Frederick Wilson “Freddie” Hoult 1938-2019 (SH 51-55)
Sadly the OS Club has been informed of the passing of Freddie Hoult (pictured left with son, Charlie) in May, aged 80. Please click here for more information.
Dr. Geoffrey William Syme “Geoff” Burgess 1942-2019 (H 56-60)
The OS Club has received the sad news that Geoff (pictured second right) passed away on the 25th of May, aged 76.
Robert James “Bob” Sykes 1933-2018 (E 47-50)
Sadly Bob passed away in December 2018. Bob was a keen rugger player and an accurate kicker and played on the first team for Sedbergh. He was also an excellent golfer and after leaving Sedbergh and going into business, he played for many years at Fixby Golf Club in his home town of Huddersfield, becoming Club Captain and winning a number of trophies. His other main interest was in fell walking, learnt no doubt on Sedbergh’s fells. He started a Wayfarers Club in Huddersfield and ran this very successfully until his health began to give out.
His popularity was shown at his funeral at Fixby Church, and afterwards at the Golf Club, when many wayfarers attended, all wearing their club tie. Also many OSs. He married fairly late, to a widowed lady named Marie. His step relations and other family were also present. He had no children of his own.
David Arthur Gilliat 1935-2019 (P 48-53)
The OS Club has been informed of the passing of David Gilliat in March 2019. He was 83 years old.
David Hunter O’Brien 1932-2019 (H 45-51)
The OS Club is sad to announce the death of David O’Brien, who passed away in April. He was 86 years old. A former pupil, parent, Governor and constant supporter of the School, his passing is a loss to all. Please see below for an edited tribute written by his son, Sir Stephen O’Brien, KBE (H 70-75).
David Hunter O’Brien was born on 21st June 1932 – as he would never cease to remind us, with his ready grin and glint in his eye, ‘the longest day in the year’, so, of course, the longest birthday every year!
Born and brought up in Kendal, their home being just across the River Kent from the ‘Works’, the engineering-based firm known as ‘I Bees’ or IBIS, in which the O’Brien family were strongly engaged, he attended Castle Street Elementary School. At the outbreak of the Second World War, aged 7, he followed his brother to Terrington Prep School near York. David would say that he felt that he had been fairly sheltered from war and bombing given where his home and boarding school were, but he recalled that he and his young schoolmates would hear the Lancaster Bombers passing overhead at night en route over the North Sea – they would say nothing to each other; but at breakfast in the morning they were all quiet, counting how many returned.
Just as the war ended, he went on to Sedbergh School, rising to be Head of Hart House. These 6 years were to be the first chapter in a deep enduring loyalty and involvement with Sedbergh, both town and gown. As a pupil, parent, Governor, grand-parent, countless Remembrance Day services at the Cloisters, initiating the 10-mile Day course walk, concerts, social and sporting events, and the Sedbergh Choral Society – his care and love for the people and institution were woven into him as he into them with the deepest of mutual respect.
Whilst at Sedbergh he remembered being very hungry – there still being rationing post-War, referring to supper sometimes being one pilchard on a plate. It was there that he had to endure cricket – I say endure, as he never complained and made no allowances to himself, and was never given any quarter by his own family, teachers or others, but he only ever saw though his left eye, having been blind in his right eye since birth – something that was discovered when he was a toddler.
But at Sedbergh here amid the Howgills and the Lakeland Fells, which he walked and climbed for decades and loved so much, and the sheer beauty of all that we are surrounded by today, David started to realise his talent as an accomplished sketcher, drawer and painter in most mediums and skilled in capturing landscapes and objects, and notably fine portraits with deep insight into character. He loved his art and there are many wonderful creations that adorn the walls of the family’s homes. He certainly had an exquisite artist’s eye and he mastered the art of perspective, notwithstanding the greater challenge than most he had successfully to overcome.
Long before Cambridge, where he went to Clare College to study History with English, David had met Ann Rothwell, always known as Rothy, her school nickname which has stuck ever since. It was David’s good fortune that, being a good school-friend of Clare, his younger sister, Rothy would often come out from school with Clare in those teen years and sure enough met Clare’s good-looking older brother. As he turned 23, he left for East Africa from Tilbury Docks, seen off by his parents Mandy and Dandy and his fiancée, Rothy, for his first 3 year tour as cadet District Officer in Mtwara, Southern Province, Tanganyika (Tanzania today). No home leave for 3 years and young officers weren’t meant to be married in their first tour. Then in February 1956, having got special permission, he sent a cable out of the blue to Rothy (now a Nursing Sister at the Westmorland County Hospital), simply stating: “Come. Repeat come. David”; not ‘Love David’. As Rothy later found out that extra word would have cost another shilling, a lot from his meagre £75 a year salary. Matching his adventuresome spirit, she went – 7 weeks by ship; and then they were married in the Indian Ocean coastal fishing town of Mtwara in a Mission Church on 3rd April 1956 – a mud a wattle hut, with a sandy floor, and a wind-up gramophone for ‘Here Comes the Bride’. They spent their honeymoon in the foothills of Kilimanjaro at the other end of the country. David has been devoted to her ever since, and she to him. As many of your letters have said, they were a Team, a lovely, lifelong team. Once they were back on their first long home leave in 1958, they could see independence coming to Tanganyika sooner than had been forecast, so David resigned and they returned to England.
In 1969 David was asked to join IBIS in Kendal as a Director with the brief to diversify product lines and develop overseas markets. This happily coincided with both of their hearts’ desire to come back to their beloved Lake District. So we came to our really delightful and beautiful home, High Cleabarrow near Windermere – a conversion and restoration project they threw themselves into – but above all a genuine, warm (when the heating was on) family home, ever hosting our wider family and so many friends of all generations as a hub of welcome and hospitality. And a garden in which David’s many hives and beekeeping skills advanced, not least resulting in lots of tasty honey harvest most years. He became a leading light in the Westmorland Beekeepers’ Association (with Rothy as Honorary Queen Bee) and found himself called out occasionally to deal with swarms night and day, so his beekeeping kit and headnets were always in the boot of his car. He brought his hives to Dent and enjoyed the bees amongst these fells until only a few years ago. A true hobbyist and enthusiast – including sailing the family GP dinghy on Windermere. And always prepared to ‘give it a go’ – an inspiration and example we all gained by. And that manifested itself in his intense enjoyment of skiing when, in the 1970s, we went to the Alps, including initiating himself and me into ski-touring hut to hut across the roof of the Alps, roped together across perilous avalanche-prone slopes and crevasses – a chance for us to have an intensity of relationship built on his adventuresome courage, example and sheer good company.
After 10 years at IBIS, the Division that David had created in only 6 years, IBIS Medical (supplying turnkey hospitals and equipment overseas), was awarded the Queen’s Award for Industry for Exports. However, only a few months later, the burdens on the mother engineering businesses overwhelmed it and IBIS Group ceased to exist. Disaster loomed. Mum opened High Cleabarrow as a Nursing Home. David became a Consultant, including travelling to Lagos, Bahrain and a year in Harare for the Ford Foundation for the rehabilitation of Zimbabweans who had suffered under the pre-independence regime. He was instrumental in the enterprising creation of the old Shell site in Trafford to today’s thriving Carrington Business Park. He was indefatigable. There were some very lean years. And it was at this time he was asked to become a Governor of Sedbergh School – despite the pressures on him, he chose to take on that voluntary responsibility and served spanning 3 headmasterships for 18 years with great distinction. It was in David’s strength of character that, even though his career turned out to be anything but plain sailing, he retained his dignity, had no self-pity, harboured no resentments, and had that wonderful unselfish ability to forgive and forget. That was also deeply appreciated by us children – when we overstepped the mark, there would be a flash of irritation or sharp word, and then it was over in a trice; forgiven and forgotten – but lesson learned!
In 1988, they left High Cleabarrow and came to The Wool Shop in Dent – embracing and being embraced by this wonderful Dentdale community for more than 30 years. They were soon enjoying a varied and busy life, with Mum running The Wool Shop.
Others have remarked how he was always immaculately turned out, be that in a jacket and tie, or with his brown apron on when fettling on in his workshop and around the house, or with hat and, more recently, stick, in his walking breeches, which he sported as much when visiting our families in London, Sussex, Yorkshire or Cheshire as he did when out on “The Fells that are all around us” – to quote a line from a Sedbergh School song.
As one who is with us here today has written:
‘David’s friendship, encouragement, wisdom, loyalty and desire always to do what was right and not follow popular prejudice or whim set him apart – to say nothing of the wonderful sense of humour which always accompanied his wisdom! It is his courage and strength of will in adversity, his indefatigable spirit and outstanding example of all that is honest, fair and ‘good’ which will now live on in those who were fortunate enough to know and respect him.’
A much and dearly loved and loving husband to Rothy; father to Clare-Marie, Karen and me; father-in-law to Gemma, William and Nicholas; grandfather to Harry and Tom, James, Angus and Clara; and Edward, William and Sam and most recently grandfather-in-law to Jo – he was so thrilled to see the first of his grandchildren to be married when we were all together for a happy, happy day at the beginning of September last year; together with his love and support for his and Mum’s wider families; and a wonderful friend to so many far and wide, and near, faithfully enduring over all the years.
David died in the full knowledge of the love of his family – and the many, many people whose lives he touched.
Thomas Edward “Ted” Richardson 1927-2019 (E 41-45)
Please see the following eulogy from daughter Mary Richardson.
Thomas Edward Richardson, Ted as you all knew him – Dad to me – was born in Hull on 4 March 1927, to Thomas Richardson Senior and his wife Mildred.
He grew up in Anlaby with his older sister Betty, who would later marry a Mission to Seamen minister and move all over the world before settling in New Zealand. Ted Senior was a big character, who flew planes alongside Amy Johnson; got an OBE for teaching flying during the war; and had a speedboat on the Costa del Withernsea. Dad would recall falling out of the speedboat, and being terrified at being taken up in his father’s biplane with an open cockpit.
Dad went to Kingston High School, which was evacuated to Scarborough, Bingley and Bourne to avoid the wartime bombs falling on Hull.He was then moved to Sedbergh School in Cumbria, far away from the bombing. He thrived there, becoming both head of his house and captain of the school’s rugby team. In later years he visited his old school frequently, often recollecting the awful food, long runs over the fells, cold showers, and, despite all that, his love for the place. Next he did his national service in the Royal Signals from 1945 to 48. Serving as a lieutenant he also won a cap for playing in the Army rugby team.
This was immediately after the war, and Dad was much affected by the devastation he saw in Germany and back home in Hull. He explained that seeing hungry children begging Allied soldiers for food in Germany set him on his course in life to become a farmer. He felt there was nothing more fundamental nor important than feeding people – plus he didn’t fancy a desk job anyway. So after his national service he got a placement on a farm near Ripon owned by the father of a school chum William Frank, who became a good friend for life.
And following that he went up to Queens College Cambridge to study agriculture – and play rugby… becoming captain of the rugby team and head of college, in a repeat of his success at school. Students weren’t allowed to take cars to college at this time, so he kept his Austin 7 hidden down a side street…Dad knew he wanted his own farm so, in order to pay for it, after graduating, he took a job as manager of a tea and coffee plantation in Uganda, where he played rugby for the East Africa team. He returned with many tales about his big adventure – including close calls with some of the local wildlife – and enough money to buy Low Farm, Gransmoor, in 1956. Ever the practical farmer he chose the farm because he felt the land would be neither as light as that up on the Wolds, nor as heavy as Holderness clay. With the help of his father, he spent the next few years improving and modernising the farm, doing everything from laying concrete in all the yards to building his own milking parlour using scaffolding poles, bike parts and loo chains. All the while milking his new herd of cows every day. One thing Dad was never afraid of was hard work.
Having made the farm as he wanted it, he set about finding the farmer’s wife, and settled on a very beautiful – and very YOUNG – redhead he spotted at a Young Farmers’ dance in Hull. When she disappeared Cinderella style at the end of the night he only knew that her name was Susan Fewson and she came from Aldbrough in Holderness. His friend Sheilagh Burdass, Pete’s mum, acting as matchmaker, worked out who she was and got her phone number (Mum found the scrap of paper Sheilagh gave him with her phone number on it still tucked in one of Dad’s pockets only the other day…)
This was the beginning of a sixty-year love story, and the couple married at Aldburgh in 1968. My sister Mary came along the following year and me in 1972. Dad settled down to family life, and played his part in the local community, as a member of everything from the local agricultural discussion society to the 41 Club.
The concept of duty was very real to him and he took his turn as a school governor and later as a long-time and diligent warden here at Harpham Church. He continued to be a much loved member of the congregation here until his death. His faith was very important to him. He saw the hand of God all around him in the natural world he loved so much. And he loved Church architecture – this building in particular – and Church music.
Dad worked hard, almost to a fault. He seldom took a break but we went on a week’s holiday to Scarborough once a year. Photos of us setting off on the first of these trips show Dad looking like a film star in a white jacket as we headed for the Royal Hotel. By the time I remember much about them, he would be wearing a cagoule and we’d be staying in a B&B. Dad enjoyed these well earned breaks, reading James Herriot books on the beach and laughing so hard that he once actually fell out of his deckchair. The longest holiday he ever took was to mark his 70th birthday with a trip to New Zealand to visit sister Betty and family.
But that was uncharacteristic. Dad didn’t venture off the farm much. He didn’t need to because it was his world. He knew intimately and loved every single square foot of it. And he worked. Hard. All the time. We have worked out he grew enough wheat over the years to make about 12 million loaves of bread.
He wasn’t really one for hobbies once he stopped playing rugby for Driffield (because away matches clashed with milking) – preferring simply to do more work. But he was a keen amateur inventor, devising all kinds of gadgets for the farm, from a switch for the dryer that used a human hair to detect moisture in the atmosphere, to a foam ‘blobber’ made from an old vacuum, which showed the tractor driver where he had sprayed. In another life he could have been a talented engineer.
In his eighties Dad got his five grandchildren, Woody (Thomas Edward Richardson IV), Joe, Vinnie, Teddy and Lolly, who he loved greatly. He continued to take an active interest in the farm – and in the wider world – in retirement. He had strong views on many things: from flat roofs (‘asking for trouble’) to wind turbines (‘eyesores’ and a ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’, the latter a category into which quite a lot of other things fell too). Latterly he was usually to be found behind the open pages of his Yorkshire Post, that was if he wasn’t out walking on his beloved land, sizing up the next year’s crop. He was a kindly surrogate father or grandfather to many too, ready to offer advice and paternal encouragement to his many visitors.
At the time of his 90th birthday, we nominated him to appear on the TV show Car SOS. This was a great success. His beloved old truck – a World War Two Utility vehicle – that he had used on the farm, was restored as a surprise and he was interviewed about his life. Dad was a hit with the programme makers and viewers and we had a brilliant day among the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight planes at RAF Connings by filming him being reunited with his newly restored truck. If you haven’t seen the programme, see if you can catch it being repeated some time.
Tilly herself is now on display at Eden Camp museum near Pickering. Since Dad first became ill a year ago the relationships he and mum have spent their lives building have pay dividends a hundred times over. The support and kindness shown to them as Dad’s health declined has humbled us all. The way all of you here have supported them over these past difficult six months has been incredible. And we are forever in your debt. Thank you.
As a family we would also like to pay tribute, and say heartfelt thanks, to the Macmillan and Marie Curie nurses, and other nurses and carers, who did to much to kindly and tenderly ease the passage of Dad’s last days. To him and us they truly were angels. I am sad that my Dad has died – most of all for my mum, who was the love of his life. And to whom, as long as he was still able to speak, he was still singing ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ – ‘their’ song, from South Pacific, which they watched on their first date. But I am happy he lived the life he wanted to, in the place he wanted, and that he died there surrounded by his family. I am proud of the man my dad was and the life he led. The phrase that has come up time and again in the condolence cards sent to Mum is ‘gentle gentleman’. He was both these things. He was also a good man who took good care of his family to the end, and was a good friend to so many here. Thank you for coming today to help us celebrate his life.
Douglas Eynon 1936-2019 (S 49-53)
Prominent Darlington businessman Douglas Eynon, aged 82 died on 8th February in Norwich. Darlington-born Douglas was educated at Sedbergh School, where he discovered his love of rugby and fell running. Douglas qualified as a Chartererd Accountant with KPMG, formerly Peat Marwick and Mitchell, and after completing his National Service worked for Peats in London. He married Judith in 1962 and they later returned to Darlington where Douglas embarked upon a long career applying his business acumen to buying companies and making them profitable.
Douglas owned a variety of companies, including Hawthorn Limestone, Rolling Stock and Engineering, RS Fabricators, CP Offset Printing, Kohlangaz Fires, and Parker Plant in Leicester. Throughout his career he supported a number of people in starting their businesses, generously giving them his advice and expertise.
His success in business allowed him to retire early and he became Chairman to his daughter’s business, dispensing invaluable wisdom and inspiring a whole new generation. Douglas was treasurer and later trustee of Darlington Rugby Club, President of the Teesside Institute of Chartered Accountants and President of the local Toastmasters Club.
Douglas was passionate about the Lake District and spent many happy hours walking the fells. He was a member of shooting syndicates in North Yorkshire and Norfolk. He and Judith travelled extensively around the world, and he was an avid skier into his 70s, regularly keeping up with his grandchildren.
Douglas and Judith retired to Norwich to be closer to their family. He leaves his wife Judith, daughters Bridget, Sarah and Karen and six grandchildren.
|First Name(s)||Surname||House||at Sedbergh||Date|
|(Dr) Geoffrey William Syme "Geoff"||Burgess||Hart||1956-1960||May 2019|
|Sheila||Donald||Widow of David Donald (OS) -|
Former Headmaster of Cressbrook School (49-76) & Sedbergh Governor (77-89)
|Frederick Wilson "Freddie"||Hoult||School House||1951-1955||May 2019|
|Richard Anthony||Huck||Sedgwick||1973-1978||April 2019|
|Roger Martin Browne||Hollinshead||Powell||1959-1964||April 2019|
|David Hunter||O'Brien||Hart||1945-1951||April 2019|
|Thomas Edward "Ted"||Richardson||Evans||1941-1945||April 2019|
|David Arthur||Gilliat||Powell||1948-1953||March 2019|
|John Hampden||Hyatt||Sedgwick||1941-1946||March 2019|
|Ian Douglas||Sangwin||Hart||1954-1958||February 2019|
|Michael Theodore||Broadbent||School House||1967-1972||February 2019|
|Donald Barrett||Mackay||Sedgwick||1948-1953||February 2019|
|Peter Edward||Rickitt||Evans||1960-1964||January 2019|
|Robert James "Bob"||Sykes||Evans||1947-1950||December 2018|
|(Dr) Walter Graham||Mathews||School House||1943-1947||December 2018|
|(The Rev) Peter J D||Allen||Former Teacher, Chaplain, and Second Master||1987-1993||December 2018|
|Richard Hugh||Thomas||Former Physics Master||1967-2002||December 2018|
|Peter Myles||Hutchinson||Hart||1951-1955||November 2018|
|Edward Stuart "Zeke"||Smith||Evans||1946-1950||November 2018|
|James Robert||Bruce-Lockhart||School House||1954-1959||November 2018|
|David Goodman||Blanche||Powell||1947-1951||October 2018|
|(The Rev) David Roy||Holmes||Lupton||1947-1952||September 2018|
|Charles Graeme||Watherston||Sedgwick||1949-1953||September 2018|
|John Blackburn||Talbot||Winder||1940-1943||September 2018|
|William Fawcett "Billy"||Banks||Hart||1942-1946||September 2018|
|Graham Hurndall||Smith||Hart||1949-1952||August 2018|
|Samuel John Willoughby||Barker||Evans||1993-2000||August 2018|
|William Lewis Robertson||Scott||Evans||1949-1953||August 2018|
|(Sir) Henry Arthur Hugh||Cortazzi||Sedgwick||1936-1941||August 2018|
|Michael Ian||Grierson||Lupton||1957-1963||July 2018|
|Andrew Snowden||Harton||Evans||1963-1969||June 2018|
|Richard John||Rossiter||Winder||1948-1953||May 2018|
|Stephen Herbert Kay||Butcher||Winder||1942-1947||May 2018|
|Timothy Wace "Tim"||Roberts||Lupton||1951-1956||April 2018|
|David Francis||Barker||Winder||1936-1940||April 2018|
|Peter Morley||Yorke||Powell||1952-1957||April 2018|
|Stuart Robert||Paton||Hart||1977-1982||March 2018|
|(Prof) Robert Cairns Brown||Aitken||Winder||1947-1951||March 2018|
|(Sir) John Archibald||Ford||School House||1935-1939||February 2018|
|Hugh Frederick||Lockhart-Ball||Evans||1961-1966||December 2017|
|James Edward||Sugden (OBE)||Hart||1960-1964||December 2017|
|Anthony Martin||Russell||Hart||1947-1952||December 2017|
|Colin Patrick||Crabbie||Lupton||1960-65||December 2017|
|Victor H Brooke||Dowse||Former Schoolmaster and Lupton Housemaster||1963-2000||November 2017|
|Anthony Norburn||Craven||Sedgwick||1937-1941||November 2017|
|Michael Lindop||Bottomley||Winder||1938-1943||November 2017|
|David Graeme Salvesen||Macmillan||Winder||1949-1953||October 2017|
|Kenneth John||McCracken||Sedgwick||1952-1957||October 2017|
|Stephen Allinson||Jay||Hart||1940-1943||October 2017|
|Michael Royden||Richards||Evans||1944-1948||October 2017|
|(Prof) Henry Kenneth||White||Winder||1938-1941||October 2017|
|George B||Newby||Winder||1956-1959||October 2017|
|Nigel Anthony||Hurst||Lupton||1974-1978||October 2017|
|Ian Harold M||Robinson||Powell||1938-1941||September 2017|
|Patrick Edmund||Jolly||Lupton||1978-1983||September 2017|
|Leslie "Les"||Fletcher||Former School Lab Technician||1965-1996||August 2017|
|Robert Edward||Hodges||School House||1979-1986||August 2017|
|Alastair John||Breckenridge||Sedgwick||1955-1960||July 2017|
|Richard Woosnam Ward "Dickie"||Dawe||Former Winder House Tutor||1954-1973||July 2017|
|Christopher Graham "Chris"||Wells||Evans||1960-1965||June 2017|
|Hugh Highley||Sugden||School House||1962-1966||June 2017|
|William Henry Raymond||Meageen||School House||1950-1955||May 2017|
|Philip Angus Newham||Robotham||Hart||1979-1984||May 2017|
|Jeremy Frank Collinge||Fisher||School House||1944-1949||May 2017|
|N Peter C P||Meadows||Former Winder Housemaster||1959-1990||April 2017|
|(Dr) Frederic Salkeld||Plumpton||Powell||1946-1951||March 2017|
|David Michael||Behrend||Sedgwick||1941-1945||March 2017|
|Richard "Rick" David||Abbott||Lupton||1968-1973||March 2017|
|Peter Rodney||Hyde||Hart||1957-1962||March 2017|
|(Dr) Roger James||Mawby||Sedgwick||1952-1957||February 2017|
|Richard Drummond||Hardwick||Powell||1955-1960||February 2017|
|(The Rt Hon The Lord) David Charles||Waddington (PC)||Winder||1944-1947||February 2017|
|Garth Roger||Nicholas||Hart||1944-1949||February 2017|
|Peter Walter||Phillips||Sedgwick||1947-1952||February 2017|
|Noel Wilfrid||Berry||School House||1955-1960||February 2017|
|William Edward||Greenhalgh||Powell||1945-1949||February 2017|
|(Sir) Christopher||Bland||Lupton||1951-1956||February 2017|
|Peter Michael||Poole (CBE, TD, JP, DL)||Lupton||1943-1946||February 2017|
|Colin James||Sherwood||Powell||1949-1952||February 2017|
|John Alexander||Gossip||School House||1944-1949||December 2016|
|Andrew Philip||Bradshaw||Winder||1968-1973||December 2016|
|Florian Louis||DeVito||Sedgwick||2008-2010||November 2016|
|Michael James||Wilson||Powell||1957-1962||November 2016|
|Paul James||Page||Lupton||1978-1983||November 2016|
|Peter Lowson||Addison||School House||1945-1949||October 2016|
|Timothy Charles||Mileson||Sedgwick||1996-2003||October 2016|
|(Dr) Samuel Kribb||Young||Hart||1941-1945||October 2016|
|John Richard||Thompson||Hart||1949-1954||October 2016|
|Ewan Douglas David||Bell||Winder||1951-1956||October 2016|
|Michael Robin||Fowler||Hart||1949-1952||July 2016|
|(Dr) Timothy Martin||Venters||School House||1958-1963||June 2016|
|Neil Pollock||Magee||Lupton||1957-1961||April 2016|