Our Frensham 2019
Our Frensham C O N T E N TS
01. A MESSAGE FROM RICK Page 3
02. INTERVIEWS WITH OFs Pages 5-33
03. SCHOOL NEWS Pages 35-51
04. OBITUARIES & TRIBUTES Pages 52-57
05. OF NEWS Pages 58-65
06. BURSARY FUNDS Pages 66-67
07. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Back Cover
Welcome Writing this introduction when I have only just started, and when I have met very few OFs so far, seems a strange thing to do, but it is really important to me that you, the OF community, hear from the new Head at such an exciting time in our schoolâ€™s history. Once again, this magazine sums up what an amazingly vibrant school Frensham is. I have had the joy this term of attending lots of school events for the first time, and I have been struck at the range of talent, depth of enthusiasm and sheer joy so many students have displayed in their respective fields. An outstanding drama production of The Phantom of the Opera was complemented by a mesmerising dance concert and entertaining Rock and Pop gig at the end of term. Add in the many other events from sports fixtures to art exhibitions, and you are struck by the diversity and range of activities in which Frenshamians excel.
One event this term which I want to build on, as it involved a number of OFs, is the Careers Guidance evening for Years 11-13. It was fantastic to welcome back OFs who have made a success in a number of different fields, to impart their wisdom and guidance for our current students. What struck me was the variety of fields in which OFs have excelled, but also the warmth which they spoke about their time at Frensham and their desire to give back to their old school. I canâ€™t stress enough how important this is to us and I want to build on this warmth of feeling for the school in years to come. I do look forward to meeting many of you in due course. I am especially proud to be the new Head at such a special school and I look forward to hearing your stories of your time at Frensham. Rick Page 3
Snapshots of Frensham Here are a few glimpses of the youngest members of our community. Their constant laughter, energy and excitement bring a daily dose of joy to the whole school.
An Interview with
OF COORDINATOR SARAH CONWAY HAS ASKED SOME OLD FRENSHAMIANS ABOUT THEIR TIME AT THE SCHOOL AND WHAT THEY â€™VE BEEN UP TO SINCE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY IN A FUTURE EDITION, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH SARAH.
Hattie Morahan Hugo Blick Noah Bulkin Orlanda Broom Andy Cook Anna Gillespie Joshua Oates Happy Space Page 5
Hattie Morahan HATTIE MORAHAN, (OF 1989-1996) ACTRESS Hattie is a film, television and stage actress. Her roles include Rose Coyne in My Mother and Other Strangers and The Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast. To start off with, let’s look back to your time at Frensham – what are the memories that really stand out? It’s hard to sum it up really, but I guess it was the freedom and the room for creativity. As well as performing, I loved art and if you wanted to paint a picture, you could just rock up at the art block. Or if you wanted to put on a play with friends, you could just do it. I boarded right up to the end of Sixth Form and I remember the intensity of boarding life too and the beautiful grounds… Did you always want to be an actor? I guess in my heart of hearts, I did, but I also loved art and when I was much younger, I wanted to be a teacher – probably because that’s what I saw grownups doing every day. Then I studied English at university, but even then I did lots of extra-curricular plays so I think acting was always there. How did you get into acting? Well, my parents were in the industry and I was actually able to get some professional experience when I was still in the Sixth Form. My dad was a director and being able to work for him when I was still at school was an extraordinary experience. © Jack Ladenburg
Then, I went to university so acting was parked to some degree. My parents definitely wanted me to get a strong education and then advised me to go to drama school. I was a bit reluctant to keep studying and was worried that I’d be too old to start work properly (which of course I wasn’t), but we came to a compromise that they would allow me a year to try and get work and if not, then I’d go to drama school. After writing lots of letters, I got an audition at the RSC; it was actually a bit like the X-Factor. You just kept being called back to read for different directors, so I’d need to read three Shakespeare plays overnight and eventually I got a contract. It was an ideal first job as it was quite a long contract and I got to understudy, play some parts and learn the craft. So, I guess I got my drama school training on the job.
Although I guess it is theatre that really gets my heart beating. There is nothing like the exhilaration/ terror of taking an audience through a story from beginning to end, live, every night. It’s a collective experience, whereas with screen work sometimes you do your bit but then other people work on it and the end result can feel quite different from the way you thought it was going to be.
You’ve done lots of things from TV dramas, to radio and of course for Disney, where you played The Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast.
Are you still in touch with any OFs in the industry?
I’ve actually done a few things for Disney, including Alice Through the Looking Glass and working for them is a truly remarkable experience. You have this sense that you are a tiny cog in this enormous machine but it’s amazing to work with people who are at the top of their game; even in terms of set design, costumes, music... It’s incredible to be a witness to all that. TV is on a smaller scale, but you get to work on more unusual material. Like in My Mother and Other Strangers, where I got the opportunity to explore and tell the story of one character in another era and in great detail. I’m fortunate that I get to work in different mediums, to do a bit of radio, then some TV or film work. If I do any one thing for too long, I get a bit itchy for something different.
What are you working on at the moment? I’m in the middle of technical rehearsals for a Tennessee William’s play called Orpheus Descending. We open at the Theatre Clwyd in North Wales soon and will move to the Menier Chocolate Factory in London later this year. It’s wonderful to be so busy, but quite hectic at the same time.
Yes, I see Tobias Menzies and Nikki Amuka Bird from time to time. And I just recently met up with Jim Sturgess who was in my year. Rufus Hound too – although he was called Rob Simpson back then! What’s the best advice you’ve been given? I remember Douglas Hodge saying that there’s something really releasing about just being yourself. There’s no point in comparing yourself to other people, but more than that: you don’t need to try to be original or mould yourself into what you think you should be. You are the only version of you and you just need to trust that it’s enough.
An Interview with HATTIE MORAHAN
Â© Francesco Guidicini / National Portrait Gallery, London
Hugo Blick HUGO BLICK, (OF 1976-1983) WRITER, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR & ACTOR As an actor, he delivered the famous line “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” as the young Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman. As a writer he cocreated, produced and directed TV comedies with Rob Brydon. In 2011, Hugo wrote and created the noir thriller The Shadow Line for the BBC, which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor and Christopher Eccleston. He wrote and directed the BBC drama series The Honourable Woman, and most recently, Black Earth Rising for BBC Two and Netflix. Here, we speak to Hugo about his time at Frensham and where it led him in life. To start off with, let’s look back to your time at Frensham – what’s your fondest memory? 1978, watching Robert Altman’s MASH, projected in the ballroom on a weekday early afternoon (if you follow my drift… it was the 1970s) and realising the puckish, counter-cultural ethos up there on screen was pretty much reflected in all the people, pupils and staff, down there watching it. It felt like a shared endeavour, one I’ve tried to pursue ever since. You are an actor, writer, director and producer. Which of these roles came first and which do you find the most challenging? And the most rewarding? Acting came first, filmmaking more generally, later. When I was about fourteen, Dick Jones, Frensham’s then Head of Drama, gave me a small role in Jean Anouilh’s “Antigone”. During my speech, describing Antigone’s death, I felt a sudden change in the Page 10
do this. Strangely, the themes I’ve looked to explore remind me very much of those films from the 1970/80s projected in Frensham’s ballroom. Michaela Coel (star of Black Earth Rising) has questioned why she didn’t learn about issues such as genocide at school. Do you think schools in general shy away from covering difficult issues – and was Frensham any different?
audience. Presuming this to be positive (ever the optimist) it changed the course of my life. Directing, producing, acting all have their challenges but nothing matches the writer’s blank page and the knowledge that 500 of them will need to be filled, purposefully, before anything else can happen. Equally nothing can match the professional joy of placing the last full stop on the final page (although the last edit on the last episode is also pretty good – given the sheer length of endurance that frequently precedes it). You have had a quite a varied career in terms of theatre, TV and film. What are you most proud of and what do you prefer? Long form television drama without question. To work to the length of say eight hours at a scale modern television demands, offers both the breadth of cinematic storytelling along with the chapter like depth of a novel. It’s a huge privilege to be able to Page 12
I do, absolutely and I do so precisely because during my time at Frensham, engagement was its credo. Whether this was with the Women’s Peace Movement in Northern Ireland during the Troubles; coestablishing Schools Against the Bomb during a dark period of our nuclear history; John Pilger’s reports on Cambodia’s Killing Fields and, more positively, E.F. Schumacher’s exploration of Think Globally, Act Locally – all these issues of social and political resonance were given equal, if not greater, importance to the national curriculum (or its equivalent – again this was the 1970s). All this and we got to watch Woody Allen movies guilt free (and they were funny)! Are you in touch with any other OFs in the acting world? Tobias Menzies and I have worked together twice now. (The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman). I think he’s such a terrific screen actor; he knows how to think a performance, not to demonstrate it – which is surprisingly rare – and he really grooves the rhythm of my writing (which can be pretty particular). Did your time at Frensham shape the way you work? Frensham’s environment certainly shaped my professional outlook. To colleagues I suggest I’m a Collectivist-Libertarian (an idea of academic scorn – which is fine because I’m not one). I picked up
An Interview with HUGO BLICK
this sense from Frensham. It involves an unusual form of vision led egalitarianism. On a production, as writer-director, I offer an essential vision around which everyone can gather and focus but then how that vision is actually executed is down to everyone’s specific talent and contribution. I don’t tell the designer how to design, the composer how to compose – I choose with whom I’d like to work (and they choose me), give them my vision and then allow them to make it their own. As long as the vision is clear and the choice is good, the story will have value because its the story to which we all contribute. There’s something essentially 1970s Frenshamian about that – a sort of shared, individual endeavour – even if I’m not sure it was ever explicitly articulated.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Given this is about Frensham, It’s not so much advice as kindness. During my time there I benefitted from innumerable small acts of kindness from so many members staff: Richard Hamilton, John Atkinson, Dick Jones but three. The school even agreed to pay a chunk of my school fees with Alan Pattinson, the headmaster, personally stumping up my pocket money. It came in an envelope inside a book entitled The Children of Hiroshima. Inside however, Alan had handwritten, “Never forget.” I can see the book now, as I always can, whenever I sit down to write – a rather marvellous spur and inspiration. A little bit of Frensham Heights.
So what’s next? The Outlaw Josey Wales – that’s another great 1970s movie I watched in the ballroom along with McCabe and Mrs Miller. Maybe I should make a Western?
Noah Bulkin NOAH BULKIN, (OF 1990-1994) FOUNDER OF MAY CAPITAL LLP Noah set up his own private equity firm in 2013, having previously worked in the City as an investment banker.
To start off with, let’s look back to your time at Frensham – what’s your fondest memory? Three things stand out for me: • The extraordinary impact that headmaster Alan Page 14
© Simon Dawson
Pattinson had on me, from the very first moment I met him when I was 11, in an interview a week before term started, till the last time I saw him, many years after he retired. His ability to captivate a room filled with the entire school, from the 11 years olds through to the senior members of staff, instilling his wisdom, his values and his quest for us all to achieve enlightenment and independent thought. • The care and attention we received from all our teachers, at all times, inspiring us in our classes, our extracurricular activities (for me — photography and the darkroom), but especially the staff who looked
after us boarders on weekends (John A, Evelyn, Pauline, Jonathan Hughes, and so many others) • The lifetime friendships and unbreakable bonds formed with friends who became like family, certainly in our own year, but also with those in older years who looked after us like younger siblings. Our shared experiences we will always remember. Milk and biscuits before bed, Chessington weekend, the first time the boys sat with the girls at breakfast, football behind HH on summer evenings, sick bay, all the things that happened in the woods that we weren’t supposed to be doing, dead ants during prep, Jesper’s party….
one of which, Punch Taverns, was a business I had been very involved with as an adviser in my banking days since the late 1990s. Punch today owns about 1,300 pubs across the country. Our other pub business, the Laine Pub Company, has about 60 very cool pubs, mostly in London and Brighton, with experiential entertainment ranging from escape rooms and virtual reality pods to crazy golf courses, circuses and immersive theatre in the pubs. Laine also has a craft beer brewing arm, Laine BrewCo, which has one of the fastest growing portfolios of craft beer in the UK. So even though there are still many financial aspects to my job, I don’t really feel like I am still in the world of finance.
How did you end up working in the world of finance? I had always wanted to be a lawyer, but in the summer before my penultimate year of university I did an internship in investment banking and I was so impressed by the brilliant people I worked with and the pace of learning, that I knew it was for me. I spent about 15 years as a corporate financier and mergers & acquisitions adviser, working with some of the most amazing businesses in the world, from EDF, WPP and Asda to Burberry, Hard Rock, Pizza Express and lastminute.com. My first proper job was actually the summer before university when I worked as a waiter in Pizza Express. £2.92 / hour, minimum wage. I learned a great deal about hard work, attention to detail and hospitality. I think I use many of those lessons as much today as the skills I learned as an investment banker. In 2013, I left banking and set up my own private equity firm, May Capital. We invest in businesses and provide them with financial resources, advice and expertise to help them grow. Our main focus to date has been on pubs here in the UK. We set up a new pub company, Hawthorn Leisure. which went on to acquire 400 pubs across the UK, which we then sold in 2018. We now own two pub businesses, Page 15
What does a typical day look like?
What are you most proud of – and what’s next?
My days can be very varied. I might be up early to get a train to Yorkshire to do a day of site visits, where I will try to spend time with publicans across the region (either pubs we already own and are thinking of investing in to refurbish them, or pubs we are thinking of buying, where we think there is great potential). I spend quite a lot of time in breweries (either our own or other people’s). I love bringing owners of pubs and bars to our pubs, to see our cutting edge experiential offers and to try our amazing beers. I also really enjoy spending time with the CEOs and senior management teams of suppliers to our business, such as global brewers like ABInbev, Heineken and Molson Coors, or Sky and BT. They have fascinating insights on consumer trends but also partner with us on important initiatives such as environmental charities we support, and social impact work we do, such as using our pubs to combat loneliness amongst seniors in our communities across the UK.
I’m most proud of my family. I have a wonderful wife and children and feel truly blessed. I’d like to think I’d make Alan and my other Frensham teachers proud by the way I conduct myself, with integrity, humility and great respect for others.
To be honest though, the most important part of my day is always the morning and the evening, when I spend time with my family. I spend far fewer hours in the office than I did as a banker, and I do my utmost to see my three boys every morning and evening and all weekend. I almost never travel abroad for work anymore, which is a big change from my banking days, when I would often travel 50 times a year.
I think one of the most important lessons I have learned as a student, a banker and an investor is to be a very good listener, to be extremely sensitive and perceptive to other people and their point of view (including what they may be thinking but not saying), and to think very carefully before trying to advance my own perspective.
Are you in touch with any other OFs who work in the City? Nope. I am still in touch with many friends from my years at Frensham though, who now live all over the world, and when we see each other, even if it has been years, we can pick up straightaway like family.
From a business perspective, I am proud that we are big investors in people and communities across the UK, and I feel that we are making a positive contribution to society and supporting important philanthropic initiatives. As for what’s next for our business – we are very ambitious and keen to continue making investments in the pubs sector, and we also look at lots of other interesting opportunities which draw on our experience and relationships.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
An Interview with NOAH BULKIN
Orlanda Broom ORLANDA BROOM, (OF 1988-1990) ARTIST Orlanda’s studio is based in Liphook, Hampshire, having moved from London in 2017. She has been a professional artist for the last fifteen years and her paintings are exhibited internationally. Orlanda has also worked on large-scale commissions; a series of abstract works for the Roseberry Room, Mandarin Oriental London and a large-scale landscape situated in the lobby of Four Seasons in Downtown New York.
Looking back to the earlier days, what’s your fondest memory of Frensham? Art classes and the informality. Having come from a school where I was always in trouble for having my socks rolled down instead of pulled up - where there was no individuality. At Frensham, I could wear what I wanted. And I didn’t have to call anyone Mrs or Mr… The whole ethos of the place just appealed to me. It still does. It’s a very nurturing, friendly, creative place. I wish I’d stayed at Frensham for Sixth Form because I would have had more opportunity to grow up in that lovely environment.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing? After GCSEs, I went straight to art college, a fine art degree and Masters, all before I was 21. I was a little bit overwhelmed when I finished my MA and Gez, (Head of Frensham’s Art Department) suggested I come and be an artist in residence. I worked in the old workshop which is a bit like my studio now – Page 18
quite old but with a clear roof. The kids could come in at break time and see me. I did some life drawing classes and helped out with the art lessons; it was really nice. Back in those days you didn’t really get a huge amount of guidance about what to do after college. We were just making our work without any concerns about viability out in the big wide world, but that’s something you do have to think about. It was a great buffer to be able to go back to Frensham for a while after my MA. With hindsight I should have probably made the jump into getting a studio. But I ended up doing a bit of travelling – six months in Belize with Raleigh International. As the expedition artist, I was in charge of making sure the murals were half decent in the schools we were building. That was a brilliant experience. Then I moved to Portugal and was able to then get a studio. A friend lent me his house on the outskirts of Lisbon, so I had this big empty space and that was when I got back into painting. With the income from a teaching job, I was able to get a body of work together. I was terrible at teaching to start off with. I remember standing in front of these children who were literally throwing chairs around! Then they put me into business English which was much better. After five years in Portugal, I got married and came back to London where I had a tiny studio at first. But I moved and every time I made a move, I got a slightly bigger studio and took a bigger risk. That’s the drive and you have to keep paying for those things. I sound like I make work just for money and that’s not it. But somewhere in all of this you have to be pragmatic. I’ve been lucky in lots of ways – working with art consultants who keep coming back. And that’s the big jobs that I do, like for the Four Seasons in New York.
That’s really exciting. Did you go and see it being installed? Yes, I went out and did a little talk. It had a very brilliant response. I loved working on such a big scale – I rarely get the opportunity to work like that unless I know it’s going somewhere.
To what degree does your environment shape your work? It’s partly inspired by my time in Belize. Also, my husband’s family live in Tobago and I just find it incredibly inspiring. It’s all my travels, and the colour and vibrancy of those places – I think you need that when you’re here – like a little escape. In the winter, I tend to paint really bright and in the summer the palette goes much more earthy. I think it’s a response to the weather.
What are you working on at the moment? I’ve just finished two commissions so it’s been really full on. One was private and the other was for the Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea which they’re doing up. They’re celebrating Hans Sloane so it had a sort of botanical theme, Jamaica and all that, so it really tied in with my work. I think artists are much more autonomous now. I have my website and social media so interest is generated by me rather than through a gallery. I like dealing with people directly. They can come to the studio and if people tell me they don’t like my work, I’m not offended. I try to make sure that people know that I’m open and I won’t start throwing my paintbrushes around.
What’s next? I have a little gallery in Mykanos, Greece that I need to send some work to for the summer season and I’ve got an Open Studio here in June which is exciting.
An Interview with ORLANDA BLOOM
I also need to get out and find other artists locally. It’s important to know what they’re up to and have conversations with them. I had that in London because I was in a studio complex and having that connection is important. It’s nice to make connections with Frensham again too. Quite a few of our Frensham friends are still local and we’ve had occasional pub nights with OFs which has been great.
You can see more of Orlanda’s work at www.orlandabroomartist.com.
Andy Cook ANDY COOK, (OF 1978-1981) Andy is the CEO of FFEI Limited (www.ffei.co.uk), a digital imaging technology business which is using AI to analyse human tissue.
To start off with, let’s look back to your time at Frensham – what’s your fondest memory? I have so many good memories of my four years at Frensham, I could probably fill a book, but I would say it was the relationship formed with the teaching staff and friends which I cherish the most and helped me find my true self. There was Patrick Billingham, a rather geeky maths teacher who had a passion for electronics and Radio Amateur – I credit him with triggering my interest in electronics and technology. I would spend many hours after school with Patrick working on gadgets, programming computers and playing with radios – he encouraged me to take the Radio Ham licence at an early age along with electronics AO level a year early. Patrick was quite unstructured and fluid in his approach which I love from a design point of view – trial and error very much a theme I enjoy today. Then there was Dick Jones my drama teacher – he was amazing at helping students find themselves. At the age of thirteen, I was a shy, quiet, young boy happy to sit at the back and not be seen. By fifteen years old, Dick somehow had me performing on stage and doing all sorts of weird, mainly funny stuff in public – I even took drama as an option, achieving top grades – Dick always joked about how a ‘Science Page 22
guy doing drama would be a great combination’. I often have to do business presentations and I think Dick laid the foundation for how I approach them.
Please can you explain a little bit about FFEI and what you do? Is it what you expected it to be? I’m the majority shareholder and CEO of FFEI Limited (www.ffei.co.uk), a digital imaging technology business based in Hemel Hempstead. I led an MBO in 2006 acquiring the company from FUJIFILM whom I had been working for since 1997. We design and manufacture industrial imaging solutions for both the Life Science and Labels & Packaging markets. Our fastest growing business is digital pathology where we design and supply digital scanning devices for the analysis of human tissue. We’ve just started a very exciting grant funded research project with Leeds University in the field of Artificial Intelligence for supporting the analysis of human tissue. AI is a technology which offers huge opportunities in the field of health care and curing human ailments. I am very privileged to find myself leading a company like FFEI where we develop technologies that can
make a positive difference in the world. Being an owner of a business like this can be exhilarating, challenging and rewarding all at the same time and there is rarely a day goes by that’s the same. When I left Frensham I can’t say I had the ambition to own or lead a company, but it certainly gave me the confidence to have a go and do things I enjoy. I’m also the non-exec Chairman of Kepner-Tregoe, an International business consultancy specialising in problem solving (www.kepner-tregoe.com). It’s a really interesting organisation with great products
and people. I visit the HQ in Princeton, NJ USA regularly and love immersing myself in a different business with different challenges. In my spare time I’m also a Trustee of the Box Moor Trust (www.boxmoortrust.org.uk) which is a local charity responsible for over 500 acres of unspoilt land around my home town of Hemel Hempstead. We maintain the land with a very environmental and ecological focus along with providing educational facilities to local schools for wildlife and nature. It’s very rewarding getting involved in this type of Page 23
like, trust and respect. I’ve had to walk away from business partners who lack respect for ethics and our people. Life is too short to waste it working just for the money – it’s the ‘what’ and ‘how’ you do business that defines your life. That’s one benefit of being an owner – you can choose who you do business with, and this is one of the big principles I’ve enjoyed developing.
organisation whose whole focus is on maintaining natural areas for wild life to flourish.
Are you in touch with any other OFs in a similar industry? I recently met up with Anton Atalla who was one of my best friends at school – as it happens, he works in the medical supplies business so we had some interesting discussions on business. I normally try and attend Founders’ Days in the hope of meeting up with old friends and teachers. I do love walking around the grounds and reminding myself of all the things we used to get up to.
What’s a typical day like? I’m a firm believer in doing things that I enjoy and in a way that gets the best results. I try to structure my day around this concept, meaning that I like variety and I enjoy interacting with people such as clients and my people. I only do business with people I Page 24
I’m a keen marathon runner, so most days I’m up at 6am and running for an hour or so before breakfast – a great way to start the day and think about things. I’m in the office before 9am ready for a walk around to see what’s going on. I tend to informally dip in and out of various projects during the day listening to issues and challenges and of course giving my opinions. A lot of my day is taken up on business development activities either working for clients or developing new projects with my teams. That’s the best aspect of my role at FFEI, work with smart people on new technologies and business ideas. We try to encourage an open and honest business environment where people are able to put their views forward. It sometime leads to some heated debates but generally results in better more creative ideas. I’m terrible at the mundane and get bored very easily, so have people around me that enjoy doing things I’m not good at. I’m also very impatient which is probably what my teams complain the most about in my leadership style. Frensham didn’t really teach me any skills in being patient.
You are also a business mentor in Dacorum’s Den. Would you like to say a few words about that? I have a strong belief that the UK needs to do more to encourage entrepreneurs and help them flourish. Small businesses are the life blood of our economy and actually need the most help. They are often the most exciting parts of the business spectrum with high levels of creativity, energy and commitment.
An Interview with ANDY COOK
I love interacting with these types of small exciting businesses and since the MBO I’ve been involved in our local business community with various initiatives to support small business. One of the most successful has been the Dacorum Den which is modelled on The TV program Dragons Den. We invite local micro businesses to pitch for grants to help fund their growth plans. A panel of Dragons made up of local business leaders give awards of £1k to £5k. Winning entrepreneurs have the opportunity to request mentoring from one of the Dragons and over the years I’ve been really lucky to have helped a number of local businesses.
So what’s next? Well, as I mentioned, in the past few years I’ve been racing marathons and I recently ran my 3rd London Marathon at the end of April 2019 which was my 10th marathon. I was training hard to beat my best time of 3hr 07mins. Training went well, but I pulled a back muscle a week before the race, which left me well off peak and in some pain. I probably shouldn’t have run (painkillers were very helpful) but started with a running friend and managed 3hr 16mins helped along by some amazing crowds - My back is still complaining, but this just means I’ll be having another go at the next opportunity!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? I’ve been given lots of excellent advice and wisdom over the years and I think I’ve blended a lot of it together into how I now try to live my life – I have a habit of developing other people’s ideas to make them my own. My favourite blend of advice is to treat everything you do in life as an investment, whether it be relationships, learning, helping people, working, exercise, marriage or bringing up children – you get back only what you put in, the return is never guaranteed but, an act of kindness could return happiness, integrity can return loyalty, hard work might return fulfilment. Life is just too short to waste it waiting for luck to arrive, much better investing to create a return of luck. Finally, my all-time favourite word is Serendipity – I love how it sounds, what it means and the whole process of achieving it. I first came across the word in an English lesson at Frensham Heights and never looked back!
As for business we’ve just started working on a very exciting next generation Digital Pathology scanner for a big client, a project which will probably take a couple of years and a lot of focus. Also I’ve recently recruited a COO to help with our growth. I think that’s going to be an interesting experience as I let someone else start to drive FFEI’s operations to allow me more time to concentrate on our new business and growing client base.
Anna Gillespie ANNA GILLESPIE, (OF 1975-1980) SCULPTOR After Frensham, Anna studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Wadham College, Oxford followed by International Relations at the London School of Economics. In 1988, Anna returned to sculpture, taking a City and Guilds course in Stone Masonry and Carving in Bath before going to the Centro d’Arte, Verrocchio, Italy to work as studio assistant. She now lives and works in Bath and has work in the collections of The Prudential, Burghley House Sculpture Park, The Somerset Museum, Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia, Bodrum Sculpture Park Turkey and also in private collections throughout America, the Middle East and Europe.
To start off with, let’s look back to your time at Frensham – what’s your fondest memory? Well there are lots of them, but the summer heatwave and drought of 1976 was very memorable. I can’t quite believe it now but my memory is that it was so hot that the school cancelled all afternoon lessons for weeks at a time. We just swam and lounged around. It was the 70s after all! The morning the drought broke there was a fantastic downpour and we all just ran out of our classes and danced in the rain in the middle of Flottage Courtyard, until we were drenched to the skin. A really celebratory and primal moment. Another dancing memory was that we had a wonderful PE and Dance teacher called Rosie – I think she had an open topped sports car which of course we were all very impressed by in those Page 26
days. A memory that will always stay with me is for a PE lesson, dancing to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in the main ballroom, volume pumped up, revelling in every available ounce of teenage angst we had. The school sanctioned these moments of irrationality and release, and I am very grateful for that.
SHIP Half Moon Bay
How did you know that you wanted to become a sculptor? Both my parents were artists and my Dad always thought I had the potential to be a sculptor specifically. Rather unfortunately, but understandably, I rebelled against the direction they would have liked for me and went to Oxford
to study for an academic degree instead. It took me until I was 28 to realise that I would never be happy working behind a desk. There was a great pottery room when I was at Frensham which in my memory seemed to be open 24 hours a day and one was always welcome. An art teacher called Muriel also spread inspiration and care in the main art room. Like many teenagers though Page 27
I got swept away in the academic routine and forgot my passion.
So what’s next?
Well it’s a great privilege to have a public sculpture in what is now my home town, and working with local craftspeople and engineers to create it was huge fun as well as a learning curve. The impression I get is that the local residents do like the work. It adds colour to the rather uniform surroundings of the new buildings and brings a little history and little homage to the natural environment. There well may be some people who don’t like it, but if one worried too much about that one would never put any art into the public realm. One just has to genuinely do ones best to make a piece that’s appropriate to the place.
Well, I’ve just installed a large piece of sculpture called SHIP on the coast near Morecambe Bay, commissioned by the Morecambe Bay Partnership and I’m very involved with a collaboration with a choreographer called Richard Chappell. The performances of our joint piece will start touring in early summer before being developed more fully in 2020. After a three year break from work about the environment, mainly using tree material such as acorns like the one installed at Frensham outside The Studios, I want to return to this theme but using different materials. As yet I only have the vaguest idea in my mind’s eye as to what the work will look like, but it seems that I need to acknowledge climate change in my work in some way. Whilst as a society we get lost in day to day politics, and as an artist I get lost in everyday concerns about forthcoming exhibitions and projects etc, the world is burning. I need to acknowledge this in some way in my work so I envisage a period of ‘research and development’ coming up in the year ahead.
What’s a typical day?
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
My typical day used to be taking my sons to school and then diving into the studio for as long as I could manage before I picked them up. There were years where this discipline kept me very much at home and involved in my studio practice. Now my sons are more independent I have made a real effort to find ways of working that involve collaborating with other artists or technical people, and that get me out into the world more. I’ve been very lucky that this has borne fruit and I now don’t really have a typical day. In fact a completely free day with no appointments when I can just be alone in the studio is now an enjoyable luxury.
My mum always told me that if you find a good teacher it’s like gold dust. Appreciate it. Just to mention one teacher like that at Frensham, and there were many, I learnt a lot from Dick Jones. In theory he taught English, but we seemed to learn a lot more than just that.
Your recent work, Maid of the Bridge, has just been unveiled in Bath. How does it feel to know that lots of people will be walking past every day, all with their own view about how their space is filled?
An Interview with ANNA GILLESPIE
Maid of the Bridge Bath
Joshua Oates JOSHUA OATES, (OF 2005-2010) CEO & FOUNDER OF TOOTH Having worked at Fuzion in Thailand, Joshua changed direction and formed a company that is developing a reusable, biodegradable toothbrush.
How did you get the idea for Tooth and how did you persuade people to get behind you? After working in Germany, I was back home after a long day, it came to that time where I had to brush my teeth. I took one look at my sorry brush and threw it straight in the bin. As the toothbrush clanged the bottom of the bin it was like a light bulb had illuminated above my head. Why do we throw the whole toothbrush away? That was the start of the journey to bring a new eco friendly toothbrush to the market. A toothbrush where you only throw the head away and is biodegradable. You see the problem is we are meant to change our toothbrush every two to three months (dentist recommendations). This equates to around six brushes a year and over 400 in a lifetime. To put this into more perspective the US along throws away 22 million kilograms of toothbrushes a year and over 98% of these are not biodegradable. Every single toothbrush you have ever thrown away is still in existence! So here we are, four years down the line with a product that not only looks great, performs great and helps the world, and it’s delivered straight to your door. The four year journey was a long one. This was due to an incredible amount of material research, testing and prototyping as finding the right suppliers and manufacturers to make the concept a Page 30
reality was key in keeping our carbon footprint down to a minimum. Local manufacturers with forward thinking technologies and processes were essential for our product and company ethos. We are now so close to delivering the future of eco friendly oral care.
What does a typical day look like? Waking up at 6am, heading to the gym for a 3km cycling and 2km running session followed by a few chapters of the current book I am reading. Then driving to the office which is only a short commute and starting the day with 9am meetings until lunch.. a very short lunch. Then normally my decentralised senior management team jump on a Slack conference call and we run though problems and solutions related mainly to manufacturing, automation, finishings etc. This will normally take us to about 10pm. Then back home to sleep and do it all again the next day. 7 days a week currently.
What are you most proud of – and what’s next? Well, Eco Tooth has just made the top selection for the Green Product Awards 2019 which is amazing and now with the public vote I am hoping they will see what we really can do for people and the planet.
Happy Space HAPPY SPACE, BY NADER DEHDASHTI, (OF 2004-2011) Happy Space is a preventative mental wellbeing non-profit organisation helping students ask and answer the question, “Why don’t I feel ok?”. We provide engaging content via our books and talks, foster partnerships and host events to enable students to reach their a own Happy Space. The idea was developed following the realisation that there was a huge need for mental health and wellbeing awareness for students. We spend a lot of time learning about drink driving and safe sex and not enough time on wellbeing so that’s how Happy Space was started. Happy Space was set up by three other OFs – with Amber Currie, Hugo Layard Horsfall and Tegan Creedy. Since then, the team has expanded and has featured different team members from Frensham and surrounding schools. I couldn’t be happier with the team we’ve built and it’s so lovely to be able to manage it with my best friends from school.
We work alongside the school faculty to create personalised beautiful designed books that will help their students identify their wellbeing needs. Our main target age groups are seven to eight year olds, eleven to thirteen year olds and Sixth Form students Happy Space is needed on so many different levels. Not only does an education about wellbeing reduce stigma surrounding mental health but it also helps to provide students with the tools and techniques to prevent the onset of low moods. The more people talking about it, the more open students can be with their teachers, family and peers. We hope that, as young students and friends, other students will see us talking about mental health and realise it’s not something you have to keep hidden anymore. Frensham Heights was definitely a happy space. It gave me everything I needed to build the foundations of my Happy Space. When I look back, all I can do is smile and be grateful for the lessons that school taught me. To this day, I still see at least fifteen of my classmates at least once a month which is remarkable. Without Frensham, there would be no Happy Space.
James Humphrys and Bethany Humphries
From left to right – Hugo Layard Horsfall (OF 2004-2011), Nader Dehdashti, Lucy Taylor, Tegan Creedy (OF 1999-2009) and Gath Vakkalanka (Lucy and Gath are not ex FH and not part of HS anymore) Page 31
Snapshots of Frensham Itâ€™s not just the Junior School children who enjoy their time at Frensham. We do our best to make sure the older students can still be children, have adventures, take some chances and create amazing memories.
from Frensham As you know, Frensham is such a busy place. There is always something going on: trips, visitors, concerts, performances and just spur of the moment events. Weâ€™ve tried to give you a little glimpse at some of the things weâ€™ve been up to. Some may remind you of your time here and some may show you a bit of Frensham today. Enjoy!
Morning Talk: Chris Lubbe
We were incredibly lucky to have had Chris Lubbe, Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard give another amazing Morning Talk. He stayed for the whole day, holding small group discussions with our scholars and talking with our older Junior School children. All his sessions were absolutely spellbinding, he shared his personal story of life under apartheid and how he eventually became Mandela’s bodyguard. He emphasised Nelson Mandela’s teaching of forgiveness and unity between races. He spoke about his own encounters of forgiveness and how he eventually forged true Page 34
friendships with those who had previously tortured him. He described Nelson Mandela as more than an iconic leader but also as a personal friend who taught him about how forgiveness can change the world. He shared his hopes for the future and the children’s important place within it. The students, young and old, were silent as he spoke, but went on to ask him some tough and intriguing questions. Such a great experience for everyone.
Morning Talk: Duncan Watts DUNCAN WATTS, (OF 1988-1995) What do you do at Google and is it fun? Google earns most of its revenue from advertising. My job is to advise some of our biggest advertising clients how to spend their marketing investments on our platforms. Google advertising helps them reach and engage their customers and prospective customers in order to grow their own businesses. Is it fun? Yes – and what makes it fun is the variety of conversations I get involved with – from creating unique market insights to running workshops to speaking at industry events. That and the people at Google: the brightest and best natured folk I’ve ever worked with. Oh, and the free food, massages and bring your own doggie to work policy all help of course.... What did you choose to talk about and why is it important? Andrew Fisher was pretty clear with his brief for the talk: 1) a bit about me, 2) a bit about Google, 3) a bit about the kids and the future of work as I see it. I think he, like most teachers, are grappling with the implications of the rise of digital communications and technology both in the teaching environment and the future of the workplace. With a couple of kiddies myself, it’s something I think about a lot as well so I was able to share some thoughts and advice for the future. The main thrust of the message was that many of the roles and careers the kids will choose in the future haven’t yet been invented. So I focused on emphasising the value of creativity, the value of helping others and the value of being brave and making mistakes. People tend to see rapid change,
driven by technology as a threat but it’s so important that kids and the adults in their lives emphasise the positive and encourage them to embrace it. Somewhere along the line I also managed to fit in an epic game of ‘rock paper scissors’ pitting everyone against each other. Five minutes of chaos ensued until we eventually found the winner – a Year 9 student who won a year’s subscription to Spotify. How the world’s changed since I once won an extra Rich Tea to have with my evening milk when living at HH. How did it feel to be doing your own Morning Talk, having heard so many as a student here? It was very, very cool and I couldn’t have wished for a more engaged and attentive bunch – even when I slightly overran and robbed them of five minutes of morning break! We started off, as all Morning Talks do now (apparently thanks to John A) with a minute of silence as the kids take a moment to detach from whatever they were doing and shift focus to the talk. The venue’s fantastic as well and a bit of an upgrade from the hard parquet floor of the Ballroom that anyone from my era would no doubt identify with! Page 35
Changing Heads After fifteen fantastic years leading Frensham, at the end of 2018 we had to say goodbye to Andrew. Words arenâ€™t really enough, but we want to thank him for his wisdom, compassion, integrity and above all his kindness and humour. He will be greatly missed and we wish him every happiness and success in his next adventure in Australia. Just before Andrew left, we asked John A to interview him about his time here. You can find the video of their chat at www.frensh.am/andrew and on the OF website.
We are now looking forward to a new exciting era at Frensham led by Rick Clarke. Rick and his family have joined us from Warminster School. His son and daughter have both already settled very happily into the Junior School. Rick has big shoes to fill, but we have no doubt that he will do so with the energy, spirit and dedication he has already brought to the school. Rick and his daughter Olivia
Knoydart As part of Frensham’s wider goal to strengthen our distinctive progressive curriculum, our ethos led teaching style and our overall school culture, we are keen to establish some key events in the lives of our students. One of these is to develop a challenging and exciting trip for Year 9 students. Last year, we started looking for something that included an element of creativity, academic stimulus, outdoor learning and community service. After considerable research we decided to develop a trip to Knoydart in Scotland. The result is a really exciting plan that combines elements of travel, challenging isolation, natural beauty, outdoor curriculum learning, media work and team work – all at a time when we can still influence Year 9 students in terms of their cohesion and their preparation for two difficult years of study ahead.
The Knoydart experience has become a compulsory trip for all Year 9 students from September 2018 onwards and will be an exciting opportunity both to look forward to and to reflect back on. Last June, we ran a pilot version of the trip with just eighteen students. The students had to apply to attend and fundraise for their trip expenses. As a pilot of what will be a challenging trip, it was vital that the students we took were both motivated and enthusiastic. It was an incredibly successful trip. They were truly blessed with the weather and on the journey up had already left all the pressures of modern teenage life behind. Page 37
Phantom of the Opera
ÂŠ Matt Link
After months of preparation and hard work, our production of Phantom of the Opera opened to sold out shows and standing ovations at every performance. We couldnâ€™t be more proud of our cast and crew. Their hard work and commitment to the show whilst still keeping up with their regular school work was outstanding. Many in the audience commented on how they completely forgot they were watching a school production. The dedication, talent and enthusiasm of the students truly shows what Frensham is all about.
Careers Event On 12 March the Careers Department hosted our annual Careers Networking Evening. It was our most successful yet, due in no small part to the OFs who took the time to come into the school to network with students from Years 11, 12 and 13. Our sincere thanks goes to them. The evening gave the students an invaluable opportunity to practice their networking and communication skills, as well as the opportunity to discuss their career plans with professionals in their chosen fields. Later in the year, Life After Frensham Week will help the Year 12 students to continue considering their career paths, and developing those skills vital to the world of work.
TEDxFrensham Saturday 5th October will see the second TEDxFrensham event take place in the Aldridge Theatre. Last yearâ€™s TEDxFrensham was a great success. The speakers and attendees were insightful and engaged and the weather allowed for an al fresco lunch in blazing sunshine on the front lawn. You can watch the videos, including a very moving and inspiring talk from Andrew Fisher, at www.tedxfrensham.com/2018-videos This yearâ€™s speakers will include our own John Atkinson and Rick Clarke. To see the full speaker line up and find out when tickets go on sale go to www.tedxfrensham.com Artist Charlie Mackesy
The Edge The Edge is a measurable part of how Frensham’s Sixth Form prepares young people for their futures, whether it is employment or Higher Education. Within the timetable, Year 12 take part in the Edge program to facilitate a range of desirable soft skills. These courses provide the opportunity for students to develop skills such as leadership, team work, creativity, commercial awareness, flexibility, resilience to name but a few.
These skills are mirrored in the Unifrog pathways website. The students catalogue their experiences under the competencies record on Unifrog. This provides a log for them to refer to when applying for Higher Education, employment or work experience. There are five blocks of five week courses, ranging from programmes on first aid to cooking to film making to car maintenance. Staff are encouraged to offer something that they have specialist knowledge in, but don’t have the opportunity within the curriculum to offer. Staff and students have really engaged with The Edge. One group, the Tenner Challenge, managed to invest £10 and turnover £180 in their business venture.
Music & Dance
Aside from the outstanding performances of Phantom of the Opera, we have also been treated to an abundance of Frensham talent at informal concerts, the Music and Dance Extravaganza and the Rock and Pop Gigs. As always, we were blown away with our students and teachersâ€™ talent, courage and creativity.
Art Exhibitions The Art Department, as you know, is a daily exhibition on its own. Wowing every visitor when they step through the doors. People wandering through Main House are amazed at the quality of student work rotating on the walls of the Long Gallery and reception. The Frensham community itself possibly just takes it for granted. But throughout the year, we also hold more formal exhibitions to allow the students to showcase their hard work, talent, creativity and imagination. Here are a few photographs from the recent Years 7 and 9 exhibition which was inspired by a visit to the Frieda Kahlo exhibition at the V&A.
Sports As it always has been, Frensham is home to talented individuals who thrive not only academically and in the creative arts, but also in a diverse array of sports. For the Junior School through to the oldest students, there have been hundreds of fixtures and non competitive opportunities to participate in. As always, we go beyond the traditional boundaries found at other schools allowing the students to explore and find a sport they truly enjoy. Page 44
Everest Base Camp Trip Over the Easter break, a team of students and staff took on an amazing trek to Everest Base Camp. Training for the team included a year long fitness programme, medical assessments and altitude sickness training. They also learned how to manage the groupâ€™s daily itinerary and budget, as well as how to manage risk. The team worked together through fundraising planning and training phases including a Welsh Three Peaks Challenge and trek training days leading up to their departure.
This amazing trip was not only a great adventure, but also taught the students (and adults) a lot of valuable life lessons: what is important in life, the value of money through managing the budget, managing the itinerary, respecting other people and being aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. They learned to work as a team, communicate effectively and build a sense of self-belief, while managing without the trappings and gadgets of home life. The team flew to Kathmandu on March 29th for their nineteen day trip. During their twelve days of trekking, they reached a height of 5346m at Everest Base Camp before pushing to a height of 5545m above sea level at Kalaphattar to take in stunning views of the summit of Mount Everest.
Literary Week This year we had another successful Literary Week. Yet again, the students had the amazing opportunity to hear talks from and discuss with a range of experienced authors, directors and actors. This yearâ€™s theme was Adaptations. Michael Radford
We were joined by author Anne Fine who discussed her writing process, adapting life into fiction, and the experience of having one of her novels, Mrs Doubtfire, adapted into a film. Comedian Marcus Brigstocke spoke about the adaptations in his own life and career and the challenge of adapting all kinds of events, stories and texts from something serious or even sad into something comic. Marcus Brigstocke
BAFTA award winning film director Michael Radford gave us a fascinating insight into the world of film as he spoke about his wonderful film adaptations of The Merchant of Venice and 1984 and discussed the huge international success of Il Postino. Actor Alistair Petrie took over our Morning Talk, talking about his career: the different roles he has played and the many adaptations of scripts with which he has worked. Playwright and actor Richard Everett spoke about his stage plays; the adaptation of scripts to animation and into film; as well as his work in adapting scripts for adults with additional needs.
Science & Maths Week In March, we held a Science and Maths Week to coincide with British Science Week. The theme for our event was Journeys and the whole school from the Nursery children through to the Sixth Form had a chance to take part. TV presenter Greg Foot spoke about his trip to Everest Base Camp and the research being done there to help patients in ICU and ITU wards around the world. He also offered wise advice to our own Everest Base Camp team about altitude sickness preparations for their trip over the Easter holidays. Year 9 went to Kew Gardens on a crosscurricular art and science trip, observing nature through drawing and photography. The Junior School (N to 3) also got involved in science demonstrations, learning how to make toothpaste for elephants and changing red wine into white wine, milk, raspberry milkshake and lemonade. The Happy Puzzle Company held a workshop encouraging students to use a wide range of skills to work through real life challenges and situations, allowing them to respond with awareness, creativity and deliberate strategies, in order to achieve a positive outcome. They had to show resilience to succeed and were not allowed to give up on any of the challenging puzzles. Professor Philip Aston shared his fascinating account of how he cracked the code of a wartime diary. It was a journal which detailed the life of a prisoner of war and his feelings about his fiancĂŠe â€“ all written in a complex code to avoid detection. The diary had never before been translated.
Greg Foot with our Everest team
Richard Orlik (OF 1950-1951) Died February 2016 Jean Alexander née Meyers (OF 1944-1949) Died 9 November 2018 Jill Arrowsmith Brown née Holmes (OF 1938-1941) Died 14 October 2012 Joan Jardine Willoughby née Gaster Died 1 December 2018 Ruth Grimme née Jedin (OF 1949-1954) Died October 2016, aged 80. Carole Rakusen (OF 1949-1954) Died August 2018 Anna Morrell (OF 1946-1954) Died 26 May 2018 You can read a tribute to Anna, by her sister Jane Lawrence on the OF website.
Anthea Toorchen (OF 1966-1972) Died 2018 Emanuele Follett (OF 1980s) Died June 2018 Barbara Knowland (OF 1936-1943) Died 4 August 2014 Rosemary Summers née Roughton (OF 1935-1939) Died 2017 You can read a tribute to Rosemary, by her brother, Geoffrey Roughton (OF 1935-1947) on the OF website.
Nick Reynish (Sociology Teacher 1971-1973) Died August 2018 Tim Holt (OF 1963-1966) Died July 2018 Josh Jennings (OF 1957-1961) Died August 2017
Obituaries Eric Cass (OF 1936-1939) Died 25 November 2018
Jane Brown née Isaacs (OF 1933-1937) Died 2015
Eric, and his brother Wilfred (OF 1936-1939) left Nazi Germany with their family to settle in the UK and the boys enjoyed their time at Frensham under Paul Roberts’ care, describing it as Heaven.
Shirley Gee (OF 1944-1949) Died November 2016
Eric and his wife Jean developed an extensive collection of contemporary art and dedicated much of their lives to supporting artists.
Simon Richardson (OF 1970-1974) Died July 2017 Frank Peel (OF 1938-1941) Died 2018 Marabel Hadfield (OF 1935-1943) Died 8 December 2018 Myrte Allen (OF 1937-1939) Died 13 June 2018 John Stewart (Head of Art 1978-1990) Died 1 July 2017 You can read a tribute to John by Gez Evans on the OF Website
Walter Elkan (OF 1938-1940) Died 2018 Walter was one of the children who came to Frensham, having fled Nazi Germany in 1938. He met Susan Jacobs (OF 1935-1940) at Frensham. They married and had three children: David, Ruth (OF 1967-1971) and Jenny (OF 1967-1972). “Throughout his life he went out of his way to help and support people in need, in particular those fleeing from repressive regimes. He had a great gift for making friends on every possible occasion.” Jenny Swann (Walter’s daughter).
Pippa Coulston (OF 1935-1948) Died Summer 2017 You can read a tribute to Pippa, by her friend Ann Gaudin on the OF website.
Elizabeth Chataway TRIBUTE TO ELIZABETH CHATAWAY, (OF 1925-1929) With many thanks to Elizabeth’s son, Jeremy.
Elizabeth Chataway (née de Gale), was one of Frensham’s very first students, along with her brother and sisters, Anne, Frances and Richard. She always spoke with great fondness of her time at Frensham. Elizabeth enjoyed an incredibly varied life after leaving the school in 1929. Elizabeth and her husband Tony spent their early married years in Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe where they built their own house. She was immensely proud of having driven a lorry loaded with bricks through the bush. Later, when Tony was a diplomat in South Africa, Elizabeth took on the mantle of diplomat’s wife to entertain Prime Ministers and Ambassadors. After her husband retired in 1958 they came to England and Tony went into the Church. She said that there were more politics involved in being a vicar’s wife than ever there had been in the diplomatic service! She would patronise the village grocery shops on a strict rotation so as not to cause offence. Elizabeth answered a call from her family to run a plantation in the West Indies, and when the farm labourers were brought out on strike against their will, she provided food for their families.
Left to right: Frances, Elizabeth and Anne de Gale Page 50
She also enjoyed art – oils, etchings and sculptures – but it is her pastels that show her sensitivity. She also loved to do portraits, and would commandeer any passing friend or member of the family to sit for her, sometimes for hours. All too rarely she would play the piano. She had a light, delicate touch. During her sixties she studied for and gained a BA from the Open University. Elizabeth became a strong supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, so much so that she joined
Elizabeth on her wedding day with sisters, Anne and Frances, as bridesmaids.
a local group and went to cut the wires at Greenham Common and at Molesworth. This earned her two spells in Holloway prison. When asked how she had been affected by her incarceration, she simply remarked that it had been beautifully warm in there. She returned to Kenninghall and immediately installed a wood-burning stove in her cottage. A regrettable side effect of her stay at Her Majesty’s Pleasure was that she had learned a number of new words. You only had to mention scrabble with Granny to her grandchildren and they start grinning. A few years ago Elizabeth said that she didn’t want a big celebration at her upcoming birthday, but that she would rather wait until she reached one hundred. Sadly, she didn’t quite make it but slipped away quietly, as usual not wanting to cause any bother.
Elizabeth is 3 rows from the front, 6th from left Page 51
Timothy Cracroft TIMOTHY CRACROFT, (OF 1938-1948) BY HIS FRIEND, ROBERT POPPER, (OF 1941-1946)
Timothy died peacefully in the Hospice in Eastbourne. His children, Clementina and Mordaunt were with him, and had visited frequently during his last difficult years of illness. Timothy and I talked often, and I visited him more frequently in recent years. We agreed that our times at Frensham were some of the happiest years of our lives. We first met in January 1941 when I came to Frensham. With Clive Cazes, we three roomed together on the top floor of the Main House. Timothy had come to Frensham in 1938, entering the Junior Department, coming to the main school in 1940, taught by Sam Counsell in a room immediately to the right upon entering the Flottage. This was during the dark days of WWII; although day air raids were not frequent anymore there were night attacks when we went into the cellars as the alarm was sounding. We followed the war news closely; Timothy was emotionally attached to the British Navy, shedding tears when major ships such as the H.M.S. Hood, H.M.S. Repulse, and H.M.S. Prince of Wales were sunk with most of the crew lost. A highly intelligent individual, Timothy had a strong independent streak; this never interfered with our friendship. From September 1941 onward we were always in the same form, but he was academically ahead of me with one exception: maths; He reminded me of this exception throughout our 78 years of friendship. We both enjoyed English Lit when Mr. Whitfield joined the faculty 1943-44. His youth was unusual during that time because he had not been called up for national service. Timothy would quote him, even in recent years. I understand from recent comments of other OFs that some senior girls were quite taken by Mr. Whitfield and that PR (Paul Roberts) did find it necessary to intervene at times! Our extracurricular activities included following horse Page 52
races, something Timothy enjoyed all his life. We would place bets at seven in the morning, secretly leaving notes at the door of the school engineer. We very much enjoyed draft cider and were able to procure that at the local pub without much difficulty. Once, when we were carrying our bottles of cider back to school, Mr. Rice encountered us. We threw the bottles into the bushes, said hello, and Teddy turned a blind eye. Teddy Rice was well known and appreciated at Frensham for his beautiful piano playing at daily Morning Talk. Timothy participated in sports but was not overly competitive. Swimming a mile in the open air pool was appropriately admired but not required. Timothy’s breast stroke was not very good, more like a dog paddle; however, he was determined to complete a mile and did so one day, taking close to two hours with his dog paddle technique. As he persisted more and more students came to the side of the pool, cheering him on. Without success, PR tried to persuade him to discontinue the effort, but Timothy was determined and succeeded. Timothy was interested in student self government. On one occasion, when introducing a proposal at School Meeting, Timothy had the floor and started speaking “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” – immediately attracting attention, of course. Timothy must have been a challenge multiple times to the administration; on such occasions Paul Roberts
would come up with his famous response “I will give it my sympathetic consideration”. In a more individual private exchange he would say “Life is not always fair”. As the war came to an end and VE day arrived, the General Election was announced, and very active electioneering occurred. Frensham Heights was in a very Conservative area; the Board of Governors was concerned that the student body would give the school an undesirable image. PR said we could go to local political meetings but should not speak publicly. Timothy and I went to the local Conservative Party meeting; the MP had been in office since the days of Neville Chamberlain. Of course we supported the Labour candidate. The meeting was just about at an end; I was relieved that Timothy had held his tongue, but suddenly he was on his feet giving a very critical speech about the incumbent, reviewing his voting during the Appeasement period of 1938. There was complete silence! We walked back to school and to our relief PR never chastised, asked or discussed the matter publicly, but it was well known throughout the school. I left Frensham December 1946; soon thereafter Timothy was Head Boy, with Carol Gardiner Head Girl. Timothy was well organised and they made an excellent team. (Timothy knew the Gardiner family well; Gerald Gardiner became Lord Chancellor in Harold Wilson’s Labour government). Subsequently Timothy did his two years of national service, spending most of the time in Malaysia, a long travel by troopship. Timothy, who had already won a place in Cambridge before starting his national service,
entered Peterhouse upon discharge. He was active in the debating society, very much in his element. After Cambridge he worked for insurance companies, eventually establishing his own firm; Geoffrey Roughton (OF 1935-1947) was a silent partner in this successful venture. Timothy’s wife Suzanne was a gracious and energetic hostess, wife and mother, with her own streaks of independence. His older sister Pretafer, who attended Frensham in the early 1940s, became a physician, and predeceased Timothy by many years. I moved to the US in 1947 and we kept in close touch. After a bumpy flight to Dublin Timothy swore he would never fly again; so he never crossed “the big pond”; my wife and I flew to visit every few years. In 2006, there was a memorable reunion of OFs from the Paul Roberts’ years, organized by Geoffrey Roughton at the Reform Club in London. It was indeed a fun and special occasion. Classmate Ann McKay Johnstone (OF 1942-1945) described this event in her diary notes of that day: “Every speech resounded with gratitude but it was Timothy who brought Paul to life..... He made the final, the most light-hearted and the most evocative of the speeches. Paul had had a party piece for end of term jollities: “One Meat Ball”. Very bravely, Timothy launched into this with all of Paul’s mannerisms; it brought the house down”. Timothy’s friends at Frensham benefitted by having been at the school and having known him.
from OFs The latest news from Old Frenshamians sorted by the decade they left Frensham. Thank you to all the OFs who have sent contributions for this magazine. Weâ€™re excited to tell you that we have a new OF website, which is a great place to share your news more regularly. If you are already registered for the new website, do let us know what you think. And if you would like to sign up, you can do so at oldfrenshamians.org As always, please donâ€™t hesitate to get in touch with Sarah Conway, the OF Coordinator, if you would like us to help put you in touch with your old school friends: firstname.lastname@example.org
1940s Nancy Woods née Caldecott, (OF 1933-1945) I turned 90 in 2018. Bizarre. Especially when I consider that the babies I delivered (SRN SCM) in my twenties are now in their sixties. What on earth happened to Time? I have been lucky all my life – in my home, school, husband, children and grandchildren. My contemporaries may recall that my sister, Mary and my younger brother, Bill, both developed idiopathic epilepsy. My elder brother. Michael (Micky), and I – did not. He was at FH until he was 10 and is alive and reasonably well. Mary and Bill both died before they were 40 and I would like here to say how much I admired the way they coped with their disability and never once said “why me and not you?” Living in the same area as the school had the advantage of boarding and having the same friends around in the holidays. Here are some surnames; Martin, Hadley, Tanner, Rodway, Jenkins, Marstrand, Joll and then some of these names also took in pupils in the holidays whose parents were not around. We were allowed to use the school swimming bath as the school also took in refugees in the holidays. I particularly remember Elma? and Vonnie Soiron from Belgium and one of them on the veranda playing Bella Bambina on the gramophone over and over again.
David Berglas, (OF 1938-1942) Many congratulations to David who was awarded an MBE for services to magic and psychology. Josephine Benninga-Warendorf, (OF 1945-1948) I met Gay Fox (Akker) in London again at the reunion but I didn’t get her address or email. I wonder if anyone could give me this information. I checked on the internet and discovered that she has three sons, one of them working as a paediatrician in a London hospital. My son Marc is a paediatriacian(professor) at the university hospital in Amsterdam. He also lectures sometimes in London and he wanted to meet up, just for fun. Hans Warendorf, (OF 1945-1947) My sister Dorothy celebrated her 88th birthday on 24th January with Josephine and myself and with Dorothy’s husband Paul, their offspring and some nephews and nieces. Frederique, Dorothy’s younger daughter, recalled at the party her visit to Frensham Heights and the cordial welcome.
Back to the present day. My daughter, living opposite, (see? lucky again) pops in for a cuppa most evenings when we chew the fat and have a laugh. She, at the age of 62, is in her last year of PhD in Computational Chemistry at UEA, having failed all sciences at ‘O’ level at the age of 16. But that is another story…
1950 Frank Wibaut (OF 1955-1957) I have been busy since August 2018 when I was in Salzburg, as a Professor for the Mozarteum Summer Academy, my 16th time! I was very happy that my class of students from around the world was 20 pianists, as the previous time it was 32! Starting in October, we were in Japan, China, America, Italy and in the UK, doing auditions for Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, of which I am the Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury. We did all 177 thirty minute auditions and I was invited to give many Masterclasses too. I flew back to Manchester periodically to fulfil my teaching commitment at the Royal Northern College of Music, often coming in at 7.20am and going straight to teach! I never thought I would still be so busy with all this and concerts too, at the age of 73. The sense of enjoyment and passion in and through music, helping others and just being alive, has never left me since my short but fabulous schooling at Frensham and also my teaching days there, as a student! Long may it continue! It has also been an amazing time since 2017. Through a random DNA test my son did for fun, he discovered he was related to an American man as a first cousin. From this and discovering that I was adopted, though I have had the Dutch surname Wibaut for 73 years, I found out I was actually born Frank Gilchrist! We discovered my birth father was Lt. Col. Guy Gilchrist, who was in the American Page 56
Air Force. We have now seen my two half sisters, who both knew about me since 1996, but didn’t have enough information to find me. My niece and nephew, my uncle of 96 and other relatives all welcomed me, Miwako and my son Alicky so very warmly, for which I am very grateful! The family came originally from Scotland, but went to America on the Mayflower! Now to find my birth mother – yet another life changing adventure – brilliant! Shirley Hirsch , (OF 1945-1952) Hearing ‘Oh God our help in ages past...’ at the Remembrance service reduced me to tears, as it always does, and as it finished Ruth rang tearfully from England saying, “ If only we could put the clock back!” Just shows how strong an influence Frensham has! All the best, Shirley. Steven Frank, (OF 1949-1953) When one retires from work, many people look back and think well, what have I achieved in life? And now for an easy retirement. This was not so in my case. Other than my family and close friends, I did not talk about my experience in Holland during WWII, and in any case, people were not interested. But by the early 1990s there was some interest shown, mainly because the Holocaust had become part of the Key Stage 3 in secondary education. As a secular Jewish family, we did not move in predominantly Jewish circles. It was a chance visit to the exhibition of Anne Frank that I met a Holocaust survivor called Leon Greenman, born in Stepney, but living in Holland with his wife and son. He was the only one of his family to survive Auschwitz and one of the first to give his testimony on returning to England after the war. From him I learnt to my surprise that there were several hundred holocaust survivors living in London alone! This led me to find out more about who they were and through their organisation my interest in giving my testimony began.
I gave my first talk in 1995 and to date I have given over 800 talks in schools from Years 5 and 6 in primary schools to adults in No.10 Downing Street. The effect on young people is quite remarkable, and that is the same for all us speakers. It appears to be the highlight of the year for many of them. I now meet several teachers of History or RE who say they first heard me speak when they were in Year 9 and gave them much inspiration. There was even an incident in a secondary school where I was asked a question by a young girl who was a selective mute and that was the first time she had asked a question in school. I was the first survivor in the UK to be filmed interactively and in 3D for the Forever Project set up by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum near Newark, where I also give talks at regular intervals. I also work with the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) and go into schools and organisations who contact them. I am also involved with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) who work with survivors of other genocides since the war and who organise HMD in London and all over the country held on the 27th January, the day that Auschwitz was liberated by the Russian Army. This year there were over 11,000 events held over the country. In January this year the BBC showed a film that I made with them with my granddaughter as she followed my journey from Amsterdam through Holland to Terezin in the Czech Republic and then on to Auschwitz. It’s a very moving film for young students and has been incredibly well received, especially as a tool for schools teaching this subject.
1960s Lizzie Saunders née Hodgson, (OF 1964-1969) Life treats me kindly and I am sure my time at Frensham contributed to my optimism and happiness. When I visited the school it struck me as much less Spartan! Carpet and hot chocolate in the library even… I would love to get in touch with Camilla Zhivago so if anyone has news of her, please get in touch with the OF coordinator and she will pass on my details. Jane Sollner, (OF 1961-1964) Two years ago Nigel and I returned to Sussex after 16 years in the Middle East. 2017 however was difficult with my diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Today however I’m feeling really well with lots of energy and playing regular tennis again, (I had my first lesson with Mr Gresham at Frensham in the 1960s.) We have reconnected with friends and of course love being close by the family and grandchildren. My sister Sue now lives not far away in Kent. Nick Mason, (OF 1957-1961) Many congratulations to Nick on being awarded a CBE for services to music.
I find that this is now my destiny to talk in schools until I am physically unable to do so anymore. I came to Frensham in March to give another talk, the third time over the years. Many congratulations to Steven who was awarded the BEM for services to Holocaust education.
Michael Stickland, (OF 1955-1960) Mike Stickland and Stella finally sold their house in Battle, East Sussex, for far less than it had been worth. Bought a cottage about a third of the size in Bexhill on Sea. Unfortunately, had to rent twice in between, and consequently moved three times in fourteen months. Mike suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer, then pneumonia, as well as severe pains in wrists and one ankle, but is now well on the mend. The cottage needed a lot of work, and the burden fell onto Stella due to Mike’s illnesses, so she was overseeing the many sub-contractors, nursing Mike and then organising the final move of house in February 2018. A thoroughly traumatic year, culminating in two deaths (family and friend) just before Christmas, and several unpleasant family problems. Mike and Stella are hoping that 2019 turns out to be a much better year for both of them, and they plan to be very much more independent and to devote more time to themselves from now onwards.
Mike Rendell, (OF 1955-1965) When I left Frensham I read Law at Southampton University. But, after 30 years as a partner in a Bristol Law Firm I packed it in and went back to my first love – history. I directed all my research into what life was like for the man-in-the-street in the Georgian era. I have written ten books – most recently on pioneering women in the Eighteenth Century and another on piracy. I have just submitted a manuscript entitled ‘Revolutionary Georgians: The unsung men who helped shape the modern world’ which I dedicated to Miss Le Mare (a.k.a. ‘Flem’ ) – the inspirational history teacher at Frensham who taught me when I first moved up to the main school from Hamilton House. She was a remarkable woman and I can still remember the way she encouraged my love of history, even spending her weekends helping me excavate a Saxon pottery kiln in the Alice Holt forest. I would have been ten or eleven at the time. It all goes to show that there is life after retirement, and also that the skills and interests which you develop at a school like Frensham can last a lifetime. Clive Gillinson, (OF 1953-1964) I married Anya Deutsch on December 1st in New York City. She emigrated to the US from Russia when she was 13 years old and is now an immigration lawyer.
Clive and Anya
1970s Wendy Harrison-Green née Edwards (OF 1972-1975) Since leaving Frensham, I have done many things, including teaching riding, being a snake stuffer and being a cab driver for over 30 years. I married my first husband after meeting him through cabs, I had two wonderful children. I lost my beloved Phil in the early 90s due to medical negligence. It almost broke me and the children. We carried on and I eventually married a friend in 1994 – a marriage of convenience more than love, but it has developed into a very deep and loving relationship. My two children have given me seven gorgeous grandchildren, who I love with all my heart, ranging from Ben, now 21, to the twins Dakota and Tyr. Now aged 60, I live with my husband, Clive and my German Shepherd lunatic, Jethro. I do feel that Frensham gave me a huge and solid start, and I am grateful for it every day. Jonathan (Jonno) Suart, (OF 1971-1975) After 44 years of searching I finally found and was reunited with my first love from Frensham. She only attended school for one term (Spring ’73) but remained in my heart and on my mind through all the long, unfulfilled, intervening years. We are now back where we belong, together. She has turned my life completely around and I am now in the process of becoming a Reiki Master and hope to gain my black belt in early 2019. At 60 years old this proves anything is possible. Love and healing to you all.
Simon Thomas, (OF 1964-1972) Simon still lives in Nelson, New Zealand although he “went bush” 2 years ago, travelling the world, WWOOFing and house sitting in Oregon, Canada, Italy and New Zealand, back packing through Western Australia, working in wine bars and camp sites. With his partner Adi, Simon is now back in Nelson, managing a boutique hotel. He’d love to hear from fellow OFs from the 60 and 70s. Adam Rubinstein, (OF 1968-1973) I am still living in the Lake District with Angie, my partner of 26 years, and we plan to have a civil partnership as soon as that becomes available. We now work in a beautiful purpose built eco-friendly outbuilding 15 yards from the back door. Our mail order business (healthlines.co.uk) specialising in flower essences from all over the world is still thriving and we are now also making our own range – the Mediterranean Essences (www.medessences. co.uk) – which entails two or three trips to various places in the Med each year. It’s tough, but someone has to do it. After taking up the ukulele (baritone) four years ago I was committed (sorry, that came out wrong), and am now gigging at local events with the Fabulous Bryce Street Strummers Showband and dog (except the dog went off when he was offered a solo career). As part of my musical development I created a learning aid, a simple slide-calculator that shows, for any selected key, which chords are available in that key, all the notes that can be used for soloing, finger patterns, root notes and loads more. Models are available for guitar and bass too. See www. fretmeister.com for more information. For my 60th birthday in March 2018, I was going to commission a luthier to make me an electric ukulele to my own specifications, but after doing some research I decided that I probably wouldn’t get exactly what I wanted and so I have built myself a workshop with the money and plan to make it myself Page 59
(eternal thanks to Richard Ince for all the time I spent in the workshop). Angie and I went off to Sri Lanka in January to celebrate her 60th (her choice). I intend that it will have been my last long haul holiday as I’m happiest when I’m pottering here in my workshop and garden (oh yes, and we only have one planet after all). If anyone from my era is visiting the Lake District do get in touch via any of the above websites. I’d love to meet up.
Mim Brigham née Gray, (OF 1972-1974) Following a career in social care, I escaped and changed direction completely. I am now a glass artist. My glass is blown and fused and I make work that is highly unusual. I exhibit nationally and even internationally, having won a prize in an exhibition in China! It is great to be making stuff and selling is great. Every sale necessitates a happy dance. You could check out my website on MBM-Glass.com
Glasswork by Mim Brigham
1980s Emily Russell, (OF 1985-1989) Many congratulations to Prof Robert Barton who was awarded the Osman Hill gold medal for services to Primatology.
Sebastian and Gareth are the Executive Team of this larger organisation. It is a pan-arts organisation, so they continue to produce and present theatre but also to present pan-arts work (e.g. visual arts, dance, music and film) across multiple platforms. They will be producing the first Salisbury International Arts Festival under the Wiltshire Creative umbrella at the end of May 2019.
Sebastian Warrack, (OF 1974-1982)
In the meantime Sebastian continues to split his time between Salisbury, London (where his opera-singer partner, Simon Butteriss lives) and their cottage in Suffolk.
Sebastian has been Executive Director of Salisbury Playhouse since 2012 and has been having a wonderful time, leading the organisation with Artistic Director, Gareth Machin. On 1st February 2018, the Salisbury Playhouse merged with Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Arts Centre, to become Wiltshire Creative and now
Sebastian remains in regular contact with Philippa Stride, Mark Llewellyn, Dawn Bellino (nee Moller), Bini Slingsby (nee Stevens) and Nicola Hefetz (nee Lippner). He also meets up with Ann Cyphus, his German teacher, particularly when she and her husband Ray come and see productions at Salisbury Playhouse.
Jaime Ashworth, (OF 1991-1995)
Ottilie Young, (OF 2015-2017)
I got married in London in March 2018. After a lastminute emergency when the original venue literally collapsed two weeks beforehand. The ceremony and reception were held at 116 Pall Mall.
I know I only left Frensham recently, but ever since I have been very busy. I am currently studying at the University of Southampton! I represent the uni in a sporting team (this may come as a shock to the sports department)! That being said I cox on the rowing team! I have also spent several months travelling alone and I am officially an auntie!
Charles D. Lieber Award We are delighted and extremely grateful to James Lieber who has set up an award in his father’s name. This award will be given to a student who comes to Frensham from another culture and who has a strong interest in music, like Charles did. The money will be used to pay for the student’s music tuition and attendance at enriching events during their time at Frensham. Charles was born in 1921 in the Netherlands to a Jewish family and he spent his earliest years between Antwerp, Vienna and Brussels. Although professionally, Charles’ family were businessmen and lawyers, they had a strong interest in music, theatre, dance and the arts. Boarding school in England had been Charles’ dream and he attended Frensham Heights between 1935 and 1938, which afforded him and other Jewish children a safety from the horrors of Nazism.
Charles arrived as ‘the Polish boy’, even though he spoke little Polish. However, he excelled and had every opportunity to explore his love of music. He and his brother wrote an operetta, he was also in plays, and on the water polo team. He was a star in Latin, Greek, French, German, History, and Music and did so well that he was exempted from the admissions examination to Oxford. Charles left Frensham in 1938 and moved back to Brussels. For financial reasons, Oxford was not to be and so in 1939, he started at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. His family had brought him up to be cultured, erudite, charming, interested. With this, he brought joy and enrichment into many people’s lives by sharing his passions for music, for literature, for history and mythology.
If you would like to contribute to Frensham’s Bursary Fund, you can find details on the OF website or email email@example.com
Come along for our annual celebration of the spirit of Frensham.
Pack your picnic basket and bring your family for an afternoon of reminiscing in the beautiful Frensham grounds. More details to follow.