I’m having one of those moments when I know what I want to say, but I can’t work out the logical place to start! And, bizarrely, I feel it is most logically at the end, so to speak.
I have recently been able to show around Windlesham two members of the Association whose contact with the school was quite a way back in time. Last Wednesday Peter Worts,, who left in here 1962 returned from Perth, Australia to take his wife and sister on a trip down his Memory Lane. And what a memory he had for the smallest of details. It was quite a revelation to his family as I verified all that he had spoken of in the intervening years. He was truly delighted at all he saw.
Yesterday the visitor was Michael Faunce-Brown, formerly Head of History & Geography (taught in what has now been for many years the Head’s study!) and Housemaster of Raleigh, who had moved on in 1973. He has also recently returned from Australia, though in his case it seems likely to be a permanent move. He was accompanied by his older son Tim, who had his own memories too, and both were completely overwhelmed by the amazing facilities enjoyed by the Windlesham of the 21st century. One particularly special moment was when we met Oliver Clarke, son of Nick Clarke whom Michael had taught all those years ago. Michael was hugely impressed by Oliver’s extremely good-mannered welcome.
Michael was also fascinated to hear news of his contemporaries, both staff and pupils, and so it was lovely to be able to make reference to correspondence from only the day before that I had had with the daughter of a member of his Raleigh House! Lulu Bradley featured in an article in New Monday Honey magazine, highlighting the work of her ‘Cordelia Bradley Millinery’ venture, recently established at Hatwoman, a shop in Hong Kong created by her mother Elizabeth Gomersall Bradley, the aforementioned Raleigh-ite pupil.
There have been other alumni featuring in magazines over the last week or two. Imogen Man had a prominent article in Country Life this month, which focused on her current exhibition at the Chance Gallery in Sydney St, Chelsea. Also the face of Tom Williams appeared as the cover picture of the match programme for the Quins v Saracens match at the end of September, with a major article inside marking his 200th appearance for the club – he is only the 6th ever to reach that milestone.
H C (Harry) Malden, the school’s second Head was mentioned the other day in The Times in correspondence about the origins of the laws of Association Football. As many will be aware, he held a meeting in his college rooms at Cambridge in the late 1840s at which the frustrations of there being no universally accepted rules for the game were addressed. The laws formulated there became the basis for what was later adopted by the Football Association at its inception in 1863. Then, extraordinarily, Little Windlesham, as Harry named his retirement home in Crowborough, later bought by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was mentioned in the Sunday Times in article referring to Doyle’s ‘upright burial’ in the grounds – he was later to be reinterred in Devon, when the Crowborough house was subsequently sold once more.
While mentioning authors, Frances Osborne was the focus of a rather odd article in the Daily Mail (yes, another one!), headlined ‘Germs stress me out!’ This maintained she was a little paranoid about functions where others were clearly far from well and detailed her strategies for coping in such situations.’ Another recent media figure has been author James Fergusson, who was talking about terrorist issues on the Sunday ‘Broadcasting House’ programme two weekends ago. Also worthy of mention is that Book Week was celebrated at here Windlesham last week and both the well-known authors who visited to talk with with the children are former parents, Veronica Cassanteli, mother of Alex Affy James, and Marcia Williams, mother of Rufus Williams.
Two Facebook postings in the last few days which featured alumni have caused huge comment. The first was a photo of an honours board at Marlborough, which listed a C Middleton and a P Middleton alongside Amy Sherman – it transpires that this shows recent Elmhurst prefects. The other photo to have ‘gone viral’ amongst ’91 leavers was of a Windlesham ‘Noddy’ play, seemingly an Open Day production from the late 80s. Virtually all the participants have now been identified, but what, at the time of going to press, remains unclear are the precise year and which member of staff was responsible for directing it. Answers on a postcard, please!
Giles Macey and his wife Manon, have had a daughter, Elodie Juliana, a sister for Harrison, born on October 7th and Douglas Stewart and his wife Christina have also had a little girl recently. Otherwise matters on the ‘hatch and match’ front have been quite quiet. It was a huge relief to hear, though, that George Bouwens, who is currently working in Kenya, did not go shopping one Saturday morning as intended and so missed the terrible tragedies of the recent Westgate shopping mall incident. It is to be hoped that things in Kenya will calm down further, as there are several other alumni in that beautiful country and, in addition, our Head, Richard Foster, Alex Martin and George’s sister Lizzie are due to visit very shortly.