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Thornes House Grammar School

Some memories of the Staff 1940 - 1953

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Edward Hepworth by J.R.Davies from "The Stork" July 1957


Mr. Edward Hepworth had a continuous period of 31 years' service as Senior Geography Master at Thornes House. An M.Sc. of the University of Leeds, he was intensely keen on his subject, and took a dim view of those misguided ones who were not. His subject fitted in well with his love of tramping, and with his interest in photography, for he was able to illustrate his lessons with slides he had himself prepared of his tramps along the byways and the fells of the Northern Counties, as well as his extensive travels abroad, in France, Spain, and Scandinavia. He was an early experimenter in colour photography. He will not easily forget the colour transparency of a field of buttercups which came out pink.

In these early days, he used to come back to School after the summer holidays so browned by the Mediterranean sun that with his sleek hair he was nicknamed after a famous Eastern notability - the father of his people and a noted breeder of racehorses.

He had no narrow conception of his work as a teacher. He took a dignified part in School Dramatic activities; he supported School plays and concerts; he organised two highly successful School Camps to Stratford-on-Avon, so that we could have nightly visits to the Memorial Theatre at one shilling per head! In the early 30's he took parties on cruises to Scandinavia in the S.S. Nuralia, and those who went still talk of those happy trips. During the second World War he helped with forestry and farming camps. All these activities gained much from his ability as an organiser. He it was who organised our Speech Day arrangements when we had them in the Unity Hall. For some years, too, he had been Careers Master, responsible for explaining to the pupils the careers open to them when they left School.

Alert and healthy, he insisted on thoroughness and on quality, and woe betide the pupil whose work fell below the standard required, for Edward Hepworth could be as blunt and forthright as any other Yorkshireman - a "chunk" of millstone grit.

In the staff-room he was considered to be the standard of sartorial elegance - whether he was in his heavy tramping boots, or teaching, as he once did, in shorts and a gown. He was an avid reader of The Times - especially of the legal section, and above everything the one who very soon reminded us of our neglected school duties.

Lightly taking up table tennis in middle age, he soon subjugated the staff, and though he had retired from the game for several years, he showed in his last few days at School that the hand had not lost its cunning by beating all comers.

He has built himself a bungalow in Morecambe where, in retirement, he will be within sight of his beloved Lakeland hills.

May his tramping boots clink along the rocky paths for many years to come.




Last revised: 09 March 2013