How better to start the New Year by celebrating the past. We held a celebratory dinner at Beckwood for six of my oldest friends (and their wives) and kicked the evening off in our Lancastrian pub (pictured above). All of us are Northerners and we’ve known each other for over 60 years. We were fortunate enough to pass the 11+ and secure passage into one of the best State Grammar Schools in the country – Lancaster Royal Grammar School.
Four of us played sport together at Primary School level and all of us graduated to playing either 1st XV Rugby or 1st XI Cricket (or both) at LRGS. We spent our teen years together before making our own choices to make our way into the world, without ever forgetting our Lancastrian roots, values and mates.
We were all blessed with terrific wives (including four Lancashire lasses) and a burning desire to make something of ourselves and to live our lives to the max.
I made my way in business – marketing/creativity/leadership, Eric and Jim became Head Teachers – inspiring countless kids to fulfil their dreams, Barry – an illustrious ‘Local Government Director of Finance’ (or the guy we paid our rates to!!), Benny – a distinguished partner in a firm of Solicitors (including handling the purchase/sale of Michael’s Nook and the purchase of Beckwood on my behalf), Roger – a brilliant, successful Sculptor and creative/social renegade, and Brian – a game-changing, international rugby coach with Bath, Ireland and England.
All of us recognise the impact of a select group of teachers at LRGS and the importance of leadership and team work.
Our key drivers? Following our ABC’s. Ambition. Belief. Courage. And our grounding in authentic Lancastrian working-class values.
Our fathers were:
- A Furnaceman in the local mill,
- A Warehouse Labourer,
- A Fitter’s Mate,
- A Hospital Orderly,
- A Cabinet-Maker,
- A Grave-Digger (or, as the Oxford University application form described it ‘of modest background’).
And we’re proud of them all.
Nothing is Impossible.
Praesis ut Prosis.