I have only just found out that my old headmaster, John Dancy, died last week aged 99. For some reason, he was rather prejudiced against me, even in spite of the fact that I sat at his feet to study Religious Knowledge A level, where he taught us about the Book of Daniel. In retrospect, he was a remarkable and admirable person, a scholarly and very donnish headmaster, who had indeed been a fellow of Wadham before becoming a schoolmaster at Winchester, headmaster of Lancing aged 33 and of Marlborough from 1961 to 1972. And he was a liberal and reforming headmaster, responsible for the introduction of co-education while I was at school. My last contact with him was quite recent when he wrote me a letter expressing astonishment that I had appeared in a television programme and even more astonishment that my views were apparently treated with respect, something he couldn’t disguise that after 50 years he thought very odd.
6 thoughts on “John Dancy (1)”
You come out of this much better than he does. How could he not appreciate, and get pleasure from, all that you have achieved?
It’s curious how supposedly intelligent “grown ups” – school teachers or whatever – can sometimes fail to appreciate the qualities of their charges.
I think he just thought I was annoying, which I probably was. Charles
Typically self-deprecating of you, Charles. Plumb was a fine historian to whom many owe a great debt, but he was clearly someone with many faults.
Were John Dancy’s last comments to you perhaps a joke or a tease? I didn’t know the man well enough to know if that was his style.
They could have been. Not quite sure. I certainly didn’t mind them. Charles