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T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

THE REIGATIAN 2013 CHAIRMAN’S AMICABLE DINNER 1675 FOUNDERS DAY

FROM THE ARCHIVES MEMORIES OF THE SCHOOL

DAVID WALLIAMS FILMS AT RGS SNAPSHOT IN TIME

BACK TOGETHER: ME, FATBOY SLIM AND THE REST OF THE UPWARDLY MOBILE GANG Andrew Sullivan feature


D O R K I N G D E N TA L C E N T R E C O M M I T T E D

T O

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Dr. Christian Smith B.D.S (Lond) BSc. PRINCIPAL DENTIST Attended Reigate Grammar School 1984-1991

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T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

CONTENTS

04

CHAIRMAN’S AMICABLE DINNER 1675 FOUNDERS DAY

17

UNIVERSITY HONOURS 2013 DEGREE INFORMATION FROM RECENT GRADUATES

46 NEWS

UPDATES IN BRIEF

18

FEATURES

WE HEAR FROM ORS ABOUT THEIR LIVES AND ADVENTURES

47

05

PUBLICATIONS

LATEST OR RELEASES

HENRY SMITH CLUB

THE FOUNDATION CONTINUES TO IMPART HIS SPIRIT

06

SUPPORT US

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08

40

IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS

FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES 2013 WAS A VERY BUSY YEAR

RECOLLECTIONS & MEMORIES REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AT SCHOOL

FROM THE ARCHIVES

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES OF THE SCHOOL

48

DEATHS & OBITUARIES FAREWELL TO OLD FRIENDS

52

FOUNDATION OFFICE MEET THE TEAM

14

REUNION

EVENTS DURING 2013

44 SPORT

REPORTS ON OR TEAMS

Designed & produced by Haime & Butler Brand Design and Communication 020 7407 2141 haime-butler.com

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WELCOME FROM THE HEADMASTER

This last year, my second at Reigate Grammar School, has flown by with a calendar full of milestones and developments aimed at further improving the excellent quality of education RGS. Our examination results indicate academic excellence but what makes RGS truly special is the quality of relationships and personal growth made possible by the pastoral care and astonishing opportunities beyond the classroom across the globe and in sporting, artistic and cultural arenas. The Reigatian community continues to thrive. RGS is a great school making life changing differences to young people from all backgrounds on the journey from childhood to young adulthood, allowing them to achieve what they had only dreamed of and explore talents they never knew they had. No child is lost in the crowd in this environment which is both nurturing and challenging. Students develop a confidence in themselves, their school and their community. They leave with qualifications that secure amazing opportunities but also with ambition, a secure framework of moral reference and a determination to make a positive difference in the world. During 2013 I have had the opportunity to meet numerous former students at reunion dinners and lunches, networking events such as the RGS London Professionals and the hugely popular RGS Charity 7s. Old Reigatians 02

are regularly invited back to their school to talk to students on a range of subjects. Students hear first-hand how a boy or girl who walked these same corridors some years later is leading the life he or she had only dreamt of as well as now being in a position to make a difference to other local youngsters. In the autumn I travelled to New York where I met ORs in America and was further able to develop the work of the Foundation – all this goes a long way to building relationships with former pupils and working towards providing the help needed for able students to benefit from a Reigate Grammar School education. The 1675 Bursary Fund enabled one student to join us in 2012 and a further three in 2013. More will be joining us in 2014 and this is all due to the support given to campaigns such as this – thank you. At the end of their time at RGS these students will be able to stand up on the brink of adulthood and thank you for the opportunities you have provided. I said last time, that I had quickly come to love this vibrant school and this sentiment has only deepened. The phrase, once a Reigatian, always a Reigatian certainly is true. The strong network of alumni, parents and friends of the school is valuable on many practical levels but also as a reminder that today’s students are merely custodians of a long and proud tradition. Thank you for all that you do to help your school. It is much appreciated. Shaun Fenton Headmaster


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

FROM THE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

SO, WHO WAS HENRY SMITH? AT A RECENT CHURCH ASSEMBLY AT ST MARY’S I ASKED THAT VERY QUESTION TO OUR CURRENT PUPILS. We live in an age where we can communicate so freely via internet and modern technology. We can take photos with ease and zap them to family and friends using our mobile phones and tablets. Contrast this with the sixteenth century, the period when Henry Smith acquired his wealth and status. As a London salt merchant, possessing a significant property portfolio, Henry achieved the position of Alderman and was well-respected for his charitable disposition. However, there is only one image of Henry Smith that exists today, found within Wandsworth parish church, where he is buried.

As a man of significant wealth one would think that he would surely have been able to employ any artist to capture himself throughout his life? It would seem that Henry Smith was not vain or materialistic; indeed, he made significant charitable contributions to those parishes where he had owned property. Thankfully, the parish of St Mary’s in Reigate received such a gift for the relief of the poor and to build a school for disadvantaged children – a vision realised in 1675. In short, Henry Smith seems to have been a very humble man with a keen sense of purpose and a desire to do ‘good works’ for the communities to which he was connected. It is significant to note that Reigate Grammar School (RGS) remains to this day upon its original site. Both School and Foundation recognise that it is important to celebrate such a rich heritage and acknowledge the generosity of our founder and benefactor. With this in mind, the introduction of the Henry Smith Lecture has been very well received at RGS. In June, Andrew Sullivan (’81, political commentator and journalist),

delivered a challenging and thought-provoking address to the sixth form.

Furthermore, I am pleased to report upon the great success of the inaugural Chairman’s Amicable Dinner, to mark Founder’s Day, held at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall in June. Hosted by Sir Colin Chandler, we were honoured to have Sir Peter Gershon (195865, pictured left) and Michael Lloyd (1981-86, pictured right) as our principal speakers on the night.

Not only did they emphasise the positive impact RGS had on their lives, they also demonstrated their advocacy for what the RGS Foundation is endeavouring to achieve through the 1675 Bursary Fund. In looking to address social mobility in our region, through open access opportunities to RGS, we aim to build upon our rich philanthropic heritage by offering life-changing opportunities to disadvantaged children. At that event, Sir Colin Chandler launched the Henry Smith Club – a philanthropic society of like-minded people who support the bursary appeal by giving an annual donation of £1675 (it only takes seven members to sponsor a child through the school for a year). Moreover, we have been thrilled with the generosity shown by the wider Reigatian community

for the 1675 Bursary Fund and the response to our second telephone campaign to raise awareness of this important appeal. All gifts make a difference and we were very happy to announce that three new 1675 Scholars (in addition to our first back in 2012) arrived in September to begin their RGS adventure. It is a core function of the RGS Foundation to provide opportunities for our Reigatian community to engage and connect. I’m pleased to report that 2013 was another very active year, with a great range of activities and events taking place. It began back in January, with the RGS London Professionals event hosted by Cluttons in Mayfair. Importantly, this was one of 24 events held in 2013, ranging from golf and rugby events to reunions and overseas gatherings. One particular highlight was the Silver Reunion for the classes of 1988/89 held in November, when around 130 former pupils attended a very social evening in the present sixth form centre (the school canteen in their day). An interesting observation made on the night was the significant number of attendees who were now either current parents or with plans for their children to attend RGS in the future! Furthermore, several were already members of the RGS Professionals’ group and connected. Aligned to this, the growth of the Network Reigatian programme that offers support, advice and sometimes work experience to our young ORs has been very welcome. There is a natural link between the RGS Professional community, LinkedIn and this important network. I trust you will enjoy this 2013 edition of The Reigatian magazine and the news and stories within. Whether it is reading about former pupils being dressed by David Walliams or News from the Archives by Peter Burgess, I hope you feel there is something for everyone. Please contact us in the Foundation Office if you have stories of your own to tell and any news and images that we can share. Sean Davey Development Director 03


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CHAIRMAN’S AMICABLE DINNER

1675 FOUNDERS DAY THURSDAY 20 JUNE

The inaugural RGS Foundation Chairman’s Amicable Dinner to celebrate ‘1675 Founders Day’ took place in June, held at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, in their splendid Waterloo Room. This was a memorable and outstanding occasion which celebrated our historic Foundation. Our host, Sir Colin Chandler (Chairman of The RGS Foundation), welcomed all 80 guests including our honourable speakers and the many who had travelled long distances to join us. Old Reigatian Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng, who was the guest of honour for the evening, is a keen supporter of the RGS Foundation and is currently Chair of two FTSE 100 companies: Tate & Lyle plc and National Grid plc. Sir Peter spoke eloquently about the lessons he had learnt from his many years in industry and public service as well as the benefits of a Reigate Grammar School education and ‘start’.

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We were also very honoured to welcome Michael Lloyd OR who gave the RGS response with such emotion, passion and conviction. Michael is a major supporter of the Foundation and is President of the newly-formed ‘American Friends’ group. Michael illustrated how an investment in his education transformed his life and why RGS meant so much to him. As Sir Colin Chandler wrote:

“We all have a connection to Reigate Grammar School and it was back in 1675, through the philanthropic support of Henry Smith, that a free school was created for the poor children of the Reigate area. Reigate Grammar School has evolved from these humble beginnings and is now firmly established as one of the leading schools in the country. As Chairman, the work of the Foundation is extremely important to me as it exists to support RGS and foster the friendship and support of all Reigatians.”


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

HENRY SMITH CLUB

WERE IT NOT FOR HENRY SMITH, RGS WOULD NOT EXIST

Henry Smith was born in Wandsworth in 1548. He was an alderman of a highly charitable disposition and worked as a City merchant. Throughout Henry’s lifetime he achieved considerable wealth through the acquisition of land and estates. His portfolio included manors in Southwick, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Kent, and Sevenoaks among many others. With such an extensive portfolio and with no family to bestow it to, Henry set up a succession of trusts to dispose of the rents and profits from his lands for charitable uses. Having reached an esteemed position in the city, Henry recognised the opportunities an education could provide and looked to use his affluence to help and assist the poor who lived in the counties within which he held his property and land. In 1627, Henry died and chose to be buried in the parish of his birthplace, Wandsworth. Within Wandsworth Parish Church is a monument of Henry, kneeling in alderman’s robes holding a skull in one hand. The panel below the monument records gifts of £1,000 from his estate to be given to several towns in Surrey, including Reigate. The reason why Henry chose Reigate remains unclear, however Henry’s Will declared that this gift was to be used for the relief of the poor and to educate the local children. Following Henry’s death, his legacy was kept by the Churchwardens of St Mary’s Church who, by consent of the parishioners, purchased land near the Church and built a free school to educate local poor boys in reading, writing and simple calculations in keeping with Henry’s wishes. Finally, in 1675, the school was founded and remains on its original site to this day. Henry’s philanthropic inclination to Reigate will remain unknown, however, Reigate Grammar School is eternally grateful for the benevolence shown by him. In honour of Henry and his generosity, the Foundation now continues to impart the spirit of Henry Smith by establishing the Henry Smith Club. Membership of the club contributes to bursarial support for current and future students of RGS and members will receive annual invitations to the Chairman’s Amicable dinner along with other benefits. Should you wish to join the Henry Smith Club or discuss membership please contact: foundation@reigategrammar.org

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SUPPORT US LEGACY GIVING WILL YOU REMEMBER RGS? When recollecting your schooldays, what do you remember most: a favourite teacher, sport matches, friends with whom you shared these formative years? A walk down memory lane can invoke many memories but have you considered remembering the future generations of students who will walk the same corridors you once did? The recently launched ‘Changing Lives’ Bursary Campaign aims to generate funds to offer talented boys and girls, from local families in need, an excellent education full of breadth and experience that will prepare them for society. We look to offer as many open-access places, based upon merit, as are financially viable, but we cannot do this alone and need your support. Leaving a legacy to RGS is one of the greatest gifts you can make in your lifetime. Every gift in every will makes a difference. If you would like to help and if the time is right to leave a gift in your will to remember RGS, we would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. Please contact us to discuss your wishes.

“I LEAVE MY LEGACY AS AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE BREADTH OF LEARNING AND THE PRIDE ENGENDERED IN RGS PLUS A LIFETIME OF FRIENDSHIP WITH SOME OF MY PEERS” Anonymous OR ‘44

“Without doubt my time at RGS did change my life. Coming from a very poor but loving family, the 1944 Education Act granted me entrance giving me an excellent and rounded education, developing my potential and stimulating my ambition. My support of the Foundation is given with the hope of enabling promising young people with modest means to benefit in the way that I have. It is a cause dear to my heart and that of my wife.” Peter Clarke OR ‘52

1675 SOCIETY LUNCH THE 1675 SOCIETY The 1675 Society was established in 2010 for those who wish to support the Foundation by remembering RGS in their will. A legacy would be a permanent testimony to your affection for the school and the values RGS holds. We like to honour and thank, during their lifetimes, all those who have chosen to remember RGS in their Will and have established the 1675 Society, named in recognition of the school’s founding year, to do so. All those who leave a gift to the school are invited to become members of the 1675 Society and meet for the Society’s annual luncheon hosted by Shaun and Anna Fenton at 1 Chart Lane. The last annual luncheon was held in December with a festive recital provided by the RGS Junior Voices.

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FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER

The Headmaster welcomed guests in his new study, which is now positioned within the heart of the school. Guests then walked over to the Headmaster’s house where entertainment was provided by the RGS Junior Voices who performed a wonderful festive recital which included pieces from Benjamin Britten along with some Christmas classics, after which lunch was served. The 1675 Society was inaugurated in 2010 and its members have all pledged to remember the School in their Wills. Should you be interested in the 1675 Society, please contact Ruth Glover in the Foundation office: rag@reigategrammar.org


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1675 SCHOLARS

ELLIS CLARKE Bursary Recipient (RGS 2006-2013)

SAYINTHEN VIVEKANANTHAM Bursary Recipient (RGS 2002-2009)

ISOBEL TILLEY Bursary Recipient (RGS 2009-2013)

There is no gift for me that could have inspired as much gratitude as the bursary I received to study at RGS.

I was very fortunate to receive bursary support for my education at RGS through the seven years that I studied there. Without this funding, there was no possible way that I would have been able to study at RGS, or attend a school with comparable levels of opportunities.

MY AMAZING EDUCATION AT RGS WAS ONLY POSSIBLE DUE TO THE BURSARY I RECEIVED – WITHOUT IT, I WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL.

My education at RGS has provided me with the skills to pursue my ambitions and an environment where questions and challenges are always welcome. It was a privilege to engage with fellow pupils who shared an enthusiasm for learning, particularly through participating in extracurricular activities such as the Debating Society and as editor of the Pilgrim magazine. Receiving a bursary has enabled me to reap the rewards of the superior quality of teaching available, for which I have immense admiration.

Above the excellent quality of education at RGS, what stood out for me during my time there was the number of opportunities to engage in activities outside of the curriculum – whether it be sport, the Combined Cadet Force or the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. These opportunities allowed me to gain a vast array of skills that are translatable to a number of situations that come about in later life.

At RGS, teachers are always available and positive, encouraging the independent learning which has nurtured my strengths, generated confidence, and provided the expert guidance that has led to me fulfilling my ambition to study English Literature at Cambridge.

The strong educational foundation, and the multitude of skills gained through engaging in different activities, has enabled me to gain entry to Imperial College London to study medicine with an intercalated Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.

I HAVE ONLY MY SINCERE THANKS TO OFFER IN RETURN FOR THE GIFT OF EDUCATION, AND THE PROMISE THAT I WILL ALWAYS STRIVE TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT HAVE ARISEN AS A RESULT.

I am in the 5th year of my studies here, and have found that I have been able to lead groups and set up initiatives that go beyond my curriculum, and hopefully bring benefit to my community and society. This includes founding a charity that aims to improve medical education. Reflecting upon my journey, what I learnt at RGS is very much central to giving me the confidence and skills necessary to pursue the difficult ventures I am involved in today.

REFLECTING UPON MY JOURNEY, WHAT I LEARNT AT RGS IS VERY MUCH CENTRAL TO GIVING ME THE CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO PURSUE THE DIFFICULT VENTURES I AM INVOLVED IN TODAY.

I come from a single-parent family with financial difficulties, unlike the majority of students at RGS, and my bursary opened so many doors to me that would otherwise have remained closed. It has given me the opportunity to go on incredible trips and to explore the subjects that I am passionate about, particularly languages. I received so much support, not only throughout my academic career at Reigate Grammar School, but also during the (very daunting!) application process to study French and Italian at Cambridge, a university which I have wanted to go to for years. I felt it would provide me with the opportunities I needed to be successful and to improve my family’s situation. And I did it! The small class sizes and excellent teaching, as well as the fact that the teachers were always so willing to help and provide extra support and extra work, allowed me to stretch myself. It has also improved my confidence as I was always encouraged to contribute my ideas, to research and to ask questions. I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity. It has helped me achieve my dream of studying languages at one of the world’s best universities, something not possible for most young people from my background, and I have also made some incredible friends along the way. I will always be extremely thankful for the wonderful gift that I have received.

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FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES Annual Charity Golf Day FRIDAY 31 MAY

It was the perfect day to host the RGS Foundation 3rd Annual Charity Golf Day with a great turn out and sun and blue skies all day at Reigate Heath Golf Club.

WHITGIFT SCHOOL DEFEAT BRIGHTON COLLEGE IN AN EXCITING FINAL TO BECOME THE WINNERS OF THE NORTON ROSE REIGATE CHARITY 7s 2013

A very big thank you to everyone who supported the event through sponsorship, donation of prizes or through coming along to play on the day. A great day was had by all. We hope to see you again at a future RGS Foundation event soon.

VARSITY GATHERING THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER

The Varsity Gathering at Twickenham in December was a very enjoyable way to spend a Thursday afternoon! The RGS Foundation hosted over 30 Reigatians in the West Car Park at Twickenham Stadium. A fine afternoon saw Oxford continue their recent dominance of this event.

George Jones of Whitgift went on to be awarded the highly prized “Kukri Player of the Tournament”.

Congratulations to Whitgift School who lifted the Norton Rose Cup for the first time, after beating Brighton College with a 29-19 victory in a highly competitive final.

Elsewhere, Portsmouth Grammar School took the Plate Competition; Shield winners were Cranleigh School; and Bowl winners were The Judd School. In the Girls’ Competition, Monks Walk School triumphed over Christ’s Hospital 17-14 in an entertaining final. The Plate Competition was won by Pangbourne College for the second year running who beat Wisbech Grammar School 31-10. Congratulations go to Pippa Stephens of Monks Walk School who was awarded the “Kukri Player of the Tournament”. Many thanks must go to all the referees who gave a very professional performance throughout the day. In particular, we were extremely pleased to have the services of Wayne Barnes (International Referee) who took charge of the final. A special thanks to Chris Cracknell for presenting all the awards and for promoting RESTART, the official charity of The Rugby Players Association and Liz Beatty for supporting on the day. Finally, huge thanks go to all the supporters, PFA and helpers on the day who made this such a successful event.

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T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

RGS PROFESSIONALS CHARITY GOLF DAY THURSDAY 24TH OCTOBER 2013

We were blessed with excellent weather to mark the inaugural RGS Professionals Charity Golf Day which was held on the majestic Old Course at Royal Ashdown Forest in October. With 40 players competing in teams it was a close thing in the end with Richard Read, David Meldrum and colleagues of Meldrum Construction taking the honours by one stableford point! Longest drive went to JP Doyle of the RFU, whilst Sam Brill won the nearest to the pin competition.

of Lookers-Mercedes and Marcel Jansen of Wealth Engine, sponsored the event. All proceeds went to our charity – The RGS Foundation’s 1675 Bursary Fund. We look forward to welcoming RGS Professionals to next year’s event to be held on the OLD COURSE AT ROYAL ASHDOWN FOREST ON THURSDAY 09 OCTOBER 2014. If you are interested please contact Sean Davey: spd@reigategrammar.org

The RGS Foundation is very thankful to all those that supported this event and in particular to Jon Dadswell and Kames Capital who, along with Keith Jackman

ROYAL ASHDOWN FOREST GOLF CLUB IS SET STUNNINGLY, AFFORDING FANTASTIC VIEWS FROM THE HIGH PARTS OF THE COURSE ACROSS THE FOREST AND THE ROLLING SUSSEX COUNTRYSIDE. 09


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FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES

On behalf of the RGS Foundation team, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made a donation or pledge towards the 1675 Bursary Fund during this year’s telephone campaign and those who took the time to talk to one of our recent leaver callers.

The telephone campaign raised just over £42,000 through gifts over the phone and pledges which is a truly remarkable amount, so thank you. We have had some wonderful feedback from ORs who thoroughly enjoyed their conversation, the trip down memory lane, finding out what’s changed around the school, which teachers are still here and how the 1st XV Rugby team are getting on. The success of this year’s telephone campaign means that we can offer more deserving young pupils from financially disadvantaged backgrounds the excellent and well-rounded education offered by RGS through the 1675 Bursary Fund. The Fund provides 100% bursaries to talented children whose family circumstances mean that they are unable to afford an RGS education. Thank you again to those who made their gift during or following the telephone campaign, and for those who pledged to give, you can easily visit our ‘How to Donate’ page to safely pay via credit or debit card or to set up a regular payment. If you would like to pay by bank transfer or pay over the phone, please contact Hazel Cornick on 01737 222231. Sean Davey Development Director

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1 TELETHON 12 DAYS 15 CALLERS 162 DONATIONS AND PLEDGES 446 CONVERSATIONS AND A WHOPPING £42,000 PLEDGED! THE SUCCESS OF THIS YEAR’S TELEPHONE CAMPAIGN MEANS THAT WE CAN OFFER MORE DESERVING YOUNG PUPILS FROM FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS THE EXCELLENT AND WELLROUNDED EDUCATION OFFERED BY RGS THROUGH THE 1675 BURSARY FUND.


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RGS LONDON PROFESSIONALS The RGS London Professionals group was established by the Foundation in 2011 and aims to connect members of the Reigatian Community who have business in the London area; this includes parents, alumni and friends of RGS. Its primary purpose is to foster meaningful friendships and network support. Membership of the group is free with events being held throughout the year which offer excellent opportunities for socialising, connectivity and business networking. These events also provide learning platforms for everyone and help us to engage our London Professional community. If you are interested in joining the London Professionals group, please email your business details and a short career profile to foundation@reigategrammar.org and we will be delighted to welcome you to the group.

RGSLP WINTER GATHERING

THURSDAY 31 JANUARY Over 50 RGS London Professionals gathered at the Head Offices of Cluttons in Mayfair, for a social gathering and networking opportunity. The event began with Liz Peace, CEO of the British Property Federation, giving a very interesting and informative talk about her insights in to the world of commercial property and the government’s role. This was followed by a social reception for members. It was good to see the London Professionals’ group growing and welcoming a number of new faces.

Huge thanks go to RGSLP member Bill Siegle (Senior Partner at Cluttons and RGS Governor) and his team at Cluttons for hosting and supporting The RGS Foundation with this event.

PwC HOST ‘DIVERSITY’ EVENING FOR RGS LONDON PROFESSIONALS WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH

The latest RGS London Professionals event was hosted by PwC at their impressive Riverside offices at More London in March. The theme was ‘Diversity’ in the workplace. Members received a thought-provoking and interactive presentation that led to much discussion afterwards. The core message was that diversity is critical to success in the business world, not just in terms of creative thinking and bringing together ideas and cultures, but in terms of understanding our clients and customers better, and helping to facilitate delivery and action. There’s lots of thought on how the City embraces diversity, with laws, practices and the suggestion of quotas. As an individual, being different can bring challenges, and whilst you try to “fit in”, organisations are looking to find ways to encourage staff to “be themselves”. As a concept it’s pretty simple and straightforward. But making it part of an organisational culture is very complex. There is often a resistance to it because we as human beings like similarity and familiarity. Special thanks go to Karen Dukes (PwC Partner & RGS Parent), for all her support and enthusiasm with this event. It was a very interesting theme and another excellent opportunity for RGS London Professionals to meet and socialise under the RGS umbrella.

AS AN INDIVIDUAL, BEING DIFFERENT CAN BRING CHALLENGES, AND WHILST YOU TRY TO “FIT IN”, ORGANISATIONS ARE LOOKING TO FIND WAYS TO ENCOURAGE STAFF TO “BE THEMSELVES”.

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FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES

OVERSEAS GATHERINGS DUBAI GATHERING

HONG KONG FRIENDS OF RGS

Members of the Reigatian Community came together for an informal gathering held at The Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, hosted by Campbell Steedman (former parent) and Sean Davey (Development Director).

As part of an ever-growing and connected global community, the RGS banner flies proud in Hong Kong where a good number of Reigatians are based.

MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY

There is a significant group of Reigatians (former pupils, parents, friends of RGS) based in the UAE and this was an ideal opportunity to launch our very first gathering out there, particularly as this inaugural meeting coincided with the School’s 1st X1 Cricket Tour to Dubai. Therefore, it was great to see current RGS pupils, parents and staff socialising and networking with our ex-pat community. Special thanks go to Campbell Steedman for his outstanding hospitality. The event was enjoyed by all and we now look forward to building this community and connectivity further, as the UAE Friends of RGS. Finally, as we look to build this group, we would welcome news of any other Reigatians who are based in the UAE or have links. Please contact Sean Davey at The RGS Foundation: spd@reigategrammar.org 12

THURSDAY 21 MARCH

Sean Davey, Development Director, hosted a small gathering at The Cosmo Hotel in March and was also able to meet with several others in and around the Hong Kong Sevens event which dominates the city at this time. It was great to meet up with so many Reigatians who are involved in a range of professional activities on the island. There was a shared view that this community can grow and become even more connected in the months and years ahead. If you are based in Hong Kong or have business links, please contact Sean Davey: spd@reigategrammar.org

RGS SINGAPORE GATHERING FRIDAY 14 JUNE

Over 20 Reigatians gathered at the famous Fullerton Hotel in Singapore for an enjoyable social evening in June. As part of our drive to create a vibrant and connected Reigatian community, both at home and abroad, Singapore is the latest outpost to host such an event. There is estimated to be about 30 Reigatians living and working in the Singapore region and neighbouring countries. This is in addition to the sizeable community in Hong Kong.

From the success of the event it has become clear that there is a genuine desire to create an ‘RGS Singapore Friends’ group to provide more social opportunities for Reigatians based in the region. Mr Ryan Younger (OR ’91), who was instrumental in organising the soiree and a key support to Sean Davey, has agreed to become the official representative and ‘RGS Ambassador’ in Singapore. We are keen to hear from anyone based or travelling through the region so that they can connect with Ryan and the group. For further information about this group please contact: foundation@reigategrammar.org


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AMERICAN FRIENDS OF RGS NEW YORK CITY GATHERING

TUESDAY 05 NOVEMBER After the highly successful launch of the ‘American Friends’ group held at the Penn Club Manhattan in October 2012, it was wonderful to see this vibrant group meeting once more in NYC for their annual gathering, held at the relaxed (English pub) atmosphere of the James Wood Foundry on Guy Fawkes night. With significant numbers of Reigatians living, working and passing through the Big Apple it was particularly pleasing to see some of our younger ORs attending and a number of new faces. Also, our American Friends were able to meet our new Headmaster, Mr Shaun Fenton, who had made the journey from Reigate, keen to meet ORs and bring them up-to-date with developments at RGS. One newsworthy item was that distinguished OR Andrew Sullivan (’81), had to leave early to make the panel for a live CNN news show broadcast. We worked hard to convince him to wear his RGS Foundation tie! Also,

to emphasise the small world we live in, Phil Drury (’91) was excited to inform us of a ‘random’ meeting with a fellow Reigatian on a football field a few days earlier. Watching his children play soccer near his country retreat in up-state Millbrook, he heard an English accent. It did not take long to establish that they were both from the Grammar and now only lived a few hundred metres away from each other! Indeed, it was great to meet former RGS 1st XV Captain, Dan Jackson, who is now a successful photographer. Michael Lloyd (’86), as President of the AFoRGS and our official representative, was keen to highlight the momentum that has been achieved with this group and the opportunities that exist for both social interaction and mutual support. With a large group of Reigatians living in America and a number of UK Reigatians with business links, it is important for them to know that there are friends in NYC.

Phil Drury and Dan Jackson

If you find yourself in NYC and wish to link up then please contact Michael Lloyd: mlloyd@outlook.com or Sean Davey: spd@reigategrammar.org

WEST COAST GATHERING IN SEATTLE THURSDAY 07 NOVEMBER

With a vibrant and established community in NYC, it is important to observe that ORs also live in significant numbers elsewhere. David Mycroft ’76 was keen to see if there were other Reigatians on the west coast near where he is based. Indeed, there are over 30 Reigatians along the Pacific in key centres such as LA, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. The largest concentration is in the NW sector with around 16 living in Washington State and British Columbia. Another example of what a small world we live in was to re-connect two ORs from the same year group who didn’t know that they lived almost next door to one another!

On Thursday 07 November, several ORs living in the Seattle region met up at Oliver’s Lounge. It was an excellent evening with many stories being exchanged. Sadly, several could not make the gathering at such short notice due to various commitments but are very keen to support the concept. Therefore, the plan is to hold an annual ‘West Coast Friends’ gathering and to move the venues accordingly. David Mycroft has kindly offered to be the representative to liaise with RGS and Reigatians in the region. David can be contacted on: david@themycrofts.com The next gathering in 2014 will be in Vancouver, BC. Details to follow.

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REUNION

OLD REIGATIANS ANNUAL DINNER

WEST COUNTRY GATHERING

February saw the return of the Old Reigatians Annual Dinner, which was held for the first time at the new Old Reigatians Rugby Football Club, Park Lane. As with previous years, attendance was high and it was good to see so many people reminisce about their time at RGS. Members of the Reigatian Community were joined by honoured guests including Peter Harrison; Councillor Alex Horwood, Deputy Mayor of Reigate and Banstead; Crispin Blunt, Member of Parliament for Reigate; Shaun Fenton, Headmaster of RGS and his wife Anna; Robin Bligh, former staff; Keith Louis, former staff; Mike Hynard, guest speaker (RGS 1984-1991); and Head Girl, Lucy Hyams and Head Boy, Jamie Russell.

This year’s West Country Gathering took place in Bolham, near Tiverton, Devon, on Thursday 20 June. The get together started at Knighthayes Court, a National Trust Property where we were treated to a tour of their Kitchen Garden. The Head Gardner gave us a potted history of the garden which has been undergoing restoration over the past 12 years and then took us on a fascinating ‘behind the scenes’ tour. The garden specialises in varieties of produce grown in Victorian times and has a vast collection of heritage crops which are now almost extinct. For lunch we travelled a mile down the road to The Hartnoll Hotel where we enjoyed a delicious meal. Despite the 25 year age span between the oldest and youngest Old Reigatians in attendance, there were lively and emotional exchanges of memories of life, characters and traditions at RGS.

FEBRUARY

THURSDAY 2O JUNE

GRADUATION LUNCH FOR THE CLASS OF 2009 SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER

The class of 2009 gathered at Hartswood on Saturday 14th September for their Graduation Lunch.

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GOLD REUNION JULY

In early July a group of Old Reigatians assembled at 10.00am at the school to attend the 50th anniversary of students who left in 1963. As one might expect, so much had changed. To begin with the young people now seemed so much more at ease and self confident and a good deal smarter than we were. Perhaps the two boys who showed us around were on their best behaviour, but they were knowledgeable and polite. The school itself is well appointed with new science labs, a special drama theatre and a splendid new indoor swimming pool. And how strange to see girls around the place. I recognised a few faces even after all this time and not having set eyes on them for 50 years. Yes that must be Bob Sturgess, an excellent rugby player whom I once summoned up the nerve to tackle in some practice game. And Paul Mundy with whom I cycled down to Seaford one summer holiday. Oddly, he had no recollection of the trip, one of many such cycling jaunts he made no doubt. Funny how one remembers odd things and not others. The same goes for faces – you recognise some and not others and vice versa. Strangely, I noticed that nearly all of those who attended were on the science side in the sixth. Does that say something about those, like me, who chose history or English or languages? Perhaps. It was very agreeable to meet the three ex masters who were there who managed to force some O level maths and latin into my dull, ill organised brain and get the chance to chat with them over an excellent lunch in the headmaster’s garden. A major difference between then and now, a reflection of the way education generally has moved on, was the friendly interaction between teacher and pupil – almost cordial! Back in the ‘60s it was very much them and us, separated by a formality and, in some cases, a degree of fear even. Only too soon it was time to go. I wonder if I shall meet up with any of them again?


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THEY’VE ALL GROWN OLD, BALD AND FAT… NOBODY RECOGNISED ME!

SILVER REUNION FOR THE CLASSES OF 1988 & 1989 SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER

RGS welcomed back almost 120 former pupils and staff from 25 years ago to the Silver Reunion at the school. The assembled alums included many locals (some of whom are current RGS parents)but also a significant number from further afield; Reigatians came from Switzerland, Ireland, New York and New Zealand as well as all corners of the UK. Also, for four couples attending, the romance all began at RGS! Our guests were welcomed by Hugo Evans, the current Head Boy of RGS, the Headmaster Shaun Fenton, and Sean Davey (Foundation & Alumni Director) who took everyone back to the decade of questionable hair-styles, bright dress and naff music. Meanwhile, previous Heads of School Peter Lee (1988) and Chris Horton (1989) went back in time to the world of assemblies and gave thanks for the evening. There was much interest and amusement with the photos on display, particularly those from early school record cards! We are very

thankful to Kate Gray, Lucy Lee and Ian Morris for supplying a range of other photos. There was a real buzz on the night with great banter being enjoyed by all. Friendships re-kindled and many happy memories and stories were re-told. All of this was held in the current sixth form centre (the dining hall ‘in the day’). It was appropriate therefore that we were treated to such excellent cuisine by Paul Rosser and his team. With contact details exchanged and farewells made a number of hardy souls made their way to the Venture Inn (formerly Desert Rat)…with the permission of Aubs of course! Aubs joke: A man returns home from a 25-year reunion at his old school. His wife is keen to know how the evening went. He tells her, “they’ve all grown old, bald and fat…nobody recognised me!”

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REUNION

MADRID REUNION

THURSDAY 07 NOVEMBER Over recent years it has become something of a school tradition to hold annual ‘Golden Jubilee’ reunions for Old Reigatians to mark the intervening fifty years since they departed the hallowed portals of RGS to make their various ways in the wider world. In 2011 various survivors from the ’Class of 61’ still able to remember their way to ‘Grammar School Hill’ were reunited during a rain soaked, but thoroughly enjoyable June day following which several of them, some of whom had met regularly together over the years, resolved to continue mutual reminiscences of their schooldays at monthly lunches held at a convenient pub in Redhill as well as by means of a ‘closed’ Internet correspondence circle. Earlier this year, during which the majority of members of ‘Class of 61’celebrated their 70th birthdays, it was suggested by Alan MATTHEWS, who has lived for many years in Madrid, that those who wished might like to meet together in the Spanish capital for a ‘long weekend’ of celebrations to mark the passing of their mutual 70th birthdays in something of a traditional Spanish cultural fashion. So it came about that suitable arrangements were duly made and eight members of the ‘Class of 61’, including wives and partners, made their various ways from locations as far removed as San Francisco, Stockholm, and various more mundane locations in southern England to a conveniently located hotel in central Madrid a mere stone’s throw from Alan’s home, where all gathered on the evening of Saturday 5th October for an evening of traditional gourmet culinary Spanish overindulgence. Now in 1961, as well as for many years previously, it was customary at the beginning of each term for the assembled school to sing the rousing hymn ‘Lord Behold Us With Thy Blessing’ and since Ken GUNDRY, who had travelled from his home in California and who had served as school pianist all those years ago, was still able to ‘perform’ the requisite accompaniment on Alan’s piano, eight of us were led by him into an enthusiastic and lusty ‘performance’ of the hymn’s four verses during which I, and also I suspect several others, were mentally transported back in time to the rather Spartan school gym of yesteryear, the rafters of which would resonate to the sound of some 600 boys’ 16

voices celebrating their return from the school holidays, while our various ladies gazed in awe upon us at a talented display of which they had doubtless thought us incapable. The singing ended, by way of a total contrast and at Alan’s request, John STREETER sat himself at the piano and performed an improvised boogie-woogie after the style of Albert AMMONS following which, in mutually syncopated fashion and shortly after 9.30pm, everyone adjourned to a nearby ‘tapas y raciones’ restaurant where we all sat at a long table to enjoy a seemingly endless variety of memorable Spanish food and wine, the final serving of which was completed as the hour approached 1am and during which Alan rose to his feet to welcome us all to Madrid, express his pleasure at hosting what was proving to be a truly memorable occasion, and make a toast to our mutual 70th birthdays which was rousingly received with spontaneous acclaim from all present. The following day saw us gathered for an indulgent lunchtime banquet at a wellappointed restaurant on the outskirts of Madrid where Alan had arranged for our group to occupy a private room decorated in fine antique Spanish style in which another long table had been set and where we all enjoyed a ‘traditional’ lunch consisting of a virtual cornucopia of courses during which I, and many others, savoured the most succulent roast lamb we’d ever enjoyed. Once again a variety of fine Spanish wines and spirits were served, with the animated

conversation of those present increasing in direct proportion to the volume consumed and during which Chris GAYFORD rose determinedly to his feet on behalf of all present eloquently to thank Alan and his wife for all that they had done to make the weekend so perfect. The lunch, which had commenced at 2.30pm, drew to a close shortly before 6pm after which we all returned to Alan’s home where a performance of the end of term hymn ‘Lord Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing’ was rousingly and harmoniously performed by eight male voices once again under the baton of Ken GUNDRY at the piano. And in such a manner the ‘official’ part of a long weekend came to its conclusion with all present agreeing that there were insufficient superlatives to describe their pleasure at having participated in a truly wonderful reunion, during which all had variously and individually sampled some of the other cultural delights only to be seen and appreciated in Madrid. And, should there be any doubt, I’m talking here about the architectural and artistic masterpieces with which the city abounds! A one off? We’ll all be 71 next year – time for another international celebration?

John STREETER (RGS 1954-1961)


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

UNIVERSITY HONOURS 2013 If you would like us to include your University qualification in the next issue, please email foundation@reigategrammar.org

Amy Welch Music, Violin Performance Royal Northern College of Music BMus / 1st / 2013 Ellen Nicholson Geography University of Exeter BA / 2:1 / 2013 Ed Jones Resource and Applied Geology University of Birmingham MSci / 2:1 / 2013 Ben Constant Business Management University of East Anglia Bsc Hons / 1st / 2013 Emma Scott Classics Durham University BA Hons / 1st / 2013

Jack Hayes History University of Southampton BA / 2:1 / 2013

Tas Cooper Spanish Linguistic Studies University of Southampton BA / 2:1 / 2013

Charlotte Irvine Philosophy University of Warwick BA / 2:1 / 2013

Alex Bartlett Classics King's College London BA / 1st / 2013

Natalie George Geography Loughborough University BSc / 2:1 / 2013

Chris Douse Theology & Religious Studies University of Cambridge BA (Hons) Cantab 2:1 / 2013

Blaize Harris Business Management Leeds Metropolitan University BA / 2:1 / 2013 Tom Herrington Mathematics University of Bath BSc (Thick sandwich) / 1st / 2013

Camilla Finnegan Ali Phillips Economics Economics The University of Bath University of York BSc (Hons) / 2:1 / 2013 BSc / 1st / 2013 William Fry Biochemistry with Molecular Medicine University of Nottingham BSc Hons / 2:1 / 2013 Luke Tucker Chemistry and Physics within the Natural Sciences Programme Durham University MSci / 1st / 2013 Georgia Pritchard Forensic Chemistry University of the West of England (UWE) BSc / 2:2 / 2013

Julian Hollingworth Advanced Social Work Goldsmith College, University of London MA / Distinction / 2013 Natasha Rees Archaeology and Anthropology University of Oxford, Hertford College BA / 2:1 / 2013 Cara McGoogan English Language and Literature University of Nottingham BA / 1st / 2013

Charlotte Mason History University of Exeter BA / 2:1 / 2013 Amelia Erratt History of Art University of York BA / 2:1 / 2013 James Brooker Chemistry Loughborough University MChem / 2:1 / 2013

Maria Sian Combined Honours English and Sam Willmott Legal Studies Law Manchester Metropolitan University of Warwick University, Cheshire Campus LLB / 2:1 / 2013 BA Hons / 1st / 2013 Matt Barnaville Music Cardiff University BMus Hons / 2:1 / 2013 Sam Hanlan Music Technology University of Glamorgan (since re-named University of South Wales) BSc / 1st / 2013

Katie Cattell German Royal Holloway, University of London MA by Research Distinction / 2013 Sayinthen Vivekanantham Neuroscience and Mental Health Imperial College London Intercalated BSc in MBBS 2:1 / 2013

HONOURS LIST 2013 DR FRANCIS CRANE Geography Teacher RGS 1983 – 1989 Dr Crane was listed in the New Year’s Honours List 2013 for his 30 year service to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

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FEATURES

SNAPSHOT IN TIME DAVID WALLIAMS SNAPSHOT

(RGS 1981-1989) Last summer saw David Walliams return to RGS to film a television programme, ‘Snapshot in Time for ITV’, in which he embarks on a journey back to his past to recapture the defining moment when he made his stage debut at RGS. David was 11 years old when he played Queen Henrietta Maria in a production of All the King’s Men. He believes that this was the point which marked his start on a path that would ultimately lead to him becoming one of Britain’s most successful and popular entertainers.

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The programme sees David reunited with his old school friends and teachers to re-enact a photograph taken from the school play. David’s journey takes him into the past, his childhood, his old home and RGS as he is reunited with his old school friends and discovers what has happened since the last time they were together, 30 years ago. The programme ‘Snapshot in Time’ was aired on Thursday 6 June 2013, 9pm on ITV.


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FEATURES

Back together: me, Fatboy Slim and the rest of the Upwardly Mobile Gang Andrew Sullivan (RGS 1974-1981) Published: 23 June 2013

I

was a rather small 11-year-old when I first clambered onto the 409 bus at the top of my street in East Grinstead and then changed for the 410 bus at Godstone to go to my grammar school in Reigate, Surrey. It took about an hour and a quarter. I clutched my bus passes in my little sweaty hands, and as more and more schoolboys got on the bus, my life changed. I became a grammar-school boy – and it will never leave me. Mercifully, I have the luxury of not having to explain the atmosphere because Alan Bennett has already done it for me. My school, Reigate Grammar, was almost exactly the same as the grammar school portrayed in The History Boys. The play and film were set in 1983; I studied for a place at Oxford in history and left Reigate in 1981. We too had a charismatic and somewhat strange history teacher who lived in a converted cricket pavilion. Our ears too were full of the Vapors, the Jam and New Order; each morning we would compete to see who could remember the most Monty Python jokes. We were all quite clever – but, because this was a state school, we also had a real mix of backgrounds (at least as far as Surrey went). And because this was still the 1970s, the culture was rougher than it is today. Our class was known for being full of hard lads, as we called them. At the end of our O-levels, one of our collective band of brothers burnt our then prefab classroom to the ground in a final act of defiance. Some mornings, the police showed up to complain about the general rabble on the 410 bus; and I’m pretty sure we made life a living hell for some teachers, their weaknesses immediately detected by the male teenage mind and then mercilessly exploited. All for a laugh, of course. And the laughs made us one. It was the political 1970s as well – the era of Thatcher and the Anti-Nazi League and a polarisation that tore the country apart, as we saw when the whole period welled up again recently after the Iron Lady’s demise. I was on the hard Thatcherite right and a Catholic; my main sparring partner in my class also got on the 410 bus every morning, a little after I did, and he was just as passionate as I was – but very left-wing. 20

We spent almost every minute of the bus trip yelling at each other about politics. He’d bring books to lecture me; he scoured every piece of news to prove me wrong; heck, he even showed up at Christian Union meetings (he was an atheist, I recall) to take my arguments apart. And the feeling was mutual. He’s now the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer. I sat right behind him in strict alphabetical order for seven years. In a class reunion last week we were joined by other friends, whose less-famous names still ring in my ears from the daily roll-calls. It was the first time in a long, long while that a friend, with whom I published a crude and funny newsletter making fun of the headmaster, called me Sully, the same way he would call me Sully when we were 12. After 30 years resident in America, it’s hard to explain how great that felt. Not far away from us was Quentin Leo Cook, a posh but anarchic fellow who is now known, apparently, to music fans as Fatboy Slim. Next door was another life-long friend, Andrew Cooper, not the Diet Coke model, but David Cameron’s adviser and Populus pollster. He was pretty leftwing back then too. Me – I was the clever school swot, and, apart from publishing scurrilous tracts and refusing to be a prefect, was otherwise a good boy. The bonds deepened as the years went by. When our class was going to be broken up in the third year, we protested so loudly that the headmaster decided to keep us together, despite our reputation. It wasn’t that the collective outweighed our individual personalities. In some ways, it helped us develop them, and still return to the clan we felt at home among. I wrote a little piece in the school magazine just before I left: “There are other mountains to climb, but I felt part of this one.” And I really did. I was asked a couple of years ago to do an “It Gets Better” video – the ones where a happy gay man describes his own bullied past to help those youngsters now in the same spot. I turned it down. For me it never got better than school. For some reason, I was never bullied as a “poof”. In fact, everyone I spoke to swore they had no idea until I came out later. I was ridiculed for being a swot, which may have just overruled any other identity. But I was – through the mordant Private Eye humour, old jokes and


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

ME – I WAS THE CLEVER SCHOOL SWOT, AND, APART FROM PUBLISHING SCURRILOUS TRACTS AND REFUSING TO BE A PREFECT, WAS OTHERWISE A GOOD BOY.

private nicknames – ridiculed as well as loved. I went back to the school itself last Monday. It was very different but also very much the same. While I was there in 1975, the then Labour government wanted to abolish this 300-year-old treasure and turn it into a comprehensive, combined with a girls’ school nearby. Somehow, the governors and headmaster scraped enough money together to go independent, and the school, now thoroughly co-ed, lives on, its unique inheritance saved from Shirley Williams’s class hatred for ever. And so much of that old school remains to this day: the kind of ethos, pride and tradition that only an institution of this age (started in 1675) could create and nurture. Yes, it was always about rugby, but the year I arrived we sent more children from modest backgrounds to Oxbridge than any other state school in the country. When the left destroyed this unique avenue for social

mobility, in favour of the cult of equality of outcomes, it made me a conservative. Perspective is a key word in the end. And good education is an elusive thing. All I know now is that when excellence happens, you should do all you can to preserve it. The destruction of the grammar schools was arguably the greatest act of social vandalism of the last century. So now I’m going to pay for another young kid like me to have the same opportunity that the British left denied to so many others since. It’s part of a new attempt to get former pupils to give bursaries to disadvantaged future ones, to give back what we were given. Reigate gave me the beginning of a wider life and a wider world. But really, I wish it had never ended. And as I got plastered late last Thursday with that band of brothers, it occurred to me that, in some ways, it never did. 21


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FEATURES

EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD NELSON MANDELA

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Squatter camp near Cape Town airport with Table Mountain in the background

Chief Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, President FW de Klerk and President Nelson Mandela, Nobel Square, Waterfront, Cape Town.

University of Cape Town

David and his wife

I

will never forget the TV pictures of the long queues to vote in South Africa’s first democratic election, on April 27th 1994. Any South African born since that date regards themselves as “Born Free” and understands the debt they owe Nelson Mandela for their freedom, but only those with longer memories can appreciate what liberation from the apartheid regime really meant. I started at Reigate Grammar School in 1956 and was fortunate to have outstanding teachers, particularly in the sciences. But I owe my early political education to a friend who wore a CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) badge on one lapel of his blazer and an Anti-Apartheid badge on the other. Two books, “Cry the Beloved Country” (Alan Paton), and “Naught for your comfort” (Trevor Huddleston) opened my eyes to the apartheid system which gave the white population a high standard of living, education and health care, yet Black, Indian and Coloured people had no vote, and were subject to Draconian laws regarding ownership of land and freedom of movement. A Minister explained that, “We should not give the Natives any academic education. If we do, who is going to do the manual labour in the community?” I obtained my medical degree in 1969. During the 1970s my wife and I worked at Baragwanath Hospital in the Black township of Soweto on the edge of Johannesburg and we realised that there were many brave people, of all races, who opposed the apartheid system. Now, forty years later, we have retired to

a small town 120 miles from Cape Town and enjoy the wonderful climate, magnificent scenery and superb wine – but it is hard to sit back and relax when there is so much need. When apartheid ended, the new government promised to improve the educational system, but literacy and numeracy standards among most non-white children are still dismal, with predictable effects on Matriculation results (roughly like UK A-levels) and university entrance. Our Rotary club participates in a university bursary and mentoring scheme run by a not-for-profit organisation called REAP (Rural Education Access Programme). The pupils we interview battle with extreme poverty, abuse, unemployment, death of parents from AIDS or TB, and alcoholism or drug addiction. Families often live in over-crowded corrugated iron shacks – one girl told us that she studies in the (outside) toilet. Amazingly, some young people overcome these disadvantages, like one REAP student who will soon complete a pharmacy degree. Siphe November, a ten year old with an astonishing talent for ballet, was “discovered” by a local dance teacher (Google him!), and with the support of our town now has a full scholarship with the Canadian National Ballet. Such experiences encourage us – but make us wonder how much natural talent is wasted – “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen / And waste its sweetness on the desert air”. (Thomas Gray, 1751).

David Hall (RGS 1956-63) d.hall@sheffield.ac.uk

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FEATURES

HOUSES AND TORCHES

I

must apologise to regular readers of this column for its absence from the last Reigatian. This was a direct consequence of my failure to note the handover of editorial responsibility from Kate Townsend - to whom many thanks for her initial stewardship – to Rachel Robinson. From my long experience of working alongside Rachel on The Pilgrim, I know she will be a worthy successor. Speaking of handovers and stewardship, I’m sorry to tell you that as a result of another recent handover, the responsibilities I enjoyed so much for two years on Saturdays at the Hartswood Pavilion passed last September to someone else. I’m glad, though, to report that I shall be continuing my work at School as a Foundation Ambassador, and correspondents can therefore still reach me at dcj@reigategrammar.org. It was partly a result of the reorganisation at Hartswood that I was not present at the 2013 Sports Day – itself subject to significant change in that it was once more held, as used to be the case, on a weekday, albeit in school time rather than after hours. Cliché it may be, but what goes around comes around, not least with the re-establishment in competition at that Sports Day of a House System in the School. While not exactly a phoenix from the ashes – there are four houses rather than eight, reflecting coeducation and allowing the numbers necessary for effective internal competition, and their names are all new – here is what seems to me another example of the way in which, since 1997 and the advent of Mr Blair’s government, so many eye-catching initiatives, in this case the abolition of the Houses, have foundered once the initial glitter had subsided, allowing things after the due passage of time to return to what had always been accepted as a common sense approach. The problem with common sense, I’ve long suspected, is that scientists and those who speak in jargon can’t measure it, let alone set targets in it, and they regard it therefore as beyond the pale. 24

Anyway, enough of the soapbox. I was a Housemaster once at Reigate Grammar School – looking after Linkfield from the late Seventies until 1983, when the year group system was implemented. My good friend and school archivist, Peter Burgess, is writing a complementary piece to this for a future edition, so I shall confine my historical remarks here about the former house system – and its consequences for the form system – to a few personal experiences. When I arrived in 1975 the three junior year groups were organised into forms according to their form teachers’ surname initials – 1F, 1L, 2M and so on – but from the Fourth Form initially, and subsequently from the Third Form too, the division of personnel was according to houses. I know that historically the combinations had varied but throughout my acquaintance with them, the split was between DP, KU, LR and WN – which is to say Doods (when I started, with Allan Sims ferociously in charge), Priory (Ivor Nowell), Kinnersley (Keith Louis), Underhill (Cedric Harrald: as a linguist I was assigned to Underhill, thus encountering in house assemblies the adventures of Joshua Slocombe, not to mention the HBW – the Harrald Biscuit of the Week), Linkfield (Aubs), Redstone (Dan Clarke), Wray (George Paxton) and Northdown (Adrian Alabaster) – and so it was that in September 1976 there was constituted within the form system what I shall always think of as ‘my’ 3KU. Allow me to digress briefly, for it was only in June last year that the School received a memorable visit and address to the Lower Sixth from Andrew Sullivan, sometime President of the Oxford Union, formerly Editor in Boston of the ‘New Republic’, campaigner for gay marriage, and currently the driving force of that phenomenal blog commenting on current affairs, ‘The Daily Beast’. Andrew was also once a denizen of 3KU, alongside among others the one-day-tobe Fat Boy Slim, Norman Cook, although he wasn’t known as Norman in those days. Courtesy of Cedric Harrald I did a bit of

vertical tutoring, rare at the time: I kept the group under my tutorship for a second twelvemonth, into the Fourth Form, and then at the end of that they campaigned not to be broken up, as was usually the case when forms were recast at the start of the Fifth. Next to me as I write is the original copy of the petition by which they moved Howard Ballance to accede to their wishes. It’s penned by Sullivan, signed by all and bears a triumphant handwritten quotation by Cook: “Quote Sham 69: if the kids are united, they can never be divided” – early indications of the different career paths those two were to tread. Alongside rebuilding our First XI from an early slump following Adrian Alabaster’s handing on the torch after his wonderful Muttucumaru-inspired run of 41 games unbeaten, I suppose on reflection that my work with 3KU was my most significant early achievement at the School. Because of it, as I’ve written elsewhere I was able fifteen years or so ago to secure an invitation to Norman Cook’s home in Brighton so that two of my budding radio journalists (anyone remember Progress FM?) could interview him (I’ve been dining out ever since on the story of the cup of tea Zoe Ball made me with her own fair hand in her own kitchen). When I had lunch last year with Andrew Sullivan at 1 Chart Lane with Mr and Mrs Fenton and Sean Davey, the memories were flowing even faster than the Head’s hospitality, and I know that the process continued the following week at the Institute of Directors in London, where at the Foundation Dinner Andrew rapidly re-organised the entire seating plan so that he could sit among his compadres from those far-off days - including the current DPP Keir Starmer, who wasn’t in 3KU but in the next classroom along, with Andrew Cooper who currently works at 10 Downing St. It truly was a remarkable year group. The following Sunday Andrew captured its atmosphere wonderfully in the article for The Sunday Times which made me feel extremely nostalgic, but also very proud (see p.20). That petition I mentioned lies in a file


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of mine containing all sorts: including contemporary handwritten essays about their two years’ experience in the form by every member of 3KU, Cook and Sullivan not least – bar just one naysayer. If I can ever obtain the necessary permissions I have it in mind to publish them all together one day. Courtesy of Paul Vickers, a member of the form, I have a splendid piece of scholarship regarding the traceable origins of every family name in the list, and thus I can tell you that the roll I called every day for two years went like this: Mark Adams; Colin Anderson; Andrew Babington; Stephen Bell; Jim Cole; Quentin Cook; Peter Cooper; David Firth; Andrew Frigaard; Andrew Gregory; Paul Hammond; Simon Hill; Nick King; Graham Mackrell; ‘OB’ O’Brien; Ian Pearce; Tony Prosser; Neil Ready; Nic Rudrum; Geoff Scopes; Tony Slatter; Andrew Sullivan; Mark Trezise; Andrew Tyler; Duncan Vasey; Paul Vickers; Ian Whitworth; Andrew Wilcox; and Mark Worthington.

junior and senior house classroom assemblies, crowded themselves); housemasters’ meetings before those assemblies, in the Head’s study, where we all stood and Howard Ballance sat, indelibly reinforcing the pecking order; refereeing some of the most ferociously competitive rugby I ever came across in the senior house competition; happy lazy Seventies summer days as organiser of house cricket, latterly on a six-a-side basis, at St Alban’s Road and Wallfield with Richard Stather and Graham Best. Somebody said to me they remembered that one of my housemasterly slogans was: “Let’s be bothered, eh?” Wouldn’t make a bad epitaph. Things were never quite the same once John Hamlin established a parallel Year Group system in 1983. I remember wondering where his invocation to “go away and make your own job” might lead in those devil-takethe-hindmost, loadsamoney Thatcherite days, and hard as Mike Fox, Martin Russell,

THE PROBLEM WITH COMMON SENSE, I’VE LONG SUSPECTED, IS THAT SCIENTISTS AND THOSE WHO SPEAK IN JARGON CAN’T MEASURE IT, LET ALONE SET TARGETS IN IT, AND THEY REGARD IT THEREFORE AS BEYOND THE PALE. Enough digression. When Aubs decided that he wished to hand on the torch of Linkfield House to someone younger I emerged from the arcane process by which in those days such things were decided, and duly took over for the period until I was appointed Head of 6th Form, and succeeded in the House by Stuart Nicholson. It thus the remarkable fact that the final three Housemasters of Linkfield in succession are in 2013 the Senior Emeritus Ambassador to the Foundation, and its two current appointed Ambassadors. It may or may not have been coincidence that Linkfield House was steered over such a long period by three of us who (or so I like to think) in our very different ways cared a great deal about the School. With Peter Burgess intending to write more about the school houses I should probably add here only a few scattered memories: of trying to accommodate the whole house on important days in one classroom (impossible; and therefore normally we used to split twice a week into

Graham Best and I tried (for we were the four founding leaders of the year groups), responsibilities between year groups and houses, the pastoral and the academic, were never completely clear. Some of those involved regarded the situation with equanimity; some with a more combative and competitive attitude. It’s fair I think to say there was sometimes a degree of friction, and there was never going to be a completely happy resolution. I think it’s also fair to say that the resolution arrived at in the late Nineties by Paul Dixon – the abolition of the House System - was not universally regarded as one of the more popular decisions at the School. By then I was part of neither system and had no role in what happened; I think, though, that it’s pretty much by common consent that any sort of internal competition, and above all the annual Sports Day, from that day on lacked ‘bite’. As the pace of change quickened through the Eighties and Nineties, and technology advanced, so, inevitably, did the tendency sometimes to

chuck out the baby with the bathwater. Something of the kind to which I was party, and unsuccessful in influencing, was the rebranding of the School logo. Personally I could never see why more than 300 years of history, and a badge and motto – Ne Wonne Ne Ne’er Shalle in one of its versions – which had long been good enough for school, town and the entire Holmesdale Valley – should be one baby disappearing with the soapsuds. But disappear it did, along with the legend ‘REI’ beneath the redesigned castle logo, which was replaced by ‘RGS’ – of which there were, and are, quite a number (the Royal Grammar Schools) up and down the land. At least tradition is maintained by what remains of the Old Reigatian Association; and, anachronistically, in the ‘milk bottle top’ prefects’ badges. Heaven forfend that I should be a Luddite, however much I may value tradition and continuity, but once or twice in this piece I’ve mentioned the concept of handing on torches. I just have a nagging fear that amid the tumultuous pace of 21st Century life, buffeted by the gales of rapid change and individuals’ desire to make a mark, we occasionally lose sight of the fact that we may be torchbearers, but our time in the role can only be brief: for every one of us is just a tiny part of something overarching, infinitely larger and more important. I loved the way that marvellous man, the late astronomer and philosopher Carl Sagan, suggested in his memorable work ‘Cosmos’ (1981) that we are all grains of sand on “… the shores of the cosmic ocean … this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky”. Or as Andrew Sullivan wrote, rather more pithily, during his time at the School and also in a nod in The Sunday Times to those long-gone days: “perspective is a key word in the end”. And now there is another handover, and more new stewardship: in their turn the school Houses are rebranded, reinvigorated, reborn; and for a time their members too become custodians and torchbearers, as they inaugurate a proud, brand new tradition. On the wave of excitement and commitment you have inspired in these heady summer days of 2013: hail Bird, Cranston, Hodgson and Williamson! Long may you live and prosper.

David Jones (RGS 1975-2011) 25


T H E R E I G AT I A N 2 013

FEATURES

IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITH THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE Paul Hyder (RGS 1976-1982)

I attended RGS from 1975 to 1982; my year group were the last of the 11+. The following year RGS went Independent. While not the best academically as my school reports will testify I enjoyed practical subjects (wood & metal work) and excelled in the CCF RAF section being awarded the Mitchiner Cup. After leaving RGS I joined the RAF as a Direct Entry Flight Systems Technician and spent some time in the Falkland Islands and was stationed in RAF Germany on Harriers at the time the Berlin Wall came down. At the completion of my 9 year enlistment I migrated to Perth, Australia with my wife Janette and our first child Ben. We lived in Perth for 10 years where I worked in electronics, and then at age 38 I enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Avionics Technician. I now specialise as an Armament Technician (Gunnie) and maintain the BAE Systems Hawk Mk 127 Lead-In-Fighter Jet Trainer. We have been stationed in Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and Sydney and returned to Perth last year. I have been selected for Overseas Operational Duty twice in my 11 years of Service and this is the story of my last tour.

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9:00AM WEDNESDAY MORNING and I am about to leave home bound for Operational Service in the Middle East with the Australian Defence Force. My bags are packed and as the car arrives to take me to the airport I say my goodbyes to my wife and children. DAY 1 briefings include information on the Base we are currently at, working routine, local customs, and weapons handling tests which we must all pass, we are also issued with additional equipment including Modular Combat Body Armour System (MCBAS), helmet, pouches for medical, ammunition, water, etc. and our personal weapon the Steyr.

MORNING COMES ON DAY 2 all too soon and after breakfast back on the bus for more lectures. Today we learn about Afghanistan, its history, local customs and cultures, the role of the International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT), training the Afghan Security Forces and an introduction to the threat of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). We also learn about the Australian Bases within Afghanistan, self-preservation in the event of an IED attack both on patrol in convoy and on foot; and actions-on in the event of in-direct rocket attack against the base. DAY 3 starts at 5:30 and is the culmination of all the lectures with practical scenarios. We are to take part in a bullring and are split into 3 groups, approximately 30 in each. Group 1 will participate in a live range practice and zero in the sights of their weapon, the Australian Steyr 5.56mm Assault Rifle.

Group 2 are to complete Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Group 3 will enter the Counter IED Training Lanes. SUNDAY MORNING I report for work, I am the Assistant Base Armament Manager responsible for the storing, handling and transport of any explosives or ammunition within the base. I am also part of a 2 man Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) Team responsible for rendering safe any suspicious packages or items found on the base. MONDAYS we regularly visit the bulk explosives store to carry out a stock check and to monitor temperature and humidity. All items are stored in refrigerated shipping containers to prolong their life. TUESDAY is training day when we practise our IEDD techniques.

WHEN WEARING THE BOMB SUIT OUR IQ DROPS TO ZERO AS WE GO INTO AUTO MODE PARTIALLY DUE TO THE OVERALL WEIGHT OF AN ADDITIONAL 40KG AND PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC ENVIRONMENT THAT WE ARE NOW IN.

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FEATURES IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITH THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE WEDNESDAYS EVERY 2 WEEKS we have to complete another weapons handling test. We must maintain our currency throughout the tour. THURSDAY is spent visiting the quartermaster store to collect old and damaged uniform for disposal; we also visit the other Coalition partners where we collect any damaged ammunition that is unsafe to be fired. This is in preparation for Friday as this is the highlight of the week when we get to practise our demolition skills. FRIDAY MORNING it is up early and after breakfast collect ammunition and ordnance that requires disposal from the storage area, diesel fuel and the old clothing. The incendiary destructors are prepared and placed in the bin, they are electrically initiated and burn at a high temperature so as to ignite the wood and diesel soaked clothing. We clear the area and fire the destructors and the burn commences. Normally things go smoothly, however FRIDAY 25TH FEBRUARY was a different story and the contents of the Burn detonated resulting in a mass catastrophic event scattering debris over 400 metres from the point of origin. The noise was deafening and could be heard back on base. We spent the rest of the day picking up small pieces of metal, ammunition and wood and making the area safe. ONE OTHER FRIDAY turned out to be very interesting on a different level. Just after we had ignited the burn our phone rang. A suspicious bag had been discovered unattended on the flight line. We advised that we would be in attendance as soon as possible; we had to wait for the burn to finish. Subsequently we rushed back to the base and drove to the main aircraft parking area. A maintenance technician had found a small backpack lying on top of a mobile power cart, the area had been cordoned off and Security Police had set up an incident post at a safe distance. We prepare our kit and proceed forward to within 50 metres of the bag where we set up our forward position. The Robot is sent to try to remove the bag, however due to the height of the top of the power cart the bag cannot be reached, so wearing protective Bomb Suit off goes my boss to investigate. When wearing the Bomb 28

Suit our IQ drops to zero as we go into auto mode partially due to the overall weight of an additional 40 kilograms and partly because of the claustrophobic environment that we are now in. Suddenly over the radio we are informed that the owner of the bag has been contacted and has come to collect it. Panic averted we pack up and the day ends just like any other. SATURDAY comes around all too quickly as another aircraft has arrived during the week and there are more fresh faces to pass through the CIED Lane. I now have to switch from student to instructor as we provide the CIED training. Despite repeating myself 3 times every Saturday for the next 4 months and again mid-week during rotation changes I find this one of the most enjoyable tasks that I have to carry out. My audience consists of members of all 3 services from the most junior rank to 3 Star Officers, Prime Minister, Politicians, Entertainers and Reporters. THE DAILY ROUTINE is mundane but vitally important to the personnel deployed to Afghanistan and the monotony is only broken when the unexpected occurs. We regularly visit different sections within the Australian Camp, mainly so that they can put a face to the name. On occasions we meet with the other Coalition Partners to discuss safety issues with regard to explosives and ammunition. Sometimes we get called out at night to assist with transport aircraft that land carrying supplies en route to Afghanistan, we determine where the aircraft should park so as not to be a danger to other facilities. We manage to keep our sense of humour throughout the tour despite the long hours, and temperatures reaching 65 degrees Celsius in the shade in summer. We have visits from Forces Entertainment Shows, TV, newspapers, the internet and regular communication from home. Personalising our rooms is vital to morale as are organised group participation activities within the camp. Food is a great comfort and the mess prepare special menus at least once a month: curry, seafood, and pasta nights are always popular. A gymnasium is provided to burn off those extra calories and there are daily fitness sessions. We celebrate Christmas and other significant dates throughout the year and jump at the chance of the occasional few hours off base a month to the local city for shopping and sight-seeing.

THE ONLY DOWN POINT is when an Australian soldier is killed in Afghanistan and repatriated through the base. Everyone is lined up on the tarmac as the hearse carrying the casket drives up to the Honour Guard. Pall bearers carry the casket draped in the Australian National Flag onto the ramp of a C17 Transport aircraft as a lone piper plays. When the aircraft taxies and takes off we all salute. Many have tears in their eyes; it is a very moving and sombre occasion.

FINALLY THE 4 MONTH TOUR IS NEARING COMPLETION. Our replacements arrive the week before we are due to leave and after they finish the RSO&I training we complete a handover. We attend Medical for a check-up and several other debriefings then it’s the day of departure. Bags are packed and dropped off, rooms cleaned and vacated and all that remains is to sit around for the next 6 hours until we board the plane and fly back home to our loved ones. At last the plane lands with new arrivals, is refuelled and we board and take off. The route home is in reverse: Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane and finally Sydney. Clearing customs is painless and then straight to the taxi queue for the ride home and the waiting family, a welcome home party planned for the following weekend. It takes several weeks to adjust to home life before back to normal working routine. THE END


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A DEMANDING AND DANGEROUS CHALLENGE to support CHASE Children’s Hospice and Educating Children in rural Nepal It’s a double. First, running the 168km Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, one of the world’s toughest races (the Marathon des Sables is “a trekking holiday” in comparison according to James Cracknell), followed by a climb to the summit a few days later. You can find out more about each below…. Raising money for CHASE goes back to 2007 and my first marathon in full cricket whites, pads, bat etc. Two years later I teamed up with Luke Carmichael for the Sahara Race (250km in 5 days carrying a 25lb pack in 50C), and in 2011 for the Nepal Race (250km again, in the Himalayan foothills, where anything up to 3000m is considered a hill!) We are teamed up again upping the ante with the double! I’ve been supporting CHASE since 2007 and have been fortunate enough to visit the hospice a number of times and see first-hand the work done there. They care for children who will not live beyond their teen years, and of course many only live for a few weeks or months. So there is, of course, great sadness at times as the children end their life journeys at the Hospice. But it is also a place bursting with life and fun and it is incredibly uplifting to see the difference the respite care makes to the children and their families. These young people face pain and suffering every day, discomfort that you and I cannot even begin to imagine, and yet they squeeze every ounce of life from every day and make the most of every minute that they have. It is totally humbling, and their approach to life is a lesson to us all.

Amazingly, children’s hospices receive no support at all from Government or local health authorities. They only survive thanks to charity support. Why Education in Rural Nepal? As I passed by one village a young Nepali boy called Samir walked with me on the trail for a few minutes. He could see I was not well and gave me an orange as a gift. He spoke good English and we talked about his achievements at school, which he was rightly very proud of. Moments after we parted ways I found myself crying my eyes out – it was just so moving to hear how much such a simple thing like going to school meant to this kind little boy, who lived in such poverty. There are hundreds of thousands of children like Samir living in rural Nepal. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference to them by giving them a school to go to.

We reached the summit at 7am on Friday 20th September. As we did so, the sun rose across Europe. The three of us stood alone, on the highest point in Western Europe transfixed by the beauty of nature laid out all around us. To describe it as an emotional moment is something of an understatement. Seeing the beauty of our world on that scale, laid out all around you, makes you feel incredibly insignificant. You stand there knowing that nature can snuff you out any time it wants. It is an incredibly humbling moment that was over all too quickly as the wind and freezing temperatures soon forced us to get moving again. And from the summit, the only way to go is down. Paul Rowlinson (RGS 1979-1985)

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc I don’t think I could ever find the words that adequately capture the epic nature of the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc: the majesty of the mountains you pass through and over, the brutality of the ground under foot or the demands on your body and mind that it places on you. I can’t even begin to do justice to the emotional highs and lows – over 50 hours without sleep and the exhaustion does funny things to your mind, but this is more than overcome by the warmth and support of the people of the villages and towns that you pass through in between the high passes and peaks. Their passion is simply overwhelming and means so much because they live and work in these mountains and truly understand the nature of the challenge you are attempting. Finishing the UTMB has dwarfed EVERY other challenge we’ve taken on, and we’ve done a few tough races over the last few years! 29


T H E R E I G AT I A N 2 013

FEATURES

NEW LEAVERS TAKE ON BIG CHALLENGE Dominic Constanti, Lewis Wing, Baz Lewis (All RGS 2005-2012)

Extracts from their travel blog

2/5/13 DAY 1 – 45.1 MILES (Total 45 miles) Mike’s Backyard [Yorktown VA - Jamestown VA] A very eventful day. We woke up around 7am, showered up and packed our bike panniers ready for our first day of cycling. We got a cab to the bike shop (with a crazy American cab driver preaching the Bible to us) where we arranged to pick up our bikes and started getting set up. We met a really friendly shop assistant, Rodney, who told us a bunch of stories about the TransAm Trail, and also recommended a nice cafe for breakfast, where we ate. We went back to the bike shop and carried on setting up (as well as purchasing a dog repellent pepper spray for Kentucky). We coincidently met a guy from Brighton starting the trail at the same time as us and had a few chats with him about our preparation. After 4 hours of tinkering and fitting our bikes we were ready, and with a few photos outside the shop we set off to the start point 12 miles away. We bumped into a friendly American cyclist who said he would cycle with us to the start point which was very helpful. We arrived at the Victory Monument in Yorktown and took a few snaps there. We then went down to the coast and did the obligatory rear wheel dip to mark the tour as officially coast to coast. From there we began the route and aimed to make it 30 miles to a camp site in Jamestown. After taking a wrong turn quite early on we had to back track slightly but then made it onto the Colonial Parkway which was pretty much one straight road to Jamestown. With around 10 miles to go we started to feel quite faint and hungry. Having not eaten since breakfast we were starving and couldn’t wait to get to the camp site. Eventually getting to Jamestown we soon discovered the camp site marked on our reasonably dated maps no longer existed. Our first priority was to eat

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so we stopped at a 7/11 and had a sandwich. Undecided as to where we going to camp we walked down to a nearby lake looking for a clearing to set up the tent. We bumped into an American man, Mike, fishing and got chatting to him about where would be a good place to camp when he offered to let us set up in his backyard. We were over the moon and followed him back to his house. We set up the tent ending the day’s cycling on 45 miles, knackered. We then proceeded to meet the rest of Mike’s family and he offered to make us some food. We ate spaghetti bolognese with the hospitable family and discussed our plan to cycle to Oregon. They were very kind and gave us some freshly baked cookies, more detailed maps, a number for a relative in Portland that could help us out later on in the tour, and a laptop for the internet. We took a photo with them and then hit the hay for our first night camping, aiming to cycle to Richmond tomorrow, about 40 miles away or possibly further. DAY 72 – HITCHHIKING We woke up around 9am in the motel having had a long lie in. It felt great knowing we had finished the cycle and could now relax for a few days. The main plan for the day was to get the bikes shipped to their respective buyers and head to Portland. We looked up a bike shop nearby to try and get some boxes. We found one, rode there and they sold us 3 boxes for $30. They said they could also box them for us for $35 each but we thought we could do it ourselves and save the money so we began disassembling our bikes. This took longer than expected and proved harder than we thought, trying to get it to all fit in the box. After taking the wheels off, fenders, seat posts, and loosening some screws on the racks they just about fitted.

We taped all the boxes up and lugged them to the nearby post office. We weighed them and the dimensions were measured which calculated the price. They were around $100 each to ship which was more than we had expected but the buyers were happy to pay whatever it costs so this wasn’t much of a problem. The final box was slightly bigger and would have been around $200 which we were not going to pay. The lady said if we could reduce the dimensions by 1 inch it would be $100. This seemed ridiculous but we began hacking at the box and managed to cut a few bits back and tape it back up to the required size. We settled up for this and sent the PayPal requests to the buyers so we were glad to get that sorted. We then grabbed a Subway for lunch and needed to get back to Eugene to get the Amtrak to Portland. We could’ve got the bus but it looked quite expensive so we had a stab in the dark and attempted to hitchhike. We made a sign with a sharpie and cardboard for Eugene, and stood by the side of the road in attempt to get a lift. At first it felt really stupid and we were having no luck. We were just about to give up when a lady pulled in and said she was heading for Eugene. This was great and had saved us a bit of money on transport. We got a ride to the Amtrak station and then bought tickets for the bus to Portland which was leaving in an hour. We were on the bus for 3 hours but the time flew by as we kept ourselves occupied with the wifi and some music. We arrived in Portland around 8am and were unable to get in contact with any hosts that we had planned to stay with. We were forced to get a motel where we dumped our stuff and headed to McDonalds for some food. We returned to the room and chilled out whilst looking up hosts for the next day as well as planning to go to the shopping mall and cinema.


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

STATS Distance travelled

4433 miles

States covered

10

Days taken

71

Cycling days

64

Average mileage

69.3 miles

Pedals

5.1 million

Calories burnt

672,000

Collective weight lost

20kg

Towels lost

4

Flat tyres

7

Full English breakfasts eaten

108

Saddle sore cream used

1.1 litres

Punctured roll mats

2

Dodgy pastors

1

Peanut butter consumed

5.4 kg

Pairs of socks lost

4.5

Total saddle time

352 hours

Tyres replaced

3

Pairs of cleats replaced

8

Chocolate milk consumed

35 litres

Soda consumed

360 litres

Highest point

11,539 ft

Favourite state

Idaho, unparalleled scenery, great cycling

Least favourite state

Kansas, flat and boring

Best host

Patrick and Haley Schultz, Darby Montana

Suncream used

2.2 litres

Guns shot

10

Rounds fired

158

Max speed

48.2 mph

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FEATURES

SCHOOL SONG

(CHORUS) Through life from day to day We’re following in the Pilgrims way And all of us will e’re recall Ne’er Wonne ne never shall.

WHO ARE THE FLYERS?

(VERSE 1) And now our bring (our) triumphal song More over three hundred years long Few can exceed our history Yet we go on to victory (VERSE 2) So in this place we live and learn And pray that we may work and earn And then to grace our human race In all the world, in every place Alan Dann (RGS 1961-1968)

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One of the strange and wonderful things about the Reigate Grammar School of the 1960s is the emergence of an organisation called The Nag’s Head Flyers, or simply ‘Flyers’. The question often asked is when and how did this noble body form. The starting point for the Flyers is a little clouded in mystery but it is certain that by 1967 there was a body of over twenty young men who called themselves Flyers and could wear the insignia of this Club which was a tie emblazoned with the distinctive Club emblem: the winged rugby boot. The winged Cotton Oxford rugby boot was drawn by Konrad Januszajtis and was a slightly tongue in cheek reference to Mercury as, apart from a few notable exceptions, speed was not our strength but team spirit unquestionably was. The first dinner of The Nag’s Head Flyers took place at the Lakers Hotel in Redhill, when the majority of us were in the Lower Sixth. By 1968 we had formalised into a coherent organisation with a President who had the onerous task of organising the annual dinner. The first President was Julian West who initiated the practice of writing down the deeds of the Flyers in a great log. The President’s book is now in its third volume. Rugby was really at the heart of the Flyers but the organisation was never exclusive to rugby players, although all of us loved the game, which at the time was played with passion at Reigate. If the genesis of the Flyers is to be found anywhere it would probably be with Aubrey Scrase’s Colts side of 1964-65. The photo top left captures the moment and most of the lads in the picture went on to play in the 1st XV and become Flyers. That team included several future Presidents:

Graham Brown, John Atkins, Richard Jopling, Tony Earl, Iain Margetts and Chris Berry. At the heart of the Flyers’ existence was the strength of friendship and a capacity to relish the joys of life. In the early days Flyers’ activities included Murder Ball at Jordan Hospital, Ale Marches, Tiger Cup competitions, runs from the Nag’s Head to Brighton relaying a quart tankard full of ale and many other wonderful absurdities. However, what has enabled the organisation to continue for nearly half a century is its capacity to adapt while retaining core values. Partners dined with us from the early 70s onwards and many other good people and true have been added to the roll call and can now consider themselves part of the Flyers. The photo top right illustrates the delights of being a Flyer at the 47th Annual Dinner which was held in The Star at Alfriston. The current day Flyers may comprise a smaller number of the original men but includes a wider range of like-minded people who all want to drink life to the lees. The 48th dinner will be held in The Oak Hotel Ramsgate under the Presidency of John Buchanan. Venues for the 49th and 50th dinner have yet to be announced but one rumour is that the 50th dinner will be held in the Hafod Eryri café on the summit of Snowdon. However, speculation that Flyers climbing to the summit will be sustained with warm beer and pickled onions en route is unconfirmed.

Duncan Wesley (RGS 1960-1966)


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

CHARLOTTE MICHEL After RGS I went to University and graduated from Portsmouth in 2012 with a Business Studies degree. While I was doing my final exams I got my first TV job on the BBC Drama ‘Mayday’ for Kudos. I was working there 60 hours a week with the odd day off to go to my exams. I did this for 12 weeks. I was a crowd assistant director on Mayday, which involved organising a scene that had 300 extras in. After that filming day was complete I became the production runner on the show. The week after this finished I moved to Bristol to work on a show called ‘Trollied’ which is for Sky1. I was the Production Runner on this. Following on from that, I worked on the Easter 2013 Special of ‘Jonathan Creek’, and I was moved up to Production Secretary. I have now been a Production Secretary on the BBC Drama ‘SILK’ since April, and this contract goes onto November. My duties... I organise the diaries for the producers, I book crew, I am the first point of contact for all the cast and crew, I make all travel and accommodation bookings, I organise all additional equipment, raise purchase orders and things like that really. It is very manic and I often work 14 hour days, and each day we will be filming in a different location. My work is freelance, so from November I will be looking for a new job. Obviously this is difficult when you have rent and bills to pay, but it works. There is no formal route for applying for jobs, usually people phone you up asking for your availability or someone puts you up for a job or you just cold email all the line producers you know. It’s all about who you know, not what you know. I got into the industry by doing lots of work experience since I was 17, and then from there you make contacts and just phone everyone looking for work. Charlotte Michel (RGS 2001-2008)

THE GLOBETROTTERS: ONLY CONNECT

Only Connect, BBC Four’s flagship quiz programme, has in recent years become the holy grail of general knowledge competitions for the quiz enthusiasts. Not only does it have a reputation as the hardest quiz on television, but almost all its former contestants describe it as ‘the most fun TV quiz you can go on’. Because of this myself and two teammates, Chris Clough and Michael Reeve, decided to apply for Series 8 when the call came out and were thrilled when we discovered that, out of hundreds of applications, we were chosen as one of the final eight teams who would appear on television. Based on our common interest in world travel our team, ‘The Globetrotters’ made it to the quarter-finals of the Series. The first show we filmed was against the Boardgamers – a team of contestants we instantly recognized as putting in a formidable performance on University Challenge a few years ago, but we tried not to be intimidated and concentrate on the game in hand. This first match started well, and despite feeling a bit unlucky that we didn’t get the opportunity to answer a few of the questions we thought we’d score highly on, we were confident going into the last round with a lead. However, we had underestimated the skill and training that the other team had with the University Challenge experience in being quick on the buzzer when it came to answering the ‘Missing Vowels’ questions. In the space of 30 seconds our lead had been lost, and we were disappointed to have lost our first game. Thankfully, under a new system of repechage, we were given the opportunity to play another game against some other first-heat losers, but we only had an hour to prepare for the match. After a quick pep-talk

from captain Chris we decided that we needed to be much quicker on the buzzer and take more risks, but our hearts sank when we discovered we were playing a team of Pilots – who we imagined would definitely beat us on the buzzer with their well-trained reflexes! However, the game seemed to go our way and we even managed to hold our own in the ‘Missing Vowels’ round. With the relief of a victory, we finished the first day of filming on a high, and returned to the hotel to revise our general knowledge and reassess our strategy for the quarter-finals. Our quarter-final match was against a team of Bakers who very kindly shared with us some delicious ginger and treacle cake. The team’s knowledge and style of play was perhaps the most similar to ours, and so throughout the game we were practically neck-and-neck. This meant that everything was to play for in the ‘Missing Vowels’ round – the round in which we were least confident. Initially we were doing well, spotting nicknames for cities, but a crucial moment came with the mis-pronouncing of a Latin phrase which led to an point deduction and opportunity for the other team to pick up an extra point. In the end we lost by just that one point, and felt a bit disappointed to have been so narrowly defeated. However, we left with our heads held high and could console ourselves that we had made it to the quarter-finals of the hardest quiz on television. Filming Only Connect has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life, I made many good friends whilst filming, and also received many positive comments, including some wonderful support from RGS whilst the shows were being aired. Suda Perera (RGS 1997-2004) 33


T H E R E I G AT I A N 2 013

RECOLLECTIONS & MEMORIES From NEVER WONNE… NE NEVER SHALL

“THEN THE SCHOOLBOY WITH SHINING MORNING FACE, CREEPING LIKE SNAIL, UNWILLINGLY TO SCHOOL.” Shakespeare

“Never wonne…ne never shall!” meant different things to different people. My father jokingly assumed that it reflected my inability to achieve any kind of distinction on the sporting field – “he’s never won anything, and he’s never going to.” To the civic fathers of the Borough of Reigate, however, it was the motto attached to the borough’s coat-of-arms, a representation of the Keep of Reigate Castle. A bold claim indeed, and not entirely justified, since during the Civil War Cromwell’s men had flattened the Keep and left nothing but a mound, within which were some excellently-preserved dungeons. (The latter are still on view to the public today, and very creepy they are too). A similar representation of the Castle formed the centrepiece of the Upper School’s cap badge (the Lower School had to make do with an “RGS” monogram on their caps), and the whole coat-of-arms complete with the motto graced the cover of the School magazine, “The Pilgrim”. For Reigate was athwart the ancient Pilgrim’s Way, little more than a grassy footpath hereabouts, but the survivor of the road by which pilgrims from the West would approach to pay their respects to Thomas a Becket’s shrine in Canterbury Cathedral. Anyway, in September 1955 a small boy in short trousers and a brand-new Reigate Grammar School cap was suitably inconspicuous among 100 other firstformers arriving at the School for the first time. I have often wondered since then, whether it is significant that children going through their education periodically have to uproot themselves and move to another establishment. The bewilderment of the 11-year-old newcomer to a secondary school is surely not a whit less than the rootlessness of the 5-year-old arriving at a primary school. Only the home background, and the friendship of those whom the child meets through the home, can steer the child safely though these unsettling experiences – and not all children have a home background which is strong enough for the purpose. It is a bit like playing snakes and ladders; every 34

time you get near your objective and become a Big Fish in a Small Pond, nemesis overtakes you in the form of a monster snake which whisks you down to the bottom row. After being an integral part of the scenery at my primary school, it was weeks – months, even – before I felt that I was even beginning to find my way round my new surroundings. This was not just the strangeness which all children must feel in these circumstances. It was also because Reigate Grammar School had, like Topsy, “ just growed”. From a Victorian building, itself a maze of corridors and turnings, which might have had room for half of the pupils that the school had in 1955, it had branched out in all directions. It had put up five free-standing huts in the yard; the first of these, a science lab, had been built in 1941 when it was officially described as “temporary”, and when I revisited Reigate in 1993 it was still there; the last two, prefabricated wooden classrooms built to the so-called “Mayflower” plan, fell apart so quickly that they barely survived my own schooldays. But for anything as elaborate as a football kick-about we had the grounds of “Broadfield”. And those grounds rose in an unconscionable hump in the middle, almost as if to say “You’ll never play competitive football or cricket here”. For that purpose, the whole school had to go, one year group each afternoon, to one of the two playing fields on the other side of town, one owned by the school and the other by the Old Reigatians’ Association. To make our mile walk worthwhile, we spent the whole of that one afternoon per week at the playing field, participating in rugby, cricket, cross-country or whatever other amusements our masters dreamt up for us. Reigate Grammar School was organised in eight houses, a tradition carried over from earlier days when the school had, presumably, accepted boarders. Then, the Houses would have offered living accommodation for a dozen boys apiece, and the Housemasters would have acted in the role of hosts. Now, in 1955, the Houses only served to divide the boys into eight exactly equal teams, mainly for the purposes

of competitive sports. Each Housemaster also had some pastoral responsibilities towards the 80 or 100 boys placed in his care. The School met in Houses only on Wednesday mornings, instead of School Assembly (curiously, this was the one institution which was not subject to the vagaries of the Six Day System) for House Prayers: 80-odd boys, the House Prefects and the Housemaster would squeeze with some difficulty into a room designed for 30 seated boys. Our own Housemaster, Mr Bedward, “Bedsocks” behind his back to his adoring charges, was a diminutive and jovial man who had a remarkable leaning towards the General Confession, which he recited in a sing-song voice, together with one or two Collects, every Wednesday. As a result I came to know large chunks of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer off by heart, despite my ignorance of Anglican practices in other particulars. The Houses were named after districts of Reigate and the surrounding area – Doods, Kinnersley, Linkfield, Northdown, Priory, Redstone, Underhill and Wray. The original idea was that boys were allocated to Houses according to the areas where they lived, and the Housemaster and House Prefects could carry their pastoral concerns for “their” boys into off-duty hours if necessary. The trouble was that the school took boys from up to 8 to 10 miles away in all directions; the areas of some of the older Houses were closed boxes covering maybe half a mile in each direction, whereas others, such as my own Northdown, stretched further than the eye could see. So Northdown was a rather artificial community, whose boys could hardly be expected to be close neighbours to one another at home. During my school career the powers-that-be actually gave up the unequal struggle, and started allocating boys to Houses on a more or less random basis; I had been put in Northdown, the “proper” House for the Coulsdon area, but my cousin Stephen, travelling to school from the same address, found himself in Kinnersley.


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From THE INN OF THE “SIXTH” HAPPINESS

I think it was our Economics set in the Lower Sixth that Dr Brice led on a visit to the Chislet coalmine, now long since closed, a few miles east of Canterbury on the East Kent coalfield. It is the only time I have ever been down a coalmine, and it was an eye-opening experience. (I didn’t open my eyes too wide, of course, for fear of getting coal dust in them!). We had to be ready to go down at eight o’clock in the morning, already equipped with our helmets, lamps and batteries; this required a 6am start from the school, some 80 miles away, so I don’t think many of us can have got much sleep the previous night! And I don’t remember how I got from Coulsdon to Reigate, deep in the “witching hours” when no public transport ran. We were led around the workings, nearly breaking our backs as we crouched in the thirty inches’ depth of the seam. They explained all the gadgetry to us – and I those days the main item of gadgetry was a pick and shovel, and a wiry man to wield them. We finished up dog-tired and thoroughly glad we didn’t have to go down the mine at 6am and toil underground for eight hours, as the miners did. They were very nice to us; they advised us to keep our sandwich boxes tightly closed or we might get grit in our butties (which wouldn’t have bothered a veteran miner one bit), and when we returned into the daylight, fagged out even though we had only been down for an hour and a half and had not been required to lift a finger, they stoked the bath-house boilers specially for us so we could have a hot shower. (We had already been advised to bring a spare set of clean clothes apiece to change into – coal dust got everywhere). Then we bundled back into the coach to take us back to Reigate. It was one of the most memorable days of my life. The upshot of my ‘A’ Level studies, apart from my Distinction (a grade A) in Economics, was two grade ‘B’ passes in English Literature and History. I could feel well pleased with those results, with a good prospect of gaining a place at University to read any of these three subjects. Actually, my results were the best obtained in the Arts Sixth that year. My contemporary Ian

AFTER ‘A’ LEVELS WERE OUT OF THE WAY, EVERY SIXTH FORM SET GOT TWO OR THREE LESSONS IN CHINESE, ‘JUST FOR FUN’. IT WAS FUN, TOO. WHAT A SHAME I DON’T REMEMBER A SINGLE WORD OF IT. Dicker, who like myself and two or three other boys had gone to Reigate from Chipstead Valley in 1955, had gone on to the Science side of the “great divide”, and in fact I saw little of him at school. His results produced two Distinctions and a grade ‘B’ if I remember rightly, making him overall victor ludorum. He received offers of Open Scholarships from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and he had the rare privilege, enjoyed by few mortals, of writing to one of the ancient seats of learning (I forget which one) politely declining an Open Scholarship! Apart from my ‘A’ Levels there was something called “minority time”, a rather new invention designed to save Sixth Formers from getting too caught up in their narrow specialities. The idea was that you spent a few periods a week studying subjects not relating to your ‘A’ Levels, some of which would be examined at ‘O’ Level. Some of these subjects (horror of horrors!) would be Arts subjects for Science specialists, and vice versa. I did one year studying Biology, and one studying History of Science, to ‘O’ Level, passing both. I also spent two years studying German, a handy language; in my life I seem to have spent much longer in German-speaking countries than in French-speaking ones! I never persuaded the school that it would be worth entering me for ‘O’ Level German; although my German has improved slowly over the years and my German friends are very nice about it (“Du sprichst sehr gut deutsch, für ein Engländer!” is one of the kinder comments I hear), it is still not as fluent as my French. Among other incidental forays into the field of linguistics at school, one of our

Geography teachers was a regular visitor to the USSR, and once in a blue moon each of his classes got a slide show of Moscow and its suburbs and a quick rundown on the Russian language and alphabet. And the Headmaster, bless him, had by some curious process (probably connected with wartime military service) acquired a passing familiarity with the Chinese language. After ‘A’ Levels were out of the way, every Sixth Form set got two or three lessons in Chinese, ‘just for fun’. It was fun, too. What a shame I don’t remember a single word of it. Finally I had to do two extra papers, for one of which we were the guinea-pig year. That was the Use of English paper. Concern has been expressed by educationalists (and prospective employers) that schoolchildren were leaving with good exam marks but quite unable to speak and write English correctly. So they invented a new exam. Speaking and writing English has never been a problem for me – some of my friends would like me to be less capable in this respect! – so I added one to my tally of ‘O’ Level equivalent passes, in exchange for very little work or effort. The other extra paper was the so-called “General Paper”, designed to break down all barriers of specialism by asking questions about literally anything. The staff did not prepare us for the exam; they just told us to read the papers whenever we could, devour as many books as we could, and hey presto! – I did, and I passed.

Alan Witton (RGS 1955-63) 35


T H E R E I G AT I A N 2 013

RECOLLECTIONS & MEMORIES

A DIFFICULT CASE ‘I’VE GOT SOME KNOWLEDGE OF MECHANICS SIR, PERHAPS I CAN FIX IT FOR YOU?’

E

rik Durrant’s recollections of his days at RGS which appeared in ‘The Reigatian 2012’ struck a chord in my own ageing memory. I was a contemporary of Erik’s and remember with pleasurable clarity many of the incidents he so vividly recalls, particularly those which occurred during the years 1960-61 when, in company with eight others who I’ll not embarrass by naming, we were all members of a ‘select’ group collectively known as ‘biologists’ and identified by the suffix ‘Z’ in the then pertaining 6th form identification code. Erik recounts a number of pranks which were heaped upon various members of the staff by us, including the somewhat unfortunate Mr Wasdell who, as part of his lifetime’s load of personal suffering, was required to attempt to instruct our outwardly uninterested group of adolescent young men into the hidden mysteries of mathematics in which, as biologists, we saw no particular practical value since there was no ‘hands on’ aspect to the science associated with Pythagoras, unlike in the biology laboratory, then located in a building known as ‘Cornwallis’, where all manner of gruesome dissections on various animals and malodorous fishes were commonly individually conducted by us. 36

Mr Wasdell, who had a son at RGS who was a couple of years older than our own group, was a man of no more than about five feet eight inches in height though possessed of a seemingly powerful stocky build and swarthy complexion which in times past had doubtless suggested to one of our predecessors the name of ‘Chunky’, by which sobriquet he was generally known throughout the school. Chunky invariably wore brown coloured horn rimmed spectacles which occasionally slipped down his somewhat bulbous nose and had thinning grey hair cut in the short back and sides style well known in those times. He invariably attired himself in a rather threadbare tweed sports jacket accompanied by somewhat crumpled flannel trousers over all of which, in common with most of his contemporaries, he usually wore his unkempt black schoolmaster’s gown. He also regularly carried a small leather document case similar in style to the famous red boxes issued to all Government Ministers, though Chunky’s was of a nondescript dark brown colour. On entering our classroom, and I recall that having entered the front door at Broadfield it was the one located immediately on the left hand side, Chunky would always place his case on his elevated desk which was at the front of the room and directly facing the assembled class. With an invariable twinkle in his eye, for he was a man with a

pronounced though peculiar sense of humour, Chunky would initiate the proceedings of the moment by ostentatiously opening his case from the interior depths of which would then emerge various pieces of chalk (for use on the blackboard), bits of string of varying length the significance of which was invariably lost on me and everyone else in the room, in addition to various items of seemingly useless paraphernalia which, from the fountain of his unappreciated wisdom, appeared to Chunky as being useful adjuncts to whatever theoretical mathematical problem was to be considered. Now there was one among us, and again I’ll not name him but suspect from personal knowledge that he will read this and recognise himself, who was himself possessed of a highly practical nature to the extent that, even as a young man still at school, he was able to strip and correctly reassemble motor bike engines and gearboxes such as were then mostly all of British manufacture. With such skills it was for him a simple matter on one occasion in late 1960 when Chunky had entered the classroom and, for some reason known only to himself, placed his case in its customary position and then immediately left the room advising us that he would be back in a moment, to spike the case by a simple tampering with its locking mechanism in a manner calculated to ensure that the lock would malfunction when an attempt was


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made to operate its mechanism. Whatever the miscreant did, and to this day I don’t know how he achieved it so quickly, it had the desired effect when, some minutes later, Chunky re-entered the room and, without any word to us, took his usual place at the front and attempted to open his case only to discover that it had developed an unknown fault causing the locking mechanism to become inoperative and that, try as he might, and it’s no exaggeration to reveal that Chunky’s efforts included the application of considerable physical force being applied to the case producing more than just the faintest trace of sweat on his reddening brow, the case stubbornly refused to open under his increasingly despairing commands. Now whatever else he was Chunky was no fool. Observing the stifled reaction now reducing some of our number to poorly contained tears of laughter he clearly arrived at the correct conclusion that, in some way as yet unknown to him, one or all of us had visited a mischief upon the case which was now causing him such frustration. Chunky reacted in predictable fashion for it was well known that, when roused, he had a formidable temper and would avail himself of all manner of lurid verbal threats of extreme violence intended to be visited personally by him on the head of any offender he suspected of misbehaviour. With a fading twinkle in his eye, an

increasingly steely aspect in his swarthy complexion, visible beads of sweat now advancing down his forehead towards his bulbous nose on the edge of which his horn rimmed spectacles now barely balanced, and having abandoned any further attempt at opening his intractably closed case, Chunky addressed us all in the hissing manner by which a coiled cobra endeavours to mesmerise its intended prey; ‘OK I get it.’ he said. ‘Someone’s been tampering with by case! Who was it? Come on now own up, or I’ll do a Khrushchev on the lot of you. I’ve got it here!’ And with that Chunky flexed his right arm in the manner of a posing bodybuilder while simultaneously indicating with the index finger of his left hand that he had a considerable clout in his bulging bicep and began to dance about in an increasingly aggressive manner behind his desk. For any reader who might be unfamiliar with the word ‘Khrushchev’ I should perhaps explain that in those days it was the name of the outwardly bellicose leader of the then Soviet Union engaged in a worsening stand-off with the USA over what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis which, at the time, brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Sensing the advance of impending doom the miscreant, without acknowledging his personal responsibility, stood up and said in an innocently conciliatory manner; ‘I’ve got

some knowledge of mechanics sir, perhaps I can fix it for you?’ Now motionless, Chunky stood there in silence, though with his arm still in the flexed position and an almost insane grin on his gnarled features, while the anonymous miscreant advanced to the pedestal, examined the stubbornly closed case in a seemingly determined and outwardly serious manner which provoked yet more stifled mirth among certain of the rest of us, and took some concealed action which had the instantaneous effect of activating the locking mechanism causing the case lid to spring open and violently disgorge part of its hidden contents of assorted rubbish directly onto the floor much in the manner of a suddenly released Jack-in-the-Box. To his credit Chunky, who had evidently realised that the culprit now stood before him, took the intended joke in the spirit in which it was created and thanked his saviour for his assistance without yielding to any further threat of impending catastrophic violence being visited upon either our select group, or even for that matter the wider population of southern England. Above is a picture of Mr ‘Chunky’ Wasdell as he appeared on the school photograph taken in 1961. John STREETER (RGS 1954-1961) 37


T H E R E I G AT I A N 2 013

RECOLLECTIONS & MEMORIES

‘MATCHSTICK’ MATTHEWS

We very much appreciate your Reigatian magazine, however, as many of the tales told by former Reigatians stir David’s memory, he begins to tell us his own stories, such as the one about ‘matchstick’ Matthews. Apparently, each member of the woodwork class would be given a piece of wood at the beginning of term with which to make something by the end of term. Matthews would shave his wood so much that, by the end of term, all he had left was a piece the size of a matchstick! This causes much humour and cheers us all up. I very much enjoy reading passages of the magazine to David and seeing his face light up at some of the memories. Susan Kingdon wife of David Kingdon (RGS circa 1945)

PUZZLES

I was quiet excited to read Andy Hart’s Happiest Days recollections in the recent Reigatian. Not having had any response to my 2009/2010 reference to an ancient wire recorder, I am intrigued that the subject is still “live” and hopeful that someone else will read the note and be able to tell us the origin and fate of this device. Perhaps there is still someone around who could also provide the same information about the other items mentioned in my 2009/2010 note. Namely the collection of mummified items in a glass display case near the bottom of the stairs opposite where the armoury used to be. A human head and hand and a cat, presumably all Egyptian. Michael Snelling (RGS 1942-48)

TONY HOPKINS

(RGS 1943-44) sends his memories… The termly fee for attendance at RGS in 1943 was £4. I remember this because the choirmaster at St Mary’s Church, who had taken me on in the choir during the summer, told me in the autumn, having paid my fee for singing each week, that he did not think I was worth it. (I had been singing at Brockham Church since April 1941). Following return home to Beckenham from evacuation I went on my own way singing in other London church choirs with pay / honorarium. There was a boy who fairly regularly came up behind me and with food rationed and in short supply (the best was going to the troops building up for the D Day landings) I farted occasionally. He would all of a sudden, when there was a strong smell, shout at the top of his voice ‘it’s farted’. There was then a chorus from all the boys around ‘poo-ee’ when everyone died laughing, including the master. In the evenings in 1943 a popular place was the fish and chip shop near Blackborough Road. With the blackout blinds pulled down inside at the windows it was ‘shut the door’

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so no light escaped to assist enemy aircraft. Two penneth worth of chips and a morsel of fish kept the cold out and one’s spirits up. Exactly 70 years has elapsed as I was 9 then in 1943 and am now in my 80th year. The V1 and V2 flying bombs nearly got me with four very near misses in central and south east London, then the Second World War ended. Now living in Norfolk, and retired almost 20 years, it is good to reminisce and also to read how RGS is progressing. Best wishes to everyone, both pupils being educated and all in the running of the school. I was only there a short time with Mr Clarke (Headmaster) and Mr Hooper (form master). The above shows my memories are still very strong, including those you have already published in OR issues since 2006. I look forward to future issues on my doormat. I do access the internet from time to time at local libraries, both here in the forum in Norwich, which I travel to on my OAP bus pass with no parking to worry about, or pay for. I still have my driving licence but cleared my last vehicle in 2008. I last came to Reigate in 2006 which is 8 years ago.


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J Kingston setting off for camp 1948

ARMY CADET CORPS CAMP – 1948

During the 2nd World War travel restrictions and fuel shortages stopped the Cadet Corps from going off at the end of the summer term for its annual camp. After the war the sites chosen were at first local – Godstone was one – but the venue in 1948 was OVERSEAS. The stretch of water between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight may not be vast but it counts as sea and to go over it was therefore to go overseas, and at that time ‘overseas’ meant an adventurous break with routine. Nobody went overseas for holidays, and the people most likely to have been abroad were those who had fought there. For the life of me I can’t now remember what we did in the one period – or in some terms two – allotted to Corps activities on Thursday afternoons. We marched back and forth around the parade ground (otherwise known as the playground), and since I ended up in the Signals Troop I must have spent some time sending signals by telephone, even by semaphore, though I don’t remember that either. In my day the cap badge we wore with our uniform was the Paschal Lamb of the Queen’s (Royal West

NOBODY WENT OVERSEAS FOR HOLIDAYS, AND THE PEOPLE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN ABROAD WERE THOSE WHO HAD FOUGHT THERE. Surrey Regiment) – a halo’ed lamb bearing a St George’s Flag over its left shoulder. The regiment’s history went back to the reign of Charles II but it has now vanished into an agglomeration of other regiments. The summer term was the busiest for the Corps, and after exams were over there were at least two Field Days, when we marched to somewhere south of the town and were divided into troops that tried to ambush each other. And on the last day of the summer term of 1948 we left to go overseas. The entries I made in my pocket diary include frequent references to food but in 1948 most foods were still rationed and the choice available was always important. The thriller I thought of writing on August 5 was to be titled Murder Must Eat. Jeremy Kingston (RGS 1942-1950)

Prefects room 1950

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FROM THE ARCHIVES < Phil Drury and Dan Jackson

MEMORIES OF THE SCHOOL For all you Reigatians who have signed up to Facebook, there is now a Group set up to promote the archives and memories of the school. The group is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reigate Grammar School Archivesâ&#x20AC;? and its aim is to encourage anybody with information, photos, memories or anything with a connection to RGS to share it with other Reigatians and add factually to the history of the school.

t Far left: 1871_

Headmaster John Gooch and the boys. The Friends Meeting House is in the background. t Left: 1904_Old Boys

Cricket.

t Far left: 1909_the entire

staff of the school: that would be fewer than the total number of science teachers today. t Left: 1915_form 4.

t Far left: Battle of

Britain_Headmaster Charles Allison is standing in the bomb crater caused by a German bomb falling in the playground. t Left: Battle of Britain_

the playground was hit by a German bomb. It shattered a large number of windows but nobody was killed as it happened during the summer holiday.

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t 1862_Rev John Gooch

headmaster 1862â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1878.

I encourage all Reigatians with an interest in the history of the school to join and participate. Remember, that the history of the school includes the time that you attended, even if you only left last year. You may think that the archive contains a lot of information from recent years, but this is not necessarily true. For example, we hold a lot of photographs taken about ten years ago, but they are of little value at present since they do not have anything to identify the events pictured, nor the people pictured! I hope that we can find people who can help identify the place, time and people in them. This is also an opportunity for you to add to the archive yourself if you have photographs, documents or just important memories of your time at school. I hope we can all add to our knowledge here of this important local institution, in which we have all played our part in some small way. Please take a look and get involved if you like what you see. Peter Burgess (RGS 1967-1974)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

t Left: 1952_Corps of

Drums on parade: Remembrance Sunday, Great Bookham. Drum Major Inky Blinkhorn.

p 1947-68_TWH Holland,

headmaster.

u 1958_School and St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

church. Note the new west wing classrooms under construction.

u 1968_Athletics team with

PE teacher Bob Harden.

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q1970s_under 13s Rugby

q1971â&#x20AC;&#x201C;72_the old gym now the library, which

at Wallfield playing fields, Allan Sims referee.

was over the old library. Photo taken from in front of door to what was Form 5PR.

t Far left: 1978_opening of the

new concert hall. t Left: 1974 circa_Corps of

Drums_David North on fife centre of photo.

t Far left: 1980s_lecture theatre. t Left: 1980s_music lesson.

t Far left: 1983_All the Kings

Men 24th & 25th March with David Walliams. t Left: 1989_new computing lab.

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SPORT OLD REIGATIAN HOCKEY REPORT 2012-13 The 1st X1 again survived in Surrey Division 2 (in 2012-13) finishing sixth out of twelve. This season they are playing strongly and at in early February they are lying second. The 2nds under Gregg Stone improved to finish third in the Surrey Open league Division 2 and were promoted. Gregg stood down after three years and Dom Monteiro took over. The team is now near the top of their new division. The 3rds continue in mid-table in Division 5. Once again the Club featured again in the Borough Sports Awards, with Neil Edwards chosen as Club Official of the Year. He had served seven years as fixture secretary, as well as being the regular 1st team goalkeeper. Unfortunately at the end of 2013 work and age caught up with him and he had to stand down from both jobs. At the Borough Sports Festival the Club again used a stand provided by England Hockey and attracted some interest. The news that the School is to lay a new Astro pitch at Hartswood is exciting. The Club plays at St Bedeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and the Royal Alexandra Schools. We hope that from next season we may be able to work more closely with the School and make playing for the Club a natural move for the pupils, as at present there are no younger former pupils playing for us. Training is free and all are welcome (see www.orhc.info for latest dates and times). If you are interested in joining or would like more information, please contact Rob Evans on 01737 823114, Ian Whiteman (1953-1961)

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RGS V OR HOCKEY 23 March 2013 1st XI Boys v Old Boys

D 1-1

1st XI Girls v Old Girls

L 2-4

Trophy for player of the match presented from Old Girls to Lucy Donovan


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

RUGBY OLD REIGATIAN RFC SEASON 2012-13 The season 2012/2013 saw the culmination of over a decade of planning, funding and construction enabling the club to finally take full possession of the magnificent new clubhouse. For Peter Harrison this represented the fulfilment of a dream and for the club it offers a wonderful opportunity to develop and grow. The 1ST XV under the captaincy of Mark Chesterton started the season brightly in London 2 South West, recording a series of wins against Old Alleynians, Portsmouth, Effingham & Leatherhead, Guildford, Teddington and Camberley and a draw with Cobham. The fixture with Sutton & Epsom before Christmas brought the league leaders to Park Lane in a top of the table encounter. The greater experience in the Sutton & Epsom side brought them victory 20–9 but OR’s could take considerable encouragement from a committed performance from a side whose average age was just 22. Indeed the contribution of teenagers Ryan Travers and Reilly Talbot bodes well for the future. Over the course of the season Ed Hubbard proved a model of consistency at full back, Nick Grant marshalled the backs with customary verve and skill and KJ Mushava was always a threat with ball in hand. In the forwards skipper Mark Chesterton led by example with John Cox proving an able deputy. Disappointingly however the post-Christmas performances did not live up to the earlier optimism and a raft of significant injuries resulted in a somewhat lacklustre end to the season. The injury toll in the 1st XV put considerable pressure on Ed Bartlett’s A XV who consequently were unable to maintain the high standards and results that they had achieved over the previous 3 seasons. However they remained competitive throughout and enjoyed a number of significant victories including wins over Guildford and London Cornish. The Extra A XV enthusiastically led by Michael Layzell played an invaluable role in providing the link between Junior and Senior rugby providing competitive rugby and encouraging the continuing development of the Senior squad. Pete Bakker’s B XV enjoyed great success in winning the Surrey Foundation League and securing promotion which was celebrated in style at the Surrey awards dinner at Twickenham. In the Surrey under 21 Cup Will Godwin’s side faced a determined Dorking side on Christmas Eve and a hard fought draw was probably a fair result to a game played in atrocious conditions. Victory over Guildford led to a semi-final against Richmond which

was narrowly lost to the final play of the game. The quality of the performances again reflected the importance and significance of this competition. In October we hosted the Surrey President’s XV at Park Lane in a game to celebrate the opening of the new clubhouse. A high scoring and entertaining game refereed by Premiership referee Sean Davey was the more remarkable for the performance of Ed Bartlett crossing the whitewash on three occasions for a most unexpected hat trick. The Minis and Juniors continued to go from strength to strength under the leadership of Laurie Kerr and Ian Maslin respectively. The season concluded with the Surrey C Festival which was an outstanding success with much credit going to Jason Smith and his hard working committee. The appearance of the Surrey Air Ambulance, the Mayor of Reigate & Banstead and of members of the Harlequins squad together with the Aviva trophy all added to the occasion.

Sadly during the course of the year we lost several senior members of the club. Without the generosity of Joy Harrison as a Trustee of the Peter Harrison Foundation we would not have the magnificent new clubhouse; Denis Pratt, long term supporter of the club and in particular of the B2s; Dave Jones who was an enthusiastic member of Pete Bakker’s B XV and Bob Cheal who was another great supporter of the club, always willing to put his hand up to do whatever needed to be done around the club. The club is the poorer for their absence and our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families. David Forsyth, Chairman Old Reigatian RFC

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NEWS CONGRATULATIONS to Naomi Petersen (RGS 1998-2005) who played Jennifer in John Updike’s spell-binding tale The Witches of Eastwick this summer at the Newbury Playhouse, directed by Craig Revel Horwood with Paul Herbert (Radio Times and Thoroughly Modern Millie) as musical arranger and supervisor.

CONGRATULATIONS to Grace Clements (RGS 2002-2009) and Seb Greenwood who were married in 2013.

CONGRATULATIONS to James Chesterton (RGS 1992-2000) and Helen Parker (RGS 1997-2004) who were married in 2013.

KATE TOWNSEND TRAVELS (RGS 2011-2013) I started my travels in Australia, flying in to Cairns and making my way down the east coast. I sailed the Whitsundays, encountered snakes and koalas and trekked the outback. By far my most memorable moment was when I spent my 25th birthday climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, having strangers sing Happy Birthday to me, 134 m off the ground. The Great Ocean Road was my last stretch of travelling in Australia before soaking up the art and café culture in Melbourne. Next, I journeyed from the South to the North Island of New Zealand. Visiting glaciers, mountains and (of course!) Hobbiton. I trekked the Tongariro Crossing, covering 19.4 km of mountain passes, volcanic craters and thermal steam vents. The scenery was breathtaking, ranging from snow peaks and emerald lakes to native forests. After heading further north, I finished my New Zealand adventure in Auckland, eating vast quantities of seafood and heading to the wineries. It was then time to warm up and fly to Indonesia. Bali offered beaches, temples and a fear I never knew I had – monkeys… so many monkeys! After lying on a beach for a week I headed off to experience some city living and to meet up with RGS alumni in Singapore. 46

THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK

My next destination was a quick stopover in Bangkok, before heading over the border to Cambodia, where I cycled around the temples of Angkor Wat, relaxed on the beaches in Sihanoukville and explored the sites in Ho Chi Minh City. My trip through Vietnam began in Hoi An, my favourite city in the country. I cycled through the winding streets of the old town before venturing out into the rice fields and riding water buffalo. A trip down the river in a canoe saw the end of my two days in the city, surrounded by hundreds of water lanterns. Next, I travelled up through Hue, took a boat ride at Ha Long Bay, explored the caves and ended up in a bustling Hanoi. Much of my time in the capital was spent avoiding dangerous scooter driving, eating copious amounts of street food and partaking of 50p pints. My final stop saw me visit Hong Kong. After missing most of the Wimbledon final while on my flight, I was told off for my excitable shouting when going through customs. I frantically asked the taxi driver to turn the radio on and was lucky enough to hear the last two games. The final few days of my trip of a lifetime were spent exploring the city, visiting the Tian Tan Buddha and taking in the views from The Peak.












T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

PUBLICATIONS GLORY AND HONOUR – THE RENAISSANCE IN SCOTLAND BY ANDREA THOMAS (RGS 2004-2009)

DEMON DENTIST and GANGSTA GRANNY BY DAVID WALLIAMS (RGS 1981-1989) 2013 publications from David Walliams. Having been compared to his hero Roald Dahl in the press, David’s success in children’s story writing is going from strength to strength.

“It is a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations…” Hazel Light

THE MAN WHO WAS NOT HIMSELF BY STEPHEN EDWARDS (RGS 1958-1965)

GOD’S FINGERPRINTS BY DR TREVOR WATTS (RGS 1955-1962) Dr Trevor Watts is a past president of the British Society of Periodontology, and has published widely in books and journals. His latest publication is the second edition of his Christian book God’s Fingerprints, which is available on Amazon at £11.46 (if anyone is interested, they have some specimen pages) or £6.77 for a Kindle download.

Reading the last issue of The Reigatian I noticed two familiar names in the above section, one of whom, Robert Holton, is a close friend. This prompted me to write about my third novel which has just been published. Unlike most of my friends I did not go to university but instead worked for a large insurance company, becoming a business/ systems analyst. However I had always wanted to write and did have a novel, ‘The Self-Destruction Syndrome’ published in 1985. This certainly made me no money but with the indulgence of my parents I was able to retire really early a few years later to write full-time. Nevertheless, to those of us not already blessed with fame or notoriety, publication does not come easy and only a rather lucky and overpaid appearance on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ in December 2000 enabled me to continue along my chosen path. Then in 2002 I finally got a second novel published on a print on request basis with a small company in Scotland. This was a satire called ‘Economic Values’. Now my latest ‘The Man Who Was Not Himself ’ has just been published at FeedARead.com, an Arts Council funded website which enables authors to self-publish for free.

FAREWELL TRIP GARY TWYNAM, CO-AUTHOR (RGS 1973-1980) An emotional story about letting go and moving forward.

PERSONALISED LEARNING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES BY ANDREW COLLEY (RGS 1970-1977) The book is an account of Andrew’s experience working with some of the most challenging young people in our education system.

This novel is ostensibly a fantasy/science fiction mystery with a difference. Although the main character finds himself in an alien time and place, with no idea how he got there, as the plot develops it becomes apparent that it is also just as much about the here and now, in effect an environmental fable for our time or as my good friend Professor Holton has suggested, “Gulliver’s Travels for the 21st Century”. The novel is currently available from the website at feedaread.com and on Amazon and other major outlets. For any budding (or even drooping) authors I can strongly recommend this website.

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DEATHS & OBITUARIES

FRANCIS GEOFFREY HOWLETT (Frank) 26th April 1936 – 4th October 2013 (RGS Staff 1959-1963)

DR JOHN BARNES (by Tony Platts) 15th September 1928 – 5th February 2013 (RGS 1939-1946)

Frank was born in Southampton in 1936 and like his father was a schoolmaster and a singer. He was educated for short time as an evacuee in the Charminster area of Bournemouth at the beginning of the war, and he started his singing career in earnest as a Quirister at Winchester College. His secondary education was at Taunton’s School Southampton, and he continued to wear his Taunton’s scarf for the rest of his life. Frank and Audrey met at the Church Youth Club in Millbrook Southampton and they married in September 1959 when he was 23, and Audrey was 21. Frank commenced his teaching career at Reigate in 1959 where he taught French and Spanish. He and Audrey moved to Norwich in 1963 where he taught at The City of Norwich School for 10 years. His children Sarah and Adrian were born in Norwich. The family moved to Bloxham in 1973 when Frank took up a teaching appointment at Chipping Norton School. He taught there for over 20 years until he retired in 1995. After retirement he contributed with unobtrusive efficiency to many organisations, minibus driver for Age UK Banbury, Banbury Probus, a long standing member of Banbury and Warriner School Choral Societies, Joint Membership Secretary of the Banbury National Trust Supporter Group and especially in Bloxham, a loyal member of St Mary’s Church and Choir. Frank was the epitome of ‘doing good by stealth’, a kind, gentle and loving husband, father, grandpa and friend.

John was born on 15th September 1928 in Warlingham, Surrey, and died on 5th February 2013 in Kings College Hospital due to complications during heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. John, a form pal and life-long friend, later lived at Netherne Mental Hospital, Hooley, after his father had been appointed Hospital Steward. At the outset of WW2 in September 1939 he and I started at RGS and rode together on the same 414 bus arriving at RGS at 08:45. I remember visiting him at home one year when he developed double pneumonia (i.e. both lungs involved); fortunately for him the sulphonamide drugs had just been introduced and after he started a course of M&B 693 he improved quickly. (M&B = May & Baker, then a well-known pharmaceutical manufacturer). One other mutual friend in the same class with whom I now just exchange Christmas cards is Peter Venables, who then lived at Merstham and often got on the same bus with us. We progressed through the ‘Art side’ from Form 3A with John later receiving the Remove A Form Prize in Physics-with-Chemistry in 1945. That year he was promoted to Sgt i/c No.7 platoon CCF (Combined Cadet Force) which greatly improved all round, so that in the following year it was cited as the Best Platoon and John received the Old Boys Shield for the Most Efficient Platoon. At the beginning of the Christmas Term 1945 it was generally felt that a tuck-shop ought to be re-started at the School, so Messrs. J. Barnes, R. J. Richards, P. Venables, J. G. N. Dalton & A. J. Platts, all members of the Sixth Form, dropped in to see the Headmaster, Mr A. Clarke, and put forward suggestions for ordering buns and cakes from a baker in the district to be sold from one of the surface air-raid shelters. The Headmaster agreed, and the order was placed with W. Dennis, of Redhill. And lo! Next Monday along came our first instalment of twelve dozen buns. At the beginning of the Summer Term 1946 the world food shortage was getting more acute, and the Headmaster thought it the School’s duty and moral obligation to cease having these buns. So for two terms

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we supplied the growing and hungry members of the School with nourishing buns and up to the time we closed we had sold 14,240 buns and paid the baker £174 7s. 2d. The final step in the climb up the CCF ladder came in 1946 when John, Peter and I (when we were in the second year of the Sixth form) were all made up to Cadet Under-Officers (a commissioned cadet rank) our insignia of rank being a narrow Cambridge blue ribbon encircling our shoulder lapels. We were then allowed to join the adult officers in the Officers’ Mess at Cliff End Camp at Freshwater in the Isle of Wight in 1947. John and I attended as Cadet Officers and shared a tent during our last camp together. In 1946 John & Peter both went to Bart’s (St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School). While John was at Bart’s he invited me to go to a dance at the Royal Free but neither of us managed to pick up a girl we wished to see again. Then John suggested we go on a foreign holiday together - to Switzerland! He had seen an advert by Inghams of West London inviting applications from students to go on a holiday near Geneva. My parents were persuaded to cough up the ready for me and off we went by train, then cog-wheel railway to a Swiss Army hut at Bretaye, above Vevey on Lake Geneva (or Lake Leman), where we were housed in single-sex dormitories. I will always remember the breakfasts for the unusual fare offered - bread and cheese and hot chocolate, but it was delicious. This army hut was situated quite high up and a short walk took us up to a small restaurant and wonderful views of the mountains all around us. Many years later my wife Joan and I visited the area, including the Swiss Army Hut which, by then, was looking decidedly decrepit. After qualifying at Bart’s, John went into the Royal Army Medical Corps with a permanent commission, eventually attaining the rank of Lt. Col. after serving in various theatres. While serving in the Far East in the post of DDAH (Deputy Director of Army Health) he became a specialist in Tropical Medicine. On leaving the Army he went to the Ministry of Health to head the Vaccine & Inoculation Section. He married and had a daughter Susan who became a midwife in Sussex and a daughter Rosemary who was a microbiologist who married a haematologist and lived

in Wales. After a divorce he married his second wife Pat (a great talker – and I mean that kindly) with whom he had a son they named John, who also became a doctor, entering St Mary’s in 1992. After qualifying John Jnr. went into anaesthetics and married a Bulgarian doctor, also an anaesthetist, and they both obtained consultant posts at different hospitals in Manchester. Fancy all those doctors in the family! As often seems the case, while we were working we lost touch, but in retirement we got together again with visits alternating about twice a year, John and Pat coming to visit Joan and me in Watford and then we going to their home in East Croydon. Pat sadly died in 2002 with recurrent heart valve problems, as John had in later years. In retirement John regularly attended ORA functions held in Reigate, as well as Masonic meetings at a south London lodge, where he later became Master. My wife and I met some of his fellow masons at a family lunch in the Army & Navy Club in Piccadilly in September 2008 to celebrate John’s 80th birthday. It was a very happy occasion and I had a long talk with John’s brother Peter, also an OR, whom I had not seen for a long time. I had always enjoyed John’s company with his barbed wit, accompanied by his typical grin. He tended to walk with his chin held up so that, at some stage, I believe it was John Lister who was the one to nickname him ‘Niff’. He was probably in the upper quartile of academic ability amongst our form members, many of whom were very able, but he was not one to throw himself wholeheartedly into sport.

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DEATHS & OBITUARIES John Joseph Boulcott, RGS Rugby team 1929 and aged 95.

JOHN JOSEPH BOULCOTT (Known as ‘Jack’) 10th March 1914 – 21st July 2013 (RGS 1923-1931) Jack was born in Catford, South East London to Joe and Edith and he had one sister Kathleen who was two years older. His earliest memory was of his father returning home from the WW1 trenches in France, standing in the kitchen on newspaper while his wife Edith removed lice! Jack would have been about four years old. USA & Reigate In 1920, his family moved to New Jersey, USA. They enjoyed three happy years in NY, however business became tough for his father’s company and the NY office closed and his father was offered either a posting to Mexico or back in the UK. Joe thought Mexico too risky a place to move to with a young family so they returned to the UK eventually settling in Reigate. His parents bought a plot of land and built an American style house - open plan with underfloor heating fed from a boiler in the basement – it must have been unique in leafy Surrey in the 1920’s! The house is still there today, Morval, No 32 Reigate Road, a short walk from Reigate Grammar School. School & Work Jack enjoyed his time at school, but was happier playing sport, a member of the school rugby team (see photo from 1929), as well as playing tennis socially. Perhaps he didn’t study very hard and he left school (c. 1930) with minimal qualifications, but he secured a job with an Engineering Company in London. He was taken on as the office junior and gradually worked his way through the ranks to eventually become Managing Director and then Chairman. The firm, The Light Engineering Company’s claim to fame, was that they made the piston rings for the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in the Supermarine Spitfire, the iconic WW2 fighter plane. The firm was re-formed after the war as Bayham Ltd and continues to trade to this day in Basingstoke, Hants. WWII WW2 interrupted Jack’s career and he signed up to the Army with his friend Bill Caffyn (also an Old Reigatian who died a few years ago). They were sent on an officer-training course and although they wanted to stay together they could not. Jack joined the infantry 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment and he was posted to East Africa where he spent the duration of the war. He was promoted to the rank of Captain and for a short while was acting Major. He didn’t talk much of his experiences of the War, but he mentioned more than once the beautiful girls in Mauritius when he was posted there!

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Reigate & Redhill After being demobbed from the army in January 1946 he returned to Reigate and there he joined the local tennis club and shortly after met Mary Constable that same year. They married in August 1947 and stayed in the Reigate and Redhill area for nearly 20 years, raising their children. In 1966, Jack’s company relocated to Basingstoke, Hants and the family relocated to nearby Fleet. Jack continued to work into his 80’s, driving to and from Basingstoke once or twice a week until he fully retired aged 85! Leisure Jack’s interests involved gardening and he was also a keen trout fisherman and very much enjoyed fishing the River Meon with his friends, as well as trips to Devon, Yorkshire and Wales, fishing many of the famous trout and salmon rivers. Jack continued working at Bayham well into his eighties driving to and from Basingstoke a few days a week, and eventually he retired allowing him and Mary more time together, holidays away and the time they both enjoyed tending to the garden. Mary died in 2008 and Jack continued to live independently until October 2012 when he relocated to a nursing home in Mudeford to live near one of his sons, until he died in July 2013. Summary Jack was a very proper and honourable man – definitely a man of his generation – refined, polite, well mannered and scrupulously honest. Despite the fact he had no academic qualifications, he was wonderfully well educated – well read with a wide general knowledge. He was an avid news-watcher, tuning in for at least one TV newscast, frequently two. He would also read from cover to cover the Daily Telegraph, usually in the evenings with a Martini by his side – either in front of the fire in winter or sitting out on the terrace in the sun during the summer evenings. His knowledge and wisdom were gained through living a long and fulfilling life, but it is no doubt much due to the education he received at School that stood him in good stead throughout his business career. He died on 21st July 2013, aged 99 years 4 months, following a short illness. His daughter Cathy, sons John and Philip and five grandchildren survive him.


T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E R E I G AT I A N C O M M U N I T Y

FREDERICK CB GAMMON (Beau) 15 July 1916 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; June 2013 (RGS 1925-1932) My father Frederick C B Gammon (known to friends and family as Beau), a life member of The Old Reigatians, passed away in June aged 96. Dad was born and brought up in Redhill, along with his older brother Cyril (also an Old Boy), where his parents ran a local pub called The Locomotive. He attended Reigate Grammar School from 1925 to 1932 before leaving to begin a career in hospital engineering, ending up as a Group Engineer in charge of maintenance at Warley Mental Hospital, a 2000 bed hospital in Brentwood Essex, where he had a staff of over 70.

He often talked of his days at RGS with fondness, remembering the friends he made and the masters during his time at the school. An anecdote he used to tell was one day his class was outside doing physical training with RSM Cuss when a rat was spotted near the school kitchens. Sarge sent for a rifle and when it came took aim and despatched the creature with one shot at a distance of some 20 yards, very impressive. Dad always enjoyed receiving The Pilgrim and set up his email address mainly in order to receive The E-Reigatian.

NOTICE OF DEATHS 2013 JOHN BALDRY

(RGS 1964-1972) died on 13 JANUARY 2013

BENJAMIN HOLLIS

(RGS 1990-1998) died on 24 JANUARY 2013

ANDY HART

(RGS 1952-1960) died on 2 FEBRUARY 2013

JOHN BARNES

(RGS 1939-1946) died on 5 FEBRUARY 2013

MICHAEL DURHAM

(RGS 1953-1960) died in MARCH 2013

PETER DOWNING

(RGS 1942-1949) died on 9 MARCH 2013

DAVID MAIR

(RGS 1943-1951) died on 1 APRIL 2013

JOHN GARDINER

(RGS STAFF 1978-1997) died in APRIL 2013

MARK BINGHAM

(RGS 1980-1982) died on 5 MAY 2013

JOHN BOULCOTT

(RGS 1923-1931) died in JUNE 2013

FREDERICK GAMMON

(RGS 1925-1932) died in JUNE 2013

EDGAR MANN

(RGS 1939-1943) died on 2 JUNE 2013

DAVID LOVELOCK

(RGS 1949-1956) died on 11 JUNE 2013

RICHARD COSTER

(RGS 1954-1961) died on 25 JULY 2013

MICHAEL HOOK

(RGS 1949-1955) died in SEPTEMBER 2013

ANTHONY WALKER

(RGS 1957-1965) died in OCTOBER 2013

FRANK HOWLETT

(RGS STAFF 1959-1963) died on 4 OCTOBER 2013

NEIL FARRAR

(RGS 1950-1952) died in OCTOBER 2013

THOMAS HOWE

(RGS 1936-1944) died in NOVEMBER 2013

JOHN ERNEST KERR

(RGS 1940-1949) died on 30 NOVEMBER 2013

DONALD EVANS

(RGS 1938-1945) died on 22 DECEMBER 2013

RAYMOND WELLS

(RGS 1939-1945) died in 2013

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FOUNDATION OFFICE

SEAN DAVEY Development Director spd@reigategrammar.org

HAZEL CORNICK Development Manager hkc@reigategrammar.org

JONNY HYLTON Development Executive jdh@reigategrammar.org

RUTH GLOVER Development Officer rag@reigategrammar.org

ALI MASSEY RGS Events Coordinator arm@reigategrammar.org

RACHEL ROBINSON Designer rcr@reigategrammar.org

Foundation Office Reigate Grammar School Reigate Road Reigate RH2 0QS 01737 222231 rgschanginglives.org reigategrammar.org/foundationhome

@foundationRGS

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Letting and Selling homes in Surrey and Sussex Reigate Grammar pupils Pat Bridges 1973 - 1980 Steve Muggridge 1976 - 1981 Sam Arnold 1998 - 2005 Reigate / Redhill 01737 771777 Horsham 01403 252100 www.woodlands-estates.co.uk


The Foundation Office exists to support the development of Reigate Grammar School and to foster the friendship and support of all Reigatians. The Reigatian community includes current and former pupils, parents, staff, governors and friends of the school â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all, in fact, for whom the school is, or has been, an important part of their lives. Our future success depends upon the benevolence of the whole Reigatian community and we invite you to contribute with them and help to shape the future of our great School and its pupils. Registered Charity number 1081898.

Foundation Office Reigate Grammar School Reigate Road Reigate RH2 0QS 01737 222231 rgschanginglives.org reigategrammar.org/foundationhome

@foundationRGS

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The Reigatian Magazine 2013  

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