The Prescotian Webzine

13 March, 2002: It is with great sadness that the Prescotian announces the passing of Alan Stoddart, chemistry teacher at Prescot Grammar and Prescot School . The Prescotian was informed of this sad news by his colleague Des Roberts. We present a range of thoughts expressed via e-mail to the Editor.
While I was headmaster, I could not have asked for greater commitment from any staff than Alan gave. Even then, relatively early in his career, he was totally devoted to the school, its pupils and traditions, and showed his devotion in every word and action. In addition to his energy and quality as a teacher, he was also very ready to offer advice, frequently wise, to a headteacher of his own generation. I did not always take it, but we both knew exactly where we stood! Alan was excellent company, cheering me up immensely on many occasions with his asides and quips.  I remember, in particular, during my first term, the day he told me, with controlled irony, that it was time that I re-issued the edict on the precise width of margins in exercise-books, otherwise the school would collapse around me. It was such a relief, in those staider times, to have a member of staff who relaxed in the presence of authority, and who knew how to persuade even the most intractable of governors. He was, of course, one of the great devotees of the Dent venture, which gave him such an opportunity to show his skills as an educator and leader out in the field. John Weeks (Head 1968-1977)
Alan Stoddart was my form teacher at PGS in first and second year and it's a real blow he's no longer with us. I have such fond memories of Stoddy - my first encounter with a real mad scientist - and the biggest eyebrows this innocent eleven year old had ever seen! He put me in charge of the terrapins, delighted in cutting up bulls eyes and had a manner which taught the class without them realising it. We just thought we were having a laugh! He also showed a glowing interest in Doctor Who, which kept half a dozen of us enthralled during Science lessons. I haven't seen or spoken to him in fifteen years but he has left me with a barrowload of good times which I'll treasure always. Andrew Hogg
He was a great man. I left PGS in 1969, and remember him with great respect. Colin Ward
One of the first teachers I met at PGS (Chemistry in Room 6 - Periods 3 & 4 on Thursdays) - a veritable character, certainly made an impression on me, and I enjoyed being taught by him. Slippery Sam, his jokes about Mr Harley the lab technician. The Orienteering trip to Tarn Hows, my first ever trip away from home (and the homesickness!). A sad loss indeed. Dave Tilley
I remember Mr. Stoddart as a strong, tenacious type with bags of stamina who certainly seemed to care about his charges. I am genuinely sorry to hear this news. David Birchall
This makes me very sad. Stoddy taught me chemistery in years 1 and 2. I was also a keen cross country runner and remember him taking a great interest in us Alpha lads and our showing in the yearly competition. He was a fine teacher and more importantly a decent human being. Thanks Stoddy, you made a real difference to me and stimulated my interest in science. I owe you (and several others of your time) a debt I can never repay. CWB

I had the pleasure of being taught by him(not that I took any notice like)and would like to pass on my condolences to his family etc. Stoddy stood out to me because of his infamous eyebrows which we called birds nests but I remember him being quite strict about homework being handed in on time. AM

Stoddy must have been a good teacher because he managed to get me through to a pass in Chemistry at O-level (just). He was a great character and will always be remembered by me particularly for his love of orienteering and the fun we had setting up the courses on the hillsides at Dent - a place I know he loved. Loz
Very sad to hear the news about Alan Stoddart . I would like to record my appreciation to him , for nurturing in me a love of the outdoors via his creation of, and enthusiastic leadership of the PGS Orienteering Group. This small but select band toured the wilds of the UK , usually up to our necks in mud and brambles , but his combination of good humour and threats generated some results which surprised ourselves. He will be long remembered and sadly missed. Rob Liddiard
I've just read your email.  I remember Stoddy well.  My fave memory was around 1979.  It was the last day before summer hols.  I had Stoddy for science and did well answering a question.  He gave me a note in front of the class.  "I, A.Stoddart, hereby declare that D.Williams is exempt from any form of punishment, homework and classwork for the next six weeks."  As a spotty 14 year old it took me a few minutes to get the joke.  Great Guy. Dave Williams
I am very  sorry to hear the news about Alan. He was a major guide to me in my days at Prescot, particularly in connection with Orienteering. I had been in touch with him at the occasional event, but have not seen him for some time now. any details of where he was living and what he was doing , age cause of death etc would be appreciated. He put in an enormous amount of effort into the sport when it was in its early days in the North West. He will be sadly missed. Keith Ellery
Picking up John Week’s comments that Alan was ‘relaxed in the presence of authority', he was not only this but from the pupil’s perspective, he was undoubtedly in authority, yet was also a friend. I have many happy memories of Alan: Birdwatching, Dent, The Lyke Wake Walk, Chemistry of course, and yes, his eyebrows. That it is over twenty years since I saw him, is a great regret, yet the memories remain as fresh as ever. Thanks to Dave Gibson’s 11th hour ‘heads up’, I managed to attend the funeral. The sun was shining and a Robin was singing in the near distance. Alan would have enjoyed that. Damien Walker

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