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Due to the current situation, there are no events planned. Please check back as we will add events as and when we can.

Obituary – Colin Wilson

Colin died on 19 March, 2021 aged 89. He was one of the longest serving members of the teaching staff at Birkdale Prep School. He had taught English here under three Heads for all of his career.  For many years he and Ted Hutchins (Senior Master) had taught Common Entrance and Scholarship forms with outstanding results from many of the leading boarding schools in the country.    He was one of the staff who opted, as the school developed, to improve their qualifications by taking Open University degrees.  Colin successfully read English.

When the decision was made to extend the age group to GCSE, the traditional Prep School routes to Common Entrance year and the Prep School Sixth Form remained for boys up to the age of 13.   However, when the Sixth form was launched in 1988, the school divided into the traditional city school pattern of moving to the senior schools at 11.  Most of the Prep School staff moved to Clarke House, but Colin remained on the Senior School campus and was, I think, the only ex Prep School member of staff who undertook the new challenge of teaching to both GCSE and A level.

He did this in his usual calm but effective way, and enjoyed the AL teaching in particular, where he helped to prepare Birkdale’s first Sixth Form year by teaching the Shakespeare AL component.  His new Head of Department, Stephen Gordon, recalls the pleasure Colin gained from teaching Richard II to able and challenging students, and having the satisfaction of the school’s 27 candidates (of which this English Literature group was a significant part) being rated for its results in The Times’ “Top 100 schools of the year”.  (It must be admitted that in those pre-League table years, the statistics were somewhat helped by the small number of our candidates!).  Steven Hastings, an OB who had been taught by Colin in the Prep School, and who taught in the English department towards the end of Colin’s time at Birkdale, recalls that he remembered him as a strict classroom teacher but found that, as a colleague, “he was really a very kind and charming man”.  (OBs and colleagues who remember Steven may be interested to learn that he has now left teaching, and is now a fully qualified junior hospital doctor).

He will be remembered for his long years of faithful, unassuming service.  One colleague described him as “gentle, and kind.  He never complained: he just got on with it”.  And, in the euphoria of those early Senior School days, the gradient he had to climb was steeper than most, right through to his retirement in 1992.

Thank you, Colin.

Michael Hepworth

April, 2021









Prep School

Senior School

Sixth Form

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