Newsletter December 2023

Greetings from the New President, Mark Bowland

Since our last news letter, so much has happened, both globally and locally. One such event was the sad passing of former president Robin Astles, which we reported. During his presidency the current mission statement was created, which is….“The Old Sandbachians’ Association exists to uphold the traditional values and character of Sandbach School, through the maintenance of friendships past and present and the provision of beneficial support to the School by mutual agreement.

At the AGM in July I made it clear in my inaugural address that this mission statement is still at the core of everything we do. I went on to say this does not mean we should stand still. Rather we should embrace new ideas, events and most of all technology, as the OSA reaches across the globe to the many former pupils, and use these to enhance and invigorate traditions and history.

In terms of technology we start by simplifying our contact strategy. One email address will now be used for all purposes. This is All event bookings and general contacts will now be through this simple address.

The next change will be to enable online payments, which will simplify how we collect payments for events, membership and donations. We will keep you posted on this.

Reading through the archives of Sandbachian magazines, there have been many fundraising enterprises. From formal dinner-dances to cheese and wine evenings and even fetes and fairs. In recent years we have focused on golf, annual dinners and a London event. Without abandoning these, I want to find new ways of doing an old event to attract old boys ( and girls) to the school and raise funds. Any ideas do get in touch via the email address.

I am really honoured to hold this position, and never dreamt that I would have the opportunity when I was sitting outside Colin Brown’s office (again!) all those years ago!. My hope is that we can encourage new members of all ages to join with our wonderful and dedicated existing members. I will strive to further collaborate with Sandbach Rugby Club which is one of our long standing relationships. Finally I am committed to strengthen further our relationship with the school and the provision of beneficial support, which I know Head Teacher Sarah Burns and the rest of the staff continue to appreciate.

AGM Update, Rules and Subscription

The AGM and Annual Lunch took place on July 15th and it was the most successful AGM and Dinner / Lunch we have had for many years. More than 70 former pupils, plus current head team and staff were joined by more than a dozen former staff from as far back as the 1960s and as recent as 2023. Prior to the lunch the Chapel Service was led by Alan Pimlott who mingled reminiscences with the key message of reaping what we sow. You can read our article and see photos of the event on the OSA website by clicking HERE.

At the AGM Mark Bowland was appointed as the new President, and his key themes are in his message above. The AGM also approved changes to the association rules, and the new rules can be found here. These include increases to the membership fee and annual subscription. Our treasurer will be writing to all members directly. In short, existing members will now pay £15 per annum from January 2024. If you pay by standing order please can you amend your bank instruction.

The lunch was a huge success, with another great buffet provided by the award winning School catering team led by Andrew Lloyd. The Bach95 bar proved to be the focal point for the former staff (not sure if that has significance) and retiring deputy head Stuart Dodds kindly led a tour of the school. This was well attended as we had many old boys who had not been back for 30 plus years, including some from overseas. Big thanks to the likes of Howard Barnes ( Australia), Roger Hancock (Dubai) and (Bermuda dude) as well as several who travelled a fair distance in the UK.

Remembrance Sunday

This year, Secretary Jeff Lewis and President Mark Bowland were honoured to join the Remembrance Sunday parade through the town, and also to lay a wreath on behalf of the Old Sandbachians at the War Memorial in the Square. T

This is something we hope to do every year now, in honour of those former pupils of the school who gave their tomorrow for our today.

We have some photographs of this on our website HERE.

Rugby Club Scoreboard

We are continuing our sponsorship of the Sandbach RUFC Score Board.
This is a joint venture between Sandbach School and the Old Sandbachians, and continues on from last season.

We are planning a Rugby Club lunch at a home game in March 2024, details below and on our website.

Andrew Wood

We were saddened to hear of the recent death of former teacher, Andrew Wood.
An obituary will be added to the website very soon.

Upcoming Events

Sandbach School Carol Service: Wednesday December 20th, 6:30pm at St Mary’s Church, followed by OSA Drinks at the Old Hall
Sandbach Rugby Club Lunch: Saturday March 2nd 2024. Limited Places, so book early via our website HERE.
2024 AGM and Annual Lunch: Saturday July 13th 2024, at the school. Details to follow, but keep this date in your diaries!

And Finally…..

Believe it or not it is only 4 years until the 350th school Anniversary. We are working with the school to agree a number of events which will take place in the Autumn term of 2027. We will keep you informed, so keep an eye on the website
Less than 10 years ago the “paid” membership of the OSA was about 30. Our current membership is 104 and we are grateful to everyone who has signed up and paid subscriptions. We have full members on 4 continents, showing how far old boys / girls continue to travel and settle. The growth is in no small part due to the website and Facebook page, with the latter having over 1000 members.

If you are not yet a full OSA member please consider joining. The process is easy and unlocks exclusive discounts and website content. For those who are members of the Facebook group, it would be fantastic to see some of the 90% who are non-members sign up. We have set our self a target to reach 200 by the end of 2024! The greater the membership the greater the practical support we can provide to the school. We have provided circa £10,00 funding to the Head Teacher Fund and for special projects in the last 5 years.

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