Bedales celebrates founder and opens Sam Banks Cricket Pavilion

Posted on 26th September 2013

The Bedales community spent the weekend on a number of special activities designed to celebrate the ethos of the school’s founder John Badley. Students, staff and parents got together to work on projects across the estate in support of the school motto, ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’. 

This year’s Whole School Effort transformed the area behind Bedales Girls’ boarding house, Steephurst, through the planting of an orchard of cherry trees, which was led by the school’s Outdoor Work team. In the Design department, students took part in a workshop for charity Tools for Self Reliance, which renovates old tools so that they can be used to improve the lives of people working in Africa. The overall theme of the weekend was the appreciation of nature, with activities ranging from foraging and bush-craft to falconry and poetry inspired by the great outdoors. Other activities included tapestry weaving, lantern making and mural painting. 

The weekend also saw the official opening event of the Sam Banks Pavilion, an Oak framed building constructed by Old Bedalians with assistance from specialist Charley Brentnall as well as students and other members of the community. The pavilion was built in memory of OB Sam Banks who died 3 years ago. His parents, Louise and Graham Banks, both taught at Bedales for many years and felt the Pavilion was a fitting tribute to Sam who was a keen cricketer.

Graham and Louise Banks were joined by Old Bedalians John Russell and Gabriel Langlands, who built the structure. 100 people came to witness the event including donors to the project, members of the Bedales Parents’ Association and Bedales Association, students, staff and parents. To mark the occasion, Louise Banks and Bedales Schools Headmaster, Keith Budge, mounted an engraved cricket bat on the wall of the pavilion that was donated by the School’s sports dept and used in the matches Sam played in. The school’s design department polished up the bat and engraved it especially for the occasion.

Commenting on the weekend, Keith Budge, Head of Bedales Schools said, “Every member of the school community was involved in activities that were organised in the true spirit of John Badley’s founding ethos, to educate through head, hand and heart. This important annual event aims to leave a lasting legacy for the benefit of future generations and the cherry trees now gracing Steephurst are testament to that. The Sam Banks Pavilion is a fine example of Work of Each for Weal of All and a fitting memorial to Sam.” 

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