OE Newsletter February 2005

It’s our Centenary Year!

2005 is the year in which King Edward VII School Sheffield celebrates one hundred years’ history, and Old Edwardians will have their own opportunity to participate on the occasion selected to celebrate. The weekend of October 8th and 9th is when the Glossop Road school will open to all visitors on the Saturday, for formal and informal events and socialising. On the Sunday, a limited number of places will be made available for a traditional Sunday lunch in the upstairs dining room of the Abbeydale Club. There will be a mailing to all members later this spring detailing all the options of the weekend, and asking for interest on what will become the Old Edwardians centenary appeal to be launched on Centenary day in October. We can already reveal that the selected appeal seeks to refurbish the grand painting of King Edward that has adorned the north end staircase since time immemorial. While the fabric of the school currently enjoys better health than at any time in the last 60 years, the painting itself can never become part of a budget paid by Sheffield City Council.

Frank Melling Memorial

Frank Melling, one of Sheffield's leading amateur sportsmen has died at the age of 85.

He attended KES from 1929 to 1937 and was a student at Sheffield University from 1937-39, 1945-47 where he obtained a degree in Architecture.

During the Second World War he played for two seasons as an amateur for Sheffield Wednesday scoring 33 goals in 56 appearances In 1943 /44 season he helped Wednesday reach the League North Cup final partnering the prolific Jackie Robinson. Eric Taylor, the Owls Secretary Manager, invited him to turn professional but he declined and instead resumed his studies at Sheffield University and went on to qualify as an Architect forming his own practice (now Melling and Ridgeway).

Frank was also an outstanding cricketer and joined Sheffield United as captain in 1949. He led the team to three Yorkshire League titles and subsequently served in various roles for the club across 55 years. In 1954 he was asked to join the Board of Sheffield United Cricket and Football Club Limited initially as a member of the cricket committee but later he was also made a member of the football committee serving as a Director from 1954 - 1973.

Frank was always a modest man with quiet authority who never sought to draw attention to his achievements as a player. He was ever the gentleman and a man of trust who never betrayed confidences.

Frank lived in Fulwood and had been a widower for some years following the death of his wife Margaret and is survived by his two daughters.

Centenary Celebrations

King Edward VII School was founded 100 years ago this year although our wonderful 2* listed building goes right back to the start of the reign of Queen Victoria. On the evening of Saturday 8 October 2005 we are celebrating our Centenary with a unique event in the long story of our School, the publication of the first full length history of the School.

John Cornwell, a former Chair of the Governing Body of the School, has devoted four years to a labour of love. His history weaves a fascinating narrative, drawing on many original and hitherto unpublished sources. He brings to life with affection and generosity the many characters who have graced the School and left their mark on it and recalls anecdotes, achievements and rivalries. His pages are animated by the sport, music and theatrical aspirations of the staff and students of the School, set in the context of their time. In the background he catches perfectly the rumbling sound of Sheffield politics. The launch of “KES – Biography of a School” promises to be a wonderful occasion. It is with great pleasure that I am writing to invite Old Edwardians of all generations to join us on this joyous occasion. The School will be open from 18.15 onwards for nostalgic visitors to stroll along the corridors and through the classrooms and laboratories. The official ceremonies will begin at 19.45. There will be entertainment and refreshments and much good humour. We look forward to welcoming you to the School on 8 October 2005.

Michael Lewis, Headteacher

The Centenary History 1905-2005

In October of 2002 John Cornwell, a former Chair of Governors, was asked by the school to write the History of King Edward VII School in time for the centenary celebrations in 2005.

“I was delighted to accept”, he says, “because I have long been fascinated by the extraordinary changes, achievements and vicissitudes that have defined the history of the school in the last one hundred years. I particularly wanted to get a proper understanding of the major constitutional crises that faced the school in 1926-7, 1944-5 and 1965-9, and also discover just how Wesley College and the Royal Grammar School were fused into the new entity that became King Edward VII School in 1905.” “During the last two years I have interviewed over a hundred former pupils and staff members and I have tried, in the book, to reflect their understanding of the ‘family’ history of the school. For many Old Edwardians, their memories of the school revolve around celebrated teachers and notable pupils, familiar rooms and freezing playing fields, scouts and sports teams, concerts, plays and societies. Whilst the symbiotic relationship with the City Council is a major theme of the book – how could any history of King Edward VII School be otherwise – the story of Marcus, Trotsky, Spiv, Flink and Batman; the ‘flour bomb’ incident and the war time ‘Revolt against Tyranny’ are just as important to an understanding of what made the school tick. Moreover, there are so many former staff and pupils who deserve to be remembered for they, along with the several thousand others who have studied, or taught, at King Edward VII School, played their part in sustaining this truly remarkable school.”

The first complete draft of the book was assembled in December. The final bound version will be approximately 350 pages long, include four chapters on the pre-history of the school from 1604-1905, and contain a generous number of photographs. The book will be launched and on sale at the Centenary Celebration Evening on Saturday 8th October 2005.

Annual Dinner 24th March 2005

The dinner as usual takes place at Baldwin’s Omega on Maundy Thursday. This newsletter arrived with a form that you should complete and send with payment to: Old Edwardians Association, PO Box 3682, Sheffield S11 9ZU. This year's speaker will be Roland Smith, CMG (KES 1954-61).

Centenary Plaque

On 8th October 2005 at the Centenary Celebration Evening, the Old Edwardians Association will unveil a plaque in the entrance hall which chronicles the history of the school since 1905.

This plaque will complement the one on the opposite wall that was put up in 1950 and describes the history of the King James Grammar School, the Collegiate School, Wesley College and the Sheffield Royal Grammar School.

The new plaque will contain the names and dates of the seven Headmasters/Headteachers of King Edward VII School from 1905 to the present day..

Eric Bailey

Eric Bailey died suddenly from a heart attack on 8th January this year. Eric followed his older brother, Frank, into the junior school in 1942 and left the main school in 1951. Eric was a member of Chatsworth House and whilst at school played tennis at county level. He married our chief bridesmaid, Marie Billett and after working for the MRC in Sheffield where he obtained a Ph.D he moved to Cranleigh where he retained contact with a number of OEs living in the area. Marie & his brother survive him and he was blessed to see his children, Susan (like him a biochemist) & Richard happily married and to enjoy his 2 year old grandson, James. He collapsed suddenly after an enjoyable week of tennis & golf and in the company of Marie.

Alan Mousley

Norman J. Barnes Memorial Trust

CHARITY NO. 1086259

The Trust was set up to perpetuate the memory of NJB who died in April 2000. Many of you will have fond memories of Norman, who taught at the school for 30 years. He was organist and choir master of St John's Ranmoor for the same length of time. The fund was first suggested at this memorial service, and now awards small grants to students at King Edwards and St John's to help them in attending study courses of similar music activities.

The capital sum raised so far of £3230 has been raised from former pupils and choristers, has been augmented by Gift Aid reclaim of £776. The capital provides grant income of £110, divided into two grants per year.

Further information from Shelagh Marston (Hon Sec) Smith Wood Studios, 62 Endcliffe Hall Av., Sheffield S10 3EL;
tel 0114 266 4449; email: shelaghmarston*at*btinternet.com.