Edge Grove Society Newsletter Summer 2020
A summary of news, updates and events from the Edge Grove Society.
Edge Grove Society NEWS
And now for something different...
We are all living in a world not experienced before due to the pandemic of Covid-19 and we have all had to make some big changes and sacrifices. The school remains closed (other than for children of key workers) but teaching staff are still working tirelessly to maintain normality for the pupils and teach remotely. It has been a real test for everyone (teachers, pupils, parents and support staff) but the one thing that has lifted our spirits is the amazing support from our whole community, past and present. It really does boost morale so we thank you all.
We start this newsletter by giving thanks to our Alumni who are working on the frontline of the pandemic. We really are truly grateful for everything you are doing.
I reached out to you asking for updates as to how you were coping with the restrictions and for any updates you may like published in this terms’ newsletter. Thank you to those that have contributed and if after reading this you would like to add something to be included in the next issue please email email@example.com with your entry.
Unfortunately all of the previously planned Alumni events for the summer term have been cancelled, however if restrictions are lifted and we are back on site we will reassess the situation.
Please do keep in touch with us and share your news, any marriages, births of children, recent achievements or any interesting facts you would like to share. And don't forget to check out the Edge Grove Society website including the fully searchable digital archive. There's some fantastic photos, school magazines and booklets in there to help you take a trip down memory lane! Do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a log in for the website (you will need this to access the digital archive too).
Very best wishes at this difficult time, stay safe and well.
Development & Alumni Manager
Beautiful wisteria adorns the front of the school house at this time of year
I am sure you will want to join us in thanking any member of our Alumni community who is working on the frontline in hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, pharmacies and care homes.
We hope that you are all well protected, having suitable support and are managing some well-deserved downtime between shifts to recharge.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and are so very proud of you all:
Philippa Banks (EG 2008) recently qualified doctor
David Sweetnam (EG 1970-1976)
Stuart Brown (EG 1999-2005)
Mark George (EG 1976-1980)
Fergus Noble (EG 1983-1989)
Update from Fergus: "I am down in Southampton at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust working as an Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon mainly trying to continue chopping out people's cancer in the local private hospital which has been loaned to us during the pandemic. I am happily married to an Emergency medicine consultant who is seeing more of the coronavirus. Our two boys are enjoying the education of an old Edge Grove teacher (Mr Alex Duncan) down in Winchester at Pilgrims. The world is a very small place."
David Berliand (EG 1947-1949)
My name is David Berliand and I left Edge Grove in 1949 for Charterhouse. In 1954 I was called up and entered the army (Royal Artillery) and through the usual channels went to Mons Officer Cadet school and became a second Lieutenant. Two years in the army and then into the City for a career in Insurance. I was very fortunate that the firm I joined was either the acquirer or was taken over a number of times and fortunately my face fitted and on my retirement in 1995 l was Deputy Chairman and a Managing Director of a substantial company.
In retirement l played golf and tennis as well as Eton Fives. I am now 84 so my sporting activities are curtailed. I have a wife, three children, nine grandchildren and one great grandson.
Harry Collins (EG 2000-2006)
Harry has recently qualified as a pilot and has a job with Easyjet. Congratulations Harry!
James J Tubbs (EG 1965-1970)
(Known as Jim at Edge Grove) After leaving Edge Grove in 1970 I went to Aldenham and then went on to University in London to study Maths. Eventually, I joined the Metropolitan Police, working in Special Branch, with Old Boy, Peter Hordern.
While in the Police, I met a New Zealander, and we moved here after marrying in 1990. Three children later (all grown up now), I currently live in Auckland and work in insurance, as a chartered loss adjuster. I returned to the school to visit it in 2008 with my children and my brother Charles who also attended EG still lives in St Albans. My father Michael, was also an Old Edgegrovian, having attended the school between 1936 and 1941. He sadly passed away a couple of years ago aged 90.
Gary Briggs (EG 1987-1993)
(Lives in Los Angeles) I've now been at a software engineer at RAND [a research non-profit] for a bit over a decade, and my first child had her one year birthday a few days ago. Also as a path to self-discovery, I'm three days in and already I know that I'm not productive when involuntarily working from home!
Jamie Ainsworth (EG 2003-2008)
I was at Edge Grove from 2003-2008, and was Head Boy in my final year, I subsequently studied at Haileybury, the London School of Economics and King’s College London, pursing studies in International Relations and Security.
I have been fortunate enough to pursue a career that I had dreamed of even from my time at Edge Grove, and am now a UK Diplomat serving in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. At the start of this year, I took up my first overseas posting to the British Embassy in the Philippines, working on diplomatic relations and peacekeeping. Under the current crisis, I have been at the heart of the Embassy’s efforts to provide for the safe return of the many hundreds of Brits stranded here - rather thrown in at the deep end but surely a formative experience in my early diplomatic career! It has been strange to follow the developments back home in the UK from the other side of the world, but it fills me with great pride to be able to play my own, very small role, in trying to help people affected by these unprecedented times.
Justin Apthorp made Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
In July 2019 former Edgegrovian Justin Apthorp became a deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire after retiring at the end of 2015 from his role as Buying Director at Majestic Wine. He remains on the Majestic board as a Non-Executive Director. He is currently a trustee of The Friends of St Peter's.
Justin and his 2 brothers Duncan and Miles all attended Edge Grove. His mother Jane was a parent governor during whilst they were here and his father John has been a benefactor of the school for many years.
John Hindley (EG 1945-1951)
My first EG experience:
My first term Summer 1945 was at Sarnesfield, Herefordshire, whither School boarders were evacuated in WWII. I was taken to the school train, as a v small 6+ year old, by very tall uncle, Alvar Lidell, BBC newsreader. It was fun there, but I kept well away from the two armies always at war there: the Crackie Army led by an older boy nick-named Ma Cracks, and the anti-Cracks. This might have steeled some of us against the wretched virus; but I so wish I could be more helpful. I just edit our village 56 pages of A4 monthly mag, which seems to give some pleasure. Also Choral Society programmes, but Spring Concert now postponed.
A letter from David Edwards (EG 1967-1973)
Dear Friends and Edge Grove Alumni,
Like many other parts of the world, Kenya is in almost total lockdown. All schools are closed, only Kenyan citizens and those with a valid work/resident’s permit are allowed in, sport has ceased, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels are all closed and on the South Coast it is eerily quiet.
We are allowed to walk on the beach, but cannot swim in the sea! We can play golf, but only in pairs. Hotels have closed in order to start their low-season maintenance a month early, so we are doing the same. It’s all a bit strange!
Let me tell you about our year so far. The first big event was the Diani Goat Derby and the dog show. It’s always a really fun event and gives the locals a chance to show off their prize goats. There is a local tote and all the money raised goes to the KSPCA. Expats are even encouraged to run with the goats!
We entered our Boerboel puppy Tusker into the dog show and he won first prize. The bag of food didn’t last very long!
A team of 8 travelled to the North Coast to Kilifi to take part in the Coast Snooker Championship. It takes place over a weekend, twice a year, and Diani Snooker Club, based at the Flamboyant Hotel, were victorious.
The Diani Regatta was held at the Safari Beach Hotel. Local businesses sponsor a dhow and the boats take part in a series of races. It was a wonderful day and all the money raised went to help local schools.
We decided that our pool was looking a little scruffy and decided to empty it to give its good clean and to re-grout where necessary. It was an expensive job, but we feel it was well worth it and our guests have been most complimentary.
We have also replaced ‘Makuti’ on the roof of our bandas in our garden. Many hotels and restaurants have also been doing this job as the traditional roof only lasts for 6 or 7 years.
The rugby World Cup was very well supported here as we have a large number of Australians and South Africans. It was a wonderful time and many friendships were cemented. Hopefully we will be with the Lions in South Africa next year.
Every year Expats play Kenya for the Umoja Trophy at golf. It is run exactly the same as the Ryder Cup and, unfortunately, Kenya has won the trophy for the last three years. The Expats went into this year’s competition with high hopes but, after two days of fabulous golf at the amazing Leisure Golf Club in Diani, the scores were level. So Kenya retained the trophy. Bring on next year!
I must get back to the garden and banana trees! Stay safe and well, and I hope that the world will soon return to normal.
Mark Yarrow Gills (EG 1970-1976)
I finished at Npower at the end of last year as they've been taken over by E.On and are making 4,500 people redundant this year. So I'm looking for a new job, but still plodding on with bits of freelance.
I may start painting and drawing again: I haven't done any for a couple of years and find it incredibly relaxing. Edge Grove sparked my passion for art and I still have some of the pieces that I painted then. I then went to Oundle School, where I was taught nothing in art: they just threw a whole lot of bones, chains, vases and pots together and called it still life and we were asked to draw it! But they never actually taught us how to draw - and we were not allowed to paint. So I got a C at O'Level.
So actually I was taught more about how to draw by Miss Thompson at Edge Grove. I did though get into trouble once with her: she wanted everyone to draw circles (De Vinci could draw a perfect circle freehand that was measured to be completely accurate by scientists), but instead I got a bit creative with the brief and as it was just to draw circles, I instead drew a Michelin Man! She wasn't amused!
Only after my O'Level did I learn how to draw by copying other people's work. Never knock copying by the way: Turner learned that way, copying the works of others - and now his versions of their paintings are worth more than the original artists' versions! I've attached a few of my bits and bobs that I've done over the years. They're not to everyone's taste, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sorry that I haven't done a painting that sums up my feelings of the school closing: I have an idea that will sketch out.
Neil Wilson ( EG 1968-1974)
A chap called Neil had a good sense of humour
Until he got a brain tumour
Too long had he tarried
So he went off and got married
Thus making thoughts of an affair just a rumour.
Michael Virtue (EG 1942-1949)
I was born in 1935 and was at Edge Grove from '42 - '49. The boarding school was relocated in Herefordshire during the war and I spent one year there. Edge Grove must have been a very different school then; no girls, mainly boarders and far fewer pupils than there are today. The Headmaster and a founder of the school was Captain Pratt, known to us as 'Capper'. He was wounded in the First World War so he moved around the school in a wheelchair. There were no stair lifts then, so he had to push himself up the stairs on his backside. It was a challenge for us to creep out of bed at night and spy him on the stairs. This was dangerous, as we were beaten if caught! These were always done with a cane or a slipper.
Metro Goldwyn Meyer, the film company, was based in Elstree and in 1948 they were making a film called 'Edward My Son'. The director needed a few boys from the school to walk round a small lawn in silence as a punishment. The Rolls Royce arrived with Spencer Tracey at the wheel (he was a famous Hollywood star then) and when he got out of the car, he had a short conversation with one of the boys. I was fortunate to get that speaking part! The boys didn't get paid but MGM rewarded the school by refurbishing the former gym and theatre.
I came back to Edge Grove for a reunion three years ago and met up with four of my contemporaries for the first time since 1949. The five of us had a convivial lunch in London the following year with lots of reminiscences! After Edge Grove, I was lucky to get a scholarship to Marlborough and at that reunion I noticed my name on an honours board! I think the boarding fees when I was a pupil there was £40-£50 a term - I wonder what they are today?!
Now nearly 85, my wife and I enjoy watching our seven grandchildren growing up and going through school and university.
Joba Thomas (EG 2011-2017)
Joba is currently at Bedford School and will be going onto 6th Form to study Geography, Economics and Government and Biology at A Level. He has taken to writing whilst away from school.
The impacts of Covid-19…
The streets were eerily silent, deserted and lifeless. The familiar, consistent sounds of aeroplane engines had vanished. Even the ants, who had impermissibly moved themselves into my house, seemed to have disappeared, as though they too were on quarantine. Armageddon truly was here, and we were helpless to stop it. But most importantly, GCSEs were CANCELLED.
The entire premise of my existence, to absorb information and regurgitate it on a piece of paper, had been destroyed… It left me wondering what to do with myself – I had no meaning, no purpose, no motivation…But then I realised, what if this was actually an opportunity, an opportunity to do things made impossible by the burden of school. So I decided to read books, exercise, wake up before 3pm, and live freely! And it worked, I truly was free. But this freedom was only temporary, as are many good things in life.
School discovered a way to wrap its claws around my soul once again, by formulating online school, with online prep, even formulating online chapel, with online hymns. I simply could not handle any further pressure. So I devised a method of coping with this new ‘online pressure’, by occupying myself with writing. It did not matter how bad, how meaningless the writing was, I just had to write! I had to do something other than revise for exams which, apparently no longer existed! Nevertheless, I hope us humans learn something from this global pandemic.
I for one, have learned that lockdown does not apply to a small minority of the British population! Furthermore, perhaps this pandemic will teach us to live more consciously, just as the great Greek philosopher Socrates taught: ‘An unexamined life is not worth living’.
Charles Randall (EG 1957-1962)
Not many people can have enjoyed their job as much as Charlie Randall, who spent his professional life watching cricket and writing about it.
Born in St Albans in 1948, he had a fine career at Edge Grove, getting a Scholarship to Bedford, captaining the rugby team, winning the chess and boxing cups and exasperating all his teachers with his exuberant behaviour. Report highlights include “he is an intelligent boy, but he is astonishingly naughty in the nicest way. We like him a lot but he must learn to behave” from the Head Master and “I hope my brilliant pupil will continue to astound his teachers and will then find a vocation in which he can use his literary talent” from the English master.
Many of Charlie’s teachers at Edge Grove made a great impact on him; the wisdom of headmaster Jimmy Pratt, the ability to bring dead languages to life of classics master Tony Whitehouse and the dedication to scale and perspective of art master John Walton.
Charlie took A levels a year early and left Bedford to work in a gentlemen’s outfitters in Bremen, Germany for a year, becoming fluent in German. Thus began a lifetime of confusing English football enthusiasts with his passion for FC Werder Bremen.
He spent several years as Sports Editor of the Herts Advertiser, where he found himself writing headlines about his own exploits for Radlett Cricket Club – Champagne Charlie and Hurricane Charlie were two descriptions that found their way into print. In 1979 he moved to Fleet Street with the Daily Telegraph, travelling the world to report on cricket and rugby for over 25 years. Favourite locations were India (cricket-mad people), Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls and golf) and Scarborough, where the seasoned hacks had great sport with the junior writers who took a while to realize that the only way into the press box was via a door marked ‘Ladies’. After his death, Charlie’s family was inundated with messages from younger journalists whom he’d mentored over the years.
After retiring from full-time journalism Charlie devoted his time to watching and running amateur sport, serving as Secretary of Stoics CC, Chairman of the Hockey Writers’ Club and President of the Honourable Artillery Company football club, who have now begun an annual game against the House of Commons XI for the Charles Randall trophy. He was also a member of Porter’s Park Golf Club for 55 years. His greatest accomplishment there was getting an entire room of mostly elderly golfers singing along to Lady Gaga’s 2009 hit Bad Romance during the annual quiz.
If Charlie could have chosen only one sport to play it would have been cricket. He played for Radlett CC 1st XI for many years as top order bat, left-arm wrist spin bowler and specialist gully fielder, with a golden year and Herts trial in 1979. He wasn’t the sort of person to count his centuries but estimates are of around 40, the most memorable being half of a stand of 220 with close friend Tony Smith, at Chichester Priory Park while on a riotous tour to the south coast in 1976 – an afternoon that secured Tony the position of godfather to Charlie’s children.
In 1978 Charlie proposed to Kate on the back of an envelope he left in her flat before going on a football tour to Liverpool, and their 40 year marriage began the next year. Nicole was born in 1980, Simon in 1982 and five granddaughters followed a while later.
The seeds for many of Charlie’s interests were sown at Edge Grove. Sport, of course, and chess. He was an extraordinary draughtsman and cartoonist, employing techniques he learnt in art class to produce outlandish posters for local events and birthday cards for family members.
His prize possession was his Rockola Max 2000 jukebox, which played his collection of over 1,000 7-inch vinyl singles from his days as a part-time DJ in the 1970s. At his son’s 18th birthday party he memorably entered the room where the music was blaring, sternly marched over to the jukebox and turned the volume up.
After the summer of Charlie’s first year at Edge Grove, Head Master Jimmy Pratt wrote in his report:
“We admire his enormous enthusiasm, We rejoice at his considerable success, We delight at his puckish sense of humour, But – we deplore his horrible behaviour! (We have a winner, here!)” Jimmy Pratt was a prescient man.
Ken Staton - Groundsman and Gardener at Edge Grove from 1946 to 2001
Ken arrived at Edge Grove as a 14 year old boy with his father and family having previously lived at Sarnesfield Court. He took over from his father as head groundsman and gardener and remained at the school until 2001 when he retired aged 70.
During that time Ken lived in various properties on the school grounds including a caravan for a short time near the lake when he first got married. He had 2 sons, Alan and Brian.
One of Ken’s other roles was as a porter, taking trunks from cars of borders arriving at the beginning of term and delivering them to the matrons.
After retiring he moved to the Alms Houses near the Round Bush pub where he remained until he passed away on the morning of 25th February aged 88.
Richard Bolt Edge Grove (1935-1941)
Richard Bolt was one of the first pupils at Edge Grove when the school started in 1935. He was one of nine Bolt family children to attend the school over the years and was a fantastic source of knowledge on Edge Grove’s history.
Richard was evacuated to Sarnesfield during the war and left the school whilst it had its temporary home there. Richard frequently visited the school as he was a local Radlett man and we last saw him in January with his wife Mary. He sadly passed away in March aged 93. He will be sorely missed by us all.
Justin Orchard-Lisle (EG 1960-1965)
Justin's cousin recently got in touch to inform us that Justin sadly passed away in April 2019. He had been at Edge Grove from 1960 to 1965. He was an incredibly amusing chap who lived life to the full, and the huge numbers of people at his funeral service were testimony to the regard that people had for him.
Memoirs of Edge Grove
By Francis Hussey
Memoirs of Edge Grove
By Francis Hussey (EG 1948-1954) and past staff member (1962-1963)
Strange to say but my memories are clearer of my 6 months when I taught 1962-63 which was the worst winter for 100 years and we skated on the lake and had ferocious games of ice hockey with a croquet ball. As you know, I was very lucky in having Tony Whitehouse in the 6th Form for Latin, Greek, English and History, all of which he made intensely interesting and stimulated us to do our best. Which is why I got a scholarship to King’s-worth £70 p.a. (see my letter in the magazine 1987-8 when he retired).
Almost just as influential and a great friend was John Brooksmith who entertained us young masters on a Saturday night at the Lodge at the end of the drive to mulled wine (the windows in the bachelors lodge had ice on them in the morning! and the oil froze in the pipe on the way to the chapel) and a raucous crowd in front of “That was the Week that was”-you’ll have to look it up. He taught French brilliantly, chain smoking his way through the lesson and recording marks in his big black book for every boy as he asked questions as he went round the room and posting at the end of the month to show who had come top, 2nd, etc. God we sweated over winning those marks week by week! He was meticulous at recording them and he had beautiful hand writing.
He introduced to that hilarious French actor-Jacques tati and Monsieur Hulot in “M. Hulot’s Holiday”. His other great skill was as a games coach. He took the 1st XI cricket, soccer and 1st XV rugby and we thrived under his tuition and his ability to inspire confidence through the team. We expected to win and we usually did. In the summer term, after 2 hours of cricket on the 1st pitch, he would look at his watch and set off slowly but steadily set off in the direction of the Round Bush pub which, in those days, opened at 6p.m; the exact time that he arrived there.
For me personally, it was a Damascene conversion from a 9 year old no.11 who was out for golden duck in the only match we played, to a 1st XI colour who won both batting and bowling cups in the same year, because he gave me that personal time in the nets and instilled in me a belief in my ability which I never knew was there. Just great teaching and a lot of patience. You could say (if you were being really annoying) that he turned a mucky duck into a fine swan..............
When I went back to teach Sept.’62, he used to come into the Common Room in the 10 minutes between chapel and the 1st lesson and do most of the Daily Telegraph cross word. Another lesson he gave me - gree and gratis.
Puddy Brooksmith (Doreen). It still makes me smile to think of that beautiful lady and she died only just over a year ago. This is a little message I sent to her daughter, Amanda.
Oh dear! That is so sad. Well, we can’t go on for ever-she was 103 after all! What a wonderful woman- full of wit, kindness, flair for dealing with everything that was going on in the school and ski party, wife to two great men, secretary to three HMs, beautiful (you ought have seen her when she was in her 30s!), funny-she was laughing away the same as ever when we saw her 2 years ago) and athletic, she partnered me in the boy/staff tennis-well, I was in love with her wasn’t I? She was the life and soul of every party
But amazingly I was looking at the record of the OEG lunch in December and came across the register in which she had written by hand all the names of new boys *and their parents and addresses. I know it was her because I recognised her handwriting. No typing, no computer, every one hand written. And because that record was in 1969, they were the sons of my contemporaries –Dent, Bolt, Waterfield, and Cornelissen.
To all our family, she was the most lovable friend.
I think that the Val d’Isere trip in January ‘63’ which was my only experience of skiing showed them at their best: John at the table in the cafe at the end of the day, ticking off every member if the party and Puddy rounding up and looking after the EG boys and their sisters. They were totally efficient, loving seeing the others having a good time and generally keeping the mood of the holiday so enjoyable I can still remember it all today-57 years later. What a couple!
Something I had forgotten. She and John became good friends of my “Mother” (she as actually my mother’s cousin) and her husband, the Barkers, parents of Teddy (Left 1948) and grandparents of James and David. When they were asked to supper, Mum always made one of her specials-curry- because John loved it. But she had to supply him with a towel because it made him sweat so much, see the photo of the old Bentley driven by John in front of the Hansteads. Gorgeous lady in a gorgeous car!
When I try to recall those memories of the other boys and events of my time as a boy, as opposed to being a master, I suppose that the name that springs to mind quickest is Richard Illingworth. We covered in glory the first night we became boarders because a) we had no time to say good bye properly to our mothers (we had been very good friends and enemies through close proximity in Radlett as day boys) and b) because Mrs. Pratt came in to the dorm next to her and Capt. Pratt’s bedroom and caught us using the beds as trampolines to get round the room! By the time he left he and Richard had clocked up over 100 strokes with the cane, but the he knew if he got caught that was what he would get. For example, he decided it would be a good wheeze to go down the main staircase from the North Dorm across the hall and into the library and come back with 3 billiard balls. Just to prove he had done it!
My brother was G.E.A (Teddy) Barker OEG, past parent and Governor for over 20 years. He went to Sarnesfield aged 8 and became very good friends with Joe Waterfield. Joe was the younger son of Ken and brother of Jolyon who is still with us (he and Mike Guilbride represented EG at Ted’s funeral-wonderful gesture as it was in deepest Gloucestershire). His other great mate was Peter Bolt who late became both a business partner and EG governor with Ted. Just shows the great loyalty that he inspired among his friends. Typical of this long term close friendship among his contemporaries was the wonderful evening we spent in Herefordshire where there were five OEGs and their wives: Jolyon and Sally Waterfield, Teddy and Ruth Barker, Peter and Sue Bolt, Mudge and Mary-Lou Hussey and the host and hostess, another old boy from Sarnesfield, John and Elizabeth Dent.
At Edge Grove he did not distinguish himself in class except Maths where he excelled I know-good thing since he became a very successful accountant and management consultant. His only remarkable comment on English history was when wrote about Florence Nightingale. “She was a beautiful lady who sat on the throne after Queen Victoria”. From EG he went to Charterhouse and did National Service in the Kings Dragoon Guards, serving in Germany where he and his platoon (he as then 2nd Lieut Barker) managed to roll their tank into a ditch where they proceeded to crack open a case of beer, the photo of which I remember seeing in a dusty cupboard.
This following piece is from the address given by his daughter, Annie-Lou, at his funeral.
He could be out spoken and inappropriate* as he got older, which amused the grandchildren enormously, but for the most part he was a sweet, kind, gentle soul, whose simple old fashioned Christian values upheld him all his life.
Others too benefited from dad’s expertise as a shrewd accountant and at different times in his life, he helped many good friends on a private basis with their financial affairs*....he took on the role of Churchwarden at Aldenham Church and acted a governor of Edge Grove for many years.... where we have many happy memories of sports days, prize-giving and Xmas parties.
She also points out that he cared for the Blease children (his sister-in-law’s) during their Edge Grove holidays and exeats because their parents were invariably stationed abroad
* She means “politically incorrect”
*For about 20 years he looked after Puddy Brooksmith’s finances in her widowhood and was a devoted friend and servant.
That’s rather inadequate for such a distinguished OEG but I am sure there are others still a round who knew him as Governor.
Now as to my contemporaries, one of the others who made a big impression on my young self was Robin Foster-Brown who captained the soccer 1st XI in spite of being incredibly flat footed yet a very speedy left footed winger. He was extremely charming and good natured but suffered from a really bad stutter which only added to his charm (same with the lovely never to be forgotten Jean Preston who taught us in the bottom form-she looked exactly like Margaret Lockwood). In the term when we were both in the Colts soccer team he was fooling around during break and managed to leap in the air with excitement (I think it was after reading a letter from home) and break his leg. Bad news for such a keen player of the older generation.
I remember well my brother’s friends like Peter Bolt, Joe Waterfield, and Richard Clayson. Joe was the most dynamic character who ever walked: sportsman, ladies’ man (the mothers adored him), raconteur of hilarious episodes where he was usually found doing something completely idiotic and a wonderful act as a very expressive clown. As a 15 year old at Sherborne, he was nearly mortally wounded by a shot in the rifle range when he went to inspect his own target. I remember well that we prayed in chapel for his life which hung by a thread at the time (the bullet was only 1/2 an inch from his spine) and his delight afterwards in showing us the enormous L shaped scar with numerous stitches in his stomach! Typical buffoon who could never take anything seriously. Tragically, he was killed in a lorry accident while serving in the RAF as national Serviceman-aged 20.
Peter Bolt was another Head Boy who took the trouble probably because he knew Ted well to talk to me as a new boy (he was 6 years older which is a gigantic difference at that age). For 40 years after that, we became firm friends which says an awful lot about Peter.
I have written about the masters whom I knew best. Captain Pratt, the 1st War pilot in the RFC, was another phenomenon. Kind, tirelessly patient with boys who were hopeless at maths (me). He was the only maths teacher at EG who was able to explain things so that I could grasp the concept he was putting across, he ruled the school and his happy staff from his wheel chair-having had polio back in 1922. His secret was that he loved seeing boys excelling at anything academic, sporting or theatrical. He followed our careers with enthusiasm, encouragement (never missed a match on the touchline however bad the weather) and kindness. All this while suffering from years of emphysema. It was not made any better by smoking those flatbed cigarettes called Passing Cloud. He was immensely popular with parents and he recruited, as I said earlier, the most gifted and friendly teachers. In other words, he made the school what it was: a second home-in some cases happier than their own.
Now I am going to stop before I get too boring.
Mudge Hussey (1948-54)
As the school is currently closed due to the pandemic we have sadly had to cancel all the Alumni events planned for this term.
We would very much like to organise a golf day in the Autumn if restrictions are lifted so if you are interested in taking part please let us know.
We also plan to hold a Christmas lunch for our young alumni who have left the school since 2000. The tentative date for this is Saturday 5th December. Please email email@example.com if you are interested and further details will follow.
It also goes without saying that once the school is reopen if you wish to pay us a visit you are always welcome. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to organise.
The Sophia Zaveri Foundation
Following the tragic passing of Sophia (Head Girl, year 8) in March, her family have set up The Sophia Zaveri Foundation. The Foundation will support three charities in Brazil to help impoverished children and families by providing them with food, shelter and opportunity. You can read more about these fantastic causes on the Foundation's Go Fund Me page here, where you can also leave a donation in Sophia's memory.
As you will know, our current Headmaster, Ben Evans, will be leaving the school at the end of this academic year. We will be producing a 'leavers' book' for him with messages, photos and well wishes. I you would like to include something please email email@example.com
Edge Grove Pen Pals
During these times of online learning we thought it would be for the children to receive a handwritten letter from our Alumni so that they could write back, practicing their letter writing and handwriting skills. Thank you to those of you that have written letters to our pupils to date, we have received them from Australia, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand and Canada as well as the UK. This week the children will be writing replies. If you would like to be involved with this please send your letter the school address and it will be forwarded to a pupil to write back to you.
Shop Online and Raise Money
Amazon Smile works by making donations to your chosen charity every time you shop. It's a fantastic and easy way to raise money for charities close to your heart. Edge Grove is also registered so every time you shop you could be raising money for the school. Click here to find out more and register - in order for donations to happen you have to order through the Amazon Smile site, not the normal Amazon site.
Give as you Live is a similar initiative to Amazon Smile and we have been registered with them for a while now. We have raised over £1000 through Give as you Live and would love to see this grow. Click here to find out more.