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School Shocked and Saddened at Former Head's Passing

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Mervyn Brooker 1954-2019

Bolton School Boys’ Division Headmaster, 2003-2008

We are saddened to share the very sad news that Mervyn Brooker, Headmaster of Bolton School Boys’ Division from 2003 to 2008, died today after a short and sudden illness. A man equally as energetic in his retirement as in his working life, his friendship, wisdom and commitment will be missed by many in the school community who remember his time at the school, many of whom he was still in touch with, maintaining his interest in their lives and news.

Mervyn contributed enormously to both the success of the school at that time and, through developments he initiated, its success today. He was drawn to and nurtured the community feel of the school; he found a group of colleagues to work with who were enthused about their subjects and about the development of the boys; he revelled in the rich extra-curricular programme, which he felt so important to the wider purpose of the school. Two aspects of that were his particular passion: Patterdale Hall and cricket. Patterdale reignited in him a love of walking, which then led to many of his adventurous treks in retirement. A notably able cricketer himself, Mervyn established the groundwork that rekindled the national profile of cricket at the school. Careers education, a particular area of expertise, burgeoned under his leadership. Above all Mervyn is remembered for his commitment: he spent time to be present, at events, for colleagues when they needed advice and for parents and boys. He gave of himself to the school completely. His experience from his first Headship in Birmingham, coupled with a determined sense of purpose, did much to modernise the school for the 21st Century.

Mervyn Brooker was born in Burton on Trent, attending Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Burnley Grammar School. He read Geography at Jesus College, Cambridge and stayed on there for teacher training. An accomplished cricketer, he was awarded a Cambridge Blue and played minor counties cricket for Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire. He played for Lancashire over 50s whilst Headmaster.

His teaching career began at Saffron Walden County High School in Essex before successive promotions at Royal Grammar School Worcester and at Highfields School, Wolverhampton. After a spell as Deputy Head at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in Birmingham, he was promoted internally to its Headship. From there he moved to Bolton School to become Headmaster of the Boys’ Division. In semi-retirement, he renewed his association with the King Edward Foundation in Birmingham, becoming its Education Advisor, with responsibility for establishing its academy in Sheldon Heath, Headteacher appraisal and a key project concerning admissions and Primary School Liaison. He also thoroughly enjoyed some part time teaching, as well as being a Governor at Wolverhampton Grammar School.

Mervyn enjoyed a walk in the Lake District fells a week before he suddenly fell ill, with complications arising from meningitis. He is survived by his wife Brigid and their two daughters.

The flag is flying at half-mast at school and will do so until Tuesday morning, when there will be a special assembly.

You can sign an online condolences book here.

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