400th Anniversary News - ARCHIVE PAGE - History book still available!

400th Logo

1613 - 2013

"Dame Alice Owen's - A History 1613-2013"
Buy you own copy here!

400th Anniversary Cake!

This year, our school celebrates 400 years of learning excellence. The cutting of our anniversary cake in January (see our 4 minute video!) launched our exciting programme of events being held throughout 2013, enabling our whole school community, including Old Owenians, to take part.

In addition, we want to reach our £1m fund raising target to complete our new science building by the end of the year. Work on this building project started in January 2013.

Forthcoming 400th Events - September to December 2013

Owen’s Golden Generation —The Reunion, London - Friday 20th September 2013

Organised by Old Owenian, Kevin Simmons (left 1976) this reunion event is being held for students who were at the Islington & Potters Bar sites in the 1970's. The event is taking place on September 20th at the Marquess Tavern in Canonbury London N1 2TB from 7‐11.30pm. Kevin has set up a webpage for anyone interested (see direct link below) which gives details of how to register your interest and to hear about how you can be part of the event on the night. Kevin’s email is info@maxwellbarrett.com. Webpage: http://www.maxwellbarrett.com/ai1ec_event/owens‐golden‐generation/?instance_id

Old Owen’s Lodge 400th Anniversary Reception, London - Friday 27th September 2013

This event is for all Lodge Members, their families and friends and is being held on Friday 27th September 2013, from 5.30pm at Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London. There will be a talk by Ms Diane Clements, Librarian and Curator of the Museum and Library of the Grand Lodge of England at 6pm, with a Dinner afterwards at the Kingsway Hall Hotel, 7.30‐9.30pm. Further information available from Mr Bill Hamilton‐Hinds at wjhamilton‐hinds@msn.com.

An Audience with Sir Alan Parker in Islington - Tuesday 1st October 2013

Join Sir Alan Parker for a Q&A session (interviewed by James Rampton) at the Screen on the Green in Islington on Tuesday 1st October, followed by a showing of his film, The Commitments.

Thanks to our Islington parents for organising this very special evening to raise funds for our 400th Appeal towards our new Science Building. Please see details on the PDF below for more information on how to get tickets for this exciting event!

An Audience with Sir Alan Parker


An Evening with David Dein in the Edward Guiness Hall - Monday 7th October 2013

The Dame Alice Owen's Fund Raising Team is delighted to announce that on the evening of Monday 7th October 2013 at 7.30pm in the Edward Guinness Hall, David will be giving an entertaining, amusing and informative talk about his work with the Football Association and his time with Arsenal. ‘He's one of the best speakers I've ever heard!’ - Alan Davison, a Newcastle supporter!

Doors open at 6.45pm for pre-drinks in the main dining hall - see below for details about how you can order tickets:

An Evening with David Dein - ticket order form

400th Anniversary Harold Moore Annual Reunion Luncheon, London - Thursday 31st October 2013

This is a great opportunity for all Old Owenians to come together at a formal luncheon in London to reunite and socialise with friends. For our 400th Anniversary, our Head, Chair of Governors and we hope, past Heads will be attending, with representatives from our governing body, current staff and Senior Prefects Team.

Harold Moore Annual Reunion Luncheon

Date : Thursday 31st October 2013

Time: 11.30am‐4.00pm

Location: Imperial Hotel, 61‐66 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB

Nearest tube Russell Square, Piccadilly Line Parking: http:/www.imperialhotels.co.uk/

Organised by: Old Owenians, Mr Stanley Gould and Mr Michael Howard***

Put the date in your diary—it’s an ideal occasion to arrange to meet other Old Owenians! Please read the letter of invitiation from organisers, Stan and Michael below, with details on how to apply for the luncheon:

Letter of Invitation

We'd love for as many Old Owenians to join us as possible, especially in our 400th Anniversary Year – everyone is welcome, whether you’re a regular, intermittent or new attendee! Old Girls’ will get the opportunity at last to sing their old School song and Mr Bill Hamilton‐Hinds will also be making our History Books available too!


***Dedicated Old Owenians, Stanley and Michael, who left in 1953, have been running this event for many years and this year will be their last event! They are retiring and are inviting new volunteers to step into the breach! Anyone interested (Ladies or Gents!) in finding out what’s involved and perhaps using this year’s event to get to know the ropes can ring either of them for a chat: Stanley (07969 108001) or Michael (020 8445 9782).

St Alban’s Cathedral 400th Anniversary Carol Service at 7.30pm - Monday 16th December 2013

Our traditional Nine Lessons and Carol’s Service, with music provided by the School, usually held at St Mary’s Church in The Walk, Potters Bar is being held at St Alban’s Cathedral for our special 400th Anniversary year. Current students, their parents, governors, staff and Old Owenians are invited to attend and parents of performing students will be given priority.

Our tickets are £5 to cover costs and as seating is limited, are being offered to individuals on a first come first served basis. We are hoping that guests will be able to take advantage of the excellent restaurant facilities in and around St Albans for refreshments either before or after the Service. Parents and staff will receive details about how to order tickets in October. Details for Old Owenians about how to order tickets are in our September edition of the Old Owenians Newsletter and on Old Owenians School News page.

Please click on the link below for the full programme of 400th anniversary events - NB This excludes the Reunion in September and the two fundraising events in October.
PDF Icon 400th Anniversary Programme of Events

400th Fundraising

  • Science Building Appeal - find out how you can help and see a photo gallery of our building work in progress!
  • Order History Book - see below
Dame Alice Owen's A History 1613-2013 front cover

“Dame Alice Owen’s School – A History 1613-2013”

As part of our 400th anniversary celebrations, a new historical publication (limited edition) was made available in November 2012, written by Gareth Randall, Assistant Head at Owen's until 2006, who then retired to become a priest in an Anglican Church in France. This beautiful hardback edition of 250 pages contains numerous wonderful illustrations from our 400 year-long history and profiles written about our famous alumni by parent, Rosie Millard, freelance journalist and former Arts correspondent for the BBC.
Order your copy using one of the methods below, price £25 (size 22.5cm x 28.5cm).

PDF Icon Book Sleeve - with details about Gareth Randall, the author

1. Follow the appropriate link above and go to Fund Raising Events to make your payment – postage rates apply for UK, Europe and International Orders
2. Then, YOU MUST FORWARD your confirmation of payment email to Ms Nicky Culhane (culhanen@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk), with your name and address, to link payment to your purchase, which will be confirmed. The book will then be sent to you on publication.

1. Follow the appropriate link above and go to Fund Raising Events to make your payment and choose the BOOK ONLY (COLLECT FROM SCHOOL) option.
2. Then, YOU MUST FORWARD your confirmation of payment email to Ms Nicky Culhane (culhanen@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk), with your name, child's name and form (Parents only) or name and address (Parents/Old Owenians/Staff/Governors), to link payment to your purchase, which will be confirmed. You will then be notified by email when the books are available for collection from the school office.

Please note: If you choose to pay online by credit card, you will be charged an additional 2.5% commission on your donation.

To order History Book with cash/cheque:
Print and complete the form below and send to the school Finance Office with your name, child’s name and form (if appropriate). If you are collecting the book/s from the school office, you will be notified by ParentMail (parents) or email (Governors, Staff, Old Owenians, when the book/s are available. If you have ordered book/s by post, they will be sent to you on publication.

PDF Icon History Book Order Form

(Historical Exhibition - for further information, view our new display panels, launched on 22nd January 2013!)

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Concert at the Royal Albert Hall - including how to order our DVD

Thanksgiving Service at St Paul's Cathedral and Fundraising Reception at Mansion House

May 2013

Old Owen's Lodge Shield


Old Owen’s Lodge Reception

Friday 27th September 2013, from 5.30pm

Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London

Talk by Ms Diane Clements, Librarian and Curator of the Museum and Library of the Grand Lodge of England at 6pm and Dinner afterwards at the Kingsway Hall Hotel,

For Lodge Members, their families and friends—further information available from

Mr William Hamilton-Hinds at wjhamilton-hinds@msn.com

400th Anniversary Football Match - Owen's v Arsenal Academy
Owen's Boys Team
Arsenal Boys Team
Dame Alice Owen's 400th Anniversary Football Match - Owen's v Arsenal

Congratulations to our Year 10 Boys Football Team for taking on the prestigious Arsenal U15 Academy side on Wednesday 15th May, at 2pm on home ground and defending extremely well to minimise goals scored by the opposing team with the final result 9-1. Supported by Year 7, 8 and 10 and staff, the weather stayed dry for this historic game. Thanks to all the PE staff and students helpers who made this match possible.

Our boys were: Ben Mills, Freddie Ditch, Fabio Arricale, Brandon Mhangami, Tom Berman, George Winston, Luke Jupp, Tom Adie, Louis Butler, Rohan Sharma, Dan Coomey, Geo Craig, Edward Staal, Josh Castiglione, Emile Eseigbe, Cian Fox.

For Arsenal Academy: George Dobson, Tyrell Robinson, Ovie Larnia, James Blanchfield, Chris Willock, Ernest Okoh, Stefan Broccol, Chiori Johnson, Charlie Gilmour, Harry Givling, Christian Toonga, Jaydon Thorbourne, Stephy Mavididi, Tolaji Bola, Aaron Jordon Eyoma, Joe Hillock, Harry Donovail, Kwame Ampadu and Olufela Clemda (coached by Steve Leonard).

This report also appears on Latest News w/c 20th May 2013.

March 2013

Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's/Mansion House Old Owenian ticket holders!

Red CarnationFollowing a great idea by Head, Alan Davison, we have suggested that all Old Owenians wear a red carnation to identify themselves and add to the sense of occasion at these events! This is also fitting with our tradition as red carnations are worn by Old Owenians at Visitation Prize Giving - our current students wear white! We hope you bump into someone you know!

In addition, although it has not been possible for us to organise seating in reunion groups at the Royal Albert Hall (even our influence doesn’t stretch that far!), they've confirmed that the following bar areas will be open from 5pm so we’ve suggested certain bars which certain year groups (year of leaving date) might like to congregate at if you so wish:

Islington - Before 1966 Asahi Bar – LEVEL 1
Islington - 1966 to 1976 Moet and Chandon Bar (other drinks also available) – LEVEL 1
Potters Bar - 1973 - 1992 Berry Bros and Rudd Bar – BASEMENT LEVEL (EAST ARENA FOYER)
Potters Bar - 1993 – 2002 Spitfire Bar – GROUND FLOOR LEVEL NEAR DOOR 6
Potters Bar - 2003 - 2012 North Circle Bar – LEVEL 3

If you want to make your own name badge with year of leaving date, please see a PDF of our 400th logo below, which we are happy for you to use!
PDF icon 400th logo
Remember, we can also promote your own reunion events in our quarterly Old Owenians Newsletter - just send your information to our editor, Mrs Mandy English, at 400years@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk and she'll include your details or ring her on 07864 517 175 to discuss! We hope to repeat our successful Old Owenians Coffee and Tour Morning next May in 2014, when, if all goes well, you’ll have a new Science Building to look around!!!

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February 2013

New Science Building Work in Progress!

See how we're getting on in our Photo Gallery!

January 2013

It's arrived - our 400th anniversary year! And we've had two milestone occasions already to mark the beginning of our new Science building and a new chapter in our history with the unveiling of our historical display and the cutting of our huge celebration cake! For more details (photos and reports) see our webpage, Latest News, (Spring Term, first half, w/c 14th January and w/c 21st January) - taster photos below!

Cutting the first turf of our new Science building 16th January 2013 with Master Brewer, Mark Woodhouse, Chair of Governors, Peter Martin, Head, Alan Davison, Edward Guinness CVO, Clerk to Governors and Brewers Representative, David Ross
Old Owenian, Gary Kemp and chair of our 400th anniversary committee cuts our 400th cake, made by parent volunteers, surrounded by current and past students - 22nd January 2013

December 2012

Old Owenians Newsletter December 2012

Our Old Owenians Newsletter December 2012 is now available!

Our eighth Old Owenians Newsletter is now ready with news of our recent and forthcoming school and 400th events as well as Old Owenians historic accounts and views – another bumper edition of essential reading!

We thank our valued contributors once again, especially Gareth Randall, who has kindly submitted a missing chapter from our History Book, called “Student Voices”, which is also available to read on our Newsletter page.

Go to our Old Owenians Newsletters page to view!

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November 2012

Royal Albert Hall members have now been asked to donate their tickets for our event to the school. For more details on how you may still have the opportunity to buy tickets, please see our RAH webpage.

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October 2012

The 6th meeting of the 400th Anniversary Main Committee was held on Tuesday 23rd October to review plans for our 400th events and appeal. An updated programme of events is available above. The next meeting is on Tuesday 26th February 2013. We are looking forward to our first event to launch the year of celebrations on Tuesday 22nd January 2013, which will include the unveiling of our new historical display.

Your 400th Committee members are as follows:

Governor Representatives: Mr Peter Martin – Chair of Governors (Committee Vice Chair), Mr Tom Imber – Foundation Governor, Mrs Carol James – Parent Governor, Mr Edward Guinness – Former Governor and honorary member, Mr David Ross – Clerk to Governors, Clerk to Brewers
Old Owenians: Mr Gary Kemp (Committee Chair) Mr Derek Webb - Old Owen's Association
School Representatives:
Dr Alan Davsion – Head, Mrs Mandy English – Communications Officer (Committee Secretary), Mr Bill Hamilton-Hinds – Administrative Manager, Mr Simon Werner – Director of Music, Mr Ian Breeze – Director of Sport
Student Representatives:
Mr Omar Blair-Mangat, Miss Natasha Kafka
OSA (Owen's School Association) Representatives:
Mrs Monique Choudhuri, Mrs Ann Potter, Mr Steven Savvas
Previous OSA Representative/Chair of Fundraising: Mr Peter Snow

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September 2012

Old Owenians Newsletter - 28th September 2012, Edition 7, now available!

DO NOT BUY Royal Albert Hall tickets on resale sites!

We have been made aware that some tickets for our event at the Royal Albert Hall are now being sold on resale sites. These could be false tickets, although some could be Royal Albert Hall members seats. The Royal Albert Hall Box Office have recommended us to advise our school community not to purchase tickets via these resale websites.

Royal Albert Hall members have the choice of selling their tickets via agents but if not sold, they can return them to the Royal Albert Hall Box Office to sell at the original price. We hope further tickets will be available early in the New Year from Royal Albert Hall member returns, which include seats in the stalls and a certain number of boxes, although we cannot guarantee how many or when.

400th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall - April 2013 - (posted Tuesday 25th September)

Royal Albert Hall

Current tickets available via the RAH Box Office have now almost sold out for our special event next year. However, we are expecting additional tickets to be returned, either to us or to the RAH Box Office from RAH members who own debenture seats, mostly in premier positions in the stalls and boxes.

Returns will be available to purchase from early in the New Year, so if you haven't been able to purchase a guaranteed ticket, there will be a further opportunity from mid/late January. Tickets will be made available at the RAH Box Office as and when they are returned. Tickets returned to the school will be allocated via a reserve list which is now in operation.

Please email Mrs Jan Robbins in our school office with your details and number of tickets you wish to purchase to join her list: robbinsj@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk. We will advise you at the end of December when it's likely returned tickets will become available, although we cannot guarantee how many or when.

Reminder! New School History Book advance copies!

Orders must be placed by Friday 19th October 2013! See our Payments webpage: http://www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/wisepay.html

400th Anniversary Concert - Royal Albert Hall

Tickets will be on sale from 9am, Monday 24th September 2012. See our 400th Concert webpage for more details!

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August 2012

New Science Building - work gets under way!

Contractors started on site week commencing 13th August - see photos below from the first few days of activity and the diagram of the architects landscaping!

Science Builiding Site - view towards the Sports Hall Science Builiding - soil removed to upper field
Science Building - access created by astro pitch Science Building - view of whole area
Architects landscape design - aeiral view

We are continuing to encourage donations for our New Science Building appeal to match government funds to ensure its completion at the end of next year - you can read more information on our webpage - 400th Anniversary Appeal. Thank you for your ongoing support.

June 2012

Old Owenians Newsletter - 27th June 2012 - now available!

Science Building Bid for Government Funds SUCCESSFUL!

Please see message below from Dr Alan Davison to parents -

Dear Parents

Government funding (£2.79m) secured for our new Science block

I am delighted to inform you that I received confirmation last night that the School has been successful in its bid to the Department for £2.79m for a new Science block. You may be interested to know this constitutes 1.1% of all funding committed to the academy capital maintenance for this financial year. I am confident this will make a significant difference to the learning opportunities for students at the School.

The sting in the tail is that, in order to secure this funding, the Governors have had to commit to raising £3m from our own funds. At present, we have secured £2m from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation in addition to our fundraising which exceeded £510k this week. This has been as a result of a very generous donation of £100k by a former student and our effort in successfully securing £50k from the Wolfson Trust. We are now redoubling our efforts to raise the additional £490k needed and to ensure that the Science block is ready in time for our 400th anniversary year.

I would like to thank all parents who wrote to their MP for their support, which I am certain made a real difference to our prospects and helped ensure we secured the bid. I am also very grateful to those parents who have generously donated to the fundraising appeal.

Yours sincerely

Dr Alan Davison

400th News Supplement Front Cover

PDF icon 400th Anniversary News Supplement - 18th June

This update contains details of the programme of events for our calendar year 2013, fund raising summary and information about our new historical publication and 400th memorabilia, following meetings of the main committee (12th June) and appeal committee (30th May).

400th Main Committee: Tuesday 23rd October, 2012, 1-3pm, Old Library
Chair: Mr Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), Vice Chair, Mr Peter Martin (Chair of Governors)
400th Appeal Committee: Wednesday 26th September 2012, 7.30-9pm, Old Library
Chair: Mr Peter Snow (past parent and past Chair of the OSA (Owen's School Association))

PDF Icon Main and Appeal Committee members (June 2012)

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May 2012

Summary update! Our Old Owenians now have the opportunity to be directly involved in our school with participation in Careers weeks and volunteering work experience placements and we publish an Old Owenians quarterly newsletter via our 400th email list, which now has over 2,750 Old Owenians signed up. Our appeal committee has raised £400K towards a £1m target for our new science building. Updates have been given to students in assemblies; staff, governors and parents in our Half Term Newsletters and Old Owenians via their Old Owenians Newsletter about our celebration event at the Royal Albert Hall and thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral.

March 2012

PDF Icon ParentMail to parents from Dr Alan Davison requesting support to lobby MP's for our new Science Building

Old Owenians Newsletter - 28th March 2012 - now available - click link for details! Includes invitation to our first !

New Science Building
- Funds Raised 1st March 2012: £310,000

November 2011

New Science Building
- Funds Raised 1st November 2011: £253,345


- see photographs on Old Owenians School News page!

October 2011 -

"I would like again to thank all parents who have supported the 400th appeal. I am pleased to say that the current total stands at just under £250,000 raised out of the £1m that we need to ensure that the building of the new science block commences at the end of the 400th anniversary year.

We are currently in the process of bidding to a number of Trusts and Firms and we are optimistic that we will achieve our £1 Million total in time for the close of the anniversary year. We would be very grateful for any parents who feel they are able to support us financially in this goal or have contacts with any Corporate or Trust bodies that may be willing to support the much need to rebuild the science block.

I would like to remind parents of key dates of the anniversary year which are: Tuesday 23rd April 2013 – Royal Albert Hall 7pm (please note this date will be finally confirmed when our tickets are advertised through the Royal Albert Hall Box Office), Tuesday 30th April 2013 – St Paul’s Cathedral 1.15pm, Monday 16th December 2013‐ St Albans Cathedral 7.30pm"

PDF Logo Extract from Half Term Newsletter - update on Old Owenians and 400th Anniversary

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April 2011 - PDF Icon Important message to Parents from Dr Alan Davison, Head and Mr Peter Martin, Chair of Governors

March 2011 - Now Live, explaining our Appeal and how you can help us reach our £1million target by 31st December 2013. Please take time to consider how you would like to donate to our campaign by browsing the various options and read PDF Icon Peter Snow's letter to current parents, sent Monday 28th February 2011.

: Tuesday 21st June 1-3pm, Old Library

Big Ben, Westminster

February 2011 - Lord Robert Winston

We launched our Appeal at Westminster (The Attlee Suite, Portcullis House) on 15th February, with Lord Robert Winstonpresiding over the event and speeches from two of our Patrons, James Clappison (Conservative MP for Hertsmere) and Emily Thornberry (Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury). Edward Guinness CVO, Robert Balchin, Lord Lingfield and Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet are also Patrons. Peter Martin, Chair of Governors and Peter Snow, Chair of our 400th Anniversary Fund Raising Team also spoke to the audience of distinguished guests, our Senior Team students, members of the School Council and staff (PDF Icon read Peter Snow's 2 page speech here). Please go to our Appeal Launch Photo Gallery to see pictures of the event. Further details of the Appeal are being sent to current parents after half term. See also Appeal Launch report in the Welwyn & Hatfield Times, Potters Bar Edition by editor, Chris Lennon.

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December 2010 - see an update in our Christmas School Newsletter (400th Anniversary Committee meeting held on the 7th December, 400th Anniversary e-mailing list set up for Old Owenians to keep in touch, request for historical articles or information for our 400th Anniversary Exhibition, 400th Logo design)

November 2010 - Her logo was chosen for its simple design and effective message, "400 years of learning excellence". Our Head of Art, Mr S Willcock is transferring her design to the Apple Mac for it to be used on all promotional material for the 2013 celebrations - the final artwork will be published in the end of term newsletter in December. Special mention must also go to Ben Purkiss of 10LCO, Callum Brooks of 7SAL and an unnamed entry featuring a Knights helmet for their efforts.

October 2010 - PDF Icon ParentMail request from Peter Snow, Chair of 400th Anniversary Appeal committee, 11th October

September 2010 - PDF Icon Poster for Student 400th Anniversary Logo competition

August 2010

Monday 5th July 2010 heralded our first 400th Anniversary Committee meeting to set the wheels in motion for our 2013 celebrations.  Chaired by Mr Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, a former Owenian, (who reminisced over the bands’ debut gig in our Potters Bar Dining Hall), and supported by Mr Peter Martin, our Chair of Governors, as Vice Chair of the Committee, the Committee includes volunteer and staff representatives from the whole school community.  Mr Edward Guinness (now an amazing octogenarian!) joins us as an honorary member, Mr David Ross, as a representative from Brewers Hall and Mr Peter Snow, our former OSA Chair, has returned to head our Appeal.

Two main items were on our agenda – what events should be planned to celebrate our 400 year history and what Appeal focus and target should be associated with the occasion. The proposed 400th Anniversary Programme of Events for the calendar year 2013 was reviewed in the light of what had been arranged for the 350th Anniversary in 1963, combined with events that currently take place during the school year. 

It was agreed that the Appeal should raise funds to contribute to the already planned, much needed new Science Block, which will support our Specialism and invest in the future of Scientists at the school.  A separate sub committee is to be set up to concentrate on the Appeal and determine targets, dates and marketing.  

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7th December, 2010.  If anyone would like more details or would like to contribute ideas, please contact: englishm@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk. Thank you for reading our update, more after the next meeting! 

(July 2010) please log into the secure area via the VLE link above for details of meetings and associated papers.

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