Gene Burgham Funeral

It’s difficult to know how to describe Gene Burgham, who died on 8th July. A “tour de force” goes some way to cover it. Whilst I remember her as the head’s PA during the 80s, that title hardly does justice to the role she played at the school. These days, the Crypt and all other schools have some form of Pastoral care within their governance structure. It’s probably fair to say that Gene played that role at the Crypt (as well as many others), before anyone realised schools actually needed it, in a way that would defy the demands and strictures of current times. For that reason, she is remembered fondly by thousands for former pupils and was also an honorary member of the Old Cryptian’s Club. Details of her funeral are below.
If you can’t make it, but would like to watch (either live or ‘on-demand’) the service, please email and we will pass on the request to her dauther Louise and share details. Simon S

Kev Cumming (1982-89)- Memorial Service

The memorial service for Kevin Cumming will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 10th April at the St. Nicholas Methodist Churh, Topsham in Devon.

Donations in memory of Kevin for Axe Valley Academy can be made at the service or c/o Peter Frank Turl, Funeral Directors, 16 Victoria Road, Topsham, Exeter, EX3 0EU.

You can find further details here.

Kevin Cumming (1982-1989)

We were informed of the sad passing of Kevin Cumming this week. Kevin was assistant head teacher at the Axe Valley academy in Devon, where he was a much loved and valued member of staff for the past 23 years, having initially joined as head of ICT.

Kevin is fondly remembered by his contemporary and recent OC’s President Steve Knibbs, as well as our current President Simon Smith.

It’s clear from the tributes on-line that he was a highly regarded member of staff, held in great affection by both the teaching body and students alike. For now, you can read those on the Axe Academy front-page here and on Facebook in the embedded link below.

Rest in Peace Kevin.

Annual Dinner and AGM 2024

We are delighted to let you know that our Annual Dinner will take place on Saturday 23rd March 2024 at the Crypt School.  The price of the event will be £36.50 for members, £39.50 for non-members and £25.00 for current sixth formers/students/21 & under.  There will also be a bar (cards or cash) for pre-dinner drinks and wine to accompany the meal.  The dress code will be smart casual. 

The guest speaker will be Rob Holliday (1970-77).  Rob has had a varied career in aviation as an Airline Captain and Flight Safety Manager. He also found time to represent GB at rowing, winning medals in the World Championships.

Our AGM will also be held on the above date, details of which will follow in the coming month. The timings for the evening will be;

6:15 pm               AGM
6:45 pm               Drinks
7:30 pm               Annual Dinner

If you wish to attend please visit our dedicated website page here, where you can provide us with all the necessary details and pay securely with debit or credit card, powered by SquareUp payments.  This route will reduce our administration burden and is the quickest way to sign-up.

Last year we welcomed 75 of you and we look forward to building on the success of that event this year.  Please feel free to circulate this invitation to others you are still in touch with so we can make this an event to remember. 

We look forward to seeing you in March.

Calling Future Committee Members

We are looking for new committee members to support the future work of the Old Cryptians’ Club and bring in the skills we need to achieve this.

The Club has a long tradition and heritage, stretching back for more than 100 years. But it also must adapt to ensure and secure its future, reflecting the school as it is now and meeting the needs of younger generations. Most important is enthusiasm and a commitment for change, although we’re particularly interested in former pupils with skills in the following areas;

  • Finance
  • Website/tech skills
  • Communications (online and print)
  • Events
  • Membership/networking

The OCC committee comprises 12 members including officers i.e. President, Vice President, Treasurer and one ex-officio who represents the Centenary Bursary Fund. Committee members are elected for two years and if they so wish can stand for re-election in March at the AGM.

The committee meets 3 times a year, usually in October, January and May (hybrid or virtual) with the AGM in March before the Annual Dinner. Meetings last 90 minutes and are agenda based with reports available before the meeting to allow time for questions/decisions/actions.

Being on a Committee is rewarding and helps you develop skills useful both for work and life. Former pupils of any age or background will always have something to give. If you think you could contribute a small amount of your time please do get in touch with our President Simon Smith (email address president at to discuss further.

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