Pupils stage their own Tynwald Day

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Pupils at Peel Clothworkers' School enjoy their own Tynwald Day ceremony, with acting head teacher Anna Jackson, centre, and, front from left, Peel Town Commissioners' chairman Neil Cushing, the school's chairman of governors Betty Deans and Peel MHK Tim Crookall

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Pupils at Peel Clothworkers' School enjoy their own Tynwald Day ceremony, with acting head teacher Anna Jackson, centre, and, front from left, Peel Town Commissioners' chairman Neil Cushing, the school's chairman of governors Betty Deans and Peel MHK Tim Crookall

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A SOLEMN procession marched to Tynwald Hill on Monday as dignitaries, officials and spectators assembled in bright sunshine to honour one of the island’s most enduring traditions.

As it happened pupils at Peel Clothworkers’ School timed their own Tynwald Day ceremony rather better than the real one which took place the following day in driving rain.

Ruth Black, Manx curriculum co-ordinator, said: ‘The idea all began because we have that nice circular roundabout in the car park which is great to put a flag pole on.

‘It doubled up really well as Tynwald Hill. Maybe next year we’ll build a mound in the middle of it!’

The ceremony unfolded with dignity and aplomb as children played the roles of MHKs, deemsters and officials, pronouncing the school laws in English and Manx.

Among the real life dignitaries were Peel Town Commissioners’ chairman Neil Cushing, Peel MHK Tim Crookall and the school’s chairman of governors, Betty Deans.

Mrs Deans explained the role of the school governors.

‘We used to be known as “critical friends”, but we are not allowed to say that now,’ she told the children.

His chain of office glinting in the sun, Mr Cushing told the audience: ‘As commissioners we look after this wonderful town and serve the people of Peel.’

Mr Crookall told the children: ‘I have represented you for a five year term – which is much longer than one of your terms. Now we are ready to be re-elected this year.

‘We in the Isle of Man have the oldest continuous parliament in the world,’ he said, as a small boy in the audience played with gravel.

‘It is steeped in history starting 1032 years ago. I attended this school 40 years ago and in 40 years’ time you may be standing here in my place.’

Acting head Anna Jackson said the day had been brilliant and they hoped to repeat it next year.

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