St Joseph's College Blackpool

Old Boys reunions– Southern Section

If any OBs are living within easy reach of London they may be interested to know that the ‘London Chapter’ meets twice a year – Spring & Autumn.

This group was set up in 2015, not as an alternative to the Blackpool reunion, but as an additional one and has proved to be very popular. Albeit the current membership comprises OBs who attended between the early 50s and early 60s but other years would be most welcome to join us.

Obviously the annual reunion dinner and Mass for deceased Old Boys in Blackpool is the main event of the OB’s year and we have no wish to form a renegade group but these London meetings have proved to be very enjoyable for those living within easy reach of the capital.

Newcomers would be very welcome – just drop me a line and I’ll add your name to the list of interested parties.  John Sheard (Southern Section)

This is an example of what the Southern Section get up to: (written by John Sheard) St. Joseph’s College Old Boys Association (London) reunion 1/10/18.

The London Chapter of St. Joseph’s Old Boys Association, comprising Pete Ellwood, John Higham, Tom (Lord) McNally, Mike Tyrer, & John Sheard, met again on 1st October on what proved to be a lovely warm, sunny day. It was only a couple of weeks since Tom’s OBA lunch in the House of Lords so numbers were a little down.

Our usual meeting point is Starbucks Cafe near the Embankment tube station and after whiling away a good half hour there we sauntered along to Joe Allen’s Restaurant which is just off The Strand, opposite the Savoy. There we met Tom and enjoyed a very good two course lunch which was enlivened by Mike’s tales of his recent pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella (the Camino).

Unfortunately Tom then had to get back to Westminster so the four of us made our way to Covent Garden and the Royal Opera House to inspect the recently completed ‘Open Up’ project. This was truly amazing experience. EM Barry’s original 1858 building has been enhanced by the conversion of the old Flower Market into a wonderful atrium with access to a roof terrace which overlooks the original Covent Garden and gives one an unusual perspective of the London skyline.

Next was a visit to the National Gallery on the way to which we remarked how quiet this part of London was. Not only did the traffic seem light but it appeared that the usual crush of tourists was absent. On reaching Trafalgar Square we discovered why – they were all there, and in the Gallery! However, we fought our way through several rooms of Constables, Monets, Turners, van Goghs, Canalettos etc. etc. fantastic! Then it was out into the Square to see the Fourth plinth which currently displays Rakowttz’s recreation of a sculpture, Lamassu, which was destroyed by ISIS in 2005. This one is made out of 10,500 tins of Iraqi date syrup!

Our last stop was the roof garden/bar of the Trafalgar Hotel which we decided would make a better meeting point than Starbucks for subsequent reunions – provided it’s available.

Our next reunion will be in the Spring and any OBs from no matter which years will be very welcome to join us. Drop me a line and I’ll add your name to the list.

If any other Old Boys would like to form groups or associations, please let me know and I will advertise it on the website. John V Ward (webmaster)
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