Welcome to the twenty fifth issue of The Old Princethorpian, Princethorpe College's termly e-newsletter for past pupils, staff and parents, old and new.

The newsletter aims to keep OPs in touch with each other and news, developments and events at the College.

This issue includes the latest Foundation and College news, an update on the Golden Jubilee Year and reviews of some of the events so far, plus plenty of news and updates from OPs across the decades.

If you have any comments on the e-newsletter or news to contribute to the next issue, which is due out in October, please email us at oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk.

The next events in the calendar are the Summer Fete, Motoring Festival and Art, Photography and Design Show on Sunday 25 June and our final Golden Jubilee event the Ball on Saturday 1 July.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Have a great summer!



2017-2018 Subject Ambassadors Welcomed Into Roles

Princethorpe College has welcomed its new Subject Ambassadors for the 2017-2018 year.

The Subject Ambassadors will support their relevant departments in a variety of ways including at Open Events and with co-curricular activities.  

The Subject Ambassadors are:

Ella Friess
Lizzie Watson

Will Dunderdale
Izzy Heathcote

Business Studies
Sam Muller
Selin Hassan

Grace Blackhall

Daniel Dziurzynski
Sophie Chun

English Language and Literature
Katie Rodgers
English Literature
William McGinlay

Liam Jarrett
Esme Down
Jacob Rose

Greg Bowler
Freja Bassano

Charlotte Ecclestone

Computer Science
Charlie Winterton
Chumley Warner

Dominic Strange
Jasmine Thearia

Maddie Doherty
Zainah Darr

Further Maths
Adam Smith

Lauren Alkhalil
Charlie Hutchings

Philosophy and Ethics
Laurence Chapman

Rosie Lister
Lucy Donaghey

Sara Moore

Kate MacIntyre

Design Technology
JJ van Wyk
Max Brindley
Nathan Golsby-Taylor

Eve Tolley
Freya Wright

Beth Taylor
Beth Warr

Theatre Studies
Erin Dunn-Morgan

We wish them well in their new roles for the year ahead and all the best to the outgoing Subject Ambassadors with their upcoming exams and future endeavours!

50 + 10 Bursary Fund Update

As the Development Office approaches its first anniversary, we have been delighted by the warmth and generosity extended to us by the Princethorpe community, many of whom have given their time to advise and feedback on our development initiatives.

Having spent time developing a strategy and meeting key members of the Princethorpe family, we have been able to launch our first fundraising initiative, the 50 + 10 Bursary Fund.

Our aim is to provide at least ten full bursary places for ten pupils. We are actively seeking Princethorpians to support this exciting initiative, in addition to future capital projects which will enhance the experience of every pupil at Princethorpe.

We have already received donations from over twenty families, and are delighted to announce that we are now able to fund one full bursary place and one Sixth form bursary place in September. Single gifts and regular donations continue to be pledged, with small regular amounts adding up to make a significant difference.

The Development Office is currently bringing together a small committee of volunteers who will work to further our initiatives. We are seeking Old Princethorpians who may have some expertise, interest and a small amount of time to spare to join this small group which will meet every half term.

We are also hoping to reach out to Old Princethorpians across the globe. We hope to widen our networks and share our news, events and initiatives with OPs in every corner of the world. Look out for future updates coming your way!

If you would like to know more about how to Make a Difference at Princethorpe, please contact the Development Team at makingadifference@princethorpe.co.uk, telephone the Foundation Development Director, Rachel Hadley-Leonard on 01926 634265 or fill in the form by clicking here.


Inauguration Ceremony Welcomes New Princethorpe Prefect Body

The new Princethorpe College Prefect Body for 2017-2018 was formally inaugurated at an end of term ceremony on Friday 31 March. Parents and friends of those who have accepted their roles of office were invited to College for a buffet lunch before the afternoon’s formal ceremony began. With outgoing Head Boy Lloyd Ellis and Head Girl Alana Eckland wishing the new Prefect Body well, the keys of office were handed over before the roles were announced to the whole school community.

The roles of office are as follows:

Head Girl

Miriam Isaacs

Head Boy

Tim Duffy

Deputy Head Girl

Alexx Parkin (with special responsibility for Marketing and Communications)

Autumn Wells (with special responsibility for Social)

Deputy Head Boy

Lewis King (with special responsibility for Social)

Alex Tubb (with special responsibility for Academic)

Pastoral Prefects (incorporating House Pastoral Prefects)

Imogen Butler

Anna Harper-Lawrence

Tom Hennegan

Faye Lewis

Milli Thornton

House Captains:    


Tom Ashley and Sol Elliott


Dominic Channing and India Green


Will Stone and Reanne Popham


Tom Steventon and Sophie Marrow

Social Prefect

Ayuk Takang

Charity Prefects

Ben Haden and Samantha Bromage-Eccles

Chaplaincy Prefects           

Matthew Duigan and Luke Dunkley

Academic Prefects

Luke Baldock

Laura Baskerville

James Fletcher

Isabel Meade

Marketing and Communications Prefect

Edward Williamson

Games Prefects

Joe Connell and Isabel Powell

Good luck to all of the new prefect body in the year ahead and all the best to the outgoing prefects with their upcoming exams and future endeavours!

Launch Dinner Aims To Make A Difference At Princethorpe

On Friday 3 March The Development Office held a dinner to launch the Making a Difference at Princethorpe campaign. The 50 + 10 Bursary Fund aims to provide at least ten full bursary places to deserving pupils whose families who could otherwise not afford the fees.

The evening began with a drinks reception and a chance for guests to re-acquaint themselves with old friends, staff and pupils whilst meeting new faces. Following a fabulous dinner provided by our college caterers, the Headmaster was delighted to introduce the cheese course. This was of particular note because cheesemaker and Old Princethorpian Melvin Glynn, had designed and produced a cheese made specifically for us, the ‘Princethorpe Blue’. Melvin’s company, Windyridge Cheese, also provided a sample for each guest to take home!

Almost 100 guests then learnt more about our plans, and heard from past recipients of bursaries about their life-changing experiences. Although unable to attend in person, we also heard from our inaugural donor, Mr Ranjit Boparan, who has pledged to fund a full seven-year bursary place, beginning in September. A fabulous kick-start to the campaign.

Father Alan Whelan, former Headmaster and MSC, spoke on behalf of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart about the ethos of the College, and he was delighted to announce that the MSCs will continue to support the Foundation, this time in the form in a Sixth Form Bursary place for a Catholic student.

Due to the generosity of our inaugural benefactor, we have been very fortunate to work with Zeus Films, to produce a short film which highlights the difference a Princethorpe education makes. Our guests were treated to a premiere showing of the film, which lasted just over 5 minutes, but captivated our audience for every moment. The film can be seen by following the link or pasting this URL into your browser www.princethorpe.co.uk/resource.aspx?id=255911. We’ve also shared the video on the College’s Facebook page which you can view here.

We have been humbled by the response to the evening, with a wealth of positive feedback and we are delighted to report that several donations have already been made. Every donation is valued equally, no matter what the size and all gifts ‘make a difference’.

If you would like to know more about how to Make a Difference at Princethorpe, please contact the Development Team at makingadifference@princethorpe.co.uk, telephone the Foundation Development Director, Rachel Hadley-Leonard on 01926 634265 or fill in the form by clicking here and return to The Development Office, Princethorpe College, Leamington Road, Princethorpe, Rugby, CV23 9PX

Latest Admissions Newsletter Tells Of Changes To Entrance Exams

The lastest edition of the College's Admissions Update e-newsletter was issued on Friday 5 May. The issue is packed with news to give prospective parents and pupils a feel for College life, information on forthcoming events and helpful advice about the admissions process, particularly for those who are joining us this September or looking at entry in September 2018.

The major news in this edition is that for September 2018 entry there are some important changes afoot, with the College's Entrance Exams moving two months earlier to Saturday 11 November 2017.

Our friendly Admissions Team are already busy accepting registrations for 2018. There are plenty of opportunities for prospective pupils and their parents to visit the College before Entrance Exams, including our summer Open Evening on Wednesday 7 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, our Open Afternoon on Sunday 24 September and taster days for Year 6, 7 and 8 children in September and October.

Comments Melanie Butler, Assistant Head, Marketing, Admissions and Communications, "Parents and pupils will still have plenty of time to prepare and opportunities to visit the College in the run up to the exams.  The results will be out at the end of November, making for an exam-free Christmas holiday, which has got to be good news."

This newsletter is issued twice a year to coincide with key admissions periods, the next edition will be published in Autumn 2017, prior to the Entrance Exams.

Click here to view the Admissions Update.

Foundation News: Crescent School Moves To Two Year 4 Classes For September 2017

Following a recent public consultation, the Crescent School on Bawnmore Road, Bilton has confirmed its decision to increase to two Year 4 classes from September 2017. The two classes of initially between 16-18 pupils will move up through the school over the next three years.

Traditionally the school has been one form entry with classes capped at 24 pupils, however with interest at an all-time high, the independent school for boys and girls aged four to eleven, asked current and prospective parents for feedback and to register interest in either Year 4 or 5 earlier in the year.

Comments Headmaster, Huw Marshall, “For a number of years we have considered the possibility of increasing a year group to two forms at the top of the school, where traditionally classes have been full. The consultation showed definitively that interest was strongest for September’s Year 4 and we know we can accommodate and look after the additional children. The move is good news for both our current pupils and the new pupils who will be joining us, they will benefit from the smaller class sizes and the school’s proven success in getting children into their first choice of secondary school, including the local grammars.”

There is still time to register interest in Year 4 for September and lower years. Mrs Helen Morley, Crescent School Registrar will be happy to talk you through the admissions process. Helen can be contacted on 01788 523851 or email admissions@crescentschool.co.uk.

College and Foundation News

Stepping Back In Time In Oxford

On Wednesday 8 March sixteen Year 11 pupils and four staff travelled to Oxford for a historical visit with a difference.

Margit Tumim, an old girl of St Mary’s Priory (the convent school which later became Princethorpe College) had extended a very warm invitation for pupils to visit her at home in Oxford to talk about her life here at St Mary’s in the 1940s. Margit had arrived at St Mary’s as a young girl on the ‘Kindertransport’ as an evacuee from Austria, speaking only one sentence of English, ‘I do not understand’. Margit says she had many chances to put this into practice during her time at the convent!

Upon arriving in Oxford, the Headmaster showed the pupils around several of the Oxford colleges, pointing out sights and telling stories, culminating in a visit to Brasenose College, Mr Hester’s alma mater. We were fortunate to be able to visit the dining hall, the chapel and walk around the College grounds.

Next stop was a flying visit to the Pitt Rivers museum, where amongst some fascinating exhibits, pupils and staff alike were strangely drawn to the shrunken heads display; very macabre indeed!

We arrived at Margit’s home just in time to make our acquaintances in time for lunch. Margit treated us to a fabulous buffet lunch which was eagerly devoured following all the walking. After lunch Margit held court as the pupils fired off questions about what life was like at school almost eighty years ago. The History pupils were fascinated to learn of life at the convent during the Coventry Blitz, and heard stories of favourite nuns, bedtime routines, and occasional bouts of schoolgirl naughtiness.

It was so interesting to compare school life then and now, particularly when learning of heating, or the lack of, and niceties such as the tuck shop, which consisted of five sweets per person one day a week. The girls could not leave the school during term time, and in fact Margit was unable to return home to her family home in Austria for over seven years.

It was lovely to see Margit and for the pupils to hear about life in war-time Warwickshire. A real History lesson come to life!

Real Tennis Club Proves Big Hitter With OPs

Last Friday's OPs meet at Leamington's Real Tennis Club proved to be a big 'hitter' with all those who came along.

At the invitation of OP Chairman and Real Tennis Club member, Peter Rollason, a small group of 'have a go heroes', former parents Sue Panton and Emma White, old girl Mary Wheildon, former teacher Colin Morgan and Director of Sport, Neil McCollin, arrived promptly to change into their sports gear and gain access to the court for some top class coaching from the Club's Head Coach Liam.  They proved both able and attentive students, receiving compliments on their burgeoning skills from both Liam and some of the club members who were spectating, before they split into pairs for a hard fought game.

By this time a throng had gathered in the gallery adjacent to the court to watch, encourage and at times gently heckle the players!  Pimms flowed as did the conversation between past staff, including Peter Griffin, Mike Taylor, Alex Darkes and Steve White and past pupils including Ed Steele, James Lakey, Mike Edwards, David Mold, Ed Rogers and Paul Carter.

After the coaching session, OPs Peter Rollason and Ed Steele (another Real Tennis Club member) and Neil McCollin took to the court with Real Tennis club members, John Devis and Chris Sampson for an exhibition doubles match. 

The party shortly afterwards moved into the bar area where a delicious bowl buffet was served to the appreciative group and conversation carried on well into the evening.

With thanks to the Real Tennis Club for an OP Meet with a difference.  We will be looking at a new venue for 2017/2018 suggestions always welcome!



Gastronomic Spin Off To Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Not many schools can boast a commemorative cheese as part of their anniversary celebrations, but as we know, Princethorpe is far from your average school!

The Golden Jubilee celebrations have had an unexpected gastronomic spin off with the launch of Princethorpe Blue, a brand new cheese developed in honour of the College’s 50th anniversary by master cheesemaker and Old Princethorpian, Melvin Glynn.

Melvin, who now owns the Windyridge Cheese Company in Wincanton, Somerset, was inspired to create the special cheese after attending Princefest with his wife Carole in September 2016. Appropriately he was one of the first pupils at the College in the late 60s and has many fond memories of his time spent here.

Early in 2017 Melvin and Carole made a special visit to the College with samples of the prototype cheese. A flurry of deliveries then followed with a truckle for each member of staff and then generously for all the attendees at the launch of the College’s Make a Difference Bursary Campaign in March.

Describing his new cheese, Melvin comments, “Princethorpe Blue is a delicious fusion of mature English cheddar and young French blue cheese, a homage if you like to Princethorpe’s English and French influences, from the time of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and before them the Benedictines.”

Those wishing to sample the cheese are invited to attend the College’s Summer Fete and Motoring Festival on Sunday 25 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm, where a team from Windyridge will have a stall offering tastings and selling Princethorpe Blue, along with other cheeses from their range. A 200gm truckle of Princethorpe Blue will cost £4.

Negotiations are ongoing with some local fine food retail outlets who are interested in selling Princethorpe Blue and interest in the cheese is going international too with sales to a chain of supermarkets in Malta, no less.

Cheese lovers will be able to purchase Princethorpe Blue online from early June by visiting the online shop at www.windyridgecheese.co.uk

Easter Rematch For OPs Vs Babas

Following their last match at Princefest in September, Easter Saturday saw the OPs take on the Kenilworth Babas again this time in Kenilworth, Captain Harry O'Brien takes up the story...

With a big turnout for both sides, two very strong teams went head-to-head over the Easter weekend. 

The Babas got off to a great start with a number of quick tries as the OP defence got to grips with the game. Then the OPs started to put together numerous good phases as they began to assert themselves.

The OPs scored a number of tries to get back into the game setting up a thrilling final third. With both sides hammering away at each other Kenilworth scored a further try to pull away at the very end.

The final score was 41-34 to the home team.

Comments, OP Chairman, Peter Rollason, “I was a bit shocked to arrive at the ground and to be asked to play for the opposition for the first half, and it's the first time I have carried on playing after half-time in the same direction! (having swapped shirts and joined the OP's!)."

“The tempo of the game was extremely rapid and the skill levels were very high; all attempts to drag them down to my level proved futile.  It was a fantastic turnout by the OPs, particularly as it was played on a Saturday over the Easter weekend.  Kenilworth proved impeccable hosts and the hospitality afterwards was splendid; matched only by the tremendous spirit in which the game was played."


Old Princethorpians News

Golden Jubilee Airs On BBC Coventry And Warwickshire

News of the College's Golden Jubilee celebrations and the Spirit of Family Book aired to the great listening public on Friday 17 March on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

Keith Wedgebury the station's roving reporter, interviewed archivist, Nick Baker and Foundation Bursar and Old Princethorpian, Eddie Tolcher live during the Brody Swain Show around 2.40pm.

The interview touched on many aspects of the Golden Jubilee year and the College's history including tall tales of ghosts, seventies fashion faux pas, the chapel, the Benedictine nuns and the history of 'Switzerland'.

Eddie and Nick also got the chance to promote some of the final upcoming events of the year including the Golden Jubilee Cycling Pilgrimage and the Golden Jubilee Ball and to celebrate Michael Gucleur's engineering success at the Big Bang Fair.

Golden Jubilee Spring Concert – A True Jewel In Our Crown!

The fantastic surroundings of Coventry Central Hall provided the backdrop for Princethorpe College’s annual Spring Concert on Friday 24 March. Over 90 talented Princethorpe pupils were joined by representatives from Crackley Hall, Crescent School and some of our Old Princethorpians to treat the 300-strong audience to a night to remember.

As a one-off special in celebration of the College’s Golden Jubilee Year, several OPs joined our musical students for this year’s Spring Concert. Many OPs were returning from University/Conservatoires where they are carrying on their passion and studying music or still playing as a hobby. Accompanying the college Choir and Orchestra were OPs Nick Bond, Charlotte Cuningham, Tilly Langford, Matt MacLellan, Rory Pickin, Maya Vohrah and Jodie Fisher (who works at Princethorpe assisting in the music department as a peripatetic music teacher and co-ordinator of Jazz Band).

The highlight of the evening for our OPs was singing the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ medley with the choir. Matt and Nick, taking their old positions as tenors in the Choir, filled the room with the Disney classics showing off their dramatic delivery and rich harmonies within the choir. For the big finale, everyone joined in for ‘Mr Blue Sky’ with Rory and Jodie on trumpet, Charlotte on clarinet, Maya on cello, Tilly on the violin and Matt standing strong in the choir.      

The College Orchestra played to their usual high standard, with a varied repertoire covering Bizet’s Habanera, Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (complete with a barrage of paper bag canons from an enthusiastic audience!). The strength in depth of the new Year 7 brass section is particularly encouraging and bodes well for the future! John Legend’s All of Me proved that they are as comfortable with the pop repertoire as more traditional fare.

The other fine ensembles on show included the ever-popular Jazz Band, transporting an enthusiastic crowd to Birdland, the Year 7 Chorus and their toe-tapping Disney Medley and Junior Wind keeping things serious with a confident performance of Shostakovich’s Jazz Waltz. The Steel Pan groups brought a taste of the Caribbean to proceedings, covering pieces as diverse as The Blue Danube and Surfin’ USA.

The concert featured the World Premier of Year 9 pupil, Lauren Mason’s Spring Days (composed as a response to her Higher Level 2 Project). A phenomenal achievement, leaving the audience wowed by her wonderful piece and her faultless delivery. Lauren added, “The piece aims to reflect the season of Spring, new beginnings, starting afresh, growth and achievement. I enjoyed the challenge of learning a new music notation software, and techniques for experimenting and improvising, and as a result I believe that my music skills have greatly developed.”

Other soloists showing off their talents included new scholar Geraint Griffiths stunning the audience with his dexterity in Vivaldi’s Sonata No. 5, Year 11s Lauren Hill and Joe Rees separately captivating the audience with their singing, and outgoing Arts Prefects Ben Pinto and Tom Barnes proving why they were offered places at every music college for which they applied this year. Meanwhile, the Crescent School’s Imogen Angell (Cornet) and Crackley Hall’s Tom Lomas (Voice) gave incredibly mature performances on this most daunting of stages.

School of Rock began the build up to the finale by getting the crowd clapping along to Mercy by Muse.

Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw writes, “I am overjoyed with the standard of music-making being shown this year. Fittingly for our Golden Jubilee celebrations we had more performers, more variety and a higher standard of playing than at any of our previous Spring Concerts. The bar was already set incredibly high, and this evening it has been raised yet again. I would like to thank all our pupils and their parents, for continuing to support Music at Princethorpe. We hope to see you all again next year, spread the word!”

Cake And Prosecco For Former Staff At Golden Jubilee High Tea

One of the final events in celebration of our glorious Golden Jubilee year was a scrumptious High Tea for former staff. The event took place on the Friday before the start of the Trinity Term with our catering team doing us proud with a grand selection of posh nosh to indulge in.

We were very pleased to welcome back lots of familiar Princethorpe faces. Many of our visitors took the opportunity to take an extended tour of the school reminiscing over their time here, before meeting in the Sixth Form Atrium where they were warmly welcomed by Ed Hester.

Our archivist, Nick Baker, had fun trailing through years and years of photos and putting together a wonderful slideshow of old pictures complete with 70s side burns and an assortment of moustache variations having us all in stitches. Many existing staff joined the party as well to catch up with old friends and talk about how everything has changed over the years.

All in all, the event was a huge success filled with lots of laughs, sandwiches, cake and prosecco; a delightful way to kick start our final round of Golden Jubilee celebrations.

To view more photos from the High Tea please click here.

Golden Jubilee Ball Update - Limited Number Of Dinner and Dancing Tickets Left!

As we head towards the end of our Golden Jubilee Year, we are focussing our efforts on our final event – the Golden Jubilee Ball!

We are delighted that ticket sales for the Ball are going extremely well and there are now only ten pairs of 'dinner and dancing' tickets left! Once these final tickets have been allocated, we will be operating a waiting list whilst payments are made to secure existing ticket bookings and we can finalise numbers.  If any tickets become available, these will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. From experience some tickets will be made available to the waiting list over the coming weeks so it is definitely still worth applying.

‘After dinner tickets’ are still available at £25 a head which will include a welcome drink on arrival and hog roast. 'After dinner ticket' holders will have access to the event from 9.30pm. Please click here to apply for 'after dinner tickets' and the remaining 'dinner and dancing' tickets - we would encourage you to apply quickly as we expect these to sell out soon!  

Comments, Headmaster, Ed Hester, "We would urge all parents, Old Princethorpians and friends of the College who are keen to attend to get their tickets soon or register their interest. Much like Princefest, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the Princethorpe Community to join together and celebrate the end of the College’s Golden Jubilee year in style!”

If you have any questions about the Golden Jubilee Ball, please contact goldenjubilee@princethorpe.co.uk. We hope to see you there! 

OP Artists And Photographers Invited To Make An Exhibition Of Themselves

As the College's Golden Jubilee year draws to a close Old Princethorpians with artistic talents are invited to contribute a piece of artwork or photography for inclusion in the College's popular Summer Art, Photography and Design Show 2017.

Comments Paul Hubball, Head of Art and Photography, "Over the years we have had some talented and distinguished artists and photographers and we would love to extend this year's Show to include work from past pupils as part of the Jubilee celebrations."

The Summer Art, Photography and Design Show takes place at the end of the Trinity Term, with a preview on the evening of Thursday 22 June and a second opportunity to view on the afternoon of Sunday 25 June, coinciding with the Summer Fete and Motoring Festival.

Those interested in contributing to the show should follow this link and fill out the form with their name, years at Princethorpe and a jpg picture of the piece for inclusion along with its title and dimensions.

Artwork can be framed or unframed, but would need to be mounted.  Framed pieces should have picture or mirror wire rather than mirror plates. Work would need to be delivered to the College, for the attention of Melanie Butler, OPs Secretary, during wc Monday 12 June and can be collected from close of show on Sunday 25 June until Friday 5 July.

Golden Jubilee Cycling Pilgrimage Update

It's less than two weeks until our Golden Jubilee Cycling Pilgrimage begins!

An intrepid band of cyclists and supporters will be taking on the challenge of cycling the 120 miles between Issoudun and Montargis, the two French towns closest to Princethorpe's heart over two days, as part of the College's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The budding cyclists and supporters leave for France on Tuesday 30 May and return on Saturday 3 June. Leading the group are Ed Hester, Headmaster, Peter Rollason, Chairman of the Old Princethorpians and Peter Anthony Griffin, former Head of Business Studies. The group comprises Princethorpe current and former parents, current and former staff, Old Princethorpians and even one of our trustees!!

As part of the challenge, the group is also looking to raise a good sum of money for the wonderful charity Mary's Meals because every single child deserves a daily meal in school!

To help support the Golden Jubilee Cycling Pilgrimage's fundraising efforts, please visit their JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/princethorpecollege-goldenjubileecyclingpilgrimage

Golden Jubilee News

Help us to keep in touch with you: the new data laws

Currently, organisations in the UK rely on the Data Protection Act 1998 to govern their use of data, but this will soon be superseded by new legislation which comes into force on 25 May 2018. The Foundation is working hard to become compliant before the deadline. The greatest change brought in by General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is that people will be given more say about what companies can do with their data. Although this is a change which has been driven by the EU, it will be adopted by the UK, as the legislation comes into force within the two-year period during which Article 50 is triggered for Brexit. Lawyers believe that the UK is ultimately likely to adopt legislation equivalent to the GDPR.

Once the legislation comes into effect, we must continue to ensure that personal data is processed lawfully, transparently, and for a specific purpose.

So what does this mean? In many ways it means a better-tailored message from the Foundation to you as stakeholders. We need to ask you - quite specifically - how you would like us to communicate with you, for example: by post, email, telephone or text messaging and the sorts of message which you would be happy to receive from us. In the case of Old Princethorpians this principally means news about our schools, events, offers of services like OP merchandise, networking opportunities and fundraising information.

GDPR states that the consent from you must be an active, affirmative action by you, rather than some of the current models which allow for pre-ticked boxes or opt-outs in the small print. So, in short, you must positively opt in. We must also keep a record of how and when you gave consent and we must allow you to withdraw your consent whenever you want, which we hope you won’t do! Our new InTouch database is being adapted so that we can be totally compliant.

Under GDPR rules you also have the right to access any information which we hold about you and the right to know why that data is being processed, how long it's stored for, and who gets to see it. You can also ask for that data, if incorrect or incomplete, to be rectified whenever you want. You also have the right to demand that your data is deleted if it's no longer necessary to the purpose for which it was collected. This is known as the 'right to be forgotten'.

So please help us to keep in touch with you - but only in a way which works for you. You can click on this link and update your preferences for the way in which we contact you and the sort of information which you would like to receive. 


OPs Sports Day 2017

Saturday 2 September - 12.00pm to 6.00pm

We are gearing up for the 7th annual Old Princethorpians' Sports Day (and 9th John Shinkwin Trophy Match) on Saturday 2 September. 

Building on the success of the sport at Princefest, for this year we want to introduce some new elements, namely an OPs vs Staff Football Match to kick off the day and an OPs vs OPs Rugby Match to round off the proceedings!  We will also be looking to make the day a relaxed affair with live music, a BBQ and a bar on offer.

As in previous years points will be accumulated throughout the day, with the Alex Wallis Memorial Shield being awarded to the victors at the end of the day.

Format of day:

10.45am to 12.00pm Football OPs vs Staff

12.00pm to 1.00pm Hockey Princethorpe College 1st XI Girls vs OPs XI (x 2)

1.15pm to 2.15pm Hockey Princethorpe College 1st XI Boys vs OPs XI (x 2)

1.30pm to 2.30pm Netball Princethorpe College 1st VII Girls vs OPs VII (x 2)

2.30pm to 3.45pm Rugby - John Shinkwin Trophy - Princethorpe College 1st XV Boys vs OPs XV (leavers of 2017 and 2016)

3.45pm to 5.00pm Rugby -OPs XV vs OPs XV

5.30pm - After Match Awards

We are keen to get as many OPs from across the generations participating. If you are interested in playing in any of the sports please contact Neil McCollin, Director of Sport as soon as possible.

22nd Annual Motoring Festival 2017

Sunday 25 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm

The Motoring Festival always coincides with the College Summer Fete, which takes place on the last Sunday in June. This year's event is on Sunday 25 June 2017.

The Festival is open to anyone keen to bring any sort of classic, vintage, veteran or interesting vehicle along for the afternoon. There will be rally plaques for all pre-booked vehicles and awards for self-judged competitions.

The Festival is preceded by an informal morning road run of about 30 miles through the Warwickshire countryside. Vehicles taking part in the run need to arrive at Princethorpe for 11.00am. There is no charge for classic vehicles entering the festival or taking part in the road run.

Barbecued food is available for a nominal charge on return to Princethorpe at lunchtime, or feel free to bring a picnic.

The Summer Fête takes place in the Orchard between 2.00pm and 4.30pm, unless the weather is inclement when we will retire indoors. There will be lots of entertainment both for children and adults alike including a large inflatable slide for the kids, BBQ, refreshments, bar, pupils’ stalls, over 30 external stalls, a raffle and many, many more exciting things for all the family to enjoy.

On-line registration for the 2017 event is open now! See below.

For a Motoring Festival 2017 Newsletter click here

To register a vehicle online click here

For a booking form in Word click here

For a club booking form in Word click here

Further details from Alex Darkes on 01926 634207 or email alexdarkes@princethorpe.co.uk

The Princethorpe PTA Summer Fete and OPs, Staff, Pupils, Parents and Village Cricket Match

Sunday 25 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm

The Summer Fete and 21st Annual Motoring Festival will take place on Sunday 25 June between 2.00pm and 4.30pm in the Orchard with lots of entertainment for both children and adults.

We have many and varied attractions including a 'bottle bar' selling beer and mini bottles of wine! As always, we'll be running the ever-popular bottle tombola and any donations for this will be gratefully received nearer the time. But as well as our usual attractions, this year we are focusing on a traditional summer fete theme and the PTA will be holding a 'Food  and Fodder' competition for those keen to demonstrate their cooking and crafting skills. Those who want to take part need to bring in their entries for any of the following categories on the day of the fete to our competition tent. Entrants should put their contact details (name and telephone number) on a small card that can be placed beneath their entry, so that the lucky winners can receive their rosette!


1. Victoria sponge

2. Jam, preserve or chutney

3. Loaf of bread

4. Flower arrangement in a teacup

5. Humorous fruit or vegetable

New for this year will be an OPs, Staff, Parents, Pupils and Village Cricket Match commencing at 1.30pm on the Main Field. Teams will be decided on the day but if you are interested in playing please let Neil McCollin, Director of Sport know asap.  A cricket tea will be provided mid way through the afternoon.

Please keep an eye on the PTA section of the Princethorpe website for updates and for more details of what’s on offer, including the chance to register your interest in helping on the day. 

The Summer Art, Photography and Design Show 2017

Thursday 22 June from 6.00pm to 8.30pm Sunday 25 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

A celebration of our pupils GCSE, AS and A2 Art, Photography and Design work will take place in the College's Sixth Form Centre on Thursday 22 June from 6.00pm to 8.30pm and on Sunday 25 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

A range of design technology projects, from resistant materials to textiles, will be showcased alongside the stunning art and photography work the College is renowned for. Comments, Paul Hubball, Head of Art, "This is a great opportunity to share our pupils' fantastic creativity with a wider audience and to welcome more art and design lovers to Princethorpe."
Added Head of Design Technology, Paul Scopes, "We look forward to welcoming all the exam pupils and their families from across Design, Art and Photography to enjoy the fruit of their labours."

All are welcome. If you would like to attend on Thursday evening please click here so we can cater for you. Drinks and nibbles will be available.

On Thursday evening admission is free, on the Sunday admission will be £2 per car including entry to the College's Summer Fete and Motoring Festival.

Jane Austen’s Last Year August 1816 - July 1817 Presented By Margaret-Louise O’Keeffe

Wednesday 14 June 2017 – 7.30pm Sixth Form Lecture Theatre

Followed by wine and light refreshments in the Atrium Jane Austen died in Winchester, aged 41, on 18 July and was buried in the cathedral on 24 July. The inscription on her grave mentioned that "The benevolence of her heart, the sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind obtained the regard of all who knew her and the warmest love of her intimate connections".

During her last year she completed Persuasion and started Sanditon, which had to be abandoned in March 1817 as her mysterious illness, begun in spring 1816, became more serious. Nursed by her devoted family, especially by her sister Cassandra, she was taken to Winchester in May to seek better medical help. Her final letters resonate with her love for her family, her strong Christian faith and her fortitude in adversity.

Jane Austen’s genius as a brilliant comic novelist is undoubted; her last year also demonstrates her exceptional strength of character and her courage. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, (adults £5.00, children free) but advance notice helps catering, please. Princethorpe and Crackley Hall pupils free of charge. We are happy to receive provisional bookings by e-mail, please, to 


For a booking form please click here 

To download a data protection form please click here

Outdoor Performance Of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Friday 9 June from 7.00pm and Saturday 10 June from 4.00pm

Outdoor theatre lovers are in for a treat on the evening of Friday 9 June and the afternoon of Saturday 10 June as the Sixth Form lawn will be transformed into an enchanted place of lovers, fairies and a bunch of fools trying to put on a play.

The College is just one of five locations to be chosen by the company to host the magical show. During the shows the PTA will be serving Pimms and Prosecco.

Taking on the role of Hippolyta, the Amazon queen will be Sudden Impulse player, English teacher and PTA stalwart, Jess Newborough.

Comments Jess, "Princethorpe is the perfect setting for our production and we're sure the show will appeal to many families.  We will be encouraging the audience to bring along a picnic, rugs and deckchairs and to be prepared for the weather, as it can get chilly after sunset!"

The production will go ahead regardless of the weather.

Tickets are now on sale for Sudden Impluse Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream taking place in the grounds of the College but tickets are limited. You can purchace tickets from the Sudden Impulse website: http://www.suddenimpulse.co.uk/

Making A Difference At Princethorpe Drinks Reception – Beaufort House, London

Thursday 8 June 2017 – 6.00pm to 8.00pm

The Club Room, Beaufort House, 354 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UZ As the College continues to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, you will hopefully have heard that we have launched our first fundraising initiative which aims to provide more bursaries to deserving pupils.

We believe that every child with the potential and passion to benefit from a Princethorpe education should be given the opportunity to learn, grow and develop here. With support from the Princethorpe community, we can help more children to enjoy our unique education.

The 50 + 10 Bursary Fund aims to provide at least ten fully-funded bursary places. We are delighted to tell you that we have received a very warm response to the launch of the fund with several pledges to date. We value donations at every level, and both single gifts and smaller regular amounts are encouraged.

We are aware that there are many people who would like to learn more of our campaign, but who live too far away to travel to Princethorpe events. We are therefore planning to take the initiative to London and to this end we are holding a drinks reception in the Club Room, Beaufort House, Chelsea. All those living or working in London and the surrounding counties are most welcome and we look forward to an enjoyable evening when we can tell you more about our plans.

If you would like to know more about the Bursary Fund, or would like to attend the event, please contact: lorettacurtis@princethorpe.co.uk or telephone 01926 634200 Ext 326

Summer Open Evening And Taster Days

Wednesday 7 June - 6.30pm to 8.30pm

The College's annual Summer Open Evening will take place on Wednesday 7 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

This is an informal opportunity to look around the school and to meet members of staff and pupils. There will be activities in each department for children to participate in, and the Headmaster will also address visitors in the Chapel during the evening. Please do spread the word amongst friends and family, all are very welcome!

Light refreshments will be available.

Taster Days

Taster days for Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils will be available early in the Michaelmas Term.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To enquire about the Taster Days telephone the Registrars on 01926 634262 or email helenmorgan@princethorpe.co.uk.

Old Princethorpian Interview

Faye Brothers

Bit of background, where you live, what you do for a living:
I live in London and work as a Film and Television Set Decorator.

Age: 31

When were you at Princethorpe - years from and to? 

What was the school like in your day? 

The school had only just become co-ed when I started, so there was only a very small amount of girls; ten of us altogether!

How did Princethorpe affect the person you are today?

Princethorpe gave me the desire to study languages at University, thanks to Mrs. Stewart, without that, I don't know if I would have the career I have now.

What advice would you give to your teenage self? 

There is nothing wrong with enjoying school and wanting to study; and the people who make fun of you for it will end up as refuse collectors and drug dealers.

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your life? 

My friends; they have always supported me, pushed me to do better and made me want to succeed.

What keeps you awake at night? 

Work. I work 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. The film industry is extremely fast paced, and demanding, and it's very difficult to switch off. 

What has been your proudest moment/greatest achievement so far? 

My proudest achievement has been becoming a Set Decorator. I run my own department on whatever television show or film I am working in. Every day I create a beautiful world that millions of people watch. At the moment I'm working on a show set in the 60s, before that it was Medieval, and before that it was the 30s. Every couple of months I start a new life in a world that I get to make.

What’s your biggest indulgence? 

Gin and 19th century French Majolica

If you had to have one last meal, what would it be? 

Something Lebanese

What is your favourite TV Show and why? 

I think the greatest T.V show of all time is The West Wing. However, in terms of aesthetics, the most beautiful show I've seen is The Knick. It's set in a hospital in New York at the turn of the century; the cinematography and set design are stunning.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be and who would be with you? 

I would be at the cinema with my friends and my boyfriend.

Lasting memories of Princethorpe: 

Choir trips, avoiding all sporting activity, French, singing in the practise rooms with Lizzie Cullen.

Are you in touch with any other Old Princethorpians, if so whom? 

Yes. Lizzie , Chris Griffin, Dan Farrell, Mitch Reid, Jenny Weigham and Kate Crowley.

Is there anyone you would like to track down? 

No, I hate everyone else! :)


Births, Deaths & Marriages

Anne Healy, Princethorpe Matron and First Parent Governor – RIP

Anne Healy, Princethorpe’s First Parent Governor and former Matron sadly passed away from Alzheimer's on Sunday 14 May. A huge supporter of the college, four of her five children attended Princethorpe in the late 80s and 90s - Jonathan (Class of ‘86), Alex (Class of ’88), Zara (Class of ’90) and Dick (Class of ’97).

Her daughter, OP Alex Johnson, shares a brief obituary in celebration of Anne’s life.

Anne was born in Coventry in 1937. At 15 she began training as a Nurse Cadet and she was well known in the city as a Nurse and Midwife delivering thousands of babies and caring for expectant and new mothers. Age 26, Anne qualified as a Midwifery Tutor and was the youngest person at the time to do so, taking her first role at Dudley Road Hospital.

She became Senior Midwifery Tutor at Walsgrave Hospital later in her career after working as a District Midwife in the city and she taught hundreds, if not thousands, of students who went on to be Midwives throughout the world.

Anne was also President of The Royal College of Midwives in Warwickshire and part of the local Red Cross as well as President of Kenilworth Women’s Institute. Her charity work raised money for developing countries. After retiring from Midwifery, she retrained and became a counsellor for Relate in Coventry. She also enjoyed working as a supporting artiste in film and on TV and became a Special Minister at St Joseph the Worker Church in Coventry.

Joining Princethorpe in the late 80s first as a parent and then later as the first Parent Governor and a Matron, Anne was very much a popular member of the Princethorpe Community.   

Anne’s funeral is being held at St Joseph the Worker Church, Cannon Park Coventry. Reception in to the church on Sunday 4 June at 4.00pm, Funeral at 10.00am on Monday 5 June followed by committal at Canley Crematorium at 11.30am. 

Anyone who would like more information or who would like to share their memories of Anne can contact her family via alexandra.johnson@albanytheatre.co.uk.

Christening Joy For Emily Dawber (nee Wheildon)

A spring Christening was the order of the day for Emily Dawber (nee Wheildon) and her husband Stephen's second child, Eliza Joan on Sunday 30 April.

Eliza is a little sister for Lucas who has just turned four, and the family are now based in Kineton. We wish them all well.

Congratulations To Ruth Dyke and Simon Magill

Engagement congratulations go out to Ruth Dyke and her soon-to-be husband Simon Magill.

Ruth attended Princethorpe from 1998 - 2005. Ruth is now a retail buyer for The English Heritage Trust, buying home and garden products for all of the gift shops nationwide. Simon is a credit management consultant for Cabot Credit Management Group Ltd.

The wedding is planned for 28th May at Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden.

Ruth continues – ‘We're having a civil ceremony followed by a relaxed reception at the same venue with garden games in the grounds of the hotel, so it'll be a lovely Cotswold English wedding! Fingers crossed for sunshine! Quite a few old Princethorpians will be there and the wider Princethorpe community including The Griffins, Alex Darkes and Loretta.'

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Wedding Bells In Abundance For The Kefalas Family

We have exciting news to share from brother and sister, Bof and Rod Kefalas, who are both celebrating their engagements to their respective partners. We hear from Bof about his plans for his upcoming nuptials this summer and wish Rod all the best with her planning for her wedding next year! Bof continues…

I left Princethorpe as a student in 2008 and returned as a member of staff in the Grounds Team during my summers at University, eventually joining the Estates Team post Uni, leaving as Assistant Estates Manager in 2016. I am currently the Facilities Manager at Compton Verney and my fiancée, Sonia Khan, is an Account Manager at Dell. We live together in Coventry with Sonia having moved up from Reading.

We are getting married in Coventry on Sunday 13 August this year. There will be a few OPs in attendance at the wedding, with some a part of the Grooms party. We are really looking forward to the big day and are hoping for good weather!

We look forward to sharing more news on Rod’s engagement and Bof’s celebration in the next edition of the OP Newsletter – many congratulations to them both! 

Memory Bank

Princethorpe Archive Flourishes - Spring Update

Princethorpe Archivist, Nick Baker, has been keeping busy and the accessioning, cataloguing and boxing of material continues. Now that Crescent School has joined the “Princethorpe Family”, Huw Marshall has kindly passed a number of items over to the archives, and a current Lower Sixth student is helping me to sort through them. Pupils at both Princethorpe College and Crackley Hall have inspected historic documents and photographs from our collection, including the fabulous early twentieth-century manuscript purchased at auction in 2016. Seventy pre-1966 building plans and maps are to be digitised shortly, and Nick is looking at ways in which he can make these, and other archives, more accessible via the web. Watch this space!

Nick continues: ‘I have been delving into the priory’s history. We are most fortunate that two members of the priory’s community, Sisters Mary Bernard and Mary Stephen, live at Minster Abbey today. I have visited them on a couple of occasions now, once in the company of former pupil Mary Wheildon, and been warmly welcomed. These sisters were able to supply me with a great deal of information. For instance, they were able to describe what life was really like at Princethorpe, including the regular round of worship and limited communication with family members. They informed me that the ‘Upper Pugin’ corridor had a number of empty rooms used for various activities like spinning, calligraphy and teaching Hebrew. Sisters Mary Bernard and Mary Stephen were able to tell me where ‘Nazareth’ was located. Alex Darkes found a reference to it in a document from 1893 and it turned out to be a ‘watering-hole’ (monastic style!) They also revealed an unexpected link between Princethorpe and Oscar Wilde! One of the priory’s sisters was Mére Raphael, whose brother was John Gray (1866-1934). He was a friend of Oscar Wilde and thought to have been the inspiration behind the main character in The Picture of Dorian Gray, though he distanced himself from the association.

Historical research has also taken me to Douai Abbey in Berkshire, where Abbot Geoffrey cares for its magnificent library. It holds the archives of a number of religious houses including the papers of St Mary’s Priory at Princethorpe/Fernham. Although Douai stores this material, it remains the ‘private’ collection of the surviving community. We are most grateful that they have granted us permission to study this archive. Abbot Geoffrey has welcomed Alex Darkes and I on a number of occasions and we have spent most of our time consulting letters, account books and plans, all of which provide an insight into the buildings at Princethorpe. This information may help our Estates Department when it comes to restoring the historic fabric in the future. We are very grateful to the Benedictine communities at Minster and Douai for their hospitality.’

As many of you are aware, the forthcoming cycling pilgrimage will reach its climax at Montargis, often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ and home to the delicious praline. This French town was home to the Benedictine nuns who came to England in 1792 and eventually established St Mary’s Priory. What will the Archivist find at Montargis?

1968 Rome Trip Sparks Memories

Tim Grogan who left Princethorpe in 1971 recently approached the OPs to track down a picture from a memorable trip to Rome in 1968.

Tim recalls, "I went on the trip to Rome in 1968 and if I recall a photograph of the party was taken on a hillside with Rome in the background. It was displayed for a while on the corridor wall near what was then the new gymnasium."

Archivist Nick Baker found an image in the archive but we are not sure that it is the one Tim was looking for, it could be of a trip to Germany around the same time. If anyone out there has a copy they could scan or send us we and Tim would appreciate it.

Alex Darkes thinks the one we show here is from 1968/69 and he recognises Philip Harris, Chris Hannon and possibly Mark Lathwood. Let us know if you recognise anyone else.


OP Updates

Alannah Norton Lands Her Dream Job Down Under

Alannah’s mum Gabrielle has been in touch to share news of her daughter’s recent career success. Gabrielle tells us more…

Alannah left Princethorpe in July 2010 having joined in the middle of her first term of GCSEs.

She adored her time at Princethorpe and headed off to Glasgow University where she graduated in 2015 at the age of 22 as a Veterinary Surgeon

She is currently working as an Equine Vet in a highly respected equine hospital near Melbourne, Australia. She has just started her second year as a junior clinician, having successfully completed her internship at the same hospital. Alannah is loving both her job and life in Victoria generally.

Mr Kerrigan was her personal tutor throughout her years at Princethorpe and he was always extremely supportive and encouraged her to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an equine vet. She is very fortunate to have always known the career she wanted to have and to also have realised her dream.

We managed to visit in February and spent a couple of weeks touring with Alannah in Tasmania and around Victoria. We had a fabulous time and we miss her even more now.

Fortunately, she will be coming home in May to combine going to a University friend's wedding and to catch up with us all again.

Thanks to Gabrielle for this update. Although not an OP herself, Gabrielle has many connections to Princethorpe including her children and three brothers who were educated here, her sister who was a teacher here and the fact she and her husband Jeremy were married here on 21 April 1989 to name but a few! If you have an OP connection and would like to share an update too, please do get in touch. 

Dan Farrell Ignites Imaginations With His Movie Making Company 'Sparks'

Leaving Princethorpe in 2004, Dan Farrell has been busy co-creating his own company and becoming a published author! He tells us more…

I joined Princethorpe in Year 10 in 2000 and stayed until the end leaving Sixth Form in 2004. After school I took a gap year with a local theatre company and then I went to Bristol University to study English. After graduation, I headed to London to see if the streets were paved with gold(!). 

In 2010 I set up a business with my friend Donna Bamford, Sparks Film and Media Arts, running filmmaking workshops for children. We run projects across London with a staff team of 20 and facilitate workshops for around 500 children a year. 

Since 2010, Sparks has worked with over 3000 young movie makers, using their unique and practical approach to produce more than 1000 movies. Sparks aims to deliver experiences where members have not only huge amounts of fun, but where they also have a say. Every child leaves with new skills and confidence, feeling inspired to try their very best

Last week, Donna and I published our first book, The Movie Making Book: Skills & Projects to Learn & Share. We’re really excited about it – the projects in the book are suitable for movie makers aged seven and upwards. It aims to teach young people all the skills they need to get started, from camera angles to scriptwriting and to special effects. Each project is designed to offer the tools needed to become an accomplished movie maker at home (even with just a smartphone!) and advice on safely sharing movies online.

If you’d like to find out more about Sparks and their workshop visit: http://www.sparks-ignite.com/ and you can purchase Dan’s book online here: http://amzn.eu/4sERldT

Nick Gets Back In Touch With Princethorpe

Nick reminisces on his time at Princethorpe and updates us on what he has got up to over the years including marriage, children and running his own business.

Hi I’m Nick Brosnan (40), I left Princethorpe at the end of what was the fifth year in 1992 and I look back with great fondness to those days. I loved school and made some great friends; I’m still in regular contact with John Yates.

I got married at Princethorpe in 2005 to Claire and have gone on to have two amazing children, Chloe (4) who attends the Princethorpe Foundation primary school the Crescent School in Rugby and Oscar (7 months) who’s a real smiler! We have been living in Rugby for the past 12 years. Since 2012 I have been lucky enough to run my own Education consultancy / project management company serving local academies, schools and colleges.

I’ve got a real love of cars and have a 1977 Triumph Spitfire for Sunny Sundays. I’m a season ticket holder with Wasps RFC and enjoy a few Carlsberg's on a weekend. I’m signed up to Princethorpe InTouch database so I’m looking forward to hearing about the upcoming OP events and hopefully catching up with some old friends.

Ubi Caritas For John Wheildon

Many congratulations to John Wheildon who received his Ubi Caritas award in recognition of devoted service over many years to the parish of St Francis, Kineton on Sunday 7 May from the Monseigneur and Fr Sebastian.

Holly Receives Scholarship To Study At The University Of Law

Holly Gollop updates us on her exciting journey toward becoming a barrister including her time at Bournemouth University and her acceptance into the University of Law.

Even before starting Princethorpe in 2010, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the legal industry as a barrister. I knew choosing this career path would involve a lot of hard work and competition, and it certainly has lived up to this expectation. For this reason, when I finished at Princethorpe, I took a year to travel around Europe and take some time out of education before starting my law degree at Bournemouth University.  

My four years at Bournemouth University has been a roller-coaster experience, with both challenges and opportunities. My next step is to go to law school for a year to study for the bar and last month I received an offer to do this at the University of Law. Unlike university, there are no student loans for law school and I always knew this would be an expensive route. Luckily, I have just been awarded a £10,000 scholarship from Grays Inn which will fund my year at law school. Although I know this next year is going to be the hardest so far, I cannot wait to start preparing for the career I have always wanted!

We wish Holly the best of luck in her next steps towards becoming a barrister. It will be a lot of hard work but it will be worth it in the end.

Big Birthday Celebrations For Mark McGarry

Many happy returns to Mark McGarry who has recently celebrated his 50th birthday. Fellow OP Andy Tompkins contacted the OPs for some Princethorpe related presents before jetting off with his wife to join him for his party in Las Vegas.

Mark takes up the story....

Ive been in Las Vegas now for 28 years! I moved here with my brother Tommy in 1989 after we came out here for a 90 day holiday and just decided to stay. I met my wife Leslie and decided to settle down and start a family here. We have been married for 26 years now and have three children that have now all flown the nest.

Although Ive made many friends in Las Vegas I still look back at my days at Princethorpe and the great friendships I had with Louis Collins, Mick McDermott, Pearce Phillips and many more. Facebook has been great to stay in contact them and I get to peek into their lives from 6,000 miles away and pass the odd comment. We sure put the teachers through their paces!! 

I often wonder where Mr Cooper, Fr Whelan, Mr Wier and Mr Price are and what they are doing, and I'd love to get in touch when I come over for a visit later this summer.

Ive had several visits from Old Princethorpians over the years when they've visited for fun or one of the great fights we hold here in Las Vegas. If anybody is coming out please contact me on Facebook its always great to see them and catch up!

Wayne Olorenshaw Clocks Up The Marathon Miles

Wayne Olorenshaw who was at Princethorpe from 1970 - 1975 shares news of his dedicated marathon efforts over recent years. 

I was at Princethorpe 1970 - 75 and have lived in Leamington Spa for the past 33 years, married, have 2 daughters, married and four Grandchildren. I have been running short distance - 10 kms / half marathons since 2006 when I started running to get fit after my Doctor told me my Cholesterol was high.

For many years I hankered to run a marathon, but I wanted to do it once, and do it big, so kept entering the ballot for the London Marathon, and kept getting rejected, but in 2016 I won a ballot place and started training through the winter months. 

As part of my training, I entered the Warwick Half Marathon on 2 April 2016, three weeks before the London. The evening before we received the terrible news that my wife, Claire had lost her sister, Lucy. Lucy died very suddenly and we were all devastated by the news but nevertheless, I ran the half Marathon the next day, and three weeks later, the day after Lucy's funeral - I ran the London Marathon. It was a day of very mixed emotions for me but I felt the warmth of the crowds lining the 26.2 mile route incredible. 

We later found out that Lucy had died of Lung Cancer and I decided to try and get some positives out of this terrible tragedy. I told Lucy's Husband that I would enter the London Ballot once more and if I got a place, I would run and raise funds for a charity of his choosing, Sam (Lucy’s Husband) thought this was a good idea. 

Months later, in October, when we were motorcycling in Vietnam - my Daughter sent me a scan of my London Marathon acceptance form - I was in again!  Sam and his 3 grown up children had chosen the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and we chose the Liverpool Half Marathon to run as a family on 1 April 2017 - a year to the day since we lost Lucy. Myself and Claire, and Sam and Lucy's 3 children, Jeremy, Nick and Georgie all ran and raised funds. It was a tough day for us all but we all finished and felt good that we had done something positive on a dark anniversary day. 

Three weeks later I was at the start in Blackheath along with 40,000 other runners, the atmosphere was amazing and as I crossed the start line 17 minutes past 10 am (it takes that long to get to the start!). I started my second London Marathon, determined to better my time from last year of 5 hours and 59 mins! 

If you have your name on your running shirt, you are supported even more in London. Over the next few hours, I was never far away from strangers shouting at me to keep going, offered sweets, drinks, beer and kinds words of encouragement – a brilliant and heart-warming experience without a doubt.

I had been fighting an injured knee and unfortunately at Mile 15 it let me know it was still none too happy. I had to reduce my pace to a walk until Claire found me at mile 18 and strapped my knee, filled me with painkillers, bananas and energy drink and I set off once more. Still encouraged by the wonderful crowd, I started to feel a little better and by Mile 23 my knee felt good enough to run on again. Running down the Embankment with Big Ben in sight is the best view in the world to a London runner; it means you are nearly home and as I turned right at Big Ben I saw Claire, Sam and our friends shouting me on.

I crossed the finish 6 minutes faster than last year - elated and worn out! I could not walk for three days but I raised over £3,500 and the family in total raised £12,000 for the Roy Castle Foundation.

Am I doing the London Marathon again? - you bet!

If you would like to contribute to Wayne’s fundraising efforts, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Wayne-Olorenshaw1

Shakespeare's Home Sets Dec Wyer Up For The Big Screen

Young OP Dec Wyer Shares News Of His Recent Acting Endeavours Since Leaving Princethorpe.

I left Princethorpe in June 2015 and started an acting course at Stratford-upon-Avon College in September of the same year. In January 2016 I was approached through college to audition for a documentary called ‘The Baby Faced Killer’, an episode in the series ‘Stalkers Who Kill’, for CBS Reality. This was based on the true story of the grooming and murder of 14-year-old, Breck Bednar back in 2014. I was successful in my audition and the show was aired in March 2016.

More recently, I have found an agent to represent me. They are a prestigious agent based in London and have many successful actors on board. Since being with them I have had many auditions and have been involved in a children's series for CBBC (yet to be aired) and also a recorded a TV commercial for Amazon recently.

My latest project has been for a period film based on the reign of Queen Anne, called 'The Favourite'. I play a footman which is a feature role, with a small amount of speaking. There are many famous actors in the film and the experience has been amazing. The film will be out next year.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Dec on the big screen soon! 

Past Head Girl Hannah Brindley Returns From Year Abroad in Oz

Hannah updates us as she reflects on her year abroad in Australia enthusing about the benefits of travelling and the amazing opportunities that have come her way. 

As my final few months in Australia come to an end I cannot help but reflect on what a year it is has been. Just last weekend I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, something I had wanted to do from the beginning of my year here. Looking over Sydney on a gorgeous sunny day (though it is getting colder believe it or not!!) felt like a great way to tie together the year.

I have been working hard too, contrast to what people may think it is not ALL a holiday. I have studied harder this year than ever before, taking third year classes whilst having a part time job and trying to see as much of Australia as I can at the same time as proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Luckily for me Australia wasn’t too much of a cultural change and (though I cannot speak for those who spent time in perhaps less familiar places) I have not missed home as much as I thought I would. I miss the people more than the place. However, I have been lucky enough to meet some truly wonderful people out here which has helped me a lot. Most of them being exchange students from the UK, so when we all part ways it will be nice to know we can visit each other soon.

This time away from home has really opened my eyes to how little of the UK I’ve visited! And we are only a little island in comparison! I am looking forward to doing more exploring when I’m home. I would truly recommend this experience to anyone who is thinking about spending time abroad. These 12 months have definitely . Get out of your comfort zone while you can! Travelling is truly remarkable. It leaves you speechless and makes you a story teller. 

Becky Thornton Returns To Her Roots As New Deputy IT Manager

Becky joins our growing IT department having spent six years with a leading education software provider, Groupcall. Immediately prior to that she worked as an IT Technician at a secondary school in Coventry and at Warwickshire County Council supporting schools across the county. Becky is an Old Princethorpian, nee Uglow; she left Princethorpe College Sixth Form in 2002 to pursue a degree in Theatre – seemingly an unrelated degree to her career - you’d be surprised how handy it can be!

Becky is the 3rd person from the class of ’02 to return to Princethorpe, along with Matt Parsons and Jenny Vaughan (nee Feltbower). Seemingly there was something in the water that year to produce a hat trick of returning students!

Becky is married, with two children, a puppy and a parrot to keep her busy out of work. The whole family enjoy outdoor activities, including the parrot who likes to spook fellow walkers by wolf-whistling or saying hello to them!

Chris Sanders Has The Bright Lights Of Cannes Firmly In His Sights

At Princethorpe in the late eighties, Old Princethorpian Chris Sanders is a trained actor, short film producer, published author and optioned screenwriter.

With several projects going on in different stages of development, things are nothing short of exciting for Chris at the moment!

His book, The Thief’s Son, published in 2014 is a fast-paced, mystery thriller about a young photo-journalist, Sam Locke, who stumbles across his estranged, criminal father while on assignment in Colombia. Attracting the attention of Skyfall Assistant Director Weiwei Si, Chris has been asked to collaborate on a screenplay of his book which Weiwei is hoping to direct.

More recently, having produced a few short films of his own, Chris auditioned for a role in a new ‘Film Noir’ movie Agent Kelly and shortly found himself jetting off to Spain. Playing twin brothers who are both assassins, the story follows a female assassin who avenged the killing of a friend but who now becomes the hunted… tense stuff! Shot on location in El Ejido, Spain, Chris and the other cast and crew are planning to head to Cannes with the finished film next year.

Good luck Chris – we look forward to hearing how you get on!

Chris’ book is available to buy on Amazon here: www.amzn.com/B00A7V8MRU  

Greg’s Wanderlust Soon To Become A Reality

OP Greg Higginson (2014), known for his love of the theatre and all things dramatic, embarks on his next adventure to Tanzania for three months to give back to society.

Greg will be leaving for a three-month volunteering expedition in two weeks’ time. He will be teaching the local school children basic Maths and English and putting his DIY skills to good use building foundations for schools and houses. He also plans to run some drama workshops to bring out the children’s confidence. Keen to help improve the employability rate, Greg will also be teaching some of the older residents’ key communication and interview skills to increase their chances of getting jobs in the local areas or even in the bigger cities. Greg will be staying with a family in the local village which means he'll have no power for three months and rare chances to shower in temperatures reaching 40°C at night!

Greg says, “I had such a fortunate childhood and was able learn vital interpersonal skills and to do the things I love, like drama clubs. I wanted to take this volunteering trip to give back to the less fortunate and teach them how to make the most of their life.”

So far his fundraising activities and events have included coffee mornings, Krispy Kreme Doughnut sales, activity stalls at Fete’s and Dog shows and a Quiz Night!

This is the second solo expedition Greg has taken this year alongside working part time at the RSC Theatre in Stratford. He returned from Asia in February after travelling through the busy streets of Bangkok, boating in the scenic waters of Khao Sok National Park and relaxing in the infamous Ha Long Bay. Plus, teaching in a school in Hanoi proved to Greg that this is something he wants to continue doing.

If you would like learn more about Greg’s story, to donate or just wish Greg luck on his journey please follow the link below.



Samuel Lands Dream Job With Marks and Spencers

Samuel Higginson who left Princethorpe in 2012 updates us on how he has landed his dream job with top food retailer M and S. 

Originally I wanted to be a pathologist, but Mrs Smith my Chemistry teacher told me about a Summer School at Reading University where I could go and learn about Food Science. This sounded perfect as I could combine my love of food and cooking with my passion for science, especially chemistry.

After my A-levels I went to study Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Nottingham. Between years 2 and 3 I completed an industrial placement year working at Marks and Spencer Head Office in London working as a Food Technologist. I was lucky enough initially to be put in the desserts department where I spent six months working on chocolate eclairs (tough job!). My second six months was spent working in the Food on the Move department… sandwiches to most people. One of the most exciting things was when products I had been working on started being sold and I could go and see them in store. After my year with M&S I went back to finish my degree and researched sushi rice for my dissertation for which I got a first!

I’m now nine months into the M&S graduate scheme and currently in the groceries department looking after all kinds of products from fajita kits to jams. I’m lucky that I get to travel all over the country visiting suppliers and developing the products of the future, making sure they are safe, legal and high quality. No day is ever the same and it’s a career I would recommend to anyone.

You can still attend a food science summer school if you are in Year 12, just visit the IGD website.

Home Nations Hockey Highs For Alex Rooney

Having left Princethorpe in 2014, Alex is studying Sports Coaching Science Coaching at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He plays Hockey for Teddington Hockey Club (the oldest hockey club in the world no less!) and last Saturday 13 May was given the Leon Blanchard Memorial Trophy as Club Player of the Year. Earlier in April, Alex and other sportsmen and women from his University were part of teams representing England in the revived ‘Home Nations’ tournament. He tells us more…

After a 5-year hiatus, the ‘Home Nations’ tournament between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland returned to Edinburgh from 11-13 April. The tournament welcomed six teams from each nation comprising male and female teams fielded for Hockey, Rugby 7s and Football. Unfortunately, Ireland dropped out, which left us facing Wales and Scotland. 

I began my involvement in the program through regional trials, and then national trials. Leading up to the tournament itself, we had a training day in Leeds the day before and made our way up to Edinburgh the morning after. The men’s hockey squad was made up of an ambitious bunch of boys, including a Belgian and an Irish U18, a Scottish U21 and GB U23, so we had a good wealth of experience and quality plus two fantastic coaches.  

We played at Peffermill Playing fields, the Edinburgh University sports pitches and the atmosphere was fantastic. With some world-class facilities at our feet, an excited vibe of elite sport and opportunity was evident.

On the first day of competition, we watched Wales play Scotland, which provided us with some vital information towards our playing strategy. Training in the evening, we shared tactics with the ladies’ hockey squad back at the hotel ahead of our first match against Wales the next day. Facing tough competition and securing a 2-2 draw, we went on to win against Wales on penalty flicks! Post-match, we were cheering on the England Rugby 7s teams (including two other St Mary’s boys) who secured victory in all their matches.

We returned again to the hotel in the evening to share a rehab and recovery session with the ladies ahead of our final match on Thursday. With an early start against Scotland, we unfortunately lost 3-1, but it certainly didn’t mar the experience.

It was great to have the opportunity to represent England in the Home Nations tournament and spending time together as a group. I’m looking forward to the next challenge! 

School’s Finally Out For Lauren And Sophie

Thinking they were leaving with their peers in July last year Lauren Whitfield and Sophie Nicholls returned to Princethorpe in September as staff members rather than students. They reflect on their extra year at Princethorpe and tell us about their exciting plans for the summer.

Lauren continues…
After securing my place at Loughborough University to study Retailing, Marketing and Management I knew that this year as the Marketing, Admissions and Communications intern would be invaluable experience for my future career. It has been a whistle stop tour of Marketing in action, learning about the importance of social media, brand image and how to stuff 150 goodie bags in an hour! Being part of big events has been my favourite aspect, as I love seeing the final product and everyone having a good time because of your team’s hard work. It has definitely been a fast-paced learning curve; joining in the college’s Golden Jubilee year meant LOTS of events and activities that have been challenging at times but so much fun.

Using the skills I’d learnt from my Photography A-level proved to be huge asset to the marketing function of the Foundation. Taking photos at school events or for press releases meant I am often dotting around school with my camera in hand. But not only has Marketing with Mel, Hattie and Helen S been fun but also the Admissions side of the job with Vanessa and Helen teaching me about the application process which I went through 8 years ago.

This job has been a real eye-opener and I can’t thank the team enough for all of the patience, guidance and good humour they have shown me over the past 9 months. I will miss coming into work and having Hattie shout Happy Monday (every Monday), the calming essential oils diffuser in Vanessa’s office, which always puts us at ease and when Mel says a lyric of a song and sings the rest.

Sophie continues…
When I started as a TA at Princethorpe, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I have been part of a variety of departments, which has shown me a new side of Princethorpe that as a pupil you are completely oblivious. Some of my highlights include games afternoon coaching and umpiring netball, which has been my main sport for a number of years. Being able to pass on what I have learnt from not only school netball but also external clubs has been really rewarding.

This year I joined Offchurch Netball club, and also enjoyed playing in a fun social league on Thursday nights with fellow OP Lottie Jones and new PE teacher Hannah Carminati. Being part of the TA team has been the best, working with Mia and Tim from Australia and Rob, James and Katherine whom I have known for years. Supported by Matt and Greg taking me under their wing, as well as the other TAs, has shown me the importance of leadership and teamwork. Living in residence meant this year I could still see Izzy every now and then as she travels back and forth from Crackley, being the TA for Junior 5. We went on a ski trip together over the February half term to retreat from school and for me do something new; Izzy was a pro… I tried my best.

I am going to miss loads of things when I leave: my form group FAC, all the staff I have become really close with and Princethorpe in general. I will definitely be returning from Nottingham for OP events or say hi to everyone. I am so excited for the next few months though; travelling with Lauren is going to be amazing and then starting my Geography course at Nottingham University!

Over summer, we both plan to travel around Europe to tick a few items off our bucket list. We will be gone for a month and leave just two days after we break up for summer so no time for messing around. We start in Barcelona and travel though Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Verona, Lake Garda, Florence, Rome, Naples and Sorrento. We have been booking hostels, Airbnbs and flights in lunchtimes, after school and on weekends to get everything ready and organised. We see each other in the corridor and we both have that sudden excitement that were leaving in a few weeks’ time for the sun and bright sights of Europe.

MSC's Announce OP Fr Carl Tranter MSC As Their Next Provincial Superior

The Princethorpe community extends its heartfelt congratulations to Fr Carl Tranter MSC on his election to the role of Provincial Superior for the Irish Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He will take over from the present Provincial, Fr Joseph McGee MSC, in September of this year, immediately after the MSC General Chapter in Rome.

Fr Carl was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, and was educated by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart at Princethorpe College. After a couple of years working in banking, he began his formation with the MSC in Ireland in 1986 and was professed in 1989. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1993.

Fr Carl began his ministerial life in the parish of St John the Baptist, Tamworth, Staffordshire. In 1998, he commenced further studies in adult education and pastoral theology in Boston College, Boston, USA. For the following five years, he was involved in the formation of laity and clergy for collaborative ministry across all the territories of the Irish Province.

In 2005, Fr Carl was appointed superior of an international MSC community living a ministry of presence in a poor, multicultural, and troubled neighbourhood of the city of Birmingham, UK. For the last six years, he has been Assistant Superior General of the MSC Congregation and a member of the General Council in Rome. During this time, he has travelled extensively throughout the world, with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart ministering in 50 countries in all of the world’s continents. Fr Carl brings with him a great variety of cultural and religious experience, which will enrich his leadership contribution to the Irish Province.

We congratulate Fr Carl on his election and hope his new role will enable him to be a more frequent visitor to Princethorpe in the future.