Dear Fellow Old Wolvernian,
Well its been almost 12 months since my last missive, so you must be overdue another one!
Those of you who can’t bear reading through this tome, there are two really important things
for you to do:-
1. Fill in your Dinner 2009 application form
2. And Go to the website www.oldwolvernians.org.uk and fill in your email
address to enable us save the environment and postage and to put your name
into a prize draw for £100.00; hurry though, the prize draw closes on 01.11.09
Now those with more patience, or simply with nothing better to do, please read on…………
We are going to be brave and daring this year and move our dinner to the big City and big Lights of Birmingham, to the City Inn Hotel just off Broad Street in Birmingham. Those of a more mature generation will recall that this is not the first time that we have taken our Annual Dinner to our second capital City. This excellent modern hotel has come up with an incredible credit busting offer for us that is just too good to turn down and all on our traditional dinner date of the second Saturday in November – so its 7.30pm for a champagne reception and an 8.00pm dinner onSaturday 14th November 2009. Put the date in your diary now and please use the enclosed RSVP form ASAP to allow us to confirm our numbers to the hotel in plenty of time. The tickets are priced at £25.00 per head (half price if you are an OW attending your first Annual Dinner) which includes the champagne reception, a gourmet dinner of four courses (vegetarian or other dietary requirements accommodated, please mark the form accordingly) plus coffee and petit fours. We have arranged for any OWs wanting to party on to have guest entry to nearby clubs after the dinner. The hotel’s bar does not close until the very wee small hours (4am-ish) of Sunday morning, so you can just choose to stay put and enjoy the surroundings if you prefer.
All attendees at the dinner will also be entered into our prize draw, so if you’ve already submitted your email address, your odds of success will be doubled. There are two convenient carparks to the City Inn; one belonging to the hotel, the other the adjacent NCP, there is a map on the reverse of your invitation, showing these and the hotel’s location to Broad Street.
Emails: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: OWA c/o Bridge House, Bewdley, Worcs, DY12 1AB
Facebook: Old Wolvernian Association
I have also arranged for (subject to demand) a Woodstones Coach Service to run from a central pick-up point in Kidderminster at 1830hrs with a departure from the City Inn at 1230am with drop offs to the Kidderminster area and terminating at Hoo Farm Industrial Estate. If we have sufficient demand for the coach the return cost per person will be £5.00. If you are interested in the coach service, please fill in the section at the bottom of the dinner form, so that I can confirm if we have sufficient up take and let you know the arrangements accordingly. Those of you who have to travel further, 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 £35.00 per single or £50.00 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 www.cityinn.com/birmingham Enclosed with this Newsletter is the reply slip for booking places at the dinner. Please note that there is a cut off date on the form; so please make sure that you fill it in and return it with your cheque, made payable to the OWA, as soon as possible.
Remembrance Service 2009
Being held at Wolverley High School at 5pm on Saturday 14th November 2009 to commemorate
those OWs that have fallen in conflicts since the First World War. Please feel free to come along and pay your respects, whether or not you can also make the Dinner afterwards.
The AGM – your chance to have your say about the Organisation and takes place immediately prior to the Dinner at the City Inn, Birmingham at 18:15hrs, Saturday 14th November 2009.
Please note the change of date to Friday 18th September 2009 in your diaries for golf and dinner, or
just dinner, at Wharton Park Golf Course, Bewdley. Full details are on the website. If you wish to book a place, please call the President on 07825 746 786 or email the email@example.com
Returning to our usual May slot, the Golf 2010 will be held on Friday 14th May 2010 at Wharton Park
Golf Club. Bookings via the website, please.
Garden Party 2010
Again, please put Saturday 3rd July 2010, 12.30pm to 4pm in your diary for the Garden Party. Full
Details available from the Secretary or via the Website. The OWA hope to again man a stall, please come along and support us, and if you are able to bring along something for the school Tombola.
Annual Dinner 2010
The Dinner will be held on our traditional Saturday of 13th November 2010 all details to be confirmed;
but please mark the date in your diaries to ensure you can attend.
Heathfield 50th Anniversary Ball, to be held in 2011, date to be notified soon!
Vicki Burrows (nee Stack) has set up an Old Wolvernian Association Facebook site which includes the Annual Dinner, thank you Vicki; if you are able to, please join, you’ll find a growing group of OWs there and info about the dinner and whose coming…..
The Committee is looking to recruit additional members; we’d be really grateful if you can commit to joining the committee for a total of four meetings a year; or if this is not possible, perhaps you have a skill or business enterprise that you think can help us in refining or adding to our events, managing our database, promoting the Association? Please contact us if you think you can help out in anyway.
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.
2009 was another very good year academically for the school. 100% of pupils gained 6 or more GCSE’s at A* to C grades including Maths, English and Science and there were some excellent individual results with Henry Morris gaining 7A*s, 3As and A in Additional Maths and Tom Metcalfe, Natalie Brown and Claire Petrie achieving 24 A*s and As between them.
46% of pupils gained either A* or A grade.
Well done the year of 2009!
Heatfield International School, Bangkok
18 new students have started this term at Heathfield International School, Bangkok, with the first two form entry in year 2. The InternationalGCSE results were pleasing. Five students took 24 IGCSEs, 16 were A*-C. The Headmaster Stephen O’Connor expects results to improve year on year. Heathfield,
Wolverley will be welcoming Mr O’Connor to school in December for his first visit.
I’m sure all OWs will be pleased to read that the school continues to go from strength to strength.
Down Memory Lane
I am very grateful to Stewart Irwin for sending me his memories of his time at Sebright 1934 – 1939,
for a second time (as your careless Secretary misplaced the first copy! Stewart, my apologies again!) “On our twice-daily walk up to the main school from Bury Hall through the village we passed Frank’s shop, at the bottom of the hill on the left of the stream. He sometimes used to sell the occasional ‘illicit’ packet of cigarettes. The small post office was up the hill on the right. At the top of the hill was a very large tithe barn, which was destroyed by fire in 1938. We watched some of the conflagration from Bury Hall.
The canal was slightly outside the village, we sometimes used to lean over the bridge and watch the horse drawn barges go by. We had Sunday afternoon walks where we had to report to the Master in charge at a certain point. Otherwise we were free to do our own thing, which included exploring rock houses and skimming our straw boaters from the top of Kinver Edge. We used to look for bird’s nests – collecting eggs was legal then. Occasionally we used to try to catch small fish with a piece of string tied to a stick with a bent pin on the end.
I remember Miss M Barnes, Matron, saying “I’ll be a mother to you laddie”, and thanking GOD that I had a real one at home. I committed the crime of starting a mumps epidemic and had a very enjoyable convalescence in the sanatorium (a corrugated iron building) with a charming nurse. The Matron commented that she supposed that I committed the crime of going to the cinema when on holiday and had picked it up then causing her all this extra work!
Miss Winifred Baker was Miss Barnes’ assistant – a very kind and sympathetic person. I kept in touch with her until she died many years later. She left Bury Hall to become Matron at a big school in Worcester. Sport was limited to Rugby and Cricket. The senior boys could play tennis but there were few facilities. There was no swimming baths, and once we were taken by Mr. Phillips to the river for a swim. I remember seeing a dead sheep float by! I joined the OTC when I was twelve. We wore First World War uniforms with puttees and tried to do arms drill with very large Boer War rifles in the square at Bury Hall. In the far corner of this same square were the only lavatorial facilities for us – very primitive. Anyone who saw Lindsay Anderson’s film IF will have some idea. No doors to the few remaining cubicles – the rest were boarded up and no longer used. The urinals were completely open to the elements.
Improvements were made during my last year and they were moved into the ground floor of the main building – showers were also provided. Maids made our beds and emptied the chamber pots beneath them. A boy from the village came and cleaned our boots.
Amongst my closest friends at Bury Hall were T.E. Bomford, whose parents very kindly used to let me stay at their farm near Pershore for half term holidays – as my home was in Worthing. He was tragically killed at a Point to Point just after the War; having survived service in the Far East. Other close friends were David Shott, G.P. Davies and Nigel Green who eventually became a very good stage and film actor, starring in Zulu, The Ipcress Files and on stage in Shakespeare productions at Stratford.
My brother Richard who was two and a half years older than me was also at Bury Hall. I admired him greatly; he excelled at both sport and lessons. I was no scholar, my main interest being Art and that was not catered for at the school – in fact it was despised. I was also no sportsman – I was very short sighted which didn’t help on the Rugby field, there were no contact lenses in those days. I was no cricketer. One thing I could do was the high jump. My brother’s great friend was Charlie Bennett who became a very successful farmer near Pershore. Food at Bury Hall was terrible. I remember looking at the mould on a quarter of a pork pie and thinking I would have to eat it or the Matron would be annoyed. We also had burnt rice pudding and the most revolting mince – full of gristle.
I left the school just before I was due to take my School Certificate because I had a mastoid operation that left me permanently deaf in one ear. The new Headmaster Henniker-Gotley and his wife were extremely helpful giving my Mother a room and support at this time.
I was at Bury Hall from September 1934 until June 1939. During that time E.A. Jaussen was Housemaster then he was replaced by an unfortunate master who was unable to control the boys. The situation became most unpleasant because the prefects ruled and I will not give further details of what followed. He was eventually replaced by a Mr. Garrard who I liked a lot because he had travelled abroad and was very experienced. He also advised my Mother that instead of staying on at school to take the exam I would be better off leaving and going to the Malvern School of Art. Later he moved on and was replaced by J.A Robinson – a very fair and balanced man who used to try and teach me Latin. I remember Mr. Hancox who taught French and who had a great sense of humour – he introduced me to an American writer, Damon Runyon, and the word antidisestablishmentarianism. I had a difficult War being in the Rifle Brigade – the highlight! being the battle for Caen on July 4th 1944. I was demobbed in February 1947.”
Stewart, thank you so much for going to the trouble to put your memories down on paper, not just once, but twice. I was lucky enough to receive a Christmas Card from Stewart the design of which he had drawn for a Unicef Campaign – it was beautifully detailed; Mr. Garrard was very right to advise your mother to send you to Malvern School of Art. Thank you also, Stewart for the copies of your photos from 1937/38; I will be posting these on the www.oldwolvernians.org.uk website.
John “Plum” Bomford of Evesham wrote after reading K P Stanworth’s memories that “I started at
Bury Hall in January 1937 and left, having been Head Boy, in 1944 and went straight in to the Royal Navy. Nobody seems to have mentioned that boys at Sebright with the same surname were given consecutive numbers to distinguish them. Both Jones and Clarke got into double figures!
K P Stanworth mentioned Frank Golland who as he remembers was killed in the War. His younger brother Colin was a contemporary of mine at Sebright House and was at Reading University with me and took a degree in Horticulture, as opposed to mine in Agriculture.
I ended up going to the Port Party in Kure, Japan about 10 miles from Hiroshima, as the first occupation party before transferring to HMS Alacrity. The German Howitzer was cut for scrap in the Bury Hall yard in 1940. The Housemaster at Bury Hall was E A Jaussen (not Gaussen) and he was succeeded by “Pot” Garrard who administered my first “3 stroke” beating.
The Secretary wonders if John was related to Stewart Irwin’s close friend T E Bomford; I suspect so?
Peter Hughes, Woodfield House 1947 to 1949 wrote that he was most impressed by Mr Stanworth’s
article and contributes the following memories of his time at school:-
“Autumn Term 1947 was started by the fact that I was put in form IIIB and came top in the first fortnightly order and then was put up immediately into the Remove form.
Mr Fenn was the Housemaster at Woodfield so when the 2nd fortnightly marks were read out after prep they were “Hughes P. 1st/31st which naturally caused a great deal of amusement.
My first year was at “The Birches” a boarding house at the bottom of Woodfield House drive, opposite the side road to Eric Knight House. Miss Bidwell was the Matron. After Christmas term I was elevated to the dormitory in the main building. I was prone to sleep walking and fell down the staircase of 15 stairs into the kitchen which made the Headmaster, R A Henniker-Gotley, come through from his private apartments thinking that the boys were raiding the kitchen.
The Bursar, Reg R P Hall was very interested in my voice as I had previously been a Cathedral Chorister in Christ Church Choir, Oxford. Myself and John Fordham sang solos in Wolverley Church on Sunday mornings. In November 1947 we had a day off school to gather wood to build a huge bonfire to celebrate the wedding of the Queen and Prince Philip. Bill Porter and his helpers built the bonfire on an iron frame work. The winter of 1947 had a very deep snow fall and the milk had to be delivered in an Army vehicle from Bewdley. Some of the day boys, of course, could not get to school. Bill Porter sticks in my memory particularly, as we baked potatoes in the boiler at Woodfield. Stoker Bill lived in the house at end of the main drive. He spent all his time wheeling coke just by where we queued for the tuck shop by the side of the main hall (sweets were still rationed) and polishing the passage floors in the Main School (No running or sliding in the corridors!).
I got into trouble by raffling my sweet coupons and making my own raffle tickets! When the big thaw happened in the Spring of 1948 a dead cow got stuck by the bridge that Charles II used when he was escaping from the Battle of Worcester.
The masters were:-
P.D. Hutchinson History
Charlie Cornwall Latin and English
Mr. H. Phillips Physics
R. A. Henniker-Gotley R.E.
Dr. Sachs Chemistry; he was an extremely clever Austrian Jew
J.A. Robinson (“Jar”) Geography
E A M (“Poppa”) Jeffs Maths & Rugger
Daddy Oaks Singing & Music
Matron at Woodfield was Miss Arbuthnot.
The principal Woodfield Boys were Denys & John Fordham, Bruce Rainsford, John Pardoe, Mike Pheby, Efficiency Dunne (Day Boy) who was destined to become a general in the Army, P and E Glynne-Jones, Bill Sitch, Big W H Scott and Nipse J Scott whose father was a funeral director in Edgbaston and who drove a huge Armstrong Siddley Car. H. Oliver, Meredith, K.E. Richards, the two Needhams and and myself were all farmers sons. Subsequently we would make arrangements for milking machine reps to call on us at Woodfield House; although we had made no reference to the fact that we were only schoolboys! The CCF was run by Sgt. Major Sayner (East Yorks regiment), a marvellous man running round the triangle and down past the Rover Works. He was in charge of the armoury of Lee Enfield 303 WWI Rifles at Bury Hall. I also remember Mjr Newton, 202/303 ranges and the Signals Section Camp at Kimnel Park, North Wales. We also enjoyed trips to Enville Common and we went via Sion Hill to the County Cricket matches at Kidderminster Cricket Ground. Bill Porter used the Head’s old Morris 20hp to transfer boys backwards and forwards to the Sanatorium. He had a BMB President Tractor for cultivating the vegetable patch at Woodfield, a great man; I was given the job of head mole catcher on the Aquaduct field where the Birmingham Water Supply crossed over. I also cultivated the garden by the side of the top field.
As a farmer I remember the farmers at Preece’s Farm spreading the shoddy waste from the carpet factories; the gypsies who came to gather the pea harvest and Daddy Edmonds who lived in the cottage by the Colts Rugger pitch and who kept bees.”
Happy days, Peter!!
Doug Cox wrote after the last newsletter “Oh how I shall miss the fair and beautiful Emma, [not sure about that Doug, but thanks anyway!] the Old Boys favourite sweetheart, this coming Annual Dinner
, but I’m off down tombs and things in Egypt, searching for one of history’s Unfindables. If I tell you, you’ll laugh, so I won’t until I publish. I was reading Mr Stanworth’s account of his days at Sebright when it occurred to me that all those names he remembered, must have been the fathers of the lads I meet in my time in 1945. I certainly knew the teachers J.A. Robinson, known as the JAR and Poppa Jeffs who when caning you, took a run at your rear and generally brought blood. To be caned by Poppa was an honour indeed, as the rest of your mates looked on you as some hero, with lots of offers to be in their team or share a piece of their mothers home made cake, known as ‘Tuck’
Sadly I think I know some of the lads in your memoriam, who’ve shuffled off this mortal stage. But although I still think as a 20 year old, I realise things are beginning to drop off but at 74, I ain’t going yet. The secret is not to retire, keep the legs working, give the brain something to think about, then you have no time to think about doing such a foolish thing. Incidentally on that subject, I enjoyed Sebright so much I have arranged to do my departure from this world to the next, in Wolverley Church. I hope Sir Attwood, the old marble crusading knight, won’t mind me for company.
Much obliged by your magazine for finding Robert Soloman. I liked him and often wondered what had happened to him. Will make contact. Happy days, dear Emma. I suppose a kiss is out of the question? Now you see what I mean about still being 20!”
Ever the charmer, Doug thank you!! Hope to see you at this year’s dinner?
Robin N Hale (Sebright 1957 -1965) The Doctor’s Old House, Main St, Epperstone, Notts, NG14 6AD;
Michael Evans (Heathfield 1997) 1 The Croft, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY11 6LX,
Michael W Allman (Sebright, 1946-1953), 12, Mill Green Court , Lyme Regis, Dorset, DT7 3PJ;
Nicholas Pain (Heathfield 1982) 2724 Oak Park Court, Tallahassee, FL32308, USA;
Andy White (Heathfield 1988) 18 Spring Grove Road Kidderminster Worcestershire DY11 7JA;
Louis Howe, (Heathfield 2003), The Cellars, Cellar Hill, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, SA73 2QT;
Christian Blake (Sebright 1960) 9250 Applecrest Court, Cincinnati, OH 45242-46247, USA;
Mike Pheby (Woodfield 1943-48) 3 Windsor Road, Mablethorpe, Lincs, LN12 1JT;
email@example.com – Mick, we’d love to take you up on your offer to do a “Bellamy and Stanworth
of the 1940s
John Dean (Sebright 1969) Flat F, No. 1 Middle Lane, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong;
Rohan Cemm-Evans (Heathfield 1989) 24a Old Shoreham Road, Brighton, BN1 5DD;
Hayley Saley (nee Brazier, Heathfield 1983), Honeybrook Cottage, Bridgnorth Road, Kidderminster,
Worcs, DY11 5RP; firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger “Frank” Lane (Woodfield 1960) 24 Fairview Avenue, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, LL19 8SE;
Stephen Remington (Heathfield 1971) 4 Sevendwellings View, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 3BT;
Andrew Spittle (Heathfield 1982) 65846 Sage Canyon Court, Pronghorn Golf Club, Bend, Oregon,
97707, USA; email@example.com
Chris Pardoe (Heathfield 1982) 14 Mallicot Close, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6DG;
Jonathan C Dunn (Heathfield 1998) 1 Foxfield Drive, Old Swinford, Stourbridge, DY8 1RW;
Luan Wall (nee Pittaway, Heathfield 1987), 64 Hermitage Way, Stourport on Severn, DY13 0DB;
Daretta Harding (nee White, Heathfield 1987), 35 Milton Road, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcs, B61
Jonathan Oldroyd (Heathfield 1982); firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Mason (Sebright 1968) 22 Doctors Hill, Pedmore, West Midlands, DY9 0YE;
Rachel Keeble (Heathfield 1986?) 31 Wolverhampton Road, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY10 2UT;
Neville Fowler (Sebright 1955), Churchfield House, Weston under Penyard, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire,
HR9 7PA; email@example.com
In the Wolvernian Know
Spencer Turner (Heathfield, 1981) obviously hasn’t changed too much since his time at school as the ever observant Peter Arundale (Heathfield 1984) recognised him at a regional French Airport earlier this summer. Very observant, Pete!!
Richard Perrin was hoping to make contact with David Goodman; we think we found David’s brothers on the database; so hope you found him, Richard. If you have please send me his details so we can add David back onto the database.
Andy McHardy, firstname.lastname@example.org was at Heathfield in 1963/1964 and moved up to Sebright after passing the CE. He had some questions about Sebright, that I am grateful to Ian Norton for answering. Andy now lives in Nice, but every year when visiting his grandmother, who until she was nearly aged 100, lived in Bewdley he always passed through Wolverley for old times sake.
Tony “Tom” Edwards writes that “News of Old boy Tom can be reached at this email address. Always keen to link with ‘old’ friends and fellow students. Currently writing for the press internationally – living in Australia, South America and China during the years 2008/9.” Tony@cpmgroup.co.uk
I am sorry to have to inform you of the deaths of OWs:-
The Venerable Anthony James Balmforth (Sebright 1944), of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Anthony ministered in Kidderminster (as his father had before him) Kings Norton and as Archdeacon of Bristol. He was greatly admired for his patience and willingness to encourage. His colleague Rt Revd Barry Rogerson comments that Anthony’s granddaughter “captured his essence when she reminded them that as a child he always had an eggcup of Smarties waiting for them after they had cleaned their teeth!”
Mr Anthony Needham, of Cutnall Green, passed away in August 2009; Anthony was one of the large extended family of Needhams who have attended both Sebright and Heathfield Schools.
Mr George W. Weston (Sebright 1949), also died on 22nd August 2009; George was a former district judge, having served 29 years on the Midland and Oxford Court Circuit and lived locally in Trimpley. George had two children and six grandchildren.
Mr John Pither, passed away earlier this year (I understand his obituary was in the Telegraph, but I missed it; if anyone has a clipping I would appreciate a copy).
Mr Eddie “Farmer” Price (Sebright circa 1964), was from a local farming family, which gained him his nickname and after leaving Sebright he went to Birmingham University.
Mr Michael Crump passed away in 2008; he was an Old Wolvernian Committee member and a past President of the Association.
Mr. G. E. Hill of Stourbridge, passed away some years ago; my thanks to his son, Simon for informing us.
I do hope you will be able to make it to the Dinner this year, for those of you who come regularly you will, I’m sure, be pleased with the change of venue; for those of you returning 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!!
Please do keep us informed of any changes for our database. My contact details:-
OWA, Bridge House, Bewdley, Worcs, DY14 8JX, tel 01299 272210, Fax 01299 272223;
email@example.com; www.oldwolvernians.org.uk; OWA facebook