Newsletter April 2024

Message from the President, Mark Bowland

I am delighted to be able to report on progress we have made since our last letter. Membership continues to grow, along with Facebook page members and engagement. We really hope that more of the FB members will convert to full members, and enjoy all the benefits this brings. I said last letter that we wanted to increase support for the school, but this is always dependent on funds available, which in turn comes from new and continuing membership.

We are looking to strengthen the benefits of membership, as you will see from the partnership with Beartown Brewery. Another initiative planned is the digital archives, which you can read about below. A third change is that we have strengthened the differential between member and non-member pricing for events. Whilst the Annual and London Receptions will be priced to support guest, other events will basically be at cost for members.

This means that membership fees is our primary source of fundraising and so we hope these changes will encourage you to join, if you are not already a member.

Finally I would encourage you to sign up for the Beartown Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting and the Annual Reception, and enjoy your first drink at the latter on us.

Beartown Brewery Partnership

You may have seen on our social media the launch of our partnership with Beartown Brewery. As well as providing excellent beer for the OSA events, this will give paid up members exclusive offers for Beartown’s products:

25% of a 6 month subscription to the Kodiak Club worth £50
5% of all on line orders for click and collect at the brewery
Exclusive members raffle for attendees at the Annual Reception

Beartown Brewery, Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting
To celebrate the launch we have organised an exclusive Brewery Tour and Beer Tasing on 17th May at 7pm. This is a chance to come and enjoy a few beers whilst learning a little about the process and the different beers. The cost is just £20 to members and £25 for non-members and guests.
There will also be transport available from Sandbach to the Brewery & back. (First come, first serve basis so book early!) All the details are on the website, or you can book immediately by clinking this link.

Connecting to the Past

As mentioned above, we have began a project to digitise some of our heritage – some very old Sandbachian Magazines. Since tracking down Sir Earnest Craig’s grandson some years ago, I have found looking at the history through the pages of the Sandbachian magazine really interesting. We have over a hundred years of memories scattered between the school, the National Archives and the OSA.

So we are embarking on a long term project to digitise as many as we can to preserve the history. An initial magazine will be uploaded on to the website shortly, with a further selection of documents accessible only by full members. We that these will be of interest to our members and the School.

Chapel Service, AGM & Annual Reception

This year’s OSA day will take place on Saturday July 13th beginning with the Chapel Service at 11 AM, followed by the AGM. The Annual Reception is scheduled to start at 12:15.
Our calculations indicate that this year’s will be the 99th such event! From annual Dances to Formal Dinners and now a celebratory deluxe lunch! Last year we had an incredible turnout, with more than 75 attendees including 15 former staff. We are really hopeful that this can be exceeded, and we look forward to welcoming former students and staff from around the UK and abroad. The cost is £25 for members, £30 for non-members and £15 for students. With beer and prizes provided by Beartown Brewery, along with guest speaker and excellent food, it is going to be a great occasion. You can book your place here. Watch our social media for updates.

Membership and Head Teacher’s Fund

We want to thank everyone who has already paid their annual subscriptions. We know other members are paying by Standing Order, again “Thanks!” (Just remember to amend this to £15.) Those who are not yet members, please consider joining. You can do this via this link.

Your subscriptions support the work of the school in a way that goes back to 1948.

The OSA still makes this donation every year, funded by annual subscriptions. £15 then is worth roughly £685 today. Given the number of students has grown by more than 5 fold, one might say that the £1,000 we gave this year could do with being boosted! But this can and will only be done if we have the funds to do so, funds from an increased membership. So please consider joining if you are not a member.

And Finally Consider this…..

Sign up for both the Beer Tasting and the Annual Reception and get a free drink at the Annual Reception

Become a member and sign up for both events and your membership in year 1 is less than a £10!

Upcoming Events

Book Now   Beartown Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting: Friday May 17th 7 pm at Beartown Brewery

Book Now   2024 AGM and Annual Lunch: Saturday July 13th 2024, at the school.

Thanks for taking the time to read. As always, we welcome feedback, suggestions, questions or comments to

Jeff Lewis

OSA – Reuniting friends, supporting the school, building on our heritage