On Thursday, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress joined Bradford Grammar School (BGS) pupils, staff and former pupils to remember the founders, benefactors and supporters of the School throughout its history.
Canon Alistair Helm and the Canon Precentor of Bradford Cathedral, Canon Paul Maybury, led the service, held at Bradford Cathedral. The School is one of the oldest institutions in Bradford, tracing its beginnings back to 1548.
Headmaster Simon Hinchliffe said: “Founders Day is an important day in the BGS calendar. It is important to us, as a School community, that we remember and celebrate our heritage in Bradford and it was wonderful to have BGS staff, pupils and former pupils alike share these memories. It also offers us another opportunity to celebrate our Yorkshire roots.
We take pride in paying thanks to key Old Bradfordians (OBs) throughout history who have contributed to the School’s development in some way. I’m also grateful to our OBs who support current students at BGS in many important ways, for example, by contributing generously to bursaries; the positive contribution that they make to our school and the wider community cannot be understated – another good day in our great city.”
Having occupied three sites in the city, including a building on Church Bank, the School moved to its current location on Keighley Road in 1949. The current building was in fact completed in 1939 but due to the outbreak of war, pupils (then an all-boys school) were evacuated to Settle while the school was used as a Primary Training Centre. Many pupils of the School were members of Bradford Pals.
Some well-known figures from Bradford’s history have been involved in the development of the School, including: Peter Sunderland of Fairweather Green who, in 1658, sought a Charter of Independence from Parliament; John Sharp, Bradfordian and Archbishop of York, who gave generously to the School in 1691; Sir Titus Salt and Samuel Lister, among other figures, who endowed scholarships to the School; King Charles II who, in 1662, agreed to the petition of the people of Bradford and issued a charter protecting the independence and property of the Free Grammar School; and Sir Jacob Behrens, who owned a wool factory on Thornton Road and was one of the founders of Bradford Chamber of Commerce in 1851.
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“It is important to us, as a School community, that we remember and celebrate our heritage in Bradford and it was wonderful to have BGS staff, pupils and former pupils alike share these memories. It also offers us another opportunity to celebrate our Yorkshire roots.”