My father, Tony Mitchell, who has died aged 89, was a trainer who rose to be head of English at a Somerset complete faculty, then grew to become a trainer coach in Bedfordshire.
Born in Bexleyheath, south London, to Violet (nee Garbutt) and Harry Mitchell, each cops, Tony attended Shooters Hill grammar faculty then secured a instructing qualification from Goldsmiths Faculty in 1953, earlier than doing his nationwide service within the Egyptian Canal Zone with the Royal Military Schooling Corps. In 1960 he married Hazel Lewis, an workplace expertise trainer who had been his penfriend whereas in Egypt, having persuaded her to decide on marriage to him over Methodist missionary work.
Whereas instructing full-time at Hurstmere boys’ secondary trendy in Sidcup, he studied English at Birkbeck, College of London, and graduated in 1964. A couple of years at Bexley/Erith technical faculty adopted, then in 1967 Tony moved along with his younger household to Somerset to turn into head of English at Chilton Trinity complete faculty in Bridgwater.
In 1971 the household decamped to Bedford, the place Tony skilled academics at Bedford Faculty, additionally changing into deeply concerned within the lecturers’ union NATFHE and with the nationwide Marketing campaign for the Development of State Schooling, which he chaired for a interval.
He graduated with a grasp’s in training from Exeter College in 1972, and did an MA in movie and TV in training on the Institute of Schooling (now a part of UCL) in 1984.
Outdoors work, Tony exploited his 6ft 6in peak as a centre-forward for varsity employees groups and as a quick bowler of no imply skill for Previous Shooters Hillians cricket crew, and later for the village membership at Arlesey in Bedfordshire. He was a Norwich Metropolis fan, sharing his ardour and his jubilation on the Canaries’ successes along with his household.
Tony took early retirement from Bedford Faculty within the mid-80s and have become a devoted and in style Labour member of Bedfordshire county council, serving Kingsbrook ward for 16 years, with a selected curiosity in sustainability points.
He and Hazel (herself a mayor of Bedford) threw themselves into campaigning causes: they have been republican environmentalists to the top. Hazel’s Quakerism and Tony’s humanism helped to maintain them via the shattering lack of their youngest little one, Fay, in a practice accident in 1994, a tragedy that inevitably overshadowed the remainder of their lives. They discovered consolation of their robust relationship, the help of their different youngsters and grandchildren, and of their many friendships.
Tony had a fascination for poetry (a few of his personal was printed), literature and historical past, which he handed on to his descendants. He was additionally an inveterate letter author to the Guardian.
He’s survived by Hazel, their youngsters Clare and me, and 5 grandchildren, Ellen, Becan, Beth, Sorcha and Callum.