London March 2014 | St. David's College Old Davideans Association

Friday March 7th, 6.30 pm, Manicomio Restaurant and Wine Bar, Duke of York Square, Chelsea - time for the annual London ODA shindig. 

Intriguingly, Manicomio started as a high quality olive oil importing business, then it became an importer of a range of Italian food, and finally it became the prestigious business that it is today, which just goes to show ....

There were some old staff present: the Bargerys, Beechs and Buckleys, and some young ones: Headmaster Stuart Hay, with his wife Lucy, and Deputy Head Andy Russell with his wife Kate, who is also Secretary of the ODA. 

There were lots of interesting Old Davideans too. I have tried to group them by age. The first lot were in their mid to late 40’s. Richard Scott, always known as ‘Scotty’, is now out of the army after many years’ service, where he made it to R.S.M. I had not seen him since he left St David’s in the mid 80’s; Tim Hooper’s business installs and maintains watering systems for sports grounds, gardens and private properties; he has just installed one in Tamara Ecclestone’s garden (she has a four story basement with a swimming pool in the lowest one!); Jimmy Austin, charming as ever, shocked Stuart Hay with stories of what he and his mates used to get up to in the woods behind school; Edward Cadogan is no longer in the army, but is now running the estate and has many other interests; Ian Temple is now semi retired, but very busy; he is going to take over the organisation of the London ODA meeting in future; any ideas, contact him through Kate Russell.

Next there were some younger ones, in their thirties, whom I remember from happy times not taking Business Studies A Level very seriously, but enjoying 6th Form Balls at Howells, the now defunct girls’ school in Denbigh, and other less official extra curricular activities: the suave Ashley Griffiths, involved in the property business with Strutt and Parker, and the irrepressible Ed Newman who sells the interiors of expensive yachts, when he is not chatting up attractive young ladies (see photo with Rosie); some of intermediate age: Dan Fitzgerald, a senior planning engineer with BP, and Alex Dunigan, who is involved in an eco friendly heat pump business along with Ben Morris. Neither Nick Connor nor Ben Barclay is employed in politics any more, obviously doing something less disreputable now.

Finally there were the much younger ones, who are still at, or who are just about to finish college: Rugby player Josh Ward, as ever with Emily Watson, granddaughter of former Headmaster William Seymour; Rosie Jenkins, working at a model agency; Esme Cole, who had to sit due to her bad back,and Emma Wright, just having finished a jewellery design course and wearing one of her own creations.

There was also the raffle draw, which took place later. In case you don’t know, one of the ways that the ODA raises money is through ‘Friends of ODA’; each ‘friend’ pays in £5.00 monthly by standing order (forms available from Kate Russell) and there are three raffle draws at the ODA meetings in November and March. First prize is £500, second is £150 and the third, for £50, is only for people who are actually attending the meeting. This time first prize went to Chris Roobottom, second to Oliver Harding and third to Morag Bargery.

It is always very satisfying to see OD’s, grown up and successful, and at the same time remembering them as teenagers; hopefully St David’s helped in some way to achieve their success.

The evening passed as usual, with canapés and drinks (probably too many), a talk by John Bargery, and then, for those who remained, a meal in Manicomio’s excellent, if expensive, restaurant.