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Items for the next issue of ‘The Old Wilsonian’ should be sent to the editor at Wilson’s School by 13th December, 2013. If emailing, pictures should be sent as high-quality jpgs. The editor reserves the right to amend copy to fit the magazine. Where possible we have sought permission to reproduce photographs. However, it has been difficult to trace the ownership of some images and we apologise if we have failed to credit anyone. If there are errors or omissions, please notify the editor. Editor: Sacha Marsac (OW, ‘00-’07) Alumni & Development Officer Alumni & Development Office, Wilson’s School, Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 9JE 020 8773 2931 email@example.com
Cover photograph: 2013 Leavers. © Ed Carew-Robinson 2013
Movember at Wilson’s
Contents Welcome To ‘The Old Wilsonian’ ... p. 4
News From The School ... p. 5
Events ... p. 19
The 1615 Society ... p. 22
Tim Hou’s Gold DofE Award
Tim Hou, OW, was the first Wilsonian to reach the Gold level of his Duke of Edinburgh Award and he was invited to St James’s Palace to receive it ... p. 7
The Changing Face Of University
In 2010-11 Aaron Porter, OW, was the leader of the National Union of Students. He knows a thing or two about University and he’s got something to say about it ... p. 17
1965 & The 350th Anniversary
David Page, OW, and Les Wilkes, OW, look back on their memories of the 350th Anniversary of Wilson’s ... p. 23
400th Anniversary - 2015 ... p. 25
News From Hayes ... p. 26
Two 6th Formers interviewed Stan Alfert, OW, and they’ve written about his experience of being evacuated with Wilson’s during the Second World War ... p. 36
The Wilsonian Sailing Club ... p. 35
News of Old Wilsonians ... p. 38
Class of ‘53 Reunion
Mike Pike, OW, has written about the Class of ‘53 Reunion to the old school in Camberwell earlier this year and about the memories it brought back ... p. 41
Welcome to The Old Wilsonian
elcome to The Old Wilsonian, a new magazine for all Old Wilsonians. It has been produced by the Alumni & Development office at Wilson’s and the Old Wilsonians Association and we hope there’s a little something in here for everybody. During the year or so since Wilson’s established its Alumni Office we’ve worked closely with the OWA and we’ve seen some great successes. Over 1,200 Old Wilsonians have connected with us, either through the new website or via one of the various social networks we’re on. While this is a great start, we’ve thousands more Old Wilsonians to find, so the work isn’t finished yet! Over the next year we are going to be even busier and you may notice some changes in the way the Alumni and OWA websites work. It’s all part of a plan to make sure that every Old Wilsonian, no matter where he is in the world, is able to get in touch with his old schoolmates, hear from his old school and make the most of the networking opportunities that we can offer together. We will also be changing how we keep in touch with you. The Old Wilsonian will be sent to every Old Boy once a year, while the termly News of Old Wilsonians (NOW) will now be published twice a year. This edition of The Old Wilsonian replaces the May issue of NOW,
with normal service there resuming in October. We’re hoping that this small change will allow us to create an annual magazine that every Old Wilsonian wants to read while periodically keeping you all up to date. If you’re currently on the NOW mailing list, there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll get your usual NOW twice a year and The Old Wilsonian once. As well as this magazine, we’ve also been working together to hold a number of reunions. Since November we’ve hosted one reunion at the School and held two at the old school in Camberwell. These events are so important to what we do, which is getting Old Wilsonians in touch with each other. We have more planned over summer/autumn and we’re always happy to help you organise something, so please get in touch with any plans. Now is the time to start looking forward to the next steps. Over the next few years Wilson’s will be celebrating its 400th anniversary, the school will be expanding to 180 boys per year, we will be building some tennis courts for the first time and we have thousands more Old Wilsonians to speak to. If you would like to support any of these projects or if you have any other ideas then we would love your help. We will also be looking for innovative ways to support the school as Old Wilsonians, whether by offering www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
careers support, expertise, work experience or by raising money, there will be a way for every Old Wilsonian to help. If you haven’t registered on the website yet then please head to www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk. In case you’re not online, you can always send us a letter and we will make sure we’ve got your most up-todate contact details. This will allow us to send you invitations to events, monthly updates and your free annual copy of The Old Wilsonian. All that remains for me to say is thank you to the people who have made this magazine possible. Thanks to Malcolm Taylor, long-time editor of NOW and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the Old Wilsonians; and thanks to Mike Pike, another stalwart of the OWA and someone who has written more than his fair share for the club over the years. I would also like to thank Alex Forbes and Clive Peckover, two members of the OWA hierarchy who have put me in touch with people, pointed me in the right direction more times than I can remember and who are both a pleasure to work with. I hope you all enjoy your new magazine and I’m looking forward to hearing from you over the coming months. Sacha Marsac, (OW, ‘00-’07) Alumni & Development Officer
News From Wilson’s
his has been a busy year at Wilson’s and we’ve seen a lot of changes. Earlier in the year Wilson’s consulted on expanding as a coeducational school. They listened to staff, parents and current students and have now decided that from September 2015 the school will be expanding but with boys only. The next part of the process involved building a new block to house the extra students and this will be built over the next two years. In sports, the school has won trophies in Football, Rugby and Badminton. The Rugby trophy is a particularly notable one as the sport is still in its early days at Wilson’s. Under the guidance of Tom Stradwick the 1st XV have come on leaps and bounds. Sadly he has been poached by Whitgift, but we’re really looking forward to watching
the team build on all their hard work next year. We have continued to see boys take part in a wide range of sports, from cricket and football through to climbing, table tennis and athletics. Two members of the leaving Upper 6th this year have proven themselves to be outstanding athletes. Niall McManus has been one of the outstanding football players in his time at Wilson’s and has signed a professional contract with Millwall FC, while Jacob Paul, also leaving this summer, has proven himself to be a world-beater in the 400m hurdles.
they want to. There is even a society which helps students set up their own society! Every Tuesday approximately 150 Army cadets and 70 RAF cadets parade at the school under the leadership of Major Burton. This is one of the largest CCF units in south London and on the three annual camps they routinely compete with other schools’ units, often beating them!
Outside of the sporting world Wilson’s has continued to excel at Chess, with the 1st team now unbeaten in the league in five years – that’s 48 matches without loss. It’s great to see that Chess is still an important part of life at Wilson’s. According to the posters around the school there are over 150 ways to get involved at Wilson’s, which explains why just about every boy is involved in something outside of lessons. Whether its acting in one of the three school productions each year, debating, bird-watching, playing an instrument in one of the many musical ensembles, the Juggling Club, the Christian Union, playing for a sports team, the Warhammer Club or any of the other societies, the boys at Wilson’s are encouraged to try anything www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
In December last year the unit held its first annual dinner at the RAF Club and they will be hosting it again this year. All of the details will 5
be available online and from Major Burton nearer to the time. For boys who want to experience the ‘Great Outdoors’ but don’t want to do it in fatigues, the school now runs the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards for all students. The boys begin in Year 10 with their Bronze award and are given all of the support they need to get to the Gold Award, which involves camping for four days in the wilderness of the Brecon Beacons. Later in this magazine you can read about the experience one
recent leaver had when he picked up his Gold award from St James’s Palace earlier this year. Academically Wilson’s has continued to excel, with last year’s leavers breaking yet more records to give the school its strongest results ever. We saw nine boys go to Oxford and Cambridge, while many more went on to their first choice Universities. There are also a number of boys who chose to go straight into work and we’re looking forward to hearing from them and supporting them through the Alumni Network.
To find out about all of the latest news from Wilson’s visit the website at www.wilsonsschool.org or follow them on Twitter: @wilsonsschool.
6th Form Music Lessons
Year 11 Art
1st XV Rugby Cup Winning Team 6
Finally, the boys at Wilson’s have raised thousands of pounds towards a wide range of good causes over the last year. Whether it’s wearing a mustache for male prostate cancer, mufti days for schools in Africa or quiz nights for their volunteering expeditions around the world, it’s great to see the time and effort they invest in charity.
My Trip To The Palace by Tim Hou, OW
n September 2008 at the beginning of Year 10, I remember sitting in the hall to receive a briefing on a new opportunity available exclusively for our year. This was the opportunity to improve my leadership, teamwork, navigation and people skills whilst also having an enjoyable time and creating some lasting memories. The opportunity that I am talking about was the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I embraced the Award immediately and have never looked back since. But why the nostalgia? On Wednesday the 15th of May, I had the pleasure of travelling to St James’s Palace to receive my DofE Gold award which I achieved in 2012 while in the Upper Sixth at Wilson’s. I turned up dressed in my smartest suit, slightly nervous but eager to celebrate the success of myself and others through this once in a lifetime opportunity. My mother as my designated guest and I were first ushered into the Entree Room where all the Gold award winners from London were congregating. We were given a
short briefing on etiquette with H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh, and then formed two groups to eagerly await Prince Philip’s arrival. Upon entering the room he was immediately cracking jokes and this
allowed many to relax and engage in conversation with him. He asked my group whether any of us had done our expedition abroad, to which I then nervously discussed my Gold Expedition to Bavaria. Although a short encounter, it was one which will forever remain www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
etched in my memory. Thinking back to when I didn’t even know what the award scheme was in year 10 and now getting the meet the ‘main man’ in person, it really was a magnificent experience. After the Duke had left the room we were then lined up for a photo in our two groups. Our VIP guest who we had presenting our awards was Alastair Stewart OBE, one of the main newsreaders for the ITV. For the photo I was actually sitting next to him, and managed to hold myself together for a quick handshake and conversation about my DofE experience before the photo was taken! After the photo, Alistair gave out the awards in a very warm manner making every single Gold Award holder very proud of their achievements. Afterwards he gave a brilliant speech to congratulate us and also to look to the future and to keep up the same spirit and attitude throughout our life that we have shown towards the award. It was a genuine pleasure to meet him and afterwards he shot off to present the 6:15 ITV News! The whole day was amazing, getting 7
to venture inside St James’s Palace, which is not open to the public, and also to meet both the Duke of Edinburgh and Alastair Stewart was an extremely memorable experience and makes me glad that I stuck with the award scheme, even when at times we found ourselves lost on expedition with the rain tipping down in the howling wind! Looking to the future I am currently completing my training to become an Expedition Assessor and gain my accreditation. Hopefully by early July I will be a fully qualified Assessor and return to the school to assist with the expeditions.
A huge thanks needs to go to Mr Beggs who initially brought the DofE to Wilson’s and has been in the award with me from the start. I owe a great deal of the award to him who continuously put in time and effort with not just my year, but continued to develop the DofE at Wilson’s to the point that there are now 4 years all participating in the scheme. I am sure that the award will continue to be a success at Wilson’s and that Mr Beggs’s involvement is crucial in this. Although academic achievements are fantastic, the DofE teaches pupils life skills that can’t
be learned in the classroom. It is therefore an invaluable opportunity and allows pupils to blossom once leaving the school. To those who are considering the scheme, I would very much recommend it as the experience is priceless and also incredibly enjoyable, and to those currently on the scheme I wish you the best of luck in the future and hopefully you too will be able to visit the Palace to receive your Gold awards very soon! @TimJHou For more information on the award please visit: www.dofe.org
An early start on expedition
A Bronze DofE group on the South Downs 8
Gold DofE in Brecon
very year at Wilson’s we say goodbye to members of staff. No matter how long they’ve been teaching at Wilson’s, they go on to join the ranks of Old Wilsonians in the same way that the students do. This is our opportunity to say thank-you to them for their hard work and wish them well with what they go on to do.
and hope that he keeps in contact as, deep down, he will always be a Wilsonian.
Director of Sixth Form (2002-2013) he ‘legend’ that is Mr Doyle bids farewell to Wilson’s this summer. Computers have ‘Ask Jeeves’ but the Chemistry department have enjoyed the services of ‘Ask Doyle’ for the past ten years! Mr Doyle came to Wilson’s as a student teacher back in 2002, after a successful career as an industrial chemist. His talents for teaching were soon recognised and he was offered a permanent post at the school. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, continually changing his role within the school. He was promoted to Head of Chemistry in 2005 and led the department for three years. During this time the A level chemistry A grades rose from 52% to 85% and for GCSE chemistry the number of A*/A grades rose from 56 to 114! Unfortunately for the science department Mr Doyle’s talents had been spotted by the pastoral team manager, Miss Smith, and he was appointed as Year Manager of Year 9 in 2008. He flourished in this role, leading this year group successfully through to the end of Year 11. After another year with a new Year 9 group he returned to his original year group as Director of the Sixth Form in 2012. Mr Doyle is loved and respected by his colleagues and the boys. He has always been committed to the extra-curricular activities of the school, accompanying the trips to Germany, the Battlefields and Russia, volunteering for the Duke of Edinburgh walks and taking Years 7 & 8 to the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. He will be very much missed, but he is off to new challenges and a shorter journey to work at Reed’s School in Cobham. We wish him all the best
oanna Daniels arrived as a newly qualified Chemistry/Science teacher back in 2005. With her commanding chemistry knowledge she soon challenged and stretched the boys studying Chemistry at Wilson’s. One such boy in her Lower Sixth class was Christopher Ironside, who returned to Wilson’s in 2011 to teach alongside Joanna! In 2006 Joanna got married and became Mrs Banks. Over the years Joanna has proved to be a stalwart of the Chemistry department. Chemistry teachers have come and gone but Joanna has always been there to welcome and support new staff. She has arranged Sixth Form lectures and courses at her old university, University College, London. She has been a tutor from Year 8 to the Sixth Form. Now that her two children are starting school, she is ready for a new challenge in her teaching career as Head of Chemistry at Croydon High School. We say a fond farewell to her and wish her every success.
Jamie Parkinson, OW Biology (2006-2013)
ince (re)joining Wilson’s in 2006 Mr Parkinson has engaged fully in the life of the school. With his footballing background he was always going to be an asset to the PE department managing teams every year as well as his invaluable role in the staff vs student annual battle. No one will forget the affection of the boys even when www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
he scored against them! But like a true Old boy he has thrown himself into everything. In the biology department he has helped strengthen and widen the appeal of the subject. His ‘life lessons’ about appropriate dress in poor Welsh weather during the A-level field trip will be sorely missed. Finally, who will step up to fill his shoes in the wider life of the school, from apple bobbing to our outstanding compere of ‘Wilson’s Got Talent’? Jamie is off to Wallington Girls where he will be Head of Biology and we all wish him luck.
Head of RE and Philosophy (2008-2013)
iss Evans has made her mark on Wilson’s in countless different ways, most notably by building the reputation of R.E. and Philosophy as true academic disciplines and encouraging the growth of the flourishing A-Level in Philosophy. She leaves us to head up the R.E. team at Lady Margaret’s School in Fulham, where the girls will no doubt be far more appreciative of her fondness for pink than the boys are here at Wilson’s! Her legacy on that front will remain, however, as it was under her leadership that the R.E. office door was mysteriously re-painted a fetching shade of baby pink… She has been a warm and constant source of support for staff and boys alike and will be much missed by the department and in the wider life of the school. Miss Evans was a regular member of staff on Duke of Edinburgh, the Watersports trip and Mr Hemmings’ legendary ski trips, and who could forget her stage debut as the leading lady in the staff pantomime?! We wish her every success as she moves onto pastures new. 9
arah Clarke joined Wilson’s in 2010 as a newly qualified Physics/Science teacher. She has become renowned for her boundless energy and enthusiasm within the science department and throughout the school. Her laboratory is full of scientific toys and puzzles to enthral her pupils. She has been a tutor to a Year 11 and Year 7 group, both of whom have found her caring and supportive. Her extra-curricular record is exemplary. She has accompanied trips to Pompeii, CERN and Wales. With her St John Ambulance qualifications, she has trained the boys in the CCF and doing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. She has led the School’s Christian Union meetings and her attendance at the Staff and Parent Prayer Meetings is much valued by the parents. She is off to Royal Russell School in Croydon and we wish her the very best there.
Gilbert Kepple Safety Warden (2010-2013)
or the past three years Wilson’s boys have been greeted every morning - come rain or shine - by the always smiling Mr Kepple. Waking up at first light every day (earlier in the winter) he has manned the entrance to the School, making sure that the boys are safe on their way in and waving them goodbye in the afternoon. Now it’s our turn to say goodbye to Gilbert as he retires. We wish you all the best and here’s hoping you get the occasional lie-in now that you don’t have to be at Wilson’s every morning.
rs. Kolezko leaves us after a short stay at Wilson’s to accompany her husband who has been invited to join the Flying Doctors service in Australia. I understand that Mrs Koletzko has already adopted a wombat! Her sojourn here at Wilson’s has been remarkable for a number of reasons, there are not many teachers who use a toy grunting pig in class and she has been tireless in produced materials for her lessons including building some eighties style mobile ‘phones. Furthermore she has kept the German department on its toes as far as German is concerned because generally the teachers exchange ideas and information in the target language! Mrs Koletzko has helped run the German trip to Cologne and again produced a lot of material that made the trip a profitable linguistic experience for all those who participated. The Modern Foreign Languages department wishes her all the very best as she moves ‘Down Under’.
Matt Jones ICT (2012-2013)
att Jones joined Wilson’s in September 2012 having left William Morris Sixth Form in Hammersmith where he was providing maternity cover. Since he arrived he’s thrown himself into the ICT department and has become well-liked by boys of all ages thanks to his friendly style and opendoor policy. This has seen no small number of boys call on him when they’ve needed extra help over the year. His interests extend outside of the computer suite and he’s been a keen Duke of Edinburgh group leader for the Silver Award, going on several expeditions over the year. Matt leaves us this year to go back www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
to William Morris where he has been offered a permanent job. We’d like to say a warm thank-you for all his hard work and wish him the very best at his new (old) school.
Stewart Strachan i/c Geography (2012-2013)
ver the past year Stewart Strachan has been in charge of the Geography Department and we will miss him. He is a highly experienced geographer and he successfully brought this experience into the classroom. In particular, his knowledge of plate tectonics helped to prepare his Upper 6th for their A-Level papers on the Christchurch earthquake in 2011. Stewart has been very supportive on the outdoors side of the department, helping to organise a trip to the Brecon Beacons in March earlier this year, which took students to Abergevenny, along the Caerfanall and down to the Severn Estuary. His outdoors interests extend further afield than just Wales though – Stewart spends his weekends with his family in the New Forest (commuting to Wilson’s!) and he can often be found on an archery range honing his shot. Stewart is going to take up the post of Head of Geography at Winchester King’s School and we wish him all the best with this new challenge. We would also like to say thank you to all of those who left in 2012: Jo Chase (Head of Maths) Stefan Collins (Maths) Tom Collins (PE) Kathryn Hanna (French) Rick Hunnam (Head of Biology) Amy Keen (Head of Economics & Business) Sue Mitchelmore (Deputy Head) Graham Scobie (Geography) Ellie Purkheart (English) Martin Pye (Deputy Head of Sixth Form) Jennifer Smith (Deputy Head) Alex Stathopoulos (Head of ICT) John Vidler (Geography)
Head of Classics (1975-2013)
e say farewell to Jeff Shaw at the end of this academic year, the thirty seventh year of his service to the school and its pupils. His contribution has been truly remarkable. He joined the school in 1975 as teacher of French and Classics, was given the leadership of the Classics department at the end of his first academic year and has nurtured it assiduously ever since. He argued and fought for his subject during decades when its value was questioned and when it often received scant support from school leaders and disappeared from the curriculum even of many fine grammar schools. By teaching Greek and A-Level Latin in his own time, through endless lunchtimes, building up demand for the subject from students and getting excellent results, he forced the school to give the subject the time and regard it deserved. It is great testimony to Jeff that the Classics department continues to thrive at Wilsonâ€™s and indeed has never been stronger than it is now. Jeff is a fine teacher. From the beginning of his career he was noted as an innovator, constantly
looking for new ways to engage the interest of his students and make his subject something that would capture their imagination and desire to learn. When the digital revolution began he was in its vanguard and made something of a name for himself but at the heart of his teaching has always been academic rigour, careful marking, detailed preparation and a certain way with words â€“ the enduring hallmarks of the grammar school master. His passion for his subject, his enthusiasm and joy for the classical tradition and his desire to communicate something of that are things that have never diminished. Hundreds of students and old boys will recall with pleasure their trips with him to classical sites around the world and will recall with a smile the various crises that were encountered and surmounted through his intelligence and dedication. Many students will remember their involvement in his extraordinary drama productions as among the great highlights of their school career. The list of his productions extending over nearly all of his years
at Wilsonâ€™s is simply remarkable. Generations of parents and teachers have watched entranced as his plays have unfolded, marvelling at the talent of their sons and students, astonished at the almost professional levels of skill that they display. Each year we have been left wondering how possibly he could maintain the standard next time and each year he has worked his magic once again. In reality, of course, there was no magic; only his meticulous attention to detail, his highly attuned skills as a producer and his devoted work in rehearsals for hour upon hour. Jeff is a remarkably talented man. In recent years his eye for design as well as his digital media skills have given us a beautiful school website that is among the finest that there are. In this, as in so much else, we have been fortunate indeed to have had Jeff on the staff for the past thirty seven years. Generations of boys will count him among their best and most memorable teachers. We wish him a long, very well deserved and interesting retirement.
From the School Captain by William Ries, OW
t is often noted that we spend our school days focussing diligently on the future, and yet once we achieve our station in life (whatever that may be) we look back with increasing nostalgia at those very days which we spent hunched over our books. It is for this phenomenon that the Wilson’s Alumni network is such a marvellous organisation. It provides the means for every Wilsonian, no matter how old, to preserve their school friendships, get ahead in their careers, and sustain a continuing bond with the school. As the exam season of 2013 finally comes to an end, this first edition of The Old Wilsonian sees our ranks bolstered by more than 150 new eager members, all ready to make their mark. Doubtless, the Wilson’s that the class of 2013 experienced will be very different to the school many of you experienced. Over the years, teachers have come and gone, modern buildings have replaced the old, but the boys essentially remain the same. To prove it, in an attempt to quantify my seven years at the school, just as any other true Wilsonian would do, I turned to that trusty old friend of ours – the calculator. The results are startling. Would you believe that we’ve heard that lesson bell roughly 21,660 times (the recently imposed two minute warning bell complicated the arithmetic). If you’d been taking notes at my rate, three fully grown trees would have been felled for your 26, 610 pages worth of notes trying to record your teachers’ wisdom! And don’t worry, the onslaught of assessments hasn’t subsided over the years: the class of 2013 has been cruelly subjected to more than 638 internal assessments – surely a breach of our human rights! Of course, as I’m sure you have found, the number crunching only tells a small part of the story. The strings of A*s and As will soon be forgotten – mere marks on some certificate gathering dust at the back of a drawer. The real legacy is the friends we’ve made, the teachers we’ve been inspired by and the experiences we’ve had here. This is the enduring inheritance of our time at Wilson’s. For our year, the seven formative years within the hallowed yellow bricked walls of Wilson’s will certainly shape the rest of our lives and provide us with many fond memories – memories that will have us in fits of laughter or blushing with embarrassment for years to come. As we embrace our future we are grateful to the Old Wilsonians who offer us the opportunity to maintain such friendships. On behalf of the class of 2013, it is a pleasure to find ourselves in such fine company. William Ries
James Acquaye Nortey-Glover
Nitin Ajit Kumar
Biomedical Materials Science
Dentistry (5 years)
Medicine (6 years)
Chemistry with Industrial Experience
Philosophy and Literature
Mechanical Engineering with a Year Abroad
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
Civil Engineering with International Study
Government and Economics
International Development with Economics with Overseas Experience
Pharmacology (3 years or 4 year sandwich)
Economics and French
Philosophy with Psychology
Economics (3 or 4 years)
Employment (Ernst & Young)
Philosophy and Literature
Chemical Engineering (4 years)
Accounting and Financial Management
Dentistry (5 years)
Software Development for Animation, Games & Effects
Bioengineering with a Year in Industry
Philosophy and Literature
Chemical Engineering with a Year Abroad
Abdul Basit Haq
Engineering (4 years)
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister)
Civil Engineering (5 years)
Dentistry (5 years)
Computer Science (Placement)
Accounting and Finance
Business Mathematics & Statistics
2012 Leavers (continued) Kevin Koshy
Medicine (5 year)
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
Computer Science (3 or 4 years)
Biotechnology with French for Science
Physics (4 years)
Finance and Economics
Business and Management
French and an Asian or African Language UCL (4 years)
Environmental Science (3 years)
Aeronautical Engineering with a Year Abroad
Politics and Economics
Biomedical Science (3 years)
Neuroscience with Psychology
German and English Literature
French and Japanese
Biochemical Engineering (with Study Abroad)
Accounting and Finance (3 or 4 years)
Physics (4 years)
Mechanical Engineering (4 years)
Chemical Engineering (Industrial Experience) (5 years)
Geography with Economics
Economics and Management
Balkrishna Veerathapa Naidoo
Politics and Sociology
Economics and Philosophy
Audio Media Engineering (3 or 4 years)
The Changing Face of UK Higher Education Aaron Porter was at Wilson’s School between 1996-2003 and a previous student editor of The Wilsonian magazine. He represented the National Union of Students between 2008-2011 as Vice-President and President. He has served on the boards of a number of national organisations including UCAS and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), is currently an education consultant, adviser to the Office for Fair Access and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
n recent years, the overwhelming majority of leavers from Wilson’s School have progressed to university. Not surprising for a school with exceptional academic results and a strong ethic toward educational advancement. Although even as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, the culture of progression to university was not nearly as widespread as it is now for school leavers and this is as much of a reflection of the changing landscape of higher education and the steady rise that Wilson’s itself has gone through. Over the last 50 years, higher education in the United Kingdom has changed from an elite to a mass system. In 1950 just 3.4% of the population went to university, which increased to 8.4% in 1970, 19.3% in 1990 and was up to 33% by 2000. Tony Blair never did quite reach his 50% target, but by 2010 the figure was just over 40% of school leavers going into higher education, yet despite this the UK fell from 3rd in 1997 to 11th in 2010 of OECD countries in the percentage of school leavers progressing to a university. So although the UK was
making progress we were being overtaken by our competitors. Views about the expansion of higher education certainly differ. Some will argue increasing numbers has led to a decrease in quality, whilst others believe that it has extended an opportunity to a greater number of people, has ensured our university system is more representative of the UK population and with an increase in high level skills allows the UK to compete internationally as other countries such as the United States, Australia and more recently China and India have increased their university numbers as a percentage of the adult population at a rate which is now far outstripping expansion in the UK. Between 2008-11, I represented the National Union of Students (NUS) first as Vice-President and then in 2010-11 as President. It was certainly a turbulent time for higher education and students in particular, but also gave me a fascinating insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of different universities and the system as a whole. My year as President was primarily focussed www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
on the fall-out from the coalition government’s decision to take an unprecedented 80% cut to the teaching budget of universities (including the complete withdrawal of state funding for arts, social science and humanities teaching) with much of that money being replaced with an increase in tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000 per year. Previous increases in tuition fees under the Labour government were unpopular too, indeed the vote in 2005 to introduce top-up fees of £3,000 was actually the closest vote that the Blair government faced (closer even than the vote on the Iraq War). The 2010 vote was notable, principally because of the Liberal Democrat’s decision to break an election manifesto commitment and a pledge which NUS issued to all prospective Parliamentary candidates to vote against an increase in tuition fees, just 6 months after they had such a public promise – particularly in the parliamentary constituencies with large student populations. Internationally UK universities are very well regarded. In research terms we are comfortably the 17
second most cited system in the world (behind the United States) and many of our institutions comfortably occupy a number of places in the worldâ€™s top 50 universities according to most international university league tables. Whilst it tends to be our older, most research intensive universities that occupy the top rankings in both the domestic and international league tables the role of some of our newer universities should not be overlooked either. In some regions and cities of the UK, newer universities provide incredible opportunities not just to transform individual lives to open job prospects which would not have been otherwise open it can also transform families, neighbourhoods and communities. The Open University too, providing world
leading distance learning to an incredibly diverse student body is also internationally regarded. Looking to the future, higher education is at something of a cross-roads. The increased tuition fees appear to have led to a levelling off to demand, and indeed a significant reduction in the numbers of mature and part-time students wanting to study. Economically this is likely to lead to a less well trained and productive adult workforce and further erode the chances of the UK of competing with the likes of India and China, particularly as they are rapidly increasing the numbers of their young people going to university. But new technology also provides a series of new opportunities and threats to our university system too. Recently
the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which in some instances have hundreds of thousands of students signed up are changing the way in which many people are choosing to engage with higher learning. Pressure on university finances and changing patterns of demand from students could see some institutions come close to closure as market forces start to take effect, others could be forced into mergers or takeovers. Whilst the political furore surrounding the changes to tuition fees have largely died down, change itself in the higher education sector is really just coming into force.
University graduation in the 1970â€™s - an overwhelmingly white, male affair. In 2011/12 a little over half of all University students were women, while Black and Asian student now make up at least 15% of the students at UK Universitites.
Events Alumni Reunion Tuesday 12th March, 2013
Saturday 6th July, 2013
ne of the main aims of the Alumni Network is to hold a wide range of events over the course of the year to give Old Wilsonians the opportunity to get together, reminisce on their time at Wilson’s and broaden their professional networks. Together with the Sports Clubs we hope that we will hold events that interest everybody that said, if you have an event that you would like to suggest then we are always listening for ideas, so please get in touch and tell us about it. Below you’ll find some photographs from the events we’ve held since the start of 2013, as well as information on upcoming events. For the latest dates and details please visit www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk.
OWCC vs Wilson’s Cricket Match Tuesday 25th June, 2013
Class of ‘53 Reunion
Wednesday 15th May, 2013
Wilson’s vs Old Boys Chess Match Tuesday 26th March, 2013 www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
London Networking Evening
Wednesday 16th October, 2013 from 5:30pm We have hired a space at The Anthologist on Gresham Street and we’re inviting all of the Old Boys who work in London to come and join us for an informal drink. It’s a chance to speak to other Old Wilsonians who work in the City and broaden your professional networks. Free entry.
OWFC vs Wilson’s
Saturday 21st September, 2013 from 1:00pm It’s the traditional annual game between the Old Boys and the School, with four teams taking part over the afternoon. The Club are hosting at Hayes and after the matches they have their 125th Anniversary Dinner. Free entry.
OWFC 125th Anniversary Dinner
Saturday 21st September, 2013 from 7:00pm After the Old Boys take on the School marquees will be erected on the playing fields at Hayes as the footballers take this opportunity to say thanks to the women who support them week in, week out. Tickets cost £45 and include dinner, wine on the table and raffle tickets.
Alumni Reunion November 2013
This will be the third of our reunions at Wilson’s. At our previous events we’ve had a great mix of recent leavers and former Camberwell Old Boys, as well as a large number of teachers whose careers go all the way back to when the School was in SE5. There will be a display of the School’s archives and a cash bar. Tickets cost £5 and include a guided tour of the School by a current student.
Thursday 5th December, 2013 from 7:00pm This is one of the great opportunities to see Wilson’s sounding at its very best! In previous years over on hundred students have performed both in the choir and as part of the orchestra. Tickets are free but there are limited numbers, so please get in touch to reserve your seat. 20
Tough Guy 2014
Sunday 26th January, 2014 from 11:00am A Wilson’s School tradition, John Molyneux is building a team to enter Tough Guy next year and the Old Boys are invited. We will be leaving Wilson’s together by coach and driving up to the course near Wolverhampton. Everyone running with Wilson’s will get a team t-shirt and we’re looking forward to seeing a phalanx of current boys and Old Boys at the start line. If you are interested in joining please get in touch with us before 18th October to reserve your place.
In addition to these events, many of the School’s events are open to all. Whether it’s the annual School production, the Art Exhibition or one of the many musical performances over the year, you’re always welcome to join us. If you’d like to find out more about our events program then please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. We also want to help you organise your own reunions. Over the past year we’ve accompanied two groups of Old Wilsonians back to the old school buildings in Camberwell to look around. We can help you get in touch with your old school friends and get in touch with the right people at the Camberwell College of Arts, but we’re happy to let you organise an afternoon that you won’t soon forget.
Sed Omnibus THE
1615 Society In 1615 Edward Wilson set up a legacy which led directly to Wilson’s School being founded. Almost 400 years later we still remember his name and the School has gone from strength to strength. The 1615 Society gives you the chance to contribute to Wilson’s and see how your legacy will provide for the School in years to come. It is also a chance for you to make a real difference for the next generation of Wilsonians. Wilson’s is a school that values its past enormously, but this does not stop it from always thinking about the next steps. There are ambitious plans for the future which include expanding to take a 6th form of boys from Year 7 and building new facilities so that every student gets the best possible experience. Your reasons for leaving a legacy are wide and varied. Some Old Wilsonians want to thank the School; others want to enhance the School’s facilities; others want to perpetuate the memory of a loved one; or simply want to make sure that the students of the future are given the best opportunities to meet their potential.
School Trip to CERN A legacy is often the most substantial gift a person makes to charity and by choosing to support Wilson’s you can be sure that it will make a difference. The 1615 Society is our way of thanking you in advance for your support. Every year you will be invited to meet the Head, where you will have the chance to discuss the School’s plans for the future and meet other members of the 1615 Society. You will also be included in the School’s Book of Remembrance. There’s absolutely no obligation to tell us if you’re intending to leave a legacy, but it can help us plan for the future if you do. Whether you left Wilson’s five years ago or fifty years ago you are invited to join the 1615 Society. We understand that you want to provide for your family first. If you’re happy you have done so and you would like to find out more about the 1615 Society then please contact Sacha Marsac, Alumni & Development Officer at Wilson’s, to find out more. Before making any changes to your Will you should speak to your family and your solicitor or financial advisor. 22
1965 & the 350th Anniversary As we start looking forward to 2015 and Wilson’s 400th Anniversary we thought it would be nice to cast our minds back almost fifty years to the last big anniversary the School celebrated. Many readers will remember the events of 1965 but many more will not, so David Page (OW, ‘65-’73) and Les Wilks (OW, ‘42-’47) have written about their memories from the 350th. We’ve one OW who was just starting at Wilson’s and the other who was on the organising committee and it’s an interesting contrast!
utumn 1965 came around soon enough, and I was as excited at joining my new school, as any boy would be. I knew that I would have a helpful start because the son of a family friend was a senior boy at Wilson’s Grammar School, and he accompanied me on the short walk from his house on my first day. Also, I had my family “honour” to uphold, as my uncle (Peter Stanton) had also attended Wilson’s, before me. He had been in Kelly House, whereas I was going to be in Jephson House. I suppose, on reflection, I didn’t know or appreciate that it was the year of the 350th Anniversary of the founding of Wilson’s Grammar during the first few days. But, as we all gained increasing awareness of our surroundings, the publicity of the impending Anniversary celebrations soon registered with us, and our excitement and intrigue started to grow.
I first remembered that the Anniversary publicity given to the boys, focussed on fund-raising in order to extend the size and facilities of the school, on the site at Camberwell. Wilson Road, with its school at one end, was full of residential houses some of which, I believe, were owned by the school. Presumably, it would have been some of these houses that would have been demolished to make way for the school extension. How differently events played out! A combination of changed political influences at the time and, perhaps, a desire on the part of the School Governors to rid themselves of the constraints placed upon them by the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), as it was called in 1965, saw a different goal being drawn up for the future of our school. A move to a greenfield-site in Sutton! The celebrations in 1965, to mark the 350th Anniversary, gradually gathered pace during the autumn – although there had been several events earlier in the year and also during the summer (prior to my arrival at the school). We boys, of the Michealmas Term intake, began our involvement with a Thanksgiving Service, held at St Giles’ Church opposite the school, which was attended by the Lord Mayor of London, the Bishop of London, the Dean of St Paul’s cathedral and other dignitaries. The procession into the service was a grand affair, indeed. Following the Staff and Governors, and the Lord Bishop of London’s procession, the State Procession arrived with a fanfare sounded by the trumpeters of Her Majesty’s Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). The slightly unexpected sound of the fanfare in a relatively small space within St Giles’ church certainly made us jump!
These were the days when the School was situated in Camberwell, of course. The main buildings dated back to the 1800’s and there was (already) a sense of history all around us.
Speech Day in November, and the Carol service of that year, also had an extra special ring to it and we certainly enjoyed the whole spectacle. David Page
1965 & The 350th Anniversary - Continued
alcolm Taylor asked me as one of the older, still active member of the Old Boys if I could recall any of the previous happenings of 1965 when the School celebrated its 350th Anniversary. That was over 50 years ago, I replied, I have difficulty remembering what I had for breakfast this morning! He said that we are fast approaching 2015 which will be the 400th Anniversary and any memories of the 350th might be of interest. If I remember rightly in 1965 the School, the Governors, Bert Bourner (the OWA President) and his Committee joined forces to raise money to be spent on the school. A professional fundraiser was engaged to mastermind the effort and clearly knew where to look for monies left in Trust for Educational, Scientific and Sporting purposes. Then there was the well-appointed Businessmen and contacts in the Association. I found myself invited to join this Committee as I had become co-opted to the Old Boys Committee through my efforts running the Club’s “Gala Day” which I took over in 1963 to convert it from Family Day for Old Wilsonians into more of a fund raising day. So the OW GALA DAY was transferred to the School Ground in Dulwich and turned into an event to raise as much money as possible. I was told to put together ideas and report back. I went home and reflected on what I had let myself into – it was a daunting task! I looked around at various similar events of this nature and started to put together the composition of the day and a draft programme, a list of jobs, how many people needed to run it and so on. We formed a Management Committee under the Chairmanship 24
of Mac McAlister, Cyril Lucking, Pat Fitzsimmons, Bryan Watts and myself to which were added some of the masters, school captain, and a couple of parents. Bryan soon stood out from my list of amateurs on the committee and through his contacts and expertise was able to put together the Arena attractions, music and entertainment. This was a brilliant start. Next was the printed Programmes and it was decided that the look/ cover was very important. I was introduced to a young student studying “Graphic Design” as he was keen to produce three “mock up” covers to present to the committee. After quite the wait they eventually reached me and the three designs were passed round the committee. They were very professionally produced all in colour quite impressive except that my friend knew his art but couldn’t spell too well as we had WILSONS GRAMMER SCHOOL on each design. Not all members of the Committee saw the funny side of this – if there was one! A modern design, for the time, was selected with a spelling correction. Articles about the school and the Old Boys were put together by Mac. Advertisements from various Old Boys contacts, a list of events for the Day and I must have added some jokes to pad out the spaces such as: “Have you ever heard of a blind nudist!” or: HE – Whisky and Sofa? SHE: No, Gin and Platonic. I must have thought them funny at the time. The Rev Jefferson was not so amused and reprimanded me with the suggestive nature of some of the jokes, particularly: “It’s Good Friday” “It’s good any day if you can get it!” www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
Among the events during the day was a six-a-side Football Competition with Dulwich Hamlet, Corinthian Casuals, Samuel Jones, Old Colfeians, Alleyn Old Boys, Old Bromleians and Old Wilsonians taking part. We were very lucky with Mick McManus being a parent at the School and organising a very professional wrestling competition/ demonstration as one of Bryan’s Arena attractions. There was also a Pushball challenge match between Old Wilsonians and Dulwich College rugby team. As an advertising stunt the Daily Mail provided an eightfoot diameter ball to be pushed by two teams through goal posts at each end of the pitch. The number of helpers required on the day was frightening but we delegated various tasks to subcommittees to look after specific tasks. Geoff Barraclough, one of the teachers, with School Prefects, formed teams of helpers to man the car parking on the bottom field and do a lot of the fetching/carrying to the side shows. Mike Kendrick hand picked a group of Old Boys to organise and work the bar during the day and in the evening. I am not sure what sort of monies were raised towards the target set to be raised for the School, but I expect it’s recorded somewhere. The Gala Day event was on a Saturday and at the end of the day I mentioned to a crowd of helpers that the next day, Sunday, was for clearing up and called for volunteers and there were lots of nods and “see you in the morning”. Come Sunday morning there was Mac, Cyril, me and one other so we had a few hours of hard graft ahead of us – but I was fifty years younger then! The marquees were
cleared by the professionals and the drink, glasses and bar equipment had already gone back to the club the night before. Everything was tidied away when we noticed that the eight-foot diameter pushball was missing – it was nowhere to be seen. Mac being an administrator pointed out that it would have to be reported to the Police and get a case number in order to claim off our insurance for the event. The local Police Station was closed on a Sunday. Mobile phones had yet
to be invented so I rang the Police from a public call box and reported the loss of an eight-foot ball. Having given the police officer the details of our loss and my name and address and answering questions like “have you been drinking” and so on. Next evening there was ring on the door bell and found a policeman there – he came in and proceeded to tell me that wasting police time was a serious offence and if this case went to court what the punishment could be!
After a cup of tea and a bit of homemade cake we found ourselves discussing where to hide an eightfoot high ball or what to do with it. It all ended amicably with the law and the insurance claim was settled. There were no hard feelings with the Daily Mail and we in fact hired it the next year for the Gala Day at the Club. What we never found out was who in the Old Wilsonians read the Daily Mail and discovered they loaned it to clubs for fundraising. Les Wilks
2015 & the 400th Anniversary
n 2015 Wilson’s will celebrate both it’s 400th Anniversary and 40 years since the move to Wallington. Because of this we are planning a full year of events, from informal get-togethers all the way up to some events where we would like to have everyone involved. So far we know that on 29th September, 2015, we will be celebrating Founder’s Day at Southwark Cathedral. This service will look back on the 400 years of history and will be followed by a lunch and display at Borough Market, where will be thinking about the next 400 years. While we can only fit current students into the Cathedral (there will be almost 1200 Wilson’s boys by then!), everybody is invited to the lunch. We will have some of the regular Borough Market traders doing the food, so there will be a huge range of great food to choose from. While we have lots of other plans for the year, we don’t want to share them all just yet! If you would like to be involved in the planning process and help shape the calendar for 2015 then please get in touch. From September we will be establishing a 2015 Committee of current students, staff, parents and Old Wilsonians to plan the Anniversary year. We want to get as many people involved as possible, so do let us know if you think you can help. The events we will hold will vary in location. Some will be at the School, others will be in Camberwell while yet more will be scattered around some of the great venues in London. As the planning moves along we will make announcements in plenty of time so that you can make sure you keep the dates free. We will update the website and the next edition of The Old Wilsonian will have lots more information.
News From Hayes
ince the 1880’s the Sports Clubs, starting with the Cricket Club, have been at the very core of the Old Wilsonians. They have successfully run the Old Boys’ Association for over 100 years and they are able to put out dozens of sports teams across four sports and countless age groups. They are also an exceptionally friendly and social club, hosting innumerable social events throughout the year at the Clubhouse in Hayes. If you fancy playing some sport on the weekend (no matter what your ability) then there’s only one place to look! Over the past year the School has begun working closely with the Sports Clubs to expand the OWA. While lots of Old Wilsonians would go on to play for the Club after leaving Wilson’s, many more did not. Our aim is cast our net far and wide to find all of those Old Wilsonians who didn’t play sports and give everybody the chance to benefit from the Old Boys’ network. We are also interested in broadening the appeal of the Sports Club. If you play a sport that isn’t represented then please speak to us about setting up a team. There is support among recent leavers to start an annual Old Boys’ vs Wilson’s rugby game, although whether it will be full-contact remains to be seen! If you have any other ideas then get in touch and we’ll see if we can help you. Members of the Clubs are invited to take part in their AGM’s as well as the sport, so everybody is given an opportunity to voice their opinions. Boys are given the opportunity to join once they get into the Sixth Form and the annual Club vs School fixtures are always great fun. This year the School beat the Cricket Club when they played in June, so it remains to be seen if the School can ‘do the double’ on the Club when they play each other at football in September.
OWA President - Clive Peckover (OW, ‘70-’85)
Old Wilsonians Sports Club Hayes Hill BROMLEY BR2 7HN
Honorary Secretary - Andy Smith Membership Secretary - Mike Pike (OW, ‘56-’64) Sports Club Secretary - Jasper Gundry-White NOW Editor - Malcolm Taylor (OW, ‘62-’69)
Tel: 0208 462 2600
Old Wilsonians Football Club
OWFC 7th XI vs Wilson’s 4th XI
ld Wilsonians FC is a football club for all Old Boys, sons of Old Boys, staff and pupils of Wilson’s, regardless of ability. This philosophy creates a unique atmosphere as friendships and school associations are renewed each Saturday afternoon across nine XI’s. For the first time in recent history we saw our top three sides in the respective top divisions of the Southern Amateur League (SAL). This league provides the highest standard of truly amateur football in London. Of course, our ‘football for all’ policy means as well as the 1’s towards the top of the SAL pyramid, our 8th / 9th XI’s provide the foundations! We currently have six teachers including the senior PE staff who regularly play; with Andy Parkinson the player/ manager of our 1’s who was also awarded ‘Clubman of the Year’ for his commitment and dedication this year. At the top of the club the 1’s have been well managed and the Old Boys Cup win and 3rd place League finish bodes well for this generation
of players. We are looking to watching them to push on and have a real ‘crack’ at the title this year. The 2’s and 3’s consolidated their positions in the top divisions and Doug Smart led the 2’s to the London Old Boys cup final. There were some some memorable wins along the way but they just came up short in the final. The 4’s were ‘in transition’ as skipper, Yuved Bheenick, saw a number of players go up and down but survived a late relegation scare. Chris Billing’s 5’s have had another good year, pushing the top sides all the way in an exciting run in. The 6’s, led by Kevin Fowler, were the only team to win a League this year, well done to all their squad - deserved champions! The 7’s also found themselves in transition led by Alex Boyle who has been a fantastic captain, but selection problems hindered their results as a number of ‘regulars’ played higher. Our ethos perhaps means that despite great enthusiasm and the drive of Nick Mole and Alex Forbes in the 8’s / 9’s, we struggle to get results at this level. However, we are extremely www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
proud of their efforts, particularly as they offer lots of school boys a game. They provide the foundations for the SAL pyramid and those building blocks are crucial to the overall success, camaraderie and atmosphere of our club. You can keep in touch with us in loads of different ways, through our website (www.football. oldwilsonians.com), Twitter (@OldWilsonians) and our YouTube channel. We’re also updating our Facebook page and it will be relaunched shortly. A highlight of the season is always our games against the School. Although the Club was formed in 1888, the annual School games actually began in 1885 when the Old Boys ‘thrashed’ the School 7-0, so we always seek to hand the boys a footballing lesson! Four games were held last year with honours remaining even, the 1’s fielded a strong side whilst the School also had two boys who have featured in 1st XI games this year. The 1st XI ran out 5-0 winners though the game was more even than the score 27
line suggests. The 2nd XI playing their respective team in a cracking game with the School pulling back a two goal deficit in the last ten minutes and the game was decided on penalties. If you want to see the result head to OWFC-TV, our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/ watch?v=PRRwsv7jytY The 5th XI played the School 3’s and it was the boys whose young legs ran the show winning comfortably 4-1. Lastly the 7th XI hosted the
School 4’s and whilst the game was fiercely competitive both sides missed a host of chances and the game finished in an honourable and entertaining 1-1 draw. So, we now reach our 125th anniversary year and have a number of special events planned to mark the occasion from the annual 5 a side in August (all Old Boys / Schoolboys teams welcome, we cater for all abilities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the entry form), to an end of season
tour to Sofia, Bulgaria in May 2014. Of course, not forgetting the small matter of a celebration ball / dinner with wives and girlfriends in a marquee on 21st September as ‘Casino Royale’ comes to Hayes! Any Old Boys who wish to play please do not hesitate to contact us through the website or social media and we warmly welcome spectators at Hayes on any given Saturday for those whose playing days are behind them! @owfcchair
OWFC 1st XI 2012/13
What’s on at OWFC Sunday 11th August Saturday 21st September May Bank Holiday 2014 -
OWFC vs OWCC Cricket Challenge OWFC vs Wilson’s (4 matches) 125th Anniversary Ball 125th Anniversary Tour to Bulgaria
Old Wilsonians Cricket Club
OWCC vs Wilson’s School
t is perhaps difficult to explain that, although the Old Wilsonians’ Association was not formed until 1904, both its cricket and football clubs were active some time before, namely in 1886 and 1888 respectively. The first game played by the Old Wilsonians’ Cricket Club was, appropriately, against the School which it lost, embarrassingly, by an innings and 42 runs. Initially the Cricket Club played its home games on a ground adjoining the school playing fields, moving to the school’s ground itself, in Dulwich Common, before finding its current home in Hayes Hill in 1959 where it has flourished ever since. At this time there were only three sides, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, a time long before league cricket had been thought of, and our opponents were the local clubs of the area. But all of that changed in the 1970’s with the advent of league cricket and we joined the North Kent League, in which we played for over 20 years before becoming part of the current Kent League set up. In 1997, and upon realising that the source for new players, i.e the School, was beginning to dry up, the Club formed a colts section, which now has six sides participating in the North Kent Junior league on a
regular basis. The Club itself now has 5 Saturday sides and two Sunday teams and many of those fresh faced youngsters, who took their first ventures into the game 16 years ago, are now an important and integral part of those five senior sides, as are the two Sunday teams and, never to be a Club to rest on our laurels, we now have an embryonic 6th Xl waiting patiently in the wings. As a consequence of the fact that there are now only a handful of members who actually went to Wilson’s (something we hope to rectify) the cricket club has had to change and adapt to both its location and the needs of the modern game, but the Club maintains its original name and feels it is making a constructive contribution to the local community and gives everyone the opportunity to play cricket, whatever their ability. Our 1st Xl play in the Third Division of the Kent League, as near to the middle of the structure as it is possible to be, whilst the 2nd Xl, having won their division by a massive 69 points last year, now proudly play in the Second Division. Our 3rd, 4th and 5th Xls all play in the Feeder league with the 3’s, having come so close over the past www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
few years, looking for that elusive promotion in 2013. The 4th Xl skipper confidently predicts “a top four finish” whilst the 5th Xl are known for bringing through those youngsters from the colts section and more than hold their own in a very competitive division. One of the Sunday sides continues to play ‘social’ cricket, which is a little more relaxed as the pressure of winning points is removed, whilst the Sunday Development team has to have a certain number of players under the age of 18, which helps their development, as the title would suggest. We have also adopted the latest version of the game and have a 20/20 side which plays both Cup and league encounters and, indeed, were champions in the 2012 season. But what of 2013, I hear you cry, and stop living on past glories. The cricket season has only just started, you can always tell as there is a lot of rain about, so it is probably a bit early to give any real evidence of things to come, but the future looks bright and we are in the initial stages of extending our remit by looking into the possibilities of establishing a disabled section to continue our progressive attitude to the game. 29
OWCC Colts Section 2012/13 The fact that we have developed to such a degree is down to our ever hard working committee, led by Chairman Andy Steel, who leaves no stone unturned to enhance our standing – we achieved Club Mark status many years ago and were the first club in Bromley to be designated a Focus Club. Because we have five Saturday sides, and only one square, our 3rd, 4ths and 5ths have to hire grounds in order to play their home games, but we have recently entered into an agreement with the local Glebe
and Hawes Down schools, which are situated very close to the Club, with the prospect of having a square constructed there for use in the 2014 season.
that they are travelling even further afield as on more than one occasion an Old Wilsonian has been heard to exclaim: “I’m picking up a French radio station in my car”.
Our colts are put through their paces every Saturday morning by our highly qualified team of coaches, the majority of whom then go on to represent the senior club in the afternoon where they can be playing in virtually any part of Kent.
The future looks bright for the Old Wilsonians’ Cricket Club, but one thing that would improve it even further would be to recruit members who actually went to the school, so why not come and join us!
On occasions, however, it does seem
Mike Pike, Club Secretary (OW, ‘56-’64)
Old Wilsonians Tennis Club
RECENT ACTIVITY AND FUTURE PLANS Membership has grown rapidly over the past 3 years since the introduction of a comprehensive coaching programme. We now have a variety of sessions for youngsters aged 5 upwards after school and at weekends. There are also group sessions on weekday mornings for adult beginners and improvers and lots of 1-2-1 coaching sessions throughout the week. We recently introduced a “performance group” that plays on Thursday evenings too. The coaching programme now involves around 150 players, and total club membership is nearing 250 – an all-time high as far as our records go back.
Jake Johnson Head Tennis Coach
We recently led the construction of a multi-use games area, replacing a disused former netball court. We secured grant funding support from the Mayor’s Fund as part of the Olympic legacy. We also have ambitious plans to erect a new courtside pavilion and have just secured planning consent for that. We are raising funds in earnest and hope to complete that project in 2014. THE TENNIS ON OFFER We enter men’s, ladies’ and mixed teams in the North Kent League as well as some junior teams in the Kent League. We have veterans’ teams too. We play regular inter-club friendly matches and run a singles box league for members. We also run regular friendly tournaments within the club. Whilst the annual Club Tournament attracts our more serious players, most of the other tournaments are largely intended for fun. These encourage wider participation and helps members to meet and play with others who they might not usually see or play with. Alternatively you might prefer our “turn up and play” our club sessions which take place every Wednesday evening from 6.30 P.M. and Saturday afternoons from 1 P.M. Play consists www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
of short matches played with other club members on a rotating basis. Afterwards you can retire to the bar for drinks and a chat. FACILITIES We have four recently-laid artificial grass courts and 3 hard courts, all 7 courts being floodlit. There is a practice wall and an automatic ball “firing” machine – both of which allow you to practice on your own if that is your preference. Members pay NO charges for the use of courts, and tennis balls are provided free as part of the annual subscription. There are small charges for the use of floodlights throughout the winter season. Changing rooms and showers are available in the club house. Additionally, the smaller hut adjacent to the courts provides facilities for making a hot drinks, especially welcome on a bright winters’ morning as well as offering immediate sanctuary in the event that “rain stops play”. CLUBMARK The club was awarded Tennis Clubmark status in August 2011. The LTA awards this to clubs that meet or exceed national guidelines in 4 key areas. These are in brief: 31
• Club Action Planning • Tennis Programme • Policies & Procedures • Club Management Clubmark is not a one off award but requires significant on-going work by the Management Committee to ensure that the exacting standards are maintained. Retaining Clubmark status is vital to our club’s future success and development. A key factor in achieving Clubmark
is our club’s commitment to ensuring that the club is a safe and welcoming environment for children and young people to come and enjoy their tennis. CLUB MEMBERSHIP We offer a range of membership options intended to suit most personal circumstances. These are explained on the website at http://tennis.oldwilsonians.com/ membership/
COME & JOIN US Should you wish to visit and try out the facilities, please just let us know. One of our members will be pleased to show you around. This is best arranged through the Membership Secretary, Judith Heayberd by email to email@example.com or by phone 020 8650 1702.
Nigel Jordan, Club Chairman
Old Wilsonians Squash & Racketball Club
he Squash Club was opened in the early 1970’s to add the then fast-growing sport to the facilities available at Hayes. It proved to be very successful for the OWA and members. The Old Wilsonians’ Squash and Racketball Club (OWSRC), as it is now known, continues to offer good facilities for both squash and racketball: two heated courts, a viewing gallery, refurbished showers and changing for both male and female players and, of course, a bar.
Our membership fee is deliberately set low with court-time costing just £5 per 45 minute session. We operate some internal box leagues and also some club tournaments during the year. We have just completed the “Open” club tournaments with Finals held in May 2013. Details on the winners and runners up have all been posted on our website. Our club is open to all and we welcome new members. We have round 75 members and are quite successful in what we see as a niche
market - catering for those who want to play squash or racketball in a smaller set-up than some of the larger, more expensive, operations. If you are interested in joining please follow this link to our website www.squash.oldwilsonians.com where contact details are available. The club is affiliated to England Squash and Racketball.
Bill Hartley, Club Chairman (OW, ‘56-’62)
Old Wilsonians’ Lodge No 6602 Founded 1948 2011/12 Master: Brian Watson
The Old Wilsonians’ Lodge was formed in 1948 for the benefit of the Old Wilsonians and Wilson’s School. The Lodge is open to Old Boys, Masters of the School, Parents of Old Boys and Friends of Old Wilsonians. The Lodge meets four times a year in January, July, June and October at Mark Mason’s Hall in St James’s, London. The Lodge continues to increase its membership and is very keen to maintain its contacts with the School and the Old Wilsonians’ Association. Contact: Lodge secretary: John Wallington 01322 348 966 for further details
The new children’s playground
s per the same time last year Paul, Bill and I faced a weekend when it looked likely that the weather would scupper some of our plans. An indication of how bad the weather had been was that the Football club lost six weekends fixtures this season. As it turned out we were very lucky, with excellent weather over the weekend, and even for the Playground group in the week before. The playground was the main job of this year’s Clubforce, with John Martin heading the team, affectionately known as either ‘Dad’s Army’ or ‘Last of the summer wine’, something to do with their age possibly! They worked solidly for the days before CF started, with lots of boring of holes and digging out earth. This was definitely not a job for the faint hearted, which is why I was nowhere in sight! John’s daughter Nickie managed to arrange for us to have the huge climbing frame when she worked in a North London borough and they were going to throw it away (it cost somewhere around £18,000) so she offered it to us via John. The one specification was that we had to dig it out one Sunday morning. This we duly did, starting with hammer drills at 9.30a.m and we were in the
middle of an estate and nobody complained till 11.30a.m, by which time we had virtually finished, thank goodness. Have a look when you come to the club; it is an impressive piece of equipment. The club completed 58 jobs and, as always, are indebted to Paul Jenkins and Nick Fuller in particular, whose experience and expertise makes our jobs so much easier to complete. You will be glad to know from past reports that Paul still works on the “he’ll do it for drink” principle and it has worked for seven years now. Actually Nick managed to turn the tables on Paul, who last year worked elsewhere, and left Nick doing gratis work for the OWA. This year it worked the other way round! A few of the other jobs were the cleaning and painting of the clubhouse, including redoing both the Games room and the President’s lounge. The work on the President’s Lounge was done by the ladies on Friday and not only did they do a great job but they left the lounge tidy (gentlemen take heed).The ladies in question were Caroline Maxwell, Jane Kempthorn, Margo Wiverton, Caroline Smith and Tracey Davis . On the Saturday we had two www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
volunteers from the Give-2-Give charity, who not only supplied labour - Sandra Speer and her son - but also supplied their own paint. Thanks to them for their efforts on the Saturday, when they painted the new Ladies toilets and shower area. We now have a new extractor fan and water heater in the kitchen, plus new light fittings in the Games room and President’s Lounge to smarten the clubhouse up. All five dressing rooms were painted by the Footballers in black and grey – not exactly the most colourful choice, but we did have a lot of these colours!!! Around the ground the Tennis club repaired their fences and nets, plus improved the hut and varnished it. They also re-painted, in fluorescent yellow, the path to the courts. The Squash Club did their annual cleaning and painting of the courts, which now look magnificent. They also re-painted their dressing room, which also acts as the football referee’s changing room so they can change in stylish surrounds. The Phillips brothers did a great job in making the tractor garage much safer in sorting out the doors, roof and locks. As we have recently bought a new tractor it was important that, for security reasons, 33
it is securely locked up when not in use. The fencing around the ground was re-painted with anti-burglar paint to stop vandalism, and it seems to have worked. Another innovation was given to the club by Nick Fuller who not only negotiated the materials for nothing but then built a decking area in the nets so that parents can sit and watch their little lads practice- it was duly undercoated green.
without whom we would not be able to keep the club in its excellent current position. This year we had almost twice as many helpers as last year and it’s great to see so many who are happy to pitch in. One person, a non OW, I would like to mention for the outstanding contribution he has made over the past few years is Nick Fuller, whose efforts have saved us thousands of pounds and his expertise has saved us lots of problems. How Paul cons him every year I don’t know, but please keep doing it! Paul Jenkins, Bill Hartley, Ian Forbes (Organisers) CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND This was erected and will be fully open shortly once we have finished laying the surface surrounding it.
It was good to see the individual clubs mingling and working together to improve their club and much thanks are due to the club organisers Alex Forbes (Football), Steve Millward (Cricket), Clive Prince (Tennis) and Bill Hartley (Squash) for doing the thankless job of getting volunteers. As always I was panicking on the Monday, due to the limited numbers but, overall, we had 158 volunteers who turned up to help over the three days. I know how difficult a task it is to round up helpers even if I can never quite understand why, as it is in their interest to have improved facilities. Plus these weekends help keep the subscriptions down! Thanks to my wife Jill for spending most of the 3 days in the kitchen keeping us fed with bacon sandwiches and hot lunches of chilli, macaroni cheese, cottage pie and cheeses. On behalf of the organising committee we would like to thank all the volunteers for their efforts, 34
THE CLUBHOUSE The floor was varnished twice; the Ladies toilets, walls and ceiling were painted and a door closer added; the carpets in the President’s lounge, bar and games area were steam cleaned; the President’s lounge was re-decorated, the photographs re-hung and new light fittings added; the woodwork and doors were painted THE KITCHEN New water heater fitted; new extraction fan fitted; cleaned and tidied GAMES ROOM Repainted and new lights fitted; cutlery and crockery audited; cupboard strengthened; trophy cabinet erected BAR New shelves in bar storeroom; steel plate put on main storeroom for insurance purposes TERRACE Walls painted red and white; kitbag rack repaired; all benches revarnished; area power-jetted; doors www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
re-painted; two union flags fitted; sills and frames cleaned/painted CLUBHOUSE ROOF Replaced two ridge tiles SQUASH COURTS Courts cleaned and painted; corridor re-carpeted and flashings fitted; dressing room re-painted; OUTSIDE CLUBHOUSE Constructed boiler condensate; new brushes for boot cleaner; gutters cleaned; area by steps turfed; re-boxed pipes outside bar door; fencing re-painted with anti-burglar paint; main gate - moss and plate cleared; repaired hole by clock and painted; tractor shed door and roof repaired; memorial garden sleepers varnished; new light and sensor switch in lobby SHOWERS De-scaled shower heads and generally tidied up MEN’S TOILETS New mirror fixed and toilets cleaned CAR PARK Broken fence repaired TENNIS COURTS & HUT Trees trimmed by courts and large container; luminous yellow paint put on tennis pathway; broken nets and fence wire repaired; edging round court completed; gap in court gate repaired; matting cleaned between court and MUGA; shelving and storage area built in hut; plastic chairs cleaned; hut varnished FOOTBALL Eight 5-a-side frames rubbed down and painted; all five dressing rooms painted CRICKET Sight-screens rubbed down and repainted; boundary boards painted; coversfitted; square rolled for 3 days; score-box and repeater board checked electrically; white screen erected in Nets: new decking area built and under-coated
The Wilsonian Sailing Club
Wilsonian Sailing Club Barge
he Club was first established in 1959 under the auspices of the Old Wilsonians Association as “The Old Wilsonian Sailing Club” by A.W. Bourner , an Old Boy and Governor of Wilson’s school with a declared aim that all people, and the pupils and Old Boys of Wilson’s school in particular, should have the opportunity to sail. Exactly why the location, on the North shore of the Medway between Hoo and Upnor, which was remote with no road access and required a half mile walk along the beach, was selected is unclear. Access from the school at Camberwell was clearly not easy, especially when car ownership was still relatively low, and members were issued with a map showing train and bus times! By the 1970’s Old Wilsonians were in a minority and the members bought out the club from the Association, over 5 years, renaming it the Wilsonian Sailing Club. In addition to the assets, such as the club house on a barge moored in the river, the club inherited an excellent site on the wooded bank of the Medway (now an SSSI – thanks to a previous Commodore’s research) with access to the water at all states of the tide providing interesting sailing over a variety of creeks, narrow reaches and wide expanses of water with conditions varying tremendously
according to the wind and tide. To this day the club retain the DIY ethos of the O.W.S.C. with no paid staff and members doing all the work to maintain and run the club but it has developed over the years to suit the changing life styles. Thus the club now has road access, a large car park and a shore based clubhouse. These facilities are now used to provide an extensive and
August. Training courses in sailing and RIB driving are also arranged every year. The club is also active socially with a Club Open Day (for all to sample sailing), a Regatta with an evening meal (the furthest travelled visitor came from Renfrewshire!), a Christmas lunch and an annual dinner and dance, as well as other events.
varied racing programme practically all-year-round on Sundays, with just a few week’s gap during January and early February allowed for the winter work to be carried out.
INTERESTED? Visitors are welcome and the cost of the main membership types at present are – Single £143, Family £170 and Junior £50.
Races are also held on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons during the main season whilst for those who don’t wish to race, or like a change, a cruising section arranges escorted sails to venues such as Queenborough and Aylesford. Juniors (under 18) are also catered for with a Saturday morning “Skimmer’s Club” which provides training and racing and is augmented by a “Junior Week” in
Full details can be found on www.wilsoniansc.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org, write to Wilsonian SC Church Farm Main Road Hoo St. Werburgh Rochester Kent ME3 9HF
Phone: 01634 250318 (when open) 35
Wilson’s During the Second World War
Wilson House c. 1944
tan Alfert (OW, ‘41-’49) recently contacted Wilson’s asking if he could answer any questions from the students about life at the school during the Second World War, when the students and teachers were all evacuated to Itchingfield, West Sussex. His account of school life is based on memories of his time at the school 70 years ago, and therefore not all of the questions could be fully answered. The following questions were produced by Louis D’Costa and Benjamin Flook of the Upper Sixth, with some answers having to be cut short due to length:
What is your earliest memory of being a student at Wilson’s school? My first day in September 1941: I remember leaving London Bridge Station with my Dad, going to Horsham by train, going on to Barns Green and then out into the sticks and arriving at school. Watching my Dad leave, then not knowing any better walking on the forbidden grass, getting bellowed at by a Prefect and crying my eyes out.
working class and middle class families who had been fortunate enough to pass a junior county scholarship (11 plus). School Uniform was compulsory, purchased through a shop in Peckham and there was clothing and food rationing. Pupils left school either after 5th form with General School Certificate or after U6th form with Higher Schools Certificate/University Scholarship/State Scholarship (yes we had some). Most 6th formers went straight on to military service.
What were your first impressions of the School at Itchingfield? In September 1941 I arrived at Itchingfield. The change in lifestyle was enormous. When I subsequently went off at 18 to National Service it was a doddle in comparison. Without the support of parents or foster parents one soon learnt to be self-sufficient but a lot of us were very lonely and keeping busy seemed to be the answer.
What was your attitude, as a Wilsonian, to the War effort? Was this common throughout the school? There was a very strong patriotic feeling throughout the school. A lot of fathers were on active service. Bombs had been dropped on the Wilson catchment area in South London. We learned aircraft recognition to spot enemy and allied planes. There were allotments and dig for victory veg production. There was a Home Guard and warden contingent for Masters and Seniors but I was too young to be involved. Radio broadcasting was very important. We awaited the news eagerly. I remember clearly early June 1944 when a string of DUKWs manned by Canadian soldiers appeared in the lane outside the school. Why were they there? We found out a few days later. It was D- DAY. The landings in France began. It was the beginning of the end of the war. Morale was high.
How would you describe Wilson’s in the 1940’s? A good old fashioned London day grammar school that had successfully converted to a boarding school in the heart of the Sussex countryside. What was the typical Wilson’s boy like in the 1940’s? Wilson’s was made up of South London boys from 36
What is your fondest memory of your career at Wilson’s? Apart from class work, my major interest was in my involvement in the CCF. This enabled me to develop a mature relationship with Capt. Hoar and RSM Bartlemen (Gym Master). I am indebted to them for their guidance. Which sports were played at Wilson’s? Were you involved in any, and did this change after the evacuation? I wasn’t very good at sport. 100 yard sprint and some relay running was the extent of my involvement. However, the school was very strong in football and cricket both at school level and between houses. To be in the school eleven was a very high achievement and we were assisted by Christ Hospital public school allowing the use of their swimming pool and other facilities. Some of the Masters were excellent coaches in their chosen sports. Although not a sport, it is important to record the emphasis placed on playing chess. There were inter-house chess matches and cups for successes. George Smith (Maths Master) was the expert coach in a field where Wilson’s have excelled.
Roughly how many students attended Wilson’s school after the evacuation? Whilst I was there we had: Prep, Forms 1a, 1b, 1c, etc. up to 5a, 5b, 5c and L6 & U6. The number of students probably totalled 400/500 but I can’t be sure. Currently there is a house system within the school; did such a thing exist in the 1940’s? Yes and it was an important feature of school life. Dormitories were allocated by House. Each housed a mix of students from 11 to 18. The seniors were able to support and control the juniors. There was intense competition between houses. The houses were named after previous governors and we had Nairn, McDowell, Whiteley, amongst others. What was punishment like at Wilson’s? I knew this question would appear! For serious breaches of discipline there was the cane administered by the Head Master on hands or bottom. It was a thin whippy cane and usually came as six. Other Masters were permitted to cane but I know some never used this sanction on principle. School Prefects were permitted to “whack” juniors with a flat stick on the bottom.
Itchingfield, Sussex, where Wilson’s was evacuated
News of Old Wilsonians
ne of the great things about having an active Alumni network is the ability to share news. If it’s good news then it should be shared, if it’s bad then you have people who can help you through it. This section is still in development and we need your help to make sure that we find out as much news as possible. Over the course of the year we will publish the latest updates online and this magazine will make sure that everything is recorded at the end of the year. If you have some news you would like to share simply send it in to us, either via email or snail mail. You will find our contact details on the inside front-cover of the magazine.
Letters To the Editor, I recently came across a book which gives every FA Amateur Cup result since 1893/4 up until 1973/4 when we all became players and the competition was scrapped. Younger members will find it hard to appreciate that even with a full league programme there were still 100,000 at Wembley for the Final and 75,000 at the last one. In the second season, 1894/5, Old Wilsonians FC entered. They got a bye in the first qualifying round, which is more than Tottenham Hotspur did although they beat Old Harrovians 7-0. Sadly OWs also got hammered, 7-1 by Old Cranleighans. Other recognisable teams that year were Ipswich Town (who were in the SAL until the 1930s), Berwick Rangers, Crewe Alexandra, Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Darlington and Middlesbrough who beat Old Carthusians in the Final 2-1. In 1895/96 we again met Old Cranleighans but in the first qualifying round. This time we won 3-1 at home but went down 4-0 to Crusaders in the next round. Notable sides this year, in addition to the above, were Bournemouth, Plymouth, Wycombe Wanderers and QPR. Bishop Auckland, easily the most successful side in the competition’s history won for the first time beating Royal Artillery (Portsmouth). Bishops won it no fewer than 10 times, reached 18 38
finals and 27 semis. Behind them came Clapton (5-6-9), Enfield (5-5-7) and Dulwich Hamlet (4-4-9). OWs appeared for the last time in 1896/7. After a bye in the first qualifying round they won 3-1 away to St Marks, then 5-0 away to Clapham Rovers and 3-2 at home to Crouch End to reach the First Round Proper. Here they were drawn at home to Hunslet who shrugged off the arduous journey from Lancashire to win 6-0. Old Carthusians won the final beating Stockton 4-1 in a replay. Why we failed to enter the following year after such a good performance I guess we’ll never know. Nonetheless our record of played 7, won 4, lost 3, with a goal tally of 15 for against 21 gives us a win percentage of 57.14. Robert Bevan OW, ‘56-’61
To the Editor, I read with great interest the latest edition of NOW and the reunion of ‘62. Having never been able to resist a chat, I mentioned to our receptionist that her accent was not Bristolian. ‘Nah, Herne Hill me,’ she replied in www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
that South London way. Having chatted through me courting my wife when she was in a shared nurses’ house on Croxted Road South and my upbringing in Sanderstead and my parents still in Kenley etc, we had managed no real connection, until she mentioned that she moved out to Biggin Hill when she was 13. I mentioned the Old Boys in Hayes and she said that her brother Colin went to Wilson’s. I suspect that being 60 he will have been in the class of ‘64, but I thought it worth a mention. Colin Hedges - teacher, married, living near Edinburgh with 2 grown up boys. (In the nicest possible way, I don’t know any Old Boys 2yrs younger than you - maybe you could pass this info on.) I have been in Bristol for 18yrs now happily married with 2 girls - what a different life to having boys! I made it back to the club last October as Ashley was over from Auckland - he’s been over there 16yrs now. We played in a friendly between the 8s and 9s ..............that is, as far as any match Ashley plays in is ‘friendly’. Ha ha. Anyway, all the best to you and hope to see you up the club at some stage. Allister Simpson OW, ‘79-’86
Congratulations acob Paul (OW, ‘06-’13) won a bronze medal at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Rieti, Italy, in July 2013. He set a new PB (50.71s) and is now ranked 6th in the world for his age group.
lenn Moore (OW, ‘00-’07) has been booked to play the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as one half of Thünderbards, a sketch performance duo he founded at the University of Sheffield.
atrick Du Casse (OW, ‘94-’01) released his first book ‘Princess Alegna and the Light from Yonderland’, a magical story for children.
iall McManus (OW, ‘06-’13) recently signed a professional contract with Millwall FC and he scored his first goal for the Lions in a pre-season friendly against Canvey Island FC. ames Fritz (OW, ‘99-’06) has seen great success over the past year, with several of his plays being performed. At the end of July an extract from his Kony 2012 comedy was performed at the Bush Theatre’s Attic space.
ibwe Tavares (OW, ‘95-’02) has had a very successful year. His latest film, ‘Jonah’ was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and the released online throught Film4. He has also been made a fellow of TED and spoke at one of their conferences earlier this year. We’re looking forward to his first feature film which is expected in 2015.
rian Melican (OW, ‘96-’03) published his latest book ‘Germany: Beyond the Enchanted Forest’, which is a look at the way Germany has been portrayed in writing over the past 500 years.
lasdair Harris (OW, ‘90-’97) has been nominated for a Tusk Award. These are awarded by the Tusk Trust, a conservation charity, and they focus on conservation in Africa. Alasdair has been nominated for his work with Blue Ventures Group, a charity he founded at Univeristy. He will find out if he’s won in the autumn.
an Harris (OW, ‘88-’95) has been made joint Managing Director of M/Six, a media and adveritising company in the WPP group.
ndy Boyns (OW, ‘77-’84) has featured on Turkish sitcom ‘Seksenler’. He works primarily as a voiceover artist but has made the leap onto the small screen.
nthony Childs (OW, ‘03-’10) and Michael Moneke (OW, ‘05-’12) were selected to play in the Oxford-Cambridge varsity game on opposing teams. Anthony Childs ended up on the victorious team as Cambridge won 3-2.
raig Threadgold (OW, ‘06-’13) took part in the International Air Cadet Exchange to South Korea, the first student from Wilson’s to be a part of this scheme and one of very few British cadets to go. ob Bevan (OW, ‘56-’61) has been appointed President of the Kent County Cricket Club for 2013 as a recognition of 30 years of service to the Club.
att Griffin (OW, ‘00-’07) won the award for Best Venue Website at the Prestigious Star Awards in November last year. Matt is responsible for the ‘Life at the Albert Hall’ blog as well as their social media presence.
ohn Molyneux won Silver in the Badminton European Senior Championships in Bulgaria in September 2012.
ark Bayliss (OW, ‘88-’93) set a new world record in the super endurance Arch to Arc challenge. He ran, swam and cycled from Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomph in Paris in 73 hours and 39 minutes. He is only the 11th person to complete the triathlon. If you have any achievements you would like to share with the Old Wilsonians please contact the editor.
Weddings Congratulations to all of the Old Wilsonians who have married over the past year. Jamie Parkinson (OW, ‘93-’00), Alex Hutchings (OW, ‘97-’04), Chintan Gandhi (OW, ‘03-’05) and Elliott Mills (OW, ‘01-’08) have all tied the knot. We’re sure that there are many more OW’s who have celebrating getting married and we’d like to share that news. If you are one of the lucky chaps then please send the editor an email or a letter and we’ll include your news in the next edition of The Old Wilsonian.
On 6th July, 2013, Rob Wood (OW, ‘62-’68) passed away. His daughter, Emma, sent us the following eulogy.
obert or Rob or Bob as he is known was born at his home in West Norwood on the 1st September 1950. He was the second child of Leslie and Phyllis Wood, Kay being his older sister. He went to Wilsons Grammar School and grew up in London. He showed an early love of music and won a scholarship to study violin at the Guildhall as a junior, with Kay and Phyllis taking him to lessons on the bus. Later Rob travelled on his motorbike with his violin strapped to his back. Rob’s passion for music grew into later life as he enjoyed playing piano, guitar and singing. Through school Rob joined the air cadets where he gained his gliders licence and decided he wanted to be a pilot, unfortunately bad eyesight scuppered those plans and he had to think again. Rob got a job in Insurance and continued to work in London. Rob met Jan in 1970 in Crawley as he had travelled down to get riding lessons, all in aid of a riding holiday with friends. He continued with the lessons and ended up helping on the farm where Jan worked. They met at a Christmas party and while Jan vowed that she could never like such a ‘townie’, their shared love of animals the countryside and each other made for a strong bond and both families joined together as Rob and Jan married in 1973. Their eldest daughter Emma arrived in 1977 and Nanette followed in 1980. As a family Rob, Jan, Emma and Nan shared many wonderful holidays many of which would manage to include a visit to a Steam Railway. The girls describe their
childhood as idyllic, with ponies, dogs, cats, rabbits and an amazing adventure playground that is known as ‘the field’, a plot of land owned by the extended family to house the ponies. As the girls grew up Rob and Jan partially adopted many of their friends as their house was open to all and those friends still remain close and have joined to build a large extended family. Rob left Insurance, eventually trained in engineering and became a service engineer for Xerox and worked for them for over 30 years, making many friends along the way. In his time at Xerox Rob found a dear friend in Trevor Powell, not only great work colleagues but a great friend who shared a love of music and sang together in various choir events. Both Rob and Trevor were known as the Mario Brothers due to their matching moustaches, stature and their great sense of humour. Rob was a member of the Henry Williamson Literary Society, this was thanks to an introduction from Beryl and Brian, but Rob had always loved reading and enjoyed most literature. Rob became the editor of the Newsletter. Dedicated and fastidious he was an excellent choice. Rob’s kind and open nature meant that he made friends easily at the Society and he and Jan explored some wonderful Williamson haunts and countryside in lovely company. Rob became a school governor at Ifield Community College the college that Emma and Nanette had attended. He was later elected Chair of Governors and retained his post www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
for over ten years. The College was a large part of Rob’s life and he would always strive to make a positive difference for students and teachers. Rob had so many interests including Healing, Formula 1, singing, nature, walking and of course trains, mainly steam engines but also model railways. It was the building of his train shed by his brotherin-law John that kept his focus in most recent times. Designing and building models and engines for his model railway, he would while away the hours in ‘Rob’s Depot’. Even when he was not well enough to make it out to the shed he would be researching templates and designs on the computer. With Healing Rob found much help for himself through meditation but he also helped countless others alongside Irene Sowter and he made many friends along the way. Rob was very family oriented and was so very kind, loving and generous. Rob welcomed Luke and Brendan (Emma and Nanette’s partners) into the family and all of them have shared some fabulous times. Rob’s infectious laugh, love of life and determination to enjoy everything are what carried him so far through his illness. It is for those of you that remain to remember those special times, from summer parties in Kay’s garden, to firework parties that destroyed a green house, to wonderful family Christmases, to many band gigs in all sorts of venues, the entire family and friends have so many lovely memories of great gatherings that they can treasure forever.
Class of ‘53 Reunion
Mike Pike (OW ‘56-’64) has written about his visit to the old school in Camberwell when he was invited to join the Class of ‘53 on their tour. In the past year both the Class of ‘53 and the Class of ‘62 have visited the old buildings, which are currently used by the Camberwell College of Arts. If you’re interested in organising a reunion for your year please contact the Alumni Office at Wilson’s. Following the precedents set by the respective classes of 1952 and 1962, Graham Cole asked me if I could let him have the email addresses of all those who joined the school in 1953 as he intended to follow their example and pay a return visit to Camberwell to commemorate the 60th anniversary of them becoming a pupil at Wilson’s Grammar school. There were a number of immediate problems: Neither Graham nor I had a full list of the intake of 1953, I would only know of them if they joined the Old Wilsonians’ Association, there was a good chance that most of them would have moved in the interim and email tends to be a young person’s facility and often shunned by those in their 70’s. However, we did manage to track down seven between us, namely: Dave Cohen, Ron Cromer, Chas Evans, Mike George, John Houghton, Colin Smith and Graham himself, of course, who kindly invited me along as well, whilst Bob Chapman, a contemporary of mine in the class of 1956, also
managed to get an invitation and we were also delighted to see Sacha Marsac making up an impressive contingent. Putting on my school uniform on the designated day seemed a bit odd, not forgetting the cap, of course, although I did not go as far as wearing short trousers, and I awaited the No.176 bus in eager anticipation of the day ahead. I clambered upstairs, the lower decks of buses seem to be reserved for those under 25 who do not seem fit enough to climb stairs, and recalled all of the various landmarks on the 25 minute journey. It was good to see that Dulwich library was still functioning at a time when libraries are being closed, as was ‘The Plough’; not that we ever went in there, of course! Down Lordship Lane we went and thence to Goose Green, such a central location during the Falklands War, past Dulwich Hamlet football ground, where at least two Old Wilsonians played, up Dog Kennel Hill – ran up there a few times in preparation for the school cross www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
country - before alighting at King’s College hospital in order to take in the ambience and walk the short distance to the Grove House Tavern where we were due to meet. There were a number of changes, although perhaps not as many as you might imagine in view of the time-scale, including the pub itself, which is now known as ‘The Grand Union’. The school swots were already there when I arrived, as ever anxious to impress the Head master of their conscientious attitude, and talking excitedly about the afternoon ahead. We had agreed to have a meal at the Pub and eventually got around to doing so before meeting the good people at the Camberwell School of Arts, the current residents of Wilson Rd. Everyone was very patient as I was the last to finish my meal and although I did feel a bit guilty about keeping our hosts waiting, I defended myself by claiming I was only following the traditional pattern of being late for school. What followed was a fascinating afternoon in which we were all 41
made to feel extremely welcome as we reminisced about our days there. The general consensus was that everything looked a lot smaller than 60 years ago – possibly because we were, too? – and the classrooms seemed hardly big enough to swing a cane, and there were a lot of references to the cane which might be more an indication of the calibre of those in attendance rather than the officious regime – don’t know if this is significant, but most of us now have to wear a tag and be home by night-fall. Mike George, as a former School Captain, was allowed to administer the cane himself in those days whilst his fellow prefects could use the slipper. The prefects room was at the end of the corridor which also contained the Headmaster’s study – more of which later – and the prefect used to leave the door wide open as he took a run at you to in order to maximise the momentum as he inflicted punishment, which was for such heinous crimes as talking during the lunch break.
did us any good, either. Whilst discussing my forthcoming visit with OW President Elect Bill Hartley he mentioned that Mike George was particularly harsh on him in the slipper department and should not expect any favours during his Presidency! And back, so to speak, to the Headmaster’s study, where all those in attendance were interviewed by John ‘Jerry’ Lee, a kindly man who was the Headmaster at the time. “We are a grammar school”, he explained, “Can you spell grammar” was one of the questions he asked potential new boys. And so the tour continued and memories came flooding back. A visit to the gymnasium, now devoid of wall bars and ropes, tempted some of us to muse that we are not as fit as we were then but, in reality and if the truth be told, some of those in attendance were not even fit in those days!
where Tony Blair discovered those weapons of mass destruction. The woodwork room, where we made pencil boxes, mirror frames and the like only to discover that a fellow pupil had ‘pinched’ your work when you returned the following week to complete your masterpiece. Recalling fellow class mates whom you had not seen since your last day at school – at least two pupils burnt their school uniform in the playground as an indication of their love (sic) for the school. The playground itself – very strange to see it full of vehicles. . The guy who threw a brick through the window on the first night of the school play before going to the school ground at Dulwich, strewing the cricket kit all over Dulwich Park and then burning down the pavilion as a way of protesting at the fact that he had been dropped from the 1st Xl and who later became a cabinet Minister in the Thatcher government; the memories just kept flooding back.
What added insult to the injury was the quotation from Hamlet on the wall immediately above the area of punishment, namely: “There is a destiny that shapes our ends” – a very literate lot were our school prefects, although this was changed very marginally, and somewhat nastily, to read “There is a destiny that slaps our ends” Brian Masters, another School Captain during that era even mentioned his caning antics when he was the interviewee in Dr Anthony Clare’s ‘In the psychiatrist’s Chair’ and claimed that he was effectively paralysed with fear as he drew back the cane and had great difficulty in bringing it down on his victim, a feeling which undoubtedly gave birth to such expressions as “this is hurting me more than it’s hurting you”. For our part we invariably re-joined “it never did us any harm” whilst, in truth, it never 42
We also recalled: The German teacher who had the habit of throwing chalk at you – there was a green door at the back of the room peppered in white chalk marks – and if he really wanted to capture your attention he would throw a blackboard duster; with wooden edges. The rifle range, where the CCF would practice hitting the appropriate target during the lunch hour, and any boy who failed to hand in his homework on time and, related to this, the Armoury, www.wilsonsalumni.org.uk
A big thank you to the staff and students of the College, who welcomed us warmly and seemed genuinely interested in our reminiscences, although they were probably not convinced by our implications that the school was the inspiration for Dickens’ Dotheboys Hall, and to Graham Cole, whose idea it was, and Sacha, for facilitating it. So what do I remember about the school days, and afterwards, of those in attendance?
Bob Chapman – who came armed with a copy of the school magazine from the time of our joining in which the various house reports welcomed the new in-take of pupils, who played football for the Old Boys for a while and has vowed to attend OWLs (Old Wilsonian Lunches) Dave Cohen - one of the few schoolboys to score 100 in an interhouse game of cricket, a future Old Wilsonian 1st Xl football captain and wicket-keeper during the cricket season but, and just to prove that life is never perfect, became Terry Adams’ brother-in-law. Ron Cromer - someone I had never met before, but it was worth the wait, and a man who proved he was the epitome of sobriety by not going back to the Pub following the visit. Chas Evans – a man with a Basil Bush laugh who once slept in a neighbouring garden following a party at the Brittains
Graham Cole – the master-mind of the event who travelled all the way from Derby and to whom we will be eternally grateful Mike George – School Captain, allround athlete, and if his swing with a slipper is any indication – please ask Bill Hartley for a reference – an outstanding golf player John Houghton - Secretary of the OW’s Football Club for some time, 1st Xl player and wife Val used to wash the shirts: “I used to know which one was yours as it was always covered in blood”, she once told me. A Blackpool supporter and related to Gerry Adams but, and then, no-one’s perfect. Colin Smith – played both football and cricket for the OW’s, leading member of the Lodge and, following his tremendous work on the children’s playground recently, now a qualified structural engineer.
Following our brief, honest, return to the Grand Union I walked up Camberwell Grove when I was approached by a kerb crawler, who turned out to be Colin Smith, which might have been a reasonable guess, given the circumstances of the day. Also in the car were Dave Cohen and John Houghton, and Colin dropped me at the end of my road – thanks Colin. There is a move, started by myself, to hold the OWA Dinner of 2015 at Camberwell as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations which will include a tour of the school as part of the event. There are no catering facilities there now, but I’m sure this can be overcome, and the meal could take place in the Great Hall, although it probably could not take us many people who, hopefully, would like to attend. But what do others think? Please let us have your views. Mike Pike