Minutes of the 2017 AGM

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Exeter Golf and Country Club on Saturday 29th April 2017

To download the full Minutes of the 2017 AGM meeting

please click : Old Radordians Minutes of the 2017 AGM

The Old Radfordians Association

(Spies Mea In Deo)

Hon. President:- Tony Lethbridge

      Hon. Secretary:- Dave Collings              Hon. Treasurer:- Ken Potter

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Exeter Golf and Country Club on Saturday 29th April 2017



The following members of the Old Radfordians Association were in attendance: – Guest of Honour – Cllr Andrew Moulding (Chairman of Devon County Council); Tony Lethbridge (President); Dave Collings (Minute Secretary); Ken Potter (Treasurer); John Marks; Graham Potbury; Michael Smyth; John Williams; Mrs Phyllis Rogers and some 48+ Members present


Presidents Address

Tony Lethbridge welcomed everyone to the 89th Annual General Meeting of the Old Radfordians Association. He also welcomed and introduced our Guest of Honour, Cllr Andrew Moulding. Being our 50th closure of Mount Radford School it was also right that we invited a guest of honour and as many scholars who attended the School came from the farming community and local business within the County of Devon. He welcomed new Members Terry Crocker (1960-62); John Sheffield (USA) (1961-62); Richard Broom (1958-62); Peter Gibbins (1960-62); Peter Beer (1957-63):

Also to John Davey who again had travelled from the Lebanon.

He thanked Members for their attendance and continued loyalty and support.



Apologise had been received from a number of Members (32), many giving the reason for their absence and also wishing the Associations all the best and best wishes for the Reunion Dinner and AGM., – Ken Bovey BEM; John Domaille OBE; Andy Holt; John Ffoulkes; Andrew Lillie; Ross Allard(USA); Ray Ellis; W. George Tuckett; Terry  Crocker; Tony Ridout; Robin Habbitts, Gordon Oxenham, Geoff Elwell,  Ray Neve,  Rod Whitlock: Alan Saunders Paul Weedon; Derrick Cowling; Bob Herbert; David Harris; Jim King; Carl Smith; John Sheffield (USA); Colin Harris; Richard Bryant; Michael Tubbs; David Oddy; Rick Spoerer; John Spoerer; David Guppy; Ian Gully and David A Harris(Truro)

(Post Meeting – the Secretary spoke with Ken Bovey at the Devon Hotel who was attending there for Sunday lunch the following day – he had been away for the week)


The Minutes

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 23rd April 2016 having been circulated were unanimously agreed that the Minutes be accepted as true record.  There were no matters arising.


With Regret

The President reported that sadly there were Obituaries to report this year. We had learnt that the following Old Radfordians had died since our last get together and would be reflected in the Directory. They were: – Tom Broom;   Nigel.A. Tuckett; and Tony Connett. – A Minutes Silence was then observed.



The Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer report for 2016 had been published in the President’s Newsletter. Ken Potter had little to add and thanked everyone who had made generous donations. Together with the use of emails and the reduction in the postage bill, it has resulted in a surplus of £322.88. The Associations Funds now stand at £1630.40. This would be used to support this year’s Dinner, which was being subsidised.

The Report was unanimously agreed that the accounts be accepted as a true record.


The Secretary’s Report

The Secretary reported about the efforts of the Committee to update the Directory; which has resulted on many of the Members now being contacted by email and thus reducing the postage account. The current membership stands at 175.

The Association Reunion and Dinner had been advertised in the Western Morning News and Express & Echo which had resulted in new Members and applications to attend the dinner.

A plea was made for any spare ORA ties to be passed onto him for further distribution on to those Members who do not have one. The cost of ordering new ties required a minimum order of at least 50 ties. He would be taking orders for the Old Radfordians name badges during the evening. The cost would be about £8. (Subject to postage, packing and VAT).

He also reported that he was having trouble contacting the Webmaster and to have items uploaded to our web site. (Post meeting – this has now been resolved)


Election of Officers

The President thanked the Officers for their continued work during this past year and was of the opinion that we had one of the strongest Committees for some time. He informed the meeting that the Committee were prepared to serve for a further twelve months. It was agreed that the Committee be re-elected en bloc for a further term of office.


Any Other Business

Michael Smyth spoke about the pleasant visit they had when they returned to the Old School that afternoon. He spoke about the old dining room, now converted to one bedroom, the tuck shop, the Bursar’s Office and the iron staircase. This was followed by a visit to the area of the old playground and classrooms now occupied by houses in Vine Close. They were made most welcome by the Duty Manager of the Home. The home had hosted them very well, providing them with tea and sandwiches.


The President and Secretary then spoke about the action they were taking with St Leonards Church in resolving the  poor condition and display of the War Memorials which are held for ‘safe keeping’ at Church. Also, both of them had met an 90year old lady who had known Leonard Vowler when he grew up in Bickleigh Village before he went off to join the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, sadly being killed in action in March 1945. Subject to our evidence being accepted by the Exeter Diocese, his name will be added to the Mount Radford School WW2 War Memorial.


The President thanked everyone for their attendance and participation, and wished them an enjoyable evening at


The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Old Radfordians Association closed at 6.45pm


The Dinner

Following the Meeting, some 52 Old Radfordians had a group photograph on the steps of the Club and then sat down for Dinner in the Topsham Suite and enjoyed an excellent three course meal.


The President – In his after dinner speech the President welcomed new members Richard Broom (1958-62); Peter Gibbins (1960-62); Peter Beer (1957-63) to their first Dinner and also welcomed Phyllis Rogers. So 1967, the Beatles released Sgt Pepper, Procol Harum were No.1 with ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ and I attended my first F1 Grand Prix. There are lots of other things that I remember from that year, but probably in hindsight the most significant was the closure of Mount Radford School. At just 19 it didn’t seem as important then as it does tonight.

Fifty years on the Old Radfordians are still holding their annual reunion dinner.  The closure of the School did not stop that. This must be something quite rare, and reveals just how important our schooldays were to us all.  Perhaps the world of education may consider Mount Radford to have been an insignificant little private school. It certainly wasn’t insignificant to us. MRS was special and I don’t see any failures here tonight.

Thank you Andrew for enhancing our celebrations with your presence. It is a great pleasure to have you with us tonight. I hope you have enjoyed it too.

John, thank you for your reminiscences of that last day at MRS. I really wonder who donated those toiletries? I very much doubt the Headmaster did. And don’t worry I’ll still buy you that pint.

Thank you too Nigel for stepping in at short notice to propose the Silent Toast so respectfully.

What a wonderful attendance. Our largest for several years – 53.

Tonight we have a wide spectrum of MRS celebrities. John may have been the last boy out of the door, but of course our Senior Boy is Dennis Bennett who arrived at MRS in 1933. That is really something and it is good to see you. Not far behind is Tom Turner, who also joined in the thirties.

No ORA Dinner would be complete without Dr John Davey who has yet again flown in from Beirut – That is the capital of Lebanon for those who didn’t listen in Miss Wheaton’s geography lessons.

We congratulate Peter Bromell who is about to visit Buckingham Palace to be awarded his very well deserved British Empire Medal.

On such an important occasion in the history of the ORA it is a great delight to welcome a number of new members which is totally astonishing.  Amazing – I am particularly pleased to welcome Peter Beer who I haven’t seen for 54 years.

I hope you have all enjoyed your dinner. We felt a special occasion deserved a special dinner. These events don’t happen on their own, and I would like to thank our committee for their total commitment to the Association. They work very hard, are a great team, and I greatly value their support. But time passes, several of us have served for a long time, and as we mentioned at the AGM we need some of you younger chaps to come in and carry the Association forward.

Talking of the future our next Dinner will be held on Saturday 28 April 2018. It will be another special occasion as it will mark the ORA’s 90th anniversary. I want the Association to reach its centenary. So that must be your responsibility.

Please don’t forget that we meet for lunch at the Devon Hotel at 12 noon every third Wednesday.

I love this Association, and I am exceptionally proud to be your President. Thank you all coming tonight.



Dr Nigel Darby then read the names of those Old Radfordians who are listed on the Roll of Honour for World War 1 and World War 2.

A Silent Toast was given in their memory followed by a Minutes Silence.


Cllr Andrew Moulding was invited by the President and spoke about his education at Colyton Grammer School and his career in the running a building company in East Devon. Before a change of direction and standing for election as first a local District Councillor and more recently a County Councillor, now its chairman. He gave a few interesting stories of his time as a Councillor and what the role entails. He concluded his speech with a toast to the Old Radfordians Association. (A letter of thanks has been received from Cllr Moulding in which he refers to an excellent Reunion; he appreciated being invited to the Dinner and delighted being able to speak. He was particularly struck by the tremendous feeling of camaraderie amongst ‘the old boys’ – long may it continue).


John Marks (1957 – 67) reputedly being the last pupil to walk out of the school gates when it closed in July 1967 was the guest speaker who gave an interesting and often humorous talk on his time at Mount Radford School. He referred to the speculation as to the school’s future when the school playing fields in Salmon Pool Lane where sold for development,  the rumours and denials in the months leading up to and the final day when it closed in July when he was given a toiletry farewell gift from the Headmaster!

John then spoke about his interests in the sciences and his employment with the various river authorities, before retiring at the Environment Agency in 2011. (Copy attached below)


Date of the next Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner will be held on:-

Saturday 28th April 2018 at 6.pm at the Exeter Golf and Country Club

This will be 90 years anniversary of the formation of the Old Radfordians Association.


Old Radfordians Association Committee for 2017/18

President – Tony Lethbridge.

Secretary – Dave Collings

Treasurer – Ken Potter.

Members – Graham Potbury, Andy Holt, Malcolm Potbury, John Marks, Michael Smyth and John Williams