Brian 'Jon' Fay (Wordsworth 1967)

Greetings from South Florida, currently the US epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic! So living here now is really scary, especially if you are in the groups of people more at risk of serious complications. Most people and stores do observce CDC personal protection guidelines but there are still too many that seem to ignore the risks of spreading Covid-19! Thankfully there are no known Covid-19 cases in our gated community of 315 homes. Happily we have been able to start playing tennis and pickleball again recently, albeit on a limited basis with strict distancing and sanitising rules. Still it is great to get out, see some friends and play. We have done several driveway/ patio Happy Hours with a few socially distanced friends, BYOB and BYO-lawn chairs, within our community. Also we are becoming quite proficient in Zoom chatting with friends in America and around the world, including friends in the UK, France, Honduras, Columbia and Qatar. Hope all OS friends are well and finding fun ways to pass the time during the pandemic and hopefully vaccines will become available sooner than later. (2020)

Dr John Barnsdale (Park Grange 1969) 

As always it was gratifying to see the most recent edition of Sennockian magazine. It is astounding to see the generations that have passed through Sevenoaks School's doors since my departure. I have lived in Auburn, California for over 40 years and continue to practice medicine (Anesthesia, as we spell it). After leaving Sevenoaks I dropped, feet first, into the tumult that was the University of California, Berkeley. To say I had a great experience would be an understatement. Time and again I reflected on the incredible education I received at Sevenoaks, both academic and personal. I have jokingly told many people that I was trained to go out and serve an Empire that no longer existed and to do it well. Completing a degree in engineering and subsequently medicine (at UCLA) I then trained in Anesthesia and moved to Auburn. Each step of this journey was aided by my experience at Sevenoaks. I recognised many of the names in our decade and would look forward to hearing from them. Even back then we were a surprisingly mobile lot. (2020)


Richard Gunner (Wordsworth 1960)

I would like to hear from any OS who attended the Sevenoaks School Easter holiday experiences on board the TS Foudroyant at Portsmouth during the 1950s and 60s. The old vessel is now fully restored with her original name of HMS Trincomalee, birthed at Hartlepool, and a wonderful ship to behold. Please email rgunner@btinternet.com. (2019)

Alan Bishop (Fenton 1962)

I worked in the shipping industry for Union Castle Line and Clan Line and spent an enjoyable year working in Mombasa before returning to London. After my health deteriorated in 1972 I moved to the New Forest and commenced a career in bookselling, becoming Chairman of the Hampshire Branch of the Booksellers Association and serving on the BA Council. After selling my bookshop my wife and I decided on a change of scenery and moved to a village in the beautiful Blackdown Hills in Devon. We enjoy visits from our two sons. I also enjoy reading news of people I remember from Sevenoaks and was saddened to learn of the death of my old friend Andrew Bass. (2019)

Anthony Lunch (Sackville 1963)

I was presented with an RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Long Service Award last November. Totally unexpectedly, I received the award in recognition of my 40 years involvement with Oxford University Yacht Club, in many roles but concluding with a 20-year stint as President. My early years in sailing were at Sevenoaks, where I was taken under the energetic and dedicated wings of EG Groves and Brian Scragg. I campaign a Swallow racing yacht at Itchenor SC, where OS Simon Slater (Grote 1972) is a fellow competitor! It was a great honour to receive the award from Princess Anne and much of the credit for this lies at Sevenoaks School! (2019)

Richard Bird (Sackville 1965)

I’m still alive in France, Spain and England! (2019)

Peter Woodhead (Park Grange 1966)

I moved to Hong Kong in 2002 and stayed. I worked in education and am now trying to be retired and sail when I can. My children are in Sydney and the US. I have fond memories of Tom Mason, Alan Hurd, Hoppy, Nottidge and Willie Bleyburg – weekend camps and Digweed! I still play croquet. If you’re anywhere in the region you’re welcome to visit. Sadly my brother – Michael Woodhead (Plender 64) – passed away last September. (2019)

Peter Thornton (Park Grange 1967)

I left Sevenoaks after four years as a Park Granger and it was disappointing to have missed the last two years and privileges of Sixth Form but I made up for that at Newington College in Sydney before going onto Sydney University, graduating with first class honours in Civil Engineering. I have always felt my education at Sevenoaks provided the platform for that and other later achievements, due in no small measure to the calibre, and eccentricities of my teachers. I still have my school reports and treasure the comment made by my Classics master Dickie Dawson that I was ‘not a mere circus animal to be tempted by tangible rewards’ when, having done my Latin O-level in Michaelmas term of 1964, I dug my heels in over doing very much prep for Greek – for which I was never going to sit an O-level – and focused on my Maths and Physics instead!! I still live in Sydney and have stayed in touch with Neil Powell (Park Grange 66), my musical mentor at school, David Lanfear (Park Grange 68), Mick Audsley (Grote 67). I also came across Rufus Boyd (Taylor 83). I’d be happy to hear from anyone who remembers me. (2019)

John Wilber (Fryth 1967)

I spent 30 very enjoyable years working for British Rail, leaving in 1997 as Group Public Relations Officer. After that, I purchased Railnews, the rail industry staff newspaper, jointly running it for 21 years until retirement in 2018. I still keep very busy organising or attending railway and local events in Stratford-upon-Avon where I live with my wife Caroline (married 1987). We have one daughter, Katie. My main pastimes are researching our family history, my orchard, my old BSA motorcycle (the same one I rode to school on from Tunbridge Wells) and trips to Europe. Last year I attended the Founder’s Day Picnic and met several OS for the first time in 50 years. An interesting day, which I hope to repeat in 2020. (2019)

Chris Caridia (Grote 1968)

I moved to Frankfurt from Bangkok last year, where I am teaching English at the university and continuing to write English language teaching materials. (2019)

Steve Olsen (Park Grange 1968)

I retired as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain with United Airlines, aged 65, in 2015. Since that time I have been flying a corporate jet in Houston, Texas where my wife, Peggy, and I have lived since 1983. Since leaving Sevenoaks, I have been a US Air Force pilot, a corporate pilot, an airline pilot, a professional race car driver (BMW, Porsche and Audi) and a part-time rancher on the family ranch in central Texas. Peggy and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on 13 June 2019 and have a daughter, a son and six beautiful grandchildren. I was in London this spring to bring one of my granddaughters for a whirlwind tour of London. Sadly our schedule did not allow a dash to Sevenoaks. We would welcome any Old Sennockians who might find themselves in the Houston area. You can contact me through Sevenoaks School Foundation. (2019)

Christopher Segar (School House 1968)

I resigned from the Diplomatic Service in 2005 after serving in Baghdad. In 2008 I joined the staff of the International Energy Agency in Paris, working on relations with Middle Eastern states and with OPEC in Vienna. Since I retired from the IEA in 2015 I have been able to devote more time to a charity supporting Christian communities in the Middle East. I have visited Iraq and Jordan several times in the last two years. (2019)