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17 May

Musical showstoppers, cycling challenges, reunions & proposals


Saturday 11th May saw OV Penny Ashmore (Cl 14-16) singing a solo role on stage at the incredible Royal Albert Hall alongside the British Police Symphony Orchestra, current U6 Hollie Avery and singing teacher Claire Prewer-Jenkinson. Penny sang in ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ by Wagner at this 30th Anniversary Charity Concert featuring over 600 performers. All proceeds from the concert will be used to support Care of Police Survivors, the National Foundation for Youth Music and the orchestra itself. The Royal Albert Hall is arguably one of the world’s greatest and most iconic venues and a massive well done to Penny on this great achievement.

It seems the Royal Albert Hall will see many an OV treading its boards this year as we were also absolutely delighted that OVs Allan Clayton (H 91-99) and Peter Holder (Br 01-08) have also been announced this week as lead performers in the Proms this summer. Peter Holder is sub organist at Westmister Abbey and will have the great honour of playing the organ for the First Night of the Proms this year. This is especially exciting as the audience will hear a new world premier by Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri called ‘Long is the Journey – Short is the Memory’. This newly commissioned piece celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landings. The First Night of the Proms will also include ‘The Spinning Wheel’ by Dvořák and ‘Glagolitic Mass’ by Janáček.

Prom 55 on Friday 30th August will see Allan Clayton taking on the title role of Jephtha in Handel’s same name oratorio. Accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and SCO Chorus, Allan will take on this demanding role, telling the story of the warrior Jeptha who is commanded by God to sacrifice his daughter.

Good Luck to both Peter and Allan and we look forward to sharing more news on the performances in due course.

OV rowers reunite for Birmingham Velo

Last year’s senior rowing quad Henry Armstrong (Br 11-18), Andrew Salkeld (Cl 11-18), Charlie Kenny (Ca 11-18) and Oliver Colebourne (Br 11-18), together with Head of Rowing, Jim Chalmers (Hon OV), decided to reunite to ride the 100 mile Velo Birmingham alongside 17,000 cyclists. The OVs were in good company as those taking part in the challenge included England Rugby World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson, and Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman!

The demanding 100 mile closed road route took the OVs through Birmingham City Centre and also saw the riders cycle through the heart of Coventry which will be the 2021 Capital of Culture. With around 1500m of climbing involved completing the Velo is an impressive achievement. The OVs thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it and were supported by thousands of spectators lining the streets and cheering them on.

This photo was taken just after the finish line and they finished in approximately 6.5 hours. Well done!

(Photo courtesy of Jon Salkeld)

BUCS Regatta 2019 Follow-up

Following on from last week’s exciting BUCS news, we’ve been delighted to receive this write-up from OV Henry Marles (Br 12-17) on his regatta experience…

“BUCS regatta is always a great weekend for the University of St Andrews Boat Club since it’s the first major regatta of the year for us so we get to put all of our training over the past months to the test against some of the best student athletes in the country. It’s was great to see a lot of OVs at the regatta this year, even if we did end up opposing each other on the start line a few times. The highlights of the weekend for me were getting the first win at BUCS regatta for the men’s squad in the intermediate pair, and finally equaling the medal tally of the women’s squad by coming third in the intermediate coxed four.”

(Photo courtesy of Henry Marles, pictured left)

King’s success at Chess continues

It was wonderful to hear news this week of a star King’s chess player. Nearly a hundred young chess champions played at the Worcestershire Megafinal of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge and the event was hosted by King’s School on Sunday 12th May. The outstanding local performance was from Joshua Clarke (King’s School Worcester) who won his under-13 tournament with 5 points from 6 games. He and other Worcester players won prizes and places in the Midlands Gigafinal to be held in July at Solihull.

One OV who always has a keen interest in the performance of King’s chess players is Robert McClatchey (H 78-83). Robert was an outstanding student and sportsman whilst at King’s – a member of the first XV for three years & represented the county in rugby and athletics – and he was also a school monitor and head of Hostel House. On leaving King’s, Robert gained a scholarship to King’s College Cambridge to read Economics and graduated with a double first. He joined KPMG and qualified as a Chartered Accountant before joining BZW’s corporate finance division where he specialised in re-financings and flotations. He went on to join Barclays Capital where he became the managing director of Barclays Infrastructure Funds Business.

Robert was very much involved in the Keyes Building project and he was appointed as a King’s School governor in 2012. His great passion is chess; The Chess Square is a room at King’s where the School Chess Club meet and was created to promote and champion the game of chess within King’s. Robert and his family have been incredibly generous to King’s School, with major donations to the Keyes Building and Robert continues to be a loyal supporter and donor to King’s Bursary Programme. The McClatchey Climbing Wall is named in his honour.

(Chess photo courtesy of Ray Collett)

an australian reunion

With OVs based all around the world, we are always delighted to hear about get-togethers taking place both home and away. Last weekend we were thrilled that OVs Beth Sears (K 03-09) and Tim Norton (Os 04-11) got together for brunch at Bronte Beach, Sydney, in Australia. Despite it being winter, there was still plenty of sunshine and Beth and Tim had plenty to catch up on. Not only did Beth attend King’s, she also worked here for a year when she left school, helping in the Boathouse and Reprographics departments.

Beth moved to Australia in 2018 and she is enjoying living and working in Sydney. Tim is also enjoying life ‘down under’, and is working as an Urban Planner in Melbourne.

Beth and Tim meeting up got us thinking …. Do you live in Australia and would you enjoy an OV reunion? We will be planning something for the end of this year or start of next, and would be delighted to hear any ideas on locations and logistics from anyone living out in Australia. Likewise if we still hold a UK address for you, but you have moved, do let us know so we can keep you in the loop.

(Photo courtesy of Beth Sears)

OV romantic proposal

We are delighted to learn that OV Ross Attwood (S 09-11) has just got engaged to his girlfriend of 10 years, Rosie.

While on holiday Ross proposed on the rooftop of their hotel in Barcelona.

Ross explained, “At midnight I asked her to play a game of word association. Holiday-Barcelona, Love-Ross, family-parents etc. I explained to her I was hoping she would say Rosie … so I could say Fiancée. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I said before I got down on one knee! Everything I planned went out the window! She was completely shocked and said Yes!”

The beautiful engagement ring was designed and made by Mark Linley Goldsmiths where Mark’s daughter and friend of Ross, Tash Linley (K 04-11) works and was able to help Ross make the perfect choice for Rosie.

Many congratulations to Ross and fiancée Rosie!

(Photo courtesy of Ross Attwood)