Rutland’s wonderful schools

As Lord-Lieutenant I am invited to join the Governing Bodies of several of Rutland’s wonderful schools.  In the past week I have had the privilege of attending meetings of the Board of Governors of three of them – Uppingham School, Uppingham Community College and Oakham School.  While very different, all of Rutland’s schools share a great determination to deliver the best possible preparation for life for all their pupils.  It is heartening to see their pupils respond to this.

Armed Forces Day

June 24th: The best turnout yet today for the annual Armed Forces Day flag raising at Oakham Castle, organised by Rutland Council with support from many sources including  the Desert Rats, the Royal Logistics Corps, Catmose College and several primary schools including English Martyrs, Empingham and Great Casterton. Also the 1st Barleythorpe Brownies and many veterans.

Thanks to all who attended. It was a great opportunity for Rutland to recognise the vital contribution the military has made and continues to make.

900 years of Launde Abbey

June 23rd: The sun shone on Launde Abbey as we celebrated 900 years of contemplation and prayer in this sacred space. Thanks to the organisers for a wonderful Eucharist – poetry and singing and a moving communion.

Wild Flowers at Oakham Castle

June 21st – See the wild flowers now growing at Oakham Castle – they are spectacular. All chosen to have grown in Rutland historically. Providing forage for bees, insect life & birds. Looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks Root-and-Branch Out CIC (@branch_root) for organising the wild flower quiz! Oakham Castle is  a great visit for locals & tourists.

Uppingham Feast

June 17th – Great buzz of excitement in Uppingham yesterday for Uppingham Feast! Stalls, food, music, drink… and the weather held (just about).  Something for all ages! Congratulations to all organisers and volunteers who made it all happen. A very happy day.

Rutland Scouting AGM

June 9th: Rutland Scouting AGM was held at Oakham Castle today. Congratulations Sean Hickling & Thomas Howe for achieving top Scouting award. Scouts, Cubs & Rangers from all over Rutland were present – Oakham, North Luffenham, Cottesmore, Barleythorpe Thanks to all the adult volunteers – great job.

D-Day 75 years ago

6th June:  Rutland commemorated  the D Day 75th Anniversary with three D Day Rutland veterans: Dennis Wright (pictured with his wife of 65 years), Gerry Wells & John Stokes. It was a great honour to have them join 70+ others in Uppingham Town Hall for a showing of the film ‘The Longest Day’ – the original black and white version.  Gripping stuff. We owe so much!

Thanks to all who joined us;  over £300 was raised, proceeds to the Royal British Legion.

Improvements at Stocken Prison

June 4th – There is a new wing just opened at HMP Stocken.  This increases capacity and, crucially, the opportunity for rehabilitation. It promotes contact with families, outdoor exercise & learning. Rutland should be proud of the job the staff do and pleased that this will enable them to be even more effective. Thanks for having me to open it!

What’s the collective noun for a group of Speech Days?

May 25th – Uppingham School and Oakham School held their annual Speech Days on the same day.  As Lord-Lieutenant of the county I’m ex-officio on the Board of Governors of both schools.  So what do I do?

Fortunately Uppingham’s Speech Day is mainly in the morning and Oakham’s is mainly in the afternoon, so by offering explanations to both and eating a VERY swift lunch I managed to get to the key aspects of both events.

It is very uplifting to see and hear the many achievements of our young people.  So many of them work so hard, and in such diverse ways.  They really do deserve to succeed.  Congratulations to all.

Sadly I was so busy clapping I didn’t manage to get a photo of either!