Cranbrook celebrates Founders’ Day – Thursday 22nd March

Cranbrook School’s fifth centenary celebrations earned praise and admiration last week as a unique Founders’ Day service was held at St. Dunstan’s, the local parish church. Held in honour of founder John Blubery and other benefactors including Queen Elizabeth I, the service was attended by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Richard Oldfield, and the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Julia Soyke, and led by the Bishop of Dover, Trevor Wilmott, deputy to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The audience, consisting of all current students, staff, Governors and Trustees, in addition to former Headteachers and senior staff, was treated to an abundance of excellent music – choral, orchestral and ensemble – interspersed with readings by leaders of the school and the parish church.

The service was introduced by Rev. Ann Pollington of St. Dunstan’s and Rev. John Sykes, school Chaplain. Chairman of Governors James Peace read the List of Founders and Benefactors to remind everyone present of the great age of the school and the historic figures who have shaped its destiny, whilst Archivist and former Deputy Head Peter Allen told the story of John Blubery’s founding of the school by bequest to his widow, who in turn made over the school to its first Trustees on March 22nd 1518. Lastly, current Headmaster, John Weeds, praised the current generation of Old Cranbrookians who have been prominent in launching this year’s anniversary events and introduced a newly commissioned School Song. Written by current Year 12 student Adam Harrod and recent leaver Will Turner, the new song met with great approval following its first ever rendition by the new intake of Year 7 pupils.

James Peace commented afterwards, “We have all been treated to a wonderful display of what makes this school and this community great. Our students have sung superbly and played their musical instruments to perfection. This day is sure to go down as one of the highlights of an historic year for the school. To have involved our new 2017 intake in the telling of a story which goes back to Henry VIII is a remarkable achievement. There are very few schools which are older than Cranbrook and even fewer which still function on the same site, fulfilling their original purpose in the way that we do. This is what makes town and gown in Cranbrook such a special feature. We are all very proud – here’s to the next five hundred years!”

Photos courtesy of Mrs Ali Kittermaster – Blush Photography