The Old Wirksworthian Association (OWA), created for former pupils of Anthony Gell Grammar School was formed in 1926 and since the School became all-inclusive with the introduction of Comprehensive education in 1965, has undertaken responsibility for organizing, with the invaluable help of the incumbent of St Mary's Church and Anthony Gell School, the annual celebration of the founding of the School by Anthony Gell in 1576.
Because of dwindling numbers of Members through age and infirmity, the OWA has decided to close and will cease to exist later this year with the winding up of its affairs.
Its last major event was held on Wednesday, 12th July 2023, when a significant number of remaining OWA Members met at St Mary's Church for their annual Founder's Day celebration, followed by an excellent buffet lunch at the Wirksworth Cricket Club pavilion. The service was smoothly and sympathetically conducted by the recently-installed Rector, the Reverend Neil Griffiths, ably assisted by organist Chris Dixon, together with expertly-delivered musical contributions from pupils of the Anthony Gell School, skilfully directed as usual by teacher Mrs Fordham in the presence of their Head Teacher, Malcolm Kelly.
Surplus funds from the OWA will be transferred to the Anthony Gell School Foundation and OWA records will go to the School initially before being passed to the Derbyshire County Archive. The Anthony Gell School will be considering in what ways it intends to continue with the future recognition of the School's founding and it is evident that the School is very positive looking to the future.