Wycliffian Day, held on Saturday 4th May 2019, was well attended by nearly 70 OWs and their guests. The grounds looked magnificent, bathed in sunshine and everyone who attended enjoyed the day.
Tours around the Campus; including the new Ward’s-Ivy Grove House, were given in the morning by the new Prefect team. ‘Knowledgeable’ and ‘patient’ were the words used to describe the Prefects by the OWs and we are sure that the Prefects learnt one or two things they didn’t know before. Several expressed surprise that, in one OW’s era, they were required to light the boilers in the morning before Chapel! The OWs were amazed at the new Boarding facilities and were delighted to see such a lively and welcoming Campus in full swing.
In the morning, we also held The Wycliffian Society AGM, where President, and newly appointed interim Chairman, John Hughes, presented a Management Report highlighting the progress TWS has made over the last couple of years including greater communication, collaboration with the College and TWS’ hopes for the future. Mr Hughes urged all OWs to update their contact records so that we can keep in touch.
Buffet lunch was served in the marquee, in front of the Pavilion, attended by OWs of different eras and several former members of the academic staff, including Frank Smith, Michael Squance, Reg Helson and Roger Kirby. Rob Pavis, a former Housemaster of Robinson attended with his wife, Heather, and some current staff, including Mr Peter Woolley joined us too. The late Richard Stoker’s son Nigel came over from Fiji and was joined by his sister Annie. Richard Stoker was head of Wycliffe Junior School (as the Prep School was called) from 1955 – 1977.
As lunch ended, the Head, Nick Gregory, gave a short welcoming speech about College life including some of the changes and, invited questions. We thank the Head and his staff for the hospitality of the day.
During the day, there was plenty of sport action. An OW versus 1st XI cricket match was played on the 1st Cricket Square between Haywardsfield House and Ward’s-Ivy Grove House, and with a marquee from which to watch from it was all very convivial. It was an OW win, not that we are competitive but, we are sure Mr Martyn Kimber will be planning next year’s rematch. On Ward’s Courts, OW versus U18A Boys Tennis matches were played with a College win overall. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to have a game; including OWs Simon Holloway (W 1968) and Robert Longman (SH 1969) who had been doubles partners whilst at Wycliffe.
In the Chapel there was a display of Wycliffe Archive materials and David Parrott (P J SH 1954) gave a talk on the rebuilding of the Wycliffe Chapel and the work his father, P J Parrott, did to lead the restoration in the 1950s. This was a fascinating talk and, amongst others, was attended by a number of OWs who had helped with the rebuild. Very much a College-wide effort with pupils involved right from the start; from clearing the rubble away in the early 1950’s, laying the herringbone wooden flooring, being high up in the rafters and building the chairs the College use today. We owe a great deal of gratitude to P J Parrott and those Boys for the restoration’s completion in 1958 and the Chapel Wycliffe enjoys today.
After tea and the sporting activities, OWs made their way to The Bear of Rodborough – a perfect end to the day – to catch up with those who had played on the OW cricket team and to thank them for their efforts at the crease.
The following day about a dozen OWs played golf at Cotswold Edge, they had a good afternoon of golf and we hope this informal game will become an annual fixture after a Wycliffian Day and encourage more along next time.
Photos of the day were taken by Jane Gillings (P IG 2005 – 2018) – Instagram @janegillingsphotography website: https://janegillings2002.wixsite.com/website?fbclid=IwAR2AjV0uOJ7-OlmZFdGpIUK_BwWJ8bIp_7cpxOW_eAuctboOhjEC40lTCA4