The Key Summer 2009


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The Key - Issue 11 - Summer 2009: Magazine of the Bury Grammar Schools Development Office

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The Key Summer 2009

  1. 1. T he The Key THE BURY GR A MM AR SCHOOLS Issue 11 Summer 2009 Si monumentum requiris, circumspice The vision of our earliest benefactors was to found a school that The Autumn term saw the completion of our magnificent new would educate young people to the highest possible standard; Kindergarten and Pre-school. This unique facility embodies the young men and women who would make a valuable ethos of our Schools and the vision of our founders in providing the contribution and a positive difference to our community and to finest environment imaginable in which society as a whole. our youngest pupils will cultivate a love Henry Dunster, one such early pupil and later Headmaster of the of learning. This early foundation will School, sailed for America in 1640 to become the first President of stand them in good stead to take Harvard University. Last September, a party from BGS along with advantage of all that BGS has to offer. many of our US Alumni bore witness to the fact that America’s The hopes of our founders, Henry oldest and most renowned seat of learning still bears the mark of a Bury and Roger Kay continue to be down-to-earth Bury lad. fulfilled. They would have every reason The legacy of our early benefactors lives on. With each passing to be proud of the flourishing dual term the Schools are proud to deliver news of the latest foundation that the Bury Grammar achievements of pupils, staff and Alumni. The last year has been Schools are today. no exception. Foundation for the Future - Early Years The summer vacation seemed interminable for our youngest pupils sang beautifully and presented gifts to John Findon, Chairman pupils who eagerly awaited their return in September to take up of Governors, and to Lord Derby. In his address Lord Derby thanked residence in their new school. Their expectations were well the children for their warm welcome and made reference to the rewarded, for our new building is inspired in its design and historical connection between his family and the school, dating back perfectly addresses their every need. It is testament both to a to the period of his ancestor the 7th Earl who was beheaded in supportive community and to over two years’ hard work by a Bolton! dedicated team of staff. Guests were impressed by the many innovative and imaginative facilities of the new school which include: a unique and exciting rooftop playground with views of the whole borough; a large library with computer suite for interactive learning; a music room with adjoining practice rooms for individual tuition; a bright new gym for specialist sports education and spacious classrooms equipped with state-of-the art technology. Headmistress Bobby Georghiou said ‘I should really like to take this opportunity to thank the Bury community for the support everyone has given us in building our Kindergarten. Its opening today is a source of great pride to us all and we are honoured that Lord Derby has performed the ceremony. Just as our community has shown such faith in the Bury Grammar Schools, we believe that the The new purpose-built Kindergarten and Pre-school, one of the children in our care will grow up to become its finest citizens. The finest in the country, boasts many remarkable features and offers Kindergarten is our expression of the greatest confidence in the young children the best possible start to their education. The £3.2 future of our school and our town.’ million building was designed by the Schools’ Project Director, Peter Skinner. We were delighted to welcome The Right Honourable the Earl of Derby as our Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony on Friday 7th November, reinforcing the strong historical links with the Derby family which date back to the School’s foundation around 1570. The sixteenth Earl gave the school the land on which it is built and opened the Boys’ School in 1903, and his son, The Honourable Arthur Stanley, opened the Girls’ School in 1906 and the Roger Kay Hall a year later. The Opening Ceremony took place in the splendid octagonal assembly hall – a central feature of the new school. The young
  2. 2. The Key Also in March, our CCF had its Biennial Inspection. For the Steven Harvey, inspecting officer, the day of the inspection was his last working Headmaster of the Boys’ day as an Army Officer. He wrote: ‘Yesterday was somewhat cold when we were out on the sports field, but all I saw certainly School, writes: warmed my heart, for although the number of biennial inspections St Paul, in one of his letters, draws a I have conducted is not vast, that of your CCF was, without distinction between physical temples question, the very best and I thank you and all your staff for all the and living temples. Having to preach work that had quite plainly been put in to ensure this was so. I a sermon on that theme recently got could not have wished for a better way to end my last full working me thinking about the fabric which day as a paid member of Her Majesty’s Forces than as I did and I is BGSB – a fabric which is both certainly feel I have finished on a very definite high’. physical and living. The end of the spring term saw the very fine joint Schools’ The boys are at the heart of our living fabric. We were delighted production of The Sound of Music. It was an excellent example of that almost 10% of last year’s Upper Sixth won Oxbridge places. the two schools achieving together what one school could not Christopher Bryant, was among the top 10 students nationally in achieve on its own. So great was the demand for tickets that a fifth the Further Mathematics (Additional) examination. night had to be arranged. At GCSE, almost 20% of the year group achieved either A* or Apart from the boys, of course, the living fabric of this school A in all of their subjects. Nicholas Hobhouse, who achieved an A* includes its staff (both the teaching staff and the support staff) – in all 12 of his subjects, was one of over 19,000 candidates and a talented and committed body they are, too. Last summer, nationally who took the International GCSE in Mathematics and he several long-serving colleagues either moved on or retired. Carole was among the ten who achieved the highest overall marks. Stirzaker, who was with us for 17 years, teaching French, German I have spoken often of the emphasis which we place on our co- and Latin, left to pursue full-time her talent in floral art. Richard curricular and extra-curricular activities. Space does not allow me Johnson, who taught Economics and Business Studies for 18 years, to go through all that we do in these areas. But I would like to and who was our A Level Examinations Officer, left the teaching mention a few things. staff in July but returned in September as our full-time First, last summer’s World Challenge Expedition to Mongolia Examinations Officer. And we said farewell to Tony Harrison, who by a group of 17 senior boys and 4 members of staff. had taught English at the School for 25 years. Following an initial acclimatization, the group undertook Five colleagues retired in July. Between them they had given charity work, which was centred on two orphanages. The boys over 136 years of service to the School. Mike Byrne retired from were struck by how happy these abandoned children were and the Junior School after 19 years on the staff. Sandra Glancy retired found their time with them a humbling experience. after 16.5 years at BGS. John Kendall retired after 33 years on the The trekking phase followed. Five days were spent on horseback, staff. Tony Young retired as Director of Studies, also after 33 years galloping across the Steppes and wide open valleys; trekking at the School. And Malcolm Curtis retired after a career here through coniferous forest at the edge of Siberia; and killing, spanning 35 years. skinning and butchering a sheep for dinner. Then in December we bade farewell, from the teaching staff, to The final phase of the expedition was the well-deserved period Pat Newton – after 100 of rest and relaxation. Visits were made to Tiananmen Square, the terms, just over 33 Forbidden City and to the Great Wall. years, teaching at In September, a brand new initiative, ‘Heartbeat Bury’, was BGSB. He remains, I used to launch both the School’s move towards Healthy Schools am delighted to say, a Status as well as the new First Form boys’ Personal, Social and key figure in the CCF. Health Education programme. During the day the boys participat- The living fabric ed in a range of activities related to healthy living - including of BGSB includes the preparing healthy food, and workshops on the dangers of smoking invaluable contribution and on how to maintain a healthy heart. The day culminated in a which is made to our sponsored two mile run and the boys raised £1000 for the British life and work by Heart Foundation. various visitors to the This year 17 Lower Sixth students have been taking part in School. Most notable Young Enterprise. This is a national competition which encourages this year was Lord Hurd. He was Guest of Honour at Prizegiving, students to ‘learn by doing’ by setting up and running their own and came to the School the following morning to speak to Sixth companies. Throughout the process the students learned many new Form Historians and Politics students. It was a memorable visit. skills – including sales and marketing, production, logistics, A word about the physical fabric. Last September saw the finance and personnel management. opening of our brand new Kindergarten. It is a huge asset and I know In February, four representatives of the Young Enterprise group, of no other Kindergarten anywhere in the country which can match Umar Arshad, Mitchell Cocker, Simon Powell and Harpreet Sahni, it. The next project is a new Sixth Form Centre. Our hope is that the took part in a Dragon’s Den-style competition held at KPMG in first stage of the building programme will begin later this year. Manchester. After some tough questioning about their business In the Boys’ School, we have this year started a major model they won 3rd prize in a competition which attracted over 20 refurbishment of our science facilities – a refurbishment which, schools from across the north-west. They then went on to win 2nd when complete, will give us a state-of-the-art teaching and learning place in the area final. facility for all three sciences. In March, Daniel Jackson, Nishan Ghoshal, James Andrew and Living fabric and physical fabric. A very important part of the Stephen Fielden took part in the annual Chemquiz competition, School’s living fabric are those who so generously support our which is hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University. Our boys development programme - both our building programme and our secured first place, beating off some stiff regional competition; and bursary scheme. The fabric of BGSB – both the living and the they are much looking forward to the national competition to be physical – is strong and will, I hope and pray, enable us to ensure held in London later in the year. that this school continues to flourish. 2
  3. 3. Bobby Georghiou, Headmistress of the Girls’ School, writes: When I spoke to the Old Girls at their AGM Using more conventional methods of transport but still in the and dinner on Founders’ Day Eve in May, I spirit of adventure and of seeking new challenges, our students took as my theme the well known words: have travelled far and wide this year. In the Summer holiday the ‘This shall we find who seek it faithfully.’ geographers went to Iceland and the Festival Choir to Austria. Seeking, I believe, is about searching, about Linguists have visited Madrid and Historians, Berlin. Others have embarking upon a quest for something; it skied in Panorama, British Columbia, Canada and in la Massana, has a sense of aspiration about it and it is Spain. No one will be travelling further this summer than Jessica not like looking which is cursory and Whiting who is to go to Australia for two weeks for the bi-annual requires little effort. This aspirational Harry Messel International science school having secured her seeking continues to dominate our school. national place as an outstanding physicist. This has certainly been a year of some terrific achievements Laura Stoker (U6) gained her Associated London College of only achievable with strong determination and belief in the Music diploma on the clarinet which earns her the right to join the ultimate goal. As I reported at Prizegiving in September, results last staff in sporting an academic gown at next Prizegiving and is a very summer showed just what our girls can achieve when they are in impressive achievement. The Sixth Form debating team won two the ‘go seek’ mode. Our A level results were among the best with rounds of a local Rotary public speaking competition to become a 100% pass rate and 82.4% of the grades at A and B. 30 students regional finalists. Anneessa Mahmood, a member of this year’s (over 40% of the cohort) each gained at least three straight A Lower Sixth Young Enterprise team, was voted Bury Student of the grades. Ten students gained at least 4 A grades and one 5. Three Year placing her in the top ten of 1074 students participating in the took up Oxbridge places in October: Uzma Ahmed, Jessica Company Enterprise Programme in the Manchester area. Shepherd and Susan Taylor, along with Michaela Don who had an At the end of this academic year three members of staff are to unconditional offer based on her results of the previous year. The retire. In the Senior School Mrs Cheyne was appointed as Head of GCSE results took our breath away. Of the 1022 papers taken only Psychology and introduced what is now one of our most popular one fell below a grade C with the result that our overall pass rate is and successful subjects with many girls choosing to study it at 99.9%. 82% of all grades were at A/A*. 9 girls had 10 A*, 41 girls university. M Bret has been a highly popular figure in our French had 10 A/A* and a further 3 who took 9 also gained 9 A/A*. department and will be remembered affectionately for his Gallic In September we opened the new Kindergarten. On its walls are charm. It is impossible for me to imagine Bury Grammar School murals of swans: from cygnets paddling furiously by their mothers without Diana Robinson, Head of Kindergarten. She has been a with a few straying away, to elegant adult birds serenely swimming leading inspiration behind our new building and seen Kindergarten along the current, and those taking off along a stretch of river and still more in flight. We have among the lowest fees in the area and through a very successful inspection. She seeks the absolute best yet we brought in a £3 million project where children play on the for her young children and she is also a giver. She works very long roof, work in lovely classrooms, have assembly in a glorious hall hours and she has also been a most generous donor on more than and work at computers and smart whiteboards putting them in one occasion to the Appeal. I said it was impossible for me to touch with the wider world and all its future challenges. My imagine BGSG without her so I am glad that I do not have to do it grateful thanks to all of those whose generous donations made our as she took up on Founders’ Day the Chairmanship of the OGA kindergarten possible. where she will continue to do a wonderful job. The most remarkable achievement of the year must go to Upper We were inspected in February and received a glowing report Sixth Form student Heather Sellars. She told me last May that she which concluded thus: ‘. . the school is notably successful, from the intended to swim the English Channel and in so doing raise money early Years Foundation stage onwards in meeting its aims for the for her three chosen charities: for leukaemia research having lost academic success and personal development of all its pupils. her grandfather to the disease, for the Sixth Form World Challenge Academic achievement is strongly developed by the high quality of Expedition to China and for her school: she wanted to contribute to the teaching and the pupils’ positive approaches to learning. The the Appeal. So began one of the most gruelling practice schedules pupils’ outstanding personal development, marked by their imaginable. She swam Coniston, she swam Windermere, she spent openness and positive approach, is fostered by their extra- her summer in Dover practising for ever longer periods and then curricular opportunities, the responsibilities they enjoy and high came home and made Hollingworth Lake her second home – come level of care for the best interests of the individual pupil.’ The rain or shine and always in very cold temperatures. But when whole report can be seen on the ISI website, Heather stepped off the beach in Dover on September 27th, turned So we have had our own excellent BGSG school report and her face to Calais and swam, she had no idea if she could do it for we’ll allow ourselves a quick pat on the back but then its time to she had never managed quite so great a distance before. Most of move on back to the main job: our outgoing Upper Sixth must go you will know her story by now for Heather was successful. When seek their fortunes, our younger pupils must seek and develop their she returned to school for Monday assembly, every girl and every talents and we must all work together once more to build a Sixth teacher in the Roger Kay Hall stood in recognition of her Form Centre because that is where the future of the two Bury achievement and the same thing happened when she spoke to the Grammar Schools lies – in the limitless abilities of the students. Old Girls at their reunion lunch the following week. What you may Once more I appeal for the support of our Old Girls and Boys, of not know is that Heather raised more than £19,500 and with much our parents and of our friends. And I have no doubt such support of it going directly to the Sixth Form Centre, she becomes our will be forthcoming even in the most difficult times for: ‘This shall youngest major donor. we find, who seek it faithfully’. BGSG History Trip to Berlin Berlin has been the backdrop to some of the defining moments of during the last days of the war; a trip to historic Potsdam; a tour of European history. In the 20th Century, for example, the death of the Olympic stadium, built by Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games; the tyrant and dictator, Adolf Hitler, and Allied soldiers meeting and a visit to the site of in the city, signalled the end of the Second World War. Berlin has Checkpoint Charlie, the also witnessed the division of the country into democratic and famous border crossing communist states. This November, Germany will celebrate the during the Cold War. 20th anniversary of the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall; After three hectic days and therefore, it seemed like an opportune moment for girls studying countless German doughnuts, History at GCSE, AS and A level to visit this historic city during we arrived back in Liverpool, the Easter holidays. exhausted, but in unanimous Highlights of our stay included: an illuminating night excursion to agreement that the trip had the Reichstag, the German Parliament; a challenging Third Reich been a great success. walking tour, including a visit to the exact location of Hitler’s bunker Mrs C. Bevis 3
  4. 4. The Key Sir John Charnley The Mind’s Eye – Science Lecture Exhibiting Artistic Talent On Tuesday 10th June students studying Science at the Bury Members of the school community, together with invited Grammar Schools were delighted to attend a most guests including artists and friends of the Schools are informative lecture given by Chris Faux, a former colleague welcomed each year to the annual Art exhibitions held in the of Sir John Charnley and Chairman of Trustees for the Sir Girls’ and Boys’ Schools. John Charnley Trust. Chris Faux spoke passionately about Every year we are astounded at the wealth and variety of the ground-breaking research and work of Sir John who creativity in its many forms. developed a pioneering method of hip and joint replacements The exhibitions offer students the opportunity to showcase the during his time working at Wrightington in the 1970s. His fruits of their labour over the two-year GCSE and A level courses. life-transforming surgery was at the cutting edge of Hundreds of square feet of display space are devoted to exhibiting technology and his techniques are still in practice to this day. a wide range of Art work, and constructions are always keenly Sir John Charnley was born at Heywood Street in Bury in awaited and enthusiastically viewed by staff, students, parents and 1911. Along with his sister Mary, he was educated at Bury visitors alike. The images below provide a flavour of the work Grammar School, gaining a place to study Medicine at displayed. Manchester University in 1929. At the outbreak of war he volunteered for army service, enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was posted to the Middle East. It was this wartime experience which sparked his interest in Orthopaedics as he developed various types of appliances which enabled injured soldiers to return home to their families. Working as an Orthopaedic Consultant he became a specialist in the treatment of arthritis, a crippling condition for some patients. In 1960 he elected to head a team at Wrightington Hospital, devoting his time to the development of a new hip replacement technique. Chris gave a hands-on demonstration which captivated the student audience, many of whom have ambitions to study Medicine themselves, and learning of the work of a former pupil Musical Masterclass was inspirational. Students were shown examples of Teflon Arthroplasty, where a coupling of plastic and metal is made, with Sir Thomas Allen representing the joint, and cemented into position in the pelvic On Monday 26th January twelve students drawn from Bury bone. The ingenuity of Sir John was clearly evident as the College, Holy Cross College and Bury Grammar Schools were students learned of further inventions: a brush to clean the inside privileged to be instructed in a two-day masterclass delivered by of the bone before securing the replacement joint, and a new the world-famous baritone, Sir Thomas Allen. ‘clean air’ operating system which drastically reduced infection The masterclass was inspired by the Rector of Bury and Chairman rates from 10% to 0.4%. of Governors at Bury Grammar Schools, Rev Dr John Findon, who Chris Faux gave a most entertaining and informative account contacted Sir Thomas after listening to a radio interview. Sir Thomas of the life and work of Sir John Charnley, the importance of readily agreed to come to Bury to encourage and motivate young which has been acknowledged students in their study of singing, giving freely of his time. world wide, resulting in many All twelve students worked individually and collectively with Sir accolades; but none meant Thomas and benefited hugely from the experience, visibly growing more to Sir John than being in confidence over the two days as Sir Thomas advised them how to granted ‘The Freedom of project their ideas and emotions through music. The students had Bury’. We are proud that his chosen a variety of pieces ranging from popular musical theatre to education at BGS gave him Les nuits d'été, by Hector Berlioz, Rejoice Greatly, from Handel's the self-belief to realise his Messiah, and Benjamin Britten’s Cradle Song. dreams. The final two-hour masterclass was open to the public. It was a rare opportunity to observe the ‘maestro’ at close hand and an absolute treat to hear the students sing at their very best. All twelve participants were agreed that the occasion had been the highlight of their musical careers. Sir Thomas’s musical career has spanned four decades; he has performed to great acclaim in more than 40 roles with the world’s most famous opera stars and regularly appears at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. His contri- bution to music was recognised when he was awarded a knighthood in 1999. 4
  5. 5. Extending the hand of friendship ..... Harvard. Indeed we Heralding Harvard’s Heritage may claim that Bury Reunion group celebrates Bury’s links Grammar School is with Harvard – following in the footsteps part of the rock of Henry Dunster, the first President of from which Harvard Harvard (1640). was hewn. On 20th September 2008 representatives The Schools were of the Bury Grammar Schools visited represented by Harvard for the inauguration of the Henry Derek Calrow, a Dunster Society. The event was attended senior Governor and by 32 people and included alumni who had Chairman of the travelled from as far as Queensland, Development Australia and others who had flown from Committee, Bobby Georghiou, Headmistress of the Girls School the west coast of the US and Canada. It and Francine Healey, Development Officer. The Reunion Group was a huge success. enjoyed a full weekend of celebrations, based in the welcoming A special highlight of the weekend was an interesting and and ambient atmosphere of the Harvard Faculty Club. As the day thoughtful presentation by Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, the University drew to a close, the pleasure of learning new things and meeting Archivist, in the august setting of the Pusey Library. The group old friends was enhanced by a gourmet dinner in The Jewel Box at was treated to a rare glimpse of Dunster artefacts including a Upstairs on the Square. viewing of the 1650 Charter of the Harvard Corporation, drafted There is no doubt that the inauguration of the Henry Dunster by Henry Dunster. This is considered to be the Magna Carta of Society was a huge success and as we move towards the 400th American higher education, normally on public view only when anniversary of Dunster’s birth next year it is expected that links Harvard appoints a new President. between our two countries will strengthen. Megan’s illuminating account of Dunster as a Lancashire lad As an act of generosity and to mark this historic occasion, Old from Bury Grammar School who had a profound and lasting Boy Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith has formally registered a coat of influence on the formation of Harvard, and indeed, on American arms for the Henry Dunster Society with the United higher education, was exceptional. Dunster was a former pupil States Heraldic Registry. The arms of the Society join and Headmaster of Bury Grammar School and his experience of those of the Schools with a ship symbolising running a Lancashire grammar school was put to good use at Dunster’s journey to America in 1640. World Challenge – a life-changing experience In July 2008, after two years of planning and fundraising, a group of 17 students and 4 staff members from BGSB embarked upon their long-awaited World Challenge Expedition to Mongolia. The team that returned 4 weeks later was united in the opinion that memories of adventures shared and friendships forged during this life-enriching experience would stay with them forever. Both staff and pupils felt honoured to have been welcomed into the society of a truly remarkable people. All photographs courtesy of Nathan Chandler (BGS 2008) who is now a professional photographer “By the end of the trip we were all exhausted but could say “Despite the differences in lifestyle I have never seen such without risk of over-exaggeration that it was the best month any of levels of generosity and they showed to all the members of our us had ever had!” Nico Hobhouse. group how kindness can cross any boundaries of language.” “It was touching to be made to feel so welcome by all of the Robbie Hernandez. children, who found wearing our sunglasses hilarious, loved to play “An awesome adventure.” Mr. Ferguson. basketball and ambushed us with a surprise water fight at any opportunity.” Nathan Chandler. 5
  6. 6. The Key Budding Bookworms In October 2008, courtesy of Madeleine Lindley Ltd, First Year pupils Information Book creation of both Schools had the opportunity to meet Rick Riordan, a leading workshop with First Year American author of books for children and adults. The students pupils. The boys worked in listened to an informative talk about Rick’s books and career, teams each electing an including his Percy Jackson series, which features a twelve-year-old Author, Editor, Designer and dyslexic boy who discovers he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. Illustrator and collaborated to Prior to a book-signing session, the author led a lively quiz based on prepare plans for books on a Greek mythology. variety of subjects connected 2008 was the second year of to healthy eating, a topic on “Booked Up”, an initiative run by the PSHE curriculum. Titles Booktrust, to supply a free book to included Kidz Guide 2 Fruit, every Year 7 child in the country. Chef’s Guide to School Dinners, Dave Cryer, a keen advocate of Delicious but Dangerous and Super Soup. Dave Cryer returned to the reading and an inspiring author, school in May to lead a creative writing workshop. All the boys learned a ran a drama workshop based on great deal about the writing processes and skills. some of the Booked Up titles for Both Senior Schools are participating in the Bolton Children’s Book the boys. He later worked with Awards this year and a number of boys attended the launch event in Year 7 girls who performed some January. In May, thirteen girls from the Bookaneers club attended a wonderful interpretations of scenes from the books. All the pupils were workshop organised by the University of Bolton and participated in inspired to take an interest in reading. Dave kindly answered questions put activities ranging from scriptwriting and drama to textiles and art. to him from members of the Girls’ School book club, the Bookaneers, A highlight for Kindergarten pupils in the Spring term was a visit from about the publishing process and how to become an author. award-winning author-illustrator Emily Gravett. Emily spent a whole Following a tour of BGSB last year, Old Boy of the school Dr. Philip morning in Kindergarten, reading some of her stories to the younger pupils Grubb very kindly chose to make a gift of books to the Boys’ School LRC. and explaining to the older children how she gets her ideas for both for the The books, chosen on Dr. Grubb’s behalf by Mrs Montgomery, cover a stories and the illustrations. range of subjects and will be of particular benefit to Sixth Form students Emily was so attending university interviews. Staff and students are very grateful to Dr. impressed by the new Grubb for this generous and thoughtful donation. Kindergarten building Mrs Brandon, Head of English in the Boys’ School, was instrumental in – in particular the organising a book fair in association with PageNation as part of the World library – that she drew Book Day activity. The event was held in the LRC and commissions from and autographed the the sales have helped in providing a number of new books for the library. little mouse from one of Joseph Delaney, author of the bestselling Spooks series, visited BGSB her books on the library on Tuesday 10th March by arrangement with Random House Children’s wall. She also made a Books. There was a ‘Meet the Author’ event in the LRC at lunch time and gift of autographed Joseph talked about his spooky series including the brand new story written books to the children especially for World Book day called The Spook’s Tale. and to the library. In May 2009, author John Malam visited BGSB to conduct an Sydney Summer School Scientist BGSG Sixth Form student Jessica When she isn’t attending lectures on very surprised but Whiting has been selected to attend a topics such as extra-terrestrial life and DNA, delighted to be Jessica will have the opportunity to visit selected and is looking prestigious science summer school at the many of the world-famous tourist attractions forward to this University of Sydney. Jessica is one of in the area. exciting opportunity to five UK students who have been selected Jessica was nominated for the summer travel and meet other to join other young scientists from around school by Mrs Fielden, Head of Science at students and famous the world for the biannual Harry Messel BGSG, and won her place after submitting scientists. We wish personal statements and letters of recommen- her well ‘Down International Science School. dation, and completing an interview. She was Under’! Traditional Themes Education moves forward at a startlingly fast pace, but it is reassuring to know that some of our oldest traditions have not been abandoned. School assemblies are a BGS institution, providing a platform for the recognition of academic and sporting achievements, and an opportunity to expose pupils to thought-provoking ideas through music, poetry and prose. However, the regular gathering of staff and students has a more profound effect than supplementing classroom teaching. The congregation of our school community serves to reinforce a common identity and acknowledge our place in the great history and rich tradition of the Schools. Assembly is a time to recognise themes of corporate responsibility and shared experiences; our non-denominational gatherings promote good relations between ethnic minorities and the importance of tolerance, manners and moral values. In producing interesting and informative material, many members of staff go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver their messages in an entertaining and often humorous format to which their audience can relate. We have posted a selection of assembly scripts from the last year on 6
  7. 7. The Sound of Music Australasian Adventure Pupils from BGSB will this summer embark upon the first The end of the Spring Term saw the Boys' and Girls' Schools major overseas sports tour in the School’s history. join forces once again, this time in a production of The Sound The BGSB group, made up of a Senior Rugby squad of 22, a of Music. Following the success of last year's production of Development Football squad of 18 and 5 members of staff, will be Les Miserables, tickets for this year's show had sold out within setting off in July on their 3 week tour, the highlights of which will half an hour of going on sale, leading to the addition of an include visits to Brisbane, Auckland, Queenstown, Dunedin, extra night which also sold out within the hour. Christchurch and Sydney. During the trip, each team will play six Many cast members had been lucky enough to take advantage matches and in their free time the staff and students will be able to of the 2008 Festival Choir trip to Austria, where they were able to make the most of some of the activities and sightseeing opportuni- get into character “on location” and flex their vocal chords during ties that these fantastic destinations have to offer. wonderful performances in Salzburg, Kitzbuhel and near to The tour has not come about without a huge amount of effort Achensee. from both the players and the supporting staff. A programme of fundraising events has been taking place over the last 2 years, one of the major highlights of which was the “Bushtucker Ball” held in Spring 2008 at the Edwardian Radisson Hotel in Manchester. The trip has also been made possible thanks to the generous gifts and sponsorship that the teams have received. The efforts of the staff and students involved have been recognised by established sportsmen Gary Neville and Pat Sanderson (BGSB1989), each of whom has sent a good luck message to the teams. There is no doubt that the chance to tour far-flung parts of the globe playing the sport they love is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the boys, and we wish them a safe journey and successful games. So many pupils from both schools wanted to be involved that For further information about the trip, please contact the tour in order to allow as many of these keen young actors as possible organiser and Director of Sport Lee Hilton at the Boys’ School. to have a role, a double - and in the case of some roles quadruple - cast was involved. The cast did a superb job of sustaining the production over the 5 performance nights and the previous months of rehearsing most definitely paid off. Mention must also be made of the orchestra - A Glacial Getaway made up of 14 students and 5 staff - which was never less than Forty-six pupils from Bury Grammar excellent. Similarly, the back- School Girls had the learning stage crew executed seamless experience of a lifetime when they went to Iceland in the Summer holidays. The scene transitions and were girls studying for GCSEs and A levels integral to the success of the are all enthusiastic geographers and production as a whole. were keen to see at first hand some of the geological A huge amount of credit is wonders they had learned about in school lessons. also due to the members of staff They started with the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon responsible for the production: and from there experienced the two extremes of intense heat the musical direction was taken and cold: the warm lava coming from one of the most on by Mr Chris Hyde, who was destructive volcanic eruptions in the history of Iceland to the assisted by Miss Britton, and the overall direction was shouldered glaciers of Skaftafell National Park. They saw geysers spouting by Mrs Hammond. up to 20 metres, and some spectacular waterfalls. No doubt parents, pupils, staff and friends of the School The visit was not for the faint-hearted as it also included a already await next year's production with eager anticipation! trip in a light aircraft to Heimaey Island, site of the volcano, and a three hour whale-watching and puffin-spotting boat trip in the Iceland Fjords. BGSB on BBC To say that the girls were impressed with the experience would be an understatement. Headmistress Bobby Georghiou During the weekend of 7th/8th March, the Boys' School assembly was surprised to receive on her return to school after the hall was turned into a television studio by the BBC for a holiday forty-six postcards from her students describing the broadcast of "The Big Question". The production team arrived amazing time they were having. on Saturday afternoon with two 40 tonne trucks carrying Mrs Georghiou said: ‘It was obvious that the girls made the seating, staging, lighting and sound equipment. On Sunday the most of their time in Iceland. They learned a lot and were full flagship programme, which takes the BBC's prime religious of enthusiasm for everything they saw. I can’t imagine any affairs slot on BBC1, was broadcast live at 10.00am. other holiday which might generate 46 postcards. I suspect The show is presented by Nicky Campbell and the topics they may want to go on another discussed included the legacy of the British Empire and the role of geographical adventure next year.’ fathers. The great bonus for BGSB was that several members of the Leader of the expedition and Sixth Form - Jack Harrison (who has a conditional place to study Head of Geography Mrs Victoria Film Production at Bournemouth), Alex Jackson, Sam James, Leaver said: "The trip provided some Andrew Langhorn, Jordan McBriar and James Tsim - were able to very keen geographers with a fantastic take advantage of the offer of work experience during the course of opportunity to witness some impressive the weekend. The producers were so pleased with the facilities geological features first-hand and has fuelled the girls’ interest available that they have asked to return on three further occasions in the natural environment." during the year. 7
  8. 8. We should like to rec A Wealth of Talent the following Patrons of Nick and Pam Brown Bridget M Members of the BGS community have found many innovative ways Alistair Burt MP Sir Pete to use their skills to support the Appeal. Particular recognition should go to two noteworthy efforts from the last academic year. Derek Calrow Harold R Neville Cormack OBE Paul Ri Channel Swim Mark Elder CBE Dr Gill Sa Last September, 18-year old Heather Sellars realised her dream of becoming one of the youngest people in the region to successfully Peter Haslam Geoffrey tackle one of the toughest challenges in world swimming – crossing the Robert Hough DL Nicola S English Channel. She overcame a fear of jellyfish and battled through Janet Lawley Sir Cyril Sm busy shipping lanes to complete the 21 mile swim. After a strict training regime which saw her sacrificing a relaxing summer in favour of sea-training in Dover, she finally set off on her gruelling journey on Saturday 27th September 2008. Four hours into Development Fund Reac the swim the likelihood of success was bleak as she had to take It gives me great pleasure to report that we have now raised painkillers for severe back pain. However, she persevered and the £3.25 million towards our appeal for bursaries and new moment Heather spotted France she was spurred by her determination buildings. and courage to achieve her goal. She completed the swim in 10.5 hours, It has been a privilege to meet so many people who are stepping onto French sands proud and exhausted. interested in making a difference to the future of our schools. Some are willing to lend their expertise, some like to help pupils directly, Heather returned to School to an emotional and rapturous welcome in impacting their lives and career choices, and others are keen to Assembly accompanied by her proud parents Carol and Callum Sellars. provide the support for capital projects which will have a positive The students gave Heather a standing impact on the education of generations of future pupils. ovation lasting minutes. Headmistress Within the last four years, we have raised sufficient funds to Bobby Georghiou welcomed her home create 50 bursary places, offering gifted young students the life- saying, “Heather’s achievement is an changing opportunity of a BGS education. This has been achieved inspiration to us all; we are so very through the generous support of individual sponsors, as well as a proud of her. Heather has undertaken an pool of monthly and one-off donations. amazing challenge which she tackled Our magnificent new Kindergarten and Pre-school was opened in September and is testament to the overwhelming support we with great courage and sheer determina- have received. Our youngest children will benefit from the finest tion. Well done Heather.” environment imaginable in which to cultivate a love of learning. In recognition of her outstanding Looking forward achievement in completing this test and To complete the single vision which addresses the needs of our raising a total of £19,500, for the Sixth youngest and oldest pupils we must now look forward to the next Form Centre, World Challenge and phase of our development plan – a new Sixth Form Centre for the Leukaemia Research, Heather was pupils of both Schools. recently presented with The Rochdale Childer Award. Theatre School Another new fundraising venture came in the form of Theatre Week 2008 - a first for Bury Grammar School Girls. Held last summer, the The Proof of Endearment i week-long course proved to be an excellent experience for 40 BGS boys Cum laude et pecunia and girls. Theatre Week allows students from the ages of 7-14 to participate on a one-week course during the summer holidays, working Throughout our history we have been fortunate to benefit towards a final performance for an invited audience. Each day the from legacies – gifts of all kinds, left by friends, parents and pupils are invited to join workshops based upon Drama, Dance, Music, former pupils. This year we have received two most Costume and Stage Crafts. The pupils themselves take complete generous bequests, one from Peter Dearden (BGS 1960) and ownership of all areas of the production under the watchful eye and one from Margaret Timpany (BGS 1936). Both had an careful guidance of the highly professional staff. All participants were inestimable affection for their school and were life-long agreed that the week was great fun and they gained valuable experience members of the Associations. For them, the motto, “Cum of all aspects of the laude et pecunia”, was most certainly true. They each Arts. The proceeds - cultivated a thirst for knowledge and a spirit of adventure almost £3,000 - were at BGS and attributed much of their success in life to the donated to the Appeal. quality of their education. Their final act of generosity will Theatre Week 2009 ensure that others have the same opportunity. is entitled Bury School Musical and will take place from 17th to 21st August. There BGS Old Boys’ Association S are still some places available on the At the 2008 AGM, a proposal was made to fund a half-bursary fo course. Please received by the members of the Association and in September 2008 contact Bury Grammar owing to the generosity of the Association. We have no doubt tha School Girls if you members of the Association wish him every success and will look fo would like to join us. Any enquiries regarding support of the BGS Bursary Scheme can be or email 8
  9. 9. cord our gratitude to Derek Calrow ‘The Way Forward’ Appeal Derek Calrow is a Governor, Chairman of the Development Committee and an Appeal Patron. McIntyre Colin Snape He is a passionate supporter of our Schools and er Ogden The Stock Family committed to ensuring the success of our Appeal. Riley DL Sir David Trippier DL Derek writes: ink OBE Victoria Wood OBE When seated in the magnificent surroundings of Bury Parish Church on Founders’ Day, listening to the commemoration of our founders and amuels CBE The Yearsley Group original benefactors, one has the opportunity to reflect upon the Shindler Sir John Zochonis DL importance of their gifts. To some extent, the list is symbolic because Shindler their names are not known personally to the current generation. mith MBE DL However, the vision and generosity of our forefathers brought our School into existence and our Governors remain committed to the founders’ aims to deliver the finest education possible to bright girls and boys, irrespective of means. To achieve this, we must continue to rely upon ches £3.25million benefaction. As independent schools, the Bury Grammar Schools can not call upon the To date we have £850,000 dedicated to this project which is a taxpayer to fund building developments which will undoubtedly enhance our fantastic achievement. However, if we are to reach our goal we pupils’ education. Similarly, since 1997 and the advent of a Labour must sustain the momentum of our Appeal. Government, meritorious pupils whose parents cannot afford our fees receive The whole project will cost in excess of £3 million. We expect no assistance from the Government. phase one, the construction of a Lecture Theatre, to commence later It was a Rochdalian and a Patron of the Schools, Sir Peter Ogden, a hugely this year. successful computer entrepreneur, who challenged Bury and other independent We are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us. Our grammar schools to raise money to fund bursaries. He has been a most new developments are a great source of pride and serve to remind generous contributor to our Schools, recognising the quality of education which us of the worthiness of the Appeal. If you are considering offering we deliver. We are grateful to Sir Peter for his early support which has your help, we urge you to share in our future, now. undoubtedly encouraged others to give generously to our bursary fund. Francine Healey, Development Officer The new Kindergarten is further evidence of what can be achieved if there is the will to succeed. The facilities in this purpose-built school are second to none and demonstrate the quality we may anticipate in the new Sixth Form Centre. Recently, the Schools have benefited from a legacy in excess of £200,000 from the estate of Peter Dearden, an Old Boy of the school. Peter graduated from Birmingham University in Chemical Engineering, going on to build his life in the USA. His generous bequest reflects his affection for BGS and the positive impact it had upon his life. His vital contribution will go towards the Sixth Form Centre. That great servant of the Bury Grammar Schools, Jack Farraday OBE, made a bequest in his will which has made it possible for a decade of pupils to benefit from BGS education. There are also others who have been willing to make a final, but lasting, gift to enrich the education of our pupils today. Over the years, many talented students pass through these schools. They is Endowment leave us as confident individuals, armed not only with the knowledge they have acquired, but also with a sense of belonging and comradeship. It is In September, owing directly to the generosity of Dr Margaret heart-warming to view the response of our alumni. Many are willing to ensure that others receive the benefits which have helped them achieve Timpany, two bright new pupils will commence their education success in life. at BGSG, each secure in the knowledge that they will receive I am a proud grandfather of six. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the financial assistance necessary to complete their school the progress of five grandchildren already at BGS – and one little lady is in careers. waiting! I declare a self-interest in my donations to the splendid facilities Peter Dearden’s gift has positively influenced the progress of which they will enjoy now and in the future. our new Sixth Form Centre which will provide our students We have had some wonderful responses from alumni, parents, former with the facilities they need to take full advantage of a BGS parents, Governors and staff, both current and retired. It says something of education in the 21st century. the extraordinary commitment of some current parents, who not only pay fees A legacy to Bury Grammar Schools will help future for their own children, but also give generously to both bursaries and building generations enjoy the rich benefits of an excellent education. developments. I give you my warmest thanks. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact The Boys’ and Girls’ Schools are in excellent shape in the hands of Steven Francine Healey. Harvey and Bobby Georghiou. Under Steven’s stewardship there has been a transformation of the standing of the Boys’ School. The recent Inspectors’ Tel: 0161 764 1733 or email Report of the girls’ school was truly outstanding. David Harrison capably handles the finances of the schools with total dedication. Lastly, Francine Healey co-ordinates events, alumni relations and fundraising. As an Old Girl and current parent, she is steeped in the best Supports Bursary Scheme interests of the Schools. I urge everyone to support the Appeal as they are able. Every donation will or a Sixth Form boy. We are delighted that the proposal was well make a difference to our schools’ future, whether modest or significant. I 8 a bright student was able to commence his A level studies at BGS give you my assurance that your contribution will be gratefully received and at this opportunity will have a positive impact upon his future; the prudently applied. orward to hearing about his progress. For further information about the Appeal, please contact Francine directed to Francine Healey, Development Officer, Tel: 0161 764 1733 Healey, Development Officer on 0161 764 1733 email. or Derek Calrow on 07813 773336. 9
  10. 10. The Key Battlefields Tour 2008 Founders’ Day Over half-term 40 pupils and 7 members of staff went on the School’s 15th annual who was killed only days before the war ended. Chris laid a wreath and read out Celebrations October battlefields tour. To mark the Alfred’s poignant last letter, in which he The traditional Founders’ Day march to 90th anniversary of the end of the First expects to be back home by Christmas. Bury Parish Church took an abrupt World War this year’s trip visited sites The tour ended with a visit to the grave ‘about turn’ this year. Lead by the connected with some of the last battles of of 19 year old Lieutenant Joseph Morris Schools’ CCF, pupils and staff had to that terrible conflict. As usual the tour of the Lancashire Fusiliers, the last BGS change course as the procession was featured a unique itinerary, the fruit of Old Boy killed in action in the First diverted around Bolton Street whilst the months of careful research in this World War. He died on 4th November usual route was closed because of a police country, France, the USA and Australia. 1918, exactly one week before the end of investigation. Amongst the special events on this the war. Joseph Morris was one of three On the occasion of Founders’ Day it is our tradition to give thanks and celebrate the year’s tour a wreath was laid at the brothers, all Old Boys, members of the vision and the generosity of the founders and Australian National Memorial at Villers School cadet force and officers in the benefactors who brought our School into Bretonneux on behalf of Pulteney Lancashire Fusiliers. The other two were existence. They recognised the value of a Grammar School in Adelaide, South both seriously wounded. Joseph has the good education and established a school Australia, six of whose former pupils are School motto ‘Sanctas Clavis Fores which would deliver the finest education commemorated on the memorial. A CCF Aperit’ inscribed on his headstone. A possible to girls and boys, irrespective of colour party took part in a special School wreath was laid on his grave by means. Our Governors remain committed to commemoration at the American First Senior Cadet Alex Benn, the buglers those values today. World War cemetery at Bony, where our played ‘Last Post’ and the tour party sang It is also traditional to pay our respects to buglers played the American ‘Taps’ in the school song as a fitting conclusion to the Old Boys who died in the two Great Wars place of the more familiar ‘Last Post’. As another successful tour. and a two-minute silence was held after the always, the graves or places of commem- wreath laying at the War Memorial. Bugler, oration of several Old Boys were visited. Chris Parsons, played the Last Post. In addition sixth-former Nico Hobhouse This year, we were delighted to welcome laid a wreath at the Pozieres Memorial Henry Ashcroft, who last attended the where his great-great uncle Captain Paul Service some 67 years ago. Henry is reputed Hobhouse of the Somerset Light Infantry to be one of the finest mathematicians the is commemorated. Chris Lees, a veteran schools have ever produced; he was pleased of five battlefield tours, was able to visit to return and enjoyed the Service which the grave of his great-great uncle, remains unchanged from his schooldays. At the lunch following the Service, John Corporal Alfred Smith, from Burnley, Findon, Chairman of Governors, acknowl- edged the support of current benefactors whose generosity is so vital to the future of our schools. First Impressions This year the Schools welcomed some new staff members. Among them are Helen Brandon, Head of English, and Tim Nicholson, Head of Mathematics, in the Boys’ School. When asked for their first impressions of BGS we found some recurring comments, most especially regarding the calibre of our pupils and the warmth of our community. Helen writes: “As a Bury girl who counts a number of Old Boys from 1995 – 1998 amongst her acquaintances, it’s fair to say that my first impressions of BGSB were formed long before I darkened the threshold of Tenterden Street. These Old Boys all had a number of things in common: a healthy appetite, sporting prowess, excellent banter, forthright opinions and a generous nature when it came to getting in a round. Having survived my first year here, I now realise that there is a very good reason why my friends share these qualities: you can take the boy out of BGSB but you can’t take BGSB out of the boy! As the first woman to hold the post in nearly five hundred years of the School’s history, I felt I had a great responsibility resting on my shoulders. Looking through the books in the English stockroom, I was struck by the fact that the bookplates showed that some of the texts had been lent out to two or three generations of the same family! The values of family, continuity and community are integral to the success of BGSB and I have been made to feel very welcome. Meeting the boys and getting to know them has been one of the most exciting aspects of my job. I consider myself to be very lucky to work with such entertaining, witty and bright boys. The main differences I have found are the extraordinary self-confidence that the lads have, particularly when it comes to performance, and their good manners…”. The remainder of Helen’s report along with Tim Nicholson’s full report can be found on our alumni website 10
  11. 11. War Memorial The History Department at the Boys’ School is involved in a with local families. This was a revolutionary decision, given number of research projects with which alumni and readers international relations at the time, but it was most certainly a of The Key may be able to help. humane course of action. The Bury Virtual War Memorial, which aims to eventually In December 2008 Dr Victor Maxwell (BGS 1939-1946) record each of the estimated 3,000 men from the Bury area who visited the school and talked to Sixth Formers about the period died in the Great War, is being added to as time permits. The immediately before the 1939-1945 War. He gave an illuminating entries for 1914-1916, based on the Bury Times ‘Books of account of the political situation which led to some victims of Honour’ published after the war, are nearly complete. persecution fleeing Nazi Germany. He spoke of the warm Unfortunately , the ‘Bury Times’ never published the planned welcome his family had extended to one such refugee, Wolfgang 1917-1919 volumes, so gathering the entries for these will entail Plessner. Wolfgang’s escape from Germany was arranged by going through the bound copies or microfilms of the newspapers Miss Hilda Buckmaster, a School Governor. The students themselves to locate and record the original obituaries and relished the opportunity to learn about life at BGS during this photographs. This will be a very time-consuming process. difficult period and to ask pertinent questions of Dr Maxwell. One of the 97 Old Boys of the School who died in the First Subsequently Mr Michael Oppenheim (BGS 1940-1947) has World War was Lieutenant Robert Taylor Hardman of the Special written a short article about the refugee lodged with his family, Brigade, Royal Engineers. He was killed on the disastrous First Ernest Sussman. Michael was just nine years old when Ernest Day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, aged 27, and is arrived in England and they both attended BGS. Ernest stayed in commemorated on the massive Thiepval Memorial to the England after the war and became a Mathematics teacher. Missing. A couple of years ago an identity tag and a whistle Michael and Ernest remained close friends until Ernest’s death belonging to Robert Hardman were kindly donated to the school. some years ago. It is planned to display these together with a photograph of him. Other refugees whose names are known to us are Hans Fessler, Unfortunately the picture accompanying his obituary in the ‘Bury Ernst Fraenkel and Joely Caniol. There were eight refugee Times’ is of very poor quality and Manchester University, from children in all. where he graduated in Chemistry, does not have a photograph of Articles written by Mr Victor Maxwell and Mr Michael him in its archives. I am wondering if any relative of his might be Oppenheim can be found on the alumni website able to help. They make for thought-provoking Walter Olivey reading; the families involved made a huge emotional, physical Another, earlier, military Old Boy was Lieutenant Walter and financial commitment to save the lives of strangers. Olivey. He died at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in 1880. Local History He is believed to have been the last The History Department is currently looking to increase the officer in the British army to be killed coverage of local history in its teaching programme. One aspect carrying the Queen’s Colours into of this is a planned project to commemorate the 65th anniversary battle. There is a magnificent of the Christmas Eve V-bomb attack on Tottington in 1944. Any memorial to him in the Roger Kay information which readers could supply would be very gratefully Hall, paid for by his former schoolfel- received. lows and unveiled in 1911. The school Mark Hone has recently been in touch with two of Walter Olivey’s relatives, Mr. Paul Geddes and Mr. James Heale, who have kindly supplied a large amount of fascinating information about him, including photographs, letters and newspaper articles. It is hoped that this information will form the basis of a talk and display about Walter Olivey and the Battle of Maiwand later in the year. Wartime Refugees We are keen to gather further information about the remarkable initiative undertaken by the School before the Second World War whereby Jewish refugee children from Germany were placed with host families in Bury. It had been agreed with the Headmaster, Mr Lord, and the Governors that the school would offer an education for 4 boys and 4 girls, provided homes could be found for them Lost Alumni – Our Reunite Service As the years go by, many of our former pupils unfortunately have difficulty keeping in touch with each other and often, owing to changes of address and circumstance, are unable to maintain contact for very long. We are always very pleased to help with reuniting “lost” alumni whenever we can; we are in touch with thousands of Old Boys and Girls and will always do our best to locate your old classmates for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like our assistance in finding old friends. Equally, we are always grateful to receive any information about the alumni we have still not been successful in locating. Please do take a few moments to view the Lost Alumni area of our website; if you have any details about the Old Boys and Old Girls listed, please contact Louise at the Development Office on 0161 764 1733 or email 11
  12. 12. The Key BGS Old Boys’ Annual Dinner Reports 2009 The Bury Dinner Other tables consisted of some young whippersnappers and some most distinguished gentlemen for whom the term Old Boy A good time was had by all at the annual Founders’ Day one might say has now become apt. Age had not (yet) withered celebrations. Guest of Honour at the Reunion Dinner on 8th them, I am pleased to report. May was Derek Calrow, who was attending his 52nd The formal proceedings began, after a few erudite words of CONSECUTIVE Old Boys’ Dinner. Derek is a passionate introduction from Edward Lord, with a fine rendition, by the supporter of the Schools, a Governor, Appeal Patron and Chairman, of The Carrigan Grace. Having disposed of Grace, the Chairman of the Development Committee, as well as Chairman proposed a toast to The Founders and Benefactors. committed parent, grandparent and Old Boy. He wore his Then came the opportunity for the participants to remember the many hats equally well as he reminisced about his days at fine words of The School Song and how to pronounce Latin. I school whilst also highlighting the ongoing Way Forward thought the rendition was quite tuneful. In time-honoured tradition, Appeal. The Headmaster brought the Old Boys up to date with all present then introduced themselves. the extremely busy and varied endeavours of the School. A highlight of the evening was Sir Brian’s speech. He Attending his first dinner as new Chairman of the Old Boys was reminisced in a most amusing manner about time spent in bomb former pupil and teacher, Melvyn Ince, who had the pleasant duty shelters at BGS during the war; the oratory culminated with Sir of presenting a Gerry Halpin original watercolour of the Schools to Brian proposing a toast to The Queen, Duke of Lancaster. his predecessor, John Hutton, on his retirement as Chairman after Another highlight of the evening was the review of the past year 9 years. at the School given by David Armsbey. Suffice to say, the School Amongst the 120+ Old Boys attending was Clifford Billings - is doing jolly well. Notable retirements mentioned were Malcolm the first time he’d returned to the Annual Dinner since leaving Curtis (Business Studies and Economics) and John Kendall school in 1940. Attendees travelled from far and wide, including (French). Mr Armsbey was careful to mention the perhaps Barry Henstock, who made his annual trip from Canada. apocryphal (origin certainly lost in the mists of time), Blue won at Old Boys who wish to receive the invitation for future dinners Oxford for his pugilistic efforts all those years ago by Mr Kendall. can do so by joining the Old Boys’ Association for a life The final speech, albeit prompted by the Q&A session towards subscription of £25.00. Please contact Michelle Bradshaw by the end of the evening, was given by Derek Calrow. Derek works email: or tel: 0161 764 1733. tirelessly for BGS and is actively involved in the ongoing fundraising work of the Development Office. It was a rare pleasure The London Dinner to have him attend a London Old Boys’ Dinner. He spoke about the association of BGS with Harvard and the Henry Dunster Society, The BGSOB London Dinner took place on Monday 11th May paying particular tribute to Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith and the in the splendid setting of the Strangers’ Room in the Reform work of Francine Healey, Development Officer of the School. Club on Pall Mall. Edward Lord arranged the event with his Sadly, there was no Lancastrian cheese nor were there any black customary aplomb. puddings. Whilst it would be impossible to mention all alumni present, David Shapiro missed his first London dinner in 25 years so I note must be made of Sir Brian Cubbon GCB, Derek Calrow had the responsibility of representing the Shapiros. (School Governor), Alistair Burt MP (Tory) and David Armsbey Marcus Shapiro (1981) (Second Master at BGS Boys, History teacher extraordinaire, return attendee after his triumph in 2008 and standing in for the There is an active BGS Alumni Group on the professional absent Headmaster). networking website LinkedIn – Summer Fun Day BGSB Parents’ Association held their second Summer Fun Day on 29th June 2008. Featuring a paintball alley, a giant slide, a juggling workshop, an auction, a climbing wall, an inflatable bungee run and many other attractions, the scene was set for a spectacular family day out. Despite being beset by inclement weather conditions, parents, staff and pupils put in a huge amount of effort and delivered a spectacular occasion, raising a grand total of £4,400 for the School. 2009 sees the return of this event and will feature many of the traditional favourite stalls and activities, as well as new features including a pirate ship obstacle course and CBBC’s Crocodile Joe who will be bringing a stuffed crocodile and a selection of live snakes. Braver spectators will have the opportunity to have their photographs taken with the snakes. 12
  13. 13. Home and Away – Old Girls’ Reunion Lunches Bury Lunch – October 2008 for our reunion to be told ‘oh yes Suzanne Gauge was contacted last year and asked if she would be you’re with the 1988 group - willing to organise a reunion for her year group. She embraced you’re in ‘the party room’. the challenge and enthusiastically organised one of the largest and It is amazing how the years most successful reunions for many years. We were delighted that melt away when you get together Suzanne’s interest in the Old Girls’ Association was renewed and even when you haven’t seen pleased that she has chosen to become actively involved with the people for 20 years. I would Association, taking on the role of Secretary. For further recommend the experience to all information about the OGA please do not hesitate to contact ‘old girls’. To be honest, it was a shame the day passed so quickly. Suzanne by email: or tel: 01706 632724. Suzanne Gauge 1988 Year Group - 20 Year Reunion London, May 9th 2009 Last year I Arriving at Tavistock Square the Saturday after Founders’ Day somehow found is one of the highlights of my year. I strive to look composed but it myself responsible is not every traveller who approaches London with a laptop, a for organising our 20 projector and 1lb creamy Lancashire, 1lb tasty Lancashire, 1lb year school reunion. crumbly Lancashire – and I could go on. The tradition of the I seem to remember Headmistress bringing Lancashire cheese from Bury Market to the that I received the London Branch OGA annual lunch and meeting was begun I call 3 weeks after believe by Miss Lester and it now gains me admission to one of the giving birth to my best lunches London could provide. It all appears as if by magic second child. On from various holdalls and wheeled cases, is co-ordinated in a way reflection, I only those educated in the best of northern schools could achieve wondered what on and tastes unbelievably good. earth I had agreed to! However, organising it proved to be a As you would expect, we all exchange stories as I come armed fantastic experience. Tracking people down was certainly with my contemporary BGSG anecdotes which are often trumped challenging but the more people I got in touch with the more keen by the memories of all of our London Old Girls. Anyone attending I became to contact everyone on the list. I was hooked. To be can tell you that the careers are rich and varied and that there is a honest, the job was made so much easier by the fact that nearly all great deal of pleasure to be had in exchanging news of the year my former school mates were up for the event and it was since we last met and sharing plans for the future. It is the School fascinating to find out what everyone was up to and where they which still brings us all together and this is friendship at its best. were in the world. Incredibly around 10 people were scattered This year we had the pleasure of being joined by two young Old across 4 continents. Girls studying at London University in their first year and I very In the end, we managed to get 40 people together. Ahead of the much hope that more may join next year. event the usual concerns surfaced with most people - would it all The story of the year this time must go to Mrs Enid Hunt who be about what people had achieved and how successful they were had discovered Miss Kitchener’s grave in Foxton, Cambridge. and, of course, what on earth will I wear? However on the day it Distressed by its state of disrepair she contacted School and the was all about renewing old friendships, seeing how the school had Governors agreed to finance its restoration. We looked at the changed, reminiscing about what we used to get up to in school - photographs comparing before and after and recognised again the all the old stories came out - and having a good laugh at old and in power of the school bond which led an Old Girl from a different most cases incriminating generation to respect the memory and rest of a former photos that had been dug up Headmistress. out of parents’ lofts! Sue Durrans and Brenda Parmiter presided over the event with I think our group was great warmth, were duly elected to continue and are to be thanked considered a little loud by us all for the organisation and energy which they give to our actually, probably fuelled thriving and very successful London Branch. Next year is in my by large quantities of diary (8th May) and the cheese is on order . . . alcohol. One friend arrived Bobby Georghiou May Gala On a wet and windy Saturday morning, it did not look as for Junior School pupils, though the annual May Gala at BGSG would be taking place fairground rides, stalls, outdoors as usual, but a brave decision by the organisers saw raffles, a balloon race and a the BGSG Parents’ Association open their ‘All-American’ Kindergarten fancy dress themed gala at 12 noon in bright sunshine. Although this soon competition. The whole gave way to intermittent showers, the afternoon’s entertain- event was accompanied by a ment and fund-raising for the school was not spoiled. fantastic selection of up-beat A highlight of the event was the visit from local celebrity and American tunes from the BGS Old Boy Andrew Nutter, who judged the ‘American Home School band. Baking’ competition. After sampling more than 25 entries, he The Parents’ Association awarded prizes to Simone Udwadia, Philippa Rogers, Faye Hughes was successful in raising and Shona Ali. over £6000 from the event Also on offer at the Gala were cheerleading demonstrations and for School funds. classes by the Heywood Cheerleading Squad, a “mad hair” parade 13