Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
The Rushden Echo, 9th July, 1926, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Mr. L. Perkins
To Be Invested With M.B.E.

Rushden Headmaster Honoured

Recognition of Educational Services

Public Activities for Rushden

 An Empire honour conferred on Mr. L. Perkins, B.Sc., of Rushden, in the list of the King’s Birthday Honours (published last week) is some acknowledgement of invaluable services rendered by Mr. Perkins in the cause of education in the county.  Mr. Perkins is summoned to attend at Buckingham Palace next Tuesday to be invested with the insignia of Member of the Order of the British Empire.  It is the cause of much gratification in Rushden and district.

  The honour, which is very highly deserved, is, we understand, on a recommendation from the Board of Education.  It has long been known locally that Mr. Perkins has devoted almost whole-time energies to promoting the educational welfare of children from this area.  His undoubted ability and wide practical experience were long ago recognised by the Northants County Education Committee when he was appointed to the committee in an advisory capacity (on teachers’ work, equipment of schools, etc.).  This service on the county authority has necessitated the sacrifice of Saturdays and evenings on other days.  Rushden benefits thereby, and the general advice which Mr. Perkins is so well qualified to give must necessarily have been to the advantage of schools in other parts of the county.

  For a good many years before and since the war Mr. Perkins has conducted an Evening Continuation School in Rushden, and it is now acknowledged to be one of the best in the county.  Hundreds of boys and girls have from that school derived advantages – chiefly commercial – which would have been out of their reach otherwise.  It is a great achievement to have captured so large a number of youngsters and have directed their habits away from fruitless street-wandering to securing intellectual advancement.  Amongst these “kids,” as Mr. Perkins affectionately calls them, he spends his happiest moments.  His own

Methods Of Teaching

hold the interest of the pupils by his simplicity of demonstration, quaint humour, and originality of expression.  He is never austere, yet under him discipline is perfect.

  Having such proved worth, it was natural that the Rushden School Managers should unanimously have recommended Mr. Perkins as the head of the new Intermediate School at Rushden.  He had been headmaster of Newton-road Mixed School since he came to Rushden in 1904.  Five years later he was elected president of the North Northants Teachers’ Association.  Among other things which Mr. Perkins introduced into Newton-road School of recent years was the graph method of arithmetic, the principles of which the youngsters rapidly assimilated and showed how to turn to practical use.  This system was explained to the Rushden Boot Managers’ and foremen’s Association at a meeting at which Mr. Perkins was asked to give an address.  He showed its adaptation to the requirements of the boot industry – costing, buying, etc.  Mathematics being one of the branches of teaching on which Mr. Perkins is an authority, he was asked by the Board of Education to undertake special work on that subject as an inspector not long ago.  This undoubtedly brought Mr. Perkins before high officials whose recommendations have resulted in the honour conferred.

  With 13 years’ service on the Rushden Urban Council (one term as chairman), Mr. Perkins has made time to be of usefulness to the town in that wider sense.  To him more than to any other one member of the Council the town owes the grass tennis courts and bowling greens in Spencer Park.  They were constructed primarily to find work for the many unemployed in Rushden several years ago, and while some other members of the Council were speaking against the possibility of the town being able to

Afford The Cost,

and the scheme looked like being defeated, Mr. Perkins made a few arithmetical calculations.  In a matter of moments he showed that the “cost would be a few pence a week to each ratepayer and the result would be wages for families otherwise having no income.”  He said he did not think Rushden people would mind so little cost to keep others from suffering want.  The scheme was no longer opposed and has since proved to be self-supporting.  In later times Mr. Perkins has been no less energetic on the subject of housing.  While all other members of the Council are keen to get more houses for the town, Mr. Perkins has made time to draft statistics to bear out his own case, with the result that the Council acted on the advice which he offered.

  During the war Mr. Perkins, though much older than the average recruit, served in France and was gazetted to a commission and afterwards a staff appointment.  Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig himself personally commended Mr. Perkins on his splendid example in having enlisted at such an age.  Mr. Perkins was mentioned in despatches in the war time.  In one of the articles which we published was one of “Glimpses of the War,” written by Mr. Perkins, describing his party taking over a part of the front line trenches in France to relieve troops in 1917.  That was at a point known as a “wood,” but the trees had been blasted.  The men not on observation were well covered.  The action of enemy snipers, British artillery, German shells bursting too close to be healthy, clever flying by British airmen were described, and then the return to rest after relief.

  Notification of the honour to be awarded to him was sent to Mr. Perkins from 10, Downing-street, and later on a letter from St. James’s Palace summoned Mr. Perkins to Buckingham Palace next Tuesday.

  The intimation to the staff and scholars of the Intermediate School on Monday was received with the greatest pleasure, and, on one of the scholars offering the congratulations of the whole assembly.  Mr. Perkins said that a half-holiday would probably be granted to the scholars on the occasion of his investiture.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the People & Families index
Click here to e-mail us