07:00PM, Tuesday 11 May 2021
A former principal of Winbury School has passed away aged 96.
Margaret Perry became the principal of Winbury School in the 1970s. At that time, it was in Hibbert Road, where Braywick Court School is now.
During her time there, she raised the number of pupils from 31 to 109 within two years.
Margaret first moved to Maidenhead after marrying Bill Perry, an RAF fighter pilot, on June 17, 1944. He was posted to White Waltham.
Their second stay in Maidenhead began when he was transferred to work at Heston Airfield.
After a brief stay in Taplow while their house was being built, they moved to Curls Lane, Maidenhead, in 1956 with their then three-year old son, William. They stayed for 34 years.
In the 1960s, she worked as a school secretary at Winbury School, then a school for boys aged 4-13 in West Road.
In 1972 the school was reduced to a pre-preparatory school for 4-8 year olds and moved to Hibbert Road. Margaret took over as principal.
"She was spectacularly successful, and very happy, running Winbury,” said her son William (Bill) Perry.
“(She had) remarkable leadership ability, charm, excellent choice of dedicated staff many of whom became close and life-long friends.
“She imbued her pupils with a sense of optimism and purpose, as well as a Christian ethic of work, fairness and charity. She also made sure they had fun, and were loved and cared for – and knew it.”
Margaret also used Braywick Park for everything from nature classes to sports and prizegiving days.
Though she and her husband moved to Cornwall in the 1980s, she 'pined for Maidenhead' where she had been so happy and had so many friends, including former staff and many pupils and their parents who remained in touch.
As a compromise, she and Bill moved to Ringwood around 1990. He died in 2002.
“She always regarded (Maidenhead) as home, and the most beautiful part of the country,” said Bill.
She was ‘delighted’ when William and his wife Jane moved to Cookham in 2006, as now she had 'a great reason to visit'.
Her health began to fail in 2015 and she moved into Foxleigh Grove nursing home in Holyport which gave her 'a new lease of life'.
“She was delighted to be back in the Maidenhead area. Her old friends, including Winbury friends, could – and did – visit much more often,” said Bill.
She could see her three grandchildren and five great-grand-children and visit and go out with William and Jane. She ‘enjoyed it all with her usual verve.’
Margaret died on April 30 in Wexham Park Hospital. Her funeral will be at Holy Trinity Church in Cookham on Thursday, May 20.
“She was a great leader, adept at making good friends. She was also a wonderful, warm and loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and school principal,” said Bill.
“She will be very sadly missed by all her friends and family.”
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.