On Sunday 17th May, Oundle School celebrated the official opening of the much anticipated J M Mills Pavilion. The event was marked by a cricket match between Oundle’s 1st XI and the Old Oundelian team (Oundle Rovers).
A lunch was held in the new Pavilion for all the donors whose generosity had enabled the project to be realised. The event was officiated by the Headmaster, Mr Charles Bush, alongside special guest Mr Tom Harrison, a former pupil (Old Oundelian) himself and the current CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board. In his speech, Tom Harrison spoke of the fantastic addition the Pavilion will make to future stars of cricket and hinted at the possibility of the new facility becoming home to a future Oundelian star in international cricket.
Under sunny skies, donors, current and former parents, as well as friends and staff utilised the building’s balcony area for spectacular views of the afternoon’s game which ended with the Rovers all out for 185, and the School finishing on 189 for 3. The School won by 7 wickets with Ben Graves scoring an impressive 101 not out.
Old Oundelian, Stuart Morgan commented, "It was a great occasion and very enjoyable to be playing back in familiar surroundings with familiar faces. The new pavilion is a fantastic facility for future generations of Oundelians."
A plaque to the J M Mills Pavilion also allowed for an intimate ceremony with members of the Mills family, the Chairman of Governors Mr Julian Tregoning and Headmaster Mr Charles Bush in attendance.
The J M Mills Pavilion is named after Mike Mills who enjoyed an 80 year history with Oundle cricket and the School as a pupil, teacher, Housemaster and Master of Cricket. Naming the building in his honour was a fitting way in which to remember him, after he sadly passed away last year before its completion.
The day was also enhanced with the launch of ‘Oundle Cricket: The Gentle Hotbed’, a book dedicated to the history of Oundle Cricket by Mr Andrew Radd. The author kindly donated his time to creating the book to commemorate the event, which the Headmaster described as a ‘labour of love’. All proceeds will go to the Oundle Foundation at the request of Andrew Radd and donors were presented with a copy of the book.
Tom Harrison, CEO England and Wales Cricket Board, “It was an enormous privilege for me to open the JM Mills Pavilion. It is a stunning new statement about where cricket sits in Oundle’s future at a time when the game is looking at every way possible of getting more boys and girls into cricket. The new pavilion is a fitting tribute to a man who made a colossal contribution to Oundle cricket over an extraordinary length of time. It is a great symbol of Oundle’s commitment to the game going forward.”
Charles Bush, Headmaster commented, “Sunday was memorable for all who follow cricket in Oundle. The new Pavilion is a stunning addition to Oundle’s sporting facilities and it will be greatly used. It will also be greatly loved, as was Mike Mills after whom the building is named.”
Books can still be purchased to commemorate the event from the Oundle Society, paperback £10.00, hardback, £20.00, 01832 277291 or online: society.oundleschool.org.uk
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.
There are currently 1100 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11.