Memories: Douglas Pilcher

To begin one’s education at Heath G.S. is a frightening experience at the best, but to have this experience knowing that your father is a master at that school and a music teacher as well can only make life a little more difficult.

In the following five years, rugby touch in the playground was the most important event I enjoyed, helped by Dr Fleet not wanting me to take part in his Chemistry lessons. However, even in 5G I appreciated an education for which I was very grateful. Teachers appreciated my musical expertise and consequently I survived those years with my head held high.

My life continued with music and sport being my most important interests, taking me to many foreign lands and making music as far away as the U.S.A, Canada, Russia, Sweden and France before returning to Calderdale to offer my help to children at the Music Centre at Wellesley Park Barracks.

My teaching at the school was as a peripatetic woodwind teacher from 1968–1974. Can you imagine the moment I opened the Staff Room door at Heath School when I returned as a teacher of music, and was confronted by Mr Lee, Mr Birchall, Mr Haigh, Mr Holt and other members of staff with their looks of disbelief? I survived that too ... During this latter time Mr Swale, the Headmaster, did offer me the full Music Post, which I declined.

My music making has made the introduction into many spheres of life so fascinating, meeting so many people and enjoying friendships which have lasted the test of time that I realise that arriving in 1950 in 1B was going to be the beginning of a GREAT ADVENTURE.

Douglas Pilcher [Heath 1950–1955]