Death of Bomber Nicholson

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Rex
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Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Rex » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:58 pm

I'm deeply sorry to report that Christopher Nicholson (Horsham Staff 1965-81, Governor) died in hospital on 30 June. He had been in poor health for some years following a stroke.

He was a great teacher and a wonderful friend.

No information yet about memorial services, etc.

A tribute to him on the website of Bedford Modern School, where he was Master of the Middle School after leaving CH:

http://www.bedmod.co.uk/Tribute-to-Chris-Nicholson

A very short, more personal tribute on Facebook from one of his godchildren (the son and grandson of Old Blues):

https://www.facebook.com/d8ms7c/posts/10152974296099829
Last edited by Rex on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Adrian
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Adrian » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:11 pm

How sad.

I will always remember him extolling the virtues of Wagner, playing it loudly from his Leigh Hunt window, and the speed that he walked around.
Maine A; Peele A 75-82

barnemj
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by barnemj » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:49 pm

Great man - strong supporter of the Grecians club. Was always interested in what we had to say and a tremendous teacher.

Treat myself as lucky to have known the man and to have been influenced by his gentlemanly conduct.

RIP

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Mid A 15
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Mid A 15 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:49 am

I am very sad to visit the forum this morning and discover this news.

"Bomber" was a remarkable teacher in that he had a rare, if not unique, energy and enthusiasm which he transmitted to his pupils and simultaneously inculcated them with both confidence in themselves that they could progress and an interest in the subjects he taught. The consequence? Academic results beyond expectations.

I was not in the Prep or Leigh Hunt so never knew "Bomber" as a Housemaster but I clearly remember those that were speaking only fondly of him at CH and I pass my sincere condolences to Rex and others that may read this whom knew him better than I did.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

Rex
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Rex » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:50 pm

Thanks, Andy. The funeral (family and close friends only) will be on Thursday 17th July at 3.15 pm at Bedford Crematorium, 104 Norse Road, Bedford MK41 0RL. There'll be a Memorial/Thanksgiving Service at Bedford Modern School - date not yet decided, but likely to be on a Saturday in September.

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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by yamaha » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:58 am

"Bomber" was a remarkable teacher in that he had a rare, if not unique, energy and enthusiasm which he transmitted to his pupils and simultaneously inculcated them with both confidence in themselves that they could progress and an interest in the subjects he taught.
That sentence is so true.

I last saw him about about 15 years after I left CH. We passed on the escalators in a tube station late one evening - he descending, I ascending. I was probably one of his dimmest English pupils but he greeted me with enthusiasm and waited at the bottom for me to come back down and catch up on the events of those 15 years. He was a teacher who was interested in every one of his pupils. I never met a man with so much humanity.

Straz
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Straz » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:16 pm

I’ve just heard the very sad news via the latest CHOBA newsletter.
I was one of those who was very privileged to know Chris as a junior housemaster, as an English teacher and as a personal friend.
Back in June 2010 my first post on this forum were my memories of Chris and other favourite masters.
I make no apologies for repeating the relevant section of that first post now:

My favourite master at CH was Chris Nicholson. "Bomber" had an extremely kind nature, and, in my view, was utterly dedicated to CH, its pupils and the school's ethos. In my six years at CH I never heard a bad word said against him. That's something you could rarely say about most masters at CH in the 1970s, although I know that Michael "Des" Carrington was pretty much on par with CWN. You may also recall that Chris edited The Blue during much of the 70s, putting in long hours to produce some fine issues.
Chris was a junior housemaster when I was in LHA, and later taught me English at A-level. We built a long and enduring friendship from my early days at CH when I suffered terrible homesickness and struggled to keep up on the academic front. I came to CH as a third-former, having missed the first year. I lagged badly behind academically, and ran away from CH on more than one occasion as I was unsure how to cope.
It was Chris who helped to sort me out, offering me consolation, kind words and, very practically, extra tutorials in English and Latin. And it was during one of those extra tutorials in CWN's study that news came - via French master and LHA junior master Joe Slater - of a major tragedy in my life. My mother had died suddenly at home. The next few weeks, months and terms were a whirlwind, a great rollercoaster of emotion. Chris stuck with me, through thick and thin, offering me solace, comfort, help and advice. I couldn't have got through it all without him.
It was a great honour some years later to have Chris as my English teacher for A-level. He treated his A-level group as adults... possibly the first time I had experienced this sort of tutorial at CH. I was delighted to get my A-level, which was important, as it led on to my subsequent career in magazine journalism. Again, this was something that Chris encouraged me to go for, allowing me to use his typewriter to develop my touch-typing skills for example.
My last night at CH was spent visiting a number of masters to say goodbye. I'm sure the tradition continues today. Naturally Chris was the last master I visited that night. Some great chat and a sherry or two later, and I knew that my time at CH had come to an end, as I stumbled up the Avenue to Peele A, bound for bed.
We kept in touch after CH, and I was sad when he decided to leave, although I understood the reasons behind his departure. And many years later, he very kindly came along to my father's funeral, as he was keen to lend his support when again I was at a low ebb. I will never forget that. All in all, Chris was the finest master at CH during my time there.

Rest in peace Chris. I will never ever forget you.
Paul Strange
Leigh Hunt A 1969-71
Peele A 71-75

Rex
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Rex » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:09 pm

Strongly sympathise with that, Paul.

Tim Collard (ColB 72-77) pays his own tribute here:

https://www.facebook.com/tcollard2/post ... 4676062654

And here are a few brief Facebook tributes from former pupils of Bedford Modern School:

https://www.facebook.com/BedfordModernS ... 9842424989

A pity the CHOBA newsletter got Chris’s dates wrong and omitted his Governorship.

Donsimone
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Donsimone » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:32 am

Who could have lived through the Bomber 3A experience and forget it. Deeply stimulating and liberating stuff which I've has stayed with me all these years.

Despite having stormed off from CH in a huff on the Lower Deps, I went back years later to ask him for a reference for a postgrad course which he very graciously granted ( I got a place ).

I'll raise a glass later on in tribute to a guy who represented the best of what classroom teaching can be. :drinkers:

RIP

Clive
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Clive » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:22 pm

An update further to this sad news. The memorial service referred to by Rex will be held at St.Peter de Merton Church in Bedford on Sat Oct 11th at 3p.m. and there will be refreshments afterwards at the adjacent Chapter House. All Old Blues will be welcome.

I believe the CH headmaster's office has written to Bomber's twin sister Antonia to ask whether she would like there to be a service or some other form of memorial at CH as well. It may be felt that this would be an unnecessary duplication for the family. If that is what's decided then I hope - and expect - there will be a good CH representation in Bedford.

amjnewman
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by amjnewman » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:49 am

There's some feeling that CH should go ahead with a commemoration regardless. Piers Gielgud and I have approached the headmaster about this. Anyone who supports this please let me know.

Martin Newman (3A then Col B late 70s-early 80s)

Clive
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Clive » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:03 am

Hi Martin - and Piers.... I remember you both (just!).

I fully support you in believing that something should be done at CH and I have already expressed this view to the folks at Horsham.
Since the Bedford service is not at BMS maybe we can to some extent steal a march on them?

However, since a service in Bedford will definitely be going ahead, possibly we could do something slightly different (or extra) at CH -
a memorial concert?;
a memorial dinner?;
a memorial glass of port?!;
or a memorial refurbishment of the Grecians' club - which I gather is somewhat in need thereof?

I'd be interested to know what Rex's view on this is. And Paul's indeed. And others' of course.
And does anybody have an e-mail address for Tim Collard. I'm not on Facebook - Ye Gods!

Rex
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Rex » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:47 pm

Clive wrote:I'd be interested to know what Rex's view on this is.
Clive, I've sent you a private message.

Crug
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Crug » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:30 pm

I can't make the memorial in Bedford later this month, but would be very interested to hear if there is a CH occasion of some sort.
I echo Paul Strange's heartfelt eulogy - Bomber was just the best.
PYB LHB ColB LaA 1965-1973, Governor

Clive
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Re: Death of Bomber Nicholson

Post by Clive » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:26 pm

Rex wrote:
Clive wrote:I'd be interested to know what Rex's view on this is.
Clive, I've sent you a private message.
Rex - I've sent you a private message (possibly several times due to Outbox peculiarity!).

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