Interim NewsSheet   -   Winter 2010             (published March 2011)




Welcome to the Interim NewsSheet which concerns the 2010 Annual Reunion and AGM, and gives you details of the new Committee.    My sincere apologies that this is later reaching you than usual but, as you may recall from the Autumn Newsletter, I was having some eye trouble which has greatly hindered my usual routine over the last six months and made me realise how much we take for granted everyday things – like being able to drive, reading the paper, etc.   I am glad to say things are now improving.   Since Christmas, I have also been bothered by ‘flu and a number of personal problems and this has resulted in the very situation which could happen to any one of the committee, and was the reason I started seeking some help with the job of Secretary over six years ago.   But no one has come forward.    A Minute Secretary would be a huge help!


The AGM Minutes follow and you will see that Maureen Meier resigned from the committee after some 18 years service.   There were no new nominations for the Committee.   This really is a very serious situation and I question how much longer the Association can flounder on without some new blood on the committee.


Proceedings of the Annual General Meeting will follow, together with details of your new Committee: 






Lionel Harris (Chairman), Gerry Moss (vice Chairman), Peter George (Treasurer), Sheila Sandford (Secretary), Ted Hazelden (Membership Secretary), and Committee members Richard Hancock, together with fifty members and supporters, in accordance with the Attendance Book.


The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all the Members and supporters.


APOLOGIES The Secretary had received 38 apologies from:   Committee member Mike Nicholson Florence and 24 UK Members: Valerie Bartlett, Peter Bond, Don Broyd, Stanley Bruinvels, Margaret Burbidge, John Campbell, Micky Clare, Valery Cons, Doug Constable, Jackie Cunningham, Mike Dobson, Lynne Gillespie, Adrian Gould, Janet Hadgraft, Wendy Henslett, Ann Jabbur, Marilyn James, Mary McTigue, Geoff Manning, Ruth Smith, Margery Turner and Diana Wakeford

together with apologies from thirteen overseas members, namely committee member Nick Ridley (Malaysia), Gerald Burgess, Janet Burgess, Joan Christie, Gordon Fisher and Penny Holmes from Canada, Maureen Collins, Gus Guthrie and Hebe Morgan from Australia, Pat Ruthven (USA), Margaret Fricker (New Zealand), and John Hayns (The Philippines). 



These were approved as a true record on the proposal of Shirley Green, seconded by David Mountain.


Peter Mills enquired about progress with the Doc Morgan Gifts – the Chairman reported that the matter is being pursued but most possible recipients have no premises of their own and therefore no room to store the items.   From the floor Michael Jarvis said he would be pleased to discuss the matter and will speak to the Chairman after the meeting.


The Chairman said he was very sorry to record the deaths of three members during the year under review, 1st September 2009 to 31 August 2010, namely

Kenneth Hall,                               (DCS 1940-46)

Wendy Ozamiz                            (née Chalcraft, DCGS 1947-55)

Frank Kerr, MBE             DCS,1931-38).


The Chairman said, looking back over the past year, it had started well with another successful Reunion and we had welcomed Peter King, CBE as our Guest Speaker at the Lunch.


In December several of the Committee attended the School Awards Evening at which A.D.A. Bursaries were presented to two outstanding students, Jessica Blincow and Samuel Husband.  


The task of trying to attract new blood to join the committee continues.   Last year the Chairman had again sent letters out to all members, seeking their help and suggestions.   This resulted in some heart warming replies expressing appreciation for the work of the committee and for the Newsletters which play an important part in keeping people in touch – but, sadly, no help.  


Prior to last year’s AGM, the committee had spent some time in revising the Constitution, in the hope that this would help to attract new committee members.   Even this had not produced a result.   The Chairman would be sending out another letter, but asked those present who could offer help now, not to hesitate or wait for a formal letter, but speak to any committee member today.  


The association is on a firm financial footing as our Treasurer will explain.


The Chairman expressed his thanks to each and every member of the committee they have worked well both individually and as a team.   He thanked Peter George, our Treasurer, Ted Hazelden, our Membership Secretary whose detailed and diligent work is appreciated by all the committee - indeed, from time to time, out of the bllue; he will produce a paper revealing all sorts of facts, figures and new slants.   Thanks to Mike Nicholson-Florence who keeps the website up to date and continues to welcome contributions from members and is always hopeful of receiving more.   In addition, he is our Link with the School by continuing to chair the Bursary Panel.   Thanks also to Richard Hancock who serves on the Bursary Panel, and to Gerry Moss who continues to offer wise contributions in committee and will shortly be ensuring that things run smoothly for our Lunch.   Grateful thanks to Nick Ridley our Newsletter Editor who has just completed his second year in the rôle and his efforts continue to be appreciated by the membership.   Finally, special thanks to Sheila, who keeps the wheels turning. 



Ted Hazelden reported that three student members had declined full membership.   We had lost contact with three people and he appealed for any information about them, Vivienne Healey, Stephen Pyne and June Snellgrove.


The good news is that, during the year under review, twelve new members had been recruited, namely

Derek Pearce, Mark Rogers, Peter King, Martin Turner, Pamela Bas (née Ogden), James Robinson (Head of VIth Form), Gill Goswell (staff, 1976-2009), Pat Shere (née Compton), Marian Nelson (née Aylward), Richard Overall, Alex Gerritsen and Elaine Eardley (née Holder).   We re particularly pleased that Derek Pearce and Elaine Eardley are with us today.


Those who were here last year and those who read their Newsletters, will be aware that we offered a £50 prize to whoever recruited the most members in 2010 – the winner is David Mountain and his prize will be presented during Lunch!   As well as applauding David, we would like to thank the runners-up for rheir efforts too.


If only 10% of our members each recruited one new member, our membership would leap by 30 to 40 members – so PLEASE and THANK YOU in anticipation and we will award another £50 prize next year!


Membership today stands at 372. 


Ted then went on to say that, as Mike Nicholson-Florence could not be present today, he had prepared a website report for distribution to the meeting.   Ted went on to explain that there are three panoramic photos on the website – Mike has done a lot of hard work so that visitors to the site can pinpoint a few people and enlarge the picture sufficiently to be able to identify students.  


If anyone has an Order of Service for the Carol Service in 1969, Mike or Ted would be delighted to hear from them.



Peter George expressed thanks to Maureen Meier who had kept excellent records to pass on to him.   He also thanked Ray Alexander for his work in auditing the records.  The accounts presented to the meeting reflect the actual activities of the year.  


There were no questions and the Report and Account were adopted on the proposal of Bernard Burbidge, seconded by Molly Posner.



The Chairman announced that Ray Alexander is willing to continue as Auditor and expressed our gratitude to him.   Ray’s re-appointment as Auditor for the year 2010-2011 was approved by the meeting.



Gerry Moss took the chair to oversee the election of a Chairman.   Ken Pearce proposed that Lionel Harris should be re-elected for one more year and this was seconded by Richard Hancock.   There being no other nominations, Lionel was declared duly elected and resumed the chair.


The following were nominated:

Vice Chairman:   Gerry Moss        proposed by Bernard Burbidge, seconded by Richard Hancock

Secretary:                        Sheila Sandford  proposed by Andrew Glass, seconded by Ray Alexander

Treasurer:                         Peter George     proposed by Michael Jarvis, seconded by Peter Mills

Membership Sec:            Ted Hazelden     proposed by Andrew Glass, seconded by Roger Cullis

In the absence of other nominations, they were duly declared elected.


The Chairman announced that Maureen Meier is resigning from the committee, creating a vacancy,

The following nominations for the Committee were received:


Nick Ridley                                  ) proposed en bloc by Rosemary Dale,

Richard Hancock             ) and

 Mike Nicholson-Florence            ) seconded by Bernard Burbidge


There being no further nominations, these three persons were enthusiastically re-elected to serve on the Committee for the year 2010-2011.


Bernard Burbidge reported that Brian Rees, a non member, had died last Sunday, 3 October 2010.


Andrew Glass said he found it very distressing that no one is prepared to come and relieve the present committee members.


Lionel Harris followed up this comment by expressing the Association’s thanks to Maureen Meier for services over the last eighteen years.   Maureen responded with a further appeal for new blood on the committee.   There was a short discussion on this difficulty but no solutions were put forward.



The Chairman then declared the meeting closed at 12 noon, and introduced David Blow, Headteacher, to address the meeting before Lunch.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Mr. Blow said it was good to have a short talk with Sir Erich Reich today – he had visited the school to address the General Studies VIth Form and we had expected about 40 students to attend- but 300 turned up!


He proceeded to update the meeting on school affairs.

Peter Thompson, Deputy Head for 20 years, set up China links and Uganda links in rural Uganda and Kenya where a charity works with local Ugandans.   Peter felt unwell whilst on a trip to Uganda this summer and, on his return, was found to have stomach cancer and he is just starting treatment for this.


The exam results this year had been very good with A* grades resulting in students being accepted for Oxbridge and Imperial College.   Most of the A Level students got their university places.   The GCSE results were similar to last year’s.


On the building front, there is now a brick built nursery for 20 children of Ashcombe staff and others – this is an advantage when it comes to staff recruitment.

Covered ways have now been completed between the Bradley Building and the Ranmore Building.


In Dorking there is a sense of good local schools sticking together.


Helen Myers was invited to be part of ‘You and Yours’, a programme on Radio 4, discussing language learning.


School activities include “The Ashcombe World Cup”, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and theatrical performances.


The Chairman thanked Mr. Blow for his interesting review of the year at The Ashcombe before inviting the assembled company to move to the Restaurant for Lunch.


Andrew Glass enquired about observing Armistice Day and David Blow responded by saying that at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, there is SILENCE in school.   The students are told that young people gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in the World Wars.


The meeting adjourned at 12.30 pm.and members made their way to the Restaurant.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Rev. Rosemary Dale said Grace before Lunch.   The Chairman proposed the Loyal Toast, and Elaine Eardley proposed Absent Friends.   The School and The Association were proposed respectively by David Sheppard and Mollie Posner.   This Lunch was special in that we had two pairs of brothers with us, namely Burbidge and Mills.   Two overseas members were warmly welcomed, David Knott from the West Indies and David Sheppard from South Africa.  


Following Lunch, Sir Erich Reich, who had been a pupil at the Grammar School between 1946 and 1948, gave a most interesting and at times amusing glimpse of his life since leaving the school.    He told how he had arrived in England on the Kinder transport at the outbreak of War and, through the auspices of Ralph Vaughan Williams, had come to live in Dorking where he settled happily with a foster family and attended the local junior school.   He told of the occasion when he was about ten years old and his foster mother asked him to deliver a parcel to a lady in the nearby road.   The parcel was put in a small truck and he was instructed to go straight there and come straight back, and not to try and ride in the truck!     The 8-year-old daughter of the house saw an opportunity for some fun and sneaked a ride in the truck, so the pair of them set off  – result, they went roaring down the hill and into a brick wall!   Erich was taken to hospital with a broken nose and broken collar bone – he had to stay in hospital for some weeks and during that time his foster mother appeared with a big smile, carrying a letter.   The letter said he had passed the 11 Plus exam and had been awarded a place at the Grammar School!   He loved it there and soon became very good at cross-country running, even though he once took the wrong turning!   He corrected that and caught up with the other boys – but lost a shoe in the mud.   Undeterred, he carried on and won the Junior Cross Country!    Some of our members remembered the occasion.   In his early teens, Erich was tracked down by his older brother who had been living in Leicester.   One day his brother came to the Dorking house and, as a result and much to Erich’s disappointment, he had to leave the Grammar School to go to a Jewish school in London.   On leaving school, he went to Israel but returned to London in 1967 and worked for Thomson Holidays and Thomas Cook before setting up Classic Tours in 1987.   Five years later, its first charity cycle ride raised £600,000 for two charities, and the company went on to offer trekking, mountain climbing and horse riding challenges.   It is in recognition of his charity work, raising millions, that Erich was awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours 2010.


There was much applause for his interesting talk and many memories of schooldays in the late 1940s were evoked.   The Chairman expressed our thanks and presented Erich with an interesting bottle and a basket of flowers for Lady Reich.






Diary Dates for 2011


The Annual Reunion/AGM: will be on Saturday 8th October 2011


Copy for the Spring Newsletter:  by 15th March 2011, please

                                               Editor:  Nick Ridley   e-mail:

(or handwritten items for typing to Sheila Sandford, details shown below)





Officers and Committee for the year 2010/2011, elected at AGM, 9 October 2010



LIONEL HARRIS               Tel:  01252 – 703 777                       E:                           



GERRY MOSS                  Tel:  01737  - 765 508         E:



SHEILA SANDFORD          Tel:  01372  -  372 936                     E:


PETER GEORGE                   Tel:  01462  -  768 358        E:



TED HAZELDEN               Tel:  01483  -  566 639                     E:



Committee :


   RICHARD HANCOCK            MIKE NICHOLSON-FLORENCE     ..Webmaster                        

  NICK RIDLEY   ~   Newsletter Editor   E:



- - - - - - - - -



Mr. Lionel HARRIS                                                                      Woodhaven, Red House Lane, Elstead, Godalming, Sy., GU8 6DS

Mr. Peter GEORGE                                                                      Redshanks, West Street, Lilley, Herts., LU2 8LH

Mr. Ted HAZELDEN                                                                     23, Dunsdon Avenue, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7NX

Dr. Gerry MOSS                                                                          10, Hurstleigh Drive, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 2AA

Dr. Mike NICHOLSON-FLORENCE                                                   38, Treadcroft Drive, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4BQ 

Miss Sheila SANDFORD                                                                73, Copthorne Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7EE







              Sheila Sandford,   73 Copthorne Road,   Leatherhead,     Surrey,  KT22 7EE

             Tel: 01372 – 372 936                                                  E-mail: