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On Saturday 5 December, Enfield Grammar School hosted a special 30th anniversary commemoration for Old Boy Kim Mathews, who was the sole British victim in the JL123 plane accident in Japan in 1985. A number of Kim’s relatives and friends, as well as a few local residents, gathered together in music room C12 at Enfield Grammar Lower School on 5 December to listen to speeches, live music, and recorded music and to watch a commemorative plaque (pictured above) be officially unveiled by headmaster John Kerr.

In addition to the unveiling of the plaque, the event also included some speeches by Kim’s father Peter Mathews and by Enfield Grammar Old Boy Ralph Silverman - who is an old friend of Kim’s from Enfield Grammar and currently the headmaster of nearby Honilands primary school in Enfield. There was also some live music from Kim’s former bandmates, Terry Etheridge and Les Cole, as well as Kim’s old friend Julia Findon. Julia Findon played a trumpet-keyboards duet together with her husband Andy Findon - a renowned flute player who has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder and The Beach Boys and who performed at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony with Mike Oldfield.

In addition, messages were sent by Steve Perryman MBE, Joan Ryan MP, Ian Mitchell (former member of the Bay City Rollers), and Ian Telfer (former manager of the Marquee Club) and these messages were read out/displayed during the event.

Kim Mathews was a pupil at Enfield Grammar School between 1971-1975 and represented the school at both football and cricket. In particular, he was a talented musician and played bass guitar and sang for the North London bands Saros and Terry Vision & The Screens - the latter of which played regularly at the famous Marquee Club in London during the early 1980s.

Sadly, on 12 August 1985, Kim died together with his fiancée Masako Nishiguchi in a JAL plane that crashed in Gunma, Japan, after taking off from Tokyo on a flight headed towards Osaka. The plane crash was an accident and is still the world’s worst ever single plane crash in terms of the total number of fatalities. 520 people died in the plane crash in total.  

In addition to the music and speeches at the event on Saturday, a Fender CD-60 acoustic guitar was donated by Kim’s father Peter Mathews, on behalf of the group of attendees, to the school, in the hope that future Enfield Grammar pupils might feel inspired to learn the guitar, just like Kim Mathews did all those years ago.

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An Old Boys XI, captained by Jack Plumb (Enfield CC) won a close match with the school 1st XI. OBs from a number of local clubs were represented including Enfield, Winchmore Hill and North Enfield.

Also, on 25th June, the school put up valiant performance against a strong MCC XI who included Old Boy and former Middlesex and Somerset professional Aaron Laraman. Some of the ‘spirit of cricket’ could be said to be lacking as the MCC compiled well north of 250 and then bowled the school out for a just under 70. Nevertheless, the sun shone and the school laid on a very good lunch and tea for players and spectators. Please consider supporting it next year - a very pleasant afternoon.

Oliver Pike, Pioneer Wildlife Photographer 

Southgate District Civic Trust and Enfield Grammar School are combining to place a local blue plaque on the house where pioneer wildlife photographer Oliver Pike (1877-1963) lived with his family from 1882 to 1914, 96 Green Dragon Lane in Winchmore Hill, which was the location for his early natural history photographs and books. The plaque will be unveiled on 16 November 2014 at 2pm by two of Oliver Pikes grandsons, Jonathan and Richard Dollimore. 

Oliver Pike was probably the first professional wildlife photographer and pioneered the development of equipment and techniques in both still images and cine-film. Many of his films are held in the British Film Institute National Archive and more information can be found at www.olivergpike.info and in a booklet just published by the Trust, Oliver Pike: Birdman of Winchmore Hill.   

In the course of his work Oliver Pike lectured and showed his films locally as well as travelling all over the country to photograph birds, often in arduous conditions. He campaigned for the welfare and care of wild creatures and his continuing influence is still felt today in the fields of conservation and protection, Sir David Attenborough regarding him as a “pioneering figure”.