Notable Old Boys

Famous Old Boys by Doug Murgatroyd

This is a repeat of an article I wrote in the very first Old Boys newsletter around 2001. It is intended to stimulate further, more in depth pieces from you the readers on those mentioned below and the many others I have missed. I have included past pupils from the Lancastrian School for the obvious reason that our two schools amalgamated in 1972.

Numerous 1927-2001

Contemporaries of mine include Mike Elphick who I worked with at the Festival Theatre after he left the Lancastrian School and went on to star in Boon , Sergeant Schultz , One Up Two Down and more recently in EastEnders. Another Lancastrian Old Boy who made his name on TV was Bernard Price who left in the early 1950’s, did his National Service in the RAF and then learnt his trade in antiques at Whiteheads in Chichester. Bernard became a regular presenter on the Antiques Road Show and other similar programmes on BBC.

Howard Brenton is still a prominent play-write, but hit the headlines with his Royal Court production of Romans in Britain.

David Wood starred in a number of films – notably ” If ” – and award winning TV productions and is now widely accepted as the nation’s Children’s Play-write

John Snow, the outstanding English fast bowler of the 1960’s and 1970’s, did his A levels at Chi Hi after coming to us from Christ’s Hospital.

Tom Chadbon has appeared regularly in TV dramas since his role in “The Liver Birds”.

Chris Parr became a talented Director for the stage and radio and married Peter Ustinov’s daughter.

Malcolm Stoddart left in the mid 1960’s went into acting and has appeared in many stage and TV productions, notably as Charles Darwin in the TV production of Voyage of the Beagle a few years ago.

Keith Clark, who left school in 1963 to read Jurisprudence at Cambridge and went on to become Chairman of Clifford Chance, one of the City’s (and world’s) biggest legal practices.

The following were either from an era before my time or after I left. My uncle, who left in 1933, advised me that Alick Dick was a contemporary of his and he went on to become Chairman of Standard Motors.

Alan Arnell, who left school and played for Liverpool in the 1950’s. Other sporting successes have been Jamie Hall(son of Maurice Hall – schoolmaster at our School), who played regularly for Sussex County Cricket Club in the 1990’s; John Bartlett, who got a Blue for Oxford in 1948 and took 5 for 105 against Lancashire that year and went on to play for Sussex and Formula 1 motor racing was graced by Justin and Derek Bell. I am fairly sure too that Sir Jon Shortridge (Head of Civil Service in Wales, I think) and one of the Drake brothers got Rugby Blues for Oxford or Cambridge in the 1960s. Douglas Bunn was a talented equestrian eventer; he owned and managed Hickstead.

We should not forget members of staff who have excelled themselves. Titch Morris played rugby for Wales; Frank Haill played football as a left back for Fulham in the 1930’s in the first division as an amateur; Roger Quittenden was a regular International Rugby referee in the 1970’s; Rod Seally played for a great St. Luke’s side in the 1950’s as hooker and crowned his playing days by playing for the South against the All Blacks in the early 60’s.Taff Harries, the Art master for many years, played top class Welsh Rugby for Cardiff and later captained the RAF in the 1950’s before joining the staff.

In the field of public service Sir Dudley Smith MP became Under Secretary of State for Employment, Minister for the Army and later President of the Western European Union; Sir John Herbecq was Under Secretary for the Civil Service; Major General AC Ticehurst who was Medical Director General for UK Land Forces and Rear Admiral Richard Heaslip were also Old Boys.

To add to the thespian achievers mentioned earlier there are Neil Bartlett – Director of the Lyric Theatre and Adrian Noble, Art Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company plus David Horlock who was Theatre Director for various provincial theatres —– Geoffrey Marwood and Bill Wake have a lot to answer for!

Michael Jee (same infants, primary and secondary school as me) was at Cadbury’s for 36 years, and became head of the lipids section at their research centre at Reading; Tony (Oscar) Lake became a Director of Beechams.

Academia has probably benefited most and the rôle of honour in this field is littered with professors and heads of academic institutions. This branch probably deserves an article to itself at some time in the future.

In the field of Music there is a handful. Kenny Packwood was a quiet unassuming lad in the A stream and left just before his O levels in 1957 to join The Drifters – Cliff Richard’s first band. It is rumoured that the Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason went to the Lancastrians or the High School and there is someone, whose name escapes me, left school in the fourth year, in the 1960’s, moving to Basingstoke and became one of The Troggs of Wild Thing fame. Chris Bearman (Lancastrians) did not take up the violin until he was 15 and went on to become First Violin with the LSO and is now in Australia with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and his older brother Bob Bearman became Chief archivist for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

I would be really grateful if the readers of this article would send me their own articles to publish in this section or use the Forum to comment on the above article and or mention the many “famous” old boys I have missed!

Individual pen pictures that are submitted about notable old boys will appear in the Articles section.