Our 100th birthday celebrations closed with a fantastic Centenary Dinner for 300 guests, all linked by a shared experience of Reaseheath.
A unique mix of local dignitaries, industry partners, governors, alumni and former and present staff and students came together to celebrate this significant event, which concluded a year of exciting and meaningful Reaseheath100 activities.
Sustainability was the theme throughout the dinner, with Reaseheath’s own produce influencing the menu and home grown or locally sourced talent providing the entertainment.
Guests were welcomed by our marketing team into a magnificent marquee set within our sports hall and were served drinks and canapes by students from our food department, many of whom had also been involved with making the canapes and the extensive range of desserts.
The main dish was Reaseheath’s own beef, cured in black treacle, or a meatless braised chicken made in our own kitchens, and the final course was a collection of Reaseheath Cheshire, red Leicester and vintage Cheddar cheeses, plus slices of an impressive Reaseheath100 Victoria sponge cake, made specially by Bakery and Patisserie Course Manager Sam Copeland.
All the catering was overseen by our Executive Chef Lisa Collis and served by students and the bar was staffed by a team from Student Services and the Student Association.
As well as appreciating the standard of the food, guests were also impressed with the spectacular floral arrangements created by our floristry department and the amazing atmosphere in the marquee, which had been set up by our Estates Team.
Entertainment was provided by the Street Dance Academy from Sandbach – one dancer was a Reaseheath apprentice – and by Twm Tegid Brunton, a former Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture student who is now in his third year of studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Twm, whose ambition is to become a professional opera singer, sang ‘Bless this House’ by Australian composer May Brahe.
Another highlight was the cutting of the centenary cake by present principal Marcus Clinton and past principals Meredydd David and Vic Croxson.
A short timeline film and longer celebratory film, both produced by Reaseheath’s Videographer Emily Woodvine, were strong reminders of the success of the Reaseheath family throughout the ages, and each guest took home a book compiled by Press Officer Lynne Lomax and Copywriter Megan Irvine outlining significant college events throughout the century. There was also a quiz based on interesting facts about Reaseheath, and a raffle.
The whole evening ran smoothly and to time thanks to Master of Ceremonies Trudie McGuiness, Assistant Principal (Performance and Progress).
Opening the proceedings, Chair of Governors David Pearson CBE said that Reaseheath’s progress over the past 100 years had been a success story. The college had stayed ahead of the curve to meet the needs of industry partners and their workforces and that this would continue to be an important aspect of the college’s future role.
In his after dinner speech, Principal Marcus Clinton told guests that it was a personal honour to be Reaseheath’s sixth principal and that he was extremely proud to be head of such an anchor institution with PRIDE values and strong links with both its local community and within the land-based industries it serves.
He said: “All events and activities which have celebrated the story of Reaseheath’s past and future matter. The college has made an enormous difference to so many people and this is an occasion for us to pause and reflect on the tremendous work carried out by so many over the years. It has also been wonderful to see guests catching up with old friends and colleagues.”
Principal Marcus Clinton has already thanked everyone who has contributed to the many Centenary events such as the Heritage Trail and Centenary Bridge – including the official opening by HRH the Duke of Gloucester – the Reaseheath100 cheese, tree planting for the Queen’s Green Canopy, Lambing Weekends and Family Festival and a commemorative flower bed in Nantwich’s town square.
Huge thanks also to those who brought a wealth of information for the Reaseheath100 microsite and who provided fascinating podcasts and information for Reaseheath’s Centenary Book.
And thanks again for all those who came together to make the Centenary Dinner such a great finale.
Photos from the evening can be found in the gallery below and on our Reaseheath Alumni Association facebook page.