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Peter Magill

Bursar 1991-2003

Peter Magill sadly died on 13 February 2022.

Peter came to The Leys from a career in industry, having worked as a mechanical engineer at Pedigree Petfoods. This provided opportunities for mirth amongst the senior common room about dogs’ dinners and that the new man was coming from Mars! (Pedigree Petfoods was a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated.) An engineering background was unusual for a Bursar, but his project management skills turned out to be exceptionally useful as the school was entering a period of expansion and building to become co-educational. It was also a curious coincidence that Peter’s office looked out on the University Engineering Faculty where he studied in the 1960s whilst at Pembroke College.

Peter relished the challenges and variety of the Bursar’s job; he had a head for the detail of day-to-day financial management, alongside bigger plans for expansion and improvement. Highlights for him were developing the sports facilities and building the new music school, which he project-managed after his official retirement. The acoustic engineering required to provide spaces for both performance and practice fascinated him.

He enjoyed the community of The Leys, including school lunches (especially puddings) and he attended chapel whenever he could. He valued the foundation and aims of the school and his deep, quiet Christian faith helped him approach his work with fairness and compassion. He appreciated and learned from all members of staff with whom he worked, and it says something very special about The Leys community of this era that so many staff came to his funeral.

In retirement, Peter and his wife Valerie continued to live in Trumpington and kept up with many friends from The Leys, enjoying walking, fundraising and woodwork classes. Peter died peacefully in Bramley Court care home in Histon and he is much missed by his two daughters and five grandchildren.

Words by Catherine Hayhurst