At the beginning of every Advent term, we welcome the Prime Warden of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers to Alleyn’s to meet the new Saddlers’ Scholars. On Friday 17 September, the Prime Warden the Hon Mark Maffey, who was accompanied by his partner Mrs Angie Maffey and the Clerk, Brigadier Philip Napier, was introduced to the six Year 7 pupils who were named this year’s Saddlers’ Scholars entering the Senior School. The scholarships are awarded annually to those who show exceptional academic potential.
Before the formal presentation, the Prime Warden and guests were given a tour of the school by Alleyn’s pupils and led to the Great Hall where two Saddlers’ Scholar musicians performed solos on violin and oboe.
In her speech, Mrs Lunnon outlined the importance of the school’s connection to the Saddlers’ Company and of the scholarships themselves. “We are hugely grateful to have the Saddlers’ Company as our charitable partner, we are proud to be associated with you and we are profoundly proud of all of you, our Saddlers’ scholars and the lives you are leading in this school”, she said.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the relationship between the Worshipful Company of Saddlers and Alleyn’s school, which happened almost by chance. Faced with the closing of the Direct Grant system which had previously sustained the school, it was thanks to the intervention of the Saddlers’ that Alleyn’s was able to remain an independent school with six scholarships for its pupils.
Mrs Lunnon addressed the new Scholars and some of the 33 current Scholars saying, “Your engagement, your enthusiasm, your gifts, your humility, your sense of fun and commitment to this school, is a powerful, perhaps the most powerful way, we can demonstrate the huge impact of the Saddlers’ support. And it is inspiring to see.”
The Prime Warden spoke next, praising the Scholars and their achievements and received them on stage to present each of them with a Saddlers’ tie. Upper School Scholars were then called up to receive brooches and cufflinks. The presentation concluded with a prayer from the School Chaplain, Rev Liz Lander.
The Year 7 Scholars were then invited to the Head’s Study to put on their ties and to sign the Saddlers’ Book which contains the names of over 300 Alleyn’s pupils who have received the Scholarship since its inception in 1971.
In the 50th year of the school’s association with the Worshipful Company of Saddlers and the establishment of the scholarship, we remain extremely grateful to the Saddler’s Company for their continuing support of and participation in the life of our school.