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Ever busy with her HIV programmes in Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular, OW Nicola Willis (84-94, W), found time during 2019 to give an inspiring talk to a TEDx event held in Harare. TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and believing passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.
In introducing the event’s speakers, the following was written about Nicola’s background and work.
Nicola Willis is the founder and Director of Africaid’s, Zvandiri programme in Zimbabwe. She is a paediatric / adolescent HIV nurse, originally from the UK, but who left to work in several African countries, assisting health facilities and communities to establish paediatric and adolescent HIV treatment, care and support services. She has written a variety of training curricula over the years and is a member of Newlands Clinic training faculty. However, her true passion lies in the development of innovative, effective community interventions which complement facility-based care in promoting both the health and psycho-social well-being of children, adolescents and young people with HIV. This is the foundation for the Zvandiri programme which is best known for its unique approach in engaging young people living with HIV at the forefront of services for their peers.
For a number of years now, Africaid has been The School Chapel’s chosen overseas charity. It has been a privilege not only to have supported the work of this inspiring Wellingburian, but also to have listened to her in Chapel from time to time when she has been able to visit the UK. We are all humbled by her commitment to this very worthy cause and marvel at the successes she has engineered. To hear Nicola’s stirring talk in full, please click here.
(Ex Staff - 78-13)
Mrs Gemma Scott, Business Studies Teacher at Wellingborough School bids farewell to Young Enterprise Adviser, Paul Blunt, who, for the past 17 years, has guided young students through the ‘Young Enterprise’ process. Headmaster, Mr Andrew Holman, pictured here with Paul and Mrs Scott, gave thanks to Paul for his dedication in helping the students develop their business, financial and entrepreneurial capabilities.
As Paul passes over the ‘Young Enterprise Baton’ to another Adviser, he looks back on his years as Adviser.
“When I retired I followed the conceived wisdom not to engage in anything for 6 months. At the end of that time two opportunities fell into my lap. One was to become a Governor of Tresham Institute and the second was to become an Adviser for Young Enterprise. I had been introduced to YE by my old school friend Roy Hawkes (54-59, G) who was involved with the scheme in Warwickshire and he invited me to help in a half day Workshop at Kineton School. I was much impressed by the business opportunities this afforded teenagers and so my decision was made and my role of Young Enterprise Adviser began. The role of an Adviser is what it says – you are not there to run the company, but to guide and advise in business practice and correct if anything starts to go wrong. Company directorships are elected by the members based on the skills presented and then it is full steam ahead to create a product within the abilities of the company and to prepare to sell them at the Trade Fairs arranged for early December. The whole experience has been terrific and it has always amazed me how the members have developed as individuals in just a few months and the confidence that creating a product from scratch and then selling it to the general public gives them.
My main hope is that more OWs will be empowered to become Advisers – to pass on what I have learned from business life to the younger generation has been a very rewarding experience and I can’t thank the School enough for giving me this opportunity to ‘give back’ a little of the debt owed to Wellingborough School for the excellent education I received some 60 years ago.
GOOD LUCK future Wellingborough School Entrepreneurs – onwards and upwards!”
Dan Roan (OW 90-95, G) returned to the School on 21st November to speak to students about his career in TV broadcasting and contentious issues he has had to address in the world of Sport.
The sessions were in two parts – the first ‘in conversation’ with Headmaster Andrew Holman was in the School Hall with Lower and Upper Sixth Form students. The Headmaster raised the recent headline news concerning Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Manager of Tottenham Hotspur at an annual salary of £15m and asked if money was distorting the values in various sports, such as football, athletics and cycling.
Dan replied that his role as a sports editor was to report the facts impartially, but the values he had adopted from his time at Wellingborough ensured that he brought controversial issues such as the effect of commercial funding and racism in sport to the attention of viewers, allowing them to form a judgement.
The second session was with students particularly interested in Journalism. The session was led by two Upper Sixth pupils, Lucy from Marsh House and Olli from Garne’s, who asked Dan what had made him choose a career in journalism and broadcasting. He said he had always had an enquiring mind, being interested in current affairs and had been much influenced by teachers such as Mike Askham and Allen Ramsden. After starting with local newspapers in Northamptonshire he was invited to join Sky as a sports broadcaster and then moved to the BBC.
The two sessions were of great value to those attending and Dan’s visit is an excellent example of how OWs can help students at the School understand aspects of different career paths, and how to form choices themselves.
Julian Amey (57-67, G)
OW London Drinks
More than thirty OWs covering four decades gathered in Davey's Wine Bar off Pall Mall to join Foundation team, Neil Lyon and Debbie Whittemore, Club President, Julian Amey (57-67 G) and recent Past President, David Clifton (63-74 S), plus former member of staff, Mike Askham for drinks and a bite.
Many present had been influenced by guest of honour, retiring Deputy Head, Susan Barnhurst (1999-2019) and a tribute to her outstanding career was given by Chairman of Governors, Dr Jonathan Cox (79-86 C).
As the Headmaster noted, it is to the credit of the school he now leads that Wellingburians, both young and old, continue to support social events and the school careers convention in such impressive numbers. The camaraderie and will to support each other and the school remain first class.
Graham Garrett passed away on 15th September, aged 85.
GG, known affectionately as “The Plank”, was born and raised in Streatham, South-East London. The middle of three brothers, he was educated at Alleyn’s School in London, where he ended up as school captain, before gaining a Mathematics scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Upon graduating he had three years in the Royal Navy (1952-55) as an instructor officer, and then a short spell in industry. He joined the staff of Radley College in 1961, before being appointed to Shrewsbury School in 1964 as head of Mathematics and, three years later, as housemaster of School House.
In 1973, aged 39, he moved to Wellingborough with his wife Jill and their three children – Caroline, John and Alison – to take up his new appointment.
The Garrett era saw a succession of new buildings – the Modern Languages Block (1974), the Spencer Art Building (1974), the Overstone Building (1979), the Sports Hall (1983), Nevill House (1986) and the Gent Centre (1990). The playing fields were enlarged in 1982.
Inside and outside the classroom, standards were raised. The School benefitted from the abolition of the county’s grammar schools in 1975 and the introduction of Assisted Places in 1981. The A Level pass rate rose from 65% to 97.3%. A major change came in 1979: Overstone Girls’ School near Northampton closed suddenly, and the decision was made to become fully co-educational. The influx of girls, and the growth of the county’s population more than offset the decline in boarding numbers.
GG was very much a hands-on headmaster, involving himself in all aspects of school life. He led a sponsored walk to raise money for a new organ in the Chapel; he appeared in staff drama productions with great aplomb; he could be seen inspecting the CCF in his trilby hat, and playing tennis with the indefatigable Jack Blake.
He possessed the remarkable gift of giving time to everyone, from Shell former to governor, giving each person his whole attention - great eye contact, never looking over your shoulder in search of someone more important.
GG was very fortunate in being Headmaster at Wellingborough at a time when independent schools were booming; and Wellingborough was indeed fortunate in having GG at the helm. Working closely with the Governing Body and a supportive staff, he had the great support of his wife Jill at his side. Together they set a self-demanding example of practical Christian service.
For two decades GG oversaw great progress at the School. With his characteristically warm charm and his natural smile, he welded together an institution at ease with itself. Discipline was imposed from on high with a sense of compassion: suspending a pupil caught smoking or a group of boarders caught in a pub raid on a Saturday night would be conveyed with a sense of mild regret.
In July 1993 Graham and Jill retired to Cambridge, and his distinctive spidery handwriting on each pupil’s end of term reports became a thing of the past. Trademark catchphrases such as “You’ve got to get it right” and “It’s just not on” were consigned to the history books, ditto his reference to “long-haired skinheads”.
A busy and active retirement beckoned - working with the National Youth Orchestra and, with Jill, immersing themselves in the University of the Third Age, birdwatching and walking, and GG himself remaining an accomplished pianist. In 2008-2009 he served as President of the Old Wellingburian Club. In 2003 the School renamed the Teaching Block as the Garrett Building in his honour. Alas, the last seven years were blighted by the onset of Alzheimer’s, but to the very end he was blessed with the love and support of Jill, their children and grandchildren, and many close friends.
Historians will hail GG as one of Wellingborough’s greatest headmasters. And for those who knew him, he will be remembered for his kindness and his gentleness. A great man.
Report on OW Annual Dinner, 2019
The Spencer Room – formerly the Masters’ Common Room and, before that, School House Dining Room) hosted this year’s OW Annual Dinner on Saturday 9th November.
The appearance of Andrew Hants (73-82 C), visiting from New Zealand, (shown here with OW Club Treasurer, Richard Jackson (70-81, S) was noted by outgoing President, Garth Halestrap (56-60 S), who was equally pleased to introduce to the assembled, Julian Amey (57-67 G) as his successor for 2019-20. Guests included the School’s Head Boy, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl.
As noted at the afternoon’s Annual General Meeting, the outgoing President had taken the theme of “equality” for his year of office and he was delighted to report that, via the use of modern technology, two female OW members had been able to contribute to committee meetings from far flung parts of the world. Much progress had been made in continuing to develop, and in using, the OW Linkedin group as a communication tool and the incoming President looked forward to working closely with the Headmaster in further strengthening OW support to the School’s Careers Department.
Chapel full for joint Memorial Service
A large number of Old Wellingburians gathered in Chapel to hear tributes paid to the lives and work of the Junior School’s, Mickey Prall (64-02) and Headmaster, Graham Garrett (73-93) on Saturday 9th November.
The service, conducted by Rev Christine Ostler and punctuated with wonderful photographic memories and splendid music provided by former Director of Music, Stephen Ostler, was appreciated by GG’s widow, Jill, his three children and some of his several grandchildren, colleagues, and many Wellingburians who had been touched by the kindness and wisdom of these two “gentlemen schoolmasters”.
Richard Dyson (JS Headmaster, 77-89) separately, led both sets of tributes, beginning his remarks on SAP with what turned into an invitation to the congregation to join him in chanting aloud Mr Prall’s rhyme for remembering the monarchs of England, a touch much enjoyed by those present who had been through the JS. Robin Hickling, a longstanding colleague of Mickey, also spoke fondly about working alongside him, not least when, for two terms in 1994-5, they ran the JS as joint Acting Headmasters. Charles Linfield, Platt’s Housemaster, Head of History and Director of Studies during GG’s headship, appraised the significance of the Garrett years at Wellingborough, described by one online commentator as having heralded the birth of the modern Wellingborough School.
The buzz, and crush, in the Dining Hall after the service spoke volumes for the esteem in which these two “titans” of the School were celebrated.
To view the list of attendees and apologies, please click here
There was a good turnout of retired staff at the funeral of Sydney Arthur Prall (affectionately known as Mickey) on Friday, 26th July. The photo shows the following:
Mrs Handford, Mr & Mrs Owen, Mr Batley, Mr Linfield, Mrs Watts, Mr Hickling, Mrs Tyndall, Mr Lower, The Ostlers, Mr Rowse, Miss Sanders, Sheila Nesbit and Gary Moss.
We shall be holding a memorial service for Mr Prall in the School Chapel at 2.15pm on Saturday 9th November: all very welcome. For catering purposes, it would be very helpful if you can let us know by 1st November whether you can come. Equally, we would welcome any recollections or anecdotes about Mr Prall, and a selection will be read out at the Memorial Service.
Many congratulations to Professor Sir Christopher Greenwood (65-73, C) on being appointed as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge as from October 2020. He succeeds Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, in this prestigious role.
We were delighted to welcome back Michael Ellis MP as the guest of honour at Senior School Prize Giving in July. Michael was in Platt's, 1981-86, and has served as the MP for Northampton North since 2010. He has recently been promoted to the position of Solicitor General in the new government.
"Mr S.A. Prall joined the staff as Assistant Master this term. Miss S.E. Blachin took Miss Bawtree’s place as Secretary. We wish them both well, and hope they will enjoy working here… The Junior School is full for the year 1964/5 with 53 boarders and 93 day boys”.
Thus wrote Roland Bedford in the Michaelmas 1964 edition of The Wellingburian, and thus began a teaching career for Mickey Prall at Wellingborough which would last some 38 years.
Mickey was born in India, where his father was posted, and educated at Cranbrook School in Kent. He studied for an IAPS Diploma in Education, and then joined the staff of Lichfield Cathedral School before arriving at the Junior School in 1964, aged about 22. For the next 38 years he ran the History Department in the JS, and countless generations would later thank him for drumming into their skulls the names of the Kings and Queens of England. Favourite classroom howler: “King Harold died when he found an arrow in his eye”.
In September 1965 Mickey became President of Lions (one of the JS Clubs) upon the sudden death of his colleague, Lambert Musgrave, a position he held for the next 37 years. From time immemorial he was responsible for organising the games programme three times a week, and the annual Sports Day. His first love was rugby, introducing the game into the JS in 1979 and running the 1st XV for many years. He refereed outside school in the holidays and, in retirement served for many years as a referees’ assessor, travelling extensively around the country. He was also involved in JS cricket, running the 1st XI for a time, and in 1981 he succeeded Major Allen as Director of Games.
In his early years at the School he lived at Evington House in Castle Street, and steadily took on responsibility for the JS boarders, at one time over 80 in number. He also helped out in Platt’s during the reign of Peter Croft (1960-72). He would serve under seven Heads – Roland Bedford (until his untimely death in 1969), the interregnum of Ian Ferguson (1969-70), Richard Millard (1970-73), Peter Howorth (1973-77), Richard Dyson (1977-89), Hugh Clifton (1989-95) and Graeme Lowe. In 1995-96 he served as Joint Acting Headmaster alongside his colleague Robin Hickling, taking on responsibility for liaison with parents.
In his 38 years he saw so much change in the JS – caps and shorts fading away, corporal punishment becoming a thing of the past, the arrival of girls in 1979, the steady decline in boarding numbers (boarding ended in 1994) and the vast increase in pupil numbers.
By the time he retired in July 2002 it was estimated he had eaten something like 3,300 school meals, courtesy of the Underhills and the Macdonalds. Notwithstanding this Olympian feat he managed to enjoy a very fulfilled retirement, splitting his time between his family home in Kent and his flat in Castle Street, and devoting his energies to the Embankment Golf Club as well as his beloved rugby. Colleagues and OWs often enjoyed the opportunity to see him in town, and to exchange news and reminiscences. To the end he kept in close contact with his old colleague and neighbour, Ian Ferguson (Second Master of the JS, 1955-85), and together they toured many of the finest restaurants and hostelries in Northamptonshire.
Mickey passed away suddenly this May, aged 77. He will be remembered fondly by his colleagues as a very popular member of the Staff Room, and by countless generations of OWs as a dedicated master on and off the games field – small and rotund in stature with a bark worse than his bite.
Our thanks go to Ian Ferguson (staff, 55-85), Robin Hickling (staff, 62-98) and Mike Askham (staff, 78-13) for helping to compile this obituary.
Congratulations to OW Tom Cheatley (96-06, C) on his marriage to Anna. The couple tied the knot in Sweden, Anna’s home Country and enjoyed an amazing day with friends and family. Godson Jack and Anna's Nephew Alve had a great time too!
Best Men were Oliver Cattell (96-06, C), Joe Connor (99-06, F), Joe Ramsden (95-05, C) and friend Shaun Gallacher.
Groomsmen were Dr James Duncan (99-06, G), George Knuff (99-06, C), Andrew Petrie (93-03, C) and James Petrie (93-03, F). Other OWs in attendance were Jonathan Hallett (96-06, C), Jordan McGuire (01-06, PS), Will Chudley (02-06, Pl), Greg Evans (95-06, C), Patrick Davies (96-06, C) and Matthew Cattell (00-15, C). Friend Terry O’Neill also joined the lads in celebration.
Tom, a teacher at Stamford School and
Anna a Senior Brand Manager, will shortly be honeymooning in Italy, followed by cruises in Alazka and Hawaii, with a few days either side in Vancouver and San Francisco.
A celebration of all turning 50 was the motivation, and so Sam Leadsom and Harvey Thorneycroft set about getting a group of their old school mates together. Brampton Halt was the venue and THERE WAS CAKE! Judging by this picture, the afternoon was an great success. Plans are already afoot to meet up again with some of those unable to make it this time around.
From top left: Kate Henry (née Evitt) (80-87, M), Harvey Thorneycroft (82-87, Pa), Becky Clarke (née Gent) (80-87, N) Lisa Burrett (85-87, M), Kerry Weisselberg (79-87, N), Nick Cole (78-87, Pl), Karen Hardicker (née Mellor) (82-85, M), Alex Zotiades (78-87, G), Roger Morton (82-87, Pl), Rupert Higgins (76-87, St), Richard Shelton (77-87, St) and Sam Leadsom (82-87, G).
On Monday, 20th May the School was advised of the sad death of Mr S A (Mickey) Prall. He passed away suddenly at his home on Saturday 18th May, aged 77.
Mickey was Head of History in the Junior School, Club President of Lions, Master in Charge of Colts Soccer, First Cricket Teams and Rugger. He came to Wellingborough in 1964 and retired in 2002. He carried on his love for the game of Rugby in retirement and became an Assessor Development Officer for Referees for the East Midlands Rugby Union. Mickey was a great supporter of the school and will be sadly missed. The picture shows Mickey with teacher Paddy Waugh and one of his pupils OW Commander Andrew Canale. A full obituary will be available in due course. In the meantime, please see below a few of the 100 comments sent to the OW Facebook page!
“So sad to hear. Such amazing memories of our 5MP class assemblies to the rest of the junior school. A wicked sense of humour and a huge love for history. I still to this day have never forgotten “willie,willie, harry,ste....”
“Such sad news! Such an incredible teacher and a great man - a huge loss.”
“Such sad news, I have such fond memories of Mr Prall! I still remember him asking me to be Captain of Lions and the infamous ‘willy, willy, Harry Steve’ for the monarchs!”
“He taught me between 1975 and 1977 but was still able to remember me when I met him at the School/OW Golf event in 2017. Top teacher.”
“He was one of those teachers you never forget. He could teach without feeling you were being taught and had an incredible ability to make it fun!”
“He was my form tutor, club captain in Lions and history teacher. What an inspirational and passionate man – one of the reasons I became a teacher myself. The posts are a testament to his talens and unique character. RIP Mr Prall.”
“One of the greatest teachers I ever had and a massive influence on why I did history at University. May be rest in peace and he will be forever in our hearts.”
“A fantastic teacher and an ever better man! A passion for sport and brought laughter and enjoyment wherever he went! He will be sorely missed, rest in peace Sir.”
On 11th May the School hosted the annual Graham Garrett Society Lunch. Named in honour of the former Headmaster Graham Garrett (1973-93), this is an annual gathering of well-wishers and supporters of the School. Those attending heard from the current Headmaster Andrew Holman about the School’s fundraising campaign for more bursaries and scholarships. There was then an opportunity to see the various enhancements made in the Chapel over the past year, and one or two stayed on to see the School beat Stamford on The Grove in the final over.
The Vincent’s Club, whose members are predominantly Oxford sporting blues, was the venue for this year’s Old Wellingburian, Oxford and Cambridge Dinner on Friday 8th February.
Neil Lyon (80-85, W) acted as Master of Ceremonies and invited James Browne (79-86, W) to deliver the toast to the school. As is customary on these occasions, there was the inevitable round of inter-varsity bashing, which was willingly taken on by the Cambridge University educated Headmaster, Andrew Holman, in his reply. He went on to update the gathering on the school’s commitment to increasing its bursary funding, so that more worthy young people could benefit from the excellence of the school’s educational provision. He also re-assured diners that the proposed shift to a two-tier school structure, as explained in more detail on the school’s website under the project name, Chrysalis, would be retaining the much loved house system at the centre of the senior school’s pastoral care provision, much to the delight and relief of pupils and parents.
There was considerable positivity demonstrated in support of the Headmaster and his conviction that the changes will help to strengthen the academic chances of the next generation of Wellingburians.
Those in attendance were Mike Askham (78-13 Staff); James Browne (79-86, W); Dr Jonathan Cox (79-86, C); President, Garth Halestrap (56-60, St) & guest, Marion Rouse; Rupert Higgins (76-87, St); Headmaster, Andrew Holman; Charles Linfield (73-00 Staff); Neil Lyon |(80-85, W); James McNicholas (81-88, G); Peter Phillips (54-65, Pa); Ben Roe (88-98, Pa); Richard Saynor (97-04, C); Paul Midwinter (73-79, Pa); David Waller (77-81, St)
OW receives international cricket cap
Jasmine Titmuss (03-07,M), the first girl to play for the School’s cricket XI as an opening bowler between 2004 and 2007, was recently awarded her international cap for representing the Hong Kong Ladies’ cricket team.
Jasmine represented England’s U21 Ladies the summer after she left school and, following three years at Loughborough University in their elite programme, she captained the Lancashire Ladies team during her time in the north west between 2010 and 2015.
Seeking pastures new, Jasmine accepted the position of Hong Kong Women’s Head Coach, a role she carried out for two years before a career switch into Human Resources.
However, that was not the end of her cricketing career as she took up playing again, a move which was rewarded, as the photograph confirms, with her full international cap.
The OW Club is pleased to congratulate Jasmine on her achievement and wishes her continued success in the game.
Mrs Joan Fisher (Headmaster's Secretary)
The Club was sorry to learn of the passing of former Headmaster, Graham Garrett's, much loved secretary, Joan Fisher, on 19th December. Joan, both a welcoming and most efficient presence in the pre-fabricated building which housed the administration offices in the 1970s, had retired to Exeter and was 92 years of age when she died. Thanks to Joan's daughter, Mrs Sue Norton for letting us know.
Following hard in father’s footsteps
2018 School leaver and 1st XI cricket captain, Joe Stockdale (04-18 C), was celebrated in a BBC video following his debut at the Olympia Horse Trials in December.
Following the untimely and recent premature death of his father, Tim, whose own equestrian career included representing Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Joe, a junior GB rider himself decided to give up any hopes he may have been harbouring of a career in professional cricket and decided to honour his father’s memory by committing himself full-time to the equestrian world.
At Olympia, Joe acquitted himself superbly by jumping a clear round to qualify for the jump-off against the clock. On this occasion, and in a high quality field of senior riders, Joe didn’t quite manage to lift the trophy, but he certainly made experienced commentators take note. Old Wellingburians and the school will be following his progress in the coming years with the keenest interest and wish him well.
His interview with BBC Look East’s James Burridge may be viewed by clicking here.
A good number of OWs were drawn back to the School this year to attend one, or other, of a number of events. The School’s stunning production of Arthur Miller’s ‘A View From The Bridge’ performed at the town’s Castle Theatre provided the perfect “warm-up” for those able to attend, offering a thoughtful backdrop from a very different tragedy to the events of 1918 and the Great War’s last days. Club President David Clifton (63-74 S), a keen amateur thespian himself, was pleased and proud to be able to witness the extremely high quality of dramatic interpretation and performance on show, as were the other OWs also privileged to experience the production.
On Saturday afternoon a more sombre occasion was celebrated in Chapel in the form of a service of Dedication of a Memorial to former School Chaplain (1913-1914), Lt Col The Rev. Bernard Vann VC, MC and Bar, Croix de Guerre avec palme. Driven by the combined efforts of Past Presidents, Michael Gent (48-58 Pa), Jerry Higgins (57-66 S) and Neil Lyon (80-85 W) a splendid service, which included contributions from Padre Andrew Totten MBE, QHC, Principal of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre and Rt. Rev. John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth, saw the unveiling of a plaque by grandson, Michael Vann, commemorating Vann’s involvement in the 1914-1918 War.
Following the Club’s Annual General Meeting, Garth Halestrap (56-60 S) was confirmed as President for 2018-19. His year of office will mark 40 years of fully integrated co-education at the School and he announced that his theme for his term of office will be “Equality”, informing the meeting that he has secured the enlightened Lansdowne Club in Mayfair for his London Dinner next March, an establishment which has accepted both male and female members since 1935. His aim is to involve many more lady members in the Club’s affairs in 2019.
The evening’s Annual Dinner in the School Hall saw 87 members and their guests support outgoing President, David Clifton; the highest level of attendance for some years. OWs who were at the school during the 1970s, a significant proportion of this year’s attendees, were mustered for a “team” photograph before Neil Lyon reminded the gathering of the impact of World War One on OWs. Replying to the President’s toast to the School, Headmaster Andrew Holman spoke about the Foundation’s initiative to re-launch the War Memorial Scholarships and Bursaries Fund.
Congratulations to Old Wellingburian Hannah Edwards (01-08, M) on her marriage to Matthew Fordham in July of this year. The couple both attended Southampton University back in 2008 and have been together ever since! OWs in attendance were Hannah’s best mates, Alice Williams (97-08, W) and Harriet Slater (01-08, M) and of course Brother Tom (99-06, PS). They spent their honeymoon in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Hannah, (BSC Sports Studies) works at Bishop’s Stortford as a PE Teacher and Matthew (MEng Aeronautics & Astronautics) a mechanical design consultant in Cambridge.
Between 19th September and 6th October the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton will be hosting the spectacular musical production of “Kinky Boots”. This tells the story of how a Northamptonshire boot and shoe firm adapted to new markets in order to survive. The story was turned into a highly successful film in 2005. And it is a true story, based on W.J. Brookes in Earls Barton, run at the time by Old Wellingburian Steve Pateman (74-79, Pa).
The wedding of Hugh Corbett (98-08, F) to Dr Anita Kasperczyk took place on 4th August 2018 in the beautiful Quadrille Chateau Hotel, Gdansk, Poland. This was followed by a mini honeymoon in Italy, and the couple will be travelling in Australia later in the year.
Other OWs present were Tom Lascelles (00-08, Pl), James Partridge (00-07, Pl), Alex Halsey (98-08, Pl) (Best Man), Captain Lily Thompson (00-08, M) (née Corbett), James Westley (03-08, F), Alex Barnhurst (01-08, C) and James Pattison (03-08, Pl).
Hugh and Anita met whilst travelling in Central America and are now living in Malmo, Sweden, where Hugh is the Corporate Communications Manager for Falck (Copenhagen) and Anita is a GP.
BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan was privileged and delighted to be awarded an honorary fellowship by his hometown university, the University of Northampton, on Wednesday, 25th July at the Royal Derngate, Northampton. Dan congratulated all the students who graduated and was especially proud to share his special day with this young family.
Congratulations to Sir Christopher Greenwood on being awarded the GBE (Knight of the Grand Cross) for services to international justice, following his retirement as a Judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Comprised of a panel of fifteen judges elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the Court is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and is tasked with settling legal disputes between member states.
A blazing hot day didn’t put off Bristol based nurse, Joanna Wates (96 - 03 W), from competing in the Castle Triathlon series event at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire on Sunday 22nd July. A keen games player at school, and veteran of the school Rugby and Hockey tour to British Columbia, Canada, in October 2002, Jo emerged from her 1500m swim in an algae infested lake to enjoy a 45km “up hill and down dale” ride on her bike through the Howardian Hills before her second transition and a gentle (!) 10km run in a single lap of the estate. The finish brought competitors across the front of the great house, immortalised by the 1981 television serial and the 2008 film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel, ‘Brideshead Revisited’.
James Hasler, MA Memorial Service
A full programme of events was rounded off by a fitting tribute to the late Mr James Hasler, Head of English for the whole of his 33 years at the school from 1957 to 1990. School Chaplain, Rev. Martin Walker, a keen supporter of OW gatherings, and performing his last duty for the Club before retirement from teaching and taking up a large united benefice of seven churches at Wiveliscombe, near Taunton, set the tone for a flood of happy memories and appreciations to follow.
Former colleagues Charles Linfield and Mike Askham were joined by former pupils, Tony Coult, Julian Amey, David Clifton, and Neil Lyon in delivering the readings and tributes. A recording of international baritone, David Wilson-Johnson, singing, ‘To a Poet, To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence’, accompanied a slideshow of photographs of JH compiled by the Foundation Office with the help of the family. All in all, it was a splendid send-off for ‘The last of the veterans’.
Dr Tony Coult (60-65, Pl) remembers...
I've written elsewhere about the death last year of my housemaster Peter Croft. If he was in loco parentis, Jack Hasler was our kindly uncle with a quiet, unmistakable passion for literature. He introduced me to Donne, Shakespeare, Wordsworth and T S Eliot's odd plays. If he was, as W. Stephen Gilbert's Facebook page suggests, occasionally tardy in his return, marked, of our pretentious scripts from the vanguard of the mid-1960s, maybe the back shelf of his car was indeed their most appropriate location. What is important is that he never mocked our over-reaching, understanding that adolescence is a space for risk, however misguided or challenging to the orthodox. In 1964 he directed, calmly and unpretentiously, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, surely the great parable for our age with its critique of the misuse of power and learning. Steve Gilbert and I, as Mephistopheles and Faustus respectively, were honoured to have that experience. Certainly it was the best of my school life, and of much after. Jack was a model of decency and culture. Ave et vale JH.
Eddie Elmhirst (54-58, G) writes ...
I was saddened to hear that James had passed away, he was a nice man, a gentle man. We had common interests and connections in Norfolk where I now live.
I first met him in the Sixth Form in 1958. I always remember the accent was on logic (the power of reasoning, etc); some learned chap had written a book on logic which was quite topical at the time. After leaving School that year I then lived in London, working for Thames Television in Teddington for some years, before moving to Norwich with Anglia TV, and it was about 20 years ago that I renewed contact with James. It turned out that his sister-in-law lived just 50 yards from me.
Often when James came to visit her, I would meet him and invite him to lunch at the Strangers Club here in Norwich. On a few occasions I was rather honoured to be James's guest at the OW Oxbridge Dinners (pictured here, I'm immediately to James' left). I also stayed with him when attending the odd function at the School; he was a great crossword expert, and I remember him proudly showing me an award he had received. I shall miss James - a great conversationalist.
Facing a confident School XI, which had lost just the one fixture during an excellent term’s cricket, a strong OW team, batting first as has become the Friday night tradition for the annual T20 encounter, posted an encouraging total which they defended with some ease. Led by last year’s school captain, Sean Mulvey, the OW team also contained Jonathan Bowers, Drew Brierley, Alex Chalcraft, Matt Chalcraft, Levi Draper, George Groenland, Tom Knibbs, Alex Mills, Toby Mitchell, Jarrod Staughton and Tom Reading.
One of the President’s duties eagerly awaited each year is to adjudicate the final of the Senior School’s annual Junior Public Speaking Competition in Chapel. As a past National Schools’ runner-up during the early 1970s, David Clifton, relished the task thoroughly enjoying the rich variety of presentations and delivery styles. The actual awarding of the trophy, which bears the family name, he left to his mother, Mollie, a very loyal supporter of the occasion year on year.
Saturday’s continuing glorious weather enticed a good number of attendees for the afternoon's JH Memorial Service to brave the Headmaster’s lawn for drinks and a spot of lunch. They were joined by a dozen, or so, leavers from 1983, who had returned to mark their 35th anniversary, and who were galvanised into action by Sarah (nee Miles) Arrowsmith. She was delighted to be joined by Peter Botterill, David Brawn, Peter Crisp, Warren Gibbins, Tim Graham, Roger Knowles, Bruce Marcus, Emma (nee Smith) Nicholl, Steve Shelton, Simon Warrick, Susan (nee Evans) Whatton and Dr Charles Wood. Nostalgic recall of what were remembered, fondly, as highly dubious CCF activities seemed to dominate conversations along with marriages, families and Botox!
Younger, fitter lady OWs convened on the AstroTurf pitch for their annual hockey fixture against the School. An experienced and well supported group, as the team photograph indicates, were pleased, in sweltering heat, to come out on top by 3 goals to one. Thanks to Charlotte Cattell, Emily Cattell, Maddie Freeman-Hall, Jess Henson, Harriet McCulley, Elise Porter, Becky Short, Rebecca Stabler and Katy White for their dedication and desire to play in this annual match.
Global radio and television sports broadcaster, Alison Mitchell (91-98 W) has been weighing in, via her Twitter account, to the “women commentators on male sports” debate raging over the appearance of Vicki Sparks on TV commentating on games at the football World Cup in Russia and female players, Alex Scott and Eni Aluko, being seen and heard among the pundits. Alison suggested that the strapline, “Should women commentate“, was ‘2007 all over again’. She went on to say that ‘we’re individuals and commentators should be judged on voice and ability. Preference of one (male or female) over the other for sound reasons is great. But don’t use gender as if it’s the sole defining aspect’.
Those who heard Alison address Headmaster, Garry Bowe, and the pupils at 2017’s Prize Giving will recognise the mission that she is on to change attitudes in the traditionally male dominated world of sports broadcasting. Extending beyond this challenge and into other women’s issues, about which she is equally passionate, Alison, in a further tweet, broadcast that on 15th July she will be running in the #Westminster 100 team at the British 10k in Central London on behalf of UN Women UK, an organization, which is working for gender equality and ending violence against women. She explained that many women in countries through which she has travelled are held back from voting due to complex socio-cultural reasons, or violence.
Having undergone a major lung operation in 2016, and not being a jogger, Alison admits that her challenge will be ‘a bit of a personal milestone’ too; OWs continue to be very proud of this fabulous young lady. Alison invites you to visit her Just Giving page -https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alison-mitchell2018
In early June the Class of 2013 came back for their 5 and for some, 7 year Reunion. This long-awaited event is a must in the School Calendar and already the Class of 2014 are asking about their date for 2019!
The new Headmaster, Mr Holman, was particularly keen to see how this event fared and commented: “One of the many fantastic things about Wellingborough is the lifelong connections that are made between people, and the enduring relationships that develop. It was wonderful to hear about how they’ve used what they learned at school and have used that foundation as a springboard into what I hope will be a successful career. Five years is an interesting time frame: for some the world of work has already started, and they are carving out success in their dream job; for others the world of academia has not yet ended, be that via further study in Masters or PhD programmes, continuing their first degree in (for example) Medicine, or returning to university following a year in industry. What was clear is that, despite the opportunities created by social media, these young people really valued the chance to meet up face-to-face and catch up with their peers”.
Mr & Mrs Bowe were delighted to be invited back and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with everyone, as was evident by the constant smiles and laughter coming from their direction. Towards the end of the afternoon, they ventured down to watch the 1st XI cricket team beat Bedford Modern - a lovely way to end their first social visit back to the school since changing careers in December 2017.
There’s already a provisional date in the diary for next year’s event – let’s hope the success of this occasion continues to grow year on year.
Just two months into his northern exile, Mike Askham (78-18 Staff) has discovered Simon Scott (78-82 C) living nearby in the delightful village of Coxwold on the northern edge of the Howardian Hills close to Ampleforth College and Peter Illingworth (70-80 Pa) not only running a successful estate agency of the same name in the area, but also living a few properties away from the said author in the same village!
An outing to England’s final warm-up match at Elland Road, Leeds, before heading off to the World Cup in Russia, yielded a catch-up with Tom Fehler (94-04 C), now an experienced member of the FA’s Events team. Kitted out with an impressive head set, Tom was spotted first in the VIPs pre-match area chatting comfortably with fellow FA employees and Council members before undertaking pitch side duties, which, at one point in the second half, had him having to calm down some heated Costa Rican representatives when they had used their full substitution allowance and were demanding the right to put another player onto the pitch. Not receiving any encouragement from the Japanese fourth official they chose Tom to harangue instead.
Clearly schooled in the art of diplomacy during his time at Wellingborough, Tom seemed unfazed by the experience and dealt with the Spanish invective coming his way most professionally.
Interviewed on the BBC’s early evening programme, The One Show, on 1 May 2018, Hamza Yassin (04-08 G) now a successful “long lens” wildlife photographer, and a new recruit to the show’s wildlife team, recalled his early years in the Sudan surrounded by wildlife he didn’t really appreciate. He also recalled that he had a monkey as a pet and he had assumed that kids in the UK would have the same.
He noted that his degree in zoology, with conservation, had helped him to anticipate animals’ behaviour patterns which, in turn, had led to some stunning photographs since he took up his fascinating career. On the show, his cctv film of a pine martin living up in his loft generated considerable interest from co-hosts, Matt Baker and Alex Jones
On Saturday 24th March over 40 OWs gathered to challenge themselves in three football matches and one netball match against school teams.
Starting proceedings in the Sports Hall, the OW Netballers, after a nip and tuck start, settled into a convincing rhythm and ran out 37-18 winners. Representing the team were Anna Cannon, Charlotte Cattell, Emily Cattell, Yasmin Dhaliwal, Harriet Knight, Rebecca Smith, Charlotte Stevens, and team supporter, Hannah Edmunds.
Lacking a regular goalkeeper, the 1st XI footballers were blown away by a good school side. Tom Buller scored a consolation goal in a 1-7 drubbing. The team consisted of Rob McArdle, Jamie Bates, Noah Kennedy, Drew Brierley, Ollie Furniss, Nick Dutton, Chris Clayson, Ed Smith, Murray McMillan, Marcus Harper, Sean Mulvey, Tom Buller and Oli Chapman.
The 2nd Football XI had much more success in controlling their game and goals from Scott Stronach, Will Cantrell and two from the evergreen Ben Buckler without reply yielded a 4-0 victory. Joining them in the team were Andy Bambrough, James Rowse, Ben Dhaliwal, Charlie Wheeler, Rob Kelly, Jarrod Staughton, Peter Kelly, and George Wheeler.
Pleased to have a playing squad of 12 players this year, the 3rd XI had the closest contest of all the OW teams and suffered a narrow 2-3 defeat. The two goals were scored by Simon Minchinton and Seb Smart and the other members of the team were Joe Ramsden, Joe Smith, Tom Southern, Karun Patel, Rob Taylor, James Wassiliauskas, Jack Wassiliauskas, Jack Perkins, Richard Campbell and Simon Smart.
All the players were delighted to receive the support of OW Club President, David Clifton, who had driven up from London to enjoy the games. He was particularly impressed with the standard of netball on show in the Sports Hall.
President, David Clifton (63-74 St), welcomed the above to this year’s London Dinner, which, courtesy of the sponsorship of ‘Brother’ Duncan Ellison (Staff 73-04), was held in the ancient surroundings of The London Charterhouse in the City of London; Smithfield market in one direction and St Paul’s Cathedral in the opposite direction two notable local landmarks.
Charles Linfield (Staff 73-00) provided some fascinating insights into the origins of the buildings as a 14th century Carthusian monastery, which flourished during the later medieval and early Tudor period. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the Charterhouse became a mansion for wealthy noblemen before, in 1611, Thomas Sutton bought the Charterhouse and established the foundation bearing his name. Provision was made for up to 80 Brothers, as well as Charterhouse school. The school, known to many OWs for encounters in Arthur Dunn cup matches or Halford Hewitt meetings, moved to its present site in Godalming, Surrey in 1872, but the Brothers remained.
Following an excellent meal, and school updates from new Headmaster, Andrew Holman, and his senior prefects, as many as ¾ of the gathering retired to the nearby ‘Vestry’, a public house once owned by the Charterhouse, for further carousing until….. Regulars were delighted to see a considerable number of new faces to the occasion, the result of the President’s tireless work in helping the Club to expand and update its database.
We were pleased to receive the following missive from Commander Andrew Canale MVO RN (83-92 G) passed to us by immediate Past President, Clive Westley (59-64 F).
‘Since we last spoke, much has changed and I am delighted to bring you up-to-date with events. You may have noticed that the Secretary of State for Defence came on board in November and announced that HMS SUTHERLAND would deploy to the Asia-Pacific region in the New Year. After some speedy planning, a further period of sea training (never pleasant!), short maintenance period and Christmas leave, the Ship deployed on 9th January for seven months, tasked with supporting the Government’s prosperity agenda in Australia, deepening our military relationships on the Korean Peninsula and supporting our enduring commitments in the Middle East.
Operationally, SUTHERLAND has made significant contributions already from the Mediterranean, to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and in the protected waters around Diego Garcia. A transit through one of the most strategically important choke points, the Bab-Al-Mandeb Strait, is not quite as routine as it once was. The conflict in Yemen shows no signs of resolution and SUTHERLAND put herself at a suitable state of readiness, as one might expect, in order to pass safely through an area so blighted by civil war. The Ship integrated quickly into the counter piracy task force off Somalia and established new acquaintances with our US allies with a timely replenishment of fuel at sea with USNS PACOS and a reciprocal visit of respective Ships’ Companies with USNS LEWIS B PULLER.
Despite the significant periods at sea, there have been moments of recreation. The visit to Gibraltar was long enough to indoctrinate fifty members of the Ship’s Company into a Royal Navy tradition, namely “The Rock Run”, which takes participants from the Ship to the summit of the Rock in a gruelling ascent. I even managed a personal best. The Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers’ Mess hosted a memorable ‘crossing the line’ ceremony, a first for most, including the Commanding Officer who had waited over twenty years to cross the Equator!
The Ship now looks forward to strengthening its ties with one of our oldest allies, the Royal Australian Navy. HMS SUTHERLAND will support Defence Industry and conduct exercises with our Australian partners. Four port visits await and with it the opportunity to experience another part of the world one might never visit again!
Postscript: The Daily Telegraph of 14th February 2018 reported that HMS Sutherland would be making its return voyage through the South China Sea.
Thirteen former members of Oxford and Cambridge colleges, and their six guests, gathered in The Parlour of Cambridge University's, Magdalene College, on Friday 2nd February to welcome the school's new Headmaster, Mr Andrew Holman, himself a Mathematics graduate of Magdalene.
Guest, Neil Lyon (80-85 W), acted as toastmaster, Sudanshu Swaroop QC, (81-91 C) a former member of College, read the Magdalene Grace, while Julian Harris (63-73 C), also a former member of College, delivered the toast to The School and formally welcomed the Headmaster.
Also in attendance were:- Mike Askham (Foundation Director); Susan Barnhurst (Staff); James Browne (79–86, W); Alice Chan (03-17, W); David Clifton, Club President (63-74, S); Jonathan Cox (79-86, C); Rupert Higgins (76-87, S); Alison Holley (Staff); Sara Holman; Abbey Jones (00-05, N); Bill Reed (63-70, Pa); Saim Saeed (07-16, G); Rev Martin Walker (Staff); David Waller (77-81, S); Alex Wardle-Solano (12-16, C).
University of Birmingham third year student, Lydia Macdonell, on a first call-up to a Senior England squad, not only scored one of England's goals in their 3-5 defeat to Austria at the European Indoor Championships in Belgium over the week-end of 19-22 January, but she also came away with a bronze medal. A late addition to the squad, Lydia impressively seized her chance to add to her tally of caps at U21 and U23 levels.