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News > In Memory Of > In Memory of David Taylor

In Memory of David Taylor

The School was deeply saddened to report that David Taylor, Headmaster of Adams' Grammar School from 1974-1993, passed away early May 2020 after a short illness.
David Taylor 1933-2020
David Taylor 1933-2020

Mr. Taylor will be remembered by many for his devotion, affection and loyalty to the school throughout his 20 years of headship and we are grateful to his daughter, Catherine, for allowing us to share the following obituary: 

David Taylor was Headmaster of Adams’ Grammar School from 1974-1993. He was instrumental in saving the school from closure and enabling its survival as a grammar school during the turbulent times of the 1970s and 80s.  He then oversaw the school’s transition to Grant Maintained status and also introduced girls into the sixth form before he left. He made a huge contribution towards making the school the success it is today.

In addition, David was Chairman of the highly successful Newport Music Club for many years and an active member of St Nicholas’s Church. On retirement, he was the Clergy Retirement Officer for the Diocese of Lichfield,  Trustee of the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust for fifteen years, and was closely involved with the rebuilding of Cosy Hall as a valuable civic amenity. 

His wife Ruth Taylor, was Head of History at Newport Girls’ High School, and was herself involved in many areas of town, school and church life.

David Taylor was born in Shropshire in 1933, brought up in Coalbrookdale, and attended Wellington Grammar School. On one of his first walks up the Wrekin with his family on returning to Shropshire in 1974, he met his old Physics teacher coming down! His family moved to Kent when he was in the sixth form, and he attended Maidstone Grammar School before going to Brasenose College, Oxford to take a physics degree. His first teaching post was at Sherborne School in Dorset, where he rose to become Head of the Physics Department. In 1966, he moved to Spalding Grammar School in Lincolnshire as Deputy Head. He returned to Shropshire to take up the post of Headmaster of Adams’ Grammar School in January 1974, at the age of 40. He remained there for exactly 20 years, only the 16th Headmaster in the school’s long history, and the last Headmaster to live in the seventeenth-century Headmaster’s House. 

After his retirement in December 1993, he continued to take a very active role in the life of the town, and with his wife Ruth co-authored a history of the school, Mr Adams’ Free Grammar School, published in 2002. 

After moving out of the school house in 1979, the Taylors moved first to Church Aston, and then to Lilleshall, where they lived from 1983 until 2014 when they moved to Hampshire to be near their daughter Catherine. David continued to play an active part in local life until very recently. In addition to his passion for education, David’s wide interests included chess, astronomy, the history of science, travel, poetry, classical music and – for the last twenty-three years - entertaining his three grandchildren. 

Since the passing of David, we were very sorry to hear that David's wife, Ruth Taylor, passed away a few months later in November 2020.  The family held a combined service for David and Ruth in July 2021 and were pleased to be joined by friends and colleagues.

Pictured above: David Taylor at the October 2002 launch of his book, Mr Adams' Free Grammar School, in the Big School Library with his wife and co-author Ruth Taylor, daughter (and editor) Catherine Randall, and two of his grandchildren Kate and James.

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