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News > OS News > Celebrating 25 years of Collett House

Celebrating 25 years of Collett House

26 Apr 2023
Written by Jennifer Law
OS News

Gathering six years to the day from the opening of the new House by guest of honour OS Peter Collett (GH,DBH,43-52) , 50 past and present members of Collett House celebrated their 25th Anniversary on 21st April. It was a privilege to welcome members of the Collett family, including Peter, to join the celebrations. Some of our special guests seeing the new surroundings for the very first time and others returning to the familiar House that was their home during their recent time at the College. Throughout the evening event, a vibrant atmosphere filled the House as anecdotes and house memories were shared, College friendships were rekindled and news of life adventures beyond CH were shared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collett Housemaster, Alex Swart-Wilson offered a warm and gracious welcome to members of the Collett Family, previous Housemasters & Housemistresses, Collett Old Stortfordians, current Collett Sixth Formers, the OS President and fellow College Staff including the Head, Kathy Crewe-Read. Alex went on to share his own reflections of his time as Housemaster and his pride at leading the House and in the positive role the Collett community plays on campus and within the Old Stortfordian community.

Now reaching a significant milestone, Collett House was named in recognition of the Century long relationship between the Collett family and Bishop’s Stortford College which welcomed the education of 32 family members (believed to be the largest family figures in College history). Numbers including members of both the Collett and Alexander families which were united by marriage. The College has also been fortunate to have two Collett Chairs of Governors, one of whom who was Lord Mayor of London and the other the Lieutenant of the City of London.

When leaving the College, The first day boy to assume the prestigious role of Head of School, OS Peter Collett (GH,DBH,43-52) championed the need for Day Houses to shake off their century long perception as second class citizens. Returning to the School as a young OS to ask the Headmaster to rename the existing Day Boy House X & Y houses with formal names, Peter was deemed successful in his request with the naming of both Hayward & Sutton House in the following years. Very fitting that when in 1997, the Day Boy Houses had reached 100 boys in each that Chris Woodhouse, then Housemaster of School House, suggested that in recognition of the longevity of the relationship with the Collett family that the house was named in their honour. Peter was invited by College Headmaster, Steve Benson, to meet and was asked how he felt about the naming in this way, needless to say, Peter was delighted.

By 1996 the day boy houses had grown so big that the 4th form of both houses were blended together and housed on the ground floor of School House under the watchful eye of Richard Honey, who would become the first Housemaster of Collett House in 1997. The new house took over the ground floor of School House, much to the dismay of the School House boys who lost their common room in the process, from then on only being allowed to use it during the evenings to watch tv when Collett were at home. Eventually even this privilege was removed. Collett remained in its original position within the School House building until its redevelopment necessitated a move to stunning new surroundings in 2017. Collett House is now located off Maze Green Road, behind the dining hall and in close proximity to both Rowe and Trotman boarding houses.

The wonderfully relaxed evening came to a close with many OS leaving to continue their celebrations in town. We are incredibly grateful to all our guests, many of whom, travelled some distance to join us in raising a toast the first 25 years of Collett House – here is to many happy decades to follow!

A photo gallery from the event can be seen below.

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School House,Maze Green Rd,
Bishop's Stortford,CM23 2PQ

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