The Old Almondburians' Society
OAS Written Archive
Written archive 1969 - present

The Written Archive summarises, in their own words, the careers and other activities of former pupils of King James ’s School. If you would like us to add YOUR details, please click here.
Jeremy Meal (1969-1976)
I am now Director Smart Card and Ticketing Strategies for MVA Consultancy ( and continuing to pursue my transport interests for which I was known at school. I have just helped Department for Transport conclude tests that should allow smart cards for National Concessions to be rolled out to 9 million eligible over 60 and disabled persons by Spring 2008 by local authorities. I married Ruth in 1983 and daughter Susie graduated in Music at Salford last summer and son Richard has just started at Bristol studying Computer Science.

David Richard Stead (1969-1974)
Left in 1974 and served an apprenticeship with British Gas, handing my notice in the day I passed my City & Guilds. Started as an insurance agent the next day where I remained for 22 years. Gained a few promotions along the way until along with over 2000 others was made redundant. During this 22 year period, I served as a Special Constable for 5 years, owned a newsagents shop in Almondbury for 6 years, created the largest introduction agency in the North of England and played drums semi-pro with various groups, supporting Shawaddy Waddy on numerous occasions, amongst others. Upon leaving financial services I started an interior landscaping business, importing tropical plants and supplying them to hotels and offices etc mainly in the South Yorkshire area. We have two fantastic children, Amanda who is studying Ceramics at Wolverhampton University and Roberts who is at Greenhead College considering a career in Drama and Music ……..well drumming!!

John Graham Lawton (1970-1977)
After leaving school, I started work as a wages clerk at Hanson Haulage on Leeds Road, Huddersfield. After 1 year of wages, accounts and dipping the diesel tanks – no fancy fuel gauges here, I left for Kirklees MC as a wages clerk. At this time I was studying Cost & Management Accountancy, but it was not for me. So a lucky break occurred and I was offered a job working in IT. After starting as a junior programmer, I have risen through the ranks to become Production Manager. My role now is non technical, but developing IT strategies and being an active member of the IT management team.

Michael Anthony Lee (1971-1978)
Married for almost 20 years I have two sons and a very patient wife. I have worked in scientific sales for 24 years and am also a humour author of three books. Written In Jest (forward by Michael Palin), Wanted: One Freudian Slip, Nothing To Complain About. I live in Huddersfield and spend any spare time outside of work and family running, writing and gardening. When the occasion presents itself I provide after dinner and motivational talks. I play the guitar very, very badly and am now bald!

Iain Wilson (1972-1977)
Leaving KJGS I started a son-follows-father apprenticeship at David Browns Gears Lockwood. Destiny was to provide an opportunity to continue engineering with the Royal Air Force where I served for 23 years within Engineering and Education Branches. During this time I married my best friend Edwina and we have nurtured a smashing son, Nathan, now 18. I met up with other Old Almonburians during my service, John Anderson (he was ‘A’; I was ‘Alpha’ at school) and Craig Bones who was at KJGS as it turned into a College and moved up into the middle school.

I left The Royal Air Force to work as head of Learning and Development for a large food manufacturer in East Anglia leaving there in 2007. Since then and to date I work within my own Company - Cascade Learning & Development Ltd - running team and leadership development solutions throughout Great Britain.

Pat Reid (1975-1997)
I now live in Ilkley where I can regularly be found walking with my energetic Labrador on the moors. Since my retirement I have added the hobby of painting to my many other activities. In order to keep my mind active I embarked upon a MA course in Victorian Studies and completed it successfully this year. Currently I am doing some work on the school archives, hoping that they will be in good order for 2008. What memories as I look at photo ’s or read through the detention book!

Margaret Ballard (nee Edwards) (1976-1981)
Worked in Reading as a computer manager for a small company after leaving Reading University. Now live in Southampton with two young children, Louise (6) and Richard (4) and married (happily) to Steve. Also have one hairy dog Honey. Miss the views and hills of Huddersfield, but enjoy the warmth and sun down here. Have just purchased a yacht, so will probably get cold and wet.

JANET PAMMENT (1976-1979)
After the disappointment of discovering I was 2" too short to join the Police, I kicked about doing various mundane Admin Jobs as my Careers Officer had strongly hinted that I was a girl and I could type! 1 x marriage, 2 x sons
(Tom 19 and Alex 17) and 1 x divorce later, I'm now working as Careers/Connexions PA seconded to the Huddersfield Youth Offending Team. I moved from Lepton in 1984 and still live in Holmfirth. Still close with Dawn Hepplestone and after 31 years of friendship we had our first holiday together this year. Not entirely sure Portugese got our humour though!

Mark Earnshaw (1977-1978)
Married to Janet, 2 boys aged 9 and 11. Still playing cricket at Almondbury and badminton for Kirkburton, who are based at the school. Played football for the Almondburians for 25 years, with an odd season break. Working as a sales director of PTS, a large plumbing distributor based in Lutterworth. Job takes me around the country, but still live in Thongsbridge where we have lived for 10 years after making the big move from Almondbury!

NICOLA RAMSDEN (1977-1980)
Having left King James's School in 1980 I continued studying at Greenhead College for 1 year before beginning a career in retail locally; then since the birth of my 3 children from 1988-1994 I worked part time firstly in retail then in school catering & cleaning dept. In 1999 I returned to King James's School to work as catering assitant in the Dining Room then in early 2000 transfered my skills to the classroom as Teaching Assistant for special needs pupils for 6 years in total.

I am pleased to say that at present I am still working at my former school, King James's but have recently switched my role and am now employed as reprographics & administration officer based in Dorm 4 above the Old Dining Hall. I truly enjoy my role especially as I am located in my former form room.

It's such a pleasure to still be a part of King James's and I can truly say I very much feel at home there and however long it has been since being a former pupil I often feel like I'm still a student ....... having to remind myself I no longer have to call my former form tutor (Mr O'Brien) Sir!

Mark Andrew Waring (1977-1982)
After school studied Chemistry at Newcastle. After graduating with a PhD worked in Canterbury at UKC. Met my partner Rachel at UKC. Moved to Cardiff in 1990 to work in radioactive manufacturing, I am still there although we are now part of G.E. Healthcare. I played football and cricket until the legs gave up. Now concentrate on golf and hope to get to the Gothard Cup one day. Lucky enough to see Town at the Millenium Stadium along with Almondburians Ian Daffern and Chris Dennis.

Ruth Ainley (1979-1984)
Recently returned from the US where resided for the past 14 years. Now living in East Yorkshire. Market manager for European Division of Kay Chemical. Married to Andy, 3 children (8,5and6months) Hannah, Luke and May. Looking forward to a reunion of fellow KJS classmates at the 400th anniversary dinner!

Tina Roberts (nee Hinchliffe) (1982-1986)
Since leaving the school in 1986, I married a fellow Old Almondburian in 1991. We have one daughter who started at King James ’s this year. For the last five years I have been working as a bus driver, which I really enjoy.

Left KJS in 1987 with little but good memories to show for it. Survived in retail for the following years with long breaks in Southern Europe until becoming aware of the importance of a sound education. Entered University of Portsmouth through Access (the easy and only option) to complete a Degree in International Trade with Spanish and Italian, miraculously finishing with an Upper Second! Still not sure what to do in life, I spent two years living out of a rucksack travelling the world, then decided that a return to the States would be the best option. I spent the next five years in Miami, South Florida where I dabbled in finance and finished as a teacher of Spanish at Stranahan High , an inner-city school in Fort Lauderdale. Met my wife and started a family (daughter Mia).  Returned to Huddersfield to train at Castle Hall, Mirfield to become qualified Language teacher. For the last three years I have been working as a Spanish/Italian/French teacher at Hornsea Language College. Still enjoy a spot of fishing, playing the guitar and nice long breaks in Spain.

Andy Rigate (1984-1988)
I am married with two children. I have been working for the same company for 17 years! J.L.A. are the largest supplier of commercial laundry and laundrette equipment in the world. I has been in sales for over 10 years before becoming the company buyer. I enjoy hill walking, gardening and watching Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield RUFC.

Helen Bates (1990-1995)
Having left KJS in 1995, I attended Greenhead College and then continued my studies at Oxford University, from where I graduated with a Maths degree in 2000. I then moved to London and worked at the Investment Bank, JP Morgan for almost six years, in a trading floor role selling derivatives. During my time at JPM I also met my husband Niall and we were married in Huddersfield in April 2005. In 2006 we both gave up our city jobs and spent six months travelling the world before moving to start a new life in the South of France. We have now lived in Cannes for almost a year, setting up a property rental company. We have bought, renovated and now rent apartments in the centre of the town for holidays and conferences. We have a website at I get back to Huddersfield two or three times a year to follow the fortunes (mis) of ‘Town’ from afar.

Abigail Stahelin-Hall (1991-1996)
After leaving KJS in 1996. I studied at Greenhead College. I then spent two years in the world of work before attending Roehampton University in Surrey, where I gained a degree in Humanities. I then spent some time travelling around the west coast of Canada and America, a beautiful and amazing part of the world. Then it was back to university, this time in Huddersfield to do my teacher training. I met my husband on a school trip and spent some time in his home country – Australia, when my training was complete. I now teach History at Colne Valley High School and married in May of last year.

Andrew Hudson (1998-2003)
Since leaving KJS, I attended Greenhead College gaining A-Levels in Psychology, Modern History, PE & General Studies. I am currently employed by Wheawill & Sudworth Chartered Accountants and am working towards my Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification.

Duncan Ewart (2002-2007)
I left school last year and am currently enjoying my free year of OAS membership but would like to continue thereafter. I attended the OAS dinner for the second time in November and had a great night. I am a student at Greenhead College but still feel strong bonds with the school and history and feel the OAS is the best way to keep contact. I hope to be a member for as long as possible. Floreat Schola.

Joe Johnsey (2002-2007)
I am now studying A Levels at Greenhead College and attending a F.A. level at the Galpharm Stadium. I have a weekend job at the Beaumont Arms.