Read School’s 350th anniversary festivities continued last week with a number of further celebratory events.
At the beginning of the week, the 350 exhibition was opened, displaying memorabilia and artefacts from the school archives, including attendance records, old school uniform, rolls of honour from both World Wars and many old sporting photographs.
On Friday, the school cricket XI took on an Old Draxonian XI in a T20 match, captained by former Head Girl, Hannah Buck, who plays ladies cricket for Yorkshire. The school emerged victorious by some 17 runs, proving that sometimes youth does outweigh experience!
Saturday saw the annual Commemoration Day celebrations take place. The school was honoured to have two very special guests in attendance on this occasion. Guest preacher at the morning service in Drax church was the Rt. Revd. Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby, who delivered an excellent sermon to the pupils, staff and guests.
(Left to right, Rt Revd Dr John Thomson Bishop of Selby and Mr Barry Dodd, CBE, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Plaque Commemorating the new Peace Garden, Lieutenant being received by the Guard of Honour)
The church service was followed by the official opening of the 350 Commemorative Peace Garden, which has been designed and built by Mr Colin Patrick, specialist tutor at the school, with several of the pupils. It is designed to be a quiet area to reflect and relax. There also followed official recognition of the restoration of the school clock and bell, which has been made possible by a generous donation from a local benefactor.
Following lunch, the speeches and prizegiving ceremony took place in the Moloney Hall where the guest speaker was Mr Barry Dodd, CBE, the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and the Queen’s personal representative in the county. He presented the prizes to the pupils and made a short address to those gathered, before the vote of thanks from the outgoing Head Boy and Girl, Alfie Thomlinson and Elizabeth Limbert.
(Left to right, The Lord Lieutenant presenting Reception and Year 1 pupils William Hinchliffe and Harry Wake with their prizes, The Lord Lieutenant presenting year 10 student Teresa Weiten with the year 10 achievement prize)
The day culminated in a Summer Ball in the evening organised by the Parents’ and Friends’ Association.
Dr John Sweetman, Headmaster, said, ‘The whole day has been a marvellous success from beginning to end and we have been extremely honoured to have the Lord Lieutenant and the Bishop join us on this very special occasion. We are very grateful to the various very generous benefactors who have enabled us to carry out certain upgrades and repairs as part of our celebrations and these will continue until the end of the year, when we will end with our Carol Service in Drax Church. What a marvellous legacy Charles Reade has left us with this wonderful school. I wonder if he could ever have imagined that it would be here still, 350 years after his death.'