The Cirencester Old Grammarians
The Cirencester Old Grammarians (1940s) Association consists of a Committee and Membership – both Ordinary and Life Members. It is governed by a loosely worded and informal constitution with the stated aim of ‘keeping alive the spirit of the pupils who attended Cirencester Grammar School during the 1940s, by holding reunion events each year’.
Membership is open to former pupils from the 1940s but applications will also be considered from pupils from other years.
Honorary Life Membership has also been awarded from time to time. The current Life Members are:
Mrs Cynthia Frazer (Miss Stenhouse)*
Formerly a teacher at the Grammar School during the early 1940s and wife of the then headmaster the late Mr Thomas Frazer
Mrs Mary Peddle MBE (Williams)*
Mrs Brenda Franklin (Rickard)*
Mr Malcolm Whitaker
Mary was the first Hon. Secretary, Brenda was an original Committee member, Malcolm was the first Chairman
All three were founder members of the 1940s Association.
Dr Brian Gegg – Chairman (now President) of the Association 1996-2013
Mr E. Michael Rose – Hon. Treasurer of the Association from its inception to the present time
Mrs Joy Lofthouse (Gough)* and Mrs Yvonne Macdonald* (Gough) Joy and Yvonne served as members of the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II
Mr Peter Webb* and Mrs Pam Webb*. Peter and Pam were members, and later joint Hon. Secretaries, of the original Old Grammarians Association from the 1940s to the mid 1970s. Both served as members of the Reunion Committee.
Mr Peter ROWE. Peter is a founder member of the Association, editor of The New Cirencestrian and the Old Grammarians website and a member of the Reunion Committee.
Mrs Wendy VEITCH*. Wendy was Honorary Secretary to the 1940s Association.
* denotes now deceased
As of 1st January 2018 the 1940s Association Committee, all volunteers, are:
President – Dr Brian Gegg
Vice President – Peter Rowe
Chairman – This office is rotated amongst committee members
Joint Hon. Secretaries – Ann Green (Da Silva) & Pauline Parker (Sampson);
Hon. Treasurer – Pauline Parker;
Members – Malcolm Whittaker, Isabel Pitts (Beale) Frances Chapman, Daphne Lissimore and Ralph Wilkins
(The Committee normally meets on a quarterly basis)
1940s ASSOCIATION ‘REUNION’ EVENTS
Reunion events, normally in the form of lunches, are held in and around Cirencester in Spring, Summer, Autumn and pre-Christmas. These are open to members and their guests.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 1940s ASSOCIATION
1988 An informal re-union of pupils and staff from the 1940s era was held at Syde Farm courtesy of Malcolm Whitaker. Later the same year a small group of former pupils from the war years met at Syde when it was agreed to form an association open to pupils from the 1940s. The members present agreed to form the first committee. It may be significant that two of the original members still serve on the committee – Malcolm Whitaker and Peter Rowe. Other founder members included Geoffrey Ripley and Nigel Locke.
1989 The forerunner of the present ‘quarterly’ committee meetings was held at Syde Farm which effectively became the Association’s first unofficial ‘headquarters’. Malcolm became its first Chairman, Mary the first Hon. Secretary and Mike the first Hon. Treasurer.
1991 The first 1940’s newsletter circulated was under the editorship of Mary and, in later years, in the form of the magazine The New Cirencestrian), by Peter Rowe.
1992/3 The 1940’s Association researched the Old Grammarians who lost their lives in the two World Wars and recorded their findings in a typescript book – now in the Bingham Library.
1993 1940’s Association commissioned a permanent memorial to Old Grammarians who lost their lives in World War II.
1993 First Grand Reunion was held under the auspices of the newly formed separate Reunion Committee. Some members of the 1940s Association Committee (Peter Rowe, Pauline Parker and Ralph Wilkins) are also members of the Reunion Committee.
1994 First edition of the Reunion Committee Newsletter published under the editorship of 1940s committee member Ralph Wilkins.
1996 Second Grand Reunion held to mark the 30th Anniversary of the closure of the school.
1998 Dr Brian Gegg appointed as the Association’s second Chairman.
1998 Tenth anniversary of the 1940s Association.
1999 Reunion Committee’s first website went on line.
2000 Third Grand Reunion held to mark The Millennium. The 1940s Association reclaimed the school bell from a skip, restored and re-hung it in its original position.
2001 The 1940s Newsletter was replaced by a magazine, The New Cirencestrian, using the same format as The Cirencestrian which was the school’s magazine from the 1920s to the 1960s.
As of December 2019 a total of nineteen editions have been published.
2003 Fourth Grand Reunion held – celebrating the centenary of the birth of Walter Hammond.
2004 1940’s Association first website goes on line.
2006 Fifth Grand Reunion held celebrating 40 years since the school closed. Retirement of Mrs Mary Peddle from the post of Honorary Secretary, a post which she held since the Association was founded in 1988.
2007 First publication of the 1940s Bulletin – an on-line way of keeping Old Grammarians up to date.
2007 Wendy Veitch (Jenner) appointed as Hon. Secretary of the 1940s Association with Ann Green (Da Silva) as Assistant Secretary..
2008 Twentieth anniversary of the formation of the 1940s Association.
2008 Sixth Grand Reunion held celebrating the 550th anniversary of John Chedworth’s licence / endowment and the Centenary of the Bingham Hall.
2010 The seventh Grand Reunion was held celebrating the centenary of the formation of the Old Boys Association in December 1910 and the 82nd anniversary of the formation of the Old Girls Association in 1928.
2011 This present website went on line replacing the two separate websites for the Reunion Committee and the 1940s Association.
2012 The eighth Grand Reunion celebrating Olympic Year and the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen was held at the Bingham Hall on 6th and 7th October.
2013 Heralded the 25th Anniversary of the 1940s Association. This was marked by an Anniversary Luncheon held at Minchinhampton Golf Course and the publication of a special anniversary edition of The New Cirencestrian.
2014 Life Membership of the Association was awarded to Dr Brian Gegg and Mr Michael Rose to mark their long service as Chairman and Treasurer respectively.
The ninth Grand Reunion was held at Down Ampney Village Hall on Saturday 13th September 2014.
2015 Life Membership was also awarded to Mrs Wendy Veitch (Hon. Secretary) and Mr Peter Rowe (Editor of The New Cirencestrian and the Old Grammarian website).
2016 To celebrate the fifty years which have passed since the ‘end’ of traditional selective teaching at the Grammar School and its replacement by comprehensive system based on the new Deer Park School the 1940s Association Summer lunch was held in June at Minchinhampton Golf Club and the tenth Grand Reunion took place in the Bingham Hall in September.
2017 Another successful year – but darkened by the passing of Old Grammarians including Peter Webb, Joy Lofthouse and our Hon. Secretary Wendy Veitch.
2018 Ann Green (da Silva) and Pauline Parker (Sampson) appointed Joint Hon. Secretaries.
2018 Still going strong and celebrated our thirtieth anniversary. We held our usual four quarterly lunches, produced two editions of The New Cirencestrian and the Cirencestrian Old Grammarians website continued to provide, on its Bulletin page, up to date information on times, dates and places of the proposed lunches, the latest Grammarian news etc etc. Finally, the eleventh Grand Reunion took place on the weekend of 22/23 September!
2019 There were three lunches during the year, another edition of The New Cirencestrian magazine and this website which kept you up to date.
2020 As for 2019 – except the first lunch of the year during March had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic and closure of the Bingham Hall.
The September Reunion 2020 has also been cancelled for the same reasons, while the Christmas lunch remains in the diary but dependent on what government advice is nearer the time.