Last 'Dinner Day' for Hull's Trinity House Academy ahead of George Street move
IT IS a tradition dating back more than 200 years, to wave young sailors off to sea.
But pupils from Hull Trinity House Academy have held their last "Dinner Day" at the historic school.
From September, the school, which educated boys for more than 165 years at its Princes Dock Street site, will double in size to 600 boys and move to a new building in George Street, city centre.
The school was originally opened in 1787 to train the sons of officers to go to sea.
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It was the following year the "Dinner Day" was devised.
At this time each year, when the ships would pull up outside the historic arch of the school, the Brethren of Hull Trinity House would provide the boys with their last hearty meal of meat pie and vegetables and a spotted dick type pudding with custard.
The dinner followed a parade on the yard and a full uniform inspection.
Karen Keaney, principal of the academy, said: "It was very poignant. We know it is the last one on this site.
"For many of the people here and for the Brethren who came here as boys, this has been their whole life here so it was very emotional."
Although boys from the school no longer go from the school to sea, Dinner Day is a tradition which has survived.
"The other part of the tradition is to help the boys ward off scurvy on the ships," said Mrs Keaney.
"Each boy would be given two oranges to go with them. But to ensure the boys at the front of the queue don't take all the best ones, they have to turn around and pick two from the orange box.
"We practice and share this tradition every year."
Dinner Day begins with a formal parade on the historic yard before the master warden comes down to do a full inspection of the boys' uniform.
The younger boys wear their uniform, the senior boys the school's square rig uniform and the officers, which are the equivalent of school prefects at Hull Trinity House Academy, dress in their whites.
"It was touch and go this year," said Mrs Keaney. "We have not had to cancel an inspection for the weather for 27 years.
"And fortunately we did not have to cancel this one."
Following the inspection and the parade, the senior boys, along with the Brethren, go to the school chapel for a service before heading off for their "dinner" with the Brethren.
"The food is served by the officers," said Mrs Keaney.
"They act as the waiters.
"And at the end of the meal is the orange ceremony.
"These days it is the Brethren who take part in the ceremony.
"I have been at the school for 20 years, but it was my first year as principal and at the top table.
"It was definitely different."
Trinity House School still honours other traditions placed by their forefathers, these include the ringing of the bell and the three Sunday Services to Holy Trinity Church per year, among others.
The tradition is expected to continue in some form in the new school, but it is not yet known in what form.