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News > Old Fintonians News & Events > Founders' Drinks: Reflections

Founders' Drinks: Reflections

Finton old-timers gathered at our first Founders’ Drinks given by Ben Freeman, Head.
The excitement was palpable as old friends came together and there were hugs and peals of laughter.
The excitement was palpable as old friends came together and there were hugs and peals of laughter.

We were delighted that founders Lady Catherine Nunneley and Diana Mackenzie-Charrington attended our Founders' Drinks Reception on 23 November 2023, with Katrina and William Thomson writing to us to say that they hope to attend a future event. 

Our much loved past Headmistress, the late Sally Walker, was well represented by family members Peter Walker, Jonny Boyer (who pioneered the Sally Walker Fund for bursaries and community giving) with Stephanie, Poppy and Stephan Ludwig and PJ O’Brien with baby Maggie Sally O’Brien. Former governors John Nelson and Jos Coad attended with their daughters Harriet Turnbull and Lettie Coad who are currently at Finton as governor and Y4 teacher respectively.  Other former governors who attended were Marc Cramsie with Carol, Derek Downham with Lynne, Susannah Moss with Alice Broderick, Bumble Short with (husband) and daughter alumna Ellie Morrison. Current Y2 teacher and alumna Anna Chambers was joined by her mother Claire Hunt, whose late husband Peter Hunt was a governor from 1997-2002.

Enthusiastic thank you notes flooded in following the event, one guest wrote, “Thank you so much for such a lovely evening. It was so special to catch up with staff and parents from the old days. Wonderful also that some of those staff members are still at Finton House. I think that shows more than anything else what a truly special school was founded in 1987 and continues to flourish in 2023.” 

Many teachers from Finton’s early years came: Brodie Bibby, Susie Burkard (whose daughter Sophie Ryder teaches our current Y5), Richard Cowley (Former Head of Upper School) with Louise, Catherine Kidson (Crisp), Penny Le Roux, Jann Neilson, Lucy Price, Laura Pym with Jonathan, Emma Ridgway, Sally Smart and Lucy Wheeler. They were greeted with affection by colleagues who are still working at Finton House including Clare Hewitson, Adria Hippisley-Cox and Cai Murphy as well as Katie Cousins, Anthony and Susan Dalton, Alice Drew, Becs Kinnings, Olivia Low, Susannah Moore, Lavender Ralston-Saul, Nicki Rhodes, Sophie Ryder and Sally Smart.

Our thanks go to Savills both for running the bar on the evening and for their ongoing support of the Sally Walker Fund: for every house in SW London sold or rented through a Finton family (past, present or prospective!) they donate £1000 or £250 towards a bursary place. We currently have 10 pupils on full bursary awards, which is our highest ever!

We reconnected with many more former governors and teachers who sadly were unable to attend, but many wrote to say that they hope to attend future events and recall Finton with fond memories including Andrew Allan, Susan Bailes, Roderick Blyth, Kate Brown (Harney), Annabelle Elliott, Mark Fiddes, Richard Fitzalan Howard, Mark Mackenzie-Charrington, Ruth Murdoch, Maria and Andy Myers, Bridget Norton, founder Headmistress Terry O’Neill, founder Headmistress Finola Stack, Fiona Timms, Caroline Wright and Gilly Yarrow.

The event was the first in a series of initiatives to get back in touch with former governors and teachers from the years 1987-2005 and we would be delighted to hear from more people who were connected to Finton House at that time. We encourage everyone, including former pupils, to click here and re-connect with us by joining our new community platform, Finton Forum, with their up-to-date contact details in order to hear our news and about forthcoming events. 

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