Former Pupil Michael Palin returns to Birkdale
19th March 2013
Comedian and Presenter Michael Palin was back at his old school recently to pay tribute to his former Head Master, Mr John Hall who died last year.
Mr Palin unveiled a recently commissioned portrait of Mr Hall. He went on to explain to a packed audience of Old Birkdalians and current parents the influence that Mr Hall had on him through geography fieldwork trips to the Rivelin Valley, Forge Dam and beyond, as well as many other anecdotes about his time at Birkdale such as playing sport at Hagg lane in all weathers! He then gave candid highlights of his travelling career across the globe and the many remote places he has visited, giving everyone a first class evening of both nostalgic reflection and entertainment. Mr Palin said: -The school has changed beyond recognition and it is wonderful to see how successful it is today. I feel honoured to be asked back to speak about John Hall. I remember his Geography lessons well; all those dots on a map started me off on my travels. Mr Hall was Head Master at Birkdale from 1963 to 1983 but prior to being appointed Head Master, he was a Geography teacher. It was Mr Hall who instilled in the young Palin, an interest and desire to visit distant lands, resulting in his subsequent filming career across the globe with the BBC. Also in attendance were two other former Head Master's, Mr Michael Hepworth, 1983-98 and Mr Robert Court, 1998 2010. Before Mr Palin addressed the audience, Mr Hepworth gave an engaging and emotional speech about the life and enormous contribution Mr Hall made to the growth and development of Birkdale, how under John Hall's leadership, the solid foundations of the school were laid down to permit the academic success it has today.