OB Club News

OB Fives vs Blundell's - Match Report 20th April 2024

This year’s OB’s Fives Annual Match was played on a lovely sunny April afternoon, with players on court for 1pm as planned and finished at 4pm in the Squash court area with a social drink of tea/coffee and Catherine’s wonderful cakes.

Angus, Captain of School Fives, had a mixed Squad of 7 players and the OB’s equalled that over the course of the afternoon. It was decided to initially have the usual Competitive Doubles games to warm us all up and for OB’s to ensure no injuries! Both teams did mix up the partnerships, again to add to the Social feel of the event. In between the doubles some of the more energetic players chose to have a game of singles.

After a great deal of energy expended the total points for all the games played produced a victory to the OB’s team, winning by 31 points. After the tension of competitive play we decided to mix partners between School and OB’ players for a more fun session to finish the afternoon, and most of us off physically. The refreshments were certainly well earned by all players.

Special mention should go to School pair, Jemima and Natalia who won their opening first two matches, they did lose to Catherine Rackham and Harry narrowly in their final match, however, this was a great warm up for the trip to Oundle School on Sunday 21 April where Jemima became the first Blundell’s School Fives player to win the prestigious U18’s National Girls Singles Championship, after which with Natalia they went on to win the U18’s Doubles Championship, being Year 12 they have the opportunity to repeat this next year, no pressure!

History made and a proud moment for Fives at Blundell’s and School’s best ever Season of Fives at the National School Championships. The next challenge is to repeat the OB’s National Championship win of Alexandra Steel and Maddy Raynor, wonderful history.

Wayne Enstone

The Russell 2024

One of the lasting memories of the 2024 Russell race will be the sheer amount of rain that fell in the preceding weeks and therefore the quantities of mud around the course. The two practice events which utilised 10-acre, Parry Woods and Amory were run in clear conditions over very heavy, soggy ground. The day of the main Russell saw pretty much every season show its face during the afternoon! Lovely sunshine, sleet, hail and heavy rain. This did not diminish spirits though and there was a lot of smiles and fun being had in the mud.

School House

The School House runners were first off on Saturday and enthusiastically squelched and sprinted away from the start line. Having already got wet and muddy crossing the Prep School fields they soon hit the deepest mud on their way to the old railway bridge making sure it was well turned over for the later junior and senior races. The boys' race was closely fought but Spencer (Y8 SH) opened a gap crossing the line in first place over a minute ahead of Paddy (Y8 SH) and Harry (Y8 SH). The girls' race was an even closer affair with Amelia (Y8 SH) taking first place just 20 seconds ahead of Poppy (Y7 SH).

Position Name House Year Race Time
SH Boys
1 Spencer SH 8 00:17:28
2 Paddy SH 8 00:18:40
3 Harry SH 8 00:18:51
Position Name House Year Race Time
SH Girls
1 Amelia SH 8 00:19:03
2 Poppy SH 7 00:19:22
3 Bryony SH 8 00:20:02


The Junior Girls race this year was hard fought with the top places being swapped during the practice races between Nerea (Y9 GH), Iris (Y10 NC), Sophia (Y10 GH), Edie (Y10 GH) and Hetty (Y10 GH). On the day though, with Iris losing a shoe early in the run and completing the course with only a socked foot, it was left for Sophia, Nerea and Hetty to challenge for the top spot. It was close at the line with Sophia just holding on and taking the win. In the senior race it was Gemma (Y13 GH) who took the top spot for a second year in a row in an impressive time given the conditions out on the course. The practice events were hard fought between Gemma, Izzy (Y11 GH), Lucy (Y12 NC), Daisy (Y11 GH) and Jodie (Y13 GH) with places being swapped each time.

Position Name House Year Race Time
Junior Girls
1 Sophia GH 10 00:35:25
2 Nerea GH 9 00:35:45
3 Hetty GH 10 00:37:04
Position Name House Year Race Time
Senior Girls
1 Gemma GH 13 00:43:33
2 Jodie GH 13 00:44:53
3 Daisy GH 11 00:45:49


The boys' events were both keenly raced. The Junior Boys races were dominated by Lewis (Y10 P) taking victories in both of the practice races and the main Russell itself. Lewis crossed the line well over a minute ahead of Tom (Y10 P) and Noah (Y9 FH) for whom this was his first experience of the full Junior course. It will be interesting to see how Lewis progresses next in his move to the senior race and taking on the infamous Heartbreak Hill. The Senior race this year was won by Zinzan (Y11 OH) in an impressive time of 37:36 given the quantities of mud encountered on the course. Equally impressive is the performance from last year's Berry Barker Balance Trophy winner, Brad (Y13 OH) who narrowly held off Xavier (Y12 OH) to secure second place.

Position Name House Year Race Time
Junior Boys
1 Lewis P 10 00:29:14
2 Tom P 10 00:30:34
3 Noah FH 9 00:31:24
Position Name House Year Race Time
Senior Boys
1 Zinzan OH 11 00:37:36
2 Brad OH 13 00:39:07
3 Xavier OH 12 00:39:30

All of the Year 13s can now breathe easy knowing that, unless they choose to enter the Open Russell in the future, slipping and sliding up Heartbreak Hill is now just for storytelling. Many do take on this challenge and this year saw 29 parents, guests and Old Blundellians do just this. The Open Russell this year was won by Charlie Withers and Christina Pugsley.

As always, a massive thankyou to everyone involved; students who make the day such a pleasure for everyone, house parents that ensure everyone is ready for the day, the grounds and facilities teams for the course and event setup, the staff who marshal the course and manage the finish line and also the local farmers, landowners and canal trust who allow us to trample their fields.

Time to start planning your training for next year!


  • SH Girls Winner (School House) – Amelia (35:25)
  • SH Boys Winner (School House) – Spencer (17:28)
  • First Junior Girl (Years 9 & 10) – Sophia (35:25)
  • First Junior Boy (Years 9 & 10) – Lewis (29:14)
  • Junior Girls House Team on Russell day (Years 9 & 10) – North Close (243 points)
  • Junior Boys House Team on Russell day (Years 9 & 10) – Petergate (544 points)
  • First Senior Girl (Y11-13) – Gemma (43:33)
  • Second Senior Girl (Y11-13) – Jodie (44:53)
  • First Senior Boy (Y11-13) – Zinzan (37:36)
  • Second Senior Boy (Y11-13) – Brad (39:07)
  • Senior Girls House Team on Russell day (Y11-13) – Gorton House (575 points)
  • Senior Boys House Team on Russell day (Y11-13) – Old House (927 points)
  • Girls Cumulative House Points Cup, based on points from all races – Gorton House
  • Boys Cumulative House Points Cup, based on points from all races – Old House

Berry Barker Ballance

This year the trophy goes to a student who has performed consistently in all three of the Russell races this year. Their 3rd and a 6th place in the practice races was followed up with an excellent 3rd place in the main race on Saturday. This year they finished more than 7 minutes up on their time from 2023 which, given the weather and ground conditions this year shows remarkable progress in their fitness and running. This year Xavier is fully deserving of the Berry Barker Ballance trophy.

Report from Andy Bussell
i/c The Russell

Hugh Morris MBE (W 1976-82)

Hugh Morris, MBE (W 1976-82)Glamorgan County Cricket Club has announced that after 10 years as Chief Executive, Hugh Morris MBE (W 1976-82) will step down from the position at the end of 2023.

You can read more on the Glamorgan CCC website.


Touch Rugby and Family Day Sunday 18th Sept. 2022

The third Blundell’s Community Touch Rugby Tournament and family day took place outside the Beale Centre on Sunday, September 18, yet again with great success.

Eight teams took part in the 6-aside competition, three of which came from the ‘Blundell’s Braves’, a group from the school community that play every Thursday evening.

Teams from Stags Estate Agents, Tiverton RFC, Kings Taunton, FH Old Boys and Millfield made up the two pools of four teams. At the end of an afternoon of great touch rugby, the Braves won the overall trophy and the plate trophy.

Huge thanks go to Tom Cowle (W 1991-96) and the Friends of Blundell’s Prep Committee who ran a great BBQ, cake and drinks stall. Thanks also goes to St Austell Brewery who supplied the Korev Lager mobile bar again. And thanks also to Simon Swain and Andy Southgate for being wonderful referees.

If you wish to participate in this annual event or would like to find out more information about the Blundell’s Community Touch Rugby Thursday evening training sessions, please contact Tom Cowle on 07815 122950 or Janet Wooff at the OB Club. The sessions are followed by drinks in the Beale Centre (8.30-9.30pm) and all are welcome.

You can see photos from the event on the Alumni site's Past Events.

OB Choir Trip to Venice December 2019

churchThe Blundellian Choir arrived in Venice in the evening on 19th December to a city shrouded in mist and St Mark's Square mostly seemed empty. However a few ad hoc a capella carols nicely balanced with SATB parts soon acquired a large following which followed us to the Doge's palace and next to the Grand Canal.

A gentle start in the excellent Al Piave hotel including unaccompanied practising the next day was followed by a walk about before heading off to St George's Anglican Church to practise for the evening's concert, as well as items for the following days.

The concert had been advertised and a good audience enjoyed the professional event with a number of locals calling in when the music was heard from outside.

groupAfterwards we headed off to eat in a restaurant near San Marco after which much prosecco was drunk in the hostelry opposite the hotel.

Saturday morning involved a visit to the Doge's Palace – fascinating in its history, art and particularly its architecture with the really impressive and massive rooms – nothing so small here. A walk across the Bridge of Sighs took us into the dungeons but we emerged happily en masse at lunchtime where, independently different groups refound the wonderful restaurant A La Rivetta.

After more walking/shopping we practised for the Mass in St Mark's Basilica where we were welcomed most warmly, with the priest even translating his sermon too, and coming to chat later. singingWhat an experience to be able to enjoy the amazing acoustics and be able to see the extraordinary mosaics – so much gold, and with the lights on it was a wonderful spectacle.

The evening service was followed by lovely food in a local restaurant and we sang to much appreciation and onto their Facebook page.

Sunday morning was a service back in St George's. The walk there normally takes 20 minutes but today, having said goodbye to Marianna Katerelou who had joined us from Athens, took us 40 as we waded through 10 inches of water in St Mark's Square, and then over boards and more flooded areas. Despite the plastic boots we had acquired there were those who arrived with wet feet - though the Chaplain provided cushions for them with their bare feet. It was a really good service and again we were made very welcome.

square, churchbridge in the wet

While the water had receded there were still large pools as we did a flash mob carol in a square next to the Accademia Bridge, before a short concert in the instrument museum. water off St Mark's SquareWe made it back to St Mark's Square where the water had mostly gone and then to lunch.

Our final afternoon was spent shopping, viewing the Rialto, mulled wine, chocolate, and a glorious sunset before we all went to A La Rivetta (third time for some) and enjoyed the prosecco by the jug, the amusing antics of the waiters, entertaining the restaurant with some singing which resulted in a blessing from a visiting American priest, but also a glass of limoncello for everyone in our party. So much fun.

There were final visits to local bars, and philosophical discussion, and limericks before retiring.

Our final day had an earlier than anticipated start as aqua alta again meant that water taxis were not able to get very close and we had to walk – and wade again – to where they were to meet us, and anything later with the water rising rapidly would not have been possible.

bridgeAs we sit in the airport on a sunny day there is time to reflect on how amazing Venice is, how hospitable everyone has been with the hotel team organising so much for us, even taking us to the taxis - and what wonderful music is produced by Blundellians – a great joy.

The Party: Jess Atkins, Andrew Barlow, Bella Barlow, Heather Barlow, Tim Barlow, Becky Brinkley, Rosie Bruce, Ian Bruce, Linda Marshall Cole, Rosie Cole, William Coon, Natalie Cotton, Alex Everett, Louisa Everett, Chris Hamilton, Jess Harvie, Marianna Katelerou, Sparkle Menzies, Redmond Sanders, Kieran Smith, Beth Squires, Ed Taylor, Toby Whitehead

Blundell’s Community Touch Rugby Tournament and Family Day 15th September 2019

This was the inaugural Blundell’s Touch Rugby tournament organised by Tom Cowle (W 1991-96) and the Friends of Blundell’s Prep, with the support of the OB Club. The tournament took place on a lovely September Sunday, with eight teams taking part, consisting of parents, teachers, OB's and guest teams from Wellington and Kings Hall. The Plate Final was won by FH Old Boys, while the overall winner saw the Blundell's Staff beat the Blundell's Braves in a tightly contested game. The event raised over a £1,000 for The Friends of Blundell's Prep. The event was such a resounding success that it is hoped it will be an annual fixture in the School calendar. Next year's tournament is taking place on Sunday 13th September 2020. Tom or Janet (Organisers) would be delighted to hear from OB's interested in putting a team together.

Contact: Tom Cowle (Westlake 1991-96) thomasomcowle@gmail.com or Janet Wooff, OB Club Secretary.

Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019 Touch Rugby Tournament 2019

OB Choir Trip to Athens, December 2018

Athens, 2018

The fourth OB Choir trip took place in December 2018 and flights from Bristol, Luton and Edinburgh brought a group of 23 together in Athens at the Hermes Hotel where we were looked after very well in well appointed rooms, and a hotel with a roof top terrace which proved very popular late in the evening where sociable bottles of wine were enjoyed, and on one night where a dramatic thunderstorm was watched.

Athens, 2018   Athens, 2018

It was very pleasant during the day to enjoy warm temperatures and sunny days. The first evening saw groups visit different restaurants and one proved popular for the live music and Greek dancing, with considerable participation into the early hours.

On Saturday several visited the Acropolis, and late afternoon we were able to practise in St Paul's Church, the Anglican Chaplaincy ready for the evening concert, and service the next day. It was an excellent acoustic where later some good recordings were achieved. The service on Sunday morning had a welcoming congregation and Curate who had heard of us from the Chaplain in Prague. We sang several pieces during the service (Wood, Stainer, Saint Saens) and ended with a carol. Coffee was served outside in the very pleasant garden before we went to the Parliament building in Syntagma Square where we sang several carols on the steps to a large and appreciative audience.

Athens, 2018   Athens, 2018

Lunch was found in different places before the afternoon activities included shopping for some, the Acropolis for those who hadn't visited before, anda walk up theLykavittoshill which had a small church dedicated to St George, and funicular for the journey back down, and a very pleasant restaurant where we imbibed and watched the sunset over the Acropolis. Here too we observed members of the militarylower the Greek flag as the sun went down. The evening saw the whole party in a wonderfully welcoming restaurant (some had visited at lunchtime) –with an open fire –in the area under the Acropolis. A reallyexcellent evening. Afterwards some went to find the Greek dancing again, others to the roof top terrace.

Athens, 2018   Athens, 2018

Monday was a relaxed start before going to an extraordinary hospital built by Jackie Onassis where they had the remarkable idea of using music regularly in the hospital –for those who were there for appointments, and for those who were recovering and wanted to go and hear the music. There was a large atrium, grand piano, and seven floors had access to the music and view of performers as well as the seating on the ground floor. We were entertained afterwards to excellent food –some of which has been replicated since we returned to the UK. It was an illuminating and moving experience.

Our flights in both directions were straightforward –indeed early arrival in both directions, and School minibuses were there to meet us.

Athens, 2018

The Party

Jessica Atkins, Andrew Barlow, Heather Barlow, Tim Barlow, Rebekah Brinkley, Rosemary Bruce, Ian Bruce, Alice Cadenhead, Linda Marshall Cole, William Coon, Alex Everett, Louisa Everett, Callum Graham, Jessica Harvie, Annabel Ronchetti (Barlow), Matthew Ronchetti, Redmond Sanders, Rosalie Sanders, Imogen Sanders Dutton, Katharine Sendell, Alexandra Steel, Caroline Steel, Toby Whitehead.


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