Obituary: Christopher Cowell, headteacher

Christopher Cowell, who has died at 76, was a popular former headteacher at the Caedmon School in Whitby, who in retirement set up the Dr Martin Clarke Young Organ Scholars’ Trust, which encourages young people to learn the church organ.

Chris Cowell

Christopher Cowell, who has died at 76, was a popular former headteacher at the Caedmon School in Whitby, who in retirement set up the Dr Martin Clarke Young Organ Scholars’ Trust, which encourages young people to learn the church organ.

Music had long been his speciality, and he spent much time performing and travelling with the Dalesmen singers.

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His professional career began as a history and special needs teacher at a high school in Louth, Lincolnshire, before moving on to posts at schools in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

But it was at Caedmon that he made his mark, becoming a mentor and friend to many, as well as being the school leader.

His influence was felt around the town. At St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff, where he helped to get the church choir going, he became aware that churches were having trouble getting organists and resolved to create opportunities for training them. One young student went on to play at Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster.

Mr Cowell moved away from Whitby in 2006, though not in spirit, and he remained in touch with former pupils and colleagues up to his death.

He is survived by his wife, Pam, daughters Louise and Sarah, and five grandchildren.