“Please let us know who else needs to be included”
Mia McKenna-Bruce (BAFTA-winning Actress)
Mia McKenna-Bruce joined the sixth form at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in 2008.
Mia gained prominence through her role as Tee Taylor in Tracey Beaker Returns (2010–2012) and The Dumping Ground (2013–2018).
Her films include Persuasion (2022), Kindling (2023) and How to have Sex (2023) in the latter she played the role of Tara. Her performance as an inexperienced schoolgirl grappling with issues of consent while on holiday in Crete was widely praised and led to her being identified as a Screen Star of Tomorrow by Screen Daily.
The performance also won Mia a British Independent Film Award, the BAFTA Rising Star Award and the Best Breakthrough Performer of the Year at the 2023 London Film Critics Circle Awards, she was also nominated for the European Film Award for Best Actress.
Mia’s first role was a ballet girl in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical. Her first TV role was the minor role of Ester, Small dark Places. She then starred in Holby City as Abi Taylor and then appeared in Eastenders as Penny Branning. Mia’s other credits include The Bill, Doctors, The Rebels, The Witcher and Vampire Academy. In 2020, she began portraying the role of Bree Deringer on the iPlayer teen thriller series Get Even. In 2021, she appeared in an episode of Vera later being cast in the Netflix film Persuasion.
Matthew Rowland (Multi-talented Thespian)
Matthew Rowland, is a renowned actor, director, singer and choreographer. On leaving Chis and Sid he attained First Class BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre from The Arts Educational School.
After his graduation, he portrayed the character of Boy George in Taboo at the Brixton Club House and in New York, a performance for which Rowland received a BroadwayWorld UK Awards nomination for the Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He has also appeared in West End productions Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mr Beauregarde), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Waitress. His credits also include School of Rock and Nativity the Musical.
More recently, Matthew played Mr Wormwood and Rudolpho in Matilda the Musical (Cambridge Theatre/RSC) and he is currently playing the role of Mr Wormwood in the RSC’s Matilda the Musical, International Tour. Matthew also toured internationally with Trevor Nunn’s Cats as Skimbleshankd.
As a choreographer, he has worked in Putting It Together (St James Theatre & G Live) and Gypsy the Musical at Bird College, Sidcup.
Apart from being a wonderful actor, Matthew has also directed several shows including Dee-Licious, Lightful and Lovely, and The Robbing Glass.
Matthew also worked as the Children’s Director whilst engaged with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has co-founded Vibes Arts Theatre School which provides Musical Theatre training as well as a number of extra-curricular Performing Arts workshops.
Richard Quinn (International Fashion Designer)
Richard Quinn joined the sixth form at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in 2006 to study A Level Art after completing GCSE’s at St Thomas Moore. On contemplating a number of options open to him toward the completion of A Levels, he applied to Central St Martins and was offered a place on the Foundation Year Course, then completed a degree in Fashion. He moved on to gain a highly competitive place on the prestigious MA Fashion degree at St Martins Central, an international hotbed for talent and recognised as a springboard into the international fashion industry.
Richard went on to be head hunted by Dior and worked in the head offices in Paris. He returned and subsequently won the H&M Young Designer Award in 2017. He then set up his Peckham Studio base and focused on the design and production of his own collection. He was the first individual to receive The Queen Elizabeth Inaugural Design Award in 2018 awarded to him in person by The Queen at the closure of his first collection catwalk show.
Fashion pundits Anna Wintour DBE (Editor for Vogue/New York since 1988 and Creative director of Conte Nast since 2013) and Sarah Mower MBE who is a fashion journalist and critic for US Vogue and an advocate for young designers who is also the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chair of the NEWGEN committee have recognised Richard Quinn’s talent and attended his London shows. He has featured in a number of leading tabloids and leading fashion magazines and his pieces have been championed by leading media personalities such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Amal Clooney, Human Rights Lawyer married to George Clooney (Actor). His designs are now stocked worldwide and in May 2018 his high street collection was launched in collaboration with Debenhams.
Chine McDonald (Author and Leading Christian Thinker)
Chine McDonald (nee Mbubaegbu) is author of three books, Am I beautiful? Rage and Hope : 75 prayers for a better world and God Is Not a White Man : And Other Revelations. She is Head of Community Fundraising & Public Engagement at Christian Aid. Prior to that, Chine worked at World Vision as Head of Christian Influence & Engagement, and before that as Director of Communications at the Evangelical Alliance where she ran threadsuk.com - an online collective for people in their 20s and 30s exploring faith and life.
Chine read Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University before training as a newspaper journalist and over the years has written for several regional and national publications. Chine has been named in lists including: Christianity magazine’s ’33 under 33’, Keep the Faith’s ‘Most Influential Black Christian Women’ and ‘Most inspiring black Christian millennials’.
Chine is also a regular contributor to BBC Religion & Ethics programmes, including Thought of the Day, the Daily Service and Prayer for the Day.
Her book Am I Beautiful? explores body image among women of faith. Chine also sits on a number of charity boards, including Greenbelt Festival, the Church & Media Network and Christians Against Poverty and regularly speaks and writes on issues of race and faith.
Dr Simon Desbruslais (Trumpet Soloist, Author and Musicologist)
Simon Desbruslais continued his education at King’s College London and the Royal College of Music, winning numerous prizes and scholarships. He was subsequently a private student of Eric Aubier in the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Rueil-Malmaison. Keen to expand on the relationship between performance and musicology, Simon holds a doctorate from Christ Church, Oxford.
A crucial element of Simon’s career involves working with composers to create and champion new works involving the trumpet. In performance, he has an international profile which includes critically-acclaimed recordings. He has performed concert tours and live on BBC 1 television, BBC Radio 3 & 4 and German Radio SWR2 to millions of viewers and listeners worldwide.
He is author of The Music and Music Theory of Paul Hindemith (Boydell & Brewer), and was the first British scholar to publish in the Russian Journal of Music Theory.
Simon is Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull, where he is also Director of Performance.
Tom March (Creative Executive, Music Industry)
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Tom carved himself a successful career in the music industry.
Tom joined UMG U.K in 2006 as a Junior Product Manager of Island Records, rising through the ranks to Marketing Manager, working on campaigns for Queen, Paul Weller, Jessie J, Florence and the Machines to name a few. Tom then moved across as General Manager of Virgin EMI.
At 31, Tom became one of the youngest General Managers in the UK music business. In May 2016 Tom March and Ben Mortimer were named as Co-presidents of Polydor Records.
Andrew Barrow (Paralympian)
Andy went onto Orpington College after leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. Andy first heard about wheelchair rugby when undergoing rehabilitation treatment following a spinal injury during a rugby match in 1997. After watching his first match he was determined to start playing. Six years later Andy became a member of the GB Squad. His career has lead him to the Beijing Paralympics and a successful club career winning numerous national titles, he is also three – time European gold medallist for Great Britain. Andy also represented GB at the London 2012 Games. Andy is now an inspirational speaker motivating school children and businesses on overcoming adversity and equality.
Samantha Smith (Leading Commercial Investor)
Samantha left Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in 1992 and went on to study Economics and Accounting at the University of Bristol. After qualifying as a chartered accountant at KPMG in 1998 she joined JM Finn, a City broker, to help establish its corporate finance team. Samantha founded Finncap Limited in August of 2007 and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Samantha won The National Business Woman of the Future Award in 2009.
Graeme Hughes (Artist, Printmaker & Educator)
After leaving Chis and Sid in 1991 Graeme gained a BA Honours Degree from Central St Martins School of Art and from 1995 Graeme worked as a graphic designer in the art and music industry for ten years
Graeme then went onto study a Master’s degree in fine art at the Royal College of Art (RCA). Following the award of his MA Graeme set up a fine art publishing business and editioning studio with peers, collaborating with artists, musicians, and publishers in originating limited edition prints.
In 2011 Graeme was invited to teach in the Royal Academy Schools where he developed his own artwork in drawing, printmaking and sculpture as a fine art research fellow for two years.
Graeme began teaching fine art at the University of Oxford in 2013, being commissioned by them to design a new printmaking studio for The Ruskin School of Art, for which he received an award from the university for an ‘outstanding contribution to teaching’ and a funding grant to research the relationship between tools, creativity and knowledge.
Graeme continues to work at the Ruskin School of Art as Senior Ruskin Tutor of Printmaking and as an Artist. He teaches both the undergraduate and graduate programmes. He also designs and leads courses for the Opportunity Oxford & UNIQ programs at the university.
Andrew Mace (Senior Government Relations Officer)
After leaving school Andrew graduated with a MA in English from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He has held various positions within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he worked particularly on policy towards countries affected by conflict, the United Nations, and the European Union. He served overseas in the UK Representation to the EU and at the British Embassies in Denmark and Liberia. From 2008-11 he was based in Phnom Penh as British Ambassador to Cambodia. In 2014 Andrew joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Senior Government Relations Officer currently working with the government to tackle the world’s toughest problems.
Prabh Mokha (Teacher and Author)
Prabh left Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in 1992 and went on to read Law at university. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in both the UK and later New Zealand. It was there he gained his passion for writing young adult fantasy novels which include, The Last Sanctuary, The Fall of Refuge and The Wrath of Winter.
A move into education enabled more writing time. Relocating into a remote area of New Zealand helped feed his inspiration for the epic format of his tales.
Prabh became Assistant Principal at the local high school and is involved in numerous community projects promoting literature and education. He founded Tangerine Publications, a company committed to supporting New Zealand authors reach the world stage. Prabh has three daughters. His eldest (Katja Mokha) had won numerous writing awards and two independent publications before reaching her teenage years.
Stephen Harrison (Olympic Athlete)
Stephen was born in New Zealand and later emigrated to England attending Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. During his school years he was a very talented multi-eventer in athletics and an excellent rugby player. After returning to New Zealand Stephen became a member of the New Zealand bobsleigh team that competed at Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino in 2006.
Simon Kövesi (Professor of English Literature & Head of English and Modern Languages, Oxford Brookes University)
Simon was born and brought up in Sidcup. He was the first in his family to go to university. Studying English Literature enlightened his passion for Romantic poetry and working class literature. He joined the English Department at Oxford Brookes University in 2001, having previously studies and/or taught at the universities of Glasgow, Dundee, Nottingham Trent and North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA).
Since then, the highlights of his published work include a monograph on contemporary Scottish novelist James Kelman, a campaign to challenge the private copyright to John Clare’s work in two collections of his poetry and associated publication, and his ongoing editorship of the John Clare Society Journal. Simon also appeared in Andrew Kötting’s feature film By Our Selves (2015), talking about Clare. Simon as taught and lectured on a range of literature from Chaucer to Mills and Boon Romances. He specialises in Romantic-period literary culture, working-class literature from 1800 to the present, contemporary Scottish literature, and the relationship between literature and the natural world.
Dr Nicola Rehling (Published Author and Academic)
(With the prestigious accolade of not one but two mentions in Past Purple – A History of Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School)
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Nicola went on to gain a BA from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, an MA from the University of Sussex and a PhD from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, where she lectured in film and literature for 15 years.
Nicola has published widely in the field of popular film and media, including her book Extra-Ordinary Men: White Heterosexual Masculinity in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (Lexington Books 2009). Nicola returned to Britain in 2013 and has come full circle, having taken up the position of Head of English at Chis and Sid in June 2017. Nicola is currently Head of Sixth Form at Chis and Sid.
Steve Hillier (British Songwriter, DJ and Record Producer)
Steve is a songwriter and record producer who has worked with a diverse range of artists, from Keane to Gary Numan. He has written fifteen top 40 singles, including nine hits by his platinum-selling band Dubstar. Steve is also a journalist and music technology expert, writing for Future Music magazine and many high profile websites, including BBC worldwide. Steve is also a regular tutor at Point Blank Online Music School.
Steve was born in Southampton but grew up in South London where he attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. He had his first article as a journalist published at the age of twelve. He started DJing at the age of fifteen, playing alternative music in pubs and clubs in Bexley and surrounding areas including many events at Crayford Town Hall. On leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Steve moved to Newcastle upon Tyne where he DJed and promoted nightclub events. It was during this period that he met Chris Wilkie and Sarah Blackwood and formed Dubstar.
Professor Karl Glazebrook (Leading Astronomer)
Professor Karl Glazebrook is an astronomer known for his work on galaxy formation. His research interests include observational cosmology and the formation and evolutionary history of galaxies. After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School he went on to study at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh (Ph.D. 1992). He held post-doctoral appointments at Durham University and the University of Cambridge before moving to Australia. Karl is now a Professor in the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at the Swinburne University of Technology.
Alison Cork (Entrepreneur, Author and TV Presenter)
An English interiors expert, entrepreneur, author, and TV presenter. She is the founder and CEO of online brand alisonathome.com and founder of Make It Your Business.
In 1992, Alison co-founded mail order publishing company Carnell Ltd with entrepreneur publisher John P Gommes. The company was subsequently floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. It published titles such as How To Talk To Your Cat and Vinegar, Honey and Lemon, Nature's Medicine Chest. The Government Auction Handbook sold 200,000 copies in the space of a few months. Alison's book Profit Through The Post, was voted Book of the Month by Mensa. From 1995 onwards, Alison wrote five books including The Streetwise Guide To Renovating Your Home and Special Occasions. Published in 2000, it included various recipes and creative ideas. Alison launched two furniture collections for Made.com. In September 2012, Alison launched an online furniture and accessories business, Alison at Home. Alison has also launched several bathroom collections for online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing Alison has also written weekly interiors column for the London Evening Standard since 2002.
Rick Everitt (Author and Politician)
After graduating from Reading University with an honours degree in Politics, Rick worked as a sports editor at the Mercury. He then joined the staff at Charlton Athletic where he spent 14 years in various roles. He was a Labour candidate for the Old Bexley and Sidcup division and since 2011 he has been a member of Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council where he is the cabinet member for finance and estates.
Rick published a second edition of his Charlton classic ‘Battle for the Valley’ which tells the story of how the Valley Party got Charlton back to its home as well as looking at the earlier history of the club. His first edition was published without the happy ending and that has now been rectified.
Nigel Warburton (Leading Philosopher)
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Nigel received a BA from the University of Bristol and a Ph.D. from Darwin College, Cambridge. He is best known as a populariser of philosophy, having written a number of books in the genre, but he has also written academic works in aesthetics and applied ethics. He regulary teaches courses on philosophy and art at the Tate Modern and writes a monthly column ‘Everyday Philosophy’ for Prospect Magazine. He runs the philosophy webblog Virtual Philosopher and a podcast series, Philosophy Bites, which includes interviews with top philosophers on a range of subjects.
Professor Richard Lock (Leading Scientist)
Professor Lock attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School 1971-1979, then on to Swansea University BSc (Hons) and PhD London. He has attained international reputation in the cancer-related fields of cell cycle control, drug resistance and mechanisms of cell programmed death. Professor Lock was recruited as Head of CCIA’s Leukaemia Biology Programme in 1998 where he has successfully developed a laboratory model for the growth of human Lymphoblastic Leukaemia cells.
The Rt Revd Dr Alan Winton (Diocesan Bishop)
Bishop Alan attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School 1970-1977, he is remembered as an excellent bowler. His education continued at Sheffield University where he achieved BA Hons in Biblical Studies, and then a doctorate. Subsequently he trained for the ministry at Lincoln Theological College.
First ordained as a priest in 1992, Bishop Alan has served the church in London, Hertfordshire and Norfolk.
In 2009, he was appointed Bishop of Thetford in the Diocese of Norwich. He was consecrated as Bishop by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury at St Paul's Cathedral. After 14 years of service Bishop Alan retired in 2023 having made a significant contribution to many areas of Diocesan life, including the selection and training of clergy, the church schools, and the parishes in his care
Lieutenant General Richard Applegate CB OBE (Military Strategist)
After leaving school Richard joined the British Army in 1973 holding various military ranks throughout his career, serving in Bosnia and Kosovo. During 2007 he was responsible for defence supply operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Richard became Defence Career Partner to international companies in preparation for the post of Chief of Defence for the MOD in 2009. Richard was awarded the CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath) in 2010 and the OBE in 1996. He left the army in 2010 and is now a director of Eagle Strategic Consulting Ltd.
Morris Gleitzman (Children’s Author)
Morris Gleitzman was born in 1953 in Lincolnshire and moved to the South of England when he was aged two. At the age of 16 and after leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School he emigrated to Australia with his family. Morris loved reading from a very early age and enrolled on a number of professional writing courses. After graduating from the University of Canberra he held various different positions from journalism to writing jokes on the back of cereal packets. During 1987, Morris was approached by a publisher who gave him the opportunity to convert a script into a novel. This resulted in his first book being published “The Other Facts of Life”. It was a huge success and Morris has since written numerous children’s books and has become a well-respected and popular children’s author.
Nigel Williamson (Leading Journalist and Author)
After leaving university Nigel worked as a reporter for Tribune Magazine before becoming editor in 1984. In 1987 Nigel was hired as the editor of the Labour Party’s member’s magazine “Labour Party News”. He also served as press officer to Neil Kinnock during the 1997 general election.
During 1997 Nigel joined The Times newspaper as a reporter and Whitehall correspondent. He also writes pop and world music articles for a variety of publications including Uncut and Songlines. Nigel has written a number of books about the classic songs of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
Graham Clinton (Cricketer: Kent and England)
Graham Clinton is a former English cricketer. He was an opening batsman who played for Kent from 1974-1978 and for Surrey 1979-1990.
Graham scored over a thousand runs in his first season for Surrey. He was still scoring heavily as ever during his final season with 1292 runs. His final first class match was against his old county of Kent. He scored 57 in his only innings of the match. He now teaches cricket at Colfe’s School.
Iain Pattinson (Award winning Comedy Writer)
Iain Pattinson is a writer, script editor and broadcaster who writes I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. He won three Sony Gold Awards, as well as winning a British Comedy Award, a Broadcasting Press Guild Award, a TRIC, and a Viewers and Listeners Award.
Professor Keith Beven (Distinguished Hydrologist)
Keith Beven was educated at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in geography from the University of Bristol in 1971 and was awarded a PhD from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 1975 for research on catchment hydrology supervised by Keith Clayton.
Keith worked at the University of Leeds (1974–1977) and the Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford (1977–1979 and 1982–1985). He was an assistant professor at the University of Virginia and has held visiting positions at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1996) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland; KU Leuven, Belgium and Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Uppsala, Sweden as Konung Carl XVI Gustafs Gästprofessor i Miljövetenskap in 2006–2007.
Keith Beven has worked at Lancaster University for over 30 years (joining in 1985) and is now a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Lancaster Environment Centre. He is the first hydrologist to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 50 years, is the most highly cited in the field, and has published 10 books and over 450 papers.
His main research interests are in hydrological modelling and understanding the prediction uncertainties associated with environmental models. He was the originator with Mike Kirkby of the TOPMODEL Concepts and the originator of the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology. GLUE has been applied to a wide variety of fields including rainfall-runoff modelling, flood inundation, water quality modelling, sediment transport, recharge and groundwater modelling, vegetation growth models, aphid populations, forest fire and tree death modelling. He is working on novel modelling of flow and transport on hillslopes and in catchments, modelling the impacts of climate and land management on flood runoff and flood frequency, nonparametric estimation of the rainfall-flow nonlinearity, and flood forecasting.
He has published 10 books and over 350 peer reviewed papers. Recent books include Environmental Modelling: An Uncertain Future (2009); a 4th Edition of Shaw’s Hydrology in Practice (with Nick Chappell and Rob Lamb, 2011) and a 2nd Edition of Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer (2012). Both Environmental Modelling and Rainfall-Runoff Modelling have been translated into Chinese.
In 2017, Beven was elected a member of the US National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the understanding of hydrological processes and development of the foundations of modern hydrological modelling. His awards and honours also include Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship in Environmental Science, President's Prize of the British Hydrological Society and Honorary DSc, University of Bristol.
Will Hutton (Leading Political Journalist)
Will Hutton studied A Level Geography, History and Economics at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before reading Sociology and Economics at Bristol University. His career started as an equity salesman for a stock broker before leaving to study for an MBA at INSEAD at Fontainebleau near Paris. He later moved on to work in television and radio spending ten years with the BBC, including working as the economics correspondent for Newsnight from 1983-1988. He spent four years as editor-in-chief at The Observer and director of The Guardian National Newspapers. As well as a columnist, author and chief executive, Will Hutton is a governor of The London School of Economics.
Professor John R. Morgan (Emeritus Professor History & Classics)
John was a pupil at Chislehurst and Sidcup (he was taught Latin and Greek by the legendary Mrs E.L. Jackson) from 1961 to 1968, when he went to Lincoln College, Oxford, to read Classics. John stayed on in Oxford to take a D.Phil. degree, which was awarded in 1978. In 1979 John was appointed Lecturer in Classics at Swansea University (then called University College of Swansea), and remained there for the rest of his career, retiring as Professor of Greek in 2015.
John’s doctoral dissertation was on the ancient Greek novelist Heliodorus of Emesa (3rd or 4th century CE), and he became a leading figure in the revival of scholarly interest in Greek literature written under the Roman Empire, especially the neglected forerunners of the modern novel. His extensive publications in this area include a translation of Heliodorus’ Ethiopian Story in Collected Ancient Greek Novels (University of California Press 1989; 2nd edition 2008), an edition with translation, introduction and commentary of Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe (Oxbow Books 1996), several edited volumes and many book-chapters and articles in learned periodicals. I am currently preparing an edition of Heliodorus for the Loeb Classical Library.
While at Swansea John founded and led KYKNOS, the Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World (‘kyknos’ is the Ancient Greek for ‘swan’), which drew researchers from Japan, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy, as well as from the UK, to work with him. John was twice honoured with an Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.
John was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (Cymdeithas Ddysgedig Cymru) in 2016.
Professor Roger Gosden (Author, Naturalist and Biomedical Research Professor)
Roger became a writer, publisher, and master naturalist following an academic career in Physiology and Embryology which arced between the University of Cambridge and Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC as a Professor & Research Director in Reproductive Biology.
Roger’s research was focused on understanding, forecasting and treating infertility. In addition to around 300 scientific articles and books, he has also been a journal editor, broadcaster and conference organiser, and has written for newspapers and magazines.
He attributes his unusual career to his time at Chis and Sid and the foundations laid by his Biology teacher, W.H. Freeman. His career has embraced professorships in four countries. He teaches endocrinology at William & Mary, Virginia, USA, as an honorary professor, but is otherwise now a full-time writer and publisher alongside his beekeeping and conservation work as an affiliated Virginia Master Naturalist.
His most recent title, written under the pseudonym Rowan Gordon, is The Boy Who Could Bee.
Professor David Masser (Leading Mathematician)
David Maser is a professor of Mathematics at the University of Basil, Switzerland.
David obtained his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1974, he has also taught at the University of Michigan. David is known for his work in number theory and was elected to the Royal Society in 2005. Professor Masser formulated the ABC conjecture and it is stated that this is the most important unresolved problem in Diophantine analysis.
Professor Paul Durrington (International Medical Researcher)
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Paul Durrington went on to read Physiology and Medicine at Bristol University, before moving to the University of Manchester in 1976 as a lecturer. Paul visited the Division of Metabolic Medicine at the University of California, San Diego as British Heart Foundation Travelling Fellow (1979-80). He was made a FRCP (London) in 1987, FRCPath in 1994, Fellow of the American Heart Association in 2001 and Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2009. Paul is currently Honorary Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Research Group in the School of Biomedicine and Consultant Physician at Manchester Royal Infirmary where he leads the Greater Manchester Vascular Research Network.
Julian Spalding (Gallery Curator and Author)
Julian Spalding is a writer, broadcaster and former museum director. Considered to be a controversial maverick and outspoken critic of the art world, he has been a regular contributor to arts, news and current affairs programs on radio and television. After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School he went on to study Art History at Nottingham University and Art at Nottingham Art College. Julian began his career as an art assistant at museums in Leicester and Durham before becoming Director of Galleries in Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow. During his career as curator he established several award-winning innovative galleries and museum services. In 1999 Julian was awarded The Lord Provost’s Prize for Services to the Visual Arts in Glasgow for his directorship of Glasgow galleries and museums. Since 2001 he has concentrated on his writing, winning the Banister Fletcher Prize in 2006 for his book ‘The Art of Wonder’.
Peter J Hubbard OBE (Inventor and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert)
Peter John Hubbard OBE attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, then went to University at Sheffield where he studied Chemistry. In 1967 he joined the Ministry of Defence as a Scientific Officer and served mainly at Fort Halstead in Kent.
Peter’s first task was to try to solve the age-old problem of the premature explosion of artillery shells in the barrels of the guns. This he did effectively in collaboration with W J Stanley for 105 mm Abbot II ammunition through a series of diagnostic trials that showed the problem was caused by ignitions in the main explosive charge contained in the shell producing explosions rather than detonations. Changes in the manufacturing process prevented further events and the Abbot II ammunition was used successfully in the Falklands Campaign: 17,000 rounds fired with no premature explosions. Subsequently Abbot Mk II has been used in various overseas campaigns and has been fired 2 million times without premature.
In the Autumn of 1971, Peter in collaboration with M A Barker MBE invented Pigstick, the most successful piece of bomb disposal equipment in UK Army history. Pigstick used a novel means of neutralizing the terrorist device, and is still front-line equipment 50 years later having seen Service in Northern Ireland, UK mainland and many overseas campaigns. It has neutralized more than 12,000 terrorist devices with a success rate exceeding 99.97%. As it is used remotely even the small percentage of failures does not produce fatalities in the EOD operators.
In a twenty-five-year career in EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Peter invented second and third generation equipment and oversaw the development of other equipment types as Section Leader. He discovered the blast muffling effect of aqueous foam, and saw it introduced as a means of suppressing blast from conventional explosive charges and also as a means of reducing the impact of the dispersal of toxic materials such as nerve gas, and radioactive materials.
Professor Brian S Collins (Leading Academic)
Professor Brian Collins (CB, FREng, FBCS, CITP, FIET, C Eng, FIOP, FICE, FRSA, RCDS, MA, and DPhil) took up the role of Professor of Engineering Policy at University College London on the 1st August 2011. Between 2006 and 2011 he was the Department for Transport’s Chief Scientific Adviser and CSA for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Brian was also Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield University. He chaired until the end of March 2012 the Engineering and Interdependency Expert Group for Infrastructure UK in Her Majesty’s Treasury. Brian was bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen the Honour of Companion of the Bath (CB) in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2009. He holds a MA in Physics from Oxford University and a D.Phil in Astrophysics from the same University, and remains an Open Scholar at St Peters College.
Richard Toop (Academic and Musician)
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Richard went on to gain a BA in Music Studies at Hull University followed by three years of uncompleted but invaluable Ph.D. studies on the origins of European indeterminacy. During this period Richard gave various performances as a pianist including (probably) the first solo performances of Erik Satie’s Vexations. From 1973-74. Richard was Karlheinz Stockhausen’s teaching assistant at the Staatliche Hochschule for Musik in Cologne. In 1975 Richard emigrated to Sydney, Australia to take up a junior lectureship at the Conservatorium where he is currently Reader in Music and Chair of the Musicology Unit.
Timothy Page (Leading Photographer) 1944 - 2022
Timothy Page attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School from 1955 to 1961 before travelling across Europe, The Middle East and to India and Nepal. Timothy covered three decades of conflict across Indochina after becoming a professional photographer by chance as a 21-year-old during the attempted Laos coup of 1965. He smuggled the only pictures of the putsch out of the country and was offered a job at the UPI press agency as a result. Page is the subject of many documentaries and two films, and the author of many book. Sadly Timothy passed away in 2022.
Terence Button (Senior Law Enforcement Agent and Public Servant)
Terry was in the first intake of new boys at the “New School” in Hurst Road in 1954. He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1963 and served at West End Central Police Station in central London, the local stations of Eltham, Woolwich and Greenwich in the C.I.D., until 1970, when he transferred into Special Branch. During his service at Greenwich, he and his wife were badly injured when their house in Welling was burnt down in suspicious circumstances, delaying their ambition to migrate to Australia. The family, now of four, finally emigrated in December, 1974 and Terry joined what was then the Commonwealth Police, which later became the Australian Federal Police, where Terry rapidly rose through the ranks to Detective Superintendent. Along the way he was involved in high profile cases and spent two years as an undercover operative seconded to ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
He also took an active role in the Australian Federal Police Association, serving as Victorian State President, Commissioned Officers’ Representative and as National President. In 1989 he took early retirement from the AFP and moved to the Senior Executive Service in the Attorney General’s Department of the Victorian Government, where he became the Deputy Sheriff of the State of Victoria. The Sheriff’s Office of Victoria was undergoing rapid growth in a transition from a traditional Sheriff’s Office responsible for the enforcement of civil proceedings, to a uniformed law enforcement body responsible for the enforcement of criminal proceedings. Terry played a major role in the transition and development of the ‘new’ organisation, as well as being responsible for all operational matters. He served as the Deputy Sheriff of Victoria for ten years before deciding to retire again. He now lives a moderately quiet life in Melbourne.
Air Vice-Marshall Michael Donaldson MBE (Educational Leader)
Air Vice-Marshall Michael Donaldson was a senior British Royal Air Force officer in the 1980s/1990s. Michael was promoted to Group Captain in 1987 and appointed as Officer Commanding RAF Wattisham, a position he held until succeeded by Group Captain Stuart Rance in 1989. He was promoted to Air Commodore on 1 April 1992 and was appointed as Senior Air Staff Officer of No.11 Group RAF, simultaneously holding the appointment of 22nd Commandant Royal Observer Corps (ROC) at a time when the majority of the ROC had been stood down, leaving a small number of Nuclear Reporting Cell Observers serving at various Armed Forces HQs all over the UK.
In February 1993 Michael was promoted to Air Vice-Marshall and was appointed as Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Bracknell. He held this position until January 1996 before retiring from the RAF. On leaving the RAF he became Principal of Yorkshire Coast College where he remained until retirement in 2003.
Dr Richard Russill (International Speaker, Mentor and Writer)
Richard attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School from 1954 to 1961 attaining five A Levels and a prestigious State Scholarship award. He then read Chemical Engineering at Leeds University.
Richard's career has involved direct management roles in global companies and consultancy. He was with a global oil company in a number of positions including: refinery management; Capex project management; industrial relations; change-management; major site decommissioning, and responsible for procurement activities (upstream and downstream) for Europe.
Operating internationally as a speaker, mentor and writer on business and procurement issues, Richard is a leading authority on supply chain management. He leads Masterclasses in Organisational Transformation and Agility, and Procurement Risk Management, the latter topic also being the subject of his book, A Short Guide to Procurement Risk.
He is also a visiting lecturer on negotiation for the MSc programme at Hong Kong University. In late 2002 Richard was honoured by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply in receiving the prestigious Swinbank Award for his 'outstanding contribution to the profession' and for carrying its message into the business community at large.
Peter Longworth (Leading International Diplomat) 1942 - 2022
After leaving Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Peter Longworth went on to study Psychology at The University of Sheffield. His career began in 1965 as a general reporter at The Bristol Evening Post Fleet Street, moving on to the Westminster Press as their diplomatic correspondent. In 1974 he applied and was accepted to join The Diplomatic Service. Peter was posted to the Caribbean Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Peter Longworth held various different posts within the Foreign Office retiring as The High Commissioner to Zimbabwe in 2001.
Professor Peter Birks (Leading Legal Scholar) 1941 – 2004
Peter Birks joined Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in 1957 after spending his childhood in India. He was a talented rugby-player and cricketer and excelled in History and Latin. Although he contemplated a career as a Classics schoolmaster, he chose to read Law at University and won a place at Trinity College, Oxford. He obtained a Master of Law from University College London. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1989, an honorary Queen’s Counsel in 1995 and was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Peter Birks has written various books on Law and became the first general editor of English Private Law. He is widely credited as having sparked academic enthusiasm for the English law of Restitution, and is often considered to have been one of the greatest English legal scholars of the 20th century. Sadly Peter passed away in 2004.
Professor Jeffrey Jon Shaw OBE (Parasitologist)
Jeffrey Jon Shaw gained a BSc in Zoology in 1960 at London University's Queen Mary College (now Queen Mary University) of London and a PhD in 1964 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine under the guidance of Percy Cyril Garnham and Cecil Hoare. The field work for his doctoral thesis on the life cycle of Endotrypaum was performed in Central America in 1962 with Wellcome Trust support.
He contracted cutaneous leishmaniasis there; this motivated his lifelong interest in the disease. In the early 1960s, he and his colleague Alister Voller pioneered the use of indirect immunofluorescent techniques for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas Disease. In 1977 he was awarded a DSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1965 he and Ralph Lainson moved to Belém, Brazil where they founded the Wellcome Parasitology Unit. In 1994 he became a tenured senior professor at the University of São Paulo (USP) and has continued there until the present time.
His research focuses on different aspects of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), in particular the leishmaniases and Chagas disease. Within these areas he has worked on their taxonomy, diagnosis and epidemiology. Presently his research is focused on the application of molecular methods to these areas.
Although officially retired, he is presently Senior Professor at São Paulo University's Biomedical Sciences Institute where he continues his research in its Parasitology Department.
Professor Roy Rand (Renowned Physicist) 1935 - 2022
Roy was born in Eltham and attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School between 1946 and 1953. He graduated with BSc (Hons) in 1956 and his PhD in 1960 from University College London (UCL). He was employed as a lecturer at UCL until discussions during a visit by Robert Hofstadter led to a research position working with the Mark III Linear Accelerator at the High Energy Physics Laboratory (HEPL) at Stanford University. Roy stayed there until 1966, when he returned to England to work at the Daresbury Nuclear Physics Laboratory.
In 1970 Roy returned to HEPL, where he spearheaded the design of the superconducting recyclotron electron accelerator, with which energies of hundreds of MeV could be attained at considerable cost savings. He then accepted a position in 1974 as head of the department of physics at the University of Western Australia (UWA), where he led a project to develop a cryogenic niobium resonant bar for gravitational-wave detection with David Blair and Cyril Edwards, extending an idea by Bill Fairbank of Stanford. The project continued under Blair and Edwards long after Roy’s departure from UWA at the end of 1977, blossoming into a prominent effort and leading to the group’s participation in the LIGO project. Roy was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1975. He returned to HEPL for a third time in 1978 and worked on the then-built superconducting recyclotron (achieving energies up to 400 MeV) until 1981 and the project’s premature demise.
Roy became a founding member of Imatron Inc in 1981 as vice president for research, where he played a key role in the development of an innovative cardiac ultrafast CT scanner, making possible high time-resolution images of a rapidly moving heart. The scanner had no mechanically moving parts and achieved the required speed via a rapidly scanning DC electron beam aimed at an x-ray target. For the high spatial resolution required, the major challenge was to create a tiny <1 mm beam spot in the face of space-charge repulsion at the required intensity. Whereas several accelerator physicists consulted by Imatron considered this to be a showstopper, Roy found a way to neutralize the beam and developed the theory and designed the instruments and methods which resulted in its successful implemention. As a result, the Imatron electron-beam scanners dominated the field of cardiac CT imaging for the next 20 years. Most crucially, these scanners made possible highly accurate measurement of calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, a method which became the most effective screening procedure for early heart-disease detection.
Another invention of significance is a high-power rotating x-ray tube for use in CT scanners, patented in 1991. Instead of the disk anode rotating in vacuum, in Roy’s design the whole tube rotates around a fixed disk anode, which can then be in direct contact with the cooling oil. This allowed much faster cooling of the anode and thus higher power scans at a rapid rate. This design was licensed to Siemens and is now widely used in their scanners.
Roy was also involved in designing an electron beam baggage scanner and explosives detector. In 2008 he was a finalist for the American Physical Society Industrial Physics Prize. After his retirement he continued to consult on electron-beam technology. As late as 2018 Roy was still writing complex technical papers about the use of high-density electron beams in medical products.
Roy worked in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, accelerator physics, and medical physics, and his versatility extended from theory to instrument design. Roy’s life work resulted in more than 25 patents and numerous publications, including the book Recirculating Electron Accelerators in 1984, and a legacy of medical innovation.
Michael Cooling (Author and Leading Horticulturalist) 1934 - 2019
Michael Cooling attended school (1945-1950) then left at the age of 16 and went on to horticultural college. Michael joined his father’s business, Cooling’s Nurseries in Sevenoaks and now employs 150 staff. The nurseries have a national reputation for the widest range of plants, trees and shrubs in the UK. Michael has written a book “Blooming Wonderful” about his life and his time at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar.
John Yeoman (Author)
John Yeoman attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, where he became involved in producing the school magazine. This was how he first met Quentin Blake and how the two first collaborated. John’s first book, A Drink of Water, was the first that Quentin illustrated.
John read English at Downing College, Cambridge and spent 28 years teaching English, for most of that time as Head of the English Department of the French Lycee in South Kensington.
John Yeoman and Quentin Blake continued to work together to create a series of picture books including Mouse Trouble, The Wild Washerwomen and Featherbrains. In addition to Books, John has written song lyrics for children’s television and radio.
Sir Quentin Blake (National Treasure)
Quentin Blake attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School followed by National Service. He then studied English at Downing College, Cambridge, going on to do a post graduate teaching diploma at the University of London. He has always made his living as an illustrator, as well as teaching for over 20 years at the Royal College of Art, where he was head of the illustration department from 1978 to 1986.
His first drawings were published in Punch while he was 16 and still at school. He continued to illustrate for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines over many years, while at the same time entering the world of children’s books with A Drink of Water by John Yeoman in 1960. He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken and, most famously, Roald Dahl.
Since the 1990’s Quentin Blake has had an additional career as exhibition curator, curating shows in, among other places, the National Gallery, the British Library and the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris.
In the last few years he has begun to work on larger-scale designs for hospitals, healthcare settings in the UK and France where his work can be seen in wards and public spaces. His books have won numerous prizes and awards. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children’s Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children’s literature. Quentin Blake was appointed CBE in 2005 and received a knighthood for ‘services to illustration’ in the New Year’s Honours for 2013.
Air Vice-Marshal John Ernsting OBE (Leading Aviator) 1928 - 2009
John Ernsting was born on April 21 1928 in Eltham, South-East London. He was educated at Chislehurst and Sidcup County Grammar School and Guy's Hospital Medical School, graduating with honors. He was commissioned into the RAF Medical Branch in 1954. For 25 years he worked in the altitude division of the IAM. In 1971 he was appointed its head, with responsibility for research, teaching and the direction of the specialist staff. During the late 1960s he was the RAF's aeromedical project officer for the development of the British versions of the American-built F-111, Phantom and Hercules aircraft. On leaving the RAF he moved to King's College, London, to teach and conduct research in human and aviation physiology and has written a number of books on Aviation Medicine. He was appointed OBE in 1959 and CB in 1992; sadly he passed away in 2009 aged 81.
Professor Brian E. Conway (Chemist) 1927 - 2005
Brian Conway was born in Farnborough and attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before gaining a Ph.D. at Imperial College in 1949. In 1956 he was recruited as an Associate Professor in the department of Chemistry at the University of Ottawa and in 1962 he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor.
He is the author of more than 400 refereed scientific research articles and four books. Professor Conway was a ‘Complete Electrochemist’ in that he worked on nearly all aspects of electrochemistry. Amongst his most prestigious honours and awards are Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1968), The Electrochemical Society Henry Linford Medal (1984) and The Fellow of the Electrochemical Society of America (1995).
Eddie Harvey (Leading Jazz Musician) 1925 - 2012
Edward Thomas Harvey was born in Blackpool in 1925 and grew up in Sidcup where he attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. He became captivated by Jazz and acquired a trombone from an early age. During his National Service in the RAF he practised his technique and emerged at professional standard.
In 1950 with some work colleagues from a factory in Crayford where he worked as an engineering apprentice, he joined a band called Dixielanders. He met John Dankworth, Ronnie Scott and other musicians and became the Johnny Dunkworth Seven. He studied briefly at the Guildhall School of Music in 1959 and began work as a freelance arranger for Jack Parnell’s orchestra. From 1963-1972 he played piano in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band.
He taught music at various establishment’s including Guildhall and the Royal College of Music, he became Head of Jazz at the London College of Music.
Michael Carreck D.F.C (Bomber Command) 1920 - 2006
Michael joined Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School formally known as Sidcup County School for Boys in 1931. Michael was the first ever pupil to enrol at the new school which initially opened at 27 Station Road. After leaving school he joined the RAF serving during the Second World War. He flew fifty missions over enemy territory as a navigator and cheated all odds to survive. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for acts of courage and devotion.
Michael’s experiences in what he calls ‘the flaming coffins of Bomber Command’ are conveyed in his semi-autobiographical novel Blaze of Glory.
Sqn Ldr Ian Hewitt (Squadron Leader) 1920 - 2015
Ian Hewitt was born in 1920 in Manchester and educated at the County School, Sidcup. He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in April 1940 and trained as an air observer. He joined No 58 Squadron, operating the pre-war Whitley bomber. He completed five operations with the squadron, including one of the earliest raids on Berlin. After transferring to the Halifax-equipped No 35 Squadron he completed a further 11 operations. After attending a bomber leader’s course and receiving his commission, Hewitt returned to No 35. He bombed Essen and two weeks later attacked Tirpitz.
Squadron Leader Ian Hewitt was the navigator of a Halifax bomber shot down while attacking the German battleship Tirpitz. After crash landing on the frozen Lake Hokingen, in which Hewitt skillfully guided the pilot, the six-man crew vacated the burning aircraft, the flight engineer was captured but the others made their escape into Sweden. The burning Halifax, S for Sugar, melted the ice and the bomber sank to the bottom of the lake. In 1973, the wreck was recovered and has since been on display in the RAF Museum at Hendon.
On his return from Sweden he became an instructor at a bomber-training unit before joining No 405 (Vancouver) Squadron of the RCAF in 1942. In April 1943, the squadron joined the Pathfinder Force. As a navigator he had special responsibility to ensure that his flares and markers were placed accurately and on time for the main bomber force to use as aiming points. Hewitt flew his 50th and final operation on October 8 when he marked Hanover. Ian was assessed as “an outstanding navigator” and awarded a Bar to his DFC for his ‘devotion to duty, leadership and zeal’.
After serving as an instructor at the Pathfinder Navigation Training Unit, Ian left for RAF Croft in North Yorkshire, where he was the station navigation officer and where he met his future wife, who was serving on a nearby airfield as a sergeant. After spending three months serving with the British Air Forces of Occupation in Germany, he was demobilised in 1946. Ian then studied accountancy and in 1948 joined A J Downs & Co in Hull, rising to be a senior partner. Ian was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1957. He was also active in a number of veterans’ associations. Ian Hewitt married Mary Hall in July 1945; she and their two daughters survive him.