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History of the Association
In 1899, an Old Boys Dinner was held to celebrate the opening of school extensions at New Road. It was attended by 73 ex-students who felt that it was a useful opportunity for old school friends to renew their contacts. A Dinner has been held annually ever since, except during the two world wars.
At the end of the 1914–18 war, Old Boys teams were organised to play occasional matches against the School. This led, in 1923, to the formation of the Old Tauntonians' Association (OTA), keeping together those who wished to continue their former school contacts by playing many forms of sport.
These sporting activities became ever stronger. From the 1930s to the 1970s, the OTA produced teams of formidable strength at Football, Cricket, Hockey, Chess and Golf. Individual players were awarded international honours and county representation and teams won many local competitions. From the late 1950s to the 1970s, the OT Sports Club had its own clubhouse on the site of the old 'Tram Stables' adjacent to the Highfield building.
Over many years, from 1895, the progress and events of the School were recorded in The School Journal, which had flourished since its first appearance. There were three editions each year, a special Old Boys section gave detailed news and information of the subsequent careers of Old Tauntonians at all levels, ranks, trades and professions in the community, locally, nationally and around the world. The demise of Taunton's School also saw the end of the Journal, but it was replaced by an Old Tauntonian newsletter called News & Views.
Today, information about OT's progress continues to be circulated in 'News & Views'. This is published twice a year and sent to members of the Association all over the world, and many members now receive this by email. The newsletter still serves as a link and contact with past and present friends.
The two world wars resulted in the deaths of many Old Tauntonians. In their memory a stained glass Memorial Window and marble tablet were paid for from the subscriptions of masters, scholars and old boys. The tablets record the names of all those killed. Originally sited at Highfield, the window and tablets are now at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Hill Lane.
Each year, on the Saturday nearest to Remembrance Sunday, a Reunion Dinner, organised by the OTA Committee, is held at the College. During the dinner all those who lost their lives in the two wars are specially recalled in a toast to the fallen, a minute's silence, the words of Lawrence Binyon, "They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old…" and the sounding of Last Post.
With the closure of the school came the end of a regular supply of ex-schoolboys to join the Old Tauntonians' Sports Club. With the removal of the College to Hill Lane came the loss of the club premises. There never had been an investment in land for a sports field, either by the school or by the old boys. These three factors combined to gradually lessen the strength of the Sports Club and, eventually, non Old Tauntonians were admitted to membership. The requirement of some league teams to have their own ground, the desire for somewhere to socialise and the economics of survival made it necessary for mergers with other clubs and The Old Tauntonians' Sports Club ceased to exist as an entity.
The Association no longer runs any sport sections. However, for those interested in football, hockey, cricket or golf, there are still clubs or sections that members of the Association are welcome to join. For further details, see our Membership page.
Nowadays the sport and the Annual Reunion Dinner are run by the Executive Committee of the Association. The Executive also concentrates on administration:
The cost of annual membership of the Old Tauntonians' Association is £5 including the two issues of, and all postage for, the newsletter.
We welcome ALL eras of Tauntonians, no matter how long ago they left school or college.
Scanned image of the Old Tauntonians' Association badge at the top of this page shows what is called the 'insignia' in the Association's Constitution, where it is described as 'the coat of arms of Richard Taunton enclosed in a band of laurels'. The badge is/was worn on blazers and OTA Sport Teams' shirts.
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