The 49ers are a group of OBs who have been collaborating to collect names for
the 1949 photograph. They are also turning their attention to the 1947 and 1952
Amongst their members are Brian Ransley, David Wiltshire, Rennie Vickers, Terry Williams, Brian Veale, Brian Bignell, Ron Wynands, Peter Rogers, Geoff Sherlock, Donald Sainsbury & Geoff Pask.. You can read some notes that some of the 49ers have submitted themselves describing their acheivements and present situations.
Some of the 49ers still living in the High Wycombe area now meet occasionally
at "The Polecat" in Prestwood for a few drinks and a lot of chat.
Scroll down or click the links below to see photos taken on these events
First 49ers meeting 15th July 2009 December 2009 Polecat reunion April 2010 Polecat reunion Rennie "down under" Ken Bowell, latest member
September 1st 2009 Polecat (visit by Brian Ransley) The Polecat, December 1st 2010 The Polecat May 3rd 2011 The Polecat November 30th 2011
The Polecat 25 April 2012 The Polecat 12 September 2012 The Polecat 18 November 2012 11th 49ers lunch 23rd April 2013 12th 49ers lunch 13th November 2013 13th 49ers lunch 2nd April 2014 14th lunch reunion 5th November 2014. 15th lunch reunion 19th May 2015 16th lunch reunion 30th September 2015 49ers 17th lunch reunion 19th April 2016
Pictured above are Rennie Vickers, Brian Bignell, Brian Ransley (taken on 6th Sept 2008).
from L - R, Terry Williams, Donald Sainsbury, Rennie Vickers, David Wiltshire, and Ron Wynands.
David Wiltshire took the photo above.
Brian Ransley wrote on 22jan2010:-
Met Rennie & Pat Vickers yesterday evening and we ended up at our golf club for dinner.
The arrival of the Vickers brought us a little and much welcome rain, but it didn't last long.I don't normally wear longs in January, but I didn't have a pair of clean presentable shorts handy to wear for dinner.
No cordylines in the photo unfortunately. I promise to do better next time!
They've now boarded their cruise ship and are en route to Tauranga then all ports south and west to Sydney.
Tony comments: The Cordylines Brian refers to are somtimes called Australian Cabbage Palms but are more properly described by their scientific name of "Torbay Palms"
To which Brian replies: "Australian Cabbage Palms, indeed!!!!! Tsk, tsk. The australis as in Cordyline australis means southern, as any of ERT's Latin scholars would tell you the good people of Torbay.
Crikey, they pinched Clarrie Grimmett, Pharlap and Pavlova, and now you're giving them another one of our icons!"
Sorry about that Brian, please accept this icon as a peace offering
Left to right Don Sainsbury, Sir Peter Fry, David Wiltshire, John Read, Terry Williams, Tony Barr, Ron Wynands, Rennie Vickers
(l to r). Tony Barr, Ron Wynands, Rennie Vickers.
(l to r). John Read, Sir Peter Fry, Donald Sainsbury.
This was the 3rd lunch time meeting of the 49ers held at The Polecat in Prestwood and in my opinion the most enjoyable to date.
On this occasion the 49ers were delighted to welcome ex Head Prefect and Captain of Youens House and former long serving Member of Parliament for the constituency of Wellingborough, Sir Peter Fry.
Tony Barr, has since remarked "I very much enjoyed our lunch together and see that there is still a good deal to turn-over from our days at the RGS"
Peter Fry commented "I must say that I enjoyed myself very much and it was great to see you all after all these years. It seemed such a happy occasion that the years rolled back and I am now very much looking forward to future gatherings".
David Wiltshire added "These little gatherings we have had are most enjoyable and, unlike those which cover all eras, you are meeting people of your own vintage who shared common experiences. It occurred to me, looking back at all our cleared plates, that we just had to have grown up during the war when wasting food was unthinkable. That's something you never forget. Had it been a similar gathering of people who had left school more recently, a lot of food would probably have remained uneaten".
It seems that the 49ers lunch time meetings are here to stay!
Ken Bowell (on the left), who has been living in New Zealand for many years, and David Wiltshire.
This shot taken at
On the right (foreground) is Brian Ransley here from New Zealand and opposite him is his older brother Les, also ex RGS.
The lunch was arranged specially for Brian on his visit and the first chance he had had to meet up with some of the others.
Clockwise L to R Les Ransley, Ron Wynands, Rennie Vickers, David Wiltshire, Tony Barr, Terry Williams, Brian Ransley.
Rennie Vickers writes:-
I'm attaching a photograph, for inclusion in the 49ers page of your website, of a small hardy group who defied subzero temperatures and a biting wind to meet for the 5th 49ers lunch reunion at The Polecat to-day.(1st December 2010)
Photo by David Wiltshire.
Renni Vickers writes:-
"For the 7th time in the past couple of years a small representative group of the 49ers descended upon the Polecat in Prestwood and once again took over a corner of the bar/restaurant. Seldom have 2 1/2 hrs passed so quickly! We enjoyed a decent lunch and the conversation flowed from the outset and covered:- putting the World to rights, England's dire performance in the rugby World Cup, the current lamentable form of Wycombe Wanderers, good old RGS days, girl friends from the 1950's and the hope that modern medical science was moving fast enough to provide enough spare parts to keep us all going!"
Those in the attached photograph are from L to R are John Read, Bill George, Tony Barr, Roger File, David Wiltshire, Terry Williams, Sir Peter Fry (enjoying the moment) and Rennie Vickers.
Between us I think that we are currently suffering, or have suffered, from almost every medical condition known to mankind. One of our number is currently attending the Ophthalmology, Audiology, Cardiology and Haematology departments of our local hospital and he says that if they had an "ology" department for bad backs, he would be attending that also. Despite the aches, pains and failing vision our minds are as sharp as ever, except when it comes to splitting the bill at the end.
We covered just about every subject imaginable and once again sorted out the World's problems sat around a small table in a corner of the bar.
Those in the photographs are:- seated l to r. Roger File, Sir Peter Fry, Donald Sainsbury, David Wiltshire and John Read. standing l to r. Rennie Vickers, Terry Williams and Bill George.
As Brian Ransley & his wife were on holiday from New Zealand to visit his brother and many cousins, the 49ers thought it would be a good excuse to meet for a hastily arranged "extraordinary" lunch at The Polecat, Prestwood on September 12th 2012.
Brian came along with his older brother Les, who is
not strictly a 49er, however as he does appear in the RGS 1947 photograph,
the 49er "rules" were relaxed for this special occasion.
It was a good thing that the landlord called time after almost 3 hours, otherwise we'd probably have still been there until late into the evening.
L to R Peter Fry (seated), Bill George, Les Ransley, Brian Ransley.
L to R Rennie Vickers, Tony Barr, David Wiltshire, Peter Fry.
L to R Brian Ransley, John Read (seated), Terry Williams.
Also at the lunch was Ron Wynands, who took all the photographs above so doesn't appear in any of them.
However Brian Ransley took the photo below which shows Ron with John Read.
Those in the picture from l to r are:- Terry Williams, Rennie Vickers
(standing), David Wiltshire, Sir Peter Fry, Tony Barr, Roger File and John
Rennie writes:- The 49ers enjoyed a memorable St George’s Day lunch at the home of one of their number.
Rennie writes:- On a beautiful autumn day in leafy Buckinghamshire the 49ers enjoyed another excellent lunch, once again hosted by Tony Barr.
Tony says: "Phew, that must be the longest single sentence on the whole website. Vraiment Rennie est le plus grand raconteur"
Those in the photograph from left to right:- Standing: Rennie Vickers, David Wiltshire, Roger File, Terry Williams & Ron Wynands. Seated: Sir Peter Fry, Tony Barr (our host), Donald Salisbury & John Read.
A small group of 49ers celebrated the 65th anniversary of the RGS 1949
School photograph with their 13th lunch reunion. On a beautiful Spring day
we had a most enjoyable few hours in the historic and beautiful setting of
Bassetsbury Mill in High Wycombe
Terry Williams commented "It was great to be together for another splendid lunch gathering. Many thanks to Rennie for herding us, and a big ‘Thank you’ to Roger for his hospitality. It is so good to know that even in retirement, Roger and his lady are preserving and maintaining heritage buildings of old High Wycombe!!"
David Wiltshire added:- "Thanks to Roger for his hospitality. What a lovely spot and so close to town...a real oasis."
Final words from Ron Wynands- "Many thanks to Roger for his open house.
Beats ‘Tales from the Riverbank’.
Unfortunately, due to personal or family ill heath and holidays, four of our regulars were unable to attend the 49ers lunch reunion. However those there enjoyed a splendid lunch, once again provided by Wendy Davis, The lack of numbers did not any way hinder the flow of conversation and the group’s self styled raconteur proved to be on fine form. Most of those present completed their National Service in the RAF and the rapid rise of the Meteor jet fighter during the late 1940’s and 1950’s proved to be one the main topics of discussion during the meal.
Special thanks are due to Tony Barr for agreeing to host the lunch at very short notice.
Those in the picture l to r:-
Standing: Bill George, Rennie Vickers, David Wiltshire and Donald Sainsbury.
The beer: Brewed by the Ringwood Brewery and called “Fortyniner”. Click on the bottle in the photo for a better view. Quite tasty!
Unfortunately, due to the recent death of Sir Peter Fry and two of our other regulars suffering personal or family ill heath, our numbers were reduced to seven.
The lunch commenced with a toast to the memory of our late colleague, Peter Fry, who first joined our group in April 2010. Peter will be remembered for his various stories covering both his school life and many years in the House of Commons. Glowing tributes to his life and career have recently appeared in The Guardian and Daily Telegraph, local BBC news and elsewhere.
Luckily, Terry Williams had arranged for us to have a table away from the main dining area, which was just as well as the hubbub and laughter from our group was quite considerable at times.
We, local to High Wycombe based, 49ers recognise that with the passage of time our numbers are bound to dwindle, so if there are others who would care to join us on future occasions please make contact through Tony Hare’s RGS website. The only prerequisite, up until now, has been that you appeared in the 1949 school photograph! You never know, that little “rule” could well be relaxed! It has been in the past!
Those in the picture l to r:- Bill George, David Wiltshire, Terry Williams, Rennie Vickers, Roger File, Tony Barr & Donald Sainsbury.
Seated l to r:- Tony Barr, Bill George, Roger File, David Wiltshire and Donald Sainsbury.
It was a wonderful sunny spring day and in delightful settings we sat down to a splendid lunch of steak & kidney pie, summer pudding, French apple tart, cheese & biscuits, and coffee all provided by Wendy Davis.
As usual, as soon as we got together, the conversation didn’t cease until it was time to go home. However for once we didn’t get into current affairs and no mention was made of the Police Crime & Commissioner elections in May, the EU referendum in June, the current migration crisis in Europe or the US Presidential elections at the end of the year.
David told of his domestic plumbing “fun and games” and of the upheaval caused in his home during the past 3 months. What a shambles that must have been!
Apparently David was a bandsman during his RAF national service career and he spoke of the occasion the officer commanding one of the parades was a young, very short Pilot Officer, ceremonial sword in hand dressed in a long greatcoat. That young officer was the recent and sadly departed Ronnie Corbett.
It turned out that we had all watched the final of University Challenge the previous evening and were all astounded at the runaway victory by Peterhouse College, Cambridge. Could it have been the female captain’s arched left eyebrow? The whole team was inspired and did extremely well!
Of course school days did somehow get into the conversation. What would we be deprived of our memories of such “happy” times?
Finally, many thanks to Tony Barr for hosting the lunch and the 49ers are looking forward to meeting again later in the year.
© Tony Hare 2015