Dorchester school reunion: appeal for more Old Hardyeans

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By W_Boot | Friday, February 18, 2011, 10:16

Old Hardyeans are preparing for their annual reunion at

Dorchester, in the Sixth Form Centre of the modern Thomas Hardye School on the

evening of Saturday 19 March.

The popular get-together takes the form of a

dinner to which Old Hardyeans and Old Grammarians come from all over the


"We want to encourage more Old Hardyeans to come from Dorset

itself," said President Michel Hooper-Immins.

"We know there are many old boys

of Hardye’s School living in Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport, Bournemouth,

Shaftesbury, Gillingham and many other places within the county.

"I want to

appeal to them to come join us at our annual reunion next month- to join up with

their classmates. Wives and partners are very welcome as well."

This year’s guest speaker is Peter Grundy, who taught English,

History and Latin at Hardye’s School from 1968 to 1971. He then went to the

International School in Hamburg, followed by five years at the College of the

Venerable Bede, then lectured for 23 years at the University of Durham, from

where he retired as the Deputy Dean of Arts. In semi-retirement, he enjoyed two

years as an English language lecturer at the University of Hong Kong.

Peter Grundy has happy memories of Hardye’s School: "It was a

very happy time, everybody was incredibly kind. I set-up the Debating Society -

amazingly there wasn't one at the time. We organised all sorts of discussions,

including one at Dorchester Corn Exchange with Jack Straw- then President of the

National Union of Students."

By swimming the famed Hellespont channel last summer, Peter

Grundy has raised over £2,000 in sponsorship from Old Hardyeans for the

Hardyeans Club Charitable Trust, which provides grants to students of Thomas

Hardye School who are going on to university.

The Hellespont strait in Turkey-

forming the boundary between Europe and Asia- is one of the most significant

open water swims in the world. In 1810, the English poet Lord Byron became the

first known person to swim across the Hellespont. Byron swam it in honour of

Leander, who in Greek mythology, is said to have swum nightly across this

stretch of water to meet his lover Hero.

Peter Grundy swam four kilometres [2.4

miles] taking one hour 25 minutes and finished the course, exactly 200 years

after Lord Byron. Many experienced swimmers failed to complete the course.

The Old Hardyeans’ annual dinner menu begins with cream of

mushroom soup, followed by roast turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, served

with green beans, garden peas, cauliflower cheese and creamed mashed potato.

Strawberry and Sherry trifle is the ever popular dessert.

All Old Hardyeans and their partners are welcome at the annual

dinner on Saturday 19 March, at 8pm, costing only £16. Bookings are being taken

by Old Hardyeans’ Treasurer Alan Brown at 40 Valette Road, Moordown, Bournemouth

BH9 3JD. Telephone 01202 535034 or email

  • Founded in 1905 as the Old Grammarians, the Old Hardyeans-

    alternatively known as the Hardyeans Club- is one of the most successful old

    school associations in the county, bringing together old boys of Dorchester

    Grammar School and Hardye’s School, plus ex-students of the modern Thomas Hardye

    School. In the times of Queen Elizabeth I, it was Thomas Hardye (with a final 'e') described as an yeoman of Frampton, who endowed Dorchester Grammar School

    in 1569. Hardye’s (shopping) Arcade today stands on the site. The Grammar School

    moved to Culliford Road in 1928- renamed Hardye’s School from 1954. The modern

    Thomas Hardye School in Queens Avenue opened in 1992, encompassing the best

    traditions of the two previous schools- but admitting girls for the first time

    since 1569! Writer Thomas Hardy OM, who lived at nearby Max Gate, laid the

    foundation stone of Hardye’s School in 1927. He was no relation to Thomas

    Hardye, founder of the school, nor of Admiral Thomas Masterman Hardy.



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