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'The Best of Both Worlds' Centenary Book Launch

Thursday, 03 December 2015

Alumni, current and former staff, Governors and guests gathered in the Leverhulme Suite of the Riley Sixth Form Centre for the launch of The Best of Both Worlds: A Portrait of Bolton School. This book, which was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the Foundation as it exists today, charts the history of the School and provides a great insight into the ethos of opportunity for all that began with Lord Leverhulme and still continues today.

Chairman of Governors, Michael Griffiths, welcomed the guests to the event, noting that most if not all had in some way contributed to the creation of The Best of Both Worlds. He thanked everyone for their input, and went on to name a number of individuals to whom the School is particularly grateful for the huge amount of work they put into the book.

He made particular mention of the editor, Deborah Coleman, for the way she has approached the project and so deftly drawn a portrait of the ethos of the school; to the designer, Susan Pugsley, who has ensured that the book is visually stunning; and to Neil Titman, Publishing Director at Profile Books, who oversaw the completion of the project.  A number of other contributors were thanked in his speech: the School Archivist, Eric Fairweather, who in recent years has done a marvellous job of organising the school archive, and whose knowledge has been invaluable in creating the book and sourcing historical images; Margaret Dickinson, Veronica Millington and Charles Winder, three former members of staff who were kind enough to work as proof readers on the final drafts of the book over the summer; Old Boy Mark Power, who provided many of the contemporary photos for the book; and John Newbould and Alice Bradshaw, from the School’s Marketing Department, who collated other contemporary photography. Finally, he thanked Laura Firth, the School’s Development Manager, who has been instrumental in ensuring that the project came together and was a success.

Philip Britton, the Headmaster of the Boys’ Division, noted that the Old Boys and Old Girls who gave material have captured so well what Bolton School is all about. He also stated that one of the important functions of the anniversary has been to think about the ethos of the School and solidify what it means, and the creation of The Best of Both Worlds has assisted with this process. Finally, he proposed a toast to the book on the occasion of its launch.

Copies of the book were available for guests to browse and made for excellent talking points throughout the evening.

Speaking at the launch, Laura Firth said, “I was delighted when I saw the finished product, it’s beautiful, and illustrates the many unique factors that combine to make Bolton School so special.  The book is a wonderful celebration of the School as we celebrate the centenary, and will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

The book is arranged thematically, linking together and exploring every aspect of School life. It includes many personal memories and reflections from teachers and Alumni, which help to chart the evolution of the Foundation from its beginnings to the present day, as do numerous archive and contemporary photographs. It is amazing to look back at the long history of certain activities, notably outdoor pursuits, drama, volunteering and fundraising, sport and music, which show the wealth of experiences open to Bolton School’s students over the years. The architecture of the School is also chronicled, from the start of building works on the Great Halls and Libraries in 1924 to the completion of the latest project, the Riley Sixth Form Centre, which was finished in September 2013.

Those who had pre-ordered copies of the book were able to collect them on the evening of the launch.

The Best of Both Worlds: A Portrait of Bolton School is now available to purchase through the School’s merchandise website.

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Philip Britton, Neil Titman, Deborah Coleman, Michael Griffiths and Sue Hincks with a copy of

Philip Britton, Neil Titman, Deborah Coleman, Michael Griffiths and Sue Hincks with a copy of 'The Best of Both Worlds'

Guests enjoyed talking about the book during the launch

Guests enjoyed talking about the book during the launch

The Best of Both Worlds