Obituary: Angus Taylor OBE

By Hodkinson, Steve | Teaching Business & Economics, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

Obituary: Angus Taylor OBE


Hodkinson, Steve, Teaching Business & Economics


Members old and new will be saddened by the death of Angus Taylor who was Chairman of the Association from 1983-86. Angus passed away peacefully in hospital on 23 April 1999 just after the Association's Annual conference and 26 years since he attended his first in Edinburgh in 1973.

Angus, a graduate of Manchester University, was one of the first economics teachers to emerge with a PGCE from the University of London Institute of Education some forty years ago. Immersed in his chosen profession, Angus quickly moved ahead becoming a deputy headteacher in Cumbria and then the founding headteacher of Cramlington High School in Northumberland. His approach to headship is perhaps best characterised by his interest in students and their learning and in the pride he took in the achievements of the groups of students he continued to teach throughout his years of service as a headteacher. Angus truly merited the title of headteacher.

Characteristically, therefore, he saw the experience he brought to the Association as a teacher of economics rather than as a manager of a large organisation as fulfilling his ambition for the Association. As he remarked in his report to the 1986 AGM at the end of his three years as chairman, `My ambition was to see the chair of the Association from time to time in the charge of a school teacher of economics. In that sense my ambition was fulfilled when I became chairman in 1983'.

As Chair Angus supervised the reorganisation of the Association's committee structures, sweeping away committees in order to make it more possible for the general membership to participate in the direction of the Association's affairs. For Angus the Association's lifeblood was its network of branches bringing together those individual teachers of economics to share their experiences and passion for their subject. It was the need to share and be involved which brought him to join the North East Branch in the 1960s and which propelled his engagement with his colleague members at Association conferences, seminars, in committee, as Chair of External Relations, as Vice-Chair and as Chair. Angus those of us who shared these times with you will never forget your capacity for good conversation, good bitter, pots of tea, rugby stories and little sleep! …

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