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Percy Armstrong, Scarborough College’s first Head was educated at Kingswood School, Bath. He gained an Open Scholarship in Mathematics to Jesus College, Oxford where he was awarded a first class degree in Mathematics and won College colours in rugby and cricket. He went on to be senior mathematics master at Eastbourne College.

Appointed to the first Headship of Scarborough College, he was impatient with waiting for the building to be completed. In early 1901 he took up residence in the College, much to the surprise of the workmen arriving on site. On 17th May 1901 he opened the school in his house - the west wing - to the first seven pupils while the building work continued. The College was officially opened on 18th September 1901 by George Lord Beeforth (Lord is a family name) and had twelve pupils by then.

To mark his 25 years as Headmaster of College, the Old Boys and Masters commissioned London artist Mr. E. Barnard Lintott to paint Percy’s portrait. It was hung in the far end of the dining room in the war memorial extension, having been presented to Percy at Speech Day on December 18th 1926, along with an inscribed silver salver.

In response he replied: “I am proud of Scarborough College. I am proud of my Old Boys, and although they may be surprised to hear me say it, I am proud of my present boys.” He added that a  school was judged not by what it said of itself, but by what became of, and was what done by its old boys. Numbers had grown and were in the region of 200.

Over the years the portrait fell into a state of disrepair and most recently was discovered to be torn and possibly beyond repair. The OSA Committee decided to try to find a restorer who could take on the challenge of restoring the portrait of the revered first Head of the College to its former glory and to take its rightful position  - hung in a prominent place in College.

Restorer Mark Smith – a Painting & Frame Restorer based in Pickering was challenged to deal with the portrait. He has worked way beyond the brief and produced a superb restoration. The portrait now hangs adjacent to George Lord Beeforth – they are either side of entry to the Sixth Form Study (formerly the Library, dormitory, study rooms) with the plaque recognizing the Armstrong brothers,  being located above the door.

Following a local sub-group meeting of the OSA, the attendees and long serving member of the estates staff Paul Swinger, who has been a font of all wisdom concerning the history of the College, viewed the newly hung portrait and all agreed it was a superb restoration and a fitting resting  place for the portrait of Percy Armstrong.