What is AROPS
AROPS is open to representatives of all school alumni societies and provides a forum for the exchange of views and the sharing of experiences in running alumni organisations.
Members represent a wide range from small prep schools to the top UK public schools.
We welcome news from member societies. Please tell us what you’ve done, what you’re doing and what you will be doing!
In the company of Red Maids - Lizzie Wallbridge and her sister Kathryn (front left and right) with their mother, aunt, mother’s cousin, grandmother and great aunt
The last of three generations of sisters left the Red Maids’ School this summer, to take a gap year before studying psychology at university.
Lizzie Wallbridge started at Red Maids’ Junior School in 2003 before joining the senior school in 2007. Her grandmother, Betty Hiles (now Franklin), was the first of the family to attend Red Maids’ between 1941 and 1946, followed by her sister Dorothy Hiles (now Nicholls) from 1946 to 1951. Betty still has strong memories of the school in the Second World War when students took cover in the air raid shelters which still exist at the school today.
Lizzie’s mother, Helen Franklin (now Wallbridge), attended Red Maids’ between 1971 and 1979, with her sister Christine (now Ellis) following her from 1980 to 1985.
Their cousin, Dorothy Hiles’ daughter Elizabeth Nicholls (now Meiklejohn), also boarded at the school from 1971 to 1978 when part of the current junior school building was the Year 7 boarding house.
The next generation of sisters continued the tradition when Kathryn Wallbridge joined Red Maids’ Junior School in 2000 before moving on to the senior school in 2004 and leaving the Sixth Form in 2011. Kathryn was one of the first students to sit the IB Diploma as an alternative to A-levels.
The three generations account for 37 years out of the last 62, having a host of experiences including school food rationing during the Second World War, witnessing the switch from boarding to day school, and seeing the introduction of Apple iPads for students’ learning.
“Red Maids’ was always first choice for us – it is a very forward-thinking school which also values its heritage and traditions,” said Helen Franklin.
“It teaches girls to be independent thinkers and celebrates their individual gifts, giving girls the strength and enthusiasm to compete in the wider world,” she added.
Isabel Tobias, the school’s Headmistress, said: “This is quite a historic moment for Red Maids’ and Lizzie and her family who have had such close connections with the school for such a long period.
“Betty has come into school to talk to the current generation about her experience here during the war and it was fascinating to hear the school’s history brought to life by someone who spent the war years here.
“Lizzie has been an invaluable member of the school community, taking part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and is always ready to help.
“We will miss having a member of her family at the school, but we very much look forward to welcoming the next generation - in due course!"
Great news from Dunottar School
Hilary Baxter of the Dunottar Society reports: “After a difficult couple of years complicated sadly by private school politics, the future of Dunottar School was secured early in 2014 with support from United Learning. The Reigate Community came out in full support of the unique offering that Dunottar gives in the area and co-education was agreed to be the way forward. Boys are now welcome in years 7, 9 and first year sixth form. From small acorns appear to be growing strong trees because enquiries for boys entering in September 2015 has been significant. Everyone, past, present and future is extremely happy with the outcome.
Top jazz musician returns to St Lawrence College
The Old Lawrentians enjoyed a night of hot jazz at the school when former pupil Mike Piggott and his band performed earlier this year. Mike, a jazz violinist, discovered his love of music and learned to play the instrument while at St Lawrence College. The evening included performances by the school’s current crop of accomplished musicians.
Honour for Old Whitgiftians
The Whitgiftian Association recently held its first Achievement Award Dinner to honour Lt Col James Coates, a former pupil of Whitgift School in Croydon. Lt Col Coates commanded the 3rd Parachute Regiment in the northern Nad-e Ali region of Helmand Province during 2010-2012 where he implemented a new counter-insurgency strategy known as Precision Strike. The strategy successfully dismantled local insurgent networks by combining high-level intelligence, the latest surveillance technology and the use of precision missile attacks to target Taliban command with minimal civilian casualties. As a result, Nad-e Ali was handed over to the Afghans in August 2013. The dinner attracted nearly 100 guests and raised £3,000 for the Afghanistan Trust. The Association also held a dinner earlier this year to celebrate the 170 years’ combined service of four retired teachers who were able to enjoy the adulation of four generations of former pupils. Pip Burley, Whitgiftian Association Chairman, hoped “that these four indomitable characters share the same affectionate memories of us as we do of them”. Among the tributes to Ken Nicholas, Bob Schad, John Branston and Dick Glynne-Jones, was a video tribute from the actor Martin Jarvis, also an Old Whitgiftian.
King Henry VIII School, founded in 1545, will soon be celebrating the official opening of the Jeff Vent Archive Room to display its rich history
In the coming academic year, The Royal School, Haslemere, Surrey will be celebrating 175 years since its foundation. A full programme of events for the whole school community is being arranged and will be advertised in due course. (Visit the school on 19 June at the AROPS South Region meeting – click here for details)
The Old Coventrians (King Henry VIII School, Coventry) made a successful comeback at the Thames Harriers Alumni Race recently
We thought this was a novel approach from the Old King’s Club but it turns out to have been the club’s 2014 Duel Day Dinner with Chairman Alexander Malmaeus taking the part of The Duke of Wellington – click here for the full story.
The Old King’s Club were out in force at the 2014 Duel Day Dinner, held at Lambeth Palace. Following drinks in the Archbishop’s drawing room, members and guests paid homage to one of the three founders of King’s, Archbishop William Howley (1766-1848) by laying flowers below his portrait. The Palace kitchens produced an excellent meal, which was followed by the traditional re-enactment of the famous duel of 1829. Duelling with Alexander Malmaeus was Andrew Parrish, President of the King’s College Alumni Association, playing the part of the Earl of Winchilsea.
An annual dinner is held to commemorate the anniversary of a duel fought in March 1829 over the future of King’s College and King’s College School. Normally held at Lambeth Palace, the highlight of the evening is a vivid re-enactment of the duel itself and the events leading up to it.
In June 1828, in response to the founding of University College, the Duke of Wellington, Robert Peel and Archbishop Howley agreed to propose the establishment of a New King’s College. The new King’s was founded in response to the secularism of University College and was established on Anglican Principles. However, King’s College was intended to have no religious test for entry and was open to all. One of Wellington’s chief political opponents in this was George Finch-Hatton, the 10th Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham, who was a staunch defender of the idea of the Protestant Constitution and especially hostile to Catholic emancipation. He therefore believed that education at King’s should be limited to those who professed Anglican Protestantism and began to gather support from the more reactionary subscribers to the College.
Winchilsea made damaging political and personal accusations against Wellington and charged him with insincerity in his support for an Anglican King’s College. Wellington felt that the accusations were so serious for himself, the Catholic Relief Act and the College that he was left with no alternative but to seek satisfaction in arms. The Duel took place at 8am on Saturday 21 March 1829. The Duke shot wide. He later maintained that he did so deliberately, but Wellington was known as a notoriously bad shot. The Earl raised his arm above his head and deliberately shot in the air as a gesture of submission. This was certainly planned beforehand as Winchilsea presented the Duke with a letter of apology.
Wellington had defended his right to change the constitution as well as the rights of his new College. The principles he defended are alive today – and the independence of King’s College/King’s College School to offer an education to all was secured.
With thanks to Alexander Malmaeus for the story and photos
26 April 2017
Midlands Networking: Rugby School, Rugby
13 May 2017
AROPS Conference: Prior Park College, Bath
14 June 2017
London Area Networking: Eton College
22 June 2017
East Midlands Networking: Trent College, Nottingham
12 October 2017
AROPS AGM, Queen's Gate School, South Kensington, London
Regional meetings are also open to non-members