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.


Sunday 15 October 2017

  • The Campion Trophy
    Anthony Smith (I 1954-59) writes: 

    The 2017 final of the Campion Trophy was held at a warm and breezy Royal Birkdale on Sunday 15th October. Thanks to the efforts of the competition organiser David Umpleby (SH 1990-95), we had two young finalists ready to play on the due date.

    Oliver Banks (O 2004-09) had managed to overcome Richard Barber (SH 1955-60), Frank Higham (O 1968-72), Peter Thwaites (R 1960-64), Rex Worth (S 2002-07) and 'General' James Shaw (R 1964-68) en route to the final, while James Taylor (R 2003-08) had prevailed over Bill Russell (M 1950-55), Chris White (R 1974-79), previous holders Will Painter (R 1967-71) and Anthony Smith and former Halford Hewitt player Michael Brabner (R 1963-67) to get to Birkdale.

    The Open Championship was held on the Links in July and the course was in pristine condition. So much so that James - giving 8 shots - started with a birdie three, something that all the competitors in the Open would have coveted. Oliver with a stroke won the 2nd, and the match looked on. However, James - recently retired former Test cricketer, and arguably the best Salopian cricketer ever - played the next four holes in level par to create a commanding lead.

    Whenever Oliver clawed a hole back, James then responded with a birdie; he had three in all, and the match concluded when Oliver lost his ball at the 15th. In fairness to Oliver, he hadn't experienced 'links' golf before, and perhaps he used the wrong type of shot on a few occasions.

    Take nothing away from James who all but holed in one at the difficult short 12th, and played as though he had been a golfer for years. Suffice to say that he has only been playing for 12 months, following his unavoidably early retirement from cricket. His hand/eye coordination is obvious, and his handicap will come tumbling down if his golf continues in this vein.

    This year we were fortunate to have the company of Louise Spencer, daughter of the late Ian Campion the trophy donor, together with niece Emma and brother Stephen of our esteemed Hon Secretary Tim Lewis (R 1950-55).

    David Umpleby also caught 'the milk train' from Euston to support the final. Louise kindly presented the trophy to winner James Taylor, and thanks go to David Umpleby for his organisation, Stephen Lewis (R 1954-58) for keeping us all on our toes, and particularly to Royal Birkdale for their extremely kind gesture of allowing the final to be played on their magnificent course.

Friday 6 October 2017

  • Grand Re-Opening of the newly refurbished Moser Library
    After months of excited anticipation following the temporary closing of the Moser Library doors at the end of last term for major refurbishment, crowds gathered last Saturday (Old Salopian Day) as the doors were formally re-opened by the Headmaster and the main donors, the Cassidy Family and Kenneth Ng.

    Once inside the library and after the gasps of delight at its transformation had subsided a little, glasses of champagne were raised in congratulation to everyone involved in the project and the Headmaster paid tribute to them all. Mrs Cassidy spoke warmly and with passion about the crucial importance of libraries and the central role the re-invigorated Moser Library will play within the School in the years to come.

    After the formal opening of the newly re-dedicated 'Churchill's Room' by Mr Ng, the guests were treated to the boys of Churchill’s Hall singing ‘Floreat Salopia’.

    The original structure of the library remains intact, but the stunning interior has been fitted with a vast array of modern learning tools with internet connectivity and ebooks. 

    Shelving and furniture have been redesigned and a first floor room added for lectures, making excellent use of the previously unused space.  Old artefacts are now on show within the library behind glass cases to combine a sense of the old with the new.

    The Architect for the project was Adrian James, an Old Salopian. Morris Properties led the build. 

    Shrewsbury School Foundation would like to thank all Old Salopians and parents who contributed to the project.

Saturday 30 September 2017

  • Old Salopian Day 2017

    The weather failed to dampen spirits on Old Salopian Day as the School hosted over 130 alumni for a series of events, culminating in a celebration dinner for all those leaving in the years ending in 7.

    Guests were welcomed to the Quod for lunch to meet each other as well as former and present staff, before crossing over to take part in the opening of the newly refurbished Moser Library.  In the afternoon, there were a series of OS football, hockey and lacrosse matches – which proved to be wet but lively affairs!  The Art School and Chatri building also offered exhibitions for those who preferred to avoid the inclement weather.  Somewhat bedraggled, but still smiling, all the groups then congregated once more in Quod for tea, where they were also joined by current parents and clearly exhausted and muddy footballers.  

    There was an opportunity to visit former houses following tea, which gave all those concerned an opportunity to peek in at new improvements and renovations (Moser’s had clearly changed beyond all recognition) as well as catching up with all the latest news from current housemasters.

    In the evening, invited groups of celebratory OS gathered in Kingsland Hall for drinks.  They were joined by current and past members of staff and also praepostors for a glass of fizz.  At the dinner which followed, the groups were treated to a welcome by the Salopian Club President, Sir Michael Simmons (DB 1950-55), a magically-penned Grace by Rev. Richard Hayes (M 1952-57), and four courses which were universally praised by all present (clearly things had changed in the catering department since most of the OS there had been at school!).  There were after-dinner speeches by Mark Turner (Headmaster) and Hugh Ramsbotham (Master from 1975-1999 and former President of the Salopian Club).  The floor was then given over to John Moore, Director of Music, and Giles Bell, Admissions Tutor, who performed appropriately ‘Salopianised’ versions of Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’ and Abba’s ‘Fernando [Orlando]’ to a hugely appreciative audience.   

    The Club can report that we have received some photographs of former pupils’ activities in various local hostelries well into the night. We believe the ’87 and ’97 leavers were particularly involved.  We would like to make it clear that the Club takes no responsibility for the activity of our Members in this regard (!)

    The Club would, however, like to extend our welcome to all those who may be tempted to join us next year for more opportunities to reconnect with the Shrewsbury community in the wonderful surroundings of the School.  Watch this space.....

Tuesday 12 September 2017

  • The Long Cycle Down
    In January 2018, Rob Hartwell (R 2012-17) and James Fearn (I 2015-17) will cycle just under 10,000 miles from London to Cape Town. 

    If you thought Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman had it tough in ‘The Long Way Down’, imagine swapping motor bikes for peddle power as these two intrepid OSs ride through Europe, over the Mediterranean via Cyprus to Egypt and down through East Africa. They will encounter some of the most impoverished nations in the world and will be attempting to change lives as they go. If all goes to plan, the journey will take around 6 months and they will be riding for the children’s charity, SOS Africa. 

    James told us: ‘we plan to start on the 21st January in the centre of London and aim to finish two hundred days later at a small lighthouse at the furthermost point of South Africa. We will start cycling through Europe and get to Greece approximately 60 days later. From here, we will get a small ferry across to Egypt where the African leg of our journey will begin. Once in Africa, we are planning on staying on East coast avoiding certain regions and countries due to conflict. We hope to travel through: Egypt, Sudan (Northern), Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and finally South Africa.’

    If you feel able to support Rob and James in their incredible endeavour – and bearing in mind that they are currently appealing for equipment costs, please visit the following websites:



    Further information: The SOS Africa Children’s Charity is a small UK based grassroots child sponsorship organisation which invests 100% of your donation in the education and care of African children. Since 2003 we have provided 90 disadvantaged children, from grades 1 to 12, with a personal education programme tailored specifically to their needs. This holistic approach enables children to break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential.

Thursday 31 August 2017

  • Delve into the Joys of the Past with the Old Salopian Hunt!

    Peter Birch (DB 1966-71) and his team at the OS Hunt have been busy digitising the Hunt records by copying the 25 books that are stored in the Moser Library.  They have stored a wealth of information, from ancient Hunt routes through the then undeveloped Harlescott to the key Huntsmen of the mid-twentieth century and beyond.  Can you find yourself listed?  

    Please contact Peter (info@crbirch.com) if you would like a USB copy of the archive: cost £25.00.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

  • Marathon Mad Salopians - Sierra 260
    Seven Old Salopians are running the challenge of their lives to help save lives in Sierra Leone and the UK. 10 marathons in 10 days - the Sierra 260 charity expedition in October 2017 is sure to push the team to their physical and mental limits.  

    In late October of 2017, a group of fourteen friends will embark upon an extreme endurance charity expedition through Sierra Leone, running 10 marathons in 10 days and covering the length of the country. The challenge is in aid of two fantastic causes: Street Child and Mind, and not only will it raise funds for the most vulnerable people both in the UK and in Sierra Leone, but will also raise awareness of a desperate country that has been ravaged by civil war, the Ebola epidemic, recent natural disasters and extreme poverty resulting in hundreds of orphans living at risk. 

    Seven courageous and selfless Old Salopians are running in this challenge team whose participants range from army officers to accountants. 

    Whilst all fit young men, they are by no means all experienced runners, with only half of the entire 14 man team having ever run a marathon before. They are, however, guided by experienced expedition leader Michael Houston (R 2004-09), who has led a number of expeditions including cycling 2,000 miles across Africa, kayaking 800 miles across the Caribbean Sea and climbing Mt Aconcagua in South America. Michael’s faithful core of marathon runners and expeditioners Edmund Magnus (Rt 2004-09), Charlie Sole (R 2004-09) and Tom McAlpine (Rt 2004-09) will help ensure the ‘newbies’ are in safe hands. Edward Thompson (O 2004-09) is no official marathon man to date, but running 110 miles in two days was surely the hardest way to start. Todd Langford-Archer (G 2004-09) is referred to as a ‘Log’ (tall and top heavy) but up for the challenge together with Hugo Tapp (PH 2003-08) who is using his drinks expertise to keep the team hydrated! Ben Illingworth (M 2007-09) also lends his experience as part of the vital support team.

    The expedition starts on the northern border with Guinea and spans 260 miles south west, culminating on the coast just south of the capital, Freetown. The challenge is nearly twice as far in distance as the Marathon des Sables (named the toughest footrace on Earth) and the team will face some of the toughest running conditions imaginable. Mountainous rainforests, uneven dirt tracks, combined with 90% humidity and 35 degree heat from start to finish, so camp (in the roughest sense of the word) will be set up at the end of each day’s marathon. The route crosses the eastern highlands, where the first few days will be extremely hilly. Flatter terrain is through the middle section, and on the final approach to the coast they will face dense rainforests.

    About the charities -

    Street Child has a unique national presence in Sierra Leone, working in every major city and district to provide the help that the country’s vulnerable children desperately need. It has grown from a small project helping reunite 100 street children with their families to an organisation working in four countries and providing education to over 53,000 children. The recent mudslide disaster has once again exacerbated the need for Street Child’s funding and support.

    Mind does outstanding work to achieve its aim of providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem whilst also campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

    How you can help – 

    If you would like to support the team in their unique adventure and donate to the challenge, please follow the link to their fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/sierra260

    The team will be holding a selection of events over the coming months in order to raise awareness, for further information please see below.

    Email: teamsierra260@gmail.com

    Website: www.sierra260.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sierra260/

    We wish them Good Luck on their challenge – stay safe and well!

Wednesday 16 August 2017

  • Falklands Coincidence

    Have two Old Salopians ever been in the Falkland Islands at the same time before?  Ross Bennett (M 2011-16) is currently living there, and a guest, Peter Hill (R 1965-70) spotted the latest edition of the Salopian on the coffee table, which made them realise the otherwise unknown connection.

    Are there any other stories of Salopians meeting up in far flung corners of the world?

Wednesday 12 July 2017

  • Miles Better: Miles Preston’s Rolls Royce Tour of Great Britain

    Jane and I were very fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a 1,500 mile trip organized by the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts’ Club (RREC) which ran from the 6 to the 23 June around England, Wales and Scotland. The event was set up to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the formation of the RREC and the 110th anniversary of a 1907 Silver Ghost being driven for more than 14,000 miles without breaking down. That car, registration number AX 201, is still on the road and took pride of place when, on the evening before the journey, we dined with Prince Michael of Kent at the Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge.

    We set off the following morning and drove to Wareham in Dorset. From there we went to Thurlestone in Devon, the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, Ruthin Castle Hotel in North Wales, the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding on Lake Ullswater, then to Loch Lomond, Pitlochry, Leith on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Durham, Harrogate and finally to Rutland Water for our last meal together on the 22 June. Most of the cars then went to spend the weekend at the Annual Rally of the RREC which was held at Burghley House, but we headed to Henley to watch the qualifying races for the Regatta, which was scheduled for the following week.

    The format of the tour was very informal. A lot of people have asked if we moved around the Country in convoy; we didn’t. We all knew where we were staying each night and the only fixed time in our diaries was 7.30pm when we knew that we would all sit down together to eat. This in itself was quite a logistical feat as we were about a hundred people in total. By the end, we reckoned we were on nodding terms with everyone and had got to know about 25 sufficiently well to stop and say hello to as we progressed to the various destinations. 

    A special mention here should be made of two hotels: the Thurlestone Hotel in South Devon and the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding (Lake Ullswater). A third, the Ruthin Castle Hotel in Ruthin, North Wales was packed with character and, for that reason, deserves a mention as well.  One of the most memorable and enjoyable features of the trip was a full English breakfast every morning – what heaven! 

    I am keen to start a Salopian Drivers Club for Salopians who own interesting cars, whether old or new. If this idea appeals to you, please email me at miles.preston@milespreston.co.uk.

    Miles Preston (DB 1963-68)

Friday 30 June 2017

  • OS Dinner at the Methaiga Club Nairobi
    On Thursday June 22 a very select group of people met for what might be the first Official Old Salopian dinner in Nairobi

    The Old Salopians gathered were Ed Cunynghame (S 1996-01), Alex Wield (R 1997-02) and Ed Hewitt (Rt 1998-03). Ed and Alex were joined by their wives Hannah and Di but Ed Hewitt has only been married a week and clearly felt it was too early in his marriage to be exposing his new bride to an evening where some of his darker school exploits might have been revealed! Current parents Aidan Hartley and Philip Coulson were our very kind hosts; indeed without them we would have had to search for an alternative venue as you can only pay at the Muthaiga club if you are a member; which is why I have yet to join! Peter Middleton and I completed the merry throng.

    I have only been to the Muthaiga once before in 2005. On that occasion I was with the sister of an Old Salopian, (Andrew Francombe’s (G 1993-98) sister Julia and her husband Mike) and by chance the only other people in the restaurant were Tom and Ben Orde-Powlett (O 1992-97 and 1994-99 respectfully). So as we sat down under a painting by David Marrian (SH 1970-74), I felt we were very much in a place which attracts Salopians. 

    A very convivial evening was had by all and Aidan’s oratorical skills brought the night to a rousing crescendo. Aidan and Philip have been very generous in their support of a bright Tanzanian boy, who is a Beacon scholar (look it up!), coming to the school in September and are looking for some help with his air fares and pocket money. If anyone still reading this would like to be involved I can put you in touch.

    After we had said our goodbyes Peter and I returned to the Fairview Hotel where we bumped into ex Rigg’s Housemaster Matthew Mostyn who left this parish some time ago to go to Stonyhurst as Deputy Headmaster. Matthew was in excellent form and the second social engagement of the night then took place!

    If anyone is wondering what Peter and I were up to in Kenya we did have permission to be there! We visited The Banda School and Kenton in Nairobi and then travelled up to Gilgil to attend the Ndume 7s at Pembroke House. We were royally entertained by the headmaster Jason Brown who used to teach at Prestfelde amongst other places but a massive thanks must go to MJ Nuijten who is a current parent and Registrar at Pembroke. MJ ensured there were no hitches in our itinerary and allowed us to stay with her mother Mary Coulson MBE; the founder of Restart. Restart is an orphanage which we visited with some Manchester United kit to give out. This was courtesy of Tony Whelan who has brought the Manchester United youth teams to stay in School House in the second week of August for a number of years. Several Old Salopians have volunteered there and do please have a look at the website, http://www.restartafrica.org or Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/restartafrica). It is an incredible place and does a huge amount for children who have had the worst possible starts in life. If you know anyone who would like to volunteer or you would like to volunteer yourself please do contact me at gjfb@shrewsbury.org.uk .

    We stayed for a chapel service at Pembroke on the Sunday and the Restart choir joined the Pembroke choir to sing most movingly. Then a little girl stood up and gave the Restart choir a purse containing 3,000 shillings which a group of very young Pembroke children had collected by selling knitted bands at the Ndume 7s. It was a touching moment and somehow encapsulated the spirit of our visit. I could certainly work for the Kenya tourist board and I am very much looking forward to another OS dinner in Nairobi next year.

    Giles Bell

Thursday 29 June 2017

  • Update from Henley Royal Regatta

    Following a victory for the Shrewsbury 1st VIII against Tabor Academy in the morning, there was a jovial spirit in the Salopian Marquee for lunch on Wednesday 28 June. The weather was over-cast, but not the atmosphere, as OS gathered to enjoy a bite to eat and a little fizz too.  Please see attached photos.

    Sadly, Shrewsbury's success came to an end against Eton College on Thursday, but undaunted, there will be another lunch - all OS and families welcome - on Saturday 1 July (gratis).  Please find us from 12.00 in the Marquee with the Maltese Cross, Henley Cricket Club Ground, Remenham Lane.

Monday 19 June 2017

  • Super Cycling Man Zooms into Bangkok
    Super Cycling Man (alter ego: Will Hodson (Rt 1990-95)) reached the Bangkok stage of his extraordinary five-year, seven-continent ride - and found time for a flying visit to see old teachers and new pupils at Shrewsbury International School.

    It is Will’s belief that ‘We Can All Be Heroes’ – and he certainly lives by his word. Ever energetic, determined and ready with a flash of wit, this is a Super Hero and a half!  

    Greeted by the School’s Headmaster, Stephen Holroyd, Will was delighted to be back amongst some of his old teachers, although addressing them by their first names proved beyond his super powers: ‘Mr Holroyd’ and ‘Mr Baxter’ it would forever be.

    ‘Mr Baxter’, AKA Simon Baxter, Will’s former maths and rowing Guru, was delighted to see his former protégé, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw the board rubber at him when given the chance. Fortunately, our super hero’s reflexes were up to the challenge!

    Will also met some of the pupils – and it seems they found each other mutually inspirational: "They were incredibly friendly, polite and happy children, just like me, Horrocks, Humphreys and Ballard….". 

    Will is raising money for five charities including Parkinson’s UK, as his father has had the disease for the past 20 years.  All donations are being collected on Will’s online giving page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/SCM.

Friday 5 May 2017

  • Standing ovation for pianist Galin Ganchev (OS)
    Galin Ganchev (M 2010-15), one of the most excitingly talented tyro concert pianists to emerge from Shrewsbury School's Music Department, made a triumphant return to the Alington Hall on Friday 28th April. Review by James Fraser-Andrews.

    Galin Ganchev (M 2010-15), one of the most excitingly talented tyro concert pianists to emerge from Bradley-Fulgoni’s bustling stable in the Maidment, made a triumphant return to Shrewsbury School on Friday 28th April.

    More mature in tone and balance, and with a technique even more lustrous after hard-won hours of polishing at the Royal Academy, this young Bulgarian artist stunned a packed Alington Hall audience. How satisfying it was to see so many pupils, staff and regular crowd, used to gorge on fare from the piano world’s biggest stars, marvel at a performance of such style and presence that took its precocious place alongside this roll-call of famous names with such assurance.

    Galin brought back to the banks of the Severn a programme that gleamed with the bright-lit energy of the metropolis. To begin, pianist-composer Schumann’s Humoreske in B-flat maintained a fine line in wit, whimsy and the tenderest of song lines, and, albeit with occasional glimpses of nervousness, strong powers of conception wove a clear thread through this music of such episodic, capricious nature. It was a bold statement of imaginative intent from an artist clearly immersed in his art.

    Written for the young Tatyana Nikolayeva, Shostokovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, gnomic yet feisty chamber pieces for two hands, brought the first half to a finely spun and ultimately declarative close in these other young hands gifted with steel-and-feathery touch. They allowed intimate voicings to be held in tension with a relish for some fearsome counterpoint.

    The Chopin Mazurkas which ushered in the second half – in A minor, A-flat and F-sharp minor – gave Galin ample opportunity to conduct a more stately dance with a cultured left hand that has clearly profited from expert tuition of Ian Fountain at the Academy. But the pièce-de-résistance was Prokoviev’s first ‘war sonata’, No.6, where convulsive, jagged batteries of sound were balanced with icily irridescent colours conjuring all the threat, uncertainty and joyous momentaneity of the USSR in 1940, the year of its composition. Blistering technique in the salvoes of its conclusion commanded the appreciative audience to its feet, including maestro Peter Bradley-Fulgoni, whose nurturing of Galin’s precocious talent was justly acknowledged during the interval by Shrewsbury School’s Director of Music, John Moore.

    By way of encore, Galin treated us to one of his own compositions, a soulful nocturne that managed to bridge all the harmonic intensities of the evening and yet becalm the audience back into the spring night, the whiff of pianistic gelignite hanging indelibly in the air. From one great pianist-composer at the start to another manifestly on his way. Galin Ganchev. You heard him here first.

Friday 21 April 2017

  • Shrewsbury School / PlayerLayer sports video
    A terrific film from our sports kit supplier PlayerLayer showcasing sport at Shrewsbury School.

    Our pupils take pride in representing the School in all spheres and at all levels of sport. The kit they wear is an important part of their ‘Salopian’ identity and a key opportunity to fly the flag for Shrewsbury School.

    As part of our ongoing relationship, a team of staff and pupils worked with our sports kit supplier PlayerLayer during the Lent Term to create a collaborative promotional video.

    Director of Sport, Andrew Murfin writes, “I am delighted to be working with a British kit supplier with whom we share ideals of high-quality sport performance and an understanding of the School’s sporting heritage.”

    Although primarily a promotional video to showcase the RSSH kit range, we hope that you will feel it captures some of the spirit of sport at Shrewsbury.

    Please feel free to share the link with friends and family, via social media.

    The video can be viewed via their website:
    or via their Facebook page:

    “PlayerLayer are proud to be partnering with Shrewsbury School.   Shrewsbury is undoubtedly one of the leading Independent Schools in the UK, with a rich heritage dating back to the 16th century.  Our values are very much aligned and we hope we can contribute to the performance, look and feeling on the sports field, whilst upholding the traditions of the School.” James Clayfield – PlayerLayer Co-Founder

  • ISI Inspection Reports 2017
    We are delighted to publish the reports of two inspections carried out by the Independent Schools Inspectorate from 28th February – 2nd March 2017. The Inspectors’ findings and conclusions serve as a wonderful endorsement of all that Shrewsbury is trying to achieve and reflect extremely positively on the work of the staff, pupils and wider school community.

    The first inspection was a Focused Compliance Inspection, which concluded that the School is fully compliant in all respects with the highly rigorous regulations and boarding standards.

    The second was an Educational Quality Inspection, which reports on the quality of the School’s work. It focuses on two key outcomes: “the quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements” and “the quality of pupils’ personal development”.  In both cases, the School was assessed as “excellent”, the highest available category.

    The inspection process was part of a new ‘no notice’ format, which meant that the School was informed of the inspection 24 hours before it began.

    A team of five inspectors observed lessons, conducted formal interviews with pupils and examined samples of pupils’ work. They held discussions with members of staff and with the Deputy Chair of Governors, observed a sample of the extra-curricular activities that occurred during the inspection period and attended house meetings. Inspectors visited boarding houses together with the learning support and education resource areas. The responses of parents and pupils to pre-inspection questionnaires were analysed, and the inspectors examined curriculum and other documentation made available by the School.

    The full reports are published on the Inspection Reports page of this website but may also be downloaded by clicking on the links below:

Wednesday 5 April 2017

  • Annual Salopian Gathering in Dubai

    This year’s annual Dubai Salopian get together was held at the very swanky Wakame Japanese fusion restaurant in the heart of Dubai’s “Old Town”. There was a slight gap in the rain with the government’s seed clouding program which brought about a perfectly clear evening. Guests were greeted with a well-mixed “welcome cocktail” in the specially sectioned off bar area peppered with the Salopian coat of arms to make everyone feel right at home to mingle and get to know one another. 

    A month earlier, my wife and I had the hard task of carrying out a menu fact-finding exercise at the restaurant. Having been over satisfied with their selection of dishes,  we were confident and excited for the everyone to experience the selected culinary delights that were on our set menu. 

    It was great to see several existing Salopian parents, invited by the School, as well as the Salopians in the region who attended: 1st VIII rowers Iain Jones and Mark Towers. Fellow Severnhill contemporaries Nick Green (who travelled from Bahrain especially), his brother Julian Green (who travelled from Abu Dhabi) and Nik Tryggvason. Mark Anderson, who also travelled for the event especially from Bahrain. Dubai residents Edward Gallagher, Tom Keep, Mike Rigby, Kartike Kathuria, newbie Ben Jones and myself. James Fielding, who runs a polo academy and has represented the England team. Finally, world-famous surgeon Dr. Jaffer Khan, who sadly had to leave early for a patient emergency.

    It was wonderful to hear from the School's representative, Kathy Campbell, about the School’s recent news and equally everyone’s personal Salopian news before tucking into the 5* supper accompanied by free-flowing drinks- although there was no coincidence that it was St. Paddy’s day too! After supper, many of the Old Salopians and their partners continued the evening on the roof-top bar with stunning views of the city, which capped off another thoroughly memorable Salopian evening in Dubai. 

    For any Old Salopians moving to the UAE and wishing to be a part of the Salopian community, please feel free to contact me at rupert.connor@gmail.com.  

    Floreat Salopia!

    Rupert Connor (S. 92-97)

Tuesday 4 April 2017

  • Salopian Footballers Lose Out in Semi-Final Replay

    The OS Football Club have once again had a solid run in the Arthur Dunn Cup, putting in some fine performances and getting through to the semi-finals. Unfortunately that's where their run ended, in a 2-1 defeat away at Repton. It's all the more unfortunate because the home game the previous week had been a very close match, with some great play from both sides, resulting in a 2-2 draw. Sadly the OSFC struggled to field their best team for the replay, with a handful of players unable to make the journey out of the city on two consecutive weekends.

    Perhaps in the event of a tie, given the distances many of these players have to travel, a penalty shootout with a certain result would be the most practical way to decide the later ties. But such is the nature of sport that the playing field is rarely as even as we would like and the impact is always more keenly felt by the losing team.

    As Captain Richard McGarry (Ch 01-06) said 'we lick our wounds and go again next year'...

Wednesday 22 March 2017

  • 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.

  • 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!

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.

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 received 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.