FLOREAT T H E C H E LT O N I A N A S S O C I AT I O N &
14 SOCIETY MAGAZINE
ISSUE NUMBER SEVEN - JANUARY 2014
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THE ORIGINATOR OF CULTURED PEARLS SINCE 1893 19 THE PROMENADE, CHELTENHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL50 1LP | TEL 01242 522 821 WWW.MARTIN-AND-CO.COM | INFO@MARTIN-AND-CO.COM
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A very warm welcome to this, the 7th edition of Floreat Cheltonia. Like me, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that College really is going from strength to strength. Not only have we seen another set of very strong exam results and a huge range of pupil achievement both in and out of the classroom, but College also marked the start of the new academic year with the opening of its newest boarding house, Westal (feature on pages 7 & 8). Little wonder then that College is also enjoying record pupil numbers and heavy demand for places. The Association and Society endeavours to introduce events that appeal to all sections of our membership and with this in mind, we recently hosted a very successful evening celebrating Science at College at The Royal Society in London (see feature on page 22). We were greatly honoured to have Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society and Chief Executive and Director of the Francis Click Institute as our guest speaker. As you might imagine, the event was filled to capacity and it was particularly good to see Isabella Mech, the College Head of Science, and some current sixth-formers speaking with genuine passion about the importance of science in their current education and their future university and career aspirations. So successful was the evening that we’ll certainly be organising some similar themed events in the very near future.
T H E C H E LT O N I A N A S S O C I A T I O N & SOCIETY MAGAZINE ISSUE SEVEN - JANUARY 2014
You may be aware that Andrew Harris the College’s Development Director moved back to Birmingham over the summer to take up a post at Aston University; his expertise and efforts over the past three years have seen a transformation of our alumni and development activities and I am sure you will join me in wishing him all the very best for the future. I’m also very pleased to be able to announce the appointment of Christiane Dickens as Andrew’s successor. Christiane has a wealth of development experience, most recently gained working in senior roles at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and at WellChild, the national charity for sick children. There’s more about Christiane in the New Appointments section on page 14. Following several requests we have taken the decision to send only one copy of Floreat to each household. However, if you would like any more copies, please contact Rebecca Creed in the Association Office. Once again, welcome to ‘Floreat’. Do enjoy the read!
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CHELTONIAN ASSOCIATION STEERING GROUP COMMITTEE Honorary President Peter Brettell (BH ’71) – OC & Past Parent Executive Members Christiane Dickens Development Director Rebecca Creed Association Manager (Current Cheltenham Prep Parent)
Peter Brettell (BH ’71) Honorary President
Non-Executive Co-opted Members Cheltonian Association Steering Group Committee Debbie Anderes – Current Prep Staff Member Lawrence Anderson – OC (Th ’59) Paul Arengo-Jones - OC (BH ’62) & CET Chairman Peter Badham – OC (Th ’65) & President of the Cheltonian Society Sam Baker – Current Pupil Darren Brown – OC (L ’84) & Cheltonian Society Executive Committee Nick Byrd – OC (BH ’71) & Past Parent Bean Chapman – OC (BH ’93) Simon Collyer-Bristow – OC (BH ’77) & Past Parent Rob Mace – OC (NH ’04) Helen McEvoy – Current Parent
James McWilliam – OC (S ’09) Malcolm Sloan – Hon OC & OC Administrator Trish Smart – Past Parent Julian Snell – OC (L ’76) & Past Parent Lizzie Stack – Current Pupil Kyle Stovold – OC (S ’06) & Current Staff Member Helen Stubbs – Current Parent Please see the Association & Society Website www.cheltonianassociation.com for Committee Member contact information.
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College continues to be in very good heart indeed, and my thanks go to the dedicated staff, students, parents and to those Old Cheltonians who have supported us in such a variety of different ways over recent months. In September, Westal, our new Girls’ Boarding House, opened its doors to the first cohort, on time and under budget. With demand for places exceeding our expectations we have been able to fill the House more quickly than originally planned and all but one year group are now already resident with full capacity being reached next September. College is now 640 pupils with 40% girls. Exam results have continued to be strong. With 3 out of 4 leavers going on to Russell Group Universities and many others choosing to study internationally or take more specialised routes. 30 pupils gained straight A*s and As at A level. At GCSE, and in a climate of nationally falling grades, we had our
Art The Art Department has undergone some major changes under the direction of the Head of Department. The studios have seen major refurbishment allowing space for pupils to work centrally and for Sixth Form to have their own studios. ‘The White Gallery’, our new multifunctional exhibition space, has had enormous success throughout the year. An excellent private view of the work of our recent temporary Artist-in-Residence, Victoria Young-Jamieson, was held in October. The students’ final end-of-year show revealed clearly the depth of their talent, confidence and progress with all of the students gaining A*-B in their A2 Level exams. The future of the art department is strong with 96% of pupils achieving A*-C in their GCSE papers. Juliet Wallace-Mason Head of Art
CHELTENHAM NEWS... second best year ever with 20 pupils getting between 7 and 11 A*s, with 25 achieving straight A*s and As and, equally importantly, others making amazing progress and gaining results that they had not previously thought possible. At the same time, of course, we have not altered our mission to offer a breadth of education at the College. Sport, music, drama, community service, leadership and so much more continues to be a very important part of the balance we seek to provide in our school. As I write, one of our Lower Sixth students has just made his professional rugby debut for Gloucester v Northampton in the LV Cup, and I have never heard the Last Post and Reveille played so well by any musician as I heard from a Fourth Form Music Scholar at our Remembrance Day Service.
to the Library and Big Classical in 2011, College has now received a commendation in the Cheltenham Civic Awards for the ‘restoration of an historic building or structure’. It has also made a brilliant impact on College life in terms of work ethos and attitudes!
Last September also saw the change in name from Cheltenham College Junior School to Cheltenham College Preparatory School under the stewardship of new Headmaster, Mr Jonathan Whybrow. Cheltenham Prep will continue to prepare children for the Senior School of their choice – whether that is Cheltenham College or another Senior School. Readers may also be interested to know that, after the major £1.4 million refurbishments
With all good wishes,
Many new musicians joined College this year and were soon on show, setting the tone for the year.
We are delighted to congratulate Mark Wilderspin (NH ’95) on his appointment as Director of Music at St.Paul’s School, London, and William Mason (S ’09) to the music staff at Repton School.
Hymn singing in Chapel has been as strong as ever and the introduction of our own College Hymn Book highlights its importance in College. It is always lovely to see the way new pupils are at first taken aback by the stirring tide of sound in which they find themselves in Chapel, and how quickly they join it. To mark the Britten centenary year the Chapel Choir sang ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’, one of the masterpieces of church music and a major undertaking for any choir.
I hope to see you at a College or an Association and Society event during the coming year and very much hope that you enjoy reading about the success and achievements of the past year in these pages.
Dr Alex Peterken Headmaster
Gordon Busbridge Director of Music
The Chamber Choir joined forces with the Choir of King’s College, London under their Director, David Trendell, for Choral Evensong in their Chapel last February. The Orchestra’s year culminated in the concert at the Pittville Pump Room in June. In February 2013 Jennifer Raven gave an inspiring Masterclass to five of our top flautists. We introduced a highly successful series of ‘Collegium Musicum’ Concerts, each one based on a clear theme, given by advanced pupils and music teachers. Jazz has been as strong as ever this year. Big Band gave one of their best performances in the Cheltenham Jazz Festival to the delight of a huge crowd in
Intellectual Stimulation and Exam Results College’s academic resurgence of the past few years has seen notable improvements in students’ A Level performance. However, although society often seems to focus entirely on exam grades as an
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CHELTENHAM NEWS... indication of the academic strength of a school, this emphasis fails to take account of the joy of learning that all teachers seek to engender. The intellectual life of College is certainly thriving, not just in lessons but also through the extraordinary range of academic societies and events that fill our evenings. The Upper College Society has long promoted scholarly research among Sixth Form students, with countless students delivering papers of personal interest. The number of subject societies has mushroomed in the past two years, and the Maths Society, Geography Society, Physics Society, Classics Society and Morley Society (for History and Politics) have been particularly successful in encouraging pupils to lead meetings. Lower College pupils are also benefiting from the explosion of co-curricular academic events. The Lower College Society has really flourished with a range of imaginative cross-curricular evenings delighting Third and Fourth Form in particular. In addition, frequent subject events enable Lower College pupils to explore beyond the narrow examination curriculum: a Third Form Biology evening where pupils ‘drugged’ fleas with caffeine and alcohol to discover the effect on their heart-rate was a particular favourite for 2012-13! The importance of independent learning has been a key academic theme at College, and pupils of all ages continue to amaze staff with their creativity and range of interests. All Third Formers undertake the Headmaster’s prize over the Christmas break. The judging process, which I shared with the Headmaster and some of the College prefects, was an absolute joy as we struggled to choose winners from dozens of extraordinary entries, encompassing essays, paintings, sculptures, video diaries, music compositions and clothing. The Hutton prize for the Lower Sixth independent project saw similar competition, and the winners attended a lunch with Malcolm Hutton (Ch ’59), in whose name the prize was donated.
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understands that students can contribute in a wide range of ways to our common goals. Nevertheless, academic performance increasingly offers the key to university entry and future professional success and fulfillment, and it is extremely heartening to see the vast majority of Cheltonians leaving us to attend their university of choice: this will continue to be our academic priority. Duncan Byrne Deputy Head (Academic)
Science The Science Department at Cheltenham College has certainly been busy. Apart from the huge emphasis on the academic development of our pupils and students, a vast number of trips have taken place. Biology students have undertaken an ecological field trip to Dorset in which sand dunes and rocky shores have been studied. Those students studying Physics have visited the Culham Centre for Fusion and the Diamond Light Source in Didcot. Chemistry students have attended conferences and taken part in the Bristol University ‘Top of the Bench’ Competition and the ‘Schools’ Analyst’ Competition. Fourth Form pupils attended a GCSE Live Science Conference in Oxford and College hosted the first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Careers Conference in March. Students took part in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olympiad with success and for the first time, Lower College pupils entered the Biology Challenge organised by The Society of Biology.
Turning to exam results, GCSE performance showed an impressive upturn. Statistics show that College has been, for the past three years, in the top 10% of independent schools nationally for ‘ValueAdded’: the improvement that we help students to achieve between GCSE and A Level. That anyone can make impressive academic progress through hard work, no matter how modest his or her prior school record has been, is a key message that College seeks to convey to its students. OC, Chris Adams (BH ’57) has, indeed, helped to give formal recognition to this maxim through his kind donation of a number of substantial College prizes to recognise pupils’ improvement through hard work.
The highlight of the year however was the Science trip to Boston in February 2013. Despite a delayed start due to the blizzard the trip was a tremendous success. Students attended fabulous lectures at the AAAS conference given by scientists at the cutting edge of their research.
College continues to be an all-round school, where the entire community
Isabella Mech Head of Science
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Drama This has been another busy and exciting year for extra-curricular Drama here at College. This year has brought a great number of changes to the way in which the extra curricular program is run and this has resulted in real advances in the artistic quality and technical accomplishment of productions. For the first year academic and extra–curricular Drama have been united as a single department and a new post, Director in Residence, has been created in order to aid the development of the role of Performing Arts at College. This year began with the much loved Annual Variety Show, which boasted its usual array of sketches, dance, song and music. The efforts of all those involved helped to raise an impressive £6,000 for College’s chosen charities. The Variety Show was followed by the Upper College production of Shared Experience’s innovative adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre’, performed by a highly talented ensemble cast of 8, conveying over thirty roles. The year ended with the Lower College production of ‘Lord of the Flies’, which saw a cast of 20 Third and Fourth Form girls and boys ably attempt to bring to life the horrors of William Golding’s classic tale of school boys stranded on a desert island. Our Christmas Musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ was the first large scale musical to be staged at College in five years. Sian McBride Director of Drama
Science at Cheltenham College is entering an extremely exciting phase; numbers are on the increase and the academic opportunities for pupils and students are on the rise. I look forward to the next few years; science is becoming increasingly important and we look forward to providing our pupils and students with a rich, stimulating and relevant scientific experience.
In 2012 the Girls XI won the inaugural ISHL South league and enjoyed a tour (with netball) to Malaysia. This term has seen all the girls’ age groups qualify for their respective West Finals.
Over the course of the season the club fielded 13 cricket sides and played a total of 89 fixtures, registering 47 wins along the way. The future of College cricket is strong with both the Yearlings and Junior Colts A having fine seasons.
The Boys XI were in the U18s West Finals and 3rd place in their ISHL league. The U16s qualified for their West Finals, and there were unbeaten seasons for the 3rd XI Colts C and Junior Colts C.
Rowing The rejuvenation of the Boat Club continued over the past year, with over 130 pupils in the club and a record number of girls rowing. In March the Senior Boys 4+ won at the Schools’ Head of the River, the first win at that event since 1996. In June, the 1st VIII qualified for the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, becoming the first College crew to do so since 2008. On the girls’ side of the club increasing numbers helped to drive the standard of rowing up, culminating in an excellent win at Stratford Regatta for the Junior Colts VIII.
Rugby Highlights of the 2012 rugby season included a 25-22 win over Sherborne School and a 65-12 win over King’s Taunton. The U18s gave a good account of themselves at the Rosslyn park National 7’s winning all their group games save their last against King’s School Worcester. So far this season, the 1st XV have made a good start with notable wins against Radley and Marlborough, the Colts A have only lost one game and the Yearlings A are currently unbeaten. Special mention goes to Ollie Thorley for being called up for the England U18s and for making his debut for the Gloucester senior team in the LV cup against Northampton Saints.
Netball Netball has grown in both size and performance. Home to 13 teams the club had notable performances against some of the strongest teams in the region. With a strong intake into the Yearlings all four teams dominated much of the regular circuit of fixtures. The first team won 8 out of 9 games. The highlight of the season came from a narrow loss (31-33) against the U18 Welsh squad, an impressive team played with pace, flare and speed to narrowly miss out on victory against an experienced Welsh squad.
After a tour to Dubai for the XI they played in the John Harvey Cup. They played some impressive cricket with strong wins against Winchester, Radley and Marlborough and a stellar performance to defeat Bradfield. College were narrowly defeated by St Edwards in the last game of the season, despite an exciting run chase.
Tennis Girls’ tennis has gone from strength to strength this year. The first and second VIs only lost one match throughout the season. We continue to have strength and depth in the junior sides especially the U15s. As the Boys’ tennis continues to grow again, victories over Kingswood, Malvern and Dean Close at 1st VI level gave an indication that we are gently strengthening. The Colts and Junior Colts secured victories over St Edward’s and, at mixed doubles, over Clifton - further examples of determined and increasingly confident tennis.
Swimming Several opponents were re-introduced to the calendar this year (Marlborough College and Bromsgrove) as well as many of our usual fixtures with opponents such as Stowe and CLC. In the final gala of the season we were victorious over Stowe. We took both Boys’ and Girls’ squads to the ‘Otters’ for the National Schools’ event and also had a most enjoyable fixture against our local club side Gloucester City, who are training two mornings a week in the College pool. The opportunity to train with them is open to all College pupils. Lastly, twelve of the College Swimming records were broken last season, an impressive achievement.
Golf At the OCs’ Annual Meeting at Denham, Captain Kier Roff-Stanion (H ’13) won the most promising College golfer trophy. During the season, we played 13, won 8, drew 1 and lost 4, which made golf the best performing sports team at College. We also won the match against the OCs for the first time in years!
Squash Having played superbly to gain entry into the National Schools’ Championship knock-out stage, our senior 1st V then suffered a cruel draw and were defeated by Millfield in a hard fought match. Showing great promise for 2015 and 2016 the U15 boys swept all aside in winning a place in the National Schools’ Trophy finals
day in Manchester and making it through to the semi-final.
Shooting College placed 2nd out of 12 in the Ashburton Fours match at this year’s Schools’ Meeting and won the Gloucestershire Bowl for the best team of 5 in the county. Captain Seth Dowley (L ’13) won both the Wellington (the highest scorer at 300 yards) beating 570 other cadets and the 300 yard two-day aggregate. At the Imperial Meeting Tom Dowley (L6th, L) shot exceptionally well in the 1,000 yard ‘Corporation’ competition, coming 18th out of 850 of the World’s top marksmen. Two OCs, Jeremy Langley (L ’86) and Lulu Watson (Cha ’09) got into the top 50 and our coach, Jon Cload, came 28th in the Queen’s Prize.
After the unrivalled success of 2012, College couldn’t quite repeat the performance in terms of winners in 2013 but, once again, the number of appearances in National Finals was the envy of many. The 25th Anniversary of the re-opening of the Rackets Court was celebrated in October with exhibition matches from the world’s top players many of whom are OCs and a dinner for over 100 OCs and guests from the rackets world.
This year the Badminton Club said goodbye to Tom Bygrave as its Master-in-Charge. With his passion for the game, and his easy-going approach, he has been a popular master, who has been fondly appreciated by the students. A full tribute to Max can be found on page 12. The team was capably led first by Ryan Hsu (NH ’13) and then Jeremy Chen (NH ’13), who was ably joined in the first pair by his brother, Tiger (NH), who recently arrived in Third Form.
Water Polo 2013 was an extremely successful season for the water polo club with both the U18 and U16 teams reaching the finals of the English Schools’ water polo Plate competition. The U18s were superbly led by Rhys Edwards (S ’13), who completed his fifth full season for the team and his second year as captain, scoring over 100 goals during his career for the club at U18 level.
Polo 2013 was another successful year for Polo. College fielded four teams in the SUPA National Arena Championships with the first team beating Marlborough College in the final. The girl’s team also retained their SUPA title. The College Intermediates were runners up in the summer SUPA tournament with the firsts making it to the semi-finals of the HPA League.
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The Prep Rebrand The character of Cheltenham Prep is defined in five words: ambitious, disciplined, gentle, inclusive and spirited. Our values we define as Breadth of Opportunity, Morality, Humility, Duty of Care, Heritage and Success.
Combined word cloud
Encouraging Breadth Progressive Heart Grounded
Positive Inspiring Spirited Secure Polite Respectful Humility Values Honest Modest Tradition Ambitious Opportunity Self-aware Inclusive Safe Equality Choice
Integrity Creative Holistic Kind
Humble HappyCommunity Warm Supportive At ease
To say that Cheltenham College Prep School has changed in the last few years of our 100 year plus history is something of an understatement. To ensure we keep moving in the right direction, we must remember where we have come from, what we stand for, what we want to achieve and what makes us different from other great preparatory schools. To achieve this, we consulted with staff and parents and worked with a Cheltenham based agency to define who we are and who we want to be. It was not just about changing our name and drawing a new logo; but also discovering what is at the heart of the Prep and encapsulating this into our identity and into everything that our community says and does.
Our Brand A strong brand should reflect our beliefs, our actions, why we do what we do and what makes us unique and better. After much research and collaboration, we came up with a pyramid of values, character, core strengths and our essence. It was important to discover what our key strengths are and more importantly what makes up our DNA – what is really at the heart of our school. And it is just that: heart. A vital part of the whole, the inner child; joyful, spirited and devoted. It is about how we all work with all our hearts – the commitment and loyalty of individual to the whole. A sense of belonging, kinship and a shared care and compassion for each other, perhaps best evidenced in the wonderful ambassadors that are our pupils. Underneath this essence sit our core strengths: Inspiring Tradition, Community, Excellence and Holistic Learning. These are the pillars on which our brand stands. With Christian values remaining as the foundation on which our approach is built. A community that is humble, kind and polite. A community that promotes integrity, honesty and respect. A community that is a home from home – warm, supportive and nurturing. The pursuit of excellence – helping children to excel academically and helping children find what they’re good at. But also fostering self-awareness, independent learning and intellectual curiosity. All of this characterised by the comprehension of the parts of something as intimately connected to the whole.
Our Name Cheltenham College Junior School has a long and proud tradition, but during the consultation process we realised that the school has moved on and in fact Cheltenham College Preparatory School reflects what we are and who we want to be. Cheltenham Prep reinforces the fact that as a school we prepare children for the Senior School of their choice, whether this is Cheltenham College or another Senior School. We are no longer the younger, junior school, but a renowned preparatory school with a national reputation and we felt that our name should echo this.
Our Logo Once we had the answers to the above questions we were able to pour them into our logo and create a visual identity to be proud of. We are one of only a handful of schools in the country to be granted a full crest and supporters by the Kings of Arms. We decided to go back to our traditional roots and make the heraldic crest the centrepiece of our logo. We outlined the crest in silver and combined it with the wording of Cheltenham College Preparatory School – making sure that the emphasis was clearly on Preparatory School to reinforce the message. The final touch was to take the unique shape of the bottom of the shield and use it as a bracket throughout our literature to add a sense of modernity. The shape itself can be seen to represent inclusivity, an open book, a supporting pair of hands and even a pair of wings.
The Bigger Picture A range of agreed Prep colours, child-friendly for the early years and becoming more mature and heraldic as children move through the school, was also introduced and templates created. Children helped to create specifically designed word clouds; a positive way of reinforcing the values and characteristics we want them to develop at the Prep. A new suite of prospectus materials was also carefully crafted, with wording and imagery that echoed and underpinned our branding pyramid. Of course, defining the Prep in words and creating a new name and logo can only go so far. It is now down to the whole Prep community to live, breathe and represent these characteristics. In the words of one of our focus groups ‘I want to feel that my child will be happy, will feel safe and will learn in a supportive but challenging and progressive environment. This is the start of who he or she will become, so it has to be right and embed values for life’. Fiona Tierney Marketing Department
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Westal – A New Horizon By John Champion (Bursar & Secretary to Council) College. Put very simply, there was an opportunity for us to welcome more girl boarders, if only we had somewhere to put them! That opportunity seemed to link rather neatly with our strategic plan, which included these three very clear objectives:
s 4O RAISE ATTAINMENT IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON THE SPORTS lELD Take a look around. It seems that everywhere, the skyline is changing.
s 4O ENHANCE OUR CO EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS
London now has ‘The Shard’, New Yorkers can gaze up at ‘One World Trade Center’ and at College we have… Westal.
s 4O STRENGTHEN OUR lNANCIAL POSITION
OK, the new Westal can’t quite match the other two in the dizzying, vertigo-inducing height stakes, but if you’ve visited College recently there’s a good chance you’ll have noticed what a positive difference our latest boarding house has made to a previously slightly neglected corner of the estate. Oh and don’t worry, what the 3-storey Westal lacks in height it more than makes up for in design flair, class-leading facilities and the sort of sustainability credentials that will keep the most ardent of environmentalists happy. So what prompted our latest successful development project? The origins of College’s newest boarding house can be traced back to late 2010 and the completion of a detailed piece of external market research. That work showed us that although the market for independent boarding education was, at the time, broadly ‘flat’, there was an identifiable trend within the sector away from single-sex girls’ schools, and towards co-educational boarding schools like
The ‘match’ between the shift in girls’ boarding destinations and College’s objectives was immediately obvious, and right from the start the solution seemed clear. We needed to build a new girls’ boarding house. An additional house would mean a better boy/girl balance across College which in turn would mean improved academic results overall, as well as better results in girls’ sport in particular. What’s more, increased pupil numbers would bring a further boost to College finances; a welcome prospect back in 2010 when the economy was very much in the grip of the worst downturn in living memory. But how could we pay for a new boarding house? And just as importantly, where would we build it? The funding question is always a difficult one. School fees cover College’s day-today running costs and leave a modest surplus for re-investment, but on their own they’re not enough to make a multimillion pound capital project like this a reality. Major projects of this type, so vital
to the long-term success of Cheltenham College, rely to a significant extent on the generosity of benefactors. Without the support of multiple donors we wouldn’t have our new Westal. In fact without the benefits of philanthropy we wouldn’t have the Chatfeild-Roberts Library, the Anne Cadbury Resource Room, several re-fitted science labs or a host of other improved facilities around College. As for a location, it would be fair to say that, initially at least, the College team and the Cheltenham Borough Council Conservation Office held very different views on the matter. Extended negotiations followed and these included not one, but two, separate public consultations over our proposals. Eventually, with our neighbours on-board and that little-used site between the Cotswold and Linton AstroTurf pitches agreed, we received our hard-won planning consent in the first days of August 2012. Celebrations had to be short-lived though. By this time we’d already taken a calculated risk and had begun accepting applications for the new house; the first girls were due to arrive in September 2013! In other words, we had little more than a year in which to finalise our design, select a contractor, construct a £3.5m building and then fit it out in readiness for those first arrivals. As if that wasn’t challenge enough, we also faced something that arrives every year – winter. And what a winter it turned out to be! Not only was it colder than average, it was also wetter than usual (in fact December 2012 was the wettest since the turn of the century). Of course cold weather and heavy rain are conditions rarely associated with ‘on time’ completion of building contracts. But we had little choice, we had to deliver the new house on time. After all, in just nine months time those first arrivals would descend upon us, and they’d expect to
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find more at the end of their journeys than a muddy building site. Not to worry though the thought of spring, just around the corner, brought a renewed sense of optimism and energy to the project. Visions of daffodils, new born lambs and warmer, lighter evenings spent on-site making up for time lost during the long winter months were soon replaced by the realities of the coldest Spring in over 50 years! At times it seemed that fate was conspiring to ensure that those new arrivals would be homeless in September! Of course the truth is that our new Westal girls would never really have been homeless. Right from the start we had planned for all eventualities, from a refusal of our planning application through to serious technical difficulties and delayed completion of the building itself. Planning for things going wrong was every bit as important as planning for them going right – but these were plans we had to keep to ourselves lest any of our contractors, constantly under pressure to stay on track, should see an opportunity to ease off the pedal just a little! Of course in the end, we didn’t need our ‘what if it all goes wrong?’ plan. Our main contractor, Barnwood Construction; our architect Heath Avery and our project manager, Evans Jones, worked brilliantly well with the College team and in mid August 2013, little more than ten months after the first turf was cut, the College Housekeeping team was ready to swing into action making final preparations for those first arrivals.
That all makes it sound very easy – and of course it wasn’t! Making sure that we could open on time depended on lots of willing hands ‘on deck’. From Jenny O’Bryan, Housemistress and the rest of the new house team, through to the Estates, Housekeeping and the Finance departments (plus a host of others too) everyone pulled together fabulously well and on Monday 2 September 2013, exactly on time, Westal opened its doors to its first cohort of excited new residents, and what a treat lay in store for them! Westal is a beautifully equipped and finished boarding house setting standards that most other schools can only dream of. Of course, as generations of Cheltonians past and present know, there’s far more to a great boarding experience than spacious rooms, contemporary design and en-suite shower rooms. But as College continues to secure success in an increasingly competitive independent school marketplace, it’s right that we should be at the cutting-edge of development rather than trailing the field.
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Well it’s good news on each of those fronts. Those who kindly provided financial support for the building of new Westal will be reassured to hear that, through very careful management, we delivered the new house not just on-time but also significantly below budget; their donations were very well-managed. And does that mean we cut corners on quality? Not a bit of it… Westal is a beautiful boarding house, finished to a standard that means not only were we able to welcome those first girls at the beginning of September, but that in years to come we’ll be able to welcome their daughters and their grand-daughters too! New Westal is here to stay! So less than three-years after that external market research, our strategic planning and our initial debates, Westal is a reality. Already ‘home’ to 50 girls (and by the way, that’s well ahead of target) it is enhancing our co-ed credentials, it is strengthening our financial position and thanks to the talent and hard work of the Westal girls it will raise attainment and ensure that College’s renaissance continues!
So after all our efforts, after all the trials and tribulations that inevitably accompany a project like this we opened bang on time, and we’re delighted that we did. But any experienced project manager reading this will know that being ‘on time’ is just one measure of success. What about the budget? Did it disappear as quickly as our dreams of a warm, sunny spring? And what about quality? Do we have a house that we can be proud of, a house that will stand the test of time?
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As I take up the reins of the newly ‘re-branded’ Prep, I am mindful not only of the immediate challenges, but also of my responsibilities to the ethos and culture of Cheltenham College, an essential part of which is the Cheltonian Association and Society. As such, it is therefore important that I begin my piece with an explanation for the change of name from ‘Junior’ to ‘Prep’. There are two strands to this explanation, the first of which concerns the marketing of the school, a necessary element of independent schools in the present day. By announcing that we are a preparatory school, we state that we will prepare children for a range of schools and not just for College. Such is the strength of College, we are all confident that the majority of children will still want to transfer ‘across the road’, but that is not the only option that they would have. Therefore, those children who might not have chosen the Junior because they were not certain of their senior school destination, will now be able to consider the Prep. Secondly, the term ‘junior’, rightly or wrongly, was perceived as describing a school which did not offer as many opportunities as a preparatory school. As we all know, that was most certainly not the case at the Junior and will never be the case at the Prep. Whatever the ‘brand’, the factors that made the Junior such a successful and much loved and respected school will not be undermined; ethos and culture will be respected. Schools must be dynamic in order to survive in today’s competitive world but tradition is essential as it provides the bedrock for the most important people, the pupils and staff. I look forward to attending future Cheltonian Association and Society events and offer a warm welcome to anyone who should wish to re-visit the Prep. Mr Jonathan Whybrow Headmaster
Kingfishers ‘I didn’t even know that she ate broccoli!’ This was one of the reactions from Kingfisher parents when they came in to experience lunchtime with their children, one of a number of initiatives that have been introduced over the last year in Kingfishers. Others include reading workshops to help parents, extending the play area for children, changing the structure of the day to capitalise on when children are at their most receptive, reintroducing music and modern foreign languages and focusing on preparing children for the next stages of their school career. The Kingfisher Cottage has received a full face-lift this year with new outdoor equipment and beautiful new murals. Forest School remains a feature of our curriculum with a ‘Bring Your Parents to Forest School Day’ held in the Spring. The Kingfisher management team bring over 30 years’ experience to the department and are keen to mix traditional values with a look forward to equipping children with the tools that they need for the future. Rachael Buttress Head of Kingfishers
Lower School Lower School continues to be a lively and vibrant Department. The children enjoy the cross-curricular links in lessons; this term Year 3 are busy preparing for their Egyptian fashion Show, whilst Year 4 will be having an Indian Day, sharing their work with parents at the end of the day. ‘Friendship Friday’ is a new initiative this year. This allows all Year 4 children to spend a Friday afternoon, preparing and cooking delicious treats for Lower School pupils. It is always a welcome treat, returning from Chapel to taste some goodies before home time! Open Door is always well supported. Parents spend a morning in classes, looking at their child’s books and getting a feel of life at The Prep. The children get a real buzz taking their parents on a tour and sharing their work. Making learning fun and ensuring the children are happy, remains our main focus. Debbie Isaachsen Head of Lower School
Middle School Year 5 and 6 continue to embrace life at the Prep. A typical day may begin with children reflecting on lines of beautiful, descriptive poetry by Ted Hughes and end with investigating how to make a shelter in an extra-curricular activity, such as Scouts. Middle School challenges are diverse, as we aim to improve our minds and develop practical skills, we also begin to gain a sense of independence and truly enjoy our learning. Indeed, many Year 5 and Year 6 children thrive on the varied opportunities presented throughout the year and, as the photographs show, thoroughly enjoy being at school. Deborah Bond Director of Middle School 9
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Upper School I am delighted to take over the leadership of Upper School as we look forward to enjoying a productive and focused year. 2013 has seen continued academic and pastoral progress throughout Upper School, with Year 7 and 8 now mixed between both the Davies Block and Day End. We have been lucky enough to welcome new boys, girls and staff into our community and they have brought a wealth of sporting and academic talent to the section, along with new friends and colleagues. We will continue to prepare pupils for the next step beyond the Prep by giving them increased responsibility and independence, in all spheres of life here. With clear expectations and the setting of high standards, the boys and girls have the freedom to grow up, with the safety net of a caring and supportive team of staff and tutors. Sarah Reid Director of Upper School
Academic Our Year 6 pupils gained recognition for their academic endeavour in January this year with Charlotte Maddinson and Duncan Pinchen receiving full scholarships. Case Lake and Benjamin Norman gained exhibitions and Edward Ferris, Jago MacInnes and Miles Watkins were rewarded with 11+ awards for excellence in a particular examination paper. In March the Year 8 pupils sat their exams and Edward Winstanley was awarded the Lord James Hereford Scholarship for academic excellence and the Prain Scholarship for excellence in Science was given to Oliver Ferris. Sam Hamilton and Ben Schallamach also gained scholarships and exhibitions were awarded to Thomas Maddinson, Dougal Rees, Jordan Pemberton and Arthur Townend. What is so encouraging is that these pupils are able to achieve at such a high level academically while continuing to play in the orchestra, act in the latest production, score for their team, design a piece of furniture or produce an exquisite oil painting. Breadth of opportunity is any good Prep schoolâ€™s raison dâ€™etre and this ability of our pupils to multi task was reflected in the all-rounder awards given to Megan Message and Louis Hillman-Cooper at 11+ and to Lottie Woodall, Oliver Message and Patrick Christopher at 13+. Our 13+ Common Entrance results were also impressive. Many Prep pupils scored the top percentage in a particular subject area and were rewarded by College: Harrison Ottley-Woodd (French), Ben Kinsman (Humanities), Kieran Thorley (Biology), Pumi Su-Ngan (Physics) and Georgie Fowler (Chemistry). In the classroom, staff have continued to ensure that lessons are effective in getting the very best from all of our pupils, whatever their age or ability. Systems for teaching phonics in Kingfishers have been improved and departments have worked on ensuring that grades are consistent and based on attainment levels that can be monitored and tracked effectively. Lessons have been focused on making it crystal clear what pupils are expected to learn and, most importantly, what steps they need to take to be successful. Dialogues have been encouraged between staff and pupils to tackle misconceptions quickly and help individuals make progress. Study skills continue to be a part of our learning across the age ranges and pupils are praised for using thinking skills and being bold in their contributions, taking risks in their learning, challenging others and not being afraid to make mistakes. A key element in this is realising that the best learning often comes from errors and discovering why the answer is wrong. As the Junior emerges in to a fully fledged Prep School it is clear that the key ingredients are in place for pupils to flourish academically: there is breadth of opportunity, children who are gaining the skills to succeed; there are staff who have the skills to bring out the best academically and there are systems to support and monitor. Vicky Jenkins Deputy Head (Academic)
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Boarding September saw the arrival of new Boarding Houseparents, Mr and Mrs Wells, at Cheltenham Prep. The options for boarding at the Prep continue to evolve with full boarding, weekly boarding and, increasingly, flexi-boarding being used by families from overseas and the UK. The popularity of flexi-boarding has really rocketed this year with lots of children having the chance to experience boarding for the first time – and coming back again and again. Each evening and at weekends in particular, once school, prep and sport have concluded, the fun begins in earnest. We are able to offer a wide variety of activities including STEM club, drama, ball sport mania, dance, swimming, Bear Grills skills and trips and films – the annual trip to a theme park remains a firm favourite along with boarders super stars! Bob and Faye Wells Boarding Houseparents
great effect. Large mixed media paintings, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon and shoe polish were used. A family trip to see ‘Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life’ at Tate Britain enabled the Year 5s to create a collage inspired by the northern artist. Stars were the theme for the whole school Christmas decoration event, where five trees occupied the bay window in the Prep School Dining Hall, each tree represented a section of the school, every child made a contribution. Alayne Parsley Head of Art
Music Music at The Prep continues to flourish. We are teaching around 300 music lessons every week, have lots of musical ensembles performing in a variety of events each term (including informal concerts, major end of term concerts and weekly chapel services), and there have been several new initiatives. These include various workshops for different Year groups (such as Samba, Junk Percussion and Beat-Boxing), Chapel Choir performing at a Cathedral annually (Gloucester in 2012/2013), and all of our choirs performing together with College pupils and the adult Choral Society (made up of parents and teachers) in ‘Zimbe’ (songs from Africa) during the Spring Term. Kit Perona-Wright Director of Music
Boys’ Sport The 2012/2013 year saw fantastic sport with much of the success coming from an outstanding Year 8 who established themselves as the benchmark for future year groups to aspire to. They finished the rugby season unbeaten, winning the National Schools’ U13 Rugby title along the way, made it to the last 8 in the UK at the IAPS Hockey finals and 4th place in the national UK final of the 4x100m. There was also great depth in the year group with the 2nd XI cricket finishing unbeaten and the 3rd XV rugby losing just one game. The Colts reached the final of the Bryanston rugby 7s and won the plate at the SW of England Hockey tournament. Cheltenham Prep had six boys in the Gloucester rugby academy, four boys in the county cricket set up, a national standard swimmer and a national standard golfer, backed up by some of our younger children winning large tennis tournaments and places in the Prep Schools’ Lambs squad. Moving around the pitches on a Wednesday afternoon it is clear to see that the future is bright. Duncan Simpson Head of Boys’ Sport
Art In the Prep School Art room the children have drawn bikes from an installation of 4, which hung intertwined from the ceiling to
.AOMI 3ADLER "RIDGE Thank you very much for sending a copy of Floreat 13 Obituary Supplement with the tribute to my late father, Harold Griffin. It is much appreciated by me and the family.
Girls’ Sport has got off to a great start this term with strong hockey teams and the U11A team a particular highlight. Unbeaten in their domestic season, they also won the regional round of the IAPS competition beating some strong opposition to do so and qualifying for the National Finals. The bright stars to look out for in the future – our U8s – also had an unbeaten season. We are looking forward to fielding 10 netball teams across Middle and Upper School, an impressive figure given our size and we continue to be proud of the fact that at Cheltenham College Prep there are countless opportunities for all of our girls to compete and represent the school. Eleven girls applied for 13+ sports scholarships emphasising that girls’ sport is going from strength to strength. Stacy E Ramsay Head of Girls’ Sport
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CHELTENHAM NEWS... VALETES
Karen Davies Deputy Head (Pastoral) 2010-2013
Karen Davies left College in the summer to take up the role of Principal of the Royal Ballet School. In her three years at Cheltenham, Karen has had a huge influence on staff and pupils alike. Her appointment as College’s first ever female Deputy Head in 2010 was long overdue (particularly considering the length of time the school has been fully co-educational). Karen was instantly respected in the Common Room, as well as a powerful role-model for the girls. With pupils, Karen has the rare talent of balancing approachability, warmth and a passion for providing the best pastoral care for individuals with the gravitas required to oversee the discipline of over 600 teenagers. In just three years, she has got to know the pupils extremely well; no easy task for a Deputy Head condemned to spending a large proportion of the day in an office. Whether as an incisive teacher of Business Studies, mentor, cheer-leader, mother hen, confidante, counsellor or judge, Karen has the natural ability to swap roles effortlessly and at a moment’s notice. Although no pupil wishes to be summoned to her office, they all know that they will receive a fair hearing and be dealt with compassionately. Extremely well respected for the way she has improved already high standards of College discipline, uniform and punctuality, she is also genuinely warmly regarded by parents, pupils and colleagues. That is very rare in a role where it is well known to be nigh on impossible to please everyone all of the time. Karen has also been at the forefront of considerable modernisation of the pastoral care and welfare aspects of College, from updating the College Prefects’ training and their leadership portfolios, to setting up a Welfare Management Team across both schools, and overseeing the growth and improvement of chaplaincy, counselling and medical services for all. She has also vigorously supported the introduction of a peer-mentoring scheme, awareness of e-safety, and pupil and staff questionnaires in order to counter bullying and inform College’s policies and protocols. Back in 2010, Karen also led significant changes to the College timetable aimed at improving the balance of College and ensuring that the extra-curricular programme complemented academic work rather than competed with it. Karen’s approach to her work is a reflection of her character; she has the highest professional standards but understands how important a bit of give-and-take is in any community where people live and work in such close proximity. Karen’s tenure will be regarded as a very significant period in the evolution of
College. She leaves her particular areas of responsibility in a very strong state indeed but her influence has been in many ways more fundamental than that; she will be sorely missed by both colleagues and pupils. Her move to London gives her the chance to support her son’s burgeoning theatre career and provides the opportunity for her to take her talent for modernising, leadership and team-building to a new school in need of her talents. We wish her every success.
Tom Bygrave – Max Physics Technician & Badminton Coach 1994-2013 Max began his long association with College in 1994 when he joined the Science Department as the Physics Technician, a position he held for 18 happy years. Max’s expertise at making apparatus and his meticulous care to ensure that every experiment worked reliably in exams were invaluable. He was also in his element when pupils were performing their Extended Investigation and particularly enjoyed discussing their ideas with them and helping guide them down sensible lines of scientific enquiry. After 19 years of coaching College’s badminton teams, seven of those as Head of Badminton, Max finally called time on a role he has loved and a club he has served with tenacity and energy. Through his passion for the game, and his commitment to College’s pupils, Max has seen badminton burgeon and flourish. It is typical of him that during his tenure he generously inaugurated the Bygrave Trophy, which is awarded every year for the most improved member of the club. He has done all he can to protect and nurture the interests of badminton. Max has been utterly loyal to College and has had the opportunity to share his love of badminton with generations of College pupils. For pupils and staff alike, Max is College badminton.
Stephen Clark CCF Adjutant & Transport Manager 1993-2013 Stephen came to College in 1993 straight from a successful career in the army where he had been awarded an MBE for his services to army recruiting. He joined College at a time when the CCF was under threat and indeed Whitehall were questioning whether Cheltenham should continue to be entrusted with such a sought-after activity. He worked tirelessly to ensure the CCF not only survived but is recognised today as one of the best, not only in the Brigade but also in the wider military family. His mantra was always that the pupils should come first so whatever he planned – whether
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a beach experience at Penhale, a green field camp in Wales or a full military experience at Nescliffe – he always ensured the most positive of experiences. His preparation for the Biennial Inspections would literally take the full two years as he always had a surprise up his sleeve, such as the guest of honour, the RAF Falcons, the Royal Marine drummers or the bugles of The Rifles. Never had College had such esteemed guests ranging from The Princess Royal to full Generals, Vice Admirals and Air Commodores – each having a very special time at College and writing that the visit would live long in their memories. As a tutor for Newick House, Stephen soon became an integral part of the House, and his love for tradition soon meant that he was forming ones of his own. Every Third Form boy that has passed through the House will remember his evening with the ‘Adj’ in the first week – boys would write down their ambitions, design their own super heroes, and various other silly requests. Nothing more would be thought of them until their Leavers’ Dinner, where their dubious daubings would be unveiled to much hilarity as fond reminiscences were swapped. Indeed, House events and dinners were also a key part of Stephen’s contribution – he attacked those functions with an amazing eye for detail, and always produced occasions with great panache and style. He ensured for many years that the College transport system functioned properly and he thought nothing of rectifying a shortfall of driver by appearing himself to drive – no matter what time of the morning or evening! Stephen’s loyalty to College was never in question. Nothing was too much trouble for him and his influence was evident in many varied areas of College life ranging from the sports’ fields, to Chapel and photography. He was also very willing to help out at Association events, especially on Polo Day. Having spent 20 rewarding years at College, and having left the CCF in a healthier state from the one he joined, Stephen felt it was time to attack new challenges and leave for pastures new. He has now settled into a new job and we wish him, and his very loyal and supportive wife Julie, all the best for the future.
Allan Endicott English as a Foreign Language Teacher 2000-2013 Allan leaves College after 13 years of dedicated service in the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department. He has a passion for English, which he transmitted with ease to the pupils in his charge. Many might not know that he is also a talented linguist too: fluent in German and proficient in Japanese. A natural teacher in many respects, his trade-
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VALETES Allan Endicott Continued... mark patience, kindness and sincerity are well known and admired. He took a genuine interest in his colleagues at College and made a strong positive impression on many of us. Allan has also played a prominent role in the Squash Club. He is a fine player himself and has provided stiff opposition for some of College’s better players. He made a significant contribution to the Tennis Club too. He was also a popular tutor in Southwood. Allan has a great love for the outdoors; having trekked in Italy, Germany and Iceland. As a dedicated family man, his life revolves around his wife and two daughters. Allan leaves us for pastures, or rather, paths new. A man for all seasons, he will be missed by many of us.
Andrew Harris Development Director 2010-2013 It is with a mixture of sadness and pleasure that we say farewell to Andrew Harris, the Development Director, who has been approached to become Executive Director of Campaigns at Aston University. Working with his team, Andrew’s expertise and efforts over the past three years have seen a transformation of our alumni and fund-raising activities. Were it not for Andrew, it is likely we simply would not have facilities like our refurbished science labs and the Chatfeild-Roberts Library to enjoy. That is also true of the CCF extension and the new 32ft organ reed. College will be sad to lose Andrew’s input. And why pleasure? Not only is this an exciting new challenge for him, but most importantly, it means he will be located much closer to home and his young family. At long last, he will be able to achieve a degree of balance between his home life and his professional life. We all wish Andrew the very best for the future.
Holly Merigot Housemistress & Modern Language Teacher 2007-2013 Holly Merigot joined College from Canford School in 2007 and was instantly earmarked by former Headmaster, John Richardson, as a potential Housemistress. Having made a very positive impression as a classroom teacher with exacting standards and being prepared to roll up her sleeves and get involved in all aspects of school. Holly took over Chandos in 2010, as a Housemistress, she was renowned for her hard work and her commitment to get things right; she was always prepared to go the extra mile. No one worked harder to do what she thought best for the girls in her
care and College owes her, and her family, a depth of gratitude for all they did to help make Chandos such a success. Holly leaves College to seek a different challenge beyond Cheltenham and we wish the Merigot family all the very best for the future.
Vicky Plenderleith Head of Kingfishers Cheltenham Prep 2000-2013 Vicky originally came from Cheshire and chose to do her teacher training in Cheltenham. In 1999 she came to Cheltenham College Junior School to do her final teaching practice. The Head of Kingfishers at the time, Geraldine Davis, was so impressed by her teaching talent, professionalism and extraordinary rapport with the children that she persuaded her to apply for a teaching post and the rest as they say is history. Vicky was first promoted to Head of Foundation Stage in 2005, becoming Assistant Head of Kingfishers two years later. In 2009 she was appointed Head of Kingfishers. Under her leadership the pastoral care of the children in the department has been of paramount importance. She has always believed that happy children are most able to learn effectively and her management style has revolved around fostering independence in her young charges. This management and leadership was judged to be outstanding on two consecutive inspections – and that is a difficult thing to achieve. In her spare time, Vicky is a book addict and loves reading. She enjoys swimming and walking and hopes to have a little more time for these activities now. She plans to spend some time working in different educational environments to broaden her experience and we are sure that our loss will be their gain.
Christine Leighton (College Archivist) Thank you to everyone who contacted me after reading my article about House emblems in last year’s Floreat. We can now date the Newick House would love to see a photograph of a
than Speech Day? There have been suggestions that one House wore lily of the valley and another philadelphus on Speech Day. and did any other Houses wear other on email@example.com
Richard Morgan (Former Headmaster) - A note to congratulate everyone concerned with the production of ‘Floreat’, I enjoy the racy informality of it all, which highlight, the fact that College is really making strides in raising standards. Mel & Jim Walton Houseparents Cheltenham Prep 2001-2013 How do you sum up in a few words the effect these two have had on generations of schoolchildren? Well, perhaps at the end. At the staff farewell to the Waltons, the whole staff stood to give them a standing ovation, so highly are they regarded within the staffroom. This sums up the effect and efforts these two have made throughout their time at the Junior School. Starting in Lower school as subject teachers, it quickly became apparent that they were among the most caring professionals you could ever wish to meet. Children were challenged yet supported and learned to love their lessons. They came into their own when asked to run the boarding area, or Walton Towers as it became known, and it seems difficult to think of the boarding area without them. As time passed it was clear that the Waltons were of an exceptional calibre as confirmed by Ofsted inspections where the boarding provision has been classed as outstanding. Mel is the consummate professional with exceptional knowledge of the intricacies of welfare protocols and policies, putting her in an excellent position to exercise her skills on the pastoral side. Generations of children (and staff) have really appreciated her support in times of crisis. Jim’s lively enthusiasm for all outdoor pursuits saw him taking over the running of our extra-curricular provision, which has included supervising school trips, the Cotswold Way walk with Year 8, and the 24 hour Human Table Football all involving masses of children. This also gave him enormous popularity with what he called the ball chasers of the boarding community, and he was frequently seen on the field in down time, engaged and involved with the children. Both are excellent educational practitioners and their move to Guernsey with Sonny and Milo will be a great loss to both day and boarding pupils alike, and a huge gain for Elizabeth College.
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CHELTENHAM NEWS... NEW APPOINTMENTS Jonathan Whybrow Headmaster of Cheltenham College Preparatory School Jonathan is in his seventeenth year as a Head in the independent preparatory school sector, having previously served at the City of London Freemen’s Junior School in Ashtead, Surrey and Beachborough School, in Westbury, Northamptonshire. Prior to these appointments Jonathan’s career has included teaching Physical Education and Geography, serving as an officer in the Royal Marines and working as a dustman! Jonathan is married to Julie and they have two daughters, Ellie and Abbie. Ellie attends Bloxham School and Abbie (Y7) has joined the Prep. They have a black labrador, called Cookie. Jonathan’s prime aim will be to reconcile parental demands with professional integrity, ensuring that the children are educated in a manner which combines traditional excellence with a modern outlook, which embraces not only the academic curriculum but also co-curricular activities and which remembers that children need time to play. We all thrive on a community which includes a broad range of personalities, interests and strengths. With a very simple set of guidelines as to how to succeed (try your hardest, get involved and treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself), tapping into the potential of every child is possible. The quiet introvert is as welcome as the gregarious extrovert. Of course, at the heart of all that Jonathan does, will be the children at Cheltenham Prep. They work hard; they deserve nothing but his best.
Crispin Dawson Deputy Head (Pastoral) Crispin joins College as Deputy Head (Pastoral) from Oakham School where he was Senior Housemaster and on the Senior Management Team, having previously been a Head of Department. He is an ISI Inspector. Crispin attended Worth School before moving on to Bristol University to read Theology and then Cambridge University for his teacher training. Crispin is married to Sarah and they have three young children who are all at The Prep. Having played rugby for England Schools and England Universities he is a fan of most sports, but is happy to indulge in good food and wine when the opportunity presents itself.
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Christiane Dickens Development Director Born and raised in Germany, Christiane moved to the UK in 2000 to study European Politics at the University of Nottingham; she enjoyed life in the UK so much she decided to stay and is now happily settled in Cheltenham where she lives with her husband Gary and two children, George and Emilia. Before working as a freelance fundraising consultant, Christiane was a Major Giving Manager at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Corporate Account Manager at WellChild. She enjoys reading, travel, Scandinavian thrillers and being continuously educated on the intricacies of cricket by her husband.
Stuart Cooper Head of Physics Although a Surrey native and Royal Grammar School Guildford old boy, Stuart has spent most of his teaching career in Cheltenham. His first job was at St Edward’s School before moving across town to Pate’s Grammar School where he spent six happy years, eventually taking over as Head of the Physics department. He moved in to the boarding sector with a stint at Harrow School before returning to Cheltenham to get married. A short spell at Dean Close School was followed by his move to Cheltenham College at the start of 2013 and he became Head of Physics in September. In addition to his academic duties he is a keen rugby coach and referee and will be involved with the Colts as well as rugby VIIs in the Spring term. After two terms in Leconfield he is now a fourth form tutor in Newick House. With a very important birthday looming his rugby playing days are behind him and he now enjoys running and cycling in an attempt to keep fit as well as playing poker to supplement his College salary!
Lindsay Gooch Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Cheltenham Prep Lindsay began her teaching career in Norwich, where she taught French and German in two Specialist Language Colleges. She was involved in the Pathfinder scheme; a DFE initiative to introduce MFL into the primary curriculum.
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There, she oversaw the teaching of MFL in 11 feeder primary schools, delivered INSET to non-specialist teachers and wrote a French workbook which was used across primary schools in Norfolk. After realising her love of teaching younger pupils, Lindsay moved to Gloucestershire and took up the position of Head of MFL at the Abbey School in Tewkesbury. She taught there for two years until the school closed in 2006. Prior to her appointment at Cheltenham Prep, Lindsay taught for seven years at Dean Close, where she introduced Spanish into the Preparatory School as well as teaching French, Games and Swimming.
David Lait Head of Design & Technology David grew up in Cambridge and graduated from Brunel University where he read BSc Industrial Design. After graduating he worked as an Industrial Designer in industry and as a Design & Technology teacher in both independent and state schools. David joined Cheltenham from Bradfield College to be Head of Design & Technology. Outside of teaching David has been a keen rugby player and rower, playing for college and local sides and rowing at Henley and the National Championships. He is a keen cyclist and he and his wife Clare share a passion for Triathlon, David attempted his first half Ironman in September. David and Clare have 3 sons and a daughter who all attend the Prep school.
Stacy Ramsay Head of Girls’ Sport, Cheltenham Prep Before moving South to take on the Head of Girls’ Sport role at Cheltenham Prep, Stacy spent seven years teaching in a variety of Scottish schools. A pupil from Kilgraston Girls’ School, she graduated from Edinburgh University with an Honours degree in Physical Education in 2006. The last three years saw her based at Musselburgh Grammar School in Edinburgh where, in addition to teaching PE she was hugely involved in the development of team sport and cross curricular health and wellbeing, establishing a comprehensive fixture list and creating strong links with the local community. Passionate about sport, she also worked with Fettes Prep School coaching various sports as part of their activity programme. A successful hockey player and coach, Stacy played internationally for Scotland up to the age of 21 as well as representing Scottish Universities and playing twelve years in Scotland’s top league. 14
NEW APPOINTMENTS CONTINUED... Stacy Ramsay Continued... Stacy is level 2 qualified and was a lead coach within the junior section of Grange Hockey Club as well as coaching at district and National League level. Stacy is very excited about taking on the new challenge at the Prep and adopting such a key role in driving girls’ sport forward.
Carrie Smith Head of French Carrie graduated with a starred first in French, German and Linguistics from the University of Cambridge (Clare College), where she also held a choral scholarship. Carrie went on to complete an MPhil in International Relations at Christ’s College, Cambridge, publishing a thesis on the impact of the translation of religious texts into the vernacular in Lutheran Germany and Kemalist Turkey. Carrie has been working at College for the past two years, having joined from Brighton College. She took up the role of Head of French in September 2013. Carrie takes a keen interest in extra-curricular life at College, acting as a tutor in Chandos, coaching netball and also running the extension programme for Lower College Scholars and Exhibitioners.
Wendy Wilcox Head of Biology Wendy has joined us from the Royal Latin Grammar School in Buckingham where she enjoyed working for six years, over five as Head of Biology. Previous to teaching, Wendy studied Genetics at the University College of London and spent several years researching Genetic Engineering at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, and Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, USA. In addition to running research projects and securing funding, Wendy lectured Masters students in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. After volunteering in housing shelters for gang children in St. Louis, Wendy embarked on her teaching career. She has now taught in a wide variety of settings, including comprehensive schools, academies and an international school in Budapest. Most recently, Wendy has been living with her family in Brisbane, Australia – teaching and enjoying the amazing ecology of the Great Barrier Reef! Wendy is very much looking forward to getting to know College students individually and working within the whole College community. She is excited to be a part of such a strong and enthusiastic Biology team and to continue building upon the success of the department.
Jenny O’Bryan Westal Housemistress Jenny O’Bryan was educated at the King’s School, Worcester, travelled to Africa, did a Short Service Limited Commission with the Army in her gap year and then progressed to Nottingham University where she gained a First in Biology. She then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Adjutant Generals Corps. She served in Northern Ireland and Kenya. Upon marriage to Ian, she left the Army and a spell as Operations and Administration Manager at PA Consulting Group revealed that she hankered after a more rural life, managing a veterinary practice. Two boys - Charlie and Tom were the result! Whilst her children were small she co-owned and ran a successful restaurant, until the call of teaching became too great when she undertook a PGCE. Her first teaching job was at King’s School Worcester, as a Science teacher and was quickly promoted to Head of Year 7. Upon arriving at Cheltenham as a Biology teacher she threw herself into College life, overseeing the renaissance of the College equestrian team, singing loudly in Chapel and instructing in the CCF. Her main passion remains her horse riding, having successfully trained young horses and evented from an early age, although her work commitments do not allow her to compete these days. She can be found in the holidays trying not to be the archetypal Pony Club Mum! Skiing combined with visiting the wine tasting regions of the world with her family, as well as renovations of their farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons fills any spare time. After 2 years as the first Head of Lower College, Jenny was offered the opportunity to expand Westal into the fabulous new building. She describes opening Westal as a dream come true; ‘All of the planning came to fruition as the girls relaxed onto the sofas in the Common Room for our first House meeting.’ As she always stated, her aim was to create a ‘home from home’ where the girls feel supported and empowered to venture into new territories, whether that be academically, socially or with the enormous range of activities College offers. As a former Army Officer, building and creating cohesive teams is second nature, as well as celebration of the individual gifts. She describes herself as immensely lucky; ‘I am surrounded by a talented and committed team in Mrs Sue Jackson, Mrs Ester Leach and Mrs Jordi Matthews, whose every action is based around supporting our charges’ development as future key members of society’.
Bob & Faye Wells Houseparents, Cheltenham Prep Bob and Faye Wells met at Loughborough University where they shared a love of sport and outdoor pursuits. Bob is a keen offshore yachtsman and Faye an enthusiastic horse rider. They both then followed careers in the City in Finance and Shipbroking. In 2000, their son George was born and they moved to Cheltenham and founded and ran a recruitment business for ten years. They completed PGCEs in 2010 and Bob has been working at Cheltenham Prep in Lower School for the last two years. Meanwhile Faye has enjoyed teaching Biology at Churchdown Senior School before joining Cheltenham Prep as a Biology teacher and House Parent this year. George and his younger sister Anabelle have been pupils at Cheltenham Prep since 2007 and George is very excited about joining Christowe House at Cheltenham College this year. Bob teaches Geography, RE and games at Cheltenham Prep and is also an Officer in the CCF Navy section at Cheltenham College. Alongside teaching Biology, Faye is Head of Pupil Welfare for all pupils at Cheltenham Prep. As the new Houseparents they are excited about their role within this special community, the opportunity to develop the House over the years ahead and enjoying life with the Boarders.
Internal Appointments Rachael Buttress Head of Pre-Prep, Cheltenham Prep Graham Cutts Head of Lower College, Cheltenham College Sarah Reid Director of Upper School, Cheltenham Prep Kit Perona-Wright Head of Co-Curricular, Cheltenham Prep
Christopher Woolley (CH ’71) –
Thank you for the recent Floreat, it was the best ever, absolutely wonderful, one felt that one was living the events recorded they were so well written.
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F L O R E AT
J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
14th March 2013
Photography by Andy Banks.
Warwickshire & West Midlands Dinner
25th April 2013
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The Cheltonian Association & Society
Dinner with Sir Alan Haselhurst 26th April 2013
SIR ALAN HASELHURST (H ’56) (MP for Saffron Walden, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association International Executive Committee, Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons & Author) On
In Big Classical To Book, Please Contact Rebecca Creed Association Manager Cheltenham College Bath Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 7LD Tel: 01242 265694 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Hawgood (DB ’55)
The reception before the dinner was in the ‘Upper Common Room’ entered from the quad through a corridor lined with staff gowns, past what used to be our physics lab, now the Common Room. Over drinks I found that there would be seven tables of ten diners. Of course fagging had been abolished when Alan and I were prefects, but I found that both of our ‘orderlies’ who used to polish our Corps boots were dining with us. Summoned to dinner in Big Classical, the entrance, which was through new glass doors half way along the Quad and in past the stage. In our days Big Classical had fixed tiered seating - now we found folding seating pushed back leaving a flat floor for the seven round tables on which the catering staff served an excellent dinner. Sir Alan, MP for Saffron Walden, formerly deputy speaker of the House of Commons, now chairperson for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association International Executive Committee, started his speech by joking that he had begun the day with a cold shower - unsupervised by a prefect - as a reminder that he was coming to College. He told a few anecdotes about after dinner speeches, one when he had first been an MP in the Greater Manchester area where he was asked to talk about house building in the public and private sectors only to discover that his audience really wanted to hear blue jokes, and one in Saffron Walden where he was to give the vote of thanks for what turned out to be a 55 minute talk only to be told that the bar
Bookings taken for tables of 10
Photography by Andy Banks.
I was delighted when the Cheltonian Association announced a black tie dinner with Sir Alan Haselhurst (H ’56) speaking, as we started a Speech Day magazine ‘Lighter Sides’ together. I wasn’t so delighted when the moment I arrived in the quad for the dinner I was greeted by Malcolm Sloan who immediately set me a prep of writing an account of the dinner for ‘Floreat’. He did justify the ‘request’ by congratulating me on the editorial I wrote (or maybe Alan wrote) - sixty years ago.
Programme 7.15pm Reception in Upper Common Room 8.00pm Dinner in Big Classical 9.00pm Talk by Sir Alan Haselhurst Dress: Black Tie Price: £40pp
would close in five minutes. He went on to tell anecdotes about his life at College. He wrote a House play and was told by the Headmaster Rev Guy Pentreath that there were too many swear words. Becoming scorer for College first XI has left him with a lifelong love of cricket, which from 1999 led to him writing a series of light books about a mythical ‘Outcasts CC’. Participating in the College debating society and mock elections led to a life in politics. He praised the influence of his Sixth Form History teacher Mike Morgan. He recounted the moving experience of being the only leaver at Easter 1956 after gaining a place at Oxford, and having everyone in Chapel praying for him and his future. He continued his speech in a more serious and oratorical vein, saying that everyone should give part of their life to public service. He recounted some of his political life - including losing his seat in 1974, becoming unemployed, but returning to the Commons in 1977. He became Deputy Speaker, and this led to meetings with parliamentarians from other Commonwealth countries, and his present position chairing their committee. Sir Alan answered a number of questions. Some on cricket: best cricketer he had seen, surprisingly Geoff Boycott. Test cricket v T20 - he enjoys tests, doesn’t rush to see T20, but recognises the commercial importance of it. He gave an account of his personal impact as local MP, helping constituents fight Stansted expansion and getting a local re-organisation needed by a village. He was asked how to get more people voting - perhaps social networks. Scottish devolution - he thinks the referendum will go against it, and opposes it himself. High and low points of his political career: high, being Deputy Speaker; low, the expenses scandal where he was taken to task for expenses authorised by officials, and the press invented a swimming pool and a helipad.
He said how hard it was for MPs to go back to their original professions after the typical 8 years in the Commons. After other questions including ones about Maggie Thatcher and how true to life ‘Yes Minister’ had been, Sir Alan sat down to generous applause.
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2nd May 2013
Photography by Andy Banks.
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Cheltenham College Polo Day
1st June 2013
By Sarah Styler (Current Prep Parent, Past Parent & m/i of Polo) The twelfth annual Cheltenham College Polo Day was held in glorious sunshine. This flagship event was again generously sponsored by Savills. Around a thousand spectators enjoyed three matches, two chukkas between Cheltenham College Junior School and Beaudesert Park, an HPA league game between the champions Cheltenham College and Marlborough College, followed by the Old Cheltonians playing the Hackett British Army team.
Cheltenham and Marlborough followed in a repeat of last year’s game with the hosting side beginning with half a goal advantage. This match would determine which school went through to the semifinal of the HPA league. The first chukka was dominated by Cheltenham, but in the second and third, Marlborough came back strongly and with great determination went into the final chukka ahead. Cheltenham found form again midway through the fourth but it was not enough to stop Marlborough scooping the honours and winning 6-4½. Two outstanding goals from Marlborough’s Harry Davies were the highlight of the afternoon. The Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Mabelle,
owned by Marlborough’s Max Dear, with his teammate, Harry Parker winning the Most Valuable Player prize. An amazing day of polo concluded with the Old Cheltonians versus the Hackett British Army Team. The match was closely contested with fast and skillful play. Up until the last chukka the game was all to play for, a huge cheer from the home crowd went up as Cheltenham scored to secure a 3½-2 victory. The OCs’ Tom Beim (S ’94) received the Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug on behalf of his pony Zed, with Thady Duff (H ’11) taking the honours as Most Valuable Player. Many thanks to Thady who generously shared his prize by spraying those in close proximity with Champagne!
With Thanks to Our Sponsors Savills.
Photography by Andy Banks.
The Juniors kicked off the entertainment with an exciting display of polo. An eclectic mix of fluffies and polo ponies was expertly managed by umpire Dan Banks with the more experienced Beaudesert coming out on top with a 3-1 victory. The game was sponsored by RJ Polo with each player receiving a personalised polo stick in their school’s colours. The trophy for Most Valuable player went to Beaudesert’s Willa Gravel and the Polo Times Best Playing Pony
rug was presented to Junior School’s Zac Beim’s pony the awesome Jerry.
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The Southwest Luncheon
11th May 2013
The Rose Ball 28th June 2013
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F L O R E AT
ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
The Brewin Dolphin Gloucestershire Cricket Festival 21st July 2013 By Nick Purnell (BH ’78)
Fast forward, too many years to mention, and the next time I see them is when my wife and I were invited to the final day of Cheltenham Cricket Festival, where they were taking on hosts Gloucestershire a 20Twenty match. As in my rose tinted memories of Swansea, this was a marvellously beautiful day, hardly a cloud in the sky, a breath-taking setting and a sell-out crowd. It wasn’t just about the cricket. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with fellow Cheltonians, who I hadn’t seen since I left in 78, and indulging in some fabulous food, the lunch being provided by the school catering team… where were they in the seventies?
Photography by Andy Banks.
The last time I saw Glamorgan play was at the St Helens ground in Swansea. My friends and I would wander down to the ground during our lunchtime, a bag stuffed with sandwiches, biscuits and bottles of drink and spend twenty pence to get in and watch the match. The carnival atmosphere was enhanced by a great display by the RAF Falcons parachute display team to open the match. Now explaining the rules of cricket, especially 20Twenty, to my Finnish wife, was a tough job to start with, but the speed with which Glamorgan was skittled out surprised even me, it didn’t tally with those childhood memories. Glamorgan was only able to rustle up the total of 98-9, unable to recover from the loss of early wickets. The score was nowhere near enough to make a game of it, with only three players hitting double figures and just four boundaries in the innings.
Gloucestershire added insult to injury winning by ten wickets and just over 7 overs in hand. Opener Chris Dent made 63 in 43 deliveries and Michael Klinger 35 off 43 balls. The speed with which the game was over, didn’t lead to remorse, just an opportunity to get back to catching up, tea and… oh yes! One or two more glasses of white wine. A fabulous day in all.
SCIENCE RECEPTION 10th October 2013
By Dr Malcolm Sloan (OC Administrator)
We were delighted to welcome over 100 OCs, current pupils, parents and staff to The Royal Society in October for a reception celebrating Cheltenham College and the Sciences. After a welcome from the Headmaster, Isabella Mech (Head of Science) reported on the recent refurbishment of the College laboratories and was delighted that the numbers of pupils choosing the Sciences at A’level is on the increase. We then heard from three U6th Pupils, Jaques Sharam (NH), Alexander Hilditch (S) and Amy Foulkes (Q) who spoke about their scientific endeavours and aspirations. Photography by Andy Banks.
Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society and winner of The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, regaled guests on the importance of science in the modern world. We were extremely honoured to hear from such an eminent scientist and our thanks go to Bernard Taylor (Th ’74) for his support in organising the venue and the speaker. 22
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29th June 2013
Photography by Andy Banks.
LEAVERSâ€™ DAY & BALL
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Yeargroup Reunions 29th September 2013 By Mark Crowther (NH ’88)
ollege looked good. But then again College always looks good. However, when you haven’t seen it for a while and turn the corner into Sandford Road, then round the ever impressive Chapel to see College Field in full splendid Saturday action something leaps inside. Little had changed around College pitch with the XV at home. Perhaps modern lightweight Lycra rugby shirts accentuate the adolescent form in a more flattering light than the heavy cotton of the 80s but the Hunter wellies and canine companions are essentially unchanged. The raucous chants from the touchline have updated lyrics but still lift the team and the feel good factor from sticking 20 points on Marlborough was widely apparent. Sad to see the tears of the opposition fly half but it was obvious the reunion day had started well. A post match cup of tea in the Dining Hall added some further reminiscence and realisation of just what the night had in store to share with the classes of ’88,’83, ’78 and ’73.
And so to the Dining Hall with long bedecked tables planned in house groups with neighbours NH & Xt, H & L & BH and interspersed staff. The food was really good and the wine plentiful. More stories remembered and time since accounted for, small world coincidences, the Venn diagrams of life and promises of future liaisons. The (ex-) Housemasters’ speeches reflected and entertained allowing essential digestion. Labor Omnia Vincit! Cheese and more wine awaited upstairs at the end of the surely out-of-bounds common room corridor. The gowns and mortarboards quite suited some en route. Conversation content blurred and voices hoarsened before the crowd began to disperse. Stickie drinks back at the Queen’s Hotel bar were of course not needed but necessary. Bear hugs and farewells bade as the night porter suggested the end was nigh. And that was it done, over too soon the 25-year reunion. Big thanks to Malcolm Sloan and all those at College for a truly magnificent day.
Photography by Rob Hall.
The well-trodden path to the Beehive was re-trodden by a few prior to the champagne
reception but there were no reports of use of the traditional exit through the window of the gents - middle aged common sense or expanded waistlines? The disappearance (retraction) of the seats in Big Classical has left a perfect venue for a reunion gathering and the sound of middle aged men hollering to long lost acquaintances from twenty five yards echoed off the wood paneled walls. Palpable excitement. Free flowing champagne and free flowing conversation. An impressive turnout from the class of ’88 (how did we survive before Facebook?) and some wives brave to enter the Cheltonian lair. Jacket sizes perhaps up one and scalps a little more exposed but generally the quarter century had been kind and the wit matured. So much to recount and relay but so easy to pick up where we left off years before. And then probably the youngest man in the room called for order and addressed the assembled. The Headmaster. His researchers had done well and uncovered some tales of accolade and misdemeanour, of daring and achievement. Hoorah for the unbeaten 2nd XV of ’87!
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CHRISTMAS FAIR AT CHELTENHAM COLLEGE 3PONSORED BY 3AVILLS
Photography by Andy Banks.
3UNDAY TH .OVEMBER
Photography by Andy Banks.
CAROL SERVICE 13th December 2013
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CHRISTMAS BALL 14th December 2013
2014 ASSOCIATION & SOCIETY EVENTS OC Hockey Day
Date: 8th February, Venue: Cheltenham College, Contact: Rob Mace, robdmace@hotmail. com or Gwyn Williams, g.williams@ cheltenhamcollege.org All OC Hockey Players welcome to participate
Cheltenham At The Races
Date: 11th March, Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse, Contact: Rebecca Creed, r.creed@ cheltenhamcollege.org, Price: £40 (+ £70 Members Badge before 18th February or £75 before 6th March) All Association Members Welcome
OC Rackets Weekend
Date: 14th -16th March, Venue: Cheltenham College, Contact: Charlie Liverton, charlie. email@example.com or Karl Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dinner with Tim Bevan
Host: Ian Moody (Ch ’46), Date: 10th May, Venue: Queen Anne House, Lympstone, Devon, Contact: Ian Moody, 01395 263189 or email@example.com
Date: 31st May, Venue: Longdole Polo Club, Birdlip, Gloucestershire, Price: £10pp (under 12s free) All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow.
The Carnival Ball
Date: 27th June, Venue: Cheltenham College, Price: £75pp All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow.
The Brewin Dolphin Gloucestershire Cricket Festival
Date: 1st May, Venue: Big Classical
Date: 27th July, Venue: Cheltenham College, Price: £45 or £35 for under 16s
All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow.
All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow.
Yeargroup Anniversary Reunions Date: 6th September, Venue: Cheltenham College
All those who left Junior School or College in 1989, 1979 & 1974, invitations to follow.
Date: 23rd November, Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm, Venue: Cheltenham College, Price: £5pp (under 16s free) Stall Details. All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow.
The Association & Society Carol Service Date: 12th December, Time: 2.30pm, Venue: Cheltenham College
All Association Members Welcome, invitations to follow. For further information on all Association events, please contact Rebecca Creed, Association Manager, Cheltenham College, Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 7LD. Tel: 01242 265694. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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F L O R E AT
ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
Light After Loserville By Richard May (H ’09) I was never 100% sure of what I was going to do after leaving Cheltenham College, but during my final year, I auditioned for Drama School. I had always enjoyed acting and I thought that there would be no better way to earn money than by doing something I loved. After a few terrifying auditions, I was accepted into Mountview Academy for Theatre Arts to study for a BA (Hons) in acting. I had an incredible three years at Mountview. Although I was lucky enough not to have too much written work, I made up for it by the 8 hour day schedule. At the end of the three years, we had a Showcase performance at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly. This is where all the casting directors, actors’ agents and any other industry individuals are invited to watch everyone in my year give a three minute performance to show off their talent. After this terrifying hour, I was forced to stand in a bar full of agents and try to persuade them that I was worth investing in. After an agonising wait next to the phone, I was finally signed by a top agent. Soon after this, I acquired my first acting job. I received the role of Leonard in Ray Cooney’s ‘Wife Begins at Forty’ where I spent a fantastic month on stage at the Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Whilst rehearsing for ‘Wife Begins at Forty’, I was auditioned for ‘Loserville’. This was my first audition for a musical and I was exceptionally nervous. After several call backs, I landed the central role of Lucas Lloyd. Straight after finishing at Guildford I was up in Leeds working on ‘Loserville’. This was a new musical written by Elliot Davis and James Bourne (from Busted). I had an absolutely amazing two months in Leeds. The show was received extremely well and on our last night it was announced that the producers were taking it to the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End.
at the end of each show there was always a crowd waiting for photos and autographs. It was after the show finished in January that I first understood just how tough it was being an actor. As an actor any job you get, no matter how brilliant, is always temporary. I had two very hard months of unemployment which I found highly frustrating. I was getting down to the final rounds of West End shows but never quite getting the job; every time I got a no, people would tell me it happens for a reason. After one particularly long casting process, when, once again I was told that ‘you’re not right for the part’ I received a call from my agent. He told me that the National Theatre want to see me for an audition. The National is somewhere that I have always wanted to work so obviously I said, ‘yes please!!’ I was called in to sing and act in front of Tori Amos (Grammy award winning pop star) and Marianne Elliot (director of ‘War Horse’ and ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’). Of course I was petrified, but I obviously did something right as after five rounds of auditions, they offered me the job. For the last six weeks I have been rehearsing for ‘The Light Princess’ which shows at The National from October. It’s been an extremely hard journey to become an actor, and one full of highs and lows but I wouldn’t change my job for the world.
Performing in the West End was phenomenal, we had so many loyal fans and
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LIFE IN THE FAST LANE By Gabriella Goff (U6th, Chandos) Earlier this year, I was asked by Mrs Creed from the Association Office, if I would be able to travel to London on 15th November 2013, to interview Mike Smith OC (L ’75) who was in the UK on business. Mike’s career has seen him rise through the ranks of banking in various locations around the world and culminated in being CEO of ANZ Bank, one of the world’s top 20 banks. This man is one of the most important people in the banking world and it was therefore with some trepidation and much awe that I entered Greens Restaurant, St James’, where the interview was to take place. However, I was immediately put at ease by Mike’s personable manner and thoroughly enjoyed the 45 minutes as he talked me through his memories of College as well as his colourful life in the fast lane! What was is it like to spend your childhood in Kenya? It was fantastic in those days, you have to remember that it was a long time ago and Kenya is a very different country now, but then it was a wonderful place. But of course I was sent to school in England. Did you spend much time in Kenya? Not a lot, but going back on holidays was always a lot of fun, spending time on the beach or on safaris – it was always very magical. Why did your parents choose College? I was actually given the choice of looking at various schools. I am trying to remember which they were now! I remember Marlborough was one and Cheltenham the other. What I liked about Cheltenham was the actual look of the school, especially the cricket ground, I anticipated myself playing cricket there. When I walked into Chapel I thought how wonderful it was – not that I am religious at all, but I just thought it was beautiful. So I think it was probably the physical aspect of it as much as anything. Also, I got on very well with a couple of the kids that showed me around, so I thought, yes this is a very good place. I was really given that choice by my parents, which in those days was very grown up.
dormitories – no bed study things. You got used to it – you didn’t know any different. The showers were pretty institutional – it wasn’t the most comfortable place. Were all the boys houses like that or just Leconfield? They were all pretty similar, but then they started to renovate them soon after that, so my era was probably one of the last where it was very basic. But you had what we called a shack – don’t know what they call them now, it was like a study and you could do anything to it and people did exactly that. I remember creating a massive bed. The Housemaster said ‘where are you going to do your work? Where is your desk?’. And I said ‘Oh, I hadn’t thought about that’. I had of course! I had quite an ingenious contraption where the desk folded down from the wall. Do you have one particular lasting memory of College? I guess my friends. I still have those friends and we keep in touch. We were a small house – only 8 of us in our year, sadly two of them have died but I still keep in regular contact with the others. They are all in the UK. Which teachers were particularly memorable to you? Well Guy Dodd was the Housemaster and he also taught me History. I liked Guy – he was a really good guy and his family were really sweet. You always felt he was one of the lads and he was a very decent individual, he made my life easy – I think he made the house a very happy place. There were a good bunch of people there. What part did College play in your career? Careers advice in those days, it wasn’t very helpful to be perfectly honest. At the time I had a reserved place in the Navy. So that was my career choice but as a result of being at College, I changed my mind and decided it would be better to go to university and maybe go into the Navy after that.
Tell me about your time at Leconfield.
Did you end up joining the Navy?
Well, again it was before the modernisations were done on the House, so it had probably remained the same as it had for about 100 years! Basic was not really an adequate description – it was character forming. I never remember being so cold; you had a towel at the end of your bed and often it was frozen in the morning and you would have to break it. The central heating didn’t work, there was just a pipe – no radiators. We were all housed in
After university, I decided that banking was going to be a better career for me although I had no idea of what exactly it was or what was involved. I knew it was a way of travelling – of getting overseas, the UK in the mid 70s was a pretty desperate place. It was not easy, having said that, if you had stayed and had a good career, you would have done very well and been fine, I’m sure. I just wanted to travel - I had it in my blood and probably still do.
What was your first job after University? I joined what is now HSBC, in those days it was the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation with a view to being sent to what they call their international staff. So I was sent overseas to Hong Kong after a 6 month training period in London and have been moving around ever since. Did you always see yourself working in Finance or did you have other career ambitions? No, I had no idea what it was, but I can tell you how it came about. I used to go back on holidays to Africa, to Nairobi, and would often accompany my parents to cocktail parties. In those days it was all very much the cocktail set and all the really nice houses belonged to bankers. I thought to myself – ‘this must be a really good career’- and that is what drove me – that and travel. It was pure luck – I was very fortuitous. I was OK at Maths and numerate, so finance didn’t worry me, but when I actually first started at the bank, I knew it was right for me. You know when you have that instinct, when you feel – wow this is it and that was pure chance and I was just very lucky that I had a natural feeling/talent for it – I know that sounds very arrogant, but you know what I mean – an empathy. I had a total empathy with the industry despite not knowing anything about it prior to joining. Would you mind talking about your experience in Argentina? How did the fact that you were shot affect your outlook on life? I don’t mind, it was pretty profound actually. You don’t expect to be shot as a banker – it’s not the marines! It was an extraordinary situation. I was ambushed one night when I was driving home. Two cars forced me off the road and then they tried to get me out of the car and these guys were screaming at me as they jumped out with machine guns. Did you think – ‘this is it’? Well no, I didn’t actually. For two reasons, the first being, my attackers had been following me and as I had given my bodyguard the night off, they thought they had me but as I was actually driving the car, that gave me an edge and I thought the last thing I would do was get out of the car – this was my weapon – the only thing I had going for me. Secondly, it is quite interesting, you never really know how you will react in a situation like that. My mind was absolutely crystal clear – it must have been the adrenaline and I felt that I could think so clearly – weighing up the odds, thinking what can I do about this
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FEATURE ARTICLES... – with absolute clarity. I wish I could get that feeling again and bottle it. It was quite extraordinary, and this sounds terrible, but I never felt as if I was out of control. I felt that I knew I could get out of this if I really worked it through - the logic and whatever. And so I pretended to open the door and they stepped back, then I hit the gas and I smashed through them, they then started shooting at the car. Unfortunately this caused quite a lot of damage to my car and they had shot the tyres out so I was on the rims. I was driving down the road and they caught up with me in the other car and they were shooting out of the windows and there were trucks and buses as it was a four lane highway. Was it like something out of a movie? Absolutely. They eventually hit me – I felt the bullet hit my leg. It went through my thigh, but it didn’t hurt – I just felt it happen. I didn’t know what was going on, I don’t think I felt the pain, due to the adrenaline, I was in survival mode. So how did you get away? Actually, what happened is that we drove for about 2 to 3 kilometers hitting each other, bouncing off other cars, sparks were flying as I had no tyres and bits of the car were falling off where I had smashed into the other car. We came to an exit off the highway hitting each other and literally pushing each other off, I went up the exit and they went straight on so they couldn’t get back as there were trucks and other obstructions. I went up the exit and the car then gave out and just stopped. So you were lucky you got away when you did? Well that was the next problem. I was in a jag – an XJ and it had taken, I don’t know how many bullets to the engine but the car saved my life. As a result I have always owned a jag ever since in loyalty. I was worried about them coming back. I wasn’t sure if my leg was broken or not, so I thought if I fall over it probably is, luckily I didn’t. I took my tie off and tied it around my leg, I was thinking incredibly lucidly! I got on my phone to my security guys and to my PR people and to everyone else and organised to be picked up and taken to a local hospital where they had a trauma surgeon on standby. Meanwhile a taxi turned up behind me and the driver said – ‘Signor, I saw it all happen. I am in my father’s taxi and I was so frightened I crashed the car, my father’s going to kill me. I can’t find the police – they are not around’. So I said, ‘I’ll tell you what – I’ll do you a deal – if you get me to the hospital I will get you a new car’. He said ‘OK’. So we went to the hospital and my security guys met us there, as we got there they pulled him out of the car and held a gun to his head, I screamed at them that he was a good guy and I told them to look after him. They took me into
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hospital, took the bullet out and all the rest. I woke up later in the day and remember my wife came into see me and I said ‘Have you brought a new suit, I need to go to the office’. I think I must have had far too much of the painkiller! You spent many years at HSBC and have seen a huge growth in a number of their businesses and were tipped by many to be the next chairman, so what was it that attracted you to ANZ? I got to a stage of my career where one of the jobs I really wanted was to run the Asia Pacific business of the old Hong Kong and Shanghai bank that I joined. I had done that and it was very successful and going well. With the big change coming in terms of the global crisis and having had a difference of opinion to others regarding the way in which the group was being run made me a little dissatisfied with what I was doing. I felt that I was probably at a time in my life that if I didn’t make a move then, I probably never would. Who knows what would have happened. I felt ready for a change and thought that banking as an industry, as a model, was going to change, I felt that the era of global banks was going to revert to an era of regional banks. What I didn’t foresee was how fast that would happen. So that was why I did it. It was a liberating experience. Was it a big change? Oh yes, because I had been under that same family forever. I knew everything about it; where the levers were, what made things work and who would influence what. You have to learn all that again in a new organisation. Have you fulfilled all your career aspirations and if not, what would you still like to achieve before retirement? I don’t know if I will ever retire. Well I would like to have more time to myself. There are still lots of things I would like to do. Obviously you don’t run a public company forever, you just can’t take that frankly. Life’s too short! I would like to do some international service of some sort – give something back. Maybe some nonexecutive roles at some stage in my career. I still haven’t really thought that through properly because I feel I have plenty of gas left in my tank. But are there still things to achieve? Well yes, there are always things to achieve and I couldn’t see myself sitting around doing nothing. I love driving my tractor around at my place in France, but after two weeks, I can’t wait to get back to get my brain working. So when you do decide to completely stop working, would you like to move to your vineyard in France or would you stay in Australia and set up a vineyard there? A vineyard is a bit like a racehorse or a boat. It is a bit like pouring money into a big black hole – so one is enough. But
what I would probably like to do is spend my time between Australia, the UK, France and Hong Kong and circulate around. I do love the UK, coming back to London – I forget how beautiful it is. Do you spend much time here? Not a lot. I still have a home here, which one of my sons lives in – he is still ‘on the payroll’ as they say. Having been to school and university in the UK, I would like to spend more time here. I love the lifestyle in France, but the lifestyle in Australia is great the whole way of living is fantastic and the quality of life is good. Which of the many countries you have lived in would you call home? Australia, right now my home is there, but as I said I am very fond of the UK and I love France. Of all the countries I have lived in, Argentina was sensational but it is full of mad people – absolutely crazy. The Government is such a disgrace and what they have done to the place. But as a country it has everything. Would you ever want to go back there? No, I have done my time there, I have great memories and a few scary ones. So no, the world is such an interesting place with so many places to explore. Last year I went for the first time to Cambodia. I have been meaning to do it for years and I was amazed at what was there. It was just extraordinary. China you could spend 10 years there and only see a fraction of it. I really want to drive around and see more of Europe. I am crazy about cars and driving, so I would like to do that. So if you call Australia your home, will you be supporting Australia in the Ashes? Well that is not a good bet. Luckily, when it comes to rugby, I’m sorted. I live in Australia, have businesses In New Zealand and the Pacific, grew up in Africa and the UK, and hold English & Irish passports. So I have most bases covered except Wales and Scotland. Of course I also have a place in France, but I could never support them in rugby.
RESTORATION FIT FOR A QUEEN By Peter Arnold RIBA (NH ’60 & Past Parent) I formed the architects practice Arnold & Boston with Barry Boston in 1971. Through the 1980s and 1990s we carried out a substantial body of work for the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Household, the British Museum, Peter Arnold at College the Imperial War Museum and many other institutions with historic building portfolios. A particular skill for which we became known involved the insertion of high-quality contemporary architecture within an historic context. Our appointment at Armoury House and Finsbury Barracks by the HAC and TAVRA followed our extensive record of achievement in this area. Our program was a). The restoration where necessary of the 17th Georgian structure of Armoury House with its 18th Century wing additions. This was a Grade 2 Star Listed Historic Building overlooking the iconic Artillery Ground – an archery practice field during the Middle Ages, sited immediately north of the original London Wall. The Artillery Ground was also a plague burial ground of historic importance and its continued use as open space is protected for 600 years by Royal Charter. Armoury House also required the rebuilding of areas damaged by a bomb attack during the 1980s, b). The stripping back of the worn structure and façades of the 19th Century Victorian Grade 2 Listed Finsbury Barracks, which also faces onto City Road, and the rebuilding of its interior as the new Active Unit of the HAC and c). The demolition of the 1920s link building overlooking the Artillery Ground and located between the two historic structures, and its rebuilding to house the larger scale facilities for the Active Unit. Within such an historic context, it was no surprise that the project came up for detailed scrutiny at every stage of the design process from the various Client bodies and the Planning & Conservation Authorities. The design proposals for the two historic structures were less controversial as they mainly involved conservation and restoration works. The new link building was the most sensitive element of the design solution. The Georgian Group’s advisors sought that the new link structure should be in the Georgian style of Armoury House. The Victorian Society preferred that the CastleGothic Victorian style of Finsbury Barracks should be carried across the link building to Armoury House.
With such divergent views, through a series of Feasibility Studies and Presentations, I worked up a contemporary solution. My design would form a contrasting but complementary neighbour to the historic structures on either side. After detailed consultations, this approach satisfied the City of London Planning Authority, Islington Borough Planners, English Heritage, the Royal Fine Arts Commission and all the other conservation bodies and local interest groups that we were required to consult with. Most importantly we had the full support and enthusiasm of our Clients and the project was underway in 1992. For the main elevation of the link building I chose two natural stones as the cladding to complement the scale, texture and colour of each of the neighboring structures. A richly dark ochre Juparana granite from Brazil was layered across the link with a lighter Jura Limestone from the Black Forest in Germany. This dual stone façade was articulated between two new turrets appearing almost as ‘knuckles’ that joined to the two historic structures. The main façade was canted back to address the middle of the Artillery Ground from the centre of which it can be seen face-on as with Armoury House. A stainless steel ceremonial saluting gallery forms the dominant feature of the link building’s front elevation.
Fields Burial Ground, immediately behind and adjacent to Armoury House, had to be temporarily relocated. This historic grave was carefully protected throughout. I designed one of the new turret structures as a Museum to house the Greenwich Armour, owned by the HAC. The armour was made for Henry VIII and had previously been exhibited in the Tower of London. On the day that the Queen formally opened the project, in excess of 5,000 people attended a grand ceremony located across and in every corner of the Artillery Ground. The HAC was celebrating its 450th Anniversary and as such it is the oldest Military Body in the world. The Queen showed great interest in the project, its history and its concept, I was privileged to elaborate upon this during our tour of the buildings.
The façades of Finsbury Barracks were in Kentish Ragstone and had crumbled to a dangerous degree. They were almost entirely stripped off and replaced with newly quarried matching ragstone. The overall composition is one of due deference to the existing historic structures but without a bland subservience to their historic styles. Late 20th Century Architecture was making an important statement, whilst paying due respect to our heritage and the historic context of this most important of Conservation Areas. The construction went smoothly and the Active Unit was able to operate throughout in temporary onsite facilities. As was expected many historic artifacts were found on site and the Museum of London kept a watching brief throughout. Some of the stones on John Bunyan’s grave in Bunhill
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The Hollywood Effect Nick Davis (JS ’80 & Xt ’85). I left Cheltenham in the summer of 1985 and, like many of my peers, set off into the world with no real clue as to my future career path. I had applied to the prerequisite universities and, with not a care in the world, set off for my well deserved ‘year off’ (such a great expression when you are eighteen, I only wish I could take one now!). While working as a waiter in Los Angeles that year I was approached by a friend and offered a job as a ‘runner’ on a Disney movie. Although I never actually got the job I knew from that moment that the film industry was where my future lay. So I returned to the UK and then spent three years at Oxford Poly studying English and Politics and watching endless videos of Rocky, Animal House and Neighbours. Thus educated, and fully prepared, I decided I was ready for Hollywood. In 1989, I moved to Los Angeles and my career started through the most tenuous of connections. My father had met a man on a cruise who played golf in America with a man who ran a small visual effects facility in Hollywood. It wasn’t quite Stephen Spielberg’s personal assistant but it was an ‘in’. Thus began four years of indentured servitude. The company used to build models, create opticals and had an antiquated front split projection system. We worked out of a run down series of sheds called stages in the heart of Hollywood. The hours were horrific, the pay laughable, but the work was fantastic. During those years I learned all there was to learn about film and visual effects. We worked on some fantastic movies including Sam Raimi’s ‘Darkman’, and his iconic ‘Evil Dead’. We made the famous train crash scene from Harrison Ford’s ‘The Fugitive’ and worked with the imperious director Peter Weir on his classic movie ‘Fearless’. By 1993, Hollywood, and especially the visual effects world, was changing rapidly. The digital revolution had arrived. Optical printers and projection systems were out and in came the computergenerated effect. The company I worked for were not moving into this arena fast enough and so I decided it was time to go it alone. With digital effects in their infancy, and every Hollywood movie clamoring for them, I found myself at the age of 25 an expert in my field. After supervising a few movies in the States, I was approached by Warner Bros to take a movie in the UK. In 1996, I moved back to London as an American employee and began work on two movies back to back at Pinewood studios. It was while finishing up one of these that I was approached again by Warner Bros to work on ‘Harry Potter and the Phliosopher’s Stone’ at Leavesden studios.
I was subsequently lucky enough to work on the first two Harry Potter movies as Visual Effects Supervisor. A fantastic experience as we muddled our way into the franchise and it was great to be a part of the team that really helped change the face of the British film industry forever. During the Potter era British visual effects went from the poor cousins of the USA to the world leaders that we are today. After my time on Potter, I worked on ‘Troy’ with Brad Pitt, Tim Burton’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and then Christopher Nolan’s epic ‘The Dark Knight’ (Batman). More recently I finished ‘Clash of The Titans’ and ‘Wrath of the Titans’ and am currently on post production on a new Tom Cruise movie, ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’. This is due for release in June 2014. I have not listed all the movies I have been a part of making, only the successful ones. For as I believe Robert De Niro was once credited with saying ‘it still takes a lot of hard work to make a bad movie’. I have been nominated for five BAFTA Awards and one Academy Award! (One day!) People often ask me what the difference is between visual effects and special effects as they are two very individual skill sets. In short, special effects are any effects that can be practically realised on a film set. From rain, wind, snow to special hydraulic rigs to manipulate sets and vehicles. Visual effects are all of the effects that require digital manipulation and cannot be created in camera on set. From creating creatures, crowds, digital sets to entire worlds, we like to think that imagination is now the only limitation in our world. The fun part of my job has been having the chance to work with great film makers from the first stages of script development all the way through to the release of the movie. The visual effects supervisor is responsible for designing, shooting and ultimately creating the necessary visual effects required by the film. So far it has been a fantastic and challenging career, long may it continue. 32
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GONE FISHING By Ian Parker (L’53 & Past Parent)
Having been in Australia for eighteen months or so and not having seen a trout in all that time, ‘twas time to go fishing! Having heard me wax on about New Zealand’s trout fishing, Glenn Allison (L ’57) learned of my intentions and so joined my friend Simon and me on our fishing trip. For us this was a pleasure: for him a risk. Rising age, blood pressure and a corresponding shortening of fuses make me a dubious travelling companion! Yet with a friendship that goes far back to our youth, he was prepared to take it. We had been warned that there had been little recent rain, but viewing Auckland from the air as we landed, I was still surprised by the drab brown where previously it had always been verdant. What we saw in acre after acre, property after property, was dun and grey coloured earth. If there was grass, it was but a centimeter in height. Our first outing was high up the Ohara stream close to where it emerged from the forests and where I had had excellent fishing in 2010. The land owner, showed us down into the gorge where the water formed one of his boundaries. The fence he put in twenty years earlier along the water’s edge was now 10-15 feet above the stream, which carved its channel that much deeper. The water was low, shallow and warm enough to wade in without discomfort. We saw fish; Glenn had an early take that broke his leader, but I caught nothing. In the following days we tried the midsection of the Ohara close to the farm. Again, noticeably warm water and no takes. And so we headed for the Tuki that I had first fished in 1990. No doubt I was seeing the Tuki at its best, yet even then it had been difficult to envisage big barges coming up-river to
collect the wool clips from as far inland as Waipara. Yet they did so until the 1930s, but by 1990 they no longer could as the water was too shallow. The NZ water authorities use heavy machinery to flatten out some of the river beds to reduce the risk of a flood jumping out of the channel and damaging riparian crop land. Over the past 100 or so years deforestation and very intensive grazing by sheep have accelerated storm runoff to the detriment of the rivers as fish habitats. However, the drought notwithstanding, where we crossed the bridge spanning the river on the road between Hastings and Wellington, there was no water to be seen. As far as we could see up and down stream of the bridge the bed was of leveled, ripped rubble, with no water visible. The thought that this was caused by the drought was dispelled when we recrossed the river a few kilometers downstream. There, while smaller than I had previously seen it, the Tuki flowed and people were fishing along its banks. Seemingly, leveling and ripping the river bed had driven the water flow down under the rubble for long stretches, to re-emerge downstream. We then went north to fish the Mohaka – a bigger river where in the past depth and cold made wading uncomfortable. This time the water was warm and in places one could cross easily from bank to bank where it was only knee deep. The fish were there but Glenn and I caught nothing. Cheerful parties of rafters coming past in their inflatables may have put the trout down, though I don’t think so and we attributed our lack of luck to the warm water. Later we looked at the Manganuki where I had once caught a six pounder. It was too shallow and weed-filled to fish. We then booked a professional guide whose firm had a concession to fish on the Rangatiki river where it ran through Ngamatea – a 140,000 acre property three hours drive west of Hastings. This large spread was primarily high plateau land devoted to sheep, it included a chunk of mountainous country through
which the Rangatiki flowed. It was known for big trout. Contact with the guiding firm was made and we were offered two days fishing and would be put up at their hut, food and beer supplied. We arrived at the station gate at nine on the dot as planned. The guide and his twin-cab Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was there, his diction fitting the taciturn, tough, backwoods man he looked the part as he deftly rolled his smoke and eyed our hired Recreational Active Vehicle (RAV). ‘Will that get into the back country?’ he asked, knowing perfectly well it couldn’t. He didn’t have to say city slickers, but the message was clear. From the outset one sensed that he was acting a part. Leaving our RAV we boarded his SUV and made a precipitous descent that would have made Charlie Stubbs and his Rhino Charge mates green with envy. During a descent bracing ourselves against the seats or dash in front of us, our guide waxed lyrical about the deer hunting to which his firm also had exclusive rights. Seemingly this was his real interest and I sensed his disappointment in our muted reactions to tales of hunt and hunters successfully guided. We arrived in the bottom of the valley. The river was a crystal clear mountain torrent, much of it too deep to wade in. With the water’s shades of jade green and blue, white rapids, dun, scrubcovered valley walls, high surrounding mountains and a cloudless sky above, the setting was starkly beautiful. Glenn lamented having left his camera behind; but I was gratified that the scene did justice to all the over-the-top descriptions I had earlier given him of fishing in New Zealand. Approaching the river cautiously, we looked down on it from a high bank. There, like the proverbial cherry on the cake, a large rainbow trout cruised near the surface, inspecting any small item coming down with the current. Clearly it was ‘on the feed’. With a large white dry fly of our guide’s
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making, one of our party, Simon cast. There was no response, he cast again and the fish turned languidly towards the fly. We saw the white inside of its mouth as it opened wide and took it in. Unfortunately, Simon tightened up too quickly and the fly came back out of the fish’s mouth. It was startled, but carried on cruising its beat. However, it showed no further interest in any of the many flies cast for it. We fished until five in the evening, saw several good fish but to our disappointment and our guide’s frustration, never touched one. He tried hard to make us fish his way – and indeed he certainly knew fish, fishing, the river and his expertise was never in doubt. However, as old dogs all three of us – Glenn, Simon and myself – had difficulty learning new tricks. Our idiosyncratic styles had set over the years. For all their flaws, we had landed too many trout to correct our methods easily. We tried to follow instructions and our lack of success didn’t really worry us overmuch. The sheer beauty of the place and the presence of fish gave pleasure enough. Our next stop was a beach cottage, some way south of Hastings, to sample sea fishing off North Island’s eastern coast. Beach cottage is not an accurate description as it was some 500 feet above the beach. Facing easterly, only the south Pacific Ocean lies between the house and Chile. There was no sheltered harbour within reasonable distance of the beach cottage. To go fishing you had to launch the boat off the beach, out through the breaking surf. Landing calls for surfing in on the waves and running up the beach at speed. Both going out and coming in call for nice judgement on the part of the skipper and more than a modicum of skill. It is also sensible to only attempt it when waves are minimal and the ocean calm. Trying to get out through the breaking swell with three over 70s scrabbling to get aboard would have invited trouble. Consequently, we never got near the water as the swells were just too big. We did have an evening’s fishing
on the lower Tuki, but again, though we saw fish, the water was warm and we caught nothing. Nevertheless, the interlude at the beach cottage was pleasurable. We had planned to drive rather than fly from Hastings to Auckland and include some fishing around Rotorua. Given our poor results so far, this now became an issue of urgency and, to hedge our bets, Simon asked his mates to recommend a good fishing guide. Ernie Skudder was recommended and our previous experience with a fishing guide notwithstanding, we phoned ahead, booked into a self-help motel, and engaged Ernie for two days. This time the plan worked well. Ernie was in our age bracket, thought similar thoughts, was thoroughly professional in organising us and knew a great deal about fishing. We could opt for lake fishing in Lake Rotorua in which he said there was a fair chance of catching double-digit fish, or to go river fishing where the trout would be smaller, or a mix of both. We opted for river fishing. Ernie took us to the Rangataiki river in a section that flows through extensive State conifer plantations. The water was clear but thick vegetation on the banks restricted long casts unless we could get well out into the flow. Again, the water was warm for a New Zealand trout stream, but it had a good ‘feel’ and from early on we were seeing fish rising. On our first day Glenn caught a fish of slightly over a pound which we kept as an eater, Simon released one of similar size and I saw a large, goldenflanked brown rise and examine my fly. The following morning we repeated the second beat that we had fished the day
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before and in the afternoon another very different stretch of water: slower-flowing, deeper the lack of rippling on the surface made fish easier to see – some of them big (over three pounds). We kept three as eaters to add to Glenn’s of the day before, and released the others. I lost the score of what our combined catch was for the two days (it may have been 15 all told), we all were successful and the fishing was good. The largest caught were two by Simon in the two/three pound range. Booking Ernie and visiting Rotorua had been well worthwhile and I slept easy knowing that Glenn had at least glimpsed the sort of trout fishing I had described to him, but which until then must have seemed a right ‘load of bull’. Yet, as always, what created the greatest pleasure, was neither environment nor fish caught, but the company. The final leg of our trip was in Northern Tasmania were we again sought advice about any fishable rivers in the vicinity, this unleashed a passionate statement that only New Zealanders and Americans – stooped to fishing rivers, in Tassie the upstanding angler fished the lakes which produced the world’s finest trout. We fished the recommended Penstok Dam, The Great Lake and Little Pine Lake but alas to no avail. We were understandably disappointed with our failure, but comforted by the fact that the other anglers we had encountered on our travels had also had no luck with catching fish, it wasn’t as if our lack of success was due to some deficiency peculiar to us three. We ascribed it to the drought, low water levels and, for trout, the relatively high temperatures.
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Cecil Day-Lewis By Jill Barlow (College Archivist)
Cecil Day-Lewis is well known as the Poet Laureate from 1968 to 1972 and as the writer of detective stories under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, but boys of the Junior School, where he taught Cecil Day-Lewis English from 1930 to 1935, remembered him for his enthusiastic acting abilities. Bill Conran (JS 1929-33) and VCJ Thrupp (JS 1928-32), in the reminiscences they sent several years ago, recalled that Day-Lewis entered wholeheartedly into play reading and made the class sing and dance with a lot more abandon than other masters did. His readings from Dickens were wonderfully well done and he told frighteningly good ghost stories on dark evenings. John Harper-Nelson (OJ & Ch ’39), who wrote recently to the Cheltonian Association, remembers Day-Lewis, his 5th Form Master, dramatically playing the villain in the annual Masters’ play.
His last appearance in a College play was in 1935 as the station master, Saul Hodgkin, in ‘The Ghost Train’ by Arthur Ridley (of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame). The Cheltonian reported that ‘the honours of the evening went to the Stage Effects … the roaring train, the flash of the fire-box, the lashing rain and that
Station Smell’, but Day-Lewis was in his element, achieving a remarkable success in ‘cadaverous rusticity. (We are assured, privately, that even members of the cast were unnerved by his appalling shrieks out on the dark platform!)’. College was privileged to witness an acting talent so successfully passed on to his son, Daniel Day-Lewis.
The ‘Masters’ Entertainment’ started as an evening of songs and sketches to enliven the end of the winter term in 1928. By 1932, when DayLewis first appeared on the cast list, it was well established as an annual production in March. The 1932 offering, ‘The Thirteenth Chair’ by Bayard Veiller, was, according to The Cheltonian, ‘a full-blooded thriller’. In 1929 it had been made into a film starring Bela Lugosi, so the actors had a Hollywood horror movie to inspire them. John Harper-Nelson
In 1933, ‘The Area Belle, a Victorian Tragedy in several Accents’, one of a series of sketches, starred Day-Lewis as Penelope, ‘a very good cook’. The following year, as Edward Laverick in AA Milne’s detective story ‘The Fourth Wall’, he ‘gave his customarily splendid performance … and his fingers, in moments of crisis, were as vividly expressive as ever’ (The Cheltonian again).
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AN EXTRAORDINARY REUNION (after 55 years) By William Offer (L ’58)
boots again, they all looked really fit for 70 plus years. Conversation flowed easily, probably easier than over the dining table in the College Dining Hall in the 50s. (No self service then!)
y wife, Hazel, and I have known Chris (formerly High Sheriff of South Glamorgan) and Vivien Pollard for some years now. Not in Wales, or even England, but in Mallorca. Chris and Vivien are a brilliant couple, very well known in the service and food industry and fantastic hosts. It transpired that we had several friends in common who just happened to be OCs that I remembered well from my days in College during the 50s. So, thanks to our hosts, we met at the Pollard’s house in Cowbridge for dinner in May and then the following day Clive Mossford (L ‘58) and his wife, Mary, gave us a splendid lunch (wives included). Thanks to Rebecca from the Cheltonian Association, I was able to present a house tie to each of the OCs present. So what was it like to meet them all again after 55 years? A slight recognition problem possibly but nevertheless I think I would be able to pick all of them out in an identity parade. Whilst none of them looked ready to don rugby
The OCs there were a distinguished bunch, including 2 from the unbeaten Rugby side of 1957, Chris Brain (H ’58) and David Wheeler (NH ’58). Sadly I was not in that great side, captained by Jeremy Taylor (Xt, ’58), whom I remember well along with Martin Rees (Xt ’58), Chris Hoole (H ’59), Stephen Lloyd (L ’58) and Danny Hearn (NH ’59). Also Kit Maunsell (Xt ’57), a member at Huntercombe GC, like my son, Charles. My uncle though, JC Offer (L ’46), was in the previously unbeaten College side of 1936. I will not detail all the achievements of the OCs meeting that weekend as I’m sure these are well covered in Cheltenham College Who’s Who. Chris Brain (H ’58), a distinguished sportsman, recently Chairman of SA Brain Brewery and WRU sponsors (Brains), Chairman of other fine organisations and High Sheriff of South Glamorgan in the late 70s. Mike Phipps, (H ’55) previously a well known farmer and now a land owner, Clive Mossford (L ’58), an exact contemporary of mine in Leconfield, retired MD of Lion Laboratories plc and a Chartered Accountant like David Wheeler (NH ’58) who, like Clive, has been a director of various great companies. Sorry, if it is not entirely relevant to this unusual OC story, but there was one other couple
who attended the Pollard dinner, Rodney and Mary Bird of Birds of Cowbridge, who happened to be one of our first customers selling Galt Toys, a division of my Family Company, James Galt and Co. Ltd which was eventually sold in 1993. There were one or two other OCs from S. Wales who might have been there like Michael (L ’56) and Nigel Morgan (L ’61). Sadly absent but look them up in Who’s Who. What a distinguished lot from S. Wales! As Rebecca has allowed me to write a few, actually quite a lot of words for Floreat, I’m going to take advantage of this and mention one or two other things. I think the connection with us North Westerners (we’re from Cheshire) with College is pretty thin. My only close connection with College around here is with my cousins, Jimmy (L ’57) and John Offer (L ’68) and my uncle, Rupert Webb, (L ’46). Also my friend Brian Thompson (N ’58) who had at least one game in the Rugby side in 1957. Finally there are just a few OCs that I must mention. HM Rose (Ch ’58) or of course General Sir Michael Rose (Ch ’58), Charles Mackay (L ’57) with a most distinguished career, Michael Thomas (L ’57) who lives in IOW within about 100 yards from my son in law’s parents and Timothy Lynch Staunton, (L ’58), a great bowler. Last but not least, Barrie Mayes (L ’58) with whom I had so many great conversations in Shacks Passage in Leconfield all those 55 years ago.
D Wheeler (NH ’58)
W Offer (L ’58)
C Mossford (L ’58)
I’m not on Facebook or such like, but I do have an email address email@example.com I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me!
C Brain (H ’58)
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LIFE AFTER COLLEGE By Lexi Straker-Nesbit (A ’07) After leaving College in 2007, I proceeded to embark on a gap year, which entailed just under a year away in Christchurch, New Zealand, playing and coaching cricket and travelling through New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. During my year abroad I secured a place at Reading University to read Art. This was a four year degree and over this period I started to specialise in animal sculptures made from chicken wire. As part of my development process, I began to use metal as the main focus of the sculptures. I contacted Shelley Thomas, who is an Artist Blacksmith and Jeweller at Forge in the Kew Bridge Steam Museum. Shelley mentored and encouraged me and taught me all the skills I needed to make the metal sculptures that I specialise in. So for the last two years of my degree I produced my University art work at Kew forge. Leaving University to enter the world can be a daunting time in anyone’s life. I knew I wanted to carry on making sculptures and began to realise that being able to break into the art world might be a struggle, and with little reward. Therefore, I decided to take my sculptures down a more commercial route into the ever growing wine and alcohol industry. I now specialise in the design, creation and marketing of each wine rack. Most racks that I have made and sold reflect the shapes of animals such as ducks, hares, pigs and even an elephant. Animal shapes are not exclusive though, as I have been commissioned to make a yacht and a ladies hat wine rack. In addition, there are two different wine ring sizes within the shape of the wine rack in order to accommodate Bordeaux and Champagne size bottles. However, as all these wine racks are bespoke, any ring size and theme can be designed and made. The idea behind these bespoke sculptured wine racks is to add a fun, modern and unique twist, and make it special to the person buying it. I began making my products in September 2012 and in November 2012 I exhibited at my first show, The Grand Christmas Sale, Victoria, London. I also exhibited at the Taste of Christmas at Excel in London. These shows were the beginning and tested the market for my products both to the wine industry and to members of the public. The reaction was nothing but positive and encouraging. This gave me even more drive to succeed in what I am starting up. The commissions are slowly coming in as word travels. I am exhibiting at many shows, between May and December, which can be seen on my website. I have run a competition through decanter.com and am due to make an eagle for the winner, with the claws carrying two wine bottles. My duck wine rack has been featured in the June 2013 edition of Country Homes and Interiors. Apart from exhibitions, where I show both on a sole and on a joint basis with some merchants including Sanglier Wines, Red Squirrel Wines, Dog Walk Wines and Hannibal Brown Wines, these merchants also exhibit my wine racks in their outlets. Therefore, mutually, we promote each others’ businesses. During the second year of this business I intend to arrange more marketing outlets and develop different themes in order to create a wider market and move to full utilisation of my metal working capacity at Kew. Lexi Straker-Nesbit Sculptures www.LexiStraker-Nesbit.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 07825651766
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Coast to Cotswold Challenge: 150 miles in 5 days By Guy Mitchell (NH ’11) In January 2012 we received some devastating news that one of our best family friends had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Mitchell family decided that we needed to do something big for charity and this is where the mad ideas began floating about: climb Everest, swim the Pacific, sail the Atlantic in a Pico - all very unrealistic. My sister Philippa (Pip) (A ’08) then came up with the idea of the Coast to Cotswold challenge. Run 150 miles from Salcombe to Tetbury in 5 days, 30 miles a day! Once it became apparent that the challenge was actually going to go ahead we added two more charities to our list along with the original charity, prostate cancer. We added CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and The Cotswold Care Hospice as our additional two. CRY was especially relevant due to a horrific experience Pip had in her first term of teaching when a 14 year old pupil had a heart attack whilst on the hockey pitch. After months of hospitalisation she is miraculously back at school playing sport once again. Training began in late August before either of us went back to our respective parts of the country. My training consisted predominantly of running round the roads of outer Birmingham whilst also playing rugby. Pip trained in Cambridge and managed by running 5 miles to and from work. Both of us experienced all sorts of weather during our training, most notably the prolonged snowy period which made running on the roads a slippery experience. A couple of weeks before the challenge commenced, we united to tackle our first 30 miles and my first marathon. This tester consisted of running the same 10 mile loop 3 times which at the time seemed like a good idea but not 5 hours later due to the utter boredom that was endured. The fact that our liquids had been thrown away by the bin men made matters only worse. After completion, it dawned on us that this challenge would test our physical and mental endurance beyond our imagination.
Day 1: Salcombe to Newton Abbot The challenge began on April 1st in the centre of Salcombe, Devon, with very few, but special supporters. Chilly and nervous off we ran; just 150 miles back to the Cotswolds with Mum and Dad
in pursuit on the support bike and in the support pickup. Little did we know at this stage that the support from the rest of Team Mitch consisting of Gaye, Nick and Lucy would be one of the fundamental factors of us completing this challenge. The first day to Newton Abbot consisted mostly of an incline from the coast but the adrenalin was pumping and nothing was stopping us (apart from when I nearly cried due to a mixture of cramp and the realisation of what I had let myself in for). Mum told us to slow down ‘it’s an ultramarathon not a sprint’, perhaps we should have listened. Routine of ice bath, recovery drink, excruciating massage from the invaluable physios, carbo loading and sleep commenced.
Day 2: Newton Abbott to Tiverton This was the first time either of us had run back to back marathons and it became clear that this was going to test us like never before. It was especially tough for Pip due to her knee being in very bad shape following day one which only went from bad to worse as the days went on. Thankfully we were joined by a friend for the whole day who gave us some much needed distraction especially when we ran back down to sea level after all the hill running we had endured the previous day!
Day 3: Tiverton to Glastonbury Worst day: no visitors not even half way and miles and miles of dual carriageways (Legal? Who knows!) Mrs Mitch (Mum) made her guest appearance on the running road when we needed to run through an extreme low. The highlight was at the end of the day when Lucy Mitchell arrived. She bought with her an army of medical mod cons needed for Pip’s knackered knee. I had been nicknamed ‘white Mo Farah’ by this stage as when asked if I was in pain I modestly replied no I’m just #$?!@% & bored of running!
Day 4: Glastonbury to Bradford-Upon-Avon Team Mitch complete. Over halfway and spirits starting to lift. The day consisted of numerous hills and guest appearances form OCs Fred Nesbitt (NH ’11) and George Sandbach (NH ’11) whose presence was much appreciated despite the fact they were late which did not go down well as we were deteriorating and needed a boost! The encouraging words of ‘they are only 3 miles down the road you will see them soon’ seemed like a running lifetime away and only caused more aggravation!
Day 5: Bradford-Upon-Avon to Tetbury As expected, the final day was the most enjoyable with beautiful sunshine, OC appearances from Ben Hayward (H ’11) and Tom Richardson (Xt ’98 & Current Staff Member) and even a sneaky pint was indulged in at mile 26 due to us being ahead of our 5pm scheduled arrival in Tetbury! Entering Tetbury and seeing the church spire released the bubbling emotions of extreme exhaustion, elation and unimaginable relief. A few tears were shed when we were met by over 100 people in Tetbury town square and our family friend who it was all in aid of. The completion of the challenge was then celebrated by an impromptu Mitchell house party with a 5am bed time and the recovery began! It was an unbelievably tough experience for the whole of Team Mitch but made more than worthwhile when we raised over £13,000 for our charities. We never believed this challenge would be as painful and exhausting as it was but we would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support we received throughout and making it an experience that will never quite seem real. Despite the pain we knew it was only temporary and nothing in comparison to what our family friend is going through and would endure it a million times over to see his health return. A card we received after the challenge summed it up for Team Mitch; ‘Madness doesn’t RUN in the family it practically GALLOPS’. 38
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QUEEN’S By Wandrille Bates (Housemistress) In 1991, as part of College’s 150th Anniversary, the College Council and the Headmaster (Peter Wilkes), agreed a Development Plan for the following ten years. Part of that Plan included offering the International Baccalaureate as a Sixth Form option from September 1992. To support that, a home was needed to accommodate more Sixth Form girls. An opportunity arose to purchase Linden House, an elegant Georgian building (built in 1847) with a wonderful view across College Lawn. College had to act quickly to acquire the property, so funds were borrowed. One aspect of the Centenary Appeal, launched to coincide with the Queen’s visit on 8 November 1991, was to raise funds to pay off the loan and finance the refurbishment – a total estimated cost of £700,000. Just before HRH Queen Elizabeth visited, she gave permission for the new house to be renamed ‘Queen’s House’ to commemorate her visit. Queen’s House was therefore officially opened by Anne Cadbury (Hon OC) in June 1994, with a beautiful navy crown as its emblem. It has been used as a Sixth Form extension of Chandos, then as staff accommodation and finally after years of diverse incarnations, Queen’s House found a permanent role in September 2002 as the College’s Day Girl House aged 13-18, with
Steph Chipman as the first Housemistress. I had the pleasure of being a form tutor when she was in charge and I then took over as a Housemistress in January 2011. My husband, Will Bates, grew up in a boarding house in Taunton - his father was a Housemaster for 14 years. We knew very well that running Queen’s would change our lifestyle and family habits but this is just the best possible education we could wish for our children. We made sure we followed an open door policy and genuinely feel that the girls are a key part of our family. Our daughter Eleanor has 60 amazing sisters already and she loves the many cuddles and giggles with them all. Being a Day House in such a strong boarding environment really made us think about how important it was to involve the girls in the community as a whole. As soon as I was appointed, I tried to match the boarding houses’ ethos by recruiting day matrons, organising many social events (our Performance Evening, family Olympiads and murder mystery being some of the most popular ones) and by reopening a comfy dorm for the girls to stay overnight when they are busy with College commitments. We believe that being a day pupil in College is only a question of bed geography and encourage the girls to take part in everything. Our girls are fully integrated and thrive to achieve in all areas of school life. We were so proud to see five of them selected for College
prefects last year, especially with our very own Pippa Hughes (U6) being appointed Head Girl. We have been incredibly successful over the last three years, winning many House Pots, House Singing and more importantly both Lower and Upper College Academic Shields. When people ask me what makes a good House Spirit, I often reply that it relies on two things: good communication between staff, students and parents, and on good role models. I have to say we have been blessed with some incredible sixth form girls since 2011, and this no doubt inspired the younger years to look up and achieve. I just want to end this article by thanking them all for making my job such a rewarding experience. I hope I will be invited to many of their weddings to come!
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2002 - 2011 Steph Chipman
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2011 to date Will & Wandrille Bates
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Schools Class Locomotive 925 Cheltenham By Christine Leighton (College Archivist)
uilt at the Eastleigh Works near Southampton, at a cost of c£5,000, and entering service for the Southern Region in 1934, locomotive 925 Cheltenham was one of the 40 Schools’, class 440 locomotives built between 1930 and 1935. Numbered 900 to 939, they were named after famous Public Schools within the Southern Railway area and, when new, the railway company would take the locomotive to the station nearest to the school after which it had been named so that the staff and pupils could inspect it. It was a publicity coup; not only did many pupils travel to and from their school by train in those days, but train spotting was also a very popular hobby with schoolboys at the time. However, as more locomotives were built, they had to start naming them after schools that were not in the Southern region, so some schools, including College, never got to see ‘their’ engine. Designed by Richard Maunsell, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway, the Cheltenham featured a sloping cab and tender side in order to be able to work the London-Hastings route which had a number of restricted-width tunnels. The three-cylinder engines of the 440 wheel arrangement were the most powerful ever built in the UK and were mainly used on express trains in the south-east. The introduction of electrification on the Kent coast line, and the use of diesel engines, rendered the Schools class surplus to requirements and they were all withdrawn from service between 1961 and 1962. Only three of the original 40 survived: 926 Repton (purchased privately and taken to America where it ran in the USA and Canada, before returning to the UK where it is now owned by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway); 928 Stowe (bought from British Rail by Lord Montague of Beaulieu and displayed at Beaulieu Abbey until 1973 and now on the Bluebell line) and
925 Cheltenham which, until 2010, was mothballed in the National Railway Museum in York. On 6th October 2010, Cheltenham was returned to Eastleigh for renovation. As the Cheltenham had been overhauled at Ashford in December 1958, not long before being withdrawn from service, it was generally in good condition, though the boiler was insulated with asbestos. The transportation and removal of asbestos alone cost £35,000, before specialist contractors and a team of volunteers from the Mid Hants Railway Society began their work to overhaul the engine. The restoration crew wrote a detailed blog about the refurbishment, with lots of pictures which you can see on their website (http://www.watercressline.co.uk/ archive/News/Loco_20fdb8ab.html). The first blog was on 22 November 2010 and the last (blog 50) on 27 Aug 2012. The work was completed in May 2012 and the engine entered passenger service on the ‘Watercress Line’ in the August. In May 2013 the Cheltenham was being lent to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway for its Cotswold Steam Celebration weekend. That provided an ideal opportunity to rectify a 79-year omission. Thus, on 16th May 2013, a group of pupils and staff from both College and the Junior School, plus some Council members, finally had the opportunity to inspect their engine. At a short ceremony, Mr Henry Howard, chairman of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust, welcomed the representatives from College and gave a short history of the locomotive. Dr Peterken also spoke, saying how valuable the work of the volunteers was
in preserving the history of the railways and how important it is to look after our heritage. Everyone then enjoyed a train ride from Cheltenham Racecourse Station to Winchcombe Station and back again. But it was not just a fun morning off lessons – a Third Form Physics class learnt how the engine worked and Junior School pupils followed up the trip in their History lessons. Finally, on Tuesday 11th June, in Hampshire, Cheltenham was officially rededicated by Paul Kirkman, Acting Director of the National Railway Museum (which still owns the locomotive). Before a VIP audience he said, ‘Overhauling this locomotive means that we’re now able to make the most powerful class of 440 ever produced in Europe more widely accessible to the public. It is a beautiful piece of engineering and it is wonderful to see it returned to its former glory’. Many schools which had a locomotive named after them now have one of the nameplates as a memento, presented when the locomotive was taken out of service. Sadly we do not have a nameplate gracing our walls but at least we can still go and see our locomotive, the 925 Cheltenham.
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ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE PROJECT IN ZAMBIA RECEIVES £5,000 FROM CHELTENHAM COLLEGE By William-Ross Anderson (5th Form, Xt)
uring the summer, three friends, Alex de Wesselow (5th Form, Xt), James Battishill (5th Form, NH), Henry Morshead (5th Form, BH) & I achieved the awesome target of raising £5,000 in aid of the Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) in Zambia. These essential funds will be put towards a new library in the Education Centre and will be located at the EOP Nursery outside Lusaka. To raise this, we canoed for 4 days from Chepstow to Glasbury, travelling 100 miles on the River Wye. The canoe trip had many highs and a few lows. Day 1 had an introductory 10 hours of non-stop paddling made up for by day 2, where we managed a 5.30am start in order to stop off at the pub and watch the Lions victorious rugby match. Day 3 saw us tackle 28.5 miles – with a big welcome to blisters. The final day saw us caught in high winds, stranded in an enclave that culminated in hard paddling and high waves as we entered into the estuary at Chepstow. But no matter, we had plenty of entertainment as Mr Nelson’s (Xt Housemaster) bird commentary was always close at hand for the final 27-mile push! Our next venture is underway with plans in the making for a canoe trip North to South on the Mandal River in Norway or Coast-to-Coast in Scotland. The EOP provides sanctuary for abandoned elephant calves, often the tragic victims of poaching and human conflict. They work in conjunction with the Muzovo Awareness Project that reaches out to 3,200 children across 20 rural schools, educating them about the importance of conservation and wildlife protection. The Education Centre will be alongside the public viewing area encouraging children to see and learn at the same time.
I presented the £5,000 cheque to the EOP as I was lucky enough to have a work placement at the Elephant nursery. The placement varied from fixing solar panels, being on the 3-hourly feeds for the newly rescued 5 month old orphan Nkala, bushwalking with the orphans and going into the bush to forage for brush to feed them. Living with the team was an eye-opening experience. They have no electricity, open air sleeping, and survive solely on donations. The £5,000 so generously donated by College parents, students and family members will go a long way towards raising awareness about the ongoing slaughter of Africa’s elephants that has left tens of thousands of them dead. An exciting adjunct to this charity challenge is the enthusiasm of the EOP management to build an Internship programme with Cheltenham College allowing 30 days of work experience for students.
College Archive Needs You As many readers will know, 675 Old Cheltonians died in the First World War and each one has a story to tell. They will be intriguing, inspirational, poignant. But before all those young men died - they lived. And as some were so young, most of that life had been at College. As we approach the centenary commemorations, Archives would welcome anyone who would like to volunteer to help discover the stories of those men. We would also like to appeal for any material relating to OCs who served in the First World War - whether they died or survived. Diaries, notebooks, photographs, medals, newspaper cuttings specific to OCs, etc. We understand that you may not want to part with such items, but would you consider lending them to us to copy as Mr Selby did with his father’s diaries? (See article on pg 56.) For more information, do please get in touch: email@example.com 42
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IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST THAI STUDENT AT CHELTENHAM COLLEGE By M.R.Chakrarot Chitrabongs (NH ’64)
King Mongkut, Rama IV
King Chulalongkorn, Rama V
he year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Thai student at Cheltenham College. This Thai OC had not been aware of this historic fact until he received communications from College, stating that members of staff were preparing to travel to Bangkok to celebrate the occasion. The knowledge was very pleasant since it is customary in Thai culture to celebrate, or give remembrance, on anniversaries ranging from births and deaths, with special emphasis every 12 years based on the 12 cyclical order of the lunar year in the traditional system. More recently were added the 50th,100th,150th, etc. anniversaries as influenced by Western culture. Thailand and the Thai people have always held the British people in their highest esteem ever since the Victorian Era, calling the English ‘khon angrit’, a Thai word that had derived from the French ‘Anglais’; England as ‘Prathet Angrit’ (Hindi: Pradesh) and currently The United Kingdom as ‘Saha Raj Anachak’ (Sanskrit). We have lauded the English upper classes as ‘phu di angrit’ (The English Gentility) and have aspired to bring up Thai children after such models. How this had come about needs to be analysed from the socio-political situation of the mid 19th century. Siam was under the sovereign rule of King Mongkut (r. 1851 – 1868) King Rama IV of the Royal House of Chakri. The King had been aware of the might of the British Raj in India ever since the beginning of his reign. He immediately began to put into effect state policies to cope with the threat of colonisation in Southeast Asia. In fact, he had been preparing himself to be in readiness before coming to the throne. For example, he had befriended the American missionary Dan Beach Bradley as an English language teacher. Twenty seven years before accession to the throne, he educated himself and became highly proficient in Latin, English and Astronomy. Thus the King’s education in the European
King Vajiravudh, Rama VI
King Prajadhipok, Rama VII
languages and cultural affairs were gained without leaving the country. Once on the throne, he proceeded to familiarise his offspring and subjects with the European culture. For example, in 1857 he sent an embassy to Queen Victoria of Great Britain that resulted in a long and firm friendship between the two sovereigns. In 1861, he sent another embassy to Napoleon III of France, starting a long series of contacts and exchanges of gifts that were to have deep influential effects on the Thai culture of the period. On the education front, he employed Anna Leonowens, an English Lady as governess and English teacher to his children from 1862 to 1867. This was to augment the King’s children’s traditional education in the Royal Court by carefully selected tutors. At King Mongkut’s demise in 1868, his eldest son became King Chulalongkorn (r. 1868 – 1910) Rama V of the Royal House of Chakri. King Chulalongkorn was only 15 when he came to the throne as a juvenile king and spent the first five years of his reign learning about kingship and state crafts under the regents selected from the nobility. He also became the father figure of his younger siblings, bringing them up and devising their education as a development from the traditional methods. He then started the novel concept of sending them to be educated in European countries. In fact, King Chulalongkorn was to send all of his sons, except one who was in poor physical health, to Europe; they went to Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia. He even travelled to Europe in 1897 to visit his son and was photographed with him wearing English public school uniforms. Thus there began a new tradition of sending the children of royalty and nobility abroad for their education. The most notable son of King Chulalongkorn who was educated in Great Britain was the Crown Prince Vajiravudh, who became King Vajiravudh (r. 1910 1925), King Rama VI of the Royal House of Chakri. Prince Vajiravudh went to the
Mom Rajawongse Chakrarot Chitrabongs (NH ’64)
Phra Ong Chao Viwatanachai, Prince Viwat (H ’17)
Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and was commissioned as an officer attached to the Durham Light Infantry. In 1899, he went to Christchurch College, Oxford, to read History. On his return he became Siam’s first and most famous Anglophile, pursuing British cultural way of life, well known for his translations of Shakespearean plays into Thai, creating the Thai equivalent of the Territorial Army and the Boy Scout movement. King Vajiravudh also took the British parliamentary rule to heart and initiated a project to introduce parliamentary democracy to the land that had been ruled by absolute monarchy throughout its history. The next sovereign, King Prajadhipok (r.1925 - 1935), Rama VII, went to Eton College and Woolwich Military Academy. His British education generated a desire to gradually change the governing system of the country from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy. Time was needed to educate the people on democracy. This delay proved unacceptable for a group of French educated commoners, they wished for the country to become a republic after the French model. In 1932, they staged a coup d’etat, forcing the king to sign a democratic constitution. The King did so and abdicated in 1935. After that King Rama VII went into a self imposed exile to London, died there, only to return to his home country in a cinerary urn. The trend to send teenagers and young adults to be educated in Europe has continued steadily ever since that period. Great Britain was the country of choice and public schools were the preferred educational medium. The high royalty went to leading public schools such as Eton College and Harrow School and as time went by Thai students began to enter other famous public schools including Rugby School, Malvern College and, of course, Cheltenham College. According to College records, the first Thai student to enter Cheltenham College was Mom Chaoe Viwat Jayanta (b.1899
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F L O R E AT
FEATURE ARTICLES... d.1960) (H ’17) in 1914. The title Mom Chao indicates that he was a member of the royalty of the lowest rank to be entitled a Prince. He went to a prep school in Torquay, entered Cheltenham College, and then went to Magdelene College, Cambridge. During his long life, he became the first Governor of the Bank of Thailand, State Minister in four cabinets, and a Privy Councilor to the Sovereign King. His career was so distinguished that he was awarded the highest royal decorations. The highest honour, however, was when the King granted the elevation of his royal rank from the lowly Mom Chao (His Serene Highness) to Phra Ong Chao (His Highness): a high honour indeed. The first group of Thai students at College were mostly the royalty of the Mom Chao rank and sons of the nobility. Looking down the chronological list one sees the same family name occurring time and again, indicating that the early Thai OCs were sending their offspring to College in succession. In a few decades their titles changed to Mom Rajawongse (M.R.) which is the birth tile of the next generation after Mom Chao (M.C.). A Mom Rajawongse is considered a member of the Thai Royal Family by birth, but is not royalty. Continuing the family lineage, the Mom Rajawongse gives birth to the Mom Luang
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(M.L.). The next generations after the Mom Luang are born without a title, but are entitled to use a suffix of Na Ayutthaya after their family names to indicate that they are descendants of the royal lineage. But for all practical purposes, they are considered to be commoners. Under this system, all of the great royal family lines cease to exist after five generations of succession. When I visited Prince Viwat prior to joining College, he advised me on how to make the best use of the opportunity. I remember that his advice was both simple and profound. He told me to take things as they come, but to be attentive to everything that I was about to experience. I took this wisdom to heart and seventeen years later, I returned to my home country with a Master of Arts degree and a Diploma in Architecture from Cambridge University. Back in Bangkok, I immediately took up a civil service career and thirty years later retired from the position of the Permanent Secretary, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Culture. I shall always attribute this personal success to Cheltenham College and the Public School education of Great Britain. The experience enabled me, if not to become a ‘phu di angrit’, to understand what the meaning of the term ‘English Gentleman’ from a Thai perspective was all about.
The list of Thai OCs also tells of similar successes achieved by the majority of OCs through the generations. Many of my generation have become great achievers in their chosen careers. To name a few, I had admired the Purananda brothers, Pravit (H ’57) and Tanong (H ’62). Their father had acted as the Superintendant of the Thai Government Students’ Office in London for many years. It was he who had overseen my entry to Cheltenham College. Tanong also sent his son Paveen (H ’95) to College, so the tradition continued. Lastly I would like to mention a close friend and associate, Isorn Pocmontri (Xt ’77), who is a direct descendant of Prince Viwat. Isorn has pursued a professional career in the diplomatic service and is now conferred the position of Ambassador attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the gracious command of His Majesty the King. With that, I should like to express on behalf of all Thai Old Cheltonians that we share a deeply felt gratefulness to College for our education and upbringing during our formative years, contributing to us becoming responsible individuals and so enabling us to achieve success in our careers. May College steadfastly flourish forever into the future.
50 Years On! By John Kennett (Ch ’65)
In Floreat 13 Charles Aikenhead (BH ’63) wrote a fascinating article about the shooting team and the visit to Bisley in 1963 when we won the Public Schools Aggregate. This competition consisted of the aggregate scores from the major competitions during the schools’ week - The Ashburton, the Snap, the Marling, the Cadet Pair and the Reserve Pair (or 9th Man nobody can remember). Sadly this was the last time College won a major trophy at Bisley.
no-one wore ear protectors and the official edict from RSM Cockhead was to roll up a piece of 4 X 2, the flannelette used for cleaning rifles, and stuff it in our ears.
Charles contacted those of us who were part of the squad in 1963 and whom he could contact via email. He suggested that we should have a get-together in 2013 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary. This was taken up by Mark West (Xt ’63), who captained the team in 1963, and after a lot of diary searching and some detective work to identify those in the team photo, he managed to get six of us together for dinner in London in October. Peter Irwin (Xt ’63) travelled from Canada and Charles Aikenhead (BH ’63) from South Africa. John Stoney (Ch ’63) came from Yorkshire whilst Mark West, Richard Pearson (Ch ’65) and I all had a fairly easy journey from London and the south east. Mike Giddy (Xt ’65) was keen to attend but was prevented by a business commitment and Hugh Archer (Xt ’64) had to pull out for health reasons. Others either could not be found or felt it was too far to come.
The Delaunay - the extremely fashionable restaurant where we dined - would not allow us to use flash so the accompanying photograph is not of the best quality and, in my opinion, makes some of us look older than we do in the flesh. For those who don’t recognise us the group from left to right are: - Peter Irwin, Mark West, John Stoney, Charles Aikenhead, Richard Pearson and me, John Kennett.
We had a very congenial evening and swapped stories and reminiscences from fifty years ago. Most of us hadn’t met for all that time and I think it is fair to say that we might not have recognised each other had it not been for a few OC ties. One thing that several of us had in common was problems with our hearing and in at least two cases, tinnitus. In those days
There is something of a mystery about Richard Pearson’s participation in this event as he was certainly an active shooter at the time but nobody, least of all Richard, can remember whether he was in the team at the vital time. He was not in the group photo but this may have been that he was simply not available when it was taken. He was invited because Mark West wrongly identified him from the photo. However, he was most welcome and may well have been there as legitimately as the rest of us. As we parted company not long before midnight and with a few bottles of wine inside we all agreed that we should try and get together again, possibly at Bisley during the schools’ week next year. 44
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Life After Leconfield By Jonathan Williams (L ’60)
hen I was at Leconfield in the 1950s a major pleasure for me was riding my bicycle out to the Prescot Hill Climbs in the summer. I had already decided to be a racing driver, a decision I kept to myself out of fear of ridicule. I also enjoyed cross country running and rowing; I was cox of the house IV and the College VIII on account of my small size and light weight. After I left the College, my father enrolled me at the Chelsea College of Aeronautical and Automobile Engineering, a stroke of genius on his part. There, I learned many useful skills in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, but more importantly made friends with like minded car mad people who were also students. The nucleus were a group of Old Etonians, all determined to race cars on derisory budgets. Timing is everything in life, and it so happened that Alec Issigonis’ brilliant Mini had just been produced. It lent itself to simple modification and I acquired one and went
racing in small events and hill climbs, which were usually up the driveways of stately homes. As this had been my passion for so many years, it was a relief to find out that I was quite good at it – I won my first competition which was around a large field in an event known as Autocross. I took it to France for a serious hill climb near Clermont Ferrand where I wrecked it. A famous French driver, Jo Schlesser, asked me if my father knew I was there. I still looked about twelve years old. The following year I raced a highly modified Austin A40 exclusively in the UK and won a minor championship which encouraged me to move up to single seater racing for the 1963 season in the very competitive Formula Junior category. Unfortunately, in my second race which was at Monaco, I had a suspension failure and ended up in hospital. The upside was that Princess Grace came and sat on the end of my bed and chatted with me for half an hour. She was charming. When I was better
Johnathan Williams whilst at Leconfield
Cox College 45
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Ferrari Dino Targa Florio 1967
My home, Tarifa Spain
I carried on with another car, traveling around Europe with (Sir) Frank Williams as my companion, both of us sleeping in the transporter. The following year, 1964, I formed a team with my friend Piers Courage and did the same thing, having a wonderful time on a shoestring. For 1965 a school friend of Piers’, Charles Lucas, bought us two state of the art Formula 3 Brabhams and we pretty much won every time we started. I made a big mistake at Rheims and wound up in hospital with a broken back and both legs. Two months later I won my comeback race at Monza. For 1966, I accepted an invitation to drive for the Italian firm of De Sanctis, based in Rome. This was a very happy time, Rome was beautiful in those days and we worked hard and won just about everything. Word came down that Enzo Ferrari wanted to talk to me. I signed a contract to drive for him in 1967. Things didn’t work out as well as they might have, for reasons too complicated to go into here, and when I destroyed a Formula One car in post season testing, my contract wasn’t renewed. I moved on to Abarth in Turin to race a stillborn F1 car. The highlight of that year was winning the first race for Frank Williams as an entrant at Monza. We had a verbal contract to split the prize money, and Frank would buy dinner if we won. After that my career went into a slow decline, and when my friend Piers Courage died, my heart was no longer in it. I did, however, have a busman’s holiday when I worked on the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans as a stunt driver. I had already driven the camera car in the race.
the world and flown more than one hundred transatlantic flights, I decided to quit and went back to my place in the South of France. After a few years I was tired of the same view every morning, sold up and went on the road in a camper van which is what I still do. It is a lifestyle that suits me perfectly, I drift up and down the coast of the Mediterranean between Portugal and Italy meeting interesting, often eccentric people. Being able to speak four languages is a help in this regard.
When I told Alessandro De Tomaso, for whom I was driving at the time, that I was pulling out, he invited me to stay and fly his airplane. I already had a commercial pilot’s licence obtained through regular visits to a flight school in Florida on my way back from the enjoyable Argentine Temporada race series which used to take place every January and February. I agreed and thus started a second career. I moved on to become demonstration pilot for a small aircraft manufacturer in Naples. I flew one to Oklahoma City in winter, the riskiest thing I have ever done. After various moves, I ended up flying private jets for fifteen years. One day after having seen most of
Cheltenham College in the 1950s could not easily be confused with Club Med, but I am grateful for two things I learned there. Self reliance and a profound mistrust of authority, useful tools for life.
F L O R E AT ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
Camera Car Porsche 908 Le Mans 1970
Stunt driver group Le Mans 1970
Oaklahoma City 1972
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The Boxing Day Tsunami, Ten Years On By Lottie Delamain (Cha ’02)
‘Cool let’s go surf it!’ George Delamain’s (L ’06) response to the news that there was a tsunami hurtling towards us on the tiny island of Koh Phra Thong, an island that measures just four miles wide, on 26th December ten years ago, seems unthinkable today. But back then, the word tsunami was relatively unknown, associated with a famous Japanese poster, it was just a word that had been mentioned in a geography lesson once. How was George to know the horror it was about to unleash? Today, however, it is firmly enshrined in the general lexicon, a word that is synonymous with both extraordinary loss and extraordinary giving, but most of all, or for me at least, the unstoppable and unpredictable force that is Mother Nature. The public response to the Boxing Day tsunami was overwhelming – £1 billion was donated globally and people turned out in droves to bake cakes, donate clothes and support the people whose lives had been destroyed by the monster wave. Unlike so many other global tragedies, the tsunami provoked in people an unprecedented desire to give and support. For us it was a confusing time. On the one hand we were in the eye of the storm, both literally and figuratively. We had been first-hand witnesses to one of the most awesome acts of nature in living memory, we’d been stranded in paradise and reduced to taking our clothes off to wave at passing helicopters to get help, sharing out tins of tuna between the survivors on the island before being rescued and delivered to a refugee centre on the mainland. On the other hand, I remember feeling very divorced from the circus that was playing out around us. We were one of the first families to arrive back in the UK. Dad had warned us that there may be press waiting at Heathrow, which we thought was absurd. But he was right. The first few days went by in a haze of friends and family calling to check we were ok, press knocking at the door for interviews. Although we had been there, forty-eight hours later we were at home in Wiltshire, nearly 7,000 miles from the ravaged shores of beautiful Thailand. The extent of the horror of the tsunami continued to unfold on TV screens around the world and it began to feel less like something that had happened to us and more like something had happened to everyone. And as the death toll continued to rise with grim predictability so did our overwhelming sense of good-fortune.
We had been scheduled to leave the morning of the tsunami which meant that, unlike any other morning of the holiday, we were all together. Had it been the day before, I might have been swimming, George and my younger brother Max (L ’09) canoeing, and our story would have had a very different ending. When we arrived on the mainland, our fateful good fortune became even more apparent. Having been rescued by lifeboats twenty-four hours after the first wave hit, our lifeboat glided through the eerily calm waters and the scale of the horror unravelled before us. Whole homes slid past the boat – mattresses, televisions, babies’ bottles, clothes, cars. Arriving on land, the calm became pandemonium. Parents were looking for children, thirty-foot palm trees were upended, roots to the sky, cars were desperately skidding and dragging debris from collapsed houses. As we reached the shore, a young man who’d lost his wife and three children only twenty-four hours before, came to greet the boat. As he did so, he took off his shirt to give to us, and apologized for what had happened, as if somehow, it being his country, it was his fault. Despite protests, he insisted on offering us his car, and drove us and the rest of the bedraggled holidaymakers in the back of his jeep to the refugee centre. As he dropped us off, I remember shamefully thinking what was he returning to comparing it to what I was returning to. As the days went on, the horror stories continued to materialize. With each story, I wanted less and less to be a part of it. Back at uni I remember feeling embarrassed when people asked me about it. Our story was a Robinson Crusoe-style tale of adventure, triumph over adversity, one that I had told so many times that it now failed to stir any emotion in me. Knowing that so many other people’s stories didn’t have such a happy ending made me ashamed of our fortuitously lucky escape. And still now, writing this article, that same feeling remains. The abject randomness of who survived and who didn’t is a hard pill to swallow.
relive your own personal tragedy every time the media chooses to print a story on it. However, perhaps now, it is time for us to relive it. Not long ago, we received some happy news about Koh Phra Thong. Two days before the tsunami struck, we had spent a very merry evening at the only bar on the island, Mr Chuoi’s. Mr Chuoi’s bar was a lone piece of driftwood, bedecked with conch shells and star fish and stocked only with some distinctly homemade rum and a couple of coconuts. And outside was his pride and joy, a rather incongruous Harley Davisdon that begged lots of questions as to how it got there and when if at all, it got used. Mr Chuoi’s idyllic nofrills existence had suddenly felt perilously fragile on the morning of the tsunami, and when taking the island’s register that day there had been no sign of him. But a couple of months ago, someone sent us an email to say they had just got back from a holiday on Koh Phra Thong, and could report that Mr Chuoi was very much alive and well, knocking up rum punches into the wee hours as we had remembered him. I now live in Vietnam, and George is living in Singapore so distance is no excuse. Ten years on, maybe it is time for all of us to revisit, to thank our friends on Koh Phra Thong for their kindness, and remind us how very lucky we are.
I often think how hard it would be if you had been one of the unlucky, and had to
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ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
‘The Best Way To Make Your Dreams Come True Is To Wake Up.’ Paul Valery.
By Francesca Cox (U6th, Westal)
y ardour for English and Drama has been strong for as long as I can remember, and over my school career I’ve been in many plays and written several stories and articles. Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to combine both interests by interviewing Nathaniel Parker (Current Parent), I was extremely enthusiastic. Nat Parker was the ideal interviewee, not only because of his extreme success in the acting industry – but also because he has a daughter at College, and he was interested in contributing to Floreat. Before the interview, I was apprehensive. Nat Parker is confident, but his friendliness immediately eradicates any fears of snobbery or conceitedness. In fact, he is charismatic and charming. He grew up in London with his parents, two brothers and his sister. It seemed to Nat from an early age that acting was a form of expression he could fully relate to, as he was dyslexic, academics were a challenge, and Nat found success in sports and drama. His love for acting soon turned from a hobby to a career choice and at the age of only nine, whilst watching his older sister play Lady Macbeth on stage at Cambridge University, he made the decision to commit to acting. Nat auditioned for ‘LAMDA’, a school of Performing Arts, and three years later, graduated as their star pupil. From there Nat joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he stayed for a year and played roles such as Lysander in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and Harry Percy in ‘Richard III’. Despite his love of the theatre, he sought to explore every medium drama had to offer, and his small screen career began in 1988, with Nat playing ‘Flash Gordon’, in the show; ‘Piece of Cake’. In television though, Nat is best known for his appearances in ‘Bleak House’, ‘Nuremberg; Nazis on Trial’, and most famously as Inspector Lynley in ‘The Inspector Lynley Mysteries’. The latter aired for six years. In the show, Nat shared the spotlight with Sharon Small; he says that they enjoyed an excellent relationship, both as colleagues and socially. He noted that one of the best things about starring in a long-running show was that he could fully develop the role’s back-story, thereby giving his character more of a personality. Nat has also had several appearances on TV shows like ‘My Family’, and ‘Merlin’. His TV roles are numerous, however he was also keen to work on films and his first was definitely a memorable one. He played Wilfred Owen in the silent film, ‘War Requiem’. Not only was Nat working with Derek Jarman, a director that Parker called ‘a genius’, but his personal idol, Laurence Olivier, was on the set on his first day of shooting. Nat was thrilled by ‘Othello’, he played Cassio and it was shot in picturesque Italy. He also worked with Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Fishburne, and the cast included Nat’s wife, Anna Parker, and was directed by his brother, Oliver Parker.
enormous amount’, and that it was a huge success. Nat has also taken part in multiple big-screen films; he played Clive Healy in ‘The Bodyguard’, co-starring with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. He later played Dustin Thorne in ‘Stardust’, with Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Though he is most recognized as having played these roles, one of his personal favourites, was the film adaption of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. Nat was Gabriel Oak, a character that Parker immensely enjoyed playing. Of course, having done theatre, film and television – Nat felt the desire to act on the radio. He played Jean-Louis Chavel in Graham Green’s ‘The Tenth Man’. Moreover, he’s also done many audio books for the ‘Artemis Fowl’ series; he was keen to do some child-friendly work when he became a parent. He has two daughters with his wife, Anna, with his youngest attending College. He said that College was chosen because he knew many friends who’d sent their children here, with happy results. What’s more, during the shooting of ‘Vanity Fair’, in which Parker played Rawdon Crawley, Nat saw Cheltenham College as one of the party scenes was shot in the College Dining Room. He loved the look of the school and based largely on the advice of friends, decided to send his youngest here. When asked if he’d be happy for his daughters to follow in his footsteps, Nat assured me that he would encourage his children to pursue their dreams, he said; ‘Drama is an opener. It allows children who are shy, to be bold’. Despite this, Nat was sure to warn me, and others who are interested in the career path, to be single-minded and thickskinned. Even an actor of Nathaniel’s caliber, with his plethora of experience, gets at least a dozen rejections a year. Nat has not been deterred by this though, he had a successful four month run in the West End this year, playing Gordon Brown opposite Dame Helen Mirren, in ‘The Audience’, which was directed by Stephen Daldry. Currently he is into the workings of ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bringing Up The Bodies’, theatre adaptions of Hilary Mantel’s award winning novels, in which he’ll be playing Henry VIII. The play will run from December 2013 to March 2014 at Stratford-Upon-Avon. Parker spoke about the project with enthusiasm; he’s excited about getting back to the Royal Shakespeare Company after a twentyseven year absence. Nathaniel Parker still has many ambitions; roles he’d like to play, and actors and actresses, particularly Meryl Streep, that he’d like to work with. His career thus far is impressive to say the least, and it is certain that Nat will continue to bring high-quality performances to film, television, radio and theatre, for many years to come.
This, of course, was not Nat’s only film adaption from Shakespeare and he later played Laertes in ‘Hamlet’, co-starring with Mel Gibson, Nat recalled his counterpart as being ‘A laugh’. He also played Bassanio in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, which starred Dustin Hoffman as Shylock; Nat commented that Hoffman ‘taught [him] an 48
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My Sabbatical Term By Debbie Anderes (Current Prep Staff Member) During the Summer of 2013 I undertook my sabbatical. I chose to split the time between travel and charity work.
My second major trip was to the US. My main aim was two-fold: to cover areas of history, such as Gettysberg and slavery, and to spend some time amongst the Amish - a group of traditionalist Christians, famous for their simple way of life. I arrived in Philadelphia and spent most of the first two days doing the historic sites of early America - Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Liberty Bell, Rittenhouse Square. (Philadelphia is an excellent film location and I also enjoyed following the paths of National Treasure and Rocky).
Geisha Tea Ceremony
My first trip was to Japan. I had long been interested in the mysticism of Ancient Japan: the Samurai and the Geisha of Kyoto, as well as the more modern history surrounding Hiroshima. I went on an escorted tour of the country and had the opportunity of seeing both ancient and modern life, as well as being there in the most magical of times - Cherry Blossom season. The tour began in Kyoto, the beautiful southern city that had been remarkably undamaged by the war. It is a city of two halves - the more modern, high rise sector and the older, wooden hub of ancient Japanese culture, the area known as Gion. Geikos (Geisha) and Maikos (apprentices) still abound in this Cherry blossom Hiroshima small rat run of alleyways and tea houses. Girls may only join this highly skilled job of dancer, raconteur and musician, after they have finished their formal education at 15. There are still many applicants. Hiroshima was an extremely poignant stop on my journey. I was at the time reading a book about the destruction of the atomic bomb and I was able to put many images to the words. I was impressed by the city’s resilience and by its people, who try to spread the word about nuclear disarmament around the globe. From here, I journeyed up into the mountains, staying in Ryokans - traditional ‘B&Bs’ with hot spring baths called onsen. A similar thing was also enjoyed by the Macaques who enjoyed their own hot spring at Jigokudani Yaenkoen. This troupe of 200 monkeys enjoy sitting in the hot waters, especially in the winter months, although I only witnessed the odd 3 or 4 partaking on the day I visited. Macaque enjoying the
My final destination was the enormous hot springs metropolis that was Tokyo - just as you see on TV, vibrant and noisy and not really my cup of tea! But from here I was able to take the bullet train (one of several journeys made on this incredible form of transport, now over 25 years old) to see Fujisan or Mount Fuji. The weather was perfect on the day I went and it was clear to see why artists like Hokusai, as well as the general public, revere it so much.
After a weekend spent in Delaware, I made my way to Lancaster County, home to the majority of Amish in the state. The Amish call anyone outside the community, English, regardless of their nationality. Their way of life is simple: children are taught in one room school houses up to the age of 15; clothing is basic and, for some women, completely fastened by pins; mules and pack horses are still used in the fields. For me, it was like stepping back in time and yet I feel that things are subtly changing. They have no mains electricity, but white goods, such as fridges are adapted to be powered by battery. Cars are banned, yet they use ‘English’ taxi services. They are not allowed phones in the home, yet they have a call box shared by several families, at the end of the road. Photos may not be taken, yet teenagers have facebook pages. Although 85% of young Amish return to the church after their rumspringa, I feel that it won’t be long before technology begins to have an impact on their community. From here I made my way up to Cincinnati and spent my final days looking at the history of the North/ South divide and the issues of slavery in America. Although we consider this to be a thing of the past, the excellent National Underground Railroad Freedom Center really brought home how, in many countries today, including our own, issues of slavery still exist. The final part of my sabbatical was spent closer to home. For several years I have been a volunteer at WellChild (www.wellchild. org.uk) - the national charity for sick children, that provides essential practical and emotional support for seriously ill children and their families. For the last two summers I have been based in their office in Cheltenham, assisting wherever required. The charity is only small - with 24 people working full time - and it has 3 main aims; care, support and research. Care is provided by the nurses that are situated around the country giving assistance to parents allowing their children to return home from hospital. Support is given to the families by way of the Helping Hands projects, where local companies recruit staff who, with the help of the WellChild group, make-over gardens and bedrooms so that the children have better access to facilities. Research is undertaken at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I was privileged to be asked, this past September, to volunteer at the 9th Annual WellChild Awards Ceremony which took place at the Dorchester hotel in the presence of our Patron, Prince Harry. A host of celebrities were there to give their time and support to these courageous and outstanding children and the care-givers who support them. It was a truly inspirational evening. I am blessed to be able to do a job that also allows me to give my time elsewhere and I hope to continue to support them for many years to come.
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F L O R E AT ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
Fiona Fullerton Finds Herself On Planet Strictly By Fiona Fullerton (Current Parent)
o, the Strictly Come Dancing bubble has finally burst for me and, after an extraordinary three months, I am catapulted back into ‘Real Life’. Hey ho! The adventure was hugely exciting, exhausting, demanding, glamorous, fun and ever so slightly surreal. Having been a fan of SCD for eleven years, it was really weird coming face to face with people whom I’ve admired for so long. Brendon Cole, Anton DuBeke (with whom I was partnered) and James Jordan, all took on a fleshy persona, fuelled with wit and no little testosterone. The call came out of the blue – after 18 years away from show business, and a major career change, it was the last thing I expected. A persuasive daughter made me accept, with fear and trepidation. Could I do it? Could I dance? No matter. It would be silly to say no. At my age you (should) say yes to everything!
sleep-deprived, but I have never heard him complain. The brave and talented Natalie has been struggling with her back injury and exhaustion, due to a relentless and punishing 12 hours a day with a demanding Artem. As we know she collapsed, which was her body’s way of saying ‘Enough!’. Susanna Reid is probably one of the most ambitious people I have ever met, with a core of steel that will propel her to the top. Despite her gruelling breakfast news schedule in Manchester and three little boys at home in London, she practises every minute she can and makes no bones about the fact that she wants to be Queen of Saturday night entertainment. Abbey Clancy is truly delightful and funny and has proved to be a real surprise in the
After an intense training period – of two weeks, the first show was a quivering experience of live TV at its most terrifying. HELLO Planet Strictly! Entering the ‘Terror Zone’ every week didn’t get any easier. However, yesterday I was back in more familiar surroundings; on a building site. Up to my knees in rubble, I was being gently teased by my builders, who all love watching Strictly Come Dancing with their partners and children. ‘It’s much more fun when you actually know someone in it’, they said. ‘Can you teach us some moves?’ The Strictly juggernaut is now, as of writing, hurtling onwards, without me on board, towards a final that is going to be electric, fought tooth and nail by the remaining competitors to be the one to raise the glitter ball trophy. My Strictly journey was a smooth one, compared to some of the others, enhanced by an easy-going Anton and a lack of other pressing commitments. For example, Patrick (a charming, funny man who hid his dancing talent early on) has been filming Casualty in Cardiff, only training sporadically with Anya, and then suffered a major injury to his wrist. The handsome Ashley is filming Hollyoaks every day and trains from 7pm to midnight with Ola, who gets grumpy about the lack of time she has with him. Luckily he picks up the steps really quickly. With a new baby at home he must be seriously
dancing stakes. She has a strong work ethic and deserves every success away from the dreaded WAG term, because being married to a footballer should not define her. Her genuine charm was evident when she came in one day and said, ‘Look what Pete just bought me’. It was a humungous Rolex watch. If I’d said that, I probably would just get a withering look!
to three boys. I’d like her to win it – she and Brendon deserve to win it – but I fear the public vote is going to be a little less stylish. The whole Blackpool experience was surreal from start to finish. We filmed a sequence at the top of the tower on the glass observation platform, with Anton attempting to lift me, surrounded by some bemused onlookers. After the show we were all invited to a noisy gay club, where the transvestite hostess squealed every time someone from Strictly walked in. The following morning I was photographed leaving the hotel without makeup – ‘quell horreur’ – much to my amusement. My husband drove me, and my hangover, slowly back to Gloucestershire. So that’s my Strictly adventure over and done with, until the final. It’s back to real life now. Strangers smile and wave and the sense of joy is palpable. I have been part of an extravaganza that has entertained the nation for several weeks now and I have been stunned by the warmth and support. But there was a brief moment on my last night when, after everyone had come up and kissed me farewell, I found myself standing alone. That’s showbiz.
When a pop star has the looks of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, it is almost a contradiction in terms. She has a delightfully old-fashioned, ethereal quality that is rare in the music industry and dances with such effortless style and grace. Her Charleston with Brendon will go down in Strictly history, I’m sure, as the best dance of the series, if not the whole 11 years. She has been busy putting the finishing touches to her album, sitting in quiet corners proof-reading the text for the cover, and is a hands-on mum 50
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OCs in Afghanistan Introduction By Charlie Dunn (L ’02)
hilst I was at College I was deeply aware of the outstanding military history it had developed since the school started in 1841. The list of those OCs who fell during the great wars of the twentieth century line the walls of the Chapel with glorious distinction. I can, however, assure the wider OC community that the fine military history of the school is being upheld in a small corner of the world, Afghanistan. During the summer of 2012, whilst the UK was enjoying a summer of Jubilee celebrations and Olympic success, a handful of OCs were operating in Afghanistan. During the handover of units over the summer there were a total of 8 OCs in Afghanistan: Below are a selection of vignettes from their careers so far.
Life quietened for a few months before the Regiment started its training to deploy again to Afghanistan in March 2012, on Op HERRICK 16. This training took me to Kenya twice and Canada. I deployed as the Regimental Operations Officer working within Brigade Headquarters. I was responsible for planning operations for an organisation called the ISTAR Group, which consisted of 5 sub units, totalling over 600 personnel. The majority of the operations I planned were short notice helicopter assault tasks that dropped teams of highly trained individuals into a hostile and testing environment to defeat the determined insurgent commanders in their safe havens. The tour was long and demanding but exceptionally rewarding. On returning from Afghanistan after some well deserved leave, I assumed the role of Regimental Adjutant, where I remain now.
entry level recruits through six months basic training. In January 2012, I was posted back to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and took over the position of Number 3 Company, Second in Command. The Company deployed to Afghanistan in April 2012 and was located in a small base (PB PIMON), where we were responsible for securing nearly 100km of previously ungoverned and hostile desert. After 2 months in Afghanistan we were rewarded for our hard work and were re-rolled as the Brigade Operations Company. For the next four months we conducted helicopter borne operations across Helmand province into isolated and hostile areas. To my amusement I found myself planning many of these operations alongside another OC (Charlie Dunn).
Gareth Crossley (2nd from left back row)
Charlie Dunn (Right) Tom Thompson Capt Charlie Dunn (L ’02) – Light Dragoons Army life started for me at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in May 2007. After an exceptionally busy and testing year, I commissioned into The Light Dragoons in April 2008. I joined the Regiment as they were starting their training for their third tour of Afghanistan. I deployed with them in March 2009 on Op HERRICK 10. My troop was attached to A Company, 2 Mercian, who were part of the Light Dragoons Battlegroup. The tour was an incredibly demanding and testing 7 months which witnessed some of the fiercest fighting the conflict has known. My troop was the lead troop on Operation Panthers Claw in July. We were split down to form a dismounted fire support group and a mounted close support troop in armoured vehicles. This was a very costly operation, which saw three members of my troop sadly killed and 6 seriously injured, including myself. The tour continued until October when we were to finally return home.
Capt Tom Thompson (H ’03) – Welsh Guards My army career began in January 2008 when I first drove through the gates of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Following a year of intense training I was commissioned into the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. I then spent 3 months at the Infantry Training Centre in Brecon preparing for the responsibility of leading an infantry platoon on operations. A week after finishing my training, I deployed to Afghanistan in April 2009. I was given command of an isolated patrol base containing 45 men and the responsibility of securing a hostile area while protecting the local civilian population. I spent the next six months conducting daily patrols in regular engagement with the Taliban. On returning to the UK I spent the next six months conducting ceremonial duties guarding Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. I was then posted to the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick where I was responsible for training 48
Capt Gareth Crossley (L ’06) – 5 Rifles I commissioned from Sandhurst in December 2010 into the Rifles, and after a short Christmas break I attended the Platoon Commanders’ Battle Course in the Brecon Beacons until May 2011 when I joined The Fifth Battalion in Germany. I immediately began pre deployment training for Afghanistan with my Platoon and deployed in October 2011 to Helmand Province, as a Platoon Commander. For the duration of my 6 month tour I was in command of a small platoon sized checkpoint (CP) named Abpashak East located on the North Eastern tip of our area of operations in Nahr-e-Saraj South. My job consisted of four main tasks; providing security to the local population and area, mentoring the local police, deterring the insurgency and making the right decisions for my platoon so that they returned home safely. When we arrived the area was austere and extremely dangerous but by May 2012 when we left it was almost
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unrecognisable with increased security to the local population and a dramatically decreased presence of any insurgency. After returning to England in 2012 I deployed on Op Olympics in July to provide security to the Olympic village for London 2012, a different but equally rewarding task. I took over my current job as a Company second in Command shortly after this which has included being promoted to Captain and recently completing a 7 week armoured exercise in Alberta, Canada, as an armoured Infantry Company second in command in the Warrior Armoured fighting vehicle.
Henry Smith(Centre) Capt Henry Smith (S ’05) - 3 Rifles After completing Sandhurst, and a stint at The Infantry Battle School in Wales, I was initially posted to 3rd Battalion The Rifles based in Edinburgh. Here I took up my first position for two years as an Infantry Platoon Commander. During this time I was lucky enough to travel to both Brunei and Belize before starting pre-deployment training with my Platoon in preparation for Afghanistan. In March of 2012 we deployed as a ‘Ground Holding’ Company to the Patrol Base Jeker in Nahr-e-Saraj South, Helmand Province. I was thrust with my Platoon of some 30 guys into an isolated and austere Check Point, nestled in the small village of Kunjak. Our mission was to deter insurgent activity, therefore providing security to the area and allowing people who had been displaced by the war to return to their homes. After 6 months of patrols and operations we handed over our hot, dusty CP to a Platoon of Gurkhas and returned to a cold and rainy Edinburgh. My most recent posting was to The Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, where I now train new batches of Infantry recruits for The Rifles.
7 - ALP
Thomas Hendriksen (Centre)
James Pither (Right) Capt James Pither (Xt ’03) – 5 Rifles
From Sandhurst I commissioned into the Rifles in August 2009, joining as a platoon commander into 5 Rifles based in Germany. During my time there I have conducted armoured infantry exercises in Germany, Canada and UK. In 2011, the Battalion converted to a light role to become a ground holding unit in Afghanistan for Operation Herrick 15 (September 2011 – May 2012). My company, D Company (The Delta Dogs!), were deployed to the Babaji district in the Nhar E Saraj region, Helmand Province. We patrolled and conducted patrols daily in order to create security and maintain it enabling the Afghan locals to create a future. I was located in an isolated checkpoint with just my platoon and I. We encountered active insurgent interaction for the first month until we established security, which defeated the insurgents in this area. We were successful, handing over security of our area of operations to Afghan forces by the end of the tour. Since returning from Afghanistan, I have led a training team at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.
Sunrise over Helmand Province
Firefight on the Canal
Capt Thomas Hendriksen (Xt ’04) - Grenadier Guards I started at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in September 2008. After the ‘enjoyable’ year at Sandhurst with 3 other OCs, James Pither, Edward Richardson (Xt ’03) and Oliver Snell (L ’04), I was selected to join the Grenadier Guards. I joined the Grenadiers in Afghanistan on OP HERRICK 11, in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand in January 2010 as a Second Lieutenant. It was a baptism of fire, and I was thrust into the thick of it upon arrival. I spent January to April there as a platoon commander, ground holding and conducting offensive operations to wrestle ground off the insurgents. On my return to the UK I lived and worked in central London for a year as a Lieutenant conducting public duties, as well as preparing for the next Operational Tour to Afghanistan that was looming in 2012. I was to return as a Company Second in Command. I deployed early to the Nahre-Saraj district and took over Patrol Base Clifton on the high ground at the edge of the dreaded green zone. At its largest, I was responsible for, not commanding, nearly 250 people in PB Clifton and we were the only Company to stay in a ground holding Patrol Base throughout the tour. There were daily firefights, and unfortunately more Improvised Explosive Device (IED) contacts than ‘average’. During the tour 5 Grenadiers were killed and over 60 suffered catastrophic amputations or life changing injuries. During our time there we carried out a number of tasks ranging from local foot patrols to helicopter-borne operations deep within the insurgents’ territory. We also created a brand new Afghan Local Police force. They were trained from civilians and we supported them moving into their brand new station and beyond. We were also mentoring 3 Afghan Companies (60-100 men per company) and, with or without them, taking the fight to the insurgents. After just under 8 months, we were back in the UK by October 2012. In November last year I became the Assistant Equerry to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and in charge of Officer Recruiting for the Grenadier Guards. Both of these jobs are completely different to my previous experiences, but still challenging and enjoyable.
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Life in Television By Sally Frisby (Current College & Prep Parent)
either Jonathan or I had connections in the world of television. Jonathan came from a family of judges, who kept asking when he was going to get a real job; my family lived a rural life on Exmoor surrounded by hoards of animals. After writing hundreds of letters, Jonathan was given his first break working on tennis programmes at Trans World International in London. I met someone at a party who told me there was a job vacancy opposite them at the BBC in Shepherds Bush; even though I was working from 1pm to 1am it was a great break. I started as Presentation Assistant and then moved up to Production Assistant and signed up for every production and directing workshop going. I worked with Anne Robinson on ‘Points of View’ and with the CBBC team, Philip Schofield, Andi Peters, Toby Anstiss and Zoe Ball. I was working for CBBC in the days when Philip Schofield locked himself away in a broom cupboard with Ed the Duck. I was the lucky Production Assistant picked to accompany Zoe Ball to Norway for the Winter Paralympics; Zoe, two crew members and I travelled across Norway in a huge bus and had the honour of meeting 80s pop group AHA! Producers at Television Centre suggested I would make a good presenter and asked if I would audition for Blue Peter - sadly I lost out to Anthea Turner. Channel Four advertised on screen for a new presenter for a music programme. A friend and I put together a very amateur showreel and sent it off; after a while I received a very polite letter explaining that my showreel was being kept on file! Amazingly, in this instance, it was true and a former Channel Four producer contacted me a year later to ask me to audition for a new channel. Jonathan had also sent something to the Channel Four Producer and he asked him to come and audition for the new channel too. The new channel was Channel One, set up by Associated Newspapers to mirror New York One with the enterprising concept of a team of video journalists armed with cameras and tripods zooming to breaking news stories across the capital on scooters. It was incredibly exciting, the initial thousand chosen were soon whittled down to 100 and then finally 30! Jonathan and I were lucky enough to make the final cut and were given rigorous training with New York One’s Michael Rosenblum. Even though we were trained in all disciplines, it very soon became clear that we all had different strengths. My dutch angles on the camera were making anyone watching feel dizzy, however I excelled as a Presenter. Jonathan’s camerawork was in a different league to everyone else, he was always experimenting with light, shutter speed and coming up with innovative techniques.
I was so lucky, Channel One invested in outside broadcast vans so that I could broadcast live every day from London Fashion Week. Here I would interview all the designers and the gorgeous models such as Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Elle Macpherson. Jonathan was busy filming every extreme sport known to man and some that weren’t. Deadlines were tight, a half hour show had to be filmed and edited every week, it was hectic, a new way of making television, experimental, but very exciting! I was headhunted by a top agent and then landed the job of being the fashion presenter on ‘This Morning’ with Richard and Judy. It was fantastic, a taxi would arrive for me at 6am and I would be finished by 1pm. I met lots of stars from David Hasselhoff to Kylie Minogue. Jonathan left Channel One and set up his own production company, Two Hand Productions with Luke, who had been trained by David Lean and David Bailey, and was Channel One’s top editor. My bread and butter presenting work was corporate DVDs for companies such as M&S, Boots, BA and I was working for MTV and the BBC but the most fun had to be the Disney Channel. I was flown to the Disney resorts in Europe and America where I was filmed on the rides and had the pleasure of interviewing characters such as Buffalo Bill and Mickey Mouse! Jonathan’s first commission with Two Hand Productions was ‘Eco Warriors’ for Channel 5, a children’s wildlife programme. I was Researcher/Presenter and he and Luke were Producer/Director/ Camera/Editor. It was the first step in an eighteen year journey. A journey that has led us around the world many times over, given us a chance to meet some amazing people, film in some breath taking landscapes, come face to face with the most dangerous and beautiful animals in the world, and occasionally rub shoulders with the odd celebrity, most of which have been a pain in the backside, but as Jonathan’s father said, ‘it beats having a real job’. Amen to that!
Soon Jonathan was making his own half hour weekly sports programme, ‘X-Sport’ and I was making a half hour weekly fashion programme, ‘Off The Peg’. We were incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to write, produce, shoot, present and edit our own programmes and both of our programmes were favourably reviewed by The Guardian and Time Out Magazine; although we all used to joke that we could personally deliver the programmes to the viewer, as not many people had cable then! 53
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KENYA TURNS 50 By Sandy Dickinson (Past Parent & Current Grandparent) On 12th December 2013, Kenya, which used to be a British colony in the days of the empire, will have been an independent nation for 50 years! This diverse country situated on the eastern side of Africa, and split by the equator, has been my home for the predominant part of my life. I was born pre independence and spent an idyllic childhood living by the sea in Mombasa, a small island of great charm and tranquility and almost entirely protected from the surrounding mainland by the warm tidal waters of the Indian Ocean. The history of Mombasa goes back many centuries and boasts of a fascinating combination of diverse cultures. These are mostly evident in the architecture, the simple mud wattle and thatch huts belonging to the several indigenous African tribes along the coast, stand in harsh contrast to the pleasing range of Arabic buildings which mask the narrow streets of the old town from the heat of the day. The foreboding and statuesque Portuguese fort Jesus, reminds one of a people long gone. The various cultures mingled harmoniously and each community held a deep respect for the other and their diverse religions. To the north of Mombasa’s mainland lies Nyali, an emerging and still quite remote residential area. It was connected to the island by a pontoon bridge which claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world. This is where we lived. A few houses rose out from a ground of glaring white inhospitable coral and only the roots of one or two of the most intrepid trees had penetrated this hard substance to reach the water table beneath. In those days of the mid 1950s when returning home at the end of the day, we could be confronted by herds of buffalo on the dusty road. There could be as many as 200! Known for their ferocity we would be forced to retrace our tracks and take a long, very rough, circuitous route to our destination. Everyone loathed this route as it ruined all our vehicles and spares were not easy to obtain. I was not in Kenya when independence was gained on 12th December 1963. Our school closed and I returned to Tanzania a week before the celebrations. I recall some of the Europeans being apprehensive of the future under African rule: amongst the African population it was one of anticipation. I remember as the day to independence drew closer I was driven to a coffee estate outside Nairobi to stay with friends for half term. Whereas before all the small African children on the labour lines of the estate would rush to the side of the road waving,
smiling and chanting ‘Jambo’ – hello – to us; now it was ‘Kwaheri’ – goodbye, but still with a smile! I attended Loreto Convent Msongari which is situated in Lavington, a suburb of Nairobi, and next to the confines of St. Austin’s Catholic Church and St Mary’s Boys’ school. This was where the original Catholic priests to the colony set up their mission. It was a large parcel of land and it was here they planted the first coffee trees, which they brought to Kenya. I remember coffee stretching for miles around the schools and a glorious avenue of deep lilac jacaranda trees connected the two establishments. In September 1962, Loreto opened their doors to multiracial education. A few African girls were admitted to the convent but only at 5th form level. I do not recollect us mixing easily. A degree of suspicion lay in both quarters. My overall impression of Kenya, leading up to independence, is not that indelibly pressed in my memory. We were protected in the school and seldom allowed out of its precincts. We were forbidden to talk to any African member of staff in the school and Swahili was not part of the curriculum. The Swahili we spoke was picked up from our home staff and parents who spoke what was known as ‘kitchen Swahili’. The grammar was non-existent, and most words were basically an interpretation of the English word with an ‘ie’ added at the end, cake became cakie and biscuits were biscuitie, and so on. There were few Africans seen behind the wheel of a car unless they were employed as a chauffeur. The Mercedes Benz was recognised from early days as being ‘the’ car. People who drove them were known as – wa benzie – ‘the benz people’. They were considered the social elite. I have held a theory. It is based on the relationship between a newly formed independent country and its colonial motherland being compared to the relationship experienced between a child and its parents, there are three stages. The first stage you have the early days. The newly born independent country is still attached to and nurtured by its colonial mother, as is a young child. Then comes the second stage. The young country, starts to find its feet and objects to parental interference. It wants to do things its way and goes into rebellion and even outright contempt but all the while requiring financial support. Then after many efforts and some mistakes, the child reaches maturity and the realisation that being independent is not that easy. Help from
ones elders is required from time to time. Admittedly it takes time for this third stage to be achieved - maybe Kenya is on the verge. I believe that as a nation Kenya has been lucky. For fifty years we have lived in reasonable peace and accord between the different nationalities. Only the international militants have disrupted that deep respect we held for one another prior to independence and many years later. With independence came change and the halcyon days vanished. Nyali is now unrecognisable. Houses are crammed together and trees have miraculously taken root and stand many feet high obliterating any recognisable landmarks from those early days. The pontoon bridge has been replaced by a modern one of concrete further up the creek. The buffalo have long been driven out and that nasty rough bumpy road is now smooth tarmac leading to some of Mombasa’s luxury tourist beach hotels. The Nairobi skyline has erupted and towers over the surrounding slums. Yes, the poverty apportioned to colonial rule remains a problem. The population explosion from 15 million at independence to 46 million today is most evident on the streets of Nairobi. The cars are predominantly owned and driven by a rising Kenyan middle class. The government officials, for status reasons, must be seen in a Mercedes Benz with a long retinue of Mercedes behind them! Possibly the greatest and most noticeable transformation witnessed in fifty years must be accredited to the Kenyan woman. Prior to independence she lived a very hard and challenging existence. She tilled the land and sowed the crops; cut and carried the firewood on her stooped back for many miles home to use for cooking. She tended the children and generally looked after every aspect of her family’s welfare. The Kenyan woman still works hard today but not all of them lead such a subservient life although many still lead a life of physical toil. On the whole she is a far more canny person in business than her male counterpart, and I believe many women have benefited more from the fruits of independence and have proven to be a more responsible citizen in nurturing the development of their country. There are six women holding ministerial positions today. Fifty years ago an African woman might at best hold the position of a telephonist! 54
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GOING WITH THE FLOW! A CAREER IN SUPPORT OF MARINE SCIENCE By Jim Elliott (L ’96) It is May and the last time I wrote an article for Floreat was in 2008. I was on the remote island of a distant environment listening to the raw wind whistle outside. That was the Antarctic, this time I am slightly closer to home in the Islands of Orkney. Then, as now, for work; but my visit on this occasion is slightly shorter at two and half days against the respective period in years when I lived ‘down south’. On returning to what many hold as ‘reality’, I settled briefly in the familiar waters of Argyll working as a skipper for Seafari Adventures; I’d worked previously for the family run business and the familiarity of RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) allowed me to settle to a routine. This was a stop-gap; regaling guests with tales of derring-do, avoiding killer whales and furthering the cause of world class science in the southern pole. It gave me a chance to look around and choose the next line, which happened to be marine engineering. So in September 2009, I enrolled at Falmouth Marine School for an NVQ3 in Boat Maintenance. Falmouth was a gentler step as I attempted to adjust to such simple things as supermarkets, bills and social media. At Rothera, you never had cash in your hand, the phone and internet only allowed some disjointed communication, and the bar had the same old familiar faces. Now in the winter months of Cornwall, there was the evening pint in some former smugglers haunt, trying to figure out what to eat and even more entertaining, sharing accommodation with students. Though accommodation is shared down south, few personnel were younger than 25. The NVQ course was simpler, through my cumulative experiences I was able to complete ahead of schedule with the intention of travelling to Greece as a Sailing Club Yacht Engineer. But just before heading off, a job posting caught my eye and it was apparent this might be the job I’d been ultimately looking for.
and half years, I’ve expanded the original role through the sheer range of opportunities available. The role of a marine technician, or support scientist, is little understood; even within the confines of an organisation. In laboratories, a technician will define themselves by their attention to detail and ability to maintain strict experimental procedures. But a ‘marine technician’ will rarely be advertised in a careers office. Many of those that hold the position might not have considered this in their formative years; for often you’ll come to it by accident. The humble Marine Tech is there to make the science happen; there to bring far-fetched ideas to sea-level, keep the scientists safe and tidy up after the job is done. In my role, I’ve found myself soldering electronics, fixing engines, launching boats, cooking on yachts, surveying dolphins, towing trailers, organising conferences, flying unmanned aircraft over rocky beaches, stacking stores and presenting posters. Key skills are in the deployment of scientific equipment in the coastal waters of Scotland. These can often be the most demanding bodies of water in the world. With expanding interests in renewable energy, Scotland is a hotbed of industry development. The presence of these devices hold many questions for interactions with wildlife, and SAMS is addressing various areas from modelling where carcasses might wash ashore to benthic bivalves and sedimentation from changes in flow speed. The environments are demanding with 15mph of current, eight metre swell and 100 metres of water depth. Solutions have to be simple, efficient and cost-effective. Designs often utilise rope, chain and plastic, using off-the-shelf marine supplies with bespoke electronics developed by an in-house engineering team with whom I work closely.
In 2003, whilst on the field course of a postgraduate degree in ‘Marine and Fisheries Science’, I’d seen a technician at the University of Aberdeen Lighthouse Field Station and vowed that ‘that’ was the job I wanted: supporting science through technical prowess. Flash forward to March 2010 and I was stood in that same office, this time taking the keys to one of their boats on long term loan. The post I now filled was Marine Technician for ‘Cetaceans and Renewables’ at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). The lab based in Dunstaffnage, east of Oban, Argyll, was known to me from when completing my MSc thesis in the well-known waters of the Gulf of Corryvreckan; the knowledge honed from that same company, Seafari Adventures, when a wildlife guide. SAMS, as it is fondly known, has a history of over 100 years in marine science; almost 50 of which have been from Dunstaffnage. Research themes have emerged from their deep sea and oceanographic roots to cover everything from atmospheric gases and polar currents to algal biofuels and dolphin communication. My particular discipline is using underwater acoustic devices and marine mammal survey techniques to better understand the nature of whale and dolphin activity in areas of interest to renewable energy extraction. I was brought to SAMS on a grant shared with the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, called ‘MaREE – Marine Renewable Energy and the Environment’, and after three
My current career is a far cry from what I expected when I left College. Even when camped in the Antarctic, I never believed I would find such a fulfilling role in Marine Science. When I went to various careers offices and completed numerous Morrisby Psychometric tests, this was never suggested as a possible career. It was only with patience and honest luck that I find myself in this position. If Marine Science is an interest, please look for SAMS online at www.sams.ac.uk. Alternatively get in touch, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FEATURE ARTICLES... Henry Hadley: Murdered Or The First Briton To Be Killed In The Great War?
By Christine Leighton (College Archivist)
It has hitherto been accepted that the first Briton killed in the 1914-1918 war was one Private John Parr, who died nearly three weeks after the conflict began. This fact has now been challenged by military historian Richard van Emden in his book ‘Meeting the Enemy’. He maintains that the conflict’s first British casualty was in fact a 51-year-old Old Cheltonian called Henry Hadley (BH, 1877-1880) who died a mere three and a quarter hours after Britain declared war on Germany. Henry Hadley was born in Cheltenham on 27th March 1863. After leaving College he went to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, but left in 1881 on account of ill health. In 1885 he was at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment in 1887, Lieutenant in 1889, but resigned in January 1890. According to Mr van Emden, Hadley was teaching in Berlin when Germany declared war on France on 3rd August 1914. Realising that Britain would soon be drawn into the conflict, he immediately caught a train to Paris, together with his housekeeper, Mrs Elizabeth Pratley. Exactly what happened next is unclear; what is undisputed is that Hadley was shot on the train by a Prussian officer and died of his wounds in hospital at 03:15 on 5th August. The Foreign Office heard about the incident when Mrs Pratley was able to report to them on 26th November. They asked the US Ambassador in London to obtain authentic information as to the circumstances. A statement furnished by the Geman Government to the US Embassy in Berlin stated that Hadley ‘behaved most suspiciously’ on the 13:25
Berlin to Cologne train; he was impolite and had ‘an excited dispute with a waiter’. According to the conductor’s statement under oath, Hadley made ‘ironical remarks and gestures at passing officers’, so he drew him to the attention of First Lieutenant Nicolay who then watched Hadley from the corridor. As the train approached Gelsenkirchen, just short of the Belgian border, there was an altercation between the three men. Nicolay blocked Hadley’s way and told him that he was not to leave the train. Hadley is then reported as having assumed an aggressive attitiude; Nicolay called ‘Hands up’, Hadley paid no attention, instead he raised his stick and Nicolay called again, ‘Hands up or I shall shoot’. Hadley then ‘fumbled in his waistcoat, saying that he was a British subject’. Nicolay thought Hadley was getting out a weapon, so he shot him. Hearing the commotion, Hadley’s housekeeper rushed from her seat and found him on the floor surrounded by German soldiers. He said ‘They have shot me, Mrs Pratley; I am a done man’. He was handed over to the civil police, who took him to hospital. As he had predicted, Britain was drawn into the conflict, declaring war on Germany at midnight German time (23:00 British time) on 4th August. Hadley died in hospital on 5th August at 03:15 local time - just a few hours after war had been declared. Thinking the pair were spies, Mrs Pratley was taken to a military prison in Munster for interrogation. She protested her innocence and was eventually released but, being very shaken by the whole affair, was taken to the Catholic ‘Clemenshospital’ to recover, returning to Britain in November, when she informed the British government of Hadley’s death.
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However, the German version of events is disputed in The Times, on 20th April 1915, by Hadley’s cousin, Sir Sainthill EardleyWilmot. He quotes the German chief of police in Berlin whose statement read that Hadley caught the ‘11:00 from the Friedrichstrasse Station for Paris. That he was shot in the train by a German officer I consider to be a libellous falsehood, and its originator cannot be acquainted with German officers or with the well-ordered conditions of Germany’. To add insult to injury, the murderer was not only acquitted, but was also promoted to Captain. Eardley-Wilmot concludes, ‘From experience of Prussian methods since August last some idea can be formed of the physical and mental anguish suffered by these two innocent British subjects.’ The family recognized that in a time of war they would not get proper redress even though the murder took place before the war, but they felt it important to detail a case of Prussian brutality authenticated by the kind exertions of the British and American Foreign Offices. The official German statement printed in The Times had ended ‘Court martial proceedings were instigated against Captain Nicolay, as he now is, for killing Hadley, which were discontinued upon the completion of the investigation of the case.’ Via the US ambassadors in London and Berlin, the British government entered ‘the strongest possible protest against the action of Captain Nicolay, who, whatever provocation he may have fancied he had received... committed an act which can only be described as murder’. They added that justice had not been done as proceedings against Nicolay had been quashed. Whilst Hadley might have been the first person to die as the direct result of enemy action, was he actually, as Mr van Emden maintains, the first British casualty of the Great War? Or was he, as his family maintained, murdered in cold blood? I leave you to make your own judgement...
The Selby Diaries By Kath Boothman (Archive Volunteer) A remarkable manuscript was recently lent to College Archives by Mr Robert Selby, it is the First World War diary of his father, Harold John Selby (1910-1915, Day Boy) which he began writing on 4th August 1915 the first anniversary of the outbreak of the war. After a few months of formal training (added to his previous experience in the College OTC) he secured a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery, his regiment of choice. The Artillery’s heavy horse-drawn guns provided the bombardment that preceded each ground attack, and Harold saw action in several major engagements on the Western Front. A keen observer and compulsive chronicler, he describes not only his own daily duties and experiences and memorable events such as the first appearance of the tanks (it was another OC, Arthur M Inglis (1900-1901, Day Boy), who was the first man in history to lead tanks into action, in September 1916, for which he was awarded the DSO) but everything going on around him, from aerial dog-fights and the devastation of French towns and villages, to postal deliveries in the trenches. Amid gas attacks, flying shrapnel, the relentless, deafening roar of the guns and the exhaustion caused by chronic sleep deprivation, he remains seemingly alert and conscientious, always appreciative of the cheerful resilience of his men and concerned for the welfare of his horses. (Each gun was pulled by two horses, and officers routinely went about on horseback – a startling reminder of the transitional nature of this first ‘modern’ war.) Fortunately, though twice wounded, Harold survived the war. His record of his experiences, often scribbled hastily in conditions of considerable danger and discomfort, came home with him to be written up into his unique and fascinating diary. 56
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OC Hockey Boys’ Day – 12th January 2013 1st XI 4 - OCs 0 A sturdy turn out of male Old Cheltonians spanning over 20 years played two matches against College sides. In the first match against the 2nd XI the OCs were put under immense pressure but were able to absorb it all and hit the young College team on the break with goals from Alexander Ross (Xt ’11), Tom Richardson (Xt ’98) and Tom Barton (S ’11), though the College team was able to net a consolation goal as the legs of the OCs began to tire. After a prompt chat amongst themselves and a team talk delivered by Richardson, the OCs set about playing another rematch against the XI. Tom Hughes (Xt ’03) stepped back in between the pipes and pulled off some marvellous saves but could do nothing to stop the onslaught of the XI who were hungry for goals, and eventually ran out winners 4-0.
Girls’ Day – 16th November 2013 1st XI 4 - OCs 1 A frosty evening saw a number of OC girls return back to College and play on the Cotswold astro, the side was assembled by Pip Mitchell (A ’08) who unfortunately was not able to play due to injury. The OC team covered a number of different age groups and on the day the 1sts were just slightly more clinical and sharper. The OCs were able to get a consolation goal through a nice bit of build up play and some extra substitutions from Coach Mitchell, and the move was finished off nicely with a backhand hit from Natasha Constantine (Q ’09). After the game Mrs Anna Cutts Housemistress of Ashmead kindly offered to host the post match drinks and food and with parents also in attendance both the drink and conversation flowed.
OC CRICKET CLUB 2013 SEASON By Christopher Griffith-Jones (Th ’63 & President of the OC Cricket Club) We continue to make very good progress in the Cricketer Cup competition, through the enthusiasm and good captaincy of George Brooksbank, together with a talented squad. Once again we got through to the third round this season. We beat a strong Old Alleynian side at College in the first round by batting first with a notable batting performance from Chris Sandbach (NH ’04) 90 out of a total of 201. We bowled well at the start of their innings with George Brooksbank (L ’99) and Anthony Kay (Xt ’08) restricting them well and this, together with a superb run out of their No 3 Cambridge Blue, put pressure on them and they ended up at 138 all out. The second round again at College against the Eton Ramblers followed a similar pattern with OCs batting first and reaching 254 for 8 in our 50 overs; a good solid performance with contributions from Dominic Hewson (S ’93), Mike Cawdron (W ’93), Jack Dymoke (NH ’12) and Tom Richardson (Xt ’98). Once again we bowled and fielded very well and soon the pressure told on the Ramblers batsmen who were restricted to 233. We then faced Charterhouse away, for which we were able to field virtually our strongest side. They batted first and we did very well to restrict them to 241 for 9; this could have been less had their lower order batsmen not performed pretty well. Once again the bowling and fielding were top quality. In reply, we did not get off to a good start and were always behind the rate required and we made 148 all out. OC cricket is not only about this competition and it is important to try and secure some other fixtures for the OCs . This year we again played against the College 1st & 2nd X1 and we went to Bourton Vale where we lost in a very high scoring game. The match against the Gloucestershire Gypsies was rained off. We have been offered a match against the St Edwards Martyrs in Oxford for next season and we are hoping to arrange one or two fixtures in the London area – if there is anyone who has cricket connections and can help with this aspect please do make contact. We have some excellent cricketers and a good ‘team spirit’ and as a club could be doing more.
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F L O R E AT
ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
Photography by Andy Banks.
Rackets 25th Anniversary By Karl Cook (Current Staff Member) The anniversary of the re-opening of the College rackets court drew an excellent crowd of OCs and members of the rackets fraternity from all over the world. It was Richard Morgan’s (Headmaster 1978-1989) swansong to reopen the Cheltenham rackets court in 1988, appreciating that College was one of the first four schools to compete in the Public Schools Doubles Competitions in 1868, and recognizing that it would raise College’s profile among schools and parents alike, securing a fixture list against the country’s top schools. Subsequent success has proved that this was a fine decision - College has not let him down! To celebrate the weekend, current World Rackets Champion, Jamie Stout (H ’02), the current World Doubles Champions (James Coyne and Will Hopton) and the current British Open Doubles Champions (OCs Ben Snell L ’02 and Nick James BH ’06) together with Richard Owen (L ’10) came in from all parts of the globe to participate in a series of exhibitions. On the Friday evening, after a drinks
reception for College Staff and guests in the Pavilion, College pupils and the immediate College community were treated to some stunning rackets between the four OCs – Stout and Owen v Snell and James: the competitors’ reading of the ball, the trueness of the court and the rapt spectators generated a tremendously tense atmosphere that gently billowed into the October evening air. This was only bettered by the exhibitions that took place on Saturday. A buffet lunch followed by three ‘best of 3’s’ took place in the afternoon. OCs and parents, both past and current, created a steady stream of avid viewers as the gallery remained full and the rackets just got better. The first match Stout and Owen v Hopton and Coyne was as good as it gets... There was a Champagne reception ahead of the Evening Dinner held at the College to which over 100 OCs, parents, guests and lovers of the game around the country were in attendance. Karl Cook (in his 25th year at College) offered a few words on why rackets has worked as a sport at College,
OC Golf Society The Old Cheltonian Golf Society had another very busy year in 2013 but the year will be mainly remembered for the loss of one of the Society’s leading players and administrators, John Miller (H ’59). John had the notable distinction of representing the OCGS in 7 decades and participating in the elite Halford Hewitt Public School Championships in 5 different decades. John was a Past OCGS Captain and President. The OCGS is open to Old Cheltonian golfers of all standards, of both sexes and has a large number of elite and friendly matches plus participates in all the major Old Boy’s Public School events. Membership numbers 120 players from 19 years old through to some in their 70s and the OCGS subsidises younger golfers who represent the Society in order to encourage younger members.
Charlie Liverton (BH ’92) (OC Secretary) offered a (long) list of OC achievements and James Coyne (Old Wellingtonian and World Doubles Champion) offered a witty interpretation of the success of College’s players, past and present. The 65 finals at the Public Schools’ Championships, Queen’s Club, the OC world champion, the British Open Doubles Champions, the countless British U21 and U24 champions, the 8 North American Rackets Association fellows, the Cheltenham Masters’ Rackets Club squad – they all make College rackets what it is, but none more so than Mark Briers, current rackets pro, whose speech was brief, but whose contribution has been immeasurable. A wonderful weekend.
By Simon Collyer-Bristow (BH ’77 & Past Parent)
Results in 2013 were pretty well balanced across the board with notable mention of OCGS getting to the Plate Semi-Finals of the Mellin Trophy and the Burles Trophy Final. The Autumn Festival at Denham GC saw some magnificent silverware go to Henry Keeling (Xt ’06), Bruce Walker (L ’83), Charlie Elliott (H ’89) and Alastair Thomson (L ’67). College player Doug McEvoy (U6th, S) won the Prospect Cup. The annual College match was played in November at Cotswold Hills GC and the OCGS won 2-1 with the additional coup of beating the College master i/c Golf in the side match!
Next season sees another full fixture list of 18 events running from February through till November with an additional match versus the Old Wellingtonians at Royal Wimbledon GC and a Midlands Public Schools Festival at Little Aston GC. OCGS will host the Edward Harris Cup for the Welsh Public Schools’ Old Boys at Cotswold Hills GC in early October. All details on the OCGS are available via the College and Cheltonian Association & Society website www. cheltonianassociation.com/golf-about-us.
The major internal Festival occurs in the Autumn at Denham GC. Matches are played on some of Britain’s finest courses and the emphasis is well balanced between excelling in elite scratch singles and pairs competitions and enjoying the camaraderie of golf in more social and relaxed handicapped matches against other Old Boy’s Societies. 58
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHELTONIAN SOCIETY It has been an interesting and progressive year for the Cheltonian Society. There have been a variety of social and sports events, fully reported in Floreat, all of which have been successful and entertaining. However there are just a couple of things I would like to mention. Firstly, on 19th July, a Lectern Board explaining the historical background to the College Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, was placed beside it. In the presence of some 30 OCs and friends, Dr Bridget Jepson, the niece of Desmond Scott an OC (H ’14) killed in action at Poziere, who generously funded the Lectern Board, unveiled it. I do encourage you to visit the Arboretum: it is a moving and inspiring place. College is currently the only school to have a memorial at the Arboretum. It is located at the riverside end of the Millenium Avenue opposite the RNLI Memorial. Cheltonian Society Executive Committee A P Arengo-Jones (BH ’62) P F D Badham (Th ’65) D R Brown (L ’84) P S Hammerson (L ’62) C N Peace (H ’60) R F Badham-Thornhill (H ’73) E L Rowland (Xt ’62) L Straker-Nesbitt (A ’07) D Stewart (H ’78) M G P Swiney (NH ’69) C W S Waters (BH ’02) M Sloan (OC Administrator) Ex-officio Members C Dickens (Development Director) R Creed (Cheltonian Association Manager) Trustees of the CET: Paul Arengo-Jones (BH ’62) Chairman Peter Badham (Th ’65) Helen Burgoyne (Cha ’87) Rob Davidson (BH ’67) Treasurer Patrick McCanlis (BH ’66) Graham Prain (Ch ’59) Lynn Rowland (Xt ’62) Charles Stevens (Ch ’64) Lawrence Anderson (Th ’59)
Secondly, the OC cricketers are to be congratulated on their success in the Cricketer Cup reaching the quarter final defeating the Old Alleynians and Old Etonians before losing to the Old Carthusians. College has produced some talented cricketers over recent years and I urge you to follow their fortunes in 2014. I express my thanks to Rebecca Creed and her team at the Association Office for their diligent and efficient work and to Malcolm Sloan, the OC Administrator, whose knowledge of OCs over the odd decade or two is invaluable. I look forward to meeting many OCs during the coming year. Please make and keep in contact through Malcolm Sloan (01242 265664: email@example.com) or myself (01242 680219: firstname.lastname@example.org). Peter F. D. Badham (Th ’65)
AWARDS The Society, in conjunction with the Trustees of the Cheltenham Endowment Trust, were pleased to make Travel Awards (to the L6th) to enable: Boy Pelizzoli (NH) to undertake an ‘independent project’ to study the effect of water bore holes in South Sudan. Amy Foulkes (Q) to undertake, in the company of James White (Xt), an endurance cycle ride from Berlin to Rome at the same time studying the effect that a month’s cycling has on the body’s parameters such as heart rate, blood sugar, lung volume, blood pressure and cardiac output. James White (Xt) to undertake the cycle ride from Berlin to Rome in the company of Amy Foulkes (Q) to make two historical studies. One to examine the difference between the former West and East Europe before the fall of the Wall and secondly to contrast this with the prosperity of Renaissance Italy as part of its cultural revolution. See the article opposite.
THE CHELTONIAN ENDOWMENT TRUST The Cheltonian Endowment Trust (CET), formerly the Cheltonian Trust Endowment Fund, was formed in 1917 for the purpose of acquiring donations, subscriptions and legacies and then applying the income for the benefit of Cheltenham College. This fund was merged in 2005 with the Cheltonian Society Fund and the Sir John Dill Fund to make a larger and more effective charitable fund.
Ian Grieves (NH ’82) Thank you for this issue of Floreat, it seems to get bigger and better every year! I do hope things at the College Association are going well.
The fund is an independent Trust run by a board of Old Cheltonians. The fund is professionally managed. The income is used primarily to assist families who find themselves in a situation where, without our support, they would otherwise have to withdraw their children from College. In addition the CET funds Travel Awards for L6th pupils and also funds a number of prizes. Furthermore, when sufficient funds are available, the Trust provides other assistance and has provided funds for the refurbishment of two science laboratories over the past two years. We are always looking for support, both for OCs to become trustees and for financial contributions. If you would like to know more please get in touch with me through Malcolm Sloan, the OC Administrator. Paul Arengo-Jones, Chairman (BH ’62)
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F L O R E AT ISSUE SEVEN J A N U A RY 2 0 1 4
Eurovelo 30th July – 28th August 2013: Berlin – Florence By James White (U6th, Xt)
This summer Amy Foulkes (U6th, Q) and I cycled from Berlin to Florence completely unsupported in support of Mercy Ships and College’s affliated Orphanage at Bradet, Romania. We both spent time at the Orphanage in 2012 and so had the opportunity to see first hand how fundraising has improved the facilities. Mercy Ships is an exceptional charity, providing professional healthcare to some of the world’s poorest countries free of charge. These services come in the form of life-saving surgeries and sustainable local development projects. The first part of the route was along the former ‘Iron Curtain’, an iconic metaphor that symbolised the tensions that arose during the Cold War. The second part was somewhat the antithesis to the depravity and persecution of war we saw in the first half. The total distance cycled was approximately 2,000km (including many of our accidental detours, and there were many!). On average we cycled roughly 100120km (62-75 miles a day) across varying road conditions. Some of the best cycle paths were in Germany, smooth tarmac paths just for cyclists that stretched on for miles. Other highlights included entering Trieste and seeing this beautiful city from the top of the hill hugging the coast. This really struck us as it was the first time we had seen the Adriatic on this endeavour and it marked the transition to the second part of the trip. Between Trieste and Florence we studied the highlife of Renaissance Italy, the might of the Roman Empire and the many works of Bernini in the Baroque period.
The most accommodating people were probably in Austria where within minutes of arriving into Vienna people were asking what we had been doing and sharing their stories of cycling touring, offering advice and help with the bikes. Yet in every country we experienced extraordinary kindness. One evening, in a small town in Germany, as it grew late and we grew tired, we were directed to a World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farming (WWOOFing) farm where we were received by a small family with a huge meal and showers for free, even though we were just after somewhere to camp for the night. In Slovenia, as we were leaving, having packed up camp in the morning we were approached by a local woman with a bag of peaches, an energy bar, a postcard and her address. Conversation was challenging, for we neither spoke Slovenian nor she English and being Slavic based, our pidgin Spanish/French/German proved of little use, yet generosity is understood no matter what language. Needless to say we have sent the postcard off with the help of Google Translate! When people ask us what were the best bits of the trip it is hard to refine it down as each part had its own unique attractions that perhaps Amy saw that I didn’t or vice versa.
from Prague and we stopped at the first sign of accommodation, which happened to be over our budget an irrelevant factor at that moment in time! We arrived covered in mud and holding back a whimper asked if they had a place to stay for the night. The biggest bane of our trip was Amy’s bike, the wheel had been damaged on the plane journey although we hadn’t realised. This meant that within the first week, Amy would be averaging two or three punctures a day. Funnily enough, neither of us had had to deal with punctures before the trip so experience was limited, this quickly changed. In the end Amy was forced to buy a new wheel at a hefty price, although this slowed the flow of punctures, they continued to plague us until the end. The most physically demanding experience we had was crossing the Apennine Mountains between Bologna and Florence. It is a struggle to articulate the extent of anxiety and pain that we both experienced that day: near vertical inclines, lugging packed panniers and camping equipment in the sweltering heat. This was by far the longest day cycling, starting at 9:30am and stopping for camp at 8:00pm. So far we have raised £2,072 including Gift Aid.
It was not all so cheery. On entering the Czech Republic one afternoon, with an hour and half of cycling left, it began to rain torrentially and we had no choice but to plough through. It just got worse as we struggled with the route, getting to the point where we were skidding through a murky quagmire, clearly not suitable for road bikes. Eventually after many tears we got to our location - a town half a day away It goes without saying for me that this trip has resulted in by far the most incredible summer I have ever had. Being given the opportunity to experience the independence that we had, thanks to the Cheltonian Society Travel Award, has been so gratifying, I know I will not be able to match anything quite like it for a while! I strongly recommend travelling to all whilst the opportunity is available.
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Marriages Cameron Hoyler (H ’03) married Dara Adams on 26th May 2012. David Burgess (Past Staff Member) married Sarah on 6th August 2012 at the College Boathouse in Tewkesbury. Benji Snell (L ’02) married Zoe Everard on 13th October 2012 in Wiltshire. Ben Buckley (S ’02), Will Marshall (NH ’02), Will Dixon (Xt ’02), Rob Kingsford (Xt ’02) Barukh Abadi (NH ’02), Huw Stephens (BH ’02), Alex Risdon (BH ’02), Olly Snell (BH ’02), Joey Snell (L ’08) and Hugo Snell (L ’10) were Ushers. Karl (Current Staff Member) & Ruth Cook, Gwyn Williams (Current Staff Member), Mark Briers (Current Staff Member), James Wright (Xt ’08) and Pru Wright (Past Parent) attended. Robert Skinner (S ’99) married Alison Thomson on 1st February 2013 at Lake Okareka in New Zealand. Jonathan Waller (Xt ’99) was Best Man. Tom Carpenter (Current Staff Member) married Charlotte Sangway on 5th April 2013.
Dan Barfield (BH ’03) married Ashley Straker on 19th April 2013. Tom Barfield (BH ’01), Oliver Clough (BH ’03), Russell Butland (S ’03), Richard McEvoy (S ’03) and Edward Owen (S ’03) attended. Rob Hall (Current Prep Staff Member) married Victoria Mylod on 4th May 2013 in Chapel.
Philippa Clark (A ’02) married James Hanson in Chapel on 22nd June. Philippa’s father Stephen Clark (Hon OC & Past Staff Member) gave her away and her sister Lucy Clark (A ’06) attended. Ben Buckley (S ’02) married Victoria Lucia at Wave Hill, New York on 27th July 2013. Seb Buckley (S ’00) was Best Man.
Alec Stevens (OJ & NH ’01) married Jacinta Da Rocha Goulter in Wiltshire on 27th July 2013. David Stevens (OJ & H ’69), Charles Stevens (OJ & Ch ’64), Hugh Stevens (NH ’98), Chris Milne (H ’68) and Gordon McEwan (OJ & Xt ’01) attended. Julia Knight (Current Prep Staff Member) married Mark Evetts (Past Staff Member) in Chapel on 2nd August 2013. Oliver Hills (NH ’97) married Adriana Valerio on 17th August 2013. Alex Hills (S ’99) was Best Man and Philip Nagel (NH ’97), Omar Al-Dahhan (NH ’97), Carl Braime (L ’97) and Stuart Boch (L ’97) attended. Jonathan Sloan (NH ’01) married Aurelie Drygala in Chapel on 17th August 2013. Jamie Harvey (NH ’01) was Best Man, Rachael Sloan (Cha ’06) read a lesson and Charlie Davies (NH ’01), Ollie Hibbert (NH ’01) Robin BadhamThornhill (H ’73), Kyle Stovold (S ’06) David Hughes-Jones (Xt ’05), Kelly Stovold (Cha ’08) and Robyn Stovold (Q ’11) attended. Claire Birch (Current Prep Staff Member) married Greg Baker on 24th August 2013.
Chris Robson (S ’01) married Sarah Dean at Clearwell Castle on 7th September 2013. Simon Robson (S ’99), Jonathan Brunt (S ’01), Charles Mitchell (BH ’01), Alastair Dixon (S ’01), John Marsden (S ’01) and Alistair Holmes (NH ’02) attended. Tom March (BH ’00) married Anna-Marie Ashwell in Dubai on 15th November 2013. James March (BH ’98), Toby Smith (NH ’00), Seb Buckley (S ’00), Michael Woodrow (NH ’01), Adam Shapton (L ’00), Hugo Smith (NH ’94), Charlie Sparling (S ’00), Rob Mackenzie (BH ’00) and Tom Kelly (NH ’00) attended. Luke Stack (NH ’97) married Emily Forster on 20th December 2013. Simon Danielli (H ’98) was Best Man and Gareth Atkins (H ’98), Philip Nagel (NH ’97) and Natalie Schuster (nee Stack, Cha ’95) attended.
2012 Births Wandrille Bates (Current Staff Member) and her husband Will (Current Staff Member) are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Eleanor Katherine, born on 14th January 2013.
Michael Smith (S ’97) and his wife Emily are pleased to announce the birth of their son, George William, born on 13th June 2013.
Alexander Hills (S ’99) and his wife Fiona are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Skyla Jane, born on 18th February 2013.
Roz Salamone (Current Staff Member) and her partner Tim Poole (Past Staff Member) are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Scarlett Olivia, born on 8th September 2013.
Sara Hewitt (Current Staff Member) and her partner Andy are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Samuel Robert Webster born on 24th May 2013. Simon Danielli (H ’98) and his wife Olivia are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Keanu Kai, born on 3rd June 2013. Dom & Beccy Faulkner (Current Staff Members) are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Charles Henry, born on 8th June 2013.
Cameron Hoyler (H ’03) and his wife Dara are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Logan Adams, born on 19th October 2013. Heather Eggelton (Past Staff Member) and her husband Matt are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Martha, born on 8th November 2013.
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To Order: By Post: Please download an order form from our website at www. cheltenhamcollege.org and post together with cheque payable to ‘Cheltenham College Services’ to The Cheltonian Association, Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 7LD. By Phone: Please call Rebecca Creed in the Association Office on 01242 265694. Please note there is a one-off charge of £2.95 per order for UK postage and packaging. Overseas postage cost will vary. This excludes College prints which are charged as indicated.
Graham Hill (S ’88) - I have bee n a regular reader of Floreat for some time but I wanted to thank you in par ticular for the latest edition. Not only does it maintain the high standards you have set with a huge variety of interesting articles from recent students/ leavers to far more seasoned OCs, but I find it hard to imagine a better way to remind everyone abo ut the community within which they spent at least 5 important yea rs of their lives.
Andy Middlemiss (Xt ’67) – I’ve just read the excellent new Floreat. Fabulous what’s going on, and I am determined to visit this year having never been back since 1967!
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Ian McFarlane (L ’46) - I received my copy of Floreat yesterday morning, yet another winner which I always enjoy reading. This magazine is an excellent communication in keeping everyone who has or had the privilege of being part of a great school, fully informed on the wide range of current activities. A tremendous amount of work goes in to producing such a publication and sincere thanks go to Rebecca as Editor and anyone else involved .
Cheltonian Association & Society Cheltenham College Bath Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 7LD Contact Details: Tel: 01242 265694 Email: email@example.com www.cheltenhamcollege.org Editor: Rebecca Creed, Association Manager
The Cheltonian Society Magazine with articles from the full range of Society members, from pupils to parents, OCs and staff.