A day of heritage
Old Exonian Day 2017
Despite the threat of heavy showers, the morning dawned fine for the Old Exonians to return to School on Saturday 16 September 2017. Over 100 alumni and their guests attended the day, enjoying tours of the School, a three-course lunch, a stimulating talk from the Headmaster on recent school news and a Concert in the Chapel, devised and produced by current pupils from the Upper Fifth and Sixth Form.
One of the many highlights was a chance to view the new swimming pool in action from the splendid spectators gallery. The Butterfield Hall featured an exhibition depicting a variety of School developments from the last 50-100 years including the various guises of the outdoor pool, and a selection of School caps from the 1920s onwards. Outside, several OEs braved the showers to see the 1st XV rugby team beat West Buckland School 34-0. The day’s events concluded with a cream tea on the Paddock and an opportunity to see a selection of archives arranged by OE Kevin White (1953-1961).
The annual OE Dinner took place in the Assembly Hall following the Club’s AGM. The 2016-2017 Joe Mullins Cup sports competition between the OEs and the School was declared a draw and Joe presented the Cup jointly to Nigel Hook, representing the OEs, and Head Boy Ben Hayes and Head Girl Megan Stride representing the School. After a short speech from the Headmaster highlighting recent school successes, OE Chair James Brown (1994-1999) introduced the guest speaker, Dr Todd Gray, MBE. Dr Gray’s theme was the 2016 Royal Clarence Hotel Fire.
After showing evidence that the Royal Clarence was not the oldest hotel in the country as claimed by some newspapers, he went on to reveal the unique historic importance of the buildings that were nearly lost to the fire at the side and rear of the hotel. The whole area came very close to being destroyed and as a result, these nationally important buildings will be fully documented for future generations. Dr Gray concluded his talk by stressing the importance of Exeter School as part of the city’s heritage, and saying how fortunate we were to be associated with a School in such an historically important city.