High Commission Special Envoy Caterham's Frontline Force OC Chef Gains Global Acclaim International Engineering In Memoriam: Diana Raine
Treasures in the Thames Mudlarking on the river
The magazine for The Caterham School Society Issue 08. 2020
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
FROM THE EDITOR ANNIE HEBDEN This issue of Omnia highlights the truly global nature of our Caterham School community – with interviews from an award-winning chef in Japan, quantum physicist in Switzerland, British High Commissioner in India, engineer in Malaysia, journalist in Korea to a best-selling author finding treasures on our own shores. Our networking platform has been rebranded Caterham Connected and the app launched, making it even easier to stay connected and network with our community. The benefit of this network has been clear to all those who have received invaluable career and personal advice by reaching out via the platform. Thank you to all the contributors that have taken part in interviews and shared their news, stories and photographs to create this edition of Omnia. If you would like to make a contribution to a future edition of Omnia, please do not hesitate to contact me. With best wishes Annie Hebden Alumni Officer annie.hebden@ caterhamschool.co.uk 01883 335091
High Commission Special Envoy Caterham's Frontline Force OC Chef Gains Global Acclaim International Engineering In Memoriam: Diana Raine
Treasures in the Thames Mudlarking on the river
The magazine for The Caterham School Society Issue 08. 2020
Cover photograph of Lara Maiklem by picturepartnership.co.uk Omnia designed and produced by Haime & Butler haime-butler.com
CONTRIBUTORS Jamal Al-Kreebani (OC 2001 – 2006) Tom Archer (OC 2004 – 2009) Wade Armstrong (OC 1957 – 1966) Colin Bagnall (OC 1949 – 1955) Anne Bailey (OE 1944 – 1956) Julieta Baker (OC 2016 – 2018) Sir Philip Barton (Current Parent) Bertie Bayley (OC 2009) Christy Bennett (OC 2013 – 2018) David Boardman (OC 1959 – 1966) Ben Brown (OC 2015 – 2020) Jim Bulley (OC 2001 – 2008) David Burch (OC1958 – 1967) Annabel Chappell (OC 2014 – 2019) Liv Clarke (OC 2012 – 2019) Jess Colman (OC 2001 – 2008) Melanie Cooke (née Devereux) (OE 1973 – 1979) James Cox (OC 1997 – 2004) Daisy De Meester (OC 2004 – 2015) Yasu Fujio (OC 2004 – 2006) Khristianne Greenhalgh (OC 1998 – 2012) Carla Groves (née Poulton) (OE 1978 – 1984) Josh Higginson (OC 2003 – 2009) Lucy Higginson (née May) (OC 1998 – 2005) Louise Holme (OC 2003) John Holroyd-Doveton (OC 1945 – 1952) Sanjana Idnani (OC 2017 – 2019) John Jones (Staff 1966 – 2004) Zahrah Khan (OE 1987 – 1994) Anton Konshin (OC 2014 – 2019) Mike Land (OC 2005 – 2020) Robert Leatherby (OC 1995 – 2009) Alice Locket (OC 2004 – 2019) Joanne Logie (OE 1977 – 1981) Shaocheng Ma (OC 2008 – 2010) Fred Mack (OC 1997 – 2004) Lara Maiklem (OC 1987 – 1989) Lottie McDonald (OC 2013 – 2020) David Miles (Former Parent) James Miles (OC 2001 – 2009) Rory Moore (OC 2004 – 2019) Lynn Moran (née Rodgers) (OE 1964 – 1975) Owen Morgan (OC 2009) Elwyn Moseley (OC 1954 – 1961) Rosalind Norman (OE 1979 – 1990) Alex O’Brien (OC 1994 – 2009) Ohis Ojo (OC 2006 – 2012) Lea Owen (née Simpson) (OE 1987) Freddie Page (OC 2001 – 2009) Vivien Parsons (OE 1964 – 1978) Mike Pearson (OC 1997 – 2004) Melanie Peyer (OE 1985 – 1991) Dima Praska (OC 2013 – 2018) Paul Rawden (OC 1999 – 2004) Murie Ronald (OE 1971 – 1982) Lucy Archer (née Ruddle) (OC 2003 – 2008) Robin Rudge (OC 1945 – 1955) Oliver Sharp (OC 1998 – 2007) Nick Simpson (OC 1997 – 2004) Jessica Simpson (née Butler) (OC 2009) Jane Sturgess Varda (Staff 1974 – 1977) Matt Trayner (OC 2009) Mai Wallace (OC 2005 – 2020) Peter Walmsley (OC 1940 – 1946) Peter Ward (OC 1948 – 1958) Ben Woods (OC 1997 – 2004) Hannah Wright (OC 2003 – 2010) Stephanie Ye Chen (OC 2011 – 2013) Jansen Zhao (OC 2008 – 2010)
From the Headmaster, Ceri Jones, President of the OCA, Clive Furness, President of the CSS, Rob Davey and Chair of the PA, Sam Kensey.
07 11 19 25 33
Forthcoming Events Exciting events for the whole Caterham School community for Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021.
Rising Star Chef Gains Global Acclaim
In Memoriam: Diana Raine
OC Yasu Fujio talks about becoming the first Japanese chef to win the biggest international cooking competition for chefs under 30 years old.
OC Nick Simpson shares some of his experiences and insights into working in the energy industry, opportunities for engineers and life as an expat in Malaysia.
Undefeated 1st XV 2009 Side Still United!
VE Day 2020
In the Archives
Old Cat News
Welcome to the OCA Class of 2020
Treasures in the Thames OC Lara Maiklem tells us how she found sanctuary from the chaos of London on the foreshore of the Thames.
High Commission Special Envoy Interview with Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE, British High Commissioner to India and current parent.
Caterham's Frontline Force Upper Sixth pupil and Medic Society leader Mai Wallace caught up with OCs who have been fighting the COVID crisis on the health care frontline.
Recent Events A showcase of events and how Caterhamians coped in lockdown.
36 International Engineering
Caterham School community and its CCF made a tribute of gratitude to all the servicemen and women, past, present and future.
News from Old Caterhamians including reunions, weddings and births.
Heads of the School pass on the baton.
The COVID-19 lockdown shines a light on the importance of community support.
See what some of the team are up to and how they keep in touch.
Old Cats Peter Walmsley MBE recollects his time at Caterham School during the War and School Archivist, Colin Bagnall reveals the new look digital archive.
Interview by Mike Land and Ben Brown with Quantum physicist and OC Jansen Zhao who returned to school to deliver last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual MJS Christmas Lecture.
102 Why Study...
Read about a variety of university courses from OCs who are currently studying or doing apprenticeships.
Up in the Air While the World Shuts Down OC Jim Bulley relives the experience of being thousands of miles from home when everything stops due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Tributes are paid to the Eothen School Headmistress 1973â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1992.
Obituaries Giving thanks for the lives of members of the Caterham School community.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Caterham Connected Join our online networking platform today Caterham Connected offers the whole school community a professional and social network
APP NOW AVAILABLE for iPhone, iPad & Android
Connect with the huge community of Old Cats, parents and friends of the school Stay updated with news and events Benefit from this invaluable professional resource to find mentoring, work experience and career opportunities
For desktop version: • Log in online to: caterhamconnected.co.uk • Join using LinkedIn, Facebook or your email address • Customise your settings and get networking Download the Mobile App: Visit your app store… • F or Apple iOS users, download ‘Graduway Community’ and find ‘Caterham School’ in the dropdown when asked for the name of your institution • F or Android users, just search for ‘Caterham School’
Download the Caterham Connected app
For friends of yours not yet connected – please do spread the word, the more people on this platform, the greater the professional resource and benefit to all. #CaterhamConnected
WELCOME FROM THE HEADMASTER Omnia has come to represent the enormous potential, power, expertise and experience of the wider Caterham community.
t has demonstrated over recent editions the diverse and multifaceted nature of what it is to be a Caterhamian. I am always struck by the different pathways that alumni of the School have taken – what unites all the journeys and stories in this journal is the conviction that connectivity and how we relate to one another and interact with each other is often the key to our success, as is the ability to see challenge as opportunity and to be agile and flexible in the face of setback. Put simply – a recognition in the power of community and a can do attitude. These are still the hallmarks of Caterham today. These past few months have amply demonstrated this. The School community has been like never before during lockdown and it has pulled together to ensure that pupils in the School were not adversely affected by the absence of physical schooling. It has also pulled together to do some amazing things for the wider community – from making or sourcing thousands of pieces of PPE, to proving lap tops for local primary schools, to raising money for local hospitals and hospices. Throughout this crisis I have been heartened by how our community has always thought of others. I am enormously grateful to all members of our wider community – all of whom are represented by Omnia – for their contributions and for their support of our Caterham Connected activities. It has been great to see alumni and their
families, prospective pupils and their families, staff and current pupils involved in all the additional activities we have put on. We have proudly watched countless numbers of alumni and parents doing such an amazing job on the frontline of the NHS both locally and nationally and witnessed many of our parents volunteering to help in any way they can – including making scrubs for local hospitals. All of this has reinforced my belief in the potential and strength of the wider Caterham family – whether that be as an Old Cat, a parent or a former parent under the umbrella of the Caterham School Society. Omnia represents that family and I am immensely proud to be a member of it. I hope you enjoy this edition – my thanks to Annie Hebden for putting this together calmly and effortlessly during this unprecedented time. Ceri Jones Headmaster
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
WELCOME... FROM THE OLD CATERHAMIANS’ ASSOCIATION
FROM THE CATERHAM SCHOOL SOCIETY
Welcome to Omnia. For anyone who paid any attention at school, you know that Omnia means ‘all’ in Latin, but doing some digging to prepare this intro, I found out that it also means ‘wish’ in Arabic. This strikes me as extremely appropriate as, in many respects, Omnia is a chronicle of wishes – the wishes (ambitions) of Caterhamians to make their mark on the world – many of whom are incredibly successful. Caterham has always had a long tradition of supporting ambition and there seems to be an entrepreneurial and questing spirit that has been present within the School from its earliest days. But today’s Caterham School has two lines of ancestry and much as Caterham has espoused these values, so did Eothen. In talking to former Eothen pupils regarding the sad passing of Diana Raine (the headmistress who oversaw Eothen merge with Caterham) one element stands out strongly – the environment she successfully created in which every pupil was given the platform and active support to reach for and achieve anything they wanted. It is no wonder with such strong heritage that we continue to innovate and achieve. If the strength of the submissions to the OCA Innovation and Collaboration Award this year are anything to go by, future editions of Omnia will not have enough space for the available content. I know it’s a cliché these days but stay safe.
With the School community battling with the implications of the coronavirus, we have had the opportunity to reflect on the next stage of the evolution of the Society. With all the physical events having to be postponed or cancelled, the digital side of operations has mushroomed as Caterham became a ‘virtual’ school. As a result of the success of these programmes, such as our new Insight webinar series launched so successfully with Geoffrey Kemp talking knowledgeably about the upcoming USA Election to 150+ online attendees, and our wish to maximise the huge potential of our ever growing database – all our digital activities will combine under the title #CaterhamConnected. The intention is for the digital operation to work in tandem with the exciting CSS programme of physical events being planned for this academic year. It is now even easier to become involved with our activities – just follow the link to our new App. per ardua ad astra. Rob Davey President, Caterham School Society
Clive Furness President, Old Caterhamians’ Association
Download the Caterham Connected app
FROM THE PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION
The Parents’ Association has really flourished over the last couple of years with a wide range of successful events and fundraising activities including our Quiz Nights, Fawlty Towers Dinner, Christmas Dinner Dances, Christmas Fairs, Cheese & Wines and Extravaganza Shopping evenings. Throughout all of these activities the greatest part is played by you – the parents. Your continuing support and feedback has enabled us to ‘keep the fun in fundraising’ for our chosen charities and to provide a range of activities for every one across the school community. Whether you provide feedback via Classlist, a WhatsApp for your class/year group, an email, when passing us in the car park or at the sidelines during a sports fixture, we are always keen to hear from you so please continue to tell us what you want from your PA and we will endeavour to deliver. Even over the last few months, I have been amazed at our ability to continue as an amazing body of parents. Holding our PA meetings via ZOOM we have proved that even when we are not able to meet face to face we continue to support each other, the School and our nominated charities throughout these strange times. So much so, that we have achieved our target of donating nearly £30,000 to our supported charities over the last 24 months. Furthermore, we have witnessed some amazing parents and grandparents making much needed scrubs for the NHS from sheets and duvet covers that other parents and members of the community have donated. We have launched our PA Super Hero Award and will be launching Lucky Numbers to the whole community. Thank you all.
We have also been very proud of the fact that through a gargantuan volunteer parental effort and with the support of the School we have continued to reunite lost property items with their owners, we have had Nearly New Collections for our Nearly New Uniform sales and organised fundraising with our Bag2School partnership. And as we say good-bye to this fundraising year and our 2020 leavers pupils and parents alike, the Parents’ Association wish you all a successful and happy future and we extend our invitation to you all to come back and join us at future events. Either to pit your wits against a team of teachers at the next Quiz Night or book your own table of OCs at our future Balls, we hope to see you all again. We are looking forward to the year ahead as we welcome back existing and new parents and their families. Please do get involved and sign up on Classlist or email us PA@caterhamschool.co.uk as we can do so much more with your support. Sam Kensey Chair, Parents’ Association
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Forthcoming events Autumn 2020 – Summer 2021 We are optimistic and are hoping to hold as many of our traditional and planned events as possible through 2020–21.
Autumn Term 2020
However, whilst UK Government restrictions surrounding COVID-19 still remain in place we will need to abide by these and remain flexible in our event planning.
Sign up to caterhamconnected.co.uk and you will automatically receive invitations to and updates for events.
Tuesday 8 September, 7.00pm
PA Reps Welcome The Parents’ Association looks forward to welcoming all current parents for some light refreshments and an opportunity to catch up after the long summer and to meet some new faces.
26 September, 10.00am–12.00pm
Autumn Term Nearly New Uniform Sales Caterham School Grab a bargain! For more dates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 10 October, 7.30pm
PA Comedy Night Caterham School Join us for guaranteed laughs with stand up comics along with a fish and chip supper.
If you have any queries, please contact email@example.com We hope to see you very soon. In the meantime stay connected!
Caterham School links caterhamschool.co.uk CaterhamSchool Caterham School @Caterham_School @caterham_school
OCA links oldcaterhamians.com Old Caterhamians Association @oldcaterhamians @oldcaterhamians
Thursday 17 September
OC Golfing Society Autumn Meeting Hindhead Golf Club Open to all golfers who are 18 handicap or lower, if you would like to join in with the fun and to find out future meeting dates, please visit oldcaterhamiansgolfingsociety.com
Friday 18 September, 9.00-10.30am
Monthly event: CSS Book Club Caterham School The Caterham School Society book club runs monthly during term time and is hosted at Caterham School or via Zoom. All members of the Caterham School community are welcome, if you are interested in joining please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 6 November
OC Golfing Society Winter Meeting Walton Heath Golf Club To join in, please visit oldcaterhamiansgolfingsociety.com
Friday 13 November, 9.00am
CSS Woodland Dog Walk Caterham School Guided walks are arranged termly around Old Park Woods for all members of the Caterham School community – you don’t need to bring a dog! Walks conclude with tea, coffee and cakes outside the Leathem Room. If you are interested in joining please contact email@example.com
Saturday 21 November
PA Prep Christmas Fair Caterham School Fun for all the family!
Saturday 28 November
PA Christmas Dinner Dance Saturday 7 November
Sunday 8 November
Surrey National Golf Club
OCA Pre-Fireworks Drinks
OCA Day: Remembrance Sunday & OCA Sports Afternoon
Dress up for the annual black tie dinner and dance.
Leathem Room Old Caterhamians are invited to join us for complimentary drinks before the main display begins. For tickets, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 7 November
CSS Fireworks Night Titch Pitch The annual pyrotechnic extravaganza, with fire dancer, BBQ, wood-fired pizza, the Parents’ Association bar, sweet stall and glow toy shop on offer. Bring your friends and neighbours!
Caterham School The traditional service will be held at the front of school, followed by a recital of reflection in the Wilberforce Hall. The afternoon sees our first teams in rugby and lacrosse take on the alumni for this most cherished set of fixtures.
November (date TBC)
CSS Bonarjee Lecture Caterham School The annual lecture focussing on democracy and free speech, in memory of Old Caterhamian and benefactor Stephen Bonarjee, creator of Radio 4’s Today programme.
Tuesday 1 December, 7.30pm
PA Wonders of Christmas Leathem Room Christmas shopping and a chance to catch up with friends and enjoy some festive refreshments. Watch out for upcoming PA hospitality evenings every term.
Monday 7 December, 6.30pm
MJS Christmas Lecture Caterham School The annual Moncrieff Jones Society science lecture.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Spring Term 2021 Date TBC
OCA Hong Kong Reception Hong Kong (Venue TBC) All Old Cats are invited for drinks and canapés. If you are in the Hong Kong area and would like to join us, please contact email@example.com
Friday 8 January, 1.00pm
Tuesday 16 March, 6.30pm
CSS Rugby Luncheon with guest speaker Eddie Jones
CSS Insight Evening: Climate for Change
Royal Academy of Engineering, London SW1
PA Quiz Night
An evening focussing on how environmental, social and governance could be impacted in this current climate of change.
Pit your wits against friends and teachers, and enjoy a fish and chip supper.
Join us for a celebration of Caterham School rugby with Eddie Jones, Head Coach of the England team, as the guest speaker at our inaugural rugby luncheon. Proceeds from the luncheon will support bursary places for talented young rugby players and equip the School’s sports department. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 14 March, 1.00pm
OCA Spring Sports Afternoon Caterham School The Old Caterhamians and School sports teams go head to head in football, basketball, netball and hockey. All welcome – come along and cheer on the teams!
Thursday 25 March
St James’s Concert Piccadilly, London W1 Enjoy a musical evening from the School’s current musicians in the beautiful setting of Christopher Wren’s St James’s Church.
OC Golfing Society Spring Meeting Venue listed online If you would like to join in and find out future meeting dates and venues, please visit the website oldcaterhamiansgolfingsociety.com
Summer Term 2021 Dates online
OC Golfing Society Summer Meeting Venue listed online If you would like to join in and find out future meeting dates and venues, please visit the website oldcaterhamiansgolfingsociety.com
Saturday 26 June
Sunday 27 June
CSS Sailing Day
OCA Summer Sports Afternoon OCA Reunion Lunch
Port Hamble Marina, The Solent
Over 60s Living History Lunch
Join us for a wonderful day of sailing on the Solent, begin with learning the ropes and race training and culminating in three races. Suitable for both novice and experienced sailors.
Caterham School A chance for lunch in the Wilberforce Hall, tours of the School and afternoon tea with current Caterham pupils to share experiences of being a pupil at Caterham School and help bring history to life.
Saturday 26 June
Old Cats Drinks
Caterham School A fun-filled day for all Caterhamians and their families with a special reunion lunch for Old Caterhamians and the traditional annual Old Caterhamians versus the School Cricket Match on Homefield – we hope you can make it!
The Harrow, Caterham All Old Caterhamians are invited to the join the OCA Committee for drinks in the Harrow – if you are coming down early for OCA Sports Afternoon and the Reunion Lunch on Sunday, please do join us.
Sunday 23 May
PA Happy’s Circus
Saturday 3 July
Speech Day / Summer Ball
Happy’s Circus is coming to Caterham School – an all-human interactive traditional circus – fun for all the family.
All parents, friends and alumni are welcome to join us for our annual speech day and drinks on the lawn that follow the traditional service. Then to celebrate the end of the school year at the renowned Summer Ball.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Best-selling author Lara Maiklem (OC 1987 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1989) found sanctuary from the chaos of London on the foreshore of the Thames.
Treasures in the
Photographs ÂŠ The Picture Partnership
Her book Mudlarking is filled with beautifully eloquent observations that give a rare insight into the world of mudlarking and the powerful sense of connection to the past that it offers. ď&#x192;&#x201A;
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
What do you enjoy most about mudlarking?
Growing up on a farm, you say you enjoyed the outdoors – what inspired you to start mudlarking?
Escapism. It’s a world away from the chaos of the city and it’s also a time machine made for dreaming. The first time I went onto the foreshore I found part of a clay pipe stem and it made me wonder what else was down there, so I went back… again and again and again and I found more and more objects, sometimes dating back
I’ve always enjoyed my own company and to be honest I’ve needed it to balance life out. I grew up in the countryside, which I loved, but I also yearned for the bright lights of the city, so when I moved to London after university in the early 1990s I started looking for somewhere I could escape to. It took a while, but I eventually found the Thames and for years I walked the quiet paths alongside it until one day it was low tide and I went down onto the foreshore. For some reason, like many people I suppose, I hadn’t thought of doing that. I thought maybe it wasn’t allowed or it was dangerous, but it was the start of a passion, almost an obsession, that’s seen me through some difficult times.
Being the first person to hold something since its original owner lost or dropped it centuries ago is an unbelievable feeling.
thousands of years. The foreshore contains the intimate lost and discarded possessions of forgotten Londoners and each one has a story to tell. Being the first person to hold something since its original owner lost or dropped it centuries ago is an unbelievable feeling. I’ve always been fascinated by the past and mudlarking gives me the chance to time travel. I should say here that I don’t use a metal detector or dig into the foreshore. I only collect what erodes naturally out of the mud or washes up; I let the river choose what objects it gives me, so I take a gentle holistic approach to what I do. What have been your favourite or most exciting finds?
I’ve found gold and coins dating back to Roman times, but my passion is for the ordinary, everyday, personal objects that were part of daily life:
The Tudor child’s shoe found in the mud on The Thames
Congratulations on the international success of Mudlarking and its immortalisation as a Private Eye cartoon! Thank you, the cartoonist Nick Newman gave me the original drawing and it’s going on my wall. How has the success of your book launch changed your life? I’ve been doing a lot of publicity since the hardback came out last August, which has all been new to me, and I’ve had to become a bit of a public speaker, which was something I always shied away from, but I’m actually enjoying it. I even did a TED Talk last year! I was booked in to do a lot of literary festivals and talks over the summer, but of course all that’s been cancelled, so I’ve been busy promoting it from home. It’s a short-term thing though; I think life will go back to normal quite soon.
pins, thimbles, dress clasps, buttons, children’s toys, the type of things you don’t see in most museums that tell the most intimate stories of the past. Anything with initials, names or dates scratched onto them are particularly special because they are links to actual individuals from the past. I have a 17th century bodkin with the initials S.E. scratched onto it; a Roman game counter with the numeral X scratched into the back, possibly to turn it into an illegal gambling chip; and a Victorian penny turned love token with the name J Tweedy and the date 19 April 1864. Who was J Tweedy and why was the date so special? Probably the most personal object I have though is a complete Tudor child’s shoe. Thames mud is anaerobic, which means there is no oxygen to degrade the objects cocooned in it. When I pulled the shoe out of the mud it was as perfect as the day it fell in, I could even see the soft imprint of its previous owner’s little toes and heel. It took me two years to find somewhere to professionally conserve it for me, now it has pride of place in my collection.
Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (Bloomsbury) is a Sunday Times bestseller, Radio 4 Book of the Week and won the Indie Award for non-fiction
It seems quite a dangerous pastime, with the pollution of river water, rusty thin ladders to navigate and tides to manage. What are the challenges that mudlarking presents?
You have to use common sense when you go mudlarking. The river is fast and the mud can be deep in places. I always tell people to check the tides. It’s easy to lose track of time and to suddenly find yourself cut off and stranded by the incoming tide, so you always need to be aware of your exit routes. You can access the foreshore down river stairs, which can be very slippery, and wall ladders, which are terrifying and I avoid at all cost. When you first start, you should go with someone else or at the very least make sure you have a phone with you and tell someone where you are going. Sensible footwear is essential – wellies or hiking boots – you wouldn’t believe what I’ve seen people wearing on the foreshore! I would also advise people to wear latex gloves and to wash their hands carefully afterwards. Raw sewage still goes into the river and once you’ve seen the foreshore after a
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
I think there is an in-built fascination for found objects and ‘treasure’. Perhaps it’s the huntergatherer in us all.
sewage spill, you’ll never mudlark barehanded again. It’s important to obey the rules and regulations too. You need a permit from the Port of London Authority to mudlark on the tidal Thames and there are areas where you are not allowed to remove objects or disturb the foreshore in any way. You must report anything of historic importance to a Finds Liaison Officer so that it can be recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme Database and anything that qualifies as Treasure – very simply put, over 300 years old and made of gold or silver – must be declared by law. It’s very important to respect the foreshore and its treasures and to mudlark legally and responsibly. Do you still find time to mudlark, with juggling a family and the success of your book? If so, how often do you go mudlarking and
where are your favourite spots currently?
I’m a much nicer person when I’ve had a day out on the river and I have a very understanding wife, so yes, I still get out regularly, as much for my sake as my family’s! When I lived in London it was easy, I was a five-minute walk from the river in Greenwich, so I could pop down for a quick half hour and I went as often as I could. Now I’ve moved out to the Kent coast I go back for the whole tide, mudlarking for up to six hours, about once a week. The tidal Thames stretches from Teddington in the west to the Estuary in the east. I don’t tend to mudlark much further west than central London because it’s not easy for me to get to. My favourite spots are in central London, Wapping, Rotherhithe, Greenwich and I’m spending more time these days out on the wild and windy Estuary.
It’s a world away from the chaos of the city and it’s also a time machine made for dreaming.
Just some of the artefacts Lara has found on her mudlarking ventures
Is mudlarking an internationally popular pastime?
I started a Facebook page called London Mudlark in 2012 as somewhere to share the objects I was finding and my passion for the river. The twins were little and I was home alone with them all week, so it was my link to the outside world. It was the first time anyone had posted on social media about mudlarking and there are scores of people doing it now, so I feel quite proud of being a pioneer! I did it anonymously as ‘London Mudlark’ until my publishing deal forced me out of anonymity in 2016. I never expected it to grow the way it has, but I now have over 150k people following me from all over the world on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. People contact me with objects they’ve found in rivers as far away as Alaska, India, Russia, Australia, Thailand and Canada, they are
searching all over the world and my pages provide a place for them to share. I think there is an in-built fascination for found objects and ‘treasure’. Perhaps it’s the huntergatherer in us all. London Mudlark also gives people who would otherwise never have the opportunity to visit London or even physically get down onto the foreshore, a chance to experience our incredible river. I found it disturbing to hear that the rubbish in the Thames is changing its geography – do you think that realistically anything can be done to control this?
Human beings have been using the Thames as a dump for 2,000 years or more. It’s the main reason I find such incredible objects. The difference today is the type of rubbish we are producing. Where our ancestors’ rubbish was made of glass, pottery, bone, wood and leather, that will
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
all break down harmlessly and eventually return to the land, we have invented plastic and it’s never going away. There are piles of plastic water bottles out on the Estuary, plastic bags floating unseen just below the surface that will eventually fill with silt and sink to the bottom of the river on its wide bends, and if you look closely at the mud it is filled with microplastic. One of the main issues at present though are wet wipes that are actually forming spongy islands on certain parts of the river. It’s a myth that they are biodegradable and flushable, even the ones that say they are, aren’t. They get into the Thames when London’s ancient sewers become overwhelmed by rainwater and the storm drains release their contents. The super sewer, which opens in 2024, should sort this out, but I don’t know how we can halt what’s happening on a wider scale without banning plastic altogether, and I can’t see that happening.
Writing ... You started your career in publishing, have you always loved writing?
I’ve always loved words and the power they have to convey knowledge and elicit emotions. It was never my ambition to work in publishing, it’s just where life took me, but it’s been a very enjoyable journey so far! What do you enjoy most about writing?
Release, writing is incredibly cathartic. I also enjoy weaving stories together, playing with words and completely immersing myself in my own little world without feeling like I should be doing something else. Did you always have an ambition to write a book? If not, what inspired you to write Mudlarking?
No, quite the opposite! I’ve worked in publishing since I left university, but I was never a frustrated author myself. Perhaps I knew too much about the process to want to put myself though it – writing a book is hard, frustrating, all-consuming and
exhausting. Mudlarking only came about because of my very lovely and persuasive agent. She initially contacted me through my Facebook page to ask if I had ever thought of writing a book. I almost deleted her message, but eventually we met up for a chat and before I knew it I was writing a proposal for a book. Her excellent instincts were right and the publishers loved it. In the end four of the biggest publishers were bidding against each other for it and I chose Bloomsbury. It was all very fast and quite surreal, not at all like most people’s experience of trying to get published. Do you have another book in mind?
Yes, that’s all I’m saying right now!
Memories of Caterham … What is your favourite memory of your time at Caterham School?
I’ll never forget my art class. It was a small group of the less conventional people in the year and they were great fun. Once a week Mr Bleach, would take us to Woodhatch for life classes in a room above the library. He was a terrifying driver and we had to squeeze in between the mounds of junk in the back of his knackered Austin Maxi.
I’ve worked in publishing since I left university, but I was never a frustrated author myself... Mudlarking only came about because of my very lovely and persuasive agent.
What were your favourite subjects at school – with your gift of writing, fascination of history and knowledge of the environment, perhaps english, history, geography?
I found history so dull at school I didn’t even do an O Level in it! I’m not interested in dates and battles and kings and queens, I like real history – how people lived, what they wore, who they were. I only did my A Levels at Caterham and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wasn’t drawn to any subject in particular, so I hedged my bets and did a bit of everything: science (biology), art with art history and business studies. It got me into Newcastle University where I did Sociology and Anthropology, which took me a step closer to my interests today.
Advice for fellow Old Caterhamians… What advice would you give to fellow Caterhamians hoping to become a writer or work in publishing?
Publishing is a difficult industry to break into and it’s not well paid when you do, so think carefully about your priorities. Start by getting involved with the school magazine then see if you can get some work experience with a publisher, it will really help your CV to stand out and it will give you a taste of what to expect. Get a copy of the Artists and Writers Yearbook and write to publishers asking for experience. Many of the big companies have internships, although I have to say I don’t agree with them if they’re unpaid. Choose your university course carefully, Oxford Brookes is the main place to go to study publishing. If you have trouble breaking into publishing, go for a job in a bookshop, it’s a great place to learn about the industry. As for writing, there’s an awful lot of luck and persistence involved. My advice is to write about what you love and to just keep writing.
You can see photos of Lara’s finds and interviews with historians and authors on her Instagram and Facebook accounts: @london.mudlark @londonmudlark @londonmudlark
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE has succeeded through a diverse diplomatic career spanning three decades in roles that include being an aide to Number 10 in the UK, to influential international relations positions in six countries, and most recently as Director General, Consular and Security in the Foreign Office. Here he shares his insights into life as a diplomat.
High Commission Special Envoy Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE British High Commissioner to India and current parent
Congratulations on receiving a Knighthood in this year’s Honours List and on your new post as British High Commissioner to India. What are you looking forward to most in your new post? One of the reasons that I’m still doing the same job as a diplomat after more than three decades is the variety it offers, particularly in overseas postings. I really enjoyed my previous job as Director General for Consular and Security. It was fascinating and satisfying as I feel we achieved a lot. I am excited at the prospect of even more diversity in my day in the new job. I will have the opportunity to travel extensively around India, meet a wide variety of people, and cover a wider set of issues from security affairs through to promoting British culture and business in an Indian context. I also have an affinity with India – it is where I met my wife Amanda and my mother was born there. I am really looking forward to living in South Asia again – it is a truly wonderful environment. What does a typical day as a High Commissioner look like? To pick a random selection of things that I did as High Commissioner in Pakistan… There is the government to government business, where I would liaise with senior members of the Pakistani government, sometimes alongside a senior UK Minister. Perhaps lobbying on behalf of a British company. Or it
could be agreeing the arrangements between the two governments for the return of Pakistanis who have entered the UK illegally. Also, as the UK gave a lot of support to the education sector in Pakistan, I would visit universities and schools where our development programme was helping. This allowed me to meet a wide variety of Pakistanis. Overall, the role is heavily people-focussed. It requires you to interact and build relations with a broad selection of people. You need to be well-informed and to understand the country you are in; to explain it to the government in the UK; and to help design policies towards that country with expertise and an understanding of their standpoint. Can you summarise your career path to date? I have been in the Foreign Office now for more than 30 years, in a combination of overseas and Londonbased roles. My career path has been unusual, and I have had an eclectic range of jobs. Early on, instead of learning a difficult language, Chinese for example and then working in China repeatedly, I learnt Spanish which was both easier and more widely deployable. I then worked in a range of countries namely Venezuela, India, Cyprus (as Deputy High Commissioner), Gibraltar (as Deputy Governor), United States (as Deputy Ambassador) and then recently Pakistan (as High Commissioner) and I am about to go to New Delhi (as High Commissioner).
Below: Population Summit 2015 ‘Putting People First in Pakistan’s Development Agenda’, as British High Commissioner
Top right and bottom: UK High Commission Delegation visit to Punjab Regiment Centre, Mardan
My postings overseas were interspersed with jobs in the UK. I have always worked on international issues, but some of that has been in the Foreign Office and some of it at the centre of government, either in No 10 or in the Cabinet Office, coordinating the government’s international work beyond just the Foreign Office. What have been the highlights of your career? Meeting some really genuine global figures, such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton on visits with Tony Blair, President Obama and I was lucky enough to be given an audience with the Queen – all towering, impressive individuals. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that my job has given me those opportunities.
time when fewer people travelled and the world was less well-known – we didn’t have email, rather correspondence was by letter – the contact with the UK was more distant, it was more of an adventure. The world was far less connected than it is now. Size has an impact too. Gibraltar, with a population of 30,000, was effectively a village lifestyle – you would always meet someone you knew when you went out. In contrast, in India, with a population of 1.3 billion, you are unlikely to meet anyone without an appointment. The challenge there is to meet a range of different people, not just the elite. You need a wide variety of friends and contacts to ensure you gain a broad understanding of the country.
You have been posted overseas in Caracas, New Delhi, Nicosia, Gibraltar, Washington and Islamabad. How have your experiences in these countries differed? Some differences lie in how senior the role has been in each country. When you become a High Commissioner, you are well known – so in Pakistan I was often stopped to have a photo taken. Whereas when I was in India in a more junior role, I was able to explore the country independently and get to know it more like a tourist – no one saw me as a British diplomat unless I told them that I was. The world we work in has also changed greatly. When I first went overseas to Venezuela 30 years ago, it was a
What did your most recent role as Director General Consular and Security involve? Simply put, the core of the job has specific responsibilities for international security issues, in how the Foreign Office and British Government both in the UK and across our global network do our best to stop bad things happening, such as terrorist or cyber-attacks to international efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries such as Iran. My area also included responsibility for our relations with Russia and other former Soviet countries, and our responsibilities to Brits overseas, whether that is individuals who have lost their passports through to those who are victims of or accused of committing a
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Colleagues created this image collection for Philip when his time as High Commissioner for Pakistan came to an end
crime. People want to know that, whatever may happen to them when they travel, they will have the support and aid of the UK Foreign Office. I also had a wider role as part of the corporate leadership of the Foreign Office. It has a board, which I was on, and we took strategic decisions about the corporate governance of the Foreign Office, ranging from future proofing our IT, to agreeing the number and types of people we want to take on for long term human capability. In addition, I spent a lot of time ensuring I was passing on my experience to newer colleagues, helping the next generation to be the best they can, either through individual mentoring or group master classes. No one stays in the same role forever and if you haven’t built people to succeed you, then you haven’t done your job properly! How does your approach vary depending whether an incident is security or natural disaster related? Some of it is the same, you need to be systematic and structured in the way you work. In both instances you will have Brits at risk or reported missing – you won’t necessarily know where they are, or whether they are alive and well – so the basics involve things like getting in touch with hospitals and supporting the families. The difference with a terrorist attack is often you have to evaluate whether it will be repeated. There is a set of
activities after a terrorist attack, to determine who is behind it, what we know about them and if there is an ongoing risk. Then, we help the foreign country in which the attack occurred, aiding their own law enforcement and processes to help bring those responsible to justice. Responding to the 2018 Poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury The sheer recklessness of the blatant assassination attempt by agents of the Russian state, using an incredibly dangerous chemical nerve agent, in the Salisbury attack, was genuinely shocking. It not only had an immediate impact on the Skripals, but also sadly on the police and members of the public, including the tragic death of Dawn Sturgess. It was due to the temerity of the act that the British government was able to galvanise such a response – the most interesting thing for me was the success we had in building partnerships with other countries and encouraging them also to expel Russian diplomats. It was a marked comparison to the response to the terrible murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 using a very dangerous nuclear substance. Then, we had some words of support internationally but not much more, this time real action was taken. I was coordinating the international response, as opposed to being on the ground in the UK (namely the police investigation and work done to clean up Salisbury). This involved assimilating what we knew, speaking to
The government has set out a very clear approach under the heading of Global Britain, that we are going to be outwardlooking, and continue as a country that does business with the whole world and is a force for good globally...
partners, building a group of countries willing to act and managing the Russian government and the torrent of disinformation that they threw at us. Recovery Support for 2017 Caribbean Hurricanes The hurricanes caused devastating damage and the UK led the response and declared a crisis. As it was on the other side of the world, initially information was limited. There was a massive amount of recovery work to do, which takes a long time – but we had put in the systems and resources necessary to do that in a structured way. What were your responsibilities as Private Secretary to John Major and Tony Blair? The role of Private Secretary is to facilitate the Prime Minister’s work on the business of government, for example taking decisions. They could be on proactive things that the government aspires to do, or reactive in response to events, domestic or international. As Private Secretary, you ensure that the Prime Minister has all the advice and paperwork required to make each decision. For example, the decision to host the United Nations Climate Change conference is one made by the Prime Minister, and that would be based on advice that the Private Secretary has collated from the Foreign Office on international aspects, from environmental people for the environmental element and so on. Then there are events that force you to react – such as last year’s terrorist
attack in Sri Lanka – you will want the Prime Minister to phone the President of Sri Lanka, express condolences, offer support and sometimes raise things that we want for British people caught up in the incident. Again, you need to ensure that the Prime Minister has all the required information to make that phone call and engage in the right way. It is an advisory role. You need to know what the Prime Minister broadly thinks and reflect that to others, but also reflect others’ views to the PM in a way that will be digestible and impactful, and often Prime Ministers want to know your own opinion as Private Secretary. Overall, judgement about what really needs to be said is an important part of the role – it can require fine decision-making. You also need energy, stamina and resilience – it is a busy role. Does it differ working for a Conservative versus a Labour government? No, because when you join the Civil Service or Diplomatic Service, you have to accept that you will be giving advice to whoever the British people have elected as their government. That is the core of the job. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own personal political views, but our role is to give the government of the day the best possible advice in line with their political programme.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Presenting the letter of credentials virtually to the President of India, 2020
How will the current global political shifts impact the UK’s position? Self-evidently the UK left the European Union at the end of January and that is a significant change in our international position, so we are now establishing a new set of relationships with the EU and other countries, in particular with regards to trade. The government has set out a very clear approach under the heading of Global Britain, that we are going to be outward-looking, and continue as a country that does business with the whole world and is a force for good globally. That is one of the reasons why we volunteered to host the big climate change event (last held in Paris) in Glasgow. We will use all our international influence to try to make sure that countries come together and reach further agreements that will really achieve the action required to do something about climate change. How do you see the advent of coronavirus COVID-19 pushing countries to work more closely together? COVID-19 is pushing countries to work more closely together in a variety of areas. Collaboration between the G7 and G20 on global economic issues is one example. There is also strong international collaboration on efforts to find a vaccine or treatment for the disease, including between the UK and India. And there has been a sharing of information and best practice, in order to learn from one another about how best to tackle the virus.
I’ve learnt to be an optimist. If you go into a situation thinking it’s never going to work, it definitely won’t.
Philip Barton Government roles to date: 2020-present New Delhi, British High Commissioner 2017–2020 FCO, Director General, Consular and Security 2016–2017 Cabinet Office, Acting Chair, Joint Intelligence Committee 2016 Cabinet Office, Director General of Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit and also Consulting Senior Fellow, International for Strategic Studies 2014–2016 Islamabad, British High Commissioner 2011–2013 Washington, Deputy Head of Mission 2009–2011 Cabinet Office, Director, Foreign Policy and Afghanistan/ Pakistan Coordinator 2008–2009 FCO, Additional Director, South Asia 2005–2008 Gibraltar, Deputy Governor Security is stepped up following the terror attack in Sri Lanka 2019
How has your view of the world evolved since leaving school? I’ve learnt to be an optimist. If you go into a situation thinking it’s never going to work, it definitely won’t, a negotiation is a classic example. Conversely, if you go in thinking that this might work, you figure out the possibilities and give it a shot, you’ve got a chance. What advice would you give to Caterhamians wanting to join the Foreign Office? Firstly, some myth busting – you don’t need to be brilliant at languages – it won’t harm your application if you are a linguist, however we don’t look to recruit someone who is fluent in Chinese. If someone has the right skills along with a natural aptitude for languages, we can always teach them Mandarin. We are pretty broad about the type of people that join. It’s a plus to have worked in a different culture, but similarly by no means a prerequisite. You do, however, need an international outlook and to be interested in international affairs, because that is the core of our work. Increasingly, we are looking at people who have already worked for a few years. We do still recruit straight from university, but the majority are slightly older and can show a little life experience. We look for people skills, as the work is about relationship building, understanding other people and using that for positive effect. Just being academically brilliant isn’t enough, it’s much more about how you use that with people.
2000–2004 Nicosia, Deputy High Commissioner 1997–2000 No 10, Private Secretary to the Prime Minister 1994–1996 New Delhi, First Secretary – External 1993–1994 FCO, Head of Institutions Section, EU Internal Department 1991–1993 Cabinet Office, Assessments Staff 1987–1991 Caracas, Third, later Second, Secretary – Chancery 1987 FCO, Assistant Desk Officer, Economics Relations Department Private Secretary to Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair In Cabinet Office as: – Director General for the PM’s Anti-Corruption Summit – Director Foreign Policy – Afghanistan/Pakistan Co-ordinator supporting the National Security Council – Worked in FCO in London on international economic relations for the EU and South Asia
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Frontline By Mai Wallace
Upper Sixth pupil and Medic Society leader Mai caught up with OCs who have been fighting the COVID crisis on the health care frontline.
If you have been working on the frontline during the pandemic, we would love to hear about your experiences, please contact email@example.com
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
doctors, developing new protocols and learning how to use the new ventilators brought in to help treat patients. So it’s been a tough couple of months and I am glad that things have started to settle down. How has your usual day at work changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?
There have been a couple of major changes to life as an ICU doctor as a result of the outbreak. The main one is having to wear PPE when we are on the ward with patients. PPE is horribly uncomfortable and warm. It makes spending 4 –6 hours on the ward feel like being in the Sahara Desert.
Ohis Ojo (OC 2006 – 2012) F2 Doctor North West Critical Care Network
How have you been the last few months?
We’ve had over 300 patients admitted to ICU since the beginning of March (for comparison, we usually admit 300 patients to ICU in a year). In order to accommodate the increased number of ICU patients we had to triple the ICU capacity overnight which involved training new ICU
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?
What I have found most difficult about this crisis is how patients have died: alone, with their families distanced at home. Calling relatives to tell them that their love ones are critically unwell and are unlikely to survive the night is a harrowing experience. What have you learnt from this experience?
The importance of Emerging Infections Surveillance. We may be on the other side of this outbreak; however, we must
remain wary of another outbreak in the future. This will require increasing funding to infectious disease surveillance organisations, improving food safety and antibiotic stewardship. What positive things have you experienced during this time?
From ICU nurses who spent several hours sweating in PPE to the patient who spent almost 60 days intubated and ventilated on ICU only to walk out of hospital on his own two feet, during this period of crisis I have been blessed to have seen the very best in human spirit. What advice do you have for the school community on trying to stay positive during this crisis?
In August 2020 we (a group of healthcare professionals based in UK and Italy) will have run/walked the distance from London to Lombardy (the epicentre of in the COVID outbreak in Italy). This was our way of starting the process of healing in a positive way after this terrible pandemic. Every step taken raised money for ICU steps – a charity that helps support the families and victims of COVID. If you would like to donate and for more information please search london2lombardy.com
Khristianne Greenhalgh (OC 1998 – 2012) Junior Doctor Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
How have you been the last few months?
I feel grateful that the last few months have felt quite normal for me compared to most – going to work was quite a privilege to be honest. Things were changing daily in hospital with new protocols and learning about how COVID-19 was presenting itself in our patients. Constant change was tiring, but I was lucky that I have a very supportive team to muddle through with. How has your usual day at work changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?
Doctors were quick to get the credit, but in fact many of the cleaners and porters were more exposed to COVID-19 in patient areas than the medics were.
Initially we tried to get as many people out of hospital as quickly as possible ready for the onslaught of patients, then my care of the elderly ward became a COVID-19 ‘Amber Unit’ where we would look after patients whilst they waited for their swabs to come back from the lab. There was a very high turnover of patients and you had to react quickly when someone we weren’t expecting to have COVID, came back positive. Currently things feel mostly back to normal, except we are now seeing older patients who have survived COVID-19 bounce back into hospital, because they haven’t been the same since this illness. We are learning more about the after-effects of this virus and it’s evident that it’s not necessarily the end of the story if you’ve recovered from COVID-19. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?
I think the most difficult thing was that families couldn’t come in to visit relatives when they were so unwell. Families were only allowed into hospital if their loved one was dying, which is a horrible position to be for all involved. Even then, families were often too scared to visit due to the risk of COVID-19 to themselves and their other family members, which often meant people died alone in hospital. This was one the most heart-breaking repercussions for those patients who didn’t even have COVID-19.
What have you learnt from this experience?
That the NHS is amazing and it’s the staff that are the biggest part of this. I knew several colleagues that moved out of their homes to make sure that their family members who needed to shield were safe, so that they could continue to work and look after their patients. There was a huge amount of selflessness from so many. In a crisis, things need to change fast to keep everyone safe, and there is much less red tape when you need to restructure a whole hospital in few days! People adapt very quickly when they need to! What positive things have you experienced during this time?
The general public are very proud of the NHS and the support for all key workers has been so wonderful. I am really pleased some of the unsung heroes of the NHS like the domestic staff and healthcare assistants were acknowledged for their amazing role. Doctors were quick to get the credit, but in fact many of the cleaners and porters were more exposed to COVID-19 in patient areas than the medics were. Unfortunately, as a result far more of them contracted COVID-19. What advice do you have for the school community on trying to stay positive during this crisis?
I think making sure you take care of yourself and close friends and family is the most important. Checking in on others and taking time for yourself even after the hype of COVID had faded. So many people will have long-term repercussions whether this is mental health, physical health or financial and employment struggles, we need to continue looking after each other in the months to come.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Hannah Wright (OC 2003 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2010) Core Medical Trainee University College London Hospitals
How have you been the last few months?
I have been ok. I feel quite lucky in many respects as I am working in a very big and well funded central London hospital which has meant that we have been well staffed and always had provision of PPE. There have of course been ups and downs and I have been fortunate enough to be very well supported by friends and family. I think, as with anyone, dealing with the pandemic and the huge change to life associated with this made me feel quite sad and uneasy at times. However, I feel privileged to have been working in the hospital doing the job I have been trained to, rather than stuck working from home like lots of my friends. I have seen some very upsetting things over the past few months, but equally some very uplifting stories including people making near miraculous recoveries from COVID-19. Also we have been kept very well fed with lots of free food so that has helped! How has your usual day at work changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?
My work pattern largely stayed the same during the outbreak, however what I was doing changed quite a lot. I was working on Acute Medicine for most of the outbreak, which usually has a large variety of patients presenting with all sorts of illnesses. However, for a long time during the COVID-19 period, we were almost exclusively seeing patients with
COVID. Much of the day is now spent in scrubs and various forms of PPE (making for a somewhat less fashionable/comfortable outfit at work!)... The whole hospital completely changed, with all outpatient clinics cancelled so that we could focus on the inpatients in the hospital. We even had dentists coming to help us out in hospital! Most of the wards in the hospital were converted into COVID-19 wards and we would be assigned a group of patients to look after with a consultant each day. As family members are not allowed to visit the hospital presently, we generally would also spend a couple of hours a day phoning families or trying to facilitate patients speaking to their family with the use of iPads. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?
Probably the biggest challenge for me was the feeling of helplessness in treating some of these patients. Usually in medicine, we are used to being able to diagnose and treat conditions with various different medications/ treatments, however with COVID-19 it often felt there was little we could treat with, other than oxygen and escalation of care to intensive care if they were young enough. In the more frail patients who were not suitable for ITU we had to make difficult decisions about their treatment, which often had to be palliative. Another huge challenge was that families were unable to visit the hospital. This meant that they had to rely entirely on our updates over the
phone. Having to break bad news to families over the phone (for example of a new COVID-19 diagnosis, or if someone had deteriorated rapidly or even died) was incredibly challenging as normally we at least have the opportunity to do this face to face. I think finally, the pace of learning and change was another challenge for me. I am used to knowing with some certainty about the best treatment for certain conditions. However, with COVID-19, we genuinely did not know what the best treatment for these patients was and were constantly getting new, and sometimes conflicting advice. We would be advised of new guidelines almost daily when coming to work, and assimilating all this information was mentally tiring. What have you learnt from this experience?
I feel like I have learnt so much from this experience. Regarding COVID-19, I have learnt lots about the pathology it causes, which complications can arise and how (we think) is best to treat it. In terms of my own skills, I have learnt about treating patients with respiratory distress, as well as learning to be adaptable and accept uncertainty and change. I have also learnt the importance of sharing stories with colleagues â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both happy and sad, in order to help understand and process difficult situations. I knew the importance of good communication prior to this pandemic, but I think this has reiterated how important it is to communicate clearly with patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s families, no matter how difficult the conversation is.
No matter how bad a day someone had had, the positivity and strength of the staff was incredibly comforting.
What positive things have you experienced during this time?
There have been many positives in this time. I think the main one has been the sense of camaraderie and union within the hospital. It felt like nurses, doctors, porters, physios, cleaners and other healthcare professionals all came together and supported each other through the process. No matter how bad a day someone had had, the positivity and strength of the staff was incredibly comforting. It has been amazing to see how quickly changes can be made in the hospital and NHS when required. More recently, we have seen considerable positive results in some of the patients who had been in hospital for months, finally being moved off intensive care and sent back home which has been amazing. The support for the NHS and other key workers from the general public has also been massively appreciated. And the free food!
What advice do you have for the school community on trying to stay positive during this crisis?
Work together (even from afar!) I know it must be so hard for all the pupils and teachers at Caterham not to be able to be in school. However, you are all so lucky to be part of such an amazing community even if not in the same place. Keep in touch with each other as much as possible and try and find the positives from this situation. Whilst it may go on for a while, it will not be forever! Embrace all that is offered to you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I for one have been joining in on the Caterham English quizzes religiously through lockdown which has been great fun. And try and remember how lucky you are to be able to have access to teaching with the iPads and technology the school have as lots of children/ teachers are less fortunate at this time. And maybe enjoy the extra time in bed saved from not having to drive to school...! ď Ž
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Daisy De Meester (OC 2004 – 2015) Specialist Senior Physiotherapist at the Royal United Hospitals, Bath
I am currently working on a specialist dementia friendly ward, rehabilitating and supporting patients over the age of 65 with a wide range of conditions and cognitive ability, to maximise their functional abilities and facilitate discharge. How have you been the last few months?
There has been a great deal of change which at times has been challenging to deal with. Also an overriding sense of the ‘unknown’ both within the hospital and the wider community. The unknown of the types of patients we would be looking after and how poorly they might be, as well as the unknown of how long it was going to go on for. Even now as restrictions begin to ease there is still a feeling of apprehension which will take a while to settle. The ethos of our ward is based on the #endpjparalysis movement and we encourage patients to get up, get dressed and get moving as much as possible. Usually this means getting patients away from their bedside into our dayroom as much as possible where we have a whole program of activities including baking, singing, arts and crafts and exercise, amongst others. The idea being that rehabilitation goes beyond individual sessions; meaningful activity and routine are vital in encouraging this. When we were preparing for the pandemic, the ward underwent a lot of changes including doors being put on the bays and a pause on all activities and use of the dayroom. At times this felt quite emotionally draining for both myself and the rest of the team and the atmosphere certainly felt more tense. More than ever the importance of having a supportive work team, family and friends was shown. We created a positivity wall which anyone could add to with tips, quotes, artwork and more, and as much as things got tough, we tried to keep up morale as much as possible.
How has your usual day at work changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?
At the start of COVID-19 we turned from an elderly care ward to a cohort ward for patients with suspected COVID-19. Patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 came to us for care whilst waiting for the results of their swabs. As such, as well as my usual elderly patients I was also looking after much younger patients, some of whom were very unwell. Usually we get patients up and moving as soon as they are well enough and begin planning for their needs on discharge, however our approach had to change and I had to be very flexible in my way of working. Many patients with COVID-19 fatigued very quickly and as such couldn’t tolerate as intensive physiotherapy. On the flip side, other patients that would usually receive ongoing rehab through activities and using the dayroom needed an increased number of sessions as they were moving around the ward less. I also had an increase in patients requiring respiratory physiotherapy to help with sputum load, changing oxygen demand and shortness of breath. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?
When restrictions were first put into place visitors were not allowed into the hospital, even to see patients receiving end of life care. This was heartbreaking for us as staff, though we tried as much as possible to facilitate other forms of communication including video calls. I had several patients that although receiving end of life care the doctors felt they were stable enough to return home. I was then involved in making sure that they had enough equipment and support for discharge, in several cases I went with them on discharge to answer questions and reassure family. One gentleman I will always remember, he decided that if he wasn’t going to get better, he would rather spend his final days at home. However his wife
was so anxious about having him back and how she would manage with the equipment. Myself and my colleague went with him and supported him and his wife in getting settled at home, we met them at the house and were able to alleviate their worries and provide reassurance. His daughter had stuck a drawing of the photo from the day they had adopted her onto to his window and his wife had collected all their favourite audio books and music to listen to together. It was very emotional but also rewarding as I felt I had made a difference for both him and his family. Another challenge of note has been seeing the impact of lockdown on our elderly and vulnerable population. Many patients have become further isolated and disconnected from society. We are now seeing increased frailty due to reduced activity and changes in support and interaction. Therefore, a situation that previously may have been managed in the community can quickly become difficult and patients are sometimes presenting as more acutely unwell as there has been a delay before they have been able to access help. Family members are also noting deteriorations both physically and cognitively since lockdown. One question we ask when we find out about home is “How have you/your relatives been over the last six months?”. We are often hear that they feel their loved one’s memory has declined since lockdown. This is due
to reasons including family distancing or needing to shield, or sometimes visiting and waving through a window – something that means well but is often not understood, particularly by patients with a cognitive impairment. Many patients are routine based as well and finding that they cannot complete their usual routine has been very distressing. We are trying to support both our patients and their families as much as possible and we acknowledge how difficult it is for them being unable to visit their loved ones when unwell. What positive things have you experienced during this time?
The wider sense of community has been fantastic. Seeing all the signs saying ‘thank you’ when out and about and the rainbows decorating houses has really created a sense of being in this all together and I have found it really heart-warming to see when times have been tough. Within the hospital some staff have been redeployed to new areas to support changing demand which has been vital in our response. It’s been inspiring to see people embrace new challenges and existing teams welcome new people in and support them, recognising that it is challenging for all. It has also provided a chance to get to know other teams better, both different professions as well as within therapies, including out-patients therapists coming to support on the
wards. We have all been able to learn together and support each other. More than ever it has been important to find joy in the small things. One of our long staying patients had his 70th birthday whilst on the ward and couldn’t have any visitors for this important milestone. I bought in some party hats and bunting and a nursing colleague ordered a cake from the kitchen. We all donned party hats, sang happy birthday and gave cake to each patient. Though not the same as having family with him, it was lovely to do something that felt ‘normal’ and recognised him as an individual as well as boosting staff morale. What advice do you have for the school community on trying to stay positive during this crisis?
Firstly I feel it is important to say thank you to the school community, seeing the local response has been fantastic. From making scrubs to supplying PPE as well as following the government guidelines, truly every little bit counts! Mr Crombie’s weekly quiz has also been brilliant and a wonderful distraction. To stay positive I find the best thing is to focus on small goals and achievements, acknowledge that times are tough, but also acknowledge that it will get better! It is perfectly normal to feel frustrated and pent up. Make sure to do things that are important to you and remember there is light at the end of the tunnel!
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Unfortunately due to lockdown all our events from mid March onwards were cancelled, but where possible have been postponed, so please do keep an eye on our websites for the latest events.
OCA BOARDERS REUNION SATURDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2020
Once again it was wonderful to reunite so many boarders and boarding staff in the Prince of Wales Feathers pub in London. Thank you to all who joined us â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did! You can see more photos of the evening at oldcaterhamians.com.
To see more photos of these events and find out about forthcoming events: caterhamconnected.co.uk oldcaterhamians.com
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PA CHEESE & WINE SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2020 Our PA Cheese & Wine Evening was an opportunity for parents and staff alike to come together for an informal evening of fine wines and cheeses and social chatter. There was an excellent turnout in the Leathem Room and a great deal of amusing conversation. These evenings are open to everyone in the school community as an opportunity for the PA to say ‘thank you’ and for you to catch up with folk that you may not see very often. Thank you to everyone who organised and attended. We look forward to seeing you next time. By Sam Kensey, PA Chair
CSS SPRING LECTURE – CHECKPOINT CHARLIE TUESDAY 3 MARCH 2020 Poignant personal stories were interwoven with key points in Cold War history as Iain MacGregor, author of Checkpoint Charlie, gave our Caterham School Society Spring Lecture. The audience spanned A Level and GCSE pupils studying this era in the classroom to those of us familiar with the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie from daily news bulletins – and was introduced by former Caterham bursar Brigadier John King MBE who recalled his service in East Germany. Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Iain’s book Checkpoint Charlie is a vivid and poignant exploration of the history through the lens of interwoven first-person experiences. In a fascinating lecture, Iain talked through the key events and people that populate his book and who were connected on every front to the Berlin Wall and a segregated city from recent European history.
CSS THEATRE TRIP MONDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2020 The Caterham School Society Theatre Group enjoyed another excellent evening at the Lyric to see Showstopper! a hot Musical favourite from the Edinburgh Fringe. Connecting “Improv” vagaries with the unlimited breadth of popular musicals was a fascinating, amusing and impressive achievement that was hugely enjoyed by a lively audience. Once again, we were indebted to Louise Fahey for her choice of production. By Rob Davey, President CSS
OCA ANNUAL DINNER FRIDAY 6 MARCH 2020 Following the overwhelmingly positive feedback of last year’s OCA Annual Dinner, Old Cats enjoyed another memorable evening at the breathtakingly beautiful Drapers’ Hall. The evening began with a drinks reception in the sumptuous Drawing Room, which doubled as Buckingham Palace in the film The King’s Speech. It was wonderful to see so many fresh faces, Old Cats young and old, reconnecting and networking. Guests were treated to an exquisite rendition of Puccini’s aria: O mio babbino caro and Gershwin’s Summertime by current Sixth Form pupil, Olivia Lindo, before indulging in an exceptional three-course meal. OCA President Clive Furness highlighted the work completed by the OCA over the past 12 months, including the numerous reunions both home and abroad, the success of the OCA’s Innovation and Collaboration Award, networking events such as the OCA sponsored Insight Evenings as well as the OC Sports Clubs. Old Cat Stephen Colegrave was the keynote speaker and entertained guests with anecdotes of his time at Caterham, as well as insights into his fascinating career. Beginning in advertising, then moving into independent journalism, and culminating with his groundbreaking work with Bylines who secured the exposé of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Byline Times, a national newspaper for independent journalists that focuses on ‘what the papers don’t say’. Once again, the evening carried on well into the night as guests enjoyed drinks in the sumptuous Court Room and made the most of the stunning venue.
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PA QUIZ NIGHT SATURDAY 7 MARCH 2020 Parents and staff pitted their wits against each other to win the coveted PA Quiz Night first prize and avoid walking away with the wooden spoons in an evening of questions, music and pictures. Compère Stuart Terrell got the evening underway with the first round of questions before the supper break of fish and chips from Salisbury in Whyteleafe. There was time for the ever-popular game of Heads & Tails for a bottle of bubbly before the quiz continued with the best brains in Caterham pondering questions across all subjects. Every table had a ‘quiz host’ for the evening from a TV quiz and with 135 brain teasing questions including a double points joker round, the scores ranged from 87.5 to 133 points. The winners were Team Sir Bruce Forsyth beating second place Team Anne Robinson by 11 points and the wooden spoon winners were Team Jimmy Carr. Well done everyone. The quizzers raised over £1,200 for the Parents’ Association’s charities, thank you to everyone who organised and took part in this event. By Sam Kensey, PA Chair
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OCA INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION AWARD FINAL 2020 The OCA Innovation and Collaboration Award asks our pupils to work on a project in teams of at least two, which they think solves a problem. During a live final, judges see presentations from some of the most promising groups and then announce a winner, who receives a £1000 prize and the offer of support and mentoring. “Now in its second year,” says judge, President of the OCA and architect of the award, Clive Furness, “and despite the current situation where life has been turned on its head and usual routines have changed dramatically, we had exceptionally strong finalists. The breadth of ideas, strength of collaboration and the clear focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues shows not only how positive the Award can be but also demonstrates that the clear social and moral compass that Caterham has always prided itself on is alive and thriving.” All of last year’s judges returned to join Clive on the panel: Headmaster Ceri Jones, Vice-President of the OCA Karin Schulte and current parent Preya Jubraj. The combined business experience of these judges is a force to be reckoned with, but our finalists, who this year came
from three different year groups – First Year, Second Year and Upper Sixth, represented very different ideas and solutions to problems they had identified, and seemed entirely undaunted. Honey Cosmetics made up of First Year pupils Darcey, Tilly, Ruby and Abigail, had created their own line of cosmetics which utilised a honey base. In a gift-wrapped example presented to the judges, there was a lip scrub, face mask and lip gloss, as well as a body scrub. Their presentation was clear and compelling, and they had already got themselves set up on social media to promote their ideas and products. The judges thought that this was a strong group, and one which might be able to grow the idea of promoting eco-friendly, sustainable ‘make your own’ kits celebrated through platforms like Instagram. Biofilm the name of the idea our Second Year pupils Isabelle, Alice, Elisabeth, Sophie and Mathilda came up with, was a homemade potato starch replacement for cling film. It was clear that much research and testing had gone into this idea, with several team members attempting to brew their own potato-based cling film. Their presentation showed broad thinking, noting the
Biofilm (Second Year): Isabelle P Alice K Elisabeth E-S Sophie P Mathilda N-S
Be bold, be brave, be natural with honey cosmetics
Honey Cosmetics (First Year): Darcey B Tilly K Ruby S Abigail C Sara F
need to keep down the food miles on the potatoes they would use as well as an awareness of how they might fit into the burgeoning vegan market. Whilst there was more testing to do, this was a strong idea with a clear purpose and ethos behind it.
the one that the guys pitched. We want to focus the initial application on the School for the development of targeted charity engagement for the entire school community and then support Misha and Zakhar as they turn to commercial application development.”
The final entry on the night, and eventual winners, were Funder, a two-person team made up of Upper Sixth boarders, Misha and Zakhar, who delivered their presentation live from Russia. Funder is a platform that wants to increase pupil engagement with school charity projects. It uses Natural Language Processing to analyse pupil writing which then suggests charities they may be interested in supporting. The platform then aggregates which charities students click through to and explore and then sends this data to the member of staff who chooses the school’s charities, meaning that choices can be made based upon causes the pupil body have already engaged with on some level. The judges were hugely impressed by the ingenuity and thoughtfulness which had gone into this project and it was clear that both Misha and Zakhar were excited by their work. As one judge commented, “This was a truly innovative idea with potential applications well outside of
The Headmaster summed up the event as “the embodiment of what a school should be doing – inspired, passionate and articulate pupils working together to solve problems and address issues they feel strongly about” and that is exactly what we got during the award final. The future for all the pupils involved, looks to be exciting indeed, and it’s fair to say that the judges will already be looking forwards to next year, to see what our pupils will come up with next. This was a truly inspiring way to close out an unusual year where the whole school community has demonstrated its ability and willingness to innovate in every corner of their lives. Adam Webster, Deputy Head (Innovation)
Funder (Upper Sixth): Misha G Zakhar D
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CATERHAM CONNECTS IN LOCKDOWN Lockdown seemed only to bring the Caterham community closer and saw online activities grow and grow. Old Cats, parents, grandparents, former pupils and friends of the School from across the globe connected to the extra activities that the school community collectively ran. Those activities also helped our local community too, for example a quiz audience of hundreds helped our English department raise £7,000 for NHS charity SASH (which supports East Surrey Hospital) through their regular Saturday night Family Quiz. The quiz became something of an institution with each week taking on a theme and prizes for the best costumes. Other activities included a community wide sports fundraiser for St Catherine’s Hospice and support for our partner school in Tanzania and weekly art challenges for pupils and parents alike. Music and art have thrived too – there have been weekly recitals by staff and pupils and art competitions and tutorials that have generated some superb digital pieces.
@caterhamwellbeing Our Wellbeing Ambassadors launched a new podcast series where they shared their experiences and offered advice on what has helped them. Our Wellbeing Ambassadors are pupils who have received special training and take a leading role in supporting fellow pupils as part of Caterham’s award-winning wellbeing approach. In light of the many challenges and uncertainties facing our community at this time, each Wednesday pastoral staff provided ‘Wellbeing Webinars’ on a range of topics from… ‘A level results day – dealing with the unexpected?’ to ‘Helping your child cope with change‘.
@caterhamschoolsport The Sports department have kept the community active with online coaching sessions and plenty of challenges. The Caterham School Strava Club was set up so that the whole community can track their exercise and have a little healthy competition!
@caterhamenrichment Pupils, staff and Old Cats contributed amazing short videos on topics that they were individually interested in for a series of Academic Shorts. This video collection is now a huge library of insight and inspiration on everything from the biology of the COVID-19 virus to explorations of Classics and theories about why we sleep.
All ages took part in Caterham Sport’s ‘KMs for St Catherine’s’ challenge where they ran/walked/ cycled all the way to Tanzania – a massive 10,975km to support the local St Catherine’s Hospice.
@caterhamenglish @CaterhamEnglishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bedtime story was a hit and guest starred live music performances from pupils and Old Cats Old Cats â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we even had a world exclusive we even had a world exclusive from Ashleigh Davies, who performed her new single for the first time live. Thanks go to Ellen (Upper Sixth Form) for the amazing sketch of the Instagram live shows.
@caterhamschoolart The Art department inspired the community to get creative with regular online art tutorials. From challenging times come stories of positivity, discovery, curiosity and new talents. Yo-yo Z (Third Year) took on the challenge to design a single cover â&#x20AC;&#x201C; her final piece for mega band Jonas Brothers impressed the band themselves who consequently featured her design on their social media feed.
A big thank you to Miss Wildsmith who continued the bedtime stories into the summer holidays as well.
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@caterhamenglish The phenomenal success of the Saturday Lockdown Quiz is well chartered: themed quiz nights, challenging and sometimes controversial questions, light-hearted banter and legions of global followers. Winner of the PA Superhero Award and quiz host, Mr Crombie kept hundreds of families and friends across the world entertained on a Saturday night during lockdown.
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Since the beginning of ‘lockdown’ as both a musician and an educator, I found myself in such an unfamiliar position; being unable to perform to my pupils and discuss the music as I regularly do. Performing is such an exhilarating and wonderful way to share creativity and explore different avenues for musical interpretation as well as fulfilling my own personal needs. I wanted to come up with an effective way to engage pupils in live classical music performances and provide a platform for pupils to develop musicianship and analytical skills. I wanted them to have the opportunity to enjoy live music with their friends and contribute to the mental health of the school community. I recalled the amazing Lecture Recitals that I attended at music college. The short talk before a performance would reveal so much about the music and the historical, social and cultural context in which it was composed. This gave the performer an opportunity to discuss how and why they would interpret the music in a particular way and possibly question and debate conventions and authenticity. To successfully deliver such an experience remotely and via smartphones and devices was a challenge. I was fortunate to have access to an excellent piano but although Apple products have excellent cameras, the sound quality
in comparison is limited. I managed to locate an old cable which had a USB to lightning attachment which allowed me to attach a USB Rode microphone (which I normally use to create tests or revision podcasts). This resulted in much-improved sound quality levels. I had to carefully consider the platform on which to deliver these sessions – Instagram Live proved to be the best way to reach the most pupils as well as members of the widerschool community. Performances have taken place bi-weekly on Thursday and Sunday evenings, and to-date, we have had an average of between fifty and one hundred viewers per performance, which is magnificent. It has been such a positive way to engage people in music; pupils have been contributing to high-level of music analysis using the comments function in real-time, without necessarily being conscious of it. It has been delightful to read such an impressive level of discussion and to see A Level pupils guiding younger pupils with vocabulary and terminology. I was especially pleased when several GCSE pupils (current Fifth Year) agreed to deliver the lecture segment. Not only has this allowed for pupils to broaden their own knowledge and presenting skills, but it has resulted in some impressive, creative presentations that have
engaged yet more pupils as they ‘tune-in’ to support their friends. Repertoire so far has included: Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Moonlight, Pathetique), Haydn Piano Sonata in C, Bach/Busoni Chaconne, Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody and Sposalizio. I have also performed some of my own compositions: Unitas and Metropolitan. And, most unexpectedly a Rhapsody on a theme of Barbie Girl (a challenge from a regular viewer; rather than my own choice!). Humour and wit have proved to be extremely valuable in this venture – I am told that pupils, colleagues and parents look forward to puns and terrible musical jokes as much as the performance which could be a concern, but I remain dedicated to the mission; to engage as many as possible with musical performance and analysis. The Instagram Recitals have received such a positive response; it was originally aimed at a small number of pupils, however, we have had viewers from across the world; pupils, parents, colleagues and ex-colleagues. Music is having such an impact during these unprecedented times and we, as musicians and educators have the resources and skills to continue to inspire, challenge and engage young people in music, wherever we may be. Tristan Hall, Head of Academic Music
CATERHAM VIRTUAL SCHOOL Caterham has been leading the focusing on digital and innovation for many years and whilst the School has won numerous national awards for this, the true test came in March 2020 with our pupils and parents as the judge and jury! We are delighted that we passed the test with flying colours, seamlessly switching to a virtual school from day one of schools’ lockdown. Our pupils benefitted from twice-daily form times, a full timetable of live lessons throughout and even live sports, creative and performing arts sessions including live music recitals twice each week. This has meant that Caterhamians continued their education at pace – but just as importantly pupils maintained a constant and consistent connection with their tutor, their friends and teachers, and maintained their regular school routine to support their overall wellbeing, which was a priority from the start. As a result virtual schooling has led to connection rather than isolation among our community. For our Upper Sixth and Fifth Year the COVID-19 lockdown brought a particularly abrupt change to their expected summer of public examinations. With some very quick and creative thinking from the Sixth Form team, the traditional ‘muck up’ days for the Upper Sixth were brought forward to what would be the pupils last two days on campus.
With the end of their standard exam teaching programme for the Fifth Year and Sixth Form pupils in late May, these year groups then embarked on tailor-made courses which saw them stay academically ‘match fit’ and ready for the next stage of their academic studies. The Fifth Year began an ‘Inspire’ course which prepared them for Sixth Form study, and the Upper Sixth a ‘Readiness for University’ programme. The courses gave structure in a time of uncertainty, with connection to their teachers and fellow pupils maintained to support their wellbeing. Teachers were able to use the freedom from examinations in a positive way to explore above and beyond the curriculum and deep dive into topics by welcoming guest university lecturers, subject experts and researchers into our virtual classrooms to prepare older pupils for study at university. Cancelled trips such as the planned foreign exchanges were replaced with virtual exchanges. Technology allowed pupils to connect with their counterparts in Spain and Italy, so that they could compare what life has been like for young people in both countries. It was another example of how embracing technology allows students to engage with Modern Language study in a way that makes it real for them. We will be continuing with virtual exchange throughout next year.
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CATERHAM COMMUNITY UNITES FOR VIRUS FIGHT For all the challenges of lockdown and COVID-19 it has been heartening to see the number and variety of initiatives set up by the whole Caterham School community to support local, regional and global neighbours and face the challenges of lockdown together. As a community we have reached out to support those who needed us – not only through providing PPE to our local Primary Care Network, but helping to provide Scrubs for the NHS, laptops for local primary schools, funds for excellent charitable causes and teachers providing virtual content for pupils in other schools to access. I am also incredibly proud of the many Old
Caterhamians working as health and care workers in the frontline fight against the virus. Knowing that their careers were seeded in the labs and classrooms here at school will enthuse current pupils as they look to their own futures and the difference they too can make. It is in times of crisis and pressure that the true values and instincts of a community are shown. Ceri Jones, Headmaster
PM PAYS TRIBUTE TO OC PROFESSOR NICHOLAS HART We are incredibly proud of Professor Nicholas Hart (OC 1985) for his amazing, lifesaving work treating Boris Johnson and so many coronavirus patients in his role at Guys and St Thomas’s, London. Nick was given high praise from the Prime Minister with his (and his colleague Dr Nick Price’s) name included as a tribute to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symond’s new born son. Professor Hart, Director of the Lane Fox Respiratory Service at Guy’s and St Thomas’, is one of the most experienced specialists in treating patients with chronic respiratory failure. Dr Hart attended
LAPTOPS FOR LOCKDOWN Lockdown has had a real impact on the life chances of many young people in the community unable to access technology at home. We all learned a lot about the power of tech in education as learning went virtual – access to technology will continue to be vital for children to access educational opportunity in the future. Caterham families showed their support to the School’s commitment to young people in the local area by recycling devices no longer used and distributing them to young people in our community who need them the most, via local primary schools.
Caterham School and progressed to achieve BSc (Hons) in Anatomy and MB BSS (Hons) University of London, MB BS (Hons) and then PhD at University of London, Royal Brompton Hospital in 2004. In a tribute to Professor Hart and all who looked after him in hospital, the Prime Minister said: “the NHS has saved my life, no question”. After spending three nights in intensive care, Boris Johnson added that he had witnessed the “personal courage not just of the doctors and nurses but of everyone: the cleaners, the cooks, the healthcare workers of every description, physios, radiographers, pharmacists”.
SHOUT OUT FOR SCRUBHUB! Parents Laura Madgwick and Kate Keyworth thoroughly deserved their Parents’ Association Super Hero Award for putting their sewing talents to great use and their tireless efforts in supplying much needed scrubs for the NHS, as part of the national scrubhub.org.uk Early in lockdown, they contacted the PA and explained that they were running out of material, so with the help of the PA material drop offs were organised and an interesting assortment of once loved sheets and duvet covers collected. You can see here some of the amazing scrubs created which were sure to bring a smile to the faces of anyone who wore them. A huge thank you to all those that donated your duvets and tablecloths too. There are many Super Heroes out there, so please email your nominations to PA@caterhamschool.co.uk for this term’s entries. It could be a parent, pupil, OC, any staff member in fact anyone within the Caterham School community.
OC’S DELI DELIVERY SCHEME Louise Holme (OC 2003) turned The Dorking Deli from coffee shop to grocer and food store overnight and using a stream of volunteers also delivered fruit and veg boxes to vulnerable, hi-risk, or ill local residents. “We’ve had customers as far as Tadworth, Banstead, Reigate and Abinger enquire. We also helped a local primary school gain access to a £5,000 grant which we will use in partnership to send care packages to financially and emotionally struggling local families over the entire summer. We have applied for a business-adaption grant, which if received, will mean that we can help roll out that scheme across more schools and families in the area.”
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10,000 PIECES OF PPE FOR LOCAL HEALTH & CAREWORKERS A phenomenal effort of support for the local Surrey community from the Caterham global family came to fruition with the arrival of 10,000 pieces of PPE at North Tandridge Primary Care Network – all fundraised for, sourced, arranged and donated by Caterham boarding pupils and their families. The project was spearheaded by Lily G with support from her friends Ethan L and Electa Y who were moved by the shortage of PPE for health and social care workers and how it was affecting the local community in Caterham and Surrey. The need first came up in a regular online catch up between Mrs Quinton, Head of Beech Hanger boarding house, and her house pupils. The pupils’ responded almost immediately, keen to help in any way they could. In addition to starting a fundraising campaign on Instagram, they arranged the purchase and shipment of CE certified masks to Caterham. Said Lily: “I have quite a few amazing friends helping me out through this process. They have been supporting me and money collection couldn’t be done without them.” The project was no mean feat, but Lily and her friends took on the challenge and brought about a result that will support GP practices and almost 40 care homes across the North Tandridge area and beyond for several months. This support was in addition to the many boarding families who donated and sent masks and PPE via the School’s boarding houses.
Watch the short film on Vimeo – search Caterham School, PPE Donation
CARDS FOR CARE HOMES First and Second Year pupils made cards and wrote uplifting messages for the staff and residents of local care homes to bring some colour and joy to the recipients.
VISOR PRODUCTION AT SCHOOL Having donated all available science goggles and masks from the Health Centre to Elizabeth House and GP practices across the NHS North Tandridge area, Mr Taylor (Design Tech) started on making more professional visors using the School’s 3D printer. These were delivered to the North Tandridge Primary Care Network to protect workers at local residential homes and GP surgeries. The production of the masks evolved over the weeks. The initial design took the 3D printer 12 hours to print four head bands using 63 metres of PLA (a biodegradable plastic derived from corn starch mounted onto a reel). This was clearly too slow, so the volunteer team designed and manufactured its own ‘low tech’ visor from clear PVC, foam, elastic and snap poppers which could be quickly assembled. This was followed by a design suited for hospital use with no fabric parts that was quickly laser cut from sheet polypropylene. A huge thank you to all those involved in the production line. Staff brought their partners, children and even Old Cats came into school to share a table and support the effort (all within distancing guidelines). Making over 900 visors, a tremendous result from a hard-working team of volunteers.
OC PRAISED BY UNITED NATIONS In March, former pupil Rory Moore (OC 2019) set up Coronavirus Community Volunteering (CCV) to encourage his friends to help the vulnerable during the pandemic. Just three months later, CCV Global is the biggest COVID-19 volunteering organisation in the world, operating in over 40 countries with 100 voluntary staff around the world and 35,000 volunteers in its network. His organisation was recently recognised by the United Nations, with UN agency UNESCO publishing a video about CCV Global, thanking them for their work across the world during the pandemic. CCV Global’s mission is to tackle the effects of COVID-19 around the world. The organisation connects volunteers with those who need help through an app, meaning that those self-isolating can get assistance with
basic tasks like shopping or simply have a chat over the phone to prevent loneliness. The app provides an innovative digital solution to the challenges of self-isolation: by partnering with community organisations across the world, CCV Global helps volunteer groups (that often rely on dated tools like Facebook groups or community lists) to access more people that may need help in the area. This ensures that people who are not part of community groups or do not have a volunteering service in their area are able to access the help they need. CCV Global also uses its global network and platform to promote fundraising initiatives that are linked to COVID-19. You can find out more about the organisation and how to get involved at ccvglobal.org
ANNIE HELPS THE SCRUBS EFFORT Fourth Year pupil Annie used her sewing skills, learnt for her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, by making scrub bags for the NHS. Taught to sew as part of her DofE skills programme, Annie was invited by the local scrubs making team to make the scrubs bags from donated pillowcases for the NHS. A great way to hone her skills and help at the same time.
HOSPITAL ART WORK BRIGHTENING EAST SURREY AND CROYDON Caterham pupils’ artwork is cheering the patients and NHS workers at East Surrey and Croydon University Hospitals. Following a request made to the school, Mrs Veldtman and Miss Troughton collated the pieces and sent them to the hospitals for display on the wards. The artwork has been very well received (with some healthy competition amongst the wards as to who got what!) and is brightening the environment for patients whose face to face contact with carers is blocked by the vital PPE worn in the wards.
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CARING FOR KEY WORKER CHILDREN
Caterham supported key workers’ children throughout lockdown with special multi activity camps put on for the school holidays. This was extended out to key workers across neighbouring primary schools so that their parents could also continue their vital work in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The children had fun taking part in activities such as badminton, football drills and table tennis as well as some less energetic activities such as arts and crafts and watching family movies. The activities were all designed to keep the children and staff safe with two metre distancing and good regular handwashing and general hygiene measures in place.
Realising the reality that in the current pandemic, many charities are less supported because everyone is focused on finding a vaccine or cure for COVID-19. First Year pupil Zosia and Fifth Year pupil Josh both supported cancer charities Macmillan and Solving Kids Cancer. Zosia braved the shave and Josh ran 100 miles for their charities. Supported by friends and family, Josh ran and cycled over live stream and social media, prompting a lovely message of support from Pride of Britain. To keep Josh going, his Fifth Year friends donned their training shoes and joined him virtually on their runs! As Zosia poignantly wrote “Coronavirus means people living with cancer need our help more than ever. At home my family and I are very privileged that we have each other and are healthy, but not everyone is as fortunate. There are so many people suffering from cancer and in this challenging time it is difficult to be diagnosed and treated. But together we could help to save lives!”
#MY SECRET TALENT ADDVERT & MTV The team of Old Cats behind agency Addvert is working with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to support the Shuga campaign whose mission demands more attention than it is getting: to help young people in Africa and around the world know how to stay safe throughout COVID-19. Unlike at home, many developing nations aren’t getting the ongoing C-19 updates that keep people informed. In fact, misinformation is rife in many communities. So, changing attitudes and behaviours in these places will be key to dealing with this pandemic as it develops over time. The campaign was first setup to fight HIV/Aids and has been instrumental in influencing attitudes towards the disease, helping millions of people. Now the MTVSAF is focusing on C-19, dispelling the myths that surround it and supplying vital information through engaging content. To find out more and help send a life-saving message visit mtvstayingalive.charitycheckout.co.uk/cf/ covid19appeal
DAD’S SPECIAL DELIVERY Caterham parent and key worker Peter Bullock helped with a very special delivery in his newly assigned role as an ambulance driver. Peter’s normal role is with the fire service but he moved to drive ambulances across South London following a shout out to support the understaffed service at the start of the pandemic. Said Peter “I’m working with a brilliant paramedic called Harriet, she does the medical work and I drive the ambulance. We were doing a stock take of the ambulance kit and Harriet was checking over the maternity pack. At the time I commented that that was one bit of kit I definitely didn’t want to have to touch.” Perhaps inevitably, at the start of their next shift the duo got a call to help a lady in labour who was in trouble. As they arrived their help was in great need and Peter was required to support the delivery. Said Peter: “We were also worried about the dad and particularly the grandfather who was very stressed. We didn’t want something to happen to him too so I got him to go outside and direct traffic around the ambulance so he had a task to focus on. Ultimately the paramedic pair transferred the lady to Mayday hospital where the mum and the little baby girl were both healthy and well.” “Reflecting on the challenges of his new role, Peter said: “One of the hardest things is having to deal with people all the time. In the fire service the focus is on making sure the public are out the of way on a fire call out. When you’re a paramedic it’s totally different as you need to be able to deal with people in very difficult circumstances – I think paramedics are very special people. Even when the worst has happened on a call they just get out there and do it all again and again.” Asked what difference the Thursday evening applause for the NHS makes, Peter said: “It makes a huge difference to everyone working across the service. Morale is high but it’s tough, very challenging and not a nice place to be right now. There’s a real sense of team effort in the NHS. Even when you turn up at Mayday Hospital and you’ve had tough call outs, the hospital cleaners offer to help clean our ambulance before we go out again. That means a lot when you’re on a tough run of calls. There’s a huge amount of support for each other and knowing the public also support us carries people through.”
SUPPORTING SASH The English Department’s Saturday night quiz, which began as school community fun during lockdown raised almost £7,000 for SASH, the charity for East Surrey Hospital and the care and services provided by Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust for people across Surrey and Sussex. That week’s theme was ‘Dress for the NHS’ in honour of the front line NHS workers with the initial target set by Mr Crombie at £500 but this amount was passed before the quiz even began. The School had emails and calls from former pupils across the world who were keen to join the community effort and donate for the cause. Added Mr Crombie: “the amount raised has been brilliant but It doesn’t surprise me in a way – the sense of community pulling together has been awesome and this is just one of the ways our community has got involved to help others.” Pictured above was ‘Dress for the NHS’ week, you can see more photos of the incredible costumes created over the weeks on page 43. The Davidson family also chose to support SASH in celebration of Mr Davidson’s birthday, they completed a sponsored relay swim of 5 miles. The whole family was involved with Dad, Grant, Louis, James and Elle completing a mile each. Mrs Davidson said: “In these unusual and difficult times, we want to help our fantastic local NHS team in any small way we can. We are all at home all day, so what better way to help, than to do some exercise and raise some money.”
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Chef gains global acclaim
asu Fujio (OC 2004 – 2006) is the first Japanese chef to become world champion in the biggest international cooking competition for chefs under 30 years old. His passion for cooking has led to an exciting career working with some of the world’s most inspiring chefs. But what comes next will be his greatest culinary challenge yet as he sets up his own restaurant in Kyoto, Japan.
Congratulations on winning the ‘San Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Award’, such a huge achievement – what did the competition involve?
Yasu winning the San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition (SPYC)
Thank you very much, it was my honour to have received such an award. San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition (SPYC) is a competition where over 3000 chefs from around the world participate, from which 21 finalists representing their countries/regions are judged by seven of the world’s best chefs. Judging is based on technical skills and creativity as well as candidates’ potential to create positive change in society through food. To be honest, I initially applied for the competition just for the sake of trying. I was curious to know how well I could perform against other chefs a similar age. But once chosen as a finalist, it meant that I had to represent my country Japan. It was a big pressure. I had to put on one plate what I believe explains Japan well and at the same time it had to be outstandingly delicious.
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There are seven judges to taste 21 different dishes just in one day, so the dish must have something that catches their attention. I went to talk to a few chefs to ask for advice, including Luca Fantin, a famous Italian chef in Tokyo who became my mentor for the competition. I was lucky to have him around. He was extremely supportive and gave me the idea to focus on what Japanese culture is from the perspective of a foreigner living in Japan and to apply that to cooking. This perspective was important because all seven judges were from different countries. After I won the competition, I felt that I couldn’t have achieved anything without the help of all the people involved, including Luca, Takada, other chefs who gave me advice, my family, the guy who designed me unique plates for the competition, and many others. I think this competition taught me two important lessons: 1. Even if what I can do or achieve alone is limited, if we unite, we are able to gain a strong momentum. That I shouldn’t be afraid of going out and asking for help. That I should always open my ears, eyes and heart to listen to others. 2. It is important to know where you come from and recognise what in your life has influenced you to make who you are. I’m proud of being Japanese, but I wouldn’t have become who I am today without my time at Caterham for example. That makes me appreciate all the people and cultures that brought me up and one way or another they are all reflected in my cooking (including the school meals at Caterham School of course ). You have been described as one of Yusuke Takada’s protégés, what was it like working with Takada, owner of 2 Michelin starred restaurant, La Cime?
I worked in La Cime for six years. I started there with little experience as a chef and became sous-chef after three years. Takada taught me what it takes to be a truly professional chef mastering both classic and the most advanced cooking skills. During these six years working with him, I experienced earning a 2nd Michelin star and ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ award. They were especially memorable moments. Working for Takada was a little like falling in love, in so far as I had to think about him almost 24/7 in the first few years. I had to know what he wanted, what he would do next, and had to pay attention to every move he made and every word he said. Even when I had my back towards him, I was listening to his every move, so I knew what he was doing. This went on
Yasu’s winning signature dish Judged by the five criteria of ‘material’, ‘technology’, ‘talent’, ‘beauty’ and ‘message nature’ – my winning signature dish ‘Across the Sea’ celebrated my Japanese heritage married with French techniques. Highlighting the ayu fish, a sweet river fish found in Japan that is available for just a short period during the Summer, I attempted to recreate my memories of the smells and tastes of the river nearby my home where the ayu fish lives. The process involved grilling the ayu once, grating it into three pieces, then removing the bones, and adding rice and watercress to make a mousse. It was cooked by filling it into a hollowed-out body, leaving only the skin. In addition, the ayu liver was salted and used as a sauce.
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until one day suddenly I knew exactly what he wanted. It’s obviously not as romantic as actually falling in love, but for me it was an essential experience to become a good chef in a short period. Where would you like to take your career next?
I finished working at La Cime last year, and since then I have been travelling around the world and cooking in different places. At the moment I’m preparing to open my own restaurant somewhere near Kyoto. Because of COVID-19, I have to make some changes in plan and consider well what restaurants have to offer in the future. What doesn’t change is I always want to make people happy and our world a more peaceful place through food. What traits do you require to be a successful chef?
It’s not easy to define what traits are required to be a chef, as it depends on what kind of chef you want to be. Although one thing that is essential, I think, is to love cooking for someone. If you enjoy cooking for someone that you love, that’s a good start. But working in a professional kitchen brings a few more challenges... Always a fight against time: You can’t spend forever peeling the carrots or cooking the beef, you must be faster to finish one task everyday while improving the quality. During the service every second counts, so you have to be extremely focused and move fast or your guests end up waiting too long. It’s a bit like being athlete. Most of time, you don’t personally know your guests: It’s difficult to maintain your passion and high standards to ensure the meal is always of the highest quality, when you are cooking day in and day out. Passion for cooking is key, professional cooking should never become a routine. I love cooking in general, but I take pleasure when I see people eating my food become happier. Their smiles really pay off all the efforts. What is your favourite memory of your time at Caterham School, and why? How do you think Caterham influenced you and your career path?
I remember hanging out with my friends in Townsend House, playing football for the School and taking my favourite Mathematics class. There are actually countless memories when I think about it. I have kept in touch with only a few friends from Caterham, but they have become very important people in my life, including Dale Zhao. I learnt to respect different views and cultures at Caterham, especially as the boarding pupils living in Townsend House came from such diverse backgrounds – being a part of it was an irreplaceable experience. Caterham School offered pupils a good balance of discipline and freedom. I learned to respect the rules and to be part of the community, and at the same time I felt I was allowed to be myself.
What advice would you give to fellow Caterhamians hoping to become a chef?
I truly do not think anyone going to Caterham School would ever want to become a chef...haha! I had always thought I would take a path in business, so after Caterham I went to University of Bath to study accounting – but I never liked it and I dropped out after three years. That’s why I moved to Paris to finish my degree in BS Business Admin at the American University of Paris, taking another two years. However, it was during this time in Paris, aged 21, that I started cooking for my parents and discovering my passion for cooking. I took a long way around to discover my dream career. At the time I felt horrible, I thought I had wasted so much time – but when I look back, I probably wouldn’t have become a chef if I had graduated in accounting from Bath and not had the opportunity to cook in Paris. I have since worked as a chef in both France and Japan. My advice would be – that you never know what might happen, but whatever happens, you must never give up finding something that you truly love doing, as everything else you need will eventually follow. Yasu’s culinary career: 2011 – Chef Shinichi Sato at Passage 53, Paris July 2012 – Mauro Colagreco and Chiho Kanzaki at Mirazur, South of France December 2012 – Chef Yusuke Takada at La Cime, Osaka October 2015 – La Cime awarded 2nd Michelin star 2016 – Finalist in RED U-35, biggest cooking competition in Japan & featured on the Forbes under 30 Asia 2016 May 2018 – Winner of San Pellegrino Young Chef final in Milan
Top: Young Chef final 2018 Left: Yasu with his competition mentor Luca Fantin (top) and judging taking place (bottom) This page: Finland Food Camp
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Having recently moved to Malaysia, OC Nick Simpson has settled in quickly to life overseas. Here he shares some of his experiences and insights into working in the energy industry, opportunities for engineers and life as an expat.
ENGINEERING Nick Simpson (1997 – 2004) For budding engineers who would like to find out more about life in the energy industry or engineering, you can reach out to Nick via the Caterham Connected platform caterhamconnected.co.uk
What is your role in the energy industry? Since leaving Caterham in 2004 and the University of Birmingham in 2009, I have been working in the design and manufacture of oil and gas production systems. Simply put, this is the plumbing and control systems used to move fluids from the reservoir deep beneath the ocean floor to a receiving facility. I work for Schlumberger, the largest oil-field service company in the world and my division specialises in deep water engineering (up to 4km), a similar challenge to working in deep space and in fact we do work with NASA in technology development and some day may well look to the stars as the space business develops. This environment brings with it a lot of problems to solve, brought about by the great pressures, temperatures, challenging chemistry, long distance control systems and data analysis – together with a tremendous emphasis on safety, redundant systems and environmental constraints due to the high risk nature of the business. The production systems that we design and build typically cost several hundred million dollars, take around 3–5 years from signature of contract to final delivery and are built across large facilities all over the world. I work as a front end system engineer/field development architect and my job is to design and sell our systems. This is a really interesting and varied role as I have an overarching view of everything we do. When a client makes a new oil or gas discovery, it is my job to work with their development teams and listen to their particular project constraints and goals and then design one or more engineered solutions at the system level. Once we have a design concept that appears to fulfil the criteria, I will then lead a team of 10–20 people based around the world to perform an engineering study to refine and build detail into our designs and perform detailed fluid dynamic studies to ensure our system will work as intended for a design life of up to 30 years. We will also look at the geo-mechanical properties of the seabed in order
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to design proper foundations and look at how to install the equipment – this can be very challenging as equipment can weigh several hundred tons and getting this onto the seabed, connected together and tested successfully requires very large specialist vessels, remote operated and autonomous submersible robots and sometimes saturation divers if we’re in quite shallow water. This process can take up to a year and the result is a system design that will become our tender bid for the actual project work. This process may be performed by competing companies so the losers will often spend a huge amount of effort and money designing something that ultimately goes nowhere – which can be gutting.
What have you been tasked to do for Schlumberger in Malaysia? Working for a large multinational company, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work all over the world and with people from many different countries, spending time in the US, Europe, Egypt and Norway. This experience put me in a good position when my group decided to expand our presence in the region of South-East Asia and I was fortunate to be the first person offered the challenge. Countries in SEA are looking to improve their carbon footprint and move from coal or oil fired power generation to much cleaner natural gas, increasingly with carbon dioxide capture and storage or disposal capability. My role is to identify potential customers in the region with deep water projects on their horizon and to develop a regional strategy of what to chase and how to position Schlumberger, to build relationships and hopefully win work. I’m also looking to identify any technologies that we may need to develop to meet the specific demands of the region or to keep ahead of our competitors. Being a new region, it gives me a lot of responsibility to make strategic decisions with support groups often in far away locations and time zones; some of my engineering teams work in the USA, all over Europe and beyond, with my manager located in Perth, Australia.
Countries in SEA are looking to improve their carbon footprint and move from coal or oil fired power generation to much cleaner natural gas... My role is to identify potential customers in the region with deep water projects on their horizon and to develop a regional strategy.
Kuala Lumpur is located pretty much in the middle of a jungle, so a 20 minute cycle out of the city and you’ll find monkeys swinging from telephone poles...
This is fun, but a little daunting sometimes when faced with the size of the consequences. Thankfully being part of a larger company, we have some friendly offices and people belonging to other divisions in the area which can help. My primary client in Malaysia is Petronas, a huge and sprawling state run company based in the famous twin towers in Kuala Lumpur (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, give the movie ‘Entrapment’ a watch – you’re welcome). The first major task has been to understand how the company works, their decision making process and how to get our foot in the door of such a large organisation. Being a different culture adds another interesting dimension, as business process can be very different around the world. What advice would you have for a budding engineer? My advice would be, don’t try and graduate directly into the job you think you want to do. It’s best to learn what you want to do by eliminating things that you don’t want to do. With this in mind, try as many roles as you can and be annoying; ask as many questions as you can. When I started as a graduate engineer, I was placed into one department and from there I requested to be moved as often as I could to try as many different jobs as possible. I asked as many questions as I could – I’m sure I was very irritating to manage, but I got some great and
hugely valuable experience in the process. I learned that I don’t like executing projects – I lose interest after a year or so and seek a fresh challenge, so I am much more suited to project creation, solving problems and client facing sales. It was a gradual process finding the role I’m in now, but one that really suits me and I enjoy doing. What is your life like in Malaysia and how easy has it been to settle into a new country? Living in Malaysia is a fantastic experience. I wanted to experience a culture that was completely different to what I’m used to in the UK and I certainly got it! In Malaysia, there is a huge diversity of cultures, with the population fairly evenly split between Malay, Indian and Chinese together with a lot of expatriates from all over the world. Consequently there is a huge variety of food available (Malaysians take their food very seriously) and a wonderful mish-mash of different cultural influences. Kuala Lumpur is also located pretty much in the middle of a jungle, so a 20 minute cycle out of the city and you’ll find monkeys swinging from telephone poles, beautiful jungle lakes and little villages selling local dishes from bamboo huts – this still amazes me whenever I get out there that I actually live in this place! The locals are all very friendly and welcoming too, so there’s nothing daunting about getting out there and seeing what Malaysia has to offer.
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OCA reunions in Malaysia and a gift from Malaysia presented to the School
If you are given the opportunity to work abroad, I would strongly recommend it to experience life in another culture.
Over the last 18 months I’ve found a cycling group, a go-kart racing league and joined a DJ collective, regularly performing in various bars and clubs under my superstar alias, Sick Nimpson. I have met a lot of great friends and had some brilliant fun in the process! KL is also a fantastic base to travel from, being so close to Vietnam, Thailand and so many other amazing countries in South-East Asia – you really are spoilt for choice. From a business perspective, the Malaysian people for the most part speak very good English and are a pleasure to deal with. There are also three main religions in Malaysia which bring with them an array of customs and experiences, which I really enjoy learning and interacting with. What advice would you have for Caterhamians looking to work abroad? Do it! If you are given the opportunity to work abroad, I would strongly recommend it to experience life in another culture. Besides being great in itself, it also brings a new appreciation of your home and makes you see things you may have taken for granted. Having lived in a fairly consistent 34 degrees for the last two years, I really miss the cold damp days walking in the woods. My family think I’m mad but bring on some cold drizzle! It’s so good! Make sure you get out there and meet people. Like many similar modern cities, lots of people are moving there for work, so it’s easy to find people in the same shoes as you; new to the country and excited to explore and support each other. I’ve got a great group of friends who all live locally spanning Australia, Norway, UK, and China, as well as locals. Over the years I’ve very much enjoyed meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds, and
being immersed in a completely different culture brings with it many interesting challenges. The enriched experience really helps develop you as a person and I think gives you a broader perspective which you can take home with you. As well as the obvious benefits personally, this is looked upon favourably for your career too and broader experience is a great way to help with promotions. What are your favourite memories of your time at Caterham School? Class wise I would say my Physics classes with Keith Simpson and Mr Worth were my favourites – I’m a bit of a weird engineer in that I loved Physics but couldn’t stand Maths! Out of class my favourite was rugby; I definitely wasn’t destined to be the next Jonny Wilkinson but I really enjoyed playing under the supervision of the legendary Mr Lavery, with a great bunch of friends. Also who could forget the absolutely brutal fitness sessions run by Mr ‘Special Forces’ Du Toit! I’m not sure that’s a favourite memory but certainly an indelible one. Mr Salem and his Harestone rabble too – I feel like we were his first tutor group, or at least close to, so we had some great banter with me always being slightly late for registration but always able to count on Pat Abrams to come in a few seconds later to take the spotlight. When was the last time you visited Caterham School? A couple of years ago when I participated in a careers evening presenting on engineering and my industry, but since my parents live right by the School, I do pass it whenever I visit them so I’ve watched the School grow and develop which is fantastic to see. I recently walked past the new pavilion up on Hill Fields and was very
impressed with that. At some point I’d love to find a reason to come and see the School up close again and see what’s changed. Are you still in contact with other Old Caterhamians? Yes, two of my five groomsmen at my wedding last year were friends from Caterham and there were more in the party so I am definitely in contact with a few people from school, although not as many as I’d like. I think when you leave school there is a drive to get out there and see the world for yourself and it is easy to lose touch with the people along the way. There were a lot of great people with me at Caterham though and I look forward to reconnecting with more of them when our paths cross as it’s always great to hear their stories and adventures. The efforts the School has made with the Omnia magazine, the digital services and meet ups are fantastic and I’m sure this will make things a little easier in future for the benefit of all.
It is a small world though; I was walking around the park in front of the Petronas Towers a few weeks ago and bumped into none other than Mark Bishop (the Deputy Headmaster from my era) which was a welcome surprise! Did you enjoy the recent Old Cat reunion in Malaysia? I really did! I was surprised to learn that my headmaster Rob Davey was in town and it was wonderful to reconnect and spend some time hearing each other's stories. One of the local Old Cats, Hilmi Yusof, organised a little gathering at a local hotel and it was lovely to meet everyone. No one was from anything like my era at school, some Malay and some expats including one chap, Chris Syer, who left the school in the 1950’s. It was fun to share our experiences of the School and bond over a shared past. I sadly missed Ceri Jones (my old history teacher!) when he came out to KL a few weeks later but I look forward to the next one.
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V E DAY 2 0 2 0 To mark VE Day 2020, the cadets of Caterham School CCF and the School community made a tribute of gratitude to all the servicemen and women, past, present and future, on whose mighty sacrifices our peace and freedom are founded. They shall grow not old.
A moving reading of Edmund Blunden’s V Day poem was read and shared over Instagram, below is a copy of the poem written in Blunden’s own hand.
Poem courtesy The Estate of Edmund Blunden (documents 011735)
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The Caterham School community paid tribute with their themed quiz â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fantastic costumes from parents, pupils and Old Cats.
From the Caterham School Archive:
V.E.-DAY AT SCHOOL 1945
n Monday, May 7th, school work was very far from people’s minds; everybody was asking “Will it be today? ” The day went slowly on, with lots of rumours but nothing more definite; the 440 was run off, and the boarders went unwillingly into prep, and attempted to work. At 9-0 a large crowd hurried into Number 5; Big Ben struck, and the usual irritating pause followed. Then came the announcement – “therefore to-morrow will be...” The rest of the sentence was lost in shouts and cheers. Everybody rushed excitedly on to the field, and various flags and other objects were hoisted. However, with some difficulty, but with surprisingly few “incidents,” we were, more or less, in bed by the proper time. The next day most of the boarders went home after breakfast, and those of us who were left spent the day in playing tennis, in building the bonfire, or in wishing that something more exciting would turn up. I think, however, that most people enjoyed the day thoroughly. In the evening Hitler’s effigy was duly burnt, amid much rejoicing. The bonfire, lit by Mr. Wenden with the help of two “thermite bombs,” started at 9-30 and lasted for an hour and a half. After years of black-out it was an impressive sight, and was, everybody agreed, a great success. To this success Peacock’s fireworks contributed greatly. Personally I shall remember for a long time the flying sparks against the black sky, the red glow towards London, and, by no means least, the gangs of boys scouring the hillside for wood, or carrying great logs up from the Fives Courts. V.E. + 1 day was spent in much the same way as the previous day. In the evening there was a film show, the pictures being a “crazy” American one called The Big Miaow, and a very amusing George Formby film South American George. We were given the next morning off, and in the afternoon we tried to settle down to work, discussed what we had done, and envied those who had been in the more boisterous London celebrations. The next Sunday our Thanksgiving Service took the form of a series of readings arranged by Mr. Davies-Jones, and read by him, Mr. Hayward, and various boys. There is not space, unfortunately, for a full list of the readings, which were arranged under the following headings: “Thanksgiving, Praise and Joy,” “The Sacrifice,” “The Spirit of the Sacrifice”, and “The Future.” The effectiveness of the service fully justified the time that Mr. Davies-Jones had spent on it. Now, let us hope that we shall soon have another holiday on V.J.-Day. W.N.H.
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OLD CAT NEWS
TOM LAND (OC 2016) PRESENTS GALAPAGOS Former president of the Moncrieff Jones Society, Tom has a career in natural history film making in his sights. Passionate about science and wildlife, he graduated with a firstclass degree in Zoology from the University of Southampton where
he remains researching primate brains for his Masters. Following his most recent research trip, Tom joins an illustrious list of scientists, wildlife presenters and film makers to present an Earth LIVE Lesson on Lizzie Daly Wildlife TV.
MATT JONES (OC 1984) STARS IN MAX JUSTICE Matt stars in the web series of short films Max Justice on YouTube. The plot follows struggling screenwriter Matt Crawley as he tries to get his first film made with no help from his annoying imaginary friend Max Justice, a super spy he created when he was a child. In episode 3, Matt meets with his mentor Richard (played by OC Matt Jones).
THE MARCH OF TIME BY ROBIN VERNON RUDGE (OC 1945 – 1955) Caterham School’s influence on who I am, aged 82, is more than I would have conceded at 22! Even the name with which I sign my pictures comes from the talented musician Vernon Lee, who was the School bursar before the War when my fiddler father attended school concerts in the Memorial Hall. My sister at Eothen, helping at the Congregational Church, met Sixth Formers never imagining one day she’d be an under-matron at Shirley Goss for four years, Mrs Gordon Lissaman to be. Miss Dixon and the year-round woods of the Prep School made me a bird-watcher, and I drew a detailed dragon-fly in her Nature lesson, aged 11. Even Shadow, thirteen years our Persian cat, came from Mr Soderberg. Art persisted in Beech Hanger and the Main School, where our ‘foster family’ friends germinated first the notion that someone with acting inclinations might picture fourteen weeks paid holiday, furthering one’s own best subjects, teaching! Unforetold was 27 years’ responsibility. Interest in the RAF faded in art colleges and Modern Jazz, Northumbrian landscapes, and active defence of Newcastle’s architecture like Caterham’s, where one had grown up in sounds of sports matches and Welsh accents; and those memories of Mottrams 1940s dinners… Top: Pencil portrait of his sister, Lorna Lissaman (née Rudge) Bottom: ‘Early Morning Sculpture’, a Northumberland watercolour
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JOHN HOLROYD-DOVETON (OC 1945 – 1952) MEMORIES AND LIFE SINCE CATERHAM
I went to Caterham as a boarder at the age of 10 in Form 1 in September 1945, the war against Japan had only ended the previous month. The Head of the Main School was Dr Hall, a rather stern and remote figure who had been a professor of South East Asian history at Rangoon University and looked very impressive with his red gown on speech day. I believe Dr Hall’s greatest strength was finding and retaining loyal staff. There were the legendary figures of Arthur Davis Jones at English, Maddock at Physics, who was also an amateur radio enthusiastic, Wendon at Chemistry, Walker at Geography who was a mountaineer. There was another Walker in charge of cricket and prided himself of having one of the best cricket squares and fields of any school – a way to get the field weeded was to send us to the cricket field for us to dig up weeds and take them back to the classroom for a lesson on weeds so his nickname was ‘Weedy Walker’. Caterham School was very different than it is today. There was only a house system for sport and we slept in five huge dormitories. Religion was prominent in the life of the School, with a puritanical leaning, organised sport was forbidden on Sunday. On Sunday morning we walked to the local church in Caterham, being divided into two groups Anglican and free church – it was roughly half and half indicative of the strong influence of the congregational church on life at Caterham School. On Sunday afternoons we could go for walks and the favourite walk was to Godstone so I began to appreciate the beautiful countryside surrounding Caterham. I recollect that Fifth and Sixth Formers had a dance with the senior girls from Milton Mount a girls Public boarding school which has not survived.
Post Caterham John has published two books Maxim Litvinov: A Biography and Young Conservatives 1945–1995: A History of the Young Conservative Movement. Although in many ways my chief interest at school was history, inspired by the Master Leslie Daw, my parents were keen that I pursue a legal career. I was articled in the City of London to a principal and firm who taught me much. In humility I excelled at law exams unlike my A levels, winning the City of London prize for the best candidate in the City of London and obtaining second class honours in my final examination. It was with some trepidation that during the National Service I was posted to Germany, but how wrong could I be – I made many young German friends who wanted to put the past behind them. In 1998, I attended a conference in the Hague opened by the Dutch Queen to mark 50 years of peace in Western Europe, it was a splendid occasion at which Yehudi Menuhin in one of his last performances conducted a huge choir and orchestra for Beethoven’s choral symphony. In 1960 after completing two years military service I joined a firm as a litigation solicitor in St Albans, but a year later moved to Southampton where I spent the rest of my professional life until retiring in 1996. I have been
John’s books are available to purchase on amazon.co.uk
blessed with a long busy and healthy retirement. Sadly my wife Pamela died in 2007, but I have since met Jose Clough whom I married on 3 September 2016. I revisited my passion for history and undertook an open university degree. In my final year I studied and passed the History of Democracy and European History 1880 to 1950. I became fascinated with a Soviet Politician, Maxim Litvinov, who seemed so reasonable compared with other Soviet politicians and was unique in that his wife was English. After meeting Maxim Litvinov’s daughter, I decided to write a biography and have become very knowledgeable on Soviet history particularly between the 1917 the date of the Bolshevik revolution and the death of Stalin in 1953. My interest in politics began with the 1950 General Election, I joined the Purley Young Conservatives at sixteen and finally ended up as the treasurer of a Branch of the Southampton YCs and subsequently married my Chairman, Pamela on 27 April 1963. I then became a Conservative Councillor in Christchurch between 1970 and 1974. I continued to support the Conservative Party and met three Conservative Prime Ministers Heath, Thatcher and Major. In 1998 I attended a conference in the Hague opened by the Dutch Queen to mark 50 years of peace in Western Europe since in 1948 Churchill told France and Germany to live in harmony and forget the past. Yehudi Menuhin in one of his last performances conducted a huge choir and Orchestra in Beethoven’s choral sympathy in honour of fifty years of peace. Since Caterham, I kept in touch with two old boys, John Derrick (OC 1945 – 1953) who became a lecturer in mathematics at Leeds University but who sadly passed away in 2012. Also John Holder (OC 1945 – 1952) who was usher at my wedding and we became godfather to one of each other’s children.
OLD CATS RETURN TO INSPIRE Thank you to all the OCs that returned to school this year either for one of our Careers Evening or the virtual webinars set up after lockdown. Pictured here are the Old Cats who shared their insights into the world of STEM… Sasha Nagarajah (OC 2010), Jonathan Chow (OC 2010), Alia Ardron (OC 2010), Hannah Paine (OC 2010), Wilson Li (OC 2004), Jonny Sampson (OC 2013) and Harriet Shaw (OC 2011).
The OCA would love to hear news from Old Caterhamians Please do contact the Alumni Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01883 335091 to share your news and memories of your time at the School
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Weddings Congratulations to the following Old Cats…
t Olly Sharp (OC 2007) married Lauren Heath at Hampton Court House on 25 August 2019. Olly and Lauren met while working at PwC, and now both work at Barclays in Canary Wharf. The wedding was attended by other Old Cats including Abby Sharp, Oli Walsh (best man), Nick Doney, Rob Simpson, Davan Feng, Phill Carr, Philip Tzourou, Greg Walkinshaw, Ben Kershaw, Jack Edwards, Chris Atkin, Zaf Kassam, Mike Woodhouse, and Ollie Buchanan.
u Jess Colman (OC 2008) married Rupert Cheyne on 21 September 2019 at St. Mary’s Church in Wargrave, Berkshire.
t Lucy Ruddle (OC 2008) and Tom Archer (OC 2009) married on 14 March 2020 in Kitzbuhel, Austria. OCs Matt Morley, Adam Blackwell, George Clarke and obviously Grace Archer and Toby Ruddle were all there to celebrate! But they were lucky to get home before lockdown... “We arrived in Kitzbuhel on Thursday 12 March with our guests that all managed to make it, shortly after arriving we heard that Austria was going into a strict lockdown on Sunday 15 March. This was obviously stressful to hear but we weren’t going to let it ruin our big day which was perfect. We all then had to cut our trip short and head home before lockdown begun. Adam Blackwell and George Clarke kindly offered to drive our van full of all our wedding bits home. They set off on Sunday and managed to only get to Munich... they jumped on the last flight and managed to get home. The van however is still somewhere in Munich with all of our wedding bits... suits, decorations, suitcases and what will now be a very stale wedding cake!”
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Births q Lucy (née May) (OC 2005) and Josh Higginson (OC 2009) welcomed Sonny Charles Higginson on Saturday 2 May, weighing 8lbs 4oz. His big sister Cece is loving her baby brother!
p Julieta Baker (OC 2018) and Welcome celebrated the birth of Kasper Samba-Baker who arrived at 7am on 16 May 2020 weighing 7lbs 2oz.
p Jamal Al-Kreebani (OC 2006) pictured here with his wife Monika, Luke Kreebani born 31 January 2018 and Alex Kreebani born 1 August 2019.
p Jessica Simpson (née Butler) (OC 2009) and Will welcomed Sienna Helle Simpson on 24 April 2020.
p OE Helena O’Connell (née Bloomer) and James welcomed Henry William Columbus O’Donnell on 23 March 2020.
q Shaocheng Ma (OC 2010) and Stephanie Ye Chen (OC 2013) welcomed Kaiyu Ma on 3 June 2020.
We always love to hear OC news – please do let us know of any Old Cat news, births and weddings we haven’t yet featured Just contact the Alumni Office email: email@example.com tel: 01883 335091
Welcome to the OCA Class of 2020
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Heads of School Handing Over the Baton Outgoing Heads of School give their advice to their successors.
What a year 2020 has been we’ve had! Brexit, Australia was ravished by bushfires, Harry and Megan stepped back from royal duties, Oh and COVID happened. 2020 has gone viral quicker than Mrs Brown on TikTok! Nobody would have guessed the way this school year could have ended and yet in many ways it has highlighted many of the great attributes of Caterham. The teachers have done an incredible job throughout lockdown providing all years with the same high standard of teaching as well as putting on the Inspire and Readiness courses for Fifth Year and Upper Sixth. It must be hard for the teachers talking to blank screens with everyone’s camera and mic turned off! The continued effort from everyone has allowed the school community to be maintained and the ‘family’ feel of Caterham has become more prominent than ever. It has been so much fun working with Lottie this past year, with our weekly pilgrimage to Mr Jones’ office to catch up on all of the gossip being a constant source of entertainment. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read the Roll of Honour at the Remembrance Service which was the most humbling thing I have ever done. I sincerely hope next year Caterham is able to open up enough to allow some of these OCA days to go ahead. It is all the extra things that Caterham does which makes it such a special place from the Tanzania trip, CCF, the ski trip, the CSS Entrepreneurship Evening to the Upper Sixth Dance Off – each of which leave their own mark on all of us. I was fortunate enough to go on the Tanzania trip last summer, an experience I will never forget. Best of luck to the future Heads of School, hopefully, if allowed, we will be able to meet up at some point to
hand over the baton. This year will fly by, so make sure you give yourself the chance to enjoy some of the incredible opportunities you will have as they won’t come around again. You will meet some incredibly inspiring and interesting people over the coming year, listen to everything they have to say, you never know one day they may just offer you a job! Ben Brown Head Boy, Class of 2020
It has certainly been a very unexpected end to my time as Head Girl, and I think it has just made me realise even more the need to make the most of every opportunity. I remember starting Upper Sixth in September and thinking how much time there was left, but your final year goes by so quickly, especially when you are kept busy! My advice to any future head pupils and all upcoming Upper Sixth is to simply enjoy every moment that you can. While this might be difficult at particularly stressful times, and having lots of commitments can be overwhelming, use those around you for support so that you are able to enjoy your final year to as much as possible! This past year at Caterham was such an amazing time and was filled with so many fantastic memories, the boys and girls dance being a particular highlight. For me it was a time where the year group felt most close knit and united and I encourage any of those who follow myself and Ben to treasure these moments, I sure know I will! Lottie McDonald Head Girl, Class of 2020
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Up in the air
while the world shuts down...
he outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill as airlines were grounded, borders were closed and cities went into lockdown. Journalist Jim Bulley relives the experience of being thousands of miles from home when everything stops. By Jim Bulley (OC 2001 – 2008)
A longer version of this story was originally published in the Korea JoongAng Daily on 20 May 2020.
Adventure of a lifetime becomes a race to escape
If you’re in a last-minute scramble to book a flight, Havana is the last place in the world you would want to be. There’s internet in Cuba if you’re willing to work for it – accessed by hourly vouchers that can only be bought from vendors in person. But you don’t visit Cuba to get on the internet. The country’s old-world charm attracts visitors from around the globe curious to see a place that hasn’t been upended by modern technology. Havana in March is beautiful. But as we stood downtown in the shadow of stately colonial buildings, with the warm Caribbean sun glinting off the polished hoods of the brightlycoloured vintage cars lining the street, we failed to appreciate its charm. According to the ladies in front of us in the queue, it was going to take at least a couple of days before we would make it to the front of the line for the Copa Airlines customer service desk to buy our ticket out of Cuba. We didn’t have that kind of time. The coronavirus was already in the country, and panic was beginning to set in.
Sitting in a café in Korea on a rainy November day in 2018, my wife Jinsil and I first started to plan a trip around the world. We’d talked for years about long-term travel and finally decided that now was the time to do it. We drew up lists of where we’d most like to go and then looked at maps to see what was realistically possible. After a few months working out the details, we settled on a plan that would take us through 22 countries in seven months. By the summer of 2019, everything was planned. We’d spend the winter in the Southern Hemisphere, in Bali, Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, then head north to Central America and the United States in spring, before continuing east to Europe and Africa in the summer. We’d booked our flights, organised most of our accommodation and purchased all the travel gear we could find. All of our plans were in place, the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. We only got one thing wrong: Leaving in December 2019. We left Korea in the early hours of December 19th, by which point at
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least nine people had reported symptoms of an unknown coronavirus in Wuhan, China. We were watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks explode over Sydney at roughly the same time the World Health Organization (WHO) was first told about what would become known as the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. By the time the virus really started to hit headlines we were halfway through a month-long road trip around New Zealand. We flew to Costa Rica on March 5th, the day after the country closed its borders to anybody travelling from Korea. We didn’t know if we’d be turned away at the border or thrown in a cell somewhere. In reality, we were briefly stopped until we proved we’d been in Mexico for three weeks. At that point there were 97,343 cases confirmed worldwide, with 5,756 of those in Korea. By the time we left Costa Rica on March 15th, those numbers had shot up to 165,201, with 8,162 in Korea. On March 11th, when we were high in the cloud forest mountains of Monteverde, the WHO declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. This is when we started to realise that we couldn’t continue travelling like nothing was going on. In the end, we had to face the facts. Our immediate plans were focused on Cuba, the United States and Britain. Cuba reported its first three cases on March 11th, but by that point the United States had already passed 1,000 and Britain was nearing 500. Globally there were more than 100,000 cases reported, and the number of deaths was rapidly rising.
By the time we left Costa Rica on March 15th, Italy, Spain and parts of China were already locked down. We weren’t worried about travelling to Cuba, but we were starting to get scared that we’d get stuck there, stranded as airlines around the world were grounded. If we did manage to make it out of Cuba we’d be on our way to New York City, which was already gearing up for a spike in cases.
On March 11th, when we were high in the cloud forest mountains of Monteverde, the WHO declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. This is when we started to realise that we couldn’t continue travelling like nothing was going on.
Things started to really fall apart the day before we left Costa Rica. On March 14th, the United States announced that it was extending a travel ban on Europeans to people from the UK. My British passport was now potentially a target, and the family members we had arranged to meet in New York City were grounded in London. Our plans were crumbling, but we had absolutely no idea what we should be doing about it. We hadn’t accepted that our trip was completely over, so
returning to Korea – in hindsight the only safe option we had – wasn’t even an option. Instead, we kept going. On March 15th, we flew to Costa Rica’s capital San Jose and on to Mexico City as planned. Arriving in Mexico City International Airport, we went straight to the departures desk and tried to cancel our flight to Cuba. After four hours waiting in line, the airline refused to give us a refund or credit. Defeated, we checked into a grimy hostel in a dodgy neighbourhood close to the airport and spent the evening sitting on a lumpy futon trying to work out what to do next. We had three options: stop travelling, lose money on pre-booked flights or risk everything and keep going. Continuing travelling indefinitely no longer seemed like an option. As well as disruption, we were now seriously starting to worry about our health. We’d managed to pick up masks in Mexico, but they were flimsy fabric dental masks and offered us no real protection. With most of our life savings invested in the trip, we weren’t yet willing to give up or take the financial hit of cancelling all those nonrefundable flights. What we really needed was a safe haven where we could lie low for a month or so, we thought, and then we’d be able to pick up where we’d left off once everything had blown over.
Welcome to Cuba. Now, it’s time to leave.
We woke on the morning of March 16th ready to fly to Havana. We had a plan, and we were confident it would work: We’d move all our flights
Our whole perception changed standing in that queue. The idea that we might have to spend two days in line petrified us – suddenly the situation was way beyond our comprehension...
forward and be in the UK by March 20th, where we could wait it out for a bit until things got better – we’d probably even be able to stick to our plan of going to Iceland on April 6th. The only problem was Copa Airlines. The Panamanian carrier, our ticket from Havana to New York City, was very kindly allowing all passengers to change flights for free over the phone. The catch? They never answered the phone. With the help of family, we spent the night in Mexico City calling Copa’s Mexican, U.S. and international phone lines but never got through. By the following morning we were starting to panic. The only option left was to fly to Havana and try our luck at the Copa office there. We landed in Havana at 6p.m. on March 16th. Cuba is an intimidating place to visit – it has infamously strict border control measures and even in 2020 there is a sense that once you enter the country you’re on your own. Laws are strictly enforced and most travellers can’t rely on any support from their embassy.
Two days in line?
We were staying in the spare room of a huge old colonial apartment with our hosts Juan Carlos and his father Juan Carlos Sr. We wanted to change our flight out of Cuba as soon as possible, and both Juan Carloses were confident that the Copa Airlines office would be open the next day. The Copa Airlines office in Havana is on the third floor of an office block. By the time we arrived as it opened at 9a.m. the following morning, the queue went out the door, along the terrace past all the other offices and down the stairs. We joined the back of the line. By 10:30a.m., we were still standing in the same place. The office was open and there were people in there, but the line had not moved at all. The women in front of us were from Venezuela and trying to find a way home. They’d been queuing since yesterday and expected to be there for another day or two. Our whole perception changed standing in that queue. The idea that we might have to spend two days
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streets were empty, shops were either closed and shuttered or the shelves had been picked clean and the only food available was takeout served by masked waiters. When we arrived in New York the state had recorded 2,382 COVID-19 cases. When we left two days later that number had shot up to 7,102. Even at that point the enormity of what was about to happen was starting to become clear. We finally left New York at 9a.m. on March 20th. As we touched down in London seven hours later, the captain tearfully told us that he and the crew didn’t know when they’d be allowed to fly again or whether they’d keep their jobs. With this sobering message ringing in our ears, we entered the UK. Arriving in the country there was no attempt to check our health or where we’d travelled from – we both entered through the e-passport gates and left the airport without talking to anybody. An hour later we were in the countryside with family.
in line petrified us – suddenly the situation was way beyond our comprehension. Spending days queuing for things seemed like a thing of the past – it was something you studied in a history class, and now it was quickly becoming a reality. For the first time we realized how serious the situation was and how cut off from the rest of the world we were in Cuba. We were isolated, we had no flight that would get us to New York in time and we had no way to easily keep track of the news. Suddenly the only thing that mattered was getting out of Cuba. Changing the Copa Airlines flight wasn’t going to work, so we gave up and found a nearby hotel where we could access the internet. There was a flight that evening from Havana to Miami, one of the few daily direct flights between the two countries. We couldn’t book the ticket because U.S. sanctions stopped us accessing the website, but with a little help from family we were able to get two of the last seats on the flight. At 11p.m. on March 17th, just over 24 tumultuous hours after we arrived in Cuba, we flew to Miami. We arrived in the United States just after midnight on March 18th. The country had reported more than 6,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 100 deaths, but there were no medical checks or questions asked at the airport.
The next morning we bought tickets to New York. We landed at 3p.m., almost the exact same time we’d left Costa Rica three days earlier. We’d slept those three nights in three different countries and spent the days rushing between queues and flights while constantly trying to call customer service hot lines. At some point during those three days, the UK had started to look like the light at the end of the tunnel. It was Nirvana, the Holy Grail. All we had to do was get there and everything would be O.K. We could rest, recover and then keep on travelling once everything had blown over.
Nowhere to go but home, if you can get there
In New York, Virgin Atlantic declined to change our ticket. We were going to be stuck in New York, soon to be the most dangerous city in the world, for two days. Manhattan was out of the question – with everything shuttered, there was nothing to do or see there, and we really didn’t want to run the risk of catching the coronavirus on the NRQ Line. In the end we were rescued by a friend who picked us up and drove us to a hotel near her apartment in Flushing, a suburb deep inside Queens. The two nights we spent there felt like the opening sequence of a low-budget dystopian movie. The
Lockdowns and quarantines
Three days after we arrived the country went into lockdown. We were no longer voluntarily staying at Mum’s house; we were now legally stuck there. Without a car we were trapped in the middle of the country and, even if we could resume our trip, we didn’t know if anyone could legally drive us to the airport. The start of the lockdown was the moment we had to accept it was game over. The walls had been closing in for weeks, but we’d managed to convince ourselves that there was a chance we’d be able to keep going – we were due to fly to Iceland in early April and then on to Africa in May and there still weren’t any travel restrictions that would affect our plan. But when lockdown was announced on March 23rd, we realised we had no option but to give up. If we didn’t find a way to return to Korea immediately, we faced potentially being stuck for months. There was now fierce competition for tickets out of the country. With lockdown in place, nobody knew when airlines would start cancelling flights. There are only a few daily direct flights between London and Seoul at the best of times, and indirect options were quickly disappearing. Panicking, we bought the first tickets we could find – an Etihad flight with a painful 15-hour stopover
Below left: Heathrow Airport Below right: New York Airport
Getting back to Korea was starting to feel like a race against the clock. More countries were grounding their airlines every day and the only direct flights available were on impossibly expensive business-class and first-class tickets.
in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Just a few hours after we booked that flight on March 23rd, the United Arab Emirates announced that it was closing its borders and grounding all planes from 11:59p.m. on the day we were due to depart. Getting back to Korea was starting to feel like a race against the clock. More countries were grounding their airlines every day and the only direct flights available were on impossibly expensive business-class and firstclass tickets. The next few days were spent frantically scrambling to find a way home. Finally, as things started to look really helpless, Korean Air announced extra flights, and we managed to book two tickets leaving Heathrow Airport on March 28th. We landed at Incheon International Airport on March 29th and were required to download two quarantine tracking apps. Our temperature was taken before we could legally enter the country, the first time anyone had checked our temperature since the pandemic began. The day after we arrived we were tested for the coronavirus. Just eight hours later we found out we were both negative. We were quarantined in our apartment for two weeks, reporting that we had no symptoms on the two apps every day.
Over the three weeks that followed the World Health Organization announcement that COVID-19 was a pandemic, we travelled across six countries on three continents and found ourselves under some level of lockdown in the United States, Britain and Korea. All 22 of the countries that we had planned to visit have now either closed their borders or introduced mandatory quarantine measures. Even in Korea, where things have largely been under control, there are now signs of a new spike in cases. It will likely to be years before a journey like the one we had planned is possible, assuming the budget airlines that make that sort of travel possible are still in business. But there are signs of hope. Containment success in places like New Zealand and Australia – and to some extent Korea – suggest that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, although it may still be a long way away for a lot of countries.
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Photo courtesy of Joanne Logie
Diana Raine Eothen School Headmistress 1973–1992
Miss Raine sadly passed away on 26 May 2020 and will be missed and remembered by many Eothens.
iana Raine became Headmistress of Eothen School in 1973, three years after the takeover of the school by the Church Schools Company which offered so much promise for its progress. Four years passed, however, before she was informed that the Company was willing to undertake the erection of an Assembly – cum – Sports Hall, the building of a new Dining Room, and the modernisation of the Kitchens. The opening of these amenities in 1980 crowned Miss Raine's first period at Eothen and has, in a way, characterised the whole of her era, since she worked tirelessly for the school, always wishing it to be at the forefront of modern development; thus it was a pleasure that she was still in office when a later new building, the Arts & Science Centre, was opened in 1989. All who knew Miss Raine, however, would agree that her concern for the personal, spiritual and educational welfare of the individual was far greater than for material benefits. Access was always readily available to her room, where both staff and girls know that they would find an understanding ear. Disputes were heard sympathetically and judged with fairness to each side. Girls were always encouraged to give of their best, whatever that best might be. The academically inclined received strong backing to aim high and do full justice to their ability. The less intellectual were urged to develop the talents they may have in other directions, and under Miss Raine, creative subjects flourished: the highest standards were reached in cookery, needlework, art and music. She was an avid supporter of physical activities, to the extent of participating in netball and rounders matches played annually against the Sixth Form. Indeed, Miss Raine was known for being a hard-hitter, and many a girl must have felt relief that no rounders bat was to hand when she was being told off in the Head’s room!
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Participation was evident in other activities as well. Miss Raine joined keenly in staff entertainments, fancy dress parades at Christmas parties, and musical productions such as “Salad Days”, where her strong singing voice was much valued. Her willingness to “let her hair down” may have daunted more reluctant staff but endeared her to generations of girls. Always ready to lead from the front, she demonstrated by example that she did not expect others to do what she would not do herself. Miss Raine's infectious enthusiasm was felt in every aspect of the school's life. She chaired the Staff and Parents’ Association Committee energetically and wisely, encouraging where appropriate and restraining where necessary. She lent valuable support to the Old Girls’ Association too, and was a regular helper at jumble sales run by both these organisations. Her care and concern for all pupils was apparent, from the youngest child in Hadley to the oldest Sixth Former, and for all staff, both teaching and domestic. It is most fitting that Miss Raine should have remained in office till Eothen's Centenary since the School was uniquely hers. She never lost sight of its Christian principles, seeking always to enhance and fulfil individual talent whilst encouraging charity and selflessness. In lean years as well as fat years she kept faith, and provided a “raison d’etre” for Eothen which surely justifies the original purpose of the founder, Miss Pye.
(who could forget those PSHE talks in her office!), her total belief in equality for all, her ability to make you believe that you could do anything if you had the perseverance to work hard. I came late into teaching, retraining 10 years ago. As a trainee you have an idea of the teacher you want to be. Mine was fairness, equality and determination to do the best job I could for my students; the ability to tease out their individual abilities, seeking out what each of them shine at and encouraging them to pursue their dreams with vigour and faith. The last time I saw Miss Raine was at an EOGA reunion at Caterham School when this picture was taken (below left). Her memory was failing, but I was honoured that she remembered me (which all my school friends teased me about, of course!). I felt a huge affection for this lady who I realised then had demonstrated to me all those years ago all those qualities that I aspire to be as a teacher today. Thank you Diana for all the love, warmth and faith in “us girls” that allowed us to believe we could be anything we wanted to be, which in the early Eighties was not something to be taken for granted. We didn’t realise it at the time, but she was one of those game changers for so many of us. Rest in peace Miss Raine, knowing your influence lives on.
Tribute from her friend OE Anne Bailey Memories of Diana Raine from former Head Girl Lea Owen (née Simpson) (OE 1987) As often happens with teenagers, you don’t appreciate the support and advice given to you until you are much older. You also don’t realise the extent of the influence someone has on your young life until, when much older, you begin to reflect on the choices you have made and the adult you have become. Being Head Girl I spent many hours with Miss Raine which at the time I sometimes resented when I had to leave my friends in the morning to prepare for assembly or having to stay behind to rehearse for Prize Giving. What I remember about Miss Raine was her candid nature
Eothen reunion (left to right) Lea Owen (née Simpson), Diana Raine, Annabel Gourd (née Spanner), Karin Schulte, Lisa Nix (née Fenn)
I first met Diana in 1980 when my daughter Nicole (Lennock) joined Eothen, then through the years we met at Eothen School functions, EOGA meetings, then at Foundation members meetings. In 2016 my late husband Don’s illness progressed, he had to go into Cranmer Court, where Diana was living. She was a great support and kind friend during that difficult time and our friendship continued until she died. Diana was kind and thoughtful always wanting to help people in any way she could, she was always pleased to see or hear news from old girls. Diana took a great interest in education and was very keen to attend the meetings and Speech Days at Caterham School.
Diana with friend Anne Bailey (Photo courtesy of Joanne Logie)
Numerous messages of condolences were sent to the family from former pupils and colleagues, here are just a few – a testament to how many lives Miss Raine affected... I remember Miss Raine fondly although I didn’t like having to go to her office if I was in trouble! She instilled a sense of duty to become your best self. I remember one assembly when we were being told off for sunbathing our legs. She said “Remember girls...your dignity”. This always stuck in my memory. Farewell and thank you. I went on to live my life strongly in the face of adversity and became a teacher myself. Eothen was a small school, I liked that about it and felt that we had secure boundaries. I always knew that if I needed to talk to Miss Raine about something I could go and see her. (One of the girls in our year had made the ultimate mistake of using the squirrel door knocker instead of the famous buzzer…..oops) She was formidable but fair and that is a fine line. I was never frightened of her and always told the truth if I was being told off, I would never have given her any back chat. I would not have dared! I remember seeing her run up the front stairs two at a time with her batman cloak on, it was like it gave her wings. Bearing in mind this was a long time before a certain caffeinated red drink was on the market. Miss Raine also had a marvellous singing voice too and very much took the lead whilst we were singing the hymn during morning prayers. What a wonderful head she was. I will never forget her. I loved Eothen, I was really happy there. RIP Miss Raine. Joanne Logie (OE 1977 – 1981) (Photo courtesy of Joanne Logie)
I taught art at Eothen for only three years, but happy memories and deep friendships have lasted forever. Diana’s cheerful voice and smiling face whenever she came into my messy art room, and her purposeful stride around the grounds are clear as if it were yesterday. She nudged me to lead a group of girls on an educational cruise. She was right – it was a terrific experience. Peace.
Jane Sturgess Varda (staff) (1974 – 1977)
Melanie Cooke (née Devereux) (OE 1973 – 1979)
Miss Raine, you were a remarkable Headmistress. I remember having my 11+ interview and you allowed me a place at Eothen. I will always remember your office I am not sure if it was opium the perfume or patchouli, but it was more a room that was kind and not stark. You knew all your pupils by name. You were a kind and up to date lady and your voice never rose loudly unless it was for bad behaviour or when you used to sing hymns. God bless you and your family. Melanie Peyer (1985 – 1991)
Miss Raine will be remembered as a strong advocate for girls education and careers for women at a time of great social change. RIP and condolences to her family. Lynn Moran (née Rodgers) (1964– 1975)
Miss Raine was always so kind to me and my family. She ran the School well and was available to students and parents alike with an understanding nature and gentle spirit. God bless you Miss Raine! Zahrah Khan (OE 1987 – 1994)
Miss Raine was one of the most influential people in my life. She gave leadership, inspiration and had a real sense of fun (if you let her). Thank you Miss Raine. Murie Ronald (OE 1971 – 1982)
There will be a Diana Raine Fund to support bursaries for girls at Caterham School in her memory. If you are interested in finding out more, or would like to donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Partnerships Strengthened in 2020 Caterham’s Partnerships programme is a key part of school life with pupils taking a hands-on role and learning much from our partner organisations. The COVID-19 lockdown shone a light on the importance of community support and we were delighted that the programme was able to continue, and grow, throughout.
upport for our local primary school partners took various forms including enabling children of key workers attending local schools to attend Caterham’s provision and holiday clubs. Caterham teachers were able to share their online teaching resources and provision to local primary schools in support of pupils who were learning from home. The lack of computers and devices for pupils was a national news story with many young people unable to access even online learning. Our ‘Laptops for Lockdown’ drive meant the School was able to recycle and repurpose unwanted laptops donated from across our community to several local primary schools. As the lockdown began to lift and selected year groups were allowed back to school, we were very pleased to offer our large spaces, both indoor and out, to help our local schools with social distancing. Two long-standing elements of the Partnership programme are Caterham’s involvement in the London Academy of Excellence, a Sixth Form based in east London, and United Access, a holiday residential programme supporting first generation university applicants from state maintained schools across the South East. Work with both partners continued through lockdown with an online ‘residential’ course for United Access pupils at Easter and LAE pupils participating in Caterham’s Modern Foreign Languages, English and Art enrichment sessions. Further afield, Caterham has been connected with Lerang’wa Primary School in rural Tanzania for 15 years. With summer 2020’s annual trip unable to happen, our pupils were determined to
provide more support for our partner school and organised a FIFA tournament to raise funds for the School. Caterham is a global community and the drive to support the NHS and local care workers with PPE came from across the globe. In addition to the 900+ visors manufactured by the DT department, with staff, parents and OCs volunteering as the production line, our overseas boarders fundraised, sourced and shipped a massive 10,000 pieces of PPE which was donated to North Tandridge Primary Care Network and will see them through the months ahead. The Parents’ Association drove a huge donation of material which parents Laura Madgwick and
Kate Keyworth then got very busy turning into scrubs for UK network Scrubhub. The lockdown put Caterham’s focus on innovation and digital into sharp focus. The School’s learning and training will be shared through an online conference to be held this autumn which is open to all schools nationwide. The conference has run at school as a physical event for the last two years but for 2020 Caterham has teamed up with Croydon Digital to bring speakers from the world of education, from the London Office of Technology and Innovation and the Home Office to share best practise with teaching colleagues up and down the country.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Undefeated 1st XV 2009 Side Still United! In 2009 Rugby World magazine featured the undefeated Caterham 1st XV as School Team of the Month, over a decade later the team and their families are still connected with regular reunions. Former parent David Miles shares some memories on and off the pitch. Team spirit
The hockey tour to South Africa in the Summer of 2005 proved a bonding opportunity for many of the boys. Hockey coaches Craig Carolan and Campbell Smith organised a fabulous tour with hockey matches, safaris, out of bounds experiences and a visit to Rourke’s Drift – the experience not only improved their hockey performance the following season, but also on the rugby field, as most of the boys played both sports very well.
The team benefitted from there being lots of depth in talent as they fielded two teams every Saturday. In addition to playing rugby for Caterham School on Saturdays in the Autumn Term, many in the team also played for Old Cats on Sundays from September through to April which honed their skills and their ability to understand each other’s play.
Undefeated 1st XV – last home game, December 2008 Back row (L to R): Chris Kendall, Freddie Page, Alistair Brown, Alistair Bownas, Ben Davidson (hidden back), Christian Payne (hidden front), Matt Trayner, Matthew Wilson Front row standing (L to R): Rob Leatherby, Chris Elliott, Ben Carew-Gibbs, Sam Fullalove, Ben Lewis, Ben Doney, Chris Munns, Giorgi Sakandelidze, Matt Foulds Front row kneeling (L to R): James Miles, Craig Moore, Owen Morgan
Teamwork wins matches
Their performance on the pitch went from strength to strength culminating in a magnificent season when, as Under 16s, they went the whole season undefeated. As they moved into Lower Sixth, they were a force to be reckoned with, many of them displacing Upper Sixth boys from the 1st XV. The rest played for the 2nd XV. By their final year nearly all were playing in the 1st XV, and once again finished the Autumn Term undefeated in the regular season with 12 wins amassing a total of 404 points with just 103 conceded. After Christmas they reached the quarter-finals of the Daily Mail Vase, being beaten by a very good Giggleswick side. By March 2009 they were voted as School Team of the Month by Rugby World.
Although they played their last match together for Caterham School in 2009, the side still meet up together when they can, even though they are scattered as far as Spain, the Middle East and Australia. Here’s what some of the team is up to now ››
Bertie Bayley In recent years I have worked in events management and operations, where I have been involved in developing two event start-ups based in Manchester and South West London. Since COVID however I have made the decision to pivot into renewable energy and start an MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Kingston in September. I still play sport and have been very focused on fitness since school. I run, box and lift weights. I also play squash but am currently unable to due to lock-down. A memory that stands out for me is the pre match ritual of playing Spitfire by The Prodigy in the changing rooms. Before every game this would play and psych everyone up! Looks like it worked!
Owen Morgan I am working as a doctor in London specialising in Emergency Medicine (A&E) and got married to my wife in September last year. I still do a bit of sport. A broken leg stopped me playing rugby but I now compete in Strongman competitions (the same as ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ on TV) but in weight classes – I was under 90kg, and competed in Britain’s Strongest Man 2018 Under 90kg finishing 7th. My best memory from that time was the Daily Mail Vase quarterfinals away to Giggleswick as it was by far the biggest game I had played in and one of our first big away trips. It was a shame about the result but was a great experience.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Chris Munns I am an Architect currently working in London. In February this year my partner and I welcomed our son, Eddie Munns. I stopped playing rugby at university, however I still play for a Tag Rugby team in the summer months (not that it compliments my skill set whatsoever). A key memory for me was beating Cranbrook away.
Robert Leatherby I am now a surgeon, and although I have played rugby throughout medical school, I am now a regular runner. A key memory of Caterham rugby was creating outrageously complicated lineout moves in training, and occasionally managing to pull one off in a game!
James Miles After a gap year researching corals in the Philippines and whales in NZ, I went on to do a Masters in Marine Mammal Science at St Andrews. I am currently finishing up a PhD in Engineering at the University of Southampton, and still playing some University hockey (although too old for it now!). My memory from those days was winning and a great team spirit.
Freddie Page I am still very much in touch with a number of the Caterham 1st XV! Having played for Old Cats for the previous five years (with Davo, Doney, Willow and Brown), but taking this year off before COVID struck. I’ve been working for Leyton, a global partner for companies helping them access tax incentives, for around four years now, and am a senior associate for the commercial team.
Alex O’Brien I am currently living in Dubai and working as the Global Risk Manager for DP World, one of the largest Port, Terminals and Logistics providers in the world. Given the heat over here, my sporting activities have had to change! But I now regularly play Golf and Beach Volleyball. I always remember the sadness of damaging my knee early on in Upper Sixth and having to miss most of the season but was able to make a run on with 20 minutes to go and get the last try of the season!
Matt Trayner I’ve just got back from two years working as an Engineer in Australia, where I was very fortunate to be able to get over to Japan for the Rugby World Cup (explains the picture). I’ve now moved back to Bristol and start work in July as an Engineering Manager for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. I’ve played rugby on and off throughout university and working life but I am on perhaps my third retirement now. I played a season in South Australia’s Premier Reserve Grade League for Brighton RFC and whilst I enjoyed getting back into the sport my body did not! A memory from Caterham Rugby: I remember a game for the 2nd XV on Beeches and there was no scrum half at the back of the ruck, so I went to pass the ball to the 10 and when I looked at him he told me to run it, so I did. What this translated to was the best and most unintentional dummy I have ever pulled off and I think perhaps my longest run with ball in hand in a Caterham shirt. Taf the 2nds coach at the time had to come on with the medical kit and told me to go down and hold my ankle just to give me a breather!
Matt Foulds Went on to become a professional rugby union player, he recently played for New South Wales Country Eagles in Australia and represented Spain at an international level.
Undefeated U16As with parents, December 2006 Supporters (L to R): Andrew Whitley, Piet du Toit (Coach), Linda Whitley, John Whitley, Deana Leatherby, Gary Leatherby, Gavin Brown, Christine Doney, Claire Brown, Hohn Page, Ursula Page, Nick Munns, Hilary Moore, Peter Munns, Rob Moore, Stuart Davidson, Denise Clark, Kim Fullalove, Stephen Foulds, Nick Carew-Gibbs, Alex Fullalove, David Miles Boys behind kneeling (L to R): Ben Carew-Gibbs, Tim Murphy, James Weller, Alistair Brown, James Miles, Guy Whitley, Sam Fullalove, Ben Davidson, Chris Elliott, Freddie Page, Rob Leatherby, Bertie Bayley Boys front lying (L to R): Craig Moore, Ben Doney, Chris Munns, Matt Foulds
The ongoing dedicated and vociferous support of the Touchline Mums and Dads
Rugby reunion 2019
Right from the start, the boys had an unusual amount of touchline support from their parents. Whether the matches were home or away, in sunshine or rain, there would always be at least 20 parents on the touchline cheering them on. As an example, although the quarter-finals of the Daily Mail Vase was an away match 300 miles away at Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire, with loads of snow on the sides of the road, nearly every parent was there on the touchline cheering them on. Just before Christmas at the end of their first term of rugby, as Under 12s they played away at Rochester Grammar. On the way back, four of the dads decided to go for a curry at the Gurkha Kitchen in Oxted starting a tradition that carries on to this day. The next year most of the dads of the A and B teams came. In parallel, the mums started to hold Secret Santa evenings. In 2007 the dads were
joined by the mums and after the boys second undefeated season, 64 parents and members of staff filled the Gurkha just before Christmas 2008. The following year, the first after the boys left school, over 70 of us packed the Gurkha. Even though many of the boys are now scattered across the world, each Christmas we still manage to get about 15 boys and 30 parents along for a pint or two and a meal. But the reunions donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end there, every year many of the mums have got together for extended weekends in places like Prague, Germany, Falmouth, Portugal, Madrid, Amsterdam, Vienna and were due to go to Nice this September. The dads are more constrained in their get-togethers, tending to meet every few months for a pint and a lunchtime meal at one of the local hostelries in Tandridge, often joined by ex-Headmaster, Rob Davey. ď Ž
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
IN THE ARCHIVES
Wartime Caterham By Peter Walmsley MBE (OC 1940 – 1946)
Old Cat Peter Walmsley MBE recollects his time at Caterham School during the War and the 1940s. The full version of both this article can be found at oldcaterhamians/memories
wo items in the Autumn/Winter 2019 Issue 6 of Omnia were of particular interest to me. The first was the sad news of the deaths of Ray Bunny (OC 1940 – 1944) and Chris Bunny (OC 1940 – 1945), both good school-time compatriots of mine, while the second was the article by Henry Richards (OC 1935 – 1942) describing his memories of Caterham School in the 1930s and early wartime years. Like many others, the Bunnys and I were “Day Bugs”, living locally and attending the School on a daily basis throughout the war. Henry Richards’s reminiscences as a boarder during the early part of the war revived a lot of memories and so I thought that I would complement his article from a “Day Bug’s” perspective. Like many other “Day Bugs” I cycled to school and remember well the morning high speed scramble down Harestone Lane (Pebble Alley) and the long grind back up the hill in the evening. Life at school seemed normal and I cannot recollect the war impinging much on the daily activities apart from the occasional air raid exercises. Cricket with bat and tennis balls in the inside quadrangle was a great way to spend breaks between lessons. I remember Mr Soderburg conducting morning prayers and the daily walk to Mottrams for lunch followed by a compulsory half-hour lie down on a dormitory bed. Lunch in the dining room with the boarders left me with great admiration for the catering staff who managed to assuage the appetites of two hundred or so hungry teenagers despite the rationing. Mind you, there did seem to be a surfeit of macaroni cheese, tripe and onions, boiled cabbage and semolina pudding but the cottage pie was well laced with gravy to make the potato go down and there seemed to be no shortage of custard to go with the bread and butter pudding.
I have vivid memories of the early stages of the war, in August 1940, I was to see and hear the Stukas dive bombing both Croydon and then Kenley aerodromes. At the same time they were attacking Biggin Hill. These raids marked the start of the Battle of Britain. I can see to this day the vapour trails criss-crossing in the bright blue sky like animated spaghetti, the occasional plane screeching earthwards with smoke billowing behind and, on two occasions, parachutes being machine gunned by enemy fighters. The winter of 1940/41 marked the peak of the Blitz. Caterham Valley, between Purley and Warlingham, suffered quite badly because the German bombers returning from London dropped any surplus bombs on the two railway lines and main road that ran close together along it. One bomb landed 25 yards from our shelter, heaving several tons of chalk from the hillside onto the roof of our garage, burying my father’s car. I have fond recollections of the Scouts where I honed my cooking skills making “twists on a stick” in the wood beside the playing field. The Scouts used to play what we called “wide-games” in the woods around View Point at the head of the Valley. Two teams each had a hidden den where they kept a number of rounders bats. Each team was divided into attackers and defenders. The aim was to find the opponents den and steal their bats. However should you have the wool band on your arm torn off by the opposition you were dead and could take no further part in the game. I don’t know if this is still a school pastime but, if not, I recommend it be re-introduced as it was tremendous fun. Then there were the summer holidays when a large contingent of boys from the School headed to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire for the fruit picking. We slept toes to
If the master in charge blew his whistle, we all had to down pens and shelter under our desks until the danger had passed.
the pole on our palliasses in large conical tents and I well remember breakfast being served by Mr Wendon (Jimmy) and Mr Maddock (Moose) before we headed off to the orchards. If I recollect correctly, we were paid 3d (11/4p) for a large basket of Bramley apples or 1 shilling (5p) for damsons. One’s spirits rose if you were chosen to pick apples because you could fill a basket quickly whereas it took forever and a day to fill a basket with damsons. By 1943, when I was in the Fourth Form, a group of us “Day Bugs” started to cycle into Caterham Village every day for lunch at the British Restaurant which was located above the Caterham Motors showroom opposite Woolworths. We queued at the reception to buy our tickets (3d or 11/4p for soup, 1s3d or 61/4p for a main and 6d or 21/2p for pud) and then took our trays to the counter for our lunch to be doled out. Surprisingly, the building was still there until 2018 when the derelict site that had been an eyesore for years was eventually pulled down for development. For those who might remember it I took this photo before the developers moved in.
© 2019 Jericho Road Solutions
The early 1940s British Restaurant, 2018
Early in 1944 following a noisy night raid my parents and I cheered when we looked out of my bedroom window and saw an enemy plane come down and explode with a horrendous bang somewhere towards Sanderstead. Turning on the radio we discovered that it was one of the first of the V1 doodlebugs which were to dominate our lives for the next few months. Fortunately, not too many of them exploded in and around Caterham but there were some including one that caused a lot of damage on the edge of Queen’s Park in Upper Caterham. Their spluttery engines could be heard every few minutes and so one was constantly on alert, particularly when the engine cut out and you knew that it was coming down somewhere not too far away. I remember sitting exams in the main hall and hearing them approach. If the master in charge blew his whistle, we all had to down pens and shelter under our desks until the danger had passed. On one occasion we suffered a broken window from the blast of a distant explosion; the doodlebugs were designed to create maximum damage from their blast and did not leave much of a crater. There is no doubt that my days at Caterham were most eventful and rewarding, it was only later in life that I came to realise what an extremely anxious time it must have been for the Headmaster, Dr Hall, and all his masters knowing that they had the responsibility for the safety of so many boys in their charge. I have no recollection of any of them showing any signs of the concern that they must have felt. School life seemed to continue throughout the war as if nothing was really happening in the outside world and in common with all the wartime pupils I owe the staff a huge debt of gratitude, not just for their tuition, but for all they did to prepare us, during the most trying of times, for our future lives and careers in the big wide world beyond. I am particularly thankful to the Geography master, Herbert Walker (Grinder) who introduced me to Geology. Little did he know that one day I would be Deputy Chief Geologist of BP and, subsequently, Director General of Petroleum Engineering Division at the Dept. of Energy leading 80 specialists ranging from geologists to divers with the responsibility of ensuring that UK petroleum exploration and development was undertaken by the industry in a proper and safe manner and to maximise the benefit to the national interest. I owe a lot to Mr Walker who, for me, was an inspired teacher. Unfortunately, in order to enter Imperial College, I had to drop Geography and take up Chemistry (which I hated) but Mr Wendon saw to it that I passed my Highers to get into university and thence to a life-time career with BP and, finally, with Government.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
IN THE ARCHIVES By Colin Bagnall, School Archivist (OC 1949 – 1955)
New Look Digital Archive Delve into over 200 years of school memories
e are excited to announce that the Caterham School Digital Archive has been given a makeover. Here you can explore a huge range of school magazines, newsletters, yearbooks, photographs, annual reports, admissions registers and committee minutes – the Caterham governors’ minutes going as far back as the School’s foundation in 1811, and the Caterham and Eothen School Magazines dating back to their first issues in 1887 and 1899 respectively. All the printable articles are fully searchable, so whether you want to find a copy of your school team photo, check your match performance, discover more about the Schools’ histories, or simply have a trip down memory lane browsing the profusion of photos and articles – all this can be done at the click of a button! With hundreds of archived materials already uploaded, we are working hard to complete the collection, so if you have any old photographs or magazines that you can see are not already in the archive, do let us know – it would be great to fill in any gaps. Have fun seeing what you can dig up. To access the archive, please go to the website: caterhamschoolarchive.co.uk Any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the alumni officer at Caterham School: just email email@example.com or telephone 01883 335091
Get in touch if you would like to add your photographs to the archive!
Take a trip down memory lane:
Visit the website and browse through photographs and articles Eothen 1893
Class G 1995
First School Magazine 1888
Junior Hockey Champions 1988
If you would like to submit something to the archive and/or share your own memories, please contact Annie Hebden, Alumni Officer on 01883 335091 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Air raid shelters
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
Quantum physicist, Jansen Zhao (OC 2008 – 2010) returned to school to deliver last year’s annual MJS Christmas Lecture on the fascinating topic of ‘The Quest of Harnessing Quantum Information’. President, Mike Land, and Vice-President, Ben Brown, of the Moncrieff Jones Society took the opportunity to find out more about what Jansen has been doing since leaving Caterham.
Quantum Return Interview by Upper Sixth pupils Mike Land and Ben Brown
What was your favourite memory of Caterham?
How do you think Caterham influenced you?
My best memory was giving the Leaver’s Service talk in the Humphrey’s Hall, which was very special. I have good memories of Caterham, Mr Keyworth was my form tutor – relaxed and chilled, he was a very laid-back tutor.
Saying that Caterham influenced my life would be an understatement, it completely reset my life. It was a big change culturally and linguistically moving to England from China. I knew some English before I came here, but it took me some time to understand conversations and then to converse back. I guess 16 was a good age to pick up a language relatively easily, now I have moved to Switzerland where the people speak Swiss German, I am finding it much harder to take up a new language.
What subjects did you study? In Lower Sixth I took double maths, physics and economics. My decision to study physics at university was born out of reading some popular science books that I thought were kind of cool. I then dropped economics in Upper Sixth, so I could focus more on the subject I planned to study at university. At what point did you realise you were interested in quantum? I decided that this was the part of physics that fascinates me the most since Upper Sixth at Caterham. The interest was sparked from a couple of books I read, and some talks I attended. This is what motivated me to come back to talk at Caterham School, to potentially inspire future generations.
How are you finding working in Zurich? It is exciting – both the city as a place and the challenging research work. I am currently in the computer science department with a group focussing on machine learning and algorithms. I am the only one who is working on quantum computing in the group, so I am trying to bridge the gap between the traditional computing people and the quantum computing people. It’s also a challenging role in that there is a language barrier between these two big research fields.
Jansen is currently a Senior Researcher at ETH, Zurich After Caterham, he went on to study: – Master of Physics, Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at Oxford University – PhD in Quantum Computing at Singapore University of Technology and Design
Where do you see quantum computing going?
What are the applications of quantum computers?
Ultimately, I don’t know! You can try to infer from its history and see how it has been developing over the last twenty years. There has been a massive pickup in the last five years, big companies and start-ups began building up extremely powerful hardware, ones I wouldn’t even be able to imagine when I was starting my PhD only five years ago. It is mind-blowing, but there are still so many technical challenges to overcome. If we get something working in the next three years or so, you will see some impressive applications in five to ten years. It is looking promising, but nobody can precisely predict what is going to happen. Quantum physics is going to break the security encryption schemes that you currently use. However, we don’t think this is going to happen within the next ten years, as this will require a large number of clean qubits, and we only have low quality qubits in small quantities at the moment.
In the near term, they could be used for simulating and studying quantum chemistry. For example, when you bind many molecules together, the electronic degree of freedom blows up exponentially and you cannot reasonably simulate this with any classical computer. Therefore with a classical computer when simulating reaction mechanisms you end up implementing very inefficient ways to make chemical compounds. If you can use a more powerful computing device, such as a quantum computer, you will get a better understanding of how a chemical reaction works, consequently making processing much more efficient. There are a couple of other things such as optimisation problems, machine learning problems and security enhancement where it can be applied. It won’t ever replace regular computers as they are responsible for solving very different types of problems.
How is machine learning involved?
What advice would you give to a current pupil looking to go into physics or as a research scientist?
People around me in our group do all sorts of stuff, such as neural network based models, inference-based models and reinforcement learning. One of the focuses of my research is to try to figure out if you can combine quantum computing with the machine learning models to make a more powerful, efficient and secure applications.
Get used to reasoning with mathematics, and derive some joy doing it. It is the fundamental language of physical and computational sciences. Additionally, this may sound like a sweeping statement, nothing is ever done in vain if you really do it, even though the causal consequence of your effort may not turn out the way
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
you initially expect. The degree to which one is able to find joy and meaning doing something is somewhat equivalent to the degree to which one can focus on it. An advice associated with that would be, whatever you decide to do, make sure you really do it, and lasersharp focus and single-minded obsession. Whatever it is that you really commit to do, it will pay off sometime, somewhere, somehow. OK, so do you agree with the old joke that biology is just chemistry, chemistry is physics, physics is maths and maths is philosophy? I used to agree with that, but now I don’t. Conceptually maybe, for example you can have the theoretical models to reduce everything into theoretical physics and then handle the equations. However, it’s not like you can unpack them and then generate everything else in being – that involves computational complexity and is beyond the things you can implement. In practical terms that means it doesn’t matter to you and therefore it is not useful to compile everything down into equations. Only thinking about these equations does not allow you to do anything, so this isn’t the most useful attitude to take.
Saying that Caterham influenced my life would be an understatement, it completely reset my life.
Jansen and Mr Keyworth
How does it compare going into industry after Bachelors or Masters vs going into industry having done a PhD? I think they are both fun – each takes you down a different path focussing on different aspects of your subject. For the more cutting-edge tech industry, it normally requires a PhD. But after Masters you can apply the numerical skills you learnt in other industries such as banking, accounting and quantitative finance. But to push science and tech forward I would imagine you would need a PhD. Where do you see yourself in the future? I am not bonded to the academic path in research, but it is a possibility. I suspect that the quantum computing industry will provide an abundance of opportunities as it picks up, and I am open to all opportunities.
Quantum mechanics underpins the most fundamental understanding of reality by modern science. The discovery of quantum mechanics and its development throughout the 20th century have led to an unprecedented technological revolution.
Read about a variety of university courses and apprenticeships from OCs who are currently studying
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
ILLUSTRATION AT FALMOUTH UNIVERSITY 3RD YEAR
By Christy Bennett (OC 2018) WHY? I chose to study Illustration because when I went to an open day at Falmouth University the description of illustration as the relationship between words and imagery in an introductory talk captured my attention. As someone who was torn between studying English or Art, I realised that I had found a way to hold onto both of my passions. That talk reminded me that what I enjoy doing the most is writing stories and creating art that support one another. I liked that a course in illustration would allow me to bridge the gap between the two through a career in storytelling with the same hope I have now that I could create stories that would stick with people in the same way that the stories I grew up with have stuck with me. WHERE? I chose to study at Falmouth University because when I went to visit the university my gut reaction was “If I do not get into this university, I will keep reapplying until I do”. I strongly felt that it was the perfect place for me, and I had not experienced that at the other universities I visited. I loved the bright, open-plan studios, the colourful, on-campus art shop and the fact that the sea was on the doorstep. Talks with staff made me trust that they would go above and beyond to set their students on the right path to the career they wanted. Then, walking round desks decorated with pictures of artists I also loved I recognised that I would be around students bound by the same interests which just added to the sense that I belonged in this place. ANY CLUBS/SOCIETIES? I am a member of the sea swimming society. I used to have a fear of being alone in open water where there is no sign of the ocean floor, but now, I love the quiet of diving underwater and being surrounded by the blue and the cold. I got involved with the society because I was working on an editorial piece on the mental and physical health benefits of sea swimming for Bloom In Doom magazine which convinced me to give it a go. A reportage illustration project about plastic pollution led me to The Beach Clean Project which aims to work against the threat of litter to wildlife. I have also worked in the students’ union as a student mentor, illustration course leader and department chair for the School of Art where I have been able to create connections with people
across courses and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE? My advice for others looking to study at university is think about what you really love to do, what you are willing to commit your time and energy to, then springboard off from there. Research into different courses and thoroughly read all the module information, collect together any statistics you can find about employability and past alumni, ask people about their experience but ultimately, make the choice for yourself. Only you will know what feels like the right course and the right university to study at for you. For those in the Upper Sixth looking into a creative course that requires a portfolio, make sure to budget out time for that in your schedule and think carefully about the pieces you select for that portfolio from an interviewer’s perspective. AFTER YOUR DEGREE? After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I would like to pursue a Master’s degree in Illustration. As I am working towards a career illustrating and writing books, my goal is to secure a book deal. I am looking forward to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (whether it ends up being in person or virtual) to submit the books I have been working on to publishing houses, and also to developing upon current connections with publishers I have been introduced to through my course. At the moment, I am working on establishing a freelance illustration business called Gyllyflower which I plan on continuing after my degree.
To check out Christy’s website, go to gyllyflower.co.uk
PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BATH 2ND YEAR
By Liv Clarke (OC 2019)
WHY? When considering what to study for A Level, Psychology was always a given for me even though I had never studied it before, and my mum was worried I might regret my decision. However, after a couple of lessons with the amazing Dr Avery, I knew I had made the right choice and I realised Psychology was something I would always be interested in. It was therefore a no brainer that I wanted to do it at university. Psychology is fascinating because it gives us an insight into why we think and behave the way we do. To be able to understand this in more detail is important to me, as I know that this might allow me to help people struggling with their mental or physical health. WHERE? The reason Bath stood out for me was the option of a placement year within my degree. Together with its brand-new Psychology building and high ranking, being able to gain real life work experience that I could tailor to something I was interested in, was an opportunity I could not refuse. There is a wide range of placement opportunities, both here and abroad. The choice of optional modules offered was also important to me as it allowed me to sample different areas of Psychology. I also wanted a campus university and due to Bath’s size it only takes a few minutes to get to lectures, which is great when you don’t want to wake up early. ANY CLUBS/SOCIETIES? I am member of the Lacrosse Club – playing in BUCS matches and training sessions were highlights of my first year. Being a member of a society has definitely been one of the best things I’ve done because there are so many socials with many crazy things I’ve had to dress up
as, team nights out followed by brunch, club Christmas dinner and so much more. I would recommend joining any society or sports club even if you have never played before. There are many members of the club who don’t play lacrosse and just attend socially, as well as development training and teams for students who have never played before. It is a great way to meet people outside your course and accommodation and some of my closest friends are on my lacrosse team. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE? You’ll probably hear this a lot, but the first year is the time to sign up for anything and everything. Sign up for societies, even if you discover that you don’t like the sport or activity, you will have met other people who may become good friends. I was so nervous for lacrosse trials that I even considered not going, but I’m so glad I did. The other freshers on my team said they were also very nervous and looking back now it seems crazy that we could have missed out on so much. AFTER YOUR DEGREE? Honestly who knows! At the moment it probably depends on where I do my placement year, as the research I conduct there will be key to my dissertation. Also, there are so many different branches of psychology: health, child, neuro, occupational and forensic psychology. It’s too early to say what I’ll do after my four years as I have only just finished first year which got interrupted by COVID-19! I’m looking forward to next year when I will be studying criminal psychology as one of my modules – forensic psychology is something I’m definitely interested in.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
ENGLISH LITERATURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL 2ND YEAR
By Sanjana Idnani (OC 2019)
WHY? I had been a keen reader from the beginning of secondary school, but it was when I joined Sixth Form that I realised I wanted to study Literature further. I was lucky that the English Department at Caterham put on some brilliant events such as the Gatsby and Streetcar symposium’s and hosted regular Literature Society sessions which pushed me to think further on our core texts and to actively enjoy and explore the subject. I am also interested in a journalism career and I knew an English degree would be a good option to improve and develop the writing and critical research skills needed for this industry. English Literature is a great option for me as it facilitates many possible careers and I went to University knowing I was committing to a subject that I would enjoy in its own right. WHERE? After a few university visits, I was drawn to the idea of living in a city because I love the energy and variety it provides. At the same time, I was quite daunted by the prospect of living in a big city such as London because I felt it would be so big that it would lack the sense of community I wanted to find at university as well. Bristol University combines both so well because the city is buzzing with festivals, and culture but at the same time everything is walking distance which is so convenient. ANY CLUBS/SOCIETIES? Bollywood Dance Society – when I saw this group perform at Freshers Fair, I knew I had to get involved! I’d grown up with and loved Bollywood films and glamour and I knew it would be a great way to enjoy my favourite Bollywood tunes while keeping fit! After countless rehearsals for regular performances, I’ve been lucky to find a great group of friends within this group!
The Student Newspaper (Epigram) – given my interest in journalism and how much I had enjoyed being the inaugural editor of ‘Cat Amongst The Pigeons’ when I was in Lower Sixth, I was keen to get involved with student media. In my first year, I predominately contributed to the Arts Section and wrote content ranging from book reviews to creative writing pieces! Next year, I’m excited to be a part of Epigram’s Editorial Team and to take on a greater role shaping student media! The English Academic Society (Falstaff Society) – this Society has been a great way to meet other people on my course and to really enjoy the vast social side of university. From pub quizzes, to book clubs, to glamorous balls, Falstaff Society keeps the English Literature community vibrant! WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE? My main piece of advice would be to throw yourself into University life and to not start with a set of rigid expectations. When it starts, University can feel pretty nerve wracking as you have to start from scratch but after a few weeks of giving that “curious” society you accidentally signed up for at Freshers Fair a shot, you might just find a supportive community to help with that journey. However, it is important to note that everyone’s university experience is different. Some people settle in straight away while others need more time to find their feet. Take your time and find what’s best for you! AFTER YOUR DEGREE? I’m hoping to pursue my journalist career after university, and I will start looking into NCTJ courses next year. I hope I can find some time do some travelling in the holidays during the course too!
MEDICAL SCIENCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER 3RD YEAR
By Dima Praska (OC 2018)
WHY? Truth be said, I did not consider applying for anything other than Economics until Sixth Form, which is when I became interested in Biology. In particular, it was Dr Robinson’s classes that got me interested in genetics. At that time I was planning to study Medicine, however after not getting in, I thought that doing Medical Sciences would be the best option for me. Ultimately, it worked out very well for me as the course concentrates on the aspects of Biology and Medicine that are most appealing to me.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE? My main advice is to apply for a subject that you truly love and have passion for. It will make your university experience the best time of your life. Believe me, you don’t want to be stuck doing a subject you hate for three years. I would also highly recommend discussing your degree choices with your teachers, as they know you pretty well and will always suggest what is best for you. Finally, don’t get disheartened if you don’t get into your first-choice university – in my case, this just worked out for the better!
WHERE? As I was looking for universities, it became apparent that Exeter was the best choice due to the medical school being research heavy for genetic disorders, in particular diabetes. What was also appealing is an opportunity to do a PTY (Professional Training Year) in a genetic research lab. Last, but not least, graduates have a chance of a fast-track application to the medicine course, which is great for someone who isn’t sure whether they want to become a researcher or a doctor at the time of applying to university.
AFTER YOUR DEGREE? Right now, I am not certain if I want to pursue MSc/PhD in genetics or to apply for postgraduate medicine. I am hoping that the PTY I am about to undertake will greatly help me decide on my future!
ANY CLUBS/SOCIETIES? Unlike many of my peers, I have mainly stuck with just one society – Coach Bright. During term time, we dedicate two hours every week to tutor GCSE students from disadvantaged background in science subjects.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
LAND ECONOMY AT MAGDALENE COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 2ND YEAR
By Anton Konshin (OC 2019)
‘Hi, my name is Anton and I study Land Economy at Magdalene, Cambridge’ is how I start every second encounter in my personalised Hogwarts. Common responses from my fellow Cantabrigians include: ‘woah, there goes the most advanced vocational farmer’ or ‘a fair amount of rowing and time on the erg-machine you must spend, old sport’. Partly true, but not quite so! In short, Land Economy is one of those old ‘Cambridge’ words for a multidisciplinary degree combining Economics, Law and Environment. For instance, I spent countless hours in my college’s 17th century library researching and writing extensively on topics from human rights jurisprudence to regional income inequalities and real estate finance. My road to Cambridge started two years ago when I found myself lost in a state of absolute chaos. As many of my peers, I was confused and uncertain, considering Economics, Geography, Modern languages, Psychology and Philosophy and even an apprenticeship. Initially proceeding on a false self-destructive premise that ‘I love Economics’, only in retrospect I now observe that my motivations were flawed. Faced with the difficulty of making the first life-shaping choice, it is very easy to stand back and let external myths, stereotypes and influences shape it. Luckily, my British boarding family in Viney, together with expert help from Dr Dimakos, Mr Quinton and Mr Gabriele supported me through my rather unconventional choice of Land Economy, for which I am now and always grateful.
My advice to all Caterhamians applying to university would be to stand firmly on their own feet when making a final choice about the nature of their degree. Do not fear making unconventional and unique degree choices. As much as Medicine, Law or Economics sound ‘respectable’ or even ‘elite’, these are just words on a degree piece of paper if one does not truly enjoy the 3+ years of their thorough study. Do not fear the uncertainty and adversity of thinking for yourself. When it comes to Oxbridge – apply! The process is a learning experience like no other and will disproportionately boost your overall university application. The greatest wisdom is you simply have no chance of getting in if you do not apply. The reality of what Cambridge and Oxford has to offer far exceeds any expectations – something one cannot fully appreciate when facing an uncertain (but a very exciting) future! Aside from being a part-time nerd, playing occasional rugby and listening to Bill Gates, Dua Lipa, Ban Ki Moon and John Bercow (to name a few) speaking at the Cambridge Union, I am seriously working to fulfil a promise to make the Lightweight Men’s Boat Race that I made to Mr Todd and Mr Wells in Upper Sixth. Having never rowed before Cambridge, in March 2020 I have been selected to join the CU Lightweight Rowing Development Squad to row at the university nationals at Nottingham, scheduled for May 2020. Now I am holding my head high through the coronavirus uncertainty and have set a personal goal of getting a firm place in the
crew for the 2022 races. College rowing has occupied a massive part of my life as well – Magdalene’s men’s 1st crew is now the fastest on the river, fighting for our first headship in history of the traditional college ‘Bumps’ competition next year. It is most amusing that Lottie de Leyser, who left Caterham a year before me and also goes to Magdalene, was the first person I got in the same boat with while I was learning to row. P.S. Mr Jones, we are missing a canal somewhere along Harestone Valley Road – there is some serious rowing DNA at Caterham! Rowing (sounds and seems utterly boring) is, nevertheless, most special (and very fun) for personal development. No other sport or discipline teaches selflessness, commitment, synchronised teamwork and determination as being part of an eight-man crew moving together as one. As a lover of sports who is passionate about developing economies and human rights issues, I am seriously considering combining rowing with further study of Development Economics in an Ivy League University in the USA. At the end of the day, if academia doesn’t quite suit me, there is a potential career field I once heard of known as ‘investment banking’. On a more personal level, I love a big physical challenge such as a ‘century’ cycle or a marathon (which I recently ran in a 7-metre-long quarantine room raising near £500 for Alzheimer’s), and writing poetry and short stories for myself to help me put my occasionally messy thoughts in order.
All this aside, I will cherish the memories of Caterham always – good and bad. These memories, however, are incomplete without my love for the boarding community which has raised and shaped me. After school toasties and football, lengthy dinner chats, the spirit and the camaraderie of boarding at Caterham are unrepeatable. For me, if you haven’t visited at least one of the boarding houses at Caterham, you have only seen a certain fraction of this school’s unmeasurable richness.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
PAEDIATRIC NURSING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM 2ND YEAR
By Annabel Chappell (OC 2019)
WHY? I chose to study children’s nursing because ever since I was little, I always looked up to nurses and found their work really inspiring. Being in hospital at a young age gave me contact with nurses, who always put me at ease and were friendly faces I could trust. As nursing is a vocational subject to study at university, I needed to be very sure that it was the career path I wanted to pursue. I knew I wanted to work with children, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I considered medicine as well as teaching, but after work experience in a hospital shadowing the nursing team, I decided that was what I really wanted to do. I was able to gain experience working with children at school, volunteering for activities such as Clifton Hill lunch play sessions and the St John’s Primary School drama club. By gaining hands on experience I saw how rewarding and exciting it is to work with children which convinced me to apply for children’s nursing. WHERE? I decided to study at the University of Nottingham because I wanted to go to a campus uni that was close to a city centre. Nottingham has a beautiful campus, which appealed to me when I first visited at the open day. The medical school is attached to the Queen’s
Medical Centre, which is a leading hospital in the UK, therefore I knew the teaching would be to a high standard. I was also very keen on Birmingham, but in the end I thought the course was better at Nottingham, because it had reduced placement time in the first year to help students settle into university life. ANY CLUBS/SOCIETIES? I joined the Acapella society after watching my brother perform in a group at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Seeing how much fun he had, and the friends he had made through the society I decided I also wanted to join. At school I sung in the Chamber Choir and took singing gradings, therefore I thought it would be nice to continue the hobby at uni. It has been fun and has allowed me to meet new people, perform at some great events, and have some amazing nights out too! WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE? I would say try not to worry too much about which university to go to. There are so many amazing places, and if courses are very similar it can be hard to know which one to pick. I could see myself going to any one of the five I applied to and being happy there. It is unlikely that you will like everything about the course, but make sure you choose something that you think you will stay engaged with. Don’t just do a course because you don’t know what else to do. There is always time to reapply in the future, or even change course when at university. AFTER YOUR DEGREE? Once I graduate, I want to work for a few years to gain experience as a newly qualified nurse. I am keen on doing further clinical training to advance my career, so I imagine I will do a part time Masters alongside working. My dream is to practise overseas, so ideally after I have my Masters I will set off. But realistically, who knows? Anything might happen! At the moment, I am just happy to be a student enjoying university life.
APPRENTICESHIP At bp 2ND YEAR
By Alice Locket (OC 2019)
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE AN APPRENTICESHIP OVER UNIVERSITY? Having had a part time job since the age of 13 and exposure to the family business, I felt in nearing the end my A Levels I was ready for the corporate world. I wanted to be no less qualified than my peers, so the opportunity to gain a degree and have business experience seemed a sure path in starting my career. From a practical perspective, having an employer fund your further professional and university education, puts one in the position to be financially independent at age 19. WHAT DID THE SELECTION PROCESS INVOLVE? Unlike UCAS, there is no streamline application for apprenticeships. You apply to a company directly and specific to the advertised position. The recruitment processes are somewhat gruelling. They consist of online testing, interviews, assessment centres and written responses to SJQs. Apprenticeships (especially at higher educational levels) are extremely competitive so you must be canny in both showing credentials and personality in this regimented structure. Applying as a school leaver can be somewhat daunting, with applications opening across the year and no guarantee the same positions will be available as previous years. Combine this with studying for exams and peers receiving university offers… this can feel somewhat stressful! WHERE ARE YOU DOING YOUR APPRENTICESHIP, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS COMPANY? I proudly work for bp within Human Resources. Under new leadership, bp is embarking on new ways to change their position in the energy sector. I was intrigued in how they are re-designing the company and on track to become a net-zero emission company by 2050. A company of this scale gives the prospect to be involved in a multitude of projects and internally start a career. This made applying appealing as I was truly excited about the potential this could open up.
HAS THE EXPERIENCE SO FAR BEEN WHAT YOU EXPECTED? My expectations of the apprenticeship have certainly been met and exceeded! The trust and responsibility given allows every day to be an opportunity to reciprocate in the functioning of my team. I have been fortunate to create an expansive network due to the flexibility of my position, working equally alongside long-serving employees. As a company, bp has certainly set the bar high for my business expectations. The corporate and educational investment given to myself, makes me feel truly valued and performing in my job a complete joy. WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR OTHERS CONSIDERING AN APPRENTICESHIP? Do not undervalue a Degree Apprenticeship as an easier alternative to university. You will be having to balance achieving a qualification your peers are taking full-time, with the commitment to perform in the workplace. You must further show a strong work ethic, so employment experience (on any level) will show to a company your commitment and passion. Having a job while you study, is a point you can further articulate in your application showing you can manage the concurrent demands. In applying, try best to understand the value’s and gauge the culture of the company. You want to equally ensure this is the right place for you. WHAT'S NEXT, ONCE YOU'VE COMPLETED YOUR APPRENTICESHIP? Completing my apprenticeship in four years will hopefully equip me to step into a plethora of job roles at bp. With the evolving job market, it’s tricky to foresee the exact positions that will be available and suitable to current interest. I am very fortunate with bp being such a large company, that there are means to progress internally. My personal goal after completion, is to be able to purchase my own property but most importantly, be doing a job that I just love.
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
JOHN LAWSON BARRONS
(OC 1945 – 1950) Born 1932, died 2019. John Barrons arrived at Caterham from a very well-established family at the heart of civic and professional life in Northampton, where his father edited the Chronicle and Echo. As a boarder at Caterham two of the defining features of his life became evident: his love of words and the English language, and his commitment to sport – almost any sport, but especially hockey and cricket. His generation very largely did not go to university, so after school he spent a year in the US on the Louisville Times in Kentucky, partly a decision by his father to send him off for a change of scene following the death from Polio of his older brother Peter. John’s generation did, however, have to do military National Service. In his case this was as an officer with the Northamptonshire Regiment, fortuitously just after the Korean War, but still in plenty of time to serve at the height of the Cold War, stationed in Wuppertal in West Germany. He was always understated about this, in fact he was always understated about everything, but his military service lasted well into the 1960s as a Reserve officer – and his commitment to the Northants made him one of the very
last attendees of the officers’ reunions of a Regiment amalgamated into history in 1960. After National Service he embarked on the career in newspapers that would define his working life. His early rise in management came first in Nuneaton as Managing Editor then to the Chronicle and Echo back in Northampton, as the youngest editor in the country. He married Caroline in September 1957, producing three boys between 1959 and 1966. The family moved to Edinburgh in 1962, where he was Managing Editor of the Edinburgh Evening News in the bitter winter of 1963, and then quickly back south to Westminster Press in London in May 1964 – initially as General Manager and eventually as Managing Director of this nationwide group. He became an oracle on all aspects of newsprint, and not just because of the extensive fishing trips to Scandinavia that came with this. He also served as President of the Newspaper Society, perhaps his greatest public role, and earned his place in Who’s Who. No matter how busy his working life, there was always time for sport. In the winter this meant hockey every Saturday for Rickmansworth Sports Club, starting at the highest level and easing gently over possibly too many years into veteran sides where imagination was as important as actual movement. And when not at work or on the sports field he was usually to be found in the garden, advancing over time from basic slash and burn to a profound knowledge of how a garden works. In the 1970s there were annual trips to Scotland where John began his special relationship with a particular salmon pool on the River Tilt, which he stalked with a fly relentlessly and apparently fruitlessly year on year, until much to his astonishment, and maybe even disappointment, he caught a proper salmon the proper way –this was typical of him. He thereby more than earned his place in the Fly-Fishers Club.
In later life his devotion to every single sporting event Sky Sports could throw at him 24 hrs a day was exceptional, but his membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club gave him the greatest pleasure. For him a day in the Pavilion at a Lord’s Test, moving in early with speed and gentle aggression to bag a good seat and to accompany excellent cricket with bacon at the start, cake at the end, and a decent lunch in the middle, was a brilliant use of time. John also occasionally revealed his life-long following of jazz music, including finding live venues in places like New York. This love of jazz was best confined to his head, as any attempt to exhibit it through the medium of dance was quite surprising to the uninitiated. Moving with his second wife, Lauren, from Hampstead to Belfast some 25 years ago was a big move in every respect, marking his final fulltime role in newspaper management – with the Ulster Newsletter. In retirement he found a great interest in Irish Wolfhounds, generally in a pair and always enormous. In Belfast he also found a new vocational interest in helping youngsters to read in school, along with a regular following of the City’s theatre and cinema. Less evident until his death was that more time meant time to write more poetry, a serious and typically gentle approach never intended for publication, yet still enough to fill a drawer for posterity. In fact, John really never really topped working. He was rightly proud that at the senior age of 78 he was asked to join the Board of Praxis, giving him almost a decade of real satisfaction in serving an excellent cause, able to apply all his business and financial acumen once more. Even just a week before he died, with everything getting hard, he was not interested in giving this up. A long life, well and usefully led, which touched very many people and always for the better. Who could ask for more? ■ Written by his son, Richard Barrons
HARRY J HAZELL
Harry pictured below (circled fifth from left in the back row)
(OC 1959 – 66) Harry Hazell passed away near his home in Bristol in March 2020 having had a heart attack while driving his car. He was 72. Fortunately, nobody else was involved. The lockdown prevented any of us from attending the funeral. Harry was an all-round athlete who walked into every team. He was a solid defender in the prep school football side and an outstanding lock in all the rugby teams from the Under 14s to the First XV. He had a trial for Surrey Schools in 1965 and was Vice Captain of the Old Cats in 1970. Few threw a discus further than Harry, (he broke the school record in his final term), and nobody got the better of him in the lineout. In an early school magazine report, he was called a ‘tower of strength’. This quiet, enigmatic man, known for his ability at mathematics, won a place at Leeds University to read electrical engineering but, in enigmatic fashion, declined to take up the offer and opted for a career in insurance. ■ Written by OC David Boardman
ALAN FREDERICK MILLS
(OC 1947 – 1954) Born 26 January 1937, died on 6 December 2019. Alan always spoke fondly about his time at Caterham and credited the education he received there for being instrumental in his subsequent successful career in business. After leaving Caterham, Alan attended the University of Leeds, where he was awarded a BSc in Physics. On graduation Alan joined ICI and spent the next 30 years forging a career in their plastics division. It was at ICI that he met his wife, Corinne, through a work colleague. They married in 1962 and settled in Hertfordshire. In his early 50s Alan set up his own plastics shipping and distribution company, which he led until deciding to retire in the early 1990s. He is survived by his wife and two children. ■ Written by his son Peter
IN MEMORIAM Michael Clarke (OC 1940 – 1952)
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
(OC 1959 – 68) I was a close friend of Andrew, as we grew up, since the Rolland family lived opposite us on Stanstead Road in Caterham. Younger by a couple of years, Andrew followed me first to Hillside School in Tupwood Lane, then to Oakhurst Grange in Stanstead Road, and finally to Caterham School as day boys and while in different age groups we often walked to and from school, together with his younger brother Martin, using a footpath that ran from Stanstead Road/Beech Grove down to Pepper Alley and to Harestone Road. As important were the usual non-school activities of the group of friends living in Stanstead Road. These ranged from rambling through the local woods and often quite far afield, owning an old Austin 7 and Morris cars which we drove, well under age, in the neighbouring fields, cricket games and tennis on a neighbour’s court and snowball fights in winter. Andrew was interested in things mechanical from an early age and I recall as boys having fun with a methylated spirit fuelled toy engine at his house. His family were keen on sailing and later, but still at an early age and with his father’s help, Andrew constructed a Mirror dinghy in their garage. This was a beacon for the future since Andrew was destined in time to follow his father’s profession and to have a distinguished career as a marine engineer/surveyor. Andrew’s serious side was evident even in those youthful and fun-filled days. I regret that after having been so close, we lost touch gradually once I went to university earlier than Andrew and then, on graduating, returned to begin work in New Zealand. Thereafter, we met again in Caterham when I was visiting from overseas and we had news of each other from mutual friends: it was a distant friendship although the memories of the many happy times spent together in Caterham remain strong. ■ Written by Wade Armstrong (OC 1957 – 66)
One of Andrew’s great enthusiasms was sailing. He graduated to a Firefly and took Wade and me on our first sailing trip from Dell Quay in Chichester harbour. This was a unique experience, as there was very little opportunity in Caterham being on the chalk-based North Downs. Andrew went to Newcastle University to study marine engineering, where he met Margaret and moved back to Caterham to raise a family, Philip (OC 1983 – 1994) and Sarah (OE 1981 – 1995) in Loxford Way, just down the road from the School. Later on, Andy’s family had sailing yachts down in Chichester Harbour and my wife and I were delighted to go sailing with his family on their Moody 29. As a result, we succumbed and bought our own boat and kept it in Chichester Yacht Basin until my daughter arrived. We have had a love of boating and sailing ever since. Subsequently, we had a number of dinghies and a river boat on the Thames in Windsor. My mother remarried and moved away from Dome Hill, Caterham, so we rarely visited Caterham and as a result we rather drifted apart from Andrew and Margaret and eventually they moved north to Darlington in Durham on Andrew’s retirement. ■ Written by David Burch (OC 1958 – 1967)
As has been mentioned, Andrew left Caterham School and proceeded to Newcastle University to study Marine Engineering, graduating in 1971. He was lucky enough to go to sea and put theory into practice during the long vacations – twice to the Caribbean and finally on a six week trip to Canada and back. Orders were changed and they sailed from Quebec, south, and through the Panama Canal, to New Zealand and then to Australia where they sailed all the way up the east coast and saw the Great Barrier Reef. A memorable occasion and one he always cherished. After a couple of years working in a shipyard on the Tyne, Andrew and Margaret moved south to Caterham
where they stayed for 40 years. Andrew’s love of water and sailing saw the family enjoy a variety of dinghies and small yachts, on local lakes and reservoirs and latterly on the South Coast. Andrew also worked on many river and marine craft around the south east of England and especially on the River Thames. After retiring to Darlington Andrew still enjoyed being beside the water, walking many miles of the Teesdale Way or the coastal paths in County Durham and North Yorkshire. His love of engineering was still strong, and he volunteered along with like-minded gents, at Tees Cottage Pumping Station in Darlington, where there is a wonderful fully functioning steam driven beam engine and also a working (but far more noisy) gas engine that also still pumps water from the Tees on the Open Weekends. Andrew has left a great legacy. He was a loving husband, father and brother. He leaves us all with great memories and lasting passion for our times together as a family, at sea, whilst sailing and in our engineering endeavours. ■ Written by the Rolland family
(OC 1938 – 1945) Born 12 July 1927, died 17 June 2020. Derek was a boarder at Caterham, becoming Head Boy, a key member of the 1st XV, and excelling at cross country. On leaving school he worked briefly for a family accountancy firm. He then went to Queen’s College Oxford where he studied chemistry on an army sponsorship, and subsequently joined the army. He clearly inherited an interest in business, and soon joined the family screen printing company Display Craft in South London, where he became a shrewd and well-liked Managing Director. He was a founding member of APSA, the Association of Point of Sale Advertising, and in later years he was elected President of FESPA, the Federation of European Screen Printers’ Associations based in Reigate. As a true family and community man, Derek enthusiastically maintained contact with all his family and friends. He was married to his first wife Jayne for 36 years; they had five children, and in due course there were ten grandchildren. The family home was in the Guildford area, where Derek was a JP as well as a local church warden. He enjoyed sailing and gardening, and was always good company in social settings. Jayne passed away in 1988, and subsequently Derek married the widowed Joy Allson in 2004. They moved to the Sussex coast, where they could visit the theatre at Chichester, play bridge and support local activities. Derek was also a respected Probus member. Joy is mother-in-law of ex-teacher of chemistry and honorary OC John Jones, who often enjoyed sharing school news with Derek, and has been pleased to write these brief biographical notes of someone described by staff at his final care home as ‘an amazing and lovely man’. ■ Written by John Jones (Honorary OC)
(OC 1946 – 1954) Hywel arrived at Caterham in early September 1946 when he was only nine years old from a Welsh speaking village in rural Montgomeryshire, Carno, where his father was a Congregational Minister. He, like his brothers Lynn and Elwyn, benefitted from a school bursary for sons of Congregational Ministers. He did well at school gaining a State Scholarship with his A Levels, and on leaving, after National Service in the Royal Artillery mostly in Germany, he went up to Queens’ College Cambridge to read Law. After graduating with first class honours he was appointed a lecturer in the Law Department of the University of Wales College Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University). He decided to go into practice as a barrister, and eventually followed a successful career as a Chancery Q.C. However, he was persuaded to return to the academic world and was appointed Professor of Law at Aberystwyth. Subsequently, he returned to full time practice, and in 1989 he was appointed a Judge of the Chancery Division sitting mostly in Cardiff and Bristol. In an article in the Financial Times in April 1990 regarding Hywel it was said, “Wales has a judge who is generating not only enthusiasm but excitement – who is described by local solicitors and bar as an outstanding success, immensely popular and just what Wales needs”. Hywel is survived by his widow Monique, three daughters and four grandchildren. ■ Written by his brother Elwyn Moseley (OC 1954 – 1961)
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
RICHARD A (TOBY) RUSHTON
(OC 1948 – 1956) Born 1939, died 2020. There are few people about whom no-one has anything to say but good. Our friend, Toby Rushton, was one such person and we treasure his memory. He and I first met in September 1948 as we were enrolled as boys in Beta, the entry level class at Caterham School Preparatory. Actually, there were nine of us boarders, in dormitories of three and six. We soon found a third kindred spirit in Roger Berrett. Toby was possibly a little better informed than the rest of us as his older brother, Ian, was also at Caterham, albeit four years ahead of us. Two years later, with the arrival of the 11+ intake, our group welcomed John Davies, Phil Walker and David Charles. While our school careers were dominated by sport, Toby and I were in the scout troop. It must have been at an area sports meeting in 1952 when we teamed up in the three-legged race. With a bit of practice, we managed to coordinate ourselves into a synchronised gallop, won our heats and the final to become “East Surrey Champions”! Fame, indeed! Time went on and Toby’s plan, after O Levels, was to enrol as an articled clerk to an accounting practice in
Manchester. The examiner had not been briefed on this and we sixth formers were surprised and delighted to find our friend back amongst us in September 1956, committed to spending a term enhancing a couple of O Levels and earning rugby colours as a wing three-quarter. Big, strong and with an enormous stride, he was a real challenge to tackle. We celebrated Toby’s departure from Caterham with a visit to a traditional jazz concert at the Royal Festival Hall, featuring Ken Collyer, Cy Lawry, Mick Mulligan and Big Bill Broonsy. Quite a night as I recall. I was overseas while the guys stayed in touch and supported Toby’s marriage to Sheila and, indeed, their own. And with a career in place, “Richard” soon replaced the diminutive family nickname. “Family was very important to our parents,” remember Richard’s daughters, Joanna and Samantha, “and we enjoyed a wonderful, happy childhood. As very sociable people, Mum and Dad threw wonderful parties, still remembered to this day.” “Most Saturday afternoons during the rugby season, Dad would watch Sale Rugby Club from the stand, and after the match, stand beside a pint or two in the bar. As Treasurer and, later Life Honorary Member of Sale, Dad was instrumental in ensuring that the interests of Club Members were protected once the Club ‘went professional’. “Dad played hard but worked really hard too,” say Joanna and Samantha, “as a Partner in the accounting firm, Robson Rhodes. That work ethic has been instilled in us both as we built our careers in Financial Services and the NHS.” “Dad adored the family and rarely a year went by without him accompanying us on holiday. After living for twenty years in a house full of women, imagine his delight to welcome into the family his three grandsons, Tom, Josh and George with whom he loved rough and tumble on the beach and more latterly
sharing chat and a pint in the ‘local’. His granddaughter, Amber, whom he called ‘My Number 1’, was also very special to him.” “We were all shocked and saddened when Mum developed Motor Neurone Disease in her early fifties. While she bore this with bravery and humour, it hit Dad particularly hard and he retired early to care for her.” For nigh on thirty years, I kept in touch through Christmas cards. With approaching retirement, returning to the UK, I re-established our friendship and our group met once or twice a year, often at a sponsored table at a Benefit Match at my local village Cricket Club. The last time that all six of us met was in November 2015. Roger asked us to join him for dinner and a visit to the Brooklands Motor Museum. We had a wonderful time, despite knowing that Roger’s prostate cancer was far advanced. Toby was beginning to show signs of a speech problem and it transpired that this was the last time that we saw our friend as we knew him. We had a few beers that night, shared a lot of memories, laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed being together. Just before Christmas 2018, my wife, Patricia, and I took Toby and his carer for a Pub Lunch. He enjoyed his lunch, and a couple of pints even more. He smiled a few times and responded to one or two comments. Sadly, though, my friend was really no longer there. A year later, I visited him in a care home. Dementia is merciless. Four months later he left us. Among all the people I have known, he remains an absolute joy. ■ Written by OC Peter Ward
(OC 1997 – 2004) It is with deepest sadness that we write to inform you all that at the end of April 2020, our dear friend and Old Cat Rob Byrne took his own life, at the age of just 34. It has come as a huge shock to his family, friends and all who knew and loved him. Rob was one of the best friends any of us could have asked for. He lived life to the full, always the joker and the life and soul of the party for so many years. His laugh and jovial demeanour were infectious, it was impossible not to like him. We are sure there are many of you who will remember him from his time at Caterham School in this way. With such a big and cheeky personality, it was perhaps inevitable that Rob would get himself into some trouble from time to time! One of our favourite memories of him from school is our last ever Caterham Sports Day in Sixth Form with Rob flying down the final 100m straight on Home Field, long limbs flailing behind him, when he proceeded to reduce his shorts to his ankles as he crossed the finish line flashing a pale backside to the hundreds of startled onlookers. Losing his A Level study leave as punishment was of little consequence as he basked in the glory of a classic Rob prank.
Although Rob never lost his mischievous edge, it was clear that beneath that playful exterior there was a determined and highly driven individual. In August 2007 he secured his degree from Cardiff University in Business Management and very quickly muscled his way into a lucrative options trading job. As we write this, we realise that not only was Rob’s sense of fun infectious but also his drive for success. It’s no coincidence that many of our friendship group chose similar career paths to Rob; he blazed the trail. In 2011 Rob joined Clarksons shipbrokers to start their freight options broking desk. At the age of 24, he was in the challenging position of being a new face in an already established sector, but after a couple of painstakingly hard years of building relationships the market began to take notice of his unique talent. It wasn’t long before he became the most prolific options broker in the market and if an options deal was concluded, you could be sure than Rob had either done it himself or had something to do with it. In under 10 years, Rob went from new starter to Director, described by his former boss as ‘without equal’. His rise to the top was fast and relentless, and once he was put in charge of his team, they united under
his leadership becoming number one in the world. This was recognised last year by the New York Stock Exchange, where Rob was invited to ring the iconic Nasdaq closing bell which was beamed across Times Square before a global audience. We believe this was his proudest moment. Rob was a strong and proud man and none of us knew the extent of the battle he was struggling with internally. Mental health issues are the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Most of these men, like Rob, suffer in silence and it was one of Rob’s last wishes to ensure that other young men don’t find themselves in a similar situation to him. Rob’s family have set up a memory space with the charity MIND, should you wish to make a donation to the charity in Rob’s memory you can do so at this website: memoryspace. mind.org.uk/MemorySpace/RobertByrne ■ Written by fellow Old Cats Ben Woods, James Cox, Paul Rawden, Fred Mack and Mike Pearson
Issue 08 Autumn/Winter 2020
“ Great indeed are our opportunities, great also is our responsibility” William Wilberforce Founding Benefactor, Caterham School
An outstanding education has the power to transform lives – the lives of the individual child and of their family and wider community. We all benefit from this. Members of our own community know how truly unique a Caterham School education is. Caterhamians achieve a bright future through outstanding academic and co-curricular success gained at school. Beyond these measurable
outcomes though, Caterhamians share a set of values and a common purpose which runs through the generations – built on self-confidence, self-awareness, resilience and strength, and a belief in the power of community. Most of us could never afford to support a full bursary singlehandedly, but as a community we can. If you share our vision of making a difference through outstanding education, please consider making a donation, at any level, to the Caterham School Transformational Bursary Fund. Ceri Jones Headmaster
The Caterham School Transformational Bursaries Appeal
Caterham School is a registered charity (no. 1109508)
Caterham School would not exist without the vision and generosity of its first benefactors. They believed that all children should be able to reach their potential no matter what their background.
Coming to Caterham School was life-changing and character-building. It helped open my eyes to the world and gave me the confidence to feel capable in my own abilities. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how things would work out when I arrived, but good things came from it. Hard work pays off and being at Caterham School opened many doors for me. Former pupil and Bursary Fund recipient
If you would like more information, to make a donation or to discuss other ways to help the School, please contact Emma Collings, Development Manager: email@example.com 01883 335111
Caterham School Harestone Valley Road Caterham Surrey CR3 6YA caterhamconnected.co.uk