Connected - Bromsgrove School

Connected - Bromsgrove School

con nect ed

School staff commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Preparatory School with a cycle ride from Llanwrtyd Wells

The first word...
‘Riding From the Past’
Born in harder times, a much more             OBs who were amongst those                    Their 90-mile journey was a marvellous
ebullient Bromsgrove Preparatory              pioneering pupils recall lean times in        celebration of the School’s eighty
School celebrates its 80th anniversary        those early days, with rationing and          successful years, and a modern-day
this year. Founded during the Second          limited resources. They tell of classes       example of Bromsgrovian comradeship.
World War, its birthplace was not the         held in damp and drafty out-buildings         Not to mention a fine example to our
modern, sprawling campus we occupy            and bracing runs across the steep             pupils that the restrictions under which
today. Instead, it commenced in a small       Welsh peaks and valleys. Yet, most            we all labour at present need not rob us
cluster of buildings in the remote Welsh      also speak with great warmth of               of all initiative, enjoyment and personal
village of Llanwrtyd Wells, to which          the camaraderie that is born out of           pursuits. They are to be commended
the School had been evacuated when            adversity. Perhaps there are lessons          for honouring the Preparatory School’s
the War Department commandeered               there for today’s pupils, as together they    foundation in such an inspired and
Bromsgrove School in 1939. Families           face the challenges and restrictions of       spirited way.
were relieved that their sons were safer      the current COVID-19 pandemic?
from the war in this remote location,
and soon asked the Headmaster                 A proud lesson too, from 14 members           PETER CLAGUE
to extend the provision to younger            of today’s staff, drawn from across all       HEADMASTER
children. So, the Prep School was born.       sectors of the School. In September,
                                              this hardy group of teachers and
                                              support staff commemorated the
                                              Preparatory School’s birthday by cycling
                                              from Llanwrtyd Wells to Bromsgrove on
                                              a gloriously autumnal Sunday.

IN THIS EDITION: The year in photographs… OB news through the decades… ‘Then and Now’ with OB Humphrey Cobbold
Connected - Bromsgrove School
Welcome from the
                                         Picture This…
                                                                                        Over the Easter break, the Headmaster, our
                                                                                        remaining boarders and the residential staff looking
Editor                                                                                  after them constructed over 1000 face shields,
When the last edition of                                                                which were then donated to local hospitals and
Bromsgrovians Connected hit                                                             healthcare facilities.
doormats, we could not have
                                         A LOOK BACK AT THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/20.
imagined what was heading our way
in 2020. Despite the global
pandemic and the ensuing
lockdown preventing us from
participating in the usual social
activities, I was delighted to receive
OB news and stories from around
the world. From OB nurses,
paramedics, doctors and
allied health professionals
working throughout COVID-19 in
every corner of the globe to many
others offering their support to
pupils virtually during the enforced
School closure, each and every one
of you has done their bit.

It is clear that the Bromsgrovian
                                                                                     Our boarders at School, and many more
spirit is as bright as ever, and long
                                                                                     Bromsgrovians at home, took part in the
may it continue, wherever you are in
                                                                                     weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ on Thursday
the world.
                                                                                     evenings during the National lockdown.
Enjoy reading your alumni

Megan Griffiths

                                                                                                                                               Our brand new girls’ day house,
                                                                                                                                               Ottilie Hild, was completed in
                                                                                                                                               2020. The House is named
                                                                                                                                               after the founder of Ottilie
                                                                                                                                               Hild School, now known as
                                                                                                                                               Bromsgrove Pre-Preparatory and
                                                                                                                                               Nursery School.

                                         It was not the way we wanted the
                                         academic year to end, but our
                                         Prep and Pre-Prep Survivors, as
                                         well as the rest of the Class of
                                         2020, were welcomed into the Old
                                         Bromsgrovian community over the                                    Over February half-term,
                                         summer, marking the end of their                                   through to Easter and during
                                         school days at Bromsgrove. We                                      the Summer Term of lockdown,
                                         were still able to carry out some of                               a number of boarders were
                                         the usual end of term traditions, in                               unable to go home and were
                                         a socially distanced way, including                                looked after by our team of
                                         the laying of the wreath in Cookes                                 residential staff. They were
                                         Room, the lowering of the School                                   kept busy with online lessons,
                                         flag and an online Upper Sixth                                     weekend activities and games.
Connected - Bromsgrove School
Picture This…                                                                                                                Music was ever present, even in the Summer Term
                                                                                                                             whilst our Bromsgrovians were at home. The Music
                                                                                                                             Department put on weekly online concerts for pupils
                                                                                                                             across the Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior Schools.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In early March, Lupton House emerged as
                                                                                                                                                                                                  victors for ‘Best Play’ in Senior House Drama
                                                                                                                                                                                                  with their take on The History Boys.

                                                                     When the School closed in March, pupils
                                                                     and staff successfuly moved over to on-
                                                                     line learning via Zoom. The Pre-Prep
                                                                     School used Seesaw.

                                                                                                               When Old Bromsgrovian and Foundation Trustee Digby, Lord
                                                                                                               Jones of Birmingham heard that some of our boarders were
                                                                                                               unable to go home over February half term, he invited six of
                                                                                                               them to spend the day with him at the House of Lords. The
                                                                                                               pupils were allowed to sit on the famous red benches of the
                                 Earlier this year, the pupil-led magazine, Two Zero One, was                  Lords and stood at the same despatch box where Winston
                                 entered into the Shine School Media Awards 2020. In June,                     Churchill made his famous war-time speeches. Lord Jones                                    January 2020 marked the 20th
                                 the results were announced in an online ceremony.                             then led the pupils in to the House of Commons chamber                                     anniversary of the move from Ottilie Hild
                                                                                                               and explained to the pupils how our democracy works.                                       School to Bromsgrove Pre-Prep on its
                                 The Bromsgrove team swept the board with a number of                                                                                                                     present site at Avoncroft House.
                                 awards for Best Front Cover, Best Overall Content, Editor of
                                 the Year and Best Magazine. The team also received highly
                                 commended awards for Best Illustration and Artwork, Best
                                 Print and Design and Best Cartoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               The School’s Fifth Annual
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Research Competition was hosted
                                  “Despite the enforced School                                                                                                                                                 by Master of Scholars, Dr Rimmer.

                                  closure due to COVID-19, a                                                                                                                                                   Six Senior School teams entered
                                                                                                                                                                                                               the competition, along with, for
                                                                                                                                                                                                               the first time, a Prep School team.
                                  total of 826 fixtures were played                                                                                                                                            They were charged with explaining
                                                                                                                                                                                                               how future historians would view
                                  in 2019/20.”                                                                                                                                                                 our time by answering the prompt:
                                                                                                                                                                                                               what era are we living in today?

                                                                                                                                                                                                               In January, Isata Kanneh-Mason
                                                                                                                                                                                                               led a piano masterclass for three
                                                                                                                                                  Head Groundsman, Richard Hare, and the rest of               of our students in front of a small
                                                                                                                                                  the Grounds & Gardening team, were nominated                 audience. Each pianist responded
                                                 The 1st Netball Team were again                                                                  as a Wildlife Hero by the Worcestershire Wildlife            brilliantly to the excellent advice.
                                                 crowned National Champions in                                                                    Trust.
                                                 the Independent Schools Cup.
                                                 Our cricketers were also named as                                                                In the last five years, the School has planted an
                                                 National Champions after winning                                                                 orchard of fifty different fruit trees (all midlands-
                                                 by five runs against St Bede’s.                                                                  based varieties), introduced several wildlife
                                                                                                                                                  meadows across all the School sites, planted large
                                                 Despite the enforced School                                                                      numbers of trees and hedges, left manicured
                                                 closure due to COVID-19, a total                                                                 lawns for wildlife and introduced a bee-keeping
                                                 of 826 fixtures were played in                                                                   club with a beehive on site. We are also in the
                                                 2019/20 across boys’ and girls’                                                                  process of building a wildlife-friendly area, which
                                                 sport.                                                                                           includes a wildlife-friendly pond.
Connected - Bromsgrove School
About You
                                                                                                                                    Housman Hall                                During lockdown, Jean-Marc Knoll            Ollie Lawrence (2016-2018) has
                                                                                                                                    Funbi Akinsanya (2015-2017) has             (1987-1992) ran a marathon in his           also had his contract extended at
                                                                                                                                    been nominated as a Top 100 African         house in Madrid. He ran the distance        Worcester Warriors. Over the last two
                                                                                                                                    and African Caribbean Future Leader.        – 9.65m – between his window and            seasons, Ollie has continued to win rave
                                                                                                                                    The magazine, known as Future               washing machine 4,373 times to              reviews and had established himself
                                                                                                                                    Leaders, offers nominees mentorship         complete the length of a full marathon,     in Premiership side before lockdown
                                                                                                                                    opportunities to further their leadership   just over 42 kilometres. He raised          caused matches to cease.
                                                                                                                                    qualities. The magazine aims to             more than £3,000 for charity, with the
                                                                                                                                    highlight outstanding African and           monies to be spilt equally between NHS      Most recerntly, Ollie made his England
Elmshurst                                     Years 7 and 8 were treated to a            Congratulations to Momo Watanabe           African Caribbean Students who are          Charities Together and the International    debut in the Six Nations match against
We were delighted to welcome                  fascinating talk by the hugely talented    (2013-2015) who has graduated from         currently studying in top academic          Committee of the Red Cross.                 Italy.
Karim Haji (1987-1992) who visited            Sophie Spurgin (2002-2010).                the Royal Veterinary College in London     institutions around the UK, with the
                                              Sophie began her further art               and is back in her home country                                                                                                    Photo Credit: Worcester Warriors
the School with his wife and two                                                                                                    purpose of then investing in their career   Fraser Foster (Lupton 2005-2016)
children. He is currently Head of             education in Bournemouth, where she        of Japan to study for her licence to       prospects.                                  pictured with his former Houseparent,
Financial Services for KPMG in London.        learnt multiple art and textiles skills,   practise there.                                                                        Mr McClure. Fraser will be supporting
                                              which equipped her amply, for her                                                                                                 students who want a career in
                                              future art career. She became a textiles   Momo is now advising one of our                                                        construction management through the
                                              breakdown artist, working for film, TV     current pupils, also from Japan, who                                                   graduate programme at Balfour Beatty.
                                              and theatre.                               wishes to study at RVC in the near

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mary Windsor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Josephine Nip (2000-2004) and her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            family visited the School in December
Gordon                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2019. They live in Hong Kong, where
Alan Granville Wright (1934-1937)                                                                                                                                                                                           Josephine is a full time mum to a 5 and
celebrated his 100th birthday on 18th                                                                                                                                                                                       3 year old.
August 2020.
                                              Congratulations to Candy
He now lives in a Royal British Legion        Lockett (2012-2017) who has won                                                       Lupton                                      Lyttelton
Home and celebrated his birthday with         the Women’s Weight Throw at the                                                       We are incredibly proud of our OBs          Congratulations to Justin Clegg
the residents, staff and some of his          Conference Carolinas Indoor Track and      Anya Butler (2010-2019) visited
                                                                                         the English Department to share            doing their bit during the pandemic.        (2004-2015) on his two-year contract
family, albeit with social distancing still   Field Championships and also recorded                                                 Nick Daniels (1965-1970) has been           extension at Worcester Warriors. Justin
in place.                                     a new personal best.                       some exciting news: the BBC have
                                                                                         commissioned her to create a film          using his 3D printer, despite limited       joined the academy for the 2016-17
                                                                                         accompanying her winning Housman           funds, to produce some of the parts for     season and was promoted to the senior
                                                                                         Verse poem, to be broadcast later in the   face shields.                               squad two years later. Despite a stress
                                                                                         year.                                                                                  fracture of the back, he has made six
                                                                                                                                                                                senior appearances to date, including
                                                                                                                                                                                his first start in the European Challenge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Emily Lou (2014-2019) returned to
                                                                                                                                                                                Cup victory over Enisei-STM. He has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            School and caught up with Mrs Ashcroft
                                                                                                                                                                                also represented England at U17 and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Careers department) about life at
                                                                                                                                                                                U18, and was part of the U20s side
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Central St Martin’s.
                                                                                                                                                                                that won the Six Nations in 2017 and
                                                                                                                                                                                reached the final of the World Rugby
                                                                                                                                    Congratulations to Greg Smith (1992-        Junior Championship.
Hazeldene                                     Housman Hall                                                                          1997) on being elected as MP for
                                                                                                                                                                                Photo Credit: Ryan Hiscott/JMP
Cath Freer (née Hancox, 1991-2000)            Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiren                                                   Buckingham in the General Election.
has written a positive blog about her         Doyle (2004-2019) and Hannah Brock
cancer experience and asked us to             (2017-2019) surprised Mrs Ashcroft in
share it with you. Her aim is to promote      the Futures department. It was lovely to
hope, positivity and perhaps give some        catch up and hear how they have been
a little more strength.                       getting on since leaving the School in
cancerundercovid                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you also to Katie Palmer-Reid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Mary Windsor 2011-2018) who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            returned to the School to speak to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            students about what it is like as a first
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            year Law student.
Connected - Bromsgrove School

Oakley                                     School                                       Wendron                                          Wendron-Gordon                                Llanwrtyd Wells                                91 Years’ Service
Congratulations to Emilie Birks (2001-     Do you remember Brian Glover (1943-          Bud Gemmell (1965-1971) has                      Charles Tsai (1989-1994) and his wife,        Due to the circuit-breaker lockdown            We know that many Old Bromsgrovians
2006) who has been announced as            1948)? His son has contacted us to see       recently been in touch with his                  Dr Catherine Chu, Executive Director of       imposed in Wales over the half-term            remember their teachers and House
a finalist in the Media category for       if anyone has any anecdotes or               memories of the Hong Kong Flu                    Mission Hills were welcomed to                break, Nikki and Megan from the                staff with great fondness and often keep
the Women of the Future Programme          memories they would like to share.           pandemic of 1968/69, whilst he was still         Bromsgrove School in January 2020.            Bromsgrovian Office were unable to             in touch with them through the years.
Awards 2020.                                                                            at School.                                                                                     represent the School in the usual way
                                           Brian was particularly good at sport and                                                      After a tour of the Prep and Senior           at Llanwrtyd Wells for Remembrance             At the end of the Summer Term, we
Emilie has over thirteen years of          was captain of the rugby team. When          “The School was badly affected, with             Schools, Charles and Catherine were           Sunday. They did, however, send                bade a fond farwell to Steve Challoner
marketing experience, with UK,             he left the School, he played rugby for      fewer than 100 boys up and about at              invited to look through the Archives,         a wreath, which was laid by Old                (Director of Staffing), Christine Fletcher
international and global companies.        Moseley 1sts and hockey at                   one point. Most of the others had gone           with particular reference to photographs      Bromsgrovian Christopher Price, in the         (Housemother of Mary Windsor) and Dr
During this time, she has developed her    Bromsgrove HC. He sadly passed away          home. There was talk of the School               from Charles’ time at Bromsgrove. He          town’s War Memorial.                           Margaret Werrett (Senior Mistress) who
skills and competencies in all the major   in 1965 aged only 35 and so his son          closing and the rest us getting an early         then recorded his own reminiscences                                                          have a collective 91 years’ service to the
areas of marketing strategy, planning      has very little information on his time at   end of term. This did not happen and             on film. A visit to Wendron-Gordon                                                           School.
and implementation. She is currently       the School. Happily, we have been able       we carried on as best we could, having           brought back many memories,
heading up the Marketing Channel           to find documentation in the archives to     lessons with only a handful of boys and          including roll call in the common room                                                       Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we
Strategy in Europe for Yamaha Music        send on to him.                              very little by way of games and other            and a peak into his old dorm.                                                                weren’t able to pay tribute to them in
Europe GmbH, as well as sitting on the                                                  activities.”                                                                                                                                  the usual way at Commemoration Day
Global Brand team at Yamaha                If you are able to help with any                                                                                                                                                           this year, so we put together some
Corporation in Japan.                      memories or anecdotes about Brian            “There was a silver lining, however. I got                                                                                                    video montages from their time at
                                           Glover whilst at School or afterwards,       my first paid gig as a drummer on New                                                                                                         Bromsgrove. You can watch these on
                                           please contact the Archivist, Nikki          Year’s Eve in a hotel in Shrewsbury,                                                                                                          our YouTube Channel:
                                           Thorpe on 01527 579679 ext 365.              aged 16. Because of the flu pandemic,
                                                                                        the only musicians available for the
                                           Well done to Thomas Muir (2012-2017)         cabaret were me and a pianist!”
                                           who was part of the chorus for CBSO’s
                                           performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony
                                           at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.                                                                                                         Staff News
                                                                                                                                                                                       Congratulations to Steve Taylor who has
                                           Walters                                                                                                                                     given 50 years of service to Bromsgrove
                                           Mark Gunton (1977-1982) organised                                                                                                           School.
                                                                                                                                         Mr Bell (former Houseparent of WG,
                                           the first - probably ever in their
                                                                                                                                         now of Walters) received a surprise           Steve was 16 when he first started
                                           history - ‘socially distanced’ OB Lodge
                                                                                                                                         visit from Anton Larin (2009-2015) –          working at Bromsgrove on 1st August
                                           meeting in the Old Chapel. He says
                                                                                                                                         he says that even Mr Bell’s change of         1970, as the caretaker’s assistant and
Lidia Pozhidaeva (2011-2017) has           that the buildings and grounds looked
                                                                                        Two generations of Old Bromsgrovians             House can’t keep the WGers away!              was appointed by Capt. P Cavell, the
recently collaborated with an online       wonderful and were a tonic to all
                                                                                        have unknowingly been working                                                                  Bursar at the time.
school to produce a course on how to       during these troubled times.
                                                                                        alongside each other for almost three
get into top UK universities. She has                                                   years. Hamish Docherty (Lyttelton                                                              He has served under six Bursars,
shared her knowledge of                                                                 2007-2012) is a Senior Consultant for                                                          Captain Cavell, Major Glissen, Colonel
application processes for undergraduate                                                 strategic communications firm Teneo,                                                           Spencer, Group Captain John Rogers,
and graduate courses.                                                                   and has worked as a communications                                                             Anthony Siddall and Lesley Brookes,
                                                                                        adviser to Humphrey Cobbold                                                                    and five Headmasters, Lionel Carey,
Earlier this year, Lidia successfully                                                   (Wendron 1980-1985), CEO of                                                                    Nick Earle, Tim Taylor, Chris Edwards
graduated from KCL and started her                                                      PureGym, since 2016.                             Congratulations to Beck Cutting (2008-
                                                                                                                                                                                       and Peter Clague.
studies at Imperial College Business                                                                                                     2017) who has been promoted to the
School. She has also just had her first                                                 It was only when the two were                    senior squad at Worcester Warriors for
                                                                                                                                                                                       In the early days, one of Steve’s jobs
research article published by                                                           discussing an interview opportunity with         the 2020/21 season. He has already
                                                                                                                                                                                       used to be to arrive at work early in
Nature Scientific Reports.                 William Bedford Russell (2006-2013)          Humphrey to publicise a new gym in               made seven senior appearances since
                                                                                                                                                                                       order to lay fires in the offices so that it
                                           performed in George’s Marvellous             Bromsgrove that the penny dropped!               joining the Senior Academy, four of
                                                                                                                                                                                       would be warm for the staff when they
Research Article:          Medicine at the Blue Orange Theatre          Humphrey has been CEO of PureGym,                them this season including the
                                                                                                                                                                                       arrived for work.
articles/s41598-020-72016-4                in Birmingham over Christmas 2019.           the UK’s largest gym chain, since 2015.          Premiership Rugby Cup matches
                                           Those who remember William from their        Hamish left the school in 2012 and               against Leicester Tigers and Exeter
                                                                                                                                                                                       He went on to work in the maintenance
Online course: https://london-inn-         School days will know that he was            went on to study International Relations         Chiefs. He is about to start the final year
                                                                                                                                                                                       department as a labourer and has           always performing in Bromsgrove’s own        & Modern History at the University of            of a degree in Sport and Social Sciences
                                                                                                                                                                                       worked for the last six-and-a-half years
                                           productions, so we are thrilled to see he    St Andrews. He joined Teneo’s grad               at Bath University.
                                                                                                                                                                                       with the grounds team.
                                           has carried on his acting.                   scheme in 2016 where one of his very             Photo Credit: Worcester Warriors
                                                                                        first clients was PureGym.

                                                                                        Humphrey appeared on BBC
                                                                                        Question Time in March 2020 to
                                                                                        discuss the impact of COVID-19.

                                                                                        You can read our ‘Then and Now’
                                                                                        interview with Humphrey overleaf.
Connected - Bromsgrove School
Life on the Frontline                                                                                                                    Then & Now...
After leaving Bromsgrove, Rosie
Thompson (Oakley 2010-2015) moved
to London and qualified as a
Paramedic with the London Ambulance
Service. She has been working on the
front line for three years and has spent
the last seven months fighting the
coronavirus in Central London. Her
journey was documented by the BBC
One show, Ambulance. You can catch
up with the show on BBC iPlayer
(Rosie’s episode was broadcast on 21st
October 2020).

She has also recently been interviewed
for ‘The Notable Blog’, run by fellow
OB Ellie Birch (Oakley 2008-2017), who
has kindly agreed for us to reproduce
part of Rosie’s interview here. You can
read the full version at or follow them
on Instagram @thenotableblog
                                                                                            We cover a range of roles within
Here is Rosie’s story:

Life on the NHS front life in Central
                                                                                            hospitals from giving general
                                                                                            anaesthetics or sedation for operations
                                                                                            to running the intensive care unit. An
                                                                                                                                         Humphrey Cobbold
                                                                                                                                         (Wendron 1977-1982),
                                                                                                                                                   1977-1982) Chief
                                                                                                                                                                                     “A large part of my job is about
                                                                                                                                                                                     leadership... a skill that I learnt
London is incredibly stressful,
heart-wrenching, harrowing and                                                              anaesthetist who specialises in              Executive Officer at PureGym, the
mentally as well as physically extremely                                                    cardiothoracics also undergoes               UK’s largest gym operator, looks
challenging. In saying that, it is also
beautiful. It is moving and is full of
                                                                                            additional training to be able to use and
                                                                                            interpret transoesophageal
                                                                                            echocardiography predominantly for use
                                                                                                                                         back on his time at Bromsgrove
                                                                                                                                                                                     a lot about at Bromsgrove.”
wonderful opportunities. You never know
what each hour of every day will hold.                                                      during and sometimes after heart
One day you could be delivering twins                                                       operations.                                  Which route did you take after leaving      What do you love about your job?              importance of taking advantage of any
                                                Photo Credit: Sunday Times/BBC
and helping somebody who is sleeping                                                                                                     Bromsgrove?                                 What I love most about being a CEO is         opportunities that present themselves.
rough into accommodation. That feeling                                                      During the first wave of                     Immediately after leaving Bromsgrove,       having the chance to build and create
is truly invaluable! I like to think of these   Christiana Burt (Hazeldene 1991-1996)       COVID-19, we were mostly doing               I jumped on a plane to New Zealand          something new. A lot of what I do is          I believe that young people should
deeds as ‘earning my place in heaven’.          has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at       intensive care work as all ‘elective’ work   to become a gap year teacher. It was        designing plans and then configuring          spend the first 5-10 years of their
These are the jobs that make the tough          Papworth Hospital in Cambridge since        within the hospital stopped in order to      a tremendous year of experiences and        and inspiring the best team to execute        post-school lives assembling a ‘mosaic’
moments worth it. The next day you              2012. Royal Papworth is the UK’s            make room for all of the patients we         taught me the importance of taking          them. In my role as CEO at PureGym,           of experiences, building a combination
could be dealing with a multiple                leading hospital for medical and surgical   received. At Royal Papworth, we also         opportunities when they come, even if       and before that Wiggle (the online sports     of skills. Breadth is more important than
casualty RTC (road traffic collision) or,       treatment of heart and lung conditions      perform advanced techniques of               they are a bit bold!                        retailer), I’ve been able to help grow        depth. In fact, it is the key to building a
even worse, a cardiac arrest. No matter         in adults. Christi featured in an episode   mechanical support for the heart and                                                     businesses to become the leading              solid foundation from which to build a
how many arrests we go to on the                of BBC Two’s Surgeons: At the Edge of       lungs including ECMO (extra-corporeal        I then went on to study Natural             players in their respective fields.           multi-faceted career.
frontline, they never get any easier. But       Life. The series was filmed                 membrane oxygenation) so during the          Sciences at Cambridge University,
there is something so special about             pre-COVID, and she happened to be on        pandemic, we were doing a lot of that!       thinking I wanted to become a nuclear       Ultimately, a large part of my job is         Therefore, at University, or wherever you
being able to be that small ray of              call on the day that a double lung          My job involves a lot of teamwork, it is     physicist, before eventually joining the    about leadership and managing teams.          decide to go after Bromsgrove, do what
sunshine in people’s darkest moments.           transplant came up, which was included      very sociable, sometimes very hard work      management consulting firm, McKinsey        I enjoy the cut and thrust of leadership –    you find interesting and are passionate
If you can make somebody’s day just             in the programme.                           but mostly extremely rewarding.              – and so begun my career in business.       a skill that I learnt a lot about at          about. These experiences will make you
that tiny bit better, you know you have                                                                                                                                              Bromsgrove. Importantly, I have had           a better, more well-rounded and capable
                                                Christi spoke to us about her role and                                                   I spent over fifteen years with McKinsey,
succeeded.                                                                                                                                                                           to learn about leading and supporting         person, providing a variety of potential
                                                the recent challenges that COVID-19                                                      which allowed me to travel the world,
                                                                                                                                                                                     teams, through both the good times,           career options. In the end, experience
I have always had an in-depth desire            has brought to a hospital setting:                                                       and understand an array of companies
                                                                                                                                                                                     and the bad.                                  is everything. Your career will naturally
to want to help people and be there for                                                                                                  and leaders.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   come later.
others. I think being a healthcare              A consultant anaesthetist is a doctor                                                                                                Do you have any advice or tips for
practitioner that is a quality you must         who undergoes core general medical                                                       Despite this amazing experience, leaving
                                                                                                                                         McKinsey was one of the best decisions      current pupils?
possess. In the words of Adam Kay (the          training and then subspecialises in                                                                                                  The great American golfer, Arnold
author of This is Going to Hurt) ‘…a            anaesthetics. The total time taken to                                                    I made, as it opened up a whole new
                                                                                                                                         landscape of opportunities to actually      Palmer, once said: “The harder I work,
great practitioner must have a huge             complete training up to consultant level                                                                                             the luckier I get”. Whilst the essence
heart and a distended aorta through             after finishing medical school is a                                                      lead businesses, rather than just advise
                                                                                                                                         them.                                       of this is true, for pupils looking at life
which pumps a vast lake of compassion           minimum of eight years, with the                                                                                                     beyond Bromsgrove, I’d add the
and human kindness.’                            average being ten years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Humphrey as Captain of the Hockey 1st team (front row middle)
Connected - Bromsgrove School
Sports News                                                                                                                               OBEC
OB Netball                                                                                                                                OBEC continues to maintain a strong
                                                                                                                                          tradition of dragging Old Bromsgrovians,
It has been an unusual year for the                                                                                                       their partners and friends (some now
Old Bromsgrovians Netball Club, as                                                                                                        permanent OBEC members) up hills
it has for everyone. From a netball                                                                                                       predominantly in Snowdonia (but other
perspective, we are used to meeting                                                                                                       mountains are also available!) Despite
up at least once a week for training                                                                                                      the pandemic, the club has met in
and competing regularly in two local                                                                                                      numbers from pairs to a dozen across
leagues, Worcester City Netball League                                                                                                    the UK.
and Redditch Netball League, which
were unfortunately cancelled in March                                                                                                     For the annual AGM in September 2019
2020 as part of national lockdown. It                                                                                                     - based at the Tyn Y Coed Hotel in Capel
has been unusual not to see our netball                                                                                                   Curig - the weather was atrocious but
family regularly and we can’t wait to get                                                                                                 groups still made it to the summits of
back on the court!                                                                                                                        Snowdon and Moel Siabod, and walked
                                                                                                                                          down the river path to Betws y Coed.
However, the club has continued
to keep in touch with one another                                                                                                         In November 2019, Helen Rowberry
remotely, including a Zoom quiz and                                                                                                       organised a highly successful winter
catch up meeting. We’ve also continued                                                                                                    walking weekend staying in a rustic
to focus on our return to netball,           OB Golf                                                                                      cottage known as ‘Beudy Mawr’ in the
starting to put in place COVID compliant                                                                                                  Llanberris Pass near to Snowdon. The
procedures and investing in new              Hopefully, there will never be a year like     However, the token October OB meeting         timing of the weekend was superb as
training kit, which we look forward to       2020 again!                                    still took place, albeit under all sorts of   there was enough snow on the ground
putting to good use in the near future.                                                     restrictions, but with only about nine of     to make the conditions challenging but
                                             It started off with the late cancellation in   our stalwarts down to play.                   not dangerous. A mixed ability group
Whilst there is of course little to report   March of the OBs vs. School, due to the                                                      had great fun in the cold by day and sat
for the majority of 2020 in terms of         coronavirus outbreak and Government            One major point to note is that there         by an open fire at night.
netball, the club were delighted to          restrictions just coming into force.           is now an agreement in place that
finish top of the league in the Redditch                                                    the School is to incorporate the              Pushing the winter theme in March
winter league 2019/2020 and securing         Cancelled matches continued right              Bromsgrovian Club, including its assets.      2020, Jon Badger and Tom Thompson
promotion when the league resumes.           through the summer, as having all the          The OB Golf Secretary had, shortly            endured snow storms and sunshine
At the start of the year, we also            fixtures arranged well in advance, it was      before lockdown, a convivial meeting          in the Cairngorms around Aviemore. It
managed to organise a great day out          a case of ‘when’ to cancel, instead of ‘if’.   with both the Bursar and Assistant            is a long drive but for some excellent
to watch netball at the highest level        Therefore, we were not able to play the        Head, where they undertook to continue        winter mountaineering experience, it is
at Superleague Sunday. We’ve also            Grafton Morrish Qualifiers at Olton in         to assist with the funding of OB Golf,        unbeatable in the UK.
welcomed a few new babies into the OB        May and our own OB day at Edgbaston,           as appropriate, similar to how the
family, who we are hoping to turn into       in June the Midland Public Schools’            Bromsgrovian Club has done previously.        Inevitably, our spring meet staying in
netballers when the time comes.              match at Little Aston was cancelled, as        There was a hint that this may well be        the cottage in the Llanberris Pass was
                                             was our OB invitation day at Ombersley         more conducive than before and the            cancelled. This was a great shame as it
The most important thing is that we all      in August. In October, the Welsh               School are keen to continue to work           is usually very well attended, sponsored
remain fit and healthy, and we hope          Public Schools’ Edward Harris Cup at           closely with Old Bromsrovians Golf            by excellent weather and we enjoy          New members are very much welcome
that everyone in the wider OB family is      Porthcawl was also off, which in fact          Society.                                      outside dining with some excellent         and encouraged - you only need some
keeping safe and well.                       very nearly made it.                                                                         socialising. A date has been booked for    appropriate hill walking equipment and
                                                                                            Here’s hoping 2021 will see things back       May 2021.                                  a sense of fun. Please look us up on
If anyone is interested in joining the                                                      to normal, if ever anything can be called                                                Facebook (search for OBEC) or visit
OB netball team or finding out more,                                                        normal after COVID-19!                        And so it followed that the September
then please get in contact with us via                                                                                                    2020 AGM was cancelled. However
Facebook “OB Netball (Bromsgrove)”.                                                         Anthony Webb (Lyttelton 1955-1959)            the Tyn Y Coed Hotel were able to host     Jon Badger (Walters 1985-1990)
                                                                                            Hon. Secretary for OB Golf                    a few guests (such as Robin Smith, Phil    Secretary of OBEC
Becky Alton and the OB Netball Team                                                                                                       Gibbs, Tony Blacker and Mark Gunton)
                                                                                                                                          with appropriate social distancing
                                                                                                                                          (including camper vans and some
                                                                                                                                          dedicated few visiting only for the day)
                                                                                                                                          an event of sorts was achieved.
Connected - Bromsgrove School
Wedding Bells                                                   Congratulations to Mason Loades
                                                                (Lupton 1989-1997) who married
Congratulations to the following Old                            Kathy Gilburn (Hazeldene 1992-1997)
Bromsgrovians who were married this                             at the Edgbaston Old Church on 12th
year. Do let us know if you’d like to                           October 2019, with the reception at the
feature in the next issue.                                      adjoining Golf Club. They honeymooned
                                                                in Mauritius.
Alexander Wheelock-Lines (Lyttelton
1996-2006) married Veronique                                    OBs who were in attendance included
Elizabeth Merriam Barbosa on 21st                               Matthew Bailey (Chief Usher, Lyttelton
September 2019 in Sintra, Portugal.                             1989-1997) and his wife, Elisa
They married on their 10 year                                   McAlindon (1992-1997 Bridesmaid,
anniversary. Alexander and Veronique                            who read 13 1 Corinthians), Mason’s
currently live in London together                               brother, Spencer Loades (Usher,
with their small dog, Soda. OBs in                              Elmshurst 1986-1990) and sister
attendance included Avnish Kalra                                Claudia Roberts (Oakley 1987-1992),
(Lyttelton 2001-2006 and Alexander                              Nick Allman (Lyttelton, who read 11
Fletcher (Wendron-Gordon 2001-2006).                            Isaiah), Adam Jones (Lyttelton) and
                                                                his wife Harriet Jones (née Soper,
                                                                Bridesmaid), Nick Grove (Lyttelton) and
                                                                his wife, Sarah Grove, Robert Gough
                                                                (Elmshurst), James Wilson (Lupton),
                                                                James Clement (Lyttelton), Sally Wright
                                                                (Hazeldene) - all at School with Mason
                                                                from 1992-1997, Mark Gunton (Walters
                                                                1977-1982) and Helen Gunton (née
                                                                Brooks, Mary Windsor 1981-1983).

      Would you like your wedding featured in the next issue?

                        Contact the Bromsgrovian Office
                        or Tweet us @OldBromsgrovian
Connected - Bromsgrove School
The Bridge Programme
                                                                                                                                  Thank you to all our OBs who helped
                                                                                                                                  with our online programme for Upper
                                                                                                                                  Sixth pupils, designed and implemented
                                                                                                                                  during the COVID-19 pandemic.
                                                                                                                                  Frederica Robbins (Thomas Cookes
                                                                                                                                  2008-2015) led the very first OB panel
                                                                                                                                  session on LinkedIn and how to make
                                                                                                                                  your profile pop. Adam Robertson
                                                                                                                                  (Lyttelton 2001-2013) and Polly
                                                                                                                                  Fletcher (Oakley 2006-2012) led on
                                                                                                                                  ‘Living the City Life’ - both studied, set
                                                                                                                                  up businesses and live in London. Adam
                                                                                                                                  held a further session on entrepreneurial

                                                                                                                                  Ella Cardinali (Oakley 2004-2015)
                                                                                                                                  and Josh King (School 2006-2013)
                                                                                                                                  spoke on the importance of giving. They
                                                                                                                                  both spent time volunteering through
                                                                                                                                  gap placements. Ella’s experience
Bromsgrovians in Property                  Each contributor discussed their area       would like to get involved, please
                                                                                                                                  with ICS (International Citizen Service)     Haris Nazir (Lyttelton 2017-2019)
Old Bromsgrovians Jess Williams (née       of expertise in the sector, followed by a   contact Zia Leech, Head of Futures:                                                     discussed how technology is playing
                                                                                                                                  gave her the opportunity to present to
Kingston, Thomas Cookes 2004-2009),        Q&A session.                                                                                a part in the fight against COVID-19.
                                                                                                                                  the UN in New York. Josh spent time
Richard Brookes (Lupton 1961-1965)                                                                                                                                             Haris’ takeaway message was that ‘this
                                                                                                                                  at Bromsgrove School Thailand and
and James Brookes (Wendron-Gordon          The Futures Department hopes to                                                                                                     may look like a time of recession, but I
                                                                                                                                  volunteered in Nepal through ICS.
1991-1996) hosted a Bromsgrovians in       facilitate more of these sessions with                                                                                              believe some of the biggest innovations
Property event for current pupils and      OBs and pupils, either in person (if                                                                                                of the century will come out of this
                                                                                                                                  Charlotte Campbell (Oakley 2004-
parents in the Hospitality Suite.          restrictions allow) or online, so if you                                                                                            outbreak, and everyday people are
                                                                                                                                  2018), Andreaa Mihaescu (Oakley
                                                                                                                                  2013-2017), Alex Nisbet (Lyttelton           working on fighting this virus. It truly is a
                                                                                       Sporting Connections                       2005-2016) and Ed Drayson (School            really interesting time.’
                                                                                       Well done to Bromsgrove Hockey Club                                                                                                     Laura Brunning (Mary Windsor 2000-
                                                                                                                                  2008-2017) discussed degree courses
                                                                                       Ladies’ 1st Team who are celebrating                                                    Abbah Abbah (Housman Hall 2015-                 2008) and Jacob Matthews (Walters
                                                                                                                                  in Business, Management, Finance,
                                                                                       promotion for the second consecutive                                                    2017), Harriet Goucher (Hazeldene               2011-2016) discussed what it is like to
                                                                                                                                  Economics and Accounting.
                                                                                       season in the Midlands Feeder West                                                      2011-2016) and Paolo Romanengo                  study a sports-related degree.
                                                                                       hockey league. The team includes a                                                      (Housman Hall 2017-2019) discussed
                                                                                                                                  Sasha Johnston (Hazeldene 2006-
                                                                                       number of Old Bromsgrovians: Anna                                                       degree courses n Law, Politics and              James Prince (Lupton 2009-2017) and
                                                                                                                                  2017), Freddie Owen (Lupton 2014-
                                                                                       Perrott (Hazeldene 1998-2007), Lily                                                     Psychology.                                     Kara Doyle (Hazeldene 2001-2017)
                                                                                                                                  2018) and Alex San (School 2012-
                                                                                       Alsop (Thomas Cookes 2004-2013),                                                                                                        spoke about their experience of studying
                                                                                                                                  2017) spoke about universities in the
                                                                                       Victoria Burton (Thomas Cookes 2009-                                                    Alex Evans (Oakley 2007-2016) worked            Real Estate and Geography at university.
                                                                                                                                  South West.
                                                                                       2011) and Heather Nunnerley (Thomas                                                     with our Design Technology students to
                                                                                       Cookes 1994-1999).                                                                      create innovative pieces of technology          Finally, Hannah Brock (Housman
                                                                                                                                  Will Nadin (Lupton 2011-2018), Ed
                                                                                                                                  Mooney (School 2011-2018), Oscar             that might help someone through a               Hall 2017-2019), Emily Coleman
                                                                                       The team finished fourteen points clear                                                 pandemic. In addition, Alex, along with         (Hazeldene 2012-2017) and Erica
                                                                                                                                  Chou (Wendron-Gordon 2015-2017)
Lifelong Friendships                                                                   of their nearest rivals when the season
                                                                                                                                  and Dominic Gardner (Lupton 2004-            Mike Matthews (Lupton 2012-2016),               Halley (Oakley 2013-2015) talked about
Rob Mitchell and Amyn Haji (Wendron-                                                   finished with one game unplayed at                                                      and Paige Maddox (Thomas Cookes                 what it is like to be a student at the
                                                                                                                                  2018) discussed what to expect and
Gordon/School House and Elmshurst                                                      the end of March. Bromsgrove striker,                                                   2008-2016) spoke about studying                 universities of Manchester, Leeds and
                                                                                                                                  how to prepare for studying a science
respectively, 1989-1994) were best                                                     Anna Perrott, ended the season as                                                       design-related courses at university.           Nottingham.
friends at School and, despite living at                                               the highest goalscorer in all midlands
opposite ends of the UK now, still catch                                               leagues with 20 goals.                                                                  Jonathan Finn (Lupton 1978-1983) is             If you are happy to be considered for
                                                                                                                                  Alex Moore (Walters 2007-2014) held
up as much as they can. Amyn is a                                                                                                                                              a Teaching Fellow at Aston Law School.          any similar sessions that the School
                                                                                                                                  ‘Parliamentary Question Time’ for his
consultant surgeon in London, and Rob                                                  As a result of their success, Bromsgrove                                                He kindly led a session on Indirect             might run online for its current students,
                                                                                                                                  session. He explained the basics of
works for the Scottish Environmental                                                   are looking forward to playing in                                                       Discrimination in Employment Law                please email the Bromsgrovian Office
                                                                                                                                  British politics, gave an overview of how
Protection Agency in Edinburgh.                                                        Midlands Division 2 next season for the                                                 – usually a first year seminar for Law          with details of your subject matter and
                                                                                                                                  a general election works and spoke
                                                                                       first time in the club’s history.                                                       students.                                       university course/job sector. Email us at
                                                                                                                                  about the current parliamentary stand
                                                                                                                                  on Covid-19.                                                                                 oldbromsgrovians@bromsgrove-school.
                                           Alexa Downs (née Guy, Thomas                                                                                                        James Fouracre (Elmshurst 2004-2005)  
                                           Cookes) and Sharon Lewis (née Davies,                                                                                               focussed on why ‘knowing your brand’ is
                                           Hazeldene and a former Prep School                                                                                                  key for career success.
                                           academic member of staff) met at
                                           Bromsgrove and are still in touch today.                                                                                            Andrii Iermolaev (Wendron-Gordon
                                                                                                                                                                               2015-2019) is currently studying at
                                                                                                                                                                               Cornell University, USA and kindly took
                                                                                                                                                                               time out of his schedule to speak about
                                                                                                                                                                               Computer Science.
Connected - Bromsgrove School
VE Day 75th Anniversary
The 8th May 2020 marked 75 years
                                                                                                                                         The build up to the end of the war was
                                                                                                                                         remembered by David Idwal Jones:
                                                                                                                                         “Not quite VE Day (9 months before) but
                                                                                                                                                                                      Some OBs were in different parts of the
                                                                                                                                                                                      country. Glen Smith shared his memory
                                                                                                                                                                                      of VE Day in London: “On VE Day they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Experiences from other parts of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  world and how the war in the East was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  not yet over until August 1945 were also
since the end of WWII in Europe.                                                                                                         I have a distinct memory of my Mother        drove the family car, a Ford Prefect,       mentioned by several OBs.
Although we were not able to meet as                                                                                                     sending me across the lawn to give my        to the London Embankment, at the
a School and local community to mark                                                                                                     Grandmother the message “The Allies          time I was seven. Having parked there       One OB, James Whittaker, shared his
the occasion and pay tribute to the Old                                                                                                  have taken Paris”, I had no idea what        we made our way through to Trafalgar        family’s experience of the War carrying
Bromsgrovians who had died during                                                                                                        my message meant!”                           Square, I was hoisted by members of         on: “Whilst the U.K. celebrated VE Day
the War, we reached out to our School                                                                                                                                                 the crowd up onto the back of one of        on 8th May 1945, the war continued in
community to discover their families’                                                                                                    Mike Perkins was the first in his            the lions, from where I had an incredible   the Far East. My mother, aged 22, and
memories of that time and to current                                                                                                     household to hear the news and recalls,      view of the crowds of people                both her parents were interned by the
pupils to share their experiences of                                                                                                     “I was fiddling with the dial on our Radio   celebrating.”                               Japanese in Stanley Camp, Hong Kong.
marking this occasion, many of whom                                                                                                      when at about 3pm on the fateful day I                                                   My father, as a serving officer, was a
decided to commemorate the day at                                                                                                        picked up a scratchy broadcast which         Peter Hales shared his VE Day memory        POW imprisoned in a separate camp.
home. Back at Bromsgrove, a street                                                                                                       seemed to be saying that the War in          spent in Wales: “I was at home in           They all survived until their freedom in
party was put on for the children of our                                                                                                 Europe was over. I told my parents           Llangynidr. My parents had arranged to      August 1945.”
key workers in the grounds of the Prep                                                                                                   but they said I must have got it wrong.      meet in the local Pub. Many American
School. Captain Farnes asked his Upper                                                                                                   Nevertheless, I rushed out into the High     troops were there and they invited many     Hugh Furber recalls, “I was a child of
Fourth Cadets to design a piece of work                                                                                                  Street yelling the ‘news’.”                  back to our house for lunch. They were      four and a half at the time and I have no
to display on VE Day, and he received         As the only two remaining NCOs in that        John Gittins recalled being at another                                                    very grateful and wished to buy many        memories of VE Day. However, I do have
some very impressive entries, including       regiment, they were needed as                 school in Worcester at the time: “We         The end of the blackout was a common         drinks. I cycled home but then went to      memories of VJ day on August 15th.
these two pieces of written work by pupil     instructors, for many other NCOs had to       were sent back to classes - high tea -       theme in the memories sent in by Old         bed. I still remember the room              This date is often overlooked as was the
Harrison Brown.                               pass a test to uphold their current army      small break - evening prep, then to the      Bromsgrovians. Tim Powell recalled           circulating.”                               14th Army (the forgotten army) in which
                                              rank. This meant Arthur was luckily           dormitories. We were however given the       spending VE Day with parents at his                                                      Capt. Tom Moore served. For the first
A Toddlers View: It was so bright             enough to be at home and with his             day off the next day which included a        grandmother’s house in Leamington            Harry Shirley’s rather sobering             time, I was taken on holiday that August
Having been born in December 1943,            family on VE day. He said he couldn’t         service at the cathedral.”                   Spa, “The Jephson Gardens were all lit       account of his train journey on VE Day      to Llanfairfechan by the sea. I remember
my Grandma didn’t realise she re-             really remember much about the day                                                         up in the evening. It was the first time     from Bromsgrove School to Rugby             the Union Flags and bunting. I had my
membered VE Day until she was much            itself, as it was all blurred together as a   Peter Valder also referred to Prep           that I saw floodlights on that evening       via Coventry gave an insight into the       first experience of a beach and a strong
older and she asked her mum about an          mixture of celebration, uncertainty and       School experiences: “Alas, I was still at    as everything was blacked out prior to       devastation of the bomb damage: “The        memory of a man walking out of the sea
overwhelming memory she had of lots of        nerves as there was still a war going         prep school on VE day, and as it came        then.”                                       Chapel Service was the only celebration     in his bathing trunks and having only
lights, some brighter than others, some       on – one that he nearly had to fight in       upon us unexpectedly, I don’t think                                                       at Bromsgrove but we were all excited at    one arm.”
that looked like two eyes and some that       and had already lost many friends and         anything happened, except that we            Philip Hill commented on what his            the thought of going home to celebrate.
were fire. It would appear that she had       family to.                                    were given a day off. The anniversary        School experience of the end of              My Father was an officer in the RAF         Thanks to the many Old Bromsgrovians
been taken up to the top of the road          - Harrison Brown (Current Pupil)              in 1946 meant more, in that we had a         blackout meant for him: “I do recall I       and, unfortunately, my home at that         who shared their VE Day memories and
they lived on in Harborne on the evening                                                    day when we were allowed to go home,         had been doing a blackout check after        time was in Inverness. Luckily, I had       family experiences with us and to the
of VE Day and it was all the lights that      The Bromsgrovian 1945 mentions a              which had far more impact.”                  dark, making sure there were no lights       made friends with John M. B. Cawood,        members of CCF and other students
she saw. Having spent the first eight-        Thanksgiving service in the Memorial                                                       showing.”                                    whose Father was also in the Services.      who took time to commemorate the day
een months of her life with blackouts         Chapel and a two-day holiday for the          Michael Roberts told us of his memory                                                     John kindly invited me to come with him     with their thoughtful pieces of work. Old
and war time, life suddenly seemed so         boys, in line with the National Holiday.      of the Chapel Service and Headmaster,        Bonfires and street parties were also        to his home in Rugby. We caught the         Bromsgrovian Emrys Evans completed
bright with the lights on in houses and       We heard from Old Bromsgrovians who           David Walters’ address: “Once we had         recalled. John Hitchon wrote, “Although      train from Bromsgrove to                    our week long tweeting of memories,
the street lights lit up - and the two eyes   were at Bromsgrove School, at other           attended Chapel where DJW announced          I was only three and a half on VE Day, I     Birmingham and from there to Rugby.         and his final statement sums up the
coming towards her were buses and             schools and at home at the time, as to        the good and tremendous news, I was          remember it well. After years of             The train stopped for a few minutes at      feelings of many that were shared with
cars. As they looked right from the top       what VE Day meant for them.                   fourteen and I imagined that there           blackout, the street went wild with          Coventry so I jumped off to have a look     us:
of their road there was a huge bonfire at                                                   would be no more addresses by Wal-           excitement and lit a huge bonfire in the     at the result of the “Blitz”. The Station
the top of Barnes Hill.                       Philip Hill shared his memory of the          ters informing the congregation at daily     middle of the road. The heat was so          Building no longer existed. There were      “Street parties were a big thing along
                                              day at Bromsgrove School: “I remember         Chapel that yet another OB had been          fierce that I vividly remember the paint     no buildings to be seen for hundreds        with bonfires. It is a long time ago but
A Soldier’s Day                                                                             killed. In his statement a two-day holiday
I spoke to Arthur Kennedy, my                 it being a nice morning and admiring                                                       on the nearest house to the bonfire          of yards except for the remains of a        the relief at war’s end was genuine.”
                                              the trees walking across the Green from       was announced commencing straight            being blistered.”                            couple of the Coventry Cathedral walls.
grandparents’ neighbour who is now 95,                                                      away. So a quick walk to the bus stop…
about his experience of VE Day – this is      Gordon House to the Chapel for the                                                                                                      I was absolutely shattered. I had seen
                                              service, always looking their best in early   I was on my way with one or two local        Bob Cook recalled, “My memory of the         the results of raids on Birmingham, and
his story:                                                                                  boys, excited yes as people were joyous,
                                              May. And of course, that we were now                                                       day before VE Day was seeing the             Glasgow and other towns but nothing
Arthur, who was 21 at the time, was           free of war.”                                 full of smiles and laughing.”                enormous bonfire that had been erected       like that. It is a memory that has stayed
based in the Midlands with his regiment,                                                                                                 on the Clent Hills. Even before its          in my mind.”
the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engi-       Sir Robert Hastie recalled that the Prep                                                   ignition, the pyramidal construction was
neers. About a week before VE Day, his        School was not allowed home for VE                                                         an awe-inspiring sight. As a 15-year-old,    Andrew Clark described his memories
battalion were informed they were being       Day, “On May 8th 1945 I was at the                                                         my abiding memory of VE night was of         as “not a ‘bundle of fun” as his family
relocated to Nottingham, and they were        Prep School, not long returned from                                                        the fierce heat of the fire and its          were separated due to the war: “Family-
to prepare to be shipped out to the Far       Llanwrtyd Wells where I joined in 1943.                                                    unforgettable sound, light and smell; a      wise, my elder brother, DJR Clark was
East. A day before he was due to leave        We had all been excitedly following the                                                    beacon of wood and tar. The                  already at Bromsgrove and my father,
for the Philippines, Arthur and another       news and when the great day dawned                                                         atmosphere of jubilation was tempered        a GP, was still serving with the RAMC
NCO were sent to a Tech School close          a holiday was declared. We were given                                                      by the worry that we still had to win the    in Hamburg. Mother was working as an
to where they were based in Nottingham        the day off and were taken by bus to                                                       war in Japan.”                               eye specialist with Coventry and North
and told they were being kept behind in       Malvern where we had a very enjoyable                                                                                                   Warwick Eye Department and my sister
England.                                      day.”                                                                                                                                   was with an aunt in Berkhamstead.”
Commemorative Cycle Ride
We were not able to hold our planned
celebrations in Llanwrtyd Wells due to
the COVID-19 restrictions, but some of
our staff members dusted off their
cycling helmets and set off for a ride
with a difference.

Their aim was to cycle from Llanwrtyd
Wells to Bromsgrove School to
remember the time that we spent in the
small Welsh town when the School was
evacuated in WW2 and to
commemorate the 80th anniversary of
the founding of the Preparatory School.

Fourteen cyclists took on the challenge,
and four of those – Mr Riley, Mr Felton,
Mr Holdsworth, and Mr Brinkley from
Winterfold, decided to complete the
180-mile round trip.

Thank you to Mr Jones, Head of Boys’
PE and Games at Bromsgrove
Preparatory School for organising the
event, and well done to all the cyclists
who took part.
Bromsgrove School’s Scout Troop Record Book 1935 to 1944 including the move to Wales.
Bromsgrove Junior School, founded in Llanwrtyd Wells in September 1940, is mentioned in
this extract from The Bromsgrovian, December 1940.
Our News to You
                                                                                                                               Future Frontiers                             Vision 2020
                                                                                                                               Katie Leather (Prep School & Oakley          Thank you to everyone who offered
                                                                                                                               2003-2014) is a Programme Manager            their support to the Prep School at
                                                                                                                               for Future Frontiers, a charity that works   the Vision 2020 careers event in
                                                                                                                               with young people from disadvantaged         February. The pupils gained lots
NEWS AND INFORMATION FROM THE BROMSGROVIAN OFFICE.                                                                             backgrounds to transform their               from talking to OBs, parents and
                                                                                                                               relationship with learning by supporting     guests about their careers and it
                                                                                                                               them with the guidance and networks          made them think about job sectors
                                                                                                                               they need to make clear connections          that they might not have considered
                                                                                                                               between their aspirations and                before.

                                                                                                                               Katie is asking for a few minutes of your
                                                                                                                               time, and her message is below:

                                                                                                                               “We are always looking to expand our
                                                                                                                               network of professionals, in any
                                                                                                                               industry, and are building a bank of
                                                                                                                               these contacts. Being part of this
                                                                                                                               network is an opt-in process which
                                                                                                                               you can sign up to here and, if you do,
                                                                                                                               coaches on our programme will be able
                                                                                                                               to contact you should they have a pupil
                                                                                                                               who wants to find out more about your        School Shop                             Our newly refurbished and expanded
                                                                                                                               job.”                                        Who remembers the School Shop           shop was opened during the
                                                                                                                                                                            (or ‘Binger’ as it was known to some)   Michaelmas Term.
                                                                                                                               “The pupils prepare questions with their
National Archives                         Mike was delighted with how the            School Badge                              coach in advance of the conversation,
                                                                                                                                                                            during their time at Bromsgrove?
We were delighted to welcome Mike         building looks and we cannot wait to       Does anyone recognise this School         which would take place over 10-20
Rogers, Sector Development Manager        show everyone more when Goverment          badge?                                    minutes in their final Future Frontiers
(Transport & Schools) from the National   restrictions allow.
                                                                                                                               session. It can take place in person
Archives for a sneak peek tour of our                                                We have received a request from a         or, more often, via a phone or video
new Archive and Heritage Centre before                                               family in Australia who are trying to     call and usually at some time between
it opened in the summer.                                                             trace where one of their relatives was    12:00 and 15:00 on a weekday.”
                                                                                     before coming to Bromsgrove School.
                                                                                                                               You can help out by:
                                                                                     If you are able to help identify the      1. Joining Future Frontiers’ professional
                                                                                     School badge, please email our            expert bank -
                                                                                     Archivist, Nikki Thorpe:        
                                                                                                                               2. Circulating the opportunity amongst
                                                                                                                               your networks.

                                                                                                                               If you happen to be a regular follower
                                                                                                                               of our social media accounts, you
                                                                                                                               will probably know that we often post
                                                                                                                               images for ‘Throwback Thursday’. TBT,
Class of 2020                             Usually, the Headmaster hands out an       Graduation News                           as it is often referred to, is an internet
A warm welcome to our most recent         OB tie or label pin to each U6 leaver in   Happy Graduation to all our OBs who
                                          a special ceremony during their final                                                trend where users post nostalgic photos
leavers, the Class of 2020, who we look                                              received their degree classification
                                          Routh Assembly, but with the enforced                                                from various eras.
forward to welcoming to OB events in                                                 results over the Summer.
the near future.                          School closure, these items were posted
                                          to each Upper Sixth pupil instead.                                                   If you have any archive images or
                                                                                     Do let us know what you are up to now,
                                                                                                                               anecdotes relating to the School that we
                                                                                     so we can include your news in the next
                                                                                                                               can use online, we’d love to hear from
                                                                                     Alumni magazine.
                                                                                                                               you - please email Oldbromsgrovians@
                                                                                                                      with the
                                                                                                                               photograph, the year and a brief
From the Archives...                                                                                                                 As always, what the exhibition
                                                                                                                                     demonstrated was the richness of
What has been a challenging time              The Michaelmas and Lent Terms were           November 2019 was an excitingly busy      material that the School Archive has and
from March to September of this last          spent in the preparation and move of         month for us with the movement of our     what a debt we owe to the donors and
academic year has also presented              archives from the Old Chapel to our new      newly conserved Antarctic sledge to its   keepers of this material over hundreds of
opportunities in the world of School          bespoke Archive and Heritage Centre in       bespoke cabinet in the heritage centre,   years. It is wonderful that we now have
Archives, giving us time to reflect on past   Big School.                                  our annual visit to Llanwrtyd Wells to    the Heritage Centre to display many of
challenges in the School’s history and the                                                 remember the School’s evacuation          these items and show the development
wider world. Obvious parallels with the                                                    there in WW2 and the launch of Philip     of Bromsgrove School across so many
Spanish Flu of 1918 and other serious                                                      Bowen’s book, Bromsgrove School at        generations.
influenza cases have been drawn and                                                        War and in Wales 1939-1945, with
we were able to read how these illnesses                                                   the accompanying archive exhibition,
caused disruption at School in the                                                         as well as, of course, the Year 8 and
Bromsgrovian and Junior Bromsgrovian.                                                      Lower Fourth workshops on Bromsgrove
                                                                                           School WW1 archives for the now annual
                                                                                           creative writing competition.

They provided inspiration to our students
to reflect on their own experiences of                                                                                               We have had some fantastic and timely       Our Digitisation programme has proved
a pandemic and see the importance                                                                                                    donations from OBs, their families and      its worth this year, providing material to
of documenting their experiences for                                                                                                 former staff this year. Our Ottilie Hild    work on remotely so we can continue
the School Archive for the future. From                                                                                              Pre-Prep Collection has been added to       to respond to enquiries about the
Liza Vasilyeva we had a poem about                                                                                                   by items donated by Mrs Sue Pickering,      collections and commemorate important
her uncertainty of the decision to leave                                                                                             former Headmistress of Ottilie Hild and     events such as VE Day 80 years ago, the
Bromsgrove to go home during the              Archive Club Students provided                                                         Bromsgrove Pre-Prep, enabling us to put     much missed 2020 Commemoration
pandemic. Her opening lines are a             invaluable support with repackaging,                                                   another exhibition in the Headmaster’s      Day and the anniversary of the opening
powerful reminder of the personal impact      organising and catalogue listing of the                                                Dining Room to mark the opening of the      of Bromsgrove Prep School in Llanwrtyd
of the global incident.                       archives, finding new homes for items                                                  new Day Girls’ House at Bromsgrove,         Wells eighty years ago, using our
                                              that previously had lived on dusty shelves                                             named after the Pre-Prep founder, this      School records. The programme of
“Leaving Bromsgrove                           and in cabinets. While there is still many                                             September.                                  digitisation will continue so we can
                                              more archives to list and catalogue, the                                                                                           preserve our most vulnerable records
the Spaniards announce their departure;       students have made a great contribution                                                We were delighted to receive a copy         and so we can provide greater access
Monday.                                       to this and particularly Upper Sixth                                                   of the exhibition book about Old            to our archive collections to our whole
                                              student, Ellen Kitchen who won the           Archive Club students also curated        Bromsgrovian Sir Lionel Whitby who          School community. All of our digitised
the air’s taste sours                         Bromsgrove Service award for her work        an exhibition in the Headmaster’s         fought in WW1, had a leg amputated          material will in time be online through
                                              in archive club over three years, much of    Dining Room on the ‘Roaring 20s’          after injury and went on to form the        Bromsgrovians Connected site, using the
the prospect of change is painfully real.”    it spent repackaging and listing items on    as they uncovered from the archive,       Army Blood Transfusion Unit for WW2.        OB login. We are interested to find out if
                                              the catalogue.                               menus, theatre programmes, uniform,       An exhibition of his life was at Downing    there are particular items OBs would like
Further extracts of the poem can be read                                                   sports medals and even photographs        College, Cambridge earlier in the year      us to digitise for their own memories and
in the Bromsgrovian 2020.                                                                  of students to show how Bromsgrove        and his grandson kindly sent us a copy      research so please do let us know.
                                                                                           School looked a hundred years ago.        of the accompanying book. We are so
Interviews with boarding house staff                                                                                                 pleased to be back in touch with Whitby’s   Nikki Thorpe
and students are also part of our                                                                                                    family and will be sharing our archives     School Archivist
documenting of this period of time and                                                                                               relating to Lionel with them and in our     Tel: 01527 579679 ext 365
will become part of our oral history                                                                                                 heritage centre. We do have Lionel’s
archive.                                                                                                                             Organic Chemistry note-book from 1911.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              With apologies to Dr Mervyn Bramley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OBE (Wendron 1959-1964) for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              incorrectly listing his title and not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              including his Boarding House in last
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              year’s article.
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