During the School half term break it was a real pleasure to welcome back to King’s Claire Milligan (Co 90-92) and her mother, Mrs Milligan. The School site was very quiet, which given the current covid restrictions, was the perfect time for Claire and her mother to visit and Director of Development, Liz Elliott, was able to show them many of the buildings with which Claire was very familiar from her time at School.
College Hall was a must and Claire remembered fondly her time attending School assemblies in the Hall. The John Moore Theatre also brought back a lot of memories for Claire, and she even spotted herself in one of the pictures on the walls in the entrance to the theatre, when she took part in Oedipus during her time at School.
Claire and her mother were very impressed with the Michael Baker Boathouse and, although Claire had not rowed at King’s – she was actively involved in Netball and Hockey – she had taken up rowing whilst at university at UCL studying Medicine. Both Claire and Mrs Milligan enjoyed being shown the Keyes Building and Claire was especially impressed with the Sixth Form Centre, and remembers when the sixth form during her time at School was located in what is now The Chappel Memorial Room. Claire remembers Hon OV Peter Diamond and Hon OV Stephan Le Marchand as being two of her inspirational teachers for English, as well as Hon OV Tim Hickson, who taught her Physics.
She was delighted that Hon OVs Cara and John Roslington were also in School on the day of her visit, meeting with Caroline from the Alumni Relations team. Cara and John were Claire’s house parents during her time at School and they shared some amusing stories of the time when Claire boarded in College House. Claire had also been actively involved with The King’s Herald – the school newspaper produced once a year – and John Roslington had overseen the group of students who had contributed to, and produced, this newspaper, recalling times, when they had been up against the deadline, that the students had worked through the night to meet the deadline – just as in the real world (which reassured Claire later during her medic training, when she worked night-shifts).
Cara and John joined Claire and Mrs Milligan for a cup of tea in Hostel House and enjoyed reminiscing and the Roslingtons were very interested in hearing about Claire’s work as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine in Buckinghamshire, with a special interest in Remote and Expedition Medicine. Claire has accompanied groups of charity fundraisers all over the world including numerous trips to Everest Base camp, Kilimanjaro and the Zambezi River and has been fortunate to work with both Comic Relief and the BBC.
Claire attended King’s School during the period of the Assisted Place Scheme and she was an Honorary Scholar. She and her mother were keen to learn about the current Bursary Programme at King’s and the fact that government schemes no longer provide financial support for students to attend the School and external funding of pupils now relies predominantly on donations from individuals.
Claire is still in touch with a number of her school friends, having randomly bumped into Julia Bull (Co 90-92) about a year ago. Julia was in College House at the same time as Claire and they now cycle together regularly in Oxfordshire. Claire and Julia thought it would be fun to arrange a reunion with their other King’s friends, and they have in mind either the OV Reunion Dinner in College Hall, or alternatively a visit with friends back at King’s School – when life returns to normal. The alumni team at King’s are always delighted to arrange such tours and visits to the School and look forward to welcoming Claire and Julia back to King’s again soon.