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A new building for the preparatory school



OD Tom Johnson a full cap for England

Richard Padfield is remembered

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society Newsletter

Old Decanian Summer 2013 News No~ 89

We say goodbye to the giant redwood Story on page 13

Website |

Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

North elevation

South elevation


£4.5 million Investment for Dean Close Preparatory School


£4.5 million is being invested in Dean Close Preparatory School’s future this year. Due to its continuing success and despite the difficult economic climate, the School is investing in a new building which is due to be completed in autumn 2013.

A music suite will also be included which will link the current Music School to the new drama and performance space. The new music suite comprises six music practice rooms including a dedicated guitar room.

The building will provide a ‘state of the art’ multi-purpose school hall. This will be used for drama, music performances, school assemblies and examinations and includes a Proscenium arch, which separates the auditorium from the stage and backstage facilities, including a Green Room and storage for costumes.

The building will also provide a formal reception area where parents and visitors can be welcomed into the School. The building is designed to fit very well into its immediate surroundings by being respectful of the neighbouring buildings, but in a contemporary manner reflecting the aspirations of the School.

Attached to the new hall are eight teaching areas, which will be located over two floors and will include a dedicated IT suite and Drama rooms. These new classrooms will enable the School to locate subjects much more in faculty groups to further advance cross-curricular teaching and learning.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Welcome to the Old Decanian News 2013 Another Year full of news and updates with reports and plans comes to you about the past year from Easter 2012 up to the end of Lent term 2013. Welcome to our new members and to those who have renewed their contact with the society. For new members the Rules of the Society are on the website for those who like to know. Our aims are to keep Old Decanians in touch with each other and the school. It also aims to support the school in its current activities. The Society currently has LinkedIn groups and a Facebook page (see notice section), Old Decanian Society, which is still being worked on. There are many other Facebook pages for different years but we do not have access to those pages. If there are any volunteers who can assist with keeping these points of contact available it would be gratefully received. Just contact the OD office on 01242 258048 to discuss the details. PLEASE let the OD office know if you would like something included each year to allow more time to prepare for Re-unions and Gatherings for ODs. This means if you have an interesting item you would like to share, it will be incumbent upon you to tell the OD Office. We will always try to get to hear about school activities and changes occurring that might affect you.

FINALLY, we hope you enjoy this year’s news and can see that ODs are meeting for events and occasions. Congratulations to all ODs who have had successes and also to those who have got married and had children. Perhaps we may one day see you back at school as a parent. Just to make sure you are aware; the Society holds your details on their database and we ask you all to make sure you keep us updated so that we can keep you informed of all the activities which are arranged for you. You can update your details on the Alumni page of the school website Last year we informed you that we were hoping to make it easier for us to communicate to ODs and so we advised you that we would be sharing your details with ODs without having to contact you first. Some of the OD data is shared with the Development Department in organising events etc for ODs. Please take up the opportunity to attend these occasions. With all good wishes, Ian Bassett-Smith, OD Registrar and Lucy Smith, OD Secretary.




Are you involved in a life-challenging occupation? Have you any helpful suggestions for our younger ODs? Did something amazing happen to you this past year? Did you meet up with an OD from your past? Are you willing to come and speak to our 6th formers about your work and interests?


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

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Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

OD CRICKET WEEK 2012 By Jeremy Winter Sadly not a great deal to report with regard to the July Cricket Week.

The swamp-like condition of the whole of Big Field in the week prior to the event, together with some heavy showers over the weekend prevented any cricket whatsoever. Of course this meant the inevitable cancellation of the Hog Roast on the Wednesday evening. Some frustrated cricketers, however, were able to join up with the OD golfers that week for five days at local courses and a number of evening gatherings in

Cheltenham were organised which were very enjoyable. Arrangements for 2013 are well advanced for the week commencing Monday 8th July, including a new afternoon fixture with Dumbleton where there has always been strong Decanian connection. The Hog Roast will be after play on the Wednesday where players, supporters, OD golfers and all friends of the school are very welcome.

O.D.C.C. v The School Commem. 2012 A mercifully dry day, although cool and cloudy, greeted Liam Brignull’s OD side, slightly light in numbers but strong in spirit.

The school’s well balanced attack bodes pretty well for the future and it was the skipper Tom Warren who led the run chase with authority and was out eventually for 59.

A bygone era of those enjoying the cricket. Are there faces that are recognisable to you?

Although the ODs struck with an early wicket this led to the arrival of the talented Lloyd Evans and their stand of 94 paved the way for a comfortable six wicket win with Evans 87 N.O.

By Jeremy Winter OD and George Lane (T 98)


Winning the toss Liam and Ali Parker got the side away well with a stand of 40 but a blow was struck soon after with the run out of the unfortunate Simon Slabbert. However useful contributions from James Mears, Nick Hume, Alex Porter and a number of others raised the end total to perhaps a vulnerable looking 195.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013


By Liam Brignull

Monday 11 march 2013

OD 1st XI Front row: Nick Hume; Charlie Hunte (Capt.); Richard Baker. Standing: Tom Scrase; Jan Philip-Beidermann. Back row: Matt Shelley; George Bence; Cy Fateh; Adam Jones; Ali Parker; Liam Brignull; Jack Evans (goalkeeper).

OD 2nd XI ODs played well as a team and controlled the game overall in very cold conditions and thoroughly deserved their win against the School 2nd XI! The goalscorers were: Chris Hooper, James Mears, Brad Mears, Dave Jones, Tim Postlethwaite Half-time score was 3 - 1 to ODs and final score of 5 - 2. Back row: Dave Holdaway; Tim Postlethwaite (Capt.); Chris Billington; Adrian Barrett; Philip Allen; Pete Holdaway. Front row: Chris Hooper; James Mears; Dave Jones; Brad Mears; Goalkeeper: Phil Sidey.




In June, Dean Close saw its first rugby playing OD collect a full cap for England in the First Test of the 2012 summer tour to South Africa.


On Saturday 9 June Tom (who left DCS in 2000) made his full England debut in the starting line-up at blind side flanker in Stuart Lancaster’s side that faced the Springboks at Kings Park, Durban. Tom plays for Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership and has previously earned honours with England Saxons and the Barbarians. DCS team mates Paul Marchand (1999) and James Petrie (1999) were in Durban to watch alongside Tom’s father Richard. Former Head of School, Paul said : “Tom did a superb job and seemed to thoroughly

enjoy every moment. He was a real nuisance to the opposing Springboks and made a real impression in his first start. For James and me, Saturday was like a dream. James flew out from London via Dubai and I flew down from Johannesburg and we met up near the ground, pinching ourselves all morning that it was really happening. It seemed a far cry from days growing up with Tom at DCS playing rugby 7s at Rosslyn Park, touring Kenya playing cricket or hacking around Cleeve Golf course as we did in the holidays. When the national anthems struck up in Durban we were struggling to hold it together given

the emotion of the occasion (unlike Tom who was relatively calm all day) - we are so proud of him. Since Durban Tom has gone on to win a 2nd cap in the Johannesburg Test Match and we hope for many more to come. However I am not sure I will ever get much work done if he keeps generating all this good press, it is exhausting trying to read it all!” Tom played an Autumn International Tour of Australia v Fiji in which he scored his first try against Fiji in the British Isles team.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

OD GOLF 2013 By Robert Reed

The Old Decanian Golf Society continues to flourish with numbers holding steady for the various golf meetings and fixtures throughout the year. It was good to see Alex Carlisle and Oli Burroughs put in their first appearances. At the Spring Meeting held at Cotswold Hills GC, we played for ‘The Presidents Cup’ which was won by the President himself (Brian Wilson), closely followed by other OD members of Cotswold Hills (so the 2 shot local rule is fair!!). The tradition of the winner filling the cup with a bottle of bubbly was maintained to the enjoyment of all. Some played in the afternoon, but most watched the ODs play The School in the annual hockey match on the Astroturf.

overall was overcast and wins were recorded by Brian Wilson (again), Huw Davies-Thomas, Tim Lawrence and Paul Marchand (twice!!). The ODGS Dinner (including the OD Welsh Dinner) on the Monday at Porthcawl was great fun and attended by the hard core of regulars. The combined ODGS and ODCC supper on the Wednesday was cancelled as no cricket was played in the week at all, due to poor weather and unplayable wickets. Paradoxically, the golf fixtures all took place with only two holes played in light showers.

The summer tour, held during the OD cricket week in July, continues to be a success, with a number of new faces attending for a day or two, or for the whole week. We used the School as a base for accommodation and played courses close to the OD cricket matches at Broadway GC, Minchinhampton GC, Cleeve GC, The Manor GC at Castle Combe and the magnificent Royal Porthcawl GC where we started the tour. The weather for the week

The annual golf match against the Old Cheltonian GS took place in July at Royal Wimbledon GC. It was good to get to grips with ‘the old enemy’ again, and I am pleased to report that we drew the match against a strong College side and retained the Spa Trophy. We play the match at The Berkshire in 2013. We entered a team into The Grafton Morrish knockout competition which was played at Denham GC. Yet again, we failed to make the finals in this

scratch contest; we must get our best team out in 2013 to achieve the Secretary’s biggest ambition. The annual fixture between the Old Decanians and the School took place in September, and the Old Boys won by a close margin. Our thanks go to Jeremy Winter and Andy Swarbrick for their organization of the day at Cotswold Hills GC. We still have a golf day (in conjunction with The Stroke-a-Hole GS) at ‘Rolls of Monmouth’ GC – our regular splendid venue in October, where Chris Dyer came in with the best OD score for the day to win the Reed Cup. The ODs were again invited to put a team into the Welsh public schools golf competition held at Southerndown GC and hosted by Llandovery. Cheltenham College won the Edward Harris Cup with the ODs achieving a creditable second place (grrrrrr – see separate report). We shall be competing in the event again in 2013 in North Wales when Ruthin will be the hosts.

Grafton Morrish knockout competition team. Back row: Alex Carlisle, Tim Lawrence, Joe Lane Front row: Martin Lamb, Robert Reed, Ian Bevan-Jones

My thanks for all your support throughout the year and the significant financial support from the ODS. We have another comprehensive calendar of events for 2013 (one major alteration – we will be holding the Autumn Meeting at The Berkshire and having a change from Walton Heath GC) and I would draw your attention to the fixture card where the dates are already confirmed. I look forward to seeing you next year for another successful season.


Those of you who attended the autumn meeting at Walton Heath will know that we had a great day in mainly dry conditions. The Old course and the catering were sublime as usual. The Hardy Trophy was won by Mike Wigley with Robert Farnes coming second. Our thanks go, again, to Peter Edginton for his continuing support by providing the generous prizes.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

The Treasurer’s Report I am pleased to present the Financial Statements of the Old Decanian Society for the year ending 31st December 2011. Again there are no major issues to report this year. In spite of the fact that we have shown a trading deficit of £ 6,887 for the year ending 31st December 2011, the Society is still in a strong financial position. Most of the deficit is due to one-off items,

including an extra £2,000 given to the Dean Close School Hardship Fund for this year only, purchase of honour boards for the Sports Pavilion, extra postage costs for the O.D. Newsletter and nearly £1,000 spent on merchandise to sell at O.D. events. We also invested £4,000 in Jupiter Ecology Fund units. However, the overall figure, including the capital account, still amounts to a small surplus of £260. The income for the present year is standing up well, but with the possibility

16th June 2012 by Ian Bassett-Smith

of fewer scholars joining the O.D. Society and extra expenditure required mainly in connection with development office activities and the new PODS group, we will have to be more selective in the future with donations made to Dean Close School and other activities. Thank you, as usual, to Henry Hodgkins for his continued valuable contributions to the Society. This concludes my report.

Report to the Old Decanian Society, March 2013

By Richard Taylor, Clerk to the Trustees of TASC Choral Scholarship Fund - March 2013

Dean Close Preparatory School. Currently a chorister scholarship is £3,500 pa per boy, approximately 25% of fees, but the trust is now asking donors for £3,750 pa in the hope of gradually raising the award to nearer 30-40% (a chorister at Gloucester gets a 75% award). Trustees do not claim expenses, none of the Officers receive any form of payment, and the Fund has no costs other than fees incurred by law for auditing, etc.

The Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum Choral Scholarship Fund is extremely grateful to the Old Decanian Society for its continued support in the form of an annual chorister scholarship.


The CSF is a charitable trust (reg charity no 270751) independent both of Tewkesbury Abbey and of Dean Close School. Its trustees are listed on the Schola Cantorum website



The purpose of the trust is to provide chorister scholarships for the education of the choristers of Tewkesbury Abbey at

The CSF’s financial year runs from January to December. Accounts are usually finalised around May each year to meet the Charity Commission’s deadline and published on its website. A recent set of accounts has been provided to the OD registrar. In summary, the accounts for the financial year 2011 show: Net Assets £644,076 of which Fixed Assets (Investments) £386,409 Net Current Assets £257,667 Income 2011 £62,218 of which Voluntary donations (incl OD scholarship) £39,525 Investment Income £21,219 Income Tax recoverable £1,474 Expenditure 2011 £59,484 of which Chorister scholarships £55,443 Fees and charges £4,041 While we were able to meet the requests for funding with £2,734 to spare, this

would not have been enough to fund another chorister. The chorister total is around 16 – anything less is under strength. Sometimes, it is necessary to have one or two more, particularly down the line, and there is not always an even spread across the years. At present (March 2013), there are 14 boys, 5 of whom are probationers (ie they are very young and don’t sing all the services) and the director needs to strengthen some of the lower years. This makes it vital that the CSF continues to approach trusts and individuals for donations from which the vast majority of scholarships are funded. We have a leaflet that does this and enables payments. Each month, two or three potential sources are approached: in February 2013, I attended an interview in London with a major charity to which we had applied; another (The Weston Foundation) donated £20,000 in Feb 2013. Fund raising is a continuous and relentless task and the support of the ODs is invaluable. It is worth noting that the Schola received exceptional praise on R3 and in many reviews for its two recent CDs. And that Laurence Kilsby, who moved up to DCS in September, was the star of the show in two Christmas Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall on 23 December 2012 – he sang to a mere 12,000 people in the audiences in one day!

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Netball and Rugby Tour to Singapore and Australia 2012 23 boys, 11 girls & 5 staff on a 16 day tour by Miss R Donaldson - Head of Academic PE

Next day we went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where we fed and stroked kangaroos and cuddled a koala. We then took a ferry to Moreton Island which is the second largest sand dune in the world, staying in Tangalooma Resort. DC pupils got involved in the talent show on the first night, Kieran Cook sang brilliantly. The next day we played beach games including a ‘dig for money’ contest with $50 buried in the sand which was great fun. We all fed dolphins, in the wild, that evening.

We rushed off to change into shorts and then went straight up in a cable to Sentosa Island. There we went to the aquarium and saw a pink dolphin display, went to a wax museum and learnt to ride segways. On the second day we had a city tour around Singapore; Desmond our tour guide was great. We went to Little India (where the kids had henna tattoos) and China Town, then around some of the highlights of Singapore. Both the rugby and netball trained in the afternoon and then that evening we went on a night safari which was amazing – we watch a show followed by a night train around the safari park seeing elephants, giraffes, lions and tigers.

However, very tired pupils fell asleep which wasn’t a surprise as we were all so tired. Next morning we went to Singapore Zoo which is the best zoo I have ever been to in my life – we started with breakfast where the Orang-utans came down and joined us! There were no cages as the animals are contained by electric currents allowing us to get close up and personal to lots of animals, both big and small. In the afternoon the boys played rugby vs Centaurs on a 3G pitch which was on the roof on the school. A new experience! DC won this match whilst the netballers played Temasek Polytechnic who were Singapore’s top Polytechnic team. We lost in a very tight match. The next day we flew to Brisbane and stayed at SeaWorld Resort. To our surprise we found we had been entered into a Gold Coast Carnival Tournament in which the girls played 5 matches and the boys played 2. We were in the top tier, playing all of Australia’s top teams so fixtures were tough and were made worse by heavy rain! This was the lowlight of the tour.

The following day we went to Dreamworld, a brilliant theme park linked to Whitewater World which had acquacoasters. Rosie Abbott was the only girl brave enough to go on ‘the Wedgie’! Next day we flew to Sydney and went immediately to fixtures, boys at Riverview College and the girls at Ravenswood. Both lost. The players then went off with their billet families for 2 nights and had a great experience living with an Australian family. During this time we had a city tour taking in Manly Beach, the sights of Sydney and lunch on Bondi Beach. In their final fixture in Sydney, the girls won. On the last day we all climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge and had an end of tour dinner together where everyone was given a mini didgeridoo. This was the end of a fantastic trip which was the experience of a lifetime for all of us who went on it.


We set off very very early from Cheltenham to arrive at Heathrow with 5 hours to spare! It was a long but comfortable flight (13 hours) to Singapore where we arrived to a very humid day.

Early the next morning we went on a desert safari, including sand tobogganing, reaching speeds of 40km p/hr. We watched pelican feeding in the afternoon before heading back to Brisbane. The next day was match day, the boys going to Gold Sunshine Coast Grammar and the girls playing All Hallows School. The boys won but the girls lost.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Headmaster’s Notes It has been an eventful year at Dean Close with several projects beginning to take firm shape. The Prep School Hall has been demolished and building works are well underway to provide a multi-purpose school hall for drama, music performances, school assemblies, an IT suite, reception and teaching areas over two floors. The building should be ready for use in Michaelmas 2014. Fundraising for the Chapel Organ is proceeding well and it is hoped that the new instrument will be ready for use in time for the service on Remembrance Day in 2014. We had an interim boarding inspection in 2012 to check on our regulatory compliance. Inspectors found that School is fully compliant, describing a flourishing community and one in which boarders are happy with their lives. We have enjoyed several excellent OD events in recent months, with a lunch at Dean Close House in November welcoming sixty ODs aged 60-80 who had great stories to tell of their experience of the School. Our GCSE candidates in the summer achieved our second best ever results with 58.4% A*/A and a really impressive 28% A*. One wonders what might have happened if the boards hadn’t tightened the grading criteria this year. At A level the proportion of exams graded A* to B was fractionally below 80%. We were delighted that 18% of all grades were at A*, as stretching our top scholars to achieve at this level has been an area of strong focus.


Following a Curriculum Review, we have decided to move to a two-week timetable with 50 minute lessons next year. This will allow greater depth and creativity in classes. This year we have introduced the Extended Project Qualification in the Sixth Form and, in line with a recommendation by the last ISI Inspection, there is an option for the most able to study Triple Science at GCSE and we have introduced a GCSE in Economics/Business. 



The Marketing Team has not been resting on their laurels. As well as re-designing the hard copy prospectus, two Dean Close Apps were launched – the Prospectus App and the Parent App. Both have been very well received, leading us to consider our full social media strategy. A Dean Close twitter account has been activated

to embrace all the individual DC accounts being tweeted. The School sponsored Gavin Esler and Ben Miller at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival. Both speakers visited us before their events, holding private Q&A sessions with our History and Politics students, and Physics students, respectively. In sport we have continued our good run across a range of activities. In netball the U19 team are runners-up at County Level with Regionals being held at the start of February. In hockey the U16 Boys are Outdoor Hockey champions. At the time of writing we are yet to play at the Girls U18 outdoor finals, Boys U18 indoor finals and Girls U18 indoor finals. In golf we are the Borders’ League winners. We congratulate the following pupils who are all on the way to achieving international honours: Craig Graham Scotland U18 Amelia Andrews England U18 Bryony Davies Wales U18 Rhianna Evans Wales U18 Will Hewer England HIPAC U15 And we are proud to note that OD Tom Johnson scored his first try for his country in November.

by Bradley Salisbury, Acting Headmaster

The cricket season was, of course, the wettest on record and David Trist completed his final year of coaching before his retirement. His tireless work on our behalf, along with that of his sports team colleagues and the grounds staff have led to both Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board asking to use our 1st XI ground. Warren Lees, another New Zealand international, will join us in the summer to carry on David’s excellent work. We were also delighted that current pupil Lloyd Evans was selected for the England Academy programme through the Gloucestershire County set-up. The 2012 Trinity Term began with a most successful Gala Organ Concert in aid of the organ appeal in Tewkesbury Abbey. This featured Chapel Choir, Schola Cantorum, pupils past and present including OD’s Ashok Gupta (D 2006) (piano) and Matthew Martin(G 94) (organ). A joint “Celebration of Music” concert with the Prep School followed and at the end of April Laura Mackenzie (Fa 2009) returned to give a recital with her wind quintet. During a half term trip to Barcelona, the Chapel Choir sang in the cathedrals of Girona and Barcelona and in the wonderful monastery at Montserrat to an audience of over 1000 people! As ever, there were many memorable performances in Drama including Calamity Jane, The Crucible, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, South Pacific, Me, as a Penguin, and DECADE. I would like to thank the ODs who take the time to keep in touch with us and I look forward to meeting more of you in the future.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

DRAMA & THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 2012 by Lloyd Allington, Director of Drama

Will Merrick

WILL MERRICK OD (Tower House 2006-2011) A personal tribute

When I first met Will, when he was 12, I knew from the moment I saw him audition on stage that he had exciting and natural stage presence. He performed two pieces for me, and I went jumping up and down with excitement to the Girling Room, insisting that we take this young talent. Our verdict has been more than justified, and Will did terrific things on stage in his time at DCS. We remember with special affection the outstanding performances of The History Boys, not only as the Drama Scholars’ Play at DCS on the Bacon stage, but also the run with Close Up Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe. His performance as

Posner, the Jewish gay outsider whose life after Cambridge ends up a huge disappointment, and who is perhaps the soul of this great play, showed extraordinary insight and subtlety; it was no coincidence that amongst this cast, one went to LAMDA on a scholarship, one to Mountview Academy, one to RADA, another to LAMDA and several others are all applying to major drama schools. And even within some superb performances which wowed their audiences, Will shone as Posner – his ability with comic timing and pathos was already innate. It was also a sadness for me that, owing to filming schedules for SKINS, we were unable to work with Will in a major role in school drama in his Upper Sixth. I would have loved to have seen him as a major Shakespeare or Marlovian character. But we saw how wonderfully he could move an audience in his performance as Charley in Death of a Salesman, again in Edinburgh and at School. His response to nuances of text and mood are beautifully conveyed on

a stage, and he understands how to work and control an audience to the full. There were also many other joys in his time here: as Brian in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (the examiner said he had never seen a finer performance at A Level); and a nasty and subtle Polonius in Hamlet. It is easy to think that comedy will be Will’s forte; but I think that is to miss the range and potential depth of this young man’s acting. Together with Rebecca Vines (to whose hard work in preparing Will for auditions and her wonderful guidance I must pay tribute), I join in saying a warm thanks to Will for all his work here, and devotion to the Drama Department: and we predict that he will have an exciting and fruitful future. We already miss him rather a lot. The drama department is always appreciative of all the ODs who attend the performances both at school and at the Edinburgh Fringe each year - many thanks to you all.


Will Merrick, actor and OD, is on the rise: he has already starred in two highly successful series of the E4 cult teenage programme SKINS, and now he has landed a part in the latest Richard Curtis film About Time – this after being offered a place at the Royal Academy of Drama Art (RADA).


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

O Ds - A Wedding

ODs Lucie McHardie-Jones and Joe Hill came back to School this summer to marry in Chapel. School Chaplain, Libby Talbot, conducted the service and the Chapel Choir sang. The reception was held in a marquee in the gardens of Dean Close House.


When were you at Dean Close and what were your favourite aspects? Lu 1997-2006 (Yrs 6 to 13), Joe 2002-2007 (Yrs 9 to 13). We both did drama, musicals and choir. Lu also loved art, tennis, hockey and netball, and Joe rugby, hockey and athletics.



How did your paths first cross and when did you start going out together? Our paths crossed through our involvement in choir and in plays. We got together when Lu was in the Upper Sixth and Joe was in Lower Sixth.

Did you ever do any events/ performances/trips together? Yes lots. We went on choir tours to Italy, Germany and France; did the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004 and 2005; Cabaret, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, West Side Story; Choir performances at St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin’s in the Field, Pittville Pump Room, Concert Band at Commem, Strictly Come Dancing in 2006… What did you do when you left Dean Close? Lu went to Nottingham University to study Music and then did a PGCE at Exeter University. Joe went to Exeter

University to study Spanish and Italian, spending one year in Italy. What are you doing now? Lu is a fully qualified teacher working at a school in Gloucester and Joe is working in Bristol for an invoice finance company. Tell us about Joe’s proposal? It was very romantic! Joe filled Dean Close Chapel with candles one winter’s evening, made something up to get Lu to the Chapel and asked her to marry him right there. Why did you choose to have your wedding at Dean Close? It was where we met and holds lots of happy memories for us both. We had about 20 ODs coming to the wedding including our two former tutors: Helen Porter and Richard Taylor.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Bursar’s Notes Those Old Decanians who have visited the School in recent months cannot but have noticed that the Langhorne Hall, which for the past 45 years has stood like a sentinel at the entrance to the Prep School, is no more. Following a two year consultation and planning process the building was demolished (fitting neatly and quite satisfyingly into five large skips!) during the 2012 summer break to make way for an exciting new development which will provide the Prep School with a new 350 seat multi-purpose hall, eight new classrooms, six music practice rooms plus new offices and meeting rooms. The project will also rid the site of a number of unsightly and aging temporary buildings and provide an impressive and

by John Ewbank

welcoming new ‘point of entry’ for children and visitors. The build was started during the Michaelmas term and will be completed in October 2014 at a total project cost of £4.5 million. Work is also proceeding, albeit at a somewhat slower pace, on plans for the re-development of the ‘Heart’ of the Senior School and re-location of a new swimming pool elsewhere on site. Although delivery of this ambitious project remains some way off, Trustees recognise the need for continuous investment in the School’s facilities and for ensuring that pupils in all age groups have the very best facilities in which to live, learn and play.

The state of the economy of course continues to have a significant impact upon the UK independent education sector generally, and Dean Close has inevitably had to work hard to maintain pupil numbers and to contain costs. Nevertheless I’m happy to be able to report that the School’s finances remain in a healthy state and, as I commented two years ago, the future still looks bright and exciting.

We say Goodbye to the Giant Redwood It is with sadness that we have to report that the Giant Redwood (Wellingtonia) tree, that has stood alongside the main entrance to the Senior School for approximately 100 years, was felled during the Easter holidays.

The condition of the tree had been closely monitored by qualified arborists over the past 6 years and during the past 3 years the health of the tree had deteriorated rapidly. It was very badly stressed and there had been extensive root decay; only a fraction of the tree’s original root system was intact. Cheltenham Borough Council had approved its removal as there was an increased risk of the tree falling during a storm.

The giant redwood (Wellingtonia or giant sequoia) is Sequoiadendron giganteum. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens says: “It may not be the tallest tree in the world but Sequoiadendron giganteum is the largest by volume, reaching up to 95 m in height and 12 m in diameter. On its introduction to Britain in 1853, the species was named Wellingtonia gigantea after the recently deceased Duke of Wellington. However, this scientific name was not legitimate because the name Wellingtonia had been used earlier for another plant (although it is still called Wellingtonia as a common name in the UK). Always on the lookout for new and exciting large trees, estate owners jumped at the chance of growing another impressive specimen and having the name Wellingtonia worked wonders as a marketing tool. Although planted less frequently now, it is quite common throughout the British Isles, particularly in large gardens and parks. The giant redwood, which can live up to 3,200 years, was formerly put in the swamp cypress family (Taxodiaceae), which is now placed in the cypress family (Cupressaceae)”.


By Ian Bassett-Smith


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013


Early last summer at about 7.15 in the morning I was tidying up the grass nets at Fawley when a loud and distinct Kiwi twang cut across the dewy still morning, “Don’t worry, I’ll do it!”.


I hadn’t seen David since the previous summer and I smiled to myself as I was reacquainted with his relentless enthusiasm and caught a glimpse of that iconic moustache. After a few obligatory pleasantries about the journey, it was straight down to business: coaching groups, fixtures, ground requirements and so on. There would be plenty of time to catch up properly later; the pressing issue was the fast approaching cricket season. David’s energy and drive are astonishing and have surprised and inspired a high number of people during his time here. However, it has also landed him in trouble at times. On one such occasion David felt the wrath of Mrs Hastie-Smith’s tongue as she stormed out of Dean Close House to remonstrate with David about being on the very noisy roller on the DCPS 1st XI wicket, at 6.30am, on a Sunday. It is possible to empathise with Joanne on this but David did succinctly point out to her that, ‘The conditions are perfect for rolling’.



Coming from the south island of New Zealand and having a farming background David has a wonderful understanding and feel for meteorology and also has a rare love of pedology (soil), particularly when related to cricket wickets. Several years ago there was an inundation of meadow grass on the 1st XI wicket and the only thing for it was for David and me to get on our hands and knees and start digging it out with little knives. Although it is not everyone’s idea of fun to spend a number

of hours face down in the grass, it was in fact a superb experience because the sun was shining and I had the pleasure of hearing David talk about the science of cricket wickets as well as an array of non-cricket related topics. Such is the ability of David’s communication skills that he can turn even a clod of earth into a living, vibrant and interesting thing. His story telling is one of his other great skills. In fact, he still does the ‘comments’ on Radio Sport during the New Zealand cricket season (their equivalent of Test Match Special) and was voted the listeners’ favourite pundit. This is not hard to believe. We have been incredibly lucky to have David at Dean Close for the past 10 years. Despite being a big name in the cricket world he is never one for the spotlight and despite working closely with so many test cricketers and being their go-toman in times of need, he is just as happy coaching the year 4s as he is coaching the best players in the senior 1st XI. His technical knowledge of the game is incredible and some of his innovative coaching techniques have been fun to watch (seeing small boys toppling backwards into an empty bowling machine box because they have stepped away to leg is a particular favourite of mine), but it also his ability to connect so naturally with children of all ages that marks him out as unique. Whether it’s a little ruffle on the back of the neck or verbal ‘warm fuzzies’ as he calls them, he engages with them all and enthuses anyone that he comes into contact with. His committed work in the Prep School has manifested itself in not only better cricketers moving up through the school but also higher numbers of boys playing the sport. Although David has an infectious love for the game of cricket he is also passionate

about so many other things in life from breeding race horses to wine to the global financial market. He is very well informed on all of these and so many of the Dean Close community have enjoyed their time with David talking about these things and many more eclectic subjects. Some of my fondest memories of my time at Dean Close have been when I have been sitting with David and the 1st XI on the boundary as he gives a running commentary of the match unfolding in front of us. The wonderful combination of a tense finale as our batsmen chase a testing total, warm sunshine, engaged cricketers sitting listening to the energetic commentary from David interspersed with anecdotes from the wider cricketing world was a privilege. In fact at times we had to hope that the laughter would not distract the batsmen in the middle. I know that the boys are going to miss him hugely, especially his vast array of classic expressions such as his, ‘Oh really?’ or his spontaneous wit such as, ‘Hunty, I’ve heard of born again Christians, but not born again catchers! Well done mate’. It will certainly be a less colourful place at Dean Close School in his absence and we will also hugely miss his wife Christine whose happy smile, strength, and support has enabled David to do what he has done so well at Dean Close. Many of us have learnt so much from David and we will miss his energy, enthusiasm, cricketing knowledge and unique ability to connect with all whom he meets. It has been a great privilege to work with him.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Engaging with the

younger generation


(Pupils Old Decanian Society)

Report 2012 was an exciting year as the new initiative to introduce the PODS (one pupil from each of the nine Dean Close Houses to form a link with the OD Society) became established. Sam Prance was the first ever pupil Chairman and he and his team became involved with the OD Boys’ Hockey matches and helped man the OD Society stall at Commemoration. It is hugely positive that one of these inaugural PODS, Helen Gregory, has been proposed to stand for the OD Committee to represent the newest generation of Old Decanians.

September saw a number of new members join the team and they were very involved in helping with the OD Boys’ Rugby and Girls’ Hockey matches. A few also attended the OD Committee meeting to talk about their work as PODS and attended a splendid lunch afterwards. Driven by the OD Chairman and supported by the OD Office and some members of Common Room, it is very much hoped that the PODS will provide both ideas and influence over the peers to ensure a healthy and vibrant link between the new generation of ODs and the OD Society.

Left to right: Catherine Hodgkins, Elizabeth Sharpe, Sarah Coles, Sam Metcalfe and Sabine Trant

PODS (until June 2012): Sam Prance (Dale, Chair), Wesley Howell (Field, Head of School), Phoebe Dawson (Fawley, Deputy Head of School), Crissy Ryan (Shelburne, Deputy Head of School), Sam Metcalfe (Brook Court), Lucy Ralph (Fawley), Hugh Porter (Field), Helen Gregory (Hatherley), Bebe Lawrence (Mead), Olivia Abbott (Shelburne), Louis Knight-Adams (Tower) PODS (from September 2012): Sam Metcalfe (Brook Court, Chair), Charlotte Ivers (Hatherley, Head of School), Harry Lock (Brook Court, Deputy Head of School), Sarah Coles (Fawley, Deputy Head of School), Johnny Cahill (Dale), Addie Hollows (Fawley), James Sylvester (Gate), Beanie Trant (Hatherley), Catherine Hodgkins (Mead), Lizzie Sharpe (Shelburne), Greg Hall (Tower)

Development Office are over 90 members registered and as the club grows members can offer work experience opportunities and mentoring to pupils.

Old Decanians are key members of this community and the Development Office is there to help the Old Decanian Society keep ODs connected, whether that is through organising social events and reunions, or via Facebook and social media. In addition the Development Office runs the Dean Close Business Club which meets twice a term at the Bacon Theatre for networking and presentations, and all Old Decanians are invited to join. There

The Development Office is also there to help resource facilities and learning opportunities for this and future generations of Dean Close School. It is currently running the appeal to replace the failing Chapel organ and is very grateful to the ODs who have supported the appeal so far. If you would like to find out more about the Organ Appeal, joining the Business

Club, or more about the work of the Development Office then please do contact us :Victoria Waddington and Felicity Copp

Victoria Waddington

Felicity Copp


Our School is a vibrant and active community not just for current pupils but for everyone whom Dean Close has been an important part of their lives.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

DEAN CLOSE SCH NATIONAL LEVEL, 2012 is not just a great year for London; so far it has been an extraordinary year for the pupils and teachers at Dean Close School. It has seen its pupils compete in a huge range of high profile competitions, from academic to sport to music, leading to FIVE national titles from qualifying in a recordbreaking eleven national finals.

The U16 Hockey Boys became National Schools Hockey Champions in April, a first for the U16 team although the U18s won in 2009. Qualifying for the eighth time in five years, the team travelled to the competition with a bus load of Dean Close spectators who created an incredible atmosphere of support. A focused, all-round team performance, with the three forwards all scoring, gave Dean Close a convincing 4-0 win against their final adversary handing them the Boys U16 National Schools Championship Title.


On muddier fields, the School has watched its equestrian team get closer and closer to National success, but this year it really raised the bar



nal Schools The U16 Hockey Boys became Natio

with TWO National Titles. First came the National Schools Cross-Country Champions at Gawcott. Entering two teams on a course that was very wet, trickey and testing, not only did one team win the National Title, but the second came a very respectable fourth, all choosing the large bonus fences to gain maximum points. In addition, the Dean Close Team won the National Schools’ Two-Day Event which was held at Offchurch Bury, near Leamington Spa at the end of May. The same team of Ollie, Greg and Philli Hall and James Norris which became the National Schools’ Team CrossCountry Champions in April, took the Championship title winning by a large margin of 18 penalty points ahead of the 2nd placed team.

Hockey Champions in April

Sixth Form boys at the UK

At the UK Senior Mathematics Team Challenge, a group of Sixth Form boys came sixth out of 1900 schools in preliminary round, taking them forward to the National competition. There they came up against 64 other regional winning teams including some of the top public and grammar schools, where they calculated their way to second place. This was a huge achievement, particularly given size of Dean Close compared to other competing schools. AS level politics students won the Thames Valley round of the European Youth Parliament at the Oxford University Union, debating Education Reform in the EU. This led to qualification in the National Finals in Liverpool – yet to take place - which provides the opportunity to represent

Senior Mathematics Team


Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society


students won the Thames Valley rou nd of

the European You th Parliament

UK in an international competition in Amsterdam or Munich next year. When the U16 netball team won the County Championships it brought great excitement as this was the first time that an U16 Gloucestershire team had qualified for the South West Regionals Finals, so to go on and win that competition against 13 other schools and come ninth place in U16 National Schools’ Netball Finals really gave the sports department something to celebrate. The U18 boys indoor hockey team qualified for the National Finals in January for the third time in five years. In the group stages the boys came third on goal difference when unfortunately only the top two progressed. Three of the squad were also in the U16 National Champions squad and seven of the 11 are back next year to have another go. Three separate Chamber Groups from Dean Close School won their way through to the Final of the Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival for Schools. This was the first time that the School

Equestrian team

has entered the competition, and with two groups from the Senior School and one from the Preparatory School gaining places, made it even more fantastic that all three groups did so well. All musicians have been led by Emma Denton, part of our Head of Strings foursome and cellist in the Carducci Quartet. The competition was open to all schools in the UK, including Saturday Junior music Colleges. A beginner in Mandarin, year 10 pupil Angel Parker entered the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition and won her way through the National Final where she came runner-up in Beginner’s Category, commended for demonstrating outstanding speaking skills & pronunciation. This was a fantastic achievement, particularly since Angel had only been learning the language for 10 months against other competitors in her category who had up to two years experience. With just days to go before the end of the summer term, the School was still pushing itself to add to it national title list with its edgy student publication,

THE QUAD, founded in 2010 by pupils Sam Prace and Chrissy Ryan, with features ranging from August Riots to School Gossip, Tuition Fees to Being a ‘Geek’. The Shine Media Awards invites entries from all student-led school magazines, newspapers and newsletters and Dean Close were notified in May that they had reached the finals and would be judged against six other shortlisted schools for the Best Feature Article category. At the National Award ceremony, The Quad was announced the winner by journalist Simon Heffer, Chairman of the Judging Panel, who congratulated it for its ‘funny, very relevant and in many ways brave content’. But the final ‘swing of the school year’ was in hands of the golfers when they potted one last victory by winning the Independent Schools Golf Association National Plate Final, completing the fifth Dean Close National Championship of the season. The competition was played at The Shire Golf Course in Barnet, the boys having secured their place as winners of the Midlands and Wales section, playing seven other teams from around the UK.


AS level politics


Old Decanian News


N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Saddest news of Olympic Year has been that of the passing of Richard Padfield. In the Pantheon of all-time greatest Decanians, RCP must surely rank among the foremost: great not merely for longevity (an association lasting 60 years), but even more so for loyal contribution of the highest calibre. It is hard to imagine any couple outscoring Richard and Sue Padfield in dedicated service and professional excellence.

“…I was at Dean Close from 1980 to 1985 and although I was in Gate House I always found Richard willing to listen and provide good, clear sensible advice. I was not particularly academic (as Sue will no doubt remember having to get me through O Level maths on my third attempt) so this was a welcome change for me and very much appreciated.”

Chris Walker (Gate 85)


“I was a student of Mr Padfield’s in the seventies and was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I live in Canada… I have never forgotten him and it is in part to him that I am in the education field myself. He was a wonderful teacher and a truly special man”.



Lauren Ashley (Mead 75)

My first conscious memory of him was as a DCJS Colts Hockey half-back in 1953, where the exceptionally successful team was held up to us as an exemplar of “guts, skill and determination” by headmaster EJB Langhorne. Almost the last was of Miserden School Friends’ Quiz Night a year or so ago, where the Lanes were fortunate to be paired with the Padfields, and a red-faced vicar in another team was forced to give best to the gently smiling Richard’s far superior recall of the remote OT prophets. He was an exceptional schoolboy scholar-athlete. Although best known for his Hockey (with all possible school honours, leading to a triple Oxford Blue, Junior Internationals and long-time county success with Wilshire), I had forgotten until recently that he set a school high-jump record which stood for 2 decades, and recall especially his telling captaincy of our 1961 unbeaten Cricket XI. Richard himself scored nearly 500 runs in the season, bowled useful off-breaks, and was a run-out specialist fielding at mid-off: batsmen were lulled by his relaxed demeanour into taking “…It was a privilege to have been at Richard’s funeralamongst many other contacts, he was Head Boy when I arrived at school!”

Paul Youde (Field 65)

casual singles, only to be undone by the cobra-like speed and accuracy of his throw. He also relished upsetting opponents by ensuring (since we had 4 decent left-handers in the side) that there was always a left-hander and right-hander partnership in the middle – an example of the astuteness of his leadership which we so enjoyed. He was a great ‘team man’. Probably he would have ranked as the pinnacle of his sporting career his years with Wiltshire Hockey. They reached the county final 6 times in 9 years, winning 5 of them. Generally their style (at least to the bystander) was to score a goal (rarely more than 2 goals), and then defend it to the metaphorical death. This was achieved by the ‘Iron Men of Wiltshire’ – alias Padfield, Ireland (OD) and Elmitt. They were the bane of the more glitzy Home Counties, relishing their role as underdogs, playing brilliant defensive hockey… and of course making friends for life in the process. Sport seemed to assume almost preeminent school importance in those days. “…I am very sad to hear of Richard’s passing; he gave so much to Dean Close and was a true part of the institution.”

Capt Laurence Whittingham (Brook Court 2003)

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Noblest Decanian of them all by Rupert Lane (OD - Gate 1962)

Richard replaced my old housemaster, ASR Parker, in the English Department. He became a specialist in Chaucer and 18th Century literature with the 6th Forms, but was equally happy teaching the denizens of the bottom Remove set. One athletic, but academically limited O Level struggler referred to him as “the teacher who could get you through a brick wall”. He relished the rich spectrum of experience, and cheerfully undertook all the ancillary duties like running the Literary and Debating Societies. Alongside this of course he was a greatly esteemed Hockey coach and for a time, astonishingly, both he and Sue were simultaneously Housemasters of different School Houses, Shelburne and Field – in the days before House Tutors were commonplace. One wonders quite how they coped, especially with a young family. He gave up housemastering when Sue became Senior Mistress, but – ever eager for a new challenge – then became a qualified specialist in the problems of dyslexia. What a blessing he must have

been to the several Heads under whom he served. Underpinning his energetic and multi-faceted teaching career was not just the solidity of a great marriage, but a strong Christian faith rooted in his Methodist upbringing. Though never obtrusive in this, he lived very much the Christian life, being the epitome of personal kindness and modesty, and in retirement he and Sue became lynchpins of their church in Witcombe. In recent years, though dogged by ill-health, he remained the best of company, a great conversationalist with wonderful sharpwitted humour. He has also made a huge contribution to the OD Society, as its Secretary, President and Chairman. His recall of former pupils was legion and his institutional knowledge unique. It is not possible to do justice in a short article to the qualities of such a great human being. He was a true life-enhancer with many, many admirers who, like me, will never forget him. Sitting squashed into the back pew at his funeral, attended by family and so many friends, colleagues and former distinguished sportsmen that they far overspilled the church, some content to endure the summer storms outside, I found myself reminded of the line written of another, very different life-enhancer 300 years ago:

“My wife and I caught up with Richard a few years ago when we visited the school. We were able to recall how the school was run many years ago when Mr Langhorne was Headmaster of the Junior School and Mr Graham Headmaster of the Senior School. This was the era long before the school had female pupils. Richard showed us round the school and we appreciated the time he gave to us. “

Jack Jenner (Gate 54)

“ I have numerous memories of Richard, especially his hockey playing exploits… However, it is probably this attribute that best sums Richard to me – a thoroughly dedicated teacher who had time for even the most ‘useless’ of pupils.”

Andrew Jessopp (Dale 78) More memories and pictures on page 35

“Lector, si monumentum requires, circumspice” We were there to salute a Decanian of Olympian stature. We shall all miss him enormously.

“…I have wonderful memories of him as my English teacher, with his incredibly dry sense of humour.”

“I have happy memories of being taught English by Richard Padfield in 1979-80, and again in 1981-82…“

Genevieve Portwood (Fawley 99)

Spencer Evans (Dale 83)


Richard was, however, a considerable scholar too. He graduated from Senior Prefectship at Dean Close to read English at Teddy Hall, Oxford. There he achieved a decent degree (though one which hardly did him justice) but, more importantly, in addition to running University Hockey, he met Sue, his life-long soul-mate. They became a formidable partnership, each supporting and complementing the other; he the lover of Literature, she the Maths scholar. How fortunate we were that they returned to make Dean Close their lives’ work.

Richard and Sue Padfield


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013


from the s 0 4 19 Nick Henderson (G44) and his wife, Sheila visited the school to see the Henderson cherry trees that were planted near the Sports Hall. They had a tour of the school and visited the chapel and could see the tremendous changes in the buildings since his time as a pupil at DCS. Patrick House (G 48). It was lovely to have Patrick House visit the school and spend some time in the archives looking at the photographs of himself and others whilst at DCS.

s 0 5 9 1


John Stanley Smith (B 51) and Michael Stanley Smith (B 58). There’s nothing like talking to two brothers living on different continents on the same morning, one in Australia and the other in Canada. Magazines will be on the way to you both – Editor-Lucy Smith.



s 0 6 9 1 Martin Ellis-Jones (C 62) writes: So very kind of you to suggest that I might have a tale to tell. I am currently the leader in the field of vintage black silk top hats in England. If you Google Martin Ellis Jones, you will see much about me - look particularly at Martin’s the Tops - try not to laugh - and should you wish to speak to me - please give me a call. But here is an amusing little Dean Close tale that could be worth telling… Last year I was in Christie’s at Jeffrey Archer’s Charity Auction - I was standing waiting patiently to be introduced to Lady Archer, who as Mary Weedon was in Glenlee House. She was contemporary there with Suzy and Marsoonie Lawyer - Neville Lawyer’s sisters (Neville being my contemporary in Walton Court), in those days we sang joint Choral Concerts with the Ladies College at Christchurch because Dean Close were deemed to more suitable Choral companions than The College. Mary and I had not met since then. On introduction I said ‘Good evening Mary - you won’t remember me.’ - ‘On the contrary - not only do I remember you Martin; but I remember what we sang.’ This was a truly fine moment for me as it was witnessed by a loathsome pushy female stringer from the Daily Mail’s Richard Kay column, who was trying barge in front of me. It speaks volumes as to the value of these joint Choral activities - does it not? On a different note - Amusingly Neville and I were awarded our minor colours for swimming in our first summer term… We ordered our colours badges for our blue blazers at the Tuck Shop, and Mr Plumridge handed us our glamorous


broad striped maroon and cream colours ties. Neville and I swaggered into Walton Court Junior Common Room flaunting them, where we were held down - a pair of sharp scissors materialised and with great sounds of protest of snip… snip… Peter Knight (C 57) has been busy in retirement. He has written four books, the latest of which is due out shortly. The first, Not Half a Life, is no longer in print. The others are: Travels with a Briefcase (ISBN 978-1906236-45-8; 227pp; RRP £8.99): in this light-hearted account of his experiences, Peter retraces his steps to evoke memories and impressions of some very foreign parts. From the Philippines to Allende’s run-down Chile, Qaddafi’s immediate post-coup Libya, Haiti under the notorious Baby Doc Duvallier, and pre-liberation Czechoslovakia, there is never a dull moment. A Pom Down Under (ISBN 978-1-90623699-1; 179pp; RRP £7.99): the 2010-11 Ashes series drew Peter to Australia, where he spent seven weeks and attended all five Tests. This book is the result. It is replete with incident, controversy and wry observation of the country and its people - one man’s small picture of a very large island. Plus the cricket. Listen to This! (ISBN 978-1-78132-107-2; 120pp; RRP £6.99): this little introductory guide is aimed at those, young and old, who show signs of an interest in classical music. It is designed to enthuse and motivate the reader to explore the works of the great composers from the baroque period onwards. The narrative relates aspects of many composers’ lives, giving some pointers to the sources of their inspiration. For special terms for ODs, please consult the publisher: SilverWood Books, 30 Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol BS1 4HJ Telephone 0117 910 5829

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society


Gareth Noott (T 63) writes Dave Rose and I have been in touch, to reminisce as best memory and refreshment allowed! The other person I have re-connected with is Maurice Jensen who was in Tower with me. He now lives in the Czech Republic. Julian & David Cosby (G 64) were back in touch with the OD office. We hope that Julian has regained his strength following surgery last year. Simon Lansdown, (F 68). Denys Carnill sent some news of the Lansdown brothers in that Simon had qualified as a doctor a while ago and is now working as a GP in Totnes, Devon.

s 0 7 9 1 Nich Morison (C70) is working at the Clinic in Alberta Canada, taking 3 months off

continued education there of my nephew Dominic, youngest son of my Old Decanian younger brother Guy. Adam Lansdown (F 71) brother of Simon RD qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and now lives in Edinburgh where he is a commercial consultant to a large firm. Thanks to Denys Carnill for telling the ODS.

yearly to sail We return in November to sail from St.Lucia to north tip of Martinique to Barbados then to St. Martin, weather permitting! John Simpson OD (T 71) is to retire from being Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary in October. He was asked which was the first entry he ever worked on, to which he replied, ‘Queen Mum’. John was at Dean Close School from September 1967 to December 1971, was Head of Tower and a School Prefect and won School Colours for Cricket and Hockey, having been in the Junior School before that. Subsequently, he entered York University for his first degree and then went to Reading University to gain an MA. Robert Woodcock QC (F 71) writes: I have been practising at the Bar from Chambers in Newcastle for 30 years. Additionally I have chambers in Manchester and London. Home life revolves around horses - all my wife’s - and country pursuits when time permits. I am never happier than when standing in or on the banks of Tweed or the North Tyne casting a fly for salmon. Old Decanians, so far as I know, are thin on the ground in this district but foremost amongst them is the Revd. Fiona Sample with whom I occasionally meet. Last time at the Percy Hunt annual Point to Point at Rateugh in Alnwick. The Wooodcock links with Dean Close are still alive in the

James Johnson (Gate, 74) writes: You probably remember one of two of the chaps that used to live abroad, they were the ones that came back looking revoltingly healthy with a fantastic suntan when the rest of us look pasty at Easter! Helen and myself were travelling in the West Indies in February, sitting in the little bar on the harbour in Nevis I asked the old dear who owned the joint if she knew anyone called Alastair Yearwood. Alastair is quite a local personality on his home island as he takes part in weekly radio debates about current affairs which are very well received by just about everyone on the island, his ascorbic wit and background knowledge of all things Caribbean are not to be missed.

Anyway, so what I hear you say, not only did my friend in the bar know Alastair within half an hour we had got him on the telephone and he joined Helen and myself for a memorable couple of hours, if anyone is looking to get in touch he runs a boutique hotel on the island which is around 20 minutes flying time from Antigua and would be pleased to hear from anyone who remembers him. Made my day! (Alastair Yearwood, (Tower, 76)). ODN

Graham Milne (T 60). As of last years’ news: Graham is now retired from a lifetime in Financial Services and divides his time between Harrogate in the winter and Kefalonia, Greece in the summer. Here he and his wife Leonora run a Bed & Breakfast home in one of the most tranquil spots - Lourdata. The house is positioned to give the most fabulous views over the Ionian sea to Xanthe. Our website is for ODs who would like to spend some time with us. Please contact us on 01423 568174 to discuss your visit to Kefalonia. You can also email:


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Sara Lynn Burrough (S 76), former Head of Shelburne House has retired from teaching in Canada where she was Vice Principal of Kipohtakaw Education Centre, Alexander First Nation. However, new challenges await, Lynn is heading to southern China where she will be heading up Drama for Dulwich College in Suzhou. Any ODs in China please contact Lynn at Eve Seymour (M 76) (formerly Isherwood) wrote to tell people about her new publications. More information in publications. Her new novel Wicked Game is being published by Cutting Edge Press in August. The second in the Hex series will be published early 2014. As a point of interest, Hex, having seen the error of his ways becomes a property developer in Cheltenham in the second novel. It’s pretty temporary as life takes a strange turn - someone is out to get him! I’m also working freelance as an editorial consultant and running my own editorial consultancy: Rough Diamond here in Cheltenham. Life has never been busier.

s 0 8 19


Robert Ahomka-Lindsay (G 84) visited school on recent trip to the UK.



Mort Mirghavameddin (C 84) wrote that he married Simona Bachetti in June 2011 in Ascoli Piceno Italy. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of Jordan International Bank Plc in Knightsbridge. He lives in Holland Park and passes the time playing golf at Stoke Park Club. A G Moore (C 81) writes: Hello from the USA! I went to Dean Close for a year in 1980/81 as an upper 6th form exchange student. I had a wonderful year there, went on to University back home in the States, got married, had children, and have worked as a painter /artist for the past thirty years ( I still keep in touch with Roland Hover, but would love to hear from any others who went to Dean Close during that time… Penny, Malcolm, Sally, Mandy, Sophie, Patrick, Mr. Carnill and many others… I hope you are all well! Andrew Moore,

s 0 9 9 1 Nicholas Chare (G 92) has published second book, After Francis Bacon. His first book is AuschwitzAfterimages-WitnessingRepresentation. These books are available on Amazon.

Mat Heighway (Dale 96). Mat has been working recently with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing double bass and bass guitar for several productions, often onstage as part of the cast. Most recently, he played a tramp in the RSC’s Christmas show, ‘The Mouse and His Child’, and over the summer he’ll be in ‘As You Like It’ at the RST in Stratford-uponAvon. His wife Emily is now head of music at a large high school in Southall, West London, and they’ll be moving from Oxfordshire nearer to London later this year. Mat would also like to hear from anyone who can help him get back in contact with Sarah Brick (Mead 96). He can be e-mailed at Sam Pickering Pick (F 97) writes: I have been living in Northern California for the last decade, working as a solo musician. My most recent album was released in January on the Canadian folk label Yer Bird Records. I am married and I have a 9 year old son and a 5 year old daughter. I try and visit the UK every couple of years, and I am still in close touch with three or four friends from Dean Close, including James Kenworthy (T 97) and Oliver Newton (F 97), both of whom also live in the United States now. Kirsty Herbertson (S98) Just to add to the updates… On 18/05/13 I shall be getting married to my girlfriend at Kingthorpe Grange Farm, Kingthorpe, Lincolnshire. Friends shall be joining us from near and far (inc. Belgium, Canada and Australia!). Some ODs should also be joining us! I was in Shelburne from 93-98.

Dr Heather Whitney (M 90) was on BBC2 News over the Easter holidays speaking on the issue of the worldwide declining bee population and the problem of sufficient pollination of flowers and crops.

Louise Whitney (M 98). Lovely news to hear that Louise gave birth to her second child, Niall Gordon O’Donovan on 13th April 2013.

Matthew Martin (G94). The solo organist at the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in March 2013, was none other than Matthew Martin Old Decanian!!

Mark Tibbutt (G98) writes: I now live in Martley just outside Worcester with my wife Sarah. I am a Staff Nurse working for the National Blood Service a post I have been in for 14 years.

Quentin Cole (D 94) writes: My wife Caroline and I are living in Surrey with our two children Jasper (5) and Maisie (1). I am a Business Recovery specialist Partner with PwC in London having now been with the firm over ten years. We often get back to Cheltenham to see family and friends and still keep in touch with many OD friends.

In 2010 I set up a not for profit Radio Station to serve the Village. We recently moved into new premises supported by our Parish Council. We provide the opportunity for People of all ages to learn how to broadcast and have their own show on Longside Radio. We now have over 2000 listeners in 78 countries.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Tom Johnson (T 2000) see article on page 6. Matthew Shayle (D 2000) Everything is going very well over here in France; my wife, Katy, and I had a little boy - George Alfred Shayle - in September and we are very much enjoying being parents. When not pulling my weight as a dad, you’re quite right that I’m lawyering here; I am an associate in Lenz & Staehelin’s private client and wealth management department… It’s been 13 years since I was a pupil, but I’m happy to say that I really do miss the place! I see Al Judge quite a lot over here, and he keeps me up-to-date on all things DCS/DCJ(/P)S and on the famous Ed Taylor/Fusty Forbes crowd.

Susanna Bidgood (Fa 2004), who is now in the fourth year of her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, featured in a documentary shown on BBC2 in October 2012. The documentary, entitled Hidden Universe: The Secret Life of the Cell, uses CGI animation to lead the viewer through the intricate world inside our cells, and a battle that your body is fighting right now; the battle between a virus that is trying to make you sick and your cells that are trying to defend themselves. Susanna said: “Over the last few months I have been acting as a scientific advisor for the programme and I feature in some of the interviews as well. It is has been an exciting project to work on. Everything you will see is based on what we know the different parts of your cells look like from modern scientific research. As a result, the programme is very visually striking as you are guided through the intricate world inside your cells. It should be fascinating for everyone - even if you have not done any science for a number of years!” Jo Crisp (Fa 2002) undertook a mammoth Marathon Challenge in March for the Duchenne Children’s Trust. Good luck Jo.

Alex Hume (D 2002) wrote to tell us that he got married on September 2nd 2012 to Alice Carpanini now Hume at Cowley Manor just outside Cheltenham after meeting her at Cardiff University. Nick Hume was the best man. ODs that attended included: Tom Judge (F 2002), Nick Wratten (D 2002), Garth Banks (D 2002 ), Robin Davies (Former Staff 2008), Alex Fateh (F 2002), Ryan Brignull (D 2003), Joe Jenkins (D 2003), Beckie Field (M 2002), Claire Mans (S 2002), Jo Crisp (Fa 2002), Isobel Shayle (M 2002, Emily Carlisle (M 2002), Bella Forbes (M2002), Sarah Pearce (Fa 2002), David Masson (F 2002), Jonno Watkiss (F 2006), Matt Watkiss (F 2008) & Sophie Watkiss (M 2010).

s 0 1 20 Serena Jennings (Fa 2011) is studying in her first year at Central School of Speech and Drama. It is exciting to hear that she has been cast as Masha, one of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Coincidentally, Olivia Duffin has also been cast in the same role at LAMDA. It is good to see two ODs landing extremely difficult parts in some top places. Rosie Foulger (M 2011) wrote on the Old Decanian Society Facebook page: I left Dean Close in 2011 and since then I’ve written a novel and published over 50 stories, several with international success. Please ‘like’ my author page at or visit my website to read my work and buy my ebook. Thanks. George Bence (F 2012) Congratulations! George has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). QUEST Undergraduate Scholarships are awarded to high calibre students who have the potential to excel as civil engineers. The scholarship is well known and respected within the civil engineering industry. Wes Howell (T 2012). It was great news to hear that Wes got his first Cambridge Blue for hockey recently. Congratulations Wes.

Henry Harding (T 2007) spoke to the L6 on Wednesday 13th March 2013 about mathematics of machine learning. James Richards (D 2007) writes: After leaving Dale in 2007 I attended Bristol University from 2008-2012 studying History of Art with a year abroad spent in Florence, Italy. I am now a specialist in drawings, watercolours and illustrations at Christies, South Kensington. If any Old Decanians have works of art that they would like valued please contact me on


s 0 0 20

Laurence Whittingham (B/BC 2003) writes: I am now a Captain in The Queen’s Royal Lancers, which is a Cavalry Regiment based in N Yorkshire and am currently 3/4 of my way through my second tour of Afghanistan, based in Lashkar Gah. When I get back I am going to be getting married in May to my fiancee, Miss Jenny Aldridge, and then becoming the Adjutant of my Regiment.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013


DCS Cricketers meet up with ODs in JERSEY Losing a competitive match to Monmouth (the eventual winners) because our middle order failed to score enough runs, we then took on the hosts in a great game of cricket which ebbed and flowed all day long. Michael Abbley (44) and Charlie Hunte (40) saw us to a good total of 183 all out and then Tom Warren (3-28), Jack Evans (3-35) and Michael Dawson (2-30) restricted Victoria to 176 for 9 and a thrilling 7 run win.

Ian McGowan, David Evans with ODs David Barlow (G 49) and Fiona Barnes (M 81)

The cricket season at least came to a positive end as the 1st XI set off for Jersey and the Castle Cricket Festival against the hosts, Victoria College, Monmouth School and Kimbolton School. In many ways this felt like a mini tour as we loaded a minibus and MPV with appropriate kit and equipment and caught the ferry from Poole to St Helier.

At this point great thanks should be made to Condor Ferries for giving us concessionary fare to and from Jersey, which enabled us to keep the cost of the trip down! Staying at the convenient Jersey Accommodation and Activity Centre, we started the fixture list in the now accustomed rain but after two hours the weather cleared and that was the last of the rain for the rest of the trip.

Summer Lunch 2012 by Lucy Smith The Summer Lunch was held in June during term time. About 40 people attended and it was a good opportunity to renew friendships. There were many conversations happening with much laughter. As usual a very splendid lunch was provided and those who had not seen the School for a while had a tour, remarking on the many changes that have been made over the decades.


The weather was kind and some of the children that came with their grandfather were able to enjoy the sunshine whilst the chatter continued.



Each year there is always someone new who comes to the Summer Lunch but please sign up and come. Your families would be made very welcome, so please contact the office to enquire about what would suit you. This year the date is Saturday 15th June 2013 so keep that date free!!

The final match against Kimbolton with three teams, including Dean Close, still in with a chance of winning the tournament again produced a nailbiting finish. Kimbolton scored 200 all out and with 8 wickets down we looked like falling well short but a heroic stand by Michael Dawson and Charlie Wheatley took us to within 7 runs of an unlikely victory but it was not to be. However, the Jersey tour meant that the cricket ended on a high note and we look forward to being the hosts next year at Dean Close.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

3 Old Decanians take the Lead in World Record Attempt by James Moos, Marketing Manager, Open RIB Challenge

The challenge was in fact co-founded by an Old Decanian. George Hunt, Skipper of Open RIB Challenge, who came up with the idea alongside a fellow marine

enthusiast in 2012 and began to research the possibility of making opportunity reality. It was at this early stage that Old Decanians James Moos (Marketing Manager) and Rupert Maspero (IT Manager) stepped ‘on-board’ to aid in the creation of the challenge and help it develop to where it is today. As it stands today, the Open RIB Challenge is coming on in leaps and bounds. With support and followers in over 27 different countries, the challenge is set to be one of the most daring expeditions of the decade. A fantastic opportunity to make a new world record, our main goal is to promote the use of sustainable fuel in the marine industry, and we also hope to raise money for charity. It is therefore an exclusive opportunity for companies to get involved through sponsorship and receive a truly unique marketing campaign. Open RIB Challenge will be entirely funded through sponsorship.

AROPS 2012 Conference

John Denley, Lucy Smith, Ian Bassett-Smith and Quentin Seymour-Smith

A group of five members from Dean Close School attended the AROPS Conference at Rugby School, Warwickshire on 12th May 2012. Quentin SeymourSmith, John Denley, Lucy Smith and Ian Bassett-Smith representing The Old Decanian Society and Victoria Waddington representing Dean Close School. The Old Decanian Society has long been a member of the Association of Representatives of Old Pupils Societies (AROPS) with Quentin Seymour-Smith being our representative on their Committee. Our membership has been valuable in the past as we have gained useful information on other school’s Alumni activities. Attendance this year was considered particularly important in view of the Old Decanian Society’s intentions to merge our database with that of Dean Close School and to hopefully obtain

If you are interested in finding out more about Open RIB Challenge, please do check out the website (, follow the challenge on twitter (@RIBChallenge) and you can also find Open RIB Challenge on Facebook and LinkedIn. All support and interest is much appreciated! There are also incredible volunteering opportunities for those who want to get involved, with a range of different vacancies available, which are listed on the website.

by Ian Bassett-Smith

the expertise of other schools that have already been down this route. Other areas of the Conference including seminars on “ Relationships with Development Officers “ and “ Social Networking “were considered to be of particular importance. The Conference began with coffee and registration in the Macready Theatre and was opened by Bill Gillen (AROPS Chairman) followed by a Welcome from the Head Master, Patrick Derham and Ben Habib, Vice-President of the Rugbeian Society. There followed presentations on “Friendraising and Fundraising – keeping a balance“ and “Data Protection – an update“, both very valuable to our representatives. An excellent lunch was served in the Temple Speech Room followed by a choice of five discussion groups, the most popular of which was the “Social Networking workshop“! The Conference ended at around 5.00 pm followed by tea and tours of the School including the world famous grounds from where of course Rugby Football originated. The day concluded with a Post-Conference Dinner in Old Big School followed by an entertaining talk by Patrick Derham, Head Master.


Open RIB Challenge is a daring voyage to circumnavigate the globe (some 24,000 Nautical Miles) in an open Rigid Inflatable Boat that will be under 15m in length and will have no cabin and so therefore no shelter for the crew. The 5-man crew will be braving the toughest conditions in order to set a brand new world record, which is currently set to take place in 2014. Our main objective during this challenge is to promote the use of sustainable fuel sources in the marine industry, so our custom-built boat will be running off bio-fuel. During the journey, the boat crew will be stopping at 8 ports around the world to restock on supplies such as food and fuel. During the expedition, the crew will be able to make use of custom equipment on board to blog, tweet and even provide livevideo streams to all followers back at home.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Did You Know…? Kenneth Broad (G 35) writes… Kenneth Broad wrote to the OD office with a memory of his time at Dean Close many years ago and thought it might be interesting for us to know. So in his letter, which he allowed me to quote, he writes “A long time ago… (I shall be 95 years of age next week… (Letter dated Jan 2013))… I had a happy time at the school as a weekly boarder at Walton Court under the tutorage of Headmaster, Mr Bolton and Masters Horsefield, Tuckwell and Hoare- and others I cannot remember!

I never ‘made the grade’ on the cricket field myself to any great degree, - either at school or later, but loving the game and playing in my village Club, and others locally until well into my 70s must have had some ‘rubbing off’ effect on my son and grandson- both of whom reached the pinnacle of international status by playing Test cricket for England- Chris in the 1980s and Stuart currently in the team. I still have, and sometimes proudly wear, my OD cap.”

Pictured left: Kenneth’s grandson Stuart Broad, current England cricketer, with Charlie Wheatley, Lloyd Evan and Jack Hobbs

“THE FAMOUS OF CHELTENHAM“ 1886 – 2013 by Ross Cole

DCJS, & DCS, Tower House, 1947-1958 The business was acquired by my grandfather in 1896 and rapidly flourished, initially drawing its customers from the town and county. The Cole family and many of the staff took an

The Famous was established in Cheltenham’s High Street in 1886 as a gentlemen’s and boys’ tailors and outfitters, the same year as Dean Close School was founded. active interest in the affairs of the town, especially sport, helping to establish ‘Wednesday’ football, hockey, and cricket teams; Wednesday then being half-day.


In more recent years The Famous supplied up to 200 independent and state schools across the South West and South Wales with their uniform and sportswear requirements. This included a store in Exeter, 14 school shops on school sites and an Intersport store in Cheltenham, employing some 60 staff overall. The schoolwear business was sold in 2012, and continues to be based in Cheltenham at 252 High Street.



The doors of The Famous itself closed for the last time in January. The successful

closing down sale created considerable interest drawing customers from all over the UK. Local press reports were picked up by the national press, including The Times, Daily Mail, BBC and ITV. Over the years there have been many contacts with DCS, with staff and ODs as customers and friends. My late cousin and co-director Peter Cole was educated at DCJS leaving in about 1951. My daughter, Claire, and son, Quentin are both ODs. I look back on more than 50 happy years in business and now look forward to what I hope will be an active retirement with my wife, Rosanne.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Reunions 1950s Reunion Afternoon Thursday 8th November 2012 Over 60 Old Decanian Leavers from the 1950s returned to Dean Close School on 8th November 2012. ODs were welcomed back to School, and to the stunning Dean Close House, by Jonathan Lancashire, Headmaster, sometime member of staff Brian Wilson and Head of School Miss Charlotte Ivers. Each gave their own very personal perspective of the changes to School over the years, especially notable by the current Head of School being female! After a chance to catch up with familiar faces and a very enjoyable lunch, the party enjoyed tours of the school followed by afternoon tea in the dining room. The day was rounded off by a stirring evensong in the School Chapel sung by

the Dean Close Chapel Choir and the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum with drinks and canapés in the Orangery of the ‘new’ Bacon Theatre (which opened in 1991!) After 55 years the changes were a shock, but a very happy one... In the years after the War (butter and sugar were still rationed in 1952) the country was still recovering, and morale was not high, but now the whole school has a wonderful vibrancy. David Worthy, Gate 1957. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to meet some old friends again and see some of the great developments that have taken place at Dean Close and plans for the future. Michael Dash, Gate 1953.

This was my first return in 60 years and I was made to feel very welcome and at ease, mingling with the other ODs who made it on the day… I was amazed at the changes which had taken place in the last 60 years, but what had not changed was the sense of comradeship and warmth which existed back in the 50s. Mike Spragg, Gate 1952. It was amazing what friends, not seen for nearly 60 years, remembered about you - one might say frightening!! Christopher Dash, Gate 1955. We hope to repeat the event for OD Leavers of the 1960s later this year. If you left during this period, please contact the OD office with up to date contact details to ensure you receive your invitation!

Cheltenham Drinks One year on Sept 2012

March 8th 2013

At the end of last summer over 40 ODs from the class of 2011 met up for pub drinks at the Lansdown, Cheltenham.

Those who lived close to Cheltenham caught up with friends and staff at The Suffolk Arms in Cheltenham. Much laughter and reminiscing was had. Good networking opportunities took place.

“It was a great way to catch up with everyone in a fun and friendly atmosphere including the teachers. DCS may have got the first round, but a couple of rounds later it was just like old times” Rupert Maspero, Gate 2011.

More pub drinks are being planned so keep your eyes peeled on the website or Enews mailings. You won’t know without some email contact details so PLEASE let us know yours if you haven’t had any contact via that method. Thanks go to the Development Department here at DCS for doing the arranging and organising for this and other events this year. Well done Felicity and Victoria!!

We will be arranging something similar this year for the class of 2012 so keep an eye on your emails and facebook!

London Drinks Thirty plus ODs attended the London Drinks in November 2012 at The Antelope, a lovely pub in Sloane Square. Old Decanians from all eras came recalling their memories of school and sharing their current situations and occupations. A good time was had by all.


November 2012


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Obituaries Col. Peter Sweet (T 38). We were informed that Peter died on 11th January 2010. He attended DCS from 1934 until 1938. At school he was quite sporty and played in the football team, hockey 1st XI and was Captain of Cross country. On leaving school he entered the army and was 2nd World War Major RA. BEF, in France, Belgium, Iceland, BLA, 1st Canadian Army and 49th Div. Lt.; In 1945 SEAC, DAQMG, French Indo –China. From 1939-68 he was a Regular Army Gunner Officer; From 1968 Peter worked in the financial industry. A service of thanksgiving for Peter’s life was held in Southampton. He was a loving father, grandpa, great grandpa and friend to many and is sorely missed.


Robert Keith Sawers (B 52) came to DCS in 1948 and was in the Junior School and then in Brook House. He left in 1952 and his son informed us that his father Keith passed away on 24th September peacefully at his home in Spain aged 77.



Thomas B N Seymour-Smith (B 33) attended DCS from 1927 until 1933. He was in Brook House. His daughter wrote the following: “I am writing to let you know the sad news of my father’s death last October 5th. He was 96 years and 10 months and had enjoyed remarkably good health up to a month before his demise. He died in his own home with his second wife Ann by his side. He was the fourth of five brothers to be educated at Dean Close, and after studying paper making in Manchester, he joined the family firm Smith, Stone and Knight in the Bristol factory and remained there until his retirement in 1980. My mother died shortly after this, and father lived on his own for the best part of 15 years, until remarrying in 1995 Ann Hellens, a bridge playing friend of my mothers. Father had over 15 incredibly happy years with Ann, who was 25 years younger than him and never afraid of a challenge. She rode pillion behind father on many, many occasions, which could be very frightening and hit the deck certainly on one occasion in west Wales. Father’s great passion in life was motor cycles, and preferably racing them. He raced on many English circuits, but his favourite racecourse was in the Isle of Man, where

The Society sends it sincere condolences to the families of all Old Decanians who have died. Those we know about are listed below. Our thanks to family members for supplying the information for these obituaries.

he competed on a number of occasions on either HRD or Norton motorbikes. Father had two children, me and my younger brother Peter, and four grandchildren, and two step grandchildren. He was a wonderful grandfather, teaching them all manner of skills and ferrying them all over the country, usually on the back of his motorbike. We all miss him greatly.” By his daughter Helen Hillard Many thanks for writing this for the OD News – Ed. Lucy Smith

Donald Braggins (G 59). Don came to DCS in 1954 and was a Prefect. On leaving school Don studied at Clare College, Cambridge and became a Chartered Engineer. He achieved success and became a Fellow of S.P.I.E and a Consultant in Image, Processing & Machine Vision. Unfortunately Don became unwell in October 2010 and throughout his illness he never suffered pain, but continued to enjoy company, food and wine, always knew where he was and who was with him so in the circumstances he was extremely lucky. Don’s died on 25th May 2011 a few days after his 70th birthday party and on return from a few days in France, but four months short of his 50th wedding anniversary. His wife, Anne’s big regret is that he did not get to live in the bungalow that they were building in the garden of their old house but he had seen it nearing completion and his wife is happy there with the support from their son Alan and daughter Susan.

Michael Pontin (T 51). Michael came to DCS in 1944 and was in Tower House. He left in 1951. His wife wrote to let us know that Michael sadly died in 2010.

Robert L New (T 57). Robert came to DCS in 1952. His wife Sylvia wrote to let us know that Robert died on 11th May 2011 after a short illness. Robert’s early career was in engineering but he later switched to teaching. His great interests after retiring were singing (light opera, madrigals, church music), and family history. He leaves a widow, Sylvia, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Michael Deacon (C 52) died in September 1998 and we have been recently notified of this. Michael came to DCS in 1952 from the Junior School. He became a jeweller based in Swindon.

Revd Prebendary Michael Bowles (T 54) died on 6th March 2012. He came to DCS in September 1949 and became Senior Prefect in his final year at school in 1954 having gained his Shooting Colours. On leaving DCS Michael studied at Selwyn College, Cambridge gaining his BA and MA. He went to Ridley Hall, Cambridge to study before entering the Church. Having completed his degrees, his training and his National Service, he was ordained in 1961 and went to serve his curacies at St Barnabas, North Finchley 1961-62, and Swanage, 1964-67. He was a lecturer (1967-72) Chaplain (1967-70, and librarian (1970-72) at St Michaels College, Llandaff whilst also lecturing theology at the University of Wales (Cardiff) from1967 until 1972. Michael then returned to parish ministry in 1972 and whilst he was Rector at Gt. Stanmore, London, he was appointed Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral, London in 1985. He retired from Stanmore in 2001.

David Sinclair Baugh (G 50). We were sorry to hear of the death of David who died in February 2012. He came to DCS in January 1947. He became the House Prefect and gained his House Colours and also his Athletics Colours in 1950. Other positions he held in school were the School Librarian and as Lance Corporal in the Combined Cadet Force. David was from April 1991 to January 2012 the Company Director at Sinclair Land and Leisure Limited.

James Canning Davies (B 52) died on 14th July 2010. James’ wife, Valerie telephoned us to let us know that her husband had sadly died. We are very grateful for the information she gave to us. ‘After leaving school James went to do his National Service in Kenya. He left there just before Independence happened. During that time James did an agricultural course and gained his degree in Tropical Agriculture, He came back to

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

by C. E. Whitney

England in the early 1960s. James then spent time getting a diploma in Western Agriculture and then bought a farm in Devon near Barnstaple. He and his wife farmed, initially, dairy herds from 1965 until his retirement in 2001. He was also a keen fundraiser for the Devon Air Ambulance and was on the radio to encourage this charity. James enjoyed rambling as his pastime and had had 10 years of happy retirement before his sudden death whilst rambling in July 2010. His family, a son who is a social worker, and his daughter who is a teacher both live nearby to support Valerie.

Ormonde Robert Arthur Stoney (G 44) died on 19th January 2013. ORA Stoney entered DCS in 1940. During his time at school he was House Prefect and gained his School Colours in Rugby XXX (1943), Hockey (1944), Cricket (1944) and also House Colours in Rugby, Hockey and Cricket. On leaving school he did his Military Service in the Far East. He studied architecture and gained his ARIBA qualification and then went on to work for Prudential Assurance Ltd in their Estates Division eventually becoming their Chief Architect. He retired in 1986.

Raymond Clough (WC 46) died in 2010. He came to DCS in 1939 and was a keen sportsman gaining School Colours in Hockey, Cricket, & Athletics (Captain) and House Colours in Rugby, Hockey, Cricket and Athletics. He also was a School Prefect. After school he served in REME, Benghazi. Following this he became a solicitor and worked in Bristol.

leaving school and for about 50 years he was an enthusiastic player and team organiser for the Club’s Wednesday XI. He worked all his life at his family farm in Apperley, Gloucestershire. He was a much loved husband of Susan and father of Philip, Matthew and Jonathan and grandfather to Ben, Will and Tom. John was a good member of the local community where he lived.

Former Staff: Mervyn Vaughan MBE Passed away suddenly on 23rd February 2013 aged 82 years. A devoted husband to his late wife Mary, loving father to Ian and Declan and dear grandfather to Hannah. Mervyn and Mary Vaughan Following the retirement of Ben and Evelyn Chapman in 1976, Mary and Mervyn, together with their two sons, moved into Fawley and during the 5 years, Mead House boarders benefited profoundly from their loving care, wise guidance, most generous kindness and strong Christian influence. They both gave selflessly to the needs of the girls, committing themselves entirely to creating a warm, serene, stable, constantly welcoming environment, Irish laughter and humour often steadying some of the more delicate situations.

They also involved themselves widely in the life of Dean Close School in general, although Mervyn, was himself in full time employment in the Probationary Service, having worked in various spheres after leaving school before training as a probation officer between 1952 and 1955 and the working in both :London and Swindon prior to being appointed Senior Probation Officer in Cheltenham in 1966 and subsequently Assistant Chief Probation officer for Gloucestershire from 1975 -1988 when he retired on health grounds. Whilst in the Probationary service, Mervyn became involved with many homeless people and their problems, in 1996 helping the leadership of GEAR - Gloucestershire Emergency Accommodation Resource. Indeed, he was greatly instrumental establishing the project and it was largely in recognition of his association with the centre that he was awarded the M.B.E. and the centre itself named after him. Over its initial 10 year period, the house accommodated 230 people a year. From 1985 until quite recently, Mervyn was also a governor of three local schools. Many people have huge cause to be greatly indebted to Mary and Mervyn, DCS not least. Their like is rarely encountered. By Sue Vaus

John Denis Rymer (WC 46) died peacefully on Sunday 3rd March 2013 aged 83 years. Whilst at DCS he gained his School Colours at Hockey and House Colours at Hockey, Rugby and Cricket. On leaving school he went into the family farming business. He also joined Cheltenham Hockey Club soon after


David Stinchcombe (F 64) died on the 14th May 2012. He came to DCS in 1958 and was a House Prefect. The Society sends sincere condolences to his family and friends.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Archives 2012-2013 by Charles Whitney


Richard Padfield’s death in the Spring of 2012 was keenly felt in Archives. He had kept matters Archival ticking over between 2000, when Humphrey Osmond retired, and 2003, when the present Archivist was appointed. He was always ready to help with his invaluable encyclopaedic knowledge of ODs and DCS staff of yesteryear. His warmth, kindness, knowledge and judgement were also hugely appreciated in the advice he gave when the School history was in preparation in 2007-9. His departure represents a massive hole in our knowledge that may never be totally filled.



People have been in touch wanting to find out about ODs or else ODs themselves seeking to elucidate facts about the School. The Department has benefitted not only from Pat Bryan’s continuing help but also from the much appreciated efforts of Nigel FullerShapcott OD and Patrick House OD, who have both either produced or researched useful material. It would be wonderful if more ODs felt able to spend time in Archives, especially helping with photographs relating to your own period at the School. If you time it right, you may even get a cup of coffee and a biscuit! Should you be interested, please do get in touch, either on 01242-267402 or by email,, on a Wednesday or Thursday. It would be good to hear from you. We are also immensely grateful to Zillah Stone OD for providing 38 issues of ‘Lapwing’, 1973-4, from her time in DCJS.

2009. A biography, ‘A Certaine Schoole Master: a Portrait of Iolo Davies’, written by Richard Lewis, a former pupil of his at Cowbridge Grammar School, is published by Apple Town Publishing on ISBN 978-0-9572204-0-9. A copy is here in Archives if you would like to see it.

Many ODs will remember Iolo ‘Dai’ Davies, who taught Classics at DCS from 1981 – 85. He was, briefly, House Tutor of Court then Assistant Housemaster of Tower 1982-5 before retiring to Cheltenham. He died in

Last but certainly not least, we have had to say good-bye to Grace Pritchard-Woods, Assistant Archivist. She had been with us for three years and her expertise, subject knowledge and interest in the School’s history was considerable. She became

In 2014, it is the beginning of World War I centenary and the 75th Anniversary of the start of World War II. Although fortunate in having material garnered from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and elsewhere, we have no diaries – with the distinguished exception of edited diaries of Sir Arthur R. Astley Weston CBE, OD from World War I – no letters, medals, uniforms or ephemera from those two historic conflicts. We would be delighted if we could borrow any such items if any are available. Again, please get in touch on a Wednesday or Thursday on the telephone or email as detailed above; we would be so grateful.

responsible for bringing in Archive Manager so that accessioning and cataloguing of items on an appropriate database would be possible; she tackled the problem of photos without individuals being named on them with some success; she was an able researcher and a hard-working and ideal colleague. Many ODs deeply valued her help. At present a replacement is unlikely, so that has had to mean a cut-back in what we do although it should not affect services to ODs. We wish Grace every success in Plymouth in her new Archival role with her husband Richard and hope that she will visit us often.

You will see on other pages our plea for you to fill up names from photos presented. We are particularly grateful for your response as without your help many photos would otherwise be of very limited value. We are also keen to hear from Old Decanians about their memories of the School; this is especially true of the ladies who are far too modest! Please do get in touch the OD office.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society


If you recognise any of these people from the 1990s, please contact the archives department at or telephone Dean Close School on 01242 258000 ext 637.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

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Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

OD Authors & CDs

Still available… AT CLOSE QUARTERS Dean Close School 1884-2009 by Charles Whitney, School Archivist

Absorb yourself in 19 rich chapters, interspersed with nearly 300 photographs, tracing the history of Dean Close School from the laying of the cornerstone (foundation) on 11th November 1884 through to the present day. Available from:- The School Shop, Dean Close School, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 3NY. Tel: 01242 258016 Cost: £20 Hardback p&p £5 NOW ONLY… £10 Paperback p&p £5

Album from Dean Close Chamber Choir.

For Sale

Peter Knight (C 57) Latest book ‘A Pom Down Under - Chasing the Ashes 2010-11. If any OD is interested in getting a copy ISBN 978-1-906236-99-1 RRP £6.99

We have quite a selection of goods for sale: Ties, scarves, sweaters, polo shirts, cricket shirts, cuff links and tie pins. These are available at the AGM and Summer Lunch.

Or £6.99 if purchased from

£3 8


Cost £10 each. Available from the Music Department, Dean Close School, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham. GL51 6HE Please make cheques payable to Dean Close School.

Prospero’s Trilby. A book in which a volume of verse by Sam Gilbert (D 97) has been published. Its ISBN number is 978-0-9567053-1-0. Copies cost £9.99 each plus postage.

Also available are blazers in dashing school stripes. They can be tailored for men or women at the same cost for either.

£1 25

Forgotten Voices (see article about Lt Col Montague Cleeve OD) is published by the Ebury Press and edited by Max Arthur in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum. The ISBN is 9780091888879.

This year we have purchased some Henleys casual sweatshirt suitable for ladies and gentlemen.


A New Heaven – Includes music by Bainton, Duruflé and Brahms & including Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude.


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Forthcoming dates 2013 ODs are warmly invited to come along to any of these events Reply slips need to be completed for the OD Summer Lunch detailed below as catering is involved; the slip can be found on a separate sheet within your magazine.

Cricket Fixtures 2013 Sat 25th May

Commemoration ODs v DCS 1st XI 11.30am DCS

Mon 8th July

Twenty/20 Match, U25s v O25s

5.00pm DCS BBQ Following

Tue 9th July

v Gloucester King’s School Society Old Boys

2.00 pm DCS

Wed 10th July v Gloucestershire Gypsies

11.30am DCS Hog Roast Following

Thu 11th July

v Dumbleton CC

2.00pm Dumbleton

Fri 12th July

v Bourton Vale

12 noon Bourton on the Water

Sat 13th July

v Exeter University Casuals

2.00pm DCS BBQ Following

Please contact Jeremy Winter at

Commemoration 2013

Golf Meetings 2013

Saturday 25th May 2013

Fri 10th May Black Bowl Rolls of Monmouth GC

Co-hosted with The Stroke-A-Hole GS

Sun 19th May

Public School knockout competition

OD Summer Lunch/ AGM

Sun 23rd June ODGC v DCS, Cotswold Hills GC

2pm start

Mon 8th July

Royal Porthcawl GC

OD Golf Dinner/OD Welsh Dinner

OD Welsh Dinner

Tue 9th July

The Manor GC

Castle Combe

Monday 8th July

Wed 10th July Minchinhampton GC OD Golf & Cricket. Hog Roast at Kenyon Pavilion

OD Cricket & Golf Weeks start

Thu 11th July

Cleeve Cloud GC

OD Golf

Fri 12th July

Broadway GC

OD Golf

Monday 8th July

Fri 26th July

ODGS v Old Cheltonians GS

The Berkshire GC

Hog Roast at the New Kenyon Pavilion 7pm

Fri 20th Sept

Watts Cup & Reed Trophy Rolls of Monmouth GC

Co-hosted with The Stroke-A-Hole GS

Saturday 15th June

Wednesday 10th July

Summer Lunch & AGM This year’s Summer Lunch will be held on Saturday 15th June at 1.00pm in the Senior School Dining Room, preceded by the AGM at 12 noon in the Kenyon Sports Pavilion. Afternoon tea will be available. Tours of the school will be arranged after lunch. Cost for lunch £15. Cheques payable to The Old Decanian Society. RSVP by Monday 10th June 2013 at Your family would be most welcome to join us.

Welsh Dinner


This isn’t just for golfers!! – all ODs are very warmly welcome. Robert Reed is organising a Dinner at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in South Wales on Monday 8th July, 7pm for 7.15pm at a cost of approx. £30 for a four course meal.



Grafton Morrish Denham GC

Dress code: Jacket & Tie. A cash bar will be available. Contact Robert at: to book your place.

27th-29th Sept Grafton Morrish - Hunstanton GC (Fri/Sat/Sun) & Royal West Norfolk GC

Public School knockout competition - Finals

Fri 4th Oct

Welsh Public School Old Boys Competition

Edward Harris Cup Delamere Forest GC

Thurs 17th Oct Autumn Meeting The Berkshire GC

Blue & Red Courses

Please contact Robert Reed at

Notices Internet Networking Sites We know that there are many networking sites on the internet and that there are groups for ODs on many of them, including LinkedIn (2 Groups named Old Decanian Society and Dean Close School – Old Decanians), and Facebook page – The Old Decanian Society. There simply isn’t enough time in the day for the OD office to check all these sites

to pick up OD contacts we may have lost, so if you are a member of any of these sites, please do encourage other members to make sure the OD office has their electronic contact details – we know there are many ODs in contact with each other, but no longer on our database.

Clothing Various clothing and other items are available from the OD Office – see the website for details of prices. Blazers at £125, are available from The OD office (01242 258048) or the School Shop (01242 258016) if you’d like one.

Dean Close School | Old Decanian Society

Memories of Richard Padfield

“A true friend and gentleman.”

“I had the privilege of first knowing RCP as my English teacher and then as a colleague on the OD Committee for many years. As a child I always respected him but guess I only really got to know him after he retired and I grew up a bit! Richard’s unselfish support, calm authority, modesty, memory for people and his skills as a wordsmith are a big loss to the ODs and the wider Dean Close community. I once talked him through getting his new chain saw started! It was usually him helping me, so I was delighted he asked…“

Ian Bassett-Smith (Field 60) ODS Registrar and Hon. Treasurer

Nick Akerman (Gate 75-80) Past ODS Chairman

“Early memories of Richard included him being my School Head Boy, but more significantly for me and 10 or so others our star as the Captain of our unbeaten Cricket 1st X1 in 1961, although of course it was at hockey he really made his mark. I recall the only sporting moment I ever got the better of him was in the quarter final of the school’s tennis tournament in 1961! On his return to DCS to teach he took over as Registrar & Secretary of the Old Decanian Society. What a fountain of knowledge of O.D’s he became over the years. Always generous to local, in particular church, charities I remember he got his reward late one evening with a telephone call to come to Cheltenham Town Hall to take delivery of a new small family car he had won in a the Mayor’s Charity Raffle. He duly donated a generous sum to the charity. ”


Jeremy Winter (Walton Court 57-61)


Old Decanian News

N~o 89 | Summer 2013

Old Decanian Society OFFICERS FOR 2012-2013 President Acting Chairman Hon Treasurer OD Secretary Hon Auditor

JM Postlethwaite (48-51) (also a Trustee) NR Akerman (75-80) IM Bassett-Smith (57-60) (also Registrar) Mrs Lucy Smith Eric Atherton

COMMITTEE RW Bayliss (80-83) A Brown (Hon. OD Rep.) JV Denley (83-88) David Evans (Hon. OD Rep.) HJ Hodgkins (73-78) CP Lynam (42-46) RD Lane (57-62)

JM Lancashire (HM) NA Marquand (also a Trustee) QD Seymour-Smith (56-61) RF Taylor (Hon. Rep) Mrs SLM Webster (74-79) JCB Winter (57-61)

CONSULS If you are willing to become an OD Consul in any country not currently represented, please get in touch with the OD office. It isn’t an onerous task; it involves being a point of

contact and a friendly face for visiting ODs, especially Gappers, supporting touring Dean Close teams if possible, and organising the occasional reunion if you wish.


USA – California

John Stanley-Smith (41-51) 18 Annesley Ave, Bowral, NSW 2576

Sam Pickering-Pick (92-97) 4145 Central Avenue, Fair Oaks, California 95628

Canada – Eastern

USA – New York

Charles Kennedy (81-86) 25 Oakhurst Crescent Ottawa, Ontario, K1B 4A5

Kirsten Spalholz (95-97) 138 Cove Road, Huntington, New York 11743

Hong Kong

USA – Washington

DCC Ho (82-85) 10B Comfort Heights, 63 Tin Hau Temple Road, Hong Kong

DAW Richardson (51-54) 21625 NE 4th Street, Sammamish, Washington 98074-3706

South Africa

Mrs Tia Lotter (78-83) 1 Boulters Close, The Green, Kingham, Oxon, OX7 7YD



Ian Basset-Smith or Mrs Lucy Smith, Old Decanian Society, Dean Close School, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, Glos. GL51 6HE Telephone 01242 258048 E-mail Website



OD NEWS PRODUCTION TEAM Editors – Ian Bassett-Smith, Old Decanian Registrar Designer - James Ford (OD 77-80) Lucy Smith, Old Decanian Secretary of James Ford Design, Cheltenham

OD News 2013  
OD News 2013  

The Annual Magazine of the Old Decanian Society, The Alumni Society of Dean Close School Cheltenham. May 2013. Issue 89.