2018 Founders' Weekend Report
As we all know, this year’s Founder Weekend took place during one of the hottest summer’s on record. In addition, the fact that England were playing their World Cup semi-final against Croatia added a certain frisson to events.
On Saturday morning the Priory Thanksgiving Service provided a cool reflective space for our guests and old boys whilst they listened to some superb music from our current pupils. Our guest preacher, Jonathan Halsey from the Capernwray Bible School, gave an uplifting address and set a very positive tone for the day. In a change to previous year’s, Old Lancastrian Club members attended their AGM, prior to the sparkling reception, whilst lunch guests slowly made their way up East Road to the school dining room. Their reward was a cold glass of Prosecco and a chance to mingle with other guests prior to the absolutely delicious sit-down buffet lunch.
The dining room was full with extra tables this year to accommodate over a hundred guests and the room buzzed with conversation and laughter. The Chartwells catering team did another sterling job, producing marvellous food and fantastic service, the team received a well-deserved round of applause for all their efforts.
Whilst everyone enjoyed coffee the headmaster took the opportunity to make a short speech reflecting on the school’s busy year, updating guests on all the sports news, building developments and school numbers. Then, in another break from tradition and in the absence of the annual OL dinner this year, retiring OL President Richard Furlong-Brown made a brief speech thanking the OL Members before handing over to Chris Critchlow, the 2019 incumbent.
The fact that the England match was due to kick off at 3pm meant that proposed school tours were quietly dropped, allowing the boys and other school staff to go and support the team. Most guests seemed to have the same idea with the result that the lunch was over by 2.30pm, probably another record broken!
Sunday saw the return of the regatta at Halton which was well attended on a somewhat overcast day. This was probably most welcome for the rowers as they took part in a variety of races before tucking into a well-earned barbecue at the waterside.
All in all, another wonderful if slightly foreshortened weekend. The weather was on our side and it was lovely to see so many smiling faces. Plans are already afoot for 2019 with more activities promised and the return of some old favourites. Watch this space!
2017 Founders' Weekend Report. Click here to see the photos.
Founders’ Weekend 2017
This year Founders’ Day was blessed with beautiful sunshine which added to the high good humour of the events. OLs joined us from all over the country with some paying their first visit in fifty years, a wonderful testament to the deep connection school can have.
The day began with a truly marvellous Service of Thanksgiving at The Priory. The boys read beautifully and a rousing rendition of Jerusalem raised the hair on many necks. A leisurely walk through Lancaster in the sparkling sunshine brought our guests to the Dining Hall for a very welcome glass of Prosecco and a catch up with old friends before sitting down to a delicious lunch prepared by Chartwells, the school’s caterers. There were many compliments and quite a few pithy comments about the improvement in school lunches!
Lunch was followed by the opportunity to either take a tour of the school in the company of some willing sixth formers or attend the Honours Board Ceremony in the Library where several names including Scott Durant, Brian Ashton and Shaun Higgins were added. A pleasing number of alumni also took the time to visit the archive exhibition at Old School House and find their younger selves in the many school photos out on display. Some fantastic anecdotes involving the various capers boys got up to emerged, often involving pea shooters or climbing out of windows….
A group of OLs and staff escorted the family of Shaun Higgins up to Douthwaite Field to inspect the newly installed junior cricket pitch, benches and scoreboard set up in his memory. The sunshine on the cricket field set the scene perfectly.
The Old Lancastrian Club adjourned to the University of Cumbria in the evening to hold their AGM followed by the OL Founders’ Dinner. OLs and their partners enjoyed a sparkling reception set off by a magnificent view of Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Hills basking in the evening sun. There was a good mix of ages across the tables and a very jovial evening ensued capped off by speeches from the Head and the retiring OL President, Peter Sampson who graciously handed over to Richard Furlong-Brown, the new President. A magnificent sunset provided the backdrop to some warm words and slightly indiscreet anecdotes. A good evening was had by all with the last merrymakers leaving well after midnight.
For those who needed to clear their heads on Sunday morning the Rowing Regatta proved a perfect event. A fine, breezy day ensured good rowing with rowers past and present turning out to provide vocal support from the bank, a much appreciated BBQ followed.
This was the last event of a busy weekend which saw many old friendships renewed and several alumni returning for the first time in many years. It was a real pleasure to see old boys meeting up after a long time apart and the years falling away. The sense of camaraderie never seems to leave those lucky enough to have attended LRGS and it made for a wonderful weekend for everyone who attended.