BBC reporter returns to Skipton for Ermysted’s event

29th November 2014

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason will be the chief guest at the annual dinner for former pupils of Skipton’s Ermysted’s Grammar School on Saturday 13th December.

Chris Mason TV screengrabChris, who attended the school from 1991 to 1998, will join over a hundred other ‘Old Boys’ and teachers past and present as part of the yearly celebrations of the school’s foundation more than 500 years ago. The night will include a retirement presentation for three former teachers who left the school this summer with a combined 87 years service to Ermysted’s – David Clough (English/Deputy Head), Peter Sykes (Economics) and Ian McLean (Design & Technology).

Chief guest Chris Mason will make a speech, as will the school’s headmaster Graham Hamilton. There will also be a chance to remember former pupils who have passed away in the last year – a list which this year includes former teachers Wally Evans and David Jenkinson.

Chris Mason at WestminsterAfter leaving school, Chris studied Geography at Christ’s College, Cambridge before going on to do a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at City University. He worked as a trainee for ITN before joining the BBC twelve years ago. At the corporation he’s spent time at BBC Radio Newcastle, Radio 5 live, and as a Europe Correspondent based in Brussels. For the last three years he’s been a Westminster-based political correspondent, making daily appearances on national television and radio programmes.

This year’s event, held in the Refectory at school, will also see Ken Oxley hand over the Chairmanship of the Old Boys’ Society to incoming Chairman, James Tiffany. James, who lives in Embsay and works for family building firm Roger Tiffany, attended the school from 1984 to 1991.

James said: “Ken has done a great job leading the Ermysted’s Old Boys’ Society over the last few years and continues as Treasurer, a role he’s done for the last 40 years. This year’s dinner should be very enjoyable – Chris is a brilliant public speaker and someone who’s very proud of his Yorkshire roots as well as his time at our school.”

Ermysted’s history in Skipton goes back to at least the year 1492, making it the 7th oldest state school in Britain. It originally adjoined Skipton Parish Church before moving to the bottom of Shortbank Road in 1548. The school relocated to its current site on Gargrave Road in 1876. Famous and prominent former pupils of the school include author Blake Morrison, playwright Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire), cyclist Scott Thwaites (a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal winner this year) – and Craven Herald Editors past and present, Jack Heald and Andrew Hitchon.

Any former pupils of Ermysted’s are invited to the Founders’ Day service at 11am on 13th December at Skipton’s Holy Trinity Church, which will be led by the Rector, Rev Veronica James. The Old Boys’ Society AGM takes place at 6pm in the school library, followed by dinner at 7pm. Tickets for the dinner are available here.

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