Hastings school celebrates 400th anniversary

Students from William Parker were joined by guests and local dignitaries to mark their school’s quartercentenary at a special event held last week at Ark William Parker Academy.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 4:27 pm
A commemorative plaque was unveiled by the William Parker Foundation. Present were Yvonne Powell  (executive principal); Stephanie Newman (principal); Cllr Mike Edwards; Cllr Martin Clarke; Cllr Andy Batsford; Michael Foster; Gareth Bendon, from the William Parker Foundation; School Governors; the mayor and deputy mayor of Hastings; and William Parker students.
A commemorative plaque was unveiled by the William Parker Foundation. Present were Yvonne Powell (executive principal); Stephanie Newman (principal); Cllr Mike Edwards; Cllr Martin Clarke; Cllr Andy Batsford; Michael Foster; Gareth Bendon, from the William Parker Foundation; School Governors; the mayor and deputy mayor of Hastings; and William Parker students.

The 400th anniversary event included a screening of the alumni film made by current students, offering a glimpse into the school’s rich history as those interviewed recounted their time at William Parker and shared memorable stories.

Students’ talents were showcased with readings of poetry, musical solos and a moving drama performance which paid tribute to the young men, William Parker students, who fought and gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars and those who sacrificed their lives in conflict.

Renowned for its sporting success, William Parker boasts many famous sporting alumni. Guests were treated to video messages sent in by former England cricketer Michael Yardy and Premier League footballers, Gareth Barry and Steve Cooke, sharing memories of their time at the school.

The cricket team who played in the 400th anniversary match

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Mayor and deputy mayor of Hastings planting the commemorative lime tree

A commemorative plaque was unveiled by the William Parker Foundation, alongside the planting of a lime tree by the mayor of Hastings Cllr Nigel Sinden and his deputy Cllr James Bacon.

Students then buried a time capsule which contained memorabilia from the school’s past and present, including the alumni film produced by students.

Yvonne Powell, executive principal, said: “We would like to thank our alumni, the local community and the William Parker Foundation in helping to make our 400th anniversary truly memorable. Our students are rightly proud of their school’s history and these celebrations will add to our rich and varied heritage.”

A celebratory cricket match preceded the celebrations with William Parker

Ark William Parker students with time capsule and contents

‘Old Boys’ playing against current staff and students.

Celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary will continue later in the year with the Bishop of Chichester leading a commemorative service at All Saints Church on Friday, November 22, 2019. This will be followed by another event on the same evening: a reunion, bringing together past and present pupils, to be held at the Academy in Parkstone Road.  

The William Parker Foundation will mark the quatercentenary by publishing a second volume of the history of William Parker’s school, bringing the story up to the present day.

If you are a past pupil of Ark William Parker and would like to register your interest in attending the reunion event, please get in touch via email to [email protected]

Ark William Parker students bury time capsule
Cricket action
Gareth Barry helped the school mark the occasion