Obituary: Rodney Wills, teacher

Rodney Wills, who has died after a short illness, taught at Whitby’s Eskdale School when it first opened, and then later at Whitby School, becoming chairman of the Rural Studies Panel for the Yorkshire Regional Examinations Board, and a member of the examinations committee.

Rodney Wills.

Rodney Wills, who has died after a short illness, taught at Whitby’s Eskdale School when it first opened, and then later at Whitby School, becoming chairman of the Rural Studies Panel for the Yorkshire Regional Examinations Board, and a member of the examinations committee.

He had enrolled on an emergency teacher training scheme, specialising in rural studies, after his time in the RAF during the Second World War. His first post was in Skegness, but he soon moved to the newly-built Eskdale establishment, and established a large plot for the growing of fruit and vegetables. He introduced goats, bees and chickens and developed a forestry plot a few miles from the school.

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His successful savings bank scheme for pupils instilled the habit of saving in many youngsters.

He later moved on to be head of house and rural studies teacher at the then Whitby School. At the same time, he ran a youth club in Egton Village Hall, and took on the post of secretary of Egton Horse and Agricultural Society for a number of years.

He also trained as a reader in the Church of England, qualifying in 1954, and taking many services at St Hilda’s in Egton and also in Whitby, including the Seamen’s Mission, Grosmont and Ugthorpe.

He is survived by Susan, his wife of 69 years with whom he retired to western Scotland, and by his daughter Christine, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Anne, predeceased him.