G.W. MILLER (1955 to 1962)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Geoff Miller who sadly passed away suddenly on 30th Sept 2014.
The funeral will be held at West Stour Church, Gillingham, Dorset at 2pm on 22nd Oct 2014.

Our condolences to his family.


It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ann Hutchings on 30th September 2014. Ann died peacefully at the Swindon Hospice.
The funeral will be held at St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford on Monday 27th October at 1.00p.m.

Our sympathies are with Ann Parker and their families.

ONA Lunch 2014

MELVIN [MEL] LEACH  - August 13th 1953 – August 14th 2014

Mel Leach, a well-known local P.E. teacher, passed away recently on the Adelaide ward of the Royal Berks Hospital aged 61.

Not many men touch the lives of countless people – but then not many men are like Mel Leach. He was born in Camden Town , London before spending much of his early life in the Bristol area, attending Weston Grammar School where his love of sport defined a career pathway into Physical Education and Madeley  College.

He first taught at Newbury College for a brief period of time before joining St Bartholomew’s School in 1977 as a P.E. teacher where he remained for the next  fourteen years rising to the post of Head of Department. Following a brief gap in his in his teaching career he joined Bow School in Tower Hamlets, becoming Deputy Head and working extensively with young adults from deprived backgrounds and he became known as an Educational reformer who shaped and changed the lives of young people in his charge.

In 2007 he moved to more local pastures and he spent several years at the Downs School before becoming a Lead Key worker at the Pupil Referral Unit near his home in Thatcham, a post he held until his recent untimely death.

Mel loved all sports and as a young man had gained representative honours in rugby for Somerset u16’s as a hooker. His knowledge and understanding of a wide range of sports saw him become an excellent P.E. practitioner and he guided many young men through sporting experiences.

Mel loved life and life loved him back. Holidays in France were high on the social agenda and his entertaining skills both home and abroad were legendary and much appreciated. He was an accomplished cook who valued his wide circle of  friends enormously. A rugby fanatic and wine connoisseur he was above all else devoted to his beloved family, son Ben, daughter  Christie and wife Linds, who in turn adored and loved him in a way which will last forever and will continue beyond the grave.




The Newburian Magazine 2014

Richard Moore

It is with regret I have to announce the death of Richard Moore; a long time member of the ONA Committee and School Archivist. The following obituary appeared recently in the Newbury Weekly News.

Enhancement Project and Heritage Garden Celebration Members of the committee were invited to this event on Thurs 8th May at the School. The photos below illustrate the some aspects of the garden.

The third ONA Music Night took place on Sat 19 July (the final weekend of the school term) in the newly-extended St Bart’s school hall.

Six quality acts provided wonderful entertainment throughout the evening, interspersed with live interviews on stage leading to the introduction of each act by the one-and-only Mr. Mike Hart!

The show was opened by Alex Chalk singing his own compositions, followed by Nathan Reeves’ stunning performance on the piano. Great to see Jack Rennie return with his cousin to give a great performance. We also had new St Bart’s student Hannah Francis – Mike was so impressed, he was keen to find out which House she was in – and it was Curnock, of course! Harriet Wilson continued to entertain with guitar and great vocals, and the Grand Finale was our very own Gail Hendrickx and her band Finisterre.

Excellent bar run by Janet and Milly Calloway and Mark Conway, and last but not least – the show could not have taken place without the efforts of our wonderful sound engineer, Michael Hooper.

G.A.H. Chapman (1942 to 2014)

Dr Geoffrey Arthur Hart Chapman was born in a modest terraced house in Enfield during the war in 1942. He went up to Trinity College Oxford to read Classics following a notable school career at St Bartholomew’s  where he set several school records in Athletics and captained both the Rugby 1st XV and Cricket 1st XI.


After graduating, he emigrated to South Africa in 1967 to pursue a career in academics and education. Initially a Lecturer he rose to Professor of Classics and Head of Department at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. He was also awarded D.Litt et Phil from UNISA in 1976 for his thesis ‘Themes in Aristophanes’.


He returned to England in 1988 as the Head of Classics at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex before becoming Headmaster of Queen Margaret’s School for girls in Escrick, North Yorkshire. (in Jan 93) This role he held with great success for seventeen years until his retirement in 2009. A fastidious nature and superb memory drove his talent for organization but he was also a very good and motivational teacher. He quickly developed a great rapport with the girls as he encouraged and fed the interests of inquisitive pupils, forever advocating the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. He also set new standards for the traditional Headmaster’s speech, where his wit and expression became widely appreciated.


He married Valerie Hook in January 1970 and they spent the first of forty-four years together in the Alan Taylor student residence in Durban, where he was the warden. This was the setting for much of the heightened intellectual ferment and community activism promoted by Natal University Medical School students, most famously Steve Biko. Politics ultimately played a part in their decision to move with their teenage children, Victoria and Christopher, back to the UK in 1988.

As well as running several ultra marathons, he developed a lifelong passion for golf. He achieved a handicap of 4 and captained the first multi-racial golf club in South Africa. He also loved watching the game and especially enjoyed attending the Ryder Cup at Medinah in 2012 during one of several long road trips he took with Valerie in their retirement.


He will be most clearly remembered as a marvellously warm and funny man and as an entertaining and wise grandfather. His final years were not marred by his steady decline due to Prostate cancer, a condition he bore with predictable stoicism and humour.

He died on the 13th July 2014 aged 72 and is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Please click here to read his personal memoires


Doreen Humm (1913 to 2014)

Doreen Humm died peacefully at home on Monday 17th November 2014 at 8pm.  She was 101, and until the last month or so had been up and about, still doing some baking and looking after her plants.

Friends are invited to a Service of Thanksgiving for Doreen’s long life on Saturday 13th December at 11.30am, in St Thomas’ Church, Woolton Hill, near Newbury.  We hope you will join us for light refreshments afterwards in the Church Hall.


Please note that, because it will be Advent, there will be no flowers in the church.  Donations to RNLI and St Thomas’s Church in memory of Doreen will be very welcome.

If anyone has any anecdotes or comments about Doreen that would be appropriate for inclusion in the address at the service I’d be very glad to have them.

If you wish to contact Anne Gray  or Mary Maggs please email service@oldnewburians.co.uk

Annual Luncheon 23rd Nov 2014