2 Chris#
Newsletter of Old Boys & Friends of 70
London BB Company
April 2013
What is it about Camp Memories?
What is it about Camp Memories?What is it about Camp Memories?
What is it about Camp Memories?
When asked about lasting memories
of their time in the 70
, most OB’s will single out their
experiences at camp as the most vivid. Why should this be?
For me it’s a lasting and powerful concoction of sounds, tastes and smells… all intermixed
with the excitement of being away from home, probably for the first time in one’s life.
If asked to be more specific about these memory triggers, my Top Ten would cover:
The smell and taste of the hot chocolate cuppa and Lincoln Cream biscuits at
morning Reveille
The somewhat less attractive odours of the latrines!
The hissing of the hurricanes lamps in the marquee and the sound of the ‘pumped’
organ at evening prayers
The heart thumping thrill of sneaking out of your tent at night evading any prowling
The clanking of the enamel plates and cups when washing up on orderly duties
The emotional bugle sounds of the ‘last post’.
The smell of dank clothes stuffed into your kit bag
The smell and prickly feel of the straw filled paliases
The taste of your first bottle of cherryade brought from
the camp tuck shop
The thrill and exhaustion of playing ‘Royalists & Rebels’
Are these your memories too? Or do you have others … please let us know.
Some of those who played for ‘Seveno CC’ during the early years were: Bernard Shaw, Percy Sore
Heath, John Steptoe, Len Stacey, Tom Goodson, Tony Short, Spadger Smith, Dennis Heath, Dave
Packman, Dave Huddy, Dave and Martin Richardson, John Ward, Alan and Keith Bilyard, Bernard
Matcham, Ron Maxwell, Keith Holbrook and surprisingly Bert Porter [‘Skip’] who played just one game!
Seveno CC…
Seveno CC…Seveno CC…
Seveno CC…
still going strong after nearly 60
still going strong after nearly 60still going strong after nearly 60
still going strong after nearly 60
years years
The 70
Old Boy’s Association, founded i
n 1948, always
had a passion for sport. Badminton, table tennis and
snooker were the popular activities on Monday evenings
along with plenty of tea and chat in the kitchen! Football
was also played and the soccer team, named ‘Seveno’,
enjoyed success in the Balham League.
In 1954, it was thought there ought to be a cricket team.
So with Jim Palmer’s enthusiastic help, a side was
cobbled together and ‘Seveno CC’ took its tentative steps
into the world of cricket. Only a few games were
arranged that year - the first match played was in
Wandsworth Park against a team raised by the 28
London Old Boys. The following seasons showed the new
cricketing squad growing in experience and confidence.
1956 was the year the team took off. A cricket pitch was
hired in Beddington Park and this was to be our home
ground for many years. With the inspirational Jim Palmer
as captain, a full fixture list was arranged for a bunch of
players all keen to get started. The season was eventful;
some highs, more lows (one game all over before tea!)…
but whatever, all played with a good team spirit. During
the winter, ‘nets’ were arranged at Mitcham Baths with
the hope we would be better prepared for the
forthcoming season. And so it proved, with more matches
being won. Runs were sometimes a problem but we
managed to get by most of the time.
A significant addition to the squad in 1958 was John
Ward, who would eventually captain the team for an
amazing 17 seasons. About this time Jim moved away to
Sussex. He left behind a legacy that the team enjoys to
this day. But cometh the hour cometh the man - Roy
Challis. Roy kept the club going for many years, never
seemingly taking a holiday, doing all the essential work of
running the team.
The team flourished throughout the 60’s and 70’s and
some exciting games ensued. One memorable fixture
however stays in my mind…
We had an away fixture against the staff at Banstead
Mental Hospital who having won the toss decided to bat.
They put on a good score and declared at tea. A meal
was served on an open part of the pavilion with patients
helping pour the tea etc. Our innings began and we
quickly lost a couple of wickets. However, ‘Spadger’
Smith, who was next in set about the bowling, hitting a
mighty six which went straight into the pavilion and
crashed into the neatly stacked dirty plates, cups and
saucers, sending broken crockery everywhere. One of the
patients standing nearby seeing this jumped up and
down, clapping his hands with glee. Talking about it after
the game we debated whether his reaction was in
admiration of the shot or that he’d got out of doing the
washing up! A lack of players coming from the company
at this time meant we needed to find players from
elsewhere. Fortunately new talent was easily absorbed
into the team.
Despite the folding of the Old Boy’s Association in 1973
‘Seveno CC’ continued unaffected. In the 80’s the club
‘batted on’ albeit with even fewer former members from
the 70
In 1998 the Club celebrated the 50
Anniversary of the
Old Boy’s Association with a special match of Past v
Present. Many past players attended and it was
particularly pleasing to see Jim Palmer again - he was
thrilled to know that the club he helped create was not
only still playing but thriving. There was a barbeque after
the game and John Ward made a speech before past
players were presented with a commemorative
medallion. The same year an evening match was arranged
against the Company, which ‘Seveno’ managed to win.
In 2013 ‘Seveno CC’ will still be playing – home ground
now Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, Worcester Park,
...and they have some silverware! - in 2004 ‘Seveno’ won
the ‘Nutfield Sixes’, a limited overs knockout tournament
against stiff opposition. No BB connection now but we
hope there is an awareness of a distinguished history and
the importance of playing the ‘Seveno’ way. Long may it
Keith Holbrook
Celebrating 50
years of the
founding of the
Old Boys
Keith Holbrook
and Jim Palmer
cut the cake.
Barracks into the
quadrangle of Buckingham
Palace to be inspected by
King George VI. I couldn’t
help noticing how ill the
King looked - he died early
the following year.
Another highlight for us
that year was being chosen
to be part of the massed
band at the Royal Albert
Hall Display when the then
Princess Elizabeth was
Brian Flint
Brian Flint Brian Flint
Brian Flint
Page 3
Brian and I are cousins of similar age (Brian being one
year the elder). We grew up in Tooting a suburb in South
London. Brian lived with his mum and dad in the next
road to my family. So in the last couple of years of the
war, into the late forties and early fifties we spent a lot
of time together. There were many children in the road
where my family lived with girls in the majority. I have
been wondering if that was the reason we saw so much of
Brian. Or it could have been the cricket - having a
lamppost outside my front door was ideal and many a
game ensued - much to the annoyance of certain
neighbours. We often use to get the cry ‘mind the
In those days with little traffic, side roads were a
playground for children and Brian and I were very much
part of that scene. If we weren’t playing cricket we were
kicking a ball about or flying paper aeroplanes.
We also wandered far and wide and unlike today, parents
seemed happy for us to do so. One morning a number of
us were on Tooting Common when Brian fell in the pond -
he was really worried that he’d be in trouble with his
mum when he got home and be kept in, so we tried - not
very successfully - to disguise the fact his trousers were
wet and muddy. Anyway it turned out OK and he showed
up again in the afternoon.
During this period something happened which was to hav
significant effect on our lives though, of course, we did
not realise it at the time. Brian’s mum took Brian and me
down to Tooting Junction Baptist Church to join the ‘Life
Boys’, a feeder organisation for the Boys Brigade for lads
9-12 years. This became a weekly fixture for us enjoying
all the activities on offer.
Though there had been a war going on for much of our
early lives we were unperturbed by it -
after all we didn’t
know a lot different.
As we got older we gave up street cricket and ventured
further afield. Brian like the rest of our gang now had a
bike so off to a favourite place a few miles away to set
up stumps. Thus on summer holidays, most days it was
cricket in the morning, home to get fed, and then back
again for an afternoon session.
Around this time Brian got his 11+ results and found he
had been accepted at the local grammar school.
The next
year, having reached the age limit of the Life Boys, Brian
went into the Boys Brigade - the 70
London. Being a
year younger, I had a 12 month wait. Brian quickly
adapted to the change and became an enthusiastic
member of the company. We had a strong band in the
which Brian and I were part of as buglers. 1951 was a
highly memorable year for us and the band. As part of
the ‘Festival of Britain’ celebrations we were privileged
to be selected to be in the battalion band that was to
head a guard of honour to march from Wellington
guest of honour.Later in November that year somet
profoundly significant took place for us – we were both
baptised one Sunday evening. So, quite a year.
Brian did well at school –
getting good exam results which
would eventually lead to an executive position with a
major company. In the BB showing good leadership
qualities he rose to the rank of sergeant. Then came
National Service with the RAF. On his return Brian served
in the 70
as an officer and a bugle instructor. It was
during this period that he began married life with Julie
who was a prominent member of the Tooting Girls
Brigade Company. They left the area around 1960,
moving first to Addington before settling in Hove.
Obviously by this time our lives had taken different paths
and we saw less of each other. And so it continued that
way until a joint concern over elderly aunts,
living on the
south coast, meant we began to see each other more
frequently. And of course we met up at regular intervals
at BB reunions.
Brian never lost his interest and love for the 70
what it had given him. Twice last year while in poor
health he made the effort to attend Old Boys functions.
So how shall we remember Brian?
He had a friendly nature, slightly reserved,
honest, reliable, good humoured and not
frightened of responsibility. Yes, all that’s
true, then the final words of the BB objective
came to mind.
‘...all that tends toward true Christian
I think we can say without contradiction that
Brian displayed these qualities in every facet
of his life.
Keith Holbrook
(as delivered by Keith at Brian’s funeral)