Here – Summer 2007

Here – Summer 2007

Robin Campbell (K 1993-2000), in a message to the website at the beginning of 2007, reports that he was runner-up at the New Civil Engineer Graduate 2006 Awards.

Robin and two other winners donated their prize money to Engineers Without Borders UK, a student-led development charity whose mission is to facilitate human development through engineering. They challenged others to join them and to date their appeal has raised £17,115. This only goes someway towards their target and Robin encourages all OFs to visit to find out more about the charity’s potential and need.

Robin graduated with an MEng in Civil Engineering in June 2005 from Cardiff University. With the winner and other runner-up, Robin had the opportunity to meet the Rt. Hon. Margaret Hodge MBE MP, Minister for Industry and the Regions. In discussing issues such as global warming and the need for humanitarian teaching in Civil Engineering degree courses, the Minister agreed to investigate the need for a permanent Civil Engineering government adviser.

Mike Waldren (K61-64), who recently retired from the Metropolitan Police as Chief Superintendent and Head of the Metropolitan Police Firearms Unit, has written a new book “Armed Police: The Police use of Firearms Since 1945”, published by “Sutton Publishing” ISBN 978-0-7509-4637-7. Mike was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 1999 and is listed in the Distinguished OFs.

Tim Gough (M 80-85), has presented on radio stations in Ipswich, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Coventry, before joining Saga 106.6fm for the station’s launch in February 2003. At the end of March 2007 they re-launched the radio station as Smooth Radio. He has just been appointed ‘Head of Presentation’ for Smooth Radio in the East Midlands, which means he is responsible for the output of that station on a day-to-day basis. He also now broadcasts weekday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm.

Robin Smallwood (S 82-86) was part of the team to win the coveted Travolution Award for best British Airline website for new airline, Silverjet – ahead of stiff competition from British Airways, Virgin, BMI and others. Robin was hand picked by Lawrence Hunt, CEO of Silverjet, to form a website team of 7 people to design the Silverjet website. The website team formed a company called Altitude Business Systems to deliver the Silverjet project. The website team started the day after Silverjet was floated on the AIM stockmarket in May 2006; and won the award in April 2007.
Robin says “The feedback from passengers has been amazing. If you get a chance to try out Silverjet, you should give them a go. It is a great service and brilliant value for money.”

Robin is a member of the Simpson family and has a young son, Toby, who might extend the Simpson family reign at Framlingham by another generation.

Simon Rolfe (S 82-92) writes of his many adventures and experiences in the fifteen years since he left school:-

When I left Framlingham in 1992, I embarked upon a year-out that was varied and busy. The highlight was a month in Tibet, trekking from the capital city (Lhasa) to Mount Everest Base Camp. Some of the places that I went to on the way were featured in Michael Palin’s recent series Himalaya: our group stopped off at Shigatse, where I was hustled by an expert Tibetan snooker shark; Gyantse; and the Yamdrok Tso, or Turquoise Lake. I spent a few days both before and after Tibet in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, which was excellent; it broke my heart in recent years to see how Nepal descended into a state of violence and chaos as a result of the Maoist uprising and insurgency there. As with Kashmir, which I visited with my parents many moons ago, a beautiful country has been ruined by politics. I also did two trips on a sailing ship as a crewmember in my year out, in November 1992 and July 1993. It was a real rush crawling around in the upper reaches of the masts, and being bounced about on the turbulent waters of the North Sea and the English Channel. We would spend a few days at sea, then stop off at various ports, including Alderney, Guernsey, Calais, Middleberg (in Holland), Weymouth, and Poole. When I wasn’t hauling sails or chasing yetis, I was busy playing rugby with Diss, winning the Norfolk Cup in the 1992-3 season.

After this, I found myself starting at Southampton University, where I spent 3 years doing what students do. I studied Geography, was the Treasurer of my Hall of Residence Bar for two years, and took up boxing as well. I toured Canada with Diss RFC in 1994, during my first year at University. Eventually, the rugby had to go by the wayside as a result of 3 shoulder dislocations and a twisted knee, with operations on both.

Upon graduating, I did a 6 week stint working as a labourer in a grain plant in Eye, which earned me some cash. Just 3 days before my contract was due to expire, a certain Mr. Tony Lawrence called, to see if I’d be interested in helping out on the staff at a certain school in the Suffolk countryside. I had wanted to try my hand at teaching, and now found myself with an opportunity to do so, albeit as a Common Room dogsbody! So began a fantastic 2 years at Framlingham, seeing things from the other side of the staff common room door.

After leaving Framlingham for the second time, I worked for 6 months in a hotel near Diss, where I bumped into former Rendlesham man Tom Faulkner (R 96-98). That stint earned me some money, so that I could make a start on my flying career. In mid-1999, I passed the Fleet Air Arm’s pilot aptitude tests at RAF Cranwell, and then went on to pass the Royal Navy’s Admiralty Interview Board officer selection procedure. Although I had passed, the Navy had filled its pilot officer cadet places at Britannia Naval College for that year, and I was to resit the whole process 12 months on. However, by that time I would have been 26 that being the upper limit for Naval pilot cadets at the time. That was the end of my fighter pilot aspirations, unfortunately.

In November 1999, I started my ab-initio training for my Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence in Bournemouth and Florida. I had the misfortune to qualify just 10 days before the terrorist attacks of 9/11; as a result of this, aviation entered the worst recession in its history at the time of writing. I survived by getting my flying instructor’s rating, following training at Manston in Kent, and was a full-time instructor at Norwich airport for three-and-a-half years. I counted 2 OFs as students; Richard Gates (K 90-93) and Ryan Lewis (R 88-96). I also bumped into James Wilkinson (Z 93-98) in the Carphone Warehouse near Norwich Airport. Another one of my students was the father of Georgia Self (V 87-90).

In December 2005 I joined an airline as a first officer (i.e. co-pilot) flying the Jetstream 41 twin turboprop airliner. After training in Humberside and Washington DC, I was based in Norwich, Cardiff, and Durham Tees Valley airport near Middlesbrough, all within 9-10 months. I then spent 8 weeks in Basle, Switzerland, doing my training for the Saab 2000 twin turboprop airliner which I now fly for the same company. I’m now back in Norwich, flying regularly to Holland and Aberdeen, as well as doing charter work to places like Sardinia.

I keep in regular contact with Tom (K 86-92) and Tammy Wornham (nee Carlick) (V 88-94), Marcus Ward (S 85-92) and his sister Victoria (M 88-95), Andy Twite (R 84-92), Richard Dolan (G 87-92) , David Mayhew (R 87-92), and Sam Norton (Z 82-92). As far as my former colleagues at Fram are concerned, I have been in email contact with Tom Vignoles, and have also been seeing a lot of Xenia Horne, who herself was in recent phone conversation with Harry Mitchell (R 90-98), who is now a presenter with Radio Norfolk. Malcolm Todd has also threatened to have a pint with me one evening soon.

Simon Rolfe’s latest steed


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