John Lyon Timeline



At his own expense, Charles Vaughan, inaugurated the “English Form”, a separate institution from Harrow School but legally part of Harrow School

Henry Hutchinson was appointed the first teacher of the dozen or so boys in a building known as “The Barn” School Roll: 12 Number of Staff: 1


Charles Gregg appointed as Head

The Lower School of John Lyon moved into the “Old Building” on Middle Road and was opened with a celebratory banquet for the 15 boys currently at the School School Roll: 15


Fees were £10

(£12 for those living outside Harrow) School Roll: 53


Fees were reduced

John Lyon Fees were reduced £5 flat rate for all students.


The Lyonian Magazine was launched by Ernest Young

“March 1890 will be an eventful month in the history of the school. It is the birth-month of a school magazine, which, we venture to predict will last as long as the name of John Lyon is remembered in Harrow…”


Pupils started to wear School Cap

“Everyone will soon know the Lyon boys by their caps. No owner of such a cap should ever do anything which would be likely to bring himself, and therefore his schoolfellows into disgrace. To all outsiders the dark blue cap should be a sign that its wearer is a gentleman, in the fullest sense of the word.” Lyonian Magazine 4, March 1890


The first Sports Day

The first Sports Day was held in 1891, the first Old Boys’ dinner

Thomas Blackwell donation

Thomas Blackwell donation

Thomas Blackwell donated £1,000 in 1896 to the School for its first extension to the Old Building (now renamed the Thomas Blackwell Centre). School Roll: 117

New Head Ernest Young

New Head Ernest Young

In 1898 Ernest Young was appointed as Head


Old Lyonian Association

In 1902 the Old Lyonian Association was formed


Ernest Young left JLS

In 1910 Ernest Young left John Lyon School to become Headmaster at Harrow County School, taking many boys with him as well as the assistant master. School Roll: 150


E.H. Butt appointed as Head

School Roll: 100

Boys fundraise and collect £3 to pay for a dog to go with Captain Scott on his expedition to the Antarctic…hoping it wouldn’t be eaten…in the end Scott took no dogs

Boys fundraise and collect £3 to pay for a dog to go with Captain Scott on his expedition to the Antarctic…hoping it wouldn’t be eaten…in the end Scott took no dogs

“Captain Scott adds a little personal note to the acknowledgment, “Will you please convey my personal thanks to the boys, for their generous contribution, and I shall REALLY buy a dog with it and call him ‘Lyon.’ We all hope ‘Lyon’ will return safe and sound from the Great South Land, and if he does, why should not the School adopt him?” Lyonian Magazine 162, March 1910

CCF Started

CCF Started

In 1911 CCF was started under the leadership of Vivian Stranders (later convicted of spying for the Germans before he joined the SS during WW2).


Lyonians served during the First World War

During the period of 1914 to 1918, 350 Lyonians served during the First World War; it claimed the lives of 59 of them.


Metro-land Development

In 1919 Metropolitan Railway Country Estates Ltd formed and began development of Metro-land leading to population increase and higher demand for places.


Pinner View purchased

Pinner View purchased by 10 or so Old Lyonians for the OLA

O.A. Le Beau appointed as Head

O.A. Le Beau appointed as Head

The first official Head of School was appointed: N P Goldhawk. School Roll: 180

Metropolitan Railway Electric Locomotive

Metropolitan Railway Electric Locomotive

In 1927 the Metropolitan Railway Electric Locomotive No. 1 received the name plate ‘John Lyon’.


Le Beau New Building Proposal

Le Beau made the case to Governors for a new building: a 200% population increase in the area in preceding 25 years, lack of 6th form facilities, huge demand for places and the scope to recover the building costs from future fees.  The requirements of the School were a Building 100ft by 30ft, accommodating a Hall,five classrooms, staff room, cloakroom, and wash house.

Le Beaus’ New Building

Le Beaus’ New Building

In 1930 the “New Building” was completed and Governors announced the purchase of 10 acres of land at Sudbury to be a sports ground.



From 1939 – 1945, 500-600 Lyonians served in the Second World War which claimed the lives of 61 Lyonians.


R.F. Boyd Campbell appointed as Head

In 1951 R.F. Boyd Campbell appointed as Head of John Lyon School


Houses Renamed

At the suggestion of the pupils, the Houses were renamed from the points of the compass.  North became Butler, East Norwood, South Moore and West Vaughan


First Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award for a John Lyon pupil

In 1960 the First Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award for a John Lyon pupil: John Mathers.


School Name Change

In 1965 The School changed name from “The Lower School of John Lyon” to “The John Lyon School.”

First female teacher appointed

First female teacher appointed

In 1967 John Lyon appointed our first First female teacher, Alison Dillon.


CCF Disbanded

The CCF was disbanded with the official reason being the dwindling demand, an alternative explanation was concern that the stores would be targeted by violent groups.


Demelsa the Goat

A goat named Demelsa was bought to keep the grass short, she remained at the School until the 1990s

Oldfield Opened

Oldfield Opened

Oldfield was opened to house three first forms and the Art department.


Opening of the Lyon Building

Opening of the Lyon Building to accommodate the Boyd Campbell Hall, Geography,the Senior Common Room, English and Modern Languages.


The John Lyon Charity

The John Lyon Charity was formed to distribute funds from the lands originally owner by John Lyon.   Since 1991, John Lyon’s Charity has distributed over £156 million in grants to a range of organisations that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.


Pavilion at Sudbury

The current pavilion at Sudbury was opened.  It is the fourth pavilion at Sudbury.


The John Lyon Sports Centre Opened

In 1997 The John Lyon Sports Centre was opened, by HRH Duke of Edinburgh

New Building Further Extention

New Building Further Extention

The end of the “New Building” was extended further to create new science laboratories, refurbish Drama facilities and Religious Studies.


Works completed on the Ernest Young Building

in 2012 the works completed on the Ernest Young Building, New Memorial Hall and move of the library to the Lyon Building.

Renovations to the Old Building

Renovations to the Old Building

Renovations to the Old Building and its renaming as the Thomas Blackwell Centre


OLA Move

In 2016 OLA moved out of Pinner View and into the South Vale pavilion at Sudbury.