Gordon Nottingham, who lives in Spalding, has written to us with the accompanying photograph with news of a former Spalding Grammar School student.
Gordon writes: “Welcome news was received recently that Shaikh Tariq Abdullah had escaped from Aden.”
Tariq, who is an advocate in the Supreme Court of Aden, was educated at Spalding Grammar School between 1953 and 1956.
He had been besieged in Aden in the Yemen as a result of the current civil war and Gordon and his brother Ted were concerned for his safety, particularly after they heard from him that Aden’s citizens were “imprisoned in their own homes”.
Tariq met Ted Nottingham at school and then lodged with the boys’ parents, Alice and Tom Nottingham, in Park Road, Spalding.
He has kept in touch with the family over the years and visits occasionally, making a special trip for the school’s 400th anniversary.
Ted writes that Tariq came to Spalding to attend the 6th form at the grammar school, and is “very pro-English”, going on to form the English Speaking Union in the Yemen.
Ted says: “He made a very strong attachment with our mother Alice and said last year at his special celebration of his birthday that he viewed her as his mother.
“He was very popular at the school. The girls at Spalding High School thought him incredibly handsome and leaned over the fence to watch him run.
“Tariq strongly believes in understanding between the faiths, doesn’t believe it has much to do with Islam and is deeply concerned about the Arab world. Tariq stands for peace.”