President’s Blog – April 2024


Hello and welcome along to an occasional series of “President’s Blogs”. My name’s Mark Bowland, and I took over as President of the Old Sandbachians’ Association in July 2023.

These blogs are intended to be my personal musings – as distinct from official OSA announcements. They’ll usually relate to OSA matters, goings on at the school, general “Old Boy” stuff, and related thoughts and ideas.

This first blog comes at a time when things are getting pretty exciting for the OSA. When I joined the association in 2019, (after years of wondering whether I should – so if you’re not sure, do it NOW!), there was no website and that was the first thing I stepped in to do – creating this very website, and in time adding a social media presence as well.

Beartown Brewery Partnership

As I write this, we’ve just announced our new partnership with Beartown Brewery, based in Congleton. This is the first of what I hope will be a number of strategic partnerships, that assist us in providing real, tangible benefits to members, as well as helping us to provide more events during the course of the year. The first of those is a Beer Tasting evening and brewery tour at Beartown in Congleton. You can find details of all of this here.

Modernisation and Traditions

In my inaugural speech as president in 2023, one of the things I set out to do was to grow the association and modernise it so it is fit for today’s digital world. At the same time, I said that I wanted to continue to honour our many traditions, and also to revive old traditions wherever possible. As part of this strategy, we have recently renewed ties with Sandbach Rugby Club, and have held several events there now. We have also revived an old tradition of the OSA laying a wreath at the Sandbach War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
As well as this, we have recently had the “Presidents’ Board” at the school brought up to date. This is now on display in the school chapel:

Digitising “The Sandbachian” Magazine

Another exciting development has been that we have started to “digitise” some of the many old editions of “The Sandbachian” magazine that in the care of the school. This can be a costly exercise so it will be a quite a gradual process, but the first of these has been completed and will be made available soon. We plan to make the majority of these digitisations available behind the we website’s “Members Only Paywall”, as yet another benefit of being an OSA member. Watch out for more news on this soon….

Improving Payments and Memberships

We are currently investigating ways to make joining and paying more streamlined. There are many ways to do this on today’s modern internet, unfortunately most of them cost a lot of money! We need to be careful with how we manage our funds, because our goal is always our annual contribution to the Head teacher’s Special Fund at the school. However, we have several ideas on this, which we are currently working through.

New Email Address

We’ve improved our contact strategy – there is now a single email address to use to get in touch with us. You can also get in touch with us via our website here. These contact methods apply to any query or question you may have. We also welcome feedback and suggestions.

Help Us…!

Finally – as is the case with many organisations of our type, we are desperately short of volunteers to join our committee and help us out on an occasional basis. We primarily need help with organising events and managing memberships. We are often asked why we don’t put on more events, and the simple answer is that Jeff and myself work full time and only have limited free time available to organise them.
If you think you could help – it’s no more than a few hours each month – then please get in touch by emailing

Join Us…!

That’s it from me for this month – in the meantime, if you are not already a member, please PLEASE consider joining us. You will be helping raise money for the school and you’ll have the opportunity to meet fellow “old boys” and attend our events throughout the year.

Kind Regards

Mark Bowland
Old Sandbachians’ Association