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Our 'Tonbridge Talks' series aims to harness the talents and expertise of this incredible community.
Please find below recordings of some of our past lectures and careers talks, including the Tennant Lecture Series.

To view and book our upcoming events please click the button below, which will take you to the events page.

Life After Tonbridge

Talks to help OTs navigate the early years after Tonbridge

Degree Apprenticeships: an alternative to the traditional university route and the purpose of the evening is to dispel myths, emphasise the high quality of the degrees (and companies offering them) and to provide information and guidance for boys and parents.

Engineering. Speakers include: Marc Barone (COO Buro Happold), Toby Merchant (Executive Partner IBM), Alan Currie (Jee Engineering), and Dominic Daly (Operations Leader (construction), Laing O’Rourke).

Medicine. Speakers include: Professor Mike Samuel (Consultant Neurologist, King's College Hospital), Dr Ranjit Baboolal (Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at NOSMU and University of Toronto), Roy Yan (student at King's College London), and Roshan Ganeshan (Foundation Year 2 doctor at Tunbridge Wells Hospital).

Law. Speakers include Jeremy Lau (Future Trainee DLA Piper),  Alex Dainton (Trainee Solicitor, Moonbug Entertainment), Guy Evans (Senior Associate, Thomson Snell and Passmore (Tunbridge Wells)), and Oliver Kirk (Barrister 5 St Andrew’s Hill).

Sports. Speakers include Ross Bennet (General Manager, Tonbridge Angels), Alastair Taylor (Senior Director, Strategy & Consultancy, CSM Sport and Entertainment), Claire Molyneuex (Events Manager, The Premier League) and Dr Elisabete Cardoso (Assistant Professor in Sport Management, University of Bath).

Law. Speakers include: Simon Perry (Partner, Macfarlanes), Ed Denny (Partner, Winston & Strawn) and George Ewen (Baker McKenzie).

Civil Service: explore the civil service as a career, hear about the application routes including information on fast-track, the diversity within the profession, and what it's really like to be a civil servant.

Sports: the industry is so diverse with opportunities involving contact with professional sportsmen and sportswomen, lawyers, agents, promoters, facilities managers, trainers, stadia managers, recruiters etc., to name just a few, this talk will be of interest to a great number of boys, regardless of their sixth form subjects or chosen or intended degree choice.

Law: explore Law as a subject to read at university, hear about admissions to Law including information on the LNAT, the diversity of the profession, and what it's really like to be a lawyer. Speakers include: Chris Walsh (Onside Law), Jonathan Atkinson (Lamb Buildings), Liam Porritt (Clifford Chance) and Bertie Ford (Herbert Smith Freehills). 

Finance & the City: hear about the various areas within the sector, the skills needed to be a part of the profession, and hints and tips on how to make successful applications for internships and employment. Speakers include: Alison Rose (Natwest Group Plc), Clare Flanagan (CapGen) and Matt Worby (Olivetree Global Investment Bank).

Global Impact: a careers evening for all, regardless of chosen subjects or university courses. Speakers include: Kenny Kong (F1 Reliability Engineer), Jim O'Leary (BP), Anamie Paul (Green Party of Canada) and Dr Simon Boxall (University of Southampton).

Gap Year: Sam speaks about the benefits of taking a gap year and gaining a professional qualification as a ski instructor at the same time. How the experience helps you before going to university or before you start your career path. Broadcast date 21.10.2021

Tutoring: Matt speaks about his journey from Westminster Civil Servant to setting up his own academic tutor business, Kings Road Tutors. Broadcast date: 17.11.2020

Job Hunting: Rory speaks about his experience as a recruitment and career advisor and shares his top tips on how to get a job that is right for you. Broadcast date: 18.08.2020

Networking: Max speaks about his university experiences and how to utilise social and sports groups while at university to start building your network of contacts. Broadcast date: 19.11.2020

Tennant Lecture Series

The Path of Peace - Walking the Western Front Way: Sir Anthony Seldon, OT was inspired by a young British soldier of the First World War, Alexander Douglas Gillespie, who dreamed of creating a 'Via Sacra' that the men, women and children of Europe could walk to honour the fallen. Tragically, Gillespie was killed in action, his vision forgotten for a hundred years, until a chance discovery in a school archive galvanised Sir Anthony into seeing the Via Sacra permanently established. Tracing the historic route of the Western Front and touching on grief, loss and the legacy of war, The Path of Peace is the extraordinary story of Anthony's epic walk, an unforgettable act of remembrance and a reflection of what matters most in life.

Surviving 9/11 - A Personal Story: On the morning of September 11 2001, Alistair Lester, 27 was in New York for the first time, working for Aon and attending meetings on the 100th floor of the South Tower. Almost 20 minutes after the first plane hit the North Tower, a second Boeing 767 appeared, turned sharply toward the World Trade Centre and sliced into the South Tower, above the 70th floor. Aon lost 176 employees in the attack but miraculously many survived. One of them was Alistair Lester. Twenty-two years later, Alistair (now Co-CEO of M&A at Aon) talks about the events of 9/11 to a large audience for the first time. Although none of the Tonbridge boys were alive in 2001, Alistair feels it is important for current boys and their parents, to hear first-hand how it was to be at the centre of an attack which claimed nearly 3,000 lives and had a huge impact on world history.  The events of 9/11 led directly to war in Afghanistan, to the US declaration of the ‘War on Terror’ and subsequently to the invasion of Iraq and a series of other tumultuous events and conflicts across the world.

The History of the Arts and Crafts Garden: Stephen Harmer is Head Gardener here at Tonbridge School, has a Master's Degree in Garden History and teaches at RHS Wisley. Many people have commented that the transformation of the gardens at Tonbridge School lift the spirits. Stephen has a range of talks about gardens, from ancient Egyptian garden design to the post-modernist garden. However, his favourite subject is the History of the Arts and Crafts garden, and he has incorporated some of their principles in his gardening here at Tonbridge. Stephen discusses how the Arts and Crafts garden movement came about, introduces us to some of the people who influenced it and he tells us about what caused its sudden demise. Watch and be inspired, as you prepare your garden for the spring.

The World of Westminster and The Current Policital Climate: Harry Cole, OT, read politics at Edinburgh University. He has written for The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday and The Spectator, having started his career as editor of the website Guido Fawkes. In 2020 he was appointed Political Editor of The Sun. The Editor-in-Chief commented at the time that ‘Harry, in his inimitable, mischievous way, has firmly established himself as the scourge of politicians, breaking a string of fabulous scoops. He is one of the finest political journalists in the lobby and I am delighted he is returning to his 'natural home’. (With apologies for the quality of sound - do please turn your volume up high)

The Challenges faced by the next generation: William Day, OT, has had a stellar career as former chairman of BBC's ‘Children In Need’, CEO of Care International and general advisor to the United Nations Development Programme. In this lecture, he encourages his audience to consider how the past is no longer a good guide to the future, and why this generation of Tonbridge parents and boys have an amazing opportunity, and perhaps even obligation, to address some of these problems. If you want to learn more about sustainability and the future of our planet, from someone who really knows what they are talking about, this is a talk not to be missed.

The Boris Johnson Premiership: Sir Anthony Seldon OT, Boris Johnson’s biographer, discusses what the Johnson legacy might be. Sir Anthony is the author of more than 45 books on contemporary history, politics and education. He is a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare company and on the board of many charities and educational bodies. Regularly commenting on political developments and writing in the press, few people are better placed to tell us of the events leading up to the departure of our 55th Prime Minister.

Can the book survive? Sir Tim Waterstone (JH 52-58) discusses whether the physical book can survive in the digital age. He outlined the challenges his business has faced in the past couple of decades, as well as discussing his life and extraordinary career with James Priory, Headmaster. Broadcast date: 15.03.2022

Public Schools and the Second World War: David Walsh draws on his recently published book, written with Sir Anthony Seldon, to discuss the contribution of public schools to the Second World War, with particular reference to Tonbridge, and how the experience of schools and alumni differed from that of 1914-18. Broadcast date: 13.05.2021

The Jewels and Wardrobe of the Duchess of Windsor: Janie Ramsay was a Director of Sotheby's when the firm was responsible for selling the Duchess of Windsor's magnificent collection of jewellery. Many of the pieces were designed by the Duke and Duchess themselves and then created by the 20th century's most renowned jewellers. Broadcast date 23.02.2021

English Cricket: Ed Smith (WH 90-95) joins Headmaster James Priory for a lively and interesting talk about his time at Tonbridge School, his career and English Cricket. Please note that this is an audio recording only. Broadcast date: 11.02.2020

Tonbridge Past and Present: David Tennant talks about the history of Tonbridge School and how the School has evolved to what we know today. Broadcast date: 07.05.2019


Listen to OT experts with specialist advice on: sectors, sports, skills

Ben Jeffries speaks about becoming an entrepreneur, influencers, and the modern marketing world. Broadcast date: 24.11.2020

Seb Pollington and Tom Brown offer observations, from two different Tonbridge generations, on what it means to belong to the modern military. Broadcast date: 16.12.2020

Ben Earl speaks with Chris Morgan, Director of Sport, about his journey from the Tonbridge 1st XV to England Rugby - Coming soon!

Zak Crawley speaks with Chris Morgan, Director of Sport, about his success as an English professional cricketer who plays for England and for Kent County Cricket Club - Coming soon!

Craig Frederick shares his experiences in commercial diving, offshore life and the challenges working in the Offshore Oil industry. Craig touches on life as a diver, offshore life in general, the challenges for family life and the future challenges. Broadcast date: 27.01.2021

Neil Lawson talks about the Worlds First Eco Greenhouse, Renewables, Covid-19 and Clean Air. Neil is a specialist thermal engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and 30 years' experience in the field. Broadcast date: 02.02.2021

Simon Hall, from the Bank of England talks with Patrick North, Economics teacher and Housemaster at Tonbridge School about his experiences, the reality of Brexit for the Bank of England, how it is responding to the pandemic amongst other topics. Broadcast date: 08.02.2021

James Riley, CEO of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, talks about his career ambitions, his love of reading and what shaped his future. Broadcast date: 27.05.2021

James Gwinnett shares his story of transformation and recovery after a bad neck injury playing for Tonbridge Juddians RFC in 2013 led to issues with alcoholism and depression. Jamie is now an Ultra-marathon runner and appeared on SAS: Who Dares Wins. Broadcast date: 15.03.2021

Gavin Bruce and Cal McCrystal discuss Cal's extensive career in Theatre, TV, Radio and Film. This conversation touches on the importance of theatre and other arts in education as well as the impact the pandemic has had on the scene. Cal's work as an actor and director stretches from the West End to Hollywood, and has become synonymous with the art of physical comedy. Broadcast date: 03.09.21

Ed Hill and Hadeel Ayoub are Founders of BrightSign. They have designed a weightless technical glove to help change the lives of those who cannot hear or speak. Ed tells us about his exciting journey from Tonbridge boy to entrepreneur, joined by his old Housemaster and inspirational Design Tech teacher, Will Biddle. Broadcast date: 07.09.21

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