Late Brandon teacher “inspired” so many pupils

Tributes have been paid to an 'inspirational' Brandon teacher who left a legacy amongst those he knew.

Nick Turner, 74, of The Lammas, Mundford, taught for more than 30 years at Breckland Middle School, securing the future of three generations of pupils as he relayed his passion for art.

He died on February 14 from pancreatic cancer which had spread to his liver and for the last five days of his life was cared for in St Nicholas' Hospice in Bury St Edmunds. For five weeks previously he had been cared for at his son Jonathan's home.

Jonathan, 45, a police sergeant in Stowmarket, said: 'Everybody loved the art teacher. He was an inspiration and he always stuck up for the children. He would always find the best in any individual.

'He had opportunities to move away from Brandon to progress his career but he stayed because of the affinity he had with the town. When Mum died Dad was here on his own but he continued to live an imaginative and creative life. His church became important to him too.'

Mr Turner, a keen Arsenal Football Club supporter, was a regular member of St Leonard's Church in Mundford and had many hobbies and activities including walking, fishing and art. He also took holidays with friends after his wife Jean died in 1998.

Jonathan added: 'He regarded himself as an art teacher not an artist. His style of teaching was all pre-curriculum so it was all from his mind. He never taught the same thing twice. Every lesson would be different.'

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Mr Turner's elder son David, 47, a builder in Bury St Edmunds, added: 'When we were young he would always put us to bed and he would make up a bedtime story from the top of his mind.'

Mr Turner and his wife moved to Brandon from Chertsey in Surrey in the early 1960s when he secured a job at Breckland Middle School. Mrs Turner became a teacher at Forest Primary School and both stayed in the same job for the length of their careers, living in Hillside, off London Road.

Mr Turner, also a school governor, was forced to retire at 55 due to ill health but remained active. The couple moved to Mundford in the late 1980s.

David said: 'After Mum died Dad launched himself into life with his old school mates and played his golf. He was often seen around and people would stop him and talk to him. All his old pupils used to call him Mr Turner.

'I'm sure he'll be missed by hundreds, if not thousands, of people. When you think about how many people he had contact with over the years, nobody's ever said a bad word about him.'

Both brothers thanked everybody who attended the funeral.28

Donations are welcome for St Nicholas' Hospice.