We have been informed that Norman Hill, who was Head of Modern Languages at BGS from 1957-62 has sadly died, aged 97.
His former pupil and in recent years family friend, Patricia Braithwaite (nee Griffin 1956-63) has sent us the following eulogy
‘Sixty-four years ago, I sat nervously in my classroom at Bexley Grammar School, awaiting my first French lesson. In strode the imposing figure of Mr Hill and I was smitten! With him, yes of course, but, with the language too. His delivery appealed to us all. For me, it was the start of a journey in becoming an ardent Francophile.
Five years ago, I tremulously knocked at the door of Norman’s house in the faint hope that he would recognise me as a former pupil and furthermore, would assist me with a few Flemish words. I was greeted most amicably and welcomed indoors, where I explained my reason for invading his privacy after a gap of nearly sixty years.The rest, as they say, is history!
I have treasured the familiarity of my burgeoning friendship with both Norman & his dear wife Eliane. Another Bexley Grammar master – a peer of Norman’s – with whom I maintain a strong relationship is John Collins (Maths) and I was subsequently able to facilitate a happy reunion for them.
As a pupil, I was in awe of both these fine gentlemen. As an adult, I cherish their friendship. Such fond memories are meant to be savoured and shared!’