Billy, born Herbert Delauney Hughes in Swindon in 1914, was a
British educationalist and Labour Party politician. His father Arthur was a
secondary school teacher and his mother was a former head teacher who educated
Billy at home until he was eleven. Billy won a scholarship to Balliol College
in Oxford and graduated in 1935 with a degree in Modern History. He trained as
a schoolteacher at Manchester University, but left to work in London for the
New Fabian Research Bureau. Billy married (Winifred) Beryl Parker in 1937. During
World War II he served with the Royal Artillery. He was Private Secretary to
the Secretary of State for Education until 1948.
In 1950 Billy was appointed Principal of Ruskin, where he
presided over an expansion of college facilities and growing student numbers.
He managed to secure an increase in funding and successfully campaigned for the
government to make it mandatory for the Local Education Authorities to provide
grants to the college’s students. He would remain at the helm at Ruskin for 31