The day Sir Ranulph climbed an Eastbourne drainpipe to meet his future wife

Sir Ranulph Fiennes visits Moira House Girls School SUS-150807-155605001
Sir Ranulph Fiennes visits Moira House Girls School SUS-150807-155605001

Sir Ranulph Fiennes shared a 50-year-old love story when he visited his wife’s former school in Eastbourne.

The adventurer and explorer was in town to speak at the Congress Theatre when he dropped in at the Moira House Girls School, in Upper Carlisle Road on Friday (July 3).

While being shown round the school by deputy principal, Kevin Ashby, Sir Ranulph reminisced in stories of his clandestine visits to Moira House in the early 1960s to meet with his future wife, Virginia.

The young Fiennes was an A-level student in Hove at the time while Virginia, fondly known as Ginny, was studying at Moira House.

A school spokesman shared the tale of how he climbed a Victorian drainpipe in an attempt to meet Ginny - a simple feat for the man who went on to climb Mount Everest.

She added: “The drainpipe led to the art room - which is still the art room today - where he hoped to meet with her. However, a school housemistress was on guard at the time to escort him off the premises.”

Sir Ranulph’s website notes that he failed his A-levels!

Young love persevered, though, and the couple married in 1970.

As well as conquering Everest, Sir Ranulph has visited the North and South Poles and completed seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

Ginny also became an explorer and was the first woman to be awarded the Polar Medal. She died of cancer in 2004 at the age of 56.

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