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Launch of the Malvern St James Girls' School Founders' Garden

Published Thursday 19th of June 2014 10:10:38 AM

On Saturday June 14, Malvern St James celebrated the Opening Ceremony of their Founders� Garden, commemorating the five founding schools which make up today�s Malvern St James Girls� School.

The garden�s centrepiece is a beautiful birdbath, created by renowned sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies, which was unveiled at Batsford House, MSJ�s Junior Boarding House on Avenue Road. The birdbath symbolises the School�s roots in Lawnside, The Abbey, St James�s School, St James�s and The Abbey, and Malvern Girls� College. The sculpture is surrounded by planting chosen to represent the colours from each of these founding schools.

Ben Twiston-Davies, whose work includes the permanent memorial to Agatha Christie installed in London�s Covent Garden, is also the direct relative of Alice and Katrine Baird, the founders of St James�s School (previously located in West Malvern), and the son of an Old Girl of St James�s.

The idea of creating a birdbath for the garden was inspired by George Bernard Shaw famously leaping over a birdbath in Lawnside�s garden for the camera whilst attending one of the Malvern Festivals.

The opening was enjoyed by over 150 Old Girls, who had travelled widely from the UK and from as far afield as Japan and Hong Kong, alongside many current and former staff as Honorary Members of the Old Girl Assocation, and previous Heads of the founding schools. The unveiling ceremony was led by Anne Borrowdale, Chair of Governors for MSJ, and herself an Old Girl.

The crowd enjoyed beautiful music from current girls, accompanied by a delicious cream tea on Batsford lawn: an idyllic and quintessentially English scene.

Mrs Patricia Woodhouse, Headmistress of Malvern St James Girls� School comments, �Today has been a great day for remembering our auspicious past and celebrating our exciting future. Malvern has always been a centre of excellence for education, and we are proud of our roots in these pioneering schools focused on educating girls. The fact that so many of our girls, from so many different generations, have travelled from far and wide to be with us today is testament to how fondly they remember their School days, and how they continue to participate in MSJ�s present and future.�

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