Boys, parents and staff brought the academic year to a close on Saturday 7 July 2018 with a wonderful celebration which showcased the many talents of the boys.
The morning commenced with a moving Leavers’ Service, in the Chapel, for our Upper Sixth boys and their families. Following photos and refreshments, everyone moved into the Great Hall for Prize Giving, where we welcomed back Old Bedfordian Bill Kilby (63-74), who was awarded an OBE in the latest New Year’s honours list for his exceptional contribution to international development. Bill gave a motivating speech, where he talked about experiencing a bomb attack, first-hand, during his time in Afghanistan. He also spoke of his time upon leaving Bedford School; saying that he thought himself to be ‘an average student’, and did not discover his strengths until much later in life. He went on to stress that this is perfectly okay; in fact, leaving school is just the beginning. It was an honour to have Bill as guest speaker and to present the boys their prizes during the Prize Giving Ceremony.
There was a wonderful atmosphere in the grounds afterwards, not only did the hot summer sun beat gloriously down for us, but, adding to the general feel-good factor, our brass band played football anthem, ‘Football’s Coming Home’, ahead of the World Cup England fixture that night. The boys and their parents enjoyed a drinks reception and more live music, all against a backdrop of cricket (our 1st XI against the OBs), and the OB ‘At Home’ reunion celebration.
As the setting sun cast long shadows and magnificent beams of magenta light upon the school, it was time for our leavers to party! This year, the Leavers’ Ball theme was, ‘The Secret Garden’ – chosen by the boys themselves. The Great Hall was decked out with beautiful arrangements of green ivy and garden flowers, with green and gold lanterns strung above.
The evening started with a drinks ceremony on the lawn, where the boys were initially accompanied by their parents. Next, the boys headed upstairs to the Great Hall to enjoy a three course dinner of smoked duck, chicken supreme and chocolate delice. After dinner, Conor Hilliard (exiting Deputy Head of School) thanked the teachers for all their support and also thanked the event and catering staff, who organised the night. The DJ then kicked off the dancing for boys and their dates to party into the night.