We were saddened to hear of the death of a former Thornbury Grammar and Marlwood teacher Nick Large who died on 23rd December 2018. Nick won an open scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge where he studied Geography and Geology. He graduated with a First Class degree and was awarded the Phillip Lake Prize for Physiography. In 1968 he moved from Bedford School to join the staff of Thornbury Grammar School. This later became Marlwood School where, in addition to teaching Geography, and later English, Nick took on the pastoral role of Head of Gaynor House. Nick was an outstanding teacher and became a pillar of the school community. He was a powerful rugby player and when the staff took on the first XV, pupils were amazed to see his transformation into a ball- seeking missile.
When Nick gave up teaching, he was able to pursue his many interests including exploring for fossils at the Rhaetic Bone Bed at Aust. Nick became even better known in Thornbury for his range of other activities than for his career as a teacher. His interests and pursuits included photographer, jam maker, prison visitor, museum exhibitor, beachcomber, outstanding orator, local historian, poetry performer, educator, copious correspondent and diarist.
Nick never lost his interest in children and education. One of the many projects he was involved in concerned Gillingstool School and a scheme to encourage the children to grow vegetables for their lunches. Nick was a keen allotment holder and was regularly seen in Thornbury in his distinctive hat walking to his allotments with his barrow and gardening tools. It was a happy combination of these interests that led to Gillingstool’s involvement in the Thornbury in Bloom competition in 2005 when the school’s scheme was voted an outstanding community project in the Grow Your Own sections and received a cup and certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society.