What was new on our website in 2009?
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For other years please return to the foot of the current What's New page
please note that as this website grows some older page navigations may now be obsolete
- 21/12/09 David Hobbs 49 provides an appreciation of Mr AE Lawrance - see via In Memoriam
- 2/12/09 Grahame Count 65 sadly passed away on 1st December at Addenbrookes Hospital after a long battle with cancer. Michael Count 67 adds that his brother Grahame leaves his wife and two children. Grahame was a keen sportsman for all of his life and worked latterly for Marshalls, Cambridge - see also In Memoriam
- Making contact:
Michael Count 67, now in Warwickshire "for some strange reason only close family and old friends call me Michael now - I'm known as Matthew to most people".
Rod Else 56, Professor of Diagnostic Veterinary Pathology in the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh - traced by Richard Doe 55
Paul Markwell 58, Norfolk
23 Nov: David Hobbs 49 adds some anecdotes about Mr Freddie Hobbs, the Caretaker - see via Scrapbook > 1950s > Mr Freddie Hobbs & Mr George Phelps
David also recalls that the secret of Mr Ford's first name was revealed in 1953 in Bish Johnson's farewell speech - see via In Memoriam > Ford
and adds some names to a 1988 reunion photo - see via Reunions > earlier
Dannie Nicholas 59 updates some names on the 1962 SGS Scout Troop photo - see via History > History2 > Scouts > 1961-62
Eric Simper 51 helps again with names on the 1955 Football U15 X1, 1954 Cricket U14 X1 and 1956 Cricket 2nd X1 photos - see via Sport > Sports photos
10 Nov: Arthur Yardy 52 adds names to the 1956 Cricket 2nd XI and 1955 Football U15 XI photos: Eric Simper 51 adds names to the latter - see via Sport > Sports photos
[Joshua Martin 21 celebrated his 100th birthday on 6 Nov - see the article in the Newmarket Journal via Pages by/onSGs]
- 28 Oct Mr Leon Kitchen updates Mr George Phythian's page - see via In Memoriam
- 23/24 Oct: Further items received at the Dinner will be added when time permits. Recent additions are as follows:
An appreciation of Taffy Thomas by Edward Armitage in the local press is added - see Taffy via In Memoriam
Punch's Form 1 Algebra exam, Summer 1957, provided by Gwyn Murfet 56 - like much of the material currently being added - see via Scrapbook > 1950s [Check your answers carefully!]
It is just a few weeks over 20 years since Mr Albert Punch Lawrance died.
I would be grateful for more anecdotes, recollections, photos etc to add to his page on the website.
- Alan Frost 54 leads off the new contributions and reminds some of us taught by Punch of his interest in the magazine Mathematical Pie - see via AEL in In Memoriam
Mr CJ Ford's In Memoriam page has been updated with funeral reports for him and Mrs Ford and there is a new photo of his retirement presentation - see via In Memoriam
A new page on postcards of the school - so far we have two - see via Scrapbook
1957 Old Boys' production of Busman's Honeymoon added
1957 Pirates of Penzance - programme cover added
1959 The Bartered Bride - programme now complete
1959 A Midsummer Night's Dream - text of programme added
1960 Twelfth Night - text of programme added
All can be seen via History > History2 > Productions
Edward Armitage's pages have been updated with new articles from the Ely Standard about his intention to retire and the event in Newmarket with over 70 past and present colleagues at which presentations were made to him and Mrs Armitage - see via History > E Armitage
- 16 Oct Mrs Christine Bonnett confirms information received via Terry Newman/Brian Knott that her husband Sid Bonnett '45' died aged 75 on 1 November 2008 - see In Memoriam
- 12 Oct The photo report of the 2009 Reunion Dinner can now be viewed via the link above or via the Reunions page: from the photo report page you can go to a list of who was booked and more importantly Ann Jarman's talk on her father Mr John Ford, the longest serving master at Soham Grammar School, better known to thousands of Grammarians as Chas or Charlie.
- 10 Oct Peter Smith 59 reports the death of Trevor Blake 63 in December 2006 at the age of 54 - see In Memoriam
- 5 Oct: back from the 2009 Reunion Dinner
97 booked: 3 were unable to make it on the day, there were 16 new faces since 2002. Chris Bent, John Dimmock and Frank Haslam hope all had an enjoyable time. The catering and service provided by the Village College were highly praised. We had an entertaining and nostalgic illustrated talk on Mr CJ Ford by his younger daughter, Mrs Ann Jarman. A photo report of the event is in preparation, to be followed in due course by the illustrated text of Ann's talk ... including what Charlie's first name really was.
Many said they looked forward to returning for next year's Dinner which will be on October 2nd 2010.
- As promised below the page celebrating the late Roger Lane 49's life, in particular his contribution to the success of the Annual Dinners which he organised for many years until 2002 when increasing ill health obliged him to retire, is now available. This was previewed at the 2009 Dinner and we applauded his memory - see via In Memoriam, or Reunions > earlier reunions
- Making contact:
Philip Bobby 44, in Oxfordshire - mentioned by Ann Jarman in her talk
Richard J Butler 60, in Suffolk: his father in law Albert George, born 1904, was also at SGS
Arthur Docherty 46, in Canada, via his young brother Howie Docherty 56, who has also put us in touch with another brother Graham Docherty 47 in Australia
George Reynolds 44, in Cambridgeshire, via his brother Gordon 46
School photo 1960 - Gwyn Murfet 56, assisted by Ivan Whymer 56 and Robert Powell 56, has added Barry Bowles, David Baumber, Robert Powell, Michael Simpson and John Ellis as well as correcting some IDs.
Form 5T July 1965 - more photos from Alan Bray 60, including one with Lionel Hart and smoking (not in the same shot) - see via Scrapbook > 1960s
Scout Troop 1962, via Lees Donaldson '59' - many names still sought - see via History > History 2 > Scouts > 61-62
Team photos via Ken Thompson 50: more names needed please - see via Sport > Sports photos
1955 Football U15 XI
1956 Cricket 2nd XI
Other photos were received at the 2009 Dinner and they will be added as time permits.
- John Gothard 53 adds to the recollections of Mr Freddie Hobbs and Mr George Phelps - see via Scrapbook >1950s
A page is in preparation with the help of the Lane family to celebrate the life of the late Roger Lane 49, who for many years organised our Dinners.
Among the items provided by Mrs Anne Lane have been press cuttings about some OB Dinners in the last 40 years. If you can add cuttings or photos for the missing years, or any recollections of earlier dinners, please contact the editor - see Reunions > some earlier reunions
Material from Anne has also enabled :
- updating of the page on the 1959 OB production of Ten Little Niggers and the 1954 production of HMS Pinafore - see via History > History2 > Productions
- addition of form photos for entry year Form IIA 1949 and when they were in the 4th year 1952-53: can you add names? - see via School Lists > Entry Year Guide > Sep 49
Reg Brown 47, Cambridgeshire
Peter Cockerton 42, Cambridgeshire
Colin Fuller 51, Cambridgeshire
Philip Lane 70, Cambridgeshire
Peter Nicholls 39, Cambridgeshire (contact regained)
Jack Symmons, History 44-48 died in April of this year. Our condolences have been sent to his widow Nancy. A Thanksgiving Service was held at Ashville College in May - see via School Lists > Staff > left pre 72
Richard Dean 56 reports the death of Bob Durrant 56 on 26th July 2009, aged 63 - see In Memoriam
Brian Knott reports the death of Robin Ivor McLaren, (entry year late 1920s) of Sutton, aged 93. The service of thanksgiving was at St Andrew's Church, Sutton on 4th September - see In Memoriam
Frank Haslam has completed the transcription of the following from the SG Archive for this website - see via School Lists
- Soham Moor School Admission Register, 25th April 1881 to 29th April 1914
- Index to Soham Grammar School Admission Register 20th September 1922 to 12th January 1926
- Index to Soham Grammar School Admission Register, entries 716-938 (10/01/1933-06/03/1939).
The next step will be to make a digital photographic record of the documents.
Contact made with:
Rev Gwyn Murfet 56, now in Cumbria and two of his friends Robert Powell 56, Cambridgeshire and Ivan Whymer 56, West Suffolk. Gwyn has corrected his and Ivan's names on the 1960 school photo. They all hope to be at our Dinner.
Gwyn says his last church choir sang Geoffrey Johnson's School Song Land of Great Skies and Measureless Horizons as an anthem at Evensong the night before he retired.
Brian Callan, now in Norfolk. Brian came to SGS as Technical Assistant in 1963. As an ATC officer he was involved in arranging for ATC cadets to retain their uniforms on ACF afternoons. After he left in 1967 he went on to gain a Masters degree and is the author of several books.
20 July: Michele Stern writes on behalf of her father Herman Kon:
"My father asked if I would look up some information for him on the internet as he went to Soham Grammar during the war years, around 1940-45. His name is Herman Kon and he came to the school as an evacuee from London. His father, Rabbi Abraham Kon ran a hostel for boys in Ely. My father was captain of the rugby team and other sports teams and was hoping to see if there were any records or photos that he might be in from this time. Although my father remembers Mr Stubbs and Mr Crouch, he does not remember any of the boys and unfortunately has no photos or school memorabilia. I note that it seems that no school photos were taken during the war years or of the sports teams. If you do know of any that might exist I would be much obliged to see them."
If you can help Michele please contact the editor
18 July 2009 Beth Lane writes to infom us of the death of Bryan Denley 47:
DENLEY, Bryan of Caldecote, Cambs. Passed suddenly to rest in the early hours of Tuesday, July 7th 2009 at Papworth Hospital, aged 72 years. Loving and generous father to Sarah and Paul and Mark and Christine and adored grandad to JP, Wills, Chloe and Hamish. Funeral service at Cambridge City Crematorium, West Chapel, on Wednesday July 22nd, at 12 noon. Bryan's ashes will be interred at Ely Cemetery at a later date. If desired, please send flowers or donations to the Ocean Youth Club via Dennis Easton Funeral Service, The Lodge, 1 Cemetery Lodge, Broad Leas, St. Ives, Cambs. PE27 5PU. Tel;01480 463019.
5 June 2009 Barry Lowe 55 writes: I am sad to have to report the death of Chris Southgate (55-60) at his home in Bury St Edmunds on April 13th. At school Chris was a keen cross country runner and chess player. He became a partner in an accountancy practice, and enjoyed bowls (where he reached National finals), bird-watching, Scouting and angling. His life-long sense of fun will be missed, and this was reflected in the huge turnout at his funeral (people were standing outside).
4 June 2009 Beth Lane writes: Roger Lane's service was taken and the eulogy spoken by Reg Brown, the funeral director. As you can see there were several Old Grammarians present and many other people too. Very pleasing when you consider that the service was not in the local church and just shows the high regard that Roger was held in.
The memorial cards from the Soham Grammarians were given to the family and we asked the Grammarians to sign one of them. Brian tells me that Roger's son Philip who is in the photo helping to hold the memorial card is in fact the last Lane who attended Soham Grammar School.
L-R: Bill Hawes - John Driver - Clive Bray - Tom Crawford - Tim Dickinson - Reg Brown, holding our Memorial Card - Brian Thorby - Philip Lane - Brian Lane - Donald Monk - Owen Barber.
Photo via Donald Monk.
27 May: Geoff Griggs 60 reports that Roger Lane 49 passed away on Sunday 24 May. Roger worked tirelessly and effectively for the Old Boys Association for many years before ill health obliged him to hand over in 2002. Since then his family and friends have bravely borne the sad effects of a degenerative brain condition on someone who was so full of enthusiasm, sociability and care for others. Our condolences and thoughts are with them.
Brian and Beth Lane have since added that the funeral will be at the West Suffolk Crematorium, near Bury St Edmunds, at 11.15am on Thursday, 4 June.
Donations in memory of Roger may be sent to the Behavioural Neurology Research Fund via the funeral directors CE Fuller & Co Ltd, 23 Hall Street, Soham, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5BN.
21 May: Don Knights 39 died last year, reports Alan Barber 59, who knew him through bell-ringing and is in touch with his son Richard - see In memoriam.
Alan also reports that "a special peal was rung by Soham Grammarians to mark the closure of the school as such in July 1972". More information on this is being sought.
20 Apr: Colin Thornhill 40 identifies his brother Derek on the 1937 School Photo
10 Apr: Richard Clarke has emailed me with the following identification on the 1937 School Photo:
"3rd Row, picture 6/10 the boy in the blazer with the crest on display was my father, Herbert Dick Clarke. He left Soham after his School Cert, for which he got some kind of award, in Summer 1940 and joined the GPO."
Previously that face was identified as 'Boss' Pettit but the editor is finding it difficult to trace who made it. If it is not Pettit, where is he on the 37 photo?
9 Apr: The In Memoriam pages are extended with a page dedicated to those Soham Grammarians among the 16,000 who have died in the service of the Forces of the Crown since WWII. So far there are three - Rusty Bridgeman, Colin Capes and Donald Touch.
Rusty's date on the post war section of Burwell War Memorial differs from official records.
Donald's death seems to have been misreported in the school magazine.
If you know of more, or can add information or recollections about them, please contact the editor - see In Memoriam > Post WWII
2 Apr: Kate Bavester: I thought I should let you know my Grandad, Joshua Martin, from Soham is still with us at the grand old age of 99 - there was a report in the paper about the death of Mr Lockwood at the age of 94 who was thought to be the oldest Grammarian but unfortunately for him, my Grandad has the claim to that title still (I think).
He is in his 100th year and still has all of his faculties and it still fiercely independent insisting on living in his own home and despite having nearly lost his sight due to macular degeneration he manages well with the help of carers and my mum and her sister. He attended the old Grammar School sometime in the early 1920s and I had hoped to get Grandad to attend one of the reunion dinners but he really isn't up to a night out - he tires easily but at his advanced years it is to be expected really. He does love to talk and has a memory that I'd be proud of, so having something to tell him about is excellent for conversation and will get those very old grey cells ticking over with more memories and tales.
Lees Donaldson '59', Suffolk
23 Mar: Frank Haslam: Documents from the Resource Centre which extend our reach on who attended the school are being added to this website. This is 'work in progress' and can be seen as follows:
- Soham Moor School Admission Register, 25th April 1881 to 29th April 1914 (in progress)
- Index to Soham Grammar School Admission Register 20th September 1922 to 12th January 1926
- Index to Soham Grammar School Admission Register, entries 716-938 (10/01/1933-06/03/1939).
The indexed entries will eventually be databased and it is hoped to make digital photographic records of the documents. Offers of help will be appreciated.
see via School Lists > Index
20 Mar: Robert Palmby (see Dec 2008) has been located in the Admission Register for 1909 - see Scrapbook 1910-19 > Cricket & Tennis Players c1911
19 Mar: The 1939-1945 Book of Remembrance is added - see History > WWII Roll > Book of Remembrance link on that page
18 Mar: Paul Stevens 66 brings us up to date on Tony Russ (Staff 71-72) who is now heading Bristol's Academy - see Pages by/on SGs
18 Mar: Roger Wright 48 writes: Sadly I have to inform you of the death of John William Christopher 46 who has died aged 74. He came from Witchford where his father kept the local village shop. After National Service in the RAF, he worked at Ely Railway Station for a while until he joined The Huntingdonshire Constabulary. He worked his way up through the ranks until his retirement with the rank of Chief Superintendent in charge of administration at Police Headquarters, Huntingdon. His funeral took place on 18th March 2009 at Colney Woodland Burial Park Norwich, where he was laid to rest beside his wife Margaret who died in 2005. For several years he and Margaret lived in Wymondham where they had moved to be near his family.
18 Mar: Alastair Fordham writes: Alan Fordham 52, shown in your 1952 school photo [and 1956] was my father. He tragically died in a car accident on the night of 14th February 2003 near Upware (two villages away from Soham). He is buried in the graveyard opposite the place he grew up - the Crown pub in Fordham. He was the father of four, myself being the only male to carry on the name. Our family grew up in Wicken and he later lived in Chatteris. His grandfather, Harry Fordham, is named on Soham war memorial from the Great War.
It may be of interest to you that my father and I shared the same maths teacher - Mr Lawrence: my father called him Punch and we called him Beaky - he had rather a prominent feature on his face. I went to Soham Village College during the 80s. One of my English teachers was Mr Mike Rouse who would remember my father well, they shared an interest in local postcards.
9 Mar: Chris Bent writes: As far as we know Jack Lockwood, who was awarded a Minor Scholarship to SGS in the mid 1920s, was the oldest surviving Soham Grammarian when he died on 18th February 2009 in Norfolk and Norwich Hospital aged 94. I am a close friend of the family and a while ago Jack donated his colours and medals for the archive. He had been in failing health for several months. A keen sportsman, he was invited for a trial with Arsenal and was well known as a player for Ely City Football Club where he still holds the record for the most goals scored in a season - see In Memoriam for an obituary. [but see also 2 Apr on Joshua Martin]
10 Feb: Mr Leon Kitchen adds his tribute to his colleague Rex Waller's page - see via In Memoriam or School Lists > Staff who left before 1972
4 Feb: Desmond Nunn's (44) family are in touch: Desmond, one of the original boarders, died in 1951 - see In Memoriam
3 Feb: News from David Camps that Tom Gray 60 died on 13 January 2009 and his funeral took place on 30th January. Tom was a retired police officer. If you have additional information, please contact us.
9/10 Feb: Malcolm Watson 47 adds his Rex tribute and provides a couple of Scouting photos featuring Rex Waller, one showing Mr Riley in shorts (with pipe): see Rex's page via In Memoriam or School Lists > Staff who left before 1972
4 Feb: Dannie Nicholas 59 has been delving among his photos. Please see:
Bouillon, Belgium trip 1961, with day trips to places in France, Luxemburg - via History 1 > History 2 > Visits
Toy Symphony, 1960s - via Scrapbook, 1960s
Walesby Forest Scout Camp 1963 - via History 1 > History 2 > Scouts
Work continues on the rest of his photos
3 Feb: Eddie Hopkin, nephew of Desmond Nunn 44 writes on behalf of his mother Alma, Desmond's sister, to identify Desmond on the 1946 School photo. Desmond died in 1951, he was a boarder with Mr & Mrs Armitage -see In Memoriam and School Lists > 1946 School photo.
The year begins with the sad news received from Richard Waller on 12 January of the death of his father Mr Rex Waller on November 23rd 2008, aged 83.
A Thanksgiving Service took place at St Mary's Bruton on 5th December. Our condolences have been given to the family of this popular teacher of Latin (1949-60). Rex was a dedicated attender of our Dinners. He had us in his hand when he gave the talk in 2006.
The text of what Chris Waller and Richard said at Rex's service can be seen on Rex's page via In Memoriam
If you have more memories of Rex and any photos, please contact the editor.
In responding to the news of Rex's passing Len Norman 49 reports [14 Jan] that Mr George Phythian died on Christmas Day 2008. The funeral service was on 6 January in Lancaster. George taught General and Rural Science 1952-55. He followed George Hunt at SGS, his first teaching post, leaving for Worthing High School and then deputy head in Pershore. He then moved onto a headship in Lancaster which he held till he retired. He continued to live in Lancaster.
Mrs Yvonne Phythian has kindly provided [22 Jan] an extract from her husband's autobiography which has been added to his page.
If you have memories of Mr Phythian and any photos, please contact the editor. See In Memoriam
Richard Crofts 63 noticed an item in an Oct 2008 Cambridge Evening News, 'From the News of 1933' relating the death in a flying accident of Flying Officer Norman Styche who was one of two men who perished when their bomber crashed at Bamburgh. It goes on to say that having attended Soham Grammar School he had got books out of the library on flying and learnt all he could. [Editor: Fg Off Norman Charles Meyrick Styche, killed 26 Sep 1933. P/O NCM Styche was posted to No. 40 Sqdn., Upper Heyford 23.6.31. Promoted to F/O 27 Jan 1932.]. Can anyone shed more light on Norman Styche? - please contact the editor.
24 Jan: Martyn Davies 66 identifies Johnny Carter 65 in back row of choir photo see History pages, foot of home page > Order of Service
David Woodroffe 60, Bedfordshire - he is a cousin of Charles Peacock. His brother Roger Woodroffe left in 1960.
Ken Vail 50 now in Suffolk, is back in touch,
Tony Payton 53, Cambridgeshire, is back in touch
additions to those on email, in 2009: Philip Bobby 44, Reg Brown 47, Richard Butler 60, Peter Cockerton 42, Michael Count 67, Arthur Docherty 46, Lees Donaldson '59', Rod Else 56, Tony Firby 60, Colin Fuller 51, James Gilbert 65, Ed Kisby 67, Philip Lane 70, Paul Markwell 58, Gwyn Murfet 56, Don Phillips 48, David Woodroffe 60, Leon Kitchen