November 2013 | St. David's College Old Davideans Association
Another November, another Old Davideans’ weekend: there were the old Old Davideans (Robert Charles 1970’s) young Old Davideans (Alex Ward 2000’s), some somewhere in between, male and female, fat and thin, dapper (Will Spencer, thanks to TK Maxx) and scruffy (from Rhyl).
The first happening was coffee in the Minstrel Hall, attended by Old Davideans, headmaster Stuart Hay, some staff and some members of the committee; then there were events: the annual rifle shooting competition, won this year equally by James Fisher and Will Spencer; another demonstration of stage make up by Anthony Davies, a climbing wall competition and a talk to a large selection of pupils by Ross Ashcroft about the film industry, directing and how St David’s had helped him to believe in himself and to decide on his career path. One pupil asked him how to overcome dyslexia, and his reply was “You don’t overcome it; you fly with it.” He also told them about how he believes society will change in the future, as explained in his film and book, “The Four Horsemen”.
Next there was a buffet lunch in the dining hall, followed by Rugby, Football and Netball. In the Rugby there was a 10 a side match between the older ones, mostly over 25, people like Will Lennard, Jordan Ridout, Shaun Kelly, James Wynne, Anthony Hughes and Mike Keynes (remember him? No, course you don’t; wasn’t at St David’s; friend of Jordan’s; comes every year) and the younger ones, mostly under 25, people like the brothers Owen, Bryn Burbage, Anthony Edwards and Josh Reed. Experience did not win through; the elder statesmen were soundly beaten, no doubt weighed down by their extra weight and the responsibilities of jobs, wives, children etc., but they did stage a comeback towards the end of the game. Unfortunately Steve Delaney broke his arm badly (shouldn’t have been playing at his age, should he?). We all wish him a speedy and relatively painless recovery. In the Football the school team took on the Old Davideans, Gavin Mart, the Seldons et al, strengthened by the addition of Andy Russell and Chris Davies. The Old Davideans won 6-5, but the school were leading 3-1 at half time. In the Netball, Old Girls and staff took on the Sixth Form, with the final result being a draw.
There was afternoon tea, then the evening’s events started to begin. The younger element disappeared, never to be seen again, and the older ones, after much organisation, preparation and panic by Kate Russell and many helpers, reappeared for dinner in the Minstrel Hall. We did this for the first time last year and this year it was so popular that we had to use the Head’s study as well. The food and drink were excellent and there were raffles and auctions; Andy Russell has obviously missed his vocation, he should be one of those auctioneers on ‘Bargain Hunt’. The most extraordinary item was a sculpture by Nick Elphick, who, as many of you will know, is internationally famous; it went for over £1,000. It seemed that Chris Roobottom was going bonkers or had won the lottery, but in fact he was bidding on behalf of someone else. There were speeches by Ross Ashcroft and Alex Chesworth, the subject being the Rugby tours they had attended whilst at St David’s and what wonderful experiences they were. They made their thanks extremely plain to the Bargerys, and Beeches organisers of the tours. The evening drew to a close, but not before the merry quartet of Simeon Oakley, Jimmy Ross, Karl Lovatt and Mark Rothery (1980’s) came to pay their slightly inebriated respects. Everyone had a really rollicking time and many went off into town to continue the festivities.
There were too many people involved in the organisation of the day to thank by name, but be reassured, it was your effort that made the day and evening go so brilliantly.