The Royal Visit
On Wednesday 20th April Ripley Court School was honoured to welcome HRH The Duke of Kent to dedicate its new memorial garden and to open the new food technology and music buildings. Set in the school’s tranquil walled garden the memorial garden commemorates the 40 former pupils who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars and subsequent conflicts. Following a short service of dedication conducted by The Reverend Christopher Elson, Vicar of Ripley, His Royal Highness spoke of the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission of which he is President. Watched by local dignitaries and councillors, governors, the 280 pupils of Ripley Court and their parents, His Royal Highness then toured the new Orchard Building incorporating a state of the art Food Technology Room where Year 5 pupils presented afternoon tea which they had baked, peered through a microscope at cells and viewed the well-equipped new music suite before unveiling a commemorative plaque and signing a scroll. Having spoken to many of the pupils ranging in age from 3 to 13, His Royal Highness was given a rousing farewell and departed amidst the waving of over 300 Union Flags. The garden was designed by Stuart Hourigan, the Head Groundsman, and built with the assistance of former Head Gardener, Kevin Peacock, and it incorporates three of the ceramic poppies from the Tower of London commemorative display. The memorial garden will form the focus for the School’s annual remembrance ceremony in November each year and will be available for quiet reflection during the remainder of the year.