Ted Baldry Tribute
Rodney clark 2016 aged 81
Rodney Clark followed his father as a pupil of Dame Allans in 1946 and was a keen rugby player, choir member and bridge enthusiast. Prominent in the Army Cadets, he won the shooting cup in 1952 and 1953, he went on to be commissioned in the REME and served in Malaya during National Service. A BSc in Applied Science followed at Kings College, Durham University and as a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers he enjoyed a successful career with Parsons and NEI Rolls Royce. His son followed him to the School in 1976 and on one memorable occasion Rodney was at an Old Boy’s function with his father and his son and was president in 1977 some 20 years after his father had occupied that position. As a long serving committee member of the Old Boys, Rodney organised the golf days and competitions with efficiency and humour. A loyal supporter of the School and always proud to wear the tie.
mrs helen harker 2013 aged 84
As Helen Rayner, Mrs Harker studied geography at Neville’s Cross College, Durham, graduating with her BSc in 1949 and staying in Durham to train as a teacher and then work at Durham High School for Girls. She joined Dame Allan’s Girls’ School in January 1954 as head of the geography department and quickly enthused her pupils, using the afternoon set aside each week for projects to drive a minibus to the Derwent Valley and study the river from its source to the Tyne noting the geographical features along its course. At the time of the geography dinner in 2006, she vividly recalled Dame Allan’s in the 1950s, from the girls she took on field trips in North Yorkshire, to daring to go into the boys’ school along the top corridor! Having left DAGS to start a family, the Harkers were blessed with three boys and moved to the Midlands where Helen led the geography department at Leamington College for Girls. In a foretaste of a future career, she also lectured in biogeography and teacher training at Coventry College of Education. Always drawn to the beauty of the natural world, Helen taught for four years at Gordonstoun and then moved to teach St Anne’s School in Windermere for nine years, leading the geography department there and developing her interests in bell-ringing and orienteering. Her insatiable desire to travel was fuelled further and farther afield with a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange to Frensham in Southern Australia, which enabled her to travel across Australia seeing features she had studied long ago whilst a pupil at Manchester High School. In her own words, “retirement at 60 came too soon” and Mrs Harker joined a student working party serving remote villages in Himachal Pradesh. She was then accepted by VSO to work at a Medical Training Centre in the Maldives where she also joined a government sponsored geography teachers’ panel “rubbing shoulders” with the President of the Maldives. After two years she returned to the UK for long enough to complete her TEFL diploma before heading out to rural Mongolia. “Here was confirmation of activities only dreamed of; fat-tailed sheep pulling little carts… felt covered gers (yurts) being dismantled in 20 minutes flat when fire threatened, huge fields of mountain flowers, wide open steppes with marmots, horses and, in the semi-desert, camels stepping through heat-induced mirages of vast lakes on these, in reality, waterless plains.” A nasty accident resulting in a fractured pelvis as well as twenty careful stitches sewn in her face by a vet, led to a return home before working for two years in China with groups of English teachers. At 70, Mrs Harker faced up to retirement again, and again found it wanting: she continued to travel for pleasure and started studying with the Open University, completing all their geology modules and graduating with a BA in 2010. She spent this active retirement near Elgin, and, on her death, the book group she was part of have created an award for “endeavour” to be given at Hopeman Primary School in her memory. Mrs Helen Harker 1928-2013 DAGS Head of Geography January 1954- April 1956, passed away aged 84
Mrs jill bonsall 2013 aged 87
As Gillian Patrick, Jill went up to Somerville College, Oxford in 1944 to read mathematics. In her final year she met her husband who had returned to his own mathematical studies after six years of military service. They were married in 1947 and Jill’s vocation for teaching saw relocations to facilitate her husband's academic career. Jill taught at Lansdowne House School when Frank took a temporary lectureship in Edinburgh, and when he was recruited to a permanent post at the Newcastle-based King’s College of Durham University, Dame Allan’s Girls’ School had the good fortune to recruit Mrs Bonsall to the maths department. Jill loved the mountains and whilst on the staff, Mrs Bonsell accompanied the school expedition to the Lake District. There, she and her fellow teachers were unfazed by the appearance of tin openers and hair brushes placed in their beds but the errant girls found that their “pyjamas and sheets were mysteriously sewn up with black thread” on the final night. Sadly Jill’s time at Dame Allan’s was to be all too brief as she was appointed to a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the Oklahoma State University in 1950, again following her husband who had secured a Visiting Professorship there. McCarthyism was at its height and as university employees, the Bonsalls were required to avow loyalty to the United States. Refusing to do so on principle, their salaries were suspended and the remainder of their stay was funded from savings. Jill’s successful teaching career continued back in Newcastle at Heaton High School, and later in Edinburgh where her husband took up a professorship in 1965. They retired to Harrogate in 1984 and were crossword enthusiasts, together being multiple winners of the Observer’s Ximenes puzzle. Her husband died in 2011 with accolades ranging from FRS and FRSE to DSc (Oxon), but none held more dearly than 64 years of happy marriage. They shared passions not only for mathematics and mountains but also for gardening, with impressive gardens at their homes in Morpeth, Edinburgh and Harrogate: when Jill died in 2013, she left a generous legacy to enable the Flower of the Dales Festival to be celebrated in 2014. Mrs Gillian (Jill) Bonsall 1925-2013 DAGS 1949-1950, passed away aged 87
Ron shuttleworth may 2016 aged 84
The Boys’ School was fortunate to secure Ron Shuttleworth in 1962 as he was to lead the department with distinction for a decade. The then-headmaster summed up Ron’s contribution to the schools in the Allanian of 1972 celebrating the “high academic standards” that he maintained – indeed three boys from that period went on become professors in physics across three continents. Just as importantly, he noted that Ron’s “obvious concern for all his pupils, whatever their ability, his liveliness of mind and kindly sense of humour, his keen interest in both science and humanity, have won the respect of boys and colleagues alike.” Such pastoral commitment was shown well beyond his workplace and Ron was a leading figure in the Newcastle Samaritans for many years as well as putting his considerable practical skills to great use as a volunteer handyman at a local care home. Ron left Dame Allan’s to become Head of Science at the newly created Ponteland High School, and stayed there until his retirement while maintaining contact with his friends at Dame Allan’s, later being a regular attendee of “The Gallery” retired staff group. He was a great sportsman and at Dame Allan’s his “reputation stands high on the games field too” in both rugby and cricket, being an “opponent to be respected and a colleague to be welcomed in any company.” As a true Yorkshireman, brought up in Leeds and staying there to study physics at the university, Ron had represented Yorkshire as well as the RAF on the rugby field. He was a stalwart of the Ponteland Cricket Club, captaining the side for two seasons and scoring three centuries. In retirement he was a great bowls player even in the face of the onset of Alzheimer’s. With typical concern for others, Ron and his wife spoke out about coping with the disease. Ron served with grace and humility throughout his life, being dedicated to family, teaching, sports teams, church work and voluntary services and many have cause to be thankful for his constancy, patience and compassion. His modesty and calm was evident and admired right to the end. Our thoughts are with his wife and the family. Ron Shuttleworth 1932-2016, Head of Physics DABS 1962-72.
Bill mackay may 2015 aged 90
Bill attended Dame Allan's Boys' School from the mid 1930s and on leaving in 1942 became a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy. After the war Bill qualified as an accountant eventually rising to the position of managing partner at Ernst & Whinney. He became well known to TV viewers in 1982 when he acted as Receiver overseeing the winding up of Laker Airways.
Joyce mabel mcaughtry march 2015
We regret to announce the recent death of Joyce McAughtry. Joyce attended Dame Allan's Girls' School from approximately 1933 to 1938. During the war she served in the ATS and ran a searchlight squad during the blitz. After a spell in Malaya, Joyce returned in 1959 with her family to settle in Kent where she was a councillor for 15 years including a year as Chairman of Sevenoaks District Council.
rosemary jackson (nee kennedy) devember 2014 aged 62
In the early 1990s Rosemary became the first old girl to hold the role of President for the Old Girls Association, after the role was relinquished by the Headmistress, Miss Graham.
zena marjorie scoley mbe dl november 2014 aged 83
Zena was educated at Dame Allan's during the 1940s and was evacuated to Cumbria during the war years. A graduate in Agriculture at Reading, Zena eventually settled with her family in Lincolnshire. She was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in 1981, becoming Vice-chairman in 1985 and Chairman of the council in 1987 - the first woman to do so in the council's history. She was Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire (appointed in August 1997); Voluntary County Organiser for Lincolnshire South Federation of Women’s Institutes for some years as well as being the Vice Chairman of the Federation. Zena was Vice President and board member of the Community Council of Lincolnshire and was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to the Parish Council and to the local community.
Ian lewin november 2014 aged 71
After leaving Dame Allan's Ian obtained a Doctorate in Illuminating Engineering at Newcastle University before moving to America. He became a world expert in all aspects of illumination and his work included lighting systems for NASA on the International Space Station and the original development of traffic lights using LED systems.
Accordion richard laws october 2014 aged 88
After 4 years as Head of the Life Sciences division of the British Antarctic Survey Richard Laws succeeded Sir Vivian Fuchs as its Director in 1973 and held the position until 1987. He was also Master of St Edmunds College Cambridge (1985-96) and Secretary of the Zoological Society of London. He was awarded the CBE and was a Fellow of the Royal Society.
david younger 1943 - 2014
Dr David Younger, a former chemistry teacher who proceeded from Dame Allan’s to achieve headship. Arriving with a strong academic record, he taught in the Boys’ School in the 1960s before returning to Durham University to undertake a PhD in chemistry. He studied at Grey College, where his wife was already based. After this he returned to teaching and, in 1986, he became headmaster at Woodbridge School in Suffolk before he returned to the northeast in 1993 as Head of King’s School, Tynemouth, retiring from there in 2001. Having been an active member of the HMC, the Society of Heads and the Independent Schools Council, and serving as a trustee of each of these bodies, he continued to be involved in education throughout his retirement as a governor at St Mary’s School in Melrose and at Westfield School in Gosforth.
Jim andrews 1932 - 2013
Jim Andrews joined the Boys’ School in 1957 teaching chemistry and being active in the RAF section of the Cadet Force before leaving to become Head of Chemistry, and later Head of Science, at Millom School in Cumbria. He was a true Lancastrian, born in Bolton and retaining a lifelong passion for Bolton Wanderers and Lancashire Cricket Club. In 1970 he became the inaugural Headmaster of Alsager School, a newly created comprehensive. His obituary in The Guardian celebrated his achievement in transforming the academic fortunes of this former secondary modern, “His grammar school education enabled him to escape the poverty trap and he was determined to give the same opportunity to the thousands of children who found themselves under his wing.” The school thrived and the town too, in no small part due to the success of the school – his staff often joked that he should be on commission with builders and estate agents. He retired after 23 years of outstanding headship in 1993. The Guardian paid tribute to the esteem in which he was held and which he warranted; “No child dared to question his manifest authority, yet he was compassionate, wise and a great listener.” He kept in contact with his former colleagues and attended the Science Dinner a few years ago.
shirley baldry 1934 - 2013
Mrs Shirley Baldry, who died tragically whilst on holiday in Brazil, was a tireless supporter of the schools for over half a century. She was an inspirational art teacher at Church High School, and, in the early 1970s, she briefly joined the staff of the Girls’ School. Her connections with Dame Allan’s went back further as her husband, Ted Baldry, was Head of Biology in the Boys’ School. She had met Ted when studying fine art at Newcastle, which was then part of Durham University, and Ted, who was a student in the Durham division, invited her to a dance. He later reflected, “By the time we got down to the bus station she had not stopped talking and I just thought, ‘I am going to marry this girl’.” During their sixty years of marriage, Shirley supported Ted wonderfully, assisting with dances and ski trips and opening up their home to show hospitality to many colleagues. In later years, she attended Allanian Society functions and meetings of The Gallery. Shirley continued to be passionate about art and photography, visiting innumerable galleries as she and Ted travelled and being a stalwart of Tynemouth Photographic Club, where she was Secretary for 13 years. She was also active at Holy Saviour, Tynemouth, where her funeral was held, well attended by Allanians. The vicar described hers as a “a life full of colour”, not only reflecting upon her artistic talents but also that energy, compassion and generosity of spirit which many Allanians have cause to remember.
EDWARD (TED) BALDRY JUNE 2016 aged 84
Ted Baldry arrived at Dame Allan’s in 1957 from Hull Grammar School and, as Head of Biology, created a department that has consistently been one of the most distinguished and successful departments in the school. Not only did he have a deep knowledge of Biology, but he had the ability to communicate with children from the reluctant 11 year old to the aspiring medical student in the Upper 6th. Many have gone on to distinguished careers in Medicine or related disciplines. Those who were taught by him comment on his kindness and generosity, his inimitable and inspirational style of teaching and above all his enthusiasm. His contribution to the life of the school went far beyond his teaching of biology however. The Boys’ School tennis team enjoyed much success under his leadership. Stories of his ski holidays would fill a book in themselves whilst his love of the hills was shown to many by his leadership of the Pedestrians’ Society. He was also a very accomplished photographer, another skill which he passed on with his trademark enthusiasm through the Photographic Society. Ted was hit very hard by the sudden loss of his wife Shirley in 2014 who had taught for a time in the Girls’ School. Together they were a formidable source of care and support for many over the years. His knowledge of former students was phenomenal - he was a key figure in planning and organising the Science Dinner in 2007, which also marked his 50th year connected with Dame Allan's. He was the organiser of The Gallery, the retired staff lunch group, and kept contact with many colleagues stretching back across decades. He was also a man of extraordinary generosity, sometimes masked by a bluff exterior, a loyal friend and a man of conviction and integrity - he will be sorely missed. Boys' School Head of Biology 1957-1994 Boys' School Senior Master 1990-1994 For many years Exams Officer in the Boys’ School, Staff Rep on DASPA and DAOBA (now Allanian Society) and active member of the Board of the alumni organisations, latterly the Allanian Society, until his death.
colonel alexander kirk johnson mbe aged 99
Born in Barlow Village, County Durham, on 13 November 1918, Alexander Kirk Johnson was the middle child of three boys. His father was a miner and he had a poor, but happy, upbringing. At 11, he attended Blaydon Secondary School for one year with a five-and-a-half mile walk to school and completed his schooling at Hookergate Grammar School when he only had to walk two miles!
Following school, he began training as a biochemist in a brewery which he hated and he was then called up, age 20, in the First Militia to train at Carlisle. War began in the middle of training and he was posted to Winterbourne, near Salisbury, ironically for chemical warfare training. Whilst stationed there, he met his future wife Ruth at a village dance and they married in 1942. Two years later, their daughter Susan was born.
After training in the use of poison gas, Alex was sent to France. He was captured but managed to escape and, after several adventures, arrived at Dunkirk. He then joined 6th Commando and was involved in the raids on the Lofoten Islands and Vaagso in Norway. Smaller raids on the Pas de Calais followed after which he was offered a commission which meant leaving the Commandos. He was posted to a Royal Engineer regiment and was involved early on D-Day clearing the beaches. He and his soldiers became involved in the “Falaise Gap” where the British and Canadian forces met and drove the Germans into retreat across the Seine. His troops were among the first into Belsen and the smells and sights remained with him always.
In May 1947 the Territorial Army was reforming and he joined immediately, staying in the Royal Engineers until 1962. He was then asked to be County Commandant of Tyne and Wear Army Cadet Force where he served for 21 years, during which he was promoted to Colonel. In 1985 he was invited to be a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear.
Following demobilisation in 1947, Alex trained as a teacher and spent many years at Whickham School before realising his ambition to run his own independent school – Linden School – in Forest Hall, near Newcastle. The school flourished under his guidance and he successfully influenced the lives of hundreds of children, commanding complete respect, yet being approachable and caring. He was passionate about helping pupils to attain their full potential and the Linden children were moulded into strong and confident people. He finally took early retirement in 1997 aged 79!
Alex led an active life in the local community in Rowlands Gill and served on several committees. He was a keen bowler both indoors and out until weeks before his death and during his latter years he wrote several books on the local area travelling around giving talks to schools and community groups.
He was a devoted father, grandfather and great grandfather and is greatly missed by his family and friends.
col. johnson MBE tribute from former pupil
Col. Johnson MBE Tribute from former colleague