Alumni News

We are delighted to share the following news of our alumni. Please get in touch ( if you would like to include an update in the next issue. Alumni are noted with their course and year of matriculation.


Christine Andrews née Harbottle (Certificate of Education, 1947) writes. ‘I am now rising 95, and this September it will be 66 years since I arrived at Homerton.  Little did I know that Audrey Vivan (née Cowan) was on the same train and we were both travelling from Newcastle on the difficult journey to Cambridge.  We changed at Peterborough and again at March or Ely. I am still in touch with Celia Clement Smith (née Hessian).

I had a bad fall last Christmas and spent Christmas and New Year in Kingston Hospital!  I have recovered but it has slowed me down.  Fortunately, I have wonderful children who support Michael and myself.  As a result, our life is not very adventurous, but we have a lovely house and garden which, when the sun shines, we can use.  Not a good summer this year.

I read a lot and belong to the Cambridge University Book Club, and a local one too, so I get a variety of books which certainly broaden my reading.  I also get research news from the University once a week which is very interesting to read.  So, a rather housebound life but reasonably fit, and at least Michael and I have both got our brains although remembering names is hard, thank goodness for the internet so we can always look things up.  Getting old is no joke but as a letter in the Guardian said last week, ‘better that than the alternative!’

Homerton Wessex Group

Vicki Addey (née Sutherland) (BEd Education, 1978) writes, ‘Homerton Wessex Group gathered at The Lime Kiln Inn, Langport, Somerset, on 20th May 2023. We were a small but select group, in a private dining room – with a break-away group of 3 partners and 2 dogs in the bar!

As always, the conversation was lively and interesting, new connections and links were discovered amongst members and the afternoon passed extremely quickly. If anyone in the area (from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire etc) would be interested in future events please contact Vicki Addey (née Sutherland, 1978-82)

Jo Hindley, daughter of David Hindley former Head of Music at Homerton, has launched a website about her father, who died in 2018:

David Hindley – A man who wrote birdsong is both a tribute to, and celebration of, his life and work.


Shirley Haslam née Jefferies (Certificate of Education, 1952)

At almost 90 years of age, Shirley is still driving, singing in a choir, holidaying abroad and is a member of the Cambridge Society of York, although retired from the Committee.  She is still in touch with two friends made during her time at Homerton.


Christine Purkiss (BED Education, 1964) published her second adult novel in May 2023.  ‘Betrayal’ is set in the late 1700s, and is described by the historical novel society as ‘Georgian fiction at its finest’ and is highly recommended.

Christine says, ‘I think my teachers at Homerton; Mrs Brewer, Mrs Knight, would be surprised and pleased! I am so lucky to count my wonderful Homerton friends as my greatest supporters. We have always been, and remain, the firmest of friends: known in our Homerton days as Kate Ralphs, Janet Philips, Veronica Needham, Carolyn Kitcher, Beth Brigden, Theresa Green, and Elsa Moir’.


Rachel Barnett (BEd Education with Geography, 1991) writes, ‘This year has been hectic, with a long-held dream, and years of hard work, coming to fruition with the publication of two of my commercial women’s fiction novels by Embla Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK.

Set on a luxury yacht, and following the lives of crew and guests alike, ‘A Summer on the Riviera’ was published in May, and held an Amazon bestseller flag for the best part of four months (another lifelong ambition…tick!).

And October saw the launch of ‘Starlight at Snow Pine Lodge’, following a week in the lives of a group of friends when a restorative festive holiday in a glamorous ski lodge turns into a trip which will change all of their lives.

Currently I’m writing a third novel for Embla, this one set in a beautiful Loire Valley chateau and due for publication early next summer (so deadlines are looming large…) and I have plenty more ideas up my sleeve, so watch this space!’

Rachel Barnett Alumni - and Author
Rachel Barnett
Rachel Barnett Books

Jonathan Toye (PGCE Education, 1986) gives an account of his love of croquet. ‘When I arrived at Homerton for my PGCE in French and English/Drama in 1986 I was invited to get croquet going on the basis of having played a bit in the garden with my Dad. A set of ancient, wobbly mallets and battered hoops and balls were found in a dusty cupboard and I set them out on a sloping area near Queen’s Building and invited fellow students to join in. A visit from Andrew Gregory, from King’s, triggered a realisation that croquet was actually a seriously competitive sport and a series of matches with other colleges, on widely varying lawns, followed. Cuppers led to umpteen pairs of us having lots of fun and when I returned to real life in 1987, as well as a teaching qualification, I carried a love of croquet back with me to Downham Market.

We started playing in the summer on the side of the football pitch then moved down the road to the beautiful gardens of Stow Hall in Stow Bardolph, a mile out of town, where we have been ever since. 

I have played croquet all over the world and made great friends wherever we play. It’s one of the few totally amateur, international sports, so you have the chance to meet and play with world champions and have a drink and chat afterwards. It’s a great leveller, men and women, with or without disabilities, all play competitively and socially together’.

Jonathan Toye at Downham Croquet Club
Jonathan Toye at Downham Croquet Club


Jonathan Brough (BEd English, 1992) has now retired from full-time teaching and is now writing for children, travelling and inspecting with ISI.

Hannah Langdon (née Reynolds) (BEd Education with Dram, 1996) Hannah has signed a publishing contract with Storm Publishing for three novels, the first of which will be published in November 2023, called ‘Christmas with the Lords’.  She is Assistant Head at Unicorn School in Richmond.

Kevin Mulryne (BEd Music and Education, 1991) has published his first book, ‘Yes – The Tormato Story.’ Since graduating in 1993, Kevin has been a primary class teacher, an e-learning consultant and now works for the DfE.  In 2011 he started a weekly podcast about the progressive rock band ‘Yes’ which now totals 585 episodes.

Dr Susanna Pinkus

BED Education, 1992

More Than Thirty Years On

Dr Susanna Pinkus recalls her years as an undergraduate at Homerton.  ‘As a new term approaches once more, I can hardly believe that 34 years will have passed since that first autumnal drive up to Cambridge.

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Harry Burke (BA Classics, 2016) writing under the pen name of Harry Bonelle, will be publishing his first book in January 2024 entitled Tristan/Yseult.  A narrative open about the yearning for oneness in a world split into fragments. Tristan/Yseult received the following review from actor, Simon Callow, ‘Harry Bonelle’s new version taps into the dark and furious energy of the old saga, surging and juddering with life….’

Dr David Kraft (PGCE Education with Music, 2001) has successfully completed a two year Presidency at the School of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine.  David has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine for the past 22 years.

Anna Szulfer (BA Human, Social and Political Sciences, 2015) published her debut novel, A Reverie Tale, in August 2023, the first in a fantasy series aimed at young adults. Having worked as a field archaeologist since completing her MA at the University of East Anglia in 2019, she has now returned to the UEA to work on a PhD project investigating museum collections of Andean objects. 

Anna Szulfer
Anna Szulfer published her debut novel, A Reverie Tale

Dr Richard Kueh (BA Theology & Religious Studies, 2003) was appointed Deputy Director of Ofsted and national subject lead for Religious Education, earlier in 2023.

Jade Cuttle (BA Modern and Medieval Languages, 2013) has won the inaugural non-fiction Morley Prize for her book, SilthoodJade is currently completing her PhD in English Literature.

It’s fantastic to be the inaugural winner of Rachel Mills Agency and Morley College’s non-fiction prize. I left a great job at The Times to travel and write this strange muddy nature book about my search for ‘silthood’, tracing the ancient kinlines between soil and self. I’ve slept in jungles, mountains, even my garden shed, and immersed myself in mudlarking, medieval re-enacting, and metal detecting. I’m excited now more than ever to find the agent and publisher to bring this book into the world.

The Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour was founded by Morley College London and Rachel Morley Literary Agency in 2021, and is designed to nurture and provide opportunities for aspiring writers, promote diversity across the broader literary landscape of Britain and continue Morley’s long history of educational excellence, community engagement, and support for social justice.

Felix Gille (College Research Associate, 2017/18)  has  published  his first book, What is Public Trust in the Health System? Insights into Health Data Use, which will be open access and targets students, professionals, researchers, and policy makers. The book also covers in part knowledge gained during his time in Cambridge, where he worked at THIS. Institute in Addenbrookes Hospital.

Stanley Jacobs

MSt Applied Criminology, Penology and Management, 2021

Stanley Jacobs reveals his personal news on his first experience of delivering multiple teachings and seminars as part of the Homerton International Programme, Summer 2023.  

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Stanley Jacobs