Births, Deaths & Marriages


Jo Fowler Welcomes Baby Charlie

OP Jo Fowler (nee Lee) shares news of her latest family addition.

Charlie Joseph Fowler was born on 21 May weighing 8lb10oz. He is loved very much and adored by his doting big brother Isaac who refers to him as “my Charlie”. I have been married to Andy for 8 years and we live in Northamptonshire. Although currently on maternity leave I am a chartered accountant and work for Snap-on Tools in Kettering. 

Congratulations, Jo, Andy and Isaac! 

Double Baby Joy For Dyke Sisters

Huge congratulations to sisters, Ruth Magill and Beckie Andrews, both nee Dyke, on the birth of their baby daughters earlier in the summer.

Ruth's first child, Marnie Florence Mara Magill, pictured left, was born on 18th May at 4.52am weighing 7lbs exactly.

Ruth is currently on maternity leave from her role as Ambient & Hampers Food Buyer at Daylesford Organic Farm. Congratulations to Ruth and her husband Simon. 

Beckie's second child, Ottilie Elizabeth Andrews, pictured right, was born just over a month later on 20th June, weighing in at 7lb 11oz. 

Congratulations to Beckie and her husband John, and to their son, Luca, who is enjoying being a big brother!


OP Will And Fiancée Grace Welcome Baby Theo

We’re delighted to share news that OP Will Lyne (who left Princethorpe in 2004) and his fiancée Grace Grineaux welcomed a baby boy over the summer. Theo Henry Lyne was born on 15 August 2018 weighing 7lbs 6.5oz.

Will has run his own company with his business partner for over 10 years. Total Installations Warwickshire Ltd offers a range of services, to include plumbing and heating, refurbishment and kitchen and bathroom installations.

Theo was born amongst a very busy year for Will as him and his partner Grace get married on 1 December 2018 and hope to move into their barn conversion in February 2019, which Will has been busy project managing. 

Many congratulations to you both and we look forward to hearing about your upcoming wedding celebrations!


OP Dave Roberts Pops The Question

In June, OP Dave Roberts plucked up the courage to ask his now fiancée Heather to marry him. He tells us more!

Since leaving Princethorpe after year 11 in 2003 I attended Warwickshire College gaining a ND in 3D Design. I then attended Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery where I graduated with a HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing. I have worked in the jewellery industry for the last 11 years and am now a manufacturing manager at one of the UK’s largest diamond jewellery wholesalers. The highlight of my career to date was being named as one of the “30 Under 30” by the industries leading magazines. This means that I was one of the top 30 individuals under the age of 30 that works in the UK jewellery industry.

I met my Fiancée Heather in the trade, she began working at my company 3 years ago and within 6 months we were official.

We met years ago but never ended up getting together as I was too scared to call her! It wasn’t until she started working with me that we hit it off. I used to find excuses to work in the room that she was working in so I could talk to her as much as I could.

We haven’t started planning the big day yet as we are due to move into our first house together this week and therefore any savings we had have been swallowed by our mortgage.

Congratulations Dave and Heather and good luck with the house move! 

OP Charlotte and Fiancé Ollie's Big Day

Old Princethorpian Charlotte Pickin and her Fiancé Ollie Jenkins got engaged in July, she tells us more below.

I left Princethorpe in 2010 and went straight to the University of Southampton to study Law. I was in the same uni halls as Ollie and we met at a Freshers' Week foam party.  We were good friends throughout our 3 years at uni but we didn’t actually become an item until after we graduated.

Ollie relocated from Kent and now works for a tech recruitment company in Northamptonshire. I trained with a law firm in Rugby and qualified as a Solicitor in August 2017. After 5 years together Ollie finally popped the question when we were on a mini-break in the Lake District.

We are getting married in Ladbroke Church (the village where I grew up) on Saturday 1 June 2019 as this will be our 6 year anniversary. Less than 8 months to go now, not that I’m counting!!

Fabulous - what a way to celebrate your anniversary! Congratulations Charlotte and Ollie. 

OP Fairytale Comes True For Sophie Watts And Chris Maffey

News of a Princethorpe Fairytale reached the Old Princethorpians earlier in the summer. OPs Sophie Watts and Chris Maffey got engaged on 4 July 2018 and Sophie tells us more.

We have known each other since we were 14 as we met on the Eiffel Tower on our Year 9 French home stay trip. We have then been best friends ever since, so much so that Chris proposed to me on a speed boat in Majorca this July - my very own James Bond!! 

After leaving Princethorpe in 2011, Chris Maffey (my now Fiancé!) did a gap year in Australia and New Zealand, where he managed to get a job working on the Hobbit film set and developed his love for wood working. Chris then started his career off by running his own company ‘CM Carpentree’, as a Bespoke Furniture Maker making commission pieces for numerous clients. Chris now works for a creative retail company ‘Tony G LTD’, and works all over Europe as a specialist installer and carpenter.

And after graduating with a first class honors in BSc Veterinary Physiotherapy, I am currently setting up my own Veterinary Physiotherapy business (Sophie Watts Veterinary Physiotherapy - website to follow very soon so please keep an eye out!). 

We are getting married Autumn 2019 in my home village Barford, and we cannot wait to celebrate with everybody - the majority of our bridesmaids, ushers and guests are actually fellow OPs thinking about it!! So yes, a true OP Fairytale!!

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this Sophie and we hope to include news of your wedding in another OP newsletter. 

Sophie And Phil Tie The Knot In Tuscany

OP Sophie Taylor (née Hine) who left Princethorpe in 2006 got married to Phil on 1 June 2018 and she takes up her story below.

Phil and I met at Loughborough University whilst both being part of the athletics team. I did high jump and Phil was a 400-metre runner. I got into athletics because of Miss Abery (Mrs McCullough) introducing me to it at school, so in a sense, I have Miss Abery to thank for me meeting my husband!

We both have our own businesses. Mine is an investment management company based in Henley-in-Arden. My husband’s business is a summer school company that hires out private boarding schools in the summer holidays and runs English language and multi activity programmes for international students.

We got married in Lucca, Tuscany in June this year. It was the most fabulous day in stunning settings, with lovely weather, amazing food and a fun filled day with friends and family.

Sophie also gave a little update on the Princethorpe connections that were ever-present at their wedding.  She continues,

The picture of me and my bridesmaids includes Sophie Lewis (nee Roberts), Lauren Young (nee Wightman) and Jenny Shortt. We all attended Princethorpe from Year 7 through to Sixth Form and we are still best friends to this day. Also in the picture is my sister, Charlotte Boswell (née Hine) who also went to Princethorpe and finished Sixth Form in 2001. Charlotte went on to marry James Boswell, who also attended Princethorpe.

In the group picture is all of my Princethorpe friends who attended our wedding. They are; Sophie Lewis (née Roberts, she married Mark Lewis in 2015 and they met at school), Mark Lewis, Lauren Young (née Wightman, she married Alex young in 2015, and they also met at school), Alex Young, Jenny Shortt, Amar Farmah, Will Lyne, Sam Brown, Rod Spollen and Ed Hunter.

I’ve also attached a photo of my nephew, Harry, and Lauren Young’s daughter, Ava, playing hide and seek. Both sets of their parents attended Princethorpe, Charlotte Boswell and James Boswell are Harry’s parents and Lauren Young and Alex Young are Ava’s parents.

There is also a picture of my cousin, Victoria Shimwell, who also went to Princethorpe and she is with my Nephew, Harry, on a bench who is a Princethorpe baby.

The picture of the baby is Sophie and Mark Lewis’s baby, who again is a Princethorpe baby.

And finally, attached is a photo of me and my parents. Whilst at school and playing any sport under the sun, my Mum could be found in her bright yellow coat cheering from the side-lines!

What a fantastic update and so lovely to hear of so many Princethorpe connections still going strong so many years on. Congratulations Sophie and Phil!

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Princethorpe Wedding Bells For OPs Philippa and Peter

Old Princethorpians Peter Scarisbrick Miller and Philippa (née Watkins) got married in June here at Princethorpe. Philippa continues their story below:

As we both attended Princethorpe College as students, we thought that having our wedding ceremony at Our Lady of the Angels would be a fitting tribute to the time where our paths first crossed over 10 years ago.

We married at the end of June on one of the hottest days of the year, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. The chapel looked amazing with all the stained glass ablaze with colour and it was lovely to see all of our friends and family there to celebrate with us, sitting in the same pews where we sat all those years ago. 

After the ceremony we headed over to Dodford Manor to continue the celebrations into the early hours. The whole day flew by for us but we loved every second of it. 

We are currently living in Warwickshire, in a dormer bungalow which we have just renovated and extended. Pippa created the designs for the work as she is in the final stages of becoming a Chartered Architect and after leaving Princethorpe College Peter went on to gain a Masters Degree in Design at Coventry University and  is now the director of a design consultancy working in partnership with Jaguar Landrover.

Many congratulations to you both – we love that Princethorpe is helping match-make happy couples!  

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‘It’s A Match!’ For Pollyanna And Steve

We were delighted to hear the recent news of OP Pollyanna Poulter’s marriage. Polly married Steve Westwood in a civil ceremony at the Asylum Chapel in Peckham, London, followed by a party in the pub at East Dulwich Tavern, London, on 14 September 2018.

OP Polly is a Senior Editor at Octopus Publishing in London. From her office on the Thames she works with a large team of creatives on illustrated titles of a variety of subjects, including high-end cookery (most recently The Ritz London Cookbook), photography, fashion, music, and popular science to name but a few. Steve is a Software Developer for a finance company in the hipster area of The City of London (although he is not a hipster!). They met almost three years ago when they both swiped right on a popular dating app. Steve proposed halfway through The Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve 2017. Their wedding was attended by their closest family and friends, including a number of other OPs. They live in a flat in Sydenham, southeast London.

Many congratulations to you both.

Images: Nick Tucker Photography


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European Holiday Spells Wedding Bells For Tom and El

21-year old OP Ben Tompkins got engaged earlier in the summer, he takes up his story below.

My fiancée is Elinor (El) Thomas. She is currently working as a dental nurse in Lillington after qualifying in March of this year. 

I am currently working as a carpenter for Tompkins Construction. I completed my three-year apprenticeship, this year, through Warwickshire College whilst working for Tompkins Construction.    

In the summer my fiancée and I went on a trip for five weeks around Europe, countries included: France (Paris), Switzerland (Lausanne), Italy (Milan, Bologna, Rome, Florence) Croatia (Dubrovnik) and Greece (Zakynthos). El proposed to me whilst we were in Milan. It was about 2.00am and she woke me with a long note, luckily, it was the best note I've ever read, otherwise I wouldn't have been very happy about being woken up at that time! 

We first met whilst on a night out in Rugby through mutual friends, no real romantic story there and we haven't got any specific plans for the big day yet. We are planning for it to take place in about 2 1/2 - 3 years’ time.   

Many congratulations Ben and El from all at Princethorpe!


Mary O'Farrell - RIP

It is with immense sadness that we share the news that Mary O’Farrell, the Foundation’s former Chair of Trustees, passed away after a short illness on Sunday 2 September 2018.

Mary joined the Foundation’s Governing Body in 2000 and held the role of Chair of Trustees for eight years until 2016, continuing to serve as trustee to the present day. A former primary Headteacher with many years’ experience, Mary played an integral part in the Foundation's growing success, overseeing the merger with Abbotsford in 2010 and with the Crescent in 2016.

Comments Ed Hester, Senior Head of the Foundation "Mary was a remarkable woman in so many ways and with her passing the Foundation has lost a true and valued friend. She was an exceptional Chair of Trustees, known for her wise counsel, collaborative approach and sense of humour, all of which she brought to bear in her role. She had an implicit understanding of education, teaching and learning and this combined with her unique personal touch with fellow trustees, staff and children has had an immeasurable impact on the Foundation over the years.

“She was an inspirational person, the embodiment of Princethorpe’s ‘spirit of family’ and will be sorely missed by the Princethorpe community. Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences are with Mary’s husband, John, and her family at this very sad time.”

Marlene Head - RIP

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Marlene Head.

Marlene was a very dear friend of St Joseph's Convent and Crackley Hall School for over 30 years.  Having taught for 10 years elsewhere in the County, Marlene then moved to Crackley Hall where she was a passionate and dedicated educator.  Even in her retirement, Marlene continued her contact with Crackley Hall by providing support for lessons and attending events whenever her commitments permitted. 

Marlene was involved in a serious road traffic accident on Thursday 27 September and tragically passed away later that day from the injuries she sustained.  Our thoughts and prayers are now with her family; her husband Tom, daughter Sarah, son Murray and his family.

Following her death, Marlene's family released this statement: "Over some 40 years' teaching in Warwickshire, from the early 1970s at Kineton High School, then both St Joseph's Convent and Crackley Hall School in Kenilworth, Marlene touched the lives of innumerable children and families. Everybody remembers Mrs Head with admiration, respect and affection. In her all too brief retirement, Marlene pursued a variety of interests with U3A and Village Voices choir. She leaves behind her husband Tom, daughter Sarah, son Murray and grandson Wilfred.

Marlene’s funeral service will be held at the Sun Rising Natural Burial Ground, situated just off the A422 adjacent to Tysoe village on Thursday 11th October at 2.30pm. Her family would be happy to welcome anyone who wishes to join them afterwards at the Castle Inn in Edgehill around 2 miles away from 4pm where light refreshments will be provided.

They have asked for family flowers only please (due to strict limitations to what may be left at the reserve) but donations would be welcome in Marlene’s name to the Salvation Army and/or the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service care of R. Locke & Son Funeral Directors.

Crackley Hall will arrange a suitable occasion to pay their respects, remember Marlene and all that she meant to the school in the future.  She was a much-loved colleague, friend and teacher. 


James Downes - RIP

In early August we were saddened to receive the news of the sudden passing of Old Princethorpian, James Downes.

James attended the College from 1992 to 1997.

James's funeral took place on Friday 24 August 2018 at Princethorpe College Chapel. It was a beautiful service attended by a huge number of his family and friends, and was followed by the wake at Broadstreet RFC to celebrate James's life.

Broad Street Rugby Club also held a testimonial match on Saturday 8 September at 3.00pm in memory of James.

Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to all of James’ family and friends.

Jim McGarvey - RIP

The College was sad to hear that, Old Princethorpian, Jim McGarvey passed away in early August. 

Jim left Princethorpe College in 1981.

Jim's funeral took place on Thursday 16 August at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Whitnash.

Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to all of Jim's family and friends.