It was with great sadness that the School community heard that Petronella Macnaghten had died on 28 August 2019.  Petronella arrived at Sherborne in 1974, when her husband Robin Macnaghten was appointed Headmaster.  On Robin’s retirement as Headmaster in 1988, Robert Glen wrote the following tribute to Petronella:

‘It is hard to imagine Sherborne without  Petronella, cycling round the streets, often in a fur hat borrowed, I suppose, from Marco Polo, and stopping every ten yards to talk, probably to fix up something to do with her endless activities in school and town and in the villages round Sherborne; much of it was what in others would be called charitable work, but it seemed in her to be the perfectly natural and unceasing essence of everyday life.  The increasingly loose community of the School and its families has been held together with endless hospitality, boundless energy and good nature, real kindness and genuine interest in the well-being of those around her.  That she found time to produce plays here and at the Prep School, to teach bridge and to produce hundreds of sandwiches at any moment for any function is characteristic.  The pictures will remain: Robin and Petronella, strangely garbled, singing in mock petulance ‘Anything you can do I can do better’ at a musical evening in the Big Schoolroom.’

See also: Telegraph death announcement.

Posted 6 September 2019 by Sherborne School Archives.

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