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Thornes House Grammar School

Some memories of the Staff 1940 - 1953

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George Frederick (Tom) Pearce from "The Stork" July 1957

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                                              From "A Colleague"

We are sorry to have to say goodbye to Mr. Pearce at the end of this term, and many generations of Old Boys and quite a few Old Girls will echo our good wishes for a long and happy retirement. All those who have known him will remember his patience and attention to detail in the laboratory, which have laid the foundations of so many successful careers in Science. and there must be very many who have every reason to be grateful for his advice on careers given with such avuncular good nature and with that twinkle in the eye which has endeared him to so many a Science sixth.

The staff-room is going to miss his comments on current affairs, which have 

always been so well-informed and to the point, and his final remarks,delivered on the way out and leaving everyone helpless. And among the treasured memories will be one which recalls the days when Speech Day was held in a marquee on the site of the present netball pitch: Mr. Pearce was beheld stalking majestically across the grass with academic cap, and hood fluttering in the breeze, but no gown!

Before a serious illness some twenty years ago, he was a mighty hitter and useful stumper in the staff cricket match, and his reach was valuable when he kept goal for the staff football team. Now, he is a keen bowler, and we can picture him in retirement stalking in that familiar sidelong way across a sunlit bowling green. May you bowl many a good wood, Tom.

... and from "A Pupil"

It will be difficult to imagine the laboratory without Mr. Pearce. For thirty years, from the time when his atoms were indivisible and indestructible to present realities, he has watched over countless experiments in his upper room. Not all these were successful; what he thought of us as we burned and exploded our way from bench to bench was concealed in an imperturbable manner and kindly twinkle.

We know he has taught us well. Though the old formulae may be forgotten, and most of us cannot tell the difference between H2O and water, he guided us in the scientific outlook of finding out for ourselves. For hundreds of boys and girls, chemistry will always be linked with Tom's deep voice, whose sepulchral tones would enquire into the contents of a crucible with a "What are you making, boy - treacle toffee? "

His little ritual of nose-wiping was a joy to behold; his fondness for the phrase "You see" was a mannerism without which our experiments would have lacked his personal touch.

All old scholars will wish him well in his retirement, for he has earned our respect and thanks. You see.



Last revised: 09 March 2013