Spandau Ballet star helps school celebrate its 400th anniversary

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary - Credit: Archant

A MEMBER of chart-topping band Spandau Ballet was the VIP guest as a school marked its 400th anniversary.

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary, with six form stude

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary, with six form students, Josh Sudell, Paige Stacey, Rehana Gohil and Xavier Hussain - Credit: Archant

Gary Kemp, chief songwriter with the 80s New Romantic act and star of gangster film The Krays with brother Martin, headed to his old school, Dame Alice Owen’s in Potters Bar, to mark the date.

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary, with students and s

Gary Kemp cuts the cake to celebrate Dame Alice Owen's School 400th anniversary, with students and staff - Credit: Archant

Spandau Ballet enjoyed huge hits in the 80s with singles such as To Cut A Long Story Short, Musclebound, Gold and number one True.

The cake-cutting kicks off an extensive programme of events, including a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in April, a Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral a week later, and a play about a former headteacher who disappeared.

The huge cake was made by school staff and volunteers, and was big enough to ensure all 1,500 students and 200 staff had a piece.


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Headteacher Alan Davison said: “Not many schools can claim 400 years of excellence in education, so we invited the students to suggest a student-friendly way of celebrating and the cake was a favourite with students and staff alike.”

Peter Martin, chairman of governors, said: “I know the whole school community is excited about the 400th anniversary, and a year packed with events to mark the occasion.

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“As an Old Owenian myself I am also very much looking forward to it, and kicking off in this way with Gary Kemp doing the honours is just the icing on the cake.”

The school’s tradition of running a major fundraising campaign alongside the celebration of a major anniversary has been continued with an appeal launched to rebuild a dilapidated science block.

This has so far raised more than £2.6m – to match the £2.79m from the Department of Education. Construction is set to start this week.

Former pupils have been invited to join the events, details of which can be found on the school’s website, and they can sign up to an email list for further information by sending their year of leaving date to 400years@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk

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