What was new on our website in 2014?
please scroll down the page
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
One of the names that frequently comes up looking at those who assisted behind the scenes on SGS productions is Mr WAG Burroughs, local photographer and an artist. Recently the Village College came into the possession of a painting, Fen Blow, apparently by him. Research is in hand on the painting and on 'WAG'.
In October Helen Smith reported the death of her brother Morley Holliday. Morley's widow Maureen has now added more to his entry on the In Memoriam page.
Heather Smith, ex-EHS, writes "sadly, my brother Morley Holliday has died, peacefully, in Alicante General Hospital on 24th September. He was 67 and was in school from 1958 to 1965." Our condolences have gone to Heather. If you would like to be in touch with her please contact the editor. For more from her letter please see In Memoriam.
Our Annual Reunion Lunch was on Saturday 4th October, 12.30 for 1.30pm, and very enjoyable it was too. We were well looked after by the catering and service team.
This year's talk SGS 56-61 and beyond was given by Gwyn Murfet - a Moggy Rat, railwayman, teacher, country vicar -and as we discovered - magician! The reasons for his alternative title It's a small world were soon clear to us.
A small number of members' guests took advantage of last year's decision to allow such bookings. Overall, numbers were down, with a very high number of apologies.
A photo report of the event can be seen via the Reunions page.
George/Jerzy Kiebuzinski 46 writes from the USA: It is a pleasure to receive your invitation. However, I cannot attend at this time. Given the nature of the occasion, I thought that I might share with you some reminiscences of my years at SGS which you might want to share with others.
I arrived in England during the Summer of 1946 with my mother. She had just married my step-father who was with the Polish 2nd Corps that was being demobilized and resettled. This was the opportunity to get out of Germany. I was eight years old at the time and had just had a "tour" of central Europe trying to keep ahead of the advancing Russian army.
I was in Vienna between the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945. One of my most frequent pastimes used to be counting the number of Allied bombers flying overhead, there were so many that the ground literally shook from the noise. So you can imagine the adjustment problems when I arrived at SGS dressed in my newly acquired school uniform.
During the day it was the magnificent mansion at SGS and outside of school it was a steel barrack structure previously used by the RAF in Mepal. Going to school was magical. The Conservatory with all those books, the drama clubs, the various craft activities, and most of all the wonderful teachers. I still recall R A Taylor (RAT), who taught me so much about nearly everything.
I was there for less than two years, but the education at SGS gave me so much that I would not have traded it for anything. When I arrived in the USA, the school system did not know what to do with me. I was only thirteen, but I had already completed the work of most US students who were sixteen years old.
That was a second adjustment period that I will never forget, but on the opposite side of the pleasure spectrum. Somehow, I survived, completed Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics and worked full time until this year when I went on part time status.
I live in the Washington DC area with my wife and try to keep up with our six children and six grandchildren. My daughter is a research librarian at the University of Toronto and she is the one that suggested that I contact you. So, while I cannot attend this reunion, please let the attendees know that I think of SGS fondly and I am planning to go to England next year. Hopefully, this time to Soham. Wishing all a great time.
Chris Bent read most of this out at our Reunion, reminding us of the esteem with which SGS was viewed by many of those who had been though very difficult times.
Tony Noble 68 has spotted what looks like a porcelain whisky flask bearing a Soham Grammar School badge, under which is the word Soham, for sale on eBay!
Bob Hiner 62 is in touch from Cyprus, where he has lived since 2005.
Mr Gareth Wood's page has been updated with the Order of Service from his Service of Thanksgiving and the tributes given at the service by Rev Mike Banyard and Gareth's son Chris - see via School Lists > Staff .. > Staff in 1972 or via In Memoriam
We have learned of the death of Terry Allen SG39 on 24th February 2013. Please contact the editor if you wish to pass on condolences.
Doug Jones SG71 is back in touch. He's in Bedfordshire. "I was at Soham in its final year as a Grammar School. Born in 1960 I joined in September 1971 and left in the Summer of 1972 - I think it was largely down to the fact that I couldn't be a weekly boarder any more. In those days pupils from Cambridge like myself had the choice of getting on a double decker bus every day or to lodge during the week with Mr and Mrs Armitage in the Headmaster's/Boarding House. After the initial home sickness of living away during the week I soon got to enjoy school life and have happy memories of the boarding house (apart from having to do homework every night!), learning how to play Snooker and Billiards, Tennis and playing Cricket on the Boarding House lawn with the rest of the lads and Mr Armitage on some summer evenings. I haven't bumped into any of my peers in many a year, I went on to the Perse School in Cambridge after Soham."
Mr John Humphry (Geography 65-72) has been talking to the editor and his page has been updated - see via School Lists > Staff .. > Staff in 1972
The daughter of George Kiebuzinski has been in touch to say he is on the class photo for Form 2A 1949-50. George lives in Maryland, USA. So far his is the only name on that photo. On the same page is a photo of the same group as Form 4A, 1952-53 when their Form Master was Mr Lawrance. If you can add names to these photos please contact the editor - see via School Lists > Entry year guide > Sep 49 > Form 2A photo
Mike Hallam SG51, retired Assistant Principal of Abingdon College, Oxfordshire, is now in regular contact with Peter Askem and Leon Kitchen and has been put in touch with John Grassi. Mike writes "We used to hitch a ride to school in RAT's old Ford Popular from Balsham to Soham. My father owned Balsham village bakery and on Saturdays I delivered bread to John Grassi's back door." Mike is working on a project with the Benedictines on the Anglo Saxon Chronicle.
Mr Gareth Wood, Chemistry 1964-72 died at home aged 75 on 7th April, after a short illness. His family have let us know that his funeral will be on 17th April at 10.30 am, at St Peterís Church, Fordham.
Ed Reed SG67 writes: "Gareth had been unwell for some time. As you know I used to bring Gareth along to the reunions. Being a Fordham boy myself, I had known Gareth for many years. I had been his and Judyís paper boy and he had taught me chemistry to O level and then to A level at Ely. He is somebody for whom I had immense respect as I know did many others and it is a very sad loss indeed."
Our condolences have been given to Mrs Judith Wood and the family. Any letters or charitable donations can be sent to the Funeral Directors - CE Fuller and Co [re Gareth Wood], 23 Hall Street, Soham, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5BN. Emails can be sent to the editor, who will forward them.
Did anyone in your family, or any of your friends, go to Ely High School? They have a Reunion Luncheon coming up on 17th May at the Beet Club, Lynn Road, Ely. For ex-EHS, there is a booking form on their website - see the link on the left of your screen.
My apologies for not informing you that Melvyn Chapman SG51 made contact back in December. He's now in Staffordshire.
Kevin Stone SG66 makes contact from Yorkshire. He adds memories of playing in the chess team in the Starr Cup and in a Sunday Times schools chess competition - see via Scrapbook > Chess Club
Peter Searle writes that his uncle Cyril F Hepher attended Soham Grammar School [Cyril Frank Hepher is entry 489 in the School Admission Register for the school year 1925-26].
Cyril is mentioned on the Soham Grammarians in Wartime page .... Summer 1943 - 'Old Boys in H M Forces' - RAF CF Hepher - 'We are glad that C F Hepher (RAF) who was torpedoed is safe'. Peter adds that the troopship (SS Anselm) was torpedoed on 5th July 1941, 300 miles north of the Azores (see Maritime Disasters of WWII) and that for the next 18 months Cyril was stationed in Freetown, West Africa with the RAF.
Peter has also provided a photo of Cyril as a schoolboy, in what is presumably SGS uniform for the period. According to two handwritten pages of school regulations (assuming that they are SGS's) in Cyril's papers this had at least to be the school cap - see via Scrapbook ... 1920s
Colin Hambidge SG68 follows up on Mrs BM Wilkes (Latin 1968-72) for whom he had a high regard. Was she the wife of Professor Sir Maurice Wilkes, 'one of the fathers of British computing'? - see via School Lists > Staff .. > Staff in 1972 > Mrs BM Wilkes
The late Ted Smith's (1956 entry) sister Helen has provided a short obituary (see In Memoriam) and has spotted him and a couple of others on the page for the May 1964 production Memory Be Green - see via History > History2 > Productions > Memory Be Green
A Happy New Year to all Grammarians and their families with the hope that you have escaped the flooding and wind damage. The editor is fortunate to live on higher ground in Leatherhead in the stricken Mole Valley in Surrey, but there are places much worse off.
John Wilson SG46 writes that Michael JG Whetstone (1943 entry?) has died. Both lived in the village of Ryhall in Lincolnshire where Michael had been head of the local primary school. After retiring he stayed in the village until last year, recently moving to the Wirral to be closer to his family - for more detail on Michael please see In Memoriam
Since the midi School Song music file was added in the early days of this website technology and website browsers have moved on. The now largely obsolete midi file has been converted to an mp3 file and the School Song page updated accordingly - try it out via History > History 2 >School Song.
The navigation menus that appear on the left of your screen are being revised to make things easier for the increasing number of you that are looking at this site on a touch screen (eg on an iPad).
There were 3 email additions in 2014 (4 in 2013, 12 in 2012, 18 in 2011, 18 in 2010, 18 in 2009, 53 in 2008, 37 in 2007, 34 in 2006, 28 in 2005, 40 in 2004).