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NEWS > Alumnae News > The LEH Harry Styles Connection

The LEH Harry Styles Connection

Finance Manager, Sally Mead, from the Class of 1980, took her nephew, Matthew, to see the LEH plaque in the Barbican, en route to the Alumnae Carol Service, after spotting it in a Harry Styles video.
Log into your Holles Connect account to see more photos below.
Log into your Holles Connect account to see more photos below.

If you look very closely, to the right of Harry in his bright LEH-red coat, as he weaves through a group of passers-by on their daily commute, you can just about spot the distinctive upper edge of the plaque on one of the dark pillars (circled in red).

The plaque, which is situated on one of the supporting pillars of an elevated walkway underneath Gilbert House within the Barbican Estate, is situated near LEH’s first purpose-built premises in Redcross Street in 1832, and commemorates the foundation of the school in 1710.

“We were very excited to spot the plaque on the video and I decided to show Matthew precisely where it is," said Sally.  “I go and look at it every so often and try to imagine the scene 300 years ago!”

Eagle-eyed Sally clocked the LEH memorial after deciding to educate herself about Harry Styles' music: "I clicked on the first YouTube video that came up, and there was the first scene.  Oh my gosh, I recognised the location immediately and waited in anticipation to see the plaque on the pillar.  I know it looks non-descript, but over many years, I’ve been up there on quite a number of occasions during the day.

"I first learnt about the plaque as a pupil and it has been there a long time now!  When training as a chartered accountant in London, I went to a few lunchtime concerts at St Giles' and went to search for the plaque afterwards. I also remember being shown a piece of film at school of the Barbican, shot in the 1950s, when it was still a bomb site. It’s astonishing how much the area has changed, but the plaque provides a special little link into the past."

The multi-million best-selling megastar Harry Styles shot the video for his global hit single As It Was (2022) across several different locations in London, featuring the Brutalist brilliance of the Barbican Centre as his backdrop, as well as the Penguin Pool at London Zoo and the Royal Horticultural Halls.

The song’s laid-back cadence, which features an ’80s-inspired earworm of a synth line that nods to A-Ha’s new wave classic Take on Me, is a catchy tune typical of the singer’s warm, welcoming vibe. The intro even includes his five-year-old goddaughter, Ruby, calling out: “Come on, Harry, we want to say goodnight to you!”

Why not don your finest jazzy, red sequinned jumpsuit, LEH-red overcoat, and check out the plaque for yourself?

If you are logged into your Holles Connect account, you will be able to see the gallery of photos below, including a picture of Sally and Matthew next to the plaque, a close-up of the plaque and details of its exact location.

PHOTOS gallery

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