What was new on our website in 2011?
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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
- To all our visitors, especially those of you who have provided material for this website, our Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas.
- At the 2011 Annual Dinner the editor was handed two large framed photos of the 1956 production of Hamlet. Edward Armitage was said to like them very much and the editor recalls from his arrival interview in Dec 1960 that they were displayed near Ted's study. Please look at them if you were around in 1956 and if possible provide/confirm names for them and the other Hamlet photos, and identify the scenes - David Crowe 52, Neil Holmes 52 and Helen Smith of EHS are ahead of you - see via History > History2 > Productions
- David Crowe 52 also add to two of the captions of the Boarding House photos - see via History > History2 > Boarding House
- Steve Reader SG64 and Richard Walker SG64 make corrections to the front row of parts 10 & 11 of the 1965 School Photo - see via School Lists & Photos
- Charlie Barton 68 adds a 4th Year 1972 Cricket Team photo (some names need confirmation) - see via Sport > Cricket > 1970s >71-72
- Stan Harley 28 Nov: Sadly, I have to report the sudden death of Pete Eland SG44 at his home in Haddenham. The Cambridge News states "passed away suddenly on Saturday, 19th November, 2011 aged 78 years. Dearly loved husband of the late Barbara, devoted father of Claire and Lisa. Funeral service at Holy Trinity Church Haddenham on Friday, 2nd December at 2pm, followed by cremation at Cambridge City Crematorium. No flowers by request, donations if desired for H E A R T will be gratefully received at the service or c/o A G Carter Funeral Director, 6 Froize End, Haddenham, Cambs, CB6 3UQ."
- In this month of Remembrance you may like to look at our Roll of Honour pages via In Memoriam and also the 2010 Annual Dinner Talk on Soham Grammar School at War
- Courtesy of Chris Jakes 65 and the Cambridgeshire Collection the Ely Standard report of the Dedication of the WWI Memorial Plaque at the Old Grammar School on Wednesday 16 November 1921 has been added. The plaque was later relocated to Beechurst - see via In Memoriam
Michael Yeomans 60 adds to that page his memories of the bugler at that dedication service - his grandfather - who in turn taught Michael to play the Last Post and Reveille at school Remembrance Services in the early 1960s.
- When it came to clear Vine House, Little Downham - the home of Valerie Watson's unmarried aunts, Laura Sennitt (died 1981) and Olive Sennitt (died 1979) - a copy of the 21st Anniversary 1926 Ely High School magazine was found. Both ladies came to EHS in 1908. Valerie's father, Arthur Wilfred Sennitt, born 1901, attended Soham Grammar School.
The first extract is the 1926 Register of Old Girls - is someone in your family listed? - see via Scrapbook > Extracts on the EHS website (link on the left of your screen).
- Martin Shalders 54 adds some names to the Twelfth Night main photo, as have Howie Docherty 56, Robert Powell 56 - see via History > History 2 > Productions.
Martin writes: "Martin Shalders here - ex-Chicheley house captain, 3 years in first team cricket, demoted twice, suspended once (making the daily papers!), second team football goalie with trilby hat, never a hard grafter but still having a happy life. Fond memories of Soham still and bus journeys from Ely every day. Helped collect money for the new pavilion and burying the cricket box one sunny day (seemed like a good idea at the time)." [A wonderful account of the latter exploit can be seen in Armitage 45-72 in the Edward Armitage pages - see via In Memoriam]
- Also in the Edward Armitage pages (Miscellany) David Plumb 56 writes of what happened when a misuse of a magazine occurred during one of his visits to Ted's study.
- Making contact:
Charlie Barton 68: he moved to Italy in July this year.
Brian Cole 69: currently working in Munich
Roy Daisley 44: Roy lives in Hampshire after a full career in engineering and education.
- The In Memoriam page has been updated to ensure it and our database match. In the course of research for this it was discovered that Mr Andrew Pusey (Music 1952-55) who wrote the music for the School Song had died in 1987. An obituary from the website of his old school, Bancroft's School in Woodford, Essex, has been added.
- Research has traced a pre-WWI science master. John Porter BSc, NDA, NDD Head of the Agricultural Department and Lecturer in Agriculture under the Herefordshire County Council and formerly Organiser of Agricultural Education and Lecturer in Agriculture under the Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture had been Science Master at Soham Grammar School. In 1915 his book The Stockfeeder's Companion (with 33 full-page and other illustrations in text) was published in London and Edinburgh.
- Did you spot the change to our home page? A drawing by GF Briscoe of The Old Grammar School 1924 has been added. It was donated by Mrs June Lawrance.
Our Annual Dinner on 1st October had 78 bookings. We enjoyed each others company on a very warm evening with the doors of Beechurst fully open. Our speaker, Chris Jakes, who came to SGS in 1965 gave an entertaining talk on his journey in life from Prickwillow to his work at Cambridge Central Library with the Cambridgeshire Collection (a comprehensive range of material relating to the former historic County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely).
For a photo report of the Dinner and Chris's talk - please see link at top of page, or via Reunions
Those in touch by email were sent information on 27 August, those not on email were posted letters on 30th August.
If you do not recall being contacted about the Dinner, please let the editor know so that we can rectify that for the future.
Waiting for the editor at the Dinner was a package sent to the Principal of SVC by Richard Carter 38. Richard, who now lives in the Bristol area, was a pupil 1938-39 and has donated some Soham Grammarian magazines from his time here. He was for 18 years head of the Emmbrook School in Wokingham, Berkshire.
Mr Gordon Hemmings' page has been updated to include his funeral service on 21st July 2011 and tributes - see via In Memoriam
- Bryan Lowe (1960 entry) died in March 2011: via Bill Peters, see In Memoriam
- A new School Photo which we think was taken 1926-1928 has been added. It is one of a number of items that have come to light at Soham Village College. If you had family at SGS in that period perhaps you can identify faces and suggest a date - comparing it with the 1929 photo might help - see via School Lists & Photos > 1926-1928?
- Mike Rouse, Hon SG spots his uncle DJ Onion (later Doug Unwin) and Mr Dennis Peat who married one of his aunts. What did Mr Peat teach?
- Ann Munn (née Hepher) says she recognises her Dad on this photo Cyril Frank Hepher. She believes the photo could as early as 1926. He was born in September 1914 and died in 2006.
In August Cyril's nephew, Peter Searle, recognised his uncle as Cyril Frank Hepher, no 489 in the Admission Register for the School Year 1925-26 (see via School Lists > School Lists Index > 1922-26 ... those looking at the photo might usefully refer to that list)
- Jon Evans '61' identifies himself in the 1965 School Photo - see via School Lists & Photos > 1965
- Norman Boyd, who was a student at Impington Village College, has an interest in the work of the artist and illustrator Leslie C Caswell (late 1920s) and a link giving more information has been added to Leslie's page. If anyone knew Leslie Caswell or his family, please contact the editor - see Pages by/on SGs
- Roger Clements 63 makes contact from New York
- John Hamlin Lister, (1936 entry) died on 27 July 2011 after a long illness, aged 87, according to the Newmarket Journal. Burwell born, he had lived in Cheveley and was educated at Soham Grammar School. He was in the Royal Engineers 1942-47. In the wartime issues of the Soham Grammarian he does not appear to have been listed as serving - are there others?
The editor's attention has been drawn to a notice in the Ely Standard of 16 Dec 2010. Can anyone provide definite information as to whether this relates to anyone who was at SGS?:
BAILEY Andrew, sadly passed away on December 7th, 2010. Much loved and loving son of Joan and the late Don, brother to Debbie and Dave, loving uncle to James and Ben.
- Peter Searle recognises the name of his uncle Cyril Frank Hepher, no 489 in the Admission Register for the School Year 1925-26: his mother, born Gwendoline May Hepher, attended EHS in the 1920s - see via School Lists > School Lists Index > 1922-26
- Richard Walker 64 writes to say his brother Andrew J Walker 61 died last October. If you have recollections of Andrew, please contact the editor.
- His family have informed us that Peter Pryke 52, a Burwell boy now in Florida, died on 5th August. In 2006 he provided us with a vivid memoire of his schooldays - see Scrapbook > 1950s > A 1952 Burwell Boy Remembers
- Making contact:
Steve Reader 64, now living in Norfolk
David Warren 51, living in Cambridgeshire
- 60,000 visits to our website!
- Carol Betts (née Bye) writes: Whilst surfing the net I came across my fathers name Noel Bye on the Soham Grammar School website as having lost contact . . . Unfortunately, Noel Bye died in 2005 after a brave battle with cancer. I was pleased to find his name on the entry list for 1940 and also my uncles name (Peter Bye) on the entry list for 1938. Peter Bye is in a nursing home in Nottingham. I looked through the old school photographs but could not find either of them identified and couldnt spot them ... It would have been really nice to have seen them in school uniform!
- George Wells (1938 entry) has died aged 82. An Isleham boy he became a distinguished journalist, finally with with the Eastern Daily Press. A report from the Press Gazette can be seen via In Memoriam
- Bob Croxford writes: I was pleased to see my father in the 1935 photo number 7/10 (third from the left). His full name was Arthur James Croxford, born 1922. He lived in Sutton. I remember he had an old blazer, black in colour with red edging. He enlisted in the RAF in 1938,and came out in 1977, his 55th birthday. I think I have an old school exercise book of his. Once again many thanks for the opportunity to see my father's schoolboy photo
- Mr Gordon Hemmings (English 1958-66) died unexpectedly, aged 84, on 6th July. He was a regular attender at recent Reunion Dinners and gave the talk at the 2004 Dinner.
He had recently experienced a short period of illness during which he had kept in good spirits and looking forward to what he had planned for the summer. Gordon suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in his flat at the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester where he had lived peacefully and happily as a brother of this historic almshouse for the last 5 years.
The funeral will take place in the church at the Hospital of St Cross, St Cross Rd, Winchester S023 9SD on Thursday 21st July at 2 pm, followed by refreshments served in the Hundred Men's Hall. All who knew Gordon at any time in his long life are most welcome to join his family in remembering him.
Family flowers only please, but donations to one of his favourite charities, UNICEF, or alternatively to the British Heart Foundation, may be made in his memory. If you wish to do this, please make a cheque payable to the charity of your choice and send it to the Funeral Directors (Richard Steel & Partners Ltd, 12-14 City Rd, Winchester S028 8SD Tel: 01962 862333).
There is a page about Gordon on this website. Our condolences go to his daughters Elizabeth and Rosemary and his grandchildren.
If you have recollections of Mr Hemmings or further photos, please contact the editor.
- Michael Clements 71, now in South Yorkshire, makes contact
May - June 2011
- via Philip Lane on 13 May, news that Mrs Jill Jarrett, Housekeeper 1960-72 (later Mrs Jill Petrulewicz) had passed away in the night. Information about her funeral will be provided when available.
- Fiona Pushman writes of one of our most distinguished and oldest Grammarians, Professor Emeritus Leslie Audus (left 1929) who has died aged 99: "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you all that my father passed away peacefully at Cherry Blossom Manor yesterday 5th May 2011 at 12:30pm. He was able to enjoy news from around the world up until the last few days. A week ago when I told him I had seen some lovely display beds of Forget-me-nots and he immediately said mysostis palustris. So always a botanist. Also I was so pleased to read him the news that his work is still being cited.
I have been so very very touched by the wonderful kindness of so many of his friends. Once the initial pain fades I know we will all celebrate his remarkable and wonderful long life. Daddy will be cremated on Thursday 26th May 2011 at 11:45am. The service of thanksgiving to celebrate his life will be held in Basingstoke Crematorium followed by a buffet lunch at Bolton Arms Old Basing."
Flt Lt Leslie Audus' skills as a botanist enabled him to "save lives and the eyesight of many men" when a PoW in Java. He went on to have a distinguished academic career.
Our condolences go to his family. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who knew him or his family when he was a schoolboy.
- Margaret Cockburn née Allen writes: "I can identify my two older brothers on the SGS Troop 1962 photo - Peter Allen known as Chunky and Geoffery Allen [in row 3]. Our younger brother Ian is also an ex-pupil of Soham Grammar but transferred to Ely Sixth Form College on reorganisation." Margaret is ex EHS, 1959 entry
... see via History > History 2 > Scouts > School Year 61-62
- via Helen Abbott Page, the tributes at her father's Service of Thanksgiving have been added to John Abbott's page - see via In Memoriam
- Terence Rule 55 adds/corrects names on the 1956 and 1960 School Photos
- Colin Hills 68, Cambridgeshire, makes contact.
- 6/4/11 Dick Bozeat called to say that John Abbott, Senior History Master 1967-72, has died. The Ely Standard reports that the chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council has paid tribute to Councillor John Abbott who died after a short illness on Tuesday 5 April, at the age of 71. It is understood that he was taken ill shortly after attending the installation of the new Bishop of Ely. Our condolences go to his widow Judith and their son and daughter.
13/4/11 The funeral service is at St Peter and St Mary Magdalene Church, Fordham, on Monday, April 18th, at 2pm, followed by burial. Family flowers only but donations if desired for either St Peter and St Mary Magdalene Church (cheques payable to Fordham PCC) or Marie Curie Nurses may be left at the service or sent to C E Fuller & Co, 23 Hall Street, Soham, CB7 5BN. Tel: 01353 720439.
17/4/11 Report, including a biography, added from the Newmarket Journal - see via In Memoriam
24/4/11 via Chris Wain, the Order of Service for John Abbott's Service of Thanksgiving and a short account. It is hoped to add the tributes given to John - see via In Memoriam
28/4/11 Obituary from the Ely Standard, 14 April, is added - see via In Memoriam
- Jane Morwood (née Atkin, EHS 1961 entry) writes: I enjoyed discovering pictures of my father, John Edward Atkin, on the Soham Grammarians' website. He is on the 1935 and 1937 group photos. I see on the latter that he had the nick-name of Slogger which I had never heard him called before. I would be really interested to be in contact with anyone who knew him at school and also discover how he got his nick-name.
I am ex Ely High School and travelled on the train from Cambridge each day along with several others and also several Soham Grammar School boys. I remember Carter and Dibbs and several other boys by sight whose names I can't recall.
- Chris Rudd 56, now in Derbyshire, makes contact
- If you know someone who would be interested in our website but they do not have a computer, perhaps let them know they can go on the Internet in many local libraries eg Cambridgeshire - or show them on yours ...
- The death of John Lavender at the age of 90 is noted from the 10th March issue of the Ely Standard by Stan Harley. John left SGS in 1936 at the age of 16 - see In Memoriam
- Helen Smith EHS, sister of Edward Smith 56 provides a cutting from a local paper which adds to our knowledge of the name of the school at the start of the 20th Century (um, the last century ... ), describes the fantastic array of prizes provided for the 1903 Annual Athletic Sports Day and fixes the date of the first issue of the Soham Grammarian as May 1903 - see History > Mr Mould 1885-1914 ... (end of that page)
We do not have the earliest issues of the Soham Grammarian - please contact the editor if you have any information on these
- For those of you with Ely High School connections, you might like to pass on information about this year's EHS Annual Reunion Luncheon on Saturday, 14th May.
- News from Trevor Lee of the death on February 12th of fellow 54er Peter Younge following his long hard fought battle. His funeral was at Cambridge Crematorium on 23rd February, followed by a gathering at The Cutter Inn in Ely. Our condolences go to Marian and the family - see In Memoriam
- Soham Village College is seeking Academy status - see letter to parents in January from the Principal, Dr Carin Taylor
- Michael Yeomans 60 has made contact. He is now in New Jersey. His brother Stephen, father Harold, uncle Herbert, and maternal grandfather (Soham Comrades Band leader Fred Talbot) were all Grammarians; his mother Joan (née Talbot) and sister Rosamund were at EHS - see also Pages by/on SGs
- Josh Martin's very well attended funeral was on Monday 24th January 2011 at 2pm at St Andrews Church, Soham, and afterwards at The Brook (formerly Brook House) in Brook Street, Soham. His wreath was in SGS colours and a number of Grammarians attended. The fond and informative eulogy given by his grandson Jonathan James has been added to Josh's page - see In Memoriam.
- News from Neil Munro 67 of the death on 2 Dec 2010 of Nigel Tunnell, also 1967 entry - see In Memoriam
- Many families have long connections with Soham Grammar School. One of these is the Eden family, Edens being at the school from 1921 to 54, and 1971-72 - certainly from before and at the start of SGS's time in Beechurst and at its end. The editor is grateful to Fred Eden 44 for untangling this particular web - see Scrapbook .. Other .. The Edens at SGS and EHS
- The Our Area page has been updated - please contact the editor if there is a website for the community where you lived when at SGS that is not listed.
A Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year to All!
Kenn Hunter 67 adds a couple of photos to the 2010 Dinner page - see via Reunion Dinners
25 Jan 11: 55,000th visit to our website. Thank you all for your support.
25 Jan: Harry Summerscales 40 died on 20th January at the age of 82. His funeral will be on 3rd Feb at 3.15pm, at St Andrew's, Soham: via Fred Eden & Reg Brown. Our condolences to his widow Wendy and the family. No flowers but donations may be sent via CE Fuller & Co to the local Air Ambulance or Diabetes UK.
Fred Eden 44 adds:
- a press cutting about the opening of the Sports Pavilion in May 1961 - see History > History 2 > Sports > Sports Days
- a recollection of Mr Meneer see via School Lists > Staff > Staff left before 1972
14 Jan: via Brian Thorby: Ex-policeman Ted Stanley 49 died on 2nd January 2011 after a short time in hospital with cancer. His funeral will be at St Mary's, Henham, Bishop's Stortford at 2pm on Tuesday 25 January. No flowers please but donations may be sent in his name to MacMillan Nurses or the Harlow Hospital League of Friends. It was only in November that he was adding names to the 1952 and 1954 photos. Our condolences go to his widow Doreen and the family.
9 Jan: from Kate Bavester, a grandaughter of Josh Martin 21 - I write with sad news. Grandad Josh passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning. He was most proud of his certificate you did for him which said he was the Oldest Grammarian which I had printed off and framed and he had it hanging on the wall. He will be buried wearing his grammar school tie which he always wore with pride. He was a lovely old man and we will miss him but after living for 101 years, 2 months and 3 days we can truly say he had a good innings and he had no pain, he just conked out!
Colin Fuller 51 and Tabby's daughter Jenifer Jeffery provide a story to start our New Year, about Tabby's Cat - see via School Lists > Staff > Staff Timeline > EH Tabraham
Garry Crisp 70 - now retired in the Channel Islands: deputy head boy of the Lower School in 1972, the last year that such a thing existed.
Dave Peters 62 - now in South Africa, son of John Peters 44
Do you remember Edward Armitage reading TS Eliot's Journey of the Magi at the Service of Lessons and Carols? Here is the author's rare but to some slightly flat reading of it .. Gordon Hemmings remarks that poets are sometimes not the best from whom to hear their own work (click the > button on the page that comes up).
Continuing on last month, more pages added on Staff members - please add to/correct their content.
For those marked with an asterisk, if you are in touch with them, or have other news of them, please help us to update our contact information (their first name if not shown would also be useful):
see via School Lists > Staff
> Staff left pre 1972
see via School Lists > Staff
> Staff in 1972
Mrs Moody* Mr GH Duffett*
Mrs VMC Laird*
The early history of the school is updated with an article from the Summer 1969 issue of the Soham Grammarian. Who provided the line drawing and who wrote the article? - see via History
The following pages are updated - see via Scrapbook:
- Chess Club
- Learning to drive
- Radio Club
There were 18 email additions in 2011 (18 in 2010, 18 in 2009, 53 in 2008, 37 in 2007, 34 in 2006, 28 in 2005, 40 in 2004).