Event Review: Heritage Open Day 15 September 2018
Remember Mr Raynham and Miss Elmslie? Certainly not, if you’re a current George Abbot student. Several visitors to the school’s recent Heritage Open Day, however, vividly recalled these former head teachers, from the days when George Abbot operated as two single sex schools.
Some two hundred people flocked to the school as part of the national Heritage Open Day event. As well as experiencing George Abbot’s typical 1950s and 60s architecture, visitors had the chance to inspect its wonderfully detailed archives and hear a talk by local historian Moira MacQuaide.
Ms MacQuaide spoke of the history of Burpham – an ancient settlement dating back to Roman and Saxon times – and of the school itself: reliving an era when the playing field was divided by an imaginary line which neither sex was allowed to cross; and when school dinners cost 5 shillings (25p) a week, and were reported to be excellent.
After a welcome from Mrs Carriett the event was opened by Mayor of Guildford, Cllr. Mike Parsons and his wife Jean. Cllr. Parsons spoke of his chosen charity, Guildford Young Carers, which supports children in the borough who are the main carers in their families. Donations from the event, totalling £186, will support activities for the 80 young carers who attend George Abbot.
One former pupil, who attended the school from 1960-65, had a personal interest in a small piece of George Abbot history. He had travelled from the Midlands to find out whether his name was engraved on the Mike Hawthorne cross country cup, awarded in the year he left the school. Was his quest successful? Watch this space.