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Mrs Paula Laycock 

Year started


Fellow Type


Paula Laycock (formerly Halson) came to the College in 1988 to take up the position of secretary to the College’s third Master, Sir Hermann Bondi. She then held the position of Registrar from 1991 to 2014.

In 2001, she graduated from the Open University with an Honours Degree in French and English. The same year she became the first member of staff to be awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. She spent eight weeks in Australia visiting universities and also carried out personal research on the French navigator Lapérouse. She was appointed a Staff By-Fellow in 2006 and in 2008 was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.

Paula’s memoir of Sir Hermann Bondi, Flying Roast Ducks, was published by the College in 2012. In 2014, she took early-retirement from the full-time role of Registrar and now works part-time in the Archives Centre as College Records Officer where she co-ordinates the College’s oral history project. In her new role, she has used her knowledge and understanding of the College and her love of gardens to document the work that has been carried out on the landscaping of the College’s grounds and gardens since 1959.

She has produced two further books in collaboration with John Moore, Head of Grounds & Gardens: a Garden Guide (2019), and Portrait of a Landscape (2022) which chronicles the development of the grounds and gardens since they were first laid out in 1959. Paula is currently working on a biography of Sheila Haywood, a forgotten but important landscape architect, who drew up the landscape master plan for the College.

Garden Guide

Portrait of a Landscape

Flying Roast Ducks

College Positions

Registrar & Human Resources Bursar

01 October 1991 – 30 September 2014

Master’s Secretary

01 October 1988 – 30 September 1991


College Records Officer


Churchill Archives Centre