OLD classmates from Spring Grove Grammar gathered at the original site of the school to plant a tree in memory of a much-loved headteacher.
About 10 former pupils visited Spring Grove House, now in the grounds of West Thames College, in London Road, Isleworth, on Tuesday, where they planted a cedar tree in the gardens of the house, occupied by renowned botanist Sir Joseph Banks from 1780 until his death in 1820.
It is almost exactly 60 years since another cedar - believed to have been planted by Sir Joseph, who was instrumental in the construction of Kew Gardens - collapsed under heavy snow on January 2, 1951.
The tree was dedicated to Leonard Brown, who was headteacher at Spring Grove - now Lampton School - for 27 years before retiring in 1962. He died suddenly four years later, aged 70.
Kate Hemmings, senior mistress at the school during his reign, described her former boss as "an idealist with a practical approach to all problems. He had integrity of character, an inner peace and a boundless fund of wisdom".
A ceremony is planned for September 10 next year, when a brass plaque will be formally unveiled.
Raymond Pearce, who attended Spring Grove from 1948 to 53, was one of those who attended Tuesday's planting. Old Spring Grovians, a group of about 700 ex-students, formed following a reunion in 2001, raised £3,000 to pay for the tree and the plaque.
Spring Grove Secondary School opened in 1923 and changed its name to Spring Grove Grammar in 1946. It moved to its current home in Lampton Road, Hounslow, 13 years later and adopted its current name, Lampton School, in 1969.
Spring Grove House is still used as an administrative centre by West Thames College.
For more information about Old Spring Grovians, and details of the ceremony planned for next September, visit www.springgrovegrammarschool.org.uk .