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.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at Text to display
3) Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.