OWs & Supporting Us

OWs succumb to superior OKs

v Old Kimboltonians, Saturday 18th November 2017, Lost 0-6

Under pressure from the kick-off, the Wellingburians' defence was breached four times before the interval. With six former 1st XI captains in their ranks, the Old Kimboltonians moved the ball with much greater confidence than their hosts. Allied to quality movement off the ball, the final outcome was never in doubt.

The OWs were pleased to be able to field a squad of fifteen players, the experienced Tom Buller and Tom Betts working tirelessly to try and prompt a response from their teammates. There were chances created during the second period, though the home defence continued to struggle to keep a lively Kimboltonians' attack at bay.


Team: Sam Marriot (13 PS) - Captain; Tom Betts (04 Pl); Tom Bewers (04 C); Tom Blason (15 G); Fred Braithwaite (04 C); Tom Buller (10 PS); Chris Dutton (13 F); Marcus Harper (14 F); Noah Kennedy (13 PS); Rob McArdle (13 Pl); Murray McMillan (15 C); Ben Skinner (04 PS); Joe Skinner (07 PS); Ed Smith (05 PS); Harry Warwick (05 F)

OWs Young and Old Support School's 2017 Careers Convention

Tuesday 14th November

More than 20 of this year's 100 stands at the School's 2nd Careers Convention were manned by OWs, some of whom had travelled considerable distances to be present.


They were also joined by their recently appointed President, David Clifton, who was delighted to be able to appreciate first-hand the tremendous response made by OWs of different generations, willing to offer advice to members of the school's Sixth Form and Year 11 about their particular occupations. Particular support from the OW community was provided by the obvious professions, such as architecture, law, medicine, dentistry, clinical psychology and veterinary medicine as well as engineers, surveyors, marketeers, web designers, representatives from the financial services industry, environmental sciences, conference management, photography, and train driving.

As an outreach exercise, pupils from nearby Wrenn Academy and Wollaston School were also among those thirsty for a steer in a hitherto unexplored direction.

Assistant Clinical Psychologist, Gracie McLaven OW, lectures students

The School's Psychology Department was able to take advantage on Tuesday of Gracie's involvement in the School's Careers Convention by inviting her to talk to the current Sixth Form Psychology students. She addressed both Upper and Lower sixth groups about how she uses her high A level grade in the subject, a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neoroscience to assist her in clinical practice.

She referred to different therapies that she could apply, making it clear that one size does not fit all and, along with the skill of listening, she felt it important to be flexible in the way that her knowledge should be used. Her passion for working with patients of very varied backgrounds and suffering from many different disorders shone through clearly and many questions were put to her during her stimulating talk.

That the subject, courtesy of much research, moves very fast is clearly an inspiration to her and to the Department's teachers. It was acknowledged, and stressed, that much systematic learning had to take place in order for successes to follow. Asked about her work / life balance, she was adamant, applying her knowledge, that she should work no more than Monday to Friday and from 9 to 5, leaving appropriate time for other "refreshing" activities!

Remembrance week-end, 11th -12th November 2017

For Old Wellingburians, the week-end’s programme of events began in Chapel with the Saturday afternoon Service of Prayers for the thirteen OWs, whose deaths had been notified to the Foundation Office, and who were remembered via slides and personal observations from members of the congregation. Photographs of Martin Croft, Nigel Thompson, Leo Eadon, Geoffrey Till, and Douglas Austin particularly provoked the contribution of several poignant memories.

All those present then retired to the Spencer Room (formerly School House Dining Room and, more recently the Staff Common Room) for the Club’s Annual General Meeting at which David Clifton (74 S) was elected President for the 2017-18 and Garth Halestrap (60 S) the Club’s President Elect.



This year's Annual Dinner was notable for its marking of The Headmaster, Garry Bowe's, final official OW function. Making it clear that he remains just as passionate about his responsibilities as an educator as he did when he entered the profession in 1980. The heartfelt thanks of the Club for all Garry and Ruth's support during their seventeen years at the School were expressed by the President who also made presentations to them both. OWs in attendance to entertain their guests were:- President Clive Westley (64 F), Toastmaster Jerry Higgins (66 S), David Clifton (74 S), Garth Halestrap (60 S), Charles Linfield (00 Staff), Richard Jackson (81 S), Richard Peck (55 G), David Pilgrim (64 F), Neil Lyon (85 W), David Waller (81 S), Mike Askham (13 Staff), Peter Phillips (65 Pa), John Marriott (65 S), Peter Lock (65 Pa), Julian Amey (67 G), Andrew Wingate (58 F), Paul Blunt (59 Pa), Michael Gent (58 Pa), Brian Leadsom (58 F), John Heeley (58 F), Michael Scott (62 G), Michael Pearson (56 G), Richard Dicks (56 Pa), Richard Swindall (48 Pa),Hilary Poole née Jackson (72), Robert Poole (70 G), Aron Brar (13 G), Xavier Parkhouse-Parker (13 PS), Hilary Arimoro née Askham (04 W), Martin Whatton (82 W), Sue Whatton née Evans (83 M), Andrew Tompson (85 G), Paul Hooton (81 C), John Eady (77 C), Philip Humphrey (78 Pa), William Kellock (01 PS), Philip Warr (01 PS), Matthew Warr (03 PS), Robert Batley (13 Staff).

To round-off the week-end, OWs joined the School’s Sunday morning Service of Remembrance in Chapel.

In accordance with tradition, incoming President, David Clifton, read the second lesson, while Immediate Past President, Clive Westley, laid one of the wreaths on Chapel’s west wall.




OW Golf Club Autumn Meeting, September 2017 

Richard Jackson (81 S) reports that we had a very successful Autumn Meeting at Collingtree Park on 8th September. Despite the heavens opening when we arrived for coffee and bacon rolls at 11am, the weather abated and was generally kind to us when we were out on the course. 

Chris Billson (81 C) won the Old Wellingburian Cup with 32 points and also the Wright Cup for the highest aggregate total of the Spring and Autumn Meetings with 67 points. Chris, having won all three trophies thus far during 2017, could win the “Grand Slam” were he to prevail in the Long Johns at Kettering GC on October 13th. 

The longest drive was won by Richard Jackson and nearest the pin by Tim Poole (85 Pa). Twelve OW’s played: the three already mentioned, plus Nick Sanders (94 Pa), Peter Hooton (74 C), John Beales (00 Staff), Alan Harlow (81 Pa), Eddie Clark (69 F), Gerald Timmans (57 G), Paul Woodley (61 G), Philip Saxby (82 JS) and Dominic Holden (65 G). 

 John Saxby (52 JS) and John Ward (52 F) also supported the day and stayed for supper. 







Royal 425 Cycle Challenge

On 10th September school friends, Angus Elsby (00-14 C) and Sam Nicholls (02-14 C) and other friend, Richard, were dropped off in Edinburgh for the beginning of a serious charity bike ride south to London, the expectation being that at least 80 miles would be covered each day over six days. By the end of day two, Angus was showing alarming signs of discomfort when it became apparent that he couldn’t unclip his saddle bag or hold pen; a hospital visit later and he was out of the challenge with “handlebar palsy” diagnosed.

In his post-event blog, Sam explained to his audience that the condition can be surprisingly serious with one in five cases producing permanent nerve damage. A serious headwind the following day produced a ‘police yellow warning’ for the remaining two adventurers and the decision was taken to return to Wellingborough by train from Leeds before taking to the roads again on day six in order to cycle into London.

Sam wrote that cycling past Buckingham Palace was bittersweet; bitter because, ultimately, we had failed to achieve our objective, but sweet because we have raised nearly £1000 for the charity, Imagine Scholar.

OW leavers from 2013 use School Ball for a reunion

Ever popular on the County’s social calendar, the School Ball at the end of each academic year, which has traditionally been supported by the School’s Upper Sixth leavers and current parents, has begun to be targeted by young OWs, who, having enjoyed it so much when they were leavers, are starting to re-visit the event for a reunion.

This year it was the turn of twelve young men and women from the class of 2013, who enjoyed another fantastic night in the vast marquee that was once again sited on the 1st XI Football pitch. Ana Adams, Emma Buckley, Ellie Lancastle-Smith, Holly Mammatt, Alish Rigden, and Imogen Tanqueray were joined by Julian Arrowsmith, Callum Cliffe, Noah Kennedy, Alex Linnell, Sam Marriott, and Rory Millett.

Ralph Biggadike (49-55 Pa)

The Foundation Office - the OW Club having lost touch with the above gentleman many years ago - was delighted to be passed a copy of an old obituary for him which was re-published in The New York Times on 12th July 2017.

Research in back issues of The Wellingburian revealed that Ralph had completed a full and successful career at the School during which time he was a School Prefect in Michael Duck’s team, played a large number of sports for Parker’s House, was a member of VI Lang and Lit, Editor of The Wellingburian, a cast member of the School productions during each of his years in school, a member of the school orchestra, committee member of the Debating Society and CSM in the CCF, among other noted accomplishments.  On leaving school he joined the British and American Tobacco Company, soon learnt Malay and went out to Malaya with the company.

Of even more interest were his achievements which came later in the United States and which are re-produced from the above publication:-

‘Ralph Biggadike passed away peacefully on 17th August 2012 with his wife, Maylin, and children, Ella, Andrew and Oliver by his side. A faculty member at Columbia Business School, Ralph taught catalytic organisational leadership and work team effectiveness in his award winning courses. As faculty director of the General Management Leadership Program, Ralph reached thousands of students worldwide. Previously Ralph had served as Vice-President of strategic management and group president for worldwide drug delivery systems at Beckton Dickinson and was the Paul M. Hammaker Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School, University of Virginia. Ralph earned an MBA from the University of Virginia and a DBA from Harvard, where his thesis on corporate new ventures won the Richard D. Irwin Prize for Best Doctoral Dissertation. Early in his career, Ralph worked in advertising, marketing, and sales for British-American Industries, where he travelled the world, living in Malaysia and settling in the US. Born on 5th June 1937 in Kettering and educated at Wellingborough School, Ralph lived his life as a perpetual student. He was an actor as a young man and the dramatic arts inspired his teaching and how he engaged the world. He studied how people work together to elicit creativity, innovation and leadership in life and in business. Ralph loved golf and especially links golf courses. He was a member of the Ridgewood Country Club and Royal Dornoch Golf Club in the Scottish Highlands, where a memorial bench was placed in his honour.’

In the Land of Silk and Sultanas

John (Beales, 74-00 staff ) and I decided to explore the central part of the old Silk Road, an ancient trade route that – with various branches – led from China to the Mediterranean Sea. We had kept in touch with a former pupil, Mirrahim Adilov (95 Pl), from Uzbekistan, via his EFL teacher, Lidia Douglas. He had visited here some five years ago and invited us to visit him and his family.

Now, having added a few days to the start of our oranised group tour, we met up with him: he picked us up from our Soviet-style Tashkent hotel and took us to his opulent office, where we chatted about his time at Wellingborough School and his work and family. When we met his father over lunch, the details of his stay in this country became clearer: it was decided that Mirrahim, as the oldest son, would eventually run the family business of producing and exporting dried fruit. For this, he needed to master English, so father decided to send his son to a boarding school. The condition he made that there should be no other Russian-speaking pupils at the school. Suitcase packed, father and 14-year-old son arrived in England to be shown round three establishments. Wellingborough was chosen and young Mirrahim was left here, knowing only the rudiments of the language.

He shared a room with a Chinese boy who tended to snore at a high rate of decibels. So, every evening, all the shoes both boys possessed were lined up next to Mirrahim’s bed and served as missiles, when the noise became too irritating.

John knew him as a quiet, unassuming pupil, who tried hard, despite his language problems. Mirrahim told us how very homesick he felt at that time. As Uzbekistan was too far to travel to for half term breaks, he used to be invited to stay with the Douglas’s, where he enjoyed the family atmosphere and more personal attention. His English now, though by no means perfect, certainly reflects the time he spent here and is proving extremely useful in his business dealings.

Since his return (after a course of study on food science), he has taken the family business from strength to strength, expanding it at a fast rate. We were taken to his factory, where bell peppers and fennel were being dried and prepared for the kind of spice and herb rack containers I have in our kitchen. It was good to observe the employment his firm provides for those who work in the factory and the farmers who grow the products. Next time we have a cuppa-soup, we’ll know where those little bits of dried vegetables come from.

The other change Mirrahim felt his stay away from home brought about in him was the deepening of his faith and his adherence to traditional values. We spent an evening at his home with his wife and three children, his brother, wife and nephews, which made clear to us just how settled and happy he is within his family and his culture.

Our subsequent tour round Uzbekistan proved a very interesting mixture of historical remains, Soviet heritage and a pride in the success of the country’s independent state since the early 1990’s. Other than silk and other products, the “Road” conveyed ideas and scientific discoveries. Thus we found out from where the terms “Algebra” and “Algorhythm” originate. Other than the apparent affluence in the main towns, we did notice the strong presence of security personnel everywhere and we became billionaires for the duration of our stay: 4 billion Soms equate approximately to £350.--: our spending money for a fortnight. Such galloping inflation does, of course, lead to some underhand money-dealing, but also to growing export popularity, as Uzbek prices are low. The UK’s recent experiences aren’t on that scale (yet?).

Above all, we loved meeting the friendly and outgoing locals who would corner us and machine-gun us with “What is your name?” “How old are you?” “Where do you come from?” We now feature on hundreds of photographs of Uzbek groups of people who urged us to say “Cheese” with them. And it wasn’t half hot, Mum: up to 40 degrees. So those Astrakhan hats for sale didn’t really appeal. At minus 20 or more in winter, that would be a different matter.  

Gesa Beales (84-89 staff)

OW Summer Day, 2017

The FGT Memorial Service drew a healthy number of visitors to the School for drinks and lunch at mid-day.

President, Clive Westley (64 F), in the tradition of recent years, deliberated hard over his choice of the best three speeches in the School’s Junior Public Speaking Finals, held once again in Chapel. He was joined in the presentation of awards by fellow OW, Adrian Bracken (68 G), who, in visiting for the said Memorial Service, was an interested spectator and pleased to be asked to present the Bracken cup for House success in the same competition to a member of the winning house.

There was a keenly fought contest on the astroturf between a good school hockey team and the OW girls. The final score of 2-2 meant honours were appropriately shared. Many of the OW team played together in their respective 1st teams during their school days, so it was nice to see some great passages of play coming back together. Despite being low on numbers due to DofE, Adventure Training and the like, the current 1st Team really impressed the older girls and there are definitely a few young players with immense potential. Maddie Freeman-Hall (16 M) scored a great early reverse stick goal, but as our university induced poor fitness levels showed, the School 1sts equalised. However, we were fortunate enough to persuade Lydia Macdonell (15 W) to join us and she showed her international experience in scoring a glorious second goal. Nevertheless, the School 1st Team once again quickly equalised leaving the final score at 2-2. A fair result for a great game with lots of hockey talent on display on a sunny Saturday afternoon! Emily Bowe (01-15, M)

In Chapel about 70 OWs were present to hear one or two of Mr Till’s favourite readings once again, to join in with a selection of his favourite hymns and to enjoy a recording of fellow OW, and international baritone, David Wilson-Johnson’s singing a couple of A.E. Housman’s, ‘Shropshire Lad’ cycle and a beautiful rendition of the Gaelic Blessing by members of the Oriana Singers. Included in the latter’s ranks were a number with strong school connections.

Mingling on the Weymouth Lawn after the service for a cup of tea and a slice of cake many former members of Garne’s enjoyed the opportunity to re-connect with Mary Till and her sons, Richard and Michael.

OWs triumph at last against School in T20 blast

With Drew Brierley’s (15 F) 63 runs anchoring the OW inning after a quick fire 31 from opening partner, Alex Chalcraft (14 Pl), there were further useful knocks from Jon Bowers (12 G) -19- and Levi Draper (15 Pl) - 18 n.o. -, which enabled the OWs to post a competitive total of 151 for 7. By contrast, the School couldn’t find sufficient support for Matt Clarke, whose impressive 62 runs weren’t quite enough to see the school team over the line. Tom Reading (14 Pl), Will Knibbs (10 G), Drew Brierley and Ben Wall (16 Pl), backed up by Ed Goss (16 Pl) and Levi Draper, took wickets at regular intervals and returnees to the fixture were delighted to have been victorious at last.


Do more of what you like doing and be prepared to make your boss’ tea!

Pupils, staff, governors and parents were given a treat, and consistency of message, by the two OW guest speakers at the recent Senior and Junior Schools’ Prize Giving ceremonies.

Radio and TV sports broadcaster, Alison Mitchell (98 W), who interrupted her frantic women’s Cricket World Cup commentating schedule to accept Headmaster Garry Bowe’s last invitation to a chief guest, skilfully charmed her audience with her fascinating progression through the totally male dominated world of cricket commentating. Keen followers of Test Match Special will be more than aware of how successful Alison has been in infiltrating their bubble and how much her contributions are valued. She talked of how, even now, when her reputation is so high, she cannot afford any slip-ups in her research and her delivery. Her message was, ‘aim to make something of what you enjoy’. In her case, early aspirations to become a vet – and she would have accomplished that academically – changed to journalism, following a placement found by the Schools’ careers department. She stressed to her audience how important it is, in the earliest stages of one’s career, to carry out whatever menial tasks come one’s way without the hint of a grumble. Do things well and graciously and doors will open for you.

The following morning, the marquee was this time the venue for the Prep School’s Prize Giving, at which OW Howard Barnhurst (10 C), and a graduate of the Prep School as recently as twelve years ago, engaged his younger audience in a similar vein. To make his point about grasping new opportunities and challenges, Howard used his own adventure packed post-University career, during which he completed Officer training at Sandhurst for the Army Reserve, cleaned ski chalets in the Swiss Alps and, this last year, travelled through California, China, and Mongolia on his way to New Zealand. Living out of the back of a car he bought over there, learning the truth of Newton’s third law of motion when a cow he was trying to milk sneezed, and graduating to manage the dairy farm at which he was working in the absence of his boss were just some of the experiences he recounted. Allied to the many opportunities he had taken up during his journey through Wellingborough School the message was clear; do more.

OWs & Supporting Us