Bolton School has held a ceremonial dinner to celebrate the anniversary of Lord Leverhulme’s 1915 re-endowment of the school as the Bolton School Foundation, with a girls’ division and boys’ division sited on Chorley New Road. Former heads and friends of the school were amongst the 180 guests who also included pupils, governors, members of staff, 32 former captains and 24 former head girls.
The oldest guests on the night were 88-year-old Alan Watson, who was captain of the boys’ division from 1943-44, and Margaret Davies, who was head girl from 1945-46. The current captain and head girl were present, Paul Greenhalgh and Jess Melling, as were last year’s, Waqqas Patel and Annabelle Ault.
The silver-service ceremonial dinner was held in the boys’ division great hall, where guests were seated at tables named after iconic school objects such as the chained library, the pill box, the levels, the grey book and the Christmas angels; well-known school personnel such as former heads Mr Poskitt and Miss Higginson; and school buildings including the former and current outdoor pursuits centres, Cautley and Patterdale Hall.
The Rt Hon Lady Jane Heber-Percy, the great grand-daughter of Lord Leverhulme, said grace before later speeches by headmistress Sue Hincks, headmaster Philip Britton and chairman of governors Michael Griffiths, who launched the school’s 100 Campaign, which aims to increase the school’s bursary fund from £20m to £50m in the next 15 years. The toastmaster/MC for the evening was Stephen Sanders.
Later in the year, there will be further celebrations at a grand reunion weekend and in 2016 the school will celebrate 500 years of education in Bolton; 1516 is the first year in which the Bolton Grammar School for Boys (now the boys’ division) was first mentioned.