ROGER PAWLEY – the Askean connection

Roger was at Haberdasher Aske’s school in Hatcham from 1949 to 1954. I had commenced two years before that so we did not have close association at School – rather like the Clease/Corbett sketch I looked down on them, I looked up to the Prefects.  Roger was not keen on school sports but otherwise was always a participator, a characteristic he carried into adult life. I recall he was active in school Clubs such as the Lit and Deb and the Natural History societies, there were probably others.

It was after leaving school that our paths came together, we were both members of the Old Askean Association Field Club. This club had only started a couple of years earlier, founded by Donald LeJeune and Dermot Poston. They remained our friends throughout their lives.

The Field Club had a variety of activities such as walking, pot-holing, theatre visits and dining. It thrived for a few years but then joined with the Old Askean Rambling Club which had a longer history, being founded in 1889. Roger walked with that Club for the rest of his life, he was Captain from 1989 until 2022 when ill health meant he had to stop.

He and Hazel were stalwarts of the Rambling Club keeping it active in lean times. I had very many walks with him, both locally and long-distance. The highlight is probably our walk from Coast to Coast.  We undertook Wainwright’s walk of around 200 miles from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay in North Yorkshire.  On a stopover at a farm in Shap we were complimented as being the smartest dressed walkers that the host had seen!  We did it in 4 visits of 4 days.  He was a competent map reader, bolstered by his binoculars which he usually carried to identify birds and animals as well as routes. He was calm in a crisis which made him an excellent companion. Roger had a great interest and knowledge of nature, sharing such knowledge on many Rambles with the OARC.  If the route crossed a ploughed field then Roger was on watch, hoping to find a Roman remain.   After our weekend walks we regularly were treated to tea, coffee, biscuits or cake, all from the boot of Roger and Hazel’s car and served on a table. From around Year 2000 the Club had short breaks of 5 nights at a suitable hotel in a good walking region. In the early days over 30 members were present. Two walks a day were offered and Roger could be relied upon to do them all with appropriate local maps or books.  On the final night the other guests at dinner were treated to a hearty rendition of the School song, “The Sandbin,” Roger having previously sought permission from the Management.

Roger was a gentleman, he cared for those around him and was always ready to assist in any way he could.   He is remembered as sociable and generous in his hospitality. Around Christmas each year after a short walk the ramblers were invited by Roger and Hazel to return to their home “The Captain’s Cabin”.  Members were given a sumptuous cold platter and appropriate beverage.

Roger can be regarded as a model Old Askean. He was a Life Member of the OAA and President in 2005.  He was a member of the Committee a number of times and took responsibility as Social Secretary for many events, including the introduction of the RAF Club for the Annual Dinner. He was a traditionalist – he resisted the movement of the Annual Dinner away from Haberdashers Hall, and also the cessation of it being a “black tie” event. He was a true supporter and could be relied upon to attend the various events organised by the Old Askean Association.

I am grateful to have known him and will remember him as a good friend. He is sorely missed by me and many others. May he rest in peace.

Dennis Johnson

Informal Drinks at “The George” Southwark

The Old Askean Association are having an informal get together on Friday 5th July at the George Coaching Inn, 75-77 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH

We will be there from 15.00 onwards and aim is for people to drop in as and when they can and get to meet old and hopefully new friends.

Those still working in the city perhaps during their lunchtime or late afternoon once they have finished work.

If you are still in contact with any old school friends please invite them along as well.

We had around 40 attend the event in January and it would be great to exceed this.

This is being run jointly with the Hatcham Association and we hope to attract new members to this.

Hope to see you there


Peter Ayling (President)

Roger Pawley – Funeral Arrangements

Roger Pawley’s funeral will be on Friday 24th May at 10.00 a.m. at Beckenham Crematorium, Elmers End Road, Beckenham, BR3 4TD.  The wake after to be held at Dulwich And Sydenham Golf Club, Grange Lane, College Road, London SE21 7LH.  Hazel has asked for no black ties, striped blazers and OA ties welcome. Family flowers only. 

If you are unable to attend the service at Beckenham, you are very welcome to come to the Golf Club after 11.30 a.m. To help with catering please let Hazel know if you are attending  the Golf Club.  Hazel’s details are as follows:- 0208 693 5660 or email  

Roger Pawley RIP

It is my sad task to tell you that a former President of the Association, Roger Pawley died on Sunday 28 April 2024. His good friend Dennis Johnson writes:

Thank you. Sad news indeed; Roger will be sorely missed by Hazel and his many friends. He was a Life Member of the OAA and President in 2005.  He had a great interest and knowledge of nature too sharing such knowledge on many Rambles with the OARC, being Captain for many years and only ceasing that when hit by ill health. I had very many walks with him, both locally and long  distance. He was a competent map reader, bolstered by his binoculars which he usually carried, used to identify birds and animals as well as routes. He and Hazel were stalwarts of the Rambling Club keeping it active in lean times.

He is remembered as sociable and generous in his hospitality. I am grateful to have known him and will remember him as a good friend.

I attach a photo, a portrait that I think encapsulates the man.

Links to other sources of Old Askean Information

There are at least two FaceBook pages/groups related to the Association. The “official” one can be found here:

Then there is the “Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham (1960s)” group which is an “unofficial” group. This can be found here:

Anthony J. Sargeant who was at School from 1955 -1962 has a wonderful series of Blogposts that can be found at:

It is well worth following the links on these posts as they bring back memories and have a great wealth of detail about the school and life in those days. Imagine teenagers going to a party wearing jackets with a collar and tie!! It really happened and there are photos to proof it.

Sadly there are parts of school that were less than perfect to say the least. The account below happened in eighties; but I know of abuse (not to me) that happened in the sixties. You can find out about the less savoury parts here:

Obituary for Past President Barry Ash written by his son Lindsay

Barry was born in Chislehurst in 1935 to Ted and Nellie ,his Dad worked in the family business at Creek Rd Deptford which dealt in Tarpaulins and Timber . His formative years like many of the generation were framed by the Second World War where his Dad was away in North Africa and then Italy for much of the time . Although an only child both his parents were from large families so there was plenty of company for him during this time and he remembered seeing dog fights (planes not canines) in the skies over Chelsfield and also remembered the sound of a V1 as it passed over head in Lewisham .

Shortly after the end of the war he went to Askes , where he was fortunate to come under the guidance of Ned Goddard . I was particularly struck by a quote of Mr Goddard’s when asked what subjects he taught ,he replied “I don’t teach subjects ,I teach boys ….I try to teach them to think” . My Dad described his time at Aske’s as undistinguished although he was there at a golden time for Old Askean rugby legends with Des Kirby,Chas Wickens and Alan Hunt which perhaps explained his passion for watching rugby at Kidbrooke and The Rectory Field .

He must though have learnt “to think” as on leaving he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then served his National service in the Royal Army Pay Corps as a Second Liutenant . He told me that he nearly killed someone during his time in the Army unfortunately it was a British Officer who when inspecting the rifles hadn’t realised my dad had left a bullet in the chamber and nearly took the chaps head off! His most memorable moments other than that was taking place in two parades ,one was led by Field Marshall Earl Alexander of Tunis and the other the final parade in the British Army to be taken by Major General O P J Rooney (Old Askean)

Shortly after leaving the Army he became involved in the Old Askean Club , he remembered how when writing in the magazine when he became President of the Association…

“I sat down on a spare seat and tried to look relaxed ,after a brief period a message was passed down “Who are you “ I was beginning to wonder myself but I passed the message back . A the end of the meeting Mr Goddard bounded up and greeted me like a long lost friend as did Cliff Hall the then Hon Secretary ….now I know I am a person of exceptional charm and decency but I was a bit bemused ….three to four weeks later  all was revealed …I was the new Hon Sec of the Old Askean Club ,soon to become the Social Secretary and for a brief period Secretary of the Old Askean Sports Club.

It was to remain a large part of his life right up until he died . I myself virtually grew up at Kidbrooke in the 60s and 70s watching the likes of Graham Smith, Charlie Wickens and Steve Dunmore strutting their stuff on the pitch prepared by Charlie Toms . In the summer while my Dad played Tennis I used to stroll round and watch the cricketers in action , it was only in later years that I realised why they liked me so much . During one of my early forays they kindly taught me how to keep score hence whenever this smiling 10 year old appeared he was greeted with much relief and invited to join them and was immediately presented with a score book and pencil! In fairness they always brought me tea although those that remember the Old Askean cricket teas may feel that was a dubious kindness! It was nice in later years for me to play both Rugby and Cricket at Kidbrooke , in fact I also played Tennis for them as well ….Dad felt it may have made me possibly the only person to have represented the Club in all three sports, there’s a trivia question for you.

Barry though played Tennis for the Old Askeans for a fair few years along with George Martin and his regular partner in the team Alan Sainty . Now he had an unusual style employing a double handed backhand when they were pretty much unheard of and also had a strange bowling service action . The two handed backhand went on to be adapted by most players so he could be said to have been a pioneer, the bowling serve though remained very much his preserve ! His partner Alan Sainty also had a peculiar style but together they formed a very good pairing as they were both very quick round the court and very adept at lobbing . This meant that some opposition became very frustrated ,one pair asked “Are we going to continue playing like this ,or are we going to play Tennis?”….To which the reply came back “This is the only way we can play” . At the end of the match my Dad and Alan shook hands but when they went to shake hands with the opponents found they had walked off the court!

They were nonetheless a very successful pairing until having been promoted a few leagues they found people who could smash consistently well,and the game was up or to be accurate it could no longer be up .

Barry was a great lover of all sport which he put down to an Uncle who used to take him to various events from Millwall to the Oval . He saw Bradman bat and the great Hungary side with Puskas at Wembley .  He remembered going to Millwall one week and supporting the Lions and the following week they would go to Charlton and support the opposition . This habit reached it’s zenith when he went to the 1947 FA Cup Final ,sat in Jimmy Seed’s seats (then the Charlton manager) and supported Burnley. It came in useful 50 odd years later when a Charlton fan posed a question as to who won the Cup in 1947 , he paused before answering “I may be wrong but I think Charlton won it 1-0 and Duffy got the goal in extra time” ,the chap thought he was a sporting guru . 

In later life he joined Sundridge Park Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club where he served as Secretary and then as Chairman . He also formed a group that played squash doubles every Sunday night followed by what they described as comestibles basically pate , Cheese and French bread with numerous pints of Shepherd Neame and a small bells or a “ball smells” as it became known due to Barry’s love of spoonerisms . In fact most of the participants had nicknames given to them by him ,his was The Patron . 

Another was a chap called Reg Parkes who became Peg but was later elevated to Lord Rarkes . I shall close these few words as I did the Eulogy with the words of his Lordship who wrote to me under the title ….The man who made Sunday Nights fun

“The Patron also chose the teams on the night if you were in the first team you were in the stumblebums ,if you were in the second you were in the elite or thought you were .Sadly all this is now history and will never return following the passing of the Patron Sir Arry Bash or simply Barry Ash who is now in the great court in the sky ….rest in peace Barry”

Funeral of MC Black, Thursday 8th February at Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetery at 11:45am

Dear Friends and Associates of MC Black,

I’m writing to inform you that MC Black’s body has been released by the Hertfordshire Coroner, and we have permission to bury him.  The burial service will take place on Thursday, 8th February at Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetery at 11:45am  More details will be forthcoming when we have them.

Waltham Abbey Cemetery, Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN93QZ

I know that many of you are not Jewish, so though that I would add a few words about what to expect.  The body will be in a simple casket that is completely bio-degradable.  The (closed) casket, covered by a cloth, is displayed in the prayer hall at the cemetery.  There is a short prayer service (in Hebrew) in the prayer hall,  followed by a eulogy.  Then the family and the casket process to the gravesite.  There, more prayers are recited, and the casket is lowered into the grave.  After some more prayers, the mourners shovel dirt onto the casket and fill the excavation.

Be warned that cemeteries can be quite muddy at this time of year.

Flowers are not appropriate.   If you wish to make a donation in lieu of flowers, I’m sure the MC would approve of a gift to Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, the home operated by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution that took such good care of our mother during her final years.

Those of you who are Jewish may wish to know that we are planning a shiva minyan at Welwyn Garden City Synagogue on Thursday evening — time to be announced.   Rabbi Tatz will officiate at the burial service.

Andrew Black

MC Black RIP

MC Black, a Past President of the Association, and a stalwart of the committee holding numerous offices over the years,  died suddenly and unexpectedly a few days ago, The exact cause of his death is being investigated, the coroner has said that there are no suspicious circumstances.


Informal Gathering at the Barrow Boy & Banker

Our first social occasion of 2024 took place on Friday 26th January from 13.00 at the Barrow Boy and Banker pub located on the south side of London Bridge.
It was a very informal get together and large numbers (forty plus??) turned up
The aim was to encourage as many Old Askeans, both male and female, to meet and enjoy each other’s company. A number of the Hatcham Association (Aske’s old girls), swelled the numbers and a good time was had by all (well at least I enjoyed myself!)