MBE for Pocklington School Governor Darrell Buttery

Darrell Buttery with an OP at the 2017 OP Summer Reunion

Photo L-R: OP Rob Honeyman (07-11) with Darrell Buttery (Former Pocklington School Teacher (01-06) and current Pocklington School Governor) at the 2017 OP Summer Reunion 

Pocklington School Governor and former teacher Darrell Buttery (01-06) has received an MBE in the New Year Honours, for his services to heritage in York.

Mr Buttery came out of retirement to teach English at Pocklington School and now serves as a Governor.

He was Chairman of York Civic Trust for five years, when his achievements included establishing and running Young York Civic Trust for sixth formers in and around York, including Pocklington School. He has been Governor of York’s Merchant Adventurers, Chairman of York Georgian Society and has authored several books on the city’s history. 

Mr Buttery, 76, said he became involved with Pocklington School by “pure chance,” adding:  I was attending our Merchant Adventurers' monthly lunch -  12 of us at a round table -  and when the call came to take our places by incredible good fortune I found myself sitting next to a new member called Richard Haynes. I mentioned I'd just retired from teaching English and he told me he was Chairman of Governors at Pocklington. We then talked about other things.

“Two days later I received a phone message from the Headmaster, Nicholas Clements, asking if I could provide teaching cover in the English Department for the last ten days of the Michaelmas term. I went to see him, thinking I would have to turn the offer down as I was too busy, but I liked everything I saw about the school so found myself saying 'yes'.  The rest, as they say, is history. Ten days turned into nearly five years. I had never been in such a wonderful school and if I started to give the reasons why, this article would be far, far too long.”

Mr Buttery was invited to join the Board of Governors on his (second) retirement. He says: “The prospect of losing touch with school was unthinkable. I came to everything I could -  rugby, cricket, plays, concerts ... Then I was invited to become a Governor so I felt I was back on board!

“In my previous schools we never saw the Governors or even had much of an idea about what they did. Joining the governing body at Pocklington was therefore a revelation. Here was a large team of experts dedicated to ensuring the school's continued success. There are many committees assigned to different aspects of school life. We are therefore often in school for these as well as being invited to all events and having several full days a year getting to know school routine from boarders' breakfast to late afternoon. Support from the Head and Bursar couldn't be stronger or more appreciated. For Governors it is all voluntary work, and rightly so, but I enjoy it so much I wonder whether I should be charged for the privilege.”

Tim Stephenson, Chair of Governors and OP (70-79), said: “Darrell has made very significant contributions to Pocklington School both as a teacher and also as a Governor.  He has a very strong appreciation of the values and strengths of the School and is a true ambassador.

“Darrell's contribution as a Governor goes well beyond the extensive time and effort required to edit and be one of the authors of the School history, published at the time of the quincentenary in 2014.

“His aesthetic appreciation and architectural knowledge have been invaluable as we have developed the School estate.  His wholehearted and wise approach is fully deserving of the national recognition recently announced, albeit relating to his work in York!”

Headmaster Mark Ronan said: “I wholeheartedly agree with Tim Stephenson – and would add that I am immensely grateful to the support that Darrell provides all at the school. I value his understanding of our history and what it means to be a Pocklingtonian.”

OP Pippa Nutt (97-06) said: “We’re over the moon to hear that a great teacher we have such fond memories of has been recognised for the selfless work he puts into the community.”