Founder’s Day: climax of Queen Elizabeth’s School year

Founder’s Day, the traditional highlight of the Queen Elizabeth’s School calendar, this year saw the revival of an old tradition – a cricket match between the current First XI and an old boys’ team.

The day began with the Founder’s Day Thanksgiving Service at Chipping Barnet Parish Church, after which parents, boys and staff enjoyed a fete at the School organised by the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s.

Headmaster Neil Enright said:  “It was an excellent day: even the weather played its part, with the showers that we had feared failing to materialise, enabling the fete to be held outside and the cricket match to go ahead.”

""“Earlier in the day at the service our guest speaker, Piers Martin, Director and CEO of British Fencing, gave a most interesting address, discussing the British Olympic fencing team and the dedication and hard work required to succeed at Olympic level.” Mr Martin was a QE pupil from 1987 to 1994, while his father, Barrie Martin, is the Chairman of the Governing Body.

“Immediately after the service, I enjoyed giving the traditional Roll Call on Stapylton Field and the Reading of the School Chronicle – the first time I have had this privilege since becoming Headmaster last September,” added Mr Enright.

""These formal proceedings were followed by the fete, which featured many traditional delights, such as home-made cakes, cream teas, Pimms and a tombola. The International Food Tent proved popular, serving food from India, Japan, China, West Africa, Turkey and Sri Lanka. There was a bouncy castle for younger children, while the QE boys enjoyed the opportunity to pelt teachers Liam Hargadon and Michael Feven with wet sponges as they sat in the stocks, as well as the ‘smashing the crockery’ stall.

The cricket match, which was last played regularly in the early 20th century, is now known as the Stanley Busby Memorial Match. It has been named in honour of Mr Busby,  who was a QE parent and was also a Governor from 1989-2011. The match was revived in 1984 for one year only as a retirement ‘gift’ to another loyal servant of the School – Eric Shearly (1920-2005), a former pupil and master. Now it has been permanently re-instated by the Headmaster.

""“Happily, the first playing of the match in the 21st century resulted in an exciting, closely fought game, with the School First XI emerging as narrow winners: a fitting close to a splendid day,” said Mr Enright.

In the 30-over match, which started at 2pm on the Third Field, the Old Elizabethans – who were mainly in their late twenties – batted first. They set a target of 169, losing four wickets and ending their innings with Nick Jones on 95 not out. In reply, aided by Sebastian Feszczur-Hatchett’s 53, the First XI amassed a similar total. They then won the match with a four off the last ball of the day, finishing on 171-5.