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News > School Updates & Achievements > Horsley bids a fond farewell

Horsley bids a fond farewell

Reverend John Sykes bid farewell to Horsley Boys and Cranbrook School
Horsley bids a fond farewell
Horsley bids a fond farewell

Reverend John Sykes bid farewell to Horsley Boys and Cranbrook School in July 2019 after 37 years. He joined the school in 1983 as its first Career Teacher and went on to become Head of Horsley Boys, a role in which he continued to provide invaluable guidance to the older boys on further education choices, and on how to make the most of their Cranbrook opportunities to the younger ones.

Horsley Boys under Mr Sykes was a fiefdom within the school. He held firm to his traditional values and the things he felt were important from Cranbrook’s traditions and ethos. Fiercely proud and protective of his boys, he expected the highest standards of behaviour, but where a punishment had been meted out from elsewhere that he felt was unjust or unnecessary he was immediately into battle on their behalf.

Horsley boys truly loved Mr Sykes although they might not always have appreciated it at the time. His consistency and intransigence gave them clear boundaries at a time in their lives when so much seemed to be changing.

Horsley wanted to share some precious memories of Mr Sykes and his famous phrases as their way of saying goodbye and thank you.

My favourite memories of John are in the Horsley Block, when we could chat, in his office, about any issues I had whether personal, with work or otherwise. He was (and is) always there for anyone in need and whenever I hear the words ‘Ahh well you see...’ I just know something thoughtful, wonderful and educational is about to follow.


‘Right then, let’s make a start please’ - It’s impossible to overestimate what Mr Sykes did for the House and community.

‘Boys will be boys’ - He was a man of principle. However, he was not afraid to bend the rules to help us out.

‘Don’t forget your fiver’ - He was firm but fair. He was like a grandfather to us.

‘Community is the cornerstone of a happy mind’


Thank you Mr Sykes for everything that you did for your Horsley Boys and Cranbrook School as a whole.

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