Chailey Heritage School Old Scholars Association
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We were blessed with a lovely, warm, sunny day on the 5th June, when St Martin's Chapel was celebrating it's 100th anniversary and I was to read some of the Old Boys' reminiscences of the Chapel in front of two Royal Duchesses and a Chapel full of distinguished people. The Heritage pupils were all outside the Chapel to greet the Royal Party and two pupils conducted the Duchesses to their seats. I was one row behind them, ready to go to the front at the given time in the Service to read. The service was conducted by the Rector of Chailey-on-the-Green, the Rev. John Maskell, who had conducted our Reunion Day service. The congregation were amused by one or two of the Boys' memories. After the half-hour service I was whisked out in front of all the dignitaries to be presented to the Duchesses. Firstly, the Duchess of Cornwall, who said,"How amused she was by the stories and how well I had read them, was I used to reading aloud?", to which I replied, "Yes, I read the Lessons in Church". "Well done," she said. The Duchess of Gloucester also complimented me on my reading ability and remarked how amused she was by the stories. Then they went forward to speak to the children and staff before leaving to have a guided tour of the new Life Skills Centre -"Grace Kimmins House". This Centre has been built from using the old workhouse (dated 1754) and adding to it where necessary. The furnishings and equipment are just staggering to see, the technology is breathtaking and extremely expensive. It will be open to 19-25 year olds to learn skills for life and one hopes for work eventually. We all gathered at the rear of the building where the Royal party were to unveil a plaque commemorating the day and we raised a glass in a toast. Verena then thanked their Royal Highnesses and said," How proud her Granny would be to think that the aims she had for her pupils was continuing today". The Duchesses then left the Heritage for another engagement and we all adjourned to the Staff Room for an informal lunch. There I met again my cousin, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, he was in his full regalia and looked splendid. Some of you will remember when he and lovely wife, Margaret, came to talk to us on our Reunion Day. After lunch we were offered a guided tour of Grace Kimmins House which Richard and I enjoyed and we learnt quite a bit about how some of the equipment worked in the Kitchen, the Beauty Treatment Room, the Sauna/Spa, the Art and Craft Room with it's potter's wheel and kiln. Upstairs there is the state of the art IT Room. All of the equipment can be used by the least able young person. The whole project has cost nearly four million pounds. I think this is a very exciting venture for the future students and other young, severely disabled users from far and wide and deserves our support as Old Scholars. From your Chairman, Janet. Janet having a joke with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Gloucester. Janet reading the old scholars chapel memories to the Duchesses of Gloucester and Cornwall and congregation. Janet chatting to the Duchesses of Cornwall after the Centenary chapel service. Janet with Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, her first cousin, before the Centenary chapel service
A Royal Visit