The oldest old boy network in the UK

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Lancaster Royal Grammar School celebrated the centenary of the Old Lancastrian Club at its annual Founders Day on saturday.

It is believed the club is the oldest state school alumni association in the country.

On June 14 1913 an advertisement was placed in the Lancaster Guardian inviting former pupils of Lancaster Royal Grammar School to attend a dinner with the intention of forming an Old Boys Club.

Then current headmaster, the Rev J H Shackleton Bailey, formed the Old Lancastrian Club on June 24 1913.

The school celebrated the centenary of the formation of the club at the weekend with a host of Founders’ Day events, under the presidential watch of Old Lancastrian and former England rugby coach, Brian Ashton.

Also this year was a meeting with other Old Lancastrians in the USA at a gathering in New York, hosted by former pupil Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi.

The original objects of the club were “to promote and maintain good fellowship among past members of the school” and to “further the welfare of the school”.

This continues today with a wide network of former pupils many of whom support the school both financially and in other ways.

LRGS was the first school to run a telephone campaign and we continue to raise substantial funds from former pupils. They support capital and refurbishment projects as well as enrichment programmes. We have set up a career scheme which enlists former pupils’ help for current pupils giving career advice and work placements.

Former pupil Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Saatchi and Saatchi, visits the school regularly giving presentations to sixth formers on life skills needed for the world of work.

Kevin also offers work placements for current pupils each year and four Old Lancastrians are currently working for Saatchi and Saatchi.

Kevin also had the vision and generosity to launch and fund the school’s award winning InspirUS programme of masterclasses for primary school children.

LRGS has produced a diversity of alumni including eminent Victorian scientists William Whewell (1808 – 1810) and Richard Owen (1809 – 1819), known as ‘dinosaur man’, and current alumni include politicians Lord Parkinson and Don Foster, sportsmen Jason Queally and Brian Ashton and comedian Jon Richardson.