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News > Alumni News > Member News 2010

Member News 2010

Albert Cook (36-40B) has been actively involved with the Devon County Show as competitor and steward for more than 56 years and this year he was honoured with the Presidency of the Devon County Agricultural Association which presides over the Devon County Show.  Over the years Albert has won many prizes, both locally and nationally, with his Devon Close Wool flock. 

He has won many sheep shearing competitions and in the late 1950s was placed third in the national shearing championships.  Outside of farming, Albert was a magistrate. For 10 years represented North Devon on the Devon County Council and he continues to serve on the North Devon District Council.  Albert was a member of the Governing Body of WBS between 1968–1996.  The twins, Clare Williams and Anne Peters (née Hale 84-89B) are his granddaughters and two great grandchildren are currently pupils at WBS.  Alistair Cook, grandson of Clifford Cook (30-34) is his great nephew. 

Robin Milton (72-79C) has joined the Exmoor National Park Authority, for a four year term, as one of six members appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  The family farms at West Anstey and Robin who graduated from Wye College, University of London is Chairman of the Exmoor Hill Farming Group and the NFU’s South West Uplands Representative. 

In April 2010 Brigadier Richard Felton (73-82B) commander of 4 Mechanised Brigade took control of British military operations in Helmand.  Following concern expressed about rising civilian casualties, Richard has called for “gallantry to be redefined” so that honours may be bestowed on soldiers who, to avoid civilian deaths, put their own lives at risk by holding fire in the heat of battle.  4 Mechanised Brigade will serve in Afghanistan until October 2010. 

On leaving West Buckland, Richard Tate (81-88F) spent a year with the Junior Leaders prior to joining The Blues and Royals, serving in Germany and then Windsor as a tank gunner.  Richard is a keen skier (he had participated in several ski trips from School to Tulfers) so he jumped at the opportunity to join the regimental ski team and this was to play a major part in his military career over the next twelve years.  In 1994 he traded in the tank for a horse and spent a couple of years on ceremonial duties in London. Another stint in tanks, this time as a tank commander in Bosnia, before again working with the horses.  But it was in 2000 that his military career took off and Richard was able to fulfil his childhood dream.  He had always wanted to fly helicopters and after passing aptitude and medical tests at Cranwell he completed a three week flying grading course and was selected to commence the two year army pilot’s course.  Once qualified Richard spent six years flying the Lynx anti-tank helicopter, tours of duty taking him back to Bosnia, to Norway, Denmark, Iraq (many times!), Afghanistan, Oman, Kenya……….  Two years ago Richard was offered a non-deploying job, flying Dauphin helicopters solely within the UK, a huge relief to his family and then pregnant wife – Arthur is now twenty one months old.  Next year Richard retires from the Army after twenty three years of “challenging and hard work but it has been a lot of fun with amazing opportunities and experiences along the way”.  Should a job become available Richard would wish to fly one of the West Country air ambulances. 

In 1999 Philip Avery (75-84F) was one of the co-founders of Navtech Radar a company which specialises in the design and manufacture of millimetre wave radar sensors used in security surveillance, industrial automation and traffic sensing.  In particular the sensors find application in outdoor driverless vehicle navigation, the construction of road tunnels, and perimeter security for critical infrastructures such as airports and power stations. In April 2010 Navtech Radar was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Philip, as Managing Director, may now expect an invitation to an evening reception at Buckingham Palace. 

Winning his 40th race at the Torrington Farmers meeting at Umberleigh on the last day of the season, Richard Woollacott (83-93B) was declared national men’s point-to-point champion rider.  At this meeting Alice Pearn (92-03G) rode the horse that came second to Richard’s winning ride. Richard has also enjoyed a successful season as a trainer with thirty-four point-to-point winners. 

Tim Lerwill (86-88B) is president of the West of England Society of Chartered Accountants.  Tim who grew up in North Devon has written and published a number of children’s books based on his childhood memories. Tim will be reading a selection of his farming stories at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival which will be held during the last week in September.   

Julie Dendle Jones (nee Jones 83-87C) lives in Dallas with husband, Mark, and two daughters Emily (9) and Alyssa (7).  The family travels the world with Mark who is a Chief Financial Officer for a commodities broker and this summer they hope to spend a month in Lausanne, and attend the OWBA weekend in July.   The family will also visit Mark’s family in Brittany where “not a day goes by that I am not complimented by french family and friends upon my ease and fluency in the language. It all started at WBS!” 

Grateful for the renewal of the link with his old school and looking forward to receiving further news of WBS Michael Chatfield (86-88C) writes, “In 1983 I arrived in Barnstaple from Trinidad where I was born.”  Michael joined Form 1 in Langholme in 1986 but just two years later he left WB when the family moved to Nottingham.  From being top of the class in languages in the second form at WB and wishing to pursue a career as a translator or interpreter he eventually read Chemistry at York University.  A further career change followed as he rediscovered a strong interest in the Church and the importance of God in his life (grandfather and both parents are priests!)  A year working with street children in South Africa (and meeting his future wife, Helen) was significant and led him to explore the route to priesthood.  He survived three years studying theology at Cambridge, “staying sane by marrying Helen and celebrating the birth of our first child, Hannah.”  A curacy  in Nottingham followed, along with our second daughter, Naomi.  I had long felt a pull back to Trinidad and persuaded the family to follow me to a beautiful Caribbean island with tremendous social problems where we lived and worked for five years.  Returning to the UK, Michael followed a tough training course at RAF Cranwell and is now a chaplain at RAF Wittering.  “It's been a strange journey.  I am not entirely sure how I ended up here after those young dreams at West Buckland but it's been fun and there are still traces of that original love of languages in my enjoyment of Scrabble and the occasional burst of writing poetry.” 

Guy Harrop (80-90F) is celebrating another successful year as a freelance photographer after scooping four International professional photography awards in 2009.  Guy, who has worked as a professional photographer for over twenty years since leaving West Buckland, specialises in PR, Press and portraiture having his work regularly published all over the world in leading magazines, books and national newspapers. One of his images, of ripening Swiss cheeses, which scooped two awards was taken on assignment high in the Swiss Alps where Guy spends a lot of his time, when not snapping for National PR companies and magazines from his North Devon base. 

Chris Hatton (98-05C) is reading for a foundation degree in Computing at the University of Plymouth following graduation with a degree in Illustration in June '09 from the same university.   Will Moor (92-06G) has graduated from the University of Gloucestershire in Sports Development.  Susannah Hopson (96-05C) has graduated from Swansea University in American Studies.  She is now reading for an MA at the University of Lincoln.  Freya Hopper (02-07C) has graduated from St Hugh’s College, Oxford in Physiology.


The OWBA congratulates the following:

  • Chris Hooper (92-02C) and Rachel - a daughter, Esme Rose - 21st March 2009
  • Mark and Victoria O’Connor (née Lawson 94-99C) - a daughter Aoife Margaret -17th June 2009
  • James Gould (82-89G) and Catherine Hawkins (82-89F) - a son, Harvey - 2nd November 2009
  • Simon and Rebecca Chappell (née Laugharne 95-97B) - a son, Henry - 20th December 2009
  • Sebastien and Catherine Bureau (née Smale 89-97G) - a son Arnaud - 19th January 2010
  • Charlotte Tate (85-87B) and Stuart Meeson - a daughter Chloe Jocelyn - 22nd January 2010
  • Dominic and Daisy Greenland (née Miller 96-98G) - a son, Ben - 22nd January 2010
  • Eleanor and Nick Yeo (88-94G) - a son - Sebastine Wilfred - 28th January 2010
  • Azza and Tom Poole (90-97C) - a daughter Ava Elsie - 1st February 2010
  • Andrew and Emma Barker (née Turner 88-93F) - a daughter, Florence - 8th February 2010
  • Giles and Emma Lee (née Gordon-Lee 87-96F) - a son, Freddie - 3rd March 2010
  • Robert and Charlotte Parkhouse (née Pollard 90-97B) - a son, Benjamin - 20th March 2010
  • Jacqueline Brown (93-98F) and Michael Zimmer - a son, Winston - 25th March 2010
  • Anna and Kevin Humes (83-90F) - a daughter, Sophia Rose - 30th April 2010
  • Jessica and Ralph Patel (87-95F) - a daughter, Megan - 7th May 2010
  • Rhiann (née Lovett 87-98C) and Will Friend (95-00F) - a daughter, Winnie – 29th May 2010
  • Mark Palin (88-95F) and Leslin Rew - a son, Kelso - 31st May 2010
  • Felicity and Sam Ursell (93-00G) - a son, Otto Samuel - 1st June 2010
  • Julia Woollacott (89-93G) and Kevin Heard - 9th July 2010


Congratulations and best wishes to:

  • Chris Pote (86-93F) and Carolyn Edwards - 12th September 2009
  • Laura Frankish (92-00F) and Michael Warriner - Jan 2010
  • Claire Youings (91-95B) and Nikolas Banks - Dec 2009
  • Michael Cameron (86-93F) and Miranda Whinney (85-92F) - 25th May 2010
  • Claudia Miserez (99-01G) and Isa Krasniqi - 4th June 2010
  • Duncan Miller (95-00G) and Olena Matezko - 5th June 2010


The Association offers sincere condolences to family and friends of:

  • TR Littlewood (38-42) - 25th October 2007
  • GH Mountjoy (41-45G) -10th October 2008
  • Jock Warne (31-36C) - January 2010
  • Sam Heath - 2nd February 2010
  • John Milton (38-41C) - 30th April 2010

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