Armistice Day Tea at the Riley
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Guests at November’s Tea at the Riley arrived to a special Remembrance theme. The tables had been decorated with red flowers and, as a centrepiece on each, one of the ceramic poppies displayed at the Tower of London in 2014 as part of the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation. 81 of these poppies were bought by the School to commemorate the Old Boys and members of staff who lost their lives in the First World War.
The afternoon tea had also been themed for the day: in addition to the usual sandwiches, fairy cakes and scones, the girls had also made Anzac Biscuits, traditional Orange Poppy Seed Cake, and had decorated some of the cakes with edible icing poppies.
As afternoon tea was served, Mrs Entwistle explained the story behind the ceramic poppies to Tea at the Riley Guests. She then handed over to Mrs Hone, who had been asked to give a short talk about the First World War. There was a particular focus on four young men who died in the conflict: Noel Chavasse, who won the Victoria Cross twice; John Hartington; and former Bolton School pupils Ernest and Edward Blackburn. Mrs Hone spoke of the men’s lives before they went to fight in Europe and of their bravery and selflessness during their time in the trenches. Although the subject matter was solemn, the talk was a fitting reminder of the lives lost during the First World War, and particularly poignant on Armistice Day.
Tea at the Riley is a monthly tea party organised by girls in the Sixth Form. This free event is aimed towards older people in the local area and offers a delicious hand-made afternoon tea, some form of entertainment, and interesting conversation with the girls as they serve sandwiches and cakes.