OP Updates

Tony Mogboh Conferred As Senior Advocate Of Nigeria

On Wednesday 8 December OP Tony Mogboh was conferred with the prestigious Award Of Excellence in Legal Practice in Nigeria SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria). The award is akin to QC (Queen's Counsel) in the UK.

Tony left Princethorpe College in June 1988 and was Deputy Head Boy when he was here in his final year.

We were really delighted to hear of Tony's exciting news and congratulate and applaud him on his distinguished achievement.

Priory Old Girl Mary Enjoys Return to Princethorpe

A friend of my son and an OP, said to me at a party last September,

“I’m sure I can arrange for you to to visit Princethorpe to see what it’s like now”.

And so during the October half term, I found myself being driven by my son, up the drive of what was to me, Princethorpe Priory. My heart beating a little faster than normal! What a lot of changes but the buildings looked magnificent and when I looked carefully, I could see little bits of the old Princethorpe I knew and last saw in 1966.

Melanie Butler and Alex Darkes were so welcoming – Alex remembering the old Princethorpe as I new it. They patiently let me ramble on about my time at Princethorpe Priory as they escorted us. I was intrigued to see my dormitories, now divided into classrooms and I was able to find the exact spots where my bed had been.  I was even more amazed to see those terrifying little metal platforms outside the windows of the top senior dormitory, which acted as a stepping off point with a harness in the event of a fire!

It was marvellous to see the Lime Walk still there and being preserved – memories of playing Grandmother’s Footsteps came back to me and we walked the ‘jog trot’, which again brought back vivid memories.

I am so glad I came to visit. I was transported into the past and loved seeing the Chapel just as I remembered, with the lovely white marble carved angels on either side of the tabernacle.  I could go on ….. but as I was leaving, I thought what a very impressive school has taken the place of Princethorpe Priory.

Thank you to Melanie and Alex for their time and for allowing my visit, and to Guy Ratcliffe, who persuaded me and arranged the visit and to my son, Tom who drove me.

Mary Shorland Ball (nee Sampson)

If you are interested in visiting Princethorpe for a tour, please email Melanie Butler, OPs Secretary to arrange a mutually convenient date.

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Two OPs With A Positive Outlook

We were delighted to catch up with two Old Princethorpians with a mutual passion for community and sustainability, who have joined forces to run a company spreading positivity across the UK!

Harvey Broadbent (Class of 2008) and Ben Oliver (Class of 2016) have both been on a bit of a journey since leaving Princethorpe College. Harvey went on to study Industrial and Product Design at Bournemouth University, where he learnt the ins and outs of turning a concept into creation and his passion for product development was born. After graduating in 2012, Harvey launched his first creative venture in his spare time, balancing the demands of other roles to successfully set up his own ethical and sustainable clothing brand, Positive Outlook Clothing. Using his love of art and design, along with a non-negotiable stance on quality and sustainability, Harvey began to leave his mark in Coventry, Birmingham and most recently, Leamington Spa. As the founder of the Positive Outlook Clothing brand, Harvey has set out to grow a clothing company specializing in premium everyday wear, made from sustainably sourced materials that have been ethically produced with minimal impact on the environment.


Early in 2021, Ben first met the brand in their pop-up retail shop in the Royal Priors Shopping Center, Leamington Spa, he was an intrigued customer who resonated with the company’s wholesome and progressive approach. He had graduated from Cardiff University in 2020 with a BSc in Psychology with Professional Placement, and had begun turning his interest towards the psychology of consumers and employees within a Psychometrics & Consulting firm in London. However, it was following the COVID-19 pandemic, that Ben’s and Harvey’s paths collided properly and he found himself working alongside his fellow-alumni as the Operations Manager for Positive Outlook. 

The company has recently returned to Leamington Spa once again with their biggest pop-up shop to date, and the OPs are now at an exciting stage with their company - growing their team, widening their product range and launching several community outreach programmes for their brand. The most recent being ‘The Give Back Pod’; a podcast aimed at supporting and endorsing youth organisations up and down the country, discussing the stigmas and stereotypes their young members face and chatting 1-2-1 with the inspiring young people these organisations work with. With Ben’s knowledge of psychology, coupled with Harvey’s passion for connecting people, they’ve started talking to and sharing the stories of local charities doing amazing things to support young people. With the first few episodes already launched, it's safe to say it's definitely worth a listen.


Comments Harvey Boradbent, “Sometimes trying to do the right thing can be easier said than done. Who can I help? How do I help? Is what I'm doing really helping? That's how we felt when we started looking for ways to give back as a company. This podcast is our way of helping people bridge the gap between wanting to help and actually know how to.”

As if by chance, their first episode was with another Old Princethorpian, Clementine Milnes, who is the co-founder of a mixed-abilities dance school, Born To Perform, in Northamptonshire. Along with new pop-up shops, product ranges and the online growth of their clothing brand, the team have ambitious goals for their podcast channel this year.

Ben Oliver, added, “It has always been clear to us that we are more than just a clothing company. We all share a purpose that’s much bigger than selling products; it's about leaving our mark on the industry and making a genuine difference to people’s lives across society.” 

So if you are a founder or employee of a charity or youth organisation, or think you could support the company in any way, then Ben and Harvey invite you to get in touch.

If you fancy catching up with Harvey and Ben then the Positive Outlook team will be in their Royal Priors pop-up shop in Leamington Spa for one more month, so do pop in and say hello.

When Harvey left Princethorpe all those years ago, he couldn't have predicted the journey that was to lie ahead. Now, with Ben alongside him, this brand is on course for big things and Princethorpe College will be rooting for them every step of the way!  

You can find Positive Outlook here: 

Shop address: 15-16, Upper Mall, Royal Priors, Leamington Spa, CV32 4XT

Website - https://positiveoutlookclothing.com/ /  https://thegivebackpod.buzzsprout.com

Email: hello@positiveoutlookclothing.co.uk 

Instagram - @positiveoutlookclothing / @thegivebackpod

Facebook - @positiveoutlookclothing / @thegivebackpod






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Rob Hedderwick Is Below Deck

Avid fans of the reality series, Below Deck, will be interested to hear that OP Rob Hedderwick, who left Princethorpe after Year 11 back in 2018, has taken to the seas to pursue a seafaring life.

After completing an Engineering BTEC, with the country in the thick of Covid, Rob worked in a local supermarket as like many, his options were severely limited, but this did give him a chance to think about what might come next. With his interest in sailing and to advance his engineering skills, he went on several marine engineering, sailing, fire and safety courses to enable him to pursue a career involving boats. His dream was to go to the South of France and dock walk to secure himself a job on a yacht however because of Covid he was unable to do this. Not to be thwarted, he decided to look closer to home for a seafaring job and became a deckhand for Mareel who provide transfer boats for engineers and welders to the North Sea Wind Turbines. After a summer contract (and lots of photos of sunsets) he was armed with sea hours, experience and knowledge enabling him to continue with further courses and gain more qualifications.

With the summer season approaching once again and restrictions being lifted, Rob decided to start looking at the yachting websites at job opportunities in the Mediterranean. An online conversation resulted in a job offer, and within 48 hours of his first contact Rob was on his way to Italy to take up a position as a deckhand on a 56 meter super yacht.

Rob was quick to point out that while he is living on a luxury yacht in Italy, it is hard work but he is enjoying his time learning the boat, new skills and using existing skills. He told us he might even learn some Italian.

It all sounds fantastic to us - enjoy your sailing Rob! 

Zara's Fascinating PhD Explores The Importance Of Children's Hour At The BBC

We were delighted to hear of OP and former St Joseph's pupil, Zara Healy’s research into the BBC and the Child Radio Listener.

Zara, who left St Joseph's in 1988 and the College in 1990, is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s School of Film and Media. She worked for the BBC as a staff/freelance journalist for more than 20 years. Zara has been working on her PhD thesis ‘Children’s Hour (1922-1945): A history of the BBC’s first radio show for children in Britain’. Her study has assessed thousands of documents at the BBC Written Archives on all aspects of children’s radio production and presentation. The thesis explores how the BBC’s public service mission catered for children and the role children played in Children’s Hour.

Fascinating work that you find out more about here.

The last part of Zara's PhD will be her Viva in April, we wish her all the best with that!


Can You Help OP Sol Investigate 'Flockdown'

Do you keep chickens, ducks or other birds as pets or a smallholding in the UK? Not the usual type of question we ask our OPs, but there is a good reason.

If you do OP Sol Elliot (Class of 2018) and her colleagues at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham are interested to hear your views and experiences of Avian Influenza control measures or ‘flockdown’ as it is being called on social media.

Sol is working on the project alongside her Veterinary Medicine studies at the university. The aim of the study is to understand the impacts of the messaging around Avian Influenza outbreaks in the UK on small scale poultry producers and backyard flocks.

If you would be willing to take part in the short survey, please click on the link below. The deadline for responses is 31 March 2022, many thanks from Sol for your help.

Avian Influenza Survey


Matt Takes On His First Half Marathon For Myton Hospice

Good luck to OP Matt Jordan (Class of 2018) who will be running the Victoria Park Half Marathon in London on Sunday 13 March.

This will be Matt's first half marathon and he is running it on behalf of Myton Hospices and in memory of his Nanna who was looked after so well by all the staff there.

To support Matt click on this link to go to his Just Giving page.

Fergus Preston Wins Young Chemist Award 2021

Congratulations to OP Fergus Preston (Class of 2013) who has won Scientific Update’s “Young Chemist Award 2021” at a recent conference.

Scientific Update delivers conferences and training courses for industrial chemists and chemical engineers in chemical development, scale-up and many other specialist topics in organic chemistry.

Fergus is currently undertaking a PhD at Dundee University and was asked to give a presentation on his work at the prestigious ACS (American Chemical Society) 25th Winter Fluorine Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida in January.

After a succesful conference, he is now focusing on finishing his PhD and is currently in the process of applying for jobs and postdoctoral research positions, with an application sent off to the University of Oxford after an encouraging conversation with the professor at the conference in Florida.

A huge well done to Fergus!

Freddie Draper Debuts For Lincoln City FC

OP Freddie Draper who left the College after finishing Year 11 in 2020, made his league debut for Lincoln City in November. He then went one step better when he played for Lincoln in the FA Cup.

Freddie signed for Lincoln City FC joining their Youth Team’s scholarship scheme back in September 2020 and has been combining professional training with the club with studying for a BTEC Level 3 in Sport.

We were delighted to hear of Freddie's progression and of his first team selection. 




Callum Spencer Takes To The Strictly Dance Floor

What a wonderful treat it was to see OP Callum Spencer (Class of 2010) performing in Week 7's Strictly Come Dancing Results Show. That certainly brought back memories for us all here at the College, as it was only a few years back that Callum and his brother Alasdair performed for us all at Prize Giving in our Golden Jubilee year.

Callum is the one on the right dancing on the bar in the Pros group Irish dance, if you missed it then you can still find the show (Week 7 Results) on the BBC’s website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m8dq

OP Vinson Sharp Drops In To Catch Up

We were delighted to meet OP Vinson Sharp (Class of 1984) when he popped into the school’s reception in October. Mr Sharp was Deputy Head Boy at the College.

He told us, “I don't have any specific memories but attending Princethorpe was an inspiration. I had Richard Attrill as Head Boy and such friends as Paul McAndrew, Michael Brady and Emilio Doorgasingh. I was a full boarder, and it was a very multi-cultural school. I spent many of my boarding days with the son of a Nigerian chief, Tony Okparavero who also spent some holidays at our home with my family and I also shared a room with the most incredibly intelligent Godfrey Tong, I hope to be able to attend some functions in the future.”

We were delighted to hear from Mr Sharp and if you remember him and would like to get in touch please do email us at oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk.

OP Chris Beaumont Plays The Organ At Our Lady Of The Angels

OP and talented organist Chris Beaumont (Class of 2008) visited Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Christmas to play for a Carol Service.

He tagged us on Twitter and we were delighted to hear from him. It has been 15 years since Chris was a pupil and he was clearly surprised by some of the changes!