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In Memoriam: Margaret Pumfrey - 12 August 1932 - 19 June 2022

Published on 22/07/22

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Margaret Pumfrey. Margaret was a pupil of The Perse School for Girls from 1943-1950 and a staff member, as Head of PE, from 1970-1988.

Margaret was born in Duxford; she and her three older brothers grew up on Manor Farm, Thriplow. From Perse Girls she went to Dartford College of PE, which later became part of the University of Greenwich. She taught at The Abbey School in Reading and Wimbledon High School before moving to South Africa where she taught at Pretoria High School for Girls and Roedean School for Girls in Johannesburg. She returned to Cambridge in the mid-1960s and taught at The Netherhall School before taking up her appointment at The Perse School for Girls.

Margaret ensured pupils across both the Junior and Senior School received excellent teaching in all aspects of PE and she worked tirelessly to maximise sporting opportunities. Some of her former pupils remember representing Perse Girls in a host of school fixtures, local tournaments and also at County level. Trips to Wimbledon and acting as ball girls at The Queen’s Club are also treasured memories. Her energy and commitment led to many significant achievements such as winning the Aberdare Tennis Cup in 1979.

While tennis was clearly very important to Margaret, hockey was her main sport and she played well into adulthood. She was particularly proud to have played with Cambridge Ladies for several seasons and to have been in the East of England team which played against the Argentinian and Australian touring teams.

Margaret enjoyed an active retirement which included bowling, gardening, travelling, entertaining and supporting Impington Music Society. She was well known and highly regarded in her local community of Girton, where she was greatly involved in the life of St Andrew’s Church. She was also a most loyal supporter of Junior and Senior School functions for many years and she contributed to the successful running of the Old Persean Guild. She particularly enjoyed the Guild’s annual reunions, when she glided seamlessly amongst her own school peers and her former pupils. 

Former colleagues and pupils joined the Pumfrey family and Margaret’s local friends for a celebration of her life in St Andrew’s Church, Girton on 11th July.

Our sincere condolences go to Margaret's family and friends.