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#43 - 2000

The School's long standing commitment to supporting education in Africa was ever apparent as Shiplake College pupils, supported by members of staff and parents, raised over £12,500 to help rebuild Kikunduku Primary School in Kenya.

Their most ambitious undertaking was the sponsored 27 mile walk the previous year, along the River Thames from Shillingford to Shiplake, in which the whole College took part, along with brave parents, staff and friends - some four-footed! A close relationship had grown over the last few years between the two schools with the work on the primary school fully completed in 1999. Over the summer holidays in 2000, Headmaster Nick Bevan visited the school and was greeted by a poem of welcome by the boys and girls:

Our vision has become true
Like dreams turning to realities
That one day we meet Mr. Bevan
We feel honoured to be associated with you.

A warm welcome we accord you
Feeling at home is souly yours
Together we have mouthful moments
We feel honoured to be associated with you.

We're sorry for the tiresome journey
From Shiplake to Kikunduku
Our mighty God has made it
We feel honoured to be associated with you.


See the report on our Headmaster's visit here from the Henley Standard:

Unfortunately the year 2000 must go down as one of the wettest and muddiest in the College's history. After October no play was possible on the riverside rugby pitches beyond the Boathouse so the senior rowers took to sculling between the goalposts instead!

The inter-house rugby competitions were lost and the Headmaster even apologised to parents in his Christmas Newsletter for the state of the boys kit when they came home at the end of term!

The College’s Spring Newsletter reported on the opening of the Stableyard development “A triumphant fanfare concentrated the crowd's attention on the opening ceremony of the Stableyard Development. Parent Mary Jane Pugsley, a major donor to the 40th Anniversary Appeal, drew back the curtains to reveal the plaque on the extended English Department. Bob Phillis, Chief Executive of the Guardian Media Group and Chairman of the Development Committee, spoke of his gratitude to Shiplake as a parent of three sons. Nigel Gilson, Chairman of Governors, congratulated the team involved in the ambitious programme and Headmaster Nick Bevan commented on the outstanding work put in by Mr Phillis as chairman of a committee which had raised over £250,000.”

From The Court: “We have enjoyed a splendid year of music and drama which began with that imaginative and unusual production of Twelfth Night directed by Chris Alcock and his team. This was a first opportunity for the girls to play leading roles on stage, and not needing to import talent for once really did make a difference to the atmosphere of the occasion. The girls now hold their rightful place as full members of our community. They are certainly here to stay and we as a school are now wholly committed to developing a coeducational sixth form.

Also in 2000:

- Pupils took to the airwaves of youth radio station ‘Kiddz FM’ interviewing Pepsi Chart Show presenter ‘Dr Fox’.

- At the Shiplake College regatta, the launching of the new eight named Tom Stafford was a poignant moment for the pupils, staff and boat club supporters, as it was named after a promising member of the boat club who died in a tragic accident the previous October. Headmaster Nick Bevan, said: "The boat is a fitting tribute to Tom. He was a dedicated rower. He spent many happy hours on the river and was a highly enthusiastic and energetic oarsman. "I hope that his contemporaries will be inspired by Tom's example and this fine boat.”

- Our first round of permanent female pupils sat their A Level exams.

- Four students raised more than £5,000 for cancer care by canoeing the length of the Thames - much of it in bad weather. The four set off from the source of the river in Lechlade and continued for 137 miles to finish at Teddington Lock in London, camping along the way.