Best-selling author and award-winning playwright, Gytha Lodge, was guest speaker at this year’s Old Eleans’ Club Annual Dinner.

More than 90 guests dressed to impress for the event, which took place in our Monastic Barn on Saturday 8th October and is now in its 107th year.

Gytha, who is an Old Elean herself, gave a wonderfully entertaining talk about the perils of being a writer. ‘She Lies in Wait’, Gytha’s debut novel, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and international best-seller. Set in the New Forest and the surrounding area, Gytha’s highly-acclaimed DCI Jonah Sheens series also includes ‘Watching From the Dark’, ‘Lie Beside Me’ and ‘Little Sister’. ‘A Killer in the Family’ is the fifth instalment in the series.

Guests at this year’s black-tie dinner included Old Eleans who left King’s only this summer, right the way through to former pupils from the 1940s. David Boothroyd, Graham Clarke, Jayne Mackay, Richard Emms and Sue Freestone OBE were made Honorary Old Eleans on the evening. Sue Freestone, who was Principal of King’s from 2005 to 2019, was also made the fourth Patron of the Club in its long history.

Mark Southwell, who left King’s in the early 1980s, was made the new Club President on the night. He takes over the reigns from Marc Hawes, who has been President since October 2019.

Marc Hawes was a pupil at King’s from 1971-1985 and he has been a Teacher here since 1997. He is Director of ICT Systems and Head of ICT and Computing at King’s Ely Senior. Marc joined the Old Eleans’ Club Committee in 2008.

Speaking about the dinner, Marc said: “It was such a wonderful occasion, meeting so many contemporaries and reminiscing on so many stories.”

Marc’s son, Felix, who is also an Old Elean, has joined the Club Committee too as its youngest member. Felix attended King’s from 2005-2019 and was a Head of School and King’s Scholar. He recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a First Class Honours Degree in Politics and International Relations.

Felix said: “I am honoured to be appointed to the Old Eleans’ Club Committee. I loved my time at King’s and I am looking forward to expanding the connections of the Club, with a particular focus on younger members.”

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this year’s event, including our fabulous Catering Team, who really did serve up a treat, and Year 13 student, Jessica Harding, who took the majority of the images featured in this post.

If you would like to find out more about the Old Eleans’ Club, please email – we would be delighted to hear from you!

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