First Capital Connect names train in honour of school’s 400th anniversary

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First Capital Connect has named one of its trains ‘Dame Alice Owen’s School 400 years of learning’ in honour of the Potters Bar school’s 400th anniversary.

Pupils and guests name a train in honour of the school's 400th anniversary

Dame Alice Owen School is an excellent and truly historic institution with many of its pupils using our services every day.

First Capital Connect has named one of its trains ‘Dame Alice Owen’s School 400 years of learning’ in honour of the Potters Bar school’s 400th anniversary.

Past pupil and Chair of Governors Peter Martin unveiled a plaque on the four-carriage Class 321 train (number 321409) at Welwyn Garden City station on Friday 8 November. The school soul band provided music to mark the occasion.

Headteacher Alan Davison said: “This is a momentous occasion for the school to have our foundresses' generosity recognised by First Capital Connect in this wonderful way. Many of our students travel by train to school every day and are really excited about travelling on a train that recognises the success of their school. We are exceptionally grateful to First Capital Connect for awarding the school this honour.”

First Capital Connect Customer Service Director Keith Jipps said: “Dame Alice Owen School is an excellent and truly historic institution with many of its pupils using our services every day. We are delighted to be able to mark the occasion in this way and honour the school for its contribution to the local community.”

Today’s high-achieving mixed secondary school with academy status was originally founded in Islington in 1613 by Dame Alice herself, a thrice married widow whose first husband was a brewer. It is supported by the Dame Alice Owen’s Foundation which is managed by the Worshipful Company of Brewers.

Ten per cent of its places are allocated to students in the Borough of Islington, the school’s home for 350 years of its history, and over 200 students travel with First Capital Connect daily from Islington to Potters Bar.

Two past pupils who now work for First Capital Connect also attended the train naming ceremony.

Anniversary celebrations to date have included all students and staff making (and eating!) an enormous 400th anniversary cake, a concert to a packed Royal Albert Hall, a service at St Paul’s Cathedral with a champagne reception at Mansion House and a special 400th anniversary brew which sold out in four days!

There has been a fixture against an Arsenal 11, a tied cricket match with the MCC and a ball in the sports hall which looked like the set of Strictly Come Dancing. These events have raised just over £840,000 to build a new science building.

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Roger Perkins
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