Centenary celebrations Otley's Prince Henry's Grammar School

Centuries of education at a market town in West Yorkshire are to be celebrated as its secondary school marks a landmark anniversary.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 7:00 am
Prince Henrys Grammar School, Otley, celebrates 100 years. Pictured in the old and new uniforms are Martha Thornton aged 12 and Jack Hartis aged 12.

The foundations for Prince Henry’s Grammar School were first formed with a grant of £250 by cloth merchant Thomas Cave in 1603, a sum matched in donations from the people of Otley.

But it wasn’t until 1918 that the school formed as it is today, going on to continuously educate children across the town and in surrounding villages for the past 100 years.

All through this year there have been celebrations to honour its centenary and now, as its search for past scholars proves fruitful, its findings are to be presented at a special exhibition.

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Having launched a search for its highest attaining former students in February, the school had hoped to hear of what had become of its 81 Kerr Scholars, each recognised on a plaque at the school in honour of Dr Samuel Kerr who bequeathed an annual scholarship in 1918.

An exhibition at the school later this month will share memories of past hobby shows, tales of Prince Henry’s during the war, stories of past pupils and news of its Kerr Scholars.

“Our search for Kerr Scholars has proved fruitful, with alumni from as far back as the 1940s and as far afield as Australia and Canada getting in touch,” said assistant headteacher Stephen Clarkson, who has been coordinating the celebrations.

“We have enjoyed the help of Graham Shutt, who taught at school for many years, and whose book about Prince Henry’s was launched here last year.

“Otley Museum has also been involved – it’s been a real community effort.”

In recent months, the school has been in touch with many past students, who have sent stories of their time at Prince Henry’s, and Mr Clarkson has unearthed new material from the school’s archives.

The exhibition, from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, June 29, is open to the public to attend.