Great Lives - Achievements of Distinguished Malsis Old Boys

Sir Kenneth Robinson (1911-1996).

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!


Tom Stobart OBE (1914-1980)

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 on a visit from his home in Majorca.


Sir Tom Normanton (1917-1997)

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.


Sir Richard T L Francis

At Malsis from 1942-1947, before moving on to Uppingham.  After being Director of the BBC, where he was involved in much controversy, Dick, as he was known, was for five years Director General of the British Council.  This job suited him so well because of his interest in world affairs, wide cultural sympathies and administrative talent.  He was strongly committed to the promotion of the English language and was enthusiastic for the representation abroad of the best of British art and literature. He presented the prizes on Open Day in 1979.  He died in 2011. (A separate item is to appear on our website featuring Sit Richard Francis, The British Council and English as a Foreign Language.)


A C Charlesworth

At Malsis 1955-1960.  Chris started as a journalist in Bradford, wrote for Melody Maker from 1970-77 and was US editor from 1973 based in New York.  During this time he interviewed John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees and many other well known musicians.  He has written books about David Bowie, Elton John and The Complete Guide to the Music of "The Who" and Paul Simon.  Another title of his is Twenty Five Albums that Rocked the World.  He has also been Editor-in-Chief of Omnibus Press for many years, the world's largest exclusive publisher of books about rock, pop and other forms of music.  He employed Mary McCartney, Paul's eldest daughter, as his personal assistant.  He also originated and commissioned the first ever history of rock music and allied youth culture within the Soviet Union and arranged for the author, a Russian citizen, to visit the UK to promote the work.


J Martin Taylor

born 1952 in Burnley.  At Malsis from 1959 until he won the Top Scholarship to Eton College.  He later went on to Oxford University.  He speaks over ten languages.

He joined Reuters as a journalist in 1974 before moving to the Financial Times in 1978, where he edited the paper's Lex column.  In 1984 he joined the board of Courtaulds, becoming Chief Executive of Courtaulds Textiles by 1990.

He became Chief Executive of Barclays in 1994, remaining there until 1998.  He joined the board at W H Smith in 1999, becoming Chief Executive before departing in 2003.  He was a member of the U.K. Parliament select committee for Science and Technology for five years.  He also joined the Institute for Public Policy Research and compiled their 2001 Commission on Public/Private Partnerships report.  He was Secretary General of the Bilderberg Group for a number of years.

He is now Vice Chairman of the board of RTL Group and was formerly Chairman of Syngenta AG and of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.  He was an international adviser to Goldman Sachs until 2005.  He was appointed to the Bank of England Financial Policy Committee in March, 2013.  In 2012, in an interview on the BBC Radio Four's Today programme, he said that Barclay's had a major job to rebuild its reputation after its "systematic dishonesty" over interest rate fixing.

He presented the prizes at the Malsis Open Day in 1990.


John Pawson. 

Born in Halifax in 1949.  Went from Malsis to Eton College.  Author and Architectural Designer.  His work is known for its minimalist aesthetic nature.  After time in Japan, he enrolled at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to set up on his own in 1981.  His projects have included the Sackler Crossing over the lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a flagship store for Calvin Klein, ballet sets, yacht interiors and a new Cistercian monastery in Bohemia.  An exhibition of his work was held at the Design Museum in 2010.  Awards have included Blueprint Architect of the year 2005, RSA Royal Designer for Industry 2005, Wallpaper House of the Year 2006, RIBA National Award 2008, RIBA Arts and Leisure Regional Award 2008, RIBA London Special Award 2008, German Design Council Interior Designer of the Year 2014 and two other awards.  He has also written a book.


Roger F Malina BSc, Ph.D,

Born in 1950, Roger was at Malsis in the late fifties and early sixties before moving on to Oundle.  He is a physicist and astronomer and Executive Editor of Leonardo Publications and M I T Press.  He is professor of arts and technology and professor of physics at the University of Texas in Dallas.  He is also a Directeur de Recherche of the C N R S at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille.  His recent work focuses on connections between science and art.

He is the son of the late Frank Malina, research engineer in rocket propulsion, first director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, kinetic artist and founder of Leonardo Journal.  His mother was Marjorie - nee Duckworth - of Elslack near Skipton.


Richard Hawley

Richard was born in 1953. Malsis 1963-1968, Sedbergh and Bradford GS.

Actor, Write and Producer/Director

Coronation Street with Sue Johnston, June Whitfield, Claire King ( whose grandfather Leslie Wilson was Chairman of Governors of Malsis), Nigel Havers, Gwen Taylor and Michelle Collins.

DI Richard Haskins in the crime drama TV series Prime Suspect (1991-1995) with Helen Mirren; Red in Paper Marriage (film - 1992); Sexton in Captives (film - 1994); Mark Wildgoose in Dalziel and Pascoe (TV - 1997-1998);  English teacher in Get Real (film - 1999); Heath in Dangerfield; Marcus York in New Tricks ( TV - 2003); Morris Cubitt in Endeavour (2013); Peter Yardley in Hotel Babylon; an NCO in Downton Abbey; Robert Baudin in The Musketeers (2014); Will Green in Midsomer Murders; Family Affairs (TV soap); 2015 joined the cast of Coronation Street to play Aidan Connor's father Johnny with Faye Brookes joining at the same time to play Aidan's sister.

Richard wrote the film version of Jane Eyre in 1997.  He wrote the film Mother's Boy in 1994 and the film Cotton Mary in 2000.  He was Executive producer of the film A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries in 1998 and of The Golden Bowl in 2001; produced The Mystic Masseur in 2002; produced the 2005 film Heights, co-produced the film Le Divorce in 2003 and the film White Countess in 2005, the film The City of Your Final Destination in 2010,


MBF (Mike) Smart

Mike was at Malsis from 1957 to 1961 and was presenter of 'Look North' in Leeds for many years, then moved to Scotland for three years where he was the BBC News Scottish Correspondent.  He then  became a Special Correspondent for the BBC News in London, occasionally reading the national news.


David Cutter

David was born 1962 (Malsis and Rugby)  He represented Wales 51 times at hockey as well as Yorkshire when they won the County Championship in 1985.  He trained with the GB squad for the Los Angeles Olympics.  He studied economics at Durham University and is a trained accountant.  He is Group Chief Executive of Skipton Building Society, Chairman of the Executive and Retail Credit Committees and a member of the Asset and Liability Committee.  He is also Chairman of the Building Societies Association and a Trustee of the Craven Educational Trust.


He was a Governor of Malsis.


James Whitaker

James was born in 1962.  Malsis (Head of School) and Uppingham. Played county cricket for Leicestershire from 1983-1999.  Captain 1996-1999.  One Test cap v Australia 1986.  One day international caps v India and Pakistan.  Scored 38 centuries and 80 half-centuries.  Top score 218. Career batting average 38.56.  Total runs scored 17,198.  In 1986 he was the leading English batsman in the national batting averages, scoring 1,526 runs at 66 apiece.

Coach/Director of Leicestershire cricket until 2005.  National Test selector from 2008.  Chairman of Selectors from 2013.


Simon R Beaufoy

Simon was born in 1966.  Malsis (left 1980), Ermysted's Grammar  School and Sedbergh

Films:  Yellow (1996), The Full Monty (1997), Among Giants (1998), Closer (1998), The Darkest Light (1999), Blow Dry (2001), Yasmin (2004), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day (2008), 127 Hours (2010), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Everest (2015).Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay (Full Monty); won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay/Golden Globe/BAFTA award ((Slumdog Millionaire).

New adaptation of The Full Monty as a stage play.  In March, 2014 Spanner Films announced that Simon will be one of the writers for "Undercovers", a TV drama series about the undercover police officers who spied on activists and the women who unknowingly had long term relationships and even children with the spies.


Alexander M Clarke

Alexander was born in 1968.  Malsis (1978-1982). - music scholar to Shrewsbury, where he wrote several compositions for their Community Choir and a carol written for Christmas. 1985 won a National Carol competition and was performed also by Sheffield Philharmonic choir in a Gala Concert.  He arranged and composed for the school play Lark Rise and for a Shrewsbury Theatre production of Brecht's Man is Man.  He was commissioned to write a Rock Mass and Rock Requiem for use in the school chapel.  He studied composition music at York University and then went to the University of California in Los Angeles, having won a Scholarship to do so.  He wrote his first piano pieces when 7 years old.  Was a Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral School.  Lives in the Lake District where he composes piano and instrumental music and songs for projects in schools across Cumbria.  He has run projects in over 20 Primary Schools in this area.


Julian (Jules) Lines

Julian was born in 1968.  Malsis (1976-1982) and Gordonstoun.  Julian climbs solo without ropes.  He published his autobiography in 2014, entitled Tears of the Dawn (won the Boardman Tasker Prize for this).  He completed all the Munroes whilst still at school, starting when he was at Malsis.

He stars in Alastair Lee's Brit Rock film tour.  In 2013 a video appeared of a little-known climber (Jules!) falling off Hold Fast, Hold True in Glen Nevis (an E10).  It caused jaws to drop on the web!  All alone and pad less he plummets from a terrible height, drops catlike to the ground and then casually dusts himself off.  His unofficial title in Scottish climbing circles is 'The Dark Horse'.


Mark J R Umbers

Mark was born in 1973. Malsis (1981-86 Arts Award), Sedbergh and Oxford

Actor and Writer.  Elliot in the Student Prince (TV Movie - 1997); Male Student in Silent Witness (TV Series); Sidney Chambers in Berkeley Square (TV Mini Series), Nick Worthington in Casualty (TV Series). all in 1998; David Webster in The Bill and Simon in Trust (1999); Lord Sidney in The Scarlet Pimpernel (TV Mini Series - 2000); Solanio in Masterpiece Classic ( TV Series - 2001); Rex Talbot in Foyles's War (TV Series - 2003); Robert Windermere in A Good Woman (film  - 2004);  Perkin Warbeck in Princes in the Tower (TV Movie - 2005); Douglas Middleton in These Foolish Things (film - 2005); Lt Robert Maynard in Blackbeard (TV Mini series - 2006); Jimbo Brady in Heartbeat (TV series - 2007); Harry Fitzroy/Neville Williams in Midsomer Murders (TV Series - 2004-2008); James Davison in Harley Street (TV series - 2008); Dan Tate in Mistresses and Master in Turn of the Screw ( TV series and TV movie - 2009); Major John Parker in Eternal Law (TV series - 2012); Franklin Shepard in Merrily We Roll Along - 2013; Nick Lucas in Home Fires (TV series - 2015).



Alastair Humphreys

Alastair was born in 1976.  (Malsis - 1985-1990 - and Shrewsbury) Adventurer, blogger, author and motivational speaker.  His expeditions have included cycling round the world (40,000 miles over 4 years and 3 months, completed in 2005, a  journey which raised funds and awareness for a charity called Hope and Homes for Children), Marathon des Sables (150 miles across the Sahara in 2008), rowing the English Channel with Major Phil Packer to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes (2009), walking across India (2009), walking and pack rafting across Iceland (2010), rowing with three others across the Atlantic (45 days and 15 hours at sea). Named as National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for his pioneering work on the concept of micro adventures (2012). A micro adventure is an adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short and yet very effective.  He has so far written eight books about his adventures. He released his first documentary film "Into the Empty Quarter" in 2013.  It was premiered at the Royal Geographical Society, London in November, 2013.

At Malsis he completed Yorkshire's Three Peaks at the age of eight and the National Three Peaks inside 24 hours at the age of 13.  Then at 14 he cycled off-road across England.


Sam Riley

Sam was born in 1986.  Malsis and Uppingham - Actor and Singer - Ian Curtis in Control - British Independent Film Award for "Most Promising Newcomer", BAFTA Rising Star nomination.

Gerald McMorrow in British Science fiction film Franklyn; Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock film (2011) alongside Dame Helen Mirren (nominated for Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor); Sal Paradise in On the Road; Darvell in Byzantium (alongside Gemma Arterton - 2012); Diaval in Maleficent (alongside Angelina Jolie - released 2014).

Modelled for Burberry's 2008 publicity campaign.  One of GQ's best dressed British men in 2015. 

Mr D'Arcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016 - post production; to be released in 2016); filming Free Fire in 2016.