Soham Grammarians - 2005 Reunion

Who booked for the 2005 Dinner

The Edward Armitage Memorial tree, thriving a year on

Message from Mrs May Armitage


Dear Frank and Chris

Thank you so very much for your kind invitation to us for the Old Boys Reunion Dinner once again. You make us all feel so welcome and still part of the school!

I am very sorry that I cannot be present - my mobility due to osteoporosis is much poorer, so I have to be more careful - "the hidden enemy" as it is defined. But I am always interested in all that you do.

Kindest Regards

"It is exactly 60 years since we arrived in Soham at the end of World War 2 with no home (Mr Stubbs had rented the Manor House in Tanners Lane but that had been sold to the Postmaster) but the help of the Vicar's wife, Red Cross Commandant, Mrs Boughey, we found The Moat (only one room habitable) and took a lease on it (3 years, with an option for another 3 years).

Henry Morris, the originator of the Village College Movement in Cambridgeshire, conspired with Edward to set up weekly boarding - an idea borrowed by King's School. John Ford's daughter Ann now lives at The Moat.

We started with 6 boarders sleeping around the billiard table. We eventually disposed of it with the help of Dick Bozeat, your speaker tonight.

Dick, do you remember you made us a lovely bowl and lid out of one of the mahogany legs. This we still have - a prized possession.

When I see the magnificent labs and facilities expanding all the time I remember that in September 1945 Edward had an old kitchen and sink, vacated for a dining hall which later became the Junior School under Peter Taylor. He had 6 A Level equivalent students, all of whom did brilliantly in the impending exams, eventually occupying posts at Oxford & Cambridge. [Kerridge, Fuller, Tomalin etc.]

Within three years the Authority purchased The Moat and all the fields between there and Beechurst for £3,500; these mainly formed the site of the original Village College some 13 years later - what an investment by Cambridgeshire County Council!

We waited so patiently for a School Hall. The School Architect, Mr Wingate, declared that we had the finest one in the County when it was built - the one you are dining in tonight.

Have a good evening, from May Armitage."


The Lectern, still in use

Lectern badge, detail

Who made the Lectern?

Peter Grange 53: It was made by woodwork students of the 1953 to 59 era in the year 58/59. Edmund Tabraham (the then Woodwork Master and a real inspiration to his students) carved the lectern school plaque in Lime. The lectern itself was made using select Mahogany by five students as far as I recall - myself, Graham Bye, I can't remember the others.

At the time a nameplate of those involved was fixed inside it above the internal shelf. I forgot to check this at the Dinner, will have to check next year unless someone local can do this in the meantime. I can say that the guys involved were dead proud of this item of work at its first appearance at morning assembly!


MC Arnold Tomalin,
still not requiring a microphone

David Lunn (SVC) - Mr Dick Bozeat - Arnold Tomalin -
Mrs Ann Jarman (née Ford) - Howard Gilbert (now head of St Ivos)


Mr Gordon Hemmings - Mr Norman Sherrington

Chris Bent, 'Reunion dictator' and Denis Wilkins, who ... volunteered him

Tim Boyden - Roger Bolton - Geoff Rouse

Richard Doe - Tony Nix - Michael Miller - James Gilbert

Ed Reed - Mr Gareth Wood - Mr Alan Mason - Keith Fuller - Stan Darby - Roy Dink Palmer

Mr Bryan Hollamby - Ed Reed leaning forward - Mr Peter Askem -
Mr Gareth Wood - Mr Alan Mason

Brian Symonds - Gary Mader - David Camps - Alan Bray - Clive Bray

John Brown ("out of Reach") - Mike Payton - Brian Thorby - ?

Peter Bird - Derek Murton - Stan Harley

Terry Day - Simon Thornhill - Vince Gudgeon

Patrick Faircliffe -? - Ivor Wright - George Russell - John Kisby

Mr Richard Dick Bozeat was the speaker

" Riley took me aside ... he said "Don't worry about all these others, there's two people you want to keep on the right side of ."

"Who's that?" I asked.

"The Headmaster, that's for obvious reasons.
The other is the Caretaker .... you never know when you are going to need him!"

Thank you Dick for an entertaining and interesting talk.

the full text of Dick Bozeat's talk


Acting Principal SVC Dr David Lunn
assuring us that our ethos continues
"David Lunn, 1979 to present - I'm not quite of your Grammar School era but I didn't miss it by many years and certainly I knew a lot of the flavour of the things Dick was talking about when I first came to teach here. Dick to me in those days was a bit of a wizard. I wasn't so familiar with his sporting side, but I was very familiar with his craft skills, his woodwork skills, which were of an incredibly high standard.

I was also aware and rather awed by another aspect of him. In his registration group were I think probably about 35 of the biggest rogues and villains in the entire school, all of them fifth formers. They were given to Dick because I think he was the only guy in the place who could handle them - and handle them he did. I hold him in great esteem because of that.

Thank you for inviting me. We do still try to carry on many of the traditions that you were familiar with and I can certainly identify with a lot of things that I have heard tonight. (Apropos of what Dick said we do still have boys - and girls - who get up to various tricks). We also have children who work very hard and staff who work very hard also in the same spirit of trying to serve the community and give the youngsters the best possible start that we can.

I think that sense of picking up on a great tradition is one of the strengths still of the Village College. It's a great honour to be here and I thank you for your invitation.

In terms of what the College is doing I guess, pretty well what it always did. We had blackboards and then white boards and now we have interactive white boards that connect to these projectors, which teachers control from the front of the class and children come up and make magic things happen on them. But in the end it is still hard work, still the study and the concentration and the learning skills that I am sure all of you had to go through to achieve what you have achieved. So we go on, basically .... there are generations coming along behind and benefiting from the kind of traditions that you set when you were here.

It has been a great evening, I thank you very much.

Howard Gilbert - Mrs Margaret Bryden - Dr David Lunn
.... to whom many thanks, past and present

Howard, who is now head of St Ivo Comprehensive School, St Ives, wished us well in that accent which he said we, like others had perhaps begun to understand by the time he decided to move to a new challenge - "lang may your lum reek"

last updated 20 Oct 2006: if you have good images to add to or improve this page, please contact the editor first - see Contact us.

Images: Haslam unless otherwise stated