Huddersfield teacher Trevor Burgin still in contact with ex-students after 60 years

Trevor – who had a successful teaching career in Huddersfield between 1946 and 1980 – was amazed when he received a letter from Jeremy Hale

Former teacher and pupil, Trevor Burgin (right) and his former pupil, Kevin Fuller with a photograph of a class bus trip to Liverpool in 1955.

It was 60 years since they last met, but a former headteacher has just received a letter from one of his ex-pupils.

And Trevor Burgin remains in contact with three more, even though they live all over the world.

Trevor – who had a successful teaching career in Huddersfield between 1946 and 1980 – was amazed when he received a letter from Jeremy Hale.

Trevor was headteacher at Oakes County Junior School between 1954 and 1958 and Jeremy was one of his pupils.

Trevor, of Crosland Moor, said: “Jeremy will now be 67 or 68 and he lives in New Zealand. It was wonderful to hear from him. After qualifying as an engineer, he joined the Merchant Navy and rose through the ranks before marrying and settling in New Zealand.

“He wrote about how he had been inspired by two teachers – and one of them was me.”

But Trevor – who was 89 on Sunday – is also in contact with three more pupils from that era.

One is Tony Carter, who achieved a scholarship to Royds Hall Grammar School and is now master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, even though his career was in finance.

He now lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Another is Roger Davidson, who lives in Nova Scotia in Canada and flew back to Huddersfield in 2005 for a school reunion.

This had been organised by another pupil, Kevin Fuller, who lives in Dalton and worked at David Brown’s.

It started when Examiner columnist Denis Kilcommons featured a photograph from the 1950s of pupils from Oakes on a trip to Liverpool, which inspired Kevin to set up the reunion.

Trevor recalls: “He was telling me where the former pupils were travelling from and he said Roger was travelling from Halifax.

“I said ‘That’s not far then’ and then he added ‘Halifax, Nova Scotia.’

“I introduced Roger to rugby at Oakes and he had one ear that stuck out, so he became known as Oddy. I get a Christmas card from him every year signed Oddy.”

Oakes County Junior School, 1955 (submitted).
Oakes County Junior School, 1955 (submitted).
 

Trevor and Kevin go out for a drink every couple of months, usually to the real ale pub The Star on Albert Street in Lockwood.

Trevor studied to be a teacher at London University in 1942 and then joined the RAF, where he flew missions over occupied Europe as a bomb aimer.

After a short spell as an education officer in the RAF, he became a teacher at Paddock Church School, joining in the bitter winter in January 1947.

After a spell as head of PE at a secondary school in Southport, he joined Dalton Junior School before moving to Oakes and in 1958 to Spring Grove School, Springwood, as headteacher.

After ten years there, he became educational organiser for the former Huddersfield Borough Council and in 1974 became senior adviser for multicultural education for Kirklees Council before retiring in 1980.

Trevor is married to Kathleen and they have two daughters. Caroline has just retired after 14 years as headteacher of Hightown Primary School in Cleckheaton.

His other daughter, Angela, has also retired. She was head of modern languages at Whitechapel Middle School in Cleckheaton.

They have four grandchildren – Abbie, Emily, Eve and Oliver.

Abbie is a teacher at Whitechapel while Emily is a teacher in Rotherham.

Eve works in border control at Leeds Bradford Airport and Oliver is a website designer in Leeds.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Journalists

Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Val Javin
Features Editor
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent