|Photo credit: Eastern Daily Press|
It’s a sad fact of life that as we get older the people we encountered during our formative years are taken from us. We are forced to watch and grieve as parents, aunts, uncles and others who taught and inspired us pass away. Which is why I was so saddened to hear of the death of one of my former head teachers, Emlyn Davies.
Mr. Davies was the headmaster of Cromer Junior School, and taught at the school from 1966 until his retirement in 1984. Most of my brothers and sisters passed through his gates during that time.
There are many ways I could describe Mr. Davies as a person. He was one of my favourite teachers, a kind and gentle man. Whenever I saw him in the school playground he would always ask me how I was, and more often than not he would ask me how my brother and sisters were. I remember one particular conversation where he told me how pleased he was that my sister Sue was getting married back in the early eighties.
Before I left the school in the summer of 1983 Mr. Davies wrote a special note to me and my family on my final school report. I’ve still got it today. It read: “Best wishes to you all on this occasion of completing the final report of the last young Radbourne that I’ve had through school over the last 17 years!”
Mr. Davies retired a year after I left his school, in 1984. It wasn’t the last I saw of him though. In the years that followed I would often see him around town, and he would still ask me how my brothers and sisters were. I remember that he was particularly sad when he heard of my mother’s death in 1983 and my father’s death in 1991.
I think what struck me most about him during this time was that he never seemed to change. As many of his former pupils grew older, often gaining a few grey hairs, or losing a few as in my case, Mr. Davies never seemed to change at all, it was as if he existed in some sort of timeless zone.
Sadly ill health meant that he moved away from Cromer a few years ago to be nearer his family in Newbury. It was there that he passed away a few days ago.
To say that Mr. Davies had a more than positive influence on my life would be an understatement. He may not have been born and bred in this area but for me he is and will always be one of Cromer’s unsung heroes, and I will always admire and respect him.
Rest in peace Mr. Davies. Thank you for everything that you did for me. You will be sorely missed by everyone that knew you.
You can read the EDP's article about Mr. Davies at this link.