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News > ORA News > April OR Heritage Projects Tour

April OR Heritage Projects Tour

A sunny afternoon at Roedean learning more about the ORA Heritage Projects
27 Apr 2023
ORA News

On Saturday 22nd April, Old Roedeanians gathered to tour the Projects selected by the ORA for proposed conservation and restoration.

The tour included the Sundial on the front terrace, the newly restored frieze painted by Sylvia Lawrence, sister of the founders, in No.3 and the friezes yet to be restored in No.s 1 & 2.

In the Chapel, we talked about the Battle of Jutland ensigns and the No 1 ensign presented to the School when HMS Vernon vacated after the 2nd World War in 1945.  We also looked at the beautiful stained glass windows by William Morris, Kempe, and Clayton and Bell.

The beautiful day meant we could contemplate the fountain in the cloisters garth, donated by an OR in 1906 - no longer a working fountain - but it would be quite possible to restore it to its original design and put into working order, fit for 21st Century use.

Walking down main corridor, that oh so familiar route for all of us, we stopped at the board inside the main entrance with the names of the original benefactors to the school buildings in 1898. We talked about G.F Watts, the renowned Victorian painter whose daughter was a pupil, The Roget family, as in Roget’s Thesaurus – Isabel Roget was a pupil from 1888-90 and the Dempster family - Edith Pretty (Dempster, SS and No.4, 1894-1900) gave Sutton Hoo to the nation...to name only a few.

On to the art studio where one of our group was able to admire her Mother’s artwork from 1935 - the panel of painted tiles show a rider on a black horse entitled ‘Virtus’. We contemplated that her mother, would have known all the other tile artists - they would have sat here in the studio together creating these stunning tiles, as classmates under the watchful eye of DB Martin. It’s hard to imagine that these tiles dating from the 1930’s have survived nearly 100 years but are now in need of some serious TLC so that they will still be there for another 100 years.

After a nostalgic peek into the Old Ref we retired to the Clubhouse for a delicious tea. We all agreed the food is much better at Roedean than in years gone by.

We were thrilled to meet Niamh Green and her daughter and that they were able to join us for the tour.

We plan to run further tours in the near future, which all ORs are welcome to attend to hear more about the history of the School through its artefacts, and how you can help us to ensure they remain for future generations of Roedeanians to benefit from and enjoy. There is of course no obligation to donate, but if you are able to, all donations large and small are gratefully received.

You can read more about the different projects, and our fundraising targets here: https://community.roedean.co.uk/pages/ora-heritage-projects, or email us on heritage@oldroedeanians.co.uk.

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