School celebrates 80th anniversary of move

Saturday 3rd November marks the 80th anniversary of the official opening of QE’s Main Building.

The ceremony in 1932 was conducted by Prince George (later Duke of Kent). It was covered by the local newspaper, The Chronicle, which reported on the “fine modern buildings for Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys in Queen’s-road which are to take the place of those occupied since the school was founded in 1573”. The photo to the left shows the Prince symbolically opening the School's main front door.

In declaring the new School site open, the Prince said: “The appearance of the new buildings indicates the progress of secondary school education.” He added: “Speeches have ever pleased us best when once they are fairly over,” – a quotation he attributed to Queen Elizabeth I.

The ceremony was attended by a number of local dignitaries including: the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire; The Bishop of St Albans; the Chairman of the County Council, Sir Joseph Priestley; the Chairman of the County Education Committee; the Chairman of the School Governors, H E Fern, and the Headmaster, E H Jenkins.

Mr Fern formally received the Articles of Government of the School from the Chairman of the County Education Committee. He said: “It will always be our endeavour to be mindful of the interests, both educational and recreational, of the boys and to preserve the customs and traditions of the School.”

Queen Elizabeth’s School was first established in Tudor Hall in Wood Street, Barnet, which remained its base for more than 350 years until Hertfordshire County Council ordered the construction of the new building at Queen’s Road.

""Since 1932, a number of alterations and additions have been made to the site, including the addition of the Fern and Heard buildings, the Friends’ Music Room, the Clark Laboratories, the Martin Swimming Pool and the Shearly Hall. Most recently, a new Food Technology suite was completed, and work is currently underway to create a new Library and Dining Hall.

The Old Elizabethans’ Dinner on 16th November in the Main School Hall will be linked to the anniversary celebration. “We have offered our Old Elizabethans the opportunity of arranged tours of the School,” said Headmaster Neil Enright. “I’m sure they will enjoy seeing the changes made over the last 80 years both to the Main Building and across the whole site.”