THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIAN 2018
The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
The Old Berkhamstedian ‘Innocens innocentium testimonio comprobatur’
Spring 2018 CONTENTS President’s Message
AROPS Conference 2017
The Old Berkhamstedians Office
19th Graham Greene International Festival 2017
News of Old Berkhamstedians
From All Quarters
Events and Reunions
The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge – A View from the Outside
The Berkhamsted School Archive
Dates for the Diary
Acknowledgements This year we’ve been working with a new publisher, The Lavenham Press, who have laid out, printed and distributed this issue. Thanks go to Sajid Ali for handling our business and Heather Blinco for her work on putting the magazine together. We hope you like it. Credit also to Neil Lindsay for his photographs once more. I’m grateful as ever to Lynne Oppenheimer for chasing up copy, finding out titbits of information and generally keeping all contributors on their toes. Thanks as well to Vicky Rees in the OB Office for her support, and to many of you for your news, reminiscences, event write-ups and semi-libellous screeds. Please keep them all coming next year. Finally, if there’s anything else you’d like to see in the magazine, don’t hesitate to let me know. Matthew Horton (Editor, email@example.com) THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIAN Overton House n 131 High Street n Berkhamsted n Herts HP4 2DJ n Tel: 01442 358111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org n www.theoldberkhamstedians.org
President’s Message 2017 was another
Many of you will have read the recent letter from the School Principal, Richard Backhouse, talking about one of his new initiatives – the creation of the Berkhamsted Society. The Old
busy year for The Old Berkhamstedians. We hosted a number of events, including 10, 20 and 30-Year Reunions, the annual OB Sports Day in June and, for the first time, a very successful and well attended OB Talent show to raise money for Cancer Research UK and CRY. OB membership continues to grow and now stands at 6,745. As requested in my message last year, I would encourage all OBs using social media to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to keep updated with the events we are running. I am pleased to confirm that during the last year we have formalised our long-standing arrangements with the School, cementing our partnership for the long term. As a result we look forward to working even more closely with the School and – as well as continuing to host our various reunions, sports clubs and fixtures – we will continue to provide financial support to the School via the OB Trust company, by way of scholarships and bursaries, sponsorship of the annual Tall Ship Awards and travel grants to Year 12 students and various other School projects. One such project is the School Archive and I am delighted to report that we have made a donation to fund the digitisation of the entire back catalogue of Berkhamstedian magazines, which will provide a very welcome resource
Berkhamstedians look forward to working closely with Richard Thompson, who from September 2018 will be running the Society. Finally, I would like to thank all Old Berkhamstedians, particularly the members of the Committee, for their continued support, and Vicky Rees, our administrator, for all her hard work. Emma Jeffrey (Fanning) (Ru ‘81) (President)
for the School. The new digital version of the Old Berkhamstedian was very well received last year and while we will continue to offer a hard copy of the magazine to those who prefer it, we hope the majority of OBs will now opt to receive the magazine in its digital form.
in September to make announcements to parents on some developments and I am pleased to outline these to the Old Berkhamstedians in this report. We have undergone a review of the School’s visual image, following extensive research with current and former families, local business and local neighbours. I am pleased to announce that a new
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Principal’s Message My second full year at Berkhamsted seems to have come around very quickly. One of the advantages carved out for me by my predecessor is a structure in which the Headteachers of the six schools undertake the day-to-day management, allowing me to look beyond the present and seek to make sure that both the education we offer, and the way in which we offer it, is able to develop fast enough and relevantly enough to confer an advantage on Berkhamsted pupils in an increasingly competitive marketplace for graduate (and other) recruitment. Looking round corners is not without its pitfalls, but it is exciting work. As a result, we held an evening
website (berkhamstedschool.org) was launched in October. The new website for the family of Berkhamsted Schools will bring all the schools together while preserving the independence of
of some of the senior management roles with clearer reporting lines for pastoral and academic issues. This ensures that the Heads have a Deputy who is solely focused on supporting Heads of
each School via its own site. Each ‘school’ will have its own content, reflecting the interconnectedness that allows our students to benefit from both the economies of scale of the group as a whole and that smaller-scale sense of community and relational warmth where each individual child is known by staff and peers. We hope you will find time to look at the new website and that you enjoy it. As part of the review of our visual image, we wanted to retain our heritage and use historic symbols of the School. The Tudor rose, which we have chosen to develop, appears in both the Boys’ School crest from its foundation in 1541, and in that of the Girls’ School, founded in 1888. It’s a reminder of the charter from Henry VIII, granted to John Incent, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, who was from Berkhamsted, to found a school in his hometown. Of course, the town of Berkhamsted pre-dates the School, most famously represented by the castle in which William the Conqueror received the submission of the English following his victory at Hastings. As such, our crest should represent the founding of our school without air-brushing the town’s earlier fame from history! We will use the colour rose as the logo for the group of schools, a monochrome version to represent each individual school, and the monochrome reversed to represent parts of schools. The shield will remain, unchanged, but more in the background – that seems to me to be something that should change only every 100 years or so, whereas digital, marketing and culture will demand changes in
House and tutors to enable pastoral care, and the accountability of each student one-to-one with their tutor, to develop outstandingly. In parallel, we have established a coherent Academic Development team, reporting to Michael Bond as Vice Principal (Education) to ensure that the academic life of the School can be similarly excellently developed. Berkhamsted is fortunate to have a thriving Friends group, run by parents, and a lively alumni organisation, the Old Berkhamstedians (TOBs). Both of these are exclusive groups – one cannot be a member without being a current parent or a former pupil. We would like to offer more to former parents and others in the local community, whose ongoing interest, proximity and goodwill is so tangible. One only has to talk to parents whose years of watching school sport or attending school plays and concerts feels as if it has come to an abrupt end, to have a sense of the potential to continue to provide events of interest and value to a wider community. The Berkhamsted Society will therefore act as a way of hosting events (and there will be more of these) for all those connected to the School, so their events will be advertised to all in the Friends and in TOBs, drawing together those whose connection to the School may be different but may act as a common factor. We are planning, by doing so, to offer greater business networking opportunities to alumni, parents and others, as well as enabling us to advertise events currently run by one organisation to others. (We were able,
the School’s logo much more often. A key element in this change was to produce an ‘icon’ that could work at the scale of a symbol on a social media app on a mobile phone, since this is how most parents now look at the School most often. The pursuit of simplicity (one of Dean Fry’s guiding values) has also led to a reorganisation
for example, to invite alumni to the most recent Michaelmas Fayre, which was appreciated, and raised footfall for this event). In addition, the Berkhamsted Society will support the work of TOBs, for example by organising members of staff to visit former pupils at university, both to see how they are, and to gain The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 3
feedback on the university and the course, and the strengths and weaknesses of our preparation of pupils to be university students. As more pupils go off to apprenticeships or management training
– as Deputy Head. Following the restructure of deputy heads, Mrs Startin is taking on the role of Deputy Head Teaching and Innovation during this academic year, with responsibility across
courses at the age of 18, our ability to keep in touch with recent former pupils will enable us to bring some back to talk to current pupils about the most recent developments in post-school opportunities. Old Berkhamstedians will be sent further details of the Berkhamsted Society programme of events in due course. Mr Richard Thompson will take up the Assistant Vice Principal (External Relations) role to run The Berkhamsted Society in September 2018 after five very successful years as Head of Boys. In his new role, he will be responsible for all the work of the Berkhamsted Society, and its collaboration with Friends and The Old Berkhamstedians. In addition, he will take over all liaison with feeder schools and admissions processes, all our partnerships with local charities and local schools, and our developing portfolio of public benefit work. Links with other charities and schools will also help him to run the School’s scholarship and bursary programmes. Parents will, I am sure, readily understand why his organisational, community building and relational skills will be highly effective in this new and important area. Mr Thompson’s successor as Head of Boys will be Mrs Mary-Clare Startin. We are fortunate to have such a strong successor from inside the School. Mrs Startin was educated at Queenswood and Haileybury (where her father was variously Chaplain, boarding housemaster and Deputy Head). She read English at Warwick, trained as a teacher at Cambridge University, and is currently in
the whole Senior School. Mrs Startin is (like Mr Thompson) a fan of West Ham United, and of Worcestershire Cricket team. She was a county hockey player, a sport she has also coached, a keen reader (particularly of political biography and world affairs), an enthusiastic (but declares herself inexpert) skier, and a francophile. She and her husband own a property in France and often holiday there. Mrs Startin is extremely well placed to build on the strengths of the Boys’ School, and to help it to develop further in academic, sporting and aesthetic spheres – all areas of school life in which she has strong experience of leading and managing performance. We are also focusing on partnerships with other institutions, including Denbigh High School – a Luton School with whom we have established contact and are seeking to undertake various partnership activities. It is an 11-16 state academy, 97% ethnically Asian, and estimates the pupils to be about 90% Muslim. The work we are doing with them is emerging, and planned initially at levels that we can be sure will work – including some collaborative work in RS, where our GCSE course compares and contrasts Christianity and Islam (and so our students and theirs will be able to talk about their different cultures and worldviews to each other). This may also lead to the possibility of students coming into our Sixth Form, which – since they finish at 16 – Denbigh staff are very excited about. One of the most important developments
the final year of an MA in Educational Leadership and Management. She has taught English, Latin, Classical Civilisation and Drama during her career which has included spells at Brighton College, Christ College Brecon (where she was Head of English), King’s Bruton (as Director of Teaching and Learning), and most recently Berkhamsted Sixth
in the School over the past year has been the establishment of the School’s Values. These have continued to be a key area of work for us: as well as appearing on all departmental and house meeting agendas, they have also formed the basis of assemblies, both those conducted by staff, and interestingly (and without prompting) also by
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pupils. Tracey Evans, Director of HR, will be taking forward the values development plan which includes new visuals around the Schools which will be designed in such a way that they will be
Savings were produced by the first production of an online version of The Old Berkhamstedian which reduced the costs of both printing and postage. The cost of the actuarial exercise undertaken
able to be continually refreshed with new images to keep them current. Finally, as every year, we bade farewell to many dear colleagues, some of whom have served for many years: Fred Charnock, Trevor Lines, Mike Thum, Richard Petty, Richard Coupe, Frances Garratt, Nicky Golder, Anne Hatton, Phillip Matthews, Peter Hopkins, Simon Robinson, Jeffrey Samuel, Stefan Bridle, Victoria and Dan Hyman, Alan Crawford, Theo Gayton, Emily Gray, Brett Hopcroft, Victoria Williams, Matthew Shepherd, Sarah Bailey, Norah Palmer, Andrew Francomb, Mary Mitchell, Ian Vovrosh, Coral Richardson, Louise Mandeville, Gerry Vermeulen, Marguerite Moran and Alex Arber. We thank them all for their excellent contributions to the Berkhamsted community and wish them well for the future. Debbie and I look forward to meeting many more Old Berkhamstedians during the coming years, and to continued progress, achievement and celebration! Richard Backhouse (Principal)
in 2016 also dropped out of the figures. We are further reviewing our costs to identify savings where it is sensible to do so. In the year we have continued support for our sporting subsidiaries, and again have included the OB Lodge. The deficit on Social Functions was much as expected and as a matter of policy is likely to continue. We continue to give support to the School Archives by paying for the bi-monthly updates to the website. In the office Vicky Rees has been a great strength to us and has made my task much easier. She has also received great help from Lynne Oppenheimer and Jayne Willson. Following discussions with the School about the services provided to our membership, we have been reviewing the basis for our operations including cooperation with website and database management. We have also been reviewing our funding strategy. Hitherto we have operated on the need to invest funds to cover the liabilities involved in providing member services for the lifetimes of our members. After discussions we have agreed to an amended basis for operations which will integrate us more closely with the School than hitherto. This is being run on a trial basis for the next two years and, if proven successful, could form the basis for future operations and cooperation with the School. Our investments performed well again under the care of Brewin Dolphin. Dividend income has been aided by the devaluation of sterling as the result of our negotiations to leave the European
Treasurer’s Report The Old Berkhamstedians Ltd I am pleased to report a better year. We produced a surplus of £4,825 to which we added a profit on realisation and reinvestment of investments of £5,629. The operating surplus reflects the savings arising from the review of operations which we undertook last year following the actuarial report. As expected, Annual and Periodic subscriptions continue to decline, but dividend income recovered as forecast and may be expected to continue, or increase a little for the coming year.
Union. I expect a rather bumpy ride in the next year or so but feel reasonably confident that we shall come through the Brexit hiatus without excessive damage. In regular discussions with our advisors, they consider us to be well placed for the future. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 10) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 5
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Cost Depreciation Cost Depreciation
John Rush (Treasurer)
Reserves Profit & Loss Account
Subscriptions in Advance falling due after more than one year
Net Current Liabilities
Less: Current Liabilities Subscriptions in advance falling due in less than one year Creditors and Accrued Charges Provision for Taxation
Current Assets Stocks of Merchandise, less provisions Debtors and Prepayments Cash at Banks
Investments at Cost Mid Market Value at 31st July 2017 £1,281,443 (2016 £1,127,438)
Fixed Assets Office Equipment
39,932 3,277 455 43,664
3,010 4,236 16,400 23,646
13,181 13,180 4,847 4,847
BALANCE SHEET as at 31st JULY 2017 2017
THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS LIMITED
38,566 5,117 285 43,968
3,740 2,548 21,871 28,159
13,181 13,164 4,847 4,847
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40,674 10 -448
Interest and Dividends, net of taxation Sundry Receipts Sales of Merchandise, less Cost of Sales
1,426 41,586 269 43,281
Annual Subscriptions Proportion of Life Subscriptions Proportion of Periodic Subscriptions
THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS LIMITED
34,286 186 870
1,502 39,953 339 41,794
-9,652 -418 -10,070 60,599 50,529
4,825 5,629 10,454 50,529 60,983
78,692 Excess of Expenditure over Income Surplus on Disposal of Investments (2016 – Loss) Surplus/(Deficit) for the year General Fund at 1st August 2016 General Fund at 31st July 2017
13,360 9,304 12,837 1,671 3,842 1,254 2,667 0 90 -139 23 427
12,560 2,402 14,642 1,460 4,525 1,298 2,049 0 200 730 16 455
Support for Subsidiary Activities Audit and Professional Fees Brokers’ Fees Presentations, including VALE Website and other Communications Costs Transfer to The OB Trust Co Ltd Deficit on Social Functions Travel Expenses Sundry Expenses Provision for Stock Obsolescence Depreciation Tax on Gilts and interest
18,060 1,615 7,138 14,639
14,257 935 3,582 19,581
The OB Magazine and other publications Archive Project Postage and Mailing Overton Office costs
INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT for the year ended 31st JULY 2017
THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS TRUST COMPANY LIMITED DETAILED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES for the year ended 31st JULY 2017 TOTAL 2017 £
TOTAL 2016 £
Income Investment income
Voluntary income: (donations, legacies & Club 2000)
Voluntary income: Contribution from TOB Ltd
Gift Aid recoveries Activities for generating funds
Expenditure Bursary Donations Capital Donations
Purchase of equipment for School
Travel and training grants
Cost of generating funds: prizes
Unrealised gain/(loss) on investments
Net movement in funds
Total resources expended Net (outgoing)/incoming resources before other recognised gains and losses OTHER RECOGNISED GAINS Realised gain (2016 loss) on sale of investments
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THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS TRUST COMPANY LIMITED DETAILED BALANCE SHEET for the year ended 31st JULY 2017 TOTAL 2017 £
TOTAL 2016 £
1,711 3,204 4,915
1,128 9,704 10,832
Life Members Honorary Members
Of the total members, those with current mailing addresses
840 590 496
826 540 455
761 419 354
FIXED ASSETS: Listed investments at valuation CURRENT ASSETS: Debtors Cash at bank
CREDITORS: Amounts falling due within one year NET ASSETS: RESERVES: RECONCILIATION OF FUNDS Total funds brought forward Net movement in funds for year TOTAL FUNDS CARRIED FORWARD
Social Media LinkedIn Facebook Twitter
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(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5)
The Old Berkhamstedian Trust Co Ltd The Trust Company has experienced a successful year. Our investment portfolio was significantly adjusted during the year to come closer to the agreed benchmarks for charitable funds. Investment income has improved and looks set to continue. The former Club 2000 donations are declining slowly but still provide a more than useful contribution which has been used in purchasing items for the School. Gift Aid was successfully recovered this year. The relief from the costs of investment management and audit, which are now borne by TOB Ltd, have materially increased the income available to the Trust for distribution. This year we distributed more to the School by way of Bursary donations and increased travel awards, although it was disappointing that only one Knox-Johnston Award place was taken up. It is worthy of note that the Trust, since its inception in 1999, has now distributed to the School over £440,000 in different ways. It is to be hoped that the re-examination of the funding basis for TOB Ltd will also allow more money to be channelled to the Trust in future years to generate increased support for our objectives. John Rush (Sw ‘59) (Hon Treasurer)
as a Catholic boys’ boarding school. In 1980 the school became co-educational and day pupils were admitted. Having lost all the school archives in a fire in 1991, James values the support of
AROPS’ new chairman, Peter Jakobek, welcomed us to this year’s conference and thanked our
his alumni society in helping to locate missing members and in recalling school history. In the first session of the day, Mark Coote, Director of External Relations and Foundation CEO, Wells Cathedral School, stressed the importance of alumni as advocates, standard bearers, trouble-shooters and communicators for our schools. Development is key to advancing a school’s strategic future but, he said, it is absolutely crucial that the alumni and the development office create a ‘memorandum of understanding’ so they both know where they stand. In the second and third sessions, delegates could choose two of five discussion groups: Data Protection, Living Archives, Work Experience, Network and Monitoring, and Social Media for Associations and Events. Gavin Rees, Deputy President, attended Data Protection. AROPS will endeavour to keep abreast of the latest news of The General Data Protection Regulations and inform members via e-newsletters over the coming months. Of particular interest in the Work Experience session was a highly popular internship scheme, launched in 2013, by the Rugbeian Society, offering Rugbeians, aged from 19 to 25, the opportunity to gain experience with successful companies in the Education, Property, Recruitment, High Tech, Marketing, Investment, Manufacturing and Retail Sectors. In the course of a discussion in the Events session, I realised that TOB offers a comprehensive range of activities. We were each asked to list our sports clubs.
host for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful buildings and the wonderful view from the portico of the Prior Park Mansion, looking down through the gardens to the city of Bath in the Avon valley below. James Murphy-O’Connor, Headmaster, gave a brief history of the college which started in 1830
My response was met with incredulity. We are certainly ahead of the game on that front. A lively question time concluded the conference. In answer to a question on archivists, a short poll revealed that from the 55 schools represented, only 18 had an archivist of some description. Eleven were described as part-time
AROPS Conference 2017 Prior Park College, Bath
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and a handful of schools had some kind of archive but no archivist. Only two had full-time archivists and Berkhamsted was one of them. We felt very proud. It was the perfect end to a conference. Mynerva Altman (Bu ‘56)
The Old Berkhamstedians Office 2017 has been another busy year for events, this year helping to bring together those who left 10, 20, 30, and 45 years ago for their individual days. We already have dates set for the 10, 20 and 30 year reunions for 2018, but please do get in touch if you would like some help putting together an event for your year group. In addition to the reunions, we also held a successful Sports Day as well as our annual sporting fixtures against and with the School. Thanks to all those who have helped to bring the sports closer together from both the School and the Old Berkhamstedians. A new event for this year was the Old Berkhamstedian Charity Talent Show. Our great thanks go to Richard McIlwaine for pulling this event together, liaising with acts and creating a fantastic programme of talent, and to the performers themselves, and the staff who supported the event, either with their technical ability or their time given to help at the bar and front of house. The event raised over £1,600 to support CRY and Cancer Research, two charities very close to the hearts of the OBs and the School. We would like to make this a regular event in the calendar. We are keen to hear from any OBs who might be in a position to help organise events, give support to current students with careers advice, or who just want to get back in touch with friends, so please do get in touch at email@example.com or on 01442 358 111. Vicky Rees (Administrator, The Old Berkhamstedians)
The Friends The Friends of Berkhamsted School have had a very busy year with many activities and events which have proved extremely popular. The biannual Michaelmas Fayre was a huge success across the whole Schools group and was blessed with fine weather and a high turnout of visitors. Other well attended events through the year included Burns Night, Proms in the Quad, an ABBA-tribute Ladies Night and a Musical Bingo evening. These, combined with the Prep School Quiz Night and the Pre-Prep summer fair meant that a significant amount of money was raised to fund projects in the School. These projects include new playground equipment for the Prep School, an activity trail at the Pre-Prep, new curtains for the stage in Deans’ Hall, a new electronic lectern unit for Deans’ Hall, a pop-up gazebo for use at sports events and pictures for the Sixth Form common room. In addition, donations were given to every House at the start of the new academic year. At the end of the academic year a new summer music festival was held in the marquee to celebrate the end of term. This event was the first collaboration with the local Mad Squirrel brewery and combined live music with real ales and craft wines. Attracting over 300 guests, this event is sure to become a firm favourite in the Friends’ annual calendar. Another popular new initiative was the launch of satellite coffee mornings in locations including Gerrards Cross, Rickmansworth, Harpenden, Amersham and Beaconsfield. These events for parents who have children at the School but find it harder to come into Berkhamsted for coffee mornings, have received superb feedback and are proving helpful in enabling parents to form useful local networks. The Friends would like to extend an open invitation to all Old Berkhamstedians to attend their events in the future. Nicki Barton (Chair of the Friends of Berkhamsted School) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 11
The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge – A View from the Outside I admit it, I have been an outsider looking in! As a parent at Berkhamsted, not a pupil or teacher or with any other connection, I was delighted to find out I could join the Old Berkhamstedian Lodge which meets four times a year, mainly in Old Hall but also in the Studio Theatre. This year I became Master and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge is thriving and this is due, in part, to the way it is being promoted. You may have seen our stall at the Michaelmas Fayre where members were able to discuss the School Lodge – and Masonry in general – with those curious about it. As a result, we had a number of people expressing an interest in joining the Lodge. I am pleased to report that they all joined and 2017 has been a whirlwind of activity welcoming them into the Lodge as Masons. The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge accepts new members from the School, i.e. teachers or support staff, parents, partners of those connected with the School and lastly, but by no means least, Old Boys. This creates variety in the Lodge and we have members of all ages and from a myriad of professions. It certainly offers plenty of scope for fascinating discussions when we dine at the Chadwick Centre. As an ‘outsider’, I have been able to see part of the School from a perspective other than as a parent and it has been a satisfying experience – Berkhamsted is more a community than a school and is all the better for it. Dining is very much part of the Lodge experience and this culminates each year with a Ladies Night Festival attended by Masons and non-Masons alike. At this black-tie, five-course dinner in Old Hall, our ladies are fêted 12 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
in their finery and enjoy an entertaining evening in good company. This year we were treated to an outstanding range of classical and jazz piano pieces by Joe Beadle, from Berkhamsted School. We wish him well in his musical career. I would also like to make special mention of those who have been so helpful in the year. One person of note is Lynne Oppenheimer who, in addition to her role with the Old Berkhamstedians, has kindly found time to apply her prodigious organisational skills to the organisation of the Ladies Night. But the main business of the Lodge is not the dining or the regular meetings or even the fraternity of the organisation; it is charity and this is where Masonry excels. Masonry is the second largest donor to charity in the UK, second only to the National Lottery, and it is the work at the local level which is so important. The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge regularly donates to the Sandi Project run by Meg Grant, helping to provide a teacher-training university education to a student at Umtali University in Africa. It also helps the Hospice of St Francis and this year is assisting Blind in Business, helping the blind and partially sighted into mainstream business. So what have I learnt in my time in the Old Berkhamstedian Lodge, building up to becoming Master? One clear lesson is that I am no outsider. I, along with all those who join the Lodge, am treated the same, being included in the Lodge fraternity from day one. In my mind, it was a good decision to join. William Parsey (Current Parent)
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The Berkhamsted School Archive In the third year of writing for the OB magazine, I find, as I look around the office, that I am still as absorbed by the task at hand as I was when I opened the first box and delved into the first scruffy carrier bag (from Sainsbury’s, if I remember correctly). Support from the OBs, in all ways and means, has been there from the start and long may that interest continue. The abundance of memorabilia and material is still examined, processed and finds its place, be it in the store, around the School, on display in the exhibition room or written in the disposal register! This is the order to most of my days. A lot of the material has a story to tell and when researching this to its fullest extent, or scouring the magazines and folders for enquiries over the past years, I have managed to accumulate a wealth of additional information for the catalogue records. A recent donation, for example, enabled me to update a sporting medals record with information previously unknown. To find an answer
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and reunite people with information is one of the best parts of my work. Another part is meeting visitors from all over the world and all walks of life, this year from America to Oxford and, just last week, from Toronto. Dr Andre Kuczewski, a frequent visitor to these shores, was intrigued by the website information about the bust of William the Conqueror. Arranging an October trip, he duly arrived, with gifts of lapel pins, a Canadian flag and a storybook of the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian poet John McCrae, which has been catalogued and passed to Castle Library for general use. In conversation he told me that 2017 sees Montreal celebrating its 375th Anniversary, but the fact that the School was a century older than the country of his birth made a real impression. The School Archivists’ Group Annual Conference, held at a different venue each year, saw the group gathered at Felsted School on 26th June. It’s always an interesting and sociable day, with a chance to catch up with a community that works in independent school archives, large and small, from all over the UK. One of the speakers at the event was William Richardson, General Secretary of the HMC, and he spoke of a digital exhibition project that they are looking to produce, to celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2019. This could include material from school archives and he was looking for feedback and ideas. I will bring you further news on this project, as and when I know it, via the archive website
Credit – Giles Clark
pages (bsarchive.org). With permission given from the Principal, Berkhamsted School is to host the School Archivists’ event in 2018. On Sunday 24th September, I took a large group into the School Chapel and Exhibition Room, as part of the Graham Greene Festival. This is the first time the room had been used, feedback was very positive and two enquiries came my way after the visit. Enquiry numbers and website hits continue to grow and a new feature has been added to the website, entitled ‘Then & Now’. Please take a look in a spare moment. Recent research on Major General George Randolph Pearkes VC by a member of the History staff resulted in a Chapel assembly during Remembrance week. Major General Pearkes (Lo 1906) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his endeavours at Vapour Farm, Passchendaele on 30th/31st October 1917, and he was commemorated in the unveiling of a paving stone (part of a Department for Culture & Local Government scheme) in Watford, the town of his birth, on 30th October 2017. Members of the School community were in attendance. A few crazy ideas for displays have gone the Estates Department’s way this year and the staff always come up trumps with bespoke carpentry and fixings. Huge thanks, as always for all their help and for facilitating the purchase of a much-needed double-width display cabinet, to replace the single cabinet presently in use in the Exhibition Room. Lesley Koulouris (Hon) Berkhamsted School Archive
19th Graham Greene International Festival 2017 From its portrayal of razor gangs in 1930s Brighton to its depiction of the machinations of the CIA in 1950s Indochina, the work of the British novelist Graham Greene remains not only chillingly
Novelist Louise Doughty in conversation with former Honorary Consul Pierre Joannon.
accurate but also enduringly relevant. Swap acid for cutthroat razors and the Middle East for the Far East, and Greene might almost be talking about our own times. This year’s Graham Greene International Festival, held in the writer’s native Berkhamsted from 21st-24th September 2017, added an extra note of topicality to the programme by featuring a number of practitioners who work in fields closely related to Greene’s oeuvre. Priests feature prominently in the work of Greene, who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in his twenties. It was therefore fascinating to hear the observations of the Rev. Giles Fraser – well known for his contributions to The Guardian and BBC Radio Four – on the psychological and moral challenges of the priesthood. He spoke movingly of his own periodic struggles to hold on to his faith in the face of human suffering, but at the same time conveyed great compassion and a huge love of life. An appetite for the dangerous edges of existence was also conveyed by crime novelist Peter James, the creator of the Brighton-based detective Roy Grace. James sometimes accompanies Sussex Police on their operations in the manner of an embedded journalist – much as Greene did in his day, accompanying French bomber pilots on raids against the Vietminh in the early 1950s, for instance. Danger as well as sexual obsession and entrapment feature in the work of novelist Louise The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 15
Credit – Giles Clark
of the University of Ghent and Professor Kevin Ruane of Canterbury Christ Church University, who spoke respectively of Greene’s Congo journal and of his friendship with British agent Trevor Wilson
Participants at the 2017 Festival, with art exhibition and antiquarian bookstall in the background.
Doughty, whose psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard was recently adapted for television to great acclaim and whose subsequent title, Black Water, has been compared with the work of both Greene and John le Carré. Louise spoke fascinatingly about experiencing visions of individuals in situations of peril, which have provided the inspiration for her most recent works. Greene famously worked for British intelligence during and after World War II, and was friends with the British double agent Kim Philby. The theme of espionage in Greene’s work was taken up with brilliance by Andrew Lownie, author of a new biography of the Cambridge spy Guy Burgess. Lownie’s meticulous research revealed the complex trauma that Burgess experienced during adolescence, presenting this brilliant and deeply flawed human as a character that might easily have been portrayed by Greene himself. Continuing the theme of expert practitioners, photographer Tim Hetherington, whose evocative images grace the covers of the Vintage editions of Greene’s works, shared some of the secrets of his approach. His observations were complemented by an impressive exhibition of prints by local artists on the theme of Our Journey with Greene. The traditionally high academic standards of the Festival were maintained this year with insightful talks by Professor Michael Meeuwis 16 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
in Hanoi. Friendship was also a strong theme in the moving talk delivered by Pierre Joannon, Irish Honorary Consul in Nice, who knew Greene well during the novelist’s years of residence in the South of France. Festival Director Mike Hill rounded off this year’s excellent program – which included screenings of the films The Fugitive (based on The Power and the Glory) and Confidential Agent – with a thought-provoking analysis of Greene’s last and unfinished work, Lucius. Mike and Festival Chair Giles Clark preceded this with personal recollections of former Festival Director David Pearce, who died last year and who is sorely missed by all who knew him. David’s unforgettable ebullience and profound love of Greene’s work were well conveyed in his contributions to a BBC Radio Four discussion of Greene in the Great Lives series, recorded in 2011 and replayed at the end of the festival, as well as in footage of David talking about Greene’s time at Berkhamsted for a TV documentary. To find out more about the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust and next year’s Festival, please visit grahamgreenebt.org Jonathan Steffen Jonathan Steffen is a poet, songwriter, essayist, short story writer and literary translator. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary magazines, including Poem for the Day 1, The Book of Love & Loss, The Spectator, the London Magazine, Acumen and Poetry Salzburg. An English graduate of Cambridge University, Jonathan is a member of King’s College and St John’s College. He lives and works in Cambridge, where he operates an editorial agency. More information: jonathansteffen.com
NEWS OF OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS
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News from 2010s Leavers
Robert Boulter (Re ‘10) is living in Dublin with his wife Eimear, who in July gave birth to their first child Arthur. Robert and Eimear chose his name for its English and Irish connections. While Arthur is an Irish passport holder, he has yet to declare which team he will support in the Six Nations. William Gould (Ch ‘10) is godfather.
London Scottish Regimental Association Trip where I paid respects to another OB who was also a London Jock, Pte. Thomas Herbert Johnstone Horsman, an old Swifts boy, who was killed in action during the Somme Offensive in 1916 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.’ Emma Oakley (Na ‘13) shares her unforgettable experience with England at the 2017 Lacrosse World Cup: ‘In July 2017 the Lacrosse World Cup was hosted by England in Guildford, Surrey. After a long and intense four-year build-up, Emma Adams (current Berkhamsted School PE teacher) and I made the final selection. As an England team we were confident in our ability and knew we had the potential to medal this year. Our performances in the pool stages were mixed but we managed to secure a position in the bronze medal match against rivals Australia. ‘The bronze medal match was incredibly close and competitive. At the end of normal time the match was drawn 9-9 and then no goals followed in the extra-time period. The match then went to two periods of golden goal where we managed to get a goal with 10 seconds remaining! England became bronze medallist for the first time in 12 years, a huge achievement for us!’
Lucy Cottle (SG ‘13) ‘recently graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) Modern Languages degree in French and Spanish. I started a job as a Conference Producer at the beginning of September with a company called Maddox Events who are a B2B conference company, and wanted to share the event I’m producing for February 2018 which is called Women of the Square Mile and is for women in banking and finance.’ Visit womenofthesquaremile.com for more information. Johnny Lister (Na ‘10) tells us he’s ‘currently serving in the reserves, A (London Scottish) Company, London Regiment. I have just got back from the 18 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Frances Thatcher (Rennie) (Sp ‘11) married Nicolas Thatcher on Saturday 17th June 2017 at Stoke Park. Other OBs in attendance: Alasdair
Credit – Pippa Mackenzie Photography
Rennie (Ch ‘09), Muriel Rennie (Former Chairman of the Friends), Ashley Clancy (Hon), Penny O’Neill (Bu ‘81), Lucy O’Neill, Jeremy O’Neill (Ch ‘09), Francesca Mears (Na ‘11), Georgina Andrews (Na ‘11), Florence Pett (Na ‘11), Nikki Pasturel (Sp ‘11), Sophie Langridge (Sp ‘11), Amy Berloth (Re ‘11) Joanna Frame (As ‘11), Jorja Ellison (SJ ‘11), Rebecca Carter, Callum Thompson (In ‘10), Camilla Renny-Smith (SG ‘09), Sam McLaren (As ‘09).
News from 2000s Leavers Richard (SG ‘04) and Lorraine Amies are very pleased to welcome their second daughter Phebe Alice Amies, who was born in Aberdeen on 12th October 2017. Here she is pictured with Emilie, who is ‘delighted with her wee sister.’
(As ‘12), Helen Egan (Re ‘05), Emma Watson (As ‘05), Anneka Patel (Ch ‘05), Catherine Pickard (SG ‘05), Rosie Toms (As ‘13) and Freddie Kirchner (Co ‘02). Mark Coldham (SG ‘01) married Rachel in Old Amersham on 14th January 2017 and tells us, ‘I met Rachel when we were at Sandhurst together in 2005-6, and we both joined the Royal Artillery. We then went our separate ways for many years and got back in touch when we had both left the army and were working in London.’ OBs present at the wedding were James Toye (Ch ‘01), Luke Hirst (SG ‘01) and Sam Carter-Alison (Ha ‘02).
Rebecca Blogg (SH ‘05) married James Cutler on 6th October 2017 in Hereford, Herefordshire. Old Berkhamstedians at the wedding were Victoria Blogg (SH ‘01), Lavinia Blogg (SH ‘06), George Blogg
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Mark Colston (Bu ‘07) and Suzannah Pearce (Bu ‘07) got married in June 2017. Rob Eyers (SH ‘02) married Karmen Rempel on 17th June 2017 in Naramara, BC, Canada. OBs in attendance were Tom Fountain (SH ‘02), Lewis Peattie (SG ‘02), Jamie Brown (Ch ‘02), Charlie Essenhigh (SH ‘02), Mark Herring (Bu ‘02), Matthew Walsh-Woolcott (Ch ‘02). On 29th September 2017, Claire Heyes (Garner) (Ha ‘05) married Simon Heyes at St Mary’s, Launton, with a reception at the Tythe Barn, Launton. Lots of OBs attended, including Best Man Mark Slater (SG ‘00) and Bridesmaids Jessica Finn (As ‘05), Laura Mach (Na ‘05) and Jessica Brown (Bu ‘05).
Matthew Harrison (SH ‘08) and Imogen Tillman were married on 8th April 2017 at the School chapel with their reception in Deans’ Hall. In attendance were the following Old Berkhamstedians: Ben Kohnhorst (Na ‘08), James Lowe (Bu ‘08), Tom Dobson (Bu ‘08), Tom Forgan (Gr ‘08), Dan Forgan (Gr ‘08), David Oakley (Lx ‘08), Mike Petrie (Gr ‘08) and Aman Kantaria (Na ‘08).
Suzie Imber (Ha ‘01) has been accepted to train as an astronaut. Having studied at Imperial College London and the University of Leicester, she is now Associate Professor in Space Physics at Leicester and won the BBC Two television series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? Her prize was a reference from astronaut Chris Hadfield for when the European Space Agency next takes on recruits. A full interview can be found at timeshighereducation.com/ people/interview-suzie-imber News from Nick Marsden (Na ‘05): ‘I went to Berkhamsted my entire school career and after graduating with Law from Swansea University I went and worked at Standard Chartered Bank, where I am still working to this day. However, two years ago I wanted to try to plan my exit from the City of London and started a retro-inspired ski clothing company and we are now taking large orders from the likes of ASOS.com and further afield in the US etc.’ Visit oldschoolski.co.uk to find out more.
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for anyone with connections in the music or charity industry, or someone who might want to find a unique way to support the homeless. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and there are more details at agitatemusic.com’ James Rodwell (Ha ‘02) and his wife, Amy, are very proud to announce the birth of their second son, Oliver James, who was born in Chertsey on 9th February 2017, weighing 8lb 7oz.
On 22nd September 2016 Christopher Newcombe (Na ‘08) married Bethan Sullivan at St Donat’s Church in Abercynon.
James Sharma (Bu ‘05) shares a photo of his wedding. The OBs pictured are Simon Heath (Ch ‘05), Nicholas West (Bu ‘05), Simon Hall (Na ‘05), James Hannaford (Bu ‘05), Anthony Page (SG ‘05), Richard Newman (Na ‘05), Fayez Aboobaker (Ha ‘05) and Tim Shell (Bu ‘05).
Toby Philips (Ha ‘08) and Holly Gilliland (Ha ‘08) got engaged at Glastonbury on 22nd June 2017.
Mark Pollock (Ha ‘09) writes: ‘I’ve set up a new music project connecting young homeless people with professional artists. Initially we will be running sessions where the young people get to write and perform a song in a day with the featured artist. However I’m looking to expand in 2018 and potentially develop the project into a fully fledged charity or business to help us reach more people in need. Could any Old Berkhamstedians help out? I’m currently looking
In August 2016, Andrew Simon (As ‘04) married Chloe Marshall (now Simon). The wedding was attended by a long list of OBs, including Best Man Nick Deigman (Na ‘04) and Maid of Honour Emma White (SH ‘04), some of whom are pictured here. From left to right: Dave McGrath (Bu ‘04), Nicholas Deigman, Lia Armitage (Ha ‘17), Andrew Simon, Emma White, Tom Prendergast (Na ‘04), Katie Prendergast (Green) (Bu ‘04) and Charlie Simon (In ‘13).
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Jessica Smith (Ch ‘08) married Matthew Lampey on 3rd August 2017 at St Bartholomew Church,
Will Westley (Fr ‘06) married Michelle on 11th June 2016 and the couple had their first
Wigginton. Many OBs attended, across the generations: Tony Smith (Co ‘71), Mary Smith (OS ‘76), Jo Kent (SH ‘03), Florence Rigby (Na ‘12), Francis Bunker (Be ‘72), Denis Bunker (Be ‘71), Hubert Bunker (Be ‘44), Brigid Day (Ho ‘74), Tim Harris (Fr ‘71), Mary Harris (Bu ‘75), Richard Kent (Co ‘61), Michael Kent (Co ‘61), Jessica Beynon (Bird) (Ch ‘08), Martina Petronio (NS ‘08), Isabelle Partridge-Keane (As ‘08), Lara Trela (Ch ‘08), Camilla Harbison (Ch ‘08) and Alisa Janmohamed (NS ‘08).
child, a boy called Ollie, on 6th March 2017.
Nikki Tillson (Laws) (Ch ‘04) tells us she and her husband Mike ‘welcomed our baby boy, Joshua Zach Tillson, into the world on 7th September 2017 in Sydney, Australia. He weighed 3.7kg (8.2lbs) and we just adore him. His grandparents have already visited and spoilt him with cuddles.’
David (Current Staff, Head of Football) and Jo Vila (Lupton) (Bu ‘02, Director of Girls Sport at the School) are delighted to announce that their son Theo was born on 4th October 2017 at 8.47am weighing in at 8lb 1oz. 22 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
News from 1990s Leavers James Blake (Be ‘92) has recently been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Youth Hostels Association for England and Wales. This follows five years as Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council, which he came to after a PhD in Geography, and then an early career largely spent in Whitehall as a civil servant working for what is now the Department for Communities and Local Government. Charlotte Bolton (SH ‘91) and Gregory Tocco welcomed their beautiful baby girl Louise on 4th August 2016. Charlotte is living and teaching in London. Gen Dickson (Morphy) (SH ‘96) announces the birth of her twin girls Maggie and Lucy, born 17th May 2016. Gen and family now live in Ontario, Canada.
Nick Hume (SG ‘98) would like to announce the birth of his second daughter, Harriet Rhianydd Hume (Hattie to her friends), born 6th October 2016.
He says her sister Millie is ‘taking care of her and being a fab big sister.’ Tom McIlwaine (Re ‘98) and Sarah McIlwaine are delighted to announce the arrival of Marianne Tessa, born on 20th October 2017. The photograph shows Marianne with the English lion while listening to Test Match Ashes Special with her dad during another sleepless night! Christopher William Read (Ch ‘98) married Katherine Anne Shepperd on 31st December 2015 in East Horsley, Surrey. Old Berkhamstedians pictured (from left to right): Paul Johnson(SG ‘98), Thomas Bloch (Ha ‘98), Jeremy Read (Ch ‘00), Justin Read (Gr ‘01), Elizabeth Bennett (Ch ‘98), Amy Johnson (Knowles) (Ch ‘98), Christopher Ryder (Ha ‘98), Emily Bloch (Green) (Ha ‘98), Dominic Bloch (Ch ‘98), Stella Read (Rodwell) (OS ‘69), Sue Rodwell (Collins) (Ru ‘76), Peter Rodwell (Fr ‘74) and James Rodwell (Ha ‘02). Also in attendance were Ed Leveque (Ch ‘98), Robert Farag (Ch ‘98), Mark Bartholomew (Ch ‘98) and Gauraang Bhatnagar (Ch ‘98).
work. In October I return to take on the duty of training a barrister pupil. ‘In addition, back home, on 5th July 2017 I was very pleased to be awarded the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year award at a ceremony hosted by the Legal Aid Practitioners Association. The award was presented by Baroness Doreen Lawrence at an event attended by about 500 of the country’s leading lawyers across the many fields of publicly funded work.’
Ryan Schmidt (Bu ‘98) has had a well received book published, entitled The Wristwatch Handbook. It is ‘written from the epicentre of a renaissance, a place in time between the Quartz revolution and the rise of the smart device’ and further information can be found at thewristwatchhandbook.com Richard Vandy (Co ‘93) married his fiancée Caroline Blacklock in August 2017 in Central Park, New York, with Sarah Berryman (Vandy) (OS ‘95), Michael Lee (Be ‘93) and Mehul Desai (SH ‘93) all in attendance. Richard and Caroline are still living in Abu Dhabi but are looking to move next year to start a new challenge.
Philip Rule (Ad ‘97) shares two items of news: ‘I have been called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, and am now an attorney-at-law at that Bar in addition to being a practising barrister of the Bar of England & Wales. I will (by time of publication) have spent August and September working in the Cayman Islands for a firm specialising in criminal defence and appeal The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 23
News from 1980s Leavers Jessica and Jonathan Beard (Be ‘87) are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Juliette Rose, who was born on 4th July 2017 in Hong Kong. A sister for Josh. Nigel Purse (Gr ‘81) tells us, ‘In November 2016 Brill Rodopi published my book entitled Tom Stoppard’s Plays: Patterns of Plenitude and Parsimony. It is a thematic analysis of all Stoppard’s plays and other material, including that in his private papers, explaining much of his source material and the relevance to his work of Occam’s Razor. My first enthusiasm for Stoppard’s work began in 1979 when John Davison gave the Lower VIth English Literature class a copy of one of Stoppard’s plays, Jumpers, and was further stimulated by the late David Pearce’s definition of drama. I owe them both very much and the book is in great measure a product of what they taught me.’ Leslie Worrall (Sawyer) (OS ‘82) graduated from Middlesex University last year with an MSc in Psychotherapy. Her son Andrew Simon (As ‘04) and daughter Lia Armitage (Ha ‘17) attended the School as well.
Richard Coupe (Sw ‘72) has now retired to Tewkesbury, having finished his teaching career by returning to Berkhamsted as Academic Director. He and Elizabeth, who also finished her career by teaching at the School, are looking forward to renewing hobbies, a more peaceful life, new church opportunities and relaxing with friends and family. He can be found on LinkedIn or at email@example.com His brothers Geoff (Sw ‘65) and Stephen (Sw ‘68) are still busy: Geoff is ‘retired’ but spends a great deal of time with a small computer repair business also near Tewkesbury; Stephen is still in Llanelli, no longer running following a heart valve replacement, but still working with a missionary organisation. Forty-one years after first stepping into a rowing IV on the Grand Union Canal, Dominic Haigh (Sw ‘79) was back racing again, in a single scull at the Wine Country Classic in Petaluma, California, not far from his home near San Francisco. After Berkhamsted, Dominic rowed for several years, including competing at Henley Royal Regatta for Clare College (Cambridge), London Rowing Club, and Sons of the Thames Rowing Club, but last raced in 1988.
News from 1970s Leavers Giles Blumson (Be ’78) has reached his 30-year anniversary of joining Midland/HSBC: ‘This includes four years working in Bangkok in the ‘90s and another four years in Hong Kong from 2008. During that time I’ve seen incredible changes in the competitiveness and innovation in the industry, and in the way we all work. I think that my mobile phone has more computing power than the PC network in our office back in 1987!’ 24 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Practising at the Berkeley Aquatic Park on 28th October 2017.
Nigel Paines (Lo ‘77) married Sue in Tenterden, Kent on 16th September 2017. Stephen Ambidge (Be ‘77) writes to say a number of OBs were in attendance and ‘as you can imagine there was a lot of banter
Patrice Jean-Pierre Dixon (In ‘69) dropped us a line with news and School recollections: ‘Last February, my wife Margaret and I celebrated the arrival of our first granddaughter, Maria Francisca
from the old days.’ Pictured (left to right) are Paul Fern (Ad ‘76), Gary Pither (Up ‘76), Steve Pither (Up ‘76), John Skinner (Up ‘76), Richard Jeffcoat (Up ‘75), David Hind (SJ ‘75), Nigel and Stephen. Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO FTSE (Ru ‘74) was recognised ‘For distinguished service to business through venture capital, management and commercialisation initiatives for research and technology based enterprises, and to industry organisations’ in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
News from 1960s Leavers Cheshire won the Over 60s 2nd XI County Cricket Championship with Nick Bell (Uppers ‘69) scoring 60 in the final against Essex. Tim Bentinck (‘66), a former Prep and Junior pupil who has played the part of David Archer in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers since 1982 and is also the Earl of
Loura-Dixon. In September (2017), I shall be starting a two-year Certificate course in painting at the Art Academy in London. I continue to volunteer at St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern/ Britain and am learning Italian and guitar, both with, I suspect, more enthusiasm than skill. ‘School reports for Lent Term 1967: my French teacher writes that I have ‘always been a lively member of the form – amusing and amused’! And TLW, my English teacher, says, ‘This is a dubious subject for him: his vocabulary and spelling are weak. At rather rare intervals he shows some imaginative flair’. This reminds me of Peter Ustinov’s English teacher who noted that he had too much imagination!’ Patrice would be pleased to hear from OBs who may remember him. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Gibbs (Fr ‘68) tells us ‘between 8th and 12th May 2017 I walked the 100-mile South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne in aid of Alzheimer’s Society and, with a companion, Ken Campbell, raised just over £5,000. This was motivated by the fact that my mother, Anna Gibbs, widow of Peter Gibbs (former Deputy Headmaster), has dementia and is in a dementia nursing care home near St Albans. I am also now motivated by the fact that my wife, Amanda Gibbs, has also been diagnosed with a form of frontotemporal dementia
Portland and the voice of ‘mind the gap’ on the Piccadilly Line, has a new autobiography out ‘which features quite a few childhood memories of the School.’ Interested readers can find it at bit.ly/davidarcher The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 25
known as semantic dementia. Thanks to all those who supported me in this.’ Gay Edwards (Smith) (SH ‘64), former Isle of Wight High Sheriff, was awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for unstinting service to the island over the past 45 years. During that time she has chaired the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Care Trust, the Hampshire Probation Board and the Youth Inclusion Forum, along with serving on the Local Review Committees of HMP Camp Hill and HMP Parkhurst – just some of her activities in a distinguished career. Peter Wellby (Be ‘64) maps out his post-School career as follows: ‘Oxford – two years VSO in Malaysia – six months overlanding home – six months teaching in Sweden – 29 years at Sherborne School – three years in Jerusalem as Principal – seven years at Copenhagen International School as Director. ‘Now retired in East Sussex. Recently completed a play-writing course with Alan Ayckbourn’s son and had my one-acter conclude the performance night; Guest Poet at Eastbourne Poetry Cafe (under the Library) last November. ‘Married to Helen with one child at sea (literally – wind-farms), a second in London (wine), a daughter in Istanbul (teaching and weaning), a son in Macclesfield (neuro-psychiatrist).’
News from 1950s Leavers J Martin Rowe (Up ‘54) shares news of his two grandchildren: ‘Alexander, now aged 26, was married last year to a super American girl from Wisconsin. They live in Seattle, Washington State, and Alexander, who only recently received his green card, has started looking for something to do: 26 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
he read Geography and International Relations at Aberdeen. My granddaughter, Izidora, whose mother, my daughter-in-law, is a splendid girl from Chile, is herself only 12. She is a day girl at St Anselm’s Preparatory School in Bakewell, which is, itself, extending to offer GCSE examinations. ‘The parts played by my wife, Sarah, and me in producing the above are through, respectively, our daughter, Diana, and our son, Andrew. I worked abroad for 25 years or so, and both of our children were born overseas, in Tanganyika and Uganda respectively. They also have interesting biographies, with which I won’t bore you here. I suppose, to some, Sarah and I also have an interesting history. We married in 1961, and still live in a loving marital state 56 years later; by the time your issue comes out, we shall be 81 and 80, I having been born a year earlier than Sarah. Thirteen years in East Africa (many places, but principally in Nairobi) ensued, followed by 12 years in Europe, living in Copenhagen and Gibraltar.’
News from 1940s Leavers David Brent (Be ‘48) had a story in a book presented to HRH Prince of Wales: ‘The Overseas Service Pensioners’ Association [OSPA] held its last Farewell Event on Thursday 8th June 2017 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. HRH The Prince of Wales was the premier guest invited to the event. During the ceremonies a book titled I Remember it Well containing the various memoirs of OSPA members was presented to HRH. Among the selected stories is the 1954 experience of Assistant Superintendent David Brent on a narcotics (opium) night raid on a dwelling in a village at a river mouth on the South China Sea coast of Malaya in the Pekan district. The unusual jungle river experiences by the raiding party of many sea snakes and bright illumination from millions of fireflies in the tree branches overhanging the river were extremely memorable, inspiring the title Magical Malaya.’
FROM ALL QUARTERS
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Sixty Years of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Berkhamsted School In 1956, Sir John Hunt, who led the first ascent of Everest in 1953, was asked by the Duke of Edinburgh to set up and run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He became the first director of the Scheme, a post he held for 10 years. His daughter, Susan, was a pupil at the Girls’ School. The Girls’ School started the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme before the Boys’ School in the summer of 1956. This is my account of the introduction of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the Boys’ School. In the summer term of 1958 Colin McDougall announced that he was holding a meeting for those boys who would like to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The format consisted of Rescue and Public Service Training (First Aid or Lifesaving), The Expedition, Pursuits (creative or purposeful leisure activity), fitness (pass standards set in three disciplines of Running or Walking, Jumping, Throwing, Swimming or Physical Efficiency Tests). This has developed with time, and I am sure is now more demanding, but it still consists of Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition sections with an additional residential element now required for the Gold Award. The first entry in the front of my log book is dated 3rd May 1958 which is most likely the start of the Award at the School. We all got on with our activities and prepared for the Bronze expedition. This took place in September 1958. It involved an expedition to the ‘Aston Clinton Tring Wharf dead canal’ via Cholesbury, Tring and Aldbury. We were required to produce a map of the canal’s course. We camped in the gardens of a house at the 28 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
top of Tring Hill belonging to Colin McDougall’s grandmother. My partner was David Rush. We set up our tent, prepared and ate our evening meal and then decided to swim in the outdoor swimming pool which was in the grounds. This was a bad move as that evening, in our flimsy sleeping bags, we froze and had a very poor night’s sleep. The Silver expedition took place during the CCF camp march to Aldershot in 1959 of which I have little recollection. It was General Sir George Pearkes VC who, as a boy at the School in 1905, suggested that the OTC, as it was then, march the 50 miles to Aldershot. The Gold expedition I remember well and it took place during a CCF Arduous Training Course during the Easter holidays. We set off from Berkhamsted on or about Tuesday 18th April in the back of a three-ton army lorry, no seat belts in those days. We travelled to Hemel Hempstead and joined the new section of the M1 which had opened in 1959 and ended up in Leek. We were based at Anzio Camp – formerly a POW camp, then used as a territorial training camp. The expedition took place from 19th to 24th April in the Derbyshire Peak District, Leek – Upperdale – Castleton – Edale – Hayfield – Leek. Our food was army Composition Rations and I seem to remember eating a lot of steak and onion casserole, sausages, baked beans and eggs. The 23rd April was the 1961 census. Colonel George Grace had to fill in the census form and questioned each of us in turn. He asked of everybody, ‘Are you married?’ On the last day my partner, Ken Tipton, and I had to cross the bleak Edale Moor to Hayfield trying to evade the other 15 cadets, led by U/officer Brice, en route. This had to be done with map and compass and there were no obvious prominent features. It involved crossing deep peat-filled fissures. We were unable to pass everybody unseen. Ken Tipton completed the Gold Award before me and therefore was the first boy at the School to get the Gold Award. He received his Gold from the Duke of Edinburgh at Clarence House in December 1961. Subsequently he was invited by
the Lord Mayor of London to a reception dinner and ball at the Guildhall for the first 1,000 young people to achieve the Gold. There were quite a few of them on the train to Euston from all over the country, all wearing the badge of course. The Girls’ School, however, started the Award earlier and so achieved Gold Awards before us. Prince Philip made an inspection visit at the Girls’ School where we had D of E displays set up. This, I believe, was at the behest of Sir John Hunt. In June 1962 I went up to the gardens of Buckingham Palace to receive my Award. We were in groups of about 20 boys and girls from many different organisations. Three from each group were selected to receive their Award from the Duke of Edinburgh. I was one of those chosen and I am sure that Sir John Hunt was influential in the choice of those presented. As a holder of the Gold Award it helped me to gain my first teaching appointment at secondary in Bristol. I was asked to start and run the scheme at the school. This I did with enthusiasm and soon had many of the staff involved. Keith Goddard (Ad ‘62) and Ken Tipton (Ad ’61)
The wrong girl? In the late 1960s, probably about 1967 or 1968, part of my Science report read: ‘I think she has reached the peak of her attainment in this subject.’ Very laudable, except that I had scored 25% in the end of term exam. This could well have been a true assessment of my (limited) ability in the subject or a facetious observation or, we always thought, mistaken identity. The particular teacher was unusual for the period as a man at the Girls’ School. In the classroom he was not noted for his sense of humour (although he did perform in Kill or Cure) so we always supposed that, writing reports late at night, he confused me with another particularly able pupil with the same first name who usually achieved marks in excess of 90%.
It did not occur to my parents to question the report. Probably just as well, as there might have been an even ruder assessment. Janet Guy (Bu ’70)
Memories from Joan Keeling (née Fowler) Living in Felden, near Hemel Hempstead, my education started as a day pupil at Berkhamsted School for Girls. However, at the outbreak of war in 1939, when I was nine, my brother and I had to become boarders. Both my parents worked in London. Bedford College, where my mother was a lecturer in Mathematics, was evacuated to Cambridge and my father’s office was transferred to Blackpool. So Loxwood became my term-time home. I am sorry to say that I didn’t much like school – except for all sports, French and piano! I remember the joy when presented with my lacrosse pocket! However I did manage to end up with a degree in Agriculture at Nottingham University. After leaving school my first job was with the United Dairies, followed by research work in cattle nutrition with Unilever, and then I emigrated to New Zealand to work for two years for the NZ Government as a ‘herd tester’. This involved going from farm to farm, with horse and cart, testing for butterfat percentage! On return to the UK I worked as cattle nutrition adviser for Vitamealo Ltd. In 1964 I married, moved to Congleton, Cheshire and set up a driving school which I could combine with raising a family. I was near Berkhamsted recently and drove around the School. How it has grown – although the biggest change in my mind is that it has become co-ed. Now, at 87, I am still in Cheshire and would be very pleased to hear from anyone from the same era, 1939/1947! Joan Keeling (Fowler) (Lx ‘47) email@example.com The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 29
A pathological primer On the 16th November 2017, I took up office as President of the Royal College of Pathologists. Many people only know about pathology from the forensic pathology that you see on television, and assume that is the sort of thing we all do. When my son was about six he asked me, in a very piercing tone, in the middle of school pick-up time, ‘Mummy do you cut up dead people?’ I had some odd looks for quite a while after that. There’s a lot to explain about what we do then. Pathologists are experts in the causes and effects of disease. We come in 20 different sorts, and you will have heard of many of them, but may not realise that they are all different branches of pathology. The large majority of pathologists look after humans, but our veterinary pathology colleagues look after all sorts of other creatures also. If you roughly divide pathology into groups you have the first group, which is easiest to describe to a six-year-old as the ‘runny bits’, which include: n Haematology – diseases of the blood n Transfusion medicine – experts in blood and blood component transfusion n Tissue typing – making sure bone marrow and organ transplants match n Clinical biochemistry – studying proteins, enzymes, ions, sugars, lipids etc. n Immunology – diseases of your immune defence systems n Toxicology – the study of drugs, toxins and poisons As an example, if you have leukaemia (a cancer of your white blood cells) you will be diagnosed by a haematologist, supported by laboratory experts, checked for infections which can cause problems, and may have blood transfusions. All these areas are pathology. I have colleagues who are haematologists who have developed gene therapy cures for haemophilia, where blood does not clot properly, and where lifelong treatments 30 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
with replacement clotting factors are needed. It’s a very exciting time to be a pathologist. (Actually, it’s always an exciting time to be a pathologist). Next come the ‘lumpy bits’ (years of training in medical terminology and the respect of my peers down the drain...) and this includes the pathology of cells and tissues. Autopsy pathology is part of this area, as is forensic pathology, but there are very few forensic pathologists compared with the thousands of histopathologists who look at every biopsy or specimen removed at surgery from the living. Areas include: n Cytology – cells n Histopathology – tissue and autopsy pathology n Forensic pathology – not quite as seen on TV n Neuropathology – brain nerve and muscle disease n Dermatopathology – skin pathology specialists n Paediatric pathology – experts in diseases of children n Genetics – your genes and what changes in them mean n Molecular pathology – how changes in your genes and proteins affect you and how this can guide treatment You are most likely to have directly come across cytology if you are female, when you have cervical cancer screening, helping to detect cervical cancer at an early stage or to prevent it developing. Those samples are analysed in cytology labs. Now we also have vaccination against the virus associated with the vast majority of cervical cancer (virologists saving lives too). Pathologists are widely involved in the prevention of disease, not just in this area, but in other screening programmes, such as the bowel cancer ones involving biochemists (the poo test which detects blood) as well as the histopathologists who look at biopsies from people who have blood detected in the poo screening test. The ‘crawly bits’ are the final group. Microbiologists and virologists are supported by expert mycologists and parasitologists, experts in
infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites (worms etc.) You may not have realised, but every intensive care unit will have a microbiologist doing a ward round, helping identify and treat
like some immune cells that eat up bacteria and cell debris, but I wondered – and in the course of finding out that nerve cells are in fact very good at eating things, we found out that we could
infections in some of the sickest patients in the hospital. Infection control specialists help ensure that someone with an infection who comes into hospital, or who has an infection but lives at home, is not likely to affect others, including staff. This is lifesaving, especially in epidemics and where new strains of disease are emerging. Genetics is an important part of most pathologists’ work now, including some areas you may not have thought of: microbiologists use genetic signatures to detect bacteria such as tuberculosis; in histopathology protein markers of certain genes are used to see if a tumour might respond to a particular type of chemotherapy and, in immunology, immune deficiencies are now being grouped into different types and treatments chosen, depending on the gene pathways affected. And yes, forensic pathology uses DNA identification a lot too. One of the best things about pathology is that you work every day with brilliant people. You work as a team and you learn new things all the time. I trained as a doctor, specialised in histopathology, and have now become very specialised, looking at kidney pathology and neuromuscular diseases of the intestine. When I get a case that is unusual, it is not just my own expertise that is useful – I can show it to a colleague and we can discuss what is going on. I will go to the scientific literature to look up publications that might shed some light on genes or pathways that might be involved, or see if
feed them drugs, and this then developed into a possible new way of treating cancer. We are now developing this into a treatment for ovarian cancer – all from being a pathologist. Jo Martin (NS ’78)
anyone else has reported similar features. Sometimes, however, you see things down the microscope that haven’t been described before, and you wonder. A few years ago I spotted some nerve cells that looked like they had ‘eaten’ bits of other cells. It looked very strange and nerve cells are not supposed to be ‘eating cells’ (phagocytes),
Steaming Through Berkhamsted
This recently published book is a collection of B&W photographs taken by HC Casserley (father of Richard Casserley (Be ‘56)) of the railways and locomotives in Berkhamsted 1938-1968 – the Golden Era of Steam. HCC was one of the great railway photographers of the 20th century, beginning his life with the camera on the Southern Railway and moving to Berkhamsted in 1939 with his house being built within sight of the station in Castle Hill Close and positioned so that he could see both up and down the tracks. He had an official access pass to the track itself. He published over 30 books with a national railways theme but now his son, Richard Casserley, and The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 31
granddaughter, Mary Casserley, have collected together a selection of his previously unpublished Berkhamsted photographs and thus a book of HCC’s railway photographs of what became his and his wife’s home town. His wife, Kathleen, appears in a number of the photographs and she entered into local life as a local town councillor and Methodist preacher. Richard was a prolific member of the School Railway Society and worked on the School printing press and is the guardian of his father’s huge photographic archive. Mary is a local artist and author who works in the art department of Berkhamsted School. Currently she is Chairman of the Local History Society, and this book is an historic record of one aspect of Berkhamsted life. The book is beautifully presented in full colour on every page, professionally designed, 116 pages and printed on high quality art paper. It is £20 from Waterstones (Berkhamsted branch) or online from marycasserley.com Mary Murray (Hon)
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Major General George Pearkes VC 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Quebec Regiment Watford Museum and Watford Borough Council hosted a civic event to lay the paving stone for Major General George Pearkes VC in Watford town centre. The Department for Culture and Local Government came up with a paving slab scheme to commemorate all those who received a Victoria Cross medal during the First World War. The unveiling of the Paving Stone for George Pearkes, who won his VC medal, as an acting major, at Passchendaele during the First World War, was at 127 High Street (where he was born) which is where Meat and Shake stands today. The event took place on the 30th October, 100 years after he won the VC. WO1. Steve Carter, WO2. Rob Petrie and Sub. Lt. Mark Bailey accompanied by four Berkhamsted School Cadets and The Pearkes Sword were present at the unveiling. Also in the picture is Colonel Rory
objective with a small number of men at his command against repeated enemy counter-attacks, both his flanks being unprotected for a considerable depth meanwhile. ‘His appreciation of the situation throughout and the reports rendered by him were invaluable to his commanding officer in making disposition of troops to hold the position captured. ‘He showed, throughout, a supreme contempt of danger and wonderful powers of control and leading.’ Keith Goddard (Ad ’62)
The happiest days of my life? Radford, Army Adviser and Canadian Defence Liaison Staff. Mike Horton (Sw ‘64), who was a Pearkes Sword recipient in 1964, also attended. The Elected Mayor of Watford, Baroness Dorothy Thornhill MBE, read a statement about George Pearkes’ Life. This was followed by a reading of George Pearkes’ VC Citation. ‘For the most conspicuous bravery and skilful handling of the troops under his command during the capture and consolidation of considerably more than the objectives allotted to him, in an attack. Just prior to the advance, Major Pearkes was wounded in the thigh. Regardless of his wound, he continued to lead his men with the utmost gallantry, despite many obstacles. ‘At a particular stage of the attack his further advance was threatened by a strong point which
I have not been active as an Old Berkhamstedian, and indeed never expected to contribute to the OB Magazine. But the latest issue made me think that I should, perhaps, submit just this one article. I was in the Prep School, and then in Bees House, from 1950 to 1960, leaving in December that year. As a few may recall, I was the opposite of sporty. I detested contact sports, and could not sprint. (On one occasion I nearly achieved the 100 yards ‘standard’, only for it to emerge later that the track was only 90 yards that day.) I did enjoy cricket, though my skills did not cope with the increasing ability needed in higher teams. What I did have was stamina, which explains why long distance running was the only physical activity that appealed to me. In December 1959, I applied for a scholarship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where I had family connections. (My maternal uncle, Fred Lacey, had been there, though I never knew him – he was
was an objective of the battalion on his left, but which they had not succeeded in capturing. Quickly appreciating the situation, he captured and held this point, thus enabling his further advance to be successfully pushed forward. ‘It was entirely due to his determination and fearless personality that he was able to maintain his
killed in the Desert War in North Africa before I was born.) I quickly realised that Christ’s was (then) a sporting college, into which I would not fit. Although they implied that, if I applied again the next year, I would get a place, I returned home to Berkhamsted in a rather depressed state. (The practice at the time was for potential The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 33
Oxbridge candidates to be sent up for a ‘trial run’ a year before their ‘serious’ application.) My Housemaster, Tommy Walters, took me to one side and said, ‘I think, Purchase, that you
My longest walk was 41km (25 miles) with 1,590m (5,200ft) of ascent, and took 13 hours. Since then I have been climbing hills to complete many other lists, such as the 2,000ft hills in England and Wales,
should apply to my old College next year.’ That College was Sidney Sussex. In view of the way that things turned out, that was one of the most valuable bits of advice that I received from the School. The next year I was awarded Exhibitioner status (one grade below Scholar) in Mathematics at Sidney Sussex. Another OB, David Blake, achieved the same status at the same College, and we went up to Cambridge together in the autumn of 1961. In the event, I did not do all that well, in the academic sense, at Cambridge. But I did become Treasurer, and then Chairman, of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS, at the time always pronounced ‘Kew-ass’). CUAS was formed in 1942, which may seem a surprising date, but the wartime blackout was the last time anybody had been able to see the night sky from the centre of Cambridge! I had the pleasure of chairing a meeting addressed by Fred Hoyle and, later, attending one addressed by John Glenn. Looking back, that experience taught me more about ‘management’ than anything in the following 10 years climbing the career ladder did. So – what have I been doing since I graduated in 1964? Well, to get the negatives out of the way – I have never married, have no children, and have no sporting achievements to report. But in 1969 I qualified as an actuary. My working career was spent with Sun Life Assurance (now part of the AXA group) – a career which was fairly successful, though not totally so. I was also elected to the
the Wainwrights in the Lake District, and all the County Tops in the British Isles. After I ‘retired’ (perhaps a euphemism) in 1994, I was able to devote my time to things that interested me. Hillwalking is one, and I hope that is keeping me fit. Topographical research is another, and I hope that is keeping the brain active. The latter interest kept me revisiting my College frequently, to make use of the Cambridge University Library Map Room: I became involved in College life, and as a result I was elected as a Fellow Commoner of Sidney Sussex in 2006. Now, a ‘Fellow Commoner’ is not exactly the highest rank that a College can offer – but even so, I have ended up as a Fellow of a Cambridge College, with all the dining rights attached! Can’t be bad… More recently, I have taken on the role of Recorder of the Hillwalkers’ Register. We report completions of many lists (though not in Scotland – they have their own recorders), including the Wainwrights and other Lakeland lists, the 2,000ft hills in England & Wales and in Ireland, and also their County Tops. It would be wrong for me to say, in the old cliché, that my schooldays were ‘the happiest days of my life’. At the time (and I am sure it is different now) those who were academic but not also sporting were not always supported in the way that they needed. Of course, the School liked its share of Oxbridge entrants (good for marketing, though that concept hadn’t been named then) – but there was often the feeling that sporting prowess was rated more highly… Still, I remain
Council of the Institute of Actuaries, on which I served for 10 years, concluding as Vice-President. In 1975 or so I rediscovered my latent interest in hillwalking, and in June 1989 I achieved my ambition of climbing all the Munros. (For those who don’t know, a ‘Munro’ is a hill in Scotland which is at least 3,000ft (914.4 metre) high.) Stamina again.
most grateful to several masters, particularly Tommy Walters and D V Miller, who did their best to inspire me to achieve as much as I could. If any OB would like more information about the Hillwalkers’ Register, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org David Purchase (Be ‘60)
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Completing an Ironman in memory of a school friend
With Sandeep at his wedding.
This is the story of how the death of a close school friend inspired me initially to get fit but ultimately led to me completing The Ironman UK, one of the most physically demanding challenges around. For those that don’t know what an Ironman is, it’s a long distance triathlon that involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and then a full marathon. Sandeep Shetty (Sw ‘97) and I were firm friends from the day we met at Berkhamsted Prep School.
another friend’s wedding. He was frail, gaunt, a shadow of his former self. The years of fighting cancer through various excruciating treatments had taken their toll, but you wouldn’t have noticed it by Sandeep’s attitude. He constantly had a smile on his face, he was happy for his friend, he was clearly in pain, but that didn’t stop him having a good time and making sure his friends around him had fun. That was the man he was. A trained doctor who just wanted to help people. All through his treatment when he couldn’t work as a doctor he volunteered his time at the local Oxfam. Less than two months later, Sandeep passed away. At the time I was overweight, drinking too much and occasionally smoking. Life was seemingly passing me by, but Sandeep’s death caused a serious rethink. It started slowly. I would cut out the ciggies, drink less and start getting down the gym. I also started running and did my first proper run since Mr Finlow convinced me to join the Cross Country Club at the Prep School 25 years ago (that lasted a week). I thought it would be easy having what I thought was a good base level of fitness through playing the occasional
We remained close friends all through school and university (we were both at Bristol) and in later life all the way up to Sandeep’s death in 2011. We were always together, whether on evenings out, on holiday, at each other’s weddings – you never found us too far apart. That’s why his death hit me so hard. I remember the last day I saw him at
5-a-side football and cricket games. Seems like the pints afterwards offset any fitness gains given that first run was agony. I persevered though, inspired by the courage Sandeep had showed through his two years of cancer treatment. And I got better. So much so that when an opportunity came up to run the London Marathon
On the bike leg.
The joy of finishing.
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I was getting to a stage in cycling where I thought about entering a triathlon to give me something to work towards. So I entered a Half Ironman. After doing the London Marathon I had
I jumped at it and then immediately regretted it. Twenty-six miles around London was a far cry from the five miles I was currently doing, but having something like that to train towards spurred me on. A strange incentive to force yourself out for a run after work on a cold and wet Wednesday evening. It also gave me the chance to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, a charity close to my heart given the help and support they gave Sandeep. I religiously kept to my training plan and completed the marathon in 3 hours 38 minutes. The one plus of all that training was being able to eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight. And in a way it got me looking for my next challenge. I was never good at denying my body the foods I really craved so why not keep training and eat whatever I fancied. At this point I was getting a bit bored with running so thought about other ways to keep fit. So I bought myself a road bike and became a MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra). It was very different from riding my BMX as a teenager and I had to learn some different lingo to get in with a
foolishly convinced myself I was an endurance athlete. My wife thought I was mad as she had never actually seen me swim. Fear not, I reassured her, I was a good swimmer at school, always representing Swifts in the school swimming gala. To prove this we popped down the local pool where I managed six lengths before having to get out through exhaustion. I had probably misjudged my ability 20 years later. It was a long slog building up my swimming fitness but, again, having the race in the back of my mind kept me going back to the pool to do lengths. After four months of dedicated training I did my first Half Ironman and I had caught the bug for triathlons. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough and halfway through the run I told myself not to do it again, but the accomplishment of finishing dwarfs any pain during the race. Also with the technology available you can go through and analyse your race data to the nth degree and always find areas to improve. In any case I was hooked and decided to sign up to my next challenge before the adrenalin ran out and I came to my senses. So I entered the Ironman UK in Bolton. The sheer enormity of the event didn’t register at the time. It was too far away but at 5.59am on Sunday 16th July 2017, as the countdown to the start began, it hit me. I had to cover 140.6 miles over the course of the day through swimming, cycling and running. Although I had been feeling nervous all week, the sudden wave of panic was something else.
new crowd – less about bunny hops and ramps, more about power to weight ratios, cadence, group sets and cleats. It was also expensive. People will convince you to upgrade certain parts of your bike to add speed. And it sounds so compelling that you can’t help yourself but buy those slightly lighter handlebars.
Your mind plays tricks on you at this point. ‘You don’t have to do this,’ it was telling me. But I did. Six months of gruelling training, the sacrifices, the early morning runs in the rain and cold, the late night swims, the pain on the turbo trainer doing hill repeats, the support, the kind words of encouragement from friends and strangers alike,
Completing the London Marathon.
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the money already raised for charity. I couldn’t let it be for nothing. I couldn’t let Sandeep down. And then it began. In our wetsuits we started shuffling forward to the water’s edge. One after
Pump the legs, keep going, nearly there, push hard. This is where all the training comes in, those hills in Wales on training rides, those simulated hills on the turbo trainer, the high
each other people jumped in and started the 2.4-mile swim around Pennington Flash Lake. I struggled at the start of the swim as all the flailing arms and elbows put me off my rhythmical breathing and I ended up taking on a load of lake water which promptly came back up with my breakfast. This was going to be a long day. Strangely enough I felt a lot better and relaxed after this and started swimming well. I finished the swim in a total time of 1 hour 17 minutes which I was happy with, especially as the contents of my stomach (and bladder) were still floating somewhere in the lake. The weather was pretty awful as I started the bike leg, which presented a notoriously hilly course. The crowd give you a lift, however, all in high spirits and most with beer in hand. At the top of one particularly gruelling climb there was a bit of light relief as five masked men dressed as wrestlers, dancing to Rose Royce’s ‘Carwash’, came into sight. And you needed the distraction; seven hours on the bike grinds you down. My pre-race plan on the bike was to start slow and build into a faster finish. After four hours my legs, back and neck all ached, I felt sick from all the energy bars and gels I had eaten, but I had to keep pushing. I started to give myself little incentives. Thirty minutes of hard riding and you can have that last ham roll taped to your bike. It almost broke me when I dropped it onto the road. By this stage the fatigue was setting in both physically and mentally and I started to go into a dark place.
intensity sessions. To be able to keep going when you think you have nothing left. Once I made it to the top I just started to push to the finish. I’d had enough of the bike. I wanted it to end. With just over a kilometre to go a spectator reminded me of something. ‘Enjoy the run,’ he bellowed. Bugger. After 180km and 6 hours 45 minutes of cycling and 2,000m of climbing, I still had to run a marathon. I actually felt good at the start of the run. Seeing my wife and parents just after transition gave me a boost. I found a nice rhythm and was pacing slightly ahead of where I wanted to be. I was actually going well until the steep hill back out of Bolton City Centre onto the Chorley New Road which took its toll. I started to slow. The next time I passed my family, I gave them the thumbs down. I was spent. My legs ached, I was dizzy, I had no energy, I still felt sick and I had to do that steep hill another two times. I had entered another very dark place and there were still 13 miles left. At this point I had slowed to a walk. A spectator convinced me to start running again and somehow I managed it, but it was slow going, my head was down and the devil on my shoulder was telling me to give up. At that moment I seriously didn’t think I was going to make it. I had nothing left. Some describe it as ‘bonking’ or ‘hitting the wall’. It felt as if the wall had fallen on top of me. Then something changed. I saw a spectator holding a sign that read ‘Pain is temporary, quitting lasts a lifetime’. It struck a chord and lit a
Given the bike course was two loops, I knew a final big hill was coming and I was dreading it. Every bit of uphill road felt like it took everything out of me, so how was I going to do the final large ascent? After almost six hours of riding I rounded the corner and started to face my final nemesis. You don’t want to but you have to get off your seat.
very small fire in my belly. I knew I needed to take on some fuel to have any chance of finishing but I was still feeling sick. I told myself that I needed to try and have an energy gel. I had a caffeinated one for just this occasion. I forced it down and held it down. The impact was immediate. Suddenly I felt alive and my pace started to quicken. I was still in The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 37
pain but I decided to push on and try to pick up the pace again. The sooner it finished the sooner the pain would stop. The last mile of the marathon was actually my quickest. I rounded the corner onto the finishing line and heard the immortal words, ‘David Smith, you are an IRONMAN.’ I had run a 4 hours 15 minutes marathon and crossed the finish line after 12 hours and 31 minutes. I’m not ashamed to say at this point I had a tear in my eye. It was over. The journey had begun when Sandeep passed away six years ago and all the training, sacrifice and dedication had paid off. I’m proud to say that I have raised a total of £25,000 over the course of my challenges for the Royal Marston Cancer Charity. I wasn’t the first person to do an Ironman and I won’t be the last but I proved that ordinary people can do extraordinary things with a little inspiration. David Smith (Sw ’97)
Ralph Streatfeild-James DSO The Public Schools Annual Gymnastic Competition held at the Central Gymnasium Aldershot was won for Berkhamsted School in 1909 by R. Streatfeild-James and W.N. Leak – R. Streatfeild-James (Lowers 1901-09), seated on the left, W.N. Leak (St John’s 1903-09) seated on the right. In the same year R. Streatfeild-James took the silver medal for the second best gymnast in the public schools teams. The Shield was in the Gymnasium at the school. Fred Charnock rescued it when the gym was being refurbished and transferred it to the Orderly Room where it remained for years. The Orderly Room was cleared out and refurbished when Fred retired as Colonel of the CCF in July. It is now safely in the School Archive. Ralph Streatfeild-James was born on 6th November 1890. He passed for Woolwich in 1909, but elected for Sandhurst and obtained his commission on 9th October 1910. He joined the 38 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
East Surrey Regiment at Thayetmyo in Burma in December 1910 and was employed on famine duty in the Banda district. He came home with the 2nd East Surrey Battalion in December 1914, and left with them on 1st January 1915 for the Western Front. He was wounded on 10th March 1915 at Lindenhock near Kemmel and again on 20th September 1915 at Delville Wood near Longueval, on the Somme. He was promoted to temporary Captain in April 1915 and received permanent rank the following April when he moved to the 1st Battalion. He was wounded the third time in 25th September 1916 in the attack and capture of Morval, and died of his wounds on 7th October 1916 at the 2/2nd London Casualty Clearing Station. He was buried at the Grove Town Military Cemetery near Méaulte (Somme). The London Gazette of 25th November 1916 announced that the DSO had been awarded to him, and stated that ‘he had led his company with the greatest courage and initiative and greatly assisted in capturing the final objective.’ The Officer Commanding the 1st East Regiment wrote: ‘His loss to the battalion is quite irreparable. He was without exception the bravest and most unselfish officer I have ever known, and I have lost in him not only the best officer I have ever had, but my greatest friend in the regiment. He was beloved by all ranks and I shall never forget the debt of gratitude I and the whole regiment owe to him for the gallant leading and fine example through all the recent desperate fighting. But for his magnificent example I don’t believe we would ever have taken our objective.’ He is remembered on the Roll of Honour on the wall of the School Chapel. He is also remembered in St Andrew’s Church, Churchdown, Tewkesbury, his hometown. 2,209 died on Saturday 7th October 1916. I would like to thank Adam Streatfeild-James for supplying additional information and photographs about his great step-uncle. Keith Goddard (Ad ’62)
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The pedalling general I would like to take this opportunity to highlight Lieutenant General Sir Philip Trousdell KBE CB (Lo ’66) and his last charity bike ride for Help for Heroes. Opposite is an edited version of his letter that was published on a regimental website. It provides a suitable synopsis of his tremendous efforts in support of H4H. As his letter makes clear, this was his 11th and final charity bike ride and I am wondering if some OBs might wish to donate. The Just Giving link appears at the end of the letter. Philip and I both arrived in Lowers for the Easter term 1962. I left in 1965 and Philip left in 1966. Both of us joined the army and ended up being commissioned into the same regiment. We served together as 2/Lts in Gibraltar in 1969. Thereafter, Philip’s service career followed a rather more illustrious path than my own! There was also a third OB who served in the same regiment and was also with us in Gibraltar. His name is Mike Lowry (In ‘64). In the photograph of us in the CCF, taken in 1964, Philip is the one in the front rank seated on the far left and I am sat next to him. How innocent and cherubic we both look! David Fletcher (Lo ‘65) 40 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Dear all, Ten years ago I took part in a 350-mile bike ride to raise money for a new military charity called Help for Heroes. I had visited Selly Oak Hospital as Colonel of the Regiment and seen our wounded and was determined to do what I could to help. This 11th ride will be my final one. Each ride has taken me about 800 miles of training and then the ride itself. By the end of September when we reach Arnhem I will have completed over 11,000 miles raising funds and, at an average speed of 11.5mph, that’s an awful lot of hours perched on a saddle! I will continue to support H4H in my role as Deputy Chairman. I do hope that you can help sponsor H4H through me for this event. My fundraising page is below and any amount will be hugely welcome to help us help others down the long path to recovery. Faugh a Ballagh Philip Trousdell justgiving.com/Pedallingeneral
EVENTS AND REUNIONS
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My 90th Birthday Party Some while ago I was wondering how to best mark my 90th Birthday, but none of the alternatives that I came up with came anywhere near the idea of celebrating it by holding an exhibition in the Chadwick Centre. I had been shown around when it was first opened but felt so green with envy that the possibility of using it myself never occurred. I have to thank my dear friends DRAP and JAD who suggested it in the first place and indeed the Principal, Richard Backhouse, who agreed to the proposition and gave it the blessing of a formal opening. If I had realised at the time how much hard work and organisation would be involved I might have thought again. All the paintings had to be screwed to battens, and merely to transfer a large number of canvases, all in heavy frames, was well
I intended to show more than 90 paintings in what was advertised as a retrospective exhibition, most of the work having been produced recently, a third within the last two years, and some only lately back from the framer! In a long painting career I have experienced many different galleries but I can truthfully say that the Atrium Gallery in the Chadwick Centre must be one of the most beautifully designed spaces for any artist to show his work. It is the jewel in the centre of an art community and I can only hope that the staff are fully aware of its potential and put it to good use. Newly decorated, the gallery certainly looks its very best. More than one visitor emerging from the lift (and what a bonus that is!) stood in what could only be amazement and exclaimed â€˜Wow!â€™ My niece, who was in charge of the drinks, estimated from the number of glasses that needed
beyond my waning strength. Fortunately I was able to call on the skilled help of a small band of younger friends to deal with these problems. I had in my mind allocated two whole days to putting up the exhibition, but by virtue of pre-planning and preparation the show was ready to view by lunchtime of the first day.
washing up that more than 500 people had attended the two openings, confirming the widely held belief that private views are neither private nor, indeed, much of a view. But visitors continued to appear throughout the week and seemed to enjoy what they saw. At any rate, that is what most of them said.
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I am very grateful for the support of all members of School staff including The Old Berkhamstedians Office and the Editor of the Magazine, who all contributed to the smooth running and success of the enterprise. It may have been a one-man show – probably my last – but without the help of my wife, relatives and friends (too numerous to mention individually) it could never have got beyond the planning stages. So I can look back on my 90th birthday celebration with immense and lasting pleasure. In no other circumstances could I have met and greeted so many former pupils, friends and acquaintances. It is an occasion that I shall treasure for the rest of my days. Thank you, School! Brian Bennett (Hon)
OB Charity Talent Show 4th November 2017 Having lost my fabulous squash captain, Harry Faulkner (18) to sudden cardiac arrest in 2013 and my lovely 33-year-old daughter Tessa to cancer in 2016, I was keen to raise money for CRY and Cancer Research. So what better way than an Old Berkhamstedian charity concert. The problem was that Centenary Theatre only had one date available and that was November 4th, Bonfire Weekend! We wanted to get started so we went for it and sent out emails asking for acts to come forward, but only three acts contacted us and two of those had to withdraw! Were we downhearted? Yes. But we soon rallied and, with excellent help from Vicky Rees and Emma Jeffrey, we tracked down some fabulous acts and ended
lit up the stage with a delightful piece of dance choreographed by Georgina. Next on were the very talented folk duo George and Holly Brandon performing as superbly as ever. Cat Houston ‘came out of retirement’ to perform beautifully for us next and we can but hope that retirement is a thing of the past! The audience were already starting to realise this was a special evening when the ridiculously talented Joe Beadle (16) hit them with his interpretation of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on the piano – absolutely stunning! Catch it on YouTube. How do you follow that and close the first half? Chloe Champken with two fabulous pieces of musical theatre solved that problem admirably. The second half was opened up by Peter Swaffield with a couple of his beautifully crafted
up with a star-studded line-up. There were many people from outside the School community in the audience and they were amazed at the quality of the performances. Aurora Corrado (15) opened the show with a stunning version of ‘That’s Life’, then Georgina Lounds (15) and Shannen Philips (13)
satirical songs about the School, which were still very amusing and relevant and went down a storm. The very gifted Emily Noithip sped back from a day at the Guildhall School of Music to enchant us with a beautiful piece on the cello and then we were hit with Cameron Crees, a wonderful musician and a natural entertainer. He sang and The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 43
played the piano before being joined for a couple of superb duets by Sarah Munro – so professional and so moving. Then Sarah sang her own interpretation of ‘Over The Rainbow’ – another stunning performance. Catch her on YouTube and on her website sarahmunromusic.com/live-dates for info on her forthcoming tour. How to close the show with a bang? Alex Fage and his lads’ band! Great showmen, great fun, exciting, charismatic and very entertaining! They sent us very happily on our way with ‘Twist and Shout’ – perfect! My thanks to everyone for their fabulous performances, to Tim Grant for being the warmest and wittiest of compères, and to Vicky Rees for all her help in setting up the show. Thanks also to the School for their generosity and all the other staff who gave their time so selflessly. We raised £1,638 for our two charities, everyone had a good time, we’ve had lots of positive feedback and with luck this will become an annual event. Richard McIlwaine (Hon)
West of England Annual Lunch A very happy group of both Old Girls and Old Boys gathered for a memorable lunch to mark another year of the West of England Annual Lunch. I sincerely hope it will not be the last one, but after five years of organising the event, I feel it is time to hand the
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spoon to another Old Berkhamstedian before I become too decrepit to operate a computer! We moved the venue this year to Exeter, just off the M5. The Gipsy Hill Hotel provided us with a private dining room, bar and terrace, with a marvellous selection of West Country produce, beautifully cooked as a three-course lunch, complete with two wines and coffee. The staff were just right, efficient and attentive without being overbearing. All this, together with those that attended, contributed to a very relaxed, happy and amusing lunch. No OB Committee members were able to attend this year, so news from Berkhamsted was a little sparse, but this was overcome by us recalling our own nostalgic memories of ‘school’, often funny and on a couple of occasions the whole room roared with laughter. A great sound when one is surrounded by friends sharing a common background. Each year we always seem to attract between 20 and 30 OBs – but I cannot let this year pass without thanking Vicky Rees in the OB office in Berkhamsted for all her darned hard work behind the scenes in supporting us down here in the West. Always kind, helpful, willing, does what she says she’ll do, and does it on time effectively. So if any Old Berkhamstedian in the West would like to take over my role, contact Vicky, who will support you to the hilt, or contact the President of the OBs. Andy Chinneck (Be ’60)
2007 Leavers’ 10-Year Reunion On the 16th September 2017, 50 former pupils gathered in Deans’ Hall for their 10-Year Reunion, joined by former and current staff, for an opportunity to catch up and reminisce on their time at Berkhamsted School. Thanks go to Claire Calderwood (SH ’07) and Tom Allnutt (SG ’07) for helping to gather the year group together, especially as Tom was unable to join us on the evening because of work commitments. For many, this was their first opportunity to return to the School since leaving, and it was great to see everyone having a good time during the drinks reception and meal that followed. As the message went around for last orders, the party moved on to the Kings Arms! Vicky Rees
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1997 Leavers’ 20-Year Reunion Ten years ago the Old Berkhamstedians’ Association began organising regular reunions for ex-pupils in the beautiful historic School grounds. In 2007 around 50 of us let our hair down and partied the night away at school. I think a rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ may have been attempted but, apart from that, it was not a bit like our time spent in Deans’ Hall back in the 1990s. Suddenly, in a blink, on a rainy Saturday evening in October 2017 we found ourselves in Old Hall again, without the need for the helpful nametags, telling each other how we hadn’t changed a bit but in reality we are very obviously all older and an awful lot wiser (and have quite a few marriages, children and career achievements between us). The 20 years since we left the familiar, safe confines of Berkhamsted School have flown by. We have spread ourselves to all corners of the world, and back again, and some of us have even put down roots within a stone’s throw of the School. 46 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Around 40 of us were joined by a handful of staff for a lovely evening of reminiscing, catching up and eating and drinking. It was lovely to hear from the current Principal about things that have happened since we left and a bit about the exciting plans for the future. We are so grateful to Vicky Rees for organising our get-together and to the current School pupils who expertly delivered the wonderful catering and kept the wine flowing to help make it such a fantastic evening. There were many who could not make the event and we missed some of our closest ol’ buddies greatly. Our Head Boy Charlie Boddam-Whetham (Co ’97) gave a small address and struck a chord with his words about our much-missed friend Sandeep Shetty (Sw ’97) who is sadly no longer with us. We raised a glass to our absent friends and the next 20 years and then high-tailed it to the pub for further refreshment. The evening ended with a hardcore few partying at Andy Morley’s (Co ’97) house. No, nothing has changed at all. Pip Gill (Vallis) (As ’97)
1987 Leavers’ 30-Year Reunion On Saturday 6th May 2017, the school hosted
Some of our children are now also students at the School, which is a sobering thought. No one seems to have changed a bit (at least in our eyes, which can’t deceive us, can they?!), the friendships
a reunion of ‘girls’ who attended Berkhamsted School for Girls, as it was then, as both day-girls and boarders at various stages between 1979 and 1987. Many of us had lost touch with one another but with the help of the OB members’ database and some intensive Facebook searches, a group of now middle-aged ‘girls’ gathered in the old dining room to eat, chat, exchange stories and swap ageing photo albums. The afternoon included a tour of the original School buildings which triggered some nostalgic reminiscences about terrifying teachers in tweeds, 80s hairstyles, blue ‘pinnies’, hideous ‘green bags’ worn for sport and the compulsory manufacture in sewing lessons of blue striped butchers’ aprons, many of which, it transpires, are still in use some 30 years later.
and laughter are undimmed by the passing of time and the only tinge of sadness was caused by the absence of a few dear friends, who were remembered fondly in our thoughts. The afternoon was a huge success, thanks to the fantastic organisation of Vicky Rees, the Old Berkhamstedians’ administrator. We hope to repeat the event in another 10 years, when 40 years will have passed since the last of us left BSG, by which time some of us may have grandchildren at the School. What a thought! If anyone else wants to be included next time, or wishes to be put in touch with any of the people who attended, please send your contact details to email@example.com Helen Kilsby (Atkinson) (Ru ’87)
Back row from left to right: Catherine Gosby (Tuomey), Claire Miller (Blayney), Jo Rollit (Gardener), Fiona McLeman, Lindsey O’Sullivan (Etson), Marguerite Moran (Saunders), Helen Kilsby (Atkinson), Emma Hulme (Evans), Rachael Warburton (Shek) and Annabel Sweet (Moores). Front row from left to right: Virginia de Lusignan (Gardner), Sarah Barnett (Merriman), Ambarina Hasan (Rupawalla), Sharon Blackstone (Mitchell), Sarah Mulligan (Prosser) and Clare Rock (Tarin). Louise Grant (Greggains) is missing from the photo. The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 47
1980 Leavers’ 35-Year Reunion February 2016, Kings Arms, Berkhamsted Twenty to 30 members of the Class of 1980 held a reunion at the Kings Arms in Berkhamsted. Although unofficial it was a thirty-five year reunion. Those in attendance were Neil Duncan, Derek Trusselle, Andrew Sykes, Michael Reevey, Jeremy Page, Graham Copley, Bob Weare, Dave Bennett, Nick Brace, Shaun Leonard, Gareth Parry-Evans, Scott Peplow, Pete Binger, Pete Fanning, George Jeffrey, Alastair Ogilvy-Stuart, Charles Runham and James Pitkin. All were doing well, with most attendees still living in the area. Notable exceptions are Neil Duncan and Graham Copley who are both in Connecticut, USA. Neil Duncan (Co ‘80)
40 years on A few us who left in the late 1970s recently got together for lunch. From left to right and round the table are Stephen Ambidge (Be ‘77) Simon Best (Be ‘77), Gary Pither (SH ‘76), Tim Norris (Be ‘76), Craig Allam (Ad ‘77), David Carlile (Fr ‘77), Julian Lyons (SH ’77), Peter Richardson (In ‘77), Steven Shaw (In ‘77) and Richard Berkely (In ‘77). We ostensibly met up to see Craig who was over in the UK recovering from the hurricane in the British Virgin Islands. He lives on Tortola, which was pretty much decimated. Everyone was in fine fettle and Craig unscathed, but a little shaken by events! Julian Lyons (SH ‘77)
The Class of ’72 – Five more riotous years It’s official, the Class of ’72 is insatiable when it comes to reunions. Having celebrated 30 years, then 40 years, since leaving the mothership, the next obvious milestone should have occurred in 2022, but by popular demand the Rising Sun once again poured forth its fine ales and demonstrated its unique atmosphere of bonhomie for the reunion devotees. In previous years we had been graced by David Pearce as our monitor, but sad to say he has been called to the ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ and no doubt others are now enjoying his enthusiasm and witty anecdotes. Representing the staff was none other than Bill (WGBO) Oram (Hon), a treat for all who still had queries concerning Boolean algebra, set theory and calculus. Bill has given up smoking Player’s No.6, driving MGBs and throwing board rubbers at daydreaming pupils. Instead he now serves a different type of board – he directs his retirement
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energies to managing and stage directing theatre productions at the Tring Court Theatre. Bill urges all to go and witness how a man can metamorphose from public school maths teacher
A new kid at the reunion, in the form of Mark Kingshott, was more than welcome and regaled us with stories of life in Australia. Apparently he regularly meets up with Russ Winyard to share
to ‘Am Dram dahling’. Retirement seemed to be the subject on most people’s lips. You’ve either done it or are about to – I guess it goes with the passing of 45 years – although a few are still on the greasy pole of career progression. Leading the revolt against the retirement trend is Michael Soole, who has outpaced us all by becoming a High Court Judge; although sadly no leniency can be shown to old school chums when it comes to transgressing the law. Andrew Shaw is always a welcome guest, and he continues to convey an air of mysticism about what he’s doing, where he’s been and what he will do next – maybe he really doesn’t know. Just when most of us who are still working are trying to work at or close to home, Jan Tyzkiewicz has suffered the setback of commuting into Central London to earn his crust.
experiences of the mystic East. Mark had come from the cricket at Lord’s where he was with Martin Kirvan, but unfortunately Martin had to wash his hair and couldn’t make the pilgrimage to the Rising Sun. He will be a definite for 2022, by which time he won’t have any hair to wash. A cross between The Scarlet Pimpernel and TS Eliot’s Macavity, the mystery cat, Steve Fletcher arrives and departs without anyone realising. He is now close to achieving his life’s ambition of owning Suffolk. I hope the photos stir some memories and we hope to see a boisterous turnout in 2022. The full list of attendees: Jonathan Baggott, Dick Barfield, Neil Campbell, Giles Clark, Steve Fletcher, Andy Johnson, Mick Johnson, Mark Kingshott, Ian McKay, John Moss, Andrew Shaw, Michael Soole, Andrew Stanley, Jan Tyzkiewicz, Robin Williamson. Jonathan Baggott (Sw ‘72)
Dick Barfield (Be ’72), Mick Johnson (Co ‘73), Andrew Stanley (Lo ‘72) and the back of Judge Michael Soole (Sw ‘72).
Ian McKay (Up ‘71) and Dick Barfield. Dick is recounting the sheer white-knuckle excitement of a career in corporate governance.
Left image: Neil Campbell (Up ’71) narrowly avoiding arrest for wearing a loud shirt. Right image: Mark Kingshott (SJ ‘72), Dick Barfield, Michael Soole, Andrew Shaw (Sw ‘71), the back of Jan Tyszkiewicz (Sw ‘72). Mark is inviting everyone to come and stay with him in Australia. The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 49
Credit – snapdragonphotography.co.uk
Back row from left to right: Chris Riley, Anthony Flack, Peter Taylor, Michael Levitton, Derek Jarrett, Michael Smith, Peter Whitmore Humphreys, Roger Emery, Brian Norris, Robert Ingle, John Stevens, Michael Golz, Pip Wakefield, Malcolm Chard, John Reid, Charles Bennett, Peter Such, John Linton, Jeremy Andrews, John Prior, James Shrimpton, Neil Hadfield and John Williams. Front row from left to right: Tony Lloyd, Alan Scott, Alan Moore, Bob Clark, Peter Hopes, Bryan Hines, Derek Whitehead, Dickie Taylor, Jeremy Walker, Gordon McBride, Peter Crawford, Roger Roebuck and Peter Gates.
After 50 Plus Years This meeting of Old Berkhamstedians who left the School at least 50 years ago was originally intended as a one-off venture in 2005, but the 17 who attended had such an enjoyable day that it was repeated in 2006 when 27 met and it has been held annually since then. This year, 13 years on since its inception, 36 arrived at Berkhamsted Golf Club, the venue for our gatherings. A number of new faces joined us. Next year’s date is already fixed for Thursday 10th May 2018. The invitation, which will include full information on all the arrangements for the function will be sent out early in the New Year. Any Old Berkhamstedian who left the School by the end of 1967 is welcome to join us. If you would like to receive an invitation and are not already on our list, contact John Williams either at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01572 747 515. John Williams (Be ‘54)
London Steak Dinner Wednesday 6th December 2017 7pm in the bar of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Southampton Row, a gathering of 17 Old Boys 50 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
and Girls slowly materialised from the chilly winter’s night. Several were already old friends but fortunately, this year, a number of more recent OB members joined our ranks. This was wonderfully refreshing and gave the senior ones of us an opportunity to get an insight into the more modern ways of life in Berkhamsted. After the usual moans about beer and gin and tonics costing more than half a crown, laughter at the retelling of stories old and new began to take over and remained in abundance throughout the evening. It was enlightening to hear some of Fred Charnock’s tales of recent CCF life, which, in many ways, seems to have altered little from RSM Lambert’s days of old, although I gather five laps of the quad with your rifle above your head has ceased as a regular occurrence for those with not-quite-perfect kit or a muttered cheeky word in the ranks. We were delighted to have our President, Emma Jeffrey, honour us with her presence and even more relieved when, although the words were on the table, she did not ask us to attempt to sing the School Song. As this was the 60th anniversary of the London Steak Dinner, some were concerned singing may have been compulsory! The food was as good as ever and wine and port plentiful – sadly the clock steadfastly refused to
tick any slower, so the time to leave came all too quickly, but another convivial evening had been enjoyed by all. It is a super evening and it would be terrific if more could join us in 2018. Those attending were: Emma Jeffrey (President), Katy Craven, Sarah Johnson, Corinna Whitfield, Andy Bale, Simon Bowden, Fred Charnock (Hon), Richard Cooper, Keith Goddard, Mike Horton, Mike Pain, William Parsey (Hon), Michael Parsey, James Parsey, James Waller, Peter Willson (Hon Sec). Richard Cooper (Ad ‘71)
Left to right: Andy Lambert (Gr ‘93), Hamish Frazer (SJ ‘90), (Tony Addiscott (Ad ‘64) and James Fairbairn (Fr ‘89).
The lists of those present at OB functions appear below (not all are reported on in this magazine). 2007 LEAVERS’ 10-YEAR REUNION Harry Anton (Ha ‘07) Max Archer (SH ‘07) Claire Calderwood (SH ‘07) Priscilla Chadwick (Hon) Emma Charnock (SG ‘07) Nicola Chilton (SJ ‘05) Chris Clasper (Bu ‘07) Jack Cole (Ch ‘07) Suzie Colston (Pearce) (Bu ‘07) Mark Colston (Bu ‘07) Sarah Cooper (SH ‘07) Richard Coupe (Sw ‘71) Patrick Cowie (Hon) Steve Dight (Hon) Suzanne Dowd (Re ‘07) Victoria Dufour (Re ‘07) Victoria Eaton (SG ‘07) Catherine Gaunt (Ch ‘07) Pete Gilbert (SG ‘07) Stephen Golding (Hon) Emily Green (Bu ‘07) Richard Hall (Bu ‘07) Amy Houston (As ‘07) Georgie Hurt (Ch ‘07) Georgie Keeler (SH ‘07) Ed Knight (Bu ‘07) Harriet Latimer (OS ‘05) Debbie Laws (Ch ‘07) Richard MacKay (Hon) Richard McIlwaine (Hon) Paul Nagle (SH ‘07) Chris Nicholls (Hon) Sue Nicholls (Hon) Adam Nickless (SH ‘07) James Norman (Na ‘07) Hannah Parry (As ‘07)
Laura Knight (Doggett) (‘97) Ben Loch (Sw ‘97) Andy Morley (Co ‘97) Dick Mowbray (Hon) Vicky Rees (Hon) Gavin Rees (SH ‘97) Alice Rhodes (Wilson) (OS ‘97) John Rhys-Davies (SH ‘97) Liz Richardson (Hon) Dave Richardson (Hon) Krista Robinson (Lloyds) (‘97) Philip Rule (Ad ‘97) Sarah Sadie (Hackworth) (‘97) Sam Seward (Ad ‘97) David Smith (Sw ‘97) Elizabeth Swift (Hulks) (OS ‘97) 1997 LEAVERS’ 20-YEAR Jane Swift (‘97) REUNION Vicky Tolchard (‘97) Mark Aplin (Sw ‘97) James Turner (Gr ‘97) Richard Backhouse (Principal) Rebecca Vibert Ward (Craig) (As ‘97) Adam Baggott (Sw ‘97) Catherine Barham (Williamson) (OS ‘97) Philippa Vickers (Tiley) (‘97) Abigail Walsham (Rolls) (‘97) Graham Burchnall (Hon) Fiona Warren (As ‘97) Priscilla Chadwick (Hon) Charlie Boddam-Whetham (Co ‘97) Baljeet Chima (In ‘97) Thomas Williams (Gr ‘97) Alison Connell (Ho ‘97) Robert Courts (Fr ‘97) 1987 LEAVERS’ 30-YEAR Jemma Cunliffe (Lynch) (SH ‘97) REUNION Steve Dight (Hon) Sarah Barnett (Merriman) (Ru ‘87) Charlotte Eustace (‘97) Sharon Blackstone (Mitchell) (‘87) Neil Fischer (Be ‘97) Virginia De Lusignan (Gardner) (‘87) Philippa Gill (Vallis) (As ‘97) Catherine Gosby (Tuomey) (‘87) Katherine Gray (NS ‘97) Louise Grant (Greggains) (‘87) Fenella Harrison (Perkins) (Ho ‘97) Ambarina Hasan (Rupawalla) (OS ‘87) Catherine Hastoy (Virjee) (‘97) Emma Hulme (Evans) (OS ‘87) Naoya Isa (In ‘97) Helen Kilsby (Atkinson) (Ru ‘87) Fiona Jack (As ‘97) Fiona McLeman (‘88) Nathaniel Jones (Bulpin) (SH ‘97) Claire Miller (Blayney) (Bu ‘87) Sarah Khoja (Hand) (As ‘97) Martin Pett (Hon) Vicky Rees (Hon) Liz Richardson (Hon) Laura Roberts (Na ‘07) Izzi Robinson (As ‘07) Chris Rogers (Bu ‘07) Alec Rose (Ha ‘07) Charles Rose-Nokes (Re ‘07) Richard Thompson (Hon) Nick Wainman (SH ‘07) Tom Ward (SH ‘07) Andrew Webb (Hon) David Wells (SG ‘07) Gary Wong (As ‘07)
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Marguerite Moran (Saunders) (‘88) Sarah Mulligan (Prosser) (‘86) Lindsey O’Sullivan (Etson) (‘87) Vicky Rees (Hon) Jo Rollit (Gardener) (Bu ‘87) Annabel Sweet (Moores) (Ho ‘87) Rachael Warburton (Shek) (OS ‘87) AGM AND ANNUAL DINNER Mynerva Altman (Smith) (Bu ‘56) Richard Backhouse (Principal) Natasha Charlton (Prior) (NS ‘86) Fred Charnock (Hon) Keith Cheyney (Ad ‘51) Anne Davies (Caudery) (Bu ‘57) Jill Gardener (Howe) (Bu ‘55) Michael Glasser (Sw ‘61) Keith Goddard (Ad ‘62) John Hilsden (Ad ‘62) Jeremy Hopkinson (Ad ‘61) David Innes-Lumsden (Hon) Margaret Innes-Lumsden (Hon) Gay Jarrad (Nightingirl) (SH ‘61) Mark Jarrad (Hon) Emma Jeffrey (Fanning ‘81) George Jeffrey (Co ‘82) Rosie King (Wolstenholme) (Ho ‘60) Peter King (Co ‘60) Gavin Laws (Hon) Julie Laws (Guest) John Linton (Ad ‘57) James Milne (Hon) Charlie Nicholls (‘17) Peter Nicholls (Be ‘48) Robert Norris (Gr ‘78) Jamie Ogilvy-Stuart (Be ‘81) Lynne Oppenheimer (Hon) Nicholas Prout (Co ‘67) Cherry Ramseyer (Calnan) (OS ‘70) Vicky Rees (Hon) Gavin Rees (SH ‘97) James Shrimpton (Lo ‘58) Richard Smellie (In ‘61) Peter Such (Sw ‘60) Barry Tompson (Co ‘61) Elizabeth Tory (Ho ‘68) Richard Walpole (Ad ‘60) Andrew Webb (Hon) David Webb (Sw ‘62) Michael Webster (Be ‘60) Derek Whitehead (Ad ‘50) Peter Willson (Co ‘66) Sue Wolstenholme OBE (Ho ‘58) Chris Wynne (Co ‘64) WEST OF ENGLAND ANNUAL LUNCH Norma Aitchison (Richards) (SH ‘45) John Baker (Lo ‘61)
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Anne Chinneck (Dickinson) (OS ‘61) Andy Chinneck (Be ‘60) John Flashman (Up ‘48) David Fletcher (Lo ‘67) Gail Fletcher (Guest) Peter John Gates (Lo ‘56) Trevor Heynes (Ad ‘65) Charlotte Hyslop (Livingstone) (Ho ‘75) John Knox (Up ‘63) Andrew Mead (Up ‘57) Jill Sapstead (McConnell) (Lx ‘59) Derek Severs (Lo ‘52) Peter Stafford (Sw ‘58) Frances Stephens (Kingham) (Hon) Ross Young (Up ‘62) LONDON STEAK DINNER Andy Bale (In ‘75) Simon Bowden (Be ‘78) Fred Charnock (Hon) Richard Cooper (Ad ‘71) Katy Craven (Altman) (Bu ‘83) Mike Horton (Sw ‘64) Emma Jeffrey (Fanning) (Ru ‘81) Sarah Johnson (Bowden) (‘83) Mike Pain (Ch ‘11) William Parsey (Hon) Michael Parsey (SG ‘16) James Parsey (SH ‘17) James Waller (Na ‘17) Corinna Whitfield (Drake) (SH ‘70) Peter Willson (Co ‘66) OB HOCKEY TOURNAMENT Angus Abbott (Na ‘10) Edward Barraclough (Ha ‘05) Larry Eaton (Ch ‘09) Angus Hardy (Ch ‘13) Samuel Highfield (Sp ‘11) Ben Mackey (Ha ‘16) Joshua Percy (SH ‘13) Hamish Percy (Sp ‘15) James Raeside (Bu ‘16) Jonny Shell (Na ‘11) James Sidwell (‘14) Jez Steed (SG ‘16) Angus Twogood (Sp ‘13) Rory Twogood (SG ‘07) OB VS SCHOOL HOCKEY Peter Allam (Bu ‘05) Larry Eaton (Ch ‘09) Charles Holroyd (As ‘11) Peter Lee (SG ‘04) Jonny Peppiatt (Ch ‘09) Joshua Percy (SH ‘13) Ed Roberts (Ch ‘11) Jonny Shell (Na ‘11) Callum Simpson (Sp ‘14) James Whately-Smith (As ‘05)
OB VS SCHOOL FOOTBALL Harry Anton (Ha ‘07) Matt Barnes (SH ‘11) Stephen Davis (Bu ‘00) Sam Franklin (Na ‘08) Marti Iacoponi (Ch ‘08) Julian Iacoponi (Re ‘12) Max Jones (Ha ‘12) Andy Kirk (SG ‘08) Elliott Mears (Na ‘09) Nick Minter (SG ‘08) Simon Minter (SG ‘11) Casey O’Gorman (Re ‘15) Tom Partridge (SH ‘08) Toby Phillips Alex Stewart (Ha ‘08) Matt Whitton (Gr ‘97) Joel Wren (SG ‘08) OLD GIRLS TENNIS Emma Butcher (Ha ‘99) Brigitta Case (Norris) (NS ‘80) Bridget Evers (Chown) (Ru ‘84) Emily Gray (Bu ‘08) Tanya Hart (Altman) (Bu ‘81) Hilary Hartley (Parent) Joanne Hodge (Bellamy) (OS ‘94) Tracey Mackey (Overton) (NS ‘82) OB SAILING WEEKEND Adam Baggott (Sw ‘97) Chris Broadway (In ‘79) Ryan Cunliffe (Bu ‘04) Robin Godfrey (Ad ‘73) Graeme Hamlet (Ad ‘94) James Honour (Be ‘78) Mike Horton (Sw ‘64) David Johnson (Fr ‘88) Christopher Mackay (Ad ‘69) Ken Main (Ad ‘93) Keith Mans (Lo ‘64) David Wotherspoon (Gr ‘90) Chris Wynne (Co ‘64) OLD GIRLS LACROSSE Sophie Beard (SH ‘17) Tash Blake (Ha ‘16) Emma Butcher (Ha ‘99) Coco Day (As ‘17) Libby Day (Sp ‘17) Felicity Gates (Bu ‘17) Rae Hemming (SG ‘17) Joanne Hodge (Bellamy) (OS ‘94) Bex Jordache (As ‘14) Cara Rolland (Ha ‘17) Phoebe Smith (Re ‘16) Emma Turner (Ch ‘09)
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From the Sports Secretary In this section of the magazine, you will be able to read reports from the Old Berkhamstedian sports clubs. We have 12 clubs where OBs can get involved in activities taking place all year round. I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Sports Captains, who give their time to organise their sports club activities. This season the Old Berkhamstedians Football Club has added another team to the club. The OB Vets team will take part in the Arthurian League’s Derrick Moore Trophy (or Plate if unsuccessful). The Derrick Moore Trophy is open to Vets teams associated to Old Boys football teams participating in the Arthurian League. The trophy consists of five rounds and will take place from November 2017 to April 2018, so commitment is relatively minimal. At this stage the Vets don’t have a confirmed home pitch but are likely to align closely with the OB 1st XI who are based in Barnes, South West London. To qualify for the Vets team you must have been 35 years old or older on 1st October 2017 and we welcome anyone who wishes to take part. For anyone looking for more information or interested in joining, please contact Matti Nash on 07740 012934 or at email@example.com The OB Sports Day was a great success this year, with sunny weather, which always helps. Many thanks to Vicky Rees for organising this day and to all those who took part or supported. If you would like to get involved in a sports club, or would like to set up a new club, then please let me know. We do need more volunteers to help keep the activities going. We would also welcome OBs to help organise the Sports Day in the summer, and any ideas for improvement are welcome. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org Alison Connell (Ho ’97)
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Football Old Berkhamstedians FC continued their meteoric rise through the Arthurian League with a stunning promotion season to reach Division 1 for the first time in their history. It was a record-breaking campaign in many ways, finished with what can only be described as a fairytale ending, as the ‘Midnight Blues’ secured promotion with the last kick of an extraordinary year. Over the summer, the club captaincy was handed over to Alex Stewart (Ha ’08) by Steve Davis (Be ’00). Steve has been nothing short of an OBFC icon, who has managed the club with passion and pride for many years. However, there was still plenty of life in the old dog, as he continued to play with distinction throughout the season. Indeed, this season marked a remarkable feat for Berkhamsted, with the club represented by six different year groups over the course of the year – a testament to the recruitment and appeal OBFC still holds. OBFC started their campaign in the notoriously competitive Division 2 strongly, with wins over Lancing, Westminster, Sevenoaks and King’s Wimbledon. However, there were several reminders of the quality of some of their opponents, as OBFC suffered defeats away at Charterhouse and Foresters, as well as a humbling 6-3 home defeat to Eton. This rollercoaster start to the season left OBFC six points away from the promotion positions at Christmas, but well in the hunt with a favourable list of fixtures facing them for the run-in. When football historians look back, they will surely all agree that the season turned on a fine win for OBFC away at fierce rivals Eton. A 3-2 victory in soggy conditions, made all the sweeter by a bubbling social media spat with the opposition, set the club up for a dramatic charge at promotion. Eton, by contrast, didn’t win another game all season.
Berkhamsted rattled off five wins out of six through early spring to put them firmly in the driving seat to reach the holy land of Division 1, but a slack 2-2 draw away against Sevenoaks in their penultimate game, along with unfavourable results elsewhere, left the season in the balance. Berkhamsted went into their final game against table-toppers Charterhouse needing a draw to secure promotion, while their opponents needed a win to clinch the league title. It was all to play for, and the drama which ensued would not have been out of place in the script of a Hollywood classic. Berkhamsted fought back from 3-1 down in front of a capacity crowd of well over 50 spectators to draw 3-3, Toby Phillips knocking in the equaliser with virtually the final touch of the game. Pandemonium ensued with a pitch invasion of parents, friends, partners, and even some generally enthusiastic bystanders getting in on the fun. It was truly a well deserved end to an outstanding season in which OBFC has grown so much, both on and off the pitch. We now have squad members spanning over 10 years of Berkhamsted history, and all of them grasp the opportunity to continue to play the sport they love with a great group of teammates. We encourage anyone who is interested in playing to get in touch and get involved – who knows, it could be you scoring the last minute winner which takes us to the Premier League… Andrew Kirk (SG ’08)
Old Girls’ v School Lacrosse Match On Saturday 16th October the Old Girls, ranging from leavers of 1994 to leavers of 2017, assembled at their old lacrosse pitches to take on the new 1st Team. The odds looked interesting with the fresh-faced young School girls holding a full bench The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 55
of substitutes while the Old Girls had just one! It was an intense first quarter with the ball moving up and down the field, becoming a battle of the goalkeepers. At the end of the first quarter the score was 0-0, meaning the game could go either way. After the break, the Old Girls showed their experience and converted their chances around goal, getting the score up. The 1st team battled back though and used their speed and agility to take on the Old Girls’ defence. After the third quarter the Old Girls were in a comfortable position until fitness started to take control of the game. The 1st team began to outrun the Old Girls and scored a number of quick goals through skilled stickwork and fast break opportunities. Unfortunately for the 1st team, they ran out of time, leaving the Old Girls victorious for the 8th year running with a score of 7-4. Emma Turner (Ch ‘09)
Netball 2017 was a very successful year for OB Hares Netball Club. In January we welcomed our new coach, Sally Whittle, to Hares – an incredible player and a very experienced coach helping us to achieve another successful season. In April, with thanks to our Blacks Captain, Lisa Morris, we hosted our annual summer league. With teams entering from Berkhamsted and surrounding areas, and with the final being held on OB Sports Day, a great eight weeks was had by all! September saw the start of the 2017/2018 season with three teams embarking on their journeys in the Aylesbury league: Hares Blacks in Div 1, Hares Green in Div 2 and Hares Red in Div 4. All three teams have been working very hard. With great leadership from the captains, all three teams are looking to have a promising season with the prospect of promotion. We have lots to look forward to with the start of the new year as OB Hares turn 10 years old! 56 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
With brand new match kit being created for us to wear, the launch of a new website and a trendy new team logo to shout about, it is the perfect opportunity to hold a 10-year celebration! Hares Netball Club is made up of Berkhamsted School Staff, Governors and past pupils, as well as locals from Berkhamsted and surrounding villages and towns. Debs Collins (Hares Green Captain)
Last year, I was selected to be part of Surrey Storm’s National Performance League (NPL) team. This was a huge surprise for me as I had never played at this level before. Having grown up watching the girls in the Storm squad, it has been an amazing experience to train alongside them. I began to push myself harder in training sessions, both at Storm and at School, aiming to play at the best of my ability. Throughout the season, the NPL team played against some of the UK’s most elite Superleague Youth teams including Hertfordshire Mavericks, Loughborough Lightning, Team Bath, Wasps Netball and Manchester Thunder. Throughout the tournament, we remained unbeaten and were crowned the 2017 National Performance League Champions. Currently, I am playing for Clan Netball in the Premier 2 league and I hope to next year play for the University of Bath netball team as well as begin to trial and train to play in NSL teams. Sophie Beard (SH ’17)
Golf The Old Berkhamstedian Golf Society is open to all OBs and staff of Berkhamsted School. The Spring Meeting (27th April 2018) at Berkhamsted GC and the Autumn Meeting (19th October 2018) at Ashridge GC are social events and all golfers are welcome whether you have a low or high handicap. Those OBs who enjoy playing matches against other school alumni societies or in Public School competitions can put their names forward for those events. If you would like further information or wish to be put on the emailing list to receive the OBGS diary then please forward your contact details to either the Captain, Steven Pither (Up ’75), or the Secretary, Keith Goddard (Ad ’62), whose respective details can be found at the rear of the magazine.
Fortunately Ross Anderson (Gr ’97) and James Lyle (SJ ’05) in the fourth game had recovered, with Ross holing two good short putts to take command of their game and be 5 up after 10. The
This year’s draw saw us pitted against Gresham’s in the first round at Sandwich with an early start on a glorious sunny morning tempered by a chill northerly breeze for our small band of supporters. Six of the side had played in the comprehensive defeat to Gresham’s in 2011 so needed little encouragement to make the positive start demanded by the new Joint non-playing Captains, Robert MacDonald (In ’74) and Michael Butler (Sw ’72). Glenn Barrington (Co ’88) and Chris Mach (Bu ’10) led off and set a good marker with an early birdie. However, their start was not matched by any of the games behind, with our opponents making the crucial putts.
bottom pair of Jim Northway (Ad ’82) and Mike McGrory (Be ’08) had recovered from the loss of the opening hole to reach the turn 6 up. These two games were duly closed out on the 14th and 12th greens respectively as the top match was lost at the 15th. One of the other two games needed to be turned around and both pairs obliged with Steve holing a lengthy birdie putt to square the third match at the 12th and Mike and Jeremy winning all three holes around the loop to stand 2 up on the 16th tee. Both sides missed the green and, with the Gresham’s pair taking 4 more, Jeremy was left to hole the match-winning three-foot putt for victory by 3.5 to 1.5. The team and supporters retired to the Royal St George’s dining room to celebrate victory with wines provided by Society Captain, Steve Pither (Up ’75). The next day dawned equally bright for our mid-morning second-round match against Wrekin, with our supporters swelled by Toby Morris (Be ’03), unable to play himself following a back operation. Our relatively youthful pairs were quickly out of the blocks, particularly Steve and Matt in the third game which they dominated and won on the 11th green. Glenn and Chris in the top match put their first-round performance behind them, converting an early lead into a comfortable victory on the 15th green. They were soon followed by Jim and Mike in the final game whose sub-par golf, after some initial resistance, wore down their opponents who conceded the
Glenn and Chris never recovered from a stray shot onto the beach and fell 3 down after 10 holes. A tight struggle looked on the cards as at the same stage Mike Atkins (Be ’88) and Jeremy O’Neill (Ch ’09) were 2 down in the second game while Steve Richards (Ch ’98) and Matt McGrory (As ’11) were trailing by one hole in the third game.
game on the 14th green. At that point the second and fourth pairs were 2 up and 1 up respectively so a 4-1 victory was recorded. This meant that we moved over the next morning to Deal, the home of the Hewitt, for our third-round match against Stoneyhurst, somewhat surprising conquerors of our old rivals, Aldenham,
Halford Hewitt Cup Deal and Sandwich, 6th-9th April 2017
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in the previous round. We continued to be blessed with most un-Hewitt-like fine weather with a slightly less chilling breeze. Once again we appeared to be the significantly
third match involving Steve and Matt requiring several ‘three off the tee’ moments. It was becoming difficult to see where the crucial third point was going to be won as Mike and Jeremy
more youthful team and by the halfway hut our clear advantage in length was proving decisive as Glenn and Chris led the way at 4 up with each of Steve and Matt and Jim and Mike 3 up in the third and fifth games. By the time each pair had repassed the hut having completed the loop of three holes at the far end of the links, we were up in every game. Our opponents were unable to make any headway with each of the top three pairs completing victory on the 16th green, by which point Jim and Mike had won the bottom game and Ross and James were ‘dormy’ up in the fourth game. A comprehensive victory achieved in quick order to see us into the quarter-finals for only the fourth time since we first entered in 1937. A significant first in our Hewitt history was that no game had been taken beyond the 16th green in any of the three rounds. Our hopes were high of making it to Sunday as we endured a long wait to identify Marlborough as our opponents, since they required two visits to the 19th hole to secure victory over Loretto. Once the match got underway, after a further delay to congratulate Marlburian David Niven on playing his 100th match, each pair made a steady start and after the first short hole (the 4th) there was no more than one hole in any game. It was already obvious that Marlborough were sterner and more youthful opponents, highlighted by their fourth pair holing their second shot at the par 4 7th hole – a blow from which Ross and
were up against a pair of young scratch players. Despite gallant play they were three down leaving the 12th green, a margin they were unable to close and they were defeated on the 16th green where Glenn and Chris had already closed out victory in the top match. Steve and Matt appeared to be running out of energy (and golf balls) as a series of wild shots meant that they were also several holes in arrears leaving the 12th green. By this time they had let the bottom match through where Jim and Mike had taken a clear lead before going on to secure victory at the 16th, thus maintaining an unbeaten record for the week. That made the overall match score 2-2, so all eyes looked back to the 15th hole. Sadly this proved the final nemesis for Steve and Matt as they fell to defeat at that green which meant that the match was lost 2-3. This was arguably our best ever performance in a Hewitt quarter-final – a magnificent effort with everyone contributing to a great team spirit, an essential ingredient for a successful and enjoyable week. Hopefully the nucleus of this side can keep in good practice and make that elusive first Sunday appearance in the near future. Michael Butler (Sw ‘72)
James were unable to recover, eventually falling to defeat on the 13th green. Glenn and Chris gained control of the top match around the turn and Jim and Mike seemed to be in charge of the bottom match. By now well into the evening, the matches were becoming spread out over several holes, not helped by the 58 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Grafton Morrish Tournament Pre-qualifying round, Gog Magog Golf Club, Sunday 14th May 2017 A plethora of other commitments for our Hewitt squad, combined with the unavailability and/or injuries of other potential players, meant that we had real difficulty finding a six-man team to compete in the one-round scratch Stableford format. Malcolm Fullard (Ad ’64) bravely stepped in at the very last minute to play with Mike Atkins
(Be ’88) to join Ross Anderson (Gr ’97) paired with Ed Sharpe (Fr ’93) and Jim Northway (Ad ’82) with Jeremy O’Neill (Ch ’09). All three pairs had their moments but their aggregate score of 75 points proved to be 2 points short of achieving a top 7 qualifying place for the Finals. This was the first time for several years that we have missed out on competing in the final stages held each autumn at Hunstanton and Brancaster in Norfolk. Better planning ahead needed next year by the scratch team squad and its organisers! Michael Butler (Sw ‘72)
Schools Putting 2017 Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, Monday 5th June 2017 We were drawn out on the first evening of qualifying in a tough-looking group and the omens did not look good with storm clouds threatening and two of the team of four players only being found the day before the tournament. Mike Atkins (Be ’88) played at top and set a solid foundation, achieving 10 points out of 14 from his seven matches. However, the rest of the team were finding it difficult to follow suit. Bradfield were doomed to fill last place, but for most of the evening it seemed that we would join them in being relegated out of the tournament. Matt Dennehy (Ch ’06), called in at the very last minute, produced a crucial halved match and after Michael Butler (Sw ’72) won his last match we found ourselves in a sudden death putt-off against our old rivals Merchant Taylors’. Mike Atkins stepped out to the plate and, after his opponent had shaved the first extra hole, struck his reply firmly into the cup to save us for another year! The Royal Wimbledon curry dinner tasted especially good after sending MTs’ out of the tournament. Michael Butler (Sw ‘72)
The Cyril Gray Tournament 2017 Berkhamsted entered the tournament full of hope and expectation with three new members of the squad: James Northway (Ad ’82), one of our current Hewitt team, Nigel Smith (Up ’65) and Andy Westlake. Messrs Northway and Smith accompanied by McBride and Buckle took advantage of the practice day in the searing heat of the hottest day of the year. Neither having seen the course before, they both played very well and the portents were good. Our first round opponents were Ampleforth, a school we knew little about as far as golf was concerned although they had reached the final of the Hewitt this year. Our pairings were agreed as McBride and Northway, Smith and Westlake, followed by Rob MacDonald (In ’74) and Michael Butler (Sw ’72). McBride and Northway started brightly but then McBride’s short game came unstuck and by the 12th they were 4 down. However, a strong fight back brought them level at the 17th which was lost. McBride’s approach to the 18th green ended up on the front edge for 2 while Ampleforth, having driven into the rough, were on in three. Northway putted up leaving McBride a six-footer for a win and a trip down the 19th. Sadly, it was not to be as the ball looked at the hole and decided not to go in. The next pair also started well and found themselves three up at the halfway stage and four up at the 14th. A half in the next four holes would secure the win but it didn’t come and the match was halved on 18th. Sadly MacDonald and Butler didn’t have such a good time and went down 4 and 3 to a current Hewitt pair. Match lost and onto the plate after a nice lunch. Our opponents in the afternoon were St Paul’s, a school we have prevailed against in the past. We kept the same pairings but the first two changed order. McBride and Northway were never more than one up or one down. At the 17th St Paul’s sunk a long putt for the win to go level and another trip down the 18th beckoned. McBride pulled The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 59
his drive slightly left and it ended up on the path which unusually is an integral part of the course. Northway then played a miraculous shot with the ball coming to rest at the back of the green while
Hall was only just recovering from a nasty chest infection but they ended up a very creditable three shots behind the winners Canford. I would like to thank everyone concerned for
St Paul’s were on the front. McBride putted down but underhit his shot and St Paul’s putted strongly to further away than Berkhamsted. St Paul’s sank their putt while Berkhamsted, for the second time that day, just missed. Smith and Westlake also had a very close match with the result resting on the 18th. As with the first pair, a win was needed but it was not to be despite Westlake hitting a very deft chip over the bunkers for our third shot. St Paul’s in the meantime managed to two-putt and the match was lost. MacDonald and Butler fared much better in the afternoon and again the match was decided on the 18th green, this time in favour of Berkhamsted but sadly too late. Thus our 2017 tournament came to a premature end but the day was enjoyed by all and the new entrants found the experience of playing Worplesdon, in such a congenial yet competitive atmosphere, one to be repeated. Hopefully we will have a fourth younger player next year and with this year’s experience behind them the other three will be out for revenge. On the Saturday morning Colin Buckle (Be ’63) and Nick Hall (Ad ’62) represented Berkhamsted in the Seniors’ event.
their support and commitment to the cause and we’ll look forward to the 2018 event. Colin McBride (Ad ’63)
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OBGS Spring Meeting 12th May 2017 We had a good day at Berkhamsted Golf Club. The weather was kind. The course was dry owing to the lack of rain and one had to run the ball up to the greens rather than landing on them directly. We were pleased to welcome for the first time Neil Aitchison (Be ’65) who joined Steve Pither (Up ’75), Colin Buckle (Be ’63), Malcolm Fullard (Ad ’64), John Douglas (Sw ’69), Gordon McBride (Ad ’53), Nick Hall (Ad ’62), Bruce Neale (Ad ’54), John Struthers (Be ’66), Malcolm Hann (Up ’65), James Westley (Sw ’74), Robert Twydle (Co ’74), Chris Smith (Up ’64) and Ian Jones (Ad ’93) for the morning competitions. Malcolm Hann won the Headmaster’s Cup with 37 points playing off 20. The Keeling Cup is played by those over 65 each receiving an extra point for each two years over 65 and was won by Malcolm
Fullard with 40 points playing off 15. Colin Buckle won the Captain’s Scratch Bucket with an 85 gross. We were joined by Bryan Hines (Be ’50) and Michael Butler (Sw ’72) for an excellent lunch.
with 38, and Jackie Kershaw (Welford) (Bu ’81) was third with 37. Julie Ivelaw-Chapman (Hedges) (NS ‘71) won the best front nine and Liz Selfe (Agate) (OS ’75) the best back nine.
The afternoon golf is foursomes played over nine holes and was contested by six pairs for the Barons Tankards. The winners were Robert Twydle and Chris Smith with a very impressive 19 points, and runners-up James Westley and Steven Pither with 14 points. This means that Chris retained his Tankard. The Spring and Autumn meetings are fun days held at Berkhamsted and Ashridge Golf Clubs. All OBs are welcome to play whatever your handicap. Keith Goddard (Ad ‘62)
Next year’s competition will be held at West Herts Golf Club on Monday 14th May. Vivien Plummer (Hird) (Ho ’77)
Tudor Rose 2017 15th May 2017
The Tassie Foursomes
For the second year we met at Chorleywood Golf Club for our competition. Sadly we only had eleven players this year but it was lovely to see Evelyn Pegley (Levitton) MBE (Lx ’54) playing again. The weather was a bit drizzly but we were pleased not to get soaked. Everyone enjoyed the course and we were joined for an excellent lunch by Sue Wolstenholme OBE (Ho ’58) and Mags Wood (Hon). The President’s Cup was won by Alison Welborn (Harley) Bu ’76) with an excellent 39 points; Hils Humphrey-Baker (Wright) (Ch ‘76) came second
12th June 2017 The Old Girls’ Inter-School Team Golf Tournament took place this year on Monday 12th June at The Berkshire Golf Club. It is a 27-Hole Stableford Foursomes competition played over two courses. The first pair play the Blue course in the morning and nine holes on the Red course in the afternoon and the second pair play the Red course in the morning and nine holes on the Blue course in the afternoon. It was a fine day and the course looked stunning. The heather and rhododendrons were in full bloom and there was a wonderful smell from the pine trees lining the fairways. This year Berkhamsted were first off the tee at 8.30am, playing alongside the renowned sports school Millfield. Not put off by our skilful playing partners, our first pair Fiona and Jackie managed a creditable score of 34 Stableford points in their morning round and came 2nd. Overall, the Berkhamsted team improved on the 2016 result by six places, finishing 11th out of the 30 schools that took part. St Leonards won The Tassie with a team total of 97 points. The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 61
Our team representing Berkhamsted were: Fiona Welborn (NS ’05), Jackie Kershaw (Welford) (Bu ’81), Liz Selfe (Agate) (OS ‘75) and Lynn Williams (Hewett) (SH ’63). Next year’s Tassie will be held on Monday 11th June at The Berkshire. Vivien Plummer (Hird) (Ho ’77)
Aldenham keep the ABC The Aldenham-Berkhamsted Cup was fought over at Ashridge Golf Club this year with the holders, Aldenham, keeping the trophy for another year as the match was halved. It was disappointing that Berkhamsted couldn’t raise a full team of eight despite the whole membership being circulated, and had to enlist the services of Bruce Northway, the father of a member. The weather was hot and the ground hard which meant that many shots covered a flattering distance. Berkhamsted were led off by two stalwarts, Gordon McBride (Ad ’53) and Malcolm Fullard (Ad ’64) against Lewis and Morris. The match was very tight with Berkhamsted arriving at the 17th green one down. McBride had a three-foot putt for par when Lewis, having chipped from over the road to four feet, promptly sunk his putt also for a par. This obviously upset McBride who missed and thus the first match was lost 2 and 1. Next out were Colin Buckle (Be ’63) and Chris Smith (Up ’64) versus Hall and Vezey. No such problems for them and they ran out winners 3 and 1. The same result but by a larger margin came from Peter King (Co ’60) and Bruce Northway, seeing off Melville and Wilson-Soppitt with a 5 and 4 victory. So it came to the final match with Michael Webster (Be ’60) and Colin McBride (Ad ’63) playing the Aldenham Captain John Yule and Thwaites. The game see-sawed with Webster keeping them in the hunt early on but by the 14th they were 3 down. McBride then found his game, winning the next three holes with a birdie on the 15th, par on the 16th and a birdie putt on 17th. So, 62 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
down the last with a shot for the opposition. He drove into the woods and took a provisional. Having found his first ball he managed to get it back on the fairway in three, net two. Webster didn’t make the green with his second. Unfortunately, McBride was playing the same number ball as the Aldenham provisional and played it to the green. The rules of golf are that if you play the wrong ball you lose the hole. Thus the match was halved 2 each. It was followed by a very nice lunch during which the banter and wine flowed in excellent surroundings. The match in 2018 will be held at Berkhamsted Golf Club. Colin McBride (Ad ’63)
OBGS v Old Cholmeleains Ashridge Golf Club, 14th October 2017 We gathered for our annual joust for the Spooner Salver under cloudy skies with a number of younger players helping the match manager out at the last minute to get a full side out for this 36-hole foursome match played off handicap. Curiously the OCs assert they have no difficulty in finding players for the fixture. After the morning round we led by 2.5-1.5 and appeared well on the way to retaining the Salver. However, perhaps impeded by the usual fulsome Ashridge lunch, matters did not go our way at the start of the afternoon round and the outcome was very much in the balance with six holes to play. Fortunately Mike Atkins (Be ’88) and Matt Dennehy (Ch ’06) managed to turn a four-hole deficit after 11 holes into a 2 and 1 victory and, with the top and bottom pairs supplying last hole wins, we achieved overall victory by 5.5-2.5 to retain the Salver. The following played all or part of the day: Mike Atkins, Nick Bottrill (Fr ’97), Colin McBride (Ad ’63), Malcolm Fullard (Ad ‘64), Pat Ensor (Bu ‘98), Matt Dennehy, Michael Webster (Be ‘60), Michael Butler (Sw ‘72), Jim Northway (Ad ‘82) and Charlie Creasey (Ha ‘11). Michael Butler (Sw ’72)
The Captain, Steven Pither, presenting trophies to Malcolm Hann, Nigel Bennetton and Michael Butler.
OBGS Autumn Meeting Ashridge Golf Club, 20th October 2017 We have now returned to Ashridge for our Autumn Meetings. The weather remained dry and the sun contributed to an enjoyable afternoon of golf. We had an excellent turnout with 25 players competing in the morning in which there were three competitions. The Captain’s Cup for the best Stableford score with a handicap of 18+ or more was won by Malcolm Hann (Up ’63) with 33 points playing off 20. The Veterans’ Cup where golfers receive one extra shot for each year over the age of 65 was retained by Nigel Bennetton (In ’57) with 33 + 6 points playing off 16. The Bobby Furber Salver for the best Stableford score with handicaps of 18 or less was won by Michael Butler (Sw ’72) with 37 points playing off 8. In the afternoon six pairs played in the Cork Cup nine-hole foursomes which was won by Robert Twydle (Co ’74) and Matt Dennehy (Ch ’06) with 18 points on card count back from the Captain, Steven Pither (Up ’75), and Peter King (Co ’60) also with 18 points. We were pleased to welcome for the first time Richard Cutts (Be ‘65), Jolyon Maclaine (Up ’65) and, all the way from Sydney, Patrick Gallagher (Lo ’65). At lunch, we were joined by Bryan Hines (Be ’50), who is a regular at our meetings, and we are always very pleased to see him. The Autumn Meeting next year will be held at Ashridge on Friday 19th October and the Spring Meeting on Friday 27th April at Berkhamsted GC. All OBs are welcome to play. Keith Goddard (Ad ‘62)
Derek Whitehead Trophy Winners Phil Roper and Sam Matthews.
Eton Fives 2016-2017 Season It has been another busy and successful season for the Old Berkhamstedians with a good showing in the Barber Cup, strong performances in League 1 and 2 and huge numbers of Old Boys and Girls stepping on court across the season at various events. The season again started with the Derek Whitehead Trophy, now in its second year, and it was pleasing to see an increase in both number of entries to the competition itself as well as spectators on the day. This year’s competition was won by honorary Berkhamstedian Phil Roper paired up with Prep School player Sam Matthews. The larger entry also meant we introduced a Plate The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 63
competition, which was claimed by recent leaver Lucie Bultitude (Sp ’16) paired with Year 8 Bethan Miles. Again, we are hoping to build on this event each year to keep the already strong links between
charge of a young, but talented Berkhamsted School Girls team. Despite losing most of their matches it was a real bonus for the School girls to see Old Girls of the club still playing and
the School and the Old Berkhamstedians.
competing in the game after they leave school. Another superb result was the huge 10-pair entry into the Graham Turnbull Trophy. Again, this is another fantastic competition to help build strong links with school and club Fives and it was wonderful to see pupils competing all the way down from Year 7 to Year 13. Of the 10 Berkhamsted pairs, four of them made the last 16 and our top pairing of Coach George Campbell and stellar school player Charlie Nicholls made it all the way to the final before losing out in a tight first set which could have gone either way. In the Barber Cup, Old Berkhamstedians had another great run through to the quarter-finals, showing that last year’s performance was certainly not a fluke and they are a force to be reckoned with
Derek Whitehead Players 2017.
James Holroyd and Ryan Perrie in action during the Midlands at Repton.
The Midlands Tournament always provides a good platform to help build ties with OB clubs, allowing stronger players to pair up with recent leavers in a fun but competitive atmosphere of Fives. Last year, Coach Doug Foster paired up with Charles Holroyd (As ’11) and made the quarter-finals. This year it was his twin brother James Holroyd, new MiC at Uppingham, who took on the mantle paired up with coach Ryan Perrie. He did one better than his sibling, reaching the semis before losing out 1-2 in three close sets. A slight disappointment was the turn-out of the Old Girls for both the Richard Black Cup and the Ladies Championships this year. Lucie Bultitude led the way in the Black Cup, however, taking 64 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Old Berkhamstedian Will Roen-Tate paired up with Year 7 player Adam Kapadia.
Turnbull Trophy at Eton: All Berko quarter-final with Andrew Joyce and Miles Doe v Ryan Perrie and Milo Skelton.
Where most of the League 1 action happens!
in the future. They had another tough first-round draw, but squeezed past the Old Cholmeleians with a 2-1 win, pitting them against the Old Stoics who unfortunately had to concede all three pairs allowing Berkhamsted passage through to the semi-final stages for the second year running. Here they came up against a tough-looking Old Salopian side and despite not being at full strength, our 1st and 2nd pairs fought to the bitter end, but finished losing 1-3. This year the OBs have rightfully claimed the 3rd seed position and are looking for an upset to make that elusive final. In the adult League, although we did not reach the dizzying heights of last season, Old Berkhamstedians managed to finish in a very respectable 2nd place in Division 1 and 4th in Division 2. League 1 was a close run all the way with the Old Harrovians and we were pipped right at the end by a single point. A very pleasing sign of the strength and depth of the club was our ability to ensure we rotated our top players
Across the season 37 Old Boys and Girls have represented the club. This is an impressive statistic and one which seems to grow each year. The model we have built upon is certainly working and we are very proud to be one of the few schools breaking the mould when we hear the statistics of ‘poor pull through’ of players from school into the adult game, from which many other clubs and schools seem to suffer. The Old Berkhamstedian club is moving in a new direction for the 2017-18 season. It has always been the dream that once the club has been built up, its organisation can be handed over to the Old Boys and Girls. Next year will see the beginning of this as Andrew Joyce (SG ’09) takes over the reins with the League 1 side. He has already shown the capability with his fine organisation of the Barber Cup team, and with the School support behind him we hope the club will continue to flourish to a point where within the next few years we can field three full teams across all Leagues as well as Old
regularly to allow OBs the opportunity to play some top level Fives along with our senior pupils. In League 2 it was really pleasing to see the huge numbers of Old Boys and Girls taking part with a large squad of players rotating across the season, mixing in with senior School players and guesting Old Berkhamstedians.
Berkhamstedian representation in all the major Fives calendar events. We continue to be the most popular and successful Old Berkhamstedian Sport and are thriving, so we look forward with eagerness to the 2017-2018 season. Anthony Theodossi (Hon) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 65
Hockey OBs v School Hockey Match The 1st squad took on the almighty Old Boys on Sunday in our second meeting of the year. Mr Eaton swapped armies and the battle commenced. In fact, an even game unfolded with the School having the better of it, leading 3-1 and 4-2. Freddie Ormerod (Year 10) played very well in front of his brother Charlie for the School while Callum Simpson (Sp ‘14) stood in the OB goal with his brother Ryan (Year 11) in the School goal for one half! Pete Allam (Bu ‘05) and Will Holderness made a nuisance of themselves while Josh Ramsey and Will Tomlinson marshalled the schoolboy troops! Goals came from Will Harrison, Henry Cotton, James Godsell and Freddie Ormerod for the School while Pete Allam’s hat-trick added to Jonny Shell’s (Na ‘11) goal in the first half, meaning the game finished 4-4. We had numerous old hockey captains back, including Peter Lee (SG ‘04), Ed Roberts (Ch ‘11) and Jonny Peppiatt (Ch ‘09). All had a lovely morning! Mr B Evers (MiC Hockey) 66 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Rugby Berkhamsted Rugby Club (BRUFC) was founded in 2013 and we’re now in our fifth season. We won our Cup Competition last season, beating Finsbury Park in the Final at Harrow and this season for the first time we are fielding two Senior teams (1st XV and 2nd XV). We are a social, family club that play in the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Merit Tables and we are always looking to attract new players. We welcome players at all levels and abilities. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, an experienced player or new to the game – we’d love to give you a run out.
Our home ground and clubhouse is located at Lockhart Field (Cow Roast), where we train twice a week. We have a handful of ex-Berko School players at the club and if you know of any friends, colleagues or family that might fancy an occasional run out or want to play regular rugby please ask them to get in touch. You can contact me (Dan Prince, Treasurer) on 07887 616007 or at email@example.com, or one of our Captains – Paul Wakelin, 1st XV Captain, on 07827 962674; Ron Herriott, 2nd XV Captain, on 07946 246000. Dan Prince (Co ’96)
We were lucky with the weather again this year and had a most enjoyable afternoon of tennis against the School 1st and 2nd teams on Friday
– so perhaps there was a glimmer of hope for us to retain the prestigious Tucker Cup after all! For those who don’t go that far back, Mr Tucker was a tennis coach at the Girls’ School for many years until he retired in around 1976 when he presented this cup to the school. Indeed he was my first tennis coach, and I well remember being coached on the grass tennis courts below Lime Walk in the summer term back in the 1970s. To be able to provide a team of 12 players for the afternoon it was agreed that we could invite four tennis-playing current mums to help us out as honorary Old Girls and for their contribution we are extremely grateful. Our first couple, Jo Hodge (Bellamy) (OS ’94) and Farida Korallus (Current Parent) played some brilliant tennis and almost defeated the School’s top couple, just narrowly losing 5-6; they went on to beat the second couple, after another good battle, 6-5. In the end, the School’s first couple
May 5th 2017 at 5pm. Unfortunately, five of our regular team players were unavailable to play for us this year and we had been warned of the strength of the School teams, so we were somewhat quaking in our boots! But then came the news that the School’s top couple would not be available to play on the day
were undefeated that afternoon, beating our second pair, Brigitta Case (Norris) (NS ’80) and Ali Wilkinson (Current Parent), convincingly 6-0. However, Brigitta and Ali rallied against the second School pair, having adjusted to the girls’ power, top spin and high bounce on the top courts at Kings, and came away with a 6-3 win.
Tennis Old Girls’ Tennis Match
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The rest of our team played with great determination and skill, losing only one more set between them, giving a very convincing overall win for the Old Girls of 9-3! We will savour the moment in the knowledge that the School has a very young team and many of their players will be around for a good few years to come and will only get stronger. Very many thanks to Alison Bamforth (Hon) for organising the fixture and to the School for the excellent and plentiful refreshments. Thanks also go to Penny Kent (Hon) and Vicky Rees (Hon) for helping me to track down potential players for this match. If anyone reading this is interested in taking part next year please do get in touch, and if you were contacted but unable to play, 68 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
rest assured that we will be in touch again this year. Final thanks go to all the players taking part this year: Old Girls’ Team: Jo Hodge and Farida Korallus; Brigitta Case and Ali Wilkinson; Tracey Mackey (Overton) (NS ’82) and Bridget Evers (Chown) (Ru ’82); Caroline Ormerod (Current Parent) and Ali Matthews (Current Parent); Emma Butcher (Ha ’98) and Emily Gray (Bu ’08); Tanya Hart (Altman) (Bu ’81) and Hilary Hartley (Hon). School Team: Sophia Mezzone and Emma Savage; Sophie Wise and Bethan Miles; Isla Duguid and Alice Taylor; Alice Hart and Felicity McDougall (Gabby Palmer); Bryony Smith and Bella Streule; Rose Crossfield and Rebecca Heffer. Brigitta Case (Norris) (NS ’80)
Sailing Club Friday 19th to Sunday 21st May 2017
We were allocated four yachts of differing sizes, ages and styles – a fleet! These ranged from Becky, a 33-foot Seacracker 33 (fast cruiser-racer from the 1970s/80s) to Ceto (pronounced ‘key two’), a
I’m not a sailor, but early in 2017 an email popped into my inbox from the Old Berkhamstedians Sailing Club (OBSC) inviting people to take part on a weekend of sailing on the Solent from 19th to 21st May with four yachts. No sailing experience was necessary. Having done the same thing once in the late 1980s with the large practice of architects that I worked for, I had fondly recalled this experience several times to my land-lover wife, Janet. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to relive it and share the fun together and see what she thought of it. We signed up. Just after lunch on Friday, a smiling Gavin Rees (SH ’97) greeted us outside our house in a minibus with a few other participants. We soon arrived at Shamrock Quay, Southampton (Lat: 50˚54.49’N and Long: 1˚23.55’W, apparently) and settled aboard our yachts.
45-foot Hanse 455, only a year old. Ellisa and Zara were around 40-footers. Slightly disappointingly, no one on any of the yachts looked like Captain Birdseye. On the plus side, there were two Vulcan bomber pilots amongst the crews (Mike Horton (Sw ’64) and Keith Mans (Lo ’64)). Janet and I were on Ceto, owned and skippered by Liz Simons, a very experienced yachtswoman who had sailed across various oceans in storms and had impressive and scary stories to tell. Hopefully the Solent would not provide us with such stories. We were joined by her husband Gary, and OBs Robin Godfrey (Ad ’73), David Johnson (Fr ’88) and friend Nigel. Liz explained with a twinkle in her eye, that Ceto was the ‘Goddess of sea monsters’. Ceto had a 20m mast, a total sail area of 100m² and a beer fridge. Soon, we were exposed to yachting terms such as ‘head’ for the toilet room. Liz said the sea would
The skippers at their briefing on Saturday morning at Shamrock Quay, Southampton. The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 69
Mollie Rees and one of her crabs in Cowes. Ellisa and Zara in Cowes, Saturday afternoon.
be ‘lively’ for our weekend, which I hoped would be survivable, sea monsters willing. I can confirm that sea-faring superstitions include: n Don’t set sail on a Friday n No women on board (bad luck and a distraction) n No whistling Two out of three is not bad. A good chilli accompanied by some Caro Emerald on the built-in hi-fi and a certain amount of merry drinking helped us to get to know each other before our racing expedition to Cowes in the morning. Some reckless crews indulged in some ‘Dark and Stormy’ (lime juice added to ginger beer and Gosling’s Rum). Yo-ho-ho and all that.
On Saturday morning after a hearty breakfast on deck in warm, bright sunshine, we all set off down the River Itchen, Southampton Water and then the Solent. As we all went in slightly different directions, it made racing each other impossible. However, there were plenty of other vessels to catch and overtake which Ceto did with ease. We all took turns with the rigging and steering under instruction from Liz and I found out how important it is to wear the windproof gear as my core became very cold without me realising. I recovered when we anchored off a sheltered Isle of Wight bay and enjoyed a splendid lunch created by Robin and a hot cup of tea which warmed me up again.
I’ll just make a note of that – James Honour and Gavin Rees in Cowes.
Relaxing on Zara in Cowes.
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Sunday breakfast for the crew on Ceto in Cowes.
Janet Honour and Vicky Rees.
Becky in Cowes.
Ceto – All hands on deck.
That evening we all moored in Cowes Yacht Haven, visiting and inspecting the rest of the fleet. Mollie Rees (aged 7) arrived on our boat and proudly announced, ‘This is the last boat I need to go on before I’ve had a drink on every boat!’ Mollie had also caught three crabs, a baby snail and a jellyfish, which were duly admired, photographed and released. She had been a busy girl! However, catch of the day must go to Adam Baggott (Sw ’97) for landing an impressively sized smooth-hound shark, in spite of cries of ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat!’ – it was just like
Then came the OBSC fleet celebratory dinner, which was held in The Fountain Hotel in Cowes. Splendid food was served followed by a speech. There was silence and excitement as Adam stood up and got himself gradually in the zone. ‘In your own time!’ someone shouted. Adam thanked the new members for participating, thanked Gavin and Vicky for organising the Solent cruise and raised a toast to ‘Mooring up and sinking a few’. On Sunday we woke to more sunshine with our delicious bacon and egg baps, courtesy of David and Nigel, and we made one last run west along the north coast of the Isle of Wight before
the iconic scene from Jaws. After the essential photographic evidence was taken, the shark was gently released back into the Solent. Some sailors from the rest of the OBSC fleet ridiculed our new state-of-the-art Ceto – ‘All that hi-tech laser-guided stuff – sailing’s not about making it easy, it’s about the challenge’. Discuss.
returning for home to Southampton. The weather, sailing, friendship and welcome that Janet and I enjoyed could not have been better. It was a pleasure and a privilege. Thank you all and thank you to The Old Berkhamstedians Sailing Club. James Honour (Be ’78) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 71
Autumn Cruise 2017 Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October 2017 Cascadeur – Skipper Matt Steele (SH ’94) Ellisa – Skipper Ken Main (Ad ’93) Becky – Skipper Gavin Rees (SH ’97) Southampton was the venue for the OBSC Autumn Cruise 2017 and building upon the success of the Spring event, 17 of us – some new to sailing and others more experienced – descended upon Shamrock Quay on Friday night and boarded our yachts for the weekend. After introductions and greeting old friends, we provisioned the yachts, allocated sleeping quarters and stowed luggage aboard. Then, following a safety briefing we settled down to a hearty meal and socialised into the evening. The next morning, we were greeted by a still, damp, grey start but this soon dissipated, the wind picked up and the sky brightened ready for our departure. We cast off and sailed with the tide down the River Itchen, past Ocean Village and out of Southampton Water, then tacked up the western Solent. With a warm autumn wind blowing 15-20 knots and a relatively flat sea, we made good progress and reached Lymington in time for lunch. After a relaxed light meal in the glamorous surroundings of Lymington harbour, we left our mooring and headed south east and on broad reaches with the turning tide towards Cowes. Aboard Cascadeur,
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a forty foot Jenneau, we hit a rather impressive 9.2 knots of speed during the Saturday afternoon, which was an excellent achievement in a yacht more suited to comfort than speed. We reached Cowes Yacht Haven in the late afternoon, having clocked up a respectable 45 nautical miles during the day and met up with the other OBSC yachts which had already arrived. After a wash and change, and as the rain started to come down once again, we headed into Cowes to seek shelter in the Anchor pub for dinner. Sunday morning again started overcast but soon cleared and once we had polished off a full English breakfast our three yachts embarked upon the return journey. With the wind behind us, we sailed east out of Cowes back into the Solent, rounding Bramble Bank and dodging through a fleet of racing boats under spinnaker. We then headed north up the North Channel and back into Southampton Water towards Shamrock Quay, where our weekend’s adventure sadly drew to a close. Having done a little sailing in the past but as a newcomer to the OBSC this year, I’d like to extend my thanks to all those involved in the planning of these cruises and making me feel so welcome. I’ve certainly rekindled my love of sailing and I’d recommend trying one of the cruises to anyone with the slightest interest in jumping aboard, meeting new people and making new friends! David Johnson (Fr ’88)
Arrow Trophy When you sign up for a competition that combines ‘sailing types’ and 24 of the Blue Riband public school old boys, you know you are always in for a truly unique and parallel world experience. So it proved as, for the second year, the Old Berkhamstedians entered a boat in the Arrow Trophy – the old pupils’ cup for sailing taking place on Beneteau F40s in the Solent over the weekend of the 14th of October. Having come 23rd out of 24 last year (Winchester were dismasted) in a performance described as ‘torrid’ by the Arrow chairman, we knew that we had to raise our game or always be ‘Berkhamsted who?’ We had a great practice day getting all the mistakes out the way and enjoyed beers and a nice dinner as the other crews started to arrive in Cowes. It is a wonder to behold the selection of strange jackets, suits and vast selection of coloured cords on show. If only Birtchnells was still open! At dinner Emily Douetil (Sp ’13) arrived – young, bright and with actual recent experience of racing – and we knew things were on the up. The Saturday saw racing commence – good
stage we were actually in the lead at a start, much to the consternation of the big guns – of course this quickly led to a general recall back for a restart as too many were over the line… Finishing on the Saturday we were 20th and went to dinner happy with our day’s work. The outfits accelerated in pomp and we safely escaped all the escapades that inevitably seemed to follow. Sunday again was fair and we continued to improve, finishing with our best result – 14th. Honour restored. We look back at a great result considering lots of boats had cleaned hulls, top-level competitive sailors on board and were empty of kit – while ours was full of beer!
winds, fair skies and mostly clear heads. First race we got the last place bogey off our backs finishing 21st. We then maintain the improvement with every race – 22nd, 16th, 20th – with highlights being the ‘spinnaker boys’ with a flawless day, Emily on the ropes and Gavin Rees (SH ’97) who did a brilliant job of starts and skippering. At one
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to blow away the city cobwebs. As with all the sailing events it is above all great fun with good people, which reminds me of the School! Many thanks must go to Gavin Rees for all his tireless organisation of the Old Berkhamstedians’ sailing! David Wotherspoon (Gr ’90) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 73
Rifle Club The OB Rifle Club had a good year, competing in a number of full bore rifle competitions at Bisley. We started on the first May Bank Holiday weekend with the Whitgift Schools competition, followed by the Hertfordshire Astor. No cups this year, but a number of decent results. Several of the members competed individually in the annual Imperial Meeting. The chairmanship of the club passed from Barry Tompson (Co ’61) to Giles Blumsom (Be ’78) in July. We are very grateful to Barry for many years of devoted service to the club, initially as Secretary and more recently as Chairman. This year has seen an expansion of the gallery rifle and black powder pistol shooting organised by the Club Secretary, David Pooley (In ’81). We have met four times this year and have had an average of 10 members and their family members. Much fun has been had by all.
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The picture above shows Michael Glasser in the foreground. The term ‘black powder’ refers to gunpowder but in more recent times has been replaced by Pyrodex, which still gives an impressive amount of smoke, as demonstrated by Richard ‘Wally’ Walpole firing a 44 calibre revolver. Any alumni interested in taking up shooting should contact the OBRC Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org David Pooley (In ’81)
Scuba Diving Club The Berkhamsted Scuba Diving club has had a busy year. Firstly, Old Berkhamstedian James Sidwell (’14) must be congratulated on achieving his Master Scuba diver award after completing two more specialities: PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy and PADI Underwater Digital Photography. With five specialities under his belt and over 50 hours’ dive time, he now holds the highest non-professional Diver rating. Jenna Osborn (Girls’ PE Department), has now completed her two-year apprentice programme under Paul Fitzpatrick and is ready to apply for her first professional diving qualification: PADI Divemaster. During the last 12 months, 25 students signed up for the School-run PADI Open Water courses and achieved their first diving qualification. Three courses were run throughout the year with the theory and confined water (pool) sessions taking place during the winter months, with students then completing the four open water dives at Wraysbury in June. Chris Rogers (Bu ’07) continues
to support these weekends as a Divemaster to allow them to run smoothly. The School took 17 students to Malta during the summer break and 15 went on to become PADI Advanced Open Water Divers and two who were already advanced divers achieved the PADI Enriched Air speciality course. Planning is already underway for this year’s courses and school trip, which look as popular as ever with the students. Additionally we are hoping to run an Old Berkhamstedians trip during the last week of June on a live-aboard in the Red Sea. Paul Fitzpatrick (Old Berkhamstedian Scuba Club)
OB Sports Day Sunday 2nd July 2017 For the first time in many years, we woke to sunshine for the annual Sports Day, not the usual sound of rain, which meant that we knew the numbers would be good. The day was used to play the annual football fixture against the School, which had been cancelled owing to rain back in March, and congratulations go to the School team for their victory. It was a The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 75
great match played in good spirit and provided an opportunity for the OBs to sign up a few leavers from that year, straight into the OB team. An impressive 30-plus players turned up for the touch rugby, including current first team members, recent leavers and a few pushing 40. Age and experience conquered youth and speed, with Gerry Gossâ€™s team once again victorious! The netballers used the day as an opportunity to bring their summer league fixtures to a close and eight local teams who had played down at the Knox-Johnston netball courts then joined the others for the BBQ up at Chesham Road playing fields. The 20 or so fives players, who had also been
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in action down at the Castle Fives Courts also joined the masses for lunch, leaving just enough time for some of their players to don their cricket whites ready for the Twenty20 fixture against the School. With all other sports over, everyone sat back to enjoy the sunshine for the cricket, and after a great display of batting and fielding, in particular from the School team, the OB team were beaten by the School, with five overs to spare. Many thanks to all those who came and joined us for the day, whether player or spectator and to all the club captains for pulling their teams and players together. Vicky Rees (Hon)
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Healthcare in Transylvania Over the summer, I got the opportunity to go to
explained the case of each patient to me. It was even the same with the surgeons, who helped me to learn as much as possible about what they were doing and why.
Romania to do work experience at hospitals in the area for a week with the company Medical Projects. There I got the chance to gain an insight into the Romanian healthcare system â€“ to contrast this with the NHS â€“ and explore the Romanian culture in the town of Brasov in Transylvania. The first day started bright and early, with a walk through Brasov to the private hospital where I would be spending the next few days. While there I observed outpatient clinics in a variety of specialities. Monday was cardiology, where I mainly observed investigations such as ECGs. On Tuesday, I got the opportunity to see surgery. This was something I was really looking forward to experiencing. I changed into sterilised scrubs and mask and entered the operating room to see a varicose vein surgery. The procedure involved burning closed a superficial vein that was at risk of causing a leg ulcer owing to poor circulation. Actually seeing this done in practice gave me a whole different perspective. What surprised me most was, despite the high pressure of any surgery, they created a high-spirited atmosphere where they worked well as a team and listened to their favourite music. Despite the consultations being in Romanian, many of the doctors spoke good English, and
On Wednesday, while spending time in gastroenterology, I observed the doctor performing abdominal investigations. Seeing many patients have ultrasounds made me intrigued at how the doctor noticed small abnormalities in the scan. So, following the clinic, the doctor did an ultrasound on me and explained all the anatomical structures she was looking at in my abdomen. In contrast to the private hospital with all its modern technology, we then went to a relatively large paediatric state hospital on Thursday and Friday. I spent time in the high dependency ward where children and babies with complex conditions required constant monitoring. This gave me an insight into the state healthcare system of another country. The wards had adequate facilities and equipment and there was a room for parents to stay and a small garden balcony. The staff, although busy, were very friendly. The team included doctors of similar length training to that in the UK, nurses and a play therapist. However, there was far less access to the most modern and progressive equipment and resources, particularly in surgery. In addition I observed how social support for children with chronic conditions was not as extensive. In a
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few cases some of the children were recurrently admitted to the hospital as they did not receive the right support to manage their conditions at home, particularly in the rural areas. While there we took the opportunity to speak to some of the children and their parents. Of course it took some help from Google Translate; nevertheless, hearing their experiences was really interesting. During the afternoons, we had clinical training sessions, where we learned basic clinical procedures such as taking blood pressure, assessing a patient with different system-based examinations and taking a history. Moreover, despite (I must admit) dreading it, the mock MMIs and panel interviews we did were really useful for getting used to the stress of interviews, and getting feedback from the medical students who took them. Of course, we also had free time as well. This gave me a chance to explore the town of Brasov, which was surrounded by the stunning views of the Carpathian Mountains. The town itself had all kinds of restaurants, bars and shops, as well as a beautiful park, where we went cycling, and old medieval churches. In the evenings, we went to all kinds of restaurants, where I got a taste of the local Romanian food. What I liked the most was sharing this whole experience with a really nice group of people, who also wanted to pursue medicine or were medical students themselves. It was a great chance to discuss similar interests, share advice and meet new people. Not only was this an experience to see parts of the world I had never seen before, it was also really useful and I hope I can use the experience and what I learned to pursue a career in medicine. I am extremely grateful for the generous grant given to me by the Old Berkhamstedians, without which this amazing opportunity would not have been possible. Harriet Gould The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 79
Presents and piety in North Korea We flew from London Gatwick to Hong Kong
2011. The bridge was impressive to see, and we got the chance to walk across the Broken Bridge which was bombed during the Korean War. We took a speed boat across the river and managed
airport on the 11th August. The flight was nine hours long and we landed in Hong Kong at seven in the morning. When we arrived our flight was delayed by an hour. Unfortunately for us the flight was delayed six more times, and we did not take off for Beijing until two in the afternoon. The flight delay meant we were unable to catch our sleeper train from Beijing to Dandong, and so it was up to us to find our own way there. When we landed in Beijing we took a taxi from the airport to the railway station, and when we got to the station we had to find the next train to Dandong. The train station was heaving with people, almost overcrowded, and no one spoke a word of English. We eventually managed to find a train to Dandong, which consisted of us taking a bullet train to Shenyang and then onwards to Dandong. It took us an hour to arrange the tickets and once we had arranged them we had to wait seven hours for our train which departed at 2.30am. After the immense travel we finally arrived in Dandong for our tour at 10 the same morning, and our tour guide met us at the train station so we were able to join the tour. On the Dandong tour we saw the Yalu River Friendship Bridge which is 150 km long and stopped construction when relations broke down between the Chinese and North Koreans in
to catch our first glimpses of North Korean life as we entered a valley between North Korea and Dandong and we saw the Korean people who lived on the bank of the Yalu River. We stopped at a crossing point that North Koreans used to get between the banks of their small islands and we caught our first sight of the North Korean Military. After our lunch we were able to climb up the most Eastern part of the Great Wall of China, and the view from the top allowed us to view the closest parts of the border, where at some points you were able to jump to North Korea. After spending the evening in Dandong, we woke up and prepared for our entry into North Korea. As we entered our train stopped for two hours so we could be searched before entry. Amusingly for us, the North Koreans were very polite and did not thoroughly check anything we had. After this strange encounter the train set off and arrived in Pyongyang, and to our surprise there were no more checks or security briefings and we were in and ready to start our tour. We first travelled to the great Statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-un. We bowed to the statues and then travelled to dinner. The cuisine was similar to Chinese cuisine, but we preferred the Korean food as it seemed to be more thoroughly cooked. We then went to
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our hotel and had the evening free to ourselves. We explored our hotel which had a barber, a swimming pool, a games room, a karaoke room and a gym. We went everywhere but the fifth floor!
paintbrush monument Russia built for the Koreans. The monument is outstanding and the architecture was beyond anything we had seen before. We then walked to the Korean History Museum and
The next day we woke up and travelled to the 38th parallel. This is the location that divides North and South Korea, and was established in the armistice of the Korean War in 1953. After a three-hour car journey we returned to Pyongyang and took a tour of the Metro. It was fascinating and we even got the chance to ride on the train with locals. We then left the station to see the Arc of Triumph, a large celebratory monument built after the Korean War. We travelled to the top of the great marble Arc and the view of the city was amazing. The skyline of North Korea was busy and colourful. After that, we took a trip to the fun fair which was the most exciting night we had. We went on rides with the locals and it was surreal how normal it all felt. We went on every ride with the members of our tour and took photos with some of the local North Koreans. Children ran around making faces at us and many people waved. The following morning we travelled to the Friendship Exhibition Hall to see all the gifts world leaders have given to the Kim dynasty. There were 180,000 gifts and the hall was immense. We saw bulletproof limousines from Stalin, polar bear skins, trains from China, and we were very disappointed that the only gift the UK managed to produce was a silver plate. After we had a cup of tea with a view of the mountainous region, we took the bus back to Pyongyang and saw the great hammer, sickle and
watched a 4D experience of the Korean War in Pyongyang. Our final day was perhaps the best of all, with visits to the famous and well respected Mausoleum, Kim Il-sung square and a secondary school. Never before have we been introduced to such a weird concept as the Mausoleum. We knew of course that it showcased the previous leadersâ€™ bodies (Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il), but we did not know what to expect. Dressed up in our school uniform, we walked into this massive, grand
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building where we had to walk for roughly 10 minutes before we were stopped by our guide, Mr Sudworth, and were told to get into lines of four before entering the room. We did this and were
we returned to the hotel, there was a meeting point in the karaoke bar which was a rather spontaneous way to end the trip, but with everyone getting involved it was great fun.
then instructed to bow at three of the four corners of the room and then leave and do the same in the next room. The bodies lay in crystal caskets, and were kept in great condition. After we had been to the two rooms, one for each of the leaders, we then entered an even bigger room which had 20ft waxed statues of the two leaders who were stood against a mountainous backdrop. Again, we formed into our lines, walked up with some patriotic music in the background and bowed. This was far from normal for us. We then went on to Kim Il-sung Square, which is a big area known for holding parades and public events, but while we were there it was just a big space, although we were able to imagine the mass of people who could be fitted into it. The final destination of the tour was to the school, where we were sat down in a theatre-like room with a stage, and were sang to by a band of North Korean girls who seemed not a note off perfection. It became almost fake as they were smiling at every moment and were so in time with one another even though they were roughly 12 years of age, but it was entertaining none the less. This was the last official visit, yet when
Once we were back in the civilised world of China we found adapting to the freedom of life strange. The majority of the tour group stood outside the train station waiting to be told where to go and what to do next, with none of us realising we had freedom of choice again. Our itinerary had been so busy, the idea of free time was also strange to us. We said goodbye to everyone we had met on the tour, and we gave presents to our tour guides as a thank you for their accommodation. We then departed on our sleeper train to Beijing, which took 13 hours. The train was very busy, and unfortunately for us we were split up in different sleeper carriages, meaning we had to make friends with the locals who didnâ€™t speak
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a syllable of English. When we eventually arrived in Beijing we took a day tour of the Hidden City, and visited Tiananmen Square. We were very tired from all our travelling so we probably do not have the best memories in China, especially when we attracted so much attention from the local people who insisted on taking hundreds of photos of us with relatives and friends and couples and children. When we got to the airport we waited four hours for our flight. We flew again to Hong Kong and then onwards to London. On the plane we read our Korean books and looked at all the presents we had brought back. Studying both Chinese and North Korean cultures, we all agreed how different and strange their mannerisms and piety had been. However we learned so much on our trip about a completely different world, and we left with more questions than we went with. John Passmore, Angus Wilson and Oliver Perkins
A Himalayan adventure Our Himalayan adventure stretched from the 24th July to the 29th August. In these five weeks, every day was different and every day flew by. We would like to thank the Old Berkhamstedians for nominating me and Iona as worthy candidates. British Exploring prize themselves as a company that celebrates Science, Media, Adventure and Self Development and I am pleased to say that we have both delved and submerged ourselves into all aspects that the trip had to offer.
Five weeks in the Himalayas and the Zara Valley: battling altitude to the highest peaks; climbing among its glaciers and ridges, drinking in its clear glacial meltwaters, and bathing in them; watching its raptors soar and its rodents scamper, its flowers bloom, illuminate and then wither under ever harder frosts, its night sky stretch from horizon to horizon by the Milky Way, embracing the curve of the Earth, shooting stars dancing across the sky, dissipating into the inky black darkness. As this remarkable adventure comes to a close, it leaves an abundance of memories, friendship, wanderlust and appreciation for the environment and loved ones. These are just a glimpse of the highlights that we were fortunate enough to experience. Seeing and witnessing the Dalai Lama at his Summer Palace was remarkable too. What a pleasure and a delight to have had the chance to visit one of the worldâ€™s wonders. Thank you for supporting us. India is a feast for the senses and holds exciting challenges. Travelling from Delhi, onto Leh towards the Ladahk region meant that we felt
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Involving ourselves in all aspects of this expedition has sparked curiosity and a desire to discover more about the world. We wish to travel and explore hidden gems across this amazing planet. This five-week expedition has been the experience of a lifetime, and the memories and everything we have learned will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We want to thank you so much for making this trip possible with your generous travel grant. Iona and Jennie Roberts the challenges of altitude. Suffering for the first time a shallowness of breath and feeling lethargic was a new experience and feeling for us. Being away from home for five weeks was a challenge that developed my mental toughness, and our positivity surprised us when times were tough. Camping consistently made us appreciate the luxuries of a westernised society. Easy, mundane tasks back ‘home’ like cooking, cleaning and sleeping became a healthy challenge out there. Everywhere there was a physical challenge, from filtering water from millbanks to hauling glacier kit up a 5,900m peak. We have both developed and improved in so many ways. The most obvious development is in self confidence, the ability to achieve incredible peaks and scale amazing ridges we never thought possible, and realising you have the strength to go on even when you’re feeling mentally weak and tired. We have improved in fitness massively and learned new walking techniques such as a ‘rest step’ which makes an 11-hour walking day so much easier. Spending time with a company that is passionate about the preservation of the environment has made us want to share our awareness, to educate and help friends and family around us to care and protect our amazing planet. Spending five weeks away from home has made us evaluate and mentally prepare ourselves for the upcoming school year and has motivated us to focus and prepare well for the challenges that face us ahead. What an awe-inspiring experience it has been. 84 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Art in the Land of the Rising Sun With dreams and aspirations, we began our journey. The first day started at 6am in Tokyo Haneda Airport. The good manners of the Japanese had already impressed us as we were welcomed and greeted with bows and smiles. Taking off from our hotel in Shibuya, we attended the annual Japanese summer festival (Natsumatsuri) in Meiji Shrine. We walked through Yoyogi Park and saw a lot of people dressed in traditional Japanese costumes, ready for performances. We then visited the 21-21 design site nearby, which is designed by one of the most important Japanese architects, Tadao Ando, and fashion designer Issey Miyake. The split-level concrete structure includes a hand-sanded steel roof inspired by Miyake’s A Piece of Cloth and the 14m-long glass panels were just amusing and stunning to look at. Besides, the exhibition was inspiring. Since the theme of 21-21 is ‘everyday life’, multi-directional exhibitions and programmes were held. There was a particular exhibition which made a very deep impression on us. Unlike traditional art shows, Tape Tokyo 2 by Numen is a medium-scale cave entirely made with sellotape. Visitors are allowed to walk inside this cave which is suspended from the floor.
We also went to ‘Fujifilm Square’, where a wide range of analogue cameras are displayed. We became really excited as there were many extraordinary film pictures exhibited. As photography students, visiting the origin of film was no doubt one of our biggest dreams. On Tuesday, we went to the signature tourist spot in Japan, Fuji. After having a fulfilling lunch around the train station, we decided to walk along the narrow streets and made our way to the Hoto Fudo restaurant located near the Fuji mountainside. The view in Fuji made a great contrast to the crowded city of Tokyo. Skyscrapers and tall buildings would never appear in this small nostalgic town, but warm and friendly wooden houses could be found everywhere. The sky was blue and we were surrounded by silence. It is comfortable and relaxing after two days of bustle. The Hoto Fudo restaurant is a pure white structure comprising several hemispheres. We were completely stunned by the view, where we could see the silhouette of Mount Fuji in a misty, gloaming afternoon. We were excited enough to miss the sunset as we were too busy getting photographs of such an extraordinary sight. Our final day of the journey did not go to plan. We expected to take a photo-shoot of ourselves dressed in kimonos in front of the famous
The exhibition The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is really impressive. This exhibition is a spectacular attempt to introduce 75 houses by 56 groups of Japanese architects through more than 400 materials including models, plans, photographs and videos. It is structured thematically rather than chronologically to facilitate a deeper understanding of the characteristics of Japanese houses. These architects included Jun Aoki, Atelier Bow-Wow, Tadao Ando etc, who contributed a lot in the history of Japanese architecture. The show even included a real-size model that visitors can actually get inside. One of the masterpieces of Japanese housing construction that is said to have been highly valued by Walter Gropius, Professor Saito’s House is reproduced with some original furniture. Studying different extraordinary architectural designs broadened our horizons. Our last stop of the trip was Nezu Museum with its collection of diverse Japanese and Asian modern art work. Besides a wide range of stunning art pieces, the highlight of the museum is definitely its breathtaking backyard. It is a delicate, characteristically Japanese, serene garden with a lot of plants and bamboo trees. Compared to the bustling streets outside lined with fashionable shops, this museum is peaceful and relaxing. It was definitely the perfect place to end our six-day trip.
Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji. However, the weather was not as sunny and bright as we thought. There was nothing we could do but strike the shoot from our schedule. It was such a shame, but we managed to visit the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, which is another famous museum in Japan.
In summary, we really enjoyed our time in Japan, not only as tourists but also as visitors looking at the country through the perspective of art and culture. It has certainly been an unforgettable experience and we look forward to the day we return. Suki Fong and Charlize Ng The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 85
Early the next day we set out to leave the docks, heading for Dublin, where we planned to stop for a night before heading down and around the Irish coast towards Cork, which is where I would get my
Tall Ships in the Celtic Sea On Tuesday 15th of August I arrived at port in Swansea and set foot aboard Stavros S Niarchos – the 195ft brig-rigged tall ship I would be living on for the next week. I was the first youth crew member to arrive. After being taken down to my bunk and told to unpack, I headed back on deck to meet some of the other youth crew members who were just arriving. There were 23 youth crew members in total and around 15 permanent or volunteer staff. Our initial ‘Welcome’ briefing was early in the afternoon, so we spent the rest of the day collecting kit, training and having our first taste of climbing the masts. Having each been assigned a harness, I was a bit confused when I learned we wouldn’t be using them for the majority of the climbing. However, I really enjoyed our first chance to try to make it to the first platform, which feels a lot higher when you’re up there than it does when you’re looking at it from the deck. I was buzzing with adrenaline when I finally climbed back down, despite the fact the boat was still tied to the docks and barely moving, meaning that it was a relatively easy first experience. My first night’s sleep on the boat was actually surprisingly comfortable, despite being in a small cabin with six other youth voyage members, as there were curtains to separate the bunks and wearing earplugs meant I couldn’t hear any snoring. 86 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
flight home. I was given the job of coiling up the heavy ropes that were used to tie the boat to the shore. I also then had to help store them below deck. This meant I got very hot and hadn’t spent any time looking at the horizon – which I learned later was the perfect recipe for seasickness. When I joined the rest of the crew members, I learned I was not alone in feeling ill. Within about half an hour of leaving the port the first person had thrown up. Over the next 12 hours every single other youth crew member had been seasick. This led to a day I will never forget. One of the most memorable moments, for all the wrong reasons, was dinner. At this time, the sea was particularly choppy and we had yet to find our ‘sea-legs’. Trying to stomach some food myself, while doing my best to block out the sounds of various other crew members violently throwing up into buckets on the table behind me, I looked across the table at James, someone who had not yet felt seasick, who was now staring,
glassy-eyed into his food, while looking slightly green in the face. I asked him if he was feeling all right, to which he responded that he felt absolutely fine. Promptly following his response,
we found somewhere to stop and Sue was well enough to join us for the rest of the voyage. For the duration of the voyage, we were split into three ‘Watch’ groups. Each group was
however, he vomited all over his own, and his neighbour’s food at the dinner table. I didn’t know how I was going to last a week on the boat. On the second day, although the sea was still rough, most people were starting to feel a lot better. It was not an easy day, however, as my group leader, Sue, had slipped in the bad weather and hit her head. The crew decided that we needed to call in a helicopter so that a paramedic could have a look. Soon, the boat had a rescue helicopter hovering about the masts, trying to lower a paramedic onto the boat. Because the sea was so wavy, they were not able to lift them back onto the helicopter, so a lifeboat had to be called out too in order to evacuate her. We circled off the Welsh coast while we waited to hear whether Sue would be re-joining us on the voyage. The captain ordered for the anchor to be dropped off the coast of Tenby, but the anchor kept dragging along the seabed, meaning we couldn’t stop. Eventually,
given shifts each day to helm the shift and be on look-out, as well as being assigned areas of the ship which they had to clean during the ship’s daily ‘Happy Hour’. ‘Happy Hour’ was definitely everyone’s least happy hour on the ship as it meant scrubbing the ship from top to bottom, including the insides of the toilet bowls – a job which I was given first. Also, each day, one member of each Watch was assigned to ‘Mess Man’s Duty’, which meant serving food to everyone at mealtimes. There had to be a Watch group on the bridge of the ship, helming and on look-out at all times, day and night. This meant some days we would be setting our alarms for 4am. This may sound bad, but it was actually quite cool watching the sunrise, as well as seeing a few dolphins jumping along next to the boat. My least favourite shifts on the bridge were actually during the day because, even on the midnight until 4am shift, you could see every single star so brightly, as there was little light pollution out on the boat. Because of all the drama of the first two days of the voyage, we didn’t have time to visit Dublin. Instead we had our first shore leave at Waterford – a chance to set foot on Irish land at last. I, along with most of the youth crew members, headed straight to McDonald’s. The next day we headed for Cork, our final destination. Along the way, however, we did have a brief stop to give anybody that wanted it an opportunity to climb to the top of the mast. Being over 100ft above deck in the middle of a swaying sea and being told to unclip your harness to change ropes is a pretty nerve-racking experience, but one that will stay with me. Overall, this was a trip of a lifetime, and allowed me to experience things that I will never forget. Chris Cox The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 87
Aarhus, it has a crowd With the generous donation of £150 provided by the School towards a trip abroad we travelled to Aarhus, Denmark. This small city north of the capital Copenhagen was named European Culture Capital of 2017. The focus of the trip was to improve our artistic skills and cultural understanding. A highlight of the four-day-long trip for all of us was the visit to the ARoS Museum. This is an ambitious art gallery hosting a variety of modern artists’ work, spread out over eight floors with a ninth floor dedicated to their rainbow panorama walkway, which gives a 360-degree view of the city through rainbow-coloured glass. The museum was particularly interesting owing to its large range of artistic styles, from 16th
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century paintings to new creative and interactive installation artworks. We have all subsequently been able to work further with the inspiration and material gathered while there. The entire city has been celebrating its election as European Cultural Capital of 2017 and as a result the art exhibition continued into the streets of Aarhus, with a second collection of work lining the gardens along the shore. This was composed entirely of outdoor sculptural work. There were more pieces to be found scattered across the city as well. The overall theme was ‘the garden: past, present and future’; the gallery, the city and the seashore each represented one of these. Other highlights of the trip included the Old Town museum, Den Gamle By. Aarhus has taken a unique approach to recording its cultural history by perfectly preserving many buildings dating back hundreds of years and constructing a museum inside these buildings. As we walked further through the town we also discovered they have recently built an extension that reflects more modern periods, reaching the 20th century at the very end. Below the city buildings there is another interactive museum. The exhibits
A dramatic two weeks there are specifically constructed to be far more innovative and interactive than typical museums. For example, they have an entire stationary steam train underneath the city that blows steam into the room demonstrating the progress the city has made in forms of travel over the years. On top of this we visited the botanical gardens, a trip that allowed us to improve our drawing from first-hand objects, such as the exotic plants found in the garden. This building was also interesting architecturally because of the innovative design of the principal tropical greenhouse. Overall, we had in incredible experience and found the trip an amazing opportunity to learn and grow. From planning the trip to raising the funds, to successfully navigating a foreign country despite the language barrier, we found we were more capable of independence than any of us had really expected. Travelling together is entirely different from travelling in a family group and we all thoroughly appreciated the freedom it offered. Also, being close friends, we found it relatively easy to communicate and work together to maximise the trip time. We would like to thank the Old Berkhamstedians for providing the funds and helping us use this amazing opportunity. Maddie Bentley, Iona Newman and Ashlea Philips
On Monday 7th August 2017, I headed to The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in Hammersmith, after being awarded the Travel Grant from the Old Berkhamstedians. For the next two weeks I was going to experience the rigorous training and lifestyle of a drama school student, as part of the ‘Introduction to Drama School Course’. As a keen A-level Drama student and performing addict, not to mention an aspiring actress, I was in my element. After settling in and finding the groups we would be spending the next two weeks with, it was time to get to work. We were introduced to our Director, Mark, and told we were putting on a play by the end of the course, to show the other students and Directors. We would be performing It Snows By Bryony Lavery, Steven Hoggett and Scott Graham. Throughout the creation of our work, we experimented with a lot of techniques of devising, inspired by Frantic Assembly. Of course, knowing the practitioner already I did have an advantage enabling me to bring ideas to the group. Not only this, I also learned more about Frantic Assembly and their techniques such as ‘Hymm Hands’ and ‘Round By Through’, which also expanded my knowledge. On two days of each week we were fortunate enough to receive classes in Acting, Movement The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 89
about a Michael Chekhov technique known as ‘Psychological Gesture,’ in which one whole body gesture could symbolise a character’s motivations. That would be repetitively done and developed
and Voice, all from teachers who teach classes at LAMDA to the full time BA Acting students, as well as having done prestigious and highly regarded work themselves. In Movement class I was enabled to connect to my own body more, allowing greater spatial awareness and clearer expression. I also learned some more concepts that might seem out of the ordinary to some, but really have a great impact on you as a performer. For example, being uncomfortable with something will always be experienced in acting but learning to accept this idea should cause less suffering. Although this is a deep thought, we were taught this through simple trust exercise and weight holds. Once the concept is grasped it has a huge effect on confidence. Furthermore, this is not just something that I will take for my acting, but also to everyday life. In Acting class, we were taught many techniques to develop variety of character.
to try and embody emotions of a character, and soon, even when not performing the gesture, the emotions would still be present. We also learned other techniques including experimentation with different elements such as fire and water, as well as the three centre points of motivation to actions. After experiencing multiple techniques it was interesting to see what worked personally for me, and to discuss with others the different benefits we would experience. In Voice class, we would learn lots of exercises to increase voice range, volume and diction, and also see to the care and treatment of our voice. Learning about different resonances and breath control really widened my knowledge of the voice. Although some exercises would seem silly, like sticking our tongues out while performing a monologue, the lasting effect was almost overwhelming. Personally I discovered my voice sounded more free and easier to project. Overall, my trip to LAMDA was eye-opening, intriguing and above all amazing. From just two weeks I’ve gained so much; imagining what could be learned on a three-year BA in Acting has only increase my appetite and made me more eager. I feel more confident about auditions for Drama School I’ll be attending this coming year, and there was no better way to prepare and have a taster quite like this course. It’s not just the educational gains from this course but also the personal, from an increase in confidence to finding such interesting and like-minded people.
These were exercises to carry out in rehearsal to create variety within your work, or perhaps to do something spontaneous and unexpected. Furthermore, a development of the imagination was always a big aim, to improve a muscle that is often poorly treated and neglected in day to day activities. For example, we were taught
I would not have been able to have had this opportunity without the Travel Award, so above all thank you to the Old Berkhamstedians. And to anyone thinking of applying, go out and do it, as it is a chance for you to have a once in a lifetime experience. Pippa Marsh
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Sarah Bailey Sarah joined Berkhamsted Girls in 2003 as an assistant school secretary. She moved to the Prep in 2011 and then in January 2012 she was appointed as PA to Ashley Clancy. Sarah was a key member of the team at Kings. She knew all of the girls really well and took a great interest in them as they moved through the School. Sarah was always full of energy and enthusiasm, never taking her foot off the pedal! She was a fantastic support to all those who worked at Kings and she was tireless in coming up with ideas and ways to continue to evolve the smooth running of the School. Pupils and staff will miss her. However, we have some great memories which will stay with us, including the image of her as a fire marshal giving commands in her luminous pink fire helmet, and commanding the stage in talent shows and pantomimes, taking on roles such as Edina from Absolutely Fabulous with great aplomb. We wish her every happiness in her new business venture with her husband Tom and know that she will have more time to enjoy her house in Spain. Liz Richardson (Head of the Girls’ School)
It was a very different school then, both structurally and in terms of the average age of the staff, and when I joined a year later I saw in Fred something of a kindred spirit, but also a man of many talents,
Fred Charnock joined Berkhamsted School in January 1981 as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography. He had taught before then in Hammersmith & Fulham and had been
some of which even now, the best part of 40 years on, surface as if for the first time. In those early days we ran the Colts A together. We are both slightly obsessive characters and our sessions often went on into the gloaming of twilight. I remember regarding him as a larger than life, slightly Chaucerian, figure, and wrote a poem about him as if he himself were on the Pilgrimage. Ever the competitor, he replied in kind. Bizarre, I know. The same obsessiveness he brought to his swimming coaching. Our swimming pool of that era still lies, I believe, beneath the floor of what now is Tilman House. It was the oldest school pool in England, had a preservation order on it, and was of pre-imperial dimensions. The Holy Grail was the Bath and Otter Cup. Fred did everything but win it. En route he produced some brilliant school swimmers, who even now, in their fifties, remember him with a paradoxical blend of affection and terror. Many were boarders, and Fred would himself kick out of bed the more recalcitrant at 0500 hrs for a two-hour session before school most days, if not every day. Fred produced some fantastic swimmers – Mike (In ’90), Derek (In ’85) and Richard (In ’86) Flint, Gary (In ’92), David (In ’97) and Shane (In ’95) Garner, Stevie Wiles (In ’86), Jonny Brown (Fr ’84), Giles Webber (Co ’86), Matt Norman, Gareth Wright (In ’91) and Mike Adey (Co ’91) are some of the names who come to mind. Most were boarders in Incents under DRAP. Heaven only knows what time the dayboys got up to swim at such an hour.
instrumental in founding the rugby club of the same name for the benefit of many of the more socially deprived in that borough. At the time he was also a member of 4 Bn RGJ, whence in September 1982 he joined Berkhamsted CCF. PE at the time was low-profile and limited largely to the Junior School, swimming and gymnastics.
In our early days at Berkhamsted, Fred and I were young subalterns in the CCF. The Corps was run by a naval man, Harvey Terry, the army section by Bill Glover, the Head of Chemistry. Bill was an Arthur Daly figure. He looked like him… and behaved like him. My first trip abroad with Fred was to 32 Armoured Engineers in Munsterlaage.
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It didn’t begin well. We got on the overnight Harwich to Hamburg Ferry at 1600 hrs. ‘I have some good news and some bad news,’ says Arthur Daly. ‘We have a cabin… it’s for one!’ I slept on a doormat, Fred in a chair. There was a pecking order, which changed little over my 25 years in the Corps. We drove to Munsterlaage without a Satnav. ‘Head south from Hamburg and turn left’ was as detailed as it got. Things did not get any better on arrival. By that stage Fred was Head of PE. I was the Head of Classics. Fred in his Harris Tweed was mistaken for the latter, I, in tracksuit, for the former. It was difficult to know which of us was the more outraged. It was that sort of relationship. The first night was a mess night. Bill had been cheating at snooker for a good two hours. Suddenly, after missing an easy black and carelessly
he got back all right. When we got back to his room he was stretched out on the bed like a corpse, with his hands down by his sides, flat on his back, dressed in his DJ, snoring like Stentor. Fred saw some mileage in this. He returned from our room with some boot polish and blackened Bill’s face – and then removed the mirror from the wall. Next day the alarm woke us at 0500 and the sobriety of the dawn advised wiser counsels. ‘C’mon… we cannot leave him like that… let’s get him up.’ We crept along the corridor like naughty schoolboys, giggling away, and entered his room. He hadn’t moved a finger. Straight as an arrow, DJ and dicky bow, black face. ‘Bill… Bill… it’s 5 o’clock, training begins at 6.30, wake up!’ Al Jolson opened one eye, opened a second, sat bolt upright, turned through 90 degrees to sit on the edge of the
setting me up for a win, with scarcely a thought, he swept the offending black into the pocket, performed a shambolic about-turn and lurched off at speed towards the mess annexe where we were billeted. It was our first night, we were up early the next day, and were concerned to give the right impression. Fred and I followed him to make sure
bed… stood erect and walked over to the lighter patch of wall where the mirror had been. Without a moment’s hesitation, face blackened and lips roseate pink, he addressed the wall, adjusting his bow tie: ‘Am I dressed for breakfast?’ Bill had a lot of style and knew how to have the last word. Fred and I were amateurs. Oh, and on that trip, The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 93
Fred saved my life – twice: once when he offered me some sensible advice when I was struggling against the current in a freezing and fast-flowing river; the other when I looked right (as I had been
I remember vividly his taking some time out in Brecon to do some climbing with me on a disused railway viaduct at Morlais Quarries, and my jaw drops even now at the recollection of his testing
trained to do from childhood) before stepping into the road! I owe him a lot. I have never been on a skiing holiday with Fred – but I know many of you have at some time during the best part of 100 trips he has led. I did go on half a dozen water-sports holidays with him with the Corps speedboat and a dozen toppers, canoes and windsurfers, to Arcachon, Biscarosse, the Ardeche Gorge and Agde in France, and L’Escala in Spain. These were in the days of fine profit margins and minimal health and safety. I endured a 19-hour coach journey home from France with Fred suffering from acute food-poisoning, saw him deliriously stagger up to the bus driver in the early hours and demand to be given ‘the controls of this plane’ (sic), and resisted his pleas to be abandoned at a motorway service station in Poitiers, because he could not face a moment longer on the coach in that condition. Unsurprisingly, we heard on return that the centre at the Ardeche had been closed. Fred was a very good rugby player. Not a big man, but an extraordinarily tough No. 8, with great technique, and he was a good decision-maker. Occasionally we would turn out together at 8 and 9 for H&F RUFC and he would set me up for many a try which was the fruit of his own labour. He was also a superb gymnast with a remarkable level of flexibility, strength, endurance and style. The PE Dept today, talented sportsmen all, know to defer to Fred at gymnastics, even as a sexagenarian; so, too, at swimming; so, too, on the ski slopes – even now.
out the pitch by abseiling headfirst down the longest leg of the viaduct in the sleet and howling wind. Just another of his many talents. Other major posts of responsibility included Head of Physical Education (1984), Director of Sport (1990), and Director of Outdoor Education (1996). For several years, too, he coached the 1st XV with me, and back in 2002 we enjoyed, together with some exceptionally able boys, and Richard Thompson, an iconic rugby tour to New Zealand where Fred had earlier been on exchange in 1987. We stopped off in LA on the way out and Fiji on the way back, and even now we share our fond recollections over a bottle of red. Incidentally, while he was on exchange, his wife Christine had entered a competition and won a car. Fred had entrusted me with his post in his absence. I left the notification sitting on the kitchen table and by the time I replied the offer had lapsed. We laugh about it now, but Christine never did. Temperamentally, Fred and I have a great deal in common. He has been a very special friend over very many years, and we have shared some great adventures together. In many the reality exceeds fantasy. In recent years our paths have crossed less frequently, but our friendship goes deep. I know there are few things I could not not ask of him, and, when push comes to shove, that is the judge of a man. When I bought my first house, we bought the shell and not much else. He inherited skills as a plumber from his dad and gave up a week of his holiday to plumb in a kitchen and
For 24 years Lt Col Charnock was OC Berkhamsted CCF as Bill Glover’s successor. For 30 years, embracing that period, he was a Duke of Edinburgh leader and assessor. Many OBs in that time went on to attain high rank in our armed forces, but many more learned about leadership, self-reliance and a love of the great outdoors.
bathroom for me. Before the units in the kitchen and the bath in the bathroom concealed the pipework, it did look a touch ‘Heath Robinson’, and my wife at the time did contemplate counselling on one particularly stressful occasion. I did my best to reassure her without any compelling evidence as to why she should feel so reassured, but my
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instinctive faith in Fred proved well placed. Once the units were in place, who cared what a sinuous labyrinth of pipework lay behind? As a schoolmaster and a man there have been few like Fred. Most of the younger generation will remember him at the head of one of the countryâ€™s best CCFs. It was voluntary under Fred, and the alternative was to go home, yet a couple of hundred Berkhamstedians preferred to march round the Gravel Quad in near total darkness and in the sleet and the rain. It was never more successful when it was compulsory. The officers, as Mike Thum once said, had little in common and belonged to different jigsaw puzzles, yet fitted together seamlessly. What united them all, recruits, NCOs and officers alike, was loyalty to and affection for Fred. The whole thing was barely comprehensible. As his friend, nothing has given me greater pleasure than to see him centre stage at his swansong, squeezed for virtually the last
time into his uniform, as fine a figure of a man as there ever was, presiding over the formalities of the visit to the School of Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate not only the 475th anniversary of the School, but also the 125th of the Corps. In his heyday Fred was a giant, but the need to complete our pension contributions sees us all go on slightly longer than we would wish. The Queenâ€™s visit saw the great man go out at the moment of his own choosing and at the peak of his powers. Let no one tell you otherwise! Dick Mowbray (Hon)
Trevor Lines Trevor Lines first joined the School as a teacher of English in the former Middle School in 1987. With over 30 years of service he has participated in all the nooks and crannies of school life. As an English teacher his sonorous Scottish burr, a deep love of The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 95
his subject and an ability to inspire his students as well as entertain – one thinks of all those appalling puns – enlivened his classes and made him the teacher of choice for generations of students.
variety of literature and that they were stretched. Despite an often febrile atmosphere of literary endeavour, these were occasions of enormous fun, with literary walks on the Norfolk beaches and, in
Throughout his time at Berkhamsted, Trevor has played many roles in the School. In 1991 he was the School’s Head of Careers. He was also Director of Middle School Studies for a while, until he was chosen by Priscilla Chadwick to be the first Head of English of the combined Girls’ and Boys’ Schools, a role he fulfilled for over 10 years. He has also been Head of Hawks and an outstanding Chairman of Common Room. The History Department more recently came to value his meticulous organising skills and sensitive readings on many a Battlefields Trip. Trevor thoroughly believed in getting involved in every aspect of school life and indeed, never one to hide his light under a bushel, offered perhaps his most startling incarnation in the early days as Master in Charge of the Development Quad for football, hockey and cricket! Trevor has always been passionate about drama and in his earlier years it was not uncommon for non-drama teachers to undertake school productions. Trevor put on a total of 18, most of them while he was still Head of English. How did he find the time, we all wondered? Several of them were seriously spectacular extravaganzas with students who have gone on to achieve some fame, such as The Wind in the Willows starring a youthful Stephen Thorpe, now Stephen Campbell-Moore, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing starring a young Patrick Hennessey, now writer, TV presenter and barrister, to list just some. Trevor also inaugurated the annual English Department Residential Weekend at King’s Lynn.
the evenings, the Shakespeare plays shortened by the students, over which Trevor would preside, beaming in avuncular fashion like a benign Mr Bumble, often in his dressing gown and a startling pair of Star Trek pyjamas. Trevor has rare qualities that many of us admire, not least his total belief in getting involved, an unsentimental view of life, a huge sense of fun – just think of that explosive laugh – an uncommon store of wisdom and an insatiable love for gossip. He is now, to use his own metaphor, ‘sailing gracefully towards oblivion’ and although we know he will miss the School, he will not be looking back. He is no Mr Chips, dwelling in the past and seeing it through rose-tinted spectacles. He will greatly enjoy becoming more involved in his London church, for which he acts as churchwarden and becoming the sophisticated Laird of Tooting. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he replied with some modesty, ‘Just with some affection’. Well, Trevor’s wish has been granted in abundance. He leaves behind him a school where he has been much loved and where his colleagues hope he will return to keep in touch and have a drink ‘for auld lang syne’. How we will miss him! Martin Pett (Hon)
This would be a wet February weekend of seminars, workshops and bracing country walks for which, incredibly, most of the A-level students signed up. As a department we drove the minibuses, catered and delivered the whole event, including all the seminars and the keynote speech. Trev cared passionately that students were exposed to a wide 96 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Richard Petty Richard Petty smiled his way through three years at Berkhamsted having joined us from Notting Hill and Ealing School, where he was both Head of History and Head of Y11. Perhaps this should have given us a clue as to the energy he would bring to all he did during his time with us. His stewardship of the Sixth was marked by an irrepressible good humour, a genuine care for the pupils, and a pace of life which was exhausting for everyone but him
– few could keep up with the speed of his walk from one site to the other. It was often obvious from even a brief conversation with Richard that he cared deeply
magazine Jackie) and the speed of his mind made him an interesting conversationalist on any topic. He hugely enjoyed Oxbridge preparation, and could deliver a mock interview in most subjects.
about the pupils. As is often the case with historians, he had an ability to remember an enormous amount of information about pupils and this informed his pastoral care, which was continual, concerned and warm. As an empathetic man, he was always interested in the experience of the students in the Sixth, conversed naturally and directly with them, and sought to give every pupil a chance fully to grow into themselves. His optimism and strong trust in pupils were strong themes in his leadership, and gave pupils room to flourish. The strength of his pastoral care was particularly demonstrated in his response to the diagnosis of terminal cancer in a Y12 pupil, Izzy Docherty. Few Heads have to announce the death of one of their own pupils to their peers, and even fewer can have done so with the sensitivity and care which Richard brought to this difficult period in the Sixth. He worked tirelessly to support Heads of House, to see that peers and particular friends were supported, and to ensure that Izzy’s passing was both mourned and remembered appropriately. Her family were particularly grateful for Richard’s sensitivity and support, as he continued to be in touch with them in the weeks and months after Izzy’s death. It was in his most public presentations that Richard’s own scholarship was obvious: assemblies would often take an apparently simple issue in the life of the School and apply a historical or political theme to it to illustrate his point. The breadth of his reading, scholarship and thinking were exhibited without any self-consciousness,
Richard found those who were less committed to the fulfilment of their own potential perplexing. He had little patience with the wilfully reckless or feckless, and, when forced into a confrontation with such pupils, he was decisive and clear. He sought to steer the community through its interdependent life in pursuit of ideals – and he gave short shrift to those whose behaviour demonstrated a lack of ideals or of effort. However, even when his trust in his pupils was tested, he refused to allow that to compromise an approach which saw potential in young people first and potential for miscreancy second if at all. Just as his good humour was infectious, so was his energy. Throughout his tenure at Berkhamsted he continued to live in East London, travelling for more than an hour, as well as working long days at many times of the term. It was not uncommon for him to leave the train at King’s Langley and run the remaining seven miles to school in the morning, or to do the same on the way home. The prospect of the arrival of twins led Richard to see the benefit of a change of lifestyle. Renting out their London flats, he and Jo bought a farmhouse in Cumbria, where Lars and Linus will spend their early years. In his last few days of term, and when he returned to Berkhamsted for A-level and GCSE results, Richard would often show the latest picture of them on his iPhone to any observer – his pride and joy evident to all. Even as these two occupations overlapped, Richard threw himself into fatherhood in the same way that he
or need to impress pupils, but were impressive nonetheless. The breadth of his interests (from his role as an official Highgate Cemetery tour guide to his past as a Burnley FC mascot – as a result of his father’s footballing allegiance and in spite of his ardent support of Newcastle United – as an extra in Byker Grove, and as a picture model for the
had thrown himself into Berkhamsted life. We wish him every success and happiness as he begins the next chapter in his story, and we hope he will regard his (now ex-) colleagues at Berkhamsted among his (many) friends. Richard Backhouse (Principal) and Michael Bond (Vice Principal) The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 97
Simon Robinson Simon Robinson joined the school in January 2005 on a maternity cover post in the Biology department for two terms. He actually stayed until July 2017 and undertook a wide range of roles within the School during that time. Simon excelled in both the academic and pastoral sides of the School. He was an exceptional Biology teacher and was eventually appointed Head of Science and oversaw the introduction of iGCSE to the KS4 curriculum. Simon later moved to be Head of IT and worked to improve the computer facilities and to expand the IT curriculum for KS3. Simon was Head of Old Stede House from 2005 to 2010 and the girls always appreciated his advice, enthusiasm and sense of fun. He was also an excellent Tutor in the Sixth Form and then returned to the pastoral team at Kings as a Tutor in New Stede from 2013. Simon also played a major role in the School’s extra-curricular life. He was a stalwart member of the Big Band for many years, playing the saxophone. He also organised two successful Big Band tours to Belgium and Lake Maggiore. We all wish Simon the very best in the future and the school will miss him. Rachel Bradley (Head of St John’s Boarding & Classics Teacher)
Matthew Shepherd Matthew Shepherd is one of the finest people you could ever hope to meet. He always goes out of his way to help anyone in need. He is reliable, trustworthy and dependable. The School was lucky enough to have him join the staff back in 2002 when he became a teacher in Year 5. He cared deeply about the children he taught, and he quickly established a respectful rapport with his pupils. Matthew has the uncanny knack of quickly getting to know people – if you ever wanted to know someone’s name or what their role was, Matthew would be the one to ask. 98 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
As a colleague, Matthew always had the ability to de-stress situations with his humour and good nature. He was fantastic to work with because he was such a positive team player. Nothing ever seemed to faze him; faced with an unexpected situation, such as being stuck in London on a coach full of excited children, or having to teach an entire year group of pupils, Matthew coped without batting an eyelid. He always believed that lessons and learning should be fun, and his pupils responded with enthusiasm. Matthew has a passion for sport and is able to bring out the best in the teams and individuals he coaches. He could quickly assess a player and give them tips that would enhance their skills. His positivity and warmth shone through – though there is an irony to the fact that he is now refereeing rugby to a high level; as a player, he seemed to spend a fair bit of time being ‘spoken to’ by referees. After making his mark in both Year 5 and Year 2, he moved with the merger, in 2011, to the Pre-Prep site. He oversaw the running of the ICT suite and was always called upon, in the first instance, to help rectify any problems. Matthew is a selfless person and was always ready and willing to help in any way he could. When Matthew arrived at Berkhamsted he was young, single and fresh-faced. Like a fine wine, he has matured gracefully. It has been a pleasure to see his happiness and family grow, first with his marriage to the lovely Jo, and then with the arrival of his daughters, Bethan and Lily. Although Matthew will be greatly missed by all at both the Prep and Pre-Prep, it is good to know that we will still see him on the sports fields every now and then. We wish him every future success at Milton Keynes Prep. He deserves it! Liz Mitchell and Dave Hargreaves (Staff)
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George Pitman (Hon) (13th February 1935 – 28th June 2017) Berkhamsted School 1960-1995 Headmaster of the Junior School 1977-1995 As a colleague, George Pitman was quite simply one of the best human beings I have ever met. He always put others before himself, was totally selfless and led by superb example. The trouble was that his example was far too good George Pitman in the CCF. for the rest of us to quite replicate! A man of very high standards and extraordinary energy who always worked extremely hard but never expected those herculean efforts from others. Always warm, calm and caring, he would offer advice when asked but never foisted it on you. A great family man, he was always genuinely interested in your family and would go out of his way to support them if needed. As a schoolmaster, George was outstanding. He taught a variety of subjects during his career and latterly he would teach whatever subject needed covering in the timetable – he had the ability and the depth and breadth of knowledge to do it. He would also take on the jobs no one else wanted – how many headmasters ran the cycling proficiency course in other schools? George ran ours in all weathers, with enormous patience and positivity. He was a firm schoolmaster and a very fair one. The pupils loved him, the parents really appreciated his care for their children and old pupils still talk of him with huge respect. Perhaps the greatest accolade is that he was hugely popular with every member of staff and he 100 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
was still being quoted by colleagues many years after his retirement: ‘Can’t imagine George doing that/missing that/allowing that’. He had set the standards that many of us were guided by – the consummate professional, a natural schoolmaster and a ‘great bloke’; one of those people that you have a conversation with and come away feeling better. A rare gift. He ran the Junior School for 18 years. We still talk about the lunchtime Housemasters’ meetings which were very sociable occasions where much was discussed and problems were solved diplomatically and democratically – now that’s man-management! George, with enormous support and actual physical help from Rosemary ran the Junior School like an extended family. Theirs was a very friendly and warm regime and their hospitality was legendary. George and Rosemary were a wonderful team and I can still remember them serving cricket teas in the old Baker Pavilion usually in dreadful weather and cramped conditions. They never complained or thought the task beneath them. At his send-off from the Junior School, he entered Deans’ Hall to Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’ (the obvious choice) and you could feel the warmth and affection towards him from the boys and the staff. George was one of Berkhamsted School’s true greats. Richard McIlwaine (Hon)
George Pitman and his sweet peas.
George Pitman was the archetypal public
but to our utter delight, he did not notice
school master and pretty well loved and
looming up – he was still pedalling furiously
certainly respected by all of us back in the
when he entered the freezing water. Several
1960s. I met him several years after leaving
spluttering attempts to stop us collapsing
school and he told me that the year I was
with laughter were made but all fell on stony
fortunate enough to be part of (most leaving
ground; we were still chuckling when we got
after A-levels in 1971) had by no means been
back to school.
the most intellectual year but we were at
My other particularly memorable occasion
the top of the pile for being fun to teach.
was in the Gravel Quad one snowy Friday
A backhanded compliment but I felt it was
afternoon. I was a Colour Sergeant and at the
better than no compliment at all!
start of the afternoon parade I, together with
George Pitman certainly had a terrific sense
Martin Brunt (I think), had to get all the CCF
of humour and delighted in proving, during
to fall in for inspection. Major Pitman and
the last maths lesson of the fifth form year,
Major Eames (apologies if I have their ranks
quite unequivocally, that the internal angles
incorrect) were the officers in charge and it
of a triangle added up to 360 degrees. He
was my turn, once the corps had been brought
would challenge anyone to spot where he had
to attention, to march out to Major Pitman,
obviously misled us – even I know it should
come to an impressively flamboyant ‘halt’
be 180 degrees – but no one could. Whether
and bellow ‘Company ready for inspection,
any smart mathematical genius in other years
Sir!’ This procedure had gone without a hitch
saw through his carefully written theorem on
for many generations and no doubt has
the blackboard I don’t know, but to us it was
managed to do so ever since. Unfortunately
on that afternoon my highly polished boots
Those of us fortunate enough to be members
had obviously collected some compacted
of the Boat Club rowing at Newground were
snow on the soles and, as I slammed my foot
also privileged to regularly be under Mr Pitman’s
down it went completely from underneath
guidance as a coach. One marvellous cold
me and I slid ingloriously into Major Pitman,
winter’s day our four were rowing back
resulting in him landing on top of me on the
towards the boathouse from Tring Station
ground. Fortunately Major Eames was a highly
bridge where we’d turned around. I cannot
experienced officer and wonderful school
be certain who else was in the boat with
master, so he made no attempt to quash the
me at bow, except that David How (Ad ’71)
hysteria that instantly broke out in all the ranks.
was at stroke and Colin Gough (Co ’69) was
We were incredibly lucky to have George
cox. Anyway, Mr Pitman was cycling along
Pitman looking after us and so many of his
the muddy towpath with one hand steering
generation of masters are only ever talked
his old bike and the other holding his
about with great fondness, respect and
megaphone. As usual he was shouting at us to
admiration – even from those of us who were,
keep in time, keep the oars square in the water
on occasion, perhaps not the model pupil
for the full stroke and a myriad other things.
we ought to have been. God bless you,
All was going well until we came to the slight
Mr Pitman, and thank you so much.
curve in the canal which, sadly for Mr Pitman,
Richard Cooper (Ad ’71)
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Joe Ballad (Ad ’48) (20th May 1932 – 28th December 2016) Joe was born on 20th May 1932 at 19 Buckingham
Joe was demobbed in October 1952 and returned to his job at the Bucks County Treasurer’s Department in Aylesbury. He passed his accounting exams in 1956. He continued to
Road, Aylesbury, Bucks. He lived at this address until the family moved to 45 New Road, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks in 1953. Joe was educated at Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire from 1943 to 1948 as what was known as a day boarder. This meant that he was in Adders House which provided lunches for pupils who travelled some distance to attend the School. Joe joined the County Treasurer’s Department of Bucks County Council on 1st January 1949 as a trainee accountant. His training was delayed until after he completed his two years’ National Service. During the army medical, it was found that Joe suffered from severe deafness in his right ear. The army was in some doubt as to whether Joe should be called up for National Service, but Joe was keen to join as an opportunity to meet people and learn about the world. In view of his deafness Joe was restricted to the Catering Corps or the Pay Corps. As he was a trainee accountant in civilian life, he decided to join the Royal Army Pay Corps. He spent the two years of National Service at the Royal Engineers Pay Office at Whitchurch in Hampshire.
work at Bucks County Council until 1961 when he obtained a new post of Senior Auditor with the Oxfordshire County Council in Oxford. Joe learned his management skills the hard way, being placed in charge of the accounting machine section, then the Cashier’s Office and the Payroll Section. Joe stayed with the County Treasurer’s Department in Oxfordshire for 32 years until his retirement in March 1993. During his time with Oxfordshire, Joe rose through the ranks from Senior Auditor to Chief Auditor to Assistant County Treasurer (Audit) and finally Senior Assistant County Treasurer. On 29th September 1956, Joe married the love of his life, Mollie Bryant. He worshipped Mollie and this continued all his married life until Mollie’s sad death on 6th October 2009 at the comparatively early age of 73. As far as Joe was concerned Mollie could do no wrong. They made a great team encouraging each other in their respective careers. Joe relied on Mollie’s support and encouragement during his training as an accountant. Similarly Joe encouraged and helped Mollie in her training as a lecturer and in her future career at the Oxford Polytechnic and the Oxford College of Further Education. Joe liked to think that Mollie and he had a great life together enjoying holidays at home and abroad. They were also both avid gardeners and loved their house and garden in Lewis Close, Headington. On one of their early holidays abroad, Joe almost drowned in a swimming pool, which persuaded him to learn to swim. Swimming became one of his preferred leisure activities for the next 40 years of his life and contributed to the good health that he continued to enjoy until the very end of his life. Joe also loved to take care of people, starting with his own mother whom he cared for when she became elderly and in poor health. Thereafter, he
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found a succession of elderly friends and relatives who needed his care, a passion for taking care of others that lasted for the remainder of his life. Joe was also an active member of St Nicholas Church, Old Marston and a supporter of the Sobell House hospice charity. Joe died on 28th December 2016 at the age of 84 of pneumonia after a short illness at Whitchurch hospital in Shropshire. He is survived by their only son Chris, 55, who resides in the USA and Joe’s younger brother John. John Ballad Brenda Colacito (Constantine) (Bu ‘60) (28th October 1941 – 4th May 2017) Brenda Colacito (née Constantine) died peacefully in Rome on Thursday 4th May, after a relatively short fight against cancer. On the day of her death she was supported by her husband Mario, son Riccardo, daughter Sara, sister Margaret, brother John and John’s wife Priscilla. Unfortunately her other brother, Harry, could not be with her owing to his need to care for his partner. Brenda had lived in Rome since 1963, but had stayed in contact with, and was visited by, many of her old friends from Berkhamsted and surrounding area, as well as the far-flung Constantine family. Incredibly, when friends gathered the day after her death, there were five Old Berkhamstedians (that is, including Brenda herself, whose spirit was very much present): her cousin Anna Nocera (née Constantine), John, Priscilla and Liz Kostov (née Harrowell). A piece was printed in the Magazine about the so-called ‘Rome Branch’ of the Old Berkhamstedians in the 2012 edition. John Constantine (Sw ‘67) and Liz Kostov (Harrowell) (NS ‘64) Eric Lawrence Cunnell (Hon) (9th June 1930 – 25th February 2017) This is the eulogy delivered at Eric Cunnell’s funeral by his son Paul.
Eighty-six years is a long time and I can’t hope to do justice to everything Dad achieved in his life. You are all here because you have a connection with Dad, and I am sure you have your own memories of him. Dad’s death came as a great shock to everyone. His final illness was sudden, but at least it was also mercifully short, and he died peacefully in hospital. He has had what he would describe as a ‘good innings’ (he was a great cricket fan). Dad was born in 1930 in Greenford, West London. The family moved to Shirley, Croydon, and moved houses a number of times during the War. Dad described how he received his ‘war wound’ – a cut to his finger from flying glass when a bomb landed close to his school. Dad attended Whitgift Middle School (now Trinity School) from 1941-1948. He was offered a place at St Edmund Hall, Oxford to read French and Spanish, but he changed that to French and Russian after starting to learn Russian during his National Service in the Intelligence Corps. Dad was a keen sportsman, a middle-distance runner for his school and at Oxford (where he earned a Half Blue), and coxing the St Edmund Hall 3rd Eight in Eights week. He was particularly proud to have been there to support Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile barrier – if you know where to look you’ll see him at the finish in the film of the event. After graduating in 1952, Dad spent a year in France as English Assistant at the Lycée Pothier in Orléans, and then returned to Oxford to take his Diploma in Education. On qualifying in 1954 he The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 103
first met Mum when they both happened to be on summer holiday in Swanage, although it wasn’t until 1959 that they were married. Dad’s first teaching job was a year’s contract at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh in 1954, and he carried on teaching one way or another for the whole of the rest of his life, first as a Housemaster at Berkhamsted School from ’55 to ’73 (including a wonderful teaching exchange year in Corsica in 1966/7 that saw, Dad and Mum embracing Corsican life when I was 4 and Matt was 2), then as Head of Lower School at Bassaleg until he retired in 1985, followed by Monmouth School, other part-time teaching jobs including spells at Rougemont and finally the University of the Third Age (U3A), where he was Convenor of the French group, quiz master and a member of the Italian Conversation group. He also liked to learn. He was proud of the A* GCSE in Spanish he achieved in 1999, aged 69, and was actively studying Italian until his death. He was Chairman of the Newport Committee of the Archbishop of Wales Fund for Children, set up in 2001 to replace the Children’s Society, which had decided to no longer operate in Wales. Dad worked hard to raise money for the Fund and we will be contributing today’s collection to it. Dad also organised the South Wales area of Schools Challenge (which runs along similar lines to University Challenge), and put in many hours to organise the tournaments. Dad loved teaching. He arranged the lessons he taught at Bassaleg so that he could get to know all the children (and it seemed to us that he could recall pretty much every child he had ever taught – he certainly remembered my school contemporaries better than I did). He liked
Dad was a committed Christian all his life, from his membership of the Shirley Young Communicants club – which I gather still meets from time to time even though the members are far from young, and mostly far from Shirley, to his long-standing commitment as worshipper, member of PCC and churchwarden here at St Basil’s, which he has attended since he and Mum moved to Bassaleg in 1973. Dad was very practical and ingenious. Rescuing his future father-in-law’s false teeth by feeling for them with his feet, after they had been lost in the sea was an early example! Making a roof rack that doubled as a camping table. Building a Mirror dinghy that we learned to sail in and spend many a summer in Cornwall catching mackerel. Recycling hardwood from a skip to panel the walls of Matthew’s bedroom. Building a climbing frame for us to play on. Rather than give specific directions about how to do things, Dad gave us the confidence to tackle most domestic/DIY tasks. We learned from him an attitude that most things are fixable – just ‘take it apart, fiddle about with it and put it back together again’ was the mantra, possibly adding a certain amount of elbow grease or if that failed, WD40.
to get to know people wherever he went, and had a great ability to talk – something I think he inherited from his mother. Dad made many friends throughout his life, and enjoyed keeping in touch. He attended reunions at Trinity School (including a Founders Day supper in March last year), St Edmund Hall and Berkhamsted.
He was a man of great patience teaching us boys to drive, and showed Tim and me how to replace the clutch in our first cars – I’m afraid to say I went through a good few clutches in my Hillman Imp, so the mechanics lessons were well learnt. He made his own beer and Cwmavon House vintage wines (some of which were pretty good). He was still
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climbing ladders to whitewash the outside of the house in his eighties – much to Mum’s dismay! Dad was a keen gardener, especially fond of growing fuchsias. Charlotte was fascinated by
such a great Francophile, I suspect. When being entertained with some pals by Dad’s good friend Jean-Marc in Paris, Matthew recalls that a second bottle of wine had to be ordered, because ‘your
Dad explaining to her how to pronounce ‘fuchsia’ and showing her all the different varieties he grew. She cites Dad showing her how to photograph flowers in the glorious Butchart Gardens in Canada as the initial inspiration for her interest in photography and art. I have told you a bit about what Dad did, but not really so far much about what sort of man he was. As many people will tell you, he was a ‘lovely man’, and a ‘true gentleman’ is the common theme in so many of the cards expressing sympathy that we have all been receiving. Dad was a devoted husband and shared 57 years with Mum. They loved travelling and had some great adventures in places like Patagonia and the Galapagos Islands. Dad liked to document these trips with lots of photographs, just as he did longer ago on family holidays. When the slides were developed he would set up his projector and treat us to slide shows and relive the holiday, often in great detail! As our father, he was encouraging and supportive, even when we made some pretty spectacular mistakes, such as blowing ourselves up with improvised fireworks! He loved his grandchildren, and was always keen to find out what they were doing. When his youngest grandson moved to Sheffield and developed a Yorkshire accent, Dad was keen to get to grips with the dialect but unfortunately his linguistic skills didn’t help on this front. Dad was delighted to become a great-grandfather, though sadly never
father will never believe we only had one bottle!’ Dad was well known in Cwmavon (and everywhere else) as a caring and considerate person, full of his own stories but equally taking time to talk to others and taking an interest in their lives. Thank you once again for joining us in saying our last ‘adieu’ to Dad, and remembering a kind and thoughtful man who did a great deal of good in his life. As his fellow Cwmavon resident Dai Warren put it: ‘If all people were like Eric, what a wonderful world it would be.’ Thank you Dad, for being there for us all. Paul Cunnell
got to meet Orla. Dad was always willing to help someone out, giving his time and effort generously – even in later years, he organised the Cwmavon Residents’ Association, and as I mentioned, ran Schools Challenge and worked for the Archbishop of Wales Fund. Dad liked good food, good wine and good company – part of the reason he was
career she flew on several VC10 airliner and Valient V-bomber test flights, possibly the only woman ever to fly on the latter. She remembered it as a very uncomfortable and smelly ride. She was involved with TSR2 until it was cancelled and with the development of projects such as the Canberra, Lightning and Jet Provost, and later was on the
Janet Mary Gulland MA, CEng, FRAeS (Al ’52) (18th July 1934 – 23rd September 2017) Janet lived all her early life in Berkhamsted where her father was Head of the Junior Boys’ School. She was very happy at the Girls’ School, did well academically and was in most of the School teams. She went up to Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford in 1953 to read Maths, but switched to Engineering Science, becoming only the sixth female Engineering graduate. In 1956 she won a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to the USA for a year as a research assistant at Brown University, working in wind tunnels and gaining experience of aeronautical engineering. In 1958 she became the first woman to join Vickers-Armstrong as a graduate engineering apprentice. Early in her
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sales team for the Jaguar fighter. She ended her career as Director, Market Research for British Aerospace Defence Marketing Organisation. Janet fought a quiet but determined battle for equal rights throughout her career. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1994. However Janet’s life was not defined by her career. While at Oxford she learned to sail, went on her first skiing holiday, Scottish-danced, was LMH Chapel Clerk and gained Blues in lacrosse, swimming and tennis. She and Sue, her partner for nearly 50 years, enjoyed opera, concerts, theatre and many exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects. They also travelled extensively, including two flights from the Middle East on Concorde, and skied annually into their sixties. In 1992 Janet took early retirement, which allowed her to pursue her many other interests including ownership of three sailing dinghies, one of which was in Poole Harbour, and all of which she maintained and used regularly. She won a vast number of trophies over the years including four British Moth Boat championships and also the Ladies National Handicap Championships in 1976. She was keen on all sport and played lacrosse into her forties, badminton into her sixties, tennis into her seventies and she Scottish-danced and sailed into her eighties. She did some fundraising work for the National Trust and also Church Recording for NADFAS, having a wide knowledge of English parish church architecture and contents. Janet had a fund of extraordinary facts in her head and remained interested and curious in everything until she died. She was highly capable and no problem was too difficult for her to attempt to solve. She had a great and sometimes
Robert (Robin) David Mauleverer Harper (Ad ’39) (7th September 1923 – 1st January 2017) Robert, or Robin as he was better known, was born in Penge, London on 7th September 1923. He attended Dulwich Preparatory School and Raymond Barkers School, Ridley, Kent before the family moved to Hemel Hempstead in 1935. Robin attended Berkhamsted School from 1935 until 1939 when he gained his School Certificate. He started as a Form 2 (junior) day student in St George’s House. He then became a boarder in Adders House for Fourth Form. He recalled winning a Roget’s Thesaurus for making a trolley in woodwork. He was a member of the scout troop in school. His friends at Berkhamsted were Ralph Foxley-Norris and Tony Ruston and his favourite teacher was Mr Campbell, who was his form master. He went on to complete his schooling at the Herbert Strutt School in Belper where he achieved his Higher School Certificate in 1941. He was awarded a grant to study Mechanical Engineering at the College of Technology in Manchester (now Manchester University) from 1941-1943. He always
wry sense of humour, had some pithy opinions and did not always suffer fools gladly. She was also kind, generous and thoughtful and had huge determination and optimism. She remained loyal and grateful to Berkhamsted School and Lady Margaret Hall throughout her life. Sue Wolstenholme OBE (Ho ‘58)
had an interest in aircraft so it seemed natural that he would pursue a career in aeronautics. While he was studying at university the war was in full swing and, after two years of study, Robin was recruited by AVRO in Manchester where they manufactured the Lancaster bomber and various other aircraft, critical to Britain’s success in the war.
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While there he developed a method of calculating the strength of a pressurised fuselage; a method used by engineers for another 30 years afterwards. Robin completed his degree after the war
In retirement, Erica was extremely busy. She loved entertaining her many nephews and nieces and their families. She was an accomplished bridge player but liked nothing more than helping those
and went on to get a Masters at the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield. He worked at English Electric near Preston, then for the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough. During this time he went out to Christmas Island in 1958 to work on Operation Grapple (Britain’s nuclear weapons testing programme) before finally moving to the airfield in Llanbedr to work on the Jindivik (an unmanned aircraft). While working in Llanbedr he met Anna Hughes who he married in 1973. They went on to have two children – Timothy (born in 1977) and Sarah (1979). Robin retired from Llanbedr in 1982. Robin also had other interests including fellowship of the Royal Meteorological Society, long-standing membership of the National Trust and volunteering for Save the Children and the RNLI. Sarah Arthey (née Harper)
of us less proficient to improve our game. She was Lady Captain of Ashridge Golf Club and played in many of the Tudor Rose golf days. A round of golf with Erica was always entertaining. She regaled one with amusing tales from the first hole to the last! Even if the score was hopeless, one had had a most enjoyable time. At her Memorial Service in St Peter’s Church, her large family was joined by BSG Old Girls and friends to share their memories of an extraordinary and inspiring woman. Mynerva Altman (Bu ‘56)
Erica Hughes (Hon) (6th June 1925 – 9th August 2017) After many years of nursing at home and abroad, Erica took a career break in the 1970s. Churchill House needed a temporary matron and Mary-Rose Farley (Bateman), a friend of Erica’s, invited her to join the staff. Headmistress, Angela Russell-Smith and Erica became very good friends. Erica stayed in the job for several years and Churchill was a happy, busy, fun-filled and successful House. In November 1978, a friend suggested that there should be a hospice in Berkhamsted. Erica
Richard ‘Dick’ Knight (Hon) (27th November 1923 – 19th October 2016) Born into this world are all sorts of men. There are good men, men who are liked. There are kind men and those who are respected and are reliable. There are modest men and humble men. It is rare to come across a man who displays all of these characteristics but I like to think that my father came pretty close to doing so. My father was also full of surprises. He had strong views on some topics. He felt a real connection with his past and it is only in the days since his death that I have found the first six chapters of his memoirs. And he had a dry sense of humour – there are not many headmasters (at least not in the current climate) who would go to a New Year’s Eve party in the 1970s dressed as one of the school girls in his charge, freckles and all. He started life in a farm shop on the outskirts
had met Cecily Saunders, founder of the hospice movement, at the Staff College for Matrons in 1962 so she eagerly joined the steering committee and set about raising the £70 000 needed to buy a suitable house to get the hospice up and running. The success of the Hospice of St Francis was a lasting joy for her.
of Worcester. His parents were selling the produce from the family farm in the nearby Vale of Evesham to where they moved when he was four years old. He spent his first 18 years leading a simple life in a small agricultural village where the annual flower show was the only exciting event of the year. He went to the village school and though The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 107
he never enjoyed school life he did very well and was head boy for the last two years. When the Second World War broke out and an older brother and sister joined the RAF, he decided
just 10 boys of six different nationalities. There are now about 140 boys and girls in the Junior School. It was during this time that he married my mother – also a teacher – who joined him in
he would be more useful doing a job helping on the land growing the fruit and vegetables, and left school without his final leaving exams. He also helped out at a grocer’s shop during the war – a good way to supplement the family rations. The time came for him to enlist and he passed the entry tests for flying duties as a pilot with the RAF and suddenly he found himself in the big wide world – a considerable change from village life. After completing several weeks of lectures and a brief spell of initial flying in the UK, he went to South Africa to continue and successfully complete his training as a fighter pilot. He said that one of the proudest moments of his life was when he was presented with his RAF wings. However, he did not talk much about that time in subsequent years – not until his grandsons started to ask him about his time in Cape Town in advance of a recent family trip there. He was then posted to the Far East but, shortly after this, the war ended and his final year in India was a matter of filling in time (and obtaining a lifelong aversion to any spicy food). Despite having never liked school, he started thinking about becoming a teacher – he always claimed he was attracted by the long school holidays. He was eventually demobilised and under the auspices of Nottingham University (where his oldest grandson is now in his third year) he completed a very concentrated teacher training course and started teaching in Hertfordshire. It was during one of those long school holidays
running the school. It was sometime later when my parents were invited to take over a small prep school in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire – the school where my mother had taught before going to Switzerland. It was another challenge but they quickly became very popular and successful principals of Egerton School and over the next 25 years doubled the size of the school and made lifelong friendships with staff, parents and pupils alike. This period was the core of my parents’ life together – with many years of dynamic professional and social activity, tremendous community involvement and growing financial security. And then I was born! On retirement in the 1980s, after a brief stay in the family home in Worcestershire, my parents were lured to this part of the country (the New Forest) by friends who had holiday homes here and they found and restored Boldre Hill Cottage. While my mother tackled the house, my father started outside, working on a green field from which he created what was to become a lovely garden. They soon made many friends and joined in local life. My father served as a Governor of William Gilpin School. He was elected onto the Parish Council and later became the secretary. He was a sidesperson, lesson reader and member of the tower group at Boldre Church. Elsewhere he was chairman of the Lymington Save the Children Fund for many years. He was chairman and later President of Lymington Gardeners’ Club and has been chairman of Lymington and District Probus
spent in Switzerland that he decided that mountains, snow and sunshine was the life for him (something that his family have all inherited) and, after some searching, found a job to open and develop the junior section of the recently created Aiglon College, a British International School. My father was very happy there. He started off with
Club. After all – he had to do something with the 30-odd years of his retirement! The time at Boldre Hill was defining for us all as a family for many reasons and it was a great wrench for him when he decided to leave there several years after the death of my mother, but he conceded latterly that it was a wise move as failing
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sight and loss of mobility subsequently restricted his activities. I am happy that my father could maintain his independence up until the end of his life, with the
or Eastern European antecedents, went from the UK in the time of the Raj. His father rose to be a judge and that seemed to have provided few chances for him and his wife to return to
help and support of a number of close friends and neighbours to whom I will always be grateful, and I am pleased that he saw his two grandsons grow up to become fine young men. Jonathan Knight (Be ’83)
Bruce Mathalone (Up ‘51) (12th January 1933 – 15th October 2017) Bruce Mathalone, who died on 15th October 2017 at
the UK to see their son, who accordingly spent much of his holidays with friends (who seemed to enjoy his company – my father who had been in Bombay during the War, particularly did) and at school where the Evers family showed him great kindness, even to the point of hosting him throughout Christmas on at least one occasion. Bruce had arrived in School House in September 1946 and rose through the rigid hierarchy of that time to become Head of Uppers and a School Prefect. He went on to Jesus College, Cambridge to study Medicine and subsequently to St Mary’s, Paddington at which he was recommended to train as an eye specialist at Moorfields. So successful was this choice of direction that he rose to become a highly respected eye surgeon at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and at Kingston Hospital and indeed in the world. All of this was achieved despite an apparently casual approach to life and, at school, a sometimes shambolic appearance – particularly perhaps on the cricket field and the parade ground. Happily he had an enormous determination and considerable intellect when he chose to employ them (when he discovered that to start a career in medicine he needed Latin, which he had never studied, he managed, with help from the Headmaster and constant and diligent reference to Kennedy’s Latin Primer, to obtain within two terms a School Certificate Credit!) In addition his superb hand-eye coordination and resulting skills as a batsman and squash player were much respected and must
the age of 84, was for all his contemporaries a truly memorable character. He treasured his memories of and maintained to the end his affection for the School and for his close friends of those days, of whom very few have survived him. Bruce was born in Bombay where his grandparents, who may have had Middle Eastern
later have been evident in the operating theatre. He always claimed that his decision to study Medicine resulted from a recommendation from our great mutual friend Nigel (later Sir Nigel) Mills who of course progressed through the ranks of the RAF to become Surgeon General of the Armed Forces before his tragic death after the first Iraq War.
Christopher D. McH. Knox-Johnston (SJ ’62) (2nd November 1944 – 19th September 2017) Christopher was the third of the Knox-Johnston brothers to attend the School. Not as interested in physical sports as his brothers, he did cox the School Eight for a while. After leaving school he worked at Lloyd’s insurance market but took 18 months out to help his elder brother Robin complete his boat in India and sail it back to the UK via Arabia and South Africa. They continued to sail together. Later they established Knox-Johnston Insurance Brokers, a specialist in yacht insurance. He briefly became involved in local politics in Bromley, but enjoyed the campaigning more than being a Councillor. His real interest was in choral music and he first established the Kemsing singers and later, after moving to France, set up another choir in his village there. His popularity in the village of Cercoux was only increased when he blamed his lateness for a meeting on a ‘Confiture de Traffic!’ A true Professor of Franglais. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston CBE (SJ ’56)
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Nig (as he was known) together with ‘Joe’ Kronman (an escapee from occupied Poland via Iraq and Egypt), ‘Archie’ Maclaren (then recently evacuated from Malaya) and I (then and, to some, still known
His private life was as unusual as the rest of his life. He was married four times and hence had an unusual number of children, step-children and grandchildren, but the family unity amongst them was terrific and
as ‘Teddy’ because I was, along with the others, an occupant of ‘The Bear Garden’ study in School House) formed a close relationship. Bruce loved classical music (as did Nigel) but particularly Mozart arias, which he played on his gramophone in the School Prefects’ Room. He also delighted us frequently with his clarinet playing – again mostly Mozart. This love of music stayed with him throughout his life and his frequent attendance at Covent Garden and many other opera houses around the world was little short of prodigious. He is said to have watched the entire Ring Circle at least a dozen times in many cities around the world. His love of cricket (and other sports) also continued throughout his life and, as a longstanding member of the M.C.C., he was frequently seen in the Pavilion at Lord’s. Bruce was a loyal friend who travelled widely, enjoyed his music, his house in the Alps and his life about which he was always enormously positive (hence perhaps his amazing recovery 10 years ago from a very rare infection picked up during his travels). He loved to talk about his early days: these included a memorable Youth Hostel cycle tour (to the Isle of Wight and back to Aylesbury via Gloucester!) with Archie and myself, the two of us riding well maintained and modern bikes while Bruce struggled on, sometimes far behind but determined as always, on an ancient sit-up version. More to the point, he liked to remember his life and friends in post-war Berkhamsted and Cambridge (his frequent jibes about Oxford, from
I have no doubt he will be greatly missed by them all. Of course he will mostly be missed by Pat – his fourth wife and herself an ophthalmologist who was devoted to him and is herself a serious lover of opera and will treasure many happy memories of many performances they enjoyed. I am happy, Bruce, that there are still a few of us who will continue to remember a very unusual and special friend. Michael Brown (Lo ‘51)
which I graduated, continued to the end). It was only his generous commitments to his college and his sons’ school which prevented him from being even more generous to the School than he was. He was disappointed in later years to feel unable to travel to and from events at the School (about which he often phoned me).
his National Service with the Royal Artillery brought him to the county, stationed at Etwall, and he was given an opportunity to play for local clubs like The Friars, Grasshoppers and Borough Police. His debut for Derbyshire came in May 1950 against Northamptonshire at Derby and, for the ensuing 20 seasons, he was almost ever-present in the side.
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Derek Morgan (Lo ‘47) (26th February 1929 – 4th November 2017) This obituary originally appeared on Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s official website. Reprinted with kind permission. A measure of Derek Morgan’s cricketing ability is that he lies third on the list of all-time highest run-scorers (17,842) for Derbyshire, which alone is a major achievement. But his 1,126 wickets put him fifth on the all-time bowlers’ list, while his 563 outfield catches place him top of that particular list, more than 150 ahead of his nearest rival. And no one has – or surely ever will – better his 540 first-class appearances for the county. Add to that five years as captain in the 1960s and a two-year spell as President between 2011 and 2013, and it quickly becomes apparent that Derek’s career with Derbyshire was a unique one. Derek Morgan was born in Middlesex, but a stroke of good fortune for Derbyshire meant that
He was regarded as a very reliable and obdurate batsman, scoring nine hundreds and 80 fifties for Derbyshire, while it seems remarkable that he could take so many first-class wickets when he rarely
overall contribution to the club as player, captain, team mate and President are arguably unmatched. David Griffin (Heritage Officer, Derbyshire County Cricket Club)
opened the bowling, and usually only came on as first change after Les Jackson, Cliff Gladwin, Harold Rhodes, Brian Jackson and Alan Ward. Nonetheless, he still managed 35 five-wicket hauls, with a best of 7-33 against Glamorgan at Chesterfield in 1965, and 10 wickets in a match on five occasions. As a fielder, and especially a close catcher, he was peerless, especially his work close in on the leg-side alongside Alan Revill and Donald Carr. He captained Derbyshire in the county’s first ever one-day final, the 1969 Gillette Cup Final against Yorkshire at Lord’s in his final season as a first-class cricketer, and on five occasions was 12th man for England in Test matches. He was probably unlucky not to play for England, but Trevor Bailey was the principle pace-bowling all-rounder in the Test team when Morgan was at his peak, and there was never room for both of them in the side. He watched cricket keenly, and this writer spent a happy couple of hours with him a few years ago talking about his cricketing life, and he offered the perhaps surprising view that he would have loved to play Twenty20 cricket. Certainly, his all-round skills would have meant he had an important role to play in that form of the game. Derek was a regular at the annual Past Players Day, and his election as Derbyshire President in 2011 was greeted as a universally popular choice and well-deserving for such an outstanding former player. Derek also played hockey for Derbyshire, rugby for Derby, and football for Oxfordshire and
Gerry Morrish (Hon) (1933 – 1st September 2016) I wish to pay tribute to Gerry Morrish, a former colleague and friend of mine. When I joined Berkhamsted School as Head of the French Department in 1973, Gerry had been a member of staff for several years. He was primarily a Classics master but he also taught French to some Junior School forms and that is why our paths crossed. However, while he made a considerable contribution to the life of the Junior School (including as Housemaster of Reeves) I want to write about him as a friend. Fairly soon we discovered a mutual interest in the game of bridge and arranged a regular ‘four’ with other colleagues, Malcolm Eames and Brenda Crowfoot (a Classics teacher at the Girls’ School). This foursome lasted for many years, well into the retirement of all four of us. In about 1980 we decided to spend a few days in the Easter holidays walking one of the major long distance walks and playing bridge in the evening. These highly enjoyable activities attracted other members of our families and continued for many years. One such member was Shirley whom Gerry married in 1990. After our retirement Gerry and I met regularly to play Scrabble as well as bridge. This may sound very unremarkable but since September 2016, the day when Gerry died, I have realised how much his friendship meant to me. After Gerry and Shirley moved to Chesham in 2005
Oxford United. As Derbyshire approaches the 150th anniversary of the Club’s formation (in 2020) it is unthinkable that Derek Morgan would be anything other than a definite selection in Derbyshire’s mythical all-time XI. His statistics alone make him one of Derbyshire’s all-time greats – maybe the greatest – whilst his
we continued to meet every week. More important than Scrabble was the fact that we could share so much, not only what was happening in the world but especially the events (small or great) in our own lives. We had very different personalities but differences of opinion did not matter. Gerry was an enormously kind and thoughtful friend who never The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 111
dwelt on his own problems (increasingly apparent as his health deteriorated) but who was always concerned about my welfare. Our Christian faith too was a strong bond between us, though here
After National Service, he continued his rugby career, playing for Esher RFC until his late thirties. On retirement from rugby, Jack took up golf, playing at St George’s Hill. There it was recorded on
again, aspects of that faith differed! Gerry was a man who took a while to know and appreciate. It was my privilege over many years to value his great qualities and to count him as a true and faithful friend. Antony Beeley (Hon)
16th May 2011, on the 8th hole (Green Course), that Jack scored his first and only hole-in-one, aged 80. In his working life, Jack joined Trade Indemnity, followed by a long and successful career in the Essential Oil and Fragrance Industry. He was MD of the US-based Norda International Ltd and Chairman of both the Essential Oil Association (1978-1980) and the British Fragrance Association (1980-1982). Jack leaves his wife, Josephine, son Nigel (Lo ’77) and two grandchildren. His funeral on 3rd November 2017 was also attended by Stephen Ambidge (Be ’77) Gary Pither (Up ‘76) and David Hinde (SJ ’75). Jack was passionate about his time at Berkhamsted and proudly told many he met about his time at the School. Nigel Paines (Lo ’77)
Jack Paines (Lo ‘49) (8th December 1930 – 6th October 2017) Jack Paines died peacefully on 6th October 2017, aged 86. At school, Jack was Head of Lowers and a keen sportsman, competing in both rugby and athletics. According to the Berkhamstedian, Jack played for the School’s 1st XV in both 1947 and 1948. In the 1947 end of season ‘characters report’, he’s described as ‘a small but very lively forward with great hooking abilities. His marking at the front of the line-outs was good and he rarely let his man get away. His defence was sound, and he often stemmed many forward rushes by his good falling. A very keen player.’ He obtained his School Colours in Athletics (Long Running) and was photographed winning the Half Mile at Bedford in 1949, a picture that Jack treasured until his death. Jack left school, going straight into National Service, and was commissioned in the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Capt), serving in the Suez Canal Zone for 15 months and thereafter Mauritius.
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Anthony Papps (Be ’55) (13th November 1936 – 5th August 2017) Anthony Papps was a much loved father, grandfather and brother. He was a loyal Old Berkhamstedian who always took a keen interest in events and news given by the organisation. He was a kind, compassionate and generous man, very much aware of the world situation and with a broad experience of dealing with people of different cultures given by his work as manager of a London travel firm and his connection with Europe through his German wife. He was also affectionately known by his grandchildren as ‘Tech Tony’ because he always liked to try out the latest form of online communication. Rest in peace, Tony. Alex Papps
John Redfern (Be ’48) (30th August 1930 – 9th May 2017)
I first met John Redfern at Battersea College of Advanced Technology where I went to study for a BSc degree in Chemistry in 1962. He lectured in Inorganic Chemistry to the second and third year students. As he had spent some time teaching in a school and had studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), he proved to be one of the most able educators. John had also studied for a BSc degree in Chemistry at Battersea and, following his PGCE year at the London Institute for Education, he went on to study for a PhD followed by a lectureship at the College. In 1966 Battersea became the University of Surrey and eventually moved to its present site at Guildford. He was also something of an entrepreneur. John left the university before it moved to Guildford. He collaborated with Stantons to become MD of Stanton-Redcroft, successfully developing and marketing equipment for Thermogravimetric and Differential Thermal Analysis based on Stanton chemical balances and his designs for the thermal units. John was a committed Christian and was an avid participant and supporter of the Crusaders, an interdenominational Christian Youth Organisation. Since January 2007 it’s been called Urban Saints. Before he died John produced his ‘Memories’. I have selected the sections that refer to his time at Berkhamsted School. It is interesting to note that he mentioned two of my teachers – Messrs Fry and Hartley. Keith Goddard (Ad ‘62)
I sat for the entrance exams at Berkhamsted School, which was a public school. After the exams and an interview I duly passed, which was a great relief to my parents as it included a scholarship. So in that late summer I went there and in effect a new life started. The school was four miles from home and I used to cycle there every day. The first three miles was on the flat on top of the Chilterns and the last mile was all downhill into the valley where Berkhamsted nestled. The main road, the railway out of Euston and the Grand Union Canal all ran through the town. At school I soon made some friends and I started to collect train numbers from the mainline of the London Midland and Scottish (LMS) out of Euston. We met at the Canal Bridge. One day early on, one boy that I had become friendly with called Peter Taylor said to me, ‘John, would you like to come to Crusaders?’ At that time Crusaders was a boys-only bible class for public and grammar school boys. We met in the Geography room at the School. So although I had to cycle the four miles to get there I went every Sunday and enjoyed the singing of CSSM choruses and the hymns. While in Class 3A (the top class in the Junior School) sitting at the back of the class, I was getting so as not to be able to read the stuff on the blackboard and I would copy off Peter Taylor who sat next to me. At that time we had a fearsome French teacher, Mr Rawes, who we called ‘The devil’. He had a habit of creeping up on a class who were chattering away waiting for the lesson to start and he would suddenly peer around the door and a rapid hush descended immediately. He would also call out any boy who was misbehaving and, getting him to stand on one side of him, would say in a loud voice, having dropped a piece of paper on the floor on the opposite side to where the boy was standing, “Garcon, ce piece de papier-là, retrouvez” and as the boy bent over Mr Rawes to recover the paper he would give him a whack on the seat!
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Mr Rawes spotted my copying from Peter Taylor and at the end of a lesson he called me out and told me in no uncertain terms to go to the optician and report back to him when I had been. Nothing for it, I acceded to his command and discovered that I was short-sighted and had to have glasses. The next year I went into the Upper Fourth, which meant that I was on a fast track by cutting out a year progressing up the school. My form master was a lovely old teacher who had been drawn back into teaching because there was the war on and able-bodied teachers had all been called up. He was a bachelor and lived in Torrington Road in Berkhamsted. He had a sitting room in the front of the house where he rented. The whole of the walls were lined with books. He invited boys to his sitting room and he encouraged them to read by giving them suitable books which would excite boys. So he introduced me to several good authors and added to my already keen love of books. At least once a week we had assembly in Deans’ Hall. We had a school psalm which was No. 121 – ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills…’ Sometimes we sang it in Latin. We also had a School Chaplain whose name was the same as mine but with a different spelling. He was the Rev. Redfearn. Sadly he was a somewhat uninspiring character. In those days we had a school chapel and in my search for a church I went to the Sunday services there on a few occasions but I did not find them very meaningful. Two events stand out in my memory. I had started to learn Chemistry and we had a lab technician who was somewhat disabled with a gammy leg. He wasn’t the brightest person and one day he found some sodium in a bottle which he thought needed topping up. Now normally sodium is protected from the atmosphere by being immersed in oil, however he proceeded to add water to the bottle with the expected consequences, namely the sodium reacted with the water and began to burn with a yellow flame. Fortunately a teacher was on hand and grabbed
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the bottle and took it outside the lab and threw it down in the cloisters and covered it with sand, thus rendering it harmless. During term time we always had Saturday school and games in the afternoons, football in the Junior School and rugby in the Senior School – not that I really enjoyed or was good at games. The only thing I was any good at was crosscountry and I took part both for our house and also for the School. As the war drew to a close, so various teachers who had been away serving for their country returned to civilian life. One such was Monty Fry who became the Housemaster of Bees, which was the house in which I was placed as a day boy when I moved up to Senior School. He was a short man with a moustache, and he was quite a disciplinarian but very fair. I took my School Certificate and did pretty well and then when I was in the Sixth Form I had a Physics master, Mr Hartley, who was pretty dreary but he was into Amateur Dramatics in which he was a star and an active member of the Club in Berkhamsted. They regularly put on Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. I always went to these as Gilbert and Sullivan operettas are much to my taste. He always got the part of the character that had the so-called ‘patter’ songs. The Club usually performed an operetta over one week. Well, he had taken one of the leading roles that week and had excelled at the performances. But on the Friday he was teaching us and, being rather tired with his efforts over the week, as he stood at the blackboard his writing gradually tapered off as he went to sleep. Being in the Sixth Form we kept quiet to the end of the lesson, when he woke up with a start. I passed my Higher School Certificate – the equivalent of today’s A-level – taking three subjects, namely Chemistry, Physics and Maths. I then stayed on at school for a further term in an attempt to get into Oxford, but the exams didn’t suit me. So, no surprise, no Oxford. John Redfern (Be ’48)
John Seamark (Ad ’51) (5th November 1934 – 21st May 2017) Many OBs owe a great debt to John for bringing us together some 50 years after we had last seen
may be called ‘golden friendships’. That I was privileged to know him in our ‘mature years’ was a joy; my only regret that it took 50 years before I met up with John again.
one another at the school. How this happened is an unusual story in which John was a significant player. While John and I were in the same year at school, the first group to sit the new O-levels, our contacts were relatively few. We both left school in December 1951 and occasionally travelled up to London together, but following our careers and moving away from Berkhamsted, we then went our different ways. Remarkably, 50 years later, we met and a deep friendship was formed. Together with David Hayes (Be ’53), from the same school year, we met at Berkhamsted Golf Club to consider whether a get-together could be arranged for guys of the same vintage, half a century after most of us had seen one another. None of us were natural enthusiasts for reunions, but we wondered how some who had been good friends at the School were faring. A mixture of curiosity and nostalgia! It was John, a member of Berkhamsted Golf Club, who arranged that initial meeting in 2004. Naturally, John, David and I then had to meet frequently to make plans and the Rose and Crown at Watton-at-Stone was our chosen venue, midway for the three of us and with good beer – how many happy hours! Our first annual reunion was in May 2005, at which 19 attended. Our numbers soon doubled and still, under the baton of John Williams, continue. Sadly, John’s health prevented him attending the last two reunions before he died, but at both
In his working life, John worked with BP, serving in Nigeria, Iran, the Shetland Isles and Abu Dhabi before retiring in Berkhamsted. To Carol, their children David and Elizabeth and beloved granddaughters Hannah and Beatrice, our hearts go out. Derek Jarrett (Sw ’51)
we toasted him with gratitude and affection. Jennie, my wife, and I continued to meet up with John and Carol until quite recently. All of us who have attended any of the May informal reunions will remember and be grateful to John for helping us to form many new, or renewed, friendships; bearing in mind our age, they
demonstrated a single-minded determination to preserve and enhance the ethos of the School. Her changes were not just in bricks and mortar. She had a real vision for how she wanted girls to be educated and supported pastorally; she appointed effective staff, both in the management of the School and in the teaching staff, who
Valerie Shepherd (Hon) (November 1935 – 27th October 2017) Valerie Shepherd was appointed as Head of Berkhamsted School for Girls in 1980. She had previously taught at Portsmouth High School and Wycombe Abbey, where she was also a popular senior housemistress. She was a Science graduate and teacher of Mathematics. She retired after 16 years of leading the School in 1996. Within that time she instigated many changes which had far-reaching effects on the education of girls who went through the School. The evidence of her changes can be seen physically in buildings: the Nash Building, completed in 1983 (now replaced by a new extensive building), the Centenary Hall in 1988 and the Science Block (Cork Building) in 1993. Valerie was not afraid of innovation and change; she worked tirelessly with the Governors to ensure that the building programme she instigated reflected the needs of the girls as well as enhancing the educational and recreational facilities available to them. This was not a policy of change for its own sake but through this building programme she
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shared this vision. She had high standards and this was mirrored in the academic success of the girls, as well as the artistic, music and sporting achievements. Her emphasis was always on the
of the girls in the School. Every girl who was in the School was known to her not only as a name but as a person. She ensured that her staff also focused on the care of the girls by using staff meetings to
overall education provided for the girls and it covered all age groups from Stepping Stones to the Sixth Form. Valerie cared strongly about the programme for the Sixth Form and wanted to do as much as possible to help them prepare for the next stages in their lives. In providing a Sixth Form Centre she gave the Sixth Form girls greater independence and their own identity to prepare them for higher education or the world of work. An innovative careers programme gave the girls the greatest opportunity to find the right career area for them. She was also keen to expand the provision for the younger children and the formation of the Nursery Department (Stepping Stones) led to an expansion of the Beeches. This involved moving the boarders and Valerie again worked tirelessly to provide modern facilities and a relaxed atmosphere for them. Valerie spent a great deal of her time talking to the girls, getting to know them. She supported them in their many endeavours by attending concerts, matches and events. She encouraged lacrosse tours and music concerts in far-flung locations. She was instrumental in the girls becoming part of Berkhamsted School CCF, a move which proved highly successful. Valerie also encouraged her staff in many areas, and memorably appeared in panto on one occasion. As a young member of staff I remember how much fun there was in the School as well as the focus on hard work.
highlight progress and individual needs. Valerie always advocated moving forward and was passionate about the education of girls. Valerie had many reservations about the process of merging Berkhamsted School with Berkhamsted School for Girls but, realising that she could not change the decision, she did much to make it as painless as possible for the girls and the staff. Valerie left a rich inheritance for the School on her retirement which has been built on subsequently by the Principals of Berkhamsted School. She will always be fondly remembered by her staff and the girls in her care. Dr Helen Brooke (Hon)
She was also a good fundraiser, launching a successful campaign in 1985 to fund the Centenary Hall. It is testament to the esteem in which she was held that parents, Old Girls and Governors rallied to the cause with enthusiasm. Valerie had a caring and generous personality which was so very important in the pastoral care 116 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
Mary Rosaleen Daly Smith (Bunker) (OS ’76) (29th January 1958 – 11th September 2017) Mary gained a scholarship to the Girls School, but she isn’t remembered for her academic prowess, rather her pushing the boundaries of dress code, make-up etc. She was an active member of the smokers’ club and her family home was always a social hub. She knew how to party! She went to Bristol University (albeit briefly) then on to a management training scheme at Harrods where she sold a shirt to Michael Caine (not a lot of people know that). She carried on her career in retail, managing Table Topics in Berkhamsted and opening a branch in Chesham. She married OB Tony Kent and had her son, Nicholas. Tragically, Tony died when Mary was six months pregnant with Joanna. But,
she wasn’t put off. She stuck to the same formula and married another OB called Tony (Smith this time) (Co ’71). This produced another two children, Jessica and Becky, and 30 years of blissfully happy
Cholesbury from the mid 1920s, while her father was stationed at RAF Halton. Anne
family life. When the children grew up she returned to her love of retail and happily worked for many years in Cook in Lower Kings Road. Her cancer was a cruel end but she never lost her smile and beamed at all of her many friends who came to see her right to the end. I leave you with her words: ‘I have been blessed. I couldn’t have had a better life. I have the most wonderful family, the best possible husband and children who have brought me immeasurable joy! I also have so many wonderful friends who have helped and supported me throughout what troubles I have had. I could not ask for more.’ Joanna Kent (SH ‘03)
loved this village, its woods and spacious common, and especially the ‘Danish Camp’, as locals called it. This was the earthworks of an Iron Age hill fort, covered in beech trees, which encircled the little church where Anne’s maternal grandparents were buried. It was an idyllic place to be brought up, and where she befriended the American actress Doris Keane, who then lived at Cholesbury Windmill. After a period in Suffolk where Anne completed her schooling, the family moved back to the area during the Second World War, and later Anne worked with the Polish Air Force in Blackpool, producing training manuals, and then nursing servicemen at Patshull House in Staffordshire. After the war Anne helped her parents set up an innovative residential arts and conference centre at Stoke House near Bletchley. It was here that Anne met her future husband, the distinguished potter Geoffrey Whiting, and they married in Stoke Hammond Church in 1953. Having excelled in printmaking, and studied sculpture at Wolverhampton School of Art, Anne took her artistic life in another direction when she co-founded, with Geoffrey, Avoncroft Pottery at Hampton Lovett in Worcestershire in 1955. It was one of the important early studio workshops set up in the post-war years. Anne was a keen sailor in her youth and passionate about the natural
Anne Whiting (Heath) (’31) (6th January 1920 – 2nd February 2017) Anne, who was born in London, attended Berkhamsted Preparatory School in September, 1927 and progressed to the Senior School in January 1928, leaving in the July of 1931. The daughter of C. Noel Heath and Dorothea Berrington, and sister of Charles and Adrian, Anne and her family lived at Cherry Orchards,
Anne Whiting at Stoke House near Bletchley c1946.
world, particularly the rivers and marshlands of East Anglia and Kent. But it was for Cholesbury that she had a particular childhood affection, as well as her time at Berkhamsted School, returning to the Chilterns on several occasions in the final years of her life. David Whiting The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 117
John ‘Mo’ Wilshire (Lo ’61) (23rd January 1943 – 17th March 2017) I shared a study with Mo at Berkhamsted in 1961 and was very sorry to hear of his death in March last
When his son James came into the world I felt honoured to be a godfather. As the years rolled by, some of the dramatic highs in his life were matched with dramatic lows. One fateful day I
year. For many years he ran Heritage Antiques – the antique shop in Castle Street. He became known as a craftsman in the repairing of musical instruments and clocks and watches, of which he had a great knowledge. Some people we meet in life enrich our own lives simply through knowing them even when, as in this case, we meet up only rarely. Among his many talents and abilities was a musical gift which enabled him to acquire instrumental technique relatively quickly. He was a multi-instrumentalist who could sing well and play a wide range of material – anything from Woody Guthrie to The Beatles and beyond. Like many ‘incumbents’ of the old School in that era, he developed a lifelong love of traditional jazz and at one time was a roadie for the Ken Colyer band and sat in with them on occasion. At the same time he was doing accountancy by day, which he taught for much of his life, although he told me once that for some time he got a full-time living entirely from music. Anyone who knows anything about the music industry would know how difficult this is even if you are prepared to starve! On the folk revival front he played with and supported Joan Baez, Julie Felix, Donovan and others. In trad jazz sessions, apart from Ken Colyer (as close to New Orleans as you could get in this country), he sat in with Acker Bilk and – on one famous occasion – Louis Armstrong! Mo played clarinet and various saxes but was never one to blow his own trumpet. Particularly in his later years, he was modest, self-effacing
went into my workshop and turned on the radio; almost immediately it was given out that that M1 was shut both ways because of an accident and there was a colossal tailback. I soon learned that it was James who was involved and very sadly he did not live long after the crash. Such trauma often puts a strain on relationships and, unhappily, within a year Mo’s marriage folded. Tragically, his French ex-wife, a charming and vivacious kind of person, died a relatively short time later, most unexpectedly. In my own family I have observed PTSD where a trauma resurfaces again in a different form many years after the original event and causes a load more grief. If this is what happened to Mo, then the great thing was that he came through it all safely. I saw very little of him in later years but was fortunate enough to acquire his beautiful Maple Gibson J100 guitar which he used at his last gig – one of my most treasured possessions! His later years were blessed by sharing them with Dee, who was a wonderful partner to him for 27 years. Mo was someone who very definitely needed and deserved the love of a good woman. He was immensely proud of his daughter Bella who has obviously inherited the communication gene and has become a globe-trotting artist of international repute. A full crematorium sends its own message. The School can be proud of its unconventional son who lived and worked on its periphery and once lived on the periphery of fame. His lease on life
and had a wry sense of humour. To me he still had ‘charisma’. Never one to do things by halves, he threw himself into all kinds of new projects. How I wished I could pick up a guitar and get everyone singing with such ease as he did! Not only that, but he came from a family of intelligent likeable people and had two attractive sisters.
expired within a few days of the expiry of the lease on Heritage Antiques. A song he liked a lot was ‘Mr Bojangles’. Checking out the lyric and learning from the service about his dancing prowess, I think I can now see why. Mo was himself a kind of ‘Bojangles’! RIP Mo. John Baker (Lo ’61)
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We extend our sincere condolences to the friends and families of those listed below, who have died recently: Alan Birrell (SJ ’50) died 5th February 2017. Richard Casserley (Be ’56) died 19th October 2017. Bill Glover (Hon) died 15th April 2017. Betty Hutchings (Defriez) (St ’37) died 10th January 2017. David Mathias (Hon) died 1st January 2016. Clive Williams (Ad ’52) died 17th March 2017.
The Old Berkhamstedians are deeply shocked and saddened by the news that William and Edward Cousins were two of the victims of the plane crash in Sydney, Australia, along with their father, his partner and her daughter. William (Ch ’10) and Edward (SH ’13) attended Berkhamsted School from the age of 11 to 18 and are fondly remembered, by staff and their peers.
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OB Contacts Emma Jeffrey (President) Marloes, 18 Amersham Road, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5PE Tel: 01494 433100 Mobile: 07976 424168 Email: email@example.com
Gavin Rees (Deputy President) 1 Chapel Crofts, Northchurch, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3XG Mobile: 07717 800627 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Rush (Treasurer) 8 Hunters Park, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2PT Tel: 01442 864719 Email: email@example.com
Peter Willson (Secretary) 6 Copper Beech Close, Box Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP3 0DG Tel: 07831 523955 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicky Rees (Administrator, TOB Office) Overton House, 131 High Street, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2DJ Tel: 01442 358111 Email: email@example.com
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OB Contacts for Events and Clubs West of England Lunch
London Luncheon Club Peter Willson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hockey Matt Walsh-Woolcott Tel: 07739 343285 Email: email@example.com
Old Girls’ Match v School
Amy Martin Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fives Anthony Theodossi Tel: 07701 398417
Netball OB Hares Netball Club
Toby Phillips Email: email@example.com
Neil Fischer Tel: 07811 200715 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tudor Rose Golfing Society (Ladies’ Golf) Vivien Plummer
Tel: 01442 863103
Tel: 07717 800627 Email: email@example.com
OB Golfing Society (Men’s Golf) Steven Pither (Captain) Tel: 01923 720454 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Goddard (Secretary) Tel: 01442 261796 Email: email@example.com
Shooting Barry Tompson (Chairman) Tel: 07711 381216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org David Pooley (Hon Secretary) Tel: 07770 946393 Email: email@example.com
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Dates for the Diary Tuesday 6th March West of England Lunch Exeter area
Friday 16th March OBs Annual Dinner and AGM Old Hall and Deans’ Hall
Saturday 28th April 1988 Leavers’ 30-year Reunion Old Dining Room
Thursday 10th May 50-Plus Meeting (for anyone who left pre-Dec 1968) Berkhamsted Golf Club
Friday 18th – Sunday 20th May OB Sailing Weekend Solent
Sunday 1st July OB Sports Day Chesham Fields
Saturday 6th October 1998 Leavers’ 20-Year Reunion Deans’ Hall
Saturday 13th October 2008 Leavers’ 10-Year Reunion Deans’ Hall
Wednesday 5th December OB London Steak Dinner Hilton Bloomsbury The Old Berkhamstedian 2018 | 123
THE LAVENHAM PRESS 47 Water Street n Lavenham n Sudbury n Suffolk CO10 9RN n Tel: 01787 247436
THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIAN 2018
The Old Berkhamstedian 2018
The alumni magazine for former pupils of Berkhamsted School and Berkhamsted School for Girls.