How we use Cookies

Family History: Martin Mallinson owes alot to his Cone Valley High School teachers

MARTIN Mallinson owes a huge debt to his old school, Colne Valley High.

Colne Valley High School with Martin Mallinson (second from right)

MARTIN Mallinson owes a huge debt to his old school, Colne Valley High.

He’s been living in the beautiful town of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, for many years, and has been absent from the Colne Valley for a quarter of a century.

He returned recently after hearing about the death of his former headmaster, Tom Rolf.

He is director of design engineering for ESS Technology, a silicon chip design company.

“Tom Rolf’s obituary reminded me of his commitment to good education for all, no matter what the social background, and that good education is an essential element of good society,” said Martin.

“My own life would have unfolded very differently were it not for the excellent start that I received from the motivated teachers of CVHS during my years there in the early 1970s.

“I was encouraged to try for Oxford, an ambition that would never have crossed the mind of a kid from Crimble and from very much a working class background.

“I am pleased to say that I won the Bullock scholarship of 1974 and set off from Huddersfield to study Physics (or Natural Sciences as it was called then) in New College, Oxford.”

Since his Oxford days, Martin’s life has been spent in electronics. If anyone has flown in an Airbus or Boeing plane with a certain engine configuration (the CFM-36, for buffs), then you have been held in the air by a silicon chip from the kid from Crimble and CVHS.

If you have bought a DVD player in the past few years, it is very likely that it is powered by another of Martin’s silicon chips.

You might not have personally come across other hi-tech items from Martin, such as X-ray machines (the Varian PaxScan, again for buffs) to test machines that were used to check the Space Shuttle components, but the lad from Crimble has had a hand in the design of a good many modern gadgets.

“It was all possible because of the encouragement of teachers such as Tom Rolf and his contemporaries,” he said.

Martin Mallinson
Martin Mallinson

Martin, who had planned a visit to the Colne Valley, tried in vain to contact the school to offer to speak to the pupils before he arrived. A personal visit, with his daughter, was no more successful.

The school, he thought, resembled a secure prison.

“I was told by the receptionist that the children must be protected. I left my number but no-one called.

“I learned during my visit to the UK that the schools are reacting to a most dreadful event, the horrific killing of children by a janitor, if I understand correctly.

“But I suggest that locking a school up, at CVHS at least, is a huge over-reaction to that dreadful event.”

Martin says his initial reaction was to feel insulted and rejected, but thinking about it later he felt that the real losers in such circumstances are always the children.

“The ambience of fear and need of protection that UK teachers and parents feel is necessary these days denies pupils the opportunity to sense what is good in the world,” he said.

“It is not a small matter. The economy of the UK rests on it.

“The next generation need empowerment and a sense of limitless possibility, not an environment that teaches them to fear.

“My thoughts are that they are participants in a reaction that has more to do with mitigating the sense of helplessness in the minds of parents and the school authorities, rather than something for their own good.”

 

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