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Jim Bischoff

Well, what is there to say about Jim

Bischoff? He is a man of many parts.

During his time at Pinewood he has

been Senior Master, a Year 7 form tutor,

i/c rugby and athletics and has done a

great deal to foster and maintain

contact with the Old Pinewoodian

Alumni and much more beside.

Before arriving at Pinewood, Jim had an eclectic mix of jobs, settling

eventually into the post of school master. He worked for a time at

Horris Hill, nurtured his knowledge and love of wine during a period

spent with Grants of Saint James, and completed a Certificate of

Education at Exeter in Environmental Studies. He married Sarah in

August 1980, just prior to joining the Pinewood staff.

Jim and Sarah took up residence in Speedwell Cottage and no one

could fail to be impressed by the yellow Lotus parked outside.

However, this fairly soon morphed into a very old Morris 1000 with

mushrooms growing on the woodwork. This might explain why Jim

has always been on the look-out for field mushrooms when in

season! They moved to Pilgrim Cottage in Highworth where their

son Thomas (the one and only true ‘Bish’) was born and then

returned to York Cottage, Bourton, in 1985. Bridie, Jim and Sarah’s

daughter, was born in 1988.

Jim was appointed as Head of Geography by Henry Boddington

and also taught English and Maths. He has earned a positive

reputation for being able to nurture and bring on pupils in his care,

especially those in the lower sets, having an acute understanding of

their individual needs. He also added the posts of House Master

and ‘Activities’ guru to his job spec!!

Here are some further anecdotes and musings that illustrate the

varied life and interests of the man:

Before the current Year 8 Leavers’ Trip to France was established,

Jim would take the leavers to Chudleigh in Devon to experience rock

climbing, abseiling, caving, wind-surfing, sailing, swimming, both in

the pool and the sea and a bit of bowling thrown in for goodmeasure.

The final day’s activity was always the scariest, consisting of climbing

and sea-traversing at Babbacombe Bay, just outside Torquay.

Jim has been a Geography Head of Department for 40 years (36 at

Pinewood) and was instrumental in making Pinewood the first Prep

School to be involved in a World Wide Web project resulting in

children from Pinewood being guests on Blue Peter, John Craven’s

Newsround and Oxford Radio – a fantastic achievement I hear

you say!

For many years, Jim was master in charge of rugby, athletics and

cross-country. He still maintains his keen interest in rugby and

passes on his profound knowledge of the game by virtue of being

an RFU referee assessor, spending many Saturday afternoons on

the touchline of a club match.

Other responsibilities that Jim has undertaken over the years are:

Presentation Cups and the engraving thereof; House Points co-

ordinator; Staff Cover (Oh what joy!); but most important of all – the

winding up of the clocks and the raising of the school flag. No major

occasion can pass by without the Crossed Keys of St Peter fluttering

in the breeze.

Jim has given a lot of time to Old Pinewoodians over the years,

organising rugby and hockey matches and masterminding many a

Pinewood Ball. His memory of past pupils is phenomenal and he

always loves to hear their news.

The success of the annual Pinewood Quiz is largely down to Jim.

Standing behind the lectern, he would deliver the questions in an

authorative, no-nonsense fashion and woe betide any teammember

who dared to challenge an answer. It could cost them dearly!

Jim’s hobbies include stamp collecting, antiques and gardening. He

is a well-known expert on treen snuff boxes and collectors from

around the globe regularly seek his advice. He is infamous for being

a competitor on the BBC TV quiz show ‘Antiques Master’ hosted by

Sandi Toksvig.

Jim has richly contributed to the Pinewood community over the last

36 years and he, along with his vast collection of bow ties, will be

hugely missed in so many areas of the school. We wish him a fond

farewell and a relaxed, well-deserved retirement.

Bonne chance mon ami!

CF and AC

Sue Coleman

Sue, or ‘Big Sue’ as she was

affectionately known, has worked with

us since May 2008. A valued and

conscientious member of the Domestic

team, Sue would often be found

happily working away and singing to

herself. Sue supported the domestic team and chefs alike, never

afraid to roll her sleeves up and help out. Sue particularly loved the

atmosphere and warmth of the Christmas Fair, always supporting

stall holders and never failing to win on the tombola. Jim Bischoff

would always seek her out to swap his winnings of white wine for her

red! Sue has moved on to working at a coffee shop closer to home

and we wish her all the very best.


Ros Eyles

(A Belated Valete)

Ros arrived at Pinewood with her son,

James in September 2004. With the

children at school she decided to look

for work and wandered into the office

one afternoon asking if there were any

jobs going! By January she was

employed by the Bursar to help him with the finances. A marvel with

figures she quickly took on the role of Finance Manager and was

soon reporting the accounts and budgets to the Governors. Harriet

joined her brother at Pinewood in the Spring of 2005 and with both

children here at school, Ros was able to take on more hours. Ros

had the unenviable task of being both a member of staff and a

parent, but managed to balance the two jobs brilliantly and was a

huge supporter of the school. Despite rushing round the country

with Harriet for tennis matches, accounts and salaries were

produced promptly without fuss.

Ros left us in November 2014 to work for the Rhodes Institute in

Oxford, where she could be seen cycling from the Park and Ride

into the centre of Oxford and eating sticky buns in the High! I feel

very lucky to have worked with Ros and she is still missed in the

office, particularly for her wonderful sense of humour. We wish her,

Colin, James and Harriet all happiness for their future.


Chris Field

Chris was appointed to Pinewood by Geoffrey

Walters, making him the only member of staff

to have served under five headmasters. Prior

to coming to Pinewood he had studied at The

Royal Manchester College of Music and Trent

Park College, he had taught at a tiny prep

school and a large comprehensive in Ongar.

He became a member of the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus

singing at The Proms, The Festival Hall, both the Bergen and Bath

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BLUE & GREY 2016