OGA Chain 2022

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OGA Chain 2022

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, St Swithun’s School cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed are those of the author/subject of the page and do not necessarily represent the views of St Swithun’s School. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any shape or form without prior permission from St Swithun’s School.

Front cover credit: Burlison Photography
8. 17. 14. 24. 32. 18. 10. 40. 4.
The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff 1 If you
Hub, please contact us using the details below: Kate Lewis
Olivia Addy
Contact Details Contents 2 Editor’s Welcome 3 Headmistress’ Welcome 4 Meet the New Team 6 Class of 2022 8 HRH Queen Elizabeth II 10 Spotlight – Emma Walmsley 12 School News 16 New Legacy Society 17 Prep School Update 18 Spotlight – Beatrice James 22 Summer Party and Auction 2022/3 23 Bramston Bursary Foundation 24 Old Girls’ Day 2022 30 Spotlight – Virginia Pulbrook 32 PGD - Work Experience 34 In conversation with our Head Girl –Jamie See 36 Gap Year Highlights 40 Spotlight – Alexandra Blanchard 42 Join our OG Community 43 Catching Up with Friends –Classes of 1966/7 44 Catching Up with Friends – Clare Wilmot 46 Old School Rules 48 Former Teacher Feature –Janet Tomlinson 49 Former Teacher Feature – Sue Mansergh 50 Upcoming Events 52 Remembered with Affection 60 Harvey Hall Talk – Amanda Blanc 30. 39. 36. 42. 34. 48. 46. 50. 44.
have any
regarding the OGA Chain
the Old Girls’ Association or the Community
Director of development and alumnae
lewisk@stswithuns.com Tel: 01962 835734
Development and alumnae co-ordinator Email: addyo@stswithuns.com Tel: 01962 835782

From the editor

Welcome to the OGA Chain 2022.

All change! It’s certainly been a year of new beginnings within the OGA and so, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to your new alumnae and development team on page 4. They are wonderful additions to the St Swithun’s family.

Another new addition to the school is the Jill Isaac Study Centre. We covered its progress in our previous magazine and were delighted to attend its grand opening at the beginning of the year. Since then it has been regularly enjoyed by sixth formers and those who visited on Old Girls’ Day were able to experience the peacefulness of the venue for themselves.

Speaking of Old Girls’ Day, we were pleased to welcome so many of you back to St Swithun’s in September. In another first, we focussed on those who had left ten, 25 and 50 years ago and it was wonderful to see so many of you reunited. Of course, as always, everyone was welcome to attend and several former staff also returned. A selection of photos from the day and an invitation to next year’s event can be found from page 24 onwards. The new team would like to hear your thoughts on the format of future Old Girls’ Days too.

Fundraising for the Bramston Bursary Foundation (BBF) has been in full swing again this year, with our sunny and successful

Garden Open Day at Tichborne House and the stylish Ivy Ball and auction both held over the summer. If you turn to pages 22-23 you can learn more about our events and how you can help raise money for the BBF next year.

Alternatively, if you would like to become more involved with the Old Girls’ Association, why not sign up to be an OGA Ambassador? You don’t need to commit to regular meetings but just be willing to help out once in a while at an event. You might find yourself welcoming visitors, selling tickets or serving refreshments – it all helps! If you are interested in finding out more, please email us on oga@stswithuns.com.

And don’t forget, simply by joining the St Swithun’s Hub (www.hub.stswithuns.com) you can become more involved in our community, find out about events, connect with other alumnae, offer or ask for career advice and many other things. Details on how to join –and the many benefits – are on page 42.

Everyone in the St Swithun’s community was thrilled with this year’s GCSE and A-level results, especially after the difficulties caused by previous Covid lockdowns. Congratulations to all the students and teachers on such wonderful outcomes!

St Swithun’s was also recognised as the best school for pastoral care in The Week Independent Schools Guide (p15). Well done!

Following on from last year’s A-level results, you can see what three leavers spent their time on during their gap year on page 36 as well as catch up with other earlier leavers on pages 43-45.

Finally, if you feel like a chuckle with your cup of tea or coffee do take a look at page 46 to learn of some old and bizarre school rules.

I hope you enjoy reading this year’s publication and as ever, please send us your thoughts and keep in touch.

With very best wishes to you all. ■

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Kelly Carr - OGA Chain Editor 2022 (formerly Development and Alumnae Manager)

Headmistress’ Welcome

I am writing this introduction just after the 2022 Old Girls’ reunion to which we welcomed large groups who left ten years, 25 years and 50 years ago. It was energising and fun to meet so many former students and to greet family members. We enjoyed a lively and wide-ranging ‘any questions’ panel covering topics as varied as how we coped at St Swithun’s during the various lockdowns and other restrictions, our plans to be more sustainable and which charities we have chosen to support this year. We also managed to turn the tables and question our former students about their current jobs and about to what extent single-sex education had, or hadn’t, prepared them for university and work. It won’t surprise you to hear that

our independent-minded alumnae provided a spectrum of different points of view from having enjoyed the confidence-building environment of a girls’ school to having initially found it challenging to get used to the more aggressive and less collaborative atmosphere of a male-dominated work environment. This provided plenty of food for thought for us as we seek to give current students the best possible preparation for life beyond St Swithun’s.

If you left St Swithun’s at the end of the upper sixth in 2013, 1998 or 1973 (or would have done if you had stayed for the sixth form), put the date of next year’s reunion in your diary now (Saturday 16 September

2023). Of course we are also always delighted to welcome back students from other years as well.

This year’s reunion took place two days before the Queen’s funeral. Indeed, I was sorry to miss the end of the reunion in order to attend, with two students, the memorial service for the Queen in Winchester cathedral. One of the two students had been lucky enough to present flowers to the Queen when she visited her father’s ship. It seems that Izzy didn’t really want to hand them over, but the Queen tactfully prised them from her hands! We spent some time in school remembering the Queen and admiring her extraordinary model of servant leadership.

Although the start of the year was a sobering one in the wake of the Queen’s death, there was also a stand-out highlight in the visit of old girl and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, Emma Walmsley. She fizzed with energy as she spoke to a large audience about aspects of her style of leadership such as the overwhelming importance of people, how the key to success is proper preparation and that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. She was both fun and inspiring.

On the subject of fun, I hope that there was lots of laughter in your time at St Swithun’s even if you were doing something not strictly speaking within the rules. I’m all too aware that fun hasn’t been high on anyone’s agenda during COVID so we are seeking to redress the balance. Last year, our wonderful Head Girl team choreographed a whole-school dance which featured iconic St Swithun’s moves such as cradling (a lacrosse stick), playing the air guitar and of course a shimmy with your neighbour. We enjoyed dancing together with the prep school to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. We are continuing to try to season our year with further light-hearted events. ■

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annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and

Welcome to the Class of 2022

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Destinations of 2022 leavers:

Institution Course

Arts University, Bournemouth Fashion

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Medicine Cardiff University Medicine

Durham University

Economics; English literature; general engineering; sociology

Imperial College, London Design engineering; medical biosciences; microbiology Loughborough University Robotics, mechatronics and control engineering (with placement)

LSE Economics; history; international relations; management; social anthropology

Newcastle University

Accounting and finance; biomedical sciences; combined honours; marine biology; philosophy

Nottingham Trent University Product design

Oxford Brookes University Marketing management

Queen's University, Belfast Criminology; law with French

Robert Gordon University Diagnostic radiography

SOAS University of London History; Korean

The University of Edinburgh History of art and English literature; interior design

UCL (University College London)

Chemical engineering; history of art; philosophy; psychology, Russian and Spanish; Spanish and Latin American studies

University of Bath Biochemistry (with placement); criminology; management; pharmacy; psychology University of Bristol English; history of art; liberal arts; medicine; sociology University of Cambridge Geography; medicine; natural sciences; philosophy University of East Anglia (UEA) Medicine; nursing (adult)

University of Exeter

English and film & television studies; law; marketing and management; neuroscience; physics University of Glasgow Medicine University of Kent Law

University of Leeds

Philosophy, psychology and scientific thought University of Leicester Medicine University of Liverpool Medicine; veterinary science University of Manchester Psychology University of Nottingham Law; medicine; modern languages; veterinary medicine University of Oxford Archaeology and anthropology: human sciences University of Plymouth Medicine

University of Southampton

Philosophy, ethics and religion University of the Arts, London Fashion marketing University of Warwick

German and economics; history; philosophy University of Westminster, London Fine art mixed media with foundation

University of York

Ecology; English/philosophy (equal); philosophy; philosophy, politics and economics

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

In Memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth who sadly passed away earlier this year after ruling our country for 70 years; longer than any other British monarch before her. She was a strong and inspiring leader who devoted her life to serving others.

As dedicated Head of the Commonwealth, she unified more than two billion people worldwide and made over 200 visits to Commonwealth countries over the years. One third of all her overseas trips were to Commonwealth nations, including her final journey abroad in 2015 when she went to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Indeed, Her Majesty regularly met with these Heads of Government as well as with High Commissioners based in London. In 2015, she launched the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, creating a network of forest conservation programmes in more than 45 countries, each committed to preserving their forests and indigenous vegetation.

Back in the UK, as Head of State, she would regularly work through her red box of Parliament papers and her assent was required to make bills into laws and Acts of Parliament. Her first weekly meeting with a UK Prime Minister (PM) was with Winston Churchill in 1952 and during her reign she was served by 15 PMs in total. Worldwide, Her Majesty welcomed and met with over 110 different Presidents and Prime Ministers.

We were grateful to be able to celebrate the Queen’s life here at St Swithun’s and to be able to follow such respectful and comprehensive footage on television. One OG wrote in to tell us that on 6 February 1952, the day of the death of King George VI, she recalls lying in the school sanatorium suffering with an ear infection and a very high temperature. I well remember the empty room and the radio in the room playing very mournful music, which did nothing to cheer me… what a difference TV would have made! Gillian Sharpe (Francis) HH 1952

At St Swithun’s Her Majesty’s passing was marked with a special assembly celebrating her life and service. A book of condolence was placed in the school chapel and signed by students, staff and visiting alumnae on Old Girls’ Day.

Queen Elizabeth II was Head of the Armed Forces and held many military appointments and honorary ranks. She was the first female member of the royal family to join the armed services as a full-time active member and enlisted with the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945. As Queen, she regularly spent time visiting servicemen and women both at home and overseas.

She lent her support as Royal Patron or President to over 500 charities, professional and public bodies and military organisations and awarded individuals for their excellent work and achievements through

systems such as the UK Honours, the Commonwealth Points of Light Awards and the Young Leaders’ Programme.

Her Majesty was also known as the Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. One of her many duties included distributing Maundy money in a different cathedral or abbey each year, to pensioners chosen for their work in the local community. Her many tireless efforts to connect with her subjects brought her much respect and admiration and she will be greatly missed. ■

Image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022

This is a colour transparency of Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation day. She holds the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross in her right hand and Orb in her left. She is wearing an embroidered and beaded dress by Norman Hartnell (1901-1979), a crimson velvet mantle edged with ermine fur, the Coronation ring, the Coronation necklace and the Imperial State Crown.

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff 9

Spotlight On...

Dame Emma recently came to St Swithun’s to share insights into her life and career after leaving. It was inspiring to hear from an OG with such a distinguished CV - Emma holds an MA in classics and modern languages from Oxford University and worked with L’Oreal for 17 years in global marketing and general management roles in Paris, London, New York and Shanghai. She went on to be President and then CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare and has been the CEO and board director of GlaxoSmithKline since 2017. She is also a board director of Microsoft.

Here is our interview with her:

During your visit to the school you reassured our current leavers that you didn’t have a career path in mind when you left, and also that curiosity has played a guiding factor in your career path. Of all the roles you have held so far, which of them has piqued your curiosity the most and provided the most interesting challenges?

Both of those things are true - there was no master plan (you can only connect the dots backwards) but a hunger to discover, learn and stretch myself beyond what I thought I was capable of has served me well. I would add that hard work, a great support system at home and a decent dose of good luck have also played their part.

The older I get the more curious I get and every job has taught me something new: working in the headquarters of

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CEO Dame Emma Walmsley HH 1987 Dame Emma being interviewed by Siena Chappell, L6 Dame Emma talking with the Head Girl team

a multinational in Paris; moving to New York and being inspired by the diversity, creativity and ambition of such an extraordinary city; discovering what it felt like to truly live as a minority in Shanghai and lead a business for growth as China boomed; changing industry and company to come back home to the UK and build up GSK Consumer into what is now an independent FTSE 20 company and of course, most of all, the privilege and responsibility that comes with being CEO of a global biopharma company.

I also have roles as a Non-Executive Board Director and as an advisor, which I love and continuously learn from. So, I can’t choose one career moment above the others - they’ve all helped me grow and I’m just looking forward to seeing what the adventures ahead will bring - knowing, in the end, the role that matters most to me in fact is still ‘mum’.

What advice or tips would you give to St Swithun’s alumnae who are striving to reach board level?

Mainly - don’t focus on getting to the board (I can honestly say it never crossed my mind as a personal goal). These opportunities arise because you have built a track record, expertise, and reputation in a certain fieldfor what you have achieved and how you’ve achieved it. So, focus on finding work that you can love and be motivated by, even on the difficult days, and be at stake for the enterprise’s success not just your own - this

is more important than people realise. Take the opportunities you’re excited by, but a bit afraid of. If you’re doing work you care about - not just what it is but why you do it - your success will follow naturally, including at board level if that’s what you want.

What is a typical day for you as the CEO of such an innovative company?

There is no such thing I’m afraid. The UK is around 3 percent of our business so I’m engaging globally all the time and travelling to the US in particular every few weeks. We’re over 75,000 people in 80 countries with most of our people in labs, factories, or frontline health system markets. I focus my energy on their output and our forwardlooking growth plans as well as on core aspects of my role to set strategy, allocate capital, hire the right leaders and set and drive the culture. I probably spend 50% of my time internally, 30% externally and 20% on unplanned issues or opportunities to manage - which can turn up 24/7. It’s never boring and is a tremendous privilege.

How do you relax and stay clear headed when the pressures placed upon you are mounting?

Remind myself of what matters most - the purpose and values of the company. I seek to separate signal from noise and always make sure I’ve slept enough to make the big decisions. Physical and mental resilience are key life and CEO skills!

How challenging have you found it to juggle your career and family life?

It certainly isn’t easy and I haven’t always got it right. Everyone will have their own recipe for this depending on their personal circumstances. In my case I have been very lucky to be married to someone who is profoundly and practically supportive, and because we’re a big family (four children, two dogs) that’s lived all over the world, we accepted living in chaos and abandoning any kind of parenting perfection fantasy many years ago! A few top tips that have mattered for us are:

● Communicate a lot with your children about what you’re doing and why, especially if you can’t be somewhere that matters to them. They’re more interested and understanding than you think.

● Have the shortest commute you can, even if it means compromises in other ways.

● When you work hard, take your holidays properly with your family to recharge and reconnect (not with loads of other people).

● When things get hard try to be kind to others and yourself. Everyone’s trying their best.

● Nobody does it all, so get comfortable saying “no” to things, so you can manage your own personal sustainability.

● We all love our family, find work you love too. It makes it all a lot more manageable and that way the overwhelming sense among the chaos, is gratitude! ■

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

School News

Ukraine - Donations

A key focus for student fundraising and charitable efforts this year was to help those struggling in war-torn Ukraine. When the appeal was made for help, OG Daisy Elkington CG 2022 (then in U6) immediately asked the school community for help:

I was deeply horrified and upset about the way millions of families’ lives had suddenly been affected and felt compelled to do something to help.

Collection boxes around school were filled within a week with winter clothes, sleeping bags, coats and toiletries for both adults and children. These were delivered to my home where I sorted them into packing boxes during my Covid isolation. After realising just how much had been donated, we decided to organise a direct shipment via a Polish friend as the charities were overwhelmed. We had to raise £700 very quickly to employ a driver to transport the donations and we achieved this via the generosity of family and friends.

Eight boxes and 18 huge bags were collected and driven directly to Krakow in Poland and within 24 hours, the school donations were being distributed to over four million Ukrainian refugees who had fled to that area. Though a small contribution in comparison to the vast scale of the war efforts, the St Swithun’s donation was gratefully received in Poland. Thank you to everyone who donated both clothes and money towards our efforts! ■

Ukraine - Ambulance Fundraiser

A colleague of the school, Andrew Velosh, who works with our Registrar, also asked for help and St Swithun’s agreed to try and raise the money for an ambulance.

Amazingly, almost £10,000 was raised and Andrew’s not-for-profit organisation (Make a Difference UA) was able to equip the ambulance and send it out to the Ukraine.

St Swithun’s has also been able to offer bursary places to Ukrainian refugees and has a number of girls studying here whilst they cannot return to their homes and schools. ■

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GCSE Results

41% of results were at grade 9, 66% at grades 9/8/A* and 85% at grades 7/A and above, with students on average taking 9.7 GCSE qualifications each.

Headmistress, Jane Gandee said: We are proud of the achievements of U5 and of the qualities they have shown in negotiating the challenges of the past two years. We are delighted that the attributes of hard work, perseverance and mutual support, both amongst their peers and from their teachers, have been rewarded in their GCSE successes. These key qualities and the appreciation of the importance of having fun are fundamental to a St Swithun’s education. ■

A-level Results

After an unprecedented two years of uncertainty and challenging conditions for learning, this year’s U6 have gone to university, having achieved excellent A-level results with 75% achieving A*/A grades.

They chose a particularly wide range of courses including Korean studies, criminology, robotics, radiography, mechanical engineering, marine biology, life sciences and fashion marketing in addition to perennial favourites such as medicine, veterinary medicine and psychology. University College London and Cambridge University are two of this year’s most popular destinations followed by Bath, Bristol, Durham and Edinburgh. ■

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former
Class of 2022
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Pastoral Award

St Swithun’s was delighted to have been recognised as BEST school for pastoral care in The Week Independent Schools Guide Best of the Best Special (autumn/winter 2022).

You can find out more in this link: https:// theweek.co.uk/schoolsguide

Having qualified for the final during the latest heat in Castle Coombe, all three St Swithun’s Greenpower teams were able to go to Goodwood race track in Chichester to compete against 82 other cars in the Greenpower International Final again this year.

St Swithun’s girls entered two kit cars (cars built by them from Greenpower-designed kits) called Rubidium and Neon, and one scratch car (a car designed and built by the students) called Plutonium.

In races one and two, out of 45 kit cars, Rubi placed 15th and 27th and Neon placed 20th and 17th. The races were very close with Rubi’s and Neon’s best lap times at 6.09 and 6.07 minutes respectively.

Pluto had a best lap time of 5.31 minutes and came 32nd in race one and 27th in race two out of 40 other scratch-built cars. Despite slight hiccups during the day, the team drove very well with all cars driving over 55 miles each in total.

Old Girls, Gillian Lowden (Best) CG 1955 and her sister Jane Healey (Best) CG 1960 heard the event was on and went along with family members to support the girls. They all had a wonderful day and can be seen pictured left with the students.

All three teams are looking forward to the new season starting in the spring, especially the newest members, who will try driving for the first time.

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff Greenpower

Meet the President of the New 1884 Legacy Society

For the launch of St Swithun’s new Legacy Society it seemed the perfect choice to ask a long-standing supporter of the school to be its inaugural president… and so we welcome Roberta Brockman (Chew) V/CG 1968 into the role.

Many of you will have met Roberta already, either at school as a student, at an Old Girls’ Day or around Winchester at one of the many clubs and societies she belongs to.

Growing up in Winchester, Roberta first attended the junior school aged five, going to Medecroft, a beautiful, old manor house which now belongs to the University of Winchester.

She continued through the senior school as a day girl, leaving at age 18 to take a gap year as an au pair in Pisa, Italy.

Whilst at St Swithun’s, Roberta was president of the Social Services Committee and worked with the Peckham Settlement in London. Outside of school, she and a handful of friends set up the Junior League of Friends at the local hospital. They could often be found serving meals and drinks to new mothers on the maternity ward or convalescing patients in the day room.

Looking back, it is clear to see that Roberta’s love of caring for people and her community began at this early age and later on her passion developed into her career.

Roberta completed a postgraduate Diploma in Social Work and came back to Winchester (with her husband Richard) to work as a medical social worker at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. She continued to work in Social Services up until her retirement.

Despite juggling her career and family (she and Richard had two daughters), Roberta has always continued to support St Swithun’s. Since 1975, she has attended every Old Girls’ Day and been the secretary, treasurer and president of the Old Girls’ Association Committee.

Her daughters attended St Swithun’s and later Peter Symonds and as you might expect, Roberta was a governor and is now a trustee there too! In the local community, Roberta is also a trustee of the Winchester Working Men’s Housing Society, an honorary member of the Symondians Association and a member of both the Friends of Winchester Cathedral and Friends of Winchester College.

It would not surprise you to know that Roberta does not like having ‘nothing to do’ and so she was delighted to take on the role of president of the 1884 Legacy Society at St Swithun’s.

Roberta says: I enjoyed every minute of my time at St Swithun’s and so I hope that the school will continue for many years through the generous support of my fellow Old Girls. I am sure they all value their time at St Swithun’s and the opportunities and connections it has provided as much as I do.

I am delighted to help the school raise funds for future generations of girls, enabling them to benefit from the wonderful education, friendships and life experiences St Swithun’s can provide. Long may it continue! ■

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Prep School Update

It is a real delight to note that the academic year 2022-23 should be markedly different to its three predecessors because it will be the first one for a while in which pandemic prevention measures will not need to play an oppressive role in schools’ operations.

Consequently, here in the Prep School, we are grasping the opportunity to concentrate our efforts on improving the true personalisation of education that we can offer to the children in our charge, implementing developments that make our teaching and learning the very best that they can be for each and every individual: we are all different and diversity is one of the most valuable characteristics of our existence, so the education that we receive should be diverse as well. We are very excited that, for the first time in the Prep School, we have a Learning Enrichment department charged with ensuring that all children go above and beyond the curriculum by exploring, developing and cherishing their individual interests and passions. Of course we have a common core of learning content, but we are passionately embracing idiosyncratic talents too.

Our three strategic priorities for the year are reading for pleasure, wellbeing, and celebrating the plethora of opportunities that exist in the worlds of science and engineering. There is absolutely no gender stereotyping, either explicit or implicit, going on here! Furthermore, our teaching methods are maturing just as much as the content of our curriculum. As one example, all of our pupils (even those as young as three in our preschool) are now learning a cursive approach to handwriting: this means that they will all mature into natural “joiners” and will eventually write attractive, fluent script without encountering hurdles or having to “un-learn” what they have previously been taught.

Furthermore, at the other end of our age range, ten and eleven year olds are embarking upon a linguistics learning programme that really gets to the heart of how the English language has grown and developed. We have all studied Latin for a while, but are now expanding on that to include rudimentary Greek, Celtic,

Norse and Norman French as well as any additional languages that may be spoken fluently by children in each class: all are valued, all are fascinating and all are investigated, including their links to the everyday English that we hear, read and write. A third major development this year is the Independent Project Qualification, in which children learn how to undertake scholarly research: every pupil in the oldest two year groups in the Prep has formed her own individualised research questions, thus transforming the school into a real hive of discovery!

We have always said that we do not have a “one size fits all” approach to teaching and learning at St Swithun’s and we have always known that children do not come shrinkwrapped in packs of twenty. Our new innovations are testimony to the fact that this philosophy has never been more true than it is today. ■

The annual publication for St
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Visiting Author Lisa Rajan highlighting STEM subjects to the Prep School

Spotlight On...

Beatrice only started her painting in earnest three years ago but in that short time has gone from strength to strength, taking private commissions throughout her sixth form studies, in addition to her A-level art requirements.

Coming from a creative family, it was her father who taught her to draw when she was very little. However, Beatrice’s love of painting in oils only came about during her GCSE year when her art teacher threw one of her paintings in the bin and told her she’d never paint properly! (She wasn’t at St Swithun’s at the time.) In a strange way, Beatrice feels this spurred her on to try harder and it was whilst she was working with oils and a palette knife on a picture of a cart horse, that she firmly fell in love with the medium.

Over the years, Beatrice has painted alongside other artists and has enjoyed each experience, taking from them a sense of camaraderie and inspiration; each helping to develop her own techniques and style. She is now a member of both the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) and the British Sporting Art Trust (BSAT) and hopes to showcase some work online with the SEA in the near future. The society has already seen Beatrice’s work and she hopes it will be included in their annual exhibition next year.

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff

Two of her many summer commissions this year were a painting of a St Swithun Rose for a fellow St Swithun’s girl’s birthday present and a horse portrait for a well-known equine artist. Asked if there was pressure producing a painting for an established artist, Beatrice replied: yes and no; as our techniques are so different there’s really no comparison, which takes the pressure off a little.

This term, Beatrice began her degree in philosophy and ethics at Southampton University. Despite other offers of places further afield, it was a conscious choice for her to stay close to home so she could continue to paint and grow her own business. Painting in oils is a time-consuming process as there are many layers to each painting and each one must be dry before the next is added. Cleverly reducing the commute back to her studio gives Beatrice more time to work and start putting together her first solo exhibition which she plans to show in a couple of years’ time.

Further ahead, Beatrice’s long-term goals include a solo exhibition at the Osborne Studio

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Gallery in Belgravia, London, which specialises in equestrian and other sporting paintings and was in fact opened by the Princess Royal herself in 1986. Beatrice was invited to a private view of a prestigious exhibition at this gallery in October 2022. The second of many targets in Beatrice’s sights is a commission from BSAT, who invite a different artist annually to contribute to their collection; their artist for 2022 is British painter, Charles Church.

Beatrice is currently in collaboration with a new gallery space in Haslemere which is opening soon, wherein her work will be shown and sold. This is hopefully the beginning of many exciting gallery collaborations.

If you are interested in seeing more of Beatrice’s work or would like to commission a piece, you can contact her on Instagram: @bea_james_artist or via her email: beatrice@familyjames.co.uk

Beatrice has very generously agreed to donate a commission to the Summer Auction to raise funds for the BBF. ■

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff

St Swithun's Summer Party & Auction

Friday 7 July 2023

7.30pm to midnight

Please come and enjoy a fun evening in support of the Bramston Bursary Foundation, at the end of the school year. Keep an eye out for more information that will be published on the St Swithun's Community Hub soon: hub.stswithuns.com/event/summer-party-and-auction.

The party and silent auction will raise much needed funds, and give you the perfect opportunity to enjoy some time with the school community.

If you'd like to be involved in organising the party or offering an auction prize, please let us know by emailing oga@stswithuns.com.

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life changing opportunities through fully funded boarding places for girls in disadvantaged communities. Registered Charity Number 307335

Why do we Support the Bramston Bursary Foundation?

St Swithun’s was founded by Anna Bramston in 1884 with the aim of educating all girls, no matter what their circumstances.

Over 130 years later, the Bramston Bursary Foundation’s mission is still to achieve that same goal by offering lifechanging opportunities to girls from disadvantaged and challenging circumstances.

The money raised from events and donations each year enables the foundation to provide fully-funded boarding places at St Swithun’s… which are transformational to a girl’s life.

We are proud to be part of the Bramston Bursary Foundation Committee because we firmly believe all children should be given the chance to fulfil their potential and we have seen the difference it can make. Furthermore, by welcoming these girls to St Swithun’s it makes our school community more diverse and open-minded - resulting in a win-win for everyone.

We hope that as many of you as possible will get involved by fundraising, helping out at events, or donating. Please help us to educate the inspirational women of the future.

Thank you… your support is simply life-changing.

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former
Nico Jackson and Louise Tyson St Swithun’s parents and founding members of the Bramston Bursary Foundation Fundraising Committee

Old Girls’ Day 2022

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This year saw alumnae from three key classes (1972, 1997 and 2012) reunite with classmates, OGs from other year groups and former staff. As always, it was a day of beautiful sunshine, fond memories and much laughter.

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

Touring the School

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff

Lunch Reception

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Invitation to Old Girls’ Day

For Old Girls’ Day 2023, we warmly invite all former students and staff to meet up with friends and be reunited with school contemporaries you have lost touch with.

We would particularly like the leavers from the classes of 2018, 2013, 1998 and 1973 to come along to celebrate their five, ten, 25 and 50 year anniversaries.

If you are interested in attending please email us at oga@stswithuns.com or call us on 01962 835782

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annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls
Saturday 16 September 2023

Spotlight On...

Virginia Pulbrook kindly credits St Swithun’s with helping her develop many positive character traits…resilience, confidence, loyalty, humility and the belief that you make your own luck.

After A-levels, Ginny wasn’t sure what to study at university but as she loved languages she chose to live in Germany and immerse herself in learning German. On her return to the UK she wanted to work for Rothschild & Co in London and went in person to ask for a job. They hadn’t actually advertised one but after she mentioned she was fluent in German they offered her a position that had just arisen!

Working hard - often 24/7 - and with demanding time-lines in the investment banking and listed companies sectors, she has developed expertise in complex capital

markets transactions, crisis management and board-level advisory roles across a multitude of corporates across the world.

Her distinguished 40-year career includes corporate finance/forex trading in investment banking, founding a business, winning industry awards, being a NonExecutive Director and chairing various committees. However, throughout these diverse experiences, there has always been a common thread of responsibility towards others and the environment, echoing back to Ginny’s time at St Swithun’s with its motto of Caritas, Humilitas, Sinceritas.

Ginny feels that whatever your demanding day job may be, it is always enhanced by what you do outside work. It is easy to become consumed by your day job but meeting with others in different forums

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provides an opportunity to engage with diverse personalities - a thoroughly enriching experience.

One of Ginny’s first projects was to work on the design and launch of the Natural History Museum’s (NHM) Darwin Centre. She was challenged to change the public’s view of the museum from being focussed on the past to something more current. When asked what came to mind when they thought of the NHM, most people referred to dinosaurs, the blue whale and stuffed animals but in reality the museum had and still has a huge group of scientists working on vital areas like tropical diseases. Thankfully that perception has largely changed now and the NHM is known as a world-leading science research centre.

Ginny helped to raise money for both the building of and ongoing work at The Darwin Centre, which was opened by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. Ginny realised there was a funding gap and so developed the Patrons’ Programme to raise vital funds - something which is still successfully running today. To help support the NHM yourself, you can follow the link below.

Another venture Ginny worked on with far-reaching environmental benefits was the development of the first mechanical biological waste treatment centre in East London. She was involved in setting up the

centre and advised the company who built it on how to manage its relationships with its stakeholders. As a result of this technology, less rubbish is sent to landfill sites and plants such as this one also produce energy from the waste they process, which in turn supports the National Grid.

Nowadays, Ginny is involved with Carers UK, a charity giving unpaid carers expert advice, information and support. It also lobbies at government level for positive change to laws affecting unpaid carers in the UK.

It is a cause close to her own heart as Ginny herself cared for her mother for 11 years after she developed Parkinson’s disease. After her death, Ginny applied to become a trustee for Carers UK and has been honoured to support them for many years now. More recently, she helped launch Employers for Carers (EfC), an ever-growing group of employers who are committed to supporting and retaining employees with unpaid caring responsibilities.

Ginny feels that support from an employer reminds unpaid carers they are valued, provides them with financial and emotional support and gives them a familiar place to return to work once their caring responsibility has come to an end. It is mutually beneficial when good business sense also supports fellow human beings through a traumatic time in their lives. ■

If you are interested in joining EfC you can find out more here: www.employersforcarers.org/ And for more information on becoming a patron of the Natural History Museum please use this link: www.nhm.ac.uk/support-us/patronage

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A family supported by:

Professional Guidance Department Work Experience

One of the many roles of the Professional Guidance Department is to help St Swithun’s students find invaluable work experience placements. Read on to find out more about two recent placements provided by OGs…

It’s really important to me to give back to the younger generation of St Swithun’s students. I was fortunate enough to have a work experience placement during my U5 summer and I found the experience invaluable. Providing current students with the opportunity to experience our job roles and work environments is critical to building and developing future, diverse talent. I am very passionate about supporting women to succeed within financial services and law, I see this initiative as a stepping stone to achieving that. I can’t recommend the experience of hosting a work experience placement enough. The students are extremely diligent and curious. It was a real pleasure.

I had the pleasure of working at McDermott Will & Emery at Bishopsgate during my work experience week and spent my time attending talks, meeting with people in the industry, working on documents, and gaining a general insight into the law industry.

I helped gather ideas for the company’s collaborative activities such as life-sized monopoly and theatre trips and helped to create a seating plan for one of their most important annual meetings, which taught me crucial skills like decision-making and flexible thinking.

Additionally, I visited the Tate Modern and joined Katie Cramond at a conference at the

Queen Elizabeth Centre, where I got to hear many different law companies speak. It was an engaging conference and I learnt more about the nature of different law firms.

One of the last things I did was work on an opening introduction for award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster, Elizabeth Day. However, my favourite experience was talking with ‘white collar’ crime lawyer, Joshua Domb. I learnt what white collar crime entails, the importance of maintaining a close client relationship, and the difficulties with trying to separate emotions from cases. I couldn’t be more thankful for my experience.

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Katie Cramond CG 2005 Director of Business Development International McDermott Will & Emery The Attenborough meeting room at McDermott Will & Emery

The work experience at the Old Bailey was an amazing opportunity - it was an incredible insight into the world of criminal law and something I would recommend to anyone interested in the field. We were fortunate enough to be able to sit in on a case and listen to the transcript of one of the offender’s police statements, see the murder weapon and ask insightful questions to the judge herself.

We learned about the different roles in the judiciary system in great depth and the process of prosecuting a crime. It was especially fascinating to talk with the barristers and learn how they came to be in their current jobs and gain advice from their own experiences.

Tilly, L6 student

The three girls were perfectly behaved and dressed and genuinely interested and receptive. They were able to experience a fairly typical murder trial in and out of court.

Their questions were perceptive and I am confident they got a taste of life as a criminal lawyer.

Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro CG 1978

Can you help?

If you might be able to help out by providing a work experience placement for a St Swithun’s student, please contact Tim Dixon, head of student guidance on dixont@stswithuns.com.

Placements for this academic year will take place on 26th-30th June 2023.

Thank you for supporting our students.

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff
HHJ Sarah Munro
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In Conversation with Our Head Girl

What were your first impressions when you joined St Swithun’s?

I joined St Swithun’s at the start of M5 and because it was such a welcoming environment it was quite an easy experience. My old school in Hong Kong was a day school but I came into Earlsdown as a boarder so I was a little worried to begin with. The school seemed so big to me and I couldn’t believe the size of the sports fields!

However, the way St Swithun’s helped me make the adjustment to boarding was great; the teachers were supportive and helped me adapt to a GCSE curriculum and I was paired up with a buddy who is still my friend today. I remember on my first day, we all played a game of Splat in our form room which was lots of fun and really useful for making friends.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Last year I was head of debating and it gave me the opportunity to polish my leadership skills and inspire and support younger students. There was an enjoyably competitive atmosphere.

I also like writing poetry and have entered a few competitions.

What is your favourite memory so far? Being with my friends during Covid lockdown was very special. To be able to see them every day in our boarding house provided an amazing support system.

How did you feel about becoming head girl?

There was certainly an element of surprise as there are many people in my year with strong leadership skills. I am honoured to have been chosen.

I have huge shoes to fill, following on from Desire last year and so I am very grateful to my deputies for all their help. For example, at the start of term we organised a cocurricular fayre consisting of 40 stalls, each one showcasing a different club or activity available to the students – I couldn’t have done that without their help.

I am looking forward to working with the staff and student body and getting to know the school more closely. I am both proud and humbled to be part of the bigger picture.

What qualities has St Swithun’s helped you to develop?

Being here has taught me to be kind to people and think of them in the best light as you never know their circumstances and what they are going through. Also, to be willing to both talk and listen as it helps you connect with people. It’s important to be open to feedback too.

What would you like to do after St


I’m currently in the process of applying to US and UK universities and have just written my personal statement. Rather than put myself on a specific career path, I’ve chosen to pursue my passions and study history and economics (joint honours).

Do you have any advice for future head girls?

Be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to previous head girls as each one is unique and brings their own personality to the role.

I used to have the impression they always knew what they were doing but they probably didn’t and neither do I!

People choose you for the role because they trust you to be yourself and because they believe in you… so just be yourself and put your best foot forward. ■

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Gap Year Interview

When she was younger, Madeleine had wanted to be a doctor (she remembers playing with a doctor’s kit as a child) but illness during her GCSE year cast doubt on that path. With A-levels in chemistry, biology and German and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) focused on Japanese culture she applied and got a place to read Japanese at Durham University. However, feeling unsure of her choice, eventually Madeleine bravely rejected her offer and instead applied for medicine and followed her dream.

Where are you now?

I’m at Brighton and Sussex Medical School studying a five-year course in medicine. They’ve told us our first term will be ok but apparently after Christmas it will be like the second year of a batchelor’s degree; it’s going to be intense!

Why did you choose to take a gap year?

Taking a gap year meant I could apply for medicine, get a job and learn to drive.

Mostly I just wanted to exist as a person outside of school in the real world.

What did you do?

I applied as a care support worker through NHSP (NHS Professionals) who provide clinical and non-clinical staff to the NHS. They enrolled me onto a six-month programme at Southampton General hospital in the General Intensive Care unit.

In February, I passed my Care Certificate exam which meant I could book myself in to work in different departments. By the end of the summer, I had worked in neurology, cardiology, A&E, children’s A&E and cancer care. They were all very different experiences – in intensive care and the cancer ward the patients were there for longer so I could chat with them more regularly but in A&E it was more chaotic and intense with a much higher turnover of patients. A&E was difficult, but I proved to myself I could do it and I loved working with the children who came in.

Would you recommend it to current sixth formers?

Absolutely. I have already been back to St Swithun’s and given a talk to MEDSOC about my gap year.

Madeleine Alexander M 2021

What do you think you gained from your experience?

I think because I had changed my mind between languages and medicine, it really confirmed my career choice.

Interacting with the patients and working as part of a multi-disciplinary team helped to build my confidence. I went from rehearsing (in a cupboard) what I would say to a patient, to speaking happily to anyone about anything.

It gave me the confidence to try something new over the summer too.

Where did you spend the summer then?

I spent three months as a camp counsellor in a Jewish summer camp in Michigan, USA. There were lots of children and staff from Israel who taught me some Hebrew.

I was based in a cabin with a co-counsellor and nine children. We were there to support them in their daily activities and help them when they felt homesick. Some didn’t want to be there at all, so we tried to establish similar routines to those they had with their parents… it usually worked and by the end of it they were enjoying their time away.

It helped me develop rapport with young teenagers who were having difficulties and improve my communication skills which are important aspects of being a medical professional.

I also did some further travelling after camp which was great fun and allowed me to further enhance my ability to be independent.

To learn more about Americamp you can visit: www.americamp.co.uk/ ■

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Madeleine on Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Sophie Nicolin M 2021

Sophie left St Swithun’s in the summer of 2021 having gained A-levels in physics, chemistry and geography and an EPQ, consisting of a mini thesis and presentation on a tiny, sustainable, affordable house.

Where are you now?

I’ve just started a product design course at Nottingham Trent University. Originally I wanted to study architecture but this course is much broader and covers other media such as wood, metal and animation. Moving forward it will give me a lot more options.

Why did you choose to take a gap year?

When I was looking at applying for universities

I read about Minerva University, an online institution based in San Francisco, which runs its seminars through Forum, their advanced virtual learning environment. They strive to teach their students in an immersive, global experience and have been named the number one Most Innovative University in the World by World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) for 2022.

What did you study?

I did the Visiting Scholars’ programme which began in August and finished in April, leaving me time to travel afterwards.

There were four parts to the course: computer science (where I learnt to code in Python amongst other things); natural science (including scientific methodology); social science (where we looked at analysing people and why they do the things they do) and lastly arts and humanities (studying modern writing, music and films like science fiction and

comics). The professors taught online from different countries around the world and I made many international contacts and friends.

We were set useful assignments which we could apply to the real world, like how to study and how to improve your mental capacity.

The only disadvantage to being online was the time difference; during the second semester

I sometimes had lectures at 7am or 11pm. Other than that, all the students were in the same boat.

What do you think you gained from your experience?

I definitely gained in confidence. The application process was very different to the UCAS application as there was no personal statement to write. Instead, I had to write five paragraphs, one on each of five personal accomplishments, as well as complete some standardised tests and record an online interview.

It made my second application to a UK university much easier as I’d learnt how to write reports properly.

There’s also an incredible careers team who helped me hone my personal statement and will provide ongoing careers advice.

After I finished the course, I went inter-railing in Europe and stayed with a friend in Berlin who I’d met during the year. I visited another friend in Italy and stayed with a third for a long weekend in Madrid!

Would you recommend it to the current sixth formers?

Yes, definitely. I loved doing a single year but could have continued on to a four year course if I’d wanted to.

To learn more about Minerva University you can visit: www.minerva.edu/ ■

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Sophie and her friend Jan in Berlin Sophie in Prague

Gap Year Interview

Olivia Bracey-Davis M 2021

Whilst studying for her A-levels in maths, economics and biology, Olivia had also been taking part in competitive dinghy sailing events around the UK. So, when it came to taking her gap year she knew she wanted to spend part of it at sea, but first came a different adventure…

So where did you go first? I decided to spend two months in Costa Rica working for the charity Raleigh International. Before I left, I raised money for them by climbing the equivalent distance from base camp to the summit of Mount Everest - only it was on St Catherine’s Hill in Winchester! It meant walking up and down it 50 times in one day and my legs ached for days afterwards!

Once I arrived in Costa Rica, I spent the first month walking from one coast to the other with people from the charity. The aim was to see what the country was really like, rather than just visiting the usual tourist destinations. We walked 15-20 km each day - with all our camping kit - and came across villages which couldn’t be accessed by road. It was amazing to see such a different way of life in a country which is so modern in other places.

The second month was spent in northern Costa Rica working with rangers in a national park. Our job was to put the paths back together again so they could be used by tourists after the park reopened. We camped in the rainforests and woke up to see monkeys outside our tents every morning. There was more wildlife than I imagined because the tourists weren’t there to scare it away; the toucans were particularly beautiful.

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Did you come back to the UK to sail?

No, I came back to the UK to have a family holiday and then I flew out to Australia with a St Swithun’s friend for just over a month.

I had always wanted to visit Australia and they had just reopened their borders after lifting Covid restrictions. We stayed mostly around Sydney and visited family and friends before returning home for the last part of the year.

Where did you go next?

I flew out to the Caribbean to work as a skipper for a company called Broadreach which ran sailing and scuba diving programmes for teenagers. We were based in St Martin but also sailed around St Barts, St Kitts, Statia and Saba - where I taught the teenagers how to sail the 50-foot yacht. When we arrived at each island the students learnt to dive and I did too!

It was a big responsibility but it reminded me to keep calm under pressure and that even when things went wrong it was important to help them feel calm and safe. It was incredible being able to work in such a beautiful part of the world.

What are you doing now?

Now I have a place at Durham University to read economics.

Are you glad you took a gap year?

Yes – I would definitely recommend it. I feel I have so much more life experience than before and I’ve seen so much more of the world. It gave me the chance to learn how to look after myself without having to worry about studying at the same time.

To learn more about Raleigh International you can visit: www.raleighinternational.org ■

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

Alexandra left St Swithun’s in 2014, having completed A-levels in English, chemistry and history. She went on to read English literature and language at King’s College, London which she describes as: Being a dream to be able to spend time reading books and coming up with elaborate theories about the characters and plotlines.

Shortly after university, Alexandra was sitting under a tree chatting with a friend (also called Alex) who she had originally met in a Virginia Woolf seminar. They were discussing the differences between the experiences of the Syrian refugees Alex had met and the Western Saharan refugees Alexandra had met. The former had already come to the UK from a camp in Iraq and were currently able to seek refuge whereas the latter were still trapped in a ‘temporary’ camp the government had displaced them to 47 years previously. It got them wondering what other stumbling blocks people came up against when trying to move across borders and the idea for their book was born.

It was far from a simple process for them both however and they experienced their own barriers during the research period. Visas to Algeria were cancelled at the last minute and Covid lockdown stopped a planned trip to Greece but slowly and steadily they made new contacts, built trust and discovered some harrowing stories.

Spotlight On...

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It was an emotional experience, listening to the many tales of hardship and torture, of people mysteriously disappearing and of families being torn apart but Alexandra also feels there was a common thread of joyfulness which ran through many of them. It was humbling to learn of selfless people in exile still fighting to overcome obstacles and defend those less fortunate than themselves.

One aim of the book, entitled Wander Women: Tales of Transgression in a Bordered World, is to put names, faces and indeed personalities to the homogenous anonymous mass seeking refuge and asylum, who are so often dehumanised by the press. The other is to help educate readers as to the

genuine plight of these ill-fated people who face unnecessary prejudice alongside their displacement difficulties.

Both Alexandra and Alex are delighted to have now finished the book and they are eagerly awaiting its publication on December 8th. Alexandra would love to see it turned into a documentary or film in the future, but in the meantime is continuing with her podcast The Grand Thunk and has also begun her second book. Her valuable advice to aspiring writers is: If writing is your passion, then sit

write! Don’t let your ideas be passing thoughts...sit down and write a little every day. ■

You can order Alexandra’s book here: www.hurstpublishers.com/book/wander-women/ www.waterstones.com/book/wander-women/ alexandra-blanchard/alex-howlett/9781787387973 and follow her podcast here: open.spotify.com/ show/51aznGOtZQJoULBkxoJ1R1
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Hub Have you joined the St Swithun’s Community Hub yet? Here are some of the benefits of joining: • Find out about all our upcoming events and how to sign up • Read the latest news about the St Swithun’s community • Connect with over 1,800 members • Find your former classmates and teachers • Network by using our advanced search tool • View photos from events on the gallery • Learn about the history of St
from the Archives section • Find out about the Bramston Bursary Foundation
Join the

Catching Up with Friends… Classes of 1966 and 67

We were delighted to hear from Diana Forman (Dempster) that she and a group of other leavers from the classes of 1966 and 1967 regularly keep in touch.

From left to right:

Back row - Liz Linton ED 1966, Chris Barlow (Dawson) ED 1966, Anne Wilson (Peachey) HC 1967, Jane Sanders (Cambrook) ED 1966, Diana Forman (Dempster) HC 1966, Sally Hues (Adams) Ed 1967, Lesley Dowling (Thurlow) HC 1967, Billie Burnett (de la Mare) HC 1967

Front row - Jenny Grove (Molyneux) HC 1967, Penny Sutton (Johns) ED 1967, Liz Townsend (Hodgkinson) HC 1967, Dizzy (Diana) Summers (Hollom) HC 1966, Valerie Lockhart HC 1966, Diana Nelson (Mason-Elliot) ED 1966

They call themselves the Swiggies and aim to meet at least once a year as a large group and at several points throughout the year in smaller numbers. Lunch at one of their houses is usually the order of the day but they have been known to meet in London or other convenient venues.

Last year, they met at Diana’s house in East Devon for lunch on St Swithun’s day. Remarkably, 14 of the usual group were able to make the reunion and everyone contributed something for them to enjoy whilst catching up in the sunshine. The three who sadly couldn’t attend that day were Barbara Wancke HC 1967, Angela Perry (McKelvie) HC 1967 and Fiona Beard (Beaumont) HC 1967.


The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff
you in touch with friends from your leaving year?
you still meet up?
it and see your
We would love
hear all about
photos. Please do share your reunion news with us by emailing

Catching Up with Friends...

We recently heard from OG and former head girl Clare Goreau (Wilmot) HA 1972, who shared with us some delightful details of her life in the States.

After studying medicine at Bristol University, Clare married Peter, a geophysicist who went to MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Boston and Cape Cod.

Following a surgical residency in Boston, Clare went into practice in general surgery in various places and to begin with her work included vascular, endocrine, breast and abdominal surgery. In later years, after the birth of her son and the arrival of a specialist team to the hospital, she focussed solely on breast and abdominal surgery.

Her job as a general surgeon spanned the shores of eastern Lake Champlain to the eastern edge of the Connecticut River.

Mountains and water bodies were where they raised their three children; two of whom now live and work in Vermont whilst the other lives in California.

Eventually, in 2012, Clare retired from surgery but went back to work in primary care just two years later, in both a nursing home and a jail.

After battling leukaemia, Clare fully recovered having had three stem cell transplants. The third worked but it also passed on BCG immunity and allergies to all types of Hymenoptera (a group of insects including wasps, bees and ants).

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Clare working from home even before Covid Guinea fowl enjoying a rare puddle at the edge of their farm A view from their farm across the hills of Vermont This year’s bumper crop of Seckel pears

Clare fully retired in 2020 and was understandably relieved not to be handling a lot of Covid cases. Now, Clare and Peter have busy lives on their small farm in north east Vermont, growing food, tending fruit trees and looking after bees and guinea hens. Their physical exertions are tiring but they both sleep well and enjoy life!

Their harvests can be unwieldy and some years produce more crops than needed. So, Clare happily shares their excess fruits and vegetables with the food bank, local hubs and restaurants and their family and friends. She also enjoys selling them in pop up farmers’ markets in the hills above their town – the views are particularly lovely from up there, especially in autumn.

The bees and wasps are a big part of their lives on the farm. They have to adopt a very calm attitude around them as they are ground-nesting and can be unruly. When Clare is picking fruit, the wasps usually want some too and she sometimes gets stung. They are generally mild stings but can be irritating and Clare is forced to wear a bee suit for protection.

Pictured in the photo below is a nest belonging to their resident paper wasps. The Latin name for these insects is Polistes - they are very ‘polite’ as their name suggests but if Clare gets too close they will give her a warning buzz before sending out a ‘stinger’ to admonish her for being too close.

The wasps remove wood fibres from nearby timber (buildings and trees etc.) and use a salivary substance to chew and roll it under their chins. Then they fly off with the fibre to make their football-sized home complete with chambers for the queen, eggs and larvae.

Clare finds a nest on the farm each summer but it’s always a surprise when she first stumbles over it!

This year, Clare had hoped to fly over to the UK to attend Old Girls’ Day but couldn’t make it as she was awaiting the birth of a grandchild. Perhaps next year! ■

Sea berries – their harvesting requires a specific knack to avoid being pricked by their thorns

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former
High bush cranberrya wild viburnum Paper wasps’ nest

School Rules

What’s the craziest school rule you can remember? We had a bit of fun compiling some memories from OGs… do you recognise any of these?

The swimming pool was, of course, unheated. The rule was that swimming lessons started once the temperature of the water had reached 60°F for three consecutive days. I want everyone to realise that 60°F is 15.5°C! And no matter if the temperature dropped below 60°F after that…swimming lessons continued… it’s no wonder that we all mysteriously had periods that lasted a full eight days and they always started on the day of our swimming lesson!

I remember a number of pupils turning bright blue when completing various lifesaving awards – we were all surprised no-one got hypothermia. I might add that we were all forced to wear baggy, woolly bathing suits as well – not a good look.

Early 60s

I recall being seriously reprimanded for being caught posting a letter home on my way to school. I boarded at Earlsdown and we cycled past a post box at the end of the road every day on our way to school, but we were only allowed to write letters on Sundays - the only day of the week post was, and still is, never collected from a post box! I’m now 61 but still clearly remember how ludicrous this seemed at the time!

During the 60s

In Chilcomb House, we had to ‘toe the line’ and make the toes of our shoes just touch the line of the floor boards, whilst waiting to receive our fresh laundry... in silence, probably 20 or so of us along the corridor.

Early 60s

The rule which scarred me for life was in 1955 when I first went to the school as a nine year old in Le Roy no-one was allowed to leave the junior dormitory after lights were put out. That meant no visits to the cloakroom.  Instead, we had to find the one and only potty which was supposedly under the bed of the last person to use it, move it beside our own bed, use it and re-stow it under our own bed. This was done in the dark with the inevitable results which were not fun – wet hands, unmentionable spills, not locating the wretched thing in the first place, and worst of all if you found it already full. The dorm was right over Miss Tupholme’s (Tuppy’s) sitting room which was decorated with large patches on the ceiling. Not the best introduction to my nine years at St Swithun’s.

Late 50s/Early 60s

One rule for all the years I was at senior school was ‘only one stair at a time’ - we were forbidden to take two at a time - I guess it was thought of as being unladylike. Sliding down the lower banisters was definitely forbidden!

During the 60s

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One little rule we laugh at is how we had to ask for something at the dining table. For example, if the salt was sitting next to Jenny and Elizabeth wanted it, Elizabeth couldn’t just say, “Please pass the salt Jenny.” Elizabeth would say, “Jenny would you like some salt?” and Jenny would reply, “No thank you but would you?”

Late 50s/Early 60s

Hillcroft had “posture checks.” Every morning before breakfast, you had to come downstairs and do a 360-degree spin in front of a L6 prefect, who would assess your appearance and determine whether or not you were presentable for the day. If not, you had to go back upstairs and fix whatever was wrong (change your shirt, iron your skirt, etc.)

The school gave out awards for neat appearance, called “posture belts.” These were long strips of yellow fabric that were hung from your purse belt. Everyone was graded out of ten on posture and appearance at the end of every term by Miss Roberts. If you got a nine or a ten, you received a posture belt. However, if you got a posture belt and then let your appearance slide (scoring below a nine) at the end of a term, your posture belt was taken away.

During the 80s

I remember the Latin teacher Miss Armit who insisted we put up our right hands for questions and the left for answers.

Late 50s/Early 60s

We were not allowed to sit on the radiators or on wet grass as they would give us haemorrhoids (though we had no idea what these were). Is that even true? And a totally absurd rule from my Le Roy days was that we were each issued with a loo roll. This was our own roll and not to be shared. If we ran out we had to ask for another…oh the humiliation! We would all eke it out desperately to avoid having to go and see Miss Appleyard to justify why we needed another.

Late 80s

Skirts had to touch the floor when we knelt upright at the front of the stage (as checked by the two Miss Roberts). This was easily achieved by undoing the button and zip a bit and easing the skirt down!

Blouses had to be tucked into skirts, BUT they had to be Daniel Neal blouses which came in one length and weren’t long enough for tall girls to keep them tucked in! Also if your hair touched your collar it had to be worn up or in bunches.

During the 50s

Former Teacher Feature

Many of you will remember Mrs Janet Tomlinson, who started as a part-time teacher of philosophy and religion at St Swithun’s in 1994 and went on to be deputy head from 2001 until 2014 when she retired.

Janet worked with three different headmistresses during her career at St Swithun’s and saw many changes to the school. She thinks of her role as a fascinating one because it encompassed so many aspects of school life; something perfectly summed up by her job description at the time which required her to be ‘responsible for the smooth running of the school’.

Unsurprisingly, Janet therefore remembers the deputy head’s most challenging moments as being the first and last days of the school year. Organising everything for the start of September (with around 100 new students plus new staff) meant lots of work behind the scenes but once the inevitable timetable clashes had been remedied, Janet could usually breathe a sigh of relief by lunchtime. On the last day of the year she had to wait a little longer to relax when finally after sorting seating plans, lunches, speeches and buses to the cathedral, the girls went home for the summer with their parents.

Of course, there were many happy memories too and Janet particularly recalls one Christmas assembly in the old school hall (now the Bramston library) where she had to improvise a game to keep the students occupied whilst the staff secretly changed into their pantomime costumes behind the stage curtain. The signal that they were ready was Janet’s phone ringing at which point the mock-shocked headmistress called out, “Was that your phone Mrs Tomlinson?” A well-timed, “Oh no it wasn’t…oh yes it was!” between them was swiftly followed by the stage curtain rising and the students bursting into laughter at the sight of the staff ready to perform Cinderella…complete with carriage!

When it came to her retirement, Janet remembers colleagues urging her to make a long list of things to do but she didn’t approach it in that way. Two of her sons had recently had sons themselves and so she naturally progressed to helping out her family. Now Janet has six grandchildren and thoroughly enjoys encouraging and watching their different developmental stages.

Janet Tomlinson

The other constant throughout Janet’s life has been her love of gardening. Staff working with Janet will remember her bringing in excess rhubarb and leaving it on the staff room table for people to take home. In fact, with her leaving gift, she bought a magnificent garden shed and has continued to grow fruits and vegetables both at home and on her two allotments.

Janet has also relished travelling around the world with her husband, David, as part of his role with the London-based Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), for which he writes educational material for their toplevel qualification. They have so far been to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Spain, France, Sicily and Italy.

During a research trip to the Piedmont area of Italy in 2021, they managed to visit 94 wineries in the space of a month! Many years of learning Italian has supported this passion for wine and travel, especially when visiting Italian wineries and vineyards.

Janet has also taken singing lessons and joined several local choirs. She also likes walking and lunching with friends.

Perhaps Janet’s most ‘useful’ activity since retiring (her own word) has been working as a trustee for Andover’s Crisis and Support Centre. The centre supports survivors of domestic abuse with a three-prong approach:

1. A refuge with 19 rooms for women and children who have fled the family home.

2. New outreach premises and four outreach staff to support those in need locally.

3. Educational work in schools with years 10 and 11, teaching them what constitutes a healthy relationship.

This is a cause Janet feels strongly about and she plans to continue supporting the charity and her tireless colleagues for the foreseeable future. The centre is rapidly expanding and undergoing radical changes, including its name: Finding Freedom From Abuse serves the whole of the Test Valley area, from north of Andover, as far south as Romsey and Chilworth.

Information about its services, contact details and a donation page can be found at: findingfreedom.org.uk or phone 03332 422 055. ■

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Former Teacher Feature

Sue Mansergh

As a schoolgirl, Sue recalls competing against St Swithun’s girls at lacrosse, tennis, cricket and swimming and marvelling at the views across the fields. Later, after a degree in geography at Oxford and teacher training at Cambridge, when the position of head of geography was advertised in The Times, Sue felt compelled to apply. She promised her brother she would take the job if it was offered to her but if not would come out to live with him in Lahore, Pakistan to teach English. As we know, Sue was offered the job and worked tirelessly for over 30 years as both a teacher and a housemistress.

Organising countless geography field trips meant Sue was exceptionally busy with work and had little time for interests outside of school until later in life. However, she does have many happy memories of field trips in Wales where they slept in hammocks in an old farmhouse and barns which had been converted to a field studies centre.

With the girls, Sue climbed Cader Idris (the highest mountain in southern Snowdonia at 2,930 feet), abseiled, and rock climbed along coastal cliffs. It was very adventurous and Sue credits the PE department for instilling in the girls a spirit of initiative and imagination which encouraged them to tackle anything.

Since retiring, Sue has enjoyed many other trips away with her two friends Joanna and Gwen, to places such as Hong Kong, Hawaii and the South Island of New Zealand, where Sue met her adult cousins for the very first time.

One particularly memorable trip to Australia saw Sue walking around the entire circumference of Uluru whilst Joanna followed the rest of the coach party up to the top. Sue recalls being amazed by the wilderness stretching for miles which she described as the dead heart of Australia.

Another adventure saw them trekking in Nepal with Sue’s brother and his wife after two of his original party had dropped out at the last minute. She laughed when she thought back to the incredible number of steps they climbed and yet she only happened to fall over once they were back to the safety of the valley floor! Fortunately as it was a flat track she didn’t sustain any cuts or bruises.

However, Sue’s favourite holidays were visits to Orkney and Shetland where she delighted in exploring the natural vegetation and archaeological findings.

Nowadays, Sue stays closer to home but is nonetheless very active in her local community. She is a member of her local amateur dramatic society and recently enjoyed reading A Tree Song by Rudyard Kipling. Incidentally, Kipling has always been a favourite of Sue’s as one of her ancestors was Kipling’s literary agent.

Sue also attends the local Women’s Institute (WI) and has been a member since she retired. This was in no small part inspired by her mother, who was the president of the WI in Natal and who founded a new WI group on their return to Cornwall in 1947. Sue very much enjoys monthly meetings and lunches with this diverse group of personalities, as well as the excellent lectures arranged by her gardening club. Recent trips with green-fingered friends have included the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley.

Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to have Sue join us onsite at Old Girls’ Day where she relished catching up with former pupils and once again took in the beautiful views. ■

The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff Sue Mansergh was born in Natal, South Africa as her father had been headhunted to be Headmaster of Hilton College there, but years later, returned to Cornwall at the age of 11. Sue pictured (far left) at Old Girls’ Day 2022

Upcoming School Events

Thursday 26 January 2023

18:30-20:30 (Talk begins at 19:30)

Wednesday 22 February 2023 19:30-21:30

Friday 10 March 2023 19:30-21:30

Wednesday 22 March 2023 17:30-22:00 (Concert begins at 19:00)

Friday 12 May 2023 19:30-21:45

Sunday 11 June 2023 11.30-16.30

Friday 23 June 2023 18:00-21:30 (Concert begins at 19:30)

Saturday 24 June 2023 09:00-11:00

Friday 7 July 2023 19:30-00:00

Date TBC Time TBC

Saturday 16 September 2023 10:00-16:00

OGA Chain 2022 50

Spring Concert

St Swithun’s Live - Combined Event

Founders’ Day Concert

Garden Open Day at Tichborne Housesupporting the Bramston Bursary Foundation

Summer Concert

Senior School Open Day - for prospective pupils and parents

Summer Party and Auction - supporting the Bramston Bursary Foundation

Prep School Summer Fair

Old Girls’ Day

Amanda Blanc, CEO Aviva - Harvey Hall Talk Musical Cabaret Evening

Remembered With Affection

HH 1981 24 June 1963 – 23 May 2022

Not originally from a farming background (her father was a diver), Caroline worked on a range of farms in the UK and across the world and, after graduating from Seale Hayne Agriculture College, joined the Management Development Services (MDS) graduate scheme as one of its first recruits. She was greatly inspired by every farm she worked on and soon learnt about the skills and capability of the farmers and the sheer joy of being involved with nature.

Prior to joining LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Caroline worked as an agronomy lecturer and forklift truck driving instructor at Shuttleworth Agricultural College.

LEAF represented everything Caroline fundamentally believed in - the importance of science-based farming, taking the best of modern technology and traditional methods and working with nature not against it.

Caroline or ‘CD’ as she was known to so many, tirelessly championed the development and uptake of more sustainable, regenerative farming. She was also passionate about bridging the gap between farmers and the public. She led LEAF from its beginning in 1991 and for over 30 years was the CEO and driving force behind the charity.

Caroline was first and foremost all about people: forging partnerships, bringing different groups together to work on shared objectives and creating alliances and deep friendships across the whole farming industry. She was a giant in the world of farming and received numerous accolades during her long and accomplished career including:

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● Woman of the Year in recognition of her achievements and contribution to society (2007)

● Ecological Engagement Award from the British Ecological Society (2009)

● MBE for services to the agriculture industry (2009)

● Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University (2013)

● Frank Arden Nuffield Scholarship (2013)

● Honorary Fellowship of the Society for the Environment (2014)

● British Farming Awards: Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture Award (2017)

● Women Economic Forum’s ‘Women of the Decade’ Award for sustainable farming and her achievements and contribution to sustainability and corporate leadership (2019)

● Farmers’ Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)

Caroline was rooted in the farming industry and was instrumental in the development of so many early industry initiatives. It was her conviction that the pursuit of more sustainable farming had to be farmer-led and practical, grounded in rigorous scientific research, that underpinned the formation of the LEAF Network. Today this includes 39 leading Demonstration Farms and 14 world class Innovation Centres who collectively drive forward Caroline’s ‘science into practice’ vision.

It was Caroline’s tireless energy, determination and strength of character that led to her setting up the UK’s first environmental assurance system, LEAF Marque. She believed strongly that consumers should have access to food that was produced on farms that were raising the environmental bar by managing soils and water more sustainably, conserving energy, reducing waste and enhancing biodiversity: practising Integrated Farm Management. Her unwavering belief in the power of certification to bring about real and lasting

changes to global production lies at the very heart of LEAF Marque, which now operates in 19 countries and certifies some 48% of UK-produced fruit and vegetables.

One of her most shining legacies will be establishing and driving forwards farming’s annual open day, LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS), which, for the five years pre-Covid, positively impacted over half a million people each year.

Caroline was also passionate about educating young minds and oversaw the successful merger of FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) with LEAF, forming LEAF Education.

The farming industry salutes Caroline and she will remain forever as the LEAF Lady We have lost an inspirational leader, but we are all determined to continue her legacy with the same drive and energy that she put into all of her work. There really are no words to express how she will be missed within LEAF and across the farming industry; but most deeply by her family, Phil and Gabrielle. ■

Written by colleagues at LEAF (www.leaf.eco)

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annual publication for
St Swithun’s Old
Photo: Annie Spratt, Unsplash

Remembered With Affection

Georgina Caroline Alice Sandbergen (Robinson)

V 1954 3 January 1936 – 9 July 2020

Caroline was born in Midhurst as daughter of Wyndham Robinson, the famous cartoonist in Fleet Street, and Yolande Cavendish. She had a very happy childhood and enjoyed going to St Swithun’s in 1948. She left St Swithun’s after six years with good memories. Her whole life the motto of the school was her guide: Caritas, Humilitas, Sinceritas and she tried to live accordingly.

Languages were her forte - she spoke English, French, Swedish and Dutch fluently. After two active years in the public relations sector in London, she went to Montreal, Canada, where she joined forces with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and met her first husband Ulf, who she married in 1963. They lived in Sweden and had three children: Annemarie, Andreas and Henrik.

In 1978 she joined the Swedish section of AMREF Flying Doctors (Kenya) as a volunteer for which she gave her talents and qualities as an organiser, fundraiser and public relations expert. In 1983, during an annual board members meeting of AMREF in Denmark, she met Frans Sandbergen, of AMREF the Netherlands, and after careful deliberations they married in June 1986.

Caroline became a Dutch citizen and with her characteristic gusto for 15 years she was the chief editor of CBI News Bulletin, a monthly publication of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aimed at sustaining export entrepreneurs in developing countries.

During an interview in the Amsterdam Fashion Centre with a Cypriot textile expert, whose business it was to produce uniforms for British schools, Caroline remarked, “One on, one off and one in the laundry.” The man was surprised by that remark and asked which school(s) she had visited. When she spoke of her six years at St Swithun’s she rose visibly in his esteem and he said to her, “Madam, then I have to congratulate you on an excellent education.”

After retiring in 2002 she did nine years of research on her family heritage, especially that of her mother’s lineage.

On 13 June 2020 Caroline fell on the stone path in the garden which caused her severe brain damage and she died peacefully almost a month later, on 9 July, in a hospice.

Above her death announcement Caroline wanted the text of an observation she made in 1985:

I trace the golden thread of destiny woven through the fabric of my life, its twists and turns and seeming hesitations. At times, it is hard to discern and then it re-appears, shining with purpose.

She is missed dearly. ■

Written by Caroline’s husband, Frans

Ann Musters (Garbett)

CG 1938 2 July 1920 – 2 February 2022

Ann Musters was born in London and in 1932 the family moved to Winchester, where she attended St Swithun’s School.

On the outbreak of war Ann joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service and it was while serving that she met her future husband, John, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Ann and John were married in September 1943 in Winchester Cathedral by her uncle, the Archbishop of York (who had been Bishop of Winchester until the previous year).

After the war and through the birth of their four children between 1947 and 1955, Ann and John had many house moves during John’s continuing naval career before returning to Hampshire and settling in Stockbridge in 1964. For the next quarter century they were involved in many aspects of village life, especially concerning the local church, and they lovingly tended a large and productive garden.

By the late 1980s, with their children dispersed, Ann and John realised the house and garden had become too large for their needs. So in 1990 they had a complete change of scene by moving to Nelson, New Zealand to join their two daughters who had emigrated in the preceding years. There they found great happiness in a healthy and welcoming environment, keeping themselves active for many years.

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Shortly before John’s death in 2013 they moved into a retirement village outside Nelson. Ann stayed on there as a much loved resident and celebrated her 100th birthday in 2020. She retained her links with St Swithun’s and the WRNS and enjoyed receiving their newsletters and magazines.

Though physically frail, Ann retained a sharp mind and a lovely sense of humour. Sadly she had a bad fall in January 2022 and died on 2nd February aged 101. ■

Written by Ann’s son, John

Nesta Jean Sparksman (Smith)

V 1962 6 May 1944 – 12 February 2022

After Nesta left St Swithun’s she attended secretarial school and went on to work as the personal secretary for the head of the BBC classical artists’ booking department. Later she moved to a West End legal firm and stayed there until marrying her husband John in 1969. After moving back to Winchester, John and Nesta went on to adopt their son in 1973 and then their daughter in 1976.

A couple of years later, John bought a business in Edinburgh and Nesta organised their move to Dunbar, a coastal town just south of Edinburgh. She immersed herself in community life and joined in the Church, Ladies’ Circle, WRVS and Housewives Register. She also became a member of the local choral society and took on the responsibility of being its librarian for 35 years. In addition to this, Nesta formed Dunbar Welfare Rights with the couple’s friend David, and they ran this together for many years until the council took it over.

Diagnosed with dementia in 2015, Nesta bravely coped with her illness until late 2021 when it became acute, and sadly, Nesta passed away a couple of months later. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. ■

Jean Elizabeth Velecky (Stanier)

V 1941 10 January 1923 – 6 March 2022

Jean died on 6 March 2022 at the age of 99. With the help of her wonderful neighbours, carers and family she was able to live at home until the end, as Jean had hoped would be possible.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, as her parents were living overseas there, Jean was the youngest of four children. They all returned to Britain when she was two, and lived in Hythe before moving to Winchester. Jean was educated at home by her mother using the Parents’ National Educational Union system (PNEU), an organisation providing resources and support for teachers and homeschoolers) until she was eight, and then moved on to St Swithun’s in Winchester, where she was very happy.

Jean won a scholarship to study Natural Science at Somerville College, Oxford, in 1941. During war-time, degrees did not follow the usual pattern; Jean studied natural science 1941-43 and physiology 1945-46, being awarded her BA in 1944 and MA in 1948. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in Oxford and, as well as her studies, she took part in sports including cricket and lacrosse, becoming a Double Blue.

From 1943-45 she worked at the National Institute for Research in Dairying. Between 1950 and 1952, she was at the Biochemistry Department in Oxford with a Medical Research Council grant and received her DPhil in 1950.

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

Remembered With Affection

She worked in a team studying undernutrition after WWII in Wuppertal, Germany, investigating the volume and composition of the milk of mothers in Wuppertal and comparing it with that of mothers in different situations.

Her other research work included mucoproteins, in the biochemistry department at Oxford, and hyaluronic acid in cattle knees, at the Medical Research Centre in Harwell. Later she moved to Southampton University where she researched the hepatopancreas of crabs.

She left her academic career in 1965 when she married Lubor Velecky, whom she had met playing recorders in Oxford. In fact, playing recorders in small groups remained a pleasure throughout her life. Together they made their life in Southampton, where they raised their family and were both very involved with the local community. Among other local activities Jean was much involved with the Southampton Commons and Parks Protection Society, the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery, and with stewarding at St Michael’s Church, Southampton.

She also ran Girl Guides and Brownies activities, including regularly going on summer camp at Foxlease near Lyndhurst, where she was the cook – preparing food for everyone. She volunteered in the resources department at Shirley Middle School and she also read to children in the children’s ward at Southampton hospital. In the 1970s she taught English to a number of Indian and Pakistani women in their own homes, enabling them to both speak and read English.

Jean also helped Southampton Orienteering Club in many ways, having acquired her interest in orienteering from Lubor. Orienteering formed a large part of their lives, Jean continuing into her 90s, and representing England as a veteran and winning many national trophies.

Jean was modest and unassuming and a hugely loved member of her family. She is survived by her two children, Alan and Sarah, and by five grandchildren. ■

Written by Jean’s niece, Ruth

Jeanne Mary Yates

V 1949

1 July 1931 – 8 February 2022

When Jeanne left school she started nursing training at the Middlesex Hospital, becoming a registered nurse after three years and then a staff nurse a year after that. She decided that she needed to qualify as a midwife too and so went to Queen Charlotte‘s hospital for a year’s training. Some of her experiences were very like those of the TV programme Call the Midwife!

Jeanne wanted to do something more exciting next and so she signed up for a short service commission and joined Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service –staying for four years. The first year she was based near Lincoln and was then posted to Mönchengladbach in Germany for two years. While nursing there, she worked both in midwifery and in the operating theatre. Her final year in the PMRAFNS was spent back in England.

After a while, Jeanne got a very satisfying position as theatre superintendent at Salisbury District Hospital. As part of this

role, she obtained a travelling scholarship and visited hospitals in America for three months to study aspects of theatre design. On her return she provided ideas for the new theatres to be built at Salisbury.

Although she enjoyed operating, she found it physically demanding and so the last part of her nursing career was as matron of Devizes Community Hospital. This hospital served the local community with the capacity to cope with minor accidents and emergencies plus its own maternity unit.

When Jeanne retired, she spent a number of years on the Devizes Almshouse Committee and was president of St Swithun’s OGA for a spell in the 1990s. She was keen that computers were used, wanted the promotion of bursaries, and for the OGA to play a larger part in this. Jeanne also commissioned a Winchester silversmith, Douglas Lincoln, to make the OGA presidents’ badge.

Much of her free time was spent gardening, bird watching and enjoying natural history, which she continued doing until she was 90. Her favourite animal was the cat and she looked after many rescue cats during her life. ■

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Written by Jeanne’s sister, Sheila Yates V 1946

Helen North (Best)

CG 1970

24 February 1953– 7 July 2019

Helen was born at Hazeley Farm near Twyford in Hampshire, where her father farmed. Her childhood included galloping across the Hampshire downland to meet friends on her pony and joining in pony club activities, which were her fondest memories of life on the farm.

She went to St Swithun’s where both of her sisters, Gill and Jane, also went. She made lots of friendships there, many of which lasted until she died.

After leaving St Swithun’s she went to secretarial college in Oxford and then on to various secretarial jobs. Following that, she followed her sister Gill out to Crete where Gill and her husband were living. She spent a year there helping on farms, picking grapes and doing other sundry jobs.

After that, Helen moved back to England to share a house near Winchester with friends (some of whom were at St Swithun’s) and to work as a secretary.

One of her friends who shared the house was a New Zealander, who suggested that Helen

might like to accompany her on an overland trip back home. Helen immediately jumped at the idea and the adventure began. Helen joined her in Iran and from there travelled extensively through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, India and Nepal. Next they journeyed to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and finally on to the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Lombok before flying on to Sydney. Having travelled in Australia briefly they finally arrived in New Zealand where Helen travelled around for another year doing odd jobs.

Helen then returned to England where she found work as a legal secretary in Winchester. It was then that she met her husband to be, Jeremy, who had also travelled widely, and they were later married at St Cross Church. Jeremy was a landscape designer and together they set up home in the country on the outskirts of Braishfield, a village near Romsey, to the south of Winchester.

They had two sons, dogs, cats and chickens and led the perfect country life. In addition to the design office there was a landscape contract company and a plant nursery which Helen helped to develop.

Sadly, after thirty years of marriage, Helen developed ovarian cancer and after suffering a long illness died in July 2019. ■

Written by Helen’s husband, Jeremy

Anna Jones (Hadfield)

V 1997

27 July 1979 – 28 July 2021

Anna joined the St Swithun’s family in 1986. Through junior and senior school she developed a deep love of music; a passion she carried throughout her life. As a pianist, clarinettist and singer Anna performed in everything from school orchestra to Winchester Operatics, a highlight perhaps starring in the school’s production of Annie. Inclined to introversion, Anna would light up on stage, both in musicals and in the range of choirs with which she sang throughout her life.

Anna’s lifelong interest in science and technology was embedded at the school, epitomised by winning a national technology competition with close friends with a prize trip to Boston. The friends remember the excitement of being collected from the airport in a glamorous stretch limo along with Mr Clark and his wife, only to complete the journey crammed into the back of a taxi after being dropped at the wrong hotel! Anna’s school pursuits were accompanied by a deep love of sport and the outdoors and a wall crammed full of rosettes attests to her equestrian skills.

Anna wore her significant talents and achievements lightly. She somehow combined finishing top of her year academically as Mowbray Scholar, with grade 8 piano distinction and a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at the same time, demonstrating a determination which she brought to all aspects of her life. A friend remembers fondly: Anna was amazing at everything she turned her hand to, from ballet to music to maths. And out of all of my friends she also gave the best hugs (a proper bear hug).

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

Remembered With Affection

Anna Jones (Hadfield) cont.

Others remember her smile, which would light up a room, or the quiet way she would reach out to support in their moments of vulnerability.

Anna went on to study physiology at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, continuing her musical pursuits as College Organ Scholar, whilst somehow fitting in coxing the College Eight and performing with the University G&S Society. She met her husband whilst coxing in Summer Eights and it was during her performance of Maid No.2 in My Fair Lady he was smitten.

Post-Oxford Anna joined Bain Consulting before heading off to Beijing and Hong Kong to join her husband on diplomatic postings. It was overseas that Anna managed to combine her career and love of the arts, joining the British Council to organise arts and outreach events. Anna was deeply involved in the Hong Kong Arts Festival, bringing the National Theatre and Royal Ballet to Hong Kong and hosting such luminaries as novelist Ian McEwan.

Anna had a strong drive to make a difference. On her return to the UK, it was this combined with her love of science which led her to WWF and a deep commitment to their conservation mission. Her efforts culminated in acting as operations manager for the Netflix Series Our Planet, the subsequent film with David Attenborough, A Life On Our Planet and all the surrounding activities, from organising the film premier at the Royal Albert Hall to appearances at Davos (the World Economic Forum).

In her personal life, Anna was a loving wife to Matthew and devoted mum of two to Izzy and Ben, passing on to them her love of music (Ben is a drummer, Izzy a singer), science and sport.

Sadly Anna developed cancer whilst overseas and fought it bravely to the end in the manner in which she had lived, with grace, strength and courage.

Written by Anna’s husband, Matthew and Anna’s friends, Stephanie Biden D 1997 and Claire Harding (Dally) V 1997

Rosalind Jean Pugh

Former staff 22 November 1945 – 10 October 2022

Ros (as she was always known) graduated with a degree in physics from Essex University in 1967 and the following year joined Plessey (an electronics and engineering company) in Titchfield, Hampshire, as a research scientist. She specialised in semiconductors and silicon chips in the very early days. Now they are all essential components of everyday electronic devices like smart phones and computers.

A couple of years later, Ros moved from there to Mullards in Southampton which then became part of the semiconductor and silicon research department at Philips (the Dutch multinational conglomerate). There, she headed up the reliability team and made frequent presentations at its then headquarters in Eindhoven.

She met her future husband Nigel in 1970 and they married in May 1971. Following the birth of their son Richard in 1975 and daughter Elizabeth in 1976, Ros retrained as a maths teacher.

She joined the St Swithun’s maths department in the mid-80s when the head of department was Nancy Emerson and the headmistress was Olwen Davies (later followed by Joan Jefferson - Lady Appleyard). In one of the academic years she found herself teaching maths to her own daughter Elizabeth.

Ros left St Swithun’s in the mid-90s to teach at Rookesbury Park School in Fareham, following the appointment of her friend Leslie Appleyard (now Watson) as headmistress. Leslie was formerly a house mistress at St Swithun’s.

In her spare time, Ros did a lot of private tuition; often with girls who were at St Swithun’s.

Outside of her two careers, Ros was a keen bridge player and tennis player, and was for many years the chair of the Compton and Shawford Lawn Tennis Club. Ros was also an accomplished pianist and classical music lover. She loved entertaining and cooking especially when family and friends were involved.

Sadly, she suffered a stroke some years ago which ultimately caused her health to go downhill rapidly. She died peacefully amongst her family. ■

Written by Ros’ husband Nigel and family

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Joycelyn Lewis

Former staff 1943 – 2022

Joycelyn originally joined St Swithun’s Junior School in the early 1980s, returning from a short break from teaching when she’d had her two children, Jonathan and Fiona.

Initially she worked as a classroom assistant before teaching KGII and transition classes up until her retirement in 1995.

She was known for being firm but fair and for her eye-catching classroom displays.

Joycelyn particularly enjoyed preparing and putting on performances and productions with the children, ensuring that everyone had their moment to shine.

She was still in regular contact with a great many of her teaching colleagues from her St Swithun’s days and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. ■

Written by Joycelyn’s daughter, Fiona Photo: Artyom Kulikov, Unsplash
The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former staff

Harvey Hall Talks Series

– Amanda Blanc

Following on from the recent talk from Dame Emma Walmsley we are looking forward to welcoming Amanda Blanc, Group CEO of Aviva, the UK’s leading insurance, wealth and retirement business.

Amanda will be coming to speak to students, parents and the wider St Swithun’s community on 26 January 2023 in Harvey Hall. To reserve your seat, please contact oga@stswithuns.com.

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The annual publication for St Swithun’s Old Girls and former

Alresford Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1HA

Tel: 01962 835782 Fax: 01962 835779 office@stswithuns.com www.stswithuns.com

St Swithun’s School (Winchester)

Company Registered in England and Wales Charity Reg. No. 307335 Company Reg. No. 110692

A lesson in the school art studio - 1912
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