members of the Society of Dorset Men will be Old Hardyeans, a club
of similar vintage, launched at a dinner in 1905 by
Club fixtures include the Annual Dinner at
the School in
informative Hardyeans Club Newsletter is published three times a year,
containing news of old boys and sadly, the occasional obituary.
Since 1995, when Hardye's School in
Hardyeans Club would like to hear from anybody who attended
Dorset Echo 29 August 2002
RANDELL STARS FOR EX-PUPILS
Adam Randall scored a splendid 133 not out and bowled 4-31 to dominate the annual fixture between the Old Hardyeans and the Thomas Hardye School XI. This ensured another win for the old Hardyeans, for the third year running. The Old Hardyeans batted first, captained by local sports personality Tony Foot. It soon became apparent that the Old Hardyeans were as good as any side of recent years.
As the wicket dried out and became quicker, the run rate increased apace. The first wicket went down at 15, Lee Ames aiming for four through the covers, but splendidly caught by Nick Wardlaw off Tom Cole. Foot came to the crease and after a couple of quiet singles, decided that there were runs in the wicket, encouraged by the aggressive batting of opener Adam Rendall, who rattled 30 runs in quick time, six fours and four singles.
Captain Foot was caught by Tom Rimmer off Stuart Harding for 12. After losing his first two partners, Rendall decided to attack the School�s bowling with his new partner Rob Waite. He passed his half-century in fine style, taking the score past 100, finishing on a superb 133 not out. The Old Hardyeans had scored 203 in 32 overs.
The afternoon weather turned out kinder than forecast and a drying wind had set in. Just over a run a ball was always going to be hard to beat, but the School were undeterred and attacked the bowling. At 16, opener Hari Lehal was out lbw to Dan Lock for 11. Jamie Powell went for a duck.
The School XI made a spirited stand, with some success. Stephen Clifford 18, Simon Pengelly 25, Tom Rimmer 21 and Nick Wardlaw 50 not out put the School back in the game. Then Adam Randall came on and tore the heart out of the School�s innings by capturing four wickets for only 31 runs. He also took two fine catches. The School XI were still 45 runs short at the end of the overs.
Organised by Peter Lewendon, the umpires were Old Hardyeans Secretary Colin Lucas and School Sports Master Geraint Hughes.
Dorset Echo 15 July 2002
By The Way feature
I sat with Ron Meyers at the Old Hardyeans lunch three weeks ago, not knowing it would be for the last time. I shall miss his good company and cheerfulness. The sprightly octogenarian still walked the length of the town and was a regular at the Club�s lunch on the last Thursday in the month. Ron Meyers joined Dorchester Grammar School in 1925, then situated in South Street and moved to the new Hardye's School on Culliford Road in 1928. He remembered the foundation stone being laid in July 1927 by Thomas Hardy OM.
Before the days of B&Q, Meyers was for 73 years, the big name in Dorchester ironmongery. Starting in 1920 in South Walks, the shop moved to Victoria Road after the war, where it stayed until closure in 1993. There Ron and his staff would willingly find the right brass screw to fit your particular job- no buying twelve in a plastic bubble attached to a card from a rack! I went to Hardye�s with Ron�s son Hugh and my sympathies on this sudden death go to him, mother Tinker and brother Simon.
Founded only the year after the Society of Dorset Men, the Hardyeans Club is in splendid heart and continues to attract new Members. The only qualification is to have studied or taught at Hardye�s School, its predecessor the Dorchester Grammar School or at the modern Thomas Hardye School.
I still speak of Old Hardyeans, but in more modern times the cry "we�re not all old" has stirred an official change of name to the Hardyeans Club. The highlight of the Hardyeans� year is the Annual Dinner every March. In 2002, it was held at the Thomas Hardy Hall in Dorchester. Club President Gordon Crocker reported that membership had increased to 870, thanks to a number of articles in the Dorset Echo and one in the Dorset Year Book.
Bob Rench was re-elected Chairman, with Colin Lucas as Secretary and Ken Pearce as Treasurer. The Club Committee includes Alf Barrett, Tony Day, Clinton Grassby, Michel Hooper-Immins, Peter Lewendon, John Pearson, Pat Pollard, Peter Powell and Jack Westlake.
Old Hardyeans were joined at the Annual Dinner by twelve sixth formers from Thomas Hardye School. Headmaster Dr. Iain Melvin thanked the Club for their consistent support of the School and registered his happiness that OFSTED inspectors had much praised the institution, awarding ten out of ten. Guest Speaker was Dr. Barry Buckland PhD, a distinguished old boy, now Vice President of Research and Development at Merck Research . Living in New York, he has worked in the United States since 1980 and made a special trip across the Atlantic to tell Hardyeans about his career in America. The traditional toasts to The Queen, the School, the Club and absent friends were announced by Toastmaster Colin Lucas in his inimitable style.
Set-up by Old Hardyeans to provide a bursary to students of the Thomas Hardye School entering university, the Hardyeans Club Charitable Association made the first award to a talented Art student. A concert by past and present members of the School, to raise funds for the Association, was much enjoyed at St. Mary�s Church in Dorchester on 21 September.
Every July, the Hardyeans Club plays cricket against the School XI. Old boy Alan Randall scored a splendid 133 not out and bowled 4-31 to dominate the fixture, which the Hardyeans Club won by 45 runs, the third year running they have turned out victorious.
London members met at University College on 12 November. The previous day, the whole Thomas Hardye School turns out [weather permitting] to witness the Remembrance Service at the School Gates. This tradition is certainly unique in Dorset. The monthly luncheon is held every last Thursday [earlier in December.] The October and April lunches feature a special gourmet menu. Venison and Roquefort sauce was the main course at the most recent occasion.
The Hardyeans Club Newsletter is published three times a year by Peter & Heather Foster, containing news of old boys and club events. The Newsletter goes free to all Members, by post or by email all over the world. The Club has an interesting website, which evens contains a list of all those at the School from 1960. Look at: www.hardyeansclub.com
The Hardyeans Club would like to hear from any who attended Hardyes School or Dorchester Grammar School or Thomas Hardye School. There must be many thousand within the Dorset Year Book�s circulation, who may like to join the Hardyeans Club and keep in touch. The annual subscription is only �2. Club Secretary Colin Lucas of 4 Fir Tree Close, Dorchester, DT1 2PY, is hoping to hear from you. Tel. 01305 265446.
9 September 2002.Past and present pupils of Hardye�s School are in concert at St. Mary�s Church, Edward Road, Dorchester, on Saturday 21 September. Head of Music Kirsty Barry has assembled a varied programme including the works of Puccini, Saint-Saens and Handel. The Four Reel Celtic Band and a Baroque Ensemble will perform. Duo Pippa and Tessa Rans combine the cello and the piano. Lighter moments include Miss Otis Regrets by the Thomas Hardye Singers and Helen Cocks singing Purcell. The Hardyeans Club Charitable Trust, which gives bursaries to Hardye�s students, is set to benefit from the concert. Tickets are �5 [�4 for Senior Citizens or under 14s.]
4 November 2002. Old Hardyeans will gather outside the Memorial Gates for the annual Act of Remembrance at the Thomas Hardye School in Queen�s Avenue from 10.30am on Monday 11 November. In a tradition certainly unique in Dorset, inherited from the old Hardye�s School in Culliford Road, the whole School, led by Headmaster Dr. Iain Melvin, turns out to observe the two minute silence at 11am. Students and staff will be joined by many Old Hardyeans, led this year by Major General John Stephenson, with the absence overseas of Club President Gordon Crocker. If wet, a representative gathering will be present from the School, but the Old Hardyeans come anyway- and stand in the rain!
Major General John Stephenson will be laying a wreath on behalf of Old Hardyeans, the British Legion and the School will also lay a wreath. This year, for the first time, Old Hardyean Roland Oliver will lay a wreath on behalf of 4 Commando and No. 2 Special Boat Section.
The Memorial Gates were rescued from the old School at Culliford Road in 1995, complete with the twin stone wyverns- the School�s historic symbol- carved by the late Ken Batty, Art Master for many years. "This memorial to those whose names are inscribed on the Rolls of Honour was erected by the old boys, parents and Governors. Dedicated 18 July 1957." Inside the new School are the two Rolls of Honour, one listing scholars who fell in the Great War and the other honouring those in subsequent conflicts from 1939.
The Hardyeans Club will be pleased to welcome any Old Hardyean to this Act of Remembrance and to hear from anyone who attended Hardye�s School or its predecessor until 1928, the Dorchester Grammar School.
11 November 2002. Jack Westlake, Past President of the Old Hardyeans, tells me the Armoury and Cricket Pavilion, the last remaining outbuilding of Hardye�s School on South Court Avenue, has been demolished. It is particularly poignant to note this on Remembrance Day, where the entire School would turn out [in any weather] to honour those who gave their lives in war. The new Thomas Hardye School do still honour that tradition, but I sometimes feel I should be laying a wreath at the old Hardye�s School, a splendid building with extensive playing fields, now inevitably covered by housing.
23 December 2002. The Old Hardyeans� Christmas Lunch is always a happy reunion at the Dorchester Conservative Cub. No politics involved, they just do a splendid meal on every occasion. "Old wine we have to drink, old friends we have to trust," Club President Gordon Crocker told 64 Old Hardyeans, saying how nice it was to receive Christmas cards from old and valued friends. "A note on a card keeps us in touch." He�s right of course and those few words on a card once a year, reconnects us to so many pals of long standing. There's another champion benefit of Christmas.
OLD BOYS MARK 100-YEAR CONNECTION WITH SCHOOLS
Michel Hooper-Immins, at Hardye’s School from 1958 to 1965, chronicles the story of the Hardyeans Club and their predecessors the Old Grammarians, whose centenary is today.[1st November 2005]
Exactly a hundred years ago this evening, "a large company of old boys" of Dorchester Grammar School met for dinner at the King’s Arms Hotel.
It’s certain many Old Grammarians working and trading in Dorchester, would already have known each other.
That evening they agreed the association of old boys be formalised as the Old Grammarians, the beginning of a hundred year link with three successive schools in the county town.
In the times of Queen Elizabeth I, it was Thomas Hardye [with a final "e"] described as an yeoman of Frampton, who endowed Dorchester Grammar School in 1569. Hardye’s [shopping] Arcade today stands on the site.
The Grammar School moved to Culliford Road in 1928 - renamed Hardye’s School from 1954. The new Thomas Hardye School in Queens Avenue opened in 1992, encompassing the best traditions of the two previous schools - but admitting girls for the first time since 1569!
A photograph thought to be of the November 1910 dinner in the splendid Casterbridge Room of the King’s Arms Hotel, shows Thomas Hardy OM and Sir Frederick Treves GCVO both under the borough coat of arms.No ladies are present and all the guests wear identical stiff shirts and bow ties!
Some wrongly assume the writer Thomas Hardy studied at Dorchester Grammar School and the schools were named after him. In fact, like Sir Frederick Treves, he had been a pupil of dialect poet William Barnes. However, Hardy became a governor and laid the foundation stone of the new Dorchester Grammar School on 21 July 1927. His Max Gate home was close by.
Tragically, all early records of the old boys association have disappeared, but by diligently researching the Dorset County Chronicle at the Record Office, Colin Lucas discovered a full account of that 1905 dinner from the next day’s edition of 2 November 1905.
"A large company of old boys gathered to recall old memories, to revive the charm of tender associations and to rekindle the flame of devotion to the alma mater," they reported.
The chairman was Napier Kingdon, headmaster from 1882 until 1895, the first after the Grammar School in South Street was rebuilt. The top table included Lieutenant Colonel J. F. Hodges - a school governor, Arthur Symonds - town clerk of Dorchester & clerk to the school governors and S. A. Rootham- the current headmaster.
The handsome menu card was tied with black and blue ribbons, the school colours.
After dinner, in the patriotic mood of the day, Napier Kingdon reminded the old boys of "the immemorial reputation of the citizens of Dorchester for loyalty and how the affection and devotion which the late Queen Victoria drew to herself, were being evoked by her son Edward, who was treading so admirably in her footsteps."
The school magazine, "The Durnovarian," on its first appearance in 1901, asked to hear of old boys fighting in the Boer War.
The evening ended with Old Lang Syne and God Save The King. Earlier in the evening, diners sang William Barnes’ "Praise o’Dorset," to music by Boyton Smith.
There had been a dinner in 1904, convened by Dr Walter Lock, Warden of Keble College, Oxford, a distinguished Old Grammarian. It was agreed to hold the dinner annually and the Old Grammarians association was formalised at the next year’s function on 1 November 1905.
Monty Hellier became the first Hon Secretary. Wilfred Hodges JP organised many of the subsequent dinners and served the Old Grammarians until his death in the 1950s.
Nonagenarian George Foley from Royston in Hertfordshire is the club’s oldest member. He began at Dorchester Grammar School in South Street from 1925 and transferred to the new school in 1929.
Although now officially called the Hardyeans Club, many of us still speak of Old Hardyeans and Old Grammarians. The name change in the 1990s was intended to reflect the claim that not all Old Hardyeans are old!
Dr Ian Melvin OBE, headmaster of Thomas Hardye School, values the old boys. "Old Hardyeans continue to play a crucial role in the school," he says, "obviously they offer an important sense of continuity, but also their experience, contacts and vital financial support of sixth-form students through bursaries cannot be overestimated."
One constant figure in the modern Hardyeans Club is dynamic Colin Lucas, mayor of Dorchester in 1980 and 1984, a town, borough and county councillor with many years of public service. A retired insurance broker, he joined Hardye’s School in 1946. In March this year he retired as secretary of the Hardyeans Club, the pivotal organiser of events since 1996.
"Colin Lucas has served as school governor as well as president, chairman and secretary of the Hardyeans Club," president John Pearson told the annual general meeting, "Colin’s whole life is dedicated to Dorchester. He’s the lynch pin around which the club has revolved."
After many more fulsome tributes, Colin Lucas was presented with two silver decanters and two bottles with which to fill them!
Retired police chief superintendent Tony Day, clerk to the governors at Thomas Hardye School, was elected the new secretary of the Hardyeans Club. Treasurer Ken Pearce has moved away and with no replacement, Colin Lucas continues temporarily to look after the finances.
Terry Stone, an Old Hardyean retired to St. Kitts Nevis, created the informative and interesting website www.hardyeansclub.com which even contains a list of all those at the School from 1924 to date. The informative club newsletter, published three times a year, is edited by Peter and Heather Foster.
A highlight of the year is the act of remembrance every 11 November. On Friday week, all 2,400 students and staff of the Thomas Hardye School will stand in silent tribute before the memorial gates, honouring those scholars who gave their lives in war.
Many Hardyeans attend the commemoration and are entertained to tea afterwards by the headmaster.
Thomas Hardye School is the only school in Dorset - and probably anywhere in the South West - to maintain this respectful tradition, inherited from the school in Culliford Road.
Through two world wars and over 100 years, old boys of the three schools have continued to meet. Today they are as active as ever, lunching at Dorchester Conservative Club, usually on the last Thursday of the month.[Now at the Kings Arms Hotel]