A popular former teacher was guest of honour at a fun-packed community party – 25 years after he started the Christmas tradition.
John Kelly was Head of Religious Education at Hummersknott Academy when he came up with the idea of inviting local members of the community to a festive party.
The Hummersknott party has been held in the run-up to Christmas every year for the past 25 years and John, now retired, was among the guests for the silver anniversary.
“Little did I think that it would still be going 25 years on – and that I’d end up being among the guests,” he said.
A wide cross-section of members of the community attended the party, including grandparents, residents of local care homes, and members of luncheon clubs.
Under the guidance of Head of Food Technology, Karen Raine, a dozen Year 11 pupils produced an afternoon tea, including hundreds of mince pies, butterfly cakes, mini quiches, vol au vents, fresh cream scones and assorted sandwiches.
“It’s my favourite day of the day,” said Karen. “I love the fact that it’s the youngest members of the community serving the older generation and giving them a good time.”
Pupils from Year 7 dressed as elves, gnomes and fairies to act as “Santa’s Little Helpers” – waiting on the guests and chatting with them."
Organiser Rob Snowball, Faculty Leader For Humanities, said: “It’s something we all love to do and it’s especially nice to include John Kelly who started it all 25 years ago.”
Hummersknott principal James Keating welcomed the guests, saying: “This is a day we look forward to every year. We love being part of the community and this really is a highlight.”
As well as being treated to afternoon tea, the community guests were entertained by the schools brass band, orchestra, choirs, carol singers and members of the cast of the school’s pantomime Peter Pan. There was also a piano solo by Laura Jewell.