Who We Are

The Committee

Jamie Conchie (President) 69-76 G Born Minehead  Somerset, 1958. WBS 1969-76, Grenville House. Colts Exmoor Running cup 1970: 1stXV Colours 1976. Married a WBS Old girl, Suzy Maskell, 1980-84, Grenville. 4 sons; 3 have or are attending WBS. Father was an WBS old Boy and OWBA President in 1985.  Had 2 brothers and 2 sisters who attended WBS between 1967-1984. Went to Brighton University. Currently Director of a Headhunting firm, Consortea, based in Windsor working with clients in the Sport, Media & Entertainment sectors. Returned to live in Bishops Tawton, N. Devon in 2008. Residing in farmhouse with Campsite and Wedding /Function business   Neil Kingdon 66-75 C Neil Kingdon Neil’s father, Gordon (33-37 C) came to West Buckland thanks to a scholarship from a South Molton Town Charity. In later life, Gordon became the Chairman of Governors at West Buckland and President of the School.  Neil was born and brought up in North Devon and during his time at West Buckland became involved in most aspects of school life, finally being awarded the Fortescue Medal, the highest award presented by the school. Upon leaving West Buckland, Neil studied dentistry at Guys Hospital in London after which he went on to work in General Practice and Dental Teaching hospitals until 1987 when he specialised in orthodontics.  He returned to North Devon in 1991 and met his wife Julie, also a local girl, and he set up his own orthodontic practice in Barnstaple, where he worked until the business was sold in 2012.  Neil and Julie’s two sons, Jack (05-11 C) and Fred (07-12C) also followed their father through the school, and embraced all the school had to offer. Neil’s enthusiasm for the continued role of the OWBA within the school community encouraged him to stand for Presidency of the Association and we are fortunate to have him on board   Mark Baglow 01-07 F Mark Baglow “The six years I spent at West Buckland were truly some of the best of my life. The academic, sporting and artistic opportunities allowed me to develop both inside and outside the classroom. I was particularly involved in drama, appearing in several school productions. I am very excited to be invited to join the OWBA Committee and have a chance to participate closely in future events.  After leaving West Buckland I read History at Exeter University. After taking a year to work as a teaching assistant at Chulmleigh Community College I studied for a PGCE and fully qualified as a teacher in 2014 after completing my induction year at Budehaven Community School.   I coach both golf and trampolining on a regular basis as well as taking part in both sports when there’s time! I also have a radio show on Tarka Radio – Hospital Radio for North Devon.”   Adam Crispin 90-97 G Adam CrispinAdam CrispinAdam CrispinAdam Crispin “I was at WB from 1990 – 97 in Grenville. I had two younger brothers at school, both now left. I work at Bray Leino as an Account Director in the Media department and oversee advertising campaigns for clients such as Thatchers Cider and Brittany Ferries. I have been at Bray Leino since I graduated from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in International Politics.”   . Ian Blewett 72-77 G Ian arrived at WBS in 1972, was a regular in School Rugby and represented the school at 1st XV in both Lower and Upper Sixth as well as in track and field in discus and javelin. A stalwart in the CCF he decided to pursue a career in the Army following school and enjoyed a long and varied career in the Infantry including numerous tours of operational duty. He as commanded the Rigle Volunteers, been a Deputy President at the Army Officer Selection Board and was Regimental Colonel The Rifles. He now delivers Simulation Programmes in support of the Army’s Recruiting and Training Division. His twins, Abigail and James, also attended WBS. For Ian’s full biography please click here Stuart Smith 73-80 G Stuart Smith

Stuart lived in Ilfracombe when he was at WBS before going to Leicester Polytechnic graduating in 1982 with a diploma in Estate Management. He qualified in 1985 as a Chartered Surveyor. Stuart has a passion for the great outdoors and a particular interest in renewable energy. He is a current parent and much of his spare time is spent following his 2 sons’ interests and achievements on the sports fields of the south west. He is a former Chairman of Ilfracombe Round Table.

David Walker 76 -82 B “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at school, participating in every sport going, and avoiding academic study with aplomb. I was lucky enough to captain both cricket and rugby at various age ranges and win a number of full colours. My house was, and is still Brereton with Mugsy my inspiring housemaster! Both my children Charlotte (95-08 B) and James (98-11 B) have been through WB from nursery to Upper Sixth, both enjoyed their time there, like their father, but with better academic achievement. I have maintained my links with the school via the OWBA and was honoured to be President in 1999. At present, I am the OWBA Governor, a role I enjoy and feel privileged to undertake. The OWBA has kept me in touch with many old friends, my children’s friends and many characters from the West Buckland community at large.”

Patron

David Cummins (40-50 G) JFV.David Cummins at Lords 2David has been a patron of the OWBA since 2007. His long association with the school started when he joined West Buckland as a pupil in 1940.  At school, he was a member of the 1st XV and participated in cross-country and athletics. His career has concentrated on the agricultural industry, specifically crop protection chemicals. He was director of a company which was sold to CIBA/GEIGY, a chemical organisation and since then, David’s interests have been in residential property. David has an enormous enthusiasm and commitment for West Buckland, having been a school governor for six years and was formerly President of the OWBA.

The Office

Valerie Bishop, Foundation Manager Valerie Bishop “I  joined WBS in 2013 from an International Development Charity, African Initiatives. Having grown up in West Cork in the Republic of Ireland I read English & Modern History at the University of St Andrews and taught for a number of years – English in Russia and History in state schools in the UK. I then moved into the charity sector where I have worked in project management, communications and fundraising. I have been a trustee of a number of small charities and volunteered for a number of others. I am also an artist and exhibit in the south west, as well as being a member of Civil War Re-enactment Society, The Sealed Knot. I have greatly enjoyed my time at West Buckland so far, particularly working with the OWBA and hearing lots of stories about the school from former pupils. Frozen washbasins, muddy baths and pea soup have been a re-occurring theme!”   Monica Carter-Burns, Communications Officer Beth Poole, Administration & Finance Officer