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Old woodbridgians enjoying a drink

The President and Liaison Group

The current Liaison Group comprises Old Woodbridgians from across recent decades working either on a voluntary basis or as part of the School staff. The Group also includes the Alumni Officer and the Head. Meet the people using their passion for the School to bring past students together to share friendship, memories and insights.

The OW President: Mr Stephen Cole

We are delighted to announce that Stephen Cole, Head at Woodbridge School from 1994-2014, has agreed to take on the role of Honorary President of the Old Woodbridgians from Graeme Bruce.  Stephen will need little introduction to many of you, having been at the helm at Woodbridge School for 20 years and being known to many generations of OWs from his time here.

The OW Liaison Group

In addition to the President, get to know everyone keeping Old Woodbridgians together.

Chair: Rob Turner

Rob Turner is the Chair of the OW School Liaison Group and attended Woodbridge School from 1984–1991. He studied Food Science at Leeds University and then went on 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, both of whom are also OWs. Rob is also proud to still hold the School junior and middle school long jump record despite only being 5’8″.

Paul Jenkins

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 and 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 6,200-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, with his wife Peta.

Paul has always enjoyed sailing and is still a member of the W&OBYC Yacht Club at Oulton Broad. He has also been a member of the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht at Lowestoft for over 53 years, where he is currently the Vice Commodore (2020) and his Godfather is still the Patron. Paul’s other interests include SET Beccles School (founded by the Seckford Education Trust), where he is currently on the Schools Local Advisory Body (LAB), as well as shooting, skiing and sawing or chopping logs to feed his two woodburners.

Ken Bailey

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. 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.

David Houchell

Born and bred in Suffolk and living in Woodbridge since 1950, David attended The Abbey in the days of Charlie Mcarthy! Times were tough in those days. Having passed the 11 Plus exam, David attended the Senior School and left in 1964, having taken A Level history with Mr Stevens, and geography with Mr Dumbrell. He loved hockey and cricket and especially Fives after school lunch. He now runs his Building Design Practice and the family building company, which can be found at www.houchell.com. He has served on the OW Committee for more than 20 years and loves reuniting with old school chums. He thinks it’s probably something to do with his age! David has the honour of being 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 Tyndale-Brown

Isobel works at Woodbridge School as the Director of Sixth Form and Careers, and as a biology teacher. Also an OW, she returned to Woodbridge in 2006 after 13 years living in the deserts of Tucson, Arizona, where she had a few careers including as a headteacher in a K-8 school, a teacher in an ‘at risk’ (gang!) school, running her own business and working as a supervisor in PR and customer service. Isobel now lives in Woodbridge with her husband while her two children, both in their twenties, have flown the nest.

Rick Hobson

Rick was at Woodbridge 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 Woodbridge to live and follow a ‘portfolio’ career that includes the chairmanship of a media company.

Contacting the OW Society

Looking for any information not covered here? Email alumni@seckford-foundation.org.uk or phone the office on 01394 615177.

Or check out the OW Network for more information.

Want to book a visit, make an enquiry? Please feel free to get in touch

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