Speech Day

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Speech Day (called 'Prize Giving' since the 1990s), is a ceremony held each year for the presentation of prizes to students for work and sporting achievements from the preceding academic year.

A sample programme is as follows. In recent years more music has been added to this basic programme.

  • The Chairman of the Governors' report
  • The Headmaster's report
  • The School Song
  • Distribution of prizes
  • Guest of Honour's speech
  • Vote of thanks from the Head of School
  • National Anthem

Until the early years of the 20th century, school prizes were almost invariably presented by either the chairman of the trustees or the mayor of Boston, a notable exception being 1895, when the guest of honour was the American Ambassador. However, with the arrival of James William Dyson as headmaster, Speech Days began to assume their present pattern, with a distinguished visitor making the presentations each year.

In 1974 it was agreed that the ceremony would be held in two sessions, one in the afternoon for the second and third years, the other in the evening for the remainder of the school. This solved the seating difficulty in the school assembly hall, but required a double attendance by the guest speaker and staff. That year's speaker, Canon Peter E Paine[1], was, in fact, present both as chairman of governors and mayor of Boston. Two years after this, however, twenty-eight members of staff wrote asking the foundation governors to reconsider their decision again to hold the function at the school. Their suggestion that the venue should be changed to the Centenary Methodist Church (with its far greater seating capacity) was agreed.

Year Date Location Guest of Honour
1857 June Pishey Thompson, Historian (former BGS student)
1895 Thomas F. Bayard, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
1900 2 August Rt Rev Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln; prizes distributed by Rev Ernest Stewart Roberts, senior Tutor of Gonville and Caius College
1913 Dr Edward L Hicks, Bishop of Lincoln
1914 Henry Hebb Sills, MA, tutor of King's Cambridge, a BGS governor
1915 J W (later Sir John) Gleed, MA, JP, chairman of Holland County Council's Higher Education sub-committee
1916 Rev J Basil Simpson, MA (former BGS student)
1917 Dr Thomas Charles Fry, Dean of Lincoln, former headmaster of Oundle and Berkhampstead Schools
1918 No speech day postponed because of the Spanish flu pandemic
1919 April A Cooke Yarborough, Mayor of Boston
1920 Rev B G Nicholas, MA, Vicar of Spalding[2]
1921 Prof Arthur James Grant, MA, D Litt, professor of history and English, University of Leeds (former BGS student)
1922 R Cary Gibson, MA, headmaster King Edward's School, Birmingham
1923 J W Gleed (second time)
1924 Ven Ernest M Blackie, MA, Archdeacon of Stow
1925 Rt Rev J Basil Simpson, MA, DD, Bishop in Kobe (second time - former BGS student)
1926 A K Turner, Mayor of Boston
1927 Prof Frank S Granger, D Litt, MA, Vice-Principal of University College, Nottingham
1928 Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
1929 Charles Pelham, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire
1930 Rt Rev J Basil Simpson (third time - former BGS student)
1931 Very Rev Robert A Mitchell, MA, Dean of Lincoln
1932 Instructor-Capt Thomas Slator, RN, CB (former BGS student)
1933 Arthur E Morgan, MA, Principal of University College, Hull
1934 Rt Rev William S Swayne, Bishop of Lincoln
1935 J W (later Sir James) Blindell, Holland-with-Boston MP
1936 Rt Rev Arthur I Greaves, Bishop of Grantham
1937 Harry Almond Saville Wortley, JP, MA, Principal of University College, Nottingham
1938 Walter Swain, CIE, formerly Inspector-General of Police, Province of Bihar and Orissa (former BGS student)
1939 Ven Kenneth C H Warner, DSO, MA, Archdeacon of Lincoln
1940 H W (later Sir Herbert) Butcher, Holland-with-Boston MP
1941 Rt Rev Algernon A Markham, Bishop of Grantham
1942 Judge T W Langman, OBE [3]
1943 Lt Cdr John Cracroft-Amcotts, RN, DSC, JP
1944 15 March 1945 Ald Tom Kitwood, JP, chairman of the Governors
1945 18 December Big School Arthur Hill, BA, former second master at BGS
1946 3 December Regal cinema Canon A M Cook, MA, Sub-Dean of Lincoln[4]
1947 Regal cinema Prof Joseph L Burchnall, professor of mathematics, Durham University (former BGS student)
1948 Regal cinema Donald Portway, TD, MA, Master of St Catherine's College, Cambridge
1949 16 December Regal cinema Canon T H Cashmore, vice-president Rotary International GBI
1950 Regal cinema James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (Lord Willoughby de Ereseby), HM Lieutenant of Lincolnshire
1951 Regal cinema Group Capt G Augustus Walker, CBE, DSO, DFC, ADC
1952 16 December Regal cinema Prof J Alfred Steers, MA, professor of geography, University of Cambridge
1953 18 December The New Theatre Group Capt Rev Francis W Cocks, RAF, chaplain to Bomber and Fighter Commands
1954 The New Theatre Brigadier N D Rice (former BGS student)
1955 The New Theatre (to be confirmed) B L Hallward, MA, Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham
1956 4 December The New Theatre Rt Rev Kenneth Riches, DD, Bishop of Lincoln
1957 3 December The New Theatre Charles H Wilson, MA, LLD, Vice-Chancellor of Leicester University
1958 Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall (opened that year) E M W Tillyard, OBE, Litt D, FRSL, FBA, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
1959 11 December General Sir Francis W Festing, GCB, KBE, DSO, Chief of the Imperial General Staff
1960 8 December Sir Stanley Rous, CBE, JP, secretary of the Football Association
1961 30 November Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall Canon A M Cook, Vicar of St Botolph's, Boston (second time)
1962 22 November Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall Sir Herbert Butcher, Bt, MP (second time)
1963 28 November Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall Sir John Cockroft, OM, FRS, Master of Churchill College, Cambridge
1964 Francis CA Cammaerts, DSO, MA, Principal of Leicester Training college
1965 Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, DSO, DFC
1966 Sir Francis Hill, CBE, MA, LL M, Litt D
1967 Prof Norman Haycocks, MA, professor of education, University of Nottingham
1968 Rt Rev Ross S Hook, MC, Bishop of Grantham
1969 Prof Michael Horne, MA, Ph D, Sc D, MICE, AMI Struct E, professor of civil engineering, Manchester University (former BGS student)
1970 Peter G Mason, MBE, MA, High Master of Manchester Grammar School
1971 Rt Rev Ian Ramsey, DD, Bishop of Durham
1972 1 November George V Cooke, Director of Education for Lindsey County Council (later for Lincolnshire County Council), and Mrs Cooke
1973 Canon Julian P Thornton-Duesbery, MA, formerly Master of St Peter's College, Oxford
1974 13 December Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall (two sessions) Canon Peter E Paine, JP, Mayor of Boston and Chairman of the Governors[1]
1975 12 December Boston Grammar School Assembly Hall (two sessions) E Miller, Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; prizes distributed by his wife, Mrs F Miller
1976 The Centenary Methodist Church Professor H R Loyn, MA, D Litt, FSA, professor of mediaeval history, University College, Cardiff, president of The Historical Association
1977 9 December The Centenary Methodist Church RT Revd R O Goodchild, MA, Bishop of Kensington
1978 The Centenary Methodist Church Professor Peter A Young, MA, Ph D, FIMM, MAus.IMM, M Can.IMM, C Eng, professor of mining and mineral sciences University of Leeds (former BGS student)
1979 The Centenary Methodist Church Lieut Col J M Dymoke, MBE, Queen's Champion and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire
1980 The Centenary Methodist Church R M D "Bob" Rowland[5], head of BBC Open University Production Centre
1981 The Centenary Methodist Church James Kerr, OStJ, QPM, CBIM, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire
1982 March 1983 The Centenary Methodist Church Leonard Marsh, M Ed, Principal Bishop Grossteste College, Lincoln
1983 23 September The Centenary Methodist Church Group Captain R D Arnott RAF, Station Commander, RAF Coningsby
1984 Mrs Jean Parker, B Comm, Chairman Lincolnshire Joint Development Committee, Lincs CBI group[6]
1989 Trevor Brooking, former England international footballer, manager, pundit and football administrator
1991 Helen Sharman, cosmonaut and her father John D Sharman (former BGS student)
1992 Capt (later Brig) Mark W "Bill" Dunham, Royal Marines (former BGS student)
1993 December Barry Spikings, Hollywood producer (former BGS student)
1994 The Centenary Methodist Church Helen Sharman, cosmonaut and her father John D Sharman (second time - former BGS student)
1996 19 December The Centenary Methodist Church Jack Lewis, Baron Lewis of Newnham (Fellow of the Royal Society)
1998 15 December The Centenary Methodist Church Right Reverend Alastair Redfern (Bishop of Grantham)
1999 Barry Spikings, Hollywood producer (second time - former BGS student)
2002 The Centenary Methodist Church Terry Taylor, Deputy Mayor of Boston, and Nicola Bulbeck[7], Boston Borough Council chief executive
2003 The Centenary Methodist Church Mark Simmonds, MP for Boston and Skegness
2007 The Centenary Methodist Church Keith Alexander, director of football at Bury FC and former Lincoln City and Peterborough United manager (father of former BGS students)
2008 The Centenary Methodist Church Rev Canon Robin Whitehead, Vicar of St Botolph's, Boston[8]
2011 The Centenary Methodist Church Peter Sharman, President of the Old Bostonian Association (former BGS student)
2012 21 December The Centenary Methodist Church John Cridland CBE, Director General of the CBI (former BGS student)
2013 20 December The Centenary Methodist Church Charles Hart, father of Joe Hart, footballer: Manchester City and England[9]
2014 18 December The Centenary Methodist Church Adam Shergold, On-line sports journalist for The Daily Mail (former BGS student)
2015 17 December The Centenary Methodist Church Dr Sunita R Deshmukh (former BGS student)
2016 20 December The Centenary Methodist Church Brigadier Bill Dunham CBE (second time - former BGS student)
2017 19 December The Centenary Methodist Church Danny Butterfield (former BGS student)
2018 18 December The Centenary Methodist Church Prof Jonathan Van-Tam MBE, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England (former BGS student)
2019 19 December The Centenary Methodist Church Mark Watson, comedy magician and juggler "Mark Watson - Man of Mischief" (former BGS student)
2020 No speech day postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic

See Also