News headlines – April 2021

<<<    Later headlines
23 Apr 2021    Ed Speleers (Wargrave 2001-06) to do 200km run for dementia charity
19 Apr 2021    Congratulations to Derek Granger (Powell 1935-39) on his 100th birthday
9 Apr 2021    Richard Day (Gonville 1983-87)
7 Apr 2021    Tawanda Muyeye (Gonville 2018-20) signs contract with Kent Cricket
1 Apr 2021    A message from Emma Garrett, Development Director
>>>    Earlier headlines

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23 April 2021 - Ed Speleers (Wargrave 2001-06) to do 200km run for dementia charity

Ed Speleers (Wargrave 2001-06) is taking part in a two-day 200km run along the Cornish coastal path to help raise funds for the National Brain Appeal.

Ed, on the left, will be running with his friend Tom Morison, right, whose father was diagnosed last year with a rare form of dementia.

Together they are hoping to raise £30,000 for Rare Dementia Support, which runs regular, specialist support groups, and provides newsletters, contact networks and a digital platform with access to information and advice for people affected by dementia.

During lockdown last year Tom and Ed formed a bond when they ran 100km around a 1.8km loop for NHS Charities Together, raising over £13,000.

Ed, who played footman Jimmy Kent in Downton Abbey, and is currently appearing in Outlander on Amazon Prime, commented that when Tom suggested the challenge, he 'couldn't not do it', saying that it is important to have 'somebody else to guide you through it and to keep reminding what this is for.'

The coastal run will take place on 29 and 30 May and you can read more about it and make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-morison.

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19 April 2021 - Congratulations to Derek Granger (Powell 1935-39) on his 100th birthday

We are delighted to offer our congratulations to Old Eastbournian Derek Granger on his 100th birthday on 23 April. He is the oldest surviving former pupil of the College.

Derek was a pupil in Powell House from 1935 to 1939 and is probably most famous as the producer of Brideshead Revisited for Granada Television, which won a BAFTA award for best drama series in 1982.

After the Second World War, in which he served as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Derek worked as a journalist in Brighton, before being headhunted by the Financial Times as their first drama and film critic.

That led to an invitation from Sidney Bernstein, the head of Granada, to work in television. He was a producer of Coronation Street in its early days, as well as being a scriptwriter, and later became Granada’s head of drama.

In October 2014 the Eastbournian Society invited Derek to give a talk at the Birley Centre, in which he told the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Brideshead. The production took two-and-a-half years, being interrupted by an ITV strike at one point. Luckily Granada had the financial resources to keep it going, with the company executives having enough faith in Derek and his team to produce what has since become recognised as one of the greatest television dramas of all time.

Derek is pictured above (wearing his Old Eastbournian tie) with two of the Brideshead cast: Anthony Andrews (Sebastian Flyte) and Nickolas Grace (Anthony Blanche), who joined him at the talk with reminiscences of their own.

An interview with Derek is carried in today's Guardian newspaper.

Derek, right, with Laurence Olivier (Lord Marchmain) and Stéphane Audran
(Cara, Marchmain’s mistress) on location for Brideshead Revisited in Venice

Derek in 2016 with his BAFTA award

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9 April 2021 - Richard Day (Gonville 1983-87)

It is with much sadness that we report the death of Richard Day (Gonville 1983-87) on 6 April 2021. Richard, who was 51, had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

We are grateful to his friend Chris Stephenson (Gonville 1982-87) who has contributed this appreciation of Richard's life.

Just as he had been at the crease, in the scrum or whacking a short corner, he was fearless and stubborn to the end.

To all of those who knew Richard in his school days, his sporting prowess will be the first thing to recall; he captained the cricket and hockey elevens and played rugby for the first XV, all with great distinction. He was also head of house and a school prefect (much to the amusement of his friends, of whom there are many). He loved playing OE cricket and latterly became a key member of the OG Golf Society, playing regularly at Rye and also for the Halford Hewitt side.

But he was so much more than a very talented sportsman. He was incredibly kind, hardworking and, above all else, devoted to his family. He will be remembered as a thoroughly good man.

After school he built a formidable farming business alongside his wife Louise. He brought the same determination and grit to his working life as he had displayed on the sports field. He transformed the family farm into a huge success story, employing many hundreds of people. Richard will be much missed by all who knew him, but none more so than his wife Louise and his girls Claire and Chloe. He was devoted to all of them and they to him.

Richard's family are fundraising for Hospice in the Weald, where Richard spent his last days, and you can donate by clicking on this link to their JustGiving page.

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7 April 2021 - Tawanda Muyeye (Gonville 2018-20) signs contract with Kent Cricket

Tawanda Muyeye (Gonville 2018-20) has signed a three-year contract with Kent Cricket, a year after he was named Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year in 2020.

Tawanda, who was a College sports scholar, broke two scoring records in his first year playing for the 1st XI, hitting 1,112 runs at an average of 69.50 for the season, with 56 sixes. He also scored two double centuries. He was coached at the College by former professionals Rob Ferley and James Tredwell.

Tawanda, who was born in Zimbabwe but qualifies as a domestic player, said: 'I am delighted to sign for Kent and achieve my dream of becoming a professional cricketer.'

Kent captain Sam Billings commented that he was absolutely delighted with the signing, saying that Tawanda is a 'very exciting young talent and an impressive young man who will offer so much to our group on and off the pitch.'

Kent's Director of Cricket Paul Downton, said: 'We are really excited that Tawanda has agreed to join us at Kent. He had several offers from other counties and was in high demand.'

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1 April 2021 - A message from Emma Garrett, Development Director

The April email newsletter to members of the Eastbournian Society included this message from Emma Garrett:

Today is officially my first day as the Eastbourne College (Incorporated) ('ECi') Development Director, so it is extremely fitting that my initial task is to write to all members of the Eastbournian Society, focusing as we do on nurturing and developing relationships within the wider College community.

I want to thank those of you who have sent messages to myself and David Stewart to offer your congratulations and good wishes on the announcement of my appointment. David will indeed, as many of you have pointed out, be a hard act to follow; however, I am excited to build on what he and the team have achieved in recent years and am absolutely thrilled to be his successor. Christine Todd has also now retired after 21 years in the Foundation and Development Office and we wish them both the very best for the future.

Fortunately for me, David has agreed to be on hand to help out as and when I require his expert assistance, and he will be joining the Eastbournian Society Committee as Vice Chairman.

With David Blake, John Thornley, Lulu Brown and Paul Jordan still very much involved, the future of the Eastbournian Society is bright and full of promise.

In due course, we hope to give David and Christine a fitting send-off, however for now the champagne was flowing on Monday afternoon in Christine’s garden, as the gradual lifting of lockdown commenced and the team met to celebrate the end of an era. What a time it has been with social distancing and remote learning dominating many of our lives - I do hope you are feeling optimistic at last, and that after Easter things will gradually return to normal.

I visited the College last week and took time to lean on the wall, something I dare say all Eastbournians have done in their time, whether to watch rugby matches on College Field, put the world to rights with a friend, or to surreptitiously break that infamous 'six inch rule' back in the day! It was an evocative moment - the salt in the air, the blue sky, the sound of the seagulls, the cherry blossoms just coming into bloom and all against the stunning backdrop of the iconic Memorial Building. I paused to reflect for a moment - it most definitely felt like coming home for me. Eastbourne College is in my blood - as a toddler I used to crawl through the hole in the wall half way along Grange Road, then I remember the excitement of being strong enough to clamber over, finding footholes in the jagged flints. My father taught at the school and I started my schooling in a blue beret at Ascham Pre Prep and finished it in the sixth form at Nugent. I was married in the Chapel and two of my children were christened there. To be returning now feels exactly like it is the right place for me to be, the circle of life if you like. I have experience and skills to bring to the role; an outside perspective but crucially, with inside knowledge.

I am eager to communicate with members of the Eastbournian Society in the coming months, virtually of course, but also physically, post-pandemic. We are an incredibly well-connected global community which must be explored, developed and embraced. There will be many exciting events to look forward to and I would love your input on this - please do get in touch via email with any feedback, ideas or suggestions, or just to say hello and introduce yourself. I will be looking at ways we can support all our members, not only providing friendship and a social community through our arts and sports programme, but also by increasing mentoring, networking, and professional development opportunities both on and offline as well.

Two events that are already in the calendar are a London guided walk on Thursday 1 July which will explore Margaret Thatcher's Chelsea, and the theatre trip to Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre, which has now been rescheduled to Thursday 16 September. Full details of both trips are on the Events page on the ES website  and you can contact John Thornley at jt@eastbourne-college.co.uk to reserve your tickets.

I have also been asked by the OE Golf Society to let you know that with Covid restrictions being eased, they have published their 2021 fixture list on their website at https://oegolf.uk. OEGS President Chris Walker says: 'Our first match is against Hurstpierpoint at Walton Heath GC on 22 April but matches still open for applications are against the College itself, the College Common Room, Brighton, King's Canterbury and Tonbridge. You could also apply to play in the Autumn meeting at Cooden Beach on 5 September. The OEGS is open to all members of the Eastbournian Society. And many of our events are open to golfers of all abilities. Membership costs £25 (or £5 if you are under 25 years old). Our Secretary is David Burt who can be contacted via secretary@oegolf.uk.'

I move to Sussex in July, and prior to that will be working remotely, with regular visits to both St Andrew's and the College. I am an enthusiast, and the temptation is to hit the ground running; however, I am aware that initially, I need to work hard behind the scenes to familiarise myself with both schools, the wider school community and the society and its members.  

I wish you all a very Happy Easter - please don't hesitate to make contact, and I look forward to leaning on that wall with you, and putting the world to rights, very soon.

With best wishes, Emma Garrett

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