Featured Alumni

To select one of the featured Alumni simply click on the name

Our current featured alumni are

Jamie Goodson (2005 - 2012)

Adam Dawson

Alastair J Sloan

Prof David Caton Flenley

Graham Mills (1957-64)

Jeff Smith (71 - 78)

Neil Smith (81-88)

Robert Shillitoe (98-05)

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Jamie Goodson

Studied at Baines School (2005 - 2012)

I left Baines Sixth Form in 2012 and went on to study Product Design at London South Bank University. The course was a four-year sandwich degree meaning that I spent my third year in industry gaining some real-life experience.  I spent six months working for a sister company of NUS, Epona Clothing and the other six months working for a design agency based near Canary Wharf.

In my final year of University, I received the 'Best Dissertation of the Year Award'  - "How has innovative design contributed towards advancements in space travel." where I interviewed two people from NASA. After University I moved back to Blackpool and secured a job for a Media Agency called Go Motion where I further improved my design skillset for two years before saving up some money to go traveling.

I set off traveling in September 2018 with a friend from University where we planned a 6-month trip around 15 different countries. America, South Korea, China and Japan - just to name a few! I came back home with a much broader perspective on life not only with regard to my passion - design but also in a much broader context.

After being home a couple of months I secured a job working as a designer for Blackpool and The Fylde College within their Marketing team where I still work now. Throughout my career journey I had always been freelancing on the side, whilst being away from home and even back at University. Over the years I had gained more and more clients and decided it would be silly of me to not turn this into something a bit more substantial.

In January 2020 I finally decided to start up a company where I would manage my freelance work from, and subsequently  'Influx Studios' was born. It's still in it's early stages at the moment but with my client-base growing stronger and stronger as the months go by I have high hopes for what 'Influx Studios' is soon going to become. We operate mainly around the Poulton area as it stands but will be looking to spread our wings over the next year or so. Offering tailored services for all your design needs from Branding and Videography right through to Website and UX (User Experience) Design.

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Jamie's company is Influx Studios in Poulton-le-Fylde.  I wish him well with his venture and hopefully it will grow and grow.  

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If you wish to find out more about the company and its services then contact: jamie@influxstudios.co.uk

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Adam Dawson

Adam was Head boy in year 11 and in the Sixth Form. After leaving Baines Adam studied Computer Science and Business Management at Loughborough University.  He graduated with a first class honours degree.  Upon graduation Adam had a series of jobs starting at GlaxoSmithKline then BAE Systems, Workdpay and AXA insurance until heading into the start up scene in Manchester.  Immediately relocating to London where he worked for News UK as a senior business analyst.

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Alastair J Sloan (83-90)

I studied at Baines School from 1983 to 1990; being one of the first students to take the GCSE examinations.  After leaving the Sixth Form in 1990,  I read Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wales graduating in 1993 and then went on to do a PhD in Oral Pathology at the University of Birmingham graduating in 1997.

Following a short period as a postdoctoral scientist I became a Lecturer in Oral Biology at the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham in 2000. I completed my postgraduate certificate in Learning and Education in 2003. My research focused on stem cells and mineralised tissue repair and in 2005 I moved to Cardiff University to take up the post of Lecturer in Tissue Engineering & Bone Biology at the School of Dentistry in 2005. I became Professor of Tissue Engineering in 2012.

During my time in Cardiff I was Director of the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair (2015-2017) and in the School of Dentistry was Director of Research and International before, in 2017 being appointed Dean and Head of School - Cardiff’s first non-clinical head of the School of Dentistry.

Having lead Cardiff School of Dentistry to the QS Global Top 50 for the first time I was approached by the University of Melbourne and was appointed Head of Melbourne School in January 2020 where I hold the substantive post of Professor of Tissue Engineering & Dental Biology.

As a researcher I have published over 80 research papers in the field of tissue repair/regeneration, written 7 books/book chapters and in 2011 was awarded the International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award (Young Investigator). I sit on research funding bodies in the UK, EU and US and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

My interest in bioscience began at Baines with Mr Greg Hurst and Mrs Sue Royle. I have also managed to have a parallel career as a musician working professionally as a saxophone player and that’s probably because I spent many lunchtimes at Baines in the music room playing music - all thanks to Bob Richmond. 

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David Caton Flenley

b.19 March 1933 d.27 March 1989

BSc(1954) MB ChB Edin(1957) MRCPE(1962) PhD(1967) MRCP(1965) FRCPE(1970) FRCP(1972)

David Flenley was professor of respiratory medicine in the University of Edinburgh. He was born and bred in Lancashire, attending Baines Grammar School. His father was a general practitioner, but he lived in Edinburgh from his student days until his untimely death at the age of 56.

After a brilliant undergraduate career, where he gained a first class honours degree in Physiology and resident posts at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, he was called on to do his National Service in the RAMC. He found the restrictions of Army life irksome and was glad to get out and back to academic medicine. From that time on, with the exception of an MRC travelling fellowship in San Francisco, USA, and Montreal, Canada, he spent all his time in the department of medicine, University of Edinburgh, where he was encouraged by Kenneth Donald to continue research into chronic bronchitis, which he made his special interest.

In 1969 he was appointed senior lecturer and honorary consultant physician and rapidly expanded the respiratory disease research of the department, particularly with regard to the pathophysiology of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and treatment with long term oxygen. He became one of the foremost British researchers in this field and acquired a considerable national and international reputation. In 1978, on the retirement of Sir John Crofton, he succeeded to the chair of respiratory medicine in the University. This involved moving his base from his beloved Royal Infirmary to the City Hospital but, with characteristic vigour and honesty, he decided that if he had to move there would be no regrets and he set out to make his department the best in Britain. With his reputation, energy and persuasive powers, he attracted considerable support with enabled him to set up the Rayne Laboratories to continue his research. He also developed an interest in sleep apnoea and many other related topics in respiratory disease.

Flenley was a prolific author of papers and books and in great demand as a teacher both in Edinburgh and all over the world. His lectures and rounds were very popular with both students and postgraduates, although at times the discussion could be very heated. In 1982 he was elected president of the European Society of Pneumology. For many years he was on the editorial board of Clinical Science and later chairman of the board. He was a classic ‘Type A’ personality, a hard-driving workaholic who demanded the highest standards from himself, his colleagues, junior staff and students.

He was not prepared to accept conventional dogma and would fearlessly - sometimes one would say recklessly - challenge the views of others. This practice extended outside the field of medicine and he would readily debate any topic on which he had a view so that one had to be fairly tough and thick-skinned to get involved in a discussion with him. However, if proved wrong, which was not often, he would honestly admit his error. Life with Flenley as a colleague was never dull.

He married Hilary Wingate in 1959 and they had two children, William and Claire. Social functions at their home were a delight, with vigorous but good humoured banter flying back and forth and usually ending with a nip or two of his favourite malt whisky. His death came swiftly from a subarachnoid haemorrhage and perhaps it was merciful that he did not survive with physical and intellectual disability which would have been unbearable for such a brilliant and mercurial man. Although a Lancastrian by birth, a fact of which he remained proud, he made Edinburgh - and Scotland - his home and fiercely upheld and enhanced the reputation of Edinburgh medicine

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Graham Mills (1957-64)

I am a true Bainesian being a former pupil of Baines Endowed Junior School in Thornton-Cleveleys. After Baines, and Leicester University where I failed Physics I was employed for 8 years (1965 to 1973) with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at Culcheth Laboratories, outside Warrington.  We researched reactor materials metallurgy and during this time I spent 3 ½ years (1968 to 1972) on assignment to the Radio and Space Research Station in the Falkland Islands for scientific satellite ground station operations, where I was also married.

I have been employed in the offshore oil and gas construction industry since 1973, initially 8 years with Unit Inspection Company, a subsidiary of British Steel doing NDT, working at Nigg Bay in NE Scotland helping build the BP Forties Field offshore platform, Highlands 1. I was moved to Glasgow and then to the company’s HQ in Swansea as Contracts manager.

After a divorce, I joined Oceaneering and returned to Scotland, this time Aberdeen, in 1981, for diving and underwater remote technology for offshore oil and gas developments in the North Sea and Middle East. I have worked predominantly overseas since the late 1980’s for Oceaneering (Norway, Qatar and Egypt) then for Occidental Petroleum in Qatar and for Global Industries (an American offshore construction company) in Thailand doing project and contract management.  My last project Offshore Indonesia with Global went to arbitration, which was heard in Singapore.

I planned to retire in 2004, once the case came to a successful conclusion, but our Valuation Expert on the case, Trett Consulting, asked me to join them for part time work on arbitration cases. That was interesting until in 2008 they asked me to help a Japanese company, MODEC, in Singapore. MODEC had a $750-million project with BP converting a tanker to a floating production and storage offshore (FPSO) unit destined for Angola. The contract included 30% of its value in Provisional Sums and I ended up responsible for claiming these formally via the Variation procedure in the Contract. The project grew in value with an out-turn of $1.4-billion.

At the end of that, I planned to retire again, but MODEC liked my work so much that they hired me directly and I became the Project Contracts Manager for an FSPO for Tullow Oil and Gas destined for offshore Ghana. That $1-billion project took 5 years to complete and I eventually retired, much against MODEC’s wishes, in 2018 aged 72 years. .

I am currently retired, living principally in Bangkok with a flat in Singapore and one in Aberdeen. I also visit Swansea and the Gower regularly to visit my 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. With the current Covid19 suspension of international travel, I have been “stuck” happily in Bangkok in self isolation for most of this year with my Thai partner and enjoying Thai culture and food … it’s a great and very varied life! I have been very lucky.

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Jeff Smith (71-78)

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Taken from an interview given by FPA member Robert Wright

Jeff, an old boy of the school, is the current Head of Music at BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. He was born in Fleetwood in 1960, at a time when the pirate radio stations were in operation. He was fascinated by Radio Caroline and the fledgling BBC Radio 1. Growing up in Fleetwood he was able to see the Radio Caroline ship moored off the coast and he used to be fascinated by this.

Jeff was ambitious to go to Baines as it was ‘the’ school that played football. Whilst at school when he was 12 Jeff used to give radio cassettes of himself to his friends. He was then hooked on radio and tried to get into radio for work. When he was 15 he had a job at Poulton record Shop later Fleetwood Mixing. From there he got a job with hospital radio at Radio Victoria then Piccadilly Radio in Manchester.

After leaving Baines he studied for his BA in Communication Studies at Padgate College in Warrington.   Before working with the BBC he worked as a producer on Radio TFM in the North East. When he was 23 he joined the BBC as a studio manager and then a producer on BBC World Service. Whilst working as an Executive Producer on Radio 1 he had a discussion with presenter Mark Radcliffe to talk about the creation of a smart music station in a pub in Liverpool in 1993. These plans were eventually realised in 1999 with a new station called Network X later become 6 Music. Rather than a smart music station this has developed with the help of Jeff to become an alternative spirited station across a range of audiences.

In 1994 he became Editor, Mainstream Programmes and Music Manager at Radio 1. Leaving Radio 1 he became Director of Programmes at Wisebuddah before returning to BBC Radio 1 as Head of Music. Where he played a major role in the revitalisation of Radio 1 as Head of Music Policy from 1997 to 2000. His achievements at the BBC included founding the influential Evening Session programme and bringing current Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles, Jo Whiley, Trevor Nelson, Stuart Maconie and Steve Lamacq to the BBC.

He left the post in 2000 to become Controller of Capital FM where he helped to rejuvenate the station a post he kept for 3 years. Jeff has worked with many of the great musicians, Jeff Lynn from ELO, David Bowie and Tim Manchin to mention a few. In 2003 he became Director of UK and International programming at Napster.

In 2007 Jeff took over as the Head of Music for Radio 2 and 6 Music; he is still in post. He sets up the play lists on Radio 2 and 6 Music. Radio 2 is the U.K.'s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience reach in excess of 13 million people. The head of music post is acknowledged as one of the most important radio jobs in the country as it involves control of Radio 2's hugely influential playlist. It has been said by many that he has ‘the Midas Touch’ when selecting must for the radio stations. In his time at both Radio 2 and 6; 6 Music’s audience has doubled to nearly two million since 2010 and Radio 2’s audience rose to an all-time high of 15.5 million weekly listeners. The average age of the Radio 2 audience is 51, but Jeff says it is currently seeing huge growth in listeners aged 65-plus. Choosing music for this wide ranging age range is very difficult as they have to stay modern and relevant to their audience. He also works on Radio 2 live in Hyde Park. He liaises with the record industry and from May 2018 he took over as the Chairman of The Mercury Music Prize.

I hugely enjoyed my time at Baines, and it was very nostalgic to recently look at the photographs on the Baines300 site and to see so many of the staff who taught me. As my main academic interest at school was History, I have fond memories of all those in that department who taught me, especially Messrs Stevenson and Edwards:  their interest in the subject and ability to convey this to the pupils (especially at A Level), was hugely influential on me, and later choice of career. Alongside these, I remember many other teachers with fondness: Mr Field, Mr Lawrenson, Miss Chantrell, Mrs Simpson, Mr Wilkins, Mr Bradley, Mrs Fletcher, Mr Darbourne, Miss Nuttall, Mr Beresford, Mr Marsden, Mr Ward, Mrs Shepherd, Mrs Burtonwood, Mr Thwaites, Mr Wilson...

 Neil Smith (81-88)

After graduating with a degree in History and Politics, I went into teaching and stumbled into the independent sector for my first post, getting  a job at Leeds Grammar School (now the Grammar School at Leeds) After 4 years I moved across the Pennines to run the Politics department and teach History at Cheadle Hulme School (until the late 1980s it was known as the Warehousemen and Clerks’ Orphans School), before moving to The Manchester Grammar School to teach History and Politics in 2002.

After staying at MGS for 16 happy years and performing various roles there, I returned to CHS to take up a headship in September 2018.  Being a Head at this moment in time has certainly presented me with experiences and problems which I could never have envisaged when I started the role, but it has been hugely rewarding to see the School respond so well to the many challenges which it has faced since the start of the current Covid crisis.

Whilst Baines was considerably smaller in the 1980s than it is today, it is a little bizarre that I have come across several Baines alumni at CHS, either through their employment as teachers (there may be as many Baines alumni as Old Waconians at the School), through their role in organisations who we work closely with, and even as parents.

Beyond teaching, I have written several education-related books, and enjoyed a very cheap thrill when my book on the Vietnam War was, for a very brief period, the best-selling book on the conflict on amazon. I’m quite certain its price of £0.99 and relative brevity played a not insignificant part in its popularity! My record collection remains a source of puzzlement to my streaming-fixated daughters, whilst attempting to explain the concept of a record-library  (which the one in Blackpool helped nurture and broaden my musical interests) is perhaps one of life’s least fruitful endeavours. 

 Robert Shillitoe (98-05)

The current Head of Creative Arts is Robert Shillitoe, a former pupil.

Robert writes: I should start by saying that my memory is poor! I struggle to remember events from the previous week, let alone over 2 decades ago. However, as the following is about special and significant chapters in my life whilst being part of the Baines community, I will do my best to dig up fond memories and recollections of music at Baines.

I have a unique and rather special viewpoint on the life of music in Baines, both being a former student and now Head of Creative Arts. During my time at Baines (1998 - 2005), I was fortunate enough to take part in what was a rich and varied extracurricular programme. From the school Swing Band led by Tony Harrison, through to Joan Swan's Orchestra and our small Brass Ensemble, the Music department had a buzz about it all the way through my years as a student. We were kept busy with a jam-packed concert series, with music programmes carefully designed by Joan Swan, so as to provide a superb evening's entertainment for all, whilst remaining broad and inclusive. We were also fortunate enough to experience many performances outside of school, including performing at local venues with a small jazz ensemble, through to performing at local primary schools, hoping to inspire the younger generation.

The annual Junior and Senior Young Musician of the Year Competitions were another highlight; bringing together young hopeful musicians, all of whom wished to hold high the title of 'Musician of the Year', these events were another fabulous opportunity for musicians of all abilities and ages to showcase their talents.

And then on top of all this (which already is enough for any school Music department to boast about), three musical memories stand out for me; Kirchentag, Gel and the Cabaret Evening.

Kirchentag

A small oratorio of musicians, including myself, were fortunate enough to travel to Germany to perform in the biennial event Kirchentag. If my memory serves me right, I believe it to have been 2001 in Frankfurt. This was my first time travelling abroad to perform as a musician, and what an experience it was. I remember the long rehearsals we had in England before setting off, the hours of prep to ensure we had our music rehearsed and ready to play; for this short period of time in my school career, I felt like a professional musician.

Gel

Gel was the only musical that I took part in during my time at Baines. This was my first experience of performing in a pit band, and again, an opportunity for me to feel like a pro. Whilst the show was an amazing experience, with production week providing a buzz for all students involved, for me, my most cherished memories from this experience include everything 'around' the actual performances; the late-night rehearsals, feeling part of a large team alongside cast and crew, the mounting pressure as we worked towards dress and production weeks, and the sense of being part of some rather special, that would long remain an important chapter in Baines' history.

Cabaret Evening

The final cherished memory I have as a student was the Cabaret Evening. This is where my memory becomes a tad sketchier, but I do remember round tables set out in the school hall, families enjoying a bite to eat and maybe some drink, a variety of performers (including myself) getting up to perform as part of what was without a doubt, the most varied programme during my time at Baines, and finally, the entire evening being brilliantly compered by a juggling (!) Richard Darbourne. I am sure I have this last bit correct...otherwise I really do need to worry about my memory.

I'll be honest, there are without a doubt far more cherished musical memories from my time at Baines as a student, but I'll fast forward now to 2018, when I seized the opportunity to return, this time as a staff member as Head of Creative Arts.

I was determined to continue the brilliant concert series that had long remained, and develop a rich extracurricular programme, something that I believe we have done and something which we can be proud of.

But without a doubt, one of the most (if not the most) significant moments in my time as a teacher at Baines came in June 2018, when I sat down with Mrs Chapman to discuss the possibility of reviving the school musical. I had in previous schools been involved in musicals as a musical director, but this venture would mean taking hold of the reins and captaining the musical ship at Baines! I was a tad hesitant, if I'm being honest; I spoke to Mrs Chapman about doing it, but maybe in a year (2019/20). In classic Mrs Chapman fashion, I was encouraged to not wait, dive in, be bold, brave, and just go for it. So, once I had found time to sit down and talk to Simon Davies (Head of English) and Louise Lister (ILC Manager/Drama Support) and pitch the idea to bring musicals back to Baines with Bugsy Malone...we were off!

And what a journey...Bugsy Malone was my 9th musical in my teaching career, but without a doubt the best musical experience. And what I loved MOST of all about it, was how much of a Baines team effort it was; from staff and students helping to design/provide costume, props, set etc., through to the large number of individuals volunteering to help through tech, dress and production weeks. I'll be absolutely honest...it surpassed all of my expectations. It was and will always remain one of my most cherished memories.

And then sadly, moving forward, following the success of Bugsy we then moved onto Return to the Forbidden Planet, a bolder, more daring and larger musical. We had everything in place, everything ready to go...and then COVID-19 hit. And like the Performing Arts industry around the WORLD, we ground to a halt. In the early days, I naively hung onto the hope of maybe just having to delay the musical...but alas, we had to formally cancel, and Baines will sadly not see Forbidden Planet on stage.

And so, I now find myself in 2021, working under COVID restrictions, and whilst we still struggle to fully return to a rich, varied, and full Performing Arts calendar, we are slowly but surely seeing the return of small pockets of performing opportunities for our students.

And the number one question I get asked, especially by ex-cast members...are we doing another show.....I'll tell you now...the show has already been picked..!

 

 

 

 

 

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