A school with a 453-year history has been celebrated in Bury with a march through the town centre and a week of Founders Day-themed events.

Bury Grammar School (BGS) commemorated its Founders Day last week to celebrate and remember the school’s long-standing traditions dating back to 1730.

Principal Jo Anderson explained why the day is special and the importance of giving “thanks to benefactors and donors”.

Bury Times: Founders’ Day Concert at Bury Grammar SchoolFounders’ Day Concert at Bury Grammar School (Image: Bury Grammar School)

She said: “Founders’ Day is so special because every member of our school community plays their part and many of us are mindful, as the day unfolds, that the same was true for generations in the past as it will be for generations to come.”

On Friday, May 5, cadets paraded in their ceremonial blues uniform playing in the Corps of Drums, leading staff and pupils from school to the Bury Parish Church.

The BGS Combined Cadet Force (CCF) was founded in 1892 by Reverend William Henry Howlett and has over 100 members, both boys and girls, with strong links with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

A spokesperson from the school said: “Our CCF is now one of the oldest and, we believe, the largest voluntary CCFs in the country.

Bury Times: Bury Grammar School cadets Bury Grammar School cadets (Image: Bury Grammar School)

“During the parade, as the first few beats of the drums were heard, the memories came flooding back for all those of us who had experienced Founders Day before.

“The CCF led the way followed by the Principal and Senior Leaders, Governors and Senior Prefects, watched by the School, who joined the procession as it passed Bridge Road.”

On arriving in the centre of Bury, pupils, CCF and school leaders paused at the Cenotaph to remember “Fallen Swans” and those who died in the First and Second World Wars.

Bury Times: Last Post was played by Hattie Bluer, Year 10Last Post was played by Hattie Bluer, Year 10 (Image: Bury Grammar School)

A wreath was laid and the Last Post was played by Hattie Bluer, Year 10, before a service was conducted in Bury Parish Church

Richard Smyth, the chair of governors, said: “This was my first Founders' Day as chair of the governing body and I had been looking forward to this important event in the calendar. 

“It had been a long time since I had attended Founders' Day at Bury Grammar School but the sense of pride the occasion imbued has always stayed with me, in fact the last time I stood in the Hall to speak was 52 years ago when I was doing the reading as a pupil.

“The support from the whole school community was particularly special on Friday.”

Events were held across the week with assemblies on Tuesday, May 2, as well as Founders Day poem writing from Year 7 pupils.

Bury Times: Old Bury Grammar School logo Old Bury Grammar School logo (Image: Bury Grammar School)

A spokesperson said: “In 1823 the school logo was changed from the Manchester worker bee, symbolising diligence and perseverance to the swan that we use today symbolising wisdom and understanding, making the swan logo 200 years old this year.”

A Founders’ Day Concert, was also held on Wednesday, May 3, and on Thursday, May 4, The Old Girls' Association AGM had lunch at Greenmount Gold Club.

Bury Times: The Old Girls' Association AGM and DinnerThe Old Girls' Association AGM and Dinner (Image: Bury Grammar School)

The school thanked the Old Girls’ Association, which funds a bursary and a scholarship and the Old Boys' also attended an annual Association Founders Day Dinner on Friday, May 5,

Principal Jo Anderson thanked all guests, current and ex-pupils and staff adding: “We are very proud of you and of Bury Grammar School.”

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