Newsletter August 2020

Sorry it’s been so long…..

It would be currently customary to start any email with a sentence including the words “extraordinary” and “unprecedented”.  The reason is of course that very few if any of us have lived in times where such restrictions have been placed on the population.  And so far from 2020 being a year when the OSA looked to “rebrand” itself with a number of innovative and hopefully relevant ventures, we have been like 1000s of other organisations left in a state of suspended animation.  So for once here is a list of things we did not do.

  • After launching our OSA Business Network with direction and support from Dave Osborne at the school, we put further planned events on hold.
  • We had planned our 3rd London Event which would have been our biggest yet, – see more below
  • We had planned a summer annual event, combining the AGM, with new style reception and afternoon activities
  • And we had to cancel our Golf Day

We are fortunate that unlike the majority of trading organisations, whilst these delays and cancellations are disappointing, we are not going to go out of business.  For that we are grateful.  The cancelled events do leave us with a shortfall this year and our need to convert Facebook contacts into paying members is greater than ever.

Things have happened ….

We reported on our website and Facebook page the death of Reg Dunning, BEM – former pupil, governor and for more than 50 years a part of the OSA.  Some of us were able to attend his funeral service and it was remarkable to hear about the life of a man who could genuinely be called Mr Sandbach, having worked for the town council most of his life and been a member of so many local organisations.  Craig Howell, one of the committee remembers him “as Parade Marshal for every important occasion in Town. My memories go right back to seeing him leading proceedings at the Remembrance Parades when I was a Cub Scout in the 70s and again, as a member of the CCF in the 80s. However, my appreciation of just how professional Reg was in that role came when I took on leading the Fire Cadets. I dutifully reported to Reg for every parade through Town over the last 13 years. Military precision & timing were to perfection and no event will ever be quite the same again.”  He concludes, “He was a gentleman in the truest sense and his commitment to our community was second to none – it is a privilege to have known him.”

We did manage to have a virtual Committee Meeting and focused on the future.  In particular we considered how we move forward for the rest of the year.  We are in need of some new faces with a little bit of time to support in events and general activity.  If anyone is interested please do get in touch.  We also considered future events, including the AGM and a memorial to Reg.

What happens next?

London 2020 – After speaking to the RAF Club, we have had to postpone this event for another 6 months.  The new date will be 13th March 2021.  Many people have already paid and we are holding that money safely.  There will be an opportunity to book if you have not already.  Details are on the Old Sandbachians Website HERE.

AGM and Dinner – Our plans are to hold a Sunday afternoon event possibly in October.  This will be a carefully planned and appropriately distanced gathering and the school will work with us so there is some form of refreshments.  We will combine this with the opening of the refurbished School Chapel and a memorial service for Reg Dunning.  We will finalise the  details and let you know at the start of September.

Chapel Refurbishment and Memorial
The school has committed to funding the refurbishing the chapel.  You may not be aware that as well as funding the display cabinets back in the 1950’s the OSA raised the money for the original conversion of the room from the Boarder’s Dining Room into a chapel.  We thought it would be a suitable memorial to Reg that we include a plaque at the entrance to the Chapel.  If anyone would like to contribute with a gift we will ensure that this money is directly allocated to this project.

The OSA is a not for profit organisation and all our disposable income is used to support the school, mainly through a gift for the Headteacher’s fund.  This is used at her discretion to support pupils as she sees fit, often to meet social needs including buying uniform or in one instance breakfasts!  We have 2 forms of income, membership and events, and about 50% of paid-up members make this payment at events.  Our 3 big fundraisers have been cancelled this year so we are totally reliant on membership.  If you are not a member I would ask you to consider joining.  The initial fee is £20 which includes an OSA Tie, and then £10 a year.  We have over 500 contacts through Facebook and mailing and only 60-70 members.  If we could double this it would allow us to maintain and increase our annual gift to the Headteacher.  The membership form can be downloaded here.

Please keep sending emails and interacting on Facebook.  I will try and keep updating information, especially from some of our Old Boys around the world.  You can email us at

Stay well

Jeff Lewis
Old Sandbachians Association