Recently Adams’ Grammar School marked two significant events in the history of the school with a celebration of 50 years of boarding at Longford Hall and the opening of a brand new senior boarding house, Beaumaris Hall.
Seven months ago Headmaster Gary Hickey announced plans to turn former care home Beaumaris Court into a boarding house for the school’s senior boarders, thanks to funding by founders, the Haberdashers’ Adams’ charity.
Gary explained: “Sadly the old senior boarding houses on the High Street were becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and while the boys all loved their quirkiness and charm, the nature of the listed buildings was making it difficult to make improvements to our boarding facilities.”
School Governor Sam Taylor said: “When we heard that Beaumaris Court was going to be sold, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. The Haberdashers and the Governors all recognised that as a former care home it had the makings of a purpose built boarding home for our older boarders.”
Welcoming boarders and their parents at Sunday’s opening of Beaumaris Hall, Head of Senior Boarding Colette Lonergan said: “The boys have come from a boarding house with a huge history and many memories. We are marking some of that history by renaming our three Tutor groups after the three old houses – Beaumaris, Roddam and Picken – while building new history and memories which the boys can take forward to the next stage of their life.”
Colette says: “We’ve been keeping the interior design a surprise for the boys so I’m delighted to be able to finally move them in and see their reactions. If words such as ‘mind-blowing’, ‘awesome’, and ‘blown away’ are anything to go by I think it’s fair to say they love it. In fact one of our boarders has been sending photos to his brother who was a boarder with us four years ago and he can’t believe it saying is it boarding or a four star hotel?”
Boarding Captain Seb Lowe, pictured below cutting the ribbon at Sunday’s opening, said: “It’s unbelievable and exceeds all expectations. It’s so lovely and colourful – we couldn’t wish for better facilities. We all feel extremely lucky. It will make the transition to university so much easier. “ Seb’s dad Mr Lowe had his own words of praise too saying: “It’s just amazing.”
School Governor Mike Osborne said the seven month project is a fantastic example of how all layers of the school have come together to produce something that is truly incredible, from the Haberdashers and Governors having a clear vision of what they wanted to create through to the School and its business plan. “It couldn’t have happened without everyone working together” he said.
Year 11 boarder Joe Sullivan is pictured below in the new American Diner themed kitchen which has proved to be a really big hit with the boys: “I love the 1950’s kitchen and the way everything has been done. The school has breathed fresh new life into boarding.”
Joe’s mum Mrs Sullivan was equally impressed: “While it is sad to say goodbye to the tradition of the old senior boarding houses, this is a massive step into the forward facing direction that Adams’ wants to go in and I am amazed by it all. The school has raised the bar in so many areas and now this. Well done Adams’ – this really is one huge step.”
Lower Sixth pupil Josh Maloney added: “The Kitchen Diner is brilliant and makes you feel like you want to cook. I intend to use it a lot.”
Upper Sixth pupil George Wilcock is pictured playing the piano for his mum and commented “I’m blown away. I’ve been to look around some universities recently and this is so much better.”
Gary and Colette thanked all those that had been involved in the project, from the Haberdashers and Governors and school maintenance team to the school’s PTA for funding the furnishing of the American Diner and the common room. Gary added: “Thanks to everyone’s help and support we are now able to offer the boys so much more with a large modern communal room, a fun and fully working kitchen and bedrooms all with en-suite facilities.”
Coincidentally the school’s junior boarders also had some celebrating of their own to do last weekend as Longford Hall marked its 50th year of being a boarding house. The school was delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate with 15 former pupils who were the first ever boarders to live at Longford back in September 1967.
The Old Novaportans enjoyed a trip down memory lane and shared a few humorous tales with the younger boarders of what it was like to be a boarder back in the 1960s.
Old Novaportan Mike Waldron is pictured holding a photo of himself on his first day at Adams’ Grammar and commented: “The school went out of its way to welcome us back last weekend and it was very much appreciated by us all. It was lovely to see how well the Hall has been maintained and loved and to meet the current boarders. The facilities at Longford are fantastic so I hope the boys continue to make the most of their time there because the memories will stay with them for a lifetime.”
Also pictured below are:
Two of the Old Novaportans teaching Year 7 boarder Dylan Kandola a few rugby skills.
The 15 Old Novaportans who were Longford Hall’s first ever boarders.
Year 7 boarder Charlie Watt with Old Novaportan Eddie Owens who originally slept where Charlie’s bed is now.