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Herts and Essex High School to mark 110th anniversary with alumni reunion

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Herts and Essex High School is marking a 110th anniversary in November with a reunion for former students.

The foundation stone for the Warwick Road secondary school was laid on November 16, 1909 – the year that Edward VII was king, Liberal politician H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister and radio inventor Marconi won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

On the morning of Saturday November 16, the school is holding a reunion which will give alumni the chance to relive the sights, sounds and smells of their days there.

Herts and Essex High opened in May 1910 with 22 girls under Miss Hammill, the first of nine headteachers.

The school today retains some of its original features. The evocative tiled corridors are still there, and the Old Hall continues to house the portrait of King George V, who visited as part of the school’s silver jubilee celebrations in 1935. The Elgin Marbles which once adorned the Old Hall balcony now live in the school foyer.

The changes are also clear to see. The New Hall – now not so new – came along in the 1960s along with the H and C blocks, followed by the swimming pool in 1971.

More recently, the old gym built in the late 1950s was transformed into a sixth form centre in 2018 and the new sports centre on the site of The Pavilion was opened in September, marking another chapter in the school’s history.

The alumni network is an increasingly important part of the fabric of Herts & Essex.

Lucy Gray, communications officer, said: "We love that our school community extends further than the walls of the school itself and that former students are so keen to come back, whether to see the school or as part of our Giving Back programme, which supports our current students in a variety of ways including talks and mentoring.

"As a thank you, but also as a way of connecting to more alumni, we’ve held a couple of alumni events so far and they're great fun. And our alumni are a noisy bunch – the Old Hall is always full of laughter and chat! It’s great to hear and wonderful to be part of."

The 110th anniversary reunion on Saturday November 16, from 10am to noon, is free to attend but spaces are limited. To book a place, call Lucy Gray on 01279 654127 or email alumni@hertsandessex.herts.sch.uk.

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