Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

time, my family were living in Belgrade, Serbia. I had received a text from him to say he would be turning up at some point in the month of June. I was walking my sister, Gwendy, home from school. As we were walking along our road, I saw a dusty figure in the distance, leaning nonchalantly against a fence a couple of houses away from mine. A bicycle lay next to him. As we got closer, Gwendy and I realised this figure was none other than Charles Wright – looking extraordinarily brown and healthy and exhausted. And so he was welcomed into my house and home! He had no clothes (other than the ones on his back) so we lent him an eclectic selection of my brother’s t-shirts, my old green basketball shorts and some of my dad’s flip flops. Like this, he explored the whole of Belgrade, including a night out in the old town (Skardalija) where he met some rather

still freezing. Another host told us that he and his family were enamoured by him, so much so that he embarked on his own charity cycling adventure the following year. Charles made an impression on so many people, the letters that have poured in from far and wide, are a testament to this. Jess Davenport (N, 2012- 2014) adds: “We left School the best of friends. I valued his friendship hugely and knew that we would stay in touch. We both lived in London that first year after School. Charles and I enjoyed exhibitions, queuing for cheap tickets to the Proms and shared jokes and memories over vegan dinners and pints in Soho. When he went to Edinburgh in my second year of university we kept up our strong friendship, although from a greater distance. During the summer before he went to Edinburgh, he embarked on a marathon journey through Europe on a bicycle. At the

2009-2014 Teddies: Charles would always look fondly upon his time at Teddies and as a member of Sing’s House. These formative years were marked by friendship and fun. He thrived academically, on the sports field and in the jazz band. The boyish and occasionally rule-breaking adolescent who arrived was quite different from the reformed and accomplished young man who left. In fact, Charles’ rate of growth was difficult to keep up with. He consumed knowledge much like he consumed food, that is, insatiably. With a propensity to delve deep, seeking out meaningful conversation he seemed truly unstoppable in his pursuit of truth. Few had sufficient stamina to take him on in a debate. 2014-2015 Gap Year: Charles’ cycling achievements were impressive to say the least. He left for Europe on 27th April 2015. From our front door in London, he cycled to

the Channel crossing, through France, over the French and Italian Alps, into Florence then on to Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and finally home. Of the 120 nights he was away, he paid for his accommodation on a mere four occasions. His charm and friendliness ensured he was welcomed into peoples’ homes, some of these were friends or tenuous contacts, but mostly strangers he met on the road, including some monks. He enjoyed a particularly warm welcome from Jess Davenport and her family in Belgrade. Other nights he slept under the stars in a bivvy bag. A man in the Alps wrote to us after hearing of Charles’ death. He had staggered at the sight of him coming down the mountain one morning when the temperatures at night were


Charles Wright


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