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January 2012

Dear John
A couple of items of news you may be interested in including on the Shoreditch College website: 

1) An article I wrote for RSA Comment called 'The Practical Arts in Education and Society' :  

2) I have just completed a DVD called 'Furniture Today Part 3'. Details at:  

3) my updated website is

Jeremy Broun, 1966 Year


April, 2011   

My name is Michelle Morgan and I am an author, based in Northamptonshire.  My last book, 'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed' was published to very positive reviews in 2007 and I'm happy to say that it will be published as a revised paperback edition next year. 

As well as that, there is also an opportunity of me being involved with a documentary about Marilyn's trip to England.  At the moment I am working hard to find people who saw Marilyn even for the briefest moments, to appear on camera and recall their memories - however small. 

It is with this in mind that I am emailing you today, as I would love to interview any of the Shoreditch students who serenaded Marilyn while she was staying at Parkside House in Englefield Green in 1956.  If anyone has any information I would love to hear from them. 

Thanks so much and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Kind regards 



February 2011  


I hope you are both still picking up emails etc., from the Shoreditch website you set up? 

I have been in touch before, because I was hoping to go to the last farewell tour but in the end I couldn’t make it. My name is Derek Griffiths and I was in 80 year, I am now a VP at an Academy in the North East of England. 

Anyway, the reason I am sending this email is because I was watching a movie about Ian Dury last night called “Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll” on Sky Movies.   It is an excellent, if somewhat disturbing movie, with Andy Serkis playing Ian Dury.

I don’t know if you know of this film  but I was taken aback when suddenly the old mansion house (President Hall etc.) of Shoreditch appeared on the screen.  A good chunk of the movie is shot on location at Coopers Hill Lane (or as it more recently known, Brunel University, Runnymede Campus, Englefield Green. still sounds wrong!).  I think it was filmed in 2009, after the site was sold.

Derek Griffiths, 80 year



September 12, 2009 - 69 Year  40th Anniversary Reunion

1969 Reunion photograph


Left to right:

Derek Giles. Dave Field. Bruce Gregory. Ed Thompson. Alan Rees (Lecturer). Fred Lewis. Derek Hall. Ted Cooke. Graham Gregory.
Danny Philips. Colin Turner. John Cordory. Pete Dicker. Joe Dobson. Alan Goodridge (68yr). Roger Williams.

"It all started off as an idea over a couple of pints in the pub back in February this year.

Graham Gregory and I were discussing the fact that it was 40 years since we left Ditch to start our careers in education. What about a reunion I suggested. “Fine” said Graham, “I’m working, you're retired you sort it.”

So it began. I had 2 email addresses and one phone number of people we were still in touch with plus an old pass list and a connection to Friends Reunited.

I found the college web site and the fact that Brunel University still has an archive section based on the old Shoreditch campus which is now in the hands of developers.

The first reunion message went out in April and a number of people said that they were interested and to keep in touch regarding details.

A date was set for September 12th and a programme put together incorporating accommodation at Royal Holloway College, lunch at The Holly Tree pub in Englefield Green, a visit to the archives and an evening meal in an Italian Restaurant in Egham.

Messages were sent out individually through Friends Reunited and the number of email addresses grew. Eventually people committed to the day and final details were sent out.

We met in a coffee bar in Holloway College and then set off for The Holly Tree who had been briefed to expect us. Over drinks and bar meals many stories were recounted memories shared and laughed over.

At the appointed time we made our way to the library where the archives are kept to be met by Phaedra and Mandy who had opened up on a Saturday afternoon especially for our visit. They showed us the exhibits already there and some of the group had taken photos, newspaper articles college ties and other memorabilia relating to our time at Shoreditch to be added to the collection.

We then spent a little time looking at the sad state the campus has become, but also reminiscing over the great time we spent there.

Tea and associated drinks were taken in The Barley Mow before we checked into our rooms at Holloway. A quick change and off to pre dinner drinks in the Founders Building bar where a conference of acupuncturists were giving out complementary wine in the quadrangle !!!!

It took quite a while to drag everyone off to the restaurant where we had an enjoyable meal. On returning to Holloway we joined the conference delegates in their social event, a dance in the marquee. It quite took me back 40 years just seeing that some of the guys had not lost their talents for socialising……

In all we had 15 ex students, 7 partners and 1 lecturer (Alan Rees) attending for all or part of the day.

Derek Giles travelled the farthest from Canada and others from far and wide in England. Many apologies were received and it was a pity more could not have attended.

Occupations now range from teachers, jewellers, guest house owners, postmen, plumbers, consultants, people running their own woodworking businesses, ministers of religion, business entrepreneurs and the great retired.

My thanks go to Jill Sandwell and John Williams (STC website), Kay Rolf (R.H.College), Sue Curley (Brunel University), Phaedra Casey and Mandy (Archives at S.T.C.)

If anyone who was not present would like to contact old friends, I may have contact details for you so please email me:

Many thanks to those who attended. Keep in touch. Who knows we may meet again in years to come."   
Ed Thompson


Ed Thompson & Jan Baker
Leighton(Fred) & Yvonne Lewis
Pete & Buff Dicker
Joe & June Dobson
Derek Giles
Bruce Gregory
Ted Cooke
Alan Goodridge

Graham & Karen Gregory
Danny & Collette Philips
John & Gwen Cordory
Derek Hall
Dave Field
Roger Williams
Colin Turner
Alan Rees (lecturer)



March 2009   

Hello Jill,
I have only just come across your website on Shoreditch College, which gave a trip down memory lane, but was sad to note that this wonderful location and its history is now destined to be a housing development. I was a student from '57-'60 when first year students were housed in 'the huts' (nissen huts, before the new buildings). There were, I think, four or five of them but I have seen no photographs. When moving house recently I came across the attached lino-cut which may help some to recall our accommodation. The stool, in construction, on top of the wardrobe was a first year project, I remember.

Best wishes for your work,
Byron Thomas.


Photo of Huts



image:  lino-cut - nissen hut interior



August 2008 

Brunel University Archives department has been working on an HLF funded project for several years now, to catalogue and promote some of its collections through a new website called Heritage Builds Bridges.  One of the collections selected was the archives of Shoreditch College, the catalogue for which can now be accessed on the following website.

Phaedra Casey, Archivist      email:

more information below



September 2007  updated

(an extract from an email recently sent to John from Neville Webb)

Dear John

Many thanks John for your email ... attached is a short article describing the Radio Telescope Project undertaken at Shoreditch College, Egham Hill campus between 1961 and 1963.
As a project that began as an idea of the Lecturer in the Rural Studies Department, the Radio Telescope project was maybe a little ahead of its time.  However, with the changes in focus of the College and in the school in terms of Technology and design based curricula perhaps the project was looking ahead in some ways.
Best regards,
Neville Webb  (1961-64)
Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada
neville webb <>

 Radio Telescope Project    ( open in PDF format )

 Radio Telescope Project    ( open in MS Word .doc format )



The Shoreditch College Archives are currently being catalogued as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded 'Heritage Builds Bridges Project'. The archival and museum catalogues of Brunel University, the British & Foreign School Society, and the London Borough of Hillingdon will be available and searchable online at from September 2007, and a promotional website will be launched on 17th October to advertise this.

The Shoreditch Collection is housed in Brunel University's Archive & Records Centre, which has been opened for visits by appointment at the Runnymede Campus in the former Library building (now named the Haywood Building). Cataloguing is progressing and we would like to recruit volunteers to assist with the photographic collection. Many of the photographs lack dates and individuals are often unidentified. Other volunteering opportunities exist with the BFSS and Maria Grey College collections. Volunteers' travel expenses will be paid.

We can be contacted in the following ways:
01784 436111

Address:  Archive & Records Centre, Haywood Building, Brunel University,
Runnymede Campus, Cooper's Hill Lane, Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey TW20 0JZ

In the process of cataloguing, some questions have arisen. If anybody knows the answers, please get in touch!

Who was Bradley, after whom one of the halls of residence was named?
Why are there records of a 1960s boat house on the Isle of Wight in the collection?
For whom were the mulberry trees adjacent to the Haywood Building planted?

Any donations to the collection would be gratefully received and would be catalogued for inclusion in the Heritage Builds Bridges Project.

Cataloguing Archivist (Shoreditch Collection):
Phaedra Casey   email:




July 2006

Dear Jill,

I have managed to find a photo taken at the College Christmas Dinner in December 1978, featuring Joe Clements, who was Principal Lecturer for Education during the 1970s at Shoreditch. Many students are sure to remember some of the formal dinner occasions when, after several glasses of wine, Joe would be asked to lead the assembled gathering in some community singing, to his renowned rendition of the French folk song "Alouetta".

This particular song is often used in primary schools to help children learn the names of certain body parts in French. Joe's version was a little more colourful and helped students learn the French for other body parts, which teachers in schools were too afraid to use!!!

Chris Salt - 1979 Year



February 2006

Dear John

As I am an ex student of Shoreditch (66 year) I wonder if you would like to include these two news items :

I have been given The Woodworker of the Year 2005 Award (Professional category) by The Woodworker magazine, winning £2,000 worth of power tools from RYOBI UK.

This is for an innovative digital home jukebox I have designed and made in wood using solid maple and touch screen computer technology. It is at the cutting edge of innovative British design.

Details of the design can be viewed (short video clip) on (news page)

Furniture Today DVDs (Part one & part two)

Two years' work in completing a 106 minute multi media presentation on two DVDs including over 800 topic reference, 400 + images, 14 video clips and 23 illustrations.

For full details visit

The DVDs can be purchased from Jez Broun directly at PO box 658 Bath BA1 6ED.
Please include cheque for £19.95 per DVD inc. P & P.

Jez Broun - 1966 year

email:    "Jez Broun" <>


November 2005

Dear John,

Its great to see the way this site has developed over recent years. Thank you to you and Jill for the time and effort you have gone to. I am hoping to track down some staff photos taken in the 60s and will send them when I've located them.

In the mean time I have two pictures you may be interested in ... the first one is in the College Chapel for the Valedictory in 1978, when Elton John stepped in at short notice when the main band had to cancel at the last minute. I also attach an article in the New Musical Express which featured the event in May 1978.

With best wishes

Chris Salt - 1979 Year

The article above appeared in the New Musical Express, May 1978




June 14, 2004

Hello Jill,
Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the reunion at Shoreditch on 13th June. I'm sorry that you were not in England to share in the occasion, but delighted that your brother John introduced himself to me and to others from the 1960 year.

I thought you might like the
enclosed pictures which were taken on the day.

There are two pictures of the college grounds. The third picture is one of four 1960 year students together with their wives. Bottom left is Peter Hindle, then, clockwise, Patricia Hindle, Chris (Hope)-Scarratt, Juliet Hann, Brian Jenkins, Christine Jenkins, Maurice Hann, Judith Scarratt.

I think ex-'ditch students might be interested to log on to Peter Hindle's site at

On behalf of all who had such a good day, thanks to Sue Curley at Brunel!

Kind regards

Maurice Hann (1960)


There is a list of ex-Shoreditch students who were at the reunion on the 
Reunion 2004 page



Following is an email received recently from Good Thinking ~

Hi —

I'm writing on behalf of the students organisiing the 2004 Brunel Design Show, entitled "Good Thinking", and being held from 13-15 June 2004 (Sunday 13 coinciding with the Reunion, as mentioned on your very interesting website). As it is likely to be the last show at Runnymede, with the most graduating students ever (135+), we're all determined to make it the best, most welcoming and highest profile Brunel show ever. We have Brunel's PR company working with us, so (hopefully) there will be significant levels of media interest and attention, for what is still a unique establishment in design education. At present we are concentrating on trying to raise money to put on the show and produce the directory, through sponsorship and advertising, together with students' contributions.

If you could mention Good Thinking as something to which all Shoreditch alumni are invited, and would be very welcome, on your site, and a link to our website, <.... snip> we'd be very grateful. Anyone who would like to pre-order a copy of the directory is very welcome to contact us and we will put you on the list.

Many current students here feel just as much an attachment to the campus as the Shoreditch students must have done; the feeling that this is a special place is extremely prevalent, although the move to Uxbridge will undoubtedly save Brunel a lot of overheads and allow for a more integrated Engineering/Design/Technology school.

Finally, I've attached a couple of photos taken just this week during the snow.

Thanks and best wishes

Dan Lockton
on behalf of the Good Thinking team 07813 302813
Brunel University, Cooper's Hill, Englefield Green, Surrey TW20 0JZ

March 2004

Hi Jill

I contacted you last year and told you that I hoped to set up a re-union for students of the old Shoreditch College (1952-55). The original date was to be 2004 but this has proved impossible as I am, at the tender age of 73, still at University of Wales Swansea, trying to complete a Masters' Degree. I did think I would have finished last year but that did not happen.

However, I would like to try to arrange a meeting of some description for the year 2005. We live at an age of uncertainty and can only hope that our fellow students of bye-gone days are still with us and are able to attend such a function. I am still in contact with a number of people who are extremely active and are looking forward to meeting up with old friends once again.

Ron Morris


Verity Parker, currently at Brunel Runnymede Campus, is hoping to gather together a collection of photographs from around the campus.


She would like your input -- how many people would be interested in:

If anyone has any images that they feel everyone might be interested in, please contact Verity. She would like to make them a collection of cards as this would make distribution easier.


Verity Parker
Cleaner Electronics Research
Brunel University





Does anybody remember the building of the replacement capstan for HMS Foudroyant?


capstan 1 gif

 copyright © photo courtesy Bryan Mawer

capstan 2 gif

copyright © photo courtesy Bryan Mawer


capstan 3 gif

copyright © photo courtesy Bryan Mawer




JB in JZR 3-wheeler, 1999


JB's 1937 Morgan 3-wheeler at 'ditch, 1966  





May 19, 1999
As Derek Kersley's second wife, I am responding to your internet communication. Derek died of cancer in November 1985.

After teaching in England, Derek and his first wife and two sons immigrated to Ontario, Canada. He taught art at a high school there before moving to Truro, Nova Scotia, to teach art methods at the Teachers College for 7 years. During this time he developed an artist's awareness of the Nova Scotian landscape and painted it with skill and pleasure. His awareness and perceptiveness extended to his students, his colleagues, his rugby team, and other friends as well.

Derek and Pat returned to England in 1976 where he taught at a comprehensive school. Pat unfortunately died of cancer within a year of their return. Derek returned to Canada shortly after her death.

I remember Derek as a wonderful man - intelligent, sensitive, creative, thoughtful, supportive of students, spiritual, appreciative, a superb story-teller, perceptive, and, on a lighter side, a man with a fine sense of humour. I appreciate your mention of his thank you letter; it verifies my description of him and adds to my own memories of him.

Ruth Saeman (Kersley)

21 May 1999

Hi John

Just stumbled across your `Ditch site. Very interesting. I'm from `79 year at Coopers Hill so have no overlap with your father, thought we did have lectures in Williams Hall in the first year.

I spent most of my time making jewellery (tho the course was officially more silversmithing oriented -  and went on to Sir John Cass School of Art at Aldgate to do more jewellery (strangely just around the corner from the real Shoreditch).

I taught craft for only three years all told, hated teaching but loved the workshop. Ideal training for a 15 year spell in computers! Most recently doing drug databases for the pharmaceutical society (see and will be at a medical intranet conference at John Radcliffe next week.

Meanwhile, I've had enough of computers, so I'm going back to silver - - this very much first draft site is not yet released, I'm getting some proper photographs taken next week. The workshop is semi set up and in addition to the stuff on the web site I have a teapot, chalice and several spoon/ladle things. It is great to be back at the bench.

The guy who taught me woodwork at A level (in Rugby) was Andrew Varah, the finest craftsman I have had the pleasure to work for and with. He now makes one off pieces - see
. Andy was about 66 or 67 year - I'll ask him.

I had a fantastic time at Shoreditch. The opportunity to spend all day in the workshop, mixing with 400 like minded people, and all in a fantastic setting. And cheap beer. Bliss. I spent most of my third year buying silver and tools to the value of my entire grant, making jewellery, selling to students and staff, buying more silver... happy days.

If you are trying to build a general directory of people and where they are now, I'm happy to add a few names from 78 and 79 year.

Thank you for the site and keep up the good work.

         Barry Thomas   (1979)

_____[ Barry Thomas, Quartet Software Ltd ]_______________
email:               voice: +44 1335 370 655
web:          fax: +44 1335 370 668



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