On Saturday 22nd June, we welcomed students, parents, Old Bloxhamists and friends of the school to our annual Founderstide celebration.
The day began with beaming sunshine on Courtington Lane playing field where the school, parents and guests gathered for prize-giving and speeches from the Headmaster, Chair of Governors and guest speaker, Simon Wheatcroft, who shared his truly inspirational story of perseverance and adaptation to run a 100-mile race after losing his sight aged 17. We celebrated the achievements of our prize-winning students with more than 65 prizes awarded, and reflected on another successful year at Bloxham.
The day continued back at the main school site with a host of activities and displays, including a ‘build the tallest tower’ challenge in DT; a coding workshop; textiles and art exhibitions; a choir concert and baking demonstrations in Jubilee Court and a charming performance of Cinderella in French by Exham students to name a few. Displays were organised by our Young Enterprise team Stress Less and Arctic Bear Clothing – a brand created by Fifth Form pupil Marcus V. S.
Lunch courtesy of our brilliant Catering Team was then served picnic-style around Main Field in decorated House marquees. Guests tucked in to delicious sandwiches, pastries and cakes while sitting in the sunshine, enjoying performances by our Jazz Band and watching Old Bloxhamists take on our 1st XI cricket team. Mr Batten reviews the match:
The annual cricket match between the School and the Old Bloxhamists produced an entertaining contest which ended up being closer than seemed likely at lunch, when a young OBs side were struggling at 74 for 5. A doughty knock of 52 from captain Jak Soppet (Cr 03-08) and useful contributions from Jamie Lumb (Eg 10-17) and George Morley (Sy 10-17) helped to lift the total to 161 all out. For the school, Jamie M. took 3 wickets for 15, with the rest of the wickets being shared among six bowlers. When the school batted, openers Adam. D (21) and Ben S. (35) made things look easy before captain Toby S.-P. hit a classy 50 before retiring. A flurry of wickets and some late panic then followed thanks to some wily bowling from Jak Soppet and Toby Sorabjee (Eg 08-15), but the 1st XI managed to reach their total with five wickets down. Ben S.-P. hit the winning runs, and this was a fitting way for him and his brother Toby to cap their school cricket careers, not least because their cousin Justin (Wn 98-03) was playing for the Old Bloxhamists. Old Bloxhamists 161 all out. Bloxham School 1st XI 165 for 5. 1st XI won by 5 wickets.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent on Raymond Field for House Relays; a new event for 2019. Houses competed in Intermediate and Senior categories, with the final Medley Relays including teams of mixed year groups. Wilson took the prize for Senior Boys and Wilberforce for Senior Girls. Of the two Exham teams, Price and Buckland, Price were the victors.
To conclude the daytime festivities, a short ceremony was held by Main Field to unveil a memorial stone for Old Bloxhamist and former keeper of Bloxham School’s trees, Arthur Disney (Cr 43-45). The unveiling was performed by OB Society Committee Member Peter Barwell (Wf 45-53). The memorial itself was designed by John Badger (Eg 64-69), our current keeper of trees, and was made by G. Seller, the family business of Joseph Barsby (Cr 05-08).
The finale of the Founderstide celebrations was the Founderstide Ball in the evening, held in a Cotswold Marquee on Courtington Lane playing field. A record 470 guests were in attendance, including Sixth Form pupils, staff, parents and friends. Guests enjoyed a welcome glass of bubbly followed by a three course dinner and lots of dancing to Quest band’s brilliant set. It was an evening to remember!
Thank you to everybody who attended this year’s event. To view photos from the celebrations visit our Flickr page here.