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Welcome to the Spring 2005 Old Northavian Newsletter. Much has happened within the ONA since I wrote to you a year ago. The most significant developments are:

As a result of my plea for volunteers to join the Committee, three new members joined us during 2004. I would like to thank them for coming forward – and the entire Committee for giving up their valuable time and for all their hard work. The Committee is now made up as follows: Anthony Whitaker (1961-66) - Chairman; Bryan Gordon-Smith (1955-58) – Hon Secretary / Treasurer; Charlie Thomas (1969-74) – Event Organiser; Jalal Janmohamed (1988-96) – Editor, Newsletter; the Earl of Rothes (1940-45); Richard Faber (1951-53); Robert Sutcliffe (1963-68); Greg Player (1979-83); Toby Gordon-Smith (1982-88); Holly Soffe (1982-89); Charlie King (1990-96); Sam Best (1994-99); and Rose Hall (1995-2000).

The first Annual General Meeting was held on the evening of 18th September 2004. It was to have been preceded by an Old Northavian Sports Day but, unfortunately, this had to be cancelled as there was not sufficient interest shown to make it viable. Naturally, this was a disappointment. However, the research we have carried out has led us to believe that events of this sort are attractive to the ON membership, and we have taken the view that perhaps the timing of the event, rather than the actual occasion itself, was the problem. Therefore, we are planning an Old Northavian Day, at the school, on Sunday 3rd July 2005. Please put this date in your diaries. I hope that many of you will come along to meet your contemporaries, have some fun and see what’s new at Norman Court. Further details will be sent out as soon as the Committee has finalised the programme for the day.

The number of Old Northavians who have joined the ONA has been encouraging. The total paid-up membership is growing steadily but, at present, there are still a great many more names of potential members on our database than there are of those who have actually joined the Association.

To misquote Lord Kitchener, “Your Association Needs YOU!”

The benefits of joining include:

  • An annual Newsletter, to be published each Spring, containing news not only of your friends, contemporaries and former teachers but also other ONs around the world and in all walks of life.
  • A glossy magazine produced from time to time by Norman Court (next due in Autumn 2005) detailing the developments (academic and structural) at the School itself.
  • The opportunity to attend ON events, whether at Norman Court or, in time, at other venues.
  • Access to the up to date list of ONA members’ contact details.
  • Access to an ONA website, which we are currently developing.

I would ask all of you who have not done so already to consider joining the ONA at the earliest opportunity. The more the ONA represents all eras in the School’s history, the better we can provide a conduit of news and information to enable all to keep in touch with their friends and contemporaries. Regrettably, we cannot send you the Newsletter or other communications indefinitely without the small financial commitment that joining the ONA entails. You will find the current application form at the end of this Newsletter. Please complete and send it, together with your cheque, to Mrs Patricia Taylor at Norman Court School.

This brings me to an important word of thanks. Patricia Taylor is the School’s Registrar but she is also the vital link between Norman Court and the Old Northavian Association. She works tirelessly and cheerfully on our behalf and I would just like to thank her on my own, and your behalf, for all that she has done to get the ONA up and running. We couldn’t have done it without you, Patricia!

Finally, I would like to ask all Old Northavians to help us improve the service we offer you, by sending us your views and any other feedback you think relevant. Future editions of this Newsletter will be greatly enhanced if you send us news about you or other ONs with whom you are in touch. If you know of any ON who is unaware of the formation of the new ONA, please tell us about them too (and tell them about us!).

Do, please, also remember to let us know of any postal change of address. As we are hoping to carry out as much correspondence as possible electronically, it is even more important that you let us know of any change to your email details, since these can become out of date even faster than the weather forecast! Please send any news, views or information to Mrs Patricia Taylor at

With best wishes for 2005

Anthony Whitaker


As I write my annual piece for the Newsletter we are in the depths of a bleak January day. Two local syndicates are enjoying the end of the shooting season and we have more than our fair share of colds and flu.

Days like these are brightened by successes both large and small. Wonderful positive feedback from our boarding inspectors has confirmed that our boarding provision is thriving. We have happy children enjoying a home-from-home environment created for them by our dedicated team of boarding staff led by Mrs Patricia Mostyn, the new Housemother and her staff.

The scholarship season has also provided rays of sunlight. We have secured two prestigious music awards this term. Alice Young has won a major scholarship at Sherborne Girls and this has been matched by George Lane, at Charterhouse.

The school’s sporting reputation remains strong and has been further enhanced by another successful 1st XI football season which was surpassed by the unbeaten Colts. The same year group has enjoyed a victory in the IAPS South West Divisional competition and therefore, a place in the national finals in March, and a very creditable third place in the prestigious Bryanston netball tournament.

Old Northavian successes also continue unabated, except in the ONs v The School soccer match which the School for once won convincingly. I have received lots of letters from recent leavers keeping us up to date with their exam successes, social activities and family news – thank you to those who have contacted us. By all means, continue to use the school email address – or send news to the ONA at

Please feel free to drop in and see us whenever you are passing and please support the ONs Day on Sunday 3rd July when battle will be joined on the cricket ground, the rounders diamond and the tennis court.

Kevin Foyle

Patrick Matthiesen 1953-56. I was interested to read the long entry from a Northavian of 1953 vintage in the previous Newsletter and this stirred half-forgotten memories. Mrs Winter, the motherly matron who was always benevolent and looked like something out of an eighteenth century French painting, would cluck over her charges and weigh them like prize cattle, and if you were found to be wanting you were promptly administered a dose of malt which actually was delicious and sweet. One has to remember that sweets were rationed (along with sugar) to two, once a week. Discipline was the order of the day. Not only did we have to brave Mrs Reynolds and her terriers at 7.55 am before breakfast but we had to do PT in all weathers on the terrace. Very bracing! When my parents came to visit they brought me Tuck in fairly considerable quantities. Chocolate and Horlicks were buried in a secret cache in the grounds under a yew tree and redeemed clandestinely. The grounds were fantastic for children with tree huts, wigwams and 'gang warfare'. Rain or shine there were crocodile marches through the countryside – further examples of bracing exercise. I vividly remember the byways littered with dead rabbits with eyes popping owing to the introduction of myxomatosis. On other afternoons of the appropriate season we were herded into the potato fields to gather spuds with tin buckets - quite backbreaking and reminiscent of Millet. Mr Lewis used to drive around surveying us on a Ferguson tractor. I remember Tommy Thomson, but have clearer memories of Peter Adams who taught French and instilled in me a curiosity in French literature later expanded at public school; Mr Plaister, always friendly and, looking back now, probably rather young. He sported a pale fawn tweed jacket with leather buttons that I quite coveted as the height of elegance, and of course Anthony Gordon-Hill who taught English and had a passion for Shakespeare and sharp dressing. And who could forget Monty's visits when we were all polished up by Mrs R. (her late husband had been Monty's ADC) for inspection. I do not remember the chocolate bear but he once came with a chocolate book, no doubt with some exhortation written upon it, which fed the whole school. OSLO lunches in their little punnets...........a relief from school food - pretty frightful in those days and one was able to lounge on the lawn and escape Mrs R who would put drawing pins under your elbows if you showed signs of resting your wrists or arms on the table! The wonderful cabbage hats we wore for OSLO, the heavy snowfalls in winter which caused the roof to leak and huge bows to come crashing down off the cedar trees.............the boy who was unhappy and would break out and run away in the small hours causing a hue and cry and the police to be called out, as if it was an escape from a POW camp.............. many memories. But Nil Nisi Optimum and being paraded in front of the board with stars and stripes, the odd chastisement. All this was to the good even if it has the flavour of the early 1900s.

Bryan Gordon-Smith 1955-58. As my previous prep school had closed its shambolic boarding facilities, it was easy to be impressed by Northaw. I took to the school like a duck to water and it lived up to its motto. All the customs, rituals and competitions between individuals and clubs engaged me and kept me out of trouble! French vocabulary tests standing in a line and proceeding up and down depending on how much home work you had done; rote learning of ever larger chunks of poetry; the progress of Latin and Greek grammar/vocabulary helped along by the threat of the slipper; cramming general knowledge in before lunch so that the club was not let down by the quiz; the book reading over the post-lunch rest period and the Headmaster’s readings for the whole school in his office. And the sports, with immaculate school grounds lovingly prepared by Sarge and the school teas under the cedar tree; Sarge’s boxing matches were run like Army finals with huge muscled Army PT staff coming to umpire; some quite bloody exchanges but also a lot of whirling dervishes; not dissimilar to the dancing which alternated with boxing on Tuesdays; the dancing which resulted in a “match” against a local girls school – a formidable lot who seemed to tower over us but were quickly scythed down to scale in the polka (I met one years later as a parent in the school hall and embarrassed my children by a repeat performance!). All went swimmingly and I was appointed Captain of School, until I started “stretching the envelope” of school life with midnight swims and feasts. With a fertile imagination in this pre TV era, it was not difficult to get carried away as a Richard Hannay in 39 Steps, saving the country…. However, being caught was a salutary lesson, dealt with summarily and, thankfully, I was saved a premature return home; it was my first encounter with the wisdom of Solomon: that year we had two Captains of School!

All this, after Field Marshall Montgomery, patron of the school, visited and presented me with his “Ten Chapters”, writing a glowing report on me – I could hardly recognise myself. So naturally after school, I joined the Army and served 36 years. Despite impressing several senior-reporting officers that they were following in the shoes of a Field Marshall, I left as a Colonel with the thought I had peaked early at Northaw! Joining the Gunners, I made my mates for life in Northern Ireland with 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – is it any wonder the British Army consistently succeeds in confusing the enemy! I spent 4½ years after Sandhurst in further education; had the fun and privilege to command a regiment in Germany during the Cold War and my most interesting and challenging staff jobs were: first – being responsible in the Directorate of Military Operations for the UK’s implementation of arms control treaties and monitoring implementation by the former Warsaw pact countries – pretty historical stuff; and secondly, working for the Adjutant General as one of the Army’s so called “Just Men”, an elastic use of English at times – the Colonel Cabal responsible for the army’s resource programme.

Over the years, I returned once as a teenager to show off the old school to a friend. We walked down the avenue of trees that parents had donated when their sons left, all with neat nameplates on stands - I was pole-axed to discover a yawning gap where my tree should have been! I returned during Denis and Anne Blake’s time to surrender first Toby (1982-88) and then Beth (1988-92) to their tender mercies. Further family contact was established when my brother in law, Paul Baker, arrived to teach. We had a lot of fun meeting other parents and their children and still see many today. After a brief sojourn raising the profile and fundraising for a service charity, I can now be found spending as much of my time as possible fishing on the river, in the river managing the water, or lounging by the river having discovered the maxim – fishing is the most efficient waste of time. That is apart from deriving huge pleasure having re-established contact with the school as the ONA committee member for my years and seeing the School in such good health.

Martin Taylor 1957-61, under Headmasters Richard Lewis and Billy Howard. The past 43 years have included 2 in South Africa; a spell in the Guards; 2 years at the Royal Agriculture College, Cirencester; 5 years merchant banking and 30 years stock broking. I have been happily married to Miranda Brook for 21 years and have 2 boys Hugo and George, 17 and 16, born 9 months apart and both in the same academic year at my old school, Eton. I now live in the house I was born in, in Warwickshire, where we are busy repairing roofs and grassing over flowerbeds. Life is a bit chaotic, but I am delighted to have escaped after 30 years living in London. The only ON's I have seen of late have been my brother, Robin (1959-63), and friends Chris Joll (1957-62), and Francis Rundall (1960-64).

David Herring 1958-64. I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor following 3 years at Cirencester Royal Agricultural College (1969-72). I made my life long love of foxhunting a full time occupation for nearly 30 years. Now I live and run my own businesses in the Republic of Ireland.

I am married to Heather with 3 children, Jack, Freddie and Josie. I have two daughters from my first marriage. The eldest Anna, is married and living close to us in Ireland. Vickie has recently graduated from Leeds University and is continuing her studies in England.

Anthony Whitaker 1961-66. As I am the Chairman of the ONA, you may feel that you have heard enough from me already in this Newsletter. However, I have been asked to write a few words from a personal angle and I will try and bear the word “few” in mind.

I have been married to Sarah since 1985 and we have three children, Daisy, Clementine and James (who is currently in Year 7 at Norman Court). We have lived in Nether Wallop since 1993 and part of our house is a wine shop, which I run. I have been in the wine trade for nearly 30 years. Sarah is an Aga demonstrator – that is, she teaches people how to get the most out of their Agas.

I see a number of Old Northavians at wine trade events – Nick James (1957-63) and Charles Lea (1965-70) in particular. Nick is Sales Director for Champagne Pol Roger and recently organised a day’s shooting where 7 out of 8 guns were ONs or had Northaw connections. If this becomes an annual event, I hope we may persuade him to write something for a future edition of the Newsletter. Charles runs the highly successful chain of Lea and Sandeman wine shops in London. Since I got him his first job in wine, I like to kid myself that his success is, in part, down to me! I used to work with another ON, James Althaus (1970-75) many years ago. He now runs a garden design and build company called MarmaladeJam (yes, really!).

Stephen Plaister, without whom many of us would know no Latin, has asked me to pass on his news. Many of you will have heard the sad news that his wife, Nancy, died in March 2002, one day before their 55th wedding anniversary. However, the good news is that in July 2004, Stephen married Iris and they have recently moved house to 6, Silverwood, Alderbury, Salisbury, SP5 3TN. Telephone 01722 711373

Stephen and Iris would be delighted to receive visits from any Old Northavians but would appreciate a call in advance to let them know you are coming. Not too many at once, please! The Gardens, Stephen’s house on the Norman Court Estate where he had lived for 51 years, has remained in the Northaw family, so to speak, having been bought by Charlie Thomas (1969-74), the Committee member in charge of ON events.

In June 2004, my daughter, Daisy, and I paid a visit to Tommy and J Thomson on the Isle of Wight. They, too, are always happy to see ONs but would also appreciate it if you didn’t all arrive in a rush. A charabanc tour to visit retired Northaw schoolmasters is definitely a non-starter, I’m afraid. Their address is 2 St Catherine’s Villas, Institute Hill, Niton, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 2BD. Telephone 01983 730396

I have had contact with one or two other ONs recently. Mark Ellerton (1958-63) is due to retire as Headmaster of Stoke Brunswick School this summer. He is moving to the Algarve to “lower his golf handicap and enjoy many sunny days”. Ivo Hesmondhalgh (1965-69) is currently living in Barcelona but expects to return to England in the next year or so. He is mainly in the property business but has just launched a company on AIM to invest in Bulgaria.

David Stacey 1966-71. Qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, produced TV and films for 15 years winning 2 Prix Italia and an international Emmy. Founded an organic dairy company in Shropshire with 5 other organic dairy farmers which was then sold to become part of the Rachel’s Organic Dairy Company of which I am Trading Director. Live on a family farm in Shropshire, married to Annabel with two children, Jack, 9, and Islay, 6.

I still see Ivo Hesmondhalgh (1965-69), Rory Scott (1966-70), William Casement (1969-74) and William Sieghart (1968-72).

Carolyn Browne 1966-67. Amongst the more enjoyable of today's 400 or so emails received at work was one asking me to let you have a few details of what I've been doing since leaving Northaw. Fighting back the answer "rather a lot", perhaps I could offer the following potted summary - and I do so with fond memories of the school I once attended for two years as Northaw's first ever girl pupil.

I went on to a primary school in Salisbury (where, following my arrival from Northaw, they were amazed to find I was two years ahead of my age group in maths but about three years behind in geography), and eventually emerged from the Godolphin School with a fistful of science A-levels and an ability to play lacrosse (which owed rather a lot to my previous experience of playing rugby at Northaw). Both qualifications stood me in excellent stead for subsequently (a) gaining degrees/doing research at Bristol and Oxford in bacterial genetics, and (b) continuing the Oxford tradition of trouncing Cambridge at sport - well, most of the time.

But my time at Northaw had opened my eyes to a dimension wider than that of mere academic research. So I joined the Foreign Office. I think it may have been a novel experience for the FCO at the time to have a female scientist - particularly one who couldn't speak any foreign languages. But they are nothing if not adaptable, so they set about rectifying my lack of qualifications by sending me first to Moscow (where I watched the collapse of the Soviet Union) and then New York (where I watched the collapse of the UN's international influence). Following work back in London on the EU, South East Europe security and human rights issues, the FCO have now decided that I'll probably do less damage if they send me to Brussels to advise them on EU foreign policy than if I hang around in London. No doubt a wise decision!

Tim Newall-Watson 1966-71. “This summer Tim and his project partner, former UK squad kayaker Geoff Shacklock-Evans, plan to spend several weeks on an iceberg, towed by a kite. The objective is to show that icebergs can replenish the world's dwindling freshwater supplies. It is predicted that almost half the world's population will live in "water-stressed" regions by 2015, and that the amount of iceberg water that annually dissolves into the sea (3 trillion cubic metres) is close to the world's annual consumption of fresh water (3.3 trillion cubic metres). With these two factors in mind, Tim and his team are in a race against a consortium that includes the Danish Technical University, two French laboratories, the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Cadiz University and Cambridge University's Professor of Ocean Physics who plan to use four (expensive) tugs instead of (free) high-altitude air currents. Watch this space for further news!”

Charles Marsden-Smedley 1967-72. Established an exhibition and museum design practice in 1988 based in Covent Garden. Numerous projects completed in the UK and overseas. Married Cristina Rodriguez in 1996 and now have a son, Lucas born in July 1999. Charlie Thomas (1969-74) came to the wedding in Colombia, where he met Cristina’s younger sister. Not long afterwards he married her, and became my brother in law. Meanwhile my brother Philip (1969-74) is a writer, as Philip Marsden. He has published five books.

Charlie Thomas 1969-74. I never imagined that nearly 30 years after I left Northaw, I would be back, living nearby, and with two children at the pre-prep. We moved to Hampshire from London in 2003, called to find out if the school still existed, found that it did, albeit with a new name, and asked whether there was room for our two boys to join. There was and, eighteen months on, they've completed five very happy terms at the very fine pre-prep (where Tommy and Mrs T used to live, for those who haven't been back recently). The boys’ names are Joaquin and Gabriel and are the result of my marriage to Maria Ines, a Colombian, with whom I also have a daughter called Isabel.

Northaw-I-mean-Norman-Court is unchanged in many ways - and yet at the same time radically different. The main building remains the same, as do the playing fields on either side (with the addition of the new athletics field). But inside, much has changed. All the old classrooms leading towards the chapel are now used for recreation/leisure, because they got too cold in the winter, I’m told (poor dears!).

As for my career, I am a sports presenter on Sky News, and have been for the last five years. Prior to that I spent five years as cricket correspondent for Sky Sports, covering seven England cricket tours and two world cups. Before that I was a football reporter for Sky, while also commentating on rugby and tennis for various other TV and radio stations. My career in the media started twenty years ago as a reporter for a local newspaper in Middlesex.

In the last year I have been contacted by William Casement and Christian Seely (both 1969-74). As I am now on the ON committee, I would like to get in touch with many more from my era, as it was seriously under-represented at the 50th anniversary in 2003. Another reunion is planned for 3rd July 2005.

Daniel Fagan 1973-77. I work for Brinks Ireland. I’m married to Bernadette and we have a 3 year old son, Marcus Christian. I have contacted Denis Blake only once since leaving but if you are organising a get together of my era I will definitely come! I would love to see some of the old staff again, too!

Constance Chabrieres. Alexandra Brun d'Arre and I (both 1977-78) were the first girls to board at the school, in 1977. I have kept very nice memories from that unforgettable school year....Mr Blake, the teachers, and the boys.

During the last decade, I have been working in the field of Humanitarian Development, with international Non Governmental Organizations and with UNICEF. I was always based in post conflict affected countries, in Asia and Africa, working as a Program Coordinator, in Child Protection as well as Early Childhood Care. I have just returned to Paris. All the very best to this project!

Will Humbert 1982-85. I left Northaw (as it was then) way back in '85 and now find myself at the ripe age of 31 in Barcelona - alas still at school (!) where I'm studying Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) and planning for a 5 month yoga "apprenticeship stint" in south India next winter. All of which is best summed up as a change of direction in life, which I'm happy to say fills me with the appropriate levels of enthusiasm and interest.….perhaps Denis Blake's RE classes are in some way to blame!

I still keep in regular touch with Charlie Tait (-1986) and Randal Gordon-Duff. Both of them seem to have been bitten by the antipodean bug. Charlie has been busy gleaning Oscars for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" special effects department in Wellington, NZ. Randal "Fred" G-D meanwhile is based in Sydney and (as far as I can work out) helps provide medical coverage to ex-pats and Arabs across the globe.

I see from the Friends Reunited site that Nick Simpson (1981-85) didn't end up in farming after all, Bella Forbes (1982-84) sells posh handbags and Charlotte Berens runs an illustrating agency. Well done all!

Signing off with fond memories of mole trapping with Mr Hansford, the wonderful Rodney Blake's current affairs/cricket skive sessions and (not least of all) an era when being naughty really paid dividends.

Best wishes to all!

Victoria Hicks 1989-94. It was fascinating to read news of other ON's. Both my brother, Jeremy (1992-97) and I are very well. Jeremy left Kings Bruton in 2002, and embarked on a gap year in which he worked for Simply Ski in La Plagne and went travelling around the States. While in the States he was "scouted" by a modelling agency and he is now modelling full time. He has recently spent a month in Milan as the face of Marni, and has previously appeared in "The Face" and "Jack" magazines!

I am much less glamorous. I left Sherborne in 1999, had a gap year working for Simply Ski (also in La Plagne), and travelling around the world. I then went to Birmingham University, where after 3 brilliant years, I managed to scrape a 2:1 in Modern and Medieval History (most boring dissertation ever - the Economic Situation of Salisbury in the 14th and 15th Centuries!). During my time at Birmingham I did lots of travelling and ran up my student debts nicely! I am now working as Resort Manager for Simply Ski in Verbier.

I'm still in contact with a number of ON's, Sarah King (1989-94) and Camilla Happe (1989-94) among them.

Rebecca Vafiadis 1990-94. I went to Malvern Girls College and then Cheltenham Ladies' College. I took a gap year and am now in my 3rd year studying BA French and Russian at the University of Bristol. I am currently on my year abroad as part of the course, so I have just come back from Paris and am due to start in St Petersburg in February. I have bumped into a few ONs recently, including Georgie Curry (1991-94) who is also at Bristol.

Tom Bazzard 1991-96. I graduated from Cardiff University in July, managing a 2.1 BA Hons English Literature. Since then, I have realised that nowadays a degree like English means absolutely nothing - not even from a decent university. Currently looking for any work (since September), and will be living on a street near you soon. Failing that, might do a PGCE later in the year and become a teacher.


I have been doing a free, government-sponsored computer course which involves three modules and three exams: I failed the first part, re-took and passed; passed the second bit with distinction and then made (I thought) a complete pig’s ear of the third part (Desk Top Publishing). However, I’ve recently heard that I passed it, so have achieved my City & Guilds Certificate! This letter is about the past year and about all of you. We have had several cards from ON’s or their parents but which contained no news at all so I deeply regret that they are not included in this letter – I would not know what to say!

In no particular order; just as the cards, notes and letters come out of the box and file where they have accumulated since last I wrote to you all:

Morley family: Tamara (Mrs Garth Roberts) 1976-78, is very well indeed and rang up just on the spur of the moment, bless her, about 10 days ago. She and Garth have Harriet who is 2¼, James who is 6 months, and two dogs. They are all very happy in Wales where they have renovated their shop. Richard (1983-84) has Max (2) and Tristan (1) and is a computer wiz in Canberra. Natasha (1983-84) a nurse, is soon moving from London to Sheffield.

Tim Harris (1981-84) and Jessica now have a son (Silas) who rules their home in Whitchurch, Hants, proud grandparents Douglas and Margot tell us.

Sian Kenyon 1984-88. Now 30 years of age (no!), she has moved to Fulham and had a promotion at work. “So, things are quite busy and I am managing not to get into too much trouble.” There was a great party in London for her 30th at which the Soffes were in attendance (see below, somewhere). Sian actually said that the Soffes were in “attendence” but what’s the odd vowel between friends?

Lucy Smith neé Baines 1979-81 (now Dr Lucy Smith). Her husband Graham is working as a consultant at St. George’s in London, whither they are moving this month. They have Samuel and Patrick. Lucy is transferring her anaesthetics training to London and they will be in Wimbledon. They had a wonderful year in Sydney in 2003 and are missing the December sun. Aah!

Matthew (Matt) Craig (-1988) continues extensive work and travel in the Middle East and East Africa with Cranfield Mine Action Group. He is getting married in March to Rebecca Simmons. Anne and I have been invited. Becky’s father, John Simmons, and I were on the Board of Sandle Manor, Fordingbridge, for years, both of us being Chairman (I took over from John), so I feel I have a foot in both families which is huge fun! Duncan (-1989) is selling his Fulham flat and moving in with school friends in Putney. He no longer sub-edits London and national newspapers and is now intent on a career re-direction within journalism, such as freelance writing. Duncan keeps ultra-fit with long-distance swimming and surfing. I presume that the latter is for comparatively short distances!

Very, very sadly I have to tell those of you who remember him that Robin Harward (Head of History, Art and Scripture) died last February. I went to his funeral in Wells Cathedral and represented each and every one of you. Our thoughts are with Sue at this sad anniversarial time of year.

Soffe family: A wealth of news here! Rosanne (1979-84) became engaged last summer, to Justin who proposed to her on the top of the tower of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness-side. They are to be married this coming summer. (Huge congratulations from the whole Northaw family). Holly (1982-89) left Gabbitas in March 2004 to help set up Sherfield School (it used to be North Foreland Lodge) at Sherfield-on-Loddon, near Basingstoke. She took up the post of PA to the Principal in September 2004. However, she will be leaving in March 2005 and has yet to decide what to do next! Sherfield was in the news recently, as it is part of a chain of “private but affordable” schools across the UK. Holly and her boyfriend John have bought a house in Hartley Wintney. Simon (1979-87) who is P.R. Director of Game, in Basingstoke, also has a cottage in Hartley Wintney, so he and Holly see lots of each other. In order to escape the rigours of being first-time buyers, Simon and Alex went to Tuscany to celebrate his 30th birthday. (The above is culled from a superb newsletter from Simon). Holly called in to see us just before Christmas and it was super to see her. Please, any of you, if you would like to phone and drop in, we would love it.

McKeown family: Catriona (Mrs. Nathan Sempala-Ntege) 1985-88. With two children and number 3 due in July, Catriona (changed now to Trina!) has moved to Germany. Husband Nathan is, of course, a soldier and a distinguished one at that. All is well in the McKeown camp back here in the UK. I don’t know the latest on Kieron (-1984) but Hamish (1977-85) is on the staff of a school called Norman Court, West Tytherley, and lives in a staff house up the North Drive. He and Nicola have two small children. Round and round goes history!

Sarah Krasun (1982-90) is now the chief fundraiser for the Sick Children’s Trust and lives in Wandsworth. Charlie (1983-92) works for a small marketing firm in Emsworth (that’s off one of those endless roundabouts as you leave Portsmouth heading east on the A27!). He has become account manager for Suzuki outboard motors in the UK and this means that, poor lamb, he has to visit the London and Southampton Boat Shows and the Dinghy Show. What hell life can be!

Duncan Bush (-1987) married Melanie on the 26th November and we send them all ON love and congratulations not least upon the venue of their wedding – St. Lucia in the Caribbean, complete with steel band! (Anyone out there remember the Northaw Ball? It was freezing cold with snow and ice outside and we had a steel band called The Harbour Lights. They were TERRIFIC!). Alison (-1987) has a better half partner, Anthony Lt RN, and they live near Truro. Anthony is on a course at Culdrose, whither I am going on the 20th April at the invitation of Captain Knowles of HMS Seahawk – maybe I’ll meet Anthony?

Joby Phillips (Mrs James Royle) 1998-89 sent us a lovely newsy letter which I shall mildly condense. She is a junior physio at Birmingham’s City Hospital where she began in Trauma and Orthopaedics. She starts Medicine in January (i.e. last month) and was clever enough to get a 2:1 degree back in the summer. Husband James is a surgeon on his way from urology to general surgery. Paul (-1989) and his new wife Sophia “are also well and happy in their beautiful house in Islington, and they certainly have fun with their polo horses, tango lessons, opera singing, concerts and various other hobbies”. Phew! Paul must have sold all those Mont Blanc pens that Deutschebank kept giving him!

Joanna Halsey (Mrs Lewis) 1982-86, and her husband now live at Golden Pot, which is a super place near Alton – all is well there, I gather from Mum’s Xmas letter. Katie (1984-87) was due to hand in her doctoral thesis just before Christmas. She is doing some teaching and is also applying for jobs to an English department somewhere. The last we heard she was still based in Cambridge.

Biffy Neilson 1980-88 is now working for Chrysalis Music and is their European Financial Manager; she has bought “a house for one” in Maidenhead. Toby (1988-94) is at the Bartlett School of Architecture for the next two years. Both are well and happy.

William Rowlandson (-1989) did brilliantly with his PhD and Dr Rowlandson is now a Teaching Fellow at Exeter University. You will be hot for news of the subject of the doctoral thesis, well here goes: “Latin American Studies focussing on Latin American Literature, focussing on the use of parody and satire as a means of circumventing political censorship, with particular reference to Castro’s Cuba and comparisons with Jonathan Swift”. You did ask – I think! (Huge cheers and congratulations!). Pru (-1986) has left Cannongate and is hoping to start her own company, doing consultancy work meanwhile. They came across Ben Twiston-Davies (1980-84) recently and he is a highly successful sculptor. If you have seen Ben recently you will agree that he seldom needs a ladder for his work! (He’s the best part of 7 feet tall!!). We hear that William T-D (1978-82) is in the film world and I am sure I have seen his name in the credits for something. Both “boys” live in London.

Ben Harrild 1985-90 is still earning his (a?) fortune as a derivatives trader and works very hard. Zoë (1986-91) is putting a lot of effort into refurbishing her house in Exeter. (Get in touch with William Rowlandson!).

Geoffrey Garrett (-1988) and his wife, Sarah, were awaiting the arrival of their third child just before Christmas. We all hope everything went well.

Lucinda Ashby (-1990) has become an A.S.T. teacher, which was a taxing process, but she loves the work. At the last news she was about to go backpacking for 3 months. Hope it’s somewhere safe and lovely.

Lucy Pease (Mrs. David Harvey) sent us a most exciting card telling us that she was expecting her first child on the 21st December but I have not heard any more. I tried to ring her but the Harveys are ex-directory. 21st December was Anne’s and my 47th wedding anniversary so we hope all went very well! Lucy’s business is going well and she spent a happy time last year designing the outfit for Foster’s Formula One Grand Prix pit girls and boys; she said that there wasn’t much room on the outfits for brands. What fun!

Nicola Warden (Mrs. Daniel Porteous) 1983-88, sent a card, all is well, but no other news.

Alison Forfar (Miss Forfar to you!) Anne and I see Alison fairly regularly and she is very well, still playing golf to a high standard (she won a championship recently) when she has time off from voluntary charity work and going on wonderfully educational cruises!

Tom Leslie 1983-88, is happily married and working in Oxford; he is an urologist. Clare (1987-92) has tenancy in a London Bar chambers specialising in criminal work – a sort of glorious Rumpelle, as it were!

Quarrelle family: (Mum has been working for some time at Chafyn Grove School in Salisbury but has now left. Arcane bit of knowledge coming up – Chafyn Grove was a lady, Miss Chafyn Grove, who was a major donor to Salisbury Cathedral to the tune of one organ!). Olivia (1988-92) and Chris live in Queenstown, NZ. Robin (1989-94) graduated in General Science at the University of the West of England with a ceremony in Bristol – well done, indeed! The family has moved to Warminster. I have their address, telephone number and no less than 4 email addresses!

Grant family: The family HQ has moved from Cambridge to London but they are buying a house south of Toulouse with “wonderful views of and access to the Pyrenees”. Nick (-1989) has finished his MBA.
Jo (-1989) is 3 months into her Bar pupillage and becoming an expert on “dry shipping” (Mum said not to ask what this is, so I didn’t). Tom (1985-93) is still on a graduate training programme with T-mobile.

Owen family: I sometimes bump into Mum or Dad in Salisbury and the big news here is that Harry (1987-93) is engaged. I know no more than that, however. George (1989-95), what are you up to? New address, the family has moved to Pewsey.

Alice Mavrogordato 1987-90 is still training to be a surgeon and has done 6 months in orthopaedics and 6 months in plastics at Salisbury. Mark (1987-91) is engaged to Frederika whom he met while he was getting a First in his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering; he is still studying but this time for an EngD. That’s Engineering, not English. What a family!

Emily Snagge (-1990) had a fantastic summer in Greece working as a dinghy sailing instructor. “I do love the sunshine”. Well, what can one say? I’ve thought of something – “Please will you teach me to sail?” Jemima (-1992) works for Mark Warner (lucky fella) arranging holidays for people. (Ahem! I have my hand up!)

Philip Rawnson 1983-88, was married on Easter Saturday and it was a very musical event. Nicola (1983-91) and her partner now have a baby, Guy, who arrived on 8thOctober. Congratulations to all concerned, including the GRANDPARENTS!

Waterhouse family: Charlotte (1985-90) is now responsible for the whole school’s (Elliott High School, London) Gifted and Talented, along with all medical school and Oxbridge applications. She is running in April’s London Marathon and wants sponsors. Tessa (1987-92) and Owain live in Oxford. She has completed her MA in Medical Law and Ethics and is now PhD’ing. I think that this family has more “honorary” ONs than most! Sarah is at York University and Eleanor has done another season with the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra.

Emma Tennant 1987-92, is engaged and is getting married in May this year.

Heminsley family: All is very well with this super group. Alex (-1989) had her picture in the Daily Mail at the head of a column she wrote on New Fiction. Anne and I met up with John and Kate Heminsley in Venice back in June and had a gorgeous outdoor dinner beside the Giudecca Canal. When we last heard, Charlotte (1986-89) and William (1988-89) were both in London and all was well with them. The Heminsleys have discovered that John has been working for some years with Marcus Browell (1968-72), without either knowing of the other’s Northaw connection. Marcus was the first boy I met at Northaw – he was revising his Geography notes for CE at the time, poor dab!

James Pennefather 1982-87, got engaged last year and his wedding will be up in Cumbria, a part of the world that holds very close associations for both him and his fiancée. James is in his 6th year with Diageo and has responsibility for the Smirnoff brand of vodka; he went to Moscow last February to shoot their Russian Doll advertisement.

James Higham 1983-89 is working as an Estate Agent in Marlborough with Woolley & Wallis.

James Campbell-Gray 1974-78 is working for Rathbones in London and is married with two children.

Badham family: Richard (-1987) got married last year and is with Rolls-Royce Aero division in Bristol. Harry (1985-91), lives in Pimlico, and zoomed over to Finland with his girlfriend of long standing to marry her in an ice-chapel. Timothy (-1992) was at Sandhurst and passed out in August. More “honorary” ON’s here too! Edward did a sponsored run for the Sutton Scotney-based Naomi House Children’s Hospice and raised over £3,000. He covered 132 miles in 4 days – brilliant! He has worked for 2 years at Rycotewood, doing restoration and reproduction. Tommie is marrying a RAF pilot – has married now – and has given up being a highly paid engineer for the role of a primary school teacher.

Kate Edge 1983-89, got engaged last summer – I spotted it in the paper – and she wrote us a super card with a picture of a heart-shaped Camembert cheese on it! She says that, as she is marrying a Shirburnian, there will be ON’s on both sides of the church at her wedding this summer.

Ted Ashford died last month. All of you will remember with deep affection Maureen (Mo) Lockyer who, with Mrs Reid, produced all those apricot crumbles for you over the years. Ted was Mo’s father and he worked tirelessly in the gardens and grounds of Northaw for four days a week. He was a wonderful man and Anne and I represented you all at his funeral. By the way, Mo is still on the kitchen staff of the school and has clocked up well over 25 years there.

David Blake 1973-79, has left the Forestry Commission and Cornwall after six very productive years and has just recently taken up his new job of Project Development Manager for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs. His office is in Cranborne and he will be living in Fonthill Gifford.

Anne and I are both well and in excellent spirits but would be even excellenter if any of you cared to drop in on us or phone!

God bless you all.

Where are they now?

A new section to the ON Newsletter – the missing person’s section – with the objective of tracking down ONs who have escaped our reach and not left any forwarding address! If you would like to get in contact with a particular person but have no contact details, send us what information you do have, plus the last known whereabouts of the missing person, and we can enlist the ON community to track him / her down.

Stuart Melvin 1997-99 and his sister, Catharine, (1995-97)

Blond Greg Herold-Howes, roughly 1993, used to live near Andover while attending Northaw.

The Wright sisters: Edwina (1987-90) and Abigail (1988-91)

Any of the following from 1983-88: Hadleigh Graves, Emma Wakely, and Mark and Sarah Webster

Victoria Gilroy 1981-86

From the 1970’s, Giles Whitaker, Justin Gilroy, Paul Maiden and Michael Rhodes

Stuart Naylor-Vane 1965-70

Richard O’Brien 1963-68

From the class of ’64: Christopher Clough, Neill Bally, Jonathan Cole, Stephen Pegler, and Anthony Wakelin (all 1959-64)

Bill Owen 1953-58

Benjamin Tragett 1946-51


First, a Newsletter 2004 erratum: The Editor apologises for not spotting the auto spell correction, which changed the reference in Michael Boswell's news from Mrs Reynolds to Mr Reynolds.

Secondly, we have tried to include both starting and leaving dates for all ONs mentioned in this Newsletter but in some instances have been defeated by the database, which contains a few “gaps”. If anyone can provide us with any corrections (whether for themselves or others) we would be most grateful. Apologies for any we’ve got wrong! Please tell us about them too.

Thirdly, we want to hear from you! The Newsletter promises to be an annual update for the Old Northavian community - please continue to send in your news to the Editor c/o Mrs Patricia Taylor by email via Or, if you prefer to write, please address contributions to the Editor c/o Mrs Patricia Taylor, Norman Court School, West Tytherley, Salisbury, SP5 1NH

If you think that you can shed some light on the whereabouts / contact details of some of the ‘missing persons’ listed above, please do not hesitate to let Patricia know. We would be very grateful, and you may be listed in a new section next year - ‘Top ON Head Hunters’ – this accolade is currently in the pipeline for those ONs who are the best at sniffing out their contemporaries and re-acquainting them with the Association and the Association with them.

Once again we need your help, in a similar vein, although certainly not lost - we are having trouble emailing the following people. If you have a working email address for someone below, please let us know.

Ben Bainbridge                Oliver Brooke Dean                      Tom Churton
Charles Craven                William Dobbie                             Polly Ewart
Simon Exon                      Andrew Fleming                          Michael Forbes
Edward Hall                     Mark Harford                              Andrew Hobbs
Alexander Hughes             Rupert Jequier                             Sarah King
Sarah Krasun                   Peter Lumsden                              Charlton Ma
Toby Marshall                  Miles Matthewman                       Alice Mavrogordato
Sophie McIntyre               Alex Morson                                Trystram Negus
Edward Parsons                David Platt                                   Philip Rawnson
Roderick Scott                  Sean Scully                                  James Thackeray
Christopher Thomas           Julian Thomas                              Philippa Thornton
Alina Vaskina                    Oliver Walch                               Victoria Wilkinson
Evelyn Wright                    Jamie Zorab

And most importantly, a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s Newsletter!

Jalal Janmohamed

Data Protection: This Old Northavian Newsletter and the List of Members contain personal data. It is sent by e-mail to members of the Old Northavian Association and it should not be forwarded to anyone who is not a member of the Association. If you are in any doubt as to membership, you should contact the Academic Registrar at If you know of anyone who wants a copy of this Newsletter and the List, they should contact the Registrar. If you have received this Newsletter in error, please delete it from your system and notify the sender immediately

Disclaimer This Newsletter may contain personal views, which are not the views of the Old Northavian Association unless specifically stated.