Interesting /Distinguished WGS Boys and Staff                          Home

This page is not about indicating the success/or lack of it of Wellingborough Grammar School.  The great majority of the boys obtained work immediately they left school/college/university and had successful careers in industry, education, the armed services, medicine or whatever.  I, as a 'B' stream boy finished up as a lecturer in educational research at the University of Birmingham.  My brother is a world renowned professor of mathematical education at the University of Warwick.  My cousin John Greenhalf went into medicine as an obstetrician, my other cousin Barrie Tall, owned several petrol-filling stations - and we are just a typical family.  All of us were successful, though none of us were famous outside our 'worlds', though David's achievements are, I believe, worth highlighting.  Some old boys had the 'spark', or were at the right place at the right time to suddenly became very well known, but this page is much more about highlighting individuals who lived 'interesting lives'.

This is a new idea and I'd appreciate a lot of help.  I started it because I was suddenly informed that Derek Walding had died and that he had been speaker of the Canadian Parliament; the obituaries at the death of Richard Bradshaw confirmed his importance.  But, fame is a poor arbiter on real success.  Where are our generals, academics, engineers, entertainers, politicians and policemen?  Where are the 'Movers and Shakers'?  Where are the innovators? Where are the boys, who led 'interesting' lives?  Who has built a company into a major retailer/manufacturer.   Send me some information, preferably with photos, and up it will go.  

 See and contribute to the discussion below when the page's emphasis was on What is distinguished?  

Individual Years at WGS



   Brian Abrahams 1947-   Sport   First Class Rugby referee in the top 10
    Lyle Abbott 1956-1962   Club   Scouting - received Silver Wolf award
   Thomas Frederick Herbert Addis 1932-1940   Military   Awarded M.C.
   C Bailey     RAF    Awarded DFC

Gerry Bermingham

sixth c1957


British MP

   Bob Griffin-Bird 1968-1970     Police and Member of 2003 GB Archery Team
   David Bradshaw 1940-1947   Education   Founding Chairman of The History of Education Society

Richard Bradshaw

1955-  dead


General Director and Conductor Canadian Opera House

   Donald Ernest Braybrook     RAF    Awarded DFC
  Mostyn Burman   c1935-   Music   Played Organ for the Spencer Family & Princess Diana
   Bert Catlin dead   RAF    Awarded DFC    Secondary Headteacher
   Keith Norman Clark     RAF    Awarded DFC

Brian Clayton



 Professor & Pro Vice Chancellor University of Nottingham

David H. Cobley




  Gordon Charles Cook c1943   Education   University Professor
   Richard Austin Cooper 1943-1945   Banking    Commerce, Armed Forces
  Richard Cowley 1956 to 1961   Police/Author   Author of Historical Books on Police.

Michael Cox

c1959 dead


 “The Meaning of Night”  £500,000 advance
   John Dunning (Jake) Teacher   RAFVR    Mentioned in despatches
   R. Elkington     RAFVR    Mentioned in despatches
   Kenneth Fillingham     RAF    Awarded DFC
   F. W. Furr     Navy    Mentioned in despatches
  Stephen Fletcher  1965-1971   Education   Head teacher Doha English Speaking School, Qatar

David Frost




  Brian Hodgkin 1960s   Religion   Director of Bible translation at Papua New Guinea

John Hyde



England Rugby Player

   F.Langley     RAF   Awarded D.F.M.

Bruce Liddington




Peter Lindsell



Structural and Demolition Engineer

   Richard Saxby Mutimer 1932-1936 dead   Military   RAF  Bomber Command  Awarded D.F.M. Killed in Action
   Sir Terence (George) Streeton 1941-   Diplomacy   KBE 1989 (MBE 1969); CMG 1981
   David Thacker c1961-   Theatre   Director of Royal Shakespeare Theatre
   Robert Dudley Page 1935?-   Army   Awarded D.C.M.

Graham Ridge



Wellingborough Mayor/Local Councillor

   F.A. Robinson 1930s   RAF    Squadron Leader DFC
   Tim Schofield 1964-71   Science   Works for NASA
   Kenneth Spencer ??-1944   Education   Head of Maths and Housemaster at Eton School

David Tall



Professor of Mathematical Education

   Bob Taylor

Master   Sport   England Rugby Player
  Paul Warburton c1965-   Business   Head of Australian Arm of Corus Steel
  David Walden 1957-1964   Business   General Manager British Timken

Derek James Walding



Speaker of the Canadian Parliament

Mike Wells



University Professor  -   JANET

Don White

1940s  dead


England and Saints Rugby Player

   Edward Wood 1951-1959   Education  

Max Wyman


Arts Critic

Canadian Arts Critic,  UNESCO cultural-policy commission


Discussion:  What is distinguished?

John Cook's comment:

Just being a County Councillor does not automatically make that person 'distinguished'. Of course, one can be an MP, a general or a vice-chancellor and fail to distinguish ones self in that role but in the context of this exercise will be a distinguished OG by dint of having made that level in the first place. A military example could be that most officers will make the rank of major by just keeping their noses clean and the chance of making Lt. Col. will be pretty good. Promotion to Brigadier is achieved by the few so we should set our bar at Brigadier (could argue for Colonel or Major General) or equivalent. This, of course, ignores gallantry or being in command of a battalion in a notable incident. These cases would be considered on merit. I would propose Deputy Chief Constable (arguably Assistant/Commander) for the police and Vice-Chancellor for universities. Individual academics considered on merit but must have made considerable impact outside the confines of their own university. You may be able to suggest suitable criteria for business. The next task is to find these people which will be a pretty daunting task. Best wishes John

Pedro Howes comment

My 'standards' would be. Military - Any award for bravery or meritorious service. This could also apply to Civil Awards of 'equal' valour. For example, a PC for an act of bravery. For rank, I think the equivalent of Brigade Commander. In the Civil Field of Rank, AC in the Police and equivalent in Fire Service, Ambulance, Coastguard etc. MBE/OBE to be considered on merit. For example, I would oppose an award to a long serving Civil Servant but would agree to someone who has spent the best part of one's lifetime serving charity or those of us less fortunate. I believe Professor is 'distinguished'. Doctor is not. However, we should be aware of any medical Doctors/Consultants that have distinguished themselves. Anyone regarded as 'famous' such as David Frost.   Sportsmen: Don White and JPH immediately spring to mind, but there may be others who excelled at sports we are not aware of, such as sailing for example. Brian Abrahams springs to mind as a First Class Rugby referee in the top 10 and still active in an administrative role. Business achievement. A difficult one this. How can one measure business achievement? It can cover both entrepreneurs and those employed by others. To be determined by 'committee' consideration of each individual case. There are a few ideas as a result of my rambling and now back to the garden. Pedro


Incidentally I think the above is, at this stage,  too 'mighty high'' - We can identify different 'levels' later - but let us discover interesting careers etc. and leave later classification to the reader!  Perhaps we will award 'stars'....