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22 March

OV News- Man of the Match, all things Navy & OV Professions Group

OV Man of the Match

We were absolutely delighted to discover that OV Will Hollis (Ch 09-16) was man of the match in the winning final match of the BUCS Super Rugby League, playing for the University of Exeter. Exeter University sealed their BUCS Super Rugby title with a commanding win of 42 – 22 over Cardiff University.

Their league triumph saw them guarantee themselves a home quarter-final in the BUCS Super Rugby Championship which they won this week with a final score of Exeter:34 Cardiff:31 meaning that they are through to the semi-final where they will play Leeds Beckett University.

With the Championship final played at the prestigious Twickenham Stadium, fingers are crossed that Exeter make it all the way and add another trophy to this year’s collection! Good luck Will and team!

OV Lorna Talks All Things Navy

We are hugely grateful to OV Lorna Wilson (Cr 94-01) who came back this week to meet pupils interested in a career in the Royal Navy. Lorna gave a fantastic talk to pupils, discussing her path into the Royal Navy, what her role as Surface Warfare Officer entails and a really good insight into the diverse range of opportunities that a career in the Armed Forces provides. It was fascinating to hear about all the different branches of the Navy including the Surface Fleet, Submarine Service, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines Commandos, Reserves and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service.

Lorna gave a thoroughly engaging and detailed description of these branches and also showed a couple of really exciting film clips showcasing the purposes and activities of the Royal Navy. Pupils so appreciated the opportunity to ask Lorna a host of questions including how the interview process works, sponsorship throughout school or University, and also the provision of continued development and learning opportunities once employed; Lorna actually gained her degree whilst employed by the Royal Navy. Pupils were also delighted to hear about all the extra-curricular hobbies and activities they could be part of whilst enjoying what Lorna conveyed was a really rewarding, ambitious and dynamic workplace, filled with challenge, travel and so many opportunities.

Brexit Breakdown

On Friday 15 February OV Poppy Bramford (W 05-12), Policy Executive at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, joined Rachel Maclean MP and over 50 businesses at a Business Leaders lunch in Redditch. Representing the voice of the business community, Poppy addressed attendees regarding Brexit and outlined the importance of avoiding a messy and disorderly Brexit. While it was acknowledged that British businesses have remained resilient, no deal Brexit scenario planning is costly. With the diminished value of the sterling exacerbating price pressures for importers, international traders are struggling with raw material costs. The pause in investment is a clear demonstration of the impact of current uncertainty as businesses hold off before committing their capital.

Businesses were clear that political noise only serves to delay businesses receiving answers to the practical questions they have regarding future operations. Rachel Maclean MP expressed her commitment to addressing the concerns of businesses and representing their voice in Government. Poppy continues to work closely with MPs across the two counties to ensure the local business community is represented at the highest levels of government.

Just last week she met with Sajid Javid, Home Secretary and MP for Bromsgrove, to discuss the post Brexit migration system and to emphasize the need to create a flexible system which will meet the needs of the national and local labour market.

OV Professions Meet

Head of Alumni Relations Sophie, enjoyed a trip to London on the 14th March, meeting with one of our OV Professions Group (Audit, Tax, Pensions & Advisory), in the jam-packed Merchant’s Pub, Canary Wharf. The idea of these groups is to provide an opportunity for OVs of all generations who now work in the same fields to meet up and share their experiences, to learn from each other, and to network as an OV community in an informal and relaxed environment. This was the second get-together for this finance group and we are also starting groups for Marketing & Law this year too.

Sophie was so pleased to be joined by Tom Bradley (Cl 07-12), Geraint Davies (Cl 65-72), Tim Herbert (K 88-95), Jon Preston (Cl 02-09), Hugo Watkins (Cl 04-11) and Patrick Baldwin (Ch 02-09) for what was a thoroughly enjoyable evening sharing professional and personal experiences, as well as King’s memories. There was even a party trick or two thrown in for good measure! The OVs attending represented a wide variety of companies and different areas of expertise and experiences, however there was also a huge amount of common ground and many shared interests, meaning there was plenty to discuss and an enjoyable evening was had by all.

Our next OV Professions Group meeting is for those working in Marketing & Communications and is being held next Thursday, 28th March at Hoxton hotel Holborn, from 6.30pm.  If you work in this profession and are interested in joining us for the evening, please contact us for more information, by email at


Revisiting King's

Philip Bannister (Cr 51-60) attended King’s from 1951 to 1960, with his first two years being spent at St Alban’s when the school had just been acquired from the Convent.  It was a real pleasure to welcome Philip back to King’s this week, when he was able to re-visit St Alban’s and view the school Chapel; Philip was very impressed with St Alban’s Junior School and the impressive range of facilities on offer today.  Philip and Development Director, Liz Elliott, also visited a number of familiar locations in the senior school, such as the ‘Reading Room’ (Chappel Memorial Room), School Gardens and also Edgar Tower, where Philip met with Archivist, Harriet Patrick and spied himself in some Creighton House photos from 1959 and 1960!  Philip was very impressed to see the wonderful new facilities that King’s offers its students nowadays: the Keyes Building, the Michael Baker Boathouse, the Design & Technology and Art buildings and School House Library, all of which are well used and form part of the core of school life today.

Philip told Liz and Headmaster, Matthew Armstrong, how he was able to attend King’s, after passing the 11+, on account of the Direct Grant scheme which, as a government-run initiative enabled up to one third of students at King’s to benefit from funded education, thereby allowing access to many children, who otherwise would not have been in a position to come to the school.  Philip explained that he feels very strongly about the benefits of widening social access and, as such, he very generously donates to King’s Bursary Programme and is pleased to know that, in doing so, he can help provide young children with the life-changing opportunity of an education at King’s.  We are hugely grateful to the commitment and financial support that Philip provides; a wonderful example of how members of our OV family continue to support children at King’s today.

If you would be interested in supporting bursaries too, please click here for more information. 

Back into the fold

We were so pleased to hear recently from OV, David Daniels (Cr 51-56), as we had lost touch with him over the years.  David had attended both St Alban’s and King’s School in the 1950s and it was a real pleasure to welcome David and his friend, Elizabeth, back to King’s this week.  David had very fond memories of his time in Creighton House, whose House Master was Mr Ferrar, also second Master of King’s.  David recalled the Reading Room and he was very impressed to see the current King’s School Library but the most poignant memory of all was College Hall where David asked if all the monitors still sat on the main stage during assembly, as they did in his day.

David also shared with us some memorabilia from his time at school, including some of his school reports – all handwritten in a little blue book.  It was so nice to hear that King’s made a positive and lasting impression on David; both he and his brother, Lloyd enjoyed their time at King’s.

As with David, a number of OVs become ‘lost’ to us, as their contact details become out-dated due to moving house or changing email address.  Please do keep us informed of change of contact details and if you know anyone who has not heard from us recently, please encourage them to contact us on to check we have their up to date contact details.