Wulfrunian 2022

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Nick (OW 2011) shares his journey to playing hockey for England


Centenary of the WWI Memorial Boards

London Reunion at the House of Lords

Celebrating 100 years of Cricket


Share your news and stay in touch with us

If you have a memory to share or a story to tell, family news or a promotion to celebrate, an idea for a future event or a plan to visit School, do get in touch; we would love to hear from you!

Email: development@wgs-sch.net

Post: Development Office, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Compton Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 9RB

Telephone: +44 (0) 1902 421326 Ext. 252/253

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Welcome from the Head

As you will see from the pages that follow, 2022 was truly the year for OWs to get back together, both at School and away from Wolverhampton. It was a great pleasure to welcome Old Boys and Old Girls of the 1997 and 2012 generations back to School for their 25 and 10-year reunions and to meet OW artists showing at the Alumni Art Exhibition who spanned 8 decades at WGS, the most venerable among them being taught by the legendary Charles Viner.

Another storied figure from the same period was Tony Stocks, who first joined the staff post-WW2 and who rejoined, following senior posts in Liverpool and Gloucester, as the last Headmaster in the days of full state funding. We were bowled over by the dedication of so many OWs, especially from the 40s and 50s, who gathered at School to remember Mr Stocks and witness the unveiling of a bas relief in his honour. In July, I was delighted to host the inaugural lunch of the 1512 Society, our new legacy society for those wishing to remember the School’s Bursary Fund in their wills.

Just as school trips for current students have returned in force post-pandemic, so have wider outings for OWs. We hosted a joyful and fabulously attended London Reunion on the terrace of the House of Lords and plans are now in place for the June 2023 event, again with a river view but this time from the South Bank. Tina Erskine and I had the pleasure of meeting OWs who have made their lives in the USA and Canada at two reunions in October half-term, one in San Francisco and one in New York.

I hope the OWs reading the Women in STEM article in this edition will be

pleased to know, at WGS today, any A Level Maths or Science class contains a fine balance of girls and boys – a fact which regularly impresses visitors. Over the past few months, students of all ages have benefitted from talks and contributions to lessons (including remotely) by a variety of OWs whom we have been delighted to invite back to the School to share their professional knowledge and information on their chosen fields. We are always very grateful to OWs who add to our young people’s understanding of the world of careers; do please get in touch with the Development Office if you might be able to help.

Finally, please look out for information about our forthcoming OW community platform, an online space for OWs to connect easily with the School but perhaps more importantly with each other. We hope that as many OWs as possible join up and enjoy the benefits of the platform.


Commonwealth Bronze for Bandurak

In the year Deputy Head, Nic Anderson, (OW 1990) celebrated 25 years of involvement with hockey at WGS, Nick Bandurak (OW 2011) was honoured to play for his country in the Commonwealth Games 2022 - what a year for WGS Hockey! The two namesakes recently got together to talk about their WGS memories, their shared love of the game and Bandurak’s journey to Commonwealth Bronze with England Hockey.

Nick Bandurak attended WGS from 2004 to 2011, and went on to study Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science at Birmingham University. He initially played for Cannock Hockey Club, then joined Holcombe Hockey Club where he has scored over 200 goals for the Club. Nick has represented England at every age group and shot to recognition due to his goal scoring prowess at club level. He received his first international call-up to play against Spain in the FIH Hockey Pro League in February 2022. Enjoying a sensational start to his international career, Nick went on to score eleven times in front of a home crowd as England took the Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. He has been in top form ever since.

Who introduced you to hockey?

It was actually my mum. I used to be on the side as a youngster during her

games and the boyfriend of one of the people she was playing against once suggested she take me down to Cannock HC and that was where it all started.

My brothers and I spent most of our lives at the side of a hockey pitch. My younger brother James used to be able to fit inside the goalkeeper bag and would go to sleep!

Why did you join WGS?

I remember the decision about Senior School being a big one. Having got the grades, I was offered a place at an allboys’ state grammar school - a hockey specialist school too. It would have been a completely different dynamic but deep down, my heart was always set on WGS and I am just lucky that my parents were on board.  My dad is an OW so that was certainly a big pull too but I am grateful for their support as I realise it was a massive commitment on their part.

Did any other sport come close?

Yes - football. For me, it was always going to be football or hockey.  The decision came to a head after getting selected for the England Junior Hockey squad. I was part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Academy at the time. I remember several conversations with John ‘JJ’ Johnson in the Sports Hall at WGS, about whether I could dedicate the same time and commitment needed to both.

A big influence in my decision was reading an article about the Manchester United Team who had just won the FA Youth Cup. It was a follow-up article about the squad, six months after their victory, saying that only three out of the winning team were still playing football. I realised that I was nowhere near their level at that point in my career and I just wanted to play sport at the highest level

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I could.  Selection for the English Junior Hockey squad meant I was on the fringe of playing Premier League Hockey, so I decided that this was probably going to be the best avenue for me.

Who were your role models at School?

The whole Sports department with whom my friendship group had a natural affinity. Everyone involved was just unbelievable in helping us to grow as individuals as we all had a natural tie to representing WGS on the sports field – Mr ‘Kingy’ King, Mr John ‘JJ’ Johnson and Mr Nigel ‘Crusty’ Crust were amazing! It is one of those things that you never really appreciate whilst at school but value later in life.

Not forgetting Mr Pete ‘PJ’ Johnston too. I only got to know him in Sixth Form with Psychology being available at A Level. When I think back to some of his lessons and the advice he gave, it really was amazing and the kind of advice that sticks, even now and extends way beyond the realms of the subject that he taught.

I remember school as being a safe, happy learning environment and an opportunity to have fun. My friendship group was quite smart across the board, and I think we probably realised it and therefore looked to bend the rules slightly sometimes! We always did our work, but we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves around school. Sometimes we maybe went too far but we had some fun times off the back of it. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What was the Commonwealth Games like?

The Commonwealth Games was an unbelievable experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life. It was the best two weeks of my professional career and so much fun. It was quite a unique experience, before I knew it, we were in the mix for a medal. I loved being a part of it.

Captain of the Men’s 1st, Head Coach of the Women’s 1st at Holcombe Hockey Club and playing at international level – how do you fit it all in?

I enjoyed school way more than university but I have so many happy memories of my time at WGS! I had such a close friendship group, and we are still close even now - friends for life ultimately.

What is your funniest memory from School?

I have so many funny memories but many probably aren’t very appropriate for this publication, so perhaps we should stick to my best memories! One of these was the Barbados tour in 2008, spending my 16th birthday on the beach playing cricket.

I am busy but I am not daunted by it. I am excited by what both teams can potentially achieve. I am blessed with great people on both sides. I do recognise the responsibility of the captaincy – I have been fortunate to play under some amazing captains in the Premier Division during the last fifteen years and this is now an opportunity for me to show my own style and cultivate my own format.

What next?

The next match is in Argentina. The squad will be away for two and a half weeks and if all goes well, it’ll be my 1st cap for GB. Then it’s the World Cup in India. That will be an amazing experience. We played India in the group stages at the Commonwealth Games

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My time at WGS was genuinely the best period in my life.

and it was the best game of hockey I have ever been a part of because of the general emotion and drama that came with it. To have another chance to play against them will be exciting. If everything goes well for me between now and then, I will be ready for it. At the time of this interview, Nick was waiting to hear about selection for Great Britain vs Argentina and The Netherlands in the FIH Pro League. (He has since been selected. Congratulations Nick!)

Who are the best players you have played with or against?

There are so many great players out there. I’ve been really fortunate to be able to play with a number of greats through the year:

Barry Middleton is phenomenal and Iain Lewers is a special player.

James Fair is the best keeper I’ve ever played with and Ollie Payne is the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment in my opinion.

Zac Wallace will get to that next level and be a proper global superstar.

Ash Jackson must also be in the mix. These are all phenomenal players and I’m really fortunate to be able to learn from them in my time playing.

Who is your sporting inspiration?

I’m a huge American sports fan so it must be NBA LeBron James. I was lucky enough to spend Christmas 2019 in LA and got to watch him play on Christmas Day; a once in a lifetime opportunity. The way he conducts himself and everything about him is impressive. The amount of time and effort he spends looking after his body more than anything has allowed him to be at the top of his game for so long - his longevity is on another level.

Looking back, is there anything you would change?

I wouldn’t change anything because with sport especially, so much is out of your control. It took me a while to genuinely appreciate that. As soon as I started enjoying the journey of developing and improving my game, it helped me to relax and enjoy the ride much more!

Do you have any words of wisdom for current students wanting to pursue a career in sport?

I spent so much time longing to be selected to play for England and getting frustrated whilst waiting that I lost focus. My advice would be to work hard at whatever your chosen career is, stay focused on the process and allow yourself time to develop – the destination will come.


And finally, who is the better player; yourself or your wife?

My wife, hands down! With being her coach now, I get to see a different side to her game that I couldn’t see from the stands. There’s a lot of attributes in her that I’d love to take into my own game, that’s for sure!

UK Men’s Player of the Year

Nick was delighted to receive, for the second year running, the prestigious UK Player of the Year Award, chosen by the Hockey Writers’ Club. As pictured, this was presented to Nick at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge. Nick says, “To be called up for the Pro League was unbelievable. When you reach the age of 28 or 29 you kind of accept life and realise it might not happen but I never gave up. To get this opportunity has been a whirlwind and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.”

We thank Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and send all our best wishes to him and the rest of Team GB. We look forward to following Nick’s hockey career and welcoming him back to School as our Guest Speaker at Prize Giving in July 2023.

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on enjoying your journey; don’t worry too much about the destination –it will come.
Photograph courtesy of UmpireCam.

A word from the Development Office

What a year! Any concern that OW enthusiasm for keeping in touch with School might have waned thanks to Covid-19, was kicked firmly into touch in 2022; the level of engagement and interest has been both astonishing and simply wonderful, confirming the strength of our community spirit. To everyone who has said yes, in some capacity or other this year – thank you!

Sadly, Rhianne Jacques left us in the summer to complete a PGCE and pursue a career in teaching. Rhi has also recently become engaged to her partner Josh. We are delighted for Rhi and wish her every happiness.

Sarah Fellows joined the Development Office in September. Married with two young children, Sarah joined us from Woodthorne Primary School, where she had been School Administrator since 2018. Sarah has a background in Financial Services, speaks Spanish and has a keen interest in travel. She enjoys running and singing and likes to organise events for her local community, when she has time!

As Alumni Engagement Officers, Julie and Sarah’s primary focus is to help OWs remain connected to School and to each other. If you would like to visit, have news to share or an idea for an event or would simply like a chat, please do get in touch, either by email: development@wgs-sch. net or by phone: +44 (0)1902 421326, Ext. 252/253.

We have so enjoyed hosting in-person reunions for the Classes of 2012 and 1997, as well as supporting the third online reunion for the Class of 1977. Joining Marytn Russell

Your support really can change lives

How you can help:

Offer work experience or internships

Share your story by giving a careers talk

(OW 1977), thirteen fellow OWs gathered virtually from far and wide, including the Wirral, Cornwall, Stafford, London, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Scotland, Leeds and even Majorca! He playfully sums the conversation up as, “a bunch of old boys talking delightful nonsense and noting how things were different back in the 1970s. It was both random and fun!” Martyn’s full report can be read in the news section of www.oldwulfrunians. wgs.org.uk.

Sadly, there isn’t enough room to feature everyone in this magazine, but it remains a complete highlight for us to welcome OWs back to School, so please do let us know if you would like to take a trip down

Become a student mentor

Gift memorabilia to the archives

Volunteer as an ambassador for a reunion

Make a donation to the Bursary Fund

Remember WGS in your will THANK YOU!

We continue to be amazed and inspired by the generosity of our Old Wulfrunians. To everyone who has got in touch, visited, offered a gift in kind, volunteered their time, supported current students in some way or made a financial donation deeply appreciated and truly makes

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Support in 2022 came in a wide and varied format from across the WGS community, and beyond:

In June OWs from the Class of 2014 joined us for a day of tennis and cake in memory of their school friend Sophie Pritchard (OW 2014), who died in 2021, aged 24. The event was wonderfully attended and, thanks to the generosity of these young OWs a bench will soon feature in the school grounds as a permanent reminder of an amazing young woman. Lydia Manley (now Danks) and Dom Danks (both OW 2014) were instrumental in making this event the success it was.

The Graham Lewis Maths Scholarship was generously created in 2015 by Rob Zeps (OW 1988). Rob dedicated it to his Mathematics teacher, the late Mr Graham Lewis, who inspired him to pursue Maths for both career and intellectual satisfaction. Many congratulations to Lucy Munson, who is now studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge and Filip Świerczyński, who is at the University of Bath, studying Mathematics. Each received £1000 towards their study at university.

In 2022 we were delighted to be able to award the first Zeps Natural Sciences Scholarship, newly created by Rob’s twin brother Professor Nik Zeps (OW 1988). Many congratulations to Liv Roberts, who commenced a Geography degree at the University of Birmingham in September. Liv received £1,000 to help support her university studies.

A visit to the School in December allowed us to thank Nik personally for his generous support. Nik remains a biologist at heart (he studied Biology at King’s College London, completed a PhD in surgery/ pathology at the University of Western Australia and became a cancer biologist), so after a time in management consultancy he returns to the world of research in 2023 (whilst keeping a toe in the corporate world). Based at Monash University, Nik takes on the Academic Lead/Director of Operations role for the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry Australia and New Zealand (PCOR-ANZ), working closely with the Movember Foundation.

way of a book token for £25, for the first time at Prizegiving in the summer of 2023.

Roger Wellings (OW 1955) has named a bursary in memory of his older and much-loved brother Michael, also an OW, who sadly died in April 2021. The first recipient of the Michael Wellings Bursary entered Year 7 in September. From humble beginnings, Roger firmly believes that the excellent education they received at WGS made all the difference to the success they each went on to achieve in their lives.

The Ogden Practical Science Prize was created this year with a donation of £500 from Ian Ogden (OW 1976). Ian went on to study Chemistry at Oxford University (Worcester College). He deeply appreciates the high-quality education he received at WGS as a direct-grant student and firmly believes it was the making of him.

Commencing in the academic year 2022/23, the Ogden Practical Science Prize will be awarded to a student at the end of Year 11 who has consistently achieved the highest standards in practical achievement, across the sciences. A sum of £25 will be awarded annually to enable the successful student to purchase a book of their choosing, which will be presented at Prizegiving.

In a similar vein, James Snelling (OW 2004) was the fundraiser behind a bench in memory of his close friend Adam Cuthbert (OW 2004). Several of Adam’s friends returned to play football at the Sports Festival in September. (Read more on page 40.)

We received a donation of £5500 from the family of the late David Keith Powell (OW 1948), to create both a Scholarship and a Prize in his memory. Keith, who sadly passed away in April 2020, was a keen photographer and cine film maker. The Keith Powell Digital Art Scholarship will be open to application from Upper Sixth students keen to continue their study in a creative arts discipline at university. £1000 will be available each year for the next five years to help facilitate each successful recipient’s transition to university. The Keith Powell Prize (Digital Art) will be awarded, by

A successful bid to the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation new Transformational Bursary Stream in 2022, has enabled another talented but financially constrained student to join WGS in Year 7 from September. We anticipate that the School will receive £15k per annum for the duration of the student’s time at WGS, so hopefully a further six years.

Donations received during the year to 31 August 2022, from single or regular gifts amounted to just over £133,000. In addition, details were lodged with the School regarding an intended £50,000 bequest.

We would be delighted to talk to OWs thinking of making a gift of some kind - your generosity really does ‘transform lives’.

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Our long-planned US Reunions finally took place this year. During October half-term Alex Frazer and Tina Erskine were delighted to meet OWs living and working in North America, firstly in San Francisco on Tuesday 25 October and then in New York on Saturday 28 October.

Two delightful venues with food equal in quality, the Top of the Mark on Nob Hill, affording panoramic views of the entire bay and the Bluebird London NYC on Columbus Circle, overlooking Central Park in autumn sunshine, each presented a wonderful environment in which to enjoy a fun and relaxing occasion in good company. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us.

We are already planning to host another US Reunion in October 2024, so please do email development@wgs-sch.net if you would like to register your interest in attending.

Another highlight of the trip was a full day spent at Southern Connecticut State University, visiting Professor Stephen Hegedus (OW 1991), Dean of the College of Education.

Alex and Tina had the very great privilege of meeting faculty members and being shown the campus, during which time there was a humbling opportunity for some moments of reflection at the Sandy Hook Alumnae Remembrance Garden. This incredibly beautiful space was created in 2018 to honour the four victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting who had ties to the university.

Stephen read out a meditation, written by him in memory of all those who lost their lives in that horrific event:

Let us join every sadness with joy

Let us sew every teardrop of loss

Into the fabric of our lives

Let it nourish

Let it fertilize

The soil of creativity

Around us

Take the spirit of the past

With the yearning

Pains of the living

Seek peace

Through the pain

Of reconnecting

Of re-membering

To loving the presence of others

To the spirit of teaching

To understanding the art of education

To remembering the parts of the system

To the highest spring of vitality

Yielded by the expressive

Voice of the student

Who understood

To the place of peace

To the transcendentality of circles

To the spirit of teaching

The learner alongside their educator

Their leader

Their salvation

Our lives by Stephen J.

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We were delighted to see the transatlantic project mentioned in last year’s Wulfrunian come to fruition in 2022, thanks to our continued connection with and the support of Dr Stephen Hegedus (OW 1991).

Stephen visited WGS in early June, spending time with both students in class and staff in the Common Room, learning more about how we use technology in the classroom, also about our SEN provision, and perusing the archives. Stephen was keen to receive an update from Zoe Rowley, Senior Librarian, regarding plans for the launch of The Discover Reading Project, a community reading project borne out of an embryonic collaborative partnership with academic members of his team at SCSU.

The Discover Reading Project was subsequently launched in the summer with the aim of improving literacy amongst Year 2 children and particularly those identified as weak or reluctant readers, with special educational needs (SEN) or with English as an additional language (EAL) needs.

In total, Wolverhampton Grammar School partnered with 7 schools. Thirty children and their families attended a launch event in June where participants enjoyed activities centring around the award-winning book What the Ladybird Heard, by Julia Donaldson. To help the children engage with the book, the

School invited The Farm on Wheels to offer an animal workshop, an illustrator session with award-winning author and illustrator Petr Horáček and a storytime and craft session. All attendees were gifted a reading pack of free resources created by the School and a signed edition of What the Ladybird Heard

The event was followed up with a six-week programme of book-related activities and crafts in the autumn. Volunteer Sixth Form students ran activities designed to inspire reading for pleasure and boost literacy skills; the first of these was based around The Tiger Who Came Tea and the Jenyns library was decorated with a tiger-theme!

The transatlantic team have plans to collaborate further, and hopefully meet

in person in 2023, whilst continuing to share innovative methods for improving literacy levels and generating data in the support of research in this field. We are extremely grateful to both Stephen and his colleagues for their involvement in and passion for such an important area of work.

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In July we hosted our first 1512 Society lunch. Each wearing their 1512 Society badge with pride, our guests thoroughly enjoyed the Summer Art Show showcasing students’ GSCE and A Level Art work in the Viner Gallery and Hutton Theatre before sitting down to a sumptuous lunch in the Lower Pavilion.

Named in honour of the founding year of WGS, the 1512 Society has been


created to recognise and thank those 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 1512 Society or would like further information on how to remember the School in this way, please contact Tina Erskine, Development Director, either by phone: +44 (0)1902 392962 or by email: ter@wgs-sch.net

Our new OW community platform is here!

Visit www.oldwulfrunians.wgs.org.uk to sign-up and connect easily with us here at WGS but equally importantly with one another.

You’ll be able to register for events, access our latest news, become a mentor, seek advice as a mentee,


We look forward to welcoming more 1512 Society members to our 2023 lunch on Saturday 1 July.

search for old school friends, join or create a club to network, socialise, share knowledge and exchange business experience, and more.

As our OW network spreads further across the globe and grows in numbers, we felt this would be the perfect way to stay connected. So why not sign up and take a look? You’ll receive a warm welcome!

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We Will Remember Them

The year 2022 marked 100 years since the unveiling of the WWI Memorial Boards in Big School. Inscribed on the boards are the names of 102 OWs who died in the Great War (1914 - 1919).

We were honoured to welcome Royal Engineer, John Corfield (OW 2009) and RAF Officer, Gurpal Mann (OW 2014), to join us for two special assemblies. These assemblies were led by Mr David and Mr Taylor who paid tribute to the courageous OWs who had fallen in the First World War. Everyone was invited to turn and face the Memorial Boards for a moment of reflection whilst Mr Frazer

and John read out the fourth verse of the School Song which was added after WWI to remember the fallen.

On Thursday 11 November, the whole school observed a two-minutes’ silence,

His sed summa laus qui se morti devovere, quod vocantis patriae vocem audivere: hi pro nobis arduam ausi ire tum viam, ut sequamur, splendidam facem extulere.

to reflect and remember the service and sacrifice of all those who have fallen protecting our freedom. The Last Post was played by Upper Sixth student, Tom Frith.

But theirs is the highest honour who went devoted to their death; their country called them, and they heard the call: for our sake they had courage to tread the steep and stony way: they have lifted a shining lamp that we may follow in their steps.

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The fourth verse of Carmen Wulfrunense:

A life well lived

we learned of Her Majesty’s passing in September after such a joyous celebration of her life and service during her Platinum Jubilee year.

These words by His Majesty King Charles III are echoed by us all at Wolverhampton Grammar School and especially by those who had the privilege of seeing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at School in 1962. It was with great sadness that

On 25 May 1962, the Queen joined us in School as our honorary guest to celebrate the 450th anniversary of WGS. The event commenced with a ceremony in Big School where she walked through assembled students to the stage. After unveiling a bronze plaque to commemorate the day, Her Majesty was gifted a copy of Mander’s History of the Grammar School by William Rees, Head Boy (OW 1962).

Following the ceremony, the Queen toured the newly-built Derry buildings before returning outside to plant a willow tree on the front lawn.

On 10 November 2021 a film crew from ITV News Central visited to interview OWs who were WGS pupils at the time of the Queen’s visit. A 6-minute video clip, which captures some of the memories of William Rees (OW 1962), Mike Hughes (OW 1963), John Cullwick (OW 1964), John Beaumont (OW 1966) and Sir David Wright (OW 1963), via Zoom, is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=sa_txwVf3Bk

At the time of her passing, we reminisced with OWs that were present for the Queen’s visit to WGS. It has been a delight to read the many wonderful memories shared, some of which we have been able to include in this publication. We are also grateful for the photos and links received relating to the day.

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Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing.

Tony Kelly (OW 1967)

"Our involvement on the day was well rehearsed. As she entered Big School, we all faced inwards to the central aisle and she processed to the stage with the juniors forming the front rows each side of the aisle. We turned to face the stage as she arrived there. After the brief speeches, she exited again through the central aisle and we all turned inwards again. A rolled-up school cap fell into the aisle as she approached, and a leg appeared and dragged it back. These manoeuvres were designed to ensure our backs were never turned towards The Queen, a crime punishable by instant internment in the Tower!"

Nick Ward (OW 1968)

"We had to rehearse the singing under the direction of the Director of Music, Rev. Frank (Ferdie) Rust. We started with a Fanfare and the National Anthem and then belted out the three verses of the School Song, Carmen Wulfrunense. How much of the Latin verse she would have understood I don't know but it could not have been less than me at that time. 'Ferdie' would have put us through our paces until he was satisfied that we would be able to put on a good show, no doubt admonishing any slackers with his trademark "Boy, you're a drink of water dressed up."

Probably the most carefully rehearsed part of the proceedings was the exit from Big School and repositioning all pupils on the front lawn to witness a tree-planting ceremony and bid Her Majesty farewell. I believe we were split into two groups, the older ones exiting via the front doors (normally reserved for the exclusive use of the Headmaster, staff and important visitors) with the rest of us taking a longer route around the back of the Derry Building. This was where precise timing was paramount.

Richard Morrison (OW 1965)

“I was in 3B at the time and can still clearly recall - which is a bit of a miracle in itself - that for her visit into the full Big School, we were shuffled around from standing in our usual form locations, to provide a huge downward slope by height from rear to the front row: ostensibly so that every pupil could see The Queen, but as one staff memberprobably the Rev Frank Rust - advised in a warning, that The Queen could see each one of us!”

Ian Elliott (OW 1959-65)

On leaving Big School, Her Majesty was to tour the Derry building before ending up at the front of the School, where we would all be waiting for her. She was not to notice our getting there and we could therefore not leave the main building until she had entered the Derry building. While she was inspecting the Biology Laboratory and classrooms we had to file around the back in complete silence, keeping close to the wall so that she would not see us if she looked out of the window, and be well clear of the Dining Hall windows before she ended her tour of inspection there. How long we had to do this I do not recall but I do remember the practising with prefects lining the route, clutching stopwatches and with fingers to their lips or gesticulating we must be closer to the wall. Anyway, all the practice paid off and on the day it worked!"

“In 1962, I think I was in Form Four Alpha, and hence on the back row on the Compton Road side of Big School. To be honest, despite the height grading, those of us at the back couldn’t see a great deal, as our dear late Queen was so petite - all we could really see was the Beak, Ernest Taylor walking alongside Her Majesty!

My recollection is that Bert Powers had got the Brass band established and ready for action by the time of this Royal Visit, and that they did us proud by playing the entrance fanfare for the Queen, to which we sang a specially created Vivat, to the words:

Vivat Regina

Regina Elizabetha


Vivat Regina"


Championing Women in STEM

In conversation with Clare Keir (née Anderson, OW 2007)

We last saw Clare Keir (OW 2007) in February 2019 when she attended a Careers Forum at School. At that time Clare was working as a Hydraulic Modelling Engineer for Welsh Water. Passionate about women pursuing career opportunities in STEM, she talked to students about her work, her experiences, and provided a fascinating insight into the world of engineering.

Clare moved on to an 18-month spell as Senior Modeller for Atkins Consultancy and then to her current role as Executive Coach and Mentor for Skills 4 Ltd. We caught up with her to find out why she says a move into coaching and mentoring was one of the best decisions she has made.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Some days I am delivering training to women, taking them through our Empower Career Development Programme; on other days I might be blogging on our website or doing some one-to-one coaching. Coaching often involves focusing on a specific area of impact from the course, such as individual goal setting, but often the topic of ‘work-life balance’ comes up. A lot of the women work for consultancies and there is a massive amount of pressure to deliver within a stringent timeframe and budget. Another big question is always around progression - how do these women progress when there is no clear process or anyone to look up to as role models of women in leadership?

The cohorts are made up of women working in all sectors of engineeringnuclear, defence, water and aviation. These can be a mix of recent graduates to women who are approaching retirement age but they all face the same challenge - they don’t have role models and they want to see more

women in leadership. It’s very much a feeling of “I can’t be what I can’t see.”

There needs to be more women in leadership roles in STEM and our courses are all about motivation, creating an action plan with smaller steps to make goals achievable so these women can become leaders.

One thing which is particularly gratifying, is that a lot of the women choose to keep in touch afterwards, sharing experiences, forming strong supportive networks, and letting us know when they’ve achieved their goal!

Was there anything specifically that made you make the change?

I was a hydraulic modeller for 10 years in the water industry which is not a very well-known job. I was working in a very busy office with lots of people and lots of things happening and then COVID hit. I had a lot more time to reflect and realised I was not enjoying it as much as I used to. Obviously there was a purpose to what I did, as supplying water to everyone is paramount, but I was struggling to see the bigger picture and also last year I experienced burnout. A period of absence from work gave me time to re-evaluate. The programme I train now I undertook myself in 2021 whilst at Atkins - it’s fantastic to be the one training others now!

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Day 3 of the course is all about planning for the future and we ask people to think about how long they have left in their career. For me it was thirty-five years which is a very long time if you are not enjoying what you are doing. At that moment I realised I would rather be doing something supportive and that it was time to do something for me.

It was a big leap, but I am very glad I did it.

What has been your highlight so far?

My highlight must be from my very first cohort. I had been coaching a woman individually over a couple of months and at the end she said, “This has changed my life. I have been in my role for decades and always been so self-sacrificial and probably thought that I had twenty-five years left. I have never focussed on what I want but I now have the confidence to finally take charge and do something for me.” She has since had a promotion.

It is moments like this that make my job worth it

them the tools to have the difficult conversations needed to make change. There is a huge emphasis on building confidence, being more authentic and bringing your ‘true self’ to work. We use neuro-linguistic programming which is a coaching technique with the focus on subliminal messaging. It is all about communicating confidently and assertively. I follow what I preach. My own message to myself is “I am not afraid of conflict” - I am trying to get better at it! Difficult conversations are hard and instead of being daunted by it I now try to understand where the other person is coming from.

The number of women in leadership roles in STEM is rising. We ask our delegates to complete our ‘Moving The Dial Survey’ to identify perceived barriers to progression and for their organisation to further understand the employee experience. About two thirds of women who complete our course do achieve a promotion within twelve months after they finish. There is no quick fix; it will take time. This is the case with all underrepresented groups.

What more can be done in schools to champion girls into STEM?

When you talk about roles in STEM in school, gender neutrality is important. We all have unconscious bias when we talk about certain roles and associate them with specific genders. Work experience is key too, going out to see what engineering really encompasses.

the longest. As more and more women join the industry and take roles in leadership, this will filter down a change in behaviour.

What is your favourite memory from School?

My favourite memory has to be outward-bound related. Being outdoors and mountaineering is now a huge part of my life and I have fond memories of my trips to Towers. I definitely think it’s where I got my love for the outdoors! I was also very fortunate to go on two expeditions, the first to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain, and in my final year to Ecuador – both amazing memorable experiences.

Reading suggestions

Women are underrepresented in senior level roles in most STEM industries, filling only 11% of CEO/ Head of Business level roles in STEM-qualitied industries, and 18% of professor-level STEM academic positions. Explore the links below for further information:

Career Deflection Report | Careers at SNC-Lavalin, Atkins, Faithful + Gould www.careers.snclavalin.com/ latest-news/2021-11/careerdeflection-report

The women on our courses attend for different reasons; it could be for promotion, self-worth, or empowerment in or away from the office, but most have a career focus. The tools gained from completing the course are very transferable. It is all about giving

The Atkins report on Career Deflection: Exploring Diversity, Progression and Retention in Engineering looked into why women between the age of 23 and 35 years are leaving the engineering industry and obviously I was an example of this. A huge part of it for me was the culture. My experience in engineering was that it is quite a ‘macho’ environment with big personalities and the general perception is the expert is the person who talks the loudest and for

Understanding STEM leadership barriers for women - Aya Leadership www.ayaleadership.com/ understanding-leadership-barriersfor-women-in-stem/

Clare also recommends Break the Good Girl Myths by Majo Molfino and her podcast Heroine www.majomolfino.com

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You are empowering women in a field in which you have several years’ experience. Are you seeing any changes in the field from the women you are now mentoring?

From Wednesfield to the Cayman Islands!

An interview with Simon Davis (OW 1983)

The regular sightings of sting rays, sharks, turtles and the most amazing wildlife are something which will never cease to amaze me.

We congratulated Simon Davis (OW 1983) on his appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the Cayman Islands earlier this year. Simon was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1990 and had previously been a member of the criminal group at St Philips Chambers in Birmingham for 21 years; his appointment as DPP is for a period of three years.

So how does a Wednesfield boy end up as DPP over 4,500 miles away in the Cayman Islands? We caught up with Simon to find out.

Looking back to when you were choosing your A Levels, did you ever imagine you would be where you are today?

Absolutely not! By the age of 14, I had had the opportunity to visit Cambridge and decided early on that that was where I wanted to read Classics as a degree. Luckily, all the hard work paid off and in 1984 I achieved my dream and won an Open Exhibition to Trinity College, Cambridge, combined with a Choral Scholarship. Before leaving WGS, Mr Chugg handed me a careers questionnaire which told me I was destined to be a computer programmer! It was only after leaving Cambridge (and after toying with the idea of being a professional singer) that I decided to pursue a legal career, despite the careers questionnaire at Trinity also telling me I should be a computer programmer!

How did you find out about the job in the Cayman Islands?

For 30 years I was prosecuting terrorism cases, gang land shootings, modern slavery offences and multi-handed drug conspiracies. I loved what I did, regularly working with CPS and Police teams of the highest calibre, however, the toll on my family was substantial with the amount of work involved and the time I was having to spend away from home. I took the view that it was time for something different. I was open to new challenges and I was also open to travelling overseas with my family. A friend of mine saw the advert for the post and sent it to me saying “This would suit you!” The rest is history.

How have you settled?

Before departing the UK I was in regular contact with those with whom I was about to work. They welcomed me and worked hard to ensure that my arrival and ongoing stay was made easy. The Cayman Islands are renowned for their ‘Cayman Kind’. They certainly live up


to their reputation! That has made my integration to the legal and much wider community so much easier. Otherwise, it may come as no surprise to hear that the 29°C heat, the regular sightings of sting rays, sharks, turtles and the most amazing wildlife are something which will never cease to amaze me. My office is based in central George Town, Grand Cayman with a view overlooking the port and sea front and the lunch time view from the harbour is worth savouring.

What has been your career highlight?

It’s difficult to choose one particular highlight as there have been quite a number over 30 years. However, representing a Lieutenant Colonel charged with Genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague was a huge experience. Prosecuting successfully a case involving those responsible for trafficking women from Nigeria into the sex trade in Germany was hugely rewarding. Prosecuting thirty-five or so terrorism cases over 6 years in the UK was very much a ‘pinnacle of career’ experience. After all of that, to date, my appointment as DPP of the Cayman Islands has to be my true career highlight.

Is a typical day like being in a scene from Death in Paradise?

(Sorry, Sarah in the office is a big fan!) Although I have heard of it and many people have commented about it, I have to confess that I have never seen Death in Paradise! My primary role is the prosecution of all criminal cases in the Islands which requires me to ensure that the right people are charged with the right offences - this can involve cases from common assault to murder.

I am also a Law Reform Commissioner which I consider to be a privileged position in that I am involved in formulating the legal landscape of the Cayman Islands. I am also responsible for fielding international requests which can include anything from requests for production of documents from countries around the globe to assistance in respect of multi-million dollar yachts.

If you had your time again would you do anything different?

This is a really difficult question to answer. Upon leaving university I had thought of becoming a professional singer (not a computer programmer!). However, the limitations of a singing career hit me early on and thankfully, I was able to carve out a career at the Bar. I had thought that choice to be a good one, especially when it was to do with Criminal Law and as I was living in a busy city like Birmingham.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Bar and ensured that I prepared and conducted my cases at the highest level. However, at some time in the last 15 or so years the ‘work-life balance’ was being tipped very much in favour of work - a crystal ball to identify when that balance tipped would have been really useful! Overall, I think I can safely say that I would not have done anything different.

What is your favourite memory of your time at WGS?

I have really vivid memories and there are many which could be described as favourites. I can genuinely say that my time at WGS was very happy. There are two memories which stick out and which, looking back, really moulded my time at WGS. Surprisingly (!), my first two years at WGS saw me regularly in detention, such that by the first term of my third year, John Simms (my form teacher) advised me that for every further detention I received, he would double it. True to his word, he doubled the first one I received that term. Realising that there was more to picking up litter around the school buildings, I buried myself in gerunds and gerundives in Bennie Polack’s Latin lessons. That promise by John Simms was a defining moment for me. My second favourite memory was sitting my Cambridge entrance exams after a seventh term taught by Bennie Polack, Tim Storey and Keith Brockless - I liken my time in that term to being a character in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys - it was truly a remarkable term with one-to-one teaching and a happy ending.

Which teachers from WGS had the biggest impact on you personally?

There were three teachers at WGS whose influence on me cannot be

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overstated - in order of importance, they were Bennie Polack, Tim Storey and Keith Brockless. I was lucky to be taught within the Classics department. Not many people studied Latin and Greekin fact, it was just 2 of us doing Greek and 4 of us doing Latin A level. I was privileged to have access to the brilliant minds of those 3 teachers who were able to impart their knowledge to me. There was no hiding if you had not done your prep. You were constantly exposed to their incisive wit and expertise. I had most contact with Bennie Polack who was also my Housemaster (Jenyns). I will never forget the written feedback from Bennie on a test paper I had done on Greek optatives. I am pretty sure his feedback said – “I now believe that there is no Greek you cannot do” - knowing Bennie as I did, that was praise indeed. Also, recollecting Bennie’s handwriting, I may have misconstrued his message!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

As I was leaving school, I saw my mother and father, both senior teachers, going to work every day. Every day they returned home tired and burned out. I made the decision that that was not going to happen to me by the time I reached my 50s.

I had already taken the decision to do seventh term entry to Cambridge which involved a year off. After University, I decided to take another year out. This was deliberate. I was called to the Bar two years afterwards and compared with some of my leavers’ cohort from WGS, I was way behind the curve in obtaining a job, getting a graduate scheme or gaining a professional qualification. However, after seeing my parents trek to school each day, I was in no hurry to decide what I wanted to do for a career. It was plain that life was going to be a long journey.

I stick by the decision to take time in determining my final career path. My advice to my younger self would be the same - life is a long journey, no need to rush!

My advice to my younger self would be the same - life is a long journey, no need to rush!

Embracing Opportunity

Becky Lumlock (née Biddulph, OW 1991) on her journey from WGS to CEO

Last year, featured as a ‘Woman to Watch’ in the Wulfrunian, Becky Lumlock didn’t disappoint with her move from Network Rail to CEO of Freightliner, one of the largest rail freight companies in the UK. Alongside her CEO role, she also finds time to work in Canary Wharf for a company called Brookfield, one of the largest investors in Infrastructure, Property and Private Equity assets around the world.

Becky had some trepidation over the move into her new roles but above all was excited to go back into the private sector. She says that no two days or weeks are the same:

“Last week I was in the Netherlands visiting our operations at the largest port in Europe (Rotterdam), this week I began my week in Manchester visiting the engineers and fitters who maintain all our train locomotives and wagons, and next week I’m in Poland meeting some of our train drivers over there who drive as far as into Germany. I’ll also be meeting with our head of the country about the business complexities of the war engulfing their neighbour Ukraine.”

Spending time abroad has been the highlight of Becky’s career, living fourteen years overseas working on 4 different continents in the West Indies, Egypt, Australia and Europe, has opened her eyes to how work can be influenced by different cultures and how we should be a lot more compromising and understanding of everyone’s differences.

In terms of career highlights, Becky is particularly proud of the fact that her team delivered a 30% increase in peak time rush hour capacity at the UK’s busiest railway station, London Waterloo, by reopening the former Eurostar terminal and reconfiguring the whole of the station, its platforms and infrastructure. They lengthened the platforms to be able to take longer trains so that more passengers could travel on the trains. Not taking all of the credit, she pays homage to her team who helped to make this happen.

As a female in a male-dominated industry, Becky has faced considerable challenge but has been rewarded for her work in championing diversity when Network Rail was added to the Times Top 50 Employers of Women while she was at the helm of diversity and inclusion at the company. She tells us of a time when she was coming back from a long day’s work:

“I was wearing my bright orange safety jacket and trousers with my hard hat, and as I got on the train, a little boy was sitting there with his Mum and he whispered to her ‘Look Mum, it’s Bob

the Builder!’ and I said back to him ‘No actually it’s Becky the Builder!’. I do believe it’s really important for everyone to have role models and that needs to start early, and we can all play our part in that.”

For Becky, the struggle to compete in a male-dominated industry has been very real, she mentions a time when she was personally affected by gender bias:

“I hadn’t long made the move across into the Rail industry when I was invited to a small industry event for the combined Heads of Network Rail and the passenger train companies. At the time I was running arguably the busiest route in the UK and hadn’t as yet met the Heads of the Train companies. That was when one of the Train MDs came up to me and tried to hand me his coat, presuming I was probably a member of hotel staff, being the only female in the room. I was so dumbfounded and caught off-guard that I just stared at him and then walked away.”

Becky feels that schools can play a massive part in alleviating gender bias and uses an example at her daughter’s all-girls’ school. The school works in conjunction with the local boys’ school for A level and the headmistress insists that the boys attend the girls’ school for any STEM subjects and not the other way around. Becky feels that small decisions like this one are the ones which make the most difference.

On a personal level, Becky feels that WGS played a significant role in helping

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her towards her career. She joined the School in one of the first years that girls were admitted and therefore feels she learned resilience from being part of a minority group at that age. As well as juggling not one but two massive careers, Becky still finds time for her love of music. She reminisces about her time in Lower Sixth at School when she toured Tuscany playing almost exclusively Italian music to captivated audiences, paying tribute to the wonderful Music department at WGS, her reason for joining School. The support from the department to get four grade 8s even played a part in Becky achieving her first graduate job with British Gas, as the interviewer happened to enjoy music. She believes her music achievements set her above the competition to get the role.

We asked Becky to give us one piece of advice for current students at WGS, she said:

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Treat everyone the same – say hello to the office cleaner every day and treat him/her in the same way you would the CEO of the company. Know that in your working career there’ll be times when you’ll love how it’s all going and other times you’ll be knocked over and feel a bit bruised and battered emotionally, or disappointed. It’s in these times that you get to show your true resilience.

An English Rose in Texas

Helen Jones (née Barr, OW 1988)

Helen Jones (OW 1988) joined WGS in 1986 in the School’s third year of admitting girls to the Sixth Form. She studied A Level French, German and Economics and played the double bass in the orchestra, spending many a happy time in the Music department.

One of her fondest memories of her time at WGS was the Choir Tour to the US in 1987, visiting several cities including Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis St Paul and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Impressively Helen is still in touch with her ‘host mom’ who also attended her wedding in 2019. Helen has fond memories of visiting her in Fond du Lac in 2021 with her late husband Todd. Little did Helen know that some 22 years later she would be calling Texas her home…

On finishing a degree in French, German and Italian at Leicester University, Helen’s first job was based in Bolton, selling Tyvek white suits across Europe, followed by working for her family’s iron foundry business in Wolverhampton. She then moved on to managing the finance team at One Stop working in their head office but she was really missing using her languages. Fortunately, Helen’s desire to use her language skills again were fulfilled when she took up a position at

David Austin Roses in 2003, working with their licensed growers across Europe. Seven years later she was given the chance to run David Austin’s US office and made the move to Tyler, Texas, east of Dallas. As well as being responsible for all of the company’s US office finance, Helen works with the US, Canadian and South American licensed growers of David Austin shrub and cut roses with regular worldwide, but mostly South American, travel. It has provided an exciting opportunity to extend her portfolio of languages even further and learn Spanish. Thirteen years on, Helen is a licensed Pesticide Applicator in the state of Texas with authority to distribute fertilizer in 46 states - not quite what she had envisioned leaving Sixth Form back in 1988!

Helen is an avid football fan and her love for Wolves is rooted in her time at WGS. She says that she holds her former school friends entirely responsible for the rollercoaster ride that comes with supporting Wolves! Studying and

living in Leicester didn’t stop Helen from driving back each week for home, midweek and away Wolves matches. Having met the son of the then Wolves Manager, Graham Turner, at University, Helen has some rather surreal memories of sitting having a cup of tea with Graham Turner in his dressing gown on match day, after giving his son a lift back home.

Helen also has very fond memories of the time spent at the Old Wulfrunians’ Sports and Social Club (Old Wulfs) in Castlecroft, chatting with the ‘old boys’ sitting at the bar about Wolves with former Wolves left winger, Dave Wagstaffe. She still remembers the look of horror on their faces when they found out she was an Old Wulfrunian in her own right and not a girlfriend of one of the club members! Helen’s claim to fame was to be made the first official female member of the Old Wulfs’ Club. To this day Helen continues to follow Wolves albeit from Texas, but she now tends to call it ‘soccer’!

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Class of 2012 Reunion

No amount of English drizzle could dampen spirits as the Class of 2012 reunited on 18 June for a Summer BBQ.

Though the weather could not be pre-ordered, everything else had been meticulously prepared to ensure a memorable trip back to WGS. Alongside a walking quiz tour of School, endless photographs, videos of school trips and productions and not forgetting the homemade WGS doughnut wall (!), an unforgettable afternoon ensued for all in attendance. Part of the day included a fundraising event in memory of Suresh Ram, a much-loved member of the year group who sadly passed away in 2015. Thank you to all those who contributed.

Huge thanks to Charlotte Holman and Fiona Jones whose reminiscing with friends in the Summer of 2021 led to 12 months of emails, meetings and preparations and the impetus for this fantastic 10-year reunion.

“We all remember showing prospective families around School on Open Day in Year 7, having only been there a few weeks ourselves and throwing out the tag line “there is a unique relationship between staff and students here at WGS”. Little did we know that that sentiment remains true to this day.

Having survived adult life so far, it’s difficult not to look back and feel extremely grateful for the education, opportunities and lifelong friendships we were all lucky enough to be gifted by being part of Wolverhampton Grammar School. The fact so many were keen to return to school 10 years later and share in good food, good drink and good company, is a testament to WGS’s everlasting community. See you all in another 10 years!”

If you would like to organise an event for your year group. Please do get in touch, either by email: development@wgs-sch.net  or by phone: +44 (0)1902 421326 and ask for Julie or Sarah in the Development Office.

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Celebrating 25 years!

We were thrilled to welcome back over forty OWs from the Class of 1997 on Saturday 22 April. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, reminisce with former teachers and see if the School had changed much in a quarter of a century!

For some it was the first visit back and many remarked that the only time they had ever walked up the front steps to Big School was when they were either late or in trouble – luckily neither issue applied for this event! We even welcomed OWs virtually from as far afield as South Africa; lovely that the use of video calls that became so popular during Covid is continuing to bring the WGS community together, no matter how far away they are.

Huge thanks to OW Chris Checketts for helping to make this reunion happen and to our former Head, Dr Bernard Trafford, for returning to share a few words over lunch in Big School. Dr O’Brien kindly dug out many pictures and videos, which helped enormously with sharing stories and memories of school days.

It is an honour to have attended WGS as a pupil and to return again many years later but the real stars are the staff. I hope our sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the role that all the staff played in our development came across at our reunion.

WGS is a special place and the bonds forged there can last forever. For those there now, including my own cousins Andrew and Daniel, you should cherish every moment. You have the platform from which you can fulfil your potential, realise your dreams and make lifelong friendships.

The Class of 1997 wish you well.

Chris Checketts

London Reunion

After two re-arranged dates it was third time lucky as our long-awaited London Reunion took place on Thursday 9 June. Over 170 OWs, former and current staff came together for drinks and canapés in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace at the House of Lords overlooking the River Thames.

Nearly 100 OWs took the opportunity for a guided tour including The Commons and Lords Chambers, in addition to the public areas, Central Lobby, St. Stephens Hall and Westminster Hall. The prestigious venue attracted not only London-based OWs but even those as far afield as Greece! It was the perfect place for a special reunion. A dash for the last train meant that the Development Team and current staff travelling back to Wolverhampton left earlier than they would have liked but there was so much talking and laughing that we are certain we were hardly missed as the fun continued late into the evening at a local public house.

As we go to print the Development team are busy planning this year’s London reunion at the Buffini Chao Deck, at the top at the Royal National Theatre on the South Bank of the Thames. Tickets priced £25 can be purchased through the new Alumni community platform www.oldwulfrunians.wgs.org.uk

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“Congratulations on organising such a successful and well-attended evening!”

“Thank you for organising such a brilliant OW Reunion. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to meet so many OWs of all ages. 8 June 2023 is in the diary!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event! Congrats to all for sorting it out and putting on a memorable evening.”

“Thank you for another great evening. It was great to catch up with everyone.”

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Alumni Art Exhibition 2022

This year we were extremely proud to open the doors to our first Alumni Art Exhibition.

Thanks to the foresight of Miss Bowater, Head of Art, plans were put in place to create a unique exhibition to celebrate the creative careers and successes of our OWs and former staff. A little later than anticipated due to the pandemic and the arrival of Emma’s beautiful baby daughter, Poppy; exhibitors, their families and our wider school community were given a warm welcome to the Viney Gallery on 19 November for this inspirational event.

The exhibition and all the exceptional work on display would not have been possible without the dedication of the WGS community both past and present. It was a privilege to have the work of OWs spanning seventy-eight years on show and a wonderful follow-up to our milestone 50th anniversary of the Summer Art Show. Thank you to John Perkins (Former Head of Art 1993 – 2014) who started the Summer Exhibition back in 1993. We were thrilled to see the original poster on display at this year’s Show.

Thank you to James Millichamp (OW 1994 and Former Head of Art 2014

We congratulate and thank all our exhibitors for their wonderful contributions:

Ella Bancroft (OW 2022)

David Barlow (DeceasedFormer Staff 1991 - 2005)

Jaiya Bhandari (OW 2007)

David Billingsley (OW 1973)

AJ Brennan (OW 2014)

Anna Browning (OW 2007)

Robert Chesworth (OW 1958)

Neil Davies (OW 1975)

Amber Davies (OW 2010)

Ross Deeley (OW 2020)

Ellie Denton (OW 2019)

Alishya Dhir (OW 2012)

Darren Evans (OW 1989)

William Harry Ewen (OW 2021)

Poppy Flint (OW 2005)

Sam Grew (OW 2014)

– 2018) for his knowledge of former students and curation skills, as well as Kevin Petford and Michelle Harris who did an exceptional job setting up the exhibition and hanging the works for all to enjoy.

If you were unable to view the exhibition, there are still some copies of our catalogue available. Please do get in touch with the Development Office if you would like to receive one.

This year’s exhibition has also been the impetus for our next project which will be an Alumni Photography Exhibition. If you would like to find out more information, please email: development@wgs-sch.net

Michael Hill (OW 1980)

John Hyatt (OW 1970)

Derek Jones (Artist in Residence 1998-2010)

Hannah Kyriakou (OW 2009)

Stephen Lockley (OW 1968)

Celia Madeley (OW 2017)

Elizabeth Marshall (OW 2022)

Elena Martellini (OW 2021)

Terence Martin (OW 1957)

Emily Mascall (OW 2009)

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"It was good to read the personal journeys the artists had been on and the inspirations behind their works. I usually come out of an exhibition with a clear favourite but not yesterday."

Andy Husselbee (OW 1979)

"It was a pleasure to be there at the event. The way in which you and your colleagues brought it all together with the cheerful, courteous support of current pupils was a great credit to the School. We particularly enjoyed meeting for the first time other former pupils who had contributed their artwork to the exhibition."

David Billingsley (OW 1972)

Rosie McLaren (OW 2003)

James Millichamp (OW 2019)

James Millichamp

(Former Staff and OW 1994 & Former Head of Art 2014 - 2018)

David Millichamp (Deceased - OW 1958)

James Nepaulsingh (OW 1998)

John Perkins

(Former Head of Art 1993 - 2014)

Tom Pleydell (OW 2018)

Holly Pleydell (OW 2016)

Christopher Reade (OW 1964)

Akansha Sethi (OW 2012)

Mary Taylor (OW 2009)

Therese Ward (OW 1999)

Michael Warren (OW 1954)

Richard M White (OW 2001)

Eleanor Wilkinson (OW 2022)

James Williams (OW 2017)

Gordon Williams (Deceased - OW 1944)

Sam Wootton (OW 2017)

Thank you

Thank you to Charles Viner’s family for their continued support and to David Billingsley (OW 1973) for his written article ‘An appreciation of three remarkable Art Teachers’ which was included in the Exhibition Catalogue. This illustrated just how influential Charles Viner was to so many of his students.

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A tribute to Tony Stocks

On Wednesday 11 May over forty OWs attended a special memorial event in tribute to Mr Anthony Stocks, a master at WGS from 1947 to 1957 and Headmaster from 1973 to 1978, who sadly passed away in 2019.

All those in attendance congregated in the quad behind Big School for the unveiling of a beautiful bronze bas-relief, created by sculptress Lucy Kinsella. Before revealing the plaque, Alex Frazer paid tribute to Tony and his immense contribution to the School. It was a privilege to welcome Tony’s nephew Martin to the event; we were pleased, and more than a little relieved, that he felt the bas-relief really captured his uncle’s spirit!

Refreshments in Big School followed over which memories were swapped, shared and relived. Old friends reconnected and reminisced about their time at School and, in particular, in the Scouts, a particular passion of Tony’s. OWs Richard Silk (OW 1954), Roger Steel (OW 1955), Peter Wright (OW 1956) and Brian Rhodes (OW 1954)

all took the opportunity to share some words about their former teacher.

We are immensely grateful to Peter Sergeant, an Old Boy of Sir Thomas Rich’s School in Gloucester, where Mr Stocks was Headmaster prior to returning to WGS. Peter got in touch to see if the School, like Sir Thomas Rich’s, might also wish to commission a bas-relief of Mr Stocks. We were delighted that Peter could join us for this memorable occasion.

If you would like a digital or hard copy of the booklet we compiled after the event, please do get in touch. It includes some of the photographs from the day, alongside a host of memories and anecdotes kindly sent to us by some of those who knew Tony. A copy sits proudly in our archives.

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Martin Stocks (right) with Peter Sergeant, Sir Thomas Rich’s School alumnus (left), in front of the Tony Stocks’ memorial.

25 Years,but who’s counting?

Saturday 3 September 2022 marked a special milestone at WGS as one of our much-loved OWs and current Deputy Head, Nic Anderson (OW 1990), celebrated twenty-five years of involvement with hockey at School as a coach.

Nic first started playing hockey at School at the age of fourteen, back in 1986.  Over the years, both as player and school coach, he has developed a real passion for the sport. He stills plays every Saturday for the Old Wulfrunians’ Hockey Club.

Over twenty-five OWs joined Nic down in the Valley for a ‘friendly’ hockey match to celebrate this milestone. OWs from 1997 onwards, complemented with two older OWs in goals, enjoyed a competitive match followed by a buffet lunch and, of course, a hockey-themed cake! Everyone involved had a wonderful time and it was great to see so many reminiscing about the happy memories shared, both on and off the pitch over the past quarter of a century.

Thank you for 25 years Nic: here’s to the next 25!

Over the years, Mr Anderson has embodied the true values of WGS, none more so than on the hockey pitch. During my time at the School Mr Anderson regularly encouraged students to join the School hockey team and he facilitated the running of the teams with great selflessness. He has passed on his love for the sport and many students during his tenure still play hockey to this day, some to a very high level indeed.

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Gurpal Mann (OW 2014)

Old Wulfrunians Cricket

The end of the academic year can only mean one thing – cricket season at WGS! This year we held not one, but three cricket events in July, welcoming back many from our School community. On each occasion, a fine display of competitive cricket whilst basking in the sunshine on Moreton’s Piece was enjoyed by all. Appropriate encouragement from the boundaries and tasty refreshments provided by our excellent catering team, Holyroyd Howe, made the events even more special. Thank you for everyone who came along to show their support.

Celebrating 100 Years of Cricket - OWTCC v WGS 1st XI

As part of the Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall Cricket Club’s (OWTCC) Centenary Year celebrations, a game against Wolverhampton Grammar School was inevitable and important, further strengthening the links between the two. OWTCC was formed by Old Wulfrunians in 1922 and for the last one hundred years has provided the opportunity for OWs, including staff, to continue their cricketing education. A commemorative salver was presented to OWTCC Chairman, Chris Hallam, by Head, Alex Frazer, after the game which was hosted at WGS on 6 July.

Chris Hallam shares his match report with us:

It was agreed that it would be a declaration game and having lost the toss the OWTCC were invited to bat. Thus giving us the problem of deciding how many runs we needed to be safe from defeat but allowing us enough time to achieve victory.

Adithya Manigandan

Jem Forrest

Amar Sidhu

Harry Williams

Daniel Thomas

Theo Pickin

George Margetts

Riyan Patel

Yuvraj Basra

Saksham Dadwall

Yuvraj Singh

Mason Holles

Sagar Patel

Jamie Bostock

Robin Sheffield

Mike Thomas

Steve Thomas

Adeesha Thilanchana

Andy Husselbee

Mel Eves

Archie Woodhouse

Ed Potts

Charan Dhaliwal

Prabhveer Sekhon

We thought it appropriate to open the batting with the Thomas brothers, Mike and Steve, who are both OWs. Sadly Steve didn’t trouble the scorer and he suffered further by being caught out by his nephew, Dan, who was playing for WGS. The next player in was a member of the OW 1st team whose innings of 0 from one ball, left us at 5 runs for 2 wickets – not an ideal start. Our Sri

Lankan overseas player joined Mike in a half century partnership which got us back on track, but his dismissal led to a collapse to 64 for 5. Fortunately, we rallied to 141 for 6 and then 158 for 7 thanks to a couple of steady middle order partnerships. So, would that be enough?

It was at this point that an intervention by WGS coach Theo King altered our

34 Wulfrunian 2022

thinking by suggesting that we had scored enough runs to declare. This information was shared with the captain who, after allowing OW Andy Husselbee to play the shot of the day and show that he had 'still got it’, declared with the score of 158 for 7 after 33 overs.

Theo was convinced we had enough to secure victory but added the rather late caveat, “providing you get the openers out.” When we did manage to get one out however, the score was 126! What Theo had failed to mention was that Adithya Manigandan plays County cricket! He blasted our bowling all over the site in addition to taking 4 of our wickets. After a couple of gentle overs our overseas player had to be instructed to bowl flat out in order to dismiss him. It was to no avail, Adithya was set and it wasn’t until he was finally removed after a belligerent 109 runs out of the score of 145, that the assault abated. Naturally, WGS passed the winning post comfortably in only the 25th over. Well played boys and very well coached Theo.

Cricket & Pimms

Inviting back Class of 2020 and 2021 was important to us as both year groups had missed out on lots of events due to the pandemic. The annual Staff v Student cricket match seemed the perfect opportunity. Thirty-five OWs and their families joined us on a glorious summer’s evening on Wednesday 13 July. As well as players it was great to see so many spectating from the boundary line including several current staff who were keen to catch up with their former pupils.

With the sun shining, the Pimms chilling and the BBQ in full swing, the afternoon and evening were full of laughter providing the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends.


The Hundred Comes To WGS

On Sunday 10 July, we welcomed several Old Wulfrunians back for our 2022 Cricket Festival including 3 sets of brothers - The Mills, The Singhs and The Mackleworths. The School team were outstanding in their attitude and Adithya Manigandan must be applauded as Captain in promoting such spirit amongst his troops on a very hot day. Thanks also go to George Margetts, going the extra mile and filling in for the Old Boys after the School team had finished their matches.

Spectators attended en masse, creating an exciting atmosphere and the cricket display brought back happy memories for many of our visiting OWs. Thank you to umpires, Tony Mansell and Duncan McAllister (OW 1997) for enduring the heat and for keeping the cricket flowing. Three matches were played, 100 balls each per side with each team playing every other.


David Mills

John Mills

Jim Mills

Michael Thomas (Captain)

Oisin Singh

Ciaran Singh

Christian Mulvihill

Nigel Crust

Archie O’Hara

Mike Hopson

Ed Poole


Ally Carey

Stuart Drury

Sandeep Sandramouli

Peter Mackleworth

Andy Mackleworth

Will Nield

Ed Farley

Tom Weston

Sachin Basra

Nigel Crust

School v Old Boys 1

The students batted first, accumulating exactly 100 runs off their 100 balls. George Margetts and Theo Pickin retired on 37 and 34 respectively. They batted beautifully but would a run a ball be enough to defeat the first of the Old Boys’ teams? It transpired that the Old Boys cantered to victory with more than 20 balls to spare. Jim Mills (OW 1987) rolling back the years in making 28 with Mike Hopson (OW 2018) 20* and Michael Thomas (OW 1987) 17*.


School v Old Boys 2


Adithya Manigandan

George Margetts

Jem Forrest

Shane Kumararatne

Yuvraj Basra

Riyan Patel

Yuvraj Singh

Dylan Patel

Dan Thomas

Theo Pickin

Saksham Dadwal

Old Boys 1 v Old Boys 2

An exciting final ensued. The script could not have been written any better. Old Boys 2 batted first, amassing an outstanding 154. Significant contributions were made by Stuart Drury (OW 2000) 23, Ally Carey (OW 2016) 17, Will Nield (OW 2012) 32 (retired), Sachin Basra 19, Sandeep Sandramouli (OW 2015) 10* and Tom Weston 21* off just 8 balls.

If reading this has inspired you to join us at this special event next time please do get in touch. It would be lovely to have 4 teams and with 2 pitches this would be possible!


Sunday 9 July 2023

The students again batted first making 110. George Margetts once more showing great talent as he cruised to 30, ably supported by Adithya Manigandan (OW 2022) who made 29 and Jem Forrest contributing a useful 12. Once again, the Old Boys’ team reached the target quite comfortably with 10 balls to spare. Tom Weston (OW 2013) retired on 32, Sachin Basra (OW 2019) made it to 29 and then the brothers’ Mackleworth steered the side home - Peter (OW 1987) making 27* and Andy (OW 1980) 14. This was achieved despite Theo Pickin conceding a mere 16 runs from his 20 balls as bowler.

Surely in light of previous scores this would be enough for victory? Old Boys 1 started steadily but mid-innings needed an injection of pace. This came courtesy of Oisin Singh (OW 2018) and Christian Mulvihill (OW 2004) who both accelerated the scoring before having to retire on 30. From the last 10 balls, 18 runs were still needed - could Mike Hopson and Ed Poole (OW 2021) see them home? Archie O’Hara (OW 2019) bowled beautifully, such that Mike needed a 6 to win off the last ball, a feat he achieved by sending the ball crashing into the wall of the Merridale building! An incredible finish to a wonderful day of cricket. Mike deservedly won the Player of The Tournament trophy presented by Mr Frazer.

(*Not Out)

Thank you to Peter Hills for his match reports.

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Welcoming back Former Staff

- 2015)

In early November a group of more than 30 former staff and their partners were welcomed back to Big School for an informal lunch.

This was the first time this event had been hosted on site, bringing our former staff back to School - their common ground. There was a good a mix of ages with former staff attending who had left School in the 90s up to more recent times. Many had not been back to WGS since leaving and took the opportunity to have a tour around the site. This bought back lots of memories and laughter, reminiscing about the good old times.

Current Staff Get together

Seeing Mr Gareth Phillips back in his original chemistry laboratory, donning a lab coat commanding the group, was a highlight of the tour. Maggie Smith’s face was a picture of happiness too when she realised that the labels in the Physics prep room were still in her handwriting from over 10 years ago!

We are always arranging events to bring OWs together and thought it was about time we did this for our current staff who are former students too. This now amounts to sixteen members of permanent staff and several temporary staff who return to help with exam

We are looking forward to hosting the next get together on


If you are a former member of staff, whether retired or not, you are very welcome to join us.

invigilation. Between them, they have attended WGS as pupils across an impressive span of thirty-four years from 1983 to 2017.

The lunch provided an opportunity away from the usual noise of The Derry to reminisce and share stories.

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Old Wulfrunians Sports Festival 2022

The Sports Festival is a permanent annual fixture in the School calendar and for well over two decades it has attracted large numbers of OWs and former staff back to School.

This year’s Sports Festival was held on the weekend of 9 September and welcomed 270 Old Wulfrunians back to engage in competitive games of golf, rounders, hockey, fives, football and netball.

On Friday there was the choice of playing golf, rounders or hockey. For the golfers the venue was Perton Park Golf Club where forty Old Wulfrunians and former staff took part. Players arrived in time for their customary coffee and bacon butty before teeing off in the glorious sunshine. Sadly black clouds and rain descended mid-afternoon but in true OW spirit the golf continued, with an enjoyable day for all.

Congratulations to this year’s star golfers and in particular to Tom Cambridge who had a very impressive round of golf to mark his 40th birthday in style!


Tom Cambridge (OW 2000)

Runner Up

Mike Hall (OW 1994)

Nearest the pin - 2nd

Darren Chapman (OW 1992)

Nearest the pin - 7th

Simon Marsh (OW 1976)

Nearest the pin - 10th

James Evans (OW 1984)

Nearest the pin - 13th

Tom Cambridge (OW 2000)

Longest Drive

Tom Cambridge (OW 2000)

For further information about next year’s OW Golf Day, please contact Jim Mills (OW 1985) by email: jim.mills@leaas.co.uk

SAVE THE DATE: Friday 8 September

Meanwhile back at WGS, the Friday afternoon downpour meant that sadly the rounders matches had to be cancelled. However, we are delighted to announce that this has now been rearranged for Sunday 9 July 2023, to be held alongside the WGS Cricket Festival. Despite the torrential rain, spirits remained high and the sky eventually brightened up in time for several competitive games of hockey in the early evening. All the games were played in good spirit but a few team ‘swaps’ took place amongst the WGS staff team depending on who was winning - a certain teacher’s voice could be heard above everyone else but we won’t mention any names!

The overall winning team was the Staff (albeit with the help of a few OWs) and the player of the tournament was Alex Bryan (OW 2020). There was an extra special presentation this year to Kathy Dyer who was celebrating her birthday. As it is a special big birthday in 2023 we will not hold her to spending this down the Valley but a warm invitation is naturally extended to the birthday girl!

38 Wulfrunian 2022
39 www.wgs.org.uk

On Saturday 10 September, Moreton’s Piece was bustling with over 200 Old Wulfrunians. Some were returning from their Friday activities eager for more, whilst others were fresh faced and eager to play some competitive sport and catch up with old school friends and teachers. It was lovely to see so many families spectating; all contributing to a real ‘festival’ atmosphere.

Competitive games of football, netball and fives took place during the morning, followed by a delicious barbecue and refreshments. A new and very popular feature this year was the ice cream van, courtesy of Harry Webb (OW 2013).

As part of this special day we unveiled a bench in memory of Adam Cuthbert (OW 2004) who sadly passed away from a brain tumour in 2019. James Snelling (OW 2004) kindly organised the bench in Adam’s memory and a moment was taken with Sunil Ryan (OW 2004) to remember him. The bench is now located at the back of The Derry facing Moreton’s Piece, where Adam and his wife Katie-Jo (née Flynn, OW 2005) shared their first kiss!

Congratulations to our winning teams:


Team Poppy Nabbs (OW 2017) made up of OWs from the Classes of 2017, 2018 and 2020

Players of the Tournament

Jodie Hoffman (OW 2012) and Jordan Russell (OW 2020)


Team Greg Rollason (OW 2010) made up of OWs from 2010 but also including 1997 and 2008.

SAVE THE DATE: OW Rounders Tournament

Sunday 9 July 2023 (at School)

OW Golf Day

Friday 8 September 2023

OW Sports Festival (Hockey)

Friday 8 September 2023 (at School)

OW Sports Festival (Fives, Football and Netball)

Saturday 9 September 2023

(at School)

40 Wulfrunian 2022

Thank you to everyone who participated, we look forward to seeing you next year.

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News from the Archives

A report by Dr Chris O’Brien

In July 2021, the Archives moved from the Library to a space at the top of Big School (recently part of the Opal Department and originally part of a dormitory in the boarding house). Since then, efforts have been concentrated on cataloguing documents and photographs. A wide range of letters and other documents dating from 1870 to the 1920s has been listed and sets of photographs from more recent times have also been catalogued.

The Archives have benefited from donations of a variety of documents and artefacts. Peter R Edwards (teaching staff, 1969 – 1972) has presented all the background documents and maps relating to his research into the Manor of Rushock, the School’s original endowment. Simon May (OW 1978) has donated a wide range of documents, including letters from Bruce Sherdley and Victor Hartree. Tim Lawrence (OW 1970) found a whole school timetable for the year 1970/71, in the hand of Ernest Taylor. The family of Kenneth

Rees Brodie (OW, 1917 – 1922) have presented us with his OWA blazer and the family of T.O.G. Wilkes (OW 1943) with several items including a silk square in the OWA colours. We are grateful for these and for many other items received during the year. The collection includes a full set of Prizegiving programmes, but the collection of Founder’s Day services has significant gaps between 1962 and 1972 and between 1999 and 2009. There is a full set of the termly calendars from 1979 to 1999 but after


One letter of James Hichens (Headmaster, 1895 to 1905) has caused some puzzlement – pictured here as an original and transcript with attached quotation. We believe Mr Hichens is referring to the fence at the back of Moreton’s Piece and were rather amused to think of boys squeezing between the railings to escape the School grounds!

Oct. 28’, 1903.

Dear Alderman Gibbons, Enclosed is Bayliss & Jones’ estimate. The expenditure of this sum of £2210-3 would, no doubt, put the present railings into a thorough state of repair. It would, however, be better to replace them by something in which boys cannot fit easily if we could afford it.

With kind regards Yours very truly,

that the collection is very patchy. By their nature, these are likely to have been thrown away, but any additional examples would be very welcome. Concert and drama programmes are well represented in the collection, but many play programmes from the late eighties and nineties are missing (for example, Twelve Angry Men and The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew (1991/92), The Importance of Being Earnest (1995) and two separate productions of Grimm’s Tales).

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Russel Tarr’s Active History website made the contemporary Wulfrunian biographies and photographs of OWs who died in the First World War available online many years ago. Recent work aimed to:

• Provide biographies for those not included at the time (in particular, those who died in 1915)

• Provide greater context for those already included (for example, the statement ‘he went into his father’s business’ meant something to the original readers, but nothing today)

• Make everything accessible through the School website and ensure biographies could be updated and corrected.

When this work was started in February 2020, it was hoped that the site would be launched that November. Events soon put a stop to that.

Overall, lockdowns made the research more thorough. The bound volumes of the Wulfrunian (1890 – 1919) which I took home before the first school closure were full of useful information which took time to work through – time which I would not have had pre-covid. In addition, the National Archives’ decision to make War Diaries freely available online allowed access to a much wider range of material.

The School worked with SDS, who scanned the text and photographs from the original editions of the Wulfrunian and designed the website. The site was launched in November 2022 to coincide with the remembrance service commemorating the centenary of our WWI Memorial Boards, featured on page 13.

The site can now be accessed via the online alumni community website:

https://oldwulfrunians.wgs.org.uk/ pages/archives

For each person on the Memorial, the site gives

• Details of military service, place of death and link to the School

• Photograph and original obituary (where available)

• A map showing the place of burial or commemoration

• Under ‘Links’ – a link to the Commonwealth War Graves site

• A new biography, which includes the original where one exists New information and corrections would be very welcome.

Please email archive@wgs-sch.net


A similar exercise for the World War Two Memorial is under consideration. Perhaps because the restrictions on paper and other resources in that War were much tighter, the information given in the Wulfrunian is, however, much more limited. There are only brief details of War service and no photographs, so there is less material to work with. As a first step, perhaps anyone with memories of those who died in that War or their families who would be interested in contributing information to such a project might like to contact Dr O’Brien via the archive address above.


Displays in the Archive Room this year have focussed on earlier productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, whole school photographs through the last century, the First World War Memorial centenary, letters from the early part of the last century and on the late Queen’s visit in 1962 – first to mark her Platinum Jubilee and then following her death.

Sir Stephen Jenyns died on 6 May 1523 meaning that the 500th anniversary of the death of the man who was Lord Mayor at the Coronation of Henry VIII will fall on Coronation Day 2023. It is hoped that it will be possible to put together a display about his life and work. An updated account of his story is in progress.

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Old Wulfrunians Visits

This year we have been particularly blessed by Old Wulfrunians giving back to the current WGS community through talks to students and workshops. We love welcoming OWs back to School and catching up. Please do get in touch if you are able to visit!

The pandemic taught us that not being able to have in-person contact doesn’t have to put a stop to keeping in touch. We were delighted to talk to Poppy Flint (OW 2004) over Zoom in January. Poppy shared her knowledge of sustainability with us, giving advice that will help us with our school development objective to becoming a carbon neutral school.

Also along the theme of sustainability, we were delighted to catch up with Rumina Önaç (OW 2000). Rumina had originally intended to train as a surgeon but later decided to focus on helping the NHS reach its target of Net Zero by 2040. She is now working as a GP and Climate and Sustainability Lead in North Yorkshire applying an ‘environmental sustainability’ lens on the healthcare sector.

Rumina says, “It’s vital to help people make choices about their healthcare that are good for them and the planet, because there’s an inextricable link between the NHS crisis and the climate crisis. So, to spread this message, my practice is signed up to the national ‘Green Impact for Health’ project and I run a light-hearted blog to communicate all the positive changes we’ve made. We began with small changes like switching to Fairtrade tea and coffee, moving to larger organised events such as an equipment amnesty to recoup crutches and wheelchairs that had been hanging around in dusty attics and garages.

A greener mindset is applicable to every consultation. For instance, if a patient comes to see me about heavy periods, we’ll probably end up talking about plastic-free menstrual products like period pants. I mention the potential benefits of less cost and no chemicals against the skin as well as helping to reduce single-use-plastic.

Maybe a patient has got ongoing tummy-ache and concerns about bowel cancer: We can’t alter their genetic risk but we can control ‘the controllables'. So l hone in on lifestyle factors that could be improved. The usual culprits are alcohol, red meat, and other fats in the diet. Obesity is the second largest cause of cancer, and the good news is we can reverse it, starting with a wholefood plant-based diet.”

healthcare that is both good for patients and good for the planet.

Find out more at: thegreeningoflife.com or Twitter: @OSMPdoc.

Also visiting as part of our Green Careers Week was John Corfield, formerly Drawbridge (OW 2009) to talk to children about sustainability within his role in the Royal Engineers. John left WGS at the end of Year 11 to join the army as a medic. He later moved to the Engineers who supported him through a degree course. He is now a qualified structural surveyor working on green iniatives. Continuing our work on Green Careers, it was our pleasure to have Jack Tordoff (OW 1992), Managing Director of the Critical Ecosystem and Partnership Fund join a Year 8 Aspire session. Jack gave an insightful virtual session on his career journey in nature and conservation and received heartwarming feedback from students who were in awe of his work.

Rumina’s consulting room is a posterfilled shrine to reducing medicine waste, choosing treatment options that have a lower carbon footprint, and overall encouraging people to stay fit and healthy. She is an advocate of providing

Finally, thank you to Karlis Paulins (OW 1980) who visited School to talk about his role as Head of Supply Chain for DPD. As well as talking about sustainability, Karlis gave our students an insight into his personal journey from WGS to DPD. Having studied languages at School, Karlis went on to live and work in fifteen different countries, realising his ambition to travel and see the world, before taking up his current post.

44 Wulfrunian 2022


At WGS we are extremely fortunate to have Dr Chris O’Brien compiling our School archives. Thanks to his dedicated work, photos and historical memorabilia have been enjoyed by many OWs at School reunions. Likewise, we are always grateful for donations to the Archives. Roger Glover (OW 1962) was kind enough to visit us with his DVD of the 4th Wolverhampton (Grammar School) Scout Group's trip to Kandersteg, Switzerland, taken around 1960. In return, Chris was able to show Roger the Scouting archives. He was amazed and somewhat flabbergasted, to see pages in his own handwriting!


Archives aside, OW contributions to Careers education at WGS has been incredible. Our Higher Education and Careers Forum took on a new format in March 2022. ‘Take Flight’ gave Year 10, 11 and Lower Sixth students an opportunity to hear from several OWs about their first-hand experiences in both higher education and employment, providing an afternoon full of inspirational talks and meaningful advice.

A detailed bio from each OW was shared in advance, enabling students to make an informed decision about which talk to attend. OWs shared thoughts around what influenced their decisions to choose the subjects they did at GCSE, A Level and university. How to make the most of Open Days and the university experience were also topics of clear interest and full of useful, relevant and relatable advice.

Our guest speakers helpfully shared the highs, the lows, and most memorable moments of their journey from

The DVD is compiled of footage taken from a 14 min 8mm film of the 4th Wolverhampton (Grammar School) senior scout trip. Photos were taken throughout the trip by Roger and school friend the late John Nightingale (1954 – 1962). John and his father, who had a photography shop in Whitmore Reans, put the film together. Set to music, the film shares wonderful insight of a great adventure, which included train journeys and climbing (with snow axes), clearly

Wolverhampton Grammar School to where they are now. They talked about their career paths, both conventional and unconventional, and encouraged students to have the confidence to think outside of the box – and to basically, ‘take flight’!

A huge thank you to Helen Clinton (OW 2016), Poppy Flint (OW 2004), Geneva Hoffman (OW 2017), David Jackson (OW 2008) Jenny Wilson (OW 2011), James Cox (OW 2019), Talia Sinnott (OW 2016), Tom Steel (OW 2018) and Ben Ward (OW 2021) for giving their time and sharing their experiences.

Thank you also to Ajay Sharma (OW 2011) who gave a lunchtime lecture to students in Year 11 upwards with an interest in studying Law. Ajay studied for his Bachelor of Law at Staffordshire University and completed his legal practice course in 2016. He now specialises in conveyancing law and is currently working as a solicitor at Aconveyancing Limited.

Aston Martin Graduate Engineer, Michael Hopson (OW 2018), was next to visit and spoke to DT students in Year 9,

enjoyed by staff - Tony (Jasper) Stocks, Bruce Sherdley, Ernest Taylor and scouts including William Rees, former Head Boy, and Eddie Sargeant.

Cyril Randles (OW 1957) also visited School on 17 March to kindly donate a series of mathematics 'taster' books, which he thought might be of interest to budding mathematicians. Head of Maths, Mr Brown, was delighted to receive the books for his department. Staff enjoyed chatting to Cyril about his Postmastership to Merton College, Oxford, his foray into teaching and a long career with IBM. Cyril was pleased to see the photos located in the archives, giving rise to various memories of his school days, including being in the CCF.

Read more about Dr O’Brien’s important work on pages 42-43.

11 and Sixth Form about his career path since leaving WGS. In September he started a two-year graduate programme with Aston Martin as a Body Engineer, having studied Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University, followed by a Masters. Thank you Ajay and Michael!

Of course we have had many more impromptu visits as well as phone calls, we are always delighted to welcome our OWs back. Please do keep in touch!

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Old Wulfrunians News


Warmest congratulations to Richard Meddings (OW 1976) who was awarded a CBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to the financial sector. Shortly afterwards Richard was appointed as Chair of NHS England for a 4-year term.


Congratulations to Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith (OW 1968) who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM). The medal is awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. As Fire Service Chaplain, Keith has been highlighted for his services to the people of Shropshire as a result of his career and community work in the region.

We were delighted to welcome Keith back as guest speaker on Founder’s Day. He shared amusing reminiscences of his time at WGS, combined with important lessons in exercising individual judgement and moral courage.


Many congratulations to Barry Bond (OW 1959) who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for voluntary services to education, particularly special needs education. The award was presented in June by The Lord Lieutenant for Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson, at County Hall in Stafford. Barry was accompanied by close friends, as well as the Head and Deputy Head from Green Park School, Bilston. Following the Investiture, Barry was invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

46 Wulfrunian 2022




Anna Tee (OW 1989) has led an interesting and fulfilling career path that has ultimately led to working in the charitable sector. After many years in the NHS, Anna took the plunge 6 years ago and successfully secured a role as Strategic Partnership Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales. She shared with us an interesting read that resonated with her: The Power of Nice: How to conquer the business world


Congratulations to Darcy Laceby (OW 2015) who made it onto the Forbes List 30 under 30 – Europe Retail & Ecommerce.

After discovering the benefits of collagen, which can combat wrinkles, thinning hair and more - through bone broth in her family kitchen, Darcy set out to bring its effects to the masses. Her madefrom-scratch, science-backed Absolute


Congratulations to Ian Gilham (OW 1978) who won a Gold Medal at the 2022 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships in Montreal in June.

with kindness, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Kaval.

“I read a brilliant book recently that sums up how I feel about working in the charitable sector. It talks about life not being a zero-sum game, where one person wins and the other loses, because the focus is on grabbing as big a piece of the pie as you can. The author presents an alternative, which is one I try my best to live by, and that is that you just have to bake a bigger pie!”


Congratulations go to Josh Foster (OW 2013), who has not only recently launched his own business Foster Architecture & Design but has also been awarded a prestigious industry award. Josh was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) rising star award for 2022.

Josh’s business specialises in bespoke residential architecture and he is now based in Shropshire. Starting up a business from scratch is a great achievement, but to win the rising star award is a huge accolade. We can’t wait to see what he does next!

Collagen has since become the UK’s best-selling collagen drink, generating $21 million in revenue last year.

Ian competed as a member of one of GB’s four Mixed Relay teams (2 male and 2 female athletes) in the 60-69 age category. He raced third leg, completing his 300mswim, 6.6km bike and 1km run in 00:28:53, helping the team to make history by becoming the first ever GB Age-Group Team to be crowned World Mixed Relay champions.

Ian was completely thrilled with the Gold medal, especially given the strength of the field:

“Of the nineteen other teams racing, our main challengers were the Americans, but we managed to hold them off by a 6-minute gap in the end!”


Joe Tyler (OW 2005) fell ill just after Christmas 2019 with a rare, aggressive form of Ewing sarcoma (cancer in the lung tissue). He sadly passed away at the end of July 2021, aged just 34. This type of sarcoma particularly affects young people; because of its rarity, treatment is under-researched.

Joe’s sister Lavinia Tyler is running the Brighton Marathon on 2 April 2023 in memory of her incredible brother Joe and for Sarcoma UK.

You can sponsor Lavinia at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ lavinia-tyler

47 www.wgs.org.uk
Photo: Ian is pictured third from the left.


We are delighted to share news that Sophie Pye (OW 2020) has been offered an internship in Print Design at Le Studio Copenhagen for September 2023. Le Studio is a printed textile design company that creates designs to sell to fashion brands from around the world. Sophie will be completing this as part of her Textiles Design and Innovation

degree at Loughborough University within her year in industry.

Sophie says “I am really looking forward to my placement and fondly look back upon the time I spent within the Art department at WGS creating some beautiful paintings and drawings and being inspired by all the tutors, particularly Mrs Ward and Miss Bowater.”


Congratulations to the Old Wulfrunian Fives team, who have qualified for the semi final of the Eton Fives Association (EFA) trophy. After comfortable victories over Newbury 6-0, St Olave’s 4-2 and Old Ipswichians 5-1, the team only lost one game against North Oxford to finish runner up in the table and move comfortably into the semis.

The OW team, pictured, consists of Andy Husselbee (OW 1979), Sid Simmons, David Jones (OW 1992), Mark Yates (OW 1992), Greg Hammond (OW 1990), Gary Baker (OW 1982), Tom Husselbee (OW 2013) and Rob Pye (OW 2016).

We look forward to the results of the next round, which will take place on Sunday 19 February 2023.






We are delighted to share that Aaron Rai came seventh in the US PGA Tour’s Cadence Bank Houston Open this year. Aran finished at 7 under par with a 48 ft birdie in the final round at the tournament, which was won by American Tony Finau, who ended at 16 under par.

In July, the OW Golf team took part in their annual competition against the Old Crosbeians and Old Merchant Taylors to win the coveted ‘Drutter’ trophy.

The OW team was victorious against their rivals, scoring 219 points - to the Crosbeians’ 211 and Merchant Taylors’ 184 - and successfully returning the trophy to Wolverhampton.

The team comprised of (l-r): Dick

Shortridge (OW 1965), Simon Marsh (OW 1976), Nick Phillips (OW 1988), David Hughes (OW 1973), Mick Howard (OW 1962), Mike Hughes (OW 1964), Richard Wherton (OW 1973) and Tim Browning (former staff, 1979-2014) – all well deserving winners.

Let’s hope they can build on this win next year and the team can keep a hold of the ‘Drutter’ for a while longer!

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The Development Team couldn’t resist the opportunity to get tickets to see Me’sha Bryan (OW 2001) whilst cast as lead role Celie in The Color Purple based on Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple and adapted for the stage by Marsha Norman, Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray.

Playing Celie was no mean feat as the character was barely off stage. She was a complicated character to play, needing to portray an incredible journey of self-discovery through much pain and trauma. Celie, an African American woman finally discovered how to love herself after a lifetime of oppression, first at the hands of her father and then her husband.

When taking on new parts, Me’sha deliberately ignores how a character has been portrayed before, and for Celie spent time reading the music from the production and studying the script before thinking “What can Me’sha do with this?” Working with an amazing cast, from the outset she could already hear how beautiful this stage production was going to be. It was a privilege to watch Me’sha in action on stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome – an incredible performance in a high quality production. What a show!


2022 has been a milestone year for sports clubs with their roots at WGS as both Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall Cricket Club (OWTCC) and Old Wulfrunians Football Club (OWFC) celebrated their centenary this year. Alongside Albert Lawn Tennis Club, they were acknowledged for their community work by being inducted into the City’s Sporting Hall of Fame at Aldersley Stadium.

The Cricket Club was formed by a group of Sixth Form students at WGS in 1922 and by 1927 a second team had been created. At this time, the Club was known as Wolverhampton Grammar School Old Boys and matches were played at a rented ground in Pinfold Lane. The Old Wulfrunians name was adopted in 1947 and 2 years later, the

memorial ground at Castlecroft was purchased from Ansells Brewery. The Club gained its current name following a merger with Tettenhall Cricket Club in 2004. It retains a close link with OWs, with numerous OW members.

Like the OWTCC, the Football Club also commenced their existence at Pinfold Lane, eventually joining with the OWTCC at Castlecroft in 1949. The team currently play in the Midland Football League.

Readers may remember the OW link to Albert Lawn Tennis Club from the article in Wulfrunian 2018 about our very own Frank Jenkins (OW 1946) who continues to prove that age is no barrier with his successes on the tennis court. At the

fine age of 93, Frank remains an active player at the Club and was delighted to attend the award ceremony.

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In 2021, Jason Battersby (OW 2018) graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with a First Class Honours in Musical Theatre Performance and embarked on his journey as a professional actor. Jason’s passion for music and drama shone through at School with roles such as Florindo in A Servant to Two Masters


Lawyer by day, artist by night, James Nepaulsingh (OW 1998) has proved he can turn his hand to anything once again this year, achieving a First (distinction) from the Royal College of Art for his degree. We were delighted to feature his work entitled ‘Kamon’ in our Alumni Art Exhibition, depicting a marriage between two cultures.

James studied the degree remotely from his home in Tokyo having only taken up painting during lockdown in early 2020. He fitted Zoom lessons for the full-time degree course around his day job as Senior Legal Counsel for Mitsui. James says that despite his

massive success he still suffers with imposter syndrome.

Since graduation, he has been offered a place on the prestigious RCA Painting MA (Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili and David Hockney are alumni) and the Oxford University MFA but at this stage has decided to take a break from his studies.

James says: “This course was one of the best things I’ve ever done. If the universe is pulling you in a certain direction, don’t resist. Life’s short. Forget the haters. Refrigerator background noise. Follow your heart and everything will be OK.”

Jason has jumped right in, beginning with a role as Lead Shadow at Leeds Playhouse in their Christmas 2021 production of Wendy and Peter Pan, followed by the role of Junior in Crazy for You, directed by Broadway legend Susan Stroman, at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The show ran from July to September and included music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin.

Jason returns to Neverland in the title role of Peter Pan in the All New Adventures of Peter Pan at the York Theatre Royal.

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John Worthington (OW 1971) has finally hung up his whistle aged 67 having refereed for 49 years in 2,240 football games. During that time he has refereed 55 youth players who went on to forge international careers.

It all began at Dunstall Park at the age of 18 when John was first asked to referee. After an initial timid but enjoyable start, John was soon refereeing in the West Midlands League and officiating either as Referee or Assistant Referee or Fourth Official at all levels up to Premier League.

He experienced good times and bad, including getting changed outside during winter, having to abandon more than one game due to fighting and being assaulted and knocked to the ground once. On the flip side, John has met some fabulous people including his footballing heroes Pierluigi Collina and Brian Clough.

John says, “I met Cloughie on several occasions and loved him because he never allowed his players to back chat or abuse officials. I was lucky enough to referee his final ever game: Nottingham Forest in the Midland Youth Cup Final against Derby County at the City Ground. The attendance that evening was nearly 25,000. After the game he said to me: Referee, you had an excellent game.’ A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and in he came and proceeded to regale us with tales about his career in the game. Around 11.30pm Cloughie got up and in his usual eccentric manner he gave me a kiss on the lips before leaving!

Do I miss it? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. We all criticise referees, but you can’t have a game without them. That does not mean the game has to accept mediocrity, and don’t get me started on VAR…”


Chad Smith (OW 1959) shared with us that he was amazed to be greeted on his doorstep, after an interval of at least 50 years, by V P Starkey (OW 1959), one of his best friends from School. The two friends last met in Padstow when Paul, who now goes by Vic, was in the RAF stationed at RAF St Mawgan. Here they are pictured with fellow OW Robert Evans (OW 1959) back in 1961 and the present day.


Back in May, a group of OWs had a lovely surprise when they attended Buckingham Palace to collect their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Oliver Street, Will Beards and Nina Sidhu (OWs 2020) were unexpectedly reunited at the event, a chance encounter that made the day even more special. The awards were presented by The Earl of Wessex, with other celebrities in attendance, and a great day was had by all – well done to Oliver, Will and Nina for their commitment in completing the Gold Award


We are proud of the students who volunteered to help Lorraine McCarthy, former parent of the late Lauren Dennis (OW 2013) and Sylvia Morgan, Club President, with The Rotary Club of

Wolverhampton's Tree of Remembrance Appeal.

Well done to current student Elliot Andreae for coordinating the effort.

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Old Wulfrunians Memories


An email from Professor James Diggle at Cambridge University was received requesting information on a former teacher, Bennie Polack who taught at WGS in the 70s.

Rising to the challenge, Dr Chris O’Brien was able to locate an obituary document from the 2006 Wulfrunian in the archive, which he duly shared with Professor Diggle. The response he received was heart-warming and as follows:

"Thank you so much for the obituary and information about Bennie Polack. He wrote an article in CQ 1976 proposing a solution to a textual problem in Euripides. It was a very clever solution, though it was only half right. But it prompted me to find what I believe is the right solution. So I owe him a debt, which I shall acknowledge in print. I am delighted finally to know who this unknown scholar was.”

In follow up, a connection was made between the Professor and Bennie’s son, Ian Polack (OW 1976), providing an added twist to this wonderful tale.


Mark Andrews (OW 1975) has shared an interesting link between WGS and Beatles singer, John Lennon. It would seem, that our former headmaster Ernest B Taylor, also taught Lennon in Quarrybank School, Liverpool. Having found a copy of John Lennon’s report in a Beatles memorabilia book, Mark noticed the familiar handwriting and rather direct tone of Mr Taylor in the two reports.

About John Lennon, as you can see on the report, he wrote:

“He has too many of the wrong ambitions and his energy is too often misplaced.”

And on Mark’s report, he wrote:

“He will need to make his effort more consistent and sustained if he is to gain the O Level results his ability would justify, this report is not good enough."

Carmichael Wallace (OW 1967) also shared his reflection on WGS under Mr Taylor’s headship:

“I entered the School in 1961, and shortly thereafter the Queen came to visit to commemorate the School's 450th anniversary. The Head at the time was Ernest Taylor, an imposing and scholarly figure. He was chair of the Headmaster's Conference, an organisation of public and prestigious grammar schools. His greatest pride was in getting as many boys from Wolverhampton Grammar School into Oxford and Cambridge, preferably with open scholarships. Those succeeding would be named on the boards at the back of the stage in Big School. In those days boys who had aspirations would have to stay on for the 'third year sixth' to take the Oxford or Cambridge entrance examinations and because of this there was an 'alpha' stream in which one skipped 2nd year, and that was where I was placed. With undistinguished results, never the less my passion for science meant that I did get a place at Oxford to read Biochemistry, then a rapidly expanding science. The exemplary teaching and school ethos combined to make that possible, and I've been grateful to WGS ever since. I retired from my university professorship in Canada seven years ago."

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Ernest B Taylor, Head 1956 - 1973


On reading his copy of Wulfrunian 2021, Richard (Ricky) Tillman (OW 1973) instantly recognised peer Brian Griffiths from a team photograph that was featured and subsequently got in touch with us.

“I remember Brian well and instantly recognised him in the team photo. We played together in the school football 1st XI, although Brian was in the year below me. I particularly recall the two of us being selected for the Public Schools’ XI to play at the annual Skegness festival, a huge event at the time (it may still be).”

Brian has also been in touch with Ian Forster (OW 1974) because of the original article and is hoping to see both Ian and Ricky at the OWA Annual Dinner in March 2023. The iconic football team photo has circulated the globe and we are pleased to share that the final untraced member, Paul Clements (OW 1974) has been found! They are all hoping to meet up soon. Perhaps a reunion at School and a kick around on Moreton’s Piece might be in order?


In the days before photocopiers, PCs or whiteboards, I recall test papers in teachers’ handwriting, being reproduced on an ink “duplicator” in psychedelic colours such as green and purple; and as pupils, we used to write out a copy of the end-of-term individual school reports, (which consisted of the various teachers’ handwritten entries), the transcribed copy being retained by the School. Maybe there was scope for the term “rubbing your nose in it” to arise, though I’m sure that this was not the intention!

For balance, I must acknowledge that experiencing use of the newlyintroduced mainframe computer system in my Computer Studies

AO Level, helped to prepare me for the now commonplace use of keyboards and for report writing which helped me at different stages of my working career.

WGS did set me up well particularly for a strong work ethic, subsequently applying myself to professional study and, if I may say, day-to-day conscientious graft. Admittedly, returning to School having missed the first term of my 5th Form O Level exams year through illness accelerated my process of knuckling down and learning to working effectively, with assistance from for example Mr Gareth Phillips in catching up in Physics.

Rather than full-time study after A Levels, I opted for the route of parttime professional study alongside, obtaining a job in the insurance world. The latter was no mean feat in that recession, with recruitment a scarcity, securing one of two jobs that were available at my first employer, out of a pool of 380 serious applicants. I’m sure that WGS featuring in my CV did me no harm. I know from many

sources over the years that the longstanding respected reputation of WGS reaches far and wide. My study to the equivalent of an Honours Degree in the evenings for many years was not an easy option, requiring that application that I had developed at WGS.

I can testify to another benefit of times at WGS being that lifelong friendships amongst former pupils may be forged. Memorable for me were my involvement at WGS with Mr Peter Ward’s Theatre Workshop and particularly appearing in a house play - my father was amused that a fellow member of the audience, one of our (Jenyns) housemasters Mr Unsworth, (loyally!) “laughed like a drain” at our portrayal of Alan Ayckbourn’s Gosforth’s Fete! My performance as betrayed scoutmaster Stewart involved swearing, becoming increasingly intoxicated and being dragged off stage, which surprised one or two teachers!

Other academic highlights for me include various teachers (especially Mr Laceby) helping to establish my interest in languages. Also, an exercise during A Level Maths (thanks to the now-late Mr Graham Lewis), of refreshing and developing mental arithmetic technique, still benefits me. This also means that on occasions of watching Channel 4’s Countdown programme, I am particularly enthusiastic about the mathematical problems!

It’s always good to hear news of the School, particularly through the Wulfrunian magazine – and of course news and reflections of Old Wulfrunians through that publication – this, including the piece on JJ at 70, prompted me to contribute this time.

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Old Wulfrunians Book Releases


They Rocked We Rolled, the book by Keith Farley that many say is the ‘bible’ for the 1960s pop music scene in Wolverhampton and the surrounding area, is once again available.

They Rocked We Rolled was originally published in March 2010, sadly the same month that, after a short illness, Keith passed away at the young age of 63. Keith’s oldest friend, Dave Cant (OW 1963), then arranged for a total of 200 copies to be printed and very soon all had been sold, with the movers and shakers of the area’s music business all too keen to purchase a copy. It is now very rare indeed to come across a second-hand copy of the first edition in any of the online book sellers. When folks bought a copy, they treasured it.

Two years ago, Dave Cant (OW 1963) and Paul Morris (OW 1970) decided to publish a new edition of They Rocked, We Rolled

The original text has been transcribed and the 180 photos retrieved or replaced, it is now available for purchase at Amazon.


With his fourth book in as many years, Keith Morrison ends 2022 with the release of Student Engagement, Higher Education and Social Justice

Student engagement, a catch-all term, is irresistible to educators and policy makers, as it serves many agendas and purposes. This book takes an alternative approach to student engagement, providing a powerful theory of student engagement rooted in critical theory, and indicating how it works in practice. It sets out a compelling argument for student engagement to promote social justice and to repel neoliberalism in higher education, addressing three key questions:  Student engagement in what?   Student engagement for what? Student engagement for whom? The answers draw on Jürgen Habermas, Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault and Henry Giroux in examining ideology, power, resistance and student engagement. It sets out key features, limitations and internal contradictions of neoliberalism in higher education, and indicates how student engagement can resist it.

Following on from his previous books about research methods in education, randomised controlled trials, and replication research, we can see Keith has been keeping incredibly busy with his writing.

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Mark Hayden

Penned using the pseudonym, Mark Hayden over the last 8 years, Adrian Atwood (OW 1979) has created a rich, immersive world across more than twenty books, all featuring a recurring cast of characters who tackle both ‘magickal’ and mundane adventures.

Starting with The King’s Watch, where character, Conrad Clarke joins the world of ‘magick.’ Then onwards to thrillers of the ‘Operation Jigsaw’ trilogy which explain how he started his journey and where we also meet Conrad’s nemesis DCI Tom Morton. After the Jigsaw, follow Tom’s story as he takes on two complex murder investigations as the Senior Officer.

If there is any time left after reading this amazing series of books, the Facebook group, ‘Merlyn’s Tower Irregulars’ is there to keep fans entertained even further.


The People & the Music from Victorian Times to the Present

Historically, the church has been the cornerstone of English village life throughout the centuries, with the organ at its heart.

This remarkable book traces the history of the organ, from the mid-1800s, in Aylesford’s picturesque parish church, St Peter & St Paul’s.

From the humble beginnings of a hand pumped barrel organ, through to today’s 1,230 pipe construction, every twist and tale in the life of Aylesford’s church organ and its music is documented with facts, anecdotes and technical specifications.

Meticulously researched and painstakingly compiled, by current church organist Michael J Keays, the book also examines the individuals who worked with the organ and their contributions to the music that has touched so many people and been part of community worship in Aylesford over the years.

The book is a real labour of love and is essential reading for anyone interested in the valuable contributions churches and their music have made to village life in England.

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Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1995)

At this year’s British Book Awards, affectionately known as the ‘Nibbies’, Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1995) was awarded Book of the Year for Non-Fiction: Narrative.

Sathnam’s book, in which he explores how imperialism has shaped modern Britain, came out on top against the other books in the category: Bob Mortimer’s The Autobiography, Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe, This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes, Vaxxers by Dr Catherine Green and Billy Connolly’s Windswept and Interesting ‘It’s not every day that a boy who couldn’t speak English when he started school wins a Book of the Year award’, Sathnam tweeted when reflecting on his award.

We were delighted to welcome both Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1991), journalist and author, and Richard Hawkes OBE (OW 1983), Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, back to WGS in April as panel members for a community event organised by Spectra, a social value agency based in Wolverhampton.

Sathnam and Richard joined Dr Karen Salt, Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of

Nottingham and Dr Joe Aldred, bishop, academic, writer and broadcaster on stage in Big School to discuss some of the themes emerging from Sathnam’s book Empireland and the Channel 4 television series Empire State of Mind, which together explore how Imperialism has shaped modern Britain. The evening was chaired by Art Halai, businesswoman and former presenter of ITV Central News, and we were pleased that several OWs were able to attend this thought-provoking event.

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STOLEN HISTORY: The Truth about the British Empire

Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1995)

Hot on the heels of his award-winning book Empireland, we are delighted to hear that Sathnam Sanghera has set straight to work on writing this new novel based on the same topic but for a much younger audience. Aimed at children aged 9+, the book provides an insight into the British Empire.

The book explores how Britain’s empire once made it the most powerful nation on earth and how it still affects our lives in many ways today – from the words we use, to the food we eat and the sports we play, right down to our fixation with a good cup of tea.

Sathnam says that he has often been reluctant to write for a younger audience. “I’ve resisted suggestions that I write a kids’ book on Empire on the grounds that I didn’t want to sanitise the history. But I think I’ve found a tone that allows me to be both honest and entertaining. I’m



really excited that kids might soon have access to knowledge about the British Empire that I only stumbled across at the age of 45. Becoming at ease with this history is essential to Britain becoming a saner country.”

The book is set to be published by Puffin books on 8 June 2023.

DEBUT COOKBOOK: Modern South Asian Kitchen

Sabrina Gidda (OW 2005)

We are delighted to share that Sabrina’s debut cookbook is now available for pre-order. The book showcases 90 recipes of eclectic South Asian goodness. Sabrina says, “I have created recipes that are achievable, playful, exciting and all about big flavour, so if you’re looking for a new take on some Indian classics then this is for you.

I am so proud that my first book is a personal celebration of my culture, family life and journey through food. I can’t tell you what it has meant to me to write it this last year and I can only hope you adore it as much as I do.”

The book is set to be published by Quadrille Books on 30 March 2023.

If you have released a published book, or are planning to do so this year, and would like to share news of it in Wulfrunian 2023, please email details to: development@wgs-sch.net

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Many congratulations...

Rebecca Butler (OW 2001) married in 2022, and Trisha Ramdoo (OW 2001) went along to officiate at the wedding. Jacob Howard (OW 2014) and Lucie Baugh (OW 2014) married on 2 July and welcomed baby Matilda. Chris Fellows (OW 2002) and his new wife Neesh married on 25 July 2022 Eleanor Trafford (OW 2002) and new husband Tristan Greenaway married on 2 August.
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Lydia Manley and Dominic Danks (both OWs 2014) married in September 2022, returning to Big School for their formal reception. Rachel Attenborough (née Trafford) (OW 2003) gave birth to a second daughter, Bonnie Elizabeth, on 27 October, pictured here with her proud Grandpa, our former Head, Bernard Trafford.
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Trisha Ramdoo (OW 2001) and her new wife Jenny married on 4 February 2022. Pictured here on their special day, with Trisha’s sister Sonja Ramdoo (OW 1996). James Snelling (OW 2004) and his new wife Jenny married on 9 July 2022. They were joined by a number of OW guests on this happy occasion: Ed Bartlett, James Gibbs, Matthew Saunders, Sunil Ryan and Chris Lowe.

In fond Remembrance

We remember with fondness all those connected to the WGS community who have sadly passed since our last publication:

Brian Ash (OW 1964)

August 2020, aged 74

David Barlow (Former Staff)

22 July 2022, aged 77

Michael Barrett, known as Mike (OW 1957)

7 August 2022, aged 81

Carrie Bennett (Former Staff)

8 December 2022, aged 49

Tim Bradbury (OW 1949)

13 October 2019, aged 86

Reverend Edwin Brookes, known as Eddie (OW 1958)

16 July 2022, aged 82

Malcolm Burgess (OW 1953)

11 November 2021, aged 68

Martin Cain (OW 1962)

5 January 2022, aged 77

Royston Cant (OW 1969)

10 November 2021, aged 68

Keith Cattell (OW 1951)

30 October 2022, aged 89

Peter Chaffey (Former staff)

12 February 2022, aged 69

Bernard Colman (OW 1941)

31 July 2020, aged 95

Ken Crane (OW 1958)

October 2021, aged 80

Robert Deacon, known as Bob (OW 1970)

25 September 2022, aged 70

Brian Edgerton (OW 1960)

29 July 2022, aged 80

Geoffrey Ensor (OW 1940)

23 December 2021, aged 97

Martin Fieldhouse (OW 1970)

29 January 2022, aged 70

Denis Finch (OW 1964)

April 2022, aged 74

Wendy Fletcher (Former Staff)

5 July 2022, aged 74

Anthony Hassall (OW 1949)

3 August 2021, aged 90

David Hough (OW 1947)

13 October 2022, aged 93

John Hutchings (OW 1955)

2 March 2022, aged 85

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Donald Ibbs (OW 1947)

20 April 2021, aged 92

Roy Johnson (OW 1949)

13 August 2022, aged 91

Mike Mann (OW 1951)

26 December 2022, aged 89

David Millichamp (OW 1958)

24 November 2020, aged 80

Raymond Mynett, known as Robin (OW 1946)

27 September 2022, aged 94

Michael Partridge (OW 1949)

29 March 2022, aged 89

David Pritchard (OW 1947)

16 September 2022, aged 93

John Reade (OW 1956)

11 October 2022, aged 84

Mark Rowlinson (OW 1967)

9 December 2021, aged 73

Donald Rushton (OW 1940)

20 April 2020, aged 96

John Shelley (OW 1945)

23 September 2022, aged 94

John Spooner (OW 1958)

20 September 2021, aged 80

David Stokes (OW 1955)

17 April 2021, aged 78

Juliet Thompson (Former Staff)

23 December 2022, aged 80

Alan Tipper (OW 1949)

2 September 2021, aged 89

John Vaughan (OW 1945)

29 March 2022, aged 93

Stephen Walton (OW 1974)

29 September 2022, aged 66

Gordon Whittaker (OW 1949)

12 April 2022, aged 88

Ken Woodward (OW 1951)

24 February 2022, aged 87

Full obituaries received by the Development Office can be found on our new Alumni Portal www.oldwulfrunians.wgs.org.uk under the Announcements tab.

If you prefer to receive a printed copy please do let us know. Email development@wgs-sch.net or call Sarah or Julie on 01902 421326 (Ext 252/253)

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Class of 2022 Festive Drinks

The Class of 2022 returned to School for Festive Drinks at the end of term.

Joined by current staff it was lovely to hear how our youngest OWs are getting on with the next chapter of their lives, 6 months on from leaving WGS. Conversation flowed as both lasting memories and future plans were shared.

Further Maths Reunion

Thirty OW Further Mathematicians spanning 5 decades met later the same evening at The Westacres for an informal reunion.

The event, hosted by current Head of Maths, Mr Nick Brown (OW 2000), was a resounding success and was supported by numerous current and former staff members too. The atmosphere was wonderful and everyone enjoyed themselves sharing many memories which added up to countless hours of fun and laughter!

Another WGS reunion done… as easy as !

Thank you to all staff, past and present who continue to give their time to make these reunions happen.

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From the Common Room

I am delighted to be writing my first entry into the Wulfrunian as Chair of the Common Room after taking on this role at the beginning of this academic year. It is an honour to serve our wonderful staff community, and I thank the outgoing Chair, Liz Harris, for all her support in the transition.

This is the first year in a while that it has truly felt like we are back to business as usual, with the repercussions of COVID on school life feeling more like a distant memory. The first school trip since the start of the pandemic left for Jersey over the summer, and three trips to Iceland, The Netherlands and Portugal respectively were completed over half term.

The pages of this magazine show the plethora of activities that our pupils and staff are involved with and make me proud to work in a happy and diverse community such as ours. Staff tirelessly and altruistically devote their spare time to enrich the lives of pupils of Wolverhampton and a huge number of extracurricular clubs have continued this year.

With the advent of the House System, staff have been given more opportunities to demonstrate their own unique skills, whether that be through baking cakes at the bake off, preparing pupils to sing in the house shout, or pumping iron in the gym in preparation for the staff tug of war. The House system has added a competitive yet entertaining and friendly nature to staff involvement in school life, long may this continue.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and successful year.


Salvete et Valete A fond farewell to…

In this edition, we pay tribute to the staff who have left School and welcome new members of the Common Room.

Petra Grigat-Bradley

Petra joined WGS in 1999 as Head of Modern Foreign Languages. She commanded respect from her students and always demanded the highest standards. She also rewarded her students with her amazing cakes. Everyone in the department used to look forward to the leftovers - they were so delicious and generally of a German origin. Not a Victoria Sponge cake in sight!

Petra took her role of mentoring the German assistants extremely seriously: helping them to find accommodation, fetching them from the airport, organising and hosting a departmental welcome party and helping them with teaching. Petra’s kindness towards these youngsters will have been greatly appreciated.

A real wordsmith and a true linguist, passionate about learning languages

Petra is currently learning Arabic (she says it gives her street cred); she also learnt Italian in the past (which she thought made her sound sexy), as well as obviously English and French. She has written amazingly thoughtprovoking sermons for her local church and she has written her school reports with incredible precision and flair.

Petra has been a passionate advocate of the German language and country, which has certainly contributed to the success of the department. She has run numerous trips, including work experience trips, a cultural and language trip to Berlin and several exchange visits to her hometown of Stadthagen.

Petra has been an excellent colleague and friend over the past 17 years. A loyal, honest, straight talking and unbelievably hardworking colleague and friend - we will miss her enormously.

Katy Brown

Katy joined WGS in 2017, initially as a Year 3 teacher. She immediately swelled the ranks of married staff, joining the school at the same time as new Head of Maths in the Senior School, Nick Brown.

Katy’s unique sense of humour often had the staff in stitches, particular on residential trips, during which she was excellent with the pupils: her caring nature proving invaluable whilst the children were away from home.

Katy was an excellent Head of Art in the Junior School, transforming the art curriculum to include more digital art, larger display pieces and insisting that ‘every child is an artist’. Katy encouraged her colleagues to create mini art galleries on display boards which proved to be very popular.

Katy and Nick welcomed Ava, and later George, into their family whilst at WGS. Katy is a devoted mother, and we wish her all the best in the future as she leaves us to spend more time at home with her children.

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Anna Dalton (née Cousins)

‘Miss Cousins’ initially took on the important roles of teaching 5AC and leading sport. She was adored by the pupils and parents alike. Students were given an excellent start to life at WGS under Anna’s unique pastoral care: her gentle, caring nature, coupled with an enthusiastic operatic style singing voice during lessons and form time.

In her first year, Anna was given the reins of girls’ sport in the Junior School thanks to her volleyball prowess. Although not part of the curriculum, before long she had established a hugely popular volleyball club at WGJS which resulted in a spike of new players attending Tettenhall Tigers.

The SENCo role at the Junior School was set up by Anna who has long been the ‘go-to’ for ideas of how to support pupils across the school. She is a fountain of knowledge and her ability to come up with ideas of how to inspire, support, stretch and enable pupils of all abilities and ages across the WGS foundation has been incredible. During her time at WGS she has taught pupils from Year 3 to 13 and even passed professional judgement on those in the new Infants – an age range that not many SENCOs could say they have had the opportunity to work with. She leaves us to go on to new pastures and to positively affect the lives of many more children.

Pete Johnstone

It is often said that if you want to gauge the talent of any teacher, just ask their students. Not only are they the sharpest observers of the craft of educating, but they are also excellent judges of character. On both counts Pete scores top marks as the messages below from students illustrate:

“Mr Johnstone goes above and beyond for his students. He believed in me and saw what I was capable of, even when I didn’t see it myself.”

“A kind man who goes above and beyond to see his students achieve their full potential. A great teacher loved by all.”

“I met PJ thinking he was the ‘average’ teacher only to find out he is one of the greatest because not only was he brilliant at teaching, he also managed to turn a stressful A Level subject into a breath of fresh air.”

Pete’s time at WGS has marked him as the most excellent of colleagues and the best of teachers. Back in September 2000, after his job interview for the newly created post of Head of Psychology, the unanimous opinion was that here was a clever, talented man with a personable teaching style that students loved and who had the drive and intellect to build a new department. So it has proved. WGS now has a thriving and successful Psychology department that has added so much to the A level experience of our students. In addition, he has

taught widely across the curriculum in English and History, chairing numerous academic committees, supported DofE and run sports teams. A true team player.

Pete wears his erudition lightly and is always ready with an hilarious anecdote or a witty observation, however he is never to be underestimated, particularly if you ever come up against him in a quiz! He is and will remain a most valued colleague and friend to us all and while he will be greatly missed, we wish him every success in his next great adventure.

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Patrizia Manzai

Colleague and friend to many of us for twenty years; Patrizia arrived in 2002, a mystical mix of Italian/African, having taught in Zimbabwe for seventeen years. Thus began her long career teaching Italian and French to Years 313, leaping from a lesson teaching Year 3 how to sing the alphabet using finger puppets to discussing the history of the Italian Mafia with Year 13. Mamma Mia!

Head of Italian for many of her years she brought Italian to life in every way. Her strong influence and passion for her subject has touched many. Patrizia has certainly helped her students to make some amazing memories; she created a bespoke trip to her hometown of Biella, in the foothills of the Alps, a trip which included a 5-course dinner at her mamma’s house, and accommodation in the local prison. A rich cultural experience driven by her generosity and passion to enable the students to experience the reality of life in Italy.

Outside the classroom, a selfproclaimed professional avoider of any type of sporting activity, Patrizia busied herself coordinating the Wednesday afternoon volunteering programme, catering for those students who shared her opinions on sport, giving them valuable experience in the community. She headed up the Amnesty International Society for some years.

There is a saying in Italian, ‘trovare un amico-trovare un-Tesoro; to find a friend is to find treasure’. We can all safely say that we have found treasure with Patrizia and we wish her a very happy retirement.

Jacqueline Preston

Jaqueline worked in the French department for two years as our French Assistante initially, but then gaining a part-time teaching position after Sarah Brentnall’s retirement.

Jacqueline came with a wealth of experience, as she had formerly been a House Mistress at Abbot’s Bromley School and had many years of teaching under her belt. She planned excellent, enjoyable and thorough lessons from which our students really profited. The MFL department enjoyed the French culinary delights that she brought back from her regular visits to her parents in France. She left WGS to pursue a career outside of the classroom.

Diana enjoyed a long career at WGS, joining the department in 1993 as Teacher of Art. She especially took pleasure painting in the studio, dubbed “The Palace’ and was known to play The Archers to her classes whilst they worked.

She will be fondly remembered by her students for her love of designer clothes, handbags and charity shop bargains. Fashion being one of her passions, she enjoyed a daily trip to Compton Hospice to peruse the handbags and grab a bargain!

Mrs Ward also assisted on many trips abroad, including to Venice and Florence. During her time she also helped out with swimming galas, and with costume fittings for a number of school plays. We hope that she has a relaxing retirement with her husband Alan.

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and welcome to...

In addition to Academic Staff, a warm welcome goes to all new members of the School’s professional support teams:

Thore Cordes

German Language Assistant

Rebecca Cohen Receptionist

Jacob Cuthbert

Estates Team Assistant

Jessica Bamping

Head of French

Julieanne Burke

Junior School Teacher

Abbey Cox

Teacher of Wellbeing, PE and Games*

Sara Hare (OW 2002)

Junior School Teacher

Asha Kailey

Head of Careers

Maggie Keeley

Head of Wellbeing

Roberta Keys

Teacher of Business Studies and Economics

John-Lee Langford

Teacher of Computer Science & ICT

Matt Martin

Teacher of Games and Well being, DofE Coordinator

Gurprit Samra

Junior School Reception Teacher

Deena Shayaam-Smith

Junior School SENCo Teacher

Sara-Luise Smith

Teacher of English*

Hayley Waddell

Teacher of German

Keely Worsey, née Adams (OW 2004)

Head of Psychology

Jenny Dredger

Director of Marketing and Communications

Sarah Fellows Alumni Engagement Officer

Michelle Harris

Art Assistant

Rachel Ingram

Junior School Teaching Assistant

Amelia Lewis (OW 2017)

PR & Social Media Officer

Ian Morgans Graduate Teaching Assistant

Nathalie Reddish

French Language Assistant

Nicole Roberts (OW 2014)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Jim Ryan

Access Arrangements Assessor –OpAL

Darren Wootton Homework Club Assistant

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*Maternity Cover

School News

Outstanding Results

For this year’s Upper Sixth there was the additional challenge of missing the opportunity to sit their GCSEs in 2020 due to Covid-19. Undeterred, they showed great dedication in their preparation and were justly rewarded achieving the best set of results in formal examinations at the School for the last 10 years.

With a 100% pass rate almost half the cohort achieved ABB or higher. 48% of grades awarded to WGS students were A* and A and 72% A* to B at A Level, and 64% Distinction* and Distinction in the Cambridge Technicals.

In this year’s GCSE and IGCSE examinations, students’ hard work and diligence was rewarded with a bumper crop of 9, 8 and 7 grades (equivalent to A* and A). This accounted for 72% of grades awarded and 86% of the cohort achieved grades 9 to 6 (A*- B equivalent). Thank you to all the staff for their guidance and unwavering support and well done everyone!

WGS Student wins BBC Competition

Congratulations to Jaipal Uppal on becoming the West Midlands Regional Winner of the BBC Young Reporters Competition. Jaipal’s winning report covered the issue of surrogate births and was inspired by the personal story of her Auntie’s journey to having a baby via this method. As part of her research Jaipal was able to talk to Kim Cotton, the UK’s first surrogate and founder of COTS (Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy), the first UK Surrogacy Agency. Jaipal’s natural flair for journalism also caught the attention of those looking to change the surrogacy law in the UK. Since her win, Jaipal has shared her experience and represented the views of other young people as part of a children’s surrogacy focus group, working with the Law School at Leicester University. She also participated in the Children’s Conference for Surrogacy Law in November.

Following on from Jaipal’s success and Mr Rowley’s increasingly popular BBC Young Reporters’ Club, WGS is working with the BBC to host a launch event for the 2023 competition and will invite school children from across Wolverhampton to participate in workshops and activities relating to careers in journalism and media.

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with all students celebrating a 100% PASS RATE at A Level.
48% A*/A 72% A*/B 64%
Distinction*/ Distinction.


It was a great joy to be able to return to St. Peter’s Church for our annual Prizegiving, the first time we have been able to hold our ceremony there since 2018 due to Norovirus and then Coronavirus outbreaks. However, despite multiple disruptions our students have continued to excel and achieve beyond their expectations.

Their successes were recognised in the many awards presented to students in Years 7 to Upper Sixth by guest of honour and Sanjay Bhandari (OW 1986).

Sanjay attended our sixth form in the mid-80s. He graduated from Cambridge with a degree in law and went on to have a very successful career as a litigation lawyer before becoming a Partner at EY and switching to a career in business consultancy. In more recent years Sanjay, a life-long football fan and recognised leader of equality, diversity and inclusion practice, has been a vocal advocate for inclusion in English football in his role as Chair of the charity Kick It Out. We thank him

Malcolm Ward Piano Competition

for his fascinating address and for presenting the awards to our 2022 prize winners.

Walker Memorial Mile 2022

Congratulations to our new Teacher of Wellbeing and Games, Mr Martin, who was the fastest male runner along with Mrs Harris, the fastest female, in this year’s Walker Memorial Mile. Several members of staff were joined by students to run the mile around Moreton’s Piece in memory of former student Chris Walker (OW 1983).

Now in its second year, the Malcolm Ward Piano Competition saw an impressive display of talent. An array of classical, contemporary, and jazz numbers was performed by nineteen finalists on the Bosendorfer baby grand piano bequeathed by the late Judge Malcolm Ward (OW 1949).

Congratulations to Isaaq Dingwall in Year 7 who won the Junior Cup and Samuel Ezeazu in Lower Sixth who won the Senior Cup with Merry-Go-


New Prefect Team

“An inspirational and welcoming community” are the words used by our incoming Head Boy, Vishwas Kumar, and Head Girl, Ella Grew. Vishwas and Ella joined the School in Year 7 and Year 5, respectively, and both aspired to be Head Boy and Head Girl from the beginning of their time here so they were delighted with their appointment!

Vishwas is currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry and hopes to study Engineering at university, with dreams of pursuing a career in Formula 1. Ella studies Biology, Chemistry and Maths and is applying to study Medicine at university.

Both students have been highly involved in the wider aspects of school life, particularly through their sporting endeavours. Vishwas has been a valuable hockey player throughout his school career and has been awarded the role of Captain for his final year. Ella has also represented the school playing hockey and netball and was a respected member of the resilient 2020 Coast 2 Coast Team. Vishwas and Ella are also

both trained Peer Supporters which is a fine reflection of their caring and leadership abilities.

As is now an annual tradition, Ella and Vishwas were invited to join Prefects and Heads from all the Merchant Taylors’ Schools for the prestigious Doctors’ Dinner at the fabulous Merchant Taylors’ Hall in Needle Street, London. They were proud to represent WGS which is the second oldest member of the group of Merchant Taylors’ schools. We remembered our Founder and Merchant Taylor, Sir Stephen Jenyns, at our Founder’s Day Service on 21 October. Another school tradition that has been in place since 1902.

Sixth Form Scholars

Congratulations to this year’s Sixth Form Scholars who all received an academic grant of £500 and a Scholar’s pin badge for excelling in a subject that they are now studying at A Level.

• Falah Sohail and Emily Connor – Art

• Isabelle Mason – Biology

• Jack Goodridge – Business Studies

• George Brown – Chemistry

• Daniel Thomas - DT

• Will Ahmed – English Literature

• Uttiyo Raychaudhuri – German

• Betsy Moran – History

• Harry Brookes – Maths

• Esha Bharj – Religious Studies

Congratulations to our 2022 Prefect Team

Head Girl: Ella Grew

Head Boy: Vishwas Kumar

Moreton House Captain:Thomas Frith

Moreton House Captain: Jenny Chan

Nechells House Captain:Amar Sidhu

Nechells House Captain: Natalie Saunders

Jenyns House Captain: Thomas Watson

Jenyns House Captain: Sophie Newey

Offley House Captain: Harry Davis

Offley House Captain: Nana Appiagyei

Year 7 Prefect: Jai Kanda

Year 7 Prefect: Piya Dhatt

• Catherine Chung and Devina Sharma – Governors’ Academic Scholarship

We also welcomed Cassie Taylor to WGS as our Sixth Form Sports Scholar. Cassie has represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Championships wining a bronze and gold in the Kumite and Kata classes. She is the reigning European Kata Champion. Leah Gopal and Dharam Sangha were also awarded Music Scholarships for Voice and Dhol.

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Coast 2 Coast

It is always rewarding to see a new group of students take on this amazing feat each year. The progress from the first days of training at school, to the actual day itself, running across the country from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay is incredible. Needless to say the highs and the lows are not just referring to the terrain!

This year our Coast 2 Coast team was made up of nine Year 10 students: Mason, Luke, Kyla, Caleb, Sachi, Nacardo, George, Elliot and Jasraaj. They chose to support Teenage Cancer Trust and were given an extra boost by a family friend of the team, who came to see the minibus depart from school. Morgan, who has been receiving treatment for Leukaemia over the last two years with the support of Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, buoyed the team by explaining what a difference their support would make to others like himself, through raising vital funds for this important charity.

On a glorious, sunny May morning, the 2022 team assembled at 7am on St Bees beach in Cumbria to begin their journey. As is tradition, a Wolverhampton Grammar School tie was dipped in the Irish sea to symbolise the start of this momentous journey. After the gruelling 170-mile journey which covered some of the steepest hills in England, the team successfully arrived in Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, 25 hours and 52 minutes later and the tie was ceremonially dipped in the North Sea by a happy but tired team. Every single member of the team gave their all, overcame the lack of sleep and physical toil to call upon their last reserves and in the process have...



We can hardly believe that the Coast 2 Coast trip in 2023 will mark 25 years of WGS undertaking this amazing challenge.

We look forward to inviting members of the C2C teams over the years for a special celebration on 8 July.

If you would like to attend please do ensure we have your up-to-date contact information. Email development@wgs-sch.net.

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2022 Sporting Highlights

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U15A Girls win Year 10 Netball Tournament. Junior School students crowned winners in the Sportshall Indoor Athletics. U11 Boys are IAPS Plate Winners! U18A and U18B finish 1st and 2nd in the City Netball Tournament. U19s qualify for West Midlands Regional Netball Tournament. U14 Girls win the Lady Taverners Indoor Cricket and finish joint runners-up in the Regionals. U13 girls beat Wrekin College 6-5 to win the Oswestry Netball Tournament. WGJS retain title and win Wolverhampton City Indoor Athletics for a consecutive year.
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U15 Girls win bronze at the Wolverhampton District Girls’ Futsal Tournament. U12 Boys make the District Cup Final for the first time in 12 years and are runners-up. Community Games Commonwealth Torch comes to WGS. Sports Day House Winners – Moreton with 870 points. U19 Boys are City Football Champions! The U12 and U14 teams also reach the City Cup Finals. Four teams qualified for the City Rounders Finals with wins for Years 8, 10 and 11. A century for 1st XI Captain Adithya Manigandan in the opening game of the 2022 season and again versus the Old Wulfrunians XI!

In the Community

Charity Club

Charity Club has been a popular addition to the wonderful array of extra-curricular clubs and activities at WGS. Headed up by Mrs Young, our new Charity and Community Action Co-ordinator, it has regularly seen over 60 students in Year 7 to Sixth Form in attendance each week.

Nechells arranged a Gift Box Collection for the Haven and the response from the school community was overwhelming with over 750 hygiene products being donated. Teachers delved into the archives to support Year 7’s ‘Guess the Baby’ competition, raising funds for Zoë’s Place Baby

Offley brings

Jubilee Cheer to local residents

Hospice and Moreton rummaged through their wardrobes to sort out unwanted items to sell to raise money for The Way Youth Zone. In the Sports Hall Jenyns hosted an incredibly tense blind penalty shootout to raise money for Eyecan. Offley will be supporting The Well with food donations shortly.

Diversity Champions

In 2022 a new group was formed of students and staff who are passionate about encouraging diversity and supporting minority groups within the local and school community. The Diversity Champions meet on a weekly basis with Mrs Worsey to discuss local community matters and how these may translate to the school community.

In collaboration with the WGS Charity Club on World Mental Health Day, the group organised a non-uniform day and samosa sale to raise money for The African Caribbean Community

Initiative (ACCI), who provide support to African Caribbeans affected by poor mental health. They also organised a Hygiene Poverty Collection for The Good Shepherd and The Haven.

Residents at Arbour Lodge Care Home enjoyed an extra special Platinum Jubilee garden celebration thanks to the help of Offley House. Eighteen students were joined by Mrs Ray, Mrs Cuthbert and Mr Jeavons as they donned overalls and got to work painting fences, jet-washing flagstones and planting up some new colour in the garden. Garlands of red, white and blue bunting provided the perfect finishing touch to the newly renovated garden.

Thank you to current WGS parent Mr Thacker and The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company for their generous donation of plants, hanging baskets, fence paint brushes and paint, compost, gardening and disposable gloves, trowels, forks, flexi tubs and even a bright blue wheelbarrow!

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Back on Tour

Talking to OWs, school trips feature highly in some of their most enjoyable WGS memories. We are delighted that trips both home and away have now resumed post-pandemic and our current students are making new memories.

In the July, twenty-six WGS musicians packed their suitcases full of sheet music, donned their matching blue tour hoodies and set off for Château Vermont. The Château is home to the Jersey School of Music and provided the perfect base for the week. Outside of rehearsals and performances students and staff enjoyed visits to Jersey Zoo and Mont Orgueil Castle; as well as a Jersey-themed dinner experience. The nettle soup and Jersey crock (bean stew) were met with mixed reactions but everyone enjoyed the Black Butter cheesecake! An end of tour concert performed with members of the Jersey Music School was live streamed to friends and family back home and was a great success.

The Land of Science tour to Iceland was a much-anticipated trip and it promised the chance to see some of the natural phenomena studied across all year groups in science subjects. Happily, the spectacular Northern Lights were visible in all their glory and the trip did not disappoint!

Meanwhile in Southern Europe, the Sports department were busy leading two European tours. In Portugal, a 5-day football experience provide a golden opportunity to train in world class facilities, interact with elite players and learn from highly qualified coaches. A highlight of the trip was a full stadium tour of Porto’s ground, Estádio do Dragão exploring the presidential box, changing room, touchline and even the pitch itself.

Twenty-nine Year 8 and 9 girls enjoyed hockey masterclasses during their sports tour to Valkenburg in The Netherlands. Fixtures were played against Peel en Maas Hockey Club and Sjinborn Hockey Club. Congratulations to the A team who finished a credible second place in the end of tour Netball Tournament in which two students were voted players of the tournament. In their spare time students enjoyed an incredibly competitive game of laser tag in the Valkenburg caves - clearly it was an action-packed week both on and off

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In October half-term, three successful international trips took place.

Farewell and Good Luck to the Class of 2022

We are so proud of our Class of 2022 who took the exam season in their stride, applying themselves diligently and undertaking their public exams without the benefit of having sat for GCSEs in Year 11.

In anticipation of a lively last day, our Upper Sixth were whisked away to expend their energies paintballing at Warped Sports, Cosford. Having worked up a good appetite it was then time to return to School for a special Leavers’ Lunch in Big School accompanied by parents and teachers. Mr Frazer thanked some of our most longstanding parents, who through elder siblings of our 2022 leavers, amount to an association with Wolverhampton Grammar School of up to twenty-two continuous years!

It was a lovely way for our Upper Sixth to mark the close of their time as students at WGS and to say their goodbyes. They were also excited to receive the much-

coveted Leavers’ Hoodies and Year Books offering lasting mementoes of their WGS journey. Before the end of term, the much anticipated Upper Sixth Leavers' Ball was held at South Staffordshire Golf Club giving rise to one final celebration. We now welcome our Class of 2022 into our ever-growing Old Wulfrunian community.



Zain Akram University of Sunderland - Medicine

Jess Allen Applying for an Apprenticeship in Rural Surveying

George Atkinson Lancaster University - Architecture

Ella Bancroft University of Sheffield - Structural Engineering and Architecture

Rosie Bennett University of Birmingham - Modern Languages and History of Art

Karam Bisla University of Liverpool - Marketing with a Year in Industry

Isobel Bladon Working in France as an au pair for 12 months then studying French at University of London Institute in Paris

Oli Brookes University of Bristol - Medicine

Sam Calloway Nottingham Trent University - Economics

Jivan Cheema University of Southampton - Aeronautical, Astronautical and Spacecraft Engineering

Kate Fitzpatrick University of Liverpool - English and Philosophy

Ava Forrest University of Liverpool - Law

Jack Garratt Aberystwyth University - Politics and Modern History

Lucy Gibbons Liverpool John Moores University - Events Management

Ross Gibson Nottingham Trent University - Business

Jacob Gilkes Taking a gap year

Arun Giri Applying to study Economics in September 2023

Katie Goodridge University of Leeds - Sustainability and Environmental Management

Cian Gopal St George's, University of London - Medicine

James Hale University of Leeds - Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought

Josh Harris University of St Andrews - Earth Sciences

Emma Herritty Year out then University of York in September 2023 – Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance

Charlie Hesson University of Plymouth - Architecture

Amrita Johal Loughborough University - Graphic Design

Annabel Jones University of East Anglia UEA - Medicine

Shreya Joshi Liverpool John Moores University - Law with Foundation Year

Katie Joyner University of Bristol - Geography

Mia Kandola Nottingham Trent University - Law

Kavita Kaur Manchester Metropolitan University - Chemistry with Foundation Year

Josef Kotthoff Aberystwyth University - Computer Science and Physical Geography

Morgan Lathbury-Cox University of Worcester - Biology

Adithya Manigandan University of Bristol - Civil Engineering

Elizabeth Marshall Aberystwyth University - Fine Art and Art History

Joseph McConville Liverpool John Moores University - Mathematics

Niamh Middleton Cost Consultancy Degree Apprenticeship for Mace

Tom Moody Liverpool John Moores University - Software Engineering

Sukhvir Mundy University of Birmingham - Economics

Lucy Munson University of Cambridge - Engineering

Josh Myles Nottingham Trent University - Business Management and Entrepreneurship

Sherwin Nabati Lancaster University - Mechanical Engineering

Taboka Ndlovu Nottingham Trent University - Software Engineering

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Jacinta Parmar Cardiff University - Accounting and Finance

Tom Pearson University of Nottingham - Medicine

Edward Pibworth Taking a gap year

Mathura Prabakar University of Exeter - History and Politics

Kiran Randhawa University of Leicester - Business Economics

Liv Roberts University of Birmingham - Geography

Anya Rogers University of Nottingham - Law

Tommy Rousell Re-applying to university for September 2023 - Environmental Geoscience

Suraj Sandhu Oxford Brookes University - Engineering Foundation

Kris Sankey Manchester Metropolitan University - DTS Course for Software Engineering - Degree Apprenticeship

Beth Seager University of Birmingham - Modern Languages

Isabelle Smith Taking a gap year and applying to study Chemistry in September 2023

Isobel Street University of Leeds Architecture

Ikram Suleman University of Leicester - Biological Sciences

Filip Swierczynski University of Bath - Mathematics

James Taylor Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship with WSP

Zac Taylor Nottingham Trent University - Economics with International Finance and Banking

Anika Thiara Nottingham Trent University - Business with Foundation Year

Charlie Thomas Aberystwyth University - Psychology with Counselling

Eleanor Wilkinson Royal Holloway, University of London - Philosophy with Politics

Henry Willis Taking a gap year and applying to study History in September 2023

Annie Woodall Cardiff Metropolitan University - Business and Management

Following on from a gap year, further congratulations go to the following OWs from the Class of 2021 who have started university or entered the workplace:


Serina Basra University of Sheffield - Biomedical Science

James Bebb University of Birmingham - English Literature

Raajan Chahal Caucasus International University - Medicine

Lauren Hagerman Training to be a Chartered Accountant - online learning

Sahand Kadir UCL - English

George Middlebrook Durham University - Maths and Computer Science

Maham Nauman Nottingham Trent University - Biomedical Sciences

Emily Naylor University of Leeds - Fashion Marketing

Gillis Robbie Continuing as a Residential Trainee for another year at The Oakes Centre running Christian Holiday camps.

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Dates for your Diary

We are delighted to be able to share a full calendar of events for 2023 and look forward to seeing many OWs both in School and further afield in the year ahead!

OWA Dinner

Saturday 4 March 2023

Class of 1973, 1983 and 1993 Reunion

Saturday 1 April 2023

Sports Talk: The Changing Faces of Football

Tuesday 2 May 2023

London Reunion at The National Theatre

Thursday 8 June 2023

Class of 1998 and 2013 Reunion

Saturday 17 June 2023

1512 Society Lunch

Saturday 1 July 2023

Coast to Coast 25th Anniversary Celebrations

Saturday 8 July 2023

Cricket and Rounders Festival

Sunday 9 July 2023

North of England Reunion in York

Autumn Term 2023

OW Golf Day

Friday 8 September 2023

OW Sports Festival

Friday 8 September (Hockey) and Saturday 9 September (Football, Netball and Fives)

Class of 2023 Festive Drinks

Monday 18 December 2023

For more information contact the Development Office, either by email: development@wgs-sch.net or by phone: 01902 421326 ext 252/253.

Looking further ahead:

• Could you contribute to an OW drama and music festival?

• Do you have fond memories of chess?

• Do you have any other ideas for events?

If so, do please get in touch, we would love to hear from you!

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Wolverhampton Grammar School

Compton Road



+44 (0) 1902 421326



Wolverhampton Grammar School Official or Old Wulfrunians of WGS

Wolverhampton Grammar School

Wolverhampton Grammar School Development Office

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