Old Woodbridgian Liaison Group
Rob Turner attended Woodbridge School from 1984 -1991. He went on to study Food Science at Leeds University and then to work at Sainsbury’s, Northern Foods, Walkers Snacks, Pepsi and Tarmac. He has spent the last decade in Procurement Leadership roles and is now working as Senior Procurement Leader for John Lewis. He is a keen skier and a committee member of the Suffolk Ski Team. Rob has been active with the school as a member of the OW committee for the last few years, and subjects himself annually to the rigours of the Bridge to Woodbridge bike ride. He has two daughters, one of whom is now an OW herself and the other still a pupil at Woodbridge School. Rob is the Chairman of the OW School Liaison Group. He is also proud to still hold the School junior and middle school long jump record despite only being 5’8″.
Graeme Bruce was a much-loved teacher at Woodbridge School, having taught languages at the School from his arrival in 1985. He held a variety of management and leadership roles at Woodbridge School, latterly as Director of Studies, until his retirement from the School in 2015. He was an experienced team inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate and acted as a consultant for the Department for Education. Beyond the classroom Graeme was officer-in-command of Woodbridge School’s Combined Cadet Force Army Section, is an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Treasurer for the Association for Language Learning regional committee and he also sings tenor and attempts to play the cello.
Paul Jenkins Joined ‘The Abbey’ in 1958 and left Woodbridge School in 1967.
After 10 years in the construction industry working for Limmer & Trinidad, Tarmac & Mowlem Paving – Paul decided to embark on a ‘round the world’ trip in 1977 – working for several months on construction projects in Tanzania and then after an epic 6200 mile Safari in a land rover to South Africa – a spell with Tarmac in Johannesburg.
After returning to the UK Paul was involved with several start-up Companies – but after losing an ‘eye’ in an accident, decided to pursue a career in the then fledgling IT Industry becoming a founding director of PAV it services in Sussex. In the course of the next 20 years, PAV grew to circa 30 employees delivering a range of ‘managed services’ to clients all over the UK and some with overseas connections. In 2018 Paul and his fellow founding Directors sold their interest in PAV and Paul returned to Suffolk where he is enjoying his retirement living in a converted barn at Cove Bottom, outside Southwold.
Paul has always enjoyed sailing and is still a member of the W&OBYC Yacht Club at Oulton Broad and the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht at Lowestoft where he has been a member for over 53 years, is currently the Vice Commodore (2020) and his Godfather is still the Patron. Paul’s other interest include SET Beccles School (founded by the Seckford Education Trust) where he is currently on the Schools Local Advisory Body (LAB), shooting, skiing and sawing and chopping logs to feed his two woodburners.
Paul lives with his wife Peta in Cove Bottom near Southwold.
Kenneth Bailey, an OW who attended the School from 1956 to 1963, was OW President from 2003 to 2011. After leaving school Ken worked for 35 years for The Littlewoods Organisation as a General Manager and Regional HR Manager in seventeen various locations around the UK, but none had the lure of Suffolk and Woodbridge although some came very close!! He took early retirement in 1997 and, you’ve guessed it, decided to hang up his spurs with wife Lyn in Otley, near Woodbridge. Between them, they have five children and ten grandchildren, some locally based and some as far away as Australia, but find they are never short of something to keep them busy.
Born and bred in Suffolk and living in Woodbridge since 1950, I attended The Abbey in the days of Charlie Mcarthy! Times were tough in those days. Then having passed my 11 Plus, I went to the Senior School and left in 1964, having taken A-Level history with Mr Stevens, and geography with Mr Dumbrell. Not being very bright, I struggled with lessons but was only slightly better at games. I loved hockey and cricket and especially Fives after school lunch. I now run my Building Design Practice and the family building company. We can be found on www.houchell.com. I have served on the OW Committee for more than 20 years, and love reuniting with old school chums. Probably something to do with my age! I am a Freeman of Woodbridge and the Honorary Secretary of the OW golf section. We are always looking for more players if anyone is interested!
Isobel works at Woodbridge School as the School’s Director of Sixth Form and Careers and a biology teacher. She returned to Woodbridge (an OW too) in 2006 after 13 years living in the deserts of Tucson, Arizona, where she had a few careers including a headteacher in a K -8 school, a teacher in a ‘at risk’ (gang!) school, running her own business and working as a supervisor in PR and customer service. She now lives in Woodbridge with her husband and her two children, in their twenties, have flown the nest.
Rick was at the School from 1969 to 1979 and subsequently joined the RAF, via Warwick University, to spend 20 years as a pilot, principally on C130 Hercules. He concluded his RAF career with 10 years in the MOD at Whitehall, where he worked in procurement, NATO and EU policy and was also the UK’s Defence Attaché to Ireland. He has returned to live in Woodbridge and follow a ‘portfolio’ career that includes the chairmanship of a media company.