Old Seafordian Gareth Neame opens The Johnson Centre

Vickie Cameron, Gareth Neame OBE, Headmaster John Green and Sian Green Old Seafordian Gareth Neame, OBE returned to Seaford College on Friday 3rd November to open the Johnson Centre, Seaford’s new Performing Arts & Sports Centre.

It has been named in honour of Reverend Canon Charles Johnson, who was Headmaster at Seaford for 44 years, and his wife Joscelyn. Gareth is an Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning producer and is the Executive Producer for Downton Abbey.

Headmaster John Green thanking Martin Tidby, Director at Amiri Construction, for their work on the Johnson Centre projectGareth praised Seaford saying: “I was honoured to be asked to open the Johnson Centre, firstly because Seaford College was the making of me.  Above everything else it taught me self-confidence and independence which are tremendously important in the business I went into, so I have a lot to be grateful for.  I visited the College in the summer and I was incredibly impressed by the range of facilities available to pupils today.  Seaford has always had excellent sport but now it was the calibre of the Music and the Art & Design departments that really struck me.”

The official opening and blessing was followed by an impressive variety of performances including the College’s chapel choir, funk band, soul band and wind quartet, alongside a lyrical contemporary dance and a short scene from a play which was commissioned for the event.  The vibrant evening ended with an impressive firework display illuminating Seaford’s 450 acres of listed parkland.

Tori Fitzpatrick performing a lyrical contemporary dance Seaford's Soul Band
Seaford Prep School students performing in the play Seaford's Director of Performing Arts, Sara Reynolds & the Chapel Choir

The vibrant evening ended with an impressive firework display illuminating Seaford's 450 acres of listed parklandJohn Green, Headmaster added: “The Johnson Centre is a £3.5m investment in the facilities at Seaford.  It’s all about an all-round education and every pupil aged 7-18 will benefit from the facilities here.”  Su Sayer, CBE, and the daughter of Charles & Joscelyn Johnson (who is also Seaford’s Vice Chair of Governors) spoke warmly of her parents saying: “Today they would be thrilled to see this wonderful Performing Arts and Sports Centre together with the integrated sports facilities and climbing wall, they would be thrilled.  This building will enable every pupil to learn new skills and develop his/her talents.”

Seaford's Head of Rugby Ed Bowden & Andrew Guiry Seaford's Director of Sport Liam Doubler & Dr Jane Askew with Old Seafordians Piers Plowman, Mel Sutherland, Tristan Evans, Dougie Howson, Patrick Disley-May

You can see our highlights video of the event below. An extra special thanks goes to Peter Viccari, who helped with the creation of this video!


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