West House School – The 125th Anniversary Celebrations 1895 – 2020

09 Apr 2020

2020 is a significant milestone for West House as it marks 125 years since the school opened.

On 11th May 1895 three boys were booked to attend but B. W. L. Owen was unwell so the school opened with just two pupils, G. P. Achurch and J. M. F. C. Pound – from small acorns mighty oaks do grow.

I hope most sincerely that all Old Boys would wish to take some part in the 125 celebratory events that have been organised for the year.

Golf and Dinner – Friday 17th April

Events start with a golf day and dinner on Friday 17th April at Harborne Golf Club. I hope that this will be an opportunity for Old Boys from across the generations to meet in a relaxing environment on the course or at the three course meal in the evening. You do not need to be a golfer to join us at the event. The club will be open throughout the day for Old Boys to call in and we are especially keen to attract non-playing Old Boys to the meal.

The menu is on the WHOBA section of the school website https://www.westhouseprep.com/

The association decided we would not hold a black tie formal event, but we hope this evening event will provide an opportunity for Old Boys to dine and socialise together, recounting memories of their prep school days. The dress code will be lounge suits and WHOBA ties will be a must.  A new Old Boys’ tie, commemorating 125 years, will be available in the New Year.

125th Anniversary Recital – The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, King Edward’s School, Thursday 30th April

A concert showcasing the musical talents of past and current pupils that will include a number of individual and choral performances. The school will be represented by musicians aged between 8 and 11 who have already achieved grades 5 – 8 in their specialist instruments.

More information and the opportunity to book your tickets can be done by going to the WHOBA section of the school website.

Victorian School Day – Monday 11th May

The next event will be very much a current school occasion when the pupils will experience life of a Victorian school boy. This will be on the anniversary itself, Monday 11th May. The Headmaster assures me that the electric lights will be allowed, but everyone will be encouraged to put aside the technology we all take for granted and experience a different way of life.

Summer Open Day – Sunday 28th June

The main summer event is an open day at the school on Sunday 28th June. The school will be open from 12noon until 4.00pm with a marquee on the Headmaster’s lawn serving afternoon tea. The whole of the school site will be open displaying short biographies of some past “famous” pupils, including the wonderful displays previously put together by Alison Houghton covering those who served during the First World War.

I really hope Old Boys, especially those that have not been back to the school for many years, will enjoy walking the school grounds, reminiscing about their school life and also seeing for themselves the wonderful facilities the school now offers to its pupils.

Entertainment in the form of live music will be played throughout the afternoon and will include the school bands.

For those who wish to make rather more of the occasion, there will be a bar serving beer and wines and a barbeque.

The Act of Remembrance – Wednesday 11th November followed in the afternoon with a service at St Philip’s Cathedral

Please join the current school for The Act of Remembrance. The school will be open to Old Boys from 9.30am with an invitation to attend the Remembrance Service in the Duce Hall and to take part in the Act of Remembrance. Teas and coffees will be available.

All Old Boys are then invited to join the school at St Philip’s Cathedral in the city centre for a service celebrating the school’s 125 years. The service will start at 2.30pm and I hope afterwards Old Boys will be able to form informal groups for chats and drinks in the city.

How to book onto these events and keep in touch with the WHOBA.

I am delighted to say that the school website has been updated to include a section promoting the 125 year celebrations. We are also encouraging Old Boys to share their memories and stories about WHS. You will be able to post stories or short video clips about your days at school via the school website https://www.westhouseprep.com/

The celebrations are designed to focus on the school and encourage old boys to re-engage with the school and we hope link up with their contemporaries.

There is, however, the opportunity to raise some funds and we are looking for sponsors for the golf holes on Friday 17th April. There will also be a raffle across the year with tickets being sold at the various events. All money raised will go to support The Michael Pratt Memorial Fund and its excellent work supporting talented students at WHS. If you would like to support or sponsor part of an event we would be delighted to hear from you. If any Old Boys are interested in helping raise funds or wish to donate to The Michael Pratt Memorial Fund please contact WHOBA@westhouseprep.com