OB Day

OB Day 2022

The next Old Blundellian Day is on Saturday 18th June 2022. Please ‘save the date’. The OB Club hopes this occasion will be an opportunity for celebration, getting together, as well as reflection on the 2 years since OB Day 2019. Further details will be announced in the Spring of 2022.

OB Day 2019 and Paddy Armstrong Commemoration Service – reflections of the day

Big School, speech
Jessica Mannix addresses assembled guests on OB Day 2019

OB Day was a resounding success, testified by the many comments and feedback received.

The day started with shooting by the Magpies, including two new female recruits, and the Old Blundellian Committee AGM, both being swift in their deliverance to accommodate the remaining days’ proceedings. The emotionally charged and uplifting Chapel Service followed, where there was not only volume in numbers paying respect to Paddy but also in the singing and music. Gambling with the weather ensured the Drinks Reception took place in the very pleasant Quad location, where there was much reminiscing by not only Old Blundellians but guests, parents, staff and the two current Heads of School. The excellent lunch then followed where the catering department excelled not only in the quality of the food but also in the standard of their service. Speeches were informative, reverent and thought provoking. Jessica Mannix gave clarity to that tangible thread Blundell’s has on us as a community and the magnetism, which draws us back. Excellent exhibitions were viewed and the culmination of tea served in the Beale Centre by the ever present Sue Beale finalised the eventful and pleasant day.

The masterful eulogy for Paddy Armstrong given by Jonathan Leigh is available to view, as are the details of Paddy’s plaque. Attenders on the day can be seen here. Please also read the speech by President of the Day, Jessica Mannix, see the Preacher's sermon given by The Very Revd Nicholas Coulton, and see a flyer of photos from the day.

Thank you to all those who attended or contributed in whatever manner to making the day successful in every respect.

Janet Wooff
OB Club Secretary

OB Day and Paddy Armstrong Commemoration Service Saturday 15th June 2019

Old Blundellian Day programme, OB Day Service and Paddy Armstrong Commemoration Service

Jessica Mannix, school governorOld Blundellian Day 2019 will take place on Saturday June 15th. President for the day will be Jessica Mannix (GH 1981-83, Governor 2009-present). Following a successful academic and sporting career at school, Jessica went up to St Andrew’s University and then went into a career in fundraising, pioneering TV fundraising at Oxfam and the NSPCC, and moving into higher education and arts fundraising at the University of Oxford in 2005. She has been the Director of the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust at Somerville College since its establishment six years ago.  Now a Blundell’s Governor and mother to three children, Jessica gives time generously to Blundell’s and will be well supported by family, contemporaries and Governors.

The Preacher will be The Very Revd Nicholas Coulton (P 1954-57) and reading the lesson in chapel will be Jessica’s father Martyn Grose (FH 1947-52, former School Governor, Chair and President of the OB Club).

The dedication of a memorial plaque to Paddy and eulogy from Jonathan Leigh will both be a key part of the celebration of Paddy's life within OB Day Chapel Service. It is hoped that OBs coming to the Service will stay for the remainder of OB Day, including the Drinks Reception, lunch, sports and tea, but please let Janet know if you will be attending just the Service. There will be the opportunity to meet the new Head, Bart Wielenga, and the new Development Director, Old Blundellian, Ben Boswell. We look forward to seeing many of you back at Blundell’s in June.


  • All tickets before 1st May 2019 – £25
  • After 1st May 2019 – £30

Tickets can be obtained by completing the Reply Slip and emailing back to Janet at obclub@oblub.co.uk. The price includes pre-lunch drinks, lunch with wine and afternoon tea. The deadline is 1st June 2019. Tennis and shooting will be taking place against the School that day – please contact Janet if you are interested in taking part.

OB Day Programme

Time Event
9.30am Shooting range open for Magpies v School followed by Trophy presentation
9.30am OB Memorabilia Exhibition open ‘Being a Blundellian’, Abram Room, Beale Centre
9.45am AGM of the OBC, Beale Centre
11.00am Chapel Service including the commemoration service for Paddy Armstrong
12.15pm Drinks Reception with staff: Quad outside Masters’ Dining Room or School Gym if wet
1.30pm Lunch in Big School
2.00pm Cricket on Big Field and other sports fixtures
4.30pm Tennis v School (cancelled due to lack of interest)
5.00pm Tea in Beale Centre

OB Day 2018 Report

A record number of Old Blundellians returned on June 9th to celebrate Old Blundellian Day beginning, as usual, with the AGM. Committee members said goodbye, with thanks, to Richard Giles after many years of service and appointed Lauren Mitchell to the OB Committee.

Chapel was well supported with an excellent sermon from Andrew Hutchinson and a lesson read by President for the Day Nick Swarbrick's daughter, Ellie Freeman. Drinks in the Beale Centre followed with wine again generously provided by the Grose family.

Lunch in the marquee served by the school catering team was of a high quality and enjoyed by 107 diners. Nicola Huggett and Amber Oliver were presented with bouquets in recognition of service and wished bon voyage for their onward journeys away from Blundell's. Nick Swarbrick spoke eloquently about the many spheres of Blundell's life he and Joyce have been involved in. He took as his theme the value of continuity and the vitality of change in the vibrant life of the whole Blundell's constituency.

It was marvellous to see two tables of golfers and two tables of 1980s leavers plus many others returning after long absences. Information about next year's OB Day will be sent out in October and we look forward to working with Blundell's new Head, Bart Wielenga.

OB Day 2018 Saturday 9th June

OB Day 2018 will take place on Saturday 9th June. President for the day will be Nick Swarbrick. Nick arrived at Blundell’s to teach English in 1964, was Housemaster of Westlake from 1968-80, Second Master from 1976-97 and became the Governor representing the teaching staff in 2000. We are delighted that his wife, Joyce, who taught in the Blundell’s Art Department for many years, will be accompanying him. We welcome as our preacher, Andrew Hutchinson (P 1992-97) who is chaplain at Monkton Coombe School and Elle Swarbrick as the lesson reader.

We hope for another excellent OB turnout and all are welcome including partners. Westlake tables and OB Golfing Society tables are already being organised in recognition of Nick’s tremendous contribution to OB Golf. We also look forward to our, now regular, tables for this excellent value reunion. Tickets for the day are priced at £25 per person under 25 years old and all early applicants, £30 for applications received after 1st May 2018 by applicants over 25 years old. The price includes pre-lunch drinks, lunch with wine and tea. If you are able to come, please complete the reply slip. The deadline is 21st May 2018.

Tennis and shooting will be taking place against the School that day – please contact Janet if you are interested in taking part.


Time Event
10:00am AGM of the OB Club, Beale Centre. Westlake and OBGS memorabilia exhibition open, Abram Room, Beale Centre.
10:30am onwards Shooting range available for Magpies v School
11:00am Chapel Service
12 noon Drinks with Staff, Beale Centre
12:45pm Magpies Trophy presentation, outside the Shooting range
1:00pm Lunch in the marquee on Big Field
2:00pm Cricket on Big Field, Tennis and other School sports fixtures
4:00pm Tennis v School
4:30pm Afternoon Tea, Beale Centre


OB Day 2017 Report

OB Day 2017 was blessed with wonderful weather, and an excellent turn out of 90 for lunch enjoyed some delicious food, fine wine, courtesy of the Thurlestone Hotel, and thoughtful speeches. David Fursdon, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenent for Devon, took us through his long and positive relationship with Blundell's. Tables included Governors, Magpies, Battlefields, Twaddlers and 1970s/80s.

Chapel was a celebration of Blundell's music as well as being Alistair Deighton Gibson's debut as a preacher and was greatly enjoyed by all.

Thanks to everybody who attended and to those who made the day possible. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

OB Day 2016 Report

OB Day 2016 programmeOB Day 2016 went off well. The AGM voted in Paul Waterworth to replace Martyn Grose as President and Richard Swarbrick to replace Paul Waterworth as Chairman.Nicky Klinkenberg, hockey player

Chapel was a pleasure and Kate Wheatley, on debut in the pulpit, delivered an excellent sermon. About 120 staff, OBs, guests and partners enjoyed drinks in the Beale Centre which were kindly supplied by Thurlestone Hotel.

The School catering staff produced an outstanding buffet lunch for 91 attenders - an increase from 78 in 2015.

Nicky Klinkenberg delivered an inspirational address as President for the Day and speeches finished at 4pm to be followed by tea at 4.30.

OB v School shooting preceded Chapel and it was good to see a couple of tables of comparatively young OBs enjoying reunions within OB Day.

OB Day 2016, Beale Centre

OB Day 2016, Judge Paul Waterworth speaksOB Day 2016, Nicky Klinkenberg speaks

In addition to the programme you can also see a flyer of photos from the day.

OB Day 2016 Magpie Small Bore Shooting Competition

You can see a short report and some photos from the OB Day Shooting event on the Shooting page.

OB Day 2015 Report Saturday 20th June 2015

Following the AGM at which Chairman Judge Paul Waterworth, agreed to retain the Chairmanship for one more year, Chapel offered an enhanced service. The Blundell’s choir sang beautifully and the added music was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Revd Tim Hunt for preaching and Bella Barlow for reading the lesson.

OB Day 2015 OB Day 2015

OB Day 2015 OB Day 2015

OB Day 2015 OB Day 2015

OB Day 2015 OB Day 2015: a new generation of OBs

OB Day 2015: more musicStaff joined Old Blundellians and partners for drinks in the recently extended Colin Beale Centre and 85 OBs sat down to an excellent lunch, provided by the School Catering Department, in the marquee on Big Field. Andrew Barlow, as President for the Day, spoke eloquently about his path to Director of Music at Blundell’s and his 30 years of tenure. Andrew’s address was interspersed with lively performances from recent OB musicians Bella Barlow, Jess Atkins and Hatty Goody.

Tea was taken at 4.30pm in the Colin Beale Centre and all agreed that the day had been most enjoyable. We hope to see even more attending next year with girl’s sport being the theme!

(See some additional photos from OB Day here. Also see the Shooting page for some photos of the Magpies vs Blundellians event on OB Day.)

OB Day 2014 ReportSaturday 14th June 2014

Old Blundellian Day 2014 took place on June 14th 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the Great War. Over 135 Old Blundellians, Partners, Former Staff Members and a selection of pupils enjoyed a full day including a Chapel Service incorporating a presentation to the School of a Roll of Honour to remember those Blundellians who fell in the War. A brass band played music of the period of the Great War during the drinks reception. German and English students read Great War poetry in the marquee before lunch and Professor Jeremy Black spoke about the cause and effects of the Great War after lunch. In the Afternoon OBs planted a tree to commemorate those who gave their lives in the Great War.

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014 OB Day 2014

You can see a few more photos of the event in this flyer.

You can also see a short report and some photos from the OB Day Shooting event on the Shooting page.

OB Day and Gaudy A special day in the life of a Twaddler

In many ways Twaddlers had been preparing themselves for OB Day and Gaudy since their 1962 cricket side reunion last September. We must have been psychic because on that occasion we toasted ‘Floreat Schola Blundellina’ with

Vivat academia!
Vivant professores!
Vivat membrum quodlibet;
Vivant membra quaelibet;
Semper sint in flore.
from the Gaudy Hymn ‘Gaudeamus Igitur’

The only very slight disappointment for Twaddlers on this OB and Gaudy Day was that there was no rendition of this song, traditionally given at a Gaudy. But we were not in the least bothered that Headmaster A.L. Francis’s stirring Commemoration Hymn had been brought forward from its traditional position at bow in the OB Service; we just got our ‘flush of morn divine’ a bit earlier. In any event we had already been inspired as usual by the OB Day lesson, Ecclesiastes XII, quite beautifully read on this occasion by Colin Beale’s younger son Bob Beale (M 59-64), one of our most avid Twaddlers.

We used OB Day to make the annual Twaddler presentations. These were meticulously orchestrated to be practically invisible, so that the formal arrangements of the Gaudy and OB Day were in no way upset.

On New Year’s Eve last year we lost a very, very dear friend Christopher Palmer (TH 1959, W 59-64). We took the opportunity of presenting to Jennifer an Epiphany Scene in memoriam to Christopher, painted by Grem McIntyre (M 58-62) and signed on the back by all Christopher’s mates. Grem had been propped by Christopher in many a Blundell’s front row of those halcyon days together ‘And all remember well the fun we had, the everlasting wish to never stop, and go forever on.’

Grem himself for the second year running won the Twaddlers ‘Charlie 2 Dads Award’, given in memory of Charlie Alderson-Smith (TH 1958, P 59-63). Charlie is the only member of the 1962 cricket side no longer with us. Grem was further involved in another presentation when he gave the brilliant cartoon he had painted of that team’s reunion last September to the OB Cricket Club.

Tom Jennings had coached the XIs at Blundell’s for 38 consecutive seasons and the Twaddlers of the 1962 XI had been his last. Tom’s granddaughters, Anne and Pauline Rooks, were present on OB weekend, so Twaddlers held a dinner in their honour on the Friday evening at The Tiverton Hotel. For OB Day, Pauline had been persuaded to bring along the bat with which she had played for England. If only Tom had been alive to see his granddaughter play against New Zealand in Auckland, how proud he would have been! By the time Pauline and Anne departed after tea, the bat they took home was still wet with the ink from the autographs of over 50 OB cricketers present, all coached by their grandfather.

In the evening, the 2013 C.T.Reichwald ‘Win Toss! Bat first! Bowl Out! Drink Bass!’ awards were made to overseas Twaddlers who had made the magnificent effort to be with us on the day: Rick Ackroyd (TH 1958, FH 59-63) and his wife Caryll who had come all the way from South Africa; David Clements (W 55-59) from France; Roger Davis (FH 59-64) had made the trip again from Wales; Doug Emmett (P 59-63) from Guernsey and William Taylor (W 60-65) cum laude, from New Zealand.

We were able to mark our thanks to Mike Sampson, the School Archivist (2005 - present) and author of that 2011 prize winning book A History of Blundell’s School, for all the help he had been to Twaddlers during the year by presenting him with the 2013 BAFTA, following Simon Benito’s (FH 59-63) success in winning it in 2012.
Our greatest joy of OB Day was that our most celebrated Twaddler, Terry Silk (Master 1952-1971) had been with us. Terry is a hugely enthusiastic Twaddler, continuing to allow us all to prosper from his wisdom, from his wit and from his sense of fun. But through the ages, these are what Blundell’s brilliant schoolmasters and brilliant schoolmistresses have ever possessed ‘Vivant professores Blundelleni! Semper sint in flore’.

Peter Price (W 1958-63)

OB Day 2013 Report

Old Blundellian Day took place on June 15th 2013 with over 140 Old Blundellians & wives attending! It was the best turn out in years for OB Day. The theme for the day was the 1950’s to 1970’s and many OBs came back to see their old friends, many of whom they had not seen since School. OB Day 2013The day started with a chapel service led by David Hamer (Former Chaplain 1973-01) who delivered an inspiring sermon perfect for OB Day. Robert Beale (M 1959-64) was also one of the readers during the service reading from Ecclesiastes.

We were then treated to a drinks reception in the Beale Centre before enjoying a splendid three course meal produced by our wonderful catering team. We cannot thank our guest speaker, Robert Fox (OH 1959-63), enough for being such an entertaining guest speaker. There were roars of laughter throughout the speech and it evoked some fond memories of times here at Blundell’s School for all of us.

After lunch, our School Monitors hosted tours of the boarding houses and many past OB monitors were also pleased to see their name up on the boards in the House Common Areas. Mike Sampson, School Archivist, presented an impressive exhibition of memorabilia from 1950 to 1970.

The day concluded with Tennis in the afternoon against the pupils for those that were interested along with supper in the evening and a chance to relax and catch up with old friends.

Old Blundellian Day 2014 is scheduled for June 14th 2014. Please mark your calendars.

See more photos on

Gallery 1950-70

In keeping with this year's theme, we are displaying a selection of photographs of the 1950s and 1960s from the School Archive.

Just click on an image below and it will become enlarged, then move the cursor to the left or right of the image to see the previous or next photograph in the series. (The slideshows are divided into groups of 1950's, 1960's and 1970 photos.) You can see an even larger version of each photo by clicking the "large" link below each photo.

It is hoped in the future to expand the number of archive photos on the Old Blundellian website.

Mike Sampson

Photo Gallery 1950-70
Topic 1950s 1960s 1970
House Photos NC, 1951
NC 1951
NC, 1953
NC 1953
W, 1960
W 1960
SH, 1961
SH 1961
OH, 1970
OH 1970
W, 1953
W 1953
OH, 1955
OH 1955
M, 1964
M 1964
P, 1964
P 1964
W, 1956
W 1956
SH, 1957
SH 1957
SH, 1966
SH 1966
M, 1968
M 1968
M, 1959
M 1959
NC, 1959
NC 1959
P, 1968
P 1968
TH, 1968
TH 1968
House Sports W cricket team, 1954
W cricket 1954
W junior house rugby XV, 1959
W jr rugby 1959
M rugby league XV, 1961
M rugby 1961
W rugby XV, 1967
W rugby 1967
Sports Cricket 1st XI, 1952
Cricket 1st XI 1952
Rugby Newtes XV, 1952
Rugby Newtes XV 1952
Shooting, Stanniforth Winners, 1961
Shooting, Stanniforth 1961
Athletics Cadre, 1963
Athletics Cadre 1963
Rugby 1st XV, 1970
Rugby 1st XV 1970
Rugby 1st XV, 1953
Rugby 1st XV 1953
Cricket 1st XI, 1956
Cricket 1st XI 1956
Rugby 1st XV, 1963
Rugby 1st XV 1963
Rugby 1st XV, 1966
Rugby 1st XV 1966
Rugby 1st XV, 1956
Rugby 1st XV 1956
Fives team, 1959
Fives 1959
Rugby 1st XV, 1959
Rugby 1st XV 1959
Drama She Stoops To Conquer, 1959
She Stoops To Conquer, 1959
Henry IV Part 2, 1963
Henry IV Part 2, 1963
Other The Library, 1954
Library 1954
OB Day 1954 - 350th Anniversary Procession
OB Day 1954
Common Room, 1960
Common Room 1960
Queen Mother visits, 1967
Queen Mother 1967
CCF march down Bampton St, Tiv, 1955
CCF 1955

OB Day 2013

The theme for this year’s OB day will be the 1950s to 1970s era and the day will include an exhibition of memorabilia from these years. Members of the teaching staff from these years will also be invited and partners are more than welcome.

  • President: Robert Fox OBE (OH 1959-63);
  • Preacher: Revd David Hamer (School Chaplain 1973-2001, Housemaster NC 1994-2001);
  • Lesson to be read by: Robert Beale (M 1959-64).

Provisional Programme for OB Day and 1950-70 Gaudy

Time Event
10.00 am AGM of OB Club in the Beale Centre
11.00 am Chapel Service
12.00 noon Drinks with staff in the Beale Centre
1.00 pm Buffet lunch in the marquee on Big Field
2.00 pm Cricket. Blundell’s v Taunton on Big Field
3.00 pm Tours of the School
4.00 pm OB Tennis v The School followed by refreshments in the Beale Centre
4.30 pm Tea in the Beale Centre
6.00 pm Evening Reception in the Beale Centre

Tickets will be available to purchase (£20 each) by contacting Janet at obclub@obclub.co.uk / Tel 01884 232010 or from Emily at devoffice@blundells.org / Tel 01884 243262.

OB Day 2012

Richard Swarbrick addresses the OBsThis year we will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Colin Beale Centre.

Richard Swarbrick (M 1977-82) has kindly agreed to be President for the Day. Nearly all of you will know the Swarbrick family, Richard's father Nick taught at Blundell's for over 30 years during which he was Westlake Housemaster, Second Master and then Governor. Richard had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, now works and lives in the Tiverton area and has just seen his daughter successfully complete her time at Blundell's.

Provisional Programme for OB Day 2012
10.00 am AGM of the OB Club in the Colin Beale Centre
11.00 am Chapel Service
12.00 noon Drinks with staff, Beale Centre
12.30 pm Unveiling of plaque by Sue Beale
1.00 pm Buffet lunch in the marquee on Big Field
2.00 pm Cricket v Taunton on Big Field
4.00 pm Tennis: School v OBs - followed by refreshments
at the Beale Centre
4.30 pm Tea in the Beale Centre
Tickets for the Day, including pre-lunch drinks, lunch and
tea are £20 per head. To facilitate catering, bookings
must be made before Wednesday 6th June. Tickets are
available from Paddy or Janet Wooff at the Colin Beale
Centre (obclub@obclub.co.uk or 01884 232010).

The Preacher is the Reverend Hilary Dawson, School Governor, and the lesson will be read by Sue Beale who needs no introduction.

We hope to see OBs with connections to the Swarbrick family and those who were Richard's contemporaries in Milestones. We would also like to extend a warm welcome to any OBs who were at School during the Queen's coronation. Tickets for the Day include pre lunch drinks, lunch and tea and are available at £20 per head from the OB Club, Beale Centre, 01884 232010 or email: obclub@obclub.co.uk.

Contact Details

Contact Type Details
Colin Beale Centre Email obclub@obclub.co.uk
Phone 01884 232010
Address The Colin Beale Centre, Blundell’s School, Tiverton EX16 4DT