Old Salopian News

Please find below news of Old Salopians, accounts of OS events, and School news that either involves Old Salopians, or is of particular interest to them.

Some sections of the Old Salopian website also have their own news pages - all sports news, for example, will be also be found on the OS Sports News page.

Please follow the link on the left to the page on our twice-yearly magazine 'The Salopian'.

Due to the volume of general OS news that gets onto this page, we are only showing one term of news at a time.  To view news from previous terms, please use the links below, on the right of this screen.


Wednesday 22 March 2017

  • Evensong at Westminster Abbey

    Evensong in Westminster Abbey is magical enough but, when combined with a subsequent tour with expert guides organised by Gavin Williams (Chaplain 93-02), it is not to be missed. Monarchs, statesmen, poets and scientists (including Charles Darwin OS) are all honoured there, even Britain’s oldest man, Tom Parr from Alberbury, Shropshire (allegedly 152 years and 9 months!). The fortunate group of Salopians were then treated to wine and canapes, kindly provided by Claire Williams in the Camden Room, Westminster School. An evening well worth braving Storm Doris to get to!

  • Young OS Party

    Despite the counter attraction of Six Nations Rugby on a Friday evening, about 60 young OS gathered in the lively surroundings of the Blues Kitchen, Brixton, on the evening of Friday 10th March for drinks accompanied by welcome platters of food. Although audibility became more of a problem as the music volume increased (!), OS contemporaries clearly enjoyed meeting up and look forward to another gathering planned for the summer. Particular thanks are due to the Joint Young OS Chairs, Henry Unwin and Felicity Davies, for organising such a successful evening.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

  • The Salopian Club Annual Birmingham Dinner

    Richard Woodgate and his Birmingham Committee can always be relied upon to produce a typically stylish Salopian evening, and this year’s OS Birmingham Dinner proved no exception. The cuisine was better than ever, the musical entertainment from John Moore and his pupil singers never disappoints, and our President, Air Marshal Sir Michael Simmons, eloquently addressed the Salopian gathering without a note. Even without the presence of some regulars who had unaccountably absconded to the Cheltenham Festival, almost 40 Salopians sat down to dinner. As always, one of the spring highlights of the Salopian calendar. 

Monday 20 March 2017

  • Salopian Club Sports Committee Annual Meeting

    The Annual Meeting of the Salopian Club Sports Committee took place on 22nd February at the offices of Stephenson Harwood, Finsbury Circus.

    OS sporting representation has been increasing steadily and it was good to see that there was a great turnout, with most sports represented.

    The minutes of the meeting can be read via this link.

    Pictured from left: 

    George Blakemore (Rt 01-06) Football

    Tony Barker (DB 68-73) OS Treasurer Elect

    Ben Stirk (M 91-96) Squash

    Rupert Parry (Ch 04-09) Squash

    Peter Stewart (Ch 58-63) OS Club Chairman

    James Pitt  (S 79-84) Yachting

    Bryan Yick  (M 10-15) Basketball

    Miles Preston  (DB 63-68) Sabrina

    James Tucker  (I 04-09) Football

    Rob Cutler  (Rt 84-89) Golf

    Chris Hughes  (SH 04-09) Fives

    Richard Boys-Stones  (SH 68-73) OS Club Treasurer

    Portia Hibbert  (MSH 08-10) Ladies Sport

    Rob Hillman  (M 94-99) Saracens

    Annabelle Brentnall  (MSH 09-11) Ladies Sport

    Peter Birch  (DB 66-71) OS Sports Chairman

    Also present – Nick Jenkins, OS Club Director.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

  • "Shrewsbury School music at its very best"
    A review by Mr Middleton of last Sunday's stunning concert in the Cadogan Hall, London, performed by the School's Wind and Symphony Orchestras and combining current and Old Salopian musicians.

    Any review of a Shrewsbury School concert runs the risk of very quickly exhausting available superlatives.  Forgive me, therefore, if I begin by proclaiming that the quality of musicianship at Sunday evening’s concert in London’s Cadogan Hall and the electric energy of the programme really had to be heard to be believed.  This was Shrewsbury music at its very best.

    After a Friday evening concert in the Alington Hall for pupils and the local community, two coachloads of musicians travelled down to London early on Sunday morning for a few snatched hours of rehearsal ahead of an evening performance in the grand venue of Cadogan Hall. 

    Following a reception for Old Salopians, parents, guardians and other friends of Shrewsbury School, the concert opened with Sir Malcolm Arnold’s rousing Scottish Dances performed by the Wind Orchestra and conducted with typical verve by Maria McKenzie.  As a Scotsman recovering from the humiliation of the Calcutta Cup the day before, the ebullience of the four movements did wonders in restoring my deflated mood, the soaring flutes and earthy clarinets almost transporting me back to the heath and heather of homeland. Ah, ye bonny banks and braes…

    There was no time to become too misty-eyed and home-sick, however, for there soon came the first of the solo items: Steffan Williams (O) performing the first movement of Horovitz’s Euphonium Concerto. This was an extraordinarily complex piece played with aplomb by this highly talented musician, a final year student who is off to study Human Sciences at Oxford University next year and is no doubt destined for great things.

    Greatness was likewise evident in the extraordinary performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major by Nateewet Ruechuseth (Ch).  Played from memory and with an exhilarating energy combined with control and poise, the performance was a tour de force and an outstanding achievement from such a young musician.  Four hours of practice a day, I’m told, is what it takes to play to this kind of standard, and I don’t doubt it, such was the faultless quality of the performance. 

    Similar poise and effortless musicianship was evident in the third of the solo items, Upper Sixth Former Jemima Price taking the stage to perform Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra.  We were treated to yet another masterclass, with Jemima’s beautiful tone and timbre mellifluously rising and falling with the cadence of the piece. She fully deserved the rapturous applause that was bestowed upon her by an appreciative and highly impressed audience.

    As we moved towards the Interval, we were treated to the glorious Finlandia by Sibelius, a rousing hymn to the composer’s home nation underscored by a political tension resulting from the oppression of Russian rule under Tsar Nicholas II.   The context of the piece is fascinating, but as a piece of music it is sublime and a fitting way to end the first half of the concert.  Most wonderful of all was the fact that the piece was conducted by Old Salopian Henry Kennedy (I 2009-14, who is now studying clarinet and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. His energetic command of the orchestra on the conductor’s rostrum was enthused about over half-time glasses of wine by audience members drowning in superlatives.

    A shorter second half provided us with two final gems: Haydn’s ‘London’ Symphony in D Major and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No 2.  The first is a firm favourite amongst Salopians and the Cadogan Hall was, of course, a fitting occasion to perform this work commissioned during the second of Haydn’s two London residencies in England.  First performed at the King’s Theatre on 4th May 1795 led by the composer himself, Haydn wrote in his diary that “the whole company was thoroughly pleased and so was I.  I made 4000 gulden on this evening: such a thing is possible only in England”.  The Shrewsbury School version was conducted by Director of Music John Moore who, whilst not earning 4000 gulden for his efforts, can nevertheless be equally pleased with the performance of the symphony and the skilled manner in which his musicians brought the piece alive.

    I hope I haven’t exhausted the superlatives entirely, for the final piece, certainly for me, was the most memorable performance of the evening.  With an orchestra composed of pupils, staff, music teachers and Old Salopians, we were soon given something quite strikingly different to Haydn with the hypnotic swish and sway of the Mexican composer Márquez.  In his own words, the Danzón is “a music full of sensuality and qualitative seriousness… which old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape toward their own emotional world.”  The six-strong percussion section were in their element on bongos, snare, timpani, bass drum, maracas and woodblock, and John Moore seemed to be less conducting and more dancing, such was the fun he seemed to be having with the music.  It was infectious and whilst the audience showed suitable English restraint and limited their outpouring of emotion to the odd tapping of toe or nodding of head, the finale was met with a standing ovation from members of the audience and even a whoop or two (possibly from the Headmaster). 

    John Moore once again created a mesmerising evening of music along with his team of staff and of course his wonderful musicians both Salopians present and past.  Bravo!

    A footnote from Director of Music, John Moore:

    I would like to express my deep gratitude to those Old Salopian Musicians who gave up their Sunday to come and take part in the concert: Chris Carver (viola), Patrick Craig (harp), Ollie Darrington (percussion), Sam Grainger (viola/recording engineer), Richard Hudson (trombone), Andrew Hughes (cello), Louise Hughes (Violin) (OS Elect), Henry Kennedy (clarinet/conductor), Laura Nightingale (cello) Henry Southern (percussion), David Theodore (oboe), Alastair Thomas (bassoon), Henry Thomas (trumpet).

    We are immensely proud of these wonderful musicians, and it was also so heartening to see many more OS musicans during the course of the day and in the audience at the concert in the evening. Following on from the highly successful Epiphany Evensong in St Mary-le-Bow Church in London in January, the Cadogan Hall concert further strengthens the links between the School and its wonderful extended Salopian community. We will hope to plan more events for the future, and what our pupils gain from this contact is immeasurable.

    Floreat Salopia.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

  • James Taylor's New Interview for the Daily Telegraph

    James Taylor (R 03-08) has given a detailed interview to the Daily Telegraph, in which he describes living with the heart condition which nearly killed him. Nick Hoult, the cricketing news correspondent, uses the word 'positive' throughout the article and this is a term we have become accustomed to seeing applied to James in the aftermath of his initial illness. Nevertheless it's a moving piece, which pulls no punches about just how scary and unpredictable the condition is and how extraordinary the effects are when the automatic defibrillator fitted in Taylor's chest fires up and throws him across the room.

    You can follow this link to the article, which is well worth a read and we continue to wish James the very best.

  • Naming Ceremony for Newly Donated Boat.

    The 22nd February saw the Shrewsbury School Boat Club gain a new stable member when a new Empacher VIII was named and launched from the boathouse.  The new boat was generously donated by Jonathan Beeston (Rb 95-00) who was a member of the 1st V111 in 1999 and 2000 and Captain of Boats in 2000. The boat was named after Jonathan's father Robert Beeston, who was sadly unable to attend, but both Jonathan and his Mother, June were there, along with the Headmaster and Sabrina Captain Nick Randall (O 72-76).

    In the calm before storm Doris the ceremony went off perfectly and the new boat was able to take to the river in good weather.

    Master in charge of rowing, Athol Hundermark, said: 

    "It was fantastic to have the former Captain of Boats, Jonathan Beeston, at the boathouse not only to name the new boat but also to share some of his experience with the current 1st VIII and Captain of Boats. One of the biggest assets we have as a club is the support of former pupils, who do so much to keep the Boat Club at the fore in our sport, and also to help current pupils realise the fantastic traditions they are part of and the opportunities they have. We are extremely grateful for the generous support offered by Jonathan and the Beeston family over the years."

    Pictured above: Jonathan Beeston (Rb 95-00), Headmaster Mark Turner and June Beeston.

    Below, the new boat in action.

Monday 27 February 2017

  • OS Players Make the Final of the Barber Cup

    Many congratulations to the OS Fives Club, who once again reached the final of the Barber Cup this year. We received the following report from Secretary Chris Hughes (SH 04-09):  

    The OS Fives Club played in the final of the Barber Cup on Sunday 26th February. Unfortunately we lost 2-1 to what was obviously a very strong Olavian side.  Their side consisted of 4 Kinnaird Winners and a Kinnaird Semi-Finalist.  

    However, it wasn’t all bad news.  We won at pair 3, George Thomason (G 06-11) and Tom Cox (M 00-05)  playing a very tricky Olavian pair, eventually winning 3-1.  So we are making progress.

    Myself and Henry Lewis (I 07-12) came up against Seb Cooley and Howard Wiseman at pair 2.  We were beaten 3-0 however the game of fives was probably one of the best I have played in.  Apart from some errors we were in every rally and was a great game, unfortunately Seb is a freak of nature and we are not.

    Ed Taylor (Rb 87-92) and Ian 'Hutch' Hutchinson (O 78-83) lost at pair 1 3-0.  I didn’t get to see much of this game, but playing against a very well-oiled Toop and Wiseman is always going to be very hard.

    We shouldn’t forget that although we have been getting to the final most years, it really is an amazing feat to get there and it takes a lot of work from all involved to ensure that we continue to be in the top echelon of Old Boys Fives.

    It was great to have Richard Barber (SH 55-60) watching, as well as Mike (& Jenny) Hughes (SH 75-80), Sam Welti (I 07-12) and his poor other half. 

    We are going to win this trophy!


Friday 24 February 2017

  • Ursule Taujanskaite wins the Sidney Gold Medal
    The Sidney Gold Medal is Shrewsbury School’s most prestigious academic prize, and is awarded to the outstanding academic leaver each year.  We are delighted to announce that this year's winner is Ursule Taujanskaite (MSH 2014-16). 

    Since the introduction of co-education in 2008, many highly talented and high-achieving girls have been at the School, but Ursule becomes the first female winner of the Sidney Gold Medal.

    Ursule left Shrewsbury in July 2016 and is now an undergraduate at Selwyn College, Cambridge, studying Psychological and Behavioural Sciences.  At Shrewsbury, she undertook the rare challenge of studying five full subjects in the Sixth Form, and gained 4A* grades and a D1 in her Upper Sixth exams, all with outstanding scores.  She achieved A* grades in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry, whilst in French she gained the top D1 (Distinction 1) grade, which is loosely described as being equivalent to A**.

    Thane Warburg, Ursule’s tutor wrote as follows: 
    As her French teacher it was immediately apparent that she possessed a heady cocktail of incisive intelligence way beyond her years, an extraordinary work ethic and genuine linguistic flair.  In common with many of the brightest pupils I have taught over the years, she did not seem to realise how exceptional she was and it was quite common for her to doubt her abilities despite the fact that every shred of evidence placed her at the very top of any academic tree you care to mention.  She was invariably kind, thoughtful and full of humility and rarely without a broad smile on her face.

    The award is made simply on academic grounds.  However, in keeping with Shrewsbury’s broad co-curricular life, Ursule was also an outstanding musician and committed sportswoman.  She won a Choral Scholarship to Cambridge, having been Choregus of the Chapel Choir at Shrewsbury, and was an outstanding flautist, gaining her Diploma and reaching last year's final of the Royal Philharmonic Society Duet Prize for Young Instrumentalists.  She also represented the School in the girls’ tennis first pair and ran for the Hunt.

    The Sidney Gold Medal was first awarded in 1838, and the initial winner was H.A.J. Munro.  He proceeded to a stellar classical academic career, as Scholar and then Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

    In 1869, Munro was elected to a new Professorship of Latin, founded at Cambridge in honour of Dr Benjamin Hall Kennedy.  This underlines the pre-eminence of Shrewsbury School as perhaps the finest school in the country for the study of classics in the 19th century, to which a cursory glance at the honour boards in the Main School Building testifies. For this is the very same Dr Kennedy who was Headmaster of Shrewsbury School from 1836 to 1865, prior to being elected as Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge University.

    Martin Cropper

Thursday 16 February 2017

  • Old Salopian Thai Gathering

    Old Salopians living and working in Thailand met up shortly before Christmas and we recieved the following report from the organiser and OS Rep in Thailand - Stuart Markes (S 92-97).

    It was a really nice turnout and everyone was in a festive mood with many people back on vacation from university and us older ones on Xmas/New Year holiday.

    We met up at “Beer Belly” 72 Courtyard, in the trendy Thonglor area of Bangkok. We had a turnout of approximately 27, including the girls who can more than hold their own with the ‘Shrewsbury banter’ plus a couple of British Old Salopians who just happened to be in Thailand at the time. We reminisced about our former teachers and there were plenty of loud cheers for Colonel Jenkins and for some reason also Mr Giles Bell seems to be quite popular amongst the Bangkok based Old Salopians. We ate, drank, talked, joked, laughed and just thoroughly enjoyed the night. A special mention must go to Peera Rayamas (R 92-97) who was the most senior of the attendees. The mix was nice, ranging from those of us who went to school in the late 90s/early 2000s to those who graduated last summer, and representing nearly all the boarding houses. Now we are all looking forward to the next meeting. 

  • Old School Ties - Old Salopians vs. Lancing Old Boys

    David Bauckham is an award winning photographer who focuses on the non-league football culture. He follows the Arthur Dunn Cup and the Arthurian League, in which the Old Salopian Football Club compete, and he posts wonderful, warm and detailed match reports, along with historical information and vivid photographs, on his website.

    The latest 'Old School Ties' instalment covers the recent Arthur Dunn Cup Quarter Final between OSFC and Lancing Old Boys. It describes the match in great detail and contains more than 80 match photographs. More than that it reports on a piece of the history of football few people will be aware of, in which the first set of rules for Association Football were drawn up in 1848, involving two Old Salopians - Henry de Winton and John Charles Thring. 

    It's a fascinating article and well worth a read, whether you are a fan of the game or not. You can read the whole thing here on this link.



Friday 10 February 2017

  • Anniversary of the Foundation of Shrewsbury School, 10th February 1552
    Today marks the 465th anniversary of the Foundation of Shrewsbury School by Royal Charter of King Edward VI.

    On 10th February 1552, Edward VI sealed the charter for a ‘Free School’ at Shrewsbury. It was endowed out of the revenues of the newly dissolved ecclesiastical colleges of St Mary’s and St Chad’s, on the petition of Richard Whittaker, a rich Shrewsbury clothworker and bailiff, and Hugh Edwardes, a London mercer born near Ellesmere of an ancient Welsh family.

    The Royal Charter provided for a master and an usher to be appointed by the Corporation to provide a free grammar school education to all comers. The School was to be governed by regulations agreed between the Corporation and the Bishop of Lichfield.

    In anticipation of the Charter, property was acquired for the future school near the Castle. However, it was another nine years before the Revd Thomas Ashton, generally regarded as the first Headmaster, took up his post.

    Thomas Ashton was born in about 1500 and was an early graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, of which he was a resident Fellow 1521-41. This college was one of the key centres of the Protestant reformation and by the time he came to the hitherto Catholic town of Shrewsbury in about 1561, Ashton had a reputation as a powerful Protestant preacher with influential friends at Court. Ashton worked closely with the town authorities and became in effect the first Protestant 'public preacher' in Shrewsbury, having a major impact not only on the growth of Shrewsbury School but also on the religious history of the town.

    During his time as Headmaster, the School was described by William Camden in his book Britannia as "the best filled in all England, being indebted for [its] flourishing state to the provision made by the excellent and worthy Thomas Ashton. Besides the children of the gentry of this county and North Wales, many of the first people of the kingdom sent their sons there".

    Ashton's most famous legacies to both town and school were arguably his Whitsuntide and Passion plays, which were performed in a semi-circular amphitheatre (now the site of the town's Quarry Swimming Pool). They were extremely popular, attracting audiences from far and wide across the county, probably numbering several thousand.

    It may have been in one of those productions that a young pupil named Philip Sidney – who joined the School in 1564 and later became the renowned Renaissance soldier, statesman, diplomat, poet and earliest famous Salopian – made his first dramatic appearance.

    In the latter years of his headmastership, Ashton was able to increase the endowments to the School and lay down a series of ordinances, or rules for its governance, which lasted until 1798. These brought about the further expansion of the School, including the construction of a new school building on the site of the original – where the School remained until its move to Kingsland in 1882.

    (With acknowledgement to 'Shrewsbury School 1552 - 2002' by Robin Case and www.shrewsburylocalhistory.org.uk)

Wednesday 8 February 2017

  • Excellent Turnout for our Seasonal Drinks Parties

    Once again the Salopian Club seasonal drinks parties saw record numbers of OS attending and enjoying the three very different and enjoyable events.

    For those who haven't already read it you can follow this link to the earlier article about the City Drinks party, held at the Traveller's Club on Pall Mall. Once again well over 200 OS from across the generations came along. It really is a good evening and plans are already underway for November 2017, so keep an eye out for details.

    The annual Birmingham Drinks Party was held at All Bar One, Newhall Street. We were fortunate to be joined this year by a small group of current Postors and a number of young OS who are living or studying in the Birmingham area, as well as many familiar faces from the West Midlands area. 

    Our thanks, as ever, go to Richard Woodgate (Rt 54-59) for organising the event.




    The final event of the year is our Christmas Drinks party in the Alington Hall here at the School. About 120 OS, along with current and former parents and members of staff came along to enjoy mince pies and mulled wine, Champagne and canapés, before many made their way across to Chapel for the Carol Service. The event has a wonderful atmosphere and is really worth attending if you are able to make it along next time.

  • Salopian Ninja Warrior

    If there is one thing which is predictable about our OS, it is that they are rarely predictable... or boring!

    Many congratulations to Alvin Loh (SH 11-13), who has battled through to the semi-finals of Ninja Warrior UK - a gruelling obstacle/assault course designed to test strength, endurance, balance, speed and other physical attributes. 

    If you would like to catch up with the show you can view it on this link. Alvin starts at around 12.42 minutes in.

Monday 6 February 2017

  • Service of Epiphany at St Mary-le-Bow

    If ever an advertisement was needed for the standard of the Arts both at Shrewsbury School and in the Old Salopian community, it was the service of Readings and Carols for Epiphany held on Wednesday 11th January at St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside. Winter blues were blown away by a choir (assembled by Richard Eteson (G 89-93) and Patrick Craig ( Ch 82-87)) which resembled a Who’s Who of Salopian choristers across the decades and readers ranging from a former Lord Mayor of London to one of the first cohort of Old Salopian Ladies. The service was conducted by Gavin Williams, former Chaplain (93-02), and attended by over 80 Salopians and guests, many of whom repaired to the local hostelry afterwards where there was much talk of a repeat performance next year.

  • Oxford Students' Gathering

    Old Salopians studying in Oxford were invited to a gathering in the King's Arms on Friday 3rd February. There was a good turnout of students from the various Oxford Colleges and Oxford Brookes and a good evening was had by all.

    The event was organised by Ed Carroll (Ch 10-15) with the Salopian Club picking up the drinks tab.

    If anyone would like to organise a similar event at another university please do get in touch.

Sunday 1 January 2017

  • News will be published here shortly for 2017
    In the meantime, please follow the link (above right) to our 2016 news.