The Sele School

Alumni of the 1980's

Jane Goodson SBA Fellow - left The Sele School in 1983 

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the Alumni page of The Sele School website especially as I left school way back in 1983!  I loved school and the teachers were so supportive.  I left with five O Levels and two A Levels. 

Over the years my career path has changed from Senior Department Administrator, Roche Products Ltd in Welwyn Garden City through to Practice Manager of a GP Surgery in Dorset, where I still live.  Nowadays it is quite common for people to have a variety of careers. However, I always had a lifelong love of art and this led me on to becoming a botanical artist.   

I paint in watercolour and (due to the complex nature of the detail I require) my paintings take between 50 – 100 hours to complete and contain the minutest details.  I also have a lifelong interest in the historical importance of botanical art; particularly the time of great voyages of discovery and enlightenment in Europe which has led me on to becoming an Accredited Lecturer of The Arts Society.

In 2012 I was elected to become a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and in 2018 was then elected as a Society of Botanical Artists Fellow. 

In 2016 I was awarded an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Silver-Gilt medal for my series of Primula auricula paintings and I am currently working on my next RHS exhibition.

Back in 2018 I was invited to exhibit in Madrid at the ‘Tulipa Tulipae’, a collaboration between the Society of Botanical Artists, the Real Botanical Gardens in Madrid and the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid, Spain, 2018.  Until that trip I had never been to Madrid and I have to say it was quite a thrill to see one of my paintings used as part of the advertisement for the exhibition. 



                  Jane's painting of a Cardoon

Quite a lot of my botanical work is now in private collections in the UK, Spain, Canada, USA and in the Archives of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.

My advice to students at The Sele School now is, “do what you love and love what you do”.

Andrew Philpott - left The Sele School in 1988

I attended The Sele School from 1981 to 1988, staying on for the Sixth Form, which was small, just six males and three females. I earned my three A-levels, and secured a place at Trinity & All Saints College (Leeds University) where I studied a combined degree of Public Media with Physical Education & Recreation and gained a 2:2. 

A few years travelling (and working) in both the UK and USA, before I landed a role with a new sports marketing agency in Essex, and my career in sports marketing took off. I spent almost four years working in the UEFA Champions League before moving into Formula One, where I spent many years travelling the world and working with such notaries as Michael Schumacher, Johnny Herbert, Rubens Barrichello and more recently Mark Webber, Seb Vettel and Daniel Riciarrdo. 

I had the opportunity to move to Melbourne and set-up an agency in 2000, and spent two and a half years living and working there before returning to England where I subsequently became Commercial Director at Subaru World Rally Team.  I made a decision in 2009 to return to Australia and Melbourne has been home ever since.  

Once back in Australia I spent more time working in Formula One in the agency world with Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin Racing, I got to meet and work with one of my heroes, Pele, before working in Australian Supercars as Commercial Director at Tickford Racing.   Now, I currently part-own a racing team in Australia and while still very much involved in motorsport and the auto industry, my F1 days of extensive travel have gone but many friends around the world still remain.  

My parents still live in Hertford so whenever I am back, Sele is always visible, and some good memories come flooding back.   I remain in touch with many of my school friends from there, all of whom have gone on to wonderful careers and I am also in touch with a number of my former teachers, mostly retired now, but still cannot call them anything other than Mr. Barlow (for example)!

Mark Playle - left The Sele School in 1985

I am a former Sele student, attending the school from 1978 to 1985.  

On leaving school I worked for a local electronics company,  Electronic and Mechanical Engineering Ltd., while studying for an HND in electronic design. I stayed in this field of work for some time, moving to Electrotest in Stanstead Abbotts after about four years.  

I had a very good career in the electronics industry and have worked for some very interesting companies, including Kelvin Hughes - then one of the world leading firms in radar systems. It was during this time I rediscovered my love for photography.

After leaving Kelvin Hughes I worked for Saft, part of Alcatel, a large Telecommunications company in France, first as a test engineer and then as research and development office manager. I often travelled between my office in Ilford and one in Tours, this was my introduction to the Loire Valley. I was headhunted from Saft and started working for Eltek, a telecom power manufacturer in Hemel Hempstead, which involved a lot of travelling and took me all over the UK, as far south as Land's End and as far north as the Shetland Isles. During this time I was developing my career as a freelance photographer and not having fixed hours, I was very lucky to have the time to do so.

On to my photography career, I have a diverse portfolio including portrait, fashion, architectural, motorsport, aviation, and wildlife photography. My work has been featured in exhibitions including The Photography Show in the UK, FESPA in Hamburg and Amsterdam. 

I have worked with and alongside the likes of, The Saint-Louis Foundation, SNCF. Innova Art and shot high-profile events such as London Fashion Week (Vodafone and Canon with CPS) and Le Mans 24hr and have had the opportunity to work with one of the world's top supermodels, Daphne Selfe.   

Since 2019 I have lived in Amboise in the Loire Valley. It is a great place to live and work, known for the Royal Château of Amboise and for the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.  

The Saint-Louis Foundation has licensed my image of the Royal Château for worldwide and domestic advertising campaigns for several years. SNCF has licensed my image of Tours Station.


I run Photography Tours and Masterclass Workshops in the Loire Valley