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Distinguished old boy opens ‘wonderful reincarnation’

Posted on November 22 2008 at 2:26:33

Digby and co with the new plaque

His official title alone would have been qualification enough for “Baron Jones of Birmingham, of Alvechurch and of Bromsgrove in the County of Worcestershire” to be the perfect choice to open the new schools and library in Alvechurch.

But the fact that Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, is a former pupil of the school and a role model for the current generation was more important.

Before unveiling a plaque,  Digby entertained a large audience of guests and pupils with tales of having his hide tanned by the headmaster of his day, Mr BJ Lowe, the same man who in 1966 advised him to choose a scholarship to Bromsgrove School from the three he had won.

He remembered escapades at Cub Scouts in Barnt Green – a village “where they think sex is what the coal comes in” – standing on the footbridge at the station to get as filthy as possible in the gases from passing “double header” steam engines that had just pulled up the Lickey Incline.

And it was the canal passing through Alvechurch, near his home in Station Road, that first helped him to realise how business and trade could connect around the globe.

The former Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment said: “It is a privilege to come to the school that gave me my break.

“I was here for six years in the 1960s [when it was in School Lane] and this is a fabulous, wonderful reincarnation of the school I attended. I am just thrilled to bits.”

He impressed on the younger members of the audience the importance of working hard – “I can promise you that the more you put in the more you get out” – while remaining cheerful at all times.

Pictured: Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, with the official plaque and (from left) First School head Janette Morris, pupil Paris Robinson, library co-ordinator Alyson Williams, pupils Dominic Garbett and Miriam Gentleman and Middle School head Karen Jordan.

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