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26 October

London, Worcester, Amsterdam, USA- OV news from around the world

OV London Drinks 2018

On Friday 19th October we enjoyed welcoming a host of OVs to The Bankside Gallery for London Drinks. We were delighted to be joined by OVs from across the years of 1951 through to 2016. The Bankside Gallery offered a lovely location, right on the river Thames, opposite the beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral. The walls were adorned with a colourful selection of paintings from the Royal Watercolour Society exhibition, although with all the reuniting and sharing of memories, there wasn’t much time for artistic critique!

It was lovely to see that several of the years of 67-69 had used the event as an opportunity to meet up, as had the year of 2012, and everyone was particularly excited to meet with former teachers, including  Marc Roberts, Mr Thompson and David Brookshaw. Headmaster Matthew Armstrong had opportunity to speak to guests about King’s today and the wonderful part OVs play in the life of the school. We were also very happy to be able to show everyone our new film: Open the Door to King’s. We have spent a lot of time out and about, meeting OVs and hearing about how their time at King’s has helped shape their lives. So many doors have been opened after leaving King’s, and the film shows a variety of inspiring post King’s stories and also talks about the life-changing impact a bursary can have.


Modus Challenge Cup 2018

A beautiful pink sky was the perfect start to the Modus Challenge Cup rugby fixture against RGS. It was wonderful that so many people came to enjoy the big game with us, and the OV cohort was in fine spirit and good voice to support our boys! Both sides played fantastically, and for a large part of the first half King’s dominated possession. RGS made King’s work really hard and in the end their strong play ensured them a well-deserved 32-13 win. Not quite the result we were hoping for, however King’s made us proud with the OVs saying how impressed they were and everyone enjoying the evening thoroughly. Look out for more news on an OV get-together at Modus next year.

Sports journalist OV reports back to King’s

OVs are able to provide motivation and career support to current pupils, and it was lovely to have OV Louise Gwilliam (K 03-10) back at King’s on Wednesday. Louise is currently 5 Live Rugby Union producer at the BBC and she came in to pass on her career experiences in broadcast journalism.

Louise began the morning meeting Year 6 St Alban’s pupils who thoroughly enjoyed hearing what Louise was like at school, the skills which have served her well in her career, and most important of all, the most famous sporting heroes she has interviewed! Louise explained how her love of playing netball at school ensured that she has excellent team skills and she also spoke to the pupils about being a female in a predominantly male profession.

After a nostalgic Dining Hall lunch, Louise met senior school students to give a lunch time career talk. Pupils were interested to hear about the resilience and tenacity required to get work experience and how important it is to say ‘yes’ to all the opportunities that come your way. We were delighted that Louise joined us and many other OVs at the Modus Challenge Cup in the evening.

OV award hopeful for ‘brave brand of the year’

We are really excited to learn that Hugh Thomas (W 00-07)’s business, Ugly Drinks, is up for The Marketing Society’s Brave Brand of The Year award 2018. Hugh set up Ugly Drinks in 2017 and Ugly Drinks has carved a niche into the UK’s sugar-rich drinks market with a brand committed to healthy, 100% natural, fruit-infused sparkling waters.

Ugly Drinks has secured retail deals in 3,500 stores in the UK, including Tesco, WHSmith, Sainsbury’s and online at Amazon and the company has recently launched Ugly Drinks in the USA. They are up against the likes of Sky, Nike and Lego. Good luck Hugh!

OV marathon success

Well done to Ed Wilson (Cr 05-09) who has just completed the Amsterdam Marathon!

Ed said, “I started running when I moved out to Sweden at the end of 2015 and have now completed two marathons; I ran the New York Marathon in 2017 (finish time was 3:23:49), and set my sights on finishing a marathon in under 3:15.

After 16 weeks of training, I ran the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday 21st October 2018 in a time of 3:13:53. I chose Amsterdam because it’s a beautiful city that I’d never been to before and, as with New York, I saw the race as a great way to experience the city.”

Back to school

It was a pleasure to meet OV Cassie Bray (Os 92-99) this week as she visited Russ Mason (Hon OV) at King’s. It was lovely to catch up with Cassie on her news since leaving King’s and find out what she’s been up to. Cassie is now Director of Business Engagement for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. If any OVs are local or visiting the area, and would like to visit King’s please do let us know at and we would love to meet you and show you around school.



Helping out with careers

It was lovely to have Georgina Blackburn (nee Bentley-Walls) (Co 91-93) back to King’s this last couple of weeks as an advisor for the Fifth Form Morrisby testing, organised by the Careers department. On leaving King’s, Georgina studied at Royal Holloway, followed by a Master’s at the University of Bristol. She later trained in Careers Guidance at Coventry University and has enjoyed a varied career, first in publishing, researching and editing of careers articles before embarking on her profession as a Careers Advisor.

Georgina has worked at the University of West England and also South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. This week, her work for Morrisby has involved helping to advise King’s pupils on the results of their tests and the variety of career possibilities available to them.  As ever, the inspirational support from OVs in motivating our current pupils is hugely appreciated and it was wonderful to welcome Georgina back to King’s.