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Our next Reunion Lunch is on Saturday October 5th, 2019
Please click for BOOKING FORM
2018 Reunion Lunch Report and Talk on Mr Peter Askem
- Our 2019 Reunion Lunch is on Saturday 5th October in the Beechurst Hall at Soham Village College. Doors open at 1230 and we sit down for lunch at 1330. Tickets are £28/head, the same price as last year, for a three course meal including wine. Click on BOOKING FORM for further details of how to book. It is important to let John Dimmock know by 18th September that you are definitely coming. Invitations go out on 13th August.
The three times Mayor of Ely, Mike Rouse, will be our speaker. Mike is an Honorary Grammarian. He taught at Soham Village College, is an historian, author and photographer. He played a major role in established the SGS archive.
- Alan Bray writes: I have heard from his wife Linda that Geoff Griggs SG60 passed away on 23rd June. He had suffered many years with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and was admitted to Addenbrookes on 22nd June with pneumonia. His wife, son and daughter were with him. I knew him for 60 years and he was my Best Man back in 1970.
Geoff's funeral was at West Suffolk Crematorium, Risby, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6RR, at noon on Wednesday 10th July. The St Edmund's Chapel was packed. Among those attending were Alan Bray, John Dimmock, Paul Dunham, John Goodge and Frank Haslam.
The editor adds: Geoff was of great help in the early days of this website and was often at our reunions when in good health. His In Memoriam entry adds more detail.
- John Dimmock writes: "It is with great sadness I report that Ivan Cox SG64, after a long illness, passed away on Thursday May 23rd. The funeral has been arranged for Friday June 21st at 2pm. It will take place at The Ark, Beck Road, Isleham CB7 5QP. This is a new building run by Isleham High Street Church."
Ivan was a Prickwillow lad. He was Head Boy 1970-71 and was in the Cricket and Football 1st XI and was Bacon Coronation Cup Winner in 1971. We last saw him at the 2018 Reunion. If you have recollections of Ivan please send them to the editor.
- Michael Clark SG55 is back in touch. He's in Queensland, Australia. He is Isleham born but was brought up in Cambridge. His memories - travelling by train from Cambridge - wagging off 1959 Sports to to see England play Italy at Wembley followed by retribution from EA - how his life in later years changed for the better - have been added to the 1950s section of our Scrapbook page - see the link on the left of your screen.
He has also added names to the list of those starting at SGS in 1955 (see via School Lists > Entry Years)
- Mike Hallam SG51 has made an interesting contribution about his time at SGS (some of which has come from memories shared by Mr Leon Bill Kitchen) and his career in education - see via Scrapbook, 1950s
Mike has also provided his recollections of Mr Peter Askem, with fine examples of his own work done for A Level. "As a 6th former SGS paid me £10 per term to be Peter’s pottery studio technician." - see at the end of the Talk on Mr Peter Askem
- Richard Pledger some time ago provided some issues of the Soham Grammarian from the 1930s & 1940s. His father, Peter Dinkum Pledger, whose childhood was spent in Australia, left SGS in 1938. His uncle John was also at SGS.
We are trying to identify those in a Scouts photo, taken by Starr & Rignall, which we think dates from about 1934 - Peter Pledger is on the extreme right of the back row. Mr Riley was Scoutmaster but he is not shown:
- A new page has been added showing the advertisements in the Summer 1936 - maybe some memories will be stirred?
see via Scrapbook, 1930s
- By the way, from the Christmas (Michaelmas) 1934 Soham Grammarian:
"We are pleased to announce that electricity has now been installed in the School."
- AJH Warburton was taught by Mr Norman Sherrington (Latin 60-68) at Boteler GS, from where Norman moved to Soham. His tribute can be seen on Norman's page - School Lists > Staff > left before 1972 > Sherrington
- Nick Bridge SG71 (1 Alpha) makes contact. Whilst clearing stuff he has found the Newmarket Journal July 20 1972 front page report THE FINAL SPEECH DAY. Are you in the photo?
- see via History > History 2 > Speech Days > 1972 (scroll to the bottom of the page)
- Richard Harvey Windibank SG55 now in Somerset and known as Richard Harvey writes to solve a mystery about the 1956 School Photo: "I remember that the woman sitting between Ron Sallis and Miss Lowe was Miss White, a Speech Therapist. I was nearly 12 at the time and am in the front row." - see via School Lists/Photos > 1956
Unfortunately that year is in the sequence of mid-late 1950s years for which we have yet to find the School List booklet that was published annually from 1946. Does anyone know why the School List apparently was not issued 1956-59? - see via School Lists > Lists Index
- May 2019 be kind to you!
- Time to put our 2019 Annual Reunion Lunch in your Diary or Calendar please - Saturday 5th October.
- Jannette Scanlan writes: "My father Harold Frank Goodwin who is 95 this year attended your school in October 1937". Harold is in section 1/10 of the 1937 School photo. He might also be in section 10/10 of the 1935 School Photo. He is listed as 804 Goodwin, HF in the Admission Register for the School Year 1935-36. Janette says Harold has lived in Linlithgow, Scotland, since 1946, is in very good health and very active in his church and community. "It was wonderful seeing my Dad as a 13 year old."
see 1935, 1937 via School Lists & Photos: see Admission Register via same path > Index > 1930s
- Reported on-line in the Ely Standard of 14th January 2019, the death of Sidney Cox, aged 82, of Sawston, on November 13th 2018 and his funeral at St Andrew's Church Isleham on November 30th 2018. It is believed that he was in the 1947 entry: see In Memoriam
- A Merry Christmas to all!November 2018
- Tony Burton SG60 has re-established contact.
- Peter Moulton SG61 has made contact.
- Stephen Williams SG66 has made contact.October 2018September 2018
- Our 2018 Reunion Lunch took place on Saturday 6th October, with Mrs Tamaris Taylor, the eldest daughter of the late Mr Peter Askem (Art & Pottery 1954-72) as the principal speaker in the talk that celebrated the life of her father, with the focus on his time at Soham Grammar School. A photo report of the Reunion and of the talk are now available - see via link above. More material will be welcome - an ironic sample of his handwriting has been added.
- Norman Long SG56 adds to the appreciations of Mr Askem and reveals a huge coincidence relating to the story of the trip to Italy in the Askem talk.
- Chris Stewart SG69 has named himself and a few others in the 1972 School Photo - see via School Lists & Photos
- More details on John Leonard SG56 have now been added to his entry on our In Memoriam page.
- Mrs Florence Peters has let us know of that her husband John Clay Peters SG44 died on 5th October 2018 peacefully at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, aged 85. He lived in Fakenham, and was formerly of Ely and Cambridge. 'Beloved husband of Florence. Will be sadly missed by all his family and friends'. Funeral Service at Mintlyn Crematorium, King's Lynn on Tuesday October 23rd 2018. Their son David John Peters SG62 died aged 62 in 2013 in South Africa, also of prostate cancer. For more on John Peters see In Memoriam
- Terry Rule SG 55 reports the death in December 2017 of Brian 'Dusty' Miller SG50 and confirms IDs of him on three photos - see In Memoriam.
- Alan Cross SG50: Mrs Myriam Cross has let us know that her husband Alan died on 17th September 2018. More information when available.
- see August for information about our 2018 Reunion Lunch on Saturday 6th October
- David Beale SG62 has made contact from Derbyshire. His life has been in optometry, with a short diversion into being a professional rock musician!
- Ralph Dunham SG59 reports that his former Ely neighbour John Leonard SG56 had died. "His years at SGS were unusual in that he passed the 13+ whilst at Needham's Secondary School in Ely and I well recall Ted Armitage exemplifying him as a positive role model for later academic achievement." Fuller details will be added when available.August 2018
- Our next Reunion Lunch will be on Saturday October 6th, 2018 - click here for BOOKING FORM
We will be celebrating the life of Mr Peter Askem (Art & Pottery 1954-72) who died earlier this year aged 87.
Booking forms were emailed on 8 August and posted to those not on email on 7/8 August.
Bookings need to be received by 14 September please.
- See a short Ceramic Review film on someone who was inspired by Peter Askem's teaching - Stephen Murfitt SG65 - via pages on/by SGs
- John Lester SG65 writes to say that his father JG Lester SG37, known as George, died on 16th July. George usually came to our reunions with John. A fuller entry will be made on our In Memoriam page when more information is available.
- Mrs Janet Marven has written to say that her husband John Marven SG44 died on August 13th. John was Head Boy. He went on to be Warden of Sawston Village College for 24 years. "John’s funeral took place on Friday, August 31st and over 200 people attended. I am told that fifty former members of staff were there which is amazing, considering how long it is since he retired." - see more of his life on our In Memoriam page.
- Lindsay Hancock SG59 makes contact and reports the death of Barry Sheldrick SG57 who passed away on July 1st after a two year battle with cancer. More information when available.
- Philip Bignell SG51 passed away at home on Friday 16th February 2018, aged 77 years. Much loved husband of Andrea and dear dad of Martin and Natalie and friend to many. His funeral Service was at St Edmunds Chapel, West Suffolk Crematorium on Tuesday 13th March. Philip was a frequent attender at our events up to to 2009. It is hoped to add more information when our In Memoriam page is updated: via Mrs Andrea Bignell.
- We have recently learned of the death of Mr Peter Askem (Art, Pottery 1954-72) on 18th February 2018 at the age of 87. Peter's funeral was at St Andrew's, Letheringsett. Mr Chris Wain represented the Soham Grammarians. We are now in touch with Peter's family. In the meantime if you have memories, anecdotes, photos, cuttings etc that might be useful please contact the editor. He was also active in the artistic life in the communities where he lived: via Colin Lang John Dimmock SG59, Stephen Murfitt SG65 & Mr Chris Wain (Maths 66-70).
- John Firby SG49: On 17th March John's wife Linda told us that John passed away earlier that day in hospital. John had been a regular attender of our events up until the Firbys moved from Over to the Isle of Wight. "He really missed attending" said Linda. His funeral will be on Monday 9th April at 11:15am at the Isle of Wight Crematorium, Station Lane, Whippingham, East Cowes PO32 6NJ - click for directions if you are able to attend. Please contact the editor if you would like to write or send condolences.
- Dr Simon Curtis SG67 has received the Sir Colin Spedding Award, presented by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the National Equine Forum - see Pages by/on SGs.
- A number of us attended Reg Brown SG47's funeral in Soham. As might be expected of someone described as 'the best known person in Soham', the church was packed. The tribute written by his widow Anita and other memories of Reg can be seen via In Memoriam or here
- One of those attending Reg's funeral was Trevor Brooks SG54, a retired farm manager, who is now 'in touch'!
- A Morbey family local connection - Cole Ambrose Ltd farming at Stuntney, and the Old Hall, is added to the Beechurst House in the time of the Morbey Family page - see via Scrapbook > 1910-19
- Dave Sennitt SG53 has made contact. He lives in East Anglia. His brother Alfred was four years ahead of him at SGS.
- Mike Yeomans SG60 writes: "I wanted to let you know that my wife, Elaine, and I travelled recently to Kuujjuaq in Northern Quebec to meet Eric Pearson SG60 and his family. We spent 5 days there enjoying the Eskimo lifestyle, including riding ski-doos, going on a dog-sled ride, visiting an igloo and eating frozen raw Arctic Char.
It seems that Eric, who went on a VSO assignment to Labrador in 1968, fell in love with that Arctic climate, landscape and people. He now runs the main general store in Kuujjuaq, and is a pillar of the community. I looked for him on the internet several times in the past, without success, but he contacted me about 18 months ago after being in touch with you. Thank you!
We had a great time together and with his family, learning about life in the frozen North. I took my trumpet and recorder and we played together again for the first time in 51 years! Here are a few pictures from our time together:
Click to find out where Kuujjuaq is
You can also refresh your memory of what Mike (3/12) and Eric (6/12) looked like in 1965 by looking at the School photo of that year!
- Reg Brown SG47 has died. Reg was very well known in Soham and the wider community. He was principal of CE Fuller & Co, Funeral Directors. Reg started working for his father-in-law in 1960 and took over the company on Cecil's retirement. Reg was involved in all aspects of the company from arranging funerals through to cutting glass. In recent years he was increasingly asked by families to give tributes to people he knew or to lead a simple service at the crematorium. He was a fount of knowledge and always had a tale to tell. Our condolences to his widow Anita and daughter in law Marie and the family.
Reg's funeral was on Tuesday, February 27th at St. Andrew's Church, Soham.
- Vic Moseley SG61 makes contact. An accountant, he lives in Cambridgeshire.
- John Cornwell SG54 adds to the recollections of Peter Deasley.
- All the best to you for 2018.
- Geoff Fernie SG59 who gave the talk at our 2017 Reunion Lunch has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada for “his advancements in the field of rehabilitation engineering, notably in the development of therapies and products designed to assist individuals with limited mobility.” All who heard his talk or have looked at the report of it on this website will think the award well-merited.
see Geoff's 2017 talk and Pages by/on SGs
- A tribute to the late Peter Deasley SG54 can now be seen via In Memoriam or Pages by/on SGs
- Christopher Thomas Graves SG51 died peacefully at home on 30th November 2017, aged 77 years. Beloved and much missed by his family and friends. Funeral service at West Suffolk Crematorium on Thursday 21st December at Noon. Family flowers only, but donations for a charity yet to be decided may be left at the funeral service or sent to CE Fuller and Co, 23 Hall Street, Soham, Cambs CB7 5BN, Tel 01353 720439 - Ely Standard, December 7th; via Chris Bent.
- The RAF March Past plays on request on the ATC home page - see via History > 773 Sqn ATC
- Trevor Newton SG44 passed away peacefully on September 22nd 2017 following a short illness. He was 84. His funeral took place on Thursday 12th October at Old Newton Methodist Church in Stowmarket. An In Memoriam entry will be added when we have more information: via Mrs Christine Newton.
- The Soham Grammarian Summer 1953 review of the Dramatic Society's Spring production of Badger's Green by RC Sherriff has been added - see via History > History 2 > Productions
- Fred Hockley SG34's story is updated from an article in FlyPast magazine on the last actions by British fighter aircraft in WWII - see via In Memoriam > WWII Roll of Honour
- Andy Murkin SG65 has sorted out some IDs in the 1970 and 1972 School Photos and Paul Hammans SG'68' has added a name to the latter.
- Professor Peter Deasley SG54 died on Thursday 9th November. He was often at our reunions. He had been unwell for over a year but by the time the cause - Myelodysplastic Syndrome - was finally diagnosed he was too unwell for a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. His first wife died and Peter married again with the hope of many years together after both had experienced the death of spouses from very debilitating illnesses.
Peter had a distinguished career in industry and academia - see http://www.lboro.ac.uk/eng/research/imcrc/members/profiles/deasley.pdf
His funeral will be at All Saints Church, Church Hill, Stretton on Dunsmore, Rugby CV23 9ND at 2pm on Thursday 23rd November, and afterwards at Bourton, Draycote and Frankton Village Hall.
If you wish to send a message of condolences/memories to the family, I will forward it.
- The 1946 Speech Day Programme has been provided by Mike (SG48) & Lorna (EHS) Delanoy. Mike's brother Don Delanoy SG41 died in December 2016. It was found among his papers - see via History > History 2 > Speech Days
Lorna has a website about pepople talking of the Ely area - www.farmlandvoices.org.uk
- Colin Thornhill SG40 died on Tuesday 14 November, 2017. His funeral will take place on Monday 20 November, 2017, in Australia. He had contributed information to this website. An entry on our In Memoriam page will be added when more news is received.
- News from his widow that that Geoff Stubbins SG62 died in May 2017. He lived on Merseyside.
- Mr (Major) ACV Foster, who taught French 1953-57 died aged 93 on 4th October 2016. Satch's page will be updated when we have more information.
- Professor Geoff Fernie SG59's talk at our 2017 Reunion can now be seen via 2017 Reunion Lunch
- Bill Chilcott SG50 is in contact from the USA. His wife is ex-EHS. "We have been living in the US since 1975 and I have enjoyed looking through the information and photos on the SGS website over the years, especially photos of the reunion dinners."
- Geoff Matthews SG50 who died in June has been added to our In Memoriam page.
- Roger Wright SG49 reports the death of his cousin Jack Hoxley aged 93, of Newmarket. He believes Jack was at SGS in 1935. Jack was a GPO engineer and wrote about local GPO history - see In Memoriam
- It's Remembrance Sunday. Thanks to the Burwell Remembers website Rusty Bridgeman SG37's entry on our Post WWII Forces deaths page on our In Memoriam page has been updated with some photos of him. All the links to the CWGC database have been updated.
A new link to to the Airborne Assault Para data website on Staff Sgt Duncan F Wright (SG32), murdered by the 711th German Infantry Division on D-Day, has been added - see via In Memoriam > WWII Roll of Honour
- Professor Geoff Fernie SG59's talk at the 2017 Reunion can be seen via the 2017 Reunion Lunch photo report
- Work is in progress on reporting Prof Geoff Fernie's talk at the 2017 Reunion Lunch - it was all in all considered to be one of our most successful of recent years.
- Geoff Griggs SG60 attended the funeral of Phillip Henderson SG64 on October 27th. Phillip died on October 15th aged 65 - see In Memoriam
- 3 Oct Bookings have closed for this year's Reunion. The total is 72, made up of 62 SGs, the two Guests of Honour and 8 guests.
- Four SGs are attending for the first time including Peter Jeffery SG49 who has made contact from Norfolk.
- John Lenanton SG46 has provided images of his two school caps (one was a Prefect's cap) and his school scarf - see via Scrapbook > Other, Uniform items
- Geoff Rouse SG56's daughter Karen has provided an appreciation of him for our In Memoriam page. Geoff died in 2016 - see In Memoriam
- Mrs Ann Tomalin has let us know that there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Arnold Tomalin MBE, SG39, at St Botolph's Church, Barford, Norwich at 3pm on Sunday 29th October. Arnold was for many years the MC at our Reunions. Arnold's page has been updated with the tribute she gave at his funeral - see also via In Memoriam
- 22nd September - final call for this year's Reunion Lunch - 68 have booked as of last night - call John Dimmock now - see Booking details.
- John Lenanton SG46 makes contact from California: I was at SGS from 1946 to 1955. I taught Rural Studies and Horticultural Science at The Regis School in Tettenhall from 1959 to 1968. In that year I married, quit my job at the Regis school and moved to to California to become a student at UC Davis. After completing a Masters degree, I was offered a position at Orange Coast College in Southern California in 1970. I retired from there in 2005 as a full professor and continued to lecture part-time until 2013.
Since coming to the United States I have only have had one contact with a Soham Grammarian. It was Tony Lack. In 1979 I was in Australia on a sabbatical leave. I was sitting with my wife in a hotel room in Sydney, one evening and told her that my best friend had emigrated to Australia when we were at SGS. I remember my wife giving me the phone book and there was an entry AA Lack. I telephoned and Tony answered!! He look a day off work next day and showed us Sydney. I still remember that memorable day.
I go to England most years, but have only visited Soham once since moving to the States. That was the time I saw Shirley Martin. That meeting was amazing. I asked around and found she lived opposite the cemetery. I walked up to her door which was open, and said aloud "Shirley are you there?”. She replied, "Is that you, John?”. I could not believe it. I do not think we had seen each other, since we were in The Ten Little Niggers! I was with a friend, who was amazed too. We spent the afternoon together. See also Productions via History > History 2
The only regular contact I have with SGS is the spoon celebrating the Coronation in 1953, which was given to every pupil in the school.
I wonder how many other Coronation-era Soham Grammarians still have their spoon?
- Ann Tomalin has been in touch to say that her husband Arnold Tomalin MBE (SG39) died on Wednesday 2nd August. He was 89. He had been unwell for some time. His funeral will be at mid-day on 23rd August at the Earlham Road Crematorium, 193 Earlham Road, Norwich NR2 3RG. A Service of Thanksgiving for his life is planned for October. Via Mrs Ann Tomalin. Arnold was for many years prominent in the Old Boys Association - see also In Memoriam
- Mrs Viv Matthews has let us known that her husband Geoff Matthews SG50 passed away in hospital on the 17th June after a short illness. His funeral at Cambridge City Crematorium was on 1st July. He was 77. An entry will be made on our In Memoriam page when we have more information.
- Stan Harley has informed us of the death of Roger Sulman SG52 at the age of 76 - see In Memoriam
- See July for information about this year's Reunion Lunch
- This year's Reunion Lunch is on Saturday 7th October 2017, in Beechurst Hall (the SGS Assembly Hall for many of us) at Soham Village College. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. If a partner, relative or supporting friend enables you to attend they may enjoy the company and are welcome.
Our speaker is Professor Geoff Fernie SG59, who is travelling from Toronto in Canada.
Geoff lived in Ely when at SGS.
He will recall his SGS days then tell us about his work on technologies to prevent injury and disease and to help individuals and their family caregivers continue to live in their own homes as they age.
The price is the same as last year £28 per head including wine for a three-course meal and tea/coffee with cheese & biscuits.
Our caterers need all bookings to be received by 22nd September – don’t delay!
As is customary you are invited, when making your booking, to include a donation towards our fund for worthy SGS related projects.
Can you bring another Soham Grammarian with you to our Lunch?
Do you have news of a change of address or the death of a Soham Grammarian?
Click for Booking details.
- Michael Reeve SG52 has reported the death of Keith Woodroff SG53 of Fenstanton at the age of 74 after a short illness, on Friday May 5th 2017 - see In Memoriam
- Brian Lane SG48 died on 22nd May aged 80. Brian made a successful career of his hobby, photography, and there are numerous photos taken by him on the SGS and EHS websites. In recent years he had been resident at the Cambridge Manor Care Home. Our condolences go to his widow Beth and the family. Brian's funeral was at 10.30am on Thursday 15th June 2017 at March Crematorium. If desired donations may be made in his memory for Children United! sent to Ely Funeral Service, 4 Tower Road, Ely, CB7 4HW - via Donald Monk and Brian Knott: a page on Brian is in preparation
January - March 2017
- Simon Curtis SG67, whose family have been farriers and blacksmiths in Newmarket for 150 years, has completed a six-year PhD programme at the University of Central Lancashire where he gained his BSc in Farriery in 2011. His thesis was on the effect of loading on hoof growth and shape in thoroughbred foals. Dr Curtis is an Honorary Associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons - the only farrier to receive this honour - and is also a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and past Chairman of the Farriers Registration Council. He is a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers by examination (FWCF) and in 2005 was inducted into the International Farriers Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Derby Museum - Newmarket Journal, 2nd March 2017
- Roy 'Mick' Allen's daughter Amanda has spotted her father on the 1949 School Photo. He may also be in a 1948 group photo. Amanda informs us that Roy died on 2nd February 2016.
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