The Old Tettenhallian 2015
The Old Tettenhallian 2015 The Old Tettenhallians’ Club ................................................................................................................... 2 Officers ................................................................................................................................................ 2 Committee Members: ......................................................................................................................... 2 Event Dates for 2015 – 2016 ................................................................................................................... 3 President’s Welcome .............................................................................................................................. 4 Reflections and Memories of TC ............................................................................................................. 5 OT Reunion Weekend ........................................................................................................................... 20 OT President’s Evening ......................................................................................................................... 20 Informal Reunions ................................................................................................................................. 20 The New Vintage of Old Tettenhallians ................................................................................................ 21 Golf Society – 2014-2015 ...................................................................................................................... 22 Bill Snelson Awarded MBE .................................................................................................................... 24 Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier (TC 1931)........................................................................................... 25 Where are they now? ........................................................................................................................... 28 Obituaries.............................................................................................................................................. 33 Graham Aston (TC 1949 – 1957) ....................................................................................................... 33 Eric Smart (TC 1933 – 1939) .............................................................................................................. 35 Peter Aston (TC 1949 –1956) ............................................................................................................ 37 Rosemary Dale (TC 1968 – 1983) ...................................................................................................... 38 Derek Sage (TC 1939 – 1950) ............................................................................................................ 39 Bud Opie (TC 1933 – 1943) ............................................................................................................... 42 Tony Taylor (TC 1950 –1954) ............................................................................................................ 43 In Fond Remembrance .......................................................................................................................... 44
The Old Tettenhallians’ Club Officers President
Chairman of Committee
Acting Hon. Editor
For magazine content submissions for 2015-16 please email: email@example.com
Committee Members: Deb Brook, Graham Foulkes, Tim Rowe, Tej Baden, Tim Harborow, John Dove, Anne Chesney, Geoff Hopkinson, Peter Pingree, Andrew Wynne, Matthew Smith, Peter Radford and Gregg Spooner.
Please get in touch with us to notify of any change in your postal or email address or if you wish to be sent a copy of this year’s school magazine “The Tettenhallian” email firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Dates for 2015 – 2016 (Partners are welcome at all social occasions) Remembrance Sunday Service Sunday 8th November 2015 at 10.45 a.m. Venue: the College Chapel The service supports the ‘Help for Heroes’ and the Royal British Legion charities. The Headmaster extends an invitation to lunch afterwards. London Reunion Friday 20th November 2015 Venue: Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), 7 More London Riverside, SE1 2RT (Pavilion Suite – 10th Floor). From 6.30 pm – 9.30pm. Following a successful evening in Birmingham this year, you are invited to join us in London for an informal drinks gathering. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with former friends, colleagues and staff and reconnect with the College in the City. For further information and to register your interest please email email@example.com President’s Evening Dinner amongst friends with partners included. Friday 11th March 2016 Venue: Wolverhampton Cricket Club, Danescourt Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 9BJ For tickets contact Stephen Corns: Tel: 07837-785417 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Vernon Cup Golf Competition Thursday 23rd June 2016 Venue: South Staffordshire Golf Club, Tettenhall commencing at 2.30 p.m. The golf (which is open to all OTs) will be followed by dinner in the clubhouse. If you wish to take part please contact Keith Grant-Pearce nearer the time. Tel: 01562-884601 or email: email@example.com Annual Reunion Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2016 All OTs will receive an invitation by post or email beforehand with the scheduled programme. Updates about our various events will be shown on the alumni page of the school website.
President’s Welcome Dear Old Tettenhallians, My association with TC goes back to 1957 when as a young boy my parents and I were shown around the school by the Head Boy, Graham Aston. Following that visit my father said, “If you turn out to be anything like Graham I shall be very happy.” Well since those days I have had the pleasure of recounting that tale to Graham as proof that this school develops qualities in its pupils which parents’ value. Having been both a pupil and member of staff has allowed me to, I hope, return something of value back to those I taught. I now take up my new role as your President, at a time when the Old Tettenhallians’ Club is going through massive change in order to build a more cohesive and inclusive Club for a wider range of ages. Although the Club has been well managed over the years, society has changed so much that some of the events we used to organise annually no longer appeal to our newer members. So this year your Committee and I will be working hard to establish new ways forward, about which you will be informed in due course. Consequently, I would welcome Tettenhallians, old and new, to contact either me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or any of your committee members with feedback and ideas of what you would like us to do, so that more of us can enjoy the company of school friends, teachers and acquaintances, into the future. I have always looked forward to visiting the school, and although I still feel the same way about the place, I now perceive, with the new Headmaster David Williams, that there is a wind of change occurring and new waves of energy and innovation which I whole heartedly welcome. So please, let us all get behind the Headmaster and his Staff and in particular those Old Tettenhallians looking at the school from afar, and let us reinvigorate our relationship with this great school. Best wishes,
Geoff Hopkinson Pupil from 1957 – 1962 Teacher from 1968 – 1974
Reflections and Memories of TC Bill Towler (TC 1945-1953) 1953 was not a happy year for Bill Towler. I left TC reluctantly just a few weeks after my father died and my mother moved from a Shropshire village to a miserable street in the Black Country. I was a lost soul armed only with a mediocre five subjects at GCE ‘O’ level and was searching for some direction. The Queen soon came to my rescue, inviting me into the South Staffords. I totally wasted that two years other than honing my skills at avoiding anything resembling work. By the time I was released from the armed forces I knew for sure that I wanted to get into the property business. A period of articles followed but I abandoned those studies to answer the call of the west – the Far West! I arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia in March 1957 on my 21st birthday and my initial infatuation with the place soon turned to a deep love. Canada over the past fifty-eight years has been very kind to me. I finally found motivation and within six years of arrival I had qualified as the Canadian equivalent of a Chartered Surveyor, got married, had a beautiful daughter and was promoted to be manager of a new branch of the Canada Permanent in Chilliwack, B.C. It was a dream entrepreneurial platform for an ambitious twenty seven year old, and I flourished. Alas, eight years later, with a staff of 20 people, the job had evolved into a boring and predictable annual routine, so at the age of 35 I jumped ship and formed my own company to do real estate agency, valuation, development and investment. Now I had truly found my niche. In 1975 my first wife was killed in a tragic light aircraft accident leaving me with a sixteen year old daughter and a business to run. Three years later I married Coralea and soon after we embarked upon a wonderful year of world travel by camper van. It was truly a memorable year touring India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and much of Europe. By the time we returned to Canada Coralea was pregnant and went on to produce two children. I am immensely proud of my family who are a very close group. Though widely dispersed we meet up for winter holidays in the sunshine of the Mexican Riviera whenever possible. #1 daughter Toni works in the public library system and has blessed us with a fine grandson. #2 daughter Megan is an entrepreneur in Minneapolis with an astonishingly successful fitness business. Our son Sebastian is a research engineer working for the Federal Government in Ottawa after serving as a sapper officer in the army. He and his wife have so far produced one gorgeous grandson Eli George. I have now divested myself of all property projects and holdings and Coralea and I live in happy retirement on the shores of Lake Cultus in the Fraser Valley, 65 miles inland from Vancouver. I took a keen interest in the organisation of real estate during my business career serving as President of the Board and as an elected member of the provincial regulatory body. I am a fifty year member and 5
past president of our 180 member Rotary Club and have spent fifty years trying to master golf. We hike on all non golf days and our main extravagance over the years has been travel. I look back on my eight years as a boarder at TC with fondness despite a propensity for taking risks and poor discipline. I did some acting on stage and won full colours at field hockey and I probably still hold the record for canings by Messrs. Pine and Field-Hyde. All richly deserved, of course! Acting Editor’s note: my wife and I experienced the generous hospitality of Bill and Coralea at their Lake Cultus house two years ago, staying in the “Royal Imperial” guest suite. It was a memorable location in the company of two welcoming people. The photo was taken at breakfast with Bill as “grill sergeant”. Jim Frew (TC 1941 – 1952) I was a day pupil from May, 1941, to July, 1952, and was in fact the last of Horace Pearson’s pupils to leave the college. He was headmaster for my first two terms at TC. When I read the most recent newsletters on line, TC is almost Jim and Beth Frew unrecognisable when compared with the austerity of wartime and its aftermath. Pupils now enjoy luxurious facilities in comparison and the modern world demands this. However, I still quite often reflect on those far-off days during which we still managed to have fun. Wolverhampton was fortunate to escape the severe bombing of other cities and towns, though I do remember a couple of bombs being dropped on properties along Wood Road. I also remember being one of a group of boys and staff endeavouring to make a puny effort at filling in a bomb crater at one of these properties by tossing in rocks and dirt. I am sure that the college buildings of those far-off years will continue to remain very much the same externally and from time to time I view them via Google Earth so as to remind me of those days. I will be most interested eventually to hear what changes or restorations take place at the Towers. I remember some of my sixth form class days were spent in the top room of the larger tower which involved running up and down several flights of stairs several times each day. I notice a photo of the chess team which I supplied several years ago has reappeared in the latest alumni news. I am seated on the right of Mr Hancock. I would have been 18 years old and in my final year at College. For comparison, I attach a recent photo of myself and my wife Beth. I turned eighty in March, 2014, so the hair has changed colour somewhat! My only connection with other contemporaries is to exchange occasional e-mails with Roger Furness who was a year behind myself, and with whom I shared a study when a prefect. I wonder if those studies still exist? I recollect that school numbers when I joined in 1941 were around 120, and when I left were around 330. The prospect of the school becoming co-educational were many years away. As mentioned, I left the college in 1952, and in November of that year started my two years’ National Service in the RAF, most of which time I spent on a former Luftwaffe station in Germany. After completing my two years, I worked as an articled clerk for a Wolverhampton estate agent. After four years or so, during which I felt I was being regarded as very cheap labour, I decided to migrate to Australia and arrived in Melbourne in March, 1960 – the best £10 I have ever spent. I married an Australian girl eighteen months later, and we have recently celebrated 53 years of happy marriage. We spent most of our working life running a health food store on the Mornington 6
Peninsula, which is Melbourne’s summer playground. We still live in retirement on the Peninsula, and our past occupation has – we are sure – contributed to our ongoing good health. We have a married son and daughter and four grandchildren. We have only visited the UK once since I emigrated. That was in 1992 so as to attend a family wedding in Scotland where my relatives live, but we didn’t have the time to visit the Midlands on that occasion. Nowadays, my visits will likely have to be courtesy of Google Earth. Thank you for keeping us Old Boys informed, and I look forward to hearing of the progress of changes at the college as they happen. Peter Morrey (TC 1947 – 1955) These photographs are from the time when my brother Tony and I were day boarders at the college. The first was taken during the winter of 1946, outside our house at Penn Common, when I was seven, not yet at the college, with my late brother Tony, in the snow. The second was taken at the school camp at Salcombe in about 1954, with me sitting down with my arms across my knees on the right, next to me on the left is (I think) Peter Toghill, then Tony Toghill, and Tony Surman with his arms folded on his knees. I cannot remember any other names. The field is just down the lane from the farm at North Sands, Salcombe.
Penn Common 1946
The third one features future Central TV reporter John Swallow with a camera at the Towers. His father, also John, was general manager Salcombe in about 1954 at the Express & Star and I think that was where the camera came from. I am directly behind the camera. I do not remember the names of other three boys, but Nigel Millward is one of them. Headmaster during my time at TC was F D Field-Hyde, the deputy was Mr Pine, and among the masters were Messrs Hancock, Baxter and Booth, and Miss Gould.. My new pals were John Swallow, Dave Richardson, Bob Ginaven (from USA), the Peter Cartwright and Andy Fowler. I had a wonderful few years there, even though I was not in the slightest bit academic. In the early 1970s Margaret Gould, by then the wife of Norman Cliffe, became our neighbour at Wombourne. We got on well with Norman and Margaret, I mentioned that in 1947/48 the name we all gave her was "Fanny Gould". She was a French mistress. Norman was the youngest member of the experimental and racing department mechanics of Sunbeam Car Company, Wolverhampton, and we enjoyed plenty of conversations about his work. My maternal grandfather was the manager of the trimming department of Sunbeam from 1905 to 1935, when the company stopped trading. Sunbeam is a part of my book, “Motoring in the Past 100 Years, the Wolverhampton Way”, which also details Villiers Engineering, Norton Villiers, Turner 7
Manufacturing, Henry Meadows, Meadows-engined Guy Motors, Turner Sports Cars and Keift Racing Cars. My fourth old photo is of the building in 1927 of the 1000 horse power record-breaking Sunbeam car which reached over 207mph on Daytona Beach in the US. Norman is fourth from the right, the tall one, behind the rear V12 aero-engine.
Bob King (TC 1933 – 1940) On the 6th March 2015, the four generations (sounds like a pop group), my son-in-law Richard, my grandson Jonathan, my great-grandson Dylan (now aged nine) as pictured on the right and I caught the night ferry from Portsmouth to Caen for our trip to the Normandy Beaches. I say Caen, but in fact, owing to industrial action we were diverted to Cherbourg. We checked in at passport control but as I was classed as disabled – at least, I have a blue card – we shot through to the front of the queue and were parked immediately by the lift which took us to Deck 7 and our cabins. The cabins were very pleasant – the trouble was we were not in them for very long. The situation was compounded by the fact that we lost an hour moving to European Time. As a result we only had about five hours sleep. Up at six, five by our time, we disembarked and were soon on the road to Bayeux. The sun rose on a beautiful spring morning and we reached Bayeux shortly after eight looking for breakfast. The only place we could find open at that time was a McDonald’s! So we ordered our breakfasts on their touch screen menu. Our first French meal consisted of bacon, egg and cheese butties. We then set off for Arromanches which is a pretty seaside town on the Normandy coast and was the scene of much action in June 1944. The invading forces on D day, 6th June 1944, landed on five beaches on the Normandy coast. From West to East they were known as Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Utah and Omaha were attacked by the US First Army, Gold and Sword by British troops and Juno by the Canadians. The Americans suffered very heavy casualties on Omaha beach, featured in the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, but overall the casualties on the first days of the landings were lower than expected. Arromanches was just west of Gold and was quickly overrun on the first day of the landings. It then became the site of the Mulberry Harbour. As early as 1942 it became clear that any invading force in Europe would need port facilities to keep it supplied. All the English Channel ports were heavily defended and the Germans were prepared to destroy them rather than let them fall into our hands. Thus the idea of an artificial harbour was conceived. It was constructed of huge concrete blocks which were towed across the Channel and then sunk. They were joined together by heavy steel constructions. The whole, known as a mulberry harbour, was a masterpiece of civil engineering. Two were built, involving over three hundred firms and some forty thousand personnel: one for the Americans at Omaha beach and one for the British Forces opposite Arromanches. The Americans, in fact, did not use theirs as it was destroyed in a storm. They used flat bottom barges, but the one at Arromanches, consisting of a breakwater and three jetties, supplied the British with guns, tanks, lorries, 8
ammunition, food clothing and all the other necessary supplies required by the advancing troops. We could clearly see the remains from where we stood. There are some thirty-nine museums along the Normandy Coast, some of them quite small. We visited two of them on our first morning. The first was the Musée du Débarquement. It is just a few metres from the shore and tells the story of the building of the Mulberry Harbours. It contains some 2,000 different items which in the words of the brochure: “encourage visitors to remember and pay tribute to the soldiers from different countries who took part in the landings”. I was most impressed as it was all tastefully and sympathetically done. We then went to the Cinema Circulaire Arromanches 360°. Simultaneously projected onto nine screens, the 19 minute film tells the story of the 100 day Normandy campaign. It showed the terrible suffering endured by civilians in Lower Normandy, 20,000 of whom were killed in the advance of the Allied Troops. It was now time for lunch so we sat in the open veranda of one of the many restaurants in Arromanches and had a leisurely meal. We then set out for Bayeux and retired to our hotel which Jonathan had booked. We were all rather tired and did nothing much for the rest of the afternoon. Richard, however, went for a walk round the town. Pleasantly built of stone it is dominated by one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. In the evening we went to a restaurant recommended by our taxi driver. There on the menu I espied something which I adore but had forgotten about as it was so long since I had eaten it. A peppered steak! This I promptly chose, preceded by smoked salmon and followed by an apple ice-cream with Calvados. Normandy is famous for its apples, cider and calvados. Again we had a leisurely meal, before returning to our hotel for a well-earned night’s rest. So ended our first day. The following morning, Sunday, we travelled a few kilometres inland to the small village of Rauray - so small, really a hamlet, that even the satnav had never heard of it. In June 1944 Richard`s father, John Hanmer was a Lieutenant Colonel commanding a battalion of the 11th Durham Light Infantry (DLI) which was part of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division. The Division landed on Gold Beach a few days after D Day and on the night of the 26/27 June, the 11th DLI were ordered to attack the village of Rauray which was a strategic point on slightly high ground in an extremely flat area of Normandy. The attack was successful and the DLI also fought off a number of counterattacks. Although the battalion suffered heavy casualties, the civilian population had been evacuated long before D Day. It was then withdrawn to rest near Arromanches. In September 1944 Richard`s father was posted to be the Commanding Officer of the 6th DLI. When they returned home in November, he took command of the 4th battalion, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and served with them until the end of the war. We next visited the cemetery at Fontenay which is dedicated to the 49th Division. It has a beautiful memorial bearing a carving of a polar bear, the insignia of the Division. There were some 550 graves, of which 500 were British, a few Canadian and some German. I was reminded of our visit to Tyn Cot in Flanders in October 2013 where there are 12,000 graves of allied soldiers. We were able to 9
identify a number from the DLI. Incidentally, Richard did his national service in the army and was commissioned into his father`s regiment. We then travelled westwards in the direction of Cherbourg and stopped at Grandcamp-Maisy hoping to find some lunch. We had overlooked the fact that it is a French custom to eat out on Sundays. We eventually found a restaurant with a table outside, and although it was a cold day we gladly took it and enjoyed a good lunch. Most of us had fish which had been caught locally. The town had a thriving fish market. We visited a number of German defensive positions and the final stop was the Normandy Tank Museum. This is the largest of all the museums in the region, containing more than 40 vehicles and 11,000 artefacts, a 5 hectare zone for tank demonstrations and a 3 hectare airstrip. It is the only place offering tank rides in France. We then drove on to Cherbourg to catch the late afternoon ferry. Again a wave of the blue parking card did the trick. Quickly on to the ferry and into comfortable seats which Richard had booked in advance. Apart from a visit to the shop, we remained settled there for the rest of the journey. Now the time change was in our favour, so we landed at about 9.15 BST. We had a comfortable drive back to London, with much thanks to Jonathan who did all the driving with infinite patience when we were not sure of the way. We arrived at about 11pm to be greeted by Jonathan`s wife Isobel with a cup of tea, the first for two days, a good night’s sleep and home to Tettenhall by lunchtime on Monday. ‘What did you do in the war Daddy?’ is a question that thankfully is receding into history. But where was I while all this was going on? I was a prisoner of war in Oflag 79, near Brunswick, as it was then called, having been captured in the Dodecanese Islands (between Crete and Turkey) in November 1943. We had our secret radios so we were able to get the news from home. From the early months of 1944 we knew that the invasion was coming and that it was only a question of where and when. So why not have a little flutter on it? Prominently displayed was a large map showing the European coast from the Spanish Border to the Northern tip of Norway. It was divided into small sections and had the caption “Buy your strip of beach”. Bets were also taken on the month in which it would take place. These were shown on a large chart and it soon became clear that June was the favoured month. We concentrated closely on the progress of the allied armies from D Day onwards as we knew that our ultimate fate depended on their success. There is one aspect in which the D Day Beaches differ from the sites of other conflicts. Whether it is Passchendaele, Evesham, Bosworth, and probably Waterloo, though I have never been there, it is difficult to imagine the scene as it was. The landscape will have changed. Where there was rough ground and forests there are now trim cultivated fields and perhaps habitation. Not even the most imaginative guides, pointing out where the opposing armies were and how they moved, were really much help. Not so with the Normandy Beaches. It is so easy to imagine oneself as a German soldier on duty being awakened at dawn to the noise of aircraft overhead and shells crashing around from the heavy naval ships which he could see far out to sea. He would also see the hundreds of assault craft making for the shore and, as they beached and the doors came down, the masses of troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles pressing forward towards him. He would have been too far away however, to see or hear The Royal Navy`s fleet destroyers firing on the German defences of Sword Beach in support of the British Army`s attacking forces. My old Cambridge friend Steven Brown, now a Knight of the Realm and a retired Lord Justice of Appeal and President of the Family Division of the 10
High Court, was then a young Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, was serving on one of those fleet destroyers, HMS Scourge. What of great-grandson Dylan. How did he enjoy it? How much did he take in? He certainly wanted to come and he knew more or less what to expect as he had been with us two years earlier to Flanders. He took a great interest in the tanks and other armoured vehicles and was highly contented the entire time. His mother had taken him to the Imperial War Museum the week before which he thoroughly enjoyed. So perhaps he will have memories which will supplement the European History which, I hope, he will be taught at school. So what are my thoughts and impressions after a most enjoyable trip? The others are already asking where we should go next. The scene which keeps intruding into my mind is not one from our trip at all, but one from the BBC reports of the ceremonies marking the seventieth anniversary of D Day which took place in Normandy last year. It was attended by the Heads of all the Allied nations and the German Chancellor was also there. The scene is a flash of a row of flags from all the Allied nations that took part in the Normandy campaign. Pride of place in the middle was the blue and gold starred flag of the European Union, so rarely seen in this country, not even at the last night of the Proms. In 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community was established and consisted of Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. It was first proposed by the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman. He declared his aim was to “Make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible”. The Community has grown into what it is today, and whether or not it is right for this country to remain a member, I firmly believe it to be an ineluctable fact that the aims of Robert Schuman have been fulfilled and that the existence of the European Union of 28 nations makes war in Western Europe, particularly between France and Germany, inconceivable.
Caleb Williams (TC 1938 – 1942) Caleb Williams has presented to the archives room the Tettenhall College school brochure for 1938. Behind the brochure is a story; His father, Benjie, insisted on having a copy before allowing his son to move to TC. “They weren’t going to let him have a prospectus,” said Caleb, “but he said ‘I want to know what the place is like now, not 40 years ago when I was there.’” Benjie, whom Caleb always refers to as “Guv” – short for “Guvnor” – had been a pupil at TC from 1896 to 1900. Caleb followed him to Tettenhall 38 years later. The brochure includes a reference to Big School which it says is used for “morning call-over, assemblies and for preparation for all boys who do not occupy studies. It is also used for lectures and singsongs and sound films.”
It adds: “The founders of the school regarded character-building as their educational aim. The religious life and teaching of the school are such as will be acceptable to all Protestant denominations free church and Anglican. Based on this the aim is to give a sound education on modern up-to-date lines.” Caleb also gave to the school a more visible present – a sapling to mark his year as OT president in 1977–8. The sapling is now a towering tree. Caleb first attended Windsor County Boys School which later became Windsor Grammar School. “It was a very good state school, the best in Berkshire.” Caleb recalled. His parents ran a nursing home in Slough in neighbouring Buckinghamshire. But the school did take a limited amount of boys from that county. “Guv went over to see the headmaster and it turned out they had both served in the Dardanelles in the First World War and I was admitted.” Clearly, Benjie, an Old Tettenhallian, wanted his son eventually to attend TC though it may have come as a surprise to Caleb, “When I was 13. I was told I was switching schools a week before the end of summer term 1938.” TC headmaster when Caleb arrived was Horace Pearson and it was fortunate he did not let a previous dealing with Williams senior colour his judgement when accepting Williams junior. Benjie Williams had in 1913 sold Horace Pearson a motorbike which soon after he bought it broke down. “But most motorbikes broke down soon after purchase in those days,” said Caleb. Then there was an incident after a dinner at the college. Caleb explained how an old boys’ function got out of hand as the beer flowed freely. “It was in 1913, I think, when the old boys had a dinner there and went round the dormitories and tipped the boys out of their beds. For several years after that the old boys were banned from the college. Horace Pearson was there at the time but was not head.” Although “Guv” was happy that his son was following in his father’s footsteps, young Williams took time to settle in. Recalled Caleb: “The first morning I woke up I was in tears. It was the first time I had been away from home apart from holidays with relatives. Everybody knew everybody else but they were strangers to me. I knew no-one. “I was given the same cubicle in block B as Guv and put my hand on his name where he had carved it hoping it might buck me up. “We had to make our beds and I had never made a bed in my life. I made an effort but got it all wrong. Kenny Leaton was the prefect. He got hold of everything and tipped it on the floor and said now make this bed properly. In that morning I learned a lot. It was sort of compressed experience. Eventually one of the others showed me how to do it.” Once settled in Caleb made friends and as well as gaining an education he and his new pals got into plenty of extra-curricular activity. He revealed one or two scrapes which they got up to. “We had a trick with the Bunsen burners in the physics lab which then was an upstairs room in Big School,” said Caleb.
“We discovered that the gas pressure was not high and that if we blew into the pipe we could cause an airlock and this would make the burners go out. A teacher would demonstrate the ball and ring trick by heating a metal ball up and showing that it would not go through because metal expands when hot. “When he went to the black board we would blow down the tube and yell ‘Sir, the Bunsen’s gone out.’ We asked him why this kept happening and we got some spurious flannel yet we knew the real reason.” Caleb was a useful rugby player as Horace Pearson’s successor F D Field-Hyde found out to his cost. As prospective new head-master Field Hyde visited the school and, wanting to show his enthusiasm, agreed to take part in a game of rugby. Cue Caleb. The in-coming head was tackled with such enthusiasm that Caleb took man and ball in more senses than one. The result was that Field-Hyde left the field to hide! “He came to us in the rugger season to sort of survey the land. He was of course a near-county rugby player in his time and he brought his boots with him and sort of half changed and said ‘I’ll join in to show you how to play’. And I thought ‘Right!’ “Well, if I could do nothing else, I knew how to tackle. I had learned from three rugby-playing cousins in Paignton. Field-Hyde was in possession of the ball and running and a thought ‘I’m going to get this bloke’ I got him absolutely spot on and I knew from the thump that he would not be very interested in playing on.” No doubt the incoming head left to nurse his wounds – and to count his assets. “I can claim to be the only old boy to have squeezed the headmaster’s testicles,” said Caleb, adding: “There were no recriminations and we ended up the best of friends. When senior prefect Charlie Botfield was called up to the RAF I was invited to succeed him as senior prefect. We did not call it ‘head’ prefect in those days.” Caleb also recalled the time he fell ill while at TC. “We had Sister Hutchinson as nurse. She was an ex-Army nurse. She took one look at me and said ‘Infirmary straight away.’ I had got pneumonia. “I was taken up to infirmary. The irony of it is that Ma was in the Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Service during the war and served in the Dardanelles and one of the things she could do was nurse people through pneumonia without drugs. She developed a reputation for this. Doctors did not know how she did it. She just said it was careful nursing and a lot of praying. “There was a chance I would not survive so they sent for my parents. Guv was wondering how this unknown sister would get on but Ma met Sister Hutchinson and asked her a few questions and talked to her for three or four minutes. Then Ma turned round to Guv and said to ‘We can go home – he’s in safe hands.’” Caleb made a full recovery at the College and was soon getting fit and well. He enjoyed swimming and that enjoyment stayed with him. “In my last year I swam every morning before breakfast. One winter term morning there was a thin layer of ice on the pool but I still dived in,” recalled Caleb. “We soon got brassed off with Field-Hyde’s interfering ways. Horace Pearson knew when to look and when not to look and would not bother with petty details. In our studies we used to have 13
toasters plugged into light sockets. There was a fuse box to the studies in the headmaster’s house and they were lashed up with thick cabling so they would not blow when we plugged in the toasters. “Field-Hyde wanted things to be right and he interfered with the fuse box and put in proper fuses and did things like that. Three or four of us organised a meeting and asked the headmaster to attend it. We sat him at the head of the table. We just gave vent to our annoyance and gave him a proper rocket. “He stood it for a while and we gave him a chance to speak. He just got up and went out of the room pulled the door handle with such force that it came off. No more was heard of the matter . . . but there was less dabbling in what was a caretaker’s job.” On another occasion Caleb and Co managed to get an old gun to fire while in the woods. “Someone brought in an old muzzle-loading pistol and someone else got some 12 bore cartridges. You put a wad in, then your gunpowder in, then the bullet. We found a ball bearing which was a bit of a tight fit but somehow forced the ball bearing down – with a piece of wood and a hammer, I think. It fell to Bud Opie to fire it so he wrapped himself round a tree so that he reasoned he could only lose his hand at worst. He fired it and it went with a hell of a report and we were dancing up and down with delight. “That was in the morning and in the afternoon we were in the headmaster’s garden with Field Hyde and he said ‘I heard an explosion in the woods this morning, does anyone know what it was?’ We said ‘An explosion?’ He said ‘Yes, an explosion in the woods.’ We said ‘In the woods?’ He said, ‘Yes in the woods.’ ‘It might have been target practice, sir,’ we said, though the firing range was about ten miles away. Anyway with a bit of flannel, we got away with it.” Picture shows Caleb Williams with the Worcestershire Hunt Caleb was at TC when war with Germany was declared in September, 1939. “When war was declared we could no longer get an exeat to go down into the village. Having been confined to barracks for a length of time we thought that one night we would go out through a dormitory window, get into Thorneycroft’s house, the Towers, and have a cigarette there. “We were in the shelters when a bomb dropped. It made a huge crater. It blew out one of the chapel windows. Someone had been a mad collector of some particular form of German porcelain. He had it in a storehouse in the garden. Believe it or not the bomb dropped exactly on it and there were bits of porcelain china all around the crater.” There were other consequences of the war, as Caleb explained. “We had an Austrian physics master from Vienna, Dr Liebetegger. Police came and arrested him I saw the car drive away with Liebetegger 14
in it. We then had an interlude of comedians as physics teachers. One was Black Country and we used to mimic him. He taught us about lavatory cisterns – the physics of flushing a toilet.” Fortunately, Herr Liebetegger returned to TC and Caleb and his fellow students were pleased to see him even if they did not always give him their best attention. “In Austrian schools they are all disciplined to want to learn but we did not want to learn,” said Caleb. “Our parents had scrimped to get the fees and we were frittering it away by not wanting to learn. His favourite thing was to say “Go to the headmaster’. We would go outside the door then come back and say ‘Sorry sir, I could not find him’. “The irony of it was that one day in the summer term and we had a wonderful chat. He talked about everything and we both came to the conclusion we were decent blokes.” No doubt that was part of his growing-up process and one more reason why Caleb, who has been married to his wife Beryl for sixty years, looked back with intense fondness on his years at Tettenhall. Acting Editor’s note: Steve Gordos and I spent some pleasant hours with Caleb and his wife Beryl in December 2013 and he provided the many stories written here. Sadly Caleb passed away in August 2014 at the age of 92. He was a great character who will be much missed. He made contributions in many ways – he was a Magistrate from 1972 – 1993, he was a prison visitor and also a Marriage Guidance Counsellor for 12 years. From 1970 he joined the Worcestershire Hunt, assisted at point-topoint meetings and the local pony club.
John Kennedy (1942-1951) I became a day boy in September, 1942, after being interviewed by F D Field-Hyde. His office was then on the right before the dining hall. Our classroom was in the corridor leading to the largest room, used as an assembly hall. Above this was – and still is – the chapel. All our teachers were men, except for two. Mrs Stace taught French, a subject I enjoyed and a language I have used over many years. There was also a lady who taught geography. I think her name was Hibberd. Discipline was strict but always fair, prefects, being older, helping to maintain order. I remember my peg number was 184. I cycled each day from Claverley to the Royal Oak on the Bridgnorth-to-Wolverhampton road and caught the double-decker bus to Chapel Ash, then a trolley bus to Tettenhall Green, followed by the short walk to school. I was permanently excused attendance at morning chapel because bus times meant I was always late. However, if I jumped off at Compton and ran along Henwood Road I could just make it. During the war if factories were working flat out smoke from their chimneys would occasionally cause a thick black fog – “smog”. This would cause buses to stop running and my classmates probably got fed up with lunchtime announcements that “People like Kennedy who have a long way to go, may leave early.” Once I walked as far as Trescott before my father found me. We were allocated small plots – perhaps 10ft by 6ft – in the field behind the woodwork shop, chemistry lab and fives court and grew things like lettuce, beetroot, carrots and potatoes as part of the wartime “Dig for Victory” campaign. During the war a temporary master once arrived carrying an 15
orange, a fruit not seen by us for years. He lined up the class on the drive of the Towers and rolled the orange for us to chase. It struck a stone and I pounced on it. I think most of us got a segment of it, though. I learned to swim in the school pool and later got my bronze medal for life saving. The nearby fives court was much used and the chemistry lab was the domain of Mr Westwood, whose son, Peter, was in my class. We became good friends. It was wartime and it must have been difficult for the catering staff to feed us. However, there seemed to be figs on the lunch menu at least once every week. I did not like them then and still don’t. The college acquiring the Towers with its woods and grounds gave us greater freedom and exploring the corridors and rooms of the old building was fun. Jimmy Galloway, a classmate, had no fear of heights and, although it was strictly forbidden, he was fairly frequently seen walking on the roof parapets. Until the school bought the Towers we used playing fields down the main road at Newbridge. New football, rugby and cricket pitches were created on the flat land below the Towers woods, alongside Henwood Road, but not before we all spent hours picking up stones from the soil. If my memory is correct F C Pine was deputy head. Every year he organised the school camp at Salcombe in Devon. In 1951 I went with the advance party to set up camp, travelling by steam train to Totnes and then on an open lorry, carrying tents and all the gear needed for the camp, which was great fun. John at School Camp in Salcombe - 1952 In the summer term before we moved into the Towers, we had a new Latin master, J Nicholson. In his first lesson, Geoff Lloyd asked Mr Nicholson if he could open one of the sash windows. One had to climb on to heating pipes to do this and Geoff, a small chap, struggled. At that point Mr Nicholson – “Nick” – shot the sash window up and with one hand calmly lifted up Geoff and sat him on the window sill for the rest of the period. At playtime the word went rapidly around the playground – “Watch out for the new master!” I don’t think he ever had any disciplinary problems at all during his time at the school. The Towers auditorium, originally a theatre, was used for PE training. An ex armed forces (RAF?) officer, C V Foster, kept us pretty fit with many different leg arm and stretching exercises. Mr E G Hallawell, then a young man, created my interest in things historical and that interest has stayed with me the rest of my life. I always found maths and physics difficult, not helped by having almost a term off when I got rheumatic fever. Mr Saunders did his best to help me catch up. After TC I started working as a farm pupil for Bill Whiteford, then the chairman of the Shropshire Committee for Agriculture, on his rented farm on the Apley Estate. Having lived next door to the farm I decided at an early age it was what I wanted to do. He taught me to work and I well remember the first time I earned £5 in a week was hoe-ing sugar beat alongside an ex German prisoner of war who had stayed on there in the 1950s. I then had several months on a small 16
rundown farm at Chorley near Stottesdon at the foot of the Clee Hills. I became a member of Bridgnorth Young Farmersâ€™ Club, taking part in stock judging competitions, debating competitions and farm visits. Called up for National Service in the RAF in January, 1953, I did air crew training at Hornchurch, Essex. Rather than sign on for several years I went through two months of intensive initial training which was hard but a great experience. Having passed A1/G1 fit for service anywhere in the world I found myself in RAF Cosford Hospital for four months with a recurrence of rheumatic fever. In October, 1953, I started a two-year National Diploma course at Harper Adams. Qualifying after an examination at Leeds in 1955. Since my illness meant I could not be sure of carrying out the long hours of physical work under all sorts of weather conditions I decided to seek a career in agricultural education. I became a qualified teacher after a one-year course at the City of Worcester Training College, now part of Birmingham University, in rural science. My first post was a warden/lecturer in livestock husbandry at the East Riding Institute of Agriculture. With a huge post-war demand for training, I was promoted after three year to become organiser of agricultural education for the county. I became an examiner for City and Guilds which took me to several other Northern counties. I had married my wife Jennifer, who was from Devon, in 1960, In 1962 I gained promotion to become vice principal of the Dorset Farm Institute, alter a college of agriculture an horticulture and now the Kingston Maurwood College of the Countryside. We have been blessed with two sons and a daughter and now four grandchildren.
Peter Westwood (1943-1953) In 1943, which was my first year at TC, one of my memories was my father, John Westwood (6th/5th form science mathematics teacher) engaged in long discussions with a mathematics genius. If I have this correctly, John Chown left with an entry to Balliol College, Oxford and was recruited to Bletchley Park. He was a man of whom TC should be proud I do know that my father used to entertain teachers (Pond, Pine, Theobald) and upper sixth formers for tea at our home in Codsall and Les Chown was among those there on Sundays. It gives me pleasure to think that my father was instrumental in producing an outstanding mathematician from TC. The headmaster was Horace Pearson and on learning that my father was due to be conscripted into the Royal Navy, he persuaded the War Office that they could not have him. Dad was in the RN for a fortnight! The result, apart from chemistry, physics and maths, was the OT golf society, rugby, cricket and, would you believe, pyrotechnics. John Westwood was persuaded by Frank Pine to leave TC and move to the new Regis School. He accepted because not only was it a new venture but the resulting pension would be far better. Sadly, he did not live to collect it.
Dad was a first class contract bridge player. He was invited to play in an international match against Norway. The headmaster, Field-Hyde, said he could not take time off to play. What if it had been to play for England at rugby, cricket, hockey or golf? No problem but contract bridge? Don’t be silly! David Adams (1950-1955) I always missed Newport and my life back at home. The larger number of boys were from urban areas so we of more rural roots tended to feel somewhat isolated, me particularly when they started to call me “Wurzel Gummidge”. Two others from Newport were the Livelys, Michael and Roger, whose father had been lost on Bomber Command operations in 1944. Once I had got to know the extensive grounds I did many walks around them and the village. Sunday was a special day. After chapel there was anything up to two hours before lunch, so I would calculate the time and then set out to walk north up the A41 towards my homeland. Exactly at half time I would turn round and walk back for lunch, which I never missed. When chapel finished particularly early one Sunday I even managed to walk to the top of Kingswood Common. Michael Lively went one better. Feeling particularly lonely, he walked all the way home and had to be brought back. The film society made their first production in anticipation of a very famous film a year or two later – Escape from Colditz. The College became the ‘castle’ and the ‘prisoners’ had to be seen making their escape. One day, to the absolute astonishment of the village, the Nazi flag was hauled up over Tettenhall Towers and a German sentry box with armed guard in uniform appeared outside the school gate. In the tense part of the film the ‘prisoners’ were to be seen creeping through the bushes towards this gate ready to make their escape. At this juncture our aged music teacher George Schoon appeared riding through the gateway on his tall bicycle without even batting an eyelid! The film-makers outside the gate had been totally unable to stop him and the scene, which had to be left in the film, caused endless merriment. I did eventually visit Colditz Castle – there were some similarities! One autumn it was proposed we should all learn ballroom dancing, and a certain lady, Vera Hildreth, invited us to join her dancing school. At first there was little response until somebody pointed out: “It’s on the road into town.” As we were barred from visiting Wolverhampton in the evenings, this could be useful, so we decided to accept her invitation. Our first visits to meet the opposite sex at the dancing school were a bit unnerving as the girls all sat in a row on one side of the room while we lads sat on the other with a sort of ‘no-man’s-land’ in between. When there was a good picture on in town we would “accidentally” forget to get off the bus. There was an incident involving chemistry master Mr Westwood which went into College folklore. When describing the reaction when certain chemicals met he would say, “Boof” there it goes”. Inevitably his nickname became “Boof”. One day he introduced us to a young assistant master. This fellow brought along a small canister of liquid oxygen and proceeded to show us its various properties by pouring it onto an apple, and soft fruit, which immediately froze as hard as cricket balls. He also showed us how it was possible to induce minor explosions which we inevitably found fascinating. “Does it make bigger bangs?” one boy asked. “Oh yes,” he said “but I think we have gone far enough.” He closed the lesson and it was time to go, but apparently a small group of keener boys stayed back having induced him to try another experiment. Some short time after we left there was a tremendous explosion, much noise of scattering glass, and much shouting. One poor lad was hastily carried past us up the stairs to matron with blood streaming from his face. No fewer than 18
twenty six panes of glass had been blown out of the lab and some damage done to the chapel windows. Some experiment! When Mr Hancock told me he was thinking of organising coach trips to places of historical interest, I was asked to pass the word around and ask where they would like to go. Top choices were Warwick, Stratford, Worcester and Snowdon. Alas, I, who had helped to instigate it all, was not allowed to go on one trip. We were now in the open D dormitory, and one night someone started a pillow fight. I got a bash over the head before the perpetrator fled through the door towards the toilets. I waited by the dormitory door to return the compliment and duly attacked as soon as a figure entered. Unfortunately it wasn’t him but Mr Hancock coming in to see what the noise was about. Jon Campbell-Harris (1958–1961) I was known as Jon Harris during my time at Tettenhall. I started as a day boarder but after a few months became a full boarder when my father took a job in Nigeria. I remember most of the staff particularly those that helped me during my time at the College – Fred Smallwood, Lyn Jobling, Colin Cope and Mr Andrews the housemaster
Jon Campbell-Harris having tea at the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly
One who really stands out would be Mr Geoffrey Hancock, the deputy head. I can be fairly certain that having visited his study on too many occasions, I knew every grain of wood on the back of his study door. Those of you who experienced “the inevitable whacks”, as I like to call them, will remember that he would make you bend over and put your head under his study door handle. This meant that as you got whacked not only did you get a very sore backside you also got a sore head from lifting it into the door knob as every swish hit its mark
.When I came in to board, I was very homesick. I do not think I would have got through those first months without the help of Brian Dockerty. He made my young life at that time very bearable – a very kind and thoughtful man. My contemporaries at the time were Patrick Churchward, whose parents worked in Nigeria and whom we would often visit there in the summer, Roger Clay, who was our rugby captain, and Jan Bagheerutty, the younger of the two brothers. I was in Nicholson House and in those days we were a force to be reckoned with on the sports field. After full time education I joined the Royal Navy and had eleven very happy years travelling the world. During that time I met my wife Maureen who was a QARNNS (a Naval Nurse). We have three children all grown up now of course, two boys and a daughter. After my naval service I retrained and went into engineering and telecommunications. I was managing director and ran a large factory in Reading which belonged to the American group Dresser Inc. Prior to retirement I was southern area director for a telecoms company and then in the last two years before retirement for something totally different my wife and I bought and ran an 18-bedroom hotel. In 2005 when I was 59 we sold everything we had in England and retired to France, Department 85, La Vendee, where we have settled in and integrated very well. We have been here almost 10 years and love the country. 19
One of our sons is in the Metropolitan Police, and is married to a detective in the same force. They both work out of Kingston on Thames. I do remember Mr Field-Hyde saying to me that if I ever learnt to speak French he would eat his mortar board. If he was still alive I would now be asking him if he would like pepper and salt with it!
OT Reunion Weekend Everyone attending the 2015 Reunion Weekend (June 13th/14th) had an enjoyable time in spite of the wet weather on the Saturday. Thanks to all especially those who participated in the sports events - the footballers had a good soaking, unfortunately. The sports results were:Football: OTs 6 - 4 School Cricket: due to the wet pitch, a reduced 20/20 game was played. Incredibly the match was tied at 173 runs apiece - a nailbiter! Ladies Netball: OTs 20 - 19 School. A very close affair, with Sophie Jones (OT) and Olivia Handley (School) receiving Players of the Match awards.
A scoring move in the netball match
Ladies Hockey: OTs 4 - 1 School. Isabella Fisher was awarded the OT Player of the Match
The football teams - OTs in white, College in blue - with James Bullock.
Jeremy Ireland-Jones presenting Jan Taylor with a retirement gift from the OTs
Our Chaplain John Bates conducted a rousing service in the Chapel and the dinner was enjoyed by all, with many compliments about the good meal provided by the College caterers. Next year’s Reunion will be held at the College on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2016.
OT President’s Evening The annual president’s evening was held at Wergs Hall Golf Club when OT president Anne Chesney hosted the event. With her here are TC Deputy Head Jeff Shipway and wife Jo standing with Diana Corns, wife of OT secretary Stephen Seated (left to right) are OT chairman Jeremy Ireland-Jones, Anne Chesney, former OT president Deb Brook and Tim Harborow.
Informal Reunions In his ‘welcome’ message, our President Geoff Hopkinson has said that more needs to be done to involve younger OTs and to that end there have been two informal OT drinks evenings this year. The first was held on 12th February 2015 at the Bacchus Bar off New Street in Birmingham when 20
about 25 OTs met up together with David Williams (Headmaster), Mark Leighton (Director of Art) and Penny Storey (Head of Marketing at the College). Everyone enjoyed the evening, which went on quite late! David Williams was also the moving force behind another ‘get-together’ at the Harbour Grand Hotel in Hong Kong on 3rd April 2015. Our good friend Eric Yuen (TC 1978 – 1982) was there and reports “Around 30 plus OTs joined tonight. This is the first time a reunion has been held in Hong Kong and it is good to remember my UK boarding school days and all my TC friends. My thoughts are with Olwynne Hutt, Brian Armfield, Mr. Chown and Mr. Dale.” Dominic Ng (TC 1987 – 1991) said on Facebook “Sorry for missing the Old Tettenhallians’ catchup opportunity in Hong Kong as I have relocated to Singapore for three years. I look forward to join a reunion event in the future if I can fly back to HK.” Another informal drinks evening for OTs is planned in November 2015 in London and the committee hopes this is equally successful.
The New Vintage of Old Tettenhallians On 6th May 2015 Sixth Form students attended the traditional ‘Leavers’ Lunch’ in the Grand Marquee by the Towers as a formal farewell to their years at the College. Of course this was also a welcome to the OT Club and three OTs (Jeremy IrelandJones, Gregg Spooner and Stephen Corns) were there to give information about the club and wish them all happiness in the exciting years ahead.
Golf Society – 2014-2015 Our summer “fun day” in August 2014 was played at Cleobury Mortimer, a new course to many of the players and in spite of high winds everyone enjoyed it. We played a team event over the Deer Park and Badger’s Sett loops which was comfortably won by Mark Wainwright, Malcolm Smith and Keith Grant-Pearce with 81 points. Our 2014 programme finished at Astbury Hall near Bridgnorth in October but our initial visit was called off as the course was closed due to severe overnight rain. Nevertheless we held our AGM in the imposing club house and Iain Seivewright was presented with the Rosebowl Knockout vase. We reconvened two weeks later at Astbury Hall for our final golf competition, the Centenary Cup. Committed diaries only allowed 12 members to play, and the easy winner was John Dove with a wonderful score of 43 points. Trailing him ten points adrift were Iain Seivewright and Keith GrantPearce. “Golfer of the Year” was Stephen Corns – this award is made to the overall best player at three competitions; the Captain’s Prize, Vernon Cup and Centenary Cup. Left - Centenary Cup winner John Dove, with ‘Golfer of the Year’ Stephen Corns
Our Spring outing at the end of April 2015 at St. Pierre Golf Club, Chepstow went well, and we were blessed with dry weather (quite cold) and the golf course was testing (but then to me they all are). We played both days on the Old Course which is good though very well used. Our Captain Alan Taylor could not attend unfortunately, but as ever he was most generous in treating the group to wine on the Thursday evening and he was loudly toasted for his generous spirit! Mike Parr with (left) John Lloyd and (right) Geoff Hopkinson, the main competition winners.
Our President Mike Parr ably undertook the prize presentation. Everyone appreciated the prizes donated by the Captain. A nice gesture of Alan’s was the golf caps he gave to all players, making us a stand-out group on the course and even the St. Pierre captain commented that it was a nice touch. Results of the two days were as follows:Wednesday April 29th 2015 – Paul Whitehead Trophy 1st. John Lloyd 34 pts. 2nd. Mark Wainwright 32 pts. (On the back 9) 3rd. John Dove 32 pts. Thursday April 30th 2015 – Morning 9 hole team event 1st. Corkindale, Ashton and Lycett 36 pts 2nd. Jennings, Lloyd and Hopkinson 34 pts. 3rd. Corns and Wainwright 31 pts. 22
The Captain’s Prize 1st. Geoff Hopkinson 2nd. Tony Corkindale 3rd. Roger Ashton
34 pts. (On the back 9) 34 pts. 31 pts.
On the Thursday morning Roger Ashton generously gave Stephen Corns a new golf ball on the first tee – a classic swing should have seen the ball arcing down the fairway but much to everyone’s consternation it exploded on contact! Only the starter did not seem amused, with white fragments littering the tee. Everyone enjoyed the trip to South Wales but we were a rather select group. I do hope more society members can join us in future. As usual we played for the Vernon Cup at South Staffs golf course at the end of May and the day proved quite surprising, with a few last minute entries. Paul Flockhart now lives in Florida but was visiting parents over the summer, and he joined us along with his friends Nick Stanton and Mike Steventon. We were pleased to see them. With a couple more latecomers we were 16 players in the end, so I was constantly running back to the kitchens to keep adding numbers for the meal! One of the society’s founder members, Derek Partridge, came for the meal and recounted details of the formation of the society back in 1975 – we are 40 years old this year! Results were:Vernon Cup 1st. Nick Stanton - gross 74-3 = 71 (Best gross score) 2nd. Malcolm Smith 72 (better back nine) 3rd. John Lloyd 72 President’s Prize 13 shots on the par three holes: Mike Jones. Our match against Oxley Wanderers in April was closely contested, but once again we contrived to lose by 2 – 3 matches. In July 2015 we played the Old Wulfrunians and drew 3 – 3 at South Staffs. The greens were very slick and difficult and we hoped to regain the shield which was last held by the OTs in 2009, but sadly not this year. We do need new members of the golf society – if you are interested to join us then please contact our Secretary/Treasurer Keith Grant-Pearce email@example.com
Bill Snelson Awarded MBE In the Queen’s birthday honours list 2015 Bobbington farmer Bill Snelson has been awarded an M.B.E. for his decades of work on behalf of his fellow farmers in Britain’s sugar industry, and his services to the village of Bobbington. Bill grew up on his parents’ farm in the village. After being educated at Tettenhall College from 1942 – 1949, his life changed dramatically at the age of 20 when both his parents died within 6 months of each other, and he took over the running of the farm. In 1992 he let his own sons Mark and Craig take over the farm when he became involved with the National Farmers Union sugar beet committee, which often saw him touring the beet factories locally and in the rest of England, to check the quality of supply. At the same time he became Chairman of Reception which involved monitoring receipt of all sugar beet into factories and ensuring testing procedures were correct. European producers became interested in the U.K. process and for Bill it became a total commitment. Bill served for more than half a century as a Bobbington parish councillor, and also over the same period was Governor and Trustee of the local Corbett Primary School.
He has battled back to health after suffering a serious stroke 11 years ago. The commendation for the award described Bill as a ‘role model in the community’. Apart from Bill being educated at Tettenhall College in the 1940s, he later became a parent Governor when his sons attended the school, and he was also President of the Old Tettenhallians in 2002-2003.
Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier (TC 1931) John David Drought Collier was born near Plymouth on November 10th 1916, the son of a businessman. After education at St Petroc's School in Bude, Cornwall, and Tettenhall College, Staffordshire, he trained as a land agent under Lord Leigh at Leamington Spa. Subsequently he was employed by John Bishop of Northam, Devon, whose daughter Elizabeth he married in 1939. The career RAF man won three top medals for bravery and survived 63 missions – a stunning number given the casualty rate among Bomber Command crew was roughly 50 per cent. He was one of the select band of RAF bomber crew whose cross-channel raids in the summer of 1940 forced the postponement of the planned German invasion and, arguably, helped save Britain from swift defeat. And yet John might have been Plymouth’s unknown war hero but for a friend who researched the Collier family history. Now his story is told in a biography with the unadorned title “Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier”. The subtitle gives a clue to how important John was to the Allied air war effort against Germany: “The Bomber Commander, air war and Special Operations Executive strategist and Dambuster planner”. The story is told by Simon Gooch who says that even as a friend of the family he did not realise just how “illustrious” John’s war service had been. “He did not indulge very much in reminiscing,” says Simon. “His relations rather looked up to him. I had a feeling there was something special about him but I was not bold enough to ask him.” It was only after John died in 2000, the day before his 84th birthday, that full details emerged. Lengthy obituaries in The Times and The Daily Telegraph came as a surprise filling in more details and the discovery of John’s unpublished memoir helped complete the picture. Simon and his family discovered that John’s first mission took place hours after war against Germany was declared on September 3, 1939. He went on to become one of the most decorated pilots of the early years of the conflict in the desperate days when Britain seemed certain to be invaded and then defeated. His second war career came in planning bombing missions as Britain and its Allies gradually gained the upper hand. Later he would plan the pinpoint missions to stop the Germans’ revolutionary rocket weapons that John feared might swing the conflict back in the Nazis’ favour. Such weaponry was the stuff of science fiction when John Collier was born in Plympton on November 10th, 1916 – two years into the first global conflict. “There was an epic family history involving generations of Quakers,” says Simon, who unearthed the tale during long hours of research in the public records office in Plymouth. The Colliers had been in the wine trade for centuries and in the Victorian era – the peak of the Royal Navy’s power – supplied the senior service with a brand of port bearing the family’s name. By then they had drifted away from the Society of Friends, known for its pacificist stance. On the back of that lucrative victualling contract, John’s grandfather Mortimer and great uncle William built Foxhams, a 23-room mansion at Horrabridge in Devon. Disastrous investments in America, the German U-boat blockade during World War One and the faltering national economy after the conflict damaged the Collier family finances. John’s father Bertie split from the family firm and opened a department store in Plymouth but by the mid-1920s that failed. The immediate family moved and by the mid-1930s had a chicken farm in Essex. John would meet his wife-to-be Beth while working as a land agent on a farm in Sussex. But by the time he was 20 he had signed up for a career with the RAF.
He learned to fly in the era of biplanes and haphazard bombing and left 22 years later having learned to pilot the latest jets in a world of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the hydrogen bomb. John – or Joe as he was known to his comrades in the RAF – helped make military history, too. He took part in possibly the earliest RAF bomber mission of World War Two, searching for German warships in the North Sea. One mission gives a flavour of the danger, the heroics – and the character of the Bomber Command crew. John was flying a twin-engine Hampden bomber on a raid on a canal lock in Munster, Germany, on August 12, 1940. The plane was hit. John recalled later, “‘Hell’ my navigator said, ‘I have been hit in the bottom and am bleeding – what shall I do?’ “Sit on it, I said, until we’re out of this. And sit on it he did without a murmur of complaint...” Squadron Leader Collier was mentioned in dispatches and is aid to have been recommended for a Victoria Cross. He might have been given that highest award for valour if another person on the operation had not got the VC. “There seems to have been a rule of one per op,” writes Simon. By that time France was occupied by Germany and Hitler planned to invade Britain that September. But the Munster attack, and raids by John and his squadron on the barges for the invasion, the German waterways, Channel Ports and supply depots, forced Hitler to put the plans back. Seven days after the Munster raid John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, jointly for that mission and an attack on oil tanks in Bordeaux. Little more than a week after that award he suffered severe concussion and was lucky to survive when his bomber crashed on landing. Others were less fortunate. His close friend Guy Gibson VC – one of the most famous airmen of the war – noted sadly that by late 1940 most of the original comrades of 83 Squadron were dead, missing, prisoners of war or wounded. In 1941 after a six-month convalescence, he was transferred to 44 and later that year was awarded a Bar to his DFC – the equivalent of a second medal. In March 1942 he was put in command of 97 Squadron flying the newly-introduced four-engine Lancaster. John took part in the first 1,000-bomber raid, against Cologne on May 30, 1942. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order after his last raid on a German engine factory in Augsburg in August 1942. He would later reveal one of the secrets of surviving so many bombing missions. He recounted how he would stand the bomber “almost on its nose and dive furiously towards the earth, when I thought that the anti-aircraft (guns) had the measure of me – a bit nerve-racking for the rest of the aircrew, but an effective measure of evasion to which I consider I owe my life on more than one occasion”. He quit flying missions because the Air Ministry needed an experienced bomber officer for a small team of specialist mission planners. He remained with that group until the end of the war in 1945. In his memoir, John wrote: “It is difficult to imagine that adventure can be found in the Ministry, surely the excitement and glory of war is on the battlefield? “I suppose it could be said I had my fair share of adventure during the four years I was on operations in Bomber Command. “I refrain from writing about these adventures because they were in no way different from those experienced by so many airmen of that gallant Command, and further so many books have been written by real heroes, and my personal friends, such as Guy Gibson VC and Leonard Cheshire VC, both of whom are household names today (he was writing just after the war ended). “I found my adventure in this war in the Air Ministry.... I was in a privileged position to watch the most interesting period of the war in Europe during the two most vital years. I had my sense of great thrill and disappointment, and occasionally of achievement, even though such achievements were initially on paper.” His work in the Ministry was outstanding and vital. He liaised with Barnes Wallis, designer of the ‘bouncing bomb’ and with his pal Guy Gibson on the Dambuster Raid in which the weapon was successfully used. German reservoirs, hydroelectric schemes, armaments factories and dozens of 26
bridges were destroyed – all in one mission. In pushing such precision raids the squadron leader and the team were at odds with the head of Bomber Command, Arthur Harris. “John and the more intellectual officers were pretty much at loggerheads with Harris,” says Simon. “They believed there were more effective ways of using the amazing power (of the heavy bomber) than the symbolic 1,000-bomber raid and the area bombing destroying cities. “Area bombing was not as effective in destroying the German war effort and the morale of the German people. “The Allies underestimated the Germans’ air-raid precautions and morale stayed high.” Nevertheless such indiscriminate bombing was regarded after the war as controversial because of the huge civilian loss of life in cities such as Dresden. John was heavily involved in another practice that led to soul-searching, and faced opposition. He was head of the wonderfully named Blackmail Committee that gave French industrialists a stark choice: sabotage your own factories to stop them helping the Germans – or have them bombed flat. One casualty was the Michelin tyre plant in Clermont Ferrand. “The bombers took great care not to kill the workforce. The bombers circled before attacking so the workers – mainly women – rushed out to safety,” says Simon. Even late in the war, with Allied troops closing in on victory in Europe, John and his team were doing vital work targeting and attacking the plants making and supplying the ‘V’ weapons that were hitting Britain and against which there was no defence. The V1 (a primitive cruise missile) and the V2 (the world’s first long-range ballistic missile) caused terror among civilians in London – and even struck fear in John. “I wasn’t aware until reading his memoir, and other reading around it, that they were worried that the missiles would carry some sort of nuclear warhead or biological agent,” says Simon. After peace in 1945, John served in Sri Lanka, Japan and the RAF Staff College in Bracknell, Berkshire. Simon believes that John’s decision to leave the RAF may have been due to his wife’s pacifism and, as spelled out in a letter home, anxiety at the potential of the new nuclear weapon, the hydrogen, to wreak mass destruction. Pictured left is John Collier in 1957 as Assistant Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces Northern Europe at NATO Headquarters, Kolsas in Norway.
After leaving the RAF John worked as a land agent and after retiring from paid work devoted time to helping the children’s charity, Barnardo’s. He was fully retired and living in the New Forest when Simon got to know him. “He was very genial, very sympathetic, a benign presence,” the war hero’s biographer says. Only later would Simon and his family learn the full story of how much of a “remarkable warrior” John had been. Others such as Guy Gibson, who was killed in action, left accounts that were published to acclaim and brought posthumous fame. Simon says: “If he had published his memoir it would have been of the highest calibre and quite gripping.” So it is right that the last word goes to Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier DSO, DFC and Bar, himself. “There is no doubt in my mind that the early days of the war were the only ones where there was an opportunity for adventure without risk,” John wrote. “One was completely confident that one would survive anything and it makes me shudder to look back and realise just how badly we were briefed and how haphazard our approach, but what was lost on those counts was made up with by a certain dash and individuality, difficult to emulate later in the war when the dangers were greater and the hand of authority heavier. “Anyway, the moments to remember of the early days surely were the laughs together over bacon and eggs, in the early mornings after the sortie.” “Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier DSO, DFC and Bar”, by Simon Gooch, is published by Pen and Sword at £25. 27
Where are they now? Kirk Andrews Hi. I'm now almost 30 and I live in Walsall with my other half and two kids. I have my own entertainment company Magical Adventures - we are also looking at working with TC on some filming we are working on soon. I have a lot to thank TC for - so glad Tettenhall was part of my life. Carolyn Attwood (TC 1986 – 1995) Taught History & English from 1986 to 1995 in Upper School (pupils will remember me as Miss Plumb). Current employment: Senior Corporate Pensions Administrator, Zurich Assurance near Cheltenham. My daughter is now 18, and awaiting her ‘A’ level results, having been offered a place at Cambridge to read engineering. Samantha 'Mutti' Belton – née Gilbert (TC 1982 -84) I'm married with four children. Working as a teacher of the deaf (fluent in B.S.L.) and a teacher of the visually impaired (just qualified in Braille). I'm moving jobs in the summer to be a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) in a specialist residential school and college for blind and visually impaired students. Hobbies - this weekend I'm competing in my karate clubs World Championships. I'm not expecting to medal, taking part is amazing enough. I'm very excited and nervous. Jonathan Broadbent (TC 1977-1985) I was at TC as a boarder between 1977 and 1985. I am currently living in The Hague, Netherlands, working as a Master Brewer for Heineken as a Support Specialist -Technology covering Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe hub as part of Heineken Global Supply Chain. Involves lots of travel to exotic locations helping breweries brew better beer!! Deb Brook – née Jennings. (TC 1982 – 1984) OT President 2009-2010. Live near Tamworth. Divorced but got a lovely partner. Two lovely kids, Hannah aged 21 and Matt 17. I have been working as a primary head teacher. We have a chocolate Labrador called Rolo. I also run my own youth theatre in Birmingham – we are always looking for new members! I have some great memories of TC: the play we performed outside the library - I can't remember the name of it though! Midsummer Night’s Dream and Joseph in the Towers Theatre. Mr Chown as our house tutor and his enthusiasm for everything and anything Bantock! Sixth form prep supervision! I loved the Bavarian Night in the marquee when we left in 1984. There are lots of lovely memories of parties with friends. Music lessons with Olwynne Hutt, Brian Armfield and then Ian Wass when he arrived. Stephen Corns (TC 1955-1962) OT President 2012-2013 I have been married to Diana for 41 years and we have two great daughters, Julia and Alex. The family has blossomed in recent years – we now have three grandchildren, Henry (3 years old) and now Peta and Ella who are both still in nappies. We are lucky they all live close to us in Wolverhampton. I retired from Goodyear Dunlop in 2004 after 42 years’ service (enough for anyone). My time is now devoted to the family, gardening, playing golf, local politics and of course the OT Club.
Chris Farnath (TC 1973-1982) I currently live in Wokingham, Berkshire. I work for Allocate Software, a UK headquartered company based in Richmond upon Thames. I'm just about to celebrate my 5th year anniversary in September. As no one will have heard of my company, I should explain a little more - we manufacture software applications that provide workforce optimisation in Health, Defence & Maritime sectors, with a global footprint including UK, Europe, America, Australia & Malaysia. I am responsible for customer satisfaction for all Allocate Software users and have teams in each locality to support their investment in our technology. We are the only rostering software used in the NHS that is endorsed by NICE, as we help NHS Trusts keep a track of their agency nurse spend - something that seems to be in the news apparently on a daily basis. I am still very much in touch with OTs and happy to have helped bring together a few of my buddies for the 150th in both Tettenhall and London. Always keen to hear from other OTs. Robert Green (TC 1955-1962) In a message to the Acting Editor Stephen Corns, Rob writes “I have been married to my wife Brenda for 44 years, we retired out here to the Dordogne in France 12 years ago, after running a bed & breakfast business in Dartmouth for 10 years (John and Pauleen Dove stayed with us.) I have almost given up golf as my game has gone downhill and my handicap uphill! We have a thriving croquet club in our village, so I am hooked on playing that several times a week. It’s a very skilful game, where a background of golf putting helps a lot, with the line and length of the shots. We all have handicaps and have regular competitions. Clockwise left is grandson Cameron, Robert and Brenda Green, son-in-law Neal, daughter Rachel and grandson Lachlan
I spend a lot of time helping my daughter run the gite rental business in busy periods, and there is always lots of maintenance to be completed in the quiet season as we have 5 acres of forest to keep tidy and 2 swimming pools to look after. Our youngest daughter is a GP living in Tasmania with husband and two daughters and we visit them each year during the winter months. It is difficult for me to attend OT functions but I am pleased to hear OT news. I keep in touch with Angus Dunphy who lives in South Wales (as you may know Angus has written several books on the Wolverhampton area in his retirement). I still read the ‘Tettenhallian’ magazine on line, so keep up with all the OT news especially the OT’s golf as I was a founder member many years ago. I was at TC the same years as you, we started together in upper 3A and finished with two years Sixth form. (I wish I’d studied French!) I expect you knew Bob Fielding at Goodyear - we spent many happy times together on the golf courses in Portugal, until his sad passing last year. Life is very good here in France, the food, wine and sunshine all excellent, but I do miss a good pint of real ale! Remember me to all the OT golfers, especially John Dove, Keith Grant-Pearce, Geoff Hopkinson and Dave Lycett. I see Paul Whitehead and Derek Sage are no longer with us.”
Peter Hayes (TC 1956-1961) Peter spent most of his working career in purchasing and stock control, most notably with Guy Motors until its closure in 1983 (nothing to do with Peter!) Married once and lived with a long term partner until her passing. His sports interests are rugby union and snooker. He has been a member of the 44 Club for over 30 years and currently serves as its secretary. Jeremy Ireland Jones (TC 1976 -1983) Married to Angela with two children Emily 19, & Phoebe 16. I am working for AkzoNobel (Dulux Cuprinol Hammerite Polycell) as Regional Sales Manager Europe, based in Tettenhall. Also Committee Chairman of the Old Tettenhallians, with the aim to ensure greater awareness and younger involvement. I am enjoying sailing and cycling. On LinkedIn and FB … Peter James Having set up my own estate agency in Tettenhall, Peter James Property, life is treating me well and business is going from strength to strength. Two lovely daughters, Amy and Grace and a loving supportive wife, Jane. Andrew Jennings (TC 1983-1986) Since leaving TC Andrew spent five years studying electrical engineering and after three operational roles in different companies went on to running and operating Q Technical Services for the last twenty-one years. This company specialises in electrical, fire and safety and access and security installations, maintenance and servicing to the commercial and industrial fields. He is married to Helen and they have two great kids – Sean is in the RAF as a flight controller and Jessica is still studying but also has a great passion for women’s football and currently plays for Wolves. Andrew’s sister, Deb Brook, was OT President in 2009-2010. Edward Johnson (TC 1980 – 1990: former Head Prefect) Ed has lived in Sydney, Australia for ten years and is married with four young children. He is Bureau Chief at the Sydney office of Bloomberg. Prior to moving to Australia, he was Political Correspondent of Associated Press in London. He now has Australian citizenship. Ed is the son of Margaret Johnson, a former member of the College staff. His brother Will features below. Will and Ed Johnson during Ed’s visit home in 2014
Will Johnson (TC 1979-1988) Mother Margaret advises that Will is now Managing Partner at Pickering & Butters Solicitors in Stafford and Rugeley. He is married to Karen and they have one son George aged 17. Both Will and George are keen golfers at Brocton Hall Golf Club with handicaps of 10.Will and the family together with mother Margaret and father George (former professional at Brocton Hall) are spending Christmas 2015 in Australia with Ed and his family. 30
Alan Jones (TC 1945 â€“ 1951) I am enjoying retirement whilst still living close to TC. Life is treating both Shirley and I well. Dominic Ng (TC 1987 - 1991) Graduated from Tettenhall College in 1991. I have relocated to Singapore with my wife and my son 3 years ago. I am currently working as a program manager in insurance product development project for Manulife Financial. (FB) Matthew Norman Moved south and lived in the south of England for 13 years working for the MOD and UKAEA then after an MSc in Physics decided to move to Thailand. Spent 6 years there in total, 1 year in Belize, 1 year in Indonesia and have travelled the world... twice. Became a diving Instructor, Instructor Trainer (Recreational and Technical Diving) as well as First Aid and loads of other things. I was in the middle of the Tsunami 2004, shipwrecked on Tonga and now in Stuttgart, Germany, still working in diving but for PADI directly as an Instructor Examiner and I teach English. I speak English, German and Thai (conversational Thai). I have a beautiful 10 month old daughter and a lovely missus (German). The beer is better here as well. I wish I was in contact with more people from TC, but I understand that everyone's busy. FYI the beer festival in Stuttgart is better than in Munich... Michael Orton (TC 1958-1965) He has been living in Hitchin for the past 30 years, now semi-retired from the graphic design business. His son and daughter live locally and he recently became a grandfather to daughter of son Nick. Daughter Alex is getting married July 2015. Michael was widowed in 2008 and now lives alone, but a new partnership is developing! He is active in various sports. Michaelâ€™s brother Robert (two years older) now lives in America with wife and son. Brother David (six years older) was tragically killed in a car accident in 1982 in Kenya where he was farming. Both OTs. Alan Pearson (TC 1956-1959) I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic which occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola. It is significantly more developed than Haiti - it is the most popular holiday, and by far the best golf destination in the Caribbean. I am very content here - I love the climate - now at 2.30 pm it is 30 C and we have the perennial Trade Wind breeze that brought Columbus here. Drake too, for looting while Admiral Penn came with the intention of taking the island from the Spanish - he deliberately landed a few miles up the coast to get ashore and 'formed up' unmolested...but the trees were (still are) mangroves and there was much sickness among his men from mosquitoes and poor water so he upped anchor and went to Jamaica and took that - that's how history is made! I'm not sorry Penn went as it has given me a niche market in a Hispanic country - taking the class to the company / exec - having a business background helped a lot too. I now give only free classes to friends (and their friends) and poor folk, other than a short course to someone who phones by referral but I make it cheap - 5 quid an hour - if things are free, they are often not appreciated when there is no other bond. A fiver means much more here than in UK, though there is a truly massive wealth gap - much greater than UK. There is a lot of drug trafficking through here to US and Europe and massive corruption but there are some very fine people - among the best I've ever known - sometimes, there are both in the same family. If you should see John Bates, please tell him that I became a Christian through the example and work of people of very different ages and nationalities, who lived it (without talking about it) and read C.S. Lewis' ''Mere Christianity''. I went to the Bible College of New Zealand for a year and stayed for two, then a year (non residential) at Golden State School of Theology in California (all in my 40s) - both non-denominational - thank the Lord - and all lecturers were very good people, in NZ especially. I am 31
still in good contact with one in particular - he was my unwitting mentor and is now a great friend and we both loved cricket. I didn't try for sports teams at TC as by Upper 4th, 'cliques had already formed' and that's of no interest. Ironically, I was 'drafted' into Hockey team and had my left kneecap fractured by a close range shot in first and only game - it always gave me water on the knee when skiing downhill in the army - and ''you have to hide it' - baggy kit helps a lot. Andrew Powis (TC 1958-1964) Andrew is running his own company in partnership with his wife Elaine â€“ Sterling Foodservice Design, which is an award winning, independent catering design consultancy, planning catering facilities for schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels, prisons and central food production facilities. Rakesh Saini I am on LinkedIn, Please link to me. Andrew Wynne (TC 1977-1990) Having two children at TC (Charles age 8 and Lydia age 6) it is lovely to see how much they enjoy the Prep School. I could not think of a better environment in which to learn and develop. As a partner at FBC Manby Bowdler I come across many OTs and it is always a pleasure to renew old acquaintances. Last year I was President of the Wolverhampton Law Society and it was nice to follow in the footsteps of OTs who had held that position previously. I remain a Councillor for Tettenhall Wightwick ward on Wolverhampton City Council and one of my fellow councillors is OT Arun Photay
Obituaries Graham Aston (TC 1949 – 1957) Head Prefect: 1956-7 Head of Pearson House 1st XI cricket team Captain of 2nd XV Rugby Captain of 2nd XI Hockey President of College Debating Society Flight Sergeant, Air Training Corps ____________________________________ Past Chairman of British Uruguayan Society
Graham Aston at the London Reunion Dinner in 2010
President of Weybridge District Scout Movement Founder-Friend of Black Country Living Museum Past Borough Housing and Health Officer, Epsom and Ewell Council Managing Director of Eaton Publications, an environmental consultancy. Author of 4 books on food hygiene. ____________________________________ Graham died at his home in Weybridge, Surrey on 23 February, 2015, aged 76. His funeral, at the Methodist Church in Walton-on-Thames, was attended by over 300 people, including a strong nucleus of OTs. Afterwards, a reception was held at St. George’s Hill Tennis Club in Weybridge, here Graham was a member. Donations in his memory were forwarded to ‘El Centro Karen’, a school funded by Graham in Uruguay, named after his late wife. Graham worked tirelessly for the poor and disadvantaged in Latin America, also funding a hospital in Paraguay. He was among the longestserving committee members of the British Uruguayan Society and one of its most active members. He was born in Bilston in 1938. After leaving Tettenhall College, he continued his studies at the College of Advanced Technology in Birmingham, now Aston University. Embarking on a career in local government, he took up an appointment in the public health department at West Bromwich, and then at Epsom. Finally, he established his own environmental consultancy in Surrey, becoming a successful businessman. A man of immense charm and charisma, of kindness and compassion, he attracted a host of friends. His friendship, like his character, was of the truest kind. Graham was genuine and transparently 33
sincere and his warm friendship was a rare gift. In a life of intense energy and astonishing industry, he always kept his friendships in good repair. An addictive communicator by letter, he kept in touch and was always there to support, encourage and understand. Even when abroad, immersed as he was in philanthropic work in Latin America, he always found time to write, to speak over the telephone or send an email to those at home in the U.K. The other person, especially a friend, came first in his selfless estimation. Graham gave of himself without stint and epitomised the ‘faithful friend’. In the wake of Karen’s untimely death at 49, twenty years ago, a devastating blow which robbed him of the love of his life, Graham’s friendships became even dearer to him. In many ways, he personified the ‘Renaissance Man’ – the man of many parts and gifts, who embraced life in all its richness and fullness. He had many passions, including racquet sports, music, poetry (especially John Betjeman’s), history, scouts, sailing, cycling, the Black Country, motorbikes and, most dear to his generous heart, Latin America and its people. Young at heart, with a great zest for life, matched with that demonic energy, he cultivated a catholic taste in the riches of this world, filling ‘the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run’. His mode of relaxation was active rather than passive and he gave his all in work and play. Indeed, ‘relaxation’ was somewhat alien to his nature. He was no mean performer at tennis, real tennis and squash. For the present purpose, I must focus on one of his most abiding passions. He greatly revered his old school and never forgot the debt he owed to Tettenhall. He imbibed the spirit of the College and took that spirit with him into adult life. He was a Tettenhallian, through and through, and his faithful allegiance to the School was demonstrated by his strenuous and unfailing service to the O.T. Club. A committee member of many years’ standing, and past president of the Club (1987-8), he it was who resurrected the London Dinner in 1993 and chaired the London Reunion Committee until the time of his death. He was our genial host at this annual gathering, where he exercised those organisational skills which bore the stamp of Aston efficiency. His cheerful, friendly and warm-hearted spirit added enormously to the enjoyment of those occasions. His munificent legacy to the College, unprecedented in its generosity, marks him out as one of the School’s greatest benefactors and will ensure that his memory will endure. We pay tribute to one of our number who was an exemplar of loyalty and devotion to his alma mater. Graham was a good and thoroughly decent man, whose integrity was absolute. A member of the Methodist Church in Walton-onThames, his Christian faith informed his human relationships. Graham with Friends Utterly devoid of conceit or selfglorification, he embodied the ideal of service to others. His winning personality owed much to his old-world courtesy and common touch. Graham knew and mixed with many influential people in varied walks of life but always remained untainted by aloofness or grandeur – a tribute, perhaps, to his Bilston roots, of which he was intensely proud. People recognised Graham for what he was: a 34
perfect gentleman. He valued people for their worth, not their rank, and they valued him for his humanity and sterling qualities. Those who knew him intimately would testify to his courage in the face of adversity. The devastation he experienced following the death of Karen, an accomplished marine biologist, put that courage to the test. He battled through this dark time and rebuilt his life, without giving way to selfpity or negative thinking. In the last year of his life, he battled with the cancer that ultimately claimed his life. He fought ferociously to pull through this debilitating ordeal and, to the last, clung tenaciously to life, refusing to step aside from his many good works, most notably in South America. The energy and the commitment never waned: his indomitable spirit was never crushed. He died perhaps with Uruguay and Paraguay written on his heart, a part of the world he first visited in 1966 to aid the development of the scout movement there, under the auspices of Voluntary Service Overseas. It was the beginning of a lifelong romance with that part of South America, and one in which Karen fully shared. On a personal note, I capture an image of the Graham I knew so well. Immaculately dressed in sports jacket and cravat – he was always a natty dresser – he is at the wheel of his M.G. sports car, driving with gusto through the leafy lanes of Surrey. We stop somewhere on our exacting itinerary and drop in at a pub for a drink. Graham, vivacious and affable, greets a barmaid with cheerful recognition. Chatty and completely at ease, he is the best of company. Before long, we are speeding off to our next appointment. No time to waste, no time to slacken the pace. So much to see, so much to do. Graham, a dearly-loved man, was a larger-than-life personality. Those of us who were touched by his humanity and magnetism feel a profound sense of loss at his passing. God bless you, Graham.
Graham Aston receiving a silver salver from Peter Pingree in recognition of many years working on committee.
Jeremy Walters June 2015
Eric Smart (TC 1933 – 1939) Eric William Walter Smart was born on 21st March 1923 in South London, the middle of three children and the only boy. The son of a Baptist minister he grew up in a strong religious atmosphere, and retained a faith until his death on 17th April 2015. The 92 years in between saw a full and successful life, Eric having realised all his ambitions and he passed away having ‘ticked all the boxes’ that were important to him. Although coming from a fairly modest background, his father was determined to give his son the education that he never had, and Eric applied for and won a scholarship to Tettenhall College as a boarder in 1933. In the six years that he was there he did well both academically and on the playing field, and was a natural student with a leaning towards the foundation subjects of English and maths. Returning on the train back to school in 1938 after the summer holidays, he met a new boy looking lost and struck up a friendship that was to last for over 75 years. Although Caleb Williams was a few 35
years younger, and lived in the midlands, they maintained contact, firstly through visits and later by phone and letter, until Calebâ€™s death in 2014. Eric used that contact as a way also of keeping in touch with the College by third party. Having passed his matriculation exam in 1939 he decided that rather than go on to university he would start his career at 16, and joined the then Midland Bank as a junior in October that year. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Eric took leave from the bank to volunteer for service in December 1941, shortly after his 18th birthday, and joined the RAF, training to become a radio operator. By then he was dating his future wife Gweneth, whom he had met through the local Baptist church in Streatham that they both attended. Eric proposed to Gweneth in 1941 and she accepted, but due to the uncertainty of military service they agreed not to wed until his return, and were subsequently married on 5th December 1945, staying together till Gwenethâ€™s death in 2009. Part of Ericâ€™s war time service was spent abroad in Egypt and during his service time there he studied for his bank exams using a correspondence course, and returned to Midland Bank in 1945 with all his exams passed. His career moved swiftly from that point and he worked his way up, going on to become manager of several large London branches before moving into the corporate sector, finally retiring from the position of Senior Corporate Finance Director fifteen months early in December 1981 on health grounds. He had two children, a daughter and son, born in 1948 and 1950 respectively, and the family unit moved homes several times around Surrey until his retirement when he and Gweneth moved to Rustington in West Sussex. He had a range of interests throughout his life, with a love for gardening and decorating being the dominant ones, and in retirement he added to these with golf and then later bowls. He was proud of a tankard awarded for a hole in one at the prestigious Ham Manor golf club, and obtained several trophies for his bowls playing in addition. He was an avid dog lover, and owned several during his married life, ranging from pedigrees to mixed breed rescue dogs. He loved his time at Tettenhall College, and he always retained a special place in his heart and his memory for those years, and although life and distance prevented him attending events as often as he would have liked, he always maintained contact through his friend Caleb. Eric was proud to be elected President of the Old Tettenhallians for the year 1972-1973. As health deteriorated with age he was forced to give up independent living and moved to a care home, and then subsequently to a nursing home, and following a short but severe bout of pneumonia he passed away peacefully in Worthing Hospital.
He lived the life he wanted, and most people whose lives he touched will remember him, and he will be missed and remembered by family and friends alike.
Peter Aston (TC 1949–1956) Peter Aston, composer, conductor and professor of music at the University of East Anglia, died in September, 2013, aged 74, at his south Norfolk home. For the TC’s 150th anniversary, Peter, who was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham had composed a setting of ‘Let us, With a Gladsome Mind’ from John Milton’s arrangement of Psalm 136. His love of music began at TC and continued when he studied at Birmingham School of Music, specialising in composition and conducting. He taught briefly at a local secondary school before joining the newly-established music department at York University in 1964. After completing his doctorate at York, he took up the UEA’s chair of music in 1974. He was professor of music for almost a quarter of a century until 1998 and was made emeritus professor in 2001. When plans were announced to scrap the UEA’s music school in 1987, partly because of a 15pc cut in central funding, Peter led from the front. At a public meeting, he highlighted the regional appeal of just one aspect of the department, the popular university choir. With the department eventually reprieved, to mark the university’s silver jubilee in 1989, he led fundraising efforts to establish a fund of £150,000 for scholarships. Peter was made an honorary member of the Royal College of Music in 1991 and the award was conferred by the president, the Queen Mother. A rare honour followed in 1995. He was made an honorary fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians, which was jointly conferred by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Peter was known around the world as a conductor and composer and also on his doorstep with the Aldeburgh Festival Singers for 14 years until 1988. For eight years until 2001, he was principal guest conductor at the Sacramento Bach Festival and he was invited to preside in Italy and Poland among many commissions. He was permanent conductor of groups including the Tudor Consort and the English Baroque Ensemble, both of which he founded, He was joint artistic director of the Norwich Festival of Contemporary Church Music for more than 30 years. Peter was a Norwich City season ticket holder for 40 years but always resisted the temptation of composing an anthem for the football club. He also played jazz piano and enjoyed chess and bridge. Married to Elaine in 1960, he also leaves a son, David. Dr Sharon Choa, director of UEA music, said Peter served the school and UEA tirelessly until the end of his life: 37
“At UEA, his love of teaching earned him much affection from all students. He founded the Friends of UEA Music scheme, rounding up a host of supporters to contribute towards creating scholarships for performance students, ensuring that such teaching could be kept at a high level despite government cuts. These scholarships are still benefiting our students. “He will always be remembered by us as a very dear colleague and friend.” The funeral service at Norwich Cathedral featured a selection of his compositions including several which will be sung by the whole choir. The university flag was lowered on the same day as a mark of respect.
Rosemary Dale (TC 1968 – 1983) Rosemary Dale, a teacher at the College from 1968 to 1983, died aged 82 on July 16 th 2014. She was the former wife of College Headmaster John Dale. She came to Tettenhall when John became headmaster and she taught Latin, French and scripture in Lower School. Pupils of the time knew her as ‘Magistra’. Paying tribute, former OT president Jeremy Walters said: “She embraced the life of the school with open arms, particularly in the sphere of music.” Rosemary, he said, had a fine alto voice and sang in the prestigious chapel choir and the College operatic society. Daughter of a Whitehall civil servant, John Clifford Blake, Rosemary grew up in Dorking, Surrey, was educated at Dorking Grammar School and won an exhibition in classics to Newnham College, Cambridge. Her talent for languages never deserted her and she learned Italian to A and S level standard in her 40s and Hebrew after retirement. It was at Cambridge that she met John and they were married in 1957. Their children, Stephen, Caroline and Martin are all OTs. Rosemary and John divorced in 1984. Rosemary had been a Methodist local preacher since 1955 and her father had been vice-president of the Methodist Conference. After leaving TC she was ordained as a Methodist minister, her first congregation being at Wirksworth in Derbyshire and then Edgware in London. It was in this new vocation that she found huge fulfilment and happiness.On her retirement, Rosemary returned to Wirksworth and continued to be an active and valued member of the Methodist Church, still preaching and worshipping until her illness last year. Jeremy Walters added: “Rosemary had a brilliant mind and was very much a people person. She was very devoted to the Methodist Church but had a very broad inter-denominational outlook” Stephen, Caroline and Martin said: The whole family is very proud of our mother’s achievements in her life but also of the way she lived, guided by her strong faith. Her humour, curiosity, intelligence and wisdom have always supported us but there have also been so many others who have been affected by her humanity and her many acts of kindness”. Her funeral was at St Mary’s Church, Wirksworth. 38
Derek Sage (TC 1939 – 1950) Edited version of the eulogy given by John Dove at a service of thanksgiving for the life of Derek Sage at St. Michaels and All Angels Church, Tettenhall on Thursday 12th February 2015. I was delighted and honoured to be asked by Jayne to give this personal and essentially sporting tribute to a man who was not only a good friend, but a schoolboy hero and in the early years particularly a sort of father figure, given that he was so much older than me – well, alright, only 12 years! Derek and I shared a number of things in common. First we went to Tettenhall College. Secondly and most importantly we both possessed a passion for sport in general and cricket in particular. Now Derek and I did not overlap at school. He was there from 1939 – 1950 so his formative years were spent during and after the war. So he was already an ‘Old Boy’ when I started at the College in 1951. From the summer of that year and for the next 15 years or so Derek was the Captain of the ‘Old Boys’ cricket team which invariably meted out an annual thrashing to the school. By now Derek’s reputation had preceded him as not only was he a fine cricketer but also an excellent hockey and rugby player, all of which he played at county level. He was also a good footballer and a marvellous golfer who, in his halcyon golfing years had a handicap of 3. He was probably one of the finest sportsmen to emerge from the College so it would be entirely appropriate to describe him, literally and metaphorically, as the ultimate sportsman with balls! Going back to the annual cricket match, by tradition the ‘Old Boys’ always batted first. Another ritual (imposed by the then Headmaster F. D. Field-Hyde) – his name still sends a shudder down my spine – was for the whole school to descend to the pitch after morning break and being forced to watch the game until lunchtime. It was in this two hour period that the ‘Old Boys’ and especially Derek scored loads of runs. Very few pupils returned to the cricket after lunch but I did and usually witnessed the College being dismissed for a paltry total, with Derek invariably amongst the wickets with his offspin. I first played against Derek in 1959 and for the next three years we were opposing captains. The College did not beat the ‘Old Boys’ on my watch but we got mighty close in 1961. We had managed to bowl them out for 111 and when I was dismissed for 57 runs at 91 for 2, we only needed 21 more to win with 8 wickets left. Derek’s tactics were to station ten men around the bat and he literally terrified the rest of the College team out. We were eventually bowled out for the same score of 111 so the match ended in a rare tie. This was as close as it got in those days! It was around this time that Derek invited me and Bob Pickering to join him at Wightwick and we both spent several happy years there mostly under his captaincy. This was when I got to know him best of all. During the 1960s Wightwick Cricket Club celebrated an anniversary and to mark the occasion a weeklong festival was arranged with home matches every day. The highlight of the week was a fixture against the England Ladies team and Rachel Heyhoe (as she then was) brought the full Test side to play. Now this created a huge amount of local interest and the game was covered not only by 39
the Express & Star and Birmingham Post but also by local television. On the day of the game but before it started the TV Producer said that he wanted an action shot of a home wicket being taken and it was arranged that Derek, as captain, would pretend to be bowled by one of the ladies. To add a veneer of authenticity, Derek with me as non-striker and the ladies’ wicket keeper were all padded up, the two umpires stood and the ladies fielded three slips (if you’ll pardon the expression). The camera rolled as the ladies’ fast bowler ran in to bowl. Her sole brief (again please pardon the expression) was simply to bowl at the stumps – Derek’s task was to deliberately and convincingly play and miss and be bowled as a result. Several unsuccessful attempts took place but eventually a ball was bowled down the ‘Piccadilly Line’ with Derek playing down the ‘Bakerloo’, got an inside edge and his middle stump was knocked back. Only then did the TV Producer pronounce himself satisfied. Little did Derek know that this would soon backfire against him quite spectacularly. The next day we were eagerly awaiting the screening of the game’s highlights but the only clip broadcast was of Derek being bowled and this was portrayed as an actual event during the course of the game. It wasn’t helped by Peter Tomlinson’s commentary “And here is Wightwick Captain Derek Sage being comprehensively bowled neck and crop. Derek was furious! “Don’t they realise it was contrived” he bellowed. “I’ll never live it down, being bowled by a woman!” And he didn’t, for years. He re-told this story many times in years to come and it was always accompanied by roars of laughter. Derek’s winter sport at this time was soccer. In the late 1950s I had co-founded a football team which we were not allowed to call the ‘Old Tettenhallians Football Club’ as we did not get the blessing of Mr. Field-Hyde who regarded soccer as a game for hooligans (no change there then). So we called ourselves the ‘Tettenhall College Old Boys’ or ‘Tett Coll OBs’ for short. We played in division 6 of the Wolverhampton Amateur League. Our home pitch was at Wobaston Road, Fordhouses. Initially we had no nets and the goalmouths were always submerged under two inches of water. Things improved when Derek, with his Wightwick connections, found a much better pitch (with nets) at Castlecroft. Now Derek was the ‘Eddie Clamp’ of our side. He played right half and was known as ‘Stopper Sage’. In truth we were not very good but there was never any threat of relegation as there were no leagues below us, and no Wolves’ scouts ever visited! I remember we played against a team in Brewood – unusually for us we hadn’t conceded any goals and as halftime approached the score was 0 – 0. Then the opposition won a free kick just outside our penalty area and Derek and I stood in the defensive wall with our arms crossed in front of our nether regions. As the centre forward ran up to take the kick, Derek had the presence of mind to turn his back at the last moment and was struck a stinging blow with the ball flush on his backside. The ball bounced harmlessly into touch and then the halftime whistle blew. As we trotted off the pitch Derek turned to me and said “They couldn’t find the crack in our defence, but boy they certainly found the crack in mine!”
In 1975 Derek’s passion for golf led him to co-found the ‘Old Tettenhallians’ Golfing Society’ which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. As a mark of respect and affection I and my fellow members (and there are a lot of us here) are wearing the society tie today in his memory. There will be added poignancy in playing in this year’s events without him. We play for a number of trophies throughout the year such as the Captain’s Prize, Paul Whitehead Trophy, Centenary Cup, Golfer of the Year, and Derek’s name features more frequently on these trophies than any other. Our most prestigious trophy is the Vernon Cup, a competition open to all Old Tettenhallians and not just society members, which dates back to 1931 which coincidentally was the year Derek was born. Derek won it on five occasions, more than anyone else, in 1965, 1967, 1970, 1977 and 2000. Our Secretary/Treasurer a while back was Morris Winyard who was delighted when the likes of Derek, Mike Parr, Ian Ward or myself won this trophy, as opposed to say the three Seivewright brothers (who have lots of initials as well) as the cost of engraving was much cheaper.
Competitors for the Vernon Cup in 2011 at South Staffs Golf Club. Derek Sage is third from right, back row. John Dove who delivered this eulogy is on the front row, fifth from left.
In 1978 Derek met Jayne and two years later they married. In 1983 they set out for a new life in Spain. Derek bought the ‘El Cid Restaurant’ in San Pedro near Marbella. It was visited by many OTs (Mike Parr and his wife Val were his first guests) and by many golfing and non-golfing celebrities such as Freddie Trueman, Matt Busby and Jasper Carrott to name but a few. His most famous moment (some would say notorious) was when he turned away Prince Faisal, his five wives and chauffeur because the restaurant was full. I personally think this was a very shrewd move as the publicity it caused reached these shores and must have massively raised the restaurant’s profile. I am a great believer in the maxim that notoriety rarely does anyone lasting harm. Derek’s finest golfing hour occurred in 1983 when, in company with professional Ronan Rafferty (then only 23) and two other amateurs, Derek’s team won the Spanish Open Pro-Am at Las Brisas 41
beating the likes of Nick Faldo’s and Sevi Ballesteros’s teams. They beat Sean Connery’s team by two shots, a defeat accepted by Sean with his usual good grace. Derek shot a gross 74 that day, two shots below his handicap of 4. The reward for that victory was a unique trophy for each player designed by a famous sculptor (Rodin Somebody!). A few years ago Derek generously donated this trophy to the golfing society and it is now awarded to the golfer who scores the lowest aggregate on the par 3 holes in the Vernon Cup competition. These vignettes are the highlights of the rich kaleidoscope of memories I have of Derek, and are but a select few. Below are the Sage clan at the 2009 Reunion Dinner – Brian, Ian, Nigel, father John and Uncle Derek on the right.
I last saw Derek, fittingly at the College, on the occasion of the annual Remembrance Service on 9th November last year. Apart from being a little pale he was his usual cheerful self and his animated conversation was regularly punctuated by his filthy laugh. I close my eyes and I can hear it still. Pauleen and I were in Arizona when news came through that he wasn’t well and he passed away less than a week after our return. My immediate emotion was one of desperate sadness at not seeing him in those last few weeks. This was quickly replaced by the realisation that I would now be able to remember him as he always was – that ruddy cheeked, cheerful, generous, ‘cup always half full’, larger than life figure with that filthy infectious laugh who enriched and ennobled all our lives. We are here today first of all to pay our respects and mourn Derek’s sudden passing. But when our grief has been assuaged by the passage of time, his legacy to us will be the memories we have of him – memories that are unique, deeply personal, affectionate, indelible and everlasting. He touched all our lives and will never be forgotten. So ’cheerio’ my old friend. You had a blast. It was a huge privilege for me, and all of us here, to have known you. Rest in peace. Amen.
Bud Opie (TC 1933 – 1943) Dr. Clarence Hall Opie, known as "Bud" to family and friends died peacefully at the Pinawa Hospital on February 16, 2014, aged 88, after a brief illness. Bud was born in Albany, New York in 1925. His family emigrated in 1931 to England, where he attended Tettenhall College and excelled at cricket and rugby. 42
In World War II, Bud served with the US 82nd Airborne Division during the critical Battle of the Ardennes in 1944-45 and took part in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp at the end of the war. After the war, Bud attended Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London where he qualified as a doctor in 1952. He met his wife Dawn at a tennis club shortly after the war and they were married in London, also in 1952. They had two daughters, Susan and Linda. Bud and Dawn moved to North Wales in 1954 where he practised until they emigrated to Canada in 1965. Bud was a dedicated rural doctor in Pinawa, Manitoba, from 1965 to his retirement in 2004. He received the Manitoba Medical Association Physician of the Year Award in 1998. A skilled weaver, photographer, and gardener, Bud also enjoyed clay pigeon shooting, fishing, and rally driving in North Wales. He also enjoyed cooking and baking bread and buns. He loved the peace and quiet of the farm that he and Dawn moved to in 1980. Bud always had time to listen to friends, family members, and patients in need of his wisdom and compassion. Bud’s family expressed their thanks to the Pinawa Hospital for his care during his recent illness, as well as his many friends and neighbours who had been such an amazing support to him since the loss of his wife Dawn in 2012. In lieu of flowers at his funeral, donations were made to the Manitoba Forestry Association. Trees were planted at Sandilands Forest Discovery Centre in Bud’s name.
Tony Taylor (TC 1950–1954) Tony Taylor, who died on May 13 2014 aged 75, ran Taylor York printers at Lower Street, Tettenhall, for some 25 years with his business partner John York. Born at Nurse Lovatt’s nursing home in Bilston, his full name was David Anthony Glyn Taylor, hence he was often knows as ‘Dag’. His father and mother owned Taylor’s sweet shop in High Street, Bilston, where the renowned Taylor’s ice cream was first manufactured. In effect, Tony married the “girl next door” as Barney and Wyn Chatwin, parents of his future wife, kept the nearby Bull’s Head. Tony and Ann Chatwin were married at St Chad’s Church, Boningale, in 1962 by which time Mr and Mrs Chatwin were running the Horns pub then famous for its ham and eggs feature dish. For a time Tony was manager of the Horns though on leaving TC at 15 he had studied metallurgy at Wednesbury Technical College where he qualified as a chief inspector on the subject. Tony and Ann, who had two children, David and Angela, lived in Albrighton and celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in March 2014. Tony’s death followed several years suffering from pulmonary hypertension.
In Fond Remembrance Jonathan Charlesworth (TC 1981 - 1984) Jonathan passed away in 2012
Colin Cope (Teaching staff 1958 – 1973)
Colin passed away on March 5th 2015. He was OT President in 1999 – 2000
Hugh Davies (TC 1978 – 1981)
Hugh was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2015
David Ginaven (TC 1948 – 1953)
David passed away on 16th September 2014 in Florida, USA
Brian Greatbatch (TC 1946 – 1951)
Brian was a former OT Committee member. He passed away on 12th December 2014
Derek Greenland (TC 1948 – 1958) Passed away on 4th August 2015
Brian Griffiths (TC 1942 – 1951)
Brian passed away on 1st November 2014
Sean Matty (TC 1975 – 1982)
Lost his fight with cancer September 2015. He was a proud man who served in the British Army.
Caleb Williams (TC 1938 – 1942)
Passed away on 3rd August 2014. OT President in 1977 – 1978, he was one of life’s rich characters
Toby Wyvill (TC 2004 – 2008)
Tragically died in a car accident on 16th June 2015 in Darwin, Australia.
The Old Tettenhallian 2015