Lecture: Before they fade: recollections of the Chelsea pensioners

at Marlborough Road Methodist Church

Speaker: Robin Ollington.

Robin’s involvement with the Royal Hospital at Chelsea dates back to 1979 when he was responsible for initiating the inclusion of Chelsea Pensioners in the Channel Islands celebrations of Liberation Day a continuing tradition to this day.  Since 2002 Robin has carried on where Philip Ziegler left off interviewing so far more than 100 of 300 plus male and female Chelsea Pensioners whose life stories were not included in the original book entitled Soldier.  These amazing and sometimes totally unique stories will form the basis of Robin’s talk.

 Robin’s first career was in teaching at art college.  He later moved into the commercial world with responsibility for promoting Guernsey, Gibraltar, Italy and Egypt and in the case of Guernsey and Gibraltar also designing their postage stamps.  He has been involved in exhibitions at Tate Britain on Beatrix Potter and several heritage-related exhibitions at the V&A. His published work includes Inspiring Old Albanians (2017), a record of 75 former pupils of the school, some as early as the 12th century including the only English Pope Adrian IV.  Recently he has been involved with his former schoolfriend, Albany Wiseman, in producing a children’s history of Coram’s Foundling Hospital highlighting children’s rights.  He has also sought funding for each school in London to receive a free copy of the book and is working to extend that process across the country.

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