Bluemantle Week 2021 Report

Under the watchful eye of our Patron, the Bluemantle Pursuivant himself and gratefully liberated from the shackles of lockdown, a young and vibrant gathering of keen cricketers assembled at the Nevill Ground to lock horns with familiar opponents from across the land.

The evils of Coronavirus may have been thwarted by the needles of the NHS, but the weather gods were not so kind as treacherous rain clouds hovered above Tunbridge Wells for much of the week, their contents accounting for the first day’s play, scuppering the match against the Band of Brothers.

The redoubtable Old Amplefordians arrived at the ground on the Tuesday to play the first game of the week. Chairman Ogden added to the excitement by announcing that this was the 70th anniversary of the fixture as the players were about to take the field. Pleasingly the game itself resulted in a victory for the home side, the most notable batting performance coming from Richard Calver (84) in setting the OAs 204 to win. Some disciplined bowling from the BMs ensured the target was not reached, with a brace of wickets each for Rothery, Pullen, Jackson and Ogden T, the latter having mutated into an off spinner over lockdown.

Emeriti were next to make the pilgrimage, thankfully with no overnight rain to delay proceedings. Batting first, the visitors plodded along, assiduously sticking to their task for 54.3 overs, tested in the main by Sam Huggett and Nico Chu who took 3-35 and 3-40 respectively. Chasing 181 for a second consecutive win of the week, the BMs lost their first game in four years, bowled out for 146 in just under 36 overs. Bailey Wightman, who had appeared for Kent earlier in the season as a medium pacer from Adelaide, held Emeriti at bay with a dogged 41 from 61 balls, with only Toby Pullen and the young Chu providing further resistance with 42 and 23. Nevertheless, we were grateful for an uninterrupted day and the company of three generations of the Pullen family. Bar takings were up on the day.

  • The new Bairamian Plaque

    For those Bluemantles with a knowledge of the club’s history, the Thursday was the day to look forward to when a commemorative plaque was to be unveiled on the wall of the Bluemantle Stand, honouring our lifelong friends, Bob and Rupert Bairamian. Fittingly, Chairman Ogden had chosen the match against the Stragglers of Asia for the ceremony, Bob and Rupert being such distinguished servants of both clubs. Dozens of friends and family gathered for the day, bringing picnics, memories and laughter as the grey and receding watched the young and hopeful take the field for a 40 over match with the BMs batting first.

Nothing could have been more encouraging for the future of BM cricket than the performances of Finn Tomlinson (77), Ted Paice (27 in 27 balls) and Will Daniels (1-25 and a massive six to greet the arrival of his Grandfather, Carl Openshaw!). All three played with a maturity beyond their tender years, with batsmen Tomlinson and Paice showing patience and aggression when required, and Daniels, aged 15, bowling with pace and control. Off the field, touching speeches by Club President Nigel Wheeler and Justin Bairamian, son and brother of Bob and Rupie, brought a downpour of both rain and Pol Roger as the day’s cricket was brought to an early close.

Sadly, more overnight precipitation meant the ground was unfit for play and the final game of the week against the Moose CC was abandoned.

This week of cricket, after so much disruption to our daily lives, reminds us of what we have to look forward to and enjoy. This wonderful ground, club and game allow us the privilege of friendship, competitive sport and humour. Bibulous lunches, our tummies stoked by Charlotte Burrough’s wholesome fodder, the reassuring presence of the Bluemantle and his Politburo of Wheeler, Ogden, Butler, Burrough and Atkinson and the knowledge that whatever Wuhan may throw at us, Bluemantle Week is to be cherished.

Ed Atkinson August ’21

The Bluemantle’s unveil the Bairamian Plaque

At teatime on 5th August, during the match between the Bluemantle’s and Stragglers of Asia, the Bairamian plaque was unveiled.

It is positioned on the side of the Bluemantle’s stand at the Nevill Ground.

The following videos were taken at the scene:

The Unveiling

The President

Justin Bairamian

Unveiling The Baraimian Plaque

Justin Baraimian will be unveiling The Bluemantles’ memory to Bob and Rupert Baraimian at The Nevill Ground during the tea interval on Thursday Aug 5th 2021. It will be at around 4pm during the Bluemantle’s match against the Stragglers of Asia.

Please join us in raising a glass of Champaign to Bob and Rupert.

Bob Baraimian

Rupert Baraimian

Nevill Ground Telephone Box Gets a Makeover

The much-loved telephone box in Nevill Gate, is going to receive some much-needed refurbishment this winter, according to Kent Live.

Erected sometime in the 1920s, it is one of only four in the country and is grade two listed.

According to Kent Live, the works are intended to be carried out in time for the 2021 season.

Tom Simpson

T.O.M.Simpson sadly passed away on 25th September aged 91.

Before coming to teach at Holmewood House School and representing the Bluemantle’s Cricket Club, he played for M.C.C and Esher CC

In the history of Esher CC celebrating their centenary in 1963, it states ….

‘The three years of Crouch captaincy marked the rise of J.A.Harrison and T.O.M.Simpson both powerful strikers of the ball – left and right respectively, the latter scoring his one thousand runs in 1957 and 1959’.

He first played for Esher in 1946 and had 62 innings amassing over 8000 runs at an average of 25.08.

Neil Benedict, who was coached by Tom, writes…
‘I first met Tom in the late 50’s when he ran the Esher Colts – his enthusiasm along with his schoolmasterly and authoritative style, contributed to a happy and fun environment. When I was in the Eastbourne College X1, it was lovely to watch and play against him representing the MCC in the 1960’s. He played a very positive effect on my life during this period, which I very much appreciated.’

Ted Rose, a distinguished member of The Bluemantle’s writes…

‘He was a Cambridge Crusader — he always wore the cap — and was a useful, uncomplicated, correct and attractive bat. He was also a revered schoolmaster. In his retirement he spent many hours reading to hospital patients.’

‘The one thing I can tell you is that I ran him out to finish his last ever innings! It was in the BM week and I had opened the batting in the morning. Tom came in at number three and we had a decent partnership up until lunch. I don’t know how many Tom made, but it must have been 40 or 50.’

‘Anyhow, I faced the first ball after lunch, eased it into the gap in the covers and trotted off for a gentle single. Tom had managed to get half-way down the pitch when he let out a howl of pain and pulled up with a torn hamstring.’

‘He enjoyed recounting afterwards, omitting his injury, that I had run him out in his last ever innings! – Lovely bloke.’

Photo Memories from Bluemantle Week 2020

It was a belter of a week on the Nevill Ground for Bluemantle Week 2020. And that applies both to the temperature and the runs scored. COVID19 restrictions meant the matches were reduced to 40-over affairs starting at 1pm (12:30 on Friday), and yet there were no fewer than 6 centurions in the week, and 8 further batsmen scoring above 50. Every day was a run-fest on the flat and parched earth of the Nevill Ground.

The Bluemantle (left) with respected members of the Bluemantle’s Old Guard.

Charlie Hobden, who scored 184 not out against the Stragglers of Asia

The victorious Bluemantles team with the Bairamian Cup following their defeat of The Moose CC

Ed Miller, captain of the Bluemantle’s, with the Bairamian Cup

Club President, Nigel Wheeler makes a short address before awarding the Bairamian Cup to The Bluemantles, Friday 7th August.

Willy Boulter and Paddy Butler

Charlotte Burrough providing valuable subsistence to the players.

Bluemantles Team vs Stragglers of Asia



Covid 19 Considerations for Matches

This year (2020) all Bluemantles matches will start at 13:00 and will be 40-overs per side.

Before coming to play cricket during Bluemantles Week, please be sure to read the ECB’s guidelines on Before/During/After, and Socially Distanced Cricket:



Listen out for more announcements and guidelines nearer the time regarding catering and changing facilities.






Stay Safe.



The First ‘Grand Slam’ Bluemantle Week in History!

Bluemantle’s vs Moose CC 10 August 2019

A cause for celebration

Since its foundation in 1862, never has The Club performed as well in Nevill Week as it did this year.

Of the five matches between 5th and 9th August at the Nevill Ground, The Bluemantle’s won every single one!

We were thankful to welcome Her Majesty’s appointment of our new Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms, Mark Scott, and delighted he was able to enjoy our victories during the week. We look forward to welcoming him back next year.

Meanwhile, we also remembered the final wicket of Bob Bairamian, who’s ashes were scattered at The Nevill Ground in late August. No one can deny the influence he maintains over the success of The Club.

So, to the successful week: In five days of hard-fought best-spirit cricket, following are the highlights:


vs Band of Brothers – Mon 5th Aug.

BB 234 for 9 ~ BM’s 236 for 3 Bluemantle’s won by 7 wickets

Giles Robinson 103*
Fraser McHale 84

Ben Twine 3 for 27
James Smith 3 for 45

Chairman Nick Ogden with The Bluemantle, Mark Scott.

vs Old Amplefordians – Tues 6th Aug

BM’s 303 for 7 dec ~ Old Amps 252 Bluemantle’s won by 51 runs

Jamie Drew 125
Ollie Bradley 39
Toby Pullan 36

Ben Twine 5 for 45


vs Emeriti  – Wed 7th Aug

Emeriti 159 all out ~ BM’s 160 for 4 Bluemantle’s won by 6 wickets

Ed Springett 3 for 31

George Skinner 50
M.Deveson 50


vs Stragglers of Asia – Thurs 8th Aug

BM’s 170 all out ~ Stragglers 164 all out Bluemantle’s won by 6 runs

Toby Pullan 5 for 34


vs The Moose -Fri 9th Aug

the Moose 177 for 8 off 40 overs – BM’s 181 for 5 off 40 overs

R.Lyon 3 for 41

C.Bennett Bags 76
Harry Judd 47

Bluemantle’s skipper George Burrough receives The Bairamian Cup from Justin Bairamian following victory over The Moose CC. President Nigel Wheeler looks on.



Announcing The Bluemantles’ newest Bluemantle: The Bluemantle!

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 13 June 2019, Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Mark John Rosborough Scott to the office of Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms, vacant since the promotion of Michael Peter Desmond O’Donoghue to the office of York Herald in 2012.

Mark Scott became interested in heraldry and genealogy as a teenager at school in Leeds. He was appointed bluemantle pursuivant by the Queen at the College of Arms earlier this month, and becomes the 77th known holder of the title since its creation in 1414.  He graduated from Mansfield College, Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

We congratulate Mark on his new appointment and look forward to welcoming him to the legendary Bluemantle’s C.C hospitality at The Nevill Ground soon.



Telegraph Obituary

The following is taken verbatim from The Telegraph dated 13th October. The author is not mentioned in The Telegraph Online, otherwise we would add due credit. We will withdraw this article if asked, but hope we won’t…

Robert Bairamian, who has died aged 83, was a prep-school headmaster and classics teacher whose pupils included the BBC’s Jeremy Vine, the current President of Ghana and Shane MacGowan, lead singer of the Celtic punk band Pogues.

In a teaching career lasting more than 60 years, Bairamian spread a love of Greek and Latin across prep schools in Kent, Surrey and north London. He taught with such a mixture of intellect, kindness and rascally wit that his pupils remembered him with deep fondness for the rest of their lives.

When not teaching boys the finer points of the gerundive, he encouraged them to put drawing pins on each other’s chairs. Driving a series of Audi and Mercedes cars, and immaculately dressed – with a silk handkerchief poking out of his breast pocket and a hint of Tabac aftershave – he brought a touch of glamour to the world of the post-war prep school.

He became headmaster at Holmewood House prep school, near Tunbridge Wells, at only 24. From the beginning, he encouraged admissions from across the world, particularly Nigeria and Ghana.

At his funeral, a message was read out from the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, recalling Bairamian as his teacher in the 1950s: “A young Cambridge undergraduate, swarthy, handsome, charismatic, gregarious, a Cambridge hockey Blue, then part-time member of the staff, who loved sports and encouraged us to shed any feeling of inferiority, if any, both on the games field and in the classroom.”

Bairamian was gifted at bringing out the best in all pupils – whether in academic studies, sport, drama or music. For example, when Shane MacGowan attended Holmewood in the late 1960s, Bairamian was immediately struck by his talents.

“He was very unusual indeed,” Bairamian recalled, “one of the most unusual personalities I’ve ever, ever met. I thought he would end up in the drama scene. At Westminster School [where MacGowan went on to], they asked whether I’d written his English paper. They said they’d never seen anything like this before.”

Throughout his career, dozens of Bairamian’s pupils won scholarships to public schools. In the late 1960s he drove boys to their exams at Ampleforth in his dazzling white Mercedes. He liked to shout “Achtung Polizei!” at police cars and got his sons to translate pub signs into Latin when he was driving.

At Ampleforth, he stayed with the Benedictine monks while the boys – supported and encouraged by his presence – duly won their scholarships. The following year, when he drove up more boys for the scholarship exam, he took the previous year’s scholars out to dinner at a pub on the Yorkshire Moors, introducing them to the finest steak and Château d’Yquem.

Throughout his lessons, he peppered his conversation with the Latin he loved. To Haydn Keenan (now a film director in Australia) at Holmewood, he said, on hearing his exam results: “Well, Keenan, you passed – mirabile dictu!”

As a classics master in the early 1980s at North Bridge House School, by Regent’s Park in north London, he taught the tricky ablative absolute by referring to himself as Bobo duce – “With Bob as our leader”.

He was known as Bob to friends, while the BBC’s Jeremy Vine, when he was at Aberdour School, Surrey, in the 1970s, nicknamed him “Cresta Bear” after the polar bear on Cresta fizzy drink bottles. Bairamian called Vine “In vino veritas”.

After one North Bridge House pupil won a scholarship to Westminster, Bairamian promptly whisked the boy’s parents off to a slap-up dinner at a grand restaurant with his friend, the broadcaster Sandy Gall. Bairamian paid for the dinner with the proceeds of a large bet he had wagered on the boy getting a scholarship. The identity of the punter who took the bet remains a mystery.

Robert Bairamian was born on March 18 1935 in Cyprus, where he spent his first 10 years. His father was Sir Vahe Bairamian, Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, a Judge of Appeal in Nigeria and editor of the Nigerian Law Reports. As Bob used to say, he was the “first and only Armenian to be knighted”. His mother was Eileen Elsie Connelly, headmistress of the English School in Nicosia, Cyprus.

At Dover College in Kent, Bairamian was head prefect, captain of cricket, hockey and squash and editor of The Dovorian. At St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, he read Classics and played cricket and hockey for the university.

In 1957, he became assistant headmaster at Holmewood House, before becoming headmaster in 1959. In 1975 he moved to Aberdour School, Surrey, then to North Bridge House in London, and then to Claremont School, East Sussex, in 1982, before his final post at St Christopher’s, Hove. He retired in 2001 but continued to tutor in classics until his death.

Bob Bairamian was married four times. His fourth wife Ros Daunt, whom he married in 1986, died in 2013; he is survived by two sons, Rupert and Justin, from his first marriage to Jane Crawford, and seven stepsons.

Robert Bairamian, born March 18 1935, died September 7 2018

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