Retired banker and businessman Godfrey Lancashire has been elected Chairman of the Old Hardyeans, in succession to the late Colin Lucas.

Born in Dorchester, Godfrey was educated at Hardye’s School from 1958 to 1966. His late father Walter was the Housemaster at Southfield House, teaching mathematics and cricket at Hardye’s- having been a Hampshire county cricketer.

Godfrey went on to Exeter University, then joined Barclays Bank in London, holding various management posts over a 25 year career, ending as Senior Manager in risk management. In 1995, Godfrey left Barclays to start his own company- London House International Ltd.- a professional firm of commercial investigators, assisting banks and companies with credit management, including investigating fraud, debt and money laundering. London House now has 40 offices UK wide. Godfrey took the opportunity of a management buy-out in April, to retire to Askerswell with his wife Alison. The couple have three grown-up daughters.

Godfrey Lancashire is also President of Dorchester YMCA. He has been Vice Chairman of the Old Hardyeans since March this year and a member of the club’s Council for six years.

Godfrey is one of three senior Officers of the Old Hardyeans who joined the school in 1958, the others being President Peter Foster and Secretary Michel Hooper-Immins. Alan Brown [at Hardye’s School 1957/64] remains as Treasurer and Bob Rench [1952/59] asMembership Secretary.

“I was born in Dorchester, enjoyed my time at Hardye’s School and have always retained very close links with the county town through family, sport, the YMCA and the Old Hardyeans,” says new Chairman Godfrey Lancashire. “I hope we can build on the great work carried out by Colin Lucas and council colleagues. As we move forward, I hope we can be a little more inclusive of the younger generations of leavers and it would be lovely to see some girls as well as boys playing a more active role in club activities.”

“We welcome Godfrey Lancashire as Chairman, knowing he intends to forge closer ties between the modern Thomas Hardye School and the Old Hardyeans,” comments Old Hardyeans’ Secretary Michel Hooper-Immins. “His lifetime’s experience in corporate and private business will be a great benefit to us.”

Founded in 1905 as the Old Grammarians, the Old Hardyeans- also known as the Hardyeans Club- is one of the most successful old school associations in the county, bringing together the old boys of Dorchester Grammar School and Hardye’s School, plus ex-students of the modern Thomas Hardye School. In the times of Queen Elizabeth I, it was Thomas Hardye [with a final “e”] described as a Yeoman of Frampton, who endowed Dorchester Grammar School in 1569. Hardye’s [shopping] Arcade today stands on the site. The Grammar School moved to Culliford Road in 1928- renamed Hardye’s School from 1954. The new Thomas Hardye School in Queens Avenue opened in 1992, encompassing the best traditions of the two previous schools- but admitting girls for the first time since 1569! Writer Thomas Hardy OM, who lived at nearby Max Gate, laid the foundation stone of Hardye’s School in 1927. He was no relation to Thomas Hardye, founder of the school, nor of Admiral Thomas Masterman Hardy!

Michel Hooper-Immins