As the School
celebrated its quincentenary, 500 years after the foundation of the School in
1509, over thirty events took place during the course of the academic year to
mark this auspicious event.
programme was designed both to engage the whole RGS community by staging events
that reflected the full range of school life and also to set up legacies for
highlight of the year was when the School was honoured to welcome the Princess Royal
to the RGS. The Headmaster accompanied Her Royal Highness
on a tour which included listening to a string quartet, observing lessons in
Art, Latin and Physical Education and visiting a display of archive material
detailing the School’s history and focusing on its royal connections. At the end of the tour, the whole School
gathered on the front lawn to witness the Princess Royal unveiling a plaque to
commemorate her quincentennial visit.
Other notable events included the Commemoration Service at Guildford
Cathedral; the exquisite concert at St John’s, Smith Square which involved
musicians including the Big Band, Jazz Band and the Parents’ Choir; the Bursary
Ball at Guildford Cathedral; the quincentennial hockey festival; the flood-lit
rugby fixture against St Paul’s School at Imber Court; the inter-house debating
competition held at the House of Lords; a comedy night involving three Old
Guildfordians; a King’s Lecture by explorer and Old Guildfordian Dr Ed Coats;
an ambitious drama production of Nicholas
Nickleby; and the inaugural Leavers’ Ball.
The School’s 500th anniversary celebrations culminated with a 500th finale at Bradstone Brook which
staged a charity cricket match between
the Headmaster’s Select XI and Old England. The Old England team included many famous
names from English cricket’s glorious past: John Lever, Derek Randall, Martin
Bicknell, John Snow and Peter Such, to name but a few.
Extract from the Headmaster's Quincentennial Address