September 2023 - see above for link to Reunion Luncheon booking form
Philip Oakes SG61
makes contact from Cornwall.
We have had sufficient expressions of interest to proceed with plans for
our Reunion Luncheon, back in Beechurst Hall as in pre-pandemic times. The
date is Saturday 7th October and we sit down for lunch at 1330. Please now
book for this event using the link above, completing the form and
returning it with your payment to John Dimmock as soon as possible.
Assessment of interest in a SG Reunion Luncheon, Saturday 7
We now hope to be back in Beechurst Hall as in pre-pandemic times. Yes,
back to having a live do!
But before we can definitely go ahead we
need to have sufficient expressions of firm interest to make the
event viable - so if you think you are very likely to come please,
please contact John Dimmock as soon as possible - no later than 22
July if possible.
We will let you know as quickly as we
can if there has been sufficient interest for you to then make a
definite booking. Do not for the present make any payment.
Dr Carin Taylor will as usual bring us up to date on the past year
at the Village College and how they have continued to cope with tricky
times for staff and students ..
There will be a short illustrated talk, yet to be arranged.
The Luncheon will be of 3 courses. Including tea/coffee and wine - this
would cost £35 per person (you will of course have saved much more than
that over the three years we have had reunions via Zoom!). We are
all painfully aware of how much prices in the shops have increased since
we last met together.
The date is Saturday 7th October in Beechurst Hall (for many of us
our old Assembly Hall). Doors open at 12.30 and we sit down for
lunch at 13.30.
If a partner, relative or supporting friend
enables you to come, they may enjoy the company and are welcome to attend
(and will increase our numbers!).
SG66 makes contact - he is now living in France.
writes: My mother died recently and going through her paperwork we found
things relating to my dad and his time at Soham Grammar School. He was Ronald
and he is shown in the 1937 School Photo (the year he
started at the school) in the front row of 9/10, no3.
My daughter and I visit the now Soham VC for Parkrun
it's nice to think that we tread the same paths and fields as my dad did
all those years ago. We have enjoyed reading the history on the website.
Liz Stokes writes: My husband Reginald James Stokes was a pupil
at Soham Grammar school in the 1950s. He sadly passed away on the 22nd
Aug 2021 aged 79. [Editor: RJ Stokes was in the 1953 entry]. See also In
My name is Janet Clark I am David Clark SG69's wife. Very
sadly I must inform you David died on 12 March this year, after being
diagnosed with cancer in November 2022. He died at home after a
short stay in hospital with infections/sepsis - for more please see In
My name is Erica Kohler, I am the daughter of Richard Ralph
Petersen (known as Dick) born 24th May 1919, died 17th January
1960. I do believe that my father is in the front row 3rd from the left
[in the middle of part 1 of the 1929 School Photo].
I was sorting out some papers of my late mother and came across a
little silver badge that says : Soham Gr Sch, Cricket Ball u14 1st
1928. I was wondering if you could give me any information of how
long my father was at Soham, any school records class or sport
available, and if there is by any chance information of where he went
after leaving here. I think he might have gone to a public Roman
Catholic School in London.
I was 8 years old when my father died from contracting polio. He
was an Observer in the RAF during WWII. He married Pearl Margaret Gibson
in 1947 and they emigrated to South Africa where I was born and he died.
The Editor writes: in the SGS records to hand no Petersen has been
found. The badge referred to by Erica is very similar to those donated
by Jack Lockwood's daughter - please click here
Apologies to all visitors this website. As can be seen below there is lot
of updating to be done. Lengthy flu and post flu lassitude coupled with
updating of computers and operating systems is my excuse.
Kevin Brown SG63 writes: I have to regretfully inform you that Peter
J Smith SG59, passed away peacefully at home with his wife and
daughter by his side on 2nd February 2023, just two weeks before his
75th birthday, after a brave battle with Prostate Cancer.
After SGS Peter worked in the laboratories at Spillers Milling where 3
or 4 other SGS have worked including me. From there he went to Reading
University to study Food Technology before a career with Cadburys.
Around 10 years ago we met up again for an Ely Old Boys Reunion, five
of whom were SGS. We then met up once or twice a year.
Apart from his family his other loves were music and running (he was a
member of his local club in Hereford). Peter was a true gentleman and
will be sadly missed by all that knew him.
Malcolm Partridge SG61 (joined Jan 62) makes contact: I'm now
living in France. In the Champion School Fenland Schools Cross Country
1963 photo I believe that JR Harding was actually Paul W Harding.
His grandaughter Gemma reports the death of Wilkes Walton SG36
on 30th December 2022 at the age of 96. Wilkes' funeral took place on 11
January at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip, Middlesex. Until prevented
by age Wilkes was a regular attender (wearing a splendid bow tie in SG
colours) at our reunions and can be seen in many reunion reports,
usually with his great friend the late Roy Palmer SG37. Wilkes
co-presented the talk on SGS at War at our 2010 reunion. For more please
see In Memoriam.
[A report on the 2022 Reunion will be added
in due course].
On 5 September an invitation to participate
was issued to Grammarians with whom we are in email contact to participate
part in our free 2022 Annual Reunion on Saturday 1st October,
which will be online via Zoom from 2.10pm UK time.
We had hoped to be back in Beechurst Hall as in pre-pandemic times, but as
a result of staffing issues at the contractors it proved impossible to
make the catering arrangements in time.
Rather than do nothing this year, John Dimmock and I agreed we would again
run a virtual reunion via Zoom, as enjoyed by many of us in 2020 and 2021.
We truly hope that next year, 2023, will see us back to 'normal'.
Dr Carin Taylor will as usual bring us up to date on the past year
at the Village College and how they have continued to cope with tricky
times for staff and students.
There will be a short illustrated talk by Dr Simon Curtis SG67 on
what lies behind the creation of his first novel, SWORDSMITH,
published on 31 August 2022. Simon is one of this country's most
distinguished and highly qualified farriers. The hero of his novel (set in
the darkest of the Dark Ages, during the early settlement of England by
the Anglo Saxons) is a farrier who becomes a highly skilled
We hope you will participate in this year's
event, and that those who may be fed up with Zooming will generously make
an exception in our case. Please contact the Editor if you have not
received our invitation email.
42 have registered as of 1 Oct:
Chilcott, Bill SG50
Clift, Kenneth/Sam SG50
Coe, Malcolm SG57
Crowe, David SG52
Curtis, Simon SG67
Czumaj, Ralph SG54
Dean, Richard SG56
Dench, Alan SG67
Dimmock, John SG59
Dunham, Ralph SG59
Evison, Peter SG'67'
Faircliffe, Patrick SG48
Fernie, Geoff SG59
Fletcher, Malcolm SG49
Frost, Alan SG54
Hawes, Michael SG69
Herod, Steve SG57
Hobbs, Ian SG48
Holmes, Paul SG46
Hunter, Kenn SG67
Johnson, Roger SG59
Kelly, William SG55
Monk, Donald SG50
Nix, Anthony SG65
Parr, Alec (Barry) SG62
Porter, Stuart SG59
Scott, Peter (Maths)
Sculthorpe, Robert SG63
Smith, Peter SG59
Smith, Roger SG56
Smith, Trevor SG62
Sparrow, Ralph SG45
Thornhill, Simon SG65
Wilkins, Denis SG53
Woodroffe, David SG60
Roger Wright 49
Taylor, Carin (SVC)
Morton, Carol (widow of Michael SG64)
Among those offering apologies for not participating in our reunion this
year is Ranjit Kurrie SG61: "I will not be able to attend the
reunion this year as I am participating in the London Marathon on 2nd
October 2022 on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, at the tender age
of 72. If anyone would like to donate to the BHF on my behalf please click here."
- Bill Chilcott SG50 has reported the death on 11 Jan 2022 of Peter
Jeffery SG49. Peter was at one time married to Jenifer, a daughter
of Mr EH Tabraham.
- Did you ever meet the late Queen Elizabeth II? Please get in
touch with the editor.
- Peter Gipp SG46 was an apprentice carpenter, served in the
Royal Air Force and was known as Ely’s first traffic warden, amongst
other roles. Adam, one of Peter’s grandchildren, said: “He was always
there; you can go to him and rely on him to be there and help out.”
Peter died aged 87 on July 14 - see In Memoriam for the article
about Peter in the Ely Standard. He took part in our reunion
- Hope you had a happy and memory filled Platinum Jubilee - HM The Queen
has been part of our lives for so long.
- Patrick Faircliffe SG48 writes: It is with sadness I have to inform
you of the recent death of my brother James Faircliffe SG44. He
had been suffering from Alzheimer's for the past four years but had
managed to be at home with live-in carers until May last year, when he
went to Barchester Oaklands home in Bottisham. The level of care was
excellent and during last summer he was able to go out on several trips.
However, over time his condition deteriorated and in January needed a
short spell in Addenbrookes. It was unfortunate that for well over the
last two years he had no recollection of any members of his family. I
was able to visit a few days before he passed away on the 2nd June, when
the senior nurse felt he was in a declining state of health as he was
only able to take small quantities of liquid nourishment.
Having contacted the Rev. Eleanor Williams at Burwell she did manage to
visit and anoint him before he passed away. The funeral was held at St
Mary's Burwell on Thursday 23rd June at 11am followed by burial at
For the Eulogy read by his brother Patrick please see James' entry on
our In Memoriam page.
James was one of the eight original Boarders.
In 2014 James recorded an interview about his memories for Burwell
Stories - please click here
- 9 June: We contacted emailable Grammarians about arrangements
for our Annual Reunion for which we have pencilled in Saturday 1st
October. Please contact the editor if you did not get that email.
- John Wade SG57 died on Feb 9th 2022 aged 75. He ran the family
business of opticians with practices in Ely, Soham and Littleport until
2019 and is survived by his wife Jackie, three sons and 4 grandchildren
- for more see In Memoriam.
- Lindsay Hancock SG59 reports the death of Peter G Peachey SG54
on 18 June 2022 aged 79, after a short illness. Peter farmed in Burwell
all his life.
- Stan Harley SG53 notifies the death of John W Saul SG50 on 30
June 2022 aged 83, as reported in the Ely Standard July 7 2022 -
see In Memoriam
- Another 1950 entry, Jake Coleby died on 11 January 2022 - see
more in In Memoriam
- Ralph Sparrow SG45 has provided a group photo taken with Mr Jack Symmons just
before Jack left SGS in 1948
- Richard Vince SG64 has provided four photos which it is hoped
will result in a flurry of naming:
Junior Speech Day
Senior Speech Day
School Mock General Election 1966 - one of the crowd and one of the candidates
- Mike Rouse, Hon SG and former Mayor of Ely, died on 19 May
2022. He was in his early 80s. He was actually at Kings, Ely, but
through sport and family connections was close to many Grammarians. He
taught at the Village College before and after SGS and SVC merged and
was responsible for much of the preservation of SGS's history. He was a
prolific author on local history and Fen life. He was made an Honorary
Grammarian in 2003 and gave the talk at our 2019 Reunion. For more see In
- If you have any Ely High School connections you may like to let them
know that their Luncheon Club will, after a two-year break, be now be
meeting on 3rd September (the date was changed from in May as a result
of the surge in COVID adversely affecting bookings) at St Ives Golf Club. The organiser, Christine
Fuller (the widow of John Fuller SG47), can be contacted for more
information by clicking here.
- via Dudley Walton SG63, news that Andrew Papworth SG63 died on
18 March 2022, aged 70, after a long battle with cancer. For more see In
- Mervyn Pamment SG53 died suddenly on 11 February, aged 79.
His funeral is on Wednesday March 30 at the North East Surrey
Crematorium, Morden, London SM4 4NU. Please contact the editor if
you think you'll be attending. Mervyn had a long career in journalism
notably with the Mirror Group - for more see In Memoriam
- Mrs BM Wilkes (1968-72) taught Latin in the latter days of
SGS and then at Soham Village College. A daughter, Margaret Sutton,
has provided more information about her mother. There is also a link
to her father, Professor Sir Maurice Wilkes FRS FREng, who was one of
the leading British computer scientists. More recollections of Mrs
Wilkes are welcome - please click
here or see via In Memoriam.
- Many of you may have encountered the late Mrs Molly Bozeat, the wife
of Dick. She supported many events at SGS and herself taught locally.
The eulogy given at her funeral on 6th December 2021 can be seen on
the In Memoriam page of the Ely High School website.
- Stan Harley SG53 and Terry Rule SG55 have notified the the death on
6th January 2022 of Trevor Carter SG55 at the age of 77. It
was reported in the Ely Standard of 27th January. His funeral
took place on Wednesday 2nd February - for more see In Memoriam.
- The funeral of Mrs Molly Bozeat, wife of Dick Bozeat
(Woodwork 1959-72) took place in Ely on 6th December. She died
suddenly and totally unexpectedly at home on 8th November. Molly was
Head Girl at Ely High School 1954-55 and they married in the early
1960s. Please contact me if you wish to write to Dick, who has a son
and two grandsons. Donations maybe made to Cancer Research UK.
- Dudley Walton SG63 writes: Bruce Butcher SG63 passed
away on 23rd November 2021 after a battle with prostate cancer. He
leaves a wife Julie and 2 daughters. His funeral is being held at
Fenland Crematorium, Knights End Rd, March PE15 0YH on Monday 20th
December 2021 at 11:30 - see also In Memoriam.
- Peter Scott (Maths 60-72) has provided a photo of John
Humphry (Geography 65-72) and Don Riley (English 66-72)
at Chur station on a skiing trip to Switzerland - click here
- Terry Rule SG55 adds Michael Shaw and Barry
Scarborough to the listing of the 1955 entry. Les Weston's
name has been corrected. Where are they now?
- John Humphry's (Geography
65-72) Service of Thanksgiving took place on
Wednesday 27th October, at St Andrew's, Soham. Please click the link
in this news item to see the Order of Service, the Tributes given by
his three sons and the interview he gave the editor in 2014. If you
have photos or memories to add to John's page please contact the editor.
- Peter Stearman SG65 has died at the age of 68. Peter suffered
an embolism and died peacefully in The Royal Papworth Hospital on 2nd
November, just five days after taking over as Captain at Ely City Golf
Club. His funeral will take place in December - for more see In
- The extensive report on our 2021 Reunion via Zoom to which
is linked Michael Yeomans' fascinating talk From Soham to the
Medicine Chest of the World can now be read by clicking here. They are
best viewed on something like a laptop or an iPad. If you want to
print them it's best done in landscape format.
- The death of Peter Handley SG42 at the age of 90 was
reported in the Ely Standard on 30 September 2021. His funeral
at Holy Trinity, Haddenham, took place on 14 October. Peter got his
School Certificate in 1947; Senior Agricultural Scholarship 1949;
County Major Scholarship 1949; Prefect; Captain 1st XI Football
1948-9; Football Colours 1947-8; 2nd XI Cricket; Games Committee;
Captain of Ridley. He attended Reunions, last in 2009 - see In
Memoriam: via Ivor Wright SG43.
- Peter Scott (Maths 60-72) on 13 Oct: One of his sons has let me know
that John Humphry
(Geography 65-72) has died. A later call was to say that
John's funeral will be on Wednesday 27th October, at 2.30pm. St
Andrew's streams its Sunday services but, with very few exceptions,
- An extensive obituary for John Humphreys SG'50' who died in
2012 has been found from the Shooting Times. Formerly Deputy
Warden at Bottisham Village College he wrote for country publications
and authored several books on life in the Fens: see also In
- We had a good time on Saturday afternoon, 2nd October, reuniting
via Zoom. Some of those registered did not make it ... for
various reasons ... but as the Irish say the craic was good.
All Grammarians were sent a link to the recording of the event, which
was available until 6 October. A report on the lines of last
year's is being prepared. Thanks to all who took part.
We hope that in 2022 we will be able to return to holding our reunion
in the Beechurst Hall (our old Assembly Hall) at Soham Village
College. The possibility of that being streamed for those unable to
travel will be looked into.
In the meantime please do make a virtual visit to the parts of the
Grammar School that remain, by opening this link to see the aerial view of the
site and then clicking on a Beechurst label to come down to
ground level and wander around inside the building. The link is also
on our Scrapbook page
- Anyone in touch with ...
John Lester SG65 wonders if anyone is in touch with Peter A Bolton?
He does not appear in the Form Lists until Form III 1967-68, which
would make him a nominal SG65er.
Frank Haslam SG'59' wonders if anyone is in touch with Sammy
Martin (initial P) SG59? He was from Ely and was an
expert on all things to do with railways
There are many others we have lost touch with/would like to be in
touch with - please see via Contact/In Touch > Out of Touch,
or click OOT.
- Can you help?: Peter Jeffery SG49 in Norfolk was
sorting through some old family films recently and came across one
marked Soham Grammar School film on standard 8mm
Sixty or so years ago Peter was a member of Newmarket Cine Club. He
vaguely remembers making a film in the 1960s of activities at SGS with
two or three other members who been at SGS. Mr Riley was still there
so it would have been 1967 or before. The film, which runs for about
20 minutes, shows boys and masters taking part in a variety of school
Can anyone help us get this converted to a format that will play on
the Internet, like the films that Lionel Hart took (see Scrapbook)?
If you are in the UK and can help with conversion, ideally for free,
September 2021 - OUR 2021 REUNION VIA ZOOM is on Saturday 2nd
Please keep that afternoon free ...
- Our 2021 REUNION is via Zoom only: Invitations were
emailed on 19 September to all in personal or third party email
contact. An email reminder was sent on 26 September to those we had
not heard from.
The invitation explains how to register to take part via Zoom.
Grammarians wishing to attend who are contactable via email but have
not yet received the invitation email (check in case it has gone
into Spam) are asked to contact the editor as soon as possible.
Registration is required in order to take part.
Here are those registered as of 1310 on 2 October - 61 have
registered so far ... please join us
Rod Armitage '55'
Peter Beavan '58' *
Richard Berney 68
Don Boud 50
Kevin Brown 63 Germany
Chris Bull 53
Bill Chilcott 50 USA
Kenneth Clift 50
Geoffrey Cross 64
Richard Dean 56
Alan Dench 67
John Dimmock 59
Christopher Dubas (Pearce) 65
Martyn Davies 66
Ralph Dunham 59
Peter Evison '67'
Patrick Faircliffe 48
Geoff Fernie 59 Canada
Richard Formby 68
Alan Frost 54
Phil Green 68
Vincent Gudgeon 66
Frank Haslam '59'
Stephen Herod '57'
Ian Hobbs 48
Kenn Hunter 67
Peter Jeffery 49
Bill Kelly 55
Ranjit Kurrie 61
Terry Mackender 59*
Donald Monk 50
Carol Morton (widow of Michael Morton 54)
Tony Nix 65
Andrew Nunn 55*
John O'Toole: English 63-66 Australia
Dr Carin Taylor: Staploe Educational Trust
Sara Coutts: for many years our Reunion Caterer
* first time attenders
Eric Pearson 60 Canada
Stuart Porter 59 USA
Ed Reed 67
Bob Robinson 58
David Scott 66*
Peter Scott: Maths 60-72
Peter Scott 59
David Sculthorpe 65
Bob Sculthorpe 63
Brian Smith 63
Peter Smith 59
Trevor J Smith 62 Thailand
Norman Talbot 60
Simon Thornhill 65
Piet Walton-Knight 52
Denis Wilkins 53
David Woodroffe 60
Ivor Wright 43
Roger Wright 49
Michael Yeomans 60 USA
Steve Yeomans 65*
- We have made contact with Peter Gipp SG46 following an article in the Ely Standard about
the 70th Anniversary of Peter and Christine's wedding.
- Reg Stokes SG53 died at the age of 79 on 22nd August. His
funeral was at St James Church, Stretham at 1pm on 21st September: via
Stan Harley SG53 - see In Memoriam
- Alan Mason died on 27 August after a long period of illness.
He was on the SG staff as Lab Technician 1966-72. His funeral was on
Friday 17th September at 12.30 at Soham Methodist Church. If you have
recollections of Alan, please contact the editor - see also In
- We have learned that Ray Thurston SG39 died at home in
Newmarket in February 2021, aged 92. If you knew of Ray's life please
help to add to his entry on our In Memoriam page.
- The family of Ed Kisby SG67 whose funeral took place last
year would like his Soham Grammarian friends to know that a Memorial
Service will take place in November in Hitchin. If you would like
to attend, please contact the editor.
- Steve Yeomans SG65 makes contact and plans to join in our
Reunion via Zoom on Saturday 2nd October. His brother Michael
Yeomans SG60 will be our speaker, online from New Jersey USA
.... go figure!
- OUR 2021 REUNION IS ON SATURDAY 2ND OCTOBER - Please keep the
After careful thought and consultation with Soham Village College,
conscious that many of us are in a high risk group, and with the
complications of assessing the catering requirement, we have
reluctantly decided that we will not be able to meet together in
Beechurst Hall for our Annual Reunion Luncheon this year.
But we are still going to have a reunion, again using Zoom.
We hope that we can build on last year's very enjoyable event. All SGs who are in touch by
email have been asked to keep the afternoon of Saturday 2nd
October free in their diary/calendar. We will be in touch with
them nearer the time with how to book to join us via Zoom on the day.
'Doors' will open after 2pm and we will begin at 2.30pm. We were still
going over 2 hours later last year. All times are UK time by the way.
The event is free but BYO refreshments!
Those who have not told us they have email are receiving a letter
asking them to get in touch if they now have email but forgot
to tell us. Or if they remain without email we have suggested that
friends or family who are online and might enable them to take part
should contact us.
As usual there will be an illustrated talk, this time by Michael
Yeomans SG60 (who will be joining us from New Jersey, USA) with
stories from his early years in Soham and Ely, the dilemma of having
to choose between a career in science or in music, and his almost
50-year journey in the global pharmaceutical industry. Dr Carin
Taylor from the Staploe Educational Trust will again be joining
If you are ex-SGS but not in touch and would like to know more about
this event, please contact
- The death of George Porter Russell SG43 in Addenbrookes
Hospital, Cambridge on Monday, 23rd November 2020, aged 88, has been
reported by one of his daughters, Anne Blake. A Haddenham boy, George
was the youngest of seven children. He did his National Service in the
RAF, where he trained as an electrician. After the RAF he worked for
Setchells in Ely and then as an electrical contractor in Haddenham. He
married Mary Handley in 1954 and they had three daughters. He was a
member of the Royal Observer Corps for many years and was very
involved in village events and in Haddenham Baptist Chapel. He can be
seen in the photos of SG Reunions in 2005 and 2007 - for more see In
- Michael Hawes SG69 adds some names to part 8 of the 1972
- Alan Bray SG60 reports the death of his cousin's son Graham V
Place SG69 at the age of 63 on 1st July 2021 at Addenbrokes
Hospital. His funeral was at West Suffolk Crematorium on 29 July - see
- Alan Barber SG59 died at the age of 73 on 12 July 2021. His
funeral service at 1pm on Monday 26 July was streamed from St Paul's,
Whitley Bay. A full In Memoriam entry is being prepared.
- Paul Delanoy adds a tribute to his uncle Don Delanoy SG40?
who died in 2016. He has provided a link to Don's page on the Pye Story website, which may be of
interest to others who worked there - see via In Memoriam
- Research following the publication of an article in the Ely
Standard adds to the story they had about Harry Kane SG44,
an evacuee from the East End of London who was happily billeted in
Stretham, thrived at SGS, and went on to represent GB at the 1956
Olympics in Melbourne. Thanks to Fred Eden SG44 Harry's ID on
the 1946 School Photo has been sorted out. And no, apparently he was
no relation to the other Harry Kane ... For this story linking the
coming Olympic Games and SGS, but not UEFA Euro 2020, which includes
an interview with Harry, please see Scrapbook, 1940s or click
- Alan Frost SG54 is back home after giving himself and his
friends a scare in February when he disappeared from our radar. He'd
been seriously ill and now recognises that he should have responded to
the signs his body was giving him. He now has to take it easy and gets
tired very quickly. He's fortunate that he has family nearby and many
friends who were concerned about him.
- The Delanoy family have updated John Delanoy SG42's entry on
our In Memoriam page.
- Peter Smith SG59 writes: The Cambridge nostalgia FB website
(Cambridge in the good old days from the 1960s, before and now) has
many messages of condolence for the passing on 24 April of John
Gentle, aged 73, who was an SG59er. One lady remembers him in
the Guild coffee bar with other Cambridge-based Soham lads: Philip
'Sid' Cullum, Terry Impey and Mervyn Hardwick. [We never did
establish contact with Johnny - see also In Memoriam.]
- Do you have any EHS connections? The EHS Luncheon Club has
announced that their Annual Luncheon will now not take place this year
but look forward to holding it in May 2022, all being well.
- Pauline Ogden (née Ward), ex-EHS, corrects two IDs on the 1965
School Photo - Glyn Taylor and Phillip Wright. Glyn Taylor SG61 has
just also made contact!
- John Dimmock SG59 writes: Sara Coutts, ex-SVC, who
has been responsible for organising, preparing and serving the food
for our reunions for the last ten years has decided to move on to
pastures new. At a farewell event held appropriately in Beechurst
Hall, Dr Carin Taylor, Executive Headteacher of the Staploe Trust, who
many of you will know, praised Sara for her loyal service as well as
her willingness to go well over and beyond her job description.
As the local SGS 'boy' Dr Taylor had invited me to attend. On behalf
of the Grammarians I offered Sara our sincere thanks and knowing her
love of gardening gave her an appropriate voucher. It comes as no
great surprise that she will not be working in the catering trade but
has secured a position at Simpson's Nursery in Fordham.
- Dannie Nicholas SG59's funeral took place on 17 March at
Greenacres, Colney, Norwich: a number of us were able to watch it
online. Dannie had exactly set out the music and words. We hope to add
material from his funeral and from the family to a page being prepared
on remembering Dannie.
- John Gammon SG63's death in 2015 was reported at the time.
Thanks to Peter Smith SG59 and further research a full obituary is now
available on our In Memoriam page. It makes for interesting
reading especially if you were into the music scene, in which John was
a respected observer and operator. He was the subject of a BBC Heir
Hunters programme in 2016 but it is currently not available via
- Ian Hobbs SG48 and Brian Knott SG57 have heard that Fred W
Thurling SG48, a Littleport boy, has died. No further details at
present but please contact the editor if you know more.
- This photo of SG Old Boys was found by Brian Knott SG57. He
had it from Robin McLaren, who died in 2009 aged 93 and was at SGS in
John Dimmock SG59 reports it has appeared in Ely Old Photos on Facebook. John
recalls that Robin ran a garage in Haddenham and that John Chapman was
the father of Peter Chapman SG57.
When and where was it taken and what names can you add? A
1937-40, 1948 list of OBs
may jog your memory.
standing: John Chapman - Walter Sparrow - 3 - Robin McLaren - 5 - 6 -
7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16
seated: Les Read - 2 - 3 - John G Unwin - 5 - 6 - Gothard - 8 - 9 - 10
- Daniel Woodroffe in Norfolk is a grandson of the late Barry
Woodroffe SG50. "He sadly passed on 23rd February 2013 after a
short illness. During the times we spent together whilst I was growing
up he spent lots of time speaking of his time at Soham Grammar school,
growing up in Ely and moving to Norfolk at the age of 15. After
watching a program recently, I have been spurred on to find out more
about his time in Ely and at Soham Grammar School."
Daniel hopes that someone reading this may be able to provide memories
of Barry, including photos. He has no photos of his grandfather about
the time he was at SGS and so has not been able to spot him on the
1952 or 1954 School Photos. For more information to jog memories about
Barry please see In Memoriam and if you can help Daniel please
contact the editor.
- John Fordham SG47 died on 27 January 2021 aged 84, writes Ian
Hobbs SG48: John was a gifted mathematician and sportsman - SGS's
first Soccer Blue (Oxford) and continued to play with Soham United for
several years. He was also in the school cross-country team and
continued to run long distance for many years in this country and
abroad as a veteran. Diploma in Education, Oxford University; taught
at Newmarket Grammar School (his wife Pauline taught at Ely High
School): more information when available - also see In Memoriam.
Chris Wain (Maths 66-70) writes: I played with John a couple
of times, at left-back for Soham United including in 1966 against
Soham Town Rangers, a keenly anticipated local derby! The last time I
saw him was at the funeral of Bob Chapman, father of Colin Chapman
whom I taught at SGS.
- Dannie Nicholas SG59's daughter Wendy writes: It is with the
greatest sadness that I inform you of the death of my father Dannie
John Nicholas. Following a long battle with
[severe non-alcoholic] cirrhosis and COPD, he
unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 mid-January. He passed away
peacefully on the evening of Sunday 31st January 2021.
Funeral arrangements are uncertain at present and in current
circumstances will be required to be small and private. It saddens me
that we can't necessarily honour all of my father's wishes regarding
his funeral but for anyone who would like to make a donation to
charity in his memory, he expressed a wish that donations be directed
to Bipolar UK [click here to make a donation]
If you have memories, photos etc of Dannie to share with us and his
family please contact the editor.
- Darren Tebbitt updates our In Memoriam page with an entry
on Desmond Gutteridge (1934 entry, believed died 1999): "Des
was a gentleman's hairdresser with a barber's shop in St Mary's Street
Ely, known for his eclectic taste in bow ties - he never cut without
- A Happy and Healthy New Year to all - keep well
- Lorna Delanoy (ex-EHS), widow of Michael SG48 informs
me that the last of the Delanoy boys, John SG42, died on 4
January 2021. Don SG40? died in 1988 and Michael last year. It
is hoped to have a full obituary in due course - for now see In
- Norman South SG46, born and raised in Littleport,
died on Christmas Day 2020 at the age of 85. As reported in the Ely
Standard, 5 January 2021, he was a well known figure on the
local sporting scene: via Chris Bent SG53 - see more in In
- Darren Tebbitt's grandfather Les Tebbitt worked with a cousin Douglas
Joe Heaps and Douglas's father Joe Heaps on the family farm in
Haddenham. Darren has identified Douglas on the 1935 School Photo.
Douglas was taken ill during the 1942 Harvest and diagnosed with
Leukaemia, dying six weeks later aged 22.
Darren has this photo of Douglas (right) with his friend Maurice
Waddelow (left, d 1976), also from Haddenham, at Hunstanton in 1936.
Maurice served in the Royal Artillery in WW2. Is it Maurice standing
next to Douglas in the 1935 School Photo? Haddenhamites please report.
Darren's former neighbour Geoffrey JA Newell SG51 b 1940 d
March 2015 is in the 1952 and 1954 School photos.
- Mr Leon Kitchen (History 1951-57) died on 2nd December
2020, aged 93. His funeral was on Thursday 17 December at 2.15pm at
the West Road Crematorium in Newcastle.
His daughter Rachel writes: As you know he was a very special
man and I’m privileged to have had him as a father for so long. My
mother Barbara and I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
Through his son Mark, Leon held The National Autistic Society particularly
close to his heart and donations in Leon's name are welcomed by the
Leon attended many of our reunions, the last in 2009 and thereafter
sent his apologies. He kept in touch via our website and contact with
some of those he taught. In due course we will add his order of
service and tributes celebrating his life to his page. If you have messages to be passed to
the family/recollections of Leon to add to his page please contact the
editor: with thanks to Ian Hobbs SG48.
- The death of novelist John Harding SG62 in 2017 has been
noted by Peter Smith SG'59'. John, who was from Prickwillow, was Head
Boy in 1968 and read English Literature at Oxford - see In
Memoriam and Pages by/on SGs
- David Bryan SG66 regains contact from New Zealand
- Lees Donaldson SG'59' has provided news of the death of Jeremy
David (Wayne) Fisk SG58 - see In Memoriam
Lees also writes: Although I have lived in Newmarket since the mid
seventies, my visits to Ely diminished after my father died and my
mother moved to Shelford. She died last year on Christmas Day at
the age of 99 so another link with Ely and the Scotch Home Bakery
which my parents ran has gone. I remember sometimes travelling
to school on the bus with a box of freshly baked rolls which Mrs
Jarrett had ordered. I never did find out what they were for.
- It has taken ten years for us to be reasonably confident that this
is 'our' Andrew K Bailey SG60: Ely Standard, 16th Dec
2010 - 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. Thanks are due
to Lees Donaldson SG'59', Pete Smith SG59 and Nick Cave SG60 - see In
Memoriam for the full story.
- 24 Oct: The reporting on our 2020 Reunion via Zoom two weeks ago is
now available. As it was recorded we all shared the many stories
that were being told. There are three sections linked to each
1. Reunion Report (including Roll Call)
2. The talk Some Funny Goings On at Soham Grammar School
3. A collection of anecdotes.
It'll take you a while.
Either go to it via the Annual Reunions link or click here for the reporting on our 2020
Reunion via Zoom.
- 11 Oct: Our 2020 Reunion via Zoom took place yesterday and a report
is being prepared. A third of those who registered had not attended
before in this century (that's called historical perspective) for
various reasons - distance, health, event clashes etc. We had many
long distance faces on our screen - among them Australia, Thailand,
We were delighted to be joined by Mrs June Lawrance and her
daughter Gaye and by Mrs Carol Morton, widow of
Michael Morton SG'54'. JROT (as we were reminded of John
O'Toole (English 63-66)'s nickname) and Peter Scott (Maths 60-72)
joined us. Not all who registered were able to turn up, the most
dramatic being Eric Pearson SG60 in Kuujjuaq, Canada whose
internet connection was knocked out by a blizzard.
As Dr Carin Taylor of the Staploe Educational Trust said to us, let's
hope that she will be warmly welcoming us back in October 2021 (date
to be arranged) to our usual Beechurst Hall to be fed by Sara and her
team and served by the senior students.
- It's 18 years since this website was launched. We have
had getting on for 104,500 visits. Thank you to all who have
contributed material. The editor looks forward to hearing from those
who may have more - stories, memories, photos, Soham Grammarian
magazines etc that we
do not already have.
- In response to the 2020 Reunion letter sent to those for whom we had
no email address, more have now provided one. If you'd like to be in
touch with any of them please let me know: Kevin Brown SG63, Geoff
Double SG68, John Drake SG52, Terry Jordan SG48, Bruce King SG64,
Ranjit Kurrie SG61, Terry McHugh SG65, Chris Dubas-Pearce SG'65', Bill
Peters SG48, Chris Wain (Maths 66-70), Michael Whymer SG52.
- Ted Bullman BEM SG48 writes that he was sorry not to attend
this year. After long service in Comms in the RAF and MoD dealing with
sophisticated technology, followed by a long stint in electrics, he's
left that all behind and is telephone only these days. He enjoyed 5
years supervising the Sandringham Flower Show. If you wish to contact
him, let me know.
- Bernard White has written to inform us of the death of his brother Terence
William Wright MBE SG37 at the age of 91 on 29 September 2015 -
see an interesting account of his life and involvement in sail
training for schools in In Memoriam.
- John Woodward SG58 has made contact, thanks to his old friend
Denis Wilkins SG53. He has enabled us to provide a more
accurate Form 1T listing for the 1958 entry - see via School Lists
> Entry Year Guide
John's family moved to Hertfordshire in July 1960, the same time as Mr
Rex Waller (Latin 49-60) departed SGS for Somerset. John
completed his education at St Alban's Grammar School for Boys, which
he compares unfavourably to SGS. He went to sea and became a Ship's
Rex Waller was a churchwarden at St Mary's Bruton where John's wife's
uncle was the Vicar - John's wife and family were friends of the
Wallers. John had planned to drive Rex up to Soham for our 2008
Reunion but Joan Waller had been admitted to hospital and not long
afterwards, Rex died. For John's recollections of SGS see the
1950s section of our Scrapbook page.
This year's Reunion - how to join in this invitation only
1st October all Soham Grammarians in email contact were sent an
invitation to this year's Reunion. This is being held via Zoom
on Saturday 10th October, 2.15 for 2.30pm London time. If
you can't find that invitation email (and have checked that it was
not routed to your spam or junk email folders) please let us know by clicking here.
If you wish to join in please carefully follow the guide points in
the invitation email and then click the registration link provided
to register for our reunion (even if you have already told
us you'd like to attend). You will then receive a confirmation
email which has the link and passcode you will use to join us on
If you have any queries then as usual please contact John Dimmock
If you are unable to join us but wish to present your apologies please
click here and send us a message.
A letter to those Grammarians not in email contact was
posted on 1 October informing them about the Reunion, asking if
they are now using email or if someone in their 'bubble'
who is on the internet could facilitate their joining in.
We already know a number of Grammarians who for reasons of age or
health, or living in foreign parts (i.e. even further away than
Cambridgeshire, including beyond these shores) are looking
forward, on this occasion, to being able to join us.
We're giving it our best go. Dr Carin Taylor will again
be attending to bring us up to date on the past year at Soham
Village College and the challenges they are now facing. There will
be a short illustrated presentation on Some Funny Goings on at
SGS. We hope you will join us. Bring your own food and
Registrations as of 12:45 on
10th October - name and year of entry.
Plan to attend but not yet listed? Please register NOW
* one of 20 new attenders
- David Beale 62*
- Richard Berney 68*
- Kevin Brown 63* Germany
- Martin Brunt 66
- Chris Bull 53
- Bill Chilcott 50* USA
- Michael Clark 55* Australia
- Kenneth 'Sam' Clift 50
- Malcolm Coe 57
- Martyn Davies 66*
- Richard Dean 56
- Alan Dench 67
- John Dimmock 59
- Susan Dimmock
- Alan Diver 40*
- Keith Diver 70
- Geoff Double 68
- Ralph Dunham 59
- Keith Essex 69* Canada
- Patrick Faircliffe 48
- Geoff Fernie 59 Canada
- Richard Formby 68*
- Alan Frost 54
- James Gilbert 65
- Phil Green 68*
- Frank Haslam '59'
- John Hill 48
- Ian Hobbs 48
- Roger Human 46
- Ken Hunter 67
- Peter Jeffrey 49
- Douglas Jones 71*
- Terry Jordan 48
- Bill Kelly 55*
- Ranjit Kurrie 61*
- Mrs June Lawrance f (AEL)
- Brian Lythell 56
- Vaughan Moll 59
- Donald Monk 50
- Mrs Carol Morton (Michael 54)
- John O'Toole (English 63-66)*
- Barry Parr 62
- Christopher Dubas (Pearce) 65*
- Eric Pearson 60* Canada
- Stuart Porter 59 USA
- Terry (Eric) Scannell 66*
- Peter Scott (Maths 60-72)
- Brian Smith 63*
- Peter Smith 59
- Roger Smith 56 South Africa
- Trevor Smith 62* Thailand
- Carin Taylor SET
- Brian Thorby 49
- Simon Thornhill 65
- Piet Walton-Knight 52
- Michael Whymer 52*
- Denis Wilkins 53
- Tony Willenbruch 62
- Michael Yeomans 60 USA
- You can do a different kind of zooming - in and out and all about -
the SVC website has a fascinating 360 degree aerial view of the Soham
Village College campus and the surrounding town and countryside. See
how much it has grown since SGS days - we have a direct link to the
aerial view in Scrapbook > Other
- Back in contact or making contact: Nigel Haslop SG66 in
Cambridgeshire, Brian Smith SG63 in Kent.
- This year's Reunion
- see August - keep the afternoon of Saturday 10th October free!
- We have heard from his daughter Diana that John Butcher SG47
died on 12th September 2020. Further information is awaited.
- Bob Sculthorpe SG63 and his brother David SG65 have been in touch
with the news that Charlie Maschke SG64 died on 12th September
in Addenbrookes Hospital after a short illness. He was a boarder
during his time at SGS. The funeral is on 29th September
2020 at Cam Valley Crematorium, Saffron Walden - family only mourners
due to COVID restrictions. More information on Charlie's life in due
- Michael Smith has been in touch to say his father Trevor William
Smith SG61 died on 30th August 2020, a month short of his 71st
birthday. The notice in the Ely Standard on 10 September
called him 'the Rock of the family'. His funeral was at St Mary's Ely
on 24th September and it was planned that family all over the world
would be able to view it. For much more see In Memoriam.
- Geoffrey Glover's father Albert Glover SG22's best friend
was Professor Leslie Audus
who left SGS in 1929. He has identified his father, next to Leslie on
the Late 20s School Photo (see via School Lists/Photos), of
which he has a copy, alas undated. His father has been added to our In
Memoriam page (he was the first Little Downham boy to go to
Cambridge University) and recollections of Leslie have been added to
- Mike Yeomans and Eric Pearson, both SG60 musicians, add memories of
Greg Holt SG60 - see via In Memoriam
- Charles Peacock SG44 has informed us of the death earlier this year
of Chris Strawson SG44 from Ely. He was in both the Football
and Cricket 1st XIs. He became a Squadron Leader in the RAF, retiring
to the Isle of Wight. For much more see In Memoriam
- Simon Curtis SG67 had a new book published in August. The Farrier is a photo-book: Dr
Curtis says "Wherever there are horses there are farriers. My
photo-book celebrates the farrier's role, the environment they work
in, and the variety of horses they care for. It is the culmination of
a 10-year project with one purpose: to share joy and pride for
the craft of farriery.": thanks to Ivan Whymer SG56, who provided a
cutting from the Newmarket Journal, 13 August 2020 - see also
Pages on/by SGs
- A letter sent to friends by Edward Armitage advising of
their move from The Moat to Cambridge Road, Ely reveals some
of his early thoughts about the new Sixth Form Centre in Ely - see via
Annual Reunions > 2012 > Report (end of) > Talk (end of)
- Brian Jackson SG50 has made contact from Australia and put us
in touch with his brother Gordon Jackson SG52. They were
Fordham boys - Gordon has not moved as far as Brian, who has had a
career in aviation. Brian says he was sad to hear of the death of Clive
Bray SG50 who lived at the top of his street and did quite a lot
"One SGS memory that is indelibly embossed on my brain" says Brian "is
that trackway with tractor ruts and freezing cold muddy water that I
'accidentally tripped' Mr Foster into during a cross country run. BOY
did I pay - he picked a long whippy stick and I copped it across
the back of my legs until we made the road. We had a love/hate
relationship." Another teacher taught Geography and was a Chelsea
F.C fan and loved twisting your ear and in his words 'I'll give
you a bit of ginger'. Who could that be?
This year's Reunion: Following discussions with Dr.
Carin Taylor at the Staploe Educational Trust about our Annual Reunion
Lunch, scheduled for Saturday 10th October 2020, we have decided that
it will have to be cancelled:
are looking into holding an online reunion on Saturday 10th October
at 2.15pm via the widely used Zoom service. If you have
not already used it yourself you will almost certainly have seen it
used by tv News and other programmes such as the BBC One Show:
- many of us
are in the 'at risk' age group
catering team for the Village College have been furloughed
and no meal planning has been possible
- the Village
College is very unlikely to be accepting bookings for the
Beechurst Hall for our kind of event
You won't have to travel and it'll be free (well, not
quite - you provide your own food and drink).
We can do
quite a lot of the usual things, though perhaps not (as someone once
said) necessarily in the same order:-
to the Queen
to Absent Friends
from the Village College (Dr Carin Taylor)
- A short
Question and Answer time
"But I really like being able to chat even if they were
not in my year" One idea is to list those registering to attend
here on our website so you can let us know who you might like to talk
to. After the event we can email those who wish to be in touch
and are happy to share contact details. We'd leave it up to you
whether you phone each other or set up your own Zoom meetings. See
Trevor Smith's report below on a Zoom chat with four SGs recently,
mainly to celebrate joint 70th birthdays.
How to join the 10th October Reunion will only be provided to
those who register for it.
So that's how our thinking goes at the moment. Please let us know if
you'd like to give it a go (or not) and if you have any ideas to help
make it work.
We will do all we can beforehand to help those who have not yet Zoomed
to get up to speed if there are no friends or family able to help.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible
on our ideas.
If the feedback is broadly positive we'll be in touch with
registration information in due course. We will then also
contact those who have not provided an email address, to check if they
now have one or have someone who can help them join in.
This information was sent on 5 August to all SGs in email
- The 75th Anniversary of V-J Day is also a reminder of the
anniversary of the cruel death of Fred Hockley SG34. We remember him and
all who did not return from WW2 or, particularly in the case of the
Far East, returned from terrible captivity. For the application of
learning in that kind of adversity perhaps also look at Leslie Audus, who left SGS in 1929.
Bobby SG44 adds his Kodak 120 photo of the 1947-48 Football
1st XI. RAT had departed for Canada. Mr CJ Ford reported "So far
the 1st XI has not lost a match and has defeated some strong
school sides. Fortunately, most of last year's team, so ably
coached by Mr RA Taylor, was still available at the beginning of
the season, and with the increased experience has welded into a
very strong side." - see via Sport > Football
- News from his partner that Greg Holt SG60 has died. He was the son
of Ken Holt SG (left in
1938) who had distinguished wartime service in Bomber Command
before entering the teaching profession. He is warmly remembered
by those (including Mike Rouse) who were at Silver Street school
in Ely. For more about Greg see In Memoriam
- We have also heard from Alan Dench SG67 that Ed
Kisby SG67 died of complications from the flu. His
funeral, close family only,
was on Friday 27th at St Mary’s Hitchin, the church with which Ed
was closely involved. The family are planning to hold a memorial
service when the situation improves. Ed was a speaker at our 2012
Reunion as part of the 40 Years On talk. We hope to have
more from the family in due course
- From the Ely Standard 23 July 2020
DELANOY Michael Ewart MBE. [SG48] Beloved husband to
Lorna, father to Kevin, Craig and James and grandfather to Jordan,
Joshua, Carlotta, Scarlet and Zak, died suddenly on July 9th 2020.
Private family funeral. Donations in Michael's memory if desired to
The Farmland Museum or British Heart Foundation c/o A.G. Carter
Funeral Director, 6 Froize End, Haddenham, Cambs CB6 3UQ - see In
Memoriam for a family tribute.
Mike's contributions to local life (and those of his wife Lorna) will
be well known to many of you, notably The Farmland Museum. His funeral took
place on 31 July. With thanks to Lorna Delanoy, to whom our
condolences; Ian Hobbs SG48 and Brian Knott SG57.
- Trevor Smith SG62 writes: I trust this finds you happy,
healthy and free from all 'outside threats'. Here in Thailand we seem
to have gotten off very lightly when compared to the UK.
I thought I'd drop you a quick line to let you know that thanks to
your prompt efforts in putting us back in contact, 5 former SGS pupils
enjoyed a 2-hour 'reunion' Zoom chat a few days ago. It was mainly to
celebrate joint 70th birthdays, but all 5 of us thoroughly enjoyed
this 'international' chinwag: myself (SGS62) Thailand, and former
classmates of SGS61 (or at least of that age group): Tim Ewer New
Zealand, Nick Grainger Australia, Ranjit Kurrie Cambridge UK, and Doug
(Fred) Neate in Leicester UK. Among other things we talked about the
occasion of Tim, Fred, Nick and myself performing at the 6th Form
dance (not sure what year!)
- For those of you with EHS connections Ely High School Luncheon
Club have postponed their Annual Reunion to Saturday 22 May
2021, in the hope that it will be safe to go ahead by then.
- Malcolm Brooks SG51 is one of four St Andrew's School
Burwell boys who gained County Scholarships to come to SGS in 1951.
His daughter found a photo of them, one of whom was Michael Goodchild
- see via Scrapbook/Burwell
- Ivan Whymer SG56 has provided Clive Bray SG 50's obituary
published in a recent Newmarket Journal - see via In Memoriam
- Shirley Fuller writes of Colin Fuller SG51: "Sorry to hear
about Michael Goodchild. A good friend of Colin’s. I am sorry to have
to let you know that Colin passed away on the 17th June 2020. His
funeral is on 9th July, West Chapel, Cambridge Crematorium."
Another Burwellian 51er. He will be added to our In
- Brian Thorby SG49 writes: Sorry to report that Michael Colin
Goodchild SG51 died on 12 June 2020. He was originally from
Burwell, later Exning. He was 79 and had wife Gwen and a son and
daughter. His funeral was on 23 June at West Suffolk Crematorium - for
more see In Memoriam
- Brian Knott SG57 writes: Rodney
Fretwell's death was in the Ely Standard - died 31 May
in Kettering aged 89.
Born in Ely, educated at Soham Grammar School [entry year 1942], lived
in Witchford, Little Thetford and Ely. Only child of Florence and Jack
Fretwell of Stuntney - see In Memoriam
- Mike Hallam SG51 perhaps resolves the mystery
of the girl in his photo from the 1957 outdoor production of The
Taming of the Shrew by observing that such photos were posed
specially as a record of the actors rather than being of the play as
performed - see via History > History 2 > Productions
- Mike Hallam SG51 provides a photo from the outdoor
production of The Taming of the Shrew by the Sixth Form and
EHS in July
Is anyone in touch with Jeremy Franklin? - see via History >
History 2 > Productions
- On 29 April Martin Kyte SG'69' wrote:
Sadly I have to tell you of the sudden passing of Chris Sangster
SG63 of Burwell last week after a major stroke. Chris was at the
last reunion and can be seen in the photo report. I knew Chris from
way back although in recent years we became much closer though our
shared interest in model engineering and clockmaking. Along with
another of our friends we met every Monday night to talk of workshops
and eat cheese. Soham Grammar School often cropped up in conversation.
Further information will be added when available - for now see In
- Jon Evans SG'61' has provided a photo of the coach that lost
its windscreen on the joint trip to Europe with EHS in Summer 1964. He
wasn't on the trip but his future wife Jean (née Williams) was one of
the EHS girls who took part. We asked 'Who is the boy in the photo?'
He has now been identified - see via History > History2 >
School Visits ... 1964
- Ralph Dunham SG59 has provided a warm recollection of the
late Bill Jethro Rennison, History 61-67, which will
also interest the SG Scouts of that time - see via In Memoriam.
- Phil Green SG68 is in contact: He says he was one of
the unfortunate ones to lose the good teachers because of going
comprehensive between the Fourth and Fifth Forms leading up to O
Levels. In 1975 Phil joined Spillers Milling in Cambridge and followed
a laboratory career across the industry, culminating in Quality
Management roles before retiring early in 2017.
He has added a few names to the 1972 School photo and added a
colour photo of some of his friends walking in the procession to Soham
Parish Church on 28 July 1972 for the service commemorating the
end of SGS - see via History (at the bottom of that page).
- 16/4/20 Frank Haslam writes: Earlier today I heard from Alan Bray
SG60 of the death of his brother Clive Bray SG50, on Tuesday
14th April, in West Suffolk Hospital. Clive had been there for 17 days
suffering from pneumonia and another infection before being
additionally diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Clive and Alan
have been great supporters of the Soham Grammarians. They can be seen
sitting together, as usual, at the 2019 Reunion. Our thoughts
are with Alan, and Clive's family and friends.
If you have recollections of Clive or condolences to pass on,
please send them to me via email - for more on Clive see In
In these troubling times, you will understand when I ask you to
let me know if you learn of a Grammarian's passing.
Keep well, you and yours.
- Chris Bent SG53 has informed us of the death of Terry Day MBE
SG57: "Terence Robert Day - Terry passed away Thursday
16th April 2020, aged 73. Much loved husband of Julie, father to
Sarah, Stuart and Joanne. A celebration of Terry's life will be held
later in the year." - Ely Standard, April 23, 2020 - see In
- Stephen Martin SG62 was browsing the Staff pages, including
Bill Rennison, History 61-67. He followed the link to the
Tewkesbury History Society (THS), of which Bill had been Treasurer and
found that Bill had died in 2017. Our recent Reunion letters
to Bill's residential home in Reading were not returned so we were not
aware of this. The editor last saw Bill at Gordon Hemmings' funeral in
2011 and had been in letter and phone contact thereafter.
Bill's page on this website has been updated with the THS tribute. If
you have memories or photos to add to those coming in please contact
the editor -
see Bill's page via In Memoriam
- Peter Nicholls SG39
adds Mr Turner (39-40) to those who taught English - "He was a
graduate of Magdelene College, Cambridge, and was called up" - see
Staff Timeline via School Lists > Staff
- The Staploe Educational Trust has
kindly alerted us to a compilation of films on YouTube made at SGS
mostly if not all in 1961 (not 1963 as stated on YouTube). It includes
events at the School Garden Party (July 1961) such as: the cast of School
& Crossbones performed by Form 2H under the direction of Mr
Hemmings; the Chess Club; the performance of the Toy Symphony under
the direction of Mr Ades; classroom scenes including Mr Hart and
others; athletics and gymnastics scenes; visit to London/Heathrow;
Scouts; winter snow scenes; demolition of the Conservatory.
We believe the original source to be old cine films of SGS
activities found when the late Mr Lionel Hart's bungalow was being
cleared. For some time we have had what looks to be the same
material on DVDs but for technical reasons had been unable to do
anything about publishing it. Hence the YouTube link is very
welcome. Some of the content relates to other pages in the 1960s
section in Scrapbook
The nearly half an hour long compilation will probably take
some of you longer to watch as you freeze frames and rewind to
check faces and scenes from long ago. In an age of the amazing
image quality delivered by camera technology in mobile phones the
compilation is a reminder of how far things have advanced.
The editor welcomes any publishable 'commentary' or images
of your own to add to our knowledge of what is shown, including
The compilation can be viewed via this link
or via the 1960s section
. There is no sound track.
- Via Brian Knott SG47, news of the
death of Cyril Prior SG44, on 9th February 2020 at the age of
86. He was living in Chettisham - see In Memoriam
- The official opening of Soham
Grammar School at Beechurst took place on Tuesday 22nd February 1927.
Thanks to John Dimmock SG59 and Mike Petty MBE SG57 the Cambridgeshire
Times report of the event can be seen via History >
- Dannie Nicholas 59 is among
the SG59ers would like to make contact with Dana Curtis, who
spent the school year 1959-60 at SGS in Form 1T. We believe he
was the son of an American stationed at Lakenheath who thought his son
would benefit from being in a British school rather than the one on
the base. If you can help us to trace Dana please contact the editor.
- Mrs Marie O'Gorman taught
Maths at SGS towards the end of WW2. She died in her 100th year on
December 20th 2019 and her Requiem Mass took place at Newmarket Roman
Catholic Church on 20th January 2020. In later life she taught
privately and at St Louis Primary School in Newmarket.
Peter Nicholls SG39 spotted that she had died - she was among
the incoming wartime staff that he remembered. John Dimmock SG59
has kindly provided the obituary that was published in the Newmarket
Journal on 30th January 2020. This may be of particular
interest to those with Newmarket connections or know a thing a two
about horse racing (the O'Gorman family being significant trainers) -
see via In Memoriam.
- Alan Bray SG60 adds names to
the SGS 1962 Scout Troop Photo on the Scouts 1961-62 page - see via History
>History 2 > Scouts
of change of date of Ely High School Reunion:
For those of you with EHS connections the date of their date of
their Reunion this year has been changed because the planned date -
9th May - was in the middle of the National Celebration Holiday to
remember VE Day.
postponed EHS Reunion will now be held on Saturday 19th September at
Ely Golf Club.
- A Happy and Healthy New Year to you
all. At our last reunion, and subsequently by email, we sought
opinions on the idea of trying out holding our Annual Reunion on
the second Saturday of October (10/10/20) rather than
the first (3/10/20). This came up because some who had long wanted to
come found that they always had other events happening on the first
There was not much feedback but it was 2:1 in favour of trying out the
second Saturday this year. So please
put Saturday 10th October in your 2020 diary/calendar - and also a
month earlier so that you will be in good time to make a booking.
We are sorry if the new date is not to your liking. We hope to see
early bookings from those who hoped for the change! It's only by
trying out the change that we can plan ahead, and time is not on our
- Flight Sergeant Keith Alan
Johnson RAFVR was part of the 1930 entry at SGS. His family
lived in Fordham. His Hampden bomber suffered failure of both engines
shortly after taking off from RAF Waddington near Lincoln on 14th
April 1942 to bomb Germany. Of the four crew he alone survived, but
died the following day in hospital. He is buried at Fordham Parish
Church. A plaque in memory of the crew has just been unveiled at North
Kesteven Academy, North Hykeham, the present day location of the crash
site - see press report via In Memoriam > WW2 Roll of Honour
- Ken Purchase SG52 has died.
This announcement was noted on the day of publication by Chris Bent in
the Ely Standard of 9th January 2020. PURCHASE - Kenneth Ellis
'Ken', sadly passed away on 30th November 2019, aged 79 years. Beloved
husband to Ruth. A private family funeral has taken place. Ken had
been a regular at our Reunions. More information when available.
- The 2012 Reunion talk 40
Years On is now available. This talk covered the end
of SGS and the merger with the Village College in 1972. Both
Staff and Old Boys took part and more material has been added -
see via Reunions
- Mr Denis Tokley's family knew Mr Peter Askem (Art & Pottery
54-72) in his childhood and has provided some photos - see
at the end of Peter's page via In Memoriam
- The Rev Christine Sindall has informed us of the death of Denis
Sindall (1940 entry) on 2nd January 2020. He would have been 91
in early March. He had developed a rare cancer and Alzheimer’s but
until the last weeks could remember life in Ely and Soham especially
during the war years. In 2008 we reported that the Sindalls had
recently moved to Northumberland when the Revd Canon Christine Sindall
retired as Rector of the Cheveley Group of Parishes near Newmarket.
Denis had been Health and Safety Officer for East Cambridgeshire
District Council until his retirement in 1996.
His funeral will be on Monday 20th Jan at 1 pm at St Peter and St
Paul’s Church Longhoughton, Alnwick, NE66 3JB: more to be added.
- If you know anyone who was at Ely High School they might be
interested to know that the EHS Annual Reunion Luncheon will
be at Ely Golf Club on Saturday
September 19th 2020 - see the EHS website via the link
on the left of your screen for further information when it becomes
available. [this has been updated from the originally published date
in May 2020, which might have clashed with the VE Day 75th anniversary
- Beth Lane writes: Eric Simper SG51 died on 19th December
2019. His very well attended funeral was at St Mary's Church, Ely on
Wednesday 22nd January at noon, and afterwards at Ely Football Club,
Downhams Road,Ely CB6 2SH.
He had been a frequent attender at our reunions but had been unwell
for a while. Our condolences go to his family. He was a Littleport boy
who spent much of his life in the area. He was a notable footballer at
school and with local teams - see https://www.elycityfc.co.uk/news/eric-simper-2497597.html
- Kenneth Herbert James Holliday (1939 entry) died on 5
January 2020 aged 91. Much loved and missed by family and friends. His
cousin Heather Smith (ex-EHS) writes: He was born 24 December 1928 at
Stretham. I don’t expect many people remember him as he joined
the Navy straight from school just after the end of WW2 and hasn’t
lived in the area since. His funeral will be at Earlham
Crematorium in Norwich on 29th January at 11am - see also In
What was new in ..
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Our growing collection of whole school photos
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website editor Frank Haslam