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Abingdon-Bielefeld 1967-2017 The Ratsgymnasium, Bielefeld marked the 50th anniversary of the Abingdon-Bielefeld language exchange with a gala concert and reception on 11 February. Among the speakers were the Heads of Abingdon, St Helen’s and the Ratsgymnasium, the Mayor of Bielefeld and the Head of the Local Education Authority. The exchange began after James Cobban, Headmaster 1947-70, picked up two German hitch-hikers, one of whom, Michael Hissbach, was a pupil at the Ratsgymnasium. He and Hilary Cobban, the Headmaster’s daughter, were interviewed on stage about their memories, as were Martin Sutton and Karsten Meise exchange partners in 1982-3 who have remained friends ever since. The Abingdon Foundation, Park Road, Abingdon, Oxford OX14 1DE 01235 521563 • Edited by Jane Warne – communications@abingdon.org.uk 01235 849123 • Design – www.petergreenland.com www.twitter.com/abingdonschool www.facebook.com/abingdonschool Abingdon Out of the Past One hundred years ago the boys composed a spoof guide to Abingdon School for American tourists. Among the objects it featured was a small window “which suggests promiscuous gambling on the part of its inhabitants. The pane represents the four suits of a pack of cards – diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades are shown one upon the other – really a remarkable curiosity of its kind”. Members of the School regularly pass this window – where is it? A Curious Window The Bright Panel After many years hiding its light under layers of smoke, dirt and varnish, one of the School’s oldest treasures has been recalled to life. Ironically, according to the restorer Georgie Dennis, the layers had been acting as protection, preserving the panel’s paint and gold leaf in their original glory. Cleaning has revealed the excellent, three-dimensional quality of the artwork, which indicates that the panel was the work of a master herald- painter. The panel originally hung behind the Headmaster’s desk in the old schoolroom, it has now been hung above the fireplace in the newly refurbished Boarders’ Hall. Given to the School in 1763 by Henry Bright, headmaster 1758-1774, the panel commemorates the bi-centenary of John Roysse’s endowment of Abingdon School. Contrary to the wording on it, John Roysse did not ‘found’ Abingdon School in 1563, but he did establish it under a new foundation in the same way that it was established under a new foundation in 1878, and in 1998 when it merged with what is now Abingdon Prep. Karsten Meise and Martin Sutton who were exchange partners in 1982-3 To mark the 50th anniversary of the Abingdon-Bielefeld exchange, Abingdon presented the Ratsgymnasium with a framed collection of school ties Before... ...and afterwards

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