AMC 2018: Meet the Judges

Monday night saw the crowning of this year's Annual Music Competition Gold Medal winner, as saxophonist Jonathan Radford worked away with the £15,000 first prize. But the task of choosing between the finalists is no easy decision. A adjudication panel of ten renowned figures from the industry, musicians, principals, and journalists among their ranks, were responsible for making the final call, all ably led by Principal of the Central School for Speech and Drama, Gavin Henderson CBE. Last year, Gavin sat down with Overseas to discuss his lifelong dedication to bringing together different aspects of the arts, the struggle for recognition – and the power of the idea.

Fringe Benefits: Decades in the Making

2018 marks the 19th year ROSL has returned to Scotland for its annual award-winning series of concerts at the Fringe, but our connection to the Edinburgh International Festival actually goes back much further. 

From the Archives: A 21st Birthday to Remember

Reaching your 21st birthday is quite the rite of passage in many parts of the world, and often an excuse for a big party celebrating your newfound maturity and adulthood. The same can be said for the Royal Over-Seas League, which celebrated its own 21st birthday in 1931 in style. 

From the Archives: A Letter from Princess Alexandra

Our Vice-Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, has been an integral part of ROSL for decades, particularly when it comes to the Annual Music Competition. Her tireless support of the young musicians which take part every year has been a crucial part of the competition's continued success. We look back at her involvement with the club and the AMC over the years. 

From the Archives: Anglo-American Relations

As US President Donald Trump begins his visit to the UK, crowds of supporters and protesters are expected in equal measure. The so-called 'Special Relationship' between the UK and the US hasn't always been so fraught, with a visit by the King and Queen to Washington depicted in a 1939 edition of Overseas as a huge success. 

From the Archives: Celebrating the RAF's 100th Anniversary

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, today we look back at article from the October 1918 edition of Overseas, written by the founder of Handley-Page Aircraft, one of Britain's foremost aerospace companies for decades and a constituent part of BAE Systems, which today is one of the world's largest defence contractors. His vision for the aircraft, which sees it rival the car as the transport of the masses, wasn't too far off.

From the Archives: Equality in Sport

To celebrate the upcoming edition of Overseas, due out on 1 June, we look back at one of the sporting articles featured in a 1920 issue of the journal. Writer F C Yardley argues that women's growing role in public life should be accompanied by a similar emancipation in women's fashion, particularly when it comes to suitable attire in sport. Read the full article below. 

From the Archives: Famous Visitors

At ROSL we are keen to celebrate our outstanding members and visitors, as well as our long-established Royal Patronage. Over the years, we have welcomed a number of notable people, and our visitors’ books serve as the primary evidence of that. Today we invite you to have a look at some interesting signatures from the early 20th century that we have found. 

From the Archives: Founding Father

In 2010, our centenary year, Alex May, Research Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, contributed a wonderful biography of our founder, giving a unique insight into Sir Evelyn Wrench's life, aspirations and motivation, taking in his happy childhood in Co. Dublin, falling out with Gandhi, an tireless work to develop and promote ROSL.

From the Archives: Going Underground

Vicky Baker discovers hints of yesteryear above and below the London streets, from a 2005 article in the Overseas journal. 

From the Archives: Happy Christmas from Sir Evelyn Wrench

A Christmas message from the December 1938 edition of Overseas, sees our founder Sir Evelyn Wrench reiterate the founding principles of ROSL. 

From the Archives: Hilary Mantel

ROSL has welcomed many famous literary figures over the years, including AA Milne, Rudyard Kipling and even Barbara Cartland. More recently, ROSL member Hilary Mantel gave in interview to Overseas in 2010. 

From the Archives: King of Care

In a 2010 edition of Overseas,Adele Smith explains why Evelyn Wrench brought Dr Truby King to London after he halved infant deaths in New Zealand. 

From the Archives: Live from Over-Seas House

You might not realise, but the Royal Over-Seas League was an early pioneer in communications technology, fully utilising the growing popularity of radio-telephony to contact the far-flung corners of the world and help stimulate international friendship and cooperation, one of the founding principles of the club. We hope to start broadcasting again in future when upgrades are made to the Princess Alexandra Hall AV equipment.

From the Archives: Lord Mountbatten

Next month will mark 40 years since the untimely death of Lord Louis Mountbatten at the hands of the IRA in Donegal Bay. Serving as ROSL President from 1942 until his death, this article from the December 1942 edition of Overseas, by Hector Bolitho, introduces him to members. 

From the Archives: Margaret Atwood

Canadian author, poet and critic Margaret Atwood has been a member of the Royal Over-Seas League since 2003, but her connection with the club goes back much further; winning the 1987 Canadian/Caribbean region of the first Commonwealth Writers Prize competition. With The Handmaid's Talehaving recently been turned into a hugely successful television series, we look back at an interview she gave to Overseas magazine shortly after becoming a member...

From the Archives: Member Memorabilia

Throughout lockdown, as many people have taken the opportunity to Spring clean, many members and relatives of former members have found and donated various archival objects and memorabilia related to ROSL, found languishing in lofts and at the back of cupboards the world over. 

From the Archives: Member Misbehaviour

ROSL's Natalia Sedunova uncovers hiddens gems from the archives which detail the behaviour and misbehaviour of members past.

From the Archives: Members Get Behind the Camera

With the entries for the 2021 ROSL Photography Competition now flowing in, Archivist Natalia Sedunova looks back at the history of members getting behind the camera.

From the Archives: My Most Thrilling Adventure

In the August 1937 edition of Overseas, member Freda Dalley gives her account of a breakdown in the middle of the dense Indian jungle. 

From the Archives: Our Sovereign Lady

In the June 1985 edition of Overseas, then-Vice-Chairman Godfrey Talbot LVO OBE, penned an article for the journal in which he recollected his relationship with our Patron, HM The Queen, over the years. It's heartening to see that, some 34 years later, many of his opinions on her still ring true today. 

From the Archives: Photographic Competition

The interest in our new ROSL Photography Competition has been excellent, but did you know that this isn't the first time the organisation has run such a competition. Read an excerpt from a 1937 edition of Overseas, calling for submissions of photographs showing the coronation celebrations for King George VI.

From the Archives: Princess Alexandra Visits Singapore

As Singapore celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding in 2019, Paul Ng looks back to 1969 when ROSL Vice Patron HRH Princess Alexandra visited to celebrate the 150th anniversary. 

From the Archives: Queen Salote of Tonga

In a 1999 edition of Overseas, Stanley Martin looks back at the Queen who won the heart's of a generation of British people with her rainy ride in the Coronation procession of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953. 

From the Archives: ROSL in Northern Ireland

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement next week, we look back at ROSL's footprint in Northern Ireland. 

From the Archives: ROSL in the US

ROSL has a long history of active stateside membership, with groups meeting across the country since early in the organisation's history. Today, one of the largest growth areas in membership comes from Americans, now outnumbering New Zealanders. 

From the Archives: ROSL’s Castle Next Door and Drama on the Roof

Margaret Adrian-Vallance looks at old prints of Over-Seas House showing the Gothic castle next door and a drama on the roof. 

From the Archives: The Changing Face of the ROSL Logo

In a 2010 edition of Overseas, former Director of Arts Roderick Lakin traced the heritage of ROSL imagery and the changing nature of the ROSL logo. 

From the Archives: The Channel Tunnel

2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France to passenger services. Construction of the 23.5 mile tunnel (or tunnels) began in 1988 and was completed in May 1994, costing about £9 billion. Its completion marked the end of a nearly two-hundred year dream to connect Britain with the continent. 

From the Archives: The Clubhouse Through Time

ROSL's London headquarters has seen many changes over the years, both structural and decorative. Look back through a gallery of the clubhouse's many guises, to see what has changed and what has remained constant.