THE CUMNORIAN SOCIETY
For much of the information that follows, I am indebted to my mother, whose eagle eye seldom misses a Cumnorian connection in the Hatched, Matched and Dispatched columns. The other main source is Christmas cards, which explains why the news is often nearly a year out of date. I am very grateful to those kind people who have sent me news; please continue to do so, particularly in September or October, whether by letter, telephone (01825 790347), fax (01825 790910), or email (Office@Cumnor.demon.co.uk).
* * * * *
Sadruddin Alexander at Emanuel School gained nine A grades at GCSE, five of them starred. Neil Annand has two grown up children and lives in Wimbledon; he recently retired from his career as a stockbroker. David Arnold achieved 5 As in his GCSE at Bryanston and is Captain of Squash. Alan Artus, whose marriage to a solicitor from North Carolina is recorded elsewhere, is still working in the City and West End property market, and lives in Chelsea. Colin and his wife Christine recently moved to an old farmhouse in North Wales that they have been renovating; their children are Hugo (3) and Helena (6 months). Lucy, who is setting up a Media Studies course at Salford University, is married to Duncan Staff, a producer at World in Action; they live in Manchester and have three children – Hannah (12), Finnian (7) and Eva (1). Philip is running a company in London specialising in health products called Passion for Life. Their mother Brenda is studying for an OU oceanography degree and still goes on annual underwater photography expeditions to wonderful places. Kerry Ashcroft was married in June; her mother Barbara works at the Duchy of Cornwall Grammar School, while Peter is a supplier of architectural hardware in Falmouth and has been busy with the local Mummers.
Anna Baldwin is enjoying her second year at King’s, Canterbury, particularly playing hockey for the Under 16 team; Claire left King’s having had a successful rowing year with the girls’ quad winning both the Schools’ Head at Putney and Championship Gold at the National Schools’ Regatta at Nottingham; she is hoping to explore parts of South America including the Inca Trail during her gap year, before going to Bristol to read History; Graeme has graduated from Brasenose, Oxford and is currently at the College of Law in London. Ross Barnetson is Professor of Dermatology at Sydney University; he came to the play in July with his wife Ann and was reminded of his rôle in 1952 as Second Outlaw. Guy Barton is working in a research company in Uckfield, and recently entered a short film script in a competition. Sophie is in her second year at Liverpool, reading Archaeology, Ancient History and Latin. Rupert is taking a gap year before going up to Durham to read Biology. Leonora is in her GCSE year at Eastbourne, loves it there, and is much involved in Drama and Sport; she organised a fashion show last year, and was in the school production of Antigone. Ben Bray is in his sandwich year working for a Computer Aided Design firm in the Peak District, then he returns for one more year at Sheffield Hallam. David Brown‘s recording business has just landed a huge job at the Festival Hall, “but”, writes Liz Turner, his aunt, “it is too technical for this old lady to describe”. Sybil Bunney has spent a happy year in Bologna and is now back for her final year at Leeds University; her parents have returned to London after four years in Saudi Arabia. Joe Butterfield has also been happily studying Italian, as an Erasmus student at Pavia University (which boasts Leonardo da Vinci as an alumnus); she is now back at UCL.
Thea and Hugh Campbell have, alas, emigrated to Australia. Rory Campbell is currently working for Jazz Express in Soho. Justin Cheadle, at Cranbrook, obtained seven starred As in his GCSE and one mere A, and is about to join the sixth form. Nat Cockburn and Jamie Milner-Gulland, having left Eton and Bryanston respectively, spent part of their gap year on an 86-mile sponsored walk in southern India raising money for projects in health education and literacy programmes. Nat has now gone up to University College, Oxford (his father’s old college) to read Earth Sciences, and Jamie has gone up to Leeds to read Pharmacology. The Deccan Herald’s report on February 2nd referred to “Nat Cuckerbin (18) and his friend Jimmy (18), who plan to join Oxford University next year”. After leaving Cumnor in 1987, James Crane spent four years in Sydney before returning to do his A levels at St Bede’s. He then spent a year at the Sydney Actors’ Centre and another at the School of Audio Engineering, and is now back working in England. Tamar is at school in Sydney where she particularly enjoys gymnastics; she looks forward to seeing her old Cumnorian friends this Christmas. Stefan Cucos, who was best man at Rupert Nieboer‘s wedding, is working in Hong Kong as an editor to a group of in-flight magazines, “but we hope”, says Rupert, “to drag him back to the UK soon”.
Susanna Daniel, whose son Jack was born in May, has been teaching in Seoul and is about to move to Bangkok, where her brother Nick, also a recent parent, is also teaching. Charlie Dowdall has just started at Birmingham University after a Gap year spent partly in Canada learning to be a ski instructor; Tom is studying A level Maths, Physics and Geography at Sherborne, as well as playing 1st XV rugby for the school and for Dorset; Richard has settled happily into Sherborne and is involved in four musical ensembles. Sam Downe has left Cranbrook, where his headmaster tells me he was a “stalwart of the orchestra and of any other musical activity”, with three As at A level, and has now started his Economics degree at Bristol. Paulina Emanuel is in her first year at Durham reading Anthropology. Jamie Gilbert is doing exceptionally well in class and in sport at Charterhouse; the Under Master writes, “Outstanding! You would be justly proud of him”. Fiona Godlee was married last August and now lives near Shaftesbury; she is in charge of a twice-yearly BMJ publication for GPs called “Effective Medicine” (which her mother says is apparently going to save the NHS from bankruptcy!).
Nicholas Heath, his wife Penny and three year old son John live in Wandsworth and have a holiday home in Aldeburgh; he plays Real Tennis (which would have delighted my father). William has his own successful company near Smithfield, supplying information on government computing; his son Zygmunt is a lively seven year old. Jean-François Heurtier is a doctor in Meudon, specialising in endocrine troubles; he has three little children, Lucien, Lucy and Victor. David Humphrey and his brother Peter run a large poultry and cattle food business near Winchester. Alex Knowlesis immersed in original research on the magnetosphere of Saturn, with data direct from Voyager; Victoria is enjoying UMDS and does plenty of singing in her spare time. Georgina Laidlaw obtained eight As at her GCSE at Bryanston, five of them starred. Tamsin Lancaster did well in her I.B. and is now reading Anthropology at UCL.
Brenda Mackenzie (ex-Crowther) recently made a six-week tour of the world, taking in Honolulu, New Zealand, most of Australia and Singapore; her son Robert is Accounts Manager at a Business Centre, and his two boys are 7 and 4. Alex Marden achieved four As in her A levels at King’s, Canterbury – “a most impressive feat”, Andrew Dobbin writes, “because she was faced with the conflicting demands of Art and Theatre Studies, both of which require a lot of careful time management”. Professor Robin Milner-Gulland has now retired from Sussex University, but remains busy writing, lecturing on Mediterranean cruises, visiting, with the Lord Chief Justice, wooden buildings in the remote north of Russia, and giving interval talks on Russian music on Radio 3; Jane has been doing conservation work in Indonesia and is moving to a new post at Imperial College. Kate is at Edinburgh University. Clive Mitchell is doing voluntary work for Age Concern; Wing Commander Neil Mitchell has been posted to Washington D.C. – exactly 50 years after his parents finished their tour there. His children are at school at Sherborne, as is Bobby Dickens, son of Lt. Cdr. Mark Dickens, who is also currently in Washington. The Sussex Mitchells are happy and busy: Nick is working in countryside management in Sussex, establishing a national cycle network, and also acts with local theatre groups; Andrew is working at Reuters as an energy correspondent, “though he can also be found moonlighting on the horseracing desk”; Juliet‘s work at the Imperial War Museum involves her in marketing, press office, corporate hospitality and exhibition research. At Cranbrook Ben Morton-Harmer achieved 9 As at GCSE.
At St Paul’s, Lachlan Nieboer gained eleven As at GCSE, four of them starred; he hopes to specialise in Classics. Rupert Nieboer, whose marriage is announced elsewhere, is a qualified clinical psychologist, working for an NHS adult mental health service in Teddington and Roehampton; he hopes to begin training as a psycho-analyst soon. The Norfolk family are in good form: Kate‘s GCSEs went well and she is now doing four A levels, including Latin, with a view to possibly reading Classics with a modern language; Johnny and Jimmy are very happy at Lancing.
Robert Parsons, the BBC correspondent in Moscow, has appeared very frequently on both Radio and TV. William Pecover is still publishing magazines and lives in Hammersmith with his wife Lucy and children Hugh (6) and Matilda (4) (future Cumnorians, I hope!); they have a holiday house in Thorpeness, where they are close neighbours of Wendy and Christopher Matthew. Angus Pigott is now third assistant director for STV’s Taggart. Tamsin Pike has just had her first professional part in her acting career; she and Camilla Campbell – Julia and Silvia in 1985 – took a bow on the Friday of this year’s production, and the Saturday performance was watched by Michael Feaver – Silvia in 1944! Harry Pike has left Cirencester and is taking a course in Music Technology. Eleanor Pinkerton has left Cranbrook and hopes to read English after a gap year. Tony Poulsom visited the school with his wife in September, for the first time in 45 years; he is farming in West Sussex, principally soft fruit, and enjoys flying. Edmund Price is working in Jardine Fleming in Hong Kong as a corporate financier and travelling round the Far East on different assignments;Henry has spent a year teaching Classics at Sydney Grammar School. I hope that he has discovered his career path.
Jonathan Ray has gained a doctorate from Kent University, having produced a thesis on the history of Albany, Piccadilly. Martin Reardon has now retired; the Archbishop of Canterbury gave a dinner party for him and Ruth at Lambeth Palace at which he presented them both with the Cross of St Augustine. John specialises in clinical instrumentation in Manchester hospitals; Sarah is working for the Ripon diocese on development education, while continuing with tutorial work at Leeds University. Donald and Mary Rees celebrated their Golden Wedding last year, and Mary diligently sends news of the family: Peter and his wife Elaine and their three boys live in Geneva; David and his wife and two daughters live in Bordeaux; Richard and family are thriving in Grantham; Nicholas teaches near Windsor, and his daughter is studying for a PGCE; Paul works in Rugby and his daughter is at St George’s, Ascot; Philip lives in North Wales where he manufactures climbing equipment. Mary continues to do a lot of gardening and prison visiting. Alex Reynolds, after leaving King’s, Canterbury, has been teaching for eight months in a village in Nepal; he is now reading Geography at Newcastle, where Damian Stewart also is, studying Spanish. Laurie Robinson is in his second year at Newcastle University reading Biology. He and five others had a great return trip to Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar in the summer; Georgie is having a gap year taking a Theatre course in Stratford and loving it.
Nick Saaf, having been at school in Bordeaux, is now at Wells Cathedral School, studying Music, Business and Economics, Theatre Studies and French. Ben Sanders is studying Engineering at Southampton University. Tom Shelford did extremely well at A level and is now reading Law at Bristol; his housemaster at King’s, Canterbury, says that he was “a delightful member of our community who will be much missed”. Harley Sherlock was recently interviewed on Radio 4 on the plans for the pedestrianisation (what a word!) of Trafalgar Square. Philip Snow lives in Hong Kong with his wife Amanda and their children Renata (6) and Alexander (3). Hugh Stevens has taken over the Headship of St Peter’s, Burgess Hill, from his mother who has retired. Corin Stuart got a 2:1 in Biology from UCL (“in spite of walking out of an exam”, his father writes!); Tristram got an exceptionally good first in part one English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Anthony Swing works for the Institute of Advanced Motorists; he remembers the production of Edward II in 1959 in which he and Tom Corrie, as murderers of the king, were so frightening that they made some of the younger children cry.
Andrew Taylor lives in Paris with his wife Sally and daughter Emma, and works for Crédit Agricole Indosuez; Sally works for OECD. George Taylor has left King’s, Canterbury, and was hoping to read Classical Civilisation at university after spending nine months teaching in Tanzania with Schools Partnership Worldwide. At King’s he was keenly involved in Drama. Barry Thorne lives near Leighton Buzzard and is Director of Murray Vernon, importers of manufactured milk products. He writes in reminiscent vein: “Apart from a lifelong aversion to beetroot dating back to the 40s I have very fond memories of all my time at Cumnor. Like all the other boys I held LHM-G in great awe, as well as respect and admiration, and I had great affection for him and your mother… The magazine suggests you are rich in artistic and literary talent. Contributors seem rather more sensitive and caring than the warmongers and Empire builders of my day – they also spell rather better!” Simon Thornton is very happy at Worth and gained A grades in GCSE Maths and French (a year early); he plays roller hockey for the school team, known as the Worth Angels, and also enjoys fencing. John Turner was last heard of in Canada.
Katie Waglé did very well in her A levels at Marlborough and has a place to read Modern Languages at UCL next year. Martin West has two young daughters and lives in Essex. He now has his own children’s book publishing business, which he runs from home. Stephen White continues to make television films, most recently “The Purple Secret”, about Porphyria, the disease which may have caused the madness of King George III. Patrick Wigan has graduated from Manchester University in German Studies. After completing a TEFL course he hopes to teach English in France for a year; Jane has graduated from Swansea University in Development Studies and Social Anthropology. She is now fund raising for CATCH, a charity set up to help mentally retarded children. In September she and Rhiannon Oxley organised an extremely successful five-a-side soccer tournament in aid of charity. Nick Wilson is studying Art at Brighton Art College, after a very successful career at Ardingly, where he was House Prefect, a very talented artist and a keen member of the CCF. Tam Williams has starred in a television serial called “Killer Net” and as Prince Hal in Orson Welles’ “Chimes at Midnight” at Chichester Festival Theatre; Amy has just embarked on an acting career. Nicholas Wood has been teaching English at the English Language Institute in Seville: he works from 2 to 10pm, and supper is at 11. “The sun always shines”, his mother reports, “and Seville girls are all potential Miss Worlds”.
Varit Yoovidhya has left Bradfield and is pursuing a Foundation Course at the Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design.