‘Apparelled in red’ girls on parade

Girls from Redmaids’ High in Bristol marked the founding of their school with their traditional annual procession through Bristol.

Led by the school’s two head girls Maddie and Muznah, pictured right, more than 700 students aged seven to 18 marched from Welsh Back to Bristol Cathedral for a service.

The day was originally called Founder’s Day; a Red Maids’ School tradition to celebrate its founder, John Whitson. His crypt is in St Nicholas Church and every year the school’s head girls lay a wreath on his tomb before proceeding to the cathedral.

Students in the first few rows of the procession dress in traditional Red Maids’ boarder attire, a red cape and bonnet, which is a nod to Whitson, who as a merchant imported red dye to the city and on founding the school, said that the students should be ‘apparelled in red’.

In 2016 following the school’s merger with Redland High, Founder’s Day became Founders’ Commemoration Day, and the occasion now recognises the founders of both schools; John Whitson, Reverends T G Rose and Urijah Thomas.

Alumnae, parents and members of the public line the route to watch the historic spectacle.
Head Paul Dwyer said: “I think our founders would all be incredibly proud to know that centuries later, we continue to realise their dream in offering an outstanding and forward-thinking education for girls in Bristol.”