I was surprised and delighted last summer to be invited to be President of the Old Boltonians’ Association during 2018. My predecessor, David Shaw, had played an important part in the School’s life over the last half-century. My own decade as a pupil, which ended in 1964 just weeks before David arrived as a young teacher, is certainly short by comparison. But when I left those ten years represented over half my life.
At the time I rather took for granted the wide range of activities outside the classroom that our School gave us the chance to experience and how much they added to our development. Perhaps I imagined all schools offer something similar which sadly they don’t. I was not renowned for my sporting abilities (which were mainly at the level of captaining the form third eleven). But I did enjoy and benefit from a wide variety of other activities, including the Scout troop and acting, as well as societies such as the Lit & Deb.
My career as an economist – for the most part at the Bank of England – took me away from Lancashire, though not entirely from Old Boltonians. In the road where I live in St Albans there are at least three Old Boys and one Old Girl. (I say “at least” as there may be more I haven’t discovered.)
My main contact with School has been through attending Old Boltonians’ dinners in London and Cambridge, and occasional reunions at School. Some of the Old Boys and Old Girls attending those dinners have only recently left School; even now a few others were pupils in the 1940s. Much has changed at the School over those years but what always comes through to me at those dinners is a sense of continuity and how we share a common experience and possibly even values.
I am planning to attend several dinners around the country during 2018 and hope that many of you will be there. You can always expect to meet people you know but you could also take the initiative and contact some of your contemporaries to join you. I very much enjoyed the Annual Dinner in the Arts Centre in December. It was well attended and included a large group of Old Boys who had left in 1970 and had arranged a table. If you have lost contact with friends, you may find them on the Bolton Alumni Network which was launched just last May; otherwise, the Development Office may be able to help put you in touch with them.
Do take a look at the full list of events, which this year includes a reunion on 21 April for Old Boys and Old Girls who left in the ~8 years from 1948 to 2008.
With my best wishes for 2018,
Old Boltonians’ Association President, 2018