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As the many Old Vikings who have attended one of our recent events know, the OVS is a proactive and welcoming society which is envied by many other schools. They want to know why we have such a wide and active membership;

I answer this proudly every time, by stating that the society is not driven by me (as Chairman of the committee), but by the Old Vikings who feel they want to give back to the College, or friends made at Shiplake, as a sign of gratitude for their teenage education and experiences. This cannot be emulated by other schools and societies unless their members had similarly positive experiences. The OVS welcomes all former pupils and staff at Shiplake College, and aims to help all members to stay in touch with each other and the school itself. 

The OVS committee are simply here to offer a platform for you (its members), to continue and aid the desired communication. Recently it became clear that the society is entering a new era in which digital communication is the favoured way for our members to keep up to date with news, activities and events. 

I very much hope that the information on these pages will prove to be popular with all OVs from across the decades and around the globe, as your contributions and engagement will ultimately make the Old Viking Society a success.

If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Ben Fitzwilliams (1987)
OVS Chairman

Meet the Team

Katherine Green, Director of External Relations, joined Shiplake in September 2013. She is responsible for leading the College's marketing, admissions, fundraising and alumni relations activities. Katherine grew up in Henley and lives locally continuing to play for Henley Hockey Club.

Catherine Brazil, Alumni and Events Officer, joined Shiplake in October 2015 as part of our finance team.  Since moving to the Marketing department in March 2018, Catherine is now the main point of contact for all Old Vikings, and acts as the Secretary for the Old Viking Society, responsible for communications to former pupils and staff of the College.  Catherine also spearheads events for the both the OVS and the College itself, playing an active role in encouraging Old Vikings to be part of the Shiplake community.

Introducing the Committee
  • Hans Wells-Furby (President)
  • Ben Fitzwilliams (Chairman)
  • Henry Summers (Treasurer)

Henry is married to Karen and has 2 children, Clementine, and Henry. He is an insurance broker specialising in commercial and personal insurances. Outside of work Henry enjoys spending time with his children and has a love of vintage farm machinery and steam railways.

  • Katherine Green (Director of External Relations)
  • Chris Baverstock

Chris’s first memories of Shiplake College go right back to the summer of 1967 visiting his brother (who was also in Burr House 1964-1969). Chris was at Shiplake himself 1976-1981 eventually becoming Head of Burr House like his brother before him; in addition he was Hon. Secretary of the Sailing Club for two years and ‘A’ Platoons Sergeant in the CCF Army Section too

After leaving Shiplake he worked for a while in London for a well-known Estate Agency before deciding to move to Suffolk where he worked in the building industry, constructing several bespoke wooden studio buildings including one for Warren Mitchell and also was for a time involved in the construction and installation of swimming pools as well.

In 1987 Chris had the chance to take up yachting professionally and over 20 years has sailed most of the coast of Europe ‘Sweden to Cyprus’ and much of the East Coast of the USA too, his love and speciality being Greece and Turkey, where he spent 10 years based out of Bodrum ‘The Turquoise Coast’, running a wide variety of private yachts from all eras both, sail and motor, for various wealthy clients including the father of an Old Viking!

After all the high seas adventure, Chris is now again based back on the Suffolk Coast, where he still has interests in the yacht industry and London commercial property.

  • Rob Robertson

​Having already learned to row at 8 years of age, Rob was able to really improve and progress at Shiplake and this has been a lifelong gift to him as he is still on the rowing circuit albeit at the Veteran/ Masters end! In recent years he has taken up running and taken part in a great many marathons and half marathons around the world. In between all these activities, he runs his own heating services business so life is busy, but extremely enjoyable. Rob joined the OVS committee as he wanted to make a difference to past present and future "Old Vikings"

  • Julian Kunkler
  • David Collis
  • Charlie Jenkins
  • Hugo Lowry
  • Peter Webb
  • Ian Brown
  • Anna Davies
  • Tom Caston
  • Sir Thomas Skinner Bt
  • James Burgess

If you would like to contact any member of the committee, please contact Catherine Brazil by email or call 0118 940 5231 (answerphone available) in the first instance and your message will be forwarded.