Page 1

Spring Summer 2018

the PERSE SCHOOL CAmbridge

OP

in this issue USA OPs across the Pond Careers writing successful applications Research Guggenheim Museum Archive Perse Drama


Contents 03

From the Headmaster

06 GOING STATESIDE

04  School News

A look at some of the 200+ Old Perseans across the pond

06 Going Stateside 10 Career Workshop 12 OP News 14 GDPR Update

10 Career Workshop Dr David Cottenden of TTP plc provides a behind-the-scenes

14 Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre Opening

16

look at creating successful job applications

Archive: Perse Drama

17 Research & Response 20

Obituaries

23

Recent Events

16 Archive: Perse Drama From makeshift to state of the art – a look over the last 100 years

24

Upcoming Events

On the cover The Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre, the largest change to The Perse since the move to Hills Road in the 1960s, was officially

17 Research & Response To what extent has Frank Gehry

named on 8 March 2018.

achieved aesthetic–functional

Opposite: The cast of the

Museum in Bilbao?

Perse Players production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

balance within the Guggenheim


From school the Headmaster news

From the Headmaster

W

e have enjoyed a very successful start to

The Cambridge Building Society, are attended by

2018. Perseans have received 757 university

people of all ages. Over 600 guests enjoyed talks from

offers including a new record of 51 from

the writer and neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on the NHS,

Oxford and Cambridge and 39 from medical schools.

and the anthropologist and broadcaster Alice Roberts

On the sports field four Perse Upper teams have reached

on species domestication. Looking forward, the summer term will be busy

the national finals in hockey competitions, whilst our senior general knowledge team has just come third in

with public exams including the first new 1–9 GCSEs

the national finals of the Schools’ Challenge (the school

which replace the old letter grades. The top grade 9

equivalent of University Challenge). In March we opened

will be above the old A*, but as more grades are added

the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre and the first show

to the exam system the resulting need for accurate

was an outstanding production of Billy Elliot.

differentiation will require a level of reliability in marking that has not always been evident in the past.

The Perse continues to deliver public good for the wider community. Over £1 million each year is spent

We will be scrutinising public exam results carefully

on means tested financial assistance and the resulting

to ensure justice is done. The summer holidays are the busiest time for

bursaries support 120 pupils who otherwise could not attend the School. We now provide educational support

the outdoor pursuits department with a plethora of

to 19 local Cambridgeshire primary schools, whilst further

kayaking, canoeing, climbing, and Perse Exploration

afield Perse staff and pupils assist Christel House Schools

Society trips. PES is the successor body to Scouts and this year 238 Year 7–10 students will be

who give an excellent education to some of the world’s

camping in the Peak District, 90 Year

poorest children. We are busy fundraising to equip every

11 students will be canoeing across

classroom in Christel House Bangalore with a data projector to enhance teaching and learning. We have

Sweden, and 34 sixth formers will be

just passed 17 fitted data projectors and have 14

trekking in the Himalayas. All told 2018 should be another

to go. Perse staff will be travelling out to Bangalore in July to deliver a music education project.

successful year for the Perse, and alumni

The Perse doesn’t just support young

are always welcome to visit the School and see what we are up to.

people – we run Digistart programmes to assist elderly local residents with

Best wishes, Ed

their IT needs and our free community lectures, now run in partnership with 3


old perseans

School News The Perse welcomes high profile speakers

Perse rugby captain

to the Josef Behrmann Lecture

thrilled at clinching

The 2018 Josef Behrmann Lecture, given annually in

Northampton Saints deal

honour of OP Josef Behrmann (1939), took place on

Perse 1st XV rugby

1 March. Five prominent speakers from different beliefs

team captain Alex Coles

came together in an illuminating debate on ‘The Power

(Upper Sixth) has earned

of Words’ at the well-attended event, which was the

a full-time contract

first to be held in The Perse’s brand new Peter Hall

with top English club

Performing Arts Centre.

Northampton Saints for

Among the panellists were Jonathan Wittenberg,

the 2018/19 season.

President of the Council of Christians & Jews; Dilwar

Alex was part of the Northampton U18 side’s

Hussain, Chairman of New Horizons in British Islam;

unbeaten pre-season campaign and featured in

Canon Hugh Shilson-Thomas, Dean of Chapel at Selwyn

two matches for Wanderers – the club’s second

College; Julia Siddiqi, co-founder of Nisa-Nashim Jewish

team – in the Aviva A League before injury cut short

& Muslim Women’s Network; and children’s author

his season. The young lock, who has played for

Annemarie Young.

England at U18 and U16 level, is delighted to have an

Wittenberg opened the event with a lecture about

opportunity to prove himself at Franklin’s Gardens.

how words could be used as a force for both good

He said: “I’m thrilled to have a one-year contract

and bad. He recounted his grandparents’ experiences

to play for Northampton next season. It’s something

of living in Nazi Germany and spoke about the current

I’ve been working towards for a long time, but there’s

phenomena of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ as

a lot of hard work still to come. I’ve been with the

ways in which words could have a negative power. He

club for four or five years after one of the Saints

felt “truth, accuracy and fairness in language” were

coaches saw me playing for The Perse. It all went

especially important in today’s world to counter the

from there and it’s great to commit myself to the

effects of hate speech. However, Wittenberg added that

club full-time.”

just a few positive words had the power to lift people.

Alex isn’t the only Persean to have rugby success

The panellists discussed the issues in more depth

this season – in February Patrick Noroozi Rad

before taking questions, exploring further issues

(Year 11) was called up by the Lambs – the England

relating to politics, religion, discrimination and prejudice

Independent Schools rugby team – for their 2018

as well as how words could prove inspirational.

round of matches.

The Perse Players Production of Billy Elliot The Musical The first production in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre was the biggest production ever staged by the Perse Players, featuring 38 cast members and nine band members, backed up by a 16-strong technical crew. The production, based on the 2000 film and set in County Durham, revolves around the title character who swaps boxing gloves for ballet shoes against a backdrop of family and community problems caused by the miners’ strike of 1984/85.

4


school news

Award-winning Perse musician creates new work for Symphonic Showcase concert

The annual Perse Symphonic Showcase concert took place on 16 March at Saffron Hall. Alongside pieces by Britten and Shostakovich, the Perse Symphony Orchestra gave the debut performance of a new piano concerto by award-winning composer Will Harmer (Upper Sixth). Last year Will won the upper junior category of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers competition with his piece The Whole Heaven on Fire, as well as the Royal Opera House Fanfare competition. Perse LGBT+ History Month

He began writing his new concerto last term after

This February, the Perse marked its first LGBT+ History

improvising different melodies at the piano as well as

Month with a week of activities designed to promote

taking cues from the likes of Rachmaninov and Ravel

discussion of LGBT+ issues in the UK and beyond.

in putting together his latest work.

These issues are covered as part of the School’s pastoral programme, but the week aimed to create a space in which further and deeper discussion could

Prep Mental Health Awareness Week

take place. An introductory assembly was delivered to

The Prep School marked Mental Health Awareness

the whole school by Mr Matthew Hawksworth, Mr Ben

Week in February by two special days during

Wingfield and Mrs Anna Wingfield (neé West) on how

which children took part in a carousel of exciting,

far the fight for equal rights has come in the UK as of

entertaining and thought-provoking activities. African

2018 and what still needs to happen in order to turn

drumming, Kung Fu, dance aerobics and raft building

tolerance into full acceptance. We were delighted to

all promoted teamwork and resilience. Sessions about

welcome the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

critical thinking, happiness and a range of art and

to deliver a hard-hitting but ultimately optimistic 42

craft activities encouraged children to think about

Society lecture on his 50 years of experience fighting

their emotions and the importance of achieving a

for equal rights in a talk entitled The Long Road to

healthy balance of work and play in their everyday

LGBT Freedom: how did we get from there to here?

lives. A highlight of the week was welcoming back

Other events during the week included play readings,

Miss McDonnell who led mindfulness sessions.

a film screening and discussion of LGBT+ theatre and

The week concluded with a whole school aerobics

composers by the English and music departments,

session. Children enjoyed learning the routine in

and interactive lesson activities exploring LGBT+ rights

their form groups before performing it together as a

in the rest of the world in geography and history. After

school. The sense of unity and community shone on

the positive response demonstrated by staff and

the faces of pupils and teachers alike, as they took

pupils, we hope to repeat the week next year!

part in the dance routine.

Perse Enterprise students pave the way to rebuilding the Perse Hostel

In 1996, The Perse donated money to build the Perse Hostel at Him Ganga School in Rawa Dolu, Nepal, to allow access to education in this isolated region. Unfortunately, the hostel was badly damaged by the devastating Gorkha earthquake in April 2015, which meant many students could no longer attend the school. A group of Perse Year 11 and Lower Sixth pupils set themselves the challenge of raising the money to rebuild the girls’ hostel, which will be located next to the school. They have raised over £9000 to date, through crowdfunding as well as activities such as nonuniform days, quiz nights and dinner parties. 5


old perseans

Going Stateside OPs across the pond We are lucky that The Perse is a truly global community, and earlier this year we enjoyed catching up with some of more than 200 OPs and friends of the School who live in North America. Here four OPs tell their story of how life after The Perse took them across the pond.

Hugh Davies (1966) My family left Oxford in January of 1956 and emigrated to America. My dad was part of the so-called “brain drain” to the Department of Religion at Princeton University in New Jersey. Four years later almost to the day we travelled back to England for my father’s first six month sabbatical which he elected to spend in Cambridge. I was placed in the Perse Prep School and vividly remember being introduced to the Headmaster, Mr Lindeman, on the first day.

6


school Feature news

I never dreamt that school

of 1953. When his 1975 one-

work could be so effortless and

man exhibition opened at the

exciting. For one of Mr Brown’s

Metropolitan Museum of Art in

assignments I prepared an essay

New York I was thrilled to introduce

on Bath Abbey replete with my

Francis to Willem de Kooning and

own Brownie photographs.

Andy Warhol. I currently serve

Though I returned to the US after first form, to this day I gratefully acknowledge Mr Brown

which recently published his

and The Perse as the source of

catalogue raisonné – a complete,

my lifelong interest in art and

illustrated compendium of all his

art history, which I studied at

known works.

Princeton University through

My first professional job was

my doctorate and subsequently

running the art gallery and teaching

pursued as my career.

contemporary art history at the

Early on, I focused on British art,

iStock.com/beyhanyazar

on the Bacon Authentication Committee for the Bacon Estate

University of Massachusetts and

writing my undergraduate senior

as an adjunct professor at Amherst

thesis on the Shelter Drawings

College. While I learned a great

that Henry Moore made in the

deal from teaching, my real passion

London Underground during

was working with artists as a

WWII. In graduate school, I was

curator presenting their work at the

granted permission to write my

University Gallery. The privilege of

the Perse Prep because I could

doctoral dissertation on a living

vicariously seeing the world from an

play sports: back at Valley Road

artist, Francis Bacon, with the

artist’s perspective is an endless joy

Middle School I never made it

caveat that I must secure first-

and fascination. My second and only

onto any team. At the Prep we

hand interviews with the subject

other position has been as Director

I was enormously happy at

played football in the winter and

as so little had been published

of the Museum of Contemporary

cricket coached by Mrs Billington in

on his work by the early 70s.

Art San Diego (California) from

summer. She was pregnant at the

Bacon finally agreed to meet me

which I will retire next December

time and the team chipped in to

in February of 1973. Over the next

after 35 years. Besides curating

buy a fine teddy bear. I still treasure

six months I interviewed him at his

and writing, I am proud to have

the team photo with its elegant

home studio every other Tuesday.

been a member, trustee and president of the Association of Art

calligraphy and the school crest.

He was enormously patient with

As the end of term approached I

my questions and most generous

Museum Directors which represents

begged my parents to let me stay

in leading me to paintings and

the 250 largest art museums

and entered The Perse as a boarder

literature that had informed his art.

in North America. Through this

Following these sessions, we would

organisation I have enjoyed the

for the following year. In the first form I was fortunate

take a taxi to the Colony Club in

friendship of Tom Campbell (1980),

enough to be taught by Mr Brown

Soho and drink champagne with

who for eight years directed

whose classroom in the new school

his friends before heading to dinner.

the Metropolitan Museum.

was a small but well-appointed

After dinner, I’d race to catch the

“black box” theatre. We would

last tube train home to my bedsit

I’ve been granted a paid sabbatical for this my final year at

present every aspect of play

in Ealing while he proceeded to

MCASD and my wife and I have

production and the results were so

gamble until all hours.

rented a house near Lyme Regis.

exhilarating for us young students

We remained friends until he

I’ll spend more time on Bacon scholarship and in October our two

who were granted such great

died in 1992 and I have published

latitude and responsibility to create.

several books and articles on

standard poodles will join us on the

Rather than desks I recall long

his work as well as curated an

Queen Mary II for the journey back

exhibition on his Papal Portraits

to New York.

tables arranged in rows facing the stage. Mr Brown would have us write extemporaneously on a regular basis in our notebooks on a great variety of unpredictable subjects that fired the imagination.

my real passion was working with artists as a curator presenting their work.

7


old perseans

rainforests, reefs and volcanoes.

strong support and foundation of

Along the way I learned that time

security that both the school and

at sea can be life-changing for

my family provided me that allowed

young people.

me to feel comfortable testing out

After six years of sailing we

new and unique opportunities at

decided to make a home ashore

my own pace, to discover where I

and found an old barn for sale in

wanted to be in life.

Jamestown, Rhode Island, a stone’s throw from shore. We picked Rhode Island off the map. We had

Jessica Wurzbacher (1997)

no family here, didn’t know anyone, and had no job prospects. But the

As one of the first group of girls ever to attend The Perse it was certainly a unique experience. Looking back I’ve always enjoyed being a part of new adventures and perhaps that is why I thrive so much in my current role as Executive Director of a new organisation in Rhode Island, USA, that delivers innovative and empowering education-atsea programmes that promote personal and professional growth. Growing up in Cambridge, far from the shore, my career path certainly seemed unimaginable. Heading to the University of Bristol to study biology I soon realised the opportunities for adventure that lay ahead of me. I began working on coastal management and teaching projects in the South Pacific (Indonesia and Fiji), the Seychelles and then the Bahamas. It was on Andros in 2003 that I met Dan, my husband, and he introduced me to sailing. For six years we sailed together, taking college students to sea on semester-long programmes. Sailing and diving became my life and before long I had earned my 200-ton captain’s llicence, became a certified scuba instructor, with over 1,000 dives and several hundred students signed off. We logged more than 40,000 miles at sea, explored the most remote islands of the world, hiking, diving, mountain climbing, and studying

longer we stay, the more we love it. Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island formed in 2008 with the purchase of a partly built hull that was towed down from Canada. Over the course of seven years it was transformed into the Sailing School Vessel Oliver Hazard Perry,

Martha Bickerton (2014)

a customised platform to deliver education-at-sea programmes.

At The Perse, I really enjoyed my

I joined in 2012 and have been

A-Levels. I did maths, economics,

so grateful for the opportunities

French and chemistry and when

the organisation has provided

it came to applying to universities,

for me to develop my personal

I found it difficult to choose one

and professional goals. We

subject. I applied to study law with

began sailing in 2015 and have

French, thinking that it was way

now embarked close to 1,000

to combine disciplines. I left Perse

students on our programmes

with a deferred offer from Bristol.

including two voyages to Cuba.

On my gap year, I saw friends

The part of my job I enjoy most

start university and noticed two

is collaborating with teachers

things. First, their academic

and administrators to create

focuses seemed rigid and narrow.

programmes that take advantage

Second, the teaching style was

of the ship’s unique capabilities.

impersonal and anonymous – a far

I now sail a few weeks a year but shore life has its attractions, including our eight-year-old

cry from the attentive teaching at The Perse. The idea of studying in America

chocolate Lab Cadbury and our

had lingered in my head but I

four-year-old son Ben. I also run

didn’t know anyone who had been

my own small business creating

and it seemed far-fetched. Plus, I

handmade nautical dog leashes

felt I could never compete with

and collars in my “spare time” and

US students who had prepared

I’ve sold over 2,500 – so that’s

for the SATs, CommonApp and

5,000 splices!

Ivy interviews their whole lives.

My path has certainly been a

But my gap-year gave me the

surprise for me; I was always firmly

independence to think more about

rooted at home in Cambridge and

it and put in the work.

didn’t even like to spend nights

It was a very hectic process. I

away from home. But it was the

decided that I wanted to pursue the US option in December, which is when most American students

We picked Rhode Island off the map. We had no family here, didn’t know anyone, and had no job prospects. But the longer we stay, the more we love it.

8

submit their final essays for a January 1st deadline. I didn’t even have SAT scores (most American


school Feature news

In the early 1990s, I moved

The more research I did, the more I saw the US system as a great fit...

back to New Zealand and helped to found the country’s first digital mobile ’phone network. My travels around the world continued when I was convinced by my American first wife to move to the USA, where I began lecturing at MIT, much to

students start taking these two years in advance and retake

the amusement of my father, as I

them 3–4 times). But the more

always said I would never follow his

research I did, the more I saw the

Michael Davies (1978)

footsteps into academia. Alongside lecturing at MIT and

US system as a great fit, giving me the freedom to study different

I was born in Auckland, New

London Business School, I have also

disciplines for two years before

Zealand, and spent my early years

worked on a number of start-ups,

settling on one. The immersive

at school in Ponsonby. There was

with varying degrees of success.

teaching style that emphasises

only a minimal uniform – I wore

The first one failed (although

discussion and debate also made

shorts and a polo shirt and, like

I now have about 20 patents

me feel genuinely excited about

many other Kiwi children, went

relating to horse lameness), the

being a university student.

to school barefoot. My father was

second couldn’t possibly match

an academic and we moved to

the vast resources of our tech

of application preparation into

Cambridge in the mid-1960s for

titan competitors, resulting in us

one month was ambitious. I was

his work. Starting at The Perse

returning the initial investment, and

strategic and applied only to one

Prep was quite a culture shock.

it looks like third time lucky: the

university – NYU – because they

One term I was going to school

latest is scaling rapidly – making

Squeezing two years’ worth

didn’t require SAT scores. I think

shoeless, the next I was wearing a

more than $1 million in its first week

I was accepted because I could

cap, tie and striped purple blazer.

after the launch of its latest product. In 2003, I founded Endeavour

show them convincingly that this

I loved maths throughout my

was right for me. I had a fantastic

time at The Perse, and I spent my

Partners, a strategy consulting firm. Although we’re only about

first year at NYU. I was far outside

school career fighting with Gideon

of my comfort zone and met

Yoffe (1978) and Adrian Cuthbert

twenty people, our clients have a

fascinating people. But New York

(1978) for the position as the best

combined market cap of $2.5tn –

is overwhelming and it didn’t feel

in the year – over the course of

we are lucky to be working with some of the biggest names in

like a typical ‘college experience’,

seven years we just about tied.

so I decided to transfer to a smaller

After leaving school, I spent a year

technology. Nowadays, our work

college. I applied to most of the

as a ‘jackaroo’ in Australia – a ‘jack

focuses primarily on how digital

Ivies and was lucky to get to

of all trades’ fighting bushfires,

technologies are reshaping the

choose Brown, which is where

shooting kangaroos, and fixing

world. There is likely to be more

I am now.

fence posts.

change in the next decade than in

Brown is exactly what American colleges look like in the movies:

I had initially applied to study mathematics at university

the last 50 years, as we face up to huge shifts in consumer behaviour,

preppy East Coast-ers, vast

when I returned to the UK, but

new competitive reality and the

wood-panelled libraries, college

during an argument with my

ethical implications of big data.

sweatshirts and, of course, red

uncle about a diesel engine I

Companies will need to adapt

cups at parties. But in many ways,

realised that my true passion

quickly and we help them to do this.

Brown is much more than I had

was engineering. I managed to

expected. I am surrounded by

change courses and studied

My career has been truly global, and my job still takes me all over

passionate people who love what

engineering at St Catharine’s

the world – I’ve racked up over

they do. That is the beauty of the

College, Cambridge, followed

1.5m miles in the last six years,

American system; that everyone

by a Masters in Microelectronics,

mastering the art of avoiding jet

is very engaged in their studies

Cybernetics & Robotics at Durham

lag with caffeine and red wine. It is

because they have had freedom to

and an MBA at London Business

wonderful to have reached the point

work out what they are passionate

School. Nevertheless, I continued

where businesses and organisations who could go to anyone choose

about. Of course, there are

to have a varied career, working

challenges; the hardest part is the

in steel mills and spending some

to ask me for advice. However, my

culture shock. But overall, I can’t

time as the chief bouncer in

greatest achievement is definitely

imagine being anywhere else.

Sheffield’s largest nightclub.

my four daughters.

But overall, I can’t imagine being 9


old perseans

reer w a o C

rk sh o p Job hunting can be dispiriting, particularly if you send off application after application yet somehow rarely get invited for an interview. In this article, Dr David Cottenden provides a behind-the-scenes and tell-all view of how to create that successful CV and job application, based on his experience as a physicist recruiter at TTP plc, one of Cambridge’s top science and technology consultancies.

W

hen you’ve spotted an appealing job ad, before you sit down to update your CV and draft that application letter, consider

your tactics for a moment. In many of the applications I review, I encounter an applicant telling the recruiter about themselves. I would suggest that, instead of focusing on biography, your overall objective should be to show the person reviewing your application that you understand how to be successful in the role, and to provide evidence that you can do it. Employers are all different (more on this later), but one thing they all have in common is that they want to be successful. Recruitment is a big part of company success, so your primary objective is to show the person who is reviewing your application that you understand what success looks like for that organisation and in the role you’re applying for.

10


school Careers news

The job description will usually be a good starting

To use a sporting metaphor, academic qualifications and experience are like the set pieces in a game: they are important, but only part of the match.

point to develop this understanding, but it’s advisable to look wider than that: the employer’s website, their careers pages and the news may give you an impression of the priorities of the employer at the current time. You can also talk to friends and contacts

employers in these sectors are generally looking for

who may know the employer.

different attributes. For example, publications are key

Now sit down and think: how can you, in a few statements, summarise what a successful employee in

for an academic role, but are unlikely to be of great

that role would be and do, and what skills they might

interest to industrial recruiters. A final word of warning: do not assume that an

have? This is very important; take your time. If – even after some research – you still have questions about

excellent degree from an excellent university is all

something, it is fine to phone up, talk to the recruiter

you need. When it comes to the high-tech sector

and ask questions.

around Cambridge, most applicants will have similarly excellent academic qualifications and experience.

Now you’re ready to begin writing. In putting together your application, you need to show the

Moreover, many recruiters will be looking for

recruiter how your experience and skills answer those

applicants who can achieve results by using a range

“statements for success” which you came up with

of skills including their academic ones, rather than

earlier. This brings us to a second key aspect of a

solve abstract academic problems. To use a sporting

good application: evidence. Assertions of competence

metaphor, academic qualifications and experience

without evidence mean next to nothing. It may be wise

are like the set pieces in a game: they are important,

to cite multiple pieces of evidence for key points. In

but only part of the match. In many companies, there

doing so, you should emphasise achievements – that

will not be many spaces in the team for expert place-

is, how your involvement has resulted in objective

kickers. Most recruiters are looking for applicants that

success – over lists of activities or skills. Experience and

can demonstrate flexibility, deal with uncertainty and

achievements from extra-curricular activities can be

yet achieve the necessary results to be successful.

perfectly valid for a prospective employer. Of course, if

In a way, this is all obvious, but from reviewing

you mention something in an application, you must be

thousands of CVs my experience is that applicants

prepared to talk about it during an interview.

who take this advice to heart and put in the thought and time necessary to do a good job of it are rare.

While thinking about success and evidence are the core of a good application, the tone of your

But they are also disproportionately likely to be asked

application matters. A recruiter at a London bank

to interview.

may expect a different tone from an applicant than a recruiter at a San Francisco technology start-up. Photo courtesy of TTP Group

If in doubt, err on the side of a “professional” tone. A recruiter is likely to draw inferences about what matters to the applicant not only from what they write but also how they write it. Often the recruiter will only have a few minutes to consider your application, so make your application easy to process. Unless you’ve good reasons not to, use conventional formatting, layouts and structures so that information is easy to find, and provide brief explanations for unfamiliar qualifications or unusual experience. And once you have done these things … STOP! Make it easy for the recruiter to evaluate your application by keeping it to the point. Since your primary objective at this stage is to be invited for interview, you only need to describe enough of your experience to capture the recruiter’s interest. To find out more they will have no choice but to invite you for that interview. If you’re applying for many roles, or even to many

TTP Group (www.ttp.com) has supported

different types of organisation, make sure your

The Perse School’s means-tested bursary

application is relevant to each role you apply for.

scheme since 2010 and has recently

This also applies to your CV and is especially true

extended its support until 2024.

for academic versus industrial positions, because 11


old perseans

OP NEWS Alastair Whatley (2002) is completing his fourth and final UK tour of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, which has been seen by over 200,000 people since 2013. Alastair’s spring season has been a busy one, as his Original Theatre Company has also completed a national tour of The Importance of Being Earnest – a play he vividly remembers studying in the Junior Mummery – and is currently directing a new comedy – Monogamy.

Antonia Goddard (2012) wrote and produced a critically acclaimed one-act play, I am Turpin, which was performed at Theatre N16 in October 2017. The play, which centres around Dick Turpin’s final days in prison, starred Hugh Train as the eponymous anti-hero and Phoebe Sparrow (Downton Abbey, Inside No. 9) as his gaoler Abigail. The play received stellar reviews and will be restaged by Harlow Theatre as part Colin McFarlane (1980) starred alongside

of their 2018–19 season.

Liam Neeson is his latest film The Commuter, which was released in January. The action-packed film sees Neeson Stephen Reicher (1974) was

caught up in a deadly criminal conspiracy

interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili

while on his daily commute home from

on The Life Scientific on BBC

work, with McFarlane playing Sam the

Radio 4. Stephen, a social

conductor. Colin will also be back on our

psychologist at St Andrews

screens soon in his role as Ulysses in the

University, spoke about the

upcoming fourth season of Golden-Globe

positive and negative sides to a

nominated series Outlander.

crowd, and the role of crowd leaders. If you missed it, you can hear it on Helen Petrovna (2006,

BBC iPlayer.

neé Duckhouse) is currently on tour with the Broadway and West End A chapter written by Adrienne May (1958)

smash hit Legally Blonde

appeared in Trans Britain: Our Journey From

The Musical. Helen is

The Shadows, edited by Christine Burns

playing Brooke Wyndham

MBE and published in January. Adrienne

in the show, which is

has written a number of novels under her

based on the popular film

pseudonym, Adrienne Nash.

of the same name.

12


school OP NEWS news

Midé Adenaike (2013) and the Sons of Pitches are going on another UK tour this autumn. He said “I’m really pleased to say that I’m embarking on a fourth tour with the Sons of Pitches. It’s been a hectic time and we are putting a lot of work in to make this the biggest one yet! I’m ever grateful to The Perse for supporting me in my earliest days as an aspiring beatboxer!” More information about the tour, including ticket information, can be found at thesonsofpitches.co.uk.

nine Old Perseans of various vintages – from

For the 2017 cycling

Ed Cassels (2004) to Tom Sherwin (2011) – took

season, Felix Barker

part in the Cambridge to Casablanca Cycling

(2013) took a year

Cricket Club’s (CtCCCC) tour to Rwanda.

out of his Engineering

Ed Pearson (2006), a member of the touring

degree at Cambridge

squad, spent two years living in Kigali as project

to ride for the Elite/

manager for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium

U23 development team

Foundation, constructing the country’s first

Cycling Team Friuli,

international standard ground, which opened in

based in Udine, Italy.

October 2017. Prior to the tour the club raised over £13,000 for Cricket Builds Hope, the charity that will be responsible for the ongoing running of the ground. The squad completed six matches, winning three and losing three, with stand-out performances from Will Hammond (2006), Rory Davidson (2006) and James Coe (2007). The highlight was a game against the national team,

In December, Old Perseans made their

in which CtCCCC lost by just two runs.

debut in the Thames Hare & Hounds alumni race, finishing in third place, behind Winchester and Sherborne. Congratulations to Tim Harrison (2017), Simon Sampson (2005), John Hale (2006) and Hugh Chatfield (2013) on a superb performance!

13

iStock.com/Dmytro Aksonov

George Dean (2006) writes: In February


old perseans

GDPR update from the Development Director

What you want matters to us!

Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre Opening

The legal beagles among you will be aware that the data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May. We thought that now would be as good an opportunity as any to get in touch with you to ensure that emails you get from us are welcome and relevant to you. We are hugely proud of all of our alumni and friends. Email is one of our main means of communication: it is quick, easy, cost-efficient and environmentally

The Bursar, Gerald Ellison, with Lady Hall and Ed Elliott.

friendly. You will recently have received a card from us, finely crafted by Erin – don’t throw it away! It is all about you and what you would

O

n 8 March 2018, The

history master] and Peter put in

Perse’s brand new

to the performance – Peter was

Peter Hall Performing

a very talented young man who

Arts Centre was officially opened

received much encouragement

e-communications. With just a

by Peter Hall’s widow, Nicola.

and inspiration from Tanfield.

few simple boxes to tick and a

Almost 200 people were present

The second is the closet scene in

freepost envelope, it will take only

at the event, including architects,

Act III, Scene IV. At the time I still

a minute or two for you to get

builders, donors and members

had a few inches to grow and I

back to us.

of the Hall family. We were also

remember Peter towering over me,

like us to do for you by way of

delighted to welcome back a

furious that I had married the man

to revert to post and stop sending

number of OPs who were Peter’s

who murdered his father – I was

you the lovely e-newsletter and

contemporaries, some of whom

terrified of forgetting my lines!”

email event invitations, not to

also took to the stage with him in

The guests were welcomed to

mention the fact that we will not

the legendary 1949 Perse Players’

the ceremony by Sir David Wright,

be able to share with you great

production of Hamlet.

Chair of the Governing Board, who

If you do not reply we will have

news about how generous gifts

Philip Graham (1949), who

paid tribute to the years of hard

are making a difference at The

played Gertrude, Queen of

work behind the scenes in ensuring

Perse today.

Denmark, and mother to Hamlet,

the vision of a performing arts

has strong memories of the

centre at The Perse was realised.

You know what to do! But don’t

The Bursar, Gerald Ellison,

worry if you forget this time or

production and can still remember

have mislaid the form, you can do

his lines almost 70 years later.

then unveiled the School’s new

the same online at perse.co.uk/

Philip said “I have two abiding

public art commission – a wall-

e-communications and we will

memories of Peter Hall. The first

hanging by Victoria Morton,

periodically remind you over the

is the amount of time and work

tufted by Kristi Vana at Dovecot

coming months.

John Tanfield [former Perse

Studios. Public art commissions

You can find out more about how we use your data in our Privacy Notice for Alumni, Friends and Supporters, which can be found at perse.co.uk/policies.

We were also delighted to welcome back a number of Old Perseans who were Peter’s contemporaries.

14


PHPAC school Opening news

are a requirement of planning policy for new developments in Cambridgeshire. The provision of public art in schools is particularly valuable as it can be used to allow children to engage with art and artists, add value to the School community and provide new learning experiences. The vibrant, colourful rug creates a powerful impact in the main public space of the building, and provided a source of great enjoyment for attendees at the ceremony, who were able to locate the different motifs within the composition. Peter Hall’s widow, Nicola, officially opened the building,

The joy in creative expression and knowledge ignited in him here at The Perse was an absolute game changer.

unveiling the plaque in the foyer which bears his name. Nicola spoke of Peter’s two defining beliefs in education and the arts: “Education he saw as the engine of social progress and the key to a rich and fulfilling life. He, himself, came from a modest family background; he was a scholarship boy. The joy in

a production, a triple-height foyer

A love of the arts begun at school

creative expression and knowledge

incorporating exhibition space for

provides a tonic for later life,

ignited in him here at The Perse

art, technology and other shows,

a lifelong opportunity to find

was an absolute game changer.

a café and a separate Gallery

perspective, empathy, insight,

Peter’s twin passions happily

Studio for smaller productions

meaning and joy in the creativity

converge in this remarkable new

and concerts.

of the human condition.

facility. He would be so delighted

Head Ed Elliott said: “We are

“I am pleased that the ‘Play

by the building, so excited by its

delighted that Peter Hall’s example

Way’ nurtured Peter, and I hope

potential and very, very honoured

will live on at The Perse in the

the Peter Hall Performing Arts

to have it named after him”. The

name of our new performing arts

Centre will in turn help future

Head, Ed Elliott, gave his thanks

centre. The Peter Hall Performing

Perseans to develop their

to all those who contributed to

Arts Centre will offer Perse pupils

communication, teamwork,

the building, both financially and

multiple opportunities for fun

empathy and creative skills

by giving their time and expertise.

learning through drama, music,

and act as a springboard

Special thanks were given to the

dance, debating and exhibitions.

for artistic careers.”

Bursar, without whose vision the project would not have come to fruition. Guests were then invited to tour the new building and see the Centre for themselves. Designed by award-winning theatre architects Haworth Tompkins, the 370-seater auditorium provides space for drama, music and dance performances, as well as debates, lectures and assemblies. The centre also features full backstage facilities, enabling students to experience all aspects of staging

15


old perseans

Archivist’s Account

Perse Drama: From Makeshift to State of the Art Just over a hundred years ago an appeal was launched to raise £2,000 for the Perse playhouse, a replica of an Elizabethan theatre.

David Jones

I

t yielded £13, and that was the end of that dream. Today, in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre, the School at last has a purpose-built theatre worthy of its achievements in drama. The earliest recorded dramatic performances date from the

1870s when Christmas burlesques formed part of “The Perse School Entertainment”, proceeds going to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. These were held in the hall at Free School Lane, and we have no idea how they were mounted. Following the move to Gonville Place in 1890, the larger hall there provided the venue for plays but without proper staging or curtains. If you sat at the back you would see little. Mrs Lily Frazer, wife of James Frazer of Golden Bough fame, and a great supporter of The Perse, came to the rescue. In 1904 her French Dramatic Society performed Moliere’s Les Femmes Savantes at the School, donating the profits towards the required curtains and stage blocks. Later, just after the 1914–18 war, maths teacher Cecil Shinkfield constructed additional staging which could be dismantled and stored, as well as a lighting system. But this meant prodigies of physical labour against the clock every time the hall had to be rearranged. Later still, F.C. Brown invented a Heath Robinson contrivance for dimming or brightening lights, involving lowering a lead plate (connected to the electric circuit) into a tank of sulphuric acid. Health and safety had not then been invented. Meanwhile, the arrival of Henry Caldwell Cook in 1911 brought an astounding leap forward in Perse drama. The Perse Players were formed in 1912, meeting such success that the following year Cook felt ambitious enough to appeal for a Shakespearean theatre (long before the replica London Globe was ever thought of). Alas, although £200 had been already pledged towards the estimated cost of £2,000, receipts from the appeal were a miserable £13. Cook was obliged to make do with a couple of rooms in Pendeen House, which the School bought in 1914. Putting in much of his own money, he fashioned a serviceable stage, auditorium and tiring house for his mummery classes. But the auditorium could seat no more than 40 (small) boys and could not be used for Perse Players’ productions. They continued to use the hall. The move to Hills Road brought a proper stage with wings. A sunken well (now filled in for the usual health and safety reasons) was surrounded by a terrace, which helped sightlines. Lighting was improved through the generous offices of parent Roland Wass. David Jones joined The

However, the multi-purpose nature of the hall required a large gallery,

Perse in 1974 as a history

with dire consequences for acoustics. When the new lecture theatre

teacher and was Junior

(1991) was opened, productions mostly moved there for the raked

House Master at School

seating, better acoustics and up-to-date sound and lighting box.

House until 1982. He retired

But this too was a hybrid room; there were no wings or dressing

from teaching in 2008, but

rooms, and audience capacity was small. It required familiar

has continued at the School

makeshifts and improvisations.

in his role as Archivist.

Those days are now over. 16


school Feature news

Research To what extent has Frank Gehry achieved aesthetic–functional balance within the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain? The research for this project was

Louis Bartlett (2017)

M

My research began with

undertaken through two different

laying the foundations of the

methods: a comprehensive

theory surrounding aesthetic–

literature review and an email

functional balance, starting with

questionnaire. The literature review

aesthetic–functionalism. I found

formed the foundation of the

that the aesthetic value of a

research, investigating the theory

building is neither reducible to

surrounding aesthetic–functional

practical function nor completely

balance and how it can be achieved

independent of it. One has

through architectural means. The

to reach a standpoint which

focus of the questionnaire was

combines theories of Reduction

EPQ was sparked by my

to gain honest responses from

(function leads to aesthetics)

interest in postmodern

architects and experts within the

and Independence (function

y choice of topic for the

architecture, in particular the

field of study and was designed to

is completely independent of

movement of Deconstructivism.

be sufficiently broad to allow the

aesthetics): the thesis of Aesthetic

Frank Gehry’s work, characterised

recipient to expand on his or her

Duality. Aesthetic Duality states

by his distinct and expressive style,

views on the subject matter. One

that objects can be appraised

led me to question his design

of the key research components of

both under descriptions that

process and to consider how

this project was an appreciation of

refer to practical functions

an architect, whose work could

the subjective nature of the topic.

and under descriptions that

be described as more artistic

The questions emphasised issues

only apply to aesthetics. The

than practical, is able to design

surrounding the Guggenheim’s

addition of a contributory thesis

a building that balances both

interior and exterior components,

determines that the satisfaction

aesthetics and function. I decided

theory relating to aesthetic–

of functional requirements in

to look at the Guggenheim due to

functional balance as well as the

most cases contributes positively

its controversial history in terms

relationship between form and

to aesthetic value. This theory

of construction as well as its role

function. A variety of experts were

developed further into the theory

as a home for one of the world’s

contacted at different universities

of Econo-functional Aesthetic

most formidable art institutions. In

including UCL, Bath, Harvard, and

Balance, which resolves issues

order to tackle my overall research

the Delft School of Technology.

pertaining to economic, aesthetic,

question, I broke the project down into three smaller questions. How is it possible to achieve aesthetic– functional balance? How does Frank Gehry’s design process relate to the determination of aesthetics and function within his own architecture? How does the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao exhibit the qualities of a building that has achieved aesthetic–

Frank Gehry’s work, characterised by his distinct and expressive style, led me to question his design process and to consider how an architect, whose work could be described as more artistic than practical, is able to design a building that balances both aesthetics and function.

functional balance? 17


old perseans

and functional factors within

urban spaces and experiences

architectural design.

surrounding the building’

have shifted away from primarily

(Professor Rients Dijkstra, 2016).

providing educational services

With the theory foundation of the research laid, I turned my

Despite the Guggenheim’s

as the Guggenheim in Bilbao

to the public towards a more

attention to the Guggenheim

controversial construction, there

museum itself and began to

have been many factors that

increasingly see art museums

apply the theories to Gehry’s

contributed to its success and

as open and participative

progressive dynamic. We

work. The idea of the “Seduction

have given support to how the

places that allow the public to

of Aesthetic”, where the primary

museum has achieved aesthetic

explore equally open-minded

building focus is put into the

functional balance. I had to

and experimental modern art.

exterior appearance of the

consider the building in terms of

Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim

building, is seen throughout the

its function as a contemporary art

Museum has redefined the

Guggenheim. It is clear that the

museum to justify why the building

perception of contemporary art

museum has a very expressive and

possesses such an expressive

despite its initial controversy

abstract exterior aesthetic, which

aesthetic and the impacts the

and Gehry‘s approach to

arguably outweighs the interior

architecture has had on the

design has resulted in a high

components of the building.

economic and cultural aspects

degree of aesthetic–functional

Furthermore, in relation to the

of the city. Patrik Schumacher,

balance. As part of the Solomon

surrounding urban sprawl, the

director and senior designer of

R. Guggenheim institute, the

Guggenheim is not stylistically

Zaha Hadid architects, stated

Museum in Bilbao has become

sensitive towards the traditional

that “prominent cultural buildings,

one of the most recognisable art

architecture of Bilbao. In fact, it

especially contemporary art

centres globally. Despite many

is a deeply radical departure

centres, are the perfect vehicles

initially doubting the design of

from Bilbao’s characteristic

for stating general architectural

the Guggenheim due to its use

neo-classical heritage. One of

positions” (Schumacher, 2010).

of bizarre forms and radical

my respondents described the

He says that “discursive space”

floor space configurations,

Guggenheim as having made the

can be used to build and

when looking in depth at the

‘aesthetics a number one selling

develop new architectural

combinations of shapes within the

point, at the expense of long

outlooks. Contemporary art

building one begins to understand

lasting (flexible) functionality,

centres such

why it has become such a

at the expense of sustainability

symbol of progressive and

values (energy for one), at the

experimental architecture.

expense of the quality of the

18


school Feature news

& Response

Guggenheim external appearance

design, Louis’ study shows strong

does not reveal a clear functional

categorical thinking that considers

purpose. Louis’ discussion on “the

the implications of this imbalance

Seduction of Aesthetic” outlines

through an investigation of a

the potential pitfalls of aesthetically

series of related theories. Named

driven design. Functional

after the town of its success,

performance, adaptability and

the ‘Bilbao effect’ describes a

contextual sensitivity are rightly

phenomenon whereby a city’s

identified as important factors that

economic revitalisation can be

must be considered alongside the

achieved through the construction

application of aesthetic for long

of iconic architecture. However,

term utility.

the transformative qualities of a

In the case of Bilbao’s

landmark architecture have met

Guggenheim, the Museum is neither

varying successes in other parts of

stylistically sympathetic to its

the world. Thus, the essay takes an

surroundings nor designed to be

informative approach that carefully

particularly adaptable in function.

considers knowledge on what

The architecture is simply designed

influences the success of aesthetic–

to be “interesting”. The entrance

functional balance. The culmination

to the Museum begins with a

of the study’s findings returns to

swift descent past the underbelly

validate the Guggenheim’s aesthetic

of titanium scales arriving at the

success. Its iconic status is used

foot of a tall curvaceous valley.

to support the notion that cultural

Subsequently, visitors are taken

buildings are ‘discursive spaces’

through a variety of exhibition

that facilitate experimental and

spaces that consist of irregular

progressive architecture. Incidentally,

Haeseung Choi (2007)

caverns amongst intervals of

the first of many annual architecture

Architectural Staff,

familiar white painted boxes

trips I had at university took me to

Hopkins Architects

connected at high level by bridges

visit the Bilbao Guggenheim. My

J

above canyon-like walls. This motley

personal experience of the Museum

ustifying aesthetic value

of spatial experiences completes

allowed me to play Louis’ theories

over function has always

a journey that is unpredictable

with my own memories, recreating

been problematic due to the

yet surprisingly systematic.

new views of my recollection of

Increasingly, art centres are filled

the architecture. Having produced

difficulties involved in quantifying aesthetic virtues. Louis’ study

with immersive installations and

a comprehensive study from

demonstrates a logical approach

contemporary work, as Louis points

questionnaire responses and written

and progressive understanding

out, that encourage participation.

research, the investigation could

of the dynamics that control the

Consequently, the variety of spatial

develop further by introducing some

balance between aesthetic and

wonders appears to convey an

personal experience. Well written

function in architecture. Through

appropriate reflection of the type

and argued Louis is clearly capable of carrying out research that results

his interrogation of ideas such

of artwork it was designed to hold.

as “Aesthetic Duality” he provides

Its form, by default, also serves to

in continual rhetoric. Conclusively,

a platform from which to analyse

encourage exploratory behaviour

this study encourages me to believe

this subjective topic. Ultimately, the

following modern art’s increasingly

Louis has an innate understanding

study identifies that socio-political

immersive nature.

of the interdisciplinary aspects

and economic motives are also

Through wide-ranging research

involved in the determination of

this study presents a mature

aesthetic–functional balance.

approach that clarifies the

Frequently featured on the cover of contemporary architecture

importance of finding balance between aesthetic and function

books, the Guggenheim Museum

in architecture. Louis’ piece

in Bilbao is widely acknowledged

successfully identifies the presence

as one of the most significant

of economical, historical and

pieces of architecture in recent

socio-political factors involved in

years. Unlike its predecessor in

determining aesthetic–functional

New York whose iconic rings

balance. Taking advantage of the

express the internal ramp, Bilbao’s

Guggenheim’s aesthetic favouring 19

associated but not limited to the field of architecture.

My personal experience of the Museum allowed me to play Louis’ theories with my own memories, recreating new views of my recollection of the architecture.


old perseans

Obituaries Robin Harvie-Smith (1952)

Ingeborg Harvie-Smith writes: Robin completed his National Service in the Far East and then joined Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1955 to read Law and Economics. Subsequently, he joined the Legal and General Insurance Company in London where he stayed until 1971, having been promoted to Head of Marketing for the Pension Division. A short spell with the National Mutual of Australasia in 1973 followed. He then joined the Atlantic Assurance and was responsible for the marketing campaign that raised £60 million of premium income in the first year of operation. This was followed by serving on the management team of Jessel Securities. Subsequently, Robin was appointed Managing Director of Hodge Life in Wales which became the Life Assurance arm of the Standard Chartered Bank. Previously of excellent health, in 1985 Robin underwent a quadruple heart bypass at the

Michael J S Collins (1951)

Nigel Collins & Elizabeth Mikkelsen write: Michael had many wonderful memories of his time at The Perse, of great lifelong friendships that developed, of acting in plays (alongside the late Peter Hall), of hockey, cricket, tennis and cross country running.

Robin Harvie-Smith as the Second Gravedigger in the Perse Players’ Production of Hamlet, 1949.

age of 52. This was an era when employers were rather more reticent to offer employment to anyone with such a medical history than they would be today. Conventional employment for Robin therefore ceased and he applied his energy and enthusiasm to a variety of projects, including the travel

industry and antiques, in which he became a respected figure until this death in May 2017. Throughout his life Robin was proud to be a citizen of, and to have been educated in, Cambridge. Robin leaves a widow, Ingeborg, and is survived by three of his four children.

After military service, Michael resumed his education, returning to Peterhouse, Cambridge where he read History. In 1956, Michael joined British Petroleum (BP) as a trainee and in 1958, he married Mary Bergh. In 1960, Michael received a posting to Australia: first Melbourne, then on to Queensland where he worked as a sales representative marketing fuels to the extensive farming community. Having been with BP for some 18 years, Michael took a new career opportunity in tertiary and management education, joining the Caulfield Institute of Technology in 1974. In 1978 Michael fulfilled his vision to provide specific courses for the retail industry and so the first Retail Management course was born. Over time, and with much persistence and his usual infectious enthusiasm,

this led to the establishment of the Australian Centre of Retail Studies, part of Monash University, in 1990. Michael remained head of the Centre as Associate Professor and Executive Director for the remainder of his career, retiring in 1995. Retirement certainly wasn’t any less energetic, with Michael providing his energy and enthusiasm to numerous local volunteer groups and his golf. In particular, his love of history led him to join the Mornington Historical Society, with which he authored a book Our Boys on the Front, looking at the Great War through local eyes. (A copy of this has been provided to The Perse for its collection). Over the years, Michael developed a deep love of Australia, and was fascinated by its fauna and flora. One of Michael’s many interests was

20


school Obituaries news

developing gardens filled with a wide collection of native plants to attract wildlife. At one time, he was renowned for having a garden bed in the shape of the Australian continent with a rock representing Tasmania, such was his love of his adopted country. Although there was still a big place in his heart for England, it was clear where his loyalties lay during an Ashes test match … Australia! Throughout his life, Michael loved, most of all, his family and friends. He derived much of his energy from meeting new people and learning their stories: he was interested in everyone and everything. He cherished his time at The Perse and remained in touch with many old friends. In July 2017 Michael was diagnosed with cancer and passed away peacefully on 5 December with great courage, grace and dignity. He is remembered for his boundless curiosity, his humility, his great respect for everyone no matter their walk of life, and as a true gentleman. Michael is survived by wife Mary and children Elizabeth and Nigel.

David H Deacon (1954)

Sallyann Deacon writes: David was a stalwart of the Institute of Corrosion, supporting it virtually all of his long working life. In recognition of his service, David was elected an Honorary Life Fellow in 1992, and as a mark of his continued significant and influential contributions to the Institute, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award, a unique decoration especially

created for him. In 1976 he became the Technical Committee Chairman and Council member and was Chairman of Council from 1986– 1988. He took on a part-time role as Honorary Secretary, became VicePresident (twice) and was President from 2002–2004. He also contributed to the work of London Branch between 2013–2015. In 1970, David formed BIE Anti-Corrosion Company and when this was sold in 1981 he became the Managing Director of the newly formed ITI Anti-Corrosion Inspection Company. Then in 1992, David founded his present consultancy company, the Steel Protection Consultancy (SPC); his son William has followed in his footsteps and is now the Director of SPC. He was still contributing to projects even up to January 2017. David was part of the team that specified the coatings for renowned structures known world-wide, such as the Thames Barrier and Forth Bridges, to name but a few. David was proud to say he was the person who ended the joke of “Painting the Forth (Rail) Bridge.” When he’d finished it wouldn’t need painting again for at least another 25 years. People always wanted to know what the ‘H’ stood for as he always used the initial. But he never gave the name: “Humfrey.” Turned out it was a family name, and way back one of the early holders had left a bequest to any of the male descendants who had it in their name, and this legacy has followed on with his sons and grandson. He’d been a proud Public Schoolboy, attending as a boarder at The Perse School from a young age. He always remembered his Latin master at the time christened him Praelatus because he was a ‘Deacon’ and therefore must be a prelate of some description. David had also been a good sportsman in his day, playing cricket for the Counties Hampshire and Berkshire. He was a very useful footballer, too, and a lifelong Reading supporter. 21

David Berrie (1971)

Chris Berrie (1975) writes: David attended The Perse as a boarder when the rest of us ‘Berrie boys’ were in Malawi with our parents. He later gained a place at Aberystwyth University, although this was also the start of some of the problems he had throughout his life. The good side was that, on the 7 October, 1972, he met Angela Burgess for the first time, on the steps of the Great Hall. Following their marriage in 1977, they moved to Kent, in 1979. Angela had gained her PhD, and started working at the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service in Wye. David worked at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital for the next 17 years, which were probably their most enjoyable times, work-wise. However, throughout his adult life David was plagued by mental issues, along with which he seemed to accumulate further problems. This included a drink problem, although when he finally left us in late 2017 he had remained “dry” for 15 years. He had foot problems too, and in 2009 he had to have a leg amputated. He managed well enough with his artificial leg (known as George) for some years, and then later on in a wheelchair, and he and Angela enjoyed many trips out and about, throughout the UK. Although David had a relatively quiet life, he does have some ‘claims to fame’. These started back at university, where as a young communist in Aber, he was also a member of both the Conservative and Labour parties! Another event that remains with us was when he


old perseans

disappeared during one of his bad periods, and he joined the French Foreign Legion. However, he returned to the UK soon after, once they realised he had left his medication back at home! David loved cats, who provided him with good company through the years. He also loved cooking, and helped to supply many a neighbour and local fete with his cakes, marmalades, jams and chutneys. David was also an artist, a letter writer and a poet. His poetry was probably his most prolific pastime in his later years, with many poems published in the parish magazine. Each of us brothers has our own memories of our big brother, David. However, it is Angela who knew him best over their 40 years of marriage, which included some difficult times, she says, but also some wonderful times. As she said, “David could be difficult, but was mostly a kind, generous person, who was always willing to help. Above all, as well as my husband, David was my best friend, and I will miss him terribly.” As we all do, in our own ways. RIP, bruv.

Mike Strawson (1960)

Val Strawson writes: Mike Strawson had a varied and successful career in international trade, and as one of Britain’s most respected export trainers. He was also an amateur baker, charity fundraiser, real ale lover, father, stepfather and grandfather, who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. In the

words of his colleague at Chamber International, director Tim Bailey, “Mike was highly respected and regarded with affection by our whole team, not just for his considerable expertise but for his qualities as a wise, kind and considerate individual.” Mike was particularly highly regarded in Yorkshire, where he helped hundreds of companies to start exporting during his 13 years as Chamber International’s senior export trainer. Chamber International paid tribute to him as “a kind, relaxed man, who dispensed wisdom and mirth in equal measure, Mike was a sharp dresser with an equally sharp mind. Even into his 70s, he was always prepared to work late and travel long distances.” Mike’s career spanned a range of industries and took him around the world. While he was at Croda International PLC, a major manufacturer of chemicals, he managed a highly successful international trade department. This led to him mentoring three other companies, as well as providing guidance during the company’s visits to the Middle East. He afterwards turned his attention to the UK adhesives industry, creating a new division for Datac Adhesives Ltd, training its staff and accompanying a director on visits to South East Asia. Following this, Mike formed Novatech Adhesives to buy and export cyanoacrylate adhesives, alongside mentoring other companies in the sector. His talent for bringing out the best in companies and individuals led Mike to concentrate on training through his business, The Export Trainer Ltd. He also created and delivered training for UK Trade & Investment, now the Department of International Trade, and trained export professionals in Trinidad, Malaysia, Iran, France, Germany and Singapore. Mike’s remarkable contribution to international trade was recognised by the Institute of Export and International Trade in May 2017 when he became only the third person in the history of the Institute to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement award. 22

Outside work, Mike was a Spiritualist with a strong Christian base, a loving family man to his wife, Val, a father of two, stepfather of three and grandfather of eight. He sadly passed away on Sunday 8 October 2017 after a brave battle with cancer.

In Memoriam Peter Joseph Askem (1949)

died 18 February 2018, aged 87 years Maurice Gordon Baker (1953)

died 13 February 2018, aged 83 years Christopher Edward Bullen (1967)

died in 2018, aged 69 years Brian Frederick Butler (1953)

died in 2018, aged 82 years Richard Anthony Lovelace (1952)

died 10 January 2018, aged 84 years Rajen Mahendra (2010)

died 28 January 2018, aged 26 years Harold Walter Olins (1951)

died 20 July 2017, aged 84 years William Gordon Reeves (1957)

died November 2017, aged 79 years Barry Joseph Sanderson (1956)

died 2 February 2018, aged 80 years Russell John Bishop Simmons (1945)

died 27 February 2016, aged 87 years Terence Litchfield Stiles (1942)

died 11 April 2013, aged 88 years Louis Jiew Cheng Tan (1967)

died 30 March 2018, aged 69 years This list was up-to-date when we went to print. Obituaries may be read in full on our website: perse.co.uk/obituaries


recent schoolevents news

Recent Events

Boston Brunch: Sunday 18 February 2018 After a snowy night in Boston, some Old Perseans who live or study in Massachusetts met at the home of Chris Covey (2003) and his wife Susie

OP Sports Festival: Saturday 24 March 2018

(formerly a teacher in the History Department at

We were delighted to see over 150 OPs taking

The Perse), who kindly hosted the gathering. Joined

part in our OP Sports Festival, with many more

by current staff Jonathan Green, Sam Black and

coming along to spectate. The day started with Tim

Richard Morgan, the group shared memories from

Harrison (2017) smashing the 10 mile Roman Road

experiences of The Perse in the 1960s right through

Run record by over two minutes, finishing in 55:57

to last academic year.

(beating Mr Fox by 40s). OPs took part in football,

Over plentiful coffee and a brunch banquet,

basketball, netball, men’s and women’s hockey, and

thoughts were shared on a wide range of topics

touch rugby. A minute of applause was held before

and the current staff learned a lot about what it

the men’s hockey matches in memory of Rajen

was like studying and working in America. With a

Mahendra (2010). Our thanks go to the Perse Sports

broad range of perspectives and experiences, the

department for all their help and assistance, and to

conversation flowed through into the early afternoon.

all OPs who helped organise the teams on the day.

New York Dinner: Wednesday 21 February 2018

Hong Kong dinner: Sunday 25 March 2018

This event was kindly hosted by Simon Hornby

It is always such a pleasure to visit OPs in Hong

(1977), who organised drinks and a buffet dinner in

Kong; and it was not different this time around.

a function room at Bocca di Bacco in the Chelsea

A jolly group got together for a fabulous feast

district of Manhattan.

at Hong Zhou restaurant, generously hosted by

While most attendees were based in and around

Alasdair Pitt (1987). The conversations ranged

New York, there were also longer journeys made

from Peter Hall, the mummery and the new

from Washington DC and Toronto to attend this

performing arts centre to Brexit. We covered

gathering. The experiences of The Perse spanned

it all and more! Plans are afoot to set up a HK

across five decades, while subsequent careers have

WhatsApp group in response to requests for

included law, business, media, software, education,

more OP socials locally.

research and government to name a few. Naturally

Finally, by the time this issue goes to print we

this made for a really interesting evening sharing

hope that Stephen Pau (1988) has successfully

memories, thoughts and hopes for the future.

completed running a 170km race in Patagonia for

This is the second event in New York for Old

the medical charity Orbis. Next is a 100km ultra

Perseans and Simon Hornby would love to hear from

marathon in July around the Eiger for the British

those who are keen to attend future events.

Red Cross. Good luck! 23


old perseans

Upcoming Events Upcoming Reunion Dinners 2018/9 1970 – 1979 2018/9 1999 – 2004 Benefactors’ Reception Saturday 16 June 2018 12.30pm, The Perse. By invitation. OP Cricket Friday 22 June 2018 Play from 2pm, The Perse. Open to all. For more information Please visit perse.co.uk/alumni/events or contact the Alumni & Development Office by telephone on +44 (0)1223 403 808 or email PerseADO@perse.co.uk Old Perseans and Friends @OldPerseans Old Perseans

Alumni & Development Office www.perse.co.uk/alumni The Perse School Hills Road Cambridge, CB2 8QF Tel: +44(0)1223 403 808 PerseADO@perse.co.uk

The Perse School is a registered charity no. 1120654 24

OP News S/S 2018  
OP News S/S 2018  
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