A Unique Bond with the Aldenham Foundation

The Master, Richard Fuller, was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Aldenham Foundation last week, having not been able to do so during the last year.  Accompanied by the Clerk, he began by attending Aldenham Prep School’s sports day with the Headmaster of the Foundation James Fowler, the Headteacher of Aldenham Prep School, Vicky Gocher and the Vice Chair of Governors, Sarah Altman.  It is events like this that were sorely missed during the lockdowns last year, so it was wonderful to see the students enjoying themselves.

After sports day, the Master presided over a slightly amended Beer Money ceremony for Year 9 pupils (no handshakes this year!).  This unique ceremony harks back to the earliest days of Aldenham School in the sixteenth century, when the Brewers’ Company was wholly responsible for its governance.  Among the many duties of the Company was ensuring the wellbeing of the students by providing beer for them to drink – less alcoholic than it is today, but alcoholic enough to be much safer to drink than the dirty water that was available.  Over the years, actual beer was replaced by an ‘allowance’ to purchase beer.  In modern times, the Beer Money ceremony is a symbolic nod to the long association between the School and the Brewers’ Company, with the Master presenting a commemorative crown (£5 coin) to students.