Pupils From 1953 Invited Back to College to Mark Queen’s Jubilee

Past Pupils from 1953 of Henley Grammar School, current pupils and staff of The Henley College recreated a photo from the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 at the Rotherfield campus yesterday in the sunshine to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The original decorations ‘God Save the Queen’ on the Rotherfield building in 1953 were designed by Mr Makins, the art teacher at the time.  The black and white image above is included in an excellent book The Story of Henley College by former pupil Gemma Allen published in 2004 which charts the history of the school and college from 1600 with fascinating facts and pictures.   In the autumn of 1952 Princess Margaret planted the first tree of the Coronation Avenue in the Fairmile and the whole of Henley Grammar School attended the ceremony.

Barry Sadler, Bernard Wood, Michael Palmer, Ross Tristan and Ruth Jarratt (nee Palmer) former HGS pupils attended yesterday.

Ross Tristan who was Head Boy at the HGS in 1958 and a Governor at the college in 00s for 8 years. Yesterday, he found himself in two old photos that are hung up on the wall in the Rotherfield building.  Ross recollected a number of things him and his school friends got up to. He said, “I put fireworks in the Headmaster’s office and when they exploded he came rushing out.  A friend of mine put potassium permanganate in the water tank so all the water came out purple and I put a spring in the bell so that when you pulled the bell it didn’t ring.”  Our headmaster (Sammy Barnes) had a great sense of humour.” ”

Bernard Wood added, “I’m delighted to have been invited today.  I have very fond memories of my time here.  I played a lot of cricket here and in my report it said I should make a career out it.  The first eleven had their names put in the concrete base under the old pavilion.  They should still be there.  I kept in touch with my Games master, Wally Rees for many years.  I’ve kept in touch with my rugby friends too and we still meet up regularly at the Black Horse in Checkendon.  If we got a detention we had to dig away at the slope on the sports fields.”  Bernard enjoyed looking through The Story of Henley College book with Head of Marketing & Business Development, Rhian Mason yesterday and pointing out people he knew.

Satwant Deol, Principal of The Henley College said, “Delighted to welcome back these ‘young’ students and to hear their amazing stories of their times here.  It’s fabulous that this resource has been kept for young generations.  All the things that we have been doing for the last five years have been worth it to see it through their eyes as well as our young peoples eyes.  It’s our privilege to keep it for future generations.”

The former pupils enjoyed a lunch and gifts provided by Waitrose in Henley.

There is reunion of The Henley Grammar School planned for Saturday 16 July at lunchtime.  If you would like to attend, please email lynn@harttoheart.co.uk