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Former Head Boy Colin Flack awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Former Head Boy Colin Flack awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

We are thrilled that Colin Flack, one of our former Head Boys, has been awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020.

Mr Flack has received this highly prestigious award to recognise his efforts and continued commitment to the rail industry. He is also being recognised for his work in supporting the UK rail supply chain, and for his role as Independent Chair of the Birmingham Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) and national Chairman of the UKACC.

Mr Flack was Head Boy at Holcombe Grammar School (then Chatham Tech), between 1976-1977. He was a keen sportsman in his time with us, representing the School in cricket and rugby.

After leaving Chatham Tech, Mr Flack joined the British Army. As a soldier he fought in Northern Ireland, Gulf War and Kosovo, and served with the Ghurkas in Hong Kong, where he learned to speak Nepali. He graduated as an Officer at the Royal Miiltary Academy Sandhurst and eventually became a Colonel.

After leaving the Army, Mr Flack took over the disused ex MOD Royal Engineers Central Depot in Long Marston, Warwickshire and converted it into the site for the major railway test centre, the Quinton Rail Technology Centre. Thanks to Mr and Mrs Flack’s efforts, the QRTC is now an enormous rail business hub. It is also home to Rail Live, a highly successful annual summer event which brings together all members of the rail industry, with over 300 exhibitors and 2000 delegates. Mr Flack was hugely influential in transforming this event into what it is today.

Mr Flack also used his skills and connections to create the trade association Rail Alliance. As an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, his vision and support led the the Rail Alliance to become part of the university.

He also formed the Rail Supply Group, a company which aims to provide leadership and guidance to the rail industry and the Government.

In his free time, Mr Flack is also keen to support charities through regular fundraising efforts, which he combines with his continued passion for sport, which began in his school. He has participated several times in the London Marathon.

Here is what Mr Flack said about his experiences at Chatham Tech:

I have no doubt whatever that Chatham Tech, and my parents/sisters combined, gave me the most wonderful start to life. The school was absolutely pivotal to my successful career in the Army and since. I have fond memories of great teachers and support staff.

We are extremely proud to call Mr Flack an alumni of our school, and we hope our students will look up to him as a role model to aspire to.