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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 we 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.