Welcome to the Old Viking Society Website
You are an Old Viking if you spent three years at the College or joined us for the Sixth Form. If you taught at Shiplake for two or more years you are an OV too. We are a very inclusive and welcoming alumni society. So what do Old Vikings do? We host reunions and sporting events at the College and beyond. Once a year we gather in London for a rip-roaring reunion, usually around November. Every January an OVS Magazine should drop onto your doormat, wherever you are in the world. We like to support OVs to get in touch with each other and to organise their own events and reunions. We look forward to seeing and if you have any ideas please get in touch with us.
Ben Fitzwilliams - OVS Chairman
Obituary for Jill McCoy
Henley’s United Reform Church was packed for a Memorial Service for Jill McCoy who died after a brave struggle against cancer on October 17th 2013. Throughout her illness she never spent a day in bed.
Jill was born in Belfast and her route to Oxfordshire was both circuitous and glamorous. Leaving Belfast she and a friend headed to Switzerland before crossing the Atlantic to work in Times Square, New York. Yet it was in London that she met Denis her future husband. They quickly married and within 18 months their first son was born.
Jill originally joined Shiplake College to work alongside Bob Esau on the appeal for the Welsh House extension in 1988, but when the project was complete the College recognised that her cheerful nature and supreme organisational skills would benefit the College office.
With the children grown-up Jill was keen for more of a challenge and when Margaret Orr retired as Careers Secretary, Jill was eager to step into her shoes. Joining Doctor Snellgrove in Careers, she took on responsibility for ensuring that pupils’ university applications were complete and on track. Chasing staff for references was also another challenging activity.
Choral music gave Jill a great deal of pleasure and she belonged to numerous choirs, finally taking part in the Shiplake Community Choir run by Louise Rapple, her successor as Careers Secretary. Throughout her time at Shiplake, Jill was a great supporter of all things choral, be it in chapel, on the concert platform or in costume in virtually all the outdoor summer productions of the past.
In the days before the advent of girls to the college such support was vital and when it was not only vocal but given with such a sense of fun and enthusiasm it made no small contribution to the enjoyment of all involved, be they performers or audience. Jill was a great team player and though always modest and self effacing about her contribution, she was a very important contributor.
Jill also had the challenge of finding large numbers of work experience placements. A group of pupils had expressed their disappointment with their placements at a Legoland, creating a great deal of work for Jill, and as a reminder of those times Dr Snellgrove, presented Jill with a Lego castle.
In her retirement Jill was keen to keep in touch with her former colleagues and was a keen supporter of OVS events.
To register a change of name, address or contact details, or to reconnect with the Society if you haven't heard from us for a while, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.