An invitation to dinner...

This year's annual dinner welcomes Phil Bramwell (1968-75) whose self confessed memory of the school was “KES didn't bring out the best in me and I didn't bring out the best in it!” He acknowledges “I think it's fair to say that I enjoyed playing rugby for my first three or four years at the school and I have many happy memories of the various misdeeds perpetrated by the pupils upon the staff, culminating in the flour bombing of speech day.”

Though he left KES to study engineering he soon changed direction to study law, with deviating results. He has spent much of the last 25 years working and living overseas as a mergers & acquisitions lawyer in the pharmaceutical, IT and telecommunications industries. This included a role as managing partner of the Strategic Advisory Practice of the DDV Group in Brussels, one of Europe's leading specialist telecommunications consulting firms. He had also been vice president of Corporate & Legal Affairs at Bellsouth Europe, working in a transatlantic role, based both in Europe and the U.S. He returned to the UK ten years ago to lead the demerger of BT's mobile business to create O2 plc, the most successful UK mobile operator of the last ten years. He joined BAE Systems plc as Group Legal Director at the beginning of 2007. By the middle of the year The FT said “Philip Bramwell was one of the most recommended general counsel in Europe for his work in modernising the legal function of BAE. Appointed in January, he has since managed to change reporting lines so internal lawyers report to the chief executives of different businesses. His “blitzkrieg” approach is creating rapid change at the company.”

We look forward to welcoming Philip on Maundy Thursday, 20 March 2008.

2008 OEA Dinner Ticket Orders

Maundy Thursday, 20 March 2008

This year's dinner will again take place at Baldwins Omega on Psalter Lane and tickets can be ordered by completing the form enclosed with this newsletter and attaching a cheque. (Booking is also available via the website.) As in the last two years, the dinner arrangements include live dance music in the adjacent Rib room during the second half of the evening. As will be noted elsewhere in this newsletter, dinner places are limited and Old Eds are asked to return their booking as soon as possible.

There will be anniversary tables for the cohorts 1951-58, 1954-61 (who become OAPs in 07/08), 1958-65, 1968-75, 1981-88. Anyone else wishing to organise a table should contact Don Nicolson, via membership*at*

Centenary of Dr. George Linstead

On 24th January this year the centenary of the birth of Dr. George Linstead (1908 – 1974) was celebrated in Sheffield. Linstead was in himself a chapter in the history of music in Sheffield. For the best part of fifty years he was one of the most prominent musicians in the city as pianist, organist, composer, conductor, lecturer, teacher, critic and author. He did for a time teach music at KES, during a time when Norman J. Barnes was on extended sick leave. (Further information is available on the Association's website.) His son, Stephen Linstead (KES 1952-59) was director of the Dept. Trade & Industry (West Midlands region 1990-94).

Last year's Dinner

Julia Bradbury with Michael Lewis (Left) and OE President John Phillips

Last year's Old Edwardian's dinner was attended by 227 Old Edwardians of both sexes, 35% of whom were products of the post 1968 comprehensive era. At 94, ex teacher (now deceased) Gordon Cumming was the oldest Old Edwardian present.

The glamorous TV personality Julia Bradbury, co presenter of BBC's Watchdog programme, gave a professional presentation that included a video showing the range of activities today's TV presenters get involved in, and name dropping to an extent unmatched by the rest of the room!

Clearly happy to be there Julia proved to be one of the stalwarts dancing to the live music until the small hours.


1949 Cross Country
Mr Woodward, H F Oxer, Leonard J Hunt,Gordon J Taylor, R W (Bob) Needham, Mr D B Harrison; John B Crowe, David C Law, Dr A W Barton, C J Richardson, Maurice Millward.

Dr Harry Oxer, an old Edwardian, (44 – 51) whose father was vicar of St Chad’s Church, Woodseats, was awarded a knighthood in the order of St John by the Governor of Western Australia, on behalf of the Queen. Dr Oxer, who has had a distinguished career in medicine and community service, has served in St John Ambulance for more than 30 years. He lives with his family in Perth, Australia.

He is pictured in 1949 as part of the school cross country Team, whose captain, Law, won the Northern Schools Cross Country Championship in that year. (The picture can be found on

University Honours

The University of Sheffield Hons (awarded in July 2007).

Dr Anthony Hanwell (KES 1949-1956) - Doctor of Engineering. Anthony has been recognised for his notable achievements in the world of business, after founding Keymed Medical Industrial Equipment Ltd.

Sir Alan Dawtry (KES 1927-1934) - Doctor of Laws, for his achievements in local government. (Alan Dawtry CBE (MBE (mil)) TD, was Chief Executive of Westminster City Council 1956-77.)

Old Eds Speech Day Prize

The Old Edwardians last year restored a Final Year prize. This prize is to be awarded annually to the student who makes the most significant all round contribution. The Prize, to the value of £150, was presented to last year's (record breaking) final year of 2007. Simon Roberts, regarded as the most successful all rounder, received the prize by Old Edwardian’s president John Phillips at a special presentation to the whole of the 2007 final year. Simon was the School's 6th form speaker at last year's OE dinner.

KES Head Teacher

Michael Lewis has announced he is to retire this summer after 20 years at the helm.

We wish him well and many congratulations on a stewardship that has both hugely built on the school's reputation and transformed the state of its fabric.

Reflections on twenty years at King Edward VII School

I had never heard of King Edward VII School before I applied for the headship in 1988 but then my only acquaintance with Sheffield had been occasional visits to the Silver Blades ice­rink in the 1970s when I had been working in a Youth Club in Derbyshire. It was a glorious May morning when I first saw the spectacular facade and I was immediately reminded of the Georgian portals of my own city centre Grammar School in Belfast. To say it was love at first sight is an exaggeration but on that morning I chose to disregard the terrible condition of dilapidated Lynwood and Melbourne Annexes and the neglect and disrepair of Lower School on Darwin Lane. Two senior students, Michael Heng and Tom Healey, showed me around, talked to me and answered my torrent of questions. I felt at home.

The world of education changed in September 1988, the year the plethora of reforms flowing from central government began. They have continued ever since. I was bemused by how little the key policy makers and educational leaders in Sheffield knew, understood or cared about KES and how apparently lacking in self-confidence many of the staff of the School were. It was a key priority to create inside and outside the School, a new understanding and respect for it as a modern, progressive and robust comprehensive institution with strong liberal and inclusive values. I would like to think that mission has been accomplished. I have never felt overawed by tradition but I was keen to build on the School's rich history and to renew the partnership between the School and its former pupils as represented by the Old Edwardians Association. I believe the partnership we enjoy today has never been stronger in the comprehensive era and I hope my successor will receive the same support which has sustained me over the years.

The heart of my work has of course been educational development and renewal in a period of rapid social and educational change. No school is Sheffield has such a rich diversity of young people as we find at KES. No school enjoys such a high reputation for inclusive education and the achievements of our students are the envy of many. 200 young people each year progress into Higher Education, attending, at the last count, nearly 50 different universities. International partnerships link us with friends in many countries including Japan, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Sport, Music, Drama, Outdoor Education, Charity Work and a range of intellectual pursuits flourish. We became South Yorkshire's first specialist Language College and first Training School. Our Sixth Form has grown by over 50% in two decades. Lower School has been completely rebuilt, Lynwood and Melbourne disposed of in exchange for a new building and the learning environment greatly improved. By 2012 major renovations and additions at Upper School will have transformed the main building. My successor will inherit what the Inspectors described in 2006 as a “vibrant learning community”. I wish him ( or her!) every success, happiness and good fortune.

Michael Lewis

The Other Side of the World

We are reminded that Old Edwardians can be found all over the world, by the fact that two completely separate personal visits were made to the school in late December last year, by Old Edwardians visiting Sheffield based relatives over the Christmas period. Both it transpired now lived in Australia, and according to the report, looked measurably younger than the years they claimed! Is this a feature of all Old Edwardians of age we wonder (the excellence of school dinners perhaps) or the benefits of the Australian clime?

Also Stephen Addis (KES 1968-74) came from Perth, Western Australia for the 2007 dinner as did Graham Siddall (KES 1958-65) from Seattle, USA.


Lord Allen of Abbeydale

Lord Allen of Abbeydale, who died on 27th November 2007 aged 95, devised the rules for the 1975 referendum on EEC membership and was permanent secretary at the Home Office from 1966 to 1972.

Roy Jenkins described him as a man committed to "positive social reformism" and after his retirement from the Civil Service, Allen campaigned for prison reform. After his retirement he held a wide range of public appointments; in February 1975, Harold Wilson appointed him National Counting Officer for the referendum on British membership of the EEC, a post that involved the Herculean task of devising, at less than four months' notice, a complete set of rules and administrative arrangements for a nationwide ballot to be held on June 5. Philip Allen was born in Sheffield on July 8 1912 and educated at King Edward VII School, Sheffield, and at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he read Law. After coming top of his year in the Civil Service administrative examinations in 1934, he entered the Home Office the same year. In 1943-44 he worked in the offices of the War Cabinet.

From 1950 to 1952 he was deputy chairman of the Prison Commission, In 1953 Allen became head of the police division at the Home Office and from 1955 to 1960 was deputy secretary at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. He returned to Home Office as permanent secretary in 1966.

Allen retired from the Civil Service in 1972 and in the same year was appointed chairman of the government's new Occupational Pensions Board, set up to bring private pension schemes under government supervision.

From 1973 to 1977 he was chairman of the National Council of Social Service. He was Chairman of the Gaming Board for Great Britain from 1973 to 1985.

Philip Allen was appointed CB in 1954, KCB in 1964 and GCB in 1970. He was created a life peer in 1976.

He married, in 1938, Marjorie Coe, who died in 2002. There were no children.

Gordon Cumming

Gordon Cumming (KES 1923-1931) died on 2 Dec 2007 at the age of 94. He had lived in Sheffield all his life, and from his school days retained an interest in and contact with the school. Gordon Cumming returned to KES after Sheffield University and taught there from 1935 to 1953. His grandchildren have attended KES in the 2000s. He has been a regular diner at the OEA dinners and attended last year's.

Photo: Gordon Cumming 2nd from the left on the occasion of the Centenary Book launch in 2005

In addition the OEA has been informed in 2007 of the deaths of the following:
Tony Aldridge (1954-61); Horace Brearley, Master at KES in the 1940s, Yorkshire cricketer, father of Mike Brearley; William D S Scobie, English Master at KES in the 1960s; Dr J J Head, Head of Biology in the 1960s (d. August 1992); Eric John Green, Woodwork Master from 1956 until the mid 1970s; William Stacey Furniss (1938-49); John Pearson (1931-35); Frank Bailey (1941-48); Derek Williams (1957-64); Herbert Simmerson (1931-38); David Pike (1951-58); Malcolm Tummon (1942-51); Joyce Batty (succeeded Walter Birkinshaw as Head of Maths); Janet Duffin (nee Manners) (taught Maths at KES in the 40s); R V (Bob) Townsend (Head Prefect 1941-42); Ron West (1934-39); Andrew Pinion (1950-56); John Arthur Hunt (1942-50).