Annual report 2014-15

The Annual General Meeting was held in the School Library at 6:00pm, prior to the Founders’ Day Dinner, a total of 25 Officers and Members being present.

The President’s Report

The President, Graham Hamilton, reported that the School numbers are among the highest in the School’s history, there being 789 on roll. He reported that the annual examination results helped to maintain the school as one of the most successful schools in North Yorkshire, but stressed that any comparisons with previous years examination results are invalid, due the recent policy changes and the volatility of the present examination system.

Once again Ermysted’s boys delivered a strong set of results. At ‘A’ level 45.6% were graded A* or A, whilst at G.C.S.E. 99% of results were A* – C. Of the Sixth Form boys who left in 2014, 5 went to Oxford or Cambridge Universities. Many “Year 13” boys were fortunate to secure places at good universities, even where they had dropped one, or in some cases, two grades. Popular destinations were the Russell Group universities which include Birmingham, Durham, Sheffield, Newcastle.

The President followed on by announcing the following award recipients:-
Oakley Fund – Cambridge ( to study STEM subjects)
- Ben Anson, Maths

JW Emmott Scholarships (Oxford & Cambridge)
- Joe Fraser Turner, English at St Johns College, Oxford
- Alex Wade Smith, Economics at Cambridge
- Matthew Hattam, Modern & medieval languages at Cambridge
- John Kelly, German & Linguistics at Oxford

The Walford Evans Memorial Fund
A new award inaugurated by the family of Wally Evans, for boys with clear records of behaviour (apart from minor indiscretions at KS3) and with good “A” level grades (nothing less than a B), going to good universities to study Science:

Danny Andrews St Andrews Chemistry A* A A
Izaak Beck Durham Biomedical Sciences A*A*B
Matthew Brown Birmingham Chemical Engineering A A A A
Richie Dadhley Lancaster Theoretical Physics A A A
Daniel Gott Nottingham Chemistry A*A A
Harry Gregson, Liverpool Medicinal Chemistry A B B
Matthew Taylor Lancaster Physics, A A B
Tom Throup Lancaster Chemistry A* B B
George Flesher Birmingham Chemical Engineering A*A*A*
Adam Bendall York Computer Science B B B
Michael O’Dowd York Computer Science A A A
Chris Kelly Durham Geology A B B

The Hartley McIntosh Award
Sam Abbey – 4 A*s

The “Extended Project”
- Oliver Hutchinson
- Matthew Price
- Joslan Scherewode

On the sporting side of school life, the Headmaster reported that last season the First XV team won the Yorkshire Under 18 Cup. After beating Ilkley Grammar School 44 – 0 in the semi-final, they went on to beat Ripon Grammar School 28 – 0 in the final, played at Queen Elizabeth School, Wakefield.

The end of the cricket season in September saw the school team winning the U14 Yorkshire County Cup, a marvellous achievement considering that the competition is open to all schools in Yorkshire. The team beat Shelley College, Huddersfield, by 6 wickets, a magnificent result against a team that had been in 3 of the last 4 finals. Ermysteds will now represent Yorkshire in the National stages of competition, starting next May.

The current school year saw a fantastic start, since half-term the First XV have beaten Wath C.C. in the Yorkshire Cup by 84 – 0, Austin Friars St. Monica’s School, Carlisle in the National NatWest Cup by 51 – 0 and, perhaps the sweetest of all, an away win at Sedbergh School by 24 – 21. Sadly, the team’s progress in the NatWest Cup was halted at the end of November when, in the last 32, they met Wilmslow and were beaten 17 – 6. ( The Daily Telegraph of January 30th. reported that Wilmslow had reached the national quarter-finals.)

In Cross Country the school won 4 out of 5 events at the Harrogate and Craven Cross Country Championships, and the Junior and Intermediate teams became the unofficial North Yorkshire Champions. The team was judged the “Best overall School” at the Manchester Grammar Schools competition in September. In the National Cross Country Championships at the end of November the School team came 4th., an outstanding result when you consider the number of schools involved.

In the English Fell Running Championships Years 7, 10 and 11 were crowned National Champions, with the Juniors and Seniors being Runner’s Up in their categories.

On the sporting side of school life, he reported that the Senior Boys Soccer team won the North Yorkshire Cup, beating St. Adians 1 – 0., and the year 7 team were the winners of the English Schools Fell Running Championships.

Educational visits saw students going to France, Rome, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Iceland, South Africa and the U.S.A. Dozens of visits were also made to local and national sites.

In Mathematics the school has long held an envious success record. This year the “A” level boys entered the Senior Mathematics Challenge competing against 22 other teams, including the region’s top independent schools. The team gained a very creditable Second Place, which means that there be a slim chance of them reaching the final as one of the highest scoring runners-up.

A team of Junior Boys entered a competition focussing on Children’s Literature and reached the National Finals in London. The prize for the winners was a trip to the U.S.A. to compete in the World Final. Unfortunately the East Coast Rail train arrived in London an hour late which meant that the team missed the First Round completely, but at the end of the day they were only 2 points behind the winners, a highly commendable result.

The President ended by thanking the Society members for their continuing support, to members of the senior leadership team, and the students and staff for their hard work and enthusiasm.

The Secretary’s report

The Secretary reported that the majority of correspondence received during the year was relating to changes in addresses, which he had passed on to Ken Oxley to enable the database to be up-dated. He stressed to the assembled Members that it was important to keep the Society up-to date with their addresses, we get too many items of correspondence returned – “Not known at this address”. This also applies to E-mail addresses, please ensure that we have up-to-date addresses, the use of the internet saves a lot of expense in comparison to the Post Office.

Society Sports results

Rugby - v. – was not played.

Golf - v. – Giggleswick Old Boys – match drawn.

v. – School – was not played, we could not raise a team.

The Hitchin Trophy was won by Graham Smith.

Cricket – v. – School – not played due to the weather.

Sports Dates for 2015

Golf – Hitchin Trophy: May 11th. at Skipton Golf Club.

Members wishing to play in the Hitchin Trophy should have an official Handicap. Please put your club name or ENGLANDGOLF Registration number on your score card. For details contact David Smith (01756 794697) or contact Len Price on leonard_price@sky.com. Members should book themselves and playing partners (Old Boy’s Society members only) tee-times with the Skipton Golf Club professional’s shop, on completing your round leave your score cards behind the bar, they will be collected the next morning.

Society – v. – Giggleswick – June 17th. at Skipton Golf Club.

Society – v. – School – t.b.a. at Ghyll Golf Club.

Cricket –
Society – v. – School t.b.a. ( watch this space)

The Treasurer’s report

The Treasurer gave a resume of the Accounts, reporting profits for the Founder’s Day Dinner and the 40 years-on event. Overall The Income and Expenditure Account shows a balance of £14719:14, while the Investment Account stands at £18,155:11.

The Treasurer was asked about the Investment Account. He explained that some years ago the Society was bequeathed approximately £30,000, this sum had been reduced over the years by donations to the School when finance was required for various projects. The School Foundation Fund has been reduced over the last few years, mainly for use in building projects. Ken explained that for all building projects the School was obliged to find 10% of the cost, North Yorkshire County Council providing the remainder.

The next project, which the Society fully supported, was the building of Sixth Form / Cricket Pavilion facilities behind the Sports Hall. A proposition was made from the floor that the Society should make up to £10,000 available towards the cost, after discussion it was suggested that an initial £5,000 be made available, with another £5,000 available as required. This was passed unanimously.

The Treasurer raised the question of The Chronicles, which had been non-existent the last 2 years. Contact had recently been made from a group of Senior pupils, who were trying to put copy together. It was agreed that contact should be made with them to ascertain their requirements. It was also suggested that, as far as the Society was concerned, the Society Web-site would be a better, more flexible, means of keeping in touch with our Members.

A question was raised from the floor regarding the Hartley McIntosh Scholarships, Ken explained the history of the Fund and it’s operation.

Elections to the Committee

Committee members are elected for a 5 year period. This year only Brian Nelson and Tony Barrett were due for re-election, Brian had recently sent a letter of Resignation to the Committee which was accepted with regret, the Chairman thanked Brian for his service to the Society over the years, and asked that record should be made of the Society’s appreciation of his services. Tony Barrett expressed his availability for re-election to the Committee, his
re-election was passed unanimously.

Election of Officers

Vice-President:- This post has traditionally been held by the Senior Deputy Headmaster. However, the President reported that due to his domestic situation, the present incumbent would not be able to take part. He suggested that the nomination criteria should be “ A Member of the School Senior Management Team”. This was accepted, and Stephen Speak was duly appointed.

Vice-Chairman:- Jeremy Taylor, proposed by Ken Oxley, seconded by Tony Barrett, was elected un-opposed.

Treasurer:- Ken Oxley, proposed by the Ken Jackson, seconded by David Smith, was re-elected un-opposed. Matthew Hoyle offered to assist Ken as required, which Ken accepted.

Secretary:- Len Price, proposed by David Smith, seconded by Kenneth Jackson, was re-elected un-opposed.

It was suggested by Ken Oxley, seconded by David Smith, that a new position of Publicity Officer / Membership Officer be inaugurated, suggesting Stuart Clarkson as the ideal candidate. Stuart was agreeable, so was elected un-opposed.

Any Other Business

The following points were amongst those raised:

Tony Barrett raised the possibility of using the web-site to encourage those members who felt they had something to offer at the school Careers Evenings to make their availability known on the web-site.

After the A.G.M. members relocated to the bar for liquid refreshment, catching up with old colleagues and preparing themselves for the Dinner.

The Dinner

As usual an excellent Dinner was provided by White Rose Caterers, this was followed by the President’s speech, basically as that presented at the A.G.M., but other items. He noted that the original Founder’s Day Dinner was held on October 15th. 1912 in the Black Horse Hotel. There were no Dinners held during the First World War, but during the Second World War the celebration is referred in “The Chronicles” as “High Tea”. He commented that even Hitler couldn’t put the Society off his stride.

He recorded that the school is extremely proud of it’s heritage, in over 500 years it has served Skipton and surrounding districts well. It is noted for developing the characters and personalities of it’s students, such as evening’s Chief Guest, Chris Mason and the remainder of those present.

As usual the President’s speech was lightened by some “historical reminiscences”. He reported that William Ermysted’s Diaries had been found when Ken Oxley had tidied up his office. Among the entries was noted how the reforms of Henry VIII had threatened the School. The diaries recorded that in 1555 Skipton was a hot bed of religious ferment, and described how the Archbishop of Bradford and the Vicar of Skipton were burnt alive on the castle forecourt. Subsequent investigation proved that the General Synod Events Committee had purchased a faulty barbecue!

The evening’s Chief Guest, Chris Mason, is employed by the BBC as a Political News Editor, entertained the assembled members with some light-hearted stories of his working life, which was appreciated by those present.

As usual the evening ended by everybody joining in the singing of “40 years on” and “Men of the Upland”. For those who are wondering, “Men of the Upland” was the school song until replaced by “40 years on”.

Finally, as you can see your committee is very active, there is, however, one area that we feel that could be improved. We have over 2000 names and addresses of Old Boys on our files, but only about 10% pay their annual subscription to the Society. We feel that an annual subscription of £10 is reasonable, especially when the Society is trying to help the School with projects in these times of Government cut-backs. So, Gentlemen, please contact Ken Oxley and request the relevant paperwork to enable you to pay your annual subscriptions, once completed you can forget about remembering to pay annually.

Len Price (Hon. Sec.)

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