• Date: July 22, 2017, By admin Category - News, News of OPs

    The 2017 AGM of the OP Society will take place at the Naval Club, 38 Hill Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5NS  (Tel: 0207 493 7672) on Tuesday evening 17th October, starting at 6.00pm.


    At the meeting the retiring chairman of the Society, Merrick Rayner, will give a full account of the momentous 2016-17 year, the Headmster of the College Thomas Garnier will bring OPs up to date with developments at the school, a new chairman of the Society will be elected, and there will be elections to the committee.


    Any OP who wishes to join the committee should contact Merrick at merrickrayner@hotmail.com  for full details.


    Drinks and canapes will be available after the meeting.




    Please put the date in your diaries!

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  • Date: July 15, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs

    Will Broom (Hesperus; 08-13) writes:

    “Since leaving Pangbourne I have been at Fleetwood Nautical College for the last three years doing a cadetship as a deck officer/navigator in the Merchant Navy fulfilling a lifelong dream. In December, 2016 I  qualified successfully as a 3rd Officer for Cunard Line and P&O cruises (owned by Carnival Corp.), and will be going to sea in September, 2017 for the first time as a 3rd Officer/junior officer of the watch. My ambition is one day to become a Captain. As a cadet I was on four ships in the P&O/Cunard line fleet including the famous RMS Queen Mary 2 which is the largest and most famous ocean liner ever built.”


    (Ed. Note: Will be writing about his post-Pangbourne experiences in the next issue of the OP Magazine)

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  • Date: June 27, 2017, By admin Category - News of OPs, Rowing

    Mearing-Smith, Mark (xx-05)











    Mark Mearing-Smith (above; left in 2005) writes:


    “I  am stroking the Auriol Kensington Wyfold 4 at Henley this year (regatta starts June 28).  Michael Warren (’08) is in the Vesta Thames Cup 8 at three, Cameron Smith (’07) is in one of the City of Bristol Wyfold 4s,  Georgia Francis (08-13) in an Imperial and Agecroft 2x in the Women’s Double Sculls,  Charles Waite-Roberts (06-11) will be in the Prince of Wales Leander quad.  Rory Harris (11-15) also in the PoW but at bow in the Molesey quad. Any other OPs involved?”


    Harris, Rory (10-15) [Rory Harris] 11. Georgia Francis (08-13) and Charles Waite-Roberts (06-11)






                                                                                       [Charles Waite-Roberts with Georgia Francis in 2015]








    UPDATE: Georgia Francis reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Double Sculls where she and her partner lost to a double from New Zealand.


    Charles Waite-Roberts in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup (elite men’s quad) was  in one of the two Leander crews which reached the final.


    The College V111 won its first round race in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup but lost to St. Paul’s School in Round 2.





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

    OPsNews -Tom-Copinger-Symes-82-87-



    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 (06-08), 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


    Most recently, he posted an image of himself pouring coffee at The Crown Inn, Pishill.





    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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