Robin Wainwright 1943-2006

Robin died earlier this year aged 62 after a painful six-month struggle with stomach cancer. Robin’s roots were in Leeds and I first met him when he arrived at the Central Junior Boys’ school in Chichester. Robin was very tall for his age, very thin and with broad Yorkshire accent. It was obviously quite a traumatic time for him. It was not until several years later that I discovered that he had suffered from polio which, amongst other things, had necessitated a series of painful bone grafting operations. It is typical of Robin to have kept us in the dark about these and it was not until years later that we found out the reason for his mysterious extended absences from school. Because of his Polio, Robin was never to enjoy actively his great sporting love of Cricket; he was always very proud of the fact that his father had gone to school with the famous Yorkshire and England fast bowler, Bill Bowes and, later, revelled in the fact that we had been to school with John Snow. Cricket was, in fact, the catalyst for our friendship, and we would spend hours discussing the various merits of the Yorkshire and Sussex county sides. Robin went on to Manchester University to study History and later spent much of his life teaching and lecturing in colleges. He always admired Alfred Scales’ tutorial methods of promoting analytical thought during A level History classes and his ability to get us to get to the crux of issues.

Robin always maintained that the skills imparted in those lessons stood us in good stead for life. I would agree! Robin married Trudy and had two delightful children, now both in their 20s. Robin and Trudy settled in Bristol where they both taught, Robin in Further Education and Trudy heading up a Special Needs Department in a large secondary school. Latterly Robin took early retirement and became a Court Usher and spent much of his leisure time researching his family tree. I will remember Robin for his dry, self-deprecating humour, his courage, his quick mind and his love of family. He will be sorely missed by them and by his friends.

Doug Murgatroyd

October 2006