125th birthday party

Playground games, magic show, balloons galore, fairground rides. Well that kept the adults entertained!

Seriously, what a party. Thank you so much to everybody who worked so hard – before, during and after – to help make it such a great success. To the performers and workshop leaders who kept everybody entertained; to Claire Driver, Lexden History Society and Susan Wilson for bringing the school’s history to life, and to the cake bakers and the food companies for making sure nobody went hungry.

DJ Ben Howard set the mood with carnival music welcoming guests as they arrived. In both halls and in the courtyard and lower playground everybody was having a good time – whether they were 3 or 93. The Mayor and Mayoress were there because they enjoyed the assembly on Tuesday so much. Such a compliment.

The number of people who came to the party wildly exceeded our expectations. Listening to former pupils – some meeting again for the first time in 50 years – was thrilling. There were so many moving moments: meeting Louise Neville, the granddaughter of second longest serving head, John Bezzant; unveiling the CXXV artworks by Nicola Burrell and Lisa Temple Cox; former pupil Chris Samson with tears of joy and a smile that never left her face as she met up with former friends; meeting Paul Gallifant, son of former pupil Joan Gallifant and nephew of artist Henry Collins; meeting Ray Allan who shared his mothers memorabilia of her swimming successes at North; Michael Monahan who came to see his Great Uncles Herbert and Harold Nevard’s WWI medals recently donated by Steve Davey; Paddy Trenow donating an original woodcut of the school by the wife of former headteacher Roger Kettle, which was shared with the children in assembly on the 18th. It was an absolutely wonderful day!

The party perfectly captured the school’s wonderful community spirit and was a fitting way to celebrate its roots with its past and the vibrancy and diversity of its present.

Well done North. Here’s to the next 125 years.