I was pleased to be able to go to this year’s OPA Cambridge dinner – my first visit to St John’s College. I was in awe of the history and grandeur and so proud of our school’s links including Dolman’s crest in the beautiful stained glass windows. I met our current undergraduates and numerous postgraduates. I feel strongly that our Governors, our teachers, parents and pupils should visit and aspire to what St John’s and Cambridge has to offer.
Our dinner in the Wordsworth Room was splendid. We had an update on school activity from the Head and then moving memories and interesting open discussions from OPs ranging from 1938 to 2010! Stories included Jack Wilson (39-46) being blown out of his bed in Dolman during a bombing raid and his memories of befriending outlying Lancaster and Halifax bomber crews on the Pocklington aerodrome and being allowed to write rude messages to Hitler on the bombs, through to counting them out and missing the young crews, not much older than themselves, who failed to return.
I visited the evensong at St John’s before dinner and attended the Sunday service at King’s the following morning. The King’s choir nearly outnumbered our public congregation in the stunning setting and they filled the space with the most beautiful singing and soaring “Sanctus” and “Hosanna in excelsis” I have ever heard.
I cannot recommend strongly enough, to our whole Pocklingtonian community that you take the special opportunity afforded to us in February 2014 to have private drinks in the exclusive Sir George Gilbert Scott-designed surroundings of the Master’s Lodge followed by our Quincentenary dinner in the 16th century Dining Hall at St John’s. I beseech you not to miss a really special and unique occasion this time next year – book now!
Tom Nash (1968-1977)
President of the Old Pocklingtonian Association