(Circa 1974)


Believe it or not, it is twenty five years since we first lugged our suitcases and rucksacks up those metal staircases for the first time and ate in the great dining hall paying with a tatty raffle ticket. Three years on we went our separate ways and like most of us I suppose, I kept in touch with a few old friends but gradually lost touch with most. From time to time I have mused, " I wonder what happened to so-and-so?" Well, you can see what happened to me at the head of my homepage!

Well, now is our chance to find out! With an uncharacteristic fit of resolve I have had a go a tracking down a few people. From a very small start my list of contacts has grown. You have all been very helpful by sending me each other's addresses. It seems we each kept up with just a couple of contacts, so my list grew exponentially.


I have given an assurance that I will not give private addresses to third parties or use them for any other purpose, so I have removed this information from the internet version of the newsletter. However the full version is available from me via post or email.

This version does however allow you to download copies of the pictures to your PC. (If you require higher quality pictures I can email them to you).

My thanks to everyone who has helped, particularly those who have found old photographs and stories to share. If this brief news sheet triggers any fresh names, memories or photographs, I will still be delighted to hear from you. Who knows, in another twenty five years I might do it again!


Steve Andrews (1974)

My professional life has careered all over the place since I left Catz. Apart from living in Edinburgh, London and Cambridge and now Bath, I have worked in Universities, industry and now university again. Partners have changed just a regularly and now I am a senior lecturer in physics at Bath - presently in 'hunting mode' on the social scene. I have developed interests in mountain trekking, (Alps, Peru, Ladakh, Nepal...), skiing, art, (ceramics, life drawing, glass sculpture...) and out drinking the undergraduates. That about sums it up. Dr Steve Andrews, Dept of Physics, University of Bath. BA2 7AY.

Chrissie Bligh

You know I'm one of the few people from our year who actually turns up at the Gaudies! Not that I remember anyone when I get there, but the wine is tolerable and there is plenty of it.

I did all sorts of things after I left Catz (some would say I did all sortsof things when I was there). I spent a while living on a commune in Herefordshire. Followed by some time working in a worker's co-op doing off-set litho printing; some time travelling abroad and then two years as a milkman. I finally wound up where all the old hippies did in those days: working in computers.

Despite that it's not such a bad life. I've been living in Cambridge since1986 and have no major plans go anywhere else. I have two children -Catherine who is 12, and Edward who is 8. I'm still single - never married. I cherish my independence too much. And these days I work as a freelance project manager, mostly rescuing runaway projects and shoe-horning them in. It's great going in to organisations as an outsider. You can say all the things the insiders know but dare not say. Not much really changes does it?

So if any ex-Catz people are passing through Cambridge and think I may remember who they are, they can track me down easily. Just go to the best independent wine shop in Cambridge which happens to be just at the bottom of my road. And ask the charming Irishman who runs it for directions to my house.

Paul Booth (1974)

Paul works as an IT Architecture Consultant for IBM. After five house moves in five years he is now heavily involved in extending his present house - a two year project. He has twin girls. Some pictures of Paul appear below.

Benezir Bhutto

I had not realised that this member of the well known Pakistan ruling clan was at Catz in our time, until someone reminded me.

She had done a first degree (at LMH?) and was living in college during our second or third year as a post graduate.

To find out where she is now, read the papers.

Geoff Chapman (1974)

Engineer, contemporary with Paul Booth and Andy Stove.Rumour has it that he is working as an examiner for the patent office in Newport and is still single.I have no other details

Ed Constable (1974)

" I did my DPhil at Oxford and finished in 1980. I then moved to Cambridge to take up a research fellowship and was appointed to a lectureship in 1982. I stayed in Cambridge for 13 years and then moved to Basel to take over the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry in 1993.It was the best move I ever made ... this is a fantastic place to live, science funding is extremely generous and personal salaries are better than you can dream of.I married Catherine in Cambridge in the mid 80's. She is also a inorganic chemist which makes things easier. She is also a Professor in the Institute and we run our research group, of about 20 people jointly. This is an advantage as I am a way often and there is always someone in the hot seat. We decided cats were easier so we have two cats and no children". Institute fur Anorganische Chemie, Spitalstrasse 51, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland. Website: http:/

The top photograph shows Ed as he was in 1975 (left) with myself (right) at a party held by Denise Wheatley.

Ed  & Mark at Denise's

This is Ed as he appears today, taken from his website. Below is his wife, Catherine.


Catherine Constable
Stop Press

Ed and Catherine have just accepted the offer of two chairs of Inorganic Chemistry at Birmingham University, so they will be returning to the UK.

Andy Fitch

According to Ed Constable he has a job at the synchrotron source in Grenoble. He has a French wife and two (or three?) children

Rowan Freeland

I married Davina Salisbury (from St Hugh's, Law, 1976, but quite nice really). We have three daughters, Marigold, (b.1990), Constance (b.1992) and Beatrix (b.1995).I am a partner in 'Simmons & Simmons' specialising in Patent and other intellectual property litigation.I also seem to be on the College Development Council - Cheques please to RC Freeland.

Keith Gaffee

No response but I have an address.

Julian Gall

Julian was an engineer. Paul Booth tells me he is now married with two girls.

John Galley

John was an engineer for one year, then left Oxford. I have not been able to contact him but Richard Tribe and the Pupletts are sporadically in touch with him. He has apparently packed in his long time job in Milton Keynes recently and was last heard of working in Paris. He does large chemical plants, so if you ever need one...

Peter Gilyard-Beer (1973)

You will remember Peter, he's the hairy one on the punt at the top of the photograph! (Below him is Chris West and Paul Booth holding a paddle and at the bottom, Alison Norie with her father.) As far as I could tell on the phone he is as zany now as he was then!

Peter , Chris, Paul, Alison and her Dad.

After Oxford, Peter picked up a BSc in Electronics and Communications. After a year working as a designer/engineer for a small electronics company in Rayners Lane making guitar effects pedals and such like Peter worked for Queen Elizabeth College (London University) making their bespoke equipment. After many happy years there it merged with Chelsea Colleges and Kings College so the bespoke service was cut."This week", writes Peter, "I am going to the very last QEC reunion as Kings are selling the site. It is in Embassy land so it should fetch a packet. I was entertainments secretary for the social club there and one of my duties was to warn the police before the annual firework display. Once, one of the larger rockets had misfired and landed on the South African Ambassador's residence. The shell detonated on the roof. As it was a time of political unrest ... Oh! Dear ... they were not happy... after that I always warned the police first!". (It sounds like the Peter we all remember, doesn't it? Plus ca change ..... Mark)After that Peter married Stephanie, moved to Peterborough and became freelance. If you know the Duckula cartoons you will know of 'Nanny' (a large, clumsy and stupid hen who walks through doors without opening them). Well, Peter designed and built the Nanny control systems for a giant model of Nanny for a tourist attraction. My children say they have seen it at Liverpool docks. Another of Peter's creations is to be found at the Devonish brewery in Weymouth. It is an animated Cat called 'Paws' with nine lives who guides the visitors.Peter still has a copy of the 'festering song' (remember that?). And I still have a copy of the 'Thing that ate Birmingham' a compilation Peter put together to cause choas when the 1975 Fresher's Photo was being taken. Pictures of that event are to be found at the end of this newsletter.

Penelope Gouk

There was a discussion on radio three recently (according to Andy Kirkham) about a new book by Penny called "Music,Science and Natural Magic in the Seventeenth Century". Armed with this clue I tracked her down to Manchester University.

Penelope Gouk's new book

(If you want to know more about the book I have included a link which gives more details and allows you to order a copy via - Mark)

Click Here to find out more on Penelepe's Book

I lived in London between 1977 and 1980, but between 1980-1995 I was in Oxford on a series of postdoctoral research fellowships, including one at St. Hilda's. For a while I even had a non-stipendary fellowship at St Catz, where I think I made college history, according to some of the staff, for being the first SCR member to bring her baby into the Senior Common Room (this was in 1990) ---everyone, including myself was deeply relieved I didn't try and nurse her in front of my academic colleagues...

Meanwhile I got married in 1989 to Jeffrey Dean, an American musicologist I met in Bologna, and we now have two children, Laura (9) and Anne (7). We have lived in Manchester since 1994/5 when I got appointed a Wellcome Researcher and Lecturer in the History of Medicine at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University there.

I am working on aspects of musical healing and the role of musical models in medical and scientific thought. This year I just published Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth Century England with Yale University Press and next year an edited book on Musical Healing in Cultural Contexts is due out with Ashgate.

Meanwhile I continue to play my violin, am in Sale Chamber Orchestra and have my own quartet, I play irregularly in a ceilidh band (cant spell that still) and have recently taken up international folk dancing (code for no clogs). Last weekend I was in the millenium concert at Catz and had a wonderful time. I am still in close contact with Chrissie Bligh and see other Catz people intermittently at Gaudies etc.

Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Mathematics,Tower, University of Manchester. MANCHESTER, M13 9PL.

Dave Halliday (1974)

David joined the Forensic Science service. His wife, Hazel, tells me that he is currently in Bosnia working for the War Crimes organisation. He has appeared recently in the Independent, Sun, and Mirror (24th June, standing next to Robin Cook) and on recent Newsnight.footage. The latter follows his TV debut which you may remember on the Catz University Challenge team.

Steve Homans (1974)

After gaining a degree in Biochemistry in 1978, Steve worked at Plessey Avionics and Communications for a year before returning to Oxford to do a DPhil (Biochemistry). Five more years were spent post-doc-ing in Oxford before going to Dundee University as a lecturer in Biochemistry until 1994. The next move was as Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at the University of St Andrews until 1988 when he relocated to Leeds University as Professor of Structural Biology.Steve married Fliss in 1982 and they have a son, Ashley aged 11. The 'Homans Hotel' he says is "only two miles from Leeds/Bradford airport so we'd be delighted to welcome any of the Catz gang if you need a stop over".

Steve Jones (1974)

I managed to contact Steve. Whilst he appreciated the idea of the newsletter and wished us luck with it, he felt he did not want to contribute himself on this occasion. I have his email address so if you want me to pass a message to him I am willing to do so.

Steve Kearsey

Steve says he is back in Oxford doing a 'Henry type job', which I take to mean lecturing. (Henry Bennet-Clark being a tutor who recently retired). He declined to summarise the last quarter century on the grounds it would sound boring! However he writes, "On the domestic front, my wife is a potter, (a quick advertising plug, here) and we have two daughters, Nina (11) and Emily (9).

Andy Kirkham (1974)

I moved to Glasgow in 1979 to do a one year diploma in cartography at Glasgow university. I worked for a while as a cartographer at the university but then got into computers. Since 1982 I have been writing educational software at SCET (Scottish Council for Educational Technology). If there is anyone out there involved in primary or special needs teaching there is a chance that they have come across "Life Skills - Time and Money" or "Let's go with Katy" both of which have been modestly successful recently. (Herewith a picture of Katy taken from a SCET catalogue which I just happened to have...Mark).

Katy -from 'Let's Go with Katy'

In the past few years I have spent my holidays travelling to places such as Rumania and Patagonia in order to track down some of the world's last steam locomotives. But, as these are becoming vanishingly rare, I shall soon have to find a new obsession.

Keith Lindsey (1975)

"I went to Edinburgh to study for a PhD in 1978, then stayed for a post-doc. Did a further period of post-doc research at Rothampstead Experimental Station in Hertfordshire, (1986-88), and then went to Leicester in 1989., first as leader of the Plant molecular genetics Group at the Leicester biocentre, then moving across to the botany department as lecturer.I moved to the chair of Plant Molecular Biology at Durham in 1996 where I am currently Head of the Department of Biological Sciences. (According to the website, Prof. Lindsey specialises in molecular biology and plant development - MW)I married Jan Topping, (who I met at Edinburgh), and we have two children, Harry, (aged 5) and Ruby (aged 3). Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE. Website:

Tim Milward (1974)

Tim called me to say that he has been working for BMW in Warwickshire, in the field of computers for the last ten years. He is not married.

Chris Maggs (now Campbell)

I believe that Chris is living in Belfast but I had no response when I wrote to her.

Peter Mandelson

Peter was a little before our time but a number of you have remembered him as the JCR President in our first year. At least two people have offered to write a biography of him - once the libel laws have been repealled!

One correspondent wrote: "He did not seem to relish conducting JCR meetings - I recall an air of fastidious distaste for all that undergraduate buffoonery". [Do you remember the fuss when the JCR voted that 'The chef should be ordered to serve brussel sprout turnovers - to get them both over at once!].

A recent biography of him has little about Catz except to say that his political friends thought it 'unbecoming of him to involve himself in running a place where scientists go to get drunk'. It also alleges that Catz had a reputation as a centre for gay activity.

As JCR president he came into contact with the Master, Lord Bullock. His first job (working for the TUC?) came as a result of Lord Bullock's personal recommendation - he was at the time in high standing with the unions because he had just chaired a commission on Industrial Democracy/

For the latest in Peter's career you can do worse than follow the If.. cartoon series in the Guardian which features our revered JCR president as a serpent.

Rita Nield (1974)

After Catz I did a Diploma on Fine and Decorative Arts in London. I then worked for 18 months at the National Gallery before spending nine months in Italy - mainly Venice. On return to the UK I spent about four years at Christie's fine art auctioneers in London.Then I decided on a complete change of direction so I retrained as a Further and Adult Education teacher. I taught History, General Studies, Literacy and even Numeracy for a short while before deciding on a more lucrative career in IT. I joined the home office as a trainee in 1988 and moved to my present company, Logica as an IT consultant in 1996.

Mark, Paul & Rita

The picture, (left to right) shows Mark Waller, Paul Booth and Rita at one of Denise's dinner parties.

Since 1996 I have been living with Mark Watkins (Catz, 76) in Wimbledon. My main hobby is singing with a small chamber choir in SW London and I shall be in the Catz millennium production of the Creation in November.

Alison Norie (now Gallico)

After Catz, Alison trained as a librarian. After gaining an MA at Sheffield she spent 18 months cataloguing the British library. After marrying Michael Gallico in 1982 she moved back north to work at the British Library Document Supply Centre at Boston Spar. They set up house in Leeds where Michael worked with the university. They have two children, Hugh, (10) and Helen (7). When Michael took up a publishing post in Abington, Alison worked for him as a freelance copyeditor and proof reader which allowed her to work from home while the children were young. They are now back north again where Michael is MD of Maney Publishing which specialises in academic journals and monographs. Alison works part time with Michael. Find out more on:

Mark and Alison

Alison and I have kept in touch over the years but whether she will ever speak to me again now I have included these photographs I am not sure! The one above was taken at an Edwardian garden party on the lawn at Catz, (thanks to Simon Thorpe for lending me your jacket).

Alison, Tim & Mark at Fountain's Abbey

This was with Tim Millward (background) and I (jacket) trying to stand on a wall at Fountain's Abbey.

I wonder if anyone remembers the 'Observanda Book' which Alison created? It was a scrapbook of quotations, malapropisms, spoonerisms and double entendre, generally accidental but apt, by any member of the college. These range from Charles Pegge's complaint that his essay on Ecological Succession "was just one damn thing after another" to Paul Booth's "I never go drunking". I still have the Observanda Book much of which is unprintable in this forum. I particularly wonder about the anonymous voice which was overheard saying... "Chris, You are making a mistake, I am FEMALE". History does not record the context.

Geoff Owens (1975)
Raymond Owens (1975)

Raymond and his twin brother Geoff were botanists from 1975. I have not been able to persuade either to contact me but I have an email address for Dr Raymond Owens.

Charles Pegge (1974)

Charles was a botanist. He says he "vaguely recalls graduating in 'Plant biology and transcendental meditation.'" The picture below may help him remember. It was taken after prelims at the end of the first year. He is on the left with Denise and myself. "Although the course was not very exciting I enjoyed Oxford, seeing wider horizons and in good company, too.", he wrote.

Matriculation (1975)

Below is Charles today. No change there, then!

Charles Pegge

Fishguard is where I was brought up and I moved back here 18 months ago. The place is surprisingly cosmopolitan with a strong artistic and musical community. When the weather is good it is stunningly beautiful. My house is 100 yards from the coastal path and five minutes walk from the town centre.After due meditation I spend most of my time in electronics, then software develpment and computer support. At present I am a painter, partially decomputerised, I manage to get quite physical with the paint in a most unbotanical manner." Charles has sent us two of his paintings.



You can find out more about what Charles does now if you put 'West Wales Arts' into the Alta Vista search engine on the internet.

Geoff and Kate Puplett

Richard Tribe tells me that Geoff and Kate have two girls the oldest in her mid teens. Geoff is a Head of Science at Shrewsbury. When I contacted Geoff he was up to his ears in GCSE marking. I know the feeling!

Justin Roberts (1975)

Justin is now Professor Roberts in the Biochemistry department of the University of California.University of California, Biochemistry Dept, Riverside, California, 92521

Hector Sants (Corpus Christie, 1974)

Hector was a psychologist at Corpus Christie. However, some of you will remember him as he lived with Tim Millward, myself and Richard Tribe at 22, Princes Street during our third year. It was a bit of a madhouse with collapsing floors, virtually no heating or hot water for much of the time and an semi-outside loo which was so full of woodlice that we tried not to use it. Over Christmas the cistern was solid ice for over a week! But the rent, at �5 per week was cheap even then! There was an endless stream of strange visitors and the living room was in a permanent shroud of smoke!

Looking back, the similarity with the BBC comedy show, 'The Young Ones' is uncanny. I'll leave you to work out for yourself which of us was the long haired confused one, the slick sophisticated one, the uncool cowardly one and the frustrated punk forever playing bootleg albums and air guitar! How time changes us!

Hector writes: "I am at Court Farm, with my wife, Caroline and three boys aged 10, 8 and 6, who go to school in Oxford. Alexander and Edward, the older two, go to school at Summerfields, whilst Arthur is at the Dragon School. We live in an old farmhouse with a small organic farming enterprise. I work in the city for a US investment bank called Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette where I run their non US equity business.Until last year I was head of equity at the Union Bank of Switzerland which took over Phillips and Drew, my first firm, which took me to America. I returned from America in1989 and have been in Oxford for the last ten years.

I am also involved in a number of other activities, including being on the board of the London Stock Exchange."

Morwenna Semmens (now Morwenna Brett)

Denise tells me that Morwenna has a flourishing career as a colour specialist for Dulux. Her business name is Brett. You may have seen her block buster video called 'Special Effects', a step by step guide to creating beautiful and unique paint effects with Morwenna Brett and the Dulux dog!

"I trained as a classical singer before discovering that interior design was just as theatrical and slightly more lucrative. So I ran a soft furnishings workshop fitting swags and drapes all over London for ten years. Then I specialised in making decorative paint finishes including making videos for Dulux as their colour consultant. I have given up the curtains recently as writing, broadcasting (I appear as an interiors 'agony aunt' on local radio throughout the UK) and television work have taken over. (The Home Front, The Beautiful Home, and Granada Livetime on Saturdays.)

I share a Victorian terraced house (it'll be marvellous one day) with three bossy Somali cats. Current passion is riding - last year I rode through the Jordanian desert on Arab endurance horses and I hope for an African safari in the millennium.

John Smith (1975)

John was a chemist. He worked for BP for 5 years before going into the family firm. He is now a partner in a jewellery import business called Poco Loco. His partner is Sally Thorogood from Catz 1979. No children.


Andy Stove (1974)

Andy was an engineer. When I contacted him he was very busy...."Recently I have been getting married (12th July 99), moving house and trying to get a radar to work. (I work on radar and it has been 'panic stations' on one project I am involved with for the last three months)". After staying at Catz to do a D.Phil, I finally left in 1980 to do a job with Philips Research where I stayed until 1996 working on military radar and then automotive radar. For the last two year I have worked on Human-Computer interfaces until I left to work with Racal radar in Crawley - a whole five miles away. I am still there working again on radar. I (finally) got married this July to Sally, whom I have known for ten years as we have a mutual God-child. When I told one of my cousins that we were to be married his email back was titled 'About time too!', so now I am living a married life in Brighton and enjoying the experience very much.Three years ago, Trevor Lee organised an Engineer's lunch and I met Paul Booth again. I also met Geoff Chapman a year or two ago.

Henry Stoye

I've not been able to contact Henry but rumour has it that he married a certain Helen from a farming family and they run an organic farm in Wiltshire. They have (at least) one child.

Simon Thorpe (1974)

"After finals in 1977 I stayed on in the Psychology department and did a Doctorate on "The neurophysiology of the forebrain dopamine projection areas and related structures" (please don't ask me what that was allabout). It was a good excuse for staying on for another 4 years in Oxford.

Oxford was a great place, and I really enjoyed my time there. However, I can't honestly say that I met anyone who looked even remotely interested in getting married to me. Fortunately, just as I was finishing off my doctorate, I got seduced by a married French woman called Michèle (of course she claims it was the other way round). There then followed the four most amazing days of my life, because Michèle decided that she was going to get divorced, I decided that I was going to move to France, and we both decided to get married. It turned out though that I'd already planned to do a post-doc in Nova Scotia, and it was a bit late to back out then. So off Iwent to Canada, and there then followed a year of sending letters every day and phoning every 36 hours. How romantic... we've still got all the letters somewhere. While I was there, I spent quite a few of my evenings learning French in the language lab - bitterly regretting that I'd dropped French when I was 14...

So, in September 1982, Michèle and I got married and I moved to Paris, with some financial help from the Medical Research Council which paid for an exchange fellowship. I was really serious about trying to make a go of living in France, and was very lucky to land a full time job with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in 1983 and haven't looked back since. We have had two boys, Jonathan in December '83 and Kieran in January '89, and quite frankly, I can't honestly complain.

In 1993, we all moved down to Toulouse, to a new lab that was being set up called the Centre de Recherche Cerveau & Cognition (Brain and Cognition Research Centre) where I basically get to do whatever I want to do, and get paid for it too! I've got a great bunch of students, and Michèle and I haveeven been collaborating for the last few years. Despite everyone's direst predictions, we still haven't got divorced yet!! We're working on the brain mechanisms underlying rapid visual perception, and I've got a few interesting ideas about the secret of biological visual processing that we are currently trying to implement in artificial brains. The latest version of my monster has 20 million neurones and 20 billion synapses - should have the whole thing ready for 2001.

We live in a really nice farmhouse with a swimming pool - it really is awful - I don't know how I can stand it down here..... Oh, and we also like having visitors - we're now taking bookings for 2006..."

It was Simon who always swore blind that he would definitely be at Stonehenge for the midnight millennium celebrations and that any of his friends throughout his life could just turn up for one big nostalgic party! It sounds a great idea - but are you still planning to be there, Simon?

Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, 133, Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse France. Website:

Robin Throssel (now Caiger Smith)

It took a long while to track down Robin, although there was a rumour that was into sculpting statues and had recently featured in the Royal Horticultural Society monthly magazine. She writes:

"The constant since Oxford days has been working with the sculptor David Wynne. In between projects there have been periods which have included farming in New Zealand, working on an Arab Stud, a few sessions of skiing and other strenuous pursuits. I married Paddy Caigar Smith in 1987, an engineer turned businessman. Together we have set up home in Northamptonshire, planted 3,000 trees, dug a pond and built a studio in which I carved two figures from a 3 ton block of stone.

In the last few years we lived in three houses. I hope we are now settled for long enough for me to get sculpting again - when not looking after Paddy's latest mistress, a classic yacht."

Richard Tribe (1974)

"I've been doing all kinds of things and living abroad a lot, too. Recently however, I (it is we now) have been in the UK since 1994. Even more recently I did some computer training which involved being a student again on a conversion MSc. (There were lots of jokes about 'mature' and 'cheese'.)

I was teaching English as a foreign language to company employees in Japan for a few years. I had planned to continue in this country, but doing EFL work in this country was very different and I don't reckon that I'm cut out to be a teacher for kids.

Anyway, in 1975 I married a Japanese woman called Michiko. We spend two years in Liverpool but now have moved to Manchester after I got a new job here. The north country is of course a foreign land for me but all that stuff about northerners being more friendly has some truth.

I've kept in touch with Geoff and Kate Puplett, John Galley and Julian Wood."

Richard said he did not go to the Gaudy because it would "involve hiring a black tie and suit", however like several people he suggested that he would be more inclined to go if he knew that others were going to be there. Next time, perhaps we should all have a 'pact' to be there?

Mark Waller (1974)

For some reason I always wanted to teach, so after Oxford I did a year's teacher training at Bristol University. Bristol is a wonderful place and I had a super time. I met my wife Marie, also a student teacher, in the smoky staff room at Cotham Grammar where we were both on teaching practice, and we were married in 1980. My first post brought me to Crowborough and although I have changed jobs a few times we have put down roots and lived here ever since. After a spell as Head of Science at the Beacon School in Crowborough I became deputy head at Mascalls School in Paddock Wood. (Marie now runs the KS3 English department at the Beacon).

We have three boys. Jonathan, (who has just done his GCSEs), Nicholas (13) and William (7). (Picture to the right)In 1989 we did an exchange, in which I swapped job, house, car and friends with a teacher in Adelaide, Australia for a year. It was a magical year full of new experiences, travel and adventures, particularly for the children. I'd recommend an exchange to anyone.


Last year I was appointed acting Headteacher for two terms. It was a very demanding job but I enjoyed it. Now I am looking for a Headship but at the same time questioning whether I really want one! I have many interests to keep me busy. Computers fascinate me, (I bought my first one way back in 1980), I also enjoy photography, making anything from DIY to model aircraft. Recently, I have bought a telescope to try my hand at astronomy. Next, I want a boat to teach the boys to sail but I've hardly done any sailing since my Oxford days.

Waller after Finals

Punk Waller!

The embarrassing photographs were taken at the end of my finals (does anyone remember that hat!) and at a punk rock party! (Yes, I was in fancy dress!)

Teresa Wallis (1976)

I saw Teresa at the biologists lunch earlier this year. She is is now working at the Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, at the time of going to press I have not heard from her again.

Mark Watkins (1976)

After a brief career as a brewer, Mark retrained for a career in IT. He worked first at the Met and then the Milk Marketing Board. Now he is a freelance IT project manager. He still plays chess and sometimes he even wins. He has lived with Rita Nield (Catz, 74) since 1986.

Bill Watts (1976)

After Catz, I went to Sterling to do an MSc in tracking fish around the lochs with electronic tags. After two years there I had to get a proper job as the contract for this enjoyable but questionable bit of science came to an end. I could see that academia was not going to be for me so I answered an ad for Max Fordham and partners which was looking for people with a science or engineering background to become building services engineers. I am still there. It is a funny mix of practical science - I think of it as physiology of the building, design and as with most things, management. I am now one of the directors.

I think that practical biologists make excellent engineers. The academic approach to the basics of physics make for a much more creative approach to a problem than the tramline vocational training that most engineers get.Anyway, building services or environmental engineering is enjoying increasing importance due to the concern over the ozone layer and global warming as a high percentage of the problem gases come from buildings. Max Fordham have a reputation for novel solutions to these problems so the current concerns are generating interesting work for us to design low energy this and green that.

On the personal side. I am married to Hiliary, who I met at Oxford (St Anne's) and we have three children, Oliver (10), Anna, (8) and Sam (4).

Jo Webber (Now Firth)

After several years in a 'real job' says Jo, she chucked it all in to make pottery. (See the picture of her 17" raku-fired ceramic bottle, below).

Raku Pot by Jo

She married John Firth (of Balliol and the Catz bar). They have no children. She is still in touch with Rita Nield, Mark Watkins, Denise Wheatley, Andy Stove, Diana Philpot, (now Henfry), Rowan Freeland, Burt Ghosh and Sue Winterbottom. She says that the Literary Drivel Society which started at Catz is still going strong.

Hector, Jo, Mark

Jo is pictured above at the Law Society BBQ at Catz, with Hector Sants( left) and myself (right).

Chris West (1974)

Chris West and Christine met at Oxford and have been happily married since October 79. They have two children, Victoria (aged 15) and Alexander (aged 12).

Chris gained is doctorate in 1980 at the Clarendon Laboratory and then moved to the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment at Malvern, (Now the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency). Where he worked on Surface Acoustic Wave Devices, Optical Signal Processing and Thermal Imaging. He now runs a department of 140 scientists in the field of Signal Processing and Imagery.

Christine passed her probationary year as a primary teacher in a village school in Shipton-under-Wychwood. Before transferring to St.ClementsSchool in Worcester. Here she was promoted after only six months to Head of Infants. She left in 1983 to start a family, returning in 1992. Christine now teaches at Eastnor primary school.

Victoria is an accomplished musician having obtained grade eight violin with distinction in 1997. She also plays piano (Grade 7) and flute. She is a member of a very lucrative quartet who provide background music for all occasions. Alex is studying Grade 5 'cello and represents the county at badminton.

Mark adds:...

The St. Catherine's Silver Jubilee Year book of 1987 has a quiz in it and one of the questions relates to a fairy which was allegedly placed at the top of the Cedar of Lebanon in the centre of the college. I can now reveal, that this fairy did appear one Christmas, impaled on a punt pole. (See photos). The truth is that Chris and I were responsible, We made it out of tinsel and various objects including wire coat hangers and pillow cases from Chris' room.

The Cedar of Lebanon

The Fairy

We had a hell of a time getting it up there without being seen at 3 am. I can only apologise to the members of the Rugby Club who were (naturally) blamed by the Dean!

Denise Wheatley (1974)

"I began my career as a lawyer with the International Chamber of Shipping in London. After four years of helping the United Nations to decide where to place the semi-colons in the Multi-modal Shipping Treaty, I went home to Bradford to work for the City Council. Whilst there I studied for an MBA and became interested in strategic planning and performance appraisal. I also spent time in the Playhouse stage managing all kinds of shows from 'The Tempest' to 'Fur Coat and No Knickers'

In 1986 I went to Wyre Borough Council, (near Blackpool) to set up a policy and performance review system, and then to Selby in 1999 to do the same, with additional responsibility for Human Resources, public Relations and the Choral society. In 1993 I moved to Belfast city Council to establish the Policy Unit.I live in south Belfast with a highly demanding Cat called Holly and spend my free time practising my Yorkshire accent."

Denise declined to release her 'incriminating photographs' to me because she fears the consequences. As she puts it, she dare not because "Rita has some of me". However, she appears in some of these pictures, anyway.

Julian Wood

Julian is the chemist who (allegedly!) provided the dry ice for the Freshers Photograph debacle! According to Richard Tribe he is 'on one of his round the world trips at the moment and currently has a temporary address in Australia. (His mail is being forwarded via Richard, who says that 'for ten years Julian has been saying that his mainframe computer skills are going out of date but the reality is very different'.

The Fresher's Photographs

You may remember the debacle which was the Fresher's Photograph in 1975 and again in 1976. This was most unwisely arranged to take place outside staircase 15 where lived a certain PG-B and a certain Chris West and myself, (to name but three).

Freshers Photo 75 with Ice

The poor photographer had to contend with cascades of dry ice mist (allegedly provided by Julian Wood). In his attempt to organise the picture the hapless man's words were drowned by a compilation soundtrack which became known as 'The thing that ate Birmingham" tape. I still have a copy of this infamous recording in which you can hear the photographer getting increasingly frustrated. At the end of the recording when the picture has still to be taken you can clearly hear Ed Constable's voice say, "OK everyone you can go now, he's taken it!", followed a few moments later by, " Oh! My God , here comes the Dean!". After this the tape went abruptly dead as the sound system was rapidly dismantled.

Freshers Photo 75

The following year, we were kinder to the photographer. There was a large picture of Spock in the background and if you look carefully you can see Chris West (who was not a fresher) wearing 'reverse subfusc' in the back row in front of the refreshed Spock's right shoulder.

Freshers Photo  76 with Spock

Oh! happy days. What a mature lot we were!.

I will attempt to post a copy of the "Thing that ate Birmingham" soundtrack on this web-site, once I have worked out how to do it!.

Scientific Diversions and Ramblings

In my researches through the nostlagic archives I have come acroos a few snippets which may be familiar to some of you. They are reproduced below (without the authors permission!)

One (best anonymous) correspondent has sent me a couple of publications which may (or may not) jog someone's memory. One is from a journal called "Oxford University Alembic club, Hiliary 1977" and reputedly the product of a certain EC Constable who was presumably not concentrating on his revision. One article starts as follows...

"DIFFRACTION of SUPERATOMIC PARTICLES by A. Polecatte-fferret and Claud Toad

In the past the diffraction of superatomic particles has met with little success, largely because of the problems associated with imparting large changes in momentum to the particle from a lattice defined by finite wave functions. The authors of this paper decided to 'think big' and investigated the possibility of diffraction of particles of approximately 1kg mass. So that acceleration could be achieved by the application of a field, the European rabbit (Lepus caniculus) was chosen. "

It goes on to explain that... " diffraction effects may be observed with high velocity rabbits, [accelerated through a high density lettuce field] at relativistic speeds", and that a McGreggor tube was used to detect excited rabbits. Unfortunately the scattering of the bunnies perforated the photographic plate but some success was achieved with a hoptometer. After this the article starts to get silly...

The second publication plucked from the archives of yesteryear is an examination paper smuggled out of 'Galaxy House' (Do you recall 8, Boulter Street not a stoned throw from 22, Princes Street). You may recall Commander Mark Fresco and his crew... The document goes as follows:


1. Find the Warp factor of the following:

8. A recent suggestion of the Dept of Energy is that by the year 2000, 1% of the nation's need for steam in power stations will be met by pumping water down a pipe from Australia to England. Give an appraisal of the suggestion considering...

29. "Protons can usually be relegated into a subordinate role" Solymar &Walsh P.98Calculate the implications for the structural integrity of the universe resulting from the psychological disturbance of sensitive protons.

That reminds me, did anyone keep a copy of the Zenith magazine which was produced by a Catz group of scientists which included Raymond Owen and myself?

That's All Folks!

That's about it. Many thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to respond to my pestering. I hope that at least some of the information above is of interest to somebody! I have thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgic trip down memory lane and I have been particularly intrigued by the huge variety of different and unexpected routes by which so many people have achieved success. As young Mr Grace said, "You've all done very well!" I hope you will all stay in touch with me and with each other and maybe when the next gaudy comes around we can all agree to be there. (Maybe we should all meet Simon at Stonehenge on millennium night!)My abject apologies to those who I've missed out or could not find. (For example, does anyone know what happened to Dave Payne?) He'll just have to wait another 25 years for the next one.

Mark Waller, Catz 74. (Zoology).