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APRIL 2018, ISSUE 25

KGS Friends


From the Class of 1944... to 2014

Bob Barter, OK 1944

Josh Selimi, OK 2014

Performing Arts Evening KGS Friends from the worlds of dance, music and drama share their love of the performing arts Full story on pages 4 and 5...

~ Forthcoming Events ~ Class of 2008: Ten Year Reunion

Class of 2013: Five Year Reunion

Saturday 30 June, from 1pm Kingston Grammar School

Friday 15 June, from 7pm The Jam Tree, Chelsea

The class of 2008 (which includes all those who left early from that cohort) have their Ten Year Reunion this summer. A golden opportunity to relive the golden days of your youth! Drinks in the Quad from 1pm, with crepes and waffles, savoury and sweet, a tour of the School and then we have the garden booked at the Albion on the corner to carry on the festivities. Tickets are £10, which includes all food and drink at the School. Book online at It seems like just yesterday, but it’s been five years already, and it’s time to get the year group (and those who left before the U6) back together. KGS Friends has booked the upper terrace at the Jam Tree in Chelsea, a hugely popular venue for these events, and there will be lots of food and drink laid on by us. Afterwards, those still standing can carry on carousing in the Upstairs Bar. Tickets are £10, including food and drink. Happy days! Book online at

Sturgeon Cricket & Feast at the Field Sunday 24 June, from 1pm Join us for this popular annual jamboree at Ditton Field! The KGS 1st and 2nd XIs will take on the RJ Sturgeon XIs. Any OKs, parents or former staff who fancy a game are very welcome to join us. We would also like to find a women’s team to take on the KGS girls’ 1st XI in an historic encounter. Contact us at if you would like to play in either team. There will be Pimms, wine and beer, bouncy castle, BBQ and afternoon tea. And, in case you were worried about the football clash, we hope to be showing England’s World Cup group game against Panama live on a new big screen before the cricket. All this and ice cream too! Football and BBQ from 1pm onwards. Cricket from 3pm, with afternoon tea between innings. This event is free but to assist with numbers for catering please book tickets well in advance at

Henley Royal Regatta Reception Saturday 7 July, from 12.30pm All rowing alumni, their parents and former rowing staff are invited to join KGS Friends and the Sherriff Club for this hugely popular event at the School’s marquee at Henley Cricket Club on Saturday 7th July.


KGSBC blazers and ties may be worn, otherwise dress is as for the Stewards’ Enclosure. Drinks and light buffet will be served. There is no charge but numbers are limited and booking is essential at

Class of 1988 - 30 Year Reunion

We breed them tough at KGS and it takes more than the worst winter weather since records began, or thereabouts, to keep OKs from a few drinks and a bit of nosh. So it was that some 25 of the class of 1988, with one or two from the years on either side and ex-teachers Phil Cooper and Nick Bond, battled the elements to make it back to KGS for their 30 Year Reunion on 3rd March. Drinks in the Hall, with a selection of photographs from the archive on display, were followed by a tour of the School. It was sobering to realise how much of the current school was not built when this cohort left. John Snelling admired his father’s role in the building of the Art and Technology Department, for example, and the loss of the huts and the tuck-shop (of armed raid fame) that previously occupied the space and all that they represented was deeply felt.

~ Recent Events ~

The Fairfield and the Gym were more familiar territory, and we paused for a photo in the room that used to be Mr Hicks’s, as was the corridor that housed the erstwhile rooms 31-35. The memories flowed and the ghosts of many old staff (one or two of whom are still at KGS!) and former pupils were (mostly fondly) evoked. Then we all piled off to the Canbury Arms, where more nourishment awaited and the chat and reminiscing continued. Your correspondent had to slip away to attend former History and cricket master Mike Howat’s 60th birthday party (!) while the rest lingered to continue to peel away the years in a very happy way. Thanks to Richard Taylor for all his organisation, and to all those who determined to turn up and make it such a memorable occasion.

One Term On Reunions Our One Term On reunions are becoming seriously big affairs. This year some 110 of last year’s leavers and their teachers and 49 of their parents attended the two events held in December. The former pupils took over the upstairs room at the Gazebo, with the parents rather more civilised affair next door in the Bishop. Was this a record, we ask? It was great to see so many people celebrating a whole term away from KGS and ushering in the festive season with real spirit and no little abandon. Everyone enjoyed a couple of drinks and some food courtesy of KGS Friends, before the parents toddled safely home to bed (one assumes!) and the students, as if in answer to some secret signal, vanished into the night – the word ‘prism’ hovering mystifyingly on several lips.

It was a super evening, and we would like to thank everyone who came. Here’s to the next time and maybe even breaking that record! 3

Performing Arts Evening The Performing Arts Evening on 15th March was a visual, auditory and intellectual feast, and testimony to the amazing range and depth of talent the School can boast amongst its alumni, parental and staff bodies. A full house in the Michael Frayn Theatre, including a group of students from Richard Challoner School, were enlightened and entertained by representatives of dance, drama and a range of music disciplines including modern, classical, jazz and opera. Former School Captain and singer-songwriting accountant Josh Selimi (OK 2014) opened the evening discussing his unusual career path and wowing the audience with a wonderful performance of his new single. He was followed by another former School Captain, actor Molly Hanson (OK 2010), with tales of drama school and the travails of a young actor trying to make her way, related with great humour but also serious enthusiasm and commitment, and we enjoyed watching Molly in action in her showreel. James Buchanan (OK 1993), music entrepreneur and event manager, followed. He described a varied and unconventional career, playing us a snippet of his music and showcasing a viral YouTube clip of him using a five pound note to play a vinyl record! A more conventional approach came from our next speaker, Nick Jackman (OK 1997), who is Development Director at the London Philharmonic. Accompanied by a short film about the work of the orchestra, he explored the vital work of arts fundraising - work that has enabled him to pursue his passion for music in alternative ways. The next speaker, Helen Hogh (OK 1987), had a similar message about the passion, commitment and hard work of people behind the scenes (no less than that of those in the limelight), describing with real sincerity the fulfilment she gets from her work as an operatic agent.

L to R: James Buchanan, Stephen Kennedy, Amanda Britton, Molly Hanson, Bob Barter, Josh Selimi, Helen Hogh, Nick Jackman 4

Dance was next, and we were privileged to listen to current KGS parent Amanda Britton talk about her remarkable career, culminating in her current position as Principal of the Rambert School. As an extra delight, Amanda brought two of her dance students to perform for us – Joey Barton and Connor Scott, winner of the 2015 BBC Young Dancer of the Year Award. She was followed by the new KGS Actor-in-Residence, the amazingly accomplished Stephen Kennedy. Stephen has appeared in just about every theatre and television drama anyone has ever heard of, as well as some hugely successful films and stage productions. He is perhaps best known for playing Ian Craig in The Archers. The formal part of the evening was closed by the wonderful Bob Barter (OK 1944), a true legend of jazz. Bob still teaches, lectures and performs with his own quartet. He treated us to a witty discourse on the history of the big band sound, from Count Basie to Quincy Jones, illustrated by dazzling performances on the keyboard, climaxing with a brilliant improvisation of Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are. After the formal presentations, we retired to Hawkes Bar, where our audience had a chance to meet speakers, ask questions and learn more about their lives and careers in the arts over drinks and a buffet. Our thanks go to the KGS Music Society for running the bar, Chris Edwards and Zoe Sim for technical support and, of course, all our wonderful contributors. Their presentations demonstrated the commitment, passion and sheer hard work, not only of those in the limelight, but also the people behind the scenes. For all of them, the arts is not just a job but a true vocation and a source of real and deep fulfilment. Their stories and experience were both realistic and inspirational, and our debt to them is immeasurable.


~ Alumni News ~ Elizabeth Bennell CBE (OK 1985)

Sophie Hosking MBE (OK 2004)

Elizabeth Dymond (née Bennell) has been awarded a CBE for public service in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List. After qualifying as an accountant she worked at the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission and HM Treasury, where she led the team that runs Central Government’s day to day cash management.

Congratulations to Sophie Hosking on her election to be a Steward of the Henley Royal Regatta. Sophie won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics and was awarded an MBE for services to rowing in the 2013 New Year’s Honours. A member of London Rowing Club, she was their first female captain, serving for two seasons from 2014 to 2016, and for the last two years she has been a member of the FISA Athletes Commission.

Since April 2016, Elizabeth has been Finance Director at the Charity for Civil Servants. She is also a trustee at the national charity, Victim Support. Elizabeth is pictured at her investiture at Buckingham Palace on 15th March with her brother, Paul Bennell (OK 1988).

We hope Sophie will be able to take some time off from her official duties to join us for a glass of Pimms at the KGS tent at Henley on 7th July!

OK Football Team Launched - The (Old) Boys Are Back In Town! The Old Kingstonian AFC is an initiative started by Oli Clements (OK 2010). The team are hoping to enter into an Old Boys’ League called the Arthurian League, affiliated to the Amateur FA. There are five divisions featuring teams such as Old Millhillians, Old Reptonians, Kings College Wimbledon Old Boys, Old Etonians, Old Hamptonians etc. Although initially looking to form one squad for the 2018/19 season, it will be open to leavers from all ages and generations, and it’s possible to have several teams in the club.


Martyn Hall, KGS Head of Football, said, “The Old Boys team is an excellent opportunity for KGS students to continue playing competitive football while remaining part of the KGS family after leaving school. It is also an opportunity for the senior boys to have a regular fixture that will hopefully become a real celebration event at the beginning of the 1st XI season.” The newly formed Old Kingstonian AFC team took on the School’s 1st XI in a friendly at Ditton Field in January. In an exciting game the thrill of playing again on the hallowed

Ditton Field pitches was a huge motivator as the Old Boys won comfortably 4-1 in only their second game since forming. The team was: Danny Claeys (2011), Ben Meyrick (2011), Ali Mannering (2010), Oli Clements (2010), Ben Hunter (2010), Matt Pheasant (2010), Matt Seager (2010), Charlie Best (2010), Calum Mackenzie (2010), Jack Moran (2011) and guest player Chris Walker. If you are interested in playing for Old Kingstonians please contact Martyn Hall at

Molly Hanson (OK 2010) on BBC Radio Former School Captain and recent KGS actor-in-residence Molly Hanson has been working with her distinguished mother, Samantha Bond, for the first time. They featured in a mother and daughter special for BBC Radio 3’s Words and Music programme to celebrate International Women’s Day. Molly and her mum recorded a collection of readings from books, plays and poems, all written by women and focusing on mothers and daughters. The pieces included readings from Anne Sexton, Little Women, Erica Jong, Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, Sylvia Plath and Pride and Prejudice.


Molly was recently nominated for a 2018 Offie (Off West End Theatre Award) for her role in Posh at the Pleasance Theatre, and she also played a key part in our Performing Arts Evening in the Michael Frayn Theatre, featured on page 4.

Nathan Robinson (OK 2002) Dr Nathan Robinson is a marine biologist who has become internationally known after videos spread around the globe of him rescuing a sea turtle with a plastic drinking straw lodged in its nose and another with a plastic fork in a nostril. The films have been viewed over 25 million times and could be considered the catalyst of campaigns to ban plastic that are now taking off around the world. They have also turned Nathan into more of a ‘science communicator’ with the launch of his YouTube channel The Wandering Biologist. Nathan took a Masters at Southampton and a doctorate at Purdue University, USA. He has worked in marine conservation, particularly with sea turtles, in Greece, South Africa and Costa Rica and is currently Research Director for Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. Nathan views sea turtles as the ‘canaries in the coal mines’ of ocean health as they are particularly sensitive to the major threats to oceans: plastic pollution, climate change and unsustainable fisheries practices. East Pacific leatherback turtles now number fewer than 2% of what they were a few decades ago, but Nathan hopes the plight of these magnificent animals will act as a wakeup call leading to a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future. To learn more about Nathan’s work visit: • • •

There is a video featuring Nathan and the conservation work of Earthwatch at The videos showing the removal of the straw and the plastic fork can be viewed at and

Richard Jakob (OK 1989) Congratulations to Richard on the release of his debut single Buried Gold and follow-up single Only Way - available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Spotify and Deezer.

James Crossley (OK 2012) James Crossley has published what he hopes is only the first issue of Pac Journal – the culmination of a year’s research and months working his way across Europe. After his degree in Graphic Design at Edinburgh University, James decided he wanted to travel and deepen his knowledge of creative migration and the role of design and urban projects in changing cities, and his journal is the result. James writes: ‘In summer 2016 I cycled from The Hague to Budapest over two months. The aim was to look at creative migration within and between cities, and the effect on local visual culture. In each city I passed through I met with design studios, architects, co-working spaces, urban festivals - anyone that had a worthwhile impact on the fabric of the area. These people determined which city I went to next on my Eastward progression.” Visit James’ website to read more about his journey, see photographs and make contact if you would like to order a copy or talk about his experiences: KGS Friends

Apr 2018


~ From the Archive ~

Old Kingstonian Hockey Club Archive Including 10,000 photographic negatives! In January we welcomed Old Kingstonian Hockey Club members Jonathan Tapp (1963-70), Ernie Vickery (1960-68) and Alan Eldridge (1956-64) back to KGS. For Ernie, President of the OKHC, this was the first time he had been back since he left! The purpose of their visit was to meet the archivist and seek advice about a large quantity of OKHC records they had amassed on behalf of the club. The former players came in with several large boxes of documents including minute books, photographs, news bulletins, fixture cards and club histories, and they were pleased to leave these to be catalogued and looked after alongside the main school archive.

1954, top row, l to r: DL Wilson, MO Doughty, PB Austen, FI Pavey, CW Chapman, DJ Hodges. Seated, l to r: ER Holmes, PE Bray, RP Muncaster (C), TR Porter, GA Porter, LJE Saunders.

The Old Kingstonian Hockey Club was formed in 1908 as the Kingston Grammar School Old Boys’ Hockey Club, and quickly became one of the premier hockey clubs in the UK. Many internationals learned hockey at KGS and developed their game with the OKHC. Whilst the club was opened up to all-comers in 1979, the roots of the OKHC remain intertwined with those of the school, and we feel it is fitting that the archive should be looked after with the rest of our records. An interesting yet challenging aspect of this accession of records is that it includes an extensive set of around 10,000 photographic negatives taken during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They were taken by Tony Hallas, an active member of the OKHC, who sadly passed away in 2017. The negatives have all been well looked after and are labelled. We have sought the advice of SDS, experts in the conversion and digitisation of school records, and it is our intention to create an area for a large selection of images to be enjoyed on the Kingston Grammar School Online Archive:

1954 - outside the Ocean Hotel in Worthing.

This is the most significant accession of records to the KGS archive in recent years, and we look forward to sharing them with you over the coming months!

1911-12, top row, l to r: K Wright, BJW Nicholas, AE Phillips, HL Starkey, AE Hulland. Seated, l to r: R Durham, CF King, AH Bevis, M Darby, J Fawcett, L Hearsum.

KGS Friends Newsletter Apr 2018  
KGS Friends Newsletter Apr 2018