KEynotes 2019 - 130th Anniversary Edition

This year, we have a very special edition of KEynotes to celebrate 130 years of the Old Edwardian Club.

Inside this special commemorative edition of KEynotes, you’ll find some interesting stories about the history of the Old Edwardian Club and its members. It also features all of your regular favourites, plus a special comment piece by OE journalist Sally Jones (1973).

Please download this edition below.

Breaking the glass ceiling was not without its pitfalls

Sally Jones (1973)

Old Edwardian Sally Jones became the BBC’s first woman TV sports presenter in the late 1980s and still writes widely on sport, education and news. She was recently commissioned to write features for The Daily Telegraph’s new women’s sports supplement, the first in a British national newspaper. Her opening column recalled women’s battles for acceptance in sports broadcasting. Here she remembers how her schooldays helped her forge a path in sports broadcasting.

“Looking back in The Telegraph column on the thrills and occasional spills of becoming one of Britain’s first women

sports presenters along with my friends Helen Rollason and Sue Barker I suddenly realised how much my time at KEHS had

shaped my future career.

The games teaching itself was excellent and my hero-worship of sporting superstar Sue Cogswell, three years my senior, spurred me on to practise obsessively at tennis, netball and squash. Sue, a lively Under 21 hockey international, tennis star and later World number 2 at squash, excelled at every sport she tried and in my second year, I partnered her in the tennis team, initially standing shaking in the tramlines, terrified the ball would come to me. Luckily, she dispelled my nerves, jokily nicknaming our opponents Midriff Bulge and Limpy Lorna and telling me to keep smiling as it drove the opposition mad. She proceeded to win Fry Cup almost single-handed with breezy aplomb. It was a lesson in plastering a smile on your face and looking confident even if you weren’t. It was crucial advice when, after presenting Central News in Birmingham, I joined the revamped Breakfast News as the BBC’s first woman sports presenter, with Bob Wilson, Jeremy Paxman and Kirsty Wark. The publicity was overwhelming. I posed endlessly in football strip. Male interviewers grilled me about whether women could be taken seriously talking about sport. One sneeringly made me explain the offside rule – luckily I could. The women asked about clothes, boyfriends and whether I was really dating Robbie Coltrane. Public reaction ranged from ecstatic to horrified. One Labour MP hailed me a ‘sporting suffragette’ then unwisely tried to put his hand on my knee during lunch in the Commons. When I started reading the rugby league results, letters of green-inked invective poured in from old blokes in Batley and Castleford, furiously demanding what ‘slip o’lass’ could possibly know about rugby league. Kiss-and-tell was rife even then. I went to jazz clubs with my handsome, apparently unattached, driver, Errol, but turned down his kind invitation to arrive early to “run my shower”. My fellow journalist Patti Caldwell was less guarded and made front-page news under the headline “TV Patti stole my Black Stallion”, after Errol’s common-law wife sold the story to ‘News of the World’. I covered most great sporting occasions and met everyone from Muhammed Ali and Billie-Jean King to Princess Diana and Ian Botham. If I made the slightest slip, though, chauvinist critics gloated that all women were useless sports presenters – quite a burden to carry. If Des Lynam made a blooper, no one said all men were rubbish, just that he was having an off-day. Fortunately, KEHS had inculcated a sense that anything was possible if you kept battling away and remained resilient. I presented tennis and NBA basketball despite often feeling like a lone woman trying to get a drink in an all-male bar. Broadcasting at Wimbledon 8 months pregnant with my daughter Madeline I usually landed far-flung commentary perches high above Centre Court, presumably to test my stamina and stickability. I took on exhausting overnight presenting shifts in London to give me daytimes with our two children. When I fell asleep face-first into a bowl of taramasalata at teatime, however, I knew it was time for a change. Next came a freelance ‘portfolio’ career of writing, broadcasting and PR work that dovetailed with family life – and enabled us to send our children to KES and KEHS (naturally), where, as their teachers will attest, I became possibly the worst pushy mum of all time.”

130th Anniversary Reunion

On Saturday 6th July, one hundred Old Edwardians returned to KEHS to celebrate 130 years of the Old Edwardian Club. The Old Edwardian Club was founded in 1889, by our very first year of KEHS graduates. Our community was created so that these bright young women could retain the bonds they had made at school, and grow and develop them as adults.

The world then was a very different place - these women were desperate to maintain the intellectual stimuli and the meaningful conversations they had become used to over their school days. The Old Edwardian Club was a bright woman’s haven back then, and it remains a place in which women of similar values to get together today. Whilst times have changed, it remains true that the Old Edwardian Club helps us to maintain our childhood friendships, to keep close throughout our lives with people of similar values, and to encourage one another to follow our passions.

This reunion was held to celebrate 130 years of amazing women, 130 years of friendship, and 130 years of community. In the spirit of offering something a little special, we planned numerous activities throughout the day - from tours of the school with current and former pupils, and a peek at the archives in the Old Edwardian Room carefully put together by our Old Eds committee. Tea with a Teacher proved to be a huge success with teachers from the past including Mr Hopkinson, Miss Ena Evans and Mrs Sarah Shore-Nye. We also opened up the Sports Centre to allow our Old Eds to take a relaxing swim, as well as a well-being session with Cat Woods, current teacher.

We ended the day with a glass of fizz and a few canapés, followed by a speech from Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE who told us about her wonderful career and formally launched our 130 Amazing Old Edwardians initiative.

Thank you to all those who took part. Old Eds are not only our school’s past and present, they are an integral part of our future.

Old Eds News


Pamela Genton (née Robinson)

Class of 1939

I am 94 and living alone, but not lonely! I still drive, though forbidden by my loving family to do long journeys. I have two wonderful daughters, and two equally wonderful sons-in-law, one family in Normandy, France, and one in Oxfordshire. Last summer I went to Normandy, and then with my family, including a lovely grand-daughter, Sunita, to Brittany, and had a super holiday.

I am always busy. I help at our local hospice charity shop, am a "friend" of the Yehudi Menuhin school, which is two miles away, and greatly enjoy the concerts given by the extremely talented pupils. I paint with a small group of friends, mostly watercolours, and belong to a book club. I still entertain, though mostly lunches now as we are all getting rather old, and don't enjoy late nights!

I have a rather large garden, and I still do quite a lot of the work in it, though I have help with the lawns, hedges, and heavy digging. I have extremely nice neighbours, and I think I am very lucky, though I still miss my darling husband, who died twenty years ago, though his spirit lives on in this house and garden.


Barbara Davis (née Bayliss)

Class of 1944

Tempus fugit……and how fast it has fugited! The Birmingham Girls’ Old Edwardian Club is 130 years old and I look back with happiness and pleasure I have been a part of that time for 74 years. When I left School my parents gave me Life Membership as a birthday present, it was £3 and a large sum in those days.

I left School in 1944. took a business diploma, worked at the BBC and trained as a Librarian and programme researcher. Had 4 children and joined the family business manufacturing packaging. I was the first woman President of the British Packaging Association, and the only person to be elected for a second term of office. Also, the only

woman Chairman of the British Packaging Council. Now happily "retired" with time to devote to the BGOEC, School Archives, Trefoil Guild, National Trust and U3A.

Barbara Roberts (née Whitehouse)

Class of 1946

The photo includes (from left to right) Georgina Smith (née Pitt), Barbara Roberts (née Whitehouse), Pauline Green (née Rose), Kathleen Mary Brookstein (née Wollaston) (see: Sadly Missed), Topsy Painter (née Dobbs).

Despite childhood illnesses and living through the war in Birmingham, many of us are still alive and all turned 90 last year. We started school in the brand new building in September 1940 which wasn’t actually finished at the time. Blackboards were yellow with blue chalk and the heating was poor, especially in winter as coal was rationed. When the kitchens were finished, we had a set meal at lunchtime and the choice was ‘eat it or go hungry’. We got to school by bus, tram and Shanks’ pony and nobody ever used a bad air raid the night before as an excuse for not turning up to school.

In those days no-one went to university unless they needed a degree for teaching, law or medicine. So of the eight of us, only I went to University to become a teacher and then to music college to become a music teacher. Others trained to be a policewoman, medical secretary, civil servant, librarian, nursing sister and chartered secretary.

After many years apart we met up again in 1990 and most of us now keep in touch.

None Redmond (née Bond)

Class of 1948

On the 27th April, my family had a huge party for me as I celebrated my 90th birthday.

We all gathered at Full Belly Farm in California where we ate a four course luncheon of home grown organic food. There were beautiful flowers, wonderful chocolate Birthday cake and 50 of my closest friends and family including my four children. Michael and his wife flew in from Japan, my grandson and his wife from L.A., as well as a friend from the East Coast. The following day we had a smaller family party at Judith’s farm house, which is a hay bale house, an interesting kind of construction which provides excellent insulation from both extreme heat as well as cold.

In addition, my life continues with knitting, braiding and crocheting friends. I also take part in a book club. I am very deaf but people are kind and help me. I read a lot and I am very grateful for my home, my untidy, overgrown garden, my silly beautiful dog Pearl and most of all for my wonderful family. Every morning I am so happy to be alive and well.


Eva Lawrence (née Ney)

Class of 1952

My very belated ambition is to leave a respectable body of work in print. This year I only managed an article on my family history and two brief letters in the national press, one of them about my current bugbear, the fashion for decluttering.

Sylvia Dicker (née Hallam)

Class of 1954

I have recently had some surgery which I had been ignoring for far too long and feel so much better for it! I am writing this to urge other people to take action and see a GP when they are aware of a problem rather than wait clinging to a belief that everything will cure itself.

I now have far more energy and I even enjoyed a spa visit recently. Me, along with my friends went to celebrate a 70th birthday where we were to be pampered and enjoy the newly refurbished rooms. The spa itself was housed in an enormous Victorian country house with maze like corridors that we found difficult to navigate. They had many problems on the day we visited which included a power cut meaning the booking system was out of order, and the central heating was not working. However, despite all this, they made us feel welcome, we had a wonderful time and returned home feeling very refreshed.

Pamela Joklik (née Fenton)

Class of 1956

Here is a picture of me and my daughter skiing this past spring at Snowbird Resort, in Utah, where we have lived for the past 40 years.We have a home in Salt Lake City and have been here since 1979. My husband Frank worked with Sohio and BP, running mining operations around the world. We both still enjoy time on the mountain, although now it is only an hour or two instead of all day.

I still miss King Edwards, and all my dear friends from those magical days. Some of my best friends were Liddie Vincent-Davis, now in Poughkeepsie, NY and Elisabeth Bluck, now in Toronto, Canada, and Mary Withington. On my next UK trip, I am hoping to visit Birmingham.

Coreen Turner (née Feury)

Class of 1956

I published ‘Julia's Shilling’ a follow up to ‘Miss Bronte's Dilemma’ which was published in 2016.

(See OE Publications)

Angela Clayton-Turner (née Rubery)

Class of 1957

I recently attended a conference on dementia in prisons.Surprisingly there is no strategy for the health of older people in prison let alone for those with dementia.With my retired physiotherapy hat on, I was distressed to learn that some older prisoners were no longer leaving their cells for recreation because they couldn’t get out of chairs with no arms and were embarrassed to ask for help. Therefore, at the moment my dementia focus has moved from public toilets to prisons. I have been giving dementia friend awareness sessions to health and prison officer staff at HMP Belmarsh and Rochester, with a date lined up for HMP Maidstone and enquiries from 3 more!

Lynn Harper (née Harborne)

Class of 1959

This was a lovely moment in my life when I went for a coffee in the Theatre Royal and happened to meet one of the actors Natalia. We had a chat about the pantomime as tickets went on sale that morning with a large eager queue waiting. I have also visited my first opera, Verdi’s Macbeth and will be visiting the Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in the summer.


Margaret Hobson (née Spires)

Class of 1960

I have recently been in hospital for a period of 6 weeks, but thankfully I am better now! As I have MS, these days my activities are limited, however I love gardening and taking part in activities at my Church. I still use what I was taught at KEHS, that you pause for 3 after a full stop and 2 after a comma when reading aloud - take it slowly don't rush!

Dr Julia Garratt

Class of 1963

I have just returned from a Study Tour to the Palestinian Occupied Territories. The tour was extremely well organised and we were able to meet a wide range of people representing a number of organisations working to try to improve the living conditions and political status of Palestinians living under occupation. The Israeli government’s treatment of these people is brutal and it is crucial to distinguish between criticism of the government and anti-semitism. Indeed, some of the organisations are led by Jewish Israeli citizens who are appalled by the actions of their government; inevitably they too are accused of being anti-semitic. If it would be of interest, I would be happy to share what I learnt with Old Edwardians, or current ones, once I’ve had time to digest the mass of information I received.

Hilary Riches (née Bulla)

Class of 1963

2019 saw me jetting off to Paris and Geneva to see my new grandson. In a few weeks I shall be in Nice, celebrating a friends 70th birthday and then later I’ll be off to Melbourne, visiting my other grandchildren. In between travelling I’ll be playing tennis, golf and bridge and carrying out some student mentoring at my local University. Having a French daughter in law, I’m also brushing up the French that I learnt at KEHS all those years ago!

Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE (née Lowe)

Class of 1964

I’ve had a fascinating few weeks of something completely new. As the first woman in 700 years to be Master of the City of London’s Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, it has been decided to strike a silver medal to commemorate my year.

That has meant hours sitting while a medallist draws images of your head, your face, your expression. After eight weeks, we’re now at the stage of a wax cast, which has been a bit of a shock. But I’m told it will look much better with finer detail, and in silver!

Elizabeth Ludwig-Simkin (née Simkin)

Class of 1966

Last summer my second grandson was born, so I now have one in Germany (where my son lives - as I do) and one in Norway (where my daughter lives). Since becoming a grandmother I have taken up knitting again after a break of many years - and have also started sewing things for small children. Much more interesting than making curtains, which was the most creative thing I had done for the last twenty or so years before that! A third grandchild is due at the end of April in Norway, so I can keep my fingers supple by doing even more knitting and my brain cells active by learning more Norwegian.

My grandchildren are growing up with two languages at home - Norwegian/German in one case, German/English in the other - so presumably the cousins (in the photo they are meeting for the first time) will communicate in their common language of German when they are older.

Sue Rider

Class of 1966

I have co-written a play, ‘A Coupla Dogs’, which was premiered at the Brisbane Festival in September.

The premise of the play was two dogs, one kennel, five days! Two dogs are waiting to be adopted and whilst waiting they discuss philosophy and life, whilst dealing with a world filled with kindness, cruelty and absurdity.

Juliet Grundy

Class of 1968

A lifelong being a boring old lawyer...

(Picture shows Juliet playing the part of Edie, in Barney Norris’ play ‘Visitors’ about a dysfunctional family where husband Arthur is faced with the prospect of his wife Edie’s developing Alzheimer’s. The play was performed by The Bear Pit Theatre Company, Stratford.)

Zoë Skinner (née Jones)

Class of 1968

Although I'm retired, I still seem to be very busy. Every Friday, I teach primary French at a local Junior School, half an hour each with two classes in each year group (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6). At the end of the day I'm exhausted, but very happy. I also still do supply work, mostly at the school where I used to teach when I was full-time. I recently covered a Year 7 French class, a top set, and the two girls who were way ahead of everyone else - were two of my primary school pupils from last year! I'm also interested in our local surroundings, and recently joined a massive litter-picking session, together with my husband.


Tricia Platt (née Skinner)

Class of 1970

I am now retired and enjoying spending time with my 5 grandchildren.

Corinne Hastilow

Class of 1972

I am retiring in May and have just become a grandmother for the first time, so big changes for me!

Bronwen Griffiths

Class of 1974

My poem 'Sailing to Eternity' has just been published in an anthology, 'Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by and for Refugees.' I continue to volunteer for Syria Solidarity UK, which campaigns for peace and justice in Syria.

My fourth published book comes out this summer. It is a series of flash fiction pieces based on my childhood growing up in Belbroughton, North Worcestershire and is called, 'Listen with Mother.' A version of the book was long-listed for the Bath Novella-in-Flash award in 2018.

Judith Inggs (née Smith)

Class of 1974

I was promoted to full professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 2017. In November 2018 I gave my inaugural lecture on South African post-apocalyptic young adult fiction. This photo was taken during the lecture. After being quite terrified at the prospect, I rather enjoyed the event.

Geraldine Brodie (née Jones)

Class of 1975

I’m rather embarrassed by this photo, but pleased with the reason for it - this is me winning the UCL Education Award in 2018.

Allison Bucknell (née George)

Class of 1977

I am currently Wiltshire Councillor for Lyneham Division, and am reaching the end of my second term of office as Chairman of Wiltshire Council. I’ve also began teaching EXTEND (Movement to Music) to the over 60s.

Rebecca Ditchburn (née Hurn)

Class of 1977

Tim and I are living in the small town of Baltinglass on the edge of the Wicklow hills. Recovering from a broken back but still involved with The Bridge Camphill Community in Kilcullen and with Triple Spiral Storytellers. Enjoying being a first-time long-distance Grandma to our grandson in Bangkok, and helping my dad, Bruce Hurn, write his reminiscences of his time at KES...and wishing there were more photos of those years!

Rosemary Webb (née Coleman)

Class of 1978

My most recent project is Active Peace Education. I am writing and delivering courses related to peace in Primary Schools in Malvern with a team from the local Quakers. Last term I started my Rights for Kids course which brings to life the Convention on the Rights of the Child for 9 to 11 year olds. It was great fun and the children were very enthusiastic.

Sally Barrow (née Jubb)

Class of 1979

In the late 90s I spoke at the London Branch dinner - invited because of a career change from IT to law. After qualification and a spell in private practice, I found myself more interested in the IT systems that lawyers use. My unconventional CV has taken many turns, each with its own high points and challenges. Last year I started my first role as a contractor in a position that requires legal knowledge and technical knowledge and involves situations where people think they're all talking about the same thing - until I start asking questions. The contract is based in London, so I've taken the opportunity to get in touch with other Old Eds who live or work there. At home I still play my violin. The training and the enjoyment in the KEHS/KES orchestra gave me the confidence to seek out opportunities to play in the cities where I have lived and worked.

Jane Cox (née Jinks)

Class of 1979

We recently took a young friend from our church to Germany for a few days via France, Luxembourg and Belgium, taking the opportunity to bid farewell to the Union Flag outside the EU Parliament, and to encourage our friend to keep up his German language study.

We are looking forward to hosting a 15 year-old German girl in the summer term having met her mother on our travels. Hopefully such friendships and exchanges will survive the political storm we are currently experiencing.

I have the best memories of travelling alone to France when I was 13 thanks to school putting me in touch with a family in Toulouse. It certainly made me keen to keep up my French right up to the resent and gave me the confidence to have a go in whatever language I am surrounded by! Now to conquer a few phrases of Hungarian ready for our next holiday.


Lesley Cotton

Class of 1982

I'm back from St. Ives in Cornwall where I was taking part in the end of year show of the "Porthmeor Programme" at the Penwith Gallery. It marked the end of a year-long art course at the St. Ives School of Painting, which took me down there one weekend a month from April 2018. It was such a fantastic thing to do and here's a photo of me next to my 'piece' in the gallery. These referenced magical votives for negotiating the outside world when we step out of our home. I looked at weather charms from the Pitt Rivers museum in my home town of Oxford, Suffragette medals and protective hand symbols, then drew up my own versions and had them laser-cut from plywood. Finally, I decorated them with fabric and attached twine and ribbon.

Sara Hayward

Class of 1982

Visitors to Worcester Cathedral will have the chance to see my two exhibitions during August. A series of semi abstract, meditative tondi (round paintings), inspired by olive trees, will be hung in the main body of the cathedral throughout August in an exhibition entitled “Cutting corners: colour works”, and a further exhibition of paintings entitled “Pilgrimage: an inner journey (Iona and beyond)” will be shown in the Dean’s chapel during the first two weeks of August including expressive paintings inspired by the Scottish island of Iona and abstract colour works inviting meditative inner thought journeys. Hope you enjoy them!

Sue Goldman (née Griffiths)

Class of 1984

I tentatively set out as an independent specialist teacher just over a year ago and my work supporting young autistic children, their families and practitioners is now growing steadily and is hugely rewarding. Turns out I love being my own boss! An unexpected turn has been that I am regularly invited to run training workshops on autism in the Early Years. I thought it would be terrifying, and it is, but it’s also kind of addictive. I continue to be inspired and educated by the passionate and vibrant autistic community. I am watching, in awe, as the neurodiversity movement blossoms and becomes a force to be reckoned with in society.

Julie Manners (née Cox)

Class of 1984

So proud of my son Alex (age 22) who has just published his first book “That’s Not Right! My Life Living with Asperger’s”. It is a must read for all teachers. He is determined to raise awareness and understanding of children at school with Asperger’s so as to improve their lives at school. For more information about Alex, please visit

Susannah Palmer (née Nuttall)

Class of 1984

I am currently Headmistress of Norfolk House School in Edgbaston. My days are incredibly varied and never unfold as planned in my diary! Each day starts at 7am and finishes at 6pm, and during that time I can be involved in anything from collecting children from the walking bus right through to speaking to parents living in China or Australia who are interested in their children attending the school! I am very hands on and thoroughly enjoy my job.

Clare Morgan

Class of 1987

After leaving KEHS, I took a year off travelling and worked in Israel, America and Mexico. I then went to Kings College London and completed my degree in Medicine. I qualified in 1994 and then went on to become an Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon. I live a busy life with 3 kids and 3 dogs. I drag the kids to festivals in my Campervan. I never stop and never will!

Catherine Street

Class of 1987

I moved to St John’s Newfoundland Canada in 2005 and became a Canadian citizen in March 2012. I am currently the Director of the Translational and Personalised Medicine Initiative at Memorial University in St John’s.


Rebecca Cullen

Class of 1990

Since last summer I have left my job, relocated, bought a house, worked as an independent business coach and market researcher, and written all the content for a new website for a Big Six energy supplier. But all this means I've been cherishing my quiet early mornings, with a pot of coffee and the cats nearby. I’ve just started a new, full time role in April.

Anna Lawrence

Class of 1990

Alongside my day job as creative writing lecturer at Birmingham City University, I’m taking part in a British Council writer exchange project between Birmingham and Riga, Latvia, and will be returning to Riga later this year to present new writing inspired by my trip. I’m also the writer-in-residence on a major national project celebrating the bicentenary of George Eliot’s birth. I'm working on a body of poetry under the mentorship of Jane Commane, managing editor of Nine Arches Press and have been selected to participate in the Dynamo Mentoring Scheme for BAME and LGBT writers.

Amy Marston

Class of 1990

I am currently living in the 1950s world of Cold War spies for Stephen Poliakoff’s upcoming TV drama ‘Summer Of Rockets’. I play a small part civil servant in three episodes, but I get to wear nice frocks and have hair like my mum on her wedding day.

Helen Stubbs Pugin (née Pugin)

Class of 1991

I recently took up a new position as Senior Investment Officer at the Department for International Trade, working out of the British Embassy in Berne, Switzerland. It’s an exciting job, at an exciting moment in the UK’s history! I engage with Swiss companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, and support them in their decision to invest or expand in the UK. On the whole, the Swiss aren’t too concerned about Brexit - they’ve been having those same EU-or-not-EU debates for decades too, and they find the Brits a kindred spirit anyway. Other than that, I recently enjoyed the Easter weekend on the pistes!

Kate Grace (née Upton)

Class of 1992

A photo from a trip back home to Birmingham - recognise the steps?!

After Manchester University, I stayed in the North West and now live in sunny Southport with my two children. I work for the Home Office - currently in HMPO and can normally be found either watching the children sailing or freezing on the side of a football field!

Anna Kirkman (née Morby)

Class of 1993

At the grand old age of 42 I have finally completed my family! We welcomed Jessica to the world in April 2019 and I'm so excited about raising her and her big sister Katie to love, contribute and do well in life. It's especially relevant to think about the future generations here in Chamonix where the timeless but fragile beauty of the surrounding mountains serves as a daily reminder that we all need to work hard to protect our future. We started already by buying a second hand twin bicycle trailer and a fully-electric family car to meet the transport needs of our growing family. We continue to run our business 4vallees4saisons in a Verbier's 4-valleys ski resort, selling ski chalets and self-catered holidays to La Tzoumaz.

Clare Burgener

Class of 1998

I recently finished my military career as an RAF pilot and am now half way through a 2 year road trip through the Americas. I am travelling with my husband, our 2 small children and our dog and we are all living in our campervan. We started last year in Canada, are currently in Nicaragua and hope to make Argentina in early 2020!

Mary Donovan

Class of 1998

Here I am stepping out of work at the Foreign Office in Whitehall to do some lunchtime activism with Soroptimist International. The Soroptimists have official consultancy status at the UN and our local, national and international volunteer projects all work to the UN's sustainable development goals, empowering women and girls around the world. At this event, at St Paul's Cathedral, we were supporting the charity Toilet Twinning, who provide toilet facilities to communities lacking them around the world.

Gemma Goggin

Class of 1998

I took my son, Arno, to the theatre, for what was the first known baby-friendly stage production in the history of the West End. This meant, amongst other things, the intervals were long enough for parents to have time to feed their babies.

Leonie Adams

Class of 1999

My chamber group, The Dionysus Ensemble, was appointed the first ever Ensemble In Residence for The Commonwealth Resounds, one of only two accredited Commonwealth music organisations. We were invited to perform at the Commonwealth Day Service which was broadcast live across the world from Westminster Abbey by the BBC on Monday 11th March. Her Majesty the Queen was joined by senior members of the royal family for a service of celebration for Commonwealth Day, with heads of state from all 53 member nations. Our quintet performed the pre-ceremony music and that for the Flag Procession, as well as accompanying the songs of the Commonwealth Youth Choir. At Her Majesty's request, I was presented to The Queen, the royal family and Theresa May after the service!

(picture credit: Westminster Abbey/Picture Partnership)

Tabby Ahmad

Class of 1999

It's been an exciting year my end. I (finally) completed my surgical training in 2018, and been appointed as a consultant vascular surgeon to University Hospitals Birmingham (the QE) in my dream job, in the dream unit. The place I'd always wanted to end up at, in fact!

I have just completed a yearlong advanced endovascular Fellowship in Sydney and thoroughly enjoyed Australian life, but I am now back home in my new post.


Sanchia Goonewardene

Class of 2000

I qualified from Birmingham Medical School with Honours in Clinical Science. After that I completed my Foundation training at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, where I received the West Midlands Deanery Award. My Core General Surgery training was completed in Coventry and Warwickshire and I have worked as a Urology registrar at Guys and St Thomas Hospitals, London and the Royal Free and UCL. I now have 370 publications to my name and have significantly contributed to the Urological Academic World. In addition, I am on the Editorial board of World Journal of Urology and Journal of Robotic Surgery and a Specialist Registrar on the East of England Rotation.

Eleanor Cadman (née Thurley)

Class of 2001

A chance meeting brought me, an audiologist and hearing care assistant Catherine Steed (née Ross (1994)) together and last summer we embarked on opening an independent hearing aid store Ash Hearing in Leamington Spa, offering specialist wax removal and custom state of the art hearing aids. Here is a recent picture of us at a launch in London for the first hearing aid with AI - it can do live translation from 27 languages, live transcription of speech onto a phone screen and can act as personal assistant by finding answers to questions!

Gemma Murray

Class of 2001

This is a photo from the orchestra pit (looking upwards at the ceiling) at the Leeds Grand theatre, where I am currently Guest Principal Double Bass with the orchestra of Northern Ballet. Very grateful as ever to the Old Eds for helping me secure my Cello.

Claire Smith (née Rushe)

Class of 2001

After studying Enginéering at Christ’s College, Cambridge, I worked for Deutsche Bank for 11 years, most of it on the Equity Trading desk. The KEHS 1999 Australian hockey trip may have been a sign of things to come for me, as I met my now-husband at my hockey club in London and, 2½ years ago, emigrated to his home city of Perth, Australia, with two children. Now I run the Australian branch of an Italian company, focusing on the two divisions of oil products and water treatment. Alongside that, my husband and I own a children’s sports business, called Jungle Sports. I still play hockey every week, albeit a lot slower than when I was school!

Charlotte Mudie-Cross (née Cross)

Class of 2002

After celebrating 11 years in journalism at the start of the year, I'll be marking six years at ITV News in the next couple of months too. Recently, I've led an investigation into homelessness and exposed severe failings in the way the deaths of homeless people are handled; as well as working full time on the national newsdesk for a month over the period of the first "meaningful vote" on Brexit. On a personal level, we've just got an adorable new puppy in the family and I'm fundraising for Versus Arthritis - a cause very close to my heart.

Caroline Hanson

Class of 2004

My daughter Sophie Margaret Grace was born on 16th November 2018 in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury. She is the younger sister of Amelia Adelaide Kate. My husband Will Wallace and I are obviously delighted.

Kathryn Howley

Class of 2005

I started a new job in September 2018 as Assistant Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. I'm also directing my own archaeological field project in Sudan at the site of Sanam Temple, which dates to around 675 BC!

Catherine Hingley Meredith (née Hingley)

Class of 2006

Timothy Oliver Meredith was born 24th October 2018, here he is with me, his two year old sister Miriam, and Ross, my husband. Much joy. Much chaos.


Mohini Pathak

Class of 2011

After teaching science for four years in Birmingham, I worked on a cruise for two months to fund three months heading a voluntary education project in Cambodia. Now I work in policy development in The Department of Work and Pensions, focusing on reducing stigmatisation by landlords who rent to those receiving benefits.

Abigail Ralph (née Hey-Smith)

Class of 2012

I am now Mrs Ralph! I got married on 29 September 2018 to an RAF Medic and 10 days later we moved to sunny Cyprus for 3 years! There is a lack of opportunities out here for the married tag-a-long partner, but I’ve just snapped up two jobs within a week of each other! One is in the on base coffee shop and the other is working in the Early Years Unit with the preschool children who have dual-serving parents. Big changes in a very short amount of time!

Tasmine Airey

Class of 2013

Dancing around the world!

Lucy Rabone

Class of 2015

After completing my masters research into a new type of hydrogel treatment for skin burns and running a student marketing campaign for GlaxoSmithKline plc, I’m almost ready to graduate from the University of Birmingham with an MEng in Chemical Engineering! I’ve just accepted a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream which will begin in September, so from then onwards I’ll be using the mathematical skills gained from my engineering degree to advise the government on policy decisions.

Shabnam Golestani

Class of 2016

I’m currently in my second year studying Modern Languages at Oxford. At the moment I’m planning my year abroad and thinking about the kinds of things I might want to do. I’m hoping to split my time between Chile and France. My time at Oxford so far has been both challenging and enjoyable! I really like the city and all the beautiful libraries and buildings where we can study. I’ve also picked up rowing since I’ve been here which is a lot of fun. In my first year I played on the university hockey team and played in the Varsity match against Cambridge, which we won! I’m looking forward to the next two years of my degree and all the experiences that will come with it!

Juju Liao

Class of 2016

I’ve just finished my dissertation and am on my way to finishing the last few of my uni exams!

Ronit Prais

Class of 2017

I'm just coming up to nearly two years of living in Israel and nearly a year and a half of being in the Israeli army as a combat artillery soldier. I am now starting to think about where to head for University.

Lily Gain

Class of 2018

On my gap year this year I decided to audition for drama school and I’ve been successful! In September I’ll be starting my 3 year degree course in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre at Bird College in London. This drama school comes in the top 3 schools in the U.K. for musical theatre so I cannot quite believe it!

OE Publications

Julia’s Shilling

Coreen Turner (née Fuery, Class of 1956)

Julia's Shilling tells the story of Julia Hunt, who was born into a radical literary family which became the butt of Charles Dickens' satire in Bleak House. Her observation of his marriage fuels her desire to remain single, battling poverty and pursuing ambition. The novel brings Leigh Hunt's daughter to life with a sharp eye for the double standards which operated for Victorian women.

A Prescription for Madness

Linda Fawke, née Rowberry (Class of 1964)

When successful business-owner Kate Shaw realises she is pregnant, after a fling with a previous lover, she has life-changing decisions to make. She needs to be in control of her life. Pregnancy in her fifties was never part of the plan. It becomes her secret. The risks of having a baby at her age are clear but she struggles with the idea of an abortion. No-one understands her increasingly erratic behaviour as the preoccupation takes over her life. Her marriage is precarious; the relationship with her former lover uncertain. Is this the way to madness? This is a gripping story about dark choices, gnawing discontent and the uncertainties of love. It is the sequel to ‘A Taste Of His Own Medicine’.

A Holiday To Die For

Marion Leigh (Frances Cox, née Ware, Class of 1967)

A Holiday to Die For is the third book in Marion Leigh’s Petra Minx series of adventure thrillers. Petra teams up with her Italian friend Carlo, first featured in The Politician’s Daughter, as she journeys to Cape Town to attend his cousin’s wedding. Her dream holiday turns into a race against time through South Africa and Namibia to thwart the plans of a diabolical duo: a guy who is too gorgeous for his own sanity and a bogus priest.

This great beach read will keep you guessing and unable to rest until you know the outcome.

Home Education: What? Why? How?

Sue Fairhead, née Bold (Class of 1978)

Advice from a former home educator, interspersed with stories from her own family's journey into alternative education. It explains how ordinary parents can educate their children at home in a variety of ways to suit their individual learning styles. The book answers many questions that are often asked when considering home education. If you wonder how children can be motivated without stars or grades, or how home educated children learn social skills, for instance, you should find some reassurance and practical suggestions.

Sadly Missed: Pat McGowan (née Liggitt)

Pat McGowan (née Liggitt)

Class of 1943

Written by Jean Petersen (née McIlveen)

Pat McGowan, 1925 to 2018, died peacefully in her sleep in Rome, Italy, while visiting family. Throughout her lifetime, Pat often reflected on her happy time at KEHS, and many of the friendships she made there have lasted for decades. Whilst at school she met her husband,
Bruce H. McGowan (deceased), who attended KES. Pat was a wonderful wife, mother, friend and colleague. She tackled whatever challenges came her way with good humour. Even in her 90s she took music lessons, played croquet, did water aerobics and played daily scrabble games online with family. An inspiration to us all, Pat will be remembered for her enjoyment of life, her capacity to just get on with things, her kindness and her love.

Sadly Missed: Ann Lea Reynolds

Ann Lea Reynolds

Class of 1945

Written by Penelope H Searley

Ann Lea Reynolds was born in July 1926, the younger daughter of William and Annie Reynolds nd sister to Janet.

She attended King Edward’s High School for Girls at which she excelled academically and made lifelong friends. Ann gained a place at Birmingham University to study Medicine, one of a feisty generation of women undergraduates, where she was awarded the Queen’s Scholarship in her final year and went on to obtain a Distinction in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and take the Ingleby Scholarship in her final Degree examinations.

In what was still a male-dominated profession, she began her house rotations in Birmingham and Nottingham in 1950, working under the very eminent Dame Hilda Lloyd among others. The letters of recommendation she received attested to both the quality of her work and to her personal skills

In 1964 she was appointed Consultant at Dudley Road Hospital in Birmingham, where she ran a department in a busy inner-city Maternity Unit and went on to become Chairman of the Medical Staff Committee. She was highly respected but also loved by her medical peers, hospital administrators, nurses and patients alike and remained in post there until her retirement.

Ann was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in June 1972 and, after her retirement, continued her active involvement in their work.

She was a benefactor of many Birmingham organisations, most notably the CBSO, continuing her father’s love of music and demonstrating her commitment to civic society.

Sadly Missed: Margaret Clarke (née Wood)

Margaret Clarke (née Wood)

Class of 1956

Written by Pennie Channing

Born in October 1937, Margaret Wood attended KEHS in the 1950’s, before going on to study history at St Anne’s College in Oxford. After graduating she taught at Downs House girls independent boarding school and then Deanery High School for Girls before marrying my father in 1962. She was joint British Ladies Chess Champion in 1966 and in 2000 was given the Chess title Lady Candidate Master. In her time, she taught many subjects including History, English, Latin, French, and RE; she seemed to know just about everything! She was a lovely lady, who did lots of voluntary work in the village after she gave up teaching and also worked as a volunteer advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau. She is survived by her 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren and will be sadly missed by her friends and family.

Sadly Missed: Deborah Wilson

Deborah Wilson

Class of 1970

Written by Linda Brown (née Froggatt)

Deb came to KEHS from a family who had had little opportunity for education but who valued it and encouraged Deb in everything she did. She loved words, language and etymology. She enjoyed poetry and plays, concerts, exhibitions and anything to do with the ancient world.These interests started at school and stayed with her throughout her life.As Deb wanted to be a doctor she studied sciences at A level whilst continuing with her reading of literature.Deb went to medical school at the University of Liverpool graduating in 1976 and she remained in Merseyside where she worked first in general practice and then in psychiatry where her skills in communication and teamwork were invaluable.She took early retirement due to ill health after developing early onset Alzheimer’s disease.Deb married Dave Finnegan, also a doctor, but the marriage ended in divorce. Deb balanced her career with family life, putting her daughter and son first. Deb shared her love of words with her children and this is something they remember fondly.Deb was a steadfast friend and a great travelling companion from early adventures on walking trips and inter-railing to more recent holidays in Europe. During her long illness she was helped by her friends and then cared for by her father who survives her as do her children and grandchildren.

Sadly Missed: Sue Brierley (née Harris)

Sue Brierley (née Harris)

Class of 1972

Written by Penny Clover

Sue was a student at KEHS in class C of 1965-72. She went on to study at Bradford University and got a degree in Pharmacy, then worked most of her career for Boots. Married first to Howard, and then very happily later to John Brierley, a PE teacher. They both really enjoyed walking, and nature, keen bird watchers. They moved from Preston up to Scotland to the Black Isle near Inverness to a house where they planted many trees, created a wildlife sanctuary, kept 2 dogs and really enjoyed their retirement, until illness overcame them both. They worked with RSPB as part of the campaign to re-introduce the red kites to that area. I have fond memories especially of watching the red kite “Blue L” swoop down into their garden to feed on meat scraps. This wonderful bird is now common where I live in Oxfordshire, so they are a regular reminder of my friend Sue. She will be missed by her friends, particularly Karen Greaves and Penny Clover.

Sadly Missed: Angela Homer (née Richards)

Angela Homer (née Richards)

Class for 1972

Written by Lyndsay Jones

My abiding memory of her - even at the school reunion last year when she was barely mobile - is of her laughing. She saw the humour in everything and raised people's spirits in a generous, unique way. I shall miss her.

Sadly Missed: Dr Sally Margaret Anne Bradley

Dr Sally Margaret Anne Bradley

Class of 1981

Written by Cheryl Fitzgerald (nee Doherty)

Sally started in 3A at KEHS in September 1974. There are so many memories of Sally, it’s difficult to know where to start.

At school she was the complete all-rounder, clever, amazing at sport, virtually invented the term ‘extra-curricular’ and popular with teachers and girls. There was never a more worthy choice for the Creak Memorial prize. After Sally died, so many Old Eds sent messages...

“swam with the academically successful elite”

“form leader more times than any other girl in our form”

“mainstay of the Junior Drama Festival”

“games teachers always fighting over her for every team”

“always had a queue of boys from KES lined up daring to ask her out”

“never stood still”

“loved by girls, teachers and parents”

As well as

“hopeless at French!”

“used to drag fellow 3Aers along the polished floors with her jumper!”

After UVIth, Sally studied medicine in Manchester. She continued to get involved in more than academia, having a major role in the Medical School Committee as well as a very full social life! After graduating, Sally initially worked in general practice before pursuing a career in public health and latterly hospital clinical management. During her career in Manchester she served as Director of Public Health for Manchester and Medical Director of Pennine Acute Trust.

When she turned 50, she decided to spend the last few years of her career abroad and moved to Freemantle in West Australia, where she worked as medical Director in an acute hospital. Sally and her husband Bill were planning to come back to the UK in the next year or so, but tragically, they were both killed in one of the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Throughout her life Sally remained principled, hard working but more importantly great fun and a good friend to so many. A group of us from 3A including Sally have remained good friends since we met in September 1974- a lifetime away.

We miss you Sal.

Sadly Missed: ​Alexandra Goddard (née Corney)

Alexandra Goddard (née Corney)

Class of 1990

Written by Diane Bilbey and adapted from Volume 119, Number 4 of Museums Journal, by the Museums Association

Alex Goddard died on 8 June 2018. After leaving KEHS, she went on to study English at the University of Liverpool, going on to be appointed as Assistant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where she met her future husband, Jim.

In 2007, Alex joined the Geffrye Museum of the Home taking up the post of Assistant Keeper/ Interpretation and Exhibitions where she was co-curator of the Eco Home exhibition – a subject close to her heart because of her interest in, and commitment to, sustainable, contemporary design.

In 2014, she joined the British Library as Exhibitions Manager and quickly and enthusiastically became involved in a number of major exhibitions, including: Magna Carta, Harry Potter and ultimately Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.

Alex’s many personal qualities are too numerous to list. She was hardworking, meticulous, supportive, kind but with exacting standards, with a strong work ethic and more than her fair share of common-sense, and a natural ability to deal with people at every level. These qualities were central to who she was as a colleague, bringing a combination of professionalism and warmth that made her sought-after as a mentor, public speaker, and motivator of staff, volunteers and interns, roles through which she leaves an enduring legacy. As a friend she was a joy and support to very many.

Sadly Missed: Antonia Syson

Antonia Syson (23 February 1973 – 25 March 2018)

Antonia Syson spent only two years at KEHS, but in that short time, she made a deep and lasting impression on friends and teachers alike. Antonia was born in Botswana and brought up in North London, until her mother and step-father moved to Birmingham.Having learned to read early, Antonia skipped a year at primary school, and was just 15 when she joined KEHS sixth form.She studied A level Latin, Ancient Greek, History and General Studies (which was then compulsory), along with Italian as an extra GCSE. Antonia particularly relished the chance to study Ancient Greek to A level standard, which would not have been possible had she stayed at her London school.Her Italian GCSE helped support her passion for opera and art, and was to come in useful during her gap year.

It must have been hard for Antonia to join KEHS in the sixth form, where most girls had already known each other for several years.And yet she fitted in so well, quickly forming strong and lasting friendships, despite a chronic lack of self-confidence, reflected in her tendency to constantly apologise, seemingly for her very existence. In KEHS, Antonia found the supportive and intellectually rich environment that she craved, revelling in the high standards, excellent teaching and above all, the like-minded schoolmates.She felt accepted and welcomed, in a way that she never had in her North London state school.I was fortunate that Antonia came to live in Edgbaston, just down the road from me.We regularly walked the mile or so to and from school together along Edgbaston High Road, chatting animatedly about politics, school, and of course, boys.

Antonia was offered a place at Magdalen College, Oxford, to read classics, which she deferred for a year to learn French (in France) and inter-rail around Europe.For Antonia, this was a huge adventure; she wrote to me from France that she was “learning all sorts of things, like how to be alone without being lonely”.It was also an important formative period that was to influence the course of her life.It was during her gap year that, having made friends with an American, she resolved to visit the US; she was eventually to spend most of her adult life there.It was also during her gap year that she developed a life-long ambition to learn German, both to keep in touch with new friends from Germany, and to better appreciate German music and literature.She was still taking German lessons a week before she died.

After graduating from Oxford in 1995, Antonia was offered a scholarship to study for a PhD in classics at Berkeley, California.This marked the start of a distinguished academic and teaching career in the US, spanning Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Dartmouth College.In 2008, she settled at Purdue University in West Lafayette (Indiana), where she quickly became an indispensable member of the faculty.She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2014.

Antonia was a brilliant scholar, whose fierce intelligence, precision, insistence on clear thinking, and deep engagement with literature ensured that her many published academic works received critical acclaim [1]. She took immense delight in trying out new techniques to encourage critical thinking in her students, and particularly enjoyed introducing students majoring in science to the joys of classical and English literature. But, somewhat to her own surprise, Antonia came to realise that her greatest professional passion lay in teaching.She developed a strong interest in how students learn and in innovative pedagogical methods, winning several awards for her teaching. As Antonia grew weaker in her final illness, there were some things that she found particularly difficult to let go of.Her beloved students and teaching were among the hardest.

Antonia was a highly cultured person, with an encyclopaedic knowledge and profound appreciation of music, opera, film, art and literature.Music and opera, in particular, were absolutely central to her life; Antonia seemed to feel their sensory pleasures more deeply than the rest of us, not infrequently bursting into tears at the sheer emotion of a particular scene or tune. Ultimately, she loved beauty in all its forms, and found that wilderness and nature could calm her often over-active mind.On a writing retreat in the Scottish Isles, she wrote: “There's something about the Hebrides that helps my mind just unfurl and rest, but in a clear-headed, wide-awake way. Something about the light (always changing), and the creatures (otters, seals, deer, etc.) and the sounds of water and life and wind”.

Antonia was a unique and complex character: a sometimes confusing mix of the formidably intellectual and the endearingly childlike.Coming from a strong socialist background, she was highly politically and socially engaged, and always devastatingly precise and persuasive in her arguments.At the same time, she would greet a pretty bird or a beautiful flower with the sense of wonder of a small child.She was well-known for her tendency to burst into tears or exuberant laughter at any moment.Antonia could also swear like a trooper; it could be disconcerting to hear obscenities come out of her petite frame.But this was all part of her disarming honesty, and of her emotions carried so close to the surface.

Antonia had suffered from depression, including during her time at KEHS. But she had gradually learned to live with the bouts of self-loathing and dark thoughts that sometimes took hold.Her final years at West Lafayette saw Antonia grow into happiness, not only in her professional career, but in her personal and domestic life.Although impeccably modern and feminist, there was something of the accomplished Jane Austen heroine about her, as she began to appreciate more fully the mundane pleasures of gardening, home decorating, sewing and even, to the surprise of those who knew her as an atheist, singing in the local Church choir. They should not have been surprised. Antonia was always open-minded and inquisitive of the forces motivating others, even if she did not share them.

Family and friends were tremendously important to Antonia. She never married or had children of her own, but delighted in her role as an active and devoted aunt to her sister’s four children.Antonia was also a devoted friend. Over the years, she built up a large network of friends across two continents, working hard at maintaining those relationships despite the obstacles of geography. She was genuinely interested in the lives of her friends, always asking the right questions and most importantly, remembering the answers.It was a sign of her love for her close friends that she refused to take the easy option of humouring them, preferring to always give an honest opinion, even if it was uncomfortable to hear.

Antonia was diagnosed with advanced inflammatory breast cancer in the Autumn of 2017.As it became clear that the prognosis was terminal, a steady stream of visitors made their way to West Lafayette, including several old friends from KEHS and KE.An extensive community of local friends and colleagues rallied round to offer apparently limitless practical and emotional support, paying testimony to the huge respect and affection she commanded.Antonia’s cancer progressed quickly, but she was able to stay at home, surrounded by books, flowers, music, her beloved cats and her trusty ipad.She kept in touch with her army of well-wishers from around the world until almost the very end. She died peacefully with her family at her bedside.

Antonia died much too soon, but she lived her life to the very full.The two years she spent at KEHS provided her with the foundations for a life well-lived, in every possible sense of the word.

Joanna Depledge, with Tom Loosemore

[1] For an overview of her academic work, see Antonia’s obituary published in the Journal of Classical Studies.