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From a Victorian train station to glamorous futuristic dinner tables, the inaugural Auction Dinner takes guests on a special journey

Guests adorned in dinner jackets and formal dresses arrived to find the Hardcastle Hall transformed into the Abbey Junction - a Victorian train station - for the welcome reception of our inaugural Auction Dinner in celebration of 130 years of The Abbey. Composer and pianist Andy Quin provided atmospheric live piano as he accompanied a silent film carrying guests through the ages and the history of our School since its foundation in 1887.

Who would have thought that a journey could be so much fun? Embarking on The Abbey ‘130 Express’, 130 passengers travelled down the hallways and through the decades, brilliantly portrayed through iconic vignettes from Sixth Form Drama students, arriving at a destination that delighted all the senses.  Delicious food, convivial company, fierce bidding and thoughtful entertainment were the order of the night. From a beautifully sung grace, to a highly entertaining auctioneer-raconteur in Abbey parent and TV presenter Matt Allwright, the night was, indeed, memorable.

As the three course dinner came to a close it was time to take to the bidding paddles. Eight luxury auction prizes, including a Royal Jeweller Experience and a holiday in The Algarve, were snapped up by the eager audience. A number of lucky pupils even secured the chance to be Head for the Day after some fierce competition among the parents. A further 11 silent auction prizes and 24 raffle items were up for grabs as the evening progressed. Fun was had amidst much banter and frantic bidding which meant that the evening was successful in raising proceeds for our two charities - Kids for Kids international charity chosen by the girls and our 1887 Fund in support of bursaries.

Mrs Rachel Dent, Head of The Abbey, thanked the parents, governors, alumnae and friends of the School for their generosity in both donations and enthusiasm for the event and reminded the audience of the outstanding community that exists within our School.

Topped off with an electric performance from special guests ‘Escala’, the night truly was a wonderful celebration of our 130 anniversary.

View the photo gallery here.

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