Old Owenians Newsletter Fifth Quarter—28th March 2012 Edition 5 Welcome to our Old Owenians Newsletter—for all Old Owenians, with a message from our Head... “Dear Old Owenians As Easter approaches, we reflect on yet another busy Spring Term, in the knowledge that our 400th anniversary year is getting ever closer! You’ll be excited to know that the contract has now been signed for our Celebration Concert at the Royal rd
Albert Hall, so I hope Tuesday 23 April 2013 is firmly in your diary, as is Saturday 13th July 2013 for the 400th Summer Ball! I’m also delighted to announce that our 2,013th Old Owenian, Simon Wrigley (at school below), has signed up to our 400th anniversary emailing list and that for the first time, we’d like to welcome you to the school for an Old Owenians Coffee and Tour Morning in May ‐ see photo and inset ‐ more news on pages 2 and 3… Highlights for us this term include success with 20 students obtaining places at Oxford and Cambridge and also a high number of others with offers for Russell Group and other top universities. Nearly all our students go on to continue their studies at university and we have not seen any reduction in the number of students applying to study at university despite the increase in fees! Regarding admissions, we have had a record number of students apply to our Sixth Form for entry in September. For Secondary Transfer, we have had to adjust our admission criteria to accommodate the new School Admissions Code, with the consequence of bringing forward our entry tests from November to September. For more details see www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/admissions/ admissions_info.html on our website. We’d like to remind Old Owenians that at least 20 children from Islington are still admitted each year, in accordance with Dame Alice Owen’s legacy! Simon Wrigley, Deputy Head Boy, 1983 with a fantastic cake to celebrate a Old Owenians decade of Owen’s in Potters Bar— Our Music programme has our 2,013th Old Owenian—see page 3! Coffee and Tour Morning been substantial, with Junior and Senior Chamber Concerts, a Concerto Concert with Sixth Form ~ soloists, a Soul Band Evening and a full Musical, “Into the Woods”, Saturday 26th May, 2012, not to mention individual performances in an “Owen’s Got Talent” 10am-12noon evening and a celebration of Dickens Day. Students have enjoyed ~ travelling outside the schools boundaries, with French, German and Dame Alice Owen’s School Spanish exchanges, a trip to Venice, a ski trip to Courchevel and an ~ Art Study Tour to Florence. Now students brace themselves for Take this special opportunity to revision this holiday, with GCSE modules and full GCSE exams, AS and let our students show you around, A2 exams in May and June. hear music rehearsals in our Edward Guinness Concert Hall, see our GCSE Art Exhibition A huge thank you once again to those Old Owenians who attended and enjoy refreshments provided by our our Careers Talks Week (see page 2) and all our contributors, OSA including our chair of governors who looks back on our first year as an (Owen’s School Association)! Academy on page 7. With these thoughts in mind, I’ll leave you to ~ th enjoy your 5 edition of the Old Owenians Newsletter! See page 2 for details! Dr Alan Davison” Page 1 of 30
Join us for our Old Owenians Coffee and Tour Morning in May! Last June saw our first very successful Old Owenians Careers Talks Week and those who attended really appreciated being escorted round the school to take a trip down memory lane or for those who attended our Islington school, to visit the school for the first time. So, this year we’d like to invite you to visit our school for a special Old Owenians Coffee and Tour Morning on Saturday 26th May, 2012 from 10am – 12 noon to enable you to do the same! Our idea is to provide you with the chance to meet some of your past school friends over a coffee and have our students show you around the school. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet Head, Dr Alan Davison, Governor, Mr Tim Rayner and the infamous Mr Bill Hamilton‐Hinds, browse our GSCE Art Exhibition in our main hall (arranged by our Head of Art, Mr Steve Willcock) and listen to Mr Bernard Bean’s Music Centre students rehearsing in the impressive Edward Guinness Concert Hall (opened by Edward Guinness CVO in 2002). Tours will start at 10.15am and 11.15am. All our other school buildings will also be open, including the Edinburgh Centre (Library, Information Technology and Physics, opened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh 1990), the Bernard Ryan Centre (Sixth Form and Modern Languages, opened by HRH the Princess Royal in 1997), the Arnold Lynch Centre (Maths, Art and Design Technology, opened by HRH Duke of Kent 2007), and our newest edition, the Sports Cricket Pavilion (opened by Monty Panesar in 2010). The statue of Dame Alice Owen herself will preside over proceedings in our dining hall, where our OSA (Owen’s School Association) will be delighted to serve you refreshments. Register your attendance... Items of memorabilia for our 400th Anniversary will be available for the first time and there will be a display showing you some of our future developments. If you wish to join us, please register by Monday 21st May by simply sending an email to us at [email protected]
stating which tour you would prefer (10.15am or 11.15am) and we will confirm your attendance – family and friends welcome. Car parking is available on site. We very much look forward to meeting you! If you feel like extending your visit, our Old Owen’s Sports Ground, not far away on Coopers Lane in Northaw (postcode EN6 4NF), will be serving lunches as usual and Manager, John Clark, would be happy to take your reservation – just ring him on 01707 644211 or email [email protected]
The Old Owen’s Association also launched a new discount card in October 2011, which entitles members to 10% off drinks at the bar—see their website for details: www.oldowens.com. 2,013th Old Owenian signs up to our 400th anniversary emailing list! We were delighted when Simon’s mother, Christine Lewin emailed us as the 2012th contact with her children's details, so Simon, as her eldest son, became number 2,013! Congratulations to Mr Simon Wrigley, who received a commemorative certificate in January and honestly, it’s not a fix, Simon, who left in 1983 as Deputy Head Boy is co‐incidentally, Gerry Jones’s, godson (he was Headmaster 1962‐1981—see right)! Simon tells us he is an architect by profession, has been self employed for the last 19 years working on a variety of projects but mainly extensions and one‐off new build homes for private clients. Christine taught as a Drama Teacher at Owen’s from 1962‐1965 (some of you may remember her!). Simon’s sister (who became our 2014th Old Owenian), Kate Wrigley, also attended Owen’s and left as Head Girl in 1985, as well as his brother (our 2015th Old Owenian), Tom Wrigley, who left as Deputy Head Boy in 1987. As it’s a family affair, they will all receive engraved items of 400th memorabilia in April! Page 2 of 30
Christine can also make a claim to fame as she appeared in the Daily Mirror in 1964 and amazingly has kept her article and has sent it to share with us — what a scoop...! Thanks very much... ...to Christine and Simon for also sending some up to date photos of their family now – (Kate, Christine and Simon below left and Tom, below) and for sending the splendid photo of Simon in 1983 on our Front Page (he said he never realised he was “front page material”!)
So, what next? Well, our new target for our 400th anniversary emailing list is to reach 3,000 of you by December 2012! You’ve done a fantastic job so far in “spreading the word”, so please continue to help by asking fellow past students to email us with their year of leaving date to [email protected]
In this way we can include as many of our past students, staff and governors as possible in our mailings to let you all know about our 400th anniversary events. Our Old Owenians Newsletters now have their own webpage with a summary of contents so you can scan the headlines to see if you recognise anyone who has contributed! You are welcome to attend any of our school events! Just a reminder that you can see our whole years Music and Drama Programme on our website too under News & Dates, Concert Dates: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/news_dates/concert_dates.html —simply ring our School Office on 01707 643441 to make a reservation. Our Science Society Lectures are listed on Latest News—sign up to our RSS Feed on Latest News if you’re interested, as this also gives details of other important school events: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/news_dates/latest_news.html. Page 3 of 30
Old Owenians Careers Talks week Once again, we really appreciated those Old Owenians who volunteered their own time to come and speak to students from Years 9‐13 (aged 14‐18) during National Careers Week 5th‐9th March 2012. Following our successful trial last year, we moved the timing of the week from June to March to ensure all students, including those on study leave in Years 11 and 13 last year, could have the opportunity to attend and focused on four lunchtime talks each day. Almost all talks were extremely well attended, student feedback has been excellent and we very much enjoyed giving some of our Old Owenians a tour in the afternoon. Old Owenians who attended will be invited to return in the summer to join us for Visitation. Here are some of the speakers and students positive comments: “The students were receptive and lively with many pertinent questions.” – Professor Jack Levy OBE, Engineering, left 1943, Islington student (and was returning for a second time due to popular demand, lives locally and hopes to bring his wife to our Coffee and Tour Morning—we look forward to seeing him again!) “extremely good advice on applying to University and what to look for in terms of a course” ‐Jonathan Perrett 12LW “I was very impressed by the whole experience ‐ that the school is holding a careers week; the number of speakers visiting, the number of interested students and the related communication. As a side note, I had not been to the school for a long time and was extremely impressed by the atmosphere of the school, the quality of the facilities, the achievements of the students and the plans for the future.” – Gavin Flook, Head of Global Talent, Deloitte, left 1985, Head Boy, Potters Bar student (now living and working in Czechoslovakia, although travels to the UK every 6 months and has a Reunion with former class mates!) “very useful advice on working outside the UK” ‐ Matthew Dawson 12FG “It was a really enjoyable afternoon, so thank you.” – Jack Shenker, Journalist, The Guardian, left 2003, Senior Prefect, Potters Bar student (Middle East correspondent, currently writing a book on the Arab Spring and was transported back in time by a chat with past Form Tutor and Head of RE, Mr John Johnstone—we hope he will donate a signed copy of his book to our library!) “I found it incredibly interesting and very useful, both when he talked about his own experiences and about journalism as a whole” ‐ Sriya Varadharajan Yr 11 student “Was really impressed with the quality of their questions” – Jenny Daniel, BT Graduate Recruitment, left 2004, Potters Bar student (and whose mother, Mrs Firkins, works as an IT Teacher at DAOS!) “especially helpful as was general, learnt useful tips for CV’s and University applications which I was unsure of. Also learnt life skills and how things are useful in the big scheme of things” ‐ Rebecca Yiangou 12 KDO Page 4 of 30
On Advertising—“very informative—the most interesting talk so far—captivated me and has actually made me consider advertising as a possible career choice” ‐ Ellen Garlick 12JB On English Heritage—“it has showed me that I need to expect ups and downs during my education and career and it is not a straight journey” ‐ Aneira Carter 9AB “Very welcoming and supportive time. I was very happy to be there and I hope my contribution helped in some small way.” – Richard Adams, “Global Citizen”, left 1989, Potters Bar student (has worked extensively abroad for many different organisations, now taking time out work on a property. Had a “small world” experience with our First Aid Officer in Reception, Rachel Dale, also an Old Owenian, who discovered she was in the same year group and even had her Year Book to prove it!) “This is a very worthwhile part of the education of young people and long may it last.” – Graham Simmons, Construction, left 1956, Islington student (also returning for a second time) “The students were very attentive…I very much enjoyed being back at Owen’s and I was glad I could volunteer my help. If you had interest from your students again next year in Music Management then please do let me know!” ‐ Andra East, Musician, left 2003, Potters Bar student (working as Development Officer (music management and fundraising) for Gabrielli Consort and may be joining one of our orchestra’s to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for our 400th Anniversary Celebration Concert next year in 2013!) “ this was very inspiring and gave me more insight into what I can do that’s music related in the future” ‐ Amy Ying 9JJ “I enjoyed talking at the school ‐ hope it was what the students wanted” ‐ Ben Vickery, Architect, left 1978, (works for Populous, who has designed the 2012 Olympics Stadium, also Wembley Stadium and Sydney Olympic Stadium and is currently working on the temporary 2012 Olympic structures in Greenwich) “very informative—good to get definitive answers from someone actually doing the job than researching and getting different opinions” ‐ Jenny Lee 12SM Rob White, Recruitment in the Financial Sector, left 2001 (provided great tips on how to stand out in a competitive market. Also we didn’t realise that we had stirred some sibling rivalry as unfortunately, due to being oversubscribed, we couldn’t accommodate Rob’s brother, Steve, who volunteered to talk about computer animation. Very graciously, Steve, who left in 1999, has kindly written on our request some information about his fascinating career which you can find on pages 17 & 18 and we hope he can come in to talk to students on another occasion!) “really, really helpful for our stage of education” ‐ Dan Levy Yr11 “very practical, little waffle” ‐ Tom Richardson 10RA Page 5 of 30
Look out for our email alert early next year, if you think you’d like to take part in our next Careers Week—apologies to those we couldn’t accommodate on this occasion due to being oversubscribed. More photographs from our week can be found on our website: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/about_us/old_owenians_school_news.html. Special thanks once again for this years talks to: Dr Helen Green, left 1989 (Medicine and Drug Development, Roche Products), Graham Bailey, left 1965 (Marketing Consultant), Sheenagh McKillop (Accountancy Practice and Recruitment), Caroline Crewe‐Read, left 1990 (English Heritage), Jenny Daniel, left 2004 (BT Recruitment), Fiona Jacob, left 1984 (IT Company Secretary with Civil Service experience), Graham Steed, left 1989 (HMRC), Richard Adams, left 1989 (Global Citizen), Roy Chenery, left 1965 (Marine Engineer, Merchant Navy), Gavin Flook, left 1985, (Deloitte), Jack Shenker, left 2003 (Journalist, The Guardian), Graham Simmons, left 1956, (Construction), Amy Larkin, left 1998, (Advertising), Andra East, left 2003 (Gabrielli Consort), Rob White, left 2001 (Recruitment in Financial Sector), Professor Jack Levy OBE, left 1943 (Engineering), Ben Vickery, left 1978, (Architect for Olympics 2012, Populous), Catherine Pewsey, left 2004 (Stage Management), Glenn Taylor, left 1985 (Estate Agency), Trevor Mose, left 1994 (Local Government) and Samantha Holliday, left 1995 (Local Government). Supporting current students If you would like to offer any opportunity for our Year 11 students (age 15/16) to be involved with your company on work experience for a week in November, please contact our Sixth Form Manager and Careers Co‐ordinator, Mrs Carol Whiter, on [email protected]
More information on our website under Careers: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/curriculum/careers.html. And just to show that some things never change… ...well, not for 9 years anyway! Thanks to Karen Cheung‐Hing for this photo (below left) of her last year at school in 2002, which she was reminded of on a visit to the school last June for our Careers Talks Week. She recognised the same “Junior Science” poster on her tour of the school and did a double take—she features in both photos! Some of you may already know that we are currently planning to build a new Science Building in 2013/14, so sorry, Karen, the poster won’t be there for much longer! If you’re interested in our future developments, you can read about the project on our website: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/2013appeal.html
Communities unite with historical events This year sees two historical events that will bring people together, the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. Occasions such as these are valuable in uniting communities in celebration and we will have our opportunity to unite next year at the Royal Albert Hall and at other events throughout 2013. A significant part of our community is you, our Old Owenians, who have supported the school directly or indirectly over the years. The Old Owen’s Association is continuing to support the school this year, by generously providing funding and technical advice for a historical display. This is being designed around the idea of a timeline by a team comprising of members from our Art Department and two of our longest serving members of staff. The professional display, which will be around 10m long, by 2.5m high will be unveiled in January 2013. The Old Owen’s Association are holding their AGM on Thursday 19th April, 2012 at 8pm at the Old Owen’s Sports Ground—please see www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/about_us/old_owenians_school_news.html for their agenda. All members are very welcome. Page 6 of 30
“Twelve Months On”—a report from our chair of governors and Old Owenian, Peter Martin “In April 2012, we celebrate another anniversary: the 'Academy' is one year old. Looking back, my underwhelming sense is of little change to the essence of the school, which is of course precisely what was intended. It remains as it was, a bastion of excellence which continues to strive in all things to provide the very best possible education for its students. Our budget continues to be under severe pressure; relieved marginally and only in the short term by the financial implications of changing to Academy status, but beyond that immediate easing of the pressure, the continued and swingeing cuts in educational funding are concentrating minds ferociously. How do we protect best what we all hold most dear, and where do we cut and compromise, as we shall have to do? Only in the legal and financial spheres have I really seen a difference. With the changed Trust and Limited Company status the bureaucratic needs of government have become more onerous, and internally systems have needed to change to meet the new statutory requirements. The school administration and finance teams have worked tirelessly to keep us on the straight and narrow: to them much thanks is due that we are in such good shape. I hope that students, staff and parents have barely noticed the existence of the Academy ‐ if so we have achieved our aim. I must also thank my fellow governors, for so ably adapting to the new environment and so willingly giving of their time and experience to embrace their new responsibilities, whether as trustees or directors. I have said elsewhere that the burden on a Governing Body is vastly heavier than in the past, and I think that the next few years, when in the face of an absence of will or ability on the part of government to invest in education at the levels needed we shall have to make very difficult and painful choices, will place still greater demands on us. Fortunately, with the calibre of our team we are as well placed as any to ride the storm. Lastly, an unsung and often unnoticed team: the Clerk to the Brewers, David Ross and his assistants, who have worked incredibly hard with us to make the transition so smooth, have helped us gain the approval and understanding of our Foundation for the intended move, and ensure our governance and decision making processes are of the highest order. To all of them my sincere appreciation.” Left: Brewers Hall, Aldermanbury Square, London www.brewershall.co.uk/ St Paul’s Cathedral news for those overseas Following up on our last mention of St Paul’s in our December edition, the members of Occupy London who had camped outside St Pauls in protest from last October, were finally evicted this February, having lost a High Court battle. They were moved to a less well known camp at Finsbury Square. Our Thanksgiving Service next year at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 30th April will be for students, staff and invited guests: www.stpauls.co.uk/
Page 7 of 30
Royal Albert Hall—put Tuesday 23rd April 2013 in your diary! Our plans for this significant event are coming together: Old Owenian and Film Director, Sir Alan Parker CBE will be directing a short drama piece about teachers past and present, working with Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp. BBC News Political Editor/parent Nick Robinson and Daily Telegraph’s Public Policy Editor/Old Owenian Andrew Porter will be leading the presentation. Our Deputy Head, Mr Bob Pepper and Head of Music, Mr Simon Werner are working to ensure the performances of our Orchestras, Bands and Choirs will be, as usual, outstanding. This photo, which adorns one of the stairway walls in the Music Block (for those that don’t know, this is where the Squash Courts used to be!), is of a performance we gave at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago in the Schools Proms! Meetings with the Royal Albert Hall Event Team will soon be taking place to determine when the tickets will go on sale. As Dr Alan Davison mentioned in his message, the contract between the school and the Worshipful Company of Brewers has now been signed and key details have been agreed. Thanks must go to Raymond Gubbay CBE (and Europe’s most successful Classical Concert promoter!), as a previous parent, for his influence and advice. His daughter, Louise Gubbay (who left in 1990 and after 17 years in Events Management, has now set up her own thriving company) has given the school’s Sixth Form Arrow Magazine team an exclusive inter‐ view for this year’s edition, soon to be available! You can request a copy to be posted to you by sending a cheque for £5 (made payable to Dame Alice Owen’s) to the Arrow Editing Team at Dame Alice Owen’s, Dugdale Hill Lane, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 2DU, giving your name and address details. Interviews also with David Walliams, Michael Gove and Robert Webb! Thanks to Mr Colin Webster (left 1961) for kindly scanning these splendid photos of Sir Alan Parker (left 1962) in a dramatic role, some years before he decided to move behind the camera! He also features as No 10 in the “Final Line‐up”, School Concert 1958—they were both in the same form, but Colin is obscured in the line‐up! He also has a formal panorama picture of the whole school in the playground—he would be happy if anyone wanted a copy, for them to contact him on [email protected]
Who remembers the mushrooms on the ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall? Looking up inside the auditorium at these seemingly floating disc shapes you could be forgiven for thinking you were inside some sort of futuristic space ship, but these mushrooms really do have a purpose. Just before the Hall was opened in 1871, they discovered the design had created a terrible echo. A calico cloth was subsequently hung beneath the dome to absorb the sound but some of the echo remained. Audiences were told they had value for money as they heard everything twice! In 1949, a whole 78 years later, they tried to eliminate the echo by replacing the inner glass roof panels with fluted aluminium filled with sound deadening rock wool. This had a minimal effect, so in 1969 the problem was finally solved by hanging 135 acoustic diffusing discs (mushrooms!), filled with glass fibre wool from the dome’s ceiling, which allowed the sound to be bounced back to the auditorium and the echo disappeared! If you count them today, there are only 85 discs needed, which are all configured very carefully at slightly different heights to ensure the acoustics of the Hall are the best they can be. For those who don’t remember or haven’t been to the Royal Albert Hall before, you’ll have to come to our celebration concert to see them for yourself next year! Page 8 of 30
From the Inside...interviews with current long standing members of staff As you might remember from our last edition, our Year 7 parent and writer, Ruth Baker, kindly volunteered to provide a series of interviews with current members of staff who have served the school for many years. In this edition, she talks to Bob Paisley, who we are privileged to have back with us after a break of 15 years, mainly to support our 400th anniversary. BOB PAISLEY—JOINED 1986 “If you have had reason to visit Owen’s in the past two terms, you may have seen a familiar figure in the school corridors. Bob Paisley, who was Head of Economics and Politics between 1986 and 1997, has joined the staff as Associate Headteacher. He is here to stand in for Dr Davison when he is busy with preparations for the 400th anniversary and other duties. Bob remembers with affection the first time he came to the school. “I turned up on a sunny day in my green MG with the roof down ‐ and amazingly I got the job.” He says, “I was very, very happy here.” Bob recalls how he started a band with Greg Brown, Head of Sixth Form, almost by accident. “We used to sing songs around the piano after the staff do at Christmas time and people would join in. After that we started to go down to the music department once a week and people walking past asked if they could join us.” John Lane, the Biology teacher, joined the group as drummer and Nick Cheal, who taught Technology, played the guitar while Alyson Lord, from the PE department, played rhythm guitar. Before they knew it they were performing gigs. “We played for a staff do just because it seemed a fun thing to do. I sang through a white plastic microphone borrowed from the Modern Languages department. Despite that humble start, people started booking us for their events” The band named themselves Fazers on Stun and didn’t look back. They played music mainly from the sixties and seventies for weddings, anniversaries and events at rugby and football club. Any income was used for buying equipment and the white plastic microphone was returned to Modern Languages. “Greg and I shared the singing,” Bob recalls, “and his keyboard solos were brilliant. He was a brilliant improviser. He was a great friend and sadly missed when he died.” The members changed over the years and included Pete Cookson on the drums and Sue Kelly (Sue Brown) on the saxophone. On one memorable occasion the group played in assembly. The Head, David Bolton, who had a strict reputation, sang Be Bop A Lulah. It caused quite a stir. It wasn’t only pop music that Bob played. Bob went on orchestra tours to Paris and Salzburg with the school orchestra and has played his viola in beautiful places. The orchestra played in the castle at Kaprun and visited Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley. Of course, being a teacher is not all fun and games. One of Bob’s responsibilities was arranging industry links with the school which involved inviting guest speakers to give presentations. This poster, which resides in a frame in our Music Department, promotes the Symphony Orchestra’s “Konzert” at Kaprun, 17 years ago.
Page 9 of 30
“There was one Wednesday afternoon when everything had gone wrong. The plugs were not working, the computer presentation wouldn’t work.” Eventually, he ironed out all the problems with the speakers. He went into the staffroom, breathed a sigh of relief and sat down, thinking everything was fine. Then he picked up the information sheet which had been given out with the speakers’ details. “I shouted out, ‘This is gibberish,’” he says. The sheet had been printed incorrectly and many of the words were missing or muddled up. It was the last straw and it was too late to do anything but apologise after the event. Bob is proud that some of his students went on the Oxford and Cambridge to study economics. But he says it was also very rewarding helping those students who struggled. He encouraged a group of students to set up a study group and meet up once a week to help each other. In consequence, they had excellent exam results. One of his current duties is to work with the School Council and help them make a difference in the school. So far, they have made changes in day to day matters which affect the lives of the students: the catering, the drinking fountains and the toilet blocks. They have also introduced drop‐in sessions where students can come and see the School Council reps and tell them what they would like to see changed. Now Bob is back at the school he says he says he really notices the special atmosphere it has. “One of the reasons the students are so enthusiastic is because the teachers are too. The teachers are committed to improving their teaching and learning.” “The students and teachers are in it together.” Bob studied economics at Leeds University, followed by a Postgraduate Certificate of Education in London. He began his teaching career at Northwood Comprehensive School in Hillingdon, West London. “It was a good place to start. It was a challenge but the staff were very supportive,” he says. After two years at the school, during which time he established the economics department, he moved to Owen’s for as Head of Economics and Politics. Bob took over from Alan Amos who went on to become an MP. Then, after eleven happy years at Owen’s, he took the position of Deputy Head at Stanborough School in Welwyn Garden City. Most recently, he has been working in a senior management role for the local authority as Partnership Co‐ordinator for 14‐19 Education. Old Owenian to carry the Olympic Torch! Congratulations to Tyler Rix (left 2011) who has been chosen by Olympic Partners Coca‐cola and Samsung to carry the Olympic Torch for part of it’s journey through Haringey on the 25th July. He was selected as an inspirational teenager, who during his school career, played in the West Ham Academy for talented young footballers, with the Owen’s football team won the English Schoolboys FA Cup in 2007, beating 900 teams to the crown, recorded an album which reached number one in the classical charts in 2009 and aged 17 made modeling appearances in The Times and Tatler, not to mention our school prospectus! He was reported in the Times as saying, “I want to be a role model for other people and I want people to know that London is full of opportunities. I don’t think that I could have achieved so much anywhere else.” Tyler is currently a full time student of jazz performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich where he is undertaking a four year degree course: www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/ One of our current students, 16 year old Charlotte Michael, has also been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through Bishops Stortford on the 7th July due to her involvement in athletics. We wish both of them the best of luck! Page 10 of 30
And now for your contributions… RUTH GOLDMAN—LEFT 1959 Thanks to Ruth Goldman who kindly recounted some of her memories of school to your editor in a telephone interview in January and sent this fabulous photo of girls celebrating their last day at school! July 1959 – Last day at Owen’s Ruth Sobol (Goldman) with paper, Joan Mitchell, Diane Kelly, Sandra Lewin, Ann Cantor, Janet Burnett, Bonita Martin, Myra Singer, Susan Cooke, Rosa Smith, M. Gibbs‐Kennett, Christine Torbut Living in Clapton as a child, Ruth attended Amherst Primary School and co‐incidentally one of her classmates was Mervyn Gilbert, another Old Owenian, who she remembers sitting next to at the age of 5! After passing the 11+, her Headmaster suggested to her parents that she was put forward for a scholarship to Owen’s. Qualification in those days was very different to the strict admissions process of today and she was invited for an interview with the Owen’s Headmistress, Miss Ward. Ruth recalls that it was fortunate that she shared Miss Ward’s passion for poetry and even liked the same poets – she had to read aloud to her and answer a few questions. As a result, Ruth was the first girl from her Primary school to attend Owen’s! Her brother attended the Boys’ School. With Malory Towers as inspiration, (although she admits that sometimes they were more like St Trinian’s), the girls were always up to various “scrapes”, trying to emulate the life that Enid Blyton set out in her books. Every September, new girls to the school were persuaded to kiss the statue of Dame Alice Owen’s as part of their initiation ceremony! Miss Ward, however, was a force to be reckoned with and everyone was scared of her, despite her tiny bird‐like frame. Freedom for 5 or 6 Owen’s Jewish girls came under the heading of Kosher lunches at Woburn House, where they escaped to each day on the 73 bus from the Angel to Euston. Joined by the Jewish boys, it was the highlight of their day. Ruth remembers on one occasion putting itchy powder down the neck of one Barry Hyman, friend of Tony Sacker and members of the Cadet Corps, much to the girl’s amusement. Miss Ward recognised Ruth’s talent for language and proposed to her parents that she attend the Lycée Franҫais and onto the Sorbonne, following her A Levels. Her parents, as was typical of those days, thought she would be better suited to Regent Street Polytechnic to study a bilingual secretarial course and settle for married life. Consequently, her career gave her many varied positions and she enjoyed being an Administrator for the Charity, JAMI, (Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill). Ruth explained how different it was when she was job hunting ‐ you could leave a job on a Friday and walk into another one on a Monday. There were no CV’s required and she never got turned down for a job, admitting that there was often a lot of leg crossing in the interview process! Now involved in voluntary work, Ruth knows Helen Uri, who was interviewed by our Arrow Team in 2010 (you can read about her interview on our website: www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/news_dates/the_arrow.html) who is based at Lady Sarah Cohen House in Finchley and started at Owen’s in 1936. Ruth has taken the 698 bus (which Owen’s children use) on occasions from near her home in Winchmore Hill and seeing today’s students travelling to school makes her proud to be an Old Owenian and appreciate the value of the education she received. Page 11 of 30
JEFF JARMAN—LEFT 1966 Thanks to Mr Jeff Jarman, who has sent us these great photos from 1958—top (showing his brother, Rod Jarman, seated second from the right as we look at the photo) and 1960 (showing himself, second on SVG’s right)! He is vice‐President of an old Victorian charity , the Society of London Ragamuffins: www.londonragamuffins.org.uk/, who have funds available to assist young persons in need of financial help. Their criteria are that the recipient must be in genuine need, single parent/family hardship/desperate circumstances, and that the grant is directly attributable to a particular child/teenager or his/her family. He has kindly offered his support to the school. RUSSELL FELL—LEFT 1963 Thanks to Mr Russell Fell for his telephone call to share old times with Mr Bill Hamilton‐Hinds as his contemporary classmate. They often used to travel home together on the number 73 bus and was amazed that Bill remembered he was a runner and spoke Chinese! We put Mr Fell back in touch with the Old Owen’s Association and hopes he has rejoined as a member.
JOSEPH DAY – LEFT 1952 Thanks to Mr Stan Gould for notifying us that Mr Joseph Day, who travels from South Korea to attend the Harold Moore Luncheon each year, has been awarded the MBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours List, "for services to the British Community and sport in the Republic of South Korea". He found this citation in the Diplomatic and Overseas section of the listing – we wish Mr Day many congratulations. Page 12 of 30
JACQUELINE GERSHON (NEE SUMMERS) ‐ LEFT 1938 Thanks to Mrs Jacqueline Gershon for telling us of her correspondence with Jessica Tandy (right), a famous Old Owenian, who was born in Hackney in 1909 and left Owen’s in 1925 to begin her career at the age of 16—she died in Connecticut in 1994. Many of Jessica Tandy’s performances won her awards such as her roles in A Streetcar Named Desire, The Birds, The Gin Game, Foxfire, The Petition, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, Driving Miss Daisy and Fried Green Tomatoes. Mrs Gershon was taught by Jessica Tandy’s old English teacher, Miss Packer, who was obviously a great source of inspiration, as The New York Times reported that Jessica Tandy “loved Shakespeare”! “In my first year, 1933, at DAOS, our English mistress, Miss Packer was very theatrically orientated and between phrases and clauses popped in little gems such as Dear Larry (Laurence Olivier), Florence Desmond (musical actress) and her favourite, Jessica Tandy, the Actress. Jessica continued throughout the years and as soon as I began a lifetime of enjoying theatre I looked out for her name, but never found it. Years later, at a party, I was introduced to a young actor, Mark Tandy, and asked him if the name meant anything. To my delight he said yes, but he was not related to her. She was living and performing in the USA. More years flew by (they do accelerate as one gets older). Viewing TV, I saw Terry Wogan interview Jessica Tandy re her nomination for an Oscar in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). I soonest possible wrote to her c/o the BBC wishing her luck and telling her about our link to Owens. I was thrilled to receive a handwritten reply from her at her home address in Connecticut, dated 17.3.90 as follows: “My memories of Dame Alice Owen’s School, and Miss Packer and Miss Young and Miss Wilson are still very fresh in my mind. I was very glad to hear from you and I do hope you will enjoy "Driving Miss Daisy", it is something I was very proud of. The phenomenal success of the picture seems to me to tell us that audiences find a picture with less action and more feeling, satisfactory. Most sincerely, Jessica Tandy" In 2002, my late husband and I did a fly‐drive to the Deep South of the States. In Columbus, Mississippi, we found the Tennessee Williams Home, a museum, where a picture of Jessica with the cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire” was displayed. I have that picture in the museum's brochure. Apart from the TV interview it was my first sight of her as I was not yet on the Internet. It is a pity we lost her to America, but great that she had a long happy life with Hume Cronyn and a great career in the States.” Mrs Gershon remembers that Miss Bozman (Head 1933‐1945—photo left), “taught maths, my favourite subject, so I adored her, and I know she liked me. All the girls, especially those who couldn't cope with maths loved her. She was so fair and patient with everyone.” She hopes there is someone of her year still around. Her best friend Dorothy (Wilcox) le Boutillier lives in Jersey and they have been friends for 80 years. She sent her a 90th birthday card for 18th December and this February she would have celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary and hopes all is well as she went to her Golden and Diamond weddings. Also, a few years ago when she belonged to Southgate Photograph Society she met a gentleman who had been Head Boy at Owens just after WW2—Dennis Poulter, who left Owen’s in 1954—it just goes to show you never know who you might bump into in the future! She tells us “my daughter gained the only scholarship given by St Paul's and also by Enfield Council, (I lived in Southgate then), so my education must have guided me in the right direction. I am very proud of Owen's, and although they say your school days are the best days of your life I must admit I longed to leave school and be "grown up" But now, of course, they were among the best years and memories of my life.” Page 13 of 30
JOAN RICHARDS – LEFT 1940 Thanks to Mrs Valerie Lonkhurst, who has kindly sent this first hand historical account of life at Owen’s by her mother, Ms Joan Richards, who she says has an excellent memory! Mrs Lonkhurst’s told us that her own children, both Old Owenians, have very much enjoyed reading their grandmothers memories of her school days in Islington and her excitement at gaining a scholarship. “In the last year at Thornhill Road School we sat for the all‐important Scholarship Examination, when we were tested for our further education. The lowest grade pupil went to a Senior School, a continuation of the State Junior School and left there at 14 years old. The next group ‘passed’ the examination (I expect they had over a certain percentage of marks) and went to the Central School. Finally those who won a scholarship went to a Secondary or High School. One could take an examination for a free place at the latter, but I think your parents had to pay for books. These were held at the individual schools. For the Scholarship we had a preliminary test and all those who gained 100 marks or more out of a possible 200 went in for the final. When the results came through – five of us gained over 190 marks and couldn’t get home fast enough to tell our parents – a delighted headmistress announced to the whole school that we had all won scholarships, the most the school had ever had at one time. The school was granted a half day holiday and I was on my way to Dame Alice Owen’s Girls School near the Angel. I had to go with my mother for a medical examination at London County Hall. I had never been in such a large building. Later, in my Panama hat and simple summer dress, I went to Owen’s for an interview with the Headmistress, Miss Bozman, who received us wearing her gown and sitting behind a large desk in her study. We went back to the school later, when I had been formally accepted, to be measured by the school tailor for the school uniform. To find the length of gym slip needed we had to kneel on the floor and he took the measurement from shoulder to floor. Our mothers were horrified. Mothers were also given a list of other things we needed. My Mother thought it was all going to be very expensive.
Page 14 of 30
I started at Owen’s in September, 1935 and was plunged into a very different school regime. Morning school went on until 12.50pm. At first that extra hour seemed endless, but afternoon classes were shorted from 2.15 – 3.30pm. We had a choice of hot dinners at school or could take a packed lunch, or go home. We were introduced to the mysteries of General Science, later divided into Physics and Chemistry and my first foreign language, French. With the threat of War in the summer of 1938 plans were made to evacuate the school (see photo previous page). Parents decided if they wanted their child to go with the school or make their own private arrangements. My parents decided I should go with the school as all schools in London would be closed. We gathered in the school playground several days beforehand when the staff checked all the items on our lists. My school friends and I formed a long crocodile and left from Dame Alice Owen’s, The Angel, Islington early on the morning of Friday 1st September 1939. There were a few weeping mothers at the Angel Tube Station. From here we went to Mill Hill Railway Station and after several long stops we eventually arrived at Kettering, Northants early afternoon. We were taken on buses to a local school hall. There we were divided into groups of about 12 with a local lady taking us to homes where we would be billeted. My friend and I went to a lady who wanted 2 older girls. She offered us tea, but we had been told not to eat our host’s food for 24 hours until extra food was sent to the towns where evacuees had arrived. We had taken supplies with us. We were given cards to send to our parents with the new address. Very few people had phones. We shared the local girls’ grammar school for lessons. We went 8.30 – 10.30 am then 3.30 – 5.30 pm. It was horribly dark coming home in the winter because there were no street lamps and windows had to be blacked out because of air attacks. Our teachers were kind, taking us to the cinema in small groups and walking us home through the blackout. Some Saturdays they took us for all day hikes through the countryside with a picnic. Two of the teachers moved out from billets and bought a house not far from us. They invited several of us on a Sunday afternoon for tea. At Christmas we did our usual Nativity Play and went carol singing.
Page 15 of 30
No bombing had started in London and some children were beginning to want to go home and their parents had them back. The authorities were warning that the quiet situation would not last. In order, I think, to keep us in Kettering our school head arranged for us to spend a few days at Christmas in a grand boarding school called Overstone, which was set in beautiful grounds.
Page 16 of 30
We slept about 5 to a dormitory and had turkey and pudding etc. I don’t know how they managed to get it all. We even managed a midnight feast like in all the best books. One girl wasn’t well and the Head, Miss Bozman (left), gave her her own hot water bottle and then I gave Miss Bozman mine. It was very cold with deep snow. Our Mothers wanted us go home for a week and we went. In the spring of 1940 Canadian soldiers arrived in Britain and two were billeted in the house with us. They were pleasant but soon moved on. Although we listened to the radio every day with the worrying news of the War life in Kettering did not change. We still went to school every day working towards our big exams for Matriculation and General Schools Certificates. I was told if I gained 4 passes in the Matric I would be awarded a scholarship by the London County Council to attend a Polytechnic of my choice. By the end of August I decided to return to London. I did gain a LCC scholarship and started studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic. By now the Germans had started bombing and sometimes our lessons were inter‐ rupted by the air raid warning and we all went down into the basement, used as an air raid shelter. I used to wonder if the house would still be standing when I returned home. I was a student for a year and 2 terms and I was then offered a job in the Education Department as a shorthand typist. My wage was £2.15s a week. This office work stood me in good stead as later, when my children were older; I was a school secretary for many years.’ Mrs Lonkhurst adds a romantic footnote: “In August 1942 my mother went back for a holiday to the people she had stayed with in Kettering and met her future husband. They married when she was 18, during one of his home leaves from the army and I was born 2 years later.” STEVE WHITE—LEFT 1999 Thanks to Mr Steve White for sending in his resume to share with students as our Careers Talks were oversubscribed—he hopes to visit us on another occasion to speak about his fascinating career in animation. “Growing up I was obsessed with performing magic and watching special effects intensive, feature films. I wanted to be a live action special effects technician (building animatronics, using pyrotechnics etc), as I thought it would be the perfect combination of my two passions ‐ creating visual illusions on screen. However I found it extremely difficult to find a way into the notoriously close knit industry. As I was looking through university brochures in the Owen's library, I saw a course at Teesside University which was designed for people wanting to get into digital special effects ‐ creating similar visual elements, but within a 3D computer environment. I was fortunate to be accepted, but over the duration of the course, found I preferred animation; creating emotion and movement for digital characters. Page 17 of 30
My BSc was very technical, having a heavy emphasis on graphical programming, computing mathematics & real time simulation. So when I finished, I studied for a masters degree in Computer Animation, which was much more artistically focused, incorporating movement, acting theory & staging. After completing the course in 2003, I sent out show reels to various companies and was hugely fortunate to get taken on 3 months after my MA at a post production company called 'One Post' in Soho, where I spent the next 2 years having a master class in the entire post production process. I left the company in 2005 and have since been specialising as a character animator and freelance around several companies in London. My current show reel can be found at www.illusionworksfx.com to give you more of an idea as to what my job entails. JAN COOPER AND SARA WAYLAND (NEE NEWELL) ‐ BOTH LEFT 1977 Thanks to Ms Jan Cooper and Mrs Sara Wayland for “making it under the wire” before our deadline for news articles! They have both drafted the item below in the hope that it will spur other “two‐site” Owenians to contribute their thoughts. July 1976 was a strange time for those of us completing our lower 6th or 5th form years at the Islington school. As we belted out the school songs (yes, there were two of them) for the last time in the hall of the Victorian boys' school we knew that in September we would not be returning to our familiar (and much loved) buildings but instead would travel to the new site at Potters Bar. Travel is the key word in that sentence ‐ most of us lived a short bus journey or even within walking distance of the school, but now we had to travel to Kings Cross or Finsbury Park, get the train to Potters Bar and then the coach or walk to the school. Most of us chose to walk and I'm sure the curtains of Potters Bar twitched as 200 or so Islington Owenians thundered past their windows each morning. Many of us had travelled to Potters Bar for the official opening by Princess Anne so the building wasn't completely unfamiliar to us but actually going to school there every day was a shock. We had spent the last few years in a building that was gradually emptying as there had been no intake after the year below us. Suddenly we seemed to be surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of small children. What a surprise to see just how small the first and second years were and my goodness what a noise they made! How lucky we thought we were to have our very own 6th form common room. As well as the new surroundings we also had to get to know new teachers. Some staff had taught at the Islington site; the excellent Janet Jeffries and Fred Groom spring to mind, but the majority were new to us. Key events in the school calendar changed when we moved to Potters Bar: no longer would the school's birthday involve a service at St Mary's Islington; Visitation became a less formal affair being held in the sports hall rather than an evening ceremony at the City of London Guildhall or Friends House; most importantly what would we do with our beer money now the Crown & Woolpack was no longer within walking distance? Despite all this, the transition went smoothly. We soon settled in to our new 6th form common room and the old library transported to the new site. The facilities at Potters Bar were better than those at Islington, with new laboratories and a sports ground on site. As we approach the 400th anniversary of the school's foundation here's to the next 400 years.
Page 18 of 30
DAVID BISSETT—LEFT 1952 Thanks to Mr David Bissett who contacted us all the way from Spain and was persuaded to send in some of his memories of Form IIAi. During our correspondence, he said he is glad to see Spanish is being taught now as sadly he never achieved any results in French and found learning Spanish at the age of 69, very difficult! “It was the 8th of July 1944, my tenth birthday. Somehow I sensed the year ahead was significant and not just because I had attained double figures in years. I was due to start at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Clerkenwell (definitely not Islington) in September. The Second World War was drawing to a close: On June the 6th, D day, when 160,000 allied troops had landed in Normandy; the war in the air was over and bombing was a thing of the past (or so we thought), I was living with my father, mother and sister in Barnet. Earlier in the year I had sat and passed the entrance examination for the local Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, so why was I going to commute by underground to the Angel, Islington? My father was a keen member of the local home guard, as was Mr. Winter, the history master at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. School politics must have been fairly fierce! He advised my father, on no account, should he send me to the grammar school. Whilst I will always be very happy and proud to have been sent to Owen’s, I know of no justification for Mr. Winter’s comments. Another factor was that my parents had rented a flat, part of a house, in Haringey that belonged to the Ellis family, for a couple of years after marriage. Their son Brian was a pupil at Owen’s and had greatly impressed my parents. He later became a doctor. The final element in the equation was that my father’s business address was in Highbury and this address could be used in my application to attend. We both attended an interview with the headmaster, O.W. Mitchell (right), himself an old boy of the school and an absolutely charming gentleman and all was arranged. The school had been evacuated to Bedford Modern School. Full of the Boy’s Own Paper and Billy Bunter stories of Greyfriars I was thrilled at the possibility of boarding school. However it was soon clear that this was not the plan. In anticipation of moving back to London, a new class was to be formed in London using the school buildings for a year. This group of about 30 boys formed “Form IIAi” distinguishing us from IIA in Bedford. Even after the return, in 1945, we were distinguished as IIIAi. Although I was a year below the age that is now taken as normal, another boy, Malcolm Segal, was aged only 8½ years. Neither of us suffered from bullying which seems to occur, in some schools today. When we first arrived at school, we found the playground contained large public air raid shelters. These were removed within the year. Earlier I referred to the end of bombing. However, the Germans still had the V1 and V2 up their sleeve. The V1, flying bomb or doodlebug, was particularly unpleasant. It was an unmanned, flying bomb with an engine. It was roughly aimed in the direction of the target city, mainly London, and landed to explode when it ran out of fuel. Very quickly Londoners became used to the drone of the engine and suffered anxious moments when the motor stopped and they were left to wait for the explosion which they hoped would not be uncomfortably close. The V2 was very different; this was a supersonic rocket with an increased level of accuracy, although still unable to be aimed at specific targets. This time the explosion occurred before any other sound. Its guiding light was Werner Von Braun, who improved his accuracy greatly with NASA rockets after the war. In my young days children were given more responsibility and I feel it is very hard on today’s youth that they are so overprotected. I certainly cannot imagine a 10 year old commuting up and down to London with the possibility of air raids but many of the class were in this position. The school was in Owen Street, a short connexion between Goswell Road and Clerkenwell Road. Standing in Owen Street facing the school you saw a large three floored building (see the photographs previously published). In the centre of the building was the main entrance used by the headmaster and his visitors. To the left was the entrance used during the day by everybody, this took you into the building on the ground floor. To the right was an entrance that took you down into the basement, to the cloakroom, refectory and kitchen. This was the entrance for boys at the beginning of the day and exit at the end. Page 19 of 30
Having entered the building, in the centre at the back, was a block that appeared to be an extension. On the first floor was the assembly hall, with its gallery entered on the second floor. The ground floor was classroom and alongside was the outside toilet facility. Form IIAi used a large classroom here. The form was under the control of Captain Cole with sports activities, one day a week at Chandos Avenue Whetstone, directed by Mr Reg Tricker. My memory is limited and open to correction, but regarding Captain Cole is a memory of his strong belief that quality of handwriting was all important. Although Lazlo Biro had patented his pen in 1938, the biro did not become available in shops till many years after the war ended. Even the fountain pen was frowned upon by Captain Cole. Every desk had an inkwell that was kept provided with ink, although I have no memory of ink monitors being appointed. We wrote with a wooden handled pen, rather like a paintbrush but with a metal nib. The key feature of the nib was a thin upstroke with a broader down stroke. This made possible elegant cursive script, but not for me. Whilst most of my memories of this first year with Captain Cole and my classmates are truly happy there is one memory that refuses to go away. Captain Cole had a rather unfortunate set of teeth that gave him trouble with sibilants. My writing, being particularly bad, would sometimes cause me to find Captain Cole just behind my desk watching. Sadly when he addressed me on my problems small liquid specks would appear on the writing book which caused further blots when the nib reached them!” Mr David Bissett considers why is one’s mind clogged up with such useless details when it is so difficult to remember events of real significance?! He says he would be happy to condemn more of his ramblings to paper if they are of any interest (yes please!) as there is still a lot more that he thinks of from time to time! LESLIE COOK—LEFT 1952 Thanks to Mr Leslie Cook, living in Surrey, for sending us his wonderful “random memories” and some great photographs to hit the recall buttons! “I started at Owen’s in 1946, returning to London after having been evacuated to Chesterfield. On first reflection, life then was grim compared with today – in spite of current financial crises and a world still war‐torn. The Cold War had just begun; the wartime threat of being annihilated by German bombs was replaced by the threat of a Russian bombardment. The winter of 1946 – 1947 was extremely hard. Fuel was in short supply. London was subject to choking smog. Sweets, sugar and clothing were still rationed. I lived within walking distance of The Angel, Islington. A secure home life and the stability of the red‐bricked school – together with its motto – were pillars of support. The Headmaster was OW Mitchell when I started. Corporal punishment was practised. With others, I was slippered for using a text book as a bat for playground tennis. We had been forbidden to do so when using a tennis ball. We mistakenly thought that a ping‐pong ball would be an acceptable alternative. Page 20 of 30
Clothes rationing allowed us the choice of a grey flannel suit or a badged blazer with grey trousers. I opted for the suit, probably because I thought it to be more sophisticated. Most of the teachers were men and most had the ability to communicate their subject – some, inspirationally so. RA Dare (right), my form master and subsequent school historian, was one such. Our Latin master, Mr Hutchins, had a ramrod‐straight back and a silvery clipped moustache to match his clipped accent. He concentrated his attention on the few boys who intuitively took to the subject. His moustache twitched slightly on one occasion when one boy (swat!) correctly translated a piece of Caesar as: “What are we, mice or men?” A voice at the back said: “Mice.” Another voice said: “Speak for yourself, Harris.” Our maths teacher was WEP Jones, a diminutive and gentle Welshman who wore pince‐nez. He was considerably deaf and we would play him up by twanging a nail file on the top of our wooden desks. He would invariably turn to the nearest culprit and say: “Who is that stupid boy, Pryke?” Talking of maths, this was my worst subject. I was at Owen’s when the GCE was introduced. Prior to that, one had to pass all subjects at one go under the previous School Certificate exam; it was no good having a distinction mark in French if you failed in geography – you’d flopped the lot. So I was rescued from a lifetime of academic failure when this new exam, with its modular structure, came along. Even so, I had to sit mathematics five times under the new system, which originally divided the subject into arithmetic, algebra and geometry. On the fifth attempt a paper on the history of arithmetic was introduced as an option to one of the three previous papers. Passed, with eternal thanks to the masters led by Mr Baker (the rowing coach) who quite voluntarily crammed myself and a couple of other numerical numbskulls outside school hours. One punishment for misdemeanours was to spend detention doing “Little Tots” – adding up column after column of figures. With my numerophobia I found this to be particularly arduous. The ball point pen had only just been introduced, let alone the calculator. Other characters coming to mind are Mr Winkworth our English grammar master, a large man with a ruddy complexion and goatee beard, whose side line was to write stories for such comics as “Hotspur”. Mr Smith the English literature master who was a contributor to “Punch” magazine. The Reverend Tubby Turner, his round face and portly corporation bestowing his sobriquet (as he would have put it). The Dickensian School Beadle (in reality the caretaker) Mr Rockcliffe (see left). And his wife, who would provide comfort and a mug of sweet tea to any boy feeling physically under par; the onset of puberty was stressful for some. And Sally, the fair‐haired, pale‐ complexioned lab assistant. Two Italian boys suddenly landed in the class. The Berti Brothers. How they got there is a mystery. They had no word of English. When miming to us how to ask for permission to go to the loo, we gave them the rudest Mr Rockcliffe—The Beadle words to utter. It had no effect, as the master could not understand a word of what they were trying to say. One of them stabbed me on the back of my hand with a set of darts he produced from nowhere when I refused to give him some chewing gum. Apologies – such trivia! Forgive an elderly Owenian, but I am trying to give a flavour of what life was like. Page 21 of 30
As in any collection of people – school, office, barrack room or ocean cruise – there is the obnoxious one. Ours was a chap called Turner. Tall, gangly, fair‐haired and loose‐lipped, he was a procurer and purveyor of pornography (no doubt naively mild by today’s standards). He was grossly and racially insulting to a Sri Lankan temporary teacher and would have been prosecuted today. We had to travel by public transport to the sports field at Whetstone and on one occasion he made obscenely suggestive comments about a middle‐aged woman sitting next to one of the boys. She complained to the Headmaster. We were collectively interrogated. Nobody squealed. I heard later that Turner had been killed in a car crash. Yes, Whetstone. Chandos Avenue by 609 or 659 trolley bus. Their swift acceleration tended to leave one’s recently swallowed school dinner further back in one’s stomach than was comfortable. We had the option of travelling by Underground from the Angel station, where the entrance was then in City Road. Some boys chose to descend by the never‐ending spiral emergency staircase, which gave access to the platform without a ticket having to be purchased. What to do with the cash doled out for our fare was a matter of individual conscience, or lack of it. Sporting activity was plentiful. Cricket or tennis in the summer. Football or rowing in the winter. I opted for rowing. The oars of our eight, which Mr Baker took no time in informing us were properly termed “blades”, terminated in bright red with a black arrow pointing to the tip. Very stylish. The hands of the clock (a very fine product from neighbouring Clerkenwell) over the porch of the Angel school were similarly designed as black arrows. One attraction of rowing was that on the bank opposite to Putney, our rowing venue, was the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith where I and my best chum sometimes found ourselves watching a matinée performance. Reg Tricker, football coach, was happy as he thought we were rowing. Butch Baker thought we were playing football. So many memories come back after sixty years. Mr Secretan, the Bursar, with his rhinophyma (a bulbous red nose, reminiscent of Punch) and the most boring magic lantern show of his trip to Canada where mile after mile of prairie disported a giant flour silo displaying the family name. “Booboo” Davison, the gentle Irish art master who had to learn to draw with his left hand after his right hand had been slashed by a Hun bayonet in WW1; who would duck if an eraser were thrown across the room – no doubt reacting to the memory of flying bullets. Sitting with him upstairs in a teashop opposite Westminster Abbey whilst he explained its architectural growth. The memory of morning assembly is with me like a tattoo. Catholics and Jews sat outside in the corridor as a simple matter of course. The hymns we sang, words and music, echo still. We had two exceptionally talented pianists: Colebourne, who played Beethoven’s sonatas with the greatest facility and “Dell” Barclay, a naturally gifted jazz pianist. (Boys were usually known by their surnames only). Music loomed large, with an annual visit from the concert pianist James Gibb and orchestral concerts conducted by Guy Warrack. Trips to the Astoria Finsbury Park (later renamed The Rainbow) to hear symphony concerts. Page 22 of 30
Theatrical productions were always a welcome event. A particularly memorable production was that of “Topaze” by Marcel Pagnol, in French. One character (Peter Keggie) wore a false beard. He was required to light a cigarette (Oh!). For authenticity he smoked a Gauloise, to be lit with an unreliable French match. Of course, the beard caught fire. No harm was done but he got a warm round of applause. I rehearsed my part in front of a mirror in my bedroom, parting my hair in the middle and sticking on a false moustache. Then I concentrated on my homework. Mother called me down to dinner. My aunt, on one of her visits, was sitting at the table. I’d forgotten about my make‐up and thought she was trying to be funny when she asked my mother who the new lodger was. As the school was so near to Sadler’s Wells Theatre, I spent many years as an extra in various productions there, earning five shillings a time. Appearing in “Tosca”, “Faust”, “Cav & Pag”… so often was an education by total immersion and gave me an intense desire to follow a career in this direction. Family support was inclined towards more conventional bread‐winning; grants for the arts were so few as to be non‐existent. However, in 1952 National Service called. So, two years were spent with the Royal Artillery in Northern Ireland. Time in the school’s Honourable Artillery Company cadet force took away some of the shock of being plunged into an alien existence. In retrospect, the experience was beneficial; a complete cross‐section of society was opened up. I spent some time teaching young, married six‐footers from the Gorbals and young men from other deprived areas to read and write. A humbling experience and a sad reflection on aspects of the educational system even then. So, back to civilian life. I qualified as a Chartered Secretary and found myself holding directorships in various companies, starting with the record business but mainly with companies connected with the retail motor industry. Now in my eightieth year, I still attend board meetings of that industry’s trade association. My son earns his living in a commercial world unfamiliar to me – stock market settlement systems – but his two little daughters are delightfully part of my world. My daughter is a journalist, recently married to a sheep farmer in Ireland. (As I said at their wedding, a good example of Town and Country planning). One highlight after leaving was to fortuitously meet my old French mistress, Maud Cast, with whom my wife and I became friendly. She lived with her brother and sister in a Decimus Burton House in Tunbridge Wells. Her brother, Jesse Dale Cast, had his studio there and his portrait of Maud resides in Tate Britain. My farewell to the old Owen’s School was shortly before it was demolished. Looking shabby, the holy main door (not to be used by ordinary bods) bore the nameplate of accountants and the ordinary mortals’ door (known by us as the Armoury Door) displayed that the Knowledge School of Cab Driving was therein. Abuse of the elderly. But better memories prevail. Thank you, Dame Alice.” Page 23 of 30
BRIAN WILKINS—LEFT 1955 Thanks to Mr Brian Wilkins for explaining how he has been happily living in Canada for the last 48 years with his wife Silvia. They often reminisce about school days, their first jobs and living in the north of Scotland. For example, he remembers his father taking him to the interview at Owen’s in the summer of 1948. The interview was presided over by Head, Walter Lucius Garstang (right). He has many memories of Owen’s and recalls “Some like rowing stand out.” He has included a couple of photographs (with thanks again!)—one below taken in 1953 at Kew Bridge, “Orowan was the cox and I was at number 6, two behind Lippet at stroke.” He says, “This photograph along with the 1954 school photograph (about 2 ft 6 ins wide) hangs on the wall of my den.” He also thinks it would be nice to contact old school mates. If anyone would like to contact Brian, please email [email protected]
and we will forward your details.
“I left Owen’s summer 1955. By September 1961 I had received from London University my BSc (Eng) Metallurgy and PhD Physical Metallurgy. In October 1961 I married Sylvia and together we went to Thurso, Caithness, Scotland to work at the Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment. It was exciting work and the local countryside was spectacular and very different from the London area. Three years later I began looking for other opportunities and had some irons in the fire. Unknown to me Atomic Energy of Canada Limited was building the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment and a new town (Pinawa) for its staff. In the spring of 1964 AECL out of the blue offered me a job at WNRE. Sylvia and I wanted to experience North America. On the other hand we were not at all sure we wished to emigrate to Canada. The job offer was generous and in the November with our new son Simon (20 months) we sailed from Liverpool to Montreal. There we boarded the Canadian (the transcontinental train that ran from Montreal/Toronto to Vancouver) and 33 hours later we arrived in Pinawa, just west of the Ontario boundary.
Page 24 of 30
Pinawa was still in the throws of construction. It along with the scenery (fir trees, rock outcrops and lakes), the extreme temperatures from minus to plus 40 C, the winter snows, the wild life (bears, wolves, deer and even moose), the insulated houses etc was quite a culture shock. It was a fabulous experience. However we were quite certain we were going to return to England in a year or so. Pinawa turned out to be a wonderful place to live. It is on the edge of a resort area on the Winnipeg River surrounded by the Boreal Forest. Yet Winnipeg (population greater than 650,000) is only 65 miles away, 90 minutes by road. Almost 48 years later we are still living in Pinawa. And our three children and eight grandchildren are scattered across Western Canada.” BRIAN CHEETHAM—LEFT 1958 Thanks to Mr Brian Cheetham for being inspired by our Old Owenians Newsletter to send us this great article. “Quite by chance and I really cannot remember why, a few days ago I decided to Google «Owen’s School» and eventually found my way to the latest Old Owenians Newsletter. Fascinating stuff but imagine my amazement when I got to page 22 and saw a picture of myself performing in Twelfth Night. I was playing Feste the Jester, second from the left. That brought back many pleasant memories for me as did the articles on the intake of 1950 of which I was a part. Incidentally I still have the school photos of 1951 and 1954. I left the school in 1958 and was head of Myddelton House and school captain of cricket in my last term. I carried on playing cricket with the Old Boys until I left London in 1965. Because of my age (I was slightly younger than the rest of my year) I managed to avoid having to do national service. I can’t remember exactly the situation but I was certainly in one of the first groups to be exempted. I left school with fairly mediocre «A» levels and hadn’t a clue about what I wanted to do. I managed to get a place at what was then Chelsea College of Science and Technology which was attached to the University of London. This later became part of the University of Surrey in Guildford. I was studying Botany with Zoology and Chemistry. After two very boring years I finally gave up the botanical ghost and went to work as a technician in the Helminthology Department (Parasitic worms!) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine assisting the Professor and Reader in their research and preparing teaching materials for post‐graduate courses in tropical medicine, which I was also encouraged to attend. Parasitic worms were to play an important part in my life for the next ten years. Career progression in an academic environment depends unfortunately, on the regular demise of those in office and I took the opportunity of joining the pharmaceutical industry when it arose. At Pfizer, I became responsible for the day‐to‐day running of antischistosome primary screens. I assisted in the pre‐clinical development of an active compound, eventually being responsible for the completion of the clinical programme in Africa and S. America, and the compilation of the clinical section of a successful submission to the Committee on Safety of Medicines and a visit to Buckhouse to receive the Queen’s Award to Industry! Having developed a successful drug, the company then discovered that the people for whom it was intended had no money to pay for it and the department was closed! I was then asked to go to Belgium by the company to help set up the European Clinical Research Department in Brussels. I became the Principal Clinical Research Assistant for Benelux and Switzerland of a European project team responsible for the planning and execution of all Central Research Clinical Programmes with new cardiovascular compounds including the selection of investigators; setting up of studies; preparation of supplies and agreement of budgets; the monitoring of studies with collection and review of data prior to computerisation; the preparation of draft study reports suitable for publication and or submission to a regulatory authority and the supervision and training of new staff. After 14 years in Brussels, the company wanted me back in the UK but I was head‐hunted by a Swiss company and moved to a Clinical Research Organisation based in Zug in Switzerland; first as Director of Cardiovascular Studies and later as Director of Quality Assurance. I was responsible to the Chief Executive Officer for ensuring that all clinical research conducted by the company worldwide was in accordance with the highest standards of Good Clinical Practice. Page 25 of 30
In 1994 I was head‐hunted again, this time by a French company and moved to Paris as Senior Director of Quality Assurance. In the year 2001 I was made redundant for “Economic reasons” but I remained in France and formed my own Quality Management Consultancy. I have now officially retired but I still do some consultancy work. It helps the brain to keep ticking over. As far as my private life is concerned, my wife and I will be celebrating our Golden Wedding anniversary later this year. Incidentally Colonel Stewart Grant was best man at our wedding and Brigadier Geoffrey Ransby was a great friend to us both but we have seen neither of them since the post‐school days. We had two daughters, the elder now has a son but the younger of the two girls suffered from Type 1 diabetes and died from the complications a few years ago. Music has played a big part in my life. I played the piano, organ and virginals rather badly but my main interest has been choral singing and here in Paris I am member of the choir at the American Cathedral. I am particularly interested in the music of the renaissance and the baroque. Mr Cheetham is happy for those that remember him, to contact him via his email address: [email protected]
if they would like to get in touch. LES GIBBINGS—LEFT 1971 Thanks to Mr Les Gibbings for his second contribution, following on from our December edition! He declares it is written without malice and with great affection on his part and hopes it makes us (yes!) and others smile a little. “The journey back into the past that I took myself on for the last issue had me thinking hard about some of the other ‘characters’ who crossed my path in those far distant corridors of knowledge....staff as well pupils. There was so much to choose from that I began to wonder if I was unusual in finding so much humour and eccentricity or whether Owens’s had a bigger concentration of ‘odd‐bods’ as it were during my time there than many other schools. Take the most worthy study of Latin for example...I think I studied it for four years and had about as much ability at the end as I had at the beginning. The problem is it has haunted me for most of my life as I struggle vainly and pretty hopelessly to translate quotations wherever and whenever I come across them and feel anguish that I never really succeed. But then I was not part of the sort of ‘swot’ team of budding Oxbridge elites that crammed out those classical lessons in ...was it room 7 on the ground floor? Who must I thank for this appalling legacy you may wonder...well his name was Mr R. Glasgow!! I bet there are one or two of you who may read this who will undoubtedly smile at the reading of that name. A tallish and incredibly amiable man who was a keen rower (but I never held that against him or let it negatively influence my view of him strangely enough) and who yet managed to inhabit a closet world of perpetual declension and translation. He was nicknamed (old) ‘stone face’, thereby reflecting the pupil’s ability to apply a literal Dickens interpretation to his most obvious external appurtenance and who would frequently be seen moving across the quad, always seeming to be on the cusp of turning a brisk walk into a slow trot with his leather briefcase either clutched to his manly bosom or being dragged behind and fighting for priority with his ragged gown as it fluttered in the wind. A beige coloured blazer completed the ensemble and rather gave the impression that he was just off on a jolly jaunt somewhere....maybe he thought he was! Amongst the most interesting aspects of his teaching style was the fact that he never appeared to ever hear a word anyone said unless it was in answer to a Latin grammar or translation issue. Being a dead loss at translating (unlike the aforementioned Latin ‘swots’ of my year, and who can now be named as Michael Lazar, Michael Silver, Jonathan Milner and Goddard R (...one of twins), of that world then), I would, if called upon to continue the seemingly endless discussion of Caesar’s Gallic Wars, try and say I didn’t know and couldn’t do it but it would be as if I had never spoken. Page 26 of 30
One final aspect of Mr Glasgow’s style (which I suspect Bill Hinds tried on occasion to subsequently borrow to no good or convincing effect) was his endearing trait of throwing small bits of chalk across the classroom at intervals in the direction of no one in particular to try and liven things up. And goodness knows, the lessons needed it!! This was not in any great contrast to the habits of Mr Copping whose unique style for applying boys’ names to things in order to elucidate principles of geometry was described by me last time, but who had an obsession with relating a boy’s ability to understand to having ‘gumption’. He frequently and persistently chose to amplify this by having pictures that had obviously been cut from magazines advertising liquid gumption (I think it was some sort of kitchen cleaner in the days long before Mr Muscle), stuck onto the classroom wall and passed around the boys as if it was something we might purchase to ease our suffering in maths lessons. The laughter he gave us left me permanently disabled in that direction so that I was eminently well‐equipped for one of my roles in later life of managing multi‐million pound capital investment programmes!! Moving on, I was curious to know why the front of the Arrow from the Lent Term 1967 was used to promote the magazine in the last issue (the only reason was that it was an attractively designed cover!) but it was an interesting one, for although I couldn’t lay my hands on my own copy I am as certain as I can be that I have one poem in it, which brings to mind the time that I modestly declined to allow the aforementioned ‘Latin Boffins’ (Robin G being excepted) to use another ditty I had ‘knocked up’ from enhancing another issue. I called it ‘tempus fugit’ and my grandmother, bless her kind soul, thought I was a genius when she heard me recite it. It certainly had a good rhythm and a nice simple idea but I had borrowed a word or two from a pop song that was current at the time. Not wishing to infringe copyright (or get found out by the more knowing and worldly wise which the swot boys weren’t), I was reluctant to hand over a draft to the Arrow Committee reps for my year who I think was Jon ‘Kings College beckoned’ Milner. But even then there were devious ways afoot and he apparently ‘rescued’ my poem from my briefcase when I was in the latrine at break time. I only knew this when I read the poem in the next issue of ‘The Arrow’....still it was only a few words and no one ever noticed. Thinking of creativity and poetry, one guy who stunned me early in my time at the school was Bob Massingham. As I recall Bob was generally a pretty stable and sensitive sort of guy but there was passion deep within him as it turned out. What was a surprise to say the least was that in one of The Arrow issues early in our time at the school, he gob‐smacked me by producing a poem about love and romance and winning a fair lady’s hand. And there was I thinking he had probably never been kissed. It was good but I certainly gave him a wide berth after that as I wasn’t sure about his intentions for a while – a not unusual response for the times. A trend‐setter perhaps as few of the rest of us would go down that sort of literary road for a year or two. Bob’s trend setting didn’t end there either. As many will remember going to the school playing fields in Whetstone for the start of the day was not a warming experience for a few months of the year. On those days, especially from October to February, there would often be a heavy mist or frost over the pitches and the ground would be frozen into ridges of mud. Enter Bob on such days...wearing two shirts and as many pairs of socks as he could probably get on and into his boots and stretching them up over the knees. But that was not all as this was probably a similar outfit worn by many on those cold, cold mornings as after the early lesson in the freezing huts. What made Bob stand out was the fact that he was the first person I had ever seen prepared to go onto the playing field wearing a thick lamb’s wool scarf and matching gloves!! It seemed inconceivable and looked thoroughly ridiculous. Whether someone with Bob’s interest at heart had insisted he wear them or whether he had decided it was the only way to keep warm (he was the type of player who didn’t move around over much as I recall – expecting the ball to come to him so he could toe‐punt it as far and as hard as he could manage) I never knew nor cared to ask, although I suppose I should have enquired why he had omitted a bobble hat from the additional ensemble! But intentionally or not, look who subsequently copied his style and popularised it as being alright to protect yourself from cold weather in matches......Premier league footballers in the early 2000s like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Lauren of the glorious Arsenal FC. So I salute you Bob.
Page 27 of 30
And then there is Mr Bell ‐ nicknamed rather obviously as ’ding‐dong’ which was yelled out by nefarious boys hiding in the dark recesses of the school grounds as he strode across the quad for his lessons in ‘the clown’ – a man who looked like he was in a state of perpetual surprise – accentuated by heavy framed glasses and the most outrageous tan coloured pinstripe suit and that would not have made him look out of place if he had been carrying a violin case by his side and admitted he was employed by the mob. He was also invariably to be seen with a raincoat of a complementary colour that he carried out folded neatly over his arm. Mr Bell was responsible for my latter school pastoral care and religious instruction and he delivered his ‘lessons’ like something akin to a zealot. He was such a target for lively lad’s fertile imaginations that it would often take him half the lesson to get us all in order so he could begin. In order to make progress he would dictate to us so we could take notes. Because of all the delays and interruptions it was no coincidence that he made almost no progress and that my exercise books of the time would begin with the heading ‘Amos’ for week after week. I doubt that he would have adapted well to more modern methods of lesson plans etc as it did seem that he only had one such subject and I did not think he ever finished it. Although, to be fair I believe we had an occasional variation or maybe it was a lapse when he would dictate ‘Ahab’. But as to what either did, despite the repetition I could never even begin to tell you. ....to be continued....maybe!” PROFESSOR JOHN NEOPTOLEMUS—LEFT 1970 Thanks to Professor John Neoptolemos, for giving us permission to publish this distinguished resume of his career and significant contribution to Science.
“Professor John Neoptolemos is The Owen and Ellen Evans Chair of Surgery and Head of the Section of Surgery and Oncology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool and Honorary Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He is the Direc‐ tor of the Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre, which received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2012. He grew up in London attending Stamford Hill Junior School and then Owen’s Grammar School for Boys, at the Angel, Islington in North London. As an undergraduate he studied Natural Sciences and then Philosophy at Cambridge (Cambridge: BA 1973, MA 1976) before completing his clinical undergraduate training at Guys Hospital (Cambridge: MB, BChir 1976). Following housejobs in London he completed his academic and clinical training in Leicester under Prof. Sir Peter Bell, being awarded a Doctorate in Medicine in 1986 for his thesis "Effect of surgery on monocyte function in patients with colorectal cancer". In 1981 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. During this time he spent a year in San Diego, California (1985) with Prof. Alan Hofmann (the famous biliary gastroenterologist) and also Prof. Babs Moossa (an international pancreas surgeon). His education was completed following further surgical training with Prof. Henri Bismuth (HPB) in Paris and Prof. Hans Beger (pancreas) in Ulm. In 1987 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Birmingham, where he refined his clinical and research interests towards pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. In 1990 he became a Reader and then in 1994 Professor of Surgery still at the University of Birmingham. In 1996 he was appointed Professor of Surgery and Head of Department of Surgery, University of Liverpool, and Honorary Consultant Surgeon, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, becoming Head of the Division of Surgery and Oncology in 2004 and Head of the School of Cancer Studies from 2005 to 2010. Page 28 of 30
He now leads one of the most successful clinical and academic surgical programmes in the UK. His specific areas of research are clinical trials of pancreatic cancer; pre‐symptomatic diagnosis and prognostic and biological predictors of treatment response to pancreatic cancer; hereditary and chronic pancreatitis and acute pancreatitis. He has published over 450 research articles many in top Journals such as the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine and has published seven books on the pancreas, pancreatitis and cancer. Professor John P Neoptolemos is also the Scientific Director of the National Institute for Health Research Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit, a Co‐director of the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Director of the Liverpool Cancer Research UK Cancer Trials Unit. (Awards include a Royal College of Surgeons of England USA travelling award (1984); Rodney Smith Prize, Pancreatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1987); Hunterian Professor of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England (1987‐88); Moynihan Travelling Fellowship, Asso‐ ciation of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (1988); Royal Society of Medicine Travelling Professor (USA) (1989) ; British Council sponsored lecture tour of Thai Medical Schools at the invitation of the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand (1990); Honorary membership of South African Gastroenterology Society (1991); Visiting Professor, Medical School, University of Hong Kong (1994); Eybers Visiting Professor, Medi‐ cal School, University of Orange Free State, South Africa (1994); Visiting Professor, Christchurch Medical School, University of Otago, New Zealand (1995); External Examiner, Chinese University of Hong Kong (1996‐1997); Wilson Wang Visiting Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong (1997); Visiting Professor, University of Singapore (1998); Visiting professor University of Heidelberg, (2002); The Hirschberg Award for Pancreatic Cancer – American Pancreatic Association (2005); Honyman Gillespie Lecture, Edinburgh, Scotland (2007); Pearce Gould Visiting Professor, UCL, London, UK (2008). Official professional positions include Council Member of the United European Gastroenterological Federation (1998‐2002) and member of the Scientific Committee (2002‐2009); member of the International Committee of the International Association of Pancreatology (1990 et seq) and President (2000‐2002); Scientific Committee of the European Pancreatic Club (1993‐94), member of Council (1995‐98), Secretary (1997‐2002), President (2002‐2004) and Scientific Committee Representative UEGF (2002 et seq); member of the World Council of the Inter‐ national Hepato‐Pancreato‐Biliary Association (1994‐98); Treasurer and Council of European Digestive Surgery (1995‐2009); Committee member of the Pancreatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (1987‐90) and President (1994‐95); British Society of Gastroenterology Commit‐ tee member of the Pancreatic Section (1988‐91) and the Surgical Section (1991‐93); Committee member of the Surgical Research Society (1995‐98); President of the Liverpool and North West Society of Surgeons (2006‐2007). UK research positions include National Cancer Research Institute, Committee on Upper GI Cancer, Chairman for Pancreatic Cancer (1999 et seq); Medical Research Council Colorectal Cancer Committee (1990‐1996); UK Pancreatic Cancer Trials Group, Chairman (1991‐95); North West Regional Research and Development Biomedical Research Committee (2001‐2); The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng), Advisor to Research Board (2001‐2007); MRC‐RCSEng Clinical Research Fellowships, Joint Panel, RCSEng representative (2001‐2007); Panel of Academic Advisers for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (2007‐2012); Cancer Research UK Science Strategy Advisory Group (2008 et seq); Member, College of Experts National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA) (2008 et seq); DoH Represen‐ tative, Health Innovation Challenge Fund [Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust] Funding Panel Theme 4 [Smart Surgery], (2010 et seq). International research positions include European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC), Co‐secretary (1992 et seq); National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA, NCI Pancreatic Cancer Progress Review Group (PRG) (2000); NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) for Pancreatic Cancer (2002‐3); Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development Referee (2002); advisor to Bundesministe‐ rium für Bildung und Forschung/Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2006 ‐ et seq); Deutsche Krebshilfe Cancer Centres Advisory Board (2006 ‐ et seq); AIRC – Italian Association for Cancer Research Scientific Committee; and finally Member, Scientific Research Committee of the French National Cancer Institute (2010 et seq). He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2007 and has been a Professional Academy Mentor since 2010 and became a National Institute of Health (NIHR) Senior Investigator in 2011 and a member of the NHIR College of Senior Investigators.)
Professor John Neoptolemos still plays racquet ball at Heswall Squash Racquets Club where has been a Committee Member (1999‐2004) and is a strong supporter of Liverpool Football Club although his first club remains the Gunners (Arsenal). He is a keen Ballroom and Latin American dancer at Merrall’s Academy of Dance on the Wirral competing in the Supadance League. Finally Professor Neoptolemos is married to Linda (a mathematics’ teacher) with two grown up children (Ptolemy and Eleni) each with a daughter of their own. JOHN LONGDEN—1922– 2011 We were sad to learn of the passing of Mr John Longden, who left Owen’s in 1940 to join the BBC Outside Broadcast Department as a Junior Maintenance Engineer. He was a “pioneering sound engineer for the BBC and helped organise some of the wartime transmissions by Winston Churchill and King George VI”. His obituary is on: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture‐obituaries/tv‐radio‐obituaries/8911040/John‐Longden.html. Page 29 of 30
And finally… Are you an Old Owenian, local to our school, who perhaps has some time to spare? We’d love someone to join our Old Owenians Team, which meets just once every term, here at the school on a Monday morning for about an hour, to discuss future Old Owenian events, newsletter ideas and how to make sure we continue to spread the news of our 400th anniversary emailing list. “We” are Tim Rayner, Governor (LinkedIn contact), Bill Hamilton‐Hinds, Old Owenian and Administration Officer, (Facebook contact), Mandy English, Communications Officer and Parent, (Newsletter editor and team chair), Ruth Baker, Year 7 Parent (staff interviews), Malcolm Moyse, Parent (Islington Editorials) and Louise Nicolaides (nee Brignull), Old Owenian and Cover Supervisor (emailing list data input). If you’re interested and prepared to voice your views as an Old Owenian, please contact me (Mandy) at [email protected]
or ring me for a chat on 01707 643441 ex 327! Our next meeting is on Monday 21st May, 9‐10am, Balcony Office, Dame Alice Owen’s School. One more date for you to remember! Our annual Harold Moore Luncheon Reunion in London—Monday 29th October 2012—more details will be given in our June Newsletter! Couple of recent quotes for you... ...from a man who’s got his priorities right—one of our Grounds team, Terry Wells: “We’re worried about the cricket pitches in the event of a hosepipe pan...unfortunately when there’s a shortage of water, food has to come first!!!” Probably not according to Director of Sport, Ian Breeze… Here’s hoping for April showers, Terry…. And from a lady who’s had to overcome a colour issue, which others can probably relate to — Old Owenian, Amy Larkin (left 1998 and pictured here, who delivered an excellent Careers Talk on Advertising a couple of weeks ago), told us on seeing girls around the school that, “I took a long time after leaving Owen’s to be able to wear a red jumper!” Who made the cake (front page)?! We asked the fountain of all knowledge, Bill Hamilton‐Hinds, who reliably informed us that Gill Sutcliffe made the celebration cake in 1983. She was Owen’s first cook in 1973 and christened the new kitchens in 1974. Fortunately for us, Gill still has links with Owen’s as she’s responsible for our delicious catering at Visitation each year. Islington People’s Plaques—everyone vote for Dame Alice Owen’s old site! If you remember in our March 2011 Old Owenians Newsletter, Islington Council announced a public vote to identify the top three winners from a shortlist of candidates to commemorate with a People’s Plaque. Dame Alice Owen’s School has again been accepted as one of 12 nominees this year, as it was used as a public air raid shelter during the war, which was very sadly bombed in 1940 and over 100 people died. You can vote for DAOS BEFORE 10TH APRIL on their website: http://www.islington.gov.uk/islington/history‐heritage/heritage_borough/bor_plaques/Pages/peoplesplaques.aspx. We’re up against some tough competition, including Isabella Beeton (she published Mrs Beetons’ Book of Household Management in 1861) and Alexander McQueen, (fashion designer)...let’s see if we can be a winner this year—do it now—it’s a simple one click vote! If you can’t access the web link, try cutting and pasting the address! Once again, if you’d like to keep up to date with current news from Dame Alice Owen’s, you can now subscribe to our RSS news feed by following the link on our website under Latest News. And, remember, if you’d like to contact a fellow Old Owenian, just enquire and we will try to forward your message if they’re on our emailing list. And really finally… Our online Old Owenians community is growing quickly, so apologies if you experience a delay in responding to some of your requests—please bear with us, we’ll get to you eventually! I also hope we have managed to include everyone’s contribution—thank you so much once again for all your articles and correspondence. Our Old Owenians Team very much appreciate your ongoing support and we hope to see some of you at our Old Owenians Coffee and Tour Morning on Saturday 26th May! Mrs Mandy English, Communications Officer P.S. The deadline for our next edition is Friday 8th June, 2012 –send your articles (from a few lines to a couple of pages!) and photos to us at [email protected]
—all welcome! Page 30 of 30