SLIDESHOW: Lewes Old Grammar School’s 500th birthday

HISTORY turned full circle at Firle Place on Saturday evening when the Lewes Old Grammar School ‘community’ sat down to a black-tie dinner in celebration of their remarkable 500th anniversary.

Back in the 16th century members of the Gage family of Firle sat on its board of trustees, and in 1557 – when it was reported that the school ‘now flourishes’ – Sir Edward Gage dug into his own pocket to increase its funding.

Sam Gandey, Becky Holbeche, Russell Gould, Katherine Miles, Tristan Ball, Lawrence McKay (all crct)' Lewes Old Grammar School celebration summer ball marking their 500th anniversary'LOGS 500 Ball'Firle Place'07/07/12'Picture by Jim Holden

Sam Gandey, Becky Holbeche, Russell Gould, Katherine Miles, Tristan Ball, Lawrence McKay (all crct)' Lewes Old Grammar School celebration summer ball marking their 500th anniversary'LOGS 500 Ball'Firle Place'07/07/12'Picture by Jim Holden

Sir Edward was a fierce Catholic, who had 13 ‘heretics’ burned to death and ordered that a man’s ears be cropped for persuading people not to take Mass.

By happy contrast, more than 300 former LOGS staff, pupils and parents broke bread together with their current counterparts. After the meal there was a magnificent firework display in the Firle Place grounds, followed by dancing to a local band, The Ice Cream Bikinis.

Those present represented between them all of 50 years of the school’s history – among them Roy Mead, the former head and now current chairman of trustees, who first set foot in the school as a teacher in 1962.