FRIENDS OF ST. THOMAS A BECKET CHURCH, HUNTINGTON
Allan Lloyd Gives a Barnstorming Talk on
The Chequered History of Lady Hawkins’ School
On Saturday April 30th, the well-known Kington historian, Allan Lloyd gave a barnstorming talk on Four Centuries of the History of Lady Hawkins’ School, Kington, held in the church of St. Thomas à Becket, Huntington.
This was the second event of the year for the Friends of St. Thomas à Becketand once again, the church was packed. Many of the people attending had attended the school, yet had no idea of its history, which was founded by Lady Hawkins, as directed in her will of 1619.
Allan, who himself had taught there for a near record time of 40 years, explained the school’s beginning following Lady Hawkins death in 1620. She left £800 to buy land at Hergest, which became known as ‘The School Farm’. One her many stipulations was that the income from the farm should go towards the building of a free school near Kington Church and the perpetual maintenance of a schoolmaster and usher. So the school was built and Allan led us through four centuries of the great successes and other periods of failure in the school’s history. Some of the stories were riveting, others amusing and the whole evening ended in mirth when he produced the school caps and berets worn by past Head Prefects of the school, three of whom were sitting in the audience, Ann Edwards, Stephen Gilling and Ian Smith.
Finally, the audience were handed copies of the School Hymn and School Song, so with Stephen Gilling on the organ, there was many a wet eye amongst the former pupils of the Lady Hawkins’ School as they sang the stirring words of the School Hymn.
The evening concluded with another fun party in the marquee outside, with free drinks and canapés provided by the many generous people of Huntington.