Southery Academy, formerly Southery Primary School, is part of the Downham Market Academy cluster and educates approximately 85 pupils aged 4-11 each year. The academy is part of the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, and officially launched on 1st March 2016.
The Southery Academy logo features half of a grey goose feather, a visual reference to the ‘split feather’ iconography, which is traced back to the 1963 book, “Tales of the Fens” by William Barrett.
According to the tale, Fenland residents would carry a grey goose feather, and split it down the middle to show they were in need of help; during the English Civil war in 1646, King Charles I was on the run from Cromwell’s troops and was given refuge in Fordham, Norfolk. In Southery, a publican was visited and asked if he would guide the King to Huntingdon in exchange for gold; he later met with the King and to prove his trustworthiness, cut the grey goose feather in half, giving half to the King and keeping half himself. The grey goose feather halves were used by the publican and King Charles I to ensure their safe arrival to Huntingdon; when they met Cromwell’s men, the Fenland tradition was more important than their duty to capture the King. Cromwell knew it was better for a Fenman to allow the King to escape, than to not help a man with a split feather in his hand; his later decision to execute King Charles I and break the Fenland tradition of showing mercy to those with a split grey goose feather caused many of his troops to leave and return to the Fens.