Kingston Grammar School unveils spectacular alumni wall as a tribute to former students


Kingston Grammar School has today unveiled a spectacular photographic alumni frieze stretching the 23-metre length of its QEII building on London Road, Kingston upon Thames, profiling some of its former students and their achievements. Covering all eleven windows, the frieze has taken almost two years to create from the initial planning stage to final production.

Featured on the wall are Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell and Sophie Hosking, renowned author and playwright Michael Frayn, lawyer and humanitarian founder of Justice Defenders Alexander McLean, current GB international hockey players Sarah Evans and Zach Wallace, marine biologist Dr Nathan Robinson, RAF helicopter pilot and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross Flt Lt Ian Fortune, CEO of ImproveWell and the British Medical Journal’s first Entrepreneur in Residence Lara Mott, entrepreneur and co-founder of Hotel Chocolat Peter Harris, Chief Conductor of the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck Kerem Hasan, fashion designer Sophie Dunster, multi-award-winning garden designer Andy Sturgeon, historian Edward Gibbon, entrepreneur and founder of Not On The High Street Sophie Cornish, playwright and screen writer, most famous for Journey’s End, Goodbye Mr Chips and The Dam Busters, RC Sherriff, founder of SelflessUK and recipient of the BEM in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List Dr Na’eem Ahmed and world-leading emergency response practitioner Dr Amy Hughes MBE.

KGS Head Master Mr Stephen Lehec said, “KGS continues to have a long and distinguished legacy since the awarding of its Royal Charter in 1561, nearly 500 years ago. We are proud to showcase our history and culture of success and public service as well as our position of being firmly embedded in the richly diverse Royal Borough of Kingston. This alumni wall is the perfect way to celebrate our continued achievements as a school as well as our contribution as a historical landmark. This is very much a live piece that will grow and develop over the years to come.”

The remarkable frieze has been created by Atelier Works, who created the celebrated King’s College London alumni landmark on the Strand. Founder Ian Chilvers comments, “Everyone has a special story. Atelier Works enjoy working with clients to develop and project their visual narratives and the KGS alumni frieze is a rich testament to the School’s ethos. It has been a wonderful project; finding out about the Old Kingstonians who make our world a better, more vibrant place. Hopefully, we have designed a frieze that will inspire future KGS students and become a feature of civic pride for the people of Kingston upon Thames.”

He adds, “The design aims to provide a discreet window to the students who use the study area, while at the same time allowing a great deal of light into the space. The project certainly required some stamina; every detail had to be checked and approved, copyright cleared, planning permission sought and production tests agreed - all within lockdown!”