OM Member Profiles

This is a community where you can share information about your life after Malsis - tell us where you have been and were you are now:  there are old friends out there who would love to find out and reconnect! Drop us an email here and we'll let them know! 

Sir Tom Normanton (1917-1997)

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:59 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:59 PM ]

At Malsis from 1929-31.  Went on to Manchester.G.S.  Rank of Major in the 2nd World War.  

MP for Cheadle from 1970-1987.  Member of European Parliament 1973-1979.   

His obituary stated that he was an improbable combination of the flamboyant, the phlegmatic and the industrious.  He was an industrialist of some distinction, above all in the textile industry.  He exhibited intense patriotism together with European idealism.  He was invited to present the prizes at Open Day in 1979, but Richard Francis took his place.

Tom Stobart OBE (1914-1980)

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:51 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:51 PM ]

1941. Set up the first Army film unit in India.  1949-1950. Part of an international expedition to Antarctica.  1951-1952. Filmed game in Africa (the film 'Below the Sahara' was produced as a result).  1953 Filmed the successful Everest Expedition.  1954 Led the Abominable Snowman Expedition.  1956 Shot while filming in Ethiopia - crippled, but continued his career.  Took to cooking and wrote a book on herbs and four other books, including one more on cooking and an autobiography.  

Won the Hubbard Medal and a BAFTA Certificate of Merit.  Nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Specialised Film.  Died in Sussex, England on a visit from his home in Majorca.

Sir Kenneth Robinson (1911-1996).

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:47 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:48 PM ]

Served as Minister of Health in Harold Wilson's first government from 1964-68 when the position was merged into the new title of Secretary of State for Social Services.  He was MP for St Pancras North.  He attended Malsis and Oundle, but had to leave the latter school at the age of 15 when his father died.  

He was commissioned in the Royal Navy and promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1944.  He retired from politics in 1970 and joined the  SDP.  He was Chairman of National Opera from 1972-1977; Chairman of Greater London Council's Transport Executive from 1975-1978; Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain 1977-1982 and was knighted in April 1983 for services to the Arts.

He revisited Malsis to present the prizes in 1979.  He had not been back since he left at the age of 13!

Lewis Alfred Booth - our only rugby international

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:41 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:41 PM ]

Lewis Alfred Booth, born in Horsforth in 1909, was killed in action on June 25th, 1942.  He is one of 16 boys on the stained glass windows in the Chapel.  He attended Malsis from 1920-22, the first years of the school's existence.

Lewis played on the wing for England seven times between 1933 and 1935, scoring three tries.  

He made his debut against Wales at Twickenham and concluded his international career against Scotland at Murrayfield.  His son Michael played for the same club, Headingley, and attended Malsis, as did his son Thomas.

Thomas (Tom) D Pinfold 1987-1982

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:34 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:34 PM ]

Tom was born on the Wirral. He is an archaeologist interested specially in things Roman in Britain and Northern Europe.  He has also studied as a military historian with interests from the Iron Age Celts to the Cold War.  He is currently a Public Relations Officer at the Royal Navy Reserve in Liverpool.

Tom Pinfold first came to public notice when working on "The Secrets of the Castle" project for Lion TV and the BBC.  He worked behind the scenes on "Victorian Farm" in 2007 and then, in his first foray up front on TV, he worked on "Tudor Monastery Farm"  in Sussex with Ruth Goodman and Peter Ginn.  They ran a farm exactly as it would have been run in 1500 and covered wool production, staple food of everyday Tudor life, Tudor hospitality, the end of monastic farming and recreated the celebration of the twelve days of Christmas on Tudor farms.

Nick Armstrong 1987-89

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:14 PM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Jun 5, 2016, 2:28 PM ]

From Colin Armstrong, who started the Forbidden Corner near Middleham.

'Nick was eleven years old and at the Inter-American school in Guayaquil.  He had passed an exam to gain admission to Malsis preparatory school near Keighley in Yorkshire, with the idea that he should progress to Sedbergh at thirteen......Time was beginning to hang heavy for Nick and me, as the first day of school drew near.  The dreaded day arrived on the 17th September.  We drove off from home.  It is an hour and a quarter's drive and the silence was oppressive before we were halfway there.  My cheerful 'You'll enjoy the rugby' or 'Only six weeks until we see you at half-term' did not have the desired effect.  We had visited the school with Ceci at the end of the previous term and met John Clark, the headmaster.  Nick had been shown round by two other boys and left them with a cheery 'See you next term'.  But that seemed an age away. Now it was for real....

Mark Ellison - 1975

posted Feb 28, 2016, 11:08 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 11:11 AM ]

Thank you for your invitation to share our memories of Malsis. The closing of the school is a very sad development indeed. I have always thought of Malsis under Mr. Clark as one of the finest Prep Schools in England, and no matter what schools and Universities I have been to since, that view has never changed. 
I did hope that somehow Malsis could be re-opened as the great educational institution it always was.  We still feel so proud of the Prep School we went to.

I first went to Malsis in the autumn of 1975, and to be quite frank it was one heck of a culture shock. My family lived close by just a few miles above the next village Cowling. I was eleven years old and had just finished at Cowling Primary School. Two years earlier my middle sister had gone to the local comprehensive in Cross Hills, and let's just say her experience there highly motivated my parents to send me to Malsis instead.  Cowling Primary School and Malsis were worlds apart, and my knowledge was a long way behind in many subjects. Just a few weeks into my first term I was kindly told by a class mate that I would never do well in academics at Malsis. For the next couple of weeks I felt very home sick. It was during that time that I saw a form on the notice board on which we could sign up to run in the Embsay Crag Race just outside Skipton. I had come second in the race around the field on Sports Day at Cowling Primary, and I had sometimes gone for runs around my Father's farm, and it felt like something I might do quite well at.......

JOHN PIPER. 1903-1992

posted Feb 28, 2016, 10:51 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 11:11 AM ]

John Piper was one of the most versatile English artists of the last century, a master of mediums including painting in oil and watercolour, theatrical design, book illustration, stained glass and tapestry.  Above all he is recognized for his printmaking and is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding printmakers of his generation.

Piper absorbed the principles of abstraction, surrealism, cubism and Pop Art and was able to combine them with his knowledge of Romanesque carving and stained glass.

Piper was appointed Official War Artist during the Second World War, his documentation of the destruction and devastation of war time bombing captivated the nation's attention and secured its affection.  After the war Piper continued to concentrate on Britain's landscape and architecture, capturing in both writing and painting the country's romantic heritage.

Piper died aged 89 after a long and distinguished artistic career and, although during his lifetime he achieved immense popularity, it was only after his death that demand for his work soared and he received a new level of critical acclaim, becoming highly collectable. His works are held in national collections including the Tate Gallery, the V and A and the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art.

It was in 1950 that he began working in stained glass in partnership with Patrick Reyntiens, whom he had met through John Betjeman.  Their first completed commission, for the chapel at Oundle School, led to Basil Spence commissioning them to design the Baptistry window for the new Coventry Cathedral.  There are 195 panes in this window.  It was this combination of course which produced the Malsis Chapel windows, dedicated by Archbishop Coggan in 1963.

John Clark writes:

I thought in view of the superb memorial windows in the Chapel dedicated to 16 Old Boys and one master (Eric Brown) designed by John Piper, the website should have something about this talented artist.  JDC

Alistair Humphreys 1990

posted Feb 28, 2016, 10:43 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 11:11 AM ]

From the Craven Herald 'The History Pages 21/01/16

Welcome home Alastair!

I am delighted to read about some of Alastair Humphreys' exploits on his four-year bike(s) ride around the world!

I believe that Alastair's wanderlust began at Malsis School in Crosshills in 1990 when, under the direction of Norman Rowbotham, a walking group of nine set off to climb the National Three Peaks in under 24 hours. In later years David Humphreys (Alastair's father) jokingly laid the blame for his son's exploits on us, his teachers, for his first of many challenges!

Our target was to raise money for The Candlelighters Charity. The team raised over £7,200 in sponsorship.

The team consisted of three Malsis boys (Alastair Humphreys, Simon Kavanagh and James Woodman), three former Malsis pupils (Simon Beaufoy, Richard Clark and Craig Carroll) and three members of staff (Tony Carroll, Derek Hannam [friend of Malsis] and Ian Lewis). We had a magnificent support team to drive us to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis, England (Scafell) and Wales (Snowdon). Snow in Scotland, sunrise from Scafell and rain and very strong wind on Snowdon. It took two of us to drag the boys against the headwind through the tunnel under the miniature railway!

We all achieved our target with minutes to spare on 24th June 1990.

Happy memories!

Tony Carroll, 'Limestones' The Mains, Giggleswick BD240AX

B.C. Gadney (1909-2000)

posted Jan 22, 2016, 4:38 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 10:34 AM ]

Bernard Gadney - England
B.C. Gadney (1909-2000). Headmaster of Malsis 1938-1962. Educated at the Dragon School, Oxford and Stowe, where he shared a room with the actor David Niven.

He began the move that culminated in Obolensky's great try against the All Blacks in 1936.  He was an outstanding scrum half for England in the 1930's, winning 14 international caps and captaining the side eight times.  Under him, England won the Triple Crown in 1934 and beat New Zealand for the first time in 1936.  Much of Gadney's authority on the field came from his height of 6ft 2 inches.  He was a ferocious tackler and an early proponent of the reverse pass.

 He started teaching at Winchester House School, Brackley and played for Leicester Tigers from 1929.  He played 170 games for them, scoring 63 tries and 189 points when a try was worth only three points.  His debut for England was against Ireland in 1932.  He also captained the Barbarians and led a successful British Lions tour to Argentina when all ten games were won with Obolensky scoring 17 tries.


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