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NEWS ARCHIVE (OLD NEWS) - updated 02/02/05

We regret to announce the death of Mr. John McAlistair, Headmaster of St. Francis’ College, until his retirement in 1983. Before taking over from Sister Frances McHugh as Head, Mr. McAlistair served as Head of Physics for many years.


JEAN SANDERSON 1955 has been very ill and is now in a nursing home in Cambridge.

PATRICIA FLYNNE 1959 died from cancer, aged 63, on 22nd January 2004.  She made her home in Adelaide, Australia, until recently when she moved back to the UK to care for her mother. RIP.

ROSEMARY BARNETT (WALKER) 1959 lost her mother this year.  Rosemary says that a lot of her year knew her mother and would like to know.

JANINA KUFLUK-THACKERY 1965 is managing the office for a small company based near Nottingham importing furniture from Poland and Slovakia.

HELEN HOPKINS (HEAD) 1968/9 was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 but has now received the five year all-clear.  She moved with her husband, John, to Welshpool after early retirement from teaching.  John is Welsh and sings with two male voice choirs whilst Helen is involved with the local church, W.I., various clubs and they are both ramblers.  They have two daughters and one grandchild.  Helen’s elder sister, Alison, is still living in Zimbabwe with husband, Tom.  Her other sister, Vivienne, married to David, lives in Norfolk and works as a silver and gold jewellery designer and has two sons.  Helen would like to hear from the Hislop twins, any of the Neville sisters and Loretta Condor.

RACHEL BLANCHFLOWER (MORRIS) 1974 is now heading up the Music and Drama Dept at her school and feels as if things have gone full circle.  (I remember teaching Rachel – Hon. Sec.)

DEBBIE ROBERTS (MILNE) was at St. Francis’ as a boarder for one year in 1974.  She would like to year from any girls who remember her.

WENDY SLOCUM (NORMAN) 1976 has three children and has moved to West Cork.

SOPHIE SANDERSON (BYWATER) 1983 has two sons and works the television channel MTV as a music rights consultant.

HELEN MUIR (BURNFORD) 1983 has moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Duncan, who is a Software Architect.  Daughter, Ella, is about to start first grade and Daisy will begin Preschool soon.  Her sister, Kay Fern, is living in Perth, Australia, working as a Child Nurse (Health Visitor).  She spends most of her free time kayaking and sailing.

CHARLOTTE BAMFORTH (WILLIAMS) 1984 is a House parent at Pangbourne college with husband, James.  They have three children, Libby, Paddy and Hamish.

LUISA MACKEY (LORT) 1986 has married.  Photos will be available in the next news letter.

EMMA RUSHFORTH 1986 is still working at the University of Warwick.  She had a baby boy on Christmas day 2003, named Ewan David Collar.  Photos in next newsletter. She is living with Martin in Coventry.

ERICA DRINKWATER 1986 lost her father, David, suddenly last year.  David Drinkwater was on the Parents’ Committee in 1983 at the time when the school looked likely to close.  Erica lives in Epsom and works caring for seriously ill children in their homes.

VANESSA KING 1988 had a little boy, Daniel John Bassett, in June.  Vanessa and her husband have moved to Bedford.  Photos will be in the Newsletter.

NICOLE KITCHENER (PENDRILL) 1989 is happily married and living in Hitchin and had a little girl, Alex, in February.  She is working in advertising in London.

LOUISE NAWAZ (PURSER) 1989) is married to Adnan, who is a sports presenter on BBC News 24.  They had a little girl, Aliya, in February and have moved out of London and bought a house in Hatfield.

JULIA WILSON (EAST) 1989 is a midwife and living in London with her husband, Joe (also a BBC presenter) and they had a baby girl, Ellie, in January.

HIRANTHI COOK (Ball) 1989 is living in Hitchin with her husband, Matthew, and son Sebastian, now three. Sebastian is loving nursery school and thismeans that Hiranthi has been able to go back to work four days a week now and is really enjoying her job.

JOANNA GRAHAM (MARKEY-AMEY) 1989 is living in Manchester with her husband Gary and they had a little boy, Tom, this year.  She loves living in the North.  She is planning to go back to work part-time at the Environment Agency later in the year.

PAT O’CONNOR (1989) is living in London with her boyfriend, Sean, and is working part-time at the Tate and for various artists as well as still painting herself.  She has had some great exhibitions over the last year.  Tracey Elliott visited her from St. Lucia last year.  She is a gym instructor and has a little boy called Dillon.

JESSICA SYMONDS (1989) is living in Marmaris in Turkey and got married last year to Vural.  They have an eighteen month old little boy called Kaya.  Jessica runs her own company which provides entertainment programmes and children’s clubs to some of the main hotels in Mararis.  She normally spends three or four months back in the U.K. over the winter.

JANE RAE (ADAMS) 1989) is happily married to Gordon and had a little boy, Oliver, in January this year.  Photo will be in the newsletter. They live in London.  Jane is still working although she sold her company in April after eighteen months of negotiation.  She has stayed on with her business partner at joint MD’s for the new owners and is enjoying the lessening of responsibility and the challenges of working as part of a global company.



EMILY BAKER-GLEN 1990 trained as a GP in Bangor, North Wales.  She married Anthony O’Dea in May 2002.  On January 6th 2003 Eden was born.  The have now moved to Llangollen and Emily works part-time.

ALISON EADE (GATWARD) 1991 finished chemotherapy eighteen months ago and inspite of being told it was not possible, is expecting twins at the beginning of August which is very meaningful as she lost a baby daughter at the beginning of chemotherapy.  She has another daughter Abigail.

T.K. PEUPION (TEEKS BRADBURY) 1992 has bought her first house in Australia with her husband.  It is in a suburb of Sydney called French Forest.  Photos of the house and children will be in the next newsletter.

CHARLOTTE FORBES (MITCHELL) 1993 got married in January 2002 .  They have a son, Samuel, born in 2003.  They have settled in Knebworth.

JUDITH BURN 1993 is living in Loughborough.

EMMA-JANE CLARK 1994 graduated from Roehampton University in 1999 after completing a BAHons in Art with Education Studies and then went on to do a PGCE.  She has been teaching in a South London School for the past four years.  She left work in 2003 to take maternity leave and her daughter Ella was born in October 2003.  She has been doing supply and he intends to return to Hertfordshire with her partner Daniel.

ALISON PARKINSON (FRASER) 1994 married Darren in May.  They have now relocated to Lincoln.

EMMA WILDMAN 1995 went to Oxford and got a teaching degree.  She is currently living in Surrey and working at a Junior School in Woking.

CATHERINE ROBBIE 1995 is working for company that makes spectacles for the opticians D & A.  She is very much enjoying her job as a process engineer and loves working in a production environment.  She is getting married in September to Tim who she met whilst at University.  They have just bought a house in Warwick that requires major renovations and so much of their time is taken up with DIY.

SARAH JEFFERSON 1995 is just back from a year in Malawi with DIFD and is now looking for a UK based job.  She is getting married in the autumn to Mike.  She will be Catherine’s bridesmaid and vice versa.

TIRINAN BENNETT 1995 will also be a bridesmaid to Sarah.  She will be going back to work very soon after having her first child.

LUCY BLAKEBOROUGH 1995 is living in Bournemouth and working in HR.

ALEX RAY 1995 is back from South Africa and living with Mark.

FIONA COSTIGAN 1995 is living in Edinburgh and getting married to Gavin.

SARAH PYLE 1997 moved back to Hitchin two years ago after living in London for six years.  She has been working as resident artist and teacher at The Princess Helena College and has recently passed her PGSE.

KATIE SHARMAN 1997 spent twelve months travelling in Africa, Australia, SE Asia and China.  She then spent some time working as a temp. while her application for the RAF was being processed which took eight months but she finally started her officer training at RAF Cranwell in February.

SARAH SCHWARTZMAN 1997 left St. Francis’ to move with her family to America.  She graduated with a Masters in early childhood education from the University of Central Florida in May.

CLAIRE HATCHER has just bought a new house in Galway with her partner, Stephen, and three year old son, Ciaran.  They are getting married in 2005.  Claire has just opened a boarding kennels and is opening a livery yard next summer.  Claire is a member of the local theatre group.  Claire would like to hear from Sarah Smyth.  Can anyone help?

SARAH KENYON 1998 Since leaving St. Francis, Sarah has gained a first class honours degree in History from the University of Huddersfield.  She then had a gap year working and travelling in the USA and worked for Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust Communications and PR team after which she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the London College of Law.  Sarah is now completing my training contract with Mills and Reeve in Birmingham to qualify as a solicitor in 2006.  She has also recently been elected as Honorary Secretary to the National Trainee Solicitor Group. When she completed her degree, she was awarded overall Best History Student of the Year.


CHERYL MORLEY 2000 graduated last summer with a degree in English from the University of London.  She is currently working in an office but is going to apply for teacher training.

GENEVIEVE MEDHURST 2000 is studying English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London.

CLAIRE SLATER 2000 has just completed a three year Musical Theatre Diploma course at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom.


News in Brief - updated 02/02/04


JO MAYES (ROUT) (1988) got engaged over Christmas and is planning a wedding later in the year in Las Vegas.


VANESSA KING (1988) married John Bassett in New Zealand in February 2003.


KATHY JACKSON (LEGGATT) (1983) had a daughter, Alison Gale, on 21st July 2002, a sister for Sarah who is now three.

ISABELLA GRANGE (1985) had a baby girl on 24th June called Beatrice Morenike, Trixie for short.

SUSAN PODMORE John and Susan had a baby boy on the 12th November, called Archie Samuel John. Susan is on maternity leave from her job as nurse lecturer at Great Ormond Street hospital/London South Bank University.

AMBER SAFDAR (SHAIKH) (1995) had a baby girl, Safia in November 2002. She now has three children.


VALERIE APPLEBY (pre-war) no further details I’m afraid.

PATIENCE ASARE (1997) died from a brain tumour in the summer of 2003 in Ghana. R.I.P.

MRS. PAT LANGLEY who worked on reception at the college for many years.

General News

ALISON HEATH (1971) is an account director at Fujitsu Siemens Computers Ltd.

MARY ASKEW (1971) is living in Pennsylvania, USA. Mary would like old school friends to contact her.

HEATHER JAMES (DIIMMOCK) (1972) has moved from Luton to Chawston in Bedfordshire. Heather says that it is the first time that she and her husband have lived alone – their three sons have set up their own households and they are proud grandparents to Lauren.

MELANIE GUNASENA (1975) is married and bringing up two children in Zimbabwe. Her sister Ravi is in Sri Lanka and is editor of the main newspaper there. We do not know what the other sister, Sandhya, is doing.

CAROLINE JORDAN (1975) is working as a Senior Nurse in Nottingham City Primary Care Trust in the Public Health Dept. (more policy and planning – no clinical work). She leads on a number of areas – all things to do with services for older people, back pain services and other professional nursing things. Before that, Caroline trained at Addenbrooke’s, then went to Nottingham to do her midwifery and then went into Intensive Care & Cardio thoracic nursing where she eventually became the Senior Nurse Manager at the City Hospital. She did a Masters degree in 1998.

MARYLIN GANSTEDT (WOOTON) (1975) works as a Project Manager within Ericsson , Sweden. She is married to a Swede , although they met in Kenya twenty-five years ago. They have three sons aged 17, 16 and 14. Marylin would like to hear from her contemporaries.

DAXA PATEL (1976) or is in Lake Oswego, a suburb of Greater Portland in Oregon. Her three sisters Rekha, Panna and Tina, are also there with the rest of the family. They have a hospitality management company and Daxa works in HR and does the payroll for 320 – 400 employees. She has two sons who are now twelve and ten years old.

HELEN BALKWILL-CLARK (1978) graduated with merit from a correspondence writing course and is now studying Arabic and is thoroughly enjoying this new challenge. In January last year she began a freelance administrative job for an oral history project which is being undertaken on behalf of the British Empire and Commonwealth museum in Bristol, on the subject of The British in Aden and their withdrawal in 1967. This is a subject about which Helen is quite knowledgeable but has found it fascinating to learn more and to meet people connected with Aden. She has now begun to interview some of the subjects herself.

JANE BAINBRIDGE (SCOULLER) 1978 still lives in Long Valley, New Jersey with husband, Toby, and children Isaac and Polly. Last September she decided to look for a new job and, fortunately, the offers came flooding in and it became a choice of East or West Coast, long or short commute, company growth r reconstruction. In the end, she opted for a small local company, no moving, short commute, building rather than rebuilding so Toby and the children can settle back into their happy routine!

KATY FELDMAN (PHILLIPS) (1984) sold her own business in 2000 and now works for Marie Curie Cancer Care as a Community fundraising Co-coordinator. Katy married David in 1995. they have no children but one dog and two cats.

AXEXANDRA LEWIS (1983) is working as a solicitor and mediator in family law at Manches in Oxford. She would love to hear from old friends.

CAROLINE PRYKE (ECCLES) (1983) moved to investment bank, UBS Warburg, in May 2001 after six years with Barclays. She is now a director in the Equity Capital Markets Group looking after media relations and marketing.

VERONICA HAGGAR (WILSON) (1984) as now rented her flat in London and moved to St. Neots in Cambridgeshire with her partner Tony and his children Daniel and Kayleigh so she has joined the happy band of commuters to her job which is still in London. (part-time continence nurse specialist/part time researcher at the Whittington hospital.) She cycles three and a half miles o the station each day which keeps her fit.

SUSAN SWANSTON (WILSON) 1984 is a vascular surgeon in Worcester and has a son Alexander who is two.

ISABELLA GRANGE (1985) got married in August 2002 to Tai and had a baby last June. She is still living in London and doing some legal work from home. Isabella would like to hear from Carmen Kwong.

HELEN CAVANACH (1986) Helen is taking a break from work and visiting Australia at the moment. She spent Christmas in Melbourne with family and then set off for Sydney for the New Year. On the 1st February, she travels to Singapore and Malaysia.

JANICE WHITE (D’MELLO) (1987) is still living in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband, Andrew, and eighteen month old son, Tristan.

HELEN PLEWMAN (STEWART) (1987) is still living in California and enjoying it very much. Husband, Patrick, is still CEO of diaDexus, a biotech firm in Silicon Valley. Helen has no plans to return to corporate finance and keeps busy staying at home with the children.

VANESSA KING (1988) spent two years working as the Scientific Assistant to the BSE inquiry, then Vanessa left Britain in January 2000 to work for the Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand advising the government on genetic modification policy. She returned to England in July 2002 bringing her Kiwi fiancé with her!. They married in New Zealand in 2003 and are now living in Biddenham, near Bedford. Vanessa commutes to London and is working at Imperial College coordinating an European research project into metabolic disorders. Vanessa would like to hear from anyone in her year.

ELSA LUM (1989) is now the English pastor of a Chinese church in North York, Ontario (one f the very few women pastors in Canada.) she is teaching Bible and mentoring a group of teenagers and young adults in the church. In the weekdays, when the teens are in school, she gives private lessons on art and piano to people of all ages. She is also secretary and treasurer of a Christian pastors fellowship in Toronto and is thoroughly enjoying her life.

MELISSA BARRON (1990) is still living in North Ontario (with the moose and bears!) and is a police constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Mel says that every day is something new. She has investigated sexual assaults, missing persons, motor vehicle collisions, suicides and domestic assaults. She got married to Brett in July 2002 in Jamaica. They have three horses, two dogs and one cat plus a wild marten that likes to go into the house!

MADELEINE SHAW (1991) is practicing as a barrister.

ALISON EADE (GATWARD) (1991) has moved to Newbury with her husband and three year old Abigail. Alison says that she has now been clear of her bone cancer for a year (only four more to go to get the all clear). Good luck, Alison, from all of us.

ANN GERAHTY-BONNEY (1992) has been working in Dubai for seven years.

MELITA FERNANDS-PICHOT (1993) is still living and working in Le Mans with husband Jean-Marie.

CAROLINE HUGHES (1995) is living in Dublin and working as an Executive Assistant in a mobile phone company. She is in her fourth year and is very happy in Ireland but does pay regular visits to the U.K. to visit her parents and friends.

NICOLA BOARDMAN (1997) is in the second year of her doctorate. She graduated from her MSc last July. She is living with her partner and two guinea pigs in Southampton. She is also chairman of Hampshire women’s rugby.

MEISHA SHAFFER (1998) is a children’s intensive care nurse at Guys Hospital in London.

PHILIPPA RAVN (1998) spent four months last summer traveling to Thailand and Australia and then planned to move to London to start her career in Public Relations.

SUZANNE GIFFORD (1999) graduated from Birmingham University with a first class degree in Political Science, took a year out and did some teaching in the Ukraine. Suzanne enjoyed it so much that she took a CELTA course over the following summer and is now in Zilina, Slovakia teaching English.

Ex-Staff News

MR. VINCENT CONYNGHAM (HEAD OF RE 1986-90) is now Head of Music at St. Martin’s, Ampleforth, Prep. School to Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire. He took a choir on tour to Austria last July and is enjoying life at Ampleforth.

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