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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.
In 2019, the College published a Garden Guide produced jointly by Paula and John Moore, Head of Grounds & Gardens. She is currently working with John on a history of the development of the grounds and gardens since 1959. She is also working on a biography of Sheila Haywood, a forgotten but important landscape architect, who drew up the landscape master plan for the College.