Rydal Penrhos Society newsletter: May 2020
The first-ever digital newsletter for the Rydal Penrhos Society.
Rydal Penrhos Society
Newsletter: May 2020
From the Executive Principal
I hope that I find you safe and well at this most difficult time for everyone.
Please enjoy this digital edition of the Rydal Penrhos Society newsletter. I apologise for the length of time since you received the last one; as you will probably appreciate the last 18 months have been a turbulent time for the school and our focus has been on the current pupils.
Earlier this year the Chair of Governors, Julian Barnes (1957-67), announced an exciting development plan for the school, which followed on from the strategic developments which we began to implement in 2019: these are designed to ensure that the traditional ethos of Penrhos College and Rydal School are enshrined in a modern setting.
We want to provide our pupils with a well-rounded education where they can value their fellow human beings. In one of the great school stories “Tom Brown’s Schooldays”, Tom’s father does not send him to school so much as to learn the classics, but so that he will become a truth-telling honourable man.
That attitude is much needed and has become evident in recent weeks. We are especially proud of the contributions of our alumni, staff parents and pupils to the efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. For example, using our 3D printers we have manufactured more than 2,000 visors for local hospitals, care homes and pharmacies.
The school has remained open for the children of key workers and free accommodation has been provided for nurses, firefighters and police officers who were unable to return to their homes.
I am grateful for the significant support we have received from former pupils, not least the current committee. Once we return to some sense of normality, and when it is safe to do so, you are always welcome to visit the school and experience the vitality and good-naturedness of our pupils.
John Waszek – Executive Principal
A message from Rev'd Sissons
'Food for Thought' - a message from the Chaplain
On Maundy Thursday in Holy Week Christians traditionally remember the last meal that Jesus shared with his friends, at which he instituted the practice of Holy Communion, the sharing of bread and wine, which remains the central act for most Christians, performed in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice upon the cross.
The most famous depiction of the Last Supper is surely that of Leonardo da Vinci painted onto one of the end walls of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
The fresco took Leonardo around 3 years to paint, but he had little experience of working in this medium and his experimental pigments did not stand the test of time. This explains why the picture has undergone a series of restorations across the centuries, the most recent of which lasted 22 years and has now given us the best idea of what Leonardo actually painted.
Although many scholars have concentrated on analysing the figures gathered around the table, few have shown much interest in the actual food that he chose to put upon it. Yet what we find when we look there is quite surprising.
There is bread and wine, of course, but the bread is not unleavened as would have definitely been the case in the Upper Room, and there is no sign of any lamb, which would have been central to any celebration of the Passover. Some have suggested this may be because Leonardo was himself a vegetarian for most of his life; be that as it may, instead of meat Leonardo serves up for the disciples a decidedly non-kosher meal of eels, garnished with pomegranates. What is going on here?
Clearly Leonardo was not much concerned with portraying a realistic first century scene, but we know he didn't paint things just for fun, so what he chose to put on the table presumably has a message to tell. Remember that the mural was sited in a monastery dining hall, painted at one end of the room, creating as it were a space for the monks themselves to sit down with Christ and his disciples and share supper with them.
And as they sat at their own supper, eating in silence naturally, Leonardo may well have wanted them to ponder two symbolic foods on the table he had painted: eels and pomegranates.
Eel is eaten widely in Italy today, but in the artist's time it would have been a delicacy enjoyed only by the very wealthy and, as such, was often directly connected to the vice of gluttony. In his poem, the Divine Comedy, Dante places Pope Martin IV into hell because he was a glutton, who was particularly partial to eels marinated in wine.
Perhaps the presence of eel on the table in his Last Supper was Leonardo's way of reminding the monks (and, if we wish, us also) not to be slaves to our stomachs.
In contrast Leonardo included the pomegranate along with the eel, as a far more uplifting symbol for the monks to consider; in pre-Christian times this fruit was part of the Greek myth of Persephone, who returned each spring to bring life to the earth, and, therefore, the Church was happy to take it over as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ.
But it was also cherished as a very ancient sign of the Church: just as an abundance of seeds were contained within the single fruit, so the one Church contained a multitude of believers. I like to think that the motley monastery community, who sat in that room, would have found this worthy food for thought.
RP gets behind community efforts
Rydal Penrhos’ project to produce PPE for NHS staff and keyworkers across the region hit another milestone recently.
Design Technology teacher, technician James Bonser and Sixth Form pupil Jamie Lavery have been busy over the last six weeks, making protective masks that have been distributed across the community to assist in the fight against Covid-19.
The project has now surpassed the 2,000-mask mark thanks to their sterling efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic closure.
The school has received messages of thanks from those that have received the masks, which have proved exceptionally useful in this unprecedented time.
Gerwyn Jones, Practice Manager at Bethesda Medical Centre, said: “On behalf of the Doctors and all the staff at the Medical Centre, I wish to convey our thanks for the very generous gift of 10 face visors which were delivered yesterday.
“Thank you very much – your kind gesture is much appreciated.”
A crowdfunding page set up to increase production reached its £2,500 target thanks to a wealth of generous donations, and the Friends of Rydal Penrhos parent group donating £1,000 to further aid the fantastic work.
John & Margaret Haydon, Directors at Bryn Marl and Coed Isaf Nursing Homes, added: “We were very grateful to receive the delivery of the Visors for our staff to use during this awful time dealing with Covid-19.
“We and our 115 staff at Coed Isaf and Bryn Marl thank you for your generosity. Keep up the good work.”
Anyone with any materials to spare can email SJames@rydalpenrhos.com with the relevant information.
Those requiring PPE can also email Miss James with their specific request.
Those wishing to donate to the project can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/sarah039s-campaign-for-rydal-penrhos-limited.
Rydal Penrhos has opened up its boarding accommodation for critical frontline keyworkers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision comes after a local firefighter, who lives with an elderly relative, came to the school requesting assistance as he is unable to go home due to the risk of infection.
Coincidentally, the firefighter is also a former pupil and Rydal Penrhos will now offer this service to the wider community to assist further in the community effort relating to Covid-19.
Executive Principal John Waszek, said: “It is our duty to provide the community with whatever they need to help them during these unprecedented times.
“The world is in a difficult place and it is by working together and supporting one another that we will complete this journey.
“Our critical frontline workers are doing such a fabulous job throughout the region, and they deserve our help and gratitude.”
The school will respond to requests on a case-by-case basis, and this is the latest initiative organised by Rydal Penrhos.
Rydal Penrhos School is now offering free childcare for critical keyworkers of non-parents during the coronavirus pandemic.
The school has been providing care for children of Rydal Penrhos parents since last week but is now opening the offer to the wider community after contacting Conwy county council to offer their assistance during this difficult time.
John Waszek, Executive Principal of Rydal Penrhos, said: “Whilst as an independent school our staff are not technically part of the public service, I consider our moral responsibilities to the community mean that we must operate as if we are.
“To do otherwise would, in my opinion, be utterly disloyal. In addition, the school’s mission calls us to service, as does our charitable status.”
The service currently runs from 8.30am-5.30pm from Monday-Friday and those using the provision should bring packed lunches and snacks. Children will be kept busy with projects and outdoor activities under the supervision of staff.
The school is also willing to open earlier from 7am and stay open until 10pm if needed due to shift patterns. The age categories are from Pre-School to Year 9.
Two-year-olds are also being accepted but need to be potty trained. The school is not accepting turn-ups on any specific day due to staffing ratios.
Those attending must meet the critical frontline worker criteria outlined by the government, which can be found online, and trained first aiders are on site each day.
Prep School head Lucy Davies, who is coordinating the care provision, added: “We are practising social distancing at school but it is not practical to keep young children at a two-metre distance so there will be some instances of closer contact.
“We are carefully sterilising the environment each day and taking the temperature of all staff and pupils upon arrival.”
Former pupils join Covid-19 fight
A selfless former pupil has been living at a regional hospital to lend her support to the fight against coronavirus.
Eli Wyatt, who left Rydal Penrhos in 2015, is currently a medical student at Cardiff University and moved miles away from her family in Monmouthshire to work and live on site at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan.
She currently treating coronavirus and stroke patients and decided to volunteer after a plea for medical students and former NHS staff to provide their expertise during an unprecedented time of crisis.
Speaking to BBC Wales, Eli said: “To be able to help when I know that I’ve got the ability is a big privilege,” she said.
“I’ve always loved being part of a team… so being part of the wider team of the NHS at this point while we’re dealing with this crisis feels kind of empowering.”
Eli added that her family had been apprehensive about her volunteering amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but “knew” she had to.
The experience has brought with it some “demoralising” days treating patients who would not survive, which has been a real learning curve for the ex-pupil.
All final-year medical students will graduate early as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but their placements were optional.
“It’s a really tough thing for people to go through, especially in this environment, because a lot of the time they’re going through it on their own without their families,” added Eli.
Shaswath Ganapathi, who held the position of head boy at the school in 2015/16, is a medical student, and along with Faye Bate, another medical student from Ysgol John Bright school, have set-up a Facebook page designed to offer support and practical help to healthcare workers who need assistance.
He has recruited dozens of volunteers to the scheme, which aids those critical workers employed by the National Health Service will day-to-day things such as childcare and grocery shopping as they work long hours to combat Covid-19.
Shaswath, said: “More health care workers may face last-minute changes to rotas/schedules. Over the next couple of months childcare may become more strained – and thus having a network of support in place will become essential. Medical schools across the country have suspended most placements and are moving to online teaching. This is leaving a lot of us with time on our hands and the ability to help where we can. Most students will be DBS checked and reasonably responsible human beings, many of whom will have babysitting/tutoring experience.
“If you are a healthcare worker who lives or works in Conwy, Denbighshire or Gwynedd and need help with childcare (or even non-human care such as pet walking, feeding etc) please join our group.”
Anyone wishing to join the group, or for more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/498088910873802/.
Isabel Demel, who attended Rydal Penrhos from 2015-17, is a medical student at King’s College London, has been giving up her time to work with hospital staff both in the United Kingdom and in her native country of Germany throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
The 20-year-old is currently volunteering in an intensive care unit at one of Munich’s university hospitals, with universities across the country currently on shutdown due to social distancing measures implemented by the government.
Isabel, said: “King’s College London’s associated trusts are Guys & St Thomas Hospital and Kings College Hospital.
“I have been working first in the UK and am currently volunteering in intensive care in one of Munich’s university hospital as part of the COVID-19 crisis, which has been very tough.
“I hope everyone is well and safe and I can come up for a visit to Rydal Penrhos sometime very soon.”
The former Rydal Penrhos pupil was one of the real success stories from the school’s International Baccalaureate programme, with Isabel ending her academic studies with a phenomenal final mark of 44 out of a possible 45.
She held the position of Prefect during her final year of Sixth Form life and left a huge impact on all areas of the school.
Senior School head Sally-Ann Harding, added: “We are amazed by what Isabel is doing to help against the coronavirus pandemic during what is an incredibly stressful time for emergency services across the globe.
“She was a remarkable young woman during her time at Rydal Penrhos and it is no surprise to see her thriving as a medical student.
“Everyone at the school is enormously proud of her and wish Isabel the very best of luck during the remainder of her volunteering during Covid-19.”
Remembering RP family members
The school is very sad to learn of the death of Anne Perrin, matron of Costain in the 1970s and 80s.
Although there are few current members of staff who will remember Anne, many alumni will have vivid recollections of her. Her funeral was held at St Paul’s church in Colwyn Bay on Wednesday, September 11th.
Mark Sherrington, Head of Art at school and former boarder offers these words of tribute:
Pupils at Rydal will remember Miss Perrin as a force of nature. For perhaps three decades she cared for boys and girls in the Prep School as a matron. But of course like many support staff of the ’70s, ’80s and 90’s she was far more than just a matron. Boys from the ’70s and ’80s will remember “Ma Pez” with her bright red lipstick, immaculate hair and infectious smile with enormous affection. She was like a second mother to us, hundreds of miles from home, with no contact other than letters from our parents for months at a time. It was a time when there was only one phone in the Prep school, in Mr Underwood’s flat (the Headmaster), which we could use on our birthday only.
Miss Perrin was firm but fair. “Encouraging” us to do our hair, polish our shoes for chapel on a Sunday and fold the laundry. This was usually rewarded with a round of toast in her tiny kitchen, just outside her immaculate flat where she would make us feel special, listening to our worries and laughing at our jokes. On a summer’s evening, she would often be seen playing tennis with the same “joie de vivre” next to the outdoor swimming pool.
Her partnership with Mr Arthur Pitman, the housemaster of Costain House was legendary and together they ran a tight ship where humour was never far from the surface. It was clear that even though she ran the packing and unpacking of school trucks and the day to day running of the House with regimental efficiency (the relentless onslaught of laundry and button sewing), nevertheless she absolutely relished the company of young people. Her positivity, enthusiasm and empathy ran through everything she did and through every encounter she had with the boys and girls.
Even as an adult and long after her retirement one might run into Miss Perrin walking along the prom in Rhos (she walked everywhere and stayed fit long into her retirement) and she seemed not to have changed a jot. Her interest in you was genuine and her memory incredible. I am sure I speak on behalf of many old boys and girls when I say we feel lucky and grateful to have fallen under her care. Her infectious humour, interest and understanding made all our time at school fun. RIP Ma Pez.
Martin Alan Robertson (Rydal 1979 – 1984)
Martin was born in Liverpool in 1966, the second of three brothers – Paul Robertson (Rydal 1980-1981) and James, to parents John Robertson (Rydal 1942-1953) and Lisa. His early childhood was spent in Heswell, on the Wirral, and in 1977 he moved with his family to Singapore for his father’s work, before returning to the UK in 1982 and settling in Suffolk.
Whilst at Rydal, Martin boarded in School House, was a competent sportsman and had an uncanny ability, through his avid reading, to use the English language and communicate with humour and wit, developing relationships with people across the school community, no matter what year they were in.
Headmaster Peter Watkinson once said: “If I needed something to be done of real importance, I would choose Martin, because I could absolutely rely on him."
He enjoyed playing rugby in the Colts XV and the 3rd XV, with occasional run-outs with the 2nd XV He was also a very competent swimmer becoming Secretary and then achieving Captaincy of the school team. He made many friends at school, all who viewed him as someone with great values, strength of character and fun to be with. He valued these friendships from Rydal, maintaining some of them throughout his life.
When he first left school, Martin was a regular at the Rydalian Stratford Upon Avon dinner. Normally hosted by his good friend Diana Pheysey (nee Wilkinson - Rydal 1982-1984), a regular Rydalian group from the ’80s frequented Shakespeare’s home town, to recount the endless stories from school and share time together. Martin enjoyed these events attending his last visit to Rydal in June 2013 when there was a reunion organised for the alumni from the 1980s.
After leaving Rydal, Martin secured his first job with Norwich Union in Ipswich and continued to play rugby, with Sudbury Rugby Club. In 1984 – through the rugby club and mutual friends, Martin met Sam, who later become his wife in May 1992.
In the mid-1980s Martin joined the family business, John Robertson Ltd, which supplied UK and mainland European customers with sawn timber from Ghana and Indonesia. It saw him travel extensively to Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Vietnam and other countries. Martin worked in Germany and Indonesia for months at a time learning about the wood trade.
The business moved with the times and became a Suffolk based business that specialised in supplying some of the biggest pubs and hotels groups in the country with garden furniture and Bahama Jumbrella parasols. Martin and his brother James were co-directors of the business.
Martin married Sam in May 1992, and in the summer of 1996 their son Nick was born, with daughter Rebecca following in early 1998. After initially living in Long Melford, the family moved to a small village near Lavenham in 2004.
Martin had many interests and hobbies over the years. Rugby was a passion at school and beyond. He had a long- term involvement with Sudbury Rugby club. He was chairman of the committee responsible for their move from Great Cornard to new grounds.
He enjoyed swimming, sailing, skiing and canoeing. Martin was also involved with Friends of the Church of Preston St Mary, Sudbury Storms swimming club and the dog training group Norfolk and Suffolk HPR (Hunt, Point, Retrieve) Field Trial Club.
As Martin’s father says, “the remarkable attribute he had in life was to make friends. He was absolutely brilliant at it”, and it served him well, personally and professionally, to forge lasting relationships.
Martin was diagnosed with myelofibrosis – a rare type of cancer that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells in 2007. With regular checks, Martin spent 12 years living as normally as he could. By summer 2018, he needed a stem cell transplant, which he had at Addenbrooks Hospital in October 2018.
He was taken into hospital, very ill, on Mothering Sunday and died in hospital on the 28th May 2019, aged 52, leaving his wife, Sam, and their two children, Nick and Rebecca.
E. A. 'Whittle' Butterworth, RS 1945 - 1954.
He was one of 3 brothers, all of whom had the tag 'Whittle' following our father and his brothers in the previous generation, all of whom also were Rydalians.
Michael Silcock (OR) 1949 – 2020
It is of course with great sadness that I write about such a good chum and someone I knew throughout his time as a fellow boarder at Rydal (1957 – 1968). It is also with a lot of pride that I tell you of the legacy of his achievements and that his funeral was attended or remembered by 22 OR contemporaries. With their partners and all the Silcock family, over 120 attended his farewell.
His wish was to be remembered in St John’s Church in Colwyn Bay and to have the service conducted by the school Chaplain, the Rev. Nick Sissons. He duly conducted a very moving service on Monday 20th of January for which all were grateful.
Mike’s son Michael returned from Australia to deliver a very moving eulogy and daughter Daisy followed. They could not praise their father highly enough.
Many of you would not have known Mike, as you are too young, but you might have heard of him or have seen his name carved into many team and award plaques in the Pavilion. The following eulogy delivered on the day was made by George (David) Bishop OR (1962-1967), a 1st XV Captain, who played alongside Mike.
“It’s a privilege for me today to say a few words about Mike on behalf of the Old Rydalians who knew him.
Mike spent eleven years at Rydal starting at the Prep School and leaving the Senior School as Joint Head Prefect in 1968.
My prominent memories of Mike revolve around rugby, and it was on the rugby field that our friendship was forged; as fourteen and fifteen-year-olds, we were both part of a strong and sturdy pack of forwards. However, as we progressed through the age groups most of us, for some reason, seemed to stop growing, with the exception of Mike. I recall he returned from the summer holidays, at the age of sixteen, and he was transformed physically! Not only was he taller and bulkier but he was faster, so fast, that he later won the Diamond Cup 100 yards sprint at the school sports day.
At seventeen stone on the hoof, Mike was a fearsome sight on the rugby pitch. I quote from the report of the 1st XV game against a North Wales Schools XV “The final try was a beauty. Silcock received the ball on the run just in front of the pavilion. Two defenders were brushed aside and the full-back disappeared like a Vietcong in his dugout.”
In particular, there are three 1st XV games that stick in the memory. The away game against Llandovery College, coached by Carwyn James who later coached the victorious British & Irish Lions in New Zealand, was a hard-fought draw on an emotional day following the Aberfan mining disaster.
Ellesmere College, who had never beaten Rydal before, came to Colwyn Bay with a strong team, and a much-vaunted pack of forwards. However, that day we dominated them upfront and Mike had an outstanding game, comprehensively outplaying his opposite number, who was the current England Schools second row.
Mike also excelled in the Sevens team. I recall a gallant performance in the Rosslyn Park Schools Sevens against the eventual winners, Millfield, who were led by the great Gareth Edwards. Reporting for the Daily Telegraph on our victory in the North Wales Sevens, Wilf Wooller, O.R and former Wales international, wrote, “outstanding for Rydal was M J Silcock, a forward with a future”. How right he was, as Mike, who moved to prop in senior rugby, went on to play for Wilmslow RUFC and represented Cheshire in the County Championship.
One hears rugby commentators these days waxing lyrical about mobile props as if they are a new phenomenon. Mike was way ahead of his time. But for serious injuries, which put him out of the game for some time, surely more representative honours would have come his way.
Mike’s connection with Rydal Penrhos continued beyond his school years. Many of his extended family attended the school and he was active in various alumni societies. He was President of the Rydal Penrhos Society in 2008-09 and was a driving force in organising reunions for those in our year in both 2009 and 2019. Mike had a real talent for bringing people together. He was a great supporter of the Old Rydalian Golf Society over the years, encouraging old and new players to participate in the various competitions. In 1997 he donated the Silcock Salver, a trophy which is contested annually by Old Rydalians at Maesdu and Conwy.
Mike and I did not see much of each other over the years that I was an expat. However, I shall always be thankful that we renewed our friendship a few years ago when I returned to the UK.
Mike’s fortitude and stoicism during his long battle with cancer has been humbling to observe. Throughout he maintained his positive attitude, warmth and humour in the face of adversity. He was a big man in so many ways, a great character, a proud Old Rydalian and we shall all miss him. “
As a final comment, I would say that Mike would have loved to attend the Rydal Vikings dinner on Saturday 25th of January but, happily, his association with Rydal Penrhos continues through his children and grandchildren.
A privilege to have known him.
Julian Barnes OR (1957 -1967) Chair of Governors
Pamela (Matterson) Wilcox
Pamela (Matterson) Wilcox passed away on Sunday 18th February 2018 after a long illness called PSP which is similar to Motor Neurone Disease, she was in a nursing home in Macclesfield and attended Penrhos from 1960 -68 and we were in Yorke House at Westfield.
Pamela's brother John Matterson attended Rydal School from 1959 -1968, and Christine Matterson was at Penrhos Junior from 1957 until 1964 the three siblings attended the school for 25 years between them.
They attended the reunion for the l960's in April 2017 and caught up with friends from Rydal and Penrhos. She always liked to visit Penrhos and have happy memories of our time spent there. Pamela used to swim at Rhos Pool and played Lacross on the beach! Pamela and her sister went to Chatsworth at the invitation from the Duchess of Devonshire and met Old Penrhosians who were at Chatsworth in the war.
Pam became an Air Stewardess with BOAC now British Airways and married Robert Wilcox whose sisters Elizabeth, Edwina and Eleanor attended Penrhos and had two daughters, Lucy and Natalie. She then worked for many years at Manchester Airport and latterly John Lewis, Cheadle, Cheshire.
Paul Donald Stewart Slater (1959 – 2019)
Paul Donald Stewart Slater passed away on 22 February 2019 aged 59, after a battle with cancer.
Paul’s father, George, was also a solicitor, the senior partner of a law firm in the Potteries. Paul was educated at Rydal School and then studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was articled to Hand Morgan & Owen in 1982 and became a partner in the firm in 1989.
Amongst posts that he held were those of governor of Rydal School and St Dominic’s School in Stone. He was a member of the Board of Stafford Prison, a Rotarian, Chairman of Wilford House Residential Care Home and Clerk to the Parochial Church Council of St Mary’s Church, Stafford. At the date of his passing he had been Under Sheriff of Staffordshire since 2008 and remained an active member of St Mary’s Choir.
Paul’s partner at Hand Morgan & Owen, John James, said: “Paul was a gentle and kind man and an extraordinarily good lawyer who was much appreciated by his clients. He will be sadly missed.” Paul leaves a wife, Clare, and daughter, Geraldine.
Colin was Head of Music at Penrhos College from 1977 - 1981. Under the Headship of Mr Nigel Peacock, he succeeded Miss Kay Arthur and was succeeded by Mr Christopher Deakin.
He passed away very peacefully at home on the morning of 20th April, following complications of a congenital heart condition which had been diagnosed a few years previously.
Josephine (Mellon) Jones (known as José) PC 1934 - 41
Died on 29th November 2019 aged 96. She was one of the girls who was evacuated to Chatsworth House during the war and spent two years there.
Notification has been received of the following deaths since January 2019.
- Hon = Honorary Member of The Rydal Penrhos Society
- ** = detail unknown at time of publication
- CR = Common Room
- G = Governor
- Anne Perrin CR Hon RS 1959-92
- Rev Brian Holliday CR Hon(chaplain) RS 1967-79 **
- Anthony Swift RS 1953-56 **
- Richard Ashall RS 1955-61 **
- J Roy Willis RS 1945-53 **
- Philip Beresford Adams RS 1939-41 **
- Sonia Ankers CR Hon PC 1949-80 **
- Irene Baxendale CR PC **
- Sian McNaughton nee Ellis PC 1959-70 **
- Josephine Jose (Mellon) Jones PC 1934-41 **
- Anne Driver PC 1962-67 **
- Paul Barrow RS 1945-54 **
- Michael J Barltrop RS 1966-69 29/01/20
- R John Howard RS 1937-45 **
- Pamela (Matterson) Wilcox PC 1960-69 18/02/18
- John Simpkin RS 1951-52 **
- Christopher Povey RS 1963-66 **
- Valerie (Francis) Andrews-Jones PC 1943-50 **
- Philip TB John RS 1970-74 **
- Anne Beaumont RPS 2012-2016
- Paul Slater RS 1972-76 22/02/19
- Margaret (Heywood) Hewitt PC 1941-49
- Scarlett Salisbury RPS 2009-16
- Jayne Feather PC 1958-65 **
- Fee McCauley PC 1955-67 **
- Martin Robertson RS 1978-84 **
- EA Whittle Butterworth RS 1945-54 **
- Michael Silcock RS 1962-68 **
- Colin Atkinson CR PC 1977-81 20/04/20
- Terry Hemuss CR RS 1971-95 **
Mrs Davies' tribute to much-loved teacher
Terry Hemuss (1937-2019) – a reflection by Lucy Davies (OR)
The Rydal Penrhos school community was saddened to hear just after Christmas that Terry Hemuss had died suddenly.
Terry was a much loved music teacher at Rydal School from 1971 to 1995. I am sure that many former pupils will remember his quiet encouragement of all things musical and how he played such a pivotal role in some of our strongest school memories; I remember singing a solo in a school production of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’.
The song was actually the tongue twister, ‘Sister Suzie’s sewing shirts for soldiers’ and a group of girls attempted time and time again to remember our lines, sing them correctly, perform dance moves and keep in time.
It was Mr. Hemuss who played the piano over and over again, never once complaining…he really was the most brilliant accompanist.
Terry and his wife, Gwynne, moved to the Colwyn Bay area in 1971 when Terry took up his position at Rydal School, working with Percy Heywood, the Head of Music and Walter Jones, the organist. Terry was brought in to boost the instrumental side of music as the choral side was already very strong (well we are in Wales!).
This was a fantastic move by the school as not only was Terry an accomplished pianist and organist, he was also a competent clarinet and trumpet player. He founded an orchestra as well as smaller groups and encouraged every pupil to take up an instrument.
His wild collection of colourful socks always ensured that he could not be pigeon-holed by the boys as being a bit old-fashioned!
As the Prep School began to take on more girls Gwynne joined Terry in working at Rydal in 1978. They had three children, two of whom became pupils at the school.
Terry was a talented arranger of music and would write out parts for whatever instruments he had available for every concert. In my Upper Sixth I remember a fabulous concert that Robert Smith, the Head of Music, collaborated on with Terry and also choir members from the community whom Terry worked with.
We did an ambitious performance of ‘Carmina Burana’ by Carl Orff. I remember Mr. Smith telling us that we would be singing a collection of 12th century poems…in Latin! We were not impressed. However Mr. Hemuss hinted that many of the poems were too ‘racy’ to translate!
We never found out if this was true but we sang with much gusto! The singing at the annual carol services was also enhanced by the band of brass and wind instruments accompanying the singing with amazing descants all arranged by Terry.
Terry remained very active in the local music scene after retiring to Llandudno in 1994. He worked with the Llandudno Show Players and then became musical director for nine years for the highly acclaimed show-group, ‘A Touch of Class’.
This group raised thousands of pounds for local charities and Terry was very much the organiser. He also played a major role as organist at St. Paul’s Church, Craig y Don and even until late last year Terry continued playing the piano in local homes for the elderly.
Terry’s love of music was infectious, he was a very kind man who gave much to generations of music pupils as well as his local community and he will be sorely missed.
Terry’s funeral was held on Monday 20th January at St. Paul’s Church, Craig y Don where he played the organ for nearly twenty years.
Bumper schedule revealed
An action-packed schedule has been arranged for Founders’ Weekend 2020 at Rydal Penrhos.
One of the more prominent occasions on the school calendar will take place from Friday, September 18 to Sunday 20, with a wealth of exciting events taking place throughout the weekend.
The festivities get underway with the Golf competition, which will take place at Rhuddlan Golf Club and is set to tee off at 1pm.
The Founders’ Day Service, which celebrates those who formed the foundations of Rydal Penrhos, is taking place St John’s Church from 3.30pm.
There is plenty going on during Saturday’s activities, which open with the annual Girls’ Hockey competition where current and former pupils will battle it out for the Natalie Kate Moss Trophy from 10am.
Boys’ Hockey, which also takes place at 10am, is being played this year for the Dragons Trophy after a new initiative from ex-Head Boy Nick Fiorita and Harvey Holmes.
This will be followed by a Fox Trot Cross-Country run that begins at 11am from New Field, before Netball becomes the focus in the Sports Hall from 12pm.
Lunch will be served in the Dining Hall from 1pm ahead of the eagerly anticipated Vikings Rugby tournament, where former pupils compete for the Bleddyn Williams Trophy.
Saturday concludes with the Rydal Penrhos Society Annual General Meeting in the Hovey Room from 6pm and the Rydal Penrhos Dinner in the Ferguson Centre at 7pm.
Sailing makes a welcome return to the Founders’ Weekend calendar with a Rydal Penrhos Laser Pico Regatta from 10am on Sunday. There is a Family Bike Ride that begins at Penrhos Boat Park from 11am to conclude the activities.
Anyone that requires further information is urged to contact Sarah James at SJames@rydalpenrhos.com.
Heads of School
Messages from Ioan and Millie
I find it almost impossible to imagine life beyond the familiar sand-coloured walls of Rydal Penrhos.
There is something to be said for the place in which a person spends their formative years, and there is no doubt that my time at this school will have a lasting impact on me as a person.
By the time I leave, I will have spent nine years here; although I don’t remember what the school was like 30 or 40 years ago, I’m sure that the numerous and significant changes would make it seem rather unfamiliar to many former pupils.
The Senior School that I joined in Year 7 is in many ways not the same as the one I will soon be leaving. The classrooms are much the same, as are many of the teachers, but during that eight years we have had a series of infrastructural changes, around three hundred new pupils and, most important of all, new caterers.
Despite this, however, I strongly feel that there are many aspects of Rydal Penrhos that will always be the same, and I like to think that the experiences I have had here might be, in some small way, the same as the experiences of many of the other past and present pupils of our school.
I distinctly remember that the school felt much bigger in Year 7 than it is now; the hallways were longer, the Quad was wider, and the teachers were far taller. I remember frequently explaining to teachers that the reason I was late for class wasn’t because I’d been playing football by the side of the astro, but because I had got lost and accidentally gone down the wrong corridor.
It’s a great tragedy that this excuse no longer works, and so I’m forced to be (mostly) punctual. I remember also that as a Year 7 I was desperate to gain access to the school gym, a desperation which, to be clear, was very much fuelled by the desire to make myself as irresistible as possible to women, and had nothing to do with any general interest in sporting activities.
I was dismayed to have to wait two whole years before being allowed to go in there, but carrying the sheer volume of books, musical instruments and sporting equipment that I did, to and from my lessons every day, probably made me far stronger than I could have ever hoped to be from lifting weights.
I remember spending a Saturday morning walking up Glyder Fawr with around ten of my classmates. The complaints were all but endless, but I distinctly recall the feeling of shared achievement and relief upon reaching the top.
Walking down was a lot more fun. I remember what seemed like hundreds of trips to the Sychnant Pass in Years 7 and 8; to this day I have no idea what they were for, but we enjoyed them nevertheless. I remember sitting in a Pico with Abhishek, having only sailed once in my life before, and slowly but surely drifting further and further out into the Irish Sea whilst frantically, and hopelessly, trying to get the boat to point in the other direction, before gracelessly capsizing and having to be rescued by Mr Todd in the RIB.
I still haven’t learned how to tack. It is these experiences which have brought me so close to the people that I share a school with, and I can honestly say that I have made friends for life.
Ioan Peake-Jones - Head Boy 2019-20
As an 11-year-old, I was intimidated by the thought of going to Rydal Penrhos School, and this was made worse, on the very first day, by going to the wrong place.
I went to Lower School House (when it was still the building by the Fives Courts) instead of meeting at Reception with all the other students. I felt as if I would never get used to the endless corridors and different buildings which were so different to the tiny local primary school that I had come from.
However, after the first week, I was overwhelmed in a different way – with the huge amount of opportunities that were available to me. By the end of the first few weeks I had tried sailing, fencing, public speaking, played hockey, joined the choir and even learnt how to tie my tie in about five different ways.
I remember being so excited about my new subjects, particularly Religious Studies and English. And of course I eventually learnt my way around.
Now, I love seeing the new Year 7’s rushing around to try and fit all their activities in; my peer mentees always seem to be down at the beach or at a hockey match!
As I have gone through the school, I have seen lots of changes – not only in the school, but in myself. I have definitely gained confidence and have discovered where my strengths and weaknesses lie (mainly in the sports department in the latter instance).
Little things such as being able to speak to people more articulately are a testament to how this school has ‘raised’ me and the culture that Rydal Penrhos fosters.
My favourite part of the school year has to be the Christmas term – the busiest time of the year, but definitely the most fun. The RNLI concert and Christmas song contest, with Christmas Lunch served in order of victory, are some of my best memories in school.
The Rydal School site is ideal for Christmas decorations, and seeing the trees being put up across the school makes the dark evenings a little lighter. I feel sad that this year will be my last year experiencing the festive period as a student at this school.
My appointment as Head Girl has definitely highlighted how much I have invested in this school, and how much it has invested in me. I feel very privileged to be able to give something back and to represent the school community.
Being here has shaped me into the person I am today, and has shown me the importance of having an open-minded, optimistic attitude to everything I do.
Those around me would definitely agree that Rydal Penrhos isn’t a school which you come to from 9am until 4:30pm each day; when you join, your life is spent living as a Rydal Penrhosian 24/7.
If there was one word accurately to describe any member of this school, it would be: busy!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Millie Collins - Head Girl 2019-20
Messages from Fleur and Rupert
My name is Fleur Roberts and I’m head girl of Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School. I have been here since I was only 2 years old.
Being head girl makes me feel proud and has definitely boosted my confidence. I love being at this school as I have very funny friends and the teachers are amazing. They make me feel happy and proud of the work I have done.
When I was little, in Early Years, I had so much fun I didn’t realise I was learning really important stuff. This school has definitely helped me learn and it has been the best thing ever to be part of this preparatory school.
I like being able to look back, see what I used to do and watch other people learn the same things. When I was little, I loved to look at the older children and hoped one day I would be just like them.
When I first joined I loved playing with dolls and I can remember playing with a little doll set that I gave to the school. I love helping to lead the school council as the children come up with ideas and everyone is involved even at aged 4 years old. The teachers give us some real responsibility.
I hope next year I can go to the seniors and see all my friends in Year 7. It’s great that we can just continue at the same school. I also hope that someday, someone will be as proud as I was when I was chosen to be head girl.
Fleur Roberts - Rydal Penrhos Prep School head girl (2019-20)
My name is Rupert Barrington Chance and I’m head boy at Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School. I joined in Year 4 and settled in well.
Being head boy is a privilege because I get to do things other children might not get the opportunity to do.
I looked up to Ellis Lister-Brookes, the last head boy, because he did everything correctly and was an all-round good person.
I hope that people look up to me like I look up to Ellis.
When I started at Rydal Penrhos all the teachers were kind to me and if I ever needed help they would be there straightaway.
Rydal Penrhos School is good because they do out of ordinary things and make being at school really good fun.
Being head boy, to me, is a great achievement but in my class everyone is treated the same and that’s what I like the most.
No one person in my class is more superior than the other. The teachers always help if you’re worried or upset and are always there for you.
Everyone is equal.
Some of my best memories have to be when we went on a residential trip to Llanrug, the play in Year 4 and the pantomime last Christmas.
I once got lost for a whole lesson in Year 4 and ended up in the art room when I was meant to be in ICT. I was found by a Year 5 pupil and was soon re-united with my class.
I lead the School Council (along with Fleur). It is very active and we are always thinking of stuff to improve the school.
The teachers here really listen to the children. I hope that in the future someone will be as proud as I am to be head boy.
Mike Leach on Reunion Dinner
After such a truly remarkable evening/afternoon/weekend of the dinner organised in honour of Phil and I, I wanted to write to as many attendees as possible to thank you all for making such a great effort to attend.
I have put it on record to several friends since that the occasion was up there with some of the very best.
Without your endeavours to travel considerable distances in some cases, numbers would have been down and the efforts of Andy (Mr Persistence), Nathan (Mr Less-well-organised), Marcus (Mr In the background), and Sarah (Mrs Not to be argued with), and not forgetting Ed (Mr You’re in the way again Ed), would have been disappointing.
As it turned out, the final figure of over 140 was worth every ounce of their energy for which I have already written to thank them all.
Firstly, and purely down to the numbers that the occasion attracted, I failed to meet everyone on arrival and in some instances I never got to speak to them at all! Such are these celebrations and despite ones very best intentions, best laid plans do not always go according to plan.
Secondly, when saying a few words I forgot to mention a couple of what I considered to be important and/or necessary memories; for some these may be relatively unimportant but for me they encapsulate so much and just how important my time at School has been either as a pupil or a member of staff. Had I attended to my responsibilities properly on the evening we may have been eating breakfast there!
So, here we go:
· Ray Pitman, groundsman when I started and a tremendous influence in my life but whilst cricket mainly, himself an ex Hampshire CCC player, Ray was such a character, full of wisdom, knowledge, experience and a man with whom I could relate to so easily.
· Steve Jones, (WSJ) was my Housemaster in The Grange for my final four years of boarding. He was without doubt, another important member of staff in my life at that time. He always knew what was needed in order to move me on to the next important stage of my school career and I still have his letter in a drawer at home on my leaving. Sadly, he died very soon after I left and I recall sitting in the packed Memorial Hall with my head in my hands at the end of his service absolutely devastated.
· An incident when in London attending the Rosslyn Park National Sevens! Because we always booked two nights’ accommodation, in the event of the squad failing to qualify for the second day we would go out for a meal together and then I/the staff might allow some of the older pupils some “evening” time to peruse the sights of the area we were staying in, mainly Wimbledon. I, on this particular occasion agreed for four boys to go out as long as they were back at a mutually agreed time. So, yes you’ve guessed it, they were late so I decided they would not enjoy the comfort of their (Trochee Hotel, remember it?) bed, so directed them to the minibus on what was a rather cold night with only the days’ damp and dirty waterproofs as blankets!
Always wary of parental reactions, the father of one of the boys, (a very longstanding member of staff I hasten to add) tapped me on the shoulder in the Common Room on the Monday morning and as I waited for one possible response it was not to be forthcoming, instead just a “great idea” Mike and we had many a conversation on the back of it!
· Friendships: with rugby and school being my greatest source and many of whom I still enjoy meeting up with or keeping in touch with. Alongside these I refer to former colleagues with members of the PE department being at the top of the list. Having been there for a good “stint”, I have worked with dozens of dedicated colleagues who have always put the well being and development of pupils at the forefront of their work. My thanks go to them all for being such good people.
· For those who were unable to attend and found themselves at home, on holiday or living on the other side of the ocean, thank you for at least letting Phil and I know you were thinking of us. The videos on the night were something special and I hope in time Ed will be able to add them to the “record” of events in his finished version; thank you again Ed.
If you can attend the next dinner in September then I urge you to contact Sarah James and consider that the dinner was well worth the effort.
Closing this message is the hardest part. I was immensely grateful for the accolade. Along the way, I have some extraordinary memories, I value the strongest of friendships and hope that I have given back as much as I have received.
Thank you to all my family, without whom, things could have been very different. I am signing off but hopefully not for the last time unless of course I have forgotten something else!
Yours most gratefully,
Old Penrhosian Fund
Outsanding initiative continues
Former pupils Julia Bayton, Helen Pittaway, Feyi Raimi-Abraham and Biz Woosnam met for the AGM of the Old Penrhosian Provident Fund.
Mrs Bayton, said: "The fund has had a fairly quiet year so we thought it would be a good idea to remind people that we're here!
"The Fund exists to help former staff or pupils of Penrhos (must have spent at least part of your time at the Llanerch Road site), who find themselves in difficulties. We're funded by donations and bequests and are independent of the school.
"We're a small charity and can't help with large ongoing needs such as nursing home fees, but we aim to help people who find themselves in difficult circumstances to get back on their feet by giving small grants or loans.
"Please get in touch if you wish to apply for a grant, and share the info with any other Old Penrhosians you think could benefit. You can also get in touch with me directly, or with any of the other trustees, if you prefer."
Anyone wishing to require more information about the Old Penrhosian Fund can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rydal Penrhos Society
Diana (Brocklehurst) Wetherill is seeking to reunite with Old Penrhosians who live in Yorkshire.
She attended Penrhos College from 1951-60 and anyone wishing to get in touch can do so via email at email@example.com or by phone on 01924 465889.
Rose Susan Bell-Davies born January 2019 to David and Jessica Bell-Davies (Rowley PC 1992-1999)
Anna Stevenson and William Pullman attended Rydal Penrhos right through from nursery at the prep school, throughout the senior school and sixth form, and fell in love on a school ski trip when they were 15 years old.
Ten years later they got married and Anna's mum and dad taught at the school too (Mr & Mrs Stevenson) and so many of their still very close school friends were at the wedding.
Lani - RPS 2005-2012 with Jean Luc - 2005 - 2011.
Shirley - 2010 - 2013 with Valentin - 2009 - 2013
Rydal Penrhos Society
Michael Arditti’s latest novel explores the life of King David through three of his wives in what has already been hailed as 'the #MeToo movement meets the Old Testament'.
Previewed in the press as one of the books to look out for in 2020.
The Anointed was published on 22 April and is now available to purchase.
Simon Braithwaite was appointed into a prominent leadership position at a school in the North West recently.
The former pupil earned the role of Headteacher at Bury Church of England High School shortly before the coronavirus pandemic.
We wish him the very best of luck in his new role.
Alex Sharples, who left the school in 2016, was accepted on to the prestigious CTC Aviation School, which has seen him undertake a gruelling and highly advanced series of modules in the hope of securing employment at the end of the programme.
Part of this saw Alex reside in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he successfully completed his foundation flying training on an aircraft called the DA20 Katana.
The 21-year-old also spent considerable time enhancing his skills in multi-engine aircraft DA42, and he logged hundreds of hours of experience before returning to the UK for his multi-engine instrument rating.
After coming through his practical and written assessments with flying colours, Alex has now been offered a first officer position with EasyJet, where he will be flying the Airbus A320.
He said: “It’s been hard work. My first year was all theory exams. I had to do 14 exams in the space of six months, each exam is around 50 questions and it was a 75 per cent pass mark.
“Classes started at 8am and finish at 4pm Monday to Friday. I found each subject very interesting as it was about something I am very passionate about.
“For example learning the in-depth technical details to how aircraft generate lift, how aircraft use satellites and ground-based navigation aids to navigate around the world, learning how to plan commercial flights with regards to fuel and mass and balance and a lot more.
“Thank you to all my friends and family for all their support throughout my training and helping me to make my dreams come true.”
Jessica Maudsley, Mili Jayadeep, Sara Owen and Becky Lawton, successfully completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award after coming through the final stages of a strenuous assessment process.
The quartet managed to secure the exceptional distinction under the expert guidance of programme co-ordinator Dr Jim Lewis to ensure she adds her name to the long list of success stories emanating from Rydal Penrhos.
In order to achieve the accolade, they had to take part in gruelling expeditions under testing conditions along with other candidates, and all four attended a ceremony at a royal venue with other successful pupils from across the country to receive their awards.
Cyd Cowley, who left the school in 2015, was the special guest at the latest Scientific Society lecture on Tuesday, January 28 in the Carnegie Room.
The former pupil discussed the topic of ‘Researching Fusion’, where he will talk about his experiences with the complex topic as a PhD student.
He also spoke on the way technology can combat the current energy crisis, and how nuclear fusion is affecting our society.
Cyd was an immensely strong academic during his time at Rydal Penrhos, scoring an exceptional 44 out of a possible 45 points from his International Baccalaureate examinations, which put him among the best in the country in 2015 and was one of the highest scores in the school’s history.
This followed on from a truly extraordinary set of GCSE results, where Cyd attained A* grades in all subjects.
Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, said: “We are always thrilled to welcome back our former pupils, who are always looking to assist the next generation with their academic progress whenever they can."
Sean Lonsdale, who attended Rydal Penrhos from 2011-15, has agreed a long-term extension with Exeter Chiefs after impressing considerably during the campaign before it was brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 22-year old has made 31 appearances for the Chiefs since joining the club from RGC 1404 in 2016. He is one of the real success stories from the school’s programme that has produced a wealth of professional players and youth internationals in recent years.
The talented forward will now look to progress even further with the top-flight outfit in the coming years to enhance his reputation as one of the brightest young players in the country.
Rob Baxter, director of rugby at Exeter Chiefs, said: “Sean is one of those stories you really like, rugby-wise. He kind of came as an academy player, although he didn’t actually come through our academy. He took a chance by leaving Wales and investing in that change of rugby environment.
“He’s still young, getting involved in games now, and he’s got that ability to play right across the back five, which has made him a really valuable member of the 23 on numerous occasions. It’s one of those things you like to talk about as a success story, in a way, as a young player who has come here and worked hard and is reaping the rewards almost week by week.
“He’s never let us down and he’s improving all the time. As well as all the important games he’s played in, myself and Rob Hunter [forwards coach] can still see that good element of development in him.”
Lonsdale is referred to as a “silent assassin” by Chiefs’ coaching staff and Baxter hopes the player can not only progress his own game in the future, but also inspire other youngsters who are looking to follow in his footsteps.
Elishia Phillips, who left the school in 2016, is studying Drama at the University of Chester, took on the North West Tough Mudder in Malpas, Cheshire in aid of Ataxia UK.
This is a charity that is close to the heart of Elishia, with friend and fellow ex-Rydal Penrhos School pupil Scarlett Salisbury suffering with the condition until her passing last year aged 21.
Elishia, who also works as a booking administrator at the Zip World Centre in Llanrwst, was joined at the event by Scarlett’s brother Henry.
She greatly surpassed her target thanks to a wealth of donations that eventually came to £1,900.
She said: “Scarlett was such an inspiration to everyone.
“My friend never let it overcome her, or become her main personality trait, and she inspired me and so many others with her determination and strength.
“The Tough Mudder was so much fun and I would like to thank all those that donated.”
The school recently raised almost £800 for Ataxia UK in Scarlett’s honour following donations from its recent Creative and Performing Arts evening, which the 2016 leaver was an enormous part of before moving to Bangor University.
They are also held a Charity Ball in memory of Scarlett and Tom Watson on Friday, October 11, with all proceeds split between Ataxia UK and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Scarlett was a massive part of school life from 2009 until 2016 and she left behind a fantastic legacy at Rydal Penrhos, where she thrived in her role as Prefect during her final year at the school.
Tree planted in memory of former pupil
Scarlett Salisbury, who attended the school from 2009-2016, sadly passed away on March 18, 2019 and Rydal Penrhos held a tree-planting ceremony on the anniversary of her untimely passing.
Mr Jeremy Salisbury, who is Scarlett’s father and a member of the school’s Governing Body, was in attendance, in addition to her brother and ex-Head Boy Henry Salisbury.
Current Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and Head Girl Millie Collins represented the student body at the short ceremony, with Executive Principal John Waszek, Senior School head Sally-Ann Harding and Head of Pastoral Care Alison Hind were present on behalf of the senior management team.
A considerable number of current and former staff members were also in attendance to honour Scarlett, who left a lasting impression on Rydal Penrhos life thanks to her unrivalled enthusiasm and determination.
The Cratageus laevigota tree will produce Scarlet blossom once fully grown.
Mrs Harding, said: “Scarlett was an inspiration to us all, she was always remarkably resilient and positive even when the going was tough.
“She was highly respected by both her peers and all of the staff that came into contact with her. She made the very best of every opportunity that came her way and was always determined to find a solution for herself without having to rely on others.
“Resourceful and reflective are two of the adjectives that immediately come to mind when I think of Scarlett, but also caring with an iridescent glowing charm which affected all of those around her. Her smile, sense of humour and fun were infectious.
“She was a role model to us all and a tremendous addition to the Rydal Penrhos family.”
Reflections from Marjorie (Hogg) McDonald
As the anniversary of VE Day 75 years ago approaches, I started to reminisce about my days at Penrhos College and where we were on VE Day.
Penrhos had been evacuated to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire for the 6years of WW2. All schools were sent from the coast to the middle of Britain and we were the lucky ones that spent that time there.
My twin and I (The Hogg Twins) were sent to Penrhos as a result of the Clydebank blitz in 1944 and spent 18 months at Chatsworth. It was not like the usual boarding school as I slept in The State bedroom with about 15 other girls, and Nance was in the State bedroom!! We took for granted the lovely decorated ceilings as we lay in bed at night, and sang in the Painted Hall at assembly sitting on the steps.
Skating on Long Water in the freezing weather and going to bed with hot water bottles, which were cold by the time we got back to our beds!!
Looking back 75 years, when VE Day came, I was 15 years old and our celebration was a bonfire overlooking Long Water with the Emperor Fountain working for the first time in six years.
Nance and I were supposed to be going back with my friend Joy (Wilkinson) Wild to relive the day the war was over. However it has been put on hold because of the Coronavirus, but we hope to be able to go sometime later. Nance Hutton lives in Toronto, Canada, so has a journey to make.
There are a few of us that are still around--maybe they will get in touch with you to tell their story of VE Day.I keep in touch with Joy, and Gill Hill, Nance and Anne (Baker) Mills in Toronto and hope to meet again sometime.
I feel proud of the effort the Rydal Penrhos pupils are doing in these difficult times.
Thank you for your "war effort" making masks for the NHS.
Marjorie (Hogg) McDonald.
Rydal Penrhos Society Golf Report 2019
Silcock Salver 25/26 April 2019
We had another successful Spring Meeting at Maesdu and Conwy golf clubs but were not fortunate with the weather this year, having heavy showers at Maesdu and a drizzly morning at Conwy.
27 attended the dinner in the Promenade Room at The Imperial Hotel on the Thursday evening, including John Waszek, the school’s Executive Principal. Once again a wonderful sum of £500 was raised for the Donald Hughes Memorial Fund.
The leading scores were:
- 1st Guy Watson 36 + 37 = 73 points
- 2nd John Millington 33 + 33 = 66 points
- 3rd Dave Abraham 27 + 30 = 57 points
Denis Delahunt and Steve Roberts tied on 72 points for the Johnny Williams Cup, Denis winning over the last nine holes of the second round. Liz Bruynooghe won the Ladies’ prize with 56 points.
Marsden Trophy 18 June 2019
This year we returned to Tim Williams’ club, Brocton Hall, in Staffordshire.
The twelve who played enjoyed this undulating parkland course situated near Cannock Chase and were indebted to Tim and his wife, Anne for organising our Summer Meeting. The course was playing long after a recent wet spell of weather and the leading scores were:
- 1st Steve Garge 32 points
- 2nd John Millington 32 points
- 3rd Dave Abraham 31 points
Steve beat John on a card play off and retained the trophy which he won at Knutsford in 2018
It is hoped to hold the 2020 Marsden at Delamere Forest golf club in June.
Pochin Cup 27 September 2019
Sandiway was once again the venue for the Pochin on a showery day with very little run on the ball following recent wet weather. This was reflected in the scores which were:
- 1st Dave Abraham 32 points
- 2nd Andy Hurst 30 points
It was good to welcome Howard Marshall who joined us for supper after the golf. Thank you John for helping to organise another successful day at Sandiway.
The 2020 competition will be held at Sandiway on Friday 25th September
Founders’ Weekend Golf 20th September 2020
It is hoped that the 4 way match between pupils, staff, parents and alumni played for the first time in 2018 will take place on the Sunday of Founders Weekend. Details will be available later.
Please contact Guy Watson on 01492 532230 email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss any of the above.
Guy Watson - Golf Secretary