The Final Ever Trinity Prize Winner's Evening

The very last Prize Winners' Evening for pupils of Trinity School was held on Wednesday 3rd November 2004 in the main hall of what most of us would know as the Girl's Grammar School.  The opportunity had been taken to invite back former members of staff and for them to present the prizes and to remember some of the milestones of the Trinity era.

A short introductory speech was made by the current Head, Mrs S Goode, who spoke warmly and sincerely about the achievements of current pupils.  This was the fourteenth such evening and follows on from a similar events held by the former Trinity School.  Mr D Cummings, Head teacher from 1974 to 1992 commented on this in his speech, as it was he who changed the old Speech Day into a Prize Winner's Evening, when the school became a Comprehensive.  Although there was only the briefest of mentions made of the former Speech Day that had been held at held at Trinity High School up to 1973.  In total this must have been at least the 50th such event, counting both types.  

As normal, click on any image to see a larger version.  This report is thanks to the combined efforts of John Ingham and Janet Anderton. The prize presenters notes were supplied by librarian, Jane Chatburn.

Sharon Goode, opening the evening.

A variety of past members of staff presented prizes to pupils in years 9 to 11 (or 3rd to 5th years from 'our' era) as well as years 12 and 13, equivalent to the old Sixth Form. The full list of all those presenting prizes can be found in the official programme for the evening (below right).  It is the intention of this brief account of the evening to concentrate on the comments of those members of staff present who would be well known to those of us from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

It was intended only to 'celebrate' at the Prize giving the achievements of the staff and pupils of the post comprehensive era, which began with the Headship of Mr D. Cummings.  Sadly there was no representation of teaching staff from the selective era and the staff of the old THS, unless their tenure overlapped the two distinct eras.  The current school's librarian, Mrs Jane Chatburn, mounted a series of posters - one for each decade from the 50s to the new millennium - which illustrated a wide variety of events and aspects of the history of the 3 schools. Virtually all of this material is already to be found within the pages of this web-site.

There were, therefore, only three members of staff who actually overlap the 'Buzzer era' up to 1974 and that of his successor, Mr Cummings and these were Messers David Baker, David Spence and Michael Joy.

David Baker (1962 - 1974) was of course Head of Music.  He particularly recalled the Gilbert & Sullivan concerts such as 'Iolanthe' and 'Pirates of Penzance' and the excellent co-operation of both staff and pupils to make such events the huge successes that they were.  He also clearly recalled the famous (or maybe notorious) 'Goodbyee' prank played by the departing Upper Sixth Formers in July 1965.  He also recalls that at least one Sixth Former (Ken Kendall) was rather unceremoniously expelled by Buzzer on what was his last day at school, which he suggested was a little unfair.  He now lives in a village close to Northampton and it is to be hoped that he may make an appearance at a future reunion.

Michael Joy (1965 - 1994) arrived at THS in September 1965 as a third Geography teacher with Peter Fellowes and the formidable Peter (Pip) Harris as Head of Department.  Michael became Head of Department some 3 years later on the promotion of Pip Harris to Deputy Head.  Peter Fellowes reportedly left the school as Pip Harris was promoted since, it would seem, he did not wish to be Head of Department.  Michael also recalls how he earned his first promotion; he volunteered to help 'Nobby' Clarke to set out the chairs for the annual Speech Day.  As many will recall; Nobby was very precise in his layout of the Hall using a couple of carefully measured rods to ensure that each neighbouring chair was identically & perfectly spaced out as well as the spacing between each row being perfect.  Buzzer was apparently so impressed that the young Michael volunteered to assist that he suggested that he could find it in his power to 'reward' him.  Oh how so easily promotions were obtained in those days!  Michael remained at Trinity until 1994, when he was then Head of Sixth Form; it is believed he is the longest serving teacher from all 3 variations of Trinity.  He still lives close to the school and has been a School Governor.

David Spence (1967-90) was initially a Chemistry teacher who later became the Head of the Science Department.  David seems to have a keen sense of tradition since he well remembers the 'jumping the pond' sessions.  Mind you it is no doubt that he does so since by the early 1970s it was not only the pupils who attempted this feat but also the staff.  The reason why David remembers it so very clearly is because he failed!!

There is a fourth teacher who overlaps the 2 school eras and this is John Dawkins but not because his teaching career spanned the 2 eras.  He was a pupil from 1954 to 1961, in the days when the school was based in the old Technology College buildings.  He then came to Trinity as a teacher of Technology from 1974 - 1998 and judging by John's impish sense of humour and roguish smile, one must assume he was popular with the pupils. 

Three teachers from the Trinity era

Principle, Sharon Goode opening the Prize-winner's evening

Three ex-Trinity teachers, Mr J Dawkins, Mr D Spence and Mr D Baker.

 

Cover of the Prize Winner's Folder

Ex-headmaster, Mr D Cummins, reminiscing

The Prize Winner's Folder presented to Janet Anderton.

Click to see a larger version

Janet Facer receiving a prize. Janet (now Anderton) is one of the longer serving members of the school staff, as well as an ex-pupil.

Inside the Folder

The Programme for Prize Winners Evening.

Click on the cover to open the programme

John presented the Chown Trophy for Design & Technology - a rather nifty looking silver plated trowel - to a Year 11 pupil.  This was particularly significant since this is an award he won as a pupil in 1961! John can be seen on the Rugger team photo of 1959/60.

More photos of the evening.  Detailed captions are shown on the large version.  Click on the photo to see the larger version

Janet Anderton (Janet Facer, when a pupil) was one of the people presenting a prize.  Janet went up on stage to present the Judy Herring prize to the winner.  However, you will see in the programme that the name of the prize winner says "to be announced".  Sharon Goode made the announcement about the prize as Janet walked on to the stage, and after explaining why the prize was presented, she announced that Janet should present the prize to herself as she was the winner.  Janet was lost for words, which is a very rare event!

The prize is in memory of Judy Herring.  Judy was a member of the admin staff for a number of years.  She died a couple of years ago from an aggressive form of breast cancer.  Her husband Martyn donated the prize to be given to a member of the administration staff for outstanding service to the school.  Janet has been on the admin staff for 29 years, and she was awarded the prize for providing a listening ear for other members of staff who have problems, and for supporting Judy during her illness.

All in all this was a rather nostalgic evening despite the scant reference to the pre-1974 aspect of the school history.  It was most pleasant to experience the rapport between staff and pupils and their sense of achievement now and in the past.  The past 30 years of the school's history was well illustrated and it would seem that all present had nothing but pride to have been associated with the name Trinity.

Around the walls of the hall were displays of the school, plus a short write up on each of the guest presenters.  You can read the items on the guest presenters by clicking on the photos below.  There were 17 guest presenters.  To read about them, click on the button below.

The Prize Presenters

The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton