Recent Visits


Justin Bradford (St Andrews House 1980 -1985) visited the school during the Easter holidays with his wife and two sons. It is nearly 20 years since he returned to school and he was really impressed by all the recent developments. His proudest moment was being able to show his sons his name on the Honours Board.




Alistair Cooke (at school 1969-1976) visits RRS with fellow O.R. and Secretary of the O.R. Society, Adrian Edwards (at school 


Back with the family.


Vicki Sullivan (née Hedges) 1987-96 was back in school to show her children where she came to school. Vicki, daughter of former Headmaster Chris Hedges, wanted to visit both the house where she lived and the Great Hall which brought back such happy memories of where she had her wedding reception.


Although the Sports Hall and Swimming Pool were both built during her time at school she was amazed at the transformation of West Pitch and the site where the old swimming Pool used to be..









Memories of school in the sunshine.

Three friends from north and south of the equator met at school to share memories and look at the new facilities that have been built since their time here.

Cathy Bacon (née Merry)  (at school 1980-1987) lives locally and was hosting her school friend Melanie  Abrahams  (at school 1980-1987) who now lives and works in Denmark. Melanie’s brother, Mark who lives in Perth, Australia was also in the UK. This the first time that both Melanie and her brother have returned to school since they left.

During their time here they enjoyed going through the old school magazines of the time, reminding Melanie that in 1983 she broke the school Discus Record. Mark was also keen  on sport at school and gained his Preliminary Coaching Award in Basketball in 1884. It’s no wonder that his daughter is a keen basketball player.







Old Russellians at RRS Careers Fair 2017

Ivan Slobodin (at school 2008-2012)James Lacey (at school 1988-1993)


On Friday 5th May, we have welcomed a number of parents, Old Russellians and friends to share their knowledge and expertise at the Year 10 Careers Fair. The pupils had conversations and advice from leading professionals in the fields of music, marketing, film, photography, architecture, law, real estate, insurance, banking, project management, surveying, IT and app development. Thank you to all of these parents and supporters who have combined with Mrs Culbert and the Development Office to make this such a great opportunity for our young learners. 



The Junior House Drama competition provided a brilliantly entertaining highlight to the week on Thursday 27th April with all nine houses producing some excellent performances in front of a full and excited Auditorium. Oxford were judged as the eventual winners by a team of distinguished O.R. Drama students who formed the judging panel. Congratulations to all those pupils who performed and arranged these pieces and particularly to Ms Cripps and Ms Davenport for ensuring that all ran smoothly.
Photo LtoR: Mel Davenport (head of Queens, and Drama teacher), Lewis Irani (at school 2004-2009), Folarin Akinmade (at school 2002-2009), Katie Durrell (at school 2009-2016), Chloe Woolfe (at school 2009-2016) and Elayine Cripps (Head of Drama). 

Noeline Beesley (nee Spridgen) (at school 1984-89)

Noeline Beesley (nee Spridgen) 1984-89 visited the school for the first time since leaving in March. She was attending a Dalcroze course at the school and arranged a tour to bring back happy memories of her years in South House. Mr Moseley, her former Geography teacher, was her guide.  Something of teaching must have rubbed off on her because Noeline now teaches music to young children.



Steve Scoffin (at school 1968-1972)
This was Steve's first visit back to school since leaving in 1972. Not only was he Head Boy but also Head of Oxford and won the Snelgrove prize so there were plenty of boards to look at that displayed his name. Since leaving school and graduating from Durham University he has had a varied career and is currently teaching at a further education college in the north east of the country. Steve fondly remembers his days at school especially his innings of 34 runs that helped Oxford beat Cambridge!







The Importance of Languages

Old Russellian Mehmet Halim gave an Assembly talk to Year 9 pupils on Thursday 19th January in the library.

Having left Royal Russell 11 years ago, where he studied French and Spanish at A level, he went on to read Turkish and Persian at Oxford University.

Mehmet has been working for 7 years in retail banking and explained how languages were essential to his career and communication skills.


Year 9 pupils were eager to ask him questions, including one pupil who conversed with him in Turkish!










A Visit by Kitty Mak (at school 1988-1992) 

Kitty Mak (at school 1988-1992) visited from Hong Kong in October 2016. Kitty is pictured here in Great Hall with retired teachers, John Piggin (current O.R. Chairman) and her Housemaster, Les Antrobus. 













A Visit by Pam Moser (née Trenter) (at school 1967-1970) and her family - October 2016

Since leaving school in 1970, Pam (second from right) worked in VSO before training in hospitality. Today she, her husband and four children, all live in Israel and this was her first time back in school to look around. Whilst at school Pam was a talented sprinter and won the Victrix Ludorum a couple of times although she admits she was never the greatest academic. Her children have all inherited Pam's love of sport reaching high levels in Ladies football, equestrian and dancing.






A Visit by Lee Williams (at school 1960-1968)

Lee started school at Purley at the age of seven after his father died. When he came up to Ballards he said he was lucky to go into the new boarding house, St Andrew's. During his visit in September he pointed out where his bed was in what is now the French classroom. All the new builds have been constructed since his time at school, leaving in 1968, he was amazed at the current facilities.






A Visit by Basil Henson (School Captain 1941/1942 and at school between 1935-1942)

Basil H Henson returned to school in July 2016, the first time since leaving.

He was at school with his brother during WW2 so spent the first few years in St Andrews House in the original Ballards building and then in 1939 was moved to Russell Hill along with the other boys whilst the girls came to Ballards. As well as being School Captain he also received the Tapling Exhibition Prize for Arithmetic in 1941 and was a sergeant in the Cadet Corps. His years at school were saddened by the death of his brother in 1937 from meningitis, thought to have been caught in the school pool. In the same year he was one of the first boys who contracted typhoid in the epidemic that occurred. He fortunately survived and also went through the war years without injury. Following the war he graduated from the London School of Economics and subsequently held a variety of jobs before retiring. Basil enjoyed returning to a very different school and spent time looking at his registration, the Book of Remembrance from those who gave their lives in WW2 and reading the magazines of the time.





The School were delighted to welcome back 6 Old Russellians, some of whom are pictured above and included:

Simone Osei (2006-2013) Reade, now a Human Resources Consultant for IBM
Bhonai Tayali (2003-2012) Hollenden, now in IT for ExxonMobil
Tom Wilkinson (1993-2007) St Andrew's, now a developer for MR Solutions
Julie Horrocks (1972-1978) St Andrew's, Healthcare specialist
Chris Newdick (1963-1972) St Andrew's, Health Law Lecturer at Reading University 
These ex-students were able to speak to Year 10 pupils about their jobs and how an education at Royal Russell helped them to achieve their goals.
A Visit by Stephen Lock (son of the late George Robert Fraser at school 1931-1938) - February 2016

Stephen's father (George Robert Fraser Lock) and auntie (Iris Amy Lock) were both admitted to the school following the death of their father in the early 1930s. Stephen's father never talked about his school days and Stephen only came across photos of him at school when his mother died. This photo shows Stephen standing in the exact spot where one of these photos of his father was taken. George survived serving in the war and went on to have a good career before suddenly dying in the 1970s.

A Visit by Yohei Tanaka (at school 1994-1998) to Graham Moseley - February 2016

A Visit by students who were at Royal Russell from 1982 - 1988


A Visit by students who were at Royal Russell from 1982 - 1988

Housemaster: Les Antrobus and his wife, Hilary

Old Russellians: Jane O'Neill (née Cable) and her family, Cathy Bacon (née Merry) and Helen Georghiou.


Jane and her family live in New Zealand and were in the UK for Christmas and the New Year. She got together with her old friends, Cathy and Helen, and we were delighted to see them back at RRS after all these years. They were joined for coffee, lunch and a tour by Les and Hilary Antrobus (South Housemaster), John Piggin, Martin and Sue Tanner, Julia Powell and Graham Moseley. They enjoyed seeing the names of their friends and relatives on the Honours Boards, together with their own names on the doors of the rooms in what is now Queen's House.




A Visit from Lyn Grant, Paul Grant and Leila Winstanley

On the 9th August, Lynn Grant pictured left, Paul Grant and Leila Winstanley visited their old school. They were at RRS in the late 1970's and left in 1982.


A Visit from Clive Roscoe and Monique Lewison (now Roscoe)

Monique Lewison (1976-79) and Clive Roscoe (1969-77) visited RRS following the Riverside Reunion in June.They were close friends at school and found each other a few years ago after nearly 40 years. They married in early June. Clive boarded from the age of 5 and had so many stories of his time at RRS – he said he was raised by the staff and pupils – and has very fond memories. Monique boarded from the age of 13. Clive was in Oxford House and Monique was in North House (now Queen’s). They now live in Chicago. They left with a goodie bag of literature, DVD, pens, cufflinks and a teddy – off to carve their names in a tree in Sunken Lane (known back then as Lovers Lane!)

A Visit from the Westons - June 2015

Peter and Helen Weston visited the school in June whilst on their tour of the states and Europe from Australia. Peter's mother and her three siblings came to the school after their father died in the late 1840's. In 1954 all the children left to emigrate to Australia.



A Visit from Guillermo Barrachina

Guillermo Barrachina (Oxford House 1991-93) dropped into school on 3rd June 2015. He is currently Export Manager for a Spanish food company and travels across Europe promoting their products. He was impressed to see many new facilities but we both tripped down memory lane regarding the room layout in Oxford, the old pool in the woods, his Housemaster Mr Bushin, etc.

Graham Moseley



A Visit from Toni Morgan (née Fowler)  - 21.04.2015


Toni Fowler was at Russell Hill from 1945-49. She entered school at the age of 5 and was withdrawn when her father came back from the army. Although not all her memories were particularly happy ones, she can laugh about them. The photograph shows her with her cousin in Trafalgar Square, Toni is in her school blazer. Although never at school at its present site she thoroughly enjoyed her tour of the school.


A Visit from Monica Popa-Tolontan (at school 2009-2011)

It was with great pleasure that Monica accepted our invitation to speak to our Year 9 group on the importance of learning languages in our society and in a global market.
Monica is Romanian and boarded at the school, leaving in June 2011 after studying French, Spanish and Media Studies at A Level. She achieved excellent results in her A levels and went on to study at the University of Royal Holloway. She now works in marketing.
She has been an inspiration to our youngsters and they were extremely pleased to ask her many questions - some personal and some related to learning all kinds of languages. They clearly realised that when competing for jobs in the UK and overseas, against students from all over the world, that speaking English alone was not enough.

Merci! Danke! Thank you!





A Visit from Nathan Brown (at school 2003-2009)

On Friday 14th November 2014, we were extremely pleased to welcome back Nathan Brown, Old Russellian, who talked to our Year 11 pupils about the importance of languages in the professional services and global economy. Nathan left Royal Russell seven years ago after studying French, English and Geography at A level.

He then went on to study and the prestigious LSE University.

He is now in the world of Finance and has worked in well renowned companies already such as Goldman Sachs. He is currently working at Fidelity UK as a Banker.

A Visit from Colin Barrable to Andrew Foot

Old Russellian, Colin Barrable (at school 1951-1956) visited ex Senior Master, Andrew Foot, at his home tucked away in a remote village in Cornwall during July 2014. At 87 years old, Andrew still conducts services in the estate church and umpires for the local cricket team!

A Visit from Jacqui Lawton (née Carter)

Jacqui and her husband Mark had a wonderful time touring the school in May. Jacqui can be seen here pointing to her name on the 'Captains of the School' notice board. She joined the school in 1960 as a six year old,  and left in 1971 having enjoyed her years in school. Sport, music and drama filled much of her time here.

A Visit from Jane Dingwell

Jane Dingwell (French teacher 1968-76) pictured here with John Piggin in May 2014 discussing old times in the school reception. Jane  moved to the States many years ago and has only recently fully retired from teaching Latin. She continues to enjoy choral singing and returns to the UK fairly regularly to visit family and friends.

A Visit from Chris Parsons

Chris enjoyed his visit to school on Wednesday 26th March 2014 and was amazed how much it has changed since leaving in 1969. He was particularly taken by the music department. At the time he attended RRS only lessons in piano and violin were available. Although he wasn't enamoured himself with either instrument, the lessons inspired him to take up the guitar which he still plays.

A Visit from Simon Meldrum

During half term Simon Meldrum, his wife and family visited the school. Along with his three sisters he was at school in the 1970s, leaving in 1976. A lot has changed since the Meldrums were at school but Simon still has good memories of his time here.

A Visit from Sarah Davis (now Roelich) and Paul Brown (at school 1973-1982)

Sarah and Paul enjoyed returning to school in November and were amazed at how things have changed since their time here. 

The old school photographs reminded them of so many of their contemporaries whose names they could actually remember! 

A Visit from Chris Reddall

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A Visit from Alex Ivanova

Alex was at RRS from 1995-1998 in South House with Mr Antrobus as her Housemaster. Alex visited school in April this year and can be seen here with Deputy Head, Suzanne Thomas-Webb. Alex is the proud mother of a 3 year old little boy. She visited the UK from where she lives in Russia and will be back for an O.R. event soon!!

A Visit from Hinako Yamamoto

Hinako was delighted to re-visit her old school when she was in the UK in March this year. Hinako attended the Junior School from 1995-1999. Julia Powell took her to see the Junior School and Senior School as well as enjoying a school lunch.  HInako can be seen here battling against the very cold unseasonal weather we were having in the UK in the ‘spring’!

A Visit from Robert Chan

Robert Chan was at RRS in Cambridge House from 2000-2002. Now an engineer in the Dutch Caribbean, Robert visited whilst in the UK just before Christmas, and was delighted with his tour of the school and being able to see Mr Piggin. The Old Russellians were delighted that Robert donated a sum of money to the Society.

A Visit from Laura Coward (née Clifford)

Laura Clifford (now Coward) was at Russell Hill from 1934-1939. She thoroughly enjoyed her coffee in the Sixth Form Café in December when she was able to look at her entry in the school register. The Sixth Formers were delightful - very friendly! Laura's next visit will be to Russell Hill in the New Year.

A Visit from Cherry and Co

A Visit from Yu (Felix) Ren (At School 2001-2003) 
Felix visited Mr Piggin when in Croydon in May 2012. He has achieved a lot since leaving RRS in 2003, including the following:
2003- 2006 Imperial College London reading Mathematics
2006-2007 Oxford University MA in Applied Statistics
2008-2012 LSE PHD Statistics
Felix is now returning to Guangzhou as a Quantitative Researcher with G F Security.

A visit from Roger Woodward (At School 1952-1959) - May 2012

Roger visited the school on a rainy April afternoon and had this to say:
We were made to feel so welcome.
Many memories came flooding back!!
It is so good to see the school in good hands, with dedicated staff and happy harding working pupils.
Again thanks for making the visit possible.
Best wishes Roger and Cathy Woodward.

A visit from Barry Seagrave (At School 1947-1952) - November 2011

Barry Seagrave and his wife enjoyed their visit to a very different school from the one he left in 1952. He was pleased to see that tapioca pudding was not on the dinner menu but did have a problem choosing what he should have. In his day there was no choice!! When walking round the school he and his wife were delighted to see some classes 'in action' and commented on what a wonderful rapport the staff had with the children. He said that although life was strict in his day, he really did enjoy his school days.     

A visit from previous Headmaster, Ronald Balaam, and family – April 2011

Former Headmaster Ron Balaam and his wife Shirley visited school during the Easter holidays with their daughter and her three children. This is the first time that their daughter Lottie has visited chapel since her wedding. Just walking in brought back many happy memories. The family was really impressed with the developments that Dr Jennings has managed to achieved since being Headmaster and congratulated everyone on how neat and tidy everywhere was.

A Visit from Nancy and Sue - February 2011

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A Visit from Quentin Wainwright (1963-1970) – January 2011

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A Visit from Lewis Bernard Haines and Family (1927-1937) – October 2010

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A Visit from Tony Ford and Family (1947-1958) – 22 July 2010

Tony Ford, his wife, two daughters and their grandchildren visited RRS in the summer of 2010. Grandpa took great pride in showing the children where he went to school. Everyone had a good time!

A Visit from John Killey (1945-1951) – 1 July 2010

John Killey lives most of the year in Australia. We say most of the year as he visits his family in the UK frequently always trying to dovetail these visits with O.R. events. The purpose of his latest visit was to bring in some old team and whole school photos. We have scanned in the photos and we were impressed that John could recall most of the boys' names in the team photos from 1949 and 1951. John is already planning his 2011 visit to coincide with the Biennial Reunion next May. John is photographed here with the recently unveiled Bust of Earl Russell in the new Performing Arts Centre at the school.

A Visit from Mark Shipton (1989-1998) – 23 June 2010

Mark is one of our younger O.R.s who returned to his former school when visiting the UK in June. Mark, a former Head of Madden House, now lives in New York with his Malaysian wife Lisa and 9 month son Ferran. It seems no time since Mark left and yet he discovered just how much the school had improved its facilities since his time. Mark is pictured here with his wife and young son.

A Visit from Gerald Hood's Family (1930-1938) – 12 June 2010

Gerald Hood's sad death in 1945 is now well documented. Since the 2007 reunion Brain Angel (1938-1947) has been in contact with Gerald's relatives and in June they visited the school. They were touched at the medals, glass plaque and photos that we hold and have generously lent the school his Service Citation to have framed and keep with the other memorabilia. We are very honoured that they have entrusted us to look after this citation. The Old Russellians also wish to thank Brian Angel and Colin Leggett (Contingent Commander of the CCF) who joined us for the day.

A Visit from John Darling – 25 May 2010

John approached Julia Powell regarding his father's details. Having sent these out to him we then discovered that not only was his father a former student, but also his father's brother and sister, at school in the 1920s. They were so interested in our records that they then visited our school. Following lunch and looking at record books and albums of photos from the time, they then enjoyed a Lunch Time music concert from our music scholars. They so enjoyed their visit that they then kindly made a donation to The Old Russellians.

A Visit from Jennifer Clarke – 20 April 2010

Jennifer Clarke was another person who wanted to know more details about her mother, a former foundationer. Not only was she delighted to see our record books but actually borrowed Hopewell's 'History of the School' to give her more details of what life was like early in the 20th Century. Towards the end of her visit, Julia introduced her to Hugh Sutton, Director of Music at RRS. During their conversation it became evident that they are close neighbours down in Dorset!

A Visit from David Kennedy (WW2 Historian) – 12 May 2010

David Kennedy, not an Old Russellian, but a keen historian who is compiling lists for the Imperial War Museum of those who lost their lives in WW2. David copied the details from Chapel and then spent time looking at the Book of Remembrance that was compiled by Brian Angel (1938-1947). He was so impressed at our records he plans to make a future visit.

A Visit from Terry Hills – 16 March 2010

Terry Hills who lives in Australia is writing a timeline for the family 1900 -2000. His father was a foundation student at the school and apart from one or two photos, he knew little about his reason for his being at the school or where he was educated. Once we got the details from our record books we headed to Thomas More School which now occupies the former Russell Hill School site where his father would have been. We successfully identified where the photographs had been taken and he was able to have a good look round the building.

A Visit From Cowan Jamieson – 4 January 2010

“Driving along the M25 the other day, I suddenly suggested to my wife that we turn off to Addington and see what had happened to my old school building!

In 1972 I remember reading in the Telegraph that the school was closing and, since then, I have made no attempt to contact anyone regarding the school. We did have a little difficulty recognizing Ballards Way and Gravel Hill but eventually we came across the sign, Royal Russell School!!!

It was of great surprise and delight to find a thriving school, with new buildings under construction and old buildings in good order. No ‘Bug's ‘Ole', but new wings in classic style.

We received an enthusiastic welcome from Mr and Mrs Tanner and will now make every effort to renew some old acquaintances.”