Foreword Colin Blessley, OHA President
he Association and its affiliated clubs continue to prosper since the previous edition of the Notes. I mentioned then the contribution that Martin Baker had made to the ongoing success of our rugby club. With his passing last year, we sadly lost one of our most outstanding stalwarts and supporters. Martin was active on almost every OH front imaginable – he will be sorely missed. It’s fitting that we record his contribution in this issue. Just how much he actually undertook on our behalf really only became evident after his loss. It is a genuine credit to our whole organisation that a large number of selfless individuals stepped up to the plate to ensure that all continued to function – we owe them our thanks. I am delighted to report that Richard Carlowe (OH Russells 1984) has now taken on the role of Adminstrator of the Association and continues to perform the great work carried out by his predecessor. In no small part due to the contribution of Roger Llewellyn (OH), Director of the Haberdashers’ Foundation and External Relations at the School, there has been an increased level of joint events for former pupils and OH. I have no doubt that this trend will continue, with a greater variety and frequency of activities. On the sporting front, our clubs continue to reap success. The OHRFC 1st won their league and are promoted, finishing the 2016/7 season in fine form and celebrating in suitable style at Croxdale Road, after a resounding 1st XV win over Tabard. The 2nd XV narrowly lost the playoff final in their league. The two OHCC XIs won promotion on the back of most impressive performances throughout the 2016 season and are looking forward to continuing their successful run in the new season. Our soccer, golf and shooting teams continue to perform well in competitive environments. More details can be found in the Club Reports. On the social front, many traditional events continue to enjoy strong support, not least of which was the 2016 OHA Annual Dinner. Our guest speaker was Sir Martin Sorrell (OH), who gave an inspired and very personal address to the large turnout, much of which recounted his early days in North London and at the School. Our Relocation Project continues to progress under the unstinting leadership of Harold Couch. We are indebted to Harold and his dedicated team for all their hard work on our behalf. There is a separate item in this edition on the current status of the Project. This introduction would not be complete without a heartfelt expression of gratitude to all those who work, visibly and less so, giving up their personal time, contributing to the ongoing success of the Association and its affiliated clubs. To you all, many thanks.
old boys, notes
old boys, notes
Contents Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 OHA Dinners, 2015 and 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tributes to Martin Baker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Tarpey Torture: OH Social Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The OH Retired Members Lunches (The Old Lags) . . . . . . . 8 The OH Ladies Lunches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Removal Men . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Fathers And Sons Dinners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 South West England Dinner 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Remembrance Day 2015 And 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Matt Warman - Another OH Mp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Old Haberdashers’ Association Relocation Project . . . . . . . . 11
Editorial Simon Alterman
Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
elcome to the 204th edition of the Old Boys’ Notes, which covers the varied activities of the Old Haberdashers’ Association during 2015 and 2016. Our features section focuses on the achievements of many distinguished scientists that the School has produced, with apologies to those we may have overlooked. We’ve captured their reminiscences about the special teachers who sparked and nurtured their interest in science. And we look back at the history of teaching science and maths at Habs and the culture that helped so many on their way. It’s fitting that some of those featured have made extraordinary breakthroughs in the study of cancer, as we pay tribute in this issue to the life and contribution to the OHA of Martin Baker. He was a major part of the team that has produced the Notes in recent years and it has taken us some time to begin filling the gap he has left, in this field as in so many others. In addition, the Obituaries section highlights and pays tribute to many other Old Haberdashers and School staff who have died over the past two years. I’m very grateful to the many people who have worked on this issue, most notably the prolific and indefatigable Dr John Wigley who produced much of the copy. We’ve taken full advantage of the newsletters produced by Tony Alexander. Roger Llewellyn at the School and our new Administrator Richard Carlowe have provided invaluable support. Alan Newman took on the task of securing advertising to help fund the publication. We encourage other potential advertisers to get in touch to support future issues. Many other individuals have provided reports on the OH sports clubs and societies – Cricket, Football, Golf, Rugby, Shooting and the OH Lodge – and on the OH social activities. Jonny Burch has once again done a splendid job in designing the magazine and preparing it for printing. The editor, of course, remains responsible for any errors and omissions that remain. I’d welcome feedback and suggestions for the future of the Notes, particularly as Richard Carlowe further develops the association website (www.oldhabs.com) and our digital communication. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OH Scientists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 They Let Us Think and Talk About Science For its Own Sake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The growth of maths and science at Habs . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Profiles of OH Scientists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Professor John Scales – Pioneer of prosthetic surgery . . . . 26 My Habs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Damon Hill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Steven Behr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Matt Lucas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Dan Tunstall Pedoe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Foster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Colin Crouch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexander Kok . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Squire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Swaffield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brian Sewell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Gaskell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Forrester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warren Leigh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barbara Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Geoff Wickens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charlie Dinsdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other Passings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
32 33 33 34 35 35 36 38 38 39 39 39 40 40 40
Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Rugby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cricket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rifle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
42 43 44 46 46 47
old boys, notes
Moynihan, Sorrell Draw Crowds at OHA Dinners John Wigley
old boys, notes
ll OHA Annual Dinners have one very important thing in common: they are enjoyable. The 117th and the 118th, held in May 2015 and 2016, were no exception. On each occasion many members began the evening by assembling in the Bishop’s Finger and, indeed, on the pavement outside, where their black ties and dinner jackets attracted the attention of City workers making their way home. Attendance was higher than for some years. In 2015, numbers were boosted by members of the OHRFC celebrating a vintage season and attracted by the presence of Lord Moynihan (Habs. Monmouth). He coxed the British VIII in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was Minister for Sport 1987-90, and Chair of the British Olympic Association 2005-12. After David Heasman had said Grace, we ate an excellent meal (and drank some good wine), responded to impromptu toasts proposed by our President, Colin Blessley, enjoyed several fluent speeches, and listened spell-bound as Lord Moynihan entertained us by drawing on a rich fund of anecdotes and memories. He has led a fascinating life. In 2016, attendance was even higher, many members wishing to hear Sir Martin Sorrell (Hampstead and Elstree). Sir Martin gave a carefully crafted speech, recounting his family’s eastern European origins, his life at Habs (Cricket Capt., “Auntie” Willatt, “Tommy” Taylor, struggling with “O” level Latin), Christ’s College, Cambridge (alongside Simon Schama), Harvard, and his own illustrious career at the helm of WPP. Amongst all the many images, a self-deprecatory one lingers in my mind: he confessed to hiding his face with his hands as his father’s chauffeur-driven Daimler dropped him off at school. Eloquent though Sir Martin was, the dinner had an undercurrent of sadness. We paid tribute to Martin Baker, who had for many years been the life and soul of the OHRFC and had served the OHA tirelessly as its Secretary. Many of us cast our minds back to his cremation earlier in the year. After both dinners, members and guests were slow to leave Haberdashers’ Hall. Many returned to the Bishop’s Finger and lingered there, exchanging news and reminiscing until the lights were eventually dimmed. Before they left, they thanked Andrew Tarpey for organising the dinners and a small cohort escorted him via Faringdon and St. Pancras to the safety of St. Albans.
Facing page: Colin Blessley gets a refill; OH and guests enjoying a break before speeches This page (clockwise from top): Lord Moynihan; the pre-dinner reception; a presentation to OHRFC President Ian McCarthy; Sir Martin Sorrell, Andrew Tarpey and Colin Blessley; Martin Sorrell.
old boys, notes
17th January 1960 – 19th April 2016 The early death last year of OHA President Martin Baker has taken from the Old Haberdashers a dear friend, a wonderful companion, and a tireless servant of the Association and its sports clubs for more than three decades. Below are edited versions of the tributes paid to Martin at his funeral service on 4th May 2016, and a reminder of the warm, twinkling smile of a truly outstanding man.
charlie betteridge, former ohrfc captain
e’ve all known today was coming, ever since that ominous message three and a half years ago: the worldstopper, the sledgehammer in the face, when we realised that Martin, our great friend Martin, was going to die and there was nothing that he or we could do to stop it. Yet when I met him a few weeks later and we talked about it, I was amazed how matter-of-fact he was. As usual, he’d done his homework, he’d listened to what he’d been told, he’d worked out what he could do and what he couldn’t do, and he was just getting on with it. There was no self-pity. Whatever you threw at Martin, he sorted it out and got on with life without any fuss. That he could be like this with his cancer was quite astonishing and showed remarkable bravery. His wife Connie recently said that it isn’t a fight against cancer because you can win a fight but you can’t win against cancer, and of course she was right. A lot of people would have fallen into a deep depression and gone home and waited to die but not Martin, that wasn’t in his DNA. Martin didn’t do lost causes. If we were losing 30-0 with five minutes to go, he’d still give everything he had. Martin was Secretary of the Old Haberdashers Association for the last 15 years. When I last saw him he said that it was this work that kept him going. In fact, the reverse is true as well: it was his work that kept the Old Haberdashers going. I first met Martin at school. He was a few years below me but stood out, not just because of his red hair but because he was good at everything – rugby, hockey, cricket, work. Martin went on to King’s College, London and got involved with college sport. He did however find time to start playing a few games for the Old Haberdashers and when he left King’s to start his
career with BT, the OH were his sporting priority: fly half in the winter, fast bowler in the summer. When I became Captain of the rugby club, he was the obvious choice as vice-captain. When I bought my flat in Ealing and then my house in Brentford, he was the obvious choice as lodger. When I left the UK, our lives remained entwined. He was usher at my wedding, I was best man at his wedding, he was godfather to my daughter and then, six years ago, I was witness on that wonderful day near here at Cliveden when he married Connie – a marriage that was to be cut short so tragically. Martin wasn’t a dynamic leader. He led by example. It was the things he did and little things he said that influenced us and moved us in the direction he wanted to go. He never had a bad word for anyone. He was also one of the few people I know, who had no enemies. He was universally liked because what you saw was what you got. And what you got was a man who was decent, loyal, honest, a true gentleman. All perhaps old-fashioned values, but all of them virtues. They say that every cloud has a silver lining but, on days like this, it’s difficult to find one. There is one though and the silver lining is that we were lucky enough to have known him: Martin Stanley Baker, the Duck, the guy with the loft insulation up his jumper. If we close our eyes, we can picture him now: probably in one of those jumpers, almost certainly clutching a
pint glass to his chest, face slightly reddened, double chin and that trademark Baker grin, the one that would always turn into laughter as his whole body shook, shoulders going up and down. Big men leave big holes and the biggest one of all is the one Connie now finds herself in. Martin recently referred to Connie as the rock he could rely on to keep going and, whilst he was brave, she was equally so. And so, it is time to say farewell. Martin you were, you are, and you always will be our great friend. As you drift upwards to that great Clubhouse in the sky, you should know that part of you will remain here in our hearts and in our memories. May you rest in peace.
peter vacher, past president oha and ohrfc
ather than just dwell on his illness and the last few months, what I’d like to do is to pay tribute to Martin’s involvement with OH rugby and his willingness to take on a variety of administrative roles in both the rugby club and the wider Association. I was lucky enough to be OHRFC President for three years in the early 1980s at a time when Charlie and Martin were successively Captains and thus observed the team spirit and collective friendship that they both fostered at first hand. Patricia and I were delighted to have been part of Martin’s wider circle at that time and to be caught up in the teams’ heady slipstream. We toured with the club to France where I discovered the beneficial qualities of constant supplies of Armagnac and we defeated a top French side. Martin had first played for the OH 1st XV way back in the 1977-78 season, making eleven appearances under the captaincy of Doug Yeabsley while still a schoolboy. He was on the wing in that famous game in September 1978 when OHRFC defeated the visiting team from Akron, Ohio. And so the process continued, Martin usually playing at fly-half, although in the early years there were appearances at full-back and on the wing, those long raking kicks to the bottom corner his trademark, nothing fancy, getting the line going and winning games. By the year of the Dutch tour he was Captain and that season we had 23 wins from 32 matches. Of course he continued to play and was a 200 Club member by April 1986. I don’t know how many games he played for the club after that – we’d need Nobbly or Martin himself to tell us that – but what was absolutely clear was his commitment to the club, his unquestioning loyalty and those
enduring friendships. He was President of OHRFC for three years from 1998 and amazingly found time to play cricket for OHCC from 1978 making 75 1st XI appearances and 91 for the club’s 2nd XI. He was a keen tourist from 1979-1996 and working on the OHCC tour committee with Mike Filer. All in all, it seems there was nothing that Martin wouldn’t do for the OH in all its forms. Then there was his involvement with CLOB, where in later years he looked after fixtures and also sat on the Middlesex Committee as our representative. Martin was well known and hugely respected right across the rugby spectrum. How did he ever find time to go to work? Away from the sports field, we asked a lot more of him. He was on the OHA Executive for years representing the rugby club, and then became our first professional administrator, having retired from BT, and what a marvellous job he did for us. He pioneered the widely praised electronic newsletter, re-tuned the website, produced the minutes, and generally did everything and more that might have been expected of him. He was a mine of information on all things OH, knew everybody, and responded to everything, while keeping a steely eye on the rugby club, acting as its Treasurer and Secretary, while enjoying the jaunts to overseas international matches with his chums. He seemed to have no ego, just quietly and calmly getting on with things, a smiling presence, not given to overmuch chat but just happy to be among like-minded friends. Invariably polite and gracious, Martin was a very special person, that’s for sure. We made him our President – but sadly he left us far too soon. All we have to do now it to carry things forward as he would have wanted us to do.
“I have had so much fun at Old Habs and I shall always be grateful for the day when I crossed the OH portal.”
old boys, notes
OH Social Events tarpey torture In addition to the lively socialising of the sports clubs, the OHA itself maintains a full programme of convivial social events, now organised by Roger Pidgeon. Among the favourites are the twice-yearly quiz nights, an evening of torture for most at the hands of the Grand Inquisitors, the Tarpey Family. Which UK National Park has the largest resident population? Which writer created Bridget Jones? What was Theresa May’s maiden name? The answers are always on the tip of the tongue, but maddeningly stay there far too often (see below to be put out of your misery). An interval curry from Pauline is guaranteed to fortify all participants and Jean Pidgeon’s command of the raffle put smiles on about twenty lucky people’s faces, irrespective of their scores in the quiz. The redoubtable Wysiwyg outfit (obviously very good at acronyms) were regular winners, but the Old Haberdashers’ Cricket team scored a notable triumph in the November 2015 edition. Most important, win or lose, all who attend have an enjoyable and teasing evening, sure to be repeated. Answers: The South Downs, Helen Fielding, Brasier
old boys, notes
Team Tarpey (from left): Andrew, Jim and Lynda; Quiz teams “enjoying” the Tarpey Torture
the oh retired members lunches (the old lags)
hese informal lunches have been running for years now and never seem to run out of steam – or Old Haberdashers looking for an excellent three-course lunch at a modest price set in the sylvan glories of our sports ground in leafy Elstree. Our period clubhouse is admired for its atmosphere and we regularly attract 50 or more OH of assorted vintages, many who travel quite a distance to be with us, not excluding any overseas members who call in when here in the UK. Our resident Steward Pauline Howard is an expert in conjuring up superb lunches and will happily cater for any dietary needs and OH stalwart David James takes care of the money. There are no set speeches, just the occasional update about OHA activities and the odd burst of humour. More to the point, these lunches provide an opportunity to keep in touch with old friends and to seek out the company of new faces too. We have been especially pleased to welcome former members of the school staff, many of whom we knew from their active days at the chalk-face, and more recently to see Roger Llewellyn, the Director of the HABS Foundation and an OH himself, as a guest. Why not join us? Contact Peter Vacher  on email@example.com and all will be revealed. Rest assured you’ll be among friends.
the oh ladies lunches
atricia Vacher and Trish James run a parallel series of lunches – same place, same set-up, same incredible value for money – for ladies with an OH connection at the clubhouse, also including past members of the school staff. As with the men, the atmosphere is friendly, the approach informal and good company assured. Being a smaller group, new faces would be very welcome so do get in touch. Contact Patricia Vacher: firstname.lastname@example.org or Trish James: email@example.com
Vote of thanks from Rodney Jakeman at Fathers & Sons Dinner
the removal men
ith their days of heavy lifting behind them, the band of Old Haberdashers who transitioned with the school on its relocation from Westbere Road in 1961 – The Removal Men – managed three reunion lunches in 2015/16. Why “Removal Men”? Well, Tom Taylor, then Headmaster, had called for senior school help with the mammoth move during the summer holidays of 1961 and, to his delight, many answered that call. Open trucks and removal wagons of all sizes were employed at the time and fifth and sixth formers accompanied the professional workforce to the green pastures of Elstree. Although some are local, a few travelled from further afield including Dorset and Devon, such is the desire to meet up again with faces from over fifty years ago and have a laugh. Number Twelve in The Ambassadors Hotel Bloomsbury hosted the 2015 gatherings in April and December, with crackers, poppers, balloons, and streamers on the second occasion to mark the season. In October 2016, a smaller group of Removal Men from the class of ’61 held a small lunch together in The Norfolk Arms in Leigh Street WC1.
fathers and sons dinners
he much-loved annual fixture for OH fathers and sons continued in 2015 and 2016. It’s a select band, but perhaps not as select as the reduced attendance in 2015 suggests. Mine host with the most, Andrew Tarpey, had cunningly moved the date to avoid Six Nations clashes, but then less cunningly made it clash with many people’s half-term breaks. As ever, Pauline and Natalie provided lip-smacking meals, so good that the 2015 company forgave Andrew afterwards for torturing them with the latest round of dismal jokes scraped off the web, before offering a toast from sons to fathers. Francis Judge kindly replied in an enthralling, witty and erudite speech, proposing the toast from fathers to sons. The 2016 assembly welcomed a new and yet somehow friendly old face to the table: Jim Stagg (Bob’s twin brother) boosted the Stagg clan to a quartet. We gave our thoughts to the sad loss of Alan Morris who had dined with us last year. We also missed Tony Alexander’s stepson Simon, who had shattered his elbow just a couple of days before, dashing along a slippery pavement. We particularly enjoyed Adrian Possener’s proposal of the toast from sons to fathers, celebrating father Michael’s 85th birthday a few days prior with touching memories of an unconventional incident on a school coach trip, and Michael’s staunch defence of his son’s innocence to the school. Entirely incorrectly, Adrian now confessed after all these years; clearly racked with guilt. But not to worry: what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse (unless it finds its way into the Old Boys’ Notes!).
old boys, notes
south west england dinner 2015
ittle did Reg Howe and Bob Adams, raw form 1S recruits in 1951 at Westbere Road, realise that 64 years later they would be still together, acting as a team of four with their respective wives, Copper and Margaret, to organise a dinner for fellow Old Haberdashers and their partners in faraway Sidmouth. Held at the excellent family run Woodlands Hotel on 14th November 2015, all 27 who attended reported that they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. As Reg noted in his welcoming address, a further 18 invitees had expressed their good wishes and regrets at not being able to attend, but were looking forward to next time. Attending were past OHA Presidents Keith Dawson (199495) and Marjorie, Graham Macfarlane (2003-04) and Janet, and Rodney Jakeman (1982-83 & 1996-97) and Gillian (Rodney having acted in the planning stages as link man with the OHA). There was a special welcome too for Pam Knowles-Brown, who, with her late husband John, had been present at all the previous West of England events for the past decade or more, and for Alan and Pearl Weaver, Alan being an Old Haberdasher from our sister Adams school at Newport, Shropshire. As well as an excellent meal and much renewing old friendships and discovering new ones, another feature was the memorabilia table, with photos (many which had never found their way into Skylark) and other items from the past. These included Bob’s school diary - fortunately no detentions that term - and a set of school rules. Rule 8: Old caps, blazer badges and school ties must be destroyed and not sold or given away. After the evening all were able to relax in the Garden Room when Rodney brought us up to date on current goings-on at HQ, with special mention of progress on the site at Croxdale Road. Proceedings were closed with a unanimous vote to meet again in a couple of years.
old boys, notes
OH at the 2015 West Country Reunion
remembrance day 2015 and 2016
n Friday 6th November 2015 the School CCF held its annual Remembrance Day Parade and Service on the croquet lawn outside Aldenham House, attended by members of the OHA, by some current teaching staff, and by proud parents and grandparents of the cadets. The Contingent Commander, Lt. Col. Woodall, paid eloquent tribute to Old Boys killed in both World Wars, and to Lt. Nick Taylor, the first British fatality of the Falklands War. On behalf of the OHA, Colin Blessley laid a wreath at the foot of the War Memorial. In 2016 the Service was held on 11th November, Armistice Day. An unusually large number of OH attended the wellorganised event, marshalled by SSI Sandercock (former Corporal Major in the Blues and Royals) whose array of medals caught many an eye. Rodney Jakeman (impeccably dressed as ever) represented the OHA at the wreath laying. After the final notes of the Last Post had faded in the chill and damp late autumn air, the Parade was dismissed and visitors and senior cadets mingled over tea in the Old Refectory where the School Librarian had organised a display commemorating the late “Nobbly” Tanner, once one of most active OHA members, who had served as one of Montgomery’s “Desert Rats”, and who had bequeathed his old uniform, medals, and a note from “Monty”, to the School.
old haberdashers’ association relocation project Colin Blessley
matt warman another oh mp
ince the last edition of OH Notes, there has been a considerable amount of activity on the Relocation Project. In late 2015, an exhibition of the development scheme at Croxdale Road was held at the Clubhouse as part of the consultation process inherent in all planning application processes. This gave local residents and other potentially affected parties the opportunity to see first-hand what the proposed development would look like and help them form a view on what the potential impacts on the surrounding area could be. Understandably, reactions were varied. The proposals for the Relocation site just to the south of Radlett were also exhibited, including architects’ drawings and impressions of the new clubhouse exterior, as well as plans of the layout of the playing fields. During our ongoing discussions with Hertsmere Borough Council, a new Chief Planning Officer (“CPO”) was appointed. Shortly afterwards, the CPO’s superior, with whom we had enjoyed a long and cordial relationship, left the Council. These developments were a set-back as lost continuity of the relationships and the accumulated knowledge on the Council’s side. It became clear as a result that Hertsmere’s position regarding the planning proposals on the table had changed. The Council made clear that they considered the number of residential units planned for Croxdale Road excessive and the public open space insufficient. In addition, they indicated that the profile and external dimensions of the proposed new clubhouse should be scaled back. Following these discussions and together with our development partners Barratt David Wilson (BDW), revised proposals for both applications were drawn up which, we understand, should meet with the CPO’s approval for subsequent formal presentation. With the agreement of BDW, the existing applications were withdrawn prior to the Planning Committee’s meeting held on 16th March 2017. We wanted to avoid the original applications being rejected as that would have an adverse impact on the likelihood of any future, improved applications being approved. Since then, we have been working on the extension of our contract with BDW to enable the preparation and presentation of revised planning applications and on the renewal of the option agreement on the relocation site in Radlett. I’d like to put on record once again our deep appreciation of the work of the Relocation Sub-Committee led by Harold Couch. The other members of the group, which meets on a regular basis, are David Brown, Ian Hall, David Heasman, Rodney Jakeman, and myself. For many years, Roger Lyle was a member of the team until he had to stand down due to family commitments. We should also not forget that Martin Baker was another active member, involving himself in myriad administrative tasks and coordinating third-party relations. Throughout the whole life of the project to date, we have been advised by IBB Solicitors of Uxbridge, who have a Consultant with considerable property experience. Geoff Wheal has, until recently, been closely involved on all legal and other matters where his experience has been invaluable. He will continue to be consulted in the light of his considerable background knowledge. David Goy QC has also provided very helpful tax advice.
att Warman (1999) was elected Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness in the 2015 general election and re-elected with an increased majority in the 2017 poll, with former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall trailing in third place. He has since been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Culture Secretary Karen Bradley Born in 1981, he was a member of Joblings and a prefect. He left Habs in 1999 to study English Literature at Durham University. He worked as a journalist on The Daily Telegraph, becoming Technology Editor in 2013, whilst being active in Conservative politics in his native Hertfordshire. His wife’s family hail from Lincolnshire, a connection which helped him to secure adoption as the Conservative candidate for Boston and Skegness in October 2014. Since first winning his seat, he has worked hard to raise his profile there and in the House of Commons, where he asks frequent questions, is a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, and chairs the All Party Group on Broadband. He is co-founder of the Conservative Friends of International Development. Another current OH Conservative MP is David Lidington, who became Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor after the 2017 election. David held the role of Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign Office from 2010 until 2016 and was the longest serving Europe Minister in history, despite the bitter divisions in the Conservative Party over the EU. Perhaps this was due to his considerable skill in keeping a low profile, especially during the fractious referendum campaign. Theresa May appointed him as Leader of the House of Commons in her first government in July 2016. On the opposition side, Luciana Berger, from the Habs Girls’ School in Elstree, was elected Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree in 2010 and in 2015 was appointed Shadow Minister of Mental Health. She resigned from the Shadow Cabinet in June 2016 and was re-elected to parliament with a larger majority in 2017.
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Features OH Scientists My Habs
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OH SCIENTISTS: THE QUIET ACHIEVERS? The achievements of Old Haberdashers in many fields – the arts, entertainment, business, sport and public life – have been well chronicled over the years. But perhaps those who have had outstanding careers in the world of science are less well known. No fewer than six OH are currently Fellows of the Royal Society, an honour reserved for the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. It’s by no means the only measure of distinction for scientists – many others are acknowledged in the pages that follow – but it’s nonetheless remarkable. This issue chronicles the history of science and maths teaching at the school, records recollections about the teachers and the environment that allowed their pupils to flourish, and profiles a number of those notable scientists. We apologise for any omissions from the ranks of those we have mentioned and any inaccuracies or misrepresentations of the life and work of those we have covered.
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“They Let Us Think and Talk About Science For its Own Sake” The school has produced and extraordinary crop of distinguished scientists, including a cluster in the 1970’s described modestly by one of its number as “probably statistically significant”. What was it about the school that made it such fertile ground? The editor sat down with two of his fellow 1975 leavers – Sir Michael Stratton and Professor Daniel Hochhauser – to find out.
Mike Stratton: Being able to discuss science between ourselves was a really strong part of the culture. We’d discuss science all the time. In classes, behind the teachers’ backs, we’d be talking about something scientific. The teachers were quite sophisticated about this. We weren’t always completely attentive. There was quite a lot of sabotaging of each other’s experiments. We weren’t extremely dutiful and conventional adherents to the rules. But the teachers saw that we were interested and they created an atmosphere of cultural liberality to let us think about science. And that was their greatest strength. Danny Hochhauser: I never did particularly well in exams but teachers like Barry Goater and Derrick Swann encouraged our interest and a love of the subject. Barry Goater was a superb naturalist and a great enthusiast. He could walk into the grounds and identify every species. His obsession with butterflies was well known. I gave him fish that had died and he would dissect them and he would explain. He wasn’t interested that I wasn’t an academic star at the time, he just saw an interest. Habs has been criticised for being interested only in the elite of students, but I never felt that. SA: You talk fondly of the environment now, but did you actually like the school at the time? You’d have been considered to be more towards the non-conformist end of the spectrum in those days. Mike: In the sixth form we had a reasonable amount of freedom. At the time, if you’d asked me I would have railed against all the things we were prevented from doing but, with hindsight, it wasn’t a very restrictive environment. Danny: Our teachers were not necessarily memorable because of their inspiration, more because of the environment.
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Mike: I do remember one incident with great clarity. One week, I got really inspired by the chemistry homework topic. I went completely “off piste”. When the teacher, Dr Harrison, gave back our homework, he took me aside and was very complimentary about it. And it was the first time I understood that having a scientific idea was an important thing to do and my first introduction to the notion that what the world wanted was that kind of creativity. It was a big surprise and the memory has stuck with me for a very long time. Research is a creative process, but you don’t necessarily know that when you are at school. A lot of places would not have the sort of teachers that would help students recognise that. SA: You both went on to study medicine at university. How did that compare? Danny: For me it was such a culture shock to go from Haberdashers to Cambridge, which seemed so regressive: the rigidity of the medical system and the lack of intellectual interest that there was in the first years was for me quite a disillusionment after what I’d been used to. And at school it was not just in science. I used to know the history teachers and David Grossell would give me books to read on political theory or Marxism or whatever and I used to talk to him all the time. Mike: They were pretty lackadaisical at Oxford too. If I didn’t want to, I didn’t go to any lectures. I could do more or less what I liked, so I did. I was involved in politics and that sort of thing. I spent time in the library reading the things I had to read and quite enjoyed them. Danny: We probably never talked about science during the entire time we were medical students.
ost boys who studied at Habs from 1960 onwards remember some of the long-serving science and maths teachers and the impact they had, as a number of reminiscences and testimonies make clear. John Dudderidge had begun to teach at Habs in the 1930’s. Richard Treisman writes: “I continue to remember John’s antics with HCL and turpentine and magnesium filings fillings and potassium nitrate as highlights of my Habs experience. John Bausor - with comments such as ‘Treisman seems more concerned with levity than gravity’ - helped to dry out my wit.” Tim Mitchison recalls: “The person who deserves a lot of credit for my success, and I think that of several others, is Mr. Carleton, our chemistry teacher. A truly outstanding teacher. I teach a fair amount at Harvard these days, but I’ll never fill his shoes.” Morgan Sheng indeed has fond memories of Mr. Swann, Dr Levin, and, especially, Mr. Carleton, “for turning me on to science”. David Bentley heaps praise on “Johnnie” Carleton and “Basher” Goater as big influences. Robin Franklin was inspired
by Barry Goater too, Simon Clarke by Jack Alvarez. Peter Parham, in 1961 one of the first intake of boys at Elstree, says: “In the Sixth Form, John Carleton and John Bausor were like colleagues to their A-level classes and Jim even took us on an expedition to Cambridge to decide which college we should aim for…In earlier years, Alan Wood was also a formative influence and source of encouragement.” Few pupils in the school at that time will forget Alan’s maths teaching, or classes with Wilf Hewitt and “Victor” Todhunter. The latter was succeeded as Head of Maths by Doug Whittaker, an outstanding mathematician and all-round schoolmaster and a legend with generations of pupils, many of whom attended his funeral in December 2012. Professor Robert Lamb sums it up: “Peter Parham, Thomas Jessell, and I were in the same class and all three of us had Mr. Carleton for Chemistry. Two Fellows of the Royal Society, two Fellows of the American National Academy of Sciences, and two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators out of one year. Mr. Carleton’s teaching was magic.”
Mike Stratton at the Sanger Institute and (left) in his sixth form days. (Right) Danny Hochhauser
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The growth of maths and science at Habs John Wigley
ver since John Colet founded St. Paul’s School in the early 16th century, the curriculum in English grammar and public schools had been dominated by Latin and Greek. During the second half of the 19th century, however, a series of reports focused on the absence of science from the classroom. The Taunton Report on endowed schools in 1868, which mentioned Aske’s Hospital, found that middle class parents in London wanted their sons to have a “thorough knowledge of those subjects that could be turned to a practical use in business; English, arithmetic, the rudiments of mathematics, natural science and a modern language”. Another report found that only ten per cent of endowed schools had a science lab and that the number of science teachers and the time given to the subject were inadequate. It recommended that every such school should have a lab suitable for chemistry and physics. Haberdashers responded more rapidly than most. In I869, the Endowed Schools Act had appointed a Commission to reorganise such schools so Aske’s Hospital was restructured and re-opened in 1875 as the Hoxton Boys’ School. Lessons included English grammar, composition and literature, arithmetic and mathematics, French, and “natural science”. From 1876, the school accepted subsidies from the Department of Science and Art to provide facilities to teach chemistry and physics, supplemented in 1894 by grants from the London County Council’s Technical Education Board, which allowed it to enhance its teaching of geometrical and mechanical drawing.
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In 1896 and 1897, an inspector reporting for the Senate of London University concluded: “This is essentially a Modern school, attention being given mainly to Mathematics, English and Science.” But he judged the facilities for teaching chemistry and physics to be inadequate. That did not hold back the boys. In 1892, R.T. Smith graduated at Cambridge with a first class degree in Mathematics and he was appointed Professor of Science at the University of Cape Colony the following year. In 1903, H.M. Waynforth, his contemporary at Hoxton, was Professor of Engineering at King’s College, London. Perhaps the most brilliant pupil was Ralph Freeman, who left the school in 1897 and went on to design and supervise the building of Sydney Harbour Bridge - the world’s heaviest and longest single-span bridge when it opened in 1932. When the governors decided to locate the school in West Hampstead, they planned for a chemistry lab and a physics lab. But the Boer War caused building costs to rise, so when the boys moved in during September 1902 there was no chemistry lab. However, the LCC and the Board of Education were impressed, amongst other things, by the introduction of a setting for science teaching and supplied Habs with funds. In 1909, a new building opened included a chemistry lab. A year later, the governors appointed Mr. Wagstaff as Headmaster. A scholar of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had first-class degrees in Mathematics and Natural Science and
Then and now: science labs at Westbere Road (1959) and at Elstree today
had taught at Oundle School, perhaps the only public school known for its science teaching. He was the author of the then well-known text-books “Electricity” and “Properties of Matter”. He took personal charge of science teaching, taught some science lessons himself, set up and lectured to the Science Society, and ensured that most sixth formers specialised in science subjectsw In January 1920, he was succeeded by Mr. Kemp, an Oxford Physicist, from Clifton College. Kemp established a junior laboratory and persuaded the LCC and the Board of Education to fund a new building dedicated to science teaching. In 1931, the Duke of Connaught, who had opened the Hoxton Boys’ School in 1875, opened the then state-of-the-art Science Building. The Board of Education’s inspection report in 1932 stated that the “fine Science block” made “very adequate provision” for all aspects of the subject. School Certificate work reached a good standard in biology and maths. Higher School Certificate work in science and maths was of “good quality”. Maths teaching was being reorganised by the newlydesignated head of department, “Pop” Oliver, a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. The inspectors judged him a “first rate teacher”. During the 1930’s at least three of his pupils won maths scholarship sat his old college: Albert Green, Jack Good, and Andrew Booth. Green became a professor and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Good worked with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park
and later became a professor. Booth pioneered digital computing in Britain and also became a professor. Booth considered Oliver “an excellent teacher” and recalled Mr. Rawnsley, who had lost a leg in the First World War but drove a dashing yellow sportscar, as “another splendid teacher, completely up-to-date” with physics. Photos taken in the 1950’s show the 1931 labs in good condition, if over-crowded and certainly not meeting modern safety standards. Dr. Taylor, Headmaster from 1946, ensured that when the school opened at Elstree in 1961 it had eleven purpose-built labs, but the 1963 inspection report judged that there were not enough and they were too small. The situation was relieved in 1971 when Mrs. Thatcher, then Secretary of State for Education, opened new Physics labs and Technology workshops. The Aske Building, opened by Lord Brittan in 2004, replaced all of the old labs. It was long thought that maths could be taught in any old room: maths teachers needed only a stick of chalk and a black board! Maths facilities are rarely, if ever, mentioned in inspectors’ reports. Maths has had had a peripatetic existence at Elstree. At one time Maths was based at the north end of what for many years was called Phase Three, with one of the first computers to be used in a British school. The Maths office is now the house corridor, on the north side of the Quad.
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Profiles of OH Scientists The following selection of scientists is inevitably incomplete but demonstrates the range of disciplines and the level of excellence many have achieved.
albert green, frs (1912-1999)
lbert Green was one of the most distinguished and prolific British applied mathematicians of the 20th century. He made key contributions to theoretical and applied mechanics, and his contributions to elasticity theory alone place him amongst the most outstanding workers in theoretical mechanics. He began his academic career at Habs and, taught by “Pop” Oliver, won a Scholarship to Jesus College, Cambridge in 1931, where he was awarded a Ph.D. He was a lecturer at Durham University and, from 1949 to 1968, Professor of Applied Mathematics at King’s College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (which became Newcastle University in 1963). Under his leadership Newcastle’s applied mathematics department became one of the most innovative in Britain. In 1968, he accepted Oxford’s Sedleian Chair of Natural Philosophy, which he held until he retired in 1977, and where he
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chaired the Mathematical Institute from 1974 to 1976, and was a Fellow of the Queen’s College. After retirement, he published research papers when well into his 80’s. Green was a part of two outstanding academic partnerships: he worked at Brown University, Rhode Island, with Ronald Rivlin to establish the theory of non-linear viscoelasticity: materials with memory; and he formed a 30-year partnership with Paul Naghdi, specialising in the theory of elastic-plastic continua. Abstruse though these topics seem to the layperson, his books “Theoretical Elasticity” (with Zerna) and “Large Elastic Deformations” (with Adkins) are standard reference texts over 40 years after they were written. Those who understood Green’s work ensured that he was awarded the highest academic honours, including being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1958.
andrew booth (1918-2009)
michael mathews (1961)
hen Professor Booth visited Habs just two years before his death, he did not reveal that he was “the fourth man” who pioneered the design and construction of digital computers in Britain. His father, an engineer and inventor, used him as a lab assistant, and he was fascinated by how engineering drawings were made. His prep school spent so much time on Latin, Greek and French that it neglected maths, so his father taught him calculus by the age of 10 and he scored 100% in the Habs entrance exam. He was unhappy at the school but did at least enjoy maths and physics and, in 1937, “Pop” Oliver tutored him to his maths Scholarship at Jesus College, Cambridge. He knew he annoyed people, put his foot in his mouth, and wanted to do things in his own way. He found fault with the Cambridge pure maths course, spent his time attending physics lectures, and eventually left the university. However, partly to placate his parents he entered for the next London University external degree exam and got a First in maths and physics. During the war, he was a research physicist with several firms whilst studying for a Ph.D. from Birmingham University. His research on the crystallographic structure of explosives used data involving slow and tedious calculations, so he designed and built three small analogue computers, and began to design a machine that was later called ARC (Automatic Relay Computer). In 1946 he was appointed to Birkbeck, where he taught physics under Professor Bernal, who sent him to investigate computer research in the USA. In 1947, he was awarded a Rockefeller Scholarship to visit to John von Neumann’s team at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and, after returning to Britain, he had had completed within two years his design for ARC. In the late 1940’s, four British teams were working on digital computers. The best-known were at Manchester, Cambridge, and the National Physical Laboratory. The fourth was at Birkbeck, led by Booth. Though he had just two people working with him, ARC was fully operational there by the end of 1952. In 1962, tired of the limited resources at his disposal, Booth accepted the post of Professor and Head of Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and made the rest of his career in Canada. In 1972, he was appointed President of Lakehead University, Ontario, where he was particularly proud of starting a “bright kids” programme to encourage talented youngsters to study at university. He retired in 1978.
ichael is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chair of the BMB Department at Rutgers University Medical School, New Jersey. His research speciality is protein systems and the interaction between viruses and their hosts. Michael studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and was awarded a Ph.D. for research in biochemistry, staying for postdoctoral work in Dr. Sanger’s Medical Research Council Lab, which confirmed his interest and future career studying the molecular biology of cancer.
Andrew Booth (left), Robert Lamb (above) and Albert Green (facing page)
tony gatrell (1968)
ony Gatrell. He describes himself as a “Geographer by training” but his research has led him into collaboration with medics in the fields of cardiology, palliative care, public health, paediatrics and neurology. His interests lie in the geography of health and medical geography, looking at the connections between space, place and health. He specialises in the geographical dimension of health inequalities, particularly spatial epidemiology and the district and regional variation of health care provision. He is Professor in the Faculty of Health and Medical Geography at the University of Lancaster.
robert lamb (1968)
obert Lamb is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator and John Evans Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chair of the Department of Molecular Bioscience at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Birmingham in 1971 and moved to Cambridge for his Ph.D. He has had a distinguished career in the USA, where he and the Lamb Lab specialise in viruses, including those for mumps and measles, but especially the flu virus. His work has been widely recognised, not least by his being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the US equivalent to the UK’s Royal Society.
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Peter Parham (left) and Thomas Jessell
peter parham, frs (1968)
howard jacobs (1973)
eter Parham’s scientific work, according to the Royal Society, has explored how the continual arms race between vertebrates and viruses gives rise to extraordinary diversity in the molecules that maintain our immune responses, shedding light on human evolution and highlighting the need for closer genetic matching in organ transplantation. He has spent much of his academic life at Stanford University in California – where he is Professor of Structural Biology and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. He heads the eponymous Parham Laboratory, where he leads a research team of 12 other senior academics and is also a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute. After leaving Habs, he read Natural Science at Cambridge, studied for a Ph.D. at Harvard (where he was elected a Junior Fellow), worked for a year in the Department of Genetics at Oxford, and then returned to Harvard. Since 1980 he has been a member of the faculty at Stanford, although he recently spent a term as a Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College in Oxford. He has hundreds of publications to his name, including a textbook “The Immune System” that is used by university students the world over. Peter edits several scientific journals and has received many awards, including those from the Leukaemia Society of America, the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immogenetics, the European Society of Immogenetics and the British Society of Immunology. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2016 became a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
thomas jessell, frs (1969)
homas Jessell is a neuroscientist, currently Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University and co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science and the Mort B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Initiative. He took a Ph.D at Cambridge and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, becoming an assistant professor there in 1981. His research focuses on the vertebrate central nervous system and has revolutionised understanding of neural development and laid the foundation for a better understanding of the cellular physiology of the spinal cord and reflex behaviour.
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rofessor Howy Jacobs is Director of the institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki. He and his team use both mammalian cell and fruit fly models to analyse mitochondrial DNA replication and expression to study the involvement of mitochondrial DNA in human disease and ageing and to test strategies for therapy and treatment.
sir richard treisman, frs (1973)
ince 2009, Richard Treisman has been Research Director of the Francis Crick Institute, situated in an impressive new building in London just north of the British Library and just west of St. Pancras Station. The Institute is a unique partnership between the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, Imperial College, King’s College London and University College London. A good deal of its work is devoted to cancer research, Richard’s chosen field. His particular interests are in biochemistry, molecular cell biology and genomics, using them to understand the invasion and spread of cancer. Richard studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1977, and in 1981 received his Ph.D. jointly from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) and University College London. He then held a three year post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University but 1984 returned to Britain and joined the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory for Molecular Research in Cambridge. Four years later he moved back to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories in London, and in 2000 was appointed Director of its Laboratory Research. In 2002 he became Director of the Cancer Research UK London Cancer Research Institute (LCRI) (the former ICRF labs). Early in 2015 the LCRI was incorporated into the Francis Crick Institute. Richard is a member of EMBO and was awarded the Louis-Jentet Prize for Medicine. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994 and is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Medical Science and was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2016.
david bentley (1974)
avid Bentley received his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1982. He is now Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Denver, USA. He works on the process of mRNA synthesis, or transcription, which is carefully regulated by cells since corrupted regulation of the process causes cancer.
david latchman (1974)
avid studied Natural Science at Cambridge and stayed on for his Ph.D. (1981), specialising in genetics. His research brought rapid recognition: by 1991, he was Professor of Molecular Pathology at University College. London. After a series of similar posts, in January 2003 he took up the duties of Master and Professor of Genetics at Birkbeck College. He continued as Professor at nearby UCL, where his lab is located. In 2010, he received a CBE for services to higher education.
christopher hull, frs (1975)
hristopher Hull is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London. He is known for his work on generalised complex structures, string theory, and M-theory. From Habs, Chris went to King’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a First in Maths (1979) and a Ph. D. (1983). He then spent two years as a Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-85), followed by a two year Fellowship at King’s, and a one year Research Fellowship at Imperial College. From 1988 to 2003 he lectured and researched at Queen Mary, University of London, from 1995 to 2003 as Professor of Theoretical Physics. He has been at Imperial since 2003. Chris’s work, and scores of research papers, has led to widespread recognition. He was awarded a SERC Advanced Research Fellowship (1987) and the EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship (1996). He received the Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society (2002) and the Dirac Medal for Theoretical Physics from the Institute of Physics (2003). In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
sir michael stratton, frs (1975)
Richard Triesman receiving his knighthood from the Queen and (right) Chris Hull
ichael Stratton is Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), Cambridge, and Chief Executive Officer of the Wellcome Genome Campus. He was knighted by the Queen in 2013. His work has focused on identifying the genetic changes that cause cancer. “We work in the knowledge that incorporating discoveries from cancer genomes into clinical practice is already improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, with much more to come,” he said in response to the announcement of his knighthood. After leaving Habs for Brasenose College, Oxford, Michael took his degree in Physiology (1979), moved to Guy’s (M.B., B.S. 1982) and during the middle 1980’s held clinical posts there and at Hammersmith, the Royal Marsden and Westminster hospitals. In 1986 he began research for a Ph.D. on the molecular biology of cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, in 1991 became a Team Leader and in 1997 was appointed Professor of Cancer Genetics. Three years later he initiated the Cancer Genome Project at the WTSI and led its research programme, becoming Director in 2010 and then CEO of the Wellcome Genome Campus. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2008. In 1994 he and his team located the major high-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2, and in 1995 identified the gene itself, a major discovery. He saw that similar research would ultimately enable scientists to identify all mutations in cancer genomes and thus all cancer genes. That vision drove his work at the Cancer Genome Project. In 2016, a huge international study led by the Sanger Institute announced that it has identified the 93 genes – out of the 20,000 in the human genome – whose mutations are responsible for virtually all types of breast cancer. The knowledge that each of the mutations that cause particular cancers, whether based on inheritance or lifestyle/ environment factors, should receive specific treatment has greatly influenced drug research and by providing guidance as to which cancer types and which mutated genes might be most responsive to new medicines.
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Tim Mitchison and (right) Morgan Sheng
tim mitchison, frs (1976)
rofessor Tim Mitchison was born into a scientific dynasty. His father Avrion and uncles Dennis and Murdoch were all scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society, as were his great uncle J.B.S. Haldane and his great grandfather J.S. Haldane. Tim continued that family tradition, being elected a Fellow in 1997. After leaving Habs, he studied at Merton College, Oxford and graduated in biochemistry. In 1979, he moved to the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) for his Ph.D. (1984). He returned briefly to Britain and did research at the National Institute of Medical Research in London, but in 1987 went back to the United States to lecture at UCSF. In 1997 he became co-director of the Institute for Chemistry and Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is now deputy chair and Hasib Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, which he co-founded in 2004. A renowned figure among American cell biologists for his work on the fundamental mechanism cells use for physical organisaton and movement, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2007 and, three years later, became President of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). In 2013, he gave the Society’s Keith Porter Memorial Lecture and the fellow Brit who introduced him joked about his habitually casual appearance and the Habs school uniform. He described Habs as the “perfect school for middle class parents who were left wing enough not to want the opprobrium of sending their son to a better known but also posh school”.
morgan sheng, frs (1976)
organ Sheng is Vice President, Neuroscience and Molecular Biology, at the pioneering biotechnology firm Genentech. “As a neuroscientist with a medical background, I am inspired to understand how the brain works from the level of molecule to cognitive behaviour, and to tackle serious brain diseases based on understanding of biological mechanisms,” he says. After leaving Habs, he took a first in physiology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and qualified as a doctor at Guys Hospital Medical School. He then did medical residency at various teaching hospitals (MRCP, 1985), research at Harvard University (earning his Ph.D. in molecular genetics in 1990),
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and at the University of California, San Francisco (post-doctoral Fellowship in Neuroscience). From 1994-2001, he was a professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and in 2001 was appointed the Menicon Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences and the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received many honours, being elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), a Fellow of the Royal Society (2007), and the Academy of Medical Sciences (2009). His work concentrates on improving our understanding of basic synaptic biology to illuminate the mechanisms that underlie human neurological disorders and mental illness. It is relevant to seeking to understand and treat Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia, depression, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia.
simon baron-cohen, fba (1977)
rofessor Baron-Cohen left Habs in 1977 to study Human Sciences at New College, Oxford, where he was taught by Richard Dawkins, now well-known as an atheist controversialist. Dawkins tells in his autobiography that he did not realise his tutorials with undergraduates in his room could be heard, through a badly fitting door, by others waiting outside; not, at least, until Baron-Cohen flung the door open and burst in exclaiming “I really can’t agree with that.” After Oxford, Simon moved to London University where he studied for a Ph.D. in Psychology at University College, then for his M.Phil. in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychology at King’s College. He held academic appointments in London University and in 1994 returned to Cambridge. He is now Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, Fellow of Trinity College and Director of the Autism Research Centre. He was one of the first academics to make a rigorous study of the causes of autism and has published either singly or jointly over 400 articles on the subject. He has put forward three hypotheses, each of which has caused controversy. First, autism is attributed to a degree of “mind blindness”, slow emotional development, thus sufferers fail to acknowledge their own desires and needs and fail to recognise and them in other people. Second, if introverted “geeks” with a pre-disposition for maths, science and technology marry fellow “geeks”, then their offspring have a higher risk
of autism. Third, severe levels of autism in men could be an extreme form of the “male brain” (more inclined to systematise and less inclined to empathise than the female brain) caused by higher levels of foetal testosterone. In 2012 he was appointed chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Naturally his pioneering work has been recognised by several prestigious awards, including being elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2009.
nick james (1977)
fter a degree in immunology at St. Bartholomew’s Medical School, Nick did medical training in London, Brussels and Tokyo, besides being awarded a Ph.D. by Imperial College, London. He specialised in cancer and for some years was Professor of Clinical Oncology at the University of Birmingham. He founded and is now Professor and Director of the Cancer Unit at Warwick University’s Medical School. His work focuses on the Medical research Council’s Clinical Trials Unit in London, evaluating different treatments for newlydiagnosed high-risk cancer and prostate cancer.
simon clarke (1987)
Simon Baron-Cohen and (right) Robin Franklin
imon Clarke researches solid state structural chemistry and focusing on the synthesis of a range of new solids and the correlation of their magnetic properties with their structures. Oxford has awarded him a personal professorship. He spent two years at Cornell University in the USA, but in 1997 returned to the Inorganic Chemistry Lab in Oxford. Since 2002, he has been a Fellow and tutor at Exeter College and a University Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry.
neil greenham (1988)
eil Greenham is Fellow and Director of Studies at Clare College, Cambridge. He is also Deputy Head of the Department of Physics, a member of the department’s Optoelectronics Research Group in the world-famous Cavendish Laboratory, and works with the university’s Nano Science Centre. His main research interests are in conjugated polymers and semi-conductor nanocrystals.
robin franklin (1981)
obin Franklin is a Professor of Stem Cell Medicine and Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, positions he has held since 2014. He left Habs for the Royal Veterinary College (B. Vet. Med. 1988), intercalated at University College, London, (B.Sc. 1985), moved to Cambridge (Ph.D. 1991), joined the Department of Veterinary Medicine and became a Fellow at Pembroke College. From 2005-13 he was Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Biology. He is an international authority on the biology of remyelination, investigating how to enhance this regenerative process to treat people with demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. According to one of his colleagues, his research is a great example of how to go from a fundamental discovery in biology to a potential treatment for a debilitating disease.
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Professor John Scales – Pioneer of prosthetic surgery Colin Blessley My earliest memories of John were of a formidable character with a never-ending reserve of energy. As a young boy growing up in the Blessley household in Brockley Avenue, Stanmore, which backed onto the Scales residence, he used to put the fear of God into me. This changed as I matured and I was more able to appreciate his finer qualities, of which there were many. From those early days, his elder daughter Sally became one of my closest friends and is so to this day. While at university, I managed to wangle a summer vacation position at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital as an analyst in the Biomedical Engineering Department, where John was the leading biomedical surgeon of his time in knee, hip, shoulder and elbow prosthetics. My role was to analyse hip replacement patients’ pre-and post-op performance. To monitor this, John had devised a process whereby patients wearing Dr Scholl sandals fitted with pressure sensitive coils in the soles walked up and down a corridor which was a magnetic field. This process evaluated how a patient’s walking behaviour was affected by a hip defect. Occasionally, my role required me to sit in the viewers’ gallery in the theatre while an operation was being performed to take the relevant notes. One of the most memorable patients to receive a new lease of life from John and his team was Reg Prior, the landlord of the Waggon & Horses pub on the A5, just north of Elstree and a regular OH and RNOH watering hole at that time. Reg was in for a double hip replacement, having spent as many years as I could remember stuck in his chair in the Saloon Bar, presiding over all. The morning after the op, which seemed to take for ever, John was doing his ward rounds and asked Reg how he felt. “Oh, not bad”, was the reply, “but the soles of my feet tickle a
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bit”! A few months later, in December, he accompanied his wife Vera to the Publicans’ Annual Dinner Dance at the London Hilton and took her on the dance floor for the first time in years. For me, that epitomised everything that John achieved in a long and distinguished career. Always looking to improve the lot of the patient, John devised yet another innovative treatment. As a result of his involvement at Mount Vernon Hospital, he could not help but be concerned about the limited resources available to treat serious burns cases. His ever-active mind came up with an idea – “Why not use the hovercraft principle in reverse?” He purloined a coffin and wangled a large air compressor trailer from RAF Bentley Priory. He fitted a plastic skin with multiple perforations inside the coffin and hooked it up to the compressor. First hover tests were with pigs, but I was one of the first human guinea-pigs. During testing, he grabbed hold of my feet and spun me – I thought I would never stop spinning. This rudimentary prototype was developed into a sophisticated system used by serious burns units all over the world. From a somewhat turbulent start at Westbere Road – he told the story that my father Ken Blessley, as Captain of School used to mete out corporal punishment to him (an anecdote not denied by my father) – John went on to achieve true greatness. His many accolades, including an OBE and Honorary FRS, bear witness to this. What I will remember, though, is a man of infinite energy, a wicked sense of humour and, above all, a great humanist, whose contribution to science and healthcare will not fade with the passage of time.
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A Good Start On Life’s Track Damon Hill, Racing Driver (1979) I enjoyed Haberdashers’ academically, took advantage of its good sports facilities, and appreciated the responsible way it treated its pupils. Most importantly the teachers were excellent. I was not aware of it at the time, but now that I have children myself, I realise how important education is. English and History were my favourite subjects. I liked Physics, too, but my Maths let me down. I had a brilliant Economics teacher, who was really a minimalist. He had a wry sense of humour and made the subject fascinating. Haberdashers’ has an almost ideal location, not far from London, but effectively in the country. And because of the splendid surroundings we were not always stuck in the classroom. It was great for a day boy like me. I played several sports and my main achievement was getting into the water polo team because I was a good swimmer. I particularly enjoyed the
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away games because we were treated to a tea. Water polo is a vicious game, but I only played it in the sixth form, once we had been allowed to stop cricket and rugby. I was completely useless at both of them. I liked the aggression of rugby but never really cottoned on to the rules, so there was little chance of my scoring a try. And I did not really want to do all that running anyway. Cricket was a great day out in the sun. The masters pretty much left us to it, which was appreciated. There was no opportunity to get involved in motor racing at school because there was no provision for it. The only way in which you might say it helped my motor racing career was that I was allowed to ride a moped to school and, when I was older, a motor bike. I later progressed to rather more powerful fourwheeled vehicles.
Enthusiastic for Shenanigans Steven Behr (1991)
It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since I left Habs. I remember being a very enthusiastic schoolboy, not always pursuing academic excellence, but enjoying the wonderful range of extra-curricular activities that Habs offered (and for any shenanigans that occasionally presented themselves). One might argue that it was these very activities that distracted me from my studies, but I needed the rough and tumble of the rugby fields, the lunchtime water-polo and the CCF as a necessary release of energy. I found it hard to relate most class work to real life experience and I recall a comment on my report in the second year (aged 13) from my Maths teacher which delighted my parents: “Steven tries his hardest…” But they were disappointed to read on: “…to do as little work as possible!” It is not surprising, therefore, that I have very few memories of the lessons themselves but I do have certain very clear and prominent recollections. During the Prep, rumours about the Ghost of Studio 4 kept me busy for many a lunch hour, conducting extensive investigations into any possible supernatural activity. I remember Basil Flashman’s dry sense of humour, often asking if my newly born sister had helped me with my homework. I also remember my first School assembly, hearing all the boys singing hymns for the first time and being struck by the beauty of the music. Moving on to the early years of the main school, we found locking each other in the classroom cupboard, just prior to English lessons, to be an endless source of amusement. Until, that is, one day our teacher decided to leave us in there throughout the lesson, which would probably now be in breach of all sorts of Child Protection and Health and Safety rules. Another cheeky ruse we enjoyed was during music lessons; whenever we stood up to sing we would all shuffle along one space. When the teacher asked us all to sit our hapless classmate at the end would be desperately searching for his chair, trying not to draw attention to his predicament. We never tired of this mischief! And of course when it snowed, we all became potential victims of the ultimate “bundle”.
As we matured and progressed through school, so too came responsibility: Prefects, Warrant Officers, Sports Captains etc., roles which we all probably took far too seriously, but with moments of great humour and lapses into inexcusable immaturity. Watching the Squadron Leader perform his Latino-style march during RAF parade whilst we were all stood to attention was a strain. The roll call that followed when the first name read out was A. D--k proved to be too much for most of us. There are two assemblies that I will never forget, the first when a friend decided to read the School Rugby results for the first time: this all went very well until he started interspersing the weekend’s horse racing results at Cheltenham. Brilliant and unforgettable. But perhaps even more ingenious was changing the words to the end of term hymn “Jerusalem” as a protest by 6th formers at the removal of car parking privileges. One line went something like this… “And did those feet in Dawson’s time walk upon Habs car parks green?” With the passing of time, nothing at School other than these happy memories seems important to me. Habs was a steppingstone, giving us all the unique and privileged opportunity to carve the path of our choosing. My closest friends are Old Habs boys and girls who have all gone on to have successful careers. I am proud to be an Old Haberdasher, which is why I decided to send my eldest two children to the Girls’ and Boys’ Schools at Elstree and to become a Governor of the Schools. Being a Governor gives yet another perspective on School life. Having waited 25 years for my first reunion, I am keen for Old Boys and Girls to be able to reconnect with one another more easily (and more quickly) after they leave School. The combined resources of the School and OHA should be able to use modern technology to provide this service as a matter of course to parents, who have paid significant sums in fees, and to leavers from both Schools, who are starting their careers, allowing them all to connect and network with OH who are already established in business and the professions.
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What Are The Scores? Matt Lucas, Comedian (1990)
My cricketing career at Haberdashers’ was as illustrious as my academic one, hence my eminence not as a scientist, novelist or barrister but as the man who used to appear in commercials advising you to purchase small chocolate eggs. My intentions were noble. I was aware of the great interest in cricket in my family and was eager to impress them. My late grandfather and his brother had been keen fans, and my cousin was cricket editor at The Times, so it made sense when I strolled into a cricket team in my first year. Well, almost. I didn’t actually play for the team. I was scorer. Having dazzled in my studies to the extent that I was to begin my second year ‘On Report’ and having failed to get even a small part in the Junior School Play (I had to make do with being an usher) I was approaching the end of my first year at Habs with a blank c.v., so the opportunity to become a scorer was one I was keen not to pass up. It was a chance to make my mark at the school, to get in with all the popular lads who had blond hair and were good at sport and maybe…just maybe…well, yes the odds were as likely as winning the lottery, but maybe, just maybe, get on to the pitch and actually play. As the fat, asthmatic, kid of the year I had little hope of making an impact in the sporting arena but in cricket there was always a chance just get a go and with that bat in my hand, if I got lucky, actually hit the ball and get a whole run. Anyway, even if that never happened, scoring would be good. For a start, it’s sitting down, which sounds like the best sport of all, you can have a chat with folk while you do it and to cap it all, just when it gets a bit too dull and crickety, you get to go and have a cuppa. The first match I was to score was a friendly, played at the beginning of the season, between the first year A and B teams. John Rose, the team coach (by that I do not mean he had wheels and seats and was comfortable to sit on), had given me the book in which I was to write down the scores. It was a weighty, hardback volume, with a sense of gravitas and permanence about it. I was given a pencil and rubber and, having been filled in on
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what to do, sat down at my desk and went to work. The trouble was, no offence, but watching the first year “A” team play the first year “B” team playing cricket isn’t actually all that interesting and it wasn’t all that long before my attention started to wander. Sitting next to me were three or four dutiful parents and we were having a lovely old chat. In fact I recall I was being quite entertaining, cracking jokes and giving impressions of the teachers. The subject moved on to nicknames, and quickly from the nicknames of the teachers to those of the boys. It was about then that, encouraged by a willing audience, the nicknames of my peers made their way into the book, in place of their real names. In my third year at Habs, Mr. Tyler, who taught us German, used a number of stock phrases, the most frequent of which was: “You can’t talk and listen at the same time!” It’s fair to say that he might have been right. You certainly can’t amuse an audience and keep a cricket score at the same time, or at least I couldn’t. Hence, when the boys suddenly surrounded me, eager to confirm how they had done, it became apparent that not only was it the end of the match but that, in my pursuit of a few laughs, I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be watching them play and writing down the scores. Worse still, Richard Yeabsley, captain of the cricket, rugby and hockey teams, and son of Mr. Yeabsley, had been reduced to ‘Yebo’, James McNeil was ‘Macca’ and James Cameron was ‘Cam’. I don’t recall predicting the outburst that greeted me when my colleagues discovered what I had done. It had felt so innocuous to me at the time, and it had certainly amused the parents, but my peers were furious. Mr. Rose was alerted and let me know in no uncertain terms that “this is not how we do things here at Haberdashers!” Needless to say I was unceremoniously and quite rightly relieved of my duties and I had to wait ten years and swap my desk for a drum kit before anyone dared to ask me for the scores again.
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Dan Tunstall Pedoe Died 13th February, 2015 Dan Tunstall Pedoe, a distinguished cardiac consultant, became the founding medical director of the London Marathon in the build-up to the first event in 1981. Known to his marathon colleagues as “Dr Dan”, he was to remain in the post for 27 years, becoming arguably the world’s most experienced doctor in marathon medicine and leading the way in setting medical standards for marathons. When the London Marathon was first mooted in the late 1970s there were concerns that giving ordinary members of the public the opportunity to run more than 26 miles on the streets of the capital would put hundreds of lives at risk. The fear was that unfit runners would push themselves just as hard as highly trained elite athletes with potentially fatal consequences. The race founder Chris Brasher was determined that the event would be a people’s marathon, open to anyone who completed the necessary training and Dan was the man who assured him that this could safely be achieved. He worked unpaid at every marathon in London for years. In the early days he did not allow his professional involvement to prevent him from taking part himself. He was a more than respectable distance runner and recorded a best time of 3hrs
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8min. This was all the more impressive given that he did not complete his first marathon until he was 40. In addition to London, he ran marathons abroad, including the New York race on several occasions. His recipe for medical safety was simple and it still underpins the medical philosophy behind the marathon today — prevention. He required that anyone with a known heart condition or who experienced shortness of breath or chest pain during light exercise should see a doctor before continuing with their training. He also required all competitors to complete a 15-mile run sometime before race day. In the first 20 years of his stewardship there were just eight deaths at the event from the 530,000 people who had completed 2.5 million hours of competition. The death rates gave runners a one-in-66,250 chance of dying. In 2000, he edited Marathon Medicine, published by the Royal Society of Medicine, a collection of papers based on a symposium on best practice in medical standards at marathons that covered the history of endurance training, the social phenomenon of marathon running, marathon myths and medicine and the effects of ageing on marathon runners. Dan was born in Southampton in December 1939, the eldest of identical twin boys. His brother Hugh, who survives him, is a research cardiologist. They were educated at Habs until 1954 then moved to Dulwich College. Both boys secured
Dan Tunstall Pedoe (left) and Colin Crouch
scholarships to read medicine at King’s College, Cambridge. Tunstall Pedoe followed up with a PhD at Wolfson College, Oxford. Dan Tunstall Pedoe married Diana Robin Shankland in 1968, three years after returning from a spell working as a junior doctor in India. He had developed an abscess in his tooth and was treated at Barts where his future wife — always known as Robin — nursed him. She predeceased him in 2014. They had three children. They moved to Hackney in east London in 1973 where Dan worked as a consultant cardiologist and lecturer at Hackney Hospital and Barts. He was chief of the commissioning team for the new Homerton Hospital when Hackney closed and he founded the London Sports Medicine Institute at Barts, which he ran for several years. He was passionately committed to the NHS and rarely took on private work. An energetic individual, Tunstall Pedoe had many pursuits outside his work. He enjoyed a lifelong passion for photography, specialising in micro-photography of insects. He was also a keen astronomer and chess player. Obituary taken from The Times 27th February 2015
John Foster Died 10th April, 2015 John Foster, together with his brother Dee, joined Haberdashers at Hampstead in 1943. He represented the school in most sports, rugby, cricket, athletics and boxing, from where lifelong friendships were formed. He continued his rugby and occasional cricket with the Old Haberdashers for years, and became a regular on the touchline alongside Nobbly and Dick Cook when his sons David and Paul – both OH themselves – were playing many years later. As well as rugby and cricket, he was also a keen fisherman and golfer, but his greatest love was skiing. This started from a school trip to Wengen in 1947, run by John Dudderidge, and gave him his lifelong love of skiing and the Alps. Sadly, tragedy struck John’s family in 1958 when his brother was killed in action as an RAF pilot in Aden and this affected him deeply. John spent his working life as a professional architect, working at John Laing and for much of his career at Kyle Stewart, where his notable achievements included designing the prestigious Southwark Crown Courts in London. Little known was his skill as a fine artist, which he would indulge from time to time. His perfect job could easily have been The Boys’ Own illustrator.
Together with his wife Angela, whom he had met while at school, he eventually retired to South Devon in 1997. He had suffered in his last few years from Alzheimer’s. As this progressed, his fleeting insights into his situation caused him much frustration which he handled with great dignity. This was matched throughout by Angela’s love, devotion and strength.
Colin Crouch Died 18th April, 2015 Chess lovers have lost a witty, passionate and prolific writer about the game, who nurtured some of its young talent and continued to play to a high standard even after suffering the debilitating effects of a stroke. Colin Crouch, who died at the age of 58, won the British under-16 championship in 1972 with 10 wins and draw while at Habs. Soon after, he started playing club chess in north London. He became an International Master two decades later and scored memorable wins against Grandmasters. He wrote 15 books on chess and continued to blog daily until the end of his life. The title of his website summed up the modesty and humour that were central to his appeal: “Mainly on the evolution of top level chess, or at least to the limited extent that I am able to understand what is going on.” “It is always a treat to read a book by Colin Crouch,” wrote Washington Post chess columnist Lubomir Kavalek, and his books attracted players at all levels. His final work on Norwegian chess wunderkind Magnus Carlsen was well received. “Readers could relate to him because he was a very honest writer, critical of his own mistakes and willing to admit to them, he never lectured readers,” said John Emms, editor of Crouch’s last five books for Everyman Chess. Aware of the temptation to embellish a dull game, Crouch poked fun at chess writing in the British Chess Monthly: “White threatens to thrust the flagship of his armada forward with the galloping move e5, leaving his discomforted steed on f6 feeling like Yasser Arafat at a bar mitzvah.” Born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, he learned to play chess from his father at their family home in Harrow Weald, which remained his home until his death. He began to play competitively at Habs and then at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he took geography, completing a doctorate at Durham University on unemployment in mining communities. Crouch was an active Fabian and Labour party member. In 2004 a stroke severely damaged his health, leaving him in a condition where he could barely walk, had damaged arms and
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“only half of one eye working”. While others might have given up the game, his instincts were to play chess seriously “to recover my thought processes”, he wrote. In 2008 and 2012 he won silver medals at international chess Olympiads for the blind and visually impaired in Greece and India. “It meant a great deal to him that he’d actually been able to prove that he could still achieve at the top,” said Chris Ross of the Braille Chess Association. Crouch’s burly, bearded form and distinctive chuckle were well known in chess circles. He had a passionate dedication to coaching younger players every week in Harrow Chess Club, among them future International Master Lorin D’Costa. “Nothing would give him more pleasure than seeing one of his juniors doing well,” said Nevil Chan, the club’s president. “He was a chess giant, but at the club there was no ego, it was all for the love of the game and helping other players.” Obituary provided by Colin’s cousin, David Crouch
Alexander Kok Died 1st May, 2015 Alexander Kok, the cellist, who has died aged 89, was a founder member of the Philharmonia Orchestra, a prominent chamber musician and a popular session player; he is credited alongside Ringo Starr, Elton John and Eric Clapton on George Harrison’s album Cloud Nine. Kok lived a colourful life, with three marriages and a series of romantic liaisons. Two of his cellos were burnt beyond repair in a car accident and he was declared bankrupt after receiving poor advice when attempting to expand his music school in Cheltenham. None the less, he loved life in general and a hearty meal in particular, and was rarely downcast for long. After Kok’s solo debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1960, one critic wrote that his “tone was of a very appealing, mellow quality, and his musicianship was sensitively sympathetic and sincere”. His brother, Felix, a violinist, became leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and they occasionally performed together, including, while they were still students, in Brahms’s Double Concerto under Sir Henry Wood. Later they formed the Beaufort Trio with the pianist Daphne Ibbott. Alexander “Bobby” Kok was one of four brothers born at
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Brakpan, a mining town near Johannesburg, South Africa, on St Valentine’s Day 1926. His father, a Boer farmer-turned-miner, had a lovely baritone voice; his mother was an accomplished violinist and pianist. Bobby, who was head chorister at St Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg, was nine when a local carpenter presented him with his first cello, which was too big for him to play. Felix had been encouraged to pursue his violin studies in London, so in 1938 their mother brought all her sons to Britain. Bobby joined his brother at Habs, where he shone at rugby and boxing, but upset the headmaster by winning a scholarship to follow Felix to the Royal Academy of Music. He joined ENSA, performing for British troops, and played with the Boyd Neel Orchestra. Walter Legge set up the Philharmonia in 1945 and Kok was a member from the very first concert (conducted by Thomas Beecham), sharing his love of classic cars with Dennis Brain, their horn player, and Herbert von Karajan, who conducted in 1948. During this time he took lessons with Pierre Fournier in Paris and Pablo Casals in Prades, developing a deep affection for France. In 1957 he joined Dartington College of Arts, in Devon, lecturing in music history, and the following year set up the Dartington String Quartet with Colin Sauer, Peter Carter and Keith Lovell. Within three years he was back in London, as principal cellist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. By 1965, having found himself disagreeing with the BBC’s music policy, he had moved into the commercial world. Groups such as the Beatles needed backing musicians, while film, television and advertising work provided a steady income. Kok was a founder of the Cheltenham Music School in 1971, but when he tried to extend its facilities in the mid-1980s he was thwarted by planners and, in his view, deceived by his legal and financial advisers. To add to his woes, there was a dispute over liability for the cellos lost in his accident the year before. Eventually he retired to France, where he developed a rehearsal space for young musicians. He also wrote A Voice in the Dark: The Philharmonia Years (2003), an anecdotal autobiography which takes its name from the way Legge’s voice emerged from behind a curtain during Kok’s audition to join the orchestra. Obituary taken from The Daily Telegraph 8th May 2015
Relayer (1974) and Going for the One (1977). Yes inspired almost cult like devotion among teenagers with intellectual leanings who found an atmospheric, almost mystical, depth to their music lacking in other rock bands. Yes in its various incarnations continued to fill stadiums for more than 40 years. Squire, described by one critic as “perhaps the most nimble bassist this side of the late John Entwistle” (whom Squire much admired), was the only band member to feature in all of Yes’s studio albums and also wrote many of its songs. He remained its one constant through some 20-odd changes in the line-up. The son of a taxi driver, Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born in north-west London on March 4, 1948. He recalled that as a teenager he had been “into Paul McCartney and Jack Bruce”, but that most of his inspiration came from John Entwistle of The Who. “I got a Rickenbacker and Rotosound strings and I played with a pick, because that’s what John was doing at the time,” he recalled. By his account he developed his own contoured tone and spidery playing style (integral to such sprawling tracks as Long Distance Runaround (1971) and Roundabout (1972)) while recovering in 1967 from a bad acid trip which landed him in hospital for a couple of days: “I’d had lots of good acid trips prior to that. But I made the mistake of trying some acid some friends of mine had homemade. That knocked me back, and I did sort of hibernate in an apartment in Kensington and spent quite a few months — maybe as much as a year — just playing bass.” Yes weathered the late 1970s when the advent of punk made progressive rock seem absurdly over-the-top. During the 1980s, the group was nearly torn apart when the mass of solo projects and personnel splits led to a legal battle over the rights to the name, between a breakaway group led by high-voiced lead singer Jon Anderson and another featuring Squire. The row ended in reunion, however, and Anderson continued to front the group until he was forced to bow out in 2005 in poor health. Obituary taken from The Daily Telegraph 30th June, 2015
Sir James Swafﬁeld Died 4th July. 2015
Above: Chris Squire. Below: Sir James Swaﬃeld
Chris Squire Died 28th June, 2015 Chris Squire, who has died aged 67, was the bass player and co-founder of the British progressive rock group Yes and the only constant name on its complicated family tree. While at Habs, he sang in the choir, but he left aged 16 after being suspended for wearing his hair too long. He got a job selling guitars at Boosey & Hawkes in Regent Street, buying his first Rickenbacker 4001 bass using a staff discount. Four years later, he and lead singer Jon Anderson founded Yes. The group rose to fame in the 1970s as part of a movement (with bands such as King Crimson, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull) to produce a more sophisticated rock sound, characterised by songs with complex structures that often drew on classical or jazz influences, using suite forms, multiple tempo changes, unusual time signatures and poetic lyrics. After opening for Janis Joplin and being signed to Atlantic Records, the band gained a large and devoted following with albums such as The Yes Album and Fragile (both 1971), Close to the Edge (1972), Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973),
Although he was little known to the public, Sir James Swaffield was a key figure — both positive and negative — behind the reshaping of London in the 1970s and 1980s. Having worked his way up through local governments around the country, he became the director-general and most senior civil servant of the Greater London Council (GLC), established in 1963 to run the capital’s infrastructure from fire services to waste disposal. Serving for a decade from 1973, he wielded considerable influence in restraining the GLC’s strong leftward shift. His greatest tussle was with Ken Livingstone, who was elected the GLC Labour leader in 1981. One colleague recalled how Swaffield’s face fell when he was instructed to deploy 500 camp beds in County Hall’s committee room to be used by members of People’s March for Jobs who Livingstone had offered to put up. At the age of 60 and after a decade in the post, he retired to chair the British Rail Property Board, where he raised more than £400 million by renting and selling off old railway arches and surplus land that were turned into workshops and garages. He also gifted disused railway land near Leicestershire to be used as a wildlife sanctuary. He was also an early mover in shaping the still-incomplete redevelopment of 184 acres north of King’s Cross station into homes, shops, restaurants and a canalside park. However, the biggest project Swaffield influenced was
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the Broadgate Centre, a symbol of the City of London’s modernisation built on the former Broad Street railway station. He championed the incorporation of shops and restaurants and the use of modern architecture, including the “stone screen”, an innovative public space which became Broadgate’s popular gathering point for City workers on summer evenings. A keen rugby and cricket fan, Swaffield was known for an almost Victorian thoroughness. Although he ran a staff of 22,698 at the GLC he tried to remain involved in everything. Born in Cheltenham in 1924, James Chesebrough Swaffield attended Cheltenham Grammar School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Hampstead. The war interrupted what would have been a seamless progress to university and in 1942, aged 18, he instead joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, rising to lieutenantcommander. In 1945, when his ship was docked at Belfast, he met Elizabeth Maunder, a teacher. They married five years later and had four children. During his teens Swaffield became interested in how local authorities were run. In 1946, he took an LLB degree at London University and got a job as an articled town clerk in Lincoln, progressing up the local government ladder, becoming secretary to the Association of Municipal Corporations (AMC) in 1962. At the GLC in 1978, he organised a mass exercise to test responses should the Thames burst its banks. Eighty flood alerts sounded as 60 interviewers went out to gauge the reactions of 50 members of the public each. He found that the sirens had not been heard by everyone in the capital, while many did not understand their significance. In 1979, Swaffield with Fred Pooley, the GLC’s planning controller, drafted proposals for an airport in the Thames estuary — some 30 years later the plans were resurrected by London Mayor Boris Johnson. When he left the GLC, his first job was to oversee a presidential election in the central American republic of El Salvador. While he could not do anything about guerrillas denying the vote to an estimated 200,000 people, he reported
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that the government had done its best to ensure a fair result. He retired to Kent but kept close connections to London — he chaired the London Marathon Charitable Trust and was a trustee of the Jubilee Walkway Trust. Obituary taken from The Times 16th July 2015
Brian Sewell Died 19th September, 2015 Brian Sewell’s passionate but often scabrous writing brought him as many enemies as devotees. In particular, his unrelenting vilification of much contemporary art provoked the hostility of the art establishment, but undoubtedly delighted many readers of his column in the Evening Standard. To Britain’s best-known art critic, unpopularity within the world he so often deprecated was a necessary by-product. “Nothing matters more than intellectual probity and on that altar, the critic must sacrifice even his closest friends,” he said. Yet behind the bravura journalism and rapier wit was an intensely shy man with an emotional response to art and a desire to communicate it. Both his high-flown writing style, with plentiful use of such words as “eximious”, and his fluting Edwardian speaking voice, were gifts to mockers and satirists, but they also won him an admiring following. An affectionate, humorous website is devoted entirely to him. He first came under the national spotlight in 1979, when he constituted himself spokesman for Anthony Blunt, after the art historian had been exposed as a Soviet spy. He made national headlines again in 2011 with the publication of his first, candid and at times outrageous volume of autobiography. Sewell had few close friends and found human relationships difficult. The mechanics of them were painfully baffling to him
and he later reflected, “I’ve made an emotional mess of my life”. Brian Sewell was born in Kensington, London in 1931. He only discovered the identity of his father in 1986. He was Philip Heseltine, the composer and critic better known by the alias Peter Warlock, with whom his mother had conducted an intermittent affair. She was a Roman Catholic and refused Warlock’s offer to pay for an illegal abortion. She later partly blamed herself for his suicide seven months before Sewell’s birth. A small allowance from Heseltine’s mother came with the proviso that he should not be told his parentage. His mother took him to London galleries and museums. The first painting he remembered seeing was Murillo’s Holy Family in the National Gallery, when he was six. “It was very exciting” he recalled. “Jesus was wearing a little blue robe, and I made my mother immediately take me to Barkers to buy me a robe in the same colour”. He would later write of how his Catholic upbringing had enabled him to empathise with the devout imaginations of Renaissance artists. Only after his mother’s marriage to Robert Sewell in 1942, was he given the surname, effectively never having had one before. It was also his stepfather who, with some difficulty, found him a place at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, then in Hampstead, which he hated and where came to be known by the nickname “Sewage”. Asked to give a talk in his first term, he picked Wagner as a subject and delivered it with his already characteristic accent, later described by one critic as sounding like “Lady Bracknell on acid”. He was bullied from that moment onwards. Sewell was not a man to forget a grudge. Any school bullies and sexual partners — his homosexuality was already established — who survived long enough would have found his memoirs an uncomfortable read. On leaving he spent a year at art school which convinced him he would never be a painter and in 1950 he arrived at the Courtauld Institute as a student, having turned down a place to read history at Oxford. At the Courtauld, Sewell was taught by Anthony Blunt who took him under his wing and later became a friend, but never a lover as was widely rumoured. When Sewell completed his doctorate in 1957 he was found a job by Blunt — who was at that time surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures — cataloguing architectural drawings at the Royal Library at Windsor. He joined Christie’s auctioneers in 1958. After leaving in 1967, he tried being an art dealer but his waspish nature made him a poor salesman. Sewell was catapulted into the public eye in November 1979 when Andrew Boyle’s book Climate of Treason aroused suspicions that Anthony Blunt might be the “Fourth Man” in the Soviet spy ring of Burgess, Philby and Maclean. On the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s statement to the Commons on November 15, in which Blunt’s identity was confirmed, Sewell smuggled Blunt and his companion, John Gaskin, out of their flat near Marble Arch and drove them to stay with friends in Chiswick. On November 17, a letter by Sewell appeared in The Times. It attacked the government for reneging on its deal of immunity from prosecution for Blunt, described the withdrawal of his knighthood as petty and hinted at inside knowledge of a fifth man in spy ring. Within hours journalists were on his doorstep. Sewell was assumed to be Blunt’s spokesman. However, on several points, he contradicted Blunt’s own story and in some ways harmed, rather than helped, his case. Pictured on the front pages of the national press in his duffel coat, or walking his dogs in Kensington Gardens, Sewell became something of a celebrity. Tina Brown, then editor of the Tatler, phoned to ask if he would host a lunch, at the magazine’s expense, for members of the art market. Sewell agreed but soon found that as a result of the Blunt affair he had no friends left whom he could invite. The lunch was cancelled, but Sewell became art critic of the Tatler and three years later moved to the Evening Standard.
The most notorious among the many of his controversial criticisms was his hostile review of an exhibition of work by women artists at the Tate in January 1994. It provoked a furious letter, published in the Evening Standard, from 35 prominent members of the art world such as Michael Craig-Martin, Christopher Frayling, Sarah Kent and Bridget Riley. He was accused of homophobia and misogyny, demagogy, sexual and class hypocrisy, intellectual posturing and artistic prejudice. On another occasion, he recorded that he was physically assaulted by the exhibitions secretary of the Royal Academy. Delighted at raising a storm of publicity, Sewell went on to become Critic of the Year for the second time at the Press Awards. “Women are bloody awful painters,” he wrote unrepentantly. “Don’t ask me why; they just are.” Sewell reserved particular venom for what he named the “Serota tendency” (after Nicholas, another OH) in contemporary art, claiming that there was a conspiracy between certain dealers, gallery directors and major collectors to support the most worthless neo-conceptualism to the detriment of traditional painters and sculptors. His acid pen incised into the work of Damien Hirst, whom he described as an exponent of fairground freak showmanship, and Gilbert and George (“Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee”). The Turner Prize shortlist exemplified the racket. The much-vaunted Young British Artists (YBAs) were “dated and provincial” — Dada and Surrealism had already done conceptual art and better. Indeed, the best installation art was to be found in the windows of Harvey Nichols, he said. Among the many other artists spanning the 20th century to feel the scourge of his criticism included Andy Warhol, who was able enough to know better, and David Hockney, who was entirely lacking in merit and whose cause had been furthered by the “homosexual mafia” of the art world. Sewell was irreverent, anti-establishment, informed but outrageous. Part of his success was the apparent paradox of combining pompous erudition with mischief making. In 1984 he was given his own column in the Evening Standard in addition to his weekly art review. Those painstakingly researched articles, typed on an old Adler typewriter, took him from supporting animal welfare to writing against abortion. He was popular as a political commentator and reserved particular vitriol for Tony Blair and his fake Estuarine English utterances in the Commons. After his mother died in 1995 Sewell had few long-term relationships and generally lived alone with his dogs; as many as four would be draped across his bed when he went to sleep. In 1999, after several mild heart attacks, he moved to a house in Wimbledon — digging up the remains of eight dogs and reinterring them in his new garden. Sewell loved cars and owned a gold Mercedes that he continued to pilot at high speed despite growing decrepitude. He was an enthusiastic devotee of stock-car racing, which he equated with the chariot races of ancient Rome. He continued to be much in demand on radio and TV, while his well-hidden altruism included lecturing about art history to the inmates of Brixton prison. He lamented that the favourite pastime of his life, looking at paintings, was now out of fashion. Asked not long before he died to name his favourite work of art he cited “Three things in the 16th-century Venetian room at the National Gallery that you can see at the same time. On one side of the door is a late Titian, on the other a Veronese and between them is a work by Sebastiano del Piombo. The three together give you a huge aesthetic and intellectual wallop — they perfectly encapsulate the history of art”. Obituary adapted from The Times 21st September, 2015
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John Gaskell Died 28th October, 2015 John’s distinguished career in the Church of England started in 1940, when he and I joined the choir at St Lawrence Whitchurch, Little Stanmore. This required a commitment to attend three evening practices at 6.00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and singing at three services each Sunday – not a bad challenge for 12 year olds! Although we were in different forms at Haberdashers and had totally different career paths in front of us, cycling together, frequently in the pitch dark, during the Blitz and beyond, cemented our close, lasting friendship. On leaving Habs in 1947, John served two years National Service in the Intelligence Corps., read Theology at Jesus College, Oxford and trained for the Anglican ministry at Chichester Theological College. He then served as Parish Priest at St James Elmers End, All Saints Margaret Street, The Grosvenor Chapel and St Alban the Martyr in Holborn. John was a very perceptive priest, sensitive to the needs of others, creative in his thinking, a great reader, preacher and raconteur, with a great sense of humour and to top it all, was an excellent cook! John was a founding activist of “Affirming Catholicism”, was a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral and was awarded the Cross of St Augustine in 2005 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, for outstanding service within the Church of England. Contributed by Michael Clark (1947)
John Forrester Died 24th November, 2015 The historian and philosopher John Forrester, who has died aged 66 after suffering from cancer, advanced the study of psychoanalysis, its history, key figures, clinical practice and social significance, both in Britain and farther afield. Based in the department of history and philosophy of science (HPS) at Cambridge University, this brilliant, deft and warm-hearted man brought boundless curiosity, unsurpassed stores of information and tough questioning to bear on Sigmund Freud’s talking cure and its place in the modern world. From his PhD thesis, published as Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis (1980) and immediately translated into French, to his magnum opus, Freud in Cambridge, completed but yet to be published, John was passionately engaged with his subject, though, being at heart a follower of the French Enlightenment, never a zealot. He continually enjoyed
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the conundrum that psychoanalysis – which he recognised had aspects of a faith or even a cult – presented to a sceptic of his rationalist temper. His life’s ambition, he explained to his daughter, Katrina, was to reconcile Freud, the doctor of the soul, with Michel Foucault, the critic of medical regimes of all kinds. He brought a historian’s empirical mind to the task while practising the analytic method of watching out for inconsistencies and contradictions, through which the deepest meanings would emerge. John was also a highly effective catalyst: over the decades, he organised crucial interactions, seminars and reading groups, including a notable series in the 1970s when French practitioners came to England to meet and talk to luminaries in the humanities, such as the literary scholar Frank Kermode and the scholar of French literature and studies Malcolm Bowie. Attracted to sensitive, difficult subjects: in 1986 he wrote a provocative essay on Rape, Seduction, and Psychoanalysis, and followed that with Truth Games: Lies, Money and Psychoanalysis (1997), a fascinating, slippery book about different ways of lying – to oneself and others. At the time of his death he was involved in research funded by the Wellcome Trust into a range of subjects including reproduction, IVF, surrogacy, genetic modification and gender assignment. From 2007 to 2013, at a time of strain on academic values, he ran HPS adroitly and resiliently. In lectures as well as books, he was filled with a playful appetite for experience and knowledge, and was a gifted storyteller: an essay on the wary, prickly interactions of Freud and Einstein shows his acute insight into human character, while Freud’s Women, written with his partner, the writer Lisa Appignanesi, displayed the couple’s exciting archival archaeology and flair for dramatic portraits. An imposing figure, even when he was young, John could appear scary, as it was clear he knew so much and thought so clearly. He had a domed head that made him, especially after chemotherapy, somewhat resemble a venerable oriental sage. He could be tenacious in argument, but his voice was unexpectedly gentle and confiding. Born and brought up in north London, John was the son of Reginald and his wife, Minnie (nee Chaytow), who had marched together to protest against Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. John went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and then on to King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated in natural sciences (1970). A Fulbright scholarship took him to Princeton University and work with Thomas Kuhn, whose ideas spurred his approach to case studies. He returned to King’s as a research fellow (1976-84), and then joined HPS as a lecturer. He was made a professor in 2000, since when his research students have spread around the world: they include Alison Winter, who wrote a seminal study
Above (from left): John Forrester, Alan Morris, Warren Leigh
of Mesmerism as her PhD thesis, and the psychoanalyst Darian Leader. Abroad, John held visiting posts in the US, Brazil, France, Italy and Germany, and spent a particularly productive and happy year in Paris in 1993-94. But his home was in north London with Lisa, whom he met in 1984 when, as deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, she invited him, presciently, to take part in a series about Desire. They married in 2013. Later in life, he became marvellously affable and unequivocally life-loving. He was always full of shrewd observations and zest for a whole range of pleasures, from growing splendid dahlias and roses to competing at chess to a high level on his computer. John bridged the distinction between the hedgehog and the fox explored by Isaiah Berlin, since there was nothing he did not know about his subject, but he was also curious about – and good at – almost everything else. His work changed the contours of a discipline and fertilised the thought of a scholarly and clinical community worldwide. Obituary taken from The Guardian 5th December, 2015
Alan Morris Died 8th December, 2015
Barbara Wood with pupils at Habs
Dr. Alan Morris was a stalwart of the Old Haberdashers’ Association, in particular the Golfing Society and the Rifle Club. He was born in Harrow on 14th December 1936 and grew up in Kenton, Middlesex. During World War II, while his father was in the Army in India and Burma, Alan was evacuated from the Home Counties, first to Birmingham, where his mother joined him, and then to Cardigan Bay, which he enjoyed. On his return, he gained a scholarship to Habs at the age of 11. He was a member of the Methodist Church in Kenton and was a keen member of the local Scouting movement throughout his teenage years. From 1955-59, he trained at University College Hospital and qualified as a doctor in 1960, having won the Ericksen Prize in Surgery in 1959. He went on to gain experience in different areas of medicine, including working in 1965 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in the paediatric surgical unit. He then moved into General Practice and from 1969 to 1973 worked in Warsash (Southampton), Edinburgh and Witney. He was offered a partnership in a group practice in Chesham in 1973 where he remained a GP for 32 years. In 1984 he met Sylvia and they married in 1986, settling down to a happy family with his wife, stepson Alex, and then Christopher who was born in 1988. Alan continued to develop his professional knowledge and attended many courses, with a special interest in ENT, and was an active member of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 1999 he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners. In a letter to his mother he noted that as well as recognition of good work it meant paying a raised membership fee! Outside of his professional life, he was actively involved in the local Rotary club, of which he was president in 2007, and the Leyhill Golf Club. He had been a member of the Berkhamsted Choral Society in the 1970s, and in the last few years he and Sylvia sang with a local choir. He was also learning Spanish. He became president of the Amersham Hard of Hearing Club, because of his interest in ENT, and he was on the committee of the Chesham Sick Poor Fund. Summing up Alan’s life at his funeral, son Chris said: “His passion for the medical profession was second to none. I don’t think he ever saw it as just a job; Dad wanted to help people and would go above and beyond to make sure his patients were
well cared for…. Dad had a wonderfully cheeky smile which could brighten up any room. All of us were lucky to know an intelligent, kind hearted man.”
Warren Leigh Died 7th March 2016 Born in 1936 and brought up in North London, Warren joined the school at Westbere Road in 1948 and left after a year in the sixth form to commence articles, eventually qualifying as a solicitor five years later. After a short period in private practice, he moved on to the Civil Service to work for the Post Office in the Property Law Department which he helped to found, staying on under the aegis of British Telecommunications and rising to become Director of the department. When the decision was made to outsource his department in 1992, Warren elected to leave work early and went on to enjoy a lengthy retirement in Stanmore which enabled him to pursue his interests in cricket, opera and jazz, these happily supported and often instigated by his wife Irene, whom he married in 1969. Their daughter Susan was born two years later. Warren survived two serious bouts with cancer and we resumed our friendship after a long hiatus when a mutual friend brought us back in touch just a few years ago. I had last seen him in 1987 at the OHA Centenary Ball held at the school when he and Irene were the guests of the Hyman family. As a member of the MCC, Warren took me to Lord’s and in turn he joined my yearly jazz appreciation class as a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic contributor. We met up frequently at concerts and Irene and Warren joined us at the Swanage jazz festival. I was always happy to hear about their latest visit to New York, to share experiences and to swap notes on the latest happenings on the jazz scene. In more recent times, Warren joined the moveable feast that is the Old Lags lunching group and re-connected with a number of his contemporaries. His death came as a terrible shock and our heartfelt condolences go out to Irene, Susan, and her family, including his grandsons Joel and Nicholas. Patricia and I will miss him as a friend and as a veritable mine of information on all things cultural and musical. Peter Vacher
Barbara Wood Died 2016 Barbara Wood, who taught pottery at Habs from 1979 to 1990, died in 2016 in her home city of Sheffield, where she had been born in 1931. And she was a born artist. She started at an art school in her teens, but her mother thought that would lead nowhere so put her to nursing. Barbara was a paediatric nurse until she married and had her own three children, Judy, Jill and Chris. Her marriage ended after 20 years and she moved down to Bushey, where she worked as a receptionist and signed up for a pottery course at Cassiobury College. Her life as an artist, and now as a potter, flourished. Through a neighbour, Dai Barling, then Second Master at Habs, Barbara joined the staff in 1979 as a pottery teacher. During her time at the school, she inspired numerous students to create sometimes practical, sometimes fantastical, objects out of clay, and develop an interest which could be lifelong. There were also occasional
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clay fights when her back was turned. More importantly, some students in that troubled, rebellious phase of adolescence, would find a sanctuary in the pottery, where they could express themselves more freely and creatively. After retirement she moved first to Wales, and then back to Sheffield, where she turned the basement of her house into a pottery. When the clay became too heavy for her to handle, she worked in silks and other materials. Artistic creativity and living were pretty much the same thing for Barbara. Her last few years became troubled as dementia set in, but she still responded to colour and to form. And she still had her wicked laugh. John Lotherington (teacher at Habs from 1980-1992 and latterly Head of History).
Geoff Wickens Died July, 2016 Geoff Wickens was a teacher at Bulmershe School in Woodley near Reading, having served there for 33 years as Head of History, Head of Year, Head of House and recently as head of their alumni project. Amjad Ali, a former colleague at the school who also been taught by him there, described Geoff as an inspirational educator who kept a calm, consistent classroom. “He set challenging and exciting homework and explained content with such focus and precision. He was known for his amazingly neat writing, his superb displays and his passion for excellence.” Geoff made his debut for the OHCC while still at school in 1974 and in all made 67 appearances for the 2nd XI and three for the 1st XI. His record for the 2nd XI from 1974 to 1989 is quite exceptional, scoring 1911 runs at an average of 36.05 and scoring two centuries (106* being his best). His finest season came in 1984 when he totalled 443 runs for the year. Thereafter he played in and captained the Club 3rd XI against the School in 1985, 1987 and 1989, which was his final appearance for the OHCC and which he marked by bowing out with a career best score of 123*. Although Geoff moved out of the area when he started teaching in Woodley, he maintained his lifelong support of our near neighbours Borehamwood Football Club, the distance being no problem to such a dedicated fan. In the last months of his illness, Geoff organised and paid for a new electronic scoreboard at the Football club which appropriately is now known as the Geoff Wickens Scoreboard.
Charlie Dinsdale Died 24th December, 2016 Charlie Dinsdale, who taught woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing at Habs from 1971-1991, came to the profession in middle age after a career in the police force. He was born in 1928 in Willesden (not a million miles away from Westbere Road) and attended Kingsbury County Grammar School during the war. There he excelled in maths, art and sport, but most particularly football, to the extent that he was deemed good enough to have a trial as a youth for Tottenham After leaving school in 1945, Charlie worked in a drawing office for a year, until his conscription into the Royal Artillery for his National Service. Charlie then spent 15 happy years with the Metropolitan Police in the Kings Cross area and ultimately found that his technical skills drew him to the Met Police Planning Office in Edgware. Leaving the force in
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1964 he then set up his own very successful building company, but knowing his breadth of knowledge and practical skills, friends encouraged him to pursue a teaching career. This coercion culminated in Charlie starting teacher training at the age of 40. He quickly secured what was to be his first and only teaching post at Haberdashers, where his commitment to the pupils was rapidly evident in the number of projects he led them through. When the School put on their numerous stage productions, Charlie played a huge part designing and constructing scenery and stage sets – in those less risk-averse days, dangling from high ladders without assistance – and was even involved in building the geography department extension to house the earliest computer. He was a consummate family man, completely devoted to his wife Myra and their twin daughters. What little spare time he had while teaching was spent planning and fulfilling his biggest and most ambitious project: building, single handed, the family home, Chorheron. In just 6 ½ years, he drew the plans, dug all the foundations, laid every brick, and hung every roof tile, all without calling on other professionals. Meanwhile he was still quick to help other Habs colleagues with their own building projects, Doug Yeabsley and John Rolfe’s families being particular beneficiaries.
Other Passings Andy Funnell, Maths teacher (1969-76): Died November 2015 following a battle with cancer. Alongside John Crampin, Andy introduced many boys and members of the staff to the joys of the huge mainframe computer apparently driven by cards with holes in. Most never did quite understand exactly how it worked, but one typing error meant you had to start again from scratch and waste half a ream of punched card. Andy and John made the computer lessons great fun. Ernest Eng (1947): Died April 2016. Ernest was a regular at OH dinners. Rodney Jakeman recalls that his father was one of the first importers into this country of fine linens and cottons from the East after the war and Harrods gave him his first order. Ernest, his wardrobe from Knightsbridge, discovered that Rodney was an employee and both had their dinner jackets from the store. “When we met at these grand occasions he and I would flash the name label on the inside jacket pocket at each other. Silly isn’t it but it amused us! His presence had been sadly missed in the last few years. I will remember him as a splendid and courteous gentleman,” Rodney writes. Anne Blessley: Widow of former OHA President Donald Blessley and herself a great support of Association events. Died 10th July 2016. Denis Rossney: OHA Steward for many years and a good friend to many OH.
Top: Geoﬀ Wickens. Bottom: Charlie Dinsdale
Reports Rugby Football Cricket Golf Lodge Rifle
OH Rugby Club Simon Greswell
he 2016-17 season was a hugely successful one for both of the OHRFC teams. The 1st XV are back in Division London 1 North for the new season, sealing top place in the table with a decisive 41-0 triumph over local rivals Tabard. That followed third place in 2015-16 and fourth place in 2014-15. Having tasted two years in London 1 North from 2012-14, we’re looking forward to making it a longer stay this time. The 2nd XV meanwhile were never out of the top three in their league and lost a playoff for the title to HAC. Their achievement is all the more special after a very tough 2015-16 campaign, in which they finished second from bottom of Herts Middlesex Merit Table 1. They battled hard and gave everything on the field and in the clubhouse, contributing massively to the spirit and health of the club. The 2016-17 season started with the realisation that we would no longer be privileged to spend time with our dear friend, Martin Baker. This was a huge loss to the rugby club and the OH community as a whole. Martin did so much for the rugby club, tireless work behind the scenes, he was the very epitome of the unsung hero….he is hugely missed by us all. To mark his passing in the only way we all know, we gathered at Croxdale Road on 4th September for a great day of celebration of Martin’s life. The OH Vets took on CLOB and the 1st XV had a warm-up fixture, before the usual revelry ensured in the clubhouse. We were so pleased that Connie was able to join us
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on the day, take her place amongst both Vets team in the postmatch photos, and accept a ‘Baker Forever’ memorial game shirt from our President, Ian McCarthy. Social events abounded as ever at OH in 2016 and calendar classics such as The OH Olympics, Christmas Carols & Party, The Spoof Cup, Annual Dinner, and Players Supper were boosted by novelties such as The Bavarian Evening, which did exactly what it said on the stein. Huge thanks to Al Baxter for his drive on all events. Forty four tourists enjoyed the delights of Lisbon for three days in early May, including an Atlantic storm, beach rugby, waistcoat challenges, wine-tasting and a lovely stroll along the beach to the Unik Lounge. Much Tom Foolery and banter of the highest order played out on and off the pitch and, with 53 tourists signed up for Budapest on this year’s jaunt, it’s easy to see why this is just one of the social highlights of the OH season. The club has continued to expand the player base from work and university connections and we’re very pleased to say that some new school leavers have also joined the ranks, building on the stellar showings from other alumni, including the likes of Charlie Johnson and Lewis Stock. However, as has always been the case with OH, we are always on the lookout for new players of all standards and abilities and are looking into more direct recruitment from universities in particular. We look forward to seeing as many OH as possible at Croxdale Road during the coming season.
Action from veterans match between OH and CLOB in memory of Martin Baker
OH Football Club OHFC team vs School 2016
fter a difficult couple of seasons, the Old Haberdashers’ Football Club has seen a significant upturn in fortunes. OHFC started the 2015/16 season very strongly with a comfortable 6-2 win over Old Suttonians in the opening game followed by four more wins in a row, displaying some attractive attacking football along the way. More importantly, in two of those games, late goals saw potential draws against Old Stoics and Old Tonbridgians turned into victories. Confidence was high and enquiries were made about the availability of open-topped buses for May. The team was performing well and confident of bouncing back quickly from the previous year’s valiant but ultimately failed attempt to escape our second consecutive relegation. The perennial issues of injuries and holidays had significantly affected the team in 2015/16 but ultimately it was the loss of our regular goalkeeper to a move up north and our top scorer to impending fatherhood that had the biggest impact. Having signed a new goalkeeper in the summer and welcomed Tom Nichols back into the fold on a part-time basis (15 goals in 8 games), the performances certainly improved. The addition of Jonathan Edelman to the squad (chipping in with five goals) has helped as has the continued service of Andy Evans (in his 24th season for the club). The spirit in the team has always been good and it remains a very positive upbeat club to play for.
Determined to ensure things did not run too smoothly, the team then proceeded to self-destruct in October and put together an even more impressive run of three consecutive defeats including a last minute 5-4 loss to local rivals, Old Merchant Taylors. A stop-start winter period saw OH beat Old Bancroftians home and away and get to the quarter-final of the cup but also suffer damaging defeats to Old Cholmeleians and Old Wykehamists leaving the team’s position at the top of the table under threat. Sadly, as the season progressed, we were unable to arrest our slide in form and following crucial defeats against our promotion rivals, we slipped to a disappointing third, just missing out on promotion. There were certainly a lot of positives to take from the season, with the team playing some excellent football and winning a lot of games. Hopefully this coming year we can add a level of consistency and win promotion back to the third division. The team is always interested in adding some younger faces to the squad and so if you (and your friends) are interested in joining OHFC please contact Eoin Broderick at email@example.com.
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OH Cricket Club Simon Gelber
he encouraging signs that were apparent in 2014 turned to fruition in 2015 and a veritable glut in 2016. After winning promotion to Division 6A for the 2016 season, the 1st XI were undefeated throughout the season, winning 16 of their 18 leagues matches to top the table by a mile. The tone was set in the first match against Kingâ€™s Langley at Croxdale Road when Abid Mumtaz blew the top order away and in three overs had 3-6, finishing with 5-33 in total, while Micky Shah took 4-29. Chasing their total of 178 was a formality, the O.H. batsmen strolling to victory by eight wickets. The following Saturday was even more straightforward as Knebworth Park were swept away for exactly 100, Abid Mumtaz again the leading bowler with 4-10. Another victory by either wickets against Botany Bay followed a week later. The first big test came in week against Old Albanians, as they ran up a more than respectable 237-9 in their 50 overs (S. Shailendra 4-45). Thanks to Lewis Jenkins (51) and an excellent 72* from brother Rhys, the Old Boys won with two overs to spare and five wickets down. A scrappy win against Redbourn followed, the tail getting us home courtesy of two wides. But then normal service resumed, with comfortable victories against Cockfosters (Hugh Brannan 100*) and Old Finchleians (another 74 from Hugh and kamikaze batting from the visitors). Rain prevented play against the School and in the league against London Colney, but after beating Northwood at Croxdale Road, it was eight wins out of eight and the Old Boys sat comfortably top of the league. For the return fixtures, we chased down Kings Langleyâ€™s total of 230 thanks to 83 from Athman Sivankumar to extend the run, then demolished the Knebworth bowling in the sunshine, amassing 277-1 in 42
old boys, notes
1st XI v Abbots Langley, 2015. (Right) 1st XI vs Northwood, 2016
overr. Hugh Brannan recorded a lifetime best 172*, carrying his bat and well supported by Rhys Jenkins with an undefeated 71 in an unbroken second wicket partnership of 255. To Botany Bay and another demolition job, the opponents all out for 75 with Sami Ali taking 3-29 and Abid 4-14. Old Albanians and Redbourn were dispatched, then something strange happened and O.H. batted first against Cockfosters. The shock of it must have been too much for the openers as they were both run out with only 39 on the board. It was Rhys (96*) and Khurram (66) to the rescue in a fourth wicket stand of 151 and the final score of 263 in the 50 overs looked a formidable target. Opening the bowling Piya Haria (4-33) took out four of the top five and Cockfosters innings was in tatters at 405. Promotion was sealed at Old Finchleians after the skipper actually lost a toss. Despite an early set back, Hugh (72) and Lewis Jenkins (94) put the Old Boys in a strong position and the final total of 222-6 meant we had the bonus points required. The penultimate match against London Colney was a formality before the winning streak finally came to an end at Northwood in the last game of the season, but only because of the weather. A fine morning deteriorated and it was not possible to see if the Northwood total of 213-9 would be a challenge or not. The 2016 triumphs followed a stirring finish to the 2015 season, with the 1st XI needing to win the last four matches to secure promotion, which they duly did, piling up 266-2 on a wet, gloomy day at North Enfield, with Hugh Brannan making 130, his first league century.
2nd xi After dipping a toe in the water with a fixture against Aldenham in 2015 (a match which we lost but was notable for Piya Haria - our first regular female cricketer - taking a hattrick on debut), a lot of discussion and checking of likely player
availability, and an absence of three seasons, the O.H.C.C. 2nd XI made the decision to re-enter the Herts League. Under the leadership of Shajeen Shailendra and not knowing what to expect (not even knowing whether availability was going to hold up), it was an achievement when eleven players turned out against Old Albanians at Croxdale Road for the opening fixture of the 2016 season. A comprehensive victory followed and the team found its stride. There was a slight stumble towards the end of the season, but the team were top of their league with one match to play. The campaign ended in a bit of an anti-climax as, early in the week, Hertford conceded the forthcoming fixture and O.H. 2nd XI had won the league and promotion without having to take the field on the last Saturday.
The delightful ground at Sidmouth on Devon Tour
day. But 167 from an Aussie playing for Sidmouth meant the tour ended with another defeat.
(Right) Former England captain Nasser Hussain (4th from right) with OHCC members at the Lord’s dinner
devon tour The tour to Devon in 2015 represented the 50th occasion that the O.H.C.C. had made the trek to the West Country and over the years there have been many notable wins and a few bad losses, some rubbish golf played, much hilarity, a few road accidents, not to mention the sampling of the various local brews. A special effort was made to mark such a landmark tour - commemorative shields were commissioned, a new headquarters found and even a new fixture arranged. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really play its part and the games against Kilmington, Heathcoat and Exeter were all cancelled due to rain and sodden pitches. We did get on the field against Cullompton and Sidmouth (our longeststanding opponents), but lost both. Back to Devon in 2016 for the 51st time and the weather gods were a little kinder. We succumbed to Kilmington and Cullompton (the same Zimbabwean opener who did for us the previous year), but recorded our first tour win since 2013 against Exeter, followed up by a win against Heathcoat the following
The Old Haberdashers’ Cricket Club is most fortunate that for the past twenty years the annual dinner has been held in the Committee Dining Room in the pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground and anyone who has attended will confirm what a fantastic venue this is. For the past two years, the event has been an almost sell out with nearly sixty guests turning up on the night. Latterly, we have also been fortunate to have two outstanding guests as our after-dinner speakers. In 2015, Nasser Hussain (Old Forester and former captain of England) attended, presented the end of season awards and for half an hour or so carried out a very forthright and amusing question and answer session. 2016 once more saw a full house and again a splendid evening was had by all. It started on a slightly sombre note with a minute’s silence for Martin Baker, who had been a very active member of the Cricket Club for many years, and also for Geoff Wickens, who had played regular cricket for the 2nd XI in the 1970s and 1980s and had a quite outstanding record with the bat over that period. Our guest speaker was Manoj Badale, former captain of School cricket, past O.H.C.C. Cricketer and tourist, and now Chairman and part-owner of the Rajastan Royals, one of the participating teams in the Indian Premier League. Manoj gave a fascinating insight in to the way he saw cricket developing in the coming years, with the emphasis on T20 and its impact on the test format.
old boys, notes
Old Haberdashers’ Golﬁng Society Robert Clarke
he 2016 season saw the introduction of the Dr. Alan Morris Matchplay Trophy, in tribute to Alan who passed away in December 2015. Alan was the backbone of the OHGS for over 15 years and at the time of his death he was President of the Society, but for most of the time served as the Secretary and Treasurer. His contribution to ensuring the survival of the Society cannot be understated and his presence, good humour and concern for others will be sadly missed. There were fourteen entrants for this Matchplay competition, with the rounds being played throughout the year at agreed venues. The semi-finals were Michael Kayser versus Peter Annett and Marshall Lawton versus Mike Douglas Michael and Marshall getting through to the final. The final was played at Gerrards Cross GC and Michael Kayser prevailed to become the first winner of the competition, receiving the award of the Dr Alan Morris Claret Jug. Once again, there were the usual fixtures, with the Spring Meeting at Porters Park, Radlett in April (incorporating the annual match against the Hollybush pub team.) Peter Mackie won the individual competition with Dwayne Gunasekera in second place and the Old Habs beat the Hollybush 193 – 168 in the team event. Two triangular matches followed, one at Moor Park and the other at Grimsdyke Golf Club. Old Habs were second to Old Lyonians at Moor Park, beating Old Millhillians into third place. In the match at Grimsdyke GC, Old Fullerians won, Old Merchant Taylors were second and Old Habs third. The Haberdashers’ Golf Day, organised by Andy Ward was this year played at Hartsbourne Golf Club, with a few Old Habs players competing. The Summer Meeting was again held at Welwyn Garden City in July and was an enjoyable event. David Allen was the overall winner with Charles Hopping in second place. The winning team comprised Peter Mackie, David Allen, John Abbott and Peter Annett, whilst Andrew White was nearest the pin and Robert Clarke hit the longest drive. For the first time, the OHGS ran a short tour to Norfolk in August. An intrepid band played the courses at Hunstanton and Sheringham. Hunstanton was played in windy conditions and reminded us of the difficulty of the venue when this course provided a regular fixture for the OHGS. Sheringham proved a great course, played in good weather with spectacular views over the sea. The Society plans another tour for 2017. Also in August was the fixture against Old Albanians at Harpenden Common, played in very wet conditions, but resulting in the match being halved. The traditional end of season Autumn meeting at Gerrard Cross was another good event, Barry Swirn winning the stableford competition with David Allen in second place. The team winners were David Allen, Andy Bracken and Mike Young. A great lunch was enjoyed by all. 2015 was another enjoyable season. John Abbott was the individual winner of the Old Habs stableford at our Spring meeting at Porters Park with 36 points and the OH defeated the Hollybush pub in the team event. Our Summer meeting was held at Welwyn Garden City golf club for the first time and was a very good occasion, with warm July weather. Peter Mackie was the individual winner with 40 stableford points. At the start of October, our traditional Autumn Meeting at Gerrards Cross took place in fine weather. Michael Kayser won with a total of 36 points.
old boys, notes
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge No.3362 Tony Alexander
T Dr. Alan Morris 1936 – 2015
he Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge is now in its 110th year following the installation of our new master Steven Harris in December 2016. Last year, under the mastership of Jaimin Patel (OH) was very successful with many enjoyable evenings and new membership. Last year’s charitable collection amounted to £1,000 and was distributed to Mind the mental health charity and the Metropolitan Masonic Charity Appeal for London’s Air Ambulance. Haberdashers’ Aske’s is an active, vibrant and happy Lodge whose members span a range of ages from the early twenties to early eighties. Some have been members of the Lodge for decades; others for a few months. Many of our members live in London and the Home Counties whilst others travel to our meetings from as far away as Norfolk, Devon, France and Switzerland! We have a healthy tradition of reciprocal visits between our Lodge and many other Freemasons’ Lodges, which enriches the experience of our Lodge meetings and provides the opportunity to forge new friendships. The Lodge has a very special, friendly, Haberdashers’ feel with the significant majority of the Brethren of the Lodge being Old Boys. One notable event in 20016 was the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge Ladies Lunch held at the school on Sunday 11th September. The sun shone from a cloudless sky with the luncheon party assembling on the croquet lawn adjacent to Aldenham House. They were greeted with pre-lunch drinks before making their way into the Aldenham House dining room, where Tony Alexander welcomed 46 members and guests. Tony handed over to Jaimin Patel, Master of the Lodge, an OH and our host, together with his wife Roma, who “formally” bade everyone, welcome, making special mention to Secretary Paul Youngman, plus Tony’s combined efforts in getting everyone together! We’re grateful to the entire Haberdashers’ School catering staff, who had looked after us so well in organising and serving the superb menu, the Headmaster, Peter Hamilton, for allowing us to use the beautiful surroundings of Aldenham House, and Roger Llewellyn, Habs Director of Foundation, without whose help we would not have been there. The Lodge meets four times a year on a Saturday at the prestigious Freemasons’ Hall in London and we enjoy friendship and goodwill in a delightfully relaxed ‘Habs’ style. If you think you might be interested in joining us or would just like to find out more, we would welcome your enquiry. The Lodge secretary is Paul Youngman who can be contacted on 07768 255283 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org The Lodge website is at www.haberdashersaskeslodge.com where further details of our activities including background, dates and further contact information can be found.
Old Haberdashers’ Rifle Club Peter Winney
fter a successful, if slightly chilly practice day for the OH Rifle Club 2016 season, we launched into a series of matches. Welwyn Phoenix won the Herts Clubs’ Match against OH, Watford and Berkahmstead. In the LMRA League, Old Habs A team continued its recent tradition of finishing the in 2nd place in Division 1. Once again we were the only club to field two teams in the League. In Division 2, Old Habs B team finished 3rd. In Round 1 of the league matches, Dick Winney had the best score in the A Team. The best individual round 2 score was Andy Daw shooting for Old Habs A, with David Raeburn not far behind for Habs. In the B Team Ian Farbon topped the scoring with over 100, indicating that perhaps he should have been in the A team! Old Habs won the LMRA Veterans Match, just ahead of Whitgift Vets A Old Berkhamstedians. The Clive Amstein Memorial was a Counties match, with Herts in second place. Old Habs managed two teams again in the Ashburton Veterans Match. Old Habs shooters in the match included Andrew Butcher, Nigel Cooper, Chris Fitzpatrick, and Peter Redstone visiting with the Canada team, plus John and Charlie Freeman and Dick and Peter Winney. At the post-match Club Dinner in the LMRA we were delighted to be joined by John Valentine and Sylvia Morris. During the 2015 season, the World Long-range Rifle Championships were held at Camp Perry in America and two OH were members of the GB Veterans team. Six of the top 10 shooters in the World Veterans Championship were from GB and Chris Fitzpatrick was 6th overall and won a couple of individual medals along the way. Dick Winney was Adjutant to the team and chief coach. Sadly they came only second to the USA in the World Veterans Team Championship, but the next day they won the Veterans America team match. The main GB team won all their matches, as did the GB Under-25 team. We shall grievously miss Alan Morris and so will a lot of other OH judging by the attendance at his funeral. Alan was one of the founders of the Old Haberdashers’ Rifle Club 60 years ago and was an active member over more than 55 years including organising OH shooters for the Vets match, arranging the Dinner and encouraging new members to attend practice open days. A few years back he was elected an Honorary Life Member.
Top: Chris Fitzpatrick with his two individual medals from the World Championships. Bottom: The winning OH team from the 2016 LMRA Vets match.
old boys, notes
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