Wulfrunian 2019

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Dr Robert Larter sets sail to Antarctica on a quest to understand the impact of climate change

IN THIS EDITION In The Common Room

Old Wulfrunians Association

In Fond Remembrance

School News and the Class of 2019



Welcome from Kathy Crewe-Read

Head of Wolverhampton Grammar School As each successive year passes I am able to meet more of you, and hear fabulous tales about what has become a truly international alumni community. This edition of the Wulfrunian really reflects and celebrates that globalism. I hope you enjoy reading about the exploits of some very talented OWs. A recurring theme, when you tell us about your School days, is that your drive and ambition began here in the corridors and classrooms at Compton Road. You were inspired during lessons, clubs and activities and through many opportunities to travel internationally. You had an experience that transformed your lives as well as your minds. I am so proud that we are still delivering a similarly excellent education today. School life remains as busy as ever. We continue to be the most successful, independent school in the area and the school of choice for families from across Wolverhampton. We have had the largest intake of Year 7 children since the early 1990’s with ninety-nine 11 year olds joining the Senior School this year. The Junior School roll is at it’s highest too, with 175 children. In the current climate this is wonderful and I am very grateful to all the staff, whose hard work and expertise make the School so very good.


New this year has been the refurbishment of the Sixth Form Library into a bright modern learning space based on the best university establishments, a new Biology Laboratory paid for by a generous grant from the Merchant Taylors’ Company and the creation of a dance studio in the Sports Hall, which will be used by the increasing number of students who demonstrate a love of contemporary dance. Increased use of digital technology continues to enhance the classroom experience of both senior and junior pupils and Drama has been incorporated into the Senior School curriculum, providing opportunities for our young to hone their presentation and speaking skills. I’m delighted to tell you that pupils are recognising the role they must play in fighting climate change too. Eco Clubs have sprung up this year, committed to ensuring the School works hard to minimise negative environmental impact. Perhaps among these campaigners will be the next Dr Robert Larter? Who can fail to be inspired by his life’s work….fanned into flame in science lessons, here on site. I hope you’ve noticed that this edition of the Wulfrunian has been printed on ethically sourced paper and sent to you in a biodegradable wrap for posting. It’s always available online for any of you who would prefer not to receive a hardcopy in the post – just get in touch to let us know.

the headship of another independent school in September 2020. It has been humbling to hear and read of your lives and successes since leaving WGS and to reflect on the privilege of being custodian of such a fine school, albeit for a small interval in its distinguished history. Over my seven years, many of you have become friends and I hope very much to see you for one last time at the annual Old Wulfrunians Association Dinner in March or our London Reunion in June, to celebrate the truly unique community that is WGS. I wish you all a happy, festive season and peaceful 2020.

Kathy Crewe-Read Head, Wolverhampton Grammar School

Many of you will by now have gathered that this is the last Wulfrunian introduction I will write, as I assume


Welcome to the 2019 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 scientist for British Antarctic Survey Dr Robert Larter, successful actress and writer Eleanor Griffiths and Jonathan Badyal, Head of Communications at Universal Music UK, alongside lots of features showcasing many of our talented former students. We also celebrate the hard work and support of John Slyde of Wolverhampton's Premier Sports, who has been supplying students and staff with sports kit for over 50 years. Also included with this year's edition of the Wulfrunian is your personal invitation to the annual Old Wulfrunians Association Dinner. Remember to book early for this sell-out event which takes place on Saturday 7th March 2020.


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

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


Website: Visit the alumni pages www.wgs.org.uk/alumni for event photos, alumni profiles, events calendar and more.

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

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Wulfrunian 2019


Welcome from the Head


In the Common Room


To the ends

Reunion news


of the Earth


In her own words


Association Dinner

50 Not Out


Old Wulfrunians

Universal Appeal


Top marks in English 28-29 30-31

Sports Festival


School news


Class of 2019


School memories

The first rule of Business


Farewell to the

Changing Common Rooms

Old Wulfrunians


from 2019


Running the Big Apple


A School at War


In fond remembrance


Your news


Development news


OWs in the USA


Careers Focus



Tell us your


With over 5,000 alumni 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.




The dawn of a new academic year inevitably promotes mixed feelings for the Common Room as we wave goodbye to former staff, but hail the arrival of new and enthusiastic members who are ready to help take the School forward: this year is no different. With the announcement of Kathy’s departure at the end of this academic year, a new direction for the School lies ahead and the Common Room wait with anticipation for news of the next chapter in the School’s history. Under her tenure the growth of the School has been exponential and like all our staff leavers, she leaves huge shoes to fill. Regardless of Who is at the helm, guiding us through the threats from governmental ping-pong, the staff remain dedicated to ensuring Wolverhampton Grammar School continues to produce bastions of society and leaders of the future. I wish all my colleagues the best of luck for another busy year ahead.

Steve Clancy

Chair of The Common Room


Christine Preston

Ryan Lovatt

After an illustrious career at Wolverhampton Grammar School, culminating in five years as Exams Officer, Chris is finally hanging up her WGS hat.

Ryan Lovatt joined Wolverhampton Grammar School straight from university on the independent school equivalent of “Teach First” three years ago. I remember his interview well, he was, and still is, passionate about education and sharing his knowledge with the students.

by Jonathan Wood

Having retired as a full-time member of the teaching staff, her expert wisdom and guidance to those sitting GCSE and A Level exams has been invaluable over the last few years. Staff, parents and students will certainly miss her, but I know that everyone remains truly grateful for all the help she has given, in all the roles she has held in her long and esteemed career, serving our School.

by Nick Munson

He has an excellent understanding of theoretical Physics and Maths, this has enabled him to really stretch the Sixth Form students. His genuine passion for the subject comes across in his lessons and is shared by his students Out of the classroom he has been involved in “Rock Club”, and helped with Coast2Coast and Running Club. At the end of term he left us for Wellacre Academy in Manchester to be closer to his family and partner, and I wish him every success for the future.

Wulfrunian 2019

Andy Carey

Katie Guest

by Peter Johnstone After 25 years as Head of the Chemistry Department at WGS, Andy Carey has elected to finish his teaching career as a part-time teacher with one final challenge at Newport Girls’ High School in Shropshire, where he has agreed to lead the Chemistry department there - a feat made all the more impressive in that he could not be persuaded to do so on a full-time basis and was still offered the job over the other potential full-time candidates at interview. He leaves a huge legacy behind him, not only as a Chemistry teacher par excellence, whose encyclopaedic subject-knowledge and ability to inspire remains acknowledged by past and present students alike, but as a highly valued colleague in and out of the staffroom, where his avuncular good humour always made for pleasant conversation and his clear-sighted commonsense was respected and sought after on numerous occasions by many members of staff. Andy’s time here was much richer than simply being a peerless classroom practitioner though: with his academic hat on he served as Chair of the Common Room, Chair of the Heads

by Carrie Bennett of Department and represented the staff in Governors’ meetings. In a wider capacity he coached or co-coached many football teams very successfully, the most notably, remain the current City Cup holders. Over the years he has also given up the bulk of his February half-term holiday to organise and lead the School’s annual ski-trip to Austria, a workload and responsibility of truly enormous proportions. As a footnote to this last point, I know that his new school are absolutely delighted that he has agreed to resurrect their own ski-trip and his wealth of experience of doing so will prove invaluable to them. Our loss is truly Newport’s gain: whilst many of the staff make a point of continuing to see Andy socially, he has left a huge hole in so many areas of this School’s life, and the Common Room still feels a little strange without his infectious personality being a daily feature of it. I know that Andy has slipped into his new role effortlessly and that he is thriving at his new school. They in their turn must surely know that they have landed a gem. We all wish him all the best.

Katie joined Wolverhampton Grammar School as Head of Development in 2015 from Wrekin College. Her impact was immediate and she quickly established herself as a key contact for many Old Wulfrunians. She was equally as passionate about current students and worked tirelessly to make the annual Higher Education and Careers Fair the success that it is today. Not limiting herself to alumni engagement, she always volunteered to help with School recruitment and any other events that needed an extra pair of hands. Katie used her experience at School to secure what is probably her family’s perfect job: a role at RAF Cosford. Just a five minute commute from her family home and an endless supply of stories to satisfy her father’s interest in history. Her legacy for WGS Support staff will be the infamous Christmas party arrangements. No one was allowed to not get involved and, although reluctant at first everyone left with a feeling that it had been their best ever Christmas staff party. We will drink a toast to you at the next one!

Jim Ryan by Ian Tyler

Jim Ryan’s dedicated professionalism and calm, good-humoured approach to teaching has made a huge impression on staff and students here at WGS. During his time with us, he has successfully navigated a wide variety of roles and responsibilities: a specialist dyslexia teacher in the OpAL Department, Head of Rugby


and Head of Year as well as a range of other activities, not least as teacher in charge of Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions. Jim has been an exceptional teacher within the OpAL team and his rich experience in special educational needs has been of huge benefit to both staff and students at WGS. We have been lucky to have him

here, and while it’s understandable that he is now moving on to the exciting new prospect of retirement after a rich and rewarding career in teaching, he will be much missed. We hope to see him soon, no doubt looking very relaxed and full of beans.


Claire Keita by Liz Harris

Gail Evans

by Carrie Bennett

Jonathan Hall by Nigel Crust

Jonathan will be fondly remembered by both staff and students for many things. Many will look back at his time as an English teacher, where he delivered his subject in a measured, calm yet passionate way. A number of students will think of the hours he spent on the football pitch with them, working on their skills and trying to make them better players. His meticulously planned sessions were a pleasure to observe. Hartlepool United could do a lot worse than employ his services! Then there are all those students who Jonathan looked after when he was a Head of Year. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Jonathan, and there is no doubt that many students found their path through WGS a lot easier because of his help. His pastoral work was hugely appreciated.


Gail served Wolverhampton Grammar School for over 21 years. Her friendly disposition was perfect for her role as Alumni and Marketing Officer. Gail watched many students step nervously into School on their first day, and then stride confidently as they left us to become Old Wulfrunians and begin their next big adventures. Gail’s job application to School was made via fax machine and of its time. Her intention to retire was hand written and emotional, telling of the deep connection she felt for our School. She not only served us as a member of staff, but also as a parent too. Gail’s retirement is as full as you can imagine - travelling, volunteering, dog walking and looking after her grandchildren. Her style (both in her choice of fashion and hair colour!) is still missed, as is her ability to sew anything back together (I’m sure there are a number of OWs reading this who have been rescued by Gail’s ability to stitch a School badge back on, or fix a hemline or zip).

Claire joined the Modern Foreign Languages department in 2009. She had previously worked in business and we were fortunate to be able to appoint a French native speaker to the role of foreign language assistant. In fact, it turned out that Claire was far more than our French assistant. Her roles within the School became wide and varied, as her rapport with the students and her friendly and accommodating nature were recognised. In recent years, she rushed over from conversation classes with Year 13 to helping out with lunch duty in the Junior School. Claire had a great relationship with the A Level students, in particular. She worked with them individually or in small groups, discussing a broad range of topics in French and in doing so, helped them to build grammar and vocabulary but also, importantly, their confidence. Her help with the end of year oral exams was invaluable, as was her willingness to help with administrative jobs and even tidying up the store cupboard! Claire was, in short, a fantastic member of the MFL department. Always extremely sociable, Claire attended every event that involved dancing or food! We will really miss her outgoing, caring personality, her help and her friendship. She has an excellent career ahead of her at David Austin Roses. Bonne continuation, Claire!

Wulfrunian 2019

Russell Charlesworth

Helen David

by Joe David

With the possible exception of Sir Michael Parkinson and the mighty Tykes there can be no greater export from the town of Barnsley than Russell Charlesworth. Back in 1997, as the world was being introduced to Harry Potter and the Spice Girls, a young, whippet like, Head of History strode through the corridors of Wolverhampton Grammar School for the first time. Russell has an intellect that makes Stephen Fry look slightly dim in comparison. Yet he is modest and self-effacing with it. His knowledge of history and politics is incredible, but it’s the way he is able to communicate which marks him out as a great teacher. Russell can tell a fantastic story and has a natural instinct for the small details that capture an era, or an event in time. I have absolutely no doubt that he will have his new classes at the Girls' High hanging on his every word. Russell has been a truly outstanding Head of Department. He has managed the workload in the department with a scrupulous fairness and allows his colleagues to get on with their jobs and be the best history teachers they can be. He leads by example and never passes the buck. You know that during the good times, and the bad, Russell has your back and will support you. As a result, every history teacher that has come through the department holds him in an incredibly high regard.


by Ryan Pounder Russell has always ensured that the students who pass through this School get a varied, and intellectually rigorous education in history. But, he’s never been scared to innovate or have some fun in bringing the subject alive. There can’t be too many other heads of history that would sanction the construction of a potentially lethal trebuchet to be fired across the School fields, or who would purchase a dozen broom handles in order to recreate a Civil War pike drill. Russell is one of the funniest people I know and regularly has Liam and myself in stitches. No innuendo is safe from this man. Russell’s true legacy to this School will be in the memories that he’s created here. Past and present students hold him in such high esteem that years after they’ve left, he’s the teacher that they remember. The School owes a huge debt of gratitude to his dedication and professionalism.

Helen David joined WGS in September 2006 and soon became a popular member of the School with both staff and students. She is an excellent Chemistry teacher with a real passion for the subject, always looking for ways to instil this in her students. Her use of technology has been instrumental in the department, providing numerous electronic resources for students to access to support their revision. She was always an active member of the School community and regularly put herself forward to assist on school trips, including both the annual ski trip and the Battlefield Trip (where she met her husband Joe!). She will be greatly missed by her colleagues and everyone at WGS wishes her all the very best in her new role at St Peter’s Collegiate School.

I, like all the others that have passed through the department over the years, would have happily followed you into the trenches all those years ago.


Mark Benfield

Pav Mahey

by Mark Payne

Like Doctor Who, Mark has regenerated countless times since he started at WGS in 1988, working here as an English teacher, Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Head, Head of Assessment and Reporting, and of course, Head of English. I had the good fortune to work with him for nine memorable years now in his latest iteration, and I couldn’t be more honoured to be wishing him this fond farewell as he regenerates once more. Teachers at WGS are often known by their initials, and Mark’s were BMB. The phantom ‘B’ used to cause no end of intrigue as students (and staff) attempted to guess what it might stand for. As a fitting farewell I would like to suggest a number of ‘B’ words (all of them positive!) that perfectly describe Mark and his career at WGS. He is inimitably bookish; an important skill for an English teacher, obviously, but Mark is a proper reader. His knowledge of the books that line the book cupboard in the Merridale is encyclopaedic, and he reads into things with a sharpness, precision and sensitivity that often left the rest of us behind. He is bodacious: a portmanteau word consisting of ‘bold’ and ‘audacious’; his teaching is both of these things. Mark has been unafraid to take on the most challenging of ideas in English and explore them at the highest level while still making them accessible. Delving into the subtleties of Hamlet


by Andrew Reddish with Year 7, or Aristotelian tragedy with Year 10, or the mind-bending, timebending complexities of a text like Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia with Lower Sixth was never a problem for him or his students. As our Head of Department for the past decade, he has been both benevolent and buoyant. This benevolence can be seen in his passionate desire to put the students first. He’s also always kept us buoyant. When double Year 10 on a Thursday afternoon is looming, or when the marking is getting you down, he was always there to lighten the load, to keep us focused on what’s important. Where next? His brilliance is hard to miss in all sorts of ways. He could inspire some of our most reticent students with a carefully-chosen turn of phrase or an honest, frank word of advice. He also never accepted anything less than brilliance from the students he taught. When students in Key Stage 3 were finding things tricky, he would remind them of the brilliant things they had accomplished already. When our best A Level Literature students were not sure whether they had the brains for Oxbridge, he calmly and convincingly set out just how brilliant they were.

Pav joined the school in September 2003 and was a shining light in both the Business and ICT departments. Pav is a real people person and students knew that if they had a problem that she would always be there to lend a hand and sometimes more importantly lend an ear when students just needed someone to listen. Pav was one of the leaders of the Mindfulness program in School, which has helped so many students deal with any anxiety or stress. She is now a leading expert in the practice. Pav has gone on to pastures new so that she could go back to working full time. Her warmth, charisma and infectious smile is sorely missed by students and staff alike at WGS.

This bookish, bodacious, benevolent, buoyant, brilliant teacher, colleague and friend will be greatly missed by all in the WGS community, past and present.

Wulfrunian 2019



Congratulations to Stacey Jackson

Congratulations to Julieanne Lloyd

Stacey joined us in September and brings with her both UK and overseas teaching expertise.

Julieanne returns to the OpAL department as Director of SEND Education (Special Educational Needs and Disability) after six years at Wrekin College.

Head of History

Educated at Royal Holloway University of London, Stacey’s last teaching post before joining Wolverhampton Grammar School was the United World College in Dilijan, Armenia where she has been teaching since August 2016. She now leads History, as well as Government and Politics.

Director of SEND Education

Educated with a Doctorate in Education: Inclusion & Barriers to Learning and MEd from the Open University, she leads a team of staff providing supported learning to students from across the School.



Former members of staff, enjoyed catching up with one another over lunch at the South Staffordshire Golf Club in early May.

Congratulations to Phillip Wythe Careers Officer

Phillip joined us in September as a dedicated Careers Officer supporting the work of Rhiannon Clancy as Head of Higher Education and Careers. Wolverhampton Grammar School offers a tailored and individual approach to UCAS and Careers support. This dedicated, expert support offered to students looking at post 18 career and employment options is highly valued by students and parents alike.


Congratulations to... Mark Payne and Ryan Pounder who, after a competitive recruitment process, are promoted to be Heads of the English and Chemistry Departments respectively. Welcome also to Old Wulfrunians Mark Blything, Ed Cornaby and Harriet Povey who joined our staff team this year. Wolverhampton Grammar School employs almost 200 teachers, professional and technical staff. You can learn more about our staff here www.wgs.org.uk/about/our-expert-staff

Those able to make it this year were: John (and Yvonne) Perkins, Tony (and Kate) Bennett, Ken (and Steph) Stott, Wendy Fletcher, David Lambourne, Elaine Tudor, Jim (and June) Chugg, John Edlin, Madeline Drew, Sue Davies (Harvey), Barbara Lewis, Tim (and Carolyn) Browning, Chris O'Brien, Chris (and Paul) Preston, Katie Guest, Lesley Benfield, Gareth Phillips, Les (and Carys) Judson, Peter and Helen Hills, Lynne Johnson and Robert Brandon The event was organised by Christine Preston and Barbara Lewis, carrying on the tradition of an annual get together, in honour of and previously arranged by the late Graham Lewis.


To the ends of the

Earth In conversation with Dr Robert Larter (OW 1979)

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Wulfrunian 2018

Climate change has rarely been out of the news this year. From the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to the launch of the UK's new £200m polar research ship, named the "Sir David Attenborough" after the famous BBC broadcaster and naturalist. One Old Wulfrunian in particular is using his career and scientific expertise to help inform what the future has in store for all of us. Last January, a team of polar scientists set sail from Punta Arenas in Chile bound for West Antarctica, on the first leg of a five-year research programme to understand the contribution that the remote and difficult-to-reach Thwaites Glacier, will make to global sea level. The expedition was part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a £20 million programme to build a better understanding of the glacier and its environment, and transmit that new knowledge to the public, the wider science community, and policymakers. Funded by the UK Natural Environmental Research Council and the US National Science Foundation, it is one of the largest joint Antarctic missions for more than 70 years and will involve over 100 scientists and support staff during its five-year timeline. On board the 308ft US icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, carrying over 20 researchers from the UK, US and Sweden, was Old Wulfrunian Dr Robert Larter, marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge.

As Chief Scientist, Rob’s role was to manage how much time was spent in a variety of locations to ensure that all research teams got what they needed from the trip. Pretty difficult to achieve when the outward journey was hampered by a broken rudder, which kept the ship docked for two days of repairs before it had even set sail, a storm in the Drake Passage and a medical emergency, requiring a ten-day round-trip to the nearest science base! Rob is also the Principal Investigator on the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project, which he will lead over the full five-year period. THOR will collect sea-floor samples from either side of Thwaites Glacier and look for clues as to its recent history using marine sediments, bathymetric mapping, and oceanography. In June, Tina Erskine, Head of Development at School, had the pleasure of visiting Rob at BAS to find out more about him and the project. This is just a summary of their fascinating conversation.


Rob answering Tina’s questions:

How did it all begin? "At School, I chose science subjects for A Level. The plate tectonics revolution of the earth sciences, relatively new then, coupled with a growing love of the outdoors, led me to Durham University where I studied Geology. Going abroad particularly appealed at the time so, after graduating, I investigated possible research opportunities in North America. However, seeing my future ultimately in industry I applied for, and succeeded in getting, one of four industry-sponsored places to do a MSc in Petroleum Exploration Studies, at Aberdeen University. The fact that both the fees and a stipend were paid was a huge incentive! A Research Associate post came up in the Antarctic Marine Group at the University of Birmingham; by then I already had an idea forming about


going to the Antarctic, so I applied, was successful and stayed for four years until the Research Group was closed. My boss at Birmingham came here to BAS and set up a Marine Geophysics division; I was the only one of the four Research Associates from the Birmingham group to join him at BAS in 1987, and have been here ever since. During the past 32 years I have enjoyed regular research trips to the Antarctic and sub Antarctic. A few years into my time at BAS, I was involved in an Ocean Drilling Programme expedition in the North Atlantic to understand better climate and ocean circulation and specifically the history of ocean exchange between the Arctic and the Atlantic. Some of the drill core records from that trip are still considered the gold standard for past climate and ocean change today."

Wulfrunian 2019

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Thwaites Glacier, and that’s why this research is so important. I hope that in five years’ time, after all the data collected has been analysed, we’ll have a better sense of what the future holds.

Tell us about the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration "Recent best estimates based on satellite data have indicated that the amount of ice draining into the sea from Thwaites Glacier is contributing around 4% of global sea level rise, and that the rate is escalating rapidly. Of equal concern, warm ocean water is reaching the part of the Glacier that extends out into the sea, and it’s disappearing twice as fast as it did two decades ago. Scientists have also thought for some time that the Thwaites Glacier is unstable because bedrock underneath slopes down toward the continent’s interior, meaning that if the ice starts to retreat, there’s little to stop it. Recent modelling suggests it could collapse much faster than previously thought and some scientists argue the glacier’s demise is already inevitable. The purpose of the five-year expedition is therefore to gain a deeper understanding of how much ice is going to be lost from the Thwaites glacier, roughly the size of Britain, how fast and what that will mean for global sea levels in the future. Thwaites Glacier is remote, even by Antarctic standards, originating in Antarctica and extending into the Amundsen Sea. So, despite its importance and potential impact, until this expedition, no one had ever sailed along the roughly 75-mile glacier


face. Our aim was to survey and take samples from the seabed, offshore from Thwaites Glacier, to determine the history of its retreat and the role of incursion of relatively warm water from the deep ocean in causing that retreat To understand present and predict future changes, we need to know more about what has happened previously. Our findings will help us to reconstruct past changes in environmental conditions and the glacier's response, adding context to projections of future change. Back in the 1980s, in Aberdeen, I was sceptical about ‘global warming’ but moving into Antarctic research changed that. Potentially we could see even faster sea level rise than currently predicted. A few millimetres a year sounds tiny but already a couple of storm surges since the turn of the century have come close to over-topping sea defences around East Anglia and causing major flooding events, even in the UK. Most sea defences have been built in a responsive approach not a preventative one. That’s why it’s so important to get the answers, to help inform planning and particularly regarding sea defence management."


Robert is pictured in front of the Thwaites Glacier

What are your memories of School? "I look back on my school days with fondness, understanding only years later, that I’d had a great education and that the science teaching set me on my career path. Three Headmasters presided over my seven years at WGS – Mr Taylor, Mr Stocks and Mr Hutton. I also remember a girl joining in the Sixth Form and that the first fee-paying intake happened as I was heading off to Durham, in September 1979. An early memory was of a Chemistry class when a teacher took some phosphorus out of a jar, explained that it was volatile then proceeded to cut a piece off. It exploded and the classroom had to be evacuated! I enjoyed cross-country, running in the town team and competing across the West Midlands and still run today. We didn’t have a teacher to organise it in the Sixth Form, so I did it!


Still a Wolves boy at heart I’ve been an avid Wolves’ supporter since childhood, although I’m disappointed that as a distance fan it’s almost impossible to get a ticket for home or away matches. Instead, I rely on Twitter to keep up to date, which was a lifeline in the Antarctic, and especially given the season they had!"

Wulfrunian 2019



In her own words. Actress and writer Eleanor Griffiths (OW 2012) tells Wulfrunian readers how, by defying the odds, she has defined herself a successful career in the arts. "Wolverhampton and the West Midlands is home to a rich array of stories and characters. It has a wealth of culture that is only just beginning to be enjoyed by people across the globe. Looking back, it was an exciting place to grow up and I am very grateful for the adventures I had there. As an actress and theatre creative I am very proud to tell people where I come from and the experiences here that shaped my craft.


From my time at School I have many fond memories of days spent in the art and music blocks under the tuition of the brilliant minds belonging to Ian Tyler and the late Andrew Proverbs. Many happy hours were enjoyed inventing, creating and developing music and theatre. It was the beginning of my career and appreciation of the arts. One of the things I now appreciate looking back at WGS was the space we were provided in those lessons to make mistakes and learn. Failing, I have come to realise, is one of the most important things you can do whilst in training. Only then can we allow our work to become better, bolder and brighter. It was here I learnt that art is about asking questions - not finding answers. Hence, this is an idea I have carried with me through all my creative work since.

Wulfrunian 2019

My advice to students who are looking to pursue a career in the arts is to enjoy it, enjoy all of its foibles and love it unconditionally.

Since leaving WGS, I graduated from the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a BA in Musical Theatre. Based in the beautiful city of Glasgow, I trained intensively, learning how to bring the stories in my imagination to life with both truth and integrity. How to perform, create, be an active member of rehearsal rooms, to challenge and to stay curious. In my final year, I took on the starring role of Sally Bowles in Kander & Ebb’s musical, Cabaret. It was our main stage production, received with 5* reviews across the board and after which I’d landed myself an agent. It would seem I was off to a flying start. However, after leaving drama school it was not all bright lights and glitter. In my final year I discovered that I had a large benign tumour which had taken over one of my lungs and was beginning to wrap around my heart. It was something doctors at QE, Birmingham had never seen before but were certain, if it wasn’t removed soon it would probably kill me. So I disappeared from the stage, moving from musical theatre to the operating theatre to have my whole right lung removed. For someone who relies on their lungs for work and was defined for so long by their singing voice, this was an event I knew would change the rest of my life and make me question my identity. It certainly put things into perspective. I realised how much the arts meant to me and how much I would fight for my place in the industry.

Now three years post-op, I have enjoyed the beginnings of an enjoyable career as an actress. I have appeared on both stage and screen, performing in critically acclaimed theatre productions, award winning films and on TV. My proudest achievement of late is “The Art of Skipping”, a new musical which I wrote, produced and directed. It follows the story of a blind astronomer navigating her way back to the stars. The show went up to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer receiving 5* reviews and was nominated for Best Musical. We have since been in touch with large London theatres and new musical producers about taking the musical further. My biggest obstacle now, as with many new projects, is funding. However, I have come to realise that with ambition, persistence and a drop of stubbornness, more things are possible than you can ever imagine. I know for a fact that my time at WGS lit that fire of ambition in me. It was a wonderfully inspiring school, where I was taught to reach further and strive for your goals. I am so grateful to teachers across all departments, for the support they gave and importantly for igniting that passion. The arts is a tough but rewarding gig and with the right tools, a head full of curiosity and a passion to create and challenge, you’ve won half the battle."

Eleanor is pictured in the production of Cabaret.



Not Out For over fifty years, John Slyde from Wolverhampton’s Premier Sports has been a familiar face for families of Wolverhampton Grammar School, supplying students and staff with sports kits: from football shirts, cricket whites, skirts, to Junior House t-shirts, and those reversible rugby jerseys with the stripe on the inside – which he invented! John has always been a passionate sportsman but the requirement to wear glasses seriously hampered his chances of turning professional despite football and cricket trials, including a trial at Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Determined to be involved in sport, John leapt at the opportunity to work for 1950s Wolves legend Jimmy Mullen in his sports shop and under Jimmy’s wing, progressed from repairing leather footballs to managing the shop itself. Those were the days when football clubs sourced their kits from local retailers and John had the honour of supplying Wolves, Aston Villa and Walsall, amongst others, and in the process was able to count the likes of Sir Billy Wright, Stan Cullis and Derek Dougan amongst his acquaintances and close friends. In 1960, Wolves won the FA Cup and for a week the trophy was on display in the shop window behind a single pane of glass, without shutters and only a single bolt on the door. Upon Jimmy Mullen’s retirement, John and his wife Barbara took the plunge and went into business for


themselves. They recognised how important their school clients were, especially Wolverhampton Grammar School, and pulled out all the stops to establish themselves as the best in the business. Anyone who has the pleasure of speaking with John at his shop will know of the love he has for our School. At 76, John is still working six or seven days a week, alongside his daughter Jacky, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. “People are too focused on age…but they’re only numbers, if you start thinking just in terms of numbers that’s how you're going to end up, just a number.” John has worked with some of football’s greats and even played with them in charity matches including Wolves 50s and 60s favourites Eddie Clamp, Norman Deeley and Gerry Harris, to name a few. John has only one regret in life, which is that he did not keep an autograph book.

I have lots of parents come into my shop and I always recommend Wolverhampton Grammar School. I tell them that if you send your children there they will leave as the best version of themselves.

You can find John's shop at www.premiersportswton.co.uk

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Universal Appeal As Head of Communications at Universal Music UK, Jonathan Badyal (OW 2007) has, as you might imagine, a lively day job! From meeting the UK's hottest music talent to working at the BRIT awards, no one could suggest that any two days are the same.


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Jonathan (right) pictured with designer Yinka Ilori at the Universal Music BRITs 2019 after party.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Jonathan’s career trajectory was perhaps the result of years working his way up in the music industry. In fact, it was an interest and successful career in politics which eventually led him to music. After studying a Masters degree in Political Science at the University of Birmingham, he spent five years advising former Culture & Digital Economy Minister Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, and his successor, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP on policy and communications. He was also part of the 2015 general election winning Conservative Party press team. His passion for music came to the fore during his time working at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media


and Sport. Although knowledgeable and well connected across every facet of British culture, from film to fine art, he became a vocal champion of British music, and especially British urban music. Jonathan has many philanthropic interests close to his heart. From sitting on the boards of the Roundhouse and the Black Country Living Museum. He is also an associate board member at Julie’s Bicycle and is an Ambassador for the UK Government’s GREAT Campaign. He plans to return to WGS soon to share some of his insight with students studying music. Carrie Bennett, Director of Marketing and Communications at School, invited Jonathan to tell us more about his background and career to date.


What influenced your parents to send you to Wolverhampton Grammar School? I was born and lived in Wolverhampton before moving to London in 2012. I attended Wolverhampton Grammar School from 2005 until 2007 for my Sixth Form studies after joining from Heath Park. Back then, I really wanted to pursue a career in the sciences, something my family and I knew WGS had a fantastic reputation for.

pad for post-school life. It prepared me for university, taught me how to learn but more importantly it encouraged me to be ambitious.

What was your WGS

Any memories of particular of

experience like?

teachers or students?

For me, WGS was the perfect launch pad for post-school life. It prepared me for university, taught me how to learn but more importantly it encouraged me to be ambitious.

I have huge respect for all of my teachers. So many of them were willing to give up their time to give extra lessons, support and even life advice! Mr Phillips (Chemistry), Dr Camm (Biology) and Mrs Fogarty (Biology) just to name a few and of course JJ who was my form tutor. I also met my best friend at WGS so I’d better mention him here. Hi, Tarlok Mander!

The friends I made at WGS have certainly become friends for life. It’s amazing to see them going on to do so many great things, working for some of the world’s biggest companies, though I must admit I do feel a tiny bit of pressure receiving invitations to their weddings!


WGS was the perfect launch

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And what about immediate life after School? I studied Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham before going on to study a Masters in Political Science there.

I decided that life in a lab

wasn’t quite for me but got hooked on politics around the 2010 general election. Quite a radical change.

During my studies, I was lucky to secure an invaluable paid internship with Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, the then Government minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. So while still studying in Birmingham, twice a week I would catch the 5.30am train to London before jumping on the tube to the Houses of Parliament. After finishing my Masters, the Minister offered me a full-time job and the rest is history.


I went on to have five incredible years working in politics, advising both Ed, and his successor, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, on policy and communications. I made it my mission to support and champion all forms of creativity – from dance to film, theatre to fashion, classical music to grime – and was fortunate to meet some of the most inspiring people doing some of the most amazing things, many of whom I am proud to now call my friends.

discriminatory. Calls to get rid of 696 were not new. But historically, grime was something that the Government would – wrongly – never go near. We changed that in a big way, and proudly played a significant part in getting rid of 696.

There were many highs. Being part of the 2015 general election winning Conservative press team was a particular highlight, but I think my proudest moment was working on Matt Hancock’s (then Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries) campaign calling for the scrapping of Form 696. For those that don’t know, 696 was a ‘risk assessment’ form used to close down urban music events. It stifled creativity and discouraged emerging talent from staging shows. We felt strongly that it was



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Any tips or advice for a student joining our School?

Seek out Old Wulfrunians who work in industries you are interested in – we’re always more than happy to offer advice!

Embrace it. There are so many wonderful opportunities available from sporting to artistic, political to travel. Education isn’t just about studying. Yes, it’s always important to work hard and get good grades, but it’s also about being inquisitive and open to new thoughts, ideas and experiences. If I had my time again I’d have definitely tried to get much more involved with stuff outside my chosen subjects.

And what advice would you give to a student about to leave the School?

Tell us more about your role now I have been Head of Communications at Universal Music UK since August 2017. Universal Music is the UK’s leading music company and home to many of the biggest musical artists on the planet. My day-to-day involves working across all aspects of the company’s internal and external communications. It’s such a fascinating time to be working in the industry and I’ve been privileged to work on some gamechanging campaigns and initiatives including an exciting project we have in Nigeria. Our Chairman is currently spearheading an incredibly important piece of work on neurodiversity in the creative industries, which has been a fascinating journey. We’re also heavily involved in campaigns around social prescribing and promoting creativity in schools. The BRIT Awards is a particular favourite of mine, having first attended while working in politics. For this year’s edition we collaborated with Yinka Ilori, one of the UK’s most exciting designers, which was a fantastic experience.


I’ve always been passionate about supporting my hometown, so in January 2018 I joined the Board of the Black Country Living Museum. The position involves providing strategic leadership of the organisation alongside my fellow Board members. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with the museum. Not only is it the home of the BAFTA awardwinning TV show Peaky Blinders, we are also set to embark on a £25m development, the single largest in its history. It’s changed a fair bit over the years so if you haven’t been for a while I certainly recommend a visit! Back in London, I also sit on the Boards of the Roundhouse and the leading environmental charity, Julie’s Bicycle. I’ve also recently become an Ambassador for the UK Government’s GREAT Campaign, which plays an integral role in promoting the best of Britain around the world, and a Director of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, a new independent academy dedicated to the advancement of social prescribing across the country.

Don’t panic. Keep your options open and meet as many different people as you can. Your network will become integral to your next steps and you never know where a conversation will lead.

If you could give your teenage self some advice. What would it be? That the creative industries is serious business. The sector is now worth more than £100bn to the UK economy – this is more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined. The creative economy accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in the UK, while it’s estimated that almost 90% of creative jobs are at low or no risk of automation. Big numbers! Despite all that, as a teenager I never considered working in the creative industries. For example, I wasn’t aware of all the different roles and opportunities available at a company like Universal Music. My other piece of advice would be not to pigeonhole yourself. Get involved with everything you possibly can. Try things out, meet new people, be inquisitive. I wish I'd got involved with a lot more stuff at School and university.


Top Marks in

English Alumni Relations and Marketing Officer Ed Cornaby, himself an OW, interviewed former Head of English, Mark Benfield as he enjoyed his first Summer holiday away from School. Perhaps using ‘curtain call’ to describe former Head of English, Mark Benfield’s well-deserved retirement would afford me the word ‘cliché’ in red ink in the margin, but I struggle to find a more fitting metaphor to describe a man who has dedicated so much of his life to the teaching of literature and drama. Mark requires no introduction to Old Wulfrunians of the last thirty-one years, but to those unfortunate readers who have not had the privilege of his pedagogy, allow me to make that introduction. Mark is the proverbial (deep English teacher), a bibliophile, wine enthusiast, sportsman and a Renaissance man. A man who is so insightful and utterly quotable that I very almost just published the transcript from our interview.

Language is wine upon the lips. Virginia Woolf I started innocuously by asking Mark about the circumstances that led him to becoming a teacher. After graduating, Mark embarked on a career in chartered accountancy. However, he reached a point where he felt he would be


better suited to teaching books rather than balancing them; a PGCE course at Warwick University beckoned. It was during his PGCE course that the relationship with Wolverhampton Grammar School began. Mark explained that upon commencing his training all the trainee teachers were required to fill in a questionnaire about their career preferences; one of the questions asked if the trainee teacher would be willing to work in the independent sector, to which Mark answered ‘yes’. Meanwhile Wolverhampton Grammar School’s Head of English, Kevin Riley had a half-brother who was Head of Education at Warwick and asked him if he could recommend anyone who was willing to work in an independent school. Upon that recommendation, Mark visited the School, met his future wife Lesley [Miller] during the tour and was offered a job by Head, Patrick Hutton without having applied for one. I probed at Mark’s decision to work in the independent sector; he told me that there was not any political consideration when accepting the job. Many of his contemporaries on the PGCE course did not tick the box to confirm they were happy to work in the independent sector but it was the 1980s and jobs were hard to come by.

I asked about Mark’s teaching style; “I think it was Baudelaire who said…” he started, I nodded knowingly and I think I got away with it. According to the French poet, Mark explained, ‘mais’ or ‘but’ is so intrinsic to independent thought because it implies ‘I’ve been listening to you, I’ve been thinking and have possible alternatives’. You cannot say ‘but’ without the process of thought, it is not passively accepting the ‘facts’ that have been presented to you. It is a dialogic interchange and it underpins our democracy.

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Mark believes that the role of an English teacher, above the teaching of full stops and apostrophes, is the introduction of great literature and the instilment of an attitude of questioning. According to Mark, the best teachers are the ones who have the most confidence to show as much of their real selves as is professionally possible. But is being a teacher not also playing the role of a teacher, I asked: Definitely, he answered. Occasionally you have to pretend to be annoyed with a student if they are upsetting the dynamic of the class; you have nothing against them personally, in that moment you outwardly present yourself as being cross but inwardly you are completely in control.

is down to love, jealousy, hatred, human constants. The outside apparatus might change but the interaction of humans and what motivates them doesn’t Shakespeare dramatised them in a way like no one else has”. Mark told me that his favourite novel, without much deliberation is The Great Gatsby, “at its best it is the most beautiful prose. Fitzgerald was very much inspired by John Keats; there is something very poetic about the way he writes. It’s the writing geek in me; it’s the beauty of writing that appeals to me.”

Style is that which indicates how the writer

The world is a stage, And all the men and women merely players.

takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself

William Shakespeare

as it moves forward.

The best writer, not his favourite Mark stressed, is Shakespeare. “He was not uniformly brilliant…but the mind at work was so brilliant and I don’t think there is a human situation that has not been addressed in one of his plays. Because it

I invited Mark to talk about his involvement in drama at School. Most recently, he had been much more involved in the Lower School plays, including Lord of the Flies, Taming of


Robert Frost

the Shrew and Rumpelstiltskin to name a few, and one of the productions he is most proud of is a modernisation of Measure for Measure. Mark applauds the standard of drama at the School and the number of Old Wulfrunians that have made their career in the performing arts is testament to that. Mark added that there isn’t a ‘WGS-type’ and he is very proud of that. "We don’t just churn out doctors and engineers, rather we facilitate students to embrace what makes them happy and to study a subject for the sheer passion and love they have for it." Inevitably, the conversation rumbled on to the subject of retirement and how Mark intends to spend his. Mark and Lesley have a serious case of Wanderlust; they have covered much of England and Wales and their philosophy on travel is to jump into the car and see where the road takes them. “I like to travel in the old sense of the word, I’m never happier than going down a country lane and finding an old mill.” Let’s hope he will not be mistaking them for giants.



Common Rooms Ed Cornaby was not the only

What year did you leave and

Why did you study English and

OW and former student of

what has changed since you

what inspired you to become a

Mark Benfield to join him that

were a student here?


day. Hattie Povey (OW 2011)

Hattie: I left in 2011 at the end of my Upper Sixth year having completed A Levels in English, French and Fine Art. The School feels very much the same to me but back in those dark ages, we definitely did not write on iPads. It also seems strange to see such young students on the campus as the addition of the Junior School is also new! Part of the beauty of the School is its ability to blend its history and traditions with the modern day. I think it’s a real credit to the School as it enables it to feel familiar, despite change. I’m certainly looking forward to Founder’s Day wearing an academic gown rather than a uniform this time!

Hattie: I didn’t initially know what I wanted to do as a career so the thought of spending three years at university doing what I love, reading books with a pot of tea, sounded idyllic (disclaimer: it’s nothing like this). For me, I loved exploring alternative realities and seeing things through different narrative perspectives so, not only did I enjoy it personally, it gave me a solid foundation for the future.

and Mark Blything (OW 2008) are the newest members of the English Department and both (re)joined School in September 2019. Hattie and Mark indulged us with a catch-up and chatted teaching, literature and school memories.

Mark: I left in 2006 at the end of my GCSE studies. The School has modernised in its use of digital technology to support learning and there have been extensive upgrades in terms of the facilities, whether this be the new science labs, the Hutton Theatre, or the new Sixth Form Library. The warmth of the staff and the sense of pride and community haven’t changed – if anything, they've only grown.

My teachers at School were, of course, an inspiration, but it was not just this that inspired me to become a teacher. I felt that English Literature, as a subject, often got ‘mixed reviews’ given its importance as a core subject and on students’ future lives. I was of the belief that this gravitas of the subject took something away from it. English has always been a form of escapism for me and I wanted to pass this love of the subject on to another generation. In my opinion, it offers something unique to the curriculum, allowing students to get a taste of new worlds, past societies, imaginary creatures and fantasy friends. I wanted to open up young minds to the endless possibilities the subject offers. Mark: As I moved through Year 11 and into A Level study, it gradually changed from the subject that I was best at to the one I became more passionate about,


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the more I learned about its artful nature and intricacies. Joe McKee opened this incredible world up to me at GCSE and it was his expert guidance, humour and genuine interest in us that inspired me, and taught me how to think about literature, and the world, in different ways. Also, I wanted a job where I didn’t leave my degree behind at 21; I’m lucky to be able to spend my time at work sharing Shakespeare’s plays or exploring poetry with students and hearing how they respond to them.

How do you feel about teaching in your former school? Hattie: It feels like coming home! It takes a while to get used to bumping into your old teachers while on the morning caffeine hunt but, having spent so long here as a student, I felt comfortable straight away. I can’t believe I’ve come full circle but I couldn’t think of a school I’d rather work in. I must add, however, I was pretty mortified when Mr Anderson, in my second week, kindly gave me a picture of me in Year 9 for my desk! The archive of photographic evidence is a definite downside, it appears! Mark: I was proud to be here as a student and it’s a privilege to be able to teach here and say I work at WGS. I feel really supported by my department and the senior staff. I can tell that I’m going to really enjoy teaching here.


What is your favourite book and

What memories do you have of

what sorts of literature do you

Mark Benfield?


Hattie: First of all, before I answer this question, I must note how disconcerting it is to be on first name terms with my old teachers! I will have to stick to Mr Benfield, I’m afraid.

Hattie: It sounds like an English graduate cliché but no book has ever, for me, compared to The Great Gatsby. Not only are the narrative and characterisation incredible but the language is out of this world! It is so beautiful: I remember reading it for the first time and being blown away by the pathos of the story! I’m not ashamed to say, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic and have always loved literature with a romance (either hopeless or realised) at heart. Having said that, I also read a lot of dystopian novels and love seeing novelists imagine the impact of a few changes to our fragile paradigms. Mark: I always used to say The Great Gatsby. I read it first at university and remember being stunned by the beauty and economy of Fitzgerald’s language. Since then, the books that have had a similar impact have been McCarthy’s ‘The Road’, Junot Diaz’s ‘The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’. I like books with character, in the sense that I’m not particularly bothered by plot detail but I like really inventive and vibrant writers like Max Porter, Ali Smith and Jonathan Safran Foer.

My overriding memory of Mr Benfield is his absolute dedication to me succeeding at A Level to the point that he hand-delivered my coursework changes on a Saturday morning! I remember him being overwhelmingly patient while I struggled to get my head around Chaucer and Middle English. I remember him teaching me the word ‘paradox’ and searching for one in every text I read for the next two years. I remember him as being the most wellread person I knew. But, most of all, I remember his greatness as my teacher. Mark: He taught me in Year 7. I remember his passion in trying to get us reading - but reading good stuff. I remember writing a ghost story, studying a playscript of Frankenstein and generally enjoying learning how to read and write with intelligence and consideration. We all really respected him and his expertise.


The first rule of

Business When it comes to business, sound advice can be hard to find. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or organising a family budget, the first voice you hear in the morning can be essential to keeping you up to speed with what’s happening when you are on the go.

Former student Sean Farrington (OW 2001) has been dispensing expert business advice to the nation via his “Wake Up to Money” programme on Radio 5 Live and the daily business parts of BBC Breakfast. Sean’s accessible and understandable advice – two phrases you don’t often hear in the same sentence about business – has made him one of the “go to” people in the BBC. Sean was at Wolverhampton Grammar School from 1994 until 2001, when he left to study Mathematics at Christ’s College, Cambridge University. He remembers fondly his first form tutor,


Mrs Onac, and attributes his confidence to apply to Cambridge, largely to her influence as a maths tutor, along with the inspiration of Dr Neil Bradley, Dr Chris O’Brien and Graham Lewis. Who would have thought the boy who was pleased with Gold in the Junior Maths Challenge of 1994 would go on to be a primetime business presenter for the BBC? But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Sean at School. He reflects on becoming a Prefect in the Sixth Form, which was “as much of a surprise to him as everyone else” and after years of failing to win a place in his age group’s football 1st team, Sean was named 3rd XI captain, ensuring all the hard work on the playground and down The Valley did indeed finally pay off! The boom in financial services led to many Maths graduates working in the City, and Sean was one of them, if a little reluctantly. After five years working

in an investment bank, he made the decision to quit the industry and retrain as a journalist, having spent two years volunteering in hospital radio in his spare time. In 2010, after a Broadcast Journalism MA at City University, Sean joined the BBC’s Business and Economics Unit as a producer on the Today programme. Sean was in the first wave of staff to move to the new Salford headquarters in 2011, and he lives there in Manchester today. Sean still has strong connections with the City of Wolverhampton. In his words, “most importantly, my loyalty to Wolves is finally being repaid after almost 30 years of having a season ticket with my mum”. We are honoured to welcome Sean back to Wolverhampton Grammar School in July 2020 when he will be meeting students and presenting prizes at Senior Prizegiving.

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Running the Big Apple for grandson Josh

Peter completed the marathon in just under 5 hours, raising almost £1500 of his £2000 target in the process. Children with Cancer UK has since offered Peter a place in the London Marathon in April 2020, so his giving page will remain open until then - https:// uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoshJourney

In Wolverhampton for Ed Humphries’ (OW 1953) funeral, Dr Peter Hendy Ibbs (OW 1968) took the opportunity to kindly bring in a copy of the classic plant book, W Keble-Martin's Concise British Flora, for the Biology Department. Of his old School friend, he said: "Seeing so many OWs at the funeral was warming though tinged with sadness at the loss of a dear friend and ardent supporter of the School. Ed was a big man in so many ways, but above all he was generous and supportive." Peter remembers his School days with warmth and affection: "I was lucky to have inspirational biology teachers in R E (Bob) Lister and Brian Arnold, who replaced him in 1966-68. Also Bruce Jackson, who drove a VW Beetle he worshipped with the registration LOV---E, as I recall, and before him a Mr Thorpe. I remember many of the teachers who taught me and whom, I realise now, we very much under-appreciated at the time." Outside the classroom Peter was in both the scout troop and the CCF. He also became Wolverhampton Schools' Pole-Vault champion, although he says he couldn’t honestly recall there being too much competition! He has enjoyed running for the last 40 years, nowadays mainly 10Ks and the occasional half marathon, taking him to new and interesting places, including two very different runs in Sweden (lakeside) and Corsica (hills) this year.


Running the 2019 New York Marathon.

However, Peter was recently compelled to enter the 2019 New York marathon in aid of Children with Cancer UK. "My grandson Josh was diagnosed with a lymphoma in his chest two years ago, at the age of four. Since then he has had daily intensive chemotherapy, using nine different drugs by mouth, into his veins, muscles and even into his spine. He has had superb care from both Princess Royal and Birmingham Children's hospitals but still has 18 months to go. The side-effects have been severe with critical infections, hair loss and muscle weakness affecting his mobility. Sadly, less than 4% of cancer funding goes on childhood cancers. Children with Cancer UK funds much of the UK research, whilst also supporting the families of those affected."

"I chose the New York marathon because it coincided with the second anniversary of Josh’s treatment, as well as my 70th birthday! It was a challenging, emotional and completely memorable experience, not least because of the fantastic support from the crowds, especially in Brooklyn and Central Park."

Returning ‘borrowed’ books to Zoe Rowley, Senior Librarian, in July.

When he visited School in July, Peter brought other ‘gifts’ with him: two former WGS library books his sister had recently come across, some 50 years after they were ‘borrowed’, although not by Peter, he assured us!


A SCHOOL AT WAR May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day

on ddlet nk Mi a r F 3 19 9 nt & June ergea



John S

when the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. The 75th anniversary provides an opportunity for us to remember how the war impacted School and the next edition of the Wulfrunian will do just that. For now though, we wanted to share with you just an extract from some of the memories one of our OWs has of his war. We shall publish his memories in full in the 2020 edition of the Wulfrunian.


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Dear Magazine Editor "I am sending you some stuff that might be of general interest to you – there can’t be that many of us left who were at School during the war years, to tell the tale!"

construction and use of the BREN gun. I had it in pieces and put together again in no time! I was quite sure that I could discharge the 30 round magazines and reload in no time at all.

And so began the letter from Richard Sergeant (OW 1948) recalling his school memories of WWII. He attended School alongside his brothers John (OW 1943) and Edward (Eddie) (OW 1955). Sadly, both siblings have now passed away. Richard now lives in Greece and travels back to School every year to attend the OWA Dinner. We look forward to seeing him again in March.

In class we were advised about the types of rifle shooting we might encounter in the current war situation. For my part, I noted that in order to shoot anyone at ordinary distances, say a field, it would be necessary to aim 2 paces in front if running or 1 pace if walking. The things you learn when you are 12 years old!


All school children had milk, 1/3 pint every day in a glass bottle. The empties were collected the next day along with the new delivery. Throughout the country all road signs (not street signs) were removed to hamper any occupying forces. ‘Pig bins’ were provided at intervals along all residential streets.

"Air raid shelters about half underground were constructed in the then field which bounded the western fence of School property terminating at the Compton Road. We had periodic drills evacuating the School buildings in favour of the shelters. Not popular as they were dark, damp and usually had water lying on the floor.

Day to day life

Firearms for children

I recall father sealing up the gaps in our bedroom floor with putty to safeguard Edward who at the time was too young to manage a gas mask.

As cadets, we were issued with rifles which had to be ‘oiled and boiled’ under supervision. Boiling, consisted of hot water being poured down the barrel followed by the use of one’s 4x2 – a piece of cloth that size in inches pulled through the barrel with a cord. A much more potentially destructive contribution for my warfare lay in my grasp of the

Air raid warnings were given by an extremely loud siren located at the top of the Holloway, Tettenhall Wood. It wailed if an attack was imminent, and the ‘All Clear’ was a steady continuous note. Usually the German planes flew past aiming for Coventry with desynchronised engines that gave a wailing sound intended to frighten us.


I well remember lying on a bed with Edward, our heads outside the window and the lights firmly off, on warm summer nights, watching the sky black over with German bombers intent on destroying our armament factories.

Dig for Victory Father purchased a special spade with an extraordinary attachment that looked more like a rat trap than anything else. It had a big spring-loaded frame sticking out behind so that when the spade was deployed, a downward pressure on the handle compressed the spring providing enough energy to fling the loosened soil skyward! It didn’t work very well, but we still managed to grow a few veggies. Mother managed OK, but it was only much later that I realised just how brilliant she really was." Thank you Richard for sharing your memories with us. We will see you at the Old Wulfrunians Association Dinner in March.




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 families, fellow classmates and colleagues, the following pages are filled with fitting tributes to their memories and connections with WGS.

Herbert Hughes (OW 1945) Sadly passed away 10th June 2019

David Roger Walker (OW 1958) Sadly passed away 19th June 2019 Father of the late Christopher J Walker (OW 1984), in whose honour the Walker Memorial Mile is named.

David Hugh Rostance (OW 1972)

Revd John M Turner (OW 1949)

Sadly passed away 21st April 2014

Sadly passed away

16th November 2018

William Edward John Bishop (OW 1934)

David Lewis Allen (OW 1957)

John H Chick (OW 1943)

Sadly passed away

Sadly passed away 1st January 2017

George Turner (OW 1952) Sadly passed away 20 August 2017 th

John Scott McGookin (OW 1950) Sadly passed away 24th August 2018

Sadly passed away January 2019

Geoffrey Harold Kidson (OW 1946) Sadly passed

away 2nd February 2019

David P Nunn (OW 1984)

John Edward Craddock (OW 1949 and former Head Boy)

Sadly passed away

Sadly passed away 30th April 2019

Samuel Cooper (OW 1946)

John Charles Michael Strong (OW 1949)

15th August 2019

Alan Kempster (OW 1959) Sadly passed away 27th August 2019

Martyn Morgan (OW 1979) Sadly passed away September 2019

Paul John Rowley (OW 1985) Sadly passed away 7th October 2019

5th November 2018

Sadly passed away

13 November 2018 th


Sadly passed away 13th May 2019

Philip Joseph Brayshaw (OW 1951) Sadly passed away

5th November 2019

Wulfrunian 2019

Adam James Cuthbert (OW 2004) Sadly passed away 1st January 2019 His love of acting only grew stronger leading him up north to the University of Central Lancashire. Here he pursued his acting degree starring in various short films and culminating in a fantastic performance of Big Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

"Many of you will have met Adam at the various Old Wulfs Festivals over the years. Yep you’ve got it, he was the larger than life gentleman you would see on stage bellowing out Jerusalem after the evening meal following the Sports Festival. That image of Adam Cuthbert, or Cuthy to all who knew him best, is the perfect portrayal of the man. Joining WGS in September 1997 he took no time to establish himself as one of the characters of the year. Throughout his time at School he was a constant source of entertainment making pupils and teachers laugh in equal measure (whilst I’m sure crossing the line occasionally). He was a keen sportsman, fancying himself as a mercurial striker in the winter months, and a bit of a Shane Warne in the summer months standing at first slip and bowling spin due to the short run up. Whilst he progressed and played for the 1st XI football team he also found another passion which was perfectly suited to his extrovert personality…acting. Cuthy starred in many productions at WGS, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to J.B. Priestley’s Mother’s Day, however his biggest role came starring in Me and My Girl where everybody heard his vocal skills on stage for the first time…but definitely not the last.


Whilst he dreamt of a career in acting, it was not meant to be, and this sadly was the last of his performances. Following university, he inevitably found his way down to London with his childhood sweetheart Katie-Jo. London did not only allow Cuthy to marry the girl of his dreams, but he also found his dream job, working at Speakers Corner. Through this job he was able to put his bubbling personality to use mingling with a whole host of celebrities to coordinate after dinner speakers from all walks of life; sports stars, actors, politicians and comedians to name a few. Life unfortunately dealt Cuthy a devasting blow when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in his spinal cord and one which was so extremely rare, doctors and surgeons did not have a standard pathway for treatment. Following a successful operation all seemed to be moving in the right direction and Adam was beginning his road to recovery. However, things took a turn for the worse when the tumour developed from relatively benign to more aggressive. Unperturbed by the set back and combined with his zest for life, Adam continued to live his life to the fullest and remained determined to beat this terrible disease. Together, Cuthy and Katie fought extremely hard with courage and positivity throughout. He sadly lost his battle after a few years and passed away on 1st January 2019. Cuthy will always be remembered by everybody he crossed paths with but

especially by those he loved and who loved him. Cuthy had presence and even the briefest encounters with him will have left an impression or imparted a memory in your life. Whilst we will miss him every day he will never be forgotten and the image of him standing on that stage every year singing Jerusalem will always bring a smile to our faces. I am sure, wherever he is, he will be singing and having one hell of a party. We will be holding an annual memorial cricket match/day at Wolverhampton Cricket Club on the Sunday of the Old Wulfs Sports Festival weekend and I hope many of you can join us through the years."

Chris Lowe (OW 2004)

"There is an adage that goes, "they broke the mould when they made..." in the case of Adam Cuthbert this is certainly the case. Once you had the pleasure of meeting Adam you would never forget him. A unique character full of life. His contribution to the School’s extra-curricular programme was prolific. Whether it be on the stage or on a football pitch Adam gave his all. He was WGS through and through. I thought those who attended Adam’s funeral were privileged; the readings, the music and the eulogies were so Adam and so WGS. His oh so brave wife, family and excellent friends did him proud. Adam will be greatly missed but never forgotten."

John Johnson, teacher and friend


Dr Geoff Howard Nutting (OW 1955) Sadly passed away 25th August 2017 A graduate of Music from Durham University and Theology from Oxford University, a lecturer of Religious Studies, History and Musicology at the University of Nigeria and subsequently in 1967 a lecturer of music at Monash University, Australia. His book ‘On Becoming More Open to Others in God: Asperger Syndrome and the Enneagrams' earnt him his Doctorate of Ministry Studies.

Maurice Vincent Wilde (OW 1951) Sadly passed away 12th June 2019 Maurice went to Corpus Cristi College, Oxford from Wolverhampton Grammar School. He was treasurer of the Corpus JCR and captain of the College football team. After graduation and then National Service, he went into statistics and was Director of Statistics at the Ministry of Defence. We are indebted to Ben Armstrong of Corpus Christi College for sharing this news with the School.


Howard Antrobus Moule (OW 1943) Sadly passed away 22nd July 2018 "My father was born on the 1st July 1927 and was an alumnus of WGS having attended from 1938 to 1943. His parents lived out of the town boundary, and he had to take both the Town and the County 11+ exams, with the best placed boys earning a scholarship. He was placed top in both, and got his place as a day boarder. He duly went from Remove A up the Alpha stream as far as 1st year 6th. His parents could not afford to pay for him to stay in the Sixth Form, so he left with his School Certificate. He remembered his years at School fondly, including the air raid shelters, and was in the ATC, whence he developed a huge knowledge of military aircraft which he continued to develop into older age, and passed on to me. He was taught by a young Rev Frank “Ferd” Rust, who also in due course taught me and my brother. My dad said that when meeting him for the first time Ferd said “Now is it pronounced Mool, Mowl or Mole?”, and dad predicted that Ferd would ask me the same question when I started in 1964. And he did.

Dad had a phenomenal brain – which was often trying for the rest of us who weren’t as quick on the uptake – and amassed a tremendous wealth of general knowledge, but he was also blessed with great skill with his hands, and did all his own building, decorating and maintenance work on the house, including all utilities, and also the car. In his retirement he enjoyed travelling with his wife Betty, and he was treasurer for some time of the local Horticultural Society – he was a keen and effective gardener. His retirement was long, but when Betty died two months before him I think he lost his will to go on."

Chris Moule (son and OW 1971)

Dad went on to take an external degree in Chemistry at London University, becoming the first person in the extended family to graduate in any way. He went on to work for Goodyear and then for Albright and Wilson, where he was Chief Works Chemist.

Wulfrunian 2019

David Edward 'Ed' Humphries (OW 1953) Sadly passed away 1st July 2019 "David Edward Humphries was born on 14th December 1936 and attended Elston Hall Primary School. He joined the Grammar School in September 1948. At School he played football and was active in the CCF. After five years at WGS he followed his father to work at ECC ( Electrical Construction Co). He started as an apprentice and he worked in electrical engineering until he took up a role training apprentices with the Engineering Industry Training Board. He was also responsible for bringing the Skills Olympics to Birmingham in the 1990s. He also served the community on the Wolverhampton Council of Youth and was a Justice of the Peace. Ed, as he was known in Old Wulfrunian circles, remained loyal to his old School throughout his life and always spoke warmly of the “Derry era”. As an OW he played a full part in every aspect of the Old Wulfs Club and Association, mainly in a practical capacity, and epitomised all that is good in an Old Wulfrunian. He was particularly prominent when the OW Club moved from Queen Square to Castlecroft and was very much involved in working parties there to improve the facilities. I first met him when I had left school and was playing football for Old Wulfs in the early 1960s; I say met him, but more accurately heard him as he was a couple of pitches away and I


could hear the crunching and crashing as Ed dealt with opposing centre forwards or occasionally referees. Ed maintained a key interest in education in general and the affairs of the School in particular. He served as Governor with distinction for many years. A man of strong principle, he would not shy away from rigorous debate in meetings.

a family man, devoted to his wife Joyce and his children Pamela and twins Esther and Ian (OW 1981) and his grandchildren, Lucy, Emma, Elliot and Ells. He was very proud of their achievements and was a constant support to them. We extend our condolences to them."

Mike Hughes (OW 1963)

Ed was an enthusiastic freemason and joined the Old Wulfrunians’ Lodge on 20th December 1967 and became its Master in 1979 and again in 2004. He was very active in other masonic orders and was well known and widely respected throughout Staffordshire for his enthusiasm and kindness to others. He was awarded Grand Lodge rank in 1999. He was a great believer in the charitable work of Freemasonry and organised a Demonstration Team which raised nearly £20,000 for a variety of national and local charities. He also took on the job of Secretary of the Federation of Schools Lodges and was responsible for organising many of the meetings and AGMs around the country. Ed was a larger than life character who dedicated himself to many good causes and had a huge circle of friends. However, he was first and foremost


Haden Herbert “Bert” Aston, (OW 1946) Sadly passed away January 2019 Bert was born in Willenhall, Staffordshire on 19th October 1928. Following primary school Bert gained a scholarship place at Wolverhampton Grammar School and attended there throughout the war years. After leaving School he undertook a Teaching Certificate at Saltley College in Birmingham before carrying out his National Service as a Sergeant in the Army Education Corps. Bert’s first teaching post was at the Central School in Willenhall. In the mid 1950’s Bert was persuaded, by his wife Irene, to apply for a teaching post ‘down south' at a school in Dagenham. Bert’s teaching career continued when he took a post at Caterham School in Redbridge teaching French and English. He progressed to become Head of the English Department and then Deputy Head of the School. In 1974, Bert achieved his proudest moment of his teaching career when he accepted the Headship of Dane School in Ilford. Bert died in January after a long period of illness. His beloved wife of 65 years, Irene, died the previous July. They are survived by their two daughters, Sharon and Mandy, and five grandchildren.

Professor Laurence Solkin (Son-In-Law)


Robin Roberts (Former teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar School) Sadly passed away March 2019 me on long walks to beautiful parts of the country I didn’t know existed and ferried me away at weekends when things got particularly bad at home.

"If it had not been for my English teacher and Sixth Form tutor Robin Roberts I would not have made it through. When, to my own surprise, I got offered an interview at Cambridge University, she coached me through it. When, in my confusion and pain, I risked jeopardising everything by behaving stupidly at School, she lobbied for me not to be punished. When my sister was sectioned and I struggled to function, she let me stay over at the place she shared with her boyfriend, distracted me by getting me into the dark comedies of Evelyn Waugh and Joseph Heller, took

I know she broke all the rules in her dealings with me and she continued to do so when I left School. She dropped me off at university when my parents were not up to it. She came to my brother’s wedding and got hammered on whisky with my uncles. She consoled me when things went wrong with the opposite sex, told me which girlfriends were bad news when I became a writer and was one of my best friends. When I told my mother of her passing and my agony at not being able to say thank you or goodbye, she wept along with me and said: “That woman saved your life.”

This excerpt is reproduced with the kind permission of Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1995) from The Times, Friday 29th March 2019.

Wulfrunian 2019

Dr John P A Race (OW 1949) Sadly passed away 8th October 2018 "John and I both arrived in Form 1A in the old Junior School early in 1944, halfway through the school year. We each had difficulty fitting into a class that had already established its cliques and hierarchies. My experience should have made me sympathetic to John when he arrived after me, but, to my shame, it did not: our relationship got off to a very rocky start, through no fault  of John’s. He was magnanimous, however, and as we both lived on Chapel Ash, still then a partly residential street, we quite often walked home from School together during his relatively short period at WGS, and came to know each other better. His time at WGS was short because his father, Charles Race, was head of the Classics department, although on leave of absence during much of World War II, returning to the School after John’s arrival. It was awkward for both of them to be in the same school, so John went elsewhere after a few years.


I came to know both John (an only child) and his parents quite well and was sometimes a guest in their apartment. John and I had earnest discussions on our walks home about many things we could then only dimly understand. I lost contact with him after he left us, but not with his father, who was one of my Latin teachers, even giving me extra tuition shortly before the School Leaving Certificate exams of those days. He also spent a year trying to teach me Greek, during which I must have tried his patience many times, since I was in the class under protest, and made my escape as soon as I could! Fortunately, the older Race was also forgiving, and we remained on good terms until I left the School in 1950.

of the teachers both John and I had in Form 1A. John then wrote to me, through the School, and I replied. We did not pursue the correspondence, but John must have kept my letter, since his children notified me of the deaths of both their parents towards the end of 2018. I did not know until then that John had gone on to read classics at Oxford and then switched to a career in aeronautical engineering, eventually earning a doctorate in that field. That career switch would have pleased his father, who sometimes spoke as if he believed that mastery of the classics would enable one to master anything."

Alan H. Batten (OW 1950)

My emigration to Canada late in 1959 led to a complete break with the School until I discovered its website about a decade ago and began receiving the Wulfrunian again, to which, in 2012, I contributed a short appreciation of one


Stephen John Lewis (OW 1966) Sadly passed away 10th December 2018 "The distinguished economist Stephen Lewis, famous on British breakfast TV in the 1980’s as the ‘Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse’ for his stark and pessimistic forecasts, has died suddenly at the age of 70.

later they were to meet at the height of their careers when Lewis was regularly invited to lunch in Threadneedle Street, and his views canvassed on what was really happening in the City, in bond markets in particular.

Stephen achieved a real measure of fame in 1988 by predicting the City would lose 50,000 jobs following the 'Big Bang’, the shake-up of all forms of trading within the Square Mile. This was a prediction largely realised. At the time he was Chief Economist at the stockbrokers Phillips & Drew in the City of London, the youngest the firm had ever had, and regularly topped polls of dozens of financial institutions as the City’s best and most trusted economist.

Schoolmasters at WGS recognised Lewis’s intellectual brilliance long before he won a scholarship to Balliol College. He was never a sportsman, though he developed an expertise on every single League football team in Britain, and was a lifelong fan of Walsall FC. Unable to swim or ride a bike, and with poor eyesight, Lewis established a reputation for stubborn courage playing full back in WGS’s football teams by running repeatedly into opposing forwards, determined not to let them get within shooting range.

Yet he might never have even entered the City in 1969 after achieving a third class degree in psychology at Balliol College Oxford. He had temporarily lost faith that Summer in Oxford’s values, and in his finals year, instead of studying, he sat down to try and win the football pools; it took him six weeks. Asked why he had not continued with his winning streak, he replied, "Bond markets are more interesting". At Wolverhampton Grammar School, one classmate was the future Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn now Lord King of Lothbury. Thirty years


Up at Balliol, Lewis was a contemporary of the wit and controversialist Christopher Hitchens, who dubbed him ‘Trotsky Lewis’, because of the passion and commitment of his beliefs. At the age of 21, Lewis was hired as a bond analyst at Phillips & Drew, despite his Third class degree, by Geoffrey Redman-Brown, also a Balliol man. On 5th January 1970, Lewis began more than 47 years of daily commentary on world markets. For years his widely read ‘Economic Insights’ were distributed

exclusively to clients of P&D. After 1988 the giant Swiss bank UBS took over Phillips & Drew, and ‘economic insights’ were distributed world-wide by Dow Jones Newswires. At the height of Lewis’s financial influence, and at his own expense, every three months he would fly to West Germany, take a train to a small town and a bus to the town limits, and walk along a road looking, typically, for ‘the 17th tree on the right’ There he would be met by a representative from the Vatican and grilled on what was really happening in London’s financial centre. Lewis would, in turn, be briefed on the Catholic view of the world, before setting off again on his solitary journey back to England. Stephen Lewis had varied tastes and esoteric knowledge. On 26th May 2017, Stephen Lewis published his Valediction, his last word on the world after so many years of close observation. Intensely proud of being British, he came to feel that economics as an intellectual discipline had failed to come to grips with the real world, where it was widely believed that the super-rich were taking a disproportionate share of the spoils."

An extract from John Beaumont’s tribute to Stephen in The Times and Telegraph.

Wulfrunian 2019

Philip Ernest James White (OW 1957 and Governor of the School 1997-2013) Sadly passed away 29th August 2019 "His education started, as did mine, at an ordinary, but good, infants and junior school in Woodfield Avenue, Wolverhampton. He passed his 11+ and went on to Wolverhampton Grammar School. It had an Alpha stream for the really brilliant boys (and it was only for boys in those days) which led to them taking their “O” Levels a year earlier than the others. Philip went straight into that stream. I also went to the Grammar School, but was at first in a rather lower stream. Education tended to be focussed on classics, modern languages and getting into university, typically Oxford. I am sure that Philip could have got to whichever university he chose but in fact he chose not to and left at the age of 16, to the great displeasure of the Head. He wanted to get into business. One of the leading engineering firms in The Black Country in those days was Rubery Owen and he took an apprenticeship with them, not working on the engineering side but in the office dealing with buying and selling. He ultimately became a Fellow of the Institute of


Management. He moved on from Rubery Owen to FAG Bearings becoming engineering sales manager. He left FAG Bearings and started running his own business from his home with his wife Joanna at their house in Wombourne. Philip and Joanna decided to form a limited company in 1964. They discussed names. “White”, “Company” and finally agreed on Wyko with a K and the name, Wyko Equipments Limited, has been a wonderful success being able to be used in countries right across the world and no-one forgets it. They asked my father to act as their accountant and he, and subsequently our firm, have acted for them or their family ever since, which has been a great pleasure and honour. As if the Wyko companies were not enough, with his three sons in mind, in 1989 Philip bought another group of companies, these dealing with office storage and filing products and printing.

headship of Bernard Trafford and the leadership of Philip, the School created the “Sharing the Vision” appeal. This was to replace the funds the School would have received from the Assisted Places Scheme with fundraised money for bursaries to secure school places for the less well-off of Wolverhampton. By early 2000 the School had raised £1million. By 2003 the School had financially supported 62 families with a bursary place for their child. Philip liked to attend the Old Wulfrunians’ Dinner. He came to this year’s dinner in March but at the end he could not rise from the table by himself and two of us had to lift him up. I feel that most people would feel that to be an indignity but Philip stood there, smiling, immaculately dressed in top quality clothes as usual, and still exuding self-confidence. That was our Philip."

Extracted from David Cotterell’s Eulogy to Philip.

Wolverhampton Grammar School was important to him. He served as a Governor from 1997 to 2013. Under the


Tim Calloway (OW 1971) Sadly passed away 8th July 2019 "Tim was a well respected solicitor in the West Midlands for over 40 years; he was articled in West Bromwich, became a partner at Shakespeares in Birmingham and in recent years was a consultant with Freeths in Stoke on Trent, specialising in commercial litigation Tim was born in Bilston and attended Greenacres Primary School. From an early age he developed a lifelong love of music, singing, playing the violin, the piano, the clarinet and the guitar. He joined Wolverhampton Grammar School in 1964 and played a leading part in school music, singing in the choir and leading the orchestra. He was a good athlete and represented the School in the 100 yard hurdles. He was Captain of the 2nd XI, playing at left back. He became House Captain of Offley and was Second Prefect. In the Sixth Form he studied


Classics and retained a love of Latin throughout his life, always speaking warmly of those who had taught him.

Onn in Staffordshire enjoying the rural surroundings and entertaining friends and family.

He won an Open Exhibition to Trinity Hall Cambridge where he read Law.

Tim was an enthusiastic Old Wulfrunian; in his younger days he played for the Old Wulfs Football Club, and in recent years, he was a regular attender at the OWA Dinner regaling fellow OWs with witty and humorous discourse on a wide variety of topics. He enjoyed reminiscing about old times, but was equally interested in the development of WGS in the present day.

He was President of the Junior Common Room, played football for the college and sang with the University Music Society. Throughout his life Tim continued his interest in music by singing in Bach choirs, conducting the West Midlands Police choir and Brierley Hill Choral Society, He was very pleased to have performed at Symphony Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He had an extensive circle of friends and enjoyed good food and wine and conversation. He spent many happy years with his wife, Diana, living in Little

Tim is survived by his wife, Diana, his children from his first marriage to Julie - Sarah and Tim, who are both police officers and Martha his grand daughter. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends."

Tim Lawrence (OW 1971)

Wulfrunian 2019

John Anthony Stocks (Former Headmaster 1973 – 1978) Sadly passed away 15th January 2019

in 1964, with a personal involvement in the design of many of the buildings. More importantly, he insisted on high academic standards, and he took great pride in the achieved success of his students.

"Tony Stocks was a great servant of WGS. Between 1947 and 1957 he taught History, as well as Religious Education and Latin, with great distinction, establishing himself as both a popular and expert schoolmaster. Outside of the classroom he was a committed and enthusiastic Scoutmaster, and he set the School Troop on its prosperous course. Between 1961 and 1973, he was Headmaster of Sir Thomas Rich’s School in Gloucester, where he oversaw the School’s move to its present site


Tony brought these qualities with him when he returned to WGS in 1973 to succeed Ernest Taylor as Headmaster. In so doing, he infused the School with a modern, more egalitarian feeling. He abolished academic streaming (except in maths), and he remodelled the curriculum to provide a greater number of subject choices for all students. He introduced a School Council, the forerunner of today’s Student Parliament, where form representatives could discuss improvements in non-academic affairs. He took great interest in Sixth Form students, giving them their first ever Common Room. His enthusiasm for scouting and outward bounds adventures saw him approve the purchase of the School’s first ever minibus. His tenure saw the School prosper, but it was not immune from external political interference. The 1974 Labour government’s desire to ultimately abolish private education saw the existence of WGS hang in the balance. In 1977 the Local Education Authority declared its intention to cease to

maintain the School and not to allocate pupils to the School in September 1979 and thereafter. Consequently, the Governors set about establishing the School on an independent footing, and in Tony Stocks they found a source of wise counsel and encouragement to match their need. As a Local Preacher of the Methodist Church, his Christian faith as a way of life was a great comfort to him during the darker days of his Headship. He was instrumental in setting up an Appeal Committee to raise funds for the School’s transition to Independence and ultimate survival. He retired as Head in 1978 and returned to Gloucester to teach at the King’s School. His legacy of maintaining the School’s scholastic standards, whilst fostering a greater sense of community, trust and outward-looking enterprise amongst pupils and teachers alike, abounds to this day at WGS. As a man, Tony Stocks will be remembered for his shrewdness, his whimsical story telling ability, his intense interest in people and, above all, as a wonderful friend to WGS."

Duncan McAllister (OW 1997 and School Librarian)


Hatton Cyril Harris (OW 1942)

Dashanelle Morgan

Sadly passed away

26th December 2018

Sadly passed away 4th June 2019 The sudden death of Lower Sixth student Dashanelle in June was a shock to our whole School community. Students and staff came together to pay tribute to Dashanelle in very different ways and the following is part of an extract from Kathy Crewe-Read’s personal tribute to her. "Years ago, we used to ask children who applied for a place at Wolverhampton Grammar School to write a personal statement about what they liked about their primary schools and their interests and hobbies. The 10 year old Dashanelle wrote this “The main things that interest me at school are Maths, Science and Art.” She went on to say “I am very motivated and have a good attitude towards school and doing the work necessary to achieve my full potential. Wolverhampton Grammar School is an outstanding school and I would be honoured to attend it.”


Dashanelle was a hard working student who excelled in languages, speaking with confidence in her French and German oral exams. Dashanelle went on to achieve fantastic GCSE results. During her time in Sixth Form, she continued to leave a wonderful impression on not only her peers but also on the teachers. Dashanelle was liked and respected by all who knew her at School. To her friends she was caring, supportive and much loved. We, the teachers were proud to have her in our school. We hope, Dashanelle, that you are resting in peace."

Hatton Cyril Harris was born on 27th June 1926 and died on 26th December 2018, on his and wife Rita’s 67th wedding anniversary. They had three sons, the eldest of whom, Anthony, was also at WGS between 1963 and 1970. Hatton did National Service with the Royal Navy and afterwards ran the family firm until he retired in 1984.

Kathy Crewe-Read Head

Wulfrunian 2019

Mervyn Brooker and Matthew Armstrong It is with some sadness that I put pen to paper to write about two men who served our School faithfully on the Board of Directors, and whose lives were taken prematurely this year.

newly qualified teacher alike benefitted from his innate ability to understand what they were going through. Despite his rise through management, he never lost empathy or the human touch. As a Director, he was challenging, and rightly so. He took on special responsibility for the Junior School, and developed a valuable interest in careers education, representing both with objectivity at Board level. He offered wisdom and sensitivity and is sorely missed.

a time when changes in the national education landscape required incisive decision making from school leaders. He was fundamental to the nascent process of appointing a new head for September 2020. Both men’s lives were cut short, Mervyn being 64 and Matthew just 48 years old. I take some comfort from the knowledge that they both possessed such joie de vivre, that they were able to 'fill every minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run', (to misquote Kipling). They were fantastic men, generous servants to our school and will not be forgotten.

Kathy Crewe-Read Head

Mervyn Brooker

Mervyn Brooker, whose distinguished career in teaching, latterly as headmaster of Bolton School, spent part of his richly filled retirement working as a supply teacher, here at WGS. His encyclopaedic knowledge of Geography ensured he was a hit amongst the students; his ability to understand and read people meant he was well respected by the staff. Deputy Head and


Matthew Armstrong

Matthew Armstrong was Head of King’s School, Worcester and joined the Board as education expert only last year. Highly intelligent, forthright yet always impeccably polite and articulate, he brought much needed challenge, at




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.


WE WILL REMEMBER THEM A new remembrance panel has been installed next to the original panels at the back of Big School. This is to honour three former Masters of Wolverhampton Grammar School and two former students, who served in World War I, a fact not recorded at the time.

Louise Hingley (OW 2014) left Southampton University in the summer of 2018 with a First Class BSc Honours degree in Politics with International Relations. Louise is now working as a political consultant. Success clearly runs in the family with sister Faye (OW 2008) on course to graduate with a Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology. Brother Thomas (OW 2007) is an Associate with the esteemed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer law firm in London.

We will always remember them.

The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP (OW 2000) has made Wolverhampton Grammar School history by becoming its first former student to be appointed to a position within the Cabinet. As part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle in 2019 Robert was appointed as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in the United Kingdom’s youngest Cabinet in history. Robert was elected Member of Parliament for Newark in 2014 byelection and was re-elected in the 2015 General Election, with a majority of 57%.

Louise, Thomas and Faye


Wulfrunian 2019

What part will you play in

our history? You would expect nothing less than a School such as ours, founded in 1512, to have an interesting history and sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are one of the oldest schools in the country (older than Harrow and Cheltenham Ladies' College even). We’ve produced this timeline to highlight just some of the more memorable dates and you can see this, along with other wall graphics in our newly refurbished Sixth Form library.

Founded in


Want to learn more? Have you ever looked at the archive materials in the Archive Room (by Reception) or the Archive stores in the Library? Why not take a look? You might also like to see the School's history online – visit www.wgs.org.uk and view our timeline there. Check out video footage of the Queen's visit to School in 1962 here: vimeo.com/126108445 (the School features from around 15 minutes in).


acre site


Wolverhampton Grammar School was founded.


The School moves to the Compton Road campus.



Women join the staff for the first time.



The School becomes an independent school.

Queen Elizabeth II visits School.



The School becomes fully co-educational.

Girls are admitted into the Sixth Form for the first time.



Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School re-opens.

Ten year old students are admitted to the School and are known as Big 6.


The School’s first female Head, Kathy Crewe-Read is appointed.


The School celebrates its 500th anniversary.


PROFESSOR AWARDED THIRD FELLOWSHIP Congratulations to Professor Derek Peters (OW 1987) of the University of Worcester who has been bestowed a Fellowship of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences - the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK. The Fellowship is in recognition of his professional achievements, skills, knowledge and service to the Association and wider sport and exercise science community.

David Jackson (OW 2008) recently completed a two-year MBA at London Business School, with distinction, and is now Head of Strategy at the National University Esports League (NUEL). Visiting School earlier this year, David particularly enjoyed sitting in on a Student Parliament session, reminding him of the time when, in the Sixth Form, he and a friend successfully proposed a name change for the group from School Council.

Professor Peters already holds a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship and a Fellowship of the European College of Sport Science. He is believed to be the first person to hold all three professional body fellowships.

OLD WULFRUNIANS’ LODGE NO 7411 The Old Wulfrunians’ Lodge dates from 1955 and is one of about thirty Masonic Lodges and Orders which meet at Linden House on Tettenhall Road. The Lodge is a member of the Federation of School Lodges and greatly values its unique status. Unlike any other Masonic Lodge, 7411 requires its members to have links with WGS as an Old Boy or Friend of the School. This means that members have a common interest as soon as they join. There is a wide age range of members so any OW of any generation who joins is likely to be pleasantly surprised by a number of familiar faces.



NICK MAKES PARTNER The Old Wulfrunians’ Lodge has raised thousands of pounds over recent years for national charities such as the RNLI and Cancer Research. They support local good causes such as Compton Hospice, the West Midlands Air Ambulance, Scope, the Royal Wolverhampton School Orphan Foundation and the Wolverhampton Grammar School Bursary Fund. Anyone interested in joining can make informal contact either by writing to the Secretary of the Old Wulfrunians’ Lodge No 7411, 211 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton or by emailing to secretary7411@outlook.com

In 2001, after graduating from Nottingham University with a First Class Honours Degree in Geography, former Head Boy Nicholas Fox (OW 1998) joined Ernst & Young LLP (EY). He has since spent the last 17 years advising a wide range of UK and international investors on mergers and acquisitions. Nick was made a Partner in July 2017, having worked his way up through the organisation and oversees the transaction advisory service work in the Midlands, as well as taking a leading role in the firm’s relationships with key infrastructure investors, the sector in which he specialises.

Wulfrunian 2019

MASTER OF THE MIND Mastermind is widely regarded as the most rigorous and intellectual British quiz show, and after 40 years, has become one of television's most enduring successes. But what is it really like to sit in that ominous black chair, from where contestants face a series of challenging questions, interrogation-style? Mohan Mudigonda (OW 1997) knows that feeling only too well. Not only did the GP Practice Manager face John Humphrys on several occasions, battling subjects as diverse as Nirvana and Asterix, he also managed to get to the final in 2017.

I'll always remember the feeling of sitting in 'that chair' and

being in sheer awe of how hard working, talented and kind the

production crew were during the whole process.

Aaron Rai (OW 2013) held off fellow Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick to win his first European Golf Tour title by one shot in the season-opening Hong Kong Open. "It's incredible to win on any Tour, let alone the European Tour," said three-time Challenge Tour winner Rai.

Mohan shared his Mastermind experience on the blog lifeaftermastermind.blogspot.com – a loveable miscellany of all things quiz. "I'm not overtly religious but I do believe in a higher power and I did pray to whoever was upstairs the night before the final. I didn't pray to win. That is somewhat facile and besides, there were five other supremely talented contenders who wanted the same thing. I simply prayed that whatever the outcome, I could be proud of my performance and feel good about how I acquitted myself. I will always be grateful for this incredible experience. The final was bittersweet, I cannot deny, and I can't help thinking that I did a bit of a Leicester City in getting to the final. I fully intend to reapply and keep doing so until I win, but somehow, I wonder whether this year is as good as it is going to get.” We'll be watching out for you, Mohan, and will be wishing you all the best.

ROYAL FELLOW James Nepaulsingh (OW 1998) has been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. The Society is a global community of professionals, from a myriad of sectors, with a common goal of making positive change in the world through pioneering ideas. James can count himself amongst esteemed former fellows including Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking. James is an English Language and Literature graduate from the University of Oxford and a corporate M&A lawyer based in Abu Dhabi. He is passionate about creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds and is the founder of the BME Lawyer Tokyo Network, which aims to empower BME lawyers and provide a forum for discussion. Aside from James’ legal career, he is an artist and uses the medium to explore diversity. He is also a DJ and has played sets in some of the biggest venues across London.

James is pictured with Nigel Crust, Head of Upper Sixth, during his visit to School last year.



RICS YOUNG SURVEYOR OF THE YEAR FINALIST Sara Hartill-Winkle (OW 2010) has been named a finalist in the RICS Young Surveyor of the Year.

JESS MAKES HER MARATHON DEBUT - IN CHICAGO! amazing. Just when things were getting tough you would turn a corner and there would be boom boxes surrounded by people in fancy dress singing and dancing. However, around other corners, in true Chicago style, there would be a wind tunnel to fight against.

Jess Beasley (OW 2010) was just one of a record number of 45,786 runners to cross the finish line in Grant Park at this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon. On Sunday 13th October, in its 42nd year, the event welcomed runners from 140 countries, including a worldclass elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. Jess ran the marathon, her first, in 4 hours 23 seconds, describing her experience as ‘incredible’. "It was an early start to get to Grant Park for 5:45am, watching the sunrise while we anxiously queued for the porta loos and waited to start. Running through Chicago was a great way to see the city and the support throughout the entire course was


The best part of any race is when you see your own personal support crew. My sister, Charlotte Beasley, and her two children were there to support me along with my partner. It is the support of family and friends which makes these achievements possible and so special. It was also fantastic to be part of an event where a new world record was set. Brigid Kosgei rewrote history with a jaw-dropping time of 2:14:04, shattering Paula Radcliffe’s world record (set 16 years ago) time of 2:15:25."

I'd probably be the last person

any of my sports teachers at WGS

would have expected to be running a marathon (or completing an

During the past four years Sara has immersed herself in the world of real estate at global service provider CBRE, becoming an expert in valuations, agency, land and investment. Sara, who graduated with a degree in Business Economics from the University of Birmingham, has also worked as a broadcaster and producer for Sky and MTV, presenting at numerous red carpet events and interviewing lots of high profile people including George Clooney, Michael Caine, Julia Roberts and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. She believes the skills she has honed during her presenting work have helped her to progress quickly in the real estate industry. "It's client-focused. You have to have tenacity and you have to have the ambition to win business." Sara is delighted by the nomination after just a few years in the industry and hopes that it will help to encourage other women to seek a career in the property industry. She is very keen to continue to be an ambassador for both the area and the industry. More about how Sara got on at the November award ceremony in next year's edition.

Ironman triathlon), but finding a love for sport has been a huge

discovery over the past few years

and it is now an invaluable part of my life. I just wish I'd listened to my teachers all those years ago!

Wulfrunian 2019

SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND The summer holidays provide the perfect opportunity for important maintenance and repair work to be done throughout School. You might remember that last year we uncovered three cigarette packets from the 1930s, under the floor boards of the Chemistry laboratories. This year, we discovered a collection of music books from the 1950s and a pipe (definitely not a student's) beneath the Big School stage.

BIG SCHOOL STAGE GETS A NEW LEASE OF LIFE Refurbishment of Big School stage over the summer presented Richard White (OW 2001) with an opportunity to preserve the life of some of the wood by upcycling it into several pieces of furniture. From books to carpentry, via Qatar, here’s what Richard has been doing since leaving WGS.


Professor Nile Green (OW 1990) has been elected the Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History at UCLA, as well as being nominated as a Guggenheim Fellow. "I owe much to the education WGS gave me" says Nile, a historian of the multiple globalisations of Islam and Muslims and a Professor of History at UCLA, who has written seven monographs, seven edited books, and over seventy articles on the subject.


"Seven years ago, after a 12-year career of managing bookshops, I found myself gainfully unemployed after opting to leave the literary world. I had no idea what I wanted to do; from my time at WGS my strengths had always been in the arts so I sought to develop new practical, creative skills. It was in restoring and renovating our house that I decided furniture design and manufacturing was a path I wanted to explore. A college carpentry course, and several YouTube tutorials later, I started my new vocation making furniture for a small company in Birmingham. By 2016 I had begun to investigate starting my own business, when my wife was offered a job in the Middle East. The opportunity to experience life in such a different culture was too good to miss so we

packed our bags! Life in Qatar had its ups and downs, but we travelled to some amazing places, made new lifelong friends and I found work in a desert-based furniture workshop. Fast forward to 2019 and we’re back in the UK. I am now the owner, designer, carpenter, welder, finisher and general dogsbody of my own furniture company; BSSB Design (so named after a friend commented that I had been ‘building stuff since birth’). I enjoy working with reclaimed and repurposed materials and my most recent projects have used timber salvaged from the Big School stage renovation. I spent many happy hours on that stage during my time at WGS, especially performing with Big Band under the inimitable leadership of the late Andy Proverbs, so I was very pleased to be able to give the wood a new lease of life. Some of the pieces I’ve made have found new homes with other OWs – building furniture that other people will enjoy for years seems like a great way to keep memories of the School alive."


FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT We love receiving your letters and emails at School. Everything is treasured and stored in our School Archives for generations to come. Why not get in touch and share your story? Lance Corporal Jack Corfield (OW 2007) did just that and here’s a snippet from his message to School.

To Wulfrunians past and present,

THE DRUTTER REMAINS IN SAFE HANDS OW Golfers defeated teams comprising Old Merchant Taylors and Old Crosbeians at West Herts Golf Club in July to retain ‘The Drutter’. The scores were: OW 209 - OMT 195 - OC 182.

Having read an edition of the Wulfrunian and seeing some old faces, students and teachers alike, I found myself reminiscing over my short five years at WGS. The highly enjoyable and slightly competitive Wednesday afternoons we would spend at other schools as part of the football team, putting into practice the coaching and training that we would have spent weeks undertaking. The lessons with teachers who understood that a proactive approach would embed more into our minds the textbook reading. One particular lesson springs to mind: a physics class where the teacher stood at the front, a small bowl of Maltesers in front of him. He said we could make our way to him and have a Malteser. To a group of teenagers this was amazing! We could then make our way around the classroom again, however we wished, to get another. Of course the majority of students taking the shortest route. The lesson learnt? An electrical current takes the route of least resistance around a circuit. Amazing how over 10 years later, one lesson can still be remembered. A credit to the teaching methods employed at WGS. But what particularly shaped me and my future, was the love of outdoors and rifle shooting, which I obtained in Scouts under Dr Chris O'Brien, and the names of WGS students who had lost their lives during the war, proudly displayed either end of Big School with gold lettering. In 2007 when I left WGS, I had no idea how much the School would have such an effect on me till many years later. The football I played and had such a passion for, is something I still carry with me today. The physics lesson I remember from all those years ago delivered by Mr Linton, really triggered a love for science that I didn't think I had. I now hold a degree in Building Services Engineering, with a hope to go on and specialise in Mechanical Engineering.

Left to right Jon Mills (OW 1987), Richard Logan (OW 1998), Richard Browning (OW 2006), Tim Browning (Staff 1979-2014), Mike Hughes (OW 1963), Richard Hilton, Richard Wherton (OW 1973), David Hughes (OW 1973).

PIANO DUET Roger Steel (OW 1955) and Dr John Reade (OW 1956) paid the School a visit in July to see what had changed and could not resist the urge to tickle the keys of the piano in Big School. Rest assured Director of Music, it was played expertly!

And of course my love of outdoors is now part of my career. Having now spent over 10 years in the military I am proud to be a Royal Engineer. Every year on remembrance day, looking back into my mind and seeing those names with gold lettering. Remembering the ultimate sacrifice that fellow Old Wulfrunians made. As students of WGS look into the future, some with very clear ideas of where they want to be, some with very little. Know that whatever choice you make, however long it takes you to find what you want, WGS will have made you ready for most challenges you will face in the future.

Jack Corf ield prev. Drawbridge


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Can you solve a mystery from the

16 century? th

Two documents dating back to the 16th century have been found in the School Archives, referencing Stephen Jenyns, the founder of Wolverhampton Grammar School. Recently retired Head of Maths, Dr Chris O’Brien, who has an active interest in documents about the early history of the School, immediately set about translating the documents and, with the help of Stephen Freeth, Archivist at Merchant Taylors’ Company, is currently researching their provenance. Chris takes up the story: "Sciant presentes et futuri... shouts the ornate opening of the first document. ‘Be it known to all, present and future… What is it that we should know? The document records the conveyance of property in the City of London. It is dated by giving first the name of the Mayor – Stephen Jenyns, no less - and it was sealed on 31st July in the first year of King Henry VIII (1509). Stephen


Jenyns is styled ‘knight’ in the document – only just so, because he had been knighted at the coronation on 24th June. The property was in Lime Street, in the heart of the City and in the parish of St Andrew Undershaft. A large part of the street is now occupied by the Lloyd’s Building. Many relations of Jenyns are involved in the transaction, which transfers the property to trustees. John Nechells was his son-in-law, ‘Katerine uxori eius’ was Jenyns’ elder daughter. William Stalworth was also a son-in-law, married to Jenyn's younger daughter, Elizabeth. Thomas Michell, ironmonger, may have been a cousin. John Nechells’ brother, another Thomas, seems to have been Wolverhampton based. The key phrase ‘ad usum ...’, tells us that the real new owners were John Nechells, Katherine his wife and their heirs.

living. He transferred the property to the rightful heir – Joan, daughter of John Nechells, who was by then married to Thomas Offley. Since Thomas Offley’s sister, Margaret, had married John Nechells as his second wife, she was also her brother’s stepmother-in-law! A court case referring to events in 1529 describes wool being taken to John Nichells’ wool house in Lime Street, so this property seems to have been the centre of his business. When he died, it was recorded to be worth £5 6s 8d a year. In comparison, when Stephen Jenyns set up the School, he fixed the master’s salary at £10 a year." We have yet to determine how the documents came to be in the School’s possession, especially as the property has nothing to do with Wolverhampton Grammar School. The research continues!

The second document is dated 7th October 1535, when only one of the eight trustees, William Preston, was




Ian Fowler (OW 1950) recently put pen to paper to share some memories of his schooldays at WGS almost 70 years ago, recalling that times were hard immediately after the Second World War. Here are a few of his thoughts from that time.

On School "Initially, School was divided into four houses, North, South, East and West but even in those days this was regarded as being politically incorrect and so they were changed to reflect names of earlier benefactors. I was in Jenyns, Malcolm Ward was House Captain.

On Lessons There was the time when I was testing, rather too enthusiastically for Chlorine in the Chemistry Labs. I was given ammonia to smell and sent outside to get some fresh air. Mr Stevenson, a French Teacher, then wanted to know what I was dong wandering round the School grounds! One of the most popular members of staff was Mr (Nobby) Stokes. He taught Maths (as well as being a Staffordshire County fast bowler). In lessons, if he thought you were asleep, or not concentrating, usually a piece of chalk would come flying at you. On this particular occasion I was not asleep as he thought so I rose and caught a board rubber flying towards me and shaped to through it back to him. ‘Don’t you dare, Fowler!’ he growled.


Ian's draw


On Cricket

On Scouting … and

Mr (Johnny) Walker was in charge of under 13 cricket. We got paid 1/2 penny for every six runs, or a catch of every wicket taken (all before decimalisation). But the best memory was a match against Birchfield School, who thought they were the greatest. On a wet soggy Saturday morning, we bowled them out for 13 and I took 6 for 6.


In later years I was playing in the cricket 2nd XI, managed by Mr (Gobbet) Taylor, who also taught Latin. After cricket on Saturday, Latin lessons on Monday would follow with ten Latin sentences for homework. For every ten runs or wicket taken, or catch made, I got let off one Latin sentence. I still got a distinction in School Certificate Latin!

Be clear: 4th Wolverhampton was the tops! There were many county competitions and we won them all. Such was our superiority that the County Commissioners eventually asked us not to join in. Mr Geoff Sheen, the man behind it all, was highly revered by members of the troop, parents, and other members of staff. Perhaps one of his greatest triumphs was the annual pantomime, which he wrote and stage managed for the troop. They filled the whole of Big School for at least three nights every year. My favourite was Sinbad the Sailor. I was Hakim and in it I came ashore from a ship wreck at the beginning of a scene with the Dame, with my mouth full of water, which I had to squirt into ‘her’ face. The Dame was none other than Mr Tony Jasper Stocks, who had by then joined the troop as Assistant Scout Master!"

Wulfrunian 2019


NIKHIL FILLS IN THE GAPS Earlier this year we heard from Nikhil Gogna (OW 2007) who, through determination, dedication and making the most of his opportunities, has achieved his greatest ambition: returning to his home city to found his own orthodontic service and give back to the community that he holds so dear.

Five years at WGS marked an

amazing time in my educational

journey and I do not underestimate the long lasting and beneficial

effect, from enduring friendships to solid academic results.

"A career in dentistry was always on the cards as I wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives, as well as having a dynamic career combining the sciences and arts. After graduating from Cardiff Dental School, becoming an orthodontist was a natural progression. It is a unique profession focusing on the development of the face, teeth and jaw and requiring three additional years of studying at a doctorate level, which I completed at Queen Mary’s University of London. Even though it is a slog to get there, being an orthodontist is the best job in the world! I am now back in Wolverhampton, working in the city where I grew up, on a mission to give back and help the community by making orthodontics accessible and affordable to all.


Karan Batth (OW 2012) was approached by Vicky Hatch at Abcam, to share his story about his journey into Medicine. Here’s an extract from the feature.

My recollections of WGS are filled with an array of activities in academia and sports….an ethos driven by the School in promoting excellence and producing students who are all-rounders. Enrolling to become a peer supporter improved my communication; learning to be tenacious and never giving up during the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and working with others when playing in the School’s hockey and cricket teams. The skills I gained help me in everyday clinical practice and more importantly, have moulded me into both the professional, and the person, I am today. My advice to all WGS students is

simple: 1) Never compare yourself to anybody – your competition is

you! 2) The best way to learn is to ask questions. 3) Never settle for anything less than your best.

The WGS mission statement is ‘to deliver education that transforms lives as well as minds.’ Well from my experience…that’s pretty much mission accomplished!”

“It hasn’t been an easy road. When I finished School, I applied for Medicine but was unsuccessful, so I took a gap year to see the world. I reapplied but once again was unsuccessful, so opted for a three-year biomedical sciences degree at Queen Mary University, London and got a First.” This led Karan to apply for a job at Instinctif Partners the communications consultancy. Here he was able to work with many industry and MedTech companies giving him a broader appreciation, especially for genomics. “It was an exciting, rapidly growing field which led me to an MPhil in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University where I have now been accepted on the graduate Medicine course. It’s been a convoluted journey so far, but I like to think that it has given me a really diverse skill set that I can now apply to my career in Medicine. In all, I applied to 13 different medical schools, had eight interviews, seven rejections and one offer. If you think that medicine is right for you, stick at it. There is a high failure rate and rejection can be tough but it doesn’t mean you're not good enough. The process is not perfect and great candidates will fall through the net, but persevere and keep trying.” You can read more about Karan's experience here www.tipbox.abcam.com


A warm welcome awaits from the

Development team Ed Cornaby, Alumni Relations Officer, and Tina Erskine, Head of Development, are the new Development Office team, taking over the reins from Gail Evans and Katie Guest both tough acts to follow! You can read more about what they are doing now on pages 7 and 8. Ed is an Old Wulfrunian (2008) and an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate from Aberystwyth University. He has had a varied career including founding his own promotions company, as well as a confectionery subscription business that he runs with his wife, qualified volunteer football coach, a tenure in Learning and Development Management and most recently managing a multi-million-pound portfolio of accounts as a Business Development Manager. Tina arrived from Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin where she was focussed on supporting and extending the range of services available to help older people maintain independence and enjoy later life. Prior to that, six years as Development Director at Cheadle Hulme


School shaped her passion for the school environment, alumni relations and fundraising. A sportswoman and an outdoor girl all her life, Tina plays tennis, socially and competitively, runs a netball team and aspires to do more triathlons! The WGS community extends well beyond the classroom to Old Wulfrunians, parents current and former and friends. Created in 2015, the Development Office aims to: • Bring people together both in School and further afield. From careers events to reunions, art exhibitions to sports festivals and much more.

If you would like to get in touch, perhaps to visit School, with an idea for an event or reunion, or to offer mentoring or work placement opportunities, or any other form of support, we would be delighted to hear from you. Whatever the reason, please know that a warm welcome awaits you! T: 01902 421326 E: development@wgs-sch.net W: www.wgs.org.uk/alumni

• Facilitate ongoing networks of support – for current students, Old Wulfrunians, parents and friends alike, at School, through University, into the world of work and beyond. • Encourage a culture of giving – continuing the philanthropic traditions of the past to benefit future generations.

Wulfrunian 2019

Your invitation to become a member of the

1512 Society Inspired by philanthropy The 1512 Society, so named in honour of the founding year of the School, has been created to recognise and thank those Old Wulfrunians and friends who wish to support WGS by leaving a gift in their will or have indicated their intention to do so in the future. If you would like to join the Society or would like further information on how to remember Wolverhampton Grammar School in your will, please contact Tina Erskine, Head of Development, on telephone 01902 392962 or email ter@wgs-sch.net


Since its foundation, the School has benefitted enormously from the benevolence of others; Sir Stephen Jenyns first set the example in 1512 when he endowed the School and provided the means by which the Merchant Taylors’ Company could generate an income to maintain the buildings and pay for two masters. Ever since, the School has produced a wealth of distinguished men, and more recently women, who have made a considerable contribution to society, and in many different ways.

Looking after the future Donations received in the past have helped shape the School as we know it today but there remains much to do. One way of helping us ensure that we can continue the legacy left by those who have come before is to leave a legacy of your own.

By remembering Wolverhampton Grammar School in your will, you will be helping to safeguard the long-term future of the School. Whether you 1512 SOCIETY wish to support a Bursary, provide funds for capital or revenue projects, bestow an asset, or gift stocks and shares, your gift will be honoured, and you will create a lasting legacy, which will benefit future generations.

Membership of the 1512 Society Everyone who has or intends to leave a gift to the School in their will is invited to become a member of the 1512 Society, an informal group of like-minded individuals who meet once a year at a special 1512 Society event.


CALLING ALL CREATIVES Working as a creative? Love painting, drawing, ceramics or making jewellery? Have a passion for the creative arts? Then this might interest you. Emma Bowater, Head of Art, is planning to host an Alumni Art Exhibition in October 2020 and would love to hear from anyone interested in submitting a piece of work. "We are keen to provide a showcase for the creative arts, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of career opportunities in this field and for OWs to encourage and inspire current students to fulfil their creative potential." To register your interest, please email development@wgs-sch.net or complete the online form here www.wgs.org.uk/OWArtExhibition by Friday 14th February 2020. Also, please do share the opportunity with other OWs you know in case they are not currently in contact with School. Similarly, if you would be interested in receiving further details about attending the Alumni Art Exhibition in October 2020, please do let us know, again by emailing development@wgs-sch.net or by visiting the www.wgs.org.uk/OWArtExhibition and we’ll happily add you to our mailing list. Artwork by Simi Kaur (OW 2019).


Wulfrunian 2019

A GIFT THAT WILL KEEP ON GIVING Artist Carl Sharratt BA, ATD, DIPSE (OW 1965) has created a limited edition of 250 original silk-screen prints of Wolverhampton Grammar School. Carl worked as Head of Art at Thomas Telford School until his recent retirement after a long and successful career in the art sector. Carl was born in 1947 and went on to study art at the then, Wolverhampton College of Art and then, the University of Liverpool. He produced an edition of 250 original prints of the School to celebrate its 475th anniversary in 1987.


Approximately 130 of the prints were sold immediately and the remaining 120 have now been released for sale. The print shows the splendid architectural front of Big School, with the old Headmaster’s study beyond. Hand-printed in eleven colours by the artist himself on Bockingford paper, each print is individually numbered and signed. The cost of the prints is £90 (unframed) and £125 (framed) with 10% of every sale donated back to the School’s Bursary Fund which will go towards providing a WGS education to a child from Wolverhampton, who otherwise would not be in a financial position to attend the School.

A framed print is available to view in the School’s Art Department. If you would like to order a print, visit www.wgs.org.uk/ printlimitededition or contact the School’s Development Office email development@wgs-sch.net or telephone 01902 421326.




During the past year, the School has received such a lot of support from the wider WGS community and in a whole variety of ways. We are truly humbled by and grateful for the growing level of support, without which we would not be able to achieve all that we aspire to, thank you! Here is a summary of the support received from 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2019:


Gifts in Kind

Parents' Support

It’s not just our staff who offer mentor support to students. A number of OWs have offered advice and support, including telephone calls to support and advise post-18 apprenticeship applications and CV writing.

We are always receiving emails or artefacts, pictures and documents about School for our growing archive. Current families also regularly donate old uniform to support the Friends of WGS pop-up used Uniform Shop.

The Friends of WGS (our equivalent of a Parents PTA) work tirelessly to support the School, raising funds to support projects as well as hosting a number of social events including a quiz in Big School and the annual Christmas Fayre.

Careers Talks

Work Experience

Your Time

From numerous parents, OWs and local businesses. Read about our OW speakers at the Alternative Careers Event on page 68.

For Sixth Form students, from medicine to journalism and even the Home Office during the change in Prime Minister.

From volunteering at School events to helping us organise reunions - your time is one of the most valuable resources you can give.


Wulfrunian 2019

You've helped us raise over £350,000 Single gifts, regular donations and legacies, many supporting the Bursary Fund, others restricted for specific projects, and from across the world have been donated to School. Gift Aid adding a further £2,500. Examples of such generosity during the year include:

£214,421 The Merchant Taylors’



Equipment in the Chemistry Department is in the process of being updated thanks to the incredible support of an OW who donated over £41,000 specifically for this purpose.

Continues to support School most generously, giving £50k towards the refurbishment of a Biology Laboratory and a further £5k to the Bursary Fund this year.

Legacy Gifts £214,421 received in legacy gifts. Read about the 1512 Legacy Society on page 59.

Whether a gift of time, experience, items for the Archive, a single or regular donation, or the desire to include a gift in your will, there are so many ways in which you can support WGS.


Thank You

Please do get in touch, if you

Merchant Taylors' Company part-funded books for nearly 1000 state school pupils attending a David Baddiel author event at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, organised by School alongside his publishers and Authors Aloud.

An OW has committed to fully funding a student for the duration of their time at School. That's another bright but financially constrained child from Wolverhampton given the opportunity of a WGS education.

think you can help in some


way, we’d love to hear from you. Email development@wgs-sch.net or telephone 01902 421326.






A new stained glass window, to commemorate the support of former student Robin Cooper, has been installed in Big School.

Not satisfied with his role as President of the Old Wulfrunians in America, and last year’s donation towards the refurbishment cost of a Chemistry Laboratory, Dr Robin Cooper (OW 1956) has yet again invested heavily in his love for Chemistry at Wolverhampton Grammar School.

Robin (OW 1956) worked with the School to agree the final design, which was created to incorporate his family crest, love of Chemistry and two chemical equations symbolising the global impact of his work in the field of antibiotics. The window is a fitting tribute to someone who has been so generous to the School. Robin not only gives his time as a Trustee, he is also President of the Old Wulfrunians in America. He has supported a number of families financially and contributed significantly to the refurbishment costs of the Chemistry Laboratories. Contact the Development Office if you would like to leave a lasting memory of your contribution to the School in the form of a Big School stained glass window. The windows are designed and installed to commemorate the financial generosity of someone who has given significantly to the School.


He has recently made another significant donation to the Chemistry Department, enabling the Head of Department, Dr Ryan Pounder, to invest in equipment that will significantly set our students apart when they apply to study the subject at university. "Robin’s donation has enabled me to purchase items for the Department, including equipment to make it possible to explore infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance and polarised light." said Ryan. Equipment was being sourced and purchased as this edition of the Wulfrunian was going to print. We will include a review of how his donation is being put to use in the next edition.

Wulfrunian 2019

EDUCATION COMES FIRST It’s not unusual for students of School to go on to illustrious careers in academia. From researchers to teaching, esteemed authors and editors of academic journals, to guest speakers at conferences all over the world, our OWs are most definitely ‘public intellectuals’, demonstrating real impact wherever they go.

responsible for training thousands of new teachers, his CV reads like a who’s who of academia, with advisory roles to the government as well as the UN between impressive university positions. Stephen has also set up a number of international collaboration projects.

My work focusses on closing

achievement gaps in mathematics

form room. Now a Junior School classroom.

edge technologies into mainstream

immigrant) that there was no way he could afford for me to attend. Also I was from Quarry Bank in the West Midlands.” Not surprisingly, Mr Hegedus Snr was a little shocked by the Headmaster's bluntness and Stephen said that he “sensed a lot of frustration” at the time. However, Stephen was awarded a full scholarship based on his mathematics abilities, and he adds that “Patrick became very close to me in my Sixth Form years as did Bernard Trafford, who allowed me to sing around the world with my true voice.”

learning and introducing cutting classrooms, enhancing

participation and engagement for all students.

Take Dr Stephen Hegedus, (OW 1991) pictured above, for example. Now living in the US, he took the opportunity to visit School over October half term as part of a fleeting trip back home (before going on to another international academic conference). Stephen left School and went on to study Mathematics and Education at Southampton University, then Oxford University before moving to the US in 2000, where he is now Dean of Education at Southern Connecticut State University. With 10,000+ students, it’s one the largest universities on the east coast of America. As well as being


Stephen (left) with his brother in what was his old

During his visit, Stephen toured the new Learning Hub and Sixth Form Library and although there may be over 3,000 miles between the campuses he is keen to develop a number of potential collaboration ideas between the University and School. His interest in participation perhaps stems from his own experience. “I attended Wolverhampton Grammar School from 1984-1991. A transformative time when I was allowed to attend the School even though the financial status of my parents would not support the fees. We were interviewed by Headmaster Patrick Hutton at the time and he told my Dad (a Hungarian

To this day, students are awarded scholarships and bursary places and Stephen wholeheartedly supports our ambition to open up a WGS education to as many children as possible – regardless of their financial circumstances. Stephen has already pledged his support to help fund more places. Will you?




We were delighted to welcome Patrick Hiron (OW 1957) back to School in November, whilst over for a family visit from Montreal, Canada, with his son Michael. Visiting for the first time since he left to go to college in 1955, he marvelled at the changes. "There really is no comparison; those early years after WWII meant that much was in short supply and School operated in an extremely frugal way. However, I am particularly pleased that WGS is now co-ed and that the development of design and technology skills is seen as worthwhile and enjoyable. Also, the emphasis on STEM subjects is a pleasant change from the Derry Classics era." Michael, Patrick’s son, was keen to know how his father benefitted from his time at WGS: "Apart from a love of Classical music, a thorough grounding in English literature, an appreciation of Latin, especially when trying to learn French, Italian, Spanish, and even German grammar, I learned the art of civilised behaviour: good sportsmanship, the importance of listening to and debating opposite viewpoints, and being, honest, fair and reasonable when dealing with others." Patrick decided early on that he wanted to be an engineer, a decision that would ultimately take him all over the world: "My father was a painter and decorator, my mother a nurse. Both were very proud that I had passed the 11+ exam and were convinced that this was the key to 'great things' for their son.


On arrival in 1949, I was promptly delivered to Big School, by a Sixth Form student, where the Head announced to the assembled group how lucky we were to be there and how hard we would need to work in order to remain. Back then, that was the end of our induction to WGS! After O Levels it seemed to me that the competition for State Scholarships – the only way my parents could afford University – was intense. So I left School, with a view to becoming a Chartered Engineer by way of a student apprenticeship, working four days a week and studying one day and three nights a week at Wolverhampton Technical College (now the University of Wolverhampton). Consulting the Daily Telegraph job advertisements, it became clear to me that Chemical Engineers were paid considerably more than other engineers, so my course was set! An apprenticeship at Midland Tar Distillers gave me the opportunity to experience a first class research department, responsible for developing processes to extract a range of high purity complex chemicals from coal tar, and a bunch of ‘can do’ Chemical Engineers, who designed and built the plants to produce them on a commercial scale.

Patrick Hiron (centre) with his son Michael (left) and Mr Tyler, Director of Theatre Studies (right).

A HNC in Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham facilitated a move to Wellington Tube Group, a local heavy engineering company building process plant equipment for the chemical industry. Then, in 1965, to Canada, settling in Toronto at the Canadian office of a major UK process plant contractor. After a stint on construction site in winter, I became the company’s youngest project manager, responsible for every aspect of multi-million dollar projects. Between 1969 and 1979 my career progressed through several further moves: to London, working on a major refinery expansion; to India, managing a large fertiliser project; to Montreal, managing the construction of a large US

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On arrival in 1949, I was promptly delivered to Big School, by a Sixth Form student, where the Head announced to the assembled group how lucky we were to be there.

chemical producer’s first Quebec plant; to Algeria as management consultant to a company attempting to reorganise the construction arms of State enterprises. In 1980 we returned as a family to Montreal, where I worked for a large Quebec consultant engineering firm and became the only English speaking, non-civil-engineer Vice President in the company. My penultimate career move, in 1986, was to an investment company responsible for developing Quebec industries. Whilst here I became Director for Petrochemicals. This experience led to my final career move, in 1994, to the World Bank in Washington DC. I joined the Oil Gas and Chemical Division, where engineers were responsible for evaluating the feasibility of very large projects in developing countries, and travelled the world, everywhere from Albania to Zanzibar. I retired in 2002 as Principal Chemical Engineer. My wife and I returned to Montreal, where I have since been able to indulge my passion for restoring eccentric old English cars, which have included a 1949 Rover 75, assembled in India and discovered abandoned in a motor house in Washington, a later Rover P6B v8, an E Type Jaguar coupé, a Jensen Interceptor and a Fiat 124 S sports car.


On reflection, perhaps I did achieve the 'great things' my parents hoped for back in 1949."

Patrick's restored E type Jaguar

During his visit Patrick thoroughly enjoyed meeting Big 6 pupils and watching the Head under the spotlight in Big School, fielding a fun Q&A session about what to expect when they move up into Year 7 next September.

FIRST US REUNION Are you living or working in the US? Why not join us for our first US reunion in October 2020? Events are planned on the east and west coasts of America. Details are currently being finalised and invitations will be sent out in due course.

Patrick and Michael meeting a selection of Big 6 students

All OWs are welcome to attend. If you would like to receive an invitation, please email development@wgs-sch.net with your details.




Early in July we welcomed four OWs back to School

Dr Andrew Wynn (OW 1983)

to share with Lower Sixth and Year 10 students their

Andy studied at Warwick University, gained a BSc and PhD in Chemistry and went on to enjoy a successful thirty year career in industrial engineering and advanced materials manufacturing.

experiences of, and thoughts on, the world of work.

Nick Berriman (OW 1991)

Emma Morley (OW 2015)

Nick followed both his father and grandfather through WGS. He is also a current parent, a Director of WGS and a committed Wolves’ fan!

Emma graduated from the University of Birmingham in the Summer, with a MSc in Physics. She shared with students her experience of four years at University.

Nick was keen to demonstrate to students that there is no definitive career path, using himself as an example. Post A Levels, Nick went to The Victoria University of Manchester to read Law but after several years working in an estate agency in Knightsbridge, London, he returned to the area to join his father’s Estate Agency. In 2005 he bought the company and is now co-director of Berriman Eaton Estate Agents, following a merger with Eaton Estates in 2006.

Passionate about encouraging more girls into STEM careers, Emma also described what it was like to be a woman in Physics and enthused about her imminent new role in the world of software development, working for a small business in Stratford upon Avon. Good luck Emma!

A desire to create new technologies and build new businesses from them took him across the world, living and working in North and South America, throughout Europe, the Middle East and right across Asia and Australia, into multiple global industrial sectors, becoming a seasoned world traveller and global citizen in the process. During this time, Andy developed a particular interest in and passion for China, where he spent 20 years regularly travelling and doing business, and where he and his wife Julie lived for more than six years. To capture their experiences, he has written a book, ‘The Biggest City You’ve Never Heard Of’. Andy is the founder of TTIP Consulting, a regular keynote speaker at conferences and business schools and the author of a leading book on innovation and new product development, ‘Transforming Technology into Profit’. Andy was thrilled to be back at WGS, listening to and talking with current students, as well as marvelling at his adult view of the School.


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Morgan Colley (OW 2017)

University life

Looking ahead

Morgan is at Sheffield Hallam University studying International Business with French. Here’s what she had to share with students through a Q & A session:

Where are you now and what are you studying?

Where are you going next?

School days What was School like for you? "Early on I was encouraged by staff to pursue both languages and sport; they were very supportive and encouraging when I found a piece of work challenging and very understanding of the fact that I was under the OpAL team, for

School was a very enjoyable

experience. I loved learning as

well as being with friends all day. Incredibly sporty, I played every

sport available and managed to win some medals and trophies along the way

assistance with my dyslexia, giving me a bit more time and help when I needed it. Outside the classroom was where I loved to be most, playing hockey and netball in the winter, rounders and tennis in the summer, travelling right across the Midlands for fixtures and playing against some of the best talent in school sport.

What motivated you to enter Sixth Form and how did you decide on your A level subjects? For me, staying on was a given: assuming I passed my GCSEs, I was going into the Sixth Form. However, it took me a while to choose my subjects and even on GCSE results day, I remained uncertain. I finally decided on Economics, French, German, General Studies and PE, although I’m afraid that Economics and I didn't get along very well!


I am at Sheffield Hallam University studying International Business with French. In September I start my placement year in Paris, providing an opportunity to widen my knowledge of the international world of business and languages.

In October 2020, after my placement in Paris, I’ll be heading back up to Sheffield to complete my final year and play hockey for the university team again, as well as working at my Dad's outdoor adventure park in Birmingham, to earn myself some extra money to fund my holidays and shopping habits.

What made you choose that university and that degree course?

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I chose Sheffield Hallam partly because of its standing in the league table, but also because of its superb dyslexia support unit. Initially, I wondered if not going to a Russell group university might be a bit of a step down, but it was exactly the opposite as Sheffield Hallam is ranked currently 22 places higher than the University of Sheffield, for my course!

I hope to be flying commercial airliners as a trainee first officer. I have been on many planes and have really taken an interest. I am currently in the recruitment process for the CAE training centre in Oxford, and from then on it's just about waiting to see what job roles pop up relevant to the level of training I will have.

Looking back, what didn’t they tell you in the prospectus? That going to university is very expensive! Student maintenance loans are based on household income; the more income, the less money you receive in loan. Sport at university is amazing but it can be quite expensive, with kit and training fees to fund.

How have you made university life work for you? I got involved in playing uni hockey, which has been like having another family. Training together four or five times a week, means we see quite a lot of each other. I have got to know my course mates well and have lived with the same three friends since starting!

Advice to students Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to your younger self? Try everything and by try, I mean don’t just dip a toe in the water, really put some effort into getting involved in things you are interested in. University isn't for everyone, but I think it takes at least a semester to figure it out. I came close to leaving; after being there for four days, I had a complete meltdown, but my parents convinced me to stay and I’m so glad they did as I am thoroughly enjoying student life!"

I was of the firm opinion that if I didn't attend lectures and seminars, I wasn't going to have a clue when it came to coursework and exams. As a result, I attend classes and have done quite well so far, achieving 87.5% overall at the end of my second year, which I am proud of.





Wolverhampton Grammar School has a truly global

Nic Anderson (OW 1990) invites the Class of 1990 to a thirty year reunion on Saturday 18th April 2020. Email Nic Anderson njca@wgs-sch.net or telephone: 01902 421326 for more details.

alumni community with former staff and students living and working on all seven continents of the world.

DUBAI When four staff were on a research trip to the JESS School in Dubai this year, they took the opportunity to get in touch with eight Old Wulfrunians who are now living and working in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Three OWs managed to take a break from their busy schedules to meet with the staff for a mini reunion – the first Dubai Reunion for Wolverhampton Grammar School.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO ORGANISING A REUNION FIRST US REUNION Are you living or working in the US? Why not join us for our first US reunion in October 2020? Events are planned on the east and west coasts of America. Details are currently being finalised and invitations will be sent out in due course. All OWs are welcome to attend. If you would like to receive an invitation, please email development@wgs-sch.net with your details.

Step 1 Get in touch with the School's Development Office. We can help you with catering, invitations, RSVPs and collect memorabilia to make your event really special.

Step 2 Set the date and time with School.

Step 3 Start spreading the word. Social media is a great way to promote a reunion, or ask the School to do it for you.

Step 4 Think about who is coming and what they might like to see at School. Big School is always a must see area, but what about old class or common rooms?

Step 5 Pictured: Adrian Creed (OW 1983), Scott Treasaden (OW 1989) and Oliver Garfoot

Enjoy the event and reconnect with friends. It really is that easy!

(OW 2007) reminisce about their School days whilst overlooking the Dubai marina.


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The Old Wulfrunians Association Dinner is traditionally an annual affair however 2018's infamous "Beast from the East" storms forced a reluctant decision to cancel last year. Over one hundred and fifty former students, staff and Directors filled Big School on a rather more clement evening in March this year. Former student, Stephen Billing (OW 1984) was guest speaker with an engaging talk on his fond memories of his time at School and career in cardiothoracic surgery. The Class of 2018 were out in force including last year’s Head Girl and Head Boy, Lisa Obi and James Birch. Lucia Hoddell and John Steel represented the current students at the dinner, sitting at the top table with the guests of honour. Thirteen members of the Class of 1994 were welcomed to their twenty-fifth anniversary reunion with Nic Anderson (OW 1990) giving a tour of School and re-introducing them to some of their former teachers, including Peter Hills and Dr Chris O’Brien.

Next year’s OWA Dinner will be held on

Saturday 7th March Avoid disappointment and reserve your place now!





OWs gathered together at the beginning of June for their annual London Reunion. Organised by the School, OWs of all ages assembled alongside staff in the grand surroundings of the Merchant Taylors’ Hall (the founder of Wolverhampton Grammar School was a Merchant Taylor). Merchant Taylors’ Hall has been on the same site, opposite the Bank of England since 1347 and is one of London’s hidden treasures. Pictures and memories of School life were shared and the evening provided a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and classmates.


Save the date! Next year’s London Reunion will be on Monday 8th June at the House of Lords. All OWs are welcome to attend. If you live or work in the south east, look out for your invitation in the post. If you would like further details or wish to attend, please RSVP development@wgs-sch.net or visit www.wgs.org.uk/ londonreunion20 for details.

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Running now for well over two decades, the weekend of sporting activities began, as usual, at South Staffs Golf Club on Friday 13th September 2019. Fortified by bacon butties and coffee (or something a little stronger!), one by one eighteen Old Wulfrunians stepped up to the first tee to set about the afternoon’s business. A fair wind and bright sunshine aided some strong performances, with the top three golfers on the day emerging as: Winner: Tim Browning (retired member of staff); 2nd place: Shaun Green (OW 1985); 3rd place: James Evans (OW 1984). Less than 24 hours later, around 150 Old Wulfrunians, former staff, current staff and current students arrived at School ready for action in near perfect festival conditions. After a morning of competitive matches, winning football and netball teams were: Mark Wainwright XI (football); Class of 2011 (netball). Jodie Hoffman (OW 2012) and Kez Husselbee (OW 2015) were named top two players of the netball tournament respectively. This year’s festival saw the return of hockey and a second year for Fives. Thank you to everyone who participated! Lunch was served outdoors by way of a BBQ, providing welcome sustenance and an opportunity to catch up and relax in beautiful sunshine.


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#WOLVESATWEMBLEY Over 20 students recorded short video clips, singing loud and proud with messages of support in anticipation for Wolves' semi-final game against Watford at Wembley during this year’s FA Cup run. Big School played its part as well. We illuminated our iconic front of School to celebrate the team's success and shared pictures of the School on our social media channels. Did you see it? Over 49,635 impressions on Twitter later and a string of retweets and endorsements from celebrities and OWs alike – Wolves were delighted to see the School promote their success.


Reciting Pi has become an annual event in the School’s Spring calendar. Students from Year 3 to Upper Sixth are given the challenge of reciting as many numbers from Pi as they can considering the digits of Pi go on forever - that’s no mean feat!


Congratulations to Dalvir Ghotra who recalled an impressive 111 digits, which was on track to be a new School record until Zoe Bailey from the Sixth Form stormed ahead reciting an impressive 167 digits.

This year we celebrated the 48th Annual Summer Exhibition. GCSE Art & Design, A Level Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Product Design work came together to be displayed throughout the Art and Drama Centre, in the Hutton Theatre and The Viner Gallery, celebrating the amazing achievements of our exam students.

The Junior School got in on the action too with Daniel Ijaopo recalling an amazing 141 digits.

A special thank you to Head of Art, Emma Bowater and Head of Design & Technology, Simon O’Malley for their work curating the show.

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Parents and families from across the Junior School joined us for their Junior School Sports Day and Family Picnic this year – the best turnout we’ve ever seen!

Rose Harvey

Year 3 Girls' 60m


John Junior Addo

Year 4 Boys' 60m


Michelle Anosike

Year 6 Girls' 100m


Rose Harvey

Year 3 Girls' 150m


Race records tumbled, the Senior School Big Band played and a thoroughly marvellous time was had by all. Once again, parents commented on what a lovely day it was, and how the balance of celebrating talent and inclusion was pitched just right.

John Junior Addo

Year 4 Boys' 150m


Michelle Anosike

Year 6 Girls' 200m


George Nicholls

Year 3 Boys' 400m

1m 23.03s

Adiel Tshuma

Year 4 Boys' 400m

1m 18.52s

John Junior Addo

Year 4 Boys' Long Jump 3.07m

TRIATHLETE EMBARKING ON THE RIDE OF HIS LIFE Year 11 student, Zac Taylor, represented Great Britain in the ETU Age-Group Triathlon in Russia over the Summer, winning gold for TeamGB. To acknowledge his achievements, Zac has also been awarded a School Colours Tie.


CHRISTMAS CRACKER Congratulations to Mathura Prabakar from Year 11 who won the annual competition to design our official Christmas card. Her card will be making its way to friends of the School across the UK and beyond.


A TITAN VISITOR TO SCHOOL Students got to try out the latest (and future) technologies being used across the engineering industry in Spring thanks to a visit from Titan II a custom built innovation truck. Built by RS Components - the world’s largest distributor of tech to the engineering industry - the truck’s aim is to keep children excited by the engineering possibilities around us. Mr Alex Yarnley, Head of Curriculum at School, arranged for Titan II to visit, he added “A combination of the latest robotics and virtual reality enabled our students to apply the latest innovations in tech to problems facing the engineering industry today.” So popular was the truck that students kept coming back to try out the technology. Watch this space to see who will be winning the engineering scholarships of the future!


187 MILES fro

m St Bees to Robin Ho od’s Bay

RECORD BREAKING COAST2COAST A group of Year 10 students from Wolverhampton Grammar School ran the famous Wainwright Coast2Coast route of 187 miles from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay as a tag team in just 23 hours and 6 minutes to raise vital funds for the charity Sparks. Wolverhampton Grammar School has run an annual Coast 2 Coast challenge for over 20 years. In preparation for their challenge, the students have undertaken 16 weeks of extreme training to prepare them. Members of staff support the students during their training and the challenge itself. Parents also support the students from along the route.

Each year the event raises thousands of pounds for a charity, which is chosen by the students taking part. For 2019, the students decided to support Sparks: a charity funding ground breaking research into a wide range of conditions affecting children – as this magazine went to print, the total raised so far was around £5,100.

There is still time to donate


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ELITE NETBALL & HOCKEY PLAYERS Well done to Ella Cyrus-Smith, Estherjoy Mohammed, Lola Braizer-Painter and Kyla Robinson from Year 7 who have all been selected for the U13 County Netball squad. Katie Goodridge in Year 11 has achieved a place at the Stourbridge hub WASPS U17 and Izzy Mason in Year 8 gained a place

in the U17 Nova Severn Stars Hub. Congratulations to all our fabulous netballers! Congratulations to Anya Rogers in Year 11 who achieved a place at the Regional Performance Centre for U15 hockey. Anya is an elite sportswoman with national achievements at rounders level.

Congratulations to our Year 7 Netball team who were crowned Black Country Champions! Congratulations to Shane Kumararatne in Year 8 for winning best bowler at the U13 cricket competition!


DANCE ON DISPLAY Over 60 students from Year 3 to Upper Sixth wowed audiences at the annual Dance Show in April. From contemporary to jazz, ballet to modern - a whole range of dance styles and techniques were included over two nights in the Hutton Theatre. Special thanks to Nicole Manning and the Sports Department who organise dance lessons, clubs and extra practice throughout the term. Dance is becoming more and more popular across the School, so much so that a new, purpose built Dance Studio was created in the Sports Centre during the Summer.

Year 7 and 8 scientists had an explosive time in Big School at the end of June hosting their very own Science Fair.


Stalls with live demonstrations of experiments and explanations of theories filled our historic hall. From amazing astrophysics to dynamic enzymes, oozing oobleck fluids to hydro-electric water turbines.

This Summer term’s Lower School Play was the classic "The Merchant of Venice". True to the original story, the cast of Years 7 to 10 expertly navigated the language and subtle humour of this timeless William Shakespeare play. Expertly directed by Mark Benfield and Mark Payne, the original story had subtle nods to contemporary 21st century culture (Made in Chelsea even got a mention!).





Thousands of children from schools across the West Midlands have had the opportunity to meet famous authors and journalists thanks to Head Librarian, Zoe Rowley. Well-known names include David Baddiel, Humza Arshad, Megan Rix, Jennifer Bell, Linda Newbery, Matt Windle, Sam Copeland and Harriet Goodwin.


NATIONAL ACCOLADES FOR SCHOOL The School was shortlisted yet again at this year’s Times Education Supplement Independent School Awards. The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer were recognised. Tes editor Ann Mroz said: “Independent education in this country is truly world class. It’s one of our great success stories.”

We also launched a new Children’s Book Award for Wolverhampton this year. The winning book ‘Will You Catch Me?’ by Jane Elson described as “a heart-warming story about identity and courage” beat four other nationally acclaimed authors to win the prize. The vote was open to children aged between nine and twelve.

The School has been nominated for a number of awards again for 2020 including Tes, IE Magazine annual awards, a Goldsmiths award and AMCIS award.

RETHINKING CLASSROOM AND LIBRARY DESIGN The Sixth Form library underwent a major refurbishment during the Summer of 2019 to create one of the very best learning resources available locally. Sixth Form students have the choice of a variety of study spaces. From the busy café and common room to the silent study library, and quiet spaces and dedicated classrooms in between. Two thousand books sit alongside technology to enable students to access thousands of e-books and resources – anywhere and anytime.

Upstairs has been transformed to provide OpAL (Opportunities through Assisted Learning) students and staff with a dedicated new, purpose built study and learning space – from open plan seating to personal, 1-2-1 study areas. New wall graphics illustrate the journey students embark on, before becoming proud Old Wulfrunians.

Different kinds of seating and work spaces in the library - from traditional desks, soft-seating and acoustic booths, to group study rooms – provide students with a choice of places to work. Desks have privacy screens with plug sockets, network connections and free wifi throughout.


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The fight to change the

future of education The Senior School production of Jessica Swale's play "Blue Stockings" in the Hutton Theatre was a sell out in February.

Rehearsals began back in September with Mr Tyler and Mr Wood supporting a cast of Year 10 to Upper Sixth students as they expertly retold the story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women’s suffrage. Based in 1896, Girton College, Cambridge - the Girton girls as they became known studied ferociously

FAREWELL BIG 6 Their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the end of the Summer term was a sensation. Stellar performances all round from a cast and crew of stars. Charlotte Salmon was transformed into Joseph for the two night sell out performances and a special mention to all the behind the scenes crew members (who were all students) who made both performances go without a hitch.


to match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women left with nothing but the stigma of being a ‘blue stocking’ – an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified and unmarriageable.

In Swale’s play, Tess Moffat (played by Ellie Denton) and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way.

STUDENTS DESIGN RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS HANDLING DEVICE A group of Sixth Form students have been working with Ansaldo Nuclear, engineering specialists in the nuclear industry, on an innovative project to improve the handling of radioactive materials.

Sachin Basra, Edward Bill, Robbie Crncan and Amardeep Dhami have all taken part in the Engineering Education Scheme (EES), a six-month extra-curricular programme designed to give young people insights into engineering careers. The results of their work were displayed and judged at an event at Cranmore Park, Solihull in May, together with the work of 70 teams from schools across the Midlands, who have been working on different projects with a wide variety of companies.



HEAD BOY AND HEAD GIRL Congratulations to Will Beards and Mia Seager who have been awarded Head Boy and Head Girl positions as they begin their final year with us in Upper Sixth.

In January, international pianist Young Choon Park (pictured here with student Max Patsiogiannis) came to give a piano masterclass and recital to our advanced pianists. Each pupil performed a piece which she critiqued; giving detailed feedback to help take their performances to the next level.

YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE YEAR Simi added “My mum was so happy when it was announced that I had won, I really didn’t expect it. I’m very proud, it means that all the effort to put the work together was worth it. It takes a lot of work to put it together and it’s an honour to be recognised for that.”

Both Mia and Will have been students at the School since Year 7. They were a popular choice of both staff and students (staff and Sixth Form students vote for School Prefects and Head Boy and Girl every year) and had a tough final selection process to get through, including a formal interview with the Head, Kathy Crewe-Read and Deputy Head, Toby Hughes. Mia said of her role “I want every student to know that they can talk to me as a Peer Supporter and in my role as Head Girl about anything – whether it’s something they want to introduce in School, or if they are just worried about something or need a bit of extra support." Will added “Wolverhampton Grammar School isn’t just a School, it’s part of me. It’s a special place where every student feels safe and protected. I feel honoured to be selected as Head Boy and know that the excellent team of Prefects around us will serve our community to the best of our ability.”


Schoolchildren from across the city were honoured for their bright, thoughtful and impressive photography skills at an awards ceremony with Wolverhampton Grammar School students Sam Jones and Simi Kaur (Class of 2019) winning the Reflection and Creative Categories respectively.

Sam added “I didn’t expect to win. My photo took a lot of work with Photoshop and is basically two images put together, I had to stand in the boots and take a photo to get the reflection in the puddle and then put the boots alone in the same place and take another shot.”

Photos courtesy of the Express & Star.

Rob Cowell, chairman of Wolverhampton Photographic Society, said: “The whole idea of this competition is to inspire young people to get hold of a camera, go out and think about what they’re taking."

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TRIPS GALORE Students enjoyed another year packed full of opportunities and trips to visit UK and international destinations from the Big 6 Residential in Snowdonia, to the Ski Trip to Austria. This year’s international expedition was to China and twenty-one students joined the Bursar, Penny Rudge alongside teachers Rhiannon Clancy, Adam Jones and Beverly Young for this once in a lifetime trip over October half term. The packed itinerary included the Beijing Opera, Temple of Heaven, rickshaw rides, the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors Museum and Zhujiajiao Water Village.



The Directors (Governors) of Wolverhampton Grammar School come from a broad range of industries, sectors and backgrounds. They are a team of highly committed and experienced individuals whose determination that WGS should deliver outstanding educational opportunities to our students, is second to none.

Student Adithya Manigandan won the Boys’ Under 14 award at the Cricket Shropshire Annual Awards this year.

James Sage has been elected as our new Chairman of the Board of Directors. He succeeds Philip Sims, who retired from the Board this year. Philip was an excellent Chairman and a familiar face at School events. Born and educated locally, James is a solicitor and Head of a Corporate/ Commercial Department for a regional commercial law practice. James has


over 20 years’ experience in advising companies in respect of corporate and commercial matters. He is also a member of the School’s Finance and General Purposes Committee. James is a Director of WVOne Ltd which is a not-for-profit organisation, as well as Vice-Chair of the Alliance 4 the Black Country. James is a qualified junior football coach and helps run a junior football team in the city. If you would like to get in touch with James, please contact the Head’s PA, Caroline Harris email cah@wgs-sch.net

Winning the award, the judges commended Adithya’s excellent all-round performance, adding “he scored 246 runs at an average of 30 and took 15 wickets. He showed resilience and skill to recover from a difficult start with the bat to play confidently, especially at the Taunton Festival against quality opposition." Congratulations to Adithya and all on the players from School who represented county cricket teams this year.


Farewell to the Class of 2019, hello Old Wulfrunians! Good luck to all our Upper Sixth leavers who have now embarked on the next chapter of their lives. From universities, to apprenticeships, gap years to sponsored degrees – good luck to you all! Their last day included the traditional leavers’ lunch with family and friends. A morning of paintball also helped loosen up any last minute nerves for their final day in School. They also received their customary School scarf and membership to the Old Wulfrunians Club.




Caelan Ferguson – Biology


Gurkishan Beghal – Medicine Amrita Johal – Psychology Harjeevan Johal – Economics Pooja Kainth – Medicine Henna Kanda – Medicine Jaskiran Sanghera – Pharmacy Kameron Sidhu – Business & Management Jake Thompson – Business & Management


Izzy Watson - Psychology


Elycia Thacker – International Development with Economics

Year Books and photos were shared alongside memories and stories of School life.

Are you from the Class of 2019? Don't forget to join our official alumni group on Facebook or LinkedIn. Search for Old Wulfrunians of WGS on Facebook (or follow Wolverhampton Grammar School Official), join Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends on LinkedIn or stay engaged on Twitter @WGSOW

Our apologies to Evie Bramley (OW 2018), in Wulfrunian 2018 we reported that she was studying Medicine at Liverpool; she is in fact studying at the University of Birmingham.



Ammar Ahsan – Medicine Alex Bates – Aerospace Engineering Aaron Dhaliwal – Economics Oliver Evans – Mechanical Engineering Rebecca Lowe – Nursing Alex Sankey – Culinary Arts Management Bharath Sharma – Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Year


Anya Nicholas – Biological Sciences


Hannah Saunders – French Lauren Stokes – Journalism & Communications

Wulfrunian 2019







Ellie Denton – Fine Art

De Montfort

Rohan Deb – Pharmacy Reuben Khara – Law Kush Thakur – Pharmacy



Jamie Millichamp – Computer Games Programming

Grace Brewerton – Mathematics Janey Harold – Philosophy, Politics & Economics

Queen Mary

Haris Malik – Economics & Finance


Leah Bannister-Payne – Natural Sciences


Harvey Mole - Economics


Elizabeth Core – Mathematics


Sophie Allan - Medicine


Premila Malhi – Social Work

Lawrencia Mpedzisi - Medicine

King’s College London

Issy Hickman – History Dheeraj Kumar – Mathematics Amelia Parkes – Geography

University College London Winchester

John Steel - Physiotherapy


Emilia Moxey - Criminology


Harnaik Khun-Khun – Adult Nursing


James Cox - Bioarchaeology


Georgia Harris – History & Politics Conor Jordan – Mathematics Lisa Obi – Biomedical Science


Oisin Maguire Singh – International Development Eleanor Spilsbury – Environmental Science

Leeds Beckett

Jonathan Cartwright – Physical Education


Gagandeep Gill – Law Jeevan Johal – Geography


Beatrice Cain – Politics Alex Fitton – Criminology & Politics Oliver Gilks – History with Criminology Jyothis Jomy – Aerospace Engineering and Pilot Studies Daniel Mason – Politics Niamh Sharratt – Architecture

Liverpool John Moores

Kyran Cheema – Real Estate Morwenna Hughes – Accounting and Finance Richard Ling – Real Estate Emile Patel – Law & Business


Toby Binstead – Civil Engineering Simerjeet Kaur – Fine Art

Daniel Kiernan, who has achieved a Software Engineering Apprenticeship with Ishida.


Thayla Bradley – Psychology Jasvir Hayer – Economics Laurence Pickin – International Business, Finance & Economics

Loveday Thompson, who has secured a job in the finance sector.

Parents were asked to confirm all destination data by the end of October 2019.


Also this year, congratulations go to... Jada Joshi, who has achieved an Apprenticeship with the BBC.

Lucia Hoddell, Joseph Middleton and Emily Haynes, who are all undertaking a gap year.



Wulfrunian 2019

Dates for your diary... HE & Careers Forum in School (please contact us if you would like to get involved) Monday 3rd February Old Wulfrunians Association Annual Dinner in Big School Saturday 7th March Class of 1990 Reunion at School Saturday 18th April London Reunion at the House of Lords Monday 8th June Jazz Spec in Big School (please contact us if you would like to get involved) Friday 3rd July Old Wulfrunians Golf Day Friday 11th September Old Wulfrunians Sports Festival at School Saturday 12th September



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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