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Elders’ News

Cobham Hall Elders live all over the world and since leaving school have been successful in a variety of different professional careers and personal endeavours, a little fame too and lots of children.  Some of those children have become the current generation of Cobham Hall pupils.

Here is some recent news and triumphs of Cobham Hall Elders and The Elders’ Association.  You can also download current and past Elders’ Newsletters below.

Elder, and former Deputy Guardian, Kate French competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games as a member of Team GB’s Modern Pentathlon team.    Kate came sixth overall putting in strong, consistent performances, notably winning the show jumping discipline. Read more here.

She secured a quota place last year when she competed in the 2015 Modern Pentathlon European Championships and gave an impressive performance.  Kate finished 8th individually, and along with her team-mates Samantha Murray, and Freyja Prentice, also secured a team gold.  In January 2016, Kate came first in the Modern Pentathlon Peridot Indoor International Cup competion in Budapest, Hungary.  She proved popular amongst our rising sports stars when she came to visit last term.

Griselda Heppel’s debut novel, Ante’s Inferno, won the Children’s category of the People’s Book Prize in 2013.  Griselda visited the school to talk to Year 7 and 8 about her experience as a writer. You can read more about it here.  Griselda’s second book, The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst, was released in August, and draws on her memories of Cobham Hall – the School’s North Tower even features on the cover!  She returned to the School on World Book Day 2016 to speak to students about the inspiration behind the story.  Click here to read more.

Elder Mishal Husain, who hosts BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and television news bulletins, has become a Round Square ‘Idealist’ for International Understanding.  Mishal recently won broadcaster of the year at the London Press Club Awards, and was also appointed as the second ever female core presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in the summer and her on-air debut in October 2013 received extremely favourable reviews from the UK media industry.

Elder Jennifer Lonsdale (nee Gibson) who formed the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 1984, with fellow activists Allan Thornton and Dave Currey, was awarded an OBE by the Queen in December 2015.  The EIA is a non-governmental organisation that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals and is based in the UK and Washington-DC, USA.

Annie Freud is the author of three collections of poetry, the first published in 2007 and the newest, The Remains, in 2015.  The Poetry Book Society recognised her as one of the 20 most exciting new poets from the UK and Ireland in the Next Generation Poets 2014, a prestigious accolade for writers who have published their debut collection in the previous ten years.

Natasha Wood brought her bilingual production ‘Poilu and Tommy’ about World War I to London in February for a two and a half week run at The Courtyard Theatre.  She directed the play, which was written by her husband, Michael Wood.  Both of their children were members of the cast.

Kate Dunn garnered a special mention in the Hastings Observer after her work was featured in the Hastings International Composers Festival in September 2013: “And it was a youngster, Kate Dunn, who turned in one of the most impressive works of the morning, a song for mezzo-soprano and piano, which made its mark, not by histrionics, but by extraordinary understatement – a remarkable achievement for a composer not yet out of her teens.”

Former Cobham Hall Development Director, Sue Anderson, was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to education in June 2013.

For those who missed it, Lady Harriet Bligh was the guest speaker at Cobham Hall’s 50th Festival Day in June 2013. You can listen to her speech here.