Soham Grammarians - 2008 Reunion

Who booked for the 2008 Dinner

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This year we welcomed ten who have not been since at least 2002. Mike Barningham joined us from Saudi Arabia, Geoff Fernie and Keith Fletcher from Canada and Paul Rolph from France. Seven former SGS staff attended, including Ivor Jones and Chris Wain for the first time for many years.

Chris Bent 53 returned from Canada a few days before the Dinner and so in the end was able to be with us on the night. He has agreed to continue as our Dinner MC, with some of his other tasks taken on by a small team.

Mr Ted Quinn

Vegetable Soup, or Charlie Ford's Egg Mayonnaise

Roast of Pork with Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Brenda's Special Jam Sponge, or Fruit Salad

Bish's Cheese Board

Coffee & Mints

Wine available at the Bar

Toast : HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN (Frank Haslam)

Guests of Honour: Dr Carin Taylor, Mr John Browning, Mrs Ann Jarman
Speaker: Mr John Browning OBE MA

Toast: ABSENT FRIENDS (George Dann)

Chris Bent 53, read parts of Jenny Jeffery's message regarding her father Tabby's ill health and recalled his careful teaching.

He mentioned Tabby's abiding interest in the Reunion and that each year he had sent a note of support and donated the cost of a meal to indicate that he was with us in thought.

A Best Wishes booklet was passed around for signing.

It was received by Jenny on the morning of 8th October.

Tabby had died a few hours earlier.

Chris explained his reappearance as MC and was pleased to report that, with Frank Haslam's assistance, we now had the makings of a new team to share the Reunion tasks. He acknowledged the support received from the College, and in particular from Brenda Collen, in Margaret Bryden's absence.

In welcoming our guests, he referred to his delight that Ann Jarman had been able to join us again, and to the special place Charlie Ford had in his school life and later. He acknowledged that Brian Lane, on behalf of the 1948ers had made a splendid introduction of our Guest Speaker, John Browning. It reminded him of the special relationship that existed between Roger Lane (still very unwell) and regular supporters prior to the website era.

It touched him that, after 50 years - and already a State Pensioner - he still found it natural and properly respectful to address those masters he had been in touch with for the dinner as 'Sir' and that he had to make a real effort to converse with them as John, Rex, Gordon, Ted as was really appropriate.

In relaying messages, Chris stole some of George Dann's Absent Friends toast notes to refer to May Armitage's passing - reading excerpts from Graham Docherty's letter from Toowoomba, Australia - not Pymoor, which he felt encapsulated the sadness of her death and the fondness for her memory. He also read from Rod Armitage's email: "It is very comforting to be reminded how much appreciated both my parents were by the boys they taught, cared for and influenced. My very best wishes for the dinner. Soham Grammar School was a very special place, and I count myself amongst the many who can only remember it with great affection and gratitude." Chris mentioned that a donation in her memory had been made to the Stroke Association on behalf of the Reunion Dinners' past attendees.

He was very pleased once again to welcome Dr Carin Taylor, Principal of Soham Village College - and made it clear that without her support our Beechurst experience would be sorely diminished.

On behalf of Sir Philip Foreman CBE, Frank Haslam '59' presented Dr Taylor with a copy of Guy Warner's book Shorts - The Foreman Years. Philip Foreman was at SGS 1934-41 and was Victor Ludorum in 1940. He joined Short & Harland Ltd in 1958 to work on the Seacat missile system. In 1967 he was appointed Managing Director, a position he held for the next 21 years, combining it with the role of Chairman from 1983. Philip provided a dedicated copy of the book for presentation to the Resource Centre of the Village College.

Dr Taylor receives the book on behalf
of the SVC Resource Centre from Frank Haslam,
on behalf of Sir Philip Foreman: Brian Lane

Guest of Honour
Dr Carin Taylor BA PhD CertEd NPQH

Principal of Soham Village College from September 2006

Dr Carin Taylor welcomed us once again to Soham Village College's Beechurst Hall for our Annual Dinner. She drew our attention to the clock on the back wall which was now working again - something which had been achieved much more simply than had been expected. She reminded us that there used to be a clock above one of the old Library doors. She gathered that some of us had awaited our fates under that clock! It was hoped to install a clock of the period there before our next Dinner.

Dr Taylor commented that many of the children and grandchildren of those present are doing jobs not thought of in the days of Soham Grammar School.

We would do well to recognise that many of those currently at the Village College will also be doing jobs as yet undreamed of. Change is ever faster and education has to do the best it can to equip people to be ready to cope with whatever will come. The Village College continues in the same spirit of preparing foundations for life as did the Grammar School.

She asked if we had noticed that the beech tree on the lawn was no more (see photo on right, taken on 30 Sep 2008).

Sadly, it had been necessary to fell it as in the wind it was moving the earth around it and was clearly unsafe. Much has been cut up for logs and some mementoes were being made.

The significance of beech trees to the site - the house was named Beechurst - is well known. Dr Taylor was delighted to say that Mrs Ann Jarman, whose family lived there and whose father Mr CJ Ford was a master at the Grammar School for so many years, will enable the link to continue by donating a replacement beech tree to be planted elsewhere on the Lawn.

Guest Speaker -
John Browning OBE MA, who taught History at SGS 1947-51 and presented the prizes at the last SGS Prizegiving in July 1972.
image: Brian Lane

John Browning's illustrated talk

The Toast to Absent Friends - George Dann 33

We were pleased to see George back with us after having to miss last year's Dinner through recovering from illness.

He asked us to recall those who were unable to be with us this year for one reason or another, especially those who were ill or now too infirm to travel.

He asked us to remember those known to us from school days who had passed away: in particular Mrs May Armitage 66-72: David Kerridge 40, John Bull 40, Cyril Joe Titmarsh 41, Dennis Peacock 44, Martin Ruczaj 59, Ian Spud Tatham 59, Michael Searle 59 and Eric Miller.

Those sending apologies were:

John Abbott, Staff, dates clash
David Angood 55, dates clash
The Armitages
Peter Askem, Staff, in Paris

Ralph Barker 65, shoulder op
Tony Bell 64 (now a US citizen)
Sid Bonnett ‘45’, dates clash
Donald Boud 45
John Brown 51, in Germany
Rodney Brown 48
Tim Dickinson 50, heart op
Gordon Duffield 54, dates clash
Ralph Dunham 59 - next year!

Ken Ellingham 51, dates clash
Tim Ewer 61

Nigel Faben 59 - next year!
Anthony Foster, Staff, abroad
Don Fuller 47, health

Morley Holliday 58, move to Spain

Leon Kitchen, Staff, health
Mrs June Lawrance - next year!
Trevor Lee, abroad
Bob Leonard 41

Alan Mason, Staff - 65th birthday!
Vaughan Moll 59

Trevor Parker 59
Richard Peachey 59 - next year!
Stuart Poole 56, dates clash

Geoff Rouse, “only 4th one missed”
Les Seal 32
Norman Sherrington, Staff, health
Ted Stanley 49

Clive Taylor 55, speaker in Seattle
Arnold Tomalin 39
Michael Tuffs 61, abroad

Rex Waller, Staff
Graham Whiting 70, Edinburgh Trial
Tony Willenbruch 62, dates clash
Denis Wilkins 53
Roger Wright 49, dates clash


The Loyal Toast was proposed by Frank Haslam who explained why he had particularly wished to be the Proposer this year.

Frank is Association Membership & Reunion Secretary, Newsletter & Website Editor for his father's wartime Bomber Squadron, No. 207 Squadron.

Earlier this year F/O William Wales did part of his RAF training as a member of No.207 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

Here he did his advanced training learning to fly the Tucano, living in the Mess as an ordinary student.

Frank was proud to be wearing the 207 Squadron lapel badge at the Dinner.

At the end of the evening Frank Haslam spoke very briefly, again thanking John Browning for his talk. He reminded those present with any kind of Ely High School connection that we host a page on behalf of the EHS Luncheon Club - see the Ely High School link in our website menu.

Afterwards, Dick Bozeat mentioned to the editor that his wife had been Head Girl at EHS!

Lorna Delanoy (Mike Delanoy's wife) has since added, on looking at some these photos "Wow! Tempus fugit - as Rex Waller's wife used to say in our Latin lessons at Ely High School - that was half a century ago."

Some 2008 Reunion Dinner photos
Please rectify any missing or incorrect IDs. Name and entry year are shown

Chris Bent 53 with Mr John Browning

John Dimmock 59 - Geoff Fernie 59, over from Canada and sporting his sixth form tie

Mr Gordon Hemmings with Dannie Nicholas 59

Mrs Ann Jarman , née Ford, with Dr Carin Taylor

L-R: Mike Barningham 60 - Keith Fletcher 54, over from Canada - George Dann 33 - Gerald Gillett 51 - John Firby 49 - Paul Firby 58

L-R: Donald Monk 50 - Owen Barber 50 - Charlie Phelps 50 - John Saul 50

Stephen Halls 68 and Stephen Seymour 68

L-R: Richard Dean 56 - Barry Lowe 55 - Richard Doe 55 - Neil Munro 67 - Simon Curtis 67

L-R: Michael Payton 51 - David Reader 51 - Mike Goodchild 51 - Philip Bignell 51

L-R: John Kisby 43 - Ivor Wright 43 - John Taylor 43 - Mr Ted Quinn

L-R: Lewis Heavens 44 - Charles Peacock 44 - Fred Eden 44 - John Peacock 54 - Alan Breeze 54

L-R: Stan Harley 53 - Derek Murton 53 - Paul Rolph 54

L-R: John Ansell 47 - Tim Boyden 58 - Malcolm Lloyd 58 - Ray Bolton 58

L-R: Stan Darby 38 - Roy Palmer 37 - Wilkes Walton 36 - Ian Booth 57

L-R: Mr Gareth Wood & the late 1960s Maths Department - Mr Chris Wain - Mr Ivor Jones - Mr Peter Scott

Colin Cornwell 45 and Derek Notley 45

L-R: Ken Beman 48 - Bill Peters 48 - Ian Hobbs 48 - Brian Lane 48 - Tony Hall 45

L-R: Patrick Faircliffe 48 - Michael Turner 47 - John Waller 47 - John Hill 48

L-R: James Gilbert 65 - John Lester 65 - George Lester 37 - Shaun Bokor 65 - Michael Miller 70 - Anthony Nix 65

L-R: Gary Dew 62 - Geoff Cross 64 - Mr Dick Bozeat

Chris Bent presents the thank you collection to two representatives of the SVC serving team
and flowers to Mrs Brenda Collen who organised the catering and serving.

Mrs Ann Jarman and Dr Carin Taylor after the presentation of their flowers by Chris Bent

L-R: Mr Dick Bozeat - Frank Haslam '59' - Dannie Nicholas 59 - Geoff Fernie 59 - Mr Gordon Hemmings - John Dimmock 59 - Peter Scott 59

Geoff Fernie 59 - Dannie Nicholas 59 - Mr Gordon Hemmings - John Dimmock 59 - Peter Scott 59

John Hill 48 - Mr John Browning - Ken Beman 48

images: unless otherwise stated, Frank Haslam
With thanks to John Ansell, Richard Doe, Stephen Halls, Lewis Heavens and Brian Lane on some names.
last updated 14 Oct 14
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