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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Tributes pour in for talented teacher, Bradders, 60 Add tributes

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular former teacher who made a difference in the lives of many.

class act: Dave Bradley

Dave Bradley, who worked at Wyndham School, Egremont, and latterly West Lakes Academy, was well-known and well-loved for his unconventional teaching skills, sense of humour and the ability to see the potential in everyone.

The 60-year-old sadly passed away at his Lamplugh home on Saturday, February 4.

Following his death, a Facebook group, Bradders memories, was set up where around 300 past and present pupils, staff and friends have shared countless anecdotes and fond memories from over the years.

Former Wyndham School head teacher, John Wilson, said: “What is it about Dave Bradley that led to hundreds of tributes being posted on Facebook after his sad death at the age of 60 last week? He wasn’t famous in the usual sense, more of a big friendly giant. Not your conventional hero, but for hundreds of students and colleagues he was indeed the hero that we needed for this world.

“Originally a biochemist, Dave came to teach science at Wyndham School in its early days and science was never the same. Gone were the old dry-as-dust routines of learning chemical facts and formulae by rote. Dave could make every thing in science fresh, original, relevant and often funny. His notorious Mister Men cartoons to explain things often stayed in students’ memories for the rest of their lives.

“You were never late for Dave’s lessons just in case you missed the fun. And yet he taught to the highest level at school with many students inspired by him to take chemical degrees.”

Mr Wilson added: “His biggest strength was that he cared deeply about individual people and was tireless in their interests. Both as head of sixth form and later when he was in charge of all examination entries, he was not only meticulous over details he also encouraged and motivated others by the quality of his pastoral concern.

“He was no soft touch and many a wayward teenager was corrected by some straight talking but all accepted it because they knew that Dave believed in them and cared. Dave not only walked the extra mile but also repeated the journey as often as it was of help. No wonder so many of us love him and treasure his memory as the hero he really was.”

Mr Bradley joined Wyndham in September 1974 as a science teacher, with a first class honours degree in biochemistry. In 1983 he went on to become deputy head of the sixth form and head of sixth form a year later in 1984.

In 1995 he was appointed to a senior teacher post with responsibility for examinations. Five years later, he joined the school leadership team and in 2001 was made assistant headteacher.

In 2004 Mr Bradley moved from the teaching team to take up the post of administrative officer with particular responsibility for examinations. He retired from West Lakes Academy in July 2011.

Ross Jervis, senior vice principal of West Lakes Academy, said: “Throughout his teaching career, no matter what role he had, to Dave the students always came first. Students loved his science lessons and Dave was always keen to support all students to achieve their best. In terms of his time, nothing was too much for Dave and he would work tirelessly on the behalf of students.

He said: “Whilst in the sixth form a whole army of students loved ‘Bradders’ as they called him. Dave did all he could to get to know and support every student within his care. Sixth formers admired what he did on their behalf. Many students went off to university, in part as a result of the UCAS references he wrote, and when it came down to it the long telephone conversations Dave had with various university admissions officers.

“Dave almost always managed to convince the universities of each student’s qualities and a place was found for them. Students also loved Dave’s sense of humour, which he shared effortlessly with them. Dave was a man of many principles and great intellect.

“He knew that education was about giving young people a chance to better themselves. Dave contributed to this with passion and a desire to ensure that all pupils did well. Dave’s support and encouragement of others extended well beyond his students. Dave cared about his colleagues and friends, and this support of others was always given in a caring and sensitive way.

Mr Jervis added: “Outside of school Dave was a very talented cartoonist and his hand-drawn Christmas cards were a sight to behold. Dave even tried his hand as a stand-up comedian.

“Dave was creative and talented, in his early days he was a keen photographer and a talented craftsman using wood. Dave had a real passion for music, especially live music.”

A funeral service is set to take place at Distington Crematorium tomorrow (Friday) at 11.15am and then afterwards at Egremont Parish Hall. A collection will be made in aid of Mind in West Cumbria. People are being invited to wear their brightest, silliest or worst taste tie if they wish.

Have your say

An old pal,saw my firstborn before my exhusbsnd. I am shocked and sad.

Posted by sally crookes on 21 February 2012 at 21:25

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