OP Updates

New Additions To The OP Database

Since the last edition of The Old Princethorpian in February, we've had a bumper number of OPs from across the decades either adding or updating their details on the database.

To check them out go to the OPs part of the website and register or logon if you have already registered.


Harry Deely – 2005 -2012

Amran Thandi – 2012 – 2013

Karin Atkins – 1976 – 1982

Helen Beechey – 2000 – 2003

Desmond Jack – 1990 – 2000

Paul Hubball – 1985 -1991

Dominic Gillespie – 1981 – 1987

Mark Conmy – 1983 – 1990

Chris Cunningham – 1967 – 1970

Paul Tickell – 1980 – 1985

John Murray – 1969 – 1974

Martin Heffron – 1972 – 1980

Michael Connor – 1977 – 1982

Matthew Bishton –1988 – 1993

And last but by no means least, Gerard Grady – 1973 – 1981

Welcome to them all and we hope to see them at some of our events in the coming months.

Fergus Preston Racing Ahead

I left Princethorpe last year and started at Nottingham Trent university studying pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry. While at uni I have taken up rowing and have seen some great success in the last five months, so much so that my crew and I were due to take place in the Head of the River Race London at the end of March.

Our crew along with 398 others were to row on the Thames from Putney to Chiswick (the boat race in reverse). It is a 6.8km race. Fellow crews competing were the Oxbridge crews, international teams from the likes of Czech Republic, the the Olympic German team and rumours of the GB national team!

The race was scheduled to commence at 14:15 as this was the time at which the tide were the change direction and therefore the stream would be the fastest. Over 400 boats entered the race and Nottingham Trent were positioned 363; many people think that being positioned here means that you're considered "poor", however when you look at the boats that had entered i.e. Leander, German National teams and all the top rowing universities such as UCL, Durham, Newcastle, this wasn't a bad position!

When rowing up to the start line, the tide was fairly choppy but this was to be expected as the Thames is the only Head race that is a Tideway. However, once we were passed Hammersmith Bridge, the tide settled and the conditions were perfect for rowing in. The marshall instructed us to 'park' ourselves along the bank with the other countless number of boats and gently 'tap' our way up to the start line. (The race had already started by this point).

The first 100 boats went down, with Leander heading off first and Mosley shortly after. After they had all gone down, this was divisions 1 and 2 over with. We were venturing ever closer to the start line.

The bad news then arrived; "The race has been abandoned, please do not move". 4 out of the 100 boats that went down had sunk due to the choppy conditions under Hammersmith and Putney. The race was then deemed unsafe for other competitors. This was saddening news as for the last 2 weeks prior to the race we had trained endlessly, averaging around 16-18 hours a week, most of which being early morning sessions starting at 5:30am! It had also been calculated that in the run up to the race we had rowed just shy of 90km, both on and off the water.

In spite of this, having the experience to row on the Thames and go past famous landmarks such as Harrods depository and Fulham football ground was amazing. Thankfully the race is every year, so hopefully we will have the opportunity, no doubt of rowing it again.

In other news, my coach is putting me up for GB trials later this year. This has meant that my scheduled three week easter holiday was shortened to one week as I had to go back to Nottingham to train. in order to qualify for trials, my 2k time needs to be 6:17. This is a split time of 1:35/500m. My current 2k time stands just shy of 6:30. Additionally my 5km time needs to drop to 16:30. Currently my time is 16:54. The gap may be small, however this won't be easy. Upon achieving many of my PB times, I have come off the ergo and either fainted, had an asthma attack or vomitted. The extremities to which you have to push your body to achieve such goals can sometimes be dangerous. Having said that, I always get back not on the ergo to try and improve my times.

I will keep you posted as to how I do!

Jodie Chinn Focuses on Design

I was at Princethorpe for Sixth Form and left in summer 2010. I did an Art Foundation at Warwickshire College and am now doing BA Design at Goldsmiths, University of London and am in my third year of study.

I am interested in a multidisciplinary approach to design: one that is ultimately about experimentation and conceptual thinking with the freedom to create without limitations and I would ultimately like to set up my own studio. However, I am still interested in doing art on the side/spare time.

The painting in the gallery attached to this article is a commission I did for Aston (one of Princethorpe's postmen) after he saw my A-level final piece hanging in Princethorpe's front entrance. It is a piece I did based on a project looking at the use of light in painting. It has a different composition to the original painting as Aston chose a composition from a series of photographs I took. A painting of this size takes me approx 2 weeks to do and I used acrylic paint. The girl is my friend Rosemary Lambert.

I would be very happy to do commissions if anyone is interested. I would be happy to do portraits based on photographs I am given or I could take the photographs as well. I am also open to using a range of media including: acrylic, pencil and chalk and charcoal. I am basically happy to do anything the client would like!

If you would like to commission a piece of art by Jodie please email jodie_chinn@hotmail.com.

View Gallery

World First For James Godden

Any of my Mathematics teachers reading my job title will probably be slightly confused – my overriding memory of Maths was staring blankly at a triangle pressing ‘sin’, ‘cos’ and ‘tan’ on my calculator just trying to get close to the required number! But this is where my first praise for Princethorpe comes in; the staff never gave up on me, or any others in my class. It was once noted by President John Calvin Coolidge that ‘persistence and determination…are omnipotent’ and that certainly seemed to be the mantra that all of the staff at the College embodied. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

I left the College in 2010 and moved to The University of Southampton to study Law. During my time there, I was an avid member of the University Jazz Society in which I played tenor saxophone (a skill which was most definitely nurtured and encouraged to blossom by the Princethorpe music department), and presided over our Mooting (legal advocacy) Society. I got to compete in Mumbai, and wholeheartedly believe that these successes were down to the confidence instilled in me by the caring and supportive ethos of the College.

Upon graduating I was offered work at DLA Piper, one of the larger international law firms, in Australia for a couple of months. I therefore incorporated this with a bit of a gap year (in order to ‘find myself’, of course) and travelled Route 66 in America and then the East and West coasts of Australia. I really enjoyed working for the firm, but felt that law was not the overall career I wished to pursue. As a result, I returned home with a bit of an employment quandary.

This is where I include a word of warning for present pupils, which I’m sure my class will echo to an extent. The job market at the moment is tough to break. We’ve all read it and the reality of this doesn’t hit home until you’re right in the midst of it. Having taught myself the intricacies of the stock market whilst at University, and found ‘dabbling’ in it to be quite fun, I figured that this sort of route was the one I would, instead, like to pursue.

During our last few months at the College, we were given interview practice workshops. To get through to the company where I am now, I had to complete a telephone interview, a group stage interview followed by a final interview with my Directors. It was gruelling to say the least, but well worth it. The advice we were given in those workshops stuck with me through to those interviews so, again, my gratitude is extended to the College.

I now work on the Private Client Desk for one of the UK’s largest Foreign Exchange brokers, World First. It’s nothing short of an incredible company. One of the reasons why I like it so much is because it embodies a similar ethos to the College. Honest, Helpful and Client-centric (of course, Princethorpe would class that as Student-centric!). World First’s slogan is ‘People First’, the phone is always answered within three rings and we’re instructed to be completely transparent and honest with our clients. I find it incredible that an international company still holds these core values, and I know how lucky I am to work here. Simply, we broker transactions from one currency to another by taking clients’ funds from one account, internally converting them and then placing them in their other account wherever that may be. To save me taking over the whole newsletter(!), our website explains how the process works and I would urge anybody reading this who has Foreign Exchange requirements to have a look at our website – www.worldfirst.com or email me at James.Godden@worldfirst.com.

As a final note, to all present pupils I would say just one thing. Yes, grades and hard work are important in this day and age. But I genuinely believe that if you’re a fundamentally good person with a bit of panache then you will go further in life than anyone who is purely academic. That’s why I included that quote at the beginning. Princethorpe gives you the means to nurture such life skills – be sure to take advantage of this.

Charlie Preston's Winchester To Paris Run

I was at Princethorpe from 2004 to 2011. I enjoyed all my time there playing vast amounts of school sport. I am now studying at the University of Winchester doing business management, I am in my final year and play rugby and cricket for the University.

My involvement in sport at Princethorpe, along with the values of the school have made me motivated to do charitable work and driven me to do more sporting events such as the one I am about to embark on. 

On the 26th May, along with four friends I will start running from Winchester Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower, the run will take over 2 weeks, we'll be staying in hostels, and raising money and awareness for Cancer Research.  The total distance is 190 miles and we are aiming to raise £4,000, as we all know someone that has been affected by cancer and we want to help fight it!

To support Charlie and his friends in please visit:



Ryan Ives Making Movies

After taking my A-levels, I left Princethorpe Sixth Form in 2010 with no clear idea of what I wanted to do. I did know however that if I was going to University it would be for the right personal reasons and not for the sake of it. I worked in retail for a year and then worked in an office based job for about six months. Neither of which filled me with great excitement.

I have always been interested in film and video and used to regularly 'borrow' my parents video camera to video skateboarding escapades with a friend when I was at primary school. So I decided to look into and was accepted onto a two year course at Warwickshire College taking an HND in Digital Film and Video. I am now in my 2nd year and hope to go onto University this September to further my knowledge and make my qualification into a degree.

I am currently working on a five-man project for a short film which will take me through to June, as well as a solo project of the same length. You can view my completed projects by typing RYAN IVES into YouTube - my channel is at the top.

I have enjoyed working with a diverse range of people over the last 18 months, including a script editor for the BBC series Doctors and filming in a variety of locations such as Warwick Boxing Club and Shirley's Garage, Meriden. What has been nice, is as an Old Princethorpian I have been lucky enough to have help and guidance from Dawn and Adam Trotman, current Princethorpe parents who are involved in Post Production Editing. Thank you to them and to everyone who has had an input into my studies. Although hard and challenging work I have thoroughly enjoyed it......so far !!