The Old Berkhamstedian 2023

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The Old Berkhamstedian 2023

The Old Berkhamstedian

Spring 2023

A Note from the Editor

Well, I believe it would be fair to dub 2022 as “The Year of Mood Swings”. In Britain, we celebrated making it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, scored a hat-trick of Prime Ministers and, on a serious note, said goodbye to an individual who I think we all believed was, somehow, immortal. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was an integral part of our national identity, Berkhamsted School’s history, and, I would go so far as to say, many of our own personal identities. RIP QEII, may your legacy be eternal.

On the subject of legacies, I would like to thank Matthew Horton for his outstanding work during his 9-year tenure as Editor of The Old Berkhamstedian. I think we can all agree that Matthew has set the bar incredibly high, but I come, pole-vault in hand, ready and raring to seamlessly follow on ensuring your stories continue to be heard, and this publication can continue to move with the rapidly evolving times.

In assembling the contributions for this year’s edition, I have been struck by how the pieces showcase the delightful melange of age and experiences across the OB community. Shoutout to Lavenham who, once again, have put together a fantastic publication, thanks to all who wrote in, for without you this magazine would be a “split-second” read, and last, but by no means least, a huge thank you to Lynne Oppenheimer for her unparalleled information collection and collation skills!

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THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIAN Overton House n 131 High Street n Berkhamsted n Herts n HP4 2DJ n Tel: 01442 358111 Email: n The President’s Message 2 The Principal’s Message 4 Treasurer’s Report 5 Membership Statistics 5 The Old Berkhamstedians Office 6 OB Questionnaire Results 6 The Berkhamsted Society 12 The Friends of Berkhamsted School 14 The Friends of St Peter’s Church 15 The Berkhamsted School Archive 15 The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge 17 23rd Graham Greene International Festival 17 Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards 2022 20 Berkhamsted School Highlights 2022 21 News of Old Berkhamstedians 23 From All Quarters 35 Memories of the Queen 51 HRH Prince Philip 59 Events 63 Sport 83 Travel Grants/Knox-Johnston Awards 103 Staff Valete 115 Obituaries 131 Future Events 160 OB Contacts 161

The President’s Message

Welcome to our 2023 Old Berkhamstedian magazine. After 9 years of editing The Old Berkhamstedian, Matthew Horton (Sw ’90) has stepped down from this role and on behalf of you all, I would like to thank him for all the time and energy he has put into this work and for the excellent job he has done.

I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce Victoria Russell (SG ’11) who has agreed to step into this role. Thanks too to Lynne Oppenheimer (Hon), our master article gatherer, and to the Lavenham Press for bringing the finished magazine together. We all hope that you enjoy this year’s offering, whether you are reading it online or in hard copy form.

Since the last magazine it has been a pleasure to see so many more events and activities resume, with the lifting of Covid restrictions. Not only social events and reunions but also many of our sporting events have been able to take place again.

We enjoyed the Talent Show in February. Huge thanks to all taking part in this event championed and led by Richard McIlwaine (Hon).

In April the memorial services for both John Davison and Mary Rose Farley (Bateman) were both able to take place. It was wonderful that so many OBs were able to meet up again to celebrate these two lives, so influential to so many of the students they taught. These events were the culmination of a lot of preparatory work by many OBs, both former pupils and staff, who were involved either in the music or in giving addresses. I would particularly like to thank the Principal, Richard Backhouse and the School for their total support allowing us use of the school’s wonderful

facilities for these events, and to Reverend Jane Markby, School Chaplain, for leading both services so beautifully. Please take a look at the reports later in the magazine to find out more.

Many of our sports clubs have been able to get up and running again, and in July it was brilliant to be able to resurrect our Sports Day with tennis and cricket. The OB cricket match vs the School, up at Chesham Fields with a BBQ in the sunshine was perfect.

By the time this goes to press there will have been the 50+ OB luncheon, the 10 and 20 year reunions, and the London Dinner too.

While on the subject of events, I would like to draw your attention to an article in the magazine summarising results from our 2021 Questionnaire. I hope you find the report interesting. We have certainly found the feedback received very helpful and are using it to help our alumni organisation evolve and grow along the lines our membership want. Some of these changes take time, not least because of the inevitable constraints afforded by the fact that all of our OB Council members are volunteers, many of whom are still working. Even our wonderful staff in the OB office, Vicky and Sarah, are part-time.

However, we are particularly focusing on making new regional and other events happen. Some expressed an interest in becoming a “regional representative” for TOB and we are working closely with these individuals on their plans to host events in their regions, these include Hong Kong, New York and London. We are also planning a rowing reunion and some more events for Old Girls, hoping to host a 50+ event for them along the lines of the well-established and very successful Old Boys 50+ reunion. In 2024 we hope to have a mixed event for a wider group, possibly for those who left 40-50 years ago – so watch this space! And if anyone out there falls into either of these

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eras and would like to help us rally old friends for these events, we would love to hear from you!

For any extra events we need a lead person or group of individuals to own the event. Vicky in the office is then able to contact the appropriate OBs for you, using our database, and ensuring GDPR regulations are strictly adhered to. So please do not hesitate to contact the office should you like to make a new group event happen, and we can help you.

Engaging with the Sixth Form has continued to be a high priority for us and we are grateful for the close collaboration with and support from Martin Walker, Head of Sixth and his staff. Our OB Travel and Knox Johnson sailing awards were thankfully able to be enjoyed again in 2022 (see articles by the award-winning students in this magazine). Through various meetings and presentations we have been able to update both students and staff on the services provided by TOB which students can benefit from while still at School. These benefits include enrichment lectures given by OBs, access to our volunteer OB mentors from a wide range of career backgrounds and to university and career clubs through Connections.

Sign-up to Connections, our online platform, is growing steadily and at the time of writing it is already over 2,500.

In March 2022, at our AGM, the new Articles of Association for both TOB Co Ltd and TOB Trust Company Ltd were adopted unanimously. In a nutshell these have brought our articles up to date and have clarified the membership of these two Companies limited by guarantee.

For The Old Berkhamstedians Ltd, we have ensured that all former pupils, who attended the School between years 7-13 or equivalent are able to benefit from the all the services and events that TOB has to offer. In the current time, there is no subscription to pay. We are supported by a grant from the School as we work together to provide more services for our growing numbers. However, to be a member of the Company, and to be entitled to vote at our AGM in future, it is necessary to sign up and complete an application form.

If anyone would like to become a signed up voting member of the Company, please contact the office for details or access the form on our website.

Also in March 2022 we said goodbye to two long serving Council members. Peter Rodwell served some 37 years on the OB Council and John Rush our Treasurer for 30 years in total and serving on the Council for more than 40 years. We are so grateful to them both for all their work for TOB over so many years. At the same time we welcomed Larry Eaton (Ch ’09) and Michael Parsey (SG ’16) to the Council.

I extend my thanks to our Exec Committee, all Council members, and to Vicky Rees and Sarah Cox in the office, for their continued support and commitment to TOB and for all the work they do. Thank you also to all contributors to this year’s publication.

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The Principal’s Message

The School was shortlisted for a National Prize for the experience of international boarders, and we won the National Schools Award category ‘Leadership Team of the Year’. Drama returned to large scale production, with a whole school production of Shrek as the highlight, and musicians once again enjoyed concerts aplenty – including a return to Proms in the Quad.

While 2020-21 was a year in which we experienced the see-saw of government restriction and ‘déconfinement’, 2021-22 was a year in which the School found a new normal. Covid’s comings and goings have made it increasingly hard to keep track of which normal we are in, but this version of new normal seems to have persisted. It was a year in which we ‘tiptoed’ back into large scale gatherings and held the largest Prize Day in the School’s history; we went back to face-to-face teaching and remained a remarkably digital school, with 3.8 million fewer pages of print coming out of our machines than before Covid; we returned to the exam hall and renewed our commitments to a breadth of education which had been difficult for two years.

What remained consistent, however, was the resilience, good humour and ambition of the average Berkhamstedian, the support of the parents, and the hard-working commitment of the staff to their pupils. Our enjoyment of a community which could go back to feeling like a community was often remarked on by pupils, parents and teachers.

Particular success was enjoyed in areas of sport – with the 1st XV winning the Daily Mail Trophy for the first time, and the Girls 1st XII being runners-up in the National Lacrosse Championship. The 1st Netball VII reached the semi-finals of the National Cup, and our Equestrians and Fives players also competed with great (customary) distinction.

The School invested in electric vans for the maintenance team, and electric bikes to help staff move around without the use of an internal combustion engine. Our sustainability plan will result in more tangible, and visible, signs of our reducing carbon footprint next year, when we also look forward to the new Sixth Form building rising from the site of Wilson House, Cox’s Bungalow and the maintenance buildings, all of which were demolished and cleared, creating a view of the West Wing from Tesco Car Park which has not been seen for some considerable time!

The number of bursary pupils in the School continues to increase, and their contribution to the life of the School is considerable. In addition to Afghan evacuees, we agreed to admit a number of those who had fled from Ukraine, principally as boarders, in September 2022. The development of the Anniversary Fund to pay for such places remains a high priority for us. We now also have a 501 c 3 entity in the US for alumni who would like to support us there. Further details may be found in the ‘Support us’ section of the magazine. We continue also to run booster camps for children in care and in foster homes throughout Hertfordshire in the Easter and Summer holidays, with consequent excellent relationships with this organisation.

Despite all that schools, and young people, have contended with in the last few years, we could reasonably conclude, as Frank Sinatra sang that “…it was a very good year!”

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Treasurer’s Report

TOB Ltd 2021-2022

The beginning of The Old Berkhamstedians’ financial year in July 2021 did broadly, and rather neatly, coincide with the Government’s removal of most of the Covid restrictions and this had led to fairly normal and pre Covid Old Berkhamstedian events and activities and our income and expenditure in the 2021/2022 financial year did in the main follow pre Covid patterns.

In terms of the TOB investment performance. At the beginning of the last financial year (2021/22) our investments were generally in positive territory until around the middle of January 2022 and since then we have seen negative performance and of course there is an obvious correlation with this pattern of investment performance and the start of the Ukraine war on the 24th of February 2022.

To illustrate this further, over the last 12 months, our cumulative investment performance is down by 11.92% and this of course has reduced our overall portfolio valuation and income. This situation is very much event based and no doubt over the long term we will see both recovery and solid performance and returns. As our funding is not wholly dependent on our investment income but also supported by a grant from the School, this does ensure that there are no short-term financial difficulties for TOB due to the current negative performance of our investments.

Also, sadly our perennial VAT issue that was highlighted in the previous Treasurer’s report in still with us and we are of course recognising this forecasted liability on our balance sheet until HMRC decide to respond to all the information they have asked for and now have; so the ball is now in their court to be suitably motivated to conclude this by offering us an equitable settlement liability calculation. We will continue to pursue this matter and endeavour to achieve the best possible outcome for TOB.

TOB Trust Co Ltd

Sadly, our Trust Company has experienced similar investment performance patterns as The Old Berkhamstedians in the 2021/2022 financial year and in the last twelve months investments are cumulatively down by 15.55%. Our overall sentiments towards the Trust Company’s investment performance are similar to that of The Old Berkhamstedians. Although in the early part of the last financial year, the Trustees agreed to level up and harmonise the risk rating of the Trust Company’s investment portfolio from level 5 to a slightly higher risk level 6 and this is in line with The Old Berkhamstedians investments. The Trustees believe that the relatively small incremental increase in risks are worth taking on board with the prospect of better growth and returns at this revised risk level.

However, as in previous years, we managed to maintain the same Bursary donations and a return to a similar pre-Covid level of travel grants been given to various eligible Berkhamsted pupils. We also gave out two Knox-Johnston ‘Tall Ships’ awards as well. The only exceptional expenditure the Trust Company had, following the approval of the Trustees was the funding of a new external clock for the Kings Road Campus to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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Membership Statistics 2022 2021 2020 Online Members to Connections 2610 2242 1554 Social Media LinkedIn 1090 1035 971 Facebook 723 708 656 Twitter 725 684 662

The Old Berkhamstedians’ Office

2022 was a return to ‘normal’ for us in the office, with the reintroduction of a lot of our events and reunions. Notable events for this year included the Memorial Service for John Davison, whose original memorial service was postponed by the onset of Covid back in March 2020.

We were delighted to invite around 250 people back to school to pay tribute to this great teacher back in April, on the same weekend that we also paid tribute to Mary Rose Farley, former headmistress of the Girls School. Our thanks for both of these events go to everyone who was involved who helped make it a truly memorable weekend.

We are currently looking at events for 2023, and, at the end of the magazine you can see the forthcoming dates that have already been set. We are also looking into how we can extend these events to a wider audience around the world and hope to announce some dates for these in the new year, but if you are interested in helping us host an event, please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Berkhamsted Connections continues to be a great success for us with over 2600 people now signed up, 156 stories online, 161 mentors, all the photos from our events this year, and over 57500 hits on the archive page (in the last 12 months). If you have anything that you would like us to include on Berkhamsted Connections, again please just let us know, or add your own story if you would like to! The platform is also the best way to stay in touch, with the capacity for you to search for others online and make contact directly through the system, so why not try to get back in touch with friends from the past.

Sarah and I are based in the offices at Overton House on Berkhamsted High Street and are in the offices every morning, so if we can be of any help at all, please drop us and email or give us a call.

OB Questionnaire Results

Your Feedback Shapes Our Future

In 2021, a sub-committee of your OB Council undertook a major project. Led by William Parsey, a questionnaire was drafted, with a lot of work by Vicky Rees too, who masterfully put it all together. Huge thanks must go to everyone involved. Here is a summary of our findings together with updates on how we have been working to use the information you provided to help steer the events and work we do for you.

Over 6000 OBs were contacted and asked if they would like to take part in our questionnaire. Our aim being to get an idea of what you, our members, want from your alumni organisation.

We were delighted with the response. 6008 questionnaires were sent out, either by email or post card, and we received 641 replies. A 10.7% overall response rate. We received some great feedback, whether that be for more events, different types of events, more reunions, a larger range of clubs as well as what your preferred method of communication should be.

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our Questionnaire.

Who responded?

Most were based in the UK (83.2%) followed by Europe (excluding the UK) at 4.2%. The US had 3.9% with Australia/New Zealand at 3.7%. Hong Kong/ Singapore had 1.5% while 3.5% respondents lived elsewhere.

Age Groups

The profile of respondents

You will see from figure 1 that 53% were over 60 years old, but the 18-45 age group were only just under a 1/4 of the total, as were the 46-60 group. So we had good representation from all age groups.

What is the most valuable benefit of TOB

(percentage replies) 73% of you use the organisation to stay in touch and share memories (figure 2).

We asked you about the type of events you would attend (figure 3)

You told us you enjoy school events and reunions. We host the 10 and 20 year reunions every year. We had lots of requests for the Annual London Dinner and this continues to be a regular fixture in the calendar taking place in early December.

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the initial memorial service for JAD had to be postponed. Many asked if it would still possible for this to go ahead and we were delighted to be able to rearrange this in early April 2022.

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9% 14% 24% 34% 19% 18-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
Figure 1 Figure 2

It was fantastic that so many of you attended and it was a most memorable occasion. You can read the report here in the magazine and see more photos from the event on Connections.

Many of you asked for more regional clubs to enable you to make contact with OBs in your area. 23 of you said you would be interested in volunteering to be regional reps. We have contacted each of these individuals who gave us their details and are helping support regional events in the UK and around the world.

What information would you like to receive from TOB? (figure 4)

All the above items were of some interest, with the archives and school anecdotes scoring highest and OB business of least interest. Current school news and updates are now regularly shared on the OB Connections platform and we do encourage our members to sign up to this and to enjoy having this resource to dip in and out of.

We are working on including a summarised School News entry in the OB magazine as well,

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Figure 3

as there is significant interest in this. We hope to be able to give a brief summary if this is ready before going to press this year, but a fuller version is definitely planned for next year’s magazine.

What would you be interested to take part in?

(figure 5)

As well as Sports clubs, and requests for CCF reunions, of particular note was the feedback that a significant number of OBs wanted more Arts events.

We had previously held the OB talent Show in Centenary Theatre, which was a great success. We were therefore delighted to be able to reintroduce this event in February 2022 and hope to continue to host it annually. It was also lovely to bring so many of you together to sing at the John Davison and Mary Rose Farley memorial events. We are currently hoping to introduce an event giving OBs the opportunity to view sixth form A-Level art and photography work when this is exhibited

in the summer. We are working with the school to arrange this, hopefully combined with a tour of the School. So if this is the kind of event you might be interested in, please look out for it when launched later in the year.

Interest in the entrepreneur network also scored highly. We have promoted our mentor scheme and currently have over 150 OBs from a wide variety of different professions offering their services to current sixth form and fellow OBs. The Entrepreneur network is one of the clubs available on our Connections website, so again, do take a look if networking with fellow OBs is of interest to you in this or any other area.

Following analysis of all your responses, we put together a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on Connections. Some of the Q&As are listed below – more can be found linked to the Questionnaire news article on Connections (Oct 2021).

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Figure 4

What is Connections and how do I sign up?

Connections is the online hub for The Old Berkhamstedians (TOB). It is full of interesting news from the OB community as well as updates from current School life. It is a great way to get in touch with fellow Old Berkhamstedians around the world and to join existing clubs, networks or societies that aim to bring the OB community closer together. There are also back issues of both the School and The Old Berkhamstedian magazines available to peruse in the Archive section and you can sign up to be an OB mentor or seek help from an OB mentor. This exciting project was only launched in 2020, so as more OBs sign up, the Connections network will go from strength to strength. Currently over 2500 are signed up. Sign up using this link: https://

Is Connections open to anybody and is my data safe if I sign up?

Only Old Berkhamstedians, that is former pupils and honorary members, are able to sign up to Connections. It is NOT a public site. Each person who signs up has to be checked against the database and be authorised before access to the site is granted. We are extremely mindful of and adhere to current Data Protection law. More information on these policies can be obtained from the website.

Do I need to pay a subscription to be involved in TOB?

A subscription is no longer required to be a member of TOB. If you have attended the senior School or sixth form for more than one year you are automatically entitled to become a member of TOB and it is free to sign up to Connections.

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Figure 5

How do I find a pupil or teacher I was at school with?

The best place to start is on Connections where you can easily search for past pupils and teachers (provided they too have signed up to Connections) but you can also contact TOB via the office ( and we will do what we can to put you in touch.

How do I hear about reunions?

TOB already organise 10 and 20 year reunions and the office will contact you to invite you along when your year is celebrating those milestones. If you have not been contacted but believe you should have been, then do please contact the office. We are looking into the possibility of combining year groups for reunions as per the feedback from the questionnaire.

Will TOB help me organise an event or reunion?

If you would like to arrange your own reunion, and have enough interest amongst your friends, then please contact TOB via the office ( and they will be happy to help. These events can be hosted at school or elsewhere. Please note, that we do not have the resources to physically run these extra events, but can help you reach the group of OBs you are wanting to meet with.

Can I view old copies of The Old Berkhamstedian magazine?

Some years ago TOB funded the digitisation of all every copy of The Berkhamstedian, Girls Chronicle and The Old Berkhamstedian magazines, dating back to the 1880s! Our new OB magazines are added to the archive every year. These can all be viewed by visiting the ‘Archive’ section via the Connections homepage. You can search the magazines by year and for individual names or events! It is a wonderful resource and will bring back many a memory.

Is there anywhere I can view old photos of the School?

The ‘Archive’ section on the Connections website has a wonderful selection of old photos and

stories. If you have any questions about the School Archives, any stories to tell or would like any further information then please email

How can I be more involved in TOB?

We are always looking for willing volunteers to become involved in TOB! Please contact the office if you would like more information or to volunteer.

Do I have to join the committee in order to become more involved?

No, you can be involved as much or as little as you like. We appreciate that not everyone wants to commit to joining the committee but may be happy to volunteer to help out at events or to bring together other OBs in their area. The annual AGM is now run via Zoom and every OB is very welcome to attend. If you wish to vote at this event, you need to be a signed up member of TOB Co Ltd. Please contact the OB office for more information.

How can I find out about upcoming events for TOB?

TOB events will be posted on Connections but you will also receive an email with details – provided you have agreed to receive emails from TOB. If you are unsure you can check with the office (

How does TOB support the School?

TOB supports the School through its charitable arm, The Old Berkhamstedians Trust Company Ltd. This contributes to the School’s Anniversary Bursary Fund as well as supporting successful applicants in Year 12 with Travel Grants every year.

How can I help support the School?

The School welcomes donations and bequests from individual Old Berkhamstedians. At the moment the School is funnelling all gifts into its Anniversary Bursary Fund. You can find more details about this on the Connections and School websites.

William Parsey (Hon) Clare Edwards (Battye, ’95) Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

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The Berkhamsted Society

The Berkhamsted Society has now become well established in Berkhamsted as our community programmes and partnerships continue to grow and be of mutual benefit to all parties.

Our Sixth Form Prefects attended a Leadership Conference along with students from Adeyfield Academy and St Albans Girls School where current topics were openly discussed. All Year 12 students also attended the Rotary Humanitarian Day along with students from Ashlyns School where the event was hosted.

The Year 1 children from the One Degree Academy in Enfield had a super time being hosted by the Society for a day of Outdoor Education run by Mrs Laura Thompson at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep.

The Berkhamsted School Community was amazing in its support of the Ukraine Relief Efforts via the Berkhamsted Society.

We promoted two schemes being co-ordinated by the humanitarian organisation Te Aud Romania, a Romanian-based charity registered in the UK.

Via a member of our school community, DHL Express provided free of charge collection and transport of donated personal hygiene and baby products that were delivered to Ukrainian refugees currently in Romania. They were used by those in the Suceava County of North-East Romania. Families from the Pre-Prep, Prep, Heatherton, Senior Boys, Senior Girls and the 6th Form very kindly donated goods which were collected across the School and transported by our Estates Team to a DHL Express depot. From there, the goods were taken to Romania. Heartfelt thanks must go to all those families who participated but also to the members of Berkhamsted staff and DHL Express crew who enabled this to happen.

A Vice President of DHL Express who is also Head of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce in the UK said ‘Thanks so much for

all these amazing efforts – I think it’s difficult to overstate how much this will be appreciated.’

We are also delighted that, through support of a second scheme co-ordinated by Te Aud Romania, several Berkhamsted families contacted the Head of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce UK directly to register their interest in hosting Ukrainian refugee families.

As a school, we have been immensely proud of everyone’s efforts in supporting these schemes.

AgeUK Dacorum citizens benefitted greatly from the ‘Walking Netball’ scheme run in conjunction between England Netball, Berkhamsted Society, the Knox-Johnston Sports Centre and AgeUK itself. Thanks must go to Vicky Rees, the Sports Centre Manager for facilitating this. I also read Louisa May Alcott’s ‘A Merry Christmas’ in the AgeUK Dacorum Community Christmas Concert in St Peter’s Church.

The School’s IT technicians facilitated the use of sound systems and provided further technical support for the Northchurch Social Centre meetings, with the secretary commenting ‘What a difference your visit was to the running of our club. For the first time since reopening, everything was working!’

The Society continued to work closely with other charities, groups, and associations such as The Berkhamsted and District Chamber of Commerce, The Royal British Legion, Berkhamsted Rotary Club, the Hospice of St Francis, Sunnyside Rural Trust, St Peters Church, The Rectory Lane Cemetery, The Berkhamsted Castle Trust, Berkhamsted Arts Trust, The Graham Greene Festival, Berkhamsted Book Festival and The Chiltern Chalk Stream Society.

At the beginning of the year, a new alliance was formed via the Society between Berkhamsted School and Berkhamsted’s private jeweller, The Diamond Trust. A jewellery design competition was launched, and The Diamond Trust agreed to sponsor the event, including the manufacture of the winning entry.

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The winner of the competition created a beautiful pendant using diamonds and rich purple amethysts set in platinum. According to the brief, the pendant contained 0.70cts of diamonds and 7 grams of platinum. The finished piece was hallmarked with the special Jubilee hallmark at the London Assay Office.

The inaugural Berkhamsted Medieval Festival, hosted at Berkhamsted School’s Kitcheners Field and Berkhamsted Cricket Club took place over two days of the August Bank Holiday weekend. The festival was organised by Berkhamsted and District Chamber of Commerce, the committee I sit on.

In order to bring the local community together, the Berkhamsted Society hosted a Summer BBQ which took place on the Grass Quad of the Castle Campus. Several local residents attended, and local businesses and charities were also represented.

Each year, the Society hosts a number of other events, many of which are centred around ‘An Audience with’ special invited guests. Recent guests have included Ben Fogle and Paula Radcliffe.

adventure. Ben shared his tales of Castaway, swimming with crocodiles, conquering Mount Everest, crossing Antarctica, rowing the Atlantic Ocean, working with the animals at Longleat, and meeting people on ‘New Lives in the Wild.’ The much-loved TV adventurer recounted, with warmth and honesty, his thrilling tales. Antarctica, rowing the Atlantic Ocean, working with the animals at Longleat, and meeting people on ‘New Lives in the Wild.’ The much-loved TV adventurer recounted, with warmth and honesty, his thrilling tales.

Two of our Special Guests

We were thrilled to be able to welcome a modern-day explorer in Ben Fogle, who provided an unforgettable evening of storytelling and

Paula Radcliffe, former world champion in the marathon, half marathon and cross country, is considered one of the greatest British athletes of the modern era. She was previously the fastest female marathon runner of all time, holding the world record for 16 years. She is a three-time winner of the New York Marathon and, in 2005, won gold at the World Championships. Paula also represented Great Britain at the Olympics in four consecutive games and has won gold in the European Championships over 10,000m and the Commonwealth Games over 5000m.

Please keep an eye out for our future events.

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The Friends of Berkhamsted School

A Year in Review 2021-2022

We were thrilled to see many of The Friends’ activities return after a couple of unusually quiet Covid years.

Change of Friends structure

During those quiet times, The Friends Association used this time to carefully evaluate its structure and made a significant change. After 40 years of operating independently from the School, The Friends has now become part of the School’s charity and work under the umbrella of the School’s charitable registration. This has many advantages, not least working closely together with the School. In many ways, little has changed; parent volunteers continue to organise social events, act as House Reps, meet as a team of volunteers and raise funds to benefit the Berkhamsted School Group and its pupils. The new structure was announced on July 5th, 2022.


In 2021, we raised £1485 for Herts Young Homeless (HYH) and an additional £1870 in 2022 at two successful Quiz and Curry Nights, hosted by our favourite HYH quizmasters Anil and David. Our popular “local” Coffee Mornings continued in Berkhamsted, Harpenden, Amersham, Beaconsfield and Wendover, connecting new and existing parents and making them feel part of the Berkhamsted parent community.

In June 2022 we held the fabulous musical family event, Proms in the Quad, at the Castle Campus featuring performers from the Sixth Form, Senior and Prep School. A total of £3460 was raised, shared equally between The Friends and the Music department.

The Prep Summer Discos in May were a roaring success with two sessions in one afternoon/evening, covering all year groups with over 300 children.

What a wonderful way for them to end the year!

Last, but not least, the Pre-Prep organised a hugely successful 2022 Summer Fayre with a record attendance with over 150 families, raising an amazing £5020.

Queen’s Jubilee Clock

To commemorate the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, The Friends donated a beautiful, high quality, external, Heritage style clock to the Boys’ School, which is hanging on the wall above Bartrum House.

The 2022/23 school year kicked off with a successful Induction Day Coffee Morning in Old Hall, welcoming those many new parents in Y7, 9 and 12.

In addition, we will be hosting a magical Winter Ball at Ashridge House in December and the traditional and lively Burns Night will be back in January 2023.

It is thanks to all those wonderful parent volunteers we’re able to create such a thriving parent community and I am extremely grateful for that!

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The Friends of St Peter’s Church

An evening with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

single-handed and non-stop around the world in 1968/69. After complimentary drinks had been served in the Old Dining Room Sir Robin enthralled an audience of about 230 people with reminiscences of this voyage and his sailing career since then. His lecture was complemented by some wonderful film and slides and he very kindly answered a number of questions. At the end of the evening a vote of thanks was proposed by Father Stuart Owen, the Rector of Berkhamsted.

On 8th October 2022 The Friends of St Peter’s held their Inaugural David Pearce Memorial Lecture in the Centenary Theatre at the Kings Campus. This event was originally intended to be held on 3rd April 2020 but had to be postponed at that time because of Covid.

David Pearce, who was a member of the School’s staff from 1966 until 1999, served for some years as a Church Warden of St Peter’s and was instrumental in the foundation of the Friends in 2013. He was one of our Trustees until his death in 2016.

Our speaker was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston CBE (St John’s 1966) who was the first person to sail

We were delighted that Liz Pearce and members of her family were in the audience which also included The Venerable Dr Jane Mainwaring, Archdeacon of St Albans who is our Patron and Councillor Nigel Taylor, Deputy Mayor of Berkhamsted.

This lecture was held in partnership with the Berkhamsted Society and was a fundraising event for the necessary repairs to the roof of St Peter’s. it was also one of a number of events in Berkhamsted in 2022 to mark the 800th anniversary of the consecration of St Peter’s.

The Friends are extremely grateful to Sir Robin for giving this lecture and to the School for making the Centenary Theatre available and for their support of this event in other ways.

The Berkhamsted School Archive

The beginning of this article tells of visitors, which is a lovely thing to say after the restrictions that affected travel; local and worldwide.

The most recent visitors and much closer to home, were a very enthusiastic group of Year 9 boys, studying the poets of the Great War in English. A few objects were chosen for

inspiration and the stories behind said objects were told; the boys were full of questions and a follow up email indicated the boys were fired up over the visit.

An international mix of visitors has trickled back into the school this year; with restrictions lifted, tickets were booked and visits arranged.

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It is heart-warming to know that when these trips are planned, returning to the schools is a must for some and the minute they step onto the premises, memories flood back and wives, husbands, grandchildren et al are regaled with stories from times past. This was the case with an OB now living in America, an Austrian lady who was an au-pair to the family of an OB and had only ever set foot in the Gravel Quad; seeing nothing else of the school in all the time she had lived in the town and a visitor from South Africa, whose grandfather and two brothers were OBs in the 1920s and whose husband was the first male headteacher of an all girls’ school in the world. The great granddaughter of a previous headmaster also booked a visit, flying in from Australia with unseen photographs and correspondence from his time at the school. An article written about the numerous family letters appeared in the 2022 OB magazine.

A visit to the school from an award-winning set designer, whose credits include Life of Pi and Back to the Future the Musical, was looking

for inspiration in the form of the headmasters’ portraits that hang in Old Hall; he knew about these through an OB friend. With permission granted and photographs taken, these images were used in a recent production of Snail House; written by Richard Eyre and recently staged at the Hampstead Theatre.

Enquiries abound from school departments regarding buildings and plans or immersion projects for the Jubilee; to an Oxford school asking for details of past fixtures, as the score books had been lost! An inherited prize book led to a question about school life in the 1900s and a conversation (in the Rectory Lane cemetery!) was followed up with an enquiry about an OB killed in the Great War, whose name appears on the Little Gaddesden War Memorial. Researching sporting history is also a popular topic of enquiry. The historian of the Corinthian Casuals was piecing together the fixtures against the school from the early 1900s and a question about inter-school matches against Repton took us back to the 1980s.

Several OBs were able to look through loaned house books and past magazines at the recent 50+ years lunch held in August at Berkhamsted Golf Club.

The exhibition room now displays a sports blazer with four colours awards for rugby, athletics, cricket and boxing: a rare article and a very welcome donation to the collection. A further donation of a schoolmaster’s life came our way from the family of Reginald ‘Reggie’ Fair, Geography master and more 1954-1988. With the retirement of our Director of Performing Arts in July, the school drama category has been boosted by a large and varied donation of programmes for past productions.

The picture shows the Acacia craft on display in the exhibition room, alongside a photograph of the recently refurbished grave of Hannah Cottingham and the tale of how the acacia project came about.

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The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge

During my year as Master of the Lodge we have been emerging from the effects of the suspension of Masonic activities due to Covid and enjoying meeting regularly once again at the School.

The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge continues to attract an increasing number of young Old Boys giving a vitality and enthusiasm to meetings. Our new Master elect, Jack Baker (Nash 2013), takes over from me in February 2023 and will become the youngest Master of the Lodge to date. His first ceremony will be to welcome an even younger OB to the lodge.

Admitting younger Old Boys to the Lodge has improved masonic social media understanding, capabilities, and utilisation. This has led to better communication between members and improved their ability to reference Lodge history and traditions. The Old Berkhamstedians Masonic Lodge welcomes new members specifically from the school i.e. teachers or support staff, parents and partners of those connected with the school. This helps retain the strong links and traditions associated with the school. This, at times, can be quite quirky and discombobulating for the younger Old Boys by the singing of the school song Carmen (in Latin) which I believe was discontinued on amalgamation with the Girls school in 1996.

In addition to the fraternity of meeting in the school with the connection to the school, the principal reason for the OB lodge, another main tenet of the

lodge is support to members, the school, and the local community. Charity is at the forefront of our minds. Our Head of Charity, Keith Goddard (Adders 1962), has been proactive in presenting opportunities where the Lodge can help in the local community. A few examples are: help in the refurbishment

The John Sayer Alms Houses in Berkhamsted; Open Door Youth Project; Berkhamsted Swan Youth Project; St Mary’s Primary School, Northchurch; Westfield Primary School; Bridgewater School; Sunnyside Rural Trust and Dens to name a few.

The assistance the Lodge gives does not always need to be financial. To assist St Mary’s School woodworking classes, the members of the Lodge were asked for any for 9" hand drills, an 8" wood vice and small hammers and gardening tools to donate to the school. Charity comes in many forms!

The OB Lodge also donates to the Province of Hertfordshire which has helped people cover their essential daily living costs with over £98,000 of support. Over £80,000 was used to help give access to life-saving and life-changing health support. Over £23,000 helped families with care and education costs. And there were nine grants to local charities totalling over £71,000. Further afield the National Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated 21 million pounds to cover humanitarian disasters, global poverty, and national causes.

23rd Graham Greene International Festival

The 23rd annual Festival was held at the School during Graham’s birthday of 2nd October. The Festival is a feast for those interested in the colourful life and times of Graham Greene.

People from home and abroad soak up the atmosphere where the future writer was born and where he went to school till “going up” to Balliol one hundred years ago this autumn of 2022.

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The Festival covered Graham’s prodigious output spanning drama, films, lost stories, espionage and psychopaths. Festival speakers provided new insights, sometimes controversial or speculative.

Philip Hormbrey presented arguments and evidence that Greene’s earliest publication was ‘The Mill’ printed anonymously in The Old Berkhamstedian in December 1919 when Greene was fifteen years old. It is a Christmas ghost story, confidently well written. Hombrey pointed out that Greene’s elder brother Raymond took over editorship of the School Magazine in 1919. Greene would have known about Raymond’s attraction to ghost stories and could have written this story to appeal to his editor (as he was known to have done later in his life).

‘It is as if the Amish had taken over Las Vegas.’ Kenneth Tynan’s description of the effect on Havana nightlife of the Cuban Revolution was quoted by Festival Director Christopher Hull (Chester University) in his fascinating account of the making of the film Our Man in Havana. So little time had elapsed between the novel’s publication in October 1958 and the arrival of Carol Reed, Graham Greene and cast to film on location just four months following Fidel Castro’s overturning of the Batista regime on 1 January 1959. Graham Greene’s letter, published that month criticising the British government’s selling of weapons to Batista might have been in order to remind the new authorities of his part in preventing further sales to the dictator. Nevertheless, the filming was monitored by the new authorities and changes in the script were required. They were sensitive to the depiction of Cuban life. Ordinary Cubans should not be shown as exclusively harassing tourists (‘selling maracas and dancing the rhumba’) and that the viciousness of the Batista regime be conveyed. This latter requirement was difficult as the film was intended as a comedy.

Lucas Townsend, studying for a PhD at Roehampton University, identified the remarkable similarities between the character types, plot directions, and recurrent symbols across the works

of Ian Fleming and Greene. There are parallels between these two famous 20th Century writers: similar in age, although less so in educational achievement; both worked during World War II for different branches of British Intelligence. Their social circles interlinked rather than merged.

Townsend claimed that Fleming’s thriller Casino Royale could be construed as a reconstruction of Brighton Rock which, of course, Greene originally intended to be in the same genre. Could links really be drawn between the worlds of Pinkie Brown and James Bond? There are close similarities between the closing sentences of the two books which does lend weight to the argument that Casino Royale is, in effect, a homage to Greene’s pre-war novel.

Conversely, Townsend argued that there is a connection between Greene’s 1955 novella Loser Takes All, set in the casinos of Monte Carlo, and Fleming’s debut novel which had been a phenomenal best seller two years earlier. Was this somewhat lightweight novella, a timely acknowledgement of Fleming’s contribution to popular fiction. There is the gentle parodying of James Bond’s ingredients for the perfect dry martini in Loser Takes All. This kind of subtle joke seems entirely in keeping with Graham Greene’s character.

Professor David Wilson (leading criminologist and TV presenter) discussed the Buckinghamshire murder in 2015 of teacher Peter Farquhar by his former student Ben Field through the lens of Pinkie Brown, a seventeen-year-old psychopath in Brighton Rock. The relationship of Pinkie to Rose sums up that of Field to Peter Farquhar. Like Rose, Farquhar, who was desperate to give his love to someone, gave his love to a psychopath. Unlike Field who had multiple sexual partners, Pinkie is a virgin. However, he seduces Rose in order to ensure her silence. Just as Field used religion as a means to place himself at the heart of a community and to win Farquhar’s love, so too Pinkie uses religion to achieve Rose’s silence. Like Field to Farquhar, Pinkie is betrothed to Rose

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in a civil ceremony, which they both know is a sin against the Holy Ghost. As a character who is prepared to kill repeatedly, Pinkie also possesses the trait of a serial killer. Literary psychopaths can act as a template both to understand the actions of murderers and to be used by them.

Professor Villar Flor delivered his lecture in Deans’ Hall via video link from Rioja, due to the tragic and unexpected death of his wife just prior to the Festival. His forthcoming book raises the intriguing possibility that Greene’s espionage work might have been behind his 15 trips around Spain with his old friend Father Durán: ‘my whisky priest’, the model for a literary character in what would become Monsignor Quixote

Other talks were given by Svetlana Dimcovic on Graham Greene’s plays; Mike Hill and Jon Wise on their three-volume Greene bibliography; Ian Williams on imagining Greene in the cyber age; and Richard Greene on his research on Greene. The films shown were Across the Bridge (1957), Monsignor Quixote (1985) and The Graham Greene Trilogy – Part 1: England Made Me (BBC Arena, 1993). Guided tours on Greene’s haunts in central London,

on escaping the School to Berkhamsted Common and growing up in the School were popular.

The Festival was presented by the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust and, as always, receives the active support of the Greene family, several of whom attended this year’s events. It was sponsored by Greene King and supported by Berkhamsted School and Berkhamsted Town Council.

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Giles Clark (Be ’72) Chair, Graham Greene Birthplace Trust Jonathan and Andrew Bourget propose the Birthday Toast in Deans’ Hall to their grandfather Graham Greene, with a portrait of uncle Francis Greene and mother Caroline Bourget in the background Christopher Hull, Festival Director David Wilson Philip Hormbrey Lucas Townsend

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards 2022

The Gold Award Presentation (GAP) was held at Buckingham Palace on Monday 16th & 20th May 2022. It was a wonderful celebration after the restrictions of covid. There was a total of 10,429 gold award holders who attend over the two days. Sixty-three Berkhamstedians were invited, 57 of which attended. Quite remarkable I am sure you will agree.

Annually we host The Duke of Edinburgh Awards Dinner in Old Hall, a black-tie event. Only Y13 pupils who successfully complete their award by June of Y13 are invited to attend along with staff that have supported them through the scheme.

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Berkhamsted School Highlights 2022

Berkhamsted celebrates remarkable results of A Level Students

28 students achieved straight A*s in their chosen subjects. Ninety per cent of A level grades were at A*, A or B.

Nationals – Lacrosse 2022

This season we had a very successful year at National Schools with all teams all teams achieving at least Top 8 in the Country in their respective categories.

Our 1st and 2nd Senior Teams both reached the finals after a two-day competitive tournament and both finished 2nds best in the whole Country, with our 3rd team finishing in the top 8.

The U15A team were crowned National Champions after beating Putney High in a fantastic final in which they performed with tenacity and flare.


The success of our Year 11 has exceeded expectation and achieved 52.8% at grade 8 or 9 and 75% at grades 7 to 9.

Some Year 11 students on the Grass Quad

Berkhamsted 1st XV team win the Daily Mail Trophy

This was an outstanding season for all the Boys and will give those leaving us in Year 13 a memorable end to their school Rugby career.

Berkhamsted CCF: General Inspection Day 2022

This annual event is an opportunity to celebrate life in the CCF by looking at the cadet experience through the eyes of the Year 13s, who present their reflections of camps and courses.

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Some successful A Level students outside Old Hall Combined Cadet Force General Inspection Day, 30th June 2022

Thank you to the Corps of Drums from the School’s sponsor Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Guards, whose presence created a fantastic atmosphere to the day.

The CCF introduced a new element to the parade this year that the new Year 9 recruits lead, linking back to the Boer War when the Royal Navy became a great help to the Army. They demonstrated their teamwork and enthusiasm on the Royal Navy field gun run. A great way to build small team cohesion between new cadets.

Happily Ever After – Shrek The Musical

Berkhamsted Schools celebrated a return to whole school, large scale productions with the arrival of Shrek The Musical. It had everything you could hope to see, energy, commitment, star performances and a magical live band.

Studio and Wilson House. When completed, it will be accessed from Mill Street by students, as a site separate to the rest of the Castle campus, so that boys and girls will enter a new Sixth Form environment when they join. It will also have its own landscaped quad and is expected to open in the Autumn of 2022.

Shrek The Musical was originally meant to be performed at the end of 2021 but due to Covid was pushed back to maximise the experience of both staff, cast and audiences. The schools are tremendously proud of this achievement and relaunching live, whole school performances.

Shrek, Happily Ever After.

New Sixth Form at Berkhamsted Castle Campus

Work on the new Berkhamsted Sixth building has begun. The new building will be built on the corner of the School’s site next to the Tesco car park, replacing the metal-roofed Maintenance Department workshops, Cox’s Bungalow Drama

Berkhamsted Junior Music Tour to Paris

A whopping 138 pupils from Years 7 and 8 and 18 members of staff went on a Music Tour to Paris from 10th to 15th July. It was certainly a logistical challenge getting that number of pupils and their instruments to France, but Steph Gunary and the accompanying staff made it happen.

The pupils also took in views of the city from the Montparnasse Tower and from their Bateaux Mouches boat on the Seine. It was certainly the biggest and best overseas music tour ever. Each morning the hotel was filled with sounds of pupils in music workshops and rehearsals. These were worked around some ‘pool-time’ to cool off in the hot weather as well as a Karaoke corner slot and some free ‘jamming time’ for individuals and groups to enjoy making music on their own.

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Audiences witness the blossoming relationship between Shrek and Fiona Trip to the Louvre
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News of 2010s and 2020s Leavers

We’d like to share an update on Toby Knight’s stratospheric rise to becoming an internationally renowned Rugby player

“Toby Knight’s Continued Success on the Pitch

It is fair to say that OB Toby Knight (’20) has been enjoying the 2021/2022 season more than most, with his notable progression being recognised at both club and international level. As well as playing in the England Under 20s squad, he has also featured twice for the Saracens first team.

Not satisfied with a place in the starting line-up, he was also given the honour of captaining his country in their Under 20’s Six Nations opener against Scotland, a moment that will stay with the back-rower, for the rest of his life.

“It was an amazing honour and really special for me, personally. It wasn’t expected, of course, but hopefully I did everything right. I loved it, so if I did a good job for the boys that’s all that matters!” Said Knight.

He scored in Edinburgh to cap off what was a brilliant night for the flanker. “It was the dream start and couldn’t have gone any better. It was a good performance and a really special atmosphere, so it’s given us all a taste of playing at the top level. I have loved every second of it so far. It has reminded me of when you are just playing with your mates, we’re having such a good time.”

However, as a young player learning the highs and lows of professional sport, the defeat to Italy the following week meant he was brought back down to earth quickly.

“We have learnt a harsh lesson from that game. Maybe there was a bit of complacency but there definitely won’t be moving forward. It was a tough one to take but we’ll be looking to bounce back in the coming weeks.”

Those coming weeks include an exciting occasion for both Saracens and England Under 20’s, as StoneX Stadium opens its doors to international rugby for the first time with England hosting Ireland on Saturday March 12th.

For a young Saracen, that provides an exciting opportunity to impress on both fronts and Knight admitted he is desperate to be involved. “It will probably be our hardest game but hopefully the home advantage will help us. I can’t wait to run out at StoneX, it will definitely mean a lot to us Sarries guys, if we’re selected. My family will all be coming down and I bet there will be a great buzz around the place.”

Knight, who is in the squad alongside fellow academy members Francis Moore and Alex Wardell says that to be recognised with other Saracens players makes it extra special.

“We’ve grown up through the age grade system together at Sarries and that definitely makes it even better. I live with Francis so to see him getting a chance against Italy as well was amazing! It has definitely spurred something inside of me and confirmed my love for the game. I’ve had a bit of freedom to throw myself in to it and I’m just really excited for what is to come!”

You only have to glance at some of the star-studded names in the Saracens squad to see how much the Under 20’s programme can help young players develop, and Knight is hoping to emulate their success.

“When you look at those boys there are no better people to look up to. You just have to follow their approach, it’s not always the conversations but the little things, watching them train and how they apply themselves. Their drive and hunger is amazing and it really inspires us.”

The exciting back-rower has plenty of role models to learn from at Saracens, and if he is to reach his potential then he could become a household name in years to come.”

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Izzie and Samantha Hurst (Na ’17; Re ’18) departed from Berkhamsted School not all that long ago and, already, the enterprising duo have established sustainable fashion business, “Dopplle”. “Dopplle” (a playful take on “doppelgänger) was born to provide climate-conscious consumers with an alternative to fast fashion by way of sustainable swaps.

The duo love to talk about their enterprise and were looking forward to holding an event at the School, in 2020. As with so many events at that time, it was, unfortunately, postponed due to Covid, but, hopefully, it will be rescheduled soon.

In the interim, you can discover more about Izzie and Samantha’s inspiration and motivation for their venture on

We’re thrilled to hear that Josh Mullins (Ad ’24) has signed a 2-year scholarship contract with Watford Football Club. This is a phenomenal achievement for Josh, who first started his journey in the ‘Under 6’ pre-academy, and we hope to be cheering him on from the Vicarage Road stands soon!

We would like to congratulate Rachel Briggs (Sp ’14) on graduating from her 6-year part time course, at Oxford Brookes University. Rachel has evidently been a stellar student as she leaves having achieved First Class Honours in ‘Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management’, but also with an award for Best Dissertation.

She asks “if any students are interested in construction or Quantity Surveying as a career route, and want to reach out, I’d be happy to share my details”. If you, or anyone you know, would like to learn more about what it’s like to be a Quantity Surveyor, why not drop Rachel a message on Connections.

Steve Dight (Hon) shares an exciting update on his children, Matthew and Louise:

“On August 15, Matthew Dight (Ti ’15) was commissioned at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and will join the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers Regiment after completing his Phase 2 training at the end of this year. His younger sister, Louise (Ha ’19), joined Sandhurst in September, after completing her Chemistry degree (High 2:1) at Liverpool University.”

Will Holland (Ha ’12), who recently qualified as a quantity surveyor, received the Freedom of the City of London award, on 26th September. Through his membership of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers, Will has raised money for their charity and, as a result, was invited to join as a Freeman. The Pattenmakers’ charity efforts are focused on supporting wounded servicemen via the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, for which Will raised £2,500 in running the 2015 London Marathon.

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News of 2000s Leavers

We are hugely excited to share with you that Dr Kim Jelfs (Ch ’01) has been named a laureate in the 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom celebrate the past accomplishments and future potential of the UK’s most innovative young faculty-rank (academic staff) scientists and engineers working in the three disciplinary categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK are generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and independently administered by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Every year, one nominee in each category will be named a Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate and awarded £100,000 in unrestricted funds, with two Blavatnik Awards in the UK Finalists in each category both receiving £30,000.

“Encouraging and supporting young scientists is essential if we are to successfully address society’s challenges. By honoring these young individuals and their achievements we are helping to promote the breakthroughs in science and technology that will define how our world will look over the next century.” – Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

To learn more about Kim’s groundbreaking discovery please visit: honorees/profile/kim-jelfs/

We are delighted to announce that Chris Smith (Na ’00), current Managing Partner at Playfair Capital, has graduated from the Kauffman Fellows Program, Class 25, based in Silicon Valley.

Established in 1995, the programme is a 2-year transformative opportunity, designed to radically accelerate innovator success through self-reflection, peer learning, mentoring, and a structured curriculum taught by venture capitalists and global thought leaders.

We’re pleased to announce that on Sunday July 10th David Oakley (SG ’08) married Stephanie Brien, on a glorious summer’s day, at a ceremony in Weston All Saints Church, Bath, not far from where they currently live. The reception, which took place at a lovely venue just south of Bath, was a wonderful affair and included a Ceilidh.

OB Attendees were: Mike Petrie (Best Man) (Sc ’08), Dan Forgan (Sc ’08), Tom Forgan (Ch ’08), Ben Kohnhorst (Na ’08), Aman Kantaria (Na ’08), James Lowe (Bu ’08), Tom Dobson (Bu ’08), Matt Harrison (Sc ’08), Sam Calderwood (Sc ’08) and Claire Organ (Ha ’08).

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In January 2022, Dr Clare Hughes (née Neeson, Sc ’02) was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. The decision was made based on endorsement by her fellow physicians locally, in the West Midlands, and nationally, and in recognition of her important contribution to the profession. FRCP is a mark of excellence for physicians.

Congratulations Dr Hughes. Never has the phrase ‘for she’s a jolly good fellow’ been more apt!

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to OBs Larry Eaton (Ch ’09) and Emily Tyer (Bu ’09) on their wedding, which took place in May, 2021. In July, Matti Nash (Re ’00), completed his bicycle journey from London (his father’s hometown) to Copenhagen (his late mother’s hometown) alongside old friend, Kenny Lee.

The journey took 9 days, covered a whopping 1,100 km(!), and raised £4,800 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, in honour of Matti’s late mother and all the others affected by cancer.

The duo tactically planned out their route, so that the sweeping flat plains of the Netherlands would allow them to cover maximum mileage, with minimal muscle burn.

Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted a familiar face when Rishi Sunak first entered through the door of 10 Downing Street, as Prime Minister. Congratulations to James Nation (Ch ’08) on his appointment to the role of Deputy Head, Number 10 Policy Unit.

Rebecca Cutler (née Blogg, Sc ’05) is proud to announce the birth of Charlie (Charles) Cutler (born on 11th January 2022), little brother to Clara. We’re pleased to hear that he is an absolute delight, and that brother and sister are already thick as thieves!

That was the hope.

What transpired, in reality, was not quite as idyllic…

A (rather unfortunate) gross misjudgement of wind directions meant the twosome encountered a near gale-force headwind for the 3-4 days across the coastline of the Netherlands, before they could finally enjoy a little respite in the form of the (relatively windless) undulating hills of North Germany.

The concluding stretch, on the final day, came in the form of a long 175km slog, with crosswinds galore, from the top of Germany, across Denmark, to the finish line in the “happiest city in the world”, the wonderful Copenhagen.

We’re thrilled to see that Mother Nature’s windy tantrums were unable to deter Matti and Kenny, and that they were still smiling as they reached their journey’s end!

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Some news of further business success from Sarah Cooke (née Rodwell, Ha ’01).

Passionate about supporting women who want to thrive in business and life, business and marketing strategist,

Sarah, who has spent the last 20 years living and working across the world, both in large scale multinational corporate environments, and as an award-winning entrepreneur setting up 3 successful businesses on the way, has now published a new book, “Healthy You Wealthy Business” – and it has already topped the charts upon release as an Amazon Number 1 Best-Seller in several categories.

Sarah, who specialises in providing clarity and strategy to build a business model that increases financial sustainability and profits without burnout, tells us:

“We focus so much on pushing hard to achieve the results we want within our businesses but often forget that our passion and performance can help skyrocket those results.”

Simon Stiel (As ’05) tells us that he has been made Digital Explorations Project Assistant, at the National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

“As well as 3D scanning objects, my role includes conducting tours of Stoke Mandeville Stadium for visitors from schools and helping the Trust out at heritage events. In addition to my work with the Trust, I write for Racing Spirit magazine and am a member of the Autism Buckinghamshire (Bucks) and Autism Berkshire charities.”

News of 1990s Leavers

Congratulations to Graeme Hamlet (Ad ’94) and Alexandra on the birth of their twins, a girl and a boy, Domino and Gabriel, on 31st May. We hear that all four of them are well, and that Graeme and Alexandra are managing to adjust to the ASD (Always Sleep Deprived) time zone!

James Kinsley (Ha ’98) is proud to announce that he and his wife welcomed their second son, Charles Alasdair Rochelle Kinsley, on the 14th October 2022. Charles was born in Singapore, where the family (James, his wife and their first son, Henry) have resided since 2019. With previous residences in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and Dubai (Henry’s birthplace), and their next home set to be in the Channel Islands, we’re excited to hear what this globetrotting clan gets up to next – judging by Henry’s t-shirt, I’d say a future move to Coruscant, or another world (in a galaxy far far away…) isn’t off the cards!

In her book she shares invaluable business advice, guidance and high performance habits, including useful tools and actionable steps, all gleaned from her own experience as a business and elite sport high achiever, combined with her ‘Positive Psychology’ coaching and holistic health training, together with her personal highs and lows of hitting rock bottom and burnout.

“Healthy You Wealthy Business” is available on Amazon or for more information visit

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Many of you TOB devotees may remember reading about Oliver Excell (Be ’95) being awarded an OBE in last year’s edition of The Old Berkhamstedian. This year, we are thrilled to provide you with a photograph showing Oliver receiving said honour from the new Prince of Wales.

News of 1980s Leavers

Catherine Lindsay (née Bright, Bu ’82) informs us that her husband was elected as Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, earlier this year. They have already partaken in a number of interesting events, and her husband had the honour of performing ‘The Proclamation of the King’, outside the V&A.

Michael Jary (Be ’81) tells us: “In March 2022 I was appointed by the Prime Minister as HM Government’s Lead Non-Executive Director. In this role, I work with the PM and Secretaries of State to build effective leadership and management across government, and to convene meetings of non-executive directors across Whitehall to advise on cross-government issues.”

Roger Moorhouse (Gr ’87) was recently awarded ‘The Polish Foreign Ministry History Prize for 2020’, (delayed by Covid), for his 2019 book, “First to Fight: The Polish War, 1939”. In the accompanying photo, we see Roger with Polish Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau.

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News of 1970s Leavers

News has reached us of a further landmark in Old Berkhamstedian Dr Katherine Woodthorpe’s (Ru ’74) stellar STEM career in Australia. With effect from 1st January, 2023, she becomes the next President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Australia’s premier organisation for engineers, technologists and applied scientists and, impressively the first woman to lead the Academy in its 47-year history.

Some inspirational words from Katherine, upon her appointment, are included below, followed by a potted history summarising her career to date: “It is an honour and a privilege to be elected President by over 900 of Australia’s brightest minds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics…At a time when more ambitious climate action is crucial and building a skilled workforce fit for an uncertain future is urgent, ATSE and its Fellows are in prime position to foster evidence-based action between government, industry and academia…

Australia is awakening to the critical role of science and technology in shaping a better world…During the pandemic – the public demanded science-based decision-making to protect lives and livelihoods. There is a resurgence in realising the value that science and evidence have in informing better decisions and outcomes. This extends from public health through to digital security, addressing climate change and preserving our unique biodiversity which is threatened by intensifying fires and floods…

The Academy plays a critical role providing independent and authoritative advice to support government and industry decision-making. We have a golden opportunity to bring these diverse perspectives to political leaders and CEOs and create better results for Australia’s sustainability and prosperity. “Put simply – we need more applied scientists, engineers and technologists at both the political and industry decision-making tables…

“I am incredibly proud to lead an Academy that is pro-actively shaping Australia’s technology-led transition to net zero emissions; supporting our research workforce and industry to translate and commercialise their innovations into economic benefits; and preparing our children for whatever the future brings by exciting them in STEM and supporting their career journeys.”

A Varied Career Journey

Born in Malaysia, raised in Hong Kong, Katherine was deeply inspired by her teachers growing up. She graduated with an honours degree in chemistry, at the University of Manchester, then a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leicester and has earned an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Technology Sydney. Her first job was in a laboratory in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia 2 at a time when women were discriminated against and this experience shaped her varied career journey from international sales executive through to leading Australia’s largest and most innovative organisations spanning healthcare, renewable energy, climate change, finance and research. Through all the arcs in her distinguished career, Dr Woodthorpe has consistently been an advocate for recognising the unsung leadership of women in STEM and for addressing the underrepresentation of women in leadership and chairing roles.

Dr Woodthorpe’s Track-Record

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO FTSE is one of Australia’s most influential people in innovation. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a Fellow of ATSE since 2015. In 2017, she received an Order of Australia for her ongoing service to research and technology innovation in Australia. She has been a professional director for over 20 years including as Chair of Natural Hazards Research Australia, the Antarctic Science Foundation and the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre. She has been a Director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Bioplatforms Australia

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(NCRIS), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Vast Solar, and listed companies Sirtex and Anteotech. She previously chaired the National Climate Science Advisory Committee and currently chairs the Government’s “Vision 2040” committee reviewing the strategy for investment in medical research for the next two decades.

Dr Woodthorpe will be the 10th President of the Academy since its founding President Sir Ian McLennan KCMG KBE FTS FAA was elected in 1975. The President of the Academy is elected by its Fellows for a three-year term.

upon my acceptance to a US university (Wells College, Aurora, NY which, at the time, was the sister school to Cornell University; alas, meanwhile it’s gone co-ed), 1979-1980. Lots has happened in between: children grown and flown, career in business and as an author of young adult thrillers under my pen name G.G. Garth, and a ghostwriter for talented academics and entertainment industry professionals in a range of genres. Most notably, may I draw your attention to:

1. My five books on contemporary fine art, published by London’s best arts publisher, Scala Arts Publishers, that share the wonders of successful living artists such as Hunt Slonem, Mr Brainwash, Robert Mars, Stephen Wilson, and, launching in December 2022, Halim A. Flowers.

2. ILLYRIA, historical fiction trilogy by Star Trek actor (Quark, the Ferengi bartender) Armin Shimerman, an Elizabethan spy thriller that chronicles Dr John Dee (The Queen’s Conjuror) as his 16-year-old Midlands’ minion, one William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, learns the ropes of spycraft and refines his craft as a writer. (NOTE: Book 3 launches January 2023).

Next stop is Boston (MA). Over to our American Correspondent, and fellow OB, Ghia Truesdale (née Szwed, Ru ’79):

“We are all saddened by the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on this side of “the pond”; and we wish continued success to the reigning Monarch and his Queen Consort. Thank you very much for reaching out to me.

As a Sixth Form classmate of Dr Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80), I had the good fortune to have received an English-speaking Union merit scholarship to study for one year at Berkhamsted School for Girls, as a “gap year” following the completion of my own American prep school, Holderness School in New Hampshire, contingent

3. JANE TWO, novel by Sean Patrick Flanery (star of BOONDOCK SAINTS, and George Lucas’ YOUNG INDIANA JONES tv series), for which I also co-wrote the screenplay that is in development.

For more info on all the above please go to https://

Also, for fun, and to help tighten my writing, I “cross-train,” moonlighting as a SAG-AFTRA actor. For example, I have had the immense pleasure of working as a background actor on the HBO Max tv series JULIA about Julia Child, starring Britain’s Own, Dame Sarah Lancashire. Kindly scroll down to the 7th photo in this PEOPLE MAGAZINE article about JULIA, and you’ll see me seated dead center in the background to the left of Lady Sarah –

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And to think… it’s all thanks to my excellent Berkhamsted training in Harold Pinter’s THE BIRTHDAY PARTY which was a Boys’ School/Girls’ School theatre collaboration – Does anyone recall the Boys’ School director’s name? He was terrific, and very thorough. Seared in my memory is the appalled look on the face of our formidable Headmistress, Mary Rose Bateman, seated in the front row, when I, playing Lulu, sauntered onto stage in a tarty sequined number. I have such fond memories of so many wonderful discoveries and friendships during my year at Berkhamsted. And am happy that I am still in touch with Brigitta, as well as Mini Ali (née Habib).

If anyone is in Boston, if I can be of use, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.”

News of 1960s Leavers

Well done to Chris Wynne (Co ’64) who, at the end of October, was appointed Captain of Bewl Bridge Rowing Club.

He tells us: “To be asked to stand for this post was an unexpected surprise as I shall be 77 on 11th November! I am a Founder Member of the Club which is situated on Bewl Water Reservoir, through which the Kent and East Sussex County boundary runs. In fact I am the only founder member still actively rowing there. I was its first Captain when the club started in 1977 and Secretary for a few years too. My rowing began while at the School in 1962, on the Grand Union Canal, with Colin McDougall and Tim Jolly.”

For many of us, the thought of taking part in a 5k running race is enough to make our knees quiver and heartbeat skip to “Salsa” mode, but not Jane Gibson (née Sloan, Ho ’60). Not only has Jane run the London Marathon… again(!), she also simultaneously took part in the Abbott World Age Championships race, achieving an impressive time of 5hrs and 57mins – so imagine our surprise when we learnt that Jane hasn’t always be this athletically inclined!

When the ‘Double Trouble Marathon Machine’ isn’t running around (literally), you will find her potting and plotting her next getaway (and all while still working as a physio).

We’re pleased to announce that, after serving as Chairman of the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain for six years, Nigel Chiltern-Hunt (Be ’64) has been appointed as their new Vice-President.

Richard Cutts (Be ’65) got in touch to let us know that his company, Magneglaze (founded in 1994) is still going strong. He wishes all his fellow OBs well and has mentioned that it’s been a while since you all last met up…

If you’d like to catch up, please drop Richard an email:

We look forward to reading a roundup of your (unofficial) reunion in next year’s magazine!

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News of 1950s Leavers

The day began with an introduction in the Centenary Theatre, where Adam Peaty greeted the 100 swimmers and their families to give an overview of the days activities. From there, the children took part in three stations; the Swim Station, Gym Station and Racing Edge Station.

At the Swim Station, Adam led a session on “free swimming”, focusing solely on the stroke and how technique plays a major part in your success. Meanwhile, Ed Baxter, cofounder of the AP Race Clinic, led the second part of the station, looking at maximising distance and power in every stroke.

We’re delighted to hear that Alan Dunningham (Sw ’57) and his wife Christine celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary, on 2nd September 2021. The festivities were held at the beautiful All Saints Church, in Laleham, with all their family, including their four children and six grandchildren, in attendance. In the attached photo, we see them proudly displaying their congratulatory card from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We would like to congratulate Ivan Shaw (Schatz, Ad ’57) on being awarded the British Empire Medal, for Services to Holocaust Education, in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. We understand Ivan has already given talks to pupils at the School, and we sincerely hope there will be many more to come.

Berkhamsted School

Adam Peaty Race Clinic goes the extra length for the community

On the 31st of August, Adam Peaty and his race clinic visited Berkhamsted School to teach 100 young swimmers how to race. As well as this, 12 coaches from three local swim clubs and Berkhamsted School received first-hand training from Adam Peaty’s skilled team.

Adam’s gym coach of four years led the Gym Station, giving the swimmers an insight into swimming specific gym work. This was complemented by the Racing Edge Station, which allowed the swimmers to learn how to master their minds whilst racing.

The parents of the children were able to get involved too. The Parent Support Station allowed parents to ask questions on how to create the best experience for their children as they develop as swimmers.

It will not only be the 100 swimmers there on the day who will benefit from the expertise and passion of Adam and his race clinic team. Thanks to the new coaching skills that the 12 coaches in attendance – from Berkhamsted, Tring and Hemel swim clubs and Berkhamsted School – gained during the day, many other aspiring young swimmers will be able to experience elements of the way that Adam trains.

The day finished with a Q&A and a chance for photographs and signing with Adam.

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Adam Peaty commented: “From the whole team and I, we just wanted to say a massive thank you for attending the AP Race Clinic today. Your energy was ELECTRIC, I hope you take the same energy into the 2022/2023 season just as I am!”

Thank you to Adam Peaty and his team. The day will leave a real legacy as the knowledge gained by the swimmers and coaches is handed on to the next generation of swimmers.

Barbara Wagstaff and the Excavation of the Great Ship Burial

Over the winter of 2019-2020, images from the archive at Sutton Hoo were digitised in their entirety for the first time. The images, captured by Mercie Lack and OB Barbara Wagstaff (1909), were taken during the summer of 1939 and provide a remarkable insight into the people and processes behind the excavation of the Great Ship Burial.

The Lack and Wagstaff photographs have been carefully catalogued over the past two years by volunteers and staff under expert guidance as part of this CCP project. Any remedial conservation work required, such as repairing small tears, was undertaken at the time and each album was housed in a bespoke portfolio folder.

Who were Lack and Wagstaff?

In both the novel and the film (The Dig 2021), the photographer working at Sutton Hoo is Rory Lomax (Johnny Flynn), a cousin of Edith Pretty. Rory Lomax is a fictional character, the real key photographers of the excavation were Mercie Lack and Barbara Wagstaff, both teachers, close friends, and serious amateur photographers. They had a keen interest in archaeology and were on holiday in the area at the time. Between the 8th and 25th August, they captured 400 images (including some very early colour images) and an 8mm cine film. Their original images were generously given to the National Trust by Mercie Lack’s great nephew, Andrew Lack. Recently these images have been carefully conserved and digitised.

Berkhamsted Schools Group pulls together for Ukraine

The collection includes original colour prints, an incredible survival from the very earliest days of the use of colour reversal film, and original 35mm Agfa Isopan F negative film. The colour prints, as far as research has shown so far, appear to be the earliest surviving original colour photographs of a major archaeological excavation. The image collection consists of photograph albums, loose black and white images and negatives. The significance of this collection has been reflected in a successful bid for internal funding as part of the National Trust’s “Collections Conservation Prioritisation (CCP)” programme to both conserve and digitise the images to ensure they survive for future generations.

The digitisation process is just the latest part of the process in caring for the image archive.

Many communities across the globe have responded with compassion and support in response to the devastating conflict in Ukraine. The Berkhamsted School Community has been no different, promoting two Ukrainian Relief Effort schemes co-ordinated by the humanitarian organisation Te Aud Romania, a Romanian-based charity registered in the UK.

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Swapping Pen Strokes for Brush Strokes

Old Boy, George Groves (Sp ’17), has switched his pen for his paintbrush as he’s currently making a name for himself in the world of portraits. Having studied Art and Design for A Level under the watchful eye of Miss Ferguson, the artistic intrigue was always there, but it wasn’t until George presented a portrait to acting royalty, Idris Elba OBE, that he actually realised he could pursue a career in being a portrait artist. Since then, George has taken on a wide variety of private commissions, as well as telling stories through original works and sharing them with the likes of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Major Tim Peake, and Billy Billingham MBE. Shortly, George will be joining Military Cross recipient Colour Sergeant Brian Wood to unveil his Official Portrait, where George has told a story of survival, betrayal, and perseverance.

Accompanied by a long list of notable sitters who visit George at his studio in Gerrards Cross, George has also enjoyed his residencies at Ham Polo Club and Henley Regatta, and he was delighted to be invited to exhibit at the Official Muhammad Ali Center in the USA.

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George said: “People often ask, how do you choose your sitters? All I can really tell them is that I have a desire to tell fascinating stories, not only capturing a person’s character and likeness, but capturing what they represent, what they’ve been through, and the challenges they may face in the future.”

The portraits themselves are layered in rich oils, which allow him to tell a story through his marks. Although it can’t be captured in photographs, the texture involved throughout the paintings brings them to life, as he simultaneously introduces

traditional portraiture techniques whilst illustrating a contemporary advance.

George, who is self taught, has the ability to work from both life and photographs and always takes great pleasure in getting to know the individuals who commission him. He says, “It’s important to me that my client enjoys the experience of commissioning a portrait, which is often a personal process; I aim to preserve a memory that will last long beyond a lifetime whilst also taking into consideration the aesthetic appeal of the artwork.”

To commission your own portrait, for yourself, or a loved one, contact George at or to see more of his work go to

Rise of Lazarus – or –Jammy Dodger Strikes Again

Today I have near normal energy levels, which is good for a change. But it hasn’t been this way for a while. I’ll explain.

For all my adult life I have been a keen outdoor pursuits enthusiast. Mostly running (the harder the better), but also cycling, walking and general adventures. Last Summer, not being a triathlete, I decided this would have to change, so I did a half-ironman-distance event in Shropshire, and loved it; perhaps the first of many. For my 25th wedding anniversary, I persuaded my long-suffering wife that the proper way to celebrate was not lethargically on a tropical beach but with a good walk; so we walked coast-to-coast, almost 200 miles across the Lake District and North Yorkshire Moors. Best holiday she’s ever had, I’m told.

In 2019 I ran and completed The Dragon’s Back, said to be the hardest mountain race there is: a week down the length of Wales, including all the lumpy bits along the way. I loved the challenge and made lifelong friends while I was at it. In June this year, I joined friends hiking in the Picos mountains in Northern Spain. You get the picture.

Then in mid-July this year, I went for a routine, post-work training ride and crashed. Badly. I don’t remember any details, but I have since pieced together the basics. An error triggered by a mechanical problem, bad road surface or lapse of concentration led to me colliding with a row of parked cars. I was unconscious immediately. The driver following me was an off-duty medic and called an ambulance, who in turn called the air ambulance, and I was air-lifted to a specialist

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trauma hospital in Coventry. I had critical care in the helicopter and at the hospital. I lapsed into a coma for 2 weeks during which I had more treatment and was monitored. My brain had ‘diffuse axonal injury’, which is a wide-spread neural disconnection caused by trauma.

I scored quite well on the Glasgow Coma Scale on admission to hospital – this is the way medics grade how profound a coma is, ranging from ‘rather sleepy’ to ‘a gonner’. Top marks are in the teens, up to 15. A score of less than 5 means the patient is unlikely to recover independence, so is likely to need 24-hour care for the rest of their life. In the ensuing days, I stubbornly refused to wake up, my score plummeted to 5, and my family had many awful meetings, at the end of which they said their goodbyes and I was scheduled for my life support to be switched off. I was placed on palliative care ready for my organs to be extracted, as I am a donor, so at least I could give others a chance (every cloud, eh?). Obituaries were written. Tears were shed.

Then, on the day of switching-off, a miracle. One of the doctors, who’d seen me admitted a couple of weeks before, got wind of the plan and although he was not on duty on my unit that day,

he paid me a visit. He then told his colleagues he thought I should be given some more time as I might revive. The planned switching-off was put back a week. On the rescheduled switching-off day, there was to be a final meeting in the morning, before the switch-off in the early afternoon. However, the hospital had to postpone the meeting to early afternoon, owing to some other crisis, so switch-off was also put back to late afternoon. Family were told to pay me yet another final visit to say goodbye. The first lot filed in, and I was awake, looking at them. When they reported this, of course I was then reprieved.

All of this had been a terrible roller coaster for family and friends; however, I had slept through the lot and was almost entirely unaware. I do have some recollection of my wife singing to me and a few other fragments of the experience, so I can say it seems to be true that those in a coma are receptive to being spoken to, touched, cared for. My family and friends had been committed and caring throughout, and it seems to have contributed to my recovery. I have thanked them profusely since waking up!

After a few further weeks in the hospital, I was transferred to a rehab facility in Leamington Spa. This was fantastic. A collective of all the necessary professionals required for the rehab of those with acquired brain injury. In hospital, I had relearned the art of breathing, eating and speaking. I now set about adding walking and personal care to my repertoire. This stay was also a sobering experience, because although I had had a rough time, there were others there who were far worse off in terms of capacity and prospects. After 4 weeks I was discharged home. Towards the end of my stay, I was doing laps of the corridors to practise my walking. I also had a tentative go at running in the grounds, with my physiotherapist in tow. Old habits, eh?!

I am now taking an extended break from work, during which I will work out what I want to do: either a return or some other focus. My brain seems remarkably recovered, although I do get

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quite tired by simply concentrating on mundane things like socialising or reading and no doubt work: I have learned that 25% of our body’s total energy needs are required by the brain, so mental fatigue is an issue I am having to get used to! I have an issue with my shoulder, which is holding up the rest of my rehab, but otherwise, things are gradually returning to how they were. I will go back to running certainly. As for cycling, the family is not keen on that yet!

My son now calls me Lazarus.

I have also returned to writing poetry, and penned this on the eve of my discharge home:

Venture for Vicki

I ventured out, Like countless times, Quickly, of course, Testing, trying, tinkering, Tumbling

In the dark

Always an uncertain outcome, An edge, To allow for gain, Only this time the machine strained And failed, Spilling precision pieces carelessly, Needing painstaking Reassembly, This trickiest jigsaw. We did it together, Me with silent focus, You with wet-eyed commitment, The longed-for outcome

Never in doubt, Just uncertain.

And now we venture out again, This time together, With just the loosest idea, The route and outcome unknown, Our dedication grown.

2022 also marked the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands Conflict, which took place in inhospitable terrain many, many miles from home. Alastair Cameron (Sw ’73) shares with us a heartfelt, vivid and down to earth account of his personal experience of the campaign.

The Falklands Conflict of 1982 – A Reflection 40 years On

As Winston Churchill wrote, “There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at with no result”. From my experiences in the South Atlantic in 1982, this comment was to prove most apt on several occasions.

On leaving Berkhamsted School in July 1973, Mark Mans (Lowers 1973), Richard Morley (Incents 1973), and myself entered Sandhurst on the September intake. I was commissioned into the Royal Artillery (RA) and, following a posting to Germany, a couple of tours in Northern Ireland, nine months stationed on St Kilda, off the Outer Hebrides, and completion of the Commando and Parachute courses, I was posted, in 1979, to 29 Commando Regiment RA. This regiment provided indirect fire support, both artillery and naval gunfire, for the Royal Marines. I went there as a Captain and was employed as a Forward Observation Officer (FOO) in 7 Commando Battery (7 Bty) RA, being responsible for directing artillery fire in support of X Company of 45 Commando RM (45 Cdo RM), based in Arbroath, Scotland.

My rude awakening at 0430 on Friday, 2 April 1982, was to be the start of a very interesting, intriguing and invigorating four months. I was ordered into camp, along with the rest of the unit, and warned of possible military operations in the Falkland Islands. Where are they, was the first question?! By lunchtime, order, counter order, and counter-counter orders were flying about, as we started to prepare to deploy. I may add that we should have been going on Easter leave that day, having returned from a six week deployment to Norway the previous week, and some soldiers Chris Knight (Gr ’87)

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and marines had left early and had to be recalled, some hitching lifts back from various parts of the UK. On Friday afternoon, we were informed that a Task Force was being assembled and that we were to sail from Southampton on Sunday night. By some miracle (and hard work), we pulled together men, material, equipment and ammunition, leaving for Southampton at 23.30 on Sunday, 4 April. As my mother, who was visiting Rowena and I due to the arrival of our first daughter, Bryony, 2 months prior, commented, “Alasdair off to Ascension on Palm Sunday”!

I, along with rest of 7 Bty, set sail for Ascension Island in the early hours on Monday morning, in a flat-bottomed Landing Ship Logistics, the Sir Percival. We sailed south under Royal Navy (RN) escort, arriving in Ascension on 19 April. Here, men and equipment were relocated in readiness for a land invasion and ships reloaded to enable the emerging military plan to be achieved. Some limited weapon, physical and tactical training was completed in readiness for future operations. Interestingly, up to date mapping of the Islands, critical to the accurate use of artillery, was not yet available and hastily provided maps had no grid lines and patches of blank, stating “obscured by cloud”!

We set sail for the Falklands on 1 May, and the South Atlantic is not the place to be in a flat-bottomed boat. As we sailed further south, the sinking of HMS Sheffield on 10 May and

the Atlantic Conveyor, with 32 sailors killed, brought home the potential vulnerability of our situation: a number of Chinook transport helicopters were lost on the Atlantic Conveyor which would have a significant impact on the movement of ammunition and equipment during the land battle. As a result, men and equipment would have to be moved on foot and across very rough terrain.

Landfall was made on 21 May at Ajax Bay, near San Carlos on East Falkland, the necessary mapping having been provided. Whilst it was an unopposed landing by landing craft, it was delayed, making us vulnerable to air attack as we went ashore a few hours after dawn. Enemy aircraft harried other aspects of the landings and, tragically, I witnessed, first hand, from our observation location on the flanks of Ajax Bay, the sinking of both HMS Ardent and Antilope within 48 hours of us being ashore. This was for real.

On 27 May, X Company (XCoy) moved out, along with the rest of 45 Commando (45 Cdo) RM and started heading east across East Falkland towards Douglas Settlement, Teal Inlet and Mount Kent. This was the infamous “yomping” of which much has been written: heavy loads, rocky and waterlogged terrain, with ever-increasing periods of sleet and snow as the winter set in, plus the incessant wind. There was virtually no shelter, and as night fell, we would dig protective trenches that soon filled with water! After 9 days, we reached the high ground of Mount Kent, which gave excellent views of Port Stanley and the surrounding area, including the strategically significant Argentinian occupied hill tops, including the important feature of “Two Sisters”.

I spent the following couple of days with my Forward Observation team of three soldiers directing artillery fire onto Argentinian positions and accompanying fighting patrols in support of the RMs as we prepared to press on to the capital. I do remember spending my 28th birthday in an observation position overlooking Stanley in freezing conditions and horizontal snow.

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Alastair Cameron with The Company Commander of X Compamy on the left, Battery Commander and the other Forward Observation Officer of 7 Commando Battery RA in the middle. Taken in Ajax Bay soon after landing

On 12 June, 45 Commando (45 Cdo) RM received orders to take the Two Sisters feature, which was well defended, and the attack was to be at night. The assault went in at 03.00 after a long and difficult approach march over very rocky terrain. I do remember the noise was intense and the tracer streaming down on us with bullets and shrapnel pinging off the rocks. Nevertheless, artillery and naval gunfire was key to the success of the attack, and with the loss of 8 marines from 45 Cdo RM that night, the feature was taken as dawn began to appear, but not before one of my party and myself, were bracketed by artillery fire, which knocked unconscious my comrade and blew me off my feet. Fortunately, no lasting injuries were sustained. Once we started consolidating on Two Sisters, burying the dead, setting up our own defences and making breakfast (!), orders were received to advance immediately on Stanley, as the Argentinians were now in retreat. We left our bergens behind and set off in pursuit. Having made it to Sapper Hill just outside Stanley, we were told to stop and remain there. Subsequently, we endured one of the coldest and wettest nights of our lives when we encountered a snow and sleet storm with nowhere to shelter and very little equipment, as our bergens had not been flown forward, as planned. My team ended up huddling together, Emperor Penguin style, with the outer pair changing places with the inner every hour! However, by the morning, it was clear that the Argentinians were in full retreat, and surrender followed later that day. My Forward Observation team marched proudly into liberated Stanley with the rest of X Coy, much to the delight and relief of the locals and probably a few politicians 8,000 miles away. Our first hot shower after 25 days soon followed, and we were looked after by local families in their homes.

Our return to the UK was a little more comfortable than the southward trip – heading home on SS Canberra, although we had to wait a few days whilst she was used to repatriate Argentinians back to Rio. We embarked on

22 June and arrived in Southampton to the most fabulous reception on 11 July 1982, and a very welcoming embrace from Rowena, and baby daughter, Bryony. My only communication had been via letters, which were often greatly delayed. Of course, there were no mobile phones, no internet, no wifi and the only news came from the World Service, which we could pick up, somewhat illegally, with our military radios: Lilliburlero will be with me forever!

But nothing stood still on our way back to the UK, and my next posting was being planned, for which I had to be interviewed by the ship’s radio. Fortunately, I was selected, and within 3 weeks of my return, I was heading for the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst as an instructor, alongside several close friends, including Mark Mans.

I am under no illusions about the relative scale of our achievements: even the hardest fought battle in the Falklands was a bit of a skirmish compared to a number of Second World War fights. Yet, there was no build up or preparation prior to deployment, no carefully organised tour period, no pre-training and all 8,000 miles away. A majority of us made it back, unscathed: 255 were killed. We were all immensely proud of what had been achieved and as Ian Gardiner, in his excellent book, The Yompers, said, “The bond that exists between men who have endured and shared a war… is different to all other bonds.”

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Alastair Cameron (Sw ’73) Alastair wife his wife, Rowena, and with our baby daughter, Bryony reunited in July 1982

Swimming the Channel

We spent the majority of the swim hugely affected by motion sickness, despite taking a lot of medication, meaning we threw up almost every 20 minutes for the full 17 hours, both in the water and on the boat! The mental mindset and the beauty in the “pressure” of a team really kept us going.

Just two girls looking across the ocean to France, desperately training day in, day out, and hoping we can swim that far in jellyfish-infested, filthy, cold water! In just a cossie and swim hat… seriously, WHO ARE WE?!

Well, we are two friends, Sally Wood and Anne Heath, who jumped in the Thames under a year ago to swim a mile, having not swum for a very, very long time, had multiple children and a passion for sunnier climates and crystal clear waters, who decided we could make a difference and achieve something that is well outside our comfort zones – and will enable us to raise as much money as possible for a very worthwhile charity, “Aspire”.

The journey was full of early starts, FREEZING cold water, sewage, and some incredible people that we met along the way. Comedy was the theme that kept us going, and let’s face it, you have to laugh when your friend has just thrown up on you whilst you swim, or you would be sick with them, or cry!

We set off on the morning of the 24th August for a swim that would take us 17 hours and 26 minutes to achieve, and swam as a relay team of 6. Named by Aspire as “Team Rhino”, we managed to onboard our sponsors, Rhino Global Direct and Magic Five Goggles, and can’t thank them enough, particularly Dave Reynish at Rhino, who continues to support us! With over £68,000 secured so far, we are continuing to raise funds and hope to hit £100,000 by Easter 2023.

We did, however, make it, and now form part of the elite group that has accomplished a Channel relay crossing. As of the end of 2020, 2,157 individuals had completed the swim, compared to 5,788 who had summited Mount Everest – so it was a reasonable challenge. We did it in aid of Aspire, and you can still sponsor us here: https://

We, as in Sally and I, are now delivering aspirational talks to businesses and schools around the UK about our journey to the Channel – we can be booked for a fee, and that whole fee goes to Aspire (both of us are accomplished public speakers).

Feel free to contact Anne at: or on LinkedIn.

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My Early Life An Introduction

This differs from other chapters in being autobiographical and based not on research but recollection. Inevitably, a personal and subjective view makes it difficult to follow the imperative of ‘not weighing our merits or pardoning our offences’, but readers themselves must judge. I have written this story for my family and those to come because I think that we should all hand down and share an account of our lives and experiences.

My contemporaries will recognise and relate to much of my story, whilst younger people will perhaps discover how different life was in the twentieth century. Over my lifetime, much has changed, especially in our working life and social customs. The rare has become commonplace, and many pleasant features of life have gone –although most of us now enjoy more comfortable and congenial lives than were possible half a century ago. Whether this has made us all happier is uncertain.

During my working life, I was fortunate in the people that I worked and dealt with, as overwhelmingly, we got on well together, worked hard, and it was a good experience. We faced and dealt with many challenges, but at the same time, we usually managed to have some fun, but sadly I think in the twenty first century this has changed, and fun is in much shorter supply.

I have found life interesting, and I hope that you may find my account so.

My Early Life

I was born in Earls Court, London SW3, on 30 May 1939, four months before the outbreak of World War II, so the first six years of my life were determined by the exigencies of wartime Britain. ………………………………………………………

In 1947 we moved to Stourbridge, to a Victorian semi-detached house with a large garden at 21 Norton Road. My father was now to be a director

of Mark and Moody, the business founded by his great-uncle Thomas Mark. Unfortunately, the business was now owned by the Moody family, with whom he was to have a difficult relationship.

I started at Hill Street primary school, which had a good reputation, Mr Beresford was the headmaster. Miss Bridgwater was my class teacher, and I think there must have been forty or fifty boys in it. Discipline was strict, and a rap over the knuckles with a ruler quite common. This was the local school and had a cross-section of boys from different backgrounds. I think we all got on well together, walking to and from school each day. The most memorable master was Mr Oldman, who taught us history and English and was always interesting. Early on, a teacher realised I couldn’t see the blackboard, and I was sent up to Mr Beresford to have an eye test which was the standard letters on the board. This proved that I had a problem, so I was sent to Mr Peplow, the jeweller and optician, who prescribed national health glasses for my astigmatism.

My best friend was Christopher Woodall, who lived next door and was a year older than me. Others were Andrew Bashforth, whose father was general manager of Round Oak Steelworks at Brierley Hill: he once gave my father and I a tour round the works, and it was an amazing sight, seeing huge red-hot billets of steel being rolled down to sheets. Andrew’s sister Veronica taught me to ride the bicycle which my father

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had bought me, and we all went cycling around the new Norton housing estate, which was being built. Alan Drury was the son of the Town Clerk, and Alan Osborne’s family ran a smart gentleman’s outfitters shop in Stourbridge. We all had a lot of freedom and roamed around the area without any supervision. We spent a lot of time on the swings and roundabout in Mary Steven’s Park, equipment that would be considered highly dangerous today.

Together with my school friends, I joined the newly formed Gigmill (Fourteenth Stourbridge) Cub Pack. The leader (Akela) was Cliff Adams, a charismatic Welsh ex-miner, who knew instinctively how to interest young boys. Instead of a sheath knife, he had a Gurkha kukri, which fascinated us. The pack meetings were the usual activities of cock-fighting (hopping on one leg and trying to barge over your opponent), British Bulldogs, etc. finishing with the Grand Howl –‘we’ll Dob, Dob, Dob…’. The original meeting room was very makeshift in a virtually derelict cottage. On fine evenings we would walk a mile or so up Norton Road to Norton Covert – a local wood –and play Wide Games and other similar exciting activities. In the summer, we went to camp at Clent. Transport was on the back of a horse-drawn trailer where we all sat with our equipment. Accommodation was in ex-army bell tents on groundsheets with rudimentary equipment, and with rationing, we had to take our own share of food. It was all a great experience.

In 1950, along with the others, I took the 11+ examination for entrance to the grammar school and passed, although it was already planned that I should go to Berkhamsted School.

Berkhamsted School

I duly went to Berkhamsted, boarding in Overton house. We slept in dormitories with communal washrooms, and there was a communal dining room. Food was still rationed, so the menu was limited, but we had enough to eat. We walked down to the junior school every morning carrying our books. I started in class 1B, the alternatives

were 1A and 1C, so I was in a middle rank, where I stayed for most of the time in the junior school, winning the form prize in 3B. The form master, Mr Gausson, had a traditional style. He would say, ‘Read Mark’, the class would then chant, ‘learn and inwardly digest’. One memory is of Mr Longrigg one day reading to us Chester Wilmot’s account of the 1944 Arnhem battle. He pointed out to us the number of ‘in memoriam’ notices in the paper that day, the anniversary of the battle. Of course, this was still recent history, no more than six years before, but it made a big impression on us.

On games afternoons, we walked up the hill to the school playing fields to play football or cricket. On Sundays, there was Chapel for matins and evensong. In the afternoon we went out for a walk in the countryside in pairs. There was plenty to see, such as the canal, working boats and locks, and the beech woods. In our third year at Overton, I discovered that some years before, the boys had put on a play at Christmas, so I decided I would repeat the event. I found a short text, agreed with the housemaster that we would do it, chose the cast, and, as producer, took them through their lines. I got my father to print programmes with a cast list etc. It all went well.

Senior School

After three years in Overton, we moved up to the senior school and, in my case, to Uppers in School House. There was also Lowers, designated by the two dormitory floors. School House was the oldest part of the School, and the Old Hall was where we lived in our spare time and did prep sitting at long benches. Living conditions were basic and communal, the toilet block being a separate outside building. There was no private personal space, just a locker and a place on the bench. However, it didn’t seem too bad at the time, and would have been good training for life in the army or prison. I spent a lot of time reading, both from the school library and the town library.

We had to choose subjects and, perhaps unwisely, I chose German rather than science.

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In 1956 we sat O levels, and I took and passed seven subjects – Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, French, German, History, and Latin. I stayed on for one final year in the general sixth form doing a range of subjects, including commerce, bookkeeping and science, which was an undemanding but interesting year. At this point, I was a house prefect, and so shared a study with two others, called the Bear Garden. We had a lot more freedom and space and it was quite congenial. In the evening there was house prayers and prefects had to read the Bible lesson for the day, which was good experience.

I had been in the Scout troop in the junior school, and continued as a Scout in the senior school rather than joining the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) as almost everyone else did. I also continued as a member of the Gigmill troop at home. It provided an interest, and I did my First-Class hike at Stourbridge with a Berkhamsted friend Peter Stafford. This involved following a specified route and camping overnight on a farm, then writing up a logbook for approval. I still have that, and it reads surprisingly well. A good training project, I think. Subsequently, I continued to work for the Queen’s Scout award, which involved passing a specified group of badges. One project which I enjoyed was taking responsibility as Warden for the Scout camp site at Kinver. It was satisfying to feel that you owned the site for a weekend, and a visiting Commissioner wrote a very kind letter to the Stourbridge Commissioner complimenting my performance. The awards were presented at Gilwell, the Scout headquarters in Essex, and this was a weekend camp with a lot of other Queen’s Scouts, so quite memorable. We were also invited to parade on St George’s Day at Windsor, marching past the Queen and attending a church service. I think I was selected for the flag colour party and have an indistinct picture of this. In 1957, the World Scout Jamboree was held in Sutton Park near Birmingham, and I attended as part of the Jamboree Scout police force. This was mostly patrolling the site at night and controlling traffic, but it was an interesting event.

Through Rotary, an exchange with a German boy, Rüdi, was arranged. His family lived near Aachen and managed a coal mine. I went to stay with him and we got on quite well, although my German never really got up to conversational standard. While I was there, we went down the coal mine which was interesting. He subsequently came to stay with us at Stourbridge, and it was arranged that we could go down the Cannock Chase mine which we did. This was amazing, going down in the lift and then progressing through increasingly small tunnels to reach the coal face. The final tunnel was no more than three feet high, so you had to crawl along it. It gave one great respect for the men who worked down there.

London School of Printing and Graphic Arts (LSPGA) 1957-1960

I don’t think I had given much thought to a career, but printing seemed an obvious choice and my father, having visited the London School of Printing, suggested that I should apply for the three-year Printing Management Course. This was generally referred to by the staff as the ‘Master Printers’ sons’ course’ which was a fair description. I went with my father to be interviewed by Ellis Thirkettle, the principal, who seemed generally satisfied with me except for my lack of scientific education. He said I needed to improve this, and in my final year at Berkhamsted, I did some basic physics and chemistry.

Where was I to live for my three years in London? As usual, my godmother, Kay Patterson, came up with a suggestion of the Central YMCA in Tottenham Court Road, which provided rooms for boys in my position. I managed to get a place for a shared room at 30/- a week. It was a big building with several hundred rooms over three floors. It had communal washrooms, individual bathrooms and central heating, and there was a big lounge, rooms for quiet study and a swimming pool and gym in the basement. In the evenings at the YMCA, I usually had supper with my room-mate Peter Morrison, and after the first year, also with

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Peter Leaver, a medical student at Barts Medical School who was to become an eminent eye consultant. After that, we might go to a rundown cinema and watch westerns, or whatever was on for a shilling. Alternatively, we played bridge, often with just three, so we all bid for dummy unseen.

The YMCA was conveniently about a twenty minute walk from the main LSPGA building at Back Hill, Clerkenwell, where most of the classroom work was done, and which also housed the art, camera and plate-making departments. The machinery and typesetting departments were across the river at Stamford Street. We were a class of about twenty four, about half of us with a family printing firm connection like myself, and mostly ex-public school. We got on well enough together, although we tended to stick in groups. My closest friends were Ian Houston and Peter Denham from Birmingham, Bob Fryer from Woodbridge in Suffolk and Peter Lilley from Watford. The atmosphere was soured by Gordon Shand, a supercilious character who did his best to humiliate some of the less well educated but hard-working technical lecturers. We spent three days a week at Back Hill and two at Stamford Street on practical work such as machine printing, hand composition, and Monotype and Linotype machine composition. For the practical classes, we wore white coats to distinguish us from the printing apprentices who were there on day release from their companies. We didn’t mix with them.

We had an incredibly comprehensive technical training, covering every conceivable department or skill in a printing factory. We achieved reasonable competence in hand-setting type, make up, imposition and composing generally. Later we operated Linotypes and studied and operated Monotype keyboard and casters. We worked on lithographic stones, galley cameras, process engraving equipment, stereotyping and photogravure. We learnt about Imperial paper sizes such as ‘double crown’ and ‘quad demy’ etc, folding machines and the whole process of bookbinding in every style. I still have the ‘spring back’ account book that I made in the class. In the machine

room, we operated platen machines, Wharfedale stop cylinder and Miehle machines. This degree of hands-on training would probably be considered unnecessary these days, but after the three years training, we were able to go into any printing company or department, understand immediately what the work involved and talk on even terms to the craftsman about the job. It was great training by some very skilled men. We were taught Monotype by an expert, H O Smith, who was our course leader and the UK prophet of photosetting.1

There was a range of management subjects, including costing and estimating, vital skills for a printing manager. We also studied law, statistics, communications and printing science. For me, these were valuable and interesting skills: learning how to use a slide rule was a revelation, and I developed an interest in industrial psychology and motivation, which remained with me. I found two of the recommended books, Darrell Huff’s How to Lie with Statistics and JAC Brown’s Social Psychology Of Industry, particularly influential.

In 1959, the year of the six-week long national printing strike, I applied for the Howard Hazell scholarship at the British Federation of Master Printers (BFMP), available for young printers. It involved a written examination in the morning and an interview in the afternoon. One of the panel was Elliott Viney, of the Hazel Watson and Viney company of Aylesbury, and I enjoyed talking to him. There were only three applicants, including me, one being Gordon Shand. Following this, I was awarded the scholarship of £100, which was satisfying, although my friend Ian Houston had originally applied but had to work in the family business during the strike and couldn’t attend. This was fortunate for me because he might have won.

1959 I attended a Young Printers conference at Oxford. This was open to young people from the printing industry, both managers and apprentices, and was organised jointly by the printing unions and

1 H.O. Pioneer and Apostle of Phototypesetting: the Memoirs of H.O. Smith. Privately printed: The Dorset Press, 1988.

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the BFMP. There were a hundred or so of us, and we stayed in student accommodation in Oriel College, which was a great experience. I always regretted that I missed that traditional university experience, but for my generation, it was only available to the top 10% or so of academic school leavers. The conference itself was good because I met a lot of printers from different backgrounds, including apprentices, and gained a broader view of people in the industry. At the end, there was an open forum, and we were asked to produce questions. I submitted several rather naive questions to the chairman Ellis Thirkettle, and as a result, he asked me to propose a vote of thanks to the panel at the end of the session, which was flattering and good experience.

At the end of the course in 1959, I passed out second: I am not sure who was first. It was a formative experience, and although I started the course open-minded as to my aims, by the end, I had a deep interest in the craft and management of printing and was determined to make this my future. My interest encouraged me to work fairly hard as at the end I would need to find employment. I had always expected to be conscripted for two years National Service when I left the LSPGA. Prior to the course, I had been granted deferment for three years, but over the period National Service gradually wound down, with fewer men being taken in. Finally, early in 1959, it was announced that my draft (second quarter 1939) would be the first not to be called at all. This was a relief as it would probably have been a wasted two years, but one always wonders…

The problem was that the course was designed to turn out printing General Managers, but no one wanted to employ a General Manager aged twenty one. We knew a little about almost everything in printing, but not enough to qualify as proficient in any particular skill. The opportunities seemed to be selling, design or work-study, and it was the latter which appealed to me. It was obviously possible that I could join the family business of Mark and Moody, and there

were suggestions that I should. However, I could not have worked successfully with my father and any event needed to gain experience in the industry on my own account. Later on, I came across many Master Printer’s sons who had joined the family business without experience elsewhere and were usually unsatisfactory as a result.

In our final year, we had to produce a thesis/ report on some appropriate subject, working in pairs. Peter Lilley and I agreed to work together, and our subject was to be Policy and Trends in the Printing Industry. We would base this on research and interviews with managing directors of notable medium-size printing companies. This seemed like a good way to learn a bit about real-life printing management. The managers concerned (John Hacker, Ivan Heath of Perivan, and Rowley Atterbury of Westerham Press) were very kind and gave us generous interviews. The subsequent report was mostly written by me, but Peter did all the typing. Looking at it again today, I’m surprised about how much of the views and recommendations in the report stayed with me for my management career – such as the importance of management ratios, costing, motivation, communications, strategic thinking, design etc. Happily, this project led to my future career. As with almost every important event in my life, it came from a combination of chance and opportunity. It all started when Peter and I went to Perivan in Southend to interview Ivan Heath, who was then seen as one of the leading British printers. We had an interesting tour of the factory, and Ivan gave us a lot of time and put up with our questions very patiently. He then invited us to have lunch in the canteen, and this was how I first met Ron Norbury. He was then Works Director of Perivan but had previously been Director of Studies at Cranfield School of Work-Study. He was a bit of a revelation to me, as no one had ever cross-examined me quite so rigorously before. When I told him I was interested in a job in work study he suggested that I contact Ernest Harrison of Harrison’s, who he said might be interested in

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me. Ron was a consultant to Harrison’s in their venture into method study. He was to be an important influence on my early career. I took his advice and saw Ernest, who offered me a job at Harrison’s in St Martin’s Lane London in his new Method Study department at £500 a year,

A Novel Start

Have you ever had a story in your head that keeps going round and round? For years, OB Peter Fincham (Gr ’92) had sat on this idea, but could never find the time to put pen to paper. But now, he has finally written his first novel, which currently sits on the virtual shelves of all the major distributors in physical and e-formats, including Amazon.

“I’d always loved writing; from those early contributions to the School Newsletter – invariably about the first ‘Speedvark’ gigs back in 1989. But by university, I took writing far more seriously and was lucky enough to hold various positions up to the role of Editor of the University Newspaper, ‘Hullfire’, whilst studying for my Law degree. As a post-graduate, I dabbled a bit with the whole spectrum of sports journalism, even having a column in one of the Sunday rags for a while –always about the varying fortunes of Watford FC – and a regular contributor on various Sky and BBC shows. But then your career takes off, family arrives and priorities are re-aligned.

“After leaving school, I became very good friends with JAD, and we’d often talk about me having more to offer literary-wise. But as with most things, it always came back to time. And then six months after the passing of the greatest of English teachers, along came the global pandemic which left me with no more excuses.”

Living on the South Coast, Peter had the outside space to get creative when much of the ‘inland’ world was locked up. He allocated at least 3 hours every day, walking down to the local beach in

which I was glad to accept. I started work there in September 1960. Peter Lilley also joined Harrison’s as a management trainee at High Wycombe, Harrison’s gravure factory, where they printed the British postage stamps.

Southsea to find a sunny spot during the balmy spring of 2020, and then just writing. On days when inspiration was low, he would do much of the background research on the music and travel locations that thematically underpin much of the story. This included some re-familiarisation with specific parts of Hemel Hempstead where some of the story is set.

Before he knew it, Peter had his manuscript. But the book was a long way from being published.

“At the time, I did not have enough experience to properly critique my own words, so I hired a professional who could be objective. You need a thick skin for the criticism that comes from a professional editor. She ripped the text to pieces, before reassuring me that it was a great story and actually formed a well-written first draft.

“You’ve got to take all of it on board, or what’s the point? Her guidance helped dramatically improve the text, enough that I was comfortable to get the input from my wife and our girls, which on occasions proved far more awkward feedback to receive! Things can be harder to hear from those closest, but in the case of this book, I have been extremely grateful for all the feedback.”

Having re-written much of the opening section, the book was deemed good enough to publish and the initial reviews from those who’ve parted with their hard-earned wages, have been really encouraging.

“I think I have a long way to go to be as well published as Napoleon’s most forensic assessor, Andrew Uffindell, who was a couple of years above me. But I hope JAD is looking down and proud of my efforts.”

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The Pressure Drop by Pete Fincham

Synopsis – Stephen Lewis is living the dream, travelling the world as the King Maker of the music industry. A charmed man with a charmed life, what could possibly go wrong?

Isla Kiely leaves her suburban roots behind, seeking romance and adventure as an air hostess. When she falls for a stranger on a transatlantic flight, it seems their love story is already written in the stars, but fate has other ideas…

The Pressure Drop is a tale of love and tragedy, chance encounters and missed opportunities that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Special Delivery from LIII B

We never cease to be amazed by what we uncover in our lofts, trunks and dusty old boxes and drawers, when we are having that obligatory decluttering blitz. Sally Greenwood (née Hedges, NS ’57) shares with us a delightful and amusing

treasure, (no doubt unearthed following such an exercise), a childhood letter written to her 80 something year old grandmother on the latter’s hospital stay. “Little Sally” (from Form LIII B), over to you…

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Sally Greenwood (née Hedges, NS ’57) shares below her thoughts upon her return from looking at the floral tributes to our late Queen in Green Park…

“I have been lucky to photograph our late Queen at various stages in my life, the first time being when I was still at school, and only 14, when we were at The Royal Windsor Horse Show. On that occasion, the Queen was accompanied by Princess Margaret and their children, Princes Andrew and Edward and Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones.

In 1976, just prior to the heatwave, I again had a camera with me when students were told that the Queen would be visiting the shopping centre in Oxford that had opened a few years prior. Interestingly there is just a handful of people in the crowd wielding cameras. I have heard that the Royal Family find it a very different experience nowadays that everyone is in possession of a camera on their phones. Once a sea of faces – now a sea of screens! It must be quite daunting. The second photograph I took on that day was more personal. I had rushed to a spot where I thought the car may be travelling, and I was the only one there! The wave was for me alone, and Prince Philip is having a chuckle alongside.

It’s not so easy for me to get into London now that I live in Dorset, otherwise I would have travelled up for the funeral as I did for Lady Diana’s. Tring, where I lived before, being just a short journey by commuter train, whereas planning a visit from Poole is a holiday or a long weekend. But I just had to be there, as soon as I could. Arriving at a campsite in Abbey Wood the day after the funeral, we took our bikes (although now both over 65 years of age – but they are electric!), and cycled the Thames Path into Greenwich, where we picked up an Uber boat which took us, and our bikes, swiftly up river and into the City. The barriers were still in place, as were road closures from the funeral just two days before. There was a stillness (which had disappeared the next day when we revisited on foot) and we could cycle on the pavement up The Mall (the Mall was still shut and closed off with

barriers) – incidentally, that was something that I have always wanted to do. All the Union Jacks were at half mast, Charles III having left already for Balmoral but still in a week of mourning. We made our way around St James and into Green Park to see the floral tributes, which was primarily our intention, and had our moment of reflection.

Symbolism has played its part, from the pouring rain on the day that our late Queen left Balmoral, the Queen’s scarf being draped over her little pony Emma in Windsor, and the double rainbows over Windsor Castle, signifying to some that she was reunited with her beloved husband, the late Prince Philip. Just moments after we left Green Park, the Pelicans of St James’ were going about their everyday business and mixing with mourners within site of Buckingham Palace. It brought a smile to all of our faces. Queen Elizabeth II would not want us to be sad for very long. Long Live King Charles III.

The following photos are included in the order that I refer to them in my ‘ditty’ above…”

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In 1952, when King George VI died, I was undergoing special training at the London Metropolitan Police Training College at Hendon, in preparation for my posting to Malaya as an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

There was an urgent need for constabularies and others for roadside cordon duty during the passage of the funeral march. All of us on the course at Hendon Police College were required to join others for this duty. I had the experience of observing the Royal Family passing a few metres before me. A sad and sombre experience.

Coincidentally, on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953, as the Chief of Police of Pekan District, Pahang State, Malaya, I organised and participated in various celebrations – the fancy dress football match, the water sports and also a firework display.

David Brent (Be ’48)

On 16 December 1953, the Queen visited Fiji. She was greeted by Adi Mei, the 4 year old daughter of Ratu Penaia Ganilau, a Fijian chief and officer in the Fijian Army. Adi Mei presented the Queen with a bouquet of flowers from a lakeside high in the hills of Taveuni Island to the north of the main island of Fiji and the matangali [tribe] of Ratu Penaia Ganilau. The blossoms are very rare and are believed to be only growing on Taveuni Island and nowhere else. Adi Mei then performed a brief welcome ritual ceremony for the Queen.

In 1954 The 1st Battalion, The Fiji Infantry Regiment arrived in Malaya during The Emergency, the war against the armed insurgent communist forces. In 1956, I arrived at Batu Pahat, Johor State in Malaya to take over command of Batu Pahat Police District, where the Fijians were based. My military counterpart was Lt Col Ratu Penai Ganilau, CO of the Fijian Regiment. The Fijian officers mess asked me to paint a portrait of the CO, which I did, and it now hangs in the Officers Mess of the Regiment in Suva, Fiji.

Ratu Penaia Ganilau also asked me to paint a large size picture from a press photo of Adi Mei presenting the bouquet to the Queen, which I did. When I visited Taveuni many years later, I viewed my painting of Adi Mei and the Queen on the wall of the family home. By this time, Sir Ratu Penaia Ganilau was President of Fiji.

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(Be ’48)

My dad and grandfather were both awarded “gongs”, MBE and OBE respectively. Coincidentally, they were both chartered civil engineers working in the transport industry, whilst being father-in-law and son-in-law. Thus my mum got two trips to “Buck House”.

My grandfather’s expertise was in rail signalling systems. I believe he was responsible for a major new system. He investigated the Harrow Rail Disaster in the early 50s, which was caused by an express train from Perth running through signals and hitting the back of a commuter train from Tring, so many of the victims that day would have been from Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and other towns on that line. His award came in 1954, so quite early in HM’s reign. I don’t recall my mum talking about that day very often, so I can’t add much.

However, my dad’s MBE in 1987 was within my living memory. He had always hankered after working in the rail industry, but his new father-in-law wisely directed him towards a career within public highways, a decision for which he was very grateful over subsequent years as the rail industry contracted and new roads boomed.

But my dad’s particular expertise came in an unusual area: mini-roundabouts. And not just mini-roundabouts, but multi-mini-roundabouts. Those situated in Aylesbury and High Wycombe town centres, and near Denham under the M40, were all his work as County Traffic Engineer for Buckinghamshire until his retirement in 1988.

And so it came to pass that my dad was standing there with the other recipients at the Palace as the Queen made her way along the line. Not unnaturally, my dad was wondering: “How does she know who is who, and what their awards were for?” (She didn’t appear to have any notes to hand.) And more to the point, “What will we talk about? Has someone given her a "crash course" in the construction and implementation of multi-mini-roundabouts?!”

This dilemma was soon addressed. HM arrived in front of him, she smiled, and asked:

“And what was yours for?”

My dad was, not unpredictably, somewhat thrown off-balance by the informality of the question, but he managed to stammer:

“Er…services to civil engineering, Ma’am.”

HM beamed at him and announced “Jolly good!!!”, and moved on to the next recipient.

And that was it!

My aunt Janet Dendy (NS ’40) turned a youthful 100 years old on 23 July 2022. She had a huge birthday party, and the highlight was a card from HM The Queen (don’t forget, you have to apply a few weeks in advance these days).

She worked as a nurse throughout WW2 and trained and worked as a physiotherapist afterwards.

It is with great sadness that we all learnt yesterday of the death of our Queen, Elizabeth II, Patron of Berkhamsted School. Her example of integrity, dedication and service has been an inspiration to us all and a constant in our lives.

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Bramwell (Fr ’74)

30th June 1977 Wembley Stadium

I was chosen, as one of two representatives from Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities Officers’ Training Corps, to be in the Parade for Reserve and Cadet Forces in front of the Queen, for the Silver Jubilee.

We were sent down in a Sleeper, along with two people from each other OTC and Reserve Force in Scotland, and billeted in a drill hall in London for the night after the parade. Luckily, we were able to dodge sleeping in the drill hall, as I had relatives living in Ealing.

Our dress uniforms had to be spotless and crease-free, which was tricky after the train journey, but irons were, thoughtfully, provided. I was in the middle of a squad of 64 members of the TA in Scotland – tallest on the outside and shortest in the middle. We marched around the outside of the stadium before lining up in the centre. The Queen was driven round in a Land Rover to inspect us all.

My humiliation was that I somehow got out of step whilst on our march around the stadium, and I had an excruciating minute of trying to get back in step while all the rest of the squad hissed at me to GET IN STEP!

It was a very memorable and unique occasion for everyone involved!

Coronation June 1953

The attached photographs are of my view of the Coronation Coach as seen from a window in No 1 Victoria Street, my father’s (Lincoln House 1920s) office. The School had a week’s break to celebrate the Coronation, and at 14 years of age (my 2nd year in Lowers), I was lucky enough to be taken to London, with my Kodak Brownie camera, to take these memorable pictures.

I think these photographs could have been the stepping stone to my career in photography, which carries on even now!

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Gates (Lo ’56)

Some 35 years ago, I was asked to record, photographically, a visit by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to The North London Hostel for Commonwealth Overseas Students.

There were some 200 students, approximately, present. The idea was to arrange the students in a large hall in semicircles of 8, so that the Royals could move along and talk to each student. It worked beautifully, but to get a worthy photograph showing the Royals’ faces and the students was quite tricky!

It is a pleasant memory which illustrated the Royals’ devotion to The Commonwealth.

In 1965 or thereabouts, I suddenly got an invitation to a Summer Garden Party at the Palace, with guest. I had no idea why I should merit this. At the time I was much involved with the Queen’s English Society (QES) – indeed I still am – and we have decided NOT to change our name, and I speculated that it was this which had ‘generated’ the invitation. For my guest, I, therefore, invited Anne Shelley, our Chairman at the time, to accompany me. She was quite delighted, although she was concerned that she had no suitable hat.

We duly turned up at the Garden Entrance and had a wonderful time, walking in the garden and queuing (and jostling) for tea. Then we all formed up into lines. Anne and I were lucky to be in the line along which the Queen would come. Guided by an aide, she stopped and spoke to someone

almost next to us. Then she sailed past us with a smile and spoke to someone two along. Our hearts sank.

I often wonder if she might have spoken to us had she known of the QES connection. Later, I found out that I had been recommended for the invitation by my neighbour on the landing of the block of flats where I lived. She, a widow in sad circumstances, had spent much of the war in the Home Office section which dealt with the records of people, mainly servicemen, held in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. She would not/could not say much about this, but many of the stories she heard about the treatment meted out to these prisoners were quite horrendous. They gave her nightmares for many years. An MBE was awarded to her after the war. To have been within inches of Her Majesty was truly thrilling and has given me a memory I shall always treasure.

Much to my surprise, in 1989, I was awarded an MBE for ‘services to nursing’. I had pioneered and rolled out the ‘Human MOT’, that is now known as the NHS Health Check. Having been briefed about what to do by an equerry, I approached the Queen as my name and Oxfordshire Health Authority was tannoyed across the palatial room.

I was relatively young (43), and perhaps because of that, the Queen quietly and gently asked me, “What did you get it for?” I whispered back, “Trying to prevent heart attacks and strokes in middle-aged people.”

At that, the Queen’s eyes danced with amusement and the radiant smile that so many people have commented upon I shall always remember.

Her immediate response was, “That’s a good idea!” (She was then 63 and so in our recruitment drive). I shall always remember that kind spontaneity, her emerald dress and her huge emerald brooch. She pinned the medal on me, and I staggered backwards.

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Some thirty years ago, an American business associate snatched a short holiday over here with his wife. We lived on Hayling Island, with our office in Portsmouth. Their idea of a restful holiday was to visit London, so we took the train to Victoria and walked through the West End for most of the morning. Eventually, his wife said that sh would like to see the Queen’s palace, so we walked down Pall Mall and onto the Mall itself.

We ended up outside Buckingham Palace on a lovely day and stood on the corner of the North Gate enjoying the view.

After a while, I noticed activity on the Palace roof and also in the courtyard. I said to Tappy, his wife, I think something is about to happen for you that I’ve fixed in advance.

Sure enough, a few moments later, the police motorcycle outriders came down Constitution Hill and into the gate, followed immediately by a large Phantom VI Rolls Royce.

We were just ten feet away from the passengers who gave us a wave. (Tappy explained to us later that, before they left, she had told her friends that she was going to see the Queen.)

To this day, Tappy does not know whether this meeting with the Queen was a lucky happenstance, or whether I knew she was going to pass by, but we gather that the two of them ate out on the story for many years to come.

The governors, staff, pupils, and parents of the Berkhamsted Schools Group were deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We send our condolences to her family, and those who worked with her. We recognise that her death leaves a gap in our national life, but we feel first for those who have lost a mother, grandmother, or family member. We join those in the UK and across the world who will want to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s extraordinary life.

In 2016, we were fortunate to receive a visit from Her Majesty, in her role as Patron of the School. All those involved were struck at her evident interest in those around her, her lively sense of humour and her care for the thriving and wellbeing of young people. Both during the visit and from her public life, we saw Her Majesty the Queen live out a life which was entirely in line with our values – to aim high with integrity, be adventurous and serve others. The entire school community can count itself fortunate to have been ruled and served by a monarch whose example of courage, integrity, service, and kindness was evident to all.

Our schools will mark the passing of Her Majesty with assemblies dedicated to reminding the pupils of her long life, her outstanding example, and her leadership. In our Chapel services in the coming week, we will pray for Her Majesty, for her family, her households, and her friends, recognising the Christian faith which marked her Christmas addresses. We will mark her life with the planting of an English Oak within our grounds, which we trust will stand for centuries as a reminder of her life, her contribution to our country, and her example as a human being.

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Remembering HRH Prince Philip with thanks

It was with great sadness that all of us heard of the passing of HRH Prince Philip. He had strong connections with the School and left behind a legacy, the DofE scheme from which so many of our pupils benefitted.

Prince Philip visited the Girls’ School in 1959, a proud day for the girls who were working for his Award. He then visited again in 2004 for the opening of the Knox-Johnston Sports Centre.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme was started at Berkhamsted School by Colin McDougall in 1958 and continues to be very much a part of the School . The first Bronze expedition – Tring Hill, the first Silver – CCF march to camp, the first Gold – Derbyshire Peaks. The first Gold award recipients were Ken Tipton (Ad ’61) and Keith Goddard (Ad ’62).

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The Diamond Challenge

DofE was, without a doubt, an integral part of my life as a Berkhamsted student. Arriving in year 9 with the looming prospect of choosing what sports and activities I would like to spend my time on, I was instantly drawn to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, for much the same reason as Berkhamsted in the first place; the opportunity to try something totally new that wasn’t intrinsically academic. My first year at Berkhamsted flew by, trying to find my feet; however, I knew that a few of the activities I had started would come in useful for progressing through the DofE scheme. If memory serves me correctly, to successfully pass the Bronze award you undertook 3 months of volunteering, 3 months of undertaking a physical activity, and 3 months spent on honing a skill, in addition to an expedition.

Already thoroughly enjoying the Combined Cadet Force, and taking on increasing responsibility, it seemed logical to see whether this could constitute my volunteering component; my skill which was somewhat of a love hate relationship, was playing the saxophone, and most excitingly, I decided to take up judo, after school, to meet the physical requirement. A great many of my school friends, who I stay in touch with to this day, were made through the scheme, whether it be discussing our progress with each other or planning our expedition.

The two-day, one night expedition was a memorable experience for a number of reasons, none more so than the responsibility and flexibility given throughout! While I could not see it at the time, largely due to being too engrossed in what size panniers or how many tent pegs we would require, the life skills being developed and tested at such a young age were in no part, in my mind, instrumental to our development at school and ad infinitum. Successfully passing the Bronze award felt like a large achievement as a 14-year-old, however even at that age, it was starkly apparent just how many friends who were not active,

nor ‘outdoorsy’ people gave the Bronze award a go, which is both a testament to the fabric of Berkhamsted students and the support from the DofE team.

The progression to the Gold award was an extremely easy sell for me, having read about further ‘sharpening’ my skills, developing my physical skills, giving back to Berkhamsted through continued volunteering, in addition to a residential experience and the highly coveted expedition. For my skill and physical activity, I chose to continue playing the saxophone, and captain the Berkhamsted Ski Team. With regards to the residential experience and volunteering component, I sailed the coast of France on a Tall Ship for 4 days and 3 nights, as well as continued leadership and volunteering through the CCF, progressing to Cadet Warrant Officer Class 2, in charge of the CCF and responsible, in part, for Her Late Majesty’s visit to Berkhamsted School and, in particular, 125 years of the Combined Cadet Force.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to explore the Italian Dolomites under Mr Hardy for my Gold expedition. Alongside friends who I undertook my Bronze expedition with, the lasting memory was climbing the Via Ferratta (Iron Way) and soaking in the most incredible views and crisp air!

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If all that had been experienced in just 2 years was not enough, the year of my Gold Award presentation happened to be the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which afforded the opportunity for 100 Gold Award holders up and down the country to achieve the Diamond Award and be awarded at Buckingham Palace by the Duke of Edinburgh. I applied, and was fortunate enough to be accepted, representing Berkhamsted School and, to my knowledge, Hertfordshire.

As the photos will speak volumes, I am extremely proud of my Gold and Diamond

Awards, and throughout the intense period of interviewing after university, I cannot remember an occasion where the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has not been raised by the potential employer.

My lasting remark is a colossal thanks to the Berkhamsted Duke of Edinburgh Team, with particular thanks to both Mr and Mrs Hardy, as I believe, with the scheme and endless support, Berkhamsted students continue to leave school extremely well-rounded people.

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Michael Parsey (Sw ’11)
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2012 Ten-Year Reunion

On Saturday, 15th September, we were delighted to invite the Year of 2012 back to School for their 10-Year Reunion. Over 60 former pupils and staff joined us in the Nash Harris Dining Room at the Girls School, for an evening of drinks, dinner, laughter and reminiscence.

A toast was raised by Tom Smart at the start of the meal for ‘Absent Friends’. My thanks to Tom and Rebecca Golder for all their assistance with the planning of the evening and helping to encourage everyone back to the School… as well as encouraging them all to the Kings Arms at the end of the evening!!!

2002 Twenty-Year Reunion

On Saturday, 12th November 49 leavers from the class of 2002, attended their 20-year reunion, along with 12 teachers and former headmistress Dr Chadwick. The event was hosted in the Nash-Harris building on Kings Campus – a building that wasn’t there when we were last at school! It was a great evening catching up with old friends, hearing news, and reminiscing about old times. The class of 2002 always felt special at the time – a really close-knit group with some amazing bonds and friendships that have endured ever since. It was great to see so many from the year together again.

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The Old Berkhamstedians’ Administrator

Class of 1972 Berkhamsted Reunion

Switching the Class of ’72’s fiftieth reunion to a weekday might have boosted the number of attendees beyond previous years’ totals, but it seems there is still a cadre of devotees who have shunned retirement and still work for a living, which given the current state of the nation’s finances is probably no bad thing. That said, more than 25 devotees made the pilgrimage to the Rising Sun pub to share experiences since the last meeting and dredge up embarrassing anecdotes from 50+ years ago.

At least five planned attendees had to cry off at the last minute for reasons as diverse as Covid, food poisoning, attending a music festival in Luca, essential landscaping work and a leg injury.

50+ Years Lunch – 12th May 2022

Twenty-seven of us OBs who had left School more than fifty years ago met at Berkhamsted Golf Club on 12th May for our regular get-together. There was much reminiscing at the bar and over a very good lunch, and we then all had a chance to relive our schooldays with an inspection of the House Books from the 50s and 60s which had been kindly lent to us by the School

Photograph (L-R): Justin Ede (Sw ’72), Ruaridh Mackenzie (In ’72), Andy Johnson (Co ’72), Jonathan Baggott (Co ’72), Rod Tracy (Fr ’72), Ian Patchett (SJ ’72), Tim Harrison (Sw ’72), Russ Winyard (In ’72), Dick Barfield (Be ’72), Tim Metcalfe (Fr ’72), Neil Campbell (Up ’72), Dave Gardner (Fr ’72), Ian McKay (Up ’72), Andrew Stanley (Lo ’72), Andrew Shaw (Be ’72), Maxine Gardner, Giles Clark (Be ’72), Richard Coupe (Sw ’72).

Unavoidably Detained:

KW Chan, Roger Collins, Tony Croke, Matthew Harman, Robert Hogarth, Michael Soole, Robin Williams, Robin Williamson.

The leg injury applied to Robin Williamson (Be ’72), and, on a sober note, we were saddened to learn that Robin’s ailment was much more serious, and he subsequently died two weeks later. From attendees’ generous donations for the pizza (useful for absorbing the alcohol), £75 has been donated to the RNLI for a new lifeboatnext time, surplus funds will probably go to Age Concern! Measuring the mood of all who attended, there seems to be an appetite for a repeat episode in 2027- book early to avoid disappointment…

The photo, with no digital enhancement, amply demonstrates the ravages of time wreaked upon the innocents of ’72 who are (from left to right) .

Jonathan Baggott (Co ’72)

Archivist, Lesley Koulouris. The membership of this informal group is slowly changing as the years roll by, and we now have a number of participants who left in the 1960s. School leaving dates for those attending this year range from 1945 to 1969 and the average is around 1958. Conversation is always lively and friendly and comparisons between the generations are always interesting. Photographs, expertly taken by Jonathan Culverhouse, are attached.

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Those present were (in alphabetical order):

By the time this report is read in The Old Berkhamstedian it will be 2023, and any readers who left School in 1973 or earlier are invited to join us for 2023 events. If you are interested please contact me at

John Hilsden (Ad ’62)

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John Berry (Fr ’67), Giles Clark (Be ’72), Jonathan Culverhouse (Ad ’63), John Douglas (Sw ’69), Courtney Edenborough (Up ’45), Anthony Flack (Be ’58), John Fry (Sw ’56), Gilbert Grace (Sw ’52), Roger Hill (Be ’45), John Hilsden (Ad ’62), Mike Horton (Sw ’64), Peter Humphries (Ad ’51), Lance Kent (SJ ’57), Peter King (Co ’60), Michael Levitton (Sw ’56), John Linton (Ad ’57), Tony Lloyd (Ad ’53), Sam Mainds (Ad ’64), Paul Mainds (Ad ’68), John Prior (Ad ’57), John Rush (Sw ’59), Ivan Schatz (Ad ’57), Richard Smellie (In ’61), John Stevens (Ad ’53), Derek Whitehead (Ad ’49), Tony Wolstenholme (Be ’57), Chris Wynn (Co ’64) Table One: Edenborough, Hill, Humphries, Paul Mainds, San Mainds, Wynne, Culverhouse Table Two: Rush, Prior, Schatz, Smellie, Stevens, Whitehead, Levitton Table Three: Berry, Clark, Grace, King, Lloyd, Douglas Table Four: Flack, Fry, Hilsden, Horton, Kent, Linton, Wolstenholme
1 2 3 4

50+ Years August Reunion

The School Archivist had kindly lent us some House Books and other records of our time at the School, and these were pored over with great interest as we relived our schooldays.

There never seems to be a shortage of conversation on these occasions as friendships are remembered and recreated, and this year was no exception.

The School leaving dates of those present ranged from 1945 to 1972, and we had all left at least 50 years ago. We meet, usually once a year, on an informal basis, to catch up with friends old and new and to have a good lunch.

A torrential downpour during the morning did not deter the 26 “Really Old Berkhamstedians” who came from far and wide to enjoy an excellent lunch at the Golf Club on 25th August.

The President of The Old Berkhamstedians, Brigitta Case, joined us and, after lunch, we had a really enjoyable and interesting talk from the Motor Sports Author and Broadcaster, Mark Cole (Ad ’64), on his 40 Years at Le Mans.

Those attending were:

John Berry (Fr ’67), Brigitta Case (OB President – NS ’80), Giles Clark (Be ’72), Mark Cole (Ad ’64), Jonathan Culverhouse (Ad ’63), John Douglas (Sw ’69), Courtney Edenborough (Up ’45), Anthony Flack (Be ’58), John Fry (Sw ’56), Keith Goddard (Ad ’62), Gilbert Grace (Sw ’52), John Greenwood (Fr ’68), Ron Hall (In ’60), Michael Harrison (Sw ’60), John Hilsden (Ad ’62), Jeremy Hopkinson (Ad ’61), Mike Horton (Sw ’64), Peter Humphreys (Ad ’51), Peter King (Co ’60), Sam Mainds (Ad ’64), Brian Norris (Ad ’52), Roger Roebuck (In ’59), John Rush (Sw ’59), David Webb (Sw ’62), Peter Williamson (Be ’66), Chris Wynne (Co ’64), David Young (Be ’60)

John Hilsden (Ad ’62)

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Whitehill Party

Sixty years ago, the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools were not combined, and the only contact that pupils had with each other was through formal

See page 80 for a partial list of names. Please contact me if you know any others!

dances held during the Christmas season. Here is a picture from one of those dances, taken 61 years ago, attended by members of the 1961 Sixth Forms, who lived in the Berkhamsted area.

Those of that generation will remember those parties, held at various venues in Berkhamsted and, quite often, at the church hall at Potten End. This one was hosted by the Hawkings family and took place at Whitehill, the home of Harry and Phyllis Pollock.

Forty-four friends attended that party, and now, after all these years, and with the help of Andrew Chinneck, Chris Coulter, Yvonne Rush and others, I have been able to identify 30. It would be fun to put a name to all the faces. Sadly, some are no longer with us.

If you were one of the faces, or if you can recognise any more (or if I have any of them wrong), I would enjoy hearing from you.

Perhaps you could add a note of where you live and what you are doing after all these years, and I will make up a summary. Perhaps you have a story or a memory. We were good friends in those days, and these were special and formative times in our lives.

Do these parties, or anything resembling them, still take place?

Tim Hawkings, 331 Willow Ridge Place SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2J 1N2.


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London Steak and Cheese Dinner

Not many will remember the origins of the London Steak and Cheese Dinner, which was established as the end-of-year function of the London Luncheon Club that met monthly in a London pub. A 1978 edition in the OBA Section of the School Magazine stated:

OBs meet for beer and sandwiches on the last Tuesday of each month from 1.00pm onwards in the Stirrup Cup Bar of the Horseshoe in Tottenham Court Road. Any OB finding himself in the middle of London at that time is sure of a warm welcome at the Horseshoe from his fellow OBs.

I don’t know what we did wrong, but the monthly meetings moved on to the White Lion, St Giles High Street and then the Edgar Wallace, 40 Essex Street and probably others over the years. However, the monthly meetings died out, but the annual Steak and Cheese Dinner lived on.

This year, as in the last few years, the dinner took place in the Double Tree by Hilton, 92 Southampton Row, on Wednesday 7th December, organised by Vice-President Peter Willson (Co ’66). The Principal, Richard Backhouse, attended and gave an interesting speech on the

development of the School. He made particular reference to the students’ use of IT and the planned build of the new Sixth Form Centre on the site of Wilson House, now demolished.

Twenty-one diners attended, and we were very pleased to welcome Niall Davies and Charles Pipe, both 2017 school leavers. A full list of attendees is at the end of this section.

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Mike Horton (Sw ’64)

Old Berkhamstedians’ Dinner

After the moving chapel service for JAD and Mary Rose Farley, most people moved to Deans’ Hall for the OB’s dinner. A total of 83 people sat down for the dinner, which was the largest attendance for many years. Everyone was able to see the new-look Deans’ Hall in all its splendour, very different from when I was at school in the 60s, and the mezzanine floor did not even exist.

It was great to catch up with old friends over pre-dinner drinks and then sit down to a splendid three-course meal. The wine flowed, as did the conversation, with lots of laughs on the way. Keith Goddard (Ad ’62) had turned wooden bowls and other items from the old Acacia tree that had stood in Gravel Quad. These were on sale beforehand and made £734. They were part of the raffle prizes as well, and the raffle made £500. The bulk of this money has gone towards the renovation of Sister Cottingham’s gravestone.

made an interesting and moving speech about her time at the school. She talked about all the great times she had experienced, particularly in her relations with the pupils.

The evening concluded with long goodbyes and promises to keep in touch.

When we were all replete it was time for the speeches, but these were not the usual rambling sort. Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80), the OB President, called John Rush (Sw ’59) up to the microphone, much to his surprise. John was first mentioned in the minutes of the Committee Meetings on 15th March 1979 and has served diligently, almost without interruption, ever since. He is now retiring from the Committee as Treasurer, and Brigitta presented him with a book which has every front page of the Daily Telegraph from that momentous day until now.

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Liz Richardson, Headteacher, Berkhamsted Girls,
Peter Willson (Co ’66)

Mary Rose Farley (née Bateman)

Headmistress of Berkhamsted School for Girls from 1971-1980

16th March 1935 – 8th September 2021

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Mary Rose

Farley – attended by current and former staff, a number of family members, including her sister, Felicity Crawley, and several Old Girls – took place on Sunday, April 3rd, in the Girls’ School Chapel.

Rev Jane Markby led a moving service, with tributes from former head girls, Cortina Butler and Jane Pargeter, together with one from her niece, Alice Crawley, who remembered first visiting Mary Rose at the Berkhamsted Girls’ School when she was 4 years old. A Bible reading was read by Liz Richardson.

Miss Bateman was remembered especially for her fresh approach, for continuing to teach English throughout her time as Headmistress, for her enthusiasm, her belief in equality, her extraordinary breadth of knowledge and wide reading – a passion which she passed on to many a pupil lucky enough to be taught by her – and her sense of humour. That is not to say that she couldn’t be scary! As one of her A Level English students and a school prefect during her time at the School, I am indebted to her for her support and inspiration.

During the service, the choir, which was somewhat depleted thanks to last minute covid cases, sang beautifully, and we are very grateful to Jean Wild (Hon) for organising the music and Jenny Smith (Hon) for accompanying us all on the piano.

The sun shone, and we had the pleasure of reminiscing over afternoon tea in the Old Dining Room, under the watchful gaze of Mary Rose from her portrait.

The opportunity was taken to thank Liz Richardson for her huge contribution to the School over the past 34 years as she approached her retirement at

the end of the academic year, and for her support of The Old Berkhamstedians over the years. She was presented with a gift and a bouquet of flowers.

Members of the choir were: Jean Wild – Choir Master, Jenny Smith – Piano, Catherine Barham Sarah Barnett, Catherine Barrett, Natasha Charlton Sarah Jackson, Antonia Storer and Araba Taylor.

Mary Rose Farley/Bateman Tribute

In 1971, George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord was dominating the charts, the 70s had not yet spiralled into browns, oranges and afghan coats, and my friend Jessica and I were 13 – and we thought we were pretty cool. All our school lives since first meeting in kindergarten in the Beeches, the pinnacle of the School had been a distinguished historian, elegant, kind, but undoubtedly old. So when we were sitting on the grass, on the lime walk, one summer lunchtime, and looked round to see Miss Russell obviously showing someone around, the first thing we noticed was that the someone was wearing white shiny knee length boots and a mini skirt to match. She looked young – and she was young – Miss Bateman (and she will always be Miss Bateman) was only 36 when she took over the School.

As headmistress, she exuded youth and energy, bustling around the school, perching on the corner of a desk as she taught English, running up the short flight of stairs to the stage for prayers. We had never noticed what Miss Russell wore, but Miss Bateman’s clothes were statements. She liked collars, buttons, colours. She was a serious person but not a solemn one – naturally smiling, frequently laughing. In those photographs taken every year as the speakers walked towards the tent for Commemoration Day, she always glows out of the black and white images – confident and happy in her position.

She did not see her role as purely administrative and taught English throughout her time as headmistress. In sorting out the papers at my

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mother’s house, I found my timetable for seventh term Oxbridge entrance, and as well as lessons at the Boys School with Dr Pearce and Mr Davison, whose life we celebrated yesterday, and with Miss Haddow and Miss Broomer here, I spent two hours a week with Miss Bateman having my mind stretched ready for the Oxford general paper.

She didn’t start collaborations with the Boys School, but she certainly encouraged and expanded them. Singing in joint choirs and madrigal groups, acting in plays with mixed casts, shared teaching for Oxbridge entrance and joint dances were some of the great pleasures of the fifth and sixth forms in the 70s. She regarded us as young women – not children.

As one of her head girls, my relationship with her was a formative one. It taught me how to work, not in a teacher pupil relationship, but something more like an office environment. In my sorting out, I also found my diary from the time I was Head Girl – not a diary of thoughts and emotions but lists of prefect duties and readers for morning prayers, menus for upcoming events and notes from meetings. Throughout, there are reminders of appointments with Miss Bateman, things to check with her and the occasional ‘Coffee with Miss Bateman’ on a Friday.

At the time, 9 years didn’t seem very long to stay at a school – especially after her predecessor’s 21, but she started to make change as soon as she began. She acted as a bridge for the School from an era born in Edwardian times into the era we are in now, where equality of opportunity for women is assumed. An era that could see the two Schools, Girls and Boys, successfully combined into the Berkhamsted School that you have today. And for me, she was one of my first defining

adult-to-adult relationships outside my family. She gave the 18-year-old me all-important confidence to go onto the next stage of my life, and for that – and much more – I remember her with gratitude and affection.

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Cortina Butler (Ho ’76)

John Anthony Davison (JAD)

20th August 1937 – 21st September 2019

The 2020 Old Berkhamstedian contained an excellent tribute to JAD by ‘Jonty’ Driver, Headmaster 1983-1989. Although JAD died on 21st September 2019, Covid restrictions prevented the School from holding his Memorial Service until 2nd April 2022.

On that day, nearly 200 people filed into the chapel, the congregation made up of former pupils, former and current colleagues from the School, family and friends, and a 20-strong choir made up of former pupils and staff, all there to honour JAD, who taught at the School between 1960-1997. There is a list of those who attended at the end of this section.

The service was beautifully led by Rev Jane Markby with moving reminiscences, reproduced below, from ‘Jonty’ Driver, staff colleague Chris Hayward (Hon) and Robert Courts (Fr ’97), capturing the true spirit and essence of JAD. Readings were delivered by Peter Williamson (Be ’66), Larry Eaton (Ch ’09) and the Principal, Richard Backhouse.

Full details of the reminiscences, together with the order of service, can also be viewed in Berkhamsted Connections – alternatively, please contact The Old Berkhamstedians’ office.


Twenty-eight years ago, in the early summer of 1994, Form 4A was preoccupied. Nirvana’s frontman, Kurt Cobain, had just died, Four Weddings & A Funeral had just been released, a fresh-faced innocent called Tony Blair was about to become leader of the – Labour Party…

Oasis released their first album, whilst Aerosmith were the first band to release a single on something called the World Wide Web.

Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Kremlin accords, providing for the dismantling of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal based in Ukraine, whilst Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa after the country’s first multi-racial elections.

It was one of those hot days in which the dark blue Berkhamsted blazers were discarded in piles on the floor, the shirt sleeves were rolled up, while the heat haze outside the single-glazed white iron-frame of the form room surely called for an afternoon of cricket. But what preoccupied Form 4A was not the simmering news or the shimmering heat, but their brand-new hardback copies of RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End.

4A’s extraordinarily tall, thin, quietly spoken form-master was playing the part of Osborne, the schoolteacher turned soldier who, despite probably being in only his late twenties, was known as “uncle” by the officers with whom he shared a dugout in the last week before the last, great, doomed German offensive of World War One.

The commanding officer, Stanhope, was played by a Berkhamsted boy only a few years younger than the real Stanhope would have been. They are discussing the nature of schooldays hero-worship:

– OSBORNE: Small boys at school generally have their heroes.

– STANHOPE: Yes. Small boys at school do.

OSBORNE: Often it goes on as long as –

– STANHOPE: – as long as the hero’s a hero.

– OSBORNE: It often goes on all through life.

The boys of Form 4A recognised the character of Osborne. Kind, decent, honourable, knowledgeable, quietly reassuring, his character could have been based on that of John Davison. But little did they realise that those famous words described the feeling of hero-worship that so many of the boys present in that room felt for their teacher – as indeed, judged by the number of people here today – had so many boys felt for so many years.

JAD had probably planned that lesson to start as all others had – with a quick-fire pop quiz, usually on the meaning of certain words – “empheral,

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transitory, transient – “what do they mean?!” / “Tell me about Alfredes ship, and the proper use of the apostrophe!”

But on this day, Form 4A were all busy chatting nosily away, ignorant of JAD’s entrance, or at least more interested in our own childish concerns. JAD waited, silent, unspoken, a sad look on his face, for his class to quieten down and pay attention.

We were not silent, so he walked out of the room without saying a word…

We immediately turned on one another, blaming each other as to whose fault it was that he had left, and who was responsible for making him upset. The room quickly went silent and he returned, and he said nothing about it but got on with the lesson.

Now there’s something of classic reverse psychology in there: He hadn’t become angry –we wouldn’t have minded that – we were, after all, teenage boys – and we were used to that from other teachers; But he – somehow – silently expressed the view not that our behaviour had failed him – which it clearly had – but that he, as a teacher, had failed us; Now this, to his English form, was unacceptable! And quiet as mice, we picked up our copies of Journey’s End. But there was more to it than teaching tactics, clever though they were…

The evidence of disappointment and hurt that he displayed was much more powerful because of the respect we all held for him. We recognised his gentle and kind nature – and we all – to a boy –felt guilty for our conduct (and quick to blame one another). But, more than that, we recognised his worth, his dedication to us and our improvement.

And that dedication to us was truly inspiring, and provoked hero-worship in response.

What teenage boys, after all, would break off torturing their parents by playing the guitar really loudly, and really badly, to ring each other up on the only phone in the house and discuss JAD’s reading of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1, that day? What teenage boys, after all, would break off figuring out how to talk to the puzzling but

wonderful creatures that lived up the road at the Girl’s School to tell each other about the Tennyson poem that wasn’t even on the syllabus, simply because it was in a book that JAD liked?

The answer, of course, is teenage boys taught by JAD. And what teacher, when asked by friends of those boys to teach them Tennyson in lunch break – when Tennyson wasn’t in the exam – simply because his teaching could not be missed, would agree?

The answer, of course, is a teacher known as JAD. And it was in that room – that hot, white classroom – that JAD set the current of lives. Lives that loved literature. Lives that laughed with Falstaff and cried with Stanhope, that cheered with Harry Hotspur and Hal. It was in that classroom that JAD suggested that Phil Rule and I might like to be called to the Bar – which we were – and it was in that room that he suggested that we write an essay about the time in history in which we would most like to have lived. I chose 1940. Another long, hot summer, but one in which the Royal Air Force and Winston Churchill stood together to battle rampant evil.

JAD’s response to my essay was classic JAD:

“Robert, it’s a little unusual to wish yourself into a time of national crisis, but if you do feel that way, I have a suggestion for something you might like to read…” Followed by enigmatic silence. The following day, JAD burst into the room, scattering yellow paperbacks. Left, right, and centre, boys ducking for cover from these autobiographical missiles! Slowly we emerged from under the desks, to find we had been given “My Early Life” by Winston S Churchill. It contains Churchill’s tribute to Robert Somerville, the English teacher who he credited with teaching him to love English. Churchill recalls “this most delightful man, to whom my debt is great … charged with the duty of teaching the stupidest boys the most disregarded thing, namely to write mere English. He knew how to do it. He taught it as no-one else has ever taught it.”

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It should be JAD’s epitaph:

– A most delightful man

– A man who taught English as no-one else has ever taught it

A man to whom my debt – all our debts – is great.

Vale Outside the Gate: Epilogue for Young Berkhamstedians

Stiffly he rose, and as he turned to leave, Touching her fingers on the old man’s sleeve And smiling slightly at the book she’d read, ‘You seem to care about this place,’ she said, “This house not made with hands”, sweet Berkhamsted.’

‘Smart misquotation lets you laugh at me; How irritating clever girls can be. Your education will have framed your mind To judge with fairness what you leave behind: No mean school, yet no fabled paradiseYou’re not Miranda nor I Prospero –I marked what happened, and let that suffice, It’s just the story of a place I know; I thought I’d pass it on before I go’.


Read by Larry Eaton (Ch ’09)

Although by 1997 I had been a colleague of his for well over twenty years, the experience of going on holiday with him brought some unexpected discoveries. In order to save money on this trip, we shared a room in each of the hotels, and that went pretty well on the whole. Having crossed by ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, we then followed the route down central western France, with overnight stays in Fougères, Saintes and Périgueux among other places. John’s regular practice before bed was to wash out his underclothes in the basin and hang them up overnight, then put them on again nice and dry in the morning. This routine worked well until we got further south and reached Montauban, near Toulouse. Usual procedure that night, but next morning his smalls were cold, wet and clammy – how had this disaster come about? Well, the Montauban hotel was the first on the tour to have air conditioning, which scuppered the drying stage. Fortunately, he had some reserves.

Out on the French roads, John had a habit of exaggerating minor difficulties and downplaying serious ones. For example, his grasp of the mechanical side of motoring sometimes seemed a bit tenuous. Before this trip, my Sunbeam’s cooling system had been very predictable: once the engine had warmed up, the temperature gauge seldom shifted from normal. So when, on the third day of the tour, near Poitiers, the needle suddenly swung to the top of the scale, I was naturally concerned and realised it was potentially serious. John would have none of it, however. ‘Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,’ he said, ‘it’ll soon go down.’ Nevertheless, I pulled off the road, and another tour member helped me to remove the radiator thermostat, which had jammed shut.

John retired from teaching at Berkhamsted in 1997, with his 60th birthday coming up that August. I had put my name down for a classic car tour of France that summer, and I invited John to join me as co-driver in my 1965 Sunbeam Rapier, knowing that he had owned a similar car early on in his motoring career.

On the other hand, when consulting the map for the route ahead and seeing we were approaching a village with perhaps a left turn and a roundabout and then a level crossing, he would exclaim in apparent horror, ‘Lordy, we’ll never get out of here alive!’

Another thing that made this holiday memorable was John’s appearance. Despite the fine hot weather,

The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 75

he always wore shirt, tie and trousers with an elderly jacket, which had no doubt been fashionable in 1958 but now looked rather out of place in holiday France. I was brought up believing that it’s rude to stare, but the French have no such inhibitions, and when they caught sight of the very tall Englishman in this get-up, topped by a straw hat which the mice had clearly enjoyed nibbling, we found ourselves the object of amused scrutiny. I suppose I should have been grateful that he wasn’t wearing the long khaki shorts he used at Berkhamsted for cross-country. Even when we reached the Mediterranean near Montpellier, his uniform didn’t change.

I fondly recall one particular incident near the picturesque old cathedral of Maguelone beside the sea; once we had walked along the sand a good distance from the car park, we found we had reached an area of the beach being enjoyed by nudists. When John realised the full horror of the situation, he diverted his gaze out to sea at a boat which somehow monopolised his attention till it was safe to look inland again. When eventually we reached the old church and headed back to the car, like the wise men in the Bible, we returned by another way.

It was a wonderful fortnight of classic motoring in France, but John’s company made it extra special.

Chris Hayward Staff (1974-2005)

(where John himself was at school), ending his days there as Second Master, and in a sense JAD was born a schoolmaster. He didn’t think the extras were extra; they were part of the vocation. He was for years Master-in-Charge of Athletics and Cross Country (proximity to Ashridge Common was a great advantage for those who loved long-distance running). He coached rugby. He produced plays. He set up, supervised, and encouraged various societies. He was first Housemaster of the day-house, Greene’s, and then for fifteen years Housemaster of School House. John knew the boys in his house from the inside out; he knew their strengths and he knew their weaknesses. His end-of-term reports on them were kind, clever and funny, and his UCCA (later UCAS) references were insightful and truthful. In their turn, the boys in his House knew where they stood with him: he was strict, but he was straight – he always did what he said he was going to do. It’s small wonder so many boys became immensely fond of him, and regularly came back to see him; the turnout of ex-pupils at JAD’s funeral was evidence.

He was also a very good teacher; early on in his career he taught Latin occasionally, but his main subject was English, and for John that meant English Literature. He had been well-taught himself at school and at Oxford; he was properly proud of having been at Wadham. He loved reading and had a good memory, and he could communicate his enthusiasms: Shakespeare, the “metaphysical” poets like Donne and especially George Herbert, Milton, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Hardy, Kipling, and the great English novelists, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Dickens, and the moderns too. Some teachers of Literature stop reading when they begin teaching; John never did.

JAD was one of those fortunate souls whose discipline seems somehow innate. It derives in part from self-discipline, but there is also an assumption that pupils will do as you tell them to do: “or else…” and you don’t really have to spell out what “or else” is. It may seem obvious, but a teacher who cannot get his class to sit down and shut up is unlikely to get much work out of them.

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John Anthony Davison, JAD, was a first-class example of the all-round schoolmaster. His father had taught for many years at Brighton College

JAD had an especial dislike of those electronic watches which make a “beep beep” sound. “Here, take it off,” he would say. “Give it to me”, and out of the window of his classroom it would fly, usually to land safely on the lawn below; so boys soon learned to switch their noisy watches off, unless of course they wanted to be reminded that JAD had a considerable temper – which he did. He was very good with the less clever of his pupils, but he didn’t tolerate fools.

After retiring, John returned to live permanently in Sussex; he was very much a Sussex man, having been born at Fragbarrow, Ditchling Common, in 1937, within sight of the South Downs. He bought a cottage in Rackham, within sight and walking distance of those same downs, and he lived there until his death. However, really he didn’t retire from teaching, nor indeed from looking after other people. For years he worked tirelessly for the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau), though latterly political correctness got in the way of his commitment. He was a volunteer for the Samaritans, though I never found out much about this side of his life, as it was something he couldn’t discuss with outsiders. He ran a Literature class for the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) until the local overlords of that worthy organisation decided literature wasn’t part of its true purposes; so John’s class asked if he would please go on teaching them Shakespeare even though it wasn’t official; and of course he did. He was for years one of the office-holders of the Society of Schoolmasters, looking after members of the profession who had fallen on hard times. He was a regular speaker at the Winchelsea Literary Society, talking about Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Byron, Tennyson et al, so popular there that every time he spoke on any writer he would immediately be asked if he would take on another subject the next year.

John was a good writer too. One piece of evidence is the poem, “Hope”, included in the order of service; it could have been written only by someone who had absorbed the poems of George Herbert into his deepest imagination. There is

also the evidence of John’s great endeavour of his retirement years: a brilliant history of Berkhamsted School, written with the help of Peter Williamson, sometime Chairman of Governors.

John was profoundly a Christian, not in any doctrinaire sense, but because it was part of his nature, part of his upbringing and his culture. The Book of Common Prayer, the English Hymnal, and the version of the bible inspired by King James were ingrained in his imagination. At school he was a stalwart of Chapel, singing in the choir, reading the lessons, turning up for services. After his retirement, he became churchwarden of the little church in the grounds of the local “great house”. Even promisingly pleasurable invitations which interfered with his duties as a churchwarden were courteously but firmly turned down. Although he never married (he told me once, only half-joking, that he was “terrified of women”) he was close friends with a number of women and was as devoted to his extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, as they were to him. The big festivals were always spent en famille

In what has turned out to be quite a long life, I have come across a good many schoolmasters, schoolmistresses and teachers. John Anthony Davison was one of the greatest schoolmasters and finest teachers I was ever lucky enough to know. I was his boss for six years, but we became friends and allies then, and thereafter Ann & I went on being friends with him for thirty years. We count ourselves exceptionally fortunate to have known him.

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50+ August Reunion

John Berry (Fr ’57)

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

Giles Clark (Be ’72)

Mark Cole (Ad ’64)

Jonathan Culverhouse (Ad ’63)

John Douglas (Sw ’69)

Courtney Edenborough (Up ’45)

Anthony Flack (Be ’58)

John Fry (Sw ’56)

Keith Goddard (Ad ’62)

Gilbert Grace (Sw ’52)

John Greenwood (Fr ’68)

Ron Hall (In ’60)

Michael Harrison (Sw ’60)

John Hilsden (Ad ’62)

Jeremy Hopkinson (Ad ’61)

Mike Horton (Sw ’64)

Peter Humphries (Ad ’51)

Peter King (Co ’60)

Sam Mainds (Ad ’64)

Brian Norris (Ad ’52)

Roger Roebuck (In ’59)

John Rush (Sw ’59)

David Webb (Sw ’62)

Peter Williamson (Be ’66)

Chris Wynne (Co ’64)

David Young (Be ’60)

50+ May Reunion

John Berry (Fr ’67)

Giles Clark (Be ’72)

Jonathan Culverhouse (Ad ’63)

John Douglas (Sw ’69)

Courtney Edenborough (Up ’45)

Anthony Flack (Be ’58)

John Fry (Sw ’56)

Gilbert Grace (Sw ’52)

Roger Hill (Be ’45)

John Hilsden (Ad ’62)

Mike Horton (Sw ’64)

Peter Humphries (Ad ’51)

Lance Kent (SJ ’57)

Peter King (Co ’60)

Michael Levitton (Sw ’56)

John Linton (Ad ’57)

Tony Lloyd (Ad ’53)

Sam Mainds (Ad ’64)

Paul Mainds (Ad ’68)

John Prior (Ad ’57)

John Rush (Sw ’59)

Ivan Schatz (Ad ’57)

Richard Smellie (In ’61)

John Stevens (Ad ’53)

Derek Whitehead (Ad ’49)

Tony Wolstenholme (Be ’57)

Chris Wynne (Co ’64)

1972 Reunion

Jonathan Baggott (Co)

Dick Barfield (Be)

Neil Campbell (Up)

Giles Clark (Be)

Richard Coupe (Sw)

Justin Ede (Sw)

Dave Gardner (Fr)

Maxine Gardner

Tim Harrison (Sw)

Andy Johnson (Co)

Ruaridh Mackenzie (In)

Ian McKay (Up)

Tim Metcalfe (Fr)

Ian Patchett (SJ)

Andrew Shaw (Be)

Andrew Stanley (Lo)

Rod Tracy (Fr)

Russ Winyard (In)

2002 Reunion

Jonny Aspland Robinson

Hazel Avigdori (née Dowd)

Iain Bagnall

Alistair Baker

Ross Barnard

Alex Beckett

Carla Brookes (née Chases)

Jaime Brown

Alistair Burroughs

Karan Chopra

Richard Collins

Chris Day

Tamsin Dobson (née Smith)

Nicky Elliott (née Denson)

Sophie Franks

Stacy Giles (née Elliott)

Sophie Green

Findlay Guerin

Karina Hale (née Sobczyk)

Kate Hamer (née MacArthur)

Anthea Hicks-Beasant

Kathryn Holmes (née Mockett)

Lucy Hunt (née Claughton)

Lizzie Insall (née Brown)

Jen Jeffcoat-Marsh (née Marsh)

Chris Jeffryes

Karim Jetha

Khaled Khawaja

Jonny King

Tom Kinsley

Adam Lloyds

Shanil Patel

Sara Penn Williams (née Grey Williams)

Jonathan Riddick

James Rodwell

Claire Sansome

Helen Scott

Ellie Tadiello (née Lezcano)

Marcus Tadiello

Patrick Thompson

Richard Toogood

Oliver Vessey

Jo Vila (née Lupton)

Cate Walker (née Gregory)

Laura Warner (née Tod)

Adam Wilcox

Matt Woolcott

Jo Wright (née Brargioni)

Jules Yeomans (née Fitzgerald)

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Graham Burchnall (Hon)

Priscilla Chadwick (Hon)

Fred Charnock (Hon)

Chris Hayward (Hon)

George Mowbray (Hon)

Annick Mulcahy (Hon)

Chris Nicholls (Hon)

Martin Pett (Hon)

Vicky Rees (Hon)

Liz Roberts (Hon)

Richard Thompson (Hon)

Andrew Webb (Hon)

2012 Reunion

Niall Brogden

Grace Carroll

Ellie Casey

Flora Clarke

Nikki Corney

Loren Crick

Rumer Day

Amelia Deacon-Hunt

Steve Dight

Tom Egerton-King

Helena Ellis

Roseanna Fijalkauskiene-Cole

Holly Fraser

Rebecca Golder

Tassy Goodall

Sarah-Jane Grace

Alex Hamilton

Ashleigh Hancox

Gemma Hendriksen

Oliver Hopkins

Ben Hunt

Julian Iacoponi

Emily Mann

Polly Marchant

Samuel Marshall

Natasha Monson

Victoria O’Connor

Christy Oldfield

Nicky Peck

Nikolas Radakovic

Calum Ray

Sam Reevey

Jake Saller

Alice Sanders

Georgia Schon

Tom Smart

Matthew Staite

Adam Stephens

Libbie Trusselle

Alice Ward

Alexa Weir

Sarah Wiggill

Charlotte Wilkins

Alasdair Williams

Laura Williams

Rupert Woodley

David Wotherspoon

Alana Zukas

Fred Charnock (Hon)

Patrick Cowie (Hon)

Bob Newport (Hon)

Vicky Rees (Hon)

Andrew Webb (Hon)

Annual Dinner

Mynerva Altman (Bu ’56)

Timothy Auger (SJ ’65)

Catherine Barham (OS ’97)

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

Richard Case (Be ’79)

Priscilla Chadwick (Hon)

Natasha Charlton (NS ’86)

Sean Charlton (Ad ’85)

Fred Charnock (Hon)

Peter Clarke (Sw ’73)

Richard Cooper (Ad ’71)

Lisa Cooper (Guest)

Sarah Cox (Guest)

Adrian Davis (Hon)

John Douglas (Sw ’69)

Alison Eaton (Hon)

Charles Eaton (Hon)

Larry Eaton (Hon)

Colin Edwards (Hon)

Jennifer Edwards (Guest)

David Fletcher (Lo ’65)

Chris Fopp (Ad ’91)

Keith Goddard (Ad ’62)

Pat Goddard (Guest)

Alison Guthrie (Ho ’97)

Cathy Hastoy (’97)

Chris Hayward (Hon)

Helen Hilsden (Guest)

John Hilsden (Ad ’62)

Anne-Marie Horton (Guest)

Mike Horton (Sw ’64)

Anne Howick (née Miller, Bu ’70)

Keith Howick (Guest)

Nick Jeffrey (Co ’85)

Peter King (Co ’60)

Rosie King (née Wolstenholme, Ho ’60)

Lesley Koulouris (Hon)

Gavin Laws (Hon)

Julie Laws (Guest)

Nicholas Lockhart (Co ’68)

Keith Mans (Lo ’64)

Rosalie Mans (Guest)

Jane Markby (Hon)

Richard Marks (Up ’63)

Rita Marks (Guest)

Phil Marshall (Sw ’68)

Bret Matthews (Guest)

Richard McIlwaine (Hon)

Jane McIlwaine (Hon)

James Milne (Hon)

Jane Moore (Guest)

Dick Mowbray (Hon)

Chris Nicholls (Hon)

Sue Nicholls (Hon)

Robert Norris (Gr ’78)

Lynne Oppenheimer (Hon)

Cherry Ramseyer (OS ’70)

Vicky Rees (Hon)

Liz Richardson (Hon)

The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 79

David Richardson (Hon)

Martin Ridley (In ’73)

Melanie Ridley (Guest)

Liz Roberts (Hon)

Peter Rodwell (Fr ’74)

Sue Rodwell (née Collins, Ru ’76)

John Rush (Sw ’59)

David Stephenson (Hon)

Laura Thompson (Hon)

Richard Thompson (Hon)

Ed Waddleton (SJ ’68)

David Webb (Sw ’62)

Jan Webb (Guest)

Corinna Whitfield (née Drake, Sc ’70)

Derek Whitehead (Ad ’49)

Jean Wild (Hon)

Patricia Williamson (Guest)

Peter Williamson (Be ’66)

Robin Williamson (Be ’72)

Peter Willson (Co ’66)

Sue Wolstenholme (Ho ’58)

James Wylie (Fr ’93)

Chris Wynne (Co ’64)

Steak and Cheese Dinner

Margaret Aitchison (OS ’61)

Mark Ashby (SG ’99)

Richard Backhouse (Hon)

David Baggott (Sw ’63)

Jonathan Baggott (Sw ’72)

Andrew Bale (In ’75)

Fred Charnock (Hon)

Richard Cooper (Ad ’71)

Katy Craven (née Altman, Bu ’81)

Niall Davies (Re ’17)

Mike Horton (Sw ’64)

Remy Horton (Bu ’99)

Sarah Johnson (née Bowden, Ho ’79)

Peter King (Co ’60)

Ruairidh MacKenzie (Fr ’72)

Robert Norris (Gr ’78)

Charles Pipe (Na ’17)

Steven Roberts (Ad ’73)

Nick Shirley (Lo ’73)

Corinna Whitfield (née Drake, Sc ’68)

Peter Willson (Co ’66)

Whitehill Party 1961

1. Rob White (?)

2. John Hampshire

36. Mary Cowan

37. Elizabeth Fox (?)

38. Libby Hodder

39. Rosemary Clarke

40. Yvonne Caudrey

41. Alison Duff

42. Anne Pollock


JAD Memorial Service

Timothy Amsden (Ad ’69)

Michael Atkins (Be ’89)

Geoff Atkinson (Up ’69)

Jane Atkinson (née Harrison, Bu ’70)

Tim Atkinson (Up ’72)

Timothy Auger (SJ ’65)

10. Richard Kingston

11. Robert Pollock

Richard Backhouse (Hon)

Catherine Barham (née Williamson, OS ’97)

Martin Barratt (Fr ’70)

Catherine Barrett (Ch ’81)

Mike Bassett (Up ’69)

Mary Beard (Hon)

Andrew Blackwood (Family)

Nick Blackwood (Family)

John Bowen (Co ’81)

David Brookes (Guest)

Helen Brookes (Hon)

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

Richard Case (Be ’79)

Adrian Chant (Fr ’73)

Natasha Charlton (née Prior, NS ’86)

Sean Charlton (Ad ’85)

Fred Charnock (Hon)

Nigel Chiltern-Hunt (Be ’64)

Giles Clark (Be ’62)

Peter Clarke (Sw ’73)

Mark Cole (SG ’64)

Richard Cooper (Ad ’71)

Richard Coupe (Sw ’71)

Rob Courts (Fr ’97)

80 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2023
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Roger Hope 8. Sandra Kerr 9. John Pritchard 12. Fiona Plant (?) 13. 14. Elizaberh Honour 15. Mike Thomas 16. 17. Christopher Hawkings 18. 19. Jane Garnon Williams 20. Andrew Chinneck 21. 22. 23. Rose Kirkaldy 24. Chris Coulter 25. Nigel Snelson 26. Jeremy Hawkings 27. Chris Carter 28. Tim Hawkings 29. 30. Harry Mead (?) 31. Anne Dickensen 32. Anthony Theobald 33. 34. 35. Janet May

Sarah Cox (OB Administrator)

Jonathan Crabb (Sw ’91)

Alan Cummins (Lo ’61)

Will Dalton (Ha ’03)

Anne Davies (née Caudrey, Bu ’57)

Adrian Davis (Choirmaster (Hon))

James Davis (Sw ’91)

Nicholas Denton (Ad ’77)

Patrice Dixon (In ’69)

David Dodds (SJ ’65)

John Douglas (Sw ’69)

Anne Driver (Hon)

Jonty Driver (Hon)

Tamlyn Driver (Ho ’80)

Michael Dyer (Guest)

Alison Eaton (Guest)

Charles Eaton (Be ’88)

Emily Eaton (née Tyer, Bu ’09)

Lawrence Eaton (Ch ’09)

Victoria Eaton (SG ’07)

Colin Edwards (Hon)

Jennifer Edwards (Sc ’53)

Catherine Fidler (née Pearce, Ho ’81)

Raymond Finch (Sw ’89)

Peter Fincham (Gr ’92)

David Fletcher (Lo ’67)

Chris Fopp (Ad ’91)

Robert Freeman (Fr ’70)

Tom Garside (Sc ’88)

Keith Goddard (Ad ’62)

Pat Goddard (Guest)

William Gramolt (In ’64)

James Harper (Fr ’87)

Jane Harrison (Guest)

Martin Harrison (Sc ’77)

Michael Harrison (Sw ’60)

Tim Harrison (Gr ’80)

Peter Haslam (Up ’63)

Chris Hayward (Hon)

Michael Heafford (Guest)

Stuart Heenan (Be ’70)

Ian Henderson (Sw ’74)

Rowan Hill (Co ’70)

Colin Holloway (Sc ’83)

Rachel Holloway (née Phipps, Bu ’84)

Anne-Marie Horton (Guest)

Michael Horton (Sw ’64)

David How (Ad ’71)

Wendy How (Guest)

Anne Howick (née Miller, Bu ’70)

Keith Howick (Guest)

Mark Hudson (Sw ’90)

Chris Jany (Co ’76)

Nicholas Jeffrey (Co ’85)

Will Johnston (Sc ’88)

Stephen Jones (Ov ’47)

Rosie King (née Wolstenholme, Ho ’60)

Jim Kinloch (Ad ’80)

Christopher Knight (Gr ’87)

Lesley Koulouris (Hon)

Peter Lawson (Sw ’68)

Gillian Le Bargy (née Lancaster, Ho ’64)

Harry Le Bargy (Guest)

Serena Le Bargy (Guest)

Nick Lockhart (Co ’68)

Guy Loveridge (Fr ’88)

Julian Lyons (Sc ’77)

Keith Mans (Lo ’64)

Rosalie Mans (Guest)

Jane Markby (Hon)

Richard Marks (Up ’63)

Rita Marks (Guest)

Phil Marshall (Sw ’68)

Ben Massey (Sc ’96)

Jane McIlwaine (Hon)

Richard McIlwaine (Hon)

Jane Moore (Guest)

Roger Moorhouse (Gr ’87)

Andrew Morris (Up ’64)

Ashley Morrison (Be ’90)

Dick Mowbray (Hon)

Annick Mulcahy (Hon)

David Mullins (Sc ’77)

Richard Mumford (Sw ’67)

Chris Nicholls (Hon)

Andrew Nkere-Uwem (Ru ’13)

Brian Norris (Ad ’52)

Chris Norris (Gr ’86)

Heidi Norris (Guest)

Robert Norris (Gr ’78)

Lynne Oppenheimer (Hon)

Juliet Ormiston (Guest)

Nigel Ormiston (Hon)

Liz Pearce (Hon)

Stephen Pearce (Gr ’62)

Martin Pett (Hon)

Robert Pitman (Be ’90)

Rosemary Pitman (Guest)

Guy Pooley (In ’83)

Nick Prout (Co ’67)

Nigel Purse (Gr ’81)

Mike Rattee (Sw ’87)

Paul Raudnitz (Ad ’89)

Vicky Rees (Hon)

Dave Richardson (Hon)

Liz Richardson (Hon)

Martin Ridley (In ’73)

Melanie Ridley (Guest)

Liz Roberts (Hon)

Mark Robinson (Ad ’91)

Peter Rodwell (Fr ’74)

Sue Rodwell (née Collins, Ru ’76)

Philip Rule (Ad ’97)

John Rush (Sw ’59)

Jon Ryman (Gr ’87)

Alison Sanders (Guest)

Mark (first name “Tim”) Sanders (Gr ’83)

David Savage (Fr ’84)

Adam Savill (Gr ’83)

Rupert Seldon (Fr ’87)

Steve Shaw (Gr ’77)

Richard Simons (Ad ’70)

Michael Soole (Sw ’72)

Lucy Stanforth (Hon)

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Will Steel (Guest)

David Stephenson (Hon)

Nick Stevens (’02)

Richard Thompson (Hon)

Vincent Tsang (Sc ’96)

Mark Turner (Fr ’82)

Ed Waddleton (SJ ’68)

Simon Wade (Sw ’89)

David Webb (Sw ’62)

David Weston (In ’62)

Jean Wild (Hon)

Joanna Willcox (Bu ’71)

Iain Williams (In ’88)

Robert Williams (Sw ’76)

Peter Williamson (Be ’66)

Robin Williamson (Be ’72)

Peter Willson (Co ’66)

Matt Wilmore (Be ’76)

Sue Wolstenholme (Ho ’58)

Charles Wooler (Organist (Ch ’88))

Kit Wright (In ’62)

James Wylie (Fr ’93)

Richard Wylie (Co ’94)

Christopher Wynne (Sc ’96)

James Young (Gr ’91)

Mary Rose Farley Memorial Service

Mynerva Altman (Bu ’56)

Richard Backhouse (Hon)

Catherine Barham (née Williamson, OS ’80)

Sarah Barnett (née Merriman, Ru ’87)

Catherine Barrett (Ch ’82)

Jenny Brannock Jones (Hon)

Claire Brims (Family)

Evelyn Brown (Hon)

Margaret Burbidge (Hon)

Cortina Butler (Ho ’76)

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

Richard Case (Be ’79)

Natasha Charlton (née Prior, NS ’86)

Sarah Cox (TOB Office Assistant)

Naomi Coxwell (née Bateman, Ru ’81)

Alice Crawley (Family)

Felicity Crawley (Family)

Tom Crawley (Family)

Julia Dean (Ho ’78)

Josephine Farley (Family)

Lucy Gabb (Guest)

Julia Gamal El Deen (née Brown, Ho ’82)

Sally Ann Gordon (née Hill, Ho ’73)

Mary Henderson (née Struthers, OS ’73)

Susan Hollingdale (Bu ’78)

Belinda (Boo) Hopley (Ru ’81)

Katharine Horrocks (née Dean, Ho ’82)

Tessa Horton (OS ’1982)

Sarah Jackson (Ho ’1983)

Emma Jeffrey (née Fanning, Ru ’1981)

Liz Kentish (né Smyth, Bu ’1985)

Sarah Lindley (née Glover, NS ’1985)

Jane Markby (Hon)

Caroline Money (née Gordon, Ru ’1982)

Heidi Norris (Guest)

Helen O’Reilly (née Purdy, Bu ’1984)

Jane Pargeter (OS ’1980)

Lady Ann Parkinson (Family)

Caroline Pepper (née Thorp, Ru ’1982)

Vicky Rees (Hon)

Liz Richardson (Hon)

Oyinda Robinson (née Akin-Olugbemi, Ru ’1982)

Peter Rodwell (Fr ’1976)

Sue Rodwell (née Collins, Ru ’1976)

Kay Roudaut (née Warrington, Bu ’1971)

Carolyn Ryder (Hon)

Pat Seaman (Hon)

Vicky Shaw (NS ’1980)

Marion Smart (née Newlands, Ru ’1982)

Jenny Smith (Piano (Hon))

Tess Stobie (Family)

Antonia Storer (née Merriman, Ru ’1985)

Araba Taylor (Ru ’1982)

Emma Watson (As ’2005)

Jean Wild (Choirmaster (Hon))

Patrica Williamson (Guest)

Peter Williamson (Be ’1966)

Peter Willson (Co ’1966)

Sue Wolstenholme (Ho ’1958)

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From the Sports Secretary

A Warm Welcome (back!)

Hello again to all OBs from the Sports Secretary. After unprecedented times when, due to the pandemic, we had to stop sporting activity, start again, stop again etc., I am sure all sports clubs are looking forward to a year ahead of planning their fixtures and events without any issues. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it remains that way.

The magazine provides me with an opportunity to let you know that the OB Committee support a number of sports clubs and we would love for all OBs to get involved.

We have sports clubs that run activities over the academic year, with some providing regular competitive opportunities, to others organising a few key events. So whether you still want to run round a football pitch, miss the fives court, or want to feel a rifle in your hand again, please get in touch. Over the next few pages you will read about the activities that have taken place over the year, and some of the impressive results the teams have been achieving.

The magazine also provides me with an opportunity to thank the team of volunteers who

run the sports clubs. All captains are volunteers, who often organise their sports club activities while working full time, and they do a great job. They are often supported by a team of volunteers who are each responsible for tasks that help lighten the overall load. Without the volunteers, our sports clubs would not function so, as always, we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all who are involved in making the OB Sports Clubs such a success.

If you are reading this, but thinking your sport isn’t represented, then please get in touch. The OB Committee offer funding to help establish new clubs, and continued funding to support activities. We are also interested to hear from those of you who may be more inclined to the Arts rather than Sports. If you feel there is a need for a chess club, choral society or orchestral day, please let us know. We are happy to support but would just ask for help organising events. If you would like to get involved in a sports club or would like to set up a new club of any kind, then please contact me at

The ABC returns to Berkhamsted

The annual golf match between Berkhamsted and Aldenham Old Boys was held earlier in the year than usual, due to full diaries on both sides. The teams met at Ashridge Golf Club on a bright day in April, and it was gratifying to have a full side this year after a disappointing turn out in 2021. Before the match got under way, it was noted that it would be the eleventh time we had fought for the cup, with the score four all with two matches halved.

We welcomed society Captain, David Atkins (Be ’84), Mike Hodges (Co ’85) and Simon Doggett (Na ’99) to their first (and hopefully not last!) appearance in this match.

Messrs Atkins and Hodges led the way and, despite strong opposition, returned victorious winning 1 up. Colin McBride and Michael Webster (Be ’60) followed, and contrived, to secure a half on the 18th. They were followed by Michael Butler (Sw ’72) and Malcolm Hann (Up ’65), who appeared to have an easier time of things, recording a 3 and 2 success. Bringing up the rear were Simon Doggett

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and Peter King (hero of the 2021 match) who also came in with a 2 and 1 victory. The result made it five – four overall since 2011.

Thus, at a thoroughly enjoyable lunch with much good humour and badinage, Colin McBride was pleased to receive the cup from John Yule, Captain of the Old Aldenhamians. The match in 2023 is scheduled for 12th April and is to be held at Harewood Downs Golf Club, when I hope that we will, yet again, put out a strong side in our bid to retain the trophy. My thanks to all who took part.

Colin McBride (Ad ’65)

Mixed Golf

The annual mixed event for the OBGS and Tudor Rose Societies took place at Ashridge Golf Club on the 25th of July. There were some 16 golfers who played 18 holes, following an excellent two course lunch. The winners were Colin Buckle (Be ’53) and Angela Wallers (née Reddy, NS ’96) with a magnificent score of 53 points.

The runners up were Nick Hall (Ad ’62) and Marjorie Scott (Guest) with Jerry Duncombe (In ’78) and Sue Welch (Guest) taking third place. The individual lady winner was Sue Rodwell (née Collins, Ru ’76) with an excellent 40 points and the individual man was Michael Webster (Be ’60). Pictured are the golfers, plus others who attended evening drinks at the club, including Keith Goddard (Ad ’62), who brought a selection of the items he made from the gravel quad’s famous Acacia Tree. It was a very convivial and enjoyable event. The prizes were presented by Peter Willson (Co ’66), vice president of the OBs.

Peter King (Co ’60)

Cyril Gray

Worplesdon Golf Club, June 2022

Berkhamsted were represented by the following OB Golfers: Robbie MacDonald (In ’74), Mike Atkins (Be ’89), Jim Northway (Ad ’83), Mike Hodges (Co ’85), and debutants Glenn Barrington (Co ’86), David Atkins (Be ’84) and Mark Spooner (Fr ’90). The Senior Cyril Gray comprised of Michael Butler (Sw ’72) and Colin McBride (Ad ’65).

The Club (Worplesdon) hosted, for the first time, a superb dinner on the Wednesday night for many of the competitors from all the schools and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all there – so much so, that we are all sincerely hoping this will become a regular fixture!

Bright and Breezy Berkhamsted were off first on the Thursday, at 8.20am, against Wellingborough, and had won the match 2/1 before 11 am. Back the next day to face Blundell’s and, whilst we were more than capable of beating them, we didn’t and lost 3-0 – with all the matches going to the last couple of holes. Blundells went on to win the competition so we can take heart knowing that we came runners up – ish!

In the Senior Cyril Gray – we didn’t quite hit the heights of the previous year and could not record back-to-back wins but, again, we will be back to compete in 2023. I am now passing on the Captain’s baton to Mike Atkins, and wish him huge success – we should win the CG one day!

Robbie MacDonald (In ’74)

The Silver Tassie

On Monday 23rd May, the Berkhamsted team competed in The Silver Tassie – a ladies golf competition for alumnae of independent schools, who are also members of the Independent Schools Joint Council. The Silver Tassie was founded in 1961 by Gerty Hubbard, who wanted to create an event, similar to the Halford Hewitt, but for ladies.

The prestigious event was held on the idyllic greens of the picturesque Berkshire Golf Club

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and played over the Blue and Red Courses. The format of the competition was a ‘4BBB’ (handicap) over 18 holes, with a team of two pairs from each school taking part.

Berkhamsted were drawn to play St Felix School. Jackie Kershaw (née Welford, Bu ’81) and Lara Manton (née MacCrimmon, As ’08) played on the Blue Course, while Liz Selfe (née Agate, OS ’75) and Sue Rodwell (née Collins, Ru ’76) took on the Red Course.

The conditions on the day were perfect. The temperature was a very pleasant 20 degrees and the course was, as always, presented in excellent condition. While our pairs’ combined score of 74 stableford points was commendable, and secured Berkhamsted a position within the top half of the table, unfortunately it wasn’t quite high enough to put us amongst the prize winners. Ultimately, The Silver Tassie was won by Sherborne Girls School and the scratch prize (for the team with the best gross team score) went to Millfield School.

Jackie Kershaw (née Welford, Bu ’81)

Schools Putting Competition

The Old Berkhamstedians Golfing Society once again entered a team into the, ever popular, Public Schools Putting Competition, held at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, on 7th June. The OB team consisted of Michael Atkins (Be ’88), Adam Nodder (Na ’99), Toby Morris (Bu ’03) and Charlie Creasy (Ha ’11). Despite playing well, not quite enough putts were holed to make it through to The Finals, held the following week after the qualifying rounds. That said, the team did successfully qualify for next year’s Tournament.

Michael Atkins (Be ’89)

Tudor Rose Golf 2022

The ladies golfing section held their annual Tudor Rose golf day at Berkhamsted golf club, on 10th October 2022.

It was a lovely day. The continuous sunshine showed the course off at its best, with everyone commenting how good the greens were.

We were delighted to welcome three new recruits – and they rose to the challenge Berkhamsted presented. Unfortunately, two of our founders were unwell and unable to come.

The overall winner was Rowena Paxton (née Fletcher, Sc ’70) who last won the cup in 2010 closely followed by Hils Humphrey Baker (née Wright, Ch ’76) who won the salver.

Winner of the front nine was Helen Mines (née Jones, Ho ’73) and the winner of the back nine was Lindsay Fell (née Briscoe, OS ’76).

The day was rounded off by an excellent meal and the players were joined by some other ladies who came to meet up with old school friends.

Earlier in the year Liz Selfe (née Agate, OS ’75), Jackie Kershaw (née Welford, Bu ’81), Lina McKenna (née Hollis, OS ’78) and Lara MacCrimmon (As ’08) played in The Silver Tassie, which is held at the Berkshire Golf Club. The Silver Tassie is a ladies’ golf competition for alumnae of independent schools that are members of the Independent Schools Joint Council. The Berkhamsted team was in the top half of the results but sadly not in the prizes.

Alison Welborn (Harley, Bu ’76)

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Golf Match against Berkhamsted Golf Club

The last fixture of the year was the annual match against Berkhamsted Club. After the autumn rains, the course was pretty wet, so it was a “carry clubs” day. As always, the Club were extremely hospitable and it was a most enjoyable day, played in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately, we were not able to repeat the success of the last match and we lost this one 3.5 to 1.5.

Representing the OBGS were: Michael Atkins, David Atkins, Billy Atkins, Michael Butler, Matt Dennehy, Max Fox, James and Stuart Lyle, James Northway and Colin McBride.

Halford Hewitt Cup

Thursday 7th April to Sunday 10th April

The tournament returned to its normal early Spring date, for which the draw had condemned us to both start at Deal, for the fifth time in the last six years (and against another strong Scottish school, Watson’s), and to be in the first match out at 7.45 am.

Our prospects were not helped by forecasts of early morning gale force winds and driving rain, which brought little comfort to those squad members who had experienced drenching conditions for the afternoon practice round the previous day.

Fortunately, the rains quickly abated and gave way to unexpected blue skies as our new top pairing of Chris Mach and Bradley Hucker teed off into the face of a stiff wind. They were away to a solid start, narrowly missing a chance for a winning birdie at the opening hole, and had secured a one-hole advantage after the first short hole (4th), where everyone had difficulty holding the plateau green in the gale. Our next pair, Charlie Creasy and Matt McGrory, were also away well, holding a narrow lead at that point. Our fourth pair, Glenn Barrington, together with debutant Tom Irwin, appeared next, as they had played through the third match, having struck back from a missed short

putt at the first, with a conceded birdie following Tom’s fine approach to the 2nd. They were to fall behind at the 4th and began to struggle against strong opponents, who were proving adept at knocking difficult chips under the wind tight to the pins. Behind them came Adam Nodder and Ross Anderson, our 19th hole specialists, who were engaged in a tight game, in which they were also one up after the 4th, and Jim Northway partnering Mike McGrory, who had struggled to get going and were three down.

As the matches headed along the run of holes leading to the far end of the links, it quickly became clear to your correspondent and squad reserve, Michael Atkins, that the ever-rising wind, now gale force, favoured our opponents, as they used their Scottish links experience, incessantly, to get down in two on and around the exposed greens. By the halfway hut (reached a little early in the morning for fortifying refreshment), only Chris and Brad still held a one-hole lead, with Glenn and Tom having slipped five down and Jim and Mike, despite a run of pars, having made no headway.

As Charlie and Matt struggled to stay in touch around the far end loop of three holes, it became clear that we needed to press home our (now, two-hole advantage) in the top game. They mounted the 13th tee following Chris’ stout 10-foot putt, for a half saving par to remedy his partner’s “rush of blood” from a similar distance on the previous green. However, the momentum of the match appeared to change when, with the wind having turned 180 degrees on the turn for home, Chris’s all out drive soared over 300 yards into a fairway bunker. And, despite Brad’s well struck tee shot to the heart of the narrow ledged 14th green, Watson’s got down in two – from a seemingly impossible position above the green. With the Watson’s pair getting up and down at the next two holes, the tide had turned, and Chris and Brad finally succumbed to a match winning par on the 17th hole. A stout effort where they more than matched their opponents but were just outthought at a couple of crucial points in the climatic moments.

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(Co ’60)

Behind them, Glenn and Tom had already shaken hands on the 12th green and, with Charlie and Matt unable to make an impression on the deficit, they succumbed to defeat on the 16th green – meaning that the overall match was lost. Ross and Adam also fell disappointingly at the same green, having held a one up advantage after 12 holes, which left Jim and Mike to “agree” a half – despite still being three down.

With the match finishing just before 11.00 am, we had plenty of time to repair to the dining room at Royal St George’s for a sumptuous team lunch ahead of relaxing before our quest to win the Plate for first round losers at Prince’s.

The following morning the selectors chose to put their faith in youth as Brad, playing with Chris, hit the opening drive of the Plate against Downside into the heart of the fairway on a now windless links, at 7.45 am. Downside appeared to have a useful three pairs, including a former Maltese professional still playing off plus 2 handicap in the top match and, although Mike McGrory and Tom were soon well ahead at three up after 5 holes, there was little in it in the other two games initially. However, matters turned in our favour at the long par 5 8th hole in the bottom two games, and with a strong run of holes at the start of the second nine, Mike and Tom secured victory on the 14th green and were quickly followed by Charlie and Matt winning the third game on the 13th green. A whitewash of our opponents was completed with Brad and Chris’s 3&1 triumph on the 17th green.

That left a long wait to identify our opponents for the Second Round match at 1.15 pm, the same day, who eventually emerged in the shape of Bishop’s Stortford. It quickly transpired that their efforts to win their morning match, together with the aftereffects of a near all-night out in Canterbury, had left them with little energy to fight off a now surging Berkhamsted team as Chris and Brad and Mike and Tom romped to victory by 7&6 and 8&6, respectively, with Charlie and Matt also five up after 10 holes, when the match concluded.

We returned to Prince’s the next day for a midmorning quarter final match against Uppingham, with a Sunday semi-final match at Deal beckoning for the winners. This proved to be a gripping encounter, as Chris and Brad overcame a slow start to play sub-par golf to put themselves one up after 11 holes. Mike and Tom, in the second match, were just one down, as were Charlie and Matt, fighting back after losing the first five holes of their game. The loss of the par 5 12th hole by all three pairs seemed to stall our momentum. However, Chris and Brad responded by producing back-to-back birdies to win the 14th and 15th holes and, after narrowly missing a match winning birdie opportunity at the next hole, a stout par on the long par three 17th saw them secure victory. Sadly, Mike and Tom had succumbed to defeat and, despite getting their match back to one down on the 13th, Charlie and Matt were unable to make further inroads and eventually slipped to defeat on the 17th green. A well fought match played in an excellent spirit, and it eventually transpired that, after extra holes in both the semi-final and final matches, Uppingham emerged triumphant to win the Plate.

Grafton Morrish Tournament

Sunday 15th May

Our hopes to make a strong showing were literally “holed below the waterline” as a member of our six man team for the prequalifying round at Gog Magog, near Cambridge, suffered an irreparable puncture on his journey to the course. The combination of no spare wheel, an uncooperative rescue truck driver, and the selector’s failure to have a reserve on hand left the remaining two pairs with no chance to achieve a qualifying score.

However, lessons have been learnt! We have secured a move to Denham – a course much closer to home, more familiar to many of our squad (and where we can easily have a reserve on standby!) for next year’s prequalifying.

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OB Golfing Society

The Old Berkhamstedians Golfing Society is open to all OBs and staff of Berkhamsted School. We have a Spring Meeting, traditionally held at Berkhamsted GC, and an Autumn Meeting at Ashridge GC. Both are social events with as much focus on lunching well as playing well.

Throughout the year we have several friendly matches against other societies and local clubs. We also enter teams into a number of scratch competitions, including the Halford Hewitt, Grafton Morrish, Cyril Gray and Schools Putting Competition.

The Society is always keen to hear from new members, especially recent school leavers. For those under the age of 30 the society subsidises the cost of attending meetings by up to 50%.

If you would like more information, or would like to be added to our mailing list and receive a copy of the society diary, please email

New Captain

After three fantastic years, Mike Hodges’ (Co ’85) tenure as Captain has come to an end. We have all benefitted from Mike’s enthusiasm for the society and generosity at meetings. Playing off 3, Mike is without doubt one of the society’s most consistent golfers and is always in contention for every trophy.

David Atkins (Be ’84) has taken up the baton of captaincy and is well placed to continue Mike’s hard work. David’s first duty as captain was to present Mike with a small token of thanks from the society.

OBGS Spring Meeting

Berkhamsted Golf Club, 19th May 2022

As we gathered in the clubhouse at Berkhamsted, our first visit since 2019, we were delighted to welcome Duncan Smith (Be ’84) and Anthony Tabor (Gr ’86) for their first outings with the society. We were also joined by Patrick Gallagher

over from Australia and John Struthers (Be ’66) who had recently been elected captain of North Middlesex GC.

Berkhamsted is always a tough challenge with gorse lined fairways favouring those who are accurate off the tee. The competition for The Captain’s Bucket (awarded to the best scratch score) was tightly contested between the two bookies’ favourites of Mike Hodges (Co ’85) and James Lyle (SJ ’05). Mike’s wonderful round of 75 (4 over gross) just pipped James, who finished with a 77 – no doubt rueing his run of bogeys around the turn.

Mike’s round of 75 gave him a stableford score of 37, the best of the day, but sadly you can only win one trophy and the beneficiary of this rule was Matthew Dennehy (Ch ’05) who took home the Headmaster’s Cup after beating David Atkins and James Lyle on count back.

In the Keeling Cup, scores from members over the age of 65 are adjusted to reflect their seniority. As so often seems to be the way Peter King (Co ’60) returned a fabulous adjusted score of 39 points to once again win the cup, Bill Lees (Fr ’67) came a close second with a score of 37.

In the afternoon 9 holes foursomes John Struthers and Malcolm Fullard (Ad ’64) thought they had done enough to take home the Baron’s Tankards with a very good score of 20 points. However, there was to be heartache as they watched James Lyle and Peter King make a birdie on the last for an unbelievable score of 25 points (1 over gross).

Whilst the course got the better of some, all agreed in was a lovely day.

OBGS Summer Meeting Denham Golf Club, 7th July 2022

Following the success of last year’s hastily arranged meeting at Denham, it was decided to have an additional meeting there this year. As we arrived at the club the effects of the hot weather were clear to see, with the fairways taking on a slight hint of links golf. Mercifully, there was a cool breeze in the morning which meant the factor 50 could be left in the bags for a little while longer.

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As we prepared ourselves for the challenge ahead, we were thrilled to welcome for the first time Archie Palmer (’21), Oli Holdroyd (Re ’16) and Max Binnington (’21). The standard of golf was much higher this year compared with our visit last year which was, for many, their first time at Denham. Neil Aitchison and Colin Buckle both had great rounds, returning scores of 37 points each, meaning count back was required to decide the winner. As everyone tucked into a Pimm’s on the terrace, the secretary was looking concerned at the prospect of having to decipher both players cards, which bore more resemblance to Egyptian hieroglyphs. After a short delay, it was evident that the winner was Neil who took home an OBGS tankard and golf balls.

In the afternoon, a number of players headed back out onto the course for some friendly foursomes; in truth my recollection of events is quite hazy, no doubt the result of a wonderful lunch, but the results sheet says that the winners were Matthew Dennehy and Mike Hodges.

As always Denham’s hospitality is second to none and was appreciated by all. This early July fixture proved especially useful as a warm up for our match against Denham later in the month.

OBGS Autumn Meeting Ashridge Golf Club, 28th September 2022

With only 18 players in attendance at Ashridge, our lowest turnout of the year, it was clear that the enforced move to a midweek date was not popular with members – please note that a Friday has been booked for 2023.

The view from the Ashridge balcony was as pretty as ever, with the effects of the hot summer almost impossible to spot. The main prize for the day was the Bobby Furber Salver, which is awarded to the best stableford score for players with a handicap of 18 or lower.

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The greens were soft and very receptive from overnight rain, and this proved crucial to a field that may have been small but was packed full of quality. Michael Butler was the early clubhouse leader with 40 points, although he didn’t feel that would be enough to take the prize. His fears were proved correct as David Atkins returned a score of 41 before his playing partner, Matthew Dennehy, came in with a truly outrageous 44 points. It wasn’t all bad news for Mike who took home the Veterans

Cup. John Struthers was the clear winner of the Captains Cup, which is awarded to players with handicaps greater than 18.

The afternoon fixtures got off to a rocky start when two OBGS members twice managed to hit shots at the group in front. With no harm done, it was James Lyle and John Struthers who combined youth and experience to great effect, returning a score of 22 points to take home the Cork Cups.

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Dennehy (Ch ’05)

OBGS v Denham

Denham, 23rd July 2022

With Berkhamsted having won this fixture for the past 3 years, Denham brought the great and the good to this epic affair. As Robbie MacDonald announced the pairings to an enthralled crowd, we all braced ourselves for what is always a great day of 36 holes of foursomes.

Heading into lunch, Berkhamsted held the slenderest of leads, 3 to 2. As always, the lunch at Denham was fantastic, but it was noticeable that the Denham boys were taking things easy, perhaps remembering that more often than not the afternoon matches have been their downfall in previous years.

Sadly for Denham, this new approach didn’t do the trick, with Berkhamsted winning the afternoon 3 to 1, and winning the day 6 to 3.

As always, our thanks go to Denham for hosting us on a Saturday and looking after us so well. This match is always a highlight of the golfing year for those involved.

Match v Old Cholmeleains

Saturday 15th October

Our annual match at Ashridge, where we were set to defend the Spooner Salver, had to be delayed for a week to accommodate a change in the Club’s fixtures, as a result of the Queen’s passing. This left both sides scrambling to produce full teams, and the OCs were further handicapped when one of their team members withdrew late, the night before the match. Thankfully, this proved to only be a minor inconvenience as we quickly agreed terms on which an OB pair would play an OC singleton.

After heavy overnight rain we teed off for the morning round, into a blinding Autumn sun, detecting our drives on the opening holes from the furrows ploughed into the heavy morning dew. The OC’s efforts proved to be straighter, and

they maintained that momentum to hold their customary lead at halfway, this time with just a one game advantage.

A traditional steak and ale pie, plus treacle sponge, lunch washed down with fine wines generously provided by Colin McBride, to mark an unmentioned year’s birthday, fortified us for the afternoon round. For the nth time in recent years, a Bacchus inspired OB team rallied to secure a hard-fought overall draw so that the Society’s name could once again be engraved on the Salver.

Sailing Weekend

14th Friday – Crews assembled

Following an excellent spag bol, and having completed their provisioning/depleting the supplies of select items, the newly bonded crew of the Blue Otter ventured over to one of the two other OB sailing crafts. They were met with great hospitality by the other OBs and further provisions were depleted.

15th Saturday – Hamble to Gosport to Cowes

Some strong winds in the channel. We got under way with 2 reefs in the main and quickly

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determined that the third reef would be necessary to balance the vessel, and allow steerage on the helm. Out on the water our more experienced sailors were able to share knowledge and coach others, with everyone free to do as much or as little as they preferred. Aboard Blue Otter, the crew were without a couple of members for some of the day as the social efforts of the night before and the choppy seas combined poorly.

Some technical issues with the foresail saw the Blue Otter, which had completed the most sailing of the three boats, motor into Cowes. Now rafted up to the other OB vessels, the crew were able to set about provisioning and repairing the foresail, with the charter company staff ascending the rigging (to discover an over tighten halyard from the previous charter).

Crews enjoyed a group meal at a local pub sharing tales of sailing and Berkhamsted School.

16th Sunday – Cowes to Hamble – Disperse

Woken promptly by the Red Star Ferries, Blue Otter enjoyed some scrambled eggs while capturing drone footage of the OB fleet.

What a difference a day makes! With a full complement of crew available, and next to no wind about, we were able to punch the tide and effect a crossing from Cowes to the hamble without beaching on a sandbank or using the motor. Having moored on a buoy for lunch we sailed up the hamble now aided by the tide.

Old Berkhamstedians Rifle Club Report

The club gained three new members; Ollie Biddle (Bu ’19), Tom O’Connor (Na ’20) and Ben Gill (Na ’20), as well as re-joining member; Richard Berkley (In ’77).

The year started with the Herts Club Championship where the team scored 520 x 600 with special mention to Bruce Winney (Sw ’89) who got 99.11 x 100.20.

We then went on to the Astor Cup where the team came third with 589 x 630 with Bruce Winney and Bob Sampson (Sc ’95) tying for first place with 103.9 (max 105.21) and Ollie shooting a very good 101.3.

We were able to enter two full teams into the Ashburton School Veterans competition and everyone had a pleasant evening at Bisley, where afterwards we held the AGM and a BBQ.

During the season, Bruce Winney was selected to be a wind coach and Bob Sampson was selected as a shooter for the Hertfordshire team.

We also had couple of more relaxed social shoots where members were able to use gallery rifles, carbines and pistols.

David Pooley (In ’81)

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A social and fun weekend, open and accessible to all experience levels. Mike Petrie (Sc ’08) From left to right: Phil Wilcockson (Ad ’62), Chris Fopp (Ad ’91), Bruce Winney (Sw ’89), David Pooley (In ’81), Bob Sampson (Sc ’95), David Winney (Sw ’82), Mr and Mrs Barry Thomson (Co ’61), Ollie Biddle (Bu ’19), Ben Gill (Na ’20), Ian Halsey (Ad ’60) and Richard Berkley (In ’77). Photo taken by Giles Blumsom (Be ’78)

OBFC 2021-22 Season Summary

After a truncated 2020-21 season caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was extremely refreshing to get through a full season in 2021-22.

For Old Berkhamstedians FC First XI, last year was a transitional one. With many long-standing members ‘retiring’ (see also: falling apart, getting married or starting families), it was time for the next generation of young stars to shine. And so, flush with a huge transfer war chest, the summer recruitment drive spun into overdrive.

The season started brightly, with a 2-1 opening day win against Old Salopians. Wins against Malvern, Rugby and Old Marlburians followed – the latter a famous 3-1 away win courtesy of a Matthew McGrory hat-trick – and by early November, OBFC found themselves in the promotion places.

against Malvern in late February, ensured their survival in Division 1 (think The Championship) for another year, but the fact remained that OBFC won 92% of their total points tally in 2021.

Rumours of a strict crackdown on Christmas diets are unconfirmed.

Berkhamsted’s second team enjoyed an incredible 2021-22 season, losing just once en route to romping Division 5. Captain Joel Wren and his troops finished with 11 wins from their 14 games, topping the league by 5 points.

They had the division’s best goal difference – scoring the second most and conceding the fewest, the latter thanks to some spectacular goalkeeping from veteran Matti Nash – and looked a cut above most teams throughout the year, particularly during a heady spell of 8 wins in a row between October and January.

“You can’t win

anything with kids.” Yeah,

right. But how quickly things can change in The Arthurian Division. The congested Festive Fixture Schedule, combined with a few key injuries, saw OBFC go on a winless run in early 2022, slowly slipping down the table. A frantic end-to-end 3-3 draw at home

Their promotion came courtesy of the playoffs,first , by defeating Haberdashers in the semi-final before a come-from-behind victory in the final against Old Amplefordians.

For 2022-23, Division 4 awaits.

Oliver Hopkins (Ha ’12)

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2022 Derek Whitehead (Adders 1949) Cup

Last Sunday saw the 7th annual Derek Whitehead Cup. A tournament, for those who are unfamiliar, where Old Berkhamstedians and teachers are paired up with some of the younger students in the Senior school. Thirteen pairs entered, a slightly smaller field than previous years, but this was compensated well on the day by the depth and strength of the competition!

The group stage involved two pools of 6 and 7, playing to 8 & 6, respectively, the top four pairs qualifying for the quarter finals. Special mention

goes to OB Chris Eaton who stepped in at the last minute to partner his son. Whilst many years had passed since last donning the gloves, Chris’ instincts remained sharp as he fought valiantly for every point. Time constraints due to our late substitution led to some games in Pool B playing to 7.

This leads us on to seeded quarter finals, where 1st seeds would have afforded themselves an easier path to the final games – or so we thought! Only upon reflecting on the results since Sunday have I realised a clear dominance of one Pool over the other – in every match-up, pairs from pool B came out victorious! A particular mention goes to Gibbons & James B, who, qualifying last in their group, must have found several new gears after fuelling themselves on the delicious barbeque. A word of thanks must go to Ashley and the catering team for their help on Sunday.

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Approaching the Semi-finals, we now had an exciting mix of pairs:

Ms Gibbons & James B – James, being a defending champion from 2021

Richard Dennis & Charles A-B – Richard, winner from 2018, being the most experienced player in the tournament

Aswhin K & Jack M – Aswhin, being a current Year 13 and newly appointed School Captain

Jack Pemberton & Leo H – Jack, ex-School Captain, now Old Berkhamstedian

The first semi-final was a nail-biter. Speaking to Jack Pemberton after his match, he complimented Miss Gibbons’ “darts” into the buttress and James’ ever improving reading of the game. The second semi-final saw a mix of styles, but the Charles & Richard pairings’ court-craft came through to complete our draw: Gibbons & James vs Dennis & Charles.

Interestingly, as well as James B being a previous winner, Richard Dennis had his share of success at this tournament, winning in 2018 and losing out to James, who won the 2021 tournament. Could this be the start of a rivalry for the ages?

Elsewhere in the tournament, our plate matches came to a close after a round-robin of our unqualified pairs. Success came to Ashley Hornsey (OB), & Billy N, who managed to fend off all other competition.

The final was a ‘best of three’ format to 12. Mr Foster spoke highly of the battle between the two pairs, but the clearest figure in the fog of war was that of Richard Dennis. His experience and placement were too much for Gibbons & James. The strength of cutting kept Dennis & Charles on the back foot and, in the end, allowed them to succeed in two games.

My thanks to Derek Whitehead for his time and presence. It was great to hear a small portion of his experience and memories of Berkhamsted Fives. Thanks also to Anthony Theodossi for organising the event and all those who came to play and support. I look forward to seeing you all next year.

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Cup Finalists (left to right): Derek Whitehead, James B, Charles A-B, Richard Dennis (Be ’74), Maddi Gibbons Cup Winners (left to right): Derek Whitehead, Charles A-B, Richard Dennis (Be ’74) Plate Winners (left to right): Billy N, Ashley Hornsey (Bu ’20), Derek Whitehead

Eton Fives Club

Berkhamsted Fives had a season to be proud of on the whole. 2021/22 saw the OBs take on League 2 under new captaincy, with Andrew Joyce moving to Singapore shortly after the season began. Nonetheless, the OBs performed admirably despite the loss of a leading player. Out of a league of 11 teams, the OBs finished a respectable 6th at the final tally. Special mention must go to the core set of regulars: Jack Pemberton (’22), Charlie Nicholls (Ch ’17), Chris Davey (Staff) and Will Roen-Tate (Gr ’15) – an excellent display of commitment all round. And in equal measure, in a real sign of how far and wide Berkhamsted Fives has spread in recent times, a huge thanks also belongs to the many players who offered their services to the squad (sometimes at very late notice and travelling all the way from Oxford University!).

The Barber Cup was cut short for the team this season, as unfortunate timing and circumstance led to a forced forfeit in the early rounds. We are looking to re-group and be back stronger for next season!

A real highlight of the season came at the Midlands Tournament, where ringleader Ant Theodossi (Staff)summoned the troops (and a minibus) to take a record number of pairs up to Repton School in Derby. These included old school stalwart pairs like Alex Rattan (SG ’11) & James Holroyd (SG ’11) (respectable run to the main quarter finals), young up and coming stars like Jack Pemberton, who paired with coach Chris Davey to the semi-finals. But also, a wealth of players that have honed their skills at the now infamous ‘Tuesday Night Club’ at the Castle site Fives courts. Having that thriving community together at a tournament like the Midlands was a real highlight in the Berkhamsted Fives calendar. There were lots of other individual successes from a number of OBs as well across the year. At the U21s Tournament, Freya Butler (Sc ’19) won the Ladies Competition; she then had further success winning the Ladies Universities Competition under the Oxford University banner, where she is studying and is Captain of the Ladies Team there. At the London Tournament at Highgate, Charlie Nicholls reached the quarterfinals before losing

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out to the eventual winners. In the Turnbull Trophy (OB & School Pupil Tournament), Alex Rattan & Jack Pemberton reached the semi-finals. Jack Pemberton had further success reaching the final of the U25s Tournament.

The end of season EFA Dinner also saw more success with Berkhamsted seeing five nominations in the End of Season Awards. These included Coach of the Year with nominations for OB Oliver O’Gorman (Ha ’12) and Berkhamsted Coach Anthony Theodossi, Young Player of the Year for Freya Butler and Y13 pupil Bethan Miles (’22), and finally Berkhamsted School as Team of the Year.

The season rounded off with a thank you and farewell to Berkhamsted School MiC Martin Pett, who has not only done so much for the School Fives, but for the OB Programme as well. With his English books and marking of papers behind him, we hope he will find even more time to get on court with us next season. Thank you, Mr Pett (Hon).

Going into 2022/23, I’m pleased to announce a return to League 1. The return of Messrs Theodossi, Perrie, Foster and Campbell, the experience gained from recent seasons in League 2, and the presence of talented youngsters with adult Fives experience ensures a competitive season lies ahead. The future is bright.

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Old Berkhamstedians Cricket fixture vs School 1st X

In a time when Covid 19 seemed to be stopping everything in its tracks, it was something else that put a stop to completing the OBs fixture this year; the old foe that is the English Weather.

The OBs had assembled what was a rather talented squad, and one that really could have challenged the school 1st XI for the first time in a while. The OBs did manage to get their innings in however, before the rain came down, posting a rather modest total of 118-5 (Sam Masters 8, Jack Fosberry 15, Charlie Nicholls 11, Toby Lazeris 31, Milo Skelton 16, Lawrence Snookes 18* and Josh Barton 6*).

This, however, did not worry the OBs, who had brought along with them one of their strongest bowling attacks – it’s just a shame we never got to see them in action!

Rain stopped play after lunch and the match was abandoned. Spirits were still high as the OBs and 1st XI ended up playing their own mini game while the rain came down on the outfield – all finished off by what turned into a rather competitive training session from Mr Campbell with both squads!

Old Girls Retain the Tucker Cup!

Old Girls Tennis Match vs The School

April 29th 2022

We are delighted to report that, after two years of Covid-cancelled matches, we were able to resurrect our annual Old Girls Ladies Tennis Match vs the School on Friday 29th April. We enjoyed dry weather and a great turnout.

Very fortunate to have 3 old girls in the School Sports Department… huge thanks must go to Head of Department Jo Vila (née Lupton, Bu ’02) and to Emma Turner (Ch ’09) for making sure that we got this event back up and running, and to Caroline Spooner, (Ho ’91) for ensuring that a lovely tea of sandwiches and scones was laid on courtside to sustain both players and spectators.

Playing to the usual format, the School and Old Girls presented 6 pairs each, forming “A” and “B” teams of 3 pairs. We were delighted to welcome Emma Savage and Sofia Wise who represented the Old Girls for the first time (last time we played they represented the school!), Alison Welborn (née Harley, Bu ’76) and Sarah Beaman (née Stoddart, Ho ’94) resurrected their partnership of old. Anna Loda (née Green, Ho ’84) and Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80), Natasha Hathaway (née Bottrill, Bu ’89) and Caroline Spooner (née Kingston, Ho ’91), Gillian Baxter (née Hewitt, Ha ’82) and Tanya Hart (née Altman, Bu ’81), Emma Turner (Ch ’09), Jo Vila (née Lupton, Bu ’02), Hilary Hartley (Hon) and Eleanor Keohane (née King, Sc ’90), made up our other pairings.

OBs Squad: Josh Barton (Sp ’19), Larry Eaton (Ch ’09), Jack Fosberry (Re ’16), Toby Lazeris (Sc ’20), Charlie Nicholls (Ch ’17), Sam Masters (Ch ’14), Anna Nicholls (Ch ’16), Xavier Owen (Sc ’15), Robert Skelton (Milo) (Ch ’17), Lawrence Snookes (Na ’19) and Jamie Woodley (Sp ’18).

Larry Eaton (Ch ’09)

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There were some close fought matches, especially for the “A” team. Millie Day and Ellie Mathews, who played first couple for the school, were unbeaten. But the solid talent of the OB squad proved too strong for the girls’ teams overall. Several came to watch the match which resulted in an overall win for the Old Girls with a score of 12-5.

Many thanks to all who played and special thanks to Sue Wolstenholme (Ho ’58) for keeping the scores and for presenting the cup.

Representing the School were: Millie Day & Ellie Mathews, Helena Ullyatt & Georgie Hughes, Roxey Hobbs & Sofia Kearns, Molly Kennedy & Ashley Diaz-Stevens, Eliza Atkins & Lola Hannah, Claudia Masters-Stevens & Sasha Hawksworth.

Any tennis players out there who would like to play in any of our future events, please do not hesitate to get in touch either via our club link (Ladies Tennis) on the OB Connections website, by contacting the OB office or by contacting Penny Kent or myself directly.

We would also be delighted to set up an Old Boys tennis team – so again – if there are any players who would like to play OB tennis, please contact Vicky or Sarah in the office.

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80)

OB Tennis on OB Sports Day Event

July 3rd 2022

On Sunday 3rd July we were delighted to welcome back OBs for a great day of tennis, cricket, food and drink. Our tennis players took to the courts in the blistering morning sunshine for some doubles and mixed doubles social games, before joining the cricketers, spectators and staff up at Chesham Fields for a fantastic BBQ lunch. Much fun was had by all, and it was so good to be able get together, enjoying the summer sunshine, in this way again.

OB’s taking part in the tennis: Susie Carpenter (née Robinson, OS ’64); Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ’80); Eleanor Keohane (née King, Sc ’90); Charlotte Venturini (née May, NS ’92); Emma Butcher (Ha ’99); Rosie Case (Ch ’20) and Lucas Golding (SG ’19).

Brigitta Case (née Norris, NS ‘80)

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Hares Netball Club

The Old Berkhamstedians’ Hares Netball Club is a friendly and competitive Club that train on a Tuesday night at the Knox-Johnston Centre in Berkhamsted, 7.30-9.00. We have 3 teams, coached by Berkhamsted School’s very own ex-Surrey Storm Superleague player, Dani Wates(!) that compete in the top 3 Divisions, in the Aylesbury District Netball League, on a Wednesday night. Since Dani started coaching, the club has gone from strength to strength, resulting in all our squads getting promotions in the last two seasons.

Last year was the first season the club had a team competing in the top division, the Premier Division. The OB Blacks finished mid table, a respectable place for their first season in Prem! This 22/23 season, which has only just begun, the team are looking to build on the successes

of the previous, hopefully securing a higher placer in the league table.

Our OB Green team were also promoted into Division 1 last season and finished a super 3rd place; another great record to follow on, and improve upon, this season.

Finally, in 21/22, our OB Purples came a fantastic second place, resulting in their promotion to Division 2 for the 22/23 season.

Whilst we’re a competitive club, we also love a social. If you would like to join a netball club with a balance of fun and competition, look no further, as we’re always open to new players!

You can see more of what we get up to on our Instagram account @haresnetball and, if that piques your curiosity and you think you could be interested to join in the fun, please email us at

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Costa Rica

I travelled to Costa Rica on the 15th of July and arrived in San Jose on the 16th of July, where we stayed for one night. There were 12 of us in total, 3 boys and 9 girls, 3 from Canada, 2 from America, 6 living in England (2 of which were French) and 1 living in Dubai (but was French).

After leaving San Jose we had a 3-hour journey to Siquirres where we stayed in a hotel. We did the majority of our volunteering during the first week. We travelled to a primary school, in a remote town, about an hour from the hotel and, once we arrived, we promptly got started on our main job – helping to paint the school. The school had not been painted since it was first built, so we painted walls, windows, and a football stand. We also got time to play games with the local children and met some girls who had started their own business of selling soaps and candles to help pay for university fees.

We continued to help paint the school for the first week and then went back to the hotel and discussed how the day went and played games. Myself and another one of the guys wanted to play pool, but some other people were using it, and we didn’t speak Spanish, so we used google translate and asked if we could play next. They used Google Translate to respond, asking if we wanted to play against them – which we did. A few nights later we saw one of the guys again when in town and managed to get a photo.

We went into the town of Siquirres for dinner most nights. My favourite meal when I was in Siquirres was when we went to the guide’s friend’s house and we got a homemade meal which included, chicken, yucca, friend plantain, green beans, and Caribbean sauce. The most common food was definitely rice and beans, which was surprisngly tasty.

The second week was the activity week. We moved hotels and stayed in lodges next to a river in the town of Jimenez. We were a 10-minute drive from the town, which is where we started our days, meeting to discuss what the plans were. Unfortunately, it was during this week that one of the guys got a bacterial infection, so he missed out on a lot of the activities – which brought our group number down to 11.

We travelled to a waterfall and ziplining centre where we all took part, although some where terrified of heights. We also went on a waterfall hike and managed to go swimming as the weather was beautiful. We all took part in cooking,

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painting, and dancing classes and these were great fun as everyone got involved and managed to learn some things at the same time.

After 3 days staying in the lodges, the next stop was a campsite which we rafted to in teams of two boats. It took about 2 hours to get to the campsite and, once we arrived, we were assigned tent pairings and got to explore the area. We helped to cook dinner whilst there and built a fire at the beach next to the river. We camped for 2 days and on the second day we rafted further down the river back to Siquirres, where we stayed the first week. This time the rafting was a bit longer, taking us 3 hours in total. Once we arrived, we met up with the ill person and all ate lunch together.

We then travelled back to San Jose for our last night, where we stayed in a hostel, played games together, and all ate pizza. The Canadians were the first to leave the next morning and then it was the people flying back to London. I travelled to the airport with 2 others, although we were on separate flights, so we said out goodbyes and I boarded the plane.

Costa Rica was not my first choice of trips, as I had originally planned to go to Nepal but couldn’t due to a lack of numbers, but it all worked out

for the best because I couldn’t have wished for a better place to go.

This trip has been an experience of a lifetime and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. I am extremely grateful to The Old Berkhamstedians for giving me this opportunity as, without the travel grant, I would not have had the chance to experience what I did. This trip has showed me that I want to travel and explore the world a lot more because there is so much to learn from just witnessing other cultures and how the world works. I hope to stay in contact with everyone from the trip and the plan is to do a reunion at some point next year if possible.

Pura Vida.

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Croatia the other 10 people on the same course as us. They all came from different parts of the world, and it was a great opportunity to meet people from other cultures and find out about their lives. The day after, we headed to the dive centre, where we were taught to dive, and then went to help pick up rubbish off the sea floor. From Tuesday to Friday, we were out at sea for roughly 3-5 hours. Our big group on the trip helped pick up roughly 8 kilograms of waste a day!!

For the travel grant trip, a few of my friends and I decided to go to Omis, Croatia. After doing a bit of research on how we could help out with the environment, we found a volunteer group called IVHQ. After getting in contact with them, we quickly decided that this trip would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and started to plan the trip. After a few organisational hiccups between the group, we sorted the trip and were ready for the interview. We had planned out our answers to possible questions and sat waiting anxiously outside the room. After the interview, there was a short waiting time until we heard the news that we were granted a very generous amount to fund our trip.

On arrival at the airport, the group met up and headed to Leon for an early breakfast. We then made our way to the gate, waiting patiently but eager to get started. We boarded the plane and flew into Spilt. After landing, we met a volunteer and they took us to the hostel within Spilt where we met one of the heads of the program. From there, we walked into the centre of Split and had an amazing tour around an old Roman palace, owned by Emperor Diocletian. After the tour, we quickly exchanged our money for the Croatian Kuna and then went to a small restaurant to have a drink in the harbour. We then got the bus over to Omis to start our experience. This Bus journey made us embrace the ‘Balkan way’ where what happens, happens and patience is important.

After arriving at Omis, we quickly put our bags in the hostel and made the short walk over to the restaurant area where we ate. We then met with

Each night was a different experience, as we did different activities. One particularly memorable night was when we travelled to the end of the pier and climbed to the top. The sight of the coastline lit up with lights, and the feeling of vibrant energy bouncing from the inland areas, was spectacular. We then headed off to the crepe place with everyone. After a long night, going into the early morning, we packed up and began saying goodbye to head to the airport.

After a stressful ride back to Split airport, we checked in and headed through security. To our delight, there appeared to be no restaurant to eat in at the terminal as we had mistakenly gone through security too early and missed the restaurants, which were looming above us through a large glass window over our gates. Eventually, we piled onto our flight, disappointed to leave the friends we made behind.

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My trip to Montpellier in France was one of the best experiences. Going to another country with a friend for 3 weeks and not knowing anyone was so daunting to me, but once I met my host family, a lady called Nicole, I felt so at home and comfortable. The city itself was so beautiful and the architecture was so traditional. It was the perfect place to have chosen as everything was in walking distance and the people were so friendly.

On the weekdays I went to a language school where I was put in a class with students who were also at the same level. I was the youngest

It was truly an amazing trip which has given us memories for a lifetime, and which we have learnt a lot from. For example, we are now confident that we would be able to learn under difficult circumstances e.g. where instructors may not speak a similar language. We have also learnt how to trust one another… 10 metres underwater, whilst doing drills!

And finally, we have learnt how to build connections with those from different countries, by embracing their traditions to find common ground. These relationships and skills will hopefully be very useful in the future as we look to build our networks.

in the class but managed to make lots of friends. In the afternoons I did work experience. I began with working at a hotel where I expected to learn a lot of French by communicating with guests however, I ended up not using much French at all. So, I requested to change job with the company I booked with and they found me a local café. It was so much better as I spoke with the people I worked with, and I took the orders of every customer to improve my French. As well as enjoying some of their homemade patisserie products.

The weekends were some of the most fun days for me. Along with some of the friends I made at school, I went to the local beach by taking the

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Archie Margrave, Charlie Parsons, James Boylan, Louis Mackenzie

tram and bus which was quite confusing. We also went out in the evenings and had dinner together. It was a very social experience and I built up a lot of confidence when meeting new people.

I wanted to do this trip to not only improve my French but to give me a lot more independence, which I definitely got. It helped me realise I would love to study or even live in another country one day. I gained so much confidence in speaking French and hopefully this will be noticeable when I return to school. I am really grateful to the OBs since it was such a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to return someday soon.



On the 29th of August at 2:55 in the morning, the five of us jumped into a taxi and headed off to London Luton Airport. We got there early for our flight, so checking in our baggage and getting through security took no time. We then flew off to Keflavik.

Once we arrived in Keflavik, we found a taxi to take us to Grindavik. We quickly found out that the people of Iceland were impossible not to have a conversation with; our taxi driver was incredibly nice and we quickly started chatting

about the formation of the Reykjanes Peninsula, which consists of land formed solely by volcanoes and some of the newest ground on earth at less than 1000 years old. We were dropped off at 10:00 outside our guesthouse which we would be staying at for the next 6 nights. It was cold and wet, and Omar (on 0 hours of sleep) immediately fell asleep on the pavement outside. We rang the guesthouse manager Einar who, even though we were 5 hours early to check-in, was kind enough to let us store our bags in one of the spare rooms.

With our bags all safely squared away, we ventured off to explore Grindavik. We found a local park with a giant inbuilt trampoline which

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kept us occupied for hours. We were lucky enough to be allowed into our room at the Reykjanes Guesthouse 3 hours before check-in and we quickly clambered onto our beds for a quick (4 hour) nap due to being worn out because of the early morning flight.

Later, we found a local Geothermal pool, which we would find out was not unique to Grindavik; in fact, every town in Iceland has one. It had 2 different sections, with the heat of the water going all the way up to 42 degrees Celsius. The heat was drawn from around 2 kilometres below the Earth’s surface.


The next morning we were up bright and early to the sound of intense wind and rain. Not wanting to brave the elements, Ollie, Omar, and Tom made the wise decision to stay indoors. The same cannot be said for Freddie and I. Off we ventured into what we thought would be a scenic walk into the Icelandic countryside with a light spot of rain… how very wrong we were. With winds

topping 20 metres per second and rain falling like cats and dogs we had to call it a day after less than 2 hours.

Luckily, the wind and rain eventually calmed down and off we headed to the blue lagoon. It was a magical experience, with the water we were in having been drawn up from rocks 2.5 kilometres below us and being around 38 degrees Celsius. We took full use of all the amenities that it had to offer, with each of us getting a silica mud mask on the house. The water was unlike any of us had ever seen and was completely opaque to anything 10cm under the surface.

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Sadly, the trip had to be cut slightly short due to an acute illness brought on by some dodgy food earlier on that day. Despite this, everyone had an experience that they will never forget.


Wednesday started for Omar and me at midnight on the empty roads of Grindavik. After Tom had taught us all to play a card game called Nomination Whist, we all played a few intense rounds which Tom of course won easily. Omar and I decided to go out on the electric scooters “Hopp” and explore the silent streets at night. It was very wet and cloudy, however at around 2:30 in the morning, we turned round to see the northern lights momentarily breaking through the clouds, which caused both of our jaws to hit the floor.

When we had all awoken that morning, we continued exploring the town. It was much easier now that it was no longer wet. A few of us decided to climb a nearby “mountain”, however it was more like a mountainous hill, standing only at 560 metres above sea level. We then, as the sun was setting over the peninsula, drove Hopp scooters around the footpaths wallowing in the beauty of our surroundings.


Thursday started off as any other day in Iceland but ended up being the most surreal day any of us had experienced.

We all set off to see the nearby volcano, Fagradalsfjall, and it was a long walk all the way from Grindavik to the volcano. However, it was not a walk we would experience as our hitchhiking expertise was appreciated by an American man named Lucas, who was also heading to the volcano and offered us a lift. Lucas was an adventurer from California who worked remotely whilst exploring the world.

Once we got to the volcano, our group and Lucas went our separate ways before joining up together again further along the trail. The recently

black cones of the volcanos and the lava trail were so incredibly beautiful to see. The temperature of the site was so hot that the cooled magma was still steaming and smoking a year later.

Lucas, using his drone fitted with a camera, was able to give us an amazing view of inside the crater. We continued to the most recent eruption site (erupting only 10 days before we arrived) and looked inside the crater using the drone, observing the amount of magma that a small crack in the ground could cause. On the walk we were able to explore a section of the cooled magma that was safe for us to stand on and we each took home a piece as a memento.

Lucas gave us a lift back to Grindavik, so we thanked him and parted ways for good.

That night was also the first night of the week that it would be clear enough to use the telescope to take photographs. We headed out to a spot that Freddie and I had scouted out on the Tuesday. The sky was so dark and clear that we were able to see the milky way with the naked eye. We also were able to see Jupiter and its moons with a pair of binoculars.

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It was around midnight when the northern lights began to become visible in certain parts of the night sky. As we were preparing the telescope, the northern lights, which were mostly behind a cloud, would occasionally break through and become visible for short periods of time.

Although we were experiencing some technical difficulties with the telescope that night, it was still one of the most exciting days of our lives.


During our final full day in Grindavik we went out walking and did some schoolwork in preparation for the upcoming academic year.

At around 8:30 Freddie and I journeyed off to the spot that we had set our telescope up the night before. Whilst we were setting up, we spotted the northern lights dancing in the sky over Grindavik. A couple of hours later we were all surrounded by them; they were perfectly vivid and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. They were so bright and defined it was hard for us to tear our eyes off the sky to work on the telescope.

With the telescope set up and taking photos of the Andromeda galaxy, we all stood staring upwards, mesmerised by Northern lights which engulfed the night sky above us like a blanket. Some of the locals described the Northern Lights that night as being the best they had ever seen on their life.

We were incredibly lucky and privileged to see them so early on in September considering September is the first month of the year that they are actually visible.

After many a photo had been taken of the lights, we all decided to lie back down on the ground and just stare up at the sky, which remained completely unfiltered as a result of miniscule light pollution.

Although the photos of the Andromeda galaxy couldn’t be layered on top of each other due to the Aurora being too bright (a nice problem to have) it was a phenomenal night which none of us will forget.

Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday, due to it being cloudy in the evening, we chose not to go out and instead took it as a workday so that we could go into the school year secure in our knowledge.

On Sunday we were out of the room by 11:00 and headed straight to the geothermal pool which was open until 16:00 for only £1.90. After the pool our trip came full circle as we headed to the petrol station that we had arrived at on the day we got to Grindavik. We then waited for the bus which took us half the way to Keflavik.

There was a one hour wait for the next bus to take us to the airport so Tom, Omar and I explored and found a memorial for a US bomb squadron crew, which had crashed into the volcano due to heavy mist and cloud during WW2.

The bus dropped us off at the airport at 20:40 and our flight was due to take off at 8:40 the next morning, so we were going to be in for a long night.

Omar and Fred quickly found a place to sleep and got some much-needed rest. Ollie headed off to sleep before a strange young man woke him up to say goodnight, for a reason we still aren’t quite sure of. Tom and I, on the other hand, took these 12 hours to do some work (and play some games).

By 6:15 when our check-in started, everyone but Freddie was spectacularly tired. I nearly missed the flight by falling asleep 20 metres from the gate and only waking up 5 minutes before the gate closed.

Neither Tom nor I remember take-off, although I have been assured that it was a smooth one.

By 13:30 we were all saying goodbye to each other and heading in our respective directions.

All of us would like to say a huge thank you to all of you that believed and enabled us to take this trip as we have made memories that will last a lifetime. We are all incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

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Ben Garman, Freddie Levy, Ollie Holford, Omar Gul, Tom Gorton

Tall Ships Portsmouth to A Coruna 17th-28th July 2022

I boarded Challenger 3, a 72 ft sailing yacht, in Portsmouth Gunwharf keys harbour, half-way through July of this year. This is where I met the 11 other young crew and the 4 fully trained crew members with whom I would be spending the next 12 days. That first evening we focused on unpacking our personal belongings, getting familiar with the boat, and preparing it to set off that night. Our watch system for the trip consisted of three shifts of

3 hours on, and six hours off. We set off about 8pm leaving Portsmouth harbour and heading straight across the Channel to Brest (France).

We hit northern France midday on our second day of sailing. We where then in the Bay of Biscay, notorious for its challenging weather systems, sea sickness, and inability to see dry land for several days. It took us 2 days to cross Biscay during which we experinced a wide range of sea conditions, ranging from electric thunderstorms, to calm flat seas. During this crossing we saw an amazing array of wildlife, including a pod of dolphins who seemed to follow us for most of our crossing along with some small whales.

Although the majority of the crew had gone down at some point with seasickness, spirts were lifted when Spanish land was in sight.

We arrived at A Coruna on the fourth evening to a stunningly beautiful sunset. Many of us were grateful for dry and unmoving land, along with clean showers, and a normal toilet. We then spent two days in Spain exploring the local city, cuisine, and beaches. We left A Coruna on the seventh day of our trip despite some of the crew being very reluctant to leave and head back out to sea. Thankfully our sail back was calm and peaceful, and we had gained enough ground to be able to spend a day in Alderney (Channel Islands).

Alderney was absolutely beautiful. It had lovely white sandy beaches, small independent shops, and a shop that did amazing fish and chips, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

As a crew we set off the next morning to do a day hop across to Portsmouth and back home. We spent our last night in Portsmouth Harbour, enjoying

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ourselves with our newfound friends and peers.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience despite the seasickness and some of the foul weather. I gained so many skills, along with a newfound confidence in myself, during this trip. Including, perseverance, resilience, and most off all growth in not only my mentality but by mental strength to carry on and deal with the situation in hand. This trip challenged me in so many ways that were helpful to myself and my social confidence. I’ve gained friendships and memories

that should last for a long time. This experience has made me realise the newfound confidence in myself will take me as far as I want in life and will give me the determination and strength to carry out my future ambitions.

I would like to genuinely thank The Old Berkhamstedians and their generosity for funding this experience as it has given me the confidence to preserver and be resilient when times are tough, and I will remember this trip for a lifetime.

I boarded the yacht in Portsmouth, and I met the twelve other crew members, skipper, mate and deck hands. I unloaded my luggage into my room, which I was sharing with four other girls. My berth was at the top of the room, above two other berths. We quickly set sail for Cowes on the Isle of Wight, doing a practise boy retrieval on the way. Already, I had learnt several knots such as a Bowline and Clove Hitch.

Everyone on the boat was in good spirits. On cooking duty that evening I was told that we would be doing a night sail the following morning. That meant waking up, and setting sail, around 2 o’clock in the morning (after about two hours sleep) Navigating the boat as it was moving in the dark was tricky, and me and the crew tied ourselves to the boat in fear of falling off. We hauled the main sheet up together and started sailing with the sun rising behind us. On

the way, we anchored near Durdle Door and swam through the cove.

That evening we stopped off at Weymouth, and the crew and I got fish and chips to eat on the boat. By this time the exhaustion set in, so we all went to bed early that evening. The next day we slept until midmorning, but unfortunately the wind was low, and a storm was setting in. We travelled to Poole, with a mixture of rain and sun on the journey. The skipper tried to catch the wind in the limited moments it came, so and crew and I spent the day ‘sweating’ the main sheet up and down – very tiring work! That evening we played a round of cards, with games such as ‘Old Maid’ and ‘Slap Jack’ becoming popular.

The next morning, we woke up realising that we had docked next to the recent winners of the round Great Britain sailing competition. They had won the race the day before and let

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us look around their racing boat that morning. Compared to our boat, it was about a third of the weight. Our final day of sailing came around quickly. That day was the best out of the whole week – finally, the wind picked up and the sailing became very exciting. We hauled a spinnaker sail onto the boat to try and catch the maximum amount of wind.

Halfway through the day, we anchored near the coast, and we all jumped off the front of the boat. I got a little too confident and thought I could dive off the Bow which turned out to be a big mistake. The drop was higher than I realised, and I somehow did a somersault, hitting the water back first. We docked very late that evening back at Portsmouth, losing a boy along the way.

I learnt a lot from this experience, such as perseverance, intuition and confidence. A lot of the yachting was strenuous, with the sails being heavier than they looked. A huge part of the experience is a mixture of waiting for wind, and then becoming very active when the wind is around. I learnt about the terminology and

workings of the boat, different knots, and how to make a great cup of coffee.

My skipper, Adam, was very approachable, and kept the crews spirits high throughout the week with his jokes and laughter. But the most rewarding things I got out of the trip was the people who I met.

The group I was with were between the ages of 17 and 18, from all across the UK. As a group we were very different, yet we got on very well, and couldn’t stop laughing the whole trip. It was great meeting people outside my area, who have different backgrounds and experiences. I have kept in touch with the people on the boat and have even planned to go dingy sailing and yachting with one of the girls next year. Without the grant I would have never discovered my passion for yachting and I am extremely grateful to have received this opportunity.

I would love to go on a charter if I went travelling when I’m older, finish my yachting qualifications, and go on a similar adventure on a boat in the future.

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Aoife Gibson

I vividly recall my first meeting with Mrs Aoife Gibson. It was a sunny day in June way back in 2010 on the hallowed grounds of Berkhamsted School where, it turned out, we were both interviewing for the same job!

Aoife was, as she is now, friendly, welcoming, intelligent, articulate, highly trained, talented and jaw-droppingly beautiful…and married to the Director of Sport. Of course, I hated her immediately.

Somehow, Mark Steed liked us both, and we were hired! Aoife was given a tutor group of Year 7s in Bees under Danny Van Noordwyk and she immediately threw herself into giving each of the students in her care the tailored, individual and meticulous love and compassion that was the hallmark of her teaching career.

Aoife taught across the Prep School and the Senior School where she was given a crash course in dealing with helicopter parents. Aoife was always able to handle queries, complaints, niggles and outright moans with grace, efficiency and kind candour.

Aoife’s incredible commitment to the arts has meant that our Year 9 GCSE and A-level students had the pleasure of companies such as Les Enfants (The Trench), Splendid Theatre (Metamorphosis, Ubu, Macbeth, The Odyssey), The Paper Birds, Gecko and Frantic Assembly performing shows and giving technical workshops. Aoife’s commitment extends to having arranged for Splendid Theatre to come in September even though she will no longer be here. Because of her dedication, commitment and marvellous networking skills, the students’ creative lives and experiences have been immeasurably enriched.

It would take more time than I have to relate the amount of support and guidance that Aoife has given to the lucky students in her care and her fellow colleagues in the Drama department and in the wider school community, both in terms of teaching and learning and in terms of her indefatigable enthusiasm for directing 90 odd staff in a Berko charity panto!

Aoife has always thrown her heart and soul into everything that is asked of her, has faced every challenge Berkhamsted – and life – have thrown at her head-on with a fierce determination, and her company, wisdom and outstanding humour will be sorely missed.

Dave joined us from Bishop Stortford High School in September 2003. He was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed whirling dervish of a PE teacher. He was so full of energy and enthusiasm, and he had that willingness to get stuck in to everything right from the start. He is, and always has been an exceptional teacher and sports coach for rugby, football and cricket in particular. He’s also taught Academic PE at the top end: A-Level and GCSE. Dave was my right-hand man within the department, but also on stage in several pantos: Little John, Smee, Cinderella, Cinderfella, and he always kept me on my toes in the department and onstage whenever I had tough times or fluffed my lines. Gibbo’s sheer capacity and his developing leadership qualities meant that he was always destined to take over the department. It was just a matter of time; a matter of when, not if.

Now, as soon as my wooden legs appeared from the DT department in 2012, Gibbo moved into the director’s chair and he swiftly started to build a team, take sport to new levels and reach exceptional heights. He quickly became known as “The Meerkat”, always looking out for others, looking up and looking down, quick to respond, busy, sharp, attentive and decisive. Gibbo’s leadership style, as we all know, has an impressive blend of blue and green with some red traits: positive and decisive when he needs them, but undoubtedly it is his ability to deal with people, to motivate others to work to his high standards, to show empathy, to not expect anyone to do anything that he would not do himself, and all of these qualities stand him apart. He’s held in such high esteem, and Gibbo is a genuine great guy to everyone he meets, to everyone he works with. His professional qualities are obviously interwoven with

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those personal qualities. He cares, he’s bothered, and don’t tell him this, but he’s a pretty funny guy as well. When we criticise Gibbo for doing all those extra jobs – for stepping in to clear up the cones, for putting the covers on the cricket wickets, we hear him plead “just let me be me,” and we do.

Gibbo has played a huge part in developing remarkable people. We’ve been lucky enough to see some of those people flourish, both on the staff body and amongst the Old Berkhamstedians. These characters he’s managed through some tricky situations throughout his career have always appreciated his great care and attention, and his human touch. Gibbo is always onside, and he has never been red-carded. Like many others over the last eighteen years, I have had the honour of sharing some incredible experiences with Gibbo. Some of the sports tours we have been fortunate enough to be on together are my certain highlights. We’ve sipped cocktails in Buenos Aires, we’ve safari’d in South Africa, we’ve jogged on the beach in St Lucia and sung karaoke in Barbados.

Gibbo, we will miss you, but we hope that, like football this summer, you will come home. So whether you’re listening at Wembley or in Wimbledon, let’s all raise a glass to the irrepressible and irreplaceable David Gibson.

Before going into detail about some of Graham’s achievements at Berkhamsted, a brief numerical overview is in order. He worked at the School for 36 years, teaching Geography and a bit of Maths to well in excess of 4000 pupils. He was a housemaster for 24 years with the responsibility of looking after some 1200 pupils. He coached close to 3500 pupils, in 155 sports teams and was actively involved in nearly 1400 fixtures. Thinking about what that means in terms of time – if each fixture wipes out 4 hours on average (a very conservative estimate) and counting a working day as, say, 12 hours (not unreasonable for a teacher), that is equivalent to an extra year and a half of work! And lastly, Graham has raised a staggering £225,000 for various local and national charities, which is a truly remarkable achievement.

But the numbers only tell half the story. I would describe Graham as an obsessive, even slightly fanatical old-school schoolmaster. He worked far more hours than he should and probably needed to, and he set himself targets and standards which others found virtually impossible to replicate.

Graham joined the Prep School in September 1986 when it was on the Chesham Road site – it was his first teaching post. During that year, alongside his teaching commitments, he coached prep football but also helped out with senior rugby, and when a Geography post came up at the Senior School the following year the then headmaster, George Pitman, encouraged Graham to apply for it. So, Graham started in the Geography Department at the Boys’ School in September 1987. To give some context to the times – these were the days of blackboards, chalk and bander machines and some housemasters still had canes in their offices.

As a housemaster (in Reeves when it was a junior house, then founding Loxwood as a senior house, and then Reeves as a sixth form house), Graham, at some point, was asked to write leavers’ letters. For him this meant long, personalised, handwritten letters to each of his leavers, reflecting pretty much every one of their achievements, and to do these he used to get into his office three hours before school started. His houserooms were shrines to those in his care, smothered in photographs, with at least one photo of everyone in the house. His house leaving events were legendary – often with live entertainment, always with speeches recognising the talents of his students and, more recently, a carefully chosen individual song reflecting the personality of each of those leaving. His students loved him. In his office, there was a noticeboard covered in literally hundreds of cards and letters from students and their parents thanking him for his service.

Graham is a huge panto fan, and his ‘over-the-top’ performances as one of the buxom panto dames

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remains a fond memory. When Graham was in Loxwood, he decided it would be a good idea to put on a pantomime or two. In the end, he put on four – Aladdin, Snow White, Peter Pan and Jack and the Beanstalk. He scripted these himself, with plenty of in-jokes, invited all the parents on the first night and teachers on the second. Who can forget the moment Will Fraser and Miles Bailey, dressed as a cow, decided to improvise, come off the stage, and sit on Priscilla Chadwick ’s lap? Graham looked on in horror and saw his career pass before his eyes, but Priscilla took it in good spirit and Graham survived to fight another day. It was at these events that Graham started to raise money for charity and many individuals and numerous organisations have benefited from his efforts. Most notably, the Hospice of Saint Francis, Dreamflight to send disabled children to Disneyland, Spread a Smile for children with cancer, Leukaemia Research, the Henry Fraser Trust and Everyman to raise money for testicular cancer. Closer to home, when our entertainment manager Alex Coughtrey had a stroke, Graham organised a collection which raised £1900 for him and when Steve Cripps’ house caught fire, Graham organised a collection to replace some of the things that Steve had lost. Graham cares about people, he loves helping people, and he’s one of the very best at drumming up support and encouraging others to get involved with his fundraising efforts. It was almost inevitable that Graham would eventually get hold of, and completely revamp, the Community Service Program, which gave Year 13 students the opportunity to volunteer in the local community.

Graham’s competitive spirit was probably most evident in the Sixth Form House Music Competitions. Nine years ago, with Alex Fage running the show in Reeves alongside Graham, Reeves set the bar at a completely new level, and we all knew at that point that the parameters and expectations of the competition had been irreversibly changed. The other Heads of Sixth Form Houses all admired the spectacle and sat smiling through gritted teeth as Reeves picked up one award after another. Did it endear Graham

to us? No, it did not. Did it endear Reeves to us? No, it did not. Did it help us to aim higher and raise our game? Yes, it did. Thank you, Graham.

Graham is not perfect. Many years ago, house swimming took place at the town sports centre on a Saturday evening. During house time on the Friday, Graham banged the drum, gave the house his full Churchillian ‘fight them on the beaches speech’ inspired them, and threatened them with detention if they failed to show up even as a supporter. Loxwood did brilliantly that year, coming second only one point behind the eventual winners. Only one house member forgot about the event and failed to show up, and that was Graham. On the Monday morning, his house captain quite rightly gave him a dressing down which Graham humbly accepted.

On the sports field, Graham’s commitment over 36 years has been second to none, and I think that every term he has been at the School he has managed a school team with regular Saturday fixtures. This was recognised by the Sports Department recently when he was presented with a beautifully embroidered 100 term cap. Graham has coached and managed the U12As and 4th XI football sides and the U12Cs, U13Bs, U14As and 3rd XI cricket teams. He was master in charge of junior swimming for two years and also coached athletics – for many years taking the boys to the IAPS events.

Although Graham has enjoyed coaching all sports, rugby is where his real passion lies. As a player in Y12 at school, he captained Leicestershire and had his first successful England trial, representing the Midlands against the North. Sadly, subsequent to that game, Graham suffered a catastrophic knee injury, which put an end to his playing career and any dreams he might have had of representing his country. However, his passion for the sport remained, and still remains today.

At one time or another, Graham has coached the U13B, U13A, U16B, U16A and 3rd XV rugby teams. For many years he was a selector for Hertfordshire Rugby. He took the juniors to Rosslyn Park for the first time in 1989 – they had never been before

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– and under his guidance, the U13 VII got to the quarter-finals of Rosslyn three years in a row. Since then, he has taken all of the qualifying teams to Rosslyn – the 1st VII, U16 VII, U13 VII and the U18 Girls VII.

Graham loves being up on the field in all weathers, and his natural exuberance and positivity rubs off on those that he coaches. Perhaps his greatest strength is giving players self belief and encouraging them to be the very best they can be. Graham went on one tour to South Africa in 1996. He has some amazing memories of the trip, but the one that I would like to mention which reflects the sort of person that Graham is, is that before the game against Kimberly High School, Graham decided to clean and polish the boots of all 27 squad members. Would anyone else have done that? I certainly wouldn’t. In the end, the boys won 6-0. Did taking the field with clean boots give them a marginal psychological game? Did the fact that they had someone in their corner prepared to do that for them give them an edge? Possibly, who knows? Graham thought it might make a difference, so, typically, he took it upon himself to do it. It is difficult to be absolutely certain but, simply through sheer longevity of service, I suspect that Graham has secured more victories as a rugby coach than any other teacher in the history of the School. In 2009, in recognition of Graham’s commitment to school rugby, he was presented with an award from the RFU and invited to Twickenham to receive it.

In 1989, Graham decided to run a small sevens tournament for the U13s with 8 teams competing. Over the following 29 years, this grew to be one of the biggest, most prestigious sevens tournaments in the country, eventually comprising 80 teams, with some travelling from Wales and even France. Only the national competition at Rosslyn Park was bigger. Over the 29 years, approximately 19,000 boys and girls took part, and it’s also worth noting that some of the state schools were only able to compete because Graham waived their entrance fee and even paid for their diesel. For Graham, it was always about giving the youngsters in

the less wealthy schools the opportunity to take part. The organisation of these tournaments took Graham the best part of a year. Literally hundreds of pupils, old boys and staff were involved as parking attendants, ballboys, referees and general helpers. Everything was planned to the nth degree and Graham was up at the field at 5 o’clock in the morning to make sure that all of the last minute details were pinned down. Inclusivity was what it was all about, and there were numerous competitions – the cup, the shield, the plate and the bowl so that virtually every team progressed from the group stages to the knockouts. The atmosphere was truly amazing, and at the end, Graham would not leave until everything had been tidied away and all the referees had received a bottle of wine and a hand written thank you note. I will admit there were times when I didn’t feel much like doing it, particularly the year that horizontal rain fell for the entire day, but the thought of letting Graham down was, quite simply, unthinkable. To celebrate Graham’s 100 terms at Berkhamsted and to recognise his outstanding contribution to the School, he was nominated by SMT for the Independent Schools Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thank you, Graham, for all that you have done at Berkhamsted, in the classroom, on the sports field and as a housemaster. You have had a truly amazing career, and hundreds of boys and girls will have left the place feeling that you have developed in them real confidence, self belief and a sense of genuine worth. Enjoy your retirement, which hopefully will mean lots of quality time with Nikki, William and Oliver.

Ian joined the Girls’ School in September 1989 as Head of Classics. He had quite a difficult first year, not least because there were so few male teachers that girls used to point at him in the corridor, giggle, and then run off. And then there was the Common Room. Hierarchical and quite severe in nature, woe betide you if you committed a crime, such as sitting in the wrong seat at break. Prior to the merger of

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the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools, Ian became an old-style Head of House, where house meetings took place once at the start of term, and once at the end; a very different model to the one introduced two years later, when he was appointed Head of New Stede in the newly merged Collegiate School. This was a role he carried out for eight years with great sensitivity, which was recognised by the girls who appreciated his willingness to listen and support them.

Also, following the reorganisation of the School, he was appointed as Head of Classics, a position he has held since then. When you talked to Ian about Classics and about teaching and learning, you very quickly appreciate why he has been in the job so long. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of mythology, and his passion and love for the subject is very apparent. It’s the same with teaching, where I’ve been struck by how he is continuously open to new ideas and discusses them with such enthusiasm. It’s to his credit that the recent external department review by the Head of Classics at another school was so positive.

Ian inspires the pupils he teaches, and indeed many of their mothers when they themselves were pupils at Kings. He passes on that passion and love for Classics to all of his classes. It’s testament to his kind nature and wonderful teaching style that you only have to mention his name at the Girls’ School and all pupils – even those who have never been taught by him – will say, “oh, we love Mr Stewart”. He’s never afraid to be silly, which the pupils appreciate, he’s full of stories, and he’s always willing to give things a go. This is most evident on school trips, which for him is one of the most rewarding parts of his role.

He’s been involved in numerous Classics trips abroad, notably to Greece and Italy, often organising and leading them. He makes trips a lot of fun and his talent shows on the final night are quite renowned, where his double acts with other members of staff are always very memorable, much to the enjoyment of the pupils. He also does storytime on the long coach journeys, where he will commandeer the coach microphone and tell stories about the classical world to pass the time.

No mean feat that he’s able to keep the attention of a coachful of children high on sugar!

It’s not just pupils that Ian has supported over the years. The department has had a steady stream of NQT and trainee teachers who have also much appreciated his approachable, friendly and enthusiastic manner, always making himself available for a chat, sympathy and invaluable guidance. Don’t be fooled by his easy-going nature, however. He can be very persistent in pushing forward his concerns as, for example, those of us who have received one of his missives on the dangers of carrying hot drinks around the School know only too well.

Ian, your initial plan to stay for two years didn’t quite pan out, but that was to the benefit of numerous pupils and colleagues alike. On their behalf, a very big thank you for all that you have done in your time at Berkhamsted and take with you our very best wishes for the future.

When Jane joined the Art Department at Berkhamsted Collegiate School, as it was then known in 2001, I doubt that she imagined she would devote twenty years of her life to the service of its community.

During that time, she inspired countless young people, teaching all the immeasurable value of creativity and setting many on professional pathways within the creative industries.

While formally trained as a stained-glass artist, it was probably her key achievement in introducing photography as a specialist discipline that has left us with her most significant legacy. A keen amateur photographer herself, it nonetheless took tremendous energy, planning and determination to develop the equipment and expertise necessary to establish photography A level early in her tenure. Jane’s real love within the discipline was for the alchemical wonders of the dark room, her command of which was to excite and reward numerous Berkhamstedians, so much so that by

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the time I joined the department in 2007, there were 40 students in the combined Sixth Form, so popular had the subject become. This, at a time when digital technologies were beginning to challenge analogue traditions. Certainly, Apple Mac computers were a mainstay of the subject from the start, but I always felt that the miraculous large-scale prints emerging from the developer and fix, in turn following the quasi-miraculous processes of dodging and burning, were the tour de force of every end-of-year exhibition.

Jane is a deeply curious, imaginative and open-minded creative practitioner, and so when offered the opportunity to learn new skills in printmaking, she was keen from the beginning. Of all my colleagues past and present, none have been as visionary and innovative as she in recognising the potential of the large-scale etching press to realise ambitious collograph and dry-point projects. This adventurous spirit manifested itself also in Jane’s enthusiasm for supporting activities outside the curriculum, assisting Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, skiing trips and residential Art trips to New York and Venice to name but a few. Always recognising the importance of an all-round approach to education, Jane was also a committed tutor, supporting the boys of Fry’s House in countless events over and above her daily commitment to their pastoral care. The love and respect she instilled was regularly evident in the piles of chocolate and flowers she received at Christmas, and not least by the vast bouquet gifted by them this summer.

But what I shall miss most about Jane as she embarks upon the next chapter in her life will be her infectious sense of bonhomie and camaraderie. Often ready with a cheeky quip during department meetings, often at her own expense, unfailingly willing to step up during a mini-crisis and always supportive of new and inexperienced colleagues, Jane was a team-player to the end. Whether running extended curriculum activities, supporting the department as SEND co-ordinator or simply offering constructive and sensible suggestions to resolve procedural problems, she made her

presence felt and was valued by all. Rumour has it that she plans to ‘camper van’ her way around the UK with her irrepressible canine companion Brodie by her side, learning to paint in oils along the way. Whether in this or other creative adventures, I don’t doubt that she will bring laughter, light and inspiration to all whom she encounters.

And now we have a number of contributions from Liz’s colleagues, past and present. Firstly, a selection of extracts from her Leaver’s Book, followed by a spirited speech from Richard Thompson, and finally, a few words from Richard Backhouse.

Liz is all things a good teacher should be, knowledgeable, flexible, approachable and above all compassionate. There are many more words I could add to the list but suffice it to say she is a consummate professional. Liz always makes time for whoever needs her. A rare trait in these days of ever increasing pressure from all directions. It has been a pleasure to work with and alongside you throughout your time at Berkhamsted and I wish you every good wish as you move, along with Dave to the next phase of your life.

I hope you have a wonderful retirement. You have done so much for the School, especially for girls education and pastoral care. You will be greatly missed by the community.

I admired Liz for her depth of knowledge, her enthusiasm, her passion, her organisation, her energy and her ability to inspire. She was always very supportive towards me and if anyone deserves a long and happy retirement it is Liz and Dave.

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I will always remember the selfless, tireless, relentless focus Liz has for the girls’ flourishing. Her leadership from the front, her willingness to go the extra mile and her inexhaustible good humour have been, to coin a phrase, remarkable.

Liz Richardson’s Leaver’s Speech 8th July 2022

I felt quite honoured when Liz asked me to say a few words for her (and she most certainly exaggerated the word ‘few’ to me as part of her instructions).

However, as the request sunk in, I read between the lines and realised that she had to choose someone who had been here for a while and was getting on a bit, so I realise now, Liz, that you had to search for an old man!!! THANKS!!!!

Because I felt that this speech had to be one of some magnitude, I felt as though I should get some support in writing it, so I turned to the internet. It was brilliant. I found a site called ‘Speech creation’ where the company said it would write the whole speech for a member of staff who was leaving a place of work.

I thought this can’t be true. All I had to do was insert a few details of what the member of staff had actually done and achieved in the place of work. The site would then write the speech with a full timeline and stories, including details from when Liz arrived up until this very day. It even printed out details of Liz’s first day here in Berkhamsted, which is where I begin the story.

In 1066……………………………………!!!!!!!!

There are some moments during your working life when you feel really touched, and one of those moments for me was when Liz asked me to say a few words. I do, indeed, feel honoured.

Liz arrived at Berkhamsted School for Girls on January 1st 1988, my first year at University!!

It was clear from the first day that Liz would be a member of staff who would not merely take the easy option and look to cruise her way

through her career. She wanted challenges, and challenges she got.

It’s actually been quite an eye opener reading through the extensive list of what Liz has been involved in while here and, indeed, her achievements. Much of this was news to me and, I’m sure, will be news to you, but this highlights one of Liz’s many virtues…the fact that she takes things on for the right reasons and not, merely, to fill up a CV or to shout from the rooftops about.

There has been one thing at the centre of all that Liz has achieved at Berkhamsted, and that is the pupils.

From her early years, she helped to run DofE for Girls, helped with the swimming team, edited the Berkhamstedian magazine, ran and organised debating and public speaking teams, and introduced Media Studies A Level to the School.

Liz is able to offer advice and wise words to many, having been both a Head of House, the first Head of Russell House, in fact, and a Head of Department, as Head of English.

It was in this capacity that I have my first real memories of Liz. At that time, I was Deputy Head of Boys and had specific responsibility for all school trips, including overseeing the paperwork process and logistics. At that time, sadly, we relied on physical copies of paperwork and I kept trip files, housing the EV forms. Now, at this point, I can say that there were varying degrees of detail included with the paperwork submitted by trip leaders…then there was Liz’s paperwork!! That had to be housed in a filing cabinet of its own!! Not only did it include all the necessary information, but it also covered details of the colour of the bus, the name of the driver, what shoes the members of staff would be wearing, what brand of rucksack they would be taking and whether they would be drinking water or orange!!!

I say this in jest, but it highlighted that Liz’s eye for detail is remarkable, an important skillset for the positions she’s held in the School.

Liz flew through her time as Deputy Head of Berkhamsted Girls, and no-one was in doubt that she would make a truly excellent Head of

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Berkhamsted Girls, which she duly became in 1994. At this point, I must stop and tell you that when I asked Liz for her Berkhamsted timeline, she actually wrote that she became Head of Berkhamsted Girls in 1914!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my time as Head of Berkhamsted Boys, Liz and I worked closely together and, it must be said, went through many, many highs, but also some lows.

As a colleague, Liz has always been meticulous, thorough and extremely hard working but, at the same time, caring for pupils and staff alike, an extremely good listener, pupil centred in all she does and thinks, and patient. In many of the things we actually had to work on together, in producing detailed documents, I was reminded of the programme Blue Peter when, as I sat down ready to start from scratch with a blank piece of paper, Liz would say, ‘Here’s one I prepared earlier’! Music to my ears!!!

To me, though, Liz’s ability to remember exactly who she has taught and when she taught them always stands out.

Whether it’s current pupils, former pupils, former pupils who are now parents or former pupils who are now grandparents, Liz can remember them. That’s because she has always taken a genuine interest in all of them while they are, or were, current pupils at Berkhamsted. Each and every pupil matters and has always mattered to Liz.

I have always thought of Liz as not only a colleague who is a friend but also as a friend who is a colleague. It always stands out to me how she has the time to ask how I am and how the family is, and I’m sure that’s the same for many of us here. Liz, your sense of humour is second to none, and I’ll always remember the laughs that we’ve shared either face to face, over the phone or via Teams. It’s kept us going on many an occasion!

Liz has travelled far and wide during her time here, assisting with numerous school trips such as the DoE to Brecon Beacons, Geography trips to Wales, Hong Kong and China, English trips to theatres and Youth Hostels for 6th Form English

Study weekends, and History trips to Berlin, Normandy and America, to name but a few.

Outside the Berkhamsted walls, and probably unknown to many of you, Liz has also recently been a Director of the Veritas Educational Trust in London.

When recounting many of these details, Liz talks about the ‘mists of time’. They may feel like mists, Liz, but I can guarantee that those mists will be full of many happy memories that you have created for pupils and staff alike here at Berkhamsted.

So what next for you…and Dave of course??

I doubt very much whether the actual word ‘retirement’ has been listed in your vocabulary or mentioned by either of you.

As you walk out of the Berkhamsted School gates, I sense the next set of gates is already opening for you.

Dave actually made a point of finding and mentioning to me the other day that he’s looking forward to seeing you 24/7.

Liz, thank you so much for all that you have done for Berkhamsted School, its pupils, its parents and its staff. We wish you well.

A Final Few Words from Richard

“For 35 years Mrs Richardson has served the School as an English teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Head, and with great distinction, as Head of the Girls School – as part of the most senior group of the Group’s employees. And she retires at the end of this year.

I have seen her dedication, attention to detail, love of the girls, care of their wellbeing, ambition for their success, all at first hand, and I am sure you recognise many of those qualities too. She has had an extraordinary impact on the School, and while we do not normally mark individual leavers at this event, it would not be right to let this moment pass without a moment of appreciation for all that she has done, and the person she is, so please join me in a round of applause as we show our gratitude.”

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Marie-Claire Gould

Marie-Clare joined the School 10 years ago as the Head of the Chemistry Department. She brought huge amounts of energy to the role and helped to transform Chemistry from being the least popular A Level science choice to being the most. She will be mostly remembered for her excellent sense of humour and fun, which was appreciated by her colleagues in the staff room and her students in the classroom.

Marie-Clare’s children, Peter, Alistair and Robyn, all attended the School. The Chemistry Department were always invited to an enjoyable family BBQ at the end of August, just before the start of term.

She was a regular participant in the Staff Panto, where she played Wee Jimmy Krankie, a role that suited her perfectly!

MC, as she was fondly known, was a regular participant on DofE trips and, in particular, the Year 8 activity trip to Snowdon. She was often seen around the School with her backpack, as though ready to head off on an adventure. Sadly, she has left for a new adventure and has moved on to teach Chemistry at Northampton Academy, where we wish her every success and happiness.

My first memory of Patrick happened before I had even met him: it was when I applied to be an Economics teacher at Berkhamsted School. He sent me an email with instructions regarding the lesson I was to teach as part of my interview. I was to teach a lesson on monopoly theory, and he sent me a helpful file that he had typed out that I could use to help plan my lesson (the sign of things to come!). Amongst the humdrum of theory that I barely understood

were the words “how could the silly bearded twit be so wrong?” – on a resource provided to the students! At that point, I probably should have immediately withdrawn my application to work at the School!

My second memory of Patrick was during the interview day itself. I had taught my lesson and sat through a slightly awkward lunch with the other candidates. Patrick then took us all over to Common Room for a coffee before the interviews. We were all sat around waiting to see what the great man was going to say before he uttered the words, “what I am really looking for is someone who I can have a beer with down at the pub”.

In the time that Patrick has been at the School, he will have taught hundreds and hundreds of students – of which so many have been inspired by him to read Economics at university. Patrick is a mainstay in each successive Yearbook and regularly receives multiple mentions. I looked through some of the recent yearbooks and found a few gems:

Tom Richardson from 2017 said that, for his “Favourite Subject”, it was “Economics with my boy Cowie”.

Luke Woodmansee from 2018 said that, for his “Favourite Teacher”, it was “Best mate Cowie”.

And… my personal favourite… Georgie Stockwell, also from 2018, answered the question: ‘What will you miss most?’ with simply: “Cowie’s Savagery”.

The students hold you in such high regard. I have lost count of the number of OBs that I have met who, almost universally, immediately ask: “is Cowie still there?”. In fact, last month, Patrick discovered that he had taught a 2022 leaver, Matthew Fairburn’s mum from all the way back when Economics was the only A-level subject taught co-ed at Berkhamsted! It was so nice to see Patrick hunt out Mrs Fairburn at this year’s Prize Day and for the two of them to reminisce about days gone by.

Finally, I think it is fair to say that Doug, David, Victor, Sophie, myself and all of the previous members of our department owe you so much with regards to how our careers have turned

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out… mostly because you always planned our lessons for us…! But seriously, you have made us all better teachers with your guidance, wit and wisdom and we will all miss you so much.

We have all clubbed together to buy Patrick an end of term survival kit, including wine and cigars. But I have to admit to stealing and framing a relic that probably belongs in the School’s archives. This was on the Economics Office board when I became Head of Department. It reads:

“To Staff Common Room: We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Patrick Cowie as Head of Economics and Business Studies from 1st March 2003.”

Patrick, I wish you all the best for a happy retirement and hope that I have been that guy that you can have a beer with down at the pub.

Given that Patrick is known (and adored) for his razor-sharp wit and unique turn of phrase, it would be bordering on criminal not to share his valedictory address…

“So, I came to Berkhamsted in 1991 – hired by Nick Stevens – and have served for 31 years or 93 terms. Not quite carrying my bat, but a reasonable achievement.

During my time here, I have taught Economics, Business and a year of History. I have enjoyed almost all of it – GCSE Business was always a trial! – and have been a Head of Department for around 20 years.

I’ve always been good at studying – bit of a swat at school and useless at sport – and I hope that I was able to share this enjoyment with my students and also to share my interest in Economics –48 years of learning + teaching!

Being Head of Department was as good as it gets for me and I have worked with some excellent teachers – Andy, the new Head of Department, doing a fine job; Doug, Sophie, David, Victor and Kathryn, Toby and Shannon. We’ve done our own thing and have made Economics and Business two of the most popular subjects in the Sixth.

I am not sure about this retirement malarky – Anthony Trollope, a favourite author, argued that a man should only retire when he was incapable of doing his job. This may be the case for me. Teaching involves more and more IT these days and I am known to be fairly useless in that area.

Also, I have had health problems – as many know, I was nearly brought low by a large chunk of beef – and I’m only here due to the help of good friends and the wonderful ambulance service. I have also been diagnosed with ‘Parmesan Cheese’, or Parkinson’s Disease as it is more usually known.

As the ‘convict/greased piglet’ said yesterday, “Thems the Breaks”. The key is to focus on what I can do and not whinge about what I cannot do. So, no more teaching and that is a source of some sadness. But, I must thank my admirable department for all their support and all the extra work that they have had to do – done with a smile and no complaints. Thanks also to Tracey for her support.

Lastly, I’ve been lucky to make some good friends, many of whom have been very kind and generous, in my time here – some through the creation of the ‘421 Club’ which I am proud to say that, with Paul Jennings, I established.”

Rachel Bradley

From 2005 when Rachel joined Berkhamsted, she was a highly dedicated member of staff with a commitment to the highest standards across the board. She had the impressive ability of being able to teach both History and the Classics and to inspire students with her encouraging manner, infectious enthusiasm and clarity of explanations. Not only was Rachel an excellent classroom practitioner, she was also a caring pastoral leader who was Head of Holme House, Wolstenholme House and at St John’s Boarding House.

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She always wanted the best for her girls and provide the support, care and challenge to enable them to fulfil their potential. Her commitment was epitomised during Covid when the boarding houses stayed open throughout the holidays for almost the whole year so that the international students were provided with stability, care and a homely environment during a difficult and worrying time. Many students have benefitted from Rachel’s professionalism and would join us in wishing her well for a long and happy retirement.

Richard Thompson has kindly shared with us his rather dramatic leaving speech for Steph Gunary! Take a bow Steph, the rapturous applause for this curtain call will echo through Berkhamsted’s walls for years to come.

Steph Gunary

“Now, I’m not sure how many of you know about this, but Steph has a hidden talent. That talent is her ability to include great levels of detail in conversations and discussions about any topic you could think of, even if she has no knowledge of the topic at all!! Remembering that talent and, in preparation for this leavers’ speech, I asked Steph to jot down a few bullet points about her time here at Berkhamsted, which she very kindly did!!!

In January 1995, Steph was employed as a result of a ‘boozy lunch’ enjoyed by Keith Wilkinson and the Headmaster at the school in which she held a full-time position at that time. In true Steph style, she managed to talk her way into a job share where she brought her existing A Level students down to the Boys School to have joint lessons with her sole Berkhamsted class. Your powers of persuasion were clearly evident from day one, Steph!!

In no time at all, Steph had become Head of Drama, transforming the subject from an extra-

curricular option to one in which lessons were taught across all age ranges.

She became close to the Music Department, singing in the choir, playing in the orchestra and going on tour to Paris. Drama, though, was growing and growing.

In September 1997, after the merger of the Boys and Girls schools, Steph enjoyed many, many memorable performances from pupils who went on to great things: Stephen Campbell Moore, Andy Jaye, Tallulah Riley who went on to marry Elon Musk, KSI, Mini Minter and, of course, Roman Kemp to mention a few.

One of the things that Steph is most proud about is introducing LAMDA into the School.

Extra-Curricular productions were a great way to get to know staff and Steph recalls lots of memorable moments working with colleagues including Becky Miles, Jane Brodie, Katie Bly, Laura Knight and Director Martin Scorsese…sorry Pett, whose highlights included his production of The Critic when one of the main characters, Tom Warren, let out the most enormous full-throttle fart to a stunned audience in his opening scene with the then Principal sitting in the front row just feet away. It brought the house down!!

In Steph’s first year, she took her first group to the Edinburgh Festival, subsequently taking similar trips just about every year. In 2003, she took a school production to perform on the Fringe, a rare thing for a school to do at that stage. Scary as it was, Steph was undeterred, and she repeated it every few years. The last two shows both earned 5-star reviews in the press which, quite rightly, fills her with pride even now.

Over her time here, Steph also got involved with other areas of school life and was a regular on school trips including the one to Normandy with Ted, to Italy and Greece with the Classics Department and numerous trips with DofE. She even remembers being Jo Vila’s supervisor in Italy for her Gold trip.

Fred Charnock then persuaded Steph to join the CCF team, where she led the Navy Section for five years.

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Ski trips brought much enjoyment for Steph as she learned another new skill amongst the beginners, but she also recounted an example of real staff camaraderie when two members of staff, still in the school so who will remain nameless (although their initials are DR and WG), ‘apple-pied’ Reesy’s bed and hid in the shower peeping through the crack in the door watching as Reesy tried to get in!!!

Steph has always felt that the strength of Berkhamsted is its community and, through her role as Common Room Social Secretary, she felt this even more. Staff events have given her so much joy and the pantos have been nothing short of a hoot.

After 12 years or so of being in Drama, she enjoyed a stint as Head of House and became the first female to take on the position of Head of House in a Boys House. Steph loved that time, but was tempted back into the world of a Head of Department to become a Head of Faculty as Director of Performing Arts.

Since then, the Music and Drama Departments have become more independent again, and Steph’s last five years have focused purely on the music department. These have been especially happy years for her and have allowed her to rekindle and return to her love of music teaching, which is how she started her career. Steph quotes that it has been a great privilege to work with such dedicated, creative and talented teachers, as well as the pupils. Ben and Malc, especially, have been of huge support over these years, and Steph will remember the wonderful music you have all shared, the fun music tours and your great company. Amanda has brought a fresh energy over the last couple of years.

The last thing that Steph will take away with her from the School is Will!! It’s amazing what a few saxophone lessons can lead to!! After a lengthy courtship, they got married and had their blessing in the School Chapel with Dave Richardson as Will’s Best Man.

Steph and Will are off travelling for a gap year or two in their new motorhome, firstly for a year or

so in Europe and then another year over to North America to explore Canada, Alaska and USA.

Who knows when and what they will do when they get back…I suspect that will be the start of another adventure!!!!

Steph, your drive and energy will be sorely missed but not as much, I think, as your friendship, your smile and your laugh.

Take care and send us a few postcards!!!”

After his Maths degree at Birmingham University, Will qualified as an accountant, but very quickly saw the light and decided that teaching was what he really wanted to do. Prior to joining Berkhamsted as Head of Mathematics in September 1994, he had a short spell at Clifton College and was second in the Maths Department at RGS Worcester.

On arriving at Berkhamsted, Will quickly made his mark in the department. He was progressive, one might even describe him as innovative. He introduced an annual departmental work scrutiny and even started to use a new-fangled machine called a 386 to help him with the departmental administration. Will fully embraced all new technologies, but as the years rolled on, and over the last few years particularly, he admits that he has gone from being at the cutting edge to the trailing tail.

Will is a great teacher – clear and patient with high expectations. Both of my children were taught by him at various points, and had nothing but praise for him. More recently, he has really got into OneNote and has found new enthusiasm for using Dr Frost and preparing lessons.

Will became Director of Studies in September 1996 and wrote his first timetable for the whole School – Boys, Girls and Sixth – in September 1997. This was, and still is, a mammoth task taking something like 350 man hours. Who can forget the pained expression on his face for pretty much

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the whole of the summer term, the carnage in his office, the tired eyes and hunched shoulders as he got to grips with Post-it notes, paper clips, coloured highlighters and the wish lists of a hundred or so members of staff. The timetable worked – it had to – but in those days there was virtually no cross-campus teaching. He could not have foreseen the horror that was to unfold when it became more of an expectation that staff should teach both boys and girls. The shoulders got higher, the eyes got baggier, the scraps of paper on his office floor were joined by his hair.

Over the last 25 years, Will has largely been solely responsible for the work patterns and rhythms of all the students and staff in the Senior School and Sixth Form – when we had break, when we had lunch, when we had free time, which evenings we were expected to mark, if and when we travelled between sites and this responsibility was something that weighed heavily on him. Over the few years that I helped Will with the timetable I was constantly amazed by his commitment to the task. He is something of a perfectionist and always went the extra mile to make sure that the final timetable was the very best it could be. Once he had finished a year group, he would always look at it critically, pick out the bits he was not entirely happy with and spend a significant amount of time trying to improve them. If the lesson distribution for one teacher was not good, he would always say let’s spend an hour trying to improve it, and that would normally turn into a couple of hours. It was always about compromise because as one aspect of the timetable got better, another inevitably got worse.

As the Director of Studies, Will always felt that he needed to keep his ear to the ground and stay closely in touch with the Common Room and the snippets of information and knowledge he picked up was invaluable when it came to timetabling. He enjoyed all the various Common Room parties and events and, with Steph, got involved in the Car Rally, as well as Crufts and even Strictly.

Beyond the world of the highlighter, Will was a tutor in Hawks, when it was a junior House,

and also in Incents Day House where he tried to keep David Wiles in check. He successfully managed various junior soccer teams as well as the Under 16s when Jon Cooper represented them. On arriving at the school in September 1994, Will immediately joined the staff Monday five a-side soccer group and, barring the odd spell out due to injury, he played most Mondays for the next 28 years. He’s actually a really good player –fit, difficult to beat, a very good passer of the ball and, about once every couple of years, he would score. On Monday evening, after our warm down in the pub, he would dose himself up with anti-inflammatories and on Tuesday morning conceal his discomfort from Steph for fear of attracting comments like ‘should you really be doing this at your age?’

Will is also a very good skier and for many years we spent some great New Year’s abroad with Daryl Simpson on the junior ski trip. Almost more than skiing, Will loved the apres-ski and particularly the first hot chocolate after a hard day on the slopes. Will is, unashamedly, a chocoholic and when he was timetabling, Steph could barely keep up with his insatiable appetite. As well as sport, since marrying Steph in December 2009, Will has been the designated photographer for numerous music and drama productions and regularly accompanied the summer music trips as well as the theatre trips to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Will was a member of SMT for 25 years. He was thoughtful, challenging when he needed to be and was always happy to explain, sometimes in words of one syllable, why a particularly ludicrous suggestion on improving the timetable could never work. Back in the day, of course, it was 8 periods then 9 and, when we were all expecting the progression to continue to 10, it became 22 and the Gunary was born. Over his years in SMT, Will always says that he spent more time discussing grading and reports than anything else. He even stood up in a staff meeting and tried valiantly to explain the concept of standardisation, with uncomfortable and pained looks coming back from the historians.

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Will is a notoriously careful shopper and before parting with a significant sum of money, he will research numerous comparison sites and read endless reviews. They say that opposites attract, and Steph is a much more spontaneous shopper. When the two of them moved into their new house in Park Street, they wanted a new large telly, so Will eagerly got onto ‘Which’ and other comparison sites to work out which was the best one to buy. A spreadsheet was developed with pros and cons, including things like pixel quality and power usage in standby. Whilst all this careful preparatory work was going on, Steph lost patience and, much to Will’s dismay, she just went out and bought one because it looked nice. Steph confided in me that she believes, somewhere in OneDrive, there is a spreadsheet lurking entitled ‘Steph’s pros and cons’.

Will’s contribution to the school over the past 28 years has been enormous. More importantly, though, he is a genuinely nice guy – kind, caring and funny when he gets warmed up. Will has four children, all of whom enjoy travelling and grandchildren based in Los Angeles. Over the next couple of years, Will and Steph will spend more time in the States, as well as travelling around Europe in their swish new campervan. We wish him them both the very best of luck in all that they do.

Mandy Casey

Mandy is an amazing member of our school community who has been a great friend to everyone who has known her. She will be missed greatly by all staff and pupils and especially in the Maths Department. She has been a cornerstone of the Maths Department for fourteen years, and I really don’t know what we are going to do without her up at Kings.

Her dedication to her teaching practice, but more importantly, the progress of her students has been exemplary. Nothing has been too much for her in terms of pastoral support, the extra maths sessions, assessments, feedback on progress, updates to anxious parents and heads of houses, and the liberal distribution of merits, golds and

very necessary blue notes given to those whose mathematical progress has been in her care. She was instrumental in organising the first Maths Department trip for over a decade, giving Year 12 students the opportunity to be inspired by the practical applications of Maths at the Maths Fest, and then continuing to make this a regular feature of our calendar until the outbreak of Covid last year. Her calm persona and aura of kindness is something to be very proud of. She is always willing to be a sympathetic ear and a sounding board to anyone who needs help, advice, or an opinion on something. She has been a huge support and fountain of knowledge and experience to the youngsters up at Kings, as they like to refer to themselves, and her presence there will be sorely missed. Having been a Head of House at Russell and then Old Stede, she has continued to be a strong pastoral presence at Kings. Mandy has always encouraged the girls to be the best that they can be and to stand up for themselves, encouraging them to be strong and independent young women who will make a difference in the world.

Sylvie joined Berkhamsted School in 2005 and served as an ambassador to both French and Spanish for 17 years. A committed Francophile in every way, all those that crossed the threshold of her classroom were treated to 100% target language from minute-one! Over the years, Sylvie inspired a plethora of students to take their language learning beyond the walls of Berkhamsted and was adept at bringing alive French political viewpoints and the finer details of Camus’ existentialism. Alongside her language teaching, Sylvie served as Head of St David’s House at the Girls’ School for 10 years. She was a great servant to all things Berkhamsted and a great colleague in the Modern Languages department.

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Martin Pett

The Seven Ages of Pett

All the world’s a classroom, And the men and women merely teachers; They have their lesson plans and set texts, But one sage man – Mr Pett in his time has played many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the prep school boy, Full of questions and dreaming in Nanny’s arms; And then the Durham University undergraduate with his trusty satchel (which he still has by the way) And shining morning face, bounding like a beagle Eagerly to his lectures. And then the lawyer, Raging like a furnace, with a passport and a pile of case notes, Ready to litigate in the City or Honkers! But thankfully fighting in court was not his path And to a PGCE he ran full of strange pedagogical concepts and dreams of inspiring new generations, Then Mr Pett caught the eagle eye of Paul Neeson who knew a good thing when he saw it and Martin found his calling! What follows the longevity to survive three HoDs –Trevor Lines, Liz Richardson and Tim Grant, but not little old me! Never jealous in honour, but a rock on which to build a department, Full of patience and knowledge along with a true love of our subject and his books! And then the Head of House in fair round belly with silver fox locks lined, With eyes understanding and an ever-willing arm around the shoulder of a wayward Swifts lad or a St George’s scholar, Full of wise assemblies and warm words to inspire and create truly remarkable people. And so he plays his part. The Sixth Age shifts, but his Eton Fives lives on as a Master in Charge for over 23 years! Now lean and at times bespectacled, but never inactive, His legacy of DENS charity sleepouts will live on under the careful guidance of Dougie, Still rocking his English classroom with lessons that will live on for generations with quizzes well compared; His youthful glow remains, well saved, kept young with Surface Devices and lockdowns! And his big manly voice hung upon by team and student alike, Last scene of all the traveller, the skateboarder! We will miss him awfully, his smile, his belly laugh, but do return even sans teeth. You are a Berko legend and we love you Martin Pett!

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Neil Eric Fischer (Be ’97)

25th May 1979 – 10th September 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend Neil Eric Fischer, who passed away at the age of 43 on 10th September, 2022.

Neil went under many names over the years, ranging from Nelly, Fisch, Red, Ginge and, most recently and affectionately – Baby Carrot.

Son of Jenny and Eric, Neil was born on 25th May, 1978. He grew up at the family home in Studham, where he had a very happy childhood. He joined his older brother, Chris, at Beechwood Park School in 1983 at the age of 4, where he attended nursery and prep school.

Neil’s competitive nature, unwavering resilience, and natural talent meant he became a key member of the Beechwood A-Teams for football and rugby, as well as captaining the hockey team. Neil also enjoyed cross country; his inexhaustible stamina and determination again positioned him in the School team, where they had some successful wins, beating off the likes of Berkhamsted School, no less! As one would expect, being good at cross country indicated a high likelihood of success in the athletics arena, too. There, he enjoyed taking part in a great many sporting events, and Neil Fischer was a name that appeared on most events and awarded trophies for his house – Sebright.

In 1990, at the age of 11, Neil joined Berkhamsted School. Neil was always up-to-date on current affairs within the School! If there was any news, gossip, or information of interest, he would be the first to share it with the House Room (Bees) in the morning. He knew and talked to everyone and absolutely hated not being in the loop! Beyond the House Room, he was extremely popular with all his classmates, as well as having good friends in the surrounding years.

Neil remained passionate about sport throughout his time at Berkhamsted, excelling at rugby, hockey, athletics and cross country. Neil’s energy, focus, stamina, and dedication made him stand out in everything he did, playing a key role in all sports he played. He became very well known throughout Berkhamsted School and other schools hel competed against for being excessively full of energy and someone who would give 100% up until the final whistle. During his time at Berkhamsted, Neil’s passion weighted more heavily on rugby, where he earned his position as scrum half in the School’s 1st XV. They had a very successful final year under the guidance of Graham Burchnall, where they also enjoyed a memorable tour to South Africa and continued to stay in touch throughout the years.

“He was a bright, brave player, a courageous player, a skilful player but above all a team player. He would be your first name on any team sheet because he would give you everything he had.”

One extracurricular activity Neil undertook during his time at Berkhamsted was the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, where he achieved bronze, silver and gold level, which took him to the Peak District, Snowdonia, as well as St James Palace, where he received his gold award from the Duke of Edinburgh himself. On every single trip, Neil was a positive influence and a motivational force for good.

Academically, Neil breezed through the GCSE years and achieved the A level results he required

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to secure his place at his first choice university – of course, ‘the sporting mecca of universities‘, Loughborough, where he attended from 1997 to 2001. Neil embraced everything university life had to offer with his characteristic energy and enthusiasm, excelling at all things – academic, sporting, and social. He graduated with a degree in Management Science, was a key member of the University Rugby Team, and made many great friends along the way.

Whilst at Loughborough Uni, the Otters Invitational 7s Team was created – specifically, by the men of Holt halls of residence. Founded in 2000, it ran for 11 glorious years, always in immaculate, incredibly tight fitting stash, and with an impressively confusing range of nicknames – like Bants, Vease, Merls, Chip, Kipper and so on. Fisch’s beloved Otters competed all over the world and he was so proud of their winning The Winchester 7s twice and The Exeter Uni 7s.

More locally, during the seasons, Fisch was part of the Tring Rugby Team, led by Sam Seaward (Adders). They won three promotions in just a 4-year period where they remained almost entirely unbeaten at home for 4 years. They won county trophies, thrilling National Cup runs, and with Red scoring the winning try, slayed the Channel Island giants of Jersey. Fisch was justifiably proud of everything they achieved, and his memory will live long in the minds of everyone at Tring Rugby Club.

Neil’s career started at ExxonMobil as a Pricing and Support Analyst before successfully acquiring a position at BP, where he worked his way up the corporate ladder for 12 years. At this point, he moved across to Castrol, where he managed a team supporting the Automotive and Industrial side of the business. After four and a half years at Castrol, he was eager for a change and accepted an offer at PDI Software, improving efficiencies and optimising operations across the PDI Fuel Pricing line of business, where he continued to work.

Neil was a larger than life character who made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He had an ability to make meaningful friendships and, more

importantly, maintain them – from the wide range of interests and activities he was always involved with, from school, rugby teams, university, and skiing, to name a few. For Neil, these were never separate groups of friends for separate reasons, they were all simply, his friends, and so he revelled in bringing people together, building networks and connections together, and remained at their core.

Neil was a family man at heart, and was an incredibly devoted son and brother whose personality and warmth will never be forgotten. He leaves behind his two children, Eric and Emily, who were his world. Aged only ten and eight, they have shown enormous courage, strength, and maturity throughout this period of change. We hope that Eric, Emily, and their mum, Pauline, will continue to feel the support that comes from having had such a large and close family, as well as so many good friends.

His passing leaves a huge void in the lives of many. He will be missed hugely, remembered often, and will always have a place in our hearts.

23rd November 1948 – 28th May 2022

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of my brother, Tony. I was married and had moved away, so had little contact with Tony in his latter years at the School. I also know only sketchy details of his school activities due to the 4.5 years difference in our ages.

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We lived at Cholesbury for most of the time we were growing up, at Manor Farm, next to the Village Hall and among the ancient pre-Roman Earth Works which made up one of the Hilltop Forts. We cycled the five miles to and from school over the hills and down country lanes. What I do know is very restricted and short on detail. He played rugby for the school, I think! He certainly was tough, extremely strong and a good sprinter, enjoying cricket and Scouts and may have gained his Queen’s Scout award. We both played cricket for Hawridge and Cholesbury Cricket Club on the Common (by the Full Moon public house and the Windmill) – but not at the same time.

Tony had an interesting and varied working life. He started at Browns, the agricultural engineers in Chesham Vale, moving on from there to work at Rossway Farm Estate, where he had duties looking after the dairy herd and shepherding their sheep. While at Rossway he met his future wife, Anne, who was staying there at the time as a friend of the farm manager, Rudd, and his wife Barbara Nicolls.

For a time, Tony, who was an accomplished artist, tried his hand at picture restoration with Mr Noel Lee, at his gallery in the old mineral works of W H Lee and Sons in High Street, Berkhamsted.

Upon marriage, Tony moved to Northampton and started work as a sales manager at a Mid Chem. Sadly, after a few years, the firm closed.

In the commercial world, at this time, jobs became redundant on a frequent and unexpected basis, which affected Tony on several occasions. Consequently, he set up his own landscape gardening business, which was very successful for many years, until ill health forced him to retire.

After retirement, Tony spent many happy hours with Anne, creating a beautiful garden around their picturesque stone-built period cottage, close to Althorp in Northampton.

Barry Tompson (Co ’61)

Brian Bennett (Hon)

24th September 1927 – 21st September 2022

Tom Stanier (Lo ’59) and Graham Giles (Be ’60) reminisce about their former Head of Art at Berkhamsted School, renowned local artist, Fellow and Past President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and beloved friend, Brian Bennett. Please do click the link to Tom Stanier’s short film (at the end of this article). It’s a well-produced and thoughtful piece and for anyone, like myself, who didn’t personally know him, it provides a wonderful insight into the magnitude of the character that was Brain Bennett.

From Pupil to Teacher

Tom Stanier (TS): Brian was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father had lost everything in the Depression, and Brian grew up in Cowley – one of the less rarefied areas of Oxford. Fortunately, he had the good fortune to attend East Oxford Council Boys school. I say ‘good’ advisedly because his charismatic Headmaster, Greening Lambourne, was later to be described as ‘the greatest elementary teacher in the United Kingdom’. This excellent schooling enabled Brian to win a scholarship to Magdalen College School, where he then came under the influence of another inspirational figure, Peter Greenham, who was teaching English and Art. Greenham later enjoyed great success as a portrait painter and became Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools. He was to be a lifelong friend and mentor to Brian.

Brian duly graduated from Magdalen College with a History Degree, but his real passion was painting. His first job after University was as an Art Teacher, at Plymouth College, where the Headmaster happened to be Basil Garnons-Williams. GW moved on to Berkhamsted and, when a vacancy fell open there five years later for an art teacher, GW immediately thought of Brian. I can clearly remember the day Brian came up to be

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interviewed because I was a prefect in School House, and the senior boys used to have lunch with GW (along with any other visitor who needed entertaining).

During Brian’s visit I distinctly remember chatting with him about Magdalen College School, where my father, Bob Stanier (also an OB, as it happens), was the headmaster. I didn’t realise it at the time, but these were the first buds of a friendship that was to last over 60 years – a friendship many of my fellow pupils shared with him too.

Graham Giles (GG): When Brian Bennett was at school in Oxford he used to go out painting with his teacher, Peter Greenham’, and this was, he said, ‘undoubtedly the greatest influence on my future’. I had the same experience with Brian. When he arrived at Berkhamsted School as head of Art, I was in the fifth form and already knew I wanted to be an artist. Brian gave me exactly the same support that had helped shape his own life, and we painted together in the wonderful Chiltern landscape around Berkhamsted.


GG: I was transfixed by the pictures he painted on a portable easel out of doors in thick oil paint applied with a knife. To work alongside him, witnessing his focus and concentration as he transformed a white board into a powerful image of his subject, was a deeply formative experience, far more vivid than any words could be, and

helped me establish values I still hold. I became the first student at Berkhamsted School ever to study Art in the sixth form on a brand new A level Art course that Brian had inaugurated.

TS: Graham’s description of Brian’s painting technique perfectly encapsulates the essence of the very thing that impressed me most about Brian’s approach. He talked so intriguingly about his philosophy of painting while simultaneously creating wonderful things on the canvas.

Brian taught for 30 years at Berkhamsted, and only retired from teaching when he found he could make more money from painting landscapes. His loves (in no particular order) were plants and the Chilterns – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, many of his paintings included both! The plants usually sit in the foreground, and the landscapes in the background.

Brian became a highly respected member of the painting world and ended up as President of the Royal Oil painters Institute.

Home is where the Heart is

TS: Brian and his beloved wife, Margrit, lived in the same house, in Upper Ashlyns Road, for over 60 years, and although Margrit, as a Fashion Designer, spent a lot of time in Paris attending starry Exhibitions, she was always more than happy to return to her home base. She master-minded (or should that be mistress-minded?) the garden and was a brilliant cook. They were terrific company.

GG: Brian and his wife Margrit were so generous and welcoming to me, and I spent a lot of time at their lovely house where they introduced me to the music they loved – adding another huge dimension to my life. Buoyed up by this early support, as well as the inspiration from Brian at Berkhamsted School, I went to art school in London and became an artist in my own right, living and working in Suffolk. This meant I saw Brian only occasionally over the years, but I knew he was working away with the same focus as ever, with an enviable reputation as the painter of the Chilterns.

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A Life Well Lived

TS: Brian lived long into his Nineties, but he never seemed to grow old. His hair remained spectacularly luxuriant – shades of Michael Heseltine – and his creative energy was astonishing – he continued to paint until the very end of his long life and even opened two exhibitions of his paintings, in 2022.

GG: I’m so glad I went to Brian’s exhibition in May, to celebrate his 94th birthday. It was very moving to find him surrounded by his new work, as vigorous as ever, and to be greeted with such warmth and complete recall of our painting expeditions together over sixty years before.

Brian’s knowledge and enthusiasm as a teacher, and his vision as an artist, have enriched so many of our lives. It is truly a blessing he was able to able to work right to the end of his exceptionally long and productive life

TS: The second exhibition (in September), which Brian attended in person, was hugely successful. It went so well, in fact, that two people commissioned him, on the spot, to paint further landscapes. I’ve no doubt this was hugely satisfying for Brian! He died peacefully four days later. While it is sad that the commissions were never completed, it was the perfect way to go. Bravo Brian! A life well lived.

Remembering the Legend

TS: Several Old Boys remembered Brian’s teaching with affection and admiration.

“Brian Bennett was a very good art teacher. I remember when he was teaching us about modern art, he created an amazing Picasso-esque picture on the blackboard, in coloured chalks. It seemed almost sacrilegious to rub it off at the end of the lesson.”

“I latterly encountered an exhibition of his in an Old Amersham gallery where I purchased an original oil of the river Chess and am looking at it now. Apparently, he discarded brushes in later life and used a palette knife instead.”

David Bird

I can vouch for what David says because I made a film with Brian, 20 years ago, and was fascinated by the way he created blades of grass with a palette knife. He talks eloquently about painting while simultaneously creating wonderful things on the canvas. If you would like to see the legend at work, please see link below.

Brian Bennett Tribute – ‘Celebrating the life of Brian Bennett’:

Cameron F. Sinclair (Up ’48)

18th July 1930 – 9th July 2022

Cameron Sinclair, a pupil at Berkhamsted School from 1938 until 1948, passed away peacefully on 9th July 2022 at Broadmead Rest Home, Newbury, Berks. He was 91 years old. Cameron was born in Tring, Herts. in 1930. His father was an RAF pilot stationed at nearby RAF Halton.

Aged 8, Cameron joined Berkhamsted Prep School in September 1938. There, he was joined by David Brent, an OB who now lives in Sydney, Australia.

Cameron recalled that during the Blitz of 1940-41, the boys stayed in the basement of the School. Armed with garden spades, rakes and hoes, the pupils were charged with filling in bomb craters on the sports field.

In the summer of 1943, Cameron returned home from school to join his parents in Lincolnshire, where his father was now stationed at RAF Cranwell. Whilst practising his batting in the cricket nets at the air base, he watched the flight of a strange-looking aircraft which had no propellers. Returning to Berkhamsted, Cameron wrote repeatedly to his father to enquire about this strange aircraft, but all his letters remained unanswered. Only at Christmas 1943 did his father dare mention that the strange aircraft

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Cameron had seen was Whittle’s Gloster E28./30, Britain’s first jet aircraft.

In 1944, at just 14, Cameron, an avid sportsman, became the youngest boy in the School 1st XI Cricket Team. At 15, he took up boxing – a rather painful experience, especially when he had his jaw broken and lost a front tooth, courtesy of schoolmate, Frankie Pringle.

On the occasion of the engagement of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten in July 1947, a dance was organised at Berkhamsted Girls’ school. Accompanied by John Flashman, they met Brenda Brown, Anne Price and others. Cameron’s school friends at that time included Derek Squires, David Tomkins, John Delafield, Frank Pringle and Tim Simms.

Having left Berkhamsted in 1948, Cameron commenced training with the Royal Marines and joined 42 Commando near Plymouth, Devon.

After completing National Service in 1951, he joined the Metropolitan Police. His police career spanned a total of 29 years, the majority of which was as a detective with the CID, and later with the Special Branch. Attaining the rank of Det. Chief Superintendent, Cameron retired from the police in July 1980, his final post being Head of Security at London Heathrow.

In 1955, Cameron married Margaret Smith. They moved to Whetstone, North London and, soon after, had two children, Helen and Hugh.

Until he finally retired from active duty in 1987, Cameron worked for several years as a government officer in Central London.

Following retirement, Cameron and Margaret enjoyed many a happy holiday in Cyprus.

By the time they celebrated their 40th anniversary in 1995, they had gained three grandchildren. They moved from Hadley Highstone, Hertfordshire to Woolton Hill, West Berkshire in 1997, where Cameron remained until he passed away peacefully on 9th July 2022.

Further information:

Tel: +49 173 918245

Charles Stuart Brian Rankin (Sw ’47)

8th July 1928 – 10th May 2022

It is with great sadness the family of Brian Rankin share the news of his peaceful passing at GR Baker Hospital, on the evening of March 10th, 2022, aged 93, the end of a life well-lived. Born in Northampton, England in 1928, his early childhood memories were filled with stories of the 2nd World War – of planes being shot down and of being under a table when a bomb hit a neighbouring house. Brian attended Berkhamsted School (a boarding school for boys) where he received a formidable education. In 1945, at the age of 17, he signed up for the British Navy and received training to become a wireless operator, learning morse code.

After leaving the Navy, he took a position as a clerk in an import/export company, work that took him to Holland (where he learned Dutch) and then to Indonesia. In 1952 Brian met the love of his life, Ann Winning. They were married in 1953 and had four daughters. In 1962 Brian began a night school program to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. After 4 years of apprenticing as a clerk during the day and studying at night, he passed his exams and qualified as a CA. In looking for a permanent position he spied an ad for a firm in Quesnel looking for accountants. Being a relatively young and adventurous couple, Brian and Ann decided to accept the offer of employment from Rigsby Lea Accounting. In April 1967 they packed up limited possessions and arrived in Canada.

Life in Quesnel was vastly different than it had been in suburban Bromley, just outside London. Brian often talked about how they were struck by the friendliness and the informality of work and life in Quesnel. He captured the essence of the move in his memoirs: ‘Everybody we met was the same, we could not possibly have come to a friendlier place. Eventually, we got used to the way total strangers on the street would say “hi” and

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smile, and it was a far cry from the colder social atmosphere of London.’

In July 1985 Brian set up his own accounting office. He served in various capacities with the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was named a Fellow of the Institute, which he considered a great honour. Brian was community minded. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, volunteered with the Fraser Village seniors’ home for many years and he served one term as Councillor with the City of Quesnel. One of Brian’s most satisfying endeavours, after he retired, was helping to establish the Quesnel Community Foundation in 2001. He served as the Foundation’s first president. The Foundation became a focus of his life; he strongly believed in the vision of building a legacy fund to support community service groups. He wanted to make Quesnel an even better place to live.

When not busy working, and once his daughters had left home, Brian and Ann spent many weekends camping in the Chilcotin and Cariboo. Brian would fish the small lakes while Ann sat comfortably at the campsite reading a book or knitting. He was an active member of the Quesnel Golf Club, serving as Handicap Captain before computers and databases. He played with a regular foursome well into his 80s and he enjoyed skiing at Troll until he was 75. Brian loved reading the Globe and Mail and every day he completed the Cryptic Crossword. His love of word games has been lifelong. Later in life, discovering he liked using an IPad, he would play scrabble with his daughters online, which was a great way to connect. Another favourite pastime was playing duplicate bridge at the Senior’s Centre. He also played with ‘the guys’ every Friday afternoon until Covid arrived! Latterly, Brian moved to Maeford Place where his talent for word games, and his memory for the lyrics of old songs, generated fond responses in that caring community.

Brian is survived by his daughters Sarah (Norm), Janet, and Anna (Fred), six grandchildren (Richard, Joanne, Megan, Amber, Jake and Hannah) and five

great grandchildren. He was predeceased by wife Ann in 2011 and daughter Katy in 2019. He will be greatly missed.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at Maeford Place, Dr Van Dyk and Fab at Quesnel Medical Clinic and the nurses at GR Baker. We are grateful for their skill and especially their kindness. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Quesnel Community Foundation (Rankin Family Fund) are gratefully accepted. Messages to the family may be sent to

There will be a private family service held at a later date.

Diana Worth (OS ’56)

16th June 1939 – 17th July 2022

Diana’s big love in life was Berkhamsted School for Girls, where we were both pupils in the ’40s and ’50s. She was an only child with few relations and with a father often away on business and, living in Amersham, there were not many challenges or interests at home. At school she excelled in science subjects and was a star swimmer and high diver. Her confidence and elegance were unforgettable as she made many a clean and noiseless dive on School Swimming Sports Day.

Diana left School in 1956 and worked as a radio isotopes technician in the fight against cancer at the Amersham Radiochemical Centre. Here she was a friend and colleague of the scientist Mary Troughton, who was sister to well-known actor Patrick Troughton and aunt to Elaine Troughton, who was our fellow pupil.

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Diana took increasingly responsible posts at Barts Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, and finally at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. She was accomplished in her career but, as it progressed, she became increasingly and deeply worried by inefficiencies in the system, incompetence among colleagues and the plight of her patients.

Her greatest gift was in keeping up with all Berkhamsted pupils whether she had known them or not, notably Rita Fantham (Woods) and myself. She attended all School reunions, read the magazine from cover to cover, and was a fount of all BSG knowledge!

As a result of this devotion, she had many friends but few close friends as she was a very independent and self-contained person. Unfortunately, Diana’s mother suffered from depression and dementia for most of Diana’s young life and died early on. However, Diana developed a strong daughterly bond with our old headmistress Miss Russell, who showed great concern for her as she, Diana, began to suffer from the same problems and illness as her mother.

In the early ’60s, when we were young, Diana and I shared a flat in London. I remember her as a wonderful flatmate: relaxed, adaptable and unjudgmental. We never had a disagreement and could reminisce all we liked about Berkhamsted School where we were so happy. In Diana, Berkhamsted School has lost, as I have, one of its greatest champions and an unwavering supporter.

George Knox (Ad ’51)

29th June 1932 – 28th April 2022

George Knox, who has died aged 89, was a much-loved family doctor, an inspirational trainer of young GPs, and a committed Quaker. Having practised in Yorkshire for many years, he later ploughed his energy into saving the cottage hospital in Wells-next-the-Sea, in Norfolk

Born in Tring, Hertfordshire, to Margaret (née Willcox) and Norman Knox, both general practitioners, he attended Berkhamsted School

and studied medicine at Clare College, Cambridge, graduating in 1954, and then King’s College Hospital, London. After qualifying, he did his national service as a medical officer at RAF Marham, Norfolk.

In 1957 he married Judith Vince and took up his first GP post in Burnham Market. The job then consisted mostly of home visits. “I worked consecutive days and nights without a break,” he told the author Raymond Monbiot. “Village post office workers would hold up a red flag to let me know of emergencies as I drove between calls.”

George grew up as an Anglican, but one day he was called to treat pupils on a field trip to Burnham Overy windmill. George was impressed with these articulate students from Ackworth, a Quaker school in Yorkshire, and this encounter inspired him and Judith to discover Quakerism.

A man with a social conscience, in 1974 George made a dramatic move to a practice in Batley, the industrial heart of West Yorkshire, a community where many patients were deprived. George valued the diversity of the community and found his patients to be appreciative and respectful.

George supervised and mentored trainee GPs, becoming chairman of Yorkshire postgraduate GP education, through which hundreds of young GPs passed. He ran a psychiatric clinic each week at Staincliffe hospital, Dewsbury, so his patients had longer to talk to him about mental health problems. He stayed in Batley until he retired in 1991.

After that he moved to Norfolk, where he ploughed energy into saving the cottage hospital at Wells-next-the-Sea, becoming chairman of the Friends of Wells hospital. The hospital was eventually transformed into a charity, the Wells

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Community Hospital Trust, providing clinical and non-clinical services for communities in west and north Norfolk.

For 20 years George had attended Huddersfield Quaker meetings, and in 1993, he was appointed clerk of the meeting at Wells. From 1994 to 1999 he was nominated as trustee to oversee the refurbishment of Quaker properties in Norfolk. He was a Quaker elder and served for three years as chairman of Wells Churches Together.

A sociable and ever-curious man, George kept abreast of medical developments, current affairs, history, literature and classical music, and loved playing the piano and organ.

He is survived by Judith, their five children, Robert, Sarah, Catherine, William and Richard, ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his sister, Sue, and brother, John.

eye of “JAD” as part of one of the most successful athletics teams the School has ever produced. He also excelled at art which became one of his lifelong passions.

On leaving school, Chris joined The Hudson Bay Company in London and then, six years later, moved to Hurvitz Furs. With both companies, he travelled throughout the world, searching out products for the companies to sell, and sorting, and then selling, their wares at auctions around the world.

We remember vividly Chris’s early horror stories of working in an extremely poor and backward Russia and then, towards the end of his career, his really interesting experiences in China.

After sharing a flat in Kensington with the two of us and many fabulous holidays in MG Midgets around Europe with an assortment of girlfriends, Chris met his Australian wife, Chrissie, in 1980 when working in Australia. They married in Australia in 1985 and then settled back in West London, where their wonderful son, Tom, was born in 1987.

Following several years based in London, Chris was promoted to manage and develop Hurvitz Furs operations in the Far East with a focus on developing the Chinese market.

John Christopher (‘Chris’) Mallet (Fr ’67)

17th September 1948 – 14th September 2022

Chris moved, with his brother Jonny and parents, to Berkhamsted in 1963, and began renovating Brick Kiln Cottage on Berkhamsted Common and joined Berkhamsted School.

Brick Kiln Cottage was a mile off the road and a mile from the nearest neighbour. In helping to renovate Brick Kiln, Chris learned one of his many life skills – renovating brilliantly old things be it bricks and mortar, furniture or anything that had something about it and was salvageable.

Chris was a great athlete and represented the School at 400 and 800 yards under the watchful

The family moved to Hong Kong and bought a junk they named “Serendipity” and had it moored in Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, from where Chris used to commute daily by Jetcat to his offices in Hong Kong.

After massively increasing Hurvitz’s sales and operations throughout Asia, Chris and Chrissie eventually retired in 2008 to Australia where, after living in Sydney for a period, they bought and renovated a beautiful country home in Berrima, located in the Southern Highlands, South West of Sydney.

In retirement, Chris and Chrissie continued their worldwide travels, spending their summers in their lovely old country house apartment in Devon and also taking various trips around Europe and Asia.

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John Knox

Whilst in Hong Kong, Chris had developed a passion for sailing and completed many long distance races in the South China Sea, and then subsequently, as it was by now his main hobby, racing yachts in and around Sydney Harbour, with the Sydney Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

Chris also loved walking and cycling, but more recently became passionate about the environment and, with Chrissie, was instrumental in stopping the development of a new coal mine near Berrima after a prolonged fight with a Korean mining company. Chris died unexpectedly from early stage Leukaemia and chest complications in Exeter Hospital.

Chrissie intends spending her time between the UK and Australia, whilst Tom continues to live in Paris with his lovely long term Australian partner, Sarah. Tom works for the French Hotel Group Accor, running their worldwide environmental team.

Chris will be sorely missed – particularly his broad smile, generous nature and enjoyment of life.

Jonny Mallet (Fr ’70) and John Greenwood (Fr ’68)

John Colin Stevens (Ad ’53)

23rd July 1937 – 5th September 2022

John was born in Hemel Hempstead and lived his whole life in Boxmoor. John went to Two Waters School, passed the eleven plus, and went on to Berkhamsted School in 1948. In his teenage years he took holiday jobs, firstly at Sharps watercress beds, but later opted for something a bit drier and worked for Frank Clarke at Longcroft Farm, in Felden, where he met Clifford White, of Wallington, Fabian and White, to whom he became articled. He was formally admitted as a solicitor on his 22nd birthday at a ceremony at The Law Society Hall.

His decision to become a solicitor may have been helped by his Aunt Mary, who told him that a solicitor didn’t need to know anything because it was all in the books on the shelves.

Having had his National Service deferred to enable his legal training, he joined the Army at 22. He gained a commission in the RASC and won selection to the Army Legal Services in Germany, and was promoted to the rank of Captain. At some point in his army service, he was put on the spot to entertain his fellow officers with his Bernard Miles impressions – this had all gone well at church functions – but the Army performance was not so successful as John had to shout (as no microphone was available), whilst the heavy rain hammered down on the tin roof. Bernard Miles didn’t go down so well under these conditions. Not sure where this fitted into the Nation’s defence.

After the Army, he started as an assistant solicitor at Warren Murton in Bloomsbury. Becoming a partner soon after he met his future wife, Sue, John, being a true romantic, took Sue on their first date to inspect boundaries on a building site near High Wycombe in his ancient left hand drive VW beetle, which had a habit of letting the windows disappear into the doors and, also, had a reluctance to start if the engine got wet. Their courtship led to them becoming engaged on Sue’s 21st birthday, and they were married in May 1966 at St John’s Church, Boxmoor.

Their adopted son, Richard, arrived at the age of 2 months in December 1973. He and his family, Jo and two children Callum and Rebecca, have brought much happiness to John and Sue over the years.

On the career front, after leaving the Army in 1961, he resumed his legal career, ultimately starting his own practice, Wainwright and Stevens, with one partner. He ended his career as one of the partners of one the largest legal firms in the county, Taylor Walton. He loved to get his teeth into a lease, but had limited DIY skills. If you needed a switch in one room to turn on a light in another, he was your man.

John joined the Hemel Hempstead Operatic and Dramatic Society in the early 60s, standing in the back row of the chorus because of his height, 6ft 5ins.

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A friend in the Society introduced him to Hemel Hempstead Round Table in 1967, with him eventually serving as its Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman. He went on to join the Hemel Hempstead Rotary Club, again, taking on the jobs of Secretary, Treasurer and Club President. He was honoured by becoming a Paul Harris Fellow for his work for Rotary.

Rotary started an Abbeyfield Society in Hemel Hempstead, whose aim is to provide sheltered housing for elderly people. John joined the main committee, which covered the three homes in the Dacorum area, and eventually became Chairman, a position he held for 13 years. A role where John’s legal skills came in useful.

On his retirement from the Abbeyfield Committee, he was presented with the Prince’s Award for Services to Abbeyfield by Baroness Bottomley, the then President of the Society.

In the early eighties, John became a governor of Westbrook Hay Prep School and Chairman in 2002 – and held the post for 10 years, presiding over great improvements to the facilities of the School.

Along with Sue, he joined Whipsnade Park Golf Club in the mid 90s and, in the fullness of time, became Seniors’ Captain. He was also a member of Boxmoor Probus Club, the only organisation where he took no committee role.

John had a strong sense of duty, commitment and concern for others, including his staff. He was always prepared to take on responsible jobs in anything he was associated with. But, of course, he was known as a good friend who always had a joke to share and who could be relied on to give good advice. John was someone who enriched your life and added a dimension which would otherwise not be there. He contributed to everyone’s life who knew him.

The overriding word used by so many in the cards and letters received by his family is the word ‘gentleman’, along with ‘a lovely man’, ‘incredible sense of humour’, ‘very competent and hardworking lawyer’, ‘good company’, ‘always kind and considerate’, ‘respected by all who knew him’ and ‘his wisdom was greatly valued’.

Ken Tipton (Ad ’61) 15th July 1943 – 13th August 2022

Ken Tipton died unexpectedly on 13th August 2022, aged 79. He won a County ‘free place’ to Berkhamsted School in 1954, leaving from Adders in 1961 to take a degree in Economics, Economic History and Law at Nottingham University. When, not yet 30 years old, he was appointed as Financial Controller of Unilever’s Research Division, Ken claimed he was then the youngest Senior Manager Unilever had ever had.

Ken was my younger brother by three and a half years. He could not remember his first birthday party on 15 July 1944 in the back garden of our 1938 semi in Belham Road, King’s Langley. But I can. A Doodlebug fell near a farm in Hyde Lane, across the valley, blowing its roof tiles off. Ken’s party was abandoned, and our father, a volunteer fireman, rode off on his bike to the Fire Station. Although that first official ‘occasion’ in his life was not a success, it was eventful. Ken loved creating occasions and events throughout his life, whether it was ‘cousin-fests’ for his relatives or an outdoor performance of Aida to open a new holiday village in Portugal for his business.

We both passed the 11+ at King’s Langley County Primary School. We both attended the 60th anniversary lunch, in Dean Incent’s old schoolroom, of all those pictured in the 1958 Adders house photograph. As I was the House Captain, pictured in the photograph, Ken encouraged me to give a short address after lunch. I entitled it “What has Berkhamsted done for you?” and proceeded to illustrate what I thought Berkhamsted had done for me, and who had been primarily responsible. Afterwards, Ken told me he did not think Berkhamsted had done much for him – if anything. But could he have been mistaken?

At his funeral, I remarked that we were almost exact opposites: Ken taking after our mother,

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and I after our father. I am a natural conformist and Ken was a non-conformist. Personally, I think Berkhamsted did a great deal for Ken – even if it was only to confirm to him his non-conformity. But I never told him that. He apparently did not aspire to be a school prefect, an Under Officer in the CCF, or to win an Exhibition to Oxford. Instead, Ken enrolled in the School’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award scheme and was in the very first batch nationally to win the Gold Award, which was presented to him by the Duke himself. Ken’s Gold expedition had been in the Derbyshire Peak District during a CCF arduous training week in the Easter vac 1961. His community service had been in the same Fire Station in which his father was serving on Ken’s first birthday in WW2.

When I was accepted at Berkhamsted in 1951, there were 25 County free places. When Ken took his 11+, there were only three. We took a similar route through the school: St George’s and Adders, but I took an accelerated route (one term in 1B, two terms in 2C and three terms in 3A, Upper 4A, Upper 5A). This enabled me to spend three years in the Sixth Form to sit for an Exhibition at Oxford, and a State Scholarship – neither of which I got. Ken took a conventional route in the A stream and bailed out in the Middle Sixth, as soon as he got his A levels in German, French and History.

The Headmaster (Mr B. H. Garnons Williams) learned that Ken was leaving and called him in, with my father, to try to persuade him to stay at Berkhamsted in order to go to Oxford. Ken was adamant he wanted out. My father remarked that the course Ken was enrolled on at Nottingham would give him better job prospects. That elicited Garnons Williams’ “eye to the main chance” expostulation, still much quoted in our family.

It is interesting to speculate what might have been Ken’s career path had he taken the headmaster’s advice. The School History (Davison 113) quotes Keith Hoskin (Lo ’64):

In retrospect I can see that I was one of those possibly irritating people who seem to be good at far too many things valued at the school. What

I didn’t appreciate was that this set certain life pathways in motion very early. So it was, for instance, assumed that I would get an open scholarship in classics to New College, Oxford, which is precisely what happened, but which also … made me unemployable, except as an academic. So my apologies to any I irritated. I got my comeuppance.

Had Ken gone to Oxford, Ken being Ken and being a lifelong Socialist, it seems to me he would more likely have followed a path similar to Michael Meacher (Be ’58), who moved on from studying Classics and Divinity at Oxford to taking a Diploma at the London School of Economics, and a career as a Member of Parliament. Meacher is only mentioned in passing in The School History as the Head of Tennis in 1956 (Davison 111) in a glorious anecdote recalled by another very well-known Old Boy. If you do not have a copy of Berkhamsted School, A 475th Anniversary Portrait, buy it and read page 111. I will not spoil it for you. My own claim to fame is only that I rubbed shoulders with both Meacher and the writer of the anecdote. I was in the fourth Latin Set in the Upper Fifth with the latter and stood next to Meacher in assemblies when he was Head of School in 1957/58.

But Ken neither went to Oxford nor went into politics. So, after getting his 2-1 at Nottingham, how exactly did he seize his “main chance”? His launch into the world of commerce, trade and industry was not altogether auspicious. He joined a stockbroking firm in a capacity which would later evolve into what became ‘boiler rooms’ – but was then very gentlemanly. He sat at the back of a room of young men promoting a particular stock, probably a new issue. He quickly found himself outclassed. He had a list of insurance companies and investment houses to telephone, but he noticed that everyone else in the room, except the one chap sitting next to him, was talking to his relatives and friends.

Ken explained his plight at lunch with a university friend, who told him he should work at Unilever with him. Ken asked how that was possible, as his brother had failed to get

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onto Unilever’s very competitive Graduate Apprentice Scheme by failing an ink-blot test and a psychological assessment by the Tavistock Institute. Ken’s friend explained that to join Unilever’s Economics and Statistics Department, you just needed an interview with Maurice Zinkin. And so Ken got his “main chance”.

Working for Unilever, at Blackfriars, in the Swinging Sixties was a good time for Ken. Apart from routine tasks such as forecasting the future price of peas for Birdseye, he eventually graduated to authoring the Unilever/CBI estimate of the cost of joining the Common Market. Many colleagues became lifetime friends. On his 24th birthday, he married Gillian, a PhD Biochemistry student at London University. She was the step-daughter of one of our father’s fellow directors at the Abbot (King’s Langley) Limited trade printers. Having flown back from Canada to be his Best Man, I breezed into Wedgwood Benn’s “Reverse the Brain Drain” office and immediately got a job with Monsanto Chemicals Limited in London. So that wedding in 1967 also changed the lives of my wife and me.

Ken spent almost nine years with Unilever, having been promoted to Financial Controller of Unilever’s Research Division. This involved much foreign travel and use of his pretty-fluent German and French. In the 6th form, Berkhamsted had arranged for Ken to exchange a term in a school in Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt. They successively lived at each other’s house. He and Gillian were intending to visit that German student and his wife this autumn. To improve our French, we had both spent summer vacs with a family in Paris. Ken reminded me, just a few months ago, that their house was a former Paris residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in exile.

In the same month that Ken left Unilever in 1973 to move to British Leyland, Gillian gave birth to their only son. Luke’s and his new wife’s (a French architect living and working in London) wedding reception was truly the culmination of all the parties, family gatherings and events Ken and Gillian had ever organised. With guests

flying in from Mauritius and France, the Wedding Reception was truly an Entente Cordial, held in a pointed-top marquee in their garden at Darland Hall in Rossett in North Wales. It was preceded by the Wedding Breakfast on a canal boat in Chester and succeeded, the following day, by a ‘cousin-fest’ to celebrate Ken and Gill’s Golden Wedding. Felix, his only grandchild, was the apple of Ken’s eye.

I do not know why Ken voluntarily left Unilever to spend 15 months with British Leyland as their International Pricing Manager. I presume his motivation for joining British Leyland was because he thought, with his experience at Unilever, he could make a difference at a national ‘lame duck’. Certainly, he was not successful in his assigned objective of introducing the Austin Allegro into the Common Market, and British Leyland went bankrupt in 1975.

Again, Ken was rescued by a friend from an unhappy choice of employment. This time, a former colleague from Unilever, then working at Wilkinson Sword in High Wycombe, arranged an interview with the Group Director for Human Resources. Reporting to the Group Financial Director as the Group Planning Manager, just after Wilkinson Sword had merged with British Match and was about to grow from a turnover of £60 million to £600 million, was a much more exciting prospect than British Leyland. The US steel giant Allegheny Ludlam bought Wilkinson Match four years later, but Ken stuck it out under American management for a further three years.

Ken says he left “big corporates to do my own thing in 1981.” It was a time of big changes, with Margaret Thatcher sweeping into government. Banks and other institutions with dodgy corporate loans resorted to installing managers to try to turn the companies around. Ken was one of those parachuted in. Ken tells his own story about working as a consultant for the next dozen years:

“I started with the legends at Phoenix Lloyd in Curzon Street in Mayfair. Other clients included the first retail video rental chain in Belgium and an oil rig technical support group. We found an international

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partner for a Brazilian bank. That introduced me to merchant bankers in the City and into international property development in Portugal, Spain, France – even a hotel in Verbier, Switzerland. Still got the moon boots.”

Whilst still working with Montpellier building holiday villages on the Algarve and in the South of France, Ken, with legal and banking friends, decided to indulge his passion for classical music:

In 1988 I raised £1 million for a business start-up in the record industry and sold out in 1994. Still play the CDs, though. At the same time, I had a crack at the textile industry – airline uniforms, high street and designer fashion. The timing was terrible –double dip recession of 1990/91 and interest rates at 15% per annum. Still wear the Vivienne Westwood blazer, though.

Initially, Dixit sold its recordings on to other record labels. The very first recording of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony, played by the London Symphony Orchestra, was one of these. Ken later set up his own label, The United Recording Company Limited, in an office in the textile factory. United issued its first recording in 1993 (Shostakovich) and went on to issue about 100 more CDs. Ken greatly valued being able to attend the recordings sessions. Right up until this year, he sent congratulatory emails when he spotted the names of the recording engineers in the credits of TV productions. Virtus laudata crescit…

I was a director and shareholder of Woolgrade, Ken’s small factory in a basement in the old garment district north of Oxford Street. We were proud to be making clothes for top British fashion designers including, Bella Freud, Margaret Howell, Betty Jackson, Edina Ronay, Amanda Wakeley and Vivian Westwood. When John Galliano lost his financial backer and missed a season, Ken invited me to lunch with this celebrity designer to discuss financing his next annual collection. Sensibly John Galliano chose Givenchy.

Ken was rescued in 1995, for a third time, by another former colleague from Unilever, who arranged for him to introduce a new business

strategy at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. From then on, he worked in Liverpool, eventually moving from Thame to live in North Wales.

“From 1997 to 2000, I was the first Chief Executive of the North West Media Training Consortium based in an office, at the back of a Hollyoaks set. Our Apprenticeship scheme with Liverpool Community College, Granada and the BBC produced the first 15 Skillset Modern Apprentices. Still drinking from the National Training Awards champagne flute.

“From 2000, I hitched my star to Paver Downes Associates (a marketing and communications agency) in Queen Square, Liverpool. Initially, as E-business director, I ran the successful Littlewoods online account. Then we won the SkillWorks contract from the LSC (The Learning and Skills Council), and that kept me busy till 2010. I joined the management buy-out, which led to the formation of Clarity Creation in 2007 until semi-retirement in 2011. Still in contact with many of my colleagues and clients.

“Recently, I have consulted for the City of Liverpool College and have been a non-executive director of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Still looking for new challenges though….”

After he came out of his apprenticeship our father worked all his life at the same company. Our younger brother, Stephen (who did not go to Berkhamsted), worked on mainframe computers, then installed desktop computers at BP, and then developed video conferencing in its early days, before retiring from mobile phone companies. He followed the technology changes in computers. Even I worked for only three different companies before joining the PAYE scheme of my own company. Ken, however, worked for multifarious companies in multifarious industries. In these days of ‘portfolio jobs’, it matters less as to who you work for but more as to what you do. After 1981, Ken was a ‘management consultant’, using the academic knowledge from Nottingham and the management training and skills he learnt at Unilever and Wilkinson Sword. He was working

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to improve the situation for others – but often without over-generous financial compensation for himself. I think the compensation was that, with the exception of the two 15 month ‘mistakes’, he took satisfaction from what he was doing.

Ken Tipton died unexpectedly at home in Wrexham, North Wales on 13 August 2022. The postmortem revealed undetected heart problems, even though he had been cleared for surgery at Maelor Hospital the following week. His cremation was booked for September – which turned out to be exactly the same time and date as that of Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral in Westminster Abbey: 11 am on 21 September 2022.

As Basil Garnons Williams was about to retire, a film was made to record the School at that time. At the end of the film, he says.

I should like Berkhamsted to be known as producing people who are more interested in their jobs than in the rewards of them, and above all to be known as people who keep their word; that is perhaps the most important part of life.

That exactly describes Ken. So what did Berkhamsted do for Ken Tipton? The School enabled him to live up to his headmaster’s ideal.

Patricia Plumpton (née Robinson, Bu ’49)

24th June 1933 – 17th October 2021

Patricia’s family have shared their eulogy with us.

“Welcome friends and family of Patricia. I am Pat’s youngest daughter, Joanna. Thank you all so very much for coming.

I know the journey for many of you to get here was not easy, and the fact that the church is so full, despite Mum’s advanced age of 88, is so very touching.

Pat was born on June 24, 1933, at home, in the School House of Wareside, where her father, Robbie Robinson, was headmaster. That day it was school

sports day, so someone took the message to my grandad (at about 3pm) to say he had a daughter.

Pat was the eldest of 4 sisters, Madeleine (who sadly passed away in 2018), plus Jane and Enid, both of whom I’m grateful are here with us in the church today, and I’m sure could regale us with tales of their own about Mum, if asked!

Mum’s earliest memory was sitting in the back of the car with a dog (or two), while her sister Madeleine, (born 1935), was in her mother’s arms in the front passenger seat. They were driving through Banbury (probably on the way to visit grandparents) and her father sang, “Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross”. I was very touched by this memory, because one of my own earliest memories is giddily sitting on my mum’s knees, going up and down, on the telephone chair by the front door at Arnos Grove, Southgate, while she sang the very same tune to me.

On Sundays growing up, Pat would always wear a hat and gloves, and was never allowed to run. Her father would take her to church for Morning Prayer (1662, of course!) and she particularly remembered enjoying the Te Deum with its repetitive phrase of ‘praise thee’. They always had to face forwards and never look behind. She mentioned the odd occasions when she had to pump up the air into the organ (no electricity there). In the afternoons she would go to Sunday School, run by a ‘Mrs Chalkley’. We still have the book she won as a prize for good attendance.

When Mum was about 10 she won a scholarship to Ware Grammar School for Girls. It was about 2½ miles to Ware, so although she would sometimes go on a bus, she usually cycled there and back. I do wonder if that’s where her love of cycling started.

When Pat was about 11, her father was appointed Headmaster of Park View School, Berkhamsted, on the other side of the county. Pat’s scholarship was transferred to Berkhamsted School for Girls, but she still had to pass an interview. Until her father could find somewhere for the family to live, he decided to find “digs” for

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the week and go home at weekends. Her father went with Pat, in the family car, via Ware and St Albans – right past the house in Branch Road, St Michaels Village, where we lived many years later, and I spent my teenage years in the 90s.

When Pat left school, she joined her father as a keen member of the Berkhamsted Amateur Operatic Society – her father was still performing, until he passed away at 92, with a splendid tenor voice you could hear throughout the house if he chose to sing in the bathroom. Hence Mum’s early introduction to choral singing which both she and my dad love.

It was Pat’s mother that encouraged her to play the piano, and she very much enjoyed playing duets with her sisters.

My dad, Allan, met Pat, initially through an introduction by his younger sister, Betty, who, like Pat (her office friend), was keen on classical music and concerts, particularly those held at the Royal Albert Hall. Also, they were both keen touring cyclists, as was Allan.

This latter interest was the catalyst that brought my parents together. Betty and Pat planned to do a cycle tour to Germany using YHA hostels. My nanna, told her daughter, Betty, she could only go if they had a man with them, so why not ask your brother, Allan?

Nanna came up again a few days later whilst Allan was at the kitchen sink washing up and said ‘Would you please consider going with Betty on this tour? Please do, as you’ve cycled right through Holland and down the Rhine Valley only a few years ago, with your cousin, Philip, so you know the ropes out there- and Pat is excellent in German, so there’ll be no problem with communication. Think what might happen if they got punctures or had other technical faults right out in the countryside?”

During that epic 2 week tour in July 1957, they both felt growingly close to each other-not unnoticed by sister Betty, who kindly started riding behind them most of the time, whilst Allan set the pace and did the map-reading.

The rest, as they say, is history. The following weekend Pat Robinson was invited for dinner with Allan’s parents at the family home. Allan invited Pat to accompany him up Lover’s Walk, in Finchley. On bended knee, he asked her to share her life with him. And, under that 1930s style gaslamp, she agreed.

When first married, Mum and Dad lived in Croxley Green but attended Watford Parish Church, where Pat quickly got recruited onto the leadership team of their Covenanter group. Meanwhile, she aided and abetted Dad at the activities evenings, run in their little house, for the Crusader group in Croxley Green (now called Urban Saints). At this time, Pat helped out in the office at Watford School of Music, when not doing her weekly trips up to London for secretarial/PA work, for a very elderly American professor she’d met whilst still working full time in London, pre-marriage.

Pat’s secretarial skills really came to the fore several years later, when she helped Dad set up his own accountancy practice, to supplement the salary he got in the charitable world after joining John Grooms Association (now part of Livability), which is one of the charities we are inviting ‘in memoriam’ gifts to be routed towards, (the other being Africa Inland Mission, with which both mum and dad have been voluntarily involved since marriage until the present time).

Now, I really think Mum’s secretarial skills touched most, if not everyone, here today, with her personalised letter writing, birthday, anniversary and Christmas card sending. (I think a big selling point of their house in Goring was the fact there is a postbox right outside.) It’s been wonderful to have so many people share with us how much it meant to them that she remembered. Mum also loved receiving cards, particularly those on Mothering Sunday, although woe betide any of us that got her a card that said Mum or Mother’s Day on it. That was a big faux pas!

In 1965, Pat and Allan moved to Arnos Grove, Southgate. Just 6 months before the move to London, they adopted their first daughter, Sarah,

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and then their son, Simon, was adopted in 1966, giving them both much joy both at home and in Southgate Parish Church, which I think they helped to ‘liven it up’ just a little! Again, Pat got involved immediately with the local Crusader bible class groups, and she also became a very active member of the Mother’s Union, of which she remained a member to the end. It’s good to see Mum’s friends from these groups with us here today.

In 1976, Mum got a big surprise, and found she was expecting me! And on her last trip to visit me at my then home in Montreal, Canada, 9 years ago, she shared with me, on our visit to the lookout at Mont Royal, that was where she had first felt me kick.

After almost 25 years in London, Mum really wanted to return to be closer to the countryside. I remember how pleased she was that you could see the fields in the distance from our home at Branch Road in St Albans. Once again, she got stuck into the local community, the church at St Michael’s, the Good Neighbour Scheme and the 40+ cycling group, to name but a few. We also went on many cycling and walking holidays, plus several trips overseas, which continued right up until just a few years ago. Dad and I particularly remember Mum deciding she was still going to come and join Dad (who’d been out volunteering with AIM in Kenya), despite being on crutches, having suffered a broken ankle just a couple of weeks earlier!

Just over 10 years ago, Mum and Dad moved here, to Goring-by-Sea, to be closer to Sarah, my sister, and despite Mum’s advancing years, she endeavoured to once again become an active member of the community, particularly here at the Church of St Mary’s. Thank you for welcoming them into the fold in these latter years of their lives. I know Mum was very happy here.

And now, in closing, I’d like to hand over to my Dad…”

“But for Pat’s love and care over these past six years, I doubt I’d be here today. Pat was my much beloved wife over 63 years. Apart from earthly

interests, we both believed there was a spiritual dimension to life, which had been inculcated into us by our respective parents at a very young age, leading each of us to become progressively involved in membership. To say we were always in agreement would be a fib, and in spite of initial disagreements on a few occasions, (like how we should educate our three children best), we always came to an amicable compromise-often with me backing down. It really has turned out to be ‘a marriage made in heaven’, I now feel, and I’m so gratified all three of my children are here to witness it.

Thank you again, so much, for attending this memorial and celebration of Patricia’s life, and for listening to a synopsis of her love of God, family, friends, music, cycling, travel and… card writing.



Edward Flint (In ’57)

29th October 1939 – 20th January 2022

Philip Flint had an unquenchable wanderlust and curiosity for life that saw him travel extensively throughout his life, traversing all five continents, and living in six different countries. And whilst he was fearless in facing new challenges, experiences, people and cultures, his bonhomie, together with his infectious sense of humour, allowed him to make friends effortlessly. His charisma and magnetism drew you in irresistibly.

He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 29 October 1939, to Edward Arthur and Keens Flint, who emigrated there during the war, and for the next 82 years of his life he didn’t sit still.

Berkhamsted School proved to be a massive focal point in Philip’s life, as not only was he a boarder during the late 1950s (In ’57), his father was an Old Boy back in the 1920s, and all four of his sons attended the school during the late 1970s and 1980s – Michael (In ’83), Derek (In ’84),

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Richard (In ’86) and Stephen (In ’88). Indeed, his son Richard was married in the school chapel and three of his grandchildren were christened there. With all the continual globetrotting, the school provided a place of stability and relative calm for all three generations.

Philip was a successful banker for over five decades, working in the Americas, Asia and Australia, but his real interest and passion was for his family and friends. He was fiercely loyal and he was his family’s centre of gravity, the glue that kept his sons close – to him, as well as to each other. His love for his wife, Frances Robinson, was undoubted and lasted more than 58 years.

He sadly passed away on 20 January 2022, in Florida, where he had retired at the ripe old age of 70. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and will be missed.

Reginald ‘Reggie’ Herbert Fair (Hon) 29th July 1925 – 20th July 2022

Reggie Fair, who died in July a few days short of his 97th birthday and 58th wedding anniversary, had served for 34 years on the staff at Berkhamsted. He was one of the last of the generation of schoolmasters who had seen military service during the Second World War.

He was born 29 July 1925, the youngest of three children to Charles and Marjorie Fair. He was named Reginald in memory of his mother’s youngest brother, Reggie Secretan, who had been killed in the Battle of Third Ypres on 31 July 1917, aged 22. Reggie and his sisters grew up in a boarding house at Haileybury, where his father was a housemaster and classics teacher.

At the age of about 7 or 8, he started boarding at a prep school in Broadstairs but didn’t enjoy it to begin with. However, he progressed to Marlborough, where he was a fine games player in the 1st XI for cricket and hockey.

He left school in July 1943 and went to an Officer Cadet Training Unit at Hertford College Oxford, where he spent a year. Part of the week was spent as a student with a lot of sport and the rest as an officer cadet. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery. This was on the advice of his father, who had been an infantry officer in the First World War and had survived almost two years on the Western Front. His father advised that gunner officers had a longer training and lower mortality rates than infantry officers. This was prescient given the horrific losses of infantry officers in Normandy and the subsequent campaign.

By the time he had completed artillery training at Larkhill and Catterick, the war in Europe was nearly over. He was sent to join a unit in Egypt and was training in the Canal Zone when the atomic bombs forced the surrender of Japan. He always said, ‘Thank God for the Bomb’ as he was spared what would have been a very bloody campaign to invade the Japanese islands. Instead, Reggie served in Hyderabad, in India, during the last days of the Raj, until partition in 1947. The gunnery meant that he had become fairly deaf in one ear, and this accounted for his loud voice.

He left the Army and went up to his father’s Cambridge college, Pembroke, in the autumn of 1947. He chose to read Geography over his other favourite subject, History. Because of the wartime backlog, universities were graduating students after only two years. However, Reggie chose to stay on for a third year, though much of that was spent playing for the Cambridge University Wanderers (Hockey) and Cambridge Crusaders (Cricket) before going down in the summer of 1950. Sadly, his father died suddenly a few days later on 29 July – Reggie’s 25th birthday.

It is perhaps surprising to learn that Reggie’s very first job after graduation was to work for IBM. He was not good with technology. For someone that could normally be relied on to uphold his end of a conversation, he would be rendered speechless on encountering an answerphone.

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This experience of the commercial world did not last long, and he turned to what he knew –teaching. He first joined the staff at Clifton College in Bristol, but moved after a year to Kimbolton School so he could be closer to his mother in Hinxworth in North Hertfordshire.

In January 1954, he joined the staff at Berkhamsted in answer to an advertisement for a master to run the cricket. The Berkhamstedian’s valete in 1988 recorded:

“At that time the pitches were poor and school cricket was at a low ebb. It was not long before Reggie, with characteristic energy, had added the duties of groundsman to his other tasks. At his instigation a regular groundsman and cricket coach was appointed, whose family could live in the house newly built for them beside the playing fields. Alf Pope was one of the successful Derbyshire Championship team of 1936, and his professional expertise, together with Reggie’s infectious enthusiasm, led to a revival of school cricket.” This included an unbeaten season in 1959.

Reggie also ran staff cricket, and one fixture of particular social importance was with the village team at Hinxworth in North Hertfordshire, whence his parents had retired in 1946. He was also one of the founders of school hockey in 1963 and played for many years in the legendary staff side, the Pterodactyls.

However, he didn’t come to the School solely for sport but also as an academic master. He was Head of Geography for almost thirty years. In the early 1960s, the department was small, “with only eight or nine boys taking A level each year.” The Berkhamstedian recorded that when he retired in 1988, the numbers taking A level varied “from 30 to 45. This is partly because of the subject’s greater educational importance and the necessity for boys to take three A levels instead of two, but it also reflects Reggie’s unbounded enthusiasm. In 1970, the department, whose members had previously taught in many different locations, was allotted a portion of the new Thorn building, and this became its centre with the Geography room at the top level.”

In his early years, he was House Tutor of St John’s (senior boarding house) and then Uppers.

He married Janet May in July 1964, and it turned out to be a long and happy marriage that kept Dad young and certainly kept him going in his later years. However, it started not without a hint of scandal. They had met a couple of years earlier when Janet, then a boarder at the Girls’ School, had been invited by the parents of her friend, Jane, to have Sunday tea with them. Jane’s father was the Headmaster, Basil Garnons-Williams, so tea was had at their house in the school grounds. They’d invited one of the house tutors for tea, too – a certain Reggie Fair. As Reggie had been at the school for quite a few years by then, and was 18 years older than Janet May, ‘G-W’ probably didn’t think twice about what might happen. However, once Reggie and Janet had met, the rest, as they say, is history.

They took the next twelve months for honeymoon and travel. This included teaching in New Zealand with a term each at Christ’s College in Christchurch, a prep school St Peter’s in Cambridge in the North Island and time to tour the physical geography of those islands.

On return to Berkhamsted in 1965, he became the first housemaster of the newly created day boy house, Fry’s. The Fairs started a family and had three children in the next five years.

“Finally from 1969 to 1981 he was housemaster of Incents during a particularly happy and successful period. Past members of Incents have reason to feel very grateful to Reggie and Janet for their care and encouragement and for providing, together with their three children, the large family atmosphere of a disciplined but spirited house. Reggie is very much a family man and would be the first to acknowledge that his school life has been enriched by Janet’s constant and unstinting support. Janet has always found time to be interested in the boys’ welfare, and when she and Reggie first went into Incents she undertook the organization of all the catering and domestic arrangements at a period when her own family was very young.”

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His interest in sport remained strong, even if he was not actively playing or coaching, whether it was rugby at Twickenham or using his MCC membership for test matches at Lords. Particular highlights were the legendary 1981 Ashes series and Bill Beaumont’s Grand Slam winning side of 1980. In the latter, he took me to see England beat Wales 9-8. It really didn’t matter that it was an ugly game because, at long last, we had beaten Wales, and for once, he could lord it over Berkhamsted’s Welsh rugby masters.

Some of our best memories in this era are from our epic family holidays, which involved packing our Ford Transit camper van and touring round Europe for three weeks and up to 2,500 miles. We ranged as far afield as Denmark, Austria, Northern Italy, Northern Spain and the Western Isles of Scotland. We rarely missed an opportunity for a bit of geography learning. As we moved from country to country, Dad would point out U-shaped valleys in the Alps, or explain the reclamation of the Dutch polders whilst in the Netherlands. He took many photos, which would end up in the extensive library of slides he built up over the years and used for his geography lessons. This could occasionally cause embarrassment as, when he started talking about a geographical feature, you found yourself projected on the classroom wall – included in a photo for scale – but half your current age, with a bad haircut and dodgy 1970s outfit.

He was pleased that his geography gene had been passed on, with all three of his children achieving ‘A’ grade Geography A levels. I followed in his footsteps to read Geography at Cambridge, and the eldest of his grandsons was recently awarded a 1st in Human Geography from Exeter. The passion for maps and volcanoes lives on in the youngest grandchildren.

Reggie retired in 1988 before moving to Hinxworth in 1989. The Berkhamstedian’s appreciation hoped that his “retirement be long, happy, and active.” It was all three. The days were filled with renovating and extending Cammocks, the village bridge club, being a warden at

St Nicholas’ Church and family with seven grandchildren. He particularly loved pottering in the garden and tending the Marjorie Fair roses named after his mother.

I really got to know him better in this phase of his life in the course of researching our book, Marjorie’s War: Four Families in the Great War 1914-1918. I found the first of some 400 letters in 1991, and we pieced together the story over several years until publication in 2012. Reggie had never really known his own father’s war story, or those of his uncles, as veterans usually didn’t like to talk about their experiences. We walked the ground and found where the members of the family had served. This included High Wood on the Somme, an action for which his father had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1916, and the spot near Ypres where his uncle Reggie had been killed in 1917.

We learnt in this era that his greatest sadness was that his own father had died so young at 65. He often commented that he felt guilty that he’d outlived his father by so many years. Occasionally his eyes would well up even as the fog of dementia was descending, and invariably we would find that he had been thinking about his father.

Life became harder in the final few years of his life as Reggie slowly became more and more frail in body and mind, but Janet faced it with her usual stoicism and practicality, along with the support of wonderful neighbours in Hinxworth. His lively persona slowly disappeared, leaving just a ghost of the man we all knew. Occasionally there were lighter moments, when a little of the old Reggie would briefly surface. One of these was when Reggie and Janet moved down to the Isle of Wight permanently in April 2021. Reggie went to stay at a nursing home run by a friend of his son-in-law, so Janet had a few days to manage the packing and unpacking. Having been told that Reggie couldn’t get out of a chair on his own, the manager kindly found him a lovely room on the top floor, so he had a view of the sea to enjoy. The next day we got a rather panicked phone call,

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“I thought you told me he’d stay put!” she said. “We’ve just found him wandering the top landing dangerously near the stairs, asking for a gin and tonic!” Reggie was clearly enjoying himself and thought he was in a hotel.

To OBs, however, it is as a geography teacher –in the de rigeur tweed jacket with elbow patches – and housemaster that he will be remembered. As one of his former pupils wrote in a message of condolence, he was “an inspirational teacher and a wise and sympathetic housemaster”. “We learned so much more in his classes than just the subject that was being taught”, said another. We would like to thank the OB community for the many kind messages, of which many noted: ‘he had a good innings’.

Charles Fair (Be ’84), Alex Moss (née Fair, ’89)

Reverend James Laird Maclelland (“Mac”)

Farmborough (SJ ’41)

23rd December 1922 – 20th February 2022

Mac’s son, Mark, has kindly provided this tribute which includes many charming and vivid personal reminiscences, in his father’s own words.

Mac’s great-grandfather, Francis Farmborough, had 16 children and died at the age of 99 in 1904. Mac’s father was an oil engineer who lived much of his life in Trinidad, West Indies.

At 9 years old, Mac went to Swanbourne House School. This is the headmaster’s comment about him when he left: ‘I don’t remember any boy whom I shall miss more and whose character I admire more than Mac. The small boys love him. He is bound to do well.’ After that, at the age of 14, Mac gained a scholarship to Berkhamsted, where he was in the First 15 Rugby Team and was awarded the ‘Victor Ludorum’ on Sports Day. He was an exceptional shot and also threw the javelin with distinction.

During the Second World War, Mac was accepted for pilot training. He flew Tiger Moths and qualified to be a pilot. “We always used to say if you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good one.”

Mac trained pilots at Woodley and then flew in 118 Squadron of Mustangs, at about the same time as the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The Mustang was really a long-range escort plane – the Spitfire could fly for three and a half hours with extra tanks, but the Mustang for over 11 – meaning they could escort the daylight bombers. On one flight Mac’s pupil misread the petrol gauge. “We had not gone far before we had run out of petrol. To see our propeller stationery in front of us, indeed silent, was not welcome. I took control of the plane and headed towards a field with a nice long stretch into the wind. As we were coming down, I noticed an electric cattle fence… thankfully I was able to clear it and land in the top half.”

My family have been farmers for many generations. The museum in Aylesbury has documents which show that Farmboroughs have farmed there for 600 years. Our family tree goes back to the 13th century and all living Farmboroughs are related. Mac did much research on behalf of our family and produced an updated family tree tracing back to Peter Farmborough in 1270.

Mac rose to become a flying officer in the RAF. “As the war ended, we escorted Churchill to the Potsdam conference and then the Berlin conference.” This is the squadron leader’s report on Mac: “He is at all times most loyal; is a keen athlete and is of most temperate habits.”

After the war, Mac was accepted to study at Magdalene College. He asked if the offer was conditional on passing exams in physics and chemistry: “The interviewer said no, but he hoped

152 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2023

I would have a good reason if I failed.” Mac’s parents had attended Broadwater Church, a fine Evangelical church, worshipping there for many years. Mac joined the Young People’s Fellowship and an ex-pilot, David Harris, befriended him –“In the summer, after one of the meetings, we went for a walk together on the Downs. As we talked about our fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, he asked me if I would like to pray that His cross would pay for my sins. I agreed; so David suggested we kneel on the grass to do so. I was a little uneasy, as below us was the golf course of which I was a member. However, I knew I needed to go through with this and it made me a committed Christian, the basis of my relationship with God ever since”.

Mac went on to say, “In my first year at Cambridge, David Harris wrote to say another member of Broadwater Youth Fellowship, Peggy Howells was at Cambridge. She was nursing at the Evelyn Nursing Home and I should look her up. I replied that I was far too busy. However, we did meet in Worthing on one occasion when we were both on holiday, and then managed to enjoy some Christian meetings in Cambridge.”

After Magdalene College, Cambridge, Mac studied at Ridley Hall for one year, then moved to the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary College, Bristol, “In my second year, on the 28 March 1952, Peggy and I married, in Broadwater Church (of course!) – over 70 years ago now. I remember I bought a sidecar for my Norton motorbike, and we took it over to Jersey for our honeymoon”.

“After working in several churches in England, we went, by ship, to Brazil. David, the eldest, was 7 and was happy all night long if he had his teddy, the Reverend Ted Brown. Simon, two years old, on the other hand needed his red tricycle alongside him for a good night. Mark (18 months) slept in a cot in our cabin. All he needed was his shawlie –which was often chewed, and gradually reduced in size! He only had to brush it under his nose and his eyes would become dreamy, even in the middle of the day.

As we lay in our cabin, we felt a thrill of adventure as we watched the lights of Swansea disappear through the porthole. Pegs was 34 and had 3 sons, yet here was the start of a new life. It was a rough crossing at the Bay of Biscay. When the Captain saw Mark tucking into his scrambled eggs, with both hands, perhaps one of his anxieties was eased. After further stops for engine trouble, we finally anchored and a launch came out to meet us. The Captain explained to us that in Brazil everything had to be achieved by bribery: The Dock Official would expect a case of whisky and when this had been give all arrangements would go smoothly. Without whisky, there would be untold complications. Because everyone accepted this, the Dock Official would receive a poor salary. Who profited in the end I do not know, but I was foolish enough to try to put an end to the system.”

Mac worked for many years in South America, first in Brazil for 6 years, and later in Chile for 12. Whilst working in Brazil, Peggy became increasingly ill and had to return to the UK for medical treatment. Mac was in sole charge of his boys: “It is a bit cooler at night. The three boys have slept with me since Pegs left and there are now quarrels about who has the counterpane. We are always awakened by the loud greetings of the nightwatchman across the road at the supermarket. He seems to have so many friends who are hard of hearing! Our church is on a busy corner and surrounded by a 3-foot wall. This keeps the boys off the roads, but the top of the wall provides a good area for the sellers of vegetables. They spread out their wares, and often sit on the wall beside them. When we got our giant poodle, Chocky, he took exception to this, and used to nip their backsides”.

Commonwealth Sports Day at the Cricket Club

“Simon went in


the Boys Under 5 Racer. He did not win but liked it so much that he went in for the Girls Under 5 as well! Fortunately, he did not win, or I would have had some explaining to do! Mark was given a generous handicap because of his vision problems and was in a good position to

The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 153

win. I shouted encouragement to him from the touchline and he veered off the track to give me a cuddle. I went in for the Father’s Race, but I only came fourth out of seven and the boys were disgusted.

We have a lot of fun out of Mark now. We are all in fits trying to teach him how to say mosquito. He says quite a lot and even some Portuguese words. He is still eating like a horse, and growing fast, I think he will be the biggest of all my sons".

In a letter home to Pegs, Mac wrote: “You must not worry about the boys. They are slow to obey, and I think they always have been. I do not remember a time where Simon has done what he has been told immediately, unless he was going to do it anyway!”

We received a cable from Pegs to say she was out of hospital, but the boys got the wrong message, and went round the house, singing “Mummy is coming home!” The maid caught the meaning of this and started a major cleaning of the house, walls and everything. “I wondered whether to correct her but decided I should as we want the job done when she is really coming back”.

Mac bought some budgies in a cage. “The boys were so thrilled with them, and Simon took them for a walk in the garden – still in the cage fortunately! We cover them and they normally settle. If we have the gramophone on too loudly, then there is a great flutter in protest. We keep them on top of the glass cupboard in the dining room (above “Simon” level)”.

“The boys are in good form. We get on well with Simon’s teacher but find that Simon has a bit of a reputation. His teacher is well aware of the problems, but thinks he is bright, and will have more to interest him next year. She also thinks he is a good shot (she is the one he threw a brick at). Mark is a friend to everyone and does his best to keep Simon out of trouble”.

lamp hanging from a 3-foot brass cobra. I borrowed this from her. We put a yellow shirt on David, wrapped a red turban around his head, and with a sash and plenty of beads he looked the part.

Pegs found a penny whistle, and David sat in front of his cobra blowing the whistle like mad. He got first prize for originality. He offered to share his prize with the owner of the snake, but as it was a game of horse racing with dice, she let it all go to him. Simon was a French onion seller with a moustache and a beret. Mark looked sweet. I had found a set of blonde plaits in the restroom and, with a straw hat, he went as Miss World. We all thought he was the best, but the judges did not give him a prize – I think they thought he was really a girl”.

"The boys have done some rock climbing at Adam and Eve Beach. I was glad to see that David would tackle anything that Simon did. I built a shed for the Lambretta. The boys are keen to ride it. I find that with our basket on the carrier, to keep pegs on the backseat, David can sit between us, Simon stands on the floor between my knees at the front and mark is on one of Peggy’s knees. The Brazilians welcome this kind of initiative and even a policeman gave us a cheery wave”.

Mac returned to work in parishes in the UK and was a representative for the South American Missionary Society. Towards the end of his fulfilling career, in 1989, he was awarded an MBE, which he received whilst out in Chile.

You know you have an exceptional father when you ask to go fishing and he takes you down the Amazon, to Fish for Piranhas.

Fancy Dress Competition

“We were hard put to think of a costume. Happily, I had been to visit an elderly lady who had a table

Well Dad, you didn’t quite beat Francis Farmborough, your great grandfather, and make your century in years – nor in the number of offspring (falling short by 14 to win)! You were never a betting man, but always relied on God’s help and guidance throughout your long and successful life of public service, living out our family’s motto: God is our Refuge. Deus Noster Refugium.

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Robin Stanier (Lo ’57)

3rd August 1938 – 17th July 2021

My brother, Robin, had strong ties with Berkhamsted. His father (Bob Stanier) and uncle (Tom Stanier), had both been at Berkhamsted in the 1920s, as, coincidentally, had Robin’s future Australian father-in-law, Harry Hopkins. The ties were further cemented when two of Robin’s sons, Michael and Angus, each spent a year at Berkhamsted as Assistant Teachers under a reciprocal scheme with Canberra Grammar School. All of them had fond memories of the school. As do I.

Robin did well at Berkhamsted. He ended up as Head of Lowers and flourished on the sports fields. He broke the 220 yards record, opened the batting for the School in cavalier fashion, and captained a Rugby team that went through the season unbeaten for the first time in living memory. They became known, rather grandly, as “the Invincibles”.

Robin is holding the ball and I am top far left

From Berkhamsted, Robin went up to Magdalen College Oxford, to read Engineering. The college was a stone’s throw away from where his father, Bob, was the headmaster of Magdalen College School (at the opposite end of Magdalen bridge). Students in those days were required to be back in college by midnight, and Robin’s athletic prowess came in very handy. He found that if he heard midnight start to strike while visiting his parents, he could then sprint the 200 yards back to College, before the midnight chimes had completed, and so avoid the obligatory fine. In a more conventional athletic environment, he also ran in the relays for Oxford against Cambridge.

Robin had always had a particular interest in aeroplanes. After graduating, he worked for two years with Rolls Royce, in Derby, on aero engine development. He then developed itchy feet. He spotted a job going in Australia and wanderlust, plus the twin temptations of doubling his salary and a first-class ticket to Australia, carried the day. It was to prove a happy decision. Within two years, he had married a Queensland girl, Rosey Hopkins, and settled down in Canberra to combine a very happy family life with working for the Australian government on various aeronautical projects. The cost of flights to and from the UK in those early days was astronomical, and I was very touched when Robin agreed, in 1965, to become Best Man at my wedding. I only discovered much later that the ticket to the UK had cost him a third of his salary.

Robin never lost his interest in aeroplanes and was particularly proud of his involvement in the Nomad Searchmaster Project. The Searchmaster planes were designed to detect drug smuggler boats at night time, through infra-red detection and radar equipment. So successful were they,

The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 155

that the drug traffic in Australia was severely curtailed and redirected by the smugglers to land routes through Mexico. Two months before he died, Robin was profoundly gratified when the Royal Aeronautical Society of Australia gave him a Distinguished Service Award.

gods from a past age. A heady experience. As we drove away, Robin said to me ‘That was the best day of my life.’

Robin’s sons are all passionate supporters of Australian sporting teams. Robin was initially loyal to England, but as the years went by, he ‘went native’ and transferred his loyalties. On the last day of his life – by a wonderful piece of timing – he and his sons watched on television, as 14-man Australia held on to score a nail-biting victory over France. Robin was spellbound. An hour later he died. What a way to go.

Robin’s final visit to the UK was in 2015. Berkhamsted School had decided to mark the centenary of playing rugby union. There was to be a day of celebrations, culminating in a dinner for 100 people. They contacted the members of Robin’s unbeaten 1956 side, the Invincibles. ‘Would we like to be their guests at the dinner?’, they asked. I told Robin about it without for a moment thinking that he would accept. To my amazement, he said ‘Yes’ I’m coming.’ You can take the boy out of Berkhamsted, as they say, but you can’t take Berkhamsted out of the boy.

It turned out there were seven of us Invincibles willing and able to attend. We met in a pub for lunch and were hugely relieved to find that we were all recognisably the same. We then went up to the Playing Fields to watch the school score a handsome victory over Abingdon School. The game had definitely moved on since our day, and they were far better than we had ever been. On then to the main event. The average age of the diners was 25, while our table looked about a hundred years older than everyone else. We were amused and amazed, therefore, to find that these superb young athletes viewed us clapped out veterans with awed respect and treated us like

Robin Williamson, who died in September this year, was born in Edinburgh. His father, Ken Williamson, was a noted ornithologist. His mother, Esther, was from the Faroe Islands; his parents met when Ken was posted there in the Second World War. Robin was hugely proud of his Faroese and Scottish heritage. In fact, he had a full outfit of Highland dress, which he wore to Burns nights and to a garden party at Holyrood House.

The Williamson family moved south to Tring when Ken started working for the British Trust for

156 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2023
Jane Moore, Robin’s wife, shares her personal tribute to him below. Robin Williamson MBE CTA (Fellow) MA (Oxon) 22nd February 1955 – 4th September 2022 Tom Stanier (Lo ’59)

Ornithology. Robin attended Berkhamsted School, and his time there had a strong positive influence on the rest of his life. His career was in the tax profession, but his good grounding at school in classics, music and English meant that these remained life-long interests. His happy memories of the School led him to continue to support it throughout his life, both financially and as a regular attendee at Old Berkhamstedian events.

After leaving school in 1972, Robin read Classics at Worcester College, Oxford. He then qualified as a solicitor and worked in general practice, before specialising in tax law at publishers CCH, where he was a highly-regarded senior writer and editor.

In 1999, Robin volunteered for the newly-formed Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), a charity that works to improve the tax and benefit systems for people on low incomes. He later became its technical director, and under his guidance, LITRG had many successes. For example: getting better protections for digitally-excluded taxpayers, for those in tax debt, and for disabled people and carers. His work included consultations with government, briefing MPs and appearing on radio and TV to explain topical tax issues.

Robin retired from LITRG in 2018, but he did not retire from tax. He spent a year as a senior policy adviser at the Office of Tax Simplification and wrote a textbook on taxpayer rights.

Robin was well known, liked and respected in the world of tax, as demonstrated by a plethora of tributes to him in the tax press, and the many friends and colleagues who came to his funeral. He had a passion for tax justice but was always self-deprecating about his achievements.

In 2015, he was surprised and delighted to be awarded an MBE for his work on behalf of low income taxpayers. In 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Tolley’s Taxation Awards (the Oscars of the tax profession!). Both were very well deserved.

There was much more in Robin’s life than tax. A talented viola player, he benefited from music

teaching at school and formed a good relationship with Adrian Davis, then Director of Music. He played in the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra, and later in various chamber music groups and in the Bridgewater Sinfonia under Adrian’s baton. For the past 20 years, Robin was a member of the Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra, playing and also writing programme notes. The Orchestra is dedicating its November concert to him.

Robin’s interest in English language and literature was developed at school by two inspiring teachers, David Pearce (who was also his Housemaster) and John Davison. It is no coincidence that Graham Greene was one of Robin’s favourite authors, and we regularly attended the Graham Greene Festival in Berkhamsted. Robin always kept in touch with DRAP and his wife Liz, and happily, we were able to attend JAD’s memorial service and an OB dinner earlier this year.

Classics remained a lifelong interest for Robin, as did languages, history, theology, and more besides – he was a real polymath. But he also enjoyed less cerebral pleasures, such as cooking, fine wine and scotch whisky, travelling and walking.

Robin was diagnosed with renal failure in his late twenties. He had a kidney transplant in 1995, which served him well for 27 years. He always made light of his health problems and never let them hold him back. One friend said this was

The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 157

made clear when they flew to Switzerland on a skiing holiday, and Robin was accompanied by 12 boxes of dialysis fluid! I often found that at social gatherings, people would buttonhole me to ask how Robin really was, as he would invariably have told them he was fine. Even in this last year, when his health deteriorated, and he had a lot of pain and illness, he bore it all stoically and with great courage.

Robin had a talent for making lifelong friends. I don’t think anyone has ever had a bad word to say about him, and it was very rare for him to say a bad word about anyone else. I have been overwhelmed with tributes to Robin from friends and colleagues. Typical comments include: “Robin was a gentleman”, “He was always polite, kind and supportive”, “He was a good friend and good company”, “He had a dry sense of humour, a fund of anecdotes and a memorable laugh”, “He was one of the nicest men it’s been my privilege to know”.

Robin was my best friend and companion. We were happily married for 20 years, just reaching our 20th anniversary in the July before he died. To me and many others, he was a very special person, and will be greatly missed.

Sidney Russell Smith (Sw ’42)

27th September 1924 – 26th September 2022

The Russell Smith family were raised in a spacious country home named ‘Savona’ in Berkhamsted. The house name was derived from the port in the south of Italy where his father, Henry Russell Smith, was rescued following the torpedoing of the troop ship SS Transylvania on May 4th, 1917.

Sidney was sent to the nearby Berkhamsted School. It became clear to Sidney’s father that his son was not cut out for university, and, towards the end of his school days, he suggested that he might join the Royal Air Force and avoid impending conscription.

The advice was duly followed, and at the age of 17, he was shipped out to New York on the Queen

Mary and then onward bound to Assiniboia, Canada, where he trained in Tiger Moths and gained his ‘Wings’. Further training (instrument flying, navigation) followed in various aircraft.

At some point in his training schedule, he had a couple of weeks’ leave and ended up spending the time at the mansion of Spyros Panagiotis Skouras, a Greek American and President of 20th Century Fox at the time. As ever, family connections brought about this unlikely event as Sidney’s sister, Beryl, had been a friend of Spyros’s daughter whilst they were both at a finishing school in Switzerland. Although Spyros was in Hollywood at the time, Sidney received an invitation to stay at the family home on Staten Island, where they were ‘spoiled rotten’. He joined the family’s daughters’ chauffeur-driven trips to New York for shows (Frank Sinatra live) and fine dining – a very far cry from the reality of war at home.

He spent further time in Canada at Weyburn flying Harvards, then on to Quebec and, finally, to No 1 Advanced Tactical Training at RCAF Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

At this point, his training was complete, and he was flown back to the UK on a Liberator bomber.

Once his conversion training was completed, he was assigned to 174 Typhoon Squadron and took part in the Rhine Crossing in March 1945. Interestingly, the rest of his ‘buddies’ were shipped back from Canada on the Queen Mary and did not get to fly operationally as the war drew to a close.

At the end of the war, he left the RAF and returned to base – back to Watford. Here he found ‘civvie life’ pretty flat after the times he had had

158 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2023

over such formative years. The camaraderie of the training environment, coupled with the ‘Canadian’ experience, must have been quite exhilarating in many ways. His love of ball games, combined with a real aptitude, made West Herts Hockey and Watford Tennis Club his social spheres. He met and married Dorothy Taylor, and they lived in Orchard Close, Watford. As the children came along, he decided that a return to the Royal Air Force would give him and his family greater lifestyle opportunities, so he retrained as a Fighter Controller and was sent to Cyprus and then on to Iraq to train the Iraqi Air Force.

He spent many of his ensuing years in the RAF based at RAF Bawdsey, in Suffolk, and this is where the family were eventually grounded. However, tours of Saxa Vord (Shetlands), Kai Tak (Hong Kong), and Akrotiri (Cyprus again) were interspersed with time in the UK before he retired in 1974.

He and Dorothy then turned their hands to creating their own ‘Savona’ in Lower Ufford, Suffolk. With a little bit of help, they built and landscaped a home of their own to provide a true haven following the series of married quarters and hirings necessitated by the RAF.

His eldest granddaughter, Louise, met and married another old boy, Michael Taylor, in 2016, and Sidney was able to revisit the School and his old junior school house, St George’s, which he remembered fondly.

He lived long, he lived well and will forever be loved and respected as we remember him and his life.

to Dorothy (née May), who died when Tom was eight, and Martin Addiscott, a second lieutenant in the Second World War then manager of a fur factory, Tom was educated at Berkhamsted School, before studying Chemistry at Hertford College, Oxford, graduating in 1963.

He then spent a year as a United Nations Volunteer, working on improving soil quality in Tanzania. He helped to develop methodology to assess what quantity of nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium and calcium, would be available to a farmer’s crops, and which nutrients were economically worth testing for and how to do it. In 1966, Tom started work at Rothamsted, the agricultural research organisation, completing an MA the following year and a PhD in 1973, both at Oxford University.

Thomas Addiscott (Ad ’60)

29th June 1942 – 27th January 2022

My colleague, mentor and friend Tom Addiscott, who has died aged 79, was an agricultural research scientist who helped to determine the benefits and the environmental consequences of using fertiliser on the soil.

Born in Brocket Hall, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire, which was then being used as a maternity hospital,

At Rothamsted, Tom developed some of the first computer models for the leaching of nitrate, and later phosphate, from soil, which can have damaging effects on the environment, including the creation of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, and green algal blooms in lakes. His work laid the foundations for much of the environmental computer modelling of the movement of water, nutrients and pollutants today.

Tom had a strong social conscience and retained a lifelong interest in Africa. As a member of the Farm Africa charity, he visited Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. For many years he led the local branch of the IPMS trade union at Rothamsted, and was endlessly considerate and encouraging to his colleagues, with a mischievous sense of humour.

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The Prince of Wales presented him with the gold medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1991. He was appointed a visiting professor at the University of East London in 1997 and awarded a DSc by Oxford University in 1999.

Tom retired from Rothamsted in 2002, but continued publishing articles on a range of issues related to soil quality in agriculture, on nitrate and human health, and complexity theory in a soils context. He was also licensed as a reader in the Church of England and was actively involved in the parish of Harpenden. He would happily discuss science, politics, and religion over a pint. He also loved music, especially Bach and jazz.

In 1974 he developed a glioma, a type of brain tumour, requiring surgery and high-dose radiotherapy. Having almost died, he treated every moment from then on as a gift. The effects of the radiotherapy started 30 years later, leading to a slow deterioration in his mobility, speech and memory.

He is survived by his wife, Sally (née Nicholas), whom he married in 1970, their daughter, Catherine, two granddaughters, Erin and Lucy, and his brother, Tony, and sister, Susanne.

Future Events

We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those listed below, who have passed away recently:

n Alan Poulter (SJ ’63)

n Ann Askins (née Weekes, Sc ’57)

n Charles Dunham (Co ’69)

n Christopher Smith (Up ’64)

n David Brackley (SG ’55)

n David Haslam (Sw ’67)

n Ian Golding (Ad ’53)

n John Bradford (SJ ’51)

n John Sunderland (Sw ’42)

n Onome Oyaide (Sc ’93)

n Pat Webb (Hon)

n Philip Wright (In ’58)

n Richard Purkess (Ad ’53)

n Richard Wilding (Be ’50)

n Roger Emery (Sw ’53)

n Roger Rogers (SJ ’55)

n Sheila Dalton (née Gibson, OS ’54)

n Sheila Long (née Weatherill, OS ’43)

n Susan Carling (née Wheatley, ’54)

n Timothy Knight (SJ ’69)

n Wednesday 1st March OB Ltd and OB Trust, Annual General Meeting

n Saturday 11th March OB Talent Show

n Friday 24th March OB Annual Dinner

n Saturday 22nd April OB Rowers Reunion

n Wednesday 10th May 50+ Mens Reunion

n Sunday 25th June 50+ Girls Reunion (provisional date)

n Sunday 2nd July OB v School Cricket (provisional date)

n Saturday 23rd September 2013 Leavers 10 Year Reunion (provisional date)

n Saturday 11th November 2003 Leavers 20 Year Reunion (provisional date)

n Saturday 18th November School Michaelmas Fayre

n Wednesday 6th December Annual London Dinner

160 | The Old Berkhamstedian 2023

OB Contacts

Brigitta Case (President from October 2020)


Peter Willson (Deputy President)


David Dodds (Treasurer)


OB Contacts for Events and Clubs

London Luncheon Club

Peter Willson


Sports Secretary

Alison Guthrie



Anthony Theodossi


Andrew Joyce



Martin Iacoponi


The Tudor Rose Golfing Society (Ladies’ Golf)

Alison Welborn


OB Golfing Society (Men’s golf)

Dave Atkins – Captain


Matthew Dennehy – Secretary



Paul Fitzpatrick


Mike Horton


Mrs Vicky Rees (Administrator, TOB Office)

Overton House, 131 High Street, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2DJ

Tel: 01442 358111; Email:

Victoria Russell (TOB Magazine Editor)


Lynne Oppenheimer (TOB Editorial Assistant)



Larry Eaton



Larry Eaton


Old Girls’ Lacrosse Match v School

Vicky Rees



OB Hares Netball Club

Debbie Buzzle



Vicky Rees



Gavin Rees



David Pooley (Hon Secretary)



Penny Kent


Brigitta Case


The Old Berkhamstedian 2023 | 161
Designed and printed by Lavenham Press, 01787 247436

Articles inside

The Old Berkhamstedian article cover image
The Old Berkhamstedian
page 3
The President’s Message article cover image
The President’s Message
pages 4-5
The Principal’s Message article cover image
The Principal’s Message
page 6
Treasurer’s Report article cover image
Treasurer’s Report
page 7
The Old Berkhamstedians’ Office & Questionnaire Results article cover image
The Old Berkhamstedians’ Office & Questionnaire Results
pages 8-13
The Berkhamsted Society article cover image
The Berkhamsted Society
pages 14-15
The Friends of Berkhamsted School article cover image
The Friends of Berkhamsted School
page 16
The Friends of St Peter’s Church article cover image
The Friends of St Peter’s Church
page 17
The Berkhamsted School Archive article cover image
The Berkhamsted School Archive
pages 17-18
The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge article cover image
The Old Berkhamstedian Lodge
page 19
23rd Graham Greene International Festival article cover image
23rd Graham Greene International Festival
pages 19-21
Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards 2022 article cover image
Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards 2022
page 22
Berkhamsted School Highlights 2022 article cover image
Berkhamsted School Highlights 2022
pages 23-24
News of 2010s and 2020s Leavers article cover image
News of 2010s and 2020s Leavers
pages 26-27
News of 2000s Leavers article cover image
News of 2000s Leavers
pages 28-30
News of 1990s Leavers article cover image
News of 1990s Leavers
pages 30-31
News of 1980s Leavers article cover image
News of 1980s Leavers
page 31
News of 1970s Leavers article cover image
News of 1970s Leavers
pages 32-34
News of 1960s Leavers article cover image
News of 1960s Leavers
page 34
News from Berkhamsted School article cover image
News from Berkhamsted School
pages 35-36
News of 1950s Leavers article cover image
News of 1950s Leavers
page 35
Swapping Pen Strokes for Brush Strokes article cover image
Swapping Pen Strokes for Brush Strokes
pages 38-39
Rise of Lazarus – or –Jammy Dodger Strikes Again article cover image
Rise of Lazarus – or –Jammy Dodger Strikes Again
pages 39-41
The Falklands Conflict of 1982 - A Reflection 40 years on article cover image
The Falklands Conflict of 1982 - A Reflection 40 years on
pages 41-43
Swimming the Channel article cover image
Swimming the Channel
page 44
My Early Life - An Introduction article cover image
My Early Life - An Introduction
pages 45-50
A Novel Start article cover image
A Novel Start
pages 50-51
Memories of  The Queen article cover image
Memories of The Queen
pages 53-60
HRH Prince Philip article cover image
HRH Prince Philip
pages 61-64
2012 Ten-Year Reunion article cover image
2012 Ten-Year Reunion
page 66
2002 Twenty-Year Reuinion article cover image
2002 Twenty-Year Reuinion
pages 66-67
50+ Years Lunch – 12th May 2022 article cover image
50+ Years Lunch – 12th May 2022
pages 67-68
Class of 1972 Berkhamsted Reuinion article cover image
Class of 1972 Berkhamsted Reuinion
page 67
50+ Years August Reunion article cover image
50+ Years August Reunion
page 69
Whitehill Party article cover image
Whitehill Party
page 70
London Steak and Cheese Dinner article cover image
London Steak and Cheese Dinner
page 71
Old Berkhamstedian's Dinner article cover image
Old Berkhamstedian's Dinner
page 72
Mary Rose Farley (née Bateman) Headmistress of Berkhamsted School for Girls from 1971-1980 article cover image
Mary Rose Farley (née Bateman) Headmistress of Berkhamsted School for Girls from 1971-1980
pages 73-74
John Anthony Davison article cover image
John Anthony Davison
pages 75-79
All Event Attendees article cover image
All Event Attendees
pages 80-84
A Warm Welcome Back  - From the Sports Secretary article cover image
A Warm Welcome Back - From the Sports Secretary
page 86
OB Golf article cover image
OB Golf
pages 86-94
OB Sailing Weekend article cover image
OB Sailing Weekend
pages 94-95
OB Rifle Club article cover image
OB Rifle Club
page 95
OB Football article cover image
OB Football
page 96
OB Fives article cover image
OB Fives
pages 97-101
OB Cricket article cover image
OB Cricket
page 102
OB Tennis article cover image
OB Tennis
pages 102-103
OB Netball article cover image
OB Netball
page 104
Travel Grants Knox-Johnston Awards article cover image
Travel Grants Knox-Johnston Awards
pages 105-116
Staff Valete article cover image
Staff Valete
pages 117-132
Obituaries article cover image
pages 133-162
Future Events article cover image
Future Events
page 162
OB Contacts article cover image
OB Contacts
page 163