Update is the news-
letter of the Ashvillian
Society, the associa-
tion of past students
of Ashville College,
Harrogate. Number 50
Ashville’s Wall Of Fame
ASHVILLE’S rich history
- from its creation right
through to the present
day - is taking centre
stage in the school’s
continued £4m restora-
tion and refurbishment
A timeline charting its
headmasters and signifi-
cant events, including
the wartime evacuation
to the Lake District, is
being created with the
help of Ashville archivist,
Mike Burke, and his as-
sistant Jane Petts.
Once completed - in time
for the new school year visitors entrance along Headmaster, Joe Lancas- brought the history of the
ter. OA President, David school to life.
in September - it will be the corridor to library,
situated on the walls which is being renamed Simister, said: “This is a “It’s our very own Bayeux
fantastic depiction of Ash- Tapestry in technicolour,
leading from the re- the Lancaster Library in
ville’s life. It has truly and is one that will im-
designed parents and honour of the former
press, and educate all.”
**Ashvillian Pimms Reception & Lunch** SUMMER PARTY
ONCE again, the Ashvillian Society is hosting its now traditional Pimms reception Come and meet former
and lunch on Saturday, July 4, in the main school building. Beginning at classmates and teach-
12.30pm, this is the opportunity to catch up with old friends— and teachers—and ers at this year’s Sum-
reminisce about the school “in your day.” mer Party. Being held
Ashvillian Society President David Simister said: “The Pimms reception and on Saturday, July 4th,
lunch is a very civilised and enjoyable event for OAs. It’s very informal and al- the theme is “Films and
ways entertaining.” Film Stars”, but don’t
worry, fancy dress is
Booking Essential optional. Full details of
Unlike previous years, this year’s reception and lunch is FREE. However, if you wish to this, plus the AGM, are
attend you must pre-book your place by contacting David Simister on 01423 874 685 or
found within the pages
by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, by Monday, June 29, so the school will know how
many to cater for. of this copy of Update.
Ashvillian Society News
OA’s WORLD CUP GLORY HOPE Speech Day—All Invited
AN EX-ASHVILLE student has come a long way since his All OAs are, as ever, invited to attend the annual
days of spelling tests and gym class, as he now plays a
Speech Day prize giving ceremony. The event is being
pivotal role in spearheading a global sporting competition.
For Elliot Stroud, who attended Ashville College from 1988 held at 7pm on Friday, July 3, in Harrogate Interna-
to 1996, has recently taken the position as the commercial tional Centre. Ideally you should be seated by 6.45pm.
director of the Homeless World Cup, an annual
international football tournament which is in its ninth year.
Taking place in Milan from September 6-13, The Homeless ASHVILLIAN SOCIETY RULE CHANGE
World Cup uses football as a catalyst to encourage people
At this year’s AGM (please note the start time has changed
who are homeless to change their lives and to change the
to 11.45am), we are proposing to amend the rules regarding
attitudes of governments, media, public and key influencers
membership. This is being done to bring the Constitution up
to create better solutions to homelessness around the world.
to date and, more importantly, offer a new level of member-
Previously the commercial general manager at York
ship— Collegiate Member. This is to recognise a significant
Football Club and graduate of Leeds Metropolitan
contribution made to the life of the College, be it by a mem-
University, Elliot has developed a strong passion for the
ber of the teaching staff or support staff. Nominations have
sport and is very excited about his move from the football
to be approved by BOTH the Society and the School and
league to the voluntary-based homeless league.
sanctioned at the subsequent AGM.
Elliot, who also worked for Leeds United Football Club and
Present members of staff who have served three or more
boasts a Masters Degree from Northumbria University,
years; parents and guardians who are no longer eligible for
said: “Ever since I can remember, football has been a true
membership of the Friends of Ashville shall be eligible for
passion of mine, both on and off the pitch, and so to be able
Membership of the Society.
to pursue any type of career within the game is a dream
The Headmaster will automatically become an Honorary
Member of the Society during their headship.
“Having worked for a number of sports clubs, including
And finally, there will no longer be a subscription to be a
Wakefield Wildcats and York Football Club, I have been
member of the Society.
able to experience the ups and downs of competitive sport
These proposed rule changes will be put to the members at
played for profit.
this year’s AGM for approval.
“Feeling ready for a new challenge, but wishing to remain
in the sporting industry, when the Homeless World Cup
offered me the newly created position, I was thrilled to
accept.. Join The Facebook Revolution
Elliot believes the two main goals for the organisation is to,
‘engage one million players who are homeless in the Remember to post your reunions—and pho-
benefits of football across 75 nations by the year 2012, as tographs taken at these events—on Face-
well as achieving a one million strong fan base.’ book. The Ashville College page has over 800
Anyone wishing to support Elliot in his mission to make members and this number is growing all the
this year’s Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup an even bigger time. If you are already on Facebook, but
success than last year’s, please contact him on 07949 165 haven’t signed up to this page, please do so.
323 or email email@example.com.
On The Ball—Elliot
Stroud who is
manager for the
Ashvillian Society News
OA In The Frame!
CHARLOTTE Gale (1991-1997) - after six years working
for an e-Marketing agency, the travelling bug finally got the
better of her for a second time round!
Charlotte said: “I took six months out last year to explore
Africa, South America and the Middle East, with highlights
including lion monitoring and biodiversity research whilst
volunteering in South Africa and the Amazon Rainforest.
“I am now back in Harrogate and am continuing to do some
e-Marketing on a consultancy basis, but have also set up a
business selling framed photographs and greetings cards.
“If anyone is interested in seeing how I am putting seven OA Charlotte Gale (above) and below in
years at the Salar Desert, Bolivia
good use, you
can find me
OA Iain Coucher On Right Tracks For Speech Day
OA Iain Coucher is probably the envy of every young schoolboy in the country
who dreams of getting a train set for Christmas. For the former Windermere
and Mallinson boarder, has the country’s biggest set at his fingertips, thanks
to his role of Chief Executive of Network Rail.
And this July, Iain is heading back to his Yorkshire roots – not to attend a
gathering of the region’s business leaders - but to honour top-performing stu-
dents at Ashville’s annual Speech Day. Previously Managing Director and
Deputy Chief Executive of Network Rail, Iain - who studied Engineering at
London’s Imperial College after leaving Ashville College in 1979 - took over
as Chief Executive in the summer of 2007. Prior to this, he was Chief Execu-
tive of Tube Lines, one of the preferred bidders for the London Underground Public Private Partnership.
Before joining Tube Lines, Iain worked for EDS for 15 years, culminating in heading up the company’s
mergers and acquisitions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His career has included extensive
experience in the transportation sector, particularly with London Underground.
Headmaster’s Report to the Ashvillian Society
March 2009 Page 4
AS WE digest the unrelenting news diet of They also reached the final of the Durham sevens, losing to Sed-
economic gloom, I am delighted to tell you burgh in the final. Tom Papworth has been selected to represent the
that the College is well placed for the coming Welsh Exiles at Under 16 level and the 1st XV enjoyed a comprehen-
year. sive win over local rivals, Harrogate Grammar School. In the swim-
ming pool our teams have competed in the prestigious Bath and Ot-
In January, 117 pupils sat our entry assess- ter competition in London.
ment for Year 7 and there is every possibility
that we will open a fourth class in Year 7 to The freestyle swimming team finished 5th in the small schools’ final
accommodate the demand for next year. The and were ranked 20th in the country, the medley team also finished
weakened pound ensures that international 5th and were ranked 19th nationally – This was the first time Ashville
boarding recruitment is strong and this, cou- had ever reached both finals at this championship. The girls also put
pled with the misfortunes of the construction in a superb performance breaking the school record in the medley
industry, means that we are able to press relay. An outstanding performance from Matthew Rider enabled him
ahead with our refurbishment programmes to win the 100 Metres backstroke in the Whitgift competition making
with confidence. And confidence is the key at him the Independent Schools gold medalist in this discipline. A su-
this time. perb end to the team’s season.
It is all too easy to watch the changes which Our technology teams triumphed in the local Rotary Club competi-
are reshaping our economic landscape and tion. This attracts pupils in three age categories from over 20
forget the human cost as families reorganise schools. Our Intermediate team won their age group and the Senior
their lives and individuals redefine their iden- team were credited with the best design. We have won in one or
tities. Perhaps now, more than at any other more age categories for the past five years.
recent time, we can see the value of a broad
education – focussing on a diverse range of On the stage we have enjoyed one of the very best House Drama
skills and characteristics to see our pupils competitions I can recall, followed by outstanding results in the prac-
through the pitfalls of life. We hope that what- tical examinations for AS & A2 Theatre Studies. The combined tal-
ever challenges members of our Old Ashvil- ents of the music and drama departments were on display in the
lian community are facing, you will have the production of the Pirates of Penzance. Our musicians have com-
resilience to face it. peted successfully in the Harrogate Festival with success in singing
The term may be brief, but it has been no
less busy for that. Snow disrupted proceed- On the stage we have enjoyed
ings for one day but that is largely forgotten one of the very best House
now. This is the term when much of the work Drama competitions I can
setting up for the forthcoming school year is recall, followed by outstanding
completed and OA’s will wish to know that results in the practical
Barbara Britt-Compton, Debbie Osmond and examinations for AS & A2
John Mullin are all retiring, Simon Brook will Theatre Studies.
be taking over from John Mullin as Head of
Art. The combined talents of the
music and drama departments
Turning to school activities, it has been a were on display in the
busy term in boarding with two major events; production of the Pirates of
Chinese New Year and a ‘celebration of tal- Penzance. Our musicians have
ent’ evening with a meal and show in the competed successfully in the
Soothill Hall. Both events were organised by Harrogate Festival with success
students and highlighted the strength and in singing and piano.
depth of talent amongst the community.
As you know, Lancaster House
On the sports field the Under 15 netball team will become a co-educational
won an invitation tournament featuring the house from September and
best schools in Yorkshire and the NE includ- work is underway to ensure a
ing local rivals St Aidan’s and Joseph Rown- smooth transition.
tree from Sheffield. Our Under 14 rugby team
completed a dominant season without losing As hv ille Headm aster
Cont’d Page 5 An dr ew Fleck
a single game, gaining 592 points to 26
against. They were unlucky to be knocked
out of the Yorkshire cup in a 0-0 draw at
The President Speaks Page 5
These young men and women stood What we need is an injec-
AS PREVIOUSLY stated, it’s a real honour out from the crowd. They had pur- tion of young blood. Young
for me to be the Society President. I’m very pose, charisma, manners and an ex- OA’s who can make a real
proud to have been elected to this auspi- tremely positive attitude about their impact and encourage and
cious post. Visiting the school as I do on a future aspirations. inspire those closer to
regular basis, I have a feeling of pride walk- their own age to get in-
ing the corridors, knowing that Ashville Col- It was a real pleasure sharing a brief volved.
lege has been a place of learning for well period of time with them.
over a century. With Facebook and Twitter
I am delighted to say the Society is it’s never been easier to
Attending the Christmas gathering at Weth- going from strength to strength. I’m keep in touch, and with
erspoons, it was also interesting to note that extremely lucky to have such an ex- these “social networking”
many of my (much) younger fellow Ashvil- perienced team around me. sites it’s never been easier
lians felt the same way too. to organise reunions.
However, the loyal subjects who have
Cont’d from Page 4 served the Society so well and for so And talking of reunions,
long aren’t getting any younger. I’m hoping to see as many
OAs as possible on Satur-
It is important that this change in day, July 4th.
occupancy is properly recognised and from
September the house will be named This year we will are ex-
Greenholme. This name comes from the pecting to welcome back
amalgamation of the names of two former past teachers, this year’s
houses on Green Lane, Greenhill and leavers, and those who
Holmewood and which were in use from said goodbye to Ashville
1948-1978 and 1946-1978 respectively. five, 10, 15, 25 and 30
Conversion work will commence in July. years ago. In fact, we look
forward to seeing all leav-
Work on the main school building will start ers what ever year they
in earnest in May when the three senior left.
Year groups start their study leave. As was
the case last year, this will involve a certain So this July 4th, celebrate
amount of relocation of classes and the in style. Pimms reception,
library will be reduced for half a term, lunch, summer party...and
however the effect will be to complete the it’s all on our website and,
transition of this part of the school into a yes, Facebook too!
bright and modern teaching environment.
The Library will be named the Lancaster
Library in ongoing recognition of the work of President
Joe Lancaster, Headmaster from 1939 -
1946 and through whose efforts the school
was relocated to the Hydro Hotel in
Windermere whilst our current buildings
were requisitioned by the RAF.
Other aspects of the school’s history will be
brought to a wider audience through a new
display along the Library corridor.
The Boys in the band! David Simister (front row, third from right)
next to his identical twin brother, Andrew.
Ashvillian Society News
Ashvillian Society News
THE ASHVILLIAN SOCIETY
NOTICE OF THE 110th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
July 4th 2009
Notice is hereby given that the Hundred and Tenth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be
held at Ashville College, Harrogate, on Saturday the 4th July 2009, commencing at 11.45am in the
1. Apologies For Absence
2. Minutes of the Hundred and Ninth Annual General Meeting held at Ashville College, Harrogate on the 5th July
3. Matters Arising from the Minutes
4. The Headmaster
5. Honorary Treasurer’s Report
6. The President’s Report
7. Election of Officers
Honorary Treasurer: 2009 – 2010 Bryan L Bonser
8. Election of Committee
2009 - 2012 – R Clark and the retiring Senior and Deputy Senior Prefect
9. Proposed Rule Change
2.1 Former pupils of Ashville, New & Elmfield Schools; present members of staff who have served three or
more years; parents and guardians who are no longer eligible for membership of the Friends of Ashville shall
be eligible for Membership of the Society.
2.2 Past or present members of staff may from time to time be recommended by the school for Collegiate
Membership and, shall upon the recommendation of the Committee, be accepted by the Annual General
2.3 Honorary Members may be recommended by the Committee and elected by the Society in General
Meeting from time to time. The Head of Ashville College is appointed an Honorary Member of the Committee
for the duration of their headship.
18 There is no subscription for membership of the Society.
10. To offer Collegiate Membership of the Society to the following former members of staff - Chris Britt-
Compton, Barbara Bromley, John Bromley, Pam Cousen, Tim Cundy, Mike Davies, Jane Petts, Roger Pygott,
Bob Upton and George Wise.
11. Appointment of an Examiner of the Society’s Accounts.
12. Any Other Business
Obituaries And Appreciations Page 8
was a very different school but one served thrashings with the heel of a
would hope had very much the same leather bedroom slipper (and not only
system of values as today. from David), and for more serious of-
Certainly the fabric of the old school is fences a cane. I rarely remember any
still clearly identifiable among the ex- complaints as to the justice of the pun-
tensive additions that have been made ishment because it was appropriate to
over the years. Including the Junior the crime. For 31 years David Welsh
School then located at New College single mindedly helped prepare genera-
there were approximately 360 boys with tions of Ashvillian boys for the big
about 90% borders. Since coming back world outside. The number of boys go-
from spending some wonderful years at ing through his sixth form Physics
Bowness on Windermere during the classes must have been in the thousands,
War the big novelty was the introduction and the results were indeed outstanding.
of Day Boys. The inevitable addition of He did all this with the commitment of a
girls was still a generation away and “Mr. Chips” and his subsequent partici-
fortunately perhaps after David’s retire- pation in the Society was further confir-
ment. It boggles the mind to think how mation of this. His last visit of a few
David would have handled that change! hours to the Sawrey Reunion while in a
wheelchair and with a Nurse in atten-
Being a lifelong bachelor, David became dance was typical of David.
a Resident Housemaster for many years
DAVID JAMES WELSH with all the personal commitment and After Ashville David was very fortunate
AND ASHVILLE IN THE nervous energy that the position de- to have a very productive and successful
manded. In modern terminology David involvement in the Masonic Order
LATE 1940’s was on duty 24/7 during term time, and which started in 1953, and lasted for
the stress often resulted in an outbreak over 50 years. David reached dizzying
FOR THOSE who may not have had the
of Iritis, an extremely painful eye infec- heights in the Yorkshire Organisation,
good fortune of knowing David Welsh and he often told me with justifiable
he was Senior Physics Master from pride that he had taught Physics to some
1947, and subsequently became Senior In the late 1940’s there were many other
Master of a Lodge who happened to be
Master and Acting Head Master until his outstanding and committed teachers
an illustrious surgeon or other profes-
retirement 31 years later in 1978. (Pleasance, Ingham and Davis to name
just a few). There were also some who
David died on April 22nd 2009 at the
had difficulty maintaining discipline in May David James Welsh rest in peace,
grand old age of 90
class which is the first prerequisite for and in the hearts and memories of all his
A year after joining the school David effective teaching. Rather than teaching Ashville Boys.
became the Housemaster of the recently conventional mathematics, one math
acquired Greenhill, which is now the teacher from Eastern Europe called Ter-
Headmasters Residence. It is a tribute to novski tried to teach 14 year old boys Ian Dodds
David that, of the nineteen 14 year old astronomy and the principles of orbital Ashville, Sept 17th 1945 to July 1952.
boys who were in residence at Greenhill mechanics with imaginable conse-
for the 1948-49 year, five (Burn, Dodds, quences—fortunately he did not last
JAMES Brayshaw (known to all at
Kirkpatrick, Miles and Patterson, all long.
Ashville as Braysh) passed away at the
now in their mid 70’s) attended the Ser-
At 28 years old, David Welsh was deter- age of 43.
vice on May 6th 2009 at Christ Church in
mined to prove that no group of rowdy He was a boarder at Ashville in Mal-
Harrogate. I am sure that there would
Ashville boys were going to get the bet- linson house from the ages of 13-18
have been more but for the passage of
ter of him, and his stentorian tones rap- following which he progressed to New-
60 years and the inevitable ravages of
idly led to the nickname Dracula, soon castle University gaining an Honours
time and loss of contact. There were Degree in Marine Biology.
many others in attendance of that same to be abbreviated to “Drac”. However
generation acknowledging the important this name soon became one of respect He then joined the family business run-
and even friendship as this group of ning the Sawrey Hotel at Far Sawrey in
role that David had played in shaping
teenagers came to know David for what Cumbria. He was married to Dorothy
their subsequent careers and indeed and father of Lizzie and Ally.
lives. The Ashville of the late 1940’s he really was. Most of us got well de-
Obituaries And Appreciations Page 9
Park School Harrogate and then Ash- Kirsty Ellis
John Beaumont (School No 239;
House Duckworth Ellis) We are sad to report the death of
On leaving Ashville, John joined the
family firm Barracloughs Mineral Wa- Kirsty Ellis, who died suddenly on
ters which later on was taken over by April 10 at her home in Italy. She
ABC Foods. At this time John was not was 36.
very happy and decided he wanted a Kirsty, an aunt of OA Jessica Eckart
change. He was always interested in
the share market and decided he wanted and Sixth-Former Ellie Eckart, was
to become a Stockbroker and through one of the first intake of girls to
his many contacts he joined a London Ashville in the early 1980s.
stockbroker for a period, but yearned to
return to Harrogate. John then joined aAfter graduating from Newcastle
local stockbroker and stayed until his University, Kirsty travelled around
retirement. Europe, before settling in the Lake
On retirement, he filled many happy Garda area of Italy, where she
hours cruising the world, visiting the taught English as a foreign lan-
theatre, Harrogate Rugby Club, Harlow guage.
Masonic Lodge and Ashville. Of his
many interests the Masons and Ashville It was there that she met Giuseppe
were his life. and the pair had three children;
Mike Burke Dominick, 7, Isabella, 3, and Edu-
Jack Symmons (1923-2009)
Jack came to Ashville in 1954 in the Lancas-
He became head of History, Master of
Briggs House and Careers Master, an early
novelty in my time. He also taught some
English and French and was a stickler for
the discipline of Latin for those still doing
the subject. He worked so hard at all his
tasks that he had little time for outside inter-
ests, but he was for a time Chairman of Ox-
fam in Harrogate, and briefly a member of Richard Ryan
the Welsh Society.
OA Richard Ryan has died while on
He retired in 1982 with a great send off holiday in the Alps on February 26. He
which many will remember. But what mat-
tered most to Jack was his beloved Nancy.
They met at Ashville when she was school Richard was an outstanding and ex-
Sister and married in November 1965. tremely talented student, who gave his
Jack was a history teacher with a fine repu- full commitment to all areas of the
tation. He inspired in us all a love of the school.
We are all sad to learn of the recent pursuit of knowledge and the benefits that it
death of our dear friend John, who was brings. Of course Jack’s other great gift was He was a senior prefect, an ever present
known to many as Fizzy Beaumont. in his pastoral role as a Housemaster and member of the rugby team, a successful
senior member of Staff. Again, I learnt so
He was a true Yorkshire character loved much in guidance to me as Senior Prefect
cricketer and athlete.
and respected by all his friends world- which has been of great value in some of the Richard was highly respected by his
wide. John will always be remembered very serious and complicated matters with
teachers and he brought humour, fun and
for that cheeky smile, wicked sense of which I have had to deal. Finally, I am so
proud that upon my leaving Ashville you, love to the large group of friends that he
humour, his grumpiness at times, gener- had established while at Ashville.
Jack, treated me as a friend for the rest of
osity and a friend to all. A bachelor at
heart John always had an eye for a pretty Richard joined the Junior School as a
lady and lived life to the full despite his Farewell Jack - none of us will ever forget border and completed his A-Level stud-
failing health in latter years. you.
ies in 2000.
John was born and lived most of his life
in Harrogate, except for a short spell in His Honour Judge Lloyd Neil Cornforth
London. He was educated first at Grove Jack’s first Senior Prefect 57-58
Yew Tree Lane,
THESE photos, from throughout the school’s
history, have come from the Society’s archives.
We hope you enjoy looking at them. Other like
these appear on our website -
Officers of the Society
President—David Simis- Treasurer—Bryan Bon- Immediate Past President Archivist—Mike Burke
— Steve Wright School and Society history
Formal Contact Formal Contact
Formal Contact Tel: 01423 569 563
Tel: 01423 705 160 Tel: 01748 812937
Tel: 01423 330 639 Mburke@talktalk.net
1 Park Place, Park Parade
whixley.freeserve.co.uk 4 Old Barber
Hackforth Road Beverley House, Stonegate Knox
CATTERICK VILLAGE Whixley Harrogate
North Yorkshire York HG1 3DF
Vice President and Sec-
retary — David Bulmer DL10 7 QF YO26 8AS
All routine correspondence Would you like to get in-
Tel: 01423 531 654 Membership Secre- volved with the Ashvillian
firstname.lastname@example.org tary— Bryan Bonser, Society? If you would, we
pro tem would be delighted to
37 Pecketts Way hear from you.
Ashvillian Society AGM For those who look at the Ashvillian website (www.ashvillian-
Please note this year’s AGM is society.co.uk) regularly you will see a change. We have again
being held at the earlier time of revamped the site thanks to OA Jonathan Isaacs. Jonathan,
11.45am in the Memorial Hall who only left last year, is loaning his time free to host the site
on Saturday, July 4th. and update it frequently.
Again, we are wanting to populate it with plenty of photographs
Are you organising an event? and OA news. Send your contributions to
If so, let us know and we will email@example.com
publicise it on the website.
email your information to
If you would like to submit a story for the next Update, please
email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is November
20th, 2009. We will then endeavour to publish it for you. Photo-
graphs in jpeg format are also especially welcome.