OB Weekend 2019

Beautiful weather ensured that the events for the annual Old Birkonian Weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September 2019 were well supported and enjoyed by all the Birkenhead School community.

The weekend began with sports matches setting OB teams versus School, with boys Hockey at McAllester Field and girls’ netball in the Sports Hall. The Hockey saw the OBs leading 3-0 at half-time, but the School team rallied in the second half, winning 6-5 overall. Trophies were presented by Headmaster Paul Vicars to the winning captain Max Varey, and also to the player of the match, School’s Nick Johnson.

Simultaneously in the morning in the Sports Hall, a rather one-sided netball match took place, with the School victorious with a 27-5 win over the OB team. The Chair of the Old Birkonian Society, Will Roberts, presented the awards to the School captain Esme Brennan, with the Player of the Match trophy being awarded to School’s Catherine Molloy. Although defeated, it was wonderful to see so many female Old Birkonians attend to play.

The Archives department was open in the morning, serving coffee and the chance to view the extensive gallery documenting the School’s history. The team was on hand to answer questions and to find bespoke photographs or artefacts that were relevant to individual visitors. Members of the new Prefect team were also on hand for tours of the School. The Archives are open every Monday morning, or by appointment, if you would like to visit.

The Old Birkonian Society AGM then took place in the Meeting Room above the Library. Chaired by continuing OBS President Michael Burrell, members heard from OBS Chair Will Roberts about the year’s activities and the continued new initiatives the Council have put in place, including an invigorated social and professional networking programme. Headmaster Paul Vicars also spoke about the growth of the School, its pleasing exam results and his plans for future investment in student educational resources and wellbeing. The AGM was followed by an excellent lunch in the Sixth Form Centre, provided by the School’s internal caterers, Charwells Independent.

The afternoon’s sporting activities were based at Noctorum Field with Lacrosse and Rugby games taking place in the glorious sunshine, with many onlookers attending to support the matches. In Lacrosse, the OBs captained by Hannah Durband played well but were defeated 10-3 by a strong School side, captained by last year’s Player of the Match, Ellie Simpson. This year the Player’s award was given to School’s Grace Carroll.

In Rugby, an excitable game saw the OBs gain their first and only win with a score of 46-27. School’s Henry Wild had an excellent game and won the Player of the Match trophy, presented by Will Roberts. The Pat Redmond OBFC Winner’s trophy was presented to OB captain Lawrence Kehoe by Paul Vicars.

The day ended with a gathering for dinner in the Dining Hall of Old Birkonians of all ages – both seasoned and those recent joiners who have just finished School. Many staff and former staff were also present and it was an enjoyable occasion of good food and good company with some lifelong connections being remembered and forged.

A moment of reflection on Sunday 8th September for the annual Old Birkonian Choral Evensong in Chapel, with OB Rev Steven Mansfield the preacher and several OBs also returning to join and sing with the Chapel Choir conducted by Director of Music Philip Robinson.

Treats on the Thames

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An excellent turnout was to be found at the first informal London drinks event on 1st May.

Held onboard the Tattershall Castle, a floating pub on the Thames, a range of OB age groups were in attendance with leavers from the 1960’s up to a 2011 leaver and all other decades represented in between.

OBs came from far and wide, and it was wonderful to see Alastair Carruthers and his wife Jean, whose travels from  Vancouver coincided with the day.

It was also remarkable  to hear how Michael Ison and Stuart Aspden met up for the first time in 40 years thanks to the event.

The next London date will continue a nautical theme with the annual dinner on HMS Belfast on Friday 8th November, with another informal drinks session on 5th December.

Tanners the perfect hosts at first Wine Tasting event


A crowd of wine lovers gathered together in Birkenhead School’s Bushell Hall in June to meet Robert Boutflower, Private House Sales Director at the independent wine merchants, Tanners.

With some seasoned Tanners customers present, along with some of the local ‘Slurpers’ wine appreciation group - of which  OB’s and former parents are members - there was a good mix of people ready and willing to be educated and enlightened on all things grape-related.

Ten wonderful wines from Tanners’ Summer collection were featured, ranging from sparkling, white, red and sweet. Robert charmed the room with his wit and expertise for over two and a half hours, with many asking when the next event would be as they left. The in-house catering team, Chartwells Independent, also excelled by pairing some delicious cheese and nibbles for guests to enjoy.