Sir Peter - my memories of Churchill and rice pudding

Sir Peter Tapsell flanked by headteacher Nicki Shore (right) and chairman of governers Wendy Ireland
Sir Peter Tapsell flanked by headteacher Nicki Shore (right) and chairman of governers Wendy Ireland

Sir Peter Tapsell made his final visit as an MP to Banovallum School - and regaled pupils with tales of Churchill and lumpy rice pudding.

Sir Peter - the country’s longest serving MP - will retire at May’s General Election.

He has been a regular visitor to Banovallum and a big supporter of the school’s activities.

Headteacher Nicki Shore revealed students always found his visits stimulating and interesting.

Sir Peter’s visit last week coincided with the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s death.

He informed students they were helping share a slice of history as Sir Peter is the last surviving MP to sit alongside Sir Winston in the House of Commons.

Ms Shore said: “The students certainly found it interesting that they were standing next to the last politician who had served with Sir Winston Churchill.

“They found it fascinating that Sir Peter is returning after 55 years’ service.

“There was also quite a lively debate about the selective education system.

“Sir Peter mentioned his own school days.

“He told students how one of his memories of life at boarding school was lumpy rice pudding.

“He said they were much luckier these days.”

Ms Shore went on to thank Sir Peter for his support.

She said he had taken a particularly keen interest in Banovallum’s recent link with the town’s Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.

The two schools are retaining their own identity but will share a number of functions after Banovallum’s recent switch to Academy status.

Ms Shore said Sir Peter asked how the new arrangement would benefit the schools.

She added: “Sir Peter has always been very supportive and taken a great interest in what is happening.

“Even though he is stepping down as an MP in May, he will always be very welcome.”

Sir Peter was first elected as an MP in 1959 and is the Father of the House.

He represented Horncastle (Lincs) from 1966 to 1983 and, following redistribution, East Lindsey until 1997 when he won the seat of Louth and Horncastle.

He celebrated his 85th birthday on February 1.