Charles Overton (1962-70)– Rev. Charles Overton resigned as vicar of Chalfont St Peter in October 2016 and now lives in rural Herefordshire, cultivating water-lilies, surveying for newts with the Wildlfe Trust and trying to capture the giant carp and pike that lurk in his two-acre garden pond.  He also assists the local clergy…. being re-tyred, rather than retired. (Notmy pun – Ed.)

Michael Frankl (1964-72)– In 2017, after having been barred for five years (standard rules, not malpractice – Ed.), I had another go at Brain of Britain, a quiz show on BBC Radio 4.  Having reached the semi-final in 2012, I hoped this time at least to reach the final.  However, I was once again eliminated in the semi-final.  In the first round of both my heat and my semi-final I scored seven points by answering five-in-a-row (worth six points) and taking a bonus point off one of the other contestants.  However, I struggled for the rest of the programmes and scored very few more points.  In my heat, which included a question on the Slough of Despond, I reached ten points, just one ahead of the runner-up.  In my semi-final I reached 12 points but was up against a former Mastermind finalist who was being coached by Egghead and former Brain of Britain champion Barry Simmons (who later commiserated with me) and scored 21 points.  Until my next attempt in 2022 I will be in the audience for almost all of the London recordings at Broadcasting House. (Readers will be relieved to know that he answered the Slough of Despond question correctly – Ed.).

James Moss (1969-76)An Unexpected Result. Back in 1972, Strodes Grammar had come to Slough and thumped us (as 3rd years) at cricket. In 1973 we go there.  It’s a Saturday and we have a mix of 3rd and 4th years, as some kids can’t play, including Clive Richardson, our captain and best player.  On arrival we see Strodes have their full team. Mr Inger, our teacher, calls me over and says “Moss (as captain), looks like it might be a long afternoon.  If you win the toss, put them in to bat” (I did and I did).  Out walk the twins who open for Strodes – one goes cheaply.  #3 is their best player, who scored 50 the previous year.  First ball, he is plumb LBW and gone too.  So it goes on, they score runs but lose wickets, and after about an hour they are all out.  In we go to bat.  We scrape together runs but lose wickets too. I make 6 before I am out (a real captain’s innings, if I may say so – Ed/Bro.).  Finally, Ed Neale hits a 4, we have won and the game is over before tea.  As we walk off, Mr Inger calls me again: “A most unexpected result, Moss, most unexpected, nice job!”  I will never forget the inflection in Mr Painter’s voice as he read the result in Monday morning assembly:

Strodes Grammar School 25…..Slough Grammar School 26 for 8!




Laurie Brokenshire (1966-71)Ian Cairns (1964-71)writes: “I’m sure many of you will have heard by now of the death at the age of 64 of Commodore Laurie Brokenshire, CBE, RN, from brain cancer on 4 Aug 2017.  He was a regular visitor to our reunions, whenever he could make it.  I’d recommend those interested to view his Wikipedia obituary at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Brokenshireand then maybe the “Times” and “Telegraph” obits which are referenced there (if you are not on the Internet, please come to the Reunion computer room to see them).  These articles give a feel for the man, his values and his substantial lifetime achievements.  I already have some financial backing committed to consider proposing the setting up of a Memorial UCGS Speech Day prize in Laurie’s honour, much like that of his contemporary in the School Choir, Dr Jeremy Black (SGS 1962-1969)– see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Black_(assyriologist). The purpose of this note is to request any more of his friends and contacts who would like to contribute to this fund to make themselves known to me, so that I can take this forward.  If anyone has any suggestions for the associated category of prize, I’d be very interested to hear from them.”

Obituaries to Laurie appeared in “The Daily Telegraph” and “The Times”.  They are too long to reproduce here but the following points should give an idea of the man and his versatility:

At SGS he captained the chess club and (jointly) the bridge club and played junior hockey for Bucks.

He read maths at Exeter, played hockey and table-tennis for the university, and later read a science degree at the Open University.

As well as being a senior naval officer (also a specialist submariner), he was a member of the Magic Circle and a world-class puzzling expert – he owned one of the largest collections of puzzles in the world.

With wife Ethel he camped and cycled the length of several continents to attend International Puzzling Parties.

In 1986 he swam the Channel, as did his son in 2012 (one of the few father/son pairs to do so).

When diagnosed with cancer he undertook a 30-mile sea swim from Fowey to Plymouth with other family members, raising more than £45,000 for charity.

He and Ethel fostered more than 70 children after hearing a radio appeal by Hants CC.  He was also an active member of his local church.

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