Key Stage 3 performance of ‘Annie’
F24 Electric Car at Goodwood
2017 Leavers’ Ball
Women in the Workplace panel, featuring Katy Bourne (Waller, No. 3, 1975-81)
Roedean Day, Class of 1977
Class of 1997 Reunion
Karen Leung (No. 3, 2001-06) and Helen Shing (No. 3, 2002-06)
What an amazing term and year this has been at Roedean! The final week of the summer term reflects just how vibrant school life is now, and how many things there are to celebrate. Two prize giving ceremonies were held on Roedean Day and they were wonderful occasions. It was a pleasure to celebrate the girls’ outstanding achievements. We were very fortunate to have OR Noo Saro-Wiwa (No. 3, 1986-94) as our guest speaker, and she spoke candidly about her own experiences and in a way which was accessible for every girl about the importance of always trying to view things through the eyes of others. Noo was not the only OR in School that day. We welcomed back eighty ORs to Roedean Day, along with thirty guests. They had a lovely day, organised by Mark Taylor and Grace Cather, which included tours of the Houses, reviewing the Archives, drinks in the Cloisters followed by lunch in the Dining Room, and, undaunted by the weather, twenty ORs braved the tunnel tour. The weather meant that Sports Day was postponed, but only for two days, and it went very well on the last Monday. We saw some wonderful performances, although ORs will be interested to know that many records still stand from the 80s, 90s and noughties. The last week also saw girls take part in Race for Life and two days of community and scholar activities. The last day was rounded off by final Chapel and Handshaking. Our Roedean way to end a great term and a fantastic year. I hope all members of our wider community are as delighted and proud as I am to witness all the successes and progress being achieved at our School. I trust you are all enjoying a restful and very pleasant summer and that you will be delighted to know that 570 girls will arrive at Roedean in September. With best wishes Oliver Blond Headmaster
Contents School Highlights
Sport – Past and Future
OR Interview – Baroness Lynda Chalker
Remembrance and Obituaries
Dates for your Diary
Roedean through the Ages
Front page: Class of 2017 Leavers’ Day
School Highlights Three Gold Rotary Awards for Roedeanians In June, Emily T, Martha N (Yr12/L6) and Liv H (Yr9/U4) were presented with Gold Awards by the Rotary Club of Brighton in recognition of their fantastic contributions to charitable causes. Emily and Martha ran the Brighton half marathon earlier in the year, raising money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice. Liv went to Madagascar last year, and is going to Nepal this year on charitable missions. Part of her plan for Nepal is to take educational toys to the Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre for disabled children in Kathmandu. Emily said ‘The evening was a great experience. Not only was it an honour to receive the Gold Rotary Award from the Lord Lieutenant, but we also got to hear about all the inspiring charity work other young people have been doing in Brighton and Hove.’ Martha and Emily gave a short speech about their experiences. Well done to all three!
Leavers’ Day and Ball
Roedean Mock Election
The last Friday before the May half-term saw us say goodbye to the current Year 13s (U6) as they left for study leave. The day started with the Leavers’ Breakfast in the Dining Room, before photographs in the Front Quad. This was followed by the Leavers’ Chapel, where the girls had the chance to reminisce and share their memories with the other girls before their last Handshaking.
Following the announcement of the snap General Election, our Year 12 (L6) Politics students launched their own campaigns for the Roedean Mock Election. The students became campaign managers and led campaigns for the four major parties – Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and The Green Party.
The evening saw the girls (and staff) have a chance to dress up for the Leavers’ Ball at The Grand in Brighton. It was a lovely event, with every girl in the year-group enjoying the brilliant food, the company, and the atmosphere, and sharing the end of their last official day in the school with their parents and members of staff.
Jane Chandler with three leavers 4
With campaigners drawn from all years, they distributed cakes and biscuits, posters and mini-manifestos. On the day of the election, despite half the school being on exam leave, turnout was high, and 336 votes were cast by students and staff. The results were somewhat surprising, with the Greens winning with 131 votes, followed by Labour on 92, Conservatives on 85 and Liberal Democrats on 26, although this does reflect the one Green and two Labour MPs of Brighton and Hove.
Roedean Brighton Festival Fringe Concert On Saturday 6th May, the Roedean Chapel was packed with Roedean family, friends, students, staff and members of the local community for the annual Fringe Concert, which starts the Brighton Fringe Festival. The concert opened with a glorious rendition of ‘Zadok the Priest’, from Handel’s set of four Coronation Anthems, powerfully sung by the entire choir of Roedean girls and members of the local community, expertly led by Director of Music, Veronica Fewkes. The concert continued for an hour and twenty minutes, and encompassed a wide range of music, with more group pieces and solos. The orchestra sounded highly professional and the conductors were a joy to watch as they directed the musicians with enthusiasm and a warm passion for their chosen pieces of music. Every individual performer was clearly inspired by being part of such an impressive event, and the audience left the Chapel full of praise and admiration for everyone involved in the concert.
Maria’s qualified for the Worlds! Following her outstanding successes at national level in Romania, congratulations to our Charity Prefect, Maria P (Yr12/L6), who has just qualified in three different categories for the Karate World Championships in November – what an exceptional achievement! She came 1st, with her brother, in the mixed enbu category, 2nd in the team kata, and 3rd in fukogo, and will therefore compete in each of these categories at the Worlds. However, that is not it – in September, she has the chance to qualify for a further three categories at the same championships. One of the Roedean Young Enterprise companies, Sugarush, sponsored her flight back to Romania so that she could compete, for which she is very grateful. Maria has been world champion every year for the last seven years so let’s hope that she can do exactly the same again this year!
Alumnae Highlights Independent Reunions (1975, 1987 and 1997) As well as the major reunion event of Roedean Day, several year group reunions have been held at other locations recently. The events began with the Class of 1997 reunion, arranged by Amelia Warshaw, on Saturday 10th June. The reunion took place at ‘68 and Boston’ in Soho, and around a dozen ORs attended. It must have been a great evening of catching up, as only one photo was taken! (See page 2) On Saturday 1st July, two groups met independently of each other. The Class of 1975 met at Polesden Lacey National Trust near Dorking. Organised by Noelle Chase (Thompson) and Jane Aldred (Curran), the invitation was also open to anyone who overlapped with their time at Roedean. The second reunion on that day was for the Class of 1987, this time arranged by Rosalind van Every (Vowles) and held at Melanie Chen’s home in Woking. Fond memories were
Class of 1987 Reunion exchanged and of course news, updates - and more news! They held a collection on the day to raise money for the Rosita Trust – a charity set up in the name of Polly Renton and her daughter Rosita Fenwick-Wilson, who sadly died in a road traffic accident in Kenya seven years ago. 27 ORs got together and the prize for furthest travelled went to Mary Lynn Banchoff who came from Austin, Texas. Huge thanks to Melanie for hosting the event. It is wonderful that the bonds between ORs stay strong so many years after they leave Roedean. All of the reunions were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed. If, at any time, we in the Alumnae Office can help with a reunion, whether is to be held here at the School or elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be delighted to help. 5
Alumnae Highlights Governors’ Forum The third Governors’ Forum was held on Friday 16th June in Keswick Hall (the old Junior House). Ginny Stephen (ORA Chairman) wrote this review of the evening: The Governors’ Forums initiated by Anne Whitaker, Chairman of Council, and attended by Council members and the Headmaster, have become very popular. This Forum started with five pupils from Lower Sixth telling us how they settled into Roedean, what they thought of it and what their future plans were. All spoke fluently, and with great confidence and enthusiasm. An excellent example of the Roedean Girl. The Headmaster, Oliver Blond, then gave us a presentation about recent events and future plans for the School. We were delighted to hear that he and his team had been very successful in improving pupil numbers. In September, there are likely to be 570 at the School – this is the highest number ever – and indeed, some were having to be turned away. Of this number, there will be 300 boarders so it is excellent news that there is a swing back to majority boarding. Future plans for the School being considered at this stage are exciting. They include sponsoring a state school, opening one or more satellite Roedean Schools in Abu Dhabi and China, and also spear-heading an International Academy to improve language skills for pupils wishing to integrate into the English educational system. In addition, there are plans to open or acquire a feeder Prep School, which is what many similar schools do. These options could
The newly refurbished Keswick (Formerly JH) Hall mean the introduction of co-education off-site. The Headmaster reported on his interesting findings from his trips to Asia and the Far East which he said had included meetings with backers and developers. In order to proceed with some of these plans, the Council are exploring the possibility of amending the Royal Charter that was granted to Roedean in 1938. However, it was confirmed there is no intention to reduce Governors’ powers, nor to admit boys to Roedean, Brighton, and any such move would involve full consultation with the Governors first. Any change to the Charter bye-laws would necessitate meetings with Governors, resolutions to be voted on at an EGM and, if passed, a presentation to the Privy Council. This would be an extensive piece of work so should not be done lightly or frequently. It was a spirited and useful meeting with much engagement. I’m sure that all Governors are delighted at the excellent results and increase in numbers. We should thank the Headmaster and his team for their hard work which has produced such good news.
OR Visits Over the last few months we have hosted visits from a large number of ORs and their families. Our visitors have travelled from all over the world, and are from many different generations, but all have one thing in common – fond memories of their time at Roedean and, in most cases, shock at the difference in the refurbished houses! Amongst those who have visited is Margaret Thomas (Cleland, No. 2) who was at Roedean from 1943-50. As such she well remembers having been evacuated to Keswick, as well as her time at Roedean in Brighton. Margaret 6
had not visited the School since leaving in 1950 and so was amazed by the transformation of many areas – but also by the familiarity she still felt with the main school building. I’m sure today’s girls will be grateful that they no longer have to walk outside in the freezing cold before breakfast to get to the music practice rooms!
Michelle Wong with Andrew England
Other notable visits include Michelle Wong (No.3, 1996-2000) who gave an academic lecture whilst here (pictured with Andrew England), Edlyn Cheng (No.3, 2003-07), and her fiancé who had their engagement photos taken here, and Margaret Cheng (Lai, No.4 2001-05), and her new husband and their friends, who were in England for their wedding.
OR News Hin Hin Wong (Lawrence/Keswick, 2005-10) Hin Hin has been selected as a Graduate Trainee at Christie’s in Hong Kong, beating over 600 applicants to one of only 10 places worldwide, and one of only two places in the Hong Kong Office. Hin Hin has also been awarded the Richard Nicolas Prize for outstanding academic achievement by Christie’s Education.
Lady Jillian Ritblat OBE (Slotover, No. 2, 1955-60) Congratulations to Jill Ritblat who was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours’ List, in recognition of her services to Arts Philanthropy.
Layla Moran MP (No. 4, 1995-2000) Our congratulations go to Layla Moran, who won the Oxfordshire seat of Oxford West and Abingdon for the Liberal Democrats in the recent General Election, reclaiming the seat from the Conservatives.
Zina Saro-Wiwa (No. 3, 1986-94) Zina has recently been made a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Zina is a video artist and curator, she lives in New York, but also works in Niger Delta in Nigeria where she has established a not-for-profit using art, food and crafts to re-imagine the Niger Delta.
Caitlin Boyland (No. 1, 2006-11) Following on from her success at the British Universities and College Sports Regatta in May, Caitlin recently competed in the European Universities Rowing Championship in Subotica, Serbia. Caitlin qualified for the finals of both her events, and finished 4th in the double 2x and won silver in the single 1x.
Roxana Vilk (Pope, No. 4, 1985-89) Roxana’s video for ‘I just disappeared into you’ by UK band GOLD won second prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The dance/film, shot in Scotland and Iran explores our relationship to nature and the nature of movement.
Get in touch If you would like to arrange a visit to Roedean, or would like help arranging a reunion, please get in touch with Mark Taylor and Grace Cather in the Alumnae Office on email@example.com or by calling 01273 667398. Rosalind van Every said the following of the Class of 1987 reunion “I would encourage others thinking of holding a Reunion to go ahead with it – it is great fun to get in touch and even more fun to actually see everyone.” 7
Sport – Past and Future Lacrosse When Roedean was founded in 1885, the Lawrence sisters advocated a minimum of two hours exercise per day in winter and three in summer. Games were thought to promote team spirit and cricket, hockey and tennis were played in the early days. Later, drilling and dancing classes were introduced and then in 1904 the Swedish system of Physical Education was adopted. Lacrosse was introduced at Roedean on 10th February 1902 following a visit by Miss Millicent Lawrence, one of the Heads of the School, to St Leonards School in St Andrews, Scotland, which claims to be the first girls’ school to have played lacrosse matches. Margaret Colbeck, a senior from St Leonards, came to Roedean for two weeks to offer instruction in this new game. For three days before lessons, mistresses and girls practised catching and throwing until Miss Colbeck declared everyone ready to begin to play. House matches gave girls further opportunities to improve and a cup was donated by E Blest to be presented to the winning House team. By the end of 1902, Roedean’s team was competent enough to play two matches against Heathfield School and Wycombe Abbey, but were beaten in both. A report of a match against Princess Helena College in Roedean School Magazine is critical of the players;
Lacrosse, 1902 Miss Theresa Lawrence declared “that game still bore too much resemblance to hockey, and it was perhaps natural that members of the First Hockey Eleven should not have practised lacrosse with sufficient enthusiasm which alone would have remedied this defect”. And so began a long tradition of playing Lacrosse at Roedean. By the 1990s, a full circle was reached, and many girls’ schools opted to play hockey instead of lacrosse. As the number of schools Roedean was able to compete against declined, lacrosse was removed as a main competitive sport in favour of hockey and netball. It is still played though, with a popular lacrosse club and very occasional matches. The PE department are hoping to arrange a masterclass next year.
An all-weather pitch! I hope you will enjoy this second edition of The Roedeanian, which is published by the Alumnae Office twice a year and is free to all members of our wider community of ORs, parents, former staff and friends of Roedean. We will be delighted to feature your family and career updates as well as reminiscences about school days and old photos in future editions. Do please send items for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org We were delighted to welcome so many ORs and their guests back for Roedean Day. But I do want to note that ORs and friends of the School are welcome back on most
days of the year (we are closed over Christmas and New Year). All we would ask is that you contact us in advance to arrange your tour. I am delighted to be able to reveal a very early artists’ impression of the new all-weather pitch we want to build over the course of the 2017/18 academic year. A significant portion of the funding is in place but we will need support from our wider community to complete this greatly needed and long overdue facility. If you would like more information about how you can help the pitch become a reality, please do get in touch with me via my personal email or by telephone. With best wishes
Mark Taylor Director of Alumnae Relations and Development email@example.com 01273 667500 8
Roedean Day On Saturday 24th June we welcomed 80 ORs and 30 of their guests to Roedean Day. The day started in House 2 ODR (Old Dining Room or Common Room) with registration and refreshments, before the opportunity to go on a House tour, led by a current Year 12 (L6). At 12 we moved to the Cloisters for a drinks reception, before lunch was served in the upstairs Dining Room.
After lunch, with the inclement weather meaning Sportsâ€™ Day had to be postponed, many ORs chose to sit and catch up or visit the archive exhibition in the Blyth (the old gym), but around 20 braved the weather for the tunnel tour. The final tour of the day was an impromptu visit to the Theatre and the day was rounded off with tea in the Conference Room (the old staff room).
With over 20 ORs from the class of 1977 celebrating their 40 years on, along with several ORs from our other special year groups, lunch was a lively affair, and included a welcome by ORA Chairman Ginny Stephen (De Trense, No. 3, 1954-60) and Headmaster Oliver Blond.
We would love to see your personal photos from Roedean Day and hear of the memories evoked by your visit to the School. Please send them to Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Directory Day Lau \\ Cafuné (No. 4, 2006-08) Cafuné is a modern accessories brand. At the centre of the brand’s ethos is a strong attention to construction and detail and a celebration of materials and craftsmanship. Day Lau founded the company with business partner, life-long friend and designer Queenie Fan. Visit their website at www.ca-fune.com where you can shop online, or find a list of stockists.
Charlotte Godfrey \\ Mark Adam Ltd (Roney, No. 3, 1983-90) Mark Adam Ltd is a jewellery boutique with a focus on jewellery that combines the finest of British craftsmanship with innovative design and ethically-sourced materials. Mark Adam Ltd offers bespoke hand-crafted pieces alongside a collection of pieces from select European jewellery houses. Visit Mark Adam Ltd at their shop in Tunbridge Wells or online at www.markadam.co.uk
Louise Coote \\ The London Button Company (No. 1, 1971-78) The London Button Company provides innovative and beautiful covered buttons and buckles for clients throughout the fashion and textile world. With an array of styles, finishes and coverings, these buttons are highly customisable, making for a button that is truly striking. Visit The London Button Company online at www.londonbuttoncompany.com
Geraldine Tan \\ LittleBIGBELL (No. 4, 1987-89) LittleBIGBELL is an award winning design, interiors and lifestyle blog. Geraldine uses her blog as a creative outlet to document her passion for colour, design and decorating, covering everything from design festivals and interior trends to new design releases and styling tips. Visit LittleBIGBELL online at www.littlebigbell.com
Kate Gordon-Clark \\ Kate Clark PR (Gordon, No. 3, 1981-86) With many years as a PR consultant for beauty brands such as L’Oreal, Clarins and Vichy under her belt, Kate founded her own PR business Kate Clark PR in 2016. KCPR offers strategic, integrated PR solutions for beauty, lifestyle and luxury brands seeking to increase their awareness and build their presence among media and digital influencers. Visit Kate Clark PR at www.kateclarkpr.co.uk
If you would like to become a part of our Business Directory on the Roedean Community Network, please email Grace at email@example.com 10
OR Interview Baroness Lynda Chalker of Wallasey (Bates, JH/No. 4, 1953-61) Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, PC served as MP for Wallasey from 1974-92. She held numerous posts during 18 years in government and then founded her own consulting firm, Africa Matters Ltd. Mark Taylor caught up with Roedean’s Head Girl of 1960-61 in London in May… Mark Taylor: What led to you becoming a pupil at Roedean? Lynda Chalker: My parents were very busy and involved in the community, including with local politics. They were keen for me to become an independent person and so it was decided I would board. We looked at Benenden and Roedean but I had a phobia about snakes and spiders and was certain the woods of Kent would be full of them! And so I chose Roedean - I was less scared of crabs and jellyfish! MT: What is your fondest memory of Roedean? LC: The quality of the education was first class and I enjoyed nearly every part of my time there. I fondly remember Margaret Braund who taught Drama. We did some wonderful shows. I also enjoyed being Head Girl. I did not like the rattling, draughty and leaking windows or a rather eccentric Physics teacher who once got Lyle’s syrup all over the lab (and himself!) during an experiment. But, in the main, I just had lots of fun. MT: What did you do after Roedean? LC: I went to the University of London to study Maths and Statistics. But I had very bad glandular fever. When I recovered I joined Kodak and completed my Institute of Statisticians exams at Brunel/LSE during 1½ days a week allowed for my studies. I went on to work with Unilever, then Shell-Mex BP as Deputy Head of Market Research, and also as chief executive of the international division of Louis Harris. MT: How did you get involved in Politics? LC: It was in the genes. I remember being with my father when he was elected Mayor of Southend in 1949. I joined the Young Conservatives (to meet my older brother’s friends!) and became involved in the voluntary wing of the Party in London while studying and working. Back in the 1960s, I had had digs in Wallasey when I was sent up to the Wirral for Unilever and Shell Mex & BP. I was encouraged to stand for Wallasey and, to my surprise, I was selected in October 1973. Just a few months later I found myself in the Commons.
MT: What has been your experience as a woman in Parliament (both as an MP and a Peer)? LC: I loved it – and still do as a member of the Lords. Being a woman in Parliament never bothered me. Sometimes Prescott et al would tease me at the dispatch box but not in an unpleasant way. Some of my scariest moments were based on my dislike of heights. Whether atop the Severn Bridge in a gale, or during an inspection of the Tyne Redheugh Bridge, I had to focus, look straight ahead, and not show my discomfort. That’s important in Politics (as a man or a woman) generally. MT: What is your main work focus now? LC: After leaving government in 1997 I set up Africa Matters Ltd to assist companies wanting to invest and grow their businesses on the continent. It was both successful and enjoyable. I sold the business last year but I am still involved as President. I now focus my time on other board responsibilities and charity work. My current priorities are rhino and elephant conservation, E8 (malaria elimination), and Prince Harry’s Sentebale charity. I am certainly still busy! MT: What piece of advice would you give to a current girl looking to get into Politics? LC: Get your qualifications and get a good job! You need life experience to do well in Politics and so that you can bring something to Westminster. 11
OR Obituaries Josephine D Lloyd
Marlene Doreen Mahfood
(No. 2, 1945-49)
(No. 2, 1970-75)
Josephine left Roedean School after four happy years as it was not possible for her to remain there as well as send her brother to Oxford. I think she was always sorry that she did not go to university especially as she was a very intelligent woman. She took a secretarial course and spent most of her working life working for Winchester College - some 50 years.
My clearest memories of Marlene were at Roedean. They were happy days for her and she had so many friends. She was kind, generous and always courteous to teachers. I remember her maturity, sophistication, beauty, but most of all, her really big heart. She was a really sensitive girl who thought of others first. Even at that young age, she looked out for all of us and listened to our problems.
For many years Josephine was the Secretary to the Second Master. She loved horses and rode well. In fact she loved all animals probably rather more than humans. She was a keen and knowledgeable gardener. In her retirement she worked as a volunteer at the National Trust’s Mottisfont, as well as being a steward at the Windsor Horse Show and the Windsor Carriage Driving Society. She also travelled widely. Jo sang for many years, around 35, for the Winchester College Choir - the Waynflete Singers. In short, she was an intelligent self-sufficient and interesting person who lived an independent life of her choosing. Janet Budd
Jenni Sambrook (Former Staff, 2001-10 and 2015-16) Jenni Sambrook was a deeply committed and determined teacher, who strove to achieve the very best for every student that she taught. She was a wealth of knowledge and experience, having not only taught at Roedean School for the last year, but also a much longer stint in the early 2000s. She was a good friend, and a wise companion who you could always rely on for a straight answer. Her students will remember her as a teacher who deeply cared for their progress and achievement, and who tirelessly provided them with as much support as they needed. She was a great and influential presence for other teachers, especially for those new to the profession. Jenni was a keen sailor and was looking forward to a long retirement with her husband and two daughters joining her for cocktails in their new boat. Her loss was sudden and unexpected and she will be greatly missed by us all. Dominic Orys Head of Maths 12
I and others remember her laugh which would get us all into trouble after “lights out”, for it was clearly audible from about a hundred yards, through closed doors. She also had a tremendous enthusiasm for life, dashing outside in her dressing gown early one morning to look at the snow – something she had never seen before. That was typical Marlene! We thought she was very sophisticated as she knew about Bob Marley and other music we had never heard of. She talked about Jamaica, her family and a life lived in the heat and sunshine. She had lost her mother at a tragically young age and was so proud of her father for his humanity and considerable achievements. When life became harder for her due to ill-health she maintained a keen interest in others and loved hearing our news. She is survived by her devoted father Richard, her loving stepmother Nellie as well as her uncles, aunts, cousins and her beloved companion Anita. Claudia Hutchings (Dalton, No. 2, 1970-76)
The Founders’ Day and Commemoration Service will be held on Friday 29th September in the Roedean Chapel. If you would like to attend, please contact Grace Cather at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 667398.
Felicity Franklin (No. 1, 1945-50) Felicity, nicknamed “Flea”, came to the Upper 4 in September 1945. We stayed friends throughout school, perhaps because we did similar subjects, but as I reflect now we were both only children and did not make too many demands on each other, so while other friends altered she always remained. She was very gifted at art, but it was to Durham University she went. After university I stayed with her and her family, living then at Malvern. We stayed friends and she was there at my wedding in Deal. Years passed, and Felicity was there in my address book living in Blandford Forum, but it was only when I retired that I traced her to Sherborne. Indeed she told of her life when we met for tea last summer. She told me
how she collected for an animal charity each day. She was contented, glad to be with me that sunny afternoon and I was delighted to meet up with her again and find the years had left us still able to spend time happily together. She kept my address on the mantelpiece and the day after she died on April 19, one of her good neighbours rang to tell me. I came down for her cremation in Yeovil, and there were 26 of us there. The tribute at the service mentioned her being at Roedean and that this had clearly been an important part of her life. She had never bothered, I knew, to keep her name in the ORA but Roedean had mattered to her. I believe that we discovered that our friendship mattered to us both even after a long gap. Jenny Barbour (West, No. 1, 1945-51)
Remembering Miss Sturgis (Former Staff, 1946-1976) Barbara Sturgis taught English at Roedean from 1946 until retiring in 1973. During her time here she was Deputy Housemistress of No. 2, Housemistress of No. 4, Head of English and School Magazine editor for 15 years. Here, Susanna Shelton (Whittingham, No. 4, 1968-74) remembers her. I was in No. 4 from 1968 to 1974. Miss Sturgis was House Mistress for the first few years. She was strict but fair. She was diminutive and always stood or sat with a very straight back. If she fixed you with her stare you quaked, but sometimes, if pleased, she could smile quickly, and make you feel proud that you had done something well. In our first year, the Middle IVs had House reading every evening. We would gather in the sitting room, those who wished with their knitting or sewing. It was a good time of the day, it felt a little like home. Sometimes there might be music or a biscuit. I remember Miss Sturgis reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the first time I had heard of Tolkien. Miss Sturgis was a good story teller, drawing us into the magical world. In Middle IV we read Romeo and Juliet in class. For me it was the first time I had ever studied the play. To a homesick twelve year-old the tragic ending came as a big shock. It was all too much, so I just put my head on my desk and sobbed. I remember looking up and Miss Sturgis was watching me with a quizzical expression on her face. As I stutteringly explained my outburst, her gaze softened and she nodded gently. Twenty years after leaving school I visited Miss Sturgis on the Isle of Wight, I hadn’t seen her for many years. Her sea view apartment in Ryde was furnished in the 50s style, and
Miss Sturgis (right) with Miss Ketteridge there were stacks of books in every corner. Tea was served in bone china cups. We discussed the then new Harry Potter series. She said she approved of them. She then mentioned she thought Tolkien would have liked them. I was surprised and asked why, and she revealed that Tolkien had been one of her tutors at Oxford when she was an undergraduate. She recounted an anecdote about when she was preparing for her final year viva to see whether she would be granted a First. Miss Sturgis had translated some Latin into English, and was called in to face three of her professors including Tolkien. She was asked what she thought was a very simple question about her translation. “Might this be a trick question?” she asked herself, but proceeded to give her answer. None of the panel said anything but Tolkien turned to her and winked broadly, so she came away hoping all was well (and so it was, she gained her First). Of course, I knew nothing of this history until many years after leaving school. Perhaps others who remember Miss Sturgis can reflect on the literary legacy they enjoyed without realising it at school – being taught by someone who was taught by Tolkien. No wonder she had high standards. Susanna Shelton (Whittingham, No. 4, 1968-74) 13
Dates for your Diary Friday 15th September
Old Roedeanians’ London Lunch
12.00 – 3.00 pm
The Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LF
Thursday 21st September
4.00 – 6.45 pm
Centenary Hall, Roedean School, Brighton. (If you would like to volunteer to represent your sector please contact us for more information)
Friday 29th September
Founders’ Day and Commemoration Service
Saturday 14th October
Hong Kong Reception
Venue TBC For more information and booking, please contact: Grace Cather: email@example.com You can also call us on 01273 667398
Wedding News Congratulations to OR Vidiya Khan (19982000) and Khan Rezual Hoq, popularly known as Bulbul, who married in a brightly coloured three-day extravaganza at the beautiful Leela Palace in Udaipur. The festivities began on Friday 24th March with a cocktail party, before the traditional Mehendi and Haldi on the Saturday and the wedding ceremony on Sunday 26th. The wedding was attended by Sue Stanway, as well as a few OR friends. Photograph by Sephi Bergerson Photography.
Thank you A number of generous ORs, parents and friends of the School have kindly donated or pledged to support our future projects at Roedean in recent months. Whether to bursaries or capital developments, such as the all-weather pitch we plan to build, we are always extremely grateful for every gift, large or small. To all those who have made a pledge or given, thank you. Your support will make all the difference to ensuring Roedean continues to provide an outstanding educational experience for the girls. 14
Roedean through the ages
1980s flashback photos, supplied by Shanta Sundarason (No. 4, 1983-87). These photos show a flavour of life at Roedean for the Class of 1987, who celebrate their 30 years on anniversary this year. If you have any photos of your time at Roedean, we would love to see them. Please get in touch with our archivist Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org. 15
roedean.co.uk Roedean School, Roedean Way, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5RQ Tel: +44(0)1273 667500 Registered Charity 307063