Lord Mayor visits historic school

Senior Grecian (head pupil) and the Lord Mayor. Picture by Nick Panagakis
Senior Grecian (head pupil) and the Lord Mayor. Picture by Nick Panagakis

The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor, Alderman Roger Gifford and the Sheriffs of the City of London visited Christ’s Hospital on Saturday, May 25, as special guests at the School’s annual Speech Day ceremony.

The weather was kind allowing the traditions of the day to go ahead smoothly.

'Eyes right' as the pupils march past the Lord Mayor and Sherriffs to the accompaniment of the band. Picture by by Nick Panagakis

'Eyes right' as the pupils march past the Lord Mayor and Sherriffs to the accompaniment of the band. Picture by by Nick Panagakis

The 850 pupils marched past the Mayoral party and local dignitaries to the accompaniment of the School’s famous Band, fresh from their previous week’s engagement for the MCC at Lord’s for the 1st Test.

A junior pupil, Flora Thwaites, aged 11, from Horsham, presented a posy to the Lady Mayoress.

Prizes and awards were presented to senior pupils by the Lord Mayor. The Senior Grecian (Head Pupil), Ben Eastwood, gave the traditional oration to which the Lord Mayor warmly responded.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is Vice President of Christ’s Hospital, a boarding and day school near Horsham.

Flora Thwaites presents a posy to the Lady Mayoress. Picture by Nick Panagakis

Flora Thwaites presents a posy to the Lady Mayoress. Picture by Nick Panagakis

The association with the City stretches back to the School’s foundation in the Tudor period when the Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Dobbs, was asked to gather a Committee of thirty to raise money to fulfil the vision of King Edward VI to establish Christ’s Hospital for the education of children.

Ben Eastwood alluded to the School’s foundation in 1552 in his oration when he said: “The founders collected £6000 in one and a half years; but in terms of spending power today, that amount would net £23m: a sum which, by today’s costs, would pay, in entirety, for the education and accommodation of a whole generation of Christ’s Hospital pupils.

“This philanthropic example has been deeply ingrained into our ethos, and is echoed by the support we receive from the City of London who help to continue the School’s 460 years of good work.”

The school moved to Horsham just over a century ago and today educates 850 boys and girls from all walks of life. It provides more assistance with fees than any other independent boarding school in the UK.

Pictures from the day by Nick Panagakis.