Wisbech headteacher’s portrait added to school collection

The picture shows (left to right) Mick Stump, Lucy Elderfield and Nicholas Hammond.   Photo by Tim Chapman ANL-140207-131925001
The picture shows (left to right) Mick Stump, Lucy Elderfield and Nicholas Hammond. Photo by Tim Chapman ANL-140207-131925001

A contemporary portrait incorporating the school colours has been produced to mark the departure of Wisbech Grammar School headmaster Mr Nicholas Hammond.

The oil painting by past pupil Lucy Elderfield (20), from Wisbech, who is reading human geography at the University of Leeds, was commissioned by the governors and is set to join a growing gallery of portraits of former headmasters produced by recent ex-students.

The latest addition to the collection, showing a relaxed Mr Hammond on the eve of his departure to become headmaster of The British School of Paris after a six-year spell at the Grammar School, was unveiled by Lucy and presented to the school by chairman of the governors Dr Dennis Barter.

In the three foot by four foot canvas, which took about three months to complete, there are tell-tale signs of the evolution of the school and the fresh approach of the picture is characterised by a looseness of brush work.

Head of art Mr Mick Stump, who has been involved in an advisory capacity side by side with vice-chairman of the governors, Mr John Warren, who has overseen the project, said: “On the strength of Lucy’s art work when she left here, which was quite exciting and full of energy, I contacted her and asked her if she would be interested in the challenge of interpreting a portrait in a new way.

“Even in the face there are flecks of the school colours, red, yellow and blue, and everything about the portrait reflects the buildings and the whole development of the school during Mr Hammond’s period here.”

The portrait went on public display at a full school assembly, when Lucy explained to the students how she had approached the task, and a smaller print of the portrait has been handed to Mr Hammond by the governors.

The new headmaster will be Mr Chris Staley – who is currently deputy head at Milton Abbey. In an article which appeared in the school magazine he commented that he had found an overwhelming sense of friendliness at Wisbech Grammar School.

He said: “In abundance I have observed an honesty and respect for pupils and staff in their relationships. An approach that seems to suggest a pervading attitude throughout the school of friendliness and openness.”