Death of Peter More
Peter More died recently and we have received a number of messages - reprinted below.
“There can be little doubt that Peter had an enormous effect on many LWGS boys’ lives over a long 32-year period at school and thereafter with OTs. He told me once that he nearly did not accept his appointment at LWGS after an interview with Mr Mullens, concerned that the School may be another ‘ public school’ rendition of Caterham School in Surrey which he described as ‘well-paid slave labour’. He was, too, one of the first teachers to be appointed after a year’s teacher training in Oxford. His was not the glittering personality of a Gerard Gould or a Hugh Mullens, but like his close associate in Thame, Norman Lilley, he cane across as a father-figure and a great organiser and facilitator – a man who quietly instilled knowledge and confidence. He was well aware of the need for good preparation and flexible teaching strategies, and got boys interested and involved in all sorts of activities. In fact, his involvement in so many aspects of School life was legendary and one wonders whether his family saw much of him. In the classroom he was a teacher of geography, English and French; his extra-curricular activities included the CCF and particularly its new RAF Division. Peter did nothing by halves and made sure his c. 20 cadets in the RAF cadre had every opportunity to experience the best: he arranged a visit to the Vickers Aircraft factory at Weybridge in 1960 to see the ‘mock-up’ of the VC 10 airliner; to Abingdon Airport for a flight in a Beverley aircraft and observation of control staff in action; a field day at Benson on the link trainer (flight simulator); regular 30-minute flights were also arranged for boys in the Chipmunk trainer aircraft at White Waltham, Berks and gliding courses at Oxford Airport (at Kidlington).
He revived the boarders’ Stamp Club and Natural History Society in the early 1950s and in 1959 he founded a flourishing Geographical Society with over 30 members showing films ( e.g. The lost world of the Kalahari and Daybreak in Udi – Nigerian village life resistant to change) and inviting speakers and slide presentations from ex-pupils ( e.g. Geoff Cornish 1950-7, spoke on life in Salisbury and the native reserves in what was then S. Rhodesia. Peter was heavily involved with school trips to Switzerland and Denmark and 6th Form Field Courses in Geography to Malham Tarn in Yorkshire. He was also to be found as teacher-in-charge of the Headington day boys’ summer picnic punting excursions on the R. Cherwell at Oxford. Later in his career he was Senior Master and took on the heavy load of school administration during and after the school’s change from a grammar to a comprehensive school.
Peter will be warmly remembered for his lively interest in any subject of conversation and for his good humour and hospitality. For my contemporaries we have lost one of the true and dedicated grammar school teachers. Peter took me from Form 111 (1951) right through to Upper Sixth (1957) - Jonathan Polden & I were Peter’s first ‘A’ Level students and then on to careers teaching geography.. Needless, to say, we have so many cherished memories of Peter and those schooldays and will miss him greatly.”
During my first year at Keele University I took a module in geography. Given an essay on Australian industry I faced the problem that the library did not stock the only book on the subject so I wrote to the High Commission and used booklets they supplied. The geography department was so surprised about the source material that the librarian asked to keep it. Peter More had instilled in us that you did not just rely on text books but used magazines and booklets, especially from embassies, companies and banks. His approach to geography was light years ahead and taught me much about how to carry out research.
Mr More gave his whole life to the pupils. How many teachers would so fill the summer holidays with European expeditions, RAF cadet camps and geography field trips that he only two weeks for his family break? And how many teachers would have invited pupils to see his train layout and drive a group miles to the newly-created Bluebell Railway? He worked us incredibly hard but we all gained good O and A level results. Without his encouragement I would not have reached university.
I was deeply saddened by news of the passing of Peter More, "Ronnie" (for reasons now lost) as he was often affectionately referred.
I recall the struggles I faced with completing my "A" levels and at the third attempt, secured sufficient evidence of academic capability to go on to study architecture. News of my results came via his office accompanied by a note that even now I recall with immediate clarity: "Results enclosed. Congratulations Charles! Mr.More wishes me to add that 'persistence pays off in the end.'
Those word were a gracious gesture and a tremendous encouragement for which I will always be grateful.
Loving prayers and tender thoughts surround him and his family
Charles Boyle (1966-1972)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Peter More. I always found him a fair and even-handed headmaster. It did invoke a memory though of the time the school dispensed with its system of bells and replaced it with a new Tannoy system. Mr More, known to us for some reason as Ron, used to make the announcements. This prompted (I think it was) Nick Mynheer to produce a poster to put in the foyer, proclaiming 'Radio Ron - through 'til four with Ronnie More'. Brilliant.
Colin Beadle (1970-77)