A L Jones, by Mary Wise
ALAN JONES – Headmaster of Chipping Campden School 1951-1976.
Alan Jones was the son of a policeman, a grammar school boy and a Cambridge graduate. He was senior English master at Hinkley Grammar School before accepting the post of headmaster of Chipping Campden Grammar School. Like everyone else, his career had been interrupted by the war when he won the Military Cross.
A.L.J. as he was affectionately known to most of his staff, was a strong character whose life revolved around the school he loved and his young family. He was responsible for many good things at the school. In 1954 the Parent’s Association was formed and they did marvellous things for the school.
Spearheaded by this enthusiastic and energetic man, money was raised to build the amenity hall and swimming pool. It was a ‘learners’ pool because A.L.J. wanted to ensure that everyone could swim. It has proved to be invaluable and, of course, is still being put to good use today.
In 1965 he took the Grammar School through the change to comprehensive education. This was a massive task as there were so few similar schools available to base facts upon.
I have such good memories of this man who was mainly responsible for shaping my future. He would have hated to think he frightened me but he did. Out of this terror rose an enormous respect. I am sure I am only one of hundreds who would reiterate a similar experience. He worked so hard for us and I felt enormously privileged to have been a pupil at his school.
I had set my mind on catering or going to the R.S.N. He suggested I looked at teaching which would encompass both skills. I was set on the path and how grateful I was for that advice. He coached me for my entry to Leicester college. An essay every day for a fortnight, returned each day with to many red correction marks it was unbelievable. However, I passed with flying colours and then thanks to him started my teacher training – how lucky I was.
I am sure at this point, wherever he is he must be getting out his red pan to correct this tribute!
In 1965 ALJ appointed me as home economics teacher to my absolute joy. He was now the ‘boss’, a colleague and our relationship changed. He no longer terrified me.
Whatever else one might think about ALJ he was a dedicated man who loved his school and only did the very best for those in it. He was an avid supporter of everything that went on in the school. I was a member of the hockey team and whatever the weather he was there to support. He would make us cringe with his vociferous support especially against neighbouring Westwoods Grammar School. Their headmaster and ours were arch enemies during these games. He loved all sport and had been a competent cricket and football player in his youth. He turned up for every school function whatever the hour, whether seeing off a visit to the Three Counties show or the school play.
After his retirement the Chipping Campden town council recognised the work of Mr Jones and presented him with an award at a special ceremony.
Alan Jones passed peacefully away aged 91. He was a unique man and many will regret his passing. He had not enjoyed good health over the last few years but never ceased to amuse me – the twinkle in his eye and when I gave him a kiss on the forehead he would shoo me away but I know he loved it.
My story would be similar to so many others. He was a great man who gave so much to so many of us.