not lost .... but gone before
Several of you have suggested inclusion of a page in which we can remember those of the College community who are no longer with us. The format and content can be developed as you wish.
Steve Allwood 1986-88 6th Form
"Steve travelled extensively after leaving Wymondham College; most notably
Australiaand working breaks in . He seemed to be away 90% of the time. I recall a beer we had in the summer of 1992 where he told me that this summer he wanted to stay at home and have a summer with the lads etc. The irony for me has always been that this was the summer he died, a couple of weeks later, as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash near his home. Steve, you are still missed. Andorra
" -Mark Coventry
Michael Amberton 1960s North/York
Mike Amis passed away on February 3rd at the age of 72. His wife Kathy tells us that he had a double lung transplant 18 years ago and he had a truly wonderful life
David Anderson Staff (RE)
David Armsby 1960s Salisbury
Dave Arnott 1970-75 Durham/New Hall
Died peacefully at home December 2022 aged 63. Steve Read played rugby with him at Dereham Rugby Club and remembers him as a tenacious flanker and an all round popular guy.
John Barker 1974-79 Cavell Hall
"John was a Cavell boarder who by his 3rd Year was the fastest sprinter of our year. He and I made it to the County Athletics trials at age 16 (1979) and in the 100 metres he left me far in his wake in third place. He won the race by a mile. I believe that it was later that Summer that John was killed. He was riding his bicycle through Wymondham Abbey when a car struck him, threw him into the air and the impact killed him. A year later, John's fellow Cavell boarders and many others were hit by a second death, that of Robert Watson, also a Cavell boarder of the same year. " - Benedict Carter
"Yes, John did die whilst cycling for social services trip to Wymondham OAP's home. John's dad was a vicar, he was in Cavell at the same time as myself, Andy Lynn, Mark Waterson, Jerry Youngman, et al. I think that he had a younger sister who started in Cavell also." - Paul James
Leo Barnes 1960s
"Sadly Leo died from a massive heart attack while working in his office on 25th September 2008. I last met Leo some five years ago with Graham Smith and we spent an evening in a local pub just outside Wickham Market. He was living not far from me and working for Anglian Water. Leo was divorced and leaves a young daughter." - Philip Wade
Miles Baron 1952-55 Staff
Eileen Baron (Nee Fox) and family( Annette, Miles and Christopher) would like to thank the Old Wymondhamians of the fifties who sent messages and donations, and who attended the funeral service of Miles. The donations reached £945.20 in respect of Miles for the “Second Chance charity”, which was gratefully received by Doug Hulme, the president of the charity.
The following are some of the messages received from OWs:
Have really good memories of him. He knew I had a rapport with pigs and he allowed me to scrub their hairy hides. He did not stand for any messing with the pupils in his new assignment, but he was a gentle man. I wish "Miss Fox" only good wishes and am sorry for her loss.
I was so glad I had chance to have a chat with him at the Golf dinner 2011, he was a lovely man - end of an era.
It is particularly sad for me as Miles was my first dorm master and of course my Agriculture “teacher”. Agriculture was the main reason for me to switch from Norwich school to Wymondham in Jan 1954. So I was pretty close to Miles for those first couple of years before he and Eileen moved on. Looking back he was such a”gentle”soul, I always thought it hurt him more than us if he had to use the slipper on us!!! Please pass on my sympathy to Eileen she probably won’t remember me and they were not at the last reunion I attended.
(Received just before Miles died on the news of his illness.) Can't seem to bring myself to use his Christian name as I never knew it as a school boy especially when he used to wack me with that huge sandshoe of his as Dorm master. If you ever get the chance please drop my name to him and apologise for me for never paying back the money he lent me. Forget how much it was now but he advanced me a little to buy diesel fuel for that aeroplane I had there in me last year at Wymondham.
Thank you for sending the sad news of the death of Miles Baron. I was part of his early morning pig and chicken feeding gang. Enjoyed it enormously. Also, thanks to him and his hands-on teaching of bee keeping, I now have bees of my own. Problems with the aggressive Asian wasp but still a fascinating hobby. I always mention Mr Baron as the source of my wish to one day keep bees. I think of him at this time.
Andrew Bawden 1967-74
Andrew passed away on 25th January 2021 aged 65
Richard Bawden 50s/60s East/|Salisbury
Known as Dick, died on September 21st 2013. He was Head of History in the late 50s/early 60s and a tutor in East, later Salisbury House
Fiona Barrow 1977-99 Staff
Fiona passed away in January 2013. She was a member of staff from 1977 to 1999, taught French and was also Deputy Head of Kett Hall.
Sarah Battye 1965-96 Staff
July 1996. Housemistress & later Head of Modern Languages.
Geoffrey Benyon 1950s
Took his own life in September 1992; perhaps related to an illness. Studied History at Reading and taught in the Norwich area until taking early retirement for medical reasons.
Arthur Berry 1965-67 Staff
Head of Music. Sadly died in February 2014 after hitting his head in a fall on holiday in Tenerife.
Jeremy Betts 1970-73
16th January 2001 (complications following accidental injury)
Fred (F.J.D.) Betty 1947-76 Staff
12 April 1976. Resident Engineer (Ministry of Public Buildings and Works).
Gillian Bishop 1960s Worcester
Gillian Bishop - Died 12 September 2000 after a brief illness. "She was at Wymondham during the 60's in Worcester house. Married William Kiddell and had a daughter, Eleanor, then later married to Harold Williams and had a daughter, Rhiannon, and a son, Rhys. Missed enormously by all who knew her, especially her family, who will never forget her." - Rhiannon Williams
Maureen Boldero (nee Seaton) 1950s
Maureen passed away suddenly on February 11th 2011 aged 72. She was one of the Spring 1951 Pioneer intake and was due to attend the Trail Blazer day in April. She married and is survived by Geoffrey Boldero, who was also one of the Pioneers.
Mary Bowles 1960s Staff - English
19th July 2016
Ken Bowman 1957-72 Staff
1991. French and German teacher, Housemaster and Deputy Warden.
Gillian Bradley (nee Street) 1970-75
My sister Gill was killed on the 26th August 1991, on her way to marshal a cycling race at Bury St Edmunds. - Jackie Jay
Pennie Bradshaw (Start)
Pennie Bradshaw, nee Start, passed away in 2015 a hospice in Elland, Yorkshire after battling with stomach cancer since late last year. She knew this was terminal, and that she was unlikely to survive until the summer, but held on until her grandchild was born in June. She sold her house in Bradford to rent a place in Hebden Bridge so she could be near her sister Carol, and leave her affairs in order for her son and daughter, Laurence and Alice. She died peacefully surrounded by her sister and daughter. RIP Pennie.
Michael Brand 1960s-1990s Staff - Fry
Michael and Anne Brand were at the heart of the College community from the 1960s to the 1990s when Michael was Housemaster of Elizabeth Fry Hall for many years. A Head of House at Wymondham College is a very responsible and demanding role for both the Head and family and he was lucky to have had incredible support and loyalty from Anne. Michael and Anne were invited to the Queen’s Garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of their contribution to boarding education at Wymondham College. For a time Adrian, Housemaster of Cavell lived next door to Michael. They were very good friends and rivals. Though Adrian was ‘keen’ enough, he had nothing on Michael who spent much of his precious free time on the games field supporting his teams who were invariably successful. Many pupils have reason to be grateful to Michael who was an excellent and successful Science teacher. During the time when Michael was out of the boarding house, he and Andrew Seeley worked hard to foster the ‘out of school activities’ which were a vital part of boarding school life. He was always on hand as well, to help Chris Sayer with the Saturday night film. One of his passions was tennis and he gave a lot of his time to running the College tennis teams. Another of his talents was singing. Many will remember with pleasure seeing Michael as Major General Stanley in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. It was one of the many leading roles he took on. As a supporter of the Parents Staff Association he organised a group of pupils to go out early in the morning with him to pick strawberries for sale at the Summer Fayre. He was a champion of the Old Wymondhamians and a great supporter of the Wymondham College Trust Appeal whose efforts saved the College from closure in the 1980s. He continued to serve the Trust during his retirement. There have been tough times for Michael and Anne in recent years, but he leaves behind a wonderful family, Simon and Jen, Aidan and Lisa, Justin and Jo, Katherine and Alex and their children Jacob, Rupert and Beatrice, Gracie and Alice, Eva and Eddy. But there is also an even larger family out there whose home was Elizabeth Fry Hall. Michael had very high standards for himself and others but there is no doubt that at the heart of everything he did was the welfare of Wymondham College students. In that regard he was the school’s ‘Mr Chips’. Adrian & Anne Hoare
Elga Carol Brodie 1950s
Passed away July 2019 aged 81.
John Brown 1950s
I am very sad to inform you that my husband, John Brown, died in October 2009, He did not get to many reunions or meetings but having been, literally, one of the first at Wymondham College, he was always proud to be an old boy! - Rosie Brown
John Brown 1950s
John Brown, born 30th August, 1938 sadly passed away in November 2013, after a short illness.
John was born in Tharston, near Long Stratton, and lived there with his sister, Rene, and their parents. He failed the 11+ examination but, when Wymondham College opened in 1951 he sat, and passed, the entrance exam, and so began a new chapter in John’s life as one of the pioneers of the College. John and his wife, Heather, actually met at the College, where they were both students – and would spend time together at school dances and other social occasions – sharing their first kiss at bonfire night in 1954.
In the summer of 1954 he sat his ‘O’ levels and in 1956 ‘A’ levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, as well as being awarded one of only 150 state scholarships. John left the College to study Physics at Bristol University, somewhat to the disappointment of his maths master! He left Bristol with a 2:1 in Physics, despite being addicted to the card game ‘Bridge’ which would often distract him from his studies!
Following his graduation, John went to AEI in London to do a post-graduate apprenticeship – during this time he and Heather got married, and moved to their first home in Palmers Green. In 1961 they moved to Bedford for John to take up his new job with Texas Instruments. The job involved much travelling but he and Heather still found time to raise four daughters. During his time at Texas he spent 2 years in Dallas, USA, working on plastic encapsulated transistors. He then came back to the UK to get production up and running here. His final role at Texas, prior to his retirement, at the age of 55, in 1994 was Quality Assurance Manager for Europe.
John and Heather moved to Milton Ernest in 1987 and spent much of their spare time gardening, playing croquet, socialising with their many friends and family, including their 10 grandchildren. John’s other passion was wood turning, which occupied many an hour in one of their old converted pig-sties. In addition they loved to travel, visiting such exotic places as Peru and Crete, and spent much time walking and enjoying each other’s company. In 2010 they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to one of the Wymondham College pioneers, remembering with fondness his cheery smile and sociable nature. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and, of course, by his loving family. Bill Hammond
Derek Buckingham 1950s
Derek William Buckingham who attended Wymondham College in the 50's sadly passed away on 22nd January 2017 aged 77. He had the opportunity to visit the College last October with his son in law Jason which he was thrilled about. He told everyone that would listen about the visit as it brought back wonderful memories of his time at the college.
Henry Bull 1951-57
Died September 2004. His old friends would like to say "Rest in Peace Henry. God bless you."
Lawrie Burdett 1954-61 East
We recently received the sad news that Lawrie Burdett has died, he had been unwell. Lawrie was at the College from 1954 to 1961 and was in East House and will certainly be remembered for his achievements as an athlete and long jumper. His elder brother David regularly joins us at our Old Wymondhamians Golf Day and Reunion each year in July.
Patsy Calton (Yeldon) 1960-67 South/Winchester
29th May 2005, aged 56. Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle. She was diagnosed with breast cancer following the 1997 election campaign and underwent a double mastectomy the same year, but she was told last year that the illness had returned. She completed a course of treatment for cancer of the spine earlier this month. She was a high-profile campaigner for breast cancer charities, running the London Marathon four times to raise money for Manchester's Christie Hospital, where she was treated, and the cancer charity Macmillan Nurses.
In Parliament, she was a Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on Northern Ireland and health, as well as chair of the all-party group on breast cancer. Educated at Wymondham College, Norfolk and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, she went on to teach chemistry in a Stockport comprehensive school. She served from 1994 to 2002 on Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, where she was deputy leader.
She married husband Clive in 1969, and they had two daughters, one son and one grandchild.
Norman Canty 1953-57 Staff
Norman taught at WC 1953-1957 before moving to Derbyshire, the Midlands and Hertfordshire to further his career. He finally retired to Norwich at an early age but, 10 years ago, he and his wife Dorothy moved to Harrogate where they could be close to members of their family.
Sadly Norman passed away suddenly on 14 June 2010.
Roz Carmichael 1970s Lincoln
Neil "Vulch" Carruthers 1977-79 Cavell/Peel
6th December 1992 at age 31 (heart attack). "My best friend and a far, far better man than I will ever be" - Tim Prouty
Jack Cassie 1950s East
Jack originated from Hunstanton and joined the College in 1951 as a member of the Grammar School.
"I visited Jack and his wife in Queensland about 6 years ago. He was then retired and living in a beautiful flat overlooking the ocean. He had been state manager for Target, a major Australian store chain in roughly the same position that Woolworths had in the UK at that time. I have some photos of that visit and will try to look them up." - Mike Herring
Brenda Chamberlain (Shepheard) 1951-60 Staff (South)
October 2004 (cancer - after 40 operations).
John Chapman 1955-58
John passed away on 6th April 2021. He had been suffering from Parkinsons for some years and four weeks ago had a fall, breaking his neck. He was doing well in hospital but died suddenly and unexpectedly. He lived in New Zealand for many years
Maureen Chase (Spooner) 1951-53 Thetford Transferree
20th September 1992; took her own life, two days after her husband's funeral.
Alan Chilvers 1951
Alan 'Fuzzy' Chilvers was part of the Grammar School intake in 1951 and he used to operate the projector for the Saturday film shows we had in those early days. He passed away in Dorchester Hospital and the funeral was in Belper, Derbyshire
Beryl Chilvers 1951
Beryl Jones nee Chilvers was a starter at the College in 1951 and passed away on 28th December 2012.
Jim Cook 1980s
"Jim was killed while out on his moped after he left, I think it was May 87 and will check this out – it would be nice to put him up on the memorials page if you wouldn’t mind as he’s still fondly remembered for having time for anyone and was always up for a laugh too." - Steve Fox
David F G Cox 1956-62
Daniel Crosthwaite 1992
Swimming accident 22nd September 1998
Miss Curzon Westminster Matron
Pneumonia; 4th December 2003. It is understood that she had lived in Morley before the hospital replaced the golf course.
Joyce Daniels 1951
David Spinks has told us of the passing of Pioneer student Joyce Pycroft (nee Daniels). She was one of the original group of Technical School Trial Pioneers commencing Spring Term 1951 as what was then 2nd Year Senior Tech School Students. Her brother Reggie Daniels (W Coll Grammar School) arrived in the Sept Term as a 3rd Year Student). Reggie died in March 1991 at the age of 53. Their younger brother Norman Daniels (W Coll Grammar School) arrived possibly same year as Reggie as a 2nd Year Grammar Student.
Reggie Daniels 1951-56
March 1991 at the age of 53. Reggie was one of the original intake at the College in the Summer of 1951. After National Service in the Royal Air Force he worked for Marconi's in Chelmsford until his sudden death at work.
Died in the Kings Cross fire.
Mike Dillon Lee
June 1990. Murdered by the IRA. Stephen Dobbin 1965-72 Canterbury/Kent
3rd October 2007 "I went to the funeral, a very moving service. Dobbo had an interesting life in the theatre, stage managing for the RSC and ENO and directed a touring version of Les Liasons Dangereuse for the RSC. A small group of ex-Canterbury, including Geoff Lewis and Andy Holmes, were there. Before he died we had been talking about his role as the Colonel in Patience in '71; Anne and I are currently in rehearsal for Patience at the Maddermarket next April" - Robin Richardson
Kevin Dobson 1970-78 New Hall
Kevin sadly passed away with cancer in July 2020, aged 61.
Gladys Dolan 1951-76 Matron
Gladys died at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital on 7th April 2005. She joined the College in September 1951 and retired in April 1976; initially in charge of Dorm 16 (Girls), before moving to East House (Boys), then Salisbury and finally (1971) Fry Hall.
David Dring 1972-79 Fry
Michael Brand attended David's funeral. "He was a gentle giant and played rugby for the school and Wymondham Town. He worked at Morley Agricultural".
Eric Dudley 1952-74 Staff
April 1980. Head of Physics and Senior Master. Also served as relief Anglia TV weatherman in the 1960s.
David Dyble 1952-56
11th July 1999 (heart attack)
Graham Dye 1952-56
2003 (four days after celebrating his Ruby Wedding anniversary with Rita; nee Hanner, 1951-57).
Tom Eaton was a great friend to the College – Chair of Governors for many years and a Trustee until September 2008. Tireless campaigner regarded as 'Mr Norwich' - EDP24
Andy Edwards 1960s Salisbury
Andy arrived in September 1965, following his older brother Tim into Salisbury House. Andy excelled in a number of different areas. On the sports field his speed and athleticism made him a natural at track and field events. On the rugby pitch his pace and power took him into the first 15 at an early age, and was an intimidating experience for all opposition. He was a gifted craftsman, engineer and inventor. At 14 he bought and restored a Villiers engined Cotton trials motorbike, and had a lifelong enthusiasm for 2 wheel transport, as well as vehicles of all sorts, and the occasional motor cruiser.
In his final year he was house captain at Salisbury House, his house master Michael Brand turning a semi-sighted eye to occasional off site excursions to The Buck or The George, with the writer.
After college Andy worked in engineering in Norfolk and London, before starting his own engineering design consultancy practise designing specialist hydraulic equipment, often for stage set equipment for big names such as The Rolling Stones. He also designed a significant part of the set equipment for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Andy’s sudden and unexpected death in June 2014 was related to a long standing heart condition. He was married 3 times, and leaves 2 daughters and a son. He lived for many years in Hingham and was a good friend to many of us for 50 years. A man of unique talent, he achieved that rare success of making his adult career out of his boyhood enthusiasms. Neil Sparrow
Ashley Evans 1977 Fry
15th February 1998.
David Everett 1951-1959
We have received this sad news from his wife, Jan:-
I am writing to tell you the sad news that Dave died peacefully, on 9th August 2023, at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. He had a haemorrhagic stroke and it all happened very quickly. Thank you for keeping in contact with him over the years. He enjoyed meeting up with and hearing about Wymondham friends, even though he couldn’t take an active part in recent years due to ill health.
Plus this from Bob Rowell:-
David last attended our Reunion in 2016 and I have spoken to him on occasions since. He left the College in 1959 a year after me but in 1957/58 season we played in the 1st College Rugby XV. He was an accomplished rugby player and athlete.
From looking through the WCRemembered website, David was one of the “Guinea Pigs” – those intrepid pupils who arrived at the inception of Wymondham College in April 1951.
Malcolm Fairhurst 1960s Staff
Malcolm died of a heart attack in hospital at the end of 2022. His wife Ann (Miss Roscoe) is in a home suffering from dementia and Malcolm had found life without her very difficult. He was a Chemistry teacher and appears on the Gloucester House photo from 1969.
David Footer 1952
April 1998 (leukaemia).
Sheila Forde (Fenn) 1951-58
Sadly passed in October 2017
Derek Forder 1951
Derek was a past pupil who started at the College in 1951
John P Forrest 1950s
David Freeman 1954-62 Staff
David was Head of Art from 1954 to 1962 and the designer of the College Blazer Badge, still in use to this day. He passed away in June 2011 after a long illness. His wife has told us that he would have been so pleased to know that his design is still being used. They had very happy memories of the College and after they were granted 'married quarters' in 1959, which she describes as 'cosy and perfectly adequate', they had a great social life at the College and made friends for life. His website www.davidcfreeman.co.uk is well worth a look and includes some of his early sketches from Wymondham.
Mary Anne Freestone 1951-55
Mike Frohawk 1950s North
Rae Fuller 1950s
9th June 2000.
Gemma Fuschillo 1994-96
"Gemma Fuschillo (Dover College Prep. and Dover College 1987-1994) was killed in a car accident on 15th February 2004 . She leaves behind her parents Paul and Janet, whom many will remember as Housemaster and Teachers at Dover College, her brothers Ben and Sam and younger sister Gina. Gemma was an extremely popular student who captained Dover Prep's netball and hockey sides whilst starring in the school productions of ‘Oliver' and ‘The Hobbit'. After Dover she went on to become Head girl at Wymondham College before studying International Business Studies at Humberside, which involved her studying in New Zealand for a year. After taking her PGCE at Sheffield Hallam she got her first post teaching Business Studies at Uppingham School, where she was loved very much and made such an impact in the short time there that Uppingham School will be holding an annual “Gemma Fuschillo Games” event in her honour. Gemma will be missed by the hundreds of friends with whom she invested her heart and soul into from all around the world, especially her family, who have always been a close knit group and will struggle in the years ahead to cope with such a monumental loss." - Ben Fuschillo
Roger Garrard Staff
A much loved English teacher and house master. Roger passed away on 16th December 2020 aged 92.
John Galloway 1950s
John sadly passed away on 14th July 2011. His son, Paul, wrote to us as follows: "My wonderful father and best friend passed away peacefully in the early hours of yesterday morning. The only consolation is that he had spent the week on a golfing trip with his dearest golfing friends, and was at home, relaxed, watching golf in his favourite chair."
Louis Gidney 1951-58
Louis arrived at Wycol in September 1951 and left in the summer of 1958. He passed away peacefully in a care home in Fort William, having formerly lived in Strontian in the Scottish Highlands.
Sharon Golledge 1990s Fry
12 March 2007. "In January 2007, whilst working as a Finance Assistant in Bournemouth, Sharon suffered a minor fit but after extensive tests she was told that it was probably a “one off” and not likely to ever happen again. On the 12th March she died from an epileptic seizure during the night (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy). She was 25. Sharon is greatly missed by all her family and friends." - Lorraine Norman
Lorraine (Sharon's Mother) has established a memorial fund in Sharon's name, to raise money for Epilepsy Research UK. Details are here: http://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/support_us/golledge.htm.
Dave Goman 1951-83 Staff
24th March 2005. A much-respected teacher of technical drawing and engineering technology. His funeral service and cremation were held at Earlham Crematorium on Thursday 7th April 2005.
Characteristically, Dave was planning his funeral arrangements right up to the end, leaving his family (principally his niece Alison) very little to do. Alison was very moved by the messages that Dave received from former students and staff. His last great effort was a final period of consciousness when, on waking for the fifth time that night, his words were "Oh bugger. Am I still here?"
"A most remarkable schoolmaster" (Ronald Wolsey) * "A wonderful personality, a special teacher and a great influence" (David Mills) * "I, for one, owe him in a big way" (Margot Morton) * "His utter devotion to getting the engineering message across was impressive" (Anon) * "He taught a methodical way of thinking rather than a formulaic way and I will always be grateful to him" (Cliff Martin) * "He was probably the best teacher I ever had and was responsible for me choosing Engineering as a career" (Kevin Kennedy) * "I owe Dave a debt of gratitude for it was he who put me in touch with my first employer" (Alan Sidell) * "Dave was a great influence in my life - I know I am not alone in being thankful to him" (Moira Scott (Greenlee)) * "I frequently think of his influence, often during daily tasks that link back in so many ways" (John Hinchliffe) * "He was an amazingly inspirational teacher" (Gareth Melton) * "There are an awful lot of ex-Wycol pupils who have reason to be grateful for his assistance in finding universities, jobs etc." (Phil Robinson) * "I owe my career to him." (Richard Wilson)
Michael Gooday Staff
27th June 2016 aged 79 years. He was a former Vice Principal of the College, retiring from the College around 1993 after some 22 years’ service.
James 'Jimmy' Hagg 1951-55
3rd February 2005.
Joy Hammond 1959-64
"My sister Joy Elizabeth Hammond passed away suddenly on 9th April 2014. She was only 65 and there were no previous signs that would have given any warning. Joy, like me was a past pupil and I believe from my memory was at the College from 1959-64. She has joined myself and Sandie at quite a number of the PSA dinner dances and also enjoyed the 60 year anniversary celebration. Having only recently retired, she was enjoying taking up golf and looking after her two grandchildren at times. She leaves her husband Graham and two daughters." Mike Hammond
Motorcycle accident c1978.
"'Aggie' lived in Taverham, fairly near to me in Costessey, and we used to meet at Taverham Pits and go fishing. He was great fun and one of the few people I knew who was as short as me! Aggie could make anything out of anything and I still have an old battered fishing box with a replacement handle he made from wood and wire. Like all the people I was friends with, Aggie seemed more interested in fun than work. When he died I had a letter from his Mother saying that after the accident he was conscious and waiting for an emergency operation but he was still joking with the doctors and nurses. He died in the operating theatre."
"It all seems so long ago and it's hard to believe that he has been dead for longer than he lived. Still Aggie, you are not forgotten." - Tim Copland.
Christine Harding 1969-74 Washington/Peel
Passed away in March 2022.
Alan Harvey 1965-70
26th July 2000.
Tony Hawken 1955-62 North
November 2001. Retired from the RAF as a Wing Commander.
Allyson Hawksworth 1970s New Hall
"She was such a vital person ... I remember her youth ... but also her substance and she had real belief in her values. I remember she had a vehement loyalty to her morals and beliefs ... she was always on the edge of stepping out of line ... always fun but never silly." - a friend
"Allyson was the youngest in our dorm at New Hall. She was great friends with Sheila Jenkins but she gave of herself to all of us. In our first year she and I were in the same class. She was an attention seeker but not in a bad way. She would dress in abstract ways and "float" around the common rooms somehow so elegant yet like a young colt all legs she would fall over with an attempt at great drama. I remember she had a great crush on Guy Griffiths and made many attempts to gain his attention. I am sure she did not fail completely!? I was very upset to hear that Allyson died. Last I heard she had left school and joined the army. It appears she had just completed her training when she died of a heart attack. Allyson would have only been in her early to mid twenties. She will remain forever young." - Lyn Dobson
Hilda Hawkyard 1950s/1960s Staff
Jack Hawkyard 1954-64 Staff - North/York
Maths teacher and Housemaster; died suddenly at the end of June 2001. He had been living in retirement at Branston, Lincolnshire, for several years.
Helen Hayes 1975-82 Peel
Alastair Hayton-Williams 1984-96 Staff - PE
Alastair Hayton-Williams, Head of Physical Education 1984-1996, passed away peacefully following a short illness in Jan 2010 aged 64. Having served as an Officer in the Royal Marines, seeing active service in Aden and working in Malaysia in the 1960's specialising in Jungle Warfare, he went on to study at St Lukes College in Exeter before going to work at the Lomond School in Scotland. He was appointed Head of Physical Education at WC in 1984 by Ron Wolsey and worked there until taking early retirement in 1996. The family continued to live at the College until late 1997 before moving from Staff House No 13 to Wymondham. He continued to teach in Norfolk until 2000 - taking up permanent supply work at Old Buckenham, Attleborough, Notre Dame and Diss High School where his 'direct' manner was something of a first for pupils to receive from a supply teacher! Needless to say he won many admirers and got very impressive results during this time. He also became a born again biker and used to zip about on his ZZR 600. He was a Vice President of Wymondham RFC and enjoyed visiting the club especially to see his 2 sons representing the Eastern Counties at various age groups.
A chance meeting with another ex-Serviceman in a pub in Wymondham saw him travelling to the Far East on a holiday which then became semi-permanent. In the 10 years he was on his adventures he made just 1 return trip to the UK to see Doug, one of his sons, pass out parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Alastair spent time in India, the Persian Gulf, Indonesia and later in Thailand where he passed away.
A service was held at Morley St Botolph church, followed by a drinks reception in the Buck - a pub where he had spent many a long afternoon. Messages of condolence and the efforts of staff, both current and former, were truly humbling. Attendees included - Mr & Mrs (nee Woolfenden) McLay who came from Dunblane, Mr Morgan, Mr Glover, Miss Hall, Mrs Trafford, Mr Bowers, Mr Smith (1st Team Tennis Coach), Mr & Mrs Brand amongst others. A group of former pupils attended aswell and much was made of his presence as a teacher and 'that' piercing stare which had no equal!
A true gentleman, who is sorely missed.
Corneliyus Van Den Heuval 1950s East
"On Friday June 3rd 2005, at a hospital in Thailand, Corry, aged 62. Died peacefully after a tragic accident. Dear son of Elsie (deceased), brother of Shirley, Glena & Angela (deceased)." - Lynn News.
We understand that Corry was involved in a bad car accident and had been in a coma for 6 weeks before he passed away.
Jim Hodgson 1951-56 Staff - History
James Norman ('Jim') Hodgson; 16th May 1988.
Vivienne Patricia Holby 1960s South
Passed away on August 14th aged 59 years. Vivienne was born in Romford and moved around both the UK and Ibiza during her life finally resettling in Romford and working as a self-employed accountant for Keith Stout & Associates. In 2002 serious illness forced her to stop work and move to the family home in Grantham, Lincs. She bravely adapted to a restricted life and remained forever cheerful. She came to Wymondham College in September 1960, South House, Form 1A
Bruce Horrex 1960s Salisbury
Bruce was in Salisbury House and started in 1964 we think. He was a King's Lynn lad and his father used toown the Majestic cinema and played the organ prior to film screedings. He had not been in good health for a number of yearrs and was in a care home for at the least the last five
"Passed away peacefully on May 10 2021 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital aged 68. Much loved dad of Laura, dearly loved brother of Helen and uncle to Sam and Simon."
Tommy Howe 1970s
Tommy sadly passed away on 13th February 2012. He had suffered with cancer for about three years but did a great job of staying positive and busy with his work in London
Cyril V Hughes 1950s Staff
2007. "A man I remember with great respect and who with Dave Goman and other great teachers did so much in shaping our lives and moulding the future of a very new Wymondham College." - David Spinks.
Nick Hughes 1970s Fry
"Nick was in Fry Hall and left in 1977 . Nick was only 21, a freak motorbike accident on Friday March 27th 1981, claimed the life of another genuinely great guy, missed by so many." - Jenny Perryman
John Hunt 1970s
Car accident on the A11 in 1978.
Jean 'Chick' Hurn 1951-54 Grammar
1992 (cancer). "Jean was my best friend at College and at home as she lived in the next village." - Joyce Pycroft (nee Daniels).
Christopher Jackson 1959-64 North
1983 (accident in Germany).
Mandy died in a tragic road accident in 2014.
Grayson Johnson 1958-61 North
1963 (motor cycle accident near Kings Lynn)
Paul Kent 1973-80 Kett
"Paul Kent (Kett, 73 - 80) died in November 2013 after a short illness. The funeral was held at St Faiths crematorium and was attended by many, many of Pauls friends and colleagues, including a number of Old Wymondhamians." - Peter Jordan
Claire Kembry 1984-89
Died of cancer in Spring 2002.
Philip Kenyon 1951-55 Staff
12th May 1997. Technical School staff.
John Kirkland 1953-56 Grammar School
Bob Rowell has informed us of the passing of John Kirkland in 2017. He was in the Grammar School 1953 - 1956. His company and sense of humour in recent years have been enjoyed by us all and some of us remember him from our days at Wymondham
Frank Laughton Staff - Norwich
2001. Maths teacher and Housemaster.
Len Layt 1951
A 1951 Pioneer, passed away 3rd November 2012 aged 73.
Peter LeGrice 1960s
"Peter died peacefully in hospital on Sunday, February 8th 2009 after many battles with MS. Our thoughts are with his wife Diane, sons Martin and Tom and their families. Peter was one of the nicest people you could have wished to meet. Was also one of the finest all-round sportsmen Wymondham College produced and we were fortunate enough to play with him. Will always be remembered." - Philip Wade
Yvonne Leverett 1956-62 East
3rd September 1998.
Roger Lincoln 1958-64 West and Canterbury
Passed away suddenly on 8 May 2007, aged 60. He was driving to meet a primary school friend when he felt pains in his chest; he pulled up near Thetford and died in the car.
Roger was in the Police Service for 30 years from 1964-1995, then worked as a Communication Support Worker with Deaf people.
"He was one of the first people I was friendly with in West House in 1958. He was always cheerful and good fun. I always remembered that he was originally from Southery (I had no idea where it was at the time) but when my first teaching post was at Feltwell I discovered that the head and many locals had known him and talked of him fondly. I never met him again but always expected that our paths would cross again some day. Sad news indeed." - Andy Harper
Gerald Livick-Smith 1950s Technical College
Eileen Baron (Fox) has advised us of the passing after a long illness of Gerald Livick-Smith aged 77 on September 24th, 2016, at home with his family around him - another of the Sept 1951 Technical College Students
Colin Lockwood 1977
"Tragically died on A11 at Wymondham in the early 1980s; motorbike collided with car turning out of a side road into his path. I'm unsure of date or year. Son of Mr Lockwood (Fry Housewarden) & Mrs Lockwood (teacher)." - Gary Johnson
"Just a few more words to remember Colin Lockwood because he was a larger than life character in the school at the time. Colin was a good lad, he was also scary because he was big and he did not seem to know his own strength and limits and he took risks but fundamentally he was fun and a good person inside. A few weeks before he died he came off the motorbike with another boy from the school whose name I cannot remember. He joked how he had fallen and bounced a few times on the grass and then just found himself sitting up again. He seemed invincible. If I remember right he was 16 or 17 so it must have been 1982/3 – a few weeks later he crashed again this time fatally. I do not remember how it changed his father and mother, we were too young to really understand the loss and anguish they must have felt, but I still think of him and the things he got up to. They can be sure that he lives on in memories." - Alan Mitchell
Stephen Longdin 1953-59 East
Sadly I have to report the death in early September 2008 of my brother Steve. He died after a courageous fight against cancer a few weeks before his 67th birthday having retired from full time work a few weeks earlier. He leaves his wife, son and daughter and his two sons from a previous marriage.
Steve and I attended the College from 1953 and I am confident in stating that we were the College's first twins (no doubt I'll be corrected if I'm wrong). We spent our entire time in the Nissen huts until our departure in 1959. I well remember our arrival by coach to the sprawling complex of huts which we had never seen before that time, and I often reflect that I was fortunate enough to be with someone I knew at that time, unlike a lot of those on their own. We kicked off in Butler 29. Good old days, although we probably didn't think that way at the time.
Sue Mallett 60s/70s Washington/Peel
Steve Turner has been in touch to tell us that his wife Sue sadly passed away this week after a long and courageous battle against Cancer. She will have been known to many of you as Sue Mallett and was at the College late 1960's/early 1970's.
Jane Mayes 1958-60
4th March 1998 (cancer).
R V Metcalf 1951-70 Warden
At March 2013, former pioneer students and others of the fifties will have had sixty years in which to reflect on the qualities of one of the prime movers in ensuring wisdom would flourish in the fields of Morley.
In 1951 Dr John Mosby was the first warden responsible for student welfare supported by Mr C Sanderson responsible for admin. Miss Joan Tebbut headed up the Grammar school and Ray Metcalf would head the Technical school all evolving under the watchful eye of the Governors and the formidable partnership within the County Council of Alderman Sam Peel and Dr Lincoln Ralphs. Ray Metcalf assumed the full Principal's role in 1956 when the two schools were merged.
The country still bore the scars of World War 2 and Ray Metcalf’s generation of teachers were emerging from a period where the disciplines and attitudes of a pre-war generation would become severely tested. It was to his credit and the new College's good fortune that these qualities were present when ably supported by a respectful and youthful crop of younger teachers, the foundations were laid for an eventful and sometimes uncertain sixty year journey culminating in the realisation of academy status in 2011 and the revelation that the College with its boarding capabilities, might possibly represent a good model for teaching in the 21st century.
A full appreciation of Ray Metcalf on the occasion of his retirement can be found in the 1971 College magazine at http://www.wcremembered.co.uk/pdf/1971.pdf
Barry McBeath Staff
Elizabeth McBeath 1971-93 Staff
Passed away 1st March 2017 aged 89. Mrs McBeath spent over 25 years at the College serving as Housemistress, Senior Mistress, House Warden and Senior Deputy Principal, retiring in 1993.
Lawrence Milne 1970-77 Cavell
Car accident on the A11 between WC and Wymondham 29th May 1993.
"For many years, both while we were at WC and after we had left, Laurie was one of my closest friends. I have many happy memories of spending time with him; skiving games, hitching into Norwich and drinking at the pub near the Market, getting lifts into Norwich with the German assistant, repeatedly failing to go and see Mr Hiscox when we were ordered to report to him, pinching lunch tickets and awarding each other the Robert Van Der Graff Award (a brilliant game which consisted of hiding one of the Cavell House sports cups in the winner's bag in such a way that it was not noticed until he got home!)."
"For about 5 years after leaving school Laurie and I shared flats and houses and we kept in touch up to his death. We loved the same sort of music and we had the same sort of views on life. He was a kind and gentle guy."
"Laurie, my friend, I will always remember you and the fun we had."
Gwilym Morley 1971-1992/3 Staff (Chemistry)
17th June 2000. "Two of his children, Stephen and Julian, also went to the school (not sure about his daughter Rowena), and he lived in one of the staff houses for many years." - Jan Raynsford
Bob Mullenger 1951-81 Staff (Woodwork)
Robert James ('Bob') Mullenger died at The Norfolk & Norwich Hospital on the 11th of July 1981, at the age of 59. He had retired as Head of Boys' Crafts in the April of that year. Just after his retirement, Roger Garrard wrote these words:
An era ended in April of this year, when Mr and Mrs Mullenger moved out of Staff House No. 6 almost thirty years to the day since they first came to live here. For Mr Mullenger was truly one of the pioneers of Wymondham College, arriving with the first pupils, a group of 12-13 year-olds called the "Pilot Course", who were selected as guinea pigs to see if a boarding school could be established here. That it did become well-established and so quickly is largely due to the skills and enthusiasms of the early staff.
He still talks with keenness about those early years. You had to be versatile to cope with the rapidly-developing school, with sudden emergencies like power failures, with nissen-hut dormitories, workshops lacking most of their present equipment, and with playing-fields with too many trees and with more stones than grass. "Stone-picking duty" he speaks of with a twinkle in his eye, and I can remember him vividly in his wartime flying-jacket, supervising a group of boys literally digging a way out along Golf Links Road to the A11 when the College was cut off after a blizzard.
Skills, enthusiasms and versatility are his hall-marks, as I have said. His official position for so many years was Head of Boys' Crafts, but he managed to combine this with being Housemaster of the old York House for some years, and so many other things seemed to come his way, too. When the halls were first built it was decided to make all the dining-room tables in the workshops. Mr Mullenger designed them all and had much to do with their construction. So modest a man is he that there is probably only a handful of people still here who know of this. All those oak dining tables and benches are a perpetual reminder of his design skills and imagination. No factory-made product would have stood up to the wear they have had. Next time you stack them at the end of the dining room for a house social, just think of Mr Mullenger and how well they were made.
Nor are these all. The two large wood signs at the main entrances, one bearing the College crest, one the County crest, are also his work, so are the gates by the pillar-box entrance, and so were the benches that burnt to ashes when the pavilion was burnt down a few years ago. These had the College crest carved into their backs, and they were much appreciated by many generations of cricketers and spectators. He was also responsible for making the Peel Trophy, a silver trowel on a wooden stand, which used to be awarded annually to a pupil who had served the College well. We are still using the scenery 'flats' he made for the first plays performed in the Sports Hall. Three years ago, with 'Iolanthe', we used the sentry-box he had made for an earlier production in the 60s. Everything he has made has been solidly built to last, and has lasted, except for those pavilion benches. Nothing second-rate or merely adequate would do for him.
A Norfolk man by birth. Bob Mullenger has a gentle and thoughtful manner of speech, deceptive in that it hides a nimble and resourceful brain. Go to him with a problem and watch him. You think perhaps that he has not properly heard you, because no sound or sign escapes him. Then a preoccupied stare will give place to a grin, and he will start to sketch something, or, if it is a mechanical problem, to apply a spanner or screwdriver in just the right place - no bluster or disparaging comments, just a remarkable concentration and with invariably the right answer. He has many of the interests of the countryman, and we shall miss the familiar sight of him in deerstalker and tweeds, golf club or walking stick in hand, striding round the park where he has lived and worked for thirty years.
Illness has compelled him to leave us on early retirement, and he leaves us knowing he cannot possibly be forgotten in a place to which he has given so much and earned so much affection over so many years.
1st August 1999
Dr Roger Norris 1977-2004 Staff (Chemistry)
This short memory was provided by Peter Woodrow via. Adrian & Ann Hoare:-
Sad news - you may have heard on the grape vine that Dr. Roger Norris - Senior Chemistry Teacher at Wymondham College 1977-2004 sadly passed away on Saturday morning after fighting a long battle with Cancer. I last saw Roger about a month ago - out with his wife Kathy for a short walk and we briefly exchanged a few words as he was finding it very difficult to talk.
I have fond memories of Roger - in latter years he helped me a great deal looking after examination invigilation. Kate [presumably Peter & Val’s (nee Beesley) daughter] also has fond memories of Roger. He instilled a love of Chemistry in Kate and was very instrumental in her choosing to do Pharmacy.
He will be very much missed.
Ken North 1967-1972 Durham/New Hall
Passed away 2022. Pretty sure he went to County athletics meetings as a pole vaulter - there weren't many of those about!
Bob Norton 1953-1987 Staff
Friday 19th June 2009.
The following interview was published in the 1987 College Magazine:
Mr. Robert Norton has been an invaluable member of the College since 1953. Even after all this time he can still remember his first impression of the school. "I arrived by bus from Norwich, they dropped me off at 'The George'; from there I walked up the lane to the school. It looked very similar to the RAF base I was previously at in Lincolnshire, and as I was happy there, I felt that I would fit in and be happy here."
Three years after he arrived at the school, he married Miss Margaret Wilkinson. His first impression of her was that she was lively, vivacious and creative, and this is what he liked about her. It was not 'love at first sight', but this came later as more of the eventual Mrs. Norton's qualities were revealed.
While in the RAF, which he joined at seventeen, Mr. Norton did a war-time course at Southampton University, and wanted to go to either Oxford or Cambridge after this. One of his 'claims to fame', is that, if he had gone to Oxford, Richard Burton would have been on the same course as him! He had a somewhat embarrassing experience in the service when taking a reading, whilst navigating, of what he thought was a light on the ground. He realised five minutes later that the angle had not changed, and it had moved with them. It then dawned on him that he had been taking the reading of a wing light!
It is difficult to summarise in a short space all that Mr. Norton has done for the school over the past thirty-four years. He designed, and spent many hours, with the help of pupils, building cinder paths by the area which is now the cook-freeze unit. He also marked out all the sports fields himself. He spent most of his weekends and nearly all his spare time in this work, and this was in addition to being a housemaster, first of all in the nissen huts, then with Canterbury House boys in half of Kett Hall, who eventually merged with Westminster House girls to form Kett House in 1971, the first mixed house, with pupils from 11 to 18. Always keen to accept new challenges, it was Mr. Norton who became one of the first Housemasters of a Sixth Form House in Lincoln in 1978, a post he held until last Summer.
It would be interesting to discover just how many pupils have been in his House over those 33 years. Is there any man anywhere with a longer service as a housemaster, and in such varying forms? We feel sure Mr. Norton's record of service here is unique. He enjoys teaching sport as well as English, and has no preference for either, as they are both creative and 'allow you to express yourself in different ways.' He also recently organised the Sponsored Day events, showing how dedicated he is to the school. One of Mr. Norton's last enterprises at the College has been the organisation of three reunion dinners for past pupils. The warmth of their regard for him was made only too clear on these occasions and it is with something approaching awe that we say farewell to him and to Mrs. Norton.
Margaret Norton 1953-87 Staff
Sadly Mrs Norton passed away on 11th July 2017. She started at College in 1953 and retired in 1987.
Roland Ogle 1973-1980 Kett and Lincoln
Roland died unexpectedly in Sydney on 6th June 2015 within six weeks of being diagnosed with cancer. As ever, he was surrounded by his friends and loved ones.
After spending five years in Kett, Roland moved over the road to join me and around 80 other boarders in the new Sixth Form Hall, Lincoln, in 1978. He kept his academic abilities well hidden whilst at Wymondham, although excelled at the 400 and 800 yards, competing in the Three Counties on several occasions. His unique running style earned him the sobriquet “Snake”.
Roland somehow scraped into Nottingham University, where he graduated with a 2:1 in Civil Engineering in 1983. He soon gravitated to IT, working for Rowntree Mackintosh in York for 4 years. He was then recruited by Qantas and in 1987 moved to Sydney, which he made his home. Roland had a successful career in IT, becoming one the foremost systems architects in Australia before moving into project management. However, he always made time for the great passions of his life: diving, indie music and his wife Rosie, who survives him.
Roland had a tragically short life but I don’t know anyone who enjoyed living as much as him. He was a man entirely without guile but was also endearingly naïve, a trait which got him into many hilarious scrapes over the years. He was warm, funny and generous and touched the lives of everyone who was fortunate enough to meet him. He will be greatly missed by his many, many friends
Serena Ottley 1983-87
19th April 2007
Tony Otway 1966-1973 Salisbury/Fry
We have been advised of the passing of Tony Otway in late 2022. This is the note that we received from his brother, Paul:-
"Tony passed away on the 8th of October 2022. He was losing weight constantly and was later diagnosed with COPD and asthma which was probably caused by his many years of smoking according to a doctor he saw. Despite 6 months of antibiotics, he did not get the TB out of his lungs and died at his home in the Philippines. We were hoping that he would recover with treatment but sadly that wasn’t to be."
A note from Phil Robinson: When Tony was “found” in late 1999, we were all amused to discover that he was a teacher [maybe Headmaster] based in Darwin, Australia. This was the last profession that we thought that Tony would end up in! He moved to the Philippines and had a young family who he supported by doing online tutorials. When we first located the “Salisbury 8” who started at Wycol on 5th Sept 1966, I always hoped that we could eventually get all of us in the same room at the same time. That was always going to be a tough ask but now it will never happen. RIP Tony
Janet Palmer 1951
Janet Symonds (Palmer) - a pioneer from 1951, died in July 2016, aged 78
John Paxton 1962-98 Staff
8th November 2001. Latin & Classical Studies.
Eric Peacock "Choppy" 1952-1959
3rd June 1994
1970s Joan Potter 1983-97 Cavell
Spring 1999. Boys' Matron
Mike 'Harry' Poulton 1969-96
Mr Poulton passed away on 9th August 2018. Peter Woodrow wrote: Mike came to Wymondham College in 1969 to replace Norman Croudace as Head of Mathematics, Norman having moved on to be County Mathematics adviser. He was Head of Mathematics from September 1969 until retirement in July 1996. He was also a 6th form tutor in Lincoln, a keen badminton player, a keen golfer and cricketer. He also organised Chess competitions at the College. Professionally he was also a senior examiner for A Level Statistics and International GCSE. He used to arrange his half day to coincide with the half day of lots of his colleagues - Andy Seeley, David Mills, Melvyn Taylor, Bob Mullenger et .al. so that they could spend Wednesday afternoons on a course - a golf course! He had four children who all passed through the college - Helen, Hazel, Jane and Richard. On retirement he and his wife Margaret travelled widely in England with their caravan and also travelled to the States, Canada and Australia - whenever we bumped into him and his late wife Margaret we always heard news of their latest trip and Margaret’s key phrase was ….’we are spending the kids inheritance’. They certainly enjoyed their retirement until Margaret’s passing in 2011. In retirement Mike was for a time treasurer for Wymondham Heritage Museum, a keen photographer and more recently had been involved with U3A. Mike coped well with his illness and responded well to experimental drug therapy until a few weeks ago when he knew that his days were limited.
Lady Enid Ralphs
Passed away 2013
Sir Lincoln Ralphs Founder
October 1978 at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, aged 69. He was Chief Education Officer for Norfolk from 1950 to 1974 and was truly the College's founding father. The College Song, his own composition, reflects the principles that he applied throughout his career. This was the leader in the Eastern Daily Press of the 18th October 1978:
SIR LINCOLN RALPHS was one of those rare individuals whose life and character gave validity to what might at first appear to be the most excessive of tributes. Whether we measure by the power of his intellect, or his achievements and standing in education, we are confronted with a giant. He represented a force for educational good that we are unlikely to see again because the days of giants are over. This is not to sigh for some golden age of legend or trade in commonplace panegyrics. Lincoln Ralphs' period - perhaps we should say reign - as chief education officer for Norfolk coincided with the apogee of a chief education officer's power and influence, a time when these instruments could be deployed on a greater and grander scale than anything that has gone before or has been permitted since.
The physical achievement of those twenty-three years from 1950 can be measured in stone throughout Norfolk but Lincoln Ralphs was immeasurably more than a builder and innovator. Inspired by a vision of education as a force and an opportunity extending almost from cradle to grave he set about creating an umbrella beneath which everyone could find a place. He had, for example, a particular feeling for special schools, and he regarded it as one of his greatest accomplishments when a special school that he had established in the county asked for a school uniform and badge, such was its corporate pride. This is revealing of but a single strand in the character and personality of a remarkable chief education officer, and more of an astonishing man. Endowed with a great sense of humour, blessed, twice blessed it seemed at times, with the scintillating gifts of wit, verbal power and, particularly when the occasion demanded, consummate charm, Lincoln Ralphs attracted a limitless loyalty and almost inevitably, controversy.
His work which began in the light of the 1944 Act drew to its close amid the shadows and the storms of the comprehensive controversy, and his uncompromising stand, against national forces and fancies, tended to colour his final years in office. He denied he was anti-comprehensive and said he was anti-centralist. He was certainly furious that the whole fabric of education should be so changed. A towering man, he saw children in his every move, and understood that the duty of an administrator was to support teachers and staff in schools. We heard it said of him yesterday: "You knew that if the chips were down he'd be there fighting for you." That is a good enough epitaph for any man.
Brenda Rawlings (Myhill) 1957-63 East
2nd September 2007.
"Her husband, Mike, and children, Helen, Paul, Steven and Kevin were with her when she died of cancer the day after her 61st birthday. Nancy Trett, Pat Fuller, Irene Cooper and I and June Armiger were able to attend her funeral in the packed Methodist Chapel at Great Ryburgh."
"Brenda loved being at Wymondham College. She was a wonderful friend, always putting others first and always cheerful. She was devoted to her husband and family. After leaving Wymondham we all went our different ways and if it hadn't been for Enid organising her excellent reunions we wouldn't have met Brenda again. Julia Gibbons and Ruth Hales are among Brenda's many friends in East House and I'm sure there are many others, both in East and the other houses who have fond memories of her."
Margaret White (Kilgour)
Paul Richardson 1960-67 East/Salisbury
Paul passed away suddenly on 26th May 2009 as the result of a heart attack, aged 60. He had taken early retirement from Network Rail for whom he had worked ever since leaving the College.
Ian D Robinson 1956-63 East/Salisbury
"My brother, Ian D. Robinson [aka Bogbrush!], was a boarder in the early history of the school. He attended from 1956 to 63. He was in East & Salisbury and was House Captain in his last year. On leaving Wymondham he did a teacher training course at Loughborough and then went out to Jamaica for two years, working for V.S.O. He came back to U.K. after a year to marry a Devon girl (Cherry) who was also on V.S.O. and returned to Jamaica to live permanently. He had a many & varied employment career being at some time, a teacher/lecturer, a training officer for a bauxite company, General Manager of the Montego Bay Ice Company, Manager of a mango/pau-pau plantation and construction manager for a tourist development. He had just set up a sideline organising “eco-tourist” tours around the island with his multi coloured Land Rover when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Although he had a portion of the lower colon removed and had undergone chemotherapy, he was always aware that “it would get him in the end “. So after about 4 years of fighting the disease, he sadly passed away in July, 1997 at the age of 52. He had a love of the history of Jamaica and all of his research documents and books were handed over to the Hanover Museum in Lucea and the study room was named after him. Cherry & his two sons (Mark & Neil) remain in the Caribbean."
Derek Robson 1960s Staff
History teacher in the early 1960's, Derek passed away in April 2019 aged 83. After leaving College he went on to be head of Culford School in Bury St Edmunds for 21 years.
Shirley Rogotzki 1966
Shirley passed away in July 2019 (married name was Barber)
Tony Rudd School Governor
August 2003. Former technical director of Group Lotus, and deputy chairman of Lotus Engineering, died at the age of 80. Mr Rudd, who lived in Norfolk, was also one of the team that helped develop the original BRM in the early 1950s.
Alan Russell 1950s Staff
30 October 1962. Taught French & was renowned for his 'stable' of prestige motor cars.
Keith Rutherford 1956-93 Staff
15 February 2005
9 October 2001
Chris Sayer Staff
Chris Sayer of Little Ellingham passed away on August 10th 2021 aged 73 years. Devoted husband to Steve, father and grandpa. Chris taught at WC for 37 years and was a housemaster for many of those.
Andrew Seeley Staff
Mr Seeley passed away on 23rd March 2016. Many tributes have been sent in by past students and they have been put together in a document (click here to read)
Melita Robinson (Sewell) 1960s/70s
Melita was the sister of Robin Sewell and died in 2003.
Pansy Sewell 1950s
Robin Sewell 1960s
Robin Sewell died on or around 15th April 2014. We aren’t 100% sure when he started at WC but he left in 1970 when he was in the Upper Sixth.
Elaine Seymour (Turvey) 1957-64 North/Winchester
27th February 1997 (Cancer)
Doreen Sharman (Mason) 1951-?
9th September 2001
Clive Simmonds 1951-55
2001 approximately, in South Australia.
Gerald Siviour 1960s Staff
Passed away October 2013. Taught Geography and Geology in the 1960s and latterly was a volunteer signalman on the North Norfolk Railway.
Graham Smith 1960-67 West
Graham passed away on 12th October 2012. He was taken ill in late 2011 and subsequently diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome – a serious blood cell disorder.
I met “Smithy” on our first day at WyColl in September 1960. We were both in West House, Form 1B and even sat together on the same table in the old dining room. He was a happy chap but was a grumpy little sod if served a broken fried egg! We immediately became great friends and in growing up did many things together both at the college and during school holidays when we often stayed round at each other’s home.
“Smithy” played rugby and cricket for the college (and subsequently for West Norfolk and Terrington respectively where he had been Chairman of the cricket club for many years – usually being re-elected in his absence!) He enjoyed sport but was always grumpy when he lost!
Whilst at Wycoll we visited many different “places of interest” in Norwich including Carrow Road, The Firs Speedway Stadium and The Orford Cellar (a great 60’s music venue!) as well as a few pubs like The Coach & Horses in Thorpe Road where we regularly enjoyed a quick pint having first signed in at the Engineering Society meetings, and then slipped away! Spookily Graham ended up working from an office in Thorpe Road just along from the pub!
We regularly worked on the land in the holidays to earn a little pocket money which was when he developed deep pockets - whilst at the same time his arms didn’t grow any longer!
One great memory was our cycle ride in the summer of 1965. On Day 1 we cycled from Foulsham to Tilbury; Day 2 from Tilbury to Hastings, Day 3 Hastings to Portsmouth (where we stayed for three nights), and then in one day we biked back to Norfolk, parting on the A1065 at Mundford where he headed off to Clenchwarton – a final leg of some 200miles! After so long in the saddle he was never able to walk normally again!
On leaving the college “Smithy” became a successful quantity surveyor, married Sue and together they had a daughter Gemma and a son Nathan who each produced 3 fine grandchildren for him. He was a regular participant of the 60’s Bunch Christmas Drinks get-together, the annual ‘weekend’ away and a founder member of the Old Wymondhamians Quiz Team and in my absence captained our only winning team. He didn’t grumble that night! Outside those events we, together with Mazzie, Sandra, Susanne, Steve, Eileen and Alan of the 60’s Bunch regularly got together for meals, days out and numerous major music concerts.
“Smithy” was a season ticket holder at Carrow Road and a Norwich City supporter all his life. He particularly enjoyed going to cricket test matches with his other great Wycoll buddy Alan Bridges (as he knew Alan would buy the Guinness). Happily he fulfilled two of his later life ambitions – to attend an Ashes Test match on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and to see Barbara Streisand at Madison Square Gardens in New York both of which he did in the company of 60’s Bunch members Eileen, Susanne and Alan.
A well respected professional in his field, a great reliable friend with a fine sense of humour and a terrific wind-up merchant - he is hugely missed by us all.
God Bless You “Smithy!”
Anne Snushall (Drinkwater) 1951
Anne passed away in February 2012. Anne was a 1951 entrant into the Grammar School and acted in many of the early College productions, pictures of which can be seen from the Anne Drinkwater Collection on the 1950s Productions pages in The Gallery
Joan Sperring (Tebbutt) 1951-55 Staff
We sadly have to report the passing of Joan Sperring, otherwise known as Miss Tebbutt, the first Head of the Grammar School. She arrived in September 1951 with the 'Thetford Transferees' and left in 1955 when the Grammar and Technical Schools were merged under Mr Metcalfe as Warden. Joan celebrated her 100th birthday last November but sadly died on 17th January, following a fall and a brief spell in hospital.
Jack Smith writes: "Several former pupils visited her during her 100th year celebrations last summer and joined her for lunch. She was full of conversation with her incredible memory for past events and of former pupils. Joan was an amazing lady who touched the lives of so many of us. She was held in high esteem by those she taught and influenced. She will be remembered fondly and with much gratitude for her impact on so many young lives."
David Spurling 1970s/80s Staff
December 2005. English teacher and Director of several College productions.
Richard Stammers 1956-61 North
Richard died in 2001 ago after suffering 20 years of heart disease. He had a wife and three children.
Pietro (Pedro) Stasi 1965-72 Canterbury/Kett
A veritable man mountain when it came to rugby and you always wanted him on your side. A really nice guy too!
Derek 'Doc' Staveley ?-1978 Staff
1985; soon after retirement. Geography head of department.
Dennis Storer 1958-59 Staff
8th September 2007. An ex-Army Captain, Dennis Storer joined the College's Physical Education department in September 1958 and spent one year with us. He coached the 1st XV and was a prominent speaker in the Chad Club and 6th Form Semi-Circle. After leaving, he became a sports commentator with Anglia TV, but then emigrated to the USA in 1965 to begin an outstanding career at UCLA as head coach of the university's rugby and soccer programmes, becoming the US National rugby coach in 1976. At a national and international level, Dennis was the British Olympic Association's Executive Director, a director of BAFTA, a founder member of the British Community Advisory Board and founding President of the Spirit of Youth Foundation. He was awarded the OBE in 1994 for services to British/American Education, Sport and Commerce.
Andrew Charles Hutcherson Street 1951 Technical College
Andrew Charles Hutcherson Street passed away on February 16th, 2015, aged 77 years. He was another of the original “Guinea Pig” 1951 Technical College Spring intake
John Street 1980s Student and Staff
John passed away in February 2018. John taught Mathematics from 1980.
When he retired through ill health in 2012 the then Principal, Mr Melvyn Roffe, stated “A previous Principal of Wymondham College wrote of Mr Street that he was “a schoolmaster of sterling worth and great integrity”. In so writing my predecessor was guilty only of understatement. Mr Street has been a stalwart teacher, a good friend to many and a generous, kind and charming colleague.”
Former colleague, Mr Peter Woodrow, said “John was a lovely colleague and a person we are so pleased to have called a friend. So very sad that his life has been cut short, but generations of students and colleagues should be proud that he has been part of our lives”.
Some of you will also remember John as a student, he was a day pupil [CGS] in Yare. He also played an important part in the early days of setting up the Wymondham College Association, which is now the Old Wymondhamians.
Our thoughts are with his wife Sue and children Oli and Josh.
Gwen Taylor 1970s
Michael C Thornley 1957-65 Staff
We came to Wymondham College in 1957 with our daughter Ceri (when she was a year old). We first lived in one of the chalets (are they still there I wonder?). After a year, our first son Kim was born in the chalet.
Mick (as he was always known) taught Maths & Physics. He also ran the film club on Saturday evenings, where boys and girls were strictly segregated by the central aisle. He was a competent violinist and played in the orchestra. I particularly remember the delightful and witty operettas composed & libretti written by Paul Wrench (music master).
In 1961, Mick was made housemaster at the newly built Kett Hall. Mick was assisted by Dick Borden, Terry Marney, Gerry Siviour and the Matron, Miss Dolan. Our second son David was born at Kett Hall in 1962. We had 4 very happy years at Kett Hall, at which point Mick decided that he would like to go into adult education. He obtained a post as Senior Lecturer at what was then the Clifton Teacher Training College. Clifton TTC later became the Nottingham Trent Poly and is now part of Nottingham Trent University. After 8 glorious years at WC, we left for Nottingham in the summer of 1965. Mick also worked for the Cambridge Examinations Board. He set and marked a yearly Physics A-level paper (which was used by African & Far East nations).
Mick kept up his musical interests, playing in the College orchestra. In his spare time, Mick also mastered (among other things) Book-binding, calligraphy, card-making and making realistc models for train sets.
About 10-years ago, Mick (aged 70) decided that he ought to get a computer and be online. He bought himself an early iMac (plus some manuals) and proceeded to teach himself from scratch the new art of IT. Through access to the internet, he found the WC website and kept in touch (via emails) with old friends and pupils. He also found the iMac to be a great tool for his artistic endeavours, music, spreadsheets and list making. He took early retirement about 20 years ago and spent much time in the garden and enjoying our grandchildren. More latterly, he also enjoyed entertaining our great-grandchild.
He died (on 1st November 2011) as he did everything else, quietly and without any commotion.
Anne Thornton 1951-56
February 2001. Head Girl 1955/56.
Nicholas Tonkin 2000-01
Motorcycle accident in September 2002. Nicholas was the younger brother of Oliver Tonkin (1994-2001).
Bryan Tungate 1951
Bryan passed away at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on February 9th, 2015, aged 75. Bryan was one of the pioneer September 1951 Wymondham Technical College students who became a dedicated Norwich and King's Lynn Speedway Historian. It is no surprise he exercised his archival talents later in life as, not partaking in any sport himself, he showed tremendous support and enthusiasm for those who did and in some cases knew more about their achievements than they did themselves. In later recollections he was sometimes referred to as the sage of Wymondham College and was known to partake in contract line writing for those who chose not to do it themselves.
Wally Ward 1950s
1973, at Aylsham
Robert Watson Late 1970s
"I believe that he suffered a heart attack whilst fitness training in the gym. Elder brother of Alistair Watson (Cavell then Peel 1976-83)." - Gary Johnson
Ann Wilson 1960-67 West
Ron Wilson 1954-58 West
2002, ending a long career as an author. There is more about Ron here.
Stephen Wilson 1969-75
Chris Wiltshaw 1960s Staff
"In September 1969 (when I was in the Lower Sixth) , Chris Wiltshaw was killed in a tragic car accident on or near the A11. Chris had only been at the College for about a year , coming direct from teachers' training college to teach woodwork and metalwork. He was a tall, studious-looking, quiet, and unassuming guy who fitted in immediately with the technical staff of Bob Mullenger (head of dept), Andrew Seeley, Ted Herrington and Dave Goman. Chris was well liked by both pupils and staff. He never taught me, but I got to know him pretty well as he contributed a lot to the school electronic cricket scoreboard project which I was involved in.
When Chris was killed, I was away at a B.A.Y.S. Youth Science Fortnight 'holiday' at Exeter University . Returning to the College, just after Chris's death , on a massive high due to all the sex, drugs, rock and roll (and a bit of science - no drugs actually but tons of the other three! ) was a very weird experience as there was a very sombre atmosphere indeed at the College. Chris had wrapped his open-topped Lotus 7 type sports car round a tree while going from the pub one evening to get some chips. Apparently his car hit the tree with such force that the whole front of it was stoved in. No other cars were involved.
I remember that it was the first time in my young life that it had ever crossed my mind that I was going to die sometime, so I had better make the most of it while I was still around!
Chris' death certainly hit us all at the College very hard indeed."
Ian Gomeche (Gloucester 1963-70)
Ronald Wolsey 1970-92 Staff
It was announced in the Daily Telegraph that Ronald Wolsey died on 31st January 2016 aged 89 years. He was Headmaster of the College from 1970 to 1992
John Worley Staff (Salisbury)
April 1995. Biology Teacher
C C H (Tom) Worrall 1963-76 Staff (Durham)
David Wright ?-1956
Tanya Wright 1956-59 West
Suddenly after a short illness in April 2002. Sadly this was soon after her first contact with a school friend from the College.
Tommy Young 1953-60 South
"Tom died on 24th March 2015 after a thankfully relatively short struggle with cancer. He had a successful time at Wymondham, particularly in sport. He appears in the 1st XV rugby photos for 1957/8, 1958/9, and 1959/60, and the 1st XI cricket photos for 1958, 1959, 1960. He was also a member of the school choir." - John Young (South/Gloucester 1960–1967).
John mentions that he started Wymondham as Tom left, and he was called Tom from then on. Some of his contemporaries only know one Tom Young, so he wanted to make sure they didn't get the wrong Tom Young.
Wymondham College Remembered