Dear Fellow Old Wolvernian,
It has been a year since I last wrote to you and it has been a busy Old Wolvernian Year, but
before a look back over the last 12 months, two important dates for your diaries:-
1. OWA ANNUAL DINNER, SATURDAY 13th November 2010, City Inn, Birmingham.
Following the great success of the relocated dinner last year, we are again holding our dinnerat the City Inn, Birmingham.
Those of you who missed last year’s dinner may like to know that we had a good turnout across the full spectrum of leaving years, with attendees from Sebright, Heathfield Prep and Heathfield at the dinner. City Inn provided us with the best banquet food we have had in a very long time and all their staff were so accommodating. I can highly recommend that you come along and enjoy a wonderful evening of friendship and humour, reminiscences and re-acquaintance with your school pals.
Already we know of the following OWs who are contacting their peers to attend the Dinner:-
Graham Herbert (Sebright 1957)
Godfrey Fowler (Sebright 1950)
Roger Parkes (Sebright 1958)
Don Cox (Sebright 1952)
Richard Dunn and David Hanby (Heathfield 1984)
George Haywood and Nina Burkett (1985)
Russell Crowe and Anna Constantinou (Heathfield 1987)
Eric Keeble and Julia Rees (Heathfield 1983)
Andrew Constantinou (Heathfield 1982)
Simon Cross and Rob Braithwaite (Heathfield 1981)
Vicki Burrows (nee Stack, Heathfield 1996)
Simon Waldron (Heathfield 1998)
Richard Jackman, Stewart Purton, Rob Wassell etc.etc.. (Sebright the “Sixties!”)
If you would like to contact any of these Year Organisers or indeed find your Year for the dinner, please contact me so I can pass on details to you. Please use the enclosed blue form for your ticket applications and note that the closing date is November 11th.
The timings are 730pm for Champagne reception and 8pm for dinner, carriages from 1130pm, hotel bar open until the very small hours (I am told at least 430am last year!).
I hope to see you on the 13th November 2010 for what I know will be another very enjoyable
Those of you who have to travel, or who decide to make a weekend of the evening, will be
impressed by the 238 spacious rooms, all with excellent facilities with iMac computers,
complimentary wi-fi, Skype, Sky, luxurious linen, power showers and 24-hour room service.
Arrive early from 8am or leave late subject to availability when booking.
You’ll be even more impressed by the discounted Accommodation Rate of £60.00 per single or
£70.00 per twin or double room, including vat and breakfast. Please phone the hotel
reservations direct on 0121 643 1003 quoting “OWA”.
To check out the hotel, the accommodation, travel routes etc. etc.. please visit
2. HEATHFIELD 50th ANNIVERSARY, 14th MAY 2011
The School will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of Heathfield School in May 2011. Please put this date in your diary so you are able to join us for a weekend of celebration.
At this stage the weekend is likely to involve a Golf Day, Commemoration Service, Luncheon in the Grounds at School with other arrangements to be advised shortly.
We will be writing to you with an itinerary and all the details nearer the time, but in the
meantime please keep the date free for a weekend of School and OW (of all vintages) celebrations.
For your convenience you will very shortly be able to apply to the Chapel Fund via our website
The OW Committee recorded a vote of thanks to Denys at our AGM in November 2009 to thank him very much for all his hard work as Chairman of the Chapel Fund.
FURTHER DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
* Remembrance Service 2010
Being held at Wolverley High School at 5pm on Saturday 13th November 2010 to
commemorate those OWs that have fallen in conflicts from the First World War to present day. Please feel free to come along and pay your respects, whether or not you can also make the Dinner afterwards.
* AGM 2010
The AGM – your chance to have your say about the Organisation and it takes place immediately prior to the Dinner at the City Inn, Birmingham at 18:15hrs, Saturday 13th November 2010.
* Golf 2011 Friday 13th May 2011, is the date for your diaries for golf and dinner, or just dinner. The course is due to change to a new venue, and this will be notified to you shortly. Would all Golfers kindly phone the Secretary or email email@example.com to register an interest or to notify us that you are a golfer. I understand that the levels of players vary greatly, so all standards are welcomed! This will be an ideal start to the 50th Anniversary Celebrations on Saturday 14th May.
* Garden Party 2011
Returning to its usual date, after this year’s postponement due to the building works, the
Garden Party at Heathfield will be Saturday 2nd July 2011.
Peter Hughes, Fenny Compton, Warks visited Hugh Henniker-Gotley in early 2009 in
Codford St Mary and writes that the sitting room had many Sebright memorabilia including a
sketch of Mr Henniker-Gotley, an aerial view of Sebright School circa 1964, a painting of
Heathfield and a portrait of the Knight family that Mr R A Henniker-Gotley had bought at an
auction. There was also a Birds Egg collection that had come from the Tomkinson’s conservatory. All items that reminded Peter of the happy days he had spent at Sebright.
Reunion of 1983
Knowing that Catherine Holman (nee Herbert) lives too far away to make the Annual Dinner,
the Year of 1983 organised a meal to coincide with Catherine’s visit to the UK from Perth,
Australia earlier this summer.
They found almost all of their year using Facebook, discovering a fair proportion of contemporaries now living in the States but finding many others much nearer to “home”. They achieved a turnout of 26 for a reunion meal held at the Lyttelton Arms, Hagley in July. Several people had not been seen since leaving school in 1983 and a loud and lively evening of wine, food and much laughter was enjoyed by all. Everyone decided no one had changed at all despite the intervening 27 years – so all left with their egos suitably comforted! If you are planning a reunion and want assistance tracking down OWs please contact the
Vicki Burrows (nee Stack, Heathfield 1986) has set up an Old Wolvernian Association Facebook page which includes the Annual Dinner, thank you Vicki; we would like to use this as a major form of electronic contact with our members. If you have an email address would you register on www.facebook.com – it’s free to do so and then join the Old Wolvernian Association page.
You’ll also be amazed by how many of your contemporaries you can find on here! (The 1983
Reunion Organisers rated it very highly).
OW Association Committee
The Committee is very keen to recruit additional members; we’d be really grateful if you can
commit to joining the OWAC for a total of four meetings a year. We would really appreciate
your help and more Committee members are desperately needed. Please do not be deterred by the “Committee” word – it is a fairly informal affair and they more idea-meetings than anything else! Please contact us if you think you can join and help us or perhaps have a skill that you can offer.
Please remember to use our website. I’m indebted once again to Richard Jackman for all his work in administering the site and making sure it is up to date. If you have photos from school we’d be grateful to receive these electronically (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send them recorded delivery to the Secretary in the post – with your name and address – and we’ll scan them and return the originals to you by the same safe method.
We are progressing well with our work on the database; we are still anxious to have your email addresses and in the not too distant future we should be in a position to email you newsletters and reminders. If you haven’t sent us your email address or need to update it, you can do so via the website or by emailing email@example.com
The GCSE results were excellent once again. 100% passed with 96.4% gaining A* – C including Maths, a Science & English. In the Daily Telegraph tables we came 297/435 in the list of Independent Schools which forwarded data. 48% achieved A* – A (46% in 2009). Six of the mathematicians took advanced Maths and achieved four As, one B and one C.
A new classroom block is being built at Heathfield with 5 classrooms and library for junior pupils, it will be open for January 2011. This is the exciting beginning of a phased plan of development at Heathfield aimed to replace the portacabin styled classrooms that many of you will recall.
In Thailand, Heathfield International School of Bangkok has recruited 18 new pupils and the roll is just over 200. There were no pupils taking IGCSEs this year. It has recently opened a new teaching block with three floors including two science labs, a computer suite, a library and more than 20 classrooms.
In October 2010 a party of 12 pupils and two staff from Heathfield International School
Bangkok are visiting Heathfield when a range of cultural, education and fun activities are being planned. Roger Brierly, Headmaster says “The pupils will be hosted by our families which will give them a very good experience, I hope!”
Roger reports that the School is excited about celebrating its 50th Anniversary next year and
welcoming back past pupils and those of the Sebright generations to join in the celebrations.
The OWA send their congratulations to all of the Year of 2010 for their wonderful achievements.
Welcome to 2010s
We are pleased to welcome the year of 2010 to the OWA: Thomas Bardsley, Katherine Beddows, Eliza Bradley, Jack Bravo, Georgina Broad, Emily Brown, Oliver Bushnell, Sebastian Bushnell, Jack Cockram, Leah Cleaver, Ben Cox, Daniel Cox, Joshua Dunn, John Featherstone, Jessica Harris, Eve Hickling, Alexander Hills, Jonathan Mackay, Georgia McKinley, William Molony, Eloise Parkinson, Katie Poolton, Jonathan Sidaway, Amelia Smith, Philip Strongman, Abigail Swaffield, William Teece and Daniel White.
To India Morris who has been appointed Captain of School, Year of 2011 and to Henry Wright and Jack Simmonds who are Vice Captains of School.
DO YOU KNOW?
Andy Sayner, the youngest son of Sgt Major Tom Sayner BEM is anxious to put together as
much detail of his father’s life as possible. Andy writes “I used to spend a lot of time in my
school holidays at Bury Hall and the Armoury and wondered if you would ask your members if they would e-mail me with any stories / anecdotes they remember from my Father’s long time at Sebright. Hope you can help”. Andy can be contacted on Sayandy@aol.com; on 01952 814 551 or via the Secretary.
Andy has very kindly sent me the following information that he has already gathered about his father’s career. “Tom was in charge of the CCF at Sebright for over 30 years commencing in 1936 when he left the regular army having served since 1914 when he enlisted at the age of 18 to fight on the Somme.”
From a Birmingham post article, which was published when Tom retired in 1966; (the full article has been posted on our website), we are told that “The biggest moment of Tom’s school life was in 1959, when there was a parade at which Lieutenant-General Sir John Eldridge presented him with the BEM which he had been awarded in the New Year’s Honours List”
Andy tells me: “My only connection with the school was during long summer holidays when,
as a young boy, I spent most of my days with Dad in the Armoury at Bury Hall cleaning rifles!”
I hope you will be able to help Andy in his quest, and if you are, would you copy in the Secretary so that I can publish your reminiscences in the next Newsletter.
DOWN MEMORY LANE….
I am grateful to David Flack (Sebright 1961) for the following account:
“I did enjoy the reminisces in your last newsletter, and I thought you might like a flavour of
the 1950/60s. I still have a number of “The Wolvernian” magazines which were published at the end of each term. My Valete from the summer of 1961 reads: “D.J.Flack. 1954-61. Day Boys House (Prefect). C.C.F. 1957-61. L/Cpl. Artillery Classification. Camp 1958. 1st XI Cricket 1960-61. Hon Secretary and Full Colours 1961. Worcestershire Junior Schools XI 1959. Lilleshall Coaching Course 1959. 2nd XV Rugger 1960. School Swimming Team 1958-59. Life Saving Society 1959, Bronze Medal. 2nd Running VIII 1961. G.C.E. “O” level 1959 (7 passes). G.C.E. “A” level 1961. U.VI. Biology, English, Geography.”
From this you will see that sport tended to dominate, sometimes to the detriment of my academic achievements it must be said. Cricket was my forte. I captained the U13s, U14s and Colts. Before each match I had to present the selected team to the Headmaster, R A Henniker-Gotley, for his signature of approval before I could pin it up on the notice board. He would usually ask how I felt about our chances and I would respond by saying that we were hopeful of success. Looking back I think that was a rather nice custom.
What really caught my attention when reading my Valete was the reference to the Running VIII. I hated cross country running. But at that time the Day Boys’ House was pretty useless at sport. So when it came to the inter- house cross country race I made a monumental effort “for the House”. I ran the race of a lifetime and finished around 9th or 10th I think. The result was that I got selected for the school team. Thanks a bundle!”.
David, thank you for giving us a flavour of the 1950/60s. I remember Mr Henniker-Gotley attending founder’s day after his retirement when I was at Heathfield; he, his wife and the dog would come for the weekend and camp in the school grounds.
Mohamed Dawood, (Sebright 1968), firstname.lastname@example.org, emails “I went to Blundells School in 1998 to look the school over for my son, sadly Clive Gimson had passed away by then but did see a splendid portrait of him in the Library.
I think those of us circa 1966 to 1968 who lived at Knight House, lived very well indeed; the
food was exceptional except for Wednesdays when we had a cold dinner! I still remember
Cook’s excellent apple crumbles etc.etc.. We dined like gentlemen in the house when Mr Sinker was Housemaster and Mr Weir his deputy.
Some of us, as volunteers, planted the forest that is now at the roadside. My 1966 school photo showed a total roll of about 120 male pupils. I keep in touch after our reunion in Capetown with Joe, Saliem and other the Khans. My contact is M.Dawood, 9256 Sect 2, Taman Indah, Padang Jambu, Malacca, Malaysia.
Best wishes to one and all and if anyone is visiting Malaysia please contact me.”
Keith “Bod” Harrison (Heathfield 1980), has relocated from Jersey to Queensland (5,
Midwood Court, Samford Valley, Queensland 4520, Australia; email@example.com).
Bod, the nickname Keith acquired at School, has stayed with him throughout his
working career! Bod sends his regards to Adrian Crump, Chris Harris and all that
remember him and is enjoying semi-retirement in the Queensland sunshine with his
wife Sharon and their dog.
The OW Committee send their grateful thanks to David Reynolds for representing the
Association at the Annual Dinner of the Old Elizabethan’s Association earlier this year. We all also send David our good wishes to a continued recovery from his triple heart bypass this
Prof. Godfrey Fowler OBE (Sebright 1950) has written to the Secretary expressing his
interest in attending the 2010 Annual dinner – it will be the 60th Anniversary of his leaving
Sebright. Godfrey’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join
him and other 1950 peers. His has three younger brothers, Neville, Timothy and Andrew, all
of whom are OWs, whom he also hopes to encourage to the Dinner. Godfrey won an Open
Scholarship to Oxford to read medicine and when Mr Henniker-Gotley announced his achievement in assembly he also announced the whole school would have a day’s holiday in celebration!
Don Cox (Sebright 1952) was at the 2009 dinner and signing copies of his excellent book,
“Finding Moses”, an archaeological adventure into great museums, journeys into the searing
Sinai, Negev, the Delta and finally to the burial place of Moses”, which I have greatly enjoyed
reading. My thanks to Don too for remembering his camera – his pictures from the dinner are
on our website.
Maurice Pound (Sebright Day Boy 1941 -1948) kindly writes that he has cherished the receipt of the magazine and newsletters and as a result has been able to put some old boys in touch with each other. Maurice can be contacted on email@example.com. We also hope that Maurice managed to make contact with his peer Dougie W Pound?
Congratulations to Anna Bentley (nee Constantinou, Heathfield 1987) who married Andy
on the 26th February this year!
Also to Michael Whiteman-Haywood (Heathfield 1984) who married Claire on 27th June
And to Jonathan and Samantha Herbert (Heathfield 1985) on their nuptials!
Ms Lara Reynolds, Granddaughter of David John Reynolds (Sebright 1940) would be thrilled
to hear from any of her Grandfather’s contemporaries and receive any copies of photos from
David’s period at school. Lara’s daughter was playing hockey against Heathfield recently
when she left her request with the school for us. Please forward any information to the Secretary.
In the Wolvernian Know
Andrew Thomas of Malvern is researching Worcestershire County Cricket players who fell in
WWI and WWII Cedric Alfred Humphries was at Sebright until 1932, being a Senior Prefect,
Captain of Cricket and of Rugby Football and Sergeant-Major in the Corps. After Sebright he went up to Downing College, Cambridge to study Modern Languages and Geography. His illustrious cricketing, and Rugby, careers were well documented in both the Wolvernian
Magazines including an Ode starting “Cedric was our Captain” and in The Griffin (the Downing College magazine). By family inheritance and tradition he was a cricketer, and he made a top
score (62) in the Freshman’s College Match at Downing in 1933. He held a notable cricketing record “but it is less significant in itself that the recollection of the modesty, good humour, and faultless sportsmanship which went with it.” Whilst at Downing Cedric was both Secretary and Captain of the Cricket Club. In 1934 Cedric was chosen for Worcestershire and made a top score of 41 not out again Lancashire and 44 against Cambridge University. “To see him play an innings, particularly in a loosing battle, was to understand that cricket may truly be a mirror of character, if not of life”. For rugby, Cedric had College Colours and became in 1933, after trials, a reserve for the North Midlands. He was also a member of the Hawks Club.
After going down in 1935 Cedric taught at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester and joined his County regiment as a Captain. He was killed in action on 18th November 1944, aged 30, in Holland, when a stray shelled killed Capt. Humphries and 2nd Lt. Oxland who were in a slit trench. One of the last things he wrote home was “’Tisn’t life that matters; ‘tis the courage you bring to it.” Cedric is commemorated on the war memorial plaques at Sebright. Cedric had two brothers who also played for Worcestershire County Cricket Club.
If anyone has any details of the Cedric or his brothers, especially in regards to their cricketing careers, the Secretary would be very pleased to receive this and post them onto Mr Thomas. (Those at Sebright in the early 60s will remember nephew Cedric Humphries who was in Woodfield House)
Mrs Jill Glover from Brisbane, Australia, was researching the early life of her late husband
Dallas Michael Glover (Sebright 1950). We know that Dallas came from Wombourne where
his parents had a public house. We have discovered that Dallas entered Sebright, Bury Hall,
in September 1946 and left in December 1948. Does anyone have any recollections of Dallas and if so would they kindly contact Jill (firstname.lastname@example.org)and copy in the Secretary, or if you do not have email, please call me. Thank you.
Mr Alan Audsley, whose brother in law was Clive Gimson, Headmaster of Sebright, had written to the Headmaster describing how he had designed and fabricated and donated the
Crown Of Thorns, overhead light and Cross suspended over the altar in the Chapel at Sebright School. Mrs Audsley had donated the Communion Cruets and the Processional Cross that he also made was donated by the OWA. Mr Audsley was anxious if the items he donated were no longer of relevance in the School life, if he could acquire them. The Secretary was grateful to the Headmaster in his research into this matter for Mr Audsley and in being able to confirm that the items are in regular use, as Wolverley School is now a Church of England Secondary School.
Mr Audsley’s letter also informs us that one of Mr Gimson’s pupils, Michael Scott Joynt who
was Head Boy, is now Bishop of Winchester. I have been unable to locate Michael Scott Joynt in the archive and I wonder if anyone can remember him as a past pupil?
REMEMBRANCE SERVICES, WOLVERLEY HIGH SCHOOL, NOVEMBER 2009
Last November your President and Secretary attended a second Remembrance Service at Wolverley High School on the 11th November at 11am.
Phil Rose, Humanities team leader, at Wolverley, organised this event following a visit he
made with the Year 10 history GCSE group, to the First World War battlefields in Ypres and
the Somme, in June 2009. They had spent some time researching the details of the ex-Wolverley students who died in battle in the Ypres and Somme regions, and were fortunate to be able to visit the grave stones of four of them.
Poppies were laid and photographs were taken by the students at the graves of:
Samuel Ernest Lloyd (Worcestershire 1st/7th Bn. Died 1916)
Frederick Moore Brampton (King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 1st Bn. Died 1916)
Albert Victor Hipkiss ( Royal Fusiliers. Died 1917)
Edmund Reginald Nickson (Labour Corps. 64th Coy. Died 1918)
Many pupils attended the voluntary service during their morning break and the Hall was
packed. Rev. Geoffrey Shilvock conducted the service and further wreaths were laid.
As usual, the Old Wolvernian Association carried out their own Remembrance Service on the afternoon of the Annual Dinner.
OWA AND HEATHFIELD PARENTS GOLF, 2010
A change of date from May to 24th September 2010 seemed to suit this year’s quality of play with a significant increase in score from the majority of players!! The venue once again was Wharton Park and despite some inclement weather during the week we were treated to a dry day. The honours went to David Williams-Allden (Sebright 1963) with an excellent 38 Stableford points and the only disappointment on the day was that there were very few Old
Wolvernians present to witness such a fine display, something we would like to address next
year in celebration of the school’s 50th Anniversary. If you are a golfer, regardless of standard, and would enjoy a day on the fairways (and perhaps in the bunkers) please do register your interest via the Secretary or on email@example.com
To Victor [Vic]Southall, (Sebright 1951), 102, Gospel Oak Road, Tipton, West Midlands, DY4 0DW, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Westwood, (Heathfield 1975), 3 Hyde Farm Barns, The Hyde, Kinver, West Midlands, DY7 6LS, email@example.com
Nic Breed (Heathfield 1983), firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Berridge Master of Science, September 1961 to July 1965, 20 Linnell Road, Rugby,
Warks, CV21 4AN, email@example.com
Ian Windsor (Sebright 1966) Higher Mithian Farm, Mithian Downs, St Agnes, Cornwall, TR5
Josh Gupta (Heathfield 2012), Bovingdon House, Lawnswood, Stourbridge, West Midlands,
DY7 5QP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Taylor (Heathfield1973) 12 Word Hill, Harbourne, Birmingham, B17 8TS,
Penny Child (nee Evans, Heathfield 19 ), April Cottage, Mopsons Cross Lane, Callow Hill, Rock, Nr. Kidderminster, Worcs, DY14 9XL, email@example.com
Timothy Waddel (Heathfield 1984), 10463 E Medina Avenue, Mesa, AZ85209, USA,
Rob Braithwaite (Heathfield 1981), Underwood, Homer, Much Wenlock, Shrops, TF13 6NQ,
Geoff Whittle (Sebright 1956), 6 Coronation Cottages, Main Street, Tatenhill, Burton on Trent, DE13 9SF, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Bullock (Sebright 1970), 275 Ridgeway Road, Wodside, CA94062, USA;
Howard Jones, Master of Art, Sebright 1970, email@example.com; Howard would
like to hear from anyone who remembers him.
Stuart Harry Pickford, (Sebright 1963), 3 Hayley Park Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 1EJ, 0121 501 2443, 07801 909 997, Vipulakirt@aol.com. Stuart would like to contact Peter Wade Driver who was in Eric Knight House with him – does anyone have his contact details? If you do, please let Stuart know and the Secretary too please.
Nigel Round (Sebright 1957), 101 High Park Crescent, Sedgley, Dudley, West Midlands, DY3 1QS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Morgan (Sebright 1958), 409-115 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,
Canada, B2Y 4W8, email@example.com
Colin Cronk (Sebright 1957) 49 Harrison Close, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 7HS,
R H Cheshire (Sebright, Bury Hall, 1940s), 414 Heather Street, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8V 2K2. Uncle to John Cheshire, who was at Bury Hall from the late ‘30s to early ‘40s. R H Cheshire
met Dr. William Beeston at his Clinic, called “Sebright Clinic” in Canada. William was R H’s
doctor until he moved away but they remain very good friends. What a small world!
Thomas Edwin Yarnold (Sebright 1956) Passuiwdos, Le Huet, Caden, France, 56220,
Charles Henry Roberts (Sebright 1939), 7 Evenden Road, Meopham, Gravesend, Kent, DA13 0HA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Davies (Heathfield 19??) 64 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7AQ, Scotland,
email@example.com, 07894 951834.
Dave Porter (Heathfield 1982), 138 Worcester Road, Hagley, West Midlands, DY9 0NR,
Emily Seldon (nee Bourne, Heathfield 2004), Mill House, Long Bank, Bewdley, Worcestershire,
DY12 2QT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Berrington (Heathfield 2006), 14 Bernie Crossland Walk, Kidderminster, Worcs,
DY10 1XT, email@example.com
Eloise Parkinson (Heathfield 2010), Lem Hill House, Ranters Bank, Far Forest, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY14 9DU; firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger “Frank” Lane (Sebright 1960) 24 Fairview Avenue, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, LL19 8SE, email@example.com
I am sorry to hear from Chris Berridge that Dennis M Horne, Second Master until 1970 was
in poor health in the Autumn of 2009. I am pleased that we now have Dennis’ contact details
for the database: Harpwood, Seven Mile Lan,e Wrotham Heath, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 7RY
That we still have copies of the Sebright and Stanley Baldwin House Books on CD if anyone is interested. Please contact the Secretary.
I am very sorry to have to inform you of the deaths of OWs whose service and support
were of very great importance to the Schools, the Association and the Trust:-
Mr Alan R Beams 7th October 1933 – 22nd March 2010
It is with great regret that we have to report the death of Alan Beams, the founding
headmaster of Heathfield School.
Alan attended Sebright School as a Day Boy from September 1944 until July 1952, after
which he went to Oxford University where he attained his MA. When the Sebright
Governors decreed that the premises at Heathfield should be used for the establishment
of preparatory school Alan Beams was appointed as the Master in Charge. He thus
achieved the rare distinction of becoming a headmaster before the age of 30.
His success in that post was subjected to its greatest test when the Sebright Governors
decided in the Spring of 1970 that the entire school should be closed. Whilst a vigorous
Action Committee had been formed with a view to preventing the closure (which ultimately
failed) Alan had been quietly chairing a Steering Committee to keep Heathfield open by
establishing a separate trust to take over the school and govern its future operations. The
plan was an ambitious one, as in addition to those pupils who were already in the school,
it retained those who would have moved up into the main school in September 1970.
Additionally, many of those who had moved up to the senior school in September 1969
were also transferred back to Heathfield, so that what had been a preparatory school
became a school taking boys up to their “O” levels at age 16. Thus, under Alan’s
leadership, a newly independent preparatory school was extended to an “O” level school
within two years.
His period of headmastership encompassed a particularly difficult period in the country
generally, which included a large increase in oil prices, a miners’ strike leading to the
3-day week (with regular cuts in the electricity supply), and then a period of very high
inflation. A further difficulty during Alan’s tenure was that within a very short time of the
establishment of the Heathfield Trust the school had to cope with the deaths of two
members of the teaching staff – namely Peter Fellows and John Mitton. It was also the
case in those days that the Trust had very little surplus income. In 1974 Alan became
President of the Old Wolvernian Association.
After retiring from the position of headmaster, Alan subsequently became a trustee of the
school itself, serving in that capacity from February 1984 until March 2002.
Alan died after a short illness and his funeral was held in Chesterfield on 6th April 2010.
The President and the Secretary of the OWA are very grateful to Alan Higgs, Graham
Herbert, Mike and Christine Fellows and Spencer Turner who were able to represent the
School, Trust and Association at Alan’s funeral.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow Pat, his daughter Elizabeth, an Old
Wolvernian, and all their family.
Dr Jack Richmond Baker 15th August 1922 – 27th March 2010
It is with great regret that we also have to announce the death of Dr. Jack Baker. Jack
was a pupil at Sebright from September 1934 until July 1940, boarding at Sebright House.
Subsequently he read medicine at Birmingham.
Jack was a supporter of the Sebright Action Committee and joined the Heathfield Trust in
November 1970 as one of the first members of the Trust.
He become third Chairman of the Trust and steered the school safely through a particularly
difficult time in its history. Jack remained on the Trust until October 2005
Having attended Sebright Jack was an Old Wolvernian but he also served as President to
the Association in 1965 and was a longstanding Committee Member of the OWA. Jack
remained on the Committee until he stepped aside to make space for younger generations
in April 2007. His support and enthusiasm was of particular succour to myself and I was
always so very grateful for this.
A long time supporter of the Association and all its events, Jack was a regular attendee at
the Annual Dinner until very recently. When we opened our doors to include guests, we
were always delighted to welcome his widow, Peggy. Jack and Peggy were often to be
seen at School Founders Celebrations, Prize Giving and the Garden Party. The Science
Prize at School Prize Giving is the Dr Jack Baker award, and has been for some years now.
Both his sons, Philip and Simon, are Old Wolvernians, as is his Grandson, Adam.
When many others would have thought they had “done their bit” and could bow out, Jack
could be relied on for his support and encouragement. It was so important and crucial for
the Association to have Jack to guide us and encourage us in our endeavours to continue
what he had run and supported for so many years before us.
For this he will always be very warmly remembered by the Association, the School and the
Trust. We send our deepest condolences to Peggy, Philip, Simon and all their family.
Jack’s funeral was held at Hagley Church on April 14th. A very great number of Old
Wolvernians were in attendance.
ALSO IN MEMORIAM
Hugh Wyndham Henniker-Gotley, (son of Mr Henniker-Gotley, Headmaster of Sebright)
died on 5th November 2009, suddenly at home, aged 71. He is survived by his
brother Mr Anthony Henniker-Gotley.
Micheal Blunt (Sebright 1968) passed away peacefully at home 10th December 2008.
We were notified in September 2009 by Mrs Jones that her husband David E. Jones of
Claverley has passed away.
Mrs Basterfield has also written to us that sadly Jeremy Basterfield of Halesowen
(Heathfield 1978) passed away on 19th November 2008.
Mr H D G Clayton passed away of Stourport on Severn passed away in 2006.
Mr Bruce Farmer of Brecon, passed away in 2007.
Mr J E C “Eddie” Price Art Master at Sebright until 1965, passed away in May 2009.
I hope you have enjoyed our newsletter and that you might be inspired to drop us a line with
your news or memories for the next edition.
In the meantime I do hope you will be able to make it to the Dinner this year on Saturday
13th November 2010, for who of you who come regularly you will, I’m sure, be pleased
that we are going back to the City Inn; for those of you returning after a break you know it
will be fun, and for those of you (and you know who you are!) who haven’t been before,
come and find out what you have been missing all these years – it really is an excellent
And do please remember to pencil in the 13th and 14th May 2011 for the Celebrations for
Heathfield’s 50th Anniversary, and watch out for your next OW post with all the details.
Kind regards to you,
Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
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