Three Generations of ArtsEd: Their Story


In ArtsEd’s 100th year, we unearth memories, pictures, programmes and newspaper clippings to collate the rich history of ArtsEd together. While doing so, we discovered a whole family of ArtsEd students made up of three generations of women: grandmother, Lynn Sawyer, her two daughters Samantha and Claire Sawyer, and granddaughter, Scarlet Grace Churchhouse, who currently attends ArtsEd Sixth Form.

Grandmother, Lynn shares memories from her time at ArtsEd in the 60’s:

“I attended 144 Piccadilly at Hyde Park. It was an amazing building full of history. I simply loved it there. I won a scholarship in 1966 and had a wonderful time. After my schooling I then auditioned for the students’ school and continued my training for a further three years.

I am still in the business that I love as a talent agent! I have trained many students who have gone on to further training at ArtsEd; one of these is Jordan Shaw who is doing amazingly well playing the lead role in The Lion King.

I have wonderful memories of my time at ArtsEd and cherished every moment. Even back then, I knew this was a very special place indeed.

…By the way, I still have my boater hat!”

Lynn Sawyer, age 14

Daughter, Claire Sawyer also shared memories of her time at ArtsEd:

“When I think back to my time spent training at ArtsEd, I can only think of what an amazing school it was and how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to study drama there. Not only is the vocational training outstanding, it also offers an excellent academic education.

I attended the day school at the age of 11 when the school was located at Golden Lane. It was an impressive building with lots of character and even an iron bridge! Our Head at the time was the lovely Mrs Jack. 

In my second year we moved to Turnham Green, Chiswick to where it is today.

I was fortunate enough to audition for a Walt Disney Film called Friendship in Vienna and was offered a role with my friend Zoe Tahir and we filmed in Budapest for a while, and our drama teacher chaperoned us. I was also fortunate enough to perform in The Sound Of Music at The Apollo Theatre, and my luckiest role was landing the lead in a three-year TV series called Mr Majeika which aired every week and on Christmas Day! I honestly believe it was ArtsEd that put me in good stead to land these roles! 

Claire and Samantha Sawyer in their ArtsEd uniforms

I love the fact that 3 generations of my family have attended the school! My mother, sister and now my daughter Scarlet is fulfilling her dreams studying there.

I made friends at ArtsEd that I still have to this very day and the lovely memories of studying there will stay with me forever!”

Daughter, Samantha Sawyer reminisced on her time at ArtsEd:

“I can remember being so excited to have been offered a place at ArtsEd and following in my mother’s footsteps, having heard such wonderful stories of her time there. We were taught such amazing skills that have taken us through our professional lives.  I excelled in acting and worked in a number of television series for some time, such as Barchester Chronicles and Lame Ducks. ArtsEd is such a prestigious school and I am so proud to be part of their Centenary”

Granddaughter, Scarlet Grace is currently studying Acting and Film Studies at ArtsEd Sixth Form, and she is also appearing in exciting new series, Truth Seekers, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. You can read more about it in our previous news article.