When I was a pupil at the Dragon School in the early 1980s, the term ended with two spectacular highlights: the ballroom dancing competition and the Christmas Charity Sale. The former provided one of my few chances to shine – as one of the only girls in my year I pretty much always won! The latter was the most wonderful way to say goodbye to the end of term and hello to the beginning of the Christmas holidays and all the joys they held.
Every year at the Sale my family would buy our Christmas tree, which my father would lug home down Dragon Lane. The arrival of this tree marked the beginning of Christmas for me and even now I never put the tree up before mid-December. No pupil would turn up to the Sale without their navy-and-gold-striped striped School scarf, and sweatshirts with the Dragon logo on were on all of our Christmas lists.
The Sale continues today, this year being its 78th, and in many ways, the core of this event is little changed. The Sale still provides the opportunity for the whole Dragon community to get together: the Pre-Prep, Prep, colleagues, parents, ODs, former parents, and some of the local community. I like to think that it is still very much a child-centric event featuring many children-run stalls with weird and wonderful names. It provides the young Dragons with the opportunity to be creative, to learn how to handle money, and most importantly to start on a journey of philanthropy – a course that I hope many will follow into adulthood.
Each year the Dragon Sale raises incredible sums of money for charity. Features such as authors’ corner, the auctions, the raffle, and the bottle tombola take place most years, and are aimed at the grown-ups amongst us who don’t want to win sweets on a child’s stall! The introduction of mulled wine and champagne a couple of years ago has proved very popular and there is nothing nicer than seeing off the School term in the Lynam Hall with a glass of something, whilst watching the excitement of the Live Auction.
We never seem to fail to find a tireless group of volunteers to run this magnificent event. Even last year, when the pandemic meant that the Sale could not go ahead in its usual form, they rose to the challenge and brought us an online event. The 2021 Sale will not quite be back to its pre-COVID glory, but 11th December promises to be an exciting day and we hope to welcome many of our local community again.
Please do keep up to date with Dragon Christmas Charity Sale news via the Sale’s website and support this wonderful event, if you can.
Catherine Allen (née Longrigg, OD 1985)
Chair of Trustees
Dragon Christmas Charity Sale
This year’s Dragon Sale will take place on Saturday, 11th December.