Memories flood back at the King Ted's re-assembly

The assembly hall and balcony, full of former students and staff on Saturday night

PHOTOGRAPHS: STEVE ELLIS

Memories flood back at the King Ted's re-assembly

By PETER KAY [Sheffield Telegraph Oct 14 2005]

ONE ex-pupil [Dr Richard Taylor, 65-72] turned up in his old prefect's blazer.

Hundreds of others didn't go that far but evidently remain firmly tied to their days at King Edward VII School.

The centenary celebrations of King Ted's saw the assembly hall and balcony at the Broomhill upper school full of former students and staff on Saturday night.

It was a chance to meet colleagues from the distant - and not-so-distant - past and, for many, the opportunity to take a look around a building last seen at close quarters decades ago.

'" The general comment of people, especially from the latter days of the grammar school, was what good condition the school was in," said governor John Cornwell, who

has written a book about the school's 100 years. "They said it was much more light and airy. A lot has been done in the last two or three years."

Former head teacher Russell Sharrock, who was there with his wile Mary (coincidentally on his 81st birthday), was presented with a bound copy of the centenary book. Another guest was the man who served as his deputy, Arthur Jackson.

Current headteacher Michael Lewis was the master of ceremonies, raising a few knowing smiles when he referred to the evening running smoothly, then glancing at the grille above his head.

John Cornwell's book records "the prank of the century" in which a bag of flour was suspended above the grille during a speech day. A candle was lit under a length of string supporting the bag, allowing the sixth form perpetrators to watch the results of their handiwork from the hall and escape the hastily organised search that followed.

Appropriately Lord Mayor Roger Davison, a Liberal Democrat councillor, was among the guests. He is not an 'old boy' but it was a Liberal, Sir William Clegg, who effectively founded the school in 1905.

The president of the Old Edwardians' Association, John Phillips, addressed the assembly and a plaque was unveiled with the names of the seven headteachers over the past 100 years.

The celebrations continued on the Sunday when 150 Old Edwardians had lunch at Abbeydale Sports Club. To mark the centenary the association is launching a 10,000 campaign to restore the painting of King Edward VII that has hung above a staircase in the school for nearly 100 years.

But Saturday night was essentially about renewing acquaintances from long ago and reminiscing about characters and incidents in early formative years.

As memories were jogged, drinks were served in the dining hall and sixth formers served canapes they had made themselves.

"The school was absolutely full and it was a splendid evening," said John Cornwall, a former chairman of governors. "It was a lovely atmosphere."

Left: present head Michael Lewis with former deputy head Arthur Jackson (1959-81)

Right: looking for old faces is former pupil Dr Peter R Beeley (1931-39)