The Grand Reunion at Bolton School saw over 1,000 alumni from both Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions return to spend the day catching up with classmates and remembering good times. From Alumni who left the school in 1939 to recent leavers from 2011 onwards, almost every era of the school’s history on the current site was represented.
The Reunion began as a normal school day would: with assembly held in both of the Great Halls.
After welcoming the many alumni and former staff to the reunion, and particularly her predecessor Gill Richards, Miss Hincks gave an address which focused on the Girls’ Division’s tradition of celebrating historic milestones, listing dozens of events which spanned every decade of the Foundation’s history. She also spoke briefly about some of the changes that have occurred over the past hundred years, and commented that, “The more we change, the more we stay the same.”
Old Girls catch up over a bottle of wine in the Headmaster’s Garden
Meanwhile in the Boys’ Division Great Hall current Headmaster Philip Britton welcomed the Old Boys with a little humour, clearing up one of the greatest questions of the day: “Let me just inform you, from the stage, that you all look younger fitter, healthier, wealthier and wiser than everyone else.”
The School was open throughout the afternoon to allow Old Boys and Old Girls to wander the corridors, find old haunts and explore new areas such as the Riley Sixth Form Centre, Hesketh House Junior Girls’ School, and the new Beech House Infants’ School. There were also historical displays chronicling the history of the Boys’ Division in the Baggley Room and the Girls’ Division in the Sutcliffe Suite.
Classrooms were set aside to allow those who left the school at around the same time to mingle and catch up with fellow alumni and former staff. In addition, there were rooms for those who would normally attend a decade Class Reunion in 2015.
An evening fireworks display
The Grand Reunion was part of Bolton School’s 100/500 celebrations, which are being held in 2015 and 2016 to commemorate two significant anniversaries. The first of these is the creation of the Bolton School Foundation: in 1915, Lord Leverhulme jointly endowed Bolton Grammar School for Boys and Bolton High School for Girls on the condition that they should become two halves of a whole, and from this point the schools became the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions that exist today. The school is also celebrating the 500th anniversary of education in Bolton, as Bolton Grammar School for Boys was listed as “a going concern” in 1516, and this was the first mention of a school in the town.