A LOCAL independent school celebrated its 130th Anniversary with a sell-out celebration ball last month.

Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School in Burley-in-Wharfedale invited staff, governors, parents, local business owners and former pupils to join in with their celebrations at the Cavendish Pavilion on December 14. Over 120 people purchased tickets which included a Slingsby Gin drinks reception, a three-course meal cooked by the team at the Devonshire Arms, magic provided by Scott Perry Magician and a late-night disco with live band The Party Nuts.

The School organised the event to celebrate a number of recent accolades including their 130th anniversary, their ninth place national ranking in the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide, their Gold School Games Mark and their finalist positioning in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards.

The Ball organisers, parents Mrs Anna Bedford-Collins and Mr Robert Powls, were instrumental in securing the venue, entertainment, and the long list of auction and raffle prizes, kindly donated by parents and local businesses. The top prize of the night was an intimate dining experience for 10 people with the chef of the Burlington Arms cooking a five-course tasting menu with wine pairing in the winner’s home. Top prizes also included a holiday in Lake Annecy, flights courtesy of Jet2, a limited edition LEGO Land Rover Defender and one year’s free tuition at Olicana Gymnastic Club.

A total of £19,000 was received on the night through ticket sales and auction bids, which is being fed back into the School to continue to provide a high standard of teaching and resources.

Headteacher David Martin thanked the organisers and supporters: “The amount gifted by parents, staff and friends of the school just goes to show the support network and the love people have for Ghyll Royd School. We all had so much fun celebrating – the room was packed out, the drinks flowed, the food was delicious, and the entertainment had people on their feet all night. It was particularly wonderful to see staff and parents on the dancefloor together after what has been an intense but exhilarating few months for the school on the back of our good news and accolades.

“I would like to take this time to thank Anna Bedford-Collins for her commitment and dedication to putting the Ball together with the help and support of Robert Powls and the Ghyll Royd governing board. Thank you also to the evening’s entertainment, the Party Nuts band, the magical Scott Perry and Mr Tim Usherwood, our auctioneer. Thank you to the countless people who supported us with sponsorship, brochure advertising, prizes and for purchasing tickets to celebrate our anniversary with us. To the next five years!”

Organiser and parent Anna Bedford-Collins added: “I would just like to extend my thanks to everyone who has supported and contributed to what was a truly wonderful evening. The support and generosity shown was overwhelming. Not only was the event a huge success and enjoyed by everyone, it was particularly fantastic to see the staff enjoying themselves as they, after all, are what makes our school great.”

Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School was founded in 1889 by Augustus Wooldridge in Ilkley before it moved to Greystone Manor in 1999. For more details on the Ball or Ghyll Royd’s 130 year history, visit www.ghyllroydschool.co.uk