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3 May

A meaningful legacy, an exciting final & a true spring wedding

Remembering ov Michael Baker

We were very saddened to hear the news that Michael Baker (Ch 48-55) passed away on 20th April 2019.  Michael is survived by his son and daughter, Andrew and Nicky Baker and there will be a funeral for Michael on 6th May, attended by his large family and many friends.  Michael and his wife, Pam Baker (Hon OV) were huge supporters of King’s, giving very generous donations which funded both the building of the Michael Baker Boathouse (opened in 2012) and also the creation of King’s Enduring Fund for bursaries.

Many hundreds of children have benefited from the wonderful Michael Baker Boathouse, a rowing facility which rivals many university boathouses.  The school also uses the Michael Baker Boathouse space to host functions such as meals, quizzes, casino evenings and drinks events.  As a school we are extremely grateful to both Michael and Pam for their support of rowing and of our bursary programme.  Michael was very keen that King’s bursaries provide for children whose family situation mean they would not otherwise be able to attend the school and benefit from the wide range of opportunities King’s offers its pupils.

Michael held a deep affection for King’s throughout his life as he had greatly valued the friendships he made and the support and guidance he had. His enthusiasm for rowing continued after King’s as he joined Exeter Rowing Club and was their Chairman for 15 years. After two years’ National Service, Michael joined his grandfather at Reade & Smith, paper-makers. However a buy-out in the mid- 1970’s left him jobless and without immediate career prospects. Michael is convinced that his time at King’s equipped him to cope with what was at that time a devastating situation. He chose to ‘go it alone’ and in 1976 he set up his first company, followed in 1984 by the first of his property companies. There are now ten in the Baker Group as well as a major wind farm company.

Michael was passionate about providing opportunities to bright boys and girls whose family circumstances would normally preclude them from coming to King’s and he expressed a wish to increase his support. He therefore made a donation of over £1 million to the Development Trust to set up the Enduring Bursary Fund. The capital of this fund is retained and the interest provides for full fee bursaries in perpetuity.

Michael Baker will be remembered with great fondness and gratitude by many at King’s, long into the future.


We are so proud of OV Lizzie Fry (Cr 07-14) for being part of the incredible 2018-19 St Edmund Hall, Oxford University Challenge team. ‘Teddy Hall’ made it all the way to the final and after a close match were just pipped to the top spot by worthy winners Edinburgh University who won 155 to 140 points.

Lizzie played extremely well in the final answering a host of questions on topics including sports and ornithology. The episode is still available to view on BBC iPlayer here and it is definitely worth a watch!

When Lizzie was at King’s she took part in and captained some of the inter-house school quizzes and was a member of the Quiz Club so it is really inspiring to see how she has used this experience so positively.

Well done Lizzie, we have thoroughly enjoyed following your process in University Challenge which began all the way back in September and we look forward to seeing where your journey heads to in the future.


Wedding Bells ring for OV

Many congratulations to OV and King’s Classics teacher Grace Hawthorne (née Bradley) (Br 07-13) on her marriage to Stephen on Saturday 27th April. Grace and Stephen were married at Pembridge Church and their reception was at Dunkertons Cider Barn. They were joined by lots of friends and family including colleagues from the school Classics department and lots of OV friends!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Hawthorne!





Music to our ears

On Tuesday 30th April, the choir for Evensong in Worcester Cathedral was composed of 45 pupils from King’s St Alban’s and the Fourth Form at King’s.  Conducting the choir was Christopher Allsop and Head of Music, Simon Taranczuk played the organ.  The pupils sang beautifully throughout the service, including Psalm 45, ending, “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” and the Anthem, ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Again’ to John Rutter’s original setting.  Amongst the congregation attending were OVs, David Mills (H 44-53) and Stanley Allsop (Ca 46-51) and Stanley was delighted to see his grandson singing as part of St Alban’s choir.  David and Stanley recalled the very many services they had attended in the cathedral during their own school days (and even being made to run around the cloisters if their singing had not been up to the mark!).  It is always inspiring to witness the support and enthusiasm that OVs from many generations provide to the King’s pupils of today.

OVs reunite down under

It was great to hear that Lucy Robinson (K 04-11) and Will Lucas (W 04-09) had a chance to meet up in Australia recently! Lucy was out there visiting her sister and managed to meet up with Will backstage at a “Bring me the Horizon” concert in Sydney. Will is currently the Audio Technician for “Bring me the Horizon” who are on tour.