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Pakefield Pupil finds Certificate

‘See if they can find the newspaper cutting of me, when I was the youngest skipper in Lowestoft,’ suggested Derrick, a resident at Hildesley Court.

This challenge was added to the Quest, a list of questions for the children to answer on their visit to the Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft.

A list of questions asking children to search for items at the Record Office, including a press cutting from 1956

The children searched through back copies of the Eastern Daily Press, but couldn’t find the article; without a specific date, and with only two hours to spend, there wasn’t the time to go through all the papers available.

They did, however, find out lots about Derrick’s trawler, the Albacore and how it was ‘scuttled’ in the early ‘70’s. They also discovered a little of the history of Pakefield School.

A crumpled sheet of paper with pencil drawing and writing

Together, the two groups pieced together little pieces of the story, including a photo Derrick had and the information the children had gathered.

Then, last week, Derrick had a marvellous surprise. It turns out that his daughter had been safe keeping a lot of his original documents – including the newspaper cutting – from all those years ago. Amongst the documents was Derrick’s Full Certificate of Competency, issued in 1955.

A photo of a Certificate of Competency as a skipper, awarded to Derrick Charles Martin in 1955

Derrick was born in Lowestoft in the 1930’s. He attended his local school which was – you guessed it – Pakefield School.

All these years later, an ex-Pakefield Primary pupil is sharing some of his life’s achievements and stories with current pupils, as well as with other residents at Hildesley. That is a very, very Special Delivery.