Wimbledon College Art: (Featured Artists row-by-row from top left to bottom right) Isaac Dulley, Rudiments; Michael Shuvalova Figures; Joseph Huynh, Rhetoric; Robert Pierce, Rudiments; Wiktor Adamkiewicz, Syntax; Leo Miskin, Rhetoric; Sam Day, Syntax; Mikhail Clarke, Rhetoric; James Burgess, Poetry; Riccardo Di Zenzo, Poetry.
THE WIMBLEDONIAN Foreword from the Head Master
Acknowledgements: The Wimbledonian would like to thank all contributors, staff and former staff, boys and OW alike who have given their time, efforts and money to the production of the 2010 edition. Mr Mark Simpson, Editor With thanks to Mr S Potter and J Austin for their advice and experience. Thanks to my wife for her support and assistance. The Wimbledonian is the magazine of Wimbledon College, Edge Hill, London SW19 4NS
at Easter. The younger boys came 2010 saw the centenary of the into their own in the summer term building of the College Chapel with a wonderfully inventive and to mark the occasion a modest presentation of tales by Roald reordering and restoration was Dahl. carried out. Perhaps by chance rather than planning, the chapel sits Large numbers of boys continue at the very centre of today’s campus to learn and play instruments and and so serves as a reminder that to sing. The evening of song, not an everything we do is to the greater obvious event for a boys’ school, glory of God. Mass continues to has become an annual event be celebrated every schoolday Fr Adrian Porter SJ following the Music Competition morning and the intentions of the Head Master which this year was won by boys, their families, the staff and percussionist George Watson. The annual wider College community are placed before concert was moved to the summer term and God our Father. took its now familiar and popular format of Academic Progress more serious music led by the String Orchestra OfSTED carried out an inspection of the and College Choir in the chapel, followed by school in December and the result was a second half of cabaret-style performances in disappointing. The new, much tougher the hall with the audience seated at café tables inspection regime meant that only a satisfactory with suitable refreshment. The largest ever grade could be awarded because of the Scratch Chorus (some 60 parents, staff, recent Contextual Value Added (CVA) score for old boys and friends participating) had great GCSE results in the previous couple of years. fun presenting a semi-staged performance of That the overall judgement about the Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury. effectiveness of a school can be so limited by Outdoor Activities one or two issues has been a matter of considerable national debate and concern. Sport has continued to flourish under the However, pupils and staff responded by dedicated leadership of our PE department working extra hard to ensure the 2010 GCSE and the many teachers who coach teams. were not only the best the College had ever Special mention must be made of the U13 had but also broke through the magic CVA Sevens team who won the prestigious Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens target to satisfy the inspectors. competition – the first time any College team At GCSE this summer, 81% of awards were at has realised this achievement. grades A*-C, 76% including English and Mathematics. The proportion of A* and Cricket became the focus for development A grades was especially pleasing at 35% as this year with new outdoor nets, largely improving the achievement of the most able funded by the generosity of parents, and boys has been something teachers have been additional coaching support brought in to working on this year. At A Level results were improve standards. And our wrestlers good but could not quite match the achieved three gold medals at the Southern outstanding performance of the previous two England Amateur Wrestling Championships. years: 75% of grades were at A*-C, with 48% at A*-B. 7% of awards were at the new Among new activities this year was a A* grade. Two boys gained places at Bushcraft Camp for a pilot group of Lower Cambridge University (Matthew Fernandes Grammar boys which was thoroughly to read Economics and Michael Coates to read enjoyed by all. It is the intention that the Mathematics). Tom Curran, who left in 2009, intrepid Head of Line, Mrs McHale, will lead gained a place at Oxford University to read all 200 boys into the wilderness next summer English. Many congratulations to all of the such was the success of the pilot camp. The Rhetoric boys who did so well and are now model railway club has been resurrected and beginning degrees at universities around the has its own permanent track layout at the top country despite the very difficult admissions of the Brackenbury building (the original Anglican school of the Rev Brackenbury from round this summer. the 1840s). Rounded Individals A Word of Thanks The cultural life of the College continues 2009-10 has been another full and exciting to flourish, again thanks to the generosity year in the history of Wimbledon College and of so many staff and the enthusiasm and commitment of the boys. The autumn term I would like to place on record my thanks saw the well-loved classic Toad of Toad Hall to the staff for their energy and generosity, to our (based on The Wind in the Willows) play to parents for their support, and, most of all, to full houses, followed by Guys and Dolls our pupils who make it all worthwhile.
Centenary Gill SansCelebrations Bold 16pt
The foundation stone of the College Chapel was laid in 1908 and the solemn blessing took place on 9th April 1910. The architect was the Scottish Catholic Frederick A Walters (18491931), a prolific Victorian church architect with Great Ormond Street and Buckfast Abbey to his credit.
We seem to know almost nothing about the very fine white alabaster statues. St Ignatius, St Francis Xavier (Jesuit saints) and St Patrick (for Ireland) are clearly identifiable. It seems likely that the others are St Andrew (for Scotland), St David (for Wales) and St Augustine (for England).
It was suggested that an appeal might be launched to restore the chapel for the centenary but, with the two building appeals still running and much constrained economic circumstances generally, that this was not the time. So a limited restoration and reordering was undertaken, partly funded by the Society of Jesus and partly from the School Fund.
The two plaster statues, of Our Lady with the Infant Jesus and of Christ the High Priest, placed on either side of the sanctuary arch have been moved to the back of the chapel. These fine art deco pieces from 1931 are by the sculptor Jacques Martin. The Lady statue is a copy of the one made for his War Memorial for the city of Metz.
The most important decision was to reorder the sanctuary, restoring the original altar to daily use by detaching it from the reredos. The 1980s altar, its style and wood not in keeping with anything else, was removed, and the high altar brought forward. To make this possible, the predella was extended using century-old reclaimed oak boards, exactly matching the existing floor. On moving the altar forwards, it became evident that this had been done before: plus ça change.
The school acquired a good three-manual electronic organ in 2003. However, this never had the full amplification and speakers it merited. As part of the chapel renovations, these are now in place, hidden in a Rückpositiv organ case slung from the choir balcony complete with pipes. The organ can now make a strong contribution to the boys’ singing in the chapel. The introduction of organ scholarships a year ago as part of our extensive music programme means that the organ is almost constantly in use for practice.
The great expanse of orange carpet was taken up revealing a splendid pitch pine block floor. This has been carefully sanded down and polished and makes a dramatic difference to the feel and acoustic of the chapel.
The choir balcony has also been strengthened and tiered seating introduced to accommodate a choir of 40, all of whom now have direct sight lines to the sanctuary. A waist-high partition has been created in panelled oak at the back of the chapel to delineate an entrance area. Some years ago the First World War Memorial was moved here and also the plaque commemorating boys killed in WWII. The partition creates a quiet and well-lit space when visitors first walk into the chapel. The banners of the patrons of the College (the four houses: Campion, Southwell, Fisher and More; together with the Sacred Heart and St Ignatius) created at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral last year now adorn the chapel walls and are taken out for processional use at whole-school liturgies in the church. A sound system including hearing-aid loop has been installed. All of this has been done at modest expense but there remain the big tasks of repainting, restoring the damaged and dirty stained glass, and completely rewiring the chapel and sacristy. Hopefully the present restoration will encourage completion of the work before too long. APsj
Chapel before refurbishment
The seating has been rearranged in one block down the middle of the chapel – not ideal for processions but this is a very practical arrangement for assemblies and line Masses. The seats have also been fixed to the floor to stop the inevitable migration of chairs which always made the chapel look untidy. The first few rows are still moveable so that concerts can be held. The restored acoustic makes the chapel again an excellent venue for sacred music. Significant parts of the fine wood carvings around the reredos of the high altar and the wonderful carved pinnacles on the altar itself were badly damaged. There seems to have been an accident some years ago which destroyed a good deal of the wood on the left of the reredos. This has all been expertly restored and missing sections recreated to match the surviving sections. Low energy LED lights have been discretely set into the reredos to illuminate the crucifix and the six alabaster statues of saints on either side of the tabernacle. Two new sanctuary lamps have been set into niches clearly intended for that purpose.
School Chapel Refurbishment: Banners hanging in the chapel; (top right) Statues of St. Andrew and St. David; (centre) Reordered chapel; (centre right) Looking back to Choir; (centre middle) Statue of Madonna and child. 3
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Reflections from the Head Boy My final year at Wimbledon College was in many ways similar to all the others: busy, exciting, and full of various challenges and opportunities. Now that I have completed my seven-year spell at the school, I realise just how fortunate I am to have been a part of somewhere so special. I will look back on my time at Wimbledon College with great fondness. From my fellow pupils who have become the greatest of friends, to the teachers who have inspired me to do more, I am indebted to the whole school not just for the grades I leave with, but also for the outlook and set of principles that a Jesuit education creates. From my first day in Figures through to collecting my A Level results this summer, it has been a quite remarkable journey. My earliest recollections of the Wimbledon College experience involve a school blazer that was far too big for me (it was only in Syntax that I finally I grew into it), an enormous rucksack complete with pocket dictionary and thesaurus (taking being prepared to a whole new level), and the horror of being assigned my first 300-word essay. Little did we know at the time that 300-word essays were only the tip of the iceberg!
Flash forward to Rhetoric and there are a few noticeable differences: deeper voices, new faces (as well as a few missing ones) and a considerably bigger workload to name but a few. Yet, as Wimbledon College boys have demonstrated time and time again, no matter how many essays are due, there’s always time to enjoy oneself, whether it be through playing rugby, doing drama, singing or collecting money for a local charity. Even as we started to turn eighteen and discover the joys of being an adult, Wimbledon College never became simply a place of learning. Most pupils continued to embrace the many extra-curricular activities that make Wimbledon College such a wonderful place to grow up. Soon after leaving the school I found myself in an interview. Having looked at my CV, the lady interviewing me exclaimed, “My school never offered all of this!” It was at that moment that I truly appreciated the significance of everything Wimbledon College offers, and the lengths that so many teachers go to to ensure that pupils continue to benefit from the school even after the 3.10pm bell.
as a confident and ambitious group of young adults. And as the new lowestyear boys enter the school-gates, so the cycle begins again. It is with some degree of optimism that I leave Wimbledon College. Not because of what is being left behind, but because of what may lie ahead. Like so many pupils before me and so many future ones, the College has not just been a stepping stone to something bigger; it has been part of the journey. My deepest thanks to all those who have been part of it. Conor Johnson, Head Boy 2009-2010
So, a once nervous and apprehensive group of Figures boys have left in 2010
The Canterbury Conference we will see some exciting improvements around the school, particularly in the Poetry and Rhetoric common rooms.
My thoughts on Monday 7th September 2009 were of mixed apprehension and anticipation, in some ways not dissimilar to those on my very first day at Wimbledon College, all the way back in September 2004. Standing gawkily in new suits and suddenly feeling far older, the new sixth formers could be forgiven for letting out a communal sigh of satisfaction. We had finally made it to the top. At last, we would be able to get our hands on that common room vending machine!
I am now venturing into my final year of Wimbledon College, with the prospect of UCAS and A2 Levels lurking ahead. I intend not to let this dampen my spirits, as I am reminded each day of the wonderful opportunities afforded to us throughout our years at the school. There is so much on offer, and I have been fortunate enough to benefit from and be supported by the sport, music and drama departments and the ever-improving facilities that Wimbledon College has to boast. Liam Peck, Poetry
The year began with a bang - and a puff of black smoke - as our coach to the Canterbury Conference broke down on its way round the M25. However, this did not cast a shadow over what was to be a valuable experience, giving us an introduction to Higher Education and a taste of mixed classes with Wimbledon College and Ursuline High School students combining. Amidst the crowd of familiar old-timers were a handful of new faces, who soon came to make an impressive impact on all areas of school life. Many new students have become integral parts of our sports teams, while others have taken to the stage to perform music and drama or have excelled academically. It is testament to the inclusive nature of the sixth form and its students that it is now difficult to discern those who joined us only a year ago from those who have frequented the halls and corridors for some years. As we were to discover this year, the step up from the lower school to the sixth form is no myth. Hard work and note-taking begins from ‘Day One’ and, come exam time, rigorous revision rolls into re-marks and retakes. However, being in the sixth form does come with its perks and over the course of this year
New Poetry pupils join UHS girls in Canterbury Cathedral
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Prize-Giving Speech orchestra. As part of the choir, I was lucky enough to sing carols in the very grand Westminster Cathedral. As well as that I was also fortunate in being able to sing with three hundred other people in the Jesuit Schools joint choir in St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill. On the other hand, singing the same Mass three times in the same day for each year line is a little excessive; I learnt the music thoroughly over the course of the day, even if I hadn’t learnt it before!
Father Porter, Ladies and Gentlemen, at 8am on the 3rd September 2008 I sat in the sixth-form area at Wimbledon College waiting to board a coach for Canterbury. If I’m being honest it wasn’t exactly where I planned to be. Only two weeks previously I had found out that I was not going to be able to attend the sixth-form centre I had planned to. Instead, as a result of a last-minute application I was accepted here at Wimbledon College. Back to the coach trip; as I sat waiting I had noticed I did not know anyone and had no idea what I had let myself in for, having spent five years studying with the same people and knowing which teachers to hope for and which to try and avoid on your timetable. However, starting a new school with a service in Canterbury Cathedral and a formal dinner with the Ursuline High School were signs that this was not your average school. And so we were welcomed to the sixth form.
As well as musical things I was also the stage manager for the stage crew. I worked on four productions with the school. The first was Life of Galileo where the previous head boy Conor Roche almost electrocuted me. This was followed by Sweeney Todd where I used the skills I had learnt whilst working in professional theatres. Mr Rathbone was very demanding in getting the screeching whistle to be ear-splitting on top of the very loud organ recording I did of him. This took me hours of work but managed to satisfy him in the end. This year brought Toad of Toad Hall which gave me the challenge of creating a car crash on stage but still being able to use the same car in the following night’s performance. This ended with so much smoke on stage that most of the audience failed to notice the snow machine in the following scene that was hired in especially. My final production was Guys and Dolls. After the show I said to my successor as stage crew manager, Sebastien Matthews: “If you have any problems, phone me and I will come in and sort it out.” Only a couple of weeks ago I had a phone call from him saying the speaker was making a funny noise. I came in to find the grill on the front was loose and all I had to do was tighten three screws. Being called in to tighten three screws was not exactly what I had had in mind! All this effort put in by all the cast, crew and staff has made these productions well above the standard of some professional theatre productions I have seen and worked on. I strongly recommend anyone that has not experienced a Wimbledon College production to see at least one.
Aidan O'Neill (far right) with other successful Rhetoric pupils The sixth form has very much the same goal as the rest of the school; you are ultimately there to achieve some form of exam results but the journey is travelled a very different way. One of the main differences is that you choose what you study and are not forced to do those boring subjects that one wonders how other people endure. I am sure you all have at least one you can think of. The other main difference is the freedom to choose how you work, when you work and what work you actually do. If you choose not to do any work in the sixth form you will be saying goodbye to the school a lot earlier than you would probably intend to. A levels require a huge amount of work which you will probably not realise until you are in your second year of the sixth form when lack of work in the first year has already added to the work load.
It is now nearly two years since that trip to Canterbury, two years which have seemed to pass so quickly. Back then I would never have imagined that I would be standing here now as the Deputy Head Boy of a school that has so much to offer. I have to say thank you to Father Porter and Wimbledon College as a whole for giving me these opportunities and for two very happy and enjoyable years. To those of you continuing your studies at Wimbledon College, I urge you to involve yourselves in the things the school has to offer and enjoy your time here. I wish you all the very best for your futures. Aidan O’Neill, Deputy Head Boy
So now I come back from Canterbury and to my first lesson. When I signed on at an all-boys’ school I wasn’t expecting to find in my first Mathematics lesson that I was the only boy in the class of nine! It cannot have been too distracting as I still managed to gain nearly 100% in my Maths AS. My next lesson was Physics, which has turned out to be a very hard and complicated subject but also one of the most interesting. My third subject was Music, which had a very manageable class size of five. It was a subject that was very enjoyable even though it was noisy with two drummers in the same class. I quickly saw why the Music department is in its own building away from the rest of the school. Music within the College is not all in the classroom. I was a member of the school choir and the principal violin in the string
Syntax pupils pick up their GCSE results
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
The Oxford Leadership Conference 2010 The talks were designed to show how, in our careers, we can put such social teaching into action - to use the Americanism, we were learning to ‘pray with our feet’. We then moved into group discussions on a variety of topics, my own being 'Promotion of causes through social media’ focusing on how new media such as Facebook and Twitter can be harnessed to promote good causes. During this discussion, we witnessed through a glass wall an induction ceremony of sorts taking place outside. Students had been tied-up on the lawn and were having flour thrown on them and whipped cream stuffed in their mouths. "Welcome to University!" explained Fr John.
On 19th March, CAFOD and Las Casas Institute, Blackfriars’s Hall, Oxford, invited boys studying the new Philosophy & Theology Pre-U course to Oxford for a one day seminar aimed at 'young leaders from around the country with a passion to see a better world’ to seek their perspective on activism. The start of the trip did not go well - the bus first had a punch-up with a Raynes Park petrol station and was then subject to a series of near-misses on the motorway, leading many to believe that Fr Croos had in fact bought his mini-bus driver's license off a contact in Panama. There could be a no more fitting venue than Blackfriars, for here the Dominicans run Las Casas Institute (on ethics, governance and social justice) and the International Young Leaders Network (IYLN). The aims of the projects are very similar, for the Institute combines scholarship with major speakers and an extensive community engagement programme, and so contributes to the Hall's founding vision of being a centre of the social as well as the sacred sciences; the IYLN exists to identify and nurture young and emerging leaders aged 18 to 33 from the Christian community globally.
The collective brainpower of McCoy and Black Finally, the party from Wimbledon College discussed how we could establish a project at school which could harness Catholic social teachings within our own community. We decided that we would set-up a ‘buddy system’ to help and support the new boys who were joining the school. A prize of a day out in London was offered for the best concept – maybe not the best prize for boys based in Wimbledon, but we will be working hard nevertheless. A real benefit has come out of our visit, with the school agreeing to the establishment of a new programme which is intended to support those making the sometimes difficult transition to secondary school.
Pupils from Poetry arrive at Blackfriars, Oxford Our day was split into three parts: an opening speech and prayer with the Dominicans, followed by a brisk walk over the road to St John’s College where we listened to two speeches, and finally we were divided up for small-group work. The first talk was given by Dr. Julie Clague, a lecturer in Catholic Theology from the University of Glasgow who works as a theologian with CAFOD. The talk revolved around the great tradition of Catholic social teaching, Catholic social thought and Christian approaches to contemporary global issues (such as the environment).
Personally, I have taken away from my day a far better appreciation of what it is that differentiates a Catholic from the rest of Christianity: it is having that long heritage of social teaching and ethical action not only in our dealings with other people but also in relation to wider issues including good government and the environment. In short, to be a good Catholic requires not only faith and belief, but also positive action in one’s day-to-day life, particularly when facing the challenges of the future.
The second talk was by Fr John, priest of an East-London parish. In contrast to the first talk, this was more practical. We were shown that it is the little things in life that can make the difference. Many examples of how Catholic social teaching had been applied (and made a difference) in the East End were given, for example he had been involved in getting the major companies in Canary Wharf to increase the pay for their cleaners. He organised two hundred little old lady cleaners to take their shopping trolleys full of very small change to the bank with the result that the bank was slowed down in counting. The local parishes also got together and bought one share in HSBC so they could attend shareholder meetings and bring up the plight of the cleaners. Such low-level action proved to be highly successful.
For those interested, CAFOD have put a film of the day online. It can be found at: http://bit.ly/oxfordleadership Charles Black, Poetry
Clubs, Trips and Departments
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
Project Manvi 2009 Non-work days were spent visiting the surrounding area. This group was particularly keen to make village visits, something other groups had found difficult. The village visits had obviously deeply affected them and they wanted to see more of how the children live. There is one village where many of the women are Devadasi; these are women who were taken as temple maidens at puberty but then left to a life of prostitution. In this particular village, the women have retaken control of their situation and are creating a new life for themselves and their children. The students who visited them were very inspired by the tenacity and human spirit they saw.
This would be our seventh visit to India and we had the largest group so far. We arrived in Bangalore in two groups; a small advance party arrived on the Friday to find their way around and then showed the other group the ropes on the following day. Bangalore is a city in transition with a huge amount of building going on in the centre, including the construction of a new metro. It doesn’t take long to realise that not all Indians are sharing in this new prosperity and that the blue tarpaulins along the roadside are the homes of many of the construction workers, including families from our own Wimbledon College - supported villages. Soon it was time to travel North to our home for the next few weeks, and we made our way to the railway station for a taste of Indian railway travel. Exhausted, most managed some sleep before being roused from their berths at dawn, ready to disembark for a short stopover at Raichur. The journey from Raichur to Manvi is a real culture shock for those able to stay awake. Arriving in Raichur after nightfall we embark on the journey to Manvi, and as the sun rises the first sights of rural India are visible. The images of villagers emerging from simple wooden huts and barefoot children making their way into the fields or to school is breathtaking and disturbing in equal measure. An hour later we arrive at Manvi and see the magnificent school that we have built rising from the paddy fields that surround it. Children rush out to meet us and we are treated on the first day to a welcome of song and dance.
Men for others: College boys build for the future
Alice and Carl came with me to another village populated by some tribal peoples. The women wear very distinctive costumes which are highly coloured and covered with mirrors. This group has a unique culture which includes a work ethic where men and women work together. They also have very strong family links. To help preserve their culture, there is a plan to build a satellite primary school in the village, so that the children can remain at home and then come to Xavier School for their secondary education. The most difficult visit was to a village where we found a lot of young girls. One, an eleven year old was to marry the next week. The village struggles because it has no water source, and subsequently families from elsewhere are reluctant to allow their daughters to marry into this village so when a local girl becomes ‘available’ she is snapped up for marriage before another family can claim her. Even more disturbing was that this was a Christian village, having converted to Methodism years before. The village now wants to convert to Catholicism, but Fr Eric has told them that this cannot be considered whilst there are child marriages and girls being prevented form going to school. This village has become part of Pannur Mission so it will be interesting to see if there are any changes next year.
Children of Manvi
On Sunday we travelled to Pannur to attend Mass with the locals and then we split into small groups to spend the day with people in different villages. This was a real eye opener for many in the group. On Sunday night we came back and there was a birthday celebration for those children living in the hostel here who had celebrated their birthday in the previous month. There appeared to be an extraordinary amount of celebrants, but it was explained that many children do not know their birthdates and therefore the government give them an official date which is June 1st.
Every trip has its own dynamics and highlights. This year will be remembered for the huge number of children that are now in school - our original fifty have blossomed into a thousand, with more to come; also, for the village visits, for the birthday celebrations and for the wonderful bonding of such a large group. The 2010 trip will focus on the building of the secondary school. This has been a difficult year; the floods in North Karnataka at the end of September devastated many of our villages, destroying the children’s homes. Recession and disasters elsewhere have led to donations being slashed at a time when we most need them. The Project will continue as long as there is a need and as long as it can change lives.
At the weekend the architect came and marked out the footprint of the high school and Pre-University (sixth-form) College. The next day we had a multi-faith ceremony with Christian, Hindu and Islamic blessings of the ground. The group then set about their work for the rest of the trip: digging twenty pits of 6ft by 5ft as the start to the foundations, which of course will eventually be much deeper.
Sharon Wheatley, Chaplaincy
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
Geography Field Trip to Iceland coastal erosion. In the far distance, an arch and stack were visible. We were expecting to see the famous Northern Lights phenomenon, however cloud cover prevented this.
The Geography field trip to Iceland has become a regular fixture over the past few years. In October, a group of about forty boys set off on this trip to embark on excursions in the land of ice and fire and see natural wonders that are exclusive to the island. After arriving at Keflavik Airport, the group travelled to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa set against a landscape of black lava. The water temperature can reach up to 30-40˚C and is rich in silica. The group later visited a viewing point from which the entire city of Reykjavik could be seen. On the second day, the group enjoyed an event-filled schedule, starting off at the Hellisheidi Power Station. Here we heard a presentation on how the Power Station used natural resources, such as magma chambers, to produce renewable electricity for nearly the whole of Iceland. A visit to Strokkur followed; it is a geyser which erupts every five to seven minutes, reaching an astounding height of thirty metres which makes it the second largest in the world. Alongside the geyser, several hot springs of steaming hot water emerge from the ground and some tunnels wind towards magma chambers deep beneath the earth’s crust.
Syntax Boys in the Land of Ice and Fire In the second half of the trip, the group visited the world’s largest lava flow from a single eruption. This extensive lava flow originated from an eruption from the Laki volcano in 1783. The lava flow reaches up to 714 cubic kilometres.
From here, the party moved on to visit Iceland’s most visited waterfall, Gulfoss: a powerful waterfall that plunges into a rift valley surrounded by pasture land. To conclude the day, the party visited a location where the Mid-Atlantic ridge is visible. It is along this line that the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates move slowly away from one another. This particular viewing point is significant to Iceland; the first democratic parliament in the world was established here in 930AD.
Moving further towards the coast, we visited a small gorge, Dverghamrr, which translates as ‘Dwarf Cliffs’. Along the gorge protruded columnar basalt formations, formed after the Ice Age. Finally, the group rounded off the day with an afternoon spent at Jökulsárlóm, another famous glacial lagoon situated at the foot of a glacier. It was formed by the glacier retreating over previous years, leaving fragmented pieces of packed ice, some reaching up to the size of football pitches.
On the third day of the trip, the group embarked on a trip to another waterfall,called Seljalandfoss. It is a tall waterfall reaching 60 metres over a cliff, with a walkway behind showing a new perspective of the falls and demonstrating more clearly the waterfall’s eroding process; this too was accompanied by smaller waterfalls along the cliff face. Moving on, we visited one of the most exciting places so far on the trip: Sólheimajökull is a glacier located in an 8km-long valley which has been retreating since the nineteenth century at 100 metres per year. At the source of this glacier is a very active volcano, Katla. The group was fortunate Seljalandfoss Waterfall enough to walk on some of the glacier. This was a great experience as the glacier afforded views of several crevasses and a picturesque glacial lagoon, filled with ice sheets and icebergs. To round off the day, the party moved on to a coastal town called Vik, an isolated village located west of Reykjavik. Here we stayed for two nights; opposite the hotel was Reynishverfi, a volcanic black beach with an abundance of basalt columns and caves formed by
Relaxing on Columnar Basalt The final day saw us make a trip into the heart of Reykjavik where we visited a newly constructed church, the town hall and purchased last minute gifts. The group as a whole would like to thank Mr. Ventom, Mrs. Gardener, Mr. Turner and Mr. Gill for a fantastic trip which was a great experience for all involved; a special thank you also to Mr. Wilden, who was the main organiser of the trip. Richard Hutton & Sam Day, Syntax
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
French Trip to Toulouse
The Concentration Camps of Poland
This year I took part in a French exchange programme with the Jesuit school, Le Caousou in Toulouse organised by Mrs Anderson. In January, for the first half of the exchange, French students came and spent a wonderful week with their correspondents from Wimbledon College. I had a really good exchange partner called Loïc. We got on really well and he loved his time staying in London with my family.
I headed to Poland, more specifically the Auschwitz camps, under the auspices of the Lessons from Auschwitz project, to learn more about their cultural and historical significance. The experience began with a humbling trip to the Jewish graveyard at Oświęcim; it was startling indeed to see how much the Nazi powers affected Polish culture. Before the war, more than half the population was Jewish, now none remain, the stone-capped tomb of the last Jew to die in Oświęcim a harsh reminder of the realities and brutalities of war.
In March, it was my turn to go to Toulouse. Toulouse is located in the South West of France and it is a beautiful city. We did lots of sightseeing – my favourite being The Cité de l’Espace which was a theme park oriented towards space. We saw a 3D film and went inside a real NASA space ship.
However, Auschwitz One is perhaps even more shocking. Walking under the entrance that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Will Set You Free) and trudging over the hard cobbles that separate the looming cell blocks really makes you understand the oppressive, military feel of the place. It was what was inside the buildings though that was truly moving. As our guide takes us through the dank, small corridors and into a larger, dry room bleached with piercing sunlight, a huge glass case reveals its ugly contents: human hair. Our guide tells us there is around four tonnes, about forty thousand people’s.
Another great site was the Natural History Museum. It was extremely interesting and we all enjoyed our visit there. Much like the London Natural History Museum, it has fantastic displays showing all sorts of weird and wonderful animals. The French students we exchanged with attend a co-educational school in the centre of Toulouse. It is a big school with many similarities and differences to Wimbledon College. I stayed with Loïc and his family in their châteaux. Their house was made of wood and had a big swimming pool. Their dad was a computer engineer so they had lots of cool gadgets, were a very nice family and looked after me very well. In fact, all the boys who went on the trip said their families were very friendly and hospitable too; the food in Toulouse was also fantastic.
This and other sites, such as the small stone execution wall outside and cabinet filled with shoes, both tiny and large, male and female, adult and child, are among some of the most chilling in the camp.
Another day out we had was to the Airbus factory which was fascinating. They make the biggest aeroplanes in the world and we were shown how each part was put together like a jigsaw puzzle. Apparently the factory is not open to the general public so we were very lucky to go there.
Our final visit of the day was to Auschwitz Two, Birkenau. As the sun set and the wind grew stronger we could feel the biting cold, even through our layers of warm clothing, making one realise how freezing the camp must have been, and comprehend just how uncomfortable the captives must have been in their one layer of thin, scratchy pyjamas as they slept on rigid, wooden bunks or, worse, on a cold stone floor made for horses. Though what is probably the most frightening factor of the camp is its sheer size, vast and barren, yet incomplete, just a fraction of what it would have amounted to. Truly the experience, although short, was one not to be forgotten, as anyone who has ever seen the concentration camps first-hand will surely tell you. Amongst the long, snaking metal train tracks and half-demolished gas chambers one can really understand how awful a place Auschwitz must have been, but to see it, for the camp to still be open is a necessity as hopefully, in its own way, the place will keep another horror of its kind from ever being allowed to occur again. Sean Richardson, Poetry
Rhetoric Valete 2010 Pupils leaving from Rhetoric took Mass at the school c h a p e l , followed by a champagne reception on the lawns to mark the end of their Wimbledon College career.
Wimbledon College en France The whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable. If anyone else has the opportunity to take part in an exchange trip, I highly recommend they take it up as it is very interesting and really made me think about the importance of learning another language as well as realising how much more work there is to do on my French! Daniel Barrett, Lower Grammar
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
Science Club On Friday June 25th, Rudiments population two travelled to the Tower of London on a trip led by Fr Croos SJ in the steps of the martyrs. There were many interesting things on the trips. My personal most interesting exhibit was a former torture chamber where martyrs were put through excruciating pain.
The Science Club is for people who want to do more in-depth activities in Science. There are two groups, the Figures group led by Miss Landsberg (which I was part of) and the combined Rudiments/Lower Grammar group led by Mr James. Science Club has always been popular and there has never been a week when less than fifteen people turn up. Every week, new and exciting experiments leave us wanting more.
We started the trip by going to one of the other chambers, where a Jesuit priest had been kept; fortunately, he had managed to escape. An interesting thing about this priest was that he had written a note by using the juice of an orange and holding a candle light next to it. The main tower had all the weapons that would have been used in warfare from the 1500s to the present day. It showed the armour of a common knight and then it showed the armour of the kings and princes. It also displayed lifelike models of the horses on which kings had ridden into battle. There were also decorated firearms, for example there was a highly ornate pistol with almost two thousand diamonds inserted into it.
Figures Scientists in a static electricity horse race Over the year all these experiments have been fully enjoyable. From other people in Science Club I have gathered that their favourite experiments were: the ones where we constructed something that we could take home; the ones that were exciting and the ones where we could see something happening. My particular favourites were the methane bubbles experiment where dish soap bubbles containing methane gas were lit and turned into a fireball, and the experiment of adding Coke to Mentos and spurting a huge coke fountain into the air out on the school field - the rugby team could not have been happy! This year in Science Club there have been three trips; one for each term. The first one was the trip to the Science Museum where we had a talk on energy, a fun session in the Launchpad Interactive section and a show. The second trip was to the Natural History Museum where everyone enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit and seeing the funny theories on extinction. My favourite was the third trip to the Royal Observatory where we had a talk on Life in the solar system, and the highlight of the day was the Planetarium show on the life of stars.
Rudiments at The Tower In the famous Crown Jewels Gallery, everything used in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was displayed. Also on show were the royal standards for each king and queen of England illustrating how it had developed over the years. One of the main towers was called Salt Tower: this was where most of the martyrs were kept before they were killed. This was an interesting and thought-provoking trip which all the boys in the group greatly enjoyed. It was humbling to see how people had suffered for the faith they held. Thank you to all the staff involved for organising this excursion.
Overall, Science Club has been an extremely enjoyable club. It has almost everything you could think of. Everyone has enjoyed it and no one has been let down.
Hal Whyborn, Rudiments
Ben Nealon, Figures
Lower Grammar Bushcraft
As well as learning bushcraft and survival techniques, pupils also had the opportunity to play games over the course of this really enjoyable bushcraft trip. One of these games was named â€˜Predatorâ€™ as it involved avoiding being hunted down. We were told to try and leave no trace as we moved through the woods and grassland. We were also advised to blend in with our surroundings and camouflage ourselves. We were the prey and had to use all we had been taught to escape our predator. I would say that this was an excellent day because it was definitely also educational and we learned a lot of new skills. Alfie Gregory, Lower Grammar
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
All Aboard and Full Steam Ahead! Model Railway Club visits the Bluebell Railway the other way. It stopped and let out a massive noise so loud you could hear it for miles around. All of us clambered back into the carriages. We found out there was a little café inside selling crisps, cookies, drinks, chocolate and many more things. The way back seemed much faster. Some people stuck their heads out of the window and saw the train pulling us away.
Louis Garner: The Model Railway Club, founded this year by Mr. Austin, is a peaceful club for fun and enjoyment. It is held in the SEN department on Thursdays after school. Here, we set up our own model railway, running locomotives around an electric track which expands every week. We also choose our own area to decorate and make scenery for. Since I joined I have learned a lot about the networking of the tracks. Club members are Stephen Boyle, Andrew Foley, Christopher Williams, Raymond Pelling, Sam West, Alex Martinucci, Edward Tomkinson and me. We all get on really well and we have a great little community going on. We also recently went on a trip to the Bluebell Railway, a place where old trains are preserved so people can still ride on them.
Andrew Foley: I really enjoyed the ride back on the train; it was smooth and very relaxing. I enjoyed looking at the green coaches and the train we rode on was indeed very comfortable. I enjoyed watching the scenery fly by as I looked out of the window. We were travelling at 25 mph, but I know these trains can go at least 50 mph. Edward Tomkinson: Having disembarked from the train, we all went into a beautiful carriage. It had gold all around it and you could eat in it. It was so posh, I think it must have been first class. It was called a Pullman. The tables and the floor were clean and everything sparkled. I wish I could have eaten and drunk in it. Instead, we had our lunch outside. It was sunny and warm and we had a good view of the steam trains.
Raymond Pelling: The Bluebell Railway is at Sheffield Park in Sussex and we visited on Friday 2nd July, 2010. All the club members went on the trip, accompanied by Mr. Austin, and Mrs. Berriman. We were taken there by school minibus, which was driven by Mr. Austin, and the journey took about 2 hours. Mr. Austin is a very good driver, so much so that I managed to sleep most of the way there. When we got there we went onto the platform. It didn’t look like any station I had been on before: it didn’t have a yellow line at the edge of the platform, there were no modern lights and no electronics, like tannoys and station indicator lights.
Sam West: After lunch, we headed over to the signal box. It was packed with many traditional controls, such as levers and gauges. There was not a modern piece of equipment (apart from the display board) in sight. The signalman gave us a long explanation on most of the parts. There were levers which controlled the points, and explosive charges. A worker would put them on the track and they would detonate when the train went over them to warn a driver of danger on the rails in poor visibility. Christopher Williams: There was also a remarkable machine that gave a key to the driver of a train to show that he was on the line. A signal man would take one out and the machine would lock and no key could be removed or inserted, meaning the driver had a guarantee the line would be clear. This system has only failed once, and that was due to human error. After this had been explained to us, we headed to the gift shop and then home.
A bygone era of travelling comfort Stephen Boyle: We walked along the dry, sun-baked platform towards a large stone building with some Pullman carriages next to it. Three large engines stood proudly right in front of us; it was amazing. I was stunned at the size of these machines. Suddenly, a blast of hot white air shot out of one of the engines; we were covered in steam. There was so much of it that we could not see further than our hands. Alex Martinucci: At the Bluebell Railway we got the chance to go on a real coal-burning train called the Southern 1638 and for me it was a very fun experience because all the chairs were not like the ones on the tube. The chairs in the train were spring loaded and may be the most comfortable chairs in the world. We passed an old restored station and it was quite fascinating to see what things looked like back then. When we came to a stop at a different station we got off to wait for the train to head off without carriages, turn around, and return to push us back The Model Railway Club
Gill Sans Ski Trips Bold 16pt
Skis, Poles & Icy Pools Higher Line: The slopes of St Anton The ski trip of 2010 was definitely one that will live on in the minds of teachers and students for a very long time. It wasn’t only the marathon 22-hour journey we had to take on the way out and the way back, but also the sheer amount of jokes and laughter shared through what was a glorious week in St Anton, Austria. The journey alone could have its own article with the utter madness that went on. We left Wimbledon all in good spirits for a relaxing coach journey where we could indulge in plenty of sleep. How wrong we were! I can safely say that no-one on the coach got a wink of sleep and if they did it would have been a very rough one sleeping on the floor, drifting off to the electrical beeping of boys playing Mario Kart. Unsurprisingly, we arrived groggily the following afternoon in St Anton, begging the fierce sun to give us respite for some much-needed kip. Foreigners in a picturesque mountain scene, we couldn’t wait to hit the slopes: the bodies may have been weak, but the minds were still full of skiing dreams. We settled into our hotel rooms and, digging deep into our energy reserves, found just enough vitality to traipse outside for the fire-drills.
Higher Line Skiers Lunch on the Mountain
Lower Line: Adventures on the High Skis If I’m honest, I always wondered why anyone would want to strap bits of wood to their feet and spend a week rolling and tumbling down beautiful European scenery. But after the experience of the Lower Line ski trip, I can understand the attraction.
Dinner on the first day was surely an experience for many of us. As we stared blankly at a green soup none of us had seen before, we exchanged glances of real fear. Wondering whether we would eat properly again we took our first sips of Austrian cuisine; suffice to say, we didn’t go hungry for the rest of the week!
The best experience of this sport of skiing was on the Wednesday, or ‘Weary Wednesday’, which I understand some people called it. Feeling decidedly weary myself, I spent five minutes angrily stamping my snow covered boots into my skis on the mountain slopes. After finally completing my trial by fibreglass skis, I followed my group over to tackle the slopes presented to us. We had made it from the nursery slopes of the week’s start to the real mountains, and it felt good.
For many of us, myself included, it was the first time ever on skis. Many people had been twice, three times or even more. Some took to the slopes like naturals, but for the beginners there were inevitably a few falls - well, maybe more than a few. As the experts had left us and scaled the mountain only to shush down it at ridiculous speeds, we beginners were at the base of the slopes still learning how to put on our skis. How we envied those advanced group boys.
After skiing, well, falling down the slopes several times and climbing back up again, we were given a break. I took the opportunity to drink a cheeky can of pop as Robbie Williams’ ‘Morning Sun’ played from a nearby radio; it seemed appropriate for this tiring pastime.
Skiing was the main reason for the trip, but the experience of many other things is what made it so memorable; swimming in an Austrian swimming baths was probably one of the craziest evening entertainments: the temperature was into the minuses - colder than anything seen in Wimbledon and here were fifty or so crazy Wimbledon College Grammar boys flailing around in an icy pool.
At the end of the day, we were offered a choice: descend the mountain comfortably by ski-lift or travel all the way down via a blue-run slope, one of the easiest.
Skiing was a marvel - that is the only word I can find to describe it. The ski instructors we had made it look effortless and easy. So much so, that we assumed this was how it was… until we hit the snow: even standing up was a mission. By the end of the week though, most of us had cracked it and were getting high up the mountain ourselves.
I took the latter option and a couple of others joined me. On the first few steep drops it seemed that I was doing well. Humming a silent and random tune to myself, I put on a bit of speed, thinking I would never fall; I was wrong. Suddenly, around me was a blend of thick whiteness and thin ice. Trying to bypass both, my left ski smashed through a thick pile of snow and my right slid on an icy patch causing both to crash into each other. My foot slipped into the air and my poles disappeared from my hands and found their way a few feet in front. I myself continued, slipped and gravity took me down onto my backside. Ouch!
On the last day we had a set of races to see who the fastest on two skis really was. Conor Dalglish won in the beginners’ group, while Angus Fairbairn won in the advanced group, leading to huge cries from the crowd. The trip was a fantastic one and even though Patrick Wilson and Dan Lucas sadly had to get airlifted off the slopes, we know that they as well as everyone else had an amazing time out in St Anton – we will never forget it!
Long story short, I find skiing to be an eventful, fun but sore activity, and the feeling of taking off your ski boots at the end of a long day is absolute bliss. Daniel McKeon, Rudiments
Dan Williams, Grammar
Gill Out Sans andBold About 16pt
The Battlefields of Ypres The last sight of the day, the astounding Menin Gate, awaited us. We walked towards it through the rainy Belgian streets, eating chocolate and trying to translate Flemish shop signs. On arrival, I gawped in disbelief at the chalk-white walls covered in the names of those who sacrificed themselves for us in the Great War. Though the closest surname to mine was ‘McGowan’, this experience became the rather grisly highlight of our truly memorable trip. We soon boarded the coach again, belted up and said goodbye to wondrous Belgium. It was a trip on which we learnt much about the sacrifices others have made so that we may enjoy the simple freedoms of school trips and the like. Our thanks go to those who organised it.
The past year has left thousands of headmasters over the country in disarray as their schools become nothing more than dilapidated educational nightmares. Teachers have become lost in piles of bureaucratic paper, schools have lost their cherished money and, above all, little boys and girls have lost their futures. However, Wimbledon College is an exception. We in our school respect our teachers, our building and our pupils, as Miss de Stefano and her Canadian former colleague, Miss McNeely, proved without a doubt on this History visit. One day in November 2009, these two history teachers came up with the idea of a history trip to Ypres, in North West Belgium. “We thought it would be a fantastic idea,” Miss de Stefano told us, “to give you, the pupils, a sense of what it would have been like on the Western Front in World War I, and to see how far Ypres has come since the dark days of its many battles.”
Conor McGovern-Paul, Lower Grammar
Debate and Public Speaking
In December, the top two History sets boarded the coach. Due to the fact that it was the early morning, most people fell asleep immediately. After many hours of rainy window views, we arrived in Belgium, where we were greeted by a text explaining that any phone calls would cost a ridiculous amount of money and so it would be best not to ring anybody.
It has been a busy year for debate and public speaking at school this year: not only was the Grammar Jack Petchey 'Speak Out' workshop and competition continued with success, but students of all years were involved in a number of other events and competitions. The Autumn Term began with intense work on the Mock National Bar Trial Competition. This competition put students in the roles of barristers and witnesses to recreate court cases. On the face of it, this may sound like a breeze, but Syntax pupils Joe Bohoslawec, Ryan Rodrigues, Tom Dixon, Matteo Martello, David Gunn and Laurence James (Rhetoric) quickly learned just how challenging a barrister's job really is!
As the trip was to last one day only, we had many things to do in a relatively small period of time. One of our first outings was to two cemeteries – one British, one German. In solemn fashion, each of us was given a cross to place upon a gravestone of our choice. The heavy rain added to the sombreness, and yet it was because of the weather that we were forced to hurry back inside our coach.
Alongside the Trial competition, Poetry students Andreas Chen and Bryan Ojofeitimi were discovering intense debate through the English Speaking Union's Mace Debating Competitions that continued throughout the first term. Both did an excellent job competing against the very best state and private schools at Ibstock Place School on the motion: 'This House would assassinate dictators.' Though Wimbledon College did not come out on top, both boys did an impressive job and will surely make further strides in debating this year!
Before lunch, we journeyed to a small museum, in which lay German helmets and the like, and behind which were trenches. A friendly tour guide greeted us and, after attempting to calm several excitable children, began showing us around and giving us an impression of how filthy and appalling trench conditions were.
In addition to their more mature counterparts, Figures, Lower Grammar and Grammar students also made impressive progress this year. Daniel Barratt and Henry Stothard blended perfectly into our Mock Trial Team on one day's notice when a few students had pulled out at the last minute. These two, along with Charles Cull and Tom Hutton, also represented Wimbledon College at the London Debate Challenge Finals in the Spring. Impressively, in a pool of over one hundred students, Charles Cull received the highest scores from judges on his first debate: a future politician in the making! Other stand-out performances came from Daniel McKeon and Tom Morris (Rudiments) in all Lower Line debates. Last, but by no means least, Figures students Michael Koma, Ciaran Dolan, Alex Martinucci, Matthew Roberts, Daniel Mash, Werner Muller-Roa, Janek Stelmach, James Price and Patrick O'Mahoney, among others, finished the year with a bang at the Merton Transition Debate.
Lower Grammar pupils lay a wreath at Ypres We ate our food at the museum; my lunch wasn’t exactly enhanced by the band of obnoxious Belgian teens swarming across to the front of the room, only to be served overpriced garbage from a small woman at the counter. Soon it came to the evening. We ventured inside a sweet shop where the eccentric, somewhat demented owner advertised literally barrels of marshmallows, chocolate, et al. Seeing as I had little money with me, Miss McNeely bought me some Belgian chocolate, for which I remain grateful.
This year we have debated all range of issues from climate, transportation, politics and urban challenges to issues such as celebrity and the media - we look forward to another year of challenges and excitement in 2010-2011. Many thanks to our lively debate teachers: Miss Walker, Miss West and Mrs Hurst.
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Specialist Status Update
This year saw pupils studying Business Studies take part in numerous competitions and come out victorious in a number of them. The first success came in The SWELP Stock Market Challenge. Having initially won the Merton Borough category (including a famous memorable win over a nearby all-girls’ school that has Business Specialist Status), five Grammar boys went on to win the South West regional finals. The competition involved taking part in a live stock market simulation challenge where each team had to purchase and sell stocks and shares with the aim of trying to secure the most amount of profit at the close of trading. Each pupil was driven by the incentive of the prizes that were on offer – as well as a love of Business Studies, no doubt! For the winners there were iPod nanos and cash vouchers.
As a Science and Maths Specialist school we have invited some exciting speakers to visit the College over the course of the year and have organised lots of day trips to scientific shows and events. One of the first events was the visit of the Science Museum to give three exciting shows to Rudiments. They warmed us in the energy transfer show, shocked us in the electricity show and finally disgusted us with what can only be described as a literally gutsy performance. Most Grammar pupils have been up to Westminster to see a series of lectures from a range of respected scientists on GCSE Science. This gave them the opportunity to talk to the chief examiner on exam techniques and listen to Sir Robert Winston talk about developments in fertility treatment.
Further success was seen later on in the year in the Skills Factor competition which involved participating teams completing and submitting a business plan online that demonstrated they had used certain skills effectively to achieve a successful outcome. This was a national competition and at the time of writing this article the team has been informed that they have progressed to the semi-final heats and are one step closer to progressing to the national finals. The boys’ team was named ‘Ignatius Brokers Ltd’ (rather unique, I thought, at the time of suggesting it to them!) They have submitted their video footage for the semi-final, one of which is, I believe, viewable on a certain video internet site, and are keeping their fingers crossed that they will progress to the national finals where they may have the opportunity to meet Lord Sugar.
As an associate school of the Royal Society we have attended some fascinating events, including a day for Lower Grammar pupils to celebrate the work of female scientists and a visit for Syntax scientists to the Summer Exhibition at The South Bank. Figures pupils were treated to a theatre show on forces while the sixth-formers have investigated the chemistry of fireworks and seen dissections demonstrated by St George’s Hospital research scientists. We regularly visit local Year 6 classes to provide science and maths activities and they have visited us for a range of shows, including one about Bloodhound, the fastest car on Earth.This is just a selection of the activities we provided this year and for pupils who want to find out more there are of course the Maths and Science clubs which run each week. The Science Faculty
Doing the business: Ignatius Brokers Ltd Well done to James Frost, Dominique Okyere, Mani Alatise and Philip Steedman for their great efforts, and in particular to Daniele Pandolfi (all pictured above), who showed great determination and enthusiasm, putting considerable time and energy into both competitions.
Science pupils learn from the experts
On top of the successful competitions that boys have entered, there have been numerous trips, allowing large numbers of pupils to develop and strengthen their knowledge and understanding of Business Studies. These have included a trip to Thorpe Park and a visit to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, in Notting Hill. Both excursions were enjoyed greatly by those involved. The department looks forward to what will hopefully be another exciting academic year in 2010-2011, where pupils can continue to build on the successes of last year. Mr S Afshar, Head of Business Studies
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Music feedback to the performers and as ever, the evening was immaculately presented by Mrs Delport, assisted by Ashley Gyngell and Oscar Golden-Lee on powerpoint.
2009-10 proved to be yet another incredibly busy year for music, but was well worth the effort. As per last year, we decided to postpone the St Cecilia’s concert, usually in November, to the summer term. The Strings Project got going again with a very promising cohort of Figures pupils; The choir did their annual shift of voices but again were joined by new blood from Figures; Concert Band and Wind Band amalgamated under Mrs Delport’s baton.
On March 19th, we held the first joint concert of all the Jesuit Schools in England at St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill. Fifty boys and staff from the College joined more than three hundred other singers in a performance of Fauré’s Requiem, most in the choir, but two in the orchestra, Chris Jeanes and Kate Hartley, and also me on the organ. Before the Fauré, all the schools performed a piece individually. We chose Bruckner’s wonderful Marian motet, Tota Pulchra es Maria. Ryan Rodrigues was the soloist and the choir performed excellently in the resonant acoustics of the church, all captured on a DVD which is still available. The Fauré featured our own Tom Dixon singing the Libera Me.
Mr Rathbone leads the school choir The annual service of remembrance in November once again featured music by Purcell – his Funeral Music for Queen Mary performed by the Brass Group and his moving setting of ‘Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our heart’, sung by the choir. This service, with all the names of the Old Wimbledonians killed in war read out by the Head Boy, continues to move all those who attend it.
The Strings Project in action It was a feat of logistics to get all those singers in place, and the performance was not perfect by any means, but the spirit of being part of something special was definitely there. Michael Edwards gave the thanks at the end – sadly it was to be one of the last times I saw him before his death. He was always a great supporter of music generally and the choir in particular and a good personal friend, both in his time at the school and subsequently. The choir were honoured to be asked to sing at his funeral, joining with the Donhead choir for the first time ever. We will all miss him greatly – may he rest in peace.
Christmas was swiftly upon us and the preparations culminated in the joint Ursuline High School/ Wimbledon College carol service at the Sacred Heart Church. The choir sang James Macmillan’s Dutch Carol (written for St Aloysius’ Junior School in Glasgow), The Shepherd’s Farewell (from L’enfance du Christ) by Berlioz, and the Darke setting of In the Bleak Midwinter (soloists Daniel Fontannez and Alex Cousins). In the spring term, there was the annual evening of song, with a wide variety of solos, duets and ensembles, from Finzi to Porter (Cole, that is). The Chamber Choir, run by our first registered girl at Wimbledon College, Kate Hartley, gave a particularly memorable performance of Goodnight Sweetheart. The evening was a huge tribute to our singing teachers, Cathy Bell and Vivienne French. The café-style arrangement of tables worked very well too, and I would like to record my thanks to the Friends of Wimbledon College for the huge amount of work they did for this, and for many other concerts and events during the year. The music competition was won, deservedly, by George Watson on drumkit, with Aidan O’Neill winning the composition prize. Joseph Snelling of Lower Grammar came second with a moving performance of Bring him home from Les Misérables; he repeated this later in the year at the Merton’s Got Youth Talent finals at Bishopsford School and also came second. Three judges, Michael Posner from the London Mozart Players, Robert Bridge, examiner and pianist, and Paul Williams, Head of Music at Ursuline High School, gave extremely useful
St Cecilia's Concert in the chapel
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Guys and Dolls later in the term was almost light-relief compared to Sweeney Todd the year before – but it is never easy to bring off these shows, and the cast were superb. The band, once again led and gathered by Christian Barraclough, were as good as one might hear in the West End. The score was hugely enjoyable to perform, and this year, I had no problems with monitors or light!
Green and Radical The impact of physical and human geography has been all around us in 2010: The Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the World Cup and the Icelandic volcanic eruption have allowed for some fascinating and up-to-date lessons. Pupils have responded well to thought-provoking sessions exploring how the power of nature represents one of the greatest challenges facing our planet. The introduction of a ‘Radical Geography’ module into the Rudiments curriculum has allowed pupils independently to research a geographical topic in which they have a special interest. Topics have included human trafficking, noise pollution at the World Cup (vuvuzelas), the treatment of Nike and Adidas workers and one of my favourites: Is Wimbledon College eco-friendly?
The Lower School Production of stories by Roald Dahl was a great success, helped by the band conducted by Mrs Delport, who arranged all the music too. With two exceptions, Mr Slemp on guitar and Mr Potter on drums, the players were all pupils and they really played with confidence and authority – a great tribute to Mrs Delport’s leadership as well as their own talent. After the rigours of exam coursework, Music Week in July was upon us and the Scratch Chorus tried something a little different with a semi-staged version of Trial by Jury on the Tuesday, Strings Project workshop and concert on the Wednesday, and the St Cecilia Concert on Thursday. All were very successful, and mention must be made of the choir singing the Kyrie and Gloria from Mozart’s Coronation Mass despite some changing voices in the top line, and the String Orchestra playing part of a Vivaldi Concerto in G. They both made a huge impression on those who heard it. Thanks to Dan Shilladay for his continuing work with Strings which is really starting to pay dividends as is the Strings Project.
Sixth-Form Geographers and Staff On this note, recycling at Wimbledon College doubled this year with recycling bins being collected twice a week. Figures and Rudiments pupils have been ‘green champions’, involved in not only helping our school, but also our planet. The Geography department said a sad farewell to Susan Gardner who left the department after twenty committed years of teaching. We thank Sue for her outstanding hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and exceptional patience and persistence with struggling pupils. In my short time at the College, I have quickly noticed how special Sue is with the pupils and the way in which they respond to her in such a positive and productive manner. I am glad to say Sue will not be leaving the College as she has taken on a role as an SEN teacher. This year the Geography Department had the pleasure of visiting New Forest National Park and Slapton Ley in North Devon. Both these trips were essential to pupils’ GCSE and Cambridge Pre-U courses and they both proved thoroughly enjoyable and exciting, as well as giving pupils a new enthusiasm for the subject. Earlier in the year, some boys also travelled to Iceland (see page 10). This is something the department is keen to repeat in future years.
Wimbledon College strings players After the interval, we went to hall for the Valete concert – only one leaver was available though, as Kate Hartley was in New Zealand and Ben Bell was preparing to go to Nepal. Aidan O’Neill was there, but having injured himself in a kayak could not play. George Watson rescued the day with his usual polished performance on drums. We wish them all well in their future careers.
Mr P. Barnbrooke, Head of Geography
There are many other events which I have not even mentioned, such as the teatime strings concert, organ students’ trip to Christchurch Priory and hundreds of performances in assemblies, prize-giving, church and chapel. Thank you to all musicians of Wimbledon College, teachers and pupils alike. Special good wishes to Mrs Delport as she takes maternity leave for two terms; we welcome an old pupil, Kevin Laidler, as her replacement for that time. He played clarinet in our previous production of Guys and Dolls in 2000. Plus ça change! Mr R. Rathbone, Director of Music
Gill Around Sansthe Bold School 16pt
Mathematics Department Numbers, Gurus and Mickey Mouse We came back in September 2009 to learn that the Maths department had achieved its best results ever at KS4 and KS5. This does not happen by accident! It is a collaborative effort on behalf of the boys and the Maths teachers in the school. There has been a lot of hard work done on both sides and the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Well done to all. We will endeavour to surpass that great performance this academic year, difficult though it might be. This year, as many of you will know, Lower Grammar boys are effectively doing KS4 Maths and hopefully a good number of the year group will sit the GCSE in Mathematics at the end of Grammar year and achieve at least an A grade. Current projections strongly suggest that this is possible, so plaudits to the pupils and staff who have put in a great effort to make this possible. The curriculum at Key Stage 3 has had a complete facelift with new resources for Figures and Rudiments and, from September 2010, new resources for Lower Grammar. The use of The Knowledge for posting homework and additional resources has been fantastic and many thanks must go to Ms Rickard and Ms Jones who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.
Mathematics does Paris
Many of the boys who took Maths at Advanced level won places at some of our elite universities to read degrees that contain a significant amount of Mathematics and it is always pleasing to hear from them on how well they are progressing. This year one of our Rhetoric pupils has won a place at Cambridge to read Mathematics and a number have again won places at Imperial College. Matthew Fernandes, who did Further Maths this year, has also won a place at Cambridge to read Economics.
In February, Ms Hamed led 20 pupils to our yearly trip to Paris and of course a day at Disney, which is always a highlight. The trip was a success and many thanks go to Ms Hamed, Mr MacDonald and Mrs Routledge-Brown, who accompanied the boys during their half-term break.
This year saw an exponential increase in the number of pupils opting to do Further Mathematics at Advanced level â€“ all are expected to do very well and again a massive effort was put in by the pupils from the College and The Ursuline. Special thanks must go to the Maths guru, Mr Giermakowski, who enthused the class so much that lessons were conducted in the half terms and the Easter break. Word has circulated about how great this course is and over twenty pupils have opted to do it next year! Obviously, the G-factor has something to do with it. Many members of the department have gone to local primary schools to deliver enrichment lessons and lessons in Financial Management - we are always happy in the department to spread the gospel of Maths far and wide! In July we hosted an inter-school Mathematics competition involving our top mathematicians in Lower Grammar. A great day was had by all and we must thank Ms Rickard for all the hard work that she put in to organising such an exciting event and we plan to continue this in the forthcoming years.
Young Mathematicians in Science City
In addition, we entered a vast number of pupils from most year groups for the UK Maths Challenge (organised by the University of Leeds) and many pupils did so well that they received a gold, silver or bronze award, a fantastic achievement that bodes well for the future of Mathematics at Wimbledon College.
I cannot end this review of the year without mentioning a very talented mathematician in Rhetoric: Michael Coates had by January sat eleven papers in Maths and scored maximum marks in all of them and is aiming to sit all eighteen that Edexcel has to offer; I would not bet against him getting full marks - a truly remarkable performance. To find out if Michael did get maximum marks, you will need to read next yearâ€™s article!
Three pupils from Lower Grammar were selected for enrichment classes at the Royal Institute for problem solving activities on Saturday mornings and two Poetry pupils were selected for a study weekend in Mathematics at Manchester University
Mr B Kulcsar, Head of Mathematics
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Biology Department A Year of Organs and Mutations It has been another busy year in the Biology Department. Day trips, residential trips and visiting speakers have all enhanced the learning and progress of the pupils in the sixth form. Tom Jepps, a former Wimbledon College pupil now working in research at St George’s hospital, visited to demonstrate some of his dissection skills and talk to the pupils about his work. He carried out a detailed rat dissection to highlight the key organ systems, including the digestive and nervous systems. These are skills that he uses every day for his studies into managing blood pressure. Tom also talked about possible careers using Biology, and what inspired him to get into the field. The pupils followed this with a trip to University College London research labs, where scientists are looking at the development of Zebra Fish embryos. Boys were able to observe embryos at various stages of development, some with induced mutations. It is hoped that these mutations will help scientists understand embryo development more completely. They also studied embryos marked with GFP (green fluorescent protein), which enables scientists to highlight areas that they are interested in.
Poetry Biologists working in the field As we were leaving Juniper Hall, several boys were overheard commenting, “this has been the best week of my life”. We look forward to another exciting year next year. Biology is for life.
Having visited Kew Gardens last year, we took the opportunity to visit The Millennium Seedbank at Wakehurst Place. This time around, the pupils learnt about the role the Seedbank plays in conservation of plant species of interest. They were able to enter the vault where the seeds are stored, and observe some of the scientists at work, as well as tour the gardens around the Seedbank full of endangered species from around the world. This trip added valuable context to the AS level course, and inspired some to complete their coursework on this topic.
During the Autumn term, twenty-four Syntax boys in six groups took part in designing and modelling a temporary classroom. This followed a visit to the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith and a model making workshop back at school with partner architects from De Rijke Marsh Morgan’s who provided some inspirational ideas, resources and a range of interesting materials. Representatives from Open House, the organisers of the Open Up competition, were also present at the workshop to ensure it ran smoothly.
Mr T. Adams
Design and Technology Department Architecture Competition
The climax to the school year was the residential field trip to Juniper Hall, Dorking. The purpose of this trip was to complete A2 Level Ecology coursework. The first couple of days were spent learning ecological sampling techniques on Burford Spur and in the River Mole, and the evenings Another mutated species? The lesser analysing the data and green-tipped Kabanda carrying out statistical tests. They then used the knowledge that they had gained to plan their own investigations. Individual fieldwork was carried out on the third day, after which pupils worked late into the evening graphing their data and carrying out further statistical tests.
Prospective architects in Syntax Congratulations to the competition winners who received their prizes at the awards assembly: Group 2- Drawing Award: Taylor Cullen, Sharone Daley, Max Dulley, Cian Hanley and Christopher Pereira
However, it wasn’t all work, work, work, as some had the chance to beat opposition schools at football, and style Serge’s hair. Ryan McDonagh, having been told not to feed the wildlife, spectacularly failed by allowing a visiting dog (Lucy) to eat all four of his tuna sandwiches. Other highlights included the mental disintegration of Liam Peck over a particularly difficult statistical test, and Aidan Slevin complaining that HE was being distracted by staff writing this report.
Group 1-Commendation: Wiktor Adamkiewicz, Emmanuel Anim-Ayekoh, Stephane Boketsu and Michal Ciszek. Open Up received over 100 competition entries and the judges were very impressed by the high standard of the work entered. The winner’s work was also exhibited at the Open Up awards event on 8th December, 2009. Miss M Mclymont
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Wimbledon College Duke of Edinburgh Award There were around twenty-four pupils who had an amazing experience undertaking our Award scheme this year, and most of us are pretty close to finishing.
pain, as the round (bullet) has to be inserted into the chamber manually, it is good practice and makes shooting the modern rifles, such as the L98A2 Cadet GP rifle, a lot easier.
There are four sections to the DofE Award. Firstly, participants must demonstrate a skill that they have progressed in over a period of three months. Between us, we covered a wide range of such skills, from learning Spanish or French to playing the guitar, learning to cook or improving at swimming or archery.
I also did the service part of my Bronze award through the army cadets. As a Cadet Lance Corporal (Junior Leader), I helped in instructing other cadets, supporting them in the development of their Army Proficiency skills. I also played an active role in assisting the army cadet instructors in the running of the detachment. As an ambassador of the army cadets I have been a part of two Remembrance Sunday parades and attended the Lord Major of London’s curry night.
The second section relates to taking part in physical activity. Being at Wimbledon College really helps here because there is so much extra-curricular sport on offer, and the PE department are really helpful in making sure our log books are signed every week. Many of us did rugby, but there were others who did cycling, running and swimming.
The sport or physical activity that I chose for my DofE was rugby. I have played Rugby for eleven years and, as it was something that I was already participating in at school, I did not have to take on an extra activity. The regular rugby allowed me to improve and develop my game as well as benefiting my overall fitness and stamina. My development through this section of the DofE award was undoubtedly a factor in my being selected to represent the London region army cadets at a national cadet rugby sevens championship in Wales. Although we were knocked out in the semi finals, I’m sure we will smash it next year.
Next up is the volunteering. This is all about making a contribution to our community. As we are all ‘Men for Others’ at Wimbledon College anyway, this is pretty easy for us. Some helped out in charity shops, while others went to other places like old peoples’ homes or even schools. For many of us, this was the most rewarding part of the Award. Finally, the part that we had all been waiting for: the expedition! For the Bronze Award, this is a weekend away, with one night’s camping. Some of us went to Box Hill, while others went to a place near Guildford. This was a tremendous experience: sometimes tiring, sometimes difficult, but always great fun. No names, but even the two people who sat in the middle of a field and sulked eventually thought it was fun too! And that’s what the Duke of Edinburgh Award is all about: having fun, meeting new people and doing something that you really enjoy that is usually new and that always ends up making you a better person. Daniel Lucas, Grammar
Aspiring to Achieve This year as an army cadet I have completed my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which I started when I was 14 years old. I have found it an exhilarating, fun and, above all, rewarding challenge. It has allowed me to develop my practical skills, to give something back to the community and to make new friends, as well as helping me to progress in my army cadet career.
LCpl Gold receives his Bronze DofE Award The most challenging part of my bronze award was my expedition section. It consisted of two individual expeditions, one a practice, and one assessed. Both were about forty-eight hours long, during which we walked around 20km with our kit (clothes, tents and food), camped out in tents over night and cooked – when I say cook, I mean boil stuff in bags! The expedition, although by far the toughest part of the award, is also the most rewarding as it really tests you mentally. I learned that you always have to tell yourself to KEEP GOING and to support your team. Surviving this test of stamina means you have built strong friendships with your team, and gives you the confidence to tackle anything. Through my expedition section, I also passed my Army Proficiency map and compassreading skills and had the opportunity to do night navigation exercises.
In the DofE award scheme, there are three levels to complete. The first level, Bronze, is aimed at young people aged fourteen years and over. Silver is the second level, aimed at young people over fifteen and the final level, Gold, is aimed at young people of sixteen and above. All three levels have to be completed by your 25th Birthday. Once a young achiever has completed the Gold award, there is the opportunity to meet the Duke of Edinburgh at the Gold certificate award ceremony. The article above explains the three sections of the DofE award scheme. For the skills part of my DofE, I chose shooting because it was a skill I wished to develop, and something that I found fun. My shooting involved regular trips to King’s College shooting range where army cadet instructors helped me improve my marksmanship. Mostly, I shot the Lee Enfield No. 8 2.2 Calibre rifle, which is bolt-action and similar to the No. 4 rifles used in World War 2. Although this is sometimes a
I gained a great deal from my Bronze award process with the army cadets and hope to do the same with my Silver. LCpl Rory Gold, Grammar
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The Channel Dash Old Boy War Hero, Eugene Esmonde Esmonde’s swordfish sustained a direct hit but continued towards his target until his aircraft burst into flames and crashed into the sea.
The history books say that the weather on 12th February 1942 was cold and bleak with a thin covering of snow and so it was 68 years later on 12th February 2010. Amid the snow, 200 people including representatives from the College and the armed forces gathered on the quayside of Ramsgate Harbour at the invitation of the Channel Dash Association to honour and commemorate the heroic attempt by six Swordfish torpedo biplanes, led by College old boy, Eugene Esmonde, to stop three of the most powerful battleships ever built as they aimed to sail through the English Channel with massive air and naval protection.
For his courage and leadership, Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde was awarded posthumously the Victoria Cross. Lieutenant Commander Esmonde is commemorated on the Memorial at Woodlands Cemetery Gillingham and the Royal Navy Memorial Portsmouth. His name is listed in Wimbledon College Chapel. On the anniversary of the Channel Dash, a granite monument was unveiled by Admiral Lord Boyce in the presence of a flag party, representatives of the armed services.
Eugene Esmonde was born with a twin brother in 1909, in a family of eight brothers and three sisters. He was a pupil at Wimbledon College in the 1920s. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1928 and subsequently flew for Imperial Airways in the early days of commercial flight. He joined the Fleet Air Arm in May 1939 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, surviving the sinking of HMS Courageous in September that year.
Find out more about Esmonde’s story of his gallant leadership that lead to his posthumous award of the Victory Cross in our V.C. gallery (next to Humanities 6 classroom), or use a search engine on the internet or visit Ramsgate Harbour. Mr J Austin and Mr A McDonald
During the Battle of the Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck proved a great threat to Allied shipping, sinking many merchantmen as well as the battleship HMS Hood (the largest warship of its day). Prime Minister Churchill ordered the destruction of the Bismarck. On 21st May 1941, Esmonde twice led his squadron of Swordfish (a bi-plane with a torpedo slung underneath) from HMS Ark Royal against the Bismarck. On the second occasion the Bismarck’s rudder was damaged and the ship could not escape pursuing British warships, leading to the Bismarck’s destruction five days later. For his part in the attack, Esmonde was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
The College Chronicle A pupil newspaper is launched This year saw the first ever edition of the new Wimbledon College pupil newspaper, The College Chronicle, hitting the playground. Over the course of the first few editions, budding young journalists, largely from the lower line, have produced pieces ranging from straight news articles on the floods in Haiti to an ‘amazing facts’ column covering the more bizarre issues of modern life. Older boys like Conor Ryan, Conor McGovern-Paul and John Son blazed the way with some very talented print media writing, while up-and-coming hacks like Ben Nealon and Rohan Correa continued to hone their skills with some insightful work. Members of staff such as Miss S West and Miss Dooley were profiled, leading to a marked surge in circulation figures.
In February 1942, the German warships, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, escorted by many smaller ships and protected by air cover, planned to sail from northern France through the English Channel to their German home port. Esmonde’s orders were to attack the convoy before it got beyond Calais. Again he led his squadron of six Swordfish against hopeless odds. The German battlecruisers go through in what became known as the Channel Dash. All six Swordfish were lost.
Members of Journalism Club also helped to distribute the newspaper to boys in lunch queues and playgrounds. At the same cost as The Sun, but offering a more measured approach without the need for smutty tittle-tattle, The College Chronicle sold around 100 copies of each issue. All profit made went to the Project Manvi charity appeal. Next year’s Journalism Club will again take place on Tuesdays after school in EN7, where sessions will begin with practical exercises and discussion on writing, editing and the world of journalism, before boys work on their own articles for publication. Everyone is welcome and the club would also exhort parents to ensure that their children pick up a copy for their perusal. With the saturation of the internet with so-called news websites and 24-hour channels desperate to fill their wall-to-wall coverage, it is worth remembering Liebling’s wise words: “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news”. With The College Chronicle there can be no such confusion – this is current affairs in its purest form. Mr M Simpson
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Best Wishes to Leaving Staff Mrs Dee Chamberlain, for some years the glue holding together the Lower Line also spoke to The Wimbledonian: “I remember very clearly my first day as a PSA, four and half years ago – I had never worked in a school before and found it quite daunting and challenging having so many boys asking me so many questions; with the help of others I managed to get to grips with it all and bluff my way through each day. What I will miss are the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of working with, the brilliant characters of the boys who have so often brightened up my day, and of course I will miss the holidays! What I will not miss is the medical room, for obvious reasons (those buckets are in there for a reason).
Among his achievements at the school, Father Croos SJ lists the bringing in and development of the staff retreat days and the involvement of a wide range of boys in liturgies and assembly prayers. Asked what he feels the future would hold for Wimbledon College in the years ahead, as a Jesuit school with potentially no Jesuit staff, Father Croos explains that the building of the Jesuit house on Edge Hill is a clear symbol of the Jesuits’ commitment to the school and area. The Jesuit community, he says, is ‘here to stay’ and will definitely still be involved in the school in some capacity. He also reminds us of the early days of the Society of Jesus when Jesuits began the work and encouraged others to take on projects of education, justice and spreading the gospel.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being such great colleagues; special thanks to those people with whom I worked most closely (you know who you are), for putting up with me and for all your support. I have always been very proud to be an employee of Wimbledon College and will miss you all very much. With thanks.” Miss Carmen Villaroya, Head of Modern Foregin Languages had these words to offer: “How can one summarise six years of wandering and conquering new seas, facing challenges, battles and difficult situations, meeting new people that continually push your boundaries and force you to test yourself again and again? These are the things that I keep in my heart: All the Languages Week celebrations; the very first Lower Grammar Barcelona trip in 2007; the great results in MFL over the last two years; seeing more boys taking up Spanish; The India trip in 2008; the big rugby match against King’s College in the Autumn Term 2008. Funny game, rugby! West Side Story, Les Misérables, Joseph, The Mikado, A World of Pure Imagination and the Strings Project Tea-time Concerts.
Father Croos SJ outside Sacred Heart Church Father Croos will be heading to Chile, via a three-month Spanish-learning stint in Mexico, to complete the third year of his novitiate, some thirteen years after his first two novice years in Birmingham. Here he will undergo, amongst other things, a thirty-day silent retreat and a pilgrimage without money – the second time he will have done this; the first having been a journey along the Dalmatian coast from Venice to Medjugorje, the Bosnia-Herzegovina town synonymous with apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1997. In Chile, Father Croos will also be working as priest and looking back at his life in preparation for making his final commitment to the Society of Jesus and thus becoming a ‘professed Jesuit’.
Other memories are of boys constantly stopping me in the playground to ask me if I could click my heels in the air, or organise a petition for a Salsa club. I love it when dancing takes over sports in a boys’ school like the Ceroc club with sixth formers and the one for staff in 2005. Bring back the joy and the dancing shoes, and let Mr. Marty have the first dance! I will miss the comradeship of all staff: always there at your lowest to console you, and at your highest for the toasts; the many tears shared, and the laughter spread. Above all these is the realisation of how many fantastic things take place in this school. What an Odyssey school life can be! Good luck to all of you!”
As with so many who leave Wimbledon College, Father Croos says that he will miss most the ‘friendliness of the place and the boys’, and the politeness and mutual respect that generally exists among the staff and between the boys. And it is to the pupils that Father Croos passes on these words of advice and inspiration:
Mrs P Patel also left the College after myriad years of dedication and hard work as a science technician. Described by her colleagues as ‘personable, helpful and meticulous’ while possessing a ‘dry sense of humour’, Mrs Patel served the school for thirty-four years. Working largely in Biology, Mrs Patel once captured an escaped crocodile in one of the laboratories’ it had escaped from the menagerie of animals kept at that time by the Zoology department. In her retirement she hopes to enjoy her own new found freedom and hopes to travel to America and India.
“Listen first to what God is saying through prayer and also through other people who care for you, for God also speaks through other people. Make a choice – with all the information – say ‘This is what I want to do’. It may be difficult and challenging, but it should be worth pulling out all the stops and giving your entire life to.
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Toad of Toad Hall “How about doing ‘The Tempest’ for Christmas?” said Father Porter.
Dominic Luck, very assured in the recent ‘Dracula’ was an ideal Ratty: upper-class, lisping, fond of luxuries, dapper in boater, blazer and white bags, and Jake Pace proved that inside him was a grumpy, bellicose old codger just waiting to burst out as Badger.
“But,” said I, “Miss O’Brien and the Drama geezers are already doing a shortened version for a competition.”
Justin Byrne, in his last College play, lamenting that his career as a luvvie had gone steadily downwards, from dashing French revolutionary in “Les Mis” to sardonic, elderly carthorse in “Toad” did an excellent job as Alfred, his Brummie accent (suggested in Bennett’s version) complementing the sour observations he made while heaving Toad’s yellow caravan (built by uberset-builder, Paul Frost) and barge (ditto) around the countryside.
“Well, we’ll do it properly,” said the Head. “It’s years since the College has put on a Shakespeare.” (True – the last one we did was “Julius Caesar” in 1979). “What do you think?” I wondered whether two “Tempests” running at the same time might cause confusion – if only in the rehearsal notices: “No, No! Wednesday lunch isn’t for that ‘Tempest’….it’s for our ‘Tempest’…..” A couple of weeks later, Fr P button-holed me and said,
A further thirty-six chaps made up the weasels, stoats, rabbits, High Court officials and gaolers the plot requires. With a nogals drag-part policy, Leon Grozdanovic, Ryan Rodrigues and Tom Harrison were a hoot as the gaoler’s daughter, her aunt and a barge-woman – especially when, on the Thursday night,
“You like panto-ish things. How about ‘Toad of Toad Hall’?” “Instead of ‘The Tempest’?” “Yes. Here’s a couple of versions: Alan Bennett’s and AA Milne’s. Have a read and see which one you like.” Having preferred Bennett’s (wry, saucy, knowing, modern, full of word-play) to Milne’s (old-fashioned, windy, wet at times, but closer to Graham’s original), we ended up doing Milne’s. “It’s easier to take liberties with an old text and it has got some very funny moments,” Fr P assured me, persuasively. Well, he’s the man with the money, so….. Auditions produced a real find: Conall McCoy. He was the perfect Toad: able to seem confident, petulant, urbane, lying, foolish, extravagant and vain – with the voice to match. He also mastered the art of walking and running in giant yellow flippers which went well with his green face and yellowchecked suit of plus-fours. Ashley Gyngell, taking my suggestion that, as in Bennett, Mole be like a naïve, star-struck, earnest, conscientious grammar school boy from Blackburn, Lancashire, produced an utterly consistent voice and performance. Ashley has immense stagepresence.
The ever dramatic Toad (McCoy); Ratty (Luck) looks on
Autumn Gill Sans Term Bold Play 16pt 2009 the aunt’s rope (needed to tie up a captive Toad) got caught in her radio mike and bra-strap; the camp ad-libbing got gales of laughter. Drag always goes down well at WC. Tom Dixon (top picture, on right) was High Court judge. Forgetting his lines on the last night, he turned to the prompter (me) in the front row and snapped, “Yes, yes. You there. What comes next?” in character. So typical of him – utterly assured. Tom Harrison also had a line blip on the Friday and Toad came brilliantly and quickly to his rescue: “You were, I think, about to ask me if I were a washerwoman?” That got a hearty round of applause. Sam Breen (main picture, scribing) and Josh North (main picture, left) did a good comic double act as usher and copper.George Horton led the evil weasels and Andre Kaljevic and Alfie Snow (with Glaswegian accent) were his ferret and stoat sidekicks – all three in sinister black coats (courtesy, like all the other costumes, of Carshalton Panto Co). All the complicated animal make-up was done by Alia-Michelle Supron (UHS) and her mother, who is an expert in this field. Alia and Maggie Hayes also made innumerable weasel and squirrel tails and other props.
Stoats and Weasels conspire white staircase in the foyer going over and over Ratty’s, Mole’s, Badger’s and Toad’s lines with them (not that this process was really needed for Toad: Conall has an astonishing memory). The recorded music for “Toad” came from a CD I had of British light music; one forgets how attractive those old Edwardian pieces from Farnon , Melachrino and Binge can be – and evocative of the age. Father P’s ‘Men in Black’ (led by lighting guru Aidan O’Neill and stage manager Seb Matthews and props supremo Nick Day) designed and built a set which many thought the most attractive yet – a woodland/water setting with the revolve moving Ratty’s punt around and trees made from yards of papier-mâché. A snow-machine for a winter effect turned out to be less successful than the last time we used one (in 1996’s “Lark Rise”), but Toad’s car-crash, rehearsed for what seemed like thousands of times with an exhausted Conall by the perfectionist Father P, was a tour-de-force.
Toad in full flow; Mole (Gyngell) and Badger (Pace) observe Mike Ventom, Tom Morris & Co made an excellent job of Toad’s re-possession of his hall scene, as did Oscar Golden-Lee and Co in the court-room. The darkened wild wood routines made for more of a challenge at rehearsals – these big crowd scenes are always the last to come together, but the whole show was so much more Christmassy than “The Tempest” would have been and all so absurd that good feeling ran high. I found I rather enjoyed those hours during lesson time crouched under the
The 'Men in Black' rejoice “Toad of Toad Hall” made a good antidote to the far less welcome irruption of OFSTED on the scene during the run-up, the inspectors annoying us by showing no interest at all in what was going on along Ratty’s river – preferring to bury themselves in paperwork. We were all very pleased with the show and the full houses it attracted; probably a better choice than Shakespeare in the end. Mr S. Potter
Toad entertains his adoring public
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A World of Pure Imagination him a giant bottle of their Frobscottle. What followed was described by one young audience member as being so funny ‘I fell right off my seat’. I did not share the sentiments of this theatrical pundit, but watched on in quiet amusement as the drink caused a cacophony of ‘wizzpops’ (provided musically by members of the chorus) to echo through the auditorium.
After the resounding success of Dracula Spectacula, excitement for this year’s Lower Line play had been brewing for months. Once word had escaped that the boys were planning to perform Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, theatre powerhouses across Britain were falling over themselves to capture a piece of the zeitgeist, to place an unwanted finger on an already overcrowded pulse. But it was a regular Slugworth who wizzpopped his way to the front of the queue and ushered away the rights to this classic piece of childhood fantasy, leaving the Wimbledon community bereft. But not for long…
Next up in the adventure we had George Fitzgerald giving an assured performance as the Fantastic Mr Fox, proving his credentials indeed as his intrepid digging skills helped to retrieve James’ newly lost beans. As well as playing to the theatrical strengths of these varied young performers, the play also indulged in Gondry-esque visual trickery, relying more on ingenuity and inventiveness than a bloated budget. This was exemplified as the peach began to grow and in the tale that followed, the making of George’s Marvellous Medicine.
The boys, under the wistful direction of Kate O’Brien, Rebecca Thompson and Amy Delport, were left in a copyright quandary. Thus, was created ‘A World of Pure Imagination’: a theatrical coming together of Dahl, O’Brien and 66 lower line boys. It soon became clear that what the boys had achieved was miraculous in both its concept and realisation. Our central character, James (yet to be united with his peach), played with pathos by Matthew Sherington , embarked on a journey through Dahl’s most delightful and horrifying tales, skilfully woven together and linked by the rustic charms traditionally found in a journey of discovery. As the boys emerged from within the audience to the sounds of Pure Imagination, leaving the precious ‘fourth wall’ in their wake, our suitably pseudonymed Billy Bonka, performed with humour and intrigue by Louis Garner, just about managed to contain his demons regarding that ‘blasted copyright man’. He and his Oompa Loompas served as mysterious guides for James, as he sought to escape the hideous clasp of his Aunt Spiker, played by Patrick Gibson, and Aunt Sponge, Jack Gleeson. In true Dahlwellian tradition, the sheer horror of these characters oozed from every line, aided and abetted by sensational costume design. The actors captured the tragic reality, hyperbolised through comic invention, of poor James, forcing upon him all manner of unpleasant tasks. But, as is the way with Dahl, the audience knew that these dreadful creatures would be dealt with in a suitably satisfying manner.
Boxed in: James and an Oompa Loompa This passage of narrative wonder reminded the audience of the intricate nature of such an ensemble piece, with large doses of the chorus appearing from the various windows and crevices that adorned the stage. Each handed George, played by Munda Conteh, the most grotesque of concoctions, as the delightfully evil Grandma, Chris Gell, demanded her medicine. Fulfilling the Dahlwellian prophecy of comeuppance, James’s aunts appeared at a window screeching for a dribble of the frightful broth. As much as the Spiker and Sponge combination package provided merriment, more fun was merriment, more fun was
James began his odyssey armed with Bonka’s life-changing green beans. The various stories lurking in the recesses of an adult’s memory soon came scurrying back, as Sophie (Adam Kadlubowski) and the smooth toned BFG, played by Tom Murphy, demonstrated the kinder side of human nature by sharing with
Lower Gill Sans Line Bold School 16pt Play emotional response must be dealt an even hand. So, as the dying embers of the forest faded, the broad comedic gestures of The Twits stepped forth. Daniel Barrett delighted as the winsome Mrs Twit, adjusting the script and his/her costume to riotous guffaws. Armed with an inventive use of wigs, the hirsute Robert Pierce made his appearance as Mr Twit and proceeded to scrape the depths of humanity as he put his beloved wife through all manner of hideous trickery. With an assured array of glances at the delighted audience and a plethora of memorable lines, the relentless comic invention culminated in Mrs Twit, with the help of some helium balloons, disappearing to that same distant world already occupied by James’ aunts.
to be had in the anticipation of their explosive demise. It is at this point that credit must be given to the tireless effort of the stage crew, comprised largely of Lower Line pupils. Their demanding remit helped to realise these imaginative effects. With liberal use of dry ice and a near catastrophic incident with a ladder, the stage crew catapulted our two aunts from the stage and the story. The first act drew to a close with witty repartee between the occupants of the peach. Patrick Foulger’s neurotic portrayal of a grandly bespectacled Earthworm and Daniel McKeon’s even handed performance as Miss Spider provided some of the best dialogue of the evening with Beckettian musings on the obsessive nature of shoe purchasing. With Michael Ventom at the helm of the caterpillar, the boys managed a song and dance number; no easy ‘feet’ in such a costume. Along with Chris Tharrat’s Ladybird and Milo Savile-Tucker’s Grasshopper, the absurdist observations were delivered with sharpness by the lepidopteran cast members.
A pleasantly unexpected choice took centre stage for the approaching finale. Taken from Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’, this interpretation of The Three Little Pigs story was transferred to a suitably surreal 1920s theme, complete with Spats and tiaras. Under the musical direction of Amy Delport, it was in this scene that we saw the talents of the band come to life, as they played a range of styles from uproarious 20’s Jazz to bitter sweet ballad. This provided the soundtrack to the pigs, played by Anthony Safety, Joe Collingwood and Seamus McNamara as they sought an experienced hand in dealing with Sean Nowok-Pluck’s Wolf. Enter the flapper-dressed Red Riding Hood, played with demure and grace by Adam Humphrey. The hidden depths of Humphrey’s Riding Hood were manifest in the song ‘Perfectly Marvellous Me’ which alternated between syrupy sweetness and frenetic rock rhythm. The pigs soon realised that Hood’s past experience and gun concealing bloomers left her more than qualified when dispatching the ravenous wolf.
Miss Spider (Daniel McKeon) weaves her web Act Two opened to the gently tinkling refrain of the eponymous song, as the action made way for the ‘Forest of Sin’ and the sumptuous, sensory feast that is the world of the Minpins. Skilfully directed by Rebecca Thompson, this sequence provided a change in mood and atmosphere as James entered a dangerous world. If the audience were in any doubt as to whether they should enter a Forest of Sin, Anthony Ramcharran’s masterful portrayal of the mother/devil removed all such ambitions, as he declared with menacing clarity that ‘none come out but many go in’.
Surreal Pigs from the 1920’s The lower line boys’ wonderful performances were a tribute to the imaginative hard work of the teachers involved. This was a complex production, relying on a balance being struck between performers and stagehands in order for all the tricks, lights and magic to make an impact. The work required successfully to bring such a large cast together, while combining not only dramatic representations but musical numbers is tremendous. Ultimately, the overwhelming sensation upon leaving the hall was how thoroughly enjoyable the evening had been. The dizzying inventiveness of the costumes, props, and sounds delighted. The maintaining of such accomplished performances under the constant threat of the copyright man was truly a remarkable achievement.
As the haunting refrain of ‘don’t go in’ peppered this beautiful sequence of the play, visually the boys treated the audience to an array of puppets, an avant-garde cacophony of sounds and music that owed as much to the treasured works of Arad and Ono, as to the creative synthesis of Dahl and Thompson. Clothes and sound effects, as well as an original use of physical theatre were used, with the bewitchingly designed puppets creating a truly unique experience. After the magic of the Minpins died down, James, again under the wise instruction of Banka is taken back to the world of the living. As with all great art and storytelling, the spectrum of
Mr M. Slemp
College Gill Sans Musical Bold 16pt 2010
Guys and Dolls which Fr P remarked reminded him of a retreat he had given to nuns, which was like “being nibbled to death by ducks”.
The last time the Maestro (Bob Rathbone) and I produced this show was back in 2000 and, Father Porter having chosen “Toad” for Christmas, we thought we’d give it another whirl. Fr P is not a very great fan of American musicals, although he warmed to this one as time went on, and he produced a cracking stage design for it and some brilliantly arranged set pieces for chorus, in particular the famous “Rocking the Boat” number.
Apart from a similar blockage of memory to that suffered by the principals of “Toad” – this time centring on Tom, and which required long periods of time during the day under the white foyer staircase, rehearsals went very smoothly. The Maestro has the uncanny knack of getting the most unlikely boys to sing, and to sing well, and soon the big chorus set pieces began to sound marvellous. It took a little longer for our UHS girls to forget to be genteel and remember that they were meant to be strippers, but Fr P, the Maestro and I spent plenty of time showing them how to be screeching, ogling hags.
Auditions produced just the right people for the parts. George Watson (now in his final show) was the obvious choice for Sky Masterson – he had the voice and the charisma and height, Emily Horton (UHS, ex-Yum-Yum in ‘Mikado’) for Sarah Brown, Tom Dixon (who else?) for the comic lead Nathan Detroit and Ryan Rodrigues – one of the College’s finest singers – for Nicely-Nicely and the always lively Dom Luck for Benny Southstreet. Back in 2000 we had had no luck at all in finding the right girl to play Adelaide and had to use a member of staff (Teri Williams of DT), but ten years later we found ourselves with Alia-Michelle Supron (UHS) – and she proved excellent in the role – able to be vulgar, uneducated, yet shrewd and emotionally vulnerable. The play needs live musicians for its Mission Band of holy rollers, so Ben Barraclough, Ben Bell (also in his last play) and Joe Stone were the obvious wind-players to join General Sam Daniels (on bass drum) and UHS gals Hannah Brennan, Olivia Rolls and Alisa Joosab. In the event poor Joe had an accident with a walking-stick which prevented his playing trumpet and had to drop out.
Nathan (Tom Dixon) and Harry the Horse (George Diaz) Costumes came from StageCraft (who had supplied “Pirates” in 2003 and “Mikado” in 2007), and Paul Frost, Jason Rix and Terry Lebby excelled themselves in set-construction. The news-stand (which featured in street scenes) designed by Fr P was about the size of a real W H Smith’s and was the butt of quite a few quips about its total dominance.
Alia introduced us to Philippa Main and Leah Black (UHS) as our choreographers for the girlie Hot Box scenes – for mine and Fr P’s dance skills are a touch limited. These girls worked out all the routines for the important night club interludes – not without a vast amount of discussion and difference of opinion
College Gill Sans Musical Bold 16pt 2010 The performances were, in the event, all that we hoped they would be. George Watson sung with smooth panache and sounded (and looked) like the young Leo Dicaprio, Emily Horton was wonderfully comic when drunk on Cuban Bacardis, and often touching in her puzzlement and innocence. Tom Dixon’s Nathan was outstanding – what a talent this chap has – and Ashley Gyngell (who played out again the 2000 version’s joke of having a physically small, but hyper-psychotic, guy as Big Jule) showed, as ever, perfect stage timing. Tom Flynn’s tough cop (Brannigan) had, we thought, the most authentic Noo Yark accent and most iconic line was tough guy Liam Peck’s “I’ll lend you my getaway car – I mean, my Buick” – which, in the way these things do, produced hysterics every time the cast heard it. George Diaz as Harry the Horse was generally agreed to be the most authentic gangster, with his hoodlum drawl and menacing deportment.
Fr P had bought up every string of Christmas lights in Merton and the “Men in Black” drilled thousands of holes for these to mount into signs for ‘Chevrolet’, ‘Hot Box’, Tropicana’, ‘Roxy’, ‘Mindy’s Deli’ and others. Ten years earlier Emeric Molnar (DT) had made and painted fake perspective ‘sky-scrapers’ for “Guys and Dolls”, but, as Fr P “doesn’t do painted scenery”, the “Men in Black” buckled down to sticking umpteen squares of aluminium foil on to increasingly smaller projections to give the effect of buildings disappearing from 49th St down to Times Square. It worked superbly.
The show marked lighting guru Aidan O’Neill’s last; he will be very much missed. Make-up and costumes were in the hands of Mrs Amy Delport and Mrs Jacqui Supron and her team of UHS girls. No musical can succeed without first-class music. The Maestro’s orchestra had real swing and force – a jazzy outfit of 19 (featuring Jake Walker OW on drums and Chris Barraclough OW on trumpet). The singing was of a higher standard than that of 2000, we thought, on comparing recordings of both. This has undoubtedly been helped by Bob’s creation of a full choir since those days. (In 2000, the College had not yet taken large numbers of boys at eleven). Everyone in the crap-shooters chorus, for example, could read music and thus handle the part-singing with professional force. Bob, Fr P and I each got another signed, framed full-cast photo to hang up to join the one of “Galileo” – a good idea of George Watson’s. “Guys and Dolls” marked the end of an exhausting year for the luvvies, many of whom had been hard at work since those first September rehearsals of “Toad”, but most who saw it put it up there with the very best of College musicals over the years. Mr S. Potter
Hoodlums on street corners: (Dominic Luck, Alex Cousins and George Horton)
(from left) Barraclough, Diaz, Gyngell, Peck, Rodrigues, Supron take their bows
Michael Edwards (1956-2010) He had had a brush with colonic cancer early in his career at the College, but had recovered well from it and had the faith that he had been spared to do a job. He never gave up his beloved cigarettes, nor ceased to do adventurous things, such as riding a BMX bike when on a Rudiments trip. As when his ailments came upon him again, he refused to think of himself as ill.
On Friday 2nd July 2010, a large gathering of friends, colleagues and relatives of Mike’s assembled in the Sacred Heart hall on Edge Hill for Requiem Mass and a farewell to someone who had been a friend and mentor to so many. After the mass, there was a happy reunion in the Lower hall of all those who had felt it imperative to be there. As one of the choirboys remarked, “It is the only funeral I’ve ever been at, but somehow it was nice – a sort of joyful one.”
From Southwark he moved on to become assistant director of education for the Jesuit’s British Province, based at Farm Street. This job, like his previous one, required what Mike was good at: listening to others, grasping essential detail, having the stamina to attend long meetings and to take time to think things through before making decisions. Indeed, his brother Richard told us that the only time he acted with impetuosity was in his proposal to Gill after only forty days. By contrast, it took him eleven years to put a conservatory on his house.
Mike’s send-off was, indeed, one he would have liked and appreciated. He had friends from a wide circle and to all of them he seemed special, as they all were to him. Mike left Wimbledon College in the early ‘70s determined to be a priest. He had been part of that circle of Sixth formers (which included his friend, Michael Holman SJ, currently Jesuit Provincial) which did much to revive prayerful spirituality at the College. He was to leave the seminary, however, and discover that his vocation lay in marriage and in the world of work in education as a layman. He returned to his old school as an RE teacher in 1986 and eventually became Head of Department on the retirement of Francis Pimentel-Pinto. One’s of Mike’s first initiatives was to bring GCSE and A Level into RE – previously no pupil had studied for examination in the subject.
He showed great courage and hope when his fight with his last illness had become futile. At the Marsden Hospital several new treatments were tried out on him, but failed to halt the spread of cancer. Characteristically, Mike said he was happy to be a part of the testing programme because of advances that might be made to help others, if not him. He came back to his old school on various occasions in his capacity as Jesuit adviser and also on play nights – the last being to see “Guys and Dolls” in March 2010 – and was, although frail-looking, as urbane, charming and interested as ever.
An abiding interest in those pupils who had educational difficulties led Mike to be Child Protection Officer and Head of SEN – the field in which, according to Fr Holman, Mike did his greatest work. One of Mike’s old students said of him: “It didn’t matter where you stopped him; he always had time for you. You felt you were at the centre of his being – and you left him feeling that you mattered to him.”
He was immensely calm about the inevitability of his death, taking Hamlet’s line that “If it be now, it be now – the readiness is all”. As we were told at his funeral, he liked the idea that to die “is but to stand in the sun and melt into the wind”. His last days were as much of an example to those of us who have survived him as was his working life.
The organisation of the Kairos Retreat days for College staff were Mike’s idea too and he was early-on appointed Head of Faculty for RE, English, Music and Modern Languages when Fr Holman was headmaster, the job he held until he left Wimbledon to become adviser in education for the Diocese of Southwark.
Mike is buried at Aylesford Priory in Kent – a place he loved – and is survived by his wife, Gill, and three children, Rohan (OW and currently teaching at the College), Matthias (OW) and Sophronie. Mr S. Potter
PLAYED 15 • WON 9 • LOST 6 turning over possession. Ali Morris, who was given the accolade of player-of-the-season, was disruptive in defence and dangerous in attack, whilst Conor Turner found another new position at number eight and excelled in the role. Finally, Matthew Adoga-Odeh struggled with his time-keeping, but once arrived, frightened the opposition in both attack and defence.
This season was always going to be a challenging one, given the fact that out of a squad of 48, only 9 were from Rhetoric. The extra year’s experience, growth and maturity always makes a significant difference in performance. This was exemplified in our first Saturday fixture against a St. Paul’s 1stXV boasting 14 upper-sixth players. Their extra physicality told, as they overpowered us to win comfortably.
Looking ahead to next season, there should be an abundance of talent to frighten our opponents with. Messrs Tabb, Fairbairn, North, Ike and Oduguwa will all be back next year to develop the creativity in the backs, whilst O’Connor, Lambert, Johnson, and Peck will form the backbone of the pack.
Defeats against Langley Park and Reigate followed, but each time the margins became narrower, as the Poetry boys acclimatised to the intensity of 1st XV rugby. As is always the case with College sides, there was a never-say-die attitude and a refusal to lose confidence. The boys trained hard and finally achieved their first win, over Eltham College. This was the first of seven successive wins, including 50-point wins over St. George’s, Weybridge, Reading Blue Coat and against Jesuit rivals, St. Ignatius, Enfield, in the Daily Mail Cup.
Finally, mention must be made of Adam Ike and Edmund Johnson who represented Surrey this year, and particularly of Harry Tabb who was given the honour of captaining the Seniors 1st XV Rugby regional side this year. Well OPPONENTS RESULTS done to all three. RGS Guildford L 0-15
The winning run finally came to an end in the fourth round of the Daily Mail cup against a very strong St. Benedict’s side.
It has been a privilege to coach you this season and I look forward to even greater things next year. I also wish all the best to boys moving on to pastures new and hope to see you all when next we face the old foe from across the Ridgway.
The second half of the season was disrupted by Arctic and monsoon weather. Five fixtures in all were cancelled because of the weather, including the derby match against King’s College School, which was a big disappointment to all. Wins against Reeds and Latymer Upper meant the 1st XV side ended the season with many more wins than losses. Considering the previously mentioned youth of the side, this was an excellent achievement and bodes well for next season. The Rhetoric players can be very proud of their achievements on the pitch. They led by example and gave their all for the College and ensured that the Poetry boys know what is expected of them for next season. Captain Jack Duggan was an inspiration in leading from the front, making key tackles and
Mr D Baker
St Pauls Langley Park Reigate Eltham St Ignatius Enfield St George’s London Oratory Colfe’s (DMC 3) John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St. Benedict’s Reeds Latymer Upper Wallington
L L L W W W W W W W L W W L
17-55 13-31 5-17 17-8 50-0 52-5 27-14 25-10 17-0 50-3 12-30 19-18 3-0 7-14
Rugby 2nd XV PLAYED 12 • WON 6 • DRAWN 1 • LOST 5 However, the season ended on a high with victory over Canadian touring side, Rockridge High School (46-20). Some fantastic rugby was played and it enabled many of the 2nd XV players to play with a few of the stars from the 1st XV. It was great to see so many supporters, pupils and players down to see what was the last ever game at Coombe Lane for some players.
This season, in which over thirty players have represented the Wimbledon College 2nd XV, was one of mixed fortunes, but great enjoyment. The team found the step-up in intensity quite a tough transition at the beginning of the year and this reflected in a poor series of results early in the season. In the first few fixtures the likes of Matthew Laventure and Captain Oliver Healy led from the front in showing the boys from Poetry what rugby in the sixth-form is all about. Narrow losses to Langley Park, Reigate and Eltham College were down mainly to a lack of physicality and level-headedness when approaching the opposition try line.
There have been a number of success stories emerging from the 2nd XV this season. Oliver Healy captained the team for the most part, and showed excellent commitment round the park as well as being one of the strongest ball-carriers in the forwards. He was well backed up by Daniel O’Keefe, who demonstrated excellent number seven skills, making innumerable turnovers. Daniel also captained the side well in Oliver’s absence. Hooker Dan Collins showed true commitment and consistency throughout and tighthead prop James Gillespie contributed a number of important tries. Serge Kabanda was awarded forward-of-the-year for frequent man-of-the-match performances; he tackled everything and showcased superb athleticism all season.
The first victory came in emphatic style against St George’s, Weybridge (43-5) and this really kick-started the season. The team went on a run of six games undefeated and really began to demonstrate the characteristics associated with Wimbledon College rugby. The boys were aggressive in defence and frailties in the set-piece were addressed with the help of excellent attendance at training. A close and well-fought victory against rivals London Oratory (19-15) was followed by an exceptional team performance against City of London Freemen’s (21-7). The latter saw a man-of-the-match performance from Charlie Maguire-King, and another excellent contribution from Matthew Laventure, which ended in him finishing his day playing for the 1st XV for the last ten minutes of their victory over CLFS. A massive 59-7 victory away to Reading Blue Coat was followed by the disappointment of the anticipated fixture against King’s College being postponed due to bad weather.
Mid-season, the forwards provided an improving backline the platform they needed, allowing half-backs Brendan Corrigan and Matthew Laventure to put in some excellent performances. Conor Mitchell finished some excellent tries and Tom Greene has developed into an excellent full back and looks very competent under the high ball; his excellent kicking from hand relieved pressure on many occasions. Back of the year was awarded to Aaron Stephens who started the year as hooker. Aaron’s performances at inside centre for the 2nd XV were rewarded with a start for the 1st XV at fly-half against Reeds School. Solid defence, a big boot and his willingness to take charge should enable Aaron to become an accomplished back.
Result of the season came against a strong St Benedict’s 2nd XV: a competitive game, filled with controversy but ultimately played in the correct spirit, ended in an 8-8 draw. An excellent performance against Reeds School (21-15) was unfortunately followed by a poor loss to Latymer Upper (5-13). The remainder of the season was incredibly disrupted by the weather. Defeat by a strong Wallington outfit was not helped by a fall in numbers attending training and this is something the squad must address for next season.
Looking forward to next season, the 2nd XV squad should increase in strength and depth with the majority of the squad coming from Poetry and a strong crop of players coming up from Syntax. The summer tour to South Africa should enable this team to begin next season with more cohesion and better conditioning, hopefully resulting in a winning culture from the off. Mr N Buchanan
Seniors 2nd XV Rugby OPPONENTS
Langley Park Reigate Eltham St George’s London Oratory John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St. Benedict’s Reeds Latymer Upper Wallington Rockridge High Wimbledon College 2nd XV 2009-2010
L L L W W W W D W L L W
3-15 12-17 12-17 43-5 19-15 21-7 59-7 8-8 21-15 5-13 7-29 46-20
NATIONAL GLORY FOR UNDER 13S The sevens season is always an exciting time for Wimbledon College. Sevens rugby is something that the College is feared and revered in. Having reached two semi-finals and one quarter-final of the renowned Rosslyn Park National Sevens in the past two years, we expect success. This year did not disappoint. The U12’s had a difficult start, before finding some form in reaching the semi-finals of the Surrey Sevens at Coombe Lane. The U14’s had an excellent season, reaching the finals of both the Queen Elizabeth School, Barnet, and Surrey Sevens. The side did exceptionally well against tough opposition to get that far. Unfortunately they lost both finals by the narrowest of margins. Let’s hope they can go one better next season. The U15’s entered highly challenging competitions, won some tough games, but failed to progress to the latter stages. The exception to this was at the Millfield festival, where they reached the plate final. The John Pieroni U15 Sevens was sadly cancelled due to water-logged pitches.
Wimbledon College 1st VII Squad 2009-2010 The highlight of the season, and probably of any previous season, was achieved by the U13’s. They began by winning the Warwick Sevens, and ended as NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. In sixty years of the Rosslyn Park National Sevens, the best the College had achieved was to reach the semi-finals. To win the largest rugby competition in the world is a special achievement. The side triumphed in all eight of their games, including an excellent win over the Berkhamsted Sevens champions, Lymm High School, in a closely fought contest. That was to be the toughest game for the side, led magnificently by Bradley Ugodulunwa, as they secured comfortable wins over Eltham College and Campion School to reach the final. There they met the Llandaff Cathedral School from Cardiff. After going seven points down, the side responded with six tries, to complete an emphatic 34–12 win. Plaudits to all the squad on a truly exceptional achievement. Mr D Baker
The U16’s had a season of near misses. They reached three consecutive semi-finals at the RGS Guildford, Surrey & Queen Elizabeth School, Barnet Sevens. At the Rosslyn Park National Sevens, the team performed outstandingly well to win their group and progress to the last sixteen. They lost that match to eventual winners Millfield School. The 1st VII had a mixed season. After a good start, winning the KCS triangular against Kings and CLFS, the boys then struggled at the Portsmouth GS Sevens, where they came across the best schools and colleges in the South of England. At the Middlesex Sevens, the squad performed much better, reaching the plate final, losing by one score to Dulwich College. At the Rosslyn Park National Sevens the team started slowly, but came through their opening three games unscathed to set up a group decider with Welsh side Ysgol y Preseli. Things did not look good at half time, when the side were three scores down. In the second half, the boys played the best they had all season to turn the game around and win with the last play of the game. Matthew Adoga-Odeh blasted over for the winning try to send the players through to Day Two and the last sixteen in which we were beaten by the more composed team of Merchistan Castle, Edinburgh.
Surrey Representative Rugby This has been an excellent season for representative honours. The College has had 6 players represent Surrey at Rugby: Under 13 National Rugby Sevens Champions
U18 – Adam Ike U17 – Adam Ike, Harry Tabb & Edmund Johnson U16 – Richard Hutton U15 – Kevin Mosengo and Tom Sullivan Particular mention must go to Kevin Mosengo, who was chosen as Surrey’s most improved player; and to Harry Tabb, given the honour of captaining Surrey in all their U17 fixtures this year Mr D Baker
Wimbledon College Surrey Rugby Representatives
Syntax Rugby A Team PLAYED 11 • WON 9 • LOST 2 quiet and unassuming off the pitch but competitive and tireless on it. Taylor was a relatively new player to the squad, but proved himself in his open running and battering drives. Alex Lau, Andrew McEachron and Sam Alphonso also stepped up to the mark when required.
Statistics will show that this was a very successful season both in terms of results and more importantly the development of the players in their first season of senior rugby. I expect a lot of these players to be in contention for 1st XV places next season. Prominent forwards with an exciting back line created an open and free-running rugby style. Combined with healthy fitness levels, this enabled the side to wear down opposition and play at a higher intensity than most. In the closer games against St Benedict’s and John Fisher we were able to defend with vigour and attack and counter-attack to glorious effect.
The backs executed moves and tactics with slinky smooth skill, pace and clinical precision. At scrum-half James Howell was so effective that by the end of the season he had experienced life in the school 1st XV. His rapier passes off both sides, combined with an eye for a gap and an ability to box-kick off both feet ensured quality possession was delivered regularly to Ben Cornwell at fly-half, a running back in every sense of the word. Well rehearsed moves enabled the strike running skills of Josh Kane and Joseph Sam Yorke to breach defensive lines at regular intervals and link with speed merchants, Nathan Safo-Barnieh, Kin Abba Reyes and Alex Cousins.
The strength and depth of the squad meant I was able to pick regularly from an experienced group of eager players. Training was always very well attended. Players were responsible and mature enough to work through their own practices and team plays, while senior players within the squad proved their worth throughout the season.
Ronan Campion proved an excellent choice at full back while perhaps the most effective running back was Harrison Ranns. His outstanding ball skills, coordination and sheer athleticism ensured that vast yardage could be guaranteed. Another player who made inroads was Charles McKeon with his tactical kicking and distribution skills. It must also be mentioned that unfortunate injuries to Joe Walsh and James Sutton severely hampered their personal contributions to the team but as and when they did play, they proved invaluable to the squad.
The forwards often ensured a large percentage of quality possession. Conor Mclaughlin, Richard Hutton and Liam Leahy often dominated scrummage time and loose play around the field. Their thirst for the contact area was first rate and they were very prominent in both driving forward making the hard yards setting up the maul and rucks and then in their defence at the break down. In the second row I was fortunate to have a dynamic power house in Andrew Connolly, combined with the aggression and competitiveness of Kieran Jones. Together they formed the backbone of an outstanding front five.
This proved a thoroughly enjoyable season for me. I rue the loss of our pre-season due to my jury service, and the resulting inability to influence my charges soon enough to avoid the loss in the first game of the season. We were to win all other matches. I hope that the large number of players who have represented the Syntax A and B teams will continue with their rugby and provide Mr Baker and Mr Buchanan with a large selection headache next season. Parents and other supporters have been a tremendous support to both the boys and myself and that is greatly appreciated.
In the back row, the team had a talented group of loose forwards in Daniel Laventure, Rory Clarke, Taylor Cullen and Ted Howard. Primarily a footballer, this year I hope Ted experienced an alternative to his first love. He was big, powerful and extremely effective, a real competitor. Special mention should also go to Daniel who proved an excellent choice as captain and leader. He was enthusiastic and assured in all areas of the game, not to mention his sheer physical presence, especially in the tackle area. Rory was the perfect foil to Daniel,
Mr S Marty
Syntax A Rugby OPPONENTS
Langley Park Reigate Eltham St George’s John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St. Benedict’s Reeds Latymer Upper Orleans Park Wallington
Wimbledon College Syntax A XV
L W W W W W W W W W L
10-13 31-12 24-0 24-0 30-7 55-0 10-7 43-7 41-0 49-21 20-5
Syntax Rugby B Team
Grammar Rugby A Team
PLAYED 11 • WON 9 • LOST 2
PLAYED 18 • WON 8 • LOST 10
The challenge was there: opposition to face that was of proven ability and commitment, and a reputation to be sustained. In playing terms there would be no disappointment. The season began with a new fixture at Langley Park and immediately the depth and quality of the squad shone through. Alex Lau, Sam Alphonso and Anthony McEachron set out the stall, ably abetted by David Bracey, Tom Conlon, George Kennedy and Harry O’Neil; The front five gave the platform required.
This was a mixed season for the side, winning just under half their matches played. As a coach it has been frustrating as whilst the forwards consistently performed very well, far too often we were unable to field a consistent back line. When all the players were available, the team functioned very well, but this never happened on a regular basis. This said, the commitment to training by a core of players was outstanding. The team was captained very well by our hooker, Tom Sullivan, who always led from the front; Joel Webb anchored the scrum to good effect; Josh Carter jumped well in the lineout and showed his athleticism around the field. As the season wore on, Joe Williams proved his worth in the pack while William Campbell showed consistency in attack and defence. Ben Barraclough showed his strength on numerous occasions, cutting through defences with his bulldozing runs. Forward of the year was Kevin Mosengo. His speed to the breakdown coupled with outstanding tackling saved the side on many occasions as he cut down the opposition with a high tackle count in each game.
Victory in the first game was followed by an incredible run that saw Reigate, St. George’s, London Oratory, John Fisher and St. Benedict’s all being forced to settle for second best. The back row heroics of Leon Grozdanovic, Chris Stroud and Tom Cullen ensured that ball gained or stolen would be retained and used effectively. Add to this the regular involvement of the likes of Louis O’Rourke, Harry Watson and Rory Clarke and a squad of ability and pride proved its worth. A defeat by a senior RGS Guildford side was a chastening lesson and forced the side to mature and play with common sense. We needed to defend as well as we attacked and the half-back combination of Anthony Cornish and Christopher McKeon took this responsibility. In the centre, skipper Luke Clemo led by example and the midfield of Ciaran McGowan, Conor McGilly and James Anastasiou also learned its trade. A point difference of 329 for and only 70 against speaks for itself. Solid defence enabled runners to retaliate and wingers, Sean Ward and ‘Podge’ Adesilu, to score freely, with full-back Rhys Stanton always there or thereabouts.
In the backs, Andrew Gibson showed intelligent play at either scrum half or outside half. He was one of the smallest players in the team but never shirked a tackle. Callum Rodgers won back of the year for his dangerous, jinking running. Late in the season William Greene forced his way into the A team from being B team captain. It was pleasing to see him come through as the most improved player of the season. Despite not playing consistent rugby each week, the team reached the fifth round of the National Daily Mail Cup. The outstanding match along the way was our victory over Trinity school, Croydon. 5-21 down early in the second half, our best play of the season saw us coming back and winning 24-21. We went out to Hampton School 17-51. At one stage we were in the lead, but Hampton played excellent rugby and reached the final at Twickenham.
The season moved into the new year with the defeat of Sevenoaks but unexpected hubris led to narrow defeat at Reeds. Alas the spinner of the weather then said ‘no’ and Syntax B Rugby RESULTS incredibly rain wiped out OPPONENTS the rest of the regular season. Langley Park W 35-0 A final flourish of a victory Reigate W 64-0 against touring Rockridge Haberdashers W 47-7 brought the curtain down. Eltham L 0-34 Lessons have been learned, St George’s W 40-10 reputations formed and Colfe’s W 37-0 nothing but the best is John Fisher W 17-7 expected. Onwards and St. Benedict’s W 15-0 upwards will be the call. Reeds L 10-17 Mr J Harrison Latymer Upper W 35-0 Rockridge High W 29-0
The sevens season saw us taking part at Warwick, Surrey, John Fisher and Millfield. On occasions we played some excellent, skillful running rugby. Congratulations to Tom Sullivan and Kevin Mosengo who went on to gain County honours, Grammar A Rugby representng Surrey on a OPPONENTS RESULTS number of occasions, the Langley Park L 0-46 team that won the national Carshalton Boys W 54-5 ten-a-side competetion. Reigate W 40-17 L 0-36 I would like to thank the Eltham small core of parents who St George’s W 41-14 turned up each week and London Oratory L 5-34 supported the team. They Trinity W 26-21 always encouraged the team John Fisher L 5-21 whether we won or lost. Reading Blue Coat L 7-43 W 18-12 Mr A Clement Glyn St. Benedict’s L 5-50 Hampton L 15-49 Reeds L 7-19 Latymer Upper W 19-10 Orleans Park W 50-0 Wallington W 49-7 Brighton, St.Bede’s L 5-33 Shawnigan Lake L 0-12
Wimbledon College Syntax Rugby B Team
PLAYED 11 • WON 7 • LOST 4 This has always been the team to watch and this season we did not disappoint. A 57-5 win against St George’s, Weybridge, defined our tremendous season: a rousing result against stern opposition. Tries in this game came from Steven Oyih, River Dillon, Spencer Felix Otoo, William Greene, Jordan Joseph-Kerrigan and Daniel Williams. The result maintained our four-game unbeaten start to the season. Many matches were sadly cancelled which cut our playing time down to around half the games. The loss to weather of the King’s College fixture was a blow to all, but next season we will definitely be ready for the game and ready to bring back news of a big win!
Wimbledon College Grammar Rugby A Team
At the end of the year, Mr Oyih won the forward of the year after many tireless performances. Steven himself came up to accept the award with a slightly unusual handshake and a mini dance as he went to shake Father Porter’s hand - a comical moment. William Greene won back of the year and a promotion into the A team. The season was a very successful one with new blood joining the side in the shape of Ryan Reece-Moore and Spencer Felix-Otoo; both will be hoping to make a big impact on the team next season which will be bigger and better. Daniel Williams
Lower Grammar Rugby A Team
Wimbledon College Grammar Rugby B Team
PLAYED 12 • WON 9 • DRAWN 1 • LOST 2 This was once again a very successful season. Highlights of the season were the close wins against strong opposition in Eltham, 19-12, Reading Blue Coat, 34-24, and St Benedict’s, 31-24. Lowlights were Tom Hutton’s badly broken leg, and the defeat against London Oratory 12-15. The pack were a match for all the teams we played and at times their marauding play was a joy to watch. The two outstanding performers were Daniel Ghosh who terrified with his power and pace, and Alessio Martello who led the pack by example in defence and attack. In open play the backs produced some fine movement and their defence was usually solid. Zac Lindo scored some magnificent tries and was missed when injured; Oliver Lambert captained the side with passion and growing maturity.
Wimbledon College Lower Grammar Rugby A Team
Grammar B Rugby
Lower Grammar A Rugby
Langley Park Reigate Eltham St George’s London Oratory John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St. Benedict’s Reeds Latymer Upper Ernest Bevin
W W W W W L W L L W L
19-15 33-15 24-22 57-5 29-0 5-29 39-24 0-34 10-26 36-12 0-12
The sevens was a fitting way to end the season (excepting the enigma that was Reigate). In the Surrey sevens, having beaten Dulwich 15-12 in the semis, we again found ourselves in the final against Whitgift (the holders of Rosslyn Park at U 13). We played superbly and were 14-12 up with seconds to go, but lost 14-19 with the last play of the tournament.
Reigate D Eltham W St George’s W London Oratory L John Fisher L Reading Blue Coat W St. Benedict’s W Reeds W Latymer Upper W Orleans Park W Wallington W Shawnigan Lake W
24-24 19-12 52-10 12-15 20-31 34-24 31-24 29-12 50-0 39-0 39-10 56-50
The team trained hard and was a pleasure to be involved with. If I had one criticism it would be that some of the best players do not realise how good they can be! I am sure that many will go on to represent the College 1st XV with distinction. My thanks go to Mr Adams and Seb Jewell from Harlequins for their coaching input and to the many parents for all their support. Mr D Doran
Lower Grammar Rugby B Team
Rudiments Rugby A Team
PLAYED 11 • WON 5 • DRAWN 2 • LOST 4
The team showed commitment and dedication on all the Saturdays that they represented the College. Our best performance was without doubt against John Fisher. Despite losing, the whole team fought hard every minute of the match. We had three notable victories with large margins and even in matches where we lost, against London Oratory, 27-29, and Eltham College, 29-36, the team played with great heart.
PLAYED 12 • WON 8 • LOST 4
This was a season of highs and lows, with some outstanding results let down by the odd disappointing one. The season began with an interesting trip to Langley Park, a strong physical side. The boys began well, with an excellent hit straight from the kick off by Sam Bell. This inspired a battling performance, and a 15-10 win, with a powerful try scored by Nigel Muzungu. Conversions were not possible due to a distinct lack of posts.
All the players in the team had different talents which contributed vastly to each game we played. Olusegun Babalola, Ben Jones and Ashley Pierru all possess pace that can break through any line of defence, while Alex Kane and Josh O’Rourke kick with great accuracy; Eric Obiri-Asante, Patrick Hoban and Steven Alunans make powerful runs while Luke Yates and Peter Henberry pass with accuracy. All others played admirably; players-of-the-season were Alex Kane and Bradley Ugodulunwa.
The next game saw us involved in a free-flowing, high-scoring affair against Reigate. Strong work from our forwards kept us in the game, until we finally lost out 29-35. Eltham was a much tighter battle, with rucking and mauling in the forwards taking over for much of the game. Some excellent and brave tackling by the likes of Daniel Fontannaz saw us emerge with a 5-5 draw. A home match against St. Georges followed and saw us return to our high-scoring form. A back three with the pace of James Bell and Tommy Davies caused problems whenever they had the ball, and we ran out 36-34 winners of a very entertaining game.
A successful sevens season saw us win the Warwick sevens, come runners-up in the Berkhamsted plate, lose in the semi-final of the Surrey sevens and win the National sevens by beating Llandaff Cathedral School 34-12 in the final. Our success was down to tenacious play and coach, Mr Linehan, who believed we could overcome any challenge.
Another slow start against John Fisher meant that a determined second half salvaged us pride only. Performance levels improved against Reading Bluecoat, which resulted in our second hard-fought draw of the season, 17-17. Our pack battled well against a big side with one or two very talented forwards, and Charlie Cull put in numerous fantastic tackles. This gave Harry Coyle the opportunity to spread the ball wide to our speedsters on the wing, and a couple of excellent team tries were scored. Against an unbeaten St. Benedict’s side, Grant Cadman and Nick Dunne led the way. With two minutes to go and trailing 24-26, the ball arrived in the hands of Tommy Davies who beat three men to dance over for the winning try. The last two games saw two high scoring victories: a 31-17 win against Latymer Upper and a 38-25 victory away at Wallington. In both games it was our backs that did the damage with the good ball delivered by the forwards. Joe Atallah came into the team for the Wallington game, and showed how effective direct running can be by scoring four tries.
Had the weather been kinder, we would have gone on to complete more victories which the effort from the boys deserved. It was pleasing to see Tommy Davies (back of the year) come through from the C team, and Charlie Cull (forward of the year) show excellent contact skills and determination. Thanks must go to all the boys for their efforts and Lower Grammar B Rugby commitment this year, and OPPONENTS RESULTS of course to the parents for Langley Park W 15-10 their support and provision Reigate L 29-35 of teas. Eltham D 5-5 Mr T. Adams St George’s W 36-34 London Oratory L 22-24 John Fisher L 0-53 Reading Blue Coat D 17-17 St. Benedict’s W 29-26 Reeds L 12-31 Latymer Upper W 31-17 Wallington W 38-25
Rudiments A Rugby OPPONENTS
Langley Park Reigate G.S Eltham College St George’s London Oratory John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St. Benedict’s Dulwich College Laytmer Upper Orleans Park Wallington
W W L W L L W L W W W W
Wimbledon College Lower Grammar Rugby B Team
Wimbledon College Rudiments Rugby A Team
51-10 53-7 29-36 45-0 27-29 31-39 58-12 5-22 22-5 53-5 52-0 62-10
Sport were outstanding. Robert Farr scored three tries and Kenneth Adu defended our line well. We consistently played with a great deal of pride for the College.
PLAYED 12 • WON 6 • DRAWN 1 • LOST 5 During this season the team played some tough matches and succeeded in beating several of the top rugby schools, including Reigate Grammar and Dulwich College. The team, characterised by a wealth of talent in the backs and a strong and determined pack of forwards, did not have to stand back for any opponents. Probably the best game of the season was against St Benedict’s where we came from behind, scoring a try in the last seconds to draw the game.
Ciaran Hoban, Rudiments
Rudiments C Rugby OPPONENTS
All players performed well, but several deserve special mention: At scrum-half we were lucky to have two good options in Stroud and Reynolds while Campbell and Milburn were good running fly-halves. Centres, Mercieca and Byrne, stood out with a surprising turn of pace when needed and the ability to get through the first line of defence. The back three also possessed plenty of talent in the form of Kayongo, Amo-Ameyaw, Hartnett, Aloyisius, and the occasional Adu and Assan. Our pack was big and athletic, consistently securing possession and gaining some hard yards up front. Pierce, Roman, Russell and Cota were all effective and we also benefited from Falconbridge breaking tackles and securing lineout ball in the second Rudiments B Rugby RESULTS row. The loose forwards, OPPONENTS K a d l u b o w s k i , Ve n t o m , Langley Park L 5-7 Tiernan, Sserwadda, and Reigate G.S W 34-5 Fielding-Joneswere exceptional Eltham College L 10-22 at getting regular ball from St George’s W 24-12 the opposition. Despite games London Oratory L 14-26 being cancelled because of John Fisher L 15-31 bad weather and unsuitable 5-32 pitches, this was a good Reading Blue Coat L D 10-10 season; thanks to all boys St. Benedict’s W 12-5 involved for their hard Dulwich College work and dedication. Laytmer Upper W 57-9 Orleans Park W 69-0 Mr H Delport Wallington W 61-5
Wimbledon College Rudiments Rugby C Team
Figures Rugby A Team We had a great debut season wearing the Wimbledon College colours. There were some people who had never even touched a rugby ball before but ended up being outstanding players. There were some who had played for years but the key was how we all gelled together and made a fantastic team. Our best victory came against London Oratory; this game was breath-taking and extremely tiring which we won with a late conversion. St. Benedict’s was another exhilarating match where we scored in the dying seconds to seal the match. Our best win was against Eltham College, a staggering 50-0. We scored seven tries and five Figures A Rugby conversions! We had a talented team and an impressive season, also winning the plate at the Surrey Festival. I hope in the future we can repeat our successes. With a few improvements here and there we can become a formidable force. This was a great debut season! George Farley, Figures
Eltham College St George’s London Oratory John Fisher Reading Blue Coat St Benedicts Dulwich College Latymer Upper Orleans Park Wallington
W W W L W W L W W W
Wimbledon College Rudiments Rugby B Team
Rudiments Rugby C Team The team only played four games this season, but we managed to win two of them. We played well as a team and developed our skills throughout the season. Our performance against Dulwich was the best of the season and a couple of players
Wimbledon College Figures Rugby A Team
50-0 24-7 7-5 10-14 17-7 19-15 0-56 40-19 43-0 51-0
Figures Rugby B Team
Figures Rugby C Team
PLAYED 12 • WON 11 • LOST 1
PLAYED 6 • WON 6
The success of the team this season was down to the coaching of Mr. Ventom and Mr. Gill, and also to the team’s positive attitude to play well and win. Our opening encounter was with Eltham College, an easy 27-0 win. Although it was a good performance, we knew we would have to improve against stronger teams to come. A good match against St George’s College, Weybridge, set us up for our toughest game of the season, London Oratory.
For a group of Figures students who have never played rugby before to come together and complete an unbeaten season is a truly momentous achievement. As a coach I expect the boys to learn their basic skills fairly quickly, but the ingredients of tenacity, determination and sheer endeavour can only come from within each individual, and these players had all three in abundance. While there were comfortable wins, such as versus John Fisher, 34-12, St. Benedict’s, 40-0 and Wallington, 67-0, it was in the two tightest encounters that the team really had to show its mettle; only in the heat of battle do warrior heroes elevate themselves above the general foot soldier.
We went into the match confident as our form up to then was good, however we were shocked in the first half at how even the match was. Their forwards were dominating ours and we realised that if we wanted to win this match we would have to put lots of effort into it. After the half-time team talk we returned to the match, knowing what role each of us had to perform. All our hard work paid off as we played intelligently and started to create chances. In the dying minutes of the game, with the scores tied, George Baiden made a breakthrough; we thought he had won the game, but the referee brought him back for a hand-off. After the game, we were disappointed not to get the win but content with a draw.
Never at this level, or perhaps any other, have I seen a defensive performance to rival that which the side put up against Dulwich College. It would be no exaggeration to say that Dulwich should have been out of sight by half-time, but wave after wave of attack foundered on the rocks of young Titans like Flynn and Rodrigues. At half-time, I could do no more than thank the boys for the pride they had shown in the College and the desire they had shown to put themselves on the line for each other. Somehow, the boys ran back out on to the pitch and within ten minutes had grabbed two lightning break-away tries. Again, a talented Dulwich side launched an onslaught; for fully twenty-five minutes they searched for a way through and as the final whistle sounded, some eleven of our side could be seen bound in and fighting tooth and nail to hold the Dulwich pack up on our very try line. It was an astonishing 15-12 victory for obduracy and defiance.
Our most surprising game of the season was when we beat John Fisher. We knew the opposition would be good because they are well known for their rugby ability. We started the game well; we weren’t making mistakes and we knew when to kick the ball and when not to. We continually made chances by playing basic rugby, passing the ball down the line for the winger to finish We finished the season with a flourish, Figures B Rugby RESULTS beating Wallington 79-0 with OPPONENTS W 27-0 nearly all the team getting Eltham College W 10-0 their name on the score sheet! St George’s D 19-19 To conclude, I would like to London Oratory thank both Mr. Ventom and John Fisher W 36-12 Mr. Gill for coaching us and Reading Blue Coat W 32-5 to congratulate the team on St Benedict’s W 41-7 an excellent first season of Dulwich College W 28-21 rugby at Wimbledon College. Latymer Upper W 21-0 W 39-15 Huw Greene, Figures Orleans Park Wallington W 79-0 Ernest Bevin W 37-15
There is no doubt that some of these players will go on to play at a much higher level for the College and I encourage them all to remember that heroic effort at Dulwich which proved once again that there is no substitute for teamwork and wholehearted commitment. Mr M. Simpson
Figures C Rugby OPPONENTS
Reading Blue Coat
Congratulations to the Figures Rugby D, E and F Teams who recorded notable victories in their debut season.
Wimbledon College Figures Rugby C Team
Wimbledon College Figures Rugby B Team
Senior Rugby Tour: South Africa
Gill Sans Sport Bold 16pt
Cricket 1st XI
Grammar Cricket A Team
PLAYED 5 • LOST 5
PLAYED 6 • WON 2 • LOST 4
With five losses out of five, it was far from an ideal cricket season, but there were many positives to be taken from our performances. The season began with a match against local rivals, King’s College. On a very slow track, the College boys found batting very difficult and posted a low total. We bowled well in defence of this, but an easy victory for Kings was the almost inevitable result. However, in the coming games, there were glimpses of a good team being formed.
The season started with a tough match against Reigate. The bowlers seemed rusty and we gave too many runs away. A decent batting performance made the result respectable, as we finished all out for 120, losing by 42 runs. Next up was a cup match against CLFS where we were soundly beaten. The Halliford fixture was a closer one and should have been a comfortable win, but sloppy runs conceded in the middle of Halliford’s innings meant we came up short by 16 runs. In a ten-over tournament at Rutlish, we easily made it to the final, where a good home team defeated us with excellent batting. John Fisher was a competitive fixture and we bowled well to
The second match of the season saw us play away at Reigate Grammar. A strong College side lost the toss and was put in the field. Reigate notched up 250, in reply to which a quick-fire 30 from Nick O’Brien and a 50 from Yaneet Patel gave us the sniff of a shock victory. A flurry of quick wickets put paid to these hopes as the College struggled to bat out the overs.
restrict them to a modest score. We were batting solidly before an injury to Tom Skyrme brought a premature end to the match. In our final match against Emmanuel, we batted first, as I eventually won a coin toss, but lost early wickets. However, in went Oscar Golden Lee and George Horton (the most improved player) to put on an excellent partnership as Oscar reached 50, enabling us to put on a score of 135, our highest of the season. Excellent bowling from Oscar and Matthew Leech, who got faster and faster as the season went on, brought early wickets, and when their Surrey county player was caught, we knew it was our day. It was the most satisfying win in all of our time at the College. Everyone contributed and the banter in the field was excellent.
The third match of the season, before the break for exams, was away to Hampton. Again we lost the toss and ended up in the field. Again, we started off well, but were unable to take our chances and we were punished for the second week running. For the second successive week Yaneet Patel raced to 50, but once he was dismissed, the wickets tumbled again. Late in the season, a rusty, post study-leave College side hosted Old Wimbledonians at Coombe Lane. Finally winning the toss, we elected to bowl. Brilliant fielding and catching from George Fairbairn and Dan Collins saw Old Wims lose early wickets and the pressure began to build as they scratched their way to a total of 220. The College started their innings strongly with a number of boundaries to get the scoreboard ticking over, before poor shot selection saw wickets tumble and pressure build. Conor Turner, 80, restored some pride in the College camp while Ollie North and George Fairbairn also batted well. A huge six from Jack Dempsey was one of the talking points from the College innings, but again we came up just short.
Many thanks to Mr Gill for the season; I can only see this team improving as we go up through the years. William Greene
The final match of the season was a trip away to Tiffin. A quick stop for ice-cream raised morale within the side, but that was where the fun ended. This final match was a mirror image of the opening match against King’s: a low and disappointing total from Wimbledon College was knocked off quickly by Tiffin. Overall it has been a good season for a new College team, despite the losses. Vital improvement in fielding will come with extra training and the new nets will afford us the chance for proper practice. Thanks to Mr Barnes for coaching us, organising and driving the side to matches and thank you to the boys for training hard and putting in full effort.
Wimbledon Grammar Cricket A Team
Yaneet Patel, Rhetoric
Grammar A Cricket OPPONENTS
Cricket 1st XI OPPONENTS
King’s College Reigate GS Hampton 2nd XI Old W’s Tiffin
L L L L L
4 wickets 56 runs 42 runs 22 runs 6 wickets
Reigate L 42 runs CLFS L 10 wickets Halliford L 16 runs Gordons L 83 runs Merton Tournament: Runners-up Wilsons W 10 wickets Emanuel W 96 runs House Cricket Winners: Southwell Wimbledon College Cricket 1st XI Team
Gill Sans Sport Bold 16pt
Grammar Cricket B Team
is some great talent individually. However, bowlers such as Quinn and Donegan, and batsmen such as Lindo and ColletCreedy need more consistent support from the boys around them if the team is really to progress. Thanks must go to Charlie Cull for leading the boys and opening the batting, and to Rachel Cade and her team for the wonderful teas served up throughout the season. Mr T. Adams
PLAYED 4 • WON 3 • LOST 1 A strong season started with an excellent 48-run victory against Reigate. The team deserved victory after putting in a superb display in the field; they demonstrated that with simple line and length bowling, this team would be tough to beat. The side was well led by Elijah Manu-Adu, with excellent back-up and cricketing knowledge from Sam Allen. The team suffered a five-wicket defeat to Tiffin, but returned to form against Halliford the following week, with an excellent seven-wicket victory. The season finished with a crushing defeat of John Fisher. Special mentions this season should go to Leo Leclerq for two excellent opening-bat performances, and Matthew Hernon for taking three wickets in one over Grammar Cricket B Team (sadly, not quite a hat-trick), OPPONENTS RESULTS against local sporting rivals, Reigate GS W 48 runs John Fisher. L 5 wickets I would like to thank all the Tiffin boys for their contribution to Halliford W 7 wickets what was a successful and John Fisher W 20 runs encouraging season. Mr N. Buchanan
House Cricket Winners: Southwell
Wimbledon College Lower Grammar Cricket A Team
Lower Grammar Cricket A Team
Lower Grammar Cricket B Team
PLAYED 7 • WON 2 • LOST 5
PLAYED 5 • WON 2 • LOST 3
It was a difficult season for the side, but there were certainly some fine individual performances worth highlighting, and a couple of occasions when the team managed to bring their game together and achieve some positive results. In the opening fixture against Reigate, James Quinn bowled impressively to end with figures of 2-16 from his 4 overs. Our batsmen began a difficult chase poorly, with a couple of early run-outs showing some rustiness in communication. Despite a solid 26 from Robert Collet-Creedy we were defeated by 67 runs. Against Charterhouse in the Surrey Cup, we unfortunately lost wickets regularly. Despite spirited resistance from Joe Clifford (14) and Aidan O’Brien (15, including consecutive sixes), we were all out for 70 resulting in a nine-wicket loss. Donegan and Quinn were the main men in the bowling attack against Halliford, claiming 2-10 and 2-17 respectively from their 4 overs. A makeable total was made more challenging through the loss of early wickets, however Collet-Creedy (20 not out) again steadied the ship, ably supported by Zac Lindo (29). These two helped us home to win by 6 wickets. After their first victory, the boys were hopeful of continuing their good form away at Rutlish where the hosts were reduced to 35-3 (Clifford 2-15), before recovering to post a target of 112. Good starts from Collet-Creedy(17) and Clifford(16) were not built upon, and the team crumbled to 70 all out, a loss Lower Grammar A Cricket of 41 runs. At home to OPPONENTS RESULTS Emanuel. the bowlers set Reigate GS L 67 runs about defending a solid total Charterhouse L 7 wickets with confidence and, with Tiffin L 8 wickets only six needed off the final W 6 wickets over, Phelan Rodrigues Halliford bowled tightly to secure Rutlish L 38 runs victory for the team. Emanuel W 1 run Throughout the season the Glyn L 92 runs boys have shown that there House Cricket Winners: Fisher
Most pleasing about a mixed season was the attitude of the players, and the discovery of new talent. Victories came against Halliford (by 100 runs!), and against a weakened Tiffin side. A number of players showed promise, and with hard work in the nets could significantly improve their performance. Phelan Rodrigues bowled with guile and accuracy; Reno Ervin’s pace bowling caused many problems for batsmen. Reno also scored some important runs in the lower order. Jo Stanton ap- Lower Grammar plied himself well, while cap- B Cricket Team tain Lorenzo Wareham led by OPPONENTS RESULTS example and enthused the Reigate GS L 64 runs team. Mention must also be W 9 wickets made of the late addition of Tiffin W 100 runs Billy Elliot (Tom Holland) Halliford who showed great potential. Emanuel L 56 runs A really enjoyable season; I Glyn L 4 wickets wish the boys the best of luck House Cricket Winners: Fisher next year. Mr. D. Baker
Wimbledon College Lower Grammar Cricket B Team
Gill Sans Sport Bold 16pt
Rudiments Cricket A Team
Rudiments Cricket B Team
PLAYED 8 • WON 3 • LOST 5
PLAYED 5 • WON 3 • LOST 2
The side and coach began the season with high hopes and a prediction of six victories. Four matches in, we were well on the way, with three wins, including a crushing victory over King’s College and progression through to the second round of the cup.
Our first game against Tiffin saw the College enthusiasts well beaten. We licked our wounds and learnt a few harsh lessons to take into our clash with the might of King’s the following week. Some tidy bowling from Aidan Rice, taking 3 for 18, restricted King’s to 114 for 8. Ollie Harrington supported well with 2 for 14. Player-of-the-season, Daniel Engley, notched up a fine 22.
Unfortunately, the transition from May to June also precipitated a transition in fortunes, as missed chances and poor shot selection resulted in us dropping the next three games. All was not lost, however, and we began the match with Emanuel with renewed vigour and a chance at ending the season on a high. Sadly, our boys took their eyes off the ball and defeat ensued.
The start of the Halliford game saw us lose an opening batsman to the first delivery from Aidan Rice. However, we recovered well and ran up 124. In reply we probably had our best batting display with Tom Morris scoring 24 and Daniel Engley again scoring a patient 29. Andrew Russell and Aidan Rice played their part as we reached 125 with two balls to spare!
All season the boys represented the College in a manner befitting cricket and the ethos of the school and made great improvements to their games. Cricket is a team sport and well done to all the boys who played, but there are several individual performers. Worthy of singling out: Captain, William Campbell, player-of- the-year, Alex Kane, spin-king, Harry Reynolds, and gloveman, Josh O’Rourke. Special thanks to all the parents for some excellent hospitality during the matches and to Mr P. O’D who helped out each week with umpiring and coaching. Mr P. Fitcher
Whether this victory gave us delusions of grandeur I don’t know, but our next game saw the team comprehensively smashed by Reigate. Only Alastair Doe was able to stem the tide of runs. Luke Lockley batted very well against some hostile bowling, scoring 18 runs, and extracted some turn from the pitch with his spin. Although all our batsmen got on the scoreboard, we could not compile partnerships and slipped below the required run rate.
Rudiments A Cricket OPPONENTS
Tiffin L 4 wickets KCS B W 17 runs St John W 38 runs Halliford W 19 runs St George’s L 64 runs John Fisher L 3 wickets Reigate L 108 runs Emanuel L 38 runs Reigate Festival: Third House Cricket Winners: More
Our final game of the season was against Emanuel. Again we lost the toss and opened the bowling. Our usual line of pacemen, Doe, Harrington, Rice, Young and Mercia steamed in, with a special appearance from Henberry. Emanuel scored 112; we scored 114; we had won again. There were some fine batting performances from Taylor, 10, Cousins, 12, Cota, 13, and Doe, 16, who smashed the last ball of the last over across the boundary for four runs to win the match. A thoroughly enjoyable season’s cricket; my thanks to one and all. Others who were regular and vital parts of the team include Harrington, Farr, Forbes, Tudor-Taylor and Asgedon. Rudiments B Cricket Mr. Marty
Tiffin L 48 runs KCS C W 1 wickets Halliford W 6 wickets Reigate L 107 runs Emanuel W 2 runs House Cricket Winners: More
Wimbledon College Rudiments Cricket A Team
Wimbledon College Rudiments Cricket B Team
New cricket nets have improved skills at all levels
Gill Sans Sport Bold 16pt
Figures Cricket A Team
Figures Cricket B Team
PLAYED 8 • WON 2 • LOST 6
PLAYED 8 • WON 2 • LOST 6
The season started with an air of great expectation amongst both coach and players. An intensive winter training programme and the welcome arrival of new outdoor nets made sure that batting and bowling skills were finely tuned. A note in the score-book summed up the batting performance in the opening loss to Reigate though: ‘too many wickets lost to shots hit in the air.’ Things needed to improve in the Tiffin match up next. An excellent opening partnership between Bell and Baxter of 55 runs set the foundation for a good total: 93 from 25 overs. Tight bowling backed up by fine fielding restricted the Tiffin reply and despite a tense couple of overs at the end, they fell six runs short. The first round of the Surrey Cup pitched the College against Therfield School. Parker and Baxter with 37 and 17 respectively, saw the College home to a comfortable eight-wicket win. A much sterner test awaited the team in the second round with an away match at mighty Whitgift. College openers, Thomas and Baxter, faced two of the quickest bowlers in the county in a torrid first few overs, but kept the scoreboard moving in spite of some amazing fielding. The final total of 101 runs owed much to the collective spirit of the team and the best innings of the summer by Thomas whose superb technique stood firm as others fell around him. The Whitgift reply wobbled at 5 for 2, but they recovered to win. Despite the outcome, this was our gutsiest performance. In the final game of the season against Emanuel School, a strong bowling and fielding performance restricted the opposition to 90, a very makeable total. After an early flourish we seemed to be coasting to victory, but the middle order lost their way and contrived to finish five runs short of the target. A disappointing end to the campaign apart, the boys should take heart from their overall development in a short space of time. They can and will improve, but above all, I hope they Figures A Cricket RESULTS have enjoyed their first season OPPONENTS L 7 wickets of cricket at the College. Reigate GS W 6 runs A big thank you to all the Tiffin L 9 wickets parents who helped, once Hampton L 73 runs again, to make our teas the Halliford best on the circuit; special Therfield W 7 wickets thanks also to Catherine Whitgift L 3 wickets Thomas for all her hard work KCS B L 20 runs in the kitchen. Emanuel L 5 runs Mr M Ventom House Cricket Winners: More
The season started on a low with a seven-wicket loss to Tiffin, but we improved slowly but surely. We then had two great wins against John Fisher and Emanuel, winning by seven and five wickets respectively. As a team we played better each game with some solid individual performances: Ryan Powell made some brilliant catches, Luke Whelan batted superbly, Oliver Skyrme bowled very well and Chanlon de Mello was a brave, dependable wicket keeper. It was a shame Robert Gardner had to retire mid-season with a leg injury; we wish him a full recovery. It was a pleasure and an honour to serve as captain of the B team and I want to thank all my team mates for their solid, dependable performances. Callum Hearty Coach, Mr J Austin, would like to add that Callum himself was one of the top scorers and took an outstanding 17 wickets of the team’s total of 42, an excellent all rounder’s performance.
Figures Cricket C Team PLAYED 7 • WON 4 • LOST 3 Player of the year, Ryan Saxby, took 11 wickets with an astonishing economy rate. Charlie Marus extracted venomous speed from the flattest of tracks. Chanlon D'Mello drove the team from behind the stumps with tidy glovework. Jack O'Sullivan bludgeoned his way to second-highest boundary scorer. 'Iceman' Jack Walsh batted with nonchalance, a sunbather swatting pesky summer flies; he sent down the last six balls in a two-run win against Halliford, conceding only three runs; one of the greatest pressure overs bowled at the death of any match. Pacemen Thomas Kearley and Joseph Mullin, and the spinning talents of Dylan Pacheco, made up a really impressive bowling attack. Captain Ryan Rodrigues marshaled the troops well in the field and there were others who came in and gave their all. This was a spectacularly successful season; all who played a part can walk with heads held high. Mr M. Simpson
Wimbledon College Figures Cricket B Team
Wimbledon College Figures Cricket C Team
Wimbledon College Figures Cricket A Team
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Athletics is different to any other major sport in that once the team is finalised for the day there is very little input a coach can offer. Staff are often used by events organisers to help run the event and are not available to the individual or team. As a consequence we are very reliant on the individual athletes being disciplined enough to turn up on time for their event, motivated and ready to perform. This year’s Grammar team were a joy to work with. They were motivated, keen, enthusiastic and generally very competitive.
This was an excellent beginning in athletics for the school’s youngest year group. Some outstanding talent ensured that most competitions ended in Wimbledon College victories. The outstanding athlete of the year was without question Linus Kurz; the biggest challenge he faced was choosing which events to compete in. He dominated the triple-jump, excelled in the discus, and showed great heart and strength over 800m. Surely a future in multi-events is on the cards. Other outstanding performances came from Seanan McKillop, River Fenlon, Xavier Towers-Evelyn and Jack Chandler.
In the short track sprint events, Nana Anaafi, Kevin Mosengo and Obi Emeruwa were effective and fast, scoring well in the National Cup rounds and the triangular matches that were a regular fixture each week. Daniel Wanyonyi, Josh Carter and Callum Rodgers in the 400m were strong and always in contention for top spot. The middle-distance men of Spencer Felix-Otoo, Connor Kissane-Wood, Andre Demyanchuk and Ryan Reece-Moore ran consistently well and ensured valuable points in all the fixtures. In the hurdles Daniel, Josh and Joshua Munotwenga rose to the challenge and proved consistently competitive.
Many thanks to all who worked hard to further the outstanding reputation of athletics at Wimbledon College. Mr. D. Baker
We have always been strong in the track events, but the field events require a greater level of skill and technique; it is here that we often fall away from the leading performers in other schools. This year saw improvement though: James O’Carroll, Chris Abayomi, Daniel Williams, Matthew Leech and Spencer were great in the jumps. Equally impressive were Alberto Carella, the two Toms, Sullivan and Conlon, Kevin, Obi and Joel Webb in the throwing events. We won the Borough athletics championships, an impressive feat for individuals and the team overall, but also a triumph for the whole athletics programme here at the College. Thank you for your support.
Wimbledon College Lower Grammar and Grammar Athletics Squad
Mr S. Marty
Lower Grammar Athletics The team started encouragingly at our home competition against John Fisher, Orleans Park and Sutton Grammar at Wimbledon Park. It was a good test to see how College boys compared with some of the top athletes in Surrey. Equally good performances followed at Orleans Park, followed by the Merton Borough Championships, where the team won the Under-15 section. The boys progressed from this meeting to represent Merton at the Surrey Schools Championships. Close on the heels of the Merton Schools came the Surrey round of the English Schools Track & Field Cup at Croydon Arena. The team was a combined Lower Grammar / Grammar group and they qualified for the Regional B Final, taking some notable scalps on the way, namely Whitgift and Sutton Grammar. A nucleus of boys carried the team through to the end of the fixture list, gaining valuable experience in their weaker events.
Wimbledon College Rudiments Athletics Squad
Congratulations are due to Daniel Ghosh (100m, 200m, relay, shot, long-jump), James Bell (100m, 400m, hurdles) and Alessio Martello (high-jump, triple-jump), who represented Surrey at the annual Inter County match at Horsham. Daniel and James went one step further, and were selected to represent Surrey at The All England Schools Track & Field Championships in Birmingham. Notable performances came also from Patrick Gibson (800m), Zac Lindo (discus, relay) and Finbarr Moore (javelin) Mr P. Shilling Wimbledon College Figures Athletics Squad
Life in the fast lane
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the characteristic verve of one in love with the beautiful game. While a stone’s throw from Edge Hill, Roy Hodgson was leading his Fulham team to an unlikely Europa League final, closer to home, Mr Barnes was honing a mob of talented young footballers into a team whose desire and team spirit would carry them to an historic victory in the Surrey Cup final.
Barnes and Wadmore lead team to Surrey Cup glory This season was a very successful one for the College team. With so many of our players playing for various youth teams it has been difficult to field a full strength side in every match so getting to the final was in itself a terrific achievement. Before this year, our school team had never gone past the first round of any competition. Once our first game against Therfield, 5-2 (Jack Wadmore (2), Daniel Bishi (2), Ricardo Figueiredo), had taken place, we gained confidence and positive results.
Watched from the stands on one side by Wimbledon College’s well-mannered answer to the traditional football firm: Porter, Austin, Murphy and other such luminaries; and on the other by a crammed cow shed of cacophonous Syntax supporters, the team took to the field knowing that they had the advantage of tremendous home support. The first-half was one of half-chances and resolute defence from a Wimbledon College team who were undoubtedly underdogs against a Wilson’s side with an excellent recent history of cup wins. The big players of the side were already standing up to be counted. Captain Jack Wadmore was giving a typically swashbuckling performance, tackling hard and never far from the thick of the central midfield action. Daniel Bishi was leading the line to good effect against a well-disciplined Wilson’s back four, and Jo White was doing all he could to protect his net. However, probably above all these, it was Brian Obonyo who really caught the eye. They say that great players always seem to have time on the ball while the maelstrom rages around them. Time and again, it was Obonyo, with a towering header or a last-gasp toe-end who broke up the increasingly persistent Wilson’s attacks. At 45 minutes the game was deadlocked at 0-0.
We eased through the next round against a weak Greenshaw team, 4-1(Bishi (2), Josh Bargary, Ricardo Figueiredo). Glyn, twice winners themselves, were then put to the sword, 7-3 (Bishi (4), Ricardo F, Bryan Obonyo, Bargary). Our toughest game came in our quarter final match against Tomlinscote where we prevailed 4-2 (Bishi, Poju A (2), Alex Scott). It took us a while to find our stride and with referee decisions seemingly going against us, we knew it needed a strong fight to achieve the result we deserved. In the second half we ran out very comfortable winners. Our semi-final was meant to be a very tough game, however Winston Churchill school were a rollover, 5-0 (Poju A, Ted Howard, Joe White, Alex Scott) We had booked our place in the final against Wilson’s. All of our games up to the final had been played away. On behalf of the team I would like to thank Mr Barnes for all the effort and time he has put into the team. He took us to every match and gave us the confidence to win this tournament. Joe White
Barnes had them in at half-time, using all the experience that only a man with countless football training anoraks can possess to remotivate his increasingly embattled troops. As the second-half wore on, the game became more and more a question of attrition and determination; this played into College hands as a palpable sense of frustration grew amongst the Wilson’s players at the realisation that their best chances had maybe come and gone.
Syntax Football Surrey Cup Final Report In the post-World Cup haze and malaise, with the FA scratching around blindly for a new direction for their national team, they could do worse than turn their attention to Wimbledon College’s own football management talisman, Barry Barnes.
Carbone, Figueiredo, Laing and Chandler continued to work tirelessly as the tide of the game gradually turned. A tense final few minutes came and went with the match still at a 0-0 impasse. As extra-time substitutions, introducing the likes of Ranns and Scott ensued, it seemed the cup would be won and lost at the roulette wheel of penalties.
Nurtured at the harsh teat of non-league football, Barnes has seen it all in the game – and will quite happily tell you so, with
It was then that the increasingly influential Ted Howard, up from the back for a corner, rose at the near post and hammered home a bullet of a header to break the Wilson’s resolve and hearts. With only minutes to play, the match was won, triggering a jubilant but controlled pitch invasion (from the cow shed stand). Father Porter took to the pitch to present the trophy to a deserving team of College football history-makers. Barnes was drenched in the customary post-match manner and the squad of players was left to celebrate a brave and deserved cup victory. Mr M Simpson The Victorious Wimbledon College Under-16 XI
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The Boxing Club has been running for seven years at the College, starting in September and running until May of each school year. It was started by Mr Afshar who organises and coaches us in each weekly training session and who forms the backbone of the club. This year we were also lucky to have outside help from Mr Conway, who has helped train the large numbers of boys who wanted to join up.
This was another successful season of cross-country. Mr James was joined as coach by Ms Bagenal, and as usual the two coaches pushed us to the limit every Tuesday after school. We run about three miles on a set route (so nobody gets lost!) up on Wimbledon Common. We have a training route, which hairpins around the windmill (very scenic), and a competition route, which is a bit longer, a bit more demanding and takes in the golf course. Our coaches are very encouraging – we all want to improve, and most of us do, but it’s okay to start the season a bit slowly – we all have to start somewhere, and as long as you train, you’ll improve.
All the staff and boxers are dedicated to the team. We have all helped out and put in a great amount of effort to make Boxing Club a great success. The club is open to all boys in Syntax and the Sixth Form. Recruitment begins at the start of each new school year and is open to anyone who is prepared fully to commit to the team and who has an interest in learning how to box. The range of equipment we have is of an excellent standard and for a mere £10 membership fee the club, in my opinion, provides outstanding value for money.
We participated in a good range of matches this year, from our own Wimbledon Common match (which we won), to King’s, Charterhouse, St Paul’s and Hampton. Not many people realise it, but cross-country running is a team sport. Wimbledon College does not often cross the line in first place (but we’re working on that one!), but we can win, and we do win, because as a team we get the best places in the top twenty. That is what this sport is all about: training together, competing together and winning together. We would love to see more people running with us. It is great for fitness and stamina, and running helps you in other sports too. If you don’t really do other sports, running is a great sport in itself. Just watch the Olympics in 2012 if you need proof of that! If you fancy giving it a go, come along on any Wednesday from September at 3:20. Just turn up!
A Boxing Exhibition has taken place for the last two years and has been the highlight of the club’s year where all our hard training and sparring sessions are exhibited to our parents and boys of the College who are eager to see us box in closely fought bouts against fellow members. The exhibition, however, is not just about promoting and show-boating our skills; it is also a charity event, where monies raised from ticket sales go towards a named charity of the club’s choice. This year we raised £250 which, as club captain, I decided should be donated to Cancer Research. Prizes and trophies were awarded to each boxer who took part in an exhibition bout. Each year there is an overall Outstanding Boxing Performance trophy awarded, which is given by judges to the one pupil who they believed to be the outstanding performer of that day. This year the award went to Felix Brady, who fought Alex Max-Lino in an amazing closely contested three-round bout which was the highlight of the competition. On behalf of the Club members, I would like to give our thanks to Mr Afshar and Mr Conway who have given up their free time after school every Friday without fail to ensure the running of the club continues to be a great success. We look forward to next year’s training and exhibition, which we hope you will be a part of either as a member of the club or as a spectator.
Wimbledon College Cross-Country Squad
Edward Kilpatrick, Boxing Captain
Tennis Wimbledon College entered three teams for the Merton Secondary Schools’ Tennis Championship in June. The Rudiments team won the Lower School competition with a solid performance. Congratulations to Rory Kelly-O’Meara, Joseph Bentley, Isaac Dulley and Brandon Crossingham. Rory also won the singles competition. The Lower Grammar team faced tough opposition, playing mostly Year 10 boys, but put in an enthusiastic performance. The Grammar boys came second to Raynes Park, with Dominique Okyere and Daniel Lucas snatching the silver medals from The Harris Academy in a closely fought tie-break in the last match. Congratulations also go to James Higbee and Philip Steedman. Miss C Jones
Wimbledon College Boxing Squad with Mr Afshar
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Basketball Wimbledon College currently runs six basketball squads, in every year group, from Figures up to sixth form. During the past season, we have entered a varying number of competitions, from Merton domestic tournaments to National competitions. Each team trains weekly under the watchful eye of their trainers, ably assisted by the Community Basketball Coach, Lee. Every boy who consistently attends training sessions is given the chance to represent his school during the course of the season. The Roll of Honour has been impressive, mainly due to the hard work and dedication that the boys have submitted to the cause. Figures: Took part in three Surrey-based Festivals, where they came out equal top. Won both the A and B tournaments at the Merton Schools festival. Wimbledon College Senior Basketball Squad
Rudiments: Recently became Surrey Champions, winning their way through to the final by beating Richard Challoner in a closely contested semi-final. Carried off a convincing win in the final (48-7) against Archbishop Lanfranc School, Croydon. Also won the “B” group in the Merton Yr 8/9 Tournament.
All England Tennis & Croquet Club
Wimbledon Championships 2010, College Ball Boys
Lower Grammar: Won the Surrey League Play-off Final, having come runners-up in the Surrey League. Entered National Competition, where they won through the Merton round, only to be beaten in the South London group. “A” Team won the Merton domestic tournament.
Wimbledon College has provided ball boys for the All England Tennis Championships for many years. The pathway from school to Centre Court is one which requires a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the individual. The reward for success is to work within touching distance of some of the top players in the world, as part of a slickly-drilled, highly disciplined team.
Grammar: Became the busiest squad of the season, having a large Surrey League group to contest, and a run in the Nationals. Runners-up in the Surrey League, and nationally went through to represent Merton in the South London Group, where they reached the final, losing to a very strong Archbishop Lanfranc side. Domestically, won the “B” group in the Merton Yr 10/11 tournament.
The journey begins in October, when boys from Grammar are invited to apply. They go through an internal assessment, both theory and practical. There were thirty-nine boys this year who did just that. The group is then given training sessions both after school and at lunch-times; these cover ball skills like rolling, feeding, collecting, and moving. They also go through a series of fitness and agility tests set down by the AELTC ball boy trainers. They finish their internal training in January, when a smaller number of boys are selected to attend the initial selection session at The All England Club. Here they meet other prospective ball boys and ball girls from other schools. It takes the AELTC Selection Team a month to attend and view all the prospective candidates. Four boys from Grammar were selected to attend the series of training, leading to the actual fortnight on the courts at The Championships: William Campbell, Dominic Norman, Tom Sullivan and Callum Rodgers.
Syntax: Had a varied season; runners-up in the Surrey group, unfortunately not making the Final Fours play-off, and an early exit in the Surrey Cup. Season improved as time went by: Winners in the Merton Year 10/11 tournament; completed their League programme with an emphatic win over the strong Archbishop Lanfranc squad. Seniors: Senior basketball teams are generally difficult squads to run. Examinations and coursework take a front row seat at this age, and it is usually down to a nucleus of boys to complete the fixtures. The Surrey league is well supported, with ten teams, giving each side nine games. Wimbledon College came runners-up in the league. They played their way through to the final of the Surrey Knockout Cup, to face a strong St Andrews side, previously unbeaten all season. An emotionally charged evening at The Kingston Arena was in prospect. Wimbledon were on top of their game, holding the lead by anything from 3 to 9 points up until the third quarter. In the space of five minutes, they lost three of their starting five with injury, which would take the beef out of any team. The remainder of the squad battled well, but were not strong enough to prevent a convincing win by St Andrews.
There were also a large number of boys from Syntax, Poetry and Rhetoric who can opt for “call-backs”, having previously worked at The Championships; they are used to help the younger ball boys on court. It was interesting this year to see boys from the College, now in Further Education, who had in the past been ball boys, now working as court coverers. They certainly had an easy time this year! Mr P. Shilling
FRIENDS OF WIMBLEDON COLLEGE We warmly invite you to become active in College life with us. If you would like to join our committee or become a helper at any of our events, please contact Jane Little + Sheree Green on 07957 970287
I wish to thank Messrs Panayiotou and McManus who ran their squads, and helped with others. Also to the many boys who volunteered to do table officiating duties for our home matches. I suspect there will be a queue for the same duties this season, now there is an electronic scoreboard to operate! Mr P. Shilling
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called on hidden reserves in a bid to capture every single point. In the final count-up that effort proved the difference, as we prevailed by one solitary point! The squad’s performance in the Trinity Trust gala is the other one that stays in the memory. We came a creditable third, just behind Trinity and Whitgift.
This year the Wimbledon College swimming team was dominant. It was a long tough season with a gala almost every week, some finishing quite late; strong dedication was required (not just from the boys, but from Mr Barnes too). Facing tough opposition, we achieved some great results, such as in late February, when the Grammar team picked up some brilliant individual and relay team medals at an international gala held at the ACS International School in Cobham, Surrey. The team’s performance and behaviour led to it being suggested that we should receive an invitation to take part in the next international gala, which was due to take place in Belgium in September 2010.
Although every member of the squad has competed to great effect, I would like to mention Robert Farr and Eoin Byrne by name. Their determination and dedication has resulted in great overall improvement. I am extremely proud to have been a part of the squad this year and look forward to even greater success. Joseph Clark, Rudiments
Figures, Rudiments, Lower Grammar and Grammar have all taken part in many galas, and have competed extremely well in them. With numerous personal bests across all years this has surely been our best season yet.
Figures Swimming Figures swimming squad had a very successful season, measured not by our wins, but by the way team spirit has grown from strength to strength. We entered many galas, mainly against private schools, and swam with great determination and belief.
Steven Morris, Grammar Particular thanks should go to Ms Carol Clarke for her time and dedication in coaching the team this season, and a special mention should go to Mr Ray Morris [father of Steven] who attended every single gala plus and gave his time voluntarily several times each week. The school is incredibly grateful for such support.
We swam against Trinity and Whitgift schools on a number of occasions and were not far off their times, often setting personal bests in the process. Many of their swimmers were serious club, county or even international competitors, so the competition was tough.
We had very successful galas together with other years in the school against Woking, Richard Challoner, St. John’s, City of London Freemen’s and Sutton Grammar. In all of these we emerged the overall winners – a tremendous achievement and a real boost to our spirits. We also managed to come second in our final gala of the gala, splitting Whitgift and Dulwich.
The Rudiments swimming team steadily improved over the course of the winter season under the leadership of Mr Barnes. The dedicated training programme in the school pool certainly paid dividends in the Lent term when the team emerged victorious from a number of its galas with other schools. In all, we competed in fourteen galas, the first of which were friendlies against very strong top tier schools: Whitgift and Trinity were a little strong for us, but good experience was gained. We responded well, notching up victories over Woking and King’s College. A slight blip versus Colet Court was followed by another win against Richard Challoner.
We hold our heads high at the end of the season and thank our excellent coaches for encouraging and developing us. Carol, Ray and Mr Barnes made us believe in ourselves, pushed us to the limit but taught us that doing our best and learning from experience is more important than simply winning. We are always proud to represent the College and believe our swim squad across all years is now a real threat to other schools.
I think most swimmers and spectators would agree that our home gala against Sutton was the most exciting and nail-biting of the season. It was neck-and-neck all the way as every swimmer
James Hutton, Figures
Wimbledon College Swimming Squad
Gill Sans Sport Bold 16pt Badminton was well attended by pupils of all year groups this year. Around one hundred and twenty boys from Figures to Rhetoric took part in sessions before and after school. This makes it the most popular minor sport. Monday sessions at the Wimbledon Racquets club were so well supported by senior boys that we had to hire extra courts to accommodate everyone.
Table Tennis against other schools is limited, but the lunchtime sessions have again proven to be popular with pupils from Figures to Lower Gramar. Every Tuesday we were visited by two very keen Police Community Support Officers who played and observed with interest in the sports hall. Many thanks must go to the teachers who offer up their lunch-times to supervise this activity week after week.
Pupils below sixth form had the opportunity to represent the school in the Borough Championships at Harris Academy. All teams played well and fought valiantly. The Figures team showed lots of potential playing against higher years and will be very competitive in the next couple of seasons when they play at the top of their age group.
Wrestling is not for the faint of heart as a few discovered early on in the season. Pupils were very lucky to have Mr Madaressi coaching them, a former international competitor who is also involved with Wrestling England coaching team. Overall, about forty pupils tried wrestling for the first time this year. Those that did commit fully, performed admirably and progressed very quickly because of the individual training the coach could provide. Four pupils were entered in the Southern Regional Junior Championships and again proved themselves worthy opponents on the mat. Kevin Mosengo, Dominique Okyere and Abu Abdul all came away from this meeting with gold medals in their respective weight and age classes. This was a tremendous achievement as none of them had competed in an official wrestling competition before.
Judo is a martial art that is offered as an after-school activity at the College. The sport requires self-discipline and dedication. We were lucky enough this year to have Mr Rudden who is an excellent coach help our boys learn the fundamentals. A very dedicated group of boys signed up for Judo this year and we invested in a set of Judo Giâ€™s so they could truly throw each other around without destroying their games kit This year we had a group of fifteen to twenty boys, mainly from Figures and Lower Grammar taking part in Judo club. If these boys stick with it they will progress very quickly next year and soon master advanced judo techniques.
Wimbledon College Wrestling Club
Wimbledon College Judo Squad
Figures D, E and F Rugby Players
Wimbledon College Chess Club
THE OLD WIMBLEDONIAN
Wimbledon College Cadet Force Band 1940s
1945-6 Wimbledon College Rugby 1st XV Back row: Murphy, McGrath, Bull, Doherty, Morrell, Jeffery Front row: Shearin, Millward, Maecklberg, Rooney
1946-7 Wimbledon College Rugby 1st XV Back row: Bull, Romeo, Keith, Doherty, Oâ€™Shea, Jeffery, Morrel Front row: Creaven, Murphy, Shearin, Rooney, Beasley, Collin, Latchford
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President’s Report 2010
Wimbledon College Scholarship Fund
It seems only yesterday that I was writing my report for the 2009 magazine. Since then I have been kept quite busy with the activities of the BJA – the British Jesuit Alumni. You may remember that I had mentioned the plan to arrange a conference for former pupils of the Jesuit schools in Britain. We started to plan this and were hoping to hold the conference in one of the colleges at Oxford. The original idea was to engage a couple of well known speakers to address us but as time went on we realized that the cost of the event was gradually increasing. With this in mind we changed our focus and decided to arrange a meeting which would be more of a social event. Mount St Mary’s College was chosen as the venue as they could provide all that we needed for the event.
At our annual Scholar selection meeting in March, the three trustees, Tony Lee, Dominic Platt and I, interviewed four candidates whom John Austin and Dominic Boyse had assembled for us and all of whom were worthy of an award. In the event we awarded the Scholarship Grant of £1,000 to Conor Johnson, who is proposing to read International Relations and Global Issues at Nottingham University. The Trustees wish him and all other Rhetoric leavers every success for the future. David Mildner, an Old Wimbledonian now resident in the U.S.A., has generously agreed to provide an Annual Scholarship payable primarily to a College boy proposing to go to up to Oxford or Cambridge to read a scientific subject. The Trustees agreed with the College that the Mildner Scholarship should remain entirely separate from the Scholarship Fund, save only that the Trustees would interview any potential Scholar to enable the donor to be satisfied that the award would be made to a boy of sufficient calibre. The Trustees decided this was certainly true in the case of Justin Byrne, who proposed to read Physics at St. Peter’s College, Oxford.
Unfortunately, the numbers attending were quite small – this was largely due to poor communication - but all the attendees seemed to enjoy the weekend. We had many informal discussions as to what people wanted to do in the future. The general feeling was that we should continue to strengthen the links between the alumni of the various Jesuit colleges and hopefully we will in the future be able to arrange events which are open to all alumni and not restricted to those of a particular college. One other way in which we may be able to work together is through our sports clubs. There are literally hundreds (and probably thousands) of alumni from Jesuit colleges worldwide who are currently living in the London area. Some of these could well be sportsmen who are looking for clubs to join. We, in Wimbledon, have a very good sports ground so why not invite these people to join us and to play for the OWA?
A year ago we reported that the trust assets had been much reduced by the stock market collapse. Fortunately, the position is now considerably improved and the assets have recovered to approximately £20,000. Our Charifund holding has appreciated and we have been fortunate enough to receive over £2,000 in donations, two from Old Wimbledonians and two more from Charitable Trusts of which OW’s are Trustee Board members.
More discussions will take place during the coming year and if we do host another conference/social event it would be pleasing to see it well supported by members of the OWA. Who knows, you might even get some benefit out of the event in addition to enjoying it.
We all know that boys proceeding to university are under great financial pressure and most of our candidates come from families who will have to make considerable sacrifices to enable their son to remain there. If the Scholarship Fund, founded by the Old Wimbledonians in 1924, is to continue to be effective and be in a position to make worthwhile grants to Scholars, we need more funds. The Trustees will be delighted to receive any donations readers may feel able to give. As the Scholarship Fund is a registered Charity (no. 312658) Gift Aid is available. It is future generations of Wimbledonians who will have cause to be grateful.
On 30th July there was a reception at Farm Street for the former students of Jesuit schools and colleges worldwide and although this was well attended, the OWA contingent was rather small in numbers. The reports from the various sections of the Association will give you an idea of what the Association currently provides and if you haven’t been to the club house recently I would suggest that you pay it a visit. There have been some major improvements – including leather armchairs. So please continue to support your Association whenever you can and pay a visit to the clubhouse soon.
In addition, you may know of a Charitable Trust with appropriate objects whose trustees may be willing to consider awarding a grant to the Scholarship Fund. Last year’s experience shows that Trusts with OW’s as Trustee may well be open to an approach. Please arrange for any cheques, payable to Wimbledon College Scholarship Fund, to be sent to me, John Dilger at 242 Ben Jonson House, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DL. (e-mail: johndilger237@btinternet .com).
Ian Gordon, President
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The Sinnott Society
The paradigm of such arrangements is the US Constitution of 1787, where President and Congress must co-operate, so must the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court (which incidentally is a later addition) can discipline them all, although it itself is renewed over the years by the President and the Senate.
The Sinnott Society is a voluntary group founded in the 1960’s by ex pupils of Wimbledon College as “homage” to an outstanding headmaster whose tenure covered WW11 and lasted until the early 50’s. Based in London, the Sinnott meets formally under a Chairman at least twice a year. The central format is that an Old Wimbledonian gives a presentation on a subject of interest (and on which he has good credentials) and this is then opened to the floor. Eminent speakers have included holders of public office, soldiers, journalists, businessmen, medical professionals, writers, technical experts, a musician, and a philosopher.
Co-operation or deadlock This model relies on the alternatives of either co-operation or deadlock. Deadlock, however, is in many circumstances an intolerable option, so the model doesn’t really escape the need for some supreme hierarch: accountability, like judicial appeals, has to culminate somewhere. British liberals in the end reluctantly conceded that that hierarch could not be Parliament itself and therefore it had to be the demos, ‘democratic sovereignty’ or ‘democratic accountability’.
The Spring meeting was at the College and addressed in a light-hearted tone, but on serious issues, by Dr Tony Hall on the subject of Health and Heroes. His personal experiences covered his time as both a junior and a senior medical person on both sides of the Atlantic. Also, and possibly uniquely for an Old Wimbledonian, as a commissioned US military officer in Vietnam. It was generally agreed that it was an excellent do, that a bit of momentum-building took place and that the turnout of Sixth-formers from the College and Ursuline was most encouraging
Virtuous men and women What then is the upshot of all this? It is plainly not that Combined Codes, accountability, and regulatory agencies are a waste of time, or that there is no place for government intervention, laws or courts.
The Sinnott autumn meeting is scheduled for the 16th November at Farm Street. The speaker is to be Richard Regan, a City figure and Sherriff who has served on a number of important committees including those advising the Bank of England. We wish to encourage more Sinnott activity especially from those OW's in their 30's and 40's. The sixth form involvement is to be developed and I understand that following/ attending the Sinnott counts as "an extramural" activity John Simmonds
The Sinnott Society Talk Business Ethics-Dr Harro Hopfl, Essex University Business School In 2004 I sold my soul to a business school, and now teach Business Ethics, and other even more disreputable subjects. This allows some foreign travel, ostensibly for the purposes of doing research: it is funded by the School’s colossal wealth, which (you may wish to know) is largely extracted from students from the People’s Republic of China, the Sub-continent and the Middle East; not from British taxpayers like some of you. The moral high ground
Dr Harro Hopfl at The Sinnott Society
Business Studies is infested by academics who see themselves as occupying the moral high ground. I personally find the moral high ground too windy and exposed, but I must admit that I’ve been embarrassed over the years by business persons, and especially agents of multinational corporations, behaving in such a way that there isn’t any lower moral ground one could occupy.
For all that, what matters ultimately is the spirit of the laws and arrangements, in other words attitudes, and customs and practices embodying them. And what that demands is upright or virtuous men and women, And where are these to come from? One thing I do know is that it won’t be courses on business ethics that will produce them, not even ones taught by me. All they can do, at best, is to encourage reflection about right conduct in people who already know how to behave. As an old tutor of mine once said, there are two kinds of people: there are those who talk about ethical values, and those who know who their fathers are.
The use of hierarchy Now the simplest and most old-fashioned institutional design for keeping office holders on the straight and narrow is the simple hierarchy, but since the supreme hierarch is by definition unaccountable and in the old sense ‘arbitrary’, i.e. subject to no-one’s judgment but his own, this model was rejected by the liberals and their intellectual ancestors from the sixteenth century onwards, in favour of a separation of powers.
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Sinnott Society March 2010: Talk by Dr Tony Hall on being a medic in Vietnam and his discovery of a new treatment for malaria while there.
Old Wimbledonians Rugby Club Report This Season has seen us build on the foundations that were laid in 2009. We started much the same as last year in that we entered a team in the Heineken Tens tournament and again beat Old Emanuel in the final of the Bowl.
I have been inspired by heroes and heroines, and the first of them was the late Father John Sinnott, headmaster of the college from 1937-1950. "In 1992, Antony Poole published his superb history of Wimbledon College and referred to Father Sinnott as a truly great man, citing his changing of the school from private to grammar and many other reasons.
The 1st XV have had a much better season this year. Despite still being a small and young squad, they finished by winning nine games, drawing one and losing twelve. One game saw us start the fixture with 13 of the 15 players selected being Old Wimbledonians. This proves that we are one of the few true remaining ‘Old Boys’ sides.
I was born in 1936 and grew up in London in the war. A small incendiary bomb fell through our roof in 1943. Fortunately my family were able to extinguish it. In 1944, I walked from my home in central Wimbledon to the Sacred Heart Church and was alone in the church when I heard a V1 flying bomb overhead. It did not land on the church but in Kingston, a few miles away.
We have continued with the view that the traditional Old Ruts game on Boxing Day is very much an ‘Old Boys’ side of both young and old. This year we had some 35 players which, though fantastic, meant that we had a constantly changing team; all those who turned out got on the field. In some cases, this is the first time recent leavers from the college get a chance to play for the Old Boys. We lost the game but great fun was had by all.
I was very privileged to study medicine at University College London and qualified as a medical doctor in 1958 aged 22. I studied and worked at top units in London such as the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in 1961 where Dr Roger Bannister was my senior. Many of you will remember him as the first person to run the sub 4-minute mile. I emigrated to the United States in 1965 and continued hospital medicine. In 1969 the US Army did not have enough American doctors to serve in Vietnam so they drafted foreigners like me. On Easter Sunday 1968 I met Maeva Stanley, aged 21 and a student at Seattle University, which was run by Jesuit priests. So a Jesuit-trained man married a Jesuit-trained woman, something which couldn't happen easily here. We honeymooned during my military training at an Army base in Texas. Six weeks later I was in Vietnam for a year. I was made Chief Physician at a 1000 bed hospital. The hospital was near a sandy beach facing the South China Sea. My colleagues regarded it as a bit of a country club until at 0300 hours on August 7th 1969 the enemy broke into the hospital, throwing grenades into wards and officers' quarters. After many loud bangs, I saw that the plywood wall next to my bed had been blown away and there were flames all over. I crawled out of my room just before it blew up. I went to the casualty station and the wounded included two dead patients. Sixty-one other patients and staff were wounded, including me. The final score was Viet Cong 63, United States 0. We should never have gone to Vietnam and we lost the war. 58,000 men were lost and we killed two million Vietnamese.
Old Wimbledonians Rugby 1st XV The A XV and the Rams did very well in their merit tables, the A’s ending runners-up and the Rams in 4th. We will enter both teams in the same merit tables this year: the Rams playing in the Surrey Premier and the A’s playing in Surrey Conference One. We struggled this year with the Vets due to lack of players and some still being required to play in the 1st XV. The Minis have again gone from strength to strength with now over 150 players registered and some fantastic festival results. Next year this will go up by another age group. This is extremely important for the future of the Rugby club as we will no longer lose Old boys to other clubs because they have played the mini or junior rugby for those clubs; they will instead view the OWRFC as their real home rugby club.
During my year in Vietnam I became interested in the treatment of malaria and was able to devise a new treatment regime which is still in use in the US Army and has been adopted throughout the tropical world. Because of my success in treating malaria in Vietnam I obtained a wonderful job as Consultant Physician at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London in 1975.
So to next season: we have a new Captain and Vice-Captain of the first team. Captain will be Matt Lucus and his Vice will be Richard Travers, both of whom are old boys. Richard Brayne-Nicholl
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Old Wimbledonians Cricket Club Report The Sunday teams too are doing their stuff. The friendly cricket is enjoyable and growing all the time, and it’s great to see we can cater for all levels. We’ve also had some great socials: a Winter Quiz, a Casino night, a Ball in the College Hall, the annual six-a-side competition, the Awards Night and we will finish with a Christmas Quiz. These things take time, but they all add to our coffers, and are all well attended. League Cricket, social cricket, colts cricket, parents and kids playing and big social occasions - we should float on the stock market in the leisure sector.
If I have been optimistic in the past, I can only say that it was entirely justified and if anything a little under cooked. Never was I part of such a dedicated management team that have taken on individual responsibility, been so pro-active and produced results beyond the call of duty. For a Club like ours to progress, sport is not about turning up on a Saturday, but about the work behind it; the grace of a swan relies on furious kicking legs. Where to start? The magnificent work by Bill Tolmie over the last few years is unparalleled in OW history. We are now sending lads to District trials and are constantly over-subscribed for new players. Boys are beginning to come through to the senior sides while we are also beginning to see the Holy Grail of College lads once again asking us about coming to play. Relations with Surrey CCC have got better and closer, such that the 14 OW Colts were the Guard of Honour for the Surrey vs Glamorgan fixture earlier in July while the under-11s were asked to perform a demonstration of Kwik Cricket at the first Test Match between England and Pakistan. Can it get better than this? Well yes it can! The immense hard work put in by Bill, Tim Richards, Ben Vivian, Rich Imber and Matt Irvine has all but attained us the coveted Club mark. This means that we will be recognised by Surrey as one of the senior clubs in the county with the possibility of grants, and other assistance. To support this further, the Club is supporting parents through coaching courses. I forget how many have taken up this offer, but we have 3 or 4 a year doing various levels.
For development going forward, if our Treasurer of 47 years allows, we will be looking to further expand the square, replace an ageing sight screen and do further repairs to the outfield. We need to constantly invest, and years of hard work on the square has produced a much more consistent playing surface that we hope will further improve. The outfield is now our weak point, and the popularity of sport in general means that as a Sports Association we need to work hard and in cooperation. The golf bunkers inside the boundary line get noted by Surrey Championship Umpires. To finish off, one note of thanks and one of sadness. Firstly, thanks to Stef, our combative Ground Manager. All Sports Clubs owe him a lot, and his deft handling of contractors, customers and neighbours alike is an example to us all. He should have been in Parliament. Secondly, the sadness is that our long-serving President Eddie Bell, who has probably taken on more roles than we have had cricket teas, has finally decided to hang up his tie. I remember as a stroppy 15-year-old being told by Eddie Bell to play at the Old Boys, and such was his conviction and authority that I was too scared to do anything other than his bidding. That, I regret to say, was 32 years ago, and I can’t remember Eddie “the Arm” not being at the centre of things ever since. It is sad he is moving on, but I am sure we will see him just as regularly.
Overall, Colts results have been getting better and better, training is very well attended, and there is a great community feel. To crown off the year, anyone dropping into the Colts Awards Night on September 24th, would have seen a full Club House and loads of enthusiasm. And what of the rest of us? The eight regular weekend sides are very popular and enjoying various level of success. We now play the likes of Cheam, Bank of England and Sutton week in, week out, so we are almost eating at the top table. Our aim with the League sides is to get to the top, hopefully with a good combination of Old Boys and local recruits. As I have said before, many teams rely on hired mercenaries to take five wickets and score a fifty or a century for them every Saturday, but is this really what amateur leagues are about? We can never say never here: to have an exciting professional would ramp up interest even further in us, but few acorns grow under great oaks.
Nick Fox, Chairman, Old Wimbledonians Cricket Club
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Old Wimbledonians Football Club finished with promotion via fourth place in the league. The Twos also made it to the Mrs.Hickey Cup Final, held at Sutton United’s ground. A cagey 60 minutes sprung into life with five goals in the last 30 minutes. The Twos came from 0-1 down to win 3-2 and bring a trophy back to Coombe Lane!
I was very proud to be nominated in July as Chairman of the Old Wimbledonians Football Club for the 2010-2011 season. Incredibly, this is the club’s 40th season of league action! The club has grown beyond all recognition from those humble beginnings in 1970 and now boasts four great teams playing league football in the yellow, green and maroon on Sunday mornings in the Morden & District league.
The third team, following a disastrous pre-season immediately went on a five-game winning streak in the league, scoring 26 goals in the process. The cold snap over Christmas saw four weeks go by without a game before a late season rally saw the team finishing a creditable fourth in Division 9 with a healthy goal difference. With some new blood and young legs to add to the experience already in the team, there is no reason why promotion couldn’t be achieved next season. Our Vets team, known as ‘The Strollers’, started the season with probably their strongest squad for many years. The vagaries of the fixture list meant that the majority of the league games took place after Christmas. Unfortunately, this coincided with a very large number of absences due to injuries, family commitments and work commitments which led to ‘The Strollers’ struggling for players. Despite all this, 15 league games were played as well as three separate cup competitions entered. ‘The Strollers’ finished a creditable third in the league having beaten the top two sides.
OWFC Chairman, Adrian McManus
In the Millennium Cup, ‘The Strollers’ put in some good performances only to fall at the semi-final stage. As always the aim next season is to win the league. This means that attracting youngsters, having good availability and maintaining a large squad will be vital.
We have been looking at the next phase and whether some more expansion should be considered. Should we start a Saturday team; should we start a fifth Sunday team; should we start a colts section? Unfortunately, the limits of our home ground makes any of these ambitions very difficult at present but who knows what will come up in the next few years.
The season ended with a memorable trip to play at Elland Road, home of Leeds United. The game was effectively a Ones versus Twos team game, in which despite heavy betting to the contrary, the experienced and dogged second team, under the wily management of Julian Agostini, managed to pull off an unexpectedly convincing 2-1 win.
As a club we have had a far greater percentage of our players come from the College than our Cricket and Rugby cousins and we are proud of this fact. We are very keen to encourage current and past College boys over the age of 17 and under the age of 97 who wish to play football to come and join the club. With our four teams we have the luxury of being able to accommodate players of all standards and we consider enthusiasm the most important attribute in our players.
For further information please check our website: www.oldwimbledonians.co.uk. You are all more than welcome to come and join us, watch us or sponsor us! Adrian McManus, Chairman, OWFC
For the first team, last season is probably best forgotten. The Ones struggled all season as numerous injuries led to a very unsettled side. Despite finishing low in the league table, relegation was miraculously avoided for non-footballing reasons to enable the 1’s to continue in the premier league for another season. The Ones poor league season was compounded by poor cup runs in the three competitions entered. This new season should hopefully see the team re-energised with a healthy influx of new players many of whom are former College boys. For the second team this season was excellent. League performances on the whole were very solid with some memorable wins. Christmas was a turning point with the Twos going on a superb run, playing 15 games and winning 11. The season
The Victorious cup-winning second XI
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2009 Working Parties to Lourdes We were very fortunate this year to have a number of new faces on each of our working parties, including, on the first party, two boys from the College, David Avison and Frank Gell, and a recent old boy, Jonathan Lee (whose mother, Christina, also came – but on the second party). The College Chaplain, Fr. Dushan Croos, SJ, also joined the first party as chaplain. These are the reports from each party.
Working Party Members: Martin Adams, Michael Adams, David Avison*, Fr Dushan Croos, SJ*, Frank Gell*, Elizabeth Farrugia, Lawrence Farrugia, Tim Hayes, Ed Hills, Jonathan Lee* (* new stagiaire) Second Working Party (29 August to 5 September 2009) This year’s September party were very pleased to welcome two people making their first stage in Lourdes. Peter Bernard (OW) and Christina Lee had both been with us last year on the 85th Anniversary Pilgrimage. They apparently liked what they saw and so signed up to come on a working pilgrimage with us this year.
First Working Party (21 to 29 August 2009) When in November 2008 we were presented with the opportunity to go to Lourdes with the Wimbledon College Hospitalité, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to get involved in the activities which are an important part of the tradition of the school and to help those who are less fortunate than me. It was also a chance to know myself more deeply and to strengthen my faith. For these reasons, I leapt at the offer. In retrospect, I can truly say that it is something you too should do, whether you are in the sixth form, or have recently left the College.
After a few uncertain steps at the beginning of the week they both settled down and enjoyed their time working in Lourdes. Peter was assigned to a group of first-year men. To begin with he was the only English person in his group but thanks to some assistance from John Dilger he managed to transfer to another group and so joined up with Patrick Page (ex-Stonyhurst) who was doing his first stage and so was adopted by our group. Christina on the other hand was assigned to one of the wards in the Hospital and showed that she was an excellent dish dryer. John Dilger was a Formateur at the école and so spent some time with our nouveaux, introducing them to some of the mysteries of Lourdes.
Going with the Wimbledon College Hospitalité which is a sub-group of the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes, meant that I was with other people that had gone there for the same reason. It was an opportunity to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships. There is also the assurance that you are with people that know what they are doing; you are in safe hands. We thought that Kevin Connolly had been raised to the level of being a full Chef, but found out to our great disappointment that he was still wearing ‘L’-plates and ‘shadowing’ the main Chef. He did, however, appear to mastermind the various processions with his usual panache and so I am sure that few would have realised that he was the mere shadow of a Chef.
The training that you have when you arrive in Lourdes is very comprehensive. People who have been going there for years and work in specialised areas tell you how to do certain things so that you are able to fulfil the jobs that are asked of you. This is also a great opportunity to learn something new and to develop your teamwork skills.
Ige Ramos spent his time on one of the Fourgons and so kept an eye on Ian and Maureen Gordon who were at the station. Maureen was, as usual, in charge of the latrines in the Gare des Malades where she was assisted by a trio of young French girls and then by a lady from the Philippines. Ian was asked to work at the station rather than his usual job on a Fourgon as there was a great shortage of people available to unload the trains. On occasions, ambulances had to be unloaded by a team of only four people. As a token of appreciation for his work Ian was this year given a special task. On arrival at the station one morning he was presented with a Pooper Scooper and asked if he would clear the mess which had been deposited on the Quai des Malades by one of the local dogs. He did this so well there is a good possibility he could be allowed to do it again next year.
When we arrived in Lourdes, I found it to be like entering another world. These are not just my own words, they are words that have been repeated to me by the pilgrims that went there. Tasks ranged from loading and unloading pilgrims from the train station ten minutes away from the sanctuaries, to lifting pilgrims into the sacred baths in Lourdes and ushering truly beautiful and powerful events like the evening torchlight procession. For me personally the best job that we did there was working inside the baths. It is such a special experience for the pilgrims that go there. I felt that I was doing something very special, because it is clear from the emotions of the pilgrims that entering the baths really means something to them. I think this is where my faith was strengthened the most. David Avison, Rhetoric Leaver
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On the spiritual side we managed Mass nearly every day and some of us met in the evening to say the Rosary. Because of our diverse duties, it was almost impossible to find a time when we could all be together. For the second year running we had our group meal at lunch-time at the Parvis as evenings were very difficult due to trains and processions.
The year 2009 was significant for that group of former pupils calling themselves the 49ers. We arrived at Wimbledon College in late summer 1949, many from across the road at Donhead, but most from other primary schools in South London and North Surrey.
From the weather point of view we found that the first few days were quite hot and then it became a little chilly with some quite heavy rain – typical Lourdes weather. All in all this was a very successful and fulfilling pilgrimage and hopefully our two nouveaux will be inspired to come with us again next year.
It was thought by several, and pioneered by the late Kevin Donovan, that we should aim to get as many as those whose whereabouts was known to meet together again at a convenient moment and venue. Accordingly, a small committee of three appointed itself and the Saturday of 19th September 2009 at the Old Wimbledonian Club in Raynes Park was chosen as an appropriate date and venue. The three prime movers were Tony Foulger, John Redwood and Eddie Bell.
Ian Gordon, OW President Working Party Members: Peter Bernard*, Kevin Connolly, John Dilger, Ian Gordon, Maureen Gordon, Christina Lee*, Ige Ramos (* new stagiaire)
Those from less far away attended mass, said by fellow pupil Fr Kevin Pelham, in the College chapel, and those from a little further afield arrived later for a tour of the modern-day Wimbledon College. Deacon, Tony Felton was robed and in the sanctuary for the mass, while Bob Dowds did the readings.
On the tour all were amazed at the size of the current premises, however as this was a trip down memory lane, most insisted on a walk down the Figures gallery and a trip upstairs to the old Lower Grammar and Grammar classrooms. Again, all were surprised by the ‘whiteboards’ and audiovisual display being used. Further amazement ensued at the sight of the IT departments, one on the upper floor of the old gym and another in the ‘New Wing’ (well, new in 1954!). A staggering statistic is that there are now over one thousand more pupils at the College than there were when the 49ers started. Following the tour of the College, we all repaired to the Old Wimbledonian Club where an excellent three-course lunch was provided by the OWA catering staff. No, Mrs Brown did not prepare the food, nor did Nobby Naughton address us in time honoured fashion, ‘would anybody like some more…?’ After lunch, helped down with liberal amounts of liquid refreshment, Tony Foulger conducted a question-and-answer session during which it was surprising how much was remembered about ‘Bats’, Fr Wetz, Bill Edney, Joe Ruddy, Percy ‘Paintbox’ Ellison and many others. Many were saddened to hear that Fr St Lawrence, who took over as our first class master in Figures following Fr MacDermott (‘Twinkletoes’), and who became Head Master for ten years from 1950/51, had died some years ago.
While 2008 saw the 150th anniversary of the apparitions, and 2009 the 130th anniversary of the death of Bernadette, 2010 marks another significant milestone: the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes. The photo above is from a calendar that the Hospitalité has produced to mark the occasion. As you can see, life as a fourgonnier was very much the same 100 years ago! Peter Chamberlain, Secretary, WC Lourdes Hospitalité Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
After this excellent lunch, all departed to the four corners of the world vowing not to leave it another sixty years… Those in attendance were: Chris Arthur, Eddie Bell, Michael Coombs, Robert Dowds, Tony Foulger, Tony Felton, William Keegan, Bernard Kelly, Chris Locke, Michael Morrell, Simon Nugent, Kevin Pelham, John Redwood, Paul Robinson, David Saunders, Robin Tuff, Simon Warrell and Peter Wheatley. Surgical procedures, both major and minor respectively, prevented Michael Grant and Alan Brand from fulfilling their wishes to join the day. Edward Bell
Frank Gell (far right) and David Avison in Lourdes
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Old Wimbledonians Association – AGM 3. We will then distill 3 or 4 options from the group input and do a broad feasibility and initial costing. These will be developed and prioritised, and then fed back to the user groups to seek agreement on the preferred option(s).
The OWA AGM was held at the Raynes Park Clubhouse on Monday July 19th. The OWA is the umbrella organisation that, in conjunction with Donhead, owns and runs the Clubhouse and Sports Ground at 143 Coombe Lane, SW20 8QX,. It is the common link for the various Societies and Sports Sections that comprise the Old Wimbledonians.
4. At the same time we will have had to find and install a dedicated management team to take this forward and manage the process; this will commence with a detailed project definition, deliverables and time frame, but must cover all aspects including fund raising, project management etc. I can see the above steps to project definition taking about 6 months . Within the next two weeks I will be sending this short paper to our user groups so that they can gather their own thoughts together and empower a representative or two for the end-of-August meeting. I would encourage the widest possible involvement at that meeting – all will be welcome. I apologise for dwelling solely on the House and Grounds in this address, but they are the Association’s most significant assets and it is our responsibility to ensure they are fit for purpose for current and future OWs.” There followed detailed reports from the following:
OWA Treasurer, Mike Tolmie (seated) and Chairman, Rick Westley
Treasurer (Michael Tolmie)
Rick Westley started by saying that he would not be giving a detailed account of the Association’s operational activities as these would be covered in some detail by the Treasurer, Ground Director and formal representatives of the various Sections. His report continued:
House and Grounds Director (Stef Milewczyk) Lourdes Hospitalite (Ian Gordon - President) Cricket Club (Nick Fox - Chairman)
“If I can comment generally therefore, I am pleased to report that the Association’s affairs are under control; that is not to say that everything is perfect but that we have done the basics and have secured a sound platform. We have beneficially restructured our debt and put in place repayment schedules that are well within our capability. We have further traded profitably for the past two years whilst making significant repayment provisions, so we are fortunate now to be in a stable position and able to consider future options.
Rugby Club (Richard Brayne-Nicholls - Chairman) Football (not present) College (John Lonergan) Sinnott Society (no report) Scholarship Fund (no report)
There is considerable pressure on both the ground and our facilities – both are healthy signs of a growing demand within a developing organisation. But how do we want to develop? What sort of development is appropriate to both our needs and our means? And we must remain very conscious of our two major constraints, Management and Money. I put management first as I consider that to be the highest priority – any major development will have to be championed by a separate project team; the current Association Committee (including its Chairman) is in no position to undertake the additional significant responsibilities. And without wishing to work the issues here I would like just to sketch out a process for getting this project into being: Stef Milewczyk, House and Grounds Director
1. I will be calling a meeting at the end of August of all the user groups of the Association to invite views and ideas on the changes and improvements to be made to both the grounds and the clubhouse for the foreseeable future. This might need to project forward up to 20 years as financing packages could have that sort of impact.
Under final notices, it was advised that the 84th Annual Dinner of the OWA would be held at the College on Friday evening 22nd October 2010. It was also noted that next year's AGM is scheduled for Monday 18th July 2011 at the Clubhouse from 7.30pm.
2. We need to engage one or more building specialists to help with these discussions. I am thinking of a surveyor to establish the viability of the current building as a foundation for refurbishment and/or extension, and an architect to listen to the ideas and help envision the resulting options.
Rick Westley, OWA Chairman
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Derrick Palengat (1925 – 2009)
Shaun Ryan (1946-2010) OW 1957-62.
Derrick Palengat was one of the four founders of The Sinnott Society, with George Bull and Michael Quinlan (thus I am the surviving founder!)
"Shaun Ryan, the fast bowler who went to live in the West Country?" asked Brendan Naughton about my brother when re-establishing contact years after they went their separate ways from the College.
Derrick grew up in Wimbledon, being educated at The Ursuline Prep, Donhead and the College from 1930 to 1943. He undoubtedly played rugby and cricket, but his passion was for tennis, which he played well into his later life. With other musically inclined 6th formers he formed The Gramophone Society, which organised summer concerts in the gardens of Donhead - to which the Ursuline girls were invited.
It is a pretty accurate description of his subsequent life after leaving the College on many levels. He continued to bowl for Lynton cricket club into his 50s at the fabulous Valley of the Rocks cricket ground in Lynton which overlooks the sea in splendid isolation in its own craggy valley.
In 1943 he joined the Fleet Air Arm and trained as an observer at Greenwich, and was posted to the Pacific Fleet; during this time he was based on HMS Victorious and took part in a number of bombing raids on Japan. Following VJ day he went for training as a pilot, but the Royal Navy decided to reduce the numbers of new appointees. Derrick chose to leave the service, and he joined his father's wine business, Brooks Bodle. They held agencies for Calvet (Bordeaux and Beaune), Jouet champagne and Benedictine. Subsequently the firm was taken over by Williams and Humbert, and this in turn was taken over by Sherry House. Here he met John Donovan, and with George Bull and Michael Quinlan they started The Sinnott Society some 40 years ago. On retirement from W & H he started again as an independent wine trader under the name of Brooks Bodle. Derrick married Denise, an Ursuline girl, and they had 2 children, living in Wimbledon for many years; subsequently moving to Lyndhurst in the New Forest.
Shaun Ryan in 1981, around the time he thought up the idea of North Devon Holiday Homes Having set up a small advertising agency in Devon with his partner David Morgan, which went on to become a major provincial agency group, Bray Leino, named after their respective wives' surnames, Shaun moved on to found his own holiday letting company. This continued right through to his death this year, 2010, so that North Devon Holiday Homes is his legacy. In some 29 years, from its foundation in 1981, the company brought thousands of people to the West Country to enjoy its leisurely ways which Shaun grew to love.
Derrick had other passions - a miniature railway in his garden, a model train in their home, and music on spinet and harpsichord. He was also a keen traditional Catholic, and with Denise often spent Christmas and Easter at various Benedictine monasteries in France and Italy. Derrick's funeral at Lyndhurst was conducted in the traditional rite on 25th September. Derrick is remembered by all as a gentle, kind and thoroughly good man throughout his long life. May he rest in peace.
This was after all why he and his partner, David Morgan, decided to run an advertising business from there in the first place. Sometimes you just have to follow your instincts. As they both proved, it can work out surprisingly well.
Old Wimbledonians’ Racing Competition Over the last five seasons fourteen Old Wimbledonians have competed for the title of Champion Tipster of the Year. Competitors “place” a minimum of two horseracing bets in each of the 26 weeks of the winter National Hunt Racing Season. These are “placed” by circulating them on the internet prior to racing to each of the 14 competitors. Records are kept and at the end of each Competition losses are paid into a central fund. The idea is that fun is had by competing against old friends and that losses do not line the pockets of bookmakers. The but are spent on charitable donations, monetary prizes and on social outings. Over five years more than £14,000 has been donated to charities.
The 2009/10 competition was won by Willie Burke, captain of the OW Rams rugby side in the early 1980s. 2nd, 3rd & 4th places were three previous teachers at the College (M Getgood, H Groenen and P Brown). Anyone wanting more information on this or the Big Prize Club, should e-mail email@example.com. Tony Kerrigan
Eugene Esmonde’s Swordfish bi-plane
Gill New Sans Publication Bold 16pt
“CARRY ON, COLLEGE!” by Simon Potter An entertaining jaunt through the school annals “I think he seems very nice,” I would reply, soothingly. “He’s a crafty booger,” Harry would mutter. He stubbed the fag out after one last suck at the filter. “If you can spare it, I’ll pinch another and smoke it upstairs.” This became a regular slot. “Hackett’s a sly bastard,” he’d say, blowing out smoke – my smoke. “Yes, Harry,” I would sigh, looking back wistfully at my class, reading on in Shakespeare without my valuable interpretation. One day - and it was after I was a trifle miffed to discover that all his guff about being ‘out of cigarettes’ was untrue, having seem him take out a nearly full packet in the staffroom after having smoked my last the previous lesson – I heard the familiar “Pssst” from the door. I went out. “Oh, hello, Harry,” I said, unenthusiastically. “Got a fag?” “Sorry, no.” “Ah, well. I thought I’d wander down and say hello. I’m sick of that booger.” Here we go again, I thought. This is getting to be an obsession. “Honestly, Hackett’s okay,” I replied. “Why you’ve got it in for him, I can’t….” “Not HACKETT,” snorted Harry. “I’m not talking about Hackett.” “To what bugger do you allude then?” I asked. “Saint Paul,” grunted Harry, who also taught RE. “I don’t know why I keep doing him.” A terrific believer in reading classes, especially in the afternoon, Harry would sometimes say to his boys, “Open ‘The Ship’”, lads,” (this was his favourite school book; he too had been a navy man in the war) “and start reading IN SILENCE. Wake me up when the bell goes or,” casting a look at the doorway, “if the Headmaster looks in.” Once Harry slept right through the bell, his class tip-toed out and another took its place and went on reading “The Ship” in silence. I’m pretty sure that would not happen nowadays; children expect to be kept stimulated and to be the centre of attention. “Notice Me. Notice Me”. Perhaps too they are now more conditioned to complain to Mum. In the Easter term of 1981, Fr Hackett buttonholed me in the main playground as classes were about to start after lunch. “Is Doyle pissed?” he asked me, without preamble. Taken very much aback – for I knew that Harry, in fact, was – I felt at a bit of a loss. “Er, no, I’m sure not, Father. I – I think he’s rather tired at the moment with – um – with the CSE assessments going on.” Hackett gave me one of his looks and nodded. Just then, spoiling everything, Harry rolled forward, his mouth agape in a sloppy grin. “Herro, Father,” he slurred. “I thought: thairsh a man who needs a pear. A jolly o’pear.” “Pear?” gasped Hackett. Harry reached into his trousers pocket and fished out a very bruised, squidgy pear. He rammed it juicily into Hackett’s hand and tacked off from side to side to room 162 and St Paul. All my loyal dissimulation wasted…….
This forthcoming book, which will be available during 2011, is full of outrageous, bizarre and amusing incidents from the last 40 years; it is ‘a memoir of mythologised incident’ that tells absurd incidents which capture the essence of a period and its people.” Simon Potter has been at Wimbledon College since 1972, just a year or two after it went comprehensive, has worked for seven headmasters: Fathers Carty, Hackett, Cooper, Barnett, Smith, Holman and Porter. He has seen enormous changes in the College and observed the host of eccentrics it has employed, none of whom Simon seems to have forgotten. The book also has much to say about the Jesuit order in SW19 as well as colourful pupils. Here is an extract from the author’s time teaching in the English department when Harry Doyle ran it – in about 1976: ……there was no such dilemma as finding time to keep records in the mid-‘70s. Harry Doyle (sixty-ish, gnome-like, very Yorkshire) saw his role as Line Head as disciplinary – indeed, he saw his role as Head of English and English teacher in the same light. His methods were always brief and effective. Harry was similarly direct in his dealings with himself. He had awful toothache for nearly three weeks when he realised he couldn’t bear it any more. He went down to his car, took out pliers from the tool-box and asked me if I would pull the tooth out for him. Like Clitus in “Julius Caesar” refusing to help Brutus commit suicide, I declined, so Harry simply wrenched the tooth out for himself, using the car mirror. At my gasp of horror, he turned a pitying look on me. “No need to flap,” he said. “The bloody thing felt loose anyway.” He was good at bearing pain, I suppose. He had had a hernia for years, but didn’t consider it worth going to hospital to get it patched up. Instead, when he laughed or coughed, he grabbed his groin with both hands to hold everything together. He was often telling Jackie Kennedy and me not to make him laugh. He was easily bored - especially in the long afternoon stretch; we had 3 x 40 minute periods after lunch back then. He taught above me in room 162 (now the Science staffroom). I was in 62 (now a ground floor Maths room). I grew used to a furtive tapping on the glass panel halfway through afternoon lessons and the door opening to admit a beckoning finger. “Carry on with your notes,” I would say to the class, making my way to the door. “Oh, hello, Harry.” “Psst, pssst,” hissed Harry. “Come outside. Are you doing anything important?” “Well, we’re making notes on Macbeth, Act III.” “Never mind that. Have you got a fag?” Often he would short-circuit the enquiry by tapping my pockets until he located my packet. “Can I pinch one? I’ve run out.” He would then light up in the corridor. “I’m sick of that booger,” he’d say. I knew he was speaking of our new, esteemed headmaster, Fr Peter Hackett SJ (Christmas 1976 – 1980), who was beginning to keep a sharp eye on Harry – especially after lunch, during which Harry liked two, perhaps three, occasionally four, pints in “The King of Denmark” or “The Swan” on the Ridgway.
“Carry on, College!” will be available during this academic year
Where are they now?
Keeping Track of Old Wimbledonians At a recent birthday party at the OW’s (available for functions!) Patrick Ward (1964-1971) was proudly relating the successes of his four boys – all Millfield educated (presumably they couldn’t get in at the College). Pat is a senior executive at J P Morgan and has nothing but good to say about the banking industry – a view not shared by capitalist-turned-chiropractor Tony Kerrigan (1961-68).
Since taking over as Membership Secretary and assuming responsibility for this newsletter, I have had passed on to me numerous contacts from OW’s visiting our website. To my shame, not all of these have been answered, but I am working on it as, indeed, I am working on making more news more frequently available to our membership. We are all too aware that often the only news we receive at the OW’s is bad news which means that the website often resembles an obituary column. The intention is to become more proactive from a base at Wimbledon College and, from that base, to provide more information and updates to our readers.
The elaborate link to Tony Kerrigan was so that I can plug the BIG PRIZE FUND, which has now replaced the defunct 200 Club. For only £10 a month – less than the price of a pint of beer a week (slightly more if you drink at Wetherspoons) you can be entered for a monthly prize and two more substantial prizes every six months. The actual value of the prizes is naturally dependant on the total number of members, but already several people have won sums of £500. .
So, here follows a selection of snippets of information about OW’s that I have picked up in recent months. At a recent golf day in memory of the late Russ Johnson, I caught up with his eldest son, Oliver (1984-89), who is married with two children, still lives locally and is an investment banker. Ollie’s younger brother, Luke (1986-1991), now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having finally settled down after a few years travelling the world. Guy Bennett, a near neighbour of Luke, would love to be kept in touch with his old alumni. At the same event were the Kelleher brothers, Tom and Dennis, Mark Bailham, Andy Kenny and Brendan Baxter (now a serious-looking solicitor).
Having mentioned the price of beer, a more natural link is to young entrepreneur Sam Moss (1999-2004). Sam left the College to study history at York University. During his time there Sam developed a taste for real ale and went to work for the local brewery. He and a fellow undergraduate spotted an opening in the market and, soon after graduating, began to think about raising finance to open their own brewery. The end result was a very successful brewery in Leeds, with a small chain of their own pubs, and distribution throughout the North East of England. In the interests of research I have tested their products and can give my personal endorsement to their entire range. Further to this, if any of you have a daughter in the right age category, I can arrange a suitable introduction. Who wouldn’t want a son-in-law with his own brewery?
Also living in the States, in Cumberland, Maine is Mark Philips (1977-1981) who is keen to get back in touch with any of his old contemporaries. One of these is James Dyson, currently residing in Beijing with his wife and young son. He says he has been in China for nine years now and is still playing the odd game of rugby. That is great to hear because James was considered by many to be one of the finest rugby players to have been at the College; memorably, he once scored a hat-trick of tries for Richmond against London Welsh Middlesex 7’s final.
OWA Big Prize Club
One of our more recent leavers, Freddie Hick (2001-2004), has been in touch and informs us that he played rugby at Donhead with Danny Cipriani. I am sure Mr O’D was proud of the pair of them. While on the subject of rugby, keep an eye out for George Skivington. He has been at Wasps with Danny Cipriani and has captained the England Saxons. At the end of the season he moves on to Leicester and it can only be a matter of time before he gets his first full cap for England. Good luck, George.
The OWA Big Prize Club has been set up and registered as a lottery with the Local Authority. Members pay £10 per month and participate in Draws for cash prizes. There are five Draws a year each with one major prize and three lesser prizes. The July 2010 major prize of £750 was won by Tony Lee. Other prize winners have included Gordon (‘enry) Ruffel, Martin Cordozo, Chick (Michael) Fell, Tony Rochford, Peter Curtis and Dave Cullinane.
Continuing the sporting theme, Jay Tabb (1999-2002) has been playing regularly in the Championship for Reading. They only just missed out on a play-off place last season, but he assures me that this time around they will be going all out for promotion to the Premier League. Jay could be our first ever Premier League footballer – not bad for a rugby dominated school!
There are no administrative costs deducted from the BPC revenues. Fifty per cent of members’ subscriptions is paid out as prizes and fifty per cent goes to the OWA to help towards the costs of running and maintaining the sports ground and facilities.
Brian Crowe (1949-1953) has also been in touch, from Stronsay in Orkney. He has very fond memories of his time at the College. His first Head-master was Father Sinnott followed by Father St Lawrence and he talks with great respect of Messrs Milward and Laloux and Fathers Wetz, Hamer and Bermingham. The leading sportsman in his day was Joe McPartlin, brother of George, John and Gerald, and our last full rugby international. Incidentally, Joe recently donated to the College one of his Scottish international jerseys and the programme from his first international exactly fifty years ago.
There are currently 78 members of the BPC. The aim is to have 100 members in order to be able to pay a main prize of £1000 and 3 lesser prizes in each of the five annual Draws. We are therefore looking for 22 new members. Tony Kerrigan
Organising the whole school photo