Bristolienses - Issue 63

Page 34



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Bristolienses magazine • Issue 63 Printed Summer 2023.

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We are privileged to be Old Bristolians, and to be part of the overall Bristol Grammar School family. As you read this edition of Bristolienses, you will find that the Old Bristolians are an active network of accomplished individuals who come together to form a unique community. No matter where you are in the world, or what career you have chosen, there is an Old Bristolian willing to offer guidance and friendship. Actively taking part in this offers so much – from career mentoring and guidance to holiday recommendations and reminiscing about the Great Hall –and is something we’re constantly striving to strengthen and improve.

The Old Bristolians’ Society is in a good place; focusing on expanding our careers and networking, creating new events as well as strengthening the long term relationships with the School and the sports clubs. As you will also see from reading these pages, we are a busy society. Some events are formal, such as the Annual Dinner and regional networking drinks, and some are less so – such as golf days or hockey matches. All equally as important, and we would love to promote and support any events organised by yourselves so please do share with us on Instagram @oldbristolians or by contacting us Whilst we’re delighted to have had several performances from the BGS Reel Folk Group and Big Phat Band, we’d love to expand our events to include the performing and creative arts by Old Bristolians, so if you know of anyone or any event, please get in touch.


Sport has been a large part of the Old Bristolians’ community for a long time and we’re so proud of the sports clubs based at the Old Bristolians’ War Memorial Ground who promote the Old Bristolians family and brand throughout Bristol and the surrounding areas. Their passion and ethos is well respected and admired. You can read more about the sports clubs on page 6 and the story of how they came to be on page 26.

Design: Bristol Grammar School
Bristol Grammar School is
a Registered Charity No.

Outside of the official sports club, we have some great Old Bristolians’ sporting competitions. I was lucky enough to support an alumni women’s hockey team in Cheltenham earlier this year, which was a fantastic day. In May, we organised an Old Bristolians v Old Cliftonians golf day and I am pleased to report that the Old Bristolians won! Due to the success of this day we have decided to make this an annual event so keep an eye out for next year’s date.


At this year’s AGM there were some changes to the Management Committee meaning it is time to express our heartfelt thanks to Geoff Wright, who stepped down as Chairman; Nick Fitzpatrick as Treasurer, and Richard Smith as a Trustee. All of these individuals committed a lot of time and effort to our Society, and we are very grateful to them. I have been fortunate enough to take on the role as Chairman, Richard Leonard is the new Treasurer, and Melanie Guy and Martin Bates are new Trustees.

I must also thank the School for the amount of support that they give our Society, and I know that I speak for all OBs in offering our continued support to the School.

I hope that you enjoy this edition of Bristolienses, and I also hope that you feel inspired to get involved with society events, they are always great fun and an excellent way to catch up with old mates – as well as make some new ones.

Every so often we get wind of alumni forming teams in London and other big cities and it’s always a real pleasure to see. We recently received this photo from the Christie Championship, an annual sports event held between the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester with many, many OBs taking part representing their University.


On the first Friday of every month we host a sit down lunch at the Old Bristolians’ War Memorial Ground, with a guest speaker, usually an OB. Recent talks have included a premiere of an Old Bristolian movie, a talk about his experience supporting the community during and following the Grenfell fire from Graham Tomlin, Pete Jakobek’s experience as a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games and most recently, an insight into the world of BAFTA winning television producer, Lucy Raffety, finishing off the season with Noelle Kumpel, Head of Policy at Bird Life. If you’re near Bristol and available for lunch (or to talk!) on the first Friday of the month, please do come along.

✓ Are you doing a gap year?

✓ Do you need help with your project?

✓ Do you need some support through a University placement year?

The OB’s want to support you!

Apply now for a discretionary grant, and then come and tell us all about it afterwards.

↪ visit

From the society


I have this year – as every year – enjoyed meeting and catching up with OBs of all ages, whether at official events (such as Remembrance, Charter Day, the Past Presidents’ Lunch and the Annual Dinner), or less formally (on the Failand touchlines or at the School itself). As I always remind current pupils, the foundations laid and the friendships nurtured while at BGS serve OBs well throughout the rest of their lives, something I repeatedly see in my dealings with OBs at all stages – and from all walks – of life.

In our recent Report on Giving brochure, sent to over 6,000 OBs worldwide, we state that BGS is ‘one of the great ancient schools of our country, because of a cherished community of Old Bristolians, parents and friends.’ I could not agree more. Throughout our history, we have relied on the good will and camaraderie of our former pupils, and some 130 years ago, the Old Bristolians’ Society was

formed to keep those friendships alive, and to provide a means for supporting other OBs and the School. The work of the Society is an essential part of connecting our past and present to our future, and I remain genuinely grateful for the voluntary support and commitment given by so many – both to the Society, and to the School and its current pupils.

Life at BGS is very positive. As I write this, we are in the midst of a school inspection (I am sure the outcomes will be very positive!), and our Year 11 and Upper Sixth pupils are going off on Study Leave. Both year groups have shown magnificent resilience in the face of their interrupted and significantly altered learning over the COVID years, and as examination grading returns to pre-pandemic levels, our pupils are diligently – and without fuss – preparing themselves for their exams (the first proper public examinations that pupils in both of these year groups have faced). This comes off the back of some outstanding results in Summer 2022 and another successful Oxbridge year (eclipsing, again, all of the other schools in Bristol put together). Sport is in a position of strength in terms of both participation and individual and team excellence, and the Performing Arts Centre has been filled again with outstanding shows, including the dance production of Cruella, the musical theatre production of Annie and the Spring Concert featuring our orchestra, several choirs, soloists and bands. The School has more pupils than at any time in its history, and there is a real sense of purpose and looking forwards together, after a difficult few years for society and for schools. I am in constant awe of our amazing

BGS staff, who have kept the show on the road no matter what is thrown at them – out of a deep and genuine care for our pupils and their education in its widest sense.

Our renewed Mission, to provide an exceptional and rounded education to anyone who might benefit from it, regardless of background and financial means, continues to gather pace. Our Report on Giving brochure, mentioned earlier, celebrated the first year of our 500 Campaign, in which we raised over £1 million to support bright and able children through means-tested bursaries at BGS. We have a target of £12 million by the time we reach our 500th Anniversary in 2032, so that one in four of our children can benefit from substantial financial support – bringing us closer to the economic diversity and ubiquity of aspiration which the school enjoyed in its Direct Grant and Assisted Places days.

So, the School is in fine fettle, and our friendship and connection with the OBs remain as important and strong as ever – boosted, in fact, by an increased number of meetings and networking events: in January, we had a fantastic London event at the Swiss Re Building (aka “The Gherkin”) with OBs from across the City and our Bristol networking drinks, held last year in the Clifton observatory. If you were not able to come to one of these (and even if you were) then pop in to see us at School. There’s no need to wait for an invitation – just contact our OB office, and come in for a coffee, a chat, a tour, or whatever else you might want. You are always very welcome.

Bristolieneses 4

Be part of someone’s story

The BGS 500 Campaign was launched in 2021 and since then we have raised over £1.2 million in donations from Old Bristolians, Parents and Friends to support bright and able children through means-tested bursaries for the long term.

We also won the Institute for Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) award for Best Campaign and it was wonderful to be recognised by peers in the sector, which includes over 300 independent schools in the UK.

From September 2023, over 10% of the school population will be funded from endowments, trusts and ongoing bursarial support as well as a further 20 new children supported entirely with philanthropic donations.

Our goal remains to reach a figure of £12 million raised within the next 10 years, in time to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the School Charter, in 2032, supporting one in four children at BGS.

With more children accessing an education at BGS through means-tested bursaries, we become a richer, more accessible and diverse school. Promoting excellence, with a sense of belonging – we celebrate the achievements of all students and encourage our bursary award holders to feel as much a part of our culture at BGS as everyone else.

A new promotional film for the 500 Campaign is coming soon, in time for our next Giving Day on the 7th and 8th November, when we will invite the whole BGS community to “be part of someone’s story” as a donor, volunteer, mentor and friend of the school.


Further details can be found on our website, or by emailing

raised for life-changing bursaries since our 500 Campaign began.
£ 1.2 million
Scan me
From the foundation


ANNUAL UPDATE from the Old Bristolians’ Sports Clubs

The Incorporation of Old Bristolians Sports Club

OBSC is unique in Bristol, the history of which you can read about on page 26.

Over the years written agreements between the Society and OBSC governed the management and operation of Failand. However modern times now require a lot more to be considered and regulated when running a sports club.

Sports clubs are encouraged to incorporate to protect club officers and members from liability in the event of litigation.

The Clubhouse needs redevelopment to meet the needs of a growing membership, particularly youth members where there are very specific safeguarding regulations for playing, coaching and facilities.

The Sporting Bodies can provide most of the funds through grants but security of tenure for 25 years is required.

OBSC Limited was incorporated on 22nd September 2022 with a board of three Directors nominated by the playing sections. The Directors delegate responsibility for day to day management and operations of Failand to a Management Committee made up from the playing sections and the Society.

Incorporation is a major step forward. It solves the issues of liability and security of tenure can be achieved by the Society granting OBSC a lease which will secure the future development of Failand.

Cricket Club

OBWCC is an open club full of former students as well as people keen to support and represent the School. Whether you want to play friendly or competitive cricket, come along to one of our socials or, simply, enjoy a summer stroll around the site, a very warm welcome awaits you!

We have a thriving Youth section where boys and girls from U9 are given their first taste of cricket, before being nurtured and encouraged all the way through into the adult sides. Youth teams are the club’s

Hockey Club

OBHC is one of the largest hockey clubs in Bristol with 6 men’s and 5 women’s teams, men & women veteran sides, a mixed team, several junior sides ranging from U12s to U16s as well as 4 men’s & 4 women’s sides participating in summer league hockey.

This season 90 juniors, 50 adults and Flyerz Hockey –a grassroots disability-inclusive hockey group joined OBHC taking our membership to over 700 people looked after by 8 qualified coaches. We hope to begin to host Flyerz on our Stirratt pitch once we’re able to install accessible toilets.

life-blood and with a burgeoning girls’ section we’re delighted to launch a new U11 girls-only side this season, with 3 girls already being selected in the Somerset U11 pathway. The long term future of Women's cricket at Failand is very promising!

The Men’s 1st XI are looking to return to the West of England Premier League & the 2nd XI continue their fine form from last season, having won 10 of 11 matches. The 3rd and 4th teams were promoted last year and can’t wait for some new opposition.

Also this season, our Ladies 2nd team was promoted after winning all their games, with our Men’s 2nd, 4th & 5th teams contending for promotion.

We’re a friendly, inclusive club looking to have fun as well as win as many games as possible! With a busy social calendar throughout the year, we host quizzes, formal dinners and organise charity fundraising. Our Christmas events raised nearly £390 for the North West Bristol Food Bank as well as 70kg of donatable food and we made sure to support Movember and raise funds to support Ukraine. Visit our website to get involved –

Grassroots disability-inclusive hockey across England

Fortnightly at Old Bristolians Hockey Club

Fun, friendly and relaxed sessions where players can develop at their own pace ensuring all needs are met and most importantly, everyone has a good time.

supported by

To find out more, volunteer, support or play hockey contact



Safeguarding in sport

Old Bristolians sporting endeavours may be a world away from the high-profile competitions that attract match fixing, drugs and organised crime, but we must be vigilant to ensure our members, especially youth members, are safeguarded and protected.

Recent ‘Safeguarding in Sport’ webinars bring together leading figures from the world of sporting intelligence and investigations to highlight the use of technology to prevent incursions into the heart of sport. The high impact content was insightful particularly with the leading figures along with survivors of abuse highlighting how effective safeguarding is critical.

Underpinning the fight against all abuses of sport is the notion of integrity. The lack of integrity results in people acting outside of the boundaries of what is right to further their own nefarious agenda. The spirit of any sport is at the heart of competition between people, teams, clubs, or individuals.

Rugby prides itself on being a sport of integrity. It doesn’t always get it right but for the very most part those who play rugby extol its virtues as an honourable sport, where the physicality and aggression on the pitch ends with the whistle, and everyone celebrates alongside each other after the game.

I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of Old Bristolians RFC for 19 years and now as Chairman it is with immense pride that I still pull on a shirt as often as possible. Rugby’s core values are at the heart of everything that the OBRFC does. The teamwork, the changing room atmosphere, the on-and off-pitch attitude and the very essence of playing a game for the love of it keeps me from throwing away my boots. The older I get the more I value rugby, because for those three hours on a Saturday afternoon your entire world exists in a grassy field at Failand and there’s absolutely nowhere I’d rather be. The ethos and attitude of the club, coupled with significant joué, all played with a smile is a thing of beauty; if you could bottle it you’d make a fortune, but instead the riches come from being a part of it, and that gets even more important as you get older.

The buzz around Failand has been amazing. The 1st and 2nd XVs had a tough season but the 3rd XV topped the league through a combination of grit and determination and

playing some exciting rugby. The Mini and Junior section is flourishing with over 400 members and the club as a whole is in fine fettle.

OBRFC is a fine place to be, an incredible organisation with good fun rugby at its heart and the core values of the sport. It serves as a healthy reminder that it is the responsibility of all of us to safeguard the sport for future generations. The All Blacks mantra is that whoever is playing in a specific shirt or position is merely a steward, a current keeper of the shirt, and it is their job to improve it with their performances until they hand it onwards in a better state.

That is the job for all of us in rugby. We are the current occupiers of the game, it is up to us to safeguard the sport that we value, so that we can pass on an improved game for future generations to enjoy and learn the values within and the beauty of the game.

From sports clubs

“Rugby’s values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship are what makes the game special for those who enjoy the environment and culture they create. They define the game and define England Rugby.”



MARCH 2023 Charter Day


London Networking drinks at the Gherkin



Old Bristolian (2016) Lieutenant Jonny Savill of the Coldstream Guards visited BGS take part in both our School and Old Bristolian Remembrance Service.

ALL YEAR Lunch Club

A regular on the Society social calendar, the first Friday of every month from September to June features a hot meal and a guest speaker at the OB Memorial Ground.

This year we’ve enjoyed performances from the BGS Big Phat Band, talks from Pete Jakobek about his experience at the Commonwealth Games, a special screening of OB Will Lindsay Perez’s movie based on fellow former student Stanley Booker as well as talks from BAFTA award winner Lucy Raffety and more. Why not join us?

MARCH 2023 Annual Dinner

Is 2024 a reunion year for you? Why not save the date now Sat 23 March 2024

The Old Bristolians’ Society continues to cherish friendships, expertise, advice and support, hosting events throughout the year for all OBs.

As a thank you for all that have supported our bursaries campaign, now and before, we held a special lunch to celebrate.

We said goodbye to the the class of 2022 at their annual Leavers’ Dinner in the Great Hall – the first since COVID. Pictured: Mike Burmester, Melanie Guy, Kate Redshaw & Romesh Vaitilingam.


We're always delighted to have visitors to BGS, to give a talk, have lunch or just take a walk down memory lane.

If you'd like to visit get in touch

FEBRUARY 2022 Past Presidents Lunch MAY 2022 Bristol Networking Drinks at Clifton Observatory JUNE 2022 Leavers’ Dinner SEPTEMBER 2022 Donors’ Lunch APRIL 2023 Alumni VI Hockey at the Dean Close Tournament MAY 2023 Golf OB vs OC Golf Tournament sponsored by Hydes.
9 A year in photos

PROFILES Old Bristolians’

The BGS family includes experienced and talented OBs from all over the world. Our profiles include men and women from Hong Kong to Seattle working in fields which include business, law, medicine and the arts. Here we celebrate their achievements and ask them about their memories of BGS.


Lucy Raffety | Ed Pippin + Stephen Rothwell | The Right Honourable Lord Justice Singh | Vadim Jean Nigel Hall | David Rolls | Kate Redshaw | Ahmed Ali-Khan

Simon Turner | Paul Shepherd | Piers Alexander | Chief Constable Sarah Crew

Bristolieneses 10

Lucy Raffety

Lucy is a television drama producer who has worked in the business for over 25 years. She started off as a runner for Bristol’s own Aardman Animations before moving to London to pursue a career in live action drama. After banging on many doors and sending many begging letters, she became a Script Editor on the Channel 5 soap, Family Affairs

From there, she moved on to work on shows such as Eastenders, The Bill, Waterloo Road and then started as a producer on Casualty back in Bristol. After overseeing far too many car crashes, fires and gruesome operations, she moved up to be Series Producer where she steered the show to its first BAFTA win in over a decade. She is currently Director of Development for Company Pictures, where she oversees the development slate, working with writers to develop new drama shows that that she then Executive Produces. She still lives in Bristol with her husband and two children and commutes to London or wherever she is filming.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

For a while I wanted to act, but I soon realised that I wanted to be a part of the creation of the script rather than just being handed the end product. I can’t really imagine doing anything else!

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Winning the BAFTA! It sits proudly on my kitchen shelf.

What’s next for you?

Who knows?! I am really excited by what we have coming up at Company Pictures so I’m staying put for a while.

What advice would you give someone trying to get into television?

Working in TV is tough – it’s hard to get in, the hours are long, the knock backs can be brutal, so go in with your eyes open. It’s hard to get in, so look out for trainee schemes run by the broadcasters – the BBC runs all sorts of great programmes, as do C4. Once you get a foot in the door, approach every task you’re given as if your life depends on it. You need a ‘can do’ attitude and showing resilience and resourcefulness will get you noticed.

What motivates you?

What are your best memories of BGS?

I acted in a lot of plays at BGS and they are undoubtedly my best memories. From The Pied Piper when I was still in the Lower School, to Oliver! (directed by David Trott) which was the first play in the new theatre, I loved every minute of them and they were instrumental in forging my love of drama.

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

Roland Clare without a doubt. His passion for his subject was infectious and he engendered a love of Shakespeare for me with his inspired way of teaching.

Watching exceptional television inspires me to work harder on the shows I’m developing (once I’ve got over the professional jealousy!)

How do you relax?

Watching TV!! Sometimes it feels like homework, but I have a genuine love for the medium. A stand out drama can take my breath away, but I also have a considerable capacity for consuming terrible reality telly.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be brave, don’t doubt yourself, you can do this.

OB 1992
‘Once you get a foot in the door, approach every task you’re given as if your life depends on it.’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Stephen Rothwell + Ed Pippin

OBs 1993

Steve Rothwell and Ed Pippin met as students at BGS in the 90’s before going on to co-found Eagle Eye Solutions in 2003, creating digital connections that enable real-time personalised performance marketing through loyalty programmes, personalised promotions, apps, subscriptions and gift services. Eagle Eye Solutions sponsored Bristol Grammar School’s Giving Day in 2022 enabling us to produce branded t-shirts worn by students, teachers and support staff.

Were you friends in school?

Yes I believe so. We joined in different years and classes so I’m not sure how but 35 years later we are still friends and still laugh like we’re 17.

We became friends because Steve was one of those guys who could just talk to everyone – a useful skill in business and also when trying to talk to girls!

What were you like as children?

Well I think I always played the fool a bit, which came quite easily to me. Every day was really just another day of having fun.

That’s a tricky question. If I think back to school, I remember doing a lot of sport, in the week and on Saturdays. When I first started we still had Saturday morning school! I never really got into trouble but I do remember that we broke a couple of windows playing football…

What did BGS give you?

I have been asked this question many times over the years and the truth is it gave me the confidence to try, and to be the best version of myself that I can. I remember one skiing trip where I wasn’t my best self, and I realised that if I wanted to be treated a certain way then I should treat people that way. It stayed with me and not only is it the foundation of the way I approach each day, it is the core ethos behind the business.

I feel a lot more confident now than at 15, but that may be more from experience than school. One of the key things school gave me was the belief that anything was possible. No one ever said that we couldn’t do or be anything, so I just assumed that if I focussed myself then eventually I would get where I wanted. Reality kicked in later (!) but both myself and Steve still had the confidence/naivety to start our businesses and believe that they would be a success.

What are your best memories?

Crikey, so many… everything from the science lessons (I love science and tech), through to breaktime in the playground, learning to drive and giving friends lifts to Failand, going to the cinema on the last day of the term, sport (not cricket)....I can keep going. I guess the real testament is that I wanted to come to school every day and actively looked

forward to it. The Great Hall kinda sticks with you. You can travel the world over and still not see a building as amazing as the one we had lunch in every day!

Playing rugby in the freezing rain at Failand, playing fives in the fives courts (Google it!). Interestingly when I think back, I think about a lot of sport and hanging out with my friends and less about individual lessons..

Can you remember any teachers who had an impact on you?

Mr Holman was my House Master – I remember him coming round my house before I started the Upper School. He was a constant presence through school and very important to me. Dr Lunn taught us History and how to seize life (and also how to lock old latch toilet doors from the outside). My sixth form tutor and maths teacher, Miss Poole. Mr Selwyn who someone managed to give this kid who loved Maths and Science, a love of language and literature that is still with me to this day.

Pete Jakobek, Kevin Blackmore, Dr Homer, Mr Snook – all the teachers impacted me in different ways. The ones who stick most in my memories are the ones who shaped me as a human, guiding me and being honest with me when I wasn’t on top of my game.

iPdEipp n ( l e f t ) an dStephenRothwell(right) 12 Old Bristolians’ profiles
‘The Great Hall kinda sticks with you. You can travel the world over and still not see a building as amazing as the one we had lunch in every day!’

What did you do after school?

I went to Leicester University where I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering. After University a small engineering company called Orbitel gave me a shot as a graduate software engineer. For two reasons this was lucky for me, as it turned out I was quite good at writing software and secondly I was working on mobile phones before they had become mainstream.

I went to Leeds University to study Economics (despite not having done it at school). I had no idea what I wanted to do however I wasn’t blown away by economics so after University I took some temp jobs before seeing an advert offering to train people up in Visual Basic. I got the job which gave me a great foundation in coding and databases. From there I went to Fujitsu before Steve suggested I apply for a job where he was working in Guildford called Consult Hyperion.I applied, got the job, and Steve got the recruitment fee! We worked together on some projects and realised we complemented each other. Steve could sell and architect and build and I could take his specs on the back of a cigarette packet and turn them into proper specifications and help deliver them.

What have been the highlights of building your business together?

Ed and I got lucky when starting the business, we didn’t really know what we were doing and learnt along the way. In hindsight, we probably didn’t always make the best decisions, but they were our decisions. So my answer is probably a bit cliché – the journey going from nothing to starting two very successful businesses together, employing nearly

300 people around the world, enriching people’s lives every single day whether it be in the Retail Marketing space or Movie Streaming services; and the whole time doing it with a lot of laughs.

I remember the first time we had to invoice someone and realised you got paid 30-60 days later! What the hell? We had already done the work…now pay up! I also remember a New Years when we were in tuxedos ready to go out with our girlfriends, but sat on the sofa in Steve’s front room desperately trying to fix a problem on a live system, with both the client and the girlfriends suggesting that it would be great if we could fix the problem really quickly or else be dumped. But we survived.

What’s next for the company?

Our Retail Marketing Business Eagle Eye Solutions is growing really quickly and we have just made our first major international acquisition purchasing a really exciting business in France. I believe that technology will keep developing and if used the right way, can continue to enrich people’s lives and enable retailers to treat their customers the way they want to be treated. Eagle Eye is going to be at the front of this, constantly innovating and constantly developing our technology.

Eagle Eye Technology delivers strategic software solutions to companies, taking our technical expertise and applying it to the next great thing. In the past we have built and run everything from Football SMS Alerts systems, to NFC Festival payment systems and currently we are developing and running Global Video Streaming Platforms. Keeping at the forefront of what is possible and providing solutions to our clients that take advantage of those technologies.

What motivates you?

I love building stuff, from cutting some code, or designing a new product feature or building and developing the people who work with me at Eagle Eye – seeing things grow and develop is amazing. For me there is nothing more motivating than that!

Probably equal parts financial security and also seeing something that we have built being either used in the real world or advertised on billboards or the side of a bus. If you are asking what bits of the job do I enjoy the most, it would be problem solving. Taking a problem and working out the best way to solve it is incredibly satisfying.

What advice would you give to your younger selves?

You can’t change what happened yesterday so just try to make today your best day. Treat people how you want to be treated. There can be no substitute for hard work and perseverance.

I would say that it is always difficult to judge what is going to matter and what won’t register in the big scheme of things. Therefore, try and focus, however briefly, on each decision. As long as you have spent a bit of time really thinking about each decision then you don’t need to worry about it later, because you made a reasoned decision, and you can trust yourself and so in theory it shouldn’t come back and bite you (I feel like I am setting myself up for a fall with this one ��).

Do you have anything that you would want to change?

I don’t think so. Every decision, whether good or bad, has led me here.

‘One of the key things that school gave me was the belief that anything was possible’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Singh

OB 1981

Sir Rabinder Singh is one of 37 Lord and Lady Justices of Appeal in England and Wales (judges of the Court of Appeal). He is also President of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal and was formerly a High Court judge of the Queen’s Bench Division, a barrister and (at that time) Queen’s Counsel, a founding member of Matrix Chambers, a legal academic and respected author.

He was born in Delhi to a Sikh family and grew up in a working- class part of Bristol while attending BGS as a scholar. From an early age he had an interest in law and went on to earn a double first in law at Trinity College, Cambridge. He became a Harkness Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and developed an interest in constitutional law, particularly how the law holds those in power to account. Sir Rabinder is one of three Lord Justices of Appeal to have attended BGS.

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

David Miller, who was head of classics and taught me the importance of thinking logically (in particular by doing unseen translations). Philip Revill, who was head of history and taught me the importance of ideas.

Why did you choose law?

I thought that law would be a useful way to help people, in particular those who are among the less fortunate in society.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I think I might have become an academic, perhaps specialising in Greek tragedy, but I don’t think I would have been very good, so I am glad I fell into the law, which happily I was good at.

What were your most cherished experiences of university?

The most important thing was the friends that I made, both at Cambridge and at Berkeley. Some of them came from many different countries around the world. I am still in touch with some of them.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Becoming a High Court judge in 2011. I was the first person of Asian heritage to be appointed to the High Court in this country. In 2017 I became the first person of colour to be appointed to the Court of Appeal. I hope to inspire others, in particular students and young lawyers, to believe that anything is possible for them in this country.

What’s next for you?

I am happy doing what I currently do, so hope to carry on with the interesting and important work of the Court of Appeal and IPT, health permitting.

What motivates you?

To do justice to everyone who comes before our legal system and to treat everyone fairly.

How do you relax?

My wife and I have a very loving and energetic dog, so we keep fit by walking. We also enjoy seeing the great British countryside in our campervan.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Not to worry because it will work out in the end.

‘I hope to inspire others, in particular students and young lawyers, to believe that anything is possible for them in this country.’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Vadim Jean

OB 1982

Award-winning film maker, director and executive producer, Vadim Jean established his own production company in 1989 soon after leaving BGS. He first came to public attention as a director when “Leon the Pig Farmer” won him the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize at the 1992 Venice Film Festival, the Best Newcomer award from the London Critics’ Circle, the Most Promising Newcomer at the Evening Standard British Film Awards, and the Chaplin Award for the best first feature from the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Since then, he earned the reputation as one the leading commercial directors working with top agencies for campaigns including Iceland, Ponds, Volkswagen, Greggs The Bakers, Kodak, Hogfather and the COI. Vadim’s feature documentary In the Land of the Free was critically acclaimed as the ‘Best Documentary of 2010’ by the London Evening Standard.

What are your best memories of BGS?

There are so many, but they would include beating Millfield away at hockey in what would now be year 10. Acting in so many school plays and having the opportunity to try everything I could possibly have wanted to.

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

I had many inspiring teachers including my house master Mr Rolling, Mr Revill who inspired me to do a history degree, Bob Shaw

who introduced me to my beloved hockey, Roland Clare (who was the first polymath I’d come across) and who made me believe you could be a musician, an actor, make films and invent games all at once. Mr Jackson (whose ‘Arts Miscellany’ class saw me make my first film) who taught me English along with Mr Camp and gave me a love of literature.

Why did you choose film making?

The first film I ever made was an animation of a Kit Kat bar unwrapping itself but that was all at school. Deciding I didn’t want to be an actor at university coincided with watching a lot of films on the big screen at Warwick. I loved the power and visceral emotion of those films and decided I wanted to do something like that but behind the camera. I also (mistakenly) thought that being a film director might make it easier to get a girlfriend...

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I acted in every school play at BGS and thought I’d end up as an actor but while at university I didn’t get the lead in the first play I auditioned for when at BGS I had always got the main part when teachers just chose the best actor! When it turned out it was because another student who was directing the play had cast himself, I decided right then I wanted to be the one making the decisions behind the camera. So, I suppose it could have been an actor. Now I sneakily wish if I’d been more talented, then I would love to have been a professional sportsman.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

The feature documentary

‘Cruel & Unusual’ I made over the course of eight years that helped secure the release of 3 members of the Black Panther Party in America who had been wrongfully incarcerated for over a hundred years between them in solitary confinement in Louisiana. That must rank among the most significant to date. And being the first person to bring Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to life as a live action adaptation and then having my name on the published screenplay next to his (and my name was bigger!).

What has been your most challenging project?

Every single one. There’s always a challenge. That’s why it’s rewarding and fun. I love solving problems, especially if by being ingenious you can create something magical without just throwing huge resources at the project.

What’s next for you?

I’m directing the feature documentary about double Olympic champion in the decathlon, Daley Thompson.

What motivates you?

Trying to be the best I can possibly be, whether it’s making a film or playing hockey. I still haven’t won my BAFTA and though I was selected to play for England hockey masters in the indoor World Cup last year, it was cancelled because of COVID; so I’m looking to get those three lions on my chest next year instead!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Just keep doing what you’re doing because it’s going to turn out pretty well...

‘ I love solving problems, especially if by being ingenious…’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Nigel Hall OB 1960

Nigel left BGS in 1960 going on to become an internationally respected sculptor and draughtsman with over 100 solo and over 300 group exhibitions around the world. He studied Art at the West of England College and the Royal College of Art before accepting a Harkness Fellowship in California in 1967. A career full of international exhibitions, fellowships and awards, Nigel now resides and works in Balham, London. You can read more about Nigel’s career on his website

What are your most cherished memories at BGS?

My involvement with the naval cadets and time spent at sea has remained a cherished memory for sixty five years. On one occasion I was instructed to take the helm of a minesweeper on a journey around Lands End. Alone in charge of a naval ship for a couple of hours at the age of sixteen has remained a great early memory. A gratifying discovery were the fives courts, an enjoyable alternative to the rigours of rugby. It might also have contributed to my spatial awareness and fondness for the geometry of angles!

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

Latin master ‘Doc’ Martin was a wonderful, learned and kind man who I remember with affection. Mr. Carter, who I believe taught me in the third form, has a warm place in my memory. He realised I was interested in art and antiquity and out of the blue, gave me a small collection of Greek and Roman coins which I still have today. Eric Dehn taught French and remains strong in my memory. His brother Paul gave me an encouraging review in a school play and suggested I made acting a career, but I chose art school instead. I came very close to making a career in the navy however, my grandfather, a stonemason, shaped my final choice of careers.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Significant highlights would include my retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2008 as well as gaining a Harkness Fellowship and spending two years working and travelling in the States. Election to the Royal Academy of Art was a great moment, symbolised by the signing of the book and adding one’s name to such a distinguished list of artists dating back more than 250 years. Representing Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympics by making a large sculpture which still stands beside one of the stadiums was an honour.

What has been your most challenging piece?

Last year I made a large steel sculpture for the University of Iowa. Due to its size, 4 × 4 metres, it had to be made in three parts and assembled on site. There were transport problems due to the pandemic and the over-sized nature of the shipment. I oversaw the installation from London using a video call which saved on air miles!

What’s next for you?

2023 will see a few solo exhibitions including a large show in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt for which I’m making new steel sculptures. A second book on my work will be published next year.

What motivates you?

I keep with me at all times, a small sketchbook/notebook in which I make drawings, ideas, lists, anything of note to generate ideas or stimulate new work. This along with reading and listening to music relaxes me and driving has also always been a pleasure. I have driven coast to coast across the USA twice and the length and breadth of Europe several times.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

One – seize every opportunity that presents itself. This I often failed to do. The other, which I did follow was whatever path you choose in life, prepare for the long haul and enjoy it as much as possible – and always retain an optimistic spirit.

Old Bristolians’ profiles

David Rolls

Leaving behind his 12-year corporate and investment banking career, David moved to the US in 2015 to study for his MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), before embarking on a new technology-focused career. After his MBA, he worked at Amazon’s HQ in Seattle driving new business growth in grocery delivery and financial products, before switching full-time to startups with a focus on democratising finance in e-commerce and global payments.

What are your best memories of BGS?

The endless possibilities that seemed within my reach during my time at BGS, a disciplined yet fun environment which suited me really well, and of course the Great Hall which still has a mystical spell on me 25 years on.

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

Paul Whitehouse and the Design Technology staff for nurturing my creativity and fascination with nascent technology. On a different note, Dr. Rosser [Physics] for challenging and introducing some rigour to my work ethic. Needless to say, there are many other teachers that also stick in my mind.

product for e-commerce sellers. There is still lots to do – and it is not certain it will work out – but the momentum and energy levels are notably higher than at large companies I have worked at!

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I try not to dwell on paths I chose not to pursue, but I do wish I paid a bit more attention to what was going in front of me with the revolution while I was a Mathematics undergrad student at Imperial College in the late 90s. In retrospect, I wish I took some coding electives and tried to incorporate tech-driven solutions earlier in my career.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Taking the leap to go back to school aged 35. I figured I had 30 or more years of working life ahead of me, but it was difficult to leave a lucrative career for what felt like the great unknown. MIT’s motto is mens et manus (“mind and hand” in Latin) which embodies the idea of education for practical application; something any BGS student or alumni can relate to. During my time there I focused on finance, data analytics and entrepreneurship. It gave me the tools I needed to understand and manage all facets of a business, and the support network to try, fail, and get back up and do it all again.

concept that interests you and where you recognise a gap in the market.

What’s next for you?

I am spending more and more time immersed in blockchain technology and Web3 [vision of a decentralised Web] startups. I see huge potential for blockchain to solve the big problems that exist in our global financial system, but the industry is going through a tough time at the moment! In the next couple of years I expect to work in Web3 full-time. My family and I are settled in the USA for now, but we are open to relocating for the right opportunity.

What motivates you?

Working on new ideas with openminded and genuine people. I struggle with bureaucracy and office politics, and I strongly value the culture and collaborative spirit of any company or team that I work with. I am most motivated when solving problems for groups who have little or no access to our financial system. In my career so far I have been fortunate to launch innovative financial products for companies, governments and consumers. I would like to double down on building consumer products.

How do you relax?

We live in a small city surrounded by mountains. During the summer I take several camping trips where I have zero mobile reception. Spending a few nights exposed to the elements, swimming in the ocean and cooking on an open fire with our growing family helps me to switch off.



about Storfund and why the change in career direction?

Working in big tech [Amazon] was a great learning experience, but it is difficult for large companies to move quickly and be innovative in new domains. I realised that I needed to move fast and break things to have the biggest potential impact in financial services. Storfund is several years into building a global financial

What is the best thing about working and living in the USA?

There is a sense of urgency to build and grow here which is different to anywhere else I have visited. Plus, the amount of seed capital [to fund the initial stage of a new company] that is around is immense. There really is no excuse not to get started on an idea or business

I also like to hike with my dog for a similar – albeit shorter – experience.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Achieve at least one new thing each day, however small. Read a whitepaper, write a line of code, and say yes more often without overthinking it. There are very few decisions which cannot be undone! Oh, and buy Bitcoin in 2013 ��

17 Old
Bristolians’ profiles

Kate Redshaw OB 1986

As a Governor at Bristol Grammar School, an OB, parent and most recently the first Alumna to hold the honour of President of the Old Bristolians’ Society, Kate is a well-known and highly respected member of the BGS family. Professionally, Kate is Head of Practice Development at Burges Salmon having joined the law firm in 2000. She specialised in employment law from qualification, gaining wide experience of handling contentious and non- contentious matters, primarily for employers. Kate’s role now focuses on developing client and business development initiatives and client relationship management.

Kate regularly blogs as well as contributing articles for leading HR publications including Employers’ Law and Personnel Today and is also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

What are your best memories of BGS?

I joined BGS in Sixth Form with my year group being the last year only to become mixed in the 6th form. Having been a boarder at an all girls school in Edinburgh, BGS was, shall we say, a little different! My overriding memory is how much fun I had. That’s not to say I didn’t take my work seriously (in case my mother is reading this) but I was surrounded by bright, witty and entertaining people and we whiled away many an hour in the JCR laughing ’til our sides ached.

Saturday morning school (mainly watching films), the snack bar in the corner of the JCR and nights out at Mistys and Vadims also spring to mind (if you know, you know). The library also bowled me over – I remember when I walked in for the first time thinking it was bigger and better stocked than many a public library – it was there I discovered Virago books – a lifelong love.

And it was at BGS that I first became Kate – until then I had always gone by my full name of Catherine but within in a week or so of arriving I was told by one of the boys that ‘Catherine’ took too long to say so Kate it was and has been ever since!

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

My favourite teacher was Mr Ham – he taught us French and wasn’t averse to the odd sarcastic aside. We all thought it hilarious to call him Monsieur Jambon – time and time again – not annoying at all. There were definitely some teachers I was less keen on – but we’ll gloss over them!

Mr Avery was headmaster at the time – such a calm and dignified man – he really set the tone of the school and I was pleased to be able to attend his recent funeral and hear all the wonderful tributes about him.

‘We have each other’s backs and we want to do our jobs really well. That’s a great environment to work in.’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Why did you choose law?

I wish I had a brilliant story to tell for this one about how I was inspired by a stellar human rights lawyer or a desire to right some terrible miscarriage of justice. However the truth is that I knew I didn’t want to take any of my A level subjects to degree level and I was left with law as the only available option! As luck would have it, it’s turned out ok.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I remember at one point wanting to be a theatre or film director – having been inspired by the house drama competition perhaps? It was a real treat to meet OB Lucy Raffety recently who worked as series producer on Casualty. She very kindly let me hold her BAFTA which is the closest I will ever get to one!

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

As an employment lawyer, the pandemic had huge implications. Our clients needed urgent advice on totally unchartered issues such as the furlough scheme, lockdown and working from home and issues around vaccines. Our team worked tremendously hard to support our clients throughout it all so I was proud as punch when we were awarded ‘Employment Law Firm of the Year’ by HR publication Personnel Today for our efforts in supporting our clients through COVID.

What is the best thing about working and living in Bristol?

Bristol is a great city – I love its vibrancy and its laid back vibe and it has some really great restaurants as well.

What motivates you?

I’m really lucky – I really enjoy my job (I honestly love employment law) and, although it may sound clichéd, I really do work in a fantastic, funny, supportive team. We have each other’s back and we want to do our jobs really well. That’s a great environment to work in.

How do you relax?

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary here – I love reading and going out with family and friends. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say it was relaxing I do quite like going for a run – which would definitely surprise anyone I was at school with – one of my favourite things about BGS was that I didn’t ever need to do any sport!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Ah there’s so much but probably ‘don’t worry so much about what other people think – they will be far too focussed on themselves to be giving you a second thought.’

19 Old
‘…I was proud as punch when we were awarded Employment Law Firm of the Year…’
Bristolians’ profiles

Ahmed Ali-Khan

OB 1990

Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Ali-Khan has over 24 years’ plastic surgery experience. Having completed his training in Bristol and the South West he embarked on specialist fellowship training in London (aesthetic surgery), Cambridge (reconstructive microsurgery) and Sydney (skin cancer) making him one of the few UK surgeons to have trained at the world-famous Melanoma Institute Australia. He recently opened his new business LASE, with his wife Lisa, offering the very latest plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures in Newcastle.

What are your best memories of BGS?

There are lots as I was lucky to be surrounded by amazing people in my year at school, both before GCSEs and in 6th Form. A favourite memory though has to be seeing Dr Ransome’s face in my GCSE French Oral exam. I was trying to tell him how we had travelled to our family holiday the previous year but couldn’t remember how to say ‘by plane’ so in the heat of the moment I opted for ‘we swam’ – in correct French. He did a double take, as the journey was over 6,000 miles! He asked me how long the swim had taken. I figured I was committed to the story so with a big smile I replied in French, ‘about 6 months!’. I passed and have never forgotten ‘par avion’ since!

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

They still do! Mr Rolling and Mr Jakobek remain in touch with me (and many others), were it not for Mr Matthews I would have probably failed GCSE maths and Mr Miller never gave up on me in Latin. I remember the teachers at BGS being very supportive and that’s not something I fully appreciated until I was older.

Tell us about your business and why plastic surgery?

I went to medical school thinking I wanted to be a family GP, like my father. I realised pretty quickly that surgery was more me and I happened to have a plastic surgery placement on my training rotation as a junior doctor in Bristol. I was hooked as soon as I started.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I was set on medicine at quite a young age and have never regretted it. If I had to do something different, I would like to have been somehow involved in motorsport which is my big passion. I don’t have the talent to be a driver but being part of a motorsport team would be awesome.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Plastic surgery differs greatly between the NHS (mostly reconstructive surgery) and the private sector (mostly cosmetic surgery) but both can have enormously positive impacts on patients and their lives. I never tire of happy patients.

What is the best thing about working in the North East?

A friend of mine worked in Durham and I took a job as a locum consultant after completing my junior doctor training, while I considered consultant posts. My family and I liked it so much we never left! The people are fabulous, there is a genuine friendliness to the north east that can take you by surprise and the beaches are beautiful, which was another big eye-opener to me. I love being up here.

What’s next for you?

My main focus for the next few years will be on making my new private surgical facility in Newcastle, LASE, a success. The pandemic and cost of living crisis have made the business environment pretty exciting but we are still here and loving the challenge.

What motivates you?

There are many different things but ultimately I enjoy a challenge and am stubborn, in combination they are probably at the heart of what drives me.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your instincts and always find time for yourself.

‘The people are fabulous, there is a genuine friendliness to the north east that can take you by surprise’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Simon Turner OB 1987

Simon is the founder and CEO of Inflexion, a leading private equity firm, which invests in established high growth businesses for a minority or majority stake. He has 30 years’ experience of developing and leading buyouts for growth businesses, having started his private equity career in the early 1990s.

Simon and his Managing Partner, John Hartz, co-founded Daiwa Europe’s Private Equity Group, which they ultimately spun out to form Inflexion. When not working, Simon leads his company’s involvement in The Prince’s Trust, is a trustee of Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation, and chair of The Roundhouse. He has skied to both the North and South Pole as part of the Antarctic Enterprise, raising over one million pounds for charity. Simon is also one of our leadership donors in the BGS 500 Campaign and his contribution is currently supporting 4 Ukrainian refugees through their education at BGS.

You attended BGS at Sixth Form, what are your best memories?

I have so many. Some of them are incredibly personal. Friendships, deep connections. But also, the diversity of experiences, lots of sport, the debating society, plays, tiny class sizes with inspiring teachers who treated you like an adult, which as a consequence inspires you yet further.

What did BGS give you?

BGS was pivotal for me. Coming into a dynamic sixth form environment, I was hugely aware of a different atmosphere and set of possibilities. Fortunately, I was just sentient enough to sense the opportunity to develop and perform, and the school helped me grab that opportunity!

Can you remember any teachers who had an impact on you?

So many! And they shared several common attributes – they were all original and unique. They were all respectful and engaged. They universally inspired but also made you want to strive harder.

What did you do after school?

Well obviously, there were the temptations of a big city, especially beguiling to the newly arrived…! But I really got stuck into all sorts – debates, plays, lots of sport.

What have been the highlights of building your business?

Building Inflexion over, ahem, 20 plus years has been huge fun. The entrepreneurial journey is a really rewarding one, and simple in a sense – you succeed or fail largely due to your own efforts. I’ve always appreciated that simplicity. The challenges and the pleasures change – at this stage it’s very much about the people, the stimulus of bright, hard charging teams, and the challenge of evolving to meet their needs and a fast-moving world.

What’s next for the company?

There’s always much to do! But big priorities for us include continuing to build our international presence, as well as leading the industry’s approach to ESG.

How important is philanthropy to you and your business?

Very. We created a sizable Foundation some years ago which supports an array of terrific charity partners. This is largely focused on young people, but also has a growing environmental focus. The whole organisation really gets involved in helping with decision making, but also working with some of the charities as fundraisers, trustees, coaches and more. It’s super rewarding, but also a cornerstone of the Inflexion culture.

What motivates you?

We live at an extraordinary time, in an extraordinary world. I love the sense of possibility that brings. There are of course many challenges and many blockers, but in a sense, far fewer than at any other time in human history. That’s terrifically exciting. But I’m also fired up about being able to play a small part working on removing some of the blockers for others. That’s a privilege.

How do you relax?

Ah – with great ease! But often in the wild places. I love to get off the grid, I’m sailing a lot at the moment, but also the simple things – a good book!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Oh, there’s a long ignoble list of errors and omissions and plenty of embarrassment over the years. But I’d probably not avoid most of them – with hindsight! My advice would be – Don’t be frightened, grab your moments, jump in. It works out… generally!

‘I honestly look back at those two years as not just incredibly happy and rewarding, but perhaps also defining for me.’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Paul Shepherd OB 1998

Having travelled all over the world, including all 7 continents, and meeting his wife Kristen in Zanzibar, Paul pursued a dream of owning a dive centre. Both Paul and Kristen love to travel and have been to South Africa to dive with Great White sharks, Mozambique and Indonesia to dive with Manta Rays, Galapagos to see Whale Sharks and Antarctica to see the Penguins and Seals. The couple never lost their adventurous spirit and continue to travel, seeking out new experiences which they share with their customers.

Paul’s business, Seminole Scuba, offers personalised classes with experiences tailored for all adventurers.

What are your best memories of BGS?

Definitely Rugby was the highlight of my time at BGS. Getting to the 1995 Daily Mail Cup final, and the 1998 South Africa tour being the best of those memories.

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

Absolutely – Rick Sellers and Conrad Snook guided my rugby career at school and then Paul Roberts saved my butt when I had gone off the rails a bit and got me back into Math especially and saved my GCSE year.

Charles Martin also had a big influence on me and would check on me regularly to make sure I stayed on the straight and narrow. You know it is a great school when even the Head is doing that.

Why a diving centre in Florida?

I started diving in 1990 and loved it ever since. I trained as a Dive Instructor in Florida and loved my time doing that. Having been a partner in a Dive centre in Zanzibar for 11 years I wanted my own location and with Kristen being from the US it made it easier. We looked for 8 months to find the correct spot for us and think we found it in Seminole Scuba, Lake Mary just north of Orlando.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

I would have loved to have been a professional rugby player but I was never good enough.

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

For me the growth of Seminole Scuba. When we took over it was a hobbyist business. It is now a large operation that continues to grow with 38 full and part time employees.

What is the best thing about working and living in the USA?

Americans love Brits and the accent. They also have the culture of spending money and being adventurous, which makes doing business a lot easier.

What’s next for you?

I would love to continue to grow the business and maybe create a second location.

What motivates you?

I love to make money and be successful. But like to do it by helping people discover the wonders of the underwater world that covers 70% of our planet.

How do you relax?

Playing with my Doberman or watching rugby with a nice glass of red wine.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Put more effort into your classes, it will benefit you more in the future. I was lazy with my studies and could have done a lot better.

‘We looked for 8 months to find the correct spot for us and think we found it in Seminole Scuba, Lake Mary just north of Orlando.’
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Piers Alexander

OB 1984

Piers is a Partner in the Hong Kong office of Conyers Dill & Pearman; an awardwinning global offshore law firm with a client base including FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies. Piers’ practice includes all aspects of corporate law with particular expertise in investment funds, including private equity, venture capital, real estate and hedge funds. He acts as offshore adviser for international and Asia-based fund managers on the establishment of investment fund structures, through all aspects of the continuing operations and other long-term business requirements of investment funds.

What are your best memories of BGS?

Too many lessons, snow on rugby pitches at Failand and running for the train at Temple Meads with a few other BGS boys. I believe sub-15 minutes from classroom to platform (with the benefit of the downhill of Park Street) was the optimum and sometimes achieved but that may just be fanciful!

Can you remember any teachers at BGS who had an impact on you?

Michael Booker invigilated my entrance exam and, rather disconcertingly, marked the first paper in front of me as I sat the second! Roy Avery always treated me with more consideration than was perhaps deserved. Both very charming people who always had time to chat, even many years after I’d left. The English Department kept my interests sparking and I was very fortunate

to be taught with such enthusiasm for the subject. It certainly rubbed off on me, although, as time passes, I find my academic interests have veered more towards history. Sorry, Mr Clare.

Why did you choose law? There was no great career plan, I’m afraid. The closest thing approximating a Damascene conversion to become a solicitor was suggested by a friend as we both worked on a building site in Montpelier (Bristol, not the south of France sadly) during one summer holiday. A law conversion, finals and training contract later, I was in London at Clifford Chance, practicing law in one of the World’s great legal centres.

Could you have chosen another path and what might that have been?

We completed a careers questionnaire in the Removes and my results were law or forestry. Maybe planting trees could have been an option!

What has been the most significant highlight of your career?

Still striving for that! I’ve been lucky to have been given the opportunity to build and lead one of the premier offshore funds teams in Asia and recently have been appointed as Global Head of Investment Funds for the firm.

What is the best thing about working and living in Hong Kong? Hong Kong has an amazing propensity to reinvent itself to be best positioned to meet the headwinds. We’re gradually coming back to pre- COVID vibrancy in the city and now the borders are open there’s every reason to believe it will continue to be the global financial hub it needs to be. As a centre that draws in trade across the Asia region and more widely in the financial markets, it generates a significant impetus in business, law and finance and keeps work interesting. We live off Hong Kong Island now in the New Territories (more country parks and beaches) but I can see that a return to the city may be in the offing. Hong Kong has been a fantastic place to raise our family and still feels like home for my now UKresident daughter.

What’s next for you?

Many of my contemporaries seem to be retiring; that seems a long way off. Maybe I’m doing something wrong! I hope to do more travelling, especially around Asia.

What motivates you?

I’ve never really suffered from that Monday-morning feeling, thankfully. I enjoy working in a professional, team environment with a global outlook, seeking the best outcome for the clients.

How do you relax?

The gym every morning, tennis and hiking to keep the endorphins going and (less successfully) middle-age at bay. A whisky in the evening with friends, overlooking the harbour, seems to work!

What advice would you give to your younger self? Buy a flat in Clifton.

Old Bristolians’ profiles

Chief Constable Sarah Crew

OB 1989

Sarah became an officer with Avon and Somerset Police in September 1994 and took on the role of Deputy Chief Constable in June 2017.

In November 2021 she became their first female Chief Constable.

What are your best memories of BGS?

I really enjoyed my time at BGS. I remember preparing to sit the Oxford entrance exam and all the Classics teachers gave up their own time to prepare me with extra classes, practice exams etc. Looking back, I marvel at their dedication, commitment, and selflessness.

Winning the 800m race in the summer athletics at Failand stands out too. I had won the previous year using the classic tactic of staying on the front runner’s shoulder and then sprinting to victory at the end, beating Emily Silverton. The next year, Emily anticipated this and broke away in a sprint at 400m building up a very large lead. I could hear the spectators’ gasps. I dug in and started to reel her back, just managing to achieve it with a couple of metres to go. I remember the amazement and ‘well done’ from Mr Jakobek.

Even now, when in a pressurised situation and when it looks as though things are going the other way, I always visualise that race and it helps me find some energy and resolve.

Can you remember any teachers who had an impact on you?

I can remember all my teachers and the impacts they made but particularly David Miller and Phillip Revill. Mr Miller believed in me in a way no one had before, and he really pushed me which I like. I have always loved History and still do, but both David and Philip have followed my career, taking an interest in me, attending some community meetings when I have been representing the Police and asking some very pertinent questions.

Why the police force?

It felt exciting and challenging and I was not and have never been disappointed on both fronts. Oxford was a challenge but becoming a police officer was much harder. My drive for fairness and equality lies at the heart of my passion for policing. I have always been determined to stand up for the underdog and against the bully, and policing seemed to me to offer the greatest opportunity to help people directly on a personal, practical and human level.

What was it like being a young woman in policing?

I imagine my experience was the same as being a young woman joining any established institution. Looking back, I can see that I normalised and tolerated some things that I wouldn’t now, but these things were what I had normalised and tolerated in my life before joining the Police. I have never experienced any direct or indirect discrimination and often the skills I could bring to many scenarios were valued just as much as the traditional masculine ones. I have defused many tense situations using calmness, effective communication, and empathy. Most of my career was as a detective which requires good instincts, disciplined thought, and clear decision-making. Gender does not come into it. In fact, some of the best detectives I have ever worked with have been women.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Playing my part in establishing the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Avon and Somerset and the first Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service. More recently becoming the lead nationally for policing on rape and adult sexual offences. This has seen me engaged in transforming our response across the country through a unique collaboration with the best academics from universities in the UK and abroad. Finally, becoming the first women Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police in 2021.

“Most of my career was as a detective which requires good instincts, disciplined thought, and clear decision-making.”
Old Bristolians’ profiles

What’s next for you?

I want to finish what I have started with my national work. I want to see Avon and Somerset Police fulfil their potential. I know that it must deliver an outstanding policing service to our communities, particularly those communities with a lower level of trust in the police or suspicion of us.

What motivates you?

Policing plays a really important role in a functioning democracy. I believe we have the best model of policing in the world. We police through the consent of our fellow citizens. We are servants of the King and not the Government of the day. I understand recent events (and not so recent) have endangered this bond of trust between citizens in uniform and citizens in our communities. I want to rebuild and strengthen it again and hand it over stronger to the next generations.

How do you relax?

I am also a part time carer for my elderly parents. This and my job keep me occupied all the time, but they engage me in different ways such that one distracts me from the other.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Believe in yourself, know your strengths, and invest time and effort in the people around you.

“Gender does not come into it. In fact, some of the best detectives I have ever worked with have been women.”
Old Bristolians’ profiles

Lest we forget


Notes on the Origins of the Old Bristolians’ War Memorial Playing Field

from left to right: J. B. Ackland, J. C. Hligson (with D. W. Williams behind), M. J. Williams, P. F. Stirratt, F. S. Hazard, Mr Leslie Morris, K. J. Stidard, Robin Gough, A. E. Read (waving), J. T. Carpenter, R. D. Pugsley.

Before the end of WW2, the Old Bristolians Society, the Headmaster, and the Governors began serious discussions about a suitable memorial for the many Old Bristolians who had lost their lives in the War. John Garrett was asked to suggest what form it should take and he proposed a performing arts centre at the School. Mr Eustace Button, OB and wellknown Bristol architect was asked to examine the idea and advise on cost. This initial proposal was found to be too expensive so after further discussion it was finally agreed that new gates would be installed at the School, the fence around Tyndall's Park would be renewed and a Book of Remembrance placed in the library. It was further agreed that the Society and the three athletic clubs would purchase a piece of land to become both a playing field for the clubs and a home for the Old Bristolians Society.

The three sports clubs would form a Management Committee to manage the newly named “Old Bristolians War Memorial Playing Field”. In return they would pay for all running costs on the ground including the employment of a groundsman. The Appeal would provide the funding for setting up the entire Memorial.

The land itself at Failand was first spotted by Geoffrey Coleman MC in 1949, a former OB Rugby captain, OB cricketer with an impressive war record. After the field had been purchased a great deal of work remained to be done to turn it into a sports ground. Initially it was ploughed several times and tons of stone removed by parties of OBs every weekend for over a year. Finally, the War Memorial Playing Field was officially opened in June 1952 with winter games being played there from the previous Autumn.

PHOTO ‘EVENING POST’ Mr. Leslie Morris (Chairman) and a party of helpers.
For OBs by OBs

The post-war shortages in Britain presented all kinds of problems including the provision of a pavilion and changing rooms. The only possible solution was a temporary prefabricated wooden structure which just about lasted 25 years. It was replaced by a brick-built structure in a deal with Ashton Court Country Club for a part of our ground which fortunately we rarely used. We raised a further £20,000 to kit-out the building which was opened by Michael Booker on 7th January 1977.

Throughout these 70 years, the Sports Club and Society have worked closely together. The Society as landlord have always had two members on the Sports Club Management Committee. Their role was as curator to ensure that nothing breached this understanding. The ground itself and the many players who enjoyed their games there became a living tribute to those men listed on the memorial plaque on the front of the Clubhouse. Each name lists both years at school, branch of the services and a brief description of their sad fate.

The Society have come to the aid of the Sports Club on several occasions over the years as well as being totally involved in the Appeal for an artificial turf pitch (ATP) in the late '90s when league hockey could no longer be played on grass. Such was the success of this Appeal that £156,000 was raised in one year as our 50% portion of the pitch which we were to share with the School on their ground alongside us in Youngwood Lane.

From the early years of Failand, the School was always there to help by frequently hiring additional pitches on our ground at Failand when they needed further pitches mid-week. The eventual move of the School's ground to Failand has continually strengthened these ties, never more so than with the ATP we have shared with them for over 20 years.

When originally in 1952 the three OB clubs played their games on the same ground for the very first time at Failand, they each came to an agreement with the Society to act as equal partners yet retain their individual autonomy as a cricket, rugby, and hockey club. The idea of an amalgamated sports club has never really been pursued, all three clubs are totally open as far as membership is concerned, undoubtedly Failand would never have existed if membership had precluded those players not educated at BGS.

I finish with some words on this matter from Leslie Morris, the former housemaster and Society President, who was totally dedicated to Failand in his retirement. Leslie Morris had lost his foster son in the Battle of Normandy and his name is on the Memorial at Failand. When asked about welcoming members to the clubs who had not been to the School he replied,

Hence, with junior and senior members, we welcome close to a thousand members to our War Memorial Playing Field throughout the year. What finer memorial could there ever


D. G. Lincoln, R. J. Nichol, A. G.Sims, J. A. Esbester, T. L. Beagley, R. N. Edbrooke


S. C. Yeo, A. W. C. Simons, A. V. K. Chaffey (Captain), A. W. Keen, V. H. Warren

“As long as no former member of BGS is refused membership of a playing club here at Failand, I see no possible reason to exclude anyone from enjoying their games with us fellow Old Bristolians.”
27 For OBs by OBs


Beth Main OB 2007

Since my time at BGS I have accrued a colourful, and arguably controversial, set of visas and work permits in my passport – pages of Chinese, Taiwanese, Russian and Uzbek bureaucracy, which are equally as disturbing to passport control as they are attractive to me.

I am increasingly aware of this every time I see the news, as Putin’s war in Ukraine continues, and protests are repressed by the Chinese Communist Party.

I am always very careful as a teacher of Mandarin and Russian to be clear with pupils, colleagues and friends that the actions of a government are not those of its people and do not equate with the language and culture which we teach in our classrooms.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, my friends in Russia have been devastated – they are not only hurt that their numerous Ukrainian relatives are suffering, but also that they themselves have lost jobs, been conscripted, or fled the country. They are also heartbroken that Putin’s actions have caused the world to turn away from them, to reject them, when they were just becoming accepted, when they themselves do not support the war in any sense. They know that they are the Bond villain, and it hurts them.

My friends in China have been confined to their homes or hotels on and off since COVID broke out. A British friend is currently isolated in a hotel, where she was escorted by police, for having simply been in a bar close to the recent protests in Shanghai. I hear from them all less and less as the VPNs become less reliable to get them past the Great Internet Firewall of China.

I have been challenged recently on whether or not we should actually teach Russian and Mandarin given the political actions of the two countries – I am being asked why we teach languages. Is it for extrinsic reasons such as being able to communicate on holiday, to do business abroad, to be more effective diplomats, to spy? Is it for more intrinsic reasons such as the enjoyment, the accompanying sociocultural and historic knowledge, the broadened world view and increased empathy and tolerance? Is it for UCAS points?

Surely, if a country is politically powerful, economically influential, and seemingly more distanced from us than feels comfortable, this is more reason to learn the language – more reason to learn a non-European language.

水 28
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I recently completed a Master of Teaching for which the topic of my final dissertation was “Eurocentrism, Assessment and Demotivation: The Treatment of Lesser Taught Languages”. I argued that despite the British Council annually identifying Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Urdu as key languages for Britain’s future, the Department for Education does little to support language learning beyond French, Spanish and German.

Languages in the UK are in crisis: they are not popular, perceived as too difficult, or not useful in an Anglophonic global system; the lack of a language at GCSE is the leading cause for not achieving the EBacc. For Lesser Taught Languages (alternatively called Community or Minority) resources are scarce, assessments are too difficult, and the ratios of native to non-native students make attaining highly difficult for even the exceptional student.

Take for example the A Level for Mandarin, which demands the same as for French – amongst other demands, to write critical essays in Mandarin about a target language book and film, and to discuss the social impact of the 1978 economic reforms in China on a changing contemporary society. I can just about manage with an MSc in Globalisation and Development, which informed me about macro and microeconomics, gender theory, migration trends etc. Most Mandarin teachers do not have that knowledge, have no textbook to guide them and only three past papers.

The same stands for teaching Hindi, Polish, Biblical Hebrew, Japanese and Turkish etc.

The education system is political, the languages the DfE focuses on is a political decision. In addition to the enriching and useful European languages, we should also be promoting and facilitating the study of Lesser

Taught Languages. To be proficient in Mandarin gives us smoother access to the provider of the highest number of non-EU university students to the UK (contributing around £2.5bn annually), our fifth largest trade partner, and the second largest world economy. The study of Mandarin includes the nuanced understanding of a country with a deep cultural history influenced by the hierarchies of Confucianism, the trauma of famine and the Cultural Revolution, and the whiplash of rapid economic development followed by renewed political repression.

I manage eight wonderful peripatetic language tutors (Cantonese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish), whose students are primarily native speakers taking an A Level to gain UCAS points (these help them get into university when their English skills might hold them back from attaining the top grades in other subjects). I encourage all students to give any extra language a go, for the world it might open for them. I want young people to think about why they learn languages, which languages they explore, what is included in the course and how we assess them.

The languages education I received at BGS, in particular from Dr Ransome and Mrs Swain, gifted me some of my best life experiences. I hope that my current beginner Korean lessons are going to do the same for me… Because, especially as an adult, you should never not be learning a language.

BETH MAIN –– Head of Eurasian Studies Prior Park College

“The actions of a government are not those of its people and do not equate with the language and culture which we teach in our classrooms.”
水 29 For
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‘ …a holiday which began with 24 hours

I began writing these lines in the alpine village of Grindelwald in Switzerland in September 2021, over 60 years since my first visit here with a school trip from Bristol Grammar School, led by Tony Warren.

Moving from northern small town Blackburn in 1956 to what seemed like the metropolis of Bristol, as my father took up a new post as Regional Standards Officer for the Electricity Generating Board, was a challenge and a profound change for me at the age of 11.

Bristolian (saying …“and John Atyeo bursts into the penalty areal…”), but I quickly became a 100 per cent BGS boy.

Roy Avery asked me to captain the Under 12 cricket team and I played and coached Saturday and Sunday for the next 36 years, revelling in the interweaving of eleven individuals joining together in a complicated team game.

Stanley Martin who cycled to school in his college scarf and white plimsolls enthused me about Latin and Greek in 4 Classical, housed in the redundant and quaint sports pavilion overlooking Tyndall’s Park.

My Housemasters, firstly Dick Fox and then his successor Leslie Meigh, made me increasingly understand the value of team spirit and a supportive ethos, both of which were at the heart of the House system. I wore my red shirt proudly.

Remarkably Gordon MacMillan, my form master in Remove Classical

and the epitome of strictness and good order, went along with my unheard-of initiative to set up and run a magazine library with everyone in the form contributing a few pence a week.

The following year, as form captain in John Radford’s 5 Classical, I learned to employ a variety of methods to get all my form-mates onside and agree to stop torturing the trainee teacher who took us for Greek. Persuading, cajoling, pleading, threatening, shaming, and joshing –I used them all.

I was too small and slight for rugby, but my enthusiasm for football (especially Blackburn Rovers, with the dashing Ronnie Clayton and the wizard of dribble Bryan Douglas), together with my nimbleness, were cleverly harnessed by Michael Booker. “Try it”, he said. I immediately loved being a goalkeeper at hockey, a game I continued to play for 25 years, captaining the School, my Oxford college and my Manchester club.

In the Sixth Form, at the third attempt and following the departure of the luminary Robert Lacey, I managed to win the annual public speaking competition, an experience which gave me a confidence I valued throughout my career as a teacher.

I spoke as an American explaining

Tony Warren, my form-master in Shell A, guided me through the first twelve months with skilled direction and careful sympathetic listening. My Lancashire accent and roots meant that I would never be a

on the train to Munich’
OBs by OBs

the game of cricket to his fellow Americans – a left-field humorous approach which stood me in good stead later in the Headship of two schools, usually considered a formal and serious role.

Through all these varied experiences my time at Bristol Grammar School was enriching and significant, making me what I am.

Yet it was the four summer holiday school trips to Europe, led by Tony Warren, which had the most profound effect.

The first was to Konigssee in Bavaria in the summer of 1958, a holiday which began with 24 hours on the train to Munich.

Reading the account of that trip in the BGS Chronicle recently was like starting a visual tape cassette in my head.

Our hotel base by the lake, not far from Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” high above Berchtesgaden, was newly opened and here an unanticipated excitement was possible cherry brandy and, as the Chronicle rather surprisingly records, a party of English schoolgirls.

I left my Box Brownie Camera on a wall at Salzburg Castle and found it again 30 minutes later. I felt like death as we got up at 3 am to go by coach to the Grossglockner Glacier. I loved the salt mines where we whizzed down long steep wooden slides, with no thoughts whatsoever of health, or safety. I came home hooked on travel.

Next year a Swiss trip to Aeschi, a rural village above Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland, was even more memorable, as the grandeur of the Swiss Alps simply entranced me. We came to a halt in a snowstorm on an exposed chairlift from Beatenberg to the summit of the Niederhorn – what an adventure! We were shocked, whilst mistakenly walking up a waterfall, when Tony Warren remarked that our situation was “bloody dangerous”.

My friends Ken Cleveland and Chas. Burroughs played cards, never

looking out of the window, as the little train took us up from Interlaken to Grindelwald where the astonishing Eiger North Wall still reduces me to silent awe. I vowed inwardly on that day that I would never in my life play cards and I never have done.

Tony Warren, with his correctness of speech, copperplate handwriting and precise organisation, personally arranged in minute detail our train travel, hotel and meals, our day excursions to Lucerne, to Montreux and to Kandersteg’s Blue Lake –it was our very own tailor-made package tour.

My third trip under Tony Warren’s leadership was a walking week in the Black Forest in Germany, made demanding by a heatwave. This time we stayed in youth hostels and were indebted to the amiable languages teacher, John Morris, who negotiated with the hostel wardens in German, a language foreign to Tony. A highlight was going up the narrow steps of the cathedral tower at Freiburg – on the outside not the inside – which took the breath away in several senses.

The Black Forest’s rolling hills were fine, but the Alps were now in my soul. To my surprise Tony Warren agreed to my suggestion of a walking tour of the Bernese Oberland in the month after my A levels in 1962. I often popped into his form room on the main corridor after school and a route was progressively devised, discussed and agreed, together with a list of around a dozen keen and capable walkers.

Even more of a surprise came when Tony asked me to write to the youth hostels and make the bookings. Eventually, not long before the end of the summer term in 1962, small brown handwritten postcards arrived back from the wardens of the hostels, the only confirmation we had for our eight-day trip.

It was gruelling. We each carried our world on our back. We started by sleeping in a barn with bunks in Wilderswil, then up to Murren

where we had the novelty of muesli for breakfast, then down to Lauterbrunnen and steeply up to Wengen. Next day it was up again to the pass at Kleine Scheidegg, a balcony onto the North Face of the Eiger, and then down to glorious Grindelwald.

Here in the dark wooden hostel, we rested for 24 hours before our ascent of the Grosse Scheidegg pass and lengthy downhill to Meiringen. Nearly there now. Blue skies and sunshine promised a more relaxing final day to Engelberg.

we wondered, as we came round a corner ready to be photographed by Tony who had gone on ahead. A severely sprained ankle was the verdict at the hospital at Engelberg after we had virtually carried Tony who could barely hobble – a sobering and unexpected end to our trek.

To read the complete article please visit our website by scanning this QR code →

“What is Mr. Warren doing there on the ground?”
31 For OBs by

The sixties – continuity and change at BGS

My brother David’s article reflecting on his days at BGS (1953-59) has set me thinking about mine a decade later (1963-69). There was certainly continuity – some of the same masters were still there – but there was also contrast. Society had moved on and so had the School.

I remember sitting around the breakfast table, my father opening the post.

Perhaps I should not have worried so much about the cost of fees. Mine would be minimal for, in those days, BGS was a direct grant grammar school. To qualify for the scheme, the School had to offer a large proportion of free places. Most of these were paid for by the LEA which bought them for those boys achieving the highest marks in the eleven-plus. Fees, for those paying them, were income-related. This meant that for my family they would be reasonably modest.

After primary school, I found the change in curriculum and teaching style much to my liking. My twelve-year-old brain was like a sponge, easily absorbing French vocab, Latin conjugations and even geometry’s theorems. This stage of my cognitive development didn’t last long but it was sufficient to propel me into the express (four years to O level) stream at the end of my first year.

I was both surprised and daunted. Surprised because I thought BGS was for those cleverer than I. I’d already been turned down by QEH and the Cathedral School and I suspected that my acceptance at BGS was due in part to my brother having blazed an illustrious academic trail before me. I’d already reconciled myself to Henbury School – the default comprehensive – with its modern buildings and presumably more modern ways. Daunted because I thought BGS was a bit stuffy and also because mine would be a fee-paying place and I knew that in my family money was tight.

I was not looking forward to School and my first day was horrible made worse by the sudden death of a boy in a parallel class. He had a pre-existing heart condition. With the excitement of the day, he collapsed on the steps to the New Building. We saw him being stretchered off to an ambulance. ‘How did you get on?’ my dad asked. ‘I hated it’. I replied. ‘Well, we’ll give it to the end of term and see’, he responded.

By the end of term, I loved it. I remember the last day of that term weaving my way down the corridor congested with giant sixth-formers enroute to the House Meeting. Here we heard of the House’s sporting triumphs and applauded the super-heroes receiving their House colours. Then it was up the stairs to the Great Hall for the term’s final assembly. Lustily we sang ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ –traditionally the last hymn of the autumn term. Then, of course, the School Song: ‘sit clarior, sit dignior, … sumus Bristolienses’ – the official lyrics, not the ruder version we would bawl out on the coach returning from rugby matches.

The masters were intelligent, well-educated, and, for the most part, witty and benign. I remember with gratitude and affection many of those who taught me over the years – Micky Booker, Frank Beacroft, Keith Howard and Peter Watkins, to mention but a few. Others I recall by their nicknames: ‘Smiler’ who had a permanent smile despite having the thankless task of teaching me maths; ‘Dimmer’, so called not through any intellectual inadequacy but because his first two initials were DM.

Not all the teachers were so great. The master who taught us Latin in our second year picked cruelly on one particular boy subjecting him to more than his fair share of verbal barbs and detentions. At the time I felt little sympathy for the kid. He was an annoying brat I would have happily thumped myself had he not been too quick and nimble for me to catch. But looking back I feel ashamed that we took no action to report the teacher’s unfair treatment and cruelty. I hope that today’s Bristolians are empowered and encouraged to do better.

‘Ah’ he said, turning to me ‘you’ve got a fee-paying place at the Grammar School’.

BGS was a male preserve and when it appointed its first female teacher my innate conservatism kicked in. Women might be too kind. Boys might be called by their first names, which I suppose they must have though I knew few of them. Manly stiff upper lips might tremble. How then could we hope to rule the Empire? (Admittedly by then the Empire was in a state of terminal crumble and didn’t need the appointment of female teachers in English boys’ schools to bring it down.) Women teachers could be the thin edge of the wedge. What next? Might the School admit girls? They wouldn’t – would they?

I loved my rugby. Lacking ball skills, I mostly excelled at knocking over opposing players, thereby gaining a reputation as something of a ‘hard man’: a reputation which served me well both on and off the pitch even after everyone else had grown much bigger than me.

The summer term required a different set of sporting skills –skiving. I hated cricket and did my best to avoid it. I did remarkably well with a dexterous combination of dental appointments (some faked) and other devices. But I couldn’t manage a clean sweep and one grey afternoon at Failand I had to take my turn bowling. The ball pitched wide to the right (like all my previous pathetic efforts) but then hitting a divot miraculously broke to the left to take out the middle wicket. I appealed to the umpire that this was unfair, but to no avail. No doubt, he thought like me: the sooner we can get everybody out, the sooner we can pack up and go home.

Athletics was better and I quite fancied myself as a middle-distance runner. On Sports Day I was to represent the House in the second-string 400 metres. Off we set but the pace was too slow: I needed to pick it up. Striding out, I led the whole way just to be pipped at the post. Exhausted, I threw up – not quite all over the Headmaster’s shoes.

When we got into the Removes (Year 10), we had the option of joining the CCF (Combined Cadet Force). I was the most appalling cadet you could imagine. However hard I polished my brasses and boots, I always looked like a tramp on parade. After a year I quietly deserted. No one noticed but I still have fears that one day the Military Police might come knocking on my door.

Despite the CCF, cricket and the awful anxiety which preceded exams, I loved my schooldays, but the best were in the sixthform. At last I was able to drop the subjects such as maths and physics which had baffled me. I opted for A levels in history, economics and French, though the latter was the cause of much tribulation. On one assignment, my teacher ‘Aubrey’ wrote ‘G or anything lower that they give.’ When the A level results came out, I got a respectable B. Rather resentfully Aubrey snarled ‘I suppose you think I should apologise’.

By the time we got to the sixth, we’d developed a useful network with the various girls’ schools. Saturday nights were party nights. Obliging, or oblivious, parents went out for the evening and we moved in. There was some drinking and quite a bit of canoodling in the dark. Boyfriends and girlfriends swapped regularly – two to three weeks seemed to be the average duration of any romance. I did manage one relatively long-term relationship with a pretty and witty Red Maid. It lasted all of ten weeks. I wish I’d been nicer to her.

These were the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and my schooldays were played out against a background of the Beatles, Motown, the Stones and other greats. These were also the years of youthful rebellion against the staid conservatism of the older generation. Battles were fought over how long you could wear your hair. One boy was even suspended for a couple of terms for refusing to have his hair cut to an acceptable length. There were also demands for the creation of a School Council which came about just as we were leaving. The Sixties were dying; the Seventies were about to begin. Society and the School would be moving on. The direct grant system would come to an end. The LEA would no longer fund free places and soon the School would admit girls.

I benefitted greatly from my years at BGS. I might not have been the very brightest button in the haberdashery but as I’ve always maintained: an excellent education coupled with a lot of hard work is a good substitute for intelligence. I went on to read history at Cambridge and to forge a somewhat rocky career in management consultancy, teaching and (fleetingly) academia. At School I made many friends. If you were one and would like to touch base, please contact me via

33 For OBs by
‘My twelve-year-old brain was like a sponge, easily absorbing French vocab, Latin conjugations and even geometry’s theorems’

“The Saint”

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EXCERPT Rome, April 1955

I have a few recollections of happenings at various times during my time at BGS, but one that has stuck in my memory was a trip to Rome in April 1955 when about thirty of us classicists travelled there and back by coach. Our route went down through France via Paris and Dijon, the Mont Cenis tunnel under the Alps, then on to Milan, Sirmione, Verona, and Florence to Rome and returning up the west coast of Italy via Pisa and Nice, then back up through France to Calais. We visited lots of Roman remains

EXCERPT Memories of BGS

The Great Hall was (and is) very impressive, and when I first saw it, it had wooden-railed daises and desks in front of the masters’ seats that remain in the wainscoting. It was lit by eight or so large gas lamps suspended from the ceiling by long pipes: each lamp contained eight or ten gas mantles. To light them, a traditional lamplighter’s pole was used, first to hook the hanging eyes on the end of the control lever of the gas cock and then to insert the pilot flame of the pole. Later on, electric lamps were fitted near the tops of the masonry columns where they met the wooden roof beams, and painted coats of arms appeared near them. The walls had full-length portraits of past headmasters.

on our way south and in Rome. One highlight was joining the hundreds of thousands in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Easter Sunday morning for the Pope’s address to the crowd at midday, but he was visible only as a tiny white dot at the window.

The group of us in the photo above, including Messrs. Langford, Booker, Lucas and Martin, was photographed outside the school just before boarding the coach and departing on our trip on 1st April 1955. I can unfortunately remember very few of the names, though many faces are familiar, but would be interested to hear news of any of my VI Classical colleagues.

The full article can be found online, scan the QR code on the right.

My father, John Goss, was taught by the Saint for all four subdivisions of Latin and Greek after his entry into the classical sixth at the age of 15. I rather think that he would have regarded teaching junior forms to be infra dig. A friendship developed between them so that they remained in touch for the rest of S.T. Collins’ life.

When I was about four, S.T. Collins was living in a first floor flat of a large Victorian house on Durdham Downs not far from our home. I remember calling there once or twice with my father who was no doubt lending or borrowing a book. I was intrigued to discover that the flat could only be accessed by a very slow and old lift. There were no stairs at all. He had a black cat and always wore black buttoned boots.

I think the masters’ desks and daises were removed when the SE end of the hall was converted for school dinners, with a servery behind a screen and dining tables. I was once privileged to go up the crawling ladders on the roof, accessed by a spiral staircase at the side of the main entrance that passed a door into the prefects’ room. These ladders were used in the early part of the war by senior boys who spent nights at school fire-watching – with ‘stirrup pumps’ they could, with difficulty, put out incendiary bombs.

(Note: Night air raids commonly lasted throughout the hours of darkness. If the ‘All Clear’ was later than 6am, you were excused school that day).

The full article can be found online, scan the QR code on the right. ↩

Sometimes he would visit us. When I was 11 and had just started learning Latin, he turned suddenly to me to ask if I knew what “gallina” meant. Although a first declension noun, I had not encountered it, but have remembered it ever since.

My father always referred to him as “S.T. Collins”, a mode of address he never used for anyone else. He was the first fully fledged classicist I had met and struck me as very academic, august, steeped in both classical languages and one who would not take fools gladly! Years later I realised that he was the product of a bygone era. The linguistic simplicity of today’s GCSE Latin would have horrified him. ––

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The full version of both these excerpts can be read online.

for tobogganing. But in my last year at BGS in 1957-58 I had my most memorable winter weather experience, on a ski trip to Mjolfjell, Norway. This was a life influencing experience. Before leaving our group was shown a training movie of a US Army ski patrol in which one of the skiers was Alan Ladd (“Shane” 1953 movie). We were a large group pictured at Temple Meads station before we left. Standing tall on the right is trip leader. I’m barely visible in the back row wearing glasses.

School Lunches

Our journey was epic; first by train to Newcastle, then by ferry across the North Sea to Bergen, where we shared a brief evening with a group of similarly aged lady skiers and their chaperones. I recall playing “truth or dare” and when it was my turn some bright spark in our group called out “kiss”. Next day we boarded the Bergen-Oslo train and got off about a quarter-way to Oslo, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, halfway up a mountain at the Mjolfjell station. From the

At the Mjolfjell ski centre, we were fitted with cablebinding skis, did lots of cross country skiing and even enjoyed an occasional rope tow. In the distance beyond the tow is a glimpse of the Ski Center buildings and further away the Bergen-Oslo railway cutting across the mountain. It seemed that much of the time to ski down we had first to hike up, sometimes with a break to rest half way up. Our trip back across the North Sea was stormy and we all learnt what paper buckets in the ship corridors were for! This BGS trip hooked me on skiing and the habit continued over the years in the Alps, Cascade and Sierra Nevada and Sendai Japan. I would be delighted to hear from anybody who was part of our group!

I read Geoff Wright’s item about school dinners, and if they were as bad as he says in 1956, a lot must have changed in the two years between my leaving and his arrival, but that may say more about my discernment, for I never found them unpalatable. Incidentally, I believe that it was John Garrett who started these lunches. There are three things in particular that I recall happening during lunch. The first was the day John Garrett said in his announcements at the end of assembly, that boys were not to wear yellow socks –they were not part of the school uniform... I was the culprit. My home was in Burnham on Sea, which was just too far to travel there and back in a day, so I was in digs during the week, going home at weekends. Every monday I brought my clean washing, and my mother had put in yellow socks. At lunch that day, who should sit beside me but the Head, who greeted me with “Hello, Malvolio.” I must have explained the situation, because I heard no more about it, thank goodness.

I’m not sure how it was actually organised, but every day two older boys were responsible for saying grace before and after the meal. My colleague was down to say the first, longer Latin grace, which started off well enough, but halfway through he had clearly forgotten the words and struggled to the end. I had the much shorter grace at the end which was all right. As a result, word went out that grace should be said, I think, by a prefect.

The third event that happened, this time at the end of the meal. Eric Dehn had been on an exchange visit to the USA and had brought back a whole lot of American ties. I’m not sure if he was selling these or simply handing them out to those who wanted one. I still have the one I received, though haven’t worn it for years.

Marc Trickey passed away in December 2022.

35 For
OBs by OBs


My maternal Grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Perry, was born on 6th May 1870 in a Victorian Workhouse: Clifton Union Workhouse Stapleton, Bristol, to a single 16-yearold unmarried mother, Maria J Perry, (1854-1930). The Workhouse records were all destroyed in a later fire, so it proved impossible to trace her ancestry, especially of her mother, Maria Perry, any further.

At the age of 21 she married my Grandfather, George Francis Taylor (born in 1872). He was the result of a liaison between two eighteenyear-olds: a young horse drover’s daughter, Sarah Jane Ga(i)ter (born 1853 but later almost untraceable) and a young man, George Meacham (1853-1931). Though my Grandfather was baptised Meacham, Jane and George did not marry, though Jane later married a John Taylor and young George Francis took the Taylor surname. George Francis Taylor almost certainly never went to school. As an adult he worked as a leadsman and later in a galvanized steel works and never learned to read, but Eliza was literate and I sometimes saw her reading the

newspaper to him when I was about 5-10 years old and they were in their late seventies. They had a very large family, eleven children, between 1891 and 1912, when my mother (the youngest surviving) was born on September 24th. Most are shown below in the ‘colorized’ 1915 B/W photo. My mother is the youngest, next to her mother. They lived in a tiny terraced house at 12 Beaufort Avenue, Barton Hill, a poor part of Bristol that expanded tremendously with the advent of the Great Western Cotton Factory in 1838 – still active until it closed in 1935. How they were all accommodated is still a mystery.

On my father’s side, my Grandfather, James Hendy, (18811968) was a 60-year-old shopkeeper when I was born. He had variously been described as a Cotton Spinner in the 1901 Census, later a steel erector (all over Europe) and a fishmonger in Bristol, before turning to the tobacconist’s trade. His estranged wife, Emily Flay (18861964), was a butcher’s daughter.

They had three children: my aunt Violet May (1912-1965), Alfred James (my father, 1913-2012) and my aunt Ivy Violet, (1916-2019) who lived to her 103rd birthday. Their portraits were extracted from a ‘colorized’ B/W photo that was taken around 1921 (above).

Although her sisters almost all went to work in one of Wills’s cigarette factories, my mother left school at 14 to become a Florist. My father worked in his father’s tobacconist shop in Barton Hill. A tall boy, at the age of 12 he was already wholesaling tobacco and cigarettes all over Bristol on a butchers’ bicycle. But he was ambitious and always had plans to have his own shop by the time he was 30. He was also interested in

OR 36 For OBs
by OBs

literature: He read Oliver Twist to us when I was only 4½ and I found a copy of Caesar’s Gallic Wars in Latin and English in his bookshelf after he died.

I was born in 1941 and, after several Wartime house-moves, my parents put me down for Bristol Grammar Preparatory School, which I entered in 1949 aged 8. My first ‘creative writing’ (How I escaped from the Cat) was published in the School Chronicle Vol XXV No.10 dated Dec 1949. I still clearly remember the Headmaster announcing to the Lower School that George VI had died.

About 1950 or ’51 some Sixth Formers wanted to put on a performance of ‘Trial by Jury’ by Gilbert & Sullivan and came looking for succour (suckers?) in the Lower School choir whose voices had not yet broken, to play the female rôles. I ended up as one of four Bridesmaids, in a pink crinoline frock with newspaper stuffed down the front by eager Sixth Formers to add realism. When we sat down, the wire crinoline hoops forced our skirts up into the air, showing our legs to the audience.

I entered the Upper School in 1952, later joined the CCF RAF Section and won a National Flying Scholarship, gaining a Private Pilot’s Licence in 1958 a year before I could drive. In the Sixth Form I studied Sciences, with ‘A’ levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Botany and Zoology. I was never keen on team sports, but instead joined the School Fencing and Rifle teams and two school plays.

In a Sixth Form Physics visit to the Royal Fort I was captivated by their new Electron Microscope and knew I wanted to do that, but with a solid Biology background the only route would be via

Microbiology. There were only 4 Universities offering that course of study, one being Bristol. I was accepted there and when the first Term started in 1959 I merely crossed University Road to begin studying Botany & Chemistry. In the Botany Laboratory (which had been easily visible from the BGS Sixth Form Biology Lab’s window) I met Susan Denning, who later became my wife.

The Degree came and went and via a University contact I got a job in the Public Health Dept of the University of Amsterdam, learning the techniques of Electron Microscopy. After 6 months and an ultra-cold winter I returned to Bristol University Botany Dept as Research Assistant in Mycology (the study of Fungi). My first publication in 1963 was probably the first on the ultramicroscopic fine structure of germinating fungal spores (more of that later under Coincidences).

Susan and I were married in 1965 and in 1966 we moved to Carshalton to set up an Electron Microscopy Laboratory within a Toxicology Research laboratory, measuring the safety-in-use of food additives, colourings, antioxidants, stabilisers etc. and sponsored 50:50 by Government and manufacturers. After 4 years and several publications it seemed obvious to me that to gain a higher position I needed to have a PhD. After an unsatisfactory year in the USA I returned to the same lab and was allowed to pursue a PhD part-time, which took me 7 years. Doctored at last!

Now as a trained Experimental Pathologist I moved further east to a post at Shell’s Agrochemical Research Centre in Sittingbourne, Kent. By then we had two small boys and the schooling situation in Canterbury was excellent, with 2 Grammar schools, 3 Private

schools and 2 Universities. The boys both went to Simon Langton Boys Grammar School and both ended up on the Honours Board, thanks to rigorous instillation of the work ethic from my Biology teacher wife.

Both sons got into Cambridge (one got his own PhD there) and later both studied for MBAs in America, at Columbia in New York and MITSloan Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. The older one married a Chinese lady and the younger one (with the PhD) married a Japanese girl.


In 2001 we had a new neighbour –a widow with two children whose late husband had been a Senior Master at Dulwich College then Senior Master at Eltham College. We were at BGS at the same time and were even listed in the same 1955 Prizegiving programme.

I said earlier that I was one of the first in the world to study the internal fine structure of the germinating fungal spore. My younger son’s Japanese father-in-law is a retired professor who has also published several papers on fungal spores –another astonishing coincidence!

When my mother died in 1993 after 55 years of marriage my father was devastated. To fill his time I gave him a stack of typing paper and asked if he would write down his early life experiences. Three months later he gave me back 80 pages of small neat handwriting, which I typed up as ‘A Life in Business’. I believe we should all record our youth for our children, who invariably forget to ask these unique, important questions until it is too late. I am doing this, and so is one of my sons.

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OBs by OBs

In memoriam

We’re deeply saddened to announce the deaths of people associated with Bristol Grammar School notified to us in the last 12 months. Please join us in honouring and remembering them.

William ‘Bill’ Barlow Blanchard

1935-2018 · BGS 1945-1952

James Royle ‘Roy’ Avery

1925-2023 · BGS 1950-1959 & 1975-1976

George Bolt

2005-2022 · BGS 2016-2022

Barrington ‘Barry’ Frederick Cottle

1932-2022 · BGS 1945-1949

Dr Leslie Seymour Culank

1943-2016 · BGS 1951-1961

Ian ‘Keith’ Dubber

1932-2022 · BGS 1943-1950

Michael G East

Died 2019 · BGS 1954-1958

Donald Furze

1944-2022 · BGS 1955-1962

Peter Owen Gardiner

1934-2022 · BGS 1945-1951

James ‘Jim’ Garrett

John David ‘Dave’ Perkins, also known as Polly

1943-2022 · BGS 1954-1962

Richard Pollock

1935-2022 · BGS 1945-1948

David Barrington Redston

1936-2022 · BGS 1945-1955

Beverley John Rowles

1930-2022 · BGS 1945-1948

Alan William Frank Russett

1929-2021 · BGS 1945-1948

John Fraser Scott

1928-2023 · BGS 1939-1946

Robert Alfred Simmons

1926-2023 · BGS 1937-1942

David Snelson

Died 2022 · BGS 1986-2000

Elizabeth ‘Sarah’ Stevens

1957-2022 · BGS 1990-2018

1938-2023 · BGS 1946-1948

Lt Col Julian Edmund Kingsford Goodbody

1931-2023 · BGS 1979-1993

Malcolm Clifford Grant

1937-2022 · BGS 1948-1953

Paul Reginald Greenough

1925-2022 · BGS 1935-1942

Michael Austin Halls

1951-2023 · BGS 1958-1961

Philippa ‘Pippa’ Grace Hope

1997-2022 · BGS 2013-2015

Alan Tapscott Hughes

1930-2022 · BGS 1942-1948

Jonathan Philip Hyde

1980-2022 · BGS 1987-1998

Grahame Lindsay

1937-2022 · BGS 1948-1955

John Picton Miles

1925-2022 · BGS 1936-1941

George Edwin Moody

1934-2022 · BGS 1945-1953

David Asher Johnson-Morgan

1994-2022 · BGS 2005-2012

John Stuart Colin Osborn

1927-2022 · BGS 1941-1945

Mark Eabry Stewart

1960-2023 · BGS 1971-1978

Richard John Stirret

1950-2022 · BGS 1959-1969

Kenneth Walter Stradling

1922-2022 · BGS 1931-1940

Eric Arthur Charles Stride

1936-2023 · BGS 1949-1955

Richard Dodgson Sykes

1932-2021 · BGS 1945-1950

Rev Frederick Marc Trickey

1935-2022 · BGS 1949-1954

Jason David Turner

1973-2023 · BGS 1984-1989

David Leonard John Watts

In memoriam

1937-2022 · BGS 1945-1955

Richard Percy Wear

1934-2022 · BGS 1945-1950

Ian White

1954-2023 · BGS 1977-1987

Richard Wolfe Widdowson

1927-2023 · BGS 1941-1945

Claude Richard Graham Winteringham

1923-2023 · BGS 1934-1938

Full obituaries, where provided by family, friends, or news resources, are available on our new Obituaries page on the website (scan the QR code with your phone camera on the right for links) To inform us of a death or to provide an obituary, please contact us on

38 In memoriam

Old Bristolians Society Management Committee 2023-24


Marcus Cryer

Vice Chair

Mike Burmester


Peter Jakobek

President Elect

Rev James Harris

Immediate Past President

Kate Redshaw


Richard Leonard


Ian Southcott

School Liaison Officer

Peter Jakobek


Anne Bradley

Careers Co-ordinator

Rob Hagen

Sports Club Officer

James King

Sports Club Representative

Rich Berry

Nick Stibbs


Julian Portch

Melanie Guy

Martin Bates

If you would like to contact any of the management committee members please email

Past Presidents of the Society

1900 Herbert Ashman Bart

1901 Charles McArthur

1902 C E L Gardner

1903 Bourchier F Hawksley

1904 The Rev T W Openshaw MA

1905 Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith GCB, MA, BSc

1906 Professor H Lloyd Tanner DSc, FRS

1907 The Rev V P Wyatt MA

1908 Sir Hartman W Just CB, KCMG

1909 Philip W Worsley JP

1910 W Nicol Reid

1911 The Rev A W Oxford MA, MD

1912 T B Silcock BSc

1913 The Rev Canon F E Brightman MA D Phil, DD, FBA

1914 The Rev A B Beaven MA

1919 Sir Holman Gregory KC

1920 Sir Cyril Norwood MA, D Litt

1921 George Langford

1922 Col T H Openshaw


1923 The Rev Canon G A Weekes MA

1924 The Rev Canon Peter Barker MA

1925 D S Davies MD, LLD, DPH

1926 Col T M Carter OBE

1927 R C Hobbs

1928 Oscar Berry

1929 Sir Duncan Grey LLD

1930 Cyril Rootham MA, MusD

1931 Wilfrid E F Peake

1932 Sir Cyril Norwood MA, D Litt

1933 J Sumner Dury JP

1934 T Reaveley Glover MA, LLD, DD, Litt D

1935 Rear-Admiral V H T Weekes CB, CMG

1936 Charles W Stear

1937 E W B Gill OBE, MA, BSc

1938 Brigadier A L W Newth CBE, DSO, MC, TD, DL, JP, Legion of Merit (America)

1939-1945 Col G S Castle MC, TD, DL

1946 Brigadier M Angell James VC, DSO, MBE, MC, DL

1947 The Right Rev Henry McGowan MA

1948 The Right Hon Lord Gridley KBE,MIEE, MP

1949 J E Barton MA, Hon RIBA

1950 Rev Canon J M D Stancomb MBE, MA

1951 Sir W Marston Logan KBE, CMG

1952 Professor T F Hewer MD, FRCP, FLS

1953 Leslie Morris MA, BSc

1954 Sir Oliver Franks PC, GCMG, KCB, CBE, MA

1955 R C W Cottle

1956 Sir W Ivor Jennings KBE, LittD, LLD, QC

1957 H P Lucas BSc

1958 The Right Rev Bishop D B Hall BA

1959 C R Setter JP, FIOB

1960 Sir Douglas Veale CBE, MA

1961 Dr John Garrett MA, DLitt

1962 C H Clements

1963 E H Totterdill FCll FIArb

1964 K W Jones ACIS

1965 Very Reverend D E W Harrison MA

1966 Alderman L K Stevenson

1967 H C H Punchard

1968 Col J B Cossins MBE

1969 J Angell James CBE, MD, FRCP, FRCS

1970 Philip E Maggs

1971 Edward V Colman

1972 Vivian H Ridler CBE, MA, FSIA

1973 Sir Paul Osmond CB, MA, CIMgt

1974 M E Dunscombe TD FBOA, FSMC

1975 Air Vice Marshal W J Maggs CB, OBE, MA

1976 R A Dolton

1977 D J Mann CBE, MA

1978 Dr J Mackay MA, DPhil

1979 Professor B H Harvey CBE, MA, MSc

1980 J C Higson

1981 M L Booker MA

1982 The Very Rev S H Evans CBE, MA

1983 J B Ackland OBE, FRIBA

1984 G F Jarrett TD, MA

1985 D W Williams OBE, TD, DL

1986 E H Dehn BA

1987 J R Cottle MA

1988 P F Stirratt BSc (Econ)

1989 Major General IOJ Sprackling OBE, BSc

1990 K J Stidard AE, DMS, MIMgt

1991 T L Beagley CB, MA, FCIT, FIRTE(Hon)

1992 M B Nichols FCA

1993 J R Avery MA, FRSA

1994 A F Stirratt MA

1995 Professor Keith Robbins MA, DPhil, DLitt, FRSE

1996 E A Warren MA

1997 K G H Binning CMG, MA

1998 K D J Prowting FCA

1999 His Honour Judge PNR Clark MA

2000 R Lacey MA

2001 M Sisman LLB

2002 C E Martin MA

2003 J A E Evans MA

2004 R F Kingscott Dip Arch (RWA), ARIBA

2005 R A R Cockitt BSc

Old Bristolians Society

2006 Professor Sir Nicholas (‘Nick’) Wright MA, MD, PhD, DSc, FRCP, FRCS, FRCPath, FMedSci

2007 D L J Watts JP, MA, FRICS

2008 D Pople MA

2009 P J Revill MA

2010 K T Gerrish BA

2011 N A Baldwin

2012 G E Ratcliffe BDS, DDPHRCS

2013 D Furze MBCS, CITP

2014 D Yeandle OBE, MA, MCIPD, FRSA

2015 M N J Burmester BA, ACIB

2016 J D Perkins MA

2017 Anne Bradley MA (Oxon)

2018 Melanie Guy

2019 John Sisman

2020 Rich Berry

2021 Rich Berry

2022 Kate Redshaw


Saturday 23 March Great Hall, BGS


Volunteer to be a mentor, attend a careers or networking event or join our Linkedin group.


Organise a reunion table for the Annual Dinner, attend our networking drinks in London or Bristol or come along to our Lunch Clubs.


Donate to our 500 campaign and help change lives through bursaries at BGS.


Have lunch in the Great Hall, have a guided tour around BGS, or come back to the current students about your career.


Follow us on social media, join our private Linkedin and Facebook groups or download the Old Bristolians app.


If you want to visit, suggest a new event, ask to come in, advertise your business or have any questions or feedback, get in touch. Scan this code with the camera on your phone for all our useful web and social links #BEYONDBGS
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Annual Dinner 2024 BRISTOL

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Articles inside


pages 36-37

School Lunches

page 35

“The Saint”

pages 34-35

The sixties – continuity and change at BGS

pages 32-33

‘ …a holiday which began with 24 hours

pages 30-32


pages 28-29

Lest we forget LEST WE FORGET

pages 26-27

Chief Constable Sarah Crew

pages 24-25

Piers Alexander

page 23

Paul Shepherd OB 1998

page 22

Simon Turner OB 1987

page 21

Ahmed Ali-Khan

page 20

Kate Redshaw OB 1986

pages 18-19

David Rolls

page 17

Vadim Jean

pages 15-16

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Singh

page 14

Lucy Raffety

pages 11-13


pages 8-9

Safeguarding in sport

page 7

ANNUAL UPDATE from the Old Bristolians’ Sports Clubs

pages 6-7

Be part of someone’s story

pages 5-6


pages 2-4


page 19

“The Saint”

page 18

The sixties – continuity and change at BGS

pages 17-18


pages 15-16


page 14

Chief Constable Sarah Crew

page 13

Paul Shepherd

page 12

The Right Honourable Lord

pages 8-11

PROFILES Old Bristolians’

page 11


page 5

ANNUAL UPDATE from the Old Bristolians’ Sports Clubs

pages 4-5


pages 1-3
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