Established in 2003

London Dinners – The background

Your Old Herefordians’ Club has always held an annual reunion in Hereford towards the end of each year for all former students from the Cathedral School, culminating in a formal dinner at The Green Dragon Hotel in Broad Street.  It was chaired by the OHC President of the time and attended not only by ex-pupils from a wide cross-section of HCS eras but also the incumbent Headmaster who was principal guest for the evening  (See second image below right listing speakers)

Annual Reunion Dinner card signed by several guests - December 1968

1968 Reunion Dinner menu card signed by OHs.

Reunion Dinner Green Dragon - Dec 1968

Nowadays the format is different.  Referred to as OH Day, it is usually held on the first Saturday in December and takes up the entire day!  It commences with Chess in the morning, then Netball and Hockey followed by a Christmas lunch, with Rugby & Football taking place in the afternoon.  The Club also holds their AGM in the Old Deanery but they no longer have a formal dinner in the evening.  Instead OHs are invited to attend a casual gathering at the Castle House Hotel for drinks at 7pm followed by a sit-down meal. This particular part of OH Day unfortunately clashes with a regular performance of The Messiah  staged by the Hereford Choral Society in the Cathedral at 7.30 pm.

A London Branch  (forerunner to OHiL?)

Meanwhile, it was over 100 years ago that several OHs based in London and the Home Counties decided to meet up on a separate occasion in The Capital to have dinner together.  This was not only a means of catching up with former contemporaries in comfortable surroundings but also a way of networking amongst fellow OHs from different professions, such as banking & finance, medicine, law, science, commerce, the teaching profession and even those who were members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.  Thus it was that on 21st January 1910 twenty OHs attended the very first Old Herefordians’ London Dinner which was staged at the Holborn Restaurant, WC2.  Mr F. Lester organised the event and Mr H. W. Apperley acted as Chairman for the evening.  Following this successful event, a committee of 3 people was formed and they agreed to meet annually thereafter at a pre-determined location with the intention of involving as many HCS alumni as possible.  

OH London Dinner guests dated 1938A group of OHs having dinner in London in 1938

The idea of staging an annual London dinner caught on and thus became a tradition which has been going ever since.  There were however some obvious exceptions, namely a suspension during wartime.  After World War One, Peter J. Kedge (OH 1931 – 1938) became known as the OH London Representative who co-ordinated each function up until the outbreak of the Second World War.  He can be seen in the above photograph standing on the far left.

Continuity?

The event was resumed in 1946 and on several occasions during the 1960’s and early 1970’s era, the function took place at the Charing Cross Hotel  in The Strand, at which there were as many as 100 guests in attendance!  There seems however to have been a slight pause during the late 1970’s & 1980’s period as a ‘committee’ somehow ceased to exist?  Happily it was revived later thanks to Richard Buckeridge (OH 1964 – 1971) a solicitor based in Berkshire.

To find out when the next formal dinner is due to take place, please check the EVENTS Tab at the top of the Home Page or write to admin@ohil.org.uk