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Welcome to the Old Fishes Association

Join the Old Fishes Association today to reconnect with old friends and receive the latest news and updates.

The Old Fishes Association

Founded in 1851, the Old Fishes Association connects a network of former students, promoting ongoing communication between the School and all former students, parents and members of staff. By keeping in touch we are able to provide information about alumni events, share success stories and continue to offer a friendly service of support whenever our students need us after they have left the School.

Who are the Old Fishes?

New Hall Alumni are referred to as Old Fishes (formerly New Hallians, as well). The term Old Fishes is a traditional term, which was used for New Hall students from as early as 1799. At the time of Catholic persecution in mainland Europe, the founding Religious Community, The Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, and their students were forced to leave Liège, in the Low Countries (what is now Belgium). It was not a simple task, as students now had to be smuggled into the country. The sisters used the code name ‘fishes’ in their correspondences to cover up the real contents of the boats arriving on the English shores. This secret led to students across the decades to being referred to as ‘Fishes’, with alumni becoming ‘Old Fishes’ as they left the School. It is a unique and fascinating story that unites everyone associated with New Hall with the rich heritage of our past. It also makes an interesting talking point at dinner parties!


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