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News > Alumni News > Happy birthday Joyce Grenfell

Happy birthday Joyce Grenfell

Class of 1928
11 Feb 2019
Alumni News
The 10 February 2019 would have been Joyce Grenfell’s 109th birthday.  A student of Claremont School (then known as Clear View School) from 1924, she went on to delight audiences around the world with her performances on the radio, television, in films and on stage. Sadly, the entertainer left us 40 years ago this year. Joyce Grenfell was best known for her role in the St Trinian’s movies in the 1950’s, as well as entertaining the troops during WWII; for which she was awarded an OBE in the 1946 King's Birthday Honours List for her services to the Forces.

Joyce was posthumously made a Dame in the 1980 New Year Honours List, whilst the Royal Mail memorialised her on a postage stamp celebrating Heroes of Comedy. In 1979 Claremont Fan Court School named the new arts centre the ‘Joyce Grenfell Centre’ (or JGC) in her memory. The hub of the school, the JGC includes the music school and performance space, as well as the dining area.

As we remember 40 years without the dulcet tones of Joyce Grenfell, it also serves to remind us that it is 40 years this year since the JGC was completed. This year will see a record number of students at the School and the time has come to update the centre and restore it to the glory that it (and our pupils) deserve.

The re-developed centre will see the inclusion of The Centennial Library, marking the foundation of the school in 1921; an expansion of our music school; the new Sixth Form area, with a dedicated study space and café; an enlarged performance space, with raked seating and reception area; and a new Refectory, big enough to seat 300 people for meetings and public events.

For 40 years the JGC has sat at the very heart of the School, but with these developments we will ensure the JGC pays true homage to the Dame it is named after for many years to come, whilst becoming a space fit for the modern and forward looking curriculum. 

We rely on donations to complete these works and we are grateful for any gift, no matter how large or small that our benefactors are able to contribute. To find out more about our development plans and how to donate click HERE.

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