We were delighted to welcome Sidcotian Rumu Sen Gupta (1977-84) on Wednesday who visited Sidcot with her parents. During her time at Sidcot, Rumu won the Dymond Speech competition (1984). She was invited back eight years ago to judge the competition. By chance she bumped into the most recent winner of the Dymond Speech, Alessandra de’Capitani and they compared notes about the subjects they chose for the speech – Alessandra spoke about the acquisition of additional languages while Rumu controversially chose to make a case for abolishing the role of Head Boy / Head Girl. Ironically, she became Headperson (as it was called then) herself the following year! A particular surprise for Rumu was to catch up with Ross Wallis who taught her in his first year at Sidcot and remembers her well.
"It was both a familiar but at the same time surreal experience for me, coming back to a much loved former home, full of memories and yet different in lots of positive ways. From my brief visit to the school; I felt the school's commitment to develop every individual to their fullest potential was tangible."
Rumu was sent to Sidcot as a 10-year old when her father was a Civil Engineer in Malawi. The school was much smaller then, with 370 students and only 30 day students. She remembered how, in her first term she climbed an oak tree in the Combe and ended up getting stuck; the fire brigade were called to free her! She also remembers Justin Webb, he was in the Sixth Form when she was in the Third form and on her first bonfire/fireworks night she was so scared, he wrapped her in his big coat and literally ‘took her under his wing’. She now lives in London with her husband, son and daughter. She’s tried her best to ‘live adventurously’ working as a director and producer in theatre and BBC television before, most recently becoming a civil servant, working in Washington D.C. at the British Embassy.
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Photo: Dymond Speech winners Alessandra de’Capitani (2014) and Rumu Sen Gupta (1984).