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

Best-selling author Kathy Lette has slammed Royal Mail after private post for her and her barrister husband Geoffrey Robertson was found dumped in a street in West Hampstead.

12:57

Supporters of Burgh House gathered for an afternoon tea to raise funds for the upkeep of the Grade I-listed building.

The London Fire Brigade hosed down the car just outside a disabled parking bay in a residential street

Yesterday, 17:25

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

Yesterday, 16:31

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

Yesterday, 16:01

Change is afoot in Highgate as a consultation on a new Neighbourhood Plan opens

Yesterday, 15:03

Hampstead High Street and Muswell Hill Broadway could lose their Maison Blanc stores under a review that has been launched into the high-end patisserie chain.

Yesterday, 07:00

Crime campaigners fear gang warfare is spilling onto the leafy streets of Hampstead and Belsize Park after two shootings and a knife attack this month.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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