Former Cleckheaton headmaster who wrote six books for schoolchildren around the world dies aged 77

John Dewhirst, who has died at 77, was a teacher and former headmaster in West Yorkshire who wrote six of the first books on microcomputing for schoolchildren.

Monday, 29th June 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Monday, 29th June 2020, 12:32 pm

JHis volumes on the consoles of the day, the BBC Micro, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and others, were translated into 12 languages.

Born and raised in Cleckheaton, he attended Whitcliffe Road Primary and Whitcliffe Mount Grammar, before teacher training at St John’s Training College at York in 1964.

His first post was at Birkenshaw Primary, and he went on to teach at St John Fisher School before moving to Canada in the late 1960s. He worked at schools in Toronto and Montreal, returning to the Spen Valley after two years to give away his sister, Enid, on her wedding day.

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John Dewhirs, was a teacher and former headmaster in West Yorkshire

After posts elsewhere, he was appointed deputy head and later headteacher at RM Grylls School in Hightown, where he remained until his retirement in 1997.

Outside of school, he joined Cleckheaton Rotary and worked with Batley Mencap, managing a number of projects and becoming its president.

He was also active in rugby, tennis, golf and bowls, playing at Spen Victoria in Gomersal, where he had been a member for more than 40 years. He was the President twice and secretary.

He is survived by his wife, Christine, two children and three grandchildren.