On Wednesday this week between 1 pm and 1.40 pm, thanks to the wonders of a webcam installed at a Brighton crematorium, I made my virtual attendance at the funeral of a man - David Patterson - who transformed my life.
David - Mr. Patterson - became a member of staff at Dartford Grammar School (DGS), as a newly appointed history master, in September 1963. History was my favourite subject and I was looking forward to being taught by W. W. Wilkinson, the Head of History, for the next two years leading up to my GCE examinations. Wobbly Wobbly Wilkinson was a legend, as they say these days, and I loved his lessons in which he would dictate his notes on 20th century British history and we would sit in silence for forty-five minutes and copy them to the letter. My A-grade pass was guaranteed and was duly delivered in the summer of 1965. Meanwhile, Mr. Patterson was making his mark in the school.
My instincts as an historian and archivist - shaped of course by David Patterson as you will discover - have enabled me this morning to trawl through copies of the DGS school magazines for the period from 1964-68 in order to find the evidence of how David made that impact.
In the 1964 edition of 'The Dartfordian' I discovered a piece I had forgotten all about - an account written by R. E. K. Donovan, 4A,with the title: 'Walking Tour of the Cotswolds'. This would have been