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On Thursday 5th September 2019, some 60 Old Fettesians and guests, ranging in age from 19 to 79, gathered in the Clive Room at the East India Club in London at a reception kindly arranged by James Macpherson (Gl 1997-2002). They were joined by the new Head of Fettes, Helen Harrison and the College’s Director of Development, Nicola Pickavance.

OFs shared fond and happy memories of their respective times at Fettes and reminisced about members of staff who had had meant so much to them. So much so that Helen and Nicola came away with messages for colleagues still teaching at Fettes, which they duly delivered on their return to Edinburgh.

In her address, Helen shared her vision for Fettes which is clear and uncomplicated. It is that every Fettesian should receive the best all-round boarding education the College can deliver, whilst never forgetting what a privilege it is to attend Fettes.

She shared the College’s impressive exam results this year with OFs and spoke of her pride in individual triumphs at all levels of ability. 

She thanked the Fettes community in London and the South East for all they do for Fettes and looked ahead to Fettes 150th birthday.  OFs will have seen in the Newsletter that there are many exciting plans being developed to celebrate this anniversary which coincides with 50 years of girls at Fettes. It is Helen’s hope that OFs, wherever they are in world, are able to remember what Fettes means to them at some point between 5th October 2020 and Founder’s Day 2021. 

In the meantime she urged those assembled to come along and join in the fun at the London Old Fettesian Ceilidh on Saturday 30th November at the Caledonian Club and the ever-popular London OFA Carol Service on Tuesday 17th December. To sign up for either of these events please click here.

Everyone present was left in no doubt that Helen is extremely honoured to lead Fettes, a school which after 23 years on staff is in her DNA, and that she is excited about what the future has in store. There is one thing we all know - Fettes will not stand still!

To ensure you are kept informed about events for OFs and the 150th Anniversary, please do let us know if your contact details change by emailing