Search

Former PM Gordon Brown hails Highgate School as ‘one of the great schools of our country’

15:00 08 May 2014

Gordon Brown meets pupils at Highgate School. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Gordon Brown meets pupils at Highgate School. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Former prime minister Gordon Brown hailed independent Highgate School as “one of the great schools of our country” as he opened a new library in honour of world-renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert.

Mr Brown visited the school, in North Road, Highgate, on Tuesday to officially open the new library based in the school’s Victorian hall, known as “Big School”.

Having earlier flown in from Washington, the Labour MP addressed an audience in the library and paid tribute to Sir Martin, 77, a former Highgate School pupil, who is recovering in a nursing home after recently suffering a stroke.

The former prime minister described the day as a “great occasion not only for the school and the Gilbert family but also for our country”.

He said: “Let me first of all say what a privilege it is to be at Highgate School. I know of the great history of the school and your distinguished pupil Sir Martin Gilbert.

“I want to congratulate Highgate on its success over many, many years, particularly its current success in being one of the great schools of our country.”

Sir Martin, who attended the school from 1945 to 1955, is the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill and the author of 85 books in total, all of which will be available in the new library. He is also a leading writer of works on the Holocaust and Jewish history.

On Tuesday, as current Labour leader Ed Miliband was launching the party’s local elections campaign, Mr Brown described the “great pleasure” he had in opening the library on Israel’s 66th Independence Day.

Mr Brown also paid homage to the service Sir Martin had provided to British prime ministers over the years.

“I know he helped Lady Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, but he also helped me a great deal with his insights into history,” said Mr Brown.

“I know he advised Harold Wilson even before them, but at every point Martin was available and he wanted to believe that the best outcomes were possible.

“A genuine humanitarian, someone whose writing of history taught him we could always do better in the future if we are able to learn the lessons of history.”

Mr Brown was joined at the opening of the library by Sir Martin’s wife, Lady Esther Gilbert, who also made a speech, as did Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK.

Highgate School headteacher Adam Pettitt said: “It’s the first time in the school’s history that we have had a prime minister come and visit us, so it was a great privilege.

“The ensemble of speeches that were heard by young people would have been very powerful. I think they will have made connections here. We were all here for Sir Martin.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Yesterday, 16:11
Mansfield Bowling club is run-down but beloved by residents in Dartmouth Park. Photo: Polly Hancock

Residents are urged to opposed an appeal from developers to build a “luxury” housing developent on the 100-year-old Mansfield Bowling Club, after their plans were rejected

Tue, 17:03
Hungry: Liam Gallagher (Picture: Adam Butler/PA)

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has revealed he once pelted former Hampstead neighbour Jamie Oliver’s windows with stones and demanded a bacon roll.

Tue, 12:06
Kemi Adeyoola

A “cold-blooded killer” who murdered an elderly Golders Green woman should not be freed anytime soon, a top judge has ruled.

Tue, 11:14
The dog was photographed attacking a swan    picture: Ron Vester

Photographer Ron Vester captures the dramatic moment when a female swan fights off a dog on Hampstead No 2 pond and amazingly escapes with no physical injuries

Tue, 11:13
Councillor Hayward with members of the LaSWAP sixth form consortium

Camden council leader Sarah Hayward was full of praise for A-level students across the borough following the publication of their results last week.

Mon, 18:35
Homes for Haringey has come under fire after the letting agency it set up and funded rented out just two homes in ten months

Haringey Council has come under fire after it was revealed a letting agency it set up and funded at a cost of over £400,000 has rented out just two homes in the last ten months.

Mon, 17:49
Almost half of Camden households are set to receive fortnightly waste collections from next April

Camden Council is set to press ahead with introducing fortnightly waste collections for around half the borough after a rebellion against a new £200 million contract with existing provider Veolia was derailed.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now