Photo: Maciej Kapsa
The Old Almondburians' Society is a fellowship of past pupils and staff of King James's School in Almondbury, Huddersfield. Membership is currently around 500 and the Society's affairs are administered by an Executive Committee which meets monthly at the School.
The Society has three principal objectives:
► To uphold the honour and status of the School
► to provide a means of contact between members, with one another and with the School, by holding events including an Annual Dinner and by producing magazines and other publications
► to provide assistance to the School including, where appropriate, the use of Society Funds to support projects approved by the Committee.
Over the years, we have fulfilled the first objective in many different ways such as supporting the School against possible closure, building the cricket pavilion, floodlighting the school buildings, financing sound systems, providing sports kits for various teams and by using our membership network to place a massive range of skills at the School's disposal.
We achieve our second objective by publishing our magazine The Almondburian to our membership three times a year and through this comprehensive website. There is also our main social event of the year the Annual Dinner, usually attended by 100-200 guests from all over the world, which gives people a chance to reminisce amongst their contemporaries. We also organise a popular annual Quiz, and there are occasional outings to places of interest. Membership ranges from those who joined the School in 1920 to those who left last summer.
Membership of the Old Almondburians' Society is open to all former pupils and staff of King James's School and costs £10 per annum.
To join the Old Almondburians' Society online or by post, click here.
Click here to view the Old Almondburians' Society Rules.
Last updated: 6th June 2021. Webmaster: Roger Dowling
'The original Letters Patent of King James do not exist,' reported a gloomy Taylor Dyson in his scholarly 1926 book Almondbury and its Ancient School. But he was wrong. In May 1952, thanks to a chance visit to an exhibition by a School party led by Fred Hudson, they were found to be in the safe keeping of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in Leeds. They were subsequently displayed, on loan from the Society, in a purpose-built cabinet in the School library.
The parchment measures some 91 cm by 76 cm (36" by 30") and carries, in the left hand corner, an illuminated letter 'J' framing a representation of James I bearing an orb and sceptre. Along the top margin and down the right are representations of the royal coat of arms, supported by lions, unicorns, the fleur de lys, roses of York and Lancaster, thistle, harp and standards of St George and St Andrew.
Down the left hand margin are the coats of arms of the School's six 'first governors': Robert Kay of Woodsome; William Ramsden of Longley; George Crosland, vicar of the parish church of Almondbury; Nicholas Fenay of Fenay; Richard Appleyard of Over Longley; and Robert Nettleton of Almondbury.
The Letters Patent are dated 'the 24th day of November in the 6th year of the reign of his then Majesty of England, France and Ireland and 42nd of Scotland.' James I of England came to the throne in March 1603, and a simple calculation confirms that he therefore started the sixth year of his reign in 1608. How Taylor Dyson, in common with generations of other historians, accepted the old erroneous date of 1609 has never been satisfactorily explained.
The six pupils who rediscovered the Charter in 1952 (left to right):
Michael Fawcett; David Anderson; Tommy Blackburn; John Earnshaw; Allan Dobson; Alan Sykes