Welcome to the twenty-eighth 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 Old Princethorpians and College news, reviews of recent events and initiatives, 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 OPs London Pub Meet takes place shortly on Friday 18 May and then in June there is the Summer Supper and Summer Fete, Motoring Festival and Art and Design Show to look forward to.

We hope you have a great summer!

Data Protection

Click on this link to see the Foundation's response to GDPR and to view our Privacy Notices.



Newsflash - 25 May 2018: Foundation Response To New Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Earlier this week the Princethorpe Foundation issued its response to new data legislation (GDPR), which comes into force today, Friday 25 May 2018.

Over the last year we have been working hard to keep abreast of directives from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and their guidance concerning data processing. We have also sought advice from professional industry bodies, our school solicitors and external consultants.

Having undertaken a thorough review and audit of the data we hold and the way in which we process it, the Princethorpe Foundation believes that all of the data held relating to our community can be lawfully processed under three bases, namely Legal Obligation, Contractual and/or Legitimate Interests. This is due to the nature of the existing relationships we already have with our community which includes prospective, current and former pupils, prospective, current and former parents, prospective, current and former staff and Friends of the Foundation.

Please be assured that we will treat your data with the utmost integrity, respect and confidentiality. Your personal data will be stored and used in accordance with our updated Privacy Notices in line with the new regulation and our communications with you will be conducted in the least intrusive way possible and only in ways that you would reasonably expect.  You can opt out of receiving non-legal or non-contractual communications at any time by contacting us by email, telephone or by letter.

To see the full response, view the updated Privacy Notices and how to contact us, click on this link.

Hong Kong Development Visit Abounds With Memories, Hospitality and Friendship

During the Easter holidays a contingent from Princethorpe, comprising Headmaster, Ed Hester, his wife, Tracey, Fr Teddy O’Brien MSC, Development Director, Rachel Hadley-Leonard and Old Princethorpians’ Secretary, Melanie Butler journeyed to Hong Kong to meet with past pupils who had boarded at the College from the late 1960s to the 1990s.
The trip came five years after Fr Teddy O’Brien and Fr Dan O’Connor MSC had been hosted on a very successful visit by former pupils.

The focus of this return visit was a Development Reunion Dinner at the prestigious Hong Kong Club, in Central on the evening of Saturday 14 April, but an amazing itinerary had been arranged around this event to give the visitors a thorough introduction to all the sights and delights of Hong Kong. The OPs behind masterminding the schedule and helping organise the dinner were Alan Young, Vitus Leung, Nelson Ngai and Heman Lam – or the ‘Fantastic Four’ as they soon became known.

All Old Princethorpians living in Hong Kong or the Far East had been invited to the Development Reunion Dinner and the response to the invitation had been very positive, with acceptances from across the generations. Most of the guests are resident in Hong Kong, but others travelled from further afield, including Simon Loasby who now lives in Shanghai, Jonathan Leung from Singapore, Peter Lee from China and Peter Yang (aka Fat Jack) and his wife, Kitty from Australia.

On the Saturday evening after a short drinks reception, a delicious three-course buffet was enjoyed by the 40-strong group in the club’s private Harcourt Suite. Guests were sat at five tables depending on when they had attended and named after key locations at Princethorpe, from the Quad, to the Refectory, the Study Hall, the Orchard and Switzerland. A slide-show of archive photographs played throughout the evening, bringing back memories and fuelling tales of bygone days. Guests also had their memories tested by a special quiz relating to Princethorpe and its past, with points earned being allocated to their former Houses, see results below.

The more formal part of the proceedings saw Headmaster, Ed Hester, take to the floor to address the gathering. He explained his connections with the College, how things had changed over the years, the huge debt owed to the College’s founders, the MSCs and the strong Christian ethos that continues to this day. He also spoke about plans for a new Science building aimed at giving pupils the very best facilities to encourage the pursuit of Science-based careers.

Rachel Hadley-Leonard then introduced guests to the work of the Development Office including milestones and progress since the office was opened in 2016. Rachel spoke about how the College had a very rich history of philanthropy, including support for various improvements at the College, and not least the great act of generosity by the MSCs who gifted the College to the Foundation in 2001. She then showed the ‘Making a Difference’ Film which explains the school’s new Bursary Fund and how that has impacted on pupils’ lives and outlined the new Capital Campaign for Science. She concluded by asking for the group’s support for the College in a variety of ways, whether in terms of mentoring and careers advice or sponsorship of bursaries or supporting aspects of the new Science building.

Melanie Butler, spoke briefly about the Old Princethorpians’ Association, its aims and activities including events and the popular termly e-newsletter, The Old Princethorpian, before emphasising the importance of both parties keeping in touch and how welcome all the OPs would be to visit the College, bringing their families with them.

She finished with a second film entitled ‘Greetings from Princethorpe’, which featured former and long-standing members of staff, Peter Griffin, Bernie Moroney, Lou Skiffington, Alex Darkes and Sean Philpott all reminiscing about the Hong Kong pupils and sending their greetings to the assembled throng.

The evening came to a happy conclusion with the results of the Quiz, a resounding rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Fat Jack, who was celebrating his 63rd birthday that day, goodie bags full of information, and an invitation to Mass the next day at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception the next day, when Fr Teddy would be co-celebrating.

Over the few short days that the Princethorpe group spent in Hong Kong with their kind and trusty guides, they had a wealth of experiences from the stunning views from The Peak, to a tram ride across town to the Hong Kong Park, climbing 200 steps to see the giant Buddha on Lantau Island, the sights and sounds of Tai O village and fascinating visits to the Hong Kong Government Offices thanks to David Chung and to Hong Kong University, courtesy of Professor Paul Cheung. They also had an amazing array of culinary experiences from a traditional Dim Sum brunch, to Chinese, Cantonese and Thai banquets.

Commenting on the visit, Headmaster, Ed Hester said, “We were completely overwhelmed by the warmth of the welcome we received and the hospitality shown to us. There is clearly a huge fondness for Princethorpe within the OP community in Hong Kong and they seemed delighted to be reminded of times past and also to see the many developments that have happened at the College over the intervening years. We hope that the Hong Kong OPs will find ways to support us, keep in touch and come and visit us at Princethorpe soon.”

A huge thank you to all our guests for attending the Dinner and particularly to the Fantastic Four, Alan, Vitus, Nelson and Heman, for their endless good humour, hospitality and friendship.

To view all the photographs, videos and information shared on the trip please click on this link.

Quiz Results:

1st place – Switzerland – 500 points

2nd place – The Study Hall – 400 points

3rd place – The Quad – 300 points

Joint 4th place – The Orchard and The Refectory – 150 points each

House points earned:

Austin - 273

Benet - 554

Fisher - 343

More - 330

The points earned have been added into this year’s (2018/2019) College House Competition.

Prestigious Government Visit For Hong Kong Party

The recent Old Princethorpians and Development Trip to Hong Kong had many highlights, one particular honour for some of the group was to be invited to visit OP David Chung at his place of work, no less than the Hong Kong Government Offices.

David attended Princethorpe from 1982 to 1985, before completing a Computer Science degree at Imperial College, London and then an Engineering Doctorate in Engineering Management at the City University of Hong Kong. He took on the role of Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology Bureau in 2016.  His background was in industry, most recently as Chief Technology Officer for Hong Kong Cyberport. Prior to that he co-founded some internet startups and was Technical Director for Microsoft.

The group led by OPs Alan Young, who happens to be David’s cousin and Heman Lam, entered the Hong Kong Government Offices and were whisked up to his office, a prime location with stunning views overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour waterfront.

After a flurry of pictures with David against the backdrop, he briefed the group as to his role within the Government.

He explained that he and his team are working on a five-year strategy for the Government, which includes increased investment in Research and Development, incentivising the private sector to work with the Government, offering tax incentives to companies investing in R and D, working with the education sector to develop more talent in STEM subjects, establishing a “Postdoctoral Hub” and encouraging local students to continue to Phd level with Science through scholarships.

Commented David, “Innovation and Technology is so important for the future success of Hong Kong.  This is such an exciting time with all the breakthroughs we are seeing, particularly in the fields of bio-technology, artificial intelligence and robotics,. Our aim is that the changes we are making now will have a real and significant impact on our society.”

We are very grateful to David for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with us and wish him well with his strategy.

Hong Kong Educational Experience For Princethorpe Teachers

On the last day of their visit to Hong Kong Princethorpe Headmaster Ed Hester and his wife and fellow teacher, Tracey were treated to a very special educational experience.

Courtesy of OP, Paul Cheung, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Hong Kong University, the couple spent an afternoon with him on campus. Established in 1911, the University of Hong Kong, or HKU as it is known, is the territory's oldest institute of higher learning and an internationally recognised, research led, university.

Paul and his twin brother, Peter, were the first of their extended family to attend Princethorpe and were trailblazers for the pupils from Hong Kong. During his brief sojourn from 1968 to 1970 he excelled in Mathematics and progressed swiftly to Imperial College, London to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree at the tender age of just seventeen. He then gained a doctorate at Imperial before returning to Hong Kong in 1978 and starting work at the University in 1980.

Paul lectures in the Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering at the University and is also Programme Director of the MSc in E-Commerce and Internet Computing. The field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering encompasses many exciting technologies such as electronics, computer systems, mobile communications, power systems, medical engineering and information systems. These are among the fastest growing and most challenging technologies enabling the development of the modern information-based society.

After a delicious lunch in the University’s Senior Common Room, Paul escorted Ed and Tracey to iDendron, the recently opened HKU Innovation and Entrpreneurship Hub, which he had been instrumental in establishing. The opening of iDendron in late 2017 was a new stage at the University in terms of nurturing an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit on campus after the Dream Catchers competition in 2015. Dream Catchers and iDendron aim to engage and grow the entrepreneurship community so it makes an impact both on HKU and beyond, establishing interdisciplinary co-operation on entrepreneurial initiatives, and supporting and incubating startup companies.

Ed and Tracey saw some of the twenty startup teams, led by HKU students and young alumni, who have moved in and are working on their projects at iDendron.

Comments Ed Hester, “It was a tremendous pleasure for Tracey and I to be shown around one of the world’s leading universities by such an eminent professor as Paul Cheung and to get an insight into this cutting edge collaborative learning and innovation environment.”

Close Run Match Against The Babas

A fantastic group of OPs lined up against the Kenilworth Babas on Easter Saturday 31 March and did the College proud in a close run match. Charlie Preston, Sam Harcourt, Max Tailby, Peter Rollason, Harry Charlton, Richard Sidaway, Freddie Fergusson, Mitch Cook, Ainsley Wileman, George Redwood, Josh O'Brien, Sam Rose, Ben Rothwell were amongst those who turned out on the day, after the match had been postponed at Christmas.

Commented OPs Chairman, Peter Rollason, "A huge "thank you" to Charlie Preston and Josh O'Brien for getting together such a brilliant group of players for the Alex Wallis Memorial Trophy game at Kenilworth RFC. It was a privilege and a pleasure to be part of a great team. Thanks to all who turned up to play, especially Mark Palmer (current Princethorpe parent) who got a very nasty late tackle! Thanks also to Kenilworth RFC and Peter Jones for their splendid hospitality.

"I can't remember the score but the OPs XIV (we were 1 short!) came a very creditable and galant second. See you all in September......"

The next OPs Rugby Match will be played as part of the OPs vs College Sports Day on Saturday 1 September, see events section for details.

Princethorpe Welcomes Back St Mary’s Priory Old Girls For Flying Visit

On a flying visit to the UK at the end of April as part of a trip to Europe from her home in the USA, the college was delighted to welcome back former St Mary’s priory Head Girl, Maria-Cecilia Cordoba Good, her companion Maria- Emilia and good friend, fellow St Mary’s girl and OPs Committee member, Mary Wheildon. The ladies, or Very Special Old Princethorpians, attended St Mary’s in the late 50s and left in 1961. For Maria Cecilia this was her first trip back to Princethorpe for five years, though she and Mary had attended the Golden Jubilee House of Commons event in May 2016.

The trio enjoyed lunch in the Refectory with the Headmaster, Ed Hester and senior members of staff from the Development Office and Old Princethorpians, before venturing on a guided tour of school led by Assistant Head – Alex Darkes. Their tour included a visit to the Chapel, where teacher and organist Will Uglow treated them to a rendition of the St Mary’s school hymn, the College Library, former dormitories and the chance to view material gathered by archivist, Janette Ratcliffe, including photographs and editions of the St Mary's school magazine Peeps, featuring mentions of the ladies during their time at the school.

Over the course of the afternoon, the Headmaster and Development Director, Rachel Hadley-Leonard, spoke to the group about initiatives at the College and plans for the future.

The next St Mary’s Priory Reunion is scheduled for Saturday 22 September and we look forwarding to welcoming more VSOPs back then!

Impromptu OPs Melbourne Meet Up Over Easter Holidays

Princethorpe Headmaster, Ed Hester, and his family (all OPs or Princethorpe teachers) headed to Australia over the Easter holidays and held a relatively impromptu OPs gathering in Melbourne on Friday 6 April at the city's Riverland Bar.

As well as Ed, Tracey, James, Lizzie and Katherine Hester, the gathering at the relaxed waterfront venue, attracted Mia Mead, former Princethorpe Teaching Assistant, OP Jeremy Taylor (1978 -83) and his wife, Sophie, who were visiting family in Melbourne, new pupil Tom Spencer and his parents Jo and Graham who were about to move back to the UK and join the school and Princethorpe Assistant Head, Greg Hunter, who was visiting family in his native land.


Old Princethorpians Introduce Former Parents' Saturday Brunch

The Old Princethorpians are introducing a brand new event into their annual calendar with the addition of a Former Parents' Saturday Brunch.

The inaugural brunch is set to take place on Saturday 12 May 2018 from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the College's Main Dining Room. In addition to catching up over a leisurely complimentary brunch, visitors will be able watch some cricket against local rivals, Bablake School, and take an optional tour of the school campus.

Comments OP Chairman, Peter Rollason, "We are aware that a lot of former parents will have spent a considerable amount of time at Princethorpe over the years, supporting their children in many different ways and may be missing the involvement in school life. We hope that this will be an opportunity for them to reconnect with both the College and each other in an informal, friendly environment. If the event goes well we hope to make this more of a regular fixture in our calendar."

If you would like to attend please RSVP with the name of your child/children, the number in your party and any special dietary requirements to oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk or call Melanie Butler on 01926 634284 by Tuesday 8 May.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please spread the word amongst former parents!!

Leamington Pub Meet Attracts Strong Staff Contingent

The rescheduled Leamington Pub Meet which took place on Wednesday 28 March, attracted a good number of former and current staff, alongside the Old Princethorpians.

The group took over the upstairs function room at the Star and Garter for a sociable evening of catching up and reminiscing.  Conversation flowed, helped along by a delicious buffet and the odd beverage!

Amongst those attending were former teachers, Steve White, Bernie Moroney, Ed MacFetridge, longstanding staff Alex Darkes and Mike Taylor and OPs Eddie Tolcher, Paul Gallagher, Paul Hubball, Sacha Galloway, Rory Rooney, Oscar Thornton and of course Headmaster, Ed Hester and OPs Chairman Peter Rollason.

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Princethorpe Passes ISI Inspection With Flying Colours

Princethorpe College has passed a recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) regulatory compliance inspection with flying colours.

The Catholic co-educational independent day school, which has around 900 pupils aged 11 to 18, was inspected in mid-February and has been judged to have met all of the eight standards required of it. Areas examined in terms of compliance include the quality of education provided, welfare, health and safety of pupils and the quality of leadership and management of the school.

Amongst its findings the report comments on ‘GCSE performance from 2014 to 2016 (the period covered by the inspection) being above the national average’, ‘that principles and values are actively promoted which facilitate the personal development of pupils’ and that ‘the leadership and management demonstrate good skills and knowledge and fulfil their responsibilities effectively’.

Regulatory compliance inspections report on a school’s compliance with the Independent School Standards Regulations. All schools are required to meet all standards applicable to them and the judgements are either met or not met.

Comments Headmaster, Ed Hester, “We are delighted to have met all the ISI’s regulatory standards, the report is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Princethorpe and my thanks go out to them.”

To access the full report please click here or go to the ISI website.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations. ISI inspections are also carried out under arrangements of the ISC Associations for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of the membership.

Princethorpe Careers Fair 2018 Provides Insights Into Wealth Of Career Possibilities

Despite the bitter, cold and wintry weather Headmaster, Ed Hester welcomed a capacity crowd of some 750 pupils, parents, staff and contributors to the College's fourth biennial Careers Fair on Saturday 17 March.

Over forty speakers, including Old Princethorpians and current and former parents, gave their time to present on a wide variety of careers and professions. From Accountancy and Law to Medicine, Engineering, Computing and TV and the Media, individual presentations gave pupil attendees the chance to consider careers, research jobs, listen to advice and ask questions.

The morning began with a keynote speech from guest speaker and Princethorpe parent James Hutcheson, Managing Director Finance and Administration for leading supermarket retailer, Aldi. Mr Hutcheson’s introduction was full of inspiration and sound advice. He urged pupils to ‘work out what makes you different’, ‘to prepare for your future’ and ‘to be clear about what you are going to do when you leave here’. He explained how aspirations can change, reassuring them that ‘typically an individual will have 11 different jobs’, often in different companies and different fields. He was full of the sort of sound, insightful and practical advice that only a top three Times 100 graduate employer can provide. He advised pupils to ‘focus on what you can control’, to identify ‘what is your added value’, and he concluded with a reflection on the quality of a Princethorpe education describing it as ‘an opportunity not to be wasted’.

Thanking Mr Hutcheson, Ed Hester summed up with the hope that the Careers Fair would succeed in ‘getting pupils on the right track’ and with that the attendees were off for a fruitful morning of exploring careers, organisations, universities and life after the classroom.

Princethorpe’s Sixth Form Atrium served as the hub for the morning with an exhibition full of employers, universities and Gap Year companies. This year the Sixth Form Theatre was a space dedicated to organisations such as IBM, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls Royce, with representatives on hand to talk to interested pupils and parents about their apprenticeship programmes.

For many this was their first step on the career ladder and it enabled pupils to have a taste of some of the different sorts of career choices available to them. Feedback has certainly been very positive with parents and pupils commenting on how useful and informative the event was.

We are immensely grateful to all the Old Princethorpians, parents, contributors and staff who supported the Careers Fair and to the Careers Team for their organisation of the event.

OPs involved included, Peter Rollason, Rory Aitkenhead, Bob Cheshire, Laura Brazier, Lucy Coulson, Nigel Bromley, Maddie Wigmore-Sykes, Tim Smith, Jacob Mitchell and last but by no means least, Tom Cross. 

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Oscar’s Hockey Excellence Recognised With Award Presented By OP Ian Bell

Princethorpe College Sports Scholar, Oscar Kay, was one of ten talented youngsters who were presented with an Excellence in Sports Award at the recent Rugby Sports Awards. The ceremony took place on Wednesday 28 February at the Benn Hall in Rugby and Oscar received his award in recognition for his hockey achievements during 2017.

Oscar was presented with his award by guest of honour, Warwickshire and England cricketer, and Old Princethorpian, Ian Bell. During the evening the former Princethorpe College pupil hosted an enlightening question and answer session about his career, which includes five Ashes Series victories.

Oscar’s Excellence in Sports Award capped off a great year for the 1st XI Princethorpe hockey player, who represented England at the National School Games in September and completed the England Hockey’s AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) programme for talented players.

Oscar has been given an unconditional offer to attend Trent University from September, where he will play for the University’s 1XI hockey team. His sights are also set on achieving inclusion in the England U21 NAGS (National Age Group Squads) training programme.

Many congratulations to Oscar, this award is a fitting reward and reflection of his dedication and commitment to his sport.

Foundation Junior School Launch's Past Pupils Associations - Old Crescentians

2018 is a big year for the Foundation's newest Junior School, the Crescent School. Not only will they celebrate their 70th birthday and mark the 30th anniversary since they moved to the Bawnmore Road site in Bilton, Rugby, but it is also the year that they decided to launch their past pupils’ association - Old Crescentians!

The school has set up a group on Facebook called ‘Old Crescentians’ and hopes that this will act as a means for past Crescent pupils to get in touch with each other, share memories and get news about their old school. They are very interested in hearing from all past pupils to find out how life is treating them and what they are doing now and in any old memorabilia they may have.  The Facebook group can be found at:


If you know some Old Crescentians (OCs) who aren’t on Facebook but who may wish to get in touch, they can contact the OCs association by emailing pastpupils@crescentschool.co.uk or calling the School Office on 01788 521595.

The school has some exciting plans afoot to help celebrate their wonderful anniversary milestones this year, including a Family Fun Day on Saturday 29 September.  More details will be published on the Facebook group as they are confirmed.

Pictured is an archive whole school photo from the 1950s.


Tenth Mary’s Meals Marathon Walking Challenge Raises Nearly £8,000

On Sunday 25 March 70 walkers from Princethorpe College trudged a grand total of 2,131 miles to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals. For the tenth consecutive year Sixth Formers, staff and OPs laced up their walking boots and took on the challenge of either walking 24 miles in seven hours or going the extra distance and completing 40 miles in a day.

The route was a big circular loop around Coventry with the 40 milers starting and finishing in Meriden and the 24/7 crew joining them at Ryton. The route took in varying terrain, making conditions uncomfortable underfoot despite the thankfully clement weather.

Sam Munro was first to finish the 40 miles, romping home in a time of 11 hours and 36 minutes whilst Freya Barnett and Aisling Brennan were first across the line for the 24/7 challenge completing the course in 6 hours and 32 minutes.

They were followed home by a procession of jubilant finishers with the final walker completing the challenge at 8.30pm.

Organiser of the event and Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rod Isaacs, who also completed the 40 mile walk, commented, “As always there was a wonderful spirit of camaraderie along the route. Everyone was helping each other and keeping focused on the aim to raise as much money as possible for impoverished children around the world. This academic year our fundraising for Mary’s Meals has so far raised over £7,800.”

Sixth Former, Anna Wells, commented, “I found it really hard, much harder than I ever imagined. I hit the wall at about 19 miles but I just kept thinking of the sponsorship money. It felt so good when I finally crossed the line, although I am still feeling the pain even now!”

In fact, there were many hobbling teachers and students in College the following Monday - easy to spot by their lurching movements down the corridors. However, a few blisters and aching feet are little price to pay for the money raised to feed and educate children across the globe.

Through the College’s fundraising, 636 children at Makalanga Primary School in Malawi are already receiving a daily meal in school for the first time.

There is still time to support our Sixth Form walkers who would very much like to tip that total over the £8,000 mark. If you would like to donate please visit:


Inauguration Ceremony Welcomes New Princethorpe Prefect Body

The new Princethorpe College Prefect Body for 2018-2019 was formally inaugurated into their roles in an emotional ceremony on the last afternoon of the Lent Term, Wednesday 28 March.
Parents and friends of the new prefects were invited to College for a celebratory buffet lunch before joining the afternoon’s formal ceremony. The outgoing Head Boy, Tim Duffy, and Head Girl, Miriam Isaacs, gave a moving speech reflecting on their year in office and time at Princethorpe before wishing the new Prefect Body well, and handing over the keys of office. The 2018-19 Prefects smartly attired in their cobalt blue prefect uniform for the first time, spoke to the gathered audience of pupils about their hopes for their new roles.

The roles of office are as follows:

Head Girl

Elizabeth Carr

Head Boy

Tom Warne

Deputy Head Girls

Georgia Newborough

Cara Wallis

Deputy Head Boys

Alexander Meredith

Alfie Thomson

Pastoral Prefects

Sarah Abrahams

Luke Daniel

Georgie Glasspool

Daniel Hagan

Jasmine Rigg

Jack Saunders

Austin House Captains

Abbie Baker and Alex Hutcheson

Benet House Captains

Lily Dyble and Bryn Lewis

Fisher House Captains

Freya Barnett and Sam Richards

More House Captains

Aimee Sen-Gupta and Tiarnan Wukics

Social Prefects

Sammy Inskip and Fennah Jones

Charity Prefect

Christie Wukics

Chaplaincy Prefect

Meera Chauhan

Junior Chaplaincy Prefects

Toby Convey – Year 7 - Austin

Conor Fernandez – Year 9 - Austin

Chloe O’Carroll Bailey – Year 7 - More

Zoe Shayler – Year 7 - Benet

Academic Prefects

Patrick Carrington

Megan Harcourt

Charlotte Silvester

Marketing and Communications Prefect

Beth Elliott

Games Prefects

Molly Geehan and Anna Wells

Ben Brown and Robert Lord

The image shows the new prefect body with Headmaster, Mr Hester, and Head of Sixth Form, Mr Collie. Unfortunately one prefect was unavailable, so we will be retaking the photo after the Easter holidays.

The College wishes good luck to the new prefect body for the year ahead and extends warm thanks to the outgoing prefects, they have given great service and we wish them all the best for their upcoming exams and future endeavours.

The Pinnacle - Issue 23 - Be Inspired!

The latest issue of The Pinnacle, out in time for the start of the new half term, showcases yet more of our pupils' excellent work.

This edition includes updates on our da Vinci programme and showcases flair across all subjects and year groups including Languages, Drama, Sport, Science (including a space mission to Rendezvous with a Comet), History and creative writing. There’s also coverage of some of the wonderful GCSE and A-level Art, which will appear in our Summer Art, Photography and Design Show in June, which all are welcome to attend. 

A double-sized Minnacle is included too, with equally impressive work by Crackley Hall pupils from Reception to Junior 6 and Crescent pupils from Reception to Class VI. It's super to showcase their talents too!!

Click here if you would like to download a copy of The Pinnacle and here if you would like to see The Minnacle.

Two Princethorpe Upper Sixth Formers Secure Prestigious Degree Apprenticeships

Two Princethorpe College Upper Sixth Form students have secured themselves prestigious degree-level apprenticeships.  18-year-olds Liam Jarrett and Autumn Wells both faced stiff national competition to bag a coveted spot on the apprenticeship programmes at KMPG and Rolls Royce respectively.

The pair were put through their paces having to complete an online application, psychometric tests, video/audio interviews before being invited to an assessment centre where they undertook group exercises, written tasks and a further in-depth interview.

Liam, who is studying for A-levels in Economics, Geography and Law, has been awarded a Finance and Accountancy degree apprenticeship and Autumn, who is studying A-levels in Maths, Psychology and Law, will be joining Rolls Royce’s Commercial apprenticeship scheme.

Comments Jacqui Quinney, Princethorpe Head of Careers, “We are absolutely delighted for Liam and Autumn.  Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular choice for ambitious school leavers who want to launch their careers early. A degree apprenticeship may take longer to complete than a traditional degree at university but Liam and Autumn will be paid a salary, incur no tuition fees and will not need a student loan. On completion of their apprenticeships, they will not only be awarded their degrees, but will also have years of relevant on the job experience.”

Princethorpe College Gains Gold Award For School Library

Princethorpe College has been awarded the Gold standard in a prestigious national school library accreditation scheme. Awarded by the School Library Service UK, the scheme recognises and acknowledges the work of school libraries and their librarians across the country in raising literacy levels, educational achievement and promoting a love of reading.

The national award scheme is endorsed by the School Library Association (SLA), the School Library Group (SLG) and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). The scheme audits 20 key activities and services provided by a school library. For each key activity the school is recognised at one of three levels – developing, establishing and enhancing. The Gold award is presented only to school libraries with 15 or more activities and services in the ‘enhancing’ category. Princethorpe gained an impressive 17 activities awarded as ‘enhancing’, including monitoring of pupils reading, diversity of stock, reading culture and teaching in the library.

College Librarian, Celia Scott, was presented with the award on Wednesday 7 March by Stella Thebridge, Principal Librarian of the Warwickshire Library Service, in Warwick.

Celia Scott commented, “We are thrilled to have achieved such high recognition for our work. Our submission covered a wide range of library activities and services that included not only the library, its staff, facilities and stock but also our wider school support and engagement, the reading culture of the College and the many initiatives, competitions, activities and events we organise and run. The requirements were challenging and we had to meet tough criteria to receive the award. We are delighted that the School Library Service team have decided we are worthy of the Gold standard.”

Stella Thebridge, Principal Librarian, Warwickshire Library Service added, “The College librarian clearly works to the highest standards and offers pupils an excellent library service embedded in the wider school curriculum and reading culture. This is a very well deserved Gold award.”

Latest Admissions Update Newsletter Now Available

The latest edition of the College's Admissions Update e-newsletter was published in March. It 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 looking at entry in September 2019.

The newsletter is issued twice a year to coincide with key admissions periods, the next edition will be published in autumn 2018.

Click here to go to the Admissions Update newsletter.

For further information on admissions to the school please call the Registrars on 01926 634201 or 01926 634262 or email the team at admissions@princethorpe.co.uk.

Foundation Schools: In The News

Click on the attachment below to download the latest ‘In the News’ posters featuring some of the Foundation's recent media coverage.

In the News

In the last few months we have had stories in the local press including the Leamington Courier, Kenilworth News, Rugby Advertiser, Daventry Express, Leamington Observer, Rugby and Lutterworth Observer and the Coventry and Warwickshire Telegraph. The Foundation has also been featured in Catholic Today and the Independent Schools’ magazine Attain.


Former Parents' Saturday Brunch

Saturday 12 May - 10.30am to 12.30pm

The inaugural Former Parents' Saturday Brunch, is set to take place on Saturday 12 May 2018 from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the College's Main Dining Room. In addition to catching up over a leisurely complimentary brunch, visitors will be able watch some cricket against local rivals, Bablake School, and take an optional tour of the school campus.

We are aware that a lot of former parents will have spent a considerable amount of time at Princethorpe over the years, supporting their children in many different ways and may be missing the involvement in school life. The Old Princethorpians' Association hope that this will be an opportunity for them to reconnect with both the College and each other in an informal, friendly environment. We hope if the event goes well to make this more of a regular fixture in our calendar.

If you would like to attend please RSVP with the name of your child/children, the number in your party and any special dietary requirements to oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk or call Melanie Butler on 01926 634284 by Tuesday 8 May.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please spread the word amongst former parents!!

The Woman In Picasso’s Life And Art:1932 Presented By Margaret-Louise O'Keeffe

Wednesday 16 May 2018 - 7.30pm

Sixth Form Lecture Theatre

Followed by wine and light refreshments in the Atrium

From 8 March until 9 September 2018, the first solo exhibition of Picasso’s work at Tate Modern, London, will be held. Entitled The EY Exhibition Picasso 1932-Love, Fame, Tragedy, it will focus on one year in the prolific artist’s life when he was passionately absorbed in his love for Marie-Thérèse Walter, his young mistress, also an inspirational muse. Picasso created dozens of images of her blond, sensual beauty in different media during a time often called his ‘year of wonders’ when the artist was at the height of his powers.

For the first time since they were created over just five days, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Nude in a Black Armchair and The Mirror will be shown together with around a hundred other sensational works.

This slide-illustrated talk will examine Picasso’s relationship with Marie-Thérèse, its impact on his long-suffering wife, Olga, and its tragic outcome.

Tickets may also be purchased at the door; but advance notice helps catering, please. Princethorpe, Crackley Hall and Crescent School pupils free of charge. Please complete the booking form here. We are happy to receive provisional bookings by e-mail, please, to alexdarkes@princethorpe.co.uk.

Old Princethorpians' London Pub Meet

Friday 18 May - from 6.30pm

For our next Old Princethorpians' Meet we will be gathering at the historic, Ye Olde Mitre, tucked away off the beaten track in Ely Court, Holborn, EC1N 6SJ.  We will be gathering upstairs in their private Bishop's Room. The pub is famous for its wealth of real ales and home-made food, so we are really looking forward to our visit.

Built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishops of Ely, The Ye Olde Mitre is famous for having a cherry tree, (now supporting the front) that Queen Elizabeth once danced around with Sir Christopher Hatton. The pub was actually a part of Cambridge (Ely being in Cambridge) and the licencees used to have to go there for their licence. Set in a part of London steeped in history, it's near where William Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered at Smithfield, along with martyrs and traitors who were also killed nearby.

Partners and friends are welcome. If you would like to attend please RSVP with the number in your party and any special dietary requirements to oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk or call Melanie Butler on 01926 634284 by Friday 11 May.

Summer Open Evening And Taster Days

Wednesday 6 June - 6.00pm to 8.30pm

The College's annual Summer Open Evening will take place on Wednesday 6 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

There are still some places available on our Thursday 21 June Taster Day for pupils in Year 5, further dates 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.

Sudden Impulse Theatre Production Of The Comedy Of Errors By William Shakespeare

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 June 2018

Princethorpe College is looking forward to welcoming back the Sudden Impulse Theatre Company in June for two outdoor performances of William Shakespeare's play, The Comedy of Errors.

The Comedy of Errors is believed to be one of Shakespeare's earlier written plays; a true farce ahead of its time. The story involves two sets of twins, separated at birth, being thrown together in a tale of mistaken identity.

The performances are open to the public and will take place on the Sixth Form Lawn as follows:

Friday 8 June - 6.30pm to 10.00pm

Saturday 9 June - 3.30pm to 7.00pm

Please do bring a picnic, settle down in your camping chair and enjoy some perfect summer entertainment.

Tickets are available from www.suddenimpulse.co.uk priced at £12 or £10 for concessions. 

Come And Say Hello At The Kenilworth Show!

Saturday 9 June 2018

Both Princethorpe College and Crackley Hall School will be out in force at the Kenilworth Show on Saturday 9 June 2018.

A great day out for all the family, there is so much to see and do. Returning for 2018 will be the infamous Bolddog Lings, The Sheep Show, Grand Parade of Livestock plus the Countryside Arena and displays of farm machinery to name just a few of the exciting activities that visitors can enjoy.

There will also be over 100 trade stands from arts and crafts, jewellery, homewares, through to artisan breads and pies in the indoor trade marquee (where you can also find us!), with clothing stalls, garden furniture, plants and local club stands outside.

Visitors to the show can come and find out about our upcoming open events, admissions for September 2019 and beyond, and we would love to say hello to any former St Joseph School pupils and Old Princethorpians!

Tickets are just £10 and under 16s go free! For more information about the event and to buy tickets, please visit: https://www.kenilworthshow.co.uk/

The Summer Art, Photography and Design Show

Thursday 21 June from 6.00pm to 8.30pm and Sunday 24 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 21 June from 6.00pm to 8.30pm and on Sunday 24 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. 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.

OPs Summer Supper - Calling The Leavers Of 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 And 2008

Friday 22 June 2018 - 6.00pm optional tour, 7.00pm drinks reception, 7.30pm supper

OPs who left the College in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008 (or those who were in the same year groups) are cordially invited back to the OPs annual Summer Supper on Friday 22 June to celebrate their respective 50th, 40th, 30th, 20th and 10th anniversaries of leaving.

Comments OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler, "We know many OPs are keener to come to these events if they can be sure of seeing some familiar faces.  By focusing on these year groups we hope to get a critical mass of attendees, although OPs from other years will of course be welcome too!"

The Summer Supper is an established event in the OPs calendar, attracting a large number of OPs, former and current members of staff. The supper is preceded by an optional tour and drinks in the Quad. Every year the OPs recognise long-standing members of staff and say farewell to any staff leaving the College.

Numbers are limited to around 100 guests, so if you would like to attend please email oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk asap to reserve your place.

The Princethorpe PTA Summer Fete

Sunday 24 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm

The Summer Fete and Annual Motoring Festival will take place on Sunday 24 June between 2.00pm and 4.30pm in the Orchard with lots of entertainment for both children and adults.

The Orchard will be transformed with plenty of enthusiasm, gazebos and bunting and fingers crossed the British weather will bless us so that organisers and visitors can relax and enjoy themselves and their ice creams.

There will be plenty of stalls offering all sorts of entertainment, goods and services, including homemade food, arts and crafts, gifts ideas, fundraising activities, tombolas and much, much more.

Around the perimeter there will be a whole lot of fun to be had in the shape of inflatables, bouncy castles and who knows what else.



Please do 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. 

23rd Annual Motoring Festival 2018

Sunday 24 June from 2.00pm to 4.30pm

The Motoring Festival always coincides with the College Summer Fête, which takes place on the last Sunday in June. This year's event is on Sunday 24 June 2018.

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.

For further information and on-line registration please visit the College website.

Or contact Alex Darkes on 01926 634207 or by email alexdarkes@princethorpe.co.uk

The Twenty-Fourth Annual Hugh Page Memorial Organ Recital By Tim Campain

Tuesday 3 July 2018 at 7.30pm in the Chapel

Followed by refreshments in the Atrium

Once again, Tim Campain, Director of Music at Warwick Road United Reformed Church, Coventry, will play a wide variety of pieces from various genres on the renowned Princethorpe Binns’ organ of 1901.

Tickets may also be purchased at the door; but advance notice helps catering, please. Princethorpe, Crackley Hall and Crescent School pupils free of charge. Please complete the booking form here. We are happy to receive provisional bookings by e-mail, please, to alexdarkes@princethorpe.co.uk.

OPs Sports Day 2018

Saturday 1 September - 12.00pm to 6.00pm

We are gearing up for the 8th annual Old Princethorpians' Sports Day (and 10th John Shinkwin Trophy Match) on Saturday 1 September. 

We are planning to repeat last year's successful format wiht a relaxing day that mixes of sporting matches with live music, a BBQ and a bar.

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.

St Mary's Priory Reunion 2018

Saturday 22 September 2018 - from 11.00am

The College always enjoys hosting OP reunions and events and no more so than the reunions for the old girls of St Mary's Priory, who were at school here before Princethorpe College came into being. The ladies are now fondly referred to as Very Special Old Princethorpians or VSOPs. 

These events have recently taken to occuring every two years and this September we are looking forward to welcoming the group back to the College again on Saturday 22 September 2018.

Comments Alex Darkes, "This will be an informal get-together, when there will be plenty of time for the St Mary's girls to chat, reminisce and to look around. We suggest arrival from 11.00am with coffee and a chance to catch up with friends. After a buffet lunch, there will be tours of the building ending in the Chapel with the St Mary's school song, followed by afternoon tea. We will also have items from the archive availabel to view."

If you are interested in attending or know someone who would like to please get in touch with Loretta Curtis on 01926 634200 extension 326, by post at the College or by email to lorettacurtis@princethorpe.co.uk.

Old Princethorpian Interview

Alan Young

Bit of background, where you live, what you do for a living

I live in Hong Kong and I am now the Head of IT in a charity organisation with 6,000 staff called Caritas Hong Kong and I am also the Chief IT Officer of two private hospitals in Hong Kong.

Age: 57

When were you at Princethorpe - years from and to?


What was the school like in your day?

It was a huge castle to me, everywhere was so spacious and I have a fond memory of the three years at Princethorpe. I was even baptised in the chapel during my school years.

How did Princethorpe affect the person you are today?

I learnt discipline at Princethorpe. Even the food at the table was distributed by the head of table, I realised there was seniority in the boarding school in those days, I had a shared room in F5 and then a double in F6 and a single in F7.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Treasure the school and the teachers, you will know that they do play an important role in your life when you have grown up.

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

Sr. Alban (passed away during my years at the school), she gave the Chinese students special English lessons after class just to make sure they could pass their 'O' and 'A' levels. Fr. Clarkson (the Boss), he remembered each and every Chinese name when he saw us but we must have all looked the same to him in those days. I could also tell that he loved us as God's children although he always looked serious to us.

What keeps you awake at night?

Back then the noise in the corridor as there were ghost stories like the half nun! It was scary to a boy who had travelled hundreds of miles from home to an alien place.

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

Being able to graduate from the UK and to bring up my kids are my greatest achievements so far. Moreover, organising Fr. O' Brien and Fr. O'Connor's trip to Hong Kong to meet up with the Princethorpians a few years ago was an exceptionally proud moment, as I could see the two priests who were with us during our time at Princethorpe were so happy. I know that Fr. O'Connor's health condition is not good and I am proud to have done the trip for him while he was still able to come. 

What’s your biggest indulgence?

I was sent to Oxford for a religious trip during my time at the College with a few of the other boarders. The seven day religious trip ended up becoming the most indulgent days of my life. I learnt to smoke (quit afterwards), got drunk and knocked on people doors without a reason, climbing up the water pipes back to the dorm, you name it...!

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

Anything but the 'fresh milk' from Princethorpe!

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

In the Japan countryside with my family.

Lasting memories of Princethorpe:

Playing guritar at the Sunday Mass.........!

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

Yes, lots of those from Hong Kong, Nelson Ngai, Vitus Leung, Heman Lam, Osmond Lam, Michael Chan, Peter Yang, Paul Cheung, Peter Cheung, Jonathan Cheung,.......etc.

Is there anyone you would like to track down?

Yes, Ian Higham, see additional picture. He used to be my roommate and sang at the chapel while I was playing the guitar. I would love to get back in touch with him.


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Births, Deaths & Marriages

Congratulations Rachel And William And A Warm Welcome For Leo

Rachel Edjenguele (Ogrizovic) has many fond memories of her time at Princethorpe College where she made many life long friends.

Since leaving Princethorpe she has studied at Birmingham City University and then trained to be a primary school teacher.  Subsequently she worked at a school in Coventry for many years, leading the maths department. 

Last June she married her husband William and they have now relocated to Scotland where he is a professional footballer currently playing for Dundee United. 

On 22 January 2018 they welcomed their beautiful son Leo Emery Edjenguele into the world, weighing 8 1/2 lbs, and Rachel is currently enjoying being a mummy! 

We were so pleased to hear from you Rachel and our best wishes for a fun filled future! 


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RIP Fr Sandy Murray MSC

Back in March the Old Princethorpians learned of the passing of Fr Sandy Murray MSC on Sunday 11 March. Fr Sandy taught at the college in the 1980's for about two years.  His funeral took place in St Albans on Thursday 6 April.

The following is taken from his funeral programme.

Fr Sandy’s life can be seen as a mysterious, sometimes painful, journey of faith.  Born just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and educated at Inverness Academy, he worked in local government for some years.  His family was staunchly Presbyterian, and his sister Avril remains a very active member of her local Presbyterian church near Adelaide; but during his twenties something moved him to go beyond his early religious experience. He took the brave decision to become a Catholic.

He continued his mysterious journey of faith when he began to consider whether God might be calling him to be a priest. With this in mind, he went for further studies at Drygrange, near Edinburgh, during the late 1970’s. Around this time Fr Dan O’Connor MSC began to make contact with him. Fr Sandy joined the MSCs in 1981 completing his Novitiate in Moyne Park, Galway. After his First Profession he studied Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. Two pastoral assignments followed in Killinarden Parish (Dublin) and at Princethorpe College (Warwickshire), where he was ordained Deacon. On 26th October 1989, at St. Mary’s Church, Inverness, he was ordained Priest. After another short period at Princethorpe, he was appointed to St. Albans. Almost all his ministry as a priest has been spent there.  The first phase of his ministry was very active; the second phase, much more passive and dependant, has its own mysterious value.

Fr Sandy is fondly remembered in St Albans as someone who was always on the go: beetling around in his car, running hither and thither with his distinguished white mane of hair flying.  His experience of becoming a Catholic proved invaluable when he led the R.C.I.A. programme.  By all accounts he ran a very tight ship: no one was allowed through until all procedures had been duly observed. Many deeply committed, hard-working Catholics in the community are very grateful for the help that he gave them on their journey of faith. By all accounts his sermons were much appreciated; an article about the Journey to Emmaus that he wrote for the Parish Bulletin reflects his great devotion to the Mass.

Fr Sandy’s care for sick people and his compassion for the bereaved are still recalled with affection. His visiting area in St. Albans was centred on the Mercy Convent at Maryland, where there was also a Care Home and a Mass Centre. He enjoyed saying Mass at Maryland; the Sisters of Mercy and the people living in the neighbouring estates took him to their hearts. His sparring partner and colleague on the R.I.C.A. programme was Sister Immaculata RSM, usually known as ‘Mac’. Fr Sandy and Mac had a ‘love-hate’ relationship: Sister Joanna RSM says that they did crosswords together, but sometimes they also had cross words! 

When he suffered his stroke in Inverness in 1999, the Maryland Sisters were among the first to make the long journey to visit him. He deeply appreciated their loving concern, although the hospital meetings were very upsetting both for them and for him. It goes without saying that the stroke turned his life upside down.  It was very frustrating for him to be acutely aware of everything that was going on and to understand it all, but to be unable to express his ideas and wishes adequately. Nevertheless, he developed a ‘code’ which his listeners tried to interpret with varying degrees of success! This included ingenious methods of alerting everyone to parts of his schedule that they might have forgotten! 

Many characteristics were carried over from the old Fr Sandy to the new. His stroke did not deprive him of his sartorial sensitivity: he continued to be a very dapper dresser.  He had kept his dry sense of humour: when an old Italian Nun sorrowfully told us that she had to retire and return home, he responded: ‘that’s very good!’  We could never work out whether he was making a deliberate mistake! 

Fr Sandy continued to sing as well as he ever did, remembering all the words once he got started. Many mornings at around 6.30am he could be heard singing: The Bonny Bonny Banks of Loughloman; Scotland the Brave; I Will Take You Home Again Kathleen; Flower of Scotland; and many many more. One morning he was heard singing a duet with his carer: I Could Have Danced All Night.  

When he joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, he could never have anticipated that his journey would have taken him in the direction it did. In his own special way, in joy and suffering, he continued to reveal one unique human face of Jesus.

One of the great joys for Fr Sandy was that he was able to remain in the MSC community. Thanks to the care and support that he got from the community, his carers, staff and his friends, he was able to live out these last years of his life in a place that he loved and was able to enjoy many special occasions. It was not always easy for him, and there were a number of times that he was frustrated, however, after a short time he would soon recover and get back to his cheerful challenging self.

Great credit should be given to all the members of the MSC community that gave such care and attention to Fr Sandy for many years. He deeply appreciated it and he was able to live out his life in the parish community where he ministered for so many years. Even though they were working in a very busy parish, members of the community still had time to get his supper, bring him shopping and on trips, sit and chat with him. One had to learn what was meant by: ‘’Thing a may’’ ‘’You know’’  ‘’Very good ‘’ and defiantly ‘’NO’’.

Over the last six months Fr Sandy’s health deteriorated and the death of Fr Tom Hewitt in January brought a great sadness to him and he shed many tears for his friend and community member.

Today our prayer is that they both are reunited in the loving presence of God.

May Fr Sandy rest in peace.

Double Wedding Bells For Sisters Nichola and Rosanna Brown

Congratulations to sisters Nichola and Rosanna Brown who are both set to tie the knot!

Nichola left Princethorpe after Sixth Form in 2008 and now works as a clinical nurse specialist in palliative care in central London. She recently got engaged in Mallorca to Michael Tame who is a surveyor based in London. The happy couple, pictured, are busy planning their wedding for May next year.

Sister Rosanna, who left Princethorpe in 2009, has less long to wait as she is getting married this weekend to Chris Martin, the pair both work in the Metropolitan Police Force and we hope to share a picture from their big day in the next issue of the OP newsletter!

Memory Bank

Brian Lewellyn's Return To Princethorpe Sparks Many A Memory

I now live in southern Ontario with my wife Judith and two children Emma, 15, and Christopher, 14, working as an agricultural consultant in the dairy industry. I started at Princethorpe back in 1980 and left after O-Levels in 1985 to work on the family farm near Rugby. Over the next few years I attended agricultural colleges in Northamptonshire and then Leicestershire before returning home full time to farm in 1989. (My brother Ivor followed a similar path through Princethorpe but three years later). Facing the prospect of our rented farm going for development, we looked to relocate to Canada and in 1998 Ivor and I purchased a dairy farm in Manitoba. My wife, Judith, who I had met two years previously in England, followed us out after we got married in 1999.

2009 saw us take a life change again and the Manitoba farm was sold, Judith and I relocated to southern Ontario with our children where we have a hobby farm and a Bed and Breakfast, October Sunrise Farmhouse B&B. I work for Grand Valley Fortifiers, as an agricultural consultant serving and advising dairy farmers. My children Emma and Christopher attend school locally in Orangeville.  My brother, Ivor stopped in Manitoba and develops property in Winnipeg.

I often think back with fond memories of my time at Princethorpe, so during a recent family vacation staying with my parents, I contacted Princethorpe  to see if I could take my children back around the old school. Two phone calls to, OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler later, a time and date was set.

Driving from Bilton to Princethorpe on a spring March morning brought back a flood of memories, with the sight of the church spire towering over the surrounding landscape.  In those days most students from Rugby, Bilton and Dunchurch usually came by bus driven by Fred Marvin, or a brother of Fred, or son of Fred, I believe also called Fred. Our bus was different –  as it pulled up alongside the larger newer busses at school, it looked as though it came straight out of a St Trinian’s film. Much older, rounded and less square, always immaculate and Fred always adding a little colour to the trip solving all the world’s problems in minutes after listening to the Radio 4  8 o’clock news.

I entered form AP, my form teacher being Mr. Philpot. Looking back, some of my first year teachers were some of the pillars of the school throughout my five years at Princethorpe. Mr. O’Grady, our first year maths teacher, I’m sure is fondly remembered by all. His humour, patience, temper and disciplinary measures can all be only described as unique. The diagonal line at the top left corner of the chalk board with the numbers 2,4,6 etc. being added for additional home work when class behaviour was amiss. The last day of each term we always had fun with his “O’Gradyisms” – riddles, stories, puzzles, wrapped up in his own sense of humour, and asking if anybody’s mother would like to go on a hot date with him. For years he worked the dinner lines, misbehaviour being met with a quick thick ear.

Sister Helen Morgan taught religious education and I believe geography. She was always patient and understanding but had, as all of the nuns and priests at the time, a very no nonsense approach and set lots of home work. Mr. Cooper, Price, Hopwood, Rex, Darkes, Mrs. Carpenter amongst others all played a part in the building of our characters that would see many of us working across the country and the globe. A special mention must go to the ladies who tried for three years to teach me French, your patience was amazing but I do think seating three farmers sons, myself, Guy Minshull and Allan Thomas, together, was a huge mistake. By 1983 we already had Brexit completely planned. The yearly day trip to Boulogne was an unforgettable experience, probably not for all the right reasons but character building indeed, even for the teachers. P.S. when searching the train, the booty was in the French Bread.

So Melanie, thank you so much for those three hours you spent with us in March. After nearly 30 years away from Princethorpe it is fantastic to see how the school has matured into a bright, energetic place of learning. There seemed to be a wonderful rapport between the pupils and teachers. The grounds and buildings were immaculate, the sports fields pristine. Great to see the school in such great shape making memories daily for 900+ students.

Thank you Princethorpe.

Pictured is Brian, his children Emma and Christopher and his mother Vivian in the Quad on their visit to Princethorpe.

OP Updates

OP Ben Oliver Is Looking For Some London Advice

Recent leaver Ben Oliver (2016) is finishing up his second year studying Psychology at Cardiff University and has secured himself an exciting year in industry in the capital.

Ben will be taking on an Occupational Psychology placement in a firm called Strengths Partnership currently based in Wimbledon. New to the area, Ben is keen to get in touch with fellow OPs who live in and around London. He tells us more:

I’m really excited about my upcoming placement. Strengths Partnership are a bit like a management consultancy firm, however, has employers with a background in psychology.

The company supports a wide-range of top UK (and a few international) firms within their HR departments in preparing psychometric profiles for employees that highlight their natural strengths and how they can be optimised and utilised in their roles within their company.

The Strengths Partnership office is being moved to Waterloo in August before I get there so I would love to get in touch with any OPs who may live nearby to give me some advice on where is good to stay or may know of a room to rent.

If you can help Ben and would like to get in touch, please email us at oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk and we’ll pass on your details.

Bradley Rice Takes A Walk On The Wild Side

Bradley shares a short anecdote from the book, which he is currently in the process of writing, about the four and a half months he spent in the Bolivian jungle, at Park Ambue Ari. It was an incredible experience, where he lived and worked with animals on a day to day basis. The short extract below details one of his many encounters with Maggie, a female puma who was sure to keep you on your toes.

To say I was nervous was an understatement, especially because it had been a long time coming. Recent forest fires had resulted in an emergency shift around in scheduling as fighting them became the primary challenge. Not that we had become fire fighters overnight, nothing to that extent but it did entail all hands on deck in terms of clearing fire trails and creating fire breaks. Unfortunately, it had meant that many of the cats had not been walked for up to a week, one of the unlucky few had been Maggie. Ideally training would be carried out over a matter of days, but due to lack of numbers teamed with factors out of our control, I had been somewhat held up. As a result, instead of feeling confident and building on my last session, as we made our way out to the cage, I felt as if I was back to square one. The nerves were jangling and I felt uneasy, I had no idea how this was going to play out, I remember my fingers twitching and trembling as I readied myself, a mixture of fear and adrenaline in equal measures. I was both excited and petrified. 

The clipping on process was practically identical to that of Tupac. I knelt down, with my hands poised, and the carabiner open. It was time. Maggie made it perfectly clear that she was ready and willing, after a few hair raising laps of her cage, she strode confidently up to the double doors. I gave the signal and Scott released the door. In she came, I put my hands through, it was clear she wanted to make a formal introduction. She seized her moment, as I attempted to clip her on, she bit down on my hand. It was nothing hard but enough to make me jump and recoil.

‘Don’t worry, she may give you a little nip but it’s just a love bite, give it another go.’ Ollie was encouraging with his words. He could see that I had been a little put out by a puma latching on to my hand, first with her paw and then with her teeth. So I gave it a second and a third go, but she continued to bat me away, try as I might, I was unable to make a clear connection, she was very astute at keeping her collar well protected.

‘It’s alright, she can be like this, especially with new people, I will do it for today,’ Ollie came over and gave me a hand, she pawed at him, but he simply shrugged it off and clipped her on. I stood back up. Whereas before I had been edgy, I now found myself on tenterhooks given what had just happened. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot, she wasn’t even out of the cage yet and already she had given me a fright. I could feel the sweat pouring from me, the humidity wasn’t helping but I also knew that the amount I was perspiring, was not solely down to the heat of the jungle. I took a step to the side, Scott motioned that he was in position, I leaned across, unbolted the door and quickly opened it before taking a seismic leap back. I had been convinced that she was to take a jump at me as soon as I had paved the way for her entrance. As it were, with my pulse still racing, Maggie simply strolled out of the cage as if to say, what’s all the fuss about? I however, knew she was playing the waiting game, stalling for the opportune moment to pounce.



Thomas Skillington's Passion For Travelling Sparks His Political Journey

After leaving Princethorpe I decided that I would study for a BSc in Physics and Maths with the Open Univeristy as I would qualify with less debt and I would be able to work while I studied. I initially got a job with the Yorkshire Bank and worked there for a couple of years but after my Grandad bought me a pilot lesson one Christmas I realised my passion was flying.

I now work for British Airways as cabin crew whilst continuing my degree but I plan to apply for airline pilot training when I graduate. I absolutely love travelling the world for work and have had many amazing experiences. I’ve tobogganed down the Great Wall of China, had a champagne breakfast in Sydney Harbour, climbed Table Mountain in South Africa, visited Niagra Falls in Canada, won on the slots in Vegas, seen the Northern Lights whilst flying over Greenland and kissed a giraffe in Kenya.

After seeing so many beautiful places I realised that we need to work a lot harder to protect the planet so that future generations can enjoy life as much as we do. That’s when I decided to get more involved with the Green Party. With global warming, deforestation, species extinction, the war on plastic, and overpopulation threatening life as we know it, it is all too clear to me that the impact on environment should be at the forefront of every decision that we make.

I applied to stand for candidate in the Woodford Ward of the local Daventry District elections on Thursday 3 May and was lucky enough to be accepted. I will be working hard over the next few years to try and increase the Green Party vote in my ward and hope that one day I will sit on the council.

George Power Lands His Dream Job

I left Princethorpe in 2013 after finishing my A-Levels. I chose, unlike most of my year-group, not to go to university. Since the age of six I had always wanted to become an airline pilot. I was in the Air Cadets throughout school, but now was my chance to start pursuing the dream.

I began working for various companies to fund my flight training: M&S, Waitrose and eventually the Royal Shakespeare Company. I worked at the RSC for just under three years as a bartender. Alongside working I completed all the necessary aviation exams (14 of them) and flight tests to fly aircraft and passengers commercially.

I finished my flight training in August 2017 and immediately (the day after I finished!) began applying to the airlines. The first airline I applied to was Jet2.com and their ‘Pilot Apprentice’ scheme. After a blurry couple of months doing interviews, group exercises and simulator assessments with Jet2 I was offered the job. Their scheme is designed to expose you to as many areas of the company as possible and since starting in January, I have spent time working with Legal, HR, Revenue, Planning, OPs, Engineering, Cabin Crew and countless more.

I am now stationed in Belfast, working in our crew room at the International Airport until the second half of this year, when I will begin flying the Boeing 737 for Jet2.com as a Second Officer, hopefully out of Birmingham Airport!

Jonathan Walls' Career Is Motoring Along

I was at Princethorpe from 1982 to 1988 and they were very happy times although in my 48th year this seems like an incredibly long time ago!

After leaving Princethorpe I studied Media and Business Management at what is now University of Chester and embarked on an early career with the BBC freelancing in production and research in local radio in York, Manchester and Coventry. Alas the BBC staff jobs were few and far between so subsidised contracts with lots of temporary work before deciding a career change was needed. 

This saw the start of a career in PR and Marketing from 1994 - boosting my experience with a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma. After a junior PR role in a local agency gaining experience over two years,  I moved to Hella Lighting in Banbury where I was product manager for 10 years. Working just across the road from Prodrive Motorsport, I was lured into an exciting three years of high octane motorsport marketing having completed a sponsorship deal at Hella with Aston Martin Racing on lighting for Le Mans. 

Meanwhile at home I got married in 2007 to Karen and the family came along in 2001 with Oliver and in 2004, Hermione arrived who are now 16 and 13!

My ambition has always been to work for a luxury brand and I joined Jaguar Land Rover at Gaydon as Global XF Product Manager in 2011 before moving to JLR UK to launch F-TYPE and then become Jaguar Events Manager. My current role is JLR UK Launch Events Manager working on all the exciting vehicle launches which is a role I really enjoy.

Driving down the Fosse Way I often wave at Princethorpe and have fond memories of my time there and am most grateful for the education which has led me to where I am now.

Alex Rooney Clinches A Spot In Men's England University Hockey Squad

We were delighted to hear news that OP Alex Rooney has clinched a spot in the Men's England University Hockey Squad ahead of a series of summer tournaments and got the chance to train with a fellow OP in the process.

Alex, who left Princethorpe in 2014, was joined by OP and former 1st XI Captain Richard Hill (2015 leaver) for a special two-day event at the University of Manchester which culminated in the North vs South Challenge Cup. 

Over Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 March, the pair were put through their paces undertaking intensive training sessions, leading to the much-contested North vs South match. Both Alex and Richard, who are at St Mary's University, Twickenham and the University of Coventry respectively, were representing the South, with Alex captaining the squad. 

The two-day event and Challenge Cup allowed for coaches from the England University team to select an overall squad to put forward for their summer line-up. Matches in the pipeline so far will see games against Hockey for Heroes, the Junior England sides, and potentially a tour to Holland.

Both boys said it was a fantastic few days with good times had all-round and a great opportunity to share a pitch together once more! 

Good luck Alex - we look forward to hearing more about your summer matches soon. 

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Kate McKee Donates Her Locks To The Little Princess Trust

We spotted that OP Kate McKee recently donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust and contacted her to find out more about what she’s been up to since she left Princethorpe. She takes up her story below.

I left Princethorpe in 2012 and took a gap year with fellow OP Millie White. We travelled around Thailand and Australia for several months. Then I went to study English Literature at Swansea University which was partly inspired but Mr Kerrigan, I hope he is still teaching at Princethorpe! After University, I worked full time as a letting agent and part time as a gymnastics coach, which I’ve been doing for a decade now. I also started running a property investment business with two partners and our first deal went through this week.

I am currently travelling around China with my boyfriend for the next 7 weeks after flying out to surprise him in Hohhot Inner Mongolia. When I get back, I will be starting as a partner in a decorating and refurbishment company, running the business side of things, accounts scheduling, client relations and branding. It’s a fairly new company and the man that runs it has asked me to come on as a partner as it’s taking off very quickly. That’s me up to date since I left Princethorpe other than travelling around Morocco and Croatia!

As for donating my hair, I wanted to do something for charity but as you can probably tell I don’t have much time on my hands and I’m saving to invest in my own property portfolio with the long term view to move back out to China in a few years. I thought donating my hair would be a great way to help and something that I could fit into to my life. When I started, my hair was shoulder length and by the time I finished (after 18 months of not cutting/dyeing my hair) I was able to donate just under 10 inches.

What a lovely thing to do Kate – thank you for getting in touch and good luck with your new business ventures (Mr Kerrigan is still teaching at Princethorpe too)!

If you would like to support the Little Princess Trust (either by fundraising or donating your hair!) please visit www.littleprincesses.org.uk to find out more.

Martin Gallagher Couldn’t Resist Running The London Marathon Again

Despite promising that he wouldn't do it again, OP Martin Gallagher just couldn't resist the challenge of running the Virgin Money London Marathon one more time.  So on Sunday 22 April 2018, on what turned out be one of the hottest marathon days ever, he joined more than 40,000 fund-raisers, amateur runners and elite athletes pounding the streets of London. This time Martin was running to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK.

Martin lost his father to Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, he found it heart-breaking watching him deteriorate and so in recognition of the great man that he was, and the fact that 1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop some form of dementia during their lives, he laced up his running shoes and set out for the start line and another monumental marathon fund-raising run.

Martin commented, “It was a fantastic day albeit a bit too hot for my liking!!! The atmosphere was electric from the very start and the support from the spectators was unbelievable.”

Martin set himself a fundraising target of £2,000 but has raised more than twice that much with his total now standing at £5,183.75 including gift aid.

If you would still like to support Martin then please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=MartinGallagher78&pageUrl=3

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Rod Griffin Appointed Distance Coach For Australian U20 Team

Old Princethorpian, Rod Griffin who now resides in Buninyong, Australia, has been appointed Distance Coach for the Australian U20 Team competing in the World Junior Championships, which will be held in Finland in July.

Griffin, who is the Athletics Australia national junior coach in distance has been involved with a number of Australian Teams in the past. He has been manager of World University Cross Country Teams, World Cross Country Teams, Ekiden Relay Teams, Junior Track and Field Teams and Commonwealth Youth teams.

Rod was appointed National Junior Distance Coach in 2015 and.has responsibility for supporting the development of distance athletes, and their personal coaches, who participate in Athletics Australia’s junior high performance squads or are in contention to national youth and junior teams.

A coach for more than 30 years, Griffin has guided numerous state and national champions at different stages of their careers, many of whom have moved onto represent their country at events such as the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the IAAF World Championships and the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. His most noted charges including Olympians Collis Birmingham who held the Australian record for 10k and Victoria Mitchell. Duer Yoa has represented Australia at World Cross Country whilst Stewart McSweyn recently competed at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Other Internationals at World Championships include Jack Davies and Courtney Scott.

Griffin was in the very first intake of students to arrive at Princethorpe in 1966 and was a student until he left for the Antipodes in 1970. In 2014 Rod gave a talk to our students about his coaching experiences.

Georgina Dadson Awarded Doris Newton Music Club Prize

Huge congratulations to Old Princthorpian Georgina Dadson who has just been awarded the Doris Newton Music Club Prize.  A talented and dedicated classical guitarist, Georgina, who has been playing guitar since she was at primary school, is now in her final year at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The Doris Newton Music Club Prize is open only to the winners of the nine Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Department Prizes.  The winners of the Woodwind, Guitar, Brass, Saxophone, Piano, Percussion, Recorder, Strings and Vocal competitions compete against each other for this highly respected final award.

The College was delighted, but unsurprised, to hear that Georgina had proved herself to be the best of the best and been crowned this year’s overall winner.

An amazing achievement Georgina! 

OP Jacob Stone Is On A Medical Elective In Malawi

Hello from Malawi!

I am currently on my medical elective at a small rural health clinic on the shores of Lake Malawi with my girlfriend Katharine, who is also a final year medical student. Having sat and (thankfully!) passed my medical finals in January, this elective is the culmination of my medical training. The project is funded by an Irish charity who send doctors and nurses from the UK out to a clinic which caters for a very deprived community in Malawi. The clinic, The Billy Riordan Memorial Trust, was set up in 2004, by Mags Riordan in memory of her son who tragically drowned in Lake Malawi nearly 20 years ago. 

Here I see patients with a variety of tropical diseases, many of which I have not encountered during my studies in the UK. There is a large outbreak of Malaria in this area of Malawi currently and we have seen a huge number of poorly children who present very severely with extremely high fevers and even seizures. Managing these patients with only a limited supply of tests and medicines available is definitely a challenge, but at the same time, extremely rewarding. We are lucky at the clinic to have five doctors from the UK and one doctor from Malawi working here. This is in comparison to the local government hospital (around a 45 minute drive away) which has over 150 beds and not one doctor employed there!

A large part of the clinic's work is looking after patients with HIV/AIDS; sadly around 1 in 7 people in Malawi are HIV-positive, including thousands of children. The clinic runs specialist clinics for this cohort of patients and keeps tabs on medication compliance, adverse drug effects and the general wellbeing of these patients who are at such high risk of contracting opportunistic infections. Thankfully specialist HIV medications are free in Malawi however other basic medicines are not. It is extremely sad to see patients with common conditions such as Asthma, who are not even able to afford an inhaler to help their symptoms, at the cost of around 500 kwatcha (equivalent to 50p). Even though the clinic is a charity, they still have to charge patients very small amounts for certain services otherwise they simply would not be able to operate. Hopefully this will change as the charity continues to grow further in the future.

Following my four week stint in Malawi, I will be travelling to Moshi in northern Tanzania (at the foot of Kilimanjaro mountain) to work in a mission hospital called Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. I anticipate this hospital to be much more 'westernised' than the clinic at Lake Malawi and it will be interesting to compare the two, especially in seeing the Christian aspect of the healthcare in northern Tanzania.

Once back in the UK, I will have my university graduation in July and start my first year foundation doctor job at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester in August. I was pleased to receive my first-choice of job allocation and will be working four month rotations in Acute Medicine, Cardiology, General Surgery, Intensive Care, General Practice and Emergency Medicine.