Interview with Brian Lott: President of the Old Felstedian Society

Brian Lott OBE (a56-62) is the President of the Old Felstedian Society and took over the role from Sir Marcus Setchell KCVO in May 2017. 

After leaving Felsted, Brian won a Trevelyan Scholarship to Christ's College, Cambridge, and gained first class honours in Engineering and Management. Brian developed his talent as a hockey goalkeeper and won a couple of Blues at Cambridge, as well as representing England Hockey in the U19 and U23 teams. 

In 1965, he joined Imperial Chemical Industries and spent two years in Australia with them. Subsequently jobs in engineering and project management with Charter Consolidated and Davy McKee took him to Zambia, California and Germany before he settled back in the UK. In 1988 he became Managing Director of International Mining Consultants Ltd which he developed into IMC Group Holdings Limited, a group of international companies providing services to the mining, minerals, oil and gas and environmental sectors. He is currently a Director of IEA Environment Projects Ltd.
In 2002, he was awarded an OBE for Services to International Trade and became a Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers Charitable Trust in 2015. 

What made you want to volunteer and become part of the OF Society Committee?

I have always been very grateful for the education and opportunities which Felsted gave me and have valued my links with the School and with the friends I made there. When I retired, I wanted to do what I could to help the School and felt that becoming a member of the Committee was a way in which I could contribute.


You have now completed your first year as President. Can you tell us a little more about what it involves?

The role is a non-executive one and primarily involves representing the Society and OFs at formal occasions at the School and elsewhere. The President is also in a position to provide input and support to the Officers and Committee of the OF Society on the future strategy and management of the Society. 


What have you enjoyed most about the role so far? 

I have greatly enjoyed re-establishing links with the School and OFs and it has been a pleasure and privilege to join in events such as Speech Day, Remembrance Day and the Leavers celebrations. A particularly memorable day was the visit last year to Ypres to unveil the plaque to the Felstedians who lost their lives in World War I. It had a special poignancy for me as my father fought at the Somme and was wounded at Passchendaele in 1917.


How is OF Society Committee looking to develop over the next year?

We are currently seeking OFs who are keen to help as ‘Ambassadors’ to represent, liaise and communicate with their fellow OFs, either for their year group or perhaps a regional group. It could also be in a particular sport or other OF activity; the role need not be onerous nor take up much time! We realise that the Society could become much more active and relevant if members are keen to encourage and maintain links in this way with other OFs across the world. 


In your opinion, what are the benefits of the wider Felsted Network? 

School friends are some of the best friends you will ever have. Even those who are not necessarily close friends at school may become so later and, with a common experience to share, they are often in a good position to help each other in their careers or in other ways. The OF Society and the Felsted Network facilitates mentoring and career development opportunities as well as sporting and other links.


What do you remember about your time at Felsted?

I was not quite 13 and the youngest boy in the school when I arrived in September 1956.  I was very happy at Felsted and fortunate in being reasonably good at sport as well as academically. Memories of staff include Trog’s robust approach to maths classes and Capt. Lee taking us to the Mill at 4.30am to hear the dawn chorus and a trip to Minsmere and the Suffolk coast where he got me interested in geology by describing how an agate was formed. Other highlights include Beaulah putting me in goal in the Junior Colts hockey and telling me to come out of goal to confront an on-coming forward, which kicked off my hockey career and Cockett putting me forward for the English Schools Hockey tour of South Africa in 1961.


Do you have time for any hobbies? 

Retirement is surprisingly busy keeping up with the eight children and nine grandchildren that Judith and I have between us. We enjoy travel and manage to take four or five overseas trips a year as well as visiting friends and family in the UK. I play tennis two or three times a week and we often go to the theatre, cinema and opera in London. As well as being involved with the OF Society I am on the Development Board of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and the 1962 Year Group representative. I also keep in touch with the financial world, managing some of my own investments as well as being a Trustee of a Charitable Trust Fund. My other main interest is in genealogy, the history of the Lott family in the Flatford area and Constable Country, researching and writing up stories from the 18th, 19th and 20th century archives which I have inherited.