Old Edwardians and their teachers turned out in huge numbers to celebrate the school's centenary last autumn, when headteacher Michael Lewis agreed to open the school on the Saturday evening.
It is testament to the positive experience of being at the school that led over 800 of all ages, many from outside the UK, to attend what was a low key celebratory event.
Formal proceedings took place for part of the evening, as visitors were summoned to the hall by the sound of a twin brass fanfare, and quiet then ensued as head teacher Michael Lewis led the presentation. Book author and past chair of governors John Cornwell introduced the new history of the school, a publication made available on the night. (See Book Sales Take Off.)
Stars amongst the organisers were students who worked tirelessly with their tutors, to produce and subsequently distribute around the crowds tasty and original savouries. This deserves special mention since the quality of the food, and the turnout of the waiting staff, would have been equal to that of any quality hotel.
The evening included the unveiling of a new plaque in the vestibule that records the service of all the past head teachers, installed there by the Old Edwardians Association. It also included the provision of a bar in the dining room - an innovation that was approved of by everyone, since the level of business more than justified the licencee's efforts in attending!
The Old Edwardians added their own twist to the celebrations by holding a lunch at Abbeydale sports club on the Sunday of the same weekend.
The 150 tickets were sold out well before the event, and more chattering - enough almost to rank with the evening before - ensued. Although it had been promoted during the evening before, the Association formally launched its appeal to restore the large Edward VII painting as its Centenary Appeal at the event. Many Old Edwardians subsequently supported the Appeal, some sending more than the £25 patronage asked for. This newsletter is accompanied by an appeal form, the last time we shall be approaching members, as the project will shortly be underway and completed later this year. We hope that anyone who feels able, will support this last effort to ensure the project is successfully completed.
This Maundy Thursday (April 13th) is again the date for our annual dinner (and dance) that takes placed at Baldwin's Omega. Tickets cost £28 and a form accompanies this newsletter. Our speaker is Rony Robinson, a redoubtable presenter at Radio Sheffield, and one who is more than used to the sound of his own voice!
This year's event incorporates one or two departures from tradition with the intention of both boosting the numbers and lowering the age profile. Attendance is highest amongst those in the 40's, but participants in their 90's were last year sharing top spot with two tables of sixth form students from the school. Accordingly, students have been invited this year as have members of the school staffing roll.
A key change in programme to previous dinners is the addition of a live music interlude for the second half of the evening. This is local band Gemolade who will be playing in the Rib Room, so that those who wish to stay and talk in the main dining room, will still be able to do so. (The rooms are separated by a bar area.) If you intend to attend please complete the form promptly as all organisation is undertaken on a voluntary basis, and late bookings cause mayhem!
Nigel Taylor, who unfortunately died last November,
scans the new book for recognisable names
King Ted's - a Biography of King Edward VII School Sheffield 1905-2005 - was published in October last year, and made available at the school Centenary Event in both hard back and paperback form. Predictably, many hardback editions were sold during the weekend, with the added bonus of author John Cornwell on hand to sign them. His work has been commended nationally, as the work is meticulous, and each era (as defined by its head) carries its own detail and wider perspective, as the 100 years included many adjustments to education that impacted on the school. It also reveals the extent to which participants in the "modernisation" process that was to remove grammar schools in the city, believed to the last that King Edwards might be excepted. John shares credit for the depth of the book with ex school secretary Ann Smith, who, while at the school and subsequently, took it upon herself to sort, file and register the huge amount of old school information files that had survived until that point in ignominy. Sales of the book have been hugely successful with all hard back issues sold, and a steady sale continues of the remaining paperbacks.
Copies may be obtained direct from the school by contacting the school secretary.
Ann has had an almost uninterrupted work relationship with the school for the past 20 years, despite being paid for only some of it as secretary of the school. The rest of the time has been spent working on the school's historic documents, cleaning the school's silver, providing the organisation, secretarial services and database for the Old Edwardians, and being the communicator and organiser behind the scenes at both the 90th and 100th school celebrations. As she and her husband are both now retired, and own a property in France, she has decided that the long link with the school and the Old Edwardians has run its course. We thank her for her herculean efforts, and wish her a well earned rest!
It has been suggested that the school organ, which has been out of commission for several years, would be eligible for National Lottery/Heritage funds. The association is still concerned with the restoration of the Edward VII portrait and is not yet in a position to commit to a new project. However, interest is growing and readers are encouraged to respond to the association's website with their own memories, or ideas about how such a project should be progressed. Details regarding the original installation of the organ are reproduced on the website - see e.g. Old Edwardians' Association War Memorial Appeal [KES Mag 1949]
Professor Ted Wragg, one of the best known names in UK education, died following a heart attack. He had been taken ill while jogging and died four days later in hospital. He was 67.
Edward Conrad Wragg, former teacher and head teacher, retired from Exeter University's school of education in 2003 after 32 years.
He had remained emeritus professor there and had continued as a writer, lecturer, broadcaster and adviser.
A huge man on the British educational scene, he entertained many hard-pressed teachers with a column on the back page of the TES, which gave an alternative view of government interference to that given voice in the national press.
He honoured his old school by speaking at the Old Edwardians Annual Dinner, held in the school hall during the 1990's.
He taught modern languages at his first school in Wakefield, before becoming head of German at Wyggeston Boys school in Leicester. By 1966 he had become a university lecturer in Exeter, later becoming professor of Education at Nottingham University before in 1978, going to Exeter as professor, where he stayed until retirement. In his honorary teacher's role as education commentator, he appeared as the presenter of and contributor to numerous radio and TV series and items on education, including Chalkface (Granada), Crisis in Education (BBC), The Education Roadshow (BBC), The Education Programme (BBC), Pebble Mill at One (BBC), Teaching Today (BBC), Panorama, BBC News, News at Ten, Channel 4 News, Sky News, You and Yours, Today, File on Four, World in Action, Weekend World, PM, The Moral Maze,. The Jonathan Dimbleby Programme, Any Questions etc.
Left KES in 1932 to join the family cleaning business where the emphasis was on the practical side of training. He was a staunch Methodist and member of Banner Cross Church. He served in the National Fire Service between 1938-45 whilst younger brother David served overseas with the 8th army. He was Chairman of the Retail Section of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, was involved in the founding of the Sheffield & District Chamber of Trade, becoming its President in 1972 and serving as an Office Holder and Chairman of the Executive Committee until 1993. He was also the National President of the Carpet Cleaners Association from 1969-71 and subsequently became Chairman of WE. Franklin Ltd., Director of the National Carpet Cleaners Association and Fellow of the Institute of Management. After a series of strokes and a period of time in a nursing home, he died in December 2005.
Born 30.6.1935, died 8.12.2005, studied Pharmacy at Bradford, followed by an apprenticeship with Boots. Posted to Cyprus for his national service 1958/59. Married to Hazel Carrier with two children born in 1962 and 1964. Worked for most of his career with Glaxo very successfully, travelling the world and becoming a sales Director. After retirement gained his PhD in the history of pharmacy.
Kept in touch with many King Edward's friends and attended reunions regularly. Jen Unwin (daughter)
I visited Eric Sivil several times in 2005 in his flat off the bottom of Manchester Rd. He said that he had stopped attending the OEA dinners around 1997 as his hearing had deteriorated. He also had difficulty walking and had an impressive collection of medications on his coffee table. He lent me 6 large photos of sports teams and also his reports for 1927-36 (he described himself as 'very dull' as a scholar). He gave me an account of dismantling a V2 rocket (for which he was awarded the George Medal) which had fallen upon an orchard in Kent; and he showed me a small commemorative carving made by the locals from the wood of one of the fallen apple trees.
The magazines record him being Secretary of the OE's Football Club from Dec 38 until war intervened and then again in 1948. He was Secretary of the OEA from 1950 to 1958, and President from 1958 to 1961. 8 years as Secretary is in itself a monumental contribution to the OEA, crowned by an immaculate membership list put together by Eric and his wife in 1956. He also played cricket and football for the OEs throughout the 40s and 50s. Further information on the website.
During the past year, the students at the school in years 8 and 9 raised enough money to supply 12 Aqua boxes at a cost of £32 each. Each box contains useful supplies such as pots and pans, buckets, candles, water purification etc.The boxes are distributed abroad by Rotary International. The local Rotary movement sends these and shelter boxes abroad at the time of major disasters. (Shelter boxes contain a tent for 10, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and tools). In the past year, thousands of boxes have been amongst the first aid to be sent from Britain in response to earthquake and Tsunami victims.
On the evening of Wednesday 15th March, school musicians will be playing at at the Spring Concert to be held in St Marks Church, Broomhill.
The school is taking its healthy obligations to heart, and removing a chocolate machine from the Glossop Road dining room! (The profits had been used to fund the school hardship fund, enabling disadvantaged students to participate in additional educational activities.) It is to be replaced by a fruit bar.
Exam invigilators are required for external examinations in May and June this year. Full training is given and pay is £8.02 per hour. Further details on 0114 268 2518 or office*at*kes.sheffield.sch.uk
Old Edwardians Association, PO Box 3682, Sheffield S11 9ZU.
Email: membership*at*oldedwardians.org.uk oldedwardians.org.uk