Passing the reigns of the Chilton Cantelo Oldies website to Edward Lutley

It is with much regret that I have to announce that, due to ill health, I will shortly no longer be running the Chilton Cantelo Oldies site.

It maybe a good time to drop the reigns as the site is going through a quiet time while building up to the 2019 Final Chilton Cantelo Oldies Reunion on the school 60th anniversary.

Luckily old boy Edward Lutley has kindly agreed to take on the running of the site and in the near future the site will be edited by him. Edward, of course, needs no introduction as he has helped me so much over the years especially with the social side of the site.

It has been fun over the years and I look back with pride on the reunions both big and small that we have had and also on the old boys and girls that have been attracted to the site from all over the world.

There is at Chilton a very strong old boy network that I particularly note as evident during my illness. Long may it continue.

At this point I wish to thank the many people who have helped contribute to the site over the years. Firstly I wish to thank Peter and Gail Isaac who have written many of the articles and sometimes under guise! Old boy Peter is President of the National Press Club of New Zealand. Who in this world could I get better and more qualified than Peter to write articles for us and for free! I am very indebted to you Peter.

At this point I must mention David Wilson for his many excellent contributions and obituaries. I only spent one term at Chilton with David and he has proved to be a very good friend.

Old boy Nigel Rofé has helped me immensely especially in the early days of the internet when I needed help in setting up a website. Nigel is a dairy farmer in Northern Ireland. Thank you Nigel your help was invaluable. You devoted many hours to help me.

I cannot mention everyone who has contributed but would like to mention Glenville Mclean over there in Canada who has contributed several articles and photos and personal emails. Thank you Glenville. I will be contacting you shortly.

Richard & Mo Cotes-James (aka Chilton Cantelo Royalty) also contribute greatly by their attendance at our social events and have given me much background help and advice. Thank you Richard and long may it continue.

At this point I must mention Neil C. Smith who founded the original amusing and sometimes infamous “Oldies” site which I took over when it sadly faded from our screens. Neil thank you also for attending the 2010 Reunion of Reunions. Your presence with your friends from your era helped immensely in making the reunion the success that it undoubtedly was. Neil was the original inventor of the word “Oldies” regarding Chilton Cantelo. Clive Lewis-Hopkins 🙂

A Final 2019 Reunion and a Lasting Tribute to the Founders

Memorial to Assassinated Pupil Nigeria’s Abu Bakr Mahe Balewa Considered

An interview with convenor of the Chilton Cantelo School Oldies Clive Lewis-Hopkins

Your plan is to have a terminating Cotes-James Years reunion in 2019. Intriguingly you also intend to put in place an enduring memorial to the founding duo?

C.L-H: Nothing lasts for ever, not even us, and so 2019 has been selected because it is the 60th anniversary of the founding by the Cotes-James, Hugh and Eileen, of Chilton Cantelo House School, as it was known originally. In a practical sense this is also nearing the time that the veterans of these years can still be expected to be happily hale and hearty and sufficiently sound of limb to render themselves to such an occasion.

In regard to the lasting memorial, there seems to be an evangelical-style of determination to put the two late founders firmly onto the educational and indeed politico-sociological map.

C.L-H: We are seeking to enshrine their point of difference which made their applied educational practices so very different from the norms of their era, and also in a sense, from what is currently going on.

The Westminster sphere is not short of educational innovators especially in the liberal or progressive sphere. Can you be specific about what you intend to do here in order to make indelible for future generations this spirit of the founding duo?

C.L-H: The intention is to focus on their applied vision in the realm of what would now be described as “diversity.” Several generations before the current level of acceptance of multiculturalism and other such now commonplace doctrines of inclusivity, the Cotes-James happily and routinely applied them as a matter of course. So it is in this pioneering context that we seek to extend their memory.

You are saying that they treated everyone in the same way long before it became fashionable and indeed integrated into the conventional wisdom and consecrated in these high-minded words of politicians and social commentators

C.L-H: There is an acid test here. Let’s look at another exaltedly contrived practice of this current era which is that of the process of apologising for this or that collective wrong applied in a previous epoch… Would the Cotes-James have anything to apologise for today, were they still alive and were they asked to explain their management conduct of so long ago? The answer is that they would not. They treated all races and creeds in exactly the same way.

You claim that the diversity hysteria of today could have been circumvented if the rest of the educational society had done what the Cotes-James did which was to treat everyone in the same way regardless of their racial or religious roots?

C.L-H: Pretty much. They made it a non-issue. Because of this, so did everyone else at the school. Their point of difference was that they never made it a point of difference.

Still, you can hardly expect that in the times we are talking of, at the cusp of the 1950’s and 1960’s, that the rest of the educational and social planning world might have stopped in its tracks and taken startled notice of a small start-up school’s applied theories in what has become now this whole tortured area?

C.L-H: True and all the more reason why, in our small way, we must use such influence as we have to draw a line in the sand and in effect cry out Hey! Hold on! Before you began even talking about it, someone was doing something about it.

 How exactly are you going to put the flesh on the bones of your concept?

C.L-H: Our thinking is that we will put forward someone who will personify the couple’s ground-breaking work. We must be careful that we do not add to this already fevered institutional modus operandi that we see and hear all around us which in its box-tick and quota form is so evidently having the opposite effect of the one intended.

We are looking then at a name and a person?

C.L-H: We are looking at a Chilton Cantelo pupil and a contemporary of mine Abu Bakr Mahe Balewa of Nigeria, one of a large contingent of pupils from West Africa at the school. He was of princely origin, and a good sport in every sense and who in our view encapsulates these pioneering policies of the Cotes-James. A fantastic future awaited him. Yet he was assassinated in a military coup, leaving only the sense of what might have been.

This is an area of public debate that in its contemporary form swerves between uncompromising proclamations of fanatical righteousness to the kind of grovelling collective apologies you referred to. Your critics, and they will certainly exist, might reasonably point out that you are living in a cloud cuckoo land based on an era when things were rather more clear cut than they are now?

C.L-H: Inevitably there will be this notion that we are converting through our rosy memories Chilton Cantelo into a Camelot. In a sense we are trying to get above the noise level, with its strident pieties and apologias, and point out the success of the Cotes-James in accomplishing a desiderata, a state of affairs, which so many other institutions with their different and usually self-serving agendas claim to be seeking today. Of course these vested interests do not want to be told or even reminded that someone was there before them.

Talking of agendas; what is your own plan of action in projecting into the wider world this snapshot of the work of the Cotes-James in the shape of the memory of Abu Bakr Mahe, your old school chum?

C.L-H: We have begun by talking about it and a study group of Oldies was convened recently at Bristol which has the added advantage of being my home town. It was quite an international gathering and there was a broad concensus on the value of Abu Bakr as a symbol of the achievement of the Cotes-James policies and thus of their own values. We must be very conscious of the fact that they did not just talk about their vision of diversity. They did something about it. So we too must ensure that we do something rather than merely talk about doing something.

Is there a feeling, do you think, that you have left your run too late? That this project should have started rather earlier when you and the rest of the world was a bit younger?

It is only in these recent years that the effluxion of time has allowed us to get a handle on their achievements. Only now has the clarity of their vision come quite literally into such sharp focus. It is quite true that as a group even our most avid admirers would not describe us as being in the first flush of youth. We must do though what we can, while we still can………

Hail and farewell.

We farewell John Price and welcome the new head of Chilton Cantelo Verity White;  the third and the fourth heads respectively in the 54 year history of the school… Oldies will remember John for his enthusiastic support of the alumnus group. This was characterised most spectacularly when he broke off his holiday to attend the 2012 Reunion of Reunions. The long tours of duty by the heads of Chilton Cantelo emphasise the way in which it has become such an institutional fixture in education in the South West, and indeed in the UK as a whole. We wish John and Jane all the best for the future and we look forward to rendering in terms of historical support to the new head such energies as we may be able to summon in the years to come.

Peter V. Hall – My Life After Chilton!

Peter V Hall – Chilton Cantelo
Peter V Hall on a visit from Australia to Chilton Cantelo House in 2013

I heard through the grapevine that Chilton Cantelo’s Marketing Manager Anne Brayley showed old boy Peter V. Hall, and his new wife from Victoria down under, around the old school last August. Peter was at Chilton circa 1966-67. Anne mentioned in an email that it was a delight to show them around. I have just received an email from Peter telling us about his life after Chilton. I would be grateful for any other similar contributions from old boys/girls for publication under the title “My Life After Chilton”.

You might have started something off here Peter 🙂 Clive L-H 9/11/2013.

I went travelling through Africa and Europe for the next 2 years, teaching rugby, driving trucks and naturally have the occasional bevvie!! In mid ’68 a friend suggested that I could get free board and lodging by joining the Army – yahoo, I thought, so off I went and had 9 months as a rifleman in the Royal Green Jackets. Being a squaddie did not appeal to me much, so applied for a commission and proceeded to become an officer. Two weeks after graduating I found myself on the streets of Belfast in August 1969 having bullets, petrol bombs and rocks thrown at me – talk about a baptism of fire!!

Three tours in N Ireland and three years living in Germany, on and off, and having reached the rank of Captain with another 8 years to become a major I felt my time was up and went to Australia to see my parents, who were there from S Africa for a secondment for two years.

Absolutely fell in love with the place and have not moved since – now 40 years! Married and had two gorgeous kids who are now in their mid thirties (one with my first grandchild and the other still practising!). I joined IBM in the mid 70’s and sold office equipment and computers and was responsible for launching the original IBM PC into the Australian market. What an exciting time that was – a 10MB (what’s that!!) 128k ram computer at $6,500 !!  What a steal?! I had to go out and try selling this for myself so left IBM and started a dealership with two friends. We grew the business very quickly to a $7m turnover within 4 years and employed 43 people and had great margins of profit. I could see that hardware was not going to be as profitable, as the Taiwanese clones were coming in much cheaper and with longer warranties. The friends decided to continue with the business and I left to go on my own.

So many businesses in IT, and food later, and two further marriages, I am now retired in a small city called Ballarat in Victoria. Recently married (to the one I should have married 40 years ago) just prior to going to UK a few months ago. So our trip to UK and Italy was a sort of honeymoon.

I have travelled extensively through Asia, America, Mexico, Africa and Europe on business and on vacations and want to do a bit more, but in the mean time we might do some travelling in this vast land called Australia.

So if you ever get anywhere near us in OZ, I would be delighted to catch up and hear your story.

Peter V Hall
212 Eddy Ave
Mt Helen 3350 Victoria

Time Travel At The Rose & Crown Re-Union 2013

Itinerant Oldie Peter Isaac and his wife Gail, both fresh from New Zealand, via France, found that the past half century or so melted away when they encountered a posse of contemporary Oldies at the Rose & Crown near Chilton Cantelo.

They had anticipated a “quiet” lunch with familiar old lags Peter Liesching, Edward Lutley, and Clive Lewis-Hopkins. But when they entered the tap room they also found themselves among a detachment of others from the Class of circa 1962 including Ruth Sawtell, Nick Collis, Dave Wilson and Richard Cotes-James.

“I recognised everyone immediately,” recalled Isaac. “We just took up where we had left off — I felt like a time traveller which I suppose, in I sense, I was. It was a fantastic piece of logistics by Clive and Edward.”

Peter Isaac

Photo gallery

50 Years Between Sips

Fifty years ago three Chilton Cantelo House School pupils gate-crashed a cider tasting at the 400 year old cider press at Higher Farm, adjacent to the school and which from the inception of the school has seemed to be almost part of it. Then as now the farmer and the proprietor of the cider press remains Nobby Kerton.

The three pupils Nick Collis, Peter Liesching, and Peter Isaac were there again, half a century later, this time invited as part of a re-enactment organised by Edward Lutley. They had a strong supporting cast of contemporary Oldies on this occasion to sample the scrumpy offered by eternal mine host Nobby, and his wife Sue.

50 years between sips Chilton Cantelo School

The Kerton family quite literally married into the school when Nobby’s brother Charles married Miss Protheroe, one of the teachers. The pair then subsequently emigrated to New Zealand where Charles embarked upon a farming career, curtailed only by his too-early death. Nobby explained to the guests how he had, in recent years, journeyed to his brother’s grave at Whangarei in the north of New Zealand’s North Island.

Photo gallery

The 2012 Oldies Reunion

Chilton Cantelo School Oldies

It was so good to see so many Chiltonians turn out for this our second reunion at Chilton on 18th August, 2012. Numbers were up to 64 spread evenly over 30 years. It was a super effort by everyone who came and especially those travelling from abroad.

We were blessed by fine weather which always helps; Captain maintained that he had a special line upstairs as Chilton always guaranteed good weather when needed on those special occasions.

Edward Lutley’s Reunion Church address, 2012. Video by Clive Lewis-Hopkins

If we are to continue we will need all the help we can get locating missing old pupils and we would appreciate your help in forwarding any contacts you may have for our database. Get in touch. At present we have only 110 on our list.

Speeches by the Head Master Dr John Price followed by Richard Cotes-James, 2012. Video by Clive Lewis-Hopkins

My special thanks go to the Rev. Michael Hayes and the organist and, of course, Dr John Price and his P.A. Myra Helps. Without them this very special day could not have happened. Thank you all for coming.

Clive and I look forward to meeting you all in the not too distant future.

One good speech ends as another one begins

2012 Reunion – end of a good speech
Richard Cotes-James and the Headmaster Dr John Price on the staircase of Chilton Cantelo House

Photos from the day

The following were present at the 2012 reunion

Ex Pupils

  • Mr D. Allen (Dickinson)
  • Mrs Sarah-Jane Anderson (Lord)
  • Mr Richard Barnes
  • Mrs Fiona Black
  • Mrs J. S. Blake (Long)
  • Mr Adrian Brooking-Clarke
  • Mr Richard Blyth
  • Mr K. Kardoso
  • Mr Rex Carslake
  • Mr Nick Clark
  • Mr Nicholas Collis
  • Mr Brian Coram
  • Mr Richard Cotes-James
  • Mrs Mo Cotes-James
  • Mr Richard Dalby
  • Mr D. C. Donnelly
  • Mrs D. J. Donnelly
  • Mr Dave Evans
  • Mr Banji Faradoye
  • Mr Michael Handley
  • Fiona S. Henderson
  • Venetia Hawker
  • Mr Anders Heyerdahl
  • Mr & Mrs Nigel Holmes
  • Mr Christian Karavolas
  • Mr Clive Lewis-Hopkins
  • Mr David Long
  • Mr Edward Lutley
  • Mrs Diana Lutley
  • Mr James Lutley
  • Rhys Marsden
  • Mr Simon Martyn
  • Tracy Moore
  • Lindsey Morgan
  • Helen Matherson
  • Cora McCarthy
  • Mr Patrick Oatley
  • Mary A. Patterson (Carslake)
  • Miss Sally Potter
  • Mrs Margot Powell
  • Mrs Jane E. Slade (Bufton)
  • Mr Rodney Sawtell
  • Mrs Ruth Sawtell (Thomas)
  • Mr Neil C. Smith
  • Pat Swain
  • Mr Chris Thomas-Peter
  • Mr Gary Tovey
  • Karen Trowbridge
  • Mrs Elizabeth Walker (Dawson)
  • Mr Stewart Whitfield
  • Mr David G. Wilson
  • Mr N. Wood
  • Mr Collin Wood


  • Will Phillips
  • Jenny Ridewood
  • Renee & Pierre Moskwa (Claire)

Special Guests

  • Dr John and Jane Price
  • Rev Michael Hayes
  • Nobby Kerton
  • Sue Kerton
  • Myra Helps

Email from John Hobbins

Dear Clive:

I came across your oldies site and realized that I was an oldie. I was a Millfield boarder at Chilton Cantelo for four terms – Summer ’62 to Summer ’63. I transferred there, despite the long bus rides, because Capt. James allowed pipe smoking a couple of years younger than Boss. Discipline was also less rigid than other houses which suited me.

We always called the family James without the Cotes. Their daughter Sally (?) had just finished at Millfield and their son Richard (?) was still there. For whatever reason I don’t recall mixing very much with the CC boys except in summer sports. I can only recall two female students – Ruth Thomas (?) who was the daughter of one of the staff called, I think, Dolly. The other girl, again if memory serves, was an American with a name like Mary-Texas Crewe (she may have had a brother there).

I left for Canada in 1963 where I spent my life to date and lost touch with many friends from CC. Seeing you site recalled long forgotten names such as John Church. When the A level literature class I was in went to London to see a play at the Old Vic, Church asked us to bring back a beer. This was delivered late at night on our return when he was in the bath. The bottle had been given such a good shake that when he opened it that it was a good thing he was naked in the bath. Following the ensuing explosion, I doubt there was much beer left to drink.

Another difference was the dormitories where we were actually in bunks. I shared mine with Sam Munap, who later joined me in McGill University. He joined the student socialist party, but I later discovered he was a member of the Royal family in Brunei – his full name being DATO SERI PADUKA HAJI SELAMAT BIN HAJI MUNAP and he became important in Brunei finance and the IMF. I should definitely have kept up contacts with him.

Also in the photograph was Mr. F.G. W. Phillips, who I suppose must have been our housemaster or at least the liaison with McGill. Certainly the Capt. did all the official duties of housemaster. I knew Mr. Phillips well as he was my A level history teacher and perhaps the best I ever had at Millfield. A few years later my mother told me he had died in tragic circumstances.

Anyway, this is just a note to thank you on the site that brought back many memories.

Best wishes,


I found this link on the web which leads to a tribute to John Hobbins … link added by Clive L-H.

John Hobbins
Emeritus Librarian
Life Sciences Library, McIntye Medical Building, 3rd Floor, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1Y6

Email from Nigel Holmes

July, 2012.

Hi I have looked at the reunion sites for a few years now and tried to contact various people without much success, I did get a phone call from Peter Panayotou  but I must say it all seemed very vague and an awfully long time ago.

I was at CC for a couple of years 1964–65 I think, and have fond memories of the ten tors walk, a complete disaster as I remember, I hung out with Rat and others? Playing at being fire men there was an old red Land Rover that towed a pump thing around parked In a garage behind the tuck shop.

I broke my leg playing rugby (2nd team) got my school colours for that one, the only success I had at CC, had an altercation with a kid called Buller. I often wonder if any of these people are still alive. I have hesitated to get in touch as I was asked to leave by Cotes James as my old Chap did not pay the school fees and I entered a dark phase of my life I’d rather forget, but as time passes I wonder if any one would remember me I would hate to attend a reunion and be lost in a sea of strangers. Any way hope you are all well and if you know any one who remembers a thin, short, blond haired kid from Tanzania I would love to hear from them.

Best Regards

Nigel Holmes
The Original Book Works Ltd
1 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YT’d

Email from Suzi Saunter (nee) Suzi Clark

Dear Clive

Fiona Henderson sent me the link to your excellent Chilton site. I was sorry not to attend the reunion this year, but had just returned from France the day before.

I am in touch by email with Nick Barber (my boyfriend at Chilton … to the horror of the Coates James’) – I visit Nick’s mother in Swaffham regularly; Loraine Frost (who I introduced to her husband and is godmother to my three daughters) – her partner for many years was Phil Moloney but I lost touch with him and understand he has had a serious automobile accident in Australia and may be unable to communicate (my late husband attended his wedding – he was godfather to two of our children); Tic Graves (now Blin) whose 50th I attended in Paris, and she brought Lizzie Lewellyn for a wonderful singsong at my cottage in St Albans in February this year, which was a great pleasure.

My dearest Chilton friends are Jerry Croft, who takes me and my Dad sailing off Malden from time to time, and Miffy Graves, who flew over from Vienna to look after me when I was ill in January. I also shared a flat in Chelsea and remain very close to Sue Bollam, who was head girl during my one year at Chilton – we meet up in London and I visit her and her husband from time to time.

Here are a couple of photos …

Warm regards

Suzi Saunter (nee)
Suzi Clark
Rose Cottage
St Albans
2005 – from left Loraine Frost, me, Nick Barber and Jerry Croft
2005 – from left Loraine Frost, me, Nick Barber and Jerry Croft
2012 Jerry and Miffy Graves at my “South Pacific” 60th in September
2012 Jerry and Miffy Graves at my “South Pacific” 60th in September
2012 Sue Bollam and me
2012 Sue Bollam and me

Email from Kevin J Manning


I have regularly read your oldies site—It is excellent.

I arrived at Chilton in 1971—Great days—Seem very distant now.

I will check and see what I can find photo-wise from those days next time I am down at my fathers house in Wiltshire. Currently I am living in Scotland—near Aberdeen—Working in Oil Industry in Copenhagen.

Surprised no mention of ‘The Screaming Skull’ of Theopholus Broome!! Thats a legend!

Again—Great Site!! Keep-up the good work.


Kevin J Manning, 15th May, 2012.

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your surprise email and very kind compliment. I hope that you manage to find those old Chilton Cantelo School photos when you are next at your fathers home as I could do with more photos of the 70s’

There is a story about the ‘Screaming Skull of Theopholus Broome at Lower Farm, Chilton Cantelo’ in the Thoroughfare Magazine 1980 on this site.

Going back now over fifty years I remember being invited to “Lower Farm” next door to the school, when I was a new boy, by Mrs Kerton and being shown the skull. I wonder if she showed the skull to every new boy or perhaps we were just lucky to receive the invitation.

Relations were good with the farm next door and it was good to see a very popular Nobby Kerton at the 2010 reunion with his wife. However I remember as a young lad being challenged by Nobby in one of the (probably his) fields. He enquired if I was the lad who had been setting snares and complaining that the wires had been getting caught up in his plough. I ,of course, denied it.

I might add that I have mellowed in my ways with age and would never do such a thing nowadays.

Once again thank you for your email and I hope to see you at the reunion in August 2012.

Sincerely, Clive 🙂