Wulfrunian 2018

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In Fond Remembrance


Matt Katz and Richie Webb tell us what it's really like to write and record music for award winning TV shows.

OWs in the USA

Old Wulfrunians Association School News and the Class of 2018


Founder’s Day, Friday 19th October 2018

Wulfrunian 2018



from Kathy Crewe-Read Head of Wolverhampton Grammar School

It seems particularly poignant, that in 2018, a year where we commemorate those who fought for our freedom in the Great War, that we have also lost a number of beloved members of our Old Wulfrunian community. As always, we pay tribute to them in our own, unique way in this edition of the Wulfrunian. They embodied much of what WGS is all about and we will remember them. In School, we commemorated the many OWs who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, by listening to reflections based on Watson Caldecott's war-time Headmastership (1905-1923). Also, students came together with others from the wider Merchant Taylors' family, for a Remembrance Concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall, which was utterly poignant and moving. The concert featured performers from our Senior School and Hana Akram from Year 7, who had the honour of having her remembrance poem 'Row Upon Row' selected for recitation. You will


be pleased to note that we have also commissioned a new Remembrance panel to remember three former Masters of WGS and two former students currently not recorded in School. I hope you will agree, a fitting tribute. The year has passed, since I last wrote, as busily as ever. Curricula delivered, tournaments contested, examinations passed and adventures undertaken. Students and Old Wulfrunians alike often cite a trip - perhaps a residential or overseas expedition - as one of their most abiding memories of School. You’ll be pleased to hear that the Ski Trip and exchange visits are still very much a part of the School year, as well as expeditions to faraway places (this year’s was a trip to India). I'm pleased to tell you about a new partnership between WGS and St Paul School, Macau in China. Despite the miles and cultural differences between us, that which unites us - a passion to deliver the best in education - is far greater than that which divides. I know you will watch with interest as the partnership grows, and impacts our students. Closer to home, Dr Nicholas Evans (OW 1995), Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of

Southampton, was guest of honour at Senior School Prizegiving and Jon Crawford (OW 2014) joined us as guest of honour at Junior Speech Day. Both remember their WGS days fondly and are behind our campaign to raise funds to provide a WGS education to as many disadvantaged children from Wolverhampton as possible. Take a look at page 42, to see how you can help. I loved reading about this year’s Wulfrunian front cover stars, Matt and Richie. I think the Horrible Histories series is great, my children (both now in their late teens) were avid readers. Children (and many adults) in our School still watch it on CBBC and I must admit to feeling very proud when I hear children singing the songs - written by OWs. We are, and will remain, a very special community. Thank you for the part that you play in a School where Inspectors and national award judges alike have commended us for what is truly unique. I wish you all a happy festive season and peaceful 2019.

Kathy Crewe-Read Head, Wolverhampton Grammar School


Ellie Denton, Upper Sixth

Welcome to the 2018 edition of the Wulfrunian The Wulfrunian magazine is a great way to keep up to date with Wolverhampton Grammar School and the rest of our alumni community, affectionately known as Old Wulfrunians. In this issue we hear from many Old Wulfrunians including the songwriters behind award winning TV shows like Horrible Histories, Goodness Gracious Me and Armstrong and Miller. Fellow creative alumna Akansha Sethi talks about her career in jewellery design and the beauty of statistics is uncovered by retiring teacher Dr Chris O’Brien alongside lots of features showcasing many of our talented former students. Treacherous snow had no regard for our Old Wulfrunians Association (OWA) dinner, held annually in Big School every Spring. All our dinner guests supported our decision to cancel and thank you to everyone who donated the cost of their ticket towards our annual Bursary fund. Dr Stephen Billing has kindly agreed to come back and host this year’s event on Saturday 2nd March. If you haven’t reserved your place yet for this sell out dinner, please read the letter of invitation enclosed from the OWA.


Stay in Touch Email: development@wgs-sch.net Post: Development Office, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Compton Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 9RB

Twitter Follow alumni and School news, search for: • @WGS1512 • @WGSHead • @WGSOW

Telephone: +44 (0) 1902 421326 Website: Visit the alumni pages www.wgs.org.uk/alumni for event photos, alumni profiles, events calendar and more. Follow us on one of our many Social Media platforms: Facebook ‘Like’ our Facebook pages, search for: • Wolverhampton Grammar School Official • Old Wulfrunians of WGS

LinkedIn Connect with alumni on LinkedIn, search for: • Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

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Wulfrunian 2018

Welcome from the Head


In the Common Room


Features On the cover Awesome Alumni

10 - 13

In conversation with…

14 - 15

The importance of statistics

16 - 17

In harmony small things grow

18 - 19

Contents www.wgs.org.uk

Community and School News

The ever-accelerating pace of the healthcare revolution

20 - 21

A stage unlike any other

22 - 23

Friendships for life


A new School partnership


In fond remembrance

26 - 33

Your news

34 - 39

Careers in focus

40 - 41

What difference will you make?

42 - 43

OWs in the USA


Old Wulfrunians Association


Life at WGS

46 - 63

Farewell to the Class of 2018

48 - 49

School Economics

52 - 53

Old Wulfrunians Sports Festival

63 - 65

School memories from 2018

66 - 67

With over 5,000 alumni still in touch with School, it’s impossible to include everything in the magazine. Take a look at your website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni or follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest news from our community. Why not book a visit to come in to see us at School and take a trip down memory lane in our School archives?




A morose thought in teaching is that you are always replaceable: well, almost always. Generations of students have passed through WGS over the past 30 years, all of whom would have fond memories of Peter and Helen Hills. Their teaching timetables are easily replaced, but the greater impact they both had on the School will be felt, and remembered, for a longer time than they will appreciate. The Common Room itself continues to evolve with a paperless approach now evident in Year 7; technology is at the heartbeat of our teaching. New faces have joined and added a new dimension to our staff: we all hope you enjoy becoming a part of the Common Room. Government reforms continually add to the challenge of teaching, none more so than the shift from letters to numbers for exam grades. However, with the dedicated staff in the Common Room, I am confident that my second year as Chairman will see continued success for both staff and students.

Steve Clancy

Chair of The Common Room 6

Peter Hills by Nic Anderson

In Peter’s 31 years of service at WGS, he has always been the ultimate professional. A superb classroom teacher, fantastic sports coach, positive role model, but most of all a great guy to have on the staff. There is no way I can do justice to Peter’s immense contribution to life here in one short article, but I shall try. Peter began back in September 1987 as a ‘young man’ teaching Maths. Through his work as House Manager of Campbell and his enthusiasm to become a major part of the life of the School, he was recognised and it was no real shock when he was promoted to Head of Lower School. He held this post with distinction for 14 years, during which the Big Six entry to the school began. He moved onto Head of Middle School and then shortly afterwards became Deputy Head in 2007. As Deputy Head, he served the

School in every possible way for 8 years. Fittingly, he returned to his first love and to the Maths classroom for his final three years. It would be wrong of me not to mention his successes as a football and cricket coach. I know there are many OW’s out there who have a lot to thank ‘Hillsy’ for on the sports field. He will be particularly missed on the staff cricket team in the Head’s match. Peter’s calm and unflappable nature meant he was the perfect Deputy Head. Staff and students respected his firm, but fair way of dealing with things. I particularly enjoyed my time working with him and we shared many memories working together side by side as Deputy Heads. I am very proud to write this as both his friend and colleague. He will be sorely missed.

Wulfrunian 2018

James Millichamp

Helen Hills

Formerly a student, James Millichamp began as a part-time teacher at WGS in 2001 and since then he’s had many guises; most recently as Head of Art. It is undoubted that James loves the School and was incredibly dedicated to developing opportunities within the Art department, particularly through community exhibition work and the Art History lecture series. During his time as Head of Department, a number of students have had great success in regional and national competitions through his encouragement and commitment to demonstrating the impact of Arts practice in contemporary society.

Helen joined WGS in September 1998 having previously covered for Mrs Slocombe, sorry I mean Carol Ambrose! Using each letter of her name I would describe Helen as an incredibly hardworking, enthusiastic leader, empathetic and nurturing (not nature), as well as a humourous, inspiring, listener, who is always learning and whose dedicated service has seen her support not only her department, tutees and sports teams, but also husband Peter in his role as Deputy Head.

by Emma Bowater

by Karen Flavell

A published author within his role of EVC, it was clear that James loved a good school trip, as he was regularly involved in the Coast 2 Coast challenge, Towers, Art trips across the globe and expeditions to Ecuador and India. James moves on from the School to spend more time with his family and develop his own practice as a professional artist. The Art department will never quite be the same without his excitable presence, however, we can hopefully look forward to an exhibition of his new work in the Viner Gallery at some point in the near future.

Di Birt

by Ruth Taylor-Briggs As the immortal bard famously didn’t say ‘Friends, Romans, Wulfrunians, lend me your ears I have come not to bury Di, but to praise her’. The School, parents and pupils will all miss Di’s presence greatly. As someone who really supported the education and welfare of individual pupils; she was held in incredibly high esteem by parents for the way her work helped to develop their children academically. As for her contribution to Coast 2 Coast, I have always been in awe of what she achieved! Little did the Romans imagine that the wall which was intended to keep the barbarians out would be conquered so thoroughly in a mere 24 hours and 12 minutes under the auspices of a Scot!


Kartar Uppal

by Nick Brown Kartar joined the Mathematics Department in September 2000 and during his time here has supported many of our budding mathematicians in their preparation for Oxbridge interviews and entrance papers.

Always leading by example, Helen would only expect from everyone what she was prepared to do herself, and no one could ever beat her Open Day activity World Record time of 20 seconds at mirror drawing an outline of a star! Wonderfully kind and nurturing with an undoubtable ability to get the best from every student. Her humour reflected in the songs used to remember key processes ... the Meiosis Square Dance and Mr W’s DNA rap, much to Rob Walker’s annoyance! Helen is obviously an exceptional teacher who will be sorely missed. A marvellous friend, and I and the department will miss her greatly.

Outside of the classroom Kartar was instrumental in orchestrating the student Charities Committee and over his 17 years they have raised tens of thousands of pounds. A fantastic achievement but in true Kartar style, he did not seek praise. This Common Room is a stranger place with the now empty Kartar’s corner where many wise words and anecdotes were shared and we never did get to find out why he needed two cushions! Kartar’s new post is in Birmingham where I imagine a new Kartar’s corner has already been established.



COMMON ROOM Callum Underwood by Liz Harris

When Callum told me that he had applied to take an MA in French Children’s Literature I was really disappointed that our brilliant new addition to the Modern Foreign Languages department was going to be leaving. But it was, I knew, inevitable, as I was aware from conversations with him when he first arrived at the School that this was something he really wanted to do in the future. Callum came to WGS three years ago, straight out of university. He had spent 6 weeks with us observing lessons at the end of the summer term and then in September he was literally thrown into the lion’s den. Considering that Callum had not undertaken any formal teacher training prior to his arrival here he did fantastically well and made excellent progress. He has developed into a fine teacher, who is very well liked by the students and has earned all of our respect in the Modern Foreign Languages department. He has also been an excellent role model for male linguists, who are sadly so rare. Callum has been an outstanding colleague, always ready to offer help, full of initiative and creative ideas and a genius on the computer. We will really miss his great sense of humour and beautiful French next year. He has a brilliant future ahead of him in whichever level of education he works in, in the future. Bonne continuation, Callum.


And welcome...

Mary Howard by Ian Tyler

Mary initially joined the OpAL department as a part time member of staff, but quickly established herself as an indispensable member of our teaching team. She is both a superb dyslexia specialist teacher and a valued friend and colleague whose retirement comes, I’m afraid, too soon for all of us. I have lost count of the times she simply sorted out issues without pause or comment and every time her judgement was spot on. Indeed, we have all benefitted hugely from her wisdom and good humour and that will be sorely missed. Perhaps a testament to her general wizardry is the fact that she quickly progressed here at WGS from dyslexia specialist teacher to become responsible for important areas of learning such as English as an Additional Language and Whole School Screening. However, what we didn’t realise is just how dedicated, professional and totally involved she would become; she really did make a hugely positive difference to the lives of her students and the life of the whole School. She is both a great friend and a great teacher. Never-the-less, as sad as we are to say goodbye to her, I know she will embrace her retirement with the same wonderful energy and sense of purpose that she brought to her teaching. It is, therefore, with our love, a cheery wave of a hanky and a “see you soon!” that we wish her all the very best of everything in the years to come and hope she comes back to visit us all soon.


Rebecca Bradley Rebecca joined us in January and brings with her both coaching and sport teaching experience. Educated at Cardiff University, Rebecca’s interest in sport began aged 11 when she started to play hockey seriously. A teaching graduate of the West Midlands Consortium, Rebecca has taught at both day and independent boarding schools with her last post at Newcastle-under-Lyme School. A serious hockey player, Rebecca has trained with the Welsh national squad and is a member of the nationally recognised Cannock Hockey Club.

Wulfrunian 2018

STAFF RETIREES LUNCH Former staff came together for their annual lunch organised by the late Graham Lewis at the South Staffordshire Golf Club in May. Pictured: Margaret Astwick, Lesley Benfield, Tony and Kate Bennett, Robert Brandon, Tim Browning, Jim Chugg, John Edlin, Wendy Fletcher, Sue Harvey, Les Judson, Charles Martin, Geoff Morris, Gareth Phillips, Chris Preston, Les Shears, Maggie Smith, Martin Smith, Ken and Steph Stott, Elaine Tudor and Chris O'Brien.



Sitting in front of a bank of computer screens and hi-tech equipment in Matt Katz's purpose built “Noisegate Studios” in Warwick, it’s hard to imagine that he and Richie Webb’s music careers started with two tape decks in a pre-internet era Wolverhampton. Matt and Richie are responsible for the songs for the multiple BAFTA Award winning CBBC series Horrible Histories, as well as countless theme tunes and incidental scores for some of the UK’s best loved TV shows.


Wulfrunian 2018


alumni Richie and Matt’s 30+ year friendship began at WGS, where they managed to avoid all forms of “games” by occupying the back music room every Wednesday afternoon. Flourishing under the tutelage of the "inspirational and accommodating" Head of Music, Bernard Trafford, who would go on to become Headmaster, Matt said of their partnership and friendship, “we’ve never had a cross word. Since day one I pretty much plugged everything in and made sure it worked while Rich sat at the piano – plus ça change.”

Even though one school year apart, they conspired by accident to both study at Warwick, “a campus university with an amazing arts centre” says Matt, where their collaboration was to continue. From performing in “probably the best band on campus” (Warwick Boar c1991) to Musical Direction of student shows in Warwick Arts Centre they both relished the opportunities that student life afforded and somehow also both graduated. Richie’s career as a comedy writer and performer also began at Warwick as a member of the six strong sketch comedy group “The Cheese Shop”. This ultimately gave Matt and Richie the opportunity to provide music for Radio 4 and when three members of the


group (Richie being one of them) took over from ‘Trev and Simon’ as ‘Men in Trousers’ on BBC1’s Saturday morning show Live and Kicking for two years, the pair leapt at the opportunity to produce music for the programme. The past twenty years have seen Matt and Richie write and record music for award winning children’s TV shows like Baby Jake and the rebooted Teletubbies, plus light entertainment shows such as Goodness Gracious Me, Armstrong and Miller and That Mitchell and Webb Look

Having just delivered 52 songs for TV shows in the last 3 months Matt points out that their career has been entirely facilitated by advances in technology: “The progression from labour intensive analogue recording techniques to the current digital landscape has coincided with our success in the world of music for TV, radio and now film”. The Horrible Histories film “Rotten Romans” is currently in post production and is due out in Cinemas next July.


...do what you love. Turning something that defines you into a career has its pitfalls but you’re more likely to excel. Matt Katz

What would you tell your younger self? Matt: It sounds trite but “do what you love” is pretty good advice. Turning something that defines you into a career has its pitfalls but you’re more likely to excel. Richie: Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine. But it wouldn’t kill you to work a bit harder.

What genre of music do you think would best describe your time at WGS? Matt: I mostly listened to The Smiths and The Cure while I was at WGS so that was my soundtrack. If I were scoring the story of my life then Technicolour Pop like Beck would probably be more appropriate. Richie: I really enjoyed being in the choir at WGS, so when I think of music I associate with the School I think of choral music.

Do you have a favourite Horrible Histories song? Matt: Charles Dickens, in the style of the Smiths. Stephen Street produced most of the Smiths’ recordings and having heard it he tweeted “whoever did this knew what they were doing”. High praise. Richie: Hard to pick – but ‘The Kings and Queens Song’ is up there as that was the hardest to write but turned out to be one of the most popular.


Wulfrunian 2018

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Do you write the songs with actors in mind?

Matt: Scott Walker, his four eponymous solo albums were superb. His music (like the man himself) has become less accessible recently so I’d like to produce a comeback album.

Matt: The brief and the budget. The creation of the ideas is a team effort involving the writers and producers – we’re generally aping a genre, artist or song so I listen to the arrangements and deconstruct how they work.

Matt: No. We generally don't know exactly who will be performing a song, just their gender!

Richie: Paul McCartney.

Who are your favourite music artists? Matt: This list would change on a day to day basis: The Beatles; David Bowie; Crosby Stills, Nash (& Young); Nick Drake; Ben Folds. Richie: Too many to mention. Always the Beatles at the top of the list, though.

What do you like to do for fun outside of work? Matt: Fell walking in the Lakes, Snowdonia or the Highlands. I also scuba dive – diving with seals off the Farne Islands this summer was superb. Richie: Shhh – whisper it: I go and watch West Bromwich Albion.

Richie: For Horrible Histories we’re usually doing a particular song/style pastiche – so I listen to lots of songs in a similar style to see what musical tricks they use.

Richie: Sometimes I know who's going to be playing the part - and sometimes I don't. And sometimes they can sing it. And sometimes they can't...

If you had the option to change your career what would you do? Matt: Film Director! Richie: I wouldn’t change it!

When did you start writing music? Matt: At school - age 12 or so. Richie: I used to make up silly songs at Primary School by changing the words to well-known songs. I'm still doing that now!

Have you appeared in any of your music videos? Matt: Not me. Richie: Yes. You have to look quite hard but they let me appear in the Shakespeare Big Band song as the piano player. I wasn’t allowed to wear my glasses though, so I had no idea what was going on.

Photo Courtesy: www.studio43.tv

Photo Courtesy: Horrible Histories @HH_World


Armstrong and Miller

Goodness Gracious Me

If you could pick any artist to work with you who would it be?



In conversation with James Millichamp and Akansha Sethi

The Art Department at WGS consists of staff who are all accomplished artists in their own right and James Millichamp is no exception, as this summer we waved goodbye to him as he pursues his career as an independent artist. Following in the footsteps of their father David (OW 1958), James and his twin brother Harry joined WGS in 1992. James returned to join the teaching staff in 2002 after studying Art at Wolverhampton University. His daughter MaeMae is a former student and son Jamie is currently in the Sixth Form. James took over as Head of Art from John Perkins in 2014 and has also been responsible for the Warhammer Club, Coast 2 Coast, Movie Club, Art trips in the UK and overseas, as well as accompanying students on overseas expeditions. James has watched many of his students go on to develop lucrative careers in the arts and was delighted to welcome back Akansha Sethi (OW 2012) at the end of year Annual Art Exhibition in July. Akansha is now forging her own career as a jewellery designer under the brand AS by Akansha Sethi, take a look at her exquisite jewellery at www.akanshasethi.com @akanshasethi_


Akansha answering James’ questions: It was wonderful to see you at the Summer Exhibition and to see yours and Akshay’s paintings with your family. Do you have any particular memories of your time at WGS? Each and every moment I spent at WGS is a treasured memory. My interest from the beginning was tilted to art and design. I was fortunate to have studied under you, Mr Perkins and Mrs Ward who guided me to pursue my aspirations.

What is the best part of your job? Jewellery is an art form which is an expression of my emotion. The best part of my job is that I am able to transform my thoughts into a product and create something that I want. In addition, I enjoy the whole process of socialising and interacting with my customer and working on bespoke pieces.

For any aspiring creatives reading this, what was your route to starting your own company and what advice would you give to someone wanting to become an artist or designer? After completing a design degree, I acquired skills and expertise to design and make my jewellery and in turn build the foundations of AS by Akansha Sethi. I could either join an existing company as a designer or start my own company, I had always wanted my designs to be recognised by my own name. Most of my designs are inspired by my travels to different parts of the world.

What is the most exciting thing you have done or place you have seen in your work? Having the opportunity to participate in London Fashion Week in February within the first year of setting up AS by Akansha Sethi. It helped showcase my creations to the leading press and buyers from around the world and of course getting to personally show the Queen my collection!

Wulfrunian 2018

James answering Akansha’s questions: What makes Wolverhampton Grammar School, one of the best schools for studying Art? We have incredible facilities, including our very own gallery where we celebrate student achievement as well as showcasing professional artists' work. Fundamentally success brings success; every year the younger students see what is in the subject and aspire towards the highest levels of achievement!

What is the best part of being an Art Teacher? For me the best part of my job is seeing students’ progress. Excelling in exams is great to see but what really makes you proud as a teacher is when people come back and visit and tell us what they are doing. Like when you came back to school to tell us about your design company from Art Club in Year 7 to international jewellery designer is just amazing.

What is the importance of Fine Arts in education? We hear a lot about STEM subjects from decision makers in education but the arts are so important and cannot be overlooked. Personal development aside, skills of independence, project-planning, tenacity, and creativity which are best delivered through Arts training are essential in today's workplace. The wonderful thing about working at WGS is that we do value the Arts and our emphasis on Drama, Music and the Visual Arts means that our students grow up as confident, well-rounded people with cultural capital who are adaptable and can think creatively and be independent.

What are your plans after WGS? I am taking a bit of a sabbatical from teaching to focus on my own work as an artist. I will be working part-time and pursuing my practice through print-making and painting and hopefully putting on some exhibitions. WGS will never be far from my heart though, and I am hoping to put on my first exhibition next year at the School's Viner Gallery.

How long have you been at WGS and what is your fondest memory at Wolverhampton Grammar School? I have so many good memories, but two of my favourites would be the time here as a student, Mr Perkins took us to the Royal Academy to see ‘Sensation’ and I was confronted by the work of Damien Hirst. It was at this point that I realised I truly wanted to become an artist. The second would be last summer’s School expedition to Ecuador. The moment the group reached the summit of Laguna Quilotoa, after a gruelling trek in unexpected heat, a volcanic-crater lake at nearly 4,000m above sea-level came into view, it was awesome (in the true sense of the word). At time of going to press Akansha’s work was featured in The New York Times. Visit www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/fashion/jewelry-instagram.html



Var (X) = ▒〖(x-μ)2 f (x)dx 〗 =▒〖 (x2-2μx + μ2 ) f (x)dx〗 =▒〖 x2 f (x)dx - ▒2μxf (x)dx + ▒〖μ2 f (x)dx〗〗 = ▒〖x2 f (x)dx - 2μ ▒ xf (x)dx + μ2

▒f (x)dx〗

But since, for a probability density function,

▒〖f (x)dx=1〗 and

▒〖xf (x)dx = E(X) = μ〗 Var(X)= ▒〖x2 f (x)dx - 2μ × μ+μ2×1〗=E(X2) - 2μ2+μ2 so Var(X) = E(X2 )-μ2

Statistics The Importance of

Ben Styles (OW 1995) former further mathematics and statistics student of Dr Chris O’Brien, contacted his former teacher earlier this year and offered to return to speak to current students about the ‘importance of statistics in areas like clinical trials, education trials and psychometrics’. He said ‘It never ceases to amaze me how much (largely hidden) influence statisticians have. Our analyses can mean success or failure for others who have taken the trouble to develop interventions to improve life.’


Ben mentioned an occasion when he was given 21 out of 20 in his first Lower Sixth probability homework. This may be a unique occurrence (can anybody else remember something similar? – more former students are likely to be complaining that a reason was found for giving 19½ out of 20). This probably happened because several students had given correct answers without explaining their reasoning fully and been given full marks, but Ben gave very full explanations. This summer Dr O’Brien, who officially retired last year but kept going for an extra year with an Upper Sixth further statistics group, finally hung up his chalk (or white board marker or digital pen!), though not his timetabling spreadsheet. Following Ben’s email it was apparent that Chris’ teaching had made quite an impact and so we carried on the conversation, not only the trip down memory lane, but also the importance of recruiting more statisticians today …

What did you do your PhD on? Chris: I looked at methods for analysing time-series using non-linear methods. The work was supported by the Institute of Hydrology and concerned the prediction of river flow in relation to rainfall. My recollection was that Plynlimon (where the Severn and the Wye rise) featured heavily in this, but the data discussed in the thesis is for a river in Somerset. Non-linear models were fairly unfamiliar territory at the time, but I am sure they have moved on a long way in the last 40 years.

Pictured: Nic Anderson, Deputy Head, Chris and Peter Hills, former Deputy Head, all enthusiastic teachers of statistics.

Wulfrunian 2018

How long did it take you to remember the entire A Level Statistics course so that you didn't need any notes to deliver your lessons?

Chris is pictured with Andy Walford (OW 1997) at the London Reunion 2018.

Chris: I used to make notes on new topics but usually tried to deliver lessons without direct reference to them, except for specific examples where the starting point had to be carefully chosen. I’ve always preferred to think examples through as I do them rather than follow a written solution. I did set up notes on some topics (e.g. permutations and combinations) in PowerPoint (I realise this is old technology now) so, in a way, I went back to using notes which the students could have afterwards.

After explaining why we should never play the National Lottery, then in it's infancy, I vividly remember you bringing a lesson on probability to life by suggesting which numbers to choose in order to maximise our winnings. What other interesting examples have you used in recent years to enhance your lessons? Chris: I think the ideas about choosing numbers which were likely to be less popular choices, in order to maximise the share of the jackpot in the event of a win, came from a newspaper article (the details of which I cannot remember). For many years, I used to talk about the probability of winning the jackpot, which was then 1 in 13,983,816. But that was a useful example because, when it was new, everybody understood the idea - it was a topic of general conversation. I know the pattern has changed now. I always liked picking examples using the numbers of students in the class – how many ways could we pick a team of three from the group, for example.


Despite enjoying your lessons at School, it took me until my PhD in neuroscience before I realised the central importance of statistics to the application of scientific method. Much of the replication crisis now unfolding across several scientific disciplines results from the careless application of statistics by scientists. We need statisticians more today than we have ever done before yet it remains a challenge to find them. How do we persuade more people to choose the subject at university? Chris: In my day, most people came into statistics through mathematics at university. I wonder if your question is suggesting that a more direct route to statistics (with the emphasis on interpretation?) is important. That might widen the field – and it may already be happening, I expect I am out of date.

How many times did you win the Royal Statistical Society Christmas quiz? Chris: It was certainly twice, possibly three times. Always in collaboration with colleagues – Florence Darby, Charles Martin, Keith Brockless, John Johnson and several others (I’ll be in trouble for leaving people out here) all contributed at various times. In those days, there was a lot of consultation of reference books. Colleagues either knew things or were able to make connections which led in the right direction. As the internet has taken over, the quiz has become more and more cryptic, trying to make direct searches less useful – and the sort of collective knowledge we had in the staff room has become less useful in answering the questions!


Concordia Parvae Res Crescunt … In harmony small things grow The name Merchant Taylors' echoes throughout the history of Wolverhampton Grammar School and is as ever relevant today. Originally known as the Fraternity of St John the Baptist, it was an association created to protect the interests of working tailors. Its membership grew and by the late 15th Century, a number of its members were wealthy merchants. This is where its association with Wolverhampton Grammar School began. The School’s founder Sir Stephen Jenyns, a wool merchant born in Wolverhampton circa 1448, was to become Master of the ancient guild and later Lord Mayor of London. In 1512 Jenyns was to build a free school for the boys of Wolverhampton to ‘teach literature and good behaviour’, and so Wolverhampton Grammar School was founded.


The Merchant Taylors’ Company is one of the “Great Twelve” livery companies of the City of London, the senior companies in the city from which until recently all Lord Mayors were chosen. A fixed procession order has been in place for the livery companies since the time of their founding and a historical quarrel arose over whether the Merchant Taylors' or the Skinners (both founded in 1327) would hold sixth place. After more than a century of dispute, it was determined that the companies would alternate between sixth and seventh place every year, hence the origin of the phrase “at sixes and sevens”. Today, like many livery companies, the Merchant Taylors’ Company is a social and charitable organisation that donates enormous amounts to its supported charities every year. Merchant Taylors’ Hall is in Threadneedle Street, in the heart of the City of London. It has been on the same site since 1347 and harbours a depth of history and anecdotes from the 18th century Chinese wallpaper shipped over and painstakingly restored in the Parlour, to the scars left by the Great Fire of London

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The Courtyard Garden

and the Blitz, as well as the aged and exposed walls of its cellar. The School maintains strong connections with the Company and its Hall, including hosting a London alumni evening for former students in its Kings' Parlour every year. There are three routes to joining the Freedom (Membership) of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, but Servitude, in the form of a seven-year apprenticeship to a master who is a member of the Company, is the most common taken by former students. We are delighted to report that in July this year having completed their ‘Servitude’ apprenticeships and been Freemen of the Merchant Taylors’ Company for several years, Old Wulfrunians and sisters, Rebecca Stewart (nee Griffiths) and Jemma Swift (nee Griffiths) were admitted into its Livery. The School has other continuing affiliations with members of the Company including former Headmaster, Bernard Trafford, who is a member of the Livery, and former Head Girl, Freya Cunningham (OW 2016), who is apprentice to Peter Magill, the Master of the Company in 2017/18.


There are only around 300 members of the Livery at any one time, and from here certain members are invited to join Court. The Court handles the finances and running of the Company, and serving on Court can ultimately lead to becoming Master of the Company. Liverymen are also entitled to vote at Guildhall in the Lord Mayor elections. Jemma and Rebecca are granddaughters of the late Mrs Doreen Griffiths, who was on the board of Governors for thirty years at WGS, part of that time as Chair. They joined the Merchant Taylors' as apprentices to Mr Michael Skinner, of tailors Dege and Skinner on Savile Row. Michael visited the School in his role of Master of the Company thirteen years ago and a chance conversation led to his inviting Rebecca (a senior prefect at the time) and subsequently Jemma, to become his apprentice. After leaving WGS, Jemma obtained a BA Hons Fashion Promotion degree at London College of Fashion before enjoying nearly a decade at Fortnum & Mason as Manager of their Client Services Department. She is still based in

Mayfair and now works for Foster & Son, London’s oldest bespoke shoe maker. Rebecca gained a degree in History from Nottingham University and is a senior associate in the tax team at City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP. Both sisters are committed to supporting the Company’s outreach programmes in encouraging future generations to become apprentices, particularly with regard to maintaining and promoting greater links with the students from their own school WGS; its Schools Bursary scheme; its local youth charities and promoting the work of the Company more widely within their own networks. We are grateful to Jemma and Rebecca for their support in building our Bursary Fund and wish them every success in their new roles as well as the opportunity to forge even greater links with Merchant Taylors' for our students. If you have an interest in learning more about the Merchant Taylors' then contact development@wgs-sch.net


The ever-accelerating pace of the Healthcare Revolution Our alumni events are a great opportunity to network and this year’s London reunion was the perfect opportunity for Professor Trevor Jones (OW 1955) and Dr Ian Gilham (OW 1978) to swap not only anecdotes of their time at WGS, but also to exchange views on their respective careers in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

Pictured: Professor Trevor Jones and Dr Ian Gilham


The string of letters after his name is almost certainly a reflection of the distinguished career of Professor Trevor M Jones, F MedSci. FLSW. FRCP. (Hon) FRSC. FTOPRA. FLSOP. BPharm (Hons). PhD (London). CChem. Hon PhD (Athens) .Hon DSc (Strathclyde). Hon DSc (Nottingham). Hon DSc (Bath). Hon DSc (Bradford). He is visiting professor at King’s College London and the former Head of Research & Development at Wellcome, and there seems to be no stopping him. During his tenure as the main board Director for R&D at The Wellcome Foundation Ltd, the organisation was responsible for the development of a number of significant medicines; he assisted the UK Government to attract inward investment, particularly from the Japanese pharmaceutical companies through the “Prescribe UK” initiative; as well as leading negotiations with the UK Government on the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). His latest role is with growing Life Sciences in Wales and advising the Welsh Government on the future of the NHS as a member of The Bevan Commission. He is also nonexecutive director of the new life science investment fund, Arix Bioscience Plc.

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Here Dr Gilham, whose career in medical technology and devices has taken him all over the world and is now Chairman of Horizon Discovery plc, the world leader in gene-editing, talks to Professor Jones about WGS, the future of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry and why supporting the WGS Bursary Fund is so important.

What recollections do you have of your time at WGS and how do you feel WGS has contributed to shaping your career? Although I was only at WGS for a few (early) years it was one of the most formative times of my education. The Masters varied a lot in their style of teaching, but encouraged by nurturing a sense of inquisitiveness that led to my research career. I also have fond memories of singing in the choir in Big School!

You obviously had an illustrious career in pharmaceuticals and healthcare – how do you see the future of healthcare? How do you see technology evolving and what does this mean for further education and careers opportunities for WGS students today? The provision of healthcare, until very recently, has been through traditional institutions such as GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals. The advent of the digital revolution is transforming these into entirely different systems. Starting with the 24/7 electronic monitoring of our body functions both in terms of ‘wellness’ and in ‘illness’. We are building up a clearer picture of disease states. By measuring the genetic characteristics


of patients and their diseases we are finding new causes of disease which opens up the possibility of finding entirely new medicines, perhaps ‘cures’ rather than ‘treatments’ including modifying the genes that go wrong. Using informatics, we are starting to understand how environmental factors and social living conditions affect them. ‘Smart’ technology will mean that we will have fewer face-to-face consultations with medical experts and more timely day-to-day contact via our iPhones, laptops and desktop computers. Linkages to ‘the internet of things’ in our homes and workplaces will improve the quality of care and wellbeing and increasingly we will see more robotic surgery in our operating theatres. The new generation of students at WGS will have opportunities to play a major part to play in this continuing revolution and not just those studying science subjects.

As a supporter of the WGS Bursary Fund, why do you think it’s so important for the young people of Wolverhampton to have the opportunity to attend the School? Being part of a community such as WGS that develops students not just in terms of academic achievement but in personal skills and interactions with others, provides a sound basis for the next stages in life and in careers. Ensuring that this is not just the prerogative of a privileged few is vital to the future of our society. The WGS Bursary Fund is one of the ways in which we can help to make this opportunity happen.

Finally what advice would you give to WGS students today as they embark on their future further education and careers? Whilst there will be many occasions when you will find it hard, keep looking out for the topics and moments that truly excite you, sometimes take your breath away! Hang on to those items and follow them up. Obtain lots of information and knowledge as many different disciplines’ fly over you’ and grab at those that really interest you. Life is not a rehearsal … you are ‘on stage’..enjoy!


A stage unlike any other The name Johnson is never far from many former and current students' lips, but this time we’re not talking about John Johnson, aka JJ, but his son Tom. Tom had the mammoth task or organising this year’s victorious Ryder Cup in France and here’s what he had to say about the experience. Back in 1926, a St Albans seed merchant by the name of Samuel Ryder was in the crowd for a friendly golf match between Great Britain and the United States played in Surrey. Having recently taken up the sport, he was so enthralled with what he witnessed that he was compelled to donate a small but striking gold cup for a rematch the following year, to take place in Massachusetts, USA. Thus, the Ryder Cup was born. And it’s fair to say that in the 90-odd years since its inception that it has grown beyond all recognition. Now widely regarded as one of the world’s biggest sporting events,


the biennial battle of golfing greats from the US and now Europe (with Great Britain’s continental counterparts being invited to participate following a series of one-sided affairs) attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators onto the course and reaches hundreds of millions of households through TV. I started working for the Ryder Cup around 6 years ago in the marketing team. I had been in the marketing industry for a number of years prior to this role and had a pretty good idea of the nuances of the job…or so I thought! It’s fair to say that my time in golf, and the last couple of years building up to the most recent Ryder Cup in Paris, has been eye-opening. It really is a funny old game, professional sport. One the one hand, there is huge pressure to deliver commercial results in order to fund more of these mega events – for me, that meant selling tickets and merchandise in frankly eye-watering quantities. Then you have the fans – the Ryder Cup is a true ‘bucket list’ event for many a sports fan, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that their whole experience is everything they had hoped for. And at the heart of it are the players.

I never thought that I would have any involvement in how the team performs – my golfing ability is horrendously limited for someone that works on a golf course. But I worked closely with the captain, Thomas Bjorn, for two years on all aspects of the team’s clothing, living space, motivational videos and a host of other elements. A real honour and something that I never expected to be doing as a ‘marketing guy’.

... it's always going to hold a special place in your heart. I will genuinely be forever grateful for my time at WGS.

You see, most marketing roles require a nice bit of branding, make a few adverts, maybe some packaging or a bit of social media here and there. Usually sat at a nice warm desk with free-flowing tea and coffee and bit of gentle office banter to pass the time. But over the last couple of years I have found myself in a number of situations that I simply could not have

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imagined. Fortunately, I was just about able to cope with everything, thanks in no small part to WGS! For instance: ―― Standing at a freezing cold ticket gate at 5am, bellowing instructions through a megaphone in slightly patchy French to a baying crowd of 10,000 people ready to stampede over me to try and get to their seat on the 1st tee. I’m eternally grateful to Mr Raymond-Barker and Mrs Munson for inspiring my love of the French language! ―― Running a retail operation that covered over 5 square kilometres of shopping space, featured 25 of the world’s biggest sports brands and sold almost 300,000 items in just 6 days. Despite my inherent ineptitude for Mathematics, I’m extremely thankful for the perseverance of the Maths department, especially Mr Hills and Dr Bradley, to ensure I could at least vaguely understand what was going on! ―― Overseeing the installation of 300 banners all the way down the Champs-Elysees in Paris under the watchful eye of French government


officials, as well as running the team that produced over 3,500 pieces of artwork to brand the host golf course. Kudos to Mr Perkins and Mrs Ward for giving me something of an artistic eye, if not the talent to actually create these things myself! ―― Introducing a Ryder Cup Celebrity Match played a couple of days before the real match began, featuring possibly the weirdest group of vaguely famous folk you could ever hope to gather. I think it’s safe to say that never again will the greatest ever Olympian, Michael Phelps, team up with one of the Jonas Brothers to take on 50 Shades heartthrob Jamie Dornan alongside One Directioner Niall Horan. Truly bizarre. I feel that my deep bond with Samuel L Jackson simply would not have happened had we not been of similar thespian stock – so thank you Mr Tyler and the English/Drama department! ―― Enduring a 45 minute heated debate with a slightly irate Captain Bjorn about where a 2m tall Lego replica of the Ryder Cup trophy should be

positioned in the European Team room – his attention to detail was really something! So I thank Mr Crust and my old man (JJ) for their insightful musings in my A Level PE classes on the psychology of athletes! I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on something as special as the Ryder Cup, and to have travelled the world for various other golf events on the calendar. And I honestly mean it when I say that WGS was instrumental in my journey to this point. Not just in the experience and skills it gave me, but also in the network of close friends I have retained from my days there. It was amazing to actually have some of those people out in Paris during the Ryder Cup with me, especially my wife who I first met at the school. But I guess when all five of your family commute to work or school in the same car, as was the case for a good couple of years with the Johnsons, it’s always going to hold a special place in your heart. I will genuinely be forever grateful for my time at WGS.


A true starting point and

friendships for life by Katie Guest

Katie Guest had the pleasure of chatting with former student Paul Calvey prior to the summer break. The unusually hot English summer was taking its toll on a typically unprepared, or should that be non-acclimatised Brit, making his description of sunny South African winter blue skies sound very appealing. Paul was part of the WGS class of 1994, joining from a Junior School in the neighbouring village of Perton. At the time he was fortunate enough to be granted an assisted place at the school, under the then Conservative assisted place scheme. He talks fondly of how this was a true stepping stone to the friendships, career and life he now has. WGS was not an easy start, leaving behind friends and initially struggling to


adapt and fit into the new environment. However, over time things changed, making new friends and embedding himself in his favourite subjects of Maths, Geography and Sport. His words of advice for new students feeling daunted by their new surroundings is to “immerse themselves in all that WGS has to offer, and keep their spirits high even if they find things hard to begin with.” He says WGS offered him not only a great education, but also opened the doors to opportunities he doesn’t think would be possible otherwise, particularly getting into university. “It was the true starting point to life and friendships for life. The inspiring set of teachers – Dr Chris O’Brien, Tony Page, Tim Browning, Nigel Crust, Theo King, to name a fewprovided not only a brilliant education but made school fun. I firmly believe without being at WGS the opportunities later in life would never have come about.’ Paul left WGS in 2001 going on to study at the London School of Economics, and after a brief stint in the world of banking,

has been working in Management Consulting for the last 12 years. He now lives in Cape Town, running his firm's operations in South Africa but still regularly visits Wolverhampton, where his parents and family still live. After

Dr Chris O’Brien, Tony Page, Tim Browning, Nigel Crust, Theo King, to name a few - provided not only a brilliant education but made School fun.

many years of travel with work, he looks forward to a more settled life in South Africa for the future. We end our conversation reflecting on the opportunity that the assisted place at WGS provided to Paul. He is now supporting students to have the same opportunity he had through donating to the WGS Bursary Fund.

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A NEW SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP There is a famous Chinese proverb that says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That single step was an email from former student Professor Keith Morrison (OW 1967) who contacted School during 2017 hoping to start a discussion about teaching, learning and modern education in China. The email evolved to a Skype call between Kathy Crewe-Read and staff from St Paul School, Macau and the first flicker of a shared journey emerged. Wolverhampton Grammar School and St Paul School in Macau have almost 6,000 miles between them, but what we lack in proximity, we more than make up for in shared ideas and values.

Pictured: The Macau delegation addressing staff and students in Big School

A delegation of staff from WGS went to Macau in January 2018 and discovered many areas where we might profitably work together. Staff from St Paul, including Father Dr. Alejandro


Salcedo Garcia (the then Head), Philip Lai (Head of Curriculum), Joyce Lam (Head of Discipline), Carmen Yu (School Counsellor) and Manel Machado (Head of IT services) have enjoyed a reciprocal

have been ‘paperless’ for some five years. St Paul want to learn much from us including how we teach creative disciplines such as Art, how everyone in our School has the responsibility for pastoral support and how teachers use different techniques in the classroom to get students to better engage in lessons. Watch out for more news about this emerging partnership.

Pictured: Kathy Crewe-Read’s official welcome to St Paul School, Macau

visit to WGS and students from both schools are getting very excited about the prospects for gap year placements, student and staff exchanges and much more. Like WGS, St Paul have won many awards for their visionary approach to education. The use of digital technology is firmly embedded in their day-today school life, to the extent that they

Pictured: Junior School students at St Paul School working on iPads

Do you work with a UK or International School? Why not contact the Development Team, email development@wgs-sch. net to explore how Wolverhampton Grammar School can work with your school?



REMEMBRANCE Writing about the OWs and former staff who have passed away is never easy and sadly this year has been a particularly difficult one for our School community. Written by their family, fellow classmates and colleagues the following pages are filled with fitting tributes to their memory and connection with WGS. Frank Davis, OW 1938 Sadly passed away 1st December 2014

Edwin Kenneth Lloyd, OW 1935 Sadly passed away 1st December 2017

Frank Shale, OW 1943 Sadly passed away 7th January 2018

Arthur Hugh Nelson, OW 1939 Sadly passed away 18 January 2018 th

Louis Willis, OW 1947

Sadly passed away 14th November 2017 Louis loved his time at WGS and was very proud of his achievements. Family life held him back from going to university and he had to leave at 16 years of age. He went onto become an Engineer at John Thompson’s but was made redundant when the company was taken over and Louis decided to do an Open University degree and achieved a BA Hons in History and English. He then went into teaching and spent the last years of his working career teaching English and History at the Coseley School. He loved gardening his allotment and also cricket which he played for most of his life excelling in cricket at WGS. He is survived by his wife Jean and son Martin who is also an OW. Jean Willis

Bjorn C Hoffmann, Former Staff Member Sadly passed away 30th January 2018 Bjorn came to WGS straight from Loughborough University to join our Design and Technology Department in 1998 as a NQT he stayed with us for three years.

Teejinder Boparai, OW 1996 Sadly passed away 6th February 2018

Edward A Sergeant, OW 1955 and Former Governor Sadly passed away 21st February 2018

David S George, OW 1974 Sadly passed away 10th May 2018

Robert George Henson, OW 1954

Michael H Poulton, OW 1953

Sadly passed away 2 February 2018

Sadly passed away 15th August 2018



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Emeritus Professor John Stringer, OW 1943 Sadly passed away 21st January 2018 John passed away peacefully after a short illness on 21st January 2018, aged 92. Born in 1925 in Tettenhall, John gained a scholarship to Wolverhampton Grammar School. As well as his studies, John attended several scout camps, in expectation of war joined the Auxiliary Fire Service, and was later joined involved in the Air Training Corps rising to the rank of Flight Sergeant. He was to study mathematics in the sixth form. In 1943, John gained a scholarship to St. John’s College Cambridge to read mechanical sciences. John rowed for Lady Margaret Boat Club. He obtained a first class degree in 1945. After Cambridge, John was posted to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at Felixstowe to do experimental work with flying boats. John then worked at the British Iron and Steel Research Association (BISRA), where he first encountered Operational Research (OR) using scientific methods to solve management problems. In 1950 John moved to London Transport where he applied OR techniques to a number of problems including average waiting time for buses, energy consumption of tube trains, and influenced the cabin design of the Route Master bus. After 5 years John moved to the British Electricity Authority (later Central Electricity Generating Board - CEGB) as head of OR. John left CEGB in 1962 to join British Oxygen (BOC) for a short time. John was an early member of the Operation Research Society (ORS) and became a member of its membership


committee. In 1963 the Institute for Operation Research (IOR) was formed as part of the Tavistock Institute, John joined and in 1965 was appointed Deputy Director. Following the death of the Director Neil Jessop in 1969, John became Director. In 1976 John was appointed as a founding professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management, where he worked on energy questions and the management of large-scale engineering problems. John and his wife Norma returned to Ewhurst Green in East Sussex to retire in 1986. For some years John continued consultancy work, and working with the Major Projects Association (MPA) on ‘The Planning and Inquiry Process and Infrastructure Projects’. John was visiting Professor at Kent and Southampton Universities. In 2000 through the Society of Retired Chartered Engineers in SE Kent, John became involved in organising a conference on Renewable Energy, concluding that emissions of carbon dioxide could be reduced to 20% of their current levels by 2050 without recourse to nuclear power. John was a founder member of Battle and District U3A, and became its President. John is survived by sons Julian and Colin by his first wife Josephine. His second wife, Norma, died in 2011 after 39 years of happy marriage.

Reverend Canon Colin (Chad) R C Coussmaker OW 1952 Sadly passed away 27th August 2018

Reverend Canon Chad Coussmaker was one of the longest serving priests of the Diocese in Europe he had a distinguished ministry, serving in Istanbul, Sliema, Antwerp and Moscow where he negotiated the reopening of St Andrew’s Church and vicarage after years of communist rule. In retirement he served as an honorary assistant priest in Nice and Venice and undertook several locum assignments. He is survived by his wife Jean.

Anthony (Tony) Palmer, OW 1954 Sadly passed away early April 2018

Colin D John, OW 1970

Sadly passed away 30th April 2018 th

Colin passed away on his 66 birthday, he joined WGS in 1963 until 1970 where after he went onto study Modern Languages at Leeds University He was the second of four brothers who all attended Wolverhampton Grammar School. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline. David, Philip & Andrew John


ROBERT PURSHOUSE Old Wulfrunian 1961 WGS Director 2005 – 2018 Robert Purshouse, OW 1955 – 1961, was a proud Old Wulfrunian, sportsman, competitor, confidant and friend to many people at WGS and in Wolverhampton.

Born in Wednesfield in 1944, Robert passed the 11+ and joined WGS in 1955 before going on to take Ancient History, Classical Greek and Latin at A Level. He read Law at Manchester University and returned to Wolverhampton in 1964, becoming a partner at solicitors Manby & Stewart before leaving to work for Manders in 1976. Robert oversaw the development of the Mander Center and its subsequent sale, ran the paint division of Manders between 1988 and 1995, becoming President of the British Coatings Federation, and continued as a Director of Flint Ink, who acquired Manders, until his retirement in 2005.


Robert was closely involved with WGS and Wolverhampton throughout his life. After attending university, he became Secretary of the Grand Theatre, captained Old Wulfs Hockey Club and was Hon. Treasurer of the club from 1966 to 1969, Hon. Secretary from 1969 to 1972 and Club Captain, Hon. Secretary and Young Wulfs fixture secretary from 1972 to 1975. In 1985 he was appointed Vice President. Sport – any sport - and hockey, in particular, were his lifelong passion. Hockey took him all over the UK, playing regularly for Old Wulfs and touring sides at Easter and more recently all around the world, winning the world cup with England Over 60’s and Over 65’s and organizing the over 60s world championships in Oxford in 2012. Regularly he was called on to provide the entertainment at the Old Wulfs end of season dinner – his ability to reel off one-liners and make fun of those he

was speaking to was well known – but for some reason he kept getting invited back to give the after-dinner speech. His father, Norman Purshouse, (OW 1932), attended the school, sending Robert and his brother Christopher (OW 1975). Robert also sent his two sons to WGS, Charles (OW 1995) and Nicholas (OW 1998), making them suffer repeated “Test 11+” books and practice interviews. On reflection, although useful, these were no good at preparing a prospective student for the trial by interview with the then headmaster Patrick Hutton. Robert put a great deal of time into the causes that were important to him. WGS was one of those. He was extremely honoured, and proud, in 2005 to be asked to become a governor of the School and had planned to retire from this role - “It’s time for some new blood” he used to say - next year. As the first

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Chair of the Finance Committee, he played a significant part in improving the financial health of the School: from a small loss in 2008, the School has turned a profit every year since in part due to Robert’s fastidiousness in cutting excess cost and putting the future interests of the School first. Since 2008 WGS’ value has increased by approximately £9 million. The idea of a Junior School creating an opportunity for students to come to WGS earlier than aged 11 - was put forward by the previous Head but the cost was prohibitive. Rather than spend a significant outlay in constructing new buildings the School was created at a fraction of the initial cost by repurposing existing infrastructure. Robert led these efforts and negotiations. Today, the Junior School is a big success. Robert continued to look forward and before his death was leading the efforts to establish WGS’ Infant School. Helping to put the school on a strong financial footing meant new money was available to invest in refurbishing classrooms and laboratories, improving education for all students. Thanks to his stewardship the School is debt free today.

Integrity, trust, a willingness to help with no regard for or thought of reward are characteristics WGS seeks to instill into its students. You can’t teach them or grade them, but you know, respect and look up to those who have them. As a lifelong Old Wulfrunian, Robert provided support, humour, counsel and encouragement to those he interacted with, whether personally or professionally: always challenge never criticise. He will be missed for many years to come. He was delighted to have had a role in the appointment of the School’s first female Head and vigilant in making sure he took the time to understand, challenge and support changes which continue to make the School a success. He had a knack for diffusing a heated discussion with a well-timed joke and requiring people to support their arguments with the facts at large. At various times during the year, he would proudly tell me of the plays he had seen, WGS success on the sports field and of course, academic results. He strongly supported the new astro turf in the Valley which can be used by students in years to come to play hockey, a sport he played for almost 50 years. The family is particularly touched that the pitch now bears his name.

Robert passed away in March and is survived by his wife, Helen Purshouse, two sons and three grandchildren. Charles Purshouse

Outside of professional life Robert was Chairman of Cannock Hockey Club for 10 years during the period when they were the most successful club in the country. He managed to hike to Everest base camp at the age of 65 and was committed to supporting his family in any way he could wherever they might be located in the world.



GRAHAM LEWIS Sadly passed away 1 November 2018 st

For over 30 years, Wolverhampton Grammar School benefited from an academic, cultural and sporting contribution of excellence from Graham Lewis. As Head of Mathematics he led the department with drive and purpose and as a teacher he expected from the students no less than he expected from himself, absolute commitment. When he was promoted to Head of Sixth Form he managed with authority, strict but always fair. He worked tirelessly to give the sixth form students every opportunity to succeed in their A level examinations. Many Old Wulfrunians will testify to Graham’s positive influence as a teacher and mentor. Graham’s contribution to the extracurricular programme at WGS was based on his philosophy “you cannot ask a student for commitment if you cannot show that same level of commitment yourself.” He acted as Head of Marston House; was master i/c cricket; was master i/c badminton; managed U12 football; ran numerous ski trips; organised the School Fun Run which saw over 300 runners each year raising thousands of pounds for Compton Hospice.


As a sportsman Graham was outstanding. He was a county standard cricketer, footballer, badminton player and golfer extraordinaire. In the annual staff cricket match Graham was feared the most by the students. He hardly ever failed to score at least 50 runs and his spin bowling saw many a 1st XI batsman walking back to the pavilion shaking their heads. He was a particularly impressive badminton player and coach and in his time here WGS was rated one of the strongest teams in the county, and indeed many of our students went on to play at county level. The ultimate challenge for the boys was to play against Graham at singles badminton and we do not recall anyone beating him. Graham was very competitive in all his sports.

Graham’s organisational skills were reflected in the very successful ski trips that he managed. There will be many Old Wulfrunians out there with fond memories of trips to Pinzolo, CransMontana, Folgaria, Madeisimo and St Johann for example. It was on such occasions that you saw the humorous side of Graham and just what great company he could be. Graham was an inspiration to younger teachers trying to follow in his footsteps. We were so pleased when OW Robert Zepps (Rolands) insisted on sponsoring a Mathematics Prize for a sixth former at WGS in honour of Graham Lewis. Graham was humbled by the generosity of Robert, it reflects the high esteem that Graham is held in and that award will now take on even more significance. Graham is survived by his wife Barbara.

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Colonel David Henry Tildesley, OW 1935 Sadly passed away 20 February 2018 th

David Henry Tildesley was born in Wolverhampton and educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read Law. He rowed for his college and won four oars, as well as doing a week’s trial in the University boat. In 1939 he joined up the day after war against Germany was declared, and hastily married his fiancé whom he had met at Cambridge. He had a distinguished war career in the Royal Regiment of Artillery serving first in North Africa, and subsequently in Italy. As a Captain, he was awarded the Military Cross in September 1943 as F.O.O. (Forward Observation Officer) for B Company, 6 Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment for the first five days of the battle of Salerno bridgehead. He was later awarded Bar to the Military Cross in January 1944, again as F.O.O. to C Company with the 6 Bn. Lincolnshire during the Battle of Suja Valley, and was the only one in the Division to achieve this. He is believed to be the last surviving person with WW2 MC and bar.


Whilst waiting to be de-mobbed in Austria at the lake near Klagenfort rowing club, the serving General formed a rowing eight, including Capt. Tildesley; they entered and won the army rowing championships in Triestre, beating New Zealand in the final, and became the eighth army rowing champions in Triestre. As a keen skier, at the end of the war he was sent to Schmeltz to the newly formed British Army 46th Division ski training school as a result of the perceived threat from Russian ski troops over the mountains, where he became Chief Instructor after the original man broke his ankle. The first two courses were subscribed to fully by volunteers, after which soldiers had to learn to ski. With the twenty Austrian ski instructors they trained 200 soldiers per fortnight. He remained there during 1946, until he was recalled to England.

After being de-mobbed he joined his father to run the family business of W. H. Tildesley Drop Forgings, which was originally formed in 1875, and is still going. He joined the Territorial Army and formed his own 643 L.A.A. regimental band, which won the county band competition. He was a member of the Ski Club of Great Britain for many years conducting dry ski lessons in the Midlands, became a JP was Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Stafford, and Master of the Shropshire Beagles for 20 years. He was a founder member of Dovey Yacht Club on the Welsh Coast, and it’s Commodore for several years. He hung up his ski boots aged 89, gave up competitive sailing when he was 92, but continued to play golf until he was 98. He and his wife, whom he out lived by 21 years, had six children, two of whom he also outlived.




Edward A Sergeant OW 1955 and Former Governor Sadly passed away 21st February 2018

Lauren Dennis, OW 2013

Sadly passed away 15th October 2018

Eddy Sergeant was one of the longest serving pupils of Wolverhampton Grammar School; he entered the old Junior School in 1944 and rose through the School to Upper VI Mathematics before going to Nottingham University to read Engineering.

Lauren (centre) is pictured with Felicity Maidment and Grace Lawrence at a recent London OW reunion.

When Lauren was diagnosed with terminal small bowel cancer in May 2017, a doctor at the Royal Marsden Hospital told her the cancer would kill her. Rather than curl up, Lauren was determined to live her best life with cancer. Cancer did not change her; Lauren remained kind, considerate, hardworking and ambitious for herself and others. It is difficult to express the joy Lauren gained from people and gave to people; she was happiest when she was spending time with her family and friends. Confirmed in the Church of England in 2009, Lauren remained true to her faith and when she realised her time had come she accepted the situation with grace and humility well beyond her 23 years.


When Lauren was appointed Head Girl, she was thrilled and typically humble. She was the perfect role model to our younger students; altruistic, kind, generous, caring and hard working. Lauren carried out her duties with that characteristic, infectious smile. She had a unique talent, whenever you came away from a conversation with her you felt better for it. Her contribution to the school she loved will not be forgotten. Lauren Denis epitomises what WGS stands for. Lauren died peacefully at her Wolverhampton home surrounded by her family and friends on 15th October 2018. Lauren leaves behind her mother Lorraine, father Tim, brother Kieron, sister Nicole, her beloved nephew Isaac, wider family members and a host of friends from around the world.

He thrived at the School taking on board all it had to offer and developing a lifelong enthusiasm for cricket, football, scouting and mountaineering. It could be said that he never left the School as he became a governor and served on the governing body for most of his life, for some years as Vice Chairman. As a governor he saw the School becoming independent again and going through a series of building developments. He was particularly pleased to see the re-establishment of the Junior School. He put his enthusiasms to good use developing youth work in the Methodist church with his wife Margaret. He remained in contact with a very wide circle of youth club members. In 2012 Eddy gave the address at St. Peter’s Church celebrating the first 500 years of the School: he thrived at Wolverhampton Grammar School but he also helped it to thrive. Cyril Randles (OW 1957)

Wulfrunian 2018

REMEMBERING THE FALLEN OF WGS At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month one hundred years ago, the guns gradually fell silent. In the main there was an eerie, almost deafening silence, as troops on both sides of no man’s land came to terms, not only with the cessation of hostilities, but also with their survival of the most horrendous conflict the world had yet seen. In total, according to the accumulated records of the time, three ex-masters and 102 boys were killed during the Great War. The cross-referencing of casualties at that time was infinitely more difficult than today and it is therefore not surprising that errors occurred and more information has since come to light. Our Senior Librarian, Zoe Rowley, and archivist and former student Tony Phillips (OW 1959), have discovered two more OWs killed in the Great War not recorded at the time of the citing of the original memorial in Big School. As part of the School’s WWI centenary tributes, the School has decided to honour these additional fallen, along with three former Masters who for some reason were not included on the original memorial, with a new addendum plaque. This will be sited alongside the original memorial at the rear of Big School. These are:

Lieutenant Harry Sackville Lawson Killed 5th February 1918

Captain Kenneth Salwey Howard Killed 6th October 1918

Captain Tom Baker (Master) Captain Pierce Mandeville (Master) Lieutenant Alexander Veitch (Master)

We will remember them…


REMEMBER AND HOPE The centenary of World War I has been remembered with a number of fitting tributes this year. Our community of staff, students and alumni paid a heavy price during the war and it was only fitting that the whole School have had an opportunity to pay their respects. The History Department delivered a moving assembly in Big School and the Junior School sat in silence as they watched images from the Cenotaph in London as wreathes were laid and lives remembered. Students also came together for a very special Remembrance Concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall on Sunday 11th November. A sell out, the concert combined original pieces by all the schools associated with the Merchant Taylors' Company with extracts from "The Armed Man" by Karl Jenkins and "Requiem" by Mozart. Students performed the Last Post from the upper circle, and during the 2 minutes silence a poppy shower cascaded on to the audience. Well done to the Senior School choir, orchestra and Old Wulfrunians involved - and not forgetting Hana Akram in Year 7 whose poem "Row upon Row" was chosen as a reading

during the concert. Particular thanks to Mrs Cuthbert, Mr Peters, Mr Fowler, Julie Roberts, Carrie Bennett and all the Holroyd Howe and Estates teams who helped us host almost 400 visiting children and teachers from all the schools involved in a special rehearsal day in School the day before the big concert. Look out for a new Remembrance panel to remember three former Masters of WGS and two former students not recorded at the time who served in World War I to add to the names listed at the back of Big School. We hope you will agree, a fitting tribute.




Our doors are always open and we are delighted to see even more Old Wulfrunians coming back to School. These pages show a snapshot of those visits and the news we have received, as always there is so much going on in our alumni community.

19REUNION 66-1968


In honour of our visitor former student Professor Keith Morrison (OW 1967) who accompanied the Macau delegation in March, a mini reunion of the Classes of 1966-1968 was held in School. We were delighted to welcome both former staff and students (plus a few welcome additions from other year groups!) for a wonderful morning’s tour of School.

Upon leaving WGS in 2017, Scott Barnett took up an apprenticeship with PLANit Global in Wolverhampton. PLANit Global are the creators of an innovative all-age online careers exploration platform. In October 2018, after just one year spent with the company, Scott was awarded Young Person or Apprentice of the Year at the Black Country Chamber Awards.


This is a tremendous achievement for Scott and a credit to all his hard work, dedication resilience and willingness to learn and absorb good practice to make a difference.

OPEN DAYS ARE NOT JUST FOR PROSPECTIVE PARENTS ... Former students are always welcome to return to School for a visit, but if you can't make it during the week, why not join us at an open day like former student Rupinder Cheema (OW 1993) did when he dropped in to visit us one Saturday in October at a School Open Day. If you would like to come and visit contact the Development Team at development@wgs-sch.net or phone 01902 421326.

David Darlaston, Director of PLANit Global Limited To see more photographs from the reunion go to: www.wgs.org.uk/alumni


Wulfrunian 2018

NEW ROLE FOR SIR DAVID WRIGHT In October 2018 Old Wulfrunian Sir David Wright (OW 1963), the UK’s former Ambassador to Japan and Korea, was appointed Chair Designate of the UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which will serve to protect the UK’s industries from harmful or unfair trade after we leave the European Union.

This is something I’ve been doing throughout my career, both in government and in the private sector, and protecting British businesses and jobs from harmful or unfair trading practices will be my key priority. I’m delighted to be appointed as Chair Designate of the TRA and I am ready to start building this crucial organisation, alongside a strong team. Sir David Wight

We wish him every success! Pictured right: James Sage, Chair of Directors at WGS and Sir David Wright

PROFESSOR TREVOR JONES ELECTED FELLOW OF THE LEARNED SOCIETY OF WALES Congratulations to Old Wulfrunian Professor Trevor Jones (OW 1960) who this year had the honour of being elected a Fellow of The Learned Society of Wales. Election to Fellowship is a public recognition of academic excellence, and LSW Fellowship is keenly competed. Fellows are elected following a rigorous examination of their achievements in their relevant fields.


YEARS OF MEMORIES It is always a privilege to spend time in the elegant surroundings of Merchant Taylors’ in London in the company of staff and former students of Wolverhampton Grammar School and this year’s London Reunion was no exception.

IT’S NOT JUST COFFEE We were delighted to be joined by former students and partners for the first, of what we hope to be many, OW Coffee Mornings. Over 50 former students and staff came back to School in July to catch up over cake and coffee in the Upper Pavilion looking out over Moreton’s Piece.


For more photographs of all our events over the past year, please visit: www.wgs.org.uk/alumni



AGE IS NO BARRIER Former student Frank Jenkins (OW 1946) was a bit of a news sensation this year due to his success on the tennis court. Frank maybe turning 90 next year but he has no plans to give up playing tennis. A member of Tettenhall Tennis Club (for the past 40 years) and Albert Lawn Tennis Club, Frank was ranked 11th best tennis player in the world for his age group - the-over-85s - when he joined the circuit aged 84. And last year was in the top 20. Frank was due to compete in six tournaments this year, including Italy, Switzerland, Bournemouth, Cheltenham and Eastbourne with the world final in Croatia. A wonderful message for our students ... age is no barrier!

A GRAND TOUR It’s not often our alumni bring their entire family to visit but that’s exactly what Paul Dundas (OW 1992) did in the last week of the Autumn term. Now living in Brisbane, Australia, Paul brought along his wife Lisa, three children and his parents who still live in Willenhall, for a trip down memory lane. Paul said of his visit:


Please remember to stay in touch Email: development@wgs-sch.net Telephone: +44 (0) 1902 421326 Post: Development Office, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Compton Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 9RB

The School still has that WGS-ness about it, despite the new buildings and add-ons. I’m glad that the essence of WGS still remains.


Pictured: Theo King (Games Coach) and Paul

Over the summer, as teachers update schemes of work and rest, the support staff implement necessary updates and prepare for the next academic year. Often refurbishment work uncovers hidden gems and this Summer has been no exception. It’s hard to imagine now, but in the 1930s it was commonplace to smoke and these cigarette packets found under the floor boards of the Chemistry labs we think date back to then.


Former student Ffyona Downes (OW 2014) returned to School at the invitation of her former tutor Mr Jackson-Turnbull. Ffyona, a recent graduate of Oxford Brookes University, spent one year studying stateside on a scholarship programme at a South Carolina School in Charleston prior to starting her degree. Ffyona was due to spend the summer working as a house parent on an international boarding programme at the Dragons’ School Oxford before embarking on a position as Graduate Boarding Assistant at Badminton School, Bristol, in September.

Wulfrunian 2018

SHARED MEMORIES OF BEN GEORGE (OW 1945) Pictured are Mrs Pamela George (widow of Ben George, OW 1945) and her son Simon George (OW 1980). Mrs George returned recently to present us with her husband’s WGS square scarf, now proudly displayed in our Archive Room, and shared with us many memories of his time here.


A VERY PERSONAL TOUR Our March Macau visitors were treated to a very special guided tour of Wightwick Manor during their stay in Wolverhampton by our very own former student Peter Scott (OW 1967). Peter has been volunteering at the National Trust property for quite some years and we can heartily recommend a tour of the grounds, house and their new gallery ...the tea room is rather nice too!


ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP We’re always willing to help our OWs where we can and we were delighted to be able to support former student Daisy Brazenell (OW 2016) who returned to School to photograph buildings that she has an emotional connection with in support of a project for her Graphic and Communication Design degree course at the University of Leeds. Daisy is pictured with Harry Brueton (OW 2016) who is currently studying Sport Business at Liverpool John Moores.


May saw Sanjay Bhandari (OW 1986) and EY Partner make EMpower Top 5 Ethnic Minority Executives list, published in the FT. This award recognises Sanjay’s work on driving inclusion in the workplace.

Anthony Price (OW 1980) dropped into School to purchase an OW tie and pick up a copy of the latest Wulfrunian. Always able to find time for a walk down memory lane into Big School, if you want to return for a tour then please contact the Development Office email development@wgs-sch.net or telephone 01902 421326


Authentic role models are incredibly important to show what is possible. We need to see ourselves in our leaders and be inspired to think, I could do that.

Group Captain Andrew Cooksley (OW 1988) read Physics at Imperial College London before joining the Royal Air Force as an Engineering Officer, a career he is still pursuing today. Andy was joined during his visit to School by former and current teachers and returned to the classroom where a careers talk was to change his life.


THE DRUTTER TROPHY RETURNS TO CASTLECROFT For over thirty years the Old Wulfrunians, Old Merchant Taylors’ and Old Crosbeians have battled it out on the fairways and this year the OWs were victors returning The Drutter Trophy to pride of place behind the bar at the Old Wulfrunians Sports Club, Castlecroft If any Old Wulfrunians are interested in joining the Old Wulfrunians Golf Society, please contact Mike Hughes on 07971 590304 or email mikeh@sandmaster.com The team, pictured left to right, were Nick Phillips (OW 1988), Stewart Ross (OW 1966), David Hughes (OW 1973), Mike Hughes (OW 1963), Mick Howard (OW 1962), Tim Browning (former staff) and Richard Wherton (OW 1973).

GLOBAL STORE DESIGNER Barry Chan left WGS in 2000 with A Levels in Art, History, and Maths, he said ‘You could say I wasn't exactly committed to any particular field when I made my choices. I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to do at university (or even if university was the right path for me) and, in the end, I chose to study Product Design, almost by default; it was one of the few courses I found which demanded skills and interests in a wide range of subjects.”

‘JACQUI TOOK A BULLET FOR US’: THE WOMEN WITH KEY WORLD CUP REPORTING ROLES There were more women than ever before broadcasting to British homes from Russia at this year’s World Cup, largely thanks to former student Jacqui Oatley (OW 1992).


After graduating, his first job was designing furniture for bars and nightclubs. He then became involved in designing the actual interior spaces themselves and eventually transitioned into interiors for retail, which is where he finds himself today as Global Store Design Manager for Jack Wills. Looking back he said “The biggest thing I gained from my years at WGS was the confidence to learn. It sounds so simple but, in the modern workplace, you find that very few people actually have this characteristic. Leaving school knowing that learning something new is never unachievable takes away fear and gives you the confidence to try, to do, and possibly achieve, great things.”

She is just one of many female presenters, pundits and commentators who ensured that more women’s voices were heard in the UK from this year’s World Cup than ever before. On the broadcasting team were Jacqui, the reporter Seema Jaswal, Gabby Logan, Vicki Sparks, Kelly Smith and the England striker-turned-pundit Eniola Aluko. Jacqui is a familiar face at School and in Wolverhampton, as well as a life-long Wolves supporter.

Wulfrunian 2018

WALES PICK FORMER STUDENT FOR OVER60S HOCKEY WORLD CUP SQUAD Former President of the Old Wulfrunians Association (2015-2016) and OW (1959) Glyn Thomas was in his words “chuffed” to be chosen to represent Wales at the international World Grand Masters Hockey World Cup in Spain.

FROM JAPAN TO ABU DHABI We’re glad that the adverse weather in March didn’t stop play for a visit by James Nepaulsingh (OW 1968) who treated our Upper Sixth to a thought provoking talk. Upon leaving WGS James took a gap year in Northern India before heading back to study English at Keble College, Oxford. James is now a corporate lawyer based in Abu Dhabi, having previously worked in London and Tokyo.

Pictured: James and Mr Benfield (Head of English & Assessment.)


WOLVERHAMPTON TO OXFORD TO PARIS TO BORDEAUX Former student Ian Ogden (OW 1976) joined us for a tour of School in May. Having not returned to School since he left, Ian took the opportunity to chat with Head of MFL, Liz Harris, and

The 77 year old goal keeper, whose parents were Welsh, is hoping his performance will be enough to ensure he will be called up again for the team for players aged 60 and over.

Pictured: Mr Hills, previous teacher of Maths, and Johnny.

We were delighted to welcome back former student Johnny Shah (OW 1997) whose career following university started out in retail, but changed course after a fundraising half marathon in aid of The Beacon Centre for the Blind in Wolverhampton. Johnny is now Head of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Charity. The memories came flooding back during his tour of School.


Head of Chemistry, Andy Carey, as well as a visit to the Archive and a 2018 lunchtime Derry experience. Ian, a Chemistry graduate, has been living in France for the past 26 years and has fond memories of his time here at Wolverhampton Grammar School.


Rhi Clancy Head of Careers

OPENING DOORS TO HIGHER EDUCATION AND CAREERS We continue to open our doors to as many career providers as possible to prepare our students for that next step. Each February we open our doors to over 50 universities and employers at the annual Higher Education and Careers Forum. A range of sectors are represented from the arts and creative industries; banking and finance to law; engineering; veterinary science and medicine; the public and charitable sectors, and many more. Students from all senior years also have the opportunity to talk to Admissions teams from a range of universities as well as specialists in Apprenticeship and Sponsored Degree programmes and access to careers talks on everything from medicine, law, graduate apprenticeships, financial services, dentistry and optometry to careers in the arts. These talks are not only supported by organisations but also our alumni community. If you would like to get involved in this event please contact Mrs Clancy, Head of Careers, email rec@wgs-sch.net


HIGHER EDUCATION AND CAREERS FORUM 2019: Monday 4th February 2019

WGS ALUMNI SPEAKERS CORNER Would you like to give something back to WGS and inspire our next generation of students? We’re asking for your support to encourage and inspire current students as they are about to embark on their second year of GCSE and A Level studies. We would invite you to share your stories of career successes and challenges that will inspire them to think carefully about their next career steps. We are looking for 16 alumni professionals from all industry sectors who are willing to come back to School to deliver a 50 minute interactive session.

The event will take place on the morning of

Tuesday 9th July 2019 and will conclude with a networking lunch and tour of School.

We are especially keen to hear from individuals with an Engineering, Accountancy, Law and IT background, for example. For more information or to register your interest in supporting our students, contact development@wgs-sch.net Keep up-to-date with all upcoming alumni news and events by becoming a fan of our Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter groups.

Wulfrunian 2018

Careers in focus Dan Mackernan left WGS in 1994 and following a gap joined Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries where he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor. After two years he moved to Scottish & Newcastle and with it, a move to London. After five years, he switched from being an ‘in-house’ surveyor to join a niche practice specialising in the valuation of leisure properties – mainly pubs. Dan joined Savills four years ago to bolster their London leisure team and this is where we caught up with him.

What is the best piece of careers advice you have been given? Don't be afraid to ask for help; I still do and it's not a sign of weakness.

What qualities do you really value in your colleagues? Honesty and showing they have put the effort in, even if what they have done may be wrong, they've tried and hopefully learnt along the way.

When meeting/working with someone for the first time what do you immediately notice? Their energy and enthusiasm. There has to be an ability to chat to people, which is important being a surveyor in my industry. Appearance is also important, but I wouldn't think someone suited is better than someone casually dressed. In my role, being smartly dressed is often more appropriate work wear.


What future ambitions do you have in your career? I'm recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as an expert in my field of work and sit on the panel as an Independent Expert; I would like to qualify as an arbitrator to further and diversify my career.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work? Balancing the variety of work; I usually have a handful of valuations on at any one time which have time constraints of a couple of weeks to complete as well as rent reviews (I have about 30 ongoing) and third party work as an Independent Expert. On top of that, there is business generation, and I help to mentor our graduates, so one day they will qualify. Plus I am constantly learning all the time. However, I have great time-keeping and planning skills which keeps me on top of things. These are skills transferable and help me run organisations outside of work including the Church Council and Scouts. Now I am older, clients appreciate that, like them, family life is important, but it’s still a challenge to balance both, but I have a great flexible work place.

What do you think work experience says about a potential candidate? It shows their enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in. It doesn't necessarily have to be your chosen career path, but it’s good to show that you've got out there and experienced working life. It shouldn't just be used as a tick box on your CV though. At Savills, we grade all work experience students afterwards to provide feedback to the recruitment team.

Best memory from School? There are quite a few. Amazing school trips such as the classics trip to Italy by coach with Mr Hartree, to playing Fives against some of the best schools in the country, to our school's 475th anniversary trip to Merchant Taylors' in London by train, then the Duchess of Kent's visit, and Aida Coral Society and Scouts!

Most inspiring teacher? Mr Duffield - Biology and scouts!

It can’t be all work no play – what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I'm married with two children who have just turned 8 and 10. We spend a lot of time outdoors - I help to run 1st Twickenham (All Hallows) Scout troop and am actively involved with the church where I was Church Warden for three years. Luckily the family like outdoor life like me - I particularly enjoy climbing and shooting. I'm a shooting instructor and working towards my climbing instructor qualification. My children and I recently scaled the north ridge of Tryfan in Wales over half-term. Dan is a regular attendee at alumni events and will be returning to School early next year to give a talk at our Higher Education and Careers Forum in February 2019.

If you would like to get involved in careers education at WGS then please contact development@wgs-sch.net


WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL YOU MAKE? As a multicultural school in the heart of Wolverhampton we are also one of the oldest schools in the country. Founded in 1512 to provide a “good, moral education” for the children of Wolverhampton, we have always served the people and economy of the city and continue to do so. We make a huge impact, but we want to be able to do more. Can you help?

Great Schools like Wolverhampton Grammar School shape, and are shaped by, their local community.


You will have read throughout the pages of this magazine from members of our alumni community, Professor Trevor Jones and Dr Ian Gilham (page 20), Paul Calvey (page 24), Becky Griffiths and Gemma Swift (page 18), who are lending their support to our campaign for bursaries. Bursaries to fund the education of bright and gifted child from Wolverhampton, to experience like they have the opportunity of a Wolverhampton Grammar School education. Following the School’s successful implementation of its fundraising strategy in 2017, 2018 has seen the first of our fundraising conversation dinners hosted by Lord Mervyn King in London in April. Of the OWs in attendance 87% have pledged to support school and we have also in the last 12 months secured additional funding to support additional bursaries. An enormous thank you to these supporters, you really have made a difference!

Wulfrunian 2018

If you would like to visit School, read our Wolverhampton Grammar School Impact Report or the ways in which you can help our students then please contact development@wgs-sch.net





50 donors giving just £23 per month (inc. Gift Aid) over 7 years, would support one complete bursary from Year 7 to 13.


£££ £££ £100,000 100 £££ WE RECIEVE OVER




OWs IN THE USA Our mission is simple:

To deliver education that transforms lives as well as minds. Making International Fundraising and Philanthropy Possible The mission statement of our American fundraising group, OWs in the USA, hasn’t changed but the way you can donate has. OWs in the USA are delighted to announce their partnership with Chapel & York Limited. The Chapel & York Family of Foundations was established to provide an effective vehicle for donors and which is set up as an exempt charitable organisation under Section (501)(3) of American charity law. For more information go to www.wgs.org.uk/ows-in-the-usa

CHEMISTRY LABS All three Chemistry laboratories have undergone a complete transformation this summer. If you haven’t seen them yet, make sure you ask a member of the Chemistry Department to give you a guided tour. The old laboratories have completely gone - but rest assured, the School has restored the original windows, doors and brick walls. A few surprises were found along the way too including "discarded" cigarette boxes from the 1930's found under the original floor boards by carpenters who have long since gone. The new labs include all new fixtures and fittings, along with new chemical fume cupboards and digital projectors.

This new giving platform deals with all the regulatory and donation processing on our behalf allowing you to donate simply, safety and securely by the click of a button. To donate in the USA go to www.chapel-yorkfoundation.org/donatewolverhampton-grammar-school

The ground floor Chemistry laboratory was completely refurbished thanks to the generosity of Dr Robin Cooper (OW 1956). Dr Cooper is based in the US and returned to School in December to visit the laboratory, now named in his honour.

If you would like more information about giving in the USA then please contact development@wgs-sch.net


Wulfrunian 2018

Old Wulfrunians Association Annual Dinner 2019 Saturday 2nd March 2019 £34 per head 6.30pm Drinks Reception 7.30pm Dinner All bookings to development@wgs-sch.net marked OWA Dinner 2019. Please see the enclosed correspondence form the Old Wulfrunians Association and Booking Form.

STILL THE BEST MEDICINE It was with great regret and sadness that the Old Wulfrunians Association (OWA) annual dinner in 2018 was cancelled due to the treacherous weather conditions. As you all know the decision was left until the last possible moment and was not taken lightly, and in view of the responses we received it was without doubt a decision that was supported by everyone. We are, though, delighted to announce that Doctor Stephen Billing (OW 1984), former student and Cardiothoracic Surgeon who was set to be our Guest of Honour in 2018, has agreed to honour that commitment and will speak at the forthcoming dinner in March. You may have read about Stephen in last year’s Wulfrunian magazine, but for those who didn’t Stephen was quoted as saying “Being Guest of Honour at the OWA Annual Dinner feels like preparing for a Best Man’s speech at your best friend’s wedding”. That best friend is Dr Andy Husselbee (OW 1979), fellow Doctor and also President of the OWA, who will host Stephen along with around 150 other guests in Big School in March.




THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL Technology is here to stay. As educators, it is part of our responsibility as a School to ensure our children are as prepared as they can be for the digital world ahead of them. September 2017 saw the rollout of iPads for all Year 7 children and electronic workbooks and textbooks. Homework for all years is available to view on the Student and Parent Portal. As well full IT and teacher support, our Digital Leaders, a team of trained student volunteers at the forefront of the School’s technology strategy, are now on hand to support other students in making the most of their new devices.

THE FUTURE OF GOOD DESIGN Year 12 students studying Design and Technology and considering a career in STEM again had the opportunity to partner with the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) to be paired with local companies to gain practical experience in real life engineering and technology problems and projects.

Ansaldo Nuclear Engineering and HS Marston (specialising in aerospace engineering) provided two teams of students with a unique opportunity to gain team leadership, risk assessment, report writing and presentation skills.


Senior School students have an opportunity to go skiing every year and this year’s Spring trip to Wagrain was yet again a success. All our students were superb ambassadors for the School and earned their place in WGS Ski Trip history.


Wulfrunian 2018

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER Much like the Olympics or the World Cup …opportunities to take a wholeschool photo only come around every few years. You can then imagine the excitement as 730 students and School Staff all came together in the Autumn term to line up and represent the “School of 2017” in a traditional wholeschool photo shoot.

WHAT DIFFERENCE CAN WE MAKE? The Senior School Fundraising Committee raises thousands of pounds every year for good causes and this year Manni Kaur takes on the mantle of this charity support role. Manni, a teaching assistant here at WGS, has been running her own charity since 2010 and volunteering for over 15 years. She believes, as we do in the Development Office, that charity is not just about financial support but about time too. If you would like to hear more about the students’ chosen projects, get involved and/or contribute products please email development@wgs-sch.net


Organised like a military operation all the staff and students were assembled quickly and effortlessly (if a little hair raising for the students who were positioned at the top of the stand). Digital technology though has banished the tales of students running from one end of the line to the other only to appear twice.

PASS THE BATON TO A RECORD BREAKING 2018 SQUAD The 2017 Coast 2 Coast team officially handed over the challenge of the continuous relay of 187 miles – all in aid of the Promise Dreams charity - to this year’s squad of Year 10 students. Escorted by a School support bus and team of staff the squad completed this year’s challenge in 24 hours – a record for the School.

WINNERS AT THE TES INDEPENDENT SCHOOL AWARDS 2018 It’s been a year of national accolades for Wolverhampton Grammar School wining ‘Senior leadership team of the year’ at the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards 2018 in February and being judged “Excellent” in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate last year. In May we were again shortlisted for Employer of the Year and Deputy Head, Nic Anderson for Maths Teacher of the Year award by the Times Educational Supplement School’s Awards.


Farewell to the Class of 2018 Students celebrated another year of fantastic A Level results in 2018. Congratulations to the Class of 2018. You are leaving us for an outstanding range of universities including Oxford, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle with a diverse range of undergraduate degrees ahead of you.





Ruby Bahia - Optometry Jaskaran Chodda - Chemical Engineering Jess Hughes - Business and Mathematics, currently reviewing options Kiran Sidhu - Biomedical Science


Jenna Bailey - Architecture


Akash Bedi - Physics Max Diment - Politics and International Relations Preeya Kaur - Policy and Politics Karishma Mehan - Policy and Politics

Birmingham City

Sophie Burnell - Nursing Sophie Hickman - Product and Furniture Design Aranpal Sandher - Computer Science


Rajan Cheema - Law

Bristol, West of England

Arjun Uppal - Property Development


James Turner - International Business


Phoebe Ludlam - Geography

Colorado State University (USA)

Eddie Cooper - Expected to Major in Exercise Science


Jason Battersby - Theatre and Performance, currently reviewing options Scarlett Rushton - Law and Practice


Rhianne Mahey - Pharmacy


Christine Mineva - Economics

Aimee Evans - Primary Education

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Accurate as at the end of October 2018.




Annabel Rockett - Classical Studies Ellie Spilsbury - reapplied to Environmental Sciences 2019 entry

Harper Adams

George Cambidge - Agriculture Jemima Cooke - Rural Enterprise and Land Mitchell Porter-Keel - Automotive Engineering


Abbie Caddick - Management Rajbir Chahal - Accounting with Foundation Year Manveer Lally - Pharmacy


Philppa Cawdell - Politics Byron Esson - Mathematics Naziya Lokat - Psychology


Simran Boparai - Law Ellie Froggatt - Law


Luke Harper - Management Studies Kim Batth - Business Economics


James Birch - Geography Evie Bramley - Medicine Luke Hingley-Smith - Politics Josh Joyner - Music and Technology Jordan McCarthy - History


Zak Beebee - Mechanical Engineering Matthew Bill - Automotive Engineering Michael Hopson - Automotive Engineering


Saroop Sangha - Politics and International Relations

Manchester Metropolitan

Annabelle Hollinshead - Fashion Business Dylan Momi - Business Management with Foundation Year


Amicia Crewe-Read - Dentistry Caitlin Harper - Planning Joe Marks - Mathematics


Alice Holden - Business Management


Anna Herritty - Product Design

Nottingham Trent

Tom Pleydell - Product Design Michael Stewart - Biomedical Science

Oxford Brookes

Alex Hickman - Marketing Management


Katie Naylor - Biomedical Sciences Leah Bannister-Payne - reapplied to Maths and Computer Science 2019 entry


Maddie Hopkin - Geography and Planning Nikhil Patel - English Literature

St George's

Robbie Smith - Medicine


Advait Kumar - Computer Science


Imogen Wade - Linguistics


Tom Steel - Physiotherapy


Grace Williams - Primary Teaching


ad on to re Oxford as gone h r ersity of lo iv y n a U e th t Katie N a e nc ical Scie Biomed

Grace William s has g Primary one on Teachin to stud g at the y Univers ity of W orceste r

d y, picture d Tamim a T m m IC a f h o Mu (Head Reddish as h ), e c with Mr n ie puter Sc ith ceship w and Com Apprenti n a d re secu James Birch ha vy s gone to the hant Na the Merc

University of Liv erpool to study Geography.

Also this year, congratulations go to... Harry Hales

Margot Laceby

Vinay Doal

Mollie Bate

Jeevan Johal

Muhammad Tamimy

Emily Bradley

Jasbir Lalarea

Sam Bowles

Megan Hill

Oisin Maguire Singh

Connor Beasley

Emily Hunt

Harvey Mole

Jack Gregory

Lisa Obi

Gurkpal Purewal

who have all secured employment, an Apprenticeship, gone on to undertake a gap year or continue with their education.


CONGRATULATING SENIOR SCHOOL PRIZE WINNERS Former student Dr Nicholas Evans returned to School at the end of the Summer Term to congratulate prize winners at our annual Senior Prizegiving celebrations. A packed St Peter’s church welcomed back Nicholas who left School in 1995 and went on to study Biology at the University of Nottingham before embarking on a PhD in Biophysics at King’s College London and then a postdoctoral position at Stanford University. Currently an Associate Professor in Bioengineering at the University of Southampton, his work involves stem cell research, nanotechnology and how

materials can be used to promote the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues. Nicholas leads a research team working on several aspects of regenerative medicine relating to bone and skin, and collaborates with a number of other researchers in the UK and across Europe. Biomedical engineering applies the science of engineering to the art of medicine for improving health and function of the overall population – its impact is huge and as a leading academic in his field, Nicholas works in collaborating with the Smallpeice Trust to share passionately his enthusiasm and

knowledge of biomedical engineering with children across the UK. He also speaks publically in the media about regenerative medicine and produces a podcast ‘The Science Shed’ with the aim of demystifying science for the public. Nicholas’ promotes research around nanomedicine and mechanobiology on his website, www.evanslab.co.uk. Nicholas had an extremely happy seven years at Wolverhampton Grammar School and has enjoyed holidays and travelling with fellow Old Wulfrunians to Australia, Thailand, Nepal and India. He is a proud Old Wulfrunian and regularly attends School reunions and events.

A PASSAGE TO INDIA Thirty, Sixth Form students had the trip of a lifetime this summer as they embarked on a 10 day tour of India for this year's international expedition. The annual international expedition provides a life-changing opportunity for older students (and staff) and this year's trip was supported by Mrs Rudge (Bursar), Mr Mason, Mr Millichamp, Mrs Grant and Miss Hill. Students not only get the opportunity to visit an incredible country and meet local people, but also do voluntary work while they are there to support local charities.


"Seeing the sunrise at the Taj Mahal, was one of those magical moments that I will never forget, along with a tour of Old Delhi by a former street child. It had

a profound effect on all of us that such poverty and cruelty still does exists in our modern day world and brought it

very much home to me that we should be doing more about addressing these problems" wrote Bursar, Mrs Rudge in her message to staff at the start of term.

Plans are already underway for the 2019 expedition and Sri Lanka is the destination.

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TOWERS TRIUMPH As always, the weather conditions ensured our Big 6 Junior School students (and staff) had the opportunity to enjoy the wilds of Snowdonia at its best in the Spring on their residential trip to Towers.



Thanks to all the staff involved in making the Junior School performance of Dick Whittington so memorable and well done to all our students. WOLVERHAMPTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL PRESENTS


Former Wolverhampton Grammar School student Jonathan Crawford (OW 2014) returned at the end of term to congratulate our Junior School Speech Day winners. Jonathan delivered an inspirational talk to Junior School students and parents in the beautiful setting of Big School. He has completed a first class Honours Degree in Automotive Design at Coventry University and recently launched his own clothing range – VOYCE Clothing. Jonathan is a regular visitor to Wolverhampton, having left in 2014, and became our first official “fundraising Ambassador” to assist us in raising awareness of the resources needed to help us continue to offer bursary and financial assistance to families most in need.



Wolverhampton Grammar School’s economic, social and cultural impact goes far beyond the classroom. We have a big influence on the success of our home city, Wolverhampton; but our imprint is also worldwide with alumni and students’ work in over 30 countries. This is just a snapshot from this year… did you know?

LOCAL • Our “Books Change Lives” workshops provide children from local state schools who are reluctant to read the opportunity and confidence to regain a love of reading and boost local literacy levels.




70% 52



• We are continually investing in our historical estate, preserving the history and heritage of Wolverhampton. This not only benefits our students, but the local community too. • Sixth Form students undertake Community Action Work throughout the City, volunteering for a large range of organisations, small businesses and charities. • Our students undertake Work Experience in companies and public sector organisations across the region. • We have introduced over 2500 children and adults from across the West Midlands to publishers and award winning authors, poets, journalists and writers.

• The Old Wulfrunians Association weekly sporting (hockey, cricket and football) and social activities take place at the Club House and Memorial Grounds in Castlecroft. The Castlecroft Club House is an open club for the local community. • Our annual Festival of Sport attracts Junior Schools from across the region participating in a whole range of beginner sports. Annual rugby and cross-country festivals provide more experienced young sportsmen and women with a more challenging opportunity. WE ALSO SUPPORT SUPPLY CHAINS THROUGH THE REGION AND THE UK.




• A thriving community choir made up of students, parents and members of the local community provides voice coaching and the opportunity to perform challenging choral pieces.

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• Our Junior School coaches the next generation of young leaders in partnership with the Severndale Specialist Academy in Shrewsbury. • Music workshops for local state schools and local groups such as the Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra and Wombourne Community Choir use our facilities and instruments. • Subsidised lettings for local community and sports clubs provides local people with access to excellent, safe sporting and community facilities.

• Schools from all over the country come to our school to compete in a whole range of sports and activities, from Fives to Football, Hockey to Netball and Cricket to Chess. • The Head and Bursar undertake school inspections on behalf of the Independent Schools Inspectorate ensuring schools across England adhere to and comply with Government legislation and the standards expected of excellent independent schools.

• Students perform at local residential and nursing homes.


• We work with local charities and interfaith groups to ensure out students have the opportunity to learn from local spiritual leaders.

Not only prepares students to complete the 187 miles non-stop continuous relay from St Bee’s Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, it also flies the flag for Wolverhampton and raises thousands of pounds for charity.

• We host and deliver networking and training events for state school librarians and literacy co-ordinators.

NATIONAL • NQT and trainee teachers complete their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with us providing the next generation of teachers and educationalists for the nation.





• Staff and students represent the sector at conferences and events all year, from the Engineering in Education annual launch in Birmingham to the IDPE annual conference in Nottingham. We represent the sector on behalf of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association, Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (the professional association of Heads of the world’s leading independent schools) as well as a range of associations representing individual academic disciplines.

INTERNATIONAL OUR STUDENTS RAISE THOUSANDS OF POUNDS EVERY YEAR TO SUPPORT LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CHARITIES AND RELIEF FUNDS. • Students take part in ecological work during annual international expeditions. Examples include construction projects in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands; wildlife research and conservation in South Africa, teaching support in Uganda and community support in India. • Year 11 language students also undertake work for small businesses in France during their Work Experience. • Staff organise international trips every year, supporting local economies worldwide. This year’s trips included Austria, France, Germany, Spain and India. • An alumni community of thousands. Old Wulfrunians live and work in over




Giving back to industry including the Civil Service, Journalism, Business and Financial Services, Infrastructure, Academia, Healthcare, Public and Charitable sectors.



This year the Viner Gallery & Art Department doors opened non-stop with an incredibly busy calendar of events. Displays of student work, visiting artists and collaborative projects provided a plethora of talent and inspiration for all our art loving visitors.



The collaboration of our Lower Sixth students with the School of Art, University of Wolverhampton, resulted in large-scale drawings somewhat reminiscent of Guernica, which wowed audiences with their intensity.

In February Ellie Denton, Lower Sixth student, was awarded Young Artist of the Year 2018 at the Rise Art Awards. Ellie was presented with her award at an event in London in the company of David Bailey (on the judging panel) as well as up and coming international artists also showcasing their work alongside hers.

VISIONS The first of our public summer exhibitions was 'Visions', an exhibition of work produced by our Lower Sixth at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. It is only the second time we have exhibited at the City gallery and the show had a very professional feel.

47th ANNUAL SUMMER EXHIBITION The annual exhibition was yet again a marvellous celebration of the incredible artwork produced by our exam candidates at GCSE, AS and A Level. The show marked the end of James Millichamp’s time as Head of Art, after 16 years of dedicated service to the School. His perpetual energy and enthusiasm with be sorely missed in the department.


‘A DECADE ON’ 10th ANNIVERSARY ART AUCTION Last year we reported on the fundraising auction made possible by the generous donation by John Viner, of a collection of his father Charles’ paintings. As well as donations by our visiting artists, we are delighted to report that the event brought in over £10,000 towards our bursary fund. An enormous thank you to everyone involved.

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art alumni in focus Sam Wootton (OW 2017) @samwoottonart Reading English Literature at King’s College London. My favourite memory of Art at WGS has to be the late night grind before submission day. I think the sense of community even within the Art Block itself really does help cultivate experimentation and fresh ideas, everyone is massively supportive. My most recent achievement was a display of my work in a central London gallery at Tanner Street. The event brought me a lot of publicity and went some way in securing me an internship at a small gallery called the Delphian, based in East London. I am currently working a hefty portrait commission by GoldLink, a Hip Hop artist and a project with @helene.salaam. prosperitee for her upcoming book and exhibition: HIM + HIS, which focuses on the important issue of men’s mental health.

Holly Pleydell (OW 2016) @artofbeingholly Arts Co-ordinator for the Boundary Way Project, a home study degree in Interior Design and blogger ‘The Art of Being Holly’. It is great to be able to work and gain experience whilst also studying and I couldn’t be happier with how things are working out so far. I have always been a really creative person and I think WGS gave me the opportunity to embrace that part of myself, so much so that now I just can’t stop creating! I still meet up with my creative WGS friends and actually interviewed James Williams (OW 2017) for my blog. My favourite memory of Art at WGS and the place I miss most is painting in the studios, a fantastic space with such a relaxed atmosphere and whenever I visit it still feels incredibly special. My future plans involve achieving a first in my degree, continuing in my role as Arts Coordinator and growing my blog.

James Williams (OW 2017) @james.williams.art Studying Popular Music at Goldsmiths UOL When I left WGS I knew that I would take with me the passion for the arts that the school helped me develop. The past year has seen me work as a live jazz bar musician, take part in a large ensemble production at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, an exhibiting artist at a gallery in London and selling my work online www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamesWilliamsArt I have always wanted to work in the arts sector. My teachers were so encouraging and supportive they inspired me to grow as an artist and pursue my dreams with confidence! My fondest memories had to be the infamous art trips to New York, Florence and Washington DC and seeing my work displayed in the annual exhibition. Nothing prepares you for seeing people enjoy your painting! I hope one day become a fully-fledged singer/songwriter in the music industry. However, wherever I go next, the creative flair I found at WGS will never leave me!



Drama The Drama Department never fails to deliver on excellence and this year has been no exception. Audiences of the sell-out senior school ‘A Servant to Two Masters’ and lower school ‘Lord of the Flies’ were treated to extraordinary performances by both casts and crews. The Hutton Theatre transformed into a Northern Soul bar of the swinging sixties for ‘A Servant to Two Masters’ with audience viewing from first class seats in a bistro bar. Countless comedy highlights were provided by Noah Key as Tuffaldino who opened the show with a taste of the cheeky servant to come, Master Mollie Bate in her seamless transformation into the guise of a man and Master Jason Battersby as her original long lost love provided an effortless performance. Music was expertly provided by Janey Harold and team of brilliant musicians and artists. Directors: Mr Ian Tyler and Mr Jon Wood

Pictured: Harvey Brown

Pictured: Cast and crew of ‘A Servant to Two Masters’


Pictured: Mollie Bate and Jason Battersby

Pictured: Noah Key

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of the The ‘Lord of the Flies’ cast worked incredibly hard to deliver an extraordinary and thought-provoking performance of the 1954 novel by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. A dark tale of a group of children stranded on an uninhabited island and the realisation that with no adults around they would have to fend for - and ultimately govern – themselves. Directors: Mr Mark Benfield and Mr Mark Payne

Pictured: Will Beards




2018 has been a busy year for the Music Department. The Christmas concert was postponed due to poor weather and ended up being an intimate afternoon event for our Junior pupils. In March we had our very successful Spring Gala concert with fantastic solos from all. We are extremely grateful to Simon Bass, composer, for running a music workshop for our Senior Musicians in the Summer term and the Jazz Spectacular was, as well as being a swelteringly hot day, a fantastic end to the year. Melanie Cuthbert

Acting Director of Music

Former student and Trustee David Hughes (OW 1973) and former Headmaster Bernard Trafford (19902008) both reached the final of the BBCs Christmas Carol competition last December. David became a corporate lawyer in London after leaving WGS and is now a consultant with FBC Manby Bowdler. Former Headmaster, Bernard Trafford, after leaving WGS became Head of Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School from 2008-2017.

FORMER STUDENT JOINS MUSIC DEPARTMENT We are delighted to welcome former student Oliver Clarke (OW 1983) to our team of peripatetic music teachers. Oliver studied Classical, Jazz and Contemporary Music at Leeds College of Music, majoring in piano and harp. He achieved a Bachelor in Music (1st class honours).

Look out for more information on our alumni events page at: www.wgs.org.uk/blog/category/alumni-events/


As Principal Organist at St Peter’s Worfield, Assistant Director of Music at St Mary Magdelene, Bridgnorth, and a freelance pianist, Oliver plays at events as well as accompanying for exams and local choirs. Some of you may have already seen Oliver performing for us at various alumni events since Christmas and we look forward to more!

David explained “the BBC runs a Christmas Carol Competition each year, and this year challenged amateur composers to write a 21st century carol using the 15th century poem ‘Sir Christmas’. I decided to have a go, and was thrilled that my carol was chosen as one of the final six by the distinguished panel of judges including the composer Judith Weir, master of the Queen’s Music, and David Hill, Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers”. The winning carol was chosen by a public vote in December and we were delighted Bernard Trafford’s composition was crowned the overall winner.

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THE COMMUNITY CHOIR: THREE GENERATIONS It was a family affair as three generations of the Billingham family sang together at this year’s Community Choir performance of The Armed Man. Pictured are Mrs Sarah Billingham, her daughter Olivia Billingham and her mother Mrs Ena Wooddisse.


COMPOSER SIMON BASS It was an honour to have in School in the Summer term composer Simon Bass, who gave students a masterclass. Simon is an OMT, alumni of Merchant Taylors’ School.


Melanie Cuthbert, the new Acting Director of Music, has made a big impression in her short time here at School. The Spring Concert: The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins staged this month was a triumph. Students, parents and the community all came together to deliver an incredible performance of this thought provoking piece. We hope you will consider joining us for one of next term’s concerts.

Calling all singers!

Our 2019 Spring Gala Concert is to be held on Monday 11th March and will feature Zimbe! A fusion of African folk song, Gospel and Jazz. Love singing, then why not become a member of our community choir? For more information contact Melanie Cuthbert email music@wgs-sch.net or development@wgs-sch.net


Sport GIRLS’ SPORT ROUND UP Netball An impressive 114 netball games were played in a season which saw the U19 team, captained by Lisa Obi, crowned District League winners and winners of the City tournament. The U12s unbeaten all season winning the District League, City tournament and taking home gold at the Black Country Games; and the U14/ U15 team winning their District League. Isabella Mason, Bella Evans and Katie Goodridge all achieved county selection.

Rounders This season demonstrated brilliant field and batting sills across all teams. The U13 and U16 teams reached National semi-finals; the U12s and U15s continued their unbeaten streak being crowned City Champions again; the U13s and U14s reached City Championship semi-finals and the U14s achieved gold at the Black Country School Games. Congratulations to Jordan Russell and Anya Rogers who represented Rounders England this year

Hockey A difficult season weather-wise and with frozen pitches, saw a total of just 67 games played. First team captain Amicia Crewe-Read and her team faced some extremely difficult opposition and battled with some great performances. The U12s put in accomplished performances winning the Staffordshire County Tournament. Congratulations to Anya Rogers who represented her county Staffordshire and achieving a place in the Performance Centre.

Athletics WGS continue to be extremely successful at the City Indoor Athletics with the U12s, U14s and U15s winning with some outstanding performances. Ava Forrest captained the U14s indoor team to gold at the Black Country Games, with the U13s bringing home silver.

Gymnastics Twenty two pupils represented WGS at the City Gymnastics competition, with Katie Fitzpatrick winning gold for her floor routine. Cricket The Summer term saw girls’ cricket introduced for the first time and their first tournaments saw the U12s and U13s placed a respectable second at the King Henry’s tournament and the U13s and U15s third at the Lady Tavern Indoor tournament.

The outdoor season saw twelve individual medallists at the City Championships and the U14s crowned winners for the second year running. Table Tennis Our U19s were runners up at the City Table Tennis Championships and Georgia Harris represented WGS at the National School’s tournament.


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BOYS’ SPORT ROUND UP Football Another busy year for all our teams. The 1st XI had excellent performances against tough opposition in the ISFA Cup 1st Round and City Cup Semi Final. Captaincy was shared between Tom Pleydell, who unfortunately suffered injury, and Harry Hales. The U13 squad enjoyed a really good City Cup run, just missing out in the final, but the U12s were undoubtedly the headline act reaching the semi-final of their ESFA Cup and comprehensive City Cup winners. A memorable last season for Peter Hills! Cricket A solid season for the 1st XI under the captaincy of Oisin Maguire Singh. With a mix of youth (some Year 9 students) and experience they won the majority of their early season games, but had a tough qualifying group in the National 20/20 competition. Rugby The Senior rugby side competed well all season under the positive leadership of Sam Bowles with some notable individual and team performances.


Hockey The hockey fixture list remains a tough one for our boys, however they continued to approach each fixture in a positive fashion under the Captaincy of Ammar Ahsan. Tennis Our Senior boys tennis team, led by Ed Cooper, had a tough draw in the first round of the Nationals. The U15s competed well under the captaincy of Sebastian Davies, with James Hale leading from the front as the number one player. Athletics The year’s stand out performance in indoor Athletics came from Year 10 and the summer saw the boys’ team finishing third in the final standings of the SSAW Athletics Championships, with Oliver Mason, Morgan Lathbury Cox and George Atkinson selected to represent Wolverhampton in the West Midlands Championships. Gymnastics Twenty two pupils represented WGS at the City Gymnastics competition, with Edward Hamill winning two bronzes for floor and vault.



GRASS ROOTS GOLF Students took part in the heats and the national final of StreetGolf at the 3 Hammers golf Complex in June. Organised by the charity, The Golf Foundation, the competition was created as a way to get young people playing golf. Brendan Pyle Chief Executive for the Golf Foundation said

StreetGolf is designed to give children the chance to unlock a talent that they may otherwise never have been aware of. It’s such a joy to see the enjoyment they get from hitting a straight drive or sinking a putt. We’re hoping opportunities to play golf will become a regular fixture at School.

Inspired by his brother to play hockey, Ben Ward (now Year 11) hasn’t just taken the opportunity to play hockey at School, but he also signed up to play for the Old Wulfrunians Hockey Club. The Club, widely known as “Old Wulfs”, was formed in 1953 by a group of former WGS school friends who had enjoyed playing hockey and wanted to continue playing. Membership age ranges from 7 to 70 and new members are always welcome, regardless of age, experience or ambition. Frequent social events help to ensure a traditional friendly club atmosphere. Visit www.oldwulfshc.co.uk to learn how you can get involved.

ANNUAL STUDENTS VERUS STAFF CRICKET MATCH The Heads XI cricket fixture produced its usual amount of drama, very fitting as it was Peter Hills' final game for the Staff. Tight bowling from Toby Hughes and Alistair Carey kept the School's score down, despite a fine knock from A Dhaliwal. O Maguire Singh and A Uppal made it hard work for the Head XI's batting line up, however they managed to hold on for a draw.

PREMIERSHIP PLAY Our U12 Football team finished their season on a high with a semi-final place in the English Schools’ Football Association U12 cup. A fitting tribute to their coach Mr Peter Hills on his retirement this year.


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OLD WULFS SPORTS FESTIVAL GOLF DAY 2018 Former student Jim Mills (OW 1987) hosted yet another successful Old Wulfs Sports Festival Golf Day. He was delighted to welcome some new faces, notably former members of staff Gerry Holden and Kevin Riley, who partnered fellow former staff member Tony Page. This year’s winner was Will Nield (OW 2012) whose length off the tee and overall game saw him take the trophy by one point from Richard Harris (OW 1987)

FIFTY YEARS (AT LEAST) OF WULFRUNIAN FIVES Celebrating 50 years (at least) of Wulfrunian Fives, the largest gathering of OW Fives players seen for many a long year assembled on Saturday 8th September 2018. All were there to witness the unveiling of a new Honours Board and to get back on court. Many were straight back into action and rolling back the years, some turned up in civvies but quickly disappeared to retrieve sports kit. It was a Who’s Who of National Schools Finalists from the 70s, 80s and 90s, who once again graced the Fives Courts Husselbee, Bates, Byrne, Stephenson, Yates, Flavell, Harris, Pearson, Hobbs, Ross, Jones, Austin and Simmons to mention but a few of David Pedley’s allconquering team. It was also pleasing to see the new vintage of OW Fives Players on court before returning to University. Kathy Crewe-Read, Head, unveiled the splendid new Honours Board that is now proudly on display in the Sports Hall reception. A huge thank you must go to OWA President Andy Husselbee for organising the new Honours Board, and to Carrie Bennett and the Development Team at WGS for organising the day.


and by two from Tim Browning (former staff member) and Mike Hughes (OW 1963). Our thanks to hosts South Staffordshire Golf Club and to all who played. Next year’s date for your diary is Friday 13th September 2019, why not join us? For more information contact development@wgs-sch.net

CAPTAIN’S XI FAREWELL TO MR HILLS by Clive Kay (OW 1993) Everyone who joined us on the 8th July had the pleasure of being taught by Mr Hills, but also how to play the game in the right spirit! The weather was perfect, the pitch was in tip top condition and the wicket played well. The Hill’s Allstars batted first and posted a competitive total of 170. A fine partnership from Stuart Drury and Mike Jones helped considerably towards this total producing a 2nd wicket partnership of 70 runs. In response the 1st XI were cruising toward victory until the very generous retirement of Oisin Maguire Singh who opened the door for an Allstars comeback. Cemented by the outstanding bowling of Mr Crust taking 2-19 and bowling an extra over at the end to enable the 1st XI to tie the game - I could not imagine a more appropriate result! It was great to give Mr Hills, “Sir” or “Young man” a cricketing send-off that will live long in the memory of all present. Our debt of thanks to Mr Hills is difficult to articulate and I know that he will be sorely missed on Moreton’s Piece. We all wish him and his wife Helen a long, happy and well deserved retirement, with very best wishes for the future!



SPORTS FESTIVAL The weather as always didn’t dampen spirits at the annual Old Wulfrunians Sports Festival, which brought together both former and current students and staff for a day of football, netball and Fives.


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Why not join us next year? There is no need to bring a whole team, there are always other OWs, staff and students willing to fill in any gaps and teams needing extra players. If you don’t wish to play then why not join our ever growing band of spectators for one of our most loved alumni events of the year.

Next year’s tournament will be held on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September 2019, contact development@wgs-sch.net for more information.




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Dates for your diary... Higher Education and Careers Forum Monday 4th February 2019 Old Wulfrunians Association Dinner Saturday 2nd March 2019 London Reunion Monday 3rd June 2019, 5.30pm - 9pm Alumni Speakers Corner Tuesday 9th July 2019 OW Sports Festival Friday 13th & Saturday 14th September 2019



Wolverhampton Grammar School Compton Road Wolverhampton WV3 9RB 01902 421326 www.wgs.org.uk @WGS1512


Wolverhampton Grammar School Official or Old Wulfrunians and Friends Wolverhampton Grammar School Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

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