End of term for Kingswood Old Scholars?

A GROUP for former pupils of Kingswood Grammar School and its successors is facing closure after 32 years.

Kingswood Old Scholars Association, which brings together people who met at the school, holds regular reunion lunches and produces a magazine in which news and memories are shared.

But after failing to recruit people to take on key roles on its committee, including magazine editor and treasurer, it has decided to wind up. Unless anyone comes forward, the autumn lunch and autumn magazine will be the last.

Mike Bendrey, who has edited the 28-page KOSA News, said in his editorial in the spring edition: “Over the past 32 years that we have produced KOSA News, we are proud to have brought together many, perhaps hundreds, of school friends to meet again and to roll back to those years when we originally met at school. For me it’s been a labour of love.

“I would also like to thank all those committee members and others who have kept KOSA going for so long.”
The biannual magazine is distributed to members throughout the UK and in France, Spain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and South Africa.

Anyone willing to take on the editorship is asked to contact kosanews@tiscali.co.uk

The autumn lunch and AGM will take place at Lincombe Barn, Downend, on Saturday October 12. Once the association is wound up, any funds in its account will be donated to King’s Oak Academy, the successor school.

Kingswood Grammar School opened in 1927, having been founded as Kingswood Secondary School six years earlier. It became Kingsfield School in 1968.

The original, wooden school building famously burned down in a suspected arson attack in 1976.

Kingsfield was rebuilt as a modern two-storey building in 1977 and in 2011 became King’s Oak Academy. A primary on the site opened in 2015, enabling the provision of education for children from the ages of four to 16 on the site at Brook Road, Warmley.

Alumni of the school include Sir Bernard Lovell, founder of the Jodrell Bank observatory; Professor Colin Pillinger, best known for the Beagle 2 Mars lander; and Richard Scudamore, former chief executive of the Premier League.

Professor Pillinger, who died in 2014, once wrote that the wooden school was nicknamed “the cow sheds” when he attended, and that seeing Sir Bernard’s name on the school honours board inspired him.