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The "49ers"

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 photographs.
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). 


The first Polecat meeting 15th July 2009

from L - R, Terry Williams, Donald Sainsbury, Rennie Vickers, David Wiltshire, and Ron Wynands.


Wednesday 2nd December 2009, The Polecat.

Polecats

David Wiltshire took the photo above.


Rennie "down under" 22jan2010

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 


The Polecat 28th April 2010

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.

Rennie reports:- 

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, our latest member.

 

 

 

Ken Bowell (on the left), who has been living in New Zealand for many years, and David Wiltshire.


Ken writes " Another link in the chain of 49'ers! David and I were neighbours in Hazlemere during the war and while we were at the RGS.

This shot taken at
The Crown Inn in Penn recently."

The Polecat 1st September 2010

 

 

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.

The Polecat, December 1st 2010

 

 

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)


Those in the photograph, clockwise from left foreground, are Ron Wynands, Rennie Vickers, Donald Sainsbury, Tony Barr, David Wiltshire, Bill George, Terry Williams and John Read.

The Polecat, May 3rd 2011

Photo by David Wiltshire.
The names going around the table from the left are:-
Bill George, Tony Barr, Roger File, Peter Fry, David Wiltshire, Terry Williams (at the end of the table), Donald Sainsbury, Rennie Vickers, John Read (in blue top with glasses and beard)

The Polecat, November 30th 2011

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.

The Polecat 25th April 2012

 

 

Rennie writes:-
A select group of the 49ers met for lunch earlier to-day at The Polecat in Prestwood.

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.

 

 


The Polecat 12th September 2012

 

 

Rennie writes:-

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.
Some of our numbers had last met Brian & Les over 60 years ago, so there was a lot of ground to catch up on.

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.


The Polecat 28th November 2012

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 Read.

Rennie writes
"Due to prior engagements and commitments, only a small, rather "select" band of 49ers were able to come along on this occasion for lunch at The Polecat in Prestwood.
Nevertheless, the conversation did not wane for one moment of the time that we were there; in fact, once again, we had to be almost forcibly ejected from the premises!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


11th 49ers lunch 23rd April 2013

Rennie writes:- The 49ers enjoyed a memorable St George’s Day lunch at the home of one of their number.
It was a beautiful Spring day and in the garden birds were singing, some early bees were buzzing and a lone muntjac deer was doing what it does best, eating & destroying the new vegetation!
Those present were Tony Barr (our host), David Wiltshire, Terry Williams, Ron Wynands, Roger File, John Read, Donald Sainsbury, Bill George, Sir Peter Fry and Rennie Vickers.
Regretfully the photographer, (yours truly), omitted to record the event.


12th 49ers lunch 13th November 2013

Rennie writes:- On a beautiful autumn day in leafy Buckinghamshire the 49ers enjoyed another excellent lunch, once again hosted by Tony Barr.

As always the conversation flowed around the table throughout the time we were gathered and covered just about everything including HM the Queen dubbing Sir Peter; the Queen Mother’s favourite tipple; Reading FC; 2014 OB Dinner at which the 49ers may have a table; RGS Under 12 Rugby League success at Wembley in August; RGS Grey Book 1940; UK tennis stars of the 1950’s; Polymyalgia Rheumatica; just about every furniture firm that ever existed in High Wycombe and the total unsuitability of their former premises for conversion to housing; the old school in Gordon Road, now a wine shop; its neighbour, Butler’s furniture shop, no longer in business; the former Spring Gardens school; and somewhere amongst all that our self styled raconteur’s story of “le preservatif extraordinaire”.

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.


13th 49ers lunch 2nd April 2014

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
Those in the picture from left to right. Standing: Ron Wynands, Rennie Vickers, Roger File (our host), Bill George, David Wiltshire, Donald Sainsbury. Seated: Terry Williams, Sir Peter Fry, John Read, Tony Barr. 
(Photo and words by Rennie Vickers)

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’.
“Never in his life had he seen such a river before. The Mole was bewitched and entranced” "


49ers 14th lunch reunion 5th November 2014.

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.
Seated: Roger File and Tony Barr.

The beer: Brewed by the Ringwood Brewery and called “Fortyniner”. Click on the bottle in the photo for a better view. Quite tasty!


49ers 15th lunch reunion 19th May 2015 at The Red Lion, Kingshill

Rennie writes:-
On this occasion the lunch was held at the Red Lion, Great Kingshill.

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.


49ers 16th lunch reunion 30th September 2015.

Rennie writes:-
Unfortunately, once again due to personal or family ill heath and holidays, the numbers able to attend the latest 49ers lunch reunion were very much reduced. Those around the table at Tony Barr’s house in Prestwood were Bill George, Terry Williams, David Wiltshire, Rennie Vickers, Donald Sainsbury and of course Tony.
We enjoyed a splendid lunch of game casserole, summer pudding, French apple tart and 7-8 varieties of cheese, followed by coffee, all once again provided by Wendy Davis.
The discussions during lunch covered a whole host of current topics including the refugee crisis, the VW scandal, the new Labour Party leader, the rugby World Cup, Ofsted inspections and the present day very wordy end of term/year school pupil reports, whereas in our day the teachers’ comments were limited to just a few words such as “good”, “fair” and “must do better”.
Finally, many thanks to Tony Barr for hosting our lunch yet again and the 49ers are looking forward to meeting next in April 2016.  


49ers 17th lunch reunion 19th April 2016.

Rennie writes:-
As on previous recent occasions, due to personal and family ill heath, our numbers were very much reduced for this latest 49ers lunch reunion. Those able to come along to Tony Barr’s house in Prestwood were Bill George, Terry Williams, David Wiltshire, Donald Sainsbury and Rennie Vickers.

Seated l to r:- Tony Barr, Bill George, Roger File, David Wiltshire and Donald Sainsbury.
Standing l to r:- Rennie Vickers and Terry Williams.

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.
Bill brought along a bottle of German Pinot Noir (Rot Spatburgunden), to accompany the meal. I don’t think any of us realised that Germany produced pinot noir, but apparently it is the 3rd larger producer of this wine after France and USA! Our gem for the day!

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.   


 



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