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26 July

Regattas, reunions, research & reminiscing!


Friday 5th July was beautifully sunny and although King’s didn’t have a crew racing, it was still the perfect day for Development Director, Liz and Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, to head to Henley Regatta. This is the second year we have hosted a King’s gazebo at the cricket club for OVs who are at Henley and it was again a great success. We were delighted to be joined by a variety of OVs from different years who all have King’s and rowing in common, for a glass of Pimms and a catch up in between races.

We were pleased to be joined by so many OVs including James Beattie (Cl 10-17), David Gregory (S 50-58), Daniel Hickling (Os 88-97), Lauren Pruden-Lawson (Cl 91-98), Peter Beaumont (W 81-83), Gerald Lindner (S 43-46), Rose Rolle-Rowan (S 91-98), Ed Simpson (S 75-84), Zoe Cox (Cr 91-98), Rufus Tilt (Cr 10-17), Kate Emsley (Cl 12-19), Emily Watkins (Ch 13-19) and Harry Annable (Br 10-17). It was wonderful to hear a variety of rowing memories and it was a lovely opportunity for OVs from different years to meet. It was a particular pleasure to be there on the day that James Beattie, Henry Marles (Br 12-17) and Alex Styles (W 08-15) were all racing for their respective clubs. Liz and Sophie were hugely grateful to the OVs who remembered from their school days how to dismantle the King’s gazebo at the end of the day!

Year of 1984 Reunion

This year is the 35 year anniversary of those OVs who left school in 1984 and following successful 25 and 30 year reunions, the OVs decided to meet up again in Worcester on Saturday 20th July. Following tours of school, where Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie Borrillo-McLellan showed a group of 1984 leavers around some of the newer buildings on the school site as well as into Edgar Tower and School House, the group moved onto The Sociable Beer Company in Worcester where they met up with others from their year. The Sociable Beer Company is run by King’s parent, Keith Duddy, and catering was provided by OV, Brad Hills (K 00-07).

A number of the OVs had not met each other since leaving school in 1984 and the evening provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to catch up with news of families, careers and interests and to remember stories from their schooldays. They were delighted to be joined by Hon OVs Marc and Julia Roberts and Mr Thompson, who also enjoyed meeting up with the OVs and hearing about what has passed in the 35 years since leaving King’s. The event was organised by former Head of School, Mike Morgan (Ch 78-84) who is married to OV, Sue Pinnick (Co 82-84), in conjunction with Sophie Borrillo-McLellan, from King’s Development & Alumni Relations Office.  The foreign contingent included Steve Campbell-Tyler (Ca 79-84) who travelled from North Carolina in the US to be at the Reunion and John Howell (Br 77-84) who flew in from Toronto to join his brother, James Howell (Cr 77-84) and others at the event.  Development Director at King’s, Liz Elliott (Co 82-84) thoroughly enjoyed being ‘on the other side’ of a reunion event – as she left the school in 1984 – realising that King’s friends really don’t change that much over time and how easy it is to re-kindle a friendship and remembering fun times at King’s from years ago.

The reunion continued long into the evening, with promises to meet up again for the OVs’ 40 year anniversary on 20th July 2024!

Many thanks to Nick Stephens (Br 77-84) for taking photos for the evening. More photos can be found here.

behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum

Liz Elliott was in for a treat when she visited Dr Rob Huxley (Cr 65-70) in London this week.  Rob is currently a research associate for the Natural History Museum, having retired from his role as Head of Botanical Collections in 2015, after 20 years at The Natural History Museum. It was a real honour for Liz to be shown the back of house for the museum, where the original collections are stored.

Rob showed Liz where the specimen files are stored: in beautiful original furniture and also in the more modern, climate and pest-controlled sections of the building.  Liz was also introduced to some of Rob’s colleagues working on the curating and mounting of specimens and she was intrigued to learn about the original collection sold by Hans Sloane to Parliament, which

was based both on his field research during a trip to Jamaica in 1687 and subsequent botanical collections from others.  Some of Sloane’s collection was moved from the British Museum to the Natural History Museum in the 1880s with all the original specimens still being stored on site.

Rob attended King’s in the 1960s and told Liz how much he enjoyed his schooldays in Worcester and mentioned the impact of some of his teachers on his later career – in particular naming Fred Logan (Biology), John Turner (Maths). Having passed the 11+ to get into King’s, Rob was also aware how important the current King’s Bursary scheme is to ensure the continuity of education to children who would not otherwise be able to attend the school.

We look forward to welcoming Rob back to King’s as he has very kindly offered to talk with King’s students about his own career and experience in the world of Botany and Museums.


Returning to King’s

It was a beautiful sunny day when Henry Shouler (H 49-56) came to visit King’s School early in the summer holidays – a wonderful way to view the school and re-visit some familiar buildings like College Hall and the Reading Room (Chappel Memorial Room) and also to see some of King’s new buildings: the Michael Baker Boathouse and the Keyes Building.

During Henry’s time at King’s he was actively involved in sports of all kinds, playing for the 1st XI Cricket and also the 1st XV Football, 1st XI Hockey, he was a member of the Athletics throws team, Captain of the school Badminton team and was awarded colours playing in the 1st XV Rugby.   From the prow of the Boathouse, Henry was able to see the cricket and rugby pitches across the river, where he spent many happy hours.

Henry also recalled time spent in Hostel House and he visited what is now the Staff Common Room, which had been The Hostel Common Room, where the boarding boys used to meet for study and evening prayers. Housemaster for The Hostel during Henry’s time at school was Richard Pedder and Henry also remembered the Pedder’s house labrador!  Sophie Borrillo-McLellan showed Henry some photographs from the School Archives in which Henry recognised both himself and a number of his peers.  Henry kindly offered to label the photos with his friends’ names, which will really please King’s archivist, Harriet Patrick!  We look forward to welcoming Henry back to King’s one day in the Autumn, when school is back in operation.

300 years of Friendship

We were delighted to be informed by Mike Page (Cr 60-65) that on Friday 12th July, a group of OVs from the 1960s got together at the King’s Arms in Ombersley to welcome back to the UK their friend John Malcomson (W 55-65) who has lived in Auckland NZ for over 40 years. In the photo are: Mike Page (Cr 60-65), Tony Cook (Cl 57-66), Elis Jones (W 55-65), John Malcomson (W55-65), David Malcomson (Cl 57-68) and John Horton (Cl 60-66).

It turns out there are several long stories of friendship attached to the picture:  Elis Jones and John Malcomson go back over 70 years since they first got to know one another as toddlers in Gheluvelt Park; John Malcomson and John Horton go back some 65 years as they knew each other as small boys at Sunnyside School. Mike Page and John Horton knew one another at the age of 11-12 as rivals on the Cricket pitch and so they go back over 60 years. Between them they chalk up a grand total of over 300 years of friendship!

It is wonderful to hear of OV gatherings such as this and please do let us know if you are planning an OV get-together soon.

(Photo courtesy of Mike Page)

Wedding bells for visiting OV

On the 17th July we were so pleased to see Lizzie Baxter (S -03-10) back at King’s. Lizzie popped in for a walk around with her fiancé Ian and his family who were over to share the wedding of Ian to Lizzie that was taking place on the Saturday. Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, was delighted to meet them all and to show them around King’s.

The tour started in The Michael Baker Boathouse which impressed everyone, but especially Ian who had enjoyed rowing at University. School House was a particularly special place to visit as it had been not only Lizzie’s House, but also her Father Andrew (S 70-75)’s and Uncle Michael (S 70-80)’s too. Lizzie really enjoyed finding her old house room , as well as showing Ian and his family the classrooms where her Father and Uncle slept as boarders. Everyone really enjoyed looking in the Keyes Building, with special appreciation for the McClatchey Climbing Wall, the Sports Hall and amazing gym. The walls of the gym are decorated with shirts from OVs who have played sports at high level for County or Country, and Lizzie was very happy to spot an OV friend up there who would be attending her wedding. The group finished with a visit to the Art Department, where Lizzie had spent most of her time at School. Lizzie was particularly pleased to find some beautiful screen prints done by current pupils as she had made these for her exams.

Sophie was delighted to finish by showing Lizzie some records that had been found by Harriet Patrick, King’s Archivist. These included School House photographs with her in, but also some from when her Father was at King’s. There were also netball and hockey team photos with Lizzie in and very specially, a record of the register from 1946 where her Great Uncle Malcolm Leonard (Dayboys 46-55) was entered.

It was an absolute pleasure to see Lizzie and to meet Ian and his family. The group left Sophie, ready to embark on some flower arranging for the big day, which we were assured was going to attended by many OVs!

King’s Day 2019

The sun shone for King’s Day this year as we said farewell to the Year of 2019 and welcomed them as the newest members of the OV family. First, we were joined in the stunning Worcester Cathedral by pupils, parents, Governors, Trustees, OVs, OV Club Committee members, current and former staff and friends of the school to hear the report of the past academic year from the Headmaster, Matthew Armstrong with testimonials from several of the leaving Upper Sixth including Head of School, Sam Martyn-Smith. Prize-giving took place with awards being given to those who excelled in their academic subjects and there were also some extraordinary musical performances from the School Orchestra and singers from the Upper Sixth which were very well-received in the Cathedral!

Following this was the emotional Leavers’ Service with the talk given this year by The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester Cathedral. The Dean recounted the amusing story of returning to his former school many years later to discover that he could not visit the school playground because it was too dangerous! The Dean hoped that the time spent in the Cathedral and the memories that the pupils will have after leaving King’s will draw them back one day and that the pupils will always feel they can come back to the Cathedral as a place of reflection. As is tradition, at the end of the Service, the leaving Upper Sixth processed out of the Cathedral and as they left College Hall, the Headmaster shook each pupil’s hand signalling the moment they became OVs.

After lunch we were delighted to catch up with lots of OVs supporting the King’s Day events including the DT exhibition, the dance show and the King’s Regatta where we were able to spot many OVs, many of whom still row at University and beyond, racing along the river! It was a fantastic day and one that will have a very special place in the hearts of our 2019 OVs.

Photos from King’s Day can be found here.