Monday, 31 August 2015

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Tributes to truly great Cumbrian teacher 'Trendy Trev'

Former pupils and colleagues have paid heartfelt tributes to a “truly great” teacher.

Trevor Thompson photo
Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson, a former teacher at Netherhall School in Maryport, has died after an illness. He was 67.

Former pupil Terry Askew, a DJ and cartoonist, has led tributes to Mr Thompson, describing him as “the best teacher you could have”.

Mr Askew, of Maryport, said: “I was a pupil at Netherhall between 1974 and 1979 and it was a good school. I had a good education but it was a bit like Grange Hill meets Lord of the Flies – only the strongest survived!

“Back then there were no counsellors in schools if you had a problem, but Trevor was one of the very few who you could go to and he would listen and help.

“He was also known as ‘Trendy Trev’ because he had a bit of style about him. He owned a Triumph Spitfire and to us he was like a James Bond character.

“I always wanted to be a DJ and cartoonist but in those days it was regarded as pie in the sky to do anything like that.

“I mentioned it to a couple of teachers who said it was a stupid idea but Trevor really encouraged me.

“Trevor was a truly great teacher who spurred his pupils on to aim higher than they normally would or could in Maryport.”

Mr Askew told how Mr Thompson, who lived at Greysouthen, near Cockermouth, bought him a Dictaphone after hearing him on BBC Radio Cumbria.

And Mr Thompson also gave him his first booking when he asked him to DJ for the school’s 1977 Christmas party.

“I’m not sure whether this was a shrewd move on his part – to get a cheap DJ – but I've always looked on it as him having faith in me,” Mr Askew added.

Mr Thompson, who taught technical drawing, woodwork, metalwork and maths, worked at the school for more than 30 years before retiring about seven years ago.

Mr Askew also revealed how he managed to find out about a nickname that Mr Thompson had been given when he was a young man.

He explained: “Once in class he made the mistake of telling us about this nickname he had at teacher training college.

“He refused to tell us what it was because he knew we would really rib him about it.

“I asked him if his mum would know what it was and he replied yes but wanted to know why.

“I told him that my grandmother went to bingo with her and it turned out he was called Mr Hedges because he looked so much like the actor John Alderton who played the character in the comedy film Please Sir!

“I didn’t mention that I knew to any of my classmates because I knew the other kids would have had a go at him!”

Ben Stevenson, design and technology teacher at Netherhall, taught alongside Mr Thompson for many years. He said: “Trevor was a private man but a man of honest principals and he was very true to them.

“He was very much about what was best for his pupils and he never let politics get in the way of that.

“Even though he was desperately ill he still always had a smile on his face and remained chirpy and positive and I admire his mental strength.”



Should organ donation opt-in be automatic?



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