• Date: June 18, 2017, By admin Category - News, News of OPs

    Tom Copinger-Symes


    Brigadier Tom Copinger-Symes (82-87), the British Army’s Head of Operations, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list published in mid-June. Tom is one of three Copinger-Symes brothers to attend the College. He is based at Army HQ outside Andover.

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  • Date: June 13, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs


    Louis Bearn (07-12) has completed his final exams at the London School of Economics where he has been studying for an MSc in International Relations. Over the summer he will be completing his Dissertation while also job searching. He continues to consider a spell in the Royal Marines (“a hangover from my Pangbourne days, no doubt”), or go into radio broadcasting. Another possibility he is toying with is is to enter the world of Political Risk Consultancy. “I’m sure,” he says “given everything going on at the moment, that more and more companies/firms will look to analysts/researchers to chart a course through the prevailing uncertainty.”


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  • Date: June 1, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Bishop, Tom (xx-xx)





    Tom Bishop (xx-xx), who lives in Oxford, has recently started his own company Tom Bishop Furniture. The business specialises in oak bowls, wooden fruit bowls and colouring pencil bowls -  all made by hand by Tom. Many of the items are sold on eBay.


    Tom can be reached at Tom.bishop.furniture@gmail.com



    NoOPs - Tom Bishop furniture

    [A colouring pencil bowl]




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  • Date: May 31, 2017, By admin Category - News, News of OPs




    Patrick Roberts (71-75) joined the Board of Governors of Pangbourne College in May, 2017. He is the current Bursar of Cranleigh School in Surrey where he has been part of a leadership team that has overseen an extensive expansion of the school in the past decade. He says that he “looks forward to offering advice and hopefully some wisdom along the way.”


    He continues:  “I arrived at Pangbourne in January, 1971 for a largely unspectacular five years although I did manage to climb to the dizzy heights of Chief Cadet Captain of Harbinger, more through luck than good judgement.  RMA Sandhurst followed, where I realised that the drill outside Drake had not been totally in vein. After Sandhurst, I was commissioned into the 13th/18th Royal Hussars where I found fellow OPs Willy Shuttleworth and Simon Ledger and was later joined by Paul Scott Masson and Ian Scott Bell.


    Regimental service was standard for those days:  Germany, a resident tour in Northern Ireland, and fun in Cyprus.  In 1989 I attended the Staff College and then did a tour as DCOS and briefly Chief of Staff of 7th Armoured Brigade. This was followed by an exciting tour as Chief of Staff British Forces in Bosnia during a troubled 1993. I was awarded an MBE after this tour and on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel returned to Staff College this time as an instructor.  Command of 1st Battalion the Green Howards, an armoured infantry battalion based in Germany and then Warminster, followed with a tour in West Belfast thrown in for good measure.


    I left the Army after command and was appointed Bursar at Cranleigh School in early 2003.  Today the School has some 1,000 pupils, 350 staff and another 1,100 pupils in Abu Dhabi, and a turnover is close to £30m. Over the past 14 years I have delivered around £50m of capital projects and been involved closely with the setting up of the school in Abu Dhabi.


    For the past 34 years I have been married to the long suffering Hetty and we have three daughters.  In my spare time I sail (dinghies at Hayling Island and a yacht currently moored in central Sweden) and was one of the original members of the OPYC.  I also shoot, enjoy Lakeland walks, read whenever time allows and still just about manages a reasonable game of squash.”


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  • Date: May 29, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs, Rowing

    Francis, Georgia (xx-xx)












    Georgia Francis (08-13), rowing for Great Britain with Emily Carmichael in the European Championships at Racice in the Czech Republic in May, came first in the B-final of the Women’s Doubles in a time of 7-08.57 — good enough to have placed 4th in the A-final.

    Now 23, Georgia, who attended the OP centenary dinner in April (see below), previously was a member of the U23 World Championship Quad Sculls boat that came 8th in the U23 event at Rotterdam in August, 2016.


    Georgia Francis & Neil Jeffers

    Georgia Francis & Neil Jeffers at the OP dinner, April, 2017

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  • Date: April 26, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs, Rugby




    At the OP Centenary Dinner on April 21st, 2017 12 members of the unbeaten 1st XV in 1962 reunited for the first time in 55 years.

    Shown in the image above are:

    Back row: David Hamner, James Neale, Roddy Adams, Shaun Maynard, Julian Coles, Chas Realf, Andy Shanks.

    Front row: Bob Roberts, Mike Ramsden, Roger Lane-Nott, Less Byrne, Robert Wingate.


    One member of the team, the “tower of strength” No. 8 G.F.M. Thomas, was in Kenya and unable to attend. Openside wing forward C. Race has died.  And one, the “reliable” full back A.A. Wilson, could not be traced.


    EPSON scanner image


    The reunion was organised by the speedy left wing Bob Roberts who, along with flyhalf Les Byrne, later played for the England Under-19 XV. The current Chairman of the Governors at the College and the hooker and captain of the 1962 side Roger Lane-Nott enthusiastically supported the initiative. Prop Julian Coles had traveled from the USA, second rower Shaun Maynard from South Africa, blindside wing forward MIke Ramsden from India and scrum half Andy Shanks from Spain. On the day after the dinner, the team reconvened in The Swan pub in the village to lunch with its coach Lionel Stephens.


    Steve later wrote: “The lunch at The Swan was, for me, a very emotional occasion. The OP who initiated this was Bob Roberts who took three months to trace the team. I had met  since they left only four. The others were totally unrecognisable. At the end I was given a lovely card and a 1st XV rugby shirt with all their names on it…It was one of the most moving occasions of my life.”


    Bob Roberts added: “What a magical weekend, like a fairy tale. I keep expecting to wake up and find it was a wonderful dream, was it really real? As Mike Ramsden said ’55 years transformed itself, seeming like just yesterday, a Sci-Fi  Back to the Future.’ Every one  of us took a leap of faith to make the journey, some at considerable expense and family inconvenience. Wow, did it exceed expectations. A memory of a lifetime!”






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  • Date: April 19, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Richard Devitt (53-58) and Jeremy Sanders (56-60) met by chance in near the Arctic circle in 2016.


    Richard writes: “I was accosted by a v pangbournian type voice, saying ‘You’re Devitt aren’t you? You won’t remember me – I was junior to you at the NCP’ and the small world clause sprang into action again. In the phto we’re enjoying a joke, probably about ‘Mobbers’ (Max Findlater)!  Earlier in the trip, and there were only 100 of us, I had found someone I had been at prep school with!”


    NoOPs - Sanders & Devitt in the Arctic Circle 2016

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  • Date: April 16, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Kendall, Richard (75-79)


    Richard Kendall (75-79) who is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA as CEO of HAECO Americas, a large aerospace and aircraft maintenance company, recently visited Sylvan Heights Bird Park, owned and run by Mike Lubbock (57-61). He was on his way back to Greensboro with his family from the North Carolina coast at the time.


    He reports: “Mike and his wife Ali and son Brent were most hospitable and Mike took three hours out of what was quite a busy day for them at the park to show us comprehensively around not only the bird park but also the breeding centre that was the start of their activities in North Carolina. It looks as though they are well on their way to a record number of visitors this year!”


    A biography of Mike Lubbock was published in 2014. It is reviewed in the Book Review section of this website.

    18. The Waterfowl Man












    Earlier, at the start of April, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced that it had selected HAECO Cabin Solutions, a division of HAECO Americas, as its supplier for the Centerline Ceiling Stowage (CCS) compartment line-fit option for the new A320 Family aircraft. Delivery of the new units will begin in the first quarter of 2018. The CCS is designed to hold crew luggage, onboard wheelchairs, life rafts and other emergency equipment and comes in two sizes.


    The award is a milestone for HAECO Cabin Solutions which became part of the Hong Kong-based HAECO Group following the acquisition of TIMCO Aerosystems in 2014. “Being a supplier for the A320, known for its innovative cabins of exceptionally high quality, affirms HAECO’s dedication to those same values in our products,” Richard informed the media at the time.



    OPsNews - Kendall[Richard Kendall (l) with the HAECO CCS]








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  • Date: April 10, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Chris Ledsam (64-68) and his wife put in appearances at the West Country lunch in Brixham, Devon, in April – something of a first for Chris who has not been back to the College since the term after he left nearly 50 years ago.


    Now living in Portsmouth and running a company that makes paper cups, Chris did 20 years in the Merchant Navy after the NCP, mostly in Blue Star and P&O Ferries, before coming ashore. A long time friend of Edward Bence (64-68), the owner of the Berry Head hotel where the lunch took place, Chris was pleased to see several other OPs of his vintage at the event.

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  • Date: April 10, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Frank Cox (57-62) attended his first reunion since leaving the NCP 58 years earlier when he and his wife were at the excellent West Country centenary lunch in Brixham, Devon in April. He said that he enjoyed the experience so perhaps it won’t be another fifty years before his next appearance!


    In his words: “I was at the College from 1957 – 1962 and entered BRNC Dartmouth, alongside seven other General list stalwarts, as a lowly Supplementary list Air Cadet. After six months I was on my way to pilot training and onward to a career in the Fleet Air Arm flying mainly Buccaneers and Hunters. An interlude from 1973-76 saw an enjoyable, hard working, exchange appointment with the US Navy flying the A6 Intruder and mainly teaching students converting to the aircraft how to deliver weapons without the aid of sophisticated computery. My final appointment was as the Senior Pilot of the last Naval Buccaneer squadron, 809, embarked in HMS Ark Royal.

    Following The Navy I started on a second career operating corporate and private jets based in and around the Middle East, finally retiring in 2008.  Today I live in North Devon to the west of Bideford where I fly and and  restore vintage aircraft.”




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