RIP Frank Coan and Paul Thompson

It is with regret that we are sharing the loss of not one but two well known figures to the SAOBA.

Former Physics Teacher, Frank Coan passed away earlier this month. A well liked, and highly respected teacher that regularly attended the Annual Dinners will be sadly missed. Unfortunately the news only reached us after the funeral had taken place. We have done our best to pass on our condolences to his family.

Old boy, and former Deputy Head Boy, Paul Thompson has sadly passed away whilst away on holiday in Austria earlier this month at the age of just 52. Paul was an original committee member, a regular attendee of SAOBA events, and great supporter and contributor to the school, the SAOBA and the local community. We are awaiting the news of Paul’s funeral and will be sure to share the details when we have them.

An eventful but successful return to the SAOBA Cycle Ride!

Showers were predicted, and after three apologies seven cyclists set out to meet at the Prep school car park, (without cars – just bikes) at 0945 on Sunday. The plan was to cycle from Hale Barns to Jodrell Bank, using the quietest possible roads, and after refreshments return home. Six made the
photocall outside the Brothers’ house, but no 7 (Pete Taylor) messaged that he had a mechanical problem and would meet us at Jodrell Bank. After some perusal of the various bikes (overall improved since last time!) we set off at 10 o’clock.

All went well down Wicker Lane, Bankhall Lane, Ashley, Mobberley, there was some spitting rain but we were just one group among the legions of Sunday morning cyclists criss-crossing the quieter Cheshire lanes. On the last hill up from Bate Mill Tony Dixon’s chain snapped. Did we have a chain
link extractor? Yes we did, we had at least three between us. Thank goodness. How many old boys does it take to repair a chain? The answer is just six, provided some have cycled LEJOG, and know what they are doing. Fortunately we had two Mikes, an Ian (and Pete on the way) who met that
description, no worries.
Safely arrived and queuing for food at Jodrell Bank café we pondered the age of the universe, and felt remarkably young. As we got the coffee orders in, Pete’s second WhatsApp came in:

“Even worse news. Knocked off by an elderly lady car driver”. This was alarming. We established that Pete was fortunately OK, despite being badly winded and bruised. Police and ambulance had attended the scene of the crash, but he had been allowed to go home, and was all in one piece.
We cycled the return leg rather more thoughtfully via Goostrey, Knutsford and had a second tea/coffee stop by Tatton Hall. Adrian Lewis, Simon Harrop and Mike O’Kell departed home from here, and the last three headed through Rostherne, via Ashley, back to Hale Barns.

The overall mileage varied, depending where people lived and had started from. Our route was just about 36 miles from St Ambrose Prep to Jodrell Bank and back. Northwich Mike managed to do 65 miles by visiting his Mum in Sale first. Despite the disaster of Pete’s crash it was otherwise a safe and successful day. Thank you to those who attended. We hope to ride again with Pete Taylor very soon.

The 3hr Timed Strava Ride followed on 23rd and 24th October. The official results are as follows:

Mike Collins retains the trophy with an impressive 51.6 miles within 3 hours. This narrowly pipped Adrian Lewis who receives the most improved rider trophy, and King of the Mountains goes to Ian Taylor!

SAOB Cycle Club is a group on Strava. It is free to join and open to all old boys and their families. We also have a SAOBA Cycle Club WhatsApp group.
If you’d like to join the SAOBA cycle group please email Tony Dixon a-m-dixon@msn.com


RIP Mark Ormiston

It is with great sadness that we advise that Mark Ormiston has died.  Mark was a popular character who trained as a chef in Geneva after leaving school and ran his own restaurant in Greece and then the UK for a number of years. He attended the school from 1969 to 1974 and was a talented rugby player and a great friend to many people. He will be sorely missed.

Tributes and messages have been left at the below website where you can also add your own contribution in memory of Mark:

Markormiston.muchloved.com

3rd Annual SAOBA Cycle Ride

Last month, despite the ongoing restrictions, a determined group of Old Boys managed to complete the 3rd Annual SAOBA Cycle Ride. Whilst the group could not meet in person, and thanks to technology they were able to join virtually using the newly formed SAOBA Strava Group!

Congratulations to this years SAOBA champion cyclist, Mike Collins, (class of 1980) a clear and deserving winner. Mike cycled 54 miles in the timed 3hr at an average speed of 17.95mph. His elevation gain was a huge 1149m, so he was in the running for King of the Mountains as well. Well done Mike Collins! 
We were sorry to hear that Ian Taylor, our 2019 SAOBA champion and 2019 King of the Mountains had been struck down by Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago. But he made a great recovery – enough to ride again (despite medical advice!) and with his brother Peter Taylor he was in the running for KOTM again. The stats show that Ian climbed 1,244 metres but was just beaten by his brother Peter (class of 1981) who wins this years SAOBA KOTM with an elevation gain of 1245m. Congratulations to Peter Taylor, SAOBA King of the Mountains 2020. Sibling rivalry is strong, so next year will be interesting! 
Our other seven riders all performed well. Dominic Leach (1981), Adrian Lewis (1984), Tony Dixon (1980), Daniel Dixon (2009), Mike O’ Kell (1980) and Simon Harrop (1980). Thank you everyone for participating. 

If you would like to join this group and connect with your fellow SAOBA Cycle enthusiasts, it’s called the SAOB cycle club. You can find it on Strava by searching for SAOB in the clubs section. Click join and you’re in.


Leading by example

Our Hon Secretary, Tony Dixon, has been leading by example during lockdown, with an incredible new initiative that helps, mind, body, and the environment…Litter Picking!

On 20th September, Tony spearheaded a marathon 12 hr, 9 mile, litterpick across Warrington, organising a relay litterpick of 6 teams. It gathered 62 bags and broke a few local records. It was reported in “Warrington Worldwide”.  

Litterpicking is a way of taking purposeful outdoor exercise while exploring a locality – and at the same time, picking up litter with a grabber! 

Simple but effective, it can be done solo, in pairs or as part of a larger co-ordinated team. Litterpickers are people who volunteers to serve the local community by improving their local environment. 

Anyone who can manage moderate intensity exercise can do this, similar to gardening. The setting can be rural, urban, trail or parkland. It can be incredibly mindful. Volunteers feel empowered and positive after a session, particularly as part of a team. How many activities have you done where passers by have stopped to say “thank you”?

It is usually done walking but for longer trails there has been some success with cycle litterpicking using a trailer. Various levels of equipment are used including duo trolleys to pick and separate litter from recyclables. 

Safety (traffic, water etc) is a major concern and public group picks have to be Risk Assessed. Tony’s group follows Keep Britain Tidy guidance, and as a KBT #Litterheroes Ambassador also uses their free PL insurance and educational updates. KBT supports a national network of groups. 

The groups are easy to find, on Facebook :
Clean Up My Community – Warrington 
Latchford Litter Network
And similar Facebook Community pages for newer local Litter networks 
Lymm Litter NetworkOrford Litter Network and others are in the pipeline; Fairfield and Howley, Whitecross, Bewsey.  

There are a number of local litterpicking groups which have started up across Warrington this year. This autumn we have distributed free low cost grabbers to the public – the first event was in Westy. This has tied in with launching the Facebook local “litter network” pages in key areas of town. 
Tony’s Tuesday team started in 2019 and has continued most weeks since, now approaching their 1000th litter bag of 2020, despite all the restrictions and time lost in lockdown. 

Once we are out of lockdown, any of you will be welcome to join for a trial session!