6 February 2023
Pupils, staff and alumni of The Queen’s School came together for a truly wonderful day celebrating 75 years of Nedham House (no 57 Liverpool Road, now integrated in the Lower School)
Special guests at the celebration included the three granddaughters of Phyllis Brown (of the Browns of Chester family) who so kindly bought the house for the school back in 1948.
Head of the Lower School, Iona Carmody, welcomed a large group of alumni back to Nedham House for a special celebration assembly with all the Lower School girls and staff. Some of the guests included the very first pupils through the doors 75 years ago!
Following a poignant service in the Hall, which included a cake ceremony and a rendition of the School song ‘Honour Wisdom’, alumni were toured around the school by Year 6 girls – a fabulous opportunity to reminisce how things had changed.
A light lunch was served and provided the ‘old girls’ time to catch up and browse through archive material, sharing memories, photographs and keepsakes.
Head of the Lower School, Iona Carmody said: ‘This celebration provided a unique opportunity to see the transformational power of belonging to something greater than ourselves – to be part of a unique history – a Queen’s history – to be part of a past, a present and a future. Not only did we feel this power in the school on this momentous occasion, but we have experienced it in the build up to our Nedham birthday too.
‘Staff and pupils have immersed themselves in the archives, spotted similarities and differences, and felt as if we are following in the footsteps of generations of children who have set the scene and started the Queen’s journey for us.
‘Our children today have yet to fully appreciate the far-reaching benefits of belonging to Queen’s, not just today, but in their future as well. But one day they will remember this time, and they will think of their past, and how it helped make them who they are, and how these strong roots will support them no matter what their future may hold.
‘Our yesterday, today and tomorrow are inextricably linked, and it’s a school like ours which reminds us what it is like to belong.’
In the afternoon groups of alumni enjoyed being part of ‘Living History Question and Answer Sessions’ with the Infants and Juniors. The pupils loved finding out about how things had changed.
Alumni Relations Manager Clare Holland, who has fond memories of celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Queen’s School when she first arrived in 1978, was caught off-guard by the poignancy of the event. She said ‘So much has changed in Chester over the years, yet the values of friendship, learning and being given the space to fulfil your potential stay the same at Queen’s.’
Phyllis Brown was Chester’s first woman mayor, served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for The Queen’s School and was one of its most generous benefactors. As said in the School magazine Have Mynde “Few schools can have had so many magnificent gifts from the hands of a single donor. Few schools can have had so true and generous a friend. We shall not see her like again.”
Quotes from alumni who attended:
‘It was a delightful event and all staff and students were very welcoming and informative. Our tour guides Izabel and Lucy were exceptional! Thank you so much for collating the photo books, it was such a treat to see these and relive happy memories. I am so pleased to see how special Nedham House continues to be.’ Catherine 1975-77
‘Thank you for making all us ‘Old Girls’ so welcome on Friday. It was lovely to see how the school has developed and flourished in the 60 years since I was a pupil. Mostly unrecognisable, but a few familiar, and now larger trees remain in the garden. Your girls were delightful, their enthusiastic tour will be a lifelong memory for me. Thank you so much for your hospitality.’ Valerie
‘Happy 75th Birthday to Nedham House! My sister Sheena was full of praise for the Lower School yesterday. She thoroughly enjoyed her visit and tour of the school. Her two Year 6 tour guides were excellent ambassadors and she was very impressed by the learning environment. She even confessed to shedding a year during the school song!’ Kirsty