Jim and Ann Clinch

This from Henry Darley (1957) who advised the following:

“Jim & Ann Clinch are moving to Newcastle to be near their son who is in Holy Orders there.  On Sunday 13th April 2014, Emma Clinch is giving a recital in St Nicholas Church, Otham commencing at 3 p.m.   There is no charge, although attendees will be invited to contribute to a retiring collection in aid of  “Friends of Otham Church.”.  Tea will be served.  The word is that this could be something of a “Swan Song” for Jimmy & Ann.  It would be nice to give them a memorable send off.  His roots are so strongly linked to Maidstone, the school and Otham Church”.

James Clinch was the author of Gaudeamus – An Account of Music at Maidstone Grammar School, and he was  a very prominent member of the OMS, being President in 1994.  He was born in Maidstone in 1927, and was a pupil of MGS from 1936 to 1946.  After National Service in the RAF, he read Natural Sciences (Chemistry) at Jesus College, Cambridge, and was then employed in the chemical industries at Ilford, Essex, at Avonmouth, Bristol and at Maidstone until 1974 when he was appointed to the staff at MGS, where he taught mostly Chemistry until his retirement in 1991.

A keen amateur musician, James started oboe lessons with Leslie Smith in 1938 and was son playing in all the local orchestras, as well as being active in school music.  This led to much music-making at Cambridge and beyond and to a penchant for conducting.  In 1969 he was appointed founder-conductor of Rochester Arts Orchestra, now City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 26 years.

James married Anne Green in 1952 and they have two daughters and a son who was also educated at MGS.  The book is proof of his affection for, and long-standing knowledge of, his old school.

We wish him all the very best ‘oop North’, and will miss him.  A more erudite and extremely pleasant gentleman it would be difficult to find.

The message has been sent to the entire membership, regardless of location, in case you would like to wish him well.  jimclinch@tiscali.co.uk

Visit by Robert Snare

Robert Snare  OM: 1943 – 1952

Distinguished OM, Squadron Leader Robert Snare, visited the school with his wife on December 18th prior to attending the Carol Service that evening in All Saints. Robert is a graduate of the RAF College, Cranwell and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He retired in 1996 after a distinguished career in aviation from the post of Managing Director of Aviation Training Worldwide – a company which provides qualified flight crew and training captains for many leading airlines.

In his retirement, living in Guildford, Robert stood for Parliament in the Aldershot Constituency in 2010 for UKIP and is Chairman of his constituency associatioSnaren.

The Deputy Headmaster, Paul Smith and the Chairman of the Society, Richard Ratcliffe entertained Robert to tea in the Headmaster’s study and provided a tour of the School. We seized the photo opportunity to “snap” him beside the Honours Board bearing his name – the Boards are currently down for the refurbishment of part of the school corridor.

Robert’s website is quite entertaining – especially the story of how he crash landed a training aircraft whilst at Cranwell, without either killing himself or the residents of Boston in Lincolnshire! (www.robertsnare.com)

Richard Ratcliffe: January 2014.