Soham Grammarians : Graham H Rees BA (Wales)
French & German Sep 1967 - July 1970

I taught French & German at Soham Grammar School from September 1967 to July 1970.

Lionel Hart took over from Tom Riley as head of Languages as I arrived (Tom continued part-time teaching) and 'Tabs' Tabraham took over as Deputy Head. RA 'Peter' Taylor took over as Head of the Lower School - I was Form Tutor of 1A, so worked quite closely with him.

Lionel Hart was President of the 'Bachelors Club' - the unmarried staff went out for a monthly meal and generally convivial evening at a range of venues, including Waterbeach, Barton Mills, Lavenham, Long Melford etc. Also, there were occasional 'extra' sessions at The Cutter in Ely, The Chequers in Fordham and The Fen Tiger.

The members of the club at this time, as well as Lionel and myself, were Barry Batholomew (PE), Chris Wain (Maths), Bob Hanworth (English), Don Riley (Music) and Tony Cornell (Physics).

When I left SGS for Llandrindod Wells in 1970 (I've been here ever since) I wrote an article in the school magazine which could be of some little interest:

from the 1970 School photo

"In the middle of a desert it is very pleasant to find an oasis. In the middle of the flat, open fens, it is pleasant to find an oasis of culture and civilisation - Soham Grammar School.

When I began teaching at Soham, the first impression I had was of a school with a remarkable spirit of cooperation between staff and boys. The better I came to know the school, of course, the more exceptions to this spirit came to light. My first impression, however, is still the dominant one. This spirit is not the product of some high-flown educational theory, but is a natural trait of the school.

I have enjoyed my three years at Soham Grammar School; I must now turn my attention to the sons and daughters of mid-Wales sheep farmers.

My feelings on leaving are somewhat mixed - pleasure at returning home, and regret at the thought that soon Soham Grammar School will cease to exist. This school, which has provided the young men of the area with a fine education for 300 years, is to be destroyed, in order to satisfy the dogma and whims of politicians. I think that the destruction of the Grammar Schools is very similar to the dissolution of the monasteries in the 15th Century, and I feel sure that actions of this kind which are now taking place will be viewed with distaste in the future.

Soham Grammar School has taught me a great deal, and I am most grateful. The school embodies much of the best in British education - it is because of this it is being done away with. This is a fine school and I am proud that I have been a small part of it."

Soham Grammarian Summer 1970

Three members of staff are leaving us this year. Mr Hollamby, Mr Rees and Mr Wain are all going on to more senior posts; we thank them for all that they have given to the school in their years here, and wish them well in their new appointments.

sources: GHR letter to the Editor, 7 June 2003, School Magazine Summer 1970

Do you have any appreciations, anecdotes or other photos relating to Mr Rees? Please contact the editor

page last updated 1 Nov 2007