Fifth Centenary Celebrations
Cranbrook School is celebrating 500 years as a thriving grammar school in the heart of the Weald of Kent. This year we are marking the original founding of the school by local yeoman, John Blubery, who bequeathed his ‘chief mansion’ to provide a ‘frescole house’ for the town’s children. Five hundred years later the school is thriving in its original site providing an outstanding education to 750 boys and girls, day students from our catchment area and boarders from outside and abroad. Few countries, less institutions and even fewer schools have had the chance to celebrate 500 years of history so the precedent is ours to set.
We aim to make the Quincentenary a constant theme throughout the year. This page sets out how we are going to recognise this achievement with an exciting programme of anniversary lectures, formal ceremony and a series of festival events. These celebrations will be open to students and staff, parents, OC’s and the whole Cranbrook community – we look forward to you joining us!
Fifth Century Lectures
For centuries Cranbrook School has produced leaders and luminaries in our country’s Business, Science, Culture and Public Service communities. Each month this year we are celebrating our Quincentenial by inviting Old Cranbrookians to talk to students, parents and the wider community about how they are shaping our world and how their experiences at Cranbrook prepared them for success.
These are under way and on Monday 8th January we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Rob Joyce, OC and Associate Director at the IFS, to Cranbrook School to enlighten us on the topic of “Is our Tax System fair?”. You can read the full write-up of his visit by clicking here to be directed to our news items.
Our up and coming lectures are:
- Friday 2 March – Mike Trueman, former officer in Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas and leader on over twenty expeditions to the Himalayas and four to Everest. There will be a Nepal Expedition Dinner, followed by Mike’s talk at 7.45pm in the QH, entitled ‘Everest and the 1996 Storm’.
- Wednesday 14 March – Air Commodore Mark Jeffery OBE, OC and Head of RAF Safety at Air Command, RAF High Wycombe. Talks to students in the school day (timings TBC).
- Wednesday 25 April – Assistant Chief Constable Tony Blaker, OC and Kent Police’s Head of Central Operations. Talks to students in the school day and an evening talk to parents at 7.30pm in the QH, title TBC.
NB: Anniversary lectures for the Autumn Term 2018 are currently being organised. Details to follow.
In the last week of June, Scott Field – where a marquee will be erected – will become our focus with major events complimenting a unique timetable for all students across the rest of the campus. This will consist of a host of fun and exciting events – all infused with a Quincentennial flavour:
Saturday 23rd June:
- Quincentenary extravaganza – sponsored by NFU Mutual (Ashford & Tenterden) and Produced in Kent
- Wimbledon comes to Cranbrook – tennis festival
- Mini-pageant outside the Vestry Hall – three playlets written by Peter Allen, former Cranbrook School Deputy Head – The legacy of John Blubery, The Charter of Elizabeth I & The building of School House. MC: Cranbrook Operatic & Dramatic Society. Players: Cranbrook School students under the direction of Jade Deeble. Music: Cranbrook School Music Trust
- Flower Festival – St. Dunstan’s Church
- Joint Cranbrook School and Cranbrook Choral Society Concert, 7.30pm in the Queen’s Hall – details to be confirmed
Monday 25th to Friday 29th June
School Festival Week begins, to include over the week:
- Year 7: outdoor pursuits week
- Year 9: Curious Minds project – Living Tudor History
- Year 10: Young Enterprise
- Years 9, 10 & 12: House Athletics & House Swimming Gala
Monday 25th June
Cranbrook Through the Ages by Peter Allen – An illustrated lecture in the Marquee, with a display of objects to include:
- Display boards showing key documents related to the school’s history
- The Queen Elizabeth I charter
- A selection of diaries and magazines from previous years
- A display of uniforms from across the years
Wednesday 27th June
Old Cranbrookians’ Association Afternoon Tea Venue: The Marquee
Friday 29th June
Old Cranbrookians’ Association Reunion Dinner Dance. Venue: The Marquee
Saturday 30th June
Cranbrook School Parents Association Summer Ball. Venue: The Marquee
Stand Out Events
Outside of the regular monthly lectures and the Festival Week we have confirmed stand out events to crown our anniversary year.
Thursday 22nd March
Founder’s Day Service – The whole school will attend a special service in St. Dunstan’s Church, to be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent. We are delighted that Bishop Trevor Wilmott of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral will preside.
Wednesday 9th May
The Fifth Centenary Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Biennial Inspection. To preside: Lt. Col. David Pack (OC) of the Gurkha Rifles.
Saturday 26th May
Annual Prizegiving Ceremony in St. Dunstan’s Church. Guest Speaker to be confirmed.
If you would like to find out more about our long and illustrious history, you may order a copy of ‘Cranbrook School – The First Five Centuries’ by former Deputy Headmaster, Peter Allen. To order your copy please complete the form below.