It is almost certain that as long as there has been a Cranbrook School, ‘old boys’ will have been drawn back to visit out of a sense of nostalgia and fondness for their time there. As early as the 1870s there are records of the occasional football (first Association and later Rugby) and cricket matches of ‘Past v Present’. The first formal Old Cranbrookians dinner took place in January 1888 at the Holborn Restaurant with Headmaster Crowden and 44 OCs present. However, it wasn’t until 1896 that a register of OCs was built and a commitment to found an Old Cranbrookian Association was formally agreed at a dinner at the George Hotel following a cricket match between the School and old boys.
On the 24th November 1897, with 43 in attendance and with the promise of a membership of 150, the Old Cranbrookians’ Association was formally created at a meeting at the Holborn Restaurant, with the Association taking the School’s then motto of Maiora tento praesentibus aequus
. Almost 125 years later, the OCA still holds a connection to its founding through an annual gathering in London in November.
The admin bit:
In its simplest terms, the Old Cranbrookians' Association (OCA) is an association of the former students of Cranbrook School. Every alumnus is automatically a member and there is no membership fee. If you have previously given us your email address you will already be able to log into our member facilities. If the system doesn’t recognise your email address, please send us an email to OCA@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk
, and we can set you up to access the web facility.
The meaningful bit:
The OCA exists because of the strong sense of feeling so many Cranbrook alumni have for the school and their school days. It’s our privilege to help preserve memories and connections, and to reconnect OCs with their Cranbrook years and schoolmates whenever possible.
We regularly hold reunions; the traditional November dinner at Simpsons on the Strand or drinks at the Royal Overseas League, the Spring Sports Reunion and events such as the School’s Quincentenary Tea Party and Dinner Dance, and we will continue to do so. You will find all forthcoming events advertised in the Events pages here when dates are confirmed, but a visit to Cranbrook or London doesn't suit everyone.
We want this new website to become our virtual OCA; more than just a magazine style website, a place where you can reconnect and peer back into your school days through our archive material wherever you are in the world. As our archive swells with the memories we hope that you and your schoolmates will send in, we will be able to reopen the doors for you to the Cranbrook School of your era.
The formal bit:
The aims and objectives of the Association are:
- To further promote a sense of heritage and history amongst members of the OCA.
- To encourage current and former students to strengthen their sense of identity as members of the Old Cranbrookian community.
- To enable former students to remain in contact with each other.
- To track achievements of Cranbrook alumni and to provide a mechanism to celebrate their success in the wider school community.
- To enable the school to identify and utilise the skill and experience of former students to support the learning and enrichment opportunities of current students.
- To enable the school to keep in contact with its alumni.