All posts by colin


Dear Old Alts,

I am delighted to now be able to confirm the finer details of this year’s Annual Dinner. There has been an amazing amount of interest in this year’s event and so can I ask that if you are keen to join us, please can you confirm your place asap, following the instructions below.

Why attend this year?

  • A legendary guest speaker – After 16 years as Headmaster, overseeing an outstanding period of progress, Tim Gartside retires this summer. As our main speaker, Tim is lined up for a dynamic expose of his life at AGSB……the best of times, and the worst of times….he’ll dish the lot!
  • Sweet music, Delicious food and Cheap Beer! – we’ve a superb AGSB Jazz quartet lined up (quieter than last year I promise!) who will kick the evening off in style. The menu for the evening looks fabulous (see below) and Dunham Brewery is supplying the beer again so expect it to be fresh, tasty and very cheap!!
  • World famous raffle – expect another year of high quality prizes and high pressure 6th former sales techniques under the guidance of our new raffle-meister….Jake Harrop!

And of course, the best reason of all….catching up with friends old and new to share truths and legends of times past at AGSB.

Key information

Time: 7pm drinks in the 6th form common room


Seared Salmon with Nicoise Salad

with a Lemon & Herb Dressing

Or vegetarian option tbc


Pork Fillet with a Herb & Mustard Seed Crust, Fondant Potato, Buttered Kale, Crispy Crackling and a Caramelised Apple and Calvados Cream


Chargrilled Vegetable and Halloumi Tian

with Fondant Potato and a Tomato Sauce


Vanilla Brulee

with Strawberry Compote and Ginger Crumb


Tea, coffee & mints

Dress Code: Black tie or Lounge Suit

Cost: £38 per head OR concession price of £20 for the u25’s

How to book your place at the dinner

Step 1:  Please can we ask that payment is made by FRIDAY 9TH FEBRUARY, via bank transfer, to the following Old Atrinchamians Association account using your name as a reference.

Sort code: 51 61 11

Account number: 82472270

If you’d like to pay by cheque, please make it out to ‘Old Alts Association’ and post to Stephen Perrett at 65 Langham Road, Bowdon, Altrincham. WA14 3NT

Step 2: email Stephen Perrett  at to confirm a) how many tickets you have purchased and the names of anyone you have purchased a ticket on behalf of. Also, b) if you, or any of your guests would like the Vegetarian option for dinner and finally c) what years you attended AGSB to help with seating arrangements.

I think that’s it for now, please book your places as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out on this very special event.

Kind regards

Christian James

Chairman, Old Altrinchamians Association



Dear Old Altrinchamian,

Next year’s Association dinner will be held at the school on Friday 9th March 2018.

Full details will follow including specific timings and costs but I wanted to let you know now about the fact that this year’s dinner is going to be a little bit extra special.

You may have heard that Mr Gartside has announced his retirement as Headmaster at the end of this school year, after 16 years in the position. During that time, the school has been through amazing developments but has still managed to retain its values and traditions.

I am delighted that Mr Gartside has accepted our invitation to be this year’s main speaker at the dinner which is why I’d love you to make sure you can attend this year and have the the chance to hear his abiding memories.
We will post further details about the evening shortly, including costs, but in the meantime, PLEASE SAVE THE DATE.

Many thanks and kind regards for the festive season,

Christian James (1980 – 1986)

Chairman, Old Altrinchamians Association

For tickets or further details, call Steve Perrett on 07836 339350,
or email him at



Alan Booth Deceased

We have recently received this email from Mrs Booth;

I’m sorry to have to let you know that my husband Alan Roy Booth, an ex Altrincham Grammar School boy and Old Alt for many years, recently passed away.

I’m afraid I don’t know the dates of his time at the school, but would guess it would be sometime around 1948 onwards.(Dates 1947-1952 from our database)

Alan’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 28th November at 3.30pm at Altrincham Crematorium.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any further details you may need. COLIN BAMFORD

The Annual General Meeting

This year’s AGM was held in the Library at School on Wednesday 8th November.

As has become a tradition, wine and nibbles were kindly provided by the Headmaster.

The evening marked the end of Colin Bamford’s five years as Chairman of the Association. He was pleased to hand over to Christian James who had stepped up earlier than expected because of Colin’s recent illness. The signs are that Christian will be a very capable replacement, not the least because he has already shown that he has a fund of new ideas!

We were sad to note that the meeting also marked the end of Kenneth Lea’s long and noteworthy membership of the Committee. Colin explained that Ken had been an enormous help to him from the very beginning of his twenty years. Ken must have served for at least twice as long, holding many of the Association’s offices in that time.

The 2018 meeting will be held on Wednesday 7th November.

Nick Cohen Delivers the Voltaire Lecture

Old boy Nick Cohen, who was at the school in the 1970s delivered the British Humanist
Association’s prestigious annual Voltaire lecture in May this year. Previous speakers
include Michael Foot, Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, and Ludovic Kennedy.
Nick is a political journalist and author currently working primarily for The Observer.
His writing is often controversial but is always thought-provoking.
To a crowd of 400 mainly Humanists, Atheists and Secularists, Nick Cohen delivered a
masterful lecture entitled ‘Free Speech in an age of fanaticism’ at Conway Hall, London.
Nick argued that it was troubling for him to observe the current trend for free speech to be
stifled in many countries and cited the UK, USA, Hungary and Poland as examples.
He argued that in the UK the Brexiteers in particular had persistently lied to the British
public. He said that in the recent US elections too the public were persistently lied to by
the supporters of Donald Trump. Furthermore he believed in both countries that following
voting continuing debate of pertinent issues is being actively discouraged.
Nick believes that this stance is an affront to democracy and that there now exists only ‘a
very narrow form’ of democracy.
This restriction on free speech extended to other areas. For example he feels that
Western commentators no longer have the freedom to criticise brutal Islamic regimes
such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example, since publishers ban such criticism for fear
of reprisals.
As a result there appears an almost tacit acceptance of the brutality and extremism in
such regimes.
Nick argued it is becoming increasingly difficult for the views of the moderate liberal left
to be heard. (A show of hands indicated that the liberal left was well represented in the
Conway Hall audience.) Even the most extreme forms of religion, he said, were not being
taken to task.The liberal left is either too afraid to express itself or is completely ignored
as being weak and of no consequence.
In an era where ‘post-truth’ is the norm he urged the audience to speak out against unjust
thinking and practices, even if at times this might seem futile. Silence is not an option.
According to Nick we are in dark times but he suggested this is nothing new.There have
always been troublesome and difficult issues to confront. ‘They are eternal struggles’.
Nick argued that new ideas, be they bad or good, arise not from mainstream thinkers but
from those on the fringes of society.
He suggested that in Nazi Germany it was in the racist fringes of society that antisemitism
started.This gradually became mainstream thinking leading to the Holocaust.
Nick exhorted the audience to challenge bad ideas as early as possible when the ideas
are weak and held by a fringe minority before they become mainstream thinking and
become strong, widely held beliefs.

Larry Bode

Larry was recently accepted as the first Humanist UK accredited volunteer Humanist
‘chaplain’/pastoral career at St Ann’s Hospice, Heald Green.
He also helped found and runs the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir

Newsletter 2016 – 2017

Many thanks to Anthony Perrett for once again pulling together the annual Newsletter.

In it, you will find the Headmaster’s summary of the year at school, an introductory message from me as acting Chairman of the association, a review of this year’s dinner and a fascinating report from ex pupils Alex Bescoby and Max Jones on their film ‘Burma’s Lost Royals’ produced by their company ‘Grammar Productions’.

Enjoy the read.


Old Alts Newsletter 2017 (web)

Tim Gartside

Today Tim has declared his intention to retire as Headmaster at the end of the Summer term of 2018.

He intends to continue as Executive Head of the Hamblin Education Trust and in his role as an Ofsted Inspector.

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today . . . . . . . .

On Saturday 7th October James Buxton and 36 of his fellow pupils who left in 1997, came back for a trip down Memory Lane. Headmaster Tim Gartside and Chairman of the Old Alts Colin Bamford were on hand to show them around the School. Special emphasis was placed on the many parts of the building which had been added in the last twenty years.37_137a1

We Were Kings – Film

The Film


 the rediscovery of Burma’s lost royal family

by Old Alts Alex Bescoby and Max Jones



is to be shown early in October

in the Coleman Hall at School

learn more: