Shrewsbury School

Annual OSH Day 2021

Friday 21 January 2022

Today was going to be another moment in Hunt History

The Annual OSH Day, including The OSH v. RSSH Run, Saturday 27th November 2021.

There’s always a certain amount of excitement and a little apprehension when our Special Day arrives, which this year was a physical gathering, after the restrictions and cancellation of last year. On Saturday 27th November 2021, Members and Friends of The Old Salopian Hunt arrive on The Drum, beside Mr. Darwin, from about 1.30pm, to greet each other and chat about the last time we met and then discus the impending Run with the young and very able Pack of RSSH Hounds that are beginning to assemble. In fact, amongst the gossip in front of The Main School Building, Will Painter (R. 1967-71) reminded me that it was 50 years since he, as The Huntsman, killed with me, in my first OSH v RSSH Run, after relinquishing my Huntsmanship that Summer of 1971. Today, was going to be another moment in Hunt History, of which we are all part of and hope this season’s Huntswoman, Sophia Urquhart (EDH) and Huntsman, Jonny Price (I.) will record the event in their Journals with happy memories of the day.

As is our now usual practice, a photo was taken of The OSH Team for this Run with The RSSH. It features, from left, Immie Evans (G. 2014-18 & Huntswoman), Liv Papaioannou (EDH. 2014-16 & H’.), George Mallett (S. 07-12 & Huntsman), Will Owen (Ch. 16-21 & S. Whip), James Humpish (SH. 08-13), Ed Mallett (S. 08-13 & H’.), Oli Mott (Rb. 1998-2003 & H’.), Peter Middleton (M-in-C of The Hunt 08-16, Deputy Head to Dec. 2021.), Adam Booth (PH. 1995-2000 & H’.), Tim Bedell (S. 74-78 & H’.), Jon Greenwell (PH. 88-93) and there was a late arrival too, Freddie Fielding (R. 12-17 & H’.) who appears somewhere else here ! As you see, there are a good number of Hunt Captains present, so a photo of all Huntswomen and Huntsmen was then taken, showing 12, but it would have been 13 if Freddie had tacked on !  Jonathan Mitchell (Rt. 77-82), Sophia Urquhart, Jonny Price, myself, Peter Birch (Db. 66-71) and my successor, Will Painter, all added to those already mentioned.

Approaching 2.30pm, after more photos were taken, we saw the Start-Line, on “Riggs Lawn” (in front of The School Wall) fill with 12 OSH, 23 RSSH and 2 Staff (running independently), where Ian Haworth (Master-in-Charge of The RSSH) gave out instructions, before The Huntsman, Jonny, yelled out “The Huntsman’s Cry” to start the run, with some runners sprinting out towards The Moss Gates & Ashton Road. In the night before, Storm Arwen caused some tree damage along Oldhams Gap, so a diversion was in place, which, without going out there to measure the course, possibly reduced the overall length. Nevertheless, some finishers declared that it gets harder every time, because The School have made the hills steeper ! One of our esteemed Members (lets call him Freddie ) managed to take a wrong turn, which I hope doesn’t happen to him on his long way back to Cornwall, but we were all so pleased he could come and be with us on this day. The day was sunny and fairly dry, with a typical wintry cold wind and the supporters had to keep moving to fend off the chill. Along Queen’s Terrace, it was possible to cheer on the whole pack, before they descended Canonbury and eventually down to the Rad Brook crossing. After the rise to go behind The Boathouse, it is a bit more gentle before the Port Hill and Ridgemount Drive section, followed by that sudden right jump-up to go behind The Cricket School. Then it is the retracing of the first part of the course to the Moss Gates and the final sprint to the Finish Funnel, where we saw Ed Mallet come in for The Kill, with George not far behind. The amazing young Hunt runner, Kristian Tung (I.) arrived at third place. New Staff member, and Cross-Country Champion, Frank Tickner, was 4th and, some thirty seconds later was our OSH Member, Peter Middleton, who is leaving The School at the end of this Term, to take up the Headmastership of Oswestry School. In 6th place was our Captain, Oli Mott, in front of The Huntsman, Jonny Price.  Our next Team Member to come through was The Hon. Sec. Liv P. at 11th , with Adam Booth hot on her heels, who was our sixth counter. Will Owen, James Humpish, John Greenwell, Immie Evans and Tim Bedell all made our Team look impressive.

A short walk to The Quod was welcomed, to escape the cold air and to enjoy a chat over Tea and cakes, before Ian and I were able to give some appreciation to Peter Middleton for his great work in improving the standard of The Hunt, while he was Master-in-Charge of The RSSH. As we know he has more recently been making The RSSH and The School World famous, as the oldest Cross-Country Club and the Founders of all athletic running. Peter kindly replied with an emotional speech, in front of not only the Boys and Girls of The Hunt, but also many of the OSH, who were coached by him.

Then, it was time for the results * and presentations, after today’s run. The OSH Team won back from The Hunt, The David Loake Trophy, which our Captain, Oli picked up and our very own Ed Mallett won The Will Ramsbotham Cup for the second time. Liv Papaioannou won The Peter Middleton Cup, as first female. We were pleased to have with us, Nigel Miller (S. 1947-52 & Sen. Whip), who is one of our Club’s founders (along with Ian Fraser (Ch. 1944-49 & Sen.Whip ) and Adrian Struvé (ex M-in-C)). He was able to inspect the new trophy that is being presented to The Thames Hare & Hounds Alumni Race on 11th December 2021, which is in recognition of, not only our success in winning that event (in a virtual race) for the first time, last year, but also of Nigel and Ian’s instigation of The Alumni Race in 1953.

A short while after, 16 of us went to The Hardy Room of Kingsland House, where we held our Annual Committee Meeting and AGM, which is always started with a Toast to Mark Mortimer, who for many years had been Hon. Sec. and Hon. Treasurer of The OSH and always hosted the meetings in his little flat, making sure we were lubricated with his favourite beverage!

At 7.30pm, the arrival of diners started for our Annual OSH Dinner, in The Peterson Room. We numbered thirty, including our Guests, The Huntsman and The Huntswoman, and last season’s Huntswoman, Chessie Harris (EDH. 16-21), as well as our Guest of Honour, Peter Middleton. It was also a pleasure to have the company of The Girl’s Whip, Martha Smith (M.) and The Junior Whip, John Bugge (Ch.) amongst us.

As usual, the whole day was a great success, meeting old and new friends, back at The School, once more.

Peter Birch. OSH Chairman


Full Results List attached

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