On Wednesday, February 8th 2017 from 6pm the foyer and the dining hall at Humphrey Perkins were extremely busy with pupils, past and present, all assembled for the school’s Tercentenary event. All around there were ex-pupils sharing reminiscences, or peering intently at photographs of sports teams, and other events, from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Most were trying to identify old friends or trying to recall when a particular event took place.
I felt privileged to be part of this occasion as I was one of the few who had not attended the school. I had been invited as a member of the village Heritage Group who had helped to sift and sort the mound of memorabilia which had been discovered in the school cellar and was used at this event. The magnificent display had been brilliantly put together by Viviana Massiah and her team.
I managed to have a chat with a few of those attending. I met Moyra MacDonald (her maiden name) and her husband.
Moyra said they met whilst at school! She attended from 1943 to 1948 and they both travelled to school by train from Loughborough where they still live. They’ve been married for 65 years. Moyra told me the tale about the honour of sharing the top table, at lunch time, on a rota basis, with the headmaster.
I also met Rod Lloyd from Twyford, who attended from 1955 to 1962 when the Orchard Block and the Hall were relatively new. He just missed the opportunity to have a swim in the new swimming pool which was finished during the summer after he’d left. He did not seem too disappointed as the pool was outdoors; the roof was constructed several years later. Then I spoke with Barbara Briggs, aged 93, the oldest ex-pupil. Barbara used to travel to school from Syston by train. She was there from 1934 to 1939 and now lives in Hertfordshire near her daughter. Barbara’s sister and two brothers also attended Humphrey Perkins.
At 7pm all, including dignitaries, assembled in the hall for a formal presentation. There were memoirs from ex-pupils, a short speech from the Heritage Group and musical interludes by some very talented teenagers who currently attend the school. A plaque was unveiled in memory of the occasion by Lady Gretton, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, after a blessing by David Norman the Venerable Archdeacon of Loughborough. The headmistress, Krysia Butwilowska, thanked everyone for attending, including Mr Peter Nutkins and Viviana Massiah, and ended with the announcement that the hall would now be called “Anniversary Hall”. Moyra & her husband.