One hundred years since lecture from pioneering ornithologist and bird photographer

On 27th February 1922 Miss E.L. Turner gave a lecture on ‘Birds of the County’ featuring lantern slides taken by herself of birds of Breckland, the Broads and the coast. No doubt Emma included the iconic image she took of a nesting bittern in 1911 which was the first evidence of its return to the UK, and of other rarities in decline thanks to the fashion for ladies’ hats adorned with their feathers.  Emma had become a member of the Royal Photographic Society as early as 1901 and soon began exhibiting regularly and attracting public attention for her photographs of birds in their natural surroundings. She developed a career giving illustrated lectures, writing 8 books and numerous articles, becoming one of the leading natural history writers of her day.

From 1905 Emma lived on a houseboat, The Water-Rail, on Hickling Broad in order to photograph birds, a venture which resulted in the publication of her ‘Broadland Birds’ in 1924.  Later she became warden or ‘watcher’ on the isolated Scolt Head for the Norfolk Wild Birds Protection Committee, her tenure leading to a huge increase in numbers of nesting colonies. In the largely male world of bird photography, Emma Turner was one of the first women to be elected Fellow of the Linnean Society and was the first female honorary member of the British Ornithologists’Union. In an article on ‘Bird Photography for Women’ in 1915 she claimed that “Patience and a thick skin are the two essential qualifications for successful bird photography” and would spend many hours in cold and wet conditions in pursuit of her prey.

The report on Miss Turner’s lecture at school questioned whether it was possible to prevent more bird species from being lost and expressed support for the bird protection movement.  Bird watching, and even collecting birds’ eggs, was a popular hobby at school, much encouraged by Headmaster George Howson and his successor James Eccles, and the recently established Natural History Society was one of the largest hobbies groups. Emma Turner was just one of many distinguished lecturers who visited in the early C20th, including the enigmatic Captain Knight with his golden eagle Mr Ramshaw who was welcomed back on several occasions. The lecture programme was part of a raft of cultural provision in the school at this time including Shakespeare plays, concerts, and societies such as debating, which gave pupils an important eye into the wider world and its current affairs.

Pupils are benefitting from this term’s OG Career Bite talks

Through the Lent Term there will be weekly talks open to all year groups from OGs working in a variety of sectors, giving the pupils to engage and hear about former pupils’ education journeys, their job roles, the opportunities of future work and contacts for work experience.

The talks will be from OGs working in Business, Law, Environment, Photography, Civil Service, Architecture, Infrastructure Engineering and Marketing/Branding.

The first talk was with OG James Rodgers (F 1993 – 98) who talked to pupils about his background and role with Page Executive; what other OGs in his year are doing; the difference sectors and career paths in Business; the recruitment process, trends and policies and the importance of work experience.

Careers events

Year 13 & Parents Applying for Uni Finance presentation – 5th March

Business Breakfast for all Sixth Formers – 10th March

Year 12 Pupils & Parents Post Sixth Form Information Evening – 12th April

Year 12 Pupils & Parents Conference with visiting speakers – 10th June

Year 12 visit to UCAS Fair (Universities & Degree Apprenticeships) – 16th June

Work Experience

The Careers Department and the OG Club are working together to collate a directory of OGs offering work experience to current pupils. Further information to follow.

INVESTIn – InvestIN empowers pupils with the knowledge and experience they need to make the right choices about their future careers. They offer pupils aged 12-18 the opportunity to learn from top industry professionals through hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, networking opportunities, site visits, career coaching sessions and much more.

Visit their website to register. To receive 10% discount insert the Gresham’s Partner code – GRESHAMS10

Please contact Mrs Osborne, Head of Careers for further information [email protected]

OG Victoria Vanhoutte spoke to pupils about her career in Biological Sciences

Victoria Vanhoutte (E 1995 – 98) hosted an online talk to pupils about her career from undergraduate, post grad, working in research and industry during the last twenty years.

She spoke about the many careers open to those who study Biological Sciences and advised pupils to study what interested them rather than possibly what they felt they should do to move forward in their careers, hers has been varied.

Her particular interest is cell therapy and she was extremely informative about this field (using cells from another human being to treat another) and the progress that has been made in science in general (sequencing of the human genome, genetic editing using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, development of human induced pluripotent stem cells were among her chosen examples).

This was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to ask questions about where science could take us!

Special Service marking the Centenary of Gresham’s Very Own ‘Saint’

A special service was held in Chapel to celebrate the life of OG John Bradburne (F 1934 – 39) who was born one hundred years ago on the 14th June. The service was attended by Bradburne’s niece Teresa and the boys from Tallis and Woodlands.

John Bradburne was known to many as ‘God’s vagabond’. He not only looked like Jesus – with his long hair and beard – but he also acted like him too giving his life for others.

John became Warden of Mutemwa Leper Colony in what was then Rhodesia in 1969. He found the colony in a terrible state. It was home to eighty cruelly maimed people who had been rejected by their families and communities. Even within the colony they were treated poorly – forced to bags over their heads when an able-bodied visitor arrived. Bradburne quickly changed all of this however. Where others had rejected them Bradbourne embraced them with dignity, respect and love. He lived, prayed, ate and drank with them. He educated them, cared for them medically, and even built them a small church.

Sadly in 1979 however, Bradburne was caught up in the country’s Civil War. Guerrilla fighters mistook him for an informer. His friends told him to flee but Bradburne refused to abandon those he cared for. After being subjected to torture, and a rigged trial, Bradburne was eventually killed.

Bradburne is now remembered for his kindness and bravery all over the world. There is currently a campaign to see him beatified in the Roman Catholic Church.

Bradburne was also a wonderful poet. Our very own Headmaster recorded a reading of one of his poems to mark the centenary alongside many other notable individuals such as: Sir James McMillian; Archbishop Rowan Williams; Cardinal Vincent Nichols; Gyles Brandreth; Richard E Grant and many more.

(Photo © John Bradburne Memorial Society)

Pupils and OG represent the GBU19 Rifle Team

Many congratulations to current pupils, Toby, Tristan and Alex, and OG Ben who have had a brilliant time representing the Great Britain Under 19 Rifle Team on their tour of Scotland. Toby had incredible success, winning the Grand Aggregate and the NRA Silver Medal. On the final day of competition, all competitors had to shoot 2 sighters and 15 shots to count at 900yds, followed by 2 sighters and 15 shots to count at 1000yds. At 900yds, Toby shot at 75 / 75, to maintain his 3 point advantage and then he shot a 74 / 75 at 1000yds to win the Grand Aggregate by at least 2 clear points. Out of a total of 525 points in the Grand Aggregate, over the course of the weekend, Toby dropped just two points. He achieved the highest under 25 score and came 3rd in the Scottish Championship.

Overall, Toby, Tristan, Alex and Ben came a very respectable third place, with the GBU19 team, behind the English and Scottish Senior Teams.


OGs have been inspiring pupils with their careers talks

In what has been a year of online events and Teams talks, there has been a real positive for our Careers department in building up superb working relations with the OG Development Team and embracing the OG network. This is a superb resource for offering advice, information, talks, work experience, mentoring, and future work. It is fantastic to build up great working relationships with OGs to inspire and help our current pupils with their future.

This summer term, OGs have been fantastic and have given their time in support and advice to current pupils on their pathways and how to enter their industry sector:

Veterinary – OG Dr. James Carmalt graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1998 and then completed an internship in large animal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM)

Music – OG Pete Blyth and OG James Farnell

Media – OG Pascal Dalton, SVP Licensing, ITV Studios Global Entertainment – organised talks with colleagues who manage the ITV social media channels.

Gap Year travel – OG Isy Erixon gave a fascinating insight into her gap year travels which she did after graduating from her History of Art Degree.

Studying at University in South Africa – OG Ben Dugdale talked about his journey to studying at University in Cape Town.

AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship – OG Jack Small talked about his higher level apprenticeship with Accountants, Larking Gowen.

Architecture work experience – OG Robert Dale linked Careers with Purcell UK the architects working with the Gresham’s Pre-Prep School. A number of current Year 12 pupils interested in architecture will be doing work experience with Purcell during the summer.

In the next academic year, the Careers department will be working with our STEAM coordinator, Robert Hazelwood, to organise careers events and speakers to embrace future roles in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths

For further Careers information or guidance, please contact Careers Coordinator, Sue Osborne at [email protected]

Record deal for OG Amelia Fox

It’s what every singer dreams of, being plucked off the street and given a record deal. For #OldGreshamian Amelia Fox (c & E 2010-19) this became reality in her Upper Sixth year when Record Producer Rollo Armstrong heard her singing in a school concert. In her words ‘he liked my voice’ and they exchanged details and the rest as they say, is history.

Amelia worked with Rollo and Chris Cooper, piano teacher and Studio Producer at Gresham’s over the Summer of 2019 on Rollo’s project R Plus as a vocalist, replacing Dido who had sung on his first album. R Plus have recently signed an album to Armada Music and the first single from this, a dance cover of Joy Division’s Love will tear us apart has now been released and can be found by clicking here. The vocals for the single were recorded in The Strathmore Studio in the Britten Building at Gresham’s.

For Amelia this is a big moment in forging a career as a singer and we wish her well and who knows, she might be back to adjudicate House Music one day!

Careers work with OGs to provide online careers talks

Our Careers department have benefitted from the fantastic support of Old Greshamians who have given insightful and informative careers talks. These talks were all online and it was great to welcome back the following OGs:

  • Joff Beckett, OG – CEO Burgess Yachts
  • Hannah Farndon OG – British Psychological Society. Hannah is Policy Advisor for Professional Practice at the BPS.
  • Sophie Jewry OG – Marketing & Branding
  • Nick Chesworth OG – Director, River Media Partners
  • Sam Matthews OG – Investment Manager, Barratt & Cooke
  • Pascal Dalton OG – Senior Vice President Licensing – ITV Studios

All speakers have been so keen to help current pupils with information and work experience which is valuable to pupils when they are deciding what they would like to do after completing their education.

The department have also been helping Sixth Form pupils to use the careers platform UniFrog. Parents of our pupils can sign up by clicking here and using the form code parentsgresham to help with sourcing Apprenticeships, ‘Gappie’ opportunities, work experience, summer jobs and 1-1 guidance meetings for their children.

Pupils also have access to the InvestIN programme which offers work experience with top employers. As Gresham’s School is an InvestIN Partner School, students have access to a 10% discount across any of the programmes using the code GRESHAMS10 at the payment page.

For careers information or to organise an online meeting please contact Mrs Osborne at [email protected]

OG Ben Youngs participates in our Leadership podcast

OG Ben Youngs joined Year 10 pupil Max on our Gresham’s Leadership podcast, a series which has also seen pupils interview a photographer and designer, an architect and women in leadership. Max spoke to Ben about his time at England and the Lions, to give an insight into how leadership works in the elite sport. Click here to listen to the podcast.