Young FP to represent Scotland in World Curling Championship

Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 1
Young FP to represent Scotland
in World Curling Championship
he 2012 Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling Championships took place
from the 14th – 16th of December and my team mate, Gina Aitken,
and I were ecstatic when we won! We have now won the right to go
on to represent Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in
Canada, from the 13th –
20th of April 2013. This
opportunity for both of
us to wear prestigious
Scottish tops in an
Our aim is to come home as World Mixed Doubles Champions. We are
playing in a practice event in Budapest, Hungary from 8th – 10th of March
2013. The playing
conditions are set at the
Federation standard,
and the event will allow
us to compete against
championship teams.
We will also be travelling
to Stirling to train for the
competition with our
coach over the next few
months so we expect to
be kept busy: we are
aiming to turn up in
Canada with as much
experience as possible!
Photograph by Brad Askew
Instead of playing in
teams of four, mixed
doubles curling is for
teams of two players –
one male and one
female. Teams have only
six stones each (instead
of the usual eight) and
one of those stones, from
each team, is prepositioned in the middle
of the sheet before each
end of play starts. Player
one delivers the first and
last stones, and player
two plays the second,
third and fourth stones.
that the competition will be broadcast on Youtube Live channel, and it will
also be on Canadian television.
Photograph by Tom J Brydone
Last year’s competition
was the first time either of
us had played together
and winning it gave us an
amazing feeling. We both
had experience of playing in this kind of format but never at a national level.
We are now the youngest team ever to win the Scottish championship, and
are looking forward very much to the World event. Canada
is very keen on curling and is known to have the best players in the world,
and so we are expecting Canada to be the team to beat. I found out recently
‘ P RO U D O F O U R PA S T, F O C U S E D O N O U R F U T U R E ’
I have been training for
an opportunity like this
for the past 3 years, and
I could not have done it
encouragement of the
school. I know that the
school team is looking
for more players next
season, and that the FP
curling team would
welcome new members
as well.
Class of 2012
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 2
From the Headmaster
A Time of Change
could see it coming. Kenneth McKellar’s song ‘The Midges’ was a
perfectly appropriate item to include in the programme of ‘Animal
Magic’ at the Usher Hall Concert in December, but this rendition had
a Heriot’s twist. The singer was Mr Stewart Adams, and his version of
‘The Midges’ was his surprise party piece at his last Heriot’s Usher Hall
Concert, just two weeks before his retirement. We all joined in the chorus
(“The midges, the midges, I’m no gonnae kid ye’s, the midges is really the
limit” etc), and laughed as he sang about the midges swarming on our
friends in maroon along Colinton Road. But then came the next verse with
a line ending in “nectar” – and a joke at my expense was clearly on its
way. Here’s how it went:
Mr Adams has been succeeded by Mrs Lesley Franklin, who joined the
staff at Heriot’s as a Class Teacher in 1995, and has served as a member
of the Junior School Management Team since 1999, first as an Assistant
Headteacher/Depute with responsibility for the Upper Primary, and then
as Deputy Head of the Junior School. During session 2008/2009 she had
a spell as Acting Head and did an
excellent job leading the Junior
School in Mr Adams’ absence
through illness. She therefore has a
proven track record in senior
management and in all of her work has
demonstrated a great capacity for
forward thinking, which shows no sign
of abating. She will also bring to the
post the benefit of four years on the
panel of Associate Assessors with Her
Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education,
which has involved her in a number of
inspections of Primary Schools around the country. We could not have
hoped for a better person to take over the reins of the Heriot’s Junior
So the midges flew on then to
Lauriston Place
To a wonderful school they
could see,
They admired the view as
downward the flew
And readied themselves
for their tea.
There they found a
sweet meal that was
really ideal
For their meal there it
tasted like nectar;
They swarmed round
the head of the Head
as it bled
As they feasted on our Mr Hector
And this time next year this welcome to Quadrangle will have a different
author. As many of you know, I have decided to step down from my
position as Headmaster in 2013. I have just completed 15 years in post,
having started in January 1998, and I believe the time will be right for me
to hand over the reins, both from the School’s perspective and my own.
The recruitment of my successor is underway with the Governors, and
the aim is that he/she will take up post by January 2014; on that basis I
shall say farewell in December. I prefer not to use the “r” word – yes, it is
a retirement from Headship but I hope to be able to take on some other
challenge. Whatever that is, one thing is for sure – it will not involve singing
solo at the Usher Hall!
Some swansong! Mr Adams’ fine baritone voice may have been a
revelation to many in the audience - though not to those who have heard
him singing in Junior School Assembly or stood next to him at services
in Greyfriars Kirk. No surprise were his presence, his engagement, and
the clarity of his message (not to mention his wit), as these have been
hallmarks not just of his contribution to many an Usher Hall Concert but
of all his work throughout his 22 years as Head of the Junior School at
Heriot’s. His service to Heriot’s has been outstanding by any measure,
and Heriot’s owes him a huge debt of gratitude for leading the Junior
School to where it stands today - a vital and vibrant part of the whole
school and a highly successful, much sought after primary school in its
own right. He retired at the end of last term with our thanks for all he has
meant to Heriot’s, our congratulations on all he
has achieved here, and our best
wishes for the future.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 3
elcome to the spring edition of Quadrangle. I hope that you
enjoy the variety of news and articles contained in this
edition. On reading the articles by the School Captains, Ben
and Giuliana, it struck me that they both refer to “opportunities” created
at Heriot’s. Many of our other articles from Former Pupils and staff are
also about opportunities created and taken in many different fields and
activities. Our work in Development is to help to ensure that the School
is always in the position to create the widest possible range of
opportunities for pupils and staff, and to share the results with you.
JENNIFER ALEXANDER, Business Director and Treasurer
Annual Fund 2011-12 Report update
PE Department
ne of the most important factors in Sport
is confidence, whether confidence on
the ball or confidence to tackle
effectively. Whilst hockey is a non-contact sport,
there are occasions when contact with the ball can
cause serious injury. The donation of face masks
for the Senior Girls’ hockey teams has given the
girls greater confidence at penalty corners. They
not only allow the girls to tackle effectively, but
also reduce the risk of facial injury. Whilst such
injuries can never be eradicated, the masks have
gone a long way to towards protecting our girls.
For this we are very grateful to the Annual Fund
Music Department
he Annual Fund has generously provided the funds for a new
keyboard to replace the life-expired grand piano in the Castle
Hall. The keyboard will be used for Senior and Junior School
productions, as well as for the various special assemblies and events
that take place in the Hall throughout the year. One of the main benefits
is that the keyboard takes up considerably less space, and will not
require tuning before every event.
GRAEME BROWNLEE, Director of Music
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 4
Centre for Sport and Exercise
(30mx17.4m,~520sqm) for a
full-size basketball court, 5 a-side indoor
football, four badminton or short tennis
courts, indoor hockey, 2 cricket lanes,
netball, volleyball, and
a spectator viewing area.
(17.8mx7.9m,~140sqm) for general
purpose dance and exercise such as
Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and Ballet; it also
accommodates a full-size
badminton court.
Sports Centre
Photograph by Paul Zanre
(97sqm) equipped to a high standard.
(45sqm) with equipment and flexibility for
teaching, meetings and exercise
changing rooms, showers and toilets.
For further details please contact the
Sports Centre Manager,
Miss Zane Sestule
Photograph by Paul Zanre
Sports Hall
Dance Studio
Photograph by Paul Zanre
Photograph by Paul Zanre
Grassmarket Campus (Entrance via
Grassmarket, Hunter’s Close)
Monday – Thursday 18.00-21.00
Friday 17.00-21.00
Weekends 9.00-17.00
T: 0131 221 6720 (please note the
opening hours)
F: 0131 221 6724
Photograph by Zane Sestule
Fitness Suite
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 5
From the Archives
Maroon and Blue blazers
he rivalry between Herioters
and Watsonians is written
large into the psyche of most
pupils who pass through the gates of
these two venerable institutions, but
while, like most rivalries it is based on
close-proximity, there are also a few
aspects which merit retelling.
boys went to Watson’s Hospital, beat some
boys, cursed the servants, and insulted the
governor (of Watson’s) and his staff. The boys
were chastised and promised not to reoffend,
but four days later a repeat visit to Watson’s
took place, and the Watson’s porter, who was
asked to quell the trouble, refused in fear of
his life. These “bickerings” had clearly got out
of hand, and the Watson’s historian quotes
Heriot’s at that time as being plagued by theft,
violence, mass riots and bullying, giving
Watson’s the credit for being a “model of
civilised behaviour”! However, in recalling his
days at Watson’s Hospital from 1863, Robert
Gibson recalls that “the Heriot boys were our
deadly enemies”…”in my time I fought twenty
times with them” and “eight or ten Watson’s
braves on the Heriot June Day went there
purposely to make trouble”, so perhaps there
were faults on both sides.
As a Watsonian in charge of Heriot’s
Trust for 16 years, I have a “foot in both
camps”, but my own link is by no means
unique. Back in 1721, the same post of
Treasurer was offered to no less a
person than George Watson himself.
Perhaps because he had already
undertaken the post of Treasurer of
SPCK (the Society for the Propagation
of Christian Knowledge), Watson
turned the offer down, but he did
remember Heriot’s in his will, leaving a
legacy of 5,000 merks (valued at
approximately £250 today) to fund
places at Heriot’s Hospital for boys of
the name Watson or Davidson. A
plaque to mark this legacy hangs in the
staff room.
Watson’s boys (and girls from the Merchant
and Trades Maiden Hospitals) also attended
the annual Heriot’s Founder’s Day service at
Greyfriars. Not having an anthem of their own,
the Watson’s boys were obliged to sing
Heriot’s anthems; in 1840, Watson’s
Governors protested to the Heriot Governors
about this but failed to convince their Heriot
counterparts of the need for change.
More significantly, in imitation of
Heriot’s hospital boy
Heriot’s Foundation, he left a significant
part of his estate to fund his own institution, George Watson’s Hospital. As
Watson stipulated that his own Hospital’s constitution should be as close
as possible to that of Heriot’s Hospital, there was a similarity to Heriot’s from
its earliest days.
Watson’s hospital boy
The respective changes to Day School status from 1870 onwards led to an
immediate softening of the old rivalries; the loss of the old cloistered
experiences, and opening of doors to greatly increased numbers of boys
brought new attitudes and interests. In an ironic twist to these historic
episodes, during the dark days in 1975 when the future of George Heriot’s
School was under its greatest threat, the Governors considered an offer
from the Merchant company to transfer its pupils to Daniel Stewart’s Melville
or George Watson’s College; the Governors turned down this option, and
had the confidence to continue on their own and thereby to continue the
old Heriot traditions.
Watson’s Governors initially favoured a site at Thomson’s Yards (near High
School Yards) for their hospital, but “noting the vices of the Boys of Heriot’s
Hospital owing to their being situate so near the Grass Mercate … and under
temptation of taking up with mean and wicked boys”, they decided to move
further out of the Old Town and chose a location directly opposite Heriot’s
in what is now Lauriston Place.
The two Hospitals now looked directly across at each other. It was not long
before the “bickering” began. Local rivalries grow up throughout the world,
and in Edinburgh there were “bickerings” between the Old and New Town,
and the High School against Watson’s and Heriots; and sometimes the last
two were the antagonists of each other. These events usually took place on
Saturdays, when pupils were “free to rove” and took the form of pitched
battles mainly using stones. Perhaps these battles are not too removed from
confrontations between modern day soccer supporters. Although, when
confronted by the Town Guard, the boys of both hospitals came together
in a common bond, the rivalries of Heriot’s and Watson’s seem to have
lingered longer than others in the public memory.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned my own links with the two schools,
but there are several others who have had “a foot in both camps”: John
Christison, Heriot’s Headmaster from 1816 to 1825, had previously been
the Headmaster at Watson’s; Revd. Robert Cunningham, who was
Headmaster at Watson’s from 1826 to 1832 (and later founder of Melville
College), almost became Headmaster of Heriot’s in 1829; and Keith
Pearson, Head of Heriot’s from 1983 to 1997 previously served as Deputy
Principal at Colinton Road. The rivalry is now generally seen as a friendly
and healthy one, centred on an overall feeling of great respect, although
this may not extend too far on the rugby fields of Goldenacre or Myreside!
Matters reached a particularly serious level in 1782 when a group of Heriot
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 6
Introduction to School Governors
ife can be full of surprises and finding myself a Governor of George
Heriot’s was a major surprise! Although I have spent a lifetime in
teaching – almost a full forty years – and have been retired
for many years and involved in a wide variety of voluntary
work, this surprise was indeed a major one.
y earliest recollection of George Heriot’s dates back to 1975
when I was playing rugby for a Dollar Academy Junior XV.
As I progressed through school I would of course come up
against Heriot’s again be it playing rugby or cricket, in athletic
meetings and in the annual Pipe Band competition. In fact the last time I
competed against them was in the 1982 CCF Pipe Band competition where
Dollar as hosts came 2nd by the smallest of margins to George Heriot’s.
My own education was truly varied. I began at five years old in the local
primary school, but things changed when war began and I found myself in
a one teacher rural school in East Lothian. After sitting the dreaded qualifying
exam, I started in the local secondary school which was a genuine
comprehensive school as all the children in the town went to it. Finally, on
returning to Edinburgh, I was enrolled in a High School for Girls – so I’ve
enjoyed a little bit of all types of education.
From my schooldays I have a warm recollection of my Maths teacher
Mr Eric Campbell, always a calm and helpful influence in the classroom
he also took an active role in many after school activities. Recently I have
found out that Mr Campbell attended George Heriot’s and it is clear to me
now that he maintained the Heriot’s ethos learned as a pupil in his career
as a teacher.
After leaving Moray House, I was appointed to a school in one of the most
deprived areas in Edinburgh at that time, when very large families and very
large classes were the norm. I specialised in the Early Stages of Nursery
to P3, and, after some years of very hard but happy work, I was appointed
as head of the Infant Departments of various schools in Leith and then as
depute head and acting head of one of the schools. After retiring, I had the
great privilege of making three visits to Zambia, teaching for short spells in
a girls’ boarding school.
As a student at Dundee University one of my fellow students was
Donald McNicol, a Heriot’s FP (left in 1981… I think). There was always a
healthy old school rivalry between the two of us and somewhat ironically
his son now attends Dollar and my three children Iain, Susie and Joanna
are pupils at Heriot’s.
Following a slight change in direction I attended Paisley College of
Technology and on graduating with a degree in Land Economics I started
work with DTZ in London. After 3 years I moved back to Edinburgh to work
for a retail agency practice and after a number of years I moved to Taylor
Woodrow Commercial Property Developments in Glasgow. A Board
decision to sell off the assets led me to set up a Commercial
Property Development Consultancy business which I have been running
now for 7 years.
Out of school I was an elder in my own church, and then became a member
of the Edinburgh Presbytery of the Church of Scotland. That august body has
three representatives on the Board of Governors of George Heriot’s School;
I was invited to be one of them and was honoured and delighted to accept.
I have always felt very strongly that small children must enjoy coming to
school, and be happy there, for they have a long way to go, and these early
experiences are critical. You can imagine my delight when it became clear
to me that Heriot’s felt the same, and that indeed this was the ethos
permeating the whole school.
I have been a Governor for just over 2 years and thoroughly enjoy all aspects
of the role.
As well as attending the full Board of Governors meetings I sit on the
Buildings, Education and Parent Governor Liaison Committees.
Most of the voluntary work I do is with older people, ensuring that local
authorities and governments realise their potential, and that, when
necessary and appropriate, services are available. Despite that, I can truly
say that being a Governor, in fact being a part of the Heriot community, is
proving to be a fascinating and rewarding time for me. I love being back in
a school situation, and am truly appreciative of this opportunity.
I am regularly in attendance at Goldenacre or other school pitches on a
Saturday morning watching hockey and rugby. In addition I keep a very
close eye on the progress of the Pipe Band and look forward to its next
victory in the CCF Pipe Band competition.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 7
School Captains 2012-13
s my time at Heriot’s
draws to a close I feel my
sentimentality is excusable
as I appreciate all that the school
has given me. Over the past twelve
years I have experienced a plethora
of opportunities at all levels, and
encountered a strong feeling of
aspects of a Heriot’s education have
rendered my memories very special
hirteen years is a long time. I
think that it would be difficult
for anyone not to form some
sort of attachment to somewhere
or something after such a lengthy
period. George Heriot’s School has
undoubtedly become part of who I am
and now, in my thirteenth and final
year, as I contemplate life beyond this
place, it is only natural that I should
begin to really appreciate what will be
left behind.
I have fond recollections of my time in
the early years, probably because I
frequently made a nuisance of myself!
I am reminded of the time when my parents and I met with Mr Thain who,
with restrained amusement, admonished my P3 self for attempting to glue
a classmate to their chair. I also recall the efforts of my P5 teacher, Mr
Swierkot, who, with limitless patience, instilled in me a love of reading and
talking, and I can vividly remember Mrs Scobie’s determined efforts to sate
my new-found love of books. My brief flirtation with the dramatic arts during
performances of The Ugly Duckling, Bugsy Malone and Aladdin ended with
the overwhelming realisation on the parts of both Mrs Mulholland and myself
that I was not destined for West End stardom, though this was moderated
by a fervent enjoyment of those productions.
This year, being appointed as School
Captain has, in my eyes, given me a
chance to repay the school for all that
it has done for me. It has highlighted my duty, and indeed the whole of the
Sixth Year’s duty, to lead by example. I feel a responsibility to younger
members of the school, as it was Senior School pupils who inspired me
when I was in the lower half of the school. I have relished further involvement
with younger pupils, and speaking at Junior School Assembly earlier in the
year has been among the year’s highlights so far. Saying hello to members
of the Junior School as I pass them in the playground is something that I
am encouraged to do, but it is by no means a chore – rather an absolute
pleasure. The close relationship between seniors and juniors is an aspect
which – among others – sets Heriot’s apart, and creates a tangible sense
of community. This means that, just as I felt as a Primary Seven pupil all
those years ago, pupils making the transition into Senior School feel entirely
comfortable with the idea, because they already feel that they are a part of
a wider community.
On reflection, these experiences represent the power of the Heriot’s spirit:
efforts by staff and pupils united to create a magical feeling of collective
Senior School brought new opportunities that I delighted in exploiting. From
Mr Wyllie’s challenging Debating Society to the all-conquering solidarity of
the coaches and crew of the rowing club, the school presents an impressive
variety of choice. However, as my school career has progressed, I have
become more aware of the substantial efforts made by all the teachers
to create, organise and maintain opportunities for pupils to flourish.
This willingness to go the extra mile is not exclusively focused on the
extra-curricular facet of school life. Continued academic excellence,
demonstrated once again by the outstanding exam results, reflects superb
teaching, many ‘helplines’, and the extra time the teachers are willing to
devote to every pupil. A school prepares its pupils for the future; the impact
of George Heriot’s is to ensure that the future is bright.
I would like to think that I have made the most of the opportunities available
to me here at Heriot’s. One of my earliest school memories is of a sunny
day in June at Sports Day as I prepared for the dreaded sack race, when I
remember hearing the stirring noise of the Pipe Band. It obviously left a
significant impression on me at the time as I started playing the pipes
myself only a few years later. And now – hopefully having improved a bit
since then! – I am very privileged to say that I am the first female Pipe Major
in the school’s history. For me, the unique quality of the Pipe Band is that
every single player is of equal importance, and vital to creating the desired
overall effect. So, although I may be ‘in charge’, the success of the Pipe
Band lies in the entire group, which is arguably its greatest strength.
Being part of a team in a sporting context is something which I have embraced
also throughout my school career. I have found sport to be a great way of
escaping from the stress of school work – particularly last year during the
slog that is S5! Competing regularly in the Girl’s U18 Football Team and the
Hockey 1st XI has inevitably engrained the importance of team work into my
psyche. The need to work effectively in a team and simply to get on on with
people has been reinforced on the sporting field at Heriot’s: this will
unquestionably equip me well for the challenges of university and beyond.
Experiences in my final year have reminded me of why our ethos is so dear
to the school: at an assembly I recall Mr Wyllie telling the pupils that the ethos
of the school was to “work hard, be kind to each other, and be happy”. It is
a testimony to the truth of this statement that these words will forever define
part of my character. Heriot’s desire is to create individuals who strive for their
own success and enjoy themselves along that journey, contributing to a
powerful sense of community. Support, kind words and excellent friends are
never far away in this close-knit school. In many ways a school is defined by
its pupils, and I could not imagine a more caring, considerate group of people.
Whilst debating, drama, football, hockey and piping, to name but a few,
have all afforded me great pleasure, it is the people at Heriot’s whom I will
be leaving most reluctantly. Here I have been allowed to flourish, thanks
to the genuine care of the staff and the lifelong friendships I have made. In
June I will leave Heriot’s ready to face the future, and proudly aware of the
fact that I am, and will always be, a Herioter. Thirteen years is a long time...
but how they’ve flown by!
It is with profound emotion that I reflect on all that Heriot’s has given me,
both inside and outside the classroom. Soon I will depart to take on the
challenges posed by the world beyond, but I will always cherish my school
years, keen to remember the personalities, events and legacy that have
shaped me. The Heriot’s way has had a dramatic and positive influence on
my life. I am certain that, as my life unfolds, I will continue to ‘bleed blue’.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 8
Past Reunions
• Saturday 3 November 2012 •
It was then back to the Staff Room for drinks and meeting up with former
teachers who, after 25 years, had some remarkable memories for faces and
classroom incidents. It was wonderful catching up with old friends, and the
room buzzed with chatting and laughter.
Thanks to the outstanding efforts made by Anne Skinner in running the
Class of ’87 Facebook page, and her efforts with the Development Office
in tracking down class mates, 70 former pupils from the Class of ’87 met
on the evening of 3 November 2012 for their 25 year reunion. Many of the
class had moved abroad, but the pull of this reunion was too strong, and
we welcomed back friends from Canada, Switzerland, USA, and Sweden
to name but a few.
The relaxed atmosphere carried over to the refectory where a fabulous buffet
was served and which gave further opportunity for sharing old stories,
reminiscing and trying to speak to as many
people as possible. (The temptation to drop a
plate, cheer, and then be silenced by Mr Barnes
with a blast from his whistle was strong but noone dared – he still carries that same air of respect
and authority.) Once the bar had been drunk dry,
the reunion then carried on into the bars of the
West End until the early hours. Lost friendships
were brought back to life, new friendships
established, and promises of more frequent minireunions were made – here’s to the next reunion!
Chris Turnbull, Ross Middleton, Gordon Ewart and Stuart Balfour
Many of us met beforehand in the bar of Hotel Du Vin. The initial air of
apprehension and nervousness soon changed to one of relief and
happiness as we reacquainted ourselves with old friends and lied to each
that none o were just beginning f us had changed! A short walk took us
back to the gated entrance of Heriot’s and the beautifully lit Old Building,
which for many was the first time back at Heriot’s since June 1987.
The tour took us first to the magnificent new Sports Centre, a far cry from
the old gymnasium where we would run into the walls and had to balance
on the wall bars to watch a game of basketball, then onto the swimming
pool where nothing appeared to have changed at all. Each area of the tour
prompted memories and stories that had long been forgotten by some, but
which were gladly revived. For many of us the area of most interest was the
Senior Hall. When we left in the summer of 1987, the alterations that would
see the Hall split into two floors were just beginning. Many of us who had
never seen the changes were pleasantly surprised to find that the upstairs
still felt like the old Senior Hall. Confessions of the “acquiring” of spindles
and various other mementos stripped out of the Hall that summer were also
BACK: Graham Dow, Elizabeth Irons, Fiona Weir
FRONT: Jonathan Hume, Malcolm Romanis and Gillian Peters
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Past Reunions
Page 9
• Friday 28 December 2012 •
The night was a real success: around 50 in total came along and I was
delighted, and a little relieved, to see so many make the effort. It was a great
evening spent remembering stories of times that made us laugh and cringe.
As the night went on, more tales provoking the latter emerged as alcohol
seemed to fuel such revelations among the “remember when...” moments.
Ah nostalgia, something the Scots do well…
We live in busy times. We are supposedly more connected than ever, yet it
seems harder to arrange to meet up face to face. I know I’m guilty of subcategorising my Facebook friends into “real friends”, i.e. those I feel happy
to call and meet up with, and “Facebook friends”. The latter are those with
whom I feel I should definitely keep in touch, yet if I saw them in town I would
have that awkward eye-catching moment... Did they see me? Can I pretend
I didn’t notice them? We both look busy; best not to say anything. Good old
“Facebook” friends!
So how have we all done? How well did Heriot’s fare preparing us for the
big, bad world? Really well, it would seem. Jobs wise, there was a great
mix – lawyers, actuaries (I had to ‘Google’ it), accountants … the list went
on. More crucially, how have we all aged? I think the ladies won in this
category, but I must say everyone looks as I remembered them ten years
ago. Yes, a few of the boys were thinning on top and growing round
the middle, but, by
and large, everyone
looked great.
Even worse is that due to the length of time it’s been since I saw or spoke
to most of my year from school, many of them have been moved into this
“Facebook friends” category. Sure, I might like the odd funny post, or check
out the latest holiday “pics”, but I can’t really justify that as “keeping in
So it was with some
trepidation that I
listened to another
Shirlaw, suggest a
reunion, since it was
10 years since we last
set foot in Heriot’s as
pupils and, as a
former Vice-Captain
living in Edinburgh,
she reckoned the
organisation of this
event should be
One great addition to
the night was the
circulating 6th year
Yearbook that my
mum had discovered
clearing out my old
cupboards – though,
from the quality of
our headshots, it
must have been a
pretty bad day when
the pictures were
taken. Were we really
all that grumpy? The
stories it contained
were absolute gold
discussions after the normal formalities had run their course. All in all, it was
a great night, and I, for one, would like it to happen more often.
invites went out,
initially to my friends
and then to their
friends, until nearly 100 people had been contacted, of whom 49 confirmed
to say they would attend! There were names I recognised and some I didn’t;
girls getting married and changing names were a bit confusing. Facebook
definitely needs a “formally known as” section in the profiles.
As for now, it’s back to Facebook. However, I have advanced my interaction
to “making a comment”, rather than simply “liking” comments made by
ex-Herioters. Little steps in the right direction.
Fast forward six months, and I’m sitting in Cargo in Edinburgh on the 28th
of December 2012, discussing the fact with Wee Adz that it could quite
possibly just be the two of us that turn up...
Tuesday 18 December 2012
On Tuesday 18 December we were delighted to welcome back over 120 of our recent
leavers to school for a Drinks Reception. There was a good atmosphere throughout the
evening, and members of staff and former pupils enjoyed catching up with each other
and hearing the news.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 10
Forthcoming Reunions
1952 &53
• Friday 19 April •
John Hall contacted the Development Office to initiate a reunion for the Class
of ’52 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of their leaving Heriot’s. We have
combined the Reunion to include the Class of ’53. Names for the year groups
have been researched using the school class lists, and letters of invitation
were sent out in January. If you are part of this group but have not received
a letter, please do get in touch as soon as possible.
Friday 31 May
The Development Office has contacted those who were in Fifth and Sixth Year
in 1962-63 for the forthcoming 50th Anniversary Reunion. If you are in the Fifth
Year group but did not leave until the following year, you are welcome to attend
both this reunion, and the 2014 reunion, should you wish. Likewise, if you are
in the Fifth or Sixth Year group and came last year, we would be delighted to
see you again! Our view is that all are welcome and you should feel free to
take the opportunity to catch up with as many friends as you would like.
Part of the success of these events is down to valuable help from FPs in
gathering names and addresses for their classmates. We are seeking help
and would ask everyone to spread the word. If you know of someone not
receiving Quadrangle, and therefore not on our mailing list to receive news
of the Reunion, please contact us with their details. Letters of invitation will be
sent out in early April. We would like to welcome as many of the year group
as possible back to the school in May.
June Day 1953, Sergeant Barry Budge leads the Air Cadets,
with Corporal James Matheson behind on the left
Mr Hunter, E Melvin,
J McKerracher, G Borthwick,
C Speed, K Hastings, W Nicol,
A Norbury
D Lyle, D McKinlay, I Smith,
D Boyd, R Meikle, I McCallum,
B Lewis
A Welton, M Wyllie
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 11
Forthcoming Reunions
• Saturday 26 October •
The 25th Anniversary Reunion is growing in popularity as a very informal
and relaxed get-together which is enjoyed by all, starting with a tour of parts
of the School to break the ice and bring school memories flooding back. A
Drinks Reception is followed by a buffet dinner, with plenty of time to catch
up with classmates and former members of staff.
The Development Office is beginning work to find members of the Class of
’88 for their 25th Anniversary Reunion as we are missing addresses for a
large number of the group. If you know of someone not receiving
Quadrangle, and therefore not on our mailing list, please contact us with
their details. We will be sending out letters of invitation at the end of the
summer, so please get in touch before then if you can help.
PREFECTS 1987-88
BACK ROW: J Bruce, H Burden, M Burden, R Paterson, P Edwardson, S Khan, M Kempton-Smith
2ND BACK ROW: D McNeill, M Ahmad, S Gray, A Proctor, N Mathie, A Paul, J Smith, A Broom
2ND FRONT ROW: L Summers, K Hogg, F Miller, A Drever, N Robertson, K Henderson, C McGlynn, S Clement
FRONT ROW: R Segal, S Bostock, C Blair, Mr Pearson, (Headmaster), P Stewart, M Turner, S McIntosh
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 12
Heriot Clubs
Daughter Clubs
Contact: Gilbert MacIntosh, tel: 01224 868011,
AGM, Monday 25 March 7pm, The Lodge, Carfraemill, Lauder
Golf Day, Friday 31 May, Border FP clubs V BHC Golf Competition,
The Hirsel Golf Club, Coldstream at 1pm
Golf Day, BHC V Heriots FP Golf Club, Monday 16 September,
The Hirsel Golf Club, Coldstream at 1pm
All weather Family BBQ, Sunday 1 September, Traquair Hall,
Innerleithen, Peebleshire from 12 noon
Annual Dinner, Friday 8 November, 7pm for 7.30pm , The Lodge,
Carfraemill, Lauder
Contact: Hugh Henney, tel: 07818 013124,
Contact: Stuart Patrick, tel: 0161 427 4282,
Monthly Meetings, second Wednesday of every month,
from 6.30pm- 8.30pm at the Caledonian Club.
Founder’s Day Service, Monday 3 June at midday,
St Martin-in-the-Fields, followed by an informal lunch nearby.
Contact: Sasha Kobakhidze, tel: 07795 666798,
Annual Dinner, October 2013, date to be confirmed
Contact: Ian Miller, tel: 01564 778186,
Contact: Moray Bisset, tel: 01924 279387,
Meets 1st Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm in the Starbank Inn
(at the corner of Starbank Road and Laverock Bank Road),
Edinburgh. All are very welcome to attend.
On September 22nd the Heriot Club hosted the third
“Cocktails in the Quad” event in the beautiful and
evocative surroundings of the Old Refectory and
Quadrangle. Those 200 or so FPs, parents and staff
THE HERIOT who managed to beat the rush for tickets enjoyed a
superb and very relaxed night, with beautifully crafted
canapés and a range of stylish cocktails on offer –
some traditional, and some crafted by a team of mixologists with a
distinctly Heriot feel. There was magic, literally, as magician Duncan
Wilson, worked the room rendering many speechless, and the FP
Hockey and Rugby Clubs organised a raffle with some stunning prizes
for the lucky ones. The whole evening was stylishly set to music by an
all-FP group of notable jazz musicians spanning class years 1966 to
1986 and fronted by singer Lorna Reid. We are a talented lot!
As we head into 2013, The Heriot Club is keen to invite new members
and encourage more to join in its activities. We’re busily planning a fresh
range of activities and events with an emphasis on fun and informality
which appeal to all ages, and would especially like to hear from anyone
with an interest in becoming involved in organising specialist interest
groups or helping with the development of the club as it goes forward.
Please email us at or go to for more
information on our activities.
Annual Dinner
Annual General
The Annual Dinner of the Heriot Club will take
place on Saturday, 1st June in the Old Refectory.
Time: 7.00pm for 7.30pm
Dress: Black Tie
The Heriot Club Annual General Meeting will
be held on Thursday, 25th April at 7.00pm in
the School’s Council Room. All members of the Heriot Club are
welcome to attend.
This is an opportunity to enjoy an evening celebrating our
history in the magnificent setting of the School. It is open to all members
and their partners. Details, including an application form, will appear
on the School’s web site – follow “Former Pupils” and “The Heriot Club”.
Items for inclusion in the agenda should be received no later than
Monday, 22nd April: contact Euan Allan on 0131 270 8026 or
An application to join The Heriot Club, which is open to all members
of the Heriot Community, can also be found on the website.
For further information please contact: Euan Allan Tel: 0131 270 8026
The Club will be gathering for their 33rd Anniversary meeting in
celebration of Founder’s Day on the proposed date of Monday 3 June.
Club members and any Herioters visiting Toronto at this time would
be most welcome. Confirmation of the date and details to be arranged
nearer the time can be obtained from:
The Heriot Club exists to commemorate George Heriot,
promote the interests of the School, and form a bond of
union among former pupils. The Club is delighted to
welcome FPs, parents, teachers and governors of the
School. Please download membership applications (£10
annual subscription) from the School’s website. Follow the
FP link to Development then click on “Heriot Club”.
Tel: 001 905 844 5754,
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 13
George Heriot’s
FPs Golf Club
Heriot Ball
I am at present writing a History/Club Record of the Heriot FP Golf Club
from its inception in 1890 up to the present time, and it is hoped that it
will continue to be updated.
Friday 3 May 2013
I am including in it golfing achievements of members, ex-members and
all other Herioters at home and abroad. At present, I have details of
over three hundred Club and County championships won by Herioters
plus a few overseas national titles. I am sure that there are many more
that I don’t know about.
The hugely popular, "Heriot Ball" will be held on Friday 3rd of May at
Prestonfield House. Entertainment will be provided by Robert Black’s
fabulous ceilidh band (a disco will play for the last hour before
carriages at 1am). An application form can be downloaded from the
school website after the February break or can be collected from the
School office. Tables of 10 and 12 are offered (whole table applications
are preferred, but smaller numbers can easily be accommodated).
If I haven’t been chasing you already, and you can provide some
information, please contact me at email:
Any queries regarding the Ball should be directed to the Chair of the
Ball Committee, Jane Paul, at
Season 2013
Under 11’s at Goldenacre 2012
What is on offer in the 2013 season
Heriot’s School Sports Centre
3, 17 & 24 February 2013 10-12
3, 17 & 24 March 2013 10-12
Regular League Cricket for U-11, U-13 & U-15 age groups.
Outdoor training: April to end of August
Youth Convener
U-15 Team Manager
Tim Price
Summer Venue: Goldenacre Sports Ground, Inverleith
Chaz mobile: 07910 809668
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 14
Former Pupil News School Memories
A FOUNDATIONER 1940s – 1951
In this article, David Syme, Class of 52, recalls aspects
of life as a Foundationer around 70 years ago.
walked from the
Broughton area of
Edinburgh to Heriot’s
every day. On my first day I was filled with fear, anxiety
and bewilderment as I entered the Lodge gates and
faced the driveway leading to a turreted building.
at Morning Service if I required to stay off school.
Naturally, I didn’t, but when I hear people decrying
him I try to put them right. He was a good man.
I got a lot out of Heriot’s:
• Pride – for a wonderful benefactor, and pride in
the tradition and buildings.
I was in the Junior School for three years with
lovely teachers, Miss Greig, Miss Walker, and
Mrs Etherington.
• Pleasure – Heriot’s showed me many walks of life.
School life involved a religious service every
morning for all pupils, no matter country, class or
creed; and everyone seemed to mix very well,
especially on the sporting field. I got to travel the
country when I played rugby for the school, and
characteristics of some of the teachers rubbed off
on me.
The Senior School was a big change as it involved
moving from class to class every period. The teachers
seemed to be a very mixed group of people: I think the
science teachers had retired, but were recalled to the
school as younger teachers were required for active
service during the War. An English teacher who was very
A truly marvellous experience which I remember
committed to rugby and the Boy Scouts would ask the
70 years on!
same questions every Friday without fail: “who is going
Dr William M’L Dewar in 1947
to the Boy Scouts tonight, and who is going to watch the
I had numerous message boy jobs after school and in
FPs playing rugby on Saturday?” He picked the same
the summer holidays went labouring to keep the
boy, who attended the Boys’ Brigade, and football on Saturday, to answer
household going. My mother died in 1951 and I went from school to National
the question every week!
Service. After National Service I played from 1952-60 for the FP Rugby Club
and was Captain in 1957-58. I also played Sevens at all the major
I was not a very good student. My mind went a complete blank when asked
a question and ever more so when faced with an examination paper.
The tragedy of my father’s death led me to Heriot’s, and I bless George
Heriot every day for giving me that opportunity.
My favourite person was Dr Dewar, who found out via David Morris at the
Trust Office in York Place that my mother was an invalid and that I was
looking after her. He told me to take care of my mother and report to him
I certainly owe all I have and had to George Heriot.
Grateful to Mr William Gentle
famous person once said to me
‘everyone gets somewhere
because of someone’. On
reflection, I know this to be true. It
stretches from nepotism at the least
creditable end of the scale, to selfless
altruism at the other. It is the latter which
I bring to mind in the person of Mr
William Gentle, headmaster, to whom I
owe a very great deal.
more mathematics than I believed
possible. After a brief test Mr Gentle
announced, ‘you’ll do’ and we got on
with the revision. Mr Gentle chainsmoked, flicking the ash off the paper
every so often as he put things over. I
could see why he had risen so high in
his profession. Apart from being a fine
teacher, he really cared for his pupils.
Previous to this I had had no direct
contact with him, and I recall him, a
rather owl-like figure in gown and
mortar board, presiding over June
Mr Gentle in 1942
Day. To be taught by him was a
privilege which I shall never forget. I passed my Highers with ease, with a
very handsome result in mathematics.
In 1941 I was preparing to sit the
‘Highers’ and it seemed that I had little
to worry about except in one subject –
higher mathematics. I was informed, somewhat cursorily, by the
mathematics master that I was unlikely to pass. I was, in effect, written off.
But without mathematics I would not have the group of subjects necessary
for a pass.
George Heriot’s School provided me with an excellent education which has
served me well in my life and in my subsequent career.
I simply cannot remember how it came about, but I found myself attending
private tuition by the headmaster after school with another boy. There were
a few intensive hour long sessions in his study during which I learnt
Class of ’42
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 15
Cross-country Running
was interested to read Robert Whyte’s
article in the autumn 2010 issue of
Quadrangle about Mr John Dickson’s
devotion to the former pupils’ cross-country
club and the story of the ‘lost and found’
Argentine Cup. I am sure we runners
appreciated the time and effort of volunteers
such as Mr Dickson in all our sports and
Hunt racing. After several
decades I cannot remember
which circuit we ran, but it
was probably the shorter
The surprise to me was
that the racecourse was
very far from being smooth
and level. It was deeply
pitted and full of pieces of
turf kicked up by the
horses’ hooves. Certainly,
it was quite appropriate for
an activity called ‘cross
I was a member of the CCR club in the early
fifties before leaving Edinburgh, and he was
always at the starting point and there to
welcome us back at the finish. Oddly, I cannot
recall running in any bad weather, but I do remember I was lucky enough
to win the Club Championship in either 1952 or 1953, and to see my name
in the late news column of the ‘green’ Evening Dispatch. Thank you, Mr
There was no mention of a
cup at any time, but as I
Mr John Dickson in 1965
believe Mr Dickson was a
banker, I think there might have been a book recording runners and events.
There was no socialising after the runs, and we would only have known the
names of a few members.
One run sticks in my memory: this was when Mr Dickson had arranged the
use of a changing room at Loretto School, and then an admission to
Musselburgh Racecourse. The route ended by going round the Pinkie
Estate, long before this had been covered by houses, but it was the initial
part of the run that was unusual. This consisted of a lap of the racecourse.
Google states the current length of the Flat racing course to be one mile
and two furlongs, with an extra furlong and a water jump added for National
Class of ’48
Lands End to John O’Groats, unsupported
en has been out on another adventure
following his previous Kilimanjaro and
Lapland expeditions. This time he cycled
from Land End to John O’Groats.
The weight of the bike and equipment/luggage
took its toll on the bike with the lower gear
becoming distorted, and this resulted in the
gear breaking. Ken’s colleagues now call him
“thunder thighs” as the only other person they
have heard of breaking a gear on a bike is Chris
He was cycling in support of the International
Rescue Corps of which he is a member.
Many people know of this organisation for its
rescue work abroad in connection with disasters
such as earthquakes. What is less well-known is
the organisation’s work across the length of the
Having limped into Keswick, he got the bike
repaired and went to Cockermouth. This was
the scene of a major IRC rescue during the
floods there in 2009 when they rescued about
60 people and got them to safety. Sadly,
however, as many people know, a policeman
died during the floods.
Ken wanted to emphasize this by covering the
whole of the UK himself. He also wanted to
emphasize that the organisation is self-supporting
both abroad and in the UK, so he travelled
unsupported. The IRC does work as a team,
however, so when asked why he travelled alone,
he replied that “Nobody else was mad enough to
do the journey unsupported carrying all your own
gear for the whole journey!” Most people do it with
a support vehicle.
Ken cycled on up through Edinburgh stopping
briefly in Guthrie Street in Edinburgh. This was
the scene of an early rescue by IRC due to a
gas explosion when several flats collapsed.
This was similar to the better known rescue they
performed after the Stockline Factory explosion
in Glasgow.
The journey went on without any major further
problems (he does not count breaking a spoke
in Glendevon, or breaking a luggage bracket in
Sutherland). Both were easily fixed temporarily.
The journey turned into something of an epic in the
poor weather last summer. Ken endured 4 days of
torrential rain. On two days he descried the rain
as being of biblical proportions! The water was up
to the axles in both Lancaster and on the approach to Penicuik. There were
drain covers popping up due to the sheer amount of surface water. As a
result, his hands were almost permanently wet which in turn led to blisters
on both of them.
Ken travelled a total of 999 miles (very appropriate as he was supporting a
rescue organisation), and raised over £3000 for the charity. You can find
out more about International Rescue Corps at:
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 16
Former Pupil Business
ike most people there were subjects at
school I enjoyed and subjects I didn’t get
on with so well. Business Studies was my
thing: I spent a lot of time in that department as
my chosen subjects also included Higher
Economics, Administration and Accountancy.
After 5 years working for this company, and some
time out travelling the world, I decided I was ready
to take another step closer to reaching my dream.
Last year I set up iMultiply Resourcing, a
recruitment consultancy headquartered in
Edinburgh, working with small and medium sized
I have Mrs Lannon to thank for
making Business Studies not only
interesting but inspiring. She also
encouraged me to get involved
with the school’s Young Enterprise
team. This was a fantastic
opportunity to put business theory
into practice. We did a business
plan, opened a business bank
account, assigned roles and
worked for hours producing
juggling balls to take to market! We
entered an Edinburgh schools’
competition which involved
pitching our business, and we won
a number of awards.
Looking back I realise that my
experience at school helped
shape my career ambition. I
decided that when I grew up I
wanted to set up and run my own
successful and growing business.
However for someone who loved
all things business I couldn’t get
my head around accountancy.
The theory behind it was fine but
numbers and calculations weren’t
my strong point. To my relief I was
allowed to drop the subject at
Higher but I was reminded that
accountancy is a key element to
running a business!
I went on to study Business Studies at Edinburgh
University (scraping a pass in the Accountancy
module!). The degree helped me secure a
graduate role in a global recruitment business.
enterprises (SMEs) across Scotland. I now run this
full-time with a small team and the business is
continuing to grow. I enjoy providing innovative
solutions to businesses and helping people get
their ideal job. The slight irony is that iMultiply
specialises in placing accountants!
During the last year I’ve used a number of skills
and lessons learned from school e.g. how to do
a business plan, how to sell yourself. Public
speaking at school meant that pitching for
investment wasn't too daunting.
Believe it or not I still
occasionally turn to my school
business studies text book for
reference or ideas!! It put
emphasis on the importance of
having a business vision and
unique selling points. This
gave me focus: the iMultiply
vision is that recruiting and job
hunting is an enjoyable and
positive experience. One of our
unique selling points is that
we’re the only agency to
‘bonus’ consultants based on
customer satisfaction. When I
was at school I don’t think I
appreciated the relevance of
some of the subject matter, but
10 years after leaving school
here I am putting the theory into
My teachers were right:
accountancy plays a huge part
in running your own business.
However if you can recognise
weaknesses you can get the
assistance you need, so you
don’t have to let anything stop
you achieving your goal. I think
Heriot’s is great at giving people the grounding
and confidence to achieve. I still have a long way
to go to get the business where I want it to be but
thanks to school and my supportive family I’m
headed in the right direction.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 17
Running a Start-Up Business
as it really been five years since I left
Heriot’s? Time flies when you are
having fun. While studying chemistry
at Edinburgh University, I also worked part time
for a property management company. The
internet was changing the way people searched
for property to rent, and this transitional period
saw more people searching for property online
than in traditional printed media. I was
interested in this trend and started to wonder
how technology could be used to make my job
of property management easier.
This prototype website proved popular! We
updated our business plan and re-applied to
a number of funding schemes and
competitions. This time we were more
successful, winning a competition to have
lunch with Richard Branson, and getting onto
a Sky 1 TV show called ‘The Angel’, hosted by
John Caudwell, the founder of Phones4U. We
secured funding from Edinburgh University,
The Prince’s Trust and Scottish Enterprise.
With these resources we developed a fully
functioning service,,
where the site helps landlords find tenants.
The first property advert is free, and from then
on it costs £9.99 to post an advert. We send the
advert to Gumtree and Rightmove, ensuring it gets seen by hundreds of
prospective tenants. Properties advertised by AdvancetoGO are let out in
an average time of 9 days!
Knowing very little about computers, I asked
around friends at University and got introduced
to my current business partner, Bilal Khan. He was studying Artificial
Intelligence at Edinburgh’s School of Informatics. Together we started
planning an online business. We wanted to set up a website that would help
landlords rent out their properties. During our final 6 months at university
we would meet up every couple of weeks, creating a business plan and
discussing how the website would work.
In the last few months we have grown to a team of five full time staff, and
we have found hundreds of new homes for tenants. Our success hasn’t
gone un-noticed: during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November we
won a small business competition called ‘The Pitch UK’ which gave us
£50,000 of business support services. I was also very fortunate to receive
the Shell LiveWIRE’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 award for
In the summer of 2011, after finishing university, we decided to go into
business full time. We created our company ‘AdvancetoGO’, hired an office,
and started to build the site and raise funding to market the business. The
next 6 months provided a crash course in business management. Every
funding application we sent off was rejected, and when we spoke to potential
customers about our service, most were not interested.
Just before the winter holiday I had the pleasure of going back to Heriot’s
to meet the Young Enterprise teams. I was incredibly impressed by their
enthusiasm, ambition and hard work. I know participating in Young
Enterprise when I was at Heriot’s impacted on my decision to run my own
business. I am looking forward to visiting the business department again,
this time to talk with the Higher Business Management class!
At the start of 2012 we changed our tactics: instead of spending time building
a website that no-one seemed to want, we decided to survey hundreds of
landlords to find out what their biggest problems and stresses were. With
this information we built a prototype website: it was very basic but showed
how landlords could store their tenants’ details online, track rent payments,
and log utility meter readings.
SAM ZAWADZKI, Class of 2008
The ITP Higher Apprentice of the Year 2012
membership of The ITP (Institute of
Professionals) when you are an
apprentice; this body gives you
access to mentoring schemes
and has enabled me to apply,
successfully, for professional
registration as an ICT Technician.
Over the three year apprenticeship
I was able to do secondments
across other areas of the business,
and to do a lot of volunteer work
with a variety of organisations, such Joanna Rowsell with Sinéad
as working with youngsters on work
inspiration and those who have been in long term unemployment. A
combination of all my experiences and achievements throughout the
apprenticeship then led to me being named The ITP Advanced/Higher
Apprentice of the Year 2012. This award was my greatest achievement so
far as it was a UK-wide award and involved the largest number of companies
to date. I attended the awards ceremony at the Victoria Plaza Hotel in
London where I was presented the award by Olympic Gold Medallist Joanna
Rowsell. It was a brilliant experience, and I am happy that it has helped me
make so many people proud.
There are different types of apprenticeship to apply for and, because of the
qualifications I had obtained at GHS, I was able to apply for the Higher
Apprenticeship Scheme. I was invited to a hub day which was followed by
an interview, and from there I became one of only two BT Higher Apprentices
in Scotland that year. This was an achievement in itself as this apprenticeship
has had more applicants than Oxford University in the past few years!
In September 2009, I began my new job as a Higher Apprentice Service
Technician, where I worked full time as a Telephone Engineer (which
involved climbing poles and working underground), as well as attending
university to study for a degree in Science ICT, and training for a level 4
NVQ. There were many other benefits of being an apprentice such as the
networking events and workshops that created opportunities for me to meet
with many senior managers and directors, and which have enabled me to
build my professional network over the years. BT also provide you with a
Class of 2008
Photograph courtesy of BT
y name is Sinéad Watt and I am a 22 year old who has worked
in Telecommunications for nearly 5 years, having left George
Heriot’s in 2007. Telecoms is not a profession that boasts a lot of
women, although this is slowly changing as more emphasis is put on
attracting them into roles such as engineering. It is not a career I ever
considered while at school, and when I left after Fifth Year, I spent some
time volunteering and travelling, biding my time before making the decision
about where I wanted my life to go. Having applied to Hays IT for contract
work, I began a job at British Telecom which was initially for 6 months and
rolled on for nearly 2 years. It was when this contract finished that my
manager at the time advised me to apply for the BT Apprenticeship.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 18
The 2013
World Solar Challenge
ambridge University Eco Racing (CUER)
is a student run society that designs,
builds and races solar-powered vehicles.
Since it was founded in 2007, its members have
produced the UK’s first road-legal solar car, and
two not quite race-winning solar powered cars.
This year though, with a unique new design, the
team is aiming for victory in the 2013 World Solar
the 3000km journey across the Australian outback
has been met: cars from the early 2000s regularly
pushed the 110kph (68mph) speed limit.
Gradually, race organisers have challenged
teams to build cars that might be a more direct
basis for future low-power electric vehicles. This
year, on top of the wheel regulations, the driver
visibility and space requirements have tightened
I joined the team midway through this race’s twoyear cycle, with designs in the works for a twowheeled, motorbike-style design. Over the years,
designs have converged upon a wide ‘table-top’,
three-wheeled design. The race officials permit
teams to use one of two types of solar cell, though
to make it fair a smaller total area of the more
efficient type is allowed on the car. These efficient
cells were our opportunity to create something
different. However, last summer the rule change
which had been rumoured about for months was
announced: 4 wheels are now compulsory.
The solar bike ruled out, the design team returned
to the drawing board, and our new concept
Daphne was born. This is a narrow, lightweight,
car, and many of the design goals of the bike have
been carried over from last year’s work (see inset
image). The main innovation was the introduction
of a solar canopy, to decouple the car’s solar and
aerodynamic performance. Additionally, to
minimize on weight, the car’s chassis is a carbon
monocoque design, rather than an aluminium
frame. After a meeting with the advisory board, the
team got the go ahead for Daphne, and the finance
in place for the space-grade gallium arsenide
solar cells required.
Since the race was founded in 1989, the original
challenge of building a solar vehicle capable of
Manufacture is now well on its way, and many of
the key components have been ordered. The
carbon chassis has now been built, thanks to the
support and facilities of Jaguar Land Rover and
the National Composites Centre. A project of this
kind relies upon the support of related companies,
and a significant part of the team’s job is to
maintain relationships with them. The team has
also turned to the power of crowd funding,
through KickStarter, to raise money to buy the allimportant solar canopy.
Racing aside, CUER is also committed to
encouraging young people to take up STEM
subjects. In September, a group visited the Isle of
Wight, and met over 2000 school children. We also
participate in local and national motor shows and
green energy festivals. The team is hoping that
victory down under in 2013 will help inspire the
next generation. To find out more, please visit or follow us @cuerSolarTeam.
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3
Page 19
his summer I won my first professional title – European under
23 Tri-Cross Champion. It was the highlight of a season in
which I was Scottish Tri-Cross Champion, runner-up in both
the Scott British Elite Tri-Cross Series and Scottish Duathlon
Championships, and in which I also achieved two top 20 pro finishes
in the Xterra World Series – in Germany and the Czech Republic. I
managed all that, as well as graduating BA Hons Sports Studies at
Stirling University! I finished off the season with a “fun” event –
Relentless 24. This is a 24 hour mountain bike marathon on the Nevis
Range forest trails which involved sub-zero temperatures most of
the night; 160 miles and 7000m of climbing later (equivalent to 5
ascents of Ben Nevis), and I don’t think I’ve ever craved sleep and
a warm bed more!
I struggled at school, but my sporting successes gave me the
confidence to soldier on. If ever there was an example of the
importance of your Personal Statement to get into university, mine
was it. The grades weren’t quite there, but my commitment in my
statement was. I’ve meandered through swimming, cross country,
water polo and triathlon, and found my niche in off-road triathlon.
Tri-Cross is open water swimming, fast cross country mountain
biking and trail running. In Xterra, the mountain biking is real
endurance riding, the pace is on from the start, and the running is
coarse and hilly: it’s all about suffering, and I love it!
This year’s Olympics have been an inspiration, not just because of
the success of giant boyhood heroes like Sir Chris Hoy and Mo Farah,
but also because of the background stories of the athletes from lesshigh profile sports who don’t enjoy the funding of mainstream
athletics, swimming and cycling, such as Olympic Gold kayaker Tim
Baillie and Boxing Gold Nicola Adams whose commitment out of the
limelight reflects their love for their sport and hunger for success.
Every athlete’s fear is injury, especially in the winter where base
training foundations are laid for the speed work in the spring and
success in the summer season. It just takes a foot plant on a patch
of ice, the loss of a wheel in mud hidden by leaves, or a misjudged
rock garden, and a fall and broken ribs ensue – been there, done
that, 2011. The base training is gone. You still may be able to pull
something out of the bag in a one-off race but the consistency
needed for the race season is gone.
So, I went off to sunny Australia for warm weather training after
Christmas. Yes, I can come a cropper on the rocky slopes of Oz on
my bike, but I’ll still get a suntan! I’m using this as my base for the
Asian and Australian legs of the World Xterra Series in March and
April, before returning for the European circuit. My goal? The World
Champs in Maui in October. The off road Xterra doesn’t have the
growing media attention of the road version of triathlon spurred by
the success of the Brownlee brothers, but I love the sport and the
spirit which is akin to the world of the surfer. Feel free to follow my
Asian adventure at
My morsel of wisdom for any struggling pupils is to find something
you’re good at and focus on it. It could be running up Arthur’s Seat,
or playing that Masters game of chess. Take the confidence that it
brings, and don’t let the rest of life’s challenges drag you down. Now
and again a teacher will champion you. I was lucky and had a few,
but special mention and a big thank you go to Mr Adams, Mrs Hutton
and Mr Short.
RORY DOWNIE, Class of 2007
Page a
Further details may be obtained
from the Development Office.
Heriot’s exists today due to the generous
bequest by George Heriot.
Orchestral and Choral Concert
St Cuthbert’s Parish Church
Band Concert
Queen’s Hall
60th Anniversary Reunion
for Classes 1952 & 1953
George Heriot’s School
Junior School Concert
St Cuthbert’s Parish Church
50th Anniversary Reunion
for Fifth and Sixth Year
George Heriot’s School
June Day
George Heriot’s School
5, 6, 7 JUNE
Senior School Drama
Les Misérables
George Heriot’s School
Sports Day
25th Anniversary Reunion
for the Class of 1988
George Heriot’s School
The George Heriot’s 1628 Society exists for
all those who have pledged a legacy to the
School. We are most grateful to those of you
who have responded to our Legacy Brochure
for your support. If you have made provision
for the School in your will and would like to let
us know, we would be happy to offer you
honorary membership of the 1628 Society.
Should you wish to receive a Legacy Brochure,
or would like to discuss the possibility of
leaving a legacy to the School, please contact
the Development Office.
Our Sad farewells to Former Staff
In December we heard the sad news of the death of Tom Dennis who taught at Heriot’s from 1954
to 1987. In that time he rose from Teacher and Principal Teacher to Assistant Head Teacher; he
was a Spanish specialist, and also introduced the teaching of Portuguese. He was Flight Lieutenant
in charge of the RAF Section of the CCF, and he helped with many other school activities including
the Natural History Society, tennis, rugby and rowing.
The Development Office is continually updating
the database and we would ask that you let us
know of any changes to your contact details.
have lost touch with since the last mailing: their
copies were returned by the Post Office.
The following are some Former Pupils whom we
If you have any information we would be most
grateful to hear from you.
All Your News,Views and Photographs
We would like to thank those of you who have
been in touch to share news and memories of
days at Heriot’s, and to make suggestions for
future editions.
Grateful thanks are due to all those who
have contributed articles for this edition of
Quadrangle; please keep them coming in for
future editions. Thanks to Kenneth Simpson,
Principal Teacher of English, who very kindly
checks material prior to design and printing.
We are delighted to welcome Former Pupils and
their families back to school to visit and tell us of
their school days. It is helpful if you let us know
in advance of your visit so that we can make the
necessary arrangements for someone to show
you around and help you make the most of your
time back at Heriot’s.
Margaret Peat
Development Office
George Heriot’s School
Lauriston Place
Edinburgh EH3 9EQ
If there are any particular items you would like to
see in Quadrangle, please do not hesitate to get
in touch with:
Tel: 0131 229 7263
Fax: 0131 229 6363
George Heriot’s School is governed by George Heriot’s Trust, Scottish Charity number SC011463.
Data Protection We have an obligation to ensure that data is processed fairly and lawfully. Data received by the Development Office is used to further the development of George Heriot’s School. The data will
be controlled by the School Development Office, in accordance with School policy. It will only be processed for marketing, PR, fundraising, event management and educational purposes. Any one wishing no
further contact from the school should inform the Development Office.
Design and Print 0131 664 6287
Quadrangle No 23 Feb 13 V3