Tributes to Cecil Dormand, the Mirfield teacher who inspired Sir Patrick Stewart

Former students have paid tribute to a “brilliant” Mirfield head teacher who has died at the age of 96.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 1:30 pm
Cecil Dormand, left, with Sir Patrick Stewart

Cecil Dormand, who was head at Mirfield Secondary Modern School and Mirfield High School during his illustrious teaching career, passed away earlier this month at a care home in Sidmouth, Devon.

Mr Dormand was well known to many families in Mirfield as a result of his years leading schools in the town.

But he is perhaps best remembered as the man who inspired Sir Patrick Stewart to pursue an acting career.

It was Mr Dormand who had first encouraged him to act out Shakespeare’s works in the classroom, and in 1952 he got him into a special West Riding of Yorkshire Council drama course at Calder High School.

It was much later in his career that Sir Patrick discovered that it was Mr Dormand who had paid for the courses.

Tributes to Mr Dormand have flooded in from former pupils following the sad news.

Linda Hutchinson, who lives in Mirfield, went to Mirfield Secondary Modern School with her husband, Michael. Both later became teachers at the school while Mr Dormand was head.

She said: “We always found him wise, patient, fair and supportive. He was an excellent teacher and leader with a keen sense of humour.”

Imelda Marsden, who also went to the school, has been in touch with former pupils and they have signed a condolence card which they have sent to Mr Dormand’s family.

She said: “Cecil was a brilliant teacher, a good man and a friend to many.

“He was always supportive of me and the various charities I was involved in.”

Mr Dormand was the much-loved husband of the late Mary Dormand, and he leaves two sons, four grandchildren and a great-grandson.

His funeral will be held at East Devon Crematorium on Monday, October 4. His family have requested no flowers, but instead have asked for donations to be made to the Alzheimer’s Society via its website.